Monday, July 30, 2007

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Bumblebee Myth

According to 20th century folklore, the laws of aerodynamics prove that the bumblebee should be incapable of flight, as it does not have the capacity (in terms of wing size or beat per second) to achieve flight with the degree of wing loading necessary. Jokingly, not being aware of scientists proving it cannot fly, the bumblebee succeeds under "the power of its own arrogance" (McFadden et. al. 2007). The origin of this myth has been difficult to pin down with any certainty. John McMasters recounted an anecdote about an unnamed Swiss aerodynamicist at a dinner party who performed some rough calculations and concluded, presumably in jest, that according to the equations, bumblebees cannot fly.[4] In later years McMasters has backed away from this origin, suggesting that there could be multiple sources, and that the earliest he has found was a reference in the 1934 French book Le vol des insectes by M. Magnan. Magnan is reported to have written that he and a Mr. Saint-Lague had applied the equations of air resistance to insects and found that their flight was impossible, but that "One shouldn't be surprised that the results of the calculations don't square with reality".[5]

It is believed[citation needed] that the calculations which purported to show that bumblebees cannot fly are based upon a simplified linear treatment of oscillating aerofoils. The method assumes small amplitude oscillations without flow separation. This ignores the effect of dynamic stall, an airflow separation inducing a large vortex above the wing, which briefly produces several times the lift of the aerofoil in regular flight. More sophisticated aerodynamic analysis shows that the bumblebee can fly because its wings encounter dynamic stall in every oscillation cycle.

Source- Wikipedia

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Politics of Language

Besides the bullet monologues which have become daily occurences on the streets of Lagos in the past weeks, we are a witness to a new war of words that have marked Nigeria's politics as truly remarkable. And interesting.

We have seen the Parade of Dangerous Politicians et al.

Now, I have a leaflet in my hand which has as a headline, "Asiwaju of Criminals (AC)", plus a picture of the incumbent governor of Lagos state. This was distributed by the campaign train of the Lagos State PDP aspirant today.

We've heard of Penkelemes etc. Now its about Korosive, Fashy them et al.

Isn't all this far better than the dialogue of guns?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Nigeria Discussion - The New Naira


I've been riled recently by the excuse that the wazobia texts on the news naira notes will serve in some way to engender nationalism or what not. I made the following comments to laspapi's blog last week on the matter. For me, it is useless trying to appease only three sections of the country with three texts on the Naira. There is nothing wrong with the arabic signs. Whatsoever.

Perhaps our greatest problem in Nigeria is in emphasising our differences/what makes us different (we don't even do it well) than stressing what makes us one. Arabic there doesn't help nationalism perhaps, but neither does it harm it. Read below.

"The CBN thinks it has removed the arabic signs, but I still see it there. The "Feudal Lords" don't see it there however. Neither do you laspapi.

What was the CBN thinking anyway, removing the arabic signs to replace it with wazobia phrases? Thanks Nilla. What do you want the Isoko man to read? Or a man who only speaks ghotuo.Anyway. Methinks cognition is what matters. The agbero, or the illiterate beggar will still recognise a "muri" from a "waso".The dollar has Latin afterall. Why not arabic, as long as it doesn't say "mohammed is..."

And again (refer to the first sentence), the numerals 20, 50, 100 etc are afterall arabic numerals and have not so far caused any pious pneumonia to any christian/secular spender of the money." Or should we remove those as well?

Photo from Laspapi's

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Impossible to fail

Suggestion 1. Decide to be happy with yourself and accept you, as you are, pimples stretch marks and all. Make a habit of looking at the mirror, once a week, just to admire whom you see and say to the (wo) man in the mirror, “ You are OK”. (If symptoms persist more than three days a week, consult your shrink).Suggestion

2. Determine your personal vice and commit yourself to being faithful to it against all well meaning advise of friends, family, foes and free advise givers. You are human. You should not be perfect. You have a right to have a weakness to help you to be strong in the tough times ahead.Suggestion

3. Give freely anything that doesn’t cost you. Maybe, you have a ride, give someone going your way a lift once in a while. Maybe, you received several dairies; share. When strangers ask you for directions, be kind. Don’t deliberately send them on àródân. By so doing, you will not win a lottery, get a ministerial appointment or have angels visit you at home. But you will learn to give, which, I tell you, is in many ways eminently more fulfilling.

More at

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Four lines

I sometimes wish this were a ship, going somewhere
a cabin free, free dip to fall in the moving deep,
all alone across a time dial that still ticks, here
like a grain of sand in a drunken sleep.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Some Babel Poetry

There sure was a reason why the gods confounded man at Babel. See below, what might likely happen if a sentence, phrase or poem as I tried below, is passed through these languages. English-French-German-English. Let's just assume that three bilingual people should meet and should have to converse. The Englishman speaks English to the Frenchman who repeats it in French to the German who in turn says back it in English.

