How iPads, apps and YouTube can be a band’s best practice tools

Gigaom

It started innocently enough. “Let’s get together and jam” lead to a rehearsal song list, and  the possibility of starting a band. I had about a week to organize and prepare for a mostly full band rehearsal. We don’t have a singer yet, so that duty, sadly, has fallen on me until we get someone. As noted on this site before, I’m a guitar player. By nature, I’m a very organized an prepared individual, and I wanted to get everyone prepared for the songs ahead of time. After I sent out links to YouTube clips of the songs to the other members, it was time to get to work.

Here are the apps and devices I used that made my life a lot easier during this process.

Practice, practice, practice

One of the nice things about being the person everyone points to and says, “pick some songs” is, well, the…

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Yahoo officially acquires Tumblr for $1.1 billion, promises “not to screw it up”

Gigaom

Yahoo (s YHOO) and Tumblr announced Monday morning that Yahoo has officially acquired Tumblr for $1.1 billion in cash.

In the release, the companies noted that “Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business. David Karp will remain CEO. The product, service and brand will continue to be defined and developed separately with the same Tumblr irreverence, wit, and commitment to empower creators.”

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer also announced the acquisition on her own Tumblr, while Tumblr CEO David Karp wrote about it on Tumblr’s staff blog.

Tumblr has over 300 million monthly unique visitors, according to the release. (comScore had pegged the site’s April traffic at 124 million uniques.) The companies say that half of Tumblr’s users use its mobile app, and reiterated one of the reasons that Yahoo was willing to shell out…

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WAITRESS by KIKA SIMONE

   

 

      ‘Have you ever fallen in love?’ Please, do not answer that. I’ll rephrase: ‘Do you believe in love?’ I’m sure you are not sure whether or not to answer honestly and truthfully. You are also not sure of my reason for asking these questions.

     Love? Demilade thought to himself and chuckled. This chuckle was closely followed by a long, dry laugh, like a  rainstorm following a drizzle on a cold, dreary day.

     He was not what you would call the quintessential cynic, but he could not help thinking that love was basically  an overrated, overpriced and over exaggerated commodity. There was no particular reason that nursed his belief, it was just that he had never had any cause to believe otherwise.  Love- everyone wants it, but can never get enough of it- a labyrinth of sorts.

     This was not to say that he had never felt connected to the opposite sex; he had just never had to use the words so often, and when he did, the words were lifeless on his lips- with no meaning or dedication.

     This was the notion he was pushing back and forth in his mind, as he sat at the hotel bar, a cognac in his hand.

     Enslaved by his random thoughts, it was no wonder he was sometimes bordering on stark madness. It was as though his mind was some sort of crowded powerhouse; an incubator for the brilliant ideas that placed him at the top of his career chain; and a forum for self-prodding and probing. Who was complaining anyway? He thought his mind to be his gift and also his curse.

     He frowned deeply and reached into his pocket for a card of Panadol . The protective foil crinkled as he hurriedly took three and threw the little white pills into the back of his throat. Panadol is to headache, as cognac is to fatigue. He laughed at his own joke before deciding that it was hardly funny. His randomness had only begun to kick in, and after a few drinks he would stumble back to his hotel room down the long corridor and climb into his bed alone. This was his life: From one hotel room to the other in elegant but affordable 3 star boutique hotels; with the promise of silk sheets and long nights  in beds that felt so unfamiliar yet so welcoming. In the mornings, he would unpack his travel toilet case and manage to get to his business meetings without leaving a trail of razor bumps along his strong, angular jawline . Yes, this was his life; and with no wife or string of girlfriends, he owed emotional obligations to no one.

     Yimika, his last girlfriend, had thought their relationship was less than functional. She told him this on their  first anniversary, in a room full of people; and the ‘clitter clatter’ of cutlery on crockery had nearly drowned her voice in a sea of people that were in that restaurant. They were at Radisson Blu that evening, and he had cancelled his flight to Abuja just to be there with her. At that point, he found himself getting drawn more and more to her clear fair skin, the way she paused to lick her lips when she spoke, and the way she demanded more until he was spent in the moments they were intimate. ‘Intimate strangers’ , ‘mediocre’ and ‘hardly functional’ . Those were the words Yimika had used to describe their year long relationship. They never seemed to agree on anything, she said. He was also never there(always working!), condescending and treated her like a child. Of course, he had had no response to her allegations. It was not a conversation they were having; it was simply a situation where one person was speaking, and the other, listening. She left after saying goodbye, and he watched the sway of her full hips as she walked across the room and out of his life. He recalled still ordering the full menu and champagne with strawberries that night. Comfort food is never overrated.

