Bye 2016; Hello 2017

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I haven’t blogged in a while but that ended in 2016. In 2017, I will publish at least one blog every week. I left a lot of projects uncompleted in 2016 but none will be left half-done in 2017. I am not making new year resolutions, but I see the New Year as an opportunity to start all over, step on the gas, go for broke and achieve all set goals. Despite the incompleteness that characterized 2016 for me, I managed to see some key journeys to their final destinations. One such is putting a ring on the fourth finger of the girl I dated for years.

I took other big leaps.

I left a job I truly love for the ‘greater good’. I still do the work pro bono and would have loved to return when I was invited recently, but there is so much at stake and I do not yet have the guts that makes one take big risks. I know this is one of the several other things that needs to change about me in 2017; I need to take more risks.

I have a sport blog that I was unserious about in 2016. This year, I will publish at least a post per day.

I am also going to read more books this year. I used to read a lot of books until I got so distracted by life and my reading reduced to just a few books and a lot of articles every year. In 2017, I am going to read a lot of both.

2017 will be a year of giving. I will give everything I do not need to those who need them. From clothes to shoes and bags; even money … everything. You can join me on this.

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2017 is going to be an interesting journey. I can’t wait!

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Survival!

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Obalende

It’s 6:17am in Lagos, Nigeria. The hustling and bustling starts this early. Obalende is already busy with human and vehicular traffic. The ‘businessmen’ are also out early to get their share from the big pay they believe comes with suit and tie. The ‘businessmen’ are calling out to passersby to patronise them; the puff puff sellers, the bread sellers, orange sellers, and yes, I saw roadside pharmacies too, with drugs displayed on boxes. I wonder if these guys in suits&ties actually buy drugs here.What are these men saying ‘Fisebililahi’ selling? I can also see a guy with a message hung around his neck; ‘I am deaf and dumb’. They all are businessmen; they chose the right time to come out. Most of them will leave the streets at 9 or 10, to come back at 3 or 4 when their customers will be returning home. There is only one thing in their minds, both the businessmen and the guys in suits&ties, it’s survival!

The Teddy Bear Chooses Ladies Over Kids

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You want to get a perfect gift for a lady on her birthday, on Christmas, on Valentine’s day; or for any kid at any time, a teddy bear is just what you should go for. Today, it means much more than just a toy in ladies’ hearts that some have serious conversations with their teddy bears and give them sweet names, and call them as if they’d respond. It’s the answer to loneliness with some, and a comforter in times of sorrow to others; they cry and sorrow quietly clutched to their lovely teddy bears who would never break their hearts like men do. Teddy bears have become these little angels most girls can’t do without and a lovely toy most kids love. But how did we come about these stuffed little angels?

The name Teddy Bear comes from former United States President Theodore Roosevelt, whose nickname was “Teddy”. According to reports by The Washington Post, the name originated from an incident on a bear hunting trip in Mississippi. On November 14, 1902, Roosevelt was helping settle a border dispute between Mississippi and Louisiana. During his spare time he was invited by Mississippi Governor Andrew H. Longino to a bear hunt in Mississippi. During the hunt, Roosevelt came upon a wounded young bear and ordered the mercy killing of the animal. The Washington Post ran a editorial cartoon created by the political cartoonist Clifford K. Berryman that illustrated the event. The cartoon was called “Drawing the Line in Mississippi” and depicted both state line dispute and the bear hunt. At first Berryman drew the bear as a fierce animal, the bear had just killed a hunting dog. Later, Berryman redrew the bear to make it a cuddly cub. The cartoon and the story it told became popular and within a year, the cartoon bear became a toy for children called the teddy bear.

Morris Michtom saw the drawing of Roosevelt and the bear cub and was inspired to create a new toy. He created a little stuffed bear cub and sent it to Roosevelt for permission to use his name “Teddy” for the bear which Roosevelt granted. He put one in his shop window with a sign that read “Teddy’s bear”. The toys were an immediate success and Michtom founded the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company.

The craze for the teddy bear has been around ever since; ladies carried them everywhere, children were photographed with them, and Roosevelt used one as a mascot in his bid for re-election in 1906. American educator Seymour Eaton wrote the children’s book series The Roosevelt Bears. Composer John Bratton also wrote “The Teddy Bear Two Step” which, with the addition of Jimmy Kennedy’s lyrics, became the song “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic”. Books like Winnie-the-Pooh, Corduroy, Teddy Tells Time, and Teddy Dressing have also been written with the teddy bear as their main character.

Teddy bear museums have also sprang up from the famous toy. The world’s first teddy bear museum was set up in Petersfield, Hampshire, England, in 1984. In 1990, a similar foundation was set up in Naples, Florida, United States. These were closed in 2006 and 2005 respectively, and the bears were sold in auctions, but there are today many teddy bear museums around the world.

When police, fire and emergency officials found that giving a teddy bear to a child during a crisis stabilized and calmed them, NAPLC created the Teddy Bear Cops program to distribute teddy bears to police, fire, and emergency officials throughout the United States, for their use in providing teddy bears to children in emergency situations.

The teddy bear went another step further by inspiring Teddy bear festivals which have now become popular around the world, taking place in Australia, America, Canada, Great Britain, Japan and Germany.

