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  • kobira 5:09 pm on October 27, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: blog, hakuna matata, kwangu, me, nyumbani,   


    Karibu tuogelee,

    Welcome to this blog, basically this is a way of venting my pent up energy and anger. Sometimes I write about things that I don’t necessarily believe in, sometimes I wish I didn’t write them but I am not the type that wallow in self-pity. I know you won’t agree with me, neither do I expect you to. Writing is an art. You know artists are allowed, so I’m told, to be contradictory and complicated, ‘cos in the end you’ll get a little bit of genius.

    Many of my friends and sycophants find one or two words that we all agree on. Only the odd idiot loves taunting that “You are so last season mate” mmmhhh  u know what? it doesn’t depress me, on the contrary it inspires me to write more, cos I feel I am not duplicating the mainstream rumpus!

    Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans.

    The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

  • kobira 3:14 pm on October 16, 2006 Permalink |  


    Mombasa Sulphur-rich mud-bath Pulls tourists

    As Featured On Ezine Articles
    One of the the best kept Safari secret is Chale Island, 27km off the coastal town of Mombasa. Here visitors can cover themselves in natural volcanic mud at Sleepy Creek and look younger than they actually are. Why waste money on cosmetics?
    The first time I saw people taking mud-baths was on one of the celebrated Michael Palin’s television programmes. Little did I know that the very village where I have always gone for holidays in my own back yard was a little haven for mud-bath loving tourists. I first went to this location while visiting Kenya Marines and Fisheries Research Institute during one of my field trips.
    The Institute was working on a very special project on rare species of Mangroves with a University in Italy. Because of my interest in traditional medicine, I wandered off and went visiting a traditional healer and Digo elder-Mzee Abdallah Mnyenze, whom I had met through the Kenya Society of Ethnoecology. As an accomplished Ethnobiologist, Mzee Mnyenze knows one or two things that you can not find in Botany books. So whenever I can an opportunity I listen to his wisdom under the coconut trees. I am digressing,back to the point, the Society was, then working with the National Museums to conserve this Mijikenda sacred forest for its rare species of mangroves, birds and the colobus monkeys, which are a great attraction to foreign and local visitors.
    Experts say that the natural vegetation on the island is very unique. The coastal Kayas-as they are called are a mixture of marine and terrestrial ecology of very old mangrove species whose biological diversity has not been seen anywhere in the world.
    In this forests are numerous Digo cultural shrines that are scattered all over the island but whose secrets are only known to the few Digo elders, knowledge that has been handed down from generation to generation.
    Now there are touristic Cottages near this beautiful grove. A visit to this area is rewarded with traditional dances and the skin toning mud-bath.Do not go for cosmetic surgery before you visit Chale Mud-bath.

  • kobira 1:05 pm on October 11, 2006 Permalink |
    Tags: africa, articles., books, CBD, cop5, ethnobiology patrick omari, papers, , patrick omari cbd, publications, traditional African medicine, traditional medicine   

    My Books and Publications 

    University of Nairobi – Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology

    Riverside Drive, Chiromo Campus, P.O.Box 30197-00100, Nairobi , Kenya.
    Tel: +254-020-44449004

    The following is a list of recent publications (2003- 2005) University of Nairobi =

    Githiori John, Mbaabu Mathiu, James Mbaria, Leina Mpoke, Jacob Miaron and Patrick Omari, (2004). Authors, Ethnoveterinary Practices in Eastern Africa. Published by Community-based Livestock Initiatives Programme (CLIP); ISBN – 9966-907-15-7

    Mbaabu Mathiu, (2003). Contributor In: Kenya National Strategy and Action Plan for Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Species (MAPS). Eds. Kenya Working Group on MAPS. Publishers; KARI 2003.


  • kobira 2:09 pm on February 9, 2010 Permalink |  

    Parked car hit by crusher [youtube=http:… 

    Parked car hit by crusher

    airport parking is really boring but watching your car vanish is not exciting either!

  • kobira 3:52 pm on June 13, 2009 Permalink |  


    the Toby jug was first developed and popularized in England from around 1762 by the Staffordshire potter Ralph Wood. The jug depicts a seated man wearing an English ‘tricorn’ hat and holding a mug of beer and a glass or pipe. The original jug is supposed to have been inspired by a song of 1761  AD about one Toby Philpot – ‘Dear Tom, This Brown Jug’. First other Staffordshire potteries, then workshops around England and eventually other countries copied the idea. Toby jugs are now highly collectible.


