Monday, July 31, 2006

Hand over

So this is my last blog post from my seat at Itex Integrated Systems. A few minutes ago I sent in the following handover note (editted so as not to give away some vital information):

The condition of the LAN at ITEX, 21 Olosa Street, Victoria Island is as follows:
1) DSL Modem --- link between us and xxx, receiving xxx Kbps

2) Dell xxx server running Ubuntu Dapper 6.06 server edition
3) Cisco Linksys Router (xxx) --- located top floor, function is to distribute wireless signals to staff on that floor
4) Cisco Linksys Router (xxx) --- located ground floor, function is to distribute wireless signals to staff on that floor.
The IP addresses are as follows:
On xxx, IP connecting to xxx:

xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
On xxx, IP sharing signals to the network:

xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
On xxx, IP receiving signal from xxx:

xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
On xxx, IP sharing signal to the network:xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
IP address of gateway at xxx:xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
IP addresses of DNS at xxx Technologies:xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
In case of a network failure (inability to browse) first ping xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, then xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, then xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, before xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, whatever the failure point would tell you where the problem is, then you would know what to do.
The IP address of the backend for our application server is xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx. This is the server that people have to be able to ping to make sure the backend is up.
The IP address of our website is xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx. In case the website is not up for some reason, then please call xxx (our web service providers) on xxx or xxx.
Please note that the site was registered on xxx for the sum of Nx for X Mb and X e-mail addresses and Nx for the name xxx.com. It would be in the interest of retaining the site (and as a result all email addresses) if we can pay up for another year at least as soon as it is possible.
There are currently x functional desktop computers on the network, 1 of our computers is with PC Outlet for repairs because it is still under warranty and x laptop computers. We also came into possession of x USB network dongles for use with the laptops.
I hope this little report would help in maintaining this network, and I can still be reached via email.
Regards...
Chxta.


Now I am an unemployed youth once again, but before I close this chapter, I have to make some acknowledgements. Now, as y'all who have put up with my shit writing know, I was meant to have gone out to the UK for a Masters in Computer Networks back in January. Had payed my fees, paid for accomodation out there in the bitter cold, have a passport that has evidence of foreign travel, submitted a bank statement that showed ability to sustain self in the UK (my daddy's bank statement), and met all the other requirements, I was still denied a visa, just a few days to the start of my programme, and having resigned from my old job in Abuja. I was stranded and a friend of mine proved to be a friend in need and deed. Enter Seun Lawal. He provided the job that I am leaving now. Seun (Hey guys, not the Seun of Nairaland), I owe you big time. Of course it is one thing to get a job, it is another to have a place to land your head every evening. Enter Lanre Badmus. He put up with my nightly kicking every evening these last seven months or so. Lanre, I wish you and N all you wish yourselves. Of course I have to mention the good people at Itex: Ernest, Charles, Emeka, Nkem, Mayowa, Arit, Ifeanyi, Wilson and Sunny (the guy everyone loves to hate). Then the fellows at the South African office whom I was priviledged to meet: Jimmy, Hercu and Eddie. I'd have loved to meet Shawn, but it never happened. Then the good people at UBA (Monica and Maureen), Zenith (Bode and Obinna), Interswitch (Akeem, Femi Imoru, Tokunbo, Nike, Kate, Tope and Ami) and of course the cooks at Mama Kass, where myself and U spent numerous lunch breaks.

This dedication can't be complete without mentioning U. You were there when I needed someone to talk to, and I love you more and more.

For the next few weeks before I become a student again, I will be an unemployed youth. Any bets against my joining MEND or MASSOB?

Juve watch.

Since both Milan clubs are casting lecherous glances towards Zlatan, DD has placed a price tag of £28m on the boy. I wonder who will pay...

...clearing out

Nothing much doing, emptying my desk. Took my sister's laptop to work this morning in place of mine (yes, I repaired mine and it set me back 17 grand...), the girl never updates her antivirus or antispyware, and now that I am doing it for her, goodness knows when it will be done next. Females!

I had a rather violent argument Friday night with a friend of mine, Obi believes that the onl way forward for Igbo people is Biafra, which pits us in bitterly opposing sides. Funny though, he called me Sunday morning to point out an article in the Guardian which according to him has made him rethink his stand. If only majority of people were like him...

Of course Nigeria needs work, but if we all run away, the only alternative is Zaire, if you catch my drift...

The article is below:

