Friday, September 26, 2008

German minister disses George Bush

[Nairobi, Kenya]
WELL, I came to this cyber cafe to download some web apps like WordPress along with some other goodies. It also gives me a chance to download my emails in Mac Mail. One particular email caught my attention. It's from a ZD Net discussion I'm part of so I followed a link to a related article: Germany uses n-word to describe American policies.

Bush fire...
I give full props to the intelligent German populace who really know how to sniff out a useless politician compared to other countries. No wonder Germany is on the cutting edge in terms of good government and environmental policies. Anyhow, one particular minister was quite blunt about his impression of US president George Bush:
The harsh words from Germany’s Environmental Minister came after a meeting in Europe on reducing CO2 emissions. The American President presented his views there. Here’s some of what the German minister said, “”Bush’s Neanderthal speech…showed not leadership but losership. We are glad that there are also other voices in the United States.”
Shrewd comments...
One viewer really got my attention here. He was sooo on the ball, and I'd like to share his views with you. Take a peek at this:
We expect the government to do far too much for us these days. We run around with our hands out looking for breaks and complain about an energy crisis and food shortages and demand the goverment to do somthing and bail us out.


If you're so hell bent on carbon footprints and global warming turn off your computer right now, sell your car, and city condo, buy a few acres somwhere build a shelter, grow and hunt your own food during summer and try to survive the winter. If you are against big oil stop driving your car get a bike, etc. Change yourself!!!
too many people are too concerned with what other people are doing these days. Do you not have anything better to do with your life than complain about me burning tires, lol, and too many "environmentalist" expect everyone to change, but fail to take the step for themselves. Stop complaining, Unless you're driving an electric car, have solar panels on your roof, etc. thats all you are doing and nobody like whiners.

I do not advocate "environmentalism" it's a crock of S*** considering the biggest names are generally the worst offenders. It's politics and they want you to send them your $$$ so they strike up a cause and push it so you'll buy in. Just another place for the Gov't to claim to have spent your tax dollars... {source}
Hey, no arguments here. What about you? Most of you already know my solution to saving the planet. I'm telling you, this solution is easy to implement, and will empower citizens in a self sufficient manner. What is this so-called solution?

Hemp Farming in Africa: A Billion Dollar Industry?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Spitting cobra on the loose

[Ongata Rongai, Kenya]
GREETINGS FROM a really cool area just outside of Nairobi. Without a doubt, the Ongata Rongai and neighboring Kitengela areas have an amazing buzz between them. Everywhere you look, flats and houses are going up. And why not? Land is el cheapo here, and you're not that far away from Nairobi, Ngong, or Karen. Oh, did you see that smooth tarmaced road heading from Bomas all the way into Ongata Rongai town? Wow, that's what I call smooth sailing.

The new Tuskys super market is super kool and it's stocked with everything under the sun. Plus, Barclays, KCB, and Equity banks have set up branches in this thriving town. Again, Ongata Rongai should definitely be on your list if you want to get away from the city sprawl of Nairobi that's on the cheap. I wouldn't think twice about moving here. I see BIG opportunities for entrepreneurs here to open up cyber cafes, bars/restaurants, retail outlets among other possibilities. And this area feels safe as hell thanks to the new police station nearby.

Oh, a cobra...
So my good pal Pippa lives up here with her son and 2 dogs (Shenzi & Mtokutu). When I saw her last week in Karen, she told me that she had to rush Mtokutu to the vet because she got sprayed by the venom of a spitting cobra that "hangs out" in a particular bushy area of the back yard. Yikes! I'm sure you'll understand why I was a little hessitant to drop by for a visit, right? :-) What's more annoying is that no one has seen the damn snake, but there's a general understanding that a cobra visits the back yard once in a while.

Anyhow, I saw Mtokutu and she had some green ointment in her left eye to prevent further damage. Unfortunately, these 2 dogs don't really understand the danger of its slippery neighbour. This sort of freaked Pippa out, and her good friend Dennis Matthews (a snake guru/catcher) from Kitengela told her to call him if anyone spots the "king" of the backyard.

Cobra ahoy...
Now check this out. My pal David dropped by to visit me and show me the plans for a golf course his peeps are planning on developing. We're chatting out in the back yard and low and behold, we see this brownish-greyish cobra sloowly slide right on by us about 8 feet away and into the bush everyone suspects is one of its many homes. It's like the cobra said "Hey guys, just ignore me...continue with your meeting...I'm just sliding by into this lovely bush you got in this yard. Carry on!"

I looked at David and said "Aah, so that's the cobra I've been hearing about." I then ran into the house to notify Pippa and also to make sure the 2 dogs were not outside. In no time, Dennis Matthews and his kids came by for a "snake outing." This was going to be my first time watching some dude capture a 4 1/2 feet cobra.

Hide & seek...
So Dennis puts on his glasses - for obvious reasons. His 11 year old son also got in on the action as father and son proceeded to search the bush for the cobra. After a while, everyone was getting a little antsy and wondering if the cobra probably slid away some where else. Then Dennis' son and Justin had a bright idea. They started to throw rocks into the bush like fire bombs. This definitely did the trick. Our slippery visitor was flushed out, and decided to head in the opposite direction away from all the falling debris. Smart fella. In the open grass, Dennis snared it before it got away. His son assisted and eventually it was placed in a bag.

Goodbye Mr. Cobra...
After a nice chat, Dennis and his entourage got into a land rover with the snake. He's going to release it far away from this area so that it won't ever come come back again. Well, hopefully. He said that cobras were territorial and there's no chance of another cobra coming by for a visit. I hope so.

All in all, it was quite a afternoon. David's spontaneous visit was quite a revealation. If he didn't show up, we would not have had that meeting in the back yard so no one would know that the cobra had returned for a temporary visit. All I can say is "good riddance." By the way, Pippa is thinking of getting a pet mongoose from the KSPCA to hang out in the back yard.

Related links:

New species - largest spitting cobra found in Kenya
Photos: world's largest spitting cobra discovered in Kenya

Thursday, September 4, 2008

50 cent cyber cafes in Nairobi

[Nairobi, Kenya]
GREETINGS FROM Faith Cyber Cafe here in the Diamond Shopping Plaza on Tom Mboya Street near the Bata store and Tuskys. I love coming here once in a while because the dudes who operate this place are always accommodating of me and my Mac laptop. Oh, did I mention how CHEAP it is to browse here? It's like 50 cents per minute folks. For you tourists from the West, that's half of a Kenya Shilling...not $0.50. That'd be too expensive!

