Category Archives: Gist

Get It Together, Girl: 13 Signs Your Life Is A Hot Freaking MESS


We hate to break it to you, BUT…

We all have heartaches, down periods, tribulations and stressors in our life. When you take a mental photograph of your whole life from birth to today, chances are you’re going to have some serious grey and black splotches.

But overall, you wake up each day and do what you have to do. You’ve got it together. Unless of course, you’re a hot freaking mess!

No doubt, if you’re a catastrophic mess, people know it. The bad news is most likely, people are judging you or being empathetic toward you. The good news is every one becomes a mess now and then. But when your life has a constant orange roadblock sign in it and every one, including yourself, decides that your life is a big pile of sh*t, that’s where the problems arise.

Here are 13 signs your life is a hot mess.

1. You lack focus.

Your inability to focus has caused you so many problems that even you can’t begin to count them.

2. You feed into drama.

You’re always in a fight with someone — never the same person, but many people, and most of your relationships are marked with a damaging tone . Most likely, you’re choosing to befriend, f*ck and love people who treat you terribly, and then entwine you in heartache and stress.

3. You spend money faster than you make it.

You’re not able to budget your money even if you’re making a decent salary, and your job stability is a laughing matter.

4. You’ve burned all your bridges.

You have burned necessary bridges , which has made your life tougher. In some cases, the bridges needed to be burnt, and in others they were clearly your fault. You did this because you were panicking, angry, upset, or embroiled with a toxic person who turned your life so upside down — and you let them!

5. You have mood swings.

You’re happy one minute and then the next, you’re a wreck. You lash out at people and find yourself profusely apologizing, only to then do it all over again.

6. You’re pitied by everyone you know.

People have pity for you and sometimes it’s deserved and out of legitimate hardships. Other times, it’s due to the fact that the person doesn’t understand how you function.

7. You avoid the people closest to you.

Your dearest friends, who love you despite everything, are there for you — to a point. They have stopped extending their hand and offering too many favors because they don’t want to enable you.

8. You look for an easy way out.

You’re always looking for the easy answer or a quick fix to make things better, rather than do the hard work to make real and permanent life changes.

9. You have at least one enabler in your life.

There’s always some enabling you to continue to live your life recklessly.

10. You still haven’t gotten over past heartaches.

Your list of past heartaches is extensive , long and completely heart-wrenching. In this way, it makes it easy for someone to understand why you’re a hot mess.

11. Your family life isn’t the best.

Most likely, you’ve got a conflicted family life and one that’s marked by absence, drama or coldness. It’s these dark roots that taught you that the chaotic way is the best way to live.

12. You might be an addict.

It could be sex , drugs, gambling, shopping or drinking. It could be anything , but if your life is peppered with addiction, you might be an insanely hot mess.

13. You rely on others to fix you.

By Elikplim baby
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12 Photos That Can Easily Trick Your Eyes


They say that seeing is believing. But what if we said that this isn’t always true? The following photo compilation displays how easy it is for our brains to trick us.

We collected 25 photos that you’ll want to look at twice…or maybe more.

1. Who is holding whom?

2. There are centaurs among us…

3. Whoo! It seems that gravity has changed…

4. Zach Braff and Dax Shepard have “face swapped”. Has anything changed?

5. This window looks more like a picture hanging on the wall.

6. And this painting looks like a real tank with a real fish.

7. This football stadium looks more like a departing UFO.

8. A grasshopper landed on the windshield and it looks as if giant insects decided to take over our planet.

9. This tanker looks like it’s being hung in the air.

10. It’s not a flower bed but rather, a cemetery of bicycles.

11. Glass sharpened by the sea looks like a handful of candies.

12. This tree looks like a ballerina froze during her dance.

Our world will never be the same again! Have you ever encountered a view that made you scratch your head and look at it twice? Please share your photos and stories in the comments!

