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1
Cars and Automotive / Biodegradable Car...
« on: April 19, 2011, 04:14:06 AM »

kenneth-cobonpue-phoenix-bamboo-rattan-car_PLeQa_48 - Show Posts - glacier_71

Cars are a lot of things, but “biodegradable” isn’t one of them. Not that car makers haven’t been trying for years: ever since “biodegradable” became a buzz word in the mid-90s, they’ve been doing their best to design a car that will eventually rot away, instead of being unearthed by future civilizations and mistaken for a coffin or something.

Of course, they didn’t go quite as far as the Phoenix, here…

Made entirely out of bamboo, rattan, nylon and a little steel, the Phoenix was built in ten days and is designed to, well, rot eventually. In fact, the skin of the car (i.e., the bamboo part) is only designed to last five to ten years, which is about how long people hang onto cars.

Naturally, a new skin can be attached to the car.

Needless to say, this hasn’t been put through any sort of crash test, which would be our first question if somebody tried to sell us a wicker car: in fact, it doesn’t even have a motor in it yet. It’s been entered in a design competition and mostly exists as just a concept.

But, hey, it looks neat, and it sure beats some of the terrible designs you see at auto shows, anyway.

2
Choice seats for Pacquiao-Shane May 7 tiff are being sold at P.8-M
By NICK GIONGCO
April 18, 2011, 6:21pm

 MANILA, Philippines — Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum swears not even his people at Top Rank have tickets to show off to prospective buyers interested in watching the May 7 show starring Manny Pacquiao versus Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“We don’t have tickets in our hands right now,” said Arum over the weekend as he made an official announcement that “not one” ticket is available for purchase. Of course, there are still countless tickets available – in the black market.

Since these tickets have become a hot commodity, brokers have priced them beyond the reach of the ordinary wage-earner, leaving these prized passes only sellable to those willing to part ways with as much as $17,995 (P790,000) for a choice, front-row ringside seat that actually costs $1,000.

When Top Rank released the tickets for public sale in the end of January, a near sell out was immediately announced as only a few thousands were left.

Aside from the top-of-the-line $1,000 tickets, others were also sold at $750, $500, $300 and $150.

Arum said those who would be unable to secure tickets from the black market, can still soak up the incomparable Las Vegas fight night atmosphere by watching it on closedcircuit at $50 a pop in all the MGMMirage owned properties that are nicely located on the famed Strip.

The MGM Grand Garden Arena has a seating capacity of around 17,000 and Arum said ringside will be teeming with VIPs from the world of sports, entertainment and politics. Arum said a former US President has also expressed his desire to see the fight.

“The response is just unbelievable,” said Arum, who has been promoting boxing since 1966 starting with Muhammad Ali’s world heavyweight title bout with the iron-chinned Canadian George Chuvalo.

3
Jokes and Humor / the praying parrot
« on: April 12, 2011, 02:43:18 AM »
A lady goes to her priest one day and tells him, 'Father, I have a problem. I have two female parrots, But they only know to say one thing.'

'What do they say?' the priest asked.

They say, 'Hi, we're hookers! Do you want to have some fun?'

'That's obscene!' the priest exclaimed,

Then he thought for a moment. 'You know,' he said, 'I may have a solution to your problem.  I have two male talking parrots, which I have taught to pray and read the Bible... Bring your two parrots over to my house, and we'll put them in the cage with Francis and Peter. My parrots can teach your parrots to pray and worship, And your parrots are sure to stop saying...  That phrase...  In no time.'

'Thank you,' the woman responded, 'this may very well be the solution.'

The next day, She brought her female parrots to the priest's house....

As he ushered her in, She saw that his two male parrots were inside their cage holding rosary beads and praying...

Impressed, She walked over and placed her parrots in with them. After a few minutes, The female parrots cried out in unison: Hi, we're hookers! Do you want to have some fun?'

There was stunned silence...

Shocked, One male parrot looked over at the other male parrot and says, 'Put the beads away, Frank,
Our prayers have been answered!

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

4
Inspiration & Hope / Why the Filipino is SPECIAL
« on: March 30, 2011, 11:53:11 PM »

Why the Filipino is SPECIAL by Ed Lapiz

Filipinos are Brown. Their color is in the center of
human racial strains.

This point is not an attempt at racism, but just for
many Filipinos to realize that our color should not be
a source of or reason for inferiority complex. While
we pine for a fair complexion, the white people are
religiously tanning themselves, whenever they could,
under the sun or some artificial light, just to
approximate the Filipino complexion.

Filipinos are a touching people. We have lots of love
and are not afraid to show it. We almost inevitably
create human chains with our perennial akbay (putting
an arm around another shoulder), hawak (hold), yakap (embrace),
himas (caressing stroke), kalabit (touch with the tip
of the finger), kalong (sitting on someone else's lap), etc.

We are always reaching out, always seeking interconnection.

Filipinos are linguists. Put a Filipino in any city,
any town around the world. Give him a few months or
even weeks and he will speak the local language there.
Filipinos are adept at learning and speaking
languages. In fact, it is not uncommon for Filipinos
to speak at least three: his dialect, Filipino, and
English. Of course, a lot speak an added language, be
it Chinese, Spanish or, if he works abroad, the
language of his host country.

In addition, Tagalog is not 'sexist.' While many
"conscious" and "enlightened" people of today are just
by now striving to be "politically correct" with their
language and, in the process, bend to absurd depths in
coining "gender sensitive" words, Tagalog has, since
time immemorial, evolved gender-neutral words like
asawa (husband or wife), anak (son or daughter),
magulang (father or mother), kapatid (brother or
sister), biyenan (father-in-law or mother-in-law),
manugang (son or daughter-in-law), bayani (hero or
heroine), etc. Our languages and dialects are advanced
and, indeed, sophisticated! It is no small wonder that
Jose Rizal, the quintessential Filipino, spoke some
twenty-two languages!

