All posts by Lwandaz Tales

Get Your Bra Game Right, 6 Things Your African Mum Most Probably Didn’t tell You

Growing up African, there’s stuff on everyday living that your parents won’t tell you. Neither will they be taught in school. Like the embarrassing reality that wrong underwear ruins a perfectly good outfit; worse, makes it trashy. like a good stiletto, when you give your body the right type of support, with the ideal bra for your size, you not also look good, but feel good.

How To Know When You Brassiere Game Is Lame

The Brassiere or simply bra, must be the most neglected piece of women underwear. Not many women place enough thought into their bra game. It is not uncommon to notice the tell tale signs of an ill fitting bra in an otherwise classy woman.

An ideal bra should be invisible and accentuate your normal curves: even when wearing a popup bra, the semicircle should be smooth. It shouldn’t like a blown up balloon tucked into a shirt’s breast pocket.

Many women fail to realize that brassieres are specifically made for lifting the breast; to have them well supported and looking perky (even if they are not). Therefore

These following style tips to getting your brassiere game right can be condensed into a simple life mantra: Get your bra size determined to get your actual size. Do so every often especially after life conditions like pregnancy, weight gain or weight loss. If you do not have the right bra, buy one.

Are You Wearing The Right Bra Size?

Image of human silhouette a guide to European bra sizes.
Image showing estimates of European brassieres sizes. Remember, African breast sizes are likely to be different. Use image as a rough guide. Image| Wikipedia

Too big

If the band at the back rides towards your shoulder, it is too big.

Too small

If on putting on your bra you end up with folds of flesh on your back above or below the brassiere band, then it is too tight or too small.

Too endowed?

If you have a big bust, go for brassieres with thick straps. Thin straps simply can’t handle the weight and will dig into your shoulder causing discomfort.

Is Your Bra Giving You The Right support

Too hung low

How do you know when your bra isn’t giving you the right support? When you stand up straight with your hands on your hips and place a pen under your breasts and it holds, the brassiere isn’t giving you the right support. Instead of being perky, the ‘girls’ are resting.

If when you stand in the position as above and your bust falls below and not above your elbow, the ‘girls’ are still riding too low. A big no-no is when your breasts rest on your stomach/ mid section .

Style and Your Bra

The quick fix that is a multi-way bra

Have some multi-way brassieres: those ones with detachable straps that can be worn as strapless brassieres with off shoulder outfits. Shop around and get at least one backless bras for backless outfits – the weather in most of Africa makes these ones a must have for any woman of style.

Always Keep it under wraps

A bra is underwear, duh, so the more inconspicuous it is the better. This means, that when dressing up, you must consider the color of your bra and that of your outfit. You may not have one that matches every outfit in your wardrobe, when in doubt go for a black brassiere.

As pretty as your new brassiere may be, resist the urge to draw attention to it. Though even with your best efforts that your brassier peek out from time to time, avoid fashion disasters that might ruin your style. For example, don’t wear a red bra, a black spaghetti top and a red belt to match.

Finally, avoid sleeping with bra on. Why should you ‘suffocate’ yourself? Not only is it good for your health, but it lets the ‘girls’ rest easy as you recharge.


China’s ‘Silk Road urbanism’ is changing cities from London to Kampala – can locals keep control?

Amid this geopolitical competition, Silk Road urbanism will exert significant influence over how cities develop into the 21st century

Kampala is a hilly city bracing for a new wave of Silk road urbanism
View of Kampala. Shutterstock.

Jonathan Silver, University of Sheffield and Alan Wiig, University of Massachusetts Boston

A massive redevelopment of the old Royal Albert Dock in East London is transforming the derelict waterfront to a gleaming business district. The project, which started in June 2017, will create 325,000 square metres of prime office space – a “city within a city”, as it has been dubbed – for Asian finance and tech firms. Then, in 2018, authorities in Kampala, Uganda celebrated as a ferry on Lake Victoria was unloaded with goods from the Indian Ocean, onto a rail service into the city. This transport hub was the final part of the Central Corridor project, aimed at connecting landlocked Uganda to Dar es Salaam and the Indian Ocean.

Both of these huge projects are part of the US$1 trillion global infrastructure investment that is China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China’s ambition to reshape the world economy has sparked massive infrastructure projects spanning all the way from Western Europe to East Africa, and beyond. The nation is engaging in what we, in our research, call “Silk Road urbanism” – reimagining the historic transcontinental trade route as a global project, to bring the cities of South Asia, East Africa, Europe and South America into the orbit of the Chinese economy.

By forging infrastructure within and between key cities, China is changing the everyday lives of millions across the world. The initiative has kicked off a new development race between the US and China, to connect the planet by financing large-scale infrastructure projects.

Silk Road urbanism

Amid this geopolitical competition, Silk Road urbanism will exert significant influence over how cities develop into the 21st century. As the transcontinental trade established by the ancient Silk Road once led to the rise of cities such as Herat (in modern-day Afghanistan) and Samarkand (Uzbekistan), so the BRI will bring new investment, technology, infrastructure and trade relations to certain cities around the globe.

The BRI is still in its early stages – and much remains to be understood about the impact it will have on the urban landscape. What is known, however, is that the project will transform the world system of cities on a scale not witnessed since the end of the Cold War.

Silk Road urbanism is highly selective in its deployment across urban space. It prioritises the far over the near and is orientated toward global trade and the connections and circulations of finance, materials, goods and knowledge. Because of this, the BRI should not only be considered in terms of its investment in infrastructure.

It will also have significance for city dwellers – and urban authorities must recognise the challenges of the BRI and navigate the need to secure investment for infrastructure while ensuring that citizens maintain their right to the city, and their power to shape their own future.

London calling

Developments in both London and Kampala highlight these challenges. In London, Chinese developer Advanced Business Park is rebuilding Royal Albert Dock – now named the Asian Business Port – on a site it acquired for £1 billion in 2013 in a much-criticised deal by former London mayor Boris Johnson. The development is projected to be worth £6 billion to the city’s economy by completion.