Biafra As A Metaphor
By Mark Odu
It has become necessary to examine the metaphor of Biafra for the purpose of resting the anxiety of youths of Igboland in its widest sense. I write as an agent of the cause and essence of Biafra. I was a key player in the effort to mobilise the people of former Eastern Nigeria to the resistance to social schism resulting from the excesses of political leaders of the First Republic that was exacerbated by the tribal connotations that were read into an otherwise nationalistic military uprising. The leadership elite of the then north drove Nigeria into pogrom against the south.
Only one tribal group stood up to be counted and decided to halt the trend of highhandedness shown by the northern elites by taking a stand to distance itself from the grave assault on natural law evinced by the pogrom. Ndigbo had to go to war to defend their decision that it was not safe belonging to the same country with those who thought so little of human life and natural dignity of the human person. I for my part brought out students of the University of Nigeria to demonstrate for secession. It was appropriate so to do. But I have since purchased a burden to restore the dignity of human spirits who suffered then by bringing some succour to them through proper guidance. It is for the mission that I owe those who have now reincarnated as restive youths, the responsibility to guide them to a new regime of peace and self-realisation.
Biafra is an indelible statement made to the whole world for which boundaries are diminishing with every passing day. The military elite of Nigeria experienced a fracture to their erstwhile comradeship in arms in defence of our nation and metamorphosed into ethnic champions motivated by lack of competitive spirit in a milieu where control of public purse was a sole determinant of self and group relevance. The elite north had been sensitised about their importance in Nigeria's power equation by the colonial overlords who saw challenges of their leadership further south. The north was guaranteed leadership of the nation with a howler of population statistics. Nothing false lasts a long time. The north desired to keep in control and ignored establishing structures that would uplift Nigerians in that region. The other regions steadily made progress in education that translated into future growth.
Ahmadu Bello was aware of the benefits of western education but the culture of Islam that held sway seemed to conflict with western education and hold it in derision. Any Nigerian leader who does not declare the north a disaster area in education will not be able to solve Nigeria's problem in a sustainable idiom even with true federalism. The friends of the north with whom I share my birthplace should learn to tell the north the truth. The base of the social pyramid is distended and waiting to explode. There is no viable middle class up there. The apex is thin and fragile. Only a paradigm shift with mass education as motive force will regularise the pyramidal shape in the medium term. Those who want to save the north should encourage competition with the south. Fear of the south can only solve the problems of the northern elite in the short term during which they hold sway. Only western education pursued with the character of an avalanche can bury illiteracy and release competitive fervour in the north.
Civil society led to the achievement of the objective of self-determination in Eastern Nigeria in 1966. The student body at the University of Nigeria, which I partly led into revolt, was responsible for the demonstrations that led to the declaration of Biafra one year after the revolt. The revolt was an easy sell. There were mangled corpses of our tribesmen and women to show that there was abundant hatred for our own people. Scorn was bold on the bodies that were ferried home by road and rail. Stories of chants of hatred were indelibly printed in the psyche of Igbo nationals. Biafra became the metaphor for freedom in the experience of South Africa at the tail end of apartheid to which Nigeria subscribed immense resources. It is the same metaphor in Sudan to which Nigeria is subscribing resources. Why is leadership so daft as to overlook the preponderating raison de'-tre for true federalism?
State creation did immense damage to national development and has led to the emasculation of productive enterprise in Nigeria's free enterprise, price system. The Federal revenue powered by petroleum resources led to over-arching penchant for the military to create states. The long-term tangential intention was to weaken imminent Biafra by releasing the neighbours of Ndigbo who were increasingly frightened by overbearing Igbo avidity for wealth creation, numerical strength and influence of Ndigbo in the productive processes in the region. There had been grouses about marginalisation of the minorities by Ndigbo during the First Republic. Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Action Group had made inroads into the National Council of Nigeria and Camerouns' (NCNC) controlled areas of the east as reprisal for NCNC inroad in the west.
The campaign of calumny against Ndigbo was critical in Awolowo's entry. Chief Michael Okpara denied the minorities in the South-South zone new infrastructure for development as soon as election results favoured NCNC in the former eastern region. That further exacerbated relations and fears of domination plan that did not exist save in the minds of politicians. Okpara did not show remorse. However, Ndigbo became unwanted in the economic system of the South-South controlled by new governments there. The East Central state was singled out for denial of infrastructure for growth ever since. Biafra is a metaphor of revolt against the quiet resolve of the Nigerian national leadership to slow down Ndigbo. Post-Biafra war events have accentuated the disgust of the youths in the leadership of Nigeria that has meant increasing deprivation to the people in Igboland. It is the watershed of MASSOB.
There is an aspect of the metaphor that is not so apparent. The young people aged 25 and above in Igboland at this time are incarnations of victims of Biafra War. Their agonies during that war compel proclivity to revolt and banditry. Ndigbo must rein in their children and distance them from wrong principles. Some of them have become daredevil robbers and ritual killers.
MASSOB evolved from that breed of people who knew hardship and would want their teeming supporters to believe that revolt against the Nigerian establishment would bring them Biafra. They are gullible by remote antecedents. It was easy on these accounts to persuade our youths that Biafra was worth working for in their inadequate idiom. The young men who had shunned education in MASSOB followership believed Uwazurike and followed his dictates because the elite distanced themselves from the youths in spite of he lacuna in leadership of Ndigbo following the failure of Biafra. Chief Odimegwu Ojukwu who remains the only symbol of Igbo leadership polarised himself by entering party politics which the Nigerian leadership found unpalatable. He lost and the Igbo cause went into suspended animation.
MASSOB is an interest group. It is a legitimate instrument of civil society and should not have been treated with the hostility visited upon it by security agents of our country. It is a metaphor shouting for amendments. It is a cry from the heart of the bottom of the social pyramid of Ndigbo. Their treatment as forces of destabilisation of the Nigerian nation detracts from their fundamental human rights that guarantees rights of free association. It is of the same mould as MOSOP, OPC, etc.
The goal desired in this high-handed treatment of MASSOB derives kinetic energy from the Biafra War. The same forces that emasculated the realisation of a just and egalitarian Nigerian society with common national ethos that must be anchored on positive responses to needs of the majority in the process and continuum of governance and supreme appreciation of natural law are at play. Indolent sharing of national resources and fear of competition are the forces that have dictated our trajectory in our development effort. Only productivity irrespective of colouration can pull Nigeria into the top league of the world. It should not matter what group in Nigeria prevails in the process.
What matters is whether the nation is better off in the long run.
Nothing else is worth contemplating in a democratic free enterprise system that we are labouring to engender. Fear of competition with Ndigbo has brought so much strain into national growth. While other nations group themselves into larger combines for higher levels of choice, Nigeria splits its own land into less and less viable units where the main goal is to attract national resources for symbols of development instead of actual creation of wealth for the majority which ought to have been largely assisted by competition in production and distribution for which Ndigbo are the prevailing catalysts. The false leadership that we have so far had was tantamount to ethnic champions of sharing and consumption.
Biafra is a statement that is loud and clear that increasing productivity of individuals and group components of a nation are the only guarantees to national peace and progress not only in Nigeria but also the entire world. Those who desire not to labour for their wages are not ever going to add to national productivity. Those who want to depend on the national resources for their group welfare and happiness are doomed to irrelevance in an increasingly productive world. Those who claim leadership as their right with eyes on national resources to share among their kinsmen are less than human in the final analysis. That is why it is imperative that the federal government should be whittled down to unattractive levels of control of resources so that energies for productivity may be unleashed in the same manner as occurred in the region of the First Republic.
Biafra was an idea, which arrived too early for the apprehension of Nigerians. The geographical reality is dead and gone from fright of the majority of Nigerians. Only the metaphor survived it and still exists. The reality now lies in the realms of politics and persuasion with superior dialect. The path mapped out for realisation of the metaphor must be a relentless battle for true federalism. The federating states of Nigeria must control the resources native to their lands. The federal government has shown amazing incapacity to husband the resources and create wealth for the majority. The Federal Government so far has bloated government and created a labyrinth of avenues for frittering away resources in Abuja. Yet Abuja does not have any productive life beyond state resources.
People who have contemplated Ndigbo roundly and deeply must chart the path of Ndigbo. MASSOB should metamorphose into a pressure group founded on current realities of mutual dependence. Ndigbo need Nigeria. We are mobile, aggressive and productive. We are also destructive whenever greed takes us over. We are gifted to provide leadership in commerce and industry to Nigeria. We must operate in a larger ambience because we are gregarious. But we must not be vulgar and vain. We must show good example in thought, word and action and earn respect from our neighbours only through integrity and good conduct in private and public affairs. We must bond together only because we have something to offer Nigeria in exchange for our own security and increasing levels of choices, which mean development.
Forcibly derived states do not have a chance of survival in the current day international community. America cannot export democracy by force of arms. Nigeria cannot grow by fear of a component of Nigerian society. Productivity cannot be improved without justice and equity. Nationalism cannot develop when there are pockets of grief and dissatisfaction with modalities for sharing national resources. One finger hurting sets a whole body on the path of inconvenience. Poverty of a section of the country brings poverty to the whole country. It is a leader who accepts these maxims that Nigerians want in 2007.
*Odu lives in Aboh Mbaise, Imo State.

Juve watch will be back when I do my dedication write up later in the day. For now, got to run. U just called. We are having an early lunch.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

What's wrong with this picture?

Can anyone tell me?

Juve watch.

Saw this somewhere, don't remember where exactly, but I think I'd like to share it...

I believe the punishments handed out and especially to Juve are politically driven. The Sports tribunal and Appeals court are so intently driven on showing the rest of Italy, Europe and the world that they are serious about cleaning up inproper and unfair acts by soccer clubs that they will hand out inappriopriate and unjustifiable punishments. From the information I have seen the evidence against teams like Juve is very weak. Phone calls about referee's for preseason, not league matches and no clear evidence of match fixing. No evidence of money changing hands to pay referee's nor any other type of bribery. The tribunal also clearly stated that they had not reviewed past seasons in detail so how can they remove titles without clear evidence of match fixing and thus Juve being advantaged. For the main referee's involved the stats show that there was no advantage to Juve when any of these refs were in control, as someone said to me jokingly, if Juve paid bribes I'd ask for my money back. Imagine our criminal courts if there was evidence showing you might have been involved in a crime but no clear proof and yet the court sentenced you to jail because it appeared you might have been involved. Juve especially are the scape goats in this story being unfairly harshly punished so as it appears that the Italian league is serious about cleaning up the league and peoples perception of its corruptness. From the evidence the most that can be concluded based on the Italian leagues regulations is unsporting behaviour by the individuals involved and thus the clubs, for being in communication with the referee's association. The punishment for this should be as has now been the case for all other 3 clubs involved and that is a points reduction for the upcomming season and not relegation, and especially not relegation and a points deduction.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Utter rubbish...

Sorry Chxta, you are banned from using this forum!

Reason: were your user account owned by anyone else in the world, I woudn't have banned it.

Once again I have been banned from Nairaland. This time I don't think I have the will to ask to be unbanned. The reason given here is too inane. As Ababoy said, I don't know why I bother...

Funso: my thoughts...

The hold up going back home yesterday was something else. The last hold up of this magnitude (that I witnessed) was on that fateful day back in 2002 when two trailers broke down at different points along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and close to Old Toll Gate. I was working in Gateway Bank then and remember getting home sometime after 0200, only to wake up and start heading back to work at 0500! Before that there was the monster hold up that enveloped Lagos on the day Kudirat was sent off.

I eventually had to make use of a bike to get home since I had no intention of sleeping in traffic, and unlike Mayowa and Arit from my office who both left the office 30 minutes or therabouts before me, I made it home in time for the news at 10 on Channels.

The gist is that Funso Williams was either shot or strangled or stabbed. But if you go by what most of the media is now saying, then he was strangled, so let us stick with that. Now, in my humble sometimes incorrect opinion, strangulation is a crime of passion. Whoever killed F Will wasn't politically motivated. Something else caught my attention. The people did their work in his house in broad daylight. That tells me that they are people who knew him and who were known to him. Mr. Ehindero and gang over to you...

Juve watch.

We netted GBP 17m for both Cana and Puma it was announced yesterday. IMHO that was a great one especially when you consider their combined age is 63, and the fact that initially Merda Madrid offered a paltry GBP 8m because they thought we were shuffling off to Serie C. The bleeding cunts! Milan are interested in Zlatan, and reports say they are willing to offer as much as GBP 15m. Personally I'd stone him for much less. The prick is too arrogant for his own good, and we don't need that kind of disruptive influence in the dressing room. He has a lot of talent one has to admit (I can't forget that wonder goal he scored against the Romanista, using Ghanaboy Kuffour to clean the Olimpico in the process), but he needs to get his head down from the clouds. It is nice though to see Inter and Milan fighting over him, but I'd prefer if we stoned him to Crapello at Madrid. If that happens, the bets would be on for when he and Peter Pan (Antonio Cassano to most of you) come to blows in the dressing room at the Bernabeau, or even better on the pitch when they are being raped by Barcelona...

