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Showing posts from August, 2011

Bishop endorses use of 'jejemon' to guide the youth down the righteous path

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When was the last time that we saw science and technology imparted to others in the "jejemon" language? Considering that even the Tagalog dialect is not up to the task of articulating scientific concepts, any attempt to communicate science in jejemon will ultimately fail. Amazingly, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) sees religious teachings as a body of knowledge that actually could be reduced to jejemon-speak. Perhaps this reflects the real nature of religious doctrine.

Is religion something that could be taught in jejemon?

Apparently so...
[Archbishop Socrates Villegas, incoming vice president of the CBCP] said the youth, which are “like parched dry sponge[s]," are “being misled by wrong teachings."

“In their thirst, they absorb all and retain them regardless of the purity of source. I pity our youth," he said as he rallied the Catholic Church to “join the arena of public opinion" by using “new methods and approaches and even jeje…

Is Tagalog a 'dialect' or a 'language'?

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Seems like even the "experts" can't agree on exactly what a "dialect" is and how different this is from a "language". Some say Tagalog is a "dialect", and some say it is a "language". The challenge to "linguistics expert" community, as such, is to provide some consistent guidance around what exactly differentiates a "language" and a "dialect"?

I'm tempted take advantage of this chaos among the "experts" and crown myself a de facto expert on the subject. But maybe I might serve the "debate" a bit well by deferring to that other Oracle of internet truth. Here is what the venerable Wikipedia (my boldface for emphasis) has to say...

Name-calling in debates is the oldest trick in the book

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Name-calling is the oldest trick in the book. It's a trick used by people who lack the ability to explain their point convincingly. It is also a diversion tactic because it draws the arguments away from the main idea. Plus, it is nothing more than an attack on the messenger instead of the message.

In public forums, debates have this tendency to escalate into pissing contests once someone resorts to name-calling. Calling your opponent stupid, an idiot or a moron is a sign that you are getting frustrated. Frustration in public forums is easy enough to detect when people start using name-calling. Those who use this tactic do not seem to realize that they are the ones who look like morons.

Before you call someone a moron, you need proof that he is. Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Did your opponent hurt/offend himself or other people as a result of what he said.

2. Did your opponent waste resources/time/money?

3. Did your opponent say something that is libelous?

If the answer…

Aminin! Every Filipino aspires to be white deep inside

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It's a subconscious aspiration that is a legacy of 400 years of subjugation. Becoming white or associating with Euros is a ticket out of poverty, and every gene in our cultural DNA is telling us so -- even to this day. Identifying with Tagalog speaking as a source of pride, it seems, is a conscious denial of a subconscious aspiration -- like a quivering smile flashed in the aftermath of a bald lie uttered.

I recall a few hours ago reading a comment on a blog post: "Love of the 'native tongue' is a security blanket for losers who missed out on acquiring solid proficiency in English" (or something to that effect). That pretty much describes 90 percent of the Philippine population. Is the adherence to Tagalog motivated by rational thinking? Or is it motivated by a deep fear of being caught outside one's comfort zone?

James Soriano owes no one any apologies

Whatever it was said by whoever this James Soriano is, if it is the TRUTH about the utter lack of intellectual tools Tagalog provides its speakers, then no apologies are needed to be given to those who take offense from these words.Tagalog is a quaint dialect at best. Perhaps we continue to hang on to it because it gives us that warm fuzzy feeling. The reality today is quite stark, however. Tagalog DOES NOT DELIVER. The sooner we as a people come to terms with that reality, the sooner we can move on to much bigger things.
http://patiss.tumblr.com/post/9408998934

But why Tagalog? @paulfarol

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Chicken and egg situation. Perhaps there are more pressing needs to upgrade the impoverished physical facilities of the Philippine public school system - classroom shortages, books, etc. The poverty of the Philippine school system, however, is but a component of the broader impoverishment that crushes Philippine society overall at all fronts.Therefore, the more fundamental question is: What is at the very root of this pervasive and profound impoverishment of the Filipino?

Medium of instruction in Philippine public schools is a fundamental issue that needs to be settled @paulfarol

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Medium of instruction -- the debate on the continued use of the Tagalog dialect in Philippine public schools -- underlies optimal use of whatever assets are deployed to support effective education of Filipinos.

In his tweet, blogger Paul Farol begs to differ slightly...
@benign0 Arguing over medium of instruction is putting the cart before the horse in a situation where the cart is broken and the horse is all but dead. The child of an average Filipino cellphone subscriber goes to a public school which not only lacks classrooms, but also has only 1 comfort room which they must share with at least 200 other students -- that comfort room has one toilet bowl and one wash basin, indoor plumbing is optional. They learn lessons from a teacher in a class of as many as 100 students and they must try to learn their lessons in a room that is either too hot or damp from floods or leaking roofs. They must try to learn from books that are either outdated, misprinted, or printed with factual errors.…

There is no Tagalog word for "efficiency"

There's lots of Tagalog words for rice: 'bigas', 'kanin', 'sinaing', 'palay', etc. That's because rice is an important aspect of Filipino culture and society. The number of words in Tagalog devoted to articulating specific aspects, forms, and natures of rice reflects the importance and significance Filipinos place on it.So what then would one conclude about the glaring absence of a Tagalog word for 'efficiency'? I think the implications of this fact are quite evident. One just needs to experience the Philippines to validate that implication.


Investing in Tagalog instruction is a waste of meager public funds @paulfarol

The medium of instruction used in the public education system of the Philippines is an important issue. Education is all about (1) connecting people to useful information and (2) giving them the intellectual and cognitive tools to comprehend and evaluate that information. The question is, between English and Tagalog, which of the two languages will achieve those two objectives the most efficiently?The fact that we continue to invest precious classroom time on Tagalog - a dialect that achieves very little for its speakers - already begs an obvious solution.In response to:"paulfarol: Philippine public education has bigger problems than the language used in teaching. http://j.mp/n1To1r"
--http://twitter.com/paulfarol/status/106942408247349248

Wikileaks 'expose' of the dysfunction of Philippine Police fails the 'So What?' test

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I fail to see anything about the information contained in the Wikileaks expose on the "mess" that is the Philippine National Police that I'd consider even remotely groundbreaking. Perhaps only two things make it newsworthy: (1) its source is American in origin, and (2) the detail contained in it is fit for a people renowned for their focus on people and events rather than on ideas.

So basically what makes this Wikileaks indictment of the PNP interesting in the star-struck eyes of Filipinos is the fact that it lays out the tabloidesque who's who and the what's what surrounding the dysfunctional of a state service the essence of which most of us have already known of for the last several decades.

