Thursday, April 30, 2009

My wordles. Say that again. Your wor what?

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. I used words from my Tweetstats to create the two Wordles below.

Which Wordle do you like the most? The first one or the second one? They are based on the same data, with a lot of @pinkm of course.

All images are attributed to

Oops, she did it again

During a performance last week, Britney Spears was caught on camera with something dangling between her legs. A closer look reveals that Alice Cooper was right: "Only women bleed" (Please note however that - contrary to what many listeners believe - this Alice Cooper song is not about menstruation, but about how women bleed from the heart, mind and soul).

At least it is only a tampon string this time, it could have been worse I would say...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Some ideas for Aquamist, Dasani and Keringet

Bottled mineral water is expensive in Kenya. But I don't trust my tap water, so I usually buy mineral water. My favorite one is currently Aquamist, but if any of the other major brands like Dasani or Keringet could just come up with a good advertisement such as the one below, I'll easily be convinced. Sorry the voice is in some strange language, but I think the images make it clear.

Oops, I am very thirsty now, let me go and get some water...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Esther, Janet or Lilian?

How do you rate KTN's female news anchors? Who is the most professional? Difficult? OK, let's make the question a bit easier then: who is the hottest? Esther Arunga, Janet Mbugua, or Lilian Muli? Let's do a little poll.

My favourite is the gorgeous Janet Mbugua of course. Why? Well, listen to her deep voice and low intonation. How sexy is that? Then look at her full lips. How soft is that? She doesn't smile too often. How cool is that?

The only thing that worries me a bit about Janet is the period she spent in Malaysia. "I was modelling in clubs", she said in a recent interview in the Standard. But what does that really mean in practice? I should have been there in Malaysia at that time to confirm, so it is too late to worry too much about it right now...

And what about the competition?

OK, Esther Arunga is eloquent. But what else?

And yes, Lilian Muli is assertive. But what else really?

Let me open up a poll on the right side of this blog where you can cast your votes. Please also feel free to comment using the comment form.

UPDATE: Here are the results of the poll. Janet won, saw an opportunity and left KTN for greener pastures...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The monetary value of Kenyan Tweets

I did a rather controversial post recently on the monetary value of Kenyan blogs. And today, the growing popularity of the micro-blogging site Twitter in Kenya made me wonder whether Tweets also have a value. And yes, apparently some people sell their Twitter profile background graphic to advertisers at a price based on various factors. You can use What's Your Tweet Worth? to calculate the approximate value of your Tweet per month by simply entering a username into the site. I just ran the applet for 10 of my favourite Kenyan Tweets, and here are the results:
These ten tweets give us a total of US$423.04. That's about KShs 34,000 - every month. With that kind of budget, the ten of us could organize some nice choma party - every month.

The site doesn’t provide any insights on how the valuation is calculated, so please take this with the usual pinch of salt.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

KTN exposes dubious business and bribery at Track-It

One of the ways to get your car back after a carjacking is the installation of an anti-theft tracking device. At a price, tracking companies will install this technology in your car so that they can track and recover it if it is ever stolen. What if, though such a company only said they would install the device, but never actually did? KTN has found and unveils the people behind Track-It, a company which has been giving many people a false sense of security through a scam. Here is the first in a three-part Inside Story, 'The Rogue Tracker', with KTN's John-Allan Namu, which was aired yesterday.

And here is the reaction from Track-It:

And here is Part II of the story (aired on April 14th):

And here is the final part (aired on April 15th):

So what do we do now? Fortunately, there are still witches in Kenya that can be paid with one goat and one chicken to track down stolen vehicles...

UPDATE (April 15th): The story also appeared in today's Standard.
UPDATE (April 16th): And more again in the Standard.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Challenge for Africa

In her new book "The Challenge for Africa", Wangari Maathai offers a refreshing perspective on the challenges facing Africa. She calls for a moral revolution among Africans themselves, who, she argues, are culturally deracinated, adrift between worlds. She sheds light the complex and dynamic nature of the continent, and offers “hardheaded hope” and “realistic options” for change and improvement. She analyzes some of the most critical bottlenecks to development in Africa occurring at the international, national, and individual levels (including cultural upheaval and enduring poverty) and describes what Africans can and need to do for themselves using culture, nature and self-belief, while also stressing responsibility and accountability. Ultimately what Africa needs is a revolution in leadership, but this cannot be ushered in by western governments, well-meaning NGOs - or even Bono and Sharon Stone - it must happen within African societies and individuals themselves: "At both the top and the bottom, all Africans must believe in themselves again; that they are capable of walking their own path and forging their own identity, that they have a right to be governed with justice, accountability and transparency, that they can honor and practice their cultures and make them relevant to today's needs, and that they no longer need to be indebted—financially, intellectually, and spiritually—to those who once governed them. They must rise up and walk." I really enjoyed reading Wangari Maathai's autobiography "Unbowed", so this new one is now on top of my reading list.

Also note that on April 15th, 18th, 19th and 20th, CNN International will present a special programme entitled "Revealed: Wangari Maathai". Click here for more information & local times where you are. It can also be seen in full on the CNN Revealed website from April 15th. A short promo is available now.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter wishes

Be careful what you wish for this Easter, because you just might get more than you bargained for... Enjoy one of the most popular Benny Hill sketches.

Some people tell me that the sketch is actually anti-gay. I don't agree, it has many stereotypes anyway, and it is just extremely funny. What do you think?