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Two Japanese tourists return to Earth after spending 12 days on the ISS

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Moscow (AFP) – A Japanese billionaire returned to Earth on Monday accompanied by his assistant and a Russian cosmonaut after spending 12 days on the International Space Station, where they filmed videos of daily life in space.

Fashion mogul Yusaku Maezawa, 46, and his assistant Yozo Hirano landed on the Kazakh steppe on Monday morning, along with Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, the Russian space agency reported.

“The flight of the Soyuz MS-20 ‘tourist’ spacecraft has been completed,” the Roscosmos agency said in a statement on its website.

Images relayed from the landing site, about 150 kilometers southeast of the city of Zhezkazgan, in central Kazakhstan, showed the smiling trio after being helped out of the Soyuz lander and into evacuation vehicles in the cold and the mist.

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According to the central military district press service, they were greeted upon arrival with a “surprise” plate of noodles from Japan.

This trip has marked Russia’s return to space tourism after a decade-long hiatus. This sector, in which it has lost ground to private US companies, including the billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX, is experiencing a large increase in interest and is a source of financial income.

For his part, Maezawa’s assistant filmed videos about daily life in orbit to post on his employer’s YouTube account.
An image of Japanese millionaire Yusaku Maezawa from the Russian Soyuz MS-20 landing site in Kazakhstan, on a screen at the Korolyov space control center near Moscow on December 20, 2021
An image of Japanese millionaire Yusaku Maezawa from the Russian Soyuz MS-20 landing site in Kazakhstan, on a screen at the Korolyov space control center near Moscow on December 20, 2021 Alexander Nemenov AFP

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The man can be seen explaining in detail to his million followers how to brush their teeth or even go to the bathroom in zero gravity.

“Peeing is very easy,” he says in one of the videos, showing the device used by astronauts, which sucks urine. In another, brewing unsweetened tea and praising the flavor of the ISS cookies.

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Maezawa and his henchman are the first Japanese tourists to travel into space since 1990, when a journalist was aboard the Soviet Mir station.

This very lucrative sector of private space flights is currently being energized by the recent entry into the career of the companies of the American billionaires Elon Musk (SpaceX) and Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin), or that of the British Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic).

In September, SpaceX staged a three-day orbital flight with an all-amateur crew. In addition, it plans to take several tourists to go around the Moon in 2023, including Maezawa, who finances this operation.
An image of the Russian Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft shortly after separating from the International Space Station to begin its return to Earth, on a screen at the Korolyov space control center near Moscow on December 20, 2021.
An image of the Russian Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft shortly after separating from the International Space Station to begin its return to Earth, on a screen at the Korolyov space control center near Moscow on December 20, 2021. Alexander Nemenov AFP

The trip that ended on Monday marks the return, after more than a decade, of Roscosmos to the ring, as the Russian aerospace industry is plagued by corruption scandals and both technical and financial difficulties.

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In 2020, with the commissioning of SpaceX rockets and capsules, Moscow lost its monopoly on flights to the ISS and the tens of millions of dollars that NASA and other space agencies paid for each seat aboard Soyuz.

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The mission of these two Japanese tourists was organized by Roscosmos together with its American partner Space Adventures.

Between 2001 and 2009, in collaboration, these groups had already sent extremely wealthy entrepreneurs into space eight times.

The last had been, in 2009, the Canadian Guy Laliberté, founder of the popular ‘Cirque du Soleil’.

A sign of the ambitions regained by the Russian space sector, Roscosmos also sent a director and an actress aboard the ISS last October to shoot the first fictional film in orbit in history, before a similar project is realized. of Hollywood star Tom Cruise

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78,000 Nigerians in Ghanian universities pay with dollars – CUAB VC, Gbajabiamila

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The Vice Chancellor of Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State (CUAB), Prof. Ibrahim Gbajabiamila, has expressed worry that over 78,000 Nigerians schooling in Ghana and pay school fees in dollars.

With this, Gbajabimiala expressed concern that Nigerian parents are spending more on education in other countries than the five percent, which he said was allocated in the yearly budget to education.

The Professor said this at an event on Wednesday.