Arial map of Asian Business Port and greater London with the Thames river illustrating how established cities like London are not immune to Silk Road Urbanism
Formerly Royal Albert Dock, now Asian Business Port. Google Earth.

But the development stands in sharp contrast with the surrounding East London communities, which still suffer poverty and deprivation. The challenge will be for authorities and developers to establish trusting relations through open dialogue with locals, in a context where large urban redevelopments such as the 2012 Olympic Park have historically brought few benefits.

The creation of a third financial district, alongside Canary Wharf and the City of London, may benefit the economy. But it remains to be seen if this project will provide opportunities for, and investment in, the surrounding neighbourhoods.

Kampala’s corridor

The Ugandan capital Kampala is part of the Central Corridor project to improve transport and infrastructure links across five countries including Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The project is financed through the government of Tanzania via a US$7.6 billion loan from the Chinese bank Exim.

Picture of an overpass under-construction along the new Entebbe-Kampala Expressway part of the One Belt Initiative ushering in Silk Road Urbanism
Under construction: the Chinese-funded Entebbe-Kampala Expressway. Dylan Patterson/Flickr., CC BY-SA

The growth of the new transport and cargo hub at Port Bell, on the outskirts of Kampala, with standardised technologies and facilities for international trade, is the crucial underlying component for Uganda’s Vision2040.

This national plan alone encompasses a further ten new cities, four international airports, national high speed rail and a multi-lane road network. But as these urban transformations unfold, residents already living precariously in Kampala have faced further uncertainty over their livelihoods, shelter and place in the city.

During fieldwork for our ongoing research into Silk Road urbanism in 2017, we witnessed the demolition of hundreds of informal homes and businesses in the popular Namuwongo district, as a zone was cleared 30 metres either side of a rehabilitated railway track for the Central Corridor required.

As Silk Road urbanism proceeds to reshape global infrastructure and city spaces, existing populations will experience displacement in ways that are likely to reinforce existing inequalities. It is vital people are given democratic involvement in shaping the outcomes.

Jonathan Silver, Senior Research Fellow, University of Sheffield and Alan Wiig, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Community Development, University of Massachusetts Boston

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Will China’s Moon Landing launch a new space Race?

MMIMMC is on the beat, keeping up with Chinese Knowledge Economy in the 21st century. This article explores if China’s landing probe Chang’e 4 on the far side of the moon heralds a new space race.

File 20190103 32130 hjdxab.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
What will China discover on the far side of the moon? BeeBright/Shutterstock.com

By

Wendy Whitman Cobb, Cameron University

China became the third country to land a probe on the Moon on Jan. 2. But, more importantly, it became the first to do so on the far side of the moon, often called the dark side. The ability to land on the far side of the moon is a technical achievement in its own right, one that neither Russia nor the United States has pursued.

The probe, Chang’e 4, is symbolic of the growth of the Chinese space program and the capabilities it has amassed, significant for China and for relations among the great power across the world. The consequences extend to the United States as the Trump administration considers global competition in space as well as the future of space exploration.

One of the major drivers of U.S. space policy historically has been competition with Russia particularly in the context of the Cold War. If China’s successes continue to accumulate, could the United States find itself engaged in a new space race?

Image of surface of the moon
The far side of the moon taken by the Chang’e 4 lunar probe, Jan. 3, 2019. China National Space Administration/CNS via REUTERS

China’s achievements in space

Like the U.S. and Russia, the People’s Republic of China first engaged in space activities during the development of ballistic missiles in the 1950s. While they did benefit from some assistance from the Soviet Union, China developed its space program largely on its own. Far from smooth sailing, Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution disrupted this early programs.

The Chinese launched their first satellite in 1970. Following this, an early human spaceflight program was put on hold to focus on commercial satellite applications. In 1978, Deng Xiaoping articulated China’s space policy noting that, as a developing country, China would not take part in a space race. Instead, China’s space efforts have focused on both launch vehicles and satellites – including communications, remote sensing and meteorology.

This does not mean the Chinese were not concerned about the global power space efforts can generate. In 1992, they concluded that having a space station would be a major sign and source of prestige in the 21st century. As such, a human spaceflight program was re-established leading to the development of the Shenzhou spacecraft. The first Chinese astronaut, or taikonaut, Yang Liwei, was launched in 2003. In total, six Shenzhou missions have carried 12 taikonauts into low earth orbit, including two to China’s first space station, Tiangong-1.

In addition to human spaceflight, the Chinese have also undertaken scientific missions like Chang’e 4. Its first lunar mission, Chang’e 1, orbited the moon in October 2007 and a rover landed on the moon in 2013. China’s future plans include a new space station, a lunar base and possible sample return missions from Mars.

man takes a photo of Chang'e 4 probe moon lander model at an exhibition
A model of the moon lander for China’s Chang’e 4 lunar probe. Wang Xu/China Space News via REUTERS

A new space race?

The most notable feature of the Chinese space program, especially compared to the early American and Russian programs, is its slow and steady pace. Because of the secrecy that surrounds many aspects of the Chinese space program, its exact capabilities are unknown. However, the program is likely on par with its counterparts.

In terms of military applications, China has also demonstrated significant skills. In 2007, it undertook an anti-satellite test, launching a ground-based missile to destroy a failed weather satellite. While successful, the test created a cloud of orbital debris that continues to threaten other satellites. The movie “Gravity” illustrated the dangers space debris poses to both satellites and humans. In its 2018 report on the Chinese military, the Department of Defense reported that China’s military space program “continues to mature rapidly.”

