Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Bigfoot Carbon Footprint

US President Barack Obama yesterday boosted hopes of a global climate deal in Copenhagen next month saying the world had moved closer to a “strong operational agreement” on climate change. Closer to home, our own Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said Kenya would work to restore tree cover and explore renewable energy options as its contribution to combating climate change ahead of next month's climate summit in Copenhagen.

With all the current buzz about climate change in the lead-up to the Copenhagen summit, I decided to calculate my own 'carbon footprint'. Your carbon footprint is the sum of all emissions of CO2 (carbon dioxide), which were induced by your activities in a given time frame. Usually a carbon footprint is calculated for the time period of a year.

Many carbon footprint calculators are available on the web, but not all of them are relevant to the Kenyan situation. Your carbon footprint is partly determined by the country in which you live. The reason is there are different standards depending on your country of residence and different units of measurement. And different countries have varying carbon footprints for electricity generation.

I used this carbon footprint calculator powered by Carbon Footprint. The results are shocking!
  • My footprint is 11.80 tonnes per year
  • The average footprint for people in Kenya is 0.31 tonnes
  • The average for the industrial nations is about 11 tonnes
  • The average worldwide carbon footprint is about 4 tonnes
  • The worldwide target to combat climate change is 2 tonnes

When I looked at my carbon footprint graphic, it reminded me of the legendary but boring Bigfoot movies like Harry and the Hendersons. Yes, my carbon footprint is bigger than the average footprint for people in Kenya, bigger than the average worldwide carbon footprint, and even bigger than the average for the industrial nations. Since we are not talking about the size of my manhood here - which wouldn't be a cause for alarm - but about the size of my carbon footprint, something needs to be done about it here and now.

So now I will have to start reducing my contribution to the carbon emissions that are destroying our earth. Apart from reducing my carbon footprint, I should also offset my carbon emissions. In Kenya, this is now fucking easy, since you can just Swear For A Tree, thanks to @Kahenya and @afromusing. So go and calculate your carbon footprint now, try to reduce it, then swear away, and tell me what the hell you think about this great tree planting initiative.

Oh, and if you're bored, you can always watch a Bigfoot movie or read a Bigfoot story to your kids:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sexy veggies

Yes, I know we have all been enjoying plenty of nyama choma parties after I revealed this innovation. But, now it turns out that all the roasted meat is not good for you after all. Research has discovered two cancer-causing (carcinogenic) byproducts associated with barbecuing red meat, poultry, lamb, pork, and fish.

So, I am becoming a vegetarian (for one week). No meat, and more fruits, nuts and veggies. Cool, not? It's easy in Kenya, we have so many good fruits and veggies readily available here, even organic ones. Companies like Green Dreams produce fresh vegetables and fruits in an organic way and have a passion for healthy living.

What, you find fruits and veggies boring? Have a look at this picture then:

Yes indeed, tomatoes are good for you! Tomatoes contain awesome amounts of lycopene, thought to have the highest antioxidant activity of all the carotenoids.

And what about this PETA ad which features a bevy of beauties who are powerless to resist the temptation of veggie love? It was deemed too hot for the Super Bowl. NBC rejected the video because of concerns over a woman "licking pumpkin, touching her breast with her hand while eating broccoli, pumpkin from behind between legs, rubbing pelvic region with pumpkin, screwing herself with broccoli (fuzzy), asparagus on her lap appearing as if it is ready to be inserted into vagina, licking eggplant, and rubbing asparagus on breast..."

The video got me interested in doing some practical research into this myth or fact that vegetarians make better lovers. So I am trying it out this week, starting tomorrow.

Am not sure though whether I would need to have a vegetarian partner for maximum effect... Anyone out there who has tried this out at home? Please leave your comment.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Welcome to the ICC Detention Centre

Kenyans have been eagerly awaiting the visit by the International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo. This visit could become an important step towards ending impunity in Kenya of the perpetrators of the post-election violence.

I explained earlier why I would love to go to The Hague. But that is of course because I would not be detained there. But I also don't understand why the key suspects of the post-election violence are fearing the ICC.

Today, I had a look at some images of the ICC Detention Centre, and I must say the place doesn't look too bad in comparison with our local centres here in Kenya. On the left of this post, you can see a standard room, the gym where detainees are offered training with a physical education instructor, and the library and spiritual room at the ICC Detention Centre (images courtesy of ICC).

The ICC endeavors to ensure the mental, physical and spiritual welfare of the detained persons within an efficient system of detention, with consideration to their cultural diversity and their development as individuals.

In achieving this aim, the daily programme of the Detention Centre allows the detained persons access to fresh air, recreational time and sports activities. They have access to library books, news and television. Detained persons have access to computer facilities to work on their own cases. If needed (dear ICC, rest assured that this is indeed needed for the Kenyans who will be detained there), detained persons are given the opportunity of computer training. Following the mandate of the ICC, as an e-Court, each detained person has a computer in his/ her cell, which is linked to one specific computer at the Court; only his defence has access to that computer. The Defence can upload caserelated material which the detained person can access and make comments on.

