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Showing posts from April, 2005

The Scream - Simpsons Style....

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Click here for my earlier post on Edvard Munch's The Scream. :-)

The Fall of Saigon....

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30 years ago to the day, Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam fell to the forces of the North Vietnamese Army, marking the end of almost three decades of war in South East Asia.

It was estimated that approximately 1.1 million North Vietnamese soldiers and Viet Cong guerillas and 2 million Vietnamese civilians died from 1954 to 1975. 58,226 Americans were also killed.

Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City in honor of the Communist Party leader who led the Viet Minh independence movement.

While the Vietnam war was, more or less, another front for the United States in the Cold War versus the Soviet Union and the spread of communism, the Vietnamese people were fighting a war of independence. It was perhaps the inability of the United States to recognize this fact which may have ultimately led to the victory of the North Vietnamese forces.

In the aftermath of the war, the United States Congress has curtailed the power of the President to wage war via the War Powers Resolution of 1973. The coun…

(Man)Holey Sh**!

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A news article about manhole cover theft from the August 29, 2004 edition of the Malaya: WPD on alert for manhole cover thieves
The WPD yesterday ordered its personnel to intensify its operations against manhole cover thieves, anticipating a surge in such incidents this rainy season.

Chief Insp. Florencio Ortilla issued the memorandum citing the MMDA's report regarding the continued theft of steel gratings and catch basins, manhole covers, and underground utilities.

He said the stealing of these items has caused much "loss of limb and life" to people who fall into open manholes during floods. Ortilla stressed mere possession of manhole covers and steel gratings for drainage systems is a crime.
Fast forward eight months. Picture taken on center island along Commonwealth Avenue near Miguel Malvar Medical Foundation Hospital. Not much progress, I guess. You know the economy's bad if people resort to stealing manhole covers to sell as scrap metal.

Sleeping cat....

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Jane Pauley once said that you can't look at a sleeping cat and be tense. I guess I can't disagree with that.

Another work week comes to an end....

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The sun sets over Pasig City I'm getting tired of this four day work week scheme. Well, at least I'm off work for the next three days...:-)

Postscript:

Make that four days. Monday was just declared a holiday...:-) So next week, I only work for three days. Galing. :-)

5,000 hits and counting....

It took about six months, and almost 300 posts, but I finally managed to reach 5,000 hits on my counter. Amazing. And I thought I'd get tired of blogging within the first month or so. When I first created this blog and entered my very first post on November 19 last year, I had no idea what this blog was going to be all about, and how much it was to become part of my daily routine.

Well, approximately six months, 300 posts, and 5,000 visitors later, I'm still not sure what this blog is all about. An inspection of my posts since the beginning reveal that they mostly fall under the following categories: Anecdotes on my personal experiences;Books that I've read;My personal opinions;Greetings and site referrals;Pictures that I took;Songs that I like;Computer stuff, like hardware, browsers, games, etc.;Insightful or funny messages or pictures I receive through email or find on the net;Poetry;Art;Self test results;Factoids, snippets, trivia;Others.More or less just a mish mash of i…

PLDT increases DSL speeds....

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According to PinoyDSL.net, PLDT has confirmed the increase in bandwidth speeds for its DSL services. The new bandwidth speeds are:

PLAN TYPE - OLD SPEED - NEW SPEED

Plan 1995 - 384 Kbps - 512 Kbps
Plan 2500 - 512 Kbps - 768 Kbps
Plan 3000 - 768 Kbps - 1 Mbps

There was also a full page official announcement made by PLDT in the April 25 edition of the Philippine Star.

This should be good news for all PLDT myDSL subscribers.

On a whim, I tried measuring my connection speed using McAfee's Internet Connection Speedometer. PLDT must be doing something right, as these were the results I got:

Did I mention I was on the slowest plan? :-) Hope PLDT can keep this level of performance up. :-)

Philippine Blog Awards....

A fellow blogger and Mapuan who goes by the handle Tiamy was nice enough to inform me yesterday via my TagBoard that my blog ended up as an entry to the 2005 Philippine Blog Awards. Check out the list of entries here.

I guess I got someone's attention. Hmmm. Not bad I guess for a six month old blog maintained by a cynical, obsessive-compulsive, geeky, nervous wreck. :-)

The competition seems tough though, and the field keeps growing, but it's already an honor in itself just to be considered.

