South Korean School Robots + Filipino Pilots = YES.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

SEOUL—Controlled remotely by English teachers in the Philippines, the 29 robots wheeled around the classroom while speaking to the students, reading books to them and dancing to music by moving their head and arms.

About one meter high with a TV display panel for a face, the robots have started teaching English to youngsters at a South Korean city, in a pilot project designed to nurture the nascent robot industry, according to education officials.

The robots display an avatar face of a Caucasian woman and the Filipino teachers can see and hear the children via a remote control system.


HOLY SHIT. I didn't really think it would happen in my lifetime but it did. Robots have entered the previously sacrosanct field of the academe, and to top it off, Filipinos are given the helm of these new mecha-teacher. And I thought MY teachers in gradeschool were dangerous.

I remember this one time, my classmate was tooling around in the fashion only a third grade could think of (hint: it involves more than the daily dosage of exposure to uncircumcised penis) and because of that, my teacher went apeshit. She started pulling on the poor dude's sideburns so hard he still probably has his face twisted from the pain up until now with his right patilla growing twice as fast as his left. He was made to stand on a desk with his pants down afterwards just to reinforce the idea that our dear Teacher was all business. This happened, of course, back when people still had the balls to exercise their god-given right to punish shitty children so they can grow up obeying the law with the knowledge that their sideburns might very well be pulled on by a brutish teacher from the depths of gradeschool hell.

Now think about it. All that happened without the aid of modern technology. Had our teacher been using a robot, the sideburn pulling would've been twice more brutal, and trust me, you do not want the force used in pulling your sidewhiskers measured in Pounds PER SQUARE INCH. If that does happen, I expect your brains to come out of the pores of your skin from the yanking.

From what the article suggests, even though right now the teachers are for preschool only and serve as remote mascots for children, the future just might be more terrifying (for school kids anyway) . Sure, they're dancing now. But what's going to prevent the motors that make these bots dance from breakdancing your bones six ways from fifth period?

Since I have waaaay too much time on my hands, I've prepared a short pros and cons list of robots replacing teachers:


1. Teachers will no longer try to sell you shit in class, like candies, handicrafts, and life insurance (which is ironic because most likely you only need this to protect yourself from overzealous disciplinarians)

2. Brownouts mean more freetime - unless we're going up against battery operated instructors, in which case we just have to take out the Motolite guy.

3. SUBTITLES! I can't imagine how much knowledge gets unknowlingly lost ever year just because the teacher speaks with a voice that seems to be coming from a ghost who has strepthroat. I've heard ants chattering louder than some teachers. Honestly, this would be so awesome.


1. It'd be a lot harder to come up with monickers and insults for teachers if the robots look the same. Where's the humanity in not being able to call your teacher "bangkay na nabuhay"?

2. In the same light, there'd be no more sexual fantasies involving teachers - unless the manufacturers of the robots are the same ones who sell sexbots online, in which case I suppose this should be a pro instead of a con. (if that's your sort of thing)

3. Would you really go against a robot? Really? Clearly you have not been watching a lot of Robocop. Good luck buddy.

Filipino Street Foods: A Review

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Filipino Street Foods is the perfect storm of the traditional values of cheapness, empowerment, and playing chicken with Death himself, just because. Street food was life's answer to what probably was a common question for every kid like me who did not bring lunch to school: "How do I enable myself to spend money to buy usless shit like cheapass plastic figurines and fake trading cards AND not starve to death in the long run?" Thanks to street foods, I managed to complete my childhood, indulging in child-versions of adult gambling problems, and still survive on my meager allowance for almost 10 years. If I could account for how much streetfood I ate back then, I suppose it'd be around 30% of my bodymass. That said, I suppose I have enough experience and expertise to do this review, because if I ate more than I probably have, I'd be dead from dysentery already.

