What makes Gyaru?

Every third people keeps telling that fat people can't be gals. Or black people. Or the ugly ones. At the same time the other ones says that you can't be gal without circle lenses, heavy makeup, false lashes, brand clothes big hair or something. Still some people buy their clothes from local stores, have straight hair, no lenses and not much makeup at all and they're gals. Some people have this all but aren't. I'm wondering what makes gyaru. I've allways been thinking that gyaru is a social sommunity as much as it's a style. Maybe the community is even more important. I don't think it's possible to be gyaru outside Japan. You can wear the same kind of clothes or makeup, have own circle etc but it'll never be the same. As much some people want to be gals I think they're just copying the style. They can do it well and look the same as their japanese idols but gyaru is in the attitude and the way you see the life - not in clothes. So, what's gyaru and what's the difference between them and "regular people". Sometimes when I'm looking at the Popteen or Ageha my answer is nothing. When I look at some of the outfits in the magazines and compare them with the ones I see everyday at school I see no difference. Jeans, tartan shirt, hair... Everything looks the same exept makeup. And still I know that none of the guys in my school have never even heard a word gyaru. Is there any matter of being gal in west if you look the same as the other girls who have no idea what gyaru even is?

What i'm trying to say is that if I see manba in the street I see gal. I think "wau, she's doing a great style". Then I see a blond girl with curled hair next to her. She looks very stylish. She doesn't have circle lenses or strong makeup but I'm pretty sure she's wearing Ank Rouges shirt. I don't know if she's gal or not. Is she just normal stylish girl who has gyaru friend and shirt from gyaru brand? Or is she actually in gyaru? Never knows.But still if I see japanese gal I know that she is gal. Even if she'd wear school uniform or something. What's the point of being gyaru? Why people need to prove that they're gals? Why they can't just be pretty girls with big hair, stylish clothes and nice makeup? Rockers are rockers and punkers are punkers but gals are not gals. It doesn't make any sense. I think the problem is that none of us really don't know what western gyaru is and what it should be alike. We have thousands of opinions and none of us can't tell who's right and who's wrong. We can't tell that 'cause there're no standards for being western gal. My personal opinion is that everyone can do gyaru as a style but there's a big diffenrence between you and the community saying that you you're a gal. You can feel youself gyaru. You can take lots of inspiration from style. You can even wear gyaru brands and gyaru stylish makeup. But in the end it's up to western gyaru community if "you're gyaru or not". Ok this text propably didn't make any sense but I felt that I needed to tell you some my thoughts. I'd love to hear you opinions.

Making our Education Work - 2

We have to do a radical change in the way we go about the business of education in this country if we want it to transform our nation. We have to make sure our education unlocks the power and potential within the student way beyond just bagging First Class degrees, but to the point where the student sees himself as first adding value to the society before earning money with that degree. We have to encourage students to acquire broader knowledge beyond just what their course is, and even go beyond the traditional career options of their discipline. The most important thing in the world today is that one is providing value in what he/she does, and not about what he/she studied. Gone are those days where an engineering student must be a practicing engineer; the notion is as archaic as the Industrial Age. The solutions can come from random places, and not even what was learned formally in school. What matters most, nay, all that matters is that whatever he is doing is something beneficial to others first... 

Then profitable to himself. As much as I know that the Nigerian business environment is a very tough one, it is not impossible to achieve this. As a matter of fact, the type of solutions that will be created will even take advantage of the business environment. This is where the power of local knowledge comes into play. There will always be problems and challenges requiring solutions. What we need most is problem-solvers; solution-providers; change-workers. We need people who are creating solutions to problems and also to make a living out of it. It is the combination of the two that forms entrepreneurship, be it business or social (non-profit). Most especially, we need these people now if we are to lift ourselves from the economic pit we find ourselves: young people who will be possessed by ideas that they believe will change their world and solve problems and finding ways to achieve it.

