Sunday, 29 June 2014

What's the hype in titles???

My phone started acting up.Probably the skoin skoin had let loose. I had grown so attached to my phone that I resorted to take it for repairs immediately.I did not want to fall prey to quack phone repairer so I went to the one that had been tested and trusted.Thankfully, his shop was just a stone throw from where I stay.Before getting there,I had already  developed strategy on  what to do-I would not leave my phone with the phone repairer,I would also watch him closely so that he does not change some vital parts of the phone and lastly I would not spend over specified amount I deemed was worth the repairs.

The phone repairer was a young chap.He had other businesses that he managing- a barbing saloon and a shop for phone accessories.Well,I had gone there judging from previous jobs he had done and referrals too.I noticed he was acting pompous this time around.It was a task getting his attention.However,it all changed when I started addressing him as engineer as other fellow customers did.The effect of the title was amazing.It looked like melody to his ears.The once hostile phone repairer started to pay attention to my issue and applied solutions.Even when it came to issue of payment,I wasted no time in using the magic formula so that he does not over charge me.Calling him an engineer seemed to loosen the  tense atmosphere.

The issue of title is not peculiar to the man depicted above.It is a Nigerian thing. We kinda like to acquire certificates and accolades- #Not a bad thing though.It demands respect and followership. Being addressed as  a Doctor,Professor,Engineer,CEO,Director,Managing Director or Barrister is prestigious.One would not blame such people afterall they went through the process.And the process is  not that easy to pass through in an economy where there are many hindrances like strike,uncooperative lecturers,inconducive work environment,difficult colleagues,outdated materials,village forces(lol) and the likes.

To the married woman,one must not make the mistake of calling her Miss.She has acquired a new status and the ring on her finger can testify to that,In the academic world,people should know the difference between a doctor and professor.Mistaking the two can  cause  problems.The governor must be addressed as the His Excellency as well as the president.The ministers must be called honourables.The traditional leaders must be referred to as your royal highness.The minister of God must be regarded as Reverend or pastor or Father -in-the-Lord.The activist is called a comrade by his followers.

The good thing about titles is that it shows respect and regard.However,it draws a line between the common man and the elite,the proletariat and the bourgeois, the masses and those in authourity,the ordinary and the extra ordinary. When the addressee sees it as a form of ego booster and acts with pride then  it becomes an issue. These days every Tom ,Dick and Harry can give himself/herself titles even if it is unmerited. The phone repairer,the road side mechanic,the electrician are all engineers even if they did not see the four walls of the university and this applies to other sectors too.#Need I say more...

Monday, 9 June 2014

Traffic lights or Traffic Decorations?

From childhood,  we have been taught to always obey traffic laws.Subjects like Civic Education and Social Studies accommodated traffic regulations as part of the scheme of work. Even the old primary school poems created awareness.A particular nursery rhyme remains vivid in my head.It says:"When you see the traffic light,red means stop;yellow means ready and green means go...go...go!". As simple as this sounds,we tend to do otherwise.This leaves me wondering why Nigerians would rather remain lawless than be patriotic.

It is no longer surprising to see drivers drive past traffic lights that are beaming red.I had thought that this was the trend with  commercial drivers(danfo drivers) but these days private drivers have joined the league.Once the coast is clear(i.e when no police officer or any law official is not in sight,it was pointless to be held back by mere traffic lights!The next thing was to hit the accelerator and zoom off.Drivers take laws into their hands and do what they like on our roads.

Sadly,we are all culprits.Imagine you going for an interview or an appointment and you are being held up in the traffic.You would not mind if the driver disobeys the traffic lights,takes one way or violate a traffic law.You would even suggest ideas to the driver if he happens to be law abiding.People would wonder what planet the driver came from for him to be driving so obediently.This goes to show how Nigerians lack patience.

 We are always in hurry.In a hurry to do what?-to get rich quick,to finish school in time,be first on the queue and all.Yet we always talk about African timing.To be a driver in Nigeria particularly Lagos,one has to be rough,rugged and raw.There was a joke that you can always identify a Nigerian anywhere because they were always impatient because they are the ones to  in jump queues,run after buses,cut corners and the likes.

