Facial Identity in COVID times

The face is the most distinctive part of a human being and therefore serves as most important physical feature for identification. Ordinarily, we recognise people by their faces. In these times of COVID and mask-wearing, I have wondered what features of the face actually make for identification or recognition.

Most dictionaries define the human face as “the front part of a person’s head from the forehead to the chin”. This would include the eyes, the mouth (lips), the nose the ears, the cheeks and other features of the face. Variations in the forehead, nose, mouth, eyes, cheeks and ears, are used to recognize one another and to distinguish one person from another. The facial muscles often help to display facial expressions that can show what we are feeling, our emotions, or what goes on in our minds at the time. Facial expression can show joy, sadness, surprise, anger etc, and can even be means of communicating with one another.

Masks in shopping malls

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, partial covering of the face by wearing masks has been enforced all over the world. The mask is required to cover your nose, your mouth, cheeks, and down below your chin. I have wondered how we still recognise one another.

Masks in Public Transportation

What part or parts of the face are actually important in recognition and identity? I have watched masked mothers with little babies in the pram. I have witnessed a mother in the bus, trying to kiss the baby while wearing the mask. I have wondered if the baby knows when the mother is smiling.

In present times, the Biometric or e-Passports have been introduced and used all over the world. One of the advantages is that the a machine at a country’s entry border or immigration check point scans your passport and matches data on it with your face, using facial recognition technology. Many other e-devices use facial recognition to allow access. How does this now work with the mask on?

The photo at the top of this write-up shows my two grand daughters, Melissa and Michelle. I can definitely recognize each one. I can even see that Melissa is smilling! So, what parts of the face are really necessary for recognition and identification?

Please feel free to share your comments and ideas.

FFP2 Mask

World Without Boundaries


In recent times, as the pace of migration and emigration increases in humans, we hear so much about boundaries, borders, and walls. Current refugee problems exacerbate the call for these boundaries. By boundaries I refer specifically to physical international demarcations. Have you ever imagined a world without boundaries?

Humans personalize things. They think in terms of ‘my own’ your own, ‘our own’, ‘their own’, ‘us and them’. Does anyone really own things that nature provided and continues to provide naturally- things like, air, rivers, oceans, land, forests, the outer space, and even life itself?

I worked for many years as a Senior Research Officer in the Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research and as a Senior Consultant for the United Nations and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), on ‘Water Pollution Control and Biodiversity Conservation’ in the Gulf of the Guinea. At the time, there were seminars and workshops on ‘Integrated Coastal Areas Management (ICAM). These seminars and workshops highlighted the fact that the Atlantic Ocean had no boundaries. Pollution along one national coastal region invariably affected the neighbouring areas and would, to a certain degree, affect the entire coastline biological resources.

In my write-up on  The Connectedness of all , I tried, using an object as simple as ‘my bed’ in Zanzibar to highlight the interdependence of humanity, the connectivity of all things. In another of my blog on  The “Butterfly Effect”of Life , I tried to show how any action, no matter how small or irrelevant you may think it is, can cause a continuous ripple in the ‘sea’ of life. The remote cause of World War 1 is a lasting example.

Without losing the trend of this write-up, all I am trying to portray is that in nature, there are no boundaries, no walls, no borders, only continuity, flow, and connectivity. Humans create great stress for themselves by placing constraints, demarcations and limitations.

Murau (Photo by Melissa Ugbor)

Animals in the wild do not set boundaries, rather, their genetical make up, differentiations, and needs for survival influence their distribution. We are part of the animal kingdom. We pride ourselves as higher beings, Homo sapiens’, but we stifle ourselves with so much constraints and ideologies, –  politics, religion, race, gender, and now, boundaries and walls.

Recently my granddaughter, Melissa, was writing her International Baccalaureate (IB) extended essay on effects of the partitioning and Colonization of countries of Africa. Her project and write-up set me thinking. “What if all countries in Africa, for example, were left to grow or develop without the interference and partitioning by the European colonizers? Would there perhaps have emerged, different groupings of people with comfortable ethnic similarities? Perhaps the peoples’ natural instincts would have prompted them to develop means of interacting peacefully among themselves and with their neighbours’. I know there could be a lot of debate over this topic. Our own ideologies and actions have led to ‘ours and yours’ mentalities which in effect create fear, and insecurity. The fear of losing, or sharing that which we now call ‘ours’ makes us justify the need for protection – call it, boundaries, walls, borders, and nationalism. These are steeped in fears and insecurity and will increasing be so. One thing is sure, constraints create stress. Constraints create conflicts.

Consider the Internet, images-1.jpg or take a look at the various social media like the Youtube, FaceBook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and so on. One is amazed at how these social media connect the whole world, rich and poor. One cannot but marvel at the ease with which information from these awesome media instantly flows across continents and beyond. Perhaps through these, we could someday, come to the realization that life is meant to flow without constraints, without boundaries.

