Liberia, Ebola and Truth

Liberian ambassador to the UK just told several lies and half-truths about the Liberia government’s response to the Ebola epidemic. That was on BBC. He said the government were making attempts to provide safety nets but that like all nets, there are holes. Attempts my butt! And why do they always blame the civil war? That was 10 years ago! He mentioned that the civil war ruined the nation’s health sector.
And the Defense Minister said “the very existence of the country is at stake”. How interesting, people still seem to be going about their businesses (what’s left of it) and are getting fed up of all the noise and little action. Many already insist the whole situation is becoming annoying. Preventive measures are still being taken though. These is all despite that the government has painted a gloomy picture of the situation in Liberia.
By the way, scores have died from malaria, typhoid, or flu, but all are tagged Ebola victims. Within this past week, a drunk elderly man died in Red light. A lady died in Royal Plus, Mawata, she was raped by several men. In both cases, the Ebola response team zoomed in, sprayed the bodies with chemicals and put them in plastic body bags. Even as residents insisted the cases were falsely tagged.
Now, there are also cases of people dying in their sleep, I have heard of four so far. There have been reports of kidnappings, and rumors that churches in Monrovia are about to be shut down. I sincerely hope its all a rumor. We woke this morning to talk of poisoned table salt and sugar being sold in the market. The deaths that this will cause will definitely be blamed on Ebola.

The people know the truth. But the world, do they?

Of Hand-Me-Downs From Overseas

If you go in the streets of Lagos and other cities in Nigeria and indeed Africa, (it has since spread all over the continent) you’d observe a trend that started to spring up fairly recently, just about a year ago, i think. Toys; rattles, balls, puzzles, xylophones, stuffed animals and rag dolls, drumsticks, cars, etc. on display infront of shops, shops that normally should have no connection with these items, say a tailoring shop for instance. Items like baby walkers, strollers, carts, car-seats, feeding bottles, spoons, ribbons, clothes etc. are all on display by roadsides in the open air; exposed to the heat, dust and exhaust from passing vehicles. They’re brought in from whatever western country to provide our kids with stuff to play with.
Maybe.

Some group of kind-hearted westerners gathered their old toys and baby stuff to be sent down to Africa where the kids need ’em.
How nice of them.

Or maybe some ‘businessman’ decided that, scouting for and collecting used and old toys and baby stuff to be sold in Africa where the people will jump on them was a good idea.
How unfair.

These items are usually second-hand and at times over-used. Some times, these items are so damaged and filthy that one wonders if a child would not get hurt or infected while playing with them. They don’t even appear to be worth buying in the first place. There are many that do look relatively new and attractive though.

Whether this is a result of a collection of good deeds or a money-spinner concept, it has indeed turned Africa to a huge trash barge of baby stuff.

If we need baby stuff so bad, if there’s such a big market for them, how about we open a factory or two to provide us new ones?

So already we’re letting our kids experience the second-hand lifestyle?

Of Illiterates and the Ebola scare

As i tried to follow world news from a fastfood restaurant as they went from the still missing plane, Afghanistan and on to the Picasso side of George Bush. They go on break to show some ads. As i watched, i was thinking why is Zenith Bank still using this advert on CNN? Its over 5years old. But then i saw the UBA ad, its over 10 years! There’s a man with an afro in a suit!! These banks are embarrassing us amongst the comity of respectable nations o. As if our federal government isn’t already doing a swell job proving to the world that they can outdo any corrupt government in the entire Milky Way Galaxy. I was thinking about the afro when the news returned and it read ‘Ebola toll tops 80 in West Africa’. The atmosphere around me became still. It was like they were just reminded of what’s happening in neighbouring Guinea and outskirts of Liberia. The waitress slowed down, the man to my right paused his chewing, the woman opposite me clasped her bag, and me, i just smiled. Yea, i smiled, not cos i’m Dr Evil or some nutjob like that but cos i’ve seen much worse reactions since the outbreak in this short time in Monrovia. In Liberia, seven Ebola deaths have been confirmed out of 14 suspected cases. I heard of someone receiving his $5 bill from a customer using a plier.
At a government building i was at a few days ago, everyone had gloves on, everyone except the the guy with the bad shoes carrying the trash outside.
At a tea shop some days before that a man coughed uncontrollably and three men got to their feet making ready to bolt. It later was confirmed he only choked on something he ate.
At a cyber cafe just yesterday, some folks looking at an accident victim online were rather pissed when one guy came and asked, ain na Ebola there?
The beaches are seeing fewer numbers of visitors. Nobody wants a swim in ‘Ebola water’. Now mosquitoes, flies and rat killers are selling fast. dis Abola menace na causing reeal problem hia in Laberia o said my neighbour just now.