By High Sparrow

“I Deserve It” Lola Omotayo Reveals Why Her Husband, Peter Okoye Bought Her A Range Rover


Lola Omotayo-Okoye got a special gift from her celebrity husband, Peter Okoye A.K.A Mr P, a Range Rover 2016 SUV at their house in Park View Lagos.

Lola was away at work got a surprise call from her husband who told her to rush home because he had a special gift to present to her.

Hurriedly, Lola Omotayo-Okoye got home to a waiting crowd of celebrities, family and friends who cheered on as she got the keys to the brand new ride from her husband.

Speaking to Wotzup ONTV, Lola who struggled to catch her breathe revealed how excited she felt receiving the Range Rover gift from her husband, Mr P.

”Well, I’m really… I’m super excited. I can’t really even… I’m really shy, so don’t take my shyness for not being surprised. I’m surprised and really, really excited. I can’t believe it,” Lola Omotayo-Okoye said.

When asked about what could have motivated her husband to carry out this wonderful gesture, Lola emphatically said:

”All my hard work na, all these years. I deserve it (laughs happily).”

She later appreciated her husband with some lovely words and a special kiss in the full glare of family and friends who were excitedly cheering them on.

”Peter, I love you every, very much. I’m so, so grateful for this… I’m shocked. Thank you so much, I really appreciate this,” she said.

The surprisingly boring role AI could play in classrooms


If recent clickbait headlines are to be believed, robots are already taking over our schools, relegating “Sir” or “Miss” to the status of a second-rate computer dumped at the back of the class.

Yet to many experts, the real value of artificial intelligence (AI) to education may be far more humdrum as a back-of-house tool to free up time for human teachers to build students’ social skills, resilience, appetite for learning and character.

Schools need to take more advantage of AI’s teaching capabilities

Miles Berry, principal lecturer in computing education at the University of Roehampton and a key architect of the national curriculum for computing, introduced to replace ICT four years ago, is disappointed at how few schools have exploited the new programme fully.

“AI is difficult to teach and schools either lack relevant resources or don’t know how to apply them, but in order to plug the technology skills gap, we must give our youngsters time to experiment with creating rudimentary chatbots for example,” he says.

“Setting up a Google Assistant, Apple Siri or Amazon Alexa and getting it to answer some of the questions that come up in a lesson would be a fairly simple task for many computing teachers, but to get them on-side, we need to talk far more about the role of machine-learning and far less about the dawn of the robots.”

While Mr Berry agrees that for now at least, AI is better suited to subjects with right and wrong answers than to teaching the nuances of Shakespeare, or even sport, its ability to relieve pressure on teachers is, he says, “unignorable”.

“Machine-learning can already play a vital role in setting work, in marking and assessment, and can track individualised learning very proficiently. If schools harness this power to its fullest extent, our human teachers are free to concentrate on the softer skills that are so vital to our employers,” says Mr Berry.

As a result of AI not being on the core curriculum, finding time to dedicate to it in the classroom is a challenge and this is partly why adoption has been slow

While growing numbers of primary, as well as secondary schools, are now teaching their pupils how to code, this is only one tiny element of AI and a skill which will be “old hat” by the time they enter the workforce, says Professor Rose Luckin of University College London’s Institute of Education.

One of three expert witnesses invited last year to attend a House of Lords Select Committee session on AI education and digital skills, she argues that “overall computational thinking” is far more interesting and creative than the term “coding” would suggest.

“I have nothing against coders, but it’s the easiest and arguably the least interesting aspect of AI, and one which deters many people, including women, from joining our tech companies at a time when we desperately need their skills,” says Professor Luckin.

“When it comes to equipping our youngest children for a world where AI will be enormously influential in their working lives and at home, the vast majority of our schools aren’t even at first base yet.”

Some manufacturing roles could be obsolete in the coming decades as automation takes hold.

While Professor Luckin can’t comment on whether staffroom Luddism or apathy may be factors, she does believe that the scarcity of teachers with a grasp of AI is becoming a serious problem and calls for far closer collaboration between tech firms and educators.

