MPC: The Undoing – Recap

This post shows all the images of those that took part in the monthly photography challenge: An Early Evening Walk by Heather’s Photography Flat-top Buckwheat by Laura Jeanne Halo by Rotochobin Green Dodge by Kabira Arts Sakura by Katja Puppe … Continue reading

Monthly Photography Challenge: Le Noir

Fence

The month of march is a good one. It’s the time where spring begins to show its true colors and flowers begin to feign interest in blossoming. The bright sunshine and vivid colors of spring are the best part of spring season photography. The reds pop, the yellows shine and we can’t help but color-correct some cyans and magentas into the shadows. The bottom-line is spring is the best season for taking colorful pictures. That’s why I have decided to take away all the color from spring this month and express it in good old-fashioned black and white.

Before I continue geeking out on how excited I am about this new challenge, I feel obliged to write about what I’ve been up to this past few days. Over the last week, Russia and Ukraine (the country I live in) have been edging towards what could be a 21st century war, and the money I was supposed to preserve incase war actually breaks out and I have to buy a flight ticket outta here is what I’ve invested in a 50mm f 1.8 Nikon prime lens, some food stuff and Killzone: Mercenary for PS Vita (which is the best first person shooter on the handheld by far). I just couldn’t resist. The Ukrainian currency is currently so low, I felt I would be harming myself if I didn’t take advantage. Anyways, just incase war breaks out and I don’t have enough money and legs to run, I’ve decided to download an android app that teaches civilians how to shoot guns. I’m also practicing my protesting voice. Hint: It’s gonna be louder than Leonardo DiCaprio’s screams in Wolf of Wall Street. I’m also learning how to say “Don’t shoot me, I’m on your side” in both Ukrainian and Russian languages. That should get me prepared for anything.

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Anyways, back to photography. Last month was a great experience. I bent the leaves of my physiology textbook, created shadows and exploited my portfolio for several photos which had anything to do with love. There were a lot of pictures I still didn’t get to upload as I had forgotten that the month of february had only 28 days, not 31. This month however, I intend uploading at least 15 pictures in black and white, then maybe an article about my experience shooting and editing a particular picture.

Remember you could always be a part of the fun by taking bright, colorful spring photos, converting them to black and white and sending them to my page on Facebook “Victor Ohwo Photography”, or if you’re on Instagram, upload the photo and insert the hashtag #MPCle_noir if you want me to see them. (Both old and new photos included). Or you could send me the link to the picture as a comment on any of my blog posts if you’ve already posted it somewhere. You could partake, you could not partake, you could partake. It’s stupid. I’m stupid.

Okay, that should be it for now. Thanks for reading and an even bigger thanks for partaking (if you do). You’ll be hearing from me, I hope to hear from you too.

In oddly related news, I feel like watching Casablanca. I really want to be able to feel what people feel when they think of the sentence: “Here’s looking at you kid.”

Casablanca_BogartBergman

What We Learnt This Week

Hi there! Welcome to the first WWLTW of the year 2014 and I swear it was meant to be much better than this but you know, the procrastinating heart wants what the procrastinating heart wants. Anyways, no “new year new me” for me,  WWLTW isn’t going to change much, it’s still going to be me pretending to be a journalist and you pretending to be an adept reader of WordPress blogs. In my opinion, the first week of the year was pretty dull, except Jan 1st (you’ll know why later) and I’m not covering CES yet, so maybe next week when I understand WTF they are doing. Enough chit chat, let’s see what PoP learnt this week:

1. January 1st on a Wednesday, thanks but no thanks.

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            I love public holidays; they give me something to look forward to. There’s a pleasure that comes with an early week ending or an extended weekend rest with a holiday on Monday, but a holiday on Wednesday? That’s not right. It was a totally useless day and the worst part was that I then had to carry myself up to class the following day…and the next. There should be no holidays in the middle of the week any more; let’s pass that as a law, because it just doesn’t make sense. If I want to escape one day of work at the middle of the week, all I have to do is call in sick. New Years celebration on a Wednesday is LAME, I could tell from the faces of the people I saw on Thursday.