Since DD has said that no one else is leaving (I wonder how he can pull that off since Paddy hasn't committed to us yet, Inter are casting envious glances at Paddy and Zlatan is asking for a wage rise to stay, the bleeding cunt!), then it may be safe to once again publish a list of those that are staying...
Balzaretti Federico
Bartolucci Giovanni
Birindelli Alessandro
Bojinov Valeri
Buffon Gianluigi
Calanchi Francesco
Camoranesi Mauro German
Chiellini Giorgio
De Ceglie Paolo
Del Piero Alessandro
Giannichedda Giuliano
Guzman Tomas
Ibrahimovic Zlatan
Kapo Olivier
Kovac Robert
Legrottaglie Nicola
Luci Andrea
Marchionni Marco
Marchisio Claudio
Masiello Andrea
Mirante Antonio
Nedved Pavel
Olivera Ruben
Palladino Raffaele
Paro Matteo
Piccolo Felice
Rossi Andrea
Scarzanella Claudio
Sculli Giuseppe
Trezeguet David
Trini Matteo
Tudor Igor
Urbano Orlando
Vieira Patrick
Volpato Rey
Zalayeta Marcelo
Zammuto Pietro
Zanetti Cristiano
Zebina Jonathan

The above picture is that of Neddy when he made the following statement: “Restare alla Juve e il mio dovere” (I owe it to Juve to stay)!

FORZA JUVE!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Man na wa o!

The hold up is terrible. Jaizuz!!!

Reminds one of the day Kudirat Abiola was offed...

Christian Ubuntu!

I'm going to get stewed for this post I just made in Nairaland. Damn! Can't I just stay away from controversial topics?

It is about a 'new Linux distro' called Christian Ubuntu. What utter rubbish. Then later we would say Muslims are fanatics...

O brother.

On a more serious note, if you're fed up with these religious nuts altogether, how about you join me in a protest against religious zealotry by pouring your heart out to root@religion.com?

Funso Williams

The 2007 election campaign is really kicking into gear. Funso Williams who intended to run for governor of Lagos State next year was just shuffled off the mortal coil, less than 30 minutes ago.

They say it was a bullet to the head. More as it becomes available...

Some geezers who were on the way to my office for a meeting have turned back because Osborne Road is blocked. I guess that means I'm free to galivant around the internet for the rest of the day.

Why is he so indifferent about this you may ask. He is indifferent because the man belonged to the same class that ruined this country, and this is just a signal of how these elections would be fought especially in the West, but also in the East. There would be killings in the North as well, but not on the scale we would witness this way...

Juve watch.

Neddy has finally confirmed that he would stay. Say's he owes it to the club and to the fans. Meanwhile Inter are proud of 'their' title. May I remind them that it was won in the board room...

2.5Gb/s Internet For French Homes

"Presence-pc at reports that France Telecom just announced they are offering 2.5 Gb/s internet connection to select cities in the Paris region. For... $85(70 Euros) a month you also get free phone and TV. From the article (in French): "The historical operator opted for a GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) FTTH architecture (Fiber To The Home). This technology allows up to 2.5 Gbits/s download and 1.2 Gigabits/s upload."

http://slashdot.org/articles/06/07/26/127205.shtml

2.5Gb/s, that is 320MB/s transfers. Well, IF you can find servers with that kind of bandwidth. Of course, your computer isn't able to receive (and write to disk) quicker than at a rate of about 30-50MB/s. So that means 90% of the pipe will go to waste. But, you could rig up a cluster of 10 nodes in the basement and download from each one simultaneously to plug the gap.

What to do with all that bandwidth? Well, for one thing Google Earth would never have to pause and buffer data.

From Israel to Lebanon

Just thought y'all should see this...

http://www.fromisraeltolebanon.info/

Spoiler warning, graphic images...

Paloma and all that

I have to admit that I am hooked on Cuando seas meas, the soap opera more commonly known around these parts as Paloma after the heroine of the shyte. I could go into the long story of how I got hooked, but it would be a waste of my and your time, so I would pass on that. The bottomline remains that my being hooked is all down to a female as you would have guessed by now. All my life I have avoided soaps and Nigerian movies like a plague, but I guess that looking at men who should be smarter than that (my dad and my Uncle Ifeanyi) letting themselves get hooked on both because of their female halves, I guess that I am also destined for that sad state of affairs. U hasn't yet developed a taste for Naija movies, and I sincerely pray to Baba God that it remains that way. I can't stand the thought of sacrificing the Champions League (Madrid vs Juve one day perhaps?) because U wants to watch Ramsey and Genevieve misbehaving on DSTv Channel 7.

Dateline yesterday, myself and U were at Mama Cass on Ajose Adeogun in Victoria Island because:
(1) she couldn't get off work on time
(2) she had not eaten all day (talk about bank work!)
(3) we both wanted to watch Paloma.

Yesterday's episode was particularly heart rending because Diego told Paloma that he doesn't love her anymore (the spineless cunt can't even admit to his chic that he is going to prison, instead he chose to lie to her), gave her to Sanz and then promptly got himself picked up by the police. What a mess. Ines has told Fabian that he would not live to enjoy El Cafetalero (if my grandma told me that kind of thing I would take a running dive off the 3rd Mainland Bridge). Wow! Action packed. I hope I'll be able to finish the damned soap so I can live out my life as before, watching lots of football...

Funny to note that ever since I met U and we fell in love, she has always (tried to) come across as an iron lady. Yesterday I saw that at the end of the day, she is just another female. When Diego was telling Paloma that he doesn't love her anymore, I noticed that U's eyes were filled with tears. Few minutes later, her face was all wet and I had to start looking for the hankies. For crying out loud she couldn't even finish her dinner. All because of Paloma.

Hope she doesn't read this or I'm in soup...

Rounding up

As y'all very well know, I am soon to be an ex-staff of Itex Integrated Systems. I haven't been online much in the last few days because there's still a lot to be sorted out...

Juve watch.

The appeal verdicts are in and Lazio and Fiorentina were sent back up to Serie A. We still intend to appeal again though, and Moggi has waded into the whole matter by declaring the innocence of la vecchia signora. Spineless match fixing cunt. Why didn't he say so long ago? Didier has also stated that no more players would be leaving, so I guess that all those left are staying. I will give you a complete squad list later in the day if I can find the time.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Mary Magdelene

I have a confession to make. I am a bad Christian. I hardly go to church, and when I do, I sleep while the priest is talking. This state of affairs is especially worse when I go to Magodo (as I do most weekends) and on Sunday we have to go to Mass at St. Agnes's at Maryland. You see the priests there have this habit of just rambling on, so once it is time for homily, I bring out my pillow so to speak and sleep away. But it is not solely the fault of the priests. I tend to question a lot, and up until date no one has quite been able to explain to me what God meant when he and Cain had that discussion after Cain dispatched Abel:

13And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

14Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

15And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

16And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

17And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. (from Genesis Chapter 4 KJV)

You see, if at that point in time we only had Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel, then Cain shuffled Abel off the mortal coil, then who are the "every one that shall findeth Cain"? And who was his wife?

See what I mean? I have a document that contains 101 contradictions from the Bible, but I know that if I write on that, I will provoke only God knows what storm...

But all this I have written above is just a digression. You see, U made me go to Church this morning. So I was at Saturday morning mass at Our Lady of the Assumption at Falomo, Ikoyi. At the beginning of the mass I was already preparing for my usual cynical sleep when the priest said: "Today is the feast day of Mary Magdalene, not the wife of Jesus, but the saint of the Church."

That got my attention, and brought me to something that has been raging all over since. I have to say that I think Dan Brown's novel is bollocks from a historical perspective, and rubbish as a read. The movie is even worse. And this is from someone who has read book, and watched the movie (I am still trying to get my cash back from Silverbird!).

So, who really was Mary Magdalene?

According to the Bible (and the Catholic Church), (St.) Mary Magdalene (who is mentioned 12 times in the Gospels), was healed of demon possession by Jesus (Luke 8:2), was present at the Crucifixion and the tomb and was sent by the Jesus to the apostles to announce the Good News after he had woken up from the dead. Her feast day is celebrated July 22. Which is today.

According to Dan Brown in his book, Mary Magdalene was of royal blood (was she really?), of the tribe of Benjamin, and Jesus's wife. He claims that after the crucifixion of Jesus, Mary, pregnant with Jesus' child, moved to France (how did she get that far?) and became the root of the Merovingian royal family. He also says Jesus intended for Mary to be the head of his Church (celebrating the sacred feminine, whatever that is) but that Peter wrested power from her (never read of a power struggle last time I read the good book), suppressed evidence of Jesus' real intentions and set into motion a conspiracy to demonize Mary Magdalene.

