Tokunbo (Came From Abroad)


Pages from my ‘Levels of Complexity’ project, in which I wanted to explore ways in which I could communicate biology and science-based information in a more accessible illustrative style. I hoped to inspire some amount of awe at just how much is going on ‘beneath the surface,’ such as cells, tissues, organs, processes, etc within our bodies and our environment. via vmartineau

Great inspiration as I trudge along on my graduate research proposal. 

In response to a recent anti-gay law passed in Nigeria

If you haven’t heard, in January President Goodluck Jonathan signed one of the most repressive pieces of anti-gay legislation into law in Nigeria, adding fuel to prevailing homophobic sentiments in the country and leading to increased acts of violence against citizens suspected of being gay. To give one example of the degree of repression we’re talking about, the law prohibits, among other things, being a member of or even supporting a gay organization, which are crimes now punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The short of it is this: Nigeria, out of fear and the guise of “moral sanctity” , through a law that hatefully forces many of its citizens into hiding, instead of prioritizing legislation that addresses actual, legitimate, basic needs of the country, is moving backwards. 

There are theories about why this law was passed now, including that Nigeria is joining the wave of those expressing a moral high-ground over the hippie-dippie West, or that Goodluck is pandering to the North in anticipation of his upcoming reelection; we could speculate for quite a while. Seeing as how public response to the law has effectively been a gay witchhunt in some Nigerian cities, however, speculations, declarations, “international outcry”, and basically anything else short of action, is no longer a sufficient response. I throw this especially to countries in positions of relative power over the financial security of the Nigerian government (i.e. the hippie-dippie Western countries purchasing the majority of Nigeira’s oil, i.e. the US), as one, perhaps idealistic, idea. 

(Further reading—

A recent op-ed in response to the law by author Chimamanda Adichie:

And two news articles with details that may incite you:

Enormous Fulfillment

"Life is enormously fulfilling sometimes."

I said that genuinely in a text not too long ago. Minutes ago. Reflect for a moment on whether now is one of those times for you—when your life can be described as enormously fulfilling?

I believe I’m a stone’s throw from that apex of enormous fulfillment, where I will be able to declare this statement true for myself without reservation. There is massive potential by way of my graduate research, personal growth, friendships, and recreational hobbies. Achieving this is ultimately at the mercy of my own capacity for incremental positive change, including a few key factors:

1. Worry less

2. Don’t take things or people for granted

3. Be humble and openly acknowledge your limitations

4. And some version of “Do what’s best for you” that incorporates being appropriately selfish, but simultaneously selfless, open, empathetic, and trusting. This is the basis of eliciting the qualities I desire in others using my own actions as an example.

I’ve learned that this point of enormous fulfillment is not easily obtained, and that it is best reached by regarding it as the ultimate focus. There are of course numerous synonyms for this phrase. Happiness is the first that comes to mind. At a greater magnitude—seemingly appropriate as I used the descriptor “enormous”—transcendence is perhaps an appropriate comparison. Semantics aside, whatever you decide to call it, you have got to work for it.

Have an enormously fulfilling week!

Proven* Productivity Pro-Tips

Step 1: Have a couple glasses of red wine. No more than 2. Get yourself nice and lucid and let the creativity flowwwwww. Store a bottle in an inconspicuous location in your workspace. Share with some buddies (but don’t let them linger—it’s work time!). 

Step 2: Eat chocolate. Everyone likes chocolate. Dark chocolate has more caffeine. Maybe throw in some nuts and dried cranberries. Healthy brain food.

Step 3: Drink dark tea. I had earl grey with honey. I like to think it perked me up after the slight downing effects of the wine. 

Step 4: Get up and stretch; feel the cool night breeze on your body for a few minutes (I’m assuming everyone is implementing this strategy during the wee hours of the night). 

Step 5: GET HELLA SHIT DONE. Ideally, you’ve been working fairly intently throughout the whole process, and have reached an unstoppable productivity frenzy by the end of Step 4. 

       The essence behind the strategy is this: You’re inevitably going to get tired and loopy while sitting and working in one room for hours. Why not make it kinda fun?

Let me know how it works for you!

*By “Proven”, I mean I did it tonight. And it went well. And I will do it again. It’s certainly an exaggeration. 

On pseudo-apathy

Don’t skip the part where you’re supposed to pretend you don’t care. That part is important.

Going to Big Sur this weekend. (Holla!)