Thursday, June 01, 2006


Serendipity: good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries
I always run into interesting things here and there while I am in the course of my own business.I found this on a browser window that had been left open on the computer I was about to use in the library.I thought it was rather funny and sardonic too!

Judging the dubiousness of saintsPosted by Teresa at 08:21 AM * 112 comments
This is an improved version of a list I posted to a comments thread some while back.Subtract credibility points from any saint who:
-1 levitated
-2 flew
-3 performed significant actions after being dismembered
-4 performed significant actions after being beheaded
-2 is a Celtic saint associated with a body of water
-6 is a Celtic saint known only through being associated with a body of water
-1 is fun to draw
-1 has generated ex ossibus relics in excess of a single normal human skeleton
-1 is a popular statuary figure in the front windows of botanicas
-2 has an entry in the Oxford Dictionary of Saints which mentions the word “Antioch”
-2 is credited with the spontaneous generation of roses or rose petals
-2 after death or martyrdom, exuded water, milk, oil, perfume, or some other benign substance
-3 was granted specific favors at the point of martyrdom; viz., that women who invoke the saint
during childbirth will bear healthy children, or that anyone who writes a Life of the saint will
receive an unfading crown in heaven
-3 was the recipient of three or more miracles involving a significant discharge of energy
-4 performed numerically improbable feats (traveling in company with 11,000 virgins;
simultaneously besting 50 philosophers in debate)
-5 had a run-in with a dragon
-5 is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers (of whom there are nineteen)
-6 is first mentioned in martyrologies written several centuries after his or her supposed lifetime
-2 is mentioned in the Legenda Aurea
-7 is mentioned in the Legenda Aurea as a beautiful young virgin of noble birth who vows herself
to Christ, is desired by a highly-placed official, and dauntlessly undergoes a long series of
imaginative tortures interspersed with miracles before finally claiming the Palm of
-8 appears to derive his or her entire existence from a medieval rhetorical trope
-9 appears to derive his or her entire existence from a misunderstood word or etymology
-10 appears to derive his or her entire existence from a typo
-15 is a member of the current lineup of the X-Men

Subtract one additional point for each 10% of the saint's life that can be mapped directly onto the folklore motif index.
It would improve the accuracy of this method to have a second weighted list of characteristics pointing toward believability: being mentioned in scripture or other early writings, being mentioned by contemporaries (esp. sober and authoritative contemporaries), being the author of thoroughly respectable early writings, having a detailed Life which is marked by great piety but contains no colorful anecdotes at all, etc. etc. etc.
Bear in mind that even the best of saints can have a few dubious characteristics. St. Teresa of Avila occasionally levitated during prayer. All sorts of odd legends have gotten attached to St. Nicholas of Myra and St. George. Poor old St. Oswald died by being hacked to pieces by Mercians at the battle of Maserfield, and between that and the confusion of the times that followed, he somehow acquired an extra head. Really, it could happen to anyone; and there is a preferred head, the one that was kept with the relics of St. Cuthbert. Oswald's remains are positively staid compared to the five or six (or seven? I've lost count) heads that have been credited St. John the Baptist, every one of which is exceedingly dubious.

I thought that was interesting even though I know that the Catholics among us arent really pleased with that piece.Anyway I was walking in my new office building and I noticed that outside one of the offices they had put out 2 boxes full of text book.Most of them were for high school math, algebra and a few for Windows applications.I recall reading the KBW admin blog where they wanted to know how KBW can get active socially and I was thinking how it could be possible for some of us out here to get books being given away by goodwill, Habitat for Humanity and other places and send them to Kenya.I am sure these books would come in handy in schools in the rural areas or the impoverished parts of Nairobi where there are more students then books.The only problem I can foresee is a crushing customs charge being attached to the books.It has happened to other charitable contributions sent to Kenya before.Anyway that is my feeble attempt at charity, I am sure the rest of you have other ideas on how we can help out.Feel free to comment below...