Wow. Talk of some imagination. Last time I checked, the lady is a saint of the Catholic Church, hell, today's her feast day.

Dan Brown himself has no degree in either Religion or History, but I must say he put in a lot of research into the work, so I'll let that pass. I am a bit envious of him because I don't think that if I publish my only book till date (Almost Immortal is the name), that I'll make up to $ 2 million from it. The geezer made a whooping $ 76.5 million from his crap book! I'd read any Fred Forsythe, Robert Ludlum, Sidney Sheldon, Chinua Achebe and even SMO Aka six or seven times before reading that crap ever again. But it made more than all of them have ever made put together. Wow! Talk about cashing in on controversy. I would have to sit down and think of some very controversial topic to write about?

But read this about The Da Vinci Code, it makes for interesting reading...

Edit: Hey, I think I've gotten a controversial enough title for my next book: Why The Nigger Will Never Succeed...

Chippla wrote a very good article in Israel vs Lebanon. I think y'all should read it.

Juve Watch.

The Calciopoli appeals started this morning. Read about it here. I don't understand what our lawyers are doing though. It is Moggi that is guilty, not Juventus.

Let me give an analogy: Steffi Graf was playing with Monica Seles one day when a Graf fan walked into the court and stabbed Seles. Graf went on the become the most successful women's tennis star till date because her main rival was knocked off. Why didn't they strip her of her titles?




Friday, July 21, 2006

I'm so sad

My laptop just refused to come on when I got to work this morning. After the death of my desktop, that would be a major tragedy. I have opened it, and it seems to be a power problem. Let's hope that is it.

Will be off to Otigba during lunch break so that Gbemi can confirm that for me. The girl is an excellent laptop technician.

Juve watch

Trez's agent has confirmed that he isn't willing to leave Turin. According to her, "he likes it here, only one club can make him leave Juventus", and she isn't saying which club it is... Good news.

That means that the roll call now looks like this:

Alessandro Del Piero
Giogio Chiellini
Marco Marchionni
Valerij Bojinov
Federico Balzaretti
Paolo De Ceglie
Tomas Guzman
Cristiano Zanetti
Antonio Mirante
Gianluigi Buffon
Pavel Nedved
David Trezeguet

FORZA JUVE.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Back from the wilderness

Today is one of those days at the office when there is nothing much to do. I'm a l'il bored, so I decided to browse Nairaland and look for trouble. But to do that I had to first ask Seun to reinstate me. The bugger had to extract a good behaviour promise from me first. Yikes!

Anyways, as Ayoke pointed out, it is his property...

So I have been reinstated there, back to arguing with all manners of individuals.

Meanwhile enjoy this article. Very interesting...

Juve watch.


Updated list of players who have signified their intention to stay:

Alessandro Del Piero
Giogio Chiellini
Marco Marchionni
Valerij Bojinov
Federico Balzaretti
Paolo De Ceglie
Tomas Guzman
Cristiano Zanetti
Antonio Mirante
Gianluigi Buffon
Pavel Nedved

Meantime Canna and Puma have been sold to the Madridista. More reason for me to like Barca? I think not. But for what it's worth, fuck Capello! In the meantime, Thuram and Zambrotta seem set to sign for Barca in the coming hours...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Gigi's staying

http://www.channel4.com/sport/football_italia/jul19j.html

Tears for Tyre and Sidon...

Now that the Israelis have practically achieved their stated objective of setting Lebanon back 20 years (thanks to Gen. Dan Halutz for that one), it is time for us to reflect on this conflict and without sentiment ask some questions...

What really was the cause of this particular round of hostilities? The Palestinians 'kidnapped' (note the difference in language when the victim is not Arab, if the Isrealis 'kidnap' an Arab, it would be 'captured') an Israeli soldier. It has to be said that what those people did was both unwise and provocative. But to go back into Gaza with brute force just because of one man? How many Israelis have died now because of that. Has it yet achieved the objective of recovering the young man? No. And trust me, it won't. The more Lebanese civilians killed the more recruits Hezb'llah would have. Can't these twits see that? Israel is waging a war for 3 soldiers captured, the same Israel that after seizing lands from the Palestinians is building a wall to keep them in. Remember the people who started building walls to keep whole populations inside, and their biggest victims? No points for a correct answer there, the Nazis and the Jews.

What do you really expect people to do when they are kept in a perpetual cycle of poverty, their lands are constantly seized, their crops are taken away? And do not deceive yourselves, Israel is guilty of all these. You only keep creating more suicide bombers.

I was talking about this with a colleague yesterday and she said the Jews are God's people, so they can do anything they want! Give me a break. What kind of rubbish thinking is that? Unfortunately that is the thinking that a lot of people subscribe to.

It is the opinion of this writer that no one is special in the eyes of God. He made us all. If you can prove to me that there is one person, yes, just one other that is more special than I am to God, do it and I will stop worshipping God.

(My train of thought was just interrupted, I am at work sorry, so I will jump).

In this conflict, at least since Sabra and Shatilla, Israel have been the Nazis and are not any less terrorist than the PLO or Hezb'llah. They simply have the backing of the United States in this issue as can be seen by the US's irresponsible veto of the resolution calling for a cessation of hostilities. Try and imagine what the US would do tomorrow if China invades Taiwan.

I have a lot to say, but some people at my (soon to be ex) office have interrupted my train of thought. So let me not rant. If I can recover myself, then we shall continue.

Juve watch

According to Il Giornale, the Calciopoli scandal is still set to widen with the coming release of previously unseen telephone taps. There have been no names published at the moment, but the tabloid promises to reveal all with the next few days.

The anticipated second wave of scandal could cause a complete review of last Friday’s verdict and may even delay the start of the new season.

At the same time I have to choke back tears and congratulate Inter on the title that has been awarded to them. Then remind them that they didn't win it on the field.

Meanwhile, Guido Rossi – special commissioner of the Italian Football Federation – has called for an increase in the number of sides promoted from Serie B next term. He believes that three rather than two sides should be automatically promoted from the second tier due to the number of big clubs now competing in Serie B. Needless to say, I wholeheartedly agree with him.

NFA disbanded and all in between...

Good news. The Nigerian Football Association's board has been disbanded. Details here.

Juve watch.

Yesterday afternoon the team took to the training ground at the Mombarone Sports Centre. Having worked on their ball retention for the majority of the afternoon, the team divided into blacks and yellows and ended the session with a half hour practice match. The yellows took the lead early on with Cristiano Zanetti slotting the ball home to make it 1-0. At the other end Marchionni was unlucky not to score, his shot sailing narrowly over the bar, but it was the yellows again who gave the fans something to cheer about as, minutes later, Palladino doubled their lead from close range. Following some half-time instruction from DiDi the blacks pulled one back through Marchisio but their comeback was short lived as Birindelli coolly converted a penalty for the yellows following a foul on Palladino in the box. The game ended with man-of-the-match Palladino making it 4-1 to the yellows in the dying seconds.

Sporting Director, Alessio Secco, and Youth team coach, Ciro Ferrara, both made appearances late in the day, greeted enthusiastically by the attending bianconeri fans.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Chxta banned!


Chxta has been banned by Seun from posting on Nairaland.

Reason: he used this image as his signature.

Having gone through all the rules of the forum, I STILL CAN'T FIND WHERE IT SAID I CAN'T USE WHATEVER IMAGE I LIKE AS MY SIGNATURE AS LONG AS THE IMAGE IS NOT PROFANE.

What is the matter with you Seun?

The End of An Era

UTC at Area 10 in Garki, Abuja was a place that the youths of the town used to gather in the evenings back in the day. It was the ultimate recreation spot as it had a volleyball court, a basketball court and table tennis board. On account of the cosmopolitan nature it afforded youths back then, a lot of guys who grew up in Abuja town especially during the Abacha era formed a bond that lasts until this day. I also believe that it is a lack of recreational facilities like this one that has caused so many youths in Lagos to be idle. And you know what they say about an idle mind...

Unfortunately, the recreation that UTC provided has become a thing of the past. Enter Nasir El Rufai, Chairman of the FCT. In his zeal to keep Abuja neat (which I generally agree with), Mallam Rufai may just be overdoing it. According to the Abuja Masterplan (I can't find it online, but when I do, I'll post it), that plot is meant for recreation. Recreation is an essential part of a healthy living. The basketball and volleyball courts have been demolished to make way for a parking lot. In my view that is silly, especially since there is an unused plot of land just down the road...



The above is a picture of the now demolished UTC Recreational Centre. Have eight of them from different angles. You can mail me if you want them. On a more personal note, it was watching U display her not unconsiderable volleyball skills here that I fell irrevocably in love with her...