Bye bye expensive cybers
Heck, in Karen (an expensive Nairobi suburb), everyone charges KSh 2 per minute to surf the Net. I remember this one cyber on Langata Rd. near Bomas. They were charging KSh 3 per minute. Can you believe that? What are they smoking? Please, somebody call the police for Information Super Highway ROBBERY. Gees. :-) Anyhow, I'm just waiting for those fibre optic cables to connect at Mombasa in late 2009 or so. ISPs keep saying that prices should drop by 75%. I'll believe it when I see. it.

Trim city...
By the way, this Diamond Shopping Plaza is one heck of a place. Why? Because it has tons of womens hair salons everywhere. It's like the Golden Computer Arcade in Kowloon (Hong Kong) where you'll find tons of computer hardware for sale at great prices. The only difference is that they're tons of hotties working in this 3 floor plaza doing a fabulous job making their female clientele look hot too. Any how, don't take my word. Just drop by for a "pleasant" visit. :-)

The price is right...
Again, Faith Cafe only charges 50 cents per minute. Heck, that's only KSh 30 per hour. How in Heaven's name are these peeps making coin? In fact, most of the cybers in this area of town charge this rate. Some even dare to charge KSh 1. How rude. :-)

All in all, I like coming here when I'm in town because the staff knows me, and they really take care of me. That's why they keep getting my business.

Happy web surfin folks!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Zain on the EDGE of Ngong

[Ngong, Kenya]
WELL, I'M here in Ngong blogging from my room using Mrs. C's Huawei E220 HSDPA USB modem. I told her to buy this instead of Safaricom's package because I truly believe Celtel (oops, I mean Zain) has the superior data network. Heck, I don't give a sh!t about voice! Just show me the data pipe baby. :-) By the way, I'm not the biggest fan of telecom companies. Just take a peek at these 2 posts I wrote in 2006 to know why:
Zain: the better option?
As a matter of fact, Zain is simply the better option when it comes to voice too. Safaricom subscribers are stooopid for paying KSh 10/minute when they can buy a Zain SIM and get unlimited daytime (6a - 6p) calls for KSh 99. That's obscenely cheap folks. But it gets better. After 6pm and weekends, you only pay KSh 3/minute. And don't forget that Zain has a tariff where you list the 3 Zain numbers that you call the most, and you only pay KSh 4/minute forever. Is this the same elitist Celtel (er Zain) that was charging ridiculous rates not too long ago? Oh my, how times have changed - for the better.

So, why are Safaricom prepaid subscribers not jumping ship in greater numbers? It absolutely boggles the mind that I have to keep my bloody Safaricom SIM in my celly after 6pm just so that my idiot friends can call me. In a sense, they're inconveniencing me by not using the "better option" after 6pm and on weekends. How selfish of them, eh? :-)

Zain not 3G yet...
Anyhow, Zain has not rolled out their 3G network offering yet to compete with Safaricom's [HotSpot] data offering. But then again, can Safaricom beat Zain's unlimited postpaid data package of KShs 2995 per month? Nope. Unlimited is not in their vocabulary - yet. Someone at Zain customer care did inform me that 3G is coming "soon." I've heard that one before, and I don't really care because it'll probably be a while before them (or Safaricom) bring HSDPA data services to Ngong. Again, I don't give a damn about voice. I can do all of that on the Information Super Highway - and a lot more. Yacking is for idiots who have money to waste.

One thing though...I read somewhere that Safaricom's HSDPA download rates were fast as hell in areas such as Westlands, Upper Hill and CDB. Some Kenyan blogger mentioned speeds hovering around 1 Megabit/sec when he's surfin' in Westlands. Well, I'll believe it when I see it. Heck, if that's true, I'll pack my things and relocate to Westlands. Nah, Ngong's quiet and I can actually think out here. :-)

Getting EDGEy...
Anyhow, over the past few days, I've been playing around with this Huawei modem on Mac OS X and I'm quite impressed with the ease that it installed. I'm still shocked because hardly anyone makes hardware that installs on a Mac since everyone's hooked on virus-prone Windows. Way to go Huawei! I'm now a bigger fan of your products.
So, how does Zain's network perform here in Ngong? Remember, this town is about a 40 minute drive by car from the Nairobi's downtown Central Business District. On certain occasions, I'm sure you can do it in about 25 to 30 minutes. Yeah, at 2am in the morning! :-)
Well, as you can see in the pic above, I was able to download at a top rate of 10.4 KB/s while topping out at a respectable 18 KB/s. Hey, remember I'm in Ngong - not Westlands or snobby Upper Hill.

My advice to Safaricom & Zain
I urge you 2 to focus on bringing affordable, reliable broadband data services to the rural communities because it'll spur on economic development faster than any other government initiative. I know it's hard to resist the lucrative markets like Upper Hill, Wetlands, CBD, Kilimani, Lavington, Runda, Karen, Muthaiga et al, but think about the impact you'll have on the country. You 2 have the power to quickly change a lot of things in this country - for the better.

Cheap access to the Internet means that more people can connect, share ideas and try out new things. And let's face it, you 2 have the infrastructure and know-how to do it.

Telkom Kenya, WTF?!?
By the way, I really don't know what the hell the brain trust at Telkom Wireless are smoking. How on earth can they charge KSh 3 per minute for their CDMA data services when Safaricom and Zain are charging by the megabyte? Telkom, you havent a clue what the hell you're doing, do you? What a disgrace you are to Kenya. How could you let so many people down? What were you thinking? Where's your EV-DO service to match the 3G/HSDPA offerings of your rivals? I have lost all faith in you, Telkom. Luckily, you have the government to back up your uncompetitive behind. Do us all a favour, and just go to hell.

Ngong, a hidden treasure?
Lastly, I just have to say that it's lovely up here, and the view of Ngong Hills from the back yard or from my good pal's (Robert Ouko - former 72' Olympic 800m Gold Medalist) flat is absolutely breath taking. And it's so quiet in these noisy traffic disrupting your thoughts and everyone in this particular area (Kerarapon) is so friendly. Heck, we have monthly residents meetings for this 4 sq-km area that's situated in Ngong, and the police attends them too. So everybody knows their neighbour and crime here is like a tiny blip compared to all the crap that's going on in Karen and Nairobi.

Also, Kerarapon boasts its own natural springs that's managed by the Kerarapon Water Commission where Mr. Ouko was the outgoing Secretary. He did a fabulous job by the way. Hence water rates are ridiculously cheap at KSh 2 per gallon. Yet Karen is like an 8 minute car (or matatu) ride if you need to go to Nakumatt or do banking at Karen Crossroads Mall.

Honestly, I see a bright future for Ngong - especially Kerarapon. Lots of peeps are moving from places like Runda, Lavington and Karen since the price is right. Heck the late, former Roads Minister (Kipkalya Kones) just recently purchased property on Kerarapon Drive where his wife now resides. I'm sure he would've seen that the main road was paved in a jiffy.

