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Life lessons from Jimi Hendrix


James Marshall Hendrix was an intensely complicated individual by all accounts. This unique man was comprised in equal parts of musical virtuoso, pacifist, voodoo high priest, lover, and drug addict. He lived life fast and hard… spending most of his adult days in an altered state of consciousness due to some sort of extrinsic stimulant. For better or worse, the psychedelic neptunian sounds he came to be known for creating on his electric guitar permanently altered the course of the blues and rock music genres. Love him or hate him, Jimi Hendrix is one of a few who will be remembered for their absolute mastery of a chosen craft. The kind of mastery that ends up transcending the craft itself. Continue reading Life lessons from Jimi Hendrix

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How to relieve knee pain

Chances are that if you live an active lifestyle which involves high impact sports (running, soccer, basketball, fighting, etc) for a long enough period, you’ll have knee problems at some point. I’m a soccer player who also happens to be a mixed martial arts student and yup… you guessed it, I’ve had my fair share of knee issues. Same thing applies to the runners, dancers, and basketball players that are in my inner circle of friends. All that being said, even people who don’t partake in high impact sports aren’t immune to knee problems.

At this point, you may be wondering why the human knee is so vulnerable to injury. Well I think the answer to that question lies in understanding the structure of the human knee joint. The human knee is mostly held together by tendons and ligaments which you can think of as thick fibrous bands of tissue, as well as some cushioning in the form of cartilage. While these ligaments, tendons and cartilage are usually pretty strong in their own right, they don’t have the same level of structural integrity that bones do for instance. As a result, if enough force is applied to the knee at just the right angle, a tendon, ligament, and/or some cartilage could tear.

When we think about the structure of the human knee, it may seem a bit silly that such an important joint would be held together by mainly ligaments and tendons. Seriously though… why didn’t the creator just cast each of our knees in solid bone so that we never hurt them? Well a legitimate argument could be made that the knee joint is so designed because it has to somehow be strong enough to carry each individual’s body weight while at the same time maintaining enough flexibility to allow either of us to abruptly change direction should we find ourselves in the the way of an onrushing vehicle. In short, we give a little in the way of knee stability in order to gain knee flexibility which ends up being more evolutionarily favorable. Continue reading How to relieve knee pain

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Sports and society


A large number of us grew up playing some sort of sport in our youth and many of us still follow our favorite teams, living vicariously through them till present day. Thinking objectively, one may assume that society would view activities which involve a bunch of grown men chasing a ball around for over an hour while trash talking the hell out of each as a rather pointless exercise. In actuality though, a large swath of us continue to open our physical and digital wallets to watch sporting spectacles of all kinds either through the “idiot box” or in person. The next natural question to ask then, is why do we engage in this seeming act of folly? Well, my answer to that rhetorical question is that our affinity for sporting spectacles cannot really be understood from a logical point of view because the pull of sporting spectacles as a whole is much more emotional than logical. Continue reading Sports and society

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How to multitask effectively

Growing up, the modus operandi was generally the same – there was one major life axis to which I gave all my attention while largely ignoring all others. In primary school, it was all about getting the best grades and generally performing with distinction at school. In secondary school, it was all about improving my soccer game every time I set foot on a pitch. At the college level, it was all about getting those degrees and equipping myself with the best qualifications I could. In general, this M.O. worked pretty well up until I hit graduate school… that was when everything changed. Continue reading How to multitask effectively

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Life lessons from Michelangelo

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was a superstar sculptor, painter, and architect who strides the history of art like a Colossus. He was an outsider who created works of such beauty and on such a grand scale that it is still very difficult to believe that they were produced by a mere mortal. He claimed he was divinely inspired, yet he stole from Popes, fought his rivals, and struggled with his own demons. By all accounts, Michelangelo was a tempestuous genius who would let nothing stand in the way of his quest for eternal fame and riches untold. Continue reading Life lessons from Michelangelo

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Thoughts on creativity


Last time I asked google, I was told that creativity is commonly defined as the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work. These were the kinds of definitions of creativity that many people of my generation and background grew up hearing and reading about. These sorts of statements in addition to the aloof facial expression implicit in Picasso’s signature smirk made us think of creativity as some mystical sacred process that only a preordained few could perform… It also perhaps made us think that only artistic people were creative. In sum, the overwhelming notion of creativity that I was exposed to as a child made it pretty clear that creativity was simply out of reach for mere mortals like us and as young children who knew no better, many of us quietly accepted our fate and got on with our lives. Continue reading Thoughts on creativity