     ‘Would you like another , Sir?’ It was the waitress who spoke. Demilade was suddenly forced to return from his trip down memory lane., and back to his snifter of cognac which was now near empty. Her voice was pure, clear and confident. It was the same girl who served him the first drink, only he had not looked at her until now. She was no extraordinary beauty, but she was striking in  such a way that one could not help but look twice at her. Her eyes were wide and alert, and her small broad nose and full lips dotted her face. She was smiling, revealing a set of white teeth.

‘Sir, can I get you another drink?’ Her voice was urgent this time.

‘Answer the girl and let her go’ his mind raced for a split second.

‘Yes. I’ll have another cognac . Straight up.’

‘Coming right up.’ She said and backed into the bar to get his drink.

Demilade’s  eyes followed the girl as she made to pour his drink.

At this point, he wondered  about her. She was full figured but not fat; with curvy hips but not small waisted. She was not quite tall, but she had a graceful appearance- like one who knew herself completely, and was at peace with herself. To him, it was an odd combination. It was perfection.

‘Here you are. ‘ She set his drink down on the table. He reached for his wallet and made to settle the bill. His eyes met hers, and for a minute they were locked in each other’s gaze, forgetting time and space and everything in between.

 It was in that split moment that he saw pain and warmth and fatigue in those big ,wide brown eyes. Then, he saw beauty  , with all the imperfections that come with it. Dark skin. Brown eyes.

‘Can I talk to you sometime?’ Shit!! That was a dumb line. He knew he shouldn’t have said that.

She paused a moment before answering. ‘I’m sorry, but it’s against hotel policy to have personal contact with hotel guests.’ She smiled , a patronizing smile so sweet and sickening that he became even more embarrassed. He hated himself for talking to her.

‘Okay. Thank you. ’ He rose to leave , but not after leaving her a more than generous tip.

‘No , Sir. Thank you.’ She declined , playing up a smile; this time a genuine, appreciative smile.

Demilade walked out of the bar and into the lobby. He felt something. His palms were unusually sweaty and his heart was racing, his mind playing up a dozen questions per second. He even felt a tad stupid for making that dumb move. Now he must seem like every other jerk who hit on lowly waitresses in hotel bars. The classic aristocratic  idiot.

As he walked along the corridor, he thought about the waitress. He did not even know her name, or where she lived. He wondered about everything about her; from her favorite food to her favorite pair of underwear.

Demilade wondered if she liked hot peppers in her sauces , like he did; and if she liked to dance, and laugh and run around in the rain like all those star struck women in chick lit  novels and romantic comedies  that women generally like .

Maybe she was even married to some loser who hit her. He hoped not.

Maybe she was even a chronic snorer, like he was – a sleeping stereo .

As he brushed his teeth and packed for his flight back to Lagos the following day, she still filled every corner of his mind. Every thought of her was accompanied by the stark reality of the fact that he might never see her again. Maybe  it was love at first sight. Of course it wasn’t. He scoffed and turned off the bedside lamp. As he settled in bed , he realized that he had grown too old for puppy love. Maybe it was the real thing after all. Demilade shrugged and went to sleep….

                                       THE END?

