Blog in the time of H1N1

h1n1_akalol1H1N1 or Pig Fever is an easy to spread human influenza virus that has normal people talking in muffled voices and the good looking people looking like the ugly. Most airport workers at international airports, except in Trinidad and Tobago, are wearing face mask to reduce the risk of taking sick leave. We, in Trini, are smarter than that and need to look good regardless of the threat of:

  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Body aches
  • Joint Pains
  • Fevers
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased energy
  • Death is rare

h1n1_akalol_2These symptoms are nothing new to Trinis and a higher than normal amount of citizens suffer from all these symptoms on Mondays and sometimes even on Fridays so there is concern but not alarm. There are drugs but not easy access to them. There are hospitals but not compassion. There are sick days so they will be taken.

Obama – New US Policy on Engineers and Scientist

obama_google_591“One of the changes that I would like to see — and I’m going to be talking about in this in weeks to come — is seeing our best and our brightest commit themselves to making things — engineers, scientists, innovators. For so long, we have placed at the top of our pinnacle folks who can manipulate numbers and engage in complex financial calculations. And — and that’s good. We need some of that. But you know what we can really use is some more scientists and some more engineers who are building and making things that we can export to other countries.” President Barack Obama – 14th April 2009

horse-electric-hybrid_smallIn Trinidad and Tobago engineers and scientist are not encouraged to build and innovate. In fact, the Government despises innovation and engineering initiative . As proof of this unwritten Government policy you only have to look at how much money the Government has budgeted to research and development in Trinidad and Tobago – almost the same amount it takes to fund one stone painting crew. I think the Government thinks this way because kick-backs from innovators have never been tested. The traditional corruption sector is now too well established to thinker with.

stop_pushing_colourGovernment after Government made sure to promised foreign concerns they would have cheap  local engineers to operate and maintain their plants. But Trinidad and Tobago has a very small population and a very small fraction of that population have graduated with a real (UWI) engineering degree (UTT is currently a joke). Out of those graduate engineers very few have any passion for engineering and ended up in the profession because they didn’t like Spanish or blood.  So, it’s not surprising that we have not produced many commercial innovations since there was never any funding and thus the people for that.People always take the path of least effort with the quickest rewards and young people are no different.

toyota-iq-01Commercial innovations has never been part of our culture and it was always national policy to go foreign for technology since foreign was always considered better.  With the last boom it was get-rich-quick and foreign technology offered a quick way of disposing of money.  Not only were Government people, foreign contractors and local contractors who wanted to get rich quick to buy houses in Miami, but new graduates as well. Most new graduates are only concerned about money in the bank and  Zen, not innovation and their profession.  To them engineering is a “wuck” and not a profession. The so-called brightest graduates usually try for US dollars but thankfully the brightest are seldom the best and seldom return. It’s an attitude thing.

maggie-cubeThankfully, that bubble has burst and the sky is about to fall big time.  The good thing about the sky is that in Trinidad and Tobago, to fall down the Cabinet has to approve it first. But two words that will soon be on the lipservice of every government Minister are innovation and diversification. By Our Stones You will Know Us.

Earth Day – Going Green


Today is Earth Day and I posted a picture of the Planet for those who are reading this blog but may not be from here.

Going-green is not only a way to appear trendy but it can extend the life of Planet Earth. Going-green means saving the Planet or extending its life so that others may use it without dying from environmental diseases. Saving the Planet means less unintentional glowing in the dark and more quality bedtime. The need to consume excessively to bring happiness and joy to our lives is sick and not without a cost to the environment.  The more aluminum and steel the world needs the greater the chance we have of living next to a mutant neighbor if you aren’t already doing so.

There are always 10 ways to do everything, from Looking Younger to making her shout your name in bed. 10 is the magic number. So, naturally, there are 10 ways to go-green. Here are the 10:

green-fashion(1) Save Energy

The more energy you save the less need there would be for anything. Once people stop consuming energy factories and power stations will stop polluting. Some factories may even shut down bringing with it placards and burning effigies of the CEOs and PMs. Switch off all lights at home and on the street. Play football in the dark and even a World Cup Cricket match. Use those energy efficient bulbs (CF) which can cost ten times as much as the regular energy-guzzler. Energy, like good sex, is a human right and saving energy can save the planet but not jobs.