2. Sherlock is back from the dead and is as arrogant as ever- we love it!

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            Remember when I said January 1st was great, this was most definitely why. The real time adaptation of Mark Gatiss and Steve Moffat returned on BBC One last Wednesday with an episode from the actual story “the Adventure of the Empty House” titled “The Empty Hearse” and Sherlock Holmes is back with a bang, but still the same; a practical genius in many areas, but awkwardly stupid in fundamentals. He thought he’d be dead for 2 years and life would still revolve around him? That’s a sociopath right there! But not to worry, I’m not giving any spoilers, as the show is yet to hit US television screens (although I’m sure they’ve pirated it and watched it anyways). Sherlock’s return is definitely why I smiled on January 2nd and it’s why I’m smiling now, because episode 2 is out. Spoiler alert! They used a swear word in the episode, it’s “F-Cough”. Sherlock is a TV series for the great minds and it’s a great way to understand the character if you don’t usually grok Arthur Conan Doyle’s lingo (PS: I think ACD was a angel sent from God, to teach us the science of deduction so that we can deduce that God is real and pledge our lives to him for as long as we live). Sherlock is a must-see for everyone and if you haven’t seen it, I urge you go look for it; it would change your life.

3. Scientists find where all your emotions go.

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Finnish researchers have been able to find out where all your emotions go in our bodies with a little study they showed up with in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, called ‘Body Atlas’. How did they arrive at this? Well, they asked 773 people who participated in the study to highlight the areas of their body where they felt more activity, or less activity after they were shown stories, movies, words, etc. that have specific influences. Where sensations were high, they would color red, then yellow while blue colored areas signified lowered sensation. Pretty impressive stuff, there is obviously a sharp difference between depression and sadness (people tend to confuse those two), anger shows high activity in the arms also (which explains why you almost always want to punch someone in the face when you’re angry), happiness looks pretty widespread, love shows some serious abdominal activity, finally explaining the “butterflies in your stomach feeling”, envy and contempt are all in your head, and shame looks like Spider Man. Oh! Yea, in case you were wondering, the study was made on Finnish and Taiwanese people, I’m pretty sure Africans are configured differently.

4. Transfer window buzz begins.

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The January transfer window opens once again and with it, speculation. Bertrand Traore, the Burkina Faso international moved to Chelsea, only for him to be loaned to Vitesse Arnhem. Clint Dempsey is with Fulham (again) for 2 months though, and some other non-note worthy signings…yet and Atletico Madrid and Chelsea are said to be working out a deal that keeps Thibaut Courtois and renders Koke or Diego Costa as leverage (What a rip-off! For Atletico that is; Costa and Koke would flop in the BPL, I can bet on it). The January transfer window is however best known for its biggest flop, Fernando Torres but there have been some good signings from January too e.g. Luis Suarez, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra. Although the Luis Suarez thing is debatable, he has caused a lot of catastrophe since he arrived at Anfield, only fair he made himself useful at some point. In other news, Torres scored on New Year’s Day, he effectively has more goals this year than Leo Messi- Torres is back! January holds some stiff promise with managers looking for that mid-season fresh blood and here’s a list of players who might be moving this month: Xabi Alonso, Salomon Kalou (to God knows where), Mario Balotelli (to Chelsea), Dimitar Berbatov, Edin Dzeko (to Valencia), Iker Casillas (all things are possible with the World Cup coming), Juan Mata (anywhere really, he’s that desperate), Wayne Rooney (common Wayne, are we still on this bus?) and lots more. Be sure to keep tabs on Manchester United, they may sign in a flop or two to add to their clueless manager and Marouane Fellaini.

5. FIFA World Cup 2014 may begin with a mind-control kick.

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Thanks to “The Walk Again Project”, a paralyzed teenager, using mind-controlled prostheses would kick-off the FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer. According to CNET’s Bonnie Burton “The exoskeleton will support the lower part of the body and enable the paralyzed wearer to walk using wireless electrodes attached to the head that collect brainwaves, which then signal the suit to move.” As for me, I think its going to take more than a magical kick to get Spain to retain their title as Champions of the World #teamNigeria.

Photo Credits: CNET, Google and Bunch of other places I can’t remember. Thanks!

What we Learnt This week

 

            Finally, November ends and with it, some important events I’d really love to participate in but can’t, because I haven’t got time or money like NaNoWriMo, NaBloPoMo, Thanksgiving and Black Friday. All the same, the last week of November was a great week and here are a few things we learnt from it:

1.    The Prices of Xbox One and PS 4 are not coming down any time soon

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How do I know this? The answer is simple; those new game consoles are making megabucks right now. With PS 4 and Xbox One selling over a million units within their first respective 24 hrs, I don’t think the first thing on either Sony or Microsoft’s minds is to reduce the price of their respective best selling gaming consoles at the moment. However, good news arrives, well not so good news, according to this article by Nick Statt on CNET, the next best bet is on game bundles, which I assume to be a great bargain if I do say so, myself. You could buy a console and a game to play on it at once? That sounds awesome. Anyways, if you don’t want bundles and you don’t like spending more than the equivalent of $400 in your currency for a game and you’ve been waiting anxiously for a price cut on either of the consoles, get your sorry, frugal, ass to the game store and buy it for what it costs now, because it isn’t getting any cheaper anytime soon.