Filipinos are groupists. We love human interaction and
company. We always surround ourselves with people and
we hover over them, too. According to Dr. Patricia
Licuanan, a psychologist from Ateneo and Miriam College, an
average Filipino would have and know at least 300 relatives.

At work, we live bayanihan (mutual help); at play, we
want a kalaro (playmate) more than laruan (toy). At
socials, our invitations are open and it is more
common even for guests to invite and bring in other
guests. In transit, we do not want to be separated
from our group. So what do we do when there is no
more space in a vehicle?

Kalung-kalong! (Sit on one another). No one would ever
suggest splitting a group and waiting for another
vehicle with more space!

Filipinos are weavers. One look at our baskets, mats,
clothes, and other crafts will reveal the skill of the
Filipino weaver and his inclination to weaving. This
art is a metaphor of the Filipino trait. We are social
weavers. We weave theirs into ours that we all become
parts of one another. We place a lot of premium on
pakikisama (getting along) and pakikipagkapwa
(relating). Two of the worst labels, walang
pakikipagkapwa (inability to relate), will be avoided
by the Filipino at almost any cost.

We love to blend and harmonize with people, we like to
include them in our "tribe," in our "family"-and we
like to be included in other people's families, too.

Therefore we call our friend's mother nanay or mommy;
we call a friend's sister ate (eldest sister), and so
on. We even call strangers tia (aunt) or tio (uncle),
tatang (grandfather), etc.

So extensive is our social openness and interrelations
that we have specific title for extended relations
like hipag (sister-in-law's spouse), balae
(child-in-law's parents), inaanak (godchild),
ninong/ninang (godparents) kinakapatid (godparent's
child), etc.

In addition, we have the profound 'ka' institution,
loosely translated as "equal to the same kind" as in
kasama (of the same company), kaisa (of the same
cause), kapanalig (of the same belief), etc. In our
social fiber, we treat other people as co-equals.

Filipinos, because of their social "weaving"
traditions, make for excellent team workers.

Filipinos are adventurers. We have a tradition of
separation. Our myths and legends speak of heroes and
heroines who almost always get separated from their
families and loved ones and are taken by circumstances
to far-away lands where they find wealth or power.

Our Spanish colonial history is filled with
separations caused by the reduccion (hamleting), and
the forced migration to build towns, churches,
fortresses or galleons. American occupation enlarged
the space of Filipino wandering, including America,
and there are documented evidences of Filipino
presence in America as far back as 1587.

Now, Filipinos compose the world's largest population
of overseas workers, populating and sometimes
"threshing" major capitals, minor towns and even
remote villages around the world. Filipino adventurism
has made us today's citizens of the world, bringing
the bagoong (salty shrimp paste), pansit (sautéed
noodles), siopao (meat-filled dough), kare-kare
(peanut-flavored dish), dinuguan (innards cooked in
pork blood), balut (unhatched duck egg),
and adobo (meat vinaigrette), including the tabo
(ladle) and tsinelas (slippers) all over the world.

Filipinos are excellent at adjustments and
improvisation, managing to recreate their home, or to
feel at home anywhere.

Filipinos have Pakiramdam (deep feeling/discernment).
We know how to feel what others feel, sometimes even
anticipate what they will feel. Being manhid (dense)
is one of the worst labels anyone could get and will
therefore, avoid at all cost. We know when a guest is
hungry though the insistence on being full is assured.

We can tell if people are lovers even if they are
miles apart. We know if a person is offended though he
may purposely smile. We know because we feel. In our
pakikipagkapwa(relating), we get not only to wear
another man's shoe but also his heart.

We have a superbly developed and honored gift of
discernment, making us excellent leaders, counselors,
and go-betweens.

Filipinos are very spiritual. We are transcendent. We
transcend the physical world, see the unseen and hear
the unheard. We have a deep sense of kaba (premonition)
and kutob (hunch). A Filipino wife will instinctively
feel her husband or child is going astray, whether or not
telltale signs present themselves.

Filipino spirituality makes him invoke divine presence
or intervention at nearly every bend of his journey.
Rightly or wrongly, Filipinos are almost always
acknowledging, invoking or driving away spirits into
and from their lives. Seemingly trivial or even
incoherent events can take on spiritual significance
and will be given such space or consideration.

The Filipino has a sophisticated, developed
pakiramdam. The Filipino, though becoming more and
more modern (hence, materialistic) is still very
spiritual in essence. This inherent and deep
spirituality makes the Filipino, once
correctly Christianized, a major exponent of the
faith.

Filipinos are timeless. Despite the nearly
half-a-millennium encroachment of the western clock
into our lives, Filipinos-unless on very formal or
official functions-still measure time not with hours
and minutes but with feeling. This style is ingrained
deep in our psyche. Our time is diffused, not framed.
Our appointments are defined by umaga (morning),
tanghali (noon ), hapon (afternoon), or gabi
(evening).

Our most exact time reference is probably
katanghaliang-tapat (high noon), which still allows
many minutes of leeway. That is how Filipino trysts
and occasions are timed: there is really no definite
time.

A Filipino event has no clear-cut beginning nor
ending. We have a fiesta, but there is bisperas (eve),
a day after the fiesta is still considered a good time
to visit. The Filipino Christmas is not confined to
December 25th; it somehow begins months before
December and extends up to the first days of January.

Filipinos say good-bye to guests first at the head of
the stairs, then down to the descamo (landing), to the
entresuelo (mezzanine), to the pintuan (doorway), to
the tarangkahan (gate), and if the departing persons
are to take public transportation, up to the bus stop
or bus station.

In a way, other people's tardiness and extended stays
can really be annoying, but this peculiarity is the
same charm of Filipinos who, being governed by
timelessness, can show how to find more time to be
nice, kind, and accommodating than his prompt and
exact brothers elsewhere.