Scramble - Scramble is one of the more fancy dessert-drinks of my childhood, just above "iron-enriched" icetubig (a.k.a refrigerated rustwater) and slightly below the level of Sago-gulaman-ipis (which is usually a few pesos more expensive). It's the Zagu before people knew Zagu, and it went for cheap. Back in 1991 it was 1 peso for the sachet size, 2 pesos for the cup, which is often reserved for elitist asshole kids who'd grow up ordering Starbucks Macchiato Aformente Venti to compensate for their shirveled gonads. I never really knew what made them pink, which kind of reminded me of eggs laid by snails. Not that I'm suggesting anything. I'm just saying. Scramble is awesome, specially with brown cow. But it's like sex with a snowman (or woman, depending on whether you are sexually confident enough to not mind) - twenty seconds after you stick your straw in, you realize you're just fucking with nothing but lots of ice.

Fishballs - Fishballs are like the staple food when it comes to "tusok-tusok" (in english "fuck utensils"). Whether or not fishballs actually contain fish has been an enduring question over the centuries, as the constitution of the average fishball is 40% air, 50% oil (that will be drained the moment you dip it in the sauce) and 10% lardy substance of ailen origin. Sauces come in three different flavours: sweet, spicy, and sweaty, the availabilty of the last one depending on whether or not it's been a terribly hot day for the vendor.

As a matter of trivia that is of no value to me or you or the enrichment of this article, cholera, hepatitis, amoebiasis and typhoid (in the order that my friends acquired the disease over the years) are often acquired not through the fishball itself but in the dipping bottle of the sauces, because sometimes the water used for the sauces is no different from the water that gets stuck in the gutter after raining for a while, also some assholes dip their fishballs again after taking a bite. Assholes.

Dirty delicious - honestly, I still don't know what they are called. Dirty delicious are like the poor man's meatballs, with barely a hint of meat. They're supposedly ground up meat, some veggies, and lots of flour then deep fried. Dirty Delicious is here for the sole fact that it actually manged to outcheapen the fishballs. At the time fishballs were 25 cents a pop, dirty delicious was 8 pieces a PESO. It's that fucking cheap. Like, when was the last time you actually were able to get anything more than 5 pieces for a peso? I can't even buy that much bond paper on the same coin. Anyway, don't get wrong. It's here because it's also delicious. I don't know what they put in the balls. I'd say cocaine, but the pricetag suggests some cheaper alternative, like paint thinner.

Bopis - Bopis is supposedly cow/pig innards. The most awesome thing about bopis is that unlike Fishballs and dirty delicious, it's actually meat youre eating - although the low price makes you think twice about what what kind you're eating. None the matter, bopis is likewise addicting, and practically dangerous since animal innards aren't served often on the menu for a reason - they're hard to clean properly and even harder to sterilize for human consumption. Nonetheless, fuck yeah. Note that the bopis you eat as a meal, the ground up kind that looks like half cooked sisig, is not the same bopis that gets fried with the stick. The latter, though cheaper, is infinitely more delicious. There are two kinds of bopis on a stick. The first kind is the short stick type, which comes cheaper but with smaller pieces of meat, and then the longer stick type which costs three times more but has more meat, and presumably, less dubiousness. I like surprises though, so personally I prefer the short stick.

Kikiam/Squidball - I'm grouping these two together because they're almost always sold in the same stall. Nowadays though, they're also sold with fishballs. Anyway Kikiam and squidballs are like signature brands for street foods, because they're more expensive than the usual and *gasp* the squidball sometimes remotely tastes like actual squid. (I swear, there was this one time, I took a bit and actually tasted a piece of squid. It was either that or my gums were falling off). What kikiam is made of is also a big mystery for me, and even the Chinese who supposedly introduced us to the turd-shaped snack hundreds of years ago, along with Taho and counterfeit DVDs.

Closing remarks:

I won't cover ihaw-ihaw foods here anymore since they're already an article on their own. Maybe some other time.
As a word of caution, I'd like to say that these foods are eaten with a good dose of risk - kind of like playing hopscotch with Death and Hepatitis. If you eat them with abandon, it's only a matter of time before something fucks up your digestive system and force it to shoot vomit out of your mouth at highway speeds and make you shit half of your intestinal track in 3 seconds flat. The reason why I was able to endure eating these things is that I've always been a dirty kid, and I was constantly exposed to dirty food. Let's just say my tolerance for these things are higher than average. If possible, stay away. But then again, it's not like we Filipinos ever let trivial things like amoebiasis get the better of our stubborn recklessness now, do we?