By the way, land only goes for about 800K to 1.2M per acre here. And the land that borders Karen goes for about 3M per acre. Now that's what I call a sweet deal. Contrast that to Karen where land on average goes for about Ksh 13 Million per acre. I've seen plots there going for KSh 16M. No thanks! Once more development takes place by the 17th drive of Kerarapon, then the council will probably allow that bypass road to connect from Karen making travel to other Nairobi suburbs quicker than ever.

My goals while living in this area are:
  1. Assist the community in getting the main road for Kerarapon Drive paved using applied techniques based on affordable, reliable termite technology for long-lasting roads. This alone will spur on more development. I'm to present this solution at the upcoming residents meeting in a few days.

  2. Implement a "community" wireless mesh broadband project in Kerarapon that will attract more development in terms of companies relocating here and better access for the public schools here.

  3. Develop a strategy with association members for a street light initiative (like Esther Passaris' Adopt a Light campaign) so that Kerarapon Drive has affordable lighting throughout the night. This will give the residents here that community piece of mind and spur on more development.

Related links:

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Are you IT Management material?

[Nairobi, Kenya]
So, are YOU management material? What makes you think so? Do you want to be a manager out of passion or for some other purely ego-driven motive? I don't think I'd have any problems in a mangerial role because I understand how to communicate with people in an honest straightforward manner when push comes to shove. Most importantly, I'm confident in myself and my abilities. In other words, I'd be able to focus on the VISION and OBJECTIVES thingy as opposed to worrying about who's trying to move ahead of me up the corporate ladder and other silly games like that. One other important thing. If I'm the manager responsible for hiring, I think my good sense of character judgement would help me to eliminate a lot of potentially bad apples during the interview sessions. It's amazing how many flunkies get through the cracks to the detriment of the team and, ultimately, the company.

I've been an avid reader of
Ziff Davis publications like PC Magazine, PC World, BYTE, and PC Computing ever since I was in high school (grade 13). You see, I completed a 1 year Cooperative Education placement in Accounting & Computers at Computing Devices Company (CDC) located in Canada's Silicon Valley North. That's the name we use for the National Capital region that's made up primarily of Ottawa, Nepean, Gloucester, Orleans, and Kanata. It's here that great companies like Cognos, Nortel, Newbridge Networks, Corel, Mitel, Norpak, Simtran, QNX, Lumonics, JDS Uniphase and a ton of others came to life.

Anyhow, CDC is now part of the massive General Dynamics military industrial complex. Aah, now I'm starting to understand the significance of all those "special projects" that were going on in the
Anti Submarine Warfare department headed by Ken Charter back then. lol. Heck, I think those "Cold War" subs go for like $2 BILLION these days. Hmmn, can they at least drill for oil or do something else that's useful? Good lords, no wonder the US has a $9.5+ TRILLION national debt...and climbing!!! :-)

The good ole' days...
Back then, I'd work in the mornings between 8:30a and 11:45, and attend classes in the afternoon. Too bad Ontario high schools now go up to grade 12. I believe that extra year of classes adds maturity in a student that's lacking these days. How the hell does a 17 or 18 year old know what the heck they want to do on campus? Grade 13 back then, essentially, was equivalent to first year at most colleges and universities around the world...and it was FREE. Oh well, I feel sorry for peeps like my little brother who could probably use the extra year.

Thanks for managing me...
Anyhow, I started to get a warm and fuzzy after reading this ZDNet blog post: Signs you might not be IT management material. Why? Because I thought of old managers I worked for and realize that I was lucky as hell to have been "managed" by the right "managers" so to speak. Who knows, the wrong managers may have convinced me to pursue a different career altogether - like heading back to Barbados and working for my dad's construction and transportation businesses. And I know he'd make a crappy manager because he didn't have any people skills whatsoever.

Luckily, my 2 bosses (Claire Laliberte and Pierre Bertrand) at CDC were very flexible, caring and pointed me in the right direction most of the time. Thanks to them sending me in the computer lab to do all those Lotus 1-2-3 tutorials, I began to realize my true potential in the IT field. In no time, I was a spreadsheet guru, able to crank out sophisticated worksheets utilizing all of Lotus 1-2-3's power. I vividly remember salivating at the prospect of getting my hands on the King Jaguar or Baler spreadsheet compilers for creating stand alone spreadsheet applications without the need for the customer owning 1-2-3, Quattro Pro or any of the other competitors.

Another great experience took place when I became a freelance temp worker out of high school. I remember my old boss, Wayne Parker, at Bell Canada's Corporate Engineering (Planning & Standards Research division) department. He was a laid back techie who gave me tons of resources to crank out those massive macro-based Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheets for the Transmission Quality Survey for the 416, 905, 613, 705, 416, 819 and 514 Ontario/Quebec area codes. My output (lots of graphs) was used by senior management to get a big picture on Bell's telephone line infrastructure and where to begin the roll out of fibre optic cabling.

I fondly remember the time when I commandeered a room of about 10 computers and printers to simultaneously print graphs from all my data analysis. We're talking spreadsheets with about 10,000 rows here folks! Heck, everyone in that department was so kool - except for that one crappy senior manager who has long since retired, or (gasp!) worse. Here's a big shout out to Mr. Parker and his family - wherever they are. Oh, and to Lubna Qureshi (aka LJQ) who was a brainy electrical engineer passionate in antennae design, but "that" crappy manager didn't even realize it. And how can I forget Estelle, the secretary. What a sweetheart. I do hope she's enjoying her retirement.

Once again, I was fortunate to have encountered great managers at Northern Telecom (now Nortel) for that awesome summer student job where I created a large Mac FileMaker database of all hardware assets (computers, network IDs, serial #s, printers, etc.). This was at their massive Corkstown Road facility in Nepean. One interesting note: I met this kool dude name Manabu Kato who was an exchange student from Japan. His interest back then was Artificial Intelligence. After his summer gig, he left for California and then back to the Far East. I wonder what he's up to these days! Hmmn, let's try Well whatever he's up to, I'm sure he's a smashing success.

I also want to thank Clay Grandy (CEO/President of AGO Industries in London, Ontario) for being a no-nonsense straight up manager while I was a summer student at his company. He knew his company's products better than any body. Not once did he rest on his laurels. Heck, he'd even dip his feet in IT and once did his own tech support on all his PC equipment (even setting up and managing an office LAN) before he got too busy. You see folks, here's a manager that leads by doing. Point noted Clay! By the way, Clay had a super sexy metallic silver corvette back then. Lucky for me, he'd be headed in my direction on my way home. Fast times indeed! :-)

Lastly, I have to give major props to Lindsay Phillips (and Nancy Bartlett) at the Bank of Montreal's swanky Institute For Learning in the Applied Technology department. He's the one who drove 2 hours down the Highway 401 to UWO to recruit me for my 16 month Computer Science industrial internship. This forced me to relocate to the amazing city of Toronto.