    A toby Jug

    A toby Jug



    Dear Tom, This Brown Jug  is  a song from 1761, said to have given the Toby Jug its name

    Dear Tom, this brown jug, which now foams with mild ale,

    Out of which I now drink to sweet Nan of the Vale,

    Was once Toby Philpot, a thirsty old soul,

    As e’er cracked a bottle, fathom’d a bowl; In bousing about ’twas his pride to excel,

    And amongst jolly topers he bore off the bell.

    It chanced as in dog days he sat at his ease,

    In his flower-woven arbour, as gay as you please, With his friend and a pipe,

    puffing sorrow away, And with honest Old Stingo sat soaking his clay.

    His breath-doors of life on a sudden were shut, And he dies full as big as a Dorchester Butt.

    His body when long in the ground it had lain, And time into clay had dissov’d it again,

    A potter found out, in its covert so snug, And with part of Fat Toby he form’d this brown jug;

    Now sacred to friendship, to mirth, and mild ale — So here’s to my lovely sweet Nan of the Vale.

  • kobira 8:38 am on April 15, 2009 Permalink |  

    Thinking about the economic credit crunc… 

    Thinking about the economic credit crunch and its effects on the poor. Especially the ever rising cost of food.

  • kobira 8:58 am on April 6, 2009 Permalink |
    Tags: 8-4-4, children, curriculum, Education, kenya   

    The 8-4-4 system 

    The 8-4-4 system is labour intensive and does not let kids be kids. Staying in school from 6 am to 5 pm, spending 3 hours doing home work, going to bed at 9 and waking up 5.30 is not the best way of bringing up kids.
    There is a need to design the curriculum and match it with interest and the labour market.
    There is nothing too difficult in curriculum design, actually in my experience, all that we teach and learn can fit in this list;

    *Academic Advising and Counselling
    *Art Education
    *Adult Education
    *Business Education
    *Counsellor Education
    *Curriculum, Research and Development
    *Distance Education
    *Early Childhood Education
    *Educational Administration
    *Educational Foundations
    *Educational Psychology
    *Educational Technology
    *Education Policy and Leadership
    *Elementary Education
    *Health Education
    *Higher Education
    *Human Resource Development
    *Indigenous Education
    *ICT Education
    *Kinesiology & Leisure Science
    *Primary & Secondary Education (k1-k12)
    *Language Education
    *Mathematics Education
    *Music Education
    *Physical Education
    *Research Assessment for colleges
    *Reading Education
    *Rural Education
    *Science Education
    *Secondary Education
    *Second life Educators
    *Social Studies Education
    *Special Education
    *Student Affairs
    *Teacher Education
    *Cross-disciplinary areas of Education
    *Other Areas of Education

  • kobira 10:09 pm on December 6, 2008 Permalink |
    Tags: Lifestyle   

    Retire in Your 30s 

    The financial freedom of a modest, early retirement is actually achievable for many smart and motivated people in college or their early 20s. If you make early retirement your highest priority in life and follow a disciplined path to obtaining it, you should be able to leave work permanently in your 30s and spend your life and time at your complete discretion. Here’s how to start moving in that direction.