Juve watch

The following players have so far indicated their desire to stay with Juve irrespective of where we find ourselves in the next season:

Alessandro Del Piero
Giogio Chiellini
Marco Marchionni
Valerij Bojinov
Federico Balzaretti
Paolo De Ceglie
Tomas Guzman
Cristiano Zanetti
Antonio Mirante

For y'all football ignoramuses out there, with the exception of Del Piero and Zanetti, the rest are all prime talent who have bright futures in the game... Quit focussing on just the Premiership. There are young players out there in other lands not England.

FORZA JUVE!!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

An anonymous statement

I am an african in the thick of the things, meaning am trying to do science, I am sure there are many of my brothers and sisters doing the same.

One of our greatest undoing has been not to face the fact that for whatever reasons africa is not contributing to science.

We have to stop this, "melanin" crap and face the problems hands-on

Emeagwali claims to be the father of internet, but truth be told the internet started as small network by physicists at CERN. He may have contributed to growth of it, but he is not the originator, for heaven's sake he had to go to a US university not a nigerian one.

We did not invent the computer, someone else laid the rules which made computing possible and we should respect that.

That said, why can't we produce great scientists?

We have an anti-pathy to individuality, we do not want to be seen as sell-outs, we should all listen to rap, hip-hop,brag about our prowess in sex(a racist stereotype) wear baggy clothes , no matter how stupid all these things are, we should do them because because we are black.

I for one I live my life, treasure where i come from, but set my own rules as to what I should do.

One day, africa will rise, but only when her people have courage to follow their convictions no matter the cost.

This was in reply to this post.

Juve watch

We should be lodging our appeal today or tomorrow. Will keep you posted.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Israel, Me and Juve...

Now to start writing. I am still in Abuja, returning to Lagos tomorrow. First I have to apologise to my friend Isi for missing her wedding, I had some other commitments to make up and as a result could not make the wedding. I don't know how I'll make it up to you. Honestly I have no idea.

This morning I turned on the TV and tuned to the BBC. The first article I saw was one in which it was clearly stated that Israeli war planes had bombed some Lebanese refugees who were simply trying to escape the bombings that country has inflicted on the weaker state of Lebanon. A few minutes later, George Bush (in his press conference with Vladimir Putin) insisted that Hezb'llah and Lebanon were solely to blame for what is now happening in the MidEast!

Excuse me Mr. Bush, but I strongly beg to differ. It remains the opinion of this writer that Israel is grossly overreacting to what is in all honesty a provocation. Israel has the military might (because of US backing I might add) to do what they so please and are taking advantage of that. Why are you trying to rope Syria and Iran into the whole thing? Looking for an excuse to halt Iran's nuclear programme?

We have over the last 10 years seen how with small steps peace can be achieved. This action by Israel (over something that occurs once in a while) has basically torn up all hopes for peace in the region for a very long time.

Having examined the nature of the bombings, I have come to the conclusion that this Israeli offensive is purely economic. The economy of Lebanon in the last three years has found its feet, and it is the intention of the IDF to blast them back to the stone age. How else do you explain the fact that of about 150 targets bombed as at 1000 this morning, only 12 were Hezb'llah targets? A mere 8 % of all the targets belong to the actual enemy! Ain't that something?

I think that Jacques Chirac got is spot on when he said: "Israel appears to wish to destroy Lebanon." That is what is happening.

My job

As of the end of this month, I would once again be an unemployed youth. Yes, I am leaving my current job. In due course I would let you know why. I just want to note that it is funny the way we relax and no longer give a damn the moment we put in our one month's notice. It happened to me at MicroAccess, and it has been happening to me since I dropped the notice at the end of last month. On Thursday I actually had the nerve to tell a manager in V-Mobile to 'shut the f**k up' when he pissed me off. They (my soon to be ex-company) are setting up a secure payment scheme for V-Mobile and since I am the Network administrator and the only Hausa speaker around these parts (I haven't practiced my Hausa so long it that the little I knew is fading away), I was assigned to cover the North, hence my presence here. Unfortunately, Vee's network (a microwave link to Lagos) leaves more than a lot to be desired. My trip to Jos was a complete waste, and I didn't (and still don't) see the need to go further up North (when I returned to Abuja, the results were the same as Jos). I duly said so in my report that there is no need to waste money (my soon to be ex-company are footing the bills), and that is the kind of language the accountants love to hear. Not LO at Vee though. During a conference meeting on Thursday, the man kept hounding me to get the stuff working. Hello, I don't work in V-Mobile IS department and I told him so in not too polite language. I apologised and am really sorry, that was very unprofessional of me (reminds me of the girl at MTN who told Tayo Aderinokun to jump out a window). But my punishment... accounts was instructed to send me bus fair instead of air fare. I get to think about my misdeed in a bus back to Lagos tomorrow. Fat chance!

Juve Watch.

Yesterday night after a long day of training and counter training at the Sheraton, I got home to a phone call from Uche Anidobi (it appears he hates Juve, so I am contemplating blacklisting him) to inform me that Juve had been relegated to Serie B. "What do you have to say to that?" he leered. Shortly after, I got this text from Seun Lawal: "E ya sorry o accept my sympathy. You might win the appeal." Thanks for that Seun.

It shouldn't be news to anyone that the Calciopoli verdicts were finally delivered yesterday evening, here’s a brief rundown of all the sentences handed out.

Juventus:
Demoted to last place in 2004-05 season and stripped of that season’s title. Our 2005-06 Serie A title win has also been wiped out. We will start next season in Serie B with 30 point deduction. Former directors Luciano Moggi and Antonio Giraudo banned from football for five years.

Fiorentina:
Relegated to Serie B with 12-point penalty for 2006-07. President Andrea Della Valle banned for three years and six months. His brother Diego, the club’s honorary President, suspended for four years.

Lazio:
Relegated to Serie B with seven-point penalty for 2006-07. President Claudio Lotito banned for three years.

Milan:
They stay in Serie A, but will start next season with a 15-point deduction. They are deducted 44 points from last season’s point tally which means they have not qualified for the Champions League. Vice-President Adriano Galliani banned for a year. Rossoneri official Leonardo Meani suspended for three years and six months.

Refereeing officials:
Designator Paolo Bergamo deferred, Pierluigi Pairetto banned for two years and six months. President Tullio Lanese banned two years and six months, Vice-commissioner Gennaro Mazzei banned for a year, observer Pietro Ingargiola cautioned.

Referees:
Massimo De Santis banned for four years and six months, Paolo Dondarini stopped for three years and six months, Gianluca Paparesta banned for three months. Pasquale Rodomonti, Paolo Bertini, Domenico Messina, Gianluca Rocchi and Paolo Tagliavento all cleared.

Linesmen:
Claudio Puglisi and Fabrizio Babini banned for a year.

Italian Football Federation officials:
President Franco Carraro stopped for four years and six months. Vice-President Innocenzo Mazzini suspended for five years.

All those sentenced have five days to appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal. At that time, Messina, Lecce and Treviso would be re-instated into Serie A.

In my humble opinion, this is a death sentence to Italian football. What will those morons of judges say when UEFA reduces the number of Italian clubs in Europe after 2 or 3 years of bad performances? What kind of sentence is a 30 point deduction? They may well have sentenced us to Serie C so we would know that they haver real bad belle for us. And how the hell did the Milanista stay up when like us they are also accussed of swaying matches. Fair being fair it is Juventus and Milan that should get the heaviest punishments.

What is annoying me the most at the moment of typing this is that traitors like Crapello are getting ready to raid us. I love the frankness of new president Gilli when he said they are wasting their time. What rubbish!

More to write, my thoughts are jumbled, so let me stop. More coming in the following weeks. But rest assured that Juve watch would become a permanent fixture on this little blog until the day we win our next Scudetto.

Some say life is black
Some say life is white
We all know it is black and white
FORZA JUVE!!!

New format

Lots of things I really want to write about:

Israel/Lebanon
My job
Juventus and il calciopoli.

Henceforth and until my beloved Juve are back in the Champions League where we belong, I will be giving you updates on what is happening with Juve.

FORZA JUVE!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Accident pictures...


As promised, pictures of the accident. Sorry, the one that was the most gruesome happened to be the worst in quality, so I ain't showing that.

This accident happened at the 3rd Mainland Bridge, Lagos on Monday. I haven't noticed any articles about it in our papers, but maybe I haven't looked hard enough.

May the souls of the passengers of the bus rest in peace. Amen.

And we meet...

This is a picture taken a few days ago at Area II, Garki, Abuja. Left to right are Madlawyer, Chxta and Trae.

Nice one with the corn huh?