Although the teddy bear was made predominantly a toy for kids, it has warmed its way into the hearts of all girls irrespective of their age. Some popular mass-marketed teddy bears made today include Rupert, Sooty, Paddington, and Pudsey Bear.

At the rate at which girls own teddy bears today, even more than kids whom the teddy bear was made for, hardly won’t 8 out of every 10 girls own at least a teddy bear, with some having several of different colours. Girls are so crazy about teddy bears today for reasons best known to them. The way they cling to their teddy bears when lonely may give a clue that they see it as a worthy companion. Some personalize their teddy bear, naming it after someone they love, and they hold it tight when they miss the person. Who cares if a girl’s love for teddy bears will be so much that she owns twenty as much as the makers of teddy bears keep smiling to the bank with increasing sales.

How crazy are you about your teddy bear? I once met a girl in class at a University with her teddy sharing space with her big books. A girlfriend once introduced me to her teddy bear. She named her Natasha. Kids I bet are never going to win back the battle of owning the teddy bear like the inventors intended with more girls falling in love with the teddy bear daily. I’m not sure I’ve seen a girl’s bed without at least a teddy bear for so many years now. Even my friend, a guy has two on his bed. For the teddy bear we say God bless Theodore Roosevelt! God bless Clifford Berryman! God bless Morris Michtom! I guess I will get one too and name it Ruth.

For more on Teddy bears, visit wikkipedia.com
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Vanilla: World’s Favourite Flavour

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The world’s most popular flavour is the vanilla flavour. It is derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species flat-leafed vanilla, Vanilla planifola. It used to be grown only inMexico because of the agent of pollination; local species of Melipona bee. But in 1841, Edmond Albius, a 12year old slave who lived on the Frenchisland ofReunion in theIndian ocean, discovered that the plant could be hand pollinated. This therefore encouraged global cultivation of the plant.

 

The breakthrough of 1841 which encouraged global cultivation of vanilla ensured that the plant got toCosmosIslandsandMadagascar. By 1898, Reunion (where the breakthrough was made),CosmosIslands, andMadagascarproduced 200 metric tons of vanilla beans, about 80% of world production.Madagascaralone is currently responsible for the vast majority of the world’s bourbon vanilla production and 58% of the world total vanilla bean production (UN Food & Agricultural Organization).

 

The history of vanilla can be traced back to the Totnac people who inhabit theMazatlanValleyon theMexicoGulfCoastin the present day state ofVeracruz. According to Totnac mythology, the tropical orchid was born when princess Xanat, forbidden by her father from marrying a mortal, fled to the forest with her lover. The lovers were captured and beheaded. Where their blood touched the ground, the vine of the tropical orchid grew.

 

The market price of vanilla rose dramatically in the late 1970s after a tropical cyclone ravaged key croplands. In the mid 1980s however, the cartel that had controlled vanilla prices and distribution since 1930 disbanded. Prices dropped 70% over the next few years to nearly $20 per Kg. prices rose sharply again after tropical cyclone Hudah struckMadagascarin April 2000. The price rose to $500 per Kg in 2004 due to the cyclone, political instability, and poor weather. Decreased demand caused by the production of imitation vanilla pushed the market price down to the $40 per Kg range in the middle of 2005. By 2010, prices were down to $20 per kilo.

 

A major use of vanilla is flavouring ice cream. Other uses include medicinal, aphrodisiac, perfume, dieting, aromatherapy, baking, etc. Although aphrodisiac and aromatherapy are classified as medicinal uses, the medicinal use of vanilla goes deeper than that. Vanilla was able to block quorum sensing in bacteria in an in-vitro test. The divine taste and creamy smell of vanilla has impressed it on the world as its most popular and favourite flavour.

Obasanjo Calls Lawmakers ‘rogues’

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In one his numerous engagements since he resigned as the Chairman, BOT of People’s Democratic Party, Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo has referred to lawmakers at all levels of government as rogues. The lawmakers have reacted to his comments harshly with an honourable member of the House of Representatives stating his alleged sex with his daughter-in-law as a sign of irresponsibility.

For what it’s worth, Olusegun Obasanjo remains the best civillian president Nigeria has ever produced and he is well respected beyond the shores of the country. One can’t but imagine why some lawmakers are making a big deal out of the ex-president’s statements when recent events give credence to his statement. We can’t forget the SEC probe that soon.

Do you think there is anything wrong in the former president’s statement? The Speaker, House of Rep has directed the House comittee on ethics to look into the matter as if it were another big national issue. The Senate didn’t hit back at the ex-president as he was only asked to point the rogues out. What do you think of all these?

Why 2Face’s Marriage Would not Break

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Celebrity marriages break easily, so they say, but 2Face Idibia’s marriage is really gonna be different. You wanna know why? He took those beautiful ladies through years of thorough screening while he checked their personality, ‘marriageability’,… a lot of ‘lities’ including fertility. Now that he has chosen one of them, did you think he’d choose the wrong one after all the years of screening? I doubt. Waiting for what would be probably the biggest celebrity wedding in Nigeria. Abi dem no go do wedding ni? Procreation continua?
2baba, talk o!

Niyi Aderibigbe
Melange Concepts