“Some schools are drafting in tech experts to help introduce AI to the classroom, but this often fails because they don’t create materials that work in a classroom setting and they don’t know how to teach people,” she says.

“It would be unthinkable for the medical profession, say, to introduce AI without the direct input of medics in the actual development of resources and exactly the same should be true of education. Teachers don’t need fancy equipment, they need easy-to-use, easy-to-explain materials which don’t necessarily require a tech person to be in the room.”

Tailoring education for future workplaces

IBM developer Dale Lane, who helped create the educational tool Machine Learning for Kids, believes that while the “most critical aspect of AI education is helping teachers to improve their own skills and educate our children more effectively”, this continues to be overlooked. He shares Professor Luckin’s frustration over the lack of progress so far.

“As a result of AI not being on the core curriculum, finding time to dedicate to it in the classroom is a challenge and this is partly why adoption on the ground has been slow,” he says.

“Where IBM has had more success has been with activities which include elements of AI in non-computing subjects; for example, getting kids to train a chatbot to answer questions on the Vikings or using ‘text classifiers’ to understand how different newspapers report on the same story.”

Former teacher Tom Ravenscroft, founder and chief executive of Enabling Enterprise, which aims to bring the world of work into the classroom, has a very different perspective on the nature of the UK’s skills gap to that held by Mr Lane.

“The qualities which employers across every sector crave above all others, including tech skills, are those which are essentially human, including persuasive presentation and interpersonal skills. However hard some people may try to argue this, these abilities cannot be taught by machines,” says Mr Ravenscroft.

“While I would agree that there is a role for AI in the classroom, the biggest skills gap in the UK is not related to our interface with robots or our ability to code, but in our day-to-day dealings with other human beings.”

Thanks to their familiarity with computer games, children are less apprehensive than their parents about letting a computer mark their work or provide feedback

Mr Berry stresses that despite AI having no official place on the school curriculum, its applications are already making their mark on the lives of learners.

“Google Translate is helping millions of students whose first language isn’t English and, at a very basic level, spelling and grammar correction is making the polishing of our prose easier for all of us,” he says.

“AI can present information and provide practice time and time again, without becoming impatient or judgemental. Thanks to their familiarity with computer games, children are less apprehensive than their parents about letting a computer mark their work or provide feedback.”

Although Mr Berry believes that the biggest names in tech, including Microsoft and Apple, are “very generous in sharing free content with schools”, one man with a foot in both business and education camps believes industry can do more to help.

AI can present information and provide practice time and time again, without becoming impatient or judgemental

Paul Drechsler, chairman of Teach First and president of the CBI, says: “All of us would agree that our young children need to be properly equipped to enter the workforce of tomorrow, and I would urge all businesses both inside and outside tech to look again at what more they can do to provide knowledge, support and funding to teachers and pupils.

“If we accept that one day computers are going to be far better than we are at processing all forms of explicit knowledge, including literacy, numeracy and languages, we see the real AI challenge isn’t about creating more computer experts, but about building the skills which machines cannot emulate.

“Teamwork, leadership, listening, staying positive, dealing with people, and managing crisis and conflict are know-how skills, not know-what skills, and that’s where we humans will always triumph. But we need teachers, businesspeople and policy-makers to be in the same room to develop an education strategy appropriate for the next generation.”

SOURCE: World Economic Forum

By Virginia Matthews · Raconteur

7 Exercises to Relieve Back Pain in 10 Minutes


About 54% of people complain of having some kind of back pain. 26% of these people have accepted that the reason behind the back pain could be from a lack of exercise or from physical work.

Since we care about your health! That’s why we decided to put together some easy exercises to relieve your back pain — especially if its cause is from lack of motion. Otherwise, it’s better to consult your doctor before performing these.

1. Hamstring stretch

Steps:

Lie on your back with one leg bent.

Grab behind your right knee and pull your right leg up into the stretch position. Your knee can be bent a little as you pull your leg back.