Filipinos are Spaceless. As in the concept of time,
the Filipino concept of space is not numerical. We
will not usually express expanse of space with miles
or kilometers but with feelings in how we say malayo
(far )or malapit (near).

Alongside with numberlessness, Filipino space is also
boundless. Indigenous culture did not divide land into
private lots but kept it open for all to partake of
its abundance.

The Filipino has avidly remained "spaceless" in many
ways. The interior of the bahay-kubo (hut) can easily
become receiving room, sleeping room, kitchen, dining
room, chapel, wake parlor, etc. Depending on the time
of the day or the needs of the moment. The same is
true with the bahay na bato (stone house). Space just
flows into the next space that the divisions between
the sala, caida, comedor, or vilada may only be
faintly suggested by overhead arches of filigree. In
much the same way, Filipino concept of space can be so
diffused that one 's party may creep into and actually
expropriate the street! A family business like a
sari-sari store or talyer may extend to the sidewalk
and street. Provincial folks dry palayan (rice grain)
on the highways! Religious groups of various
persuasions habitually and matter-of-factly commandeer
the streets for processions and parades.

It is not uncommon to close a street to accommodate
private functions. Filipinos eat. sleep, chat,
socialize, quarrel, even urinate, nearly everywhere or
just anywhere!

"Spacelessness," in the face of modern, especially
urban life, can be unlawful and may really be
counter-productive. On the other hand, Filipino
spacelessness, when viewed from his context, is just
another manifestation of his spiritually and communal
values. Adapted well to today's context, which may
mean unstoppable urbanization, Filipino spacelessness
may even be the answer and counter balance to
humanity's greed, selfishness and isolation.

So what makes the Filipino special? We are brown,
spiritual, timeless, spaceless, linguists, groupists,
weavers, adventurers. Seldom do all these profound
qualities find personification in a people. Filipinos
should allow - and should be allowed to contribute
their special traits to the worldwide community of
men- but first, we should know and like ourselves.

 ;D ;D ;D ;)

5
General Topic / Happy New Year Tubag Bohol....
« on: January 03, 2011, 11:36:15 PM »
39420_124084894323886_100001671284740_166001_4288225_n - Show Posts - glacier_71

usa ka mainitong bag-ong tuig ninyong tanan!!!

 ;D ;D ;D ;D  ;D ;D ;D ;D

7
Technology / 4-Year-Old Goes on Shopping Spree -- on iPhone App
« on: December 11, 2010, 05:11:51 AM »
4-Year-Old Goes on Shopping Spree -- on iPhone App

December 10, 2010

NEW YORK –  "The Smurfs' Village," a game for the iPhone and other Apple gadgets, was released a month ago and quickly became the highest-grossing application in the iTunes store. Yet it's free to download.

So where does the money come from? Kelly Rummelhart of California has part of the answer. Her 4-year-old son was using her iPad to play the game and racked up $66.88 in charges on her credit card without knowing what he was doing.

Rummelhart had no idea that it was possible to buy things -- buy them with real money -- inside the game. In this case, her son bought one bushel and 11 buckets of "Smurfberries," tokens that speed up gameplay.

"Really, my biggest concern was them scratching the screen. Never in my wildest dreams did I think they would be charging things on it," the 36-year-old mother said.

She counts herself lucky that her son didn't start tapping on another purchase button, like the "wheelbarrow" of Smurfberries for $59.99.

Rummelhart joins a number of parents who have been horrified by purchases of Smurfberries and other virtual items in top App Store games. The 17 highest-rated comments on "The Smurfs' Village" in the App Store all complain about the high cost of the Smurfberries, and two commenters call it a "scam."

Apple introduced "in-app purchases" last year, letting developers use the iTunes billing system to sell items and add-ons in their games and applications.

This year, developers have started to use the system in earnest as the main revenue stream for many games. Of the 10 highest-grossing apps in the App Store, six are games that are free to download but allow in-app purchases. Four of those are easy, child-friendly games. Two of them, "Tap Zoo" and "Bakery Story," have buttons for in-app purchases of $100 in just two taps.

Capcom Entertainment Inc., the publisher of "The Smurfs' Village," says inadvertent purchases by children are "lamentable." When it realized what was happening, it added a warning about the option of in-app purchases to the game's description in the App Store, and it's updating the game to include warnings inside it as well. The game has retreated to being the fourth-highest-grossing app in the App Store.

The warnings may alert parents, but it's doubtful that they'd deter children who can't read and don't understand money. Also, the option to buy $59.99 worth of Smurfberries at a time remains. Capcom spokesman Michael Larson says "Smurfs" is no different from other games in this regard, and the bulk purchasing option is useful to adult "power players."

It's quite likely that most of the money pulled in by these games comes from addicted adults who want to quickly build their Smurf villages, bakeries, zoos and zombie farms. But there's a loophole in the in-app purchase process that children stick their fingers through.

Usually, the purchases require the owner of the device to enter his or her iTunes password. But there is no password challenge if the owner has entered the password in the last 15 minutes for any reason. That means that if a user enters the password for a purchase or a free app upgrade, then hands the phone or iPad over to a kid, the child will not be stopped by a password prompt.

Capcom and other game publishers have no control over the 15-minute password-free period, which is set by Apple.

Apple defends its system. Spokeswoman Trudy Muller says the password system is adequate and points out that parents can restrict in-app purchases. The parents contacted for the story received refunds from Apple after complaining, and praised the company's responsiveness.

However, there's reason to believe that the password timeout doesn't always work.

Andrew Butterworth of Ontario was well aware of how in-app purchases work and of the password-free period. He was careful to let at least 15 minutes pass after a password entry before letting his 5-year-old son play with his iPod Touch. That didn't help, once he'd loaded "The Smurfs' Village."

"He came to me all proud and said he'd figured out a way to get all these Smurfberries," Butterworth says. "And as soon as I saw the Smurfberries, I knew that he'd purchased them using my credit card. I was amazed that he'd figured out a way to do it, because I was sure that he would have needed my password."