2.    Where there is no Cristiano Ronaldo, there is a Bale

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Ever since his mega money move from Tottenham Hotspurs to Real Madrid, the current world’s most expensive player, Gareth Bale, has been under immense scrutiny; every single person wants to point their finger at him. He kicks a ball wide, he’s a flop, he makes a pass that doesn’t connect, he’s a flop, he jumps for a header but doesn’t get the ball, and he’s a flop. So many accusations for one man who just got to a new club in a new country playing a new style of football, in a new league not more than 3 months ago; its uncanny. And then comes the injury to Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale shows his worth with a superb free kick against Galatasaray in the UCL and a hat trick against Valladolid in La Liga. I for one, remember how Real Madrid play without Ronaldo, its like watching a bunch of chickens kicking a rubber ball around and then managing to score a goal or two and running away to victory, no real entertainment. But in Bale, Real Madrid has the second stand out man they have needed for way too long. Bet his critics are in their niche hiding now that the Welshman has risen to the occasion, but I’ll be expecting them to come at him when he kicks the ball wide in any incoming match.

3.    Pastor Ade Teaches us How to Praise

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In the city of Donetsk, every Sunday the Doxa City Church, Donetsk, holds a church service at Artema 131a behind Stolichniy hotel. This previous Sunday was no different and everything seemed to be going according to plan: Opening prayer, a few songs, TOL, Praise and worship, testimonies, Choir ministration, another round of worship, Main message, announcements, offering, share the grace and go home to continue the sad routine that is the life of a foreign student. Then along comes Pastor Ade from Zaporozhe right before the offering is given and he raises song that changes everything. He doesn’t sing songs by Israel and New Breed, Ron Kenoly, Hillsong or Marvin Sapp but he praises God the way he knows how, the way we know how; in typical Nigerian praise. The people sing, the people dance, its obvious the previous praise session didn’t show any of the congregations’ potentials. The best part of the praise session is that we know the songs and the songs know us too well, then we sing and dance till the atmosphere changes. The offering basket goes round and for the first time in the church, it’s as if people want to give their money away. They place their envelopes in the baskets with smiles on their faces, like it’s not a formality anymore. Thank you Pastor Ade, God bless you richly, may you continue to grow in grace more and more and more.

Autumn Yellows

Autumn 2012Ah! Autumn, the time where the city is at its peak of beauty, with trees bearing leaves that look more yellow than the cornea of a person with jaundice, garnished by the tinge of magenta that comes with the clear sky. William Yeats captured it well enough when he said, “The trees are in their autumn beauty, and the woodlands paths are dry. Under the October twilight, the water mirrors a still sky”. Its that time of the year when people put on sad excuses for sweaters and complain about the subtle cold that seems like devilish chills after the atmospheric sauna that was the summer

There are a few things I love about autumn. Firstly, the name autumn: it sounds like what you’d name the prettiest girl in the world. Maybe its just my inner linguist talking but any word that puts two vowels close together always gets my vocabulary juices flowing. Autumn sounds like the something good, something relieving, something that heals; it makes me want to make more of myself. Secondly, the leaves: Oh! The yellow leaves, which mimics the color of a jaundiced Caucasian. They are shiny and dry and amazingly half dead. And then they fall, fall to the ground in a swaying motion, taking their time to make sure every bit of their life was worth it. Like they are heading for eternal rest in the bosom of some amazing dry-leaf goddess that would take care of them for eternity. It likens to the resolution of a movie, the part where the bad guy finally dies and good prevails, the part where you get to understand the twisted mind of the antagonist, the part where the insecure girl falls for the captain of the basketball team, the part where the prodigal son returns.

Autumn is my favorite part of the year. It lies between a moment of joy and a period of work. It is the perfect transition from reward back to labor. It inspires me. That as those leaves fall, one after the other, I shed my skin, and I give away every bit of myself back to the world that has given me so much. It makes me see me the way I ought to see myself, as naked; that nothing lasts forever. That the glories which sprouted in spring and blossomed in summer have faded away and once again I have to earn the right to be who I want to be. That I can’t be perfect no matter how hard I try. That no matter how much I blossom, there are just some things I can’t fight against. It reminds me that I am indeed insufficient. That I have limits and that the leaves with which I shield myself will one day turn yellow and fall away.

Best of all, it reminds me that it’s time. Time to work hard to make my leaves grow again, time to settle down and protect myself from the fiery winter, time to go into the dark and study hard, and most importantly, time to prepare to blossom in the upcoming spring. Because I have now come to see that the joy of success beats the pain of the process anytime, any day.