    Retire to a good hideout


    1. Define the dream, while documenting the reality. How do you want to spend the rest of your life, post-retirement? Where do you want to live? What do you want to do? And most importantly of all, how much will it cost, year after year, for the rest of your life? This will tell you how much money you need to save and what kind of investments you’re going to have to make in order to support your retirement lifestyle. Don’t forget to include things like health insurance and the effect of inflation. Make a detailed spreadsheet to chart all these variables exactly.
    2. Make a lot of money. Perhaps the quickest, high odds way to do this is by focusing on landing a high paying job. Consider the types of jobs that pay extraordinarily well in exchange for hard work, little psychological satisfaction, and a punishing lifestyle. After all, you’re not choosing a career in the sense that most people are, seeking lifelong satisfaction, as you hope to be only in this job for a decade. Focus on jobs that will reward the fact that you are willing to work harder than anyone else. Some suggestions:
      • Investment banking – These Wall Street jobs can pay extremely well. In exchange, you sell your soul: the hours are a grind, the work is dull, and your boss is an egomaniac. But the goal is to get in, work hard and bank the money. Focus on delivering the results, and watch your peers melt away as they think “there’s no way I can do this for 40 years” – you know you don’t have to.
      • Sales (positions in high-ticket industries, such as many high-tech enterprise software companies) – Because your pay is directly linked to your sales, and your sales are in a large part proportional to how hard you are willing to work, you can earn a lot doing this dull job of sucking up to corporate IT drones.
      • Engineering – Software development, bio-tech, and other technical positions are high risk paths to wealth. Unlike the investment banking and sales which have high current income, many engineering jobs only hit the jackpot on chancy stock options. However, if you join early at the right startup, you might be be able to Buy a Private Island after 4 years of work. But more likely, you will grind away endless hours for an incompetent 27 year old CEO and his insatiable venture capital masters before the company goes belly up, leaving your options worthless.
    3. Lower your expenses. The #1 reason people in high paying salaried jobs are still working hard when they are fifty is because they can’t keep their spending under control. To soothe their agony regarding their dull, demanding job, they placate themselves with toys that fail to make them happy: a penthouse apartment, a fancy car, a diamond ring. Resist the massive pressure to dress, eat and shop like your peers, and live a modest lifestyle. Focus on work, as your play will come later. Some keys to not spending:
      • Buy or Rent a modest apartment/condo. You will be at work all the time, so do not splash out on housing. Clean and small will do just fine. Studies show that homeowners have 5x the net worth of rentors, so buy something well within your means as soon as it’s financially feasable.
      • Don’t eat fancy dinners. Unless you are a gourmet connoisseur, you have to admit that a $5 burrito tastes 90% as good as a fancy steak served on fine china.
      • Keep a budget. Track your expenses. Set goals for saving and celebrate when you meet them.
    4. Invest wisely. It is beyond the scope of this how-to to explain exactly how to invest your money, but do the research and find a way to make your savings grow and work for you. The richest people invest in real estate and the stock market. Remember that the more you play it safe, the longer it’ll probably take you to retire; on the flip side, the more you gamble, the more you risk losing your money and having to spend another year or more at your high-paying but miserable job.
    5. Keep your eye on the mark. Not everyone is cut out for the kind of life you’re going to have to lead in order to reach such an early retirement. There will be many times when you feel like giving in and throwing in the towel. Have a very clear vision and several ways to remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing, because you’ll need them.


    • While you will almost certainly want to work somewhere like New York, London, or San Francisco while you are earning your retirement, it is entirely impractical to retire there. Your goal is to sock away savings while living in an expensive city, then move somewhere cheaper. There are plenty of wonderful, affordable places to live in the US, or you can reach your retirement level even faster by moving to a cheaper country. There are entire colonies of retired Americans in cities like San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. One unfortunate outcome of this move is the distance it will create from your friends and family. This is one of the trade-offs you will have to make in order to gain financial freedom.
    • Consider the single life, at least until you retire. To achieve an early retirement, a period of sacrifice and hard work is mandatory, and finding a partner who shares your ambition sufficiently to make that sacrifice will be difficult. Furthermore, finding someone who shares your vision for geographic relocation and kids, and will maintain that vision, is doubly difficult. You can pursue relationships at leisure once you are retired, and you will have more time and energy to focus on your career while you are earning. But if true (and frugal) love should come your way before your retirement, you may want to pair up then instead of waiting.
    • Having children can be expensive, but it does not have to be. If you know how to stretch your dollar, the extra cost is very manageable.
    • Remember that you only need enough money to last you for say, 80 years, assuming that you don’t live to be over 115. This reduces your required nest egg size, since you do not have to live only off of interest, you can take out capital as well. By investing at 7% you can accumulate $1,200,000, which becomes a $50,000 (growing at 3% a year for inflation) income for the next 80 years!
    • Even if you do not actually retire in 10 years because the money earned in this way may not result in the lifestyle of a lottery winner-millionaire, this is a good way to get ahead. If you are okay with working hard for about 10 years by following all of the above, you will have set aside a very nice nest egg, and be considerably ahead of your peers who chose the ‘easy’ route. You can then get out of that high-stress job and continue working … full or part time … in a different environment, while you monitor your nest egg and let time-value/compound interests do their thing.
    • Even if you are “retired” you may wish to take up an enjoyable job, then you have no stress for getting fired, and you can supplement your nest-egg income to live really well, even on a teacher’s salary, for instance.
    • Remember with all of these suggested options to take breaks whenever you can, and commune with nature or creatively express yourself. For example: take urban day hikes; most cities at least have parks, and paint, draw, write, or sing and dance. Don’t forget who and what you are entirely or retirement will not be worth it – the journey is important, not just the goal.