He had last entered his password on the iPod four or five hours earlier, he said. His son's shopping spree cost $140.
Chris Gropp, another Canadian, said he had not entered his iTunes password the same day his son bought $67 in Smurfberries, apparently without being asked for the password.

TeamLava LLC, the publisher of "Bakery Story" and "Farm Story," says the games follow all of Apple's rules and restrictions. In either game, it's possible to buy $99.99 worth of "gems" in one go.

The game publishers and Apple point out that device owners can turn off the option to conduct in-app purchases by going to the Settings app, then hitting the General button, then the Restrictions option. The parents contacted for the story had done so after being alerted to the purchases through their iTunes billing statements.

Apple takes requests for refunds through the computer version of the iTunes program. In the "Store" menu, chose "View my account," then click "Purchase History," then "Report a Problem." Then click on the problem purchase.

Butterworth was pleased with the refund, but still thinks "Smurfs" is a "scam."

"They make it a ridiculously difficult game to play, and you can skip all the difficult parts by spending money," he said. "I believe that they know exactly what's going on."


 ??? :-X >:( >:( >:(

8
General Topic / Filipinos and happiness: why we need to be serious about it
« on: November 26, 2010, 08:30:26 AM »
Filipinos and happiness: why we need to be serious about it

Tuesday, November 23, 2010, 7:19 There is enough evidence to suggest that Filipinos in general are preoccupied with the desire to be on a permanent state of euphoria or at least with being perceived to be a “happy-go-lucky” society no matter what circumstances they are in. Unfortunately, this national obsession with being “happy” or having a good time instead actually leads the Filipino people to a permanent state of misery because their pursuit of happiness is shallow and misguided.

The symbol of Filipino happiness

Because of our obsession with being perceived as a “happy-go-lucky” people, we unfortunately also come across as a people who do not take things too seriously even in times of crisis; which is why our social ills stay unresolved. In fact, Filipinos in general don’t even realize that our national psyche needs to be rehabilitated. Most Filipinos are of the belief that our corrupt public officials are solely to blame for the sad state of our nation. This is funny because the Filipino people are free to choose their public servants. And yet they prefer to choose someone incompetent — which is why they get the government they deserve.

The country remains Asia’s laggard perhaps partly because most Filipinos don’t have their priorities right. Most of us would rather pursue activities that cater to instant gratification because most of us want to be “masaya” all the time. We get instant gratification when we engage in activities that give us fleeting moments of happiness. Most often these are activities that are not well thought through and may even be impulsive. It could also involve being on a fiesta or celebratory mode more often than necessary even when we don’t deserve it. This also includes not participating in the running of the country and letting our public servants wreak havoc using public funds. Instead of being serious and more assertive about national issues, we dismiss topics pertaining to politics as something that we cannot do anything about or is none of our business.

Because Filipinos love a good time more than anything else, we don’t bother learning a new skill on our spare time. Most Filipinos don’t like the idea of working harder to elevate our status to one of being among the first-class nations in the world; we would rather wait for someone to do it for us. Unfortunately, because our society has become anti-intellectual, the intellectuals are driven to leave the country. The brain drain reduces our chances of competing with other nations whose aim is to be the best at what they do and excel at every endeavor.

It follows that since most Filipinos in general would rather have a good time than work hard, it is no surprise that they also love riding on the success of other Filipinos in the entertainment industry where fame and fortune carry away singers, actors, and even sportsmen — boxers in particular. It’s not that there is anything wrong with being happy for someone who achieves international recognition, it’s just that Filipinos tend to take it to the extreme and only idolize those who appear on TV and films due to their fame rather than those who work hard to excel in science and technology – those who can actually help elevate the status of the nation.

Too much “pakikisama” can be bad for our society.

Our love for a good time more than serious and reflective time seems to be associated with a uniquely-Filipino flavor of collectivism — “pakikisama” in the vernacular. Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao for example, brings temporary joy and induce exaggerated Filipino pride among Filipinos simply by winning a boxing match held in an international arena. Those who do not feel the same level of “pride” when he wins are seen as being unpatriotic, killjoy or worse, “walang pakisama“. The following comment made in the AntiPinoy.com article Those Who Keep Saying “I am Proud to be a Filipino” When Manny Pacquiao Wins are Morons is a case in point:

    Bakit hindi ninyo ba naramdamang “PROUD” kayo at may isang kababayan kayo na nanalo sa ibang lupain at pati hindi ninyo kalahi eh nasisiyahan at humahanga sa galing niya? So that means… naive at somewhat strange ang katwiran ninyo kung ganun! At dapat lang na may halong emosyon sa mga ganitong pangyayari…kung WALA manhid KA!Wala nga sa race yan..pero dahil sa Pinoy ka at Pinoy ang umaani ng tagumpay sa ngayon pagdating sa boxing bakit hindi natin mararamdaman ang pagmamalaki sa pamamagitan ng boxer na ito!

Those who see Pacquaio’s win as an individual achievement rather than a collective achievement also tended to be the same ones who are more concerned about the negative effects this national obsession with a boxing celebrity or any celebrity has on Philippine society. This concern is not without its merit since Filipinos also tend to idolize those with celebrity status and vote them in as public servants even if they are not qualified for public service and Manny Pacquiao having been voted into public office as Congressman is enough proof of this. Alarmingly, there are even some members of the Philippine public who are now supporting the idea of Pacquiao running for the Presidency one day.

It is not an exaggeration therefore to say that Filipinos who are labeled “killjoy” or “walang pakisama” are the same ones who are serious about the state of the nation and use their heads for critical analysis in most situations. Unfortunately, those who apply a critical mind in Philippine society are outnumbered by those who don’t, so the former ends up being bullied to submission or being helpless.

Too much good time can be bad for our society.