So you see, the reaction in that place was very subtle. Maybe because there were several white folks having lunch and who better understood the Virus.
I’m not saying white folks are smart, take Josh for example, he’s the dumbest guy i ever met. He’s a disgrace to Canada and whitehood.

But i digress.

Or maybe they just felt the white didn’t and couldn’t have the virus so there was no need to show abit more panic.
Illiteracy is indeed a disease. People young and old, everyone believing what they want and causing great confusion in a land already saturated with other problems. Who will tell them?
I have spent my time, although i now see that time as not spent but wasted, on explaining to people that though the virus is real, the panic is uncalled for. My calls more like fell on the dust raised by people moving away fast.

With the presence of uncountable international organisations i was expecting the people to know better.

Speaking of knowing better, one top nigerian government official said nigeria was prepared with stockpiles of vaccines to fight the Ebola virus incase of outbreak in nigeria. Now i wonder where they got the vaccines when presently there isn’t a cure. They probably want to be the biggest lying government in the Galaxy too.

Of Towels and Roommates

So i was drying myself after a 30-minute shower lastnight. Yea, i was wasting water. As i dried my face i said to my self.

I said self, are you aware of where this particular part of your towel has been?

I thought about it a while then i was like this might as well be the same part i dried my butt with. And i dried my nuts too! And i’ve put that all up on my face!!

Then it dawned on me, i once shared towels with my roommate back in the university. And also with my girlfriends whenever they came over for night class. Structural Geology was a tough subject. *clears throat

I can only imagine how many people have dabbed their faces with other people’s butts. And i pity all the players out there who bring their catch home till morning.

Next time someone calls you buttface, just smile and be like you too man.. you too.
We’re all just walking around with bits of ours and peoples privates clinging to our faces.

See you later buttface!

Photo Courtesy of : yellowtennessee.com

Enjoy these songs by Teeblinks: http://t.co/Xl2fKxPehr DUPE is my favourite.

Too much Fluoride?

You see that? it says “..Contact Poison Control Center..”. why??

I grew up recognizing Fluoride as a necessary chemical for a sparkling white teeth. Macleans, Close-up, Colgate and the likes, rang it in my ears and splashed it in front of my eyes. At one time i was thinking to go to the market and just buy a can of pure Fluoride or something.
Until i saw the warning at the back of my Colgate toothpaste tube.

Fluoride is a major ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash. Many countries even add it to their water supply. That’s how important the chemical is thought to be.

But did you know Fluoride is a potentially toxic waste product? That it is a by-product of Radioactive materials in the early days of Atomic bomb construction and a by-product of certain manufacturing practices like in the Phosphate fertilizer industry?

There’re many types of Fluorides by the way, not just the Sodium Fluoride and Calcium Fluoride you’re aware of. There’s Sodium Aluminum Fluoride, Fluorosilicic acid, Sodium Fluorosilicate, Stannous Fluoride, Sulfuryl Fluoride. All of these types of Flourides are what we shouldn’t be taking in, because there really is no such thing as a Fluoride deficiency.

One could have brown teeth the same way you get it from eating a lot of chocolate or smoking too much, just by too much Fluoride intake! New evidence suggests that Fluoride is not as effective in preventing tooth decay as was initially believed. In fact, it is believed Fluoride can indeed lead to dental disease.
That’s not all though. Research also show that Fluoride may increase the risk of weakened bones and thyroid conditions.
There is also evidence that fluoride can accumulate in the Pineal Gland in the brain and disrupt a range of body processes, including sleep.
Different studies have linked Fluoride to as many as 10,000 cancer deaths per year, with a high incidence of bone cancer amongst men exposed to fluoridated water.

“The British government commissioned a review of the scientific literature on this subject, the results of which were published in the British Medical Journal. The York study concluded that the rationale behind the fluoridation of water is based on weak scientific evidence.
In addition, it found that the protection offered by fluoride is much less than previously thought: just one in six people drinking fluoridated water benefits from it.