    • The retirement described here is a modest early retirement, not the “winning the internet lottery” type of retirement available to folks like Pierre Omidyar or Sergey Brin. This is a plan where hard work can get you most of the way , whereas the jet-set early retirees mix in a lot of luck and timing. As such, your retirement lifestyle will be significantly more modest than most people think of when they consider early retirement.
    • Be aware this article is not titled “How to Be Happy“. The financial freedom of early retirement described in this article requires sacrificing many things that most people believe are the greatest sources of happiness in life, such as friendships, having kids, or driving a Mercedes-Benz and wearing clothes with designer labels. It is critical that you are self-aware enough to understand whether the freedoms and benefits of retiring early will be sufficiently rewarding to offset the sacrifices suggested by this article. This is a question only you can answer.
    • Unfortunately, if you’re already in your late 20s, it may be impossible to follow this strategy for retiring in your early 30s. While controlling your costs may still put you in a better financial position, you will already be set on a career path that may be difficult to redirect. Your ability to get those high paying jobs will be in a large part the product of hard work and focus in high school and college, therefore develop the work ethic during those years to land that investment banking job.
    • Consider that retirement may be boring. You may have a more fulfilling life by getting a lower paying job that you might enjoy and work until age 65.
    • Super High Paying jobs are hard to get. If they were easy to get then everyone would have one and everyone would be rich.

    Related wikiHows

    Sources and Citations

    Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

  • kobira 11:08 am on November 13, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: houseplants, most poisonous plants   

    poisonous plants 

    Only about 5,000 plants of the estimated 400,000 plant species have been scientifically studied in detail. An although we think that a lot has been going on in terms research in the new world, only about 1% of the plants known to traditional cultures have been studied. That is why pristine forests such as the equatorial forests in the Amazonian forest remain and important human heritage. We study plants for many reasons, food, medicine, ornaments, essential oils, aromatics, building, natural products and other uses.

    Poisonous plants in pastures, and careless use and handling of highly toxic chemicals can result in tremendous losses in productivity and even life. There are many poisonous plants in UK although some of them not native.

    Here is the well known ones;
    0. Nightshade (Atropa belladonna)
    0. Dumb cane (Dieffenbachia Sp.) it belong to the Araceae family
    0. German primula (Primula obconica)
    0. Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
    0. Garden rue (Ruta graveolens)
    0. Poison Oak (Rhus diversiloba)
    0. Poison-ivy (Rhus radicans- it is not a true Ivy but is in the same family as mangoes),
    0. Castor Oil plant (Ricinus communis ) is the sole member of the genus Ricinus and is a deadly poison,
    0. Manzanillo tree (Rhus striata) it is native to south America
    0. Wax tree (Rhus succedanea),
    0. Ratsbane (Dichapetalum toxicarium) is a very poisonous tree native to western Africa,
    0. Varnish tree (Toxicodendron vernicifluum) ,
    0. Poison Sumac tree (Rhus vernix),
    0. Water hemlock (Cicuta virosa).

    I will now briefly discuss some of these plants. These notes are not to be taken as an authoritative source, always talk to an expert before handling any of these plants. The information contained here maybe inaccurate or out of date. When buying these plants go into details such as knowing the name of the plant, how big it will grows and also remember to ask if it is poisonous. Some plants can affect your skin by merely touching it. Once you have bought, remember to label the plant appropriately to safeguard your family-especially if it one of those common houseplant that you intend to keep in a pot at home.

    Water hemlock (Cicuta virosa) and spotted hemlock (Conium maculatum) both native to Britain, are known to contain some of the deadliest poisons in their sap. They belong to same family as carrots, celery and parsley. It is thought that they cause vomiting, delirium and violent convulsions in their victims. The poisons they produce tend to cause death by asphyxiation.

    Many houseplants, such as dumb cane (Dieffenbachia) it belongs to the Araceae family and contain calcium oxalate crystals. When chewed, these damage the mouth and throat causing a burning sensation and swelling of the soft tissue. Young children and pets are particularly at risk. The plant commonly called German primula Primula obconica causes an allergic reaction in sensitised people. This plant has started appearing more and more in shops and farms recently. The positive thing is that scientists have produced allergen-free cultivars have been developed in recent years. The garden rue (Ruta graveolens) is known to cause a phototoxic reaction. This can be in form of irritation, pain and blisters result from exposure to plant sap. The reaction is worse if the affected part is exposed to bright sunlight. Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a phototoxic plant. Its sap can cause phytophotodermatitis (severe skin inflammations) when the skin is exposed to sunlight or to UV-rays.

