Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Terraform Challenge

According to Reuters and CNN, Scientists have developed a new method of finding Earth-like planets. Unfortunately, the first planet, OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb, is uninhabitable. The new method is called gravitational microlensing. Here’s a link to the article: Science & Space: New technique finds Earth-like planet From CCN.COM and Reuters I wonder when and where we can find a new inhabitable planet. Will we Filipinos be one of the first people to volunteer to become the new pioneers? We will be like the pioneers of the old and probably more fatal. Communications will be slow given the distance between Earth and the new planets. Maybe it’s a chance for a new beginning. Or if humanity develops ways to live underwater just like the cartoon Sea Lab 2020. Would you be willing to re-establish life there? Who would take the challenge? Would you? An Additional Post Smallest Fish Found And Lost?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Reading Glasses?

Reading glasses? A Snapshot of my nephew as he was reading a book he got last Christmas. Come to think of it this shot was taken last Christmas. Note the reading glasses come with the book. I think its a 3d book. An Additional Post A Makati Sunset?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Quiet Night and Salvage

It was eleven in the evening, I found myself along with my nephews asleep in bed. It had been a long day, for me there was work, and for them it was exam week. I had dozed off, while I was tucking them to bed and I woke up just in time to open the door for my parents who had just come in from a wake of one of our relatives. Cubao is quiet. It is hard to think of Cubao as being quiet but it is and this silence is only seldom broken by the sounds the alley cats make preliminary to coitus or a fight and by the drone of passing by car, truck and tricycle. And this veil of silence encompasses the neighborhood till early in the morning when you hear the fighting cocks crow and when you hear the noise the train makes as they cross the tracks. Of course, there are from time to time sounds one hears. The noise a pistol makes when it fires or the staccato sounds of semi-automatic shots fired. Even the howls of the askal (asong kalye or street dogs) as they make their rounds in the neighborhood. Anyway, it turns out my relative was salvaged, mistaken identity. This was a term popularized during the Ferdinand Marcos, the Apo, when people were picked up summarily executed. Enough people were killed to create a headline. The bodies were quartered or left , often only newspaper left to covered their face. The most famous anecdotal story of salvage though was the discovery of several bodies floating on the Manila Bay, a number of pushers were supposed to have been liquidated. So in the Philippines do not be surprised if the word salvage has taken a more sinister meaning, a deviant departure from its original definition, which was to repair, recover and save. An Additional Post The Prestige: A Story Told in Many Forms

Monday, January 23, 2006

Pacquiao Sunday

Last Jan 22, 2006. The Philippines experienced the lowest crime rate ever. Everybody it seems was busy watching the fight between Pacquiao and Morales. Our parish mentioned that (according to a survey) there were fewer people attending Mass. He even bemused that perhaps that Sunday people decided to stay at home and watch the match. Well it will come as no surprise. Filipinos have always been pundits and fans of boxing events. Even Filipinos in far-flung places found ways to watch. Some fishermen I knew, use AC/DC television sets and solar panels jsut to watch a match A big boxing match can make political foes seat side by side. Politicians from both side of the political fence were one in supporting Pacquiao. One politician placed a 150,000 dollar bet that Pacquiao would win. Even whole families, for once, agreed upon what to watch - good bye noon time variety shows and hello Solar Channel's coverage of the match. Maybe even the melancholic priest from the mass was watching the match. People who could not afford to go to Las Vegas, opted to watch the fight on the silver screen. The tickets were selling at three hundred pesos. Businessmen made money selling the event. The coverage of the fight on tv was interrupted several times with commercials, often with Pacquiao as endorser - he even endorsed No Fear brief. And people were treated to guitar a strumming troubador, Pacquiao himself, on screen. Even Pacquiao's short became a billboard ad. Decals were sewm on his shorts . The most expensive add was one covering the back of his shorts. Business was not busy. Pacquiao stopped and won over Morales during the tenth round by a Knock Out. People were happy. At least on Monday the news would not be bad it will be about the win of Pacquiao over Morales. Congratulations and thank you for the good news Manny Pacquiao! Additional Posts: King Kong & Aslan Tombstone the MMFF The Sunday of Pacquiao

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Fires and the Post Office

Twin fires hit Cubao early this morning (?). The first fire hit the Araneta Post Office. Amazing thing though the letters were not burned; they survived. The second fire hit a house along Annapolis Street corner New York Street. LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas) tanks compounded the problem and hastened the spread of the flames. On the way to work I passed by the Araneta Post Office and the situation seemed to have been contained. A few people were outside the burned post office and two stores. The rest of Marikina Shoe Expo or Cubao X does not seem to have been affected. Additional Posts Burned Post Office