LETTERS I WILL NEVER SEND By KIKA SIMONE

OLAMIDE

It is Saturday, and I have been sitting at the same spot for more than an hour. Sel Sucre is my favorite bistro, it is small and cozy and I always enjoy their dainty little snacks; but today feels different. I have been staring out the window , my mind blank , my favorite muffins untouched, even the coffee has gone cold. I am drumming on the Formica table with my fingernails. I stop and take a look at my rough, chewed fingernails. That manicure is long overdue, I smile to myself.
‘Enjoying your snack ?’ the waiter is smiling above me, and I am pulled out of my reverie. ‘Yes, thank you’ I smile back. I am wondering why he asked. It must be because he has noticed that I have not touched my food. I find myself staring as he walks away. He is not particularly handsome, but his tall, muscular build seems to make up for it. It gives him a charismatic look. I cannot tell how old he is- twenty something , perhaps. I look away so that he does not catch me staring. I wonder if he can tell that I am not okay. He must be psychic , or something. ’ Don’t be ridiculous.’ I scoff under my breath. Maybe , the question was his way of saying, ‘ Are you okay?” without necessarily trying to pry into my life. I am only a stranger , after all – a paying customer. I take a bite of my cake . It tastes bland on my tongue. There is no life on my tongue. There is no life within me. I have lost the ability to feel anything but pain. Good old raw pain. This is the pain, it’s choking me , right at this moment. My throat feels dry, so I take a sip of the cold coffee. It is no better than the cake. I cannot remember how to live without you. My heart cannot take it. The pain of losing you will never go away- I know this. My mind is flashing again. The tears fall slowly down my face.

YOU AND ME

[ Saturday used to be our day; the day we would sleep till ten, the day we would stand in front of the mirror , you and I would pretend to be rock and roll stars from the seventies and the eighties. You would be Gloria Gaynor, and I would be Tina Turner, and in that moment I would be a little child again; using my hairbrushes as microphones, laughing , screaming, and you would tickle me until I thought I would die of laughter. You weren’t ticklish , so I could never fight back- too bad for me.
In those moments when I did not want to play, you would curl up to me in my bed, and you would pretend the ceiling was the starry sky, gazing up at it, saying absolutely nothing. I didn’t expect you to understand, but you did- surprisingly. I was your mother, and sometimes you were mine; in a way that I still cannot explain. I loved you, and you loved me. On those nights that I would wake up, feeling all alone in the whole world, I would hear you breathing softly beside me, and everything would be right again.
I would help with your homework, and you would cry out whenever you had math homework . ‘it’s very easy’ I would say, you would grumble as I taught u to add and subtract. We would take long walks in the evenings, with your hand clasped in mine, trusting me completely. You trusted me, just as I had once trusted your father. I trusted him, loved him, yielded completely my heart and my hopes and my dreams to him; but it was not enough- I couldn’t make him stay.

DREAMS

I knew your father was married. ‘Unhappily married’ ,he made me believe. We were entangled in the fabrications of our minds , in a moment lost in time, where we were free to love and to be loved in return without remorse. Love was what we called it. I was patient with him, giving him everything I thought he needed and demanding for much less in return.
He needed some time to ‘ sort things out’ with his wife, and I was only too understanding . I was the patient , understanding woman in his life: the other woman- I filled that most undesirable position that many a woman has occupied at some point or the other in life. I was the “HUSBAND SNATCHER” , only I did not mind it so much. It was only temporary, or was it?

AWAKENING

‘Every dream comes to an end” That was what I told myself when his calls became less frequent. I do not have to tell you that your father soon disappeared altogether. Like Juno McGuff, I like being a piece of furniture in your father’s life, and that piece of furniture was being moved out.
He said he had fallen in love with his wife again, and he wanted to set things right with his family. His woman’s prayers had been answered. Her husband was only hers to keep. I was defenseless against the rewards that my karma had brought to my doorstep. His wife was having his baby, and so was I – the husband ‘stealer’ .
He wanted me to get rid of you. I tore the cheque he offered me into pieces. I cannot remember the amount he offered me. Your father did not want you. I did. The last three words I said to him were ‘ BURN IN HELL !!!’ He slammed the front door of my little flat so hard I stood frozen for several minutes, after he stormed out. I will not lie to you; I was terrified.

MOTHER’S LOVE

I fell in love with you the very moment I felt your pretty little heart beating against mine in that stuffy hospital ward you were born in. My father would not touch you, and my mother scarcely put you down. I suppose the love that she showed you was enough for both of them . I could not quench my father’s anger and disappointment for bringing you into the world. You were my revenge. You were my retribution for the ill treatment that life had meted out to me . You were my reward.
You would not stop crying . I had countless sleepless nights and I was worried by your restlessness. I would sing to you , cooing and humming softly until you fell asleep. I was alone. At times I felt I was going crazy, but I loved you as my mother loved me.
I knew you loved me the first day you called me ‘ Ma-m!’ I laughed and I cried and I couldn’t stop kissing you. It was the first of many gifts that I would receive from you. I cheered on as you took your first steps towards me. I was your world and you were mine. The world had meaning to me once again.
I cried on my way to the office on your first day of school. Even settled at my desk in the snotty office where I worked as a clerk, I sniffled , marveling at how fast you were growing. Everyone loved you. You were smart and kind and thoughtful . Many a time, I would come home bearing little presents my colleagues at work had bought for you. My cup was running over.