In fact, this act got me to explore Toronto's amazing night life which is second to none. Here, I found my passion for Electronic Dance Music (House, Tribal, Acid Techno, Dark Progressive House, Tech Trance, Funky House) at spots like System Sound Bar, The Guvernment, Kool Haus, Life, Film Lounge, The Comfort Zone and lots of big party events by sponsors like Bensons & Hedges, Smirnoff, Heineken among others. Talented DJs like DJ Myka, Kenny Glasgow, Mark Oliver, Goldfinger, DJ Addy, Dekoze, Jelo, Joee Cons et al continue to inspire me with their delicious sounds that are out of this world.
Let's just say that my life has never been the same after discovering the EDM scene. Stay tuned for DJ Sinister to the max folks. That's my next major hobby in a year or 2.

Anyhow, Lindsay was one tough manager in the sense that he didn't put up with crap. Yet he gave me a lot of freedom as well as provided me with lots of good advice when I first started out. He was forward thinking by allowing me to go on that Windows 2000/SQL Server 7 training workshop with Executrain. He also trusted me enough by giving me full responsibility to mentor 2 high school internship students. Personally, he didn't like the "corporate bureaucracy bullshit" that much so I'd say he was a very hands-off manager. One other thing...he taught me never to accept crappy products and services from IT vendors. Is this why I'm super critical of companies when they provide crappy service these days? Perhaps. Who knows? Well, I'm sure Lindsay's retired on some island by now. I recall he loved to travel.

Inspire me...
I guess what I'm trying to say by highlighting my most memorable managers is this: A great manager inspires you to want to perform for them and yourself too. They give your work a purpose. Now, I'm pretty good at inspiring myself, but I'm a little different from a lot of people based on my upbringing in 3 different countries mostly as an only child being raised between my mother, aunts, step mother, grand parents, and dad. However, I truly believe that the mark of a good manager in this present era is one based on his/her ability to inspire the drones (er workers/employees/associates). Times have changed. Employees are no longer loyal to any company. Mobility can be a costly bitch for a company that's turned over its staff to the wrong manager.

Food for thought...
In the above blog post discussion, a web surfer named Jeff Foxworthy highlights a funny but slightly true observation about IT managers. Perhaps some of you future managers here in Africa can learn from this.
You might not be IT management material.....
If you're not monetizing your synergies.
If you're not delegating the architecting.
If you think DNS stands for Doesn't Know S---.
If your employees whisper about routing around the damage, but stop talking as you approach.
If you forgot to send out the memo about the TPS coversheets.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Solutions to 10 Annoying Microsoft Word features

[Nairobi, Kenya]
AS THE undisputed Internet whore of the world, I'm used to browsing interesting websites loaded with tons of handy information. Today, I'm gonna introduce you to a site that's one of my many "secret weapons" of knowledge deep inside cyber space. Folks, please say hello to TechRepublic.

Word: the bitchy, fussy processor...
I don't know about you, but sometimes when I'm using Word, I feel as though I'm on a hot date with the ultimate tease who won't do my bidding. :-) If you feel the same way, perhaps this blog post will come in handy. It came in my trusty GMail inbox courtesy of a free ZDNet email subscription. No doubt this text got my attention:

I know for a fact that tons of people here in East Africa are using Word to create various types of , um, documents. Hopefully these tips, courtesy of Jody Gilbert, will go a long way in helping them tame that unpredictable wild beast hiding behind that pretty graphical user interface. :-)


PS--> If you have problems with the above link, try this:

Related links:

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dependency and Rising Prices

[Nairobi, Kenya]
EVERYWHERE YOU look, read or browse, somebody's talking about bad stuff that keeps rising: Rising fuel/food/fertilizer/cooking oil/electricity prices, looming food shortages, rolling black outs in countries experiencing rapid economic growth, and on and on. "What on earth is going on?" The more I'm reminded about the above headlines, the more I'm convinced that taking a self sufficient approach to home living, along with revisiting our ancient past, will provide a host of answers to these new challenges.

Let's just say that mankind was a lot more self sufficient in previous generations. We knew how to: Farm, create our own clothes, build our own homes, heal ourselves with herbs, and so forth. In a strange way, the more we've "progressed", the less we bloody know how to do ANYTHING of substance.

An era of dependency...
Now, we're "dependent" on big business with all of their "patented solutions" to provide for all our needs. Let's face it folks, we're at the mercy of "corporate capitalists" who don't ever want to see you or I becoming too independent in our daily affairs. A perfect example is mobile telecommunications. Why do we still have proprietary voice networks when all these companies have to do is build their capacity using tried and true open protocols like TCP/IP, which is the backbone communications protocol of the Internet? Why do they charge so much for voice and SMSs when we could do all that through the Internet...if they allowed us to? All governments have to do is lay the wireless infrastructure using taxpayers money, and the price of communications will plummet overnight. "Build it and they will come!"

The irony about "big business" and "free markets" is that no one at the top is playing fair. Everyone talks a good game about open markets, fair competition, and letting the market decide. But in reality, a lot of these massive entities simply cannot handle clean, fair, open competition. Just ask farmers in developing countries why it's almost impossible to export their cheaper produce to Europe or North America. Why are these Western farmers getting huge subsidies to do nothing? Fair competition? Pleezze, they can't handle it! That's why they (Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Agriculture, Military Industrial Complex, Banking & Insurance) need to "contribute" to political campaigns. It's simply to gain an edge. You think these companies give a shit about democracy? In fact, they prefer to operate in countries that are less democratic because they only have to pay off (oops, I mean earn favour) those at the top.

Questions, solutions to dependency...
Can you believe that oil just recently reached the $120 per barrel plateau for the first time in history? Where's that elusive electric car we've been talking about for a good 3 decades now? Didn't the great Yugoslavian scientist, Nikola Tesla (the father of hydro electric power, alternating current, modern electronics, patent holder to many inventions), invent an elaborate free energy system back in the 1930s or so? Why hasn't anyone used the results from his successful Wardenclyffe Project off Long Island Sound to pursue (ahem!) his dreams of free energy for mankind? Did you know that,
J. P. Morgan, one of the world's first billionaires at the turn of the century, threatened Tesla's potential investors with financial ruin after he realized Tesla wanted to produce free energy?