Most Filipinos would often say, “It’s better to see the glass half-full than half-empty.” But the more applicable proverbial expression to our society should be, “The glass is not half-full if it isn’t half-empty.” We can’t always pretend not to see the dark side of any given situation. Having an incompetent leader like President Noynoy Aquino for example, is a situation that has more dark side than bright side. If Filipinos continue to refuse to prepare for the worst case scenario, they might just get a rude shock one day upon realizing that they are already stuck between a rock and a hard place. Not that we are not yet stuck in a difficult situation; we already are, except some of us just don’t realize it yet or refuse to accept it and, worse, are not prepared for it.

There is this misconception among Filipinos that if people keep pointing at the facts and discussing the problems of our society, they are perceived as being unproductive or negative. Never mind that discussing our social ills could actually lead to the right solutions.

What is a healthier outlook in life then? Humans have different set of moods. Normal people have a baseline or set point of happiness. We bounce up and down from that baseline in response to short term events depending on the situation, like when we hear some bad news or good news. Most people normally return to their baseline after some time. Unfortunately, some of us think that we have to be above the normal baseline all the time to be considered to be a “happy” person, which is quite an impossible state to achieve because it means that in order to be “high” all the time, the natural tendency to be down after a high needs to be continuously overcome. And if we keep soaring higher, the longer the fall that is sure to come sooner or later.

If we prefer to constantly experience that “high” feeling, we also have to be constantly entertained by outside stimuli. This outside stimuli could come in the form of watching a spectacle on TV, the movies, being on the computer all day playing a video game, or being around a large gathering of family and friends having a party just to be entertained. In short, when our brain is being entertained all the time, we don’t have time to think or engage in self-reflection.

How do we sustain the baseline level of happiness? Being happy does not necessarily mean that we should always be in a gathering with friends having a ball or a party. Being happy does not necessarily mean that we should literally be laughing all the time or making jokes that make light of otherwise serious things. It would be more ideal to find happiness during our spare time doing some productive work that stimulates the imagination — like reading a good book or learning a new set of skills to keep our brains occupied and sharp. This sort of baseline happiness is more sustainable and healthier for the brain. It offers greater potential for monetary rewards, which can lead to being in a healthier mood for longer periods of time.

Caroline Hunt, a professor in psychology at the University of Sydney, Australia suggested that society would be better off if people backed away from their obsession with getting more happiness, because the activities to satisfy such an obsession is does more damage in the long-term. To quote what she said in an interview:

    “There are a lot of misconceptions about what makes us happy, often involving unrealistic expectations of just how happy we could be. There’s a small industry suggesting what people should do to make themselves more happy but most of the time it would be more useful for people to accept that being unhappy or being in a state of melancholy some of the time can be OK. In fact it is part of being a human being.

In the book Against Happiness, author Eric Wilson emphasized that he finds it odd that sadness is seen as not a normal part of life but as a weakness, something to be eradicated.

    “You should really embrace those dark parts of your life. They are natural. They are normal. It seems to me those darker sides of experience, those times when we are sad or sorrowful, we often learn things about ourselves that we would not learn had we simply remained content.”

Lack of substance leads to idiotic behavior

No wonder most Filipinos never learn from their mistakes. They never have time to reflect because they are preoccupied with having a good time. After reading the statement above, one cannot help but recall how some Filipinos did not show any sympathy after the deaths of eight Chinese tourists in the Mendoza hostage crisis. School girls and uniformed policemen posed for photos smiling and laughing near the hijacked bus of the scene of the crime and posted the same photos on social networking sites for all the world to see. It exhibits how our society has such an underdeveloped sense of compassion. We just want to have a good time all the time.

One cannot forget too how President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) was caught smiling like a dog during a press conference a day after the Mendoza hostage crisis in which eight Chinese tourists died. After being criticized for his smiling face, his only excuse was “… I have several expressions. I smile when I’m happy, I smile when I’m faced with a very absurd situation…” to be fair to P-Noy, he really was caught in a very absurd situation at the time. He probably felt that smiling would lighten up the situation. Unfortunately, it just made it worse.

Where did the concept of being happy start?

It’s been said that the pursuit of happiness started in the United States when the Declaration of Independence guaranteed every individual the right to “pursue happiness”. Since then pop psychology has advocated the notion that in order to live a meaningful life, people should be happy and to be happy, you should always be “positive”.

The concept gave rise to a lot of self-help books written by positive mental attitude gurus who tend to recommend that people see the bright side of things rather than the negative. You could say that the concept is a marketing executive’s dream coming true because advertising agencies can continue to sell more products to make people feel “happy” by creating a need.

Unfortunately, with Filipinos copying anything “in” in American society, Philippine society had embraced this concept without bothering to analyze if the same concept is applicable to us as a people. And because we are such bad copycats, we do not really think about the social impact of adapting a concept that works for other cultures but not for ours. The Presidential system is a classic example of a concept that seems to work fine for Americans but obviously not for Filipinos because of our personality based politics. But I digress…

Americans on their part, have an individualistic society, which means that they pursue their own happiness on individual terms. They acknowledge that what might make someone happy won’t necessarily make others happy. Pursuing intellectual stimulus for example can be gratifying for some while just playing video games all day will have the same effect on others. The long term effect or damage of either activity is debatable but it has been proven time and time again that intellectual pursuits which may seem like such a boring activity to those who prefer to play video games, will yield more positive results in the future for any individual.

Some societies celebrate the uniqueness of each individual and respect the choices each individual makes; this results in a more vibrant and innovative society. In short, you won’t really find Americans who force other fellow Americans to be happy when an American boxer wins boxing matches or label others unpatriotic if they don’t.