Rocket takes off leaving a bowl of fire at it's rear end. Signifying a new space race?
Long March-3B rocket carrying Chang’e 4 lunar probe takes off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. China Stringer Network/REUTERS

Despite its capabilities, the U.S., unlike other countries, has not engaged in any substantial cooperation with China because of national security concerns. In fact, a 2011 law bans official contact with Chinese space officials. Does this signal a new space race between the U.S. and China?

As a space policy researcher, I can say the answer is yes and no. Some U.S. officials, including Scott Pace, the executive secretary for the National Space Council, are cautiously optimistic about the potential for cooperation and do not see the beginning of a new space race. NASA Administrator Jim Brindenstine recently met with the head of the Chinese space program at the International Astronautical Conference in Germany and discussed areas where China and the U.S. can work together. However, increased military presence in space might spark increased competition. The Trump administration has used the threat posed by China and Russia to support its argument for a new independent military branch, a Space Force.

Regardless, China’s abilities in space are growing to the extent that is reflected in popular culture. In Andy Weir’s 2011 novel “The Martian” and its later film version, NASA turns to China to help rescue its stranded astronaut. While competition can lead to advances in technology, as the first space race demonstrated, a greater global capacity for space exploration can also be beneficial not only for saving stranded astronauts but increasing knowledge about the universe where we all live. Even if China’s rise heralds a new space race, not all consequences will be negative.

Wendy Whitman Cobb, Associate Professor of Political Science, Cameron University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Overcome Failures In Business : Get Inspired By The Personal Story Of Award Winning Kenyan Entrepreneur

Gervase Jeneri Wakoli candidly shares his personal story of failures in business. Founder engoho.com, Zinake and Engoho Kuku Farm, Gervase Wakoli is a Kenyan award winning entrepreneur with a passion for social entrepreneurship, agribusiness, value addition and economic empowerment.

This article is adopted from a Facebook update posted on his personal timeline titled “Failures in Business”. Minor edits have been employed for style and alignment with our editorial policies.

Allow me to narrate to you my business journey. I started farming sukuma with with my big brother after high school. We would sell to ladies who resell at the local market centers. That is when I learnt the hard way that in business, anyone can screw you.

These ladies, my first business partners, would come in the night and harvest our vegetables in gunias (ganny bags) and hide them. We would show up in the morning and they would play us along by harvesting one or two sacks. Our mom knew, but she didn’t bother to tell us. To her, our dabbling in agribusiness was more of hobby.

Cheekily, she would later admit, us braking sweat on the farm made her sleep soundly at night as it kept us away from people’s daughters. A time came and we left for university without a penny from our farming ventures.

Failures In Business: Bigger Play, Bigger Loss, Regulatory Risk & The Burden Of Entrepreneurship

Two years into my studies at the university, I was deported back to Kenya.( I will write about this one day to help those struggling with depression, today’s post it is just about hustling). Later, after picking up the pieces, I got admitted into a local university and there, the hustler bug bit me again.

Once again, I partnered with my two big brothers. We managed to rope in a third partner – our dad – after we convinced him to invest in a bus. Our old man took a loan from **** bank. The things parents can do for their children. We made the first mistake. We bought the wrong bus.

There were these guys in Nairobi‘s industrial area, **** motors, selling second hand Swaraj buses, passing them off as brand new. Haki the bus had the power of a tuk-tuk. We tried to sue as a group of customers…. but you and I well know that Kenya has its owners. Undeterred, we obtained all transport licensing requirements and put the bus on Ngong route 111.

That place is far. Couple the distance, a bus with a tuktuk engine and notorious Nairobi traffic… hello failure.

Free farmer training at Engoho Kuku Farmer farm in Nangili Market, Bungoma County.

Regulatory Risk

First day of business and we were informed that we needed to pay 50k for the route. We did. In the evening we are also to pay Kanjo (City Council Enforcement Police), the police and mungiki Kenya shillings one hundred each per day.

Funny enough, the collector for all the three taxes is the same guy. A fat, short, dark fellow who I still see ‘at work’ whenever I pass by the railways stage. When the first loan repayment fell due, we were short by 50k. That’s despite the hours put in – I used to wake up at 3am and come back to the house at 10pm. I was a walking zombie.


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The Burden Of Entrepreneurship

Our parents urged us to delegate daily management of the bus to the driver and conductor but I refused. This was my idea and I had to see it succeed. One day I fell sick and while i was hospitalized, dad returned the bus to the sellers. On discharge from hospital, the University long holidays were over and so I went back to class.

Once again, it was the end of another business cycle and I had no penny from my sweat. But I at least got an opportunity to spend over eight nights in police cells, and one night in mungiki custody, all in a period of less than three months. Not everyone has achieved that. All thanks to the bus.

Have I have even talked of being robbed at gunpoint? Or serving strange clients like a well known politician dressed in raw cow hide only? My driver used to say: Money is money, the guy smiling at you on the other end of the exchange is the problem. Please, don’t fear to smile at me as this is all behind me now.

OVERCOMING FAILURES IN BUSINESS IS BEING GOOD-CRAZY

When I ventured into business again, it was after university. I understand everyone thought I was crazy. But for me, the failures helped me learn how to cope. Truth is any business can fail. But the lessons you draw from these practical failures are better than any Ivy League business class. Don’t argue with me, I have been schooled in entrepreneurship in both.

If you think my story is worthy reading, take a moment next time you are out and about to talk to a street hawker, tout, mkokoteni guy etc about their hustle. You will realize that it’s not what you sell but how you sell it. Now let me tell you about my current hustles :

  1. If you need a pre-verified, competent temporary worker, we have them registered on our platform. Download the zinake app on playstore. We guarantee you quality service.
  2. If you are in agribusiness, we offer a free record keeping platform (engoho.com). We also help source quality farm inputs and sell your products at fairest prices.

Merry Christmas fellow hustlers


Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African


Fucktangular, The Coolest Kid Of New Urban Slang Words of 2018

Be Warned! This List Of New Urban Slang Words of 2018 Includes Sensitive Or Vulgar Language. Fucktangular Is The First Among Equals.