Stretch it as much as it’s comfortable but keep your tailbone on the floor and stretch your knees to feel the strain on the muscles.

With an ideal pose, you should feel the stretch on the back of your thighs and your calves if you pull your toes back.

Hold it for 10 seconds and repeat it twice with both the legs.

If you have tight hamstring muscles, you’re likely to be more prone to injuries in daily life. Tight hamstrings can affect the movement of your pelvis, which increases the strain on your lower back. Hamstring stretches will give you strong, flexible, limber thighs which support the rest of your muscle groups too.

2. Double leg knee to chest

Steps:

Lie on your back.

Bend both the legs and hold your one hand with another behind your knees.

Now, pull it closer to your chest using both hands. The more you stretch, the more you can feel the strain on the lower back and thighs.

Hold the position for 20 seconds and repeat it twice.

This exercise, in particular, increases the range of motion of your lower back muscle. Muscles with a bad range of movement are prone to spinal cord arthritis and spinal cord stenosis. The exercise also ensures that the blood supply is healthy and assists the nutrients in that particular area.

Alternative:

Steps:

Lie on your back.

Bend one leg and then bend the other just below the knee of the first leg as shown in the illustration.

Hold your hands together behind your knees.

Now, pull it closer to your chest using both the hands.

This exercise will affect only one side of the body depending on the leg, so hold the position for 20 seconds and repeat it twice with both legs.

3. Knee stretch to the chest

Steps:

Lie on your back.

Bend your right leg and hold it with your hands.

Now, pull it closer to your chest to feel the stretch on the hips and thighs.

Hold the position for 20 seconds and repeat it twice with both legs.

It has the same effects on the body as the double-knee to chest stretch. This one, however, uses the partial weight of the body to relax the thigh muscles while correcting the backbone and related muscles.

Alternative:

Note:

Steps for the alternative version are the same, but in case you are not able to keep your other leg straight, this one could be used as an alternative.

4. Psoas stretch

Steps:

Stand straight.

Move your right leg forward while keeping your left leg back. Bend your right knee and keep the upper body straight.

Hold on to this position for a few seconds and then lower the left knee close to the floor.

Keep both hands on your right knee for support and move the upper body forward. This exercise will affect the psoas.

Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat it twice with both legs.

The psoas is the most important and biggest muscle in the hip flexor muscle group. They ensure the movement of the thigh and torso in coordination. This helps in daily activities like bicycling, weight training, running, etc.

5. Spinal stretch

Steps:

Lay on your back and stretch your arms perpendicular to your head.

Raise your right leg up and use your left hand to pull it over your left leg to the ground on the left side.

Turn your head slowly toward the right side while feeling the stretch on your back and thigh respective to your leg, all while keeping your hands perpendicular to your head.

Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat it twice with both legs.

If you sit in the office or classroom for hours, sit behind the wheel of a car or simply stand with poor posture, the spinal cord suffers, causing bad back pain. A spinal stretch or spinal twist stretch ensures the mobility of your spinal muscles, helping you to maintain good posture.

6. Quadriceps stretch

Steps:

Stand straight.

Stand on your right leg and hold the left foot with your right hand. You can use both hands if one isn’t sufficient.

Try to touch your heel to your butt to stretch the hips, quadriceps, and back.

Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat it twice with both legs.

The quadriceps stretch increases blood circulation in that particular area. As a back to knee connecting muscle, a poor or stiff pair of quadriceps can lead to back or knee pain.

7. Downward facing dog against a wall or chair

Steps:

Stand straight and make sure you have something to support you.

Put both of your hands on the support while keeping a sufficient distance between you and the support.

Bend your upper body between your arms and make sure your head goes down between them as well. The more the head goes down the more it strains the back and thigh muscles.

Keep your lower body straight and try to bend in a comfortable position.

Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat it twice or even 3 times.

This stretch releases any stress in the shoulders, neck, thighs or back. It increases the spaciousness in your torso by creating movement in the quadriceps. Pressing the upper thighs results in more space and puts less stress on the lower back and waist muscles.