    Names can cause confusion. Even to taxonomists and experienced gardeners, the visual appearance can lead to misidentification. Several plants have the common name nightshade. Deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) has black fruits that have be mistaken for bilberries although they are much larger. The fruits of the more common woody nightshade turn from green, through orange to red. Both are poisonous. Some of these plants have potential for useful medicinal uses, but until they are processed, keep away from them.

    Always check with the local gardening association if the plant you want to buy is on the list of known poisonous houseplants before you take it home. You will be surprised to know that most common houseplants are actually listed as poisonous in varying degree-from very poisonous to mildly poisonous. Often these houseplants are not only poisonous to animals such as cats and dogs, but also humans, so please keep your young children away from them.

    Lastly, remember some plants are protected and controlled, so make sure you don’t buy a plant imported to this country without a license. You can check the list of plants whose trade is controlled; The Royal Horticultural Society, CITES (an acronym for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), HM Customs and Excise and DEFRA (Department of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs).

    For more information, see these references;
    Kew garden
    Epic Centre Kew
    herbarium freehostia
    Royal Horticultural Society

  • kobira 3:16 pm on June 25, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: fruits, Fun, life, luxury   

    One Basket One Fruit 

    Nice fruits:-)

    A nice  basket of fruits

    A nice basket of fruits

    Pauline’ African Gastronomy
    1. Mashed bananas with beef stew
    -peel and boil them.
    -once cooked, add margarine and mash then set aside.
    -fry meat and season/marinate it with garlic,ginger,cardamoms and pepper.
    -serve it hot.

    2. Pilau-kachumbari (Rice dish)
    -fry the meat untill well done and brown.
    Add pilau masala,onions,garlic,pilau masala and sauce.
    *ratio is 1:2. Eg if its quarter meat then rice should be half a kg.
    Add washd rice 2 th mixture n mix it up.
    Add water,cover up,reduce heat and let it cook and let the water dry up completely.
    -take it off the heat and leave it covered for 5-10 mins.
    *1 glass of rice is cooked in 2 glasses of water.
    -dice onions,tomatoes and dhania into small pieces.
    Squeeze lemon in2 the mixture and mash a little
    Serve hot/warm

    3. Githeri (sweet corn) mixed with mashed potatoes

    -fry potatoes and let them cook in low heat.
    Add githeri (sweet corn). Cook untill potatoes are well done.
    -mash it up and serve with steamed spinach or cabbage salad.
    -grate carrots,cabbage and cucumber add mayonnaise and mix.
    -serve while hot.

    4. Banana /cassava/mix with chicken

    -dice nduma/cassava,sweet potatoes,banana or potatoes (whteva is available)
    -fry them up starting with the toughest as you keepp adding the rest.
    -add soup cook for a while untill ready.
    -fry chicken and serve with the mixture.

    5. Irio (potatoes/spinach/beans/corn)

    -fry potatoes and add githeri.
    -when well cooked add spinach and cook for while then mash.
    -fry meat and serve hot

  • kobira 3:44 pm on October 18, 2006 Permalink |
    Tags: hotel, keep fit, relax, sports   

    more veges! 

    Sukuma wiki
    Lutein, lycopenes and zeaxanthin are important nutrition elements that we get from vegetables (kales-Sukuma wiki, broccoli, tomatoes, leafy vegetables etc). These nutrients are important in the regeneration of damaged body cells. Remember cells are important and some parts of the cells, for instance the DNA in the mitochondria, do not regenerate-they are inherited from the mother. If you lose them, you are in trouble because they are the producers/generators of energy that the cell utilises. How scary is that!
    A diet full of these nutrients is better than medicines if eaten in enough quantities everyday. An important part of the eye-Macular, can be protected from degeneration (reduced sight) if we eat more veges. These nutrients act as anti-oxidants thus neutralising the free radicals that lead loss of site. So more veges may mean less or no trip to the optician.
    This is a case for more veges, less chocolates, burgers and fizzy drinks. Long live Sukuma and Saget
    Relax more and get engaged in sports.



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