The don, who was worried about the dwindling standard of education in Nigeria, said the problem facing the nation’s education sector was lack of funding.

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According to him, average countries are doing well in education because they earmark enough money for the sector.

“The standard of education used to be high and I think our issue is that our standards are dropping as illustrated by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) results and other comparative data.

“We are not spending enough on education. Average countries are doing well. For example, Ghana is spending 25%, while we were previously spending 9% and now in 2022 it has dropped down to 5%. That’s why it is difficult for the children to excel, and of course, we still have the issue of the ASUU strike, which meant that since February, the children have been roaming about the street. Of course, losing school time, as we have done, has made us not competitive.

“Education is not a luxury, it’s a human right and our children have that right as an oil-producing nation to have quality education. Unfortunately, we should not rely on only the private sector to provide it. It is the public sector that has that right. But those that don’t have our oil wealth are doing better in that sector,” Gbajabiamila told newsmen.

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Stating the solution to the nation’s poor education standard, the Vice Chancellor said: “The way out is to spend more money on education. Those of us who are old enough would remember that Nigeria was a hub for West Africa in education. We have over a hundred universities, but some of you would remember the ‘Ghana-must-go’. We now have over 78,000 Nigerian students in Ghana alone, and Nigerian parents are paying in dollars. What that means is that the Nigerian parents are spending more on education than Nigeria’s budget in Ghana alone; not to talk of South Africa, Malaysia, USA, and so on.

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“So, we are developing other people’s education sector, and the way out is for us to do the needful and spend what is required to meet the standard. What is required to meet the international standard is that, if you can show me a public secondary or primary school with running water, electricity and internet. Those are the three most important elements of modern education.

“It is very difficult for our children to compete in the WAEC exams in science, when we don’t have quality science laboratories. That was not the case many years ago. In 1958, the University College Hospital, Ibadan, was one of the top 10 hospitals in the Commonwealth, but those are historical now.”

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Dennis Osadebe: Meet the Nigerian artist visualizing Africa’s future by reaching into the past

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In Dennis Osadebe’s “Nigerian Dream,” two figures clad in fuscia and mustard yellow stare out of the painting. Their facial features are obscured by a traditional tribal mask and a futuristic space helmet. The piece parodies the 1930 Grant Wood painting “American Gothic,” but exchanges a rural farmhouse for a modern home, and a pitchfork for an electric fan — a staple for beating the heat in Nigeria.
The 31-year-old Lagos-based artist wants to challenge assumptions about African art, visualizing the continent’s future by reaching into the past.
“I always want to use my art to educate people about Nigeria by making them understand that we’re already future-thinking,” said Osadebe, whose work fits into the movement known as Afrofuturist art combining African heritage with technology. “We are … sophisticated and complicated. [We] can participate in art at any level.”
“Nigerian Dream” is an example of “Neo African” art, a term Osadebe said he coined to describe work that rebels against stereotypes around African art. His style has captivated audiences around the world, and even won the approval of tennis champion Naomi Osaka.

Using surrealism and “post-pop” to transcend expectations

Instead of focusing on Nigeria’s shortcomings, Osadebe said, including inconsistent access to electricity and poor health care, his work celebrates the future by showcasing Africa’s potential.
Osadebe describes his art as “postmodern surrealism,” and “post-pop.” His everyday scenes, anonymous faces, and imagery of common household objects are designed to help people visualize their lives in his art.
“When people look at this piece, I want them to reflect and ask themselves: ‘do I see myself in this piece and why?'” said Osadebe. “I want to convey the feeling of us as human beings … having shared experiences [by celebrating] the most mundane, simple things.”
Research is key to his artistic process. He starts by identifying features of existing images that excite him. He has borrowed horses from Renaissance paintings, David Hockney’s reverse perspective, and René Magritte’s playful obstruction of faces. “It’s similar to collage in that sense,” he added.
Next, Osadebe starts to build a digital image around that feature. When the digital rendering is complete, he prints it on canvas and paints it using acrylic. For him, combining digital and traditional mediums gives him creative freedom.