Is there really any point in all that detail considering that the key and real point of it all -- the fact of the ineptitude of the PNP -- is a pointed truth that Filipinos are already unable to deal with even as it stares us all in our faces?

Lyrics from 'Iskul Bukol' which starred Senator Tito Sotto

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Recall the lyrics of the hit television sitcom 'Iskul Bukol' that starred now Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto!-------start of quoted lyricsIskwelang kwela 'to dito'y enjoyable
konting aral lang konting bulakbol
dito nang lahat, madaldal at bulol
dito na nga, Iskul Bukol[chorus]
Ah hah hah, ah hoo yahh
iskul Bukol
ah hah hah, ah hoo yeah
iskul BukolHanggang sa umuwi mula pa sa roll call
lahat ay magulo, but okey lang, it's cool
dito ay terrible, dito'y buhol-buhol
ito na nga, Iskul Bukol
[repeat chorus][coda]
Iskul, Iskul, Iskul Bukol (6x)
sa iskul naming ay sigurado ka
sa happening at sa katatawa
siguradong ang mga pabongga
ang di lang sure  ang papasa
[repeat chorus]
[repeat coda]Ito'y sayaw sa ating bayan
humahanga ang sandaigdigan
na sa galaw ng 'yong mga kamay
At sa imbay ng mga baywang
anong ganda ay anong inam
kapag ito ay mamasdan
anong ganda at anong inam-------end of quoted lyricsCourtesy:
http://lyrics.rebelpixel…

Resignation letter of Apple CEO Steve Jobs

Resignation letter of Apple CEO Steve Jobs:"To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:"I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple''s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come."I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.
As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.
I believe Apple''s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role."I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.
Steve"Reported on Fortune online:
http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/08/24/fallen-apple-steve-jobs-resigns/

Why an apology on behalf of the Filipino people for the Mendoza hostage massacre incident is needed

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According to Philippine President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, the August 23, 2010 hostage incident perpetrated by retired police officer Rolando Mendoza that resulted in the deaths of eight Hong Kong tourists was an "act of one man". As such it is this one man that should be blamed and not the Philippine Government. Perhaps so, but then entire mechanisms, capabilities, and systems that should have been in place to manage the situation and save lives fall squarely under government responsibility. The police and various state crisis management agencies collectively failed to work together seamlessly to prevent the carnage.

A formal apology by the President on behalf of the Filipino people is, perhaps, in order. The tragedy is a systemic failure that transcends any one person and, as such, there may never be a single person involved to which blame can be pinned. But then the fact remains that there are systemic issues inherent to Philippine society that were at play …

Religion in the Philippines is hijacking our intellectual landscape

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So now we suddenly find ourselves in an interesting position; a Church we were raised to trust and revere that hijacked many concepts right under our noses: the concept of being "pro-life", the idea that they are an authority on what is "right", and the notion that they represent the best interests of the "less fortunate".This is the essence of religion from the perspective of evolutionary memetics. Religion is like the Borg; assimilating ideas -- memes -- into a portfolio of notions of humanity that it asserts "moral" authority over.In recent times, religion had also asserted authority over artistic and creative license. This encroachment over the intellectual landscape of a society that aspires to join the ranks of the enlightened is one of the key hindrance to the advancement of Philippine society.

Jose Rizal never had Tagalog in mind when he encouraged us to love our own language

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Posted by a certain Chloe Santiago on the Facebook GRP Community Group:
Jose Rizal died in 1896 and Tagalog was declared the official language of the Philippine only in 1937. This can only mean that Rizal wasn't really talking about Tagalog when he made this statement:

"He who does not love his own language is worse than an animal and smelly fish."
Indeed.

Who made the arbitrary directive to make the Tagalog dialect the "National Language" to begin with?

Furthermore, why have a "National Language" when Filipinos are already proficient in the global lingua franca of commerce and scientific achievement?

Correlation does not necessarily prove causation

Just because an observed trend is in sync with another does not prove one causes the other or even that one influences the other. Many lobbyists and advocates build entire arguments around evidence of correlation. What they don't mention is that the concept of "correlation" is nothing more than a label for a mathematical relationship between two or more series of numbers. It has nothing to do with proving any causal relationship between the phenomena these numbers represent.

Germany may start banning Facebook 'Like' buttons on websites

Facebook data collection and analytic systems may be found to run counter to European data protection laws. Part of an in-going study to assess the impact of Facebook on its users' privacy may result in laws that could result in the imposition of hefty fines on violators.http://techland.time.com/2011/08/22/germany-ceases-to-like-facebook/

No matter how much we condemn Tito Sotto for his RH stand, fact is...

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He was ELECTED into office by POPULAR vote. Bottomline: Filipinos need to learn to be more discerning about who they vote for and apply a critical mind to the issues that a candidate positions himself behind during his campaign.Time and again we have proven that popularity does not necessarily equate with the quality of a person or the validity of his ideas. Sotto found favour among Filipino voters because he was a showbiz celebrity - one, in fact, who made a name for himself playing stupid characters.Sotto merely reflects the national character of the Philippines. Now that he is in a position if power, well, we all know now the true cost of stupid.

A tragic future for Boracay Island?

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Look at what Megaworld Global-Estate Inc have planned for the Philippines' Boracay Island:



The above photo was taken from the Megaworld Gobal-Estate Inc. album "the future of boracay".

The caption on that photo reads "Planning a long weekend at Boracay??? Soon you can relax in your very own beach house at Boracay Newcoast whole year round..."

Is this progress? Or is this a perversion of the future of a once pristine island?

Philippine 'debate' on reproductive health says a lot about Pinoys

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The fact alone that reproductive health is so "controversial" in the Philippines already says a lot about our society. It is like two frogs in a pot of water being slowly heated to boiling point debating the finer details around the pros and cons of hopping out of said pot.Population growth, like environmental degradation is a slow disaster. It does not happen in a big catastrophic bang that galvanises people to action. Instead, it creeps up slowly enough not to disturb the trajectory of the comfy momentum that the current paradigm is riding upon.It takes a lot of intelligence and mental discipline to see slow disasters for what they are and implement the appropriate measures in a systematic way to arrest its slow erosion of the quality of our lives. It is time we step up to the challenge and prove our collective intelligence and together muster the mental discipline to overcome the onslaught of this *preventable* catastrophe.

