Thursday, June 27, 2013

What are the kids doing online?

In a written test, I asked my engineering class to list (with short descriptions) fifteen websites that are important to them.

The top five (in no particular order) shouldn't surprise you:
Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, Youtube.

Also in the top twenty-five are (I didn't write a tally or anything, but each of these sites appeared in about 10 of 75 students' lists):
  • Wikipedia, Amazon, Yahoomail, Gmail, Wordpress (they recently created a wordpress class blog).  
  • Tumblr, Instagram, Skype, Goal, Dictionary.
  • Tubidy, 4shared,, PirateBay, waptrick.
  • TooXclusive, NotJustOK (local music blogs), KhanAcademy (they were assigned this in class), their university site (variations on the URL, the address should be made more catchy and short I guess), CircuitAtlantic (shopping). 
Nigerian Entertainment and Music News
 Also quite popular (next 35): 
mp3skull, mediaTVzone, hulkshare, Beemp3., Wikihow, The course website, the class blog...
CNN, BBC,, Bing.
BellaNaija, LindaIkeji, Nairaland, Naijapals.
Nairabet, ESPN, Livescores, CNET.
Forbes, Fortune, EOnline, 2go.
Bookboon, Jumia, Konga, Ebay, 
FlyAero, ArikOnline, Wakanow, GSMArena,
Blogger/Blogspot, GTbank,

They also seem to be interested in
British Football Clubs: manutd, chelseafc, arsenal
Naruto and other manga: narutoget, mangacentral, mangafox, ...
Games and gaming: ign, specific MMORPG games
Pornography: I honestly forgot site names
Some massively multiplayer online role-playing game called Dragonball

FOREX trading, work, and money: Naira4dollar, freelancer, babypips, forextrading ...
Engineering and school: allaboutcircuits, javatutorials, udemy, codeacademy, sagemath (assigned in class), mathematical,
Philosophy: philosophyquotes, EncyclopediaOfPhilosophy,
Fashion: asos, topman, ...

Mainstream media: Punch, Vanguard, Sun (all confusing URLs), Aljazeera, 
University/Tween news: CampusHeatHQ
Bible and Church: Bible, Pastor Chris, this church or that...
More downloads, football, and social networks:  flashscore, badoo

This data is important because, well, one wonders what the young ones are up to.  The popular youth-targeted online properties in Nigeria seem to appeal to the about-30 crowd, not so much to the tweens.

Other notes:
These students are quite alike.  Amazing how they use much the same words to describe sites, e.g.
Google: find "anything in the whole world", "if it's not on google, it's not a question."  They're in awe of google.
Skype is not so much a video chat application as a collection of friends to stay in touch with.
Facebook allows you to share different types of things e.g. pics, videos. 
Wikipedia is useful for "history", or it's "a search engine."
Twitter is for your "thoughts" or "feelings," but sometimes for news and celebrities.
CircuitAtlantic delivers to you in Nigeria.
Jumia and Konga are Nigerian e-commerce sites.
Then they mis-spell Zuckerberg, murder Sergey Brin, and mangle Bezos.

Fewer girls than I thought - 13 of 75 is not even 20%.
The girls don't have as many fashion sites as the boys have football sites.
The students are into their games, cartoons, and animateds.
Hmm, they're not getting enough homework obviously :)

They have freelancer but not jobberman?  So gigs over jobs?
They're on tooXclusive more than notjustOK? 
This is not the bellanaija crowd, leave that to the staff. 
I'd never even heard of naruto.  Or circuitatlantic.   Never heard of tubidy or udemy. 

Oh OK, which of them is Naruto then?
I consider myself an expert on Naija web habits, but live and learn, I guess.
BTW, some of the kids are watching me online.  Hi. 

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Monday, June 24, 2013

The answer is no

I'm not going to buy Jumong and be condemned to eighty-one hours of viewing pleasure.  If I can resist, that is.
For now, I'm sleepless watching its counterpart Korean historical drama series titled Kingdom of the Wind(s).  Oh, it's amazing.  Only about 36 hours long, of which I've now seen 23 or so. 