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What it means to be a Kenyan Blogger

Kenyan Bloggers Day 2006 Button

June 1st is Madaraka Day in Kenya.The day commemorates when the country attained self rule.How do I relate that to being a blogger.An interesting question.Well Madaraka day heralded the beginning of a time when a national identity was established.We ceased to be a part of the East African Protectorate and became Kenyans.
I think that the elation that came with the freedom must have been a heady experience for the citizens what was going to be the Republic of Kenya.The shackles of colonialism were broken and now Kenyans were free to establish their own destiny.
How does this experience relate to my blogging?I believe that blogging in its' own way is a way of establishing one's independance and identity from the nameless masses that are in the world today.It is a well known fact that Africa is very poorly represented on the World Wide Web, I doubt that the websites created and ran by Africans comprise more then 5% of those on the Web.Ignorance about Africa abounds greatly and this ignorance is further spread online.The spread of this ignorance for me is a form of recolonisation.When Kenya was colonised, native identities were torn from the people, divisions were created, resources and heirlooms were ripped from their rightful owners.I feel that this still continues today in terms of the global economy (that is a whole book on its' own) and the potrayal of Africa on the web and other forms of media (my focus). The potrayal of Africa online has very few variations.The news sites
revel in their gory depictions of the natives constantly at war, the many humanitarian disasters that bedevil the nation, the poor governance of many African nations.The Non profit and Religous Organisation sites feed on this. They magnify it and use it to line their pockets as the implement stop gap solutions that will only last so long, after all you don't want to kill the wild African goose that lays the diamond egg.To many of the Information Superhighway, we are still the Wild Wild West.An exotic land to go to safari that is populated by exotic people who need to be civilised, introduced to the "one" living God and educated.
Not to say that all sites on the Web potray Africa like that.As a blogger I see myself as no longer a member of the Africa Online Protectorate but a citizen of the online Kenyan community.I may no longer be in Kenya but I am still a Kenyan.I am free from ignorance and I know that with each day that I blog even though I do not always blog about Kenya each key stroke is a blow against the anonymity and ignorance about Kenya.
As a Kenyan blogger I see myself as a one of many bloggers who fight off the hordes of ignorance that bedevil Kenya each day.Each post however enlightening or mundane does its' part to shine a light in a dark place.As the sunlight at dawn on June 2nd 1963 heralded a new day, each new blog by a Kenyan is a ray of light in establishing a new strong and vibrant identity for Kenya far beyond its' physical borders!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Baby fever or rather lack of....

I find it interesting to read posts by KBW gal members about broodiness or baby fever checking in.Children are a wonderful thing and a blessing from God to be enjoyed. A blessing that I thank God that he has not given me.
Women have a maternal instinct and men have a paternal instinct. In many men this paternal instinct leads them to desire children and makes them seek out a women to raise a family with.I am not one of those men.I have never liked children. No this doesn't mean that I hate children, it just means that I don't get that warm fuzzy feeling inside about children. I don't go "Awwwww" when I see a child learning how to walk and say it's first words ( I leave it to potential baby daddys like Nick).
I have never seen myself as a dad and children have never been a part of my future plans ever since I began taking part in activities that would pass on my genes. So Acolyte-lets have never been part of the equation. Of course there are the naysayers who say that in 10 years your point of view will change. Well they said the same thing about marriage and 10 years later I am still not out wife shopping!So the same thing will apply for kids!To some extent I think that its a family thing as most of my relatives from my Dad's side all have one kid other then my Uncle and they don't like children much (they always refused to babysit any of us and our other cousins from the extended family!).
Of course my mum has made those usual African mother like requests, "When are you going to name me?"To which after laughing at the improbability of it ever happening, I tell her that I'll dedicate a building in her name when I set up my empire!Also it does put a damper on any marriage plans that I may ever have as 99% of women want to have kids,so I don't think any woman will be pleased to know that Aco comes with a no kids condition as part of the package!
Anway moving on,I have never had perfectly aligned teeth and I guess that fact is coming to haunt me!One of my wisdom teeth seems to be ingrown and is now digging into my gums slightly so the back of my mouth was hurting like hell yesterday.It reduced today and a pal gave me the painkiller medicine that is applied onto baby's gums when they are teething (babys aren't so bad after all!).I just hope that the ache goes away, because having to have that teeth removed will put a major dent in my bank account!