Might is right

Israel is at it again. How can they really justify attacking Lebanon, another sovereign country?

It is the opinion of this blogger that the Israeli action is nothing more than naked aggression, and the actions of people (a new government) that has no real plans for its people, and as a result wants to keep them busy by giving them a war to think about.

I am still trying to figure out why the Israeli government would (end up) sacrificing (8 so far) soldiers just for one! Tragic as the kidnapping of the young teenager is, in my opinion it doesn't justify in any way the escalation that we are witnessing now.

And what is the US saying about all of this? Does this mean there is no international law and any country with the arms can do what they like? Obj are you listening? Let us overrun Cameroon now!

As a young boy, my dad used to say that to every story there are three sides: your side, my side and the correct side.

You can folow events as they unfold here (Western or pro-Israeli view) and here (Arabic view).

Work to do, so more to come. I'm still owing y'all those pix of the accident in Lagos on Monday...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Roaming round the north

Interesting news about Adenuga...

Meanwhile there was an accident at Third Mainland Bridge on my way to the airport yesterday, some danfo fell into the lagoon. I haven't noticed anything about it in the newspapers, maybe I am not looking hard enough. I got some pictures of the aftermath of that accident which I will post when I get back to Lagos.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Adieu Le Professuer

What a way to end a glittering career!!!

But before we jump on the bandwagon and crucify le professeur, we have to remember that this fellow is one of the very best to have ever kicked the round leather, so we have to pay him tribute.

Zinedine Yazid Zidane (زين الدين زيدان) was born in Marseille, France on June 23, 1972 and raised in La Castellane, a government-sponsored housing project in the northern suburbs of Marseille (the "Quartiers Nord"). Though born in Marseille, Zidane never played for Olympique de Marseille. His time in the French league was spent with AS Cannes and Bordeaux until he was bought by Juventus for £3 million.

In 2001 Zidane transferred from Italian team Juventus to Spanish club side Real Madrid on a four-year contract. The transfer fee was €66 million, making him the most expensive player in football history. His fellow Galacticos at Madrid included Raúl González, Luís Figo, Ronaldo, David Beckham, and Roberto Carlos. He scored a spectacular winning goal in a 2-1 win over the German team Bayer Leverkusen in the 2001-2002 Champions League Final in Glasgow's Hampden Park.

On 7 May 2006, Zidane played his last home game for Real Madrid at the famous Santiago Bernabéu stadium. Real Madrid players wore a special jersey which had "ZIDANE 2001 - 2006" written on the bottom of the club logo. As expected, the Real Madrid fans gave him a warm reception and kept cheering him through the whole game. This game was played against Villarreal CF and, unfortunately for Zidane, the game ended in a 3-3 draw after Real Madrid came back from behind. Zidane scored the second goal for Real Madrid without any major celebration. Zidane exchanged his jersey with Juan Roman Riquelme, the Villarreal CF and Argentinian midfielder. At the end of the game, the Real Madrid fans said goodbye to Zidane with a massive ovation that left him in tears.

Zidane has both French and Algerian ancestry, and therefore could have played for Algeria. However, back in 1992 as African defending champions, the Algerian national coach Abdelhamid Kermali denied him a position on the team, arguing that the young midfielder was "not fast enough". Zidane received his first le Bleus jersey on August 17, 1994, entering at the 63rd minute of a match against the Czech Republic. France was behind 2-0 when Zidane came to the pitch and subsequently scored two goals, which led to a 2-2 final result.

Zidane was a member of the French football team in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, scoring two headed goals in the final against Brazil, which ended in a 3-0 victory. This earned France its first World Cup championship and it was also the first time in 20 years that a host had won the tournament. Earlier in the competition he received a red card and a two-game suspension in a 4-0 win over Saudi Arabia for stomping on an opposing player for no apparent reason. Reports from people close to Zidane state that the Saudi player in question had provoked him verbally.

Two years later, Zidane and France won a second major championship, Euro 2000. The national team was ranked number one in the world after this victory, and this was the first time since West Germany in 1976 that a team held both the World Cup and Euro titles.

Injuries prevented him from performing at his best in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. France's defense of their title was spectacularly unsuccessful; the team was eliminated in the first round without scoring a single goal. Zidane rushed back from his injury in time to play in France's last game, but could not perform at his usual high level.

On August 12, 2004, after France lost Euro 2004 to the eventual winners, Greece, Zidane retired from international football. He announced on February 4, 2005 that he would retire from the game at the end of his current contract with Real Madrid, at the end of the 2006-07 season.

After France experienced serious problems in attempting to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Zidane announced on August 3, 2005 that he was coming out of international retirement to make a comeback for Les Bleus. He stated on his official website: "I have gone back on my decision, one year after I said it was categorical." On the same day, French teammate and Chelsea midfielder Claude Makélélé, who also quit the French team following Euro 2004, said he wanted to come out of international retirement as well, and in the same week, Lilian Thuram made the same announcement. The trio made their competitive return in the 3-0 FIFA World Cup qualifier win against the Faroe Islands on September 3, and France went on to win their qualifying group.

However, on 25 April 2006, after an injury-plagued season at Real Madrid, Zidane announced that he would retire from professional football after representing France in the 2006 World Cup finals to be held in Germany.

On May 27, 2006, Zidane earned his 100th cap for France with a 1-0 victory over Mexico at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis on the outskirts of Paris. It was his last match in that stadium and he became only the fourth Frenchman after Marcel Desailly, Didier Deschamps and Lilian Thuram to earn a century of national caps. He was substituted early in the second half.

In the closing minutes of France's second match of the 2006 World Cup, Zidane was given a yellow card for running into a player late. As a result, he was suspended from the third and final match of the group stage. France nonetheless won that match against Togo 2-0, allowing Zidane to play in the knockout round against Spain.

In the Round 2 knockout match in the 2006 World Cup, Zidane assisted on the second goal by sending a free kick in to the penalty area (after a controversial foul on Thierry Henry) and scored a third during France's 3-1 victory over Spain, on June 27, 2006. The win booked Zidane and France's date with defending champions Brazil in the quarter-finals of the tournament.

On 1 July 2006, France beat heavily favoured Brazil 1-0 in Frankfurt. Turning in a virtuoso performance complete with one of his trademark "roulette" spins, Zidane provided the free-kick assist from which Thierry Henry scored the winning goal, and was named Man of the Match by FIFA's Technical Study Group. On 5 July 2006, France met Portugal in Munich for the semi-final. Zidane scored a penalty kick against Ricardo, which turned out to be the only goal of the game and saw France through to the final.

Zidane scored on a penalty kick in the World Cup final against Italy. That goal was his 31st for France in his 108th appearance, and the third at this World Cup. That put him in a tie for fourth place with Just Fontaine and Jean-Pierre Papin on France's all-time scorers list.

On July 9, 2006, Zidane became one of only four footballers to achieve the feat of scoring in two different World Cup final matches (he scored twice in the 1998 FIFA World Cup final), sharing that honour with Pelé, Paul Breitner, and Vavá. He scored in the seventh minute from the penalty spot. He nearly headed in the ball during the first period of extra time but it was saved by Gianluigi Buffon. His career ended on a sour note when he received a red card and was ejected after headbutting Italy's Marco Materazzi in the chest in the 110th minute. He was the fourth person to have been sent off in a World Cup final and the first to be sent off during extra time. The game ended in a 1-1 draw and Italy won the championship after a penalty kick shootout. His team members later reported to French media that Zidane was reacting to a racial slur from Materazzi. The Italian side has catagorically denied that Materazzi had any role in the provocation of Zidane. Following the game, Zidane still was applauded as a hero in Paris and throughout France, and Materazzi was subsequently booed for the remaining portion of the game following Zidane's red card by the majority French crowd.

He has been elected FIFA World Player of the Year three times (1998, 2000, 2003) and once as European Footballer of the Year (1998).

Lot of material stolen from here for the sake of objectivity. I am an Italian fan afterall...

Friday, July 07, 2006

Is it fair to blame Nigeria for the world's fraud woes?

I stumbled into this article, and I think it is all well and good. I am posting it here that you may all see and believe. I would also enjoin you all to spread the news. Ignorance is a disease...

I recently read an article, where many Nigerians were upset about a series of stories done by CNN. The reason they were upset was because they felt that the story depicted that all Nigerians were corrupt. This made me reflect that there are many of out there - who when a fraud is discovered - seem to automatically classify it as being of "Nigerian" origin.

This evening, I came across a story from the Online Journal: "New version of Nigerian phishing e-mail scam promises jobs, riches, poker and great lunches" - which is essentially calling "phishing" a Nigerian scam. After reading it, I started to understand why Nigerians might find some of this offensive. To read the article: Click Here.

This inspired me to do a little digging.