Thanks man.

Peddling Snake Oil - The Khaos Super Turbo Charger

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Photos courtesy of Ghosthunter If you drive or are at least into cars, no doubt you've probably heard at one time or another about the Khaos Super Turbo Charger. It's a device that is claimed to drastically reduce the fuel consumption of your gasoline driven vehicle by as much as 50%. It created such a hype when it was introduced in November 2003 after glowing reviews and endorsements from, among others, the Department of Energy (DOE), the Makati Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Taiwan’s Automotive Research and Testing Center. Even Malacañang got into the picture, and presented the inventor, Pablo Planas, with a Presidential Award Medal for Outstanding Invention. All in all, various government agencies and government officials got into the picture, singing the praises of a device that miraculously reduces fuel consumption by a significant margin. As a result, in less than a year, more than 3,500 units were sold and installed to customers who swear by the product's effec…

The Mysterious Death of Pope John Paul I

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Received this through email...quite interesting and intriguing, especially if you're into conspiracies. Thought I'd share it with you people. Thanks to Obet for sending me this. :-) The Mysterious Death of Pope John Paul I [A Treatise]
by Gregory Christiano (Age: 57)
copyright 07-04-2003

Age Rating: 13 to 127



Pope John Paul I died only 33 days into his Pontificate (August 26, 1978 - September 28, 1978). It was one of the shortest reigns in the annals of the papacy. The official cause of death was myocardial infarction (a heart attack). But there was a great deal of confusion in the details of his sudden death, and many were crying - murder!

The "Smiling Pope," as he was affectionately called was born Albino Luciani on October 17, 1912 near Belluno, Italy. He was ordained in 1935, made Bishop in 1958 and became patriarch of Venice in 1969. He received his cardinal's hat in 1973. He was a staunch believer in ecumenism and the reduction of Church wealth. He was warm, humb…

What Personality Disorder Are You?

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You May Be a Bit Borderline ...









Your mood swings make a roller coaster look tame!

When you're up, you're a little bit crazy...

And when you're down, your whole world is crashing

Scary thing is, these moods can change by the minute!


What Personality Disorder Are You?

I could use a drink....

That last post reminded me. It's been a while since I had a drink. How long has it been, has it been weeks? Months now? Really? The weather has been quite hot lately...and despite being my usual funny, jovial self at the office, with always a funny remark or wisecrack at hand, I'm not really in one of my better moods. Been recovering from a mild bout of asthma as well, so I haven't smoked in...almost two weeks I guess. Maybe nicotine withdrawal is making me cranky as well. If I'm going to quit for good, I need a reason. Somehow smoking seems appropriate whenever you're brooding....

Being there for everyone...whether you want to or not... can be a thankless undertaking, and most of the time people just take your existence for granted. Been invisible lately to a lot of people I know...even to some close friends, and maybe some people I care about. Well. It happens. Sometimes you just get tired of being a shock absorber, and you just plainly need a break. Maybe s…

The Five Stages of Getting Drunk and Sobering up....

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THE FIVE STAGES OF GETTING DRUNK

Stage 1 - CLEVER

This is when you suddenly become an expert on every subject in the known universe. You know you know everything and you want to pass on your knowledge to anyone who will listen. At this stage you are always right. And, of course, the person you are talking to is very wrong. This makes for an interesting argument when both parties are CLEVER.

Stage 2 - ATTRACTIVE

This is when you realise that you are the most ATTRACTIVE person in the entire bar and that everyone fancies you. You can go up to a perfect stranger knowing that they fancy you and really want to talk to you. Bear in mind that you are still CLEVER, so you can talk to this person about any subject under the sun.

Stage 3 - RICH

This is when you suddenly become the RICHEST person in the room. You can buy drinks for the entire bar because you have a bottomless wallet. You can also make bets at this stage, because of course you are still CLEVER so, naturally, you will always win. Anyway,…

Computer Gender

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A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine. "House" for instance, is feminine: "la casa." "Pencil," however, is masculine: "el lapiz."

A student asked, "What gender is "computer?" instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether "computer" should be a masculine or a feminine noun.

Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.
The men's group decided that "computer" should definitely be of the feminine gender ("la computadora"), because:

1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and
4. As…

The 20,000 Peso PC - Reloaded....