The drawback of selling happiness as the key to a meaningful life also gave rise to the use of medication in some parts of the world especially the US. Big pharmaceuticals in the United States jumped on the bandwagon of the self-help gurus and managed to enter the happiness market by selling happy pills or anti-depressants. At least the US has regulations that serve as check-and-balance on the euphoria industry. But this is already capitalism at its finest and luckily enough, Philippine society has not gone down that path due to Filipino consumers lacking the funds to indulge in such products. It’s easy to conclude that the pursuit of feelings of happiness can be costly and dangerous, which really shouldn’t be the case. People just have to embrace the fact that we can’t always be blissfully happy or be in a state of euphoria all the time especially when there are situations when we should be in a somber mood.

Researchers in Melbourne, Australia have discovered that “positive thinking could be helpful, but you shouldn’t force it. For most people, deliberate attempts to be optimistic compromise their wellbeing.” In the book The Negative Side of Positive Thinking the author Simon Moss states “all these theories about positive thinking is overrated. Generally speaking, there are some people that generally think positive but if people are anxious then positive thinking is damaging.”

His statement is proof that Filipinos in general cannot and should not claim to be always “happy” despite their obstacles because the notion of a whole society that is always in a permanent of state of bliss is just pure fantasy. Filipinos who force fellow Filipinos to feel happy and patriotic about shallow achievements like Manny Pacquiao’s win or Charice Pempengo’s guest appearance in Glee are just being bullies.

It’s a shame this obsession with feel good moments lead Filipinos to an unhealthy mindset. We become permanent catatonics whose brains are always tethered to entertaining spectacles. It is for this reason that incompetent public servants keep getting voted in as head of the Republic like President Noynoy Aquino because Filipino voters just accept whatever is being fed to them by the media. They don’t use their critical analysis anymore because they don’t get a chance to when they are always preoccupied with having a good time.

We should learn to be more serious about our life and the condition we are in. At the state our country is in, we can’t always pursue having a good time especially since most of us don’t even have the means to have one or don’t even deserve it. (pasted from antipinoy.com)

(Author: Ilda is agent provocateur, etc...)

10
World Daily News / GM recalling 1.4 million vehicles for fire hazard
« on: June 09, 2010, 06:14:54 AM »
GM recalling 1.4 million vehicles for fire hazard

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- General Motors is recalling 1.4 million vehicles in the U.S. to fix a problem in which fires can be caused by a heated windshield washer fluid system.

GM recalled 944,000 vehicles for this same problem in 2008, but now says the fixes it made aren't stopping new fires. Now GM dealers will simply disable the system altogether.

The system is designed to heat windshield washer fluid in order to better clear the vehicles' windshield on cold days..

In a recall action announced in August 2008, GM dealers installed a fuse to shut off the system in the event of a short circuit.

A short circuit in the circuit board that controls the system caused a grounding wire to overheat. That led to smoke and the malfunctioning of other electrical components.

There have new reports of "thermal incidents," including five fires, in vehicles that have had the repair, according to documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The problem in the current recall is unrelated to the one involved in the first recall. In the new cases, the overheating is not being stopped by the fuse, GM spokesman Alan Adler said.

"While our analysis shows the number of incidents is very small compared with the number of vehicles on the road, we want our customers to have complete peace of mind," Jeff Boyer, GM's executive director of safety, said in a statement.

There have been no reports of accidents or injuries as a result of the problem, GM said.

The company that originally supplied the system to GM, MicroHeat Inc., was forced into bankruptcy following the 2008 recall. The company reorganized under the name AlphaTherm and now sells heated washer fluid systems directly to vehicle owners.

Joe Trubak, general manager of AlphaTherm, was unaware of the new recall until informed of it by CNNMoney.com. He was not immediately able to comment on the matter.

The vehicles affected by the recall are the Buick Enclave and Lucerne; Cadillac CTS, DTS and Escalade; Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe and Traverse; GMC Acadia, Sierra and Yukon; Hummer H2; and Saturn Outlook.

All the vehicles are from 2006 to 2009 model years. Owners will receive $100 from GM to compensate them for loss of the feature.

Owners who think their vehicle may be involved in this recall can call NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236 or contact GM customer service for their vehicle brand. To top of page

11
Inspiration & Hope / PRAYER FOR OUR NATION (by Billy Graham)
« on: May 26, 2010, 11:17:43 PM »
download?mid=1%5f185976%5fAGFhxEIAAHjWS%2fxqewzMKBzTWjk&pid=2&fid=Inbox&inline=1 - Show Posts - glacier_71

BILLY GRAHAM --- PRAYER FOR OUR NATION

'Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance.  We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. 
We haveneglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem. 
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition. 
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. 
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. 

Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us free. Amen!'

12
Science and Research / How do you 'go' in space?
« on: May 21, 2010, 12:28:33 PM »
How do you 'go' in space?

by Katherine Scarrow

If you've always wanted to know how astronauts take care of business miles above the Earth's surface, you're not alone. According to NASA astronaut , 'how do you go in space?' is the number one question asked by school kids.

In the YouTube clip below, Mike speaks with STS-132 Mission Specialists and as they learn to use the shuttle Atlantis' 'space potty.'

It's a remarkably complex process that involves hoses, mirrors, anatomy-based funnels, toe restraints and an 'alignment camera.'

But it's not necessarily as bad as it sounds. In fact, it might be a bit fun. In a funny moment, Mike compares the motion to Peter Fonda in 'Easy Rider' on a chopper.

Shuttle's Toilet Requires Special Training

13
 Champ on campus - one of the world's most popular athletes is trading his instruments of ring murder (boxing gloves) for a tablet pc and become the world's most popular . . . student.

WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (51-3-2) will continue his pursuit of a bachelor's degree by taking part-time classes at the University of the Philippines, specifically at the UP College of Public Administration and Governance.

   The congressman-elect from Saranggani Province (in the southern Philippines), with a constituency of 270,000+ relying on their new representative for a better livelihood, expressed his desire to learn the Philippine Congress' legislative protocols.

Congressmen in the Philippines are introduced with the title "Honorable" in formal legislative and social functions (i.e., "the Honorable, Congressman Manny Pacquiao").