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Nerves… how to deal with them


So you have this great big presentation coming up, or an interview for your dream job, or an important dance show/recital that might help propel you to the next level of your career, and you are nervous as all hell. We’ve all been there with the nerves thing and the funny thing is that although we logically know that being nervous will not at all help our chances of success, we still get nervous. Some of us feel nervousness so intensely that we get uncontrollable tremors, vomit, and become paralyzed in some severe cases. Just in case you were wondering, everyone gets nervous. So please don’t feel like a wuss if you tend to get really nervous. You might be surprised to hear that even the guy who is widely considered as one of the greatest male tennis players of all time of all time – Roger Federer – said he still got nervous right before matches 10+ years after he played his first professional match. Continue reading Nerves… how to deal with them

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Finding what you love…

As a kid growing up in Nigeria, many of us had roughly the same idea about our future working lives drilled into our heads – “you need to become a professional like an accountant, an engineer, or a medical doctor so that you can make enough money to care for yourself and those around you”. I can’t speak to your own unique circumstances, but I can say for sure that this was my reality growing up. To be clear, I don’t blame any of those people who tried to direct me or the children of my day down the conventional route of earning a living because truth be told, it makes a ton of logical sense. After all, it is probably a lot easier to find a decently high paying job as a medical doctor than it would be to find a job as an independent fashion designer. Continue reading Finding what you love…

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How to curb your appetite

Let’s face it, a lot of us struggle with maintaining the ideal body weight that our skeletal frames require for optimal functionality. To be blunt, many of us in my native Nigeria and my adopted home – The United States of America – are overweight. In a majority of cases, the reason why a fair bit of us are overweight boils down to a love of food, and honestly, it isn’t hard to see why because food is fantastic. In addition to being the primary source from which we humans get necessary nutrition, it is also often pleasurable to eat food provided it was prepared by a halfway decent chef. Taking that into consideration, the love of food is actually a good thing. Can you imagine what it would be like if we hated food but needed it to survive? Life would probably be pretty miserable in my humble opinion. Continue reading How to curb your appetite

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How to strengthen your immune system


Everyday, each one of us is surrounded by a cesspool of germs. It is true that the amount of germs we come in contact with is often related to the cleanliness of our immediate environments. That being said, we can’t completely reduce our interactions with germs to absolute zero. Germs come in many different forms… some of them are bacterial, some of them are fungal, and some of them are viral. No, no, no, not viral as in “viral video”, but viral as in the germ is a virus. I had a good chuckle typing that last sentence by the way… couldn’t resist! Continue reading How to strengthen your immune system

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Bored? This might be why…


Eventually taking things for granted seems like an inevitable part of human nature. We’ve all done it, we all do it, and we’ll all probably do it again sometime in the near future. You know how you were all excited to get that brand new piano you’d been eyeing for a while, only to quickly tire of it in just a few months? Or perhaps you started taking your wonderful significant other for granted after 2+ years together. Maybe you no longer feel fortunate to have your job and the associated income it provides, or you’ve grown lethargic towards the delicious pancakes your roommate makes every Sunday morning for breakfast. Suffice it to say that I think almost all of us have experienced the emotion of boredom in one form or the other, at some point in our lives. Continue reading Bored? This might be why…

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Watch your mouth!… Strategies to protect your teeth

On one fateful 2013 autumn evening, I was racing down the pool in a butterfly stroke frenzy when one of my wisdom teeth started to ache. As I climbed out of the pool, I could feel it throbbing and was now in considerable pain. I waited a while to see if the pain would subside, but I ultimately ended up having to take some Advil right before bed to stem the pain. The first thing I did when I woke up the next morning was to schedule an emergency appointment with my local dentist that same day. I got to the dentist’s office around noon and merely fifteen minutes into the appointment, he said: “you’re gonna need a root canal… this cavity is too deep for me to cover up with porcelain”. Thankfully, he cleaned out the cavity which helped relieve the pain and scheduled an appointment for me with a trusted endodontist (root canal dentist). Continue reading Watch your mouth!… Strategies to protect your teeth