By the way, I read a fascinating Los Angeles Times article from around the 1930s on the Net. The reporter took a test drive in a car that Tesla modified with a "black box" converter.
This allowed said car to be powered by (gasp!) water for 500km with a top speed of 60 mph. Are you telling me no one else could come up with a similar idea? Oh, what ever happened to the amazing cancer cure that the brilliant scientist Royal Raymond Rife invented via his Rife machine in the 1930s only to be demonized by the American Medical Association and the FDA? You do know that cancer treatment is a multi billion dollar a year industry, right? Can you imagine the panic of the medical "establishment" when they saw Rife's revolutionary microscope that could destroy cancer cells via sound waves? And where's the will power in government to encourage its citizens to be energy self sufficient via hemp, jatropha and other biomass solutions that don't compete with food?

Better yet, why are we still cutting down trees for pulp and paper? Don't they know that 1 acre of hemp, which grows in 90-120 days, can produce the same amount of pulp and paper that can be obtained from 4 acres of trees which take decades to grow? If you don't believe me, I urge you to peek Jack Herer's free online hemp book. He's the world's foremost authority on hemp. Here's some food for thought:

In the Twenties, the early oil barons such as Rockefeller of Standard Oil, Rothschild of Shell, etc., became paranoically aware of the possibilitys of Henry Ford’s vision of cheap methanol fuel, * and they kept oil prices incredibly low – between one dollar and four dollars per barrel (there are 42 gallons in an oil barrel) until 1970 – almost 50 years! Then, once they were finally sure of the lack of competition, the price of oil jumped to almost $60+ per barrel over the next 30 years.

* Henry Ford grew marijuana on his estate after 1937, possibly to prove the cheapness of methanol production at Iron Mountain. He made plastic cars with wheat straw, hemp and sisal. (Popular Mechanics, Dec. 1941, “Pinch Hitters for Defense.”) In 1892, Rudolph Diesel invented the diesel engine, which he intended to fuel “by a variety of fuels, especially vegetable and seed oils.” {source: The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer, chapter 9}

The little guy (consumers, SMEs, etc.) in the developing world - especially Africa - need to realize that they are still dependent on big business for a great deal of
their livelihoods. Ideally, this shouldn't be a bad thing. But it is. Why? Because someone's not playing fair (see above).
Furthermore, the questions I posed above require some serious thought. But as Jack Nicholson said to Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men, "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"

Monday, July 30, 2007

Python in Africa?

[Nairobi, Kenya]
LET'S face it! I just love computer languages. Why? Because if you know what the heck you're doing, you can rule the world. LOL. :-) Come to think of it, I miss the good ole days coding in Pascal, using VAX Macro Assembler in my CS208a Computer Science class with Mrs. Downing, and even taking Prolog for a spin.

Oh, I found Java too verbose and Sun's bloody licensing scheme was annoying. Now, Microsoft's .NET is taking over where it left off. C/C++ was kool, but very macho and, damn, did you have to do lots of debugging to get anything running properly. Screw that. Besides, I'd rather use Borland's Delphi, which is the souped up re-incarnation of Turbo Pascal. Heck, the executable code runs just as fast or faster than C/C++...and it's smaller too. No sh!t dudes. Betcha didn't know that.

Enter Python
Now, if you've been living in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan, then you probably will not have a clue about the Python programming language, which is truly a secret weapon in many IT shops around the planet. Trust me on that one. I wrote about it here, so I won't bother reinventing the wheel.

Anyhow, I think it'd be a great language for peeps here in Africa to learn instead of that crappy outdated VB6 language they're still teaching in most of these IT (ahem!) schools. Buyer beware. Oh, Python's creator, Guido van Rossum, now works for Google, which is now the most admired company on the planet. What does that say about them and their committment to being #1? Everything. And the official Python mascot is such a cutie. Don't you agree? :-)

Python jobs on the rise...
According to this blurb on the Oreilly Radar , Python jobs are on the rise. Take a peek at this:
O'Reilly editor Sarah Milstein writes: "My brother, a Python geek who attended PyCon last week, reports that it was hiring fest: 'at PyCon: *everyone* was hiring. I was asked if I would be interested in moving to 2-3 cities for a job, just in casual conversation. Half the lightning talks ended (or started) with "We're hiring". Which was pretty deeply reassuring.'" This information is consistent with our analysis of the online book and job markets. Ruby has more momentum among startups, but Python is also a hot startup language, and is becoming one of the officially sanctioned licenses at many larger companies. For example, it is one of the three "official" languages at Google (C++, Java, and Python)
Wow! Isn't that totally AMAZING? The beauty about Python programming is that the language is simpy a joy to use. It's easy to read...not cryptic at all, and powerfull as hell. You can create desktop apps, web apps, networking apps, use it as your middleware stack, write commercial video games, use it on your mobile device. It simply is the chameleon of programming languages, and that's why I think more people here in Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kigali, Lagos, Cape Town, Kampala et al should be USING it. Say goodbye to VB6 and Java for heavens sakes.

Thanks Eiwot...
I'm a member of the Ottawa Python Author's Group so I get a lot of emails on what's going down in the world of Python. Here's some info from Eiwot - a member:
Hi all,
I created new blog about Python programming and Python Articles at Let's check it out :)

Damn, everybody's using Blogger/BlogSpot eh? I guess Google can't keep a good thing under wraps (secret) for too long. :-) Anyhow, I urge you to peek his blog. I'm quite impressed with his posts so far.

Happy computing.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Naivasha rocks

[Nairobi, Kenya] looks like I took a hiatus from blogging here and on my MaxTheITpro blog. I got so swamped with stuff. Peeps wanting business plans written. Other peeps needed their PCs fixed, blah, blah, blah. My neighbour, literally, got screwed by her computer repairman who wanted to charge her KSh 12,000 to repair her son's game PC, and he did jack all. In fact, he stole the internal FAX/modem and most likely swapped video cards on them. Bad
customer service for sure. Anyhow, when he showed up at the house, my neighbour introduced me as an IT professional, and then he started to get really nervous. Suffice to say, we didn't pay the crook and now all is well. My advice? BUYER BEWARE!!!

Beautiful Naivasha
Well, I took 2 trips up to the Lake Naivasha region (part of the Great Rift Valley)
and stayed at my neighbour's cottage in swanky Green Park. Damn, I saw tons of buffalos, giraffes, a few hippos here and there, gazelles, and a pile of other AMAZING wildlife. The view of Mount Longonot in this area is absolutely spectacular. Now, check this out. We were driving back from our friend's place near HomeGrown Flowers at around 11 PM and lo and behold, we saw 2 giraffes walking together on the road back to Green Park. Cool!! Then we saw lots of zebras with their beautiful stripes. And this is like an hour outside of Nairobi. This is what's so amazing about Africa.