(2) Save Water

Most people are like the Opposition Leader and can’t remember the last time they had a cold shower before prison. Heating water is not only a luxury but it consumes energy which can trigger more pollution than required. Even the pumping of water consumes energy and the less water we use the better. WASA was one of the first organizations to go green in Trinidad and Tobago with its no-pumping-of-water-under-any-circumstances policy.

(3) Walk, Then Run

Walking or bicycling instead of traveling by car is useful to the environment. The more people walk the healthier they will become and this would also lessen the need for gasoline and NP pump attendants. Job loss will always be the fallout from saving the Planet but the good of the Planet will always outweigh the right to pay a mortgage. The level of crime should not deter people from walking because as more and more people take to the streets the less likely someone will become a victim of crime. There would be so many others for bandits to choose from.

dont-eat-cow(4) Eat Wisely

Eat low on the food chain. The higher an animal is on the food chain the more energy the animal would consume to become a packaged product in supermarket freezers. Eat beans instead of cow. Eat lettuce instead of cow. Stop eating animals and animal farmers will have to turn to beans and cabbage. KFC will have to fry more fries and steak houses will convert to bean houses.  Except for making babies and gunshot wounds, vegetarians are hardly ever admitted to hospitals. Going-green is healthier.

bottled-water-for-naive-people(5) Avoid Bottled Water

WASA’s water may look brown and black at times but looks can be deceiving. Sitting next to bottles of Dasani, WASA officials have told us WASA’s water is safe to drink straight from the tap. Producing bottled water consumes energy and the bottled water craze was adopted by people in Trinidad and Tobago who thought all American customs and practices should be mindlessly adopted. Help the environment by shutting down bottled water plants and help the traffic situation by keeping those big blue trucks off the road. Let the bottled water factory employees work for WASA instead.

(6) Buy Less of Everything

If you consume less and recycle you would reduce the need for factories and jobs. Buying less is the same as using less energy and using less energy is the same as shutting down employment houses. Unemployment is not as bad as it sounds since unemployed people consume little and therefore give the Planet little trouble. The Unemployed  are inherently Green. Going green is all about the Planet since without a Planet there would be no people or Discovery Channel. Recycling is the key to going Green. To recycle, go through your garbage with a fine-tooth comb and pull all the items that can be recycled like aluminum foil, and cell phones. If getting new thing makes you happy then you have a problem. Seek the assistance of you nearest mental health professional and help save the planet.

(7) Borrow (or Steal)string-bikini

Don’t buy anything you can borrow such as books, DVDs, software, condoms and even sugar. Wear clothes, especially bikinis, till they unravel. Buy things that would last forever like Corollas and concrete plant pots. Avoid no-name brand shoes and cars. Spend on items that will outlast even a robust politician and help save the Planet.

(8) Don’t Pollute

Avoid throwing computer monitors, computers, motherboards, video cards, and 20 inch (50.8 cm) or larger TVs into small rivers and ravines. Electronic waste can be very toxic to the Planet and its owners, corporate America. Lobby your MP to start an e-waste disposal system and if that fails post a video on YouTube of people throwing computers and big screen TVs into a local river. Better yet, throw a summit.

heineken_no_milk(9) Buy Green

Buy green products like paint and Heineken. Some products are friendlier to the environment and if it says so on the label then buy it.  The days are numbered for brown products and some establishments like Pricesmart no longer give out plastic bags. Instead, they pack your groceries in brown boxes and urge customers to buy reusable Pricesmart branded bags for a high price. You can even bring a big duffel bag to pack your groceries and if the security guard at the exit gives you any lip tell them you are following the company’s Green policy.

(10) Have Fewer Children

It is easier to sustain a small population than a large one. The world is growing rapidly and soon starvation will be the normal way of life and death. To control population growth men should act responsibly and not father more children than they can support. Women should never allow some men to become fathers. Use contraceptives and stop having so much sex – get married.