Monday, December 27, 2010

Okay, I know it's a bit too early for these things. I still have a couple more working days to go before I can really say 2010's over and done with. And okay, I am once again going off the usual "talk about anything other than me", but I figger I might as well do this while my alcohol level still permits me to remember as much as I can.

Here are the 10 biggest things that happened to me this year:

1. Ragnaboards is dead. Prose is not.
I suppose I never really started appreciating writing fiction until Ragnaboards. (To the guys at The Gang, you know what I'm talking about. No hard feelings) That was back in 2004. A few finished novels, countless shorts, and even more unfinished slipshoderies later, Ragnaboards closed up shop for good late this year. Along with it, I let go of the moderatorship that I saw as a sort of payback to the community. Of course, this doesn't mean I'm stopping writing. Matter of fact, Chemical Manila is still, surprisingly, on track. The community's still alive and well too in the new boards, though my new work's limiting the time I get to spend there.

2. I am out of the stock market.
I made a lot of mistakes earlier this year, and I suppose the biggest blessing I have is that my mistakes are calculated ones and did not send me to the streets. I'm chalking those things up to experience, and I'm full well ready of the next round. When that round comes. Until then, I'm only crunching on long term hold and watching by the sidelines.

3. I am in the bonds market.
My mom was nice enough to introduce me to the less violent but much more financially obligating bonds market. So far, so good, though at some point this year, I could've cashed in for some serious additional income (hint: five smileys). I didn't, because I just couldn't see where else to place my eggs. As far as global economy goes, we're far from out of the woods. Better safe than sorry.

4. I finally got work printed, officially, with my name on it.
Thanks to my good friend Pao, I finally managed to get into print. No more ghost writing, no more half-baked attempts, the gig at Statement magazine was the real thing for me. Granted, it did not last as long as I would've wanted it to, but thanks to the experience I got from it, I think I can manage to capitalize on it already when I can. FHM, here I come? Don't count on it anytime soon, but don't count it out either.

5. I quit my job.
Five years in the industry is a long time. A lot can happen during that time. That's longer than highschool, or college (unless you're on a specialized course, or just particularly slow on the uptake) That's the time I spent in my last company. I suppose I've said a lot about that subject already, but to be honest, even now, I still haven't found that "new direction" I was looking for when I left. One thing is for sure though - I have no regrets.

6. I've started laying the foundation for one of my end goals.
This. I'm guessing this will be the centerpiece of next year for me. I can't reveal a lot here yet, but I'll keep those in the loop well posted.

8. I have a new computer.
It cost me an entire month's salary but I'm loving the shit out of this baby. Now if only I can catch up with five years worth of lost gaming.

9. I've moved out to a place of my own.
It's a bit late in the year but it's finally happened. I honestly don't know what to make of it yet, but it feels both sad but liberating. I guess this is something I can only talk about after a year or so, but it's already altering a lot of aspects of my life even as early as now. For better or worse? I suppose it depends on whether or not my broadband speed improves. Just kidding. Okay, maybe not. Seriously, this shit is slow.

10. Graphic Fiction Awards
After almost a year of waiting for results, Neil Gaiman finally moved his ass to finish the contest that went on hiatus. The short film I made with my cuz Gharawi is the first for both of us, but it gave us a lot of experience. Also, the free beer during the awards night, and the idea that we're VIPs for that event was pretty fuckin' A. We didn't win in the end, and the best movie (the one with an "Underwater crew" of five people) only won up to the first runner up. Yeah, they thought there weren't anything worth picking that year. This coming from the delegate judges whose works are "ekis", "dos ekis", and "gagamboy". Yeah, I'm talking shit now. And yes, I have problems with the judges. What the hell, right?