China moves in on possible Libya reconstruction work

China starts to position itself for an active role in Libya reconstruction. Are Pinoys up to the task as well? Certainly, the thousands of Filipino workers in the region will have given the Philippines a foothold over a possible bonanza of construction work that these strife-torn desert kingdoms will be needing.http://asiancorrespondent.com/63084/china-wants-active-role-in-libyan-reconstruction/

What will you be doing on the August 26 "Day of Penance"

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So August 26 has been declared by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) as a "Day of Penance". What are we obedient Catholics supposed to be penitent about on that special day? According to Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, we will be required to "kneel before our loving God to pray and seek reparation for this public sin".The "public" sin Rosales refers to here is Mideo Cruz's work *Poleteismo* which was recently exhibited at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and is described by some Catholics as "blasphemous" in its portrayal of various Catholic icons and artifacts.Does it mean then that we focus on being sorry for that "sacrilege" alone on that day? Or do we go off and be sorry for other public "sins" that have become banalities in Philippine society as well?Another one of those things that make you go 'hmmmmmm'...

Do less intelligent people lack empathy?

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A lot's been said about a weak inclination in Filipinos to be courteous and show respect for other peoples' personal spaces. The more common behaviour we observe in Filipinos everyday makes this evident -- in the way we treat our public spaces like dumping grounds for our rubbish, the way we use our roads with an unshakeable feeling of self-importance, the way we find no motivation to excel in even the simplest endeavor.Beyond our immediate families, there seems to be very little regard for the personal stake other people have in the way we impact our surroundings. We feel no empathy for the greater community within which we belong.Empathy is a high-order cognitive ability. It evolved out of a need in our ancestors to stay apace with increasingly complex social challenges as the scale of human communities increased.Is it then possible that the Filipino mind has so far failed to evolve robust enough cognitive capacity to deal with social complexity beyond the tribal scale?

Brand Philippines! Where do we start?

Time to brand the Philippines! It is a tough challenge. We are a county synonymous with many things looked down upon by other societies. It comes down to a deep understanding of what the Philippines and the Filipino *stands* for. Are we industrious like the Japanese? Brilliant engineers like the Germans? Industrious like the Chinese? Shrewd like the Jews? Computer savvy like the Indians?What *are* Filipinos?
http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=718899&publicationSubCategoryId=89

Are Filipino World Youth Day pilgrims too judgmental?

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Some feedback from the Philippines' World Youth Day pilgrimage delegation in Spain...
Ed Bellido, welfare officer of the Embassy of the Philippines in Spain, noted the deteriorating Christian identity of Spain.

He cited legalization of abortion, prostitution, and same-sex marriage, and the mandatory teaching of sex education to children as young as 11 years old.

“Spain has a lot of old and grandiose Churches to brag and yet nobody visits them even on Sundays to attend Mass. We rarely see mass goers, especially from the youth. In fact, it is the Filipino Catholics here [who] fill up the Church during Masses," he said.

Bellido even echoed the observations made by Filipino WYD delegates seeing young Europeans displaying affection in public.
Is it just me, or does this come across as a really judgmental and self-righteous perspective that the Filipino pilgrims take with regard to their host country?

Ridley Scott mulling 'Blade Runner' remake

I read on Mashable that Ridley Scott us "revisiting" the possibility of doing a remake if his seminal sci-fi film *Blade Runner*.http://mashable.com/2011/08/19/blade-runner-revival/Mixed reactions from considering the hallowed place the original hold in the annals of sci-fi.My original tribute to *Blade Runner* here:http://getrealphilippines.com/blog/2011/06/the-genius-of-blade-runner/

We can't solve systemic problems with witch hunts

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Much of the issues that plague the Philippines are systemic in nature - endemic corruption, ingrained culture of impunity, inherently weak ethic of excellence - the adjectives that qualify these among other issues point to fundamental collective traits that trace their roots to no particular person, no particular political system, and no particular economic situation.The causes of these issues are complex and multi-faceted. As such traditional approaches to solving problems on a national scale - legislation, executive orders, law enforcement, mass movements, elections, referendums, congressional "inquiries", not to mention witch hunts - simply fail.Systemic problems cannot be solved by political solutions. We have come to a point where the complexity of our problems have far outstripped the capability of our current mechanisms for addressing social issues to remain on top of these.

Filipinos need to be reminded that there is no state religion in the Philippines

Filipinos need to ne reminded that Catholicism is not the only religion in the Philippines, nor is it the state religion. Trouble is, we've for so long taken this simple reality for granted. We have to thank the Church's cadre of officials who for much of our history made sure their influenced is intimately enmeshed in every aspect of Philippine politics and the running of state affairs.

Why do Pinoys say "it's traffic" when they mean "traffic is heavy"?

Another one of those Filipinoisms. When we say "it's traffic" it begs the question: What about it? Which I suppose would be answered with "it's heavy".Oh I see. So maybe we should've said "traffic is heavy" and saved us a bit of head scratching.

It's called filtering out the noise and picking out the salient points @LeadPhilippines

Actually, Mr Arnel, it's called *picking out the salient points and filtering the noise*. The point that is quite evident here lies in the manner with which you respond to my brilliant article here:http://getrealphilippines.com/blog/2011/08/pornography-the-more-entertaining-alter-ego-of-religion/It seems you have no other point to make other than to express the way you *feel* about certain things. Unfortunately for you, that's not the way things work in the world of modern critical evaluation. Unless you are able to clearly articulate convincing and objective counter-assertions to the excellent points I make, what you *feel* about stuff is, at best, largely irrelevant.Do keep trying though.  :-D
+++++For reference:"LeadPhilippines: Seems @benign0 is resorting now to quoting my single tweets and disregarding other tweets I have on the issue of Kulo. Pathetic?"
--http://twitter.com/LeadPhilippines/status/104382492097785856"LeadPhilippines: @benign0 because you mere…

Japanese tsunami survivors return $78m of valuables found in rubble

A reflection of the collective character and top-notch ethical standards of Japanese society. Not only do the Japanese maintain the highest level of disaster preparedness in the world, they also uphold the highest levels of integrity.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/18/japan-earthquake-ethical-_n_930808.html

Pinoys would rather stay in Syria than be repatriated

According to some news reports, Pinoys would rather face danger in Syria than be repatriated by the Philippine government. Says something about how big a shithole the Philippines is, doesn't it? Let's do the Pinoy thing then and just wish them well Da Pinoy way: "bahala na kayo dyan".

Why do Filipinos see rich people as necessarily bad?

The idea that rich people might actually be good people is something one that is often alien to the Filipino mind. Must be all that Catholic indoctrination at work there (that "It is easier for a camel..." crap many of us grew up on).