The 15th Philippine Congress is likely to consider critical agendas and reforms over the next three-year cycle as it attempts to work with President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino.  There are important items on the national budget, education, national security, energy projects, and economic initiatives.  Secondly, current President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a potential Speaker of the House, may re-initiate a charter change drive to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

   Will the boxing champ join a fraternity, or create one?  Unlike the 1986 classic comedy movie "Back to School" featuring comedian Rodney Dangerfield, there probably there is no time for wild parties or keg stands for the Pacman.  And unlike most classmates who will be in their early 20s, Pacquiao can have assistants carry his backpack and school supplies.

In the modern age of the fortunate, however, the pencil sharpener has been replaced by laptops, tablet pc's, and digital recorder.  We are confident that Pacquiao, with his studious preparation, will not be involved in an academic cheating scandal for which one can serve some punitive detention.

14

Chinese Snap to Attention for Bra-Removing Contest

(May 18) -- Since the dawn of women's apparel, men have been trying to score by unhooking brassieres. This contest, however, brings the game to a whole new level.

A Chinese shopping mall hosted a competition to find out who could unclasp bras the fastest using just one hand.

Competitors raced to undress a line of eight masked women who stood on a stage in the Guangzhou mall wearing bras and short-shorts.

Eager participants entered the contest to fulfill their dreams and have the chance to take home a mall gift certificate for 1,000 yuan -- about $146 -- according to AsianPopular.com.

Event organizers insisted the May 8 event didn't objectify women -- it educated men.

"The workings of a woman's bra are a mystery for many men -- this activity helped more people understand bra culture and explore its secrets," a mall spokesman told the Mumbai Mirror.

That might be the case, considering the fact that a female shopper took top honors by unclasping all eight bras in just 21 seconds.

The victor, who declined to give her name, said she might have had an unfair advantage over her male rivals, according to Fox Chicago.

"I didn't expect to win -- maybe it was because I get so much practice in my everyday life," she said.

1273845329948 - Show Posts - glacier_71


15
Photos Unlimited / Remember This When You Are ALONE...
« on: May 21, 2010, 01:03:47 AM »
hadza-man-spotting-game_11971_990x742 - Show Posts - glacier_71

Hadza Man, Tanzania

Photograph by Martin Schoeller

This Month in Photo of the Day: National Geographic Magazine Features

Long vistas and the dry season's withered vegetation enable keen eyes to spot game miles away. From a wind-bowed tree on a ridge, a man named Mahiya peers across rough Tanzania terrain where Hadza bands range.

16
World Daily News / Ninjas save Australia mugging victim
« on: May 21, 2010, 12:58:21 AM »

Hot pursuit ninjas save Australia mugging victim


Students at Sydney martial arts school Mr Soto with his ninja trainees saved Sydney mugging victim

Three muggers in Australia got the fright of their lives when their attack was interrupted by five black-clad ninja warriors.

The thieves were assaulting a German medical exchange student in Sydney, but the alleyway where they struck was next to a school for ninja warriors.

One of the pupils raised the alarm after noticing the attack.

Police say they have arrested two men and charged them with robbery, and are still looking for a third suspect.

"We just ran outside and started running at them, yelling and everything," said ninja master Kaylan Soto who instructed his students to take action.

"These guys have turned around and seen five ninjas in black ninja uniforms running towards them. They just bolted."

The victim suffered minor injuries, and the men stole his mobile phone and iPod, according to police.

Mr Soto said the man could have escaped the assault with some training in ninjitsu - a Japanese martial art. As for the attackers, "They just picked the wrong spot," he added.

17

Pakistan blocks access to YouTube in internet crackdown


Women supporters of Islamic political party Jamaat-e-Islami hold a placard during a protest against Facebook in Karachi May 19, 2010. Many Pakistanis are angry at the 'Draw Muhammad' competition

Pakistan has blocked the popular video sharing website YouTube because of its "growing sacrilegious content".

Access to the social network Facebook has also been barred as part of a crackdown on websites seen to be hosting un-Islamic content.

On Wednesday a Pakistani court ordered Facebook to be blocked because of a page inviting people to draw images of the Prophet Muhammad.

Some Wikipedia pages are also now being restricted, latest reports say.

Correspondents say it remains to be seen how successful the new bans will be in Pakistan and whether citizens find a way round them.

Because YouTube is a platform for free expression of all sorts, we take great care when we enforce our policies.


YouTube says it is "looking into the matter and working to ensure that the service is restored as soon as possible". The site was briefly blocked in Pakistan in 2008 - ostensibly for carrying material deemed offensive to Muslims.

Facebook said on Wednesday that the content did not violate its terms.

There have been protests in several Pakistani cities against the Facebook competition.
'Derogatory material'

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority said it had ordered internet service providers to "completely shut down" YouTube and prevent Facebook from being viewed within Pakistan.

It said the move came only after "all possible avenues" within its jurisdiction had been used.

Countries, companies and even individuals can easily block various websites if they choose. China has a notorious firewall in place to control internet activity and many Western organisations choose to block access to social networks in the office.

In this case, Pakistan will probably have instructed its internet service providers (ISPs) to prevent any pages containing the phrase "youtube.com" in the address from loading on web browsers.

There are various ways of implementing a block and sometimes it can go awry - Pakistan accidentally pulled YouTube offline around the world in 2008 when it tried to implement an internal ban by "hijacking" the youtube.com address in order to re-direct links to a different page.

There are also ways to duck underneath a ban - most commonly by accessing the internet via a "proxy" server based abroad. This can fool an ISP into thinking a computer is actually based in another country and therefore not subject to the ban.

"Before shutting down (YouTube), we did try just to block particular URLs or links, and access to 450 links on the internet were stopped," said PTA spokesman Khurram Ali Mehran.

"But the blasphemous content kept appearing so we ordered a total shut down."