The Internet World – World without boundaries


Mystery of the Human Life


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What is life?. How does one define life in general?. Scientists and philosophers have not found it easy to define life. This is partly because life is a process, not a substance. The most acceptable definition of life is a biological description – using biological  and physiological characteristics of living organisms – Metabolism, Respiration, Nutrition, Irritability, Growth, Excretion, Reproduction, which in high school we memorized using the acronym MR NIGER’. Although there are newer and more scientific ways of describing these biological processes, the mystery of life still lies in their perfect and synchronized execution by the human body. At the bases of these complex physiological processes are physical and chemical elements, atoms and molecules, intertwined with intelligent signaling and regulatory mechanisms necessary for maintaining life. Our body and life itself, is a field of infinite correlation of physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics with some direct influence of the planets and solar systems. 

During respiration, we inhale billions of atoms and molecules that eventually end up as cells in our organs and tissues – liver cells, muscle cells, brain cells, bone cells etc. As we  exhale, we discharge molecules of our degraded tissues and organs into the atmosphere. According to scientists, our body replaces 98% of all its atoms in less than one year!

“The body makes a new stomach lining every five days, a new skin, once every month, a new liver every six weeks, and a new skeleton every three months ..”  (Dr Chopra)

The awesomeness of life overwhelms me at the birth of a new baby especially now that I am advanced in age with 4 grown children and 6 grand children.

New born Noah

The birth of each of my grand children set me in awe about this mystery. A few months ago, I was faced with the realization that my youngest daughter, my ’32-year-old-baby’ Tochi, had just given birth to her own ‘baby’, Noah. I gazed at the new born. I marveled at the perfection and the realization of the inbuilt potential already encoded in this infant – the potential to eat and digest food, to grow and eventually walk, talk, learn, reason and then become an adult. As the days ran into weeks and weeks into months, I am thrilled at the progress in the development of this ‘Newlife’. At 6 months, I watched as Noah instinctively and progressively proceeded to crawl, pushing ahead on his stomach and arms, aiming to grab the object he fancied in front of him!

The human body at maturity contains 30 to 37 trillions of cells which are the fundamental units of life. These cells are organized to form organs and systems. Each cell is continuously doing countless things per second and at the same time is aware of what the other cells are doing and correlates its activity with the others. Amazingly, despite all the activities going on within, the body maintains a stable state known as homeostasis.

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Noah at 6 months

No one puts it better than one of my most valued authors, Dr Deepak Chopra, in his book, “Power Freedom and Grace” …

“There is no time for one cell to tell the other, ‘Listen, I’m going to digest food, you wait and don’t think thoughts for now.’ Our stomach cells are digesting food, while our brain cells are thinking thoughts, while our gallbladder is making bile, while our immune system is killing germs. The cells not only do more than one thing at a time, but they all keep track of what the others are doing – otherwise, there would be a great of confusion in the body.”

This is amazing! This harmonious synchronized functioning of the human body explains why Jesus called the whole human race “One Body“. We were created to work like “ONE BODY in harmonious correlation! 

“…. At the same time that it is correlating all these activities, our body is monitoring the movement of the earth, the moon, the planets, the stars, and the entire cosmos. Our body, our mind, our emotions, everything in our physiology is changing moment to moment, depending on the time of the day, the cycles of the moon, the seasons and even the tides..”

Wow! Our body is part of the universe! We have a direct relationship with the universe! A simple example of this synchronization of our bodies to factors of the universe is experience of the daily rhythm, the 24 hour cycle of night and day. As a result of the spinning of the earth on its axis around the sun and other solar systems, our body goes to sleep at night and awakens in the morning. Another simple example is the 28-day female menstrual cycle where biological rhythm is an expression of the cosmos. In other words, the cosmic rhythms has some impact on the human reproduction! 

The human body contains 60% – 70% water, similar to the percentage of water on the planet. The rise and fall of the tides, or the tidal rhythms, which are the result of the gravitational pull exerted by the sun, the moon and stars on the oceans also affects our body such that we have periods of ‘high moods’ and ‘low moods’ in our day to day lives. Anything that goes on in the universe affects our body, whether we understand it or not. A lot can be said about the relationship of  nature, or universe to the human life.

Two factors stand out here:

1 – Knowing our Purpose in life, and Living together as ONE BODY,  

2 – Taking care of the Universe.

For the human life or the body, to function at it’s best, each cell in each tissue, each organ or system must know its purpose, perform its duty diligently and function in a harmonious cooperation with each other. We as living beings are created as “ONE BODY” – two words that describe God’s intention in creating us. When we know our true purpose and execute this with passion, love, gratitude, selflessness, good neighborliness, aware of our neighbours’ needs, we can create a World of Mystery and Miracles – just as the cells of the body. Each individual is important and is expected to play a role in this ONE BODY.

Secondly, the human life needs the universe. We are surrounded by nature and interact with it. Perhaps most people are only aware of the biosphere – the thin layer of the planet earth where life exists,-  its soil, the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and organisms within it. We experience nature by the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. The Universe is, however, much more complex, that, even the air we breath, the water we drink and the food we eat are in relationship with the entire cosmos. Think of the seasons (Winter, Summer, Autumn and Summer) and visualize what happens to the air, the water and vegetation at the various seasons! Right from creation man has been dependent on nature and given the charge to cultivate and maintain it. Man, however, has been making serious negative incursions into our environment, through various forms of pollution, aforestation, and so on, not realizing the ultimate detriment to life itself. Conserving our environment means conserving life. Spend time in nature, admire it, learn about it and enjoy it. This is part of our duty in maintaining this Mystery called Life. 