@LeadPhilippines The Catholic Church does fight and it fights dirty

The Roman Catholic Church has a LONG history not only of fighting, but fighting DIRTY and using bullying tactics. The Crusades, the Inquisition, exploiting people's fear of death and damnation etc., the list of scare tactics and outright sponsorship of and blessings given to military intervention by the Church is a long and blood-stained one. That's the reality that makes any sort of attempt at painting of the Church as some sort of meek lamb such a laughable proposition.
+++++"LeadPhilippines: The Catholic Church, for those who take potshots at her, is an easy target. Big, not moving, and yes, does not fight back."
--http://twitter.com/LeadPhilippines/status/104094252325281792

@LeadPhilippines How can you even begin to tackle an issue without properly framing it first?

It's one thing to use an analogy for illustrative purposes. But clearly you liken the Kulo exhibit to "pornography" not to illustrate a point but to unfairly demonise it. And to think we criticise the Aquino government for doing the same thing to the previous administration.
"LeadPhilippines: @benign0 on your usual tactic of targeting the analogy and not the issue? Surely you would know what fallacy it is called?"
--http://twitter.com/LeadPhilippines/status/104090773762490368In response to:
Perhaps more people will "recognize" why, as you assert, the 'Kulo' exhibit is comparable to pornography if you articulate specifically where in the art work displayed in that exhibit there is EVIDENCE of an intent to titillate (as what is the intention in works that are MEANT to be pornographic).

@leadphilippines Where is the INTENT to titillate in the Kulo exhibit?

Perhaps more people will "recognize" why, as you assert, the 'Kulo' exhibit is comparable to pornography if you articulate specifically where in the art work displayed in that exhibit there is EVIDENCE of an intent to titillate (as what is the intention in works that are MEANT to be pornographic).

Lol! I miss the FV days mainly because of DJB @SagadaSun @lesliebocobo

It's too bad your "debating" is now only visible to such a limited clique of "tweeps", Mr Dean Jorge Bocobo. We would've made a great team churning out articles about this whole Mideo Cruz circus and run circles around all the non-sequiturs and false analogies of the Catholic and broader Christian Taliban.  :-D

Paris Hilton deserves every bit of her fame and success

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For all the flak Paris Hilton cops for being the supposedly "undeserving" media sensation that she is, the bottom line is quite simple: she IS Paris Hilton and YOU are not. Perhaps there is some basis for the way she is lumped among that growing tribe of talent-less celebs, but then *Is Paris Hilton really lacking in talent?* What is talent anyway? Some of the greatest 'talents' in the entertainment industry were born with the looks and musical abilities that they employ to wow their audiences and earn them their big bucks. Paris Hilton too happens to have been born with qualities that set one up for success -- looks, family connections, and an ability to make people feel great just by being around her. And that's just the way the world works.

Finding the perfect marketing catch phrase for the Philippines @chinosingson @jabjimenez

The term Mabuhay first came into popular use as a slogan for the marketing campaigns of Philippines Airlines. The word was pitched as the quintessential Filipino universal greeting in the tradition of how aloha came to be a universal ringer for anything Hawaiian.

However, what much of the world does not know is that Mabuhay is not a natural greeting used by home-grown Filipinos.

And so the challenge today is for Filipinos to come up with a term, slogan, or phrase that effectively captures and encapsulates the essence of "the Filipino". This is important in order to launch tourism campaigns to match those of others in the region aggressively competing for a slice of the pie -- Malaysia with its "Malaysia, truly Asia" and South Korea's "Dynamic Korea" campaigns among others.

To be effective, in my opinion, the slogan or catch phrase should be consistent with a collective character of ours so that all Filipinos can confidently and comfortably use it in t…

If it were your mother's image that was defaced in public, wouldn't you be furious?

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A common but flawed argument (directed by the religious to those who dismiss Mideo Cruz's "blasphemy" in his art):"If it were your mother's image that  was defaced in public, wouldn't you be furious?"Three things:(1) My mother, unlike 'God', is human and subject to human emotions and as such I'd be emphatic to her hurt and therefore be furious.(2) God is supposedly possessing of "infinite forgiveness" and "infinite understanding" and as such, I'd think he'd be most likely to just let this thing slide much the same way that those of us who possess healthy egos are less likely to take offense coming from inconsequential people.(3) Isn't comparing God to one's mortal mother a bit presumptuous? Blasphemous even?Two words to people who use this argument:False analogy.

What's the diff bet the US Marines, Navy Seals, and Pinoy security guard?

US Marines: "No guts, no glory!"
Navy Seals: "No pain no gain!"
Pinoy Sikyo: "No ID, no entry."

It's simple, really (TM) #3words

It really is. Underneath that veneer of apparent complexity lies an underlying simplicity, much the same way as 10 digits are used to express an infinite series of values, 2 digits (a one and a zero) are all computers need to do their thing, 26 letters put together can articulate most of human thoughts, and a hundred-odd elements can form the whole range of substances found in the universe.

What the Catholic mob would do to Mideo Cruz if left to their devices today

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Recall philosopher Hypatia was born c.350-370 AD. According to to disparate accounts she was "killed by a Christian mob" who harboured ill feelings towards her achievements in philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy.
One day, in March AD 415, during Lent, a Christian mob of Nitrian monks led by "Peter the Reader," waylaid Hypatia's chariot as she travelled home.[27] The monks attacked Hypatia, then stripped her naked, to humiliate her, then dragged her through the streets to the recently Christianised Caesareum church, where they killed her. The reports suggest that the mob of Christian monks flayed her body with ostraca (pot shards), and then burned her alive...[Source]
That almost sounds like something Catholic mobs in the Philippines would do to Mideo Cruz if left entirely to their devices today.

Overheard on the train as it stopped at a predominantly Asian suburb in Sydney

As the train doors opened: "Ok, brace yourself for some pushing acid shoving..."

Searching for Mr and Ms right?

Trust your most basic instincts. According to evolutionary psychologists, our minds and bodies are finely-tuned instruments of sexual mate seeking. So even with the billion dollar beauty and personal care industry turning out products to deceive or mislead these instincts, most of us are able to see past make up, cologne and padding to see true beauty in the sense of the way millions of years of evolution had designed us to seek it out for reproductive purposes.

