Last updateTue, 15 Aug 2017 10pm


The perils of sexy Facebook pictures

Maybe you should think twice before uploading your beach vacation pictures to Facebook. A new study found that people with sexy photos on their social media profiles are often judged as less competent than those who post more conservative snapshots of themselves.

Oregon State University researchers asked 118 young women to judge two nearly identical Facebook pages that hosted different profile pictures - and unsurprisingly, the page with a sexy profile picture was condemned.

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Arthur 'K' writes on Accountability in Soccer and Politics

The 2014 World Cup just ended and as usual, unsuccessful coaches are stepping down or getting the boot.

Amongst those leaving or being sacked are Sabella of Argentina, Lamouchi of the Ivory Coast and of course, Scolari of host nation Brazil.

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Occupy Flagstaff House: Wake up call for Ghana's democracy?

Ghana marks Republic Day on July 1. It is normally a day of sober reflection on past political struggles, with some interaction between political leaders and senior citizens, honouring sacrifices made for independence and of course, all those who have toiled to make Ghana a better place. But this year was different.

A group calling itself Concerned Ghanaians for Responsible Governance (CGRG) - and claiming to be of a middle-class extraction - emerged in the democratic space to call for an amelioration of the daily economic hardships that every Ghanaian faces.

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Maternal Mortality rates worsening in conflict communities

Maternal Mortality rates is on the ascendency in the Northern Region with worse incidences in the conflict communities of Yiyamba and Bierim in the Gushiegu District.

The poor in these two communities continue to suffer terribly on their health conditions, which aggravates the trauma women go through in child bearing and sometimes leads to loss of life both women and babies.

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Japan enters the era of smartphones and 'dumbwalking'

Japan has been a late adopter when it comes to smartphones, but it's catching up quickly - already more than half the population owns one. But Tokyo is a crowded city, and warnings are being issued about the risk of mass collisions among phone-using pedestrians at one busy crossing.

It's 5pm on a Friday and I'm standing in a coffee shop above Shibuya crossing - one of the most famous intersections in the world.

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An untapped alternative livelihood in the North

Stella Atipiga, a 49-year-old resident of Gowrie, in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region, is a proud owner of a 50-meter cube fish cage with 3,000 fingerlings.

Later this month, she will harvest the fish for the first time.

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The tragedies of children drowning

The sad incident of children drowning in wells, streams, the sea and other water bodies hits me like a sledge hammer thrown from above to smash my head.

Recently, many media houses have reported various incidents of children drowning, the latest was a report carried by Ghana News Agency (GNA) in which two kids got drowned in a well at Osei-Kofi-Akuraa, near Adomfe in the Asante-Akim South District and subsequently died after being rescued.

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Is urine a cure for diseases?

Urotherapy, urinotherapy or urine therapy may be a new phenomenon in Ghana but an old and time tested treatment that dates back to the ancient times.

The craze for the unique treatment caught up with Ghanaians in the 1990’s and instantly became a hot therapeutic topic for medical professionals, the media and the public.

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The chequered perception about lottery and prospects for Ghana

Perceptions about lottery in general, how it works and whether an individual should participate in it is quite chequered in Ghana than most other places in the world.

There are those who identify it as inconsistent with their religious convictions, others do not believe in its integrity and the guarantee of returns as they may have suffered losses from fraudulent dealers or heard stories of such nature.

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The true citizen

A citizen in contemporary times will be defined as a person who is a member of a particular country and who has rights because of being born there or because of being given rights.

Well, a citizen isn’t just a member of that particular country in question, but the true and real citizen is the one who makes use of the rights that is given him or her and also accompanies these rights with the correct and appropriate responsibilities.

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Ace Anan Ankomah: May I reminisce?

11th July 1994 was a Monday. I was still 26, bright-eyed, and a tad confused about life and its twists and turns. At 10:00am, it was definitely a nervous me who was ushered into the room where I was to defend my masters thesis with a long title: THE DESIGN AND OPERATION OF TAX INCENTIVES FOR FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT IN LESS DEVELOPED COUNTRIES.