It's been an interesting year. That much I can say. Here's to the next one.

Left Behind is Pseudobiblical BS

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Taken from's Letters To The Editor
IT’S BOTH sad and amusing that many presumably learned people, including quite a number whose bread-and-butter is writing, continue to poke fun at the “major, major” response given by Philippine contestant Venus Raj in the Miss Universe finals is a gross grammatical or syntactical blunder.

May I invite these people—both those who mimic Raj with malice and those who simply tease her in good faith—to get hold of the 10th book of the world-renowned, record-breaking 16-volume “Left Behind” series (over 70 million copies sold), which is a fictionalized account of biblical prophecy and of the End Times. On page 233 of “The Remnant,” one of the major characters in the book refers to a “major, major problem,” by which the character simply means that the problem at hand is quite serious.

The authors of the series are internationally acclaimed writers of English books. Dr. Tim LaHaye is a highly regarded theological scholar, educator and author of more than 70 books, some of them certified bestsellers. His co-author, Jerry B. Jenkins, is one of America’s most respected novelists, many of whose 100+ books are in the all-time best-seller lists of the New York Times, USA Today and other top publications. Their “Left Behind” series has been hailed as the best work in fiction form on eschatology and Bible prophecy.

Venus Raj, take heart—you are in distinguished company.

Northern Christian College,
Laoag City

I think my brain just died a little bit there.

Left Behind is something I imagine would come up if The Bible's Revelation mated with Twilight after a night of heavy partying and drinking. The amazingly dragged 16-volume saga talks about life after the Rapture, a non-canon Christian event where the bodies of "good" people get sucked magically into heaven while the less holy ones get "Left Behind". The series reads like the fleshing out of the "you just wait and see" holier-than-thou bullshit attitude of uppity Christians everywhere, as told by a sixth grader. The premise is reminiscent of the apocalyptic "What to do when Y2k hits" books that seemed to be all over the bookstore during the late 90s, except for Left Behind, it's still around to annoy friends of fundamentalists who like to recommend books.

I can understand the letter author's intent on defending Venus Raj for a booboo she had last AUGUST, even though, you know, everybody, including Venus has already moved on. What I can't understand is why, for fucks sake, would anybody want to use a minor phrase mentioned colloquially in a particularly retarded book series to justify a phrase that's classified as colloquial. Never mind the fact that Left Behind is particularly well known for its shoddy writing. Anybody who reads Left Behind and thinks it's the best thing since sliced bread clearly needs to start reading more books - or pretty much just any other book that doesn't rely on provocative doomsaying instead of actual narrative pedigree.

It's almost as if one fine morning, the good doctor was finally getting to read The Remnant and like a lightning on a cloudless sky, he sees an occurrence of "major major" in actual PRINTED form and then BOOM! He's got it all figured out. Five months late.

And the world has to freaking know.

How to build a hollowed-out pew and conceal yourself in St. Paul's Cathedral

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This often overlooked but indisputably valuable clandestine maneuver is a must learn for every individual who wishes to infiltrate social gatherings that normally exclude the bourgeois and social outcasts such as that one guy who insists that the Atari Jaguar could have been the best console of its time.

That said, here are the steps to successfully create and utilize a hollowed-out pew to conceal yourself in St. Paul's Cathedral:

1. Get soap. Lots of it. You don't know how many asses use those things. Also, soap is awesome.

2. Carefully obtain images of the standard pew at the cathedral of your choosing. If possible, try to obtain an actual sample to make modeling easier. Ideally, you have to do this when nobody is using the pew. And not during any service. If this is not possible, make sure you excuse yourself properly and return any churchgoer you may accidentally spirit off with the pew.

3. If you were unable to obtain a sample pew, pick a matured tree in your neighbor's yard and steal it in the middle of the night in a David Copperfieldy manner involving spotlights, a chainsaw, and a magic assistant named Debbie. Use it to build yourself a pew based on the images you obtained.

4. At this point, it will help if you are as thin as possible. Lay off the burgers, fries, and all-meat super burrito. Those things will kill you eventually, you know? Laxatives also does wonders.