BABYFATHER

Your father came back for you, shortly after you turned five. He and his woman had parted ways and she had taken the only product of their union away with him , along with half of his belongings. He wanted to have the chance to be a part of your life . I was livid on hearing that the very man who did not want you to exist, wanted you back. I knew that he did not love you. He was only searching for the last shred of evidence of his manhood, that was you. I forbade him from seeing you again . I wanted to raise you myself. You and I were content and happy , being in each other’s lives .I wanted to protect you.
THE MISSING

Your father came to your school and took you away, one rainy day in August. A wave of shock ran through me as I sat at my desk that morning ; call it a mother’s intuition. What seemed even more strange to me was that you held my hand a little tighter than usual as we walked to school that day, It was as though you knew that he would take you away from me .
The police could not trace you. Your father relocated to England shortly after the incident, taking you with him to start his life anew. The shock of your disappearance killed me. I went from place to place, searching endlessly for my lost child- my stolen child. What could I do? A struggling , defenseless clerk – A woman , with no more than an ordinary national diploma who still mixed up her tenses – I had no money or connections to reach you, or even find you.
I slipped into depression soon after. Losing you broke me down completely, and not even the heavy doses of escalitopram oxalate could fix me. To me, life became a dreary composition of monochromatic pictures, the very image of a broken woman’s resignation to fate.
Olamide, this is my story; this is my predicament. Your father has deprived you of the love that only I could have given you. It is now two years since I last saw you. This is the 730th letter I am writing to you. I know that you will feel me in your heart, even though you were torn away from me . I hope that you are safe, and that you have the capacity to be loved and to love in return. I love you, my sweet, sweet girl. I will find you.
Your Mother.

EPILOGUE

The rain stops as I finish writing my letter. I drank the dregs of my cold coffee and put the letter away. I even manage to smile as I settle my bill with the waiter, but he does not smile back. I do not blame him. There isn’t really much to smile about these days, anyway. It starts to rain again as I get up to leave. The air outside is clean and an earthy fragrance fills the late afternoon air. I say a prayer for my Olamide – my 730th prayer. My tears baptize me.