You see, for the preceding 11 months I had been a student at the Faculty of Law, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada studying and writing, in an attempt to acquire a Master of Laws degree in International Taxation Law. The course itself was not stressful.

Earlier in February, I had indicated to my supervisor, the late Professor Alec Easson (an extremely pleasant Englishman, Oxford and LSE grad), that I thought that I was ready to defend the thesis. He patiently explained to me that my course had a three-semester residency requirement, and that although he agreed that I was ready, I simply had to wait. I absolutely admired and adored Alec.

He was the first law teacher to tell me "Ace, my name is Alec, not Prof Easson." Another time, he said to me, when I was busily regurgitating law, "Ace, I am not really interested in how much law you know. I am more interested in what you think about the law you know." Alec shaped my life and thinking in more ways than he ever knew, and I quietly mourned him when he died in January 2007.

Thus between March and July, I just had fun. I worked for Alec as his Research Assistant to make some extra money. And then I watched loads of TV. I also spent time discovering the more interesting aspects of Canadian life with my key buddies, Tanzanian lawyer Hamudi Majamba (now Professor of Law at the University of Dar es Salaam) and Barbadian engineer Robert Bascom.

And there was fun-loving Camerounian lawyer Nicoline Ambe (who still looks like she is 16), and Ghanaian MBA Aba Cato Andah, who was my movie-watching mate (yeah, Tuesdays were cheap nights). Ah, there was that Christmas 9-hour drive from Kingston to Philadelphia with American human rights lawyer Alan Clark (He has never stopped reminding me we got lost at some point because I couldn't read, and then I left my passport in his car!!) But easily my 'classleader' was Andrea Timoll, whose thesis was on deconstructing Antigone and had coined the word "phallologocentrism."

And the encouragement of Prof Rosemary Ofei-Aboagye King. I wrote, arranged old Joyful Way songs, and did sequencing and pre-production of the songs that ended up on Joyful Way's 1994 Osabarima album. And I did a lot of "church", helping to organise a gospel music concert at my church. Incidentally, I am struggling to contact the church now. It seems to have disappeared. Yes, it was months of fun. But I digress.

When I entered the room, the law professors were there, some seated, and others grabbing a cup of coffee. Of course, Prof Easson was there. I also remember that Prof Venkata Raman (whose Foreign Investment/NAFTA course I had audited in the First Semester) was seated. I think the Dean of the Faculty, Prof Don Carter, was also there. And then there was the external examiner, Prof Vern Krishna, International Taxation expert from the University of Ottawa. and the then Executive Director of the National Committee on Accreditation of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada

I was directed to sit in a chair at the head of the table, my heart beating, but at the same time confident. For the next two hours, I thoroughly enjoyed the banter, question and answer, a unique opportunity to joust with my betters, my superiors and established academics in my area of study. At the end of it I was asked to leave the room for the panel to confer. When I was called back, Prof Krishna announced that I had passed, and that all I had to do was to fix some typos and formatting.

As was the tradition, the panel took me to lunch in some flashy restaurant in downtown Kingston. I was seated next to Prof Krishna. In the course of lunch he asked what my next plans were, and I said that although I had gained admission to do further grad work in Michigan, I was going back home to Ghana. He could not believe it.

He calmly advised that I stay and apply to University of Ottawa to do the doctorate programme in international taxation law. He added that he would also recommend me for accreditation so that I could write the Bar exam and qualify to practice in Canada. He turned to Prof Easson and said to him, "this gentleman should not be going back to Ghana."

Excited? Yes! Flattered? Yes! Tempting? Yes! I could simply melt into Canada, say bye-bye to Ghana. New life. New prospects.

But what did I do? That evening, I went through my thesis to fix the typos and formatting issues. I spent the next day, 12th July 1994 doing nothing but thinking. I made some hard decisions. I called my family in Philly to tell them what I was going to do. That night, I partied (like I had never done) with my flatmates who had organised a party for me. The next morning, I caught a Greyhound bus to Lester Pearson Airport in Toronto.