Barack Obama – Behind the Scenes – Trinidad and Tobago

Pete Souza, President Obama’s Official White House Photographer, took these brilliant shots of The President’s visit to Trinidad and Tobago for the Summit of the Americas (17th April to 19th April). I downloaded the photos from the White House website. Click on the shots for the captions and there is nothing funny this time.  All the shots were taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR.

Obama – Trinidad and Tobago – Second Thoughts

CB Trinidad Americas Summit

You look taller than on TV - Chavez

From the fictitious diary of President Obama:

April 18th 2009

Yesterday the landing was smooth  but the pilot had to abort the first attempt for reasons I don’t want to get into now but I think he saw a crack. Fortunately, the runway seemed to have held up well but I will get my people check for cracks tomorrow morning since the Mexicans and Colombians are also here.

CB Trinidad Americas Summit Obama

Oooo! I love this Soca!

The drive to Port of Spain was uneventful and on leaving the airport I saw a big Bhagwansingh’s Hardware and the famous Trincity Mall . I might have even seen a car being broken into in the mall’s car park but I am not sure since the people stopped to  wave at me. There were a few cars on the road and I suppose the Government pulled everybody off to allow us Heads to make it to the Hyatt in time for pre-summit snacks. I heard people were disappointed that I didn’t come through the front entrance of the Hyatt but after Hugo caused barriers to be broken down I didn’t see any need to break them again. The Secret Service said some journalists were getting on wild and I was safer in the back. I think the Secret Service would take a bullet for me but not a journalist. I have to check.


I can see a photographer

The Hyatt looked like a hotel and with all the talk on the blogs about tall buildings I was disappointed. I mentioned this to Mr. Manning who seemed offended at first but then offered me a bowl of corn soup. I refused since I couldn’t easily identify all the floating objects and security protocol requires The President identify all food objects, especially in soup. I made up an excuse and said I ate in My Plane. PM PM seemed to go temporarily green when I mentioned My Plane and I even thought he was turning into the Hulk.


Blow hard

...and this is where Mr. Manning proposes to build the second smelter

...and this is where Mr. Manning proposes to build the second smelter

Some of the South American leaders seemed rather strange I couldn’t help wonder if their people were poor because their leaders were strange or if their leaders were strange because of poverty. Mr. Ortega was long in his speech and I read a comment in a blog which suggested he did this to spite good looking leaders. Mr. Manning took no offense. PM PM was shaky at the start of his speech but seemed to get his stride after he offered Mr. Morales a bowl of corn soup, probably the same bowl I turned down. I am beginning to suspect he threw this summit just to serve corn soup. PM PM referred to me as “his kind” and I nearly fainted when he said it. I didn’t know if he meant black, smart, charismatic, handsome, Harvard-educated or soup-shy. Maybe he meant all. I am beginning to wonder how “his kind” ever got elected.

CB Trinidad Americas Summit Obama

I hope this book is free

What is with this Hugo character? He seems like a nice guy; always smiling and chubby.  He even gave me a book about how my country robbed his country but he seems not too-right-here. These South and Central American leaders appear to strive on being weird and offensive and if it wasn’t for their women and cheap labor we might have bombed them ages ago. I am joking, obviously. We can’t afford another war right now.

I have to go dress and attend a function at the Chinese Palace in St. Ann’s where Mr. Manning will be serving corn soup and dhal puri. I will only eat some soup after Morales is on his third bowl, for security reasons, naturally.  I might have to dance with Mrs. Manning tonight out of courtesy and I only hope she wears a sleeveless something. Ha ha, I am homesick, but not that homesick.

Cuba and Democracy – Who is Afraid of Hugo Chavez?


Part of a full page ad that appeared in the Trinidad Express today, April 18 2009

So the issue is not whether democracy is good for the economy but whether it’s good for the people.  Exclusion didn’t bring democracy and freedom to the people so maybe inclusion will. But should Cuba be included if it fails to move towards democracy? What do the Summit leaders say? What does Chavez really want?  What does China think?  Why did Ortega take so long to say nothing? If only the region was run by a few good leaders…forever.

Who is afraid of a little dictatorship? Some leaders are not.

Global Signature Campaign in Support of Democracy Movement in Cuba

Is Chavez as good as he looks?

Is Chavez as good as he looks? - Another full-page ad in the Trinidad Express today, 18th April 2009