Since I've done a little research on phishing, I decided to refer to the Anti Phishing Working Group and their most recent report (May), which coincidentally reported a "all-time" record of recorded "phishing attempts."

Nigeria isn't even listed in their "top-ten."

According to the APWG:

"In May, Websense Security Labs saw a continuation of the top three countries hosing phishing websites. The United States remains the on the top of the list with 34.1%. The rest of the top 10 breakdown is as follows: China 15%, Republic of Korea 8.17%, France 3.94%, Germany 3.38%, Japan 2.65%, Malaysia 2.59%, Canada 2.37%, Italy 2.02%, and Brazil 1.7%."

If the APWG is correct - then how could phishing be called a Nigerian scam?

Advance fee - which is also referred to as 419 - has taken on many forms and is a worldwide problem. A lot of it originates in Europe, Canada and even the United States. Lottery scams - which are one form - seem to be coming from Canada, or Great Britain and Romance scams from Eastern Europe are a big problem.

Recently one of the bogus tools; used in advance fee scams have been counterfeit, or altered money orders. People are tricked into cashing these items and wiring the money back to a "fraudster." According to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - they are being produced (the counterfeit items) in Eastern Europe and West Africa. So far as the altered items - they seem to be produced in the U.S. Prison System and are used primarily in Romance Scams.

I did mention West Africa - but only as one source - and Nigeria is only one of the countries in West Africa. So far as the "other sources," we can look to points of origin that aren't even anywhere near Nigeria, including the United States.

Interestingly enough, what many term as "Nigerian Fraud," wasn't invented in Nigeria and can be traced back to 1588 AD - what what is known as the "Spanish Prisoner Letter."

Another fact - which many of us - fail to "recognize" is that Nigeria is doing something about their problems with fraud. In fact, some might argue that they are pursuing it more "aggresively" than in many of the other countries mentioned in this post.

In recent years, Nigeria has led a very public campaign against corruption within Nigeria. President Olusegun Obasanjo formed the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which has been extremely aggressive in fighting fraud in Nigeria. Recently, they were taken off a money laundering "blacklist" and for a list of stories - where they have made an impact - link, here.

There is little doubt that Nigeria realizes it has a fraud problem and that there are "good guys" over there fighting the "good fight."

So far as the rest of us - the next time we run across a scam on the Internet - perhaps we should take a deeper look at it's point of origin. Not only is it unfair to blame the world's fraud problem on Nigeria, but it confuses efforts to bring forth resolution.

Henry...

With the World Cup final on Sunday Thierry Henry is confident he can do the business for France. He says:

Italy have defended well, but against Italian sides in the Champions League I didn’t have trouble scoring, so I don’t think that’s going to be the way on Sunday.

He does have a good record against Italian clubsides, but he’s going to have to put in a performance and a half to score on Sunday. I think I’ve said it before that he’s being used badly by Domenech the same way that Eriksson used Rooney badly. Neither of them are lone strikers and you miss out a lot of what they can do by playing them in that role. With Italy so solid at the back he’s got to produce some magic because we won’t give him an inch. I’m looking forward to this one though.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

How I spent my summer holiday, by Theo Walcott Esq, age 8 1/2

I went to a place called Germany with my Uncle Sven and some other grown ups. It is a country in Europe where a bad man called Adolf used to live with his nazties, he does not live there anymore, Uncle Owen does live there, and the grown up's say I can't talk about the bad man as it will make Uncle Owen cry if I do. In Germany there are lots of castles and some mountains. We are staying in a place called Baden Baden that's a silly name, Uncle Frank has the same name as his dad, that's silly too, his mum must get their underpants mixed up all the time.

On the airplane Uncle Sol sat next to me, he got me some toffee and wants to be my friend, he works at the place where I do my YTS, so does Uncle Freddy but him and Uncle Sol are not best friends anymore.

Uncle Owen met us at the airport, he talks foreign, Uncle Wayne, Uncle Steven and Uncle David also talk funny, my mum says Uncle David talks like Orville, he is a duck, Uncle Sol say's uncle David wears dresses and knickers, and asked me if I had ever worn them. Uncle Sol got me some pop.

In Germany the grown ups are going to play football, my granddad says we beat them in the olden days before my mum was born. That is a long time ago.

While the grown up's went to play football so I went shopping with Auntie Vicky and some other girls she bought me a big ice cream and got herself a little one but she said she was full before she had eaten any and threw it away. She bought lots of shoes and handbags and let me play with Brooklyn. She say's she used to be in a pop band and sang me one of her songs, I think she was telling fibs.

I told Uncle Sol about my day out with Vicky and he sulked, then he bought me an even bigger ice cream with lots of hundred's & thousands on it.

All the other grown up's have a girlfriend except Uncle Sol so he plays with me while they go out. Uncle Sven says I must keep Uncle Sol happy, that's why I got taken on holiday.

The grown up's went to play Football against somebody called Sweden, Uncle Sol was crying as Uncle Freddy played for them and would not talk to him. Uncle Sol bought me lots of toffee today and some crisps. Uncle Sven is from Sweden and I heard him on the phone to their boss last night. Uncle Michael hurt his knee and had to go home to his mum for a plaster. Uncle Peter is a giant, a proper giant like you see in books, he is rubbish at football though.

Uncle Wayne had a sore toe at the start of out holiday but it got better so they let him play football. Uncle Sol got me a present but I do not like it. He says all Germans wear leather underpants and I should while we are here, they are too tight for me.

All the grown up's started to call Uncle Wayne a potato head who stood on somebody’s spuds. He got shouted at by the referee. They are all saying that we have to go home now. Uncle Sol was crying again and I had to sit on his knee to make him stop. He had his mobile phone in his pocket, I think.

Stole this one from Nkem. Couldn't resist it...

Forza Juve!!!

In a repeat of the Euro 2000 final, Italy will play France to decide the home of the World Cup trophy for the next four years. The tie ensures that Juventus will be the most represented club on the field on Sunday with Buffon, Cannavaro, Zambrotta, Camoranesi and Del Piero joined by Thuram, Vieira and Trezeguet. That also makes Juve the most represented club ever in a World Cup final match!

While the haters are trying to get us relegated to Serie whatever, our players by their performance have shown that we are the best club in the world.

Some say life is black
Some say life is white
We all know that it is black and white
FORZA JUVE!!!


Meanwhile check www.goalzz.com for all your football statistics. The site is hugely impressive.

On a somber note, I took a test on Tickle.com and here is my result:

Cheta, you're more sinful than the average person.

And it's affecting your life in ways you might not realize. For one thing, if you aren't careful, your drive to lead an extravagant life may ultimately be your downfall. What you think of as necessary can be construed as excess by others. So you, in particular, should beware of prioritizing worldly possessions above other things and allowing this to take precedence over your personal relationships.

If you continue to do so, you might find yourself jeopardizing the things that are most important to you.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

On to Berlin!!!

Heartbreak for Jens Lehmann and other Arsenal fans as Germany crashed out of the World Cup after two late, late Italian goals. The Arsenal goalkeeper had an excellent match, he’s had an excellent tournament, but naive defending late on saw Grosso curl a left footed shot to win it as Michael Ballack (watch out Ch£$k¥ :D) bravely turned his back on the ball.

Alex’s second goal (Forza Juve) was icing on the cake but Germany had never looked like they were going to reply Grosso's effort. There was simply no way they’d have got one back with just a minute to go. Sad for the Germans but on the balance of it the Italians probably deserved to go through and in Fabio Cannavaro they have the best centre-half in the world right now (and he is a Juventino!). He was just awesome all night long like he has been since the first game.

Yesterday night we were treated to one of the all time classic matches of World Cup football. The absolute truth in my opinion is that both sides deserved to win it, and none of them deserved to lose. It was an absolute thriller from the start to the finish with neither side being able to really lay claim to being the superior force.

I was sitting down dreading the prospect of a penalty shoot out when Ballack failed to properly mark Grosso and the Palermo man unleashed that curler into the bottom corner of Lehman's net. You see, the Germans have never lost a penalty shoot out in my lifetime (hell, they've never even missed a spot kick since I've been watching the beautiful game), while I have agonised over three Italian failures.

How do I really begin to dispassionately analyse that match? No way to do it people, no way really. What I can say is that yesterday's game was a classic (am I repeating myself), and to the German team, sie spielten gut, while to the Azzurri, avete giocato bene, FORZA ITALIA.

Now to wait for Portugal to hand the cup to us on Sunday (I'll give my reasons why I think we would be playing Portugal when I'm freer later in the day).

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

My Juve!

What else can I say? Read it yourself. I am so distraught. And that Capello has abandoned ship!

Going, going...