Capturing a global audience

Osadebe said art is about developing a visual language that transcends geographic boundaries — a “universal language that everybody can connect to.” His work has captivated viewers in galleries all over the world, including Berlin, New York, Tokyo, Miami, London and Hong Kong.
He said learning about people’s perspectives on his art fuels his confidence to create. During his first exhibition in Lagos — 2017’s “Remember the Future,” inspired by the Nigerian space program — he was nervous about his work. “I was like, what have I done? These are all cartoon characters,” recalled Osadebe.
That anxiety went away when he had a discussion with the first person who walked into the gallery. “He [said] ‘as a Nigerian, this is something I felt like I needed to see — this was a perspective, a way of representation, that made me feel and see my potential.'” Osadebe said it was validating to hear that his art started a dialogue that he himself had struggled to put into words.
More validation came from Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka. The four-time Grand Slam champion purchased several of Osadebe’s pieces after coming across them in 2020. Her management team reached out to Osadebe, he said, and told him Osaka was drawn to a painting of a woman sitting on a horse in a living room.
“She was like ‘this evokes the energy I feel when I get into a room,'” he said. While he never spoke to Osaka directly, he speculates that she liked the piece’s message about controlling one’s own narrative.
Last year, he painted a cover for a Racquet Magazine feature about Osaka at her request. It features a figure standing in a living room clutching tennis equipment.

Turning heritage into inspiration

Osadebe’s references to his Nigerian heritage infuse his art with nostalgia. The tribal mask that often appears in his paintings was inspired by the official emblem of the Second World Festival of Black Arts and Culture — a replica of the royal ivory mask of Benin.
Osadebe grew up in Festac Town, the federal housing estate in Lagos that was designed in 1977 to house the festival’s participants. Despite living in a place associated with the arts, he said there wasn’t enough representation of young and relatable artists in Nigeria when he was growing up. “I never knew that [a career in art] was a possibility,” he added.
He is the first artist in his family. His father’s career as an entrepreneur inspired Osadebe to study business management at Queen Mary University of London. He completed a master’s degree in innovation and entrepreneurship, before returning to Lagos to work for a boutique finance firm. He started painting as a way to vent his frustrations — then realized he could turn his passion into a career.
His personal journey as an artist was part of the inspiration behind his recent series of self-portraits. In “Composure” (2022), furniture, plants, and paper swirl through the air in a living room. A figure stands motionlessly before the objects — calm amid chaos.
“I really wanted to reflect myself as an artist today [and] speak on my findings, my struggles, my frustrations,” said Osadebe. Under immense pressure, there is an expectation to retain composure, he added.
For Osadebe, “optimism is critical.” It’s the phrase he lives by when addressing serious themes in his art — like Nigeria’s long history of military rule from the 1960s into the 1990s in “General (Shoots a fake gun),” or police brutality in the video game he designed called “Playful Rebellion.” He said his art uses “optimism as a source of protest.”
hat mentality fuels his continued experimentation with new mediums. He has already made 3D sculptures and interactive graphic interfaces. While he can’t give away any spoilers just yet, he said his next series will celebrate Nigerian identity.
“With optimism, there’s hope,” he explained. “It’s what drives me to want to create, [to] try out new mediums, because it makes me feel like there’s more possibilities.”

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Are You People that Jobless?: Mum Scolds Her Baby Twins in Video for Watching Cartoon Early in the Morning

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A Nigerian mum found her baby twins watching cartoon early in the money and pulled a hilarious stunt on them The woman faked being angry as she knocked the kids for watching carton so early while their older sibling did chores While ordering them to pick up a broom and clean the house, she wondered if they are that jobless
A video of a Nigerian mum funnily scolding her baby twin boys for watching cartoon early in the morning has stirred hilarious reactions. The mum, in the clip shared on TikTok, accosted the kids and waved a turning stick in their faces as she faked being furious about their action.
She rhetorically asked the dumbfounded kids if they were that jobless to be seeing a cartoon that early in the day.
While one of the kids tried to refocus on the TV, she snapped him out of it, urging them to pick up a broom lying on the floor and join in the chores.
She urged them to take a cue from their older sibling who was doing house chores at a corner in the apartment. The kids looked like she wasn’t making sense to them.

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