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"Think of these three things: whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account"--Benjamin Franklin

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

ECLIPSE!!...When Darkness Falls

So there we were outside on the compound at work, anticipating the solar eclipse that would engulf the country to make it comprehensively dark. Sporting the special eclipse shades, which many believed not to be that special, most of us wanted to witness the phenomenal experience of seeing outside get dark between 8.30 anad 9.30am in the morning...

As the time of the eclipse grew closer and closer, jubilation was written over ALL our faces. THIS is what living is all about, no? After all, the statistics indicate that few people (around 1/10) ever get to witness an eclipse. So to have witnessed an eclipse a second time (the first being in Belgium in the late nineties--11 August, 1999) is a blessing of epic proportions;-)

To be frank, I was not all that elated, and that surprised me. I was over-joyed, and definitely not underwhelmed. I didn't need this eclipse to remind of the greatness of God, but it has definitely re-inforced my belief that there is a God...

Monday, March 27, 2006

Pleased to Meet You; Hope You Guessed My Name"--Part I

In the flurry of excitement, I want to plan this as meticulously as possible. I shall attempt to bring coverage of the eclipse live by way of yahoo through my mobile phone. Read on...

Suffice to say that the month of March has proved to be one of the most memorable for me in a long time, and not just because there is a sense of alliteration of "m"'s in this sentence (;-) but because of these two things:

First Internet on the mobile, or GPRS arrived commercially in my home country of Ghana on March 21, under one of the four mobile providers AREEBA GHANA. I can check my Yahoo Mail and whatnot at the (prohibitive yet reasonably) understandable rate of 6.5units/kilobytes from my mobile phone. For some strange reason, my SAGEM myx-7 has proved to access the GPRS service more easily than a NOKIA phone, which is the quasi-ubiquitous brand over here!

Secondly, in two days time -- March 29, 2006 -- Ghana will play host to the lunar eclipse. The last time it appeared in this country was, I understand in 1947.

Some people are using this opportunity to present themselves with eschatological prognostications--that is to say theories that herald the end of the world, saying that the darkness will unleash that we most fear--the devil.

Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name...-- indeed!

It's a good thing, unlike the Rolling Stones in the 1968 hit, I never have sympathy for the devil;-)

Related link: When the Sun and Moon Come Under a Shadow

  • Wednesday, March 22, 2006

    Three Degrees of Separation?

    I am sure you have heard of the oft-quoted "six degrees of separation", that claims that we are all inter-connected in some way by the figure "6".

    Well, cop this.

    Yesterday, I got my boss a book for his birthday present. It prompted a viscerally characteristic and hearty laugh from him about the utility of the book. It was one of those esoteric books on spirituality, which he is wont to like and read.

    It turns out:
    1. another work colleague had suggested him checking out THAT SAME book a few weeks ago from another bookshop;

    2. a family friend of his had PROMISED to buy him THAT SAME book late last year...;

    So, in what I can only classify as the case of Three Degrees of Separation, there I go buying him THAT SAME book.

    Coincidence or something more arcane??

    Monday, March 20, 2006

    Strange, yet Hilarious!!


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    Thursday, March 16, 2006

    Serendipity, Indeed!

    So there I was, by way of, going down looking to fulfill a type of nostalgia I was feeling towards Brussels. Then I came across this very simple and yet very neat website about daily pictures:


    It turns out the blog is written by a college friend, who worked with me in the early days of the college’s writing center. I first set up the first-ever site for the centre, here: Rather execrable website, in retrospect, if you ask me;-)


    After several attempts by students to maintain it after I graduated in 2000, they have arrived at this:, which is more boring, but perhaps more prosaic—just like academia, I guess;-)


    Have a good day!

    Friday, March 10, 2006

    Intelligence versus Education--some food for thought


    I heard this on the radio en route to work.


    Presenter: What’s education got to do with intelligence?


    Interviewee: Well, if you have a labourer, and someone with a PhD come into your office, well, the labourer may be smart, but there is definitely no way you could have known he is smart, because he doesn’t have education!


    Having said all that, I know people who stopped school at secondary, yet went on to run successful businesses. Of course, not all were able to go further, but speak with them today, and they will give you insights at the click of the finger that your so-called erudite will not.


    And then again, when you scan the pool of academics who have adversely contributed to a fairer and just world, you scratch your head in wonderment as to whether they learnt anything from their studies. Think of those academics whose name begin with Francis ( who predicted the “End of History”, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and who now has broken with the Neo-conservatives of the Bush administration (Francis Fukuyama: neo-con friendship comes to an end: and ask yourself whether his erstwhile attachment to the Bush doctrine of fighting preventive wars in 2006 is intelligent!


    Of course, IRAN and its obduracy over IAEA and the UN Security Council over its enrichment of Uranium doesn’t come to mind at all…


    But if it does, you might want to read this incisive article in the UK’s Prospect magazine here:









    Saturday, March 04, 2006

    Oh it's good to Cogitate!!

    In around roughly forty minutes time, I shall be making my way to a hotel nearby to act as shadow rapporteur to a seminar organized by my organization on mining and oil.


    I used to hate seminars like the plague. Now, I realize that being surrounded by all these intellectual giants, it’s actually quite good being at one—not just because of the topic necessarily. The very fact that being compelled to read papers submitted by these academics/researchers as a way of keeping on top of the issues makes one realize that the quest and thirst for intellect is a never-ending one.  And so, even though my Saturday has been robbed a bit of sleep, I think I am the better for itJ


    No matter how much you think you might now about a particular topic, there is always so much more you can know. My immediate boss called it “the extra mile”: going that bit further, even sometimes pushing the envelope, to enhance yourself in your occupation, and your knowledge of things.


    This means that, say you are a journalist, you don’t just go to meetings/conferences and report on them. You go the extra mile by talking to people and researching on a topic of importance to society, which means you become proactive. If you are a doctor, you go the extra mile of being sympathetic to your patients, and not just treating them simply as patients. Or if you are an actor, going that extra mile of not being afraid to speak your mind about issues of political sensitivity (; or if you were a sex worker, ensuring that your perception of life is reflected through your work (; or finally, if you are a married couple, you extend and improve your married life by relating to those lost souls the way of the small things we miss in life (, and the simple things that should make us happy.


    I don’t work on the topic of oil or mining -- my colleagues are the experts – but simply being exposed to the information has provided this epiphany so very late in March. Shouldn’t it have been on January 6?


    I always was a late starterJ

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