Kids these days! If you’ve exclaimed, or at least remarked that way to a situation, you are probably getting too old – or out of touch. If you have heard kids speak and got nauseated at the apparent vulgarity in their language, then you are part of the many late to the party. An urban culture Luddite who, even this late into 2018, is yet to be acquainted with these new urban slang words.

The ‘informal’ language words that feature here are not modern slang words like TBT or lol; though some have echoed in the streets of Dublin, Miami, Lagos, Doha, Accra – basically every nook and cranny of the world with an internet connection and hooked on social media – for better part of the recent past.

These words do not belong to the aristocracy like this list of New Words released by Oxford English dictionary in January. They are of the street and it’s 2018 and the world is already a global village. Meaning, the next cool urban slang word that goes global, literally and figuratively, has a chance of being birthed in Nairobi as much as Cape Town or New York. With that, there is every chance of local sensitivities being violated. We explore the how and why.

FUCKTANGULAR: THE GENESIS

A tweet, a retweet, crawled up our timeline – @MMI_MMC – and the majesty of the word popped. Fucktangular, is a word that can’t be unseen once seen. It has to be the coolest new urban slang word of 2018.

Screen shot of the Hanne Blank tweet that went viral making fucktangular the slang word of 2018

You probably will love it if you looked up the original tweet. The replies, their content and flow, are gold. It’s also from replies to this tweet that we discovered other new slang words that feature here. Words, we must add, that are of common lexicon, etymology, essence, meaning and verve.

So 2018

It’s not just how fucktangular and these words fill a ”linguistic void” as one online user put it. It’s how they are so 2018. To put it otherwise, life in the eighteenth year of the 21st century has been these words.

Because how else can one term continuing revelations on the confluence of social media giants’ crisis of ethics and modern information warfare? Perhaps a festering fucktangle of denial, delay, deflection, disinformation and malice towards the inviolability of human autonomy?

How best to term the ongoing genome editing arms race at the lowest ebb in years of the relationship between science, technology and society? Talk of designer babies on demand at this point when the ethics of human subject research is more consensual than binding can only result in a clusterfuck.

As Expected, Intelligentsia Leads The Way

These slang words may not have had the privilege of going mainstream – reports place the first use of fucktangular in twenty twelve, maybe September of twenty eighteen – but this has to be the moment it all changes.

One twitter user gloated of their use of the word at a public meet. Another offered that fucktangular rendered the research jargon ‘wicked problems’ obsolete. And just in case you are wondering who got us here to word nirvana, Hanne Blank offers the answers in a followup tweet:

“Just FYI, the student responsible for bringing the word “fucktangular” to my delighted attention has been alerted to its popularity. Said student, being a university student and an adult, has the right to choose whether to publicly identify themself with it. “


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FUCKULARITY: COMETH THE MOMENT, COMETH THE WORD

The F word in there, hard to ignore isn’t it? We contend the vulgarity is probably the reason for the rise, and rise of these urban slang words. 2018 is an angry moment, especially for those on the left. The right aren’t spared either because, well, the left are angry. The center? True to type, are mad at the anger. It’s hard to tell the egg from the chicken here – precisely the kind of situation that’s a clusterfuck – but this is the moment alright.

screen shot of a tweet explaining the rise of new urban slang words such as fucktangular to the phenomenon of fuckularity

CLUSTERFUCK

Clusterfuck is the grandfather of all slang words that arise from fuckularity. It has been around for half a decade or so. Going by the screen shots below, it is a noun. Therefore, we can have something like a fucktangular clusterfuck.

OTHER GREAT SLANG WORDS

On the reply thread of the viral tweet on fucktangular, Twitter user @dshwa brought to light the first three of these other great slang words of 2018.

Catastrofail

A mash up of the the words “catastrophe” and “fail”.

Accitentional

One of the older slang words on this list that have gained wider use in 2018. @dshwa defines accitentional as: Claiming a lucky occurrence was the plan all along.

Voluntold

@dshwa defines voluntold as: When the boss asks you if you’d be interested in a project / role in way that’s clear that they are actually assigning it to you regardless.

Pandelerium

It’s taken a while for this one to get going. Attributed to right wing comedian and TV show host Jeff Foxworthy. Urban Dictionary has its definition simply as: A combination of “pandemonium” and “delirium”.

Clusterfucktastrophe

Clusterfucktastrophe found its way to urban vernacular at a time in the he 21st century similar to such a moment that has given us fucktangular. A time of anger of global scale.

Towards twenty ten, in the depth of the financial crisis, humanity as it is today battled with ideology. The question then, as now, was: Is capitalism and neoliberlisim the social contracts to end world hunger, poverty, ill health and usher world peace? Then, as now, we asked ourselves: Is going green the solution? How would we bring an end to a senseless war (Iraq then, Syria today)?

Urban Dictionary defines clusterfucktastrrophe as: An unnecessarily complicated calamity resulting from a series of poorly executed decisions or events

Crapzeodial

If crap could assume form and take shape. An adjective, anyone?

Brotocracy

Remember the Putin – MBS bro hug at the G20 summit in Argentina that got everyone talking? Well, that was brotocracy in full flow. The reliable Urban Dictionary defines a brotocracy as: an institution or organization (i.e. schools, business, etc.) that is dominated by bros.

Screeen shot of tweet that uses the Putin-MBS handshake at the G20 conference in Argentina to explain menaing of slang word brotocracy.

Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African


Jay-Z’s $200-million Clothing Battle Could Be Game Changer for Black Lawyers The World Over

MMIMMC has not infrequently gleaned from the hustle of hip hop gods – most recently we deciphered Notorious B.I.G’s hit 10 Crack Commandments for the 21st century entrepreneur – for business advice. Shawn Carter, aka Jay-Z, net worth $900 million in 2018, has to be the el patrón when it comes to rappers turned entrepreneurs. But as the following article reminds us, staying at the top of the game is a constant battle.

