Tuesday, 3 May 2016

A Little Bit of Humour

Educate, entertain and inform! Short stories, humour, relevant and non relevant. Just good fun!

Where's the Money?

This Mafia Godfather finds out that his bookkeeper, Guido, has cheated him out of $10,000,000. 

The bookkeeper is deaf.

It was the reason he got the job in the first place. The mafiosi assumed that Guido would hear nothing so he would never have to testify in court. 

So, the Godfather goes to confront Guido about his missing $10 million, he takes along his lawyer who knows sign language.

The Godfather tells the lawyer, "Ask him where the money is!"

The lawyer, using sign language, asks Guido, "Where's the money?"

Guido signs back, "I don't know what you are talking about."

The lawyer tells the Godfather, "He says he doesn't know what you're talking about."

The Godfather pulls out a pistol, puts it to Guido's head and says, "Ask him again or I'll kill him!"

The lawyer signs to Guido, "He'll kill you if you don't tell him."

Guido trembles and signs, "OK! You win! The money is in a brown briefcase, buried behind the shed at my cousin Bruno's house."

The Godfather asks the lawyer, "What did he say?"

The lawyer replies, "He says you don't have the balls to pull the trigger!"

The End..

Sunday, 10 April 2016

One Night Out

Educate, entertain and inform! How to be relevant where ever you live!

On The Dance Floor

Kanda Bongo Man On Stage
Easter weekend was a self-indulgent one.

My occasional sense of entitlement kicked in and I over indulged.

Yes, I admit it...I get these occasional lapses. After all, I'm only human!

I get into the spirit of the holidays. It's usually very good, if I'm not alone. 

But, if I end up alone during celebrations, I will sometimes eat a little bit more than usual. I will eat and drink portions I would otherwise serve to others.

Moments like these, I do as little as possible, act like a bum and lay around all day long doing nothing but over eating. I'm good at convincing me, that I deserve to treat myself...

But by the Easter Monday, I was having a pang of conscience because I'd had a few defiant smokes along the way too, I'm supposed to have quit.

It wasn't a good feeling but I got over that one too. 

Persuading myself that, it was just a lapse and not a relapse. 

The Wednesday after Easter, my body was telling me different. I felt bloated, lethargic and generally unfit.

I don't have an exercise regime and my one chance at a workout was to go dancing. But, where? And when? No clue!

Through Social Media I found out that Kanda Bongo Man was performing at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green. The promoter? Atta of the Focus Group. Good. I fire off a text!

"No problem, come on down," he replied.

So, on Friday 1st of April, I was at Rich Mix dancing to the music of the King of Kwassa Kwassa, Kanda Bongo Man

Douglas on Bass

I boogied, gyrated and sweated tons. 

Kanda's music will do that to you. He has been pumping out Kwassa Kwassa for decades and has acquired fans from all over the world.

The fans cut across race, ethnic and cultural boundaries and they all come to Kanda's gigs for only one thing. To Dance.

Ask those fans and they'll tell you, “If Kanda Bongo Man doesn’t make you want to dance, call an ambulance,” because,  “you’re dead!”

Kanda with some fans

And so, I danced and danced. Got home in the early hours of the morning and slept like a baby.

The next morning, the conflict between my body and mind was fully resolved. I looked up to the heavens and muttered, "thank you God!"

Stay blessed my friends..

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Celebrating A Classic Story

Educate, entertain and inform!

150 Years and Counting...

It was the 4th of July 1862 when Charles Lutwidge Dodgson took the fateful boat trip up the river Thames toward Godstow.

Accompanying him were three sisters. Lorina, Alice and Edith Liddell, the three eldest daughters of the Dean of Christchurch. With them was also Reverend Robinson Duckworth of Trinity College.

During the journey, Dodgson, a mathematician and keen amateur photographer narrated an adventure story to the Liddell sisters.

The story must have made an impression on young Alice Liddell because upon their return to Christchurch, she asked Dodgson to write out the story for her.

That same evening and on a train journey the following day, he set out the main headings of a story that would endure for over 150 years.

He began the manuscript text a few months later and completed it on 10th February 1863.

In November 1864, he presented the manuscript volume with his own illustrations to Alice Liddell. The title was, "Alice's Adventures Underground."

The manuscript version he retained for reference, was expanded into the fuller text of what later became "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."

Dodgson then translated his own name into Latin and back into English again and came up with the pseudonym "Lewis Carroll" under which the book itself would be published in 1865.

Totally unsatisfied with the way the pictures came out in the print, the book was withdrawn from sale. The rejected copies were presented to children's hospitals and institutions.

In November 1865 the second edition of Alice in Wonderland was published. This new edition was more satisfactory to Dodgson. It was said by the author to be "perfect of artistic printing."

Lewis Carroll's life changed forever after Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was published.

The British Library is currently holding an exhibition to celebrate 150 years of the publication of Alice in Wonderland. On display are the original manuscripts, engravings and many inspirational material. 


The exhibition will conclude on Sunday 17th April 2016. It's worth it, to take the time and the kids to The British Library to see this free exhibition. I can guarantee that children will find it fascinating.

FBD on MAD here soon!

Have A Happy Easter!


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

AFROBEAT.. From Outside

Short stories, Hot Topics and relevant information on Music and the Arts! The official Blog page for Bodederek.com seeking to educate, entertain and inform. We invite aspiring writers to showcase their talent here. Read short stories for free here!