The educational sector is also experiencing this impatience,you find parents overlooking basic six for their children and rushing them to Junior secondary school.Even those in the  SS1 can start applying to write JAMB to gain admission into the university.Some classes seem to be unworthy of the entire process.
Now back to the matter,the traffic lights at times get me thinking if they are working at all because sometimes the road could be free and for no reason the red light just pops up.Besides it is a machine and it is prone to malfunction.Whatever be the situation,it must be obeyed. The purpose of its being in Nigerian roads is to ease traffic.I would not want to believe that road users are unaware of its usefulness.

There are so many driving schools and most of them are only concerned with practicals.One can learn driving in 5 days or less.How about the classroom teaching where traffic laws and regulations are to be passed across.This does not seem necessary anymore. Learn the basics and start driving is fast becoming the motto of road users.People are on the fast lane .They want to hit the road quickly.Most drivers do not possess a driver's license yet they flood the roads driving recklessly,putting their lives and that of their passengers at risk.Please obey the traffic lights -they are not decorations!

Friday, 6 June 2014

10 Ways to Guarantee You'll Get Mosquito Bites

How to Lure Bloodthirsty Mosquitoes

 Some people are real mosquito magnets. Why do some people seem to attract bloodthirsty mosquitoes from all over the neighborhood, while others can sit outside all evening without suffering a bite? These lucky people give off just the right combination of sights and smells. Mosquitoes use their senses to choose a favorite target in the crowd. Here are 10 ways to guarantee yourself lots of mosquito bites.
1. Keep breathing.
Mosquitoes detect carbon dioxide in the air, so the more you breathe, the more likely you are to become a blood meal. Carbon dioxide clues the mosquitoes in to the presence of a living, breathing, blood-pumping animal nearby. Once they sense it, mosquitoes usually fly in a zigzag pattern through the CO2 plume until they locate the source.

2. Skip the shower.
That's right, bring on the B.O. The more you stink, the easier it is for a blood-seeking mosquito to find you. Drop the deodorant, skip the soap, and get ready to start slapping skeeters.

3. Run around.
Mosquitoes first locate potential victims using their sight, and anything moving will be deemed worthy of a second look. Go outside and flag them down. Mow the lawn. Take a jog around the block. Jump up and down and shout "pick me, pick me!" The mosquitoes will pick you, for sure.

4. Sweat a lot.
Perspiration is the perfect combination of mosquito attractants – moisture and odors. Head outdoors on a hot, sticky summer evening, and work up a sweat. The mosquitoes will thank you.

5. Stay warm.
Think of mosquitoes as heat-seeking missiles. The warmer you are, the quicker they'll find you. Though mosquitoes can't sense your body heat from a distance, once they get within a few yards, your warmth will lure them in.

6. Dress in dark colors.
Research shows that mosquitoes respond best to dark colors, especially blue. Put away the khakis and white shirt; instead, don your jeans and a black t-shirt. You'll shine a spotlight on yourself that allows the mosquitoes to come in for a quicker landing.

7. Wear perfume or cologne.
If you just can't bear the body odor approach, do the opposite – bathe yourself in the strongest perfume money can buy. Floral scents are especially attractive to mosquitoes.

8. Use alpha hydroxyl products on your skin.
Lactic acid, which our bodies produce naturally, is a big draw for mosquitoes. It just so happens that many skin care products contain lactic acid, too, and so might help boost your chemistry with these blood-seeking bugs. Look for lotions and creams labeled "alpha hydroxyl," which provide the most lactic acid.

9. Don't change your socks.
Yes, this is based on actual scientific research. Mosquitoes love smelly feet. Entomologist Daniel L. Kline experimented with using dirty socks as a mosquito lure, and found his 3-day-old socks were irresistible to them. Specifically, it's the bacteria that grow on human feet that seems to draw a crowd.

10. Drink beer and eat Limburger cheese.
Studies show people who've had a few beers score the most mosquito bites at the barbecue. Snack on some Limburger cheese while enjoying a beer, and you will open yourself up to an all out assault. Limburger cheese is made with the same bacteria that makes your feet stink.
Now that you're covered in mosquito bites, you might want to learn how to stop the mosquito bite itch. Have an itch remedy that works every time? Share it.