“Look deep into nature and you will

understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

The Mystery of the Human Life is the concise description of the Mystery of Creation!





Power in the Spoken Word


Words are units of spoken or written representations of a language that convey meaning. Words are used to express ourselves and our emotions. Words are powerful and we hear expressions like, “I give you my word”; “Keep your word.” In both expressions, word is regarded as  a promise or an honour to be taken seriously.

images copy.jpegMost people do not know the power of the spoken word. Words are vibrations spoken out as a result of our thoughts.  Words therefore are spoken thoughts. Thoughts are powerful , but spoken words are more powerful since words are thoughts expressed.  Whatever we express manifests more quickly in the universe through the Law of Attraction and Law of Vibration

“Whatever man voices, he begins to attract” (Florence Scovel Shinn)

We could use a lot of scripture to portray the significance of ‘Word’.  We read that God created the universe by spoken word and it came to be. We also read that “the Word was made Man and dwelt among us”. Word manifests!  

Spoken words when uttered with emphasis, and strong emotions, manifest physical results.

Jesus said to them .“… If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you”. (Matt 17:20).

Jane Elliot’s “Blue-eye/Brown-eye Exercise”

After Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, Primary school teacher, Jane Elliot wanted to teach her 3rd grade class about racism. Because most of her 8-year-old pupils had been born and were being raised in a small all-white town in Iowa and had seen black people only on television, she felt that her all-white class cannot fully comprehend racism’s meaning. Rather than a lengthy discussion about it, she used what she called the “Blue-eye/Brown-eye Exercise”. On the day of the exercise, she told the blue-eyed children that they were the superior group and made them sit in front of the class and gave them extra privileges. She told the brown-eyed pupils that they were inferior and less intelligent group, and sent them to sit at the back rows. She used negative words to describe the brown eyes pupils and positive encouraging words for the  blue-eyed children. images.jpegWithin 15 minutes into the exercise, there was a direct noticeable change in the behavior and personality of the two groups – the blue-eyed pupils behaving more intelligent and more assertive, while the brown-eyed pupils became dull and confused, exhibiting lack of self esteem. The following day, Elliott reversed the exercise, telling the brown-eyed children that they were superior. A reversed change in behavior and personality occurred. Though this experiment became very controversial, the fact still remained that there is power in words! Other schools and establishments have used this same exercise and gotten similar outcomes. Words manifest! The above experiment teaches that we must be careful in what we say to our children. You may like to read more about Jane Elliot’s Blue-eye/Brown-eye Exercise in the internet.

Dr Masaro Emoto’s ‘Words and Water’ Experiment.

Some of you may have read about the water experiments by the Japanese scientist, Dr Masaro Emoto. Dr Emoto showed that water reacts to words. He showed that water differentiates between harmonious vibrations and non harmonious vibrations – vibrations of sounds, music and words. He proved this by freezing distilled water from different sources and water exposed to different vibrations. He then used special photographic techniques to document the crystals  …..

“The result was that we always observed beautiful crystals after giving good words, playing good music, and showing, playing, or offering pure prayer to water.”(Dr. Masaro Emoto).

Below are a few of the results from Dr Emoto’s experiments of the frozen water crystals with words said to it, or music played to it. 

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You Fool

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Thank you

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Amazing Grace song






Dr. Emoto’s ‘Rice -Water’ Experiments

Dr. Emoto went on to conduct other experiments using rice and water called, ‘Dr Emoto’s Rice/Water experiment’. He placed portions of cooked rice in 3 little glass containers. To one he said “Thank you” and labeled it. To the 2nd he said, “You’re an Idiot” and labeled it accordingly. He ignored the 3rd container. Everyday for one month, he said ‘Thank you’ to the 1st container and ‘You’re an Idiot’ to the 2nd. He ignored the 3rd. At the end of the month, the contents of the glass container with the positive words had barely changed giving out a pleasant aroma, while the 2nd with the negative words had gone very black with a foul smell. The rice in the ignored container began to rot. Many people have since performed this experiment with astounding results. You can google Dr Emoto’s rice-water experiments to read, or see more on the subject. You can also perform the experiment yourself.


Recreating Dr. Emoto’s rice-water experiment

3 years ago, inspired by this experiment, my son, Ugo, and his two daughters, Melissa and Michelle, carried out the ‘rice-water’ experiments themselves and the result was astonishing! Take a look and listen to the children describe their experiment after 30 days.


images.pngThere is certainly power in the spoken words. We live in a miraculous world and we are living miracles. When you consider that words have effect on water and that the human body contains  50%-70% water, we may begin to imagine what everything we say to ourselves and to others are doing to our bodies – our physical and psychological wellbeing and our outlook in life. We should pay attention to what we say to ourselves and others. Words of affirmation are very important. Say positive things about yourself and to yourself. Say positive encouraging thing to your children. Say good things to, and about others and mean these things when you say them. “Your Words are your Magic Wands”