You should try Kingdom of the Winds too because:
You'll fall in love with "the East"...They're just like us inside?  Who would have thought?  Best -scapes ever.  Mountains and fields and sunsets, oh my.  Gold-coloured fabric everywhere.  Beautiful people.  Statecraft, diplomacy, leadership, honour.  Swordfights every half hour.  Ninja stuff.  Subtitled in good, classy English apparently by PhD Shakespeare scholars.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Simple beautiful phone redesign

As someone who really really can't stand the look of cell phones, I am so happy to see this: Speak into pinkie, listen by thumb. It's just an integration of the speakers and earpiece into a glove - so simple.  And if you try putting your hand to your cheek to talk you'll see what a brilliant and natural solution it is.
Why am I so excited?   I've felt really irritated about the look of cell phones from day one.  Present-day phones look like gadgets, tablets, rocks, and not like telephonic aids.  Classic phones, with their curves and knobs, are actually more appealing.  But this talk by hand phone, is just delish.  I LOVE IT.  I love it. 

On the market - buy now.
More "glove phone" pictures
Also a way of recycling old phones: The possibilities of gadget recycling have been explored by artist Sean Miles who has created gloves that double as a mobile phone. Using mobile components from handsets recycled through O2, Sean Miles’ “Talk to the Hand” project implants them into vintage Mui Mui and Pineider gloves...

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Monday, June 17, 2013

The NLNG Prizes, since 2004

The NLNG Nigeria Prize for Science
Past winners (wikipedia , news source )

2011, 2012 - no winner announced.
What am I doing?  I once put in a nomination - not of my work, but of a colleague's, just before said person won a MacArthur fellowship. 

2010 - Akaehomen Ibhadode for a precision die design with industrial applications.
He is a Professor of Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Benin.   InterviewVideo.

2009 - Jonathan Nok for genetic studies of the sialidase enzyme, which causes trypanosomiasis aka "sleeping sickness."
Andrew Jonathan Nok is a Professor at ABU (Ahmadu Bello University) in Zaria, Kaduna State.  Video.

2008 - Ebenezer Meshida for developing lateralite: a stabilizer for lateritic soils
Dr. Meshida runs TERRA Geotechnical Engineering and lectures at the University of Lagos.  BiographyInterviewAdvocacyMoreVideo.

2007 - none

2006 - Michael Adikwu for showing the use of snail mucin in the topical treatment of wounds and burns.
He was formerly a professor at University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and now co-ordinates STEP-B grants.   SourceBiographyComments.

2005 - none

2004 - Alfred Akpoveta Susu and Kingsley Abhulimen for real-time leak detection methods for fluids in a pipeline network.
Susu is an Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering at University of Lagos. He was Abhulimen's PhD advisor.  Abhulimen lectures in the same department, serving as the staff adviser for the Society of Petroleum Engineers.  Biography. Books. News.

The NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature
Reviewing the Prize, Philosophy Questioned Yet Again, Wikipedia, Past winners: 

2012 Fiction - Chika Unigwe for On Black Sisters Street
Comments: For her novel, she researched immigrant prostitution in Europe. 
Also shortlisted in 2012 were* Onaedo and Only A Canvas, from a longlist of ten: Ngozi Achebe (Onaedo: The Blacksmith’s Daughter), Ifeanyi Ajaegbo (Sarah House), Jude Dibia (Blackbird), Vincent Egbuson (Zhero), Onuora Nzekwu (Troubled Dust), Olusola Olugbesan (Only a Canvas), , E. E. Sule (Sterile Sky), Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani (I do not come to you by chance), Lola Shoneyin (The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives).  I've only read the last two.  Fun and witty and highly recommended. 