Harmut, the Flower King...
I wanna thank Hartmut from Bilashaka Farms for showing me, Alexi and Justin around their massive flower operation. You see, I'm looking to get into Jatropha farming to produce BioDiesel. Plus I'd really like to get hemp going in East Africa too. Big coin. But I was AMAZED at the sheer size of Bilashaka's operation. They were utilising every nook and cranny of technology to produce some unique flowers that are sold in Europe. Anyhow, I kept picking Hartmut's brains on everything and anything to do with farming such as cultivating, soil, irrigation, etc. Let's just say that this dude knows his stuff. Oh, I bet most of you peeps didn't know that Kenya is like numero uno (#1) in the world for producing those lovely flowers that you peeps in the West just can't get enough of. :-) Go Kenya go!

By the way, Hartmut's cook made the BEST mouth watering steak I've ever had. Everyone at the dinner table shared the same opinion. I can still taste remnants of that juicy, succulent flavour on my tongue. Of course, I'm usually fixing (or improving) someone's computer whenever I visit peep's homes, so I was more than happy to make some improvements on Harmutt's and Emma's (his girlfriend) PCs. Now, Harmutt is also a pilot and a flying instructor. In fact, he was supposed to come back to Green Park to take me for a flight over Mount Longonot, but he had brake problems and I'm like "Dude, don't worry about the plane ride...we can do it another time when things are SAFE." I ain't in no hurry to visit Hell. :-)

Kool gadget to die for...
Now, on my return visit to the Naivasha region, I met Andy who's a manager at Homegrown Flowers. Now, I hear these guys are huge...much bigger than Bilashaka. Anyhow, Andy had this wicked Nokia N95 (I think) that had EVERYTHING but the god damn kitchen sink built in. For KSh 58,000, it is the god of all mobile devices. What does it have? I thought you'd never ask. It had WiFi, EDGE/GPRS, HSDPA (a super high speed 3G mobile Internet access technology), MP3 player, can read/write MS-Office files, GPS receiver with maps, 5 mega pixel camera, blah, blah, blah. Damn Andy!! :-)

Oh, thanks to Andy's very kool wife, Fleur, for that warm Naivasha hospitality. We LOVED that amazing breakfast before heading back to Nairobi "that" Tuesday morning. :-)

I promise to put up some kool pics soon relating to my very memorable Naivasha visit.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

150 Mbps download speeds

[Nairobi, Kenya]
WOW, DID somebody say 150 Megabit per second? Am I on Planet Earth? You betcha...courtesy of some amazing advances in cable modem technology, which always seems to blow DSL (via telephone company) out of the water. Too bad cable TV is not in these parts. Everything down here on the idiot box (oops, I mean TV!) comes in via satellite. Anyhow, check this out and be prepared to drool:

Comcast Corp. Chief Executive Brian Roberts dazzled a cable industry audience Tuesday, showing off for the first time in public new technology that enabled a data download speed of 150 megabits per second, or roughly 25 times faster than today's standard cable modems.

The cost of modems that would support the technology, called "channel bonding," is "not that dissimilar to modems today," he told The Associated Press after a demonstration at The Cable Show. It could be available "within less than a couple years," he said.

The new cable technology is crucial because the industry is competing with a speedy new offering called FiOS, a TV and Internet service that Verizon Communications Inc. is selling over a new fiber-optic network. The top speed currently available through FiOS is 50 megabits per second, but the network is already capable of providing 100 Mbps and the fiber lines offer nearly unlimited potential.

The technology, called DOCSIS 3.0, was developed by the cable industry's research arm, Cable Television Laboratories. Instead of using one TV channel to transmit data, it uses four...

...In the presentation, ARRIS Group Inc. chief executive Robert Stanzione downloaded a 30-second, 300-megabyte television commercial in a few seconds and watched it long before a standard modem worked through an estimated download time of 16 minutes.

Stanzione also downloaded the 32-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica 2007 and Merriam-Webster's visual dictionary in under four minutes, when it would have taken a standard modem three hours and 12 minutes.

"If you look at what just happened, 55 million words, 100,000 articles, more than 22,000 pictures, maps and more than 400 video clips," Roberts said. "The same download on dial-up would have taken two weeks..." {source}

Good lords, but those are some fast download speeds. Do you know how productive I could be if I had access to that kind of technology? And can you imagine the implications for Africa if her ISPs were able to offer said technology to her bandwidth-starved netizens?

Patience, Max, patience. :-)

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Use Enhanced DVDs in the Classroom

[Nairobi, Kenya]
EUREKA! WHAT a great idea. This is going to be huge. What is it? Well, it appears that documentary and movie producers are about to come out with educational versions of specific movies with class lessons, and other great teaching material in order to finally get the kids interested in learning. After all, parents do pay taxes, and they expect their kids to actually learn something at school. Right? I don't know about you, but I sense that the art of learning & teaching has gone downhill over the years...out the window. Students just aren't interested in learning anything. Heck, how do you expect them to "concentrate" in school with all that senseless garbage (er programming) on the idiot box (oops, I mean TV!), which prefers viewers with non-critical minds? :-) And teachers? Well, they seem more pre-occupied with their salaries, benefits, vaction time and what not.Enhanced learning
So, what's an enhanced DVD? Well, I really can't explain the damn thing any better than this:

When indie producer Hart Sharp Video released Morgan Spurlock's Oscar-nominated fast-food documentary "Super Size Me" three years ago, two versions came to market: a regular edition for consumers, and an educationally enhanced edition for teachers, with 24 lessons and various game-like assessments and quizzes.

The enhanced edition, which allowed Hart Sharp to break into the lucrative institutional market and sell thousands of additional copies of the film to schools, was produced by Scope Seven, a Los Angeles production company...

...The documentary chronicles former "Inside Edition" correspondent Rick Kirkham's destructive drug addiction. The enhanced DVD, which is being marketed to schools, includes a wealth of educational features the company hopes teachers will use in the classroom, including lesson plans in health, life skills and language arts; on-screen prompts to guide student viewing, spark discussion and lead to classroom activities; and curriculum connections linking the film to the standards-aligned Anti-Drug Education Program from the New York Times. The DVD also comes with an instructor's manual and printable teacher guides and student handouts.

"Films have long been used in the classroom to educate students, but learning doesn't always happen in a linear fashion," said Bob Hively, chairman and CEO of Scope Seven. "Through educationally enhanced DVDs like 'TV Junkie,' youth are able to explore the issues presented in the film as they arise, rather than waiting to discuss them at the end of the movie." {source}

Now, isn't that amazing? I see big opportunities for savvy documentary producers all over the world who jump on to this potential gravy train of cash. And that includes Africa too. Heck, why didn't I think of this idea? Just think of how many schools there are around the world. And don't forget the additional income to be had from producing said topics in other languages. Anyhow, I've got a ton of enhanced DVD topics running through my mind right now. :-)

So, you think this concept is gonna catch on fast?