BY  Gbenga Oduntan, University of Kent

Millionaire rapper Shawn Carter, aka Jay-Z, has proved yet again why he is larger than life. He is embroiled in a contractual dispute over the US$204m (£159m) sale of his clothing brand to Iconix Brand Group a decade ago.

In a twist that has now thrown the world of arbitration into a frenzy, Jay-Z recently won a temporary decision from a New York court to halt the process on the grounds there aren’t enough black arbitrators to settle it fairly within the terms of the contract. If this argument ultimately carries the day, it will require a severe reorganisation and opening up of the arbitration profession, one of the most cliquish corners of the legal business – and not just in America, but around the world.

Like many business contracts, the original Jay-Z/Iconix deal agreed that any disputes would be settled by a commercial arbitration process. The contract stipulated that the parties would use arbitrators provided by the American Arbitration Association (AAA).

But as part of a dispute over intellectual property rights, Jay-Z’s lawyers are arguing that the arbitration clause is invalid because they could not “identify a single African-American arbitrator on the ‘Large and Complex Cases’ roster” provided by the association. Even when the AAA went through its expanded list of 200 potential arbitrators, it could only identify three African-Americans – one of whom was ineligible to come on board because they work for the law firm representing Iconix.

Jay-Z’s lawyers argued before the New York Supreme Court that white arbitrators exhibit “unconscious bias” towards black defendants; and that the AAA’s lack of racial diversity consequently “deprives litigants of colour of a meaningful opportunity to have their claims heard by a panel of arbitrators reflecting their backgrounds and life experience”. The procedure, they went on, “deprives black litigants … of the equal protection of the laws, equal access to public accommodations, and mislead consumers into believing that they will receive a fair and impartial adjudication”.

The New York Supreme Court’s decision to grant a stay on the back of these arguments is unprecedented and will become legendary within the profession. And unlike traditional courts, where judges are usually only bound to follow decisions within the same jurisdiction, arbitration is essentially one global system. If New York decides that these are the rules, the effects will be felt around the world.


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THE EXCLUSION PROBLEM

What the case has highlighted is that arbitrators in the US, but also in most Western societies, are disproportionately white, male and aged. The same is true of courts, but more is arguably expected from arbitrators as the field of recruitment is wider – with less emphasis on legal training and professional qualifications.

This situation is hardly surprising given that big law firms are the incubation beds for commercial arbitrators. The chances of being appointed by businesses to settle highly complex matters like Jay-Z’s case increase exponentially if the arbitrator works in the so-called golden circle of law firms, and this is where the shortage begins.

Not what enough lawyers look like.
BCFC

Don’t tell anyone this, but the law firm representing Jay-Z, Quinn Emanuel, itself has a big diversity deficit at partner level, with only three African-American partners listed in a list of almost 300. Even if the firm were allowed to supply black arbitrators to handle Jay-Z’s case itself, it wouldn’t be able to. If black partners are this scarce, you might as well look for black unicorns to fill arbitration panels.

The shortage is just as problematic in complex international arbitrations. In 2013, around a third of the parties to the International Chamber of Commerce Court of Arbitration were from Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Since then, just 15% of appointees were from those regions. Meanwhile, appointments of African arbitrators at the Permanent Court of Arbitration and black judges at the World Court are proportionately very low.

There are few renowned non-white arbitrators in international petroleum negotiation – despite the fact that nearly 60% of petroleum is produced outside Europe and North America. There are even fewer developing-world experts in international boundary disputes. Arguably developing countries are constantly shortchanged in international justice as a result.

WHAT TO DO (RATHER, WHAT WOULD JAY-Z DO?)

How do we address this issues? We could throw the burden back on the likes of Jay-Z by saying he should have fought for diversity in arbitrators at the drafting stage of his sales contract. That may well be what the court ultimately does in his case, but what then?

It is generally accepted that contractual specifications about arbitration cannot violate national laws. These would include race discrimination laws, though the limits of this were shown in a relatively recent UK judgement, Jivraj v Hashwani (2011). Here, the contract stipulated that arbitrators had to be respected Muslim members of the Ismaili community. When challenged as racial discrimination, the Supreme Court decided that the relevant UK laws only applied to employees and not to arbitrators because they were not employees.

But if that left the likes of Jay-Z free to push for African-American arbitrators as part of business contracts, there is still the problem of a general dearth of them. If he does ultimately lose his case in New York, it will still have highlighted this gap in the market. Perhaps in future, black dealmakers will insist on any arbitration taking place somewhere with more black arbitrators.

The bottom line is that we need recruitment programmes to encourage black arbitrators now, and to recognise that those in place should be more frequently offered for appointments so that they are experienced enough to handle large complex cases. And to fix the current shortage, we also have to address the diversity issues in the legal profession as a whole.

The Conversation

Too often at present, we’re kidding ourselves. The American Arbitration Association has a programme to mentor diverse young arbitrators, and promises lists of arbitrators of at least 20% diversity, for example. But it is only able to offer this proportion by lumping together all diversity including gender, age and ethnic background – and 20% is hardly a great achievement anyway. If demand for more black representation rises and centres for arbitration like New York and London don’t offer enough people, new rivals may well step up to the plate.

Gbenga Oduntan, Reader (Associate Professor) in International Commercial Law, University of Kent

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African


Making A New Year Resolution List? Why Blogging Should Be Top In 2019

Blogging can be such a reward. Whether you start your blog or vlog as a hobby or as a side hustle, you’ll soon appreciate that the little joys of the blogging lifestyle can make living in the 21st century a dream. Because a blog is what a dog was to the nineties. A gold fish to the eighties. Or a pet iguana to the seventies. Here’s why blogging should top your New Year resolution list in 2019. 