In the largest dental health survey ever conducted in the United States, fluoridation of water was found to protect less than 1 per cent of the total tooth surfaces in a child’s mouth.”

I’m just here wondering.
What’s wrong with our scientists? We depend on their research results for safe living. Those guys really need to step their game up, they can’t be telling us one thing now and another later. And why have the benefits of Fluoride been over-bloated all these years, and the hazards of it downplayed? What if it actually caused us to mutate? i really do not want an extra eye.

And now the Macleans ad is on. I just give ’em the eye.

Knuckle Cracking

I remember a while ago i used to work for someone who detested the popping sound that came from me stretching and cracking my knuckles whenever i felt my fingers needed stretching and relaxing from much typing(not much actually). She’d often cringe and say “oh my God, don’t do that!”. Just incase you’re lost, she wasn’t referring to God, she was referring to me and my knuckle popping. Up until then i never thought they’d be anyone who found the cracking of knuckles to be irritating.
During my time there, i started to ignore the urge to crack my knuckles, not cos i didn’t want to lose my job…lol.. but cos i am a nice guy who cares for other peoples’ feelings *wink. So i dropped the habit, and today i only do it when i remember and just want to get a feel of it one more time. its not that easy to let go of.
i must thank her though, she made me do some finding out about it.
So, did you know that the cracking sound we hear from our joints aren’t produced by our bones but from when bubbles burst in the fluid surrounding the joint? Our neck, wrist, waist, back and toes are about the places i’m aware people stretch to make popping sounds out of. If you know of anywhere else, do tell me.

We all know, atleast some of us, that joints are the meeting points of two separate bones, held together by connective ligaments and tissues. The entire joints in our bodies are surrounded by a fluid called the synovial fluid, a thick, clear liquid. When you stretch or bend your joint to crack the knuckle or wherever, you’re causing the bones of the joint to pull apart. As this happens, the connective tissue capsule that surrounds the joint is stretched. By stretching this capsule, you increase its volume. With an increase in volume comes a decrease in pressure, remember that from science class? So as the pressure of the synovial fluid drops, gases dissolved in the fluid become less soluble, then cavitation sets in. Cavitation is the formation of bubbles. When the joint is stretched far enough, the pressure in the capsule drops so low that these bubbles burst, thereby producing the crack/pop that we recognise as knuckle cracking.

It takes about 30 minutes for the gas to redissolve into the joint fluid. This is the period when you try to crack your knuckles, and they just won’t crack. There’re no gas bubbles to pop just yet. Once the gas is redissolved, cavitation is once again possible, and you can start popping your knuckles again. You can do it anyway you want, you can do it Sylvester Stallone way(the much younger version) or the Terry Crews way(not the ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ version, he was too soft there).

People who often pop their knuckles experience increased mobility in joints right after popping. When joints are manipulated, the Golgi tendon organs (a set of nerve endings involved in humans’ motion sense) are stimulated and the muscles surrounding the joint are relaxed.

But when you pop your knuckles too much, this is what you end up with.

Hehe! Just kidding. Contrary to some beliefs, there’s no apparent connection between joint cracking and Arthritis; however, habitual knuckle poppers show signs of other types of damage such as soft tissue damage to the joint capsule and a decrease in grip strength. This damage is most likely a result of the rapid, repeated stretching of the ligaments surrounding the joint.
So while you turn your fingers to a bubble wrap every now and then, have that at the back of your mind.

i’m going to put down my phone now and pop some knuckles. You know, i should be popping some bottles, but i’m so broke, the only thing i can afford to pop are these knuckles.

Packaged water is good for you? think again!

I’m no Microbiologist or Chemist. i just happen to know certain things from stuff i’ve read. They could be errors in this post. i doubt that though.

During my time in early secondary school, the sale of water in transparent cellophane bags began. It was widely accepted. The usually chilled, sometimes icy water helped a great deal to quench the thirst of school children and workers alike. i learnt then that a lightbulb came on upon somebody’s head when after selling food to construction workers, water was necessary. The fellow with the lightbulb went home, poured a cup of water in transparent cellophane bags, put them in a freezer. Voila! Chilled, packaged water for the price of One Naira.
In a short time, ‘ice water’, as it was called, went viral. And then people started to put all sorts of water in bags and took out to sell, so long as it was chilled, people bought them. Until it was unbearable. Ice water then came in different tastes and colours.