Making our Education Work

One of the grimmest realities of life in Nigeria is that there are not enough jobs to go round or available. This reality a lot of times is hidden to undergraduates who finish school filled with hope of securing employment immediately, especially from major firms or the Federal Government. But in a country where half a million university graduates are churned out each year and less than 100,000 jobs created annually, that dream comes to reality for only those at the top of their class or in our quite nepotistic world, to those who have connections or are favoured. This isn’t entirely the failure of the economy, but more a failure of our educational systems and societal mind-sets. In Nigeria, we are more concerned with the attainment of degrees and amassing of titles via education rather than truly learning and using that knowledge to provide solutions to contemporary problems. While I was thinking about this scenario, I came across this blog post that captured it excellently. The post described African intellectuals as "lazy scum", which I quite agree with, minus the somewhat harsh description. There is a serious lacuna in our society between being educated and applying that knowledge to add value through creating solutions. The typical Nigerian graduate knows only what he has been taught, and that which he learned more or less by rote memory. It is a classic case of garbage-in, garbage-out. He has no idea of how to use it by himself...

To solve the problems prevalent in his environment. Unless this gulf is bridged, Nigerian graduates would continue to find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to employment opportunities. This is because the creation of solutions to problems in an environment adds value to that environment, and once value is created and it is in demand, a job has been created. This is the first step to creating entrepreneurs or job creators out of our Nigerian students. It is not so much a function of updating the curricula of our schools to world-class standards, as much as it is of teaching them to use the knowledge learnt in classrooms and workshops and labs, combined with the local knowledge around them to craft solutions to problems. It also requires a paradigm shift in the mind-sets of the students themselves. Like I always tell people, there is always, always something you can do in your immediate environment that can solve a problem, and in the long-run provide you with a job. This mental shift comes with the realization that there aren’t just enough jobs out there, and there might not be one for you unless you create yours. Moreover, the energy that is unlocked within you when you feel like you have the Holy Grail of energy to a contemporary problem is much more satisfying than a routine job, even more than one that just requires sitting at a desk all day.

Dreams are Illustrations from The Book your Soul is Writing about You

I wasn't really sure where I was going exactly, but I had a general sense of the direction I wanted to go. I went up stairs in to a train station, but I should have walked down the hill to the road. I'd been walking around for a long time. A man said something to me, I think he was a teacher or authoritative figure of some sort. It seemed he had a go at me for some reason but I can't remember what he said, except that I snapped. He just didn't get it and he didn't know me. I was wandering, looking for something desperately. Maybe it was something to help my brother. Maybe I was just looking for answers. Either way, I searched aimlessly, knowing that I wouldn't find it. Especially now that I was lost. I felt resigned and defeated. Hopeless. A train was pulled into the station, so I got on it. But when it started, it ended up going in the opposite direction to where I wanted to go. I thought I should probably get off at the next station, then wait for a train in the other direction, so I would be going the right way. I moved down the front of the carriage, closer to the driver. I realised then that the train wasn't on any tracks, in fact it seemed more like a bus - the driver was driving it on roads, through the city. 

He was actually steering it. When we stopped, I told him of my plans and asked him how long it would be until another train came along. I had no idea where I was, so I wasn't relishing the thought that I might have to wait for hours for the next train in the other direction. But he didn't answer me, and I moved to get off, but there were other seats hemming me in, there weren't any aisles. Then I looked around and was stunned and panicked when I realised the train also didn't have any doors or exits. Just long, wide, sealed glass windows and walls. I called out to the driver: "How do I get off?". He seemed to know I wanted to but was still waiting. He told me that I had to stay in my seat, that a mechanical mechanism of some sort would arrive to bodily lift the entire seat out of the train to exit me on to the road. I could only wait, I was trapped after all. It appeared everyone knew this was how the new trains worked, and I felt naive, inexperienced, freaked out. So I waited. And I woke up. Those who have compared our life to a dream were right. We sleeping wake, and waking sleep. Michel de Montaigne, Essays, 1580.

Principle Nixes every Book in the Library for e-readers

Cushing Academy has all the hallmarks of a New England prep school, with one exception. This year, after having amassed a collection of more than 20,000 books, officials at the pristine campus about 90 minutes west of Boston have decided the 144-year-old school no longer needs a traditional library. The academy’s administrators have decided to discard all their books and have given away half of what stocked their sprawling stacks - the classics, literature, fiction, novels, poetry, history, biographies, tomes on every subject from the humanities to the sciences. The future, they believe, is digital. "When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books", said James Tracy, headmaster of Cushing and chief promoter of the bookless campus. “This isn’t ‘Fahrenheit 451’ (the 1953 Ray Bradbury novel in which books are banned). We’re not discouraging students from reading. We see this as a natural way to shape emerging trends and optimize technology".