This experiment started here

Twinkle Twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky.

The sparkling sparkling hold less the first role, as I ask myself over, what you over the so high world than a diamond in the sky upward are.

Below are some random blog descriptions, and what Babel thinks of them:

ARACELI'S BLOG: A mummy and some other things. This blog once per week is brought up to date... it is, if he is not.

MAC'S BLOG: I. I am even my conscience. I am living me my conscience, breathing and consciously. * Now I stop understanding me * I am logical, and very systematically I am not a perfectionist. I am not special, but I am different. I endorse art car portrait control, and I remain a Wurzelschoessling for the free expression.

NILLA's BLOG: Place the patriotic Nigerier downward at the earth.

KIIBAATI'S BLOG: Proudly Naija with confidence liberally and evenly Creative. Thinking global, but actively humanly. And the assionémentglauben (that), from it it is impossible to fail...

WORDSBODY: I am of the Niger an author and an art journalist based in London. I write an art column in a newspaper of the Niger, and my work appears likewise in many other publications occasionally. This blog is a consequence from in former times on the culture and the arts. As the entrance hall on the scene of the art of Nigeria will be before, an author particularly of the Niger of the body of its ' word ' -. in the measure, as, we will likewise affect on a broader African writing exactly the same as the international literature. Briefly a saturation of the arts.

iGwatala's BLOG: By Nigeran, the large six of feet four, but fortunately made by the books more largely I did not read males. Thusly mentioned Milosz of the poles (no intended wordplay). First a linguist once a journalist and often poèt. A young strange man, who thinks it, is mostly just seen to him everything and written for the Exorzismus. Well, since, then he will not save the literature the world not also not me save could. But attempt I. This blog is a public intimate kind newspaper, an unloading, blog comme un livre dans progressent - from a vibrated soul. All reserved rights.

I sure as heck didn't say the above!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Mack tagged me.

Three things that scare me:
1. Change
2. Creativity
3. Adulations

Three people who make me laugh
1. Chris Rock/Sola Olorunyomi's Daughter
2. My niece of 13 (who by the way writes some poetry)
3. My dog

Three Things I love:
2.Peace of mind
3. Wine

Three Things I hate
1. Heat
3.The smell of Flit/Raid/any mosquito repellant

Three Things I don't understand
1. Change
2. Growing up/grown ups
3. Myself

Three things I’m doing right now
1. Typing
2. Thinking about home.

3. Drinking.

Three things I want to do before I die:
1. Publish a (collection of) plays (and probably short stories), and more poems.
2. Finish reading Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses
3. Save the world

Three things I can do
1. Get into trouble
2. Get lost
3. Stare/Play Chess

Three things you should listen to
1. Music (Lots of it)
2. Yo mama
3. Sola Olorunyomi on the Bass Guitar

Three things you should never listen to
1. Me on the Bass guitar
2. My opinion on the poem of whomever I do not particularly like
3. Tade Ipadeola's assessment of anyone's poem.

Three things I’d like to learn:
1. Patience
2. To sometimes keep my mouth shut.
3. How to sometimes just be invisible/How to say NO.

Three beverages I drink regularly:
1. Five alive
2. Vino Tinto Sangria
3. Ponche. (Did he say beverages?)

Three TV shows/Books I watched/read as a kid:
1. Stories my mother told me (book)
2. Arofo awon Omode (I know you don't know it. Go search online)
3. Alawiye(book)/Ifa Olokun (TV serial)

I still insist there's something sinister about the internet.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

BABEL IS CRAZY. But we know that already, right?

Here's my find this afternoon in some idleness. Keyed in the following text in English into Babel Fish asking for a French translation:

"What is worth doing at all is worth doing well"

I get the following translation back, which I suspect might be correct in French:

"Ce qui vaut la peine de faire du tout vaut la peine de faire bien".

Now, I translate that back into English, using the same software, I get the following:

"What is worth the sorrow to make whole is worth the sorrow to make well."


Curious, I tried for German.

English to German: Was wertIST, an allen zu tun,IST wert, gut zu tun

German back to English: "Which is to do at all is worth, to do well"

In all cases, the meanings had changed by the time it got back to the original language.

Last try. ENGLISH to FRENCH to GERMAN, then to ENGLISH

ENGLISH TO FRENCH ="Ce qui vaut la peine de faire du tout vaut la peine de faire bien".