All things being equal, I should be heading for the airport en route Kano in about an hour. During the course of the next week, I should be junketting round the North of Nigeria on assignment (routine maintenance work), so I may not have much time to yarn dust.

Se anjuma.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Go England!!!

"England's penalty fools are out! Once again Wayne Rooney weakened his team with his lack of self-control. Eriksson had to substitute 'Giraffe' Crouch up front, and take Joe Cole off. When it comes to taking penalties England are the world's idiots" - German tabloid Bild am Sonntag displays its compassionate side.


Couldn't have said it better myself...:D

This is Lagos...





Not so clear I know, but these were taken on Friday in the middle of a storm, if you can make out from the progress of the pictures, the closer we got to the Bar Beach the deeper the water level got. In the second picture the cab (yellow vehicle for those who haven't been to Lagos) was stuck. The guy beside it is the driver trying to push.

By the last photograph, most of the cars were bumper deep in the water. A lot of happy mechanics that day I say...

This is what the rains turn most of Lagos into. Asiwaju over to you...

Sunday, July 02, 2006

...and finally!

My yesterday started at 0430 hours. Even though it was a Saturday (I usually wake up very late on Saturdays in order to make up for lost sleep see), I had something that as far as I was concerned had to be attended to.
At 0600, I was on the way to Benin City (my hometown for those who don't know) to see one of my mentors. I arrived in B-Side by 0835 and it was raining giraffes and elephants, but I braved the rain to get to GRA in order to see him.
This fellow that I went to see is/was/has been one of the biggest influences in my life you see. He carried me as a baby (for crying out loud he was the one who baptised me), taught me a lot of history (he is a Professor of History, and an expert in Nigerian history), and taught me Latin (as a teenager I was an altar boy, and he is a Roman Catholic monsignor), and whenever we talk up until today, he insists that we mix the conversation with both Igbo and Latin. That way I don’t get dim on either language since as an Igbo and a Catholic the languages are kind of my heritage A bit high minded if you ask me, but I really appreciate what he has done for me in terms of intellectual capacity, and I have to admit here that I haven’t paid attention to my Latin as I painfully found out yesterday. Left to the old man I would have stayed there all day until I could properly apply parle in a sentence. I am also kind of unhappy that I had to lie to him that I was required for night shift at my office (we don’t do night shift at Itex), but I wanted to be back in Lagos before 1600 so that I would happily watch England getting kicked out of the World Cup with a particular set of England supporters (ain’t I a beefer or something?).
I can bet my head that those of you reading this who attended St. Albert's Catholic Church in the University of Benin or who were students of the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences in the same school by now know who I am talking about.
Now the question becomes “why did you go to Benin to see and talk to a 70+ year old priest?” What sin did you commit that was so great that you had to leave Lagos at such a time to talk to someone in another end of Nigeria?
It wasn’t a sin that made me enter the road so to speak, but an argument; remember all those Chinese movies we used to watch as children? Where the hero of the movie would pick a fight with some bad guy (the boss) and would get soundly whipped? Then he would run back with his tail in between his legs and get properly trained by his master, so he could come back to fight another with the boss again, and this time whip the boss? That was kind of how I felt on Friday when just before I ran off from the office to go and watch that classic between Germany and Argentina, I read through the Politics forum on Nairaland and saw some of the responses to my defence of my fatherland. I just had to go and meet my master to help me come out with a very solid attack that would put an end to the whole brouhaha once and for all.
You see, between himself and my RSM (Sgt. Hassan Abdullahi of blessed memory), these two guys are two of those figures in my life that instilled in me the sense of Nigerianess (is there such a word) that I have, so when I put up a defence of Naija on Nairaland, I was only being true to what I have believed in from childhood. But unlike most times in the past when by the time I lay my points on the ground most of the opposition would turn tail and run (I like to think of myself as a very sound and intellectual speaker when it comes to such issues), this time around I faced solid opposition. The guy that I am facing like me is Igbo and Catholic, but unlike me doesn’t believe in Naija. And he is very intelligent. Knows how to counter any argument even though IMHO he talks based on sentiment, not on hard cold reasoning.
With me on the journey. I carried a printout of all the arguments and counter arguments that we have had on this issue to show the old man. He sat down, and read everything then looked at me as if I was mad!
Father has always had this way of arguing a point. He asks you some questions, and by the time you start answering them, you would begin to see things from his view point. That was how he successfully kept me Catholic back in 1997 when I was in danger of joining up with some Jehovah’s witnesses.
Now to the thrust of the conversation between us (which was briefer than I would have liked since I was in a hurry to run back to Lagos for the sake of the football).
First, a lot of the Igbo in the argument who are on the side of a break up of the country are of the opinion that the problem the Igbo face in Nigeria is from the North. He asked this question: who initiated the 1959 carpet crossing in the Western House of Parliament which effectively introduced ethnic politics into Nigeria?
My answer to that question is Obafemi Awolowo (remember the statement egbe omo Oduduwa).
I then asked him whether it means that the Yoruba are the enemies of the Igbo, and he responded like this: if that is so why how Akintola manage to coexist with Okpara?
I am of the opinion that Awo (with all due respect) was the problem back in 1959, not the Yoruba people. Awo IMHO was a sour loser. And such people are not above playing on ethnic sentiments in order to get what they want.
The next question he asked me was to name the principal actors in the January 1966 coup de tat, both plotters and victims.
The answer to that (and a break down of ethnicity) is this:
Major Kaduna Nzeogwu…IgboMajor Emmanuel Ifeanjuna…IgboMajor Chris Anuforo…IgboMajor Adewale Ademoyega…YorubaMajor Donatus Okafor…IgboCaptain Ben Gbulie…Igbo
The above is a list of the principal plotters, while below is a list of principal victims.
Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa…(Hausa)Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello…(Hausa)Brig. M. Maimalari…(Hausa)Chief S. Akintola…(Yoruba)Chief F. Okotie-Eboh…(Itsekiri)
Notice that the premiers of the East (Chief M. Okpara an Igbo) and Midwest (Chief D. Osadebe, also an Igbo) and the top Igbo military officer (Major-General J.T.U Aguiyi-Ironsi) were unharmed.
When I answered that question, he asked me to put myself in the position of the North. Their brightest lights in both the political sector and the military were killed, and you want them not to assume it was an ethnic coup when Okapra, Osadebe and Aguiyi-Ironsi by some ‘miracle’ escaped assassination. The truth is this: we asked for trouble.
Now let’s move the clock forward to 1970, and the end of the war. He asked me, who supervised the Federal Government scheme to hand every Igboman irrespective of social standing just a mere 20 pounds?
Yes, you got my answer. Obafemi Awolowo again, as Jack Gowon’s minister of finance. But to be fair to both Awolowo and the North, they also supervised a scheme whereby properties belonging to Igbo people in all parts of Nigeria before the war were returned. This scheme was implemented to the letter except in one state, Rivers. In my book, people who hate us would not have returned our things to us. No, they would have used the opportunity to put us down forever. My grandfather was killed during the war, but my uncles got back everything he owned in Kano, not one brick was missing. And according to one of my uncles, Sadiq the caretaker gave them every penny of rent that he collected when from when they took off in a hurry in July 1966, up until they returned in 1971. If the man hated them, he would never have done that.
My friend on this forum always points out that the Ikwerre are Igbo. Yes, they claimed to be Igbo up until the war, but let us accept for the sake of this argument that they are Igbo, remember that in 1970, the Ikwerre were the only peoples who refused to return any property owned by other Igbo before the war? So, granted that they are Igbo, doesn’t that go to prove my point that we Igbo are always fighting amongst ourselves?
And I have to point one thing out, Peter Odili is not Ikwerre. He is Ndoni. The Ndoni were part of the Midwest (which made them Delta Igbo) up until Obasanjo’s boundary adjustments of 1977-78, when they found themselves as Rivers State people.
On the subject of Igbo disunity, my mentor pointed out this part of the other topic where an Igbo girl clearly stated that Nnewi girls normally don’t marry Enugu or Imo boys. So the question then becomes; is Chxta the one promoting Igbo disunity? That he refuses to paper over it doesn’t mean he is promoting disunity. On the contrary, methinks he is asking his people to take a long hard look at themselves.
My mentor is of the opinion that the Igbo, the Hausa and the Yoruba need Nigeria as much as Nigeria needs them. But that Nigeria in its current state needs a lot of readjustment.
Lastly, he told me that I am rather stupid for carrying on with this argument. He says that when people are motivated by hatred, there is nothing you would tell them, no matter how reasonable that would make them change their view points. So that this whole argument according to him is a solid waste of time.
With that rebuke ringing in my ears, I left Benin for Lagos, and got back at 1430, an hour and a half before the game.
This brings to an end my participation in this argument.