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About three weeks or so ago I made a post entitled The 20,000 Peso PC. It was written to give a person on an extremely low budget an idea on what kind of specifications and components he can expect from a computer worth approximately P20,000.00 (roughly 357 USD).

A week after that, two of my friends (Dick and Oliver) decided to take me up my offer to construct for them home-built computers in the same price range. The intended use was for simple office tasks, such as word processing or spreadsheets, playing MP3s and DVDs, and burning CDs. Since neither of them are hardcore gamers, not even casual gamers, the ability of the assembled PCs to play 3D titles was admittedly very low. That capability was not really needed anyhow, and was hardly a loss for them, so they were more than willing to give it up if it would make the cost cheaper.

The specs are based on the PC described in my earlier post, with some changes due to variations in component availability. If an inexpensive part is not a…

The Scream

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Edvard Munch's The Scream (sometimes also known as The Cry) has come to be regarded as his most significant contribution to German expressionism. It is part of his Frieze of Life series painted in 1893-1894, and depicts themes of sickness, death, anxiety, and love.

The Scream has often been considered as the very symbol of modern man - a man for whom God is dead and the pursuit of material possessions has provided little or no comfort. There is such irony in the fact that Munch came up with this motif more than a century ago. It seems like no other painting captures the essence of living in today's modern society better than this one.

With modern society's increasing emphasis on ambition, comfort, personal success and satisfaction, wealth and material gain, and significantly less concern on one's spirituality, morals, or the well being of other people, one cannot help but feel trapped and feel anxious over things that he or she seemingly feels that he or she has no contr…

Paved with good intentions....

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Actually, this saying is supposed to mean that merely intending to do good, without actually doing it, is of no value. Unfortunately, there are times that even if you go through with something with nothing but the best of intentions, even if your actions are all focused on the single goal of helping others without any thought of getting anything in return, you may still come across people who would opt to take things the wrong way. Are they doing it deliberately? Not all I suppose. Perhaps some. Or maybe some people just can't help it. Or they don't know any better. I honestly have no idea why. I guess I'm stupid that way.

I have gone through life with the intention of helping anyone I can along the way. Sounds corny I know, perhaps even naive. Helping can bite you back if you're not wary. Perhaps one of the lessons in life is to know when to give help, and when not to, admittedly a lesson that I have yet to maste…

Bulong!!!

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Bulong!!!
Kitchie Nadal

kaw ba'y nalulungkot?
Nababalut pa ng poot,
maraming hinanakit sa mundo.
Di alam anong gagawin kundi ubusin ang oras sa gin.
Akala mo'y iya'y may mararating.

Hoy kaibigan ko!
Pakinggan mo ang mga bulong sa 'yo.
Ito'y di galing sa mundo.
Patungo sa pangakong paraiso.

Nasaan ang talino mo?
Diskarte kamo ng kano!
Apakan ang lahat kahit pa paa mo!
Minsan ang kagitingan ay wala sa bigat ng pinapasan.
Sa pagsuko't pagharap ng kabiguan.

Hoy kaibigan ko!
Pakinggan mo ang mga bulong sa 'yo.
Ito'y di galing sa mundo.
Patungo sa pangakong paraiso.

Tumatakbo ang oras.
Gumising ka't bumangun na.
Pagka't hindi na ikaw ang biktima.

Hoy kaibigan ko!
Pakinggan mo ang mga bulong sa 'yo.
Ito'y di galing sa mundo.
Patungo sa pangakong paraiso.

Hoy kaibigan ko!
Pakinggan mo ang mga bulong sa 'yo.
Ito'y di galing sa mundo.
Patungo sa pangakong paraiso.

Chord Pattern: Intro/Verse: D-E-G-D; Chorus: D-C-G-C9-G-D; Bridge: E-G-C9-G-C9-G-D; Adlib: D-E-G-D

Something to think about....

Have you ever been just sitting there and all of a sudden you feel like doing something nice for someone you care for?

THAT'S GOD talking to you through the Holy Spirit.

Have you ever been down and out and nobody seems to be around for you to talk to?

THAT'S GOD wanting you to talk to Him.

Have you ever been thinking about somebody that you haven't seen in a long time and then next thing you know you see them or receive a phone call from them?

THAT'S GOD. There is no such thing as coincidence.