FRENCH - GERMAN = Was das Leiden wert ist, vom Ganzen zu machen, ist das Leiden wert, gut zu machen

GERMAN - ENGLISH= "Which suffering is worth to make from the whole one to suffering is worth to make good"

Wits and Wisdom of the Computer!

Now, ASSIGNMENT. I hereby tag all of you who read this blog to make your own experiments, and make your findings known. Pick a short quote, and run it through languages, then let's see what you get in the end. Remember that childhood game we play in circles, when we pass a little phrase round a circle in whispers until it reaches the person that started it, most times in a mangled, humorous form? This looks like it. We can call it Stille Post E-nternational.

Thanks Somegirl, Chinese Whispers, was the English expression I was looking for.

Okay, Okay.

Let us start today with this song from Eminem. Let me confess, he's actually one of the songwriters I relate to much lately. This track plays on the computer as I write from an author's office this midnight:

Sometimes I feel I'm crazy...
why am I here, am I just wasting my time?
But then I see my baby, suddenly I'm not crazy,
It all makes sense when I look into her eyes.

Sometimes it feels like the world's on my shoulder
Everyone leaning on me
Sometimes it feels like the world's almost over
but then she comes back to me

Okay, so much about retiring from blogging. It wasn't meant to be, as you must have guessed, but sometimes you wonder if the world was going to end, and you try to speak, say something out before you go, instead of leaving the world to complain of your impromptu exit. You know; that... let me speak before they try to insinuate that the exiting was not prethought of...

Back to songs, I also remember this from the movie "Bringing down the House". Queen Lateefah had sung:

Life aint going nowhere
slow down
I'm just taking my time
until you show me some time
that you're better than the rest...

The advice here often becomes the hardest to adhere to. But it's true, right? Life's going nowhere.

So, so much for philosophy. Blogging will remain. Maybe it's the new reality. "Google is the new Godot". Flash drive is the new trinket. Everyone is wearing it now. We will remain here, it seems, and what we MUST do, is to keep on speaking to one another. I may not be able to transmit my thoughts through words however. I may not successfully transmit my amazements, fears and hopes. My knowledge fail me when I face stark reality. Like Milosz described, it is like a housefly's amazement on the waxed glass of a vehicle, how does it understand the concept of solid air? And how much innocence must remain in a man until he is genuinely flawed? Isn't innocence itself overrated? Useless questions really, but not useless, the acts of questioning.

Welcome me back? There's so much to learn from each other.

NB: If you would be in Ibadan in March, you could drop by at the Osundare at 6o Literary Fete at venues in Ibadan, Ikere, and Lagos. See ya there!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The blog stops here.

Or maybe not. Twice, I have tried to get out of the internet. Twice I have failed. The first was at Yahoo 360 just after my return from NYSC, when blogging began to seem a far less comforting alternative to tangible social consciousness, and day jobs. Now last week it hit me again - the devil, and I turned the blog off to only allow private viewership. The peace of mind I envisaged therefrom however did not last. And here I am again. Apologies to all while I still contemplate a final solution. Till then, here we are.

So, meanwhile, let me recommend the following (new?) blogs: Kiibaati, Nilla, and Mack. That is if you have read OWNB, and Noni Moss. Also BlogAfrica and NigerianBloggers where this blog will continue to be aggregated even if it ever get's taken off the public.

The world around me is changing.
I must too, again and again.
Hope the light at the end of the tunnel
is not that of a coming train!

"Our greatest fears is not that we are inadequate... but that we are powerful beyond measure..." Williamson


Monday, January 08, 2007

Two poems, mine

Lagos again, December

Speak you must, muse, in taps, raps -
Drum, tat-a, rolls of a furious key.
The tongue to rile a fog of blabbing naps.

As with a lost wing, flap on white winds -
Serrated dots of letters, dice dials of thought
Move the night with mares of omen rinds.

Why do you forget yourself so? Soul-
Journer of a sea of words and flaming fate?
It is I who call. Grant the bearing role.

Speak you must, muse, in raps, taps -
Drum, tat-a, rolls on a furious key.
From this fringe of meagre dream of wraps


They would smell of rum, maybe wine
Of a pristine dance on brown keys that tapped,
Rasped in echoes across father's dusty lounge.

They would reek of innocence, shy lines
Of the toddler whose eyes lay only in the silence,
laden trivia of books, and old record sleeves.

They might show relics of a hopeful child lie
Within a bulwark of rage in the silence of night,
Quiet when adults slept with ears apart, dead to the world.

They would try to hide the author's disgust
for past bustles, home noise and day jobs,
Useless rants that mainly deter than fuel a budding muse.

But it wasn't written then, and so the past remains
Bilked in bits of old rum in even older flasks, and pains.

(c) All rights reserved. 2007.