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Ramos, Cory and Morality

After Ramos now comes Cory. MLQ3 has posted two thorough posts about Cory's non-participation to the Council of state meeting Here are the links to Manolo's post: Cory Aquino’s statement on the Council of State Cory's Nyet Predecessors have always been an anea in the gluteus maximus of the present leaders. There are of course several options to pacify, remedy or fix one's dear predecessors. In the last years of the Roman Republic things got bloody. Consuls were only allowed a one-year term. So by the end of x number of years the Roman Senate was packed with several ex-consuls. Some eventually went mad others mad with the quest for power, with terminal results - Pompey the Great, Crassus and Caesar. Then of course Cory's call uses the rallying point called Morality while Ramos uses National Survival. But then don’t all politicians, clergymen, and power hungry laymen, and true idealists use the same rallying cries. Although in the case of the idealists they end up being used and conveniently dumped when of no use anymore. So does morality and nationalism just a cause to justify the means and the end? Probably, although there may be some semblance of desire to do good, which is a personal take on what is good. Politics and noble goals, the sword and coat to thrust the unknowing populace. For me it is kind of useless to take these persons' declarations as gospel truths or oaths. Rather, they are the sweetener to coat their plans and actions. They are not saints or great leaders or conscience of the nations, they are but human like the rest of us. Whenever a victorious general is honoured by a march in Rome, there is always someone behind him carrying a laurel leaf and uttering these words: Respice post te! Hominem te esse memento In English Look behind you! Remember that you are but a man! And this Cory news actually reminds me of a Tagalog Idiom from Rosendo Igancio's book. Ayaw-Ayawang takaw ... Pagkukunwari (hypocrisy - hipocresia) Ignacio, Rosendo. Mga Kinamihasnang Salitang Tagalog (Tagalog Idioms -Modismos Tagalos).1963.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Cold and Congee

The days are getting cold, not as cold as in Scotland or any other country way above the equator. But it is getting cold. Maybe that is why congee seem so delectable at the moment. Maybe even champorado or goto. Although the congee they serve at the restaurant seem to be getting smaller and smaller. Time to bring out the blankets/kumot from Ilocos. Additional Posts for Today: The Sign of A Well Loved Book? Cold Weather Statler and Waldorf

Monday, January 09, 2006

A Sepia Morning in Cubao

Taken just after sunrise. A road near Harvard street. Not quite crowded yet. To be honest this particular road never gets crowded, especially during the day time. A jeepney approaching. On his way to eat breakfast at local turo-turo store. A tricycle doing the early rounds. An Additional Post For Today Bile and Vinegar

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

An Encounter With A Nasty Telemarketer

I had a nasty encounter with an uber-telemarketer this afternoon. First, all she had a voice an opera singer would be proud. Second, she spoke like a machine gun at top speed; one could not get a word in. Third, she was more tenacious than a pit ball attached to a nice piece of bone. Just simply had to say no, no, and no! Still some people really cannot take no for an answer. They always have to ask why. Probably use why in order for you to give. Is this a tactic they use? No wonder some of them end up being cursed by their prey/clients. Although, I know of some people, not telemarketers, whom will also not take no for an answer and will always insist on having the last word. Just say No! But I do have encounters with telemarketers who were more affable. I guess sometimes you get a rotten apple. Additional Posts Book Tastes Blue Moon? A Public Aquarium Crashes Bigotilyo

Monday, January 02, 2006

Dec 31, 2005 - Jan 1, 2006

Two Thousand and Six started with no so much of a bang. There were less fireworks this year it seems. People were probably content in seeing the international firework competition along Pasay. Along our street there were times when people did light firecrackers and fireworks. One of our neighbors even used an improvised canon, it was quite loud. During those periods of auditory fury I actually found it fun to play select opera choruses, Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture and Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries. Somehow it seemed appropriate to play them at the time and did I mention fun? The revelry ended early. My uncle commented people were not really that interested in fireworks this year. Too expensive. No kwiton or Super Lolo was heard nearby. Unfortunately, though around a hundred houses were burned in one of the poorer areas of Quezon City. One of the inhabitants accidentally threw a firecracker at the flammable houses, made up usually of old or non-fire retardant wood, and this soon engulfed the houses and nearby apartments. In the morning of the first day of Two Thousand and Six it was raining. Water came pouring out of the sky. Cleaning the road of the remains of last night's revelry. Most were still asleep or half-asleep. Even in the malls, some opened after lunch, there were just a few people about. It was the end of the Christmas Holiday. Back to work on Monday. Postscript - Monday, 2nd January 2006 Despite being a Monday, a work day. People still seemed to be dazed. Some were just starting to come to grips to the new year. A few left early while others seem to just wait for the clock to strike the end of the shift and go home. Monday.... Additional Posts for Today: Metro Manila Film Festival 2005 Natural Aquarium Update