"This resulted in an educationally enhanced DVD that is fully aligned to teaching standards, which further legitimizes its use by educators in the classroom," he said. "From the very beginning of the film, it was clear that this story had the power to help others battling addiction."

In a related development, 20th Century Fox and MGM are adding optional tracks of bright, bold "Kids Captioning" to popular family films in an effort to build reading skills. The first wave of enhanced "Follow Along" DVDs arrives in stores July 10 and includes "Robots," "The Sandlot," "Ice Age," "Garfield: The Movie," "Anastasia," "Ferngully: The Last Rainforest," "Stellaluna," "Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Kids," "Good Boy!" and "Thumbelina." {source}

Monday, May 7, 2007

Women in Politics

[Nairobi, Kenya]
WHAT THE HELL is it with women when it comes to ceasing power? Everywhere you look, they're getting marginalized, and ending up on the short end of the stick. In some societies, they get treated worse than cattle. Don't they realise that the only way to make long, lasting changes in their plight is by obtaining political power? It seems logical to me. No?

A stroll down memory lane
I remember when I lived with my remarkable
step-mother (Martha) in Barbados for a good 2 years or so - when I was 11. Well, she tried to educate herself, but my dad would burn her books & clothes, and also physically abuse her - badly. After 16 years of putting up with that bullsh!t, he hit her one times too many, and she proceeded to chase him out of his house with a cutlass (used to cut grass, sugar cane, etc...a panga in Africa?). Finally, she wasn't afraid. Well, he never came back to the house, and she was finally free from his reign of terror. The courts also awarded her the house, and she was free to raise my little (half) brother in peace.

Now, I'm sure that this crap would not have been tolerated had there been a culture of women running government in my country of birth. Right? And that's my point. In order to make serious changes, you must first cease power. Then, you appoint people (women in this case) into strategic positions (judges, police administration, MPs, etc.) in order to affect change immediately. Not next year. Today! See, it's so simple. [image: Women In Ancient Iran]
Ancient Iranian Women WarriorsWomen, wake up!
Today, I'm going to repost a comment I uploaded relating to
an article on Nicolas Sarkozy's win in France at Ségolène Royale's expense. I truly believe that it's relevant here because Africa (indeed the world!) needs more women in politics who are committed to real change. Again, when will women stop competing with each other see the big picture? After all, women usually represent a larger percentage of the electorate. Anyhow, here's what I wrote:
"Royal had repeatedly appealed to the women of France to vote for her in a show of female solidarity. But Sarkozy, a conservative who made his reputation as a hard-line minister of the interior, got the majority of the women's vote, according to Ipsos, an international polling company." {source}
WHAT is it with WOMEN? They're hardly represented in French politics! They probably earn less money compared to their male counterparts. And they probably face sexism in many parts of their society. Yet when they have a chance to let a fellow female take the reigns of power, they vote for the sausage. No wonder they never make inroads on key legislation relating to equal pay, women's rights/issues, political representation et al. Mrs Royale was an outstanding candidate that should've made all French women PROUD.

Oh well, I guess French women deserve what they get for not at least giving one of their OWN a CHANCE.

Go Africa go! {source}

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Letters & Opinions: issue 1

[Nairobi, Kenya]
I MENTIONED the oil boom in East Africa here. Can this reader, Tom, see into the future? Maybe. But let's see what transpires in Uganda. Read my thoughts below.
Title: Watch out for the Curse of Oil
Source: The East African (April 2-8, pg. 13)
Tom Ole Sikar (Arusha, Tanzania)
Karl Lyimo's recent article ('As if gold weren't bad enough, now they have found oil' The East African, March 26-April 1) served as a warning that before we rejoice about oil and gas discoveries in our countries, we should learn from countries that have discovered oil and gas. It brought to mind a passage from Thomas Friedman's bestseller, The World is Flat:
"Nothing has contributed more to retarding the emergence of a democratic context in places like Venezuela, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Iran than the curse of oil. As long as the monarchs and dictators who run these oil states can get rich by drilling their natural resources as opposed to drilling the natural talents and energy of their people they can stay in office forever. They can use oil money to monopolise all the instruments of power army, police, and the intelligence and never have to introduce real transparency and power sharing. All they have to do is capture and hold the oil tap. They never have to tax their people, so the relationships between ruler and ruled is highly distorted. Without taxation, there is no representation. The rulers don't really have to pay attention to the people or explain how they are spending their money through taxed. That is why countries focused on tapping their oil wells always have weak or nonexistent institutions, property rights, rule of law, independent courts, modern education, foreign trade, foreign investment, freedom of thought, and scientific enquiry to get the most out of their men and women."

With oil around, things could worsen unless we take note to do something.

My Thoughts
I agree 100% with Tom’s observation. However I don’t think the author (Mr. Friedman) he quoted above should’ve included Venezuela in that list. Perhaps he was referring to the “state of democracy” before Hugo Chavez was democratically elected (3 times) by his people - unanimously. You’ll note that Chavez has re-allocated most of his country’s oil revenues to benefit the poor - unlike his predecessors who only catered to Venezuela’s elite.

In addition, Chavez is a very popular figure in Latin American politics, so obviously he’s doing something right, or has struck a chord with the masses over the general dissatisfaction of politicians who cater to the few. With regards to how the comment relates to Uganda, I do hope that their politicians don’t allow this newly found oil wealth to hinder their democratic institutions. I read somewhere in the same paper that MPs were annoyed with the Energy minister because they were not told what percentage of the revenues from the people’s oil wells would go to the government. Bad mistake. That sort of nonsense would not work in places like Canada, Germany, or Sweden.

Related links:

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Letters to the Editor

[Nairobi, Kenya]
NOTHING PROVIDES a better gauge of current events than by quickly perusing the letters or comments from ordinary citizens (or readers) to the editor of a newspaper, magazine or an online publication (especially web forums). There’s simply no better way to see which way the “wind is blowing” on important issues that are near and dear to the people’s hearts. That’s why you’ll find lots of letters here on Go Africa go! Each will highlight ideas or opinions that relate to the blog’s stated theme. Quite frankly, I value letters more than the opinions of paid, seasoned writers. Why? The answer is quite simple. It takes a passionate (angry or happy) reader to get on his computer and comment on a particular issue that he/she feels others should take seriously. You can click the letters or opinions tags below to see the entire archive starting from today. the way
If you've read an interesting comment or letter in any newspaper, magazine or online publication anywhere in Africa that you’d like us to include right here, please email it to me at MaxTheITpro[at] Just take a look at the format we’re using right here. It'd be great to get such editorial letters from publications in places like South Africa, Nigeria, Mozambique, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Congo, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Botswana and all the other countries that I forgot to mention. Please note that we’re not really discussing politics (ie. who should be in power, etc.) here, but mostly issues relating to economics, development, business opportunities, self sufficiency, empowerment, etc. Now, policies (not politics) are another issue altogether as I've pretty much have lost faith in democracy. Don't get me started! :-)