LETTERS TO A YOUTH CORPER By KIKA SIMONE

Dear Sister Ajoke,
Ba wo ni ? How is everybody in Lagos? Aunty Ladun and Broda Ajayi nko? I send my greetings to them . Mami and Baba are ever thankful to them for letting you stay with them for your service year in Lagos. I hope you are finding it easy there.
How was your NYSC orientation camp ? I hope it was not too stressful? Is it true what they say about the food they give to you corpers there? That there are easily more stones in a place of rice than actual grains? That the mattresses are a haven of bedbugs ? If I am correct, then that is hard life . Isn’t life in itself already hard enough, that you should be forced to spend the dregs of the very cusp of adulthood in suffering? Suffering and shmiling .I heard they have increased your allowance . At least , things are looking up in that area. Money matter na serious matter o! Remember me when you hammer!
Things are not so easy at home these days. Do you know that one mudu of garri now costs two hundred naira ? and one bowl of ogbono is a whopping two thousand five hundred naira- a luxury!! They say it’s because of the subsidy removal….na dem sabi. Papa complains that we can longer afford to serve him three pieces of meat, and Mama only sneers at him , telling him to bring more money , or at the very least open his own abattoir!
They do not fight as much, Mami and Baba. In fact, it seems that that scarcely have the energy to challenge each other. The last few days welcomed a recession in the two man performance that our parents were only to quick to give when we were younger; with the cacophony of Mama’s soprano and Baba’s baritone meshed to create the most unpleasant sounds that echoed from one end of our tiny little house to the other.
Uncle Jide has finally moved out of our house. They say that he has found a nice little apartment off Accra street. He even bought a secondhand Volkswagen golf. The car looks just like our very own Uncle Jide , worn out and in dire need of release. I do not mean to be disrespectful, but we both know that Uncle Jide ( not unlike most of us anyway) needs to be saved from himself. Word on the street is that he picks up scarlet women on the Zone four axis every weekend. I am not a gossip, but I hope he realizes that Aids no dey show for face.
Mami prays a little louder these days. She prays ceaselessly for you, and for the rest of us. Prophet Jehoshaphat told her that the end times were fast approaching, and he gave told us all to fast for a week and deposit a token of five thousand naira, so that you would be retained by the firm you are presently serving in Lagos. I wept when I learnt that she paid the money in full. What are churches of today turning into? God save us all!
Grandmother always asks for you, she misses you. You were always her favorite grandchild. I hear her praying for your safety, purring softly and calling your name in her midnight prayers. She sends her love, and she asks me to remind you to bring back some shea butter from Lagos; her back still aches.
Bodunde came first in his class in the last examinations. Baba says he will be eligible to sit for the scholarship exams next year. Mami killed a chicken for him, and made jollof rice when she heard of his success. We even had coke and fanta on that day; a real treat!
I do not want to come across as jealous or hateful, but Mami has never killed a chicken for me, and I have come out at the top of my class before- more than once. She says I am only a girl, and Bodunde is the first son of the family. Mami even excuses him from the house chores these days. She says it is because she wants him to concentrate on passing the scholarship exams. I have JAMB to prepare for, shouldn’t I also be excused. Instead, I have to do his share of the house work in addition to mine. Sometimes, I sit in that little corner in the kitchen and cry until my eyes are sore; and sing those sad Regina Spektor songs you used to sing to me. Life is not fair, but who says it is supposed to be?
On another note, Cousin Ayike has fallen pregnant. Her mother half dragged her all the way to our house last week. The poor girl was in tears , for her mother nearly killed her!!! She confessed it was that ‘ Awusa’ boy Haruna, who hawks sweets and chewing gum opposite their house that did it. Imagine, an ‘Awusa’ boy? Jesu! Little wonder she was always chewing gum and smacking her lips ‘smack- smack’ It serves Ayike right for not running from one loser boyfriend to the other, like one who has got ants in her pants. – and to think that contraceptives are cheap !!
Bintu, another girl in our neighborhood (remember her, with the crooked teeth ?) also fell pregnant. She tried to abort the pregnancy herself, for fear of her parents ; and drank a native preparation. Bintu was found in her room writhing in pain, and nearly bled to death. The doctors said that she may never be able to conceive again because of the damage done to her womb. Thank God that she did not die. At the very least, when there is life, there is hope.
My dear sister, I hope you are safe, and you are well. Papa always says that a good name is better than the greatest wealth. Please remember this, and live by it. Do not forget the money that you promised to send to me. I must lay down my pen, for it is very late, and my candle has nearly burnt out. I miss you. Bolanle, Chinemerem, Ade and Wasiu send their love. I hope this letter meets you in good time and good tidings. Till we meet again, young Corper.
Your Sister,
Tinuola Adio.

OpeAdepoju

Meet KIKA SIMONE

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KIKA SIMONE

I divinely ran into this amazing lady who writes stories that not just captivates but literally blows your mind, ladies and gentlemen Meet KIKA SIMONE  

A 400Level Law student of the University of Abuja, she likes to laugh, sing and pretend to dance, a budding lifestyle entrepreneur and also a random thinker.

Starting from tomorrow i will be blogging her stories on this blog space for you all to enjoy and also review, i kinda crashed her notepad 🙂 

I am officially now her manager *coughs* Datz all.

Forget touchscreens: paint a computer interface anywhere with WorldKit

Gigaom

Ubiquitous, gesture-controlled interfaces are one step closer to reality, thanks to a new system developed at Carnegie Mellon University. WorldKit lets you create interactive apps on any surface just by waving your hand. The project was announced by the university on Thursday.

Instead of being tethered to your hardware, WorldKit is designed to make access to computing instant and mobile by making the world your touchscreen. Right now, the system involves a ceiling-mounted camera and projector that record hand movements and then project onto the surface of your choice. Some potential uses include TV remote controls, which can be accessed by rubbing the arm of a sofa, or calendars that can be swiped onto doors.

With projectors and depth-sensing cameras (the current system uses a Kinect) getting smaller, the researchers envision a system like WorldKit could eventually fit into a light bulb. Any room thus equipped could become a smart…

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