The best things in life are free. Immense beauty lies in subtlety. Life has a way of hiding from us its sweetest side. You never know that the pleasant surprise, that awww moment, is there until it happens. Like when Max, your terrier, fetches the freebie that first time. Or waking up Saturday morning to feed the fish in the fish tank, only to find extra mouths – little mouths only hours old – coming up for food.

Blogging Is A Fest of AWWW Moments

I still remember that day in April of 1993, barely weeks after we got acquainted, when I taught my puppy, Scooby, its first trick – to lie on its back and shake my hand. Blogging has a way of making such moments become real. It has a way, just like life, to show you what you have been missing.

A particular late hour of a day in 2010, early in my blogging life is still fresh on my mind. That night I had managed to write down my first piece of code. It was a simple design tweak for my blog, Moran in the City, some so many hours after signing on Google’s blogger. But it meant much more beyond the confidence boost that comes with learning something new. At that moment, I knew I had the keys to another world, another existence with different rules.

Blogging is moments unforgettable. Technology moments when you spare a thought to contemplate Virginia Scott’s bestseller “How Google Changed the World”. Blogging is about the possibilities of technology. It unravels the world. Lets you in on the the foresight of Steven Spielberg’s Tom Cruise stared blockbuster “Minority Report” – adapted from Philip K. Dick’s short story, “The Minority Report”.


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Successful Blogging Is The Price You Name

Success blogging is more egalitarian than most other endeavors. The rewards do differ depending on your goal: internet entrepreneur or purist out to teach a philosophy; but they mean the same to each.

If the reason why blogging tops your New Year resolution list is because you are embarking on a quest to share your life passion, there is always a kindred soul somewhere.

Maybe you are embarking on the hustle of making  your voice heard above the online buzz as a social media influencer. It’s never lonely out there. You’ll find humans ready to help you along – scratch your back as you scratch theirs.

If the goal is everyday tech experiences. To contribute – thus commune a mere mortal as yourself with gods like Linus Torvalds – to the lifetime work of 21st century Einsteins, there are plenty of gigs. Jump onto a bandwagon, write code and explain code by blogging away your experience.

Successful Blogging Is The Price You Name

Success blogging is more egalitarian than most other endeavors. The rewards do differ depending on your goal: internet entrepreneur or purist out to teach a philosophy; but they mean the same to each.

If the reason why blogging tops your New Year resolution list is because you are embarking on a quest to share your life passion, there is always a kindred soul somewhere.

Maybe you are embarking on the hustle of making  your voice heard above the online buzz as a social media influencer. It’s never lonely out there. You’ll find humans ready to help you along – scratch your back as you scratch theirs.

If the goal is everyday tech experiences. To contribute – thus commune a mere mortal as yourself with gods like Linus Torvalds – to the lifetime work of 21st century Einsteins, there are plenty of gigs. Jump onto a bandwagon, write code and explain code by blogging away your experience.


Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African


BUJU BANTON BE STROLLING INTO TOWN A FREE MAN: The Very Best Your Favorite Buju Songs, Free!

As Buju Banton walks free, in such like situations, I guess, the question is always going to be: How much does prison change a man? We’ve had numerous accounts of how extraordinary men like Nelson Mandela, Jomo Kenyatta, Christopher Owiro aka Karl Max turned mythical following imprisonment. How much of Buju Banton will we recognize in his music? How much of his being, after almost a decade of time in federal prison, will be familiar?

Prison can be traumatizing not just on myself, but on my family as well as emotionally draining,” he explained, “For me, I drew strength from immersing myself in my situation. Do not live in yesterday but live in today. And education was the only thing that kept me up and alive. I immersed myself in reading so much – theology, philosophy and other subjects.

Buju Banton

A More Sober Buju Banton Then?

Writing for The Daily Nation – before the big divorce – on how prison changed Mandela, respected Kenyan political satire commentator/writer/journalist Kwamchetsi Makokha chose this Mandela quote

There is nothing like a long spell in prison to focus your mind and bring to you a more sober appreciation of the realities of your society.

Nine years it was for Buju Banton? That’s a lot of time to focus one’s mind. I mean, even short stints – days to weeks – has made men find their mien. We saw it recently with Uganda’s Bobi Wine. To date, the symbol of young Uganda’s disaffection struggles to define his question: Where’s the meat in the #PeoplePower_Our Power movement?

Closer home, Dr. Ouma Oluga’s , lone voice often, continues to articulate with clarity fixes to the fucktangular Kenyan health system. Admirably so, we tilt our hat to him,  years after the infamous incarceration of the #CBA7. Listening to the Secretary General of the doctor’s union, you have to appreciate his sober appreciation of the realities of society. Maybe it’s that overnight stay at Kamiti Maximum Prison that’s getting him to level zien in local and global health circles.


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New Buju Banton Album?

But when it comes to Buju Banton, you’d be hard pressed for more soberness. His music already spoke from such a place full of empathy and conscientiousness. Still on the eve of his release Buju’s UK producer Blacker Dread says he has a new album full of Buju songs. I’d expect polished up releases of previously unreleased studio stuff. Possibly collabos here and there to get him to speed (Pray-God something with Chronixx, Stephen Marley, Damian Marley or Tarrus Riley).

As we anticipate the unknown, lets rock to

Buju Banton Open Musical Letter on Tidal

Ruan Legend: Best of Buju Banton – Dancehall Session

One part of the Caribbean DJ group that’s one of the ill-est on the internet goes solo in this one

Ruan Legend : Best of Buju Banton – Reggae Session

Black Talons 357: Buju Banton Living Legend (Part 2) mix

DIY Mix

Not entirely a Buju Banton mix, but one of his most recognizable hits that traversed beyond reggae features as the icing on this cake. Enjoy!