Have you ever received something wonderful that you didn't even ask for, like money in the mail, a debt that had mysteriously been cleared, or a coupon to a department store where you had just seen something you needed, but couldn't afford?

THAT'S GOD knowing the desires of your heart.

Have you ever been in a situation and you had no clue how it was going to get better, how the hurting would stop, how the pain would ease, but now you look back on it.

THAT'S GOD passing us …

The Lion, Jupiter, and the Elephant

The Lion wearied Jupiter with his frequent complaints. "It is true, O Jupiter!" he said, "that I am gigantic in strength, handsome in shape, and powerful in attack. I have jaws well provided with teeth, and feet furnished with claws, and I lord it over all the beasts of the forest, and what a disgrace it is, that being such as I am, I should be frightened by the crowing of a cock." Jupiter replied, "Why do you blame me without a cause? I have given you all the attributes which I possess myself, and your courage never fails you except in this one instance." On hearing this the Lion groaned and lamented very much and, reproaching himself with his cowardice, wished that he might die. As these thoughts passed through his mind, he met an Elephant and came close to hold a conversation with him. After a time he observed that the Elephant shook his ears very often, and he inquired what was the matter and why his ears moved with such a tremor every now and then. J…

Habemus Papam!

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Habemus Papam! - We have a new Pope! The first tell-tale signs took place at around 5:50 P.M. in the Vatican (11:50 P.M. Manila time). First there was the plume of white smoke coming from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel. Then there was the tolling of the bells confirming that indeed a new Pope had been elected.

Within two days after the conclave had convened and after only four elections, German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has been elected the 265th spiritual successor of St. Peter and the leader of more than 1.1 billion Catholics the world over.

Taking the name Benedict XVI, he shall continue on where the great John Paul II left off. A known conservative and traditionalist, as cardinal he has vigorously spoken out against liberalist theology, religious pluralism, progressive Catholicism, relativism and moral issues like homosexuality, birth control, the marriage of priests and the ordination of women. Maybe...just maybe...it is exactly this what the Catholic Church needs right now, in t…

Restaurants and assassinations....

If you have been reading the newspapers lately, you would have no doubt heard about the assassination of former Pasig Congressman Henry Lanot while he was having lunch at Jade Palace, a Cantonese restaurant located along Shaw Boulevard in the Pasig area.

While crimes of this sort are always deplorable and certainly not to be taken lightly, I have noticed an unusually strange pattern...well, to me at least. Restaurants that I have been frequenting seem to be more often than not the site of political assassinations. And it hasn't happened once...not even twice, but three times in the past five years. I guess I'm a bit lucky, since I haven't been caught having a meal in one while a shooting was taking place. What is it with eating and assassinations anyway? I guess Filipinos tend to be less aware of their surroundings and tend to drop their defenses when they're satisfying their hunger.

What do you think? Probably just a coincidence? Well, I guess it can't be anything e…

Advice, Like Youth, Probably Just Wasted On The Young

Advice, Like Youth, Probably Just Wasted On The Young
By Mary Schmich

(Originally published in the June 1, 1997 edition of the Chicago Tribune)

Inside every adult lurks a graduation speaker dying to get out, some world-weary pundit eager to pontificate on life to young people who'd rather be Rollerblading. Most of us, alas, will never be invited to sow our words of wisdom among an audience of caps and gowns, but there's no reason we can't entertain ourselves by composing a Guide to Life for Graduates.

I encourage anyone over 26 to try this and thank you for indulging my attempt.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand…

For someone out there....

This is for a girl who's actually very special to me. Unfortunately, either she doesn't realize it, or she's so busy worrying about her work, her business, and just about everything else...except the things that matter...herself, her happiness, and her life.

I've known her for more than a year now, almost two years now actually, and I doubt it if she still rememembers. She's very intelligent, kind, educated, well read, religious, refined, driven, and very pretty I may add. She has a business of her own, a loving family, friends, in perfect health, and yet...I've hardly ever talked to her in almost those two years without her complaining about something.

In almost two years.

She complains about work, her responsibilities, her frustrations, her family, about lost opportunities, about managing finances, about unfulfilled dreams, about the things in life that we cannot change.

I can relate. I'm a cynic as well. I also tend to be a realist, and I always assume the w…

50th Anniversary of Einstein's Death....

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Exactly fifty years ago to the day, Albert Einstein, perhaps the most celebrated genius of all time and originator of the Theory of Relativity, died in Princeton, New Jersey at the age of 76.

