How To Slaughter A Goat (or Sheep) For Nyama Choma And Soup

December 21, 2012 20 comments

So last Christmas we did a two-man nyama choma preparation stunt. See whenever we’re doing nyama choma (roasted meat to the uninitiated) there’s always three or more guys involved. This time it was only me and my bro available for the job and we bravely took it on. We now know better. It took the whole day, morning to night, to run through the whole process! This is actually fun if it were not for the super-tiredness at the end of it. So one piece of advice to all those contemplating a one or two man nyama choma stunt this Christmas: Beware!

Now how do you turn a live goat into that delicacy? The process is really quite simple and has been carried out by generations of young men since waaay back in Kenya’s history. In summary, you

– identify a suitable volunteer,

– chop off his/her head,

– hang them upside down to remove hide and disembowel,

– split into pieces and

– roast.

What you need around you for the smoothest execution is enthusiastic labour. The hungry kind.

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Jupiter and Venus in Planetary Conjunction

March 14, 2012 7 comments

Jupiter is back in the news. This time not for it’s proximity to earth, but for appearing very close to Venus in the night sky. I have been observing the two planets getting closer and closer together in the last couple of weeks, but hadn’t realized there was anything particularly special about it until I came across this article by National Geographic.

The coming together of these two planets is known as Planetary Conjunction and happens every thirteen months for the case of Jupiter and Venus. The occurrence itself isn’t that rare, but this year it appears spectacular due to the fact that the planets are visible for several hours after sunset. They can be observed in the western sky just after sunset and stay visible for about four hours after that. The climax of the conjunction is going to be on the 15th of March when they shall be just 3 degrees apart.



Jupiter and Venus are the brightest celestial bodies after the moon, which makes them quite easy to pick out in the night sky. However, there are two more planets that have been showing up closely behind and are easily visible to the naked eye. Mars has been appearing in the eastern sky about two hours after sunset followed shortly by Saturn.

Mars is easily distinguishable from other stars around it due to its yellow/orange color. Saturn is a lot harder to pick out if you don’t know where to look. It appears just below and to the left of Spica in the constellation Virgo.

Categories: Ideas

How to Add an Image Field to Buddypress Extended Profile Fields

March 10, 2012 144 comments

BuddyPress is a plugin that brings social networking capabilities to WordPress. It comes with features such as Friend connections, Activity streams (status posting), Private messaging, Groups and Forums. There is lot’s more you can do with it via BuddyPress Plugins. These are simply WordPress plugins that are compatible with BuddyPress. You can work with BuddyPress as just one component of your WordPress website’s functionality, or you can have it as your central component and completely hide the rest of WordPress. Just like WordPress, BuddyPress is completely open source and almost as flexible.

How BuddyPress Works

1.   Hooks

Being part of the WordPress ecosystem, BuddyPress employs hooks liberally in its implementation. These help theme and plugin developers greatly when it comes to interfacing with BuddyPress in a future-proof manner. When used correctly, the hooks allow developers to write code that doesn’t break on newer versions of BuddyPress.

Among the most important hooks in BuddyPress are:

–  bp_screens:  It processes functions that respond to user input with visual feedback. Basically this is the hook to use when you want to output a page in response to user input. A good example is displaying a list of friends in response to the clicking of the friends menu.

–  bp_actions:  This hook is similar to bp_screens, but does not give visual feedback. A good example of such is when accepting a friend request. This hook is called before bp_screens and we shall use this rule in implementing the image field.

2.   Components

Functionality in BuddyPress is delivered via components. Roughly, a component maps to a feature. For example the Groups feature is handled by the Group component. Components contain the various bp_screens and bp_actions hooks required to respond to user input. A fresh installation of BuddyPress has the following components:

–  Extended Profiles:  maintains user profile details such as name

–  Friend Connections:  allows users to make and accept friend requests

–  Private Messaging:  handles messaging between specific users. Only the users addressed in the messages can view them.

–  Activity Streams:  handles the posting of public statuses and generally tracking the actions of users.

–  Groups:  handles the creation and maintenance of user groups. Users can create groups, invite other users etc.

–  Forums:  this component allows topical discussions to be carried out among users either site-wide or within groups.

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