Looking in

"What is Afrobeat?" He looked me in the eye. I looked away for a few seconds to ponder the question. And then I said, " a successful blending of a tight African rhythm, a soul feel, add some poppy influences here and there. Put in heavy jazz inflections on the horns, that should do the trick."

Trying to explain this music genre in a nutshell to a seasoned session musician, a person I knew had worked many years with top bands and performers, can be unnerving. This guy had toured with some of the biggest names in music. I had the feeling he was trying to catch me out. Why else would he be asking for a definition? 

He looked me out the corner of his eye, a few minutes after we discovered the spot we believed to be the most acoustic friendly in the club. The band on the stage played on. The publicity for the event specifically advertised the music as Afrobeat. What we were actually hearing being played was Fuji and not Afrobeat.

"I wish they wouldn't call this Afrobeat." I looked at him as I said this, he nodded. It could have been the lighting in the club, but he looked like he had a smirk on his smug little face. I moved away from him, better to put some distance between him and I, before I put my fist through that face.

Twenty minutes later, I was out of there. I can only take the Fuji sound in small doses anyway. I was irritated because someone had goofed. I felt deceived that either the promoter or the artist had described the music on offer as Afrobeat when it wasn't. It was a fraud, a deception. This kind of thing will water down a genre that happened to be on the up and up.

"Hey, wait up!" I looked back, it was him again. Lucky for him, I was a bit calmer now. "Are you going already?" he asked me. "Yeah," I replied, "that isn't the music I came to hear that's being played in there!" He beamed at me, "thanks for confirming that, I was wondering too. It's why I asked you in the first place what Afrobeat was. You're one person that should know, you were there from it's birth or so I'm told."

He was wrong though, Afrobeat was being played long before I was born. It just wasn't called that then. The truth is, Fela Kuti made it popular and guided it to ascendancy. His thinking that I should know was flawed, I really didn't know. The only thing I was sure about was, if this genre gets further diluted, it'll either be appropriated by other cultures or it'll disappear altogether.

"By the way," I said, "that definition I gave about Afrobeat in there?" I looked him in the eye, "well, it was incomplete, Afrobeat is also a way of life." I gave him a wave of my hand as I turned around and walked away.

...End of Part One


Monday, 1 February 2016

Google isn't The Enemy

Short stories, Hot Topics and relevant information on Music and the Arts! The official Blog page for Bodederek.com seeking to educate, entertain and inform. We invite aspiring writers to showcase their talent here. Read short stories for free here!

Leave Google Alone..

Google recently made a tax settlement with HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) in Britain. 

A figure of £130 million was declared a sweetheart deal by the media, totally disregarding the known fact that the tech company hadn't broken any UK tax laws.

I'm actually surprised that nobody has come out in support of Google in spite of the benefits we all seem to enjoy, utilising a lot of their apps and products daily. Many are free and those that aren't, are usually quite affordable.

Where is all this envy and anger coming from? This company puts a lot of resources at our disposal, empowering, educating and informing at little or no cost to the consumer. Suddenly it's made the poster child for tax avoidance. Absolutely unfair!

The companies that need to be scrutinised are the tobacco company, the banking group, an oil company and a mobile phone brand that paid zero tax in the last financial year.

Another oil company and a major drugs company refused to disclose how much they paid in tax to HMRC. 

Google is one of the most transparent, innovative and forward looking companies in existence today. A unique business model that should be copied rather than denigrated.

They hire the best talent available, developing productivity by investing in their workers and bring to market great products at affordable prices. I salute Google..

Is a company that hires on merit, inspiring it's employees by encouraging and providing resources for their workers to have and to own personal side projects. 

A revolutionary business model that inspires and empowers workers should be lauded.

Here are some facts I found in Laszlo Bock's book - Work Rules (Insights from Google).

1. Google is consistently rated one of the best places to work in the world. Striking a balance between creativity and structure. They strive to build a better company from within rather than from above.

2. A manager at Google cannot unilaterally hire someone, make pay and promotional decisions without input from others.

3. The company creates a work environment of mass empowerment where employees feel and act like owners. 

4. Where possible, Google tries to remove what Laszlo calls, "the signifiers of power and status." There are only four meaningful, visible levels at Google. The Individual Contributor, Manager, Director and Vice President.

5. The technical people remain individual contributors throughout their careers. They are free of course, to chose their own title as long as it isn't self-aggrandising.

We all have to realise that Google as a company, invests in people, technology and resources. They bring great products to the marketplace that people utilise and enjoy. They deserve to make a decent return on their investments. 

There are different categories of Google haters out there, the most dangerous are those who want to preserve the status quo that Google directly and indirectly challenges. Those whose business models, employee relations and ways of working are outdated and as a result, are no longer relevant to consumers.

Those businesses that want to pay the barest minimum and extract an absolute maximum from their employees are the companies I love to hate. 

I like and admire Google without whom my knowledge base would be incomplete. Please Google, don't get distracted, keep doing what you do, there are many out here in the real world that appreciate it all. 

Remember Google, you're a company with a unique motto "Do No Evil." Sooner or later, the devil will come calling. When he does, you have my permission to spit in it's eye!

Museum info from Wednesday at MAD