Chronixx~ Skanking sweet
Tarrus Riley~ Don’t come back
Morgan Heritage~ put it on
Gramps Morgan~ wash the tears
L.M.S~ Never
Jah Cure~ Pressure we hard
Winky Dee~ Gombwe
Stephen Marley~ rockstone
Sizzla~ Mama
Culture~ Jah Rastafari
Buju Banton~ hills and valleys
🔥🔥

— Mbizi 🇿🇼 (@DobbieTt) November 27, 2018


Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African


Levallois Tools: New dates for Ancient Stone Tools in China Point to Local Invention of Complex Technology

MMIMMC has continuing coverage on the coming of age of Chinese knowledge economy – Beyond IP into space exploration, blue economy, computing and gene editing. Recent archaeological discoveries tell of a different story for the origin of Levallois tools in China. These stone tools discoveries published in Nature take us to the roots of where it all started. Today, this knowledge manifests as: Qianlong-2, Tianhe-2 and Shenzhou-10 among other Chinese contributions to 21st century knowledge economy.

File 20181117 194516 nzuo6m.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Several of the newly identified stone tools – unearthed from a museum collection. Hu Yue, CC BY-ND

You probably think of new technologies as electronics you can carry in a pocket or wear on a wrist. But some of the most profound technological innovations in human evolution have been made out of stone. For most of the time that humans have been on Earth, they’ve chipped stone into useful shapes to make tools for all kinds of work.

In a study just published in Nature, we’ve dated a distinctive and complex method for making stone tools to a much earlier timeframe in China than had previously been accepted. Archaeologists had thought that artifacts of this kind had been carried into China by groups migrating from Europe and Africa. But our new discovery, dated to between 170,000 and 80,000 years ago, suggests that they could have been invented locally without input from elsewhere, or come from much earlier cultural transmission or human migration.

Several different species of humans lived on Earth at this time, including modern ones like us. But we haven’t found any human bones from this site, so don’t know which species of human made these tools.

These Chinese artifacts provide one more piece of evidence that changes the way we think about the origin and spread of new stone tool technologies. And intriguingly we made our discovery based on artifacts that had been excavated decades ago.

New technology among old stones

Archaeologists have identified five modes humans have used to make stone tools over the last 3 million years. Each mode is represented by a new stone tool type that is dramatically different from what came before. The appearance of each new mode is also marked by a big increase in the number of steps needed to make the new tool type.

One of these modes, Mode III, also called Levallois, is at the center of several big debates about human evolution. Levallois tools are the defining features of the archaeological period referred to as the Middle Paleolithic, or Africa’s Middle Stone Age. They are the result of a set of very specific steps of chipping a piece of stone to create similar-sized tools suitable to be shaped for a variety of purposes. These steps are remarkable because they are a much more efficient way to produce lots of useful cutting tools, with minimal wasted stone, compared to earlier technologies.

One of these debates is whether Mode III tools were invented in one place and then spread out, or independently invented in several different locations. Since the world’s oldest securely dated Levallois tools have been found in north Africa from around 300,000 years ago, it’s possible they spread out from there, carried by groups of early humans migrating across Europe and into Asia. On the other hand, finds of similarly early Levallois tools in Armenia and India support the idea of independent inventions of the technology outside of Africa.

Levallois tools were a leap forward in technology, a new, efficient way to create tools that could cut, scrape, chop and make other types of tools. Hu Yue, CC BY-ND

Changing the chronology in China

In China it has been hard to find evidence of Mode III tools until relatively late in the Palaeolithic period, approximately 30,000 to 40,000 years ago. That’s concurrent with when Mode IV (blade tools) appear there. Ancient people in China appeared to leap from Mode II (stone hand axes) to Mode III and IV at the same time. This suggests that Levallois tools appeared in China when modern humans migrated in and brought these new technologies with them around 30,000 to 40,000 years ago.

Our results support a different story for the origin of Levallois tools in China. At Guanyindong Cave in Guizhou Province in south-central China, we found Mode III tools in layers dated to around 170,000 and around 80,000 years ago. This puts them well before Mode IV tools, and at around the same time that Levallois were the main tools used in Europe and Africa.

One major implication of our new early ages from Guanyindong Cave is that the appearance of Levallois tools in China is no longer tied to the arrival of modern humans and Mode IV tools 30,000 to 40,000 years ago. Instead, Levallois tools could have been invented locally in China – maybe by a different human species. Another possibility is that they were introduced by a much earlier migration, perhaps by the people whose teeth have been found in a cave in Daoxian, Hunan Province, who lived between 80,000 and 120,000 years ago.

Going back to Guanyindong Cave

Our discovery is a little unusual because we didn’t do any major new excavations. All of the stone tools we studied had been excavated from Guanyindong Cave in the 1960s and 1970s. Since that time Guanyindong has been famous as one of the most important Paleolithic sites in South China because of the relatively large number of stone tools found there.

Most are stored at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing, and our team spent a lot of time carefully inspecting each tool to identify the traces that reveal how it was made. It was during this painstaking analysis of the museum specimens that we encountered a few dozen Levallois tools among the thousands of artifacts in the collection.

During the previous excavations at Guanyindong Cave, researchers had used uranium-series methods to date fossils found in the sediments. This technique relies on the radioactive decay of tiny amounts of uranium that collects in bone shortly after it is buried to come up with an age range for its burial. But it’s hard to precisely determine the true age of bone using this method. At Guanyindong these uranium-series ages span a wide range, from 50,000 to 240,000 years ago. Also, the association between the dated fossil pieces and the stone artifacts was not recorded in detail. These problems meant that we couldn’t work out what layers the dated fossils came from, and if they were close to any of the Levallois stone tools.

Using only information available from the previous excavation, we couldn’t be sure of the exact age of the Levallois tools in the museum. The dates were important to nail down, because if they were older than 30-40,000 years, then they could be the earliest Levallois tools found in China.