Acknowledging the right of a detained person to privacy with his/ her Defence; and recognising the importance for him/ her to communicate freely with the consular or diplomatic representative of his/ her country of origin; a detained person is entitled to privileged communication with persons falling under those two categories. This denotes that such communication shall not monitored be by the Detention Centre staff. In addition, the detained persons are entitled to visits by a minister or spiritual advisor of their religion or belief, for which an area within the Detention Centre is allocated.

With a view of maintaining family links, specific attention is given to visits by the family and visits by the wife (note to Kenyans: not 'wifes') or partner of the detained persons; and may take measures to assist the family in the necessary procedures thereof, if required.

Detained persons are provided with suitably prepared food that satisfies in quality and quantity the standards of dietetics and modern hygiene. Additionally, detained persons are allowed to cook for themselves (dear ICC, please note that Kenyan high level officials don't know how to cook!); they can purchase additional items, listed on the shopping list of the Detention Centre (is there ugali on that list?), as available, in order for them to adjust the meals provided to them, according to their taste and cultural requirements. However, Charles Taylor's lawyers have complained that the food which is served is completely eurocentric and not palatable to the African palate.

The Red Cross has unrestricted access to the Detention Centre. Its delegates pay unannounced visits to the Detention Centre, with the purpose of examining the treatment of the detained persons, their living conditions and their physical and psychological conditions, in conformity with widely accepted international standards governing the treatment of persons deprived of liberty.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Kenya in darkness - but still Tweeting

Last night, a national power outage plunged Kenya into darkness. Just like with Julie Gichuru's pregnancy, you heard if first on Twitter. Kenyan Tweeple quickly started using the hashtags #kenyaindarkness (launched by @mountainous) and #KPLC, so they could follow the latest events (if they still some had battery life left on their phones or laptops). Here are some of my favorite tweets related to the blackout. Most of them were very funny, making this disturbing event quite enjoyable. Some Kenyans were just making the best out of it (having sex, making babies), but others were suspecting political interference...

kenyanpundit Maybe KPLC have gotten into the American thing aka Obama mania, this is celebrating Halloween, KPLC style #kenyaindarkness

mojizzzle #KPLC should stand for Kenya Please Light Candles

kenyanpundit Wonder how many of my .ke friends will be having babies 9 months from now... #kenyaindarkness

mountainous Mark your calendars cos 9 months from today you can expect to be sending out very many baby cards #KPLC #FAIL

MwaiKibaki I have constituted a commission of inquiry led by Samuel Gichuru to look into the nationwide blackout. No stove will be left untouched #KPLC

ek13photos Now that the lights are back in KE, I wonder how many people were caught in compromising positions... again no pun intended #kenyaindarkness

bobgamz KPLC could be doing couples a favor...what with the cold weather...*did i just say that?*

faithcnn Apparently, there's a blackout in Kenya -- the whole country has gone dark. #kenyaindarkness

iAlen Or maybe Kibaki used to #kenyaindarkness gap to visit Wambui in Muthaiga. If Roocey gets wind of this? heh...srap srap srap

damiancook Q: What did Kenyans use for lighting before they had fire and candles? A: Electricity #kenyaindarkness

damiancook #kenyaindarkness Actually unless Vision 2030 is Night Vision we ain't gonna see much

mountainous There was an article today in the newspaper about Nuclear power in Kenya but I ignored it sounded like fiction #kenyaindarkness

ek13photos why is everyone talking about babies with this #kenyaindarkness business???

mountainous when the power goes off Kenyans reach for their phones and head to twitter and facebook #kenyaindarkness

RafikiKenya #kenyaindarkness we should do this more often, great atmosphere, super sex

ArcherMishale I think @lucykibaki turned off the national grid. Woman, your blowdryer switch is the other one! Washa stima! #blackout

mountainous No loud music from the club across the road #Kenyaindarkness

artsim Guess who is not complaining of the #kplc nationwide blackout :) sitting by the pool under a full moon enjoying the sea breeze *bliss*

nymou So whoever presented th news tonight must've felt like an idiot knowing no one's watching. #kplc #fail

kahenya I hope I am wrong but @PaulaKahumbu might be right. I think there is something political going on. For real.

ArcherMishale There's a coup in progress! #nairumours #kenyaindarkness #KPLC

bobgamz Or maybe they are ferrying out some P.E.V suspects under the cover of darkness?...u may wake up to a new Kenya tomorrow...

paulakahumbu That wasn't 22 minutes you bastard computer....ZZZzzz catch u all when #blackout is over be safe

At least some people were lucky to have some battery life left on their phones and laptops, but in order to be prepared for future events, I would now like to launch the following idea: Could we have a Twitter version for candles as well? What do you think?