We aspire to be a modern 'social' society yet practice voodoo rituals

Priest performs excorcism ritual to "atone" for CCP and Mideo Cruz "blasphemy" then Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales declares "Day of Penance" on August 26 to "express remorse for sins against God's majesty".And the Circus de Cacao continues...
http://www.spot.ph/the-feed/49090/exorcist-prist-leads-ritual-outside-ccp-cbcp-declares-day-of-penance-on-aug-26

So many people speculating on motives rather than taking things at face value

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The robust baseline for debate and objective inquiry on a social issue such as the Mideo Cruz and CCP debacle is what is readily publicly evident. So many people saying this or that person was out to "shock" or that this or that person was out to "offend". That is the sort of thing that comes out of adherents of institutions that lack a strong tradition of methodical FACTS-BASED investigation.

Rule of Law is about being facts-based and methodical in seeking the Truth. Perhaps some institutions think the Law does not apply to what they believe is important.

Next time we hear the Catholic Church pontificate about their being advocates of the "rule of Law", recall the Mideo Cruz Incident and reflect on how the Church had behaved -- as if application of the Law can be switched on or off to suit one's favourable or unfavourable exposure to it.

Some great ideas for better blog contests in the future

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Contests like the current Tatt Awards sponsored by the Philippines' Globe Telecoms use popularity (thru on-line voting) as the primary criteria for awarding recognition to a so-called "best" blog. Blogger Paul Farol lays out some ideas for a more REAL set of contest rules designed to (1) reduce the effects of familiarity among what is essentially a small clique of "A-List" bloggers in the Philippines, (2) level the field by discouraging campaigning for "votes" over social media, and (3) cutting out profit-motivated involvement of "social media consultants" in such events.More:
http://www.blogherald.com/2011/08/16/blog-popularity-contests-are-almost-worthless/

Google+ turning out to be an empty room?

Perhaps the initial impressive  surge of sign ups on G+ was just a case of curious early adaptor. But it's beginning to beg evident that very few people have the time to manage more than one it two social networks in their lives. Adding another one that is basically just a small improvement on the incumbent may simply not be worth the effort.More...
http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2011/08/15/a-eulogy-for-google-plus/2/

Possible simple remedy for migraine sufferers - drink more water

The same condition that causes hangover in the morning after a night of heavy drinking may bee behind chronic headaches - specially in hot weather. According to this, dehydration puts people at greater risk of a migraine attack...http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/really-the-claim-to-prevent-migraines-drink-more-water/

Some hilarious Filipinoisms in English

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"Well well well. Look do we have here!"
"Let's give them a big hand of applause."
"The more the manyer."
"It's a no-win-win situation."
"Burn the bridge when you get there."
"Anulled and void."
"Mute and academic."
"C'mon let's join us!"
"If worse comes to shove."
"Are you joking my leg?"
"It's not my problem anymore, it's your problem anymore."
"What are friends are for?"
"You can never can tell."
"Been there, been that."
"Forget it about it."
"Give him the benefit of the daw."

Might be good read: On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not

Could be the book I need to give myself a reality check. Then again I also know a certain someone who might need it more than I do.  ;-)http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/031254152X/ref=redir_mdp_mobile/175-6367947-2145520?ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&qid=1313363469&sr=1-1

Palakpak tenga ng Pinoy all because Paris Hilton tweeted in Bisaya

You guys honestly believe Paris Hilton's PR stunts?"ParisHilton: Maayong buntag Pilipinas, kamusta kayo?"
--http://twitter.com/ParisHilton/status/102934500287328257

France also in danger of losing AAA rating

French markets were under attack late last week. Amid speculation that France too may lose its AAA rating, a panic-gripped day of trading saw the week close with the country's 3rd biggest bank Société Générale down 15%.More:
http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2011/08/french-fears

Fence sitters follow the path of least offense

You just gotta admire people who when faced with a challenge to speak their mind do so first thing without reservation. The mark of a fence sitter is one of a habitual inclination to wait and observe while the more courageous of the lot speak out. Perhaps they do so to take stock of the landscape of opinion and then find the path of least offense over which they then tread.

Filipinos are better than white people according to Pinoy banker

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According to Eduardo V. Francisco, president of BDO Capital and Investment Corp., Filipinos are better than their "Caucasian" counterparts in the workforce...
“Let’s pray our OFWs do not get displaced. One good example is shipping. Lots of Caucasians lost jobs in crises before but Filipino seamen kept theirs and even got promoted because they were more flexible,” Francisco said.

It helps that Filipino workers are valued for their hardworking, people-oriented and cheerful nature, the experts said.
This was reportedly stated as part of an assessment on what impact the recent downgrade of the credit rating of the United States might have on the Philippine economy.

Blackest planet ever found

It is a Jupiter sized planet and reflects only 1 percent of light that hits it making it "blacker than coal".
"It's a mystery as to what's causing it to be so dark," Kipping said. "There's a good chance it's a chemical we haven't even thought of yet."
More here.

Rising sentiment that public msging and networks spur unrest?

Officials of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system in the US San Francisco Bay Area shut down the cellular network sites in its underground lines to quell a demonstration supposedly brewing.http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/12/bay-area-authorities-cut-cell-coverage-to-thwart-protestors/

UK government considering implementing controls over social media in times of unrest

British Prime Minister David Cameron along with British intelligence and police services are studying the possibility of applying controls over social media and short messaging services in times of national emergency.Not surprisingly, civil rights activists are up in arms.
More:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14493497

Pacquiao record hits US Top 10 with

Boxing champ Manny Pacquiao'd rendition of Dan Hill's hit "Sometimes When We Touch". Another win for a true winner!More:
http://msn.foxsports.com/boxing/story/Manny-Pacquiao-cracks-US-top-10-with-single-081011

London rioters - mistaken prejudice; police to name-shame on Twitter

Looks like I've been walking around with some persistent notions in my head about the rioters in London. According to reports, participants  in the riots transcended social class and race. Recently, Manchester police have announced plans to "name and shame" people involved in these mobs via Twitter..http://mashable.com/2011/08/11/manchester-police-twitter/Some tweeps expressed outrage at this police tactic. Ironic.

Score so far: Organised religion 1, Modern Pinoy - ZERO

So Mich for that. Show's over folks. All the CCP officer involved in the Kulo exhibit have resigned. Game over. Lack if reason, the wrong arguments, and the forces of primitivism have triumphed again in Da Land of da Payatas.

The debate around Mideo Cruz's art should have been limited to whether said art is good art or bad art

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Of course that concept of limiting "debate" to a specific aspect of an issue is not something easily compartmentalised by the Filipino mind. Filipinos have a talent for muddling an issue across a whole spectrum of irrelevant aspects interwoven into their individual perspectives which is evidently limited by the wretchedness of the average Filipino's quality of life.

Religion is one of those aspects that is used by the average wretch as his/her primary crutch to lean on as he/she struggles with making sense of the complexity of the REAL WORLD -- a rouitine exercise that requires a lot of work and a lot of brains to sort out (which is why most of us spend much of the first 20 years of our lives getting an education). The root (as you will have probably gathered by now) is a lack of brains and a lack of education to deal with a complex modern world. Included in this complex and modern world is a BROAD range of views. Included in this broad range of views is Mideo Cruz's…

Why would God be bothered by a penis stuck to an image humans ASSUME to be one that is His likeness?

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I fail to understand though why an all-powerful, ominipotent and infinite God would be so concerned about how much or how little he is worshipped — or mocked — by the sentient children of a burst of accidental carbon-based order springing on the surface of a little pale blue dot orbiting a small hydrogen fusion powered ball of energy barely discernible from the edge of one of a billion plus galaxies in what could be an infinite number of universes within a vast multiverse.

[Copy of a comment posted on Get Real Post]

Art is a matter if opinion while religion is a matter of simple obedience

All regard for art is a matter of *opinion*. One man's art is another man's eyesore. If bad taste was a crime, then te police should go out and roundup jeepney designers and jolog fashionistas tomorrow and throw them all in jail. Religious zealots being themselves subject to dogma and texts that are de facto not subject to critical review will always FAIL to appreciate open debate and fair exchange of views on most controversial subjects.

Would an all-powerful infinite god find offense in Mideo Cruz's work?

Indeed that is what religious zealotry does - humanise what are supposedly beings that are far beyond the likeness or comprehension of humans. So to assume that such beings - such "gods" - are subject to human failings such as the very human inclination to find offense in such trivial things as a likeness of a penis stuck to an ASSUMED representation of said god is, ironically, the height of arrogance.

Perhaps not much to do with Spanish rule but more with recent attitudes @indayevarona

Even in recent memory, Filipinos already had for sometime harbored a socially ingrained inclination to regard minorities and non-conformists in a judgmental and even prejudiced manner (we still consider it normal to use racial slurs against the Chinese, Indians, and African people among others even in polite company, for example and frown upon deviants and people who are, shall we say, 'creative' in their clothing fashion sense).Perhaps modern attitudes are changing forcing us to make a conscious effort to suppress them, but the legacy sentiment and habits seem to emerge every now and then.+++++
In response to:"indayevarona: @benign0 interesting point, you raise there. Maybe I should research how pre-Spanish society treated gays or queers"
--http://twitter.com/indayevarona/status/101136427902963714

Iranians vote to stop paying electric bills

See, this is one of the benefits of not being too dependent on the perks of affluence and not being overly afraid of losing nice-to-have things..."A Tehran resident posted online that her two-month bill increased from 80,000 rials (about $80) to 5 million rials ($5,000).'Out of every 10 people you ask, six to eight say they haven't paid their bills,' a blogger from Tehran wrote."http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/08/09/iran-keeps-lights-on-to-keep-tempers-cool/

Perhaps Pinoys' disrespectful treatment of gays is subconscious @indayevarona

Sometimes an outsiders's perspective serves us overseas Pinoys well. We are immersed in a culture here in Australia where observing and applying *general* respect and courtesy is more the rule than the exception and is deeply ingrained. Perhaps an "ancestral" memory of blanket disrespect, say, for gays and other minorities somehow gets past our conscious efforts to apply ourselves properly and can be detected by the purer minds of our kids.----------
In response to:"indayevarona: I once chided son for listening to homophobic Eminem. His answer: you taught me well; do u see me treat gays w disrespect?"
--http://twitter.com/indayevarona/status/101107193352437760

Tired of hanging clothes on the sampayan and thinking of buying a clothes drier? Consider this...

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We live in Australia and use a dishwasher and washing machine. But we've resisted the temptation to buy a clothes drier. Most households in our neighbourhood are the same, and they manage to balance the time between caring for young kids and hanging their clothes out to dry the old fashioned way. Perhaps this is driven by a greater sense of responsibility over the environment here. Sunshine and dry air is abundant here, even in the winter months. So the natural resources to aid drying clothes are there. We just need to apply the EXTRA work to avail of these in a responsible way (i.e. without burning more fossil fuels which, as we know, any appliance whose primary function it is to generate heat is most notorious for). So perhaps take this as an example from an economy where the cost of acquiring a clothes drier amounts to only 2 weeks' worth of one person's wages. And yet we exercise restraint in the impulse to BUY and CONSUME even if we can afford to.

[Comment posted on C…

FBI releases child ID app for emergencies

App released by the FBI organises vital info for your child that you may need to quickly have on hand I'm case he or she goes missing. Hopefully this is an app you may never need.http://techland.time.com/2011/08/09/fbi-releases-child-id-app-youll-hopefully-never-have-to-use/

New Facebook messenger now available free for iPhone and Android

New free standalone app from Facebook does only instant messaging and is now available free for iPhone and Android devices (download from iTunes and Market respectively).Details:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/09/facebook-messenger-app-_n_922640.html

The Economist: US outlook grim

Political instability and a perceived impasse in further efforts towards implementing fiscal reform continues to undermine confidence in the US economy. Threats of default thru tea party politics leaves a persistent bad taste in the mouth...More here:
http://www.economist.com/node/21525405

Study reveals kids who use Facebook go mental and don't do well in school

Low grades, easily distracted, narcissistic tendencies and other psychological disorders including anxiety and depression. These are some of the conditions observed in kids who are active on Facebook from an early age according to a TIME Magazine report.http://healthland.time.com/2011/08/08/kids-who-hang-out-on-facebook-do-worse-in-school/

While Pinoy tweeps chatter about religious 'censorship', real religious violence happens elsewhere

They surrounded the house and set it ablaze.
Women and children fled, screaming. Some of the men stood firm, fighting back with whatever they could grab, but they were far outnumbered.
"Kill! Kill!" the crowd chanted. "Burn! Burn!"
By the time a video camera was rolling, two men lay naked and lifeless in the mud. The attackers continued to hammer their bodies with bamboo sticks, each thud met with a cheer.
Dani, wearing a black leather jacket and a white skull cap, was the most brutal. The 17-year-old smashed a rock repeatedly into the skull of Roni Pasaroni as the crowd yelled "Allahu Akbar" or God is Great.
The attack, just a few months after U.S. President Barack Obama held up Indonesia as an example of religious tolerance, sparked global condemnation.+++++
Above text is an excerpt from the following article:
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/38923/no-shame-for-religious-killings-in-indonesian-town

Closure of CCP "Kulo" exhibit evidence of backward Pinoy culture

Obviously, Filipinos as a people are not ready to join the ranks of the modern global community. Closure of the CCP "Kulo" exhibit where "blasphemous" works were exhibited is evidence of the Filipino's inability to deal with or navigate a complex cosmopolitan cultural landscape. Perhaps Pinoys deserve the closed medieval society they currently live within.Official CCP statement in closure:
http://www.facebook.com/note.php?created&&note_id=10150332802404122&id=262155953790

Richard Dawkins is a scientist and intellectual FIRST before he is an 'atheist'

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The world is far bigger than the world humans perceive and, as such, modelled in our very limited minds. And that, in a sense, is what would be consistent to an assertion once made by a commentator on Get Real Post: "I want to grow as a person not only intellectually but morally and spiritually as well, if that requires believing in God then so be it". In that sense, the concept of "God" is a label we put in a thing or a world that is bigger than our persons that we seek to explore and come to terms with.

Some people choose to call the thing or world they seek a "God". And with that, atheists come around and present themselves as the anti-thesis to that approach chosen by some to come to terms with their world. Atheists therefore exist because there is a subset of humanity with a very specific approach to regarding their world.

I noticed that celebrity intellectuals like Richard Dawkins are held up as the posterboys of atheism. But, see, Dawkins is an int…

Shutdown of CCP blasphemous art exhibit like taking away toy from squabbling kids

Kids fighting over a little toy? For most parents the solution is elegantly simple. Just take away the toy altogether. Filipinos squabble over the most idiotic things. Perhaps that is the reason why things tend to be taken away from them. Mideo Cruz's "art" is just another piece of turd Filipinos will pick a fight amongst themselves over. Best for all that it be flushed down the toilet as one would do with such things.

This whole religious vs atheists thing is getting old...

It used to be debated among people with real insight with intellectually stimulating arguments being lobbed back and forth from one camp to another. Now this whole "debate" between "atheists" and the religious has all but gone old. It's like a hit track that was once played in trendy clubs suddenly becoming a hit for dance numbers performed in noon time variety shows.

Oil plunges below USD85 per barrel in Asia as low demand anticipated

In the wake of the S&P downgrade of US debt, fear of dip in demand for crude puts downward pressure on oil prices in day of trading in Asian markets.http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/markets/oil-plunges-below-84-in-asia-after-sandp-lowers-us-debt-rating/2011/08/08/gIQAxByg1I_story.html

A Clue to Filipinos' Inability to Grasp the Concept of Punctuality

A minor epiphany while waiting to pick up my daughter from her grade one class this afternoon: Schools in the Philippines do not have bells. In other parts of the world, children are conditioned to follow schedules by the helpful - if somewhat Pavlovian - reminder of the school bell marking the beginning and end of classes. Could the lack of this simple bit of training develop adults who think 9:25 is a reasonably accurate time to show up to a 9:00 meeting? Interesting thought.

European markets open with Euro Central Bank propping Madrid and Rome

European markets opened today for the first time after the S&P downgrade of US debt. But markets were buoyed after the European Central Bank intervened by buying up government debt securities.http://mobile.nytimes.com/2011/08/09/business/global/daily-stock-market-activity.xml

I don't buy Mideo Cruz's art as being about free expression

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I'm all for freedom of expression, the triumph of secular thought, art for art's sake and all that jazz. But there's something not quite right about this whole CCP Mideo Cruz fiasco. Surely there is a whole universe of possibilities out there to tap in the name of artistic expression. So I find that having to be explicitly - even offensively - anti-religion in one's art kind of manifests a fundamental lack of imagination, specifically an imagination big enough to find a more profound or more sublime (as opposed to blatantly in-your-face) manner of expressing something that may go against the grain of religious sensibilities.

Illegal trade of dog meat in the Philippines cited

"Hundreds of thousands of dogs die each year from heat stroke while being transported with no food or water, stacked on top of each other under false bottoms or in wire cages of vans or mini-buses.

"The dogs are muzzled with rusty tin cans and immobilized by breaking their shoulders and tying their back feet, according to Luis Buenaflor, director for operations of Animal Kingdom.

"'The dogs are still alive when they are transported from the source to the markets, but many of them die along the way,' he said.

"Dogs that survive the 10-hour trip are killed by slitting their throats and hanging them upside down to collect their blood or by being clubbed in the head, Buenaflor added.

The bodies are then blow-torched or burned to remove the fur before they are sliced into pieces in slaughterhouses where blood, intestines and innards mix with rats and insects, adding hygiene concerns to the ethical and legal objections."

Source of the above excerpt here.

Airing sked: Manila Hostage Massacre documentary on History Channel

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Don't forget to catch the History Channel documentary on the Manila Hostage massacre at the following broadcast schedule (lots if time slots available to suit everyone's personal schedules!):Sunday 07 August 10:00 PM HK/SIN/MAL 9:00 PM Thai/WIBMonday 08 August 4:00 AM HK/SIN/MAL 3:00 AM Thai/WIBMonday 08 August 8:00 AM HK/SIN/MAL 7:00 AM Thai/WIBMonday 08 August 4:00 PM HK/SIN/MAL 3:00 PM Thai/WIBTuesday 09 August 11:00 PM HK/SIN/MAL 10:00 PM Thai/WIBWednesday 10 August 5:00 AM HK/SIN/MAL 4:00 AM Thai/WIBWednesday 10 August 11:00 PM HK/SIN/MAL 10:00 PM Thai/WIBThursday 11 August 2:00 AM HK/SIN/MAL 1:00 AM Thai/WIBFriday 12 August 11:00 PM HK/SIN/MAL 10:00 PM Thai/WIBSaturday 13 August 2:00 AM HK/SIN/MAL 1:00 AM Thai/WIBSaturday 13 August 12:00 AM HK/SIN/MAL 11:00 AM Thai/WIBSunday 14 August 6:00 PM HK/SIN/MAL 5:00 PM Thai/WIBSaturday 20 August 11:00 PM HK/SIN/MAL 10:00 PM Thai/WIBSunday 21 August 5:00 AM HK/SIN/MAL 4:00 AM Thai/WIBTuesday 23 August 11:00 PM HK/SIN/MAL 10:00 PM…

New technologies old challenges: separating signal from noise

Whether it is transmitting Morse code along copper wires or "curating" tweets: the challenge remains fundamentally like that when panning for gold -- harvesting useful messages and throwing out noise.