Enter ‘PURE WATER’:
The cellophane was machine-packed, had a name and other details such as expiry date and contact address printed on its sides. It was called ‘Pure Water’. Though it was relatively expensive, the advent of this new type of packaged water was greeted with standing ovation. Literarily. You had to stand and struggle to get yours otherwise it would have run out before you could get any as it was still very scarce, one company could provide only so much. It was Big Man water, but it slowly phased out the ‘ice water’ as more Pure Water companies opened and many didn’t mind parting with their Five Naira for one sachet because of the name and attractive packaging. And yes, ‘Pure Water’ had a different, ‘refreshing’ taste. It tasted pure. You could even taste the Chlorine and other chemicals as they worked to kill off the germs.

Enter BOTTLED WATER:
This came into public view some years down the line. This was elite water. It separated the boys from the men, so to speak. One had to cough out eighty bucks to buy a single bottle which held only one and half of the volume of sachet ‘pure’ water! An outrageous sum for very little water, many thought. But given our lifestyle of public display of material things, it thrived. It thrived so well that Bottled Water companies sprang up from every nook and cranny of the country. Business was booming. While other manufacturing companies were relocating to nearby countries because of the lack of infrastructure, the water people stayed back and made big money. Since arriving the scene, bottles of different shapes, sizes and colours have filled our markets – and littered out streets and gutters – and more companies yet spring up.

But what do these three types of packaged water have in common? They are all of no good.

Relax, don’t make that face, keep reading.

You should be made aware that the average bottled water isn’t any purer or healthier than our ‘pure water’ or even tap water or even water sourced from a deep well. Note that most bottled water companies drill boreholes thesame way pure water people do. Its also mostly thesame treatment processes that they pass through. Don’t be deceived by the many water companies that print ‘Fresh Mountain water’ or ‘Natural Spring water’ on the bottles. Rarely do they use these sources. i read about a company that gets its water from the icebergs in the Arctic. Could be true, could be false.

In reality, packaged water isn’t as fresh as water from a deep well or some tap water.
In some cases, bottled water is even worse. Storing water in plastic containers over a long period of time on shelves and especially in the sun, has its health implications. Micro-organisms grow faster in the high temperatures. Also, under high temperatures, little amounts of the plastic is dissolved into the water.

i recall my dad coming home one time all those years ago to tell us his boss had been diagnosed with Typhoid. This was surprising because his boss was(and i believe still is) a wealthy man who used to import his water from France. How he got the illness still baffles me. Maybe. He probably had too much plastic.

Moving on…

Ever notice that when you drink many of your bottled or pure water, its often like something is missing or that too much of something has been added? Well, this is cos of the treatment processes carried out to purify the water. Some of them are known in some circles to be harmful. Some such as:

• Reverse Osmosis
This process forces water through an extremely fine membrane to remove dissolved minerals. This process removes all microbes, turbidity, organic and inorganic chemicals, minerals, colour. The purified water passes through the membrane and collects in a storage container. Most of the dissolved minerals in the water cannot pass through the membrane and are flushed away as waste.

The disadvantage
Necessary minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, etc. are also filtered out. What you end up with is just water to quench your thirst with no added value. Your body does need little amounts of these minerals.

• Deionization
This is the process of removing ionic impurities in water. The resulting water is said to have no pH value since there are no ions to measure the pH by.

The disadvantage
There is a fear that because it is too pure it may actually be harmful to humans. Extremely pure water will rob the body off its useful electrolytes or ions.

• Ozonation
Water is disinfected using ozone, which kills most microbes, depending on dosage applied.

The disadvantages
» Ozone isn’t as soluble in water as Chlorine is. A water treatment plant must use complex mixing techniques to successfully disinfect water with ozone, this makes ozone treatment much more complicated than chlorine treatments.

» While ozonation does remove a variety of bacteria and viruses, it can also produce a by-product known as Bromate. i’m sure NAFDAC made everyone aware of Bromate.

» Ozone may not be strong enough to kill all cysts and spores within water when applied in low doses. Also, it doesn’t prevent the re-growth of germs within water like Chlorine would, so there may be a lurking contamination problem.

Its probably best to revert to the first form of water purification we ever knew of. When you boil your water for 15 – 20 minutes, your alright.