His contributions to physics and mathematics have revolutionized not only our way of thinking, but also our perception on the role and responsibility of scientists to society.

It has also been a hundred years since the world first saw the now famous equation that would forever change the way we look at the universe: E=mc2.

"Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish."

- Albert Einstein

Being sick and killing time....

It's a hot, balmy Sunday evening. I sit here in front of my computer, like I have done so many times in the past. This is my refuge...a temporary escape from the tedious reality that we have to face every waking moment of our lives. I point and click. A browser window opens. I guess looking at the world through the eyes of the internet sometimes makes me feel as if I'm viewing the world from some distant perspective. Helps me see the big picture I guess. I would suppose a fair amount of detachment from reality actually helps us deal with it better. Too much empathy can be...well, depressing.

I'm controlling the urge to break out in a fit of coughing and wheezing as I recuperate from a bad case of cold and cough along with a mild bout of asthma. I can now breathe a lot easier, and the coughing has significantly subsided thanks to the cocktail of capsules and tablets that I've been taking for the past couple of days now. I'm not really feeling that well to go out of t…

False Alarms?

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On the night of the 13th, I received a forwarded text message from a friend on my cell phone. Here's what the message said:Rcvd txt fr. Dr. Chico Achacoso & Dr. Mate de Jesus Visionary emaild me. Remnd earthquake apr 14. Pls pray hard wid ur frnds. Stay out esp 5pm. U nvr knw.

On the 14th, thinking that it wouldn't actually do any harm if I did go down before 5 o'clock struck, A friend and I took the elevator down to the ground floor with ten minutes to go. When we got to the lobby's main entrance, these were the sights which greeted us:







It would seem like a lot of fellow employees thought that it would be better to play it safe rather than take any chances. The phenomena wasn't just limited to our building, it seems that people were going out of the other buildings as well. And when 5 o'clock struck, even traffic stopped, as drivers seemed to be waiting along with the rest of us to see if the prediction was going to come true or not. Hmmm... the power of tex…

The Titanic....

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Ninety-three years ago to the day, on April 15, 1912, the "unsinkable" R.M.S. Titanic, the largest and most luxurious steamship in the world struck an iceberg and sank in the north Atlantic ocean, taking with her the lives of more than 1,500 passengers and crew.

May their deaths serve as a solemn reminder of the folly of man's pride, arrogance, ambition and blind faith in technology.

South Park....

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Apparently this is what I would look like if I were a character in South Park:

If you want to make your own South Park cartoon characters, visit the South Park Studio Version 2 site.

Thanks to Bambit for steering me to this site. :-)

You Will Survive!

It's ironic that I would open my inbox and find this essay of sorts at the top of my list of unread email. Perhaps even providential? I wonder who the author is...maybe I oughta shake his/her hand for hitting the nail on the head.

You thought it was love. The real thing. Perhaps the two of you shared the same feelings, but you don't now, and you've just been dumped. You feel as though you've been dropped into a cold dark hole. Alone. Life is no longer fun. No one can understand your pain. No one.

You're wrong.

We've all been there. It's a given of relationships. Not all of them are going to have a fairy tale ending.

There will be pain. That's a given, too.

How soon the pain subsides is dependent on each of us. Mourning for a lost love relationship is natural, normal and healthy. Any loss requires a period of grieving. How long and in what manner a person mourns is also dependent upon each of us. Some people appear to move almost effortlessly through a breaku…

64-bit computing....

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If you just bought a new computer or upgraded your existing computer recently and think that you can rest easy knowing that your setup is more or less current, think again. On April 25, Microsoft will be launching Windows XP Professional x64 and Windows Server 2003 x64, signalling the start of the 64-bit consumer era.

The past months have been a flurry of activity for both AMD and Intel, both of which have already introduced 64-bit processors. AMD bolted out of the gate with it's promise of a 64-bit future as early as September 2003, with the introduction of its Opteron and Athlon 64 processor lines. Intel, albeit late in the game, has already introduced 64-bit capabilities to its processors with the recent introduction with the Pentium 4 600 series. Intel also plans to integrate 64-bit capabilities with the rest of Pentium 4 line.

Running at even higher frequencies even with today's most sophisticated lithographic processes has become increasingly difficult, with power consumpt…