China tells US to live within its means

"SHANGHAI - China, the largest foreign holder of United States debt, said Saturday that Washington needed to "cure its addiction to debts" and "live within its means," just hours after the rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded America's long-term debt.
The harshly worded commentary, which was released by China's official Xinhua news agency, was Beijing's latest attempt to express its displeasure with Washington."http://mobile.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/business/global/china-a-big-creditor-says-us-has-only-itself-to-blame.xml

Often my impression of someone changes when I see their tweets

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I recall some years ago something about how some excerpts from the memoirs of rock legend Kurt Cobain were released to the public. It then became clearly evident that stuff he expressed outside of his music, were rather lame. Coolness, it turns out, is quite ephemeral - almost illusory.And then Twitter came along. Now it takes only a peek into someone's Twitter "timeline" to get a clearer picture of how cool -- or how lame -- they really are.

Can one infinity be bigger than another?

The set of all whole numbers is infinite. So is the set of even numbers and the set of prime numbers. But is the infinite set of whole numbers bigger than the infinite set of even numbers? Or of prime numbers?

Other countries had lost and then regained their AAA rating in the past

Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden had also lost their AAA ratings in the past but eventually managed to gain it back.

Just finished reading Paul Allen's memoir "Idea Man" @paulgallen

A peek into the mind of Microsoft co-founder. Great read and, for me, a long overdue revisit of a time when entire operating systems took up less than 20KB and BIOS software written in raw binary had to be "toggled" into central processing units (CPUs) before the machines could be used.

After the mad scramble US still ends up downgraded

After a frantic rush to reach political consensus to raise their debt ceiling, the US still ends up getting their credit rating downgraded...http://getrealphilippines.com/blog/2011/07/the-us-debt-ceiling-crisis-how-the-worlds-mightiest-nation-may-run-out-of-money-this-week/

Pressure to breast-feed your baby - all hype?

Is breast feeding best for babies? Perhaps. But for how long should you do it? Opinions vary. I've met some women who did so for extended periods (up to and more than 12 months). According to them they felt pressured to continue doing so long past the point they felt it was really necessary. Have breast feeding "activists" gone too far? Something to think about during "International Breast Feeding Week".http://globalnation.inquirer.net/8359/unicef-marks-international-breastfeeding-week

TIME Mag review of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"

According to TIME Magazine, *Rise* is a brilliant hat tip to the original *Planet of the Apes* franchise staring Charleston Heston. On my to-see list.http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,2086913,00.html

Why reporters are so hooked on 'experts'

"There's also a psychological aversion to uncertainty that drives demand for expert forecasts. When a reporter wants to answer questions for the reader like, What will happen with the economy? An economist would say, 'Well, I think there are nine key factors, maybe 10. Some point one direction. Others point in a different direction. It may be possible that...' By that point, the reporter is pulling his hair out; it isn't a satisfying response."
More here:
http://healthland.time.com/2011/08/05/mind-reading-why-expert-predictions-in-the-media-are-so-often-wrong/

Christopher Lao: some may weep for him some may jeer him..

But one thing's for sure, times have changed. We all need to be careful with what we say. Every one now walks around with one form of recording device or another and the capability to broadcast what they record to a mass audience at the click of a button or a tap on a screen. Words let go in a moment of folly not only cannot be taken back, they may be recorded and copied and re-copied ad infinitum.

Why 'higher level of discourse' in media will never happen in the Philippines

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William Esposo explains here why Philippine President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III makes a call for "higher level of discourse in media." This of course is not going to happen any time soon. Not in a free market, and specifically not in one where increasing competition, shrinking profit margins, and more demanding shareholders will make a choice between investing in the production of "higher level discourse" and cheap low-brow but high-audience-pull content a no-brainer for producers.

The bleakness of the prospect of ever seeing higher quality content in Media is even more evident in a country like the Philippines, where low-level thinking trumps high-level thinking in just about every endeavor.

Rather than try to appeal to private enterprise to go against the grain of their pursuit of profits, Government should take the lead. That is where state-controlled media comes in. Who else will invest in content that delivers educational value? In the United Kingdom…

Lots of Pinoys have fallen into open manholes in Manila but did not 'trend'

Why does Christopher Lao, a guy who purposely drives into a deep flood, get so much publicity, while the many unfortunate souls who've fallen into open manholes hardly make headline news? There is something seriously wrong with our collective priorities as a people.

'Trending topics' Zubiri and Cris Lao reflect the character of Pinoy chatter

Just two unrelated events over the last couple of days have set the Philippines' chattering classes on fire again. The resignation of Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri and the unfortunate mistaking of a car for a submarine by a certain Christopher Lao have become fodder for speculation and low-brow entertainment.

An economist on Twitter- insights on his journey

Justin Wolfers jumps into Tweeting and later ask the question on whether he hfsd become a better economist as a result (he doesn't know just yet). Some early observations include finding the experience fun and addictive, "all about the links" you share, and that Google+ "really is a better technology for everything Twitter does".More here:
http://blogs.reuters.com/mediafile/2011/08/02/an-economist%e2%80%99s-twitter-experiment-begins/

Difficulty driving car thru floods should be least of our worries

While some Manila residents whine about their troubles driving through Manila's perennially flooded streets, there seems to be a lack of appreciation for what it is exactly these floods bring to our doorstep. Considering that Manila is by all practical purposes one big open sewer - even in good weather - one can only imagine the sorts of stuff flood waters routinely deposit into Manila's surfaces. These, in times of fine weather, dry up and get whipped up into dust which gets mixed into the air. In short, Manila residents routinely inhale shit.

Zubiri resignation: Maybe he suddenly realised the Philippines is not worth it

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Former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said, "I am a husband first before a senator, and I am a father first before a legislator." That sounds pretty reasonable to me. Why stick it out in a thankless job serving a people who are evidently unable -- no, unwilling -- to help themselves? Then again, what's the point in speculating about what one's reasons are for doing whatever thing other than to take what he says in the public domain at face value? Filipinos should just simply move on. If his accusers get their day in court, then the truth may perhaps come out. If it doesn't, tough luck, is all I can say. Either way, this being the Philippines, this is just another media circus in the making. And as with most media circuses, we all know who gets to laugh all the way to the bank.

Anti contraception advocates hijacked the term "pro-life"

A bit presumptuous the way people who are against artificial contraception and who campaign against reproductive health in the Philippines describe themselves as "pro-life". Are they implying that those who beg to differ are anti-life?

Some revealing stats about Manila flooding and the squatter problem