Anyhow, enjoy the people’s views, and try to put yourself in their shoes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Accounting for your business

[Nairobi, Kenya]
THERE'S NO escaping the fact that accountants are necessary in today's fast-paced business world. Heck, if you want your company to fly high and operate smoothly without crashing into the jagged rocks of oblivion below, then you have no choice. Right?Survival of the fittest
Now, I assume you know that all accountants are not created equal. Actually, if your accountant is behind the times in terms of understanding or applying ICT solutions in a business setting, then I suggest you throw him/her to the wolves lest you loose your shirt. Why? Because the accountants at your main competitors are probably up to date on the latest ICT applications, which translates into a smooth running operation for their bosses. As you can see, this is no laughing matter.
Julius speaks your language
Okay, so what's next? Well, if you want to stay ahead of the accounting curve, then I suggest you take a peek at Julius Gakure's blog, Julius Speaks. Here's the url if you have a good memory: Oh, this dude is a professional accountant
in Nairobi for, arguably, Africa's biggest insurance broker. In addition, he's not afraid to open up a PC to fix any hardware problems. This is exactly the kind of versatility I like in a professional. Heck, he's a number cruncher who eats, sleeps, and drinks anything & everything to do with accounting. But what I like about him the most is that he's also aware of what's going on in the realm of ICT, which is really just a tool to be utilized in the right hands.

Anyhow, here are a few of his posts that might be of interest to you:
Corruption, be gone!
One other thing. This dude really hates corruption and provides some excellent insights on how proper accounting practices can reduce or eliminate this. Just take a peek at this:
Further, it can be argued that, accountants are already among the best-equipped group of professionals through their training and experience to participate in a major way in the fight against corruption. As Accountants, auditors or consultants they are trained to put in place good (internal control) systems to prevent corrupt practices and to detect weakness in existing systems. Further, their training can come in hardy in giving early warning of corrupt dealings in organisations and also in following audit trails to uncover corrupt deals and to catch the perpetrators.

What it all boils down to is that however much we might want to pretend otherwise, accountants are right in the middle of the corruption saga; either in what they have actually done or failed to do or in what the man in the streets perceives them to have done or failed to do. {source}
If you have a comment or would like a question relating to your accounting scenario answered, then don't look at me. I don't count beans. :-) Instead, I'd fire an email off to Julius at JGakure[at]

Happy accounting!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Feeding patients Bacteria for Better Health

[Nairobi, Kenya]
MOST people who know me all too well can attest that I am a health freak. Well, what do you expect? I was raised by 4 strong-minded women (grandmother, aunt, mother, stepmother) when I grew up in Barbados, Canada and the USA. Heck, they were always cleaning, and I had regular chores (vacuuming, doing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, etc.) to do around the house. It wasn't that bad though. Now, I kind of like doing dishes. To me, it's very therapeutic. Go figure!

Prevention: the secret to good health
Furthermore, I like to take care of myself by going to the gym, rollerblading, playing pick-up basketball, running or any other enjoyable form of exercising.
My motto when it comes to health is "pay me now or pay me later." In other words, I prefer to exercise, eat healthy, etc. in order to prevent or delay health problems. Why? Because I absolutely hate hospitals and the toxic drugs that doctors like to push on their unsuspecting patients - usually at the request of unscrupulous drug companies.

I figure that if I take preventive measures today (pay now), then I shouldn't expect any nasty
surprises in the future (pay later). Right? Anyhow, the following Wired article brought back some wonderful memories because I have fed my body probiotics (good bacteria) after undergoing a colon hydrotherapy courtesy of an amazing Naturopathic Doctor in Canada. In short, it's an excellent remedy for detoxing your body of years of unwanted, undigested stuff, which means that your body will be thanking you for years to come.

Here's some good food for thought courtesy of the above link:

Modern humans are bacteria-killing machines. We assassinate microbes with hand soap, mouthwash and bathroom cleaners. It feels clean and right.

But some scientists say we're overdoing it. All this killing may actually cause diseases like eczema, irritable bowel syndrome and even diabetes. The answer, they say, is counterintuitive: Feed patients bacteria.

"Probiotics (pills containing bacteria) have resulted in complete elimination of eczema in 80 percent of the people we've treated," says Dr. Joseph E. Pizzorno Jr., a practicing physician and former member of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy. Pizzorno says he's used probiotics to treat irritable bowel disease, acne and even premenstrual syndrome. "It's unusual for me to see a patient with a chronic disease that doesn't respond to probiotics."

Clinical trial data on probiotics is incomplete, but there are many indications that hacking the body's bacteria is beneficial. {source}

As you can see, we're able to control our health to a certain degree if we take prevention seriously. Probiotics, if used wisely, can provide your body with a resilient health insurance package if you get with the program today. And try to remember this quote by Dr. Tim O'Shea who happens to be my favourite Naturopathic Doctor on the planet:
How do the friendly bacteria, called probiotics, keep the bad bacteria in check? Well, think of a crowded theatre. You walk in, and there's no place to sit; all the seats are taken. So you can't stay. Same thing with bacteria. There's only a certain number of "seats" in the colon. If they're all taken by friendly bacteria, then there's no chance for the bad bacteria to set up shop and start to duplicate themselves. According to most researchers, like Simon Martin, normal probiotics should be more numerous than the cells of the intestinal lining itself.

Here's why probiotics are so important. Normal people generally have some cancer cells, Candida yeast, E. coli, staphylococcus, strep, and any number of other potentially bad organisms you can think of in their tract most of the time. But they don't get any disease. Researchers know, for example, that 50% of men over age 75 actually have prostate cancer, found on autopsy, but only 2% die from it. Why? The body encapsulated the cancer: limited and controlled its growth, walled it off. The discoverer of the HIV virus himself, Dr. Luc Montagnier, said that HIV alone cannot cause AIDS. (The Coming Plague) Depressed immune environment is also necessary. Same with Candida or most other bacteria; normally they'll be held in check by sufficient friendly bacteria. E. coli is actually a probiotic when held in check by normal friendly flora. It's only when the friendly probiotic bacteria get killed off that the potentially bad organisms get a chance to get a foothold and take over. The bad bugs are then called opportunists.

So probiotics (friendly bacteria) are extremely important. The whole key is balance. Problem is, our friendly bacteria are constantly being killed off. How? Same culprits as cited in the ALLERGIES chapter: {source: Journey to the Center of Your Colon }
Here's to your good health.

Related links: