Thursday, 30 August 2012

Five Keys to Taking Control of Your Health

Today, we take a break from the usual tech, events, education and development stuff to talk about health. Guest blogger Dr. Carl Nutsugah blogs at GH Health Diary a Ghana-focused health blog. In this post, he sums up five critical steps for taking control of one's health. Enyoy!

 
Your health is a very crucial asset to you. Do you believe that? Usually a lot of people would say yes but the question is what are you doing about it.

Point is I know it aint easy to start exercising and eating some well ‘calibrated’ diets and all because trust me I also struggle with this. Before you start you need to work on your mind. Maybe you should read more about health issues and also visit the hospitals, lol, no don’t visit the hospitals. But make a conscious effort to take control of your health, resolve to enjoy your old age and also try to understand how crucial your health is to you.

Before you start just remember these five steps.
Start low
See it big but keep it simple. I have been in the same gym with first timers who start by lifting weights way bigger for them and guess what they never came back. You don’t have to jog for 5km on your first week if u decide to start jogging. You don’t have to start eating supper at 5 pm if you think eating late is your problem for the big belly. Start simple and gradually build up until you can take it a step higher. This makes it possible for a na├»ve body to all of a sudden get used to all the new stress.

Make it fun
This is a very important aspect of any health remedy encounter. If its not fun its not going anywhere because you would probably stop very soon and do something more relaxing like sleeping and watching movies. Make it spicy by involving likeminded people who share your passion and chose a place where it is more fun.
Make it sustainable
Sustainability is a very rare gem in a workout plan. Usually starting low and making it fun takes care of this but not necessarily always. Sustainability must include a plan that stands the test of time and is an objective approach for you. 
Diet! Diet!! Diet!!!
Diet alone can do the magic. Most at times all that stand between you and your workout goal is your diet. Even though I would talk more about dieting on a later post, it is important to put at the back of your mind that you are what you eat and you are exactly that.
Work on your mind.
They say the biggest sex organ is the mind, I say the biggest workout organ you have is your mind. Do not be psychologically defeated before you start working out and taking control of your health. Know deep within your mind not your heart, that you can take control of your health.

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTH NOW and enjoy quality life you are working so hard to achieve.
Follow @ghhealthdiary & @carlnutsugah on Twitter for up-to-the-mminute updates. Read more at  ghhealthdiary.blogspot.com & virgoinitiatives.blogspot.com.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Google Hangout Discussion on IEA Presidential Encounters

Yesterday, I took part in a Google plus hangout organised by Ghana Decides to discuss submissions from presidential candidates of various political parties in the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) presidential encounters series. I joined fellow Ghanaians from different locations throughout the world to discuss what we made of the submissions of the leaders of Convention People's Party (CPP), People's National Convention (PNC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) as Ghana prepares for elections in December. The hangout was broadcast live on the Ghana Decides YouTube Channel. You can follow the discussion for yourself through this video:


Various opinions were shared, but what was clear is that people expect the IEA encounters to have little impact on the outcome of the polls (due to a perceived language barrier as the discourses were undertaken in English and that most people already made up their minds on who to vote for). However, it was agreed that the platform created by IEA has become an important hallmark of our democracy. It's relevance lies in the fact that whoever wins power will be held accountable for the pronouncements made to the people captured live on televison, radio and on the Internet. Another thing that was clear was the seeming distrust of political authority and their willingness to really bring change to the country. 

All in all it was an interesting discussion and another example of the use of social media as a tool for civic engagement in our part of the world. I look forward to another opportunity in the future to talk, not only about politics, but also about other topics I'm interested in. What do you think about the points made during the discussion? What were your impressions about the IEA Evening Encounters? What do you think are the main issues that concern the youth as far as democracy in Ghana/Africa is concerned? It'd be good to know!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Ghana's High School Students Learn How to Build Robots

Future Ghanaian engineers busy building their robots. Source: www.ashesi.edu.gh
High school students from all over Ghana were given the opportunity to sharpen their science and technology skills through the Ashesi Robotics Experience (ARX), a five-day robotics competition recently hosted by one of Ghana's most innovative universities, Ashesi University CollegeARX was also aimed at piquing the interest of students in industry-relevant careers in computer science, engineering and technology.

I could not visit the Berekuso, Eastern Region, campus of Ashesi to savour the robotics experience firsthand, but this amazing YouTube video shot by Sharifah Issaka does a good job relaying what transpired:



The experience itself, as evident in the video, was fun, not only for the particpants, but for Ashesi President Patrick Awuah Jr himself as well.


Ashesi University seems to be getting it right when it comes to practical and quality tertiary education in Ghana. I can only applaud their efforts to get Ghanaian high schoolers to develop deep analytical and problem-solving skills while wooing them to their university.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Ghanaian Team Emerges Tops in Google Online Marketing Challenge

CLAK Impressions. Ghana's digital media whizz kids.
CLAK impressions, from the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, have emerged as one of the best teams worldwide in this year's Google Online Marketing Challenge. In the annual student online marketing competition that tests the ability of competitors to maximise a given amount of Google Adwords advertising budget, Kwasi Owusu Achiaw, Lenny Wosornu, Seth Adinkra, Charles Mensah and Maria Meir (lecturer) have chalked the following accolades based on their work for the Golden Baobab Foundation
  • 1st in Ghana
  • 1st in Africa
  • 2nd in Africa-Middle East Region
  • Global Finalist (Top 20 team)
CLAK Impressions with Golden Baobab team
Their exploit puts them in the running for a Social Impact Award, which will potentially send Golden Baobab to the bank laughing with between $5000 to $15000. News in town is that they achieved more than 100% success rate on their campaigns for Golden Baobab. This is another refreshing news, reinforcing the role of various youth-led initiatives in Africa's digital revolution. Well done, CLAK Impressions!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Ghanaian Scientist Part of Curiosity Mars Exploration Team?

Human's continuous quest to unravel the secrets of the universe is running full throttle with the successful landing of the space rover, Curiosity on Mars. Curiosity's mission is simple, to see whether the red planet has ever supported life, even microbial forms. The news of its landing generated great excitement all over the web, challenging the popularity of even the olympic games. CNN asks whether Curiosity will finally open up martian frontier.

One of the first images captured by Curiosity. Source: CNN.com
What was most interesting to note, however are reports that among the many NASA engineers and scientists, was a Ghanaian,  Dr Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu. 

Dr Trebi-Ollenu Source: http://www-robotics.jpl.nasa.gov
  • Place of Birth: Accra, Ghana
  • Education: B.Eng. in Avionics, University of London, 1991; Ph.D. in Control Systems Engineering, Cranfield University, U.K., 1996.
  • Profession: Multi-disciplinary Engineer
  • Research Interests: Planetary Rovers, Adjustable Autonomy, Mechatronics, System of Systems, Manipulation. Planetary Rover Operations, Multiple Mobile Robots, Reconfigurable Robots, Man-machine Interaction.
  • Other activities: Motivational Talks, Robotics Workshops
A look at Dr Trebi-Ollenu's page at the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) website reveals his membership of the Mars Exploration Rover Operations Team. He was a member of both Spirit and Opportunity teams. What is not clear as of now is his direct involvement in Curiosity. This news is very inspiring, to say the least. Dr Trebi-Ollenu's is a great example for young Ghanaian science students. Another notable Ghanaian scientist doing great work with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is Dr Ave Kludze.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Celebrating the Late President Atta Mills of Ghana

News of President John Evans Atta Mills' death shocked many including myself. Atta Mills won political power "against the run of play" in 2009 and died a few months to completing his term of office. He will be remembered in Ghanaian history for his peaceful nature and his democratic and anti-corruption credentials.

In my first ever vlog (video blog), I reflect on the life of the late president, drawing our lessons that might be useful for all Ghanaians:


A book of condolence, in memory of President Mills, was opened yesterday at the Keta Municipal Assembly amidst great ceremony. Preceding the actual opening was a public procession from Busco Junction area all the way to the municipal assembly. All marchers were clad in some combination of red an/or black to signify their grief. A lively mix of brassband music and traditional sounds dared to reduce the "sorrowfulness" of the ocassion.

#RIPMills: Street procession in honour of the late Prsident Mills
In attendance were the Municipal Chief Executive, the Municipal Director of education, other public officers, chiefs and people of Keta. Tributes were read by representatives of various stakeholders such as the government and political parties. The speeches hailed the lifestyle and good works of the departed leader.  The book of condolence was then signed by MCE the leaders of various departments in the municipality the chiefs, reps of various political parties and some renowned citizens.

#RIPMills: An NPP rep at the function

#RIPMills: Municipal Dirctor of Education signing the book of condolence



 Find more pictures on the Ghana Decides Facebook page.
 
Similar ceremonies have been held in Accra, Ho, Cape Coast and all over Ghana, attracting heavy coverage in the mass media. Today, one minute of silence was observed all over the country at 2:15 pm, on the instruction of the government. For the first time, social media coverage has not been left out, with Ghana Decides taking lead role. There's a collection of great videos in the RIP President Mills YouTube playlist. Also, the #RIPMills hashtag has been the focal point of spreading the latest news on Twitter, while Facebook is awash with creative photos and posts, all celebrating the third president of the fourth republic.

President Mills' erstwhile Vice-President, John Dramani Mahama has since been sworn in as President of Ghana. We wish him well!