2011 Children -  Mai Nasara (pen name of Adeleke Adeyemi) for The Missing Clock
Comments: It's a sweet little story of a boy who buries a clock hoping it will grow as plants do and make his family rich.  
Also shortlisted that year were Eno's Story and The Great Fall from a long list of six: Uche Peter Umez (The Runaway Hero), Philip Begho (Aunty Felicia Goes to School), Ayodele Olofintuande (Eno's Story), Chinyere Obi-Obasi (The Great Fall) and Thelma Nwokeji (Red Nest.)

2010 Drama - Esiaba Irobi for Cemetary Road 
Comments: The author was born on the day of Nigeria's Independence October 1, 1960, and passed away in May 2010, five months before this award was made. Biography.  Video.
Also short-listed that year were The Killing Swamp and Little Drops from a longlist of eleven: Philip Begho (Leopard Woman), Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo (The Killing Swamp), Esiaba Irobi (Cemetery Road), Akinwunmi Orjide-Ishola (Belly Bellows), Uwem Udoko (Broken Pots), Zainabu Jallo (Onions Make Us Cry), Uduak Akpabio (Perfect Mothers), Ziky Kofoworola (Queen Ghasengeh), Emmy Unuja Idegu (Ata Igala The Great), Irene Salami-Agunloye (The Queen Mother of Benin).  I have seen Little Drops and Onions Make Us Cry on stage at Terra Kulture

2009 Poetry - no winner was named (uh oh!)
There was a CORA book party that year celebrating the nine long-listed works/contestants:  Omo Uwaifo (Litany), Ahmed Maiwada (Fossils), Lindsay Barrett (A Memory of Rivers), Odoh Diego Okenyodo (From a Poem to its Creator), Hyginus Ekwuazi (Love Apart), Musa Idris Okpanachi (The Eaters of the Living), Ademola Dasylva (Songs of Odamolugbe), Nengi Josef Ilagha (January Gestures) and G’ebinyo Ogbowei (Song of a Dying River).  This list includes some truly engaging and inspiring poetry. I really loved Love Apart and Odamolugbe.  I also read Eaters, a good and very angry work.  More: author interviews 

2008 Fiction - Kaine Agary for Yellow Yellow
Comments: The work was literarily simple, and I wanted to snob it, but the story - so vivid - has inspired my writing.  
Other novels longlisted that year: Unbridled by Jude Dibia (on the shortlist), Dream Deferred by Ozioma Izuora, Forever Chimes by Mark Nwagwu, Outrage by Promise Ogochukwu, The Conquest by Chinedu Eze, Treasure in the Wind by Odili Ujubuonu, Under the Brown Rusted Roofs by Abimbola Adunni Adelakun, Waiting for Maria by Ifeoma Chinwuba, When the Wind Blows by Camilus Chima Ukah, Wuraola Forever by Femi Osofisan as Okinba Launko. Besides Yellow, I've also read Brown Rusted Roofs which is a superb work.  

2007 Children - Mabel Segun / Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo for Reader's Theatre / My Cousin Sammy, respectively.
Like 2011 winner The Missing Clock, My Cousin Sammy is a nice, well-executed children's tale.  I haven't tried Reader's Theater.  Both authors are well-known literary elders.  
Also shortlisted that year was Sam and the Wallet by Uche Peter Umez.

2006 Drama - Ahmed Yerima for Hard Ground
I've watched at least one Yerima play and read another.  Fun.   
Also shortlisted that year: Ajayi Crowther by Professor Femi Osofisan, and Esoteric Dialogue by Emeka Egwuda. 

2005 Poetry - Gabriel Okara / Ezenwa Ohaeto for The Dreamer, His Vision / Chants of a Minstrel, respectively.
Comments:  Posthumous prize for Ohaeto, who passed away that year.  Okara, famous for his poetry, also wrote some amazing children's stories.  I remember the day my mother showed up with Little Snake and Little Frog (1981) and An Adventure to Juju Island (1992).  Oh what a wonderful day it was.  
Honourable mention for Promise Okekwe (Naked Among These Hills)

2004 Fiction - no winner announced

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