One of the links blocked is to a BBC News website article about Pakistani soldiers apparently beating Taliban suspects in a video posted on Facebook.

A YouTube spokesperson said: "YouTube offers citizens the world over a vital window on cultures and societies and we believe people should not be denied access to information via video.

"Because YouTube is a platform for free expression of all sorts, we take great care when we enforce our policies. Content that violates our guidelines is removed as soon as we become aware of it."

The controversy began with the Facebook feature called "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day". Depictions of the Prophet are forbidden in Islam.

A message on the item's information page said it was not "trying to slander the average Muslim".

"We simply want to show the extremists that threaten to harm people because of their Muhammad depictions that we're not afraid of them."

The page contains drawings and caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad and characters from other religions, including Hinduism and Christianity.

"Such malicious and insulting attacks hurt the sentiments of Muslims around the world and cannot be accepted under the garb of freedom of expression," Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said about the page.

Facebook said in a statement that it would take action if any content "becomes an attack on anyone, including Muslim people", but that in this case its policies were not violated.

"Facebook values free speech and enables people to express their feelings about a multitude of topics, even some that others may find distasteful or ignorant," the statement said.

A hotline has been set up in Pakistan, asking members of the public to phone in if they see offensive material anywhere.

Islamic parties say they are planning nationwide protests in Pakistan.

Five people were killed in the country in 2006 during violent demonstrations following publication of Muhammad cartoons in a Danish newspaper.

18
Technology / Google 'Screwed Up' as U.S. Weighs WiFi-Spy Probe
« on: May 21, 2010, 12:52:21 AM »

Sergey Brin Says Google 'Screwed Up' as U.S. Weighs WiFi-Spy Probe

But Brin's mea culpa may not damp the outrage spreading from Europe to the U.S. over the breach. Even as he spoke, two U.S. lawmakers wrote the Federal Trade Commission asking whether Google's actions were illegal. And Reuters reported that the Dept. of Justice is also "interested" in looking into the matter.

"We Screwed Up"

Speaking at a Google developer conference in San Francisco Wednesday, Brin used blunt terms to address the growing controversy, which erupted after Google said it had mistakenly collected users' browsing activity over unsecured WiFi networks.

"We screwed up, and I'm not making excuses about it," Brin said, according to multiple reports. "Trust is very important to us, and we're going to do everything we can to preserve it."

"We do have a lot of internal controls in place, but obviously they didn't prevent this error from occurring," Brin said, according to ZDNet. "We are putting more internal controls in place and bringing in third parties to work on this issue, as well."

Lawmakers Call For FTC Probe

Meanwhile, two influential lawmakers, Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, and Rep. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, wrote to the FTC on Wednesday asking the agency to determine whether Google's actions violated the law or consumer protection rules. The two lawmakers are co-chairmen of the House Privacy Caucus.

"Are Google's actions illegal under federal law?" the lawmakers asked in the letter, which included other pointed questions such as, "Do Google's actions form the basis of an unfair or deceptive act or practice that constitutes harm to consumers?"

An FTC spokesperson declined to comment. A Google spokesperson would only say, "We're continuing to talk to the relevant authorities to answer their questions and concerns."

Experts: Don't Destroy Potential Evidence

The possibility that Google's "war driving" may have violated the law heightens the scrutiny of the data Google collected, which could be used as evidence in any legal proceeding. Google has already begun destroying the data -- in some cases at the behest of governments, including Britain's -- but privacy experts told DailyFinance this week that Google should preserve the data and turn it over at government request.

"The problem here is that there are criminal laws at issue, and there is a real question as to whether Google violated those laws," says Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "If it did, the evidence is in the information Google collected. Google has tried to minimize the data it collected, calling it snippets or fragments. But that's a determination that needs to be made by a third party, possibly a prosecutor."

See full article from DailyFinance: http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/sergey-brin-says-google-screwed-up-as-u-s-weighs-wifi-spy-pro/19484338/?icid=sphere_copyright

19
Health and Food / Scientists Find What Makes Hair Turn Gray
« on: May 21, 2010, 12:49:51 AM »
What causes our silvery strands  is becoming less of a gray area to scientists.

Reported in the science journal Cell, researchers noted that gray hair is indeed a result of stress -- but not necessarily the emotional stress from a demanding job or an unruly teenager. Instead, gray hair can be caused by cell stress.

Stress to the cells surrounding the hair follicles can be caused by damaging agents such as chemicals, ultraviolet light and ionizing radiation. According to the study's lead author, Emi Nishimura, a single cell may encounter up to 100,000 events a day that damage the DNA of these follicles which are responsible for the hair's color. It's this type of "genotoxic stress" that depletes the melanocyte stem cells within hair follicles that are responsible for making pigment-producing cells.

"In this study, we discovered that hair graying, the most obvious aging phenotype, can be caused by the genomic damage response through stem cell differentiation, which suggests that physiological hair graying can be triggered by the accumulation of unavoidable DNA damage and DNA-damage response associated with aging through MSC differentiation," researchers reported in Cell.

And while they state that the majority of this damage is unavoidable, therefore making stress less of a factor in the color of your hair, it can have a significant role in the amount of hair we have. As we previously reported on Stylist, stress can cause hair to fall out, so all the more reason to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Stress aside, many experts agree that genetics still play the largest role in determining when you can expect the grays to start creeping in. "When hair turns gray -- and which hairs turn gray -- is genetically programmed," Jerry Shapiro, M.D., professor of dermatology at New York University's Langone Medical Center told AARP's Bulletin Today.

Other factors that can influence gray hair include: vitamin B12 deficiency, smoking, heart disease, low bone mass, certain tumors or thyroid disease. Vitiligo, a condition where the cells at the base of hair follicles that produce color are damaged or destroyed by an immune system disorder, can also result in premature grays. And, alopecia areata, a disorder where patches of non-gray hair are lost suddenly, can make it appear that someone turned gray overnight.


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