Did the first round relieve any pain? Try these exercises and stretches for your back pain and tell us how you feel in the comments. Don’t forget to share this article with other back pain sufferers in need!

We’d love to hear your views on this…

#YouthDay: At 26, Thuso Mbedu is one of Africa’s most influential millenials


In 2014, with just R500 in her purse, a suitcase filled with clothes and no real plan, Thuso Mbedu hopped on a bus and made her way to Johannesburg.

Mbedu was determined to make a career in the entertainment industry, because she believed that God had given her a craft which she had to share with the world. And now she has.

Last year, Mbedu was nominated for an International Emmy Award for her role as Winnie, in the first season on Is’Thunzi– Damaged But Not Broken , a teen drama series on Mzansi Magic. Although she did not win, just the mere fact of being nominated was enough to pave the way for her stardom.

This week, the actress took the number one spot on the 2018 Forbes Africa Under 30 List, ahead of local rapper Cassper Nyovest and fashion designer Orapeleng Modutle.

Actress Nomzamo Mbatha took fourth spot while musician Kwesta wraps up the top five.

Mbedu was also cast as a principal member on SABC1’s Generations: The Legacy this year.

On Is’Thunzi– Damaged But Not Broken , Mbedu’s character, Winnie is a streetwise, ambitious go-getter who has her heart set on marrying a rich and famous rugby player, but her fantasy turns out to be a lot more challenging to achieve than she imagined when she gets exiled to live with her strict aunt in Bergville, KZN.

“I really took a leap of faith when I got to Johannesburg. There was no plan, but I knew I needed to survive and I needed to do anything and everything it took to find work in the industry. For a while I squatted with friends. Then I auditioned for Saints and Sinners, I went into that audition as if it was a do or die moment. And it paid off,” said Mbedu.

The actress said after her role in Saints and Sinners , work went quiet again and she was very discouraged.

“The industry is so unstable for artists these days. There was no work coming my way and what was more discouraging was that agencies didn’t want me to sign up because I didn’t have enough experience, but how was I do get the experience if they didn’t give me a chance,” she said.

Eventually, after a rough six months, Mbedu got another audition, little did she know, this one would earn her the International Emmy nomination.

“I was down for the longest time and my sister was helping me pay my rent. I wasn’t meeting my bills and eventually had to apply for a loan at the bank, so when I auditioned for Is’Thunzi I did so like it was my last audition ever. And it paid off. I finally had work again,” she said.

While Mbedu said she loved her time on Is’Thunzi and owed the nomination to the cast and crew. She wishes she could play roles that are closer to her age.

“The oldest character I played was 21-year old. And It’s not that I don’t enjoy playing these roles, but the industry recycles storytelling for school kids or teenagers, and I want to experience a more authentic and mature storyline now. Mature roles are 3D characters and are more complex, so want to extend myself more,” said the actress.

Her favourite role to play, if she was given the opportunity, would be a villain. Mbedu said she is intrigued by the psychological work behind the character that takes viewers on a journey.

Aside from her onscreen work, Mbedu has been working on her own scripts with award winning director and scriptwriter, Amanda Lane as her mentor.

“In university I was exposed to a lot of American shows via streaming and I enjoyed watching these shows. And I would always hear people around me say that they don’t watch local TV because most of the stories are recycled and not inspiring. So I got to a point where I wanted that to change so instead of complaining about local TV I decided to start writing scripts,” she said.

Currently she is working on a crime action series which she showcases women taking control of their own destiny.

“What I learned through this journey of writing is that South African men are still very uncomfortable with heroin leads in storytelling, and so I would like to change this – I had no male figure in my life to take care of me, and I made it through. I want to empower women,” said Mbedu.

“The second story I’m working on is a romantic drama which is also led by a women and shows were my state of mind is at this point after the death of my granny. The other is an action film but that needs a big budget, so that’s on hold for now,”she said.

By Akua