Saturday, February 25

Creating apps for families in financial distress

As you might know, I am working with Home Start Hillingdon as well as LSE SIFE. I got these two organisations together. Home Start Hillingdon helps families with young children which are in distress. LSE SIFE wants to do something for the community using free enterprise. What better way to do this than to have LSE SIFE to push for improved financial and debt management of our families in need?

So LSE SIFE are working on coming up with a financial education package for our volunteers in HSH which will be deployed soon. In the meantime, I was very impressed and very very happy that these young un’s in LSE have started developing an app for debt management. Now isn't this impressive? Its just early days yet, but I am seriously impressed.

Good for you chaps, very good indeed. If this works out, I am going to try my level best to ensure that LSE SIFE pushes this out nationally if not globally.


Google Maps caught a plane

Amusing, i was trying to look for a restaurant near the British Museum on Google Maps when I saw this…


Can you see what’s on the top of Russell Square? The satellite caught a plane on the way, lol.

Friday, February 24

Decomposition of Bride Price

This was amusing

The list itself contains all manner of things including drinks, watches, cloths for her mum and dad, clothes for her, a separate bride price (50,000 N – the tradition used to be 30n, but getting married is a dangerously expensive business these days), food, alcohol, a goat, a 3 day party for her parents village (somewhere in the middle of nowhere) so all the usual stuff you would expect, apart from 1 item which stood out above all the rest, 5,000N which will apparently guarantee that the bride will not flirt with any other men!

You know that the dowry system is pretty heavy in India. I wonder if people who have accepted dowry can relate to this?

Thursday, February 23

True Gentleman indeed

I was told this story by my ma about being a gentleman when Sir Walter Raleigh laid down his cloak on the ground so that she didnt have to step into a puddle of mud.

So what do you do now? when you don't wear cloaks? You offer the coat or you do as this chap did.

Wednesday, February 22

Now this is cool customer service

I think that we can have improved customer service at supermarkets etc. if we fed the cashier with some biscuits at the end of the transaction. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 21

Tunnel to the other side of the Earth

This is brilliant, lol. So if you dig through the earth from where you are, where will you emerge? In my case, I will emerge on the International Date Line, south east of New Zealand. It would be bloody cold.


If I do it from where I was born, in Bhopal, then I will emerge again in the middle of the ocean, few hundred kilometers off the coast of Chile.


Monday, February 20

What a slave told his master

This letter is an eye opener. Fate or Karma has an unpleasant way of coming back to bite people in the patootie. If you are bad to people, then at some point in time, something bad will definitely come and bite your hiney. In this particular case, besides the gobsmacking and breath-taking effrontery of the colonel, the pretty straight talking letter puts the good colonel in his place. For all who have carried out slavery, who have done genocide or have killed people or what have you, read this and try to fix things now. So, for example, Mr. Cameron and Mr. Obama, please do not go poking around in Iran. You didn't learn before from what happened to Mossadeq, did you? And you are still not learning and consequently, you are managing to piss off a vast swathe of Muslims. Then you are surprised when British Muslims go about wanting to blow up your stock exchanges and buses. Bah

In August 1865, Col. P.H. Anderson of Big Spring, Tenn., wrote to his former slave Jourdon Anderson, now emancipated in Ohio, and asked him to return to work on his farm. Anderson dictated this letter in response:

Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Colonel Martin’s to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again, and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance.

I want to know particularly what the good chance is you propose to give me. I am doing tolerably well here. I get twenty-five dollars a month, with victuals and clothing; have a comfortable home for Mandy, — the folks call her Mrs. Anderson, — and the children — Milly, Jane, and Grundy — go to school and are learning well. The teacher says Grundy has a head for a preacher. They go to Sunday school, and Mandy and me attend church regularly. We are kindly treated. Sometimes we overhear others saying, ‘Them colored people were slaves’ down in Tennessee. The children feel hurt when they hear such remarks; but I tell them it was no disgrace in Tennessee to belong to Colonel Anderson. Many darkeys would have been proud, as I used to be, to call you master. Now if you will write and say what wages you will give me, I will be better able to decide whether it would be to my advantage to move back again.

As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that score, as I got my free papers in 1864 from the Provost-Marshal-General of the Department of Nashville. Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars. Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor’s visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams’s Express, in care of V. Winters, Esq., Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past, we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night; but in Tennessee there was never any pay-day for the negroes any more than for the horses and cows. Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire.

In answering this letter, please state if there would be any safety for my Milly and Jane, who are now grown up, and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with poor Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starve — and die, if it come to that — than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters. You will also please state if there has been any schools opened for the colored children in your neighborhood. The great desire of my life now is to give my children an education, and have them form virtuous habits.

Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.

From your old servant,

Jourdon Anderson.