It was from the airport that I called my cousins in Toronto to tell them that I was returning to Ghana. I boarded the Air India flight to London. I got to London the next day, 13th July 1994, spent the night with my sister at Maida Vale and was on the Ghana Airways flight back home to Ghana, touching down at Kotoka in the evening of 14th July 1994.

Why? Because the night of 12th July 1994 was a turning point in my life. I had the degree that I went to Canada to get. I thought long and hard. Did I really want a doctorate in law, so that I would become "Dr. Ankomah" by when I am 30? But was that what I wanted to do with my life?

To the disappointment of my profs and some family members, I concluded that I did not want to spend the next 4 years of my life studying one area of the law just to add some more alphabets before and after my name. That was all a doctorate meant to me. Canada was a great country, but it was clearly not for me. North America was not for me. It was there that I discovered that I was black.

I wasn't ever going to get used to being checked out when I enter a shop, because being black meant that I was a potential shoplifter. I wanted to live and work in a country where most of the people I meet, would look like me!

I was only 26 years old. But I wanted to make some money, I mean real MONEY. I had spent a year as a scholarship student in Canada, and I didn't want to spend more years like that. 20 years on, I am pretty certain that I would take the same decision if I was faced with it today.

So I arrived in Accra within 2 days of defending my thesis, got married, resumed work at my law firm, babies came along (yes, 3 of them in 5 years), Associate, Lecturer, Senior Associate, Senior Lecturer, Partner, Managing Partner...

[And now for the tired cliche] "The rest," as they say, "is history."


source myjoyonline

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Through the teary eyes of Gina

It's a wetty evening with an unforgiving cold breeze shrilling to the marrow. The sun has barely been seen throughout the day and neither the moon though its evening time.

The hand of the clock says 7pm and my main work for the day just began a while ago. The instruction before leaving home was loud and clear, "Sell two bags of water else no money for you tomorrow". Within the past 30minutes that I've meandered through the thick traffic right here at the 37-Operbea road however, only 2 sachets have been bought. From the small kiosk where i have taken cover from the rains, I wonder if anymore will be bought.

I wish to go home, but when the instruction given me by Mrs Arthur resonates, i think more of selling the water than to return home. For the past 11years, I've had to contend with circumstances like this.

Having lost my parents at a very tender age, it became necessary to go live with my uncle, lawyer Arthur and wife Mrs. Angela Arthur. The excitement I had knowing I will be relocating to their place 12years ago was very strong; atleast I hoped for a good time and a better future. First few months in the house was reassuring of that hope.

With the passage of time however, attitude towards me started changing, my task in the house increased and a promise by my uncle to take me to school hitherto became a mirage.

I perform virtually all the house chores and take charge of task which ideally my cousins in the house should be doing. I have watched them grow, steadily going through the educational ladder and would excel at my expense.

Whatever the situation, it has been a privilege living with the Arthur family and all the enormous chores I perform are normal responsibilities for a child of my age. Mrs Arthur had made that clear to me and mere thought of that fills me with sadness, sometimes with teary eyes.

Unfortunately, I dont know how best i can escape from this hardship. Perhaps you could be of help with ideas for my freedom but well, only if you don't also feel all i go through now are normal for a child of my age.

"Hardly does the hunter tell his exploits in the forest" a Ghanaian adage goes and so not everything I have gone through in the house is what I can say for now. My only quest, however, is for other children not to be maltreated in ways that I have been.

Children deserve support for the best start in life irrespective of any circumstance they may find themselves. Peace!!

Ernestina Esinam Glikpo,

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Oysters Are An Aphrodisaic

Ghana has been blessed with so many resources which are either untapped or unexploited for their full benefits. One of such resources is oysters. Oysters are found in many of the streams and rivers in Ghana, but predominantly found in the VoltaRiver. Oysters are primarily used for food, but in their shells are a solution to one of Ghana’s major economic problems.

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