As the folks on engadget say "unless there are only 18 students at Cushing Academy, we're pretty sure the e-reader supply is going to come up short". The book is at the height of information technology, not the bottom, and I will tell you why. The book never needs an upgrade,it is extremely inexpensive making it available to the poorest of the poor and the rich alike, the only energy source required to read it is sunlight, and the only knowledge one needs to attain to decode it's contents is reading. Now, I'm all for technology, especially when you're referring to information that is updated on a daily basis like reference information found in encyclopedias, but that kind of information is not free and requires a subscription. It's also easily controlled or changed depending on who is reviewing and posting the information, the interest groups the information supports or denounces. 

Once a book is published it can only disappear if it's burned, all the e-readers need to do is catch a virus or miss an upgrade and it's useless. The entire move seems ridiculous. Instead of a library, the academy is spending nearly $500,000 to create a "learning center", though that is only one of the names in contention for the new space. In place of the stacks, they are spending $42,000 on three large flat-screen TVs that will project data from the Internet and $20,000 on special laptop-friendly study carrels. Where the reference desk was, they are building a $50,000 coffee shop that will include a $12,000 cappuccino machine. This is a prep school so I guess the charge of elitism is a cheap shot, but in this case they deserve it, and I use that term with a focus on being out of touch with reality. I honestly doubt kids are going to curl up with Twilight or even Anna Karenina at a coffee shop with their e-reader.

Protecting Us from Our Freedoms: Congress Set to Renew Patriot Act Spy Provisions

As night follows day, you can count on Congress to serve as loyal servants and willing accomplices of our out-of-control National Security State. Last week, in another shameless demonstration of congressional "bipartisanship," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) forged a filthy backroom deal that reauthorizes insidious surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act for an additional four years. "Like clockwork," the ACLU reports, Reid and McConnell "introduced a bill, S. 1038, that will extend the provisions until June 1, 2015." As of this writing, the text of that measure has yet to be published. And, like a faint echo from the past when the Patriot Act was signed into law nearly a decade ago in the wake of the 9/11 provocation and the anthrax attacks, the ACLU tells us that "the Senate begins its debate on Monday with votes possible that same night".

But why not forego a vote altogether. After all, with the White House "skipping a legal deadline to seek congressional authorization of the military action in Libya" under the War Powers Act, "few on the Hill are objecting," the Associated Press reports. Why not extend congressional "courtesy" to the White House over demands that their illegal spying on Americans continue indefinitely "as long as consultations with Congress continue"? Consensus by congressional Democrats and Republicans over extending the provisions, the World Socialist Web Site reports, "meets the demands of the Obama administration and the Justice Department for a 'clean' extension, that is, one that does not make any concessions to concerns over the infringement of civil liberties, particularly in relation to the authorization to seize the records of libraries and other institutions".

The Power of The Ideea - 2

Most people I have met who are quick to use their lack the capital to start businesses as their main excuse for not being entrepreneurs do not even have in the first place any ideas to work with. Instead, they are waiting for the capital to land before they then start looking for ideas. I have had people come up to me and say“,  have N1m, what business do you think I should go into?” to which I always lack what to tell them. As far as I am concerned, I think that isn’t entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship starts with idea generation, not finance. You have an idea that you are so passionate about, and then you persist in trying to see it get off the ground. The hustle in getting it to work.

Leveraging contacts, making the most of what you have and the constant refining of the idea is a large part of the fun of being an entrepreneur. If all entrepreneurs were to wait until they had enough capital before setting out to change their world with their ideas, only a fraction of today’s enterprises would exist. It reminds me of the Bible verse in Ecclesiastes 11:4: “Farmers who wait for the perfect weather never plant; if they should watch every cloud, they will never harvest”. Waiting for the perfect conditions before you set out on that road of entrepreneurship is as good as never setting out on that road: the conditions will never be perfect. Create that idea and believe in its power. Start wherever you are. “Start weaving. God will provide the thread” - German Proverb.