Bo Li and Hu Yue collecting sediment samples from the same layers the stone tools had been in, in order to redate them. Weiwen Huang, CC BY-ND

To uncover the true age of these Levallois tools, we made several trips to the cave to collect new samples for dating. It was challenging to find a suitable location to get the samples because the previous excavations didn’t leave much behind and much of the site was covered with thick vegetation.

We collected our new sediment samples from places where artifacts were still visible in the wall of the excavation, so we could be sure of a close connection between our samples and the stone tools. Essentially we were trying to collect new dirt from the spots where the museum artifacts had originally been excavated. The plan was then to test the samples with more advanced dating techniques than had originally been available.

Analyzing new samples to date old artifacts

Back in the lab, we analyzed the samples using single-grain optically stimulated luminescence methods. This technique can identify how much time has passed since each individual grain was last exposed to the sun. Dating many individual grains in a sample is important because it can tell us if tree roots, animals or insects have mixed younger sediments down into older ones. After we identified and removed intrusive younger grains, we found that one layer of artifacts dated to about 80,000 years ago. We dated a lower layer to about 170,000 years ago. Our museum work had identified Levallois tools in both of these layers.

With the combination of careful inspection of the museum collection, new fieldwork to collect samples, and a new laboratory method of dating the site, we had uncovered a surprising and important result. These Levallois tools are much older than those from any other sites in East Asia. This suggests a more widespread geographic distribution of Levallois prior to the dispersal of modern humans out of Africa and Europe into Asia.

One reason why it has been so hard to find evidence of the technique in China until now is that the number of people in East Asia during the Palaeolithic might have been much smaller than in the West. Small, low-density populations with weak and irregular patterns of social activity might make it hard for new technologies to spread and persist over a long time.

The Conversation

We don’t know what species of human made the tools at Guanyindong because we haven’t found any bones. Whoever they were, they had similar skills to people living in the West at the same time. They appear to have independently discovered the Levallois strategy in China at the same time people were making extensive use of it in Europe and Africa.

Ben Marwick, Associate Professor of Archaeology, University of Washington; Bo Li, Principal Research Fellow in Archaeological Science, University of Wollongong, and Hu Yue, Postgraduate Student in Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Wollongong

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African


Tips: Manage Personal Finance Like A Boss, Grow Rich

Chief financial officer. Chief executive officer. Imagine that! The combination of words that make up these title spare nothing in creating an aura of control, power and success. Indeed, the bigger the corporation the more hungrily holders of such titles fan their feathers in a show of dominance. While not all of us will get there – corner office with a view, personal assistant and luxury sedan – the same goal can still be realized if we manage personal finance as mindful as C-level executives mind other people’s money.

Building a personal fortune to last beyond retirement is the underlying goal of every hustle out there. Be it that we are barely making through Mondays in our eight to five; or dabbing somewhere in between running a consultancy; or full-blown entrepreneurs.

If you have been employed in a proper corporation, you must have noticed how every effort is made to account for every shilling spent. In professionally run companies, entire departments – at the very least multi-dollar software – exist just to cater for this end of the business. Here are a few things that you can small-scale onto your personal finances and watch as the in-tray spills over.

1. To Manage Personal Finance Like a boss Is Minding Your Taxes

Minding your taxes involves simple undertakings as minding where you buy your condoms. More complex affairs like tax returns lie at the other end of the spectrum. Condoms you ask? Buying condoms from a drug store is likely to be more expensive. This is because the proprietor in protecting their margins by passes on the costs of indirect taxes such as pharmacy regulatory fees. At the supermarket, value added tax may be the only levied charge on your pack of condoms.

Pay as you earn taxation returns are calculated from net earnings after obligatory deductions have been factored. This simple tax know-how reveals the savings you might make when enrolled to a retirement benefits scheme that are often deducted before tax in most jurisdictions. Considering tax bands is also important when negotiating for a pay hike. Taking responsibility of managing personal finance involves ensuring that the pay hike does not take your earnings into the next tax bracket such that the net gains negotiated are all lost in taxes.

2. Accounting For Expenditure Ensures That You Manage Personal Finance To Riches

If you have worked at a proper corporation you might have noted the requirement to provide receipts or credit card trail to back up your expenditure whenever on company duty. Similar expense tracking efforts can be applied to manage personal finance. They may include such means as astute and disciplined budgeting, receipting of expenses where possible – such as keeping supermarket till receipts for expenditure tracking. Employing caution when using debit cards for refueling your car. Even keeping the bill from your lunch expenditure or from fast food outlet whenever you spoil the kids with pizzas and greasy heart unfriendly stuff.

From such measures it becomes easier to make such decisions such as going for the backyard barbecue via-vie eating out.


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3. Don’t Be Scared Of Making Hard Decisions

Whenever companies fail to make sufficient returns on their investments, the human resource team and other management teams meet up to discuss cost cutting measures. Often, cost cutting invariably involves the hardest decisions of them all: Job cuts. Irrespective on the possible public relations nightmare that can come out of such a move, this route is well-traveled by many executives.

Similarly, individuals must be ready to make decisions that have the potential to make them lose face socially. For instance, it may mean that the four-wheeler, V12 engine fuel guzzler is traded for a hybrid Toyota. Or even ditching your car for public transport as a tactic to manage personal finance to riches. Exotic holidays may need be substituted for picnics, designer wear for retail wear. Simply put, what needs to be done ought be done.

4. Be On The Look Out For New Revenue Streams

To shore up the bottom-line, companies are always seeking to diversify revenue sources, expand regionally, capture new markets and introduce new products and services. Similarly, individuals keen on managing personal finances ought use all that is at their disposal. For instance, have you thought about making your hobby a money-making venture? That kitchen garden could bring in a few quarters from the sale of organic produce. All that is needed is a bit of innovation and the will to do it.

That illustrious title of Chief Financial Officer might as well be yours if you pay more attention to managing personal finance. You too might get to fan your feathers as your personal fortune continues to swell.


Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African