5. Draw an outline of your body on a particularly thick section of the pew. If this does not exist, attach a you-sized wooden block to the pew as inconspiciously as possible. (Hint: label it "Donation box" if you cant figure out any other way to hide the block of wood and leave out a slit. This way you get your stealth AND more money for paying for a decent lawyer later on)

6. Start hollowing out like a shawshank motherfucker. A chisel works, but if you know your prison break movies, a spoon will do just fine, depending on how soon you need your ultimate disguise ready.

7. ???

8. Profit.

Spent 5 minutes banging at the keyboard to get this. Actually I'm just curious how many people will actually google this phrase based on Robotman/Bucholz's article.

Tips In Furnishing A New Condominium/Apartment

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

First of all, I'd like to lay out my credentials for writing this article. I honestly have no idea about interior decoration, or buying furniture, or the aesthetics of home living. My idea of interior decoration is buying lots of anime figurines and putting them into glass shelves while hoping that they'd one day appreciate enough to be actually worth being stored in such a fancy location. What I know about furniture placement and procurement, I learned from The Sims and Pet Society, and trust me, those are NOT good sources of information. Being a tool of the modern age, my idea of a home is one with a fast computer in it and a good internet connection. That said, I'll admit now that I am no authority when it comes to these things.


I know for a fact that save for a few overseasoned rich housewives and metrosexual homebodies, a lot of you are no better than me when it comes to these things. Which is why I think that my experience counts far more than Martha fucking Stewart. Because lets face it, fuck Martha Stewart.

1. If you're going for the "this looks like shot right out of a lifestyle magazine" look, prepare to shell cash. Lots of cash. A 28 square unit condo furnished with lavish Italian furniture would fetch you no less than 100,000 in main pieces alone. Honestly, prior to having to do this on my own, I didn't even know Italians built furniture made of anything other than bricks (as seen in any movie with Romans in it)
If you're shit out of budget like me, or just can't care, that's the only time you can fetch cheap.

2. Get a pencil, a measuring tape, and a notebook where you can place all your notes. Carry it with you ALL the time. You'll never know when good furniture will come up, like a fattened deer hopping out of the woods during hunting season - you'd look pretty stupid not having the right tools. Speaking of which, the moment you get your unit, start measuring every single polygon in the house. It will be invaluable later on.

3. Fastest way to figure out a good layout of the house is to go online and find a digital modeling software. There are tons out there, and I personally used One thing I'd like to note about these softwares are they're like politicians during a campaign - they're good for giving you an idea, but they're worth shit in practice. Still, an idea can never be a bad thing.

4. Unless we're talking about glass Chandeliers.

5. Use yarns and masking tape to outline the ideal sizes of furniture you want. By lining up your flooring with yarn, you get a better perspective of what your unit will look and feel like long before the furniture arrives. You can walk through the whole thing, and start figuring out where walking might prove tricky, or where sex will be awkward.

6. Take into consideration the locations of outlets. Most apartments and condos already have fixed outlets. Learn to budget them. Avoid clumping highpowered equipment like the aircon, ref, and television together to avoid accidental overloads. Common sense.

7. When buying televisions, players, and the like, avoid SM, Abenson, and other mall outlets. Visit smaller direct-import stores that can lop off up to a whopping 25% on the same models you see at the Mall. I honestly don't know how they keep those prices so low, but when you see a guy from SM shopping for supplies in the same store as you, you just know you're going to be able to bag a steal (hopefully not literally) I bought mine at AVX Harrison Plaza Manila. It's a pretty old, famous, credible place.

8. Perform modifications to your house in this order:
- Installations of major fixtures. Aircon, Water heaters, Vents, Shelving, Cabinets, Dividers
- Installation of minor fixtures. Coat hooks, door locks, Curtain placements
- Bringing in of furniture
- Bringing in of electronic equipment
- Personal stuff
- Women you met at the bar
Preferably in that order so as to not get dirt from the installation on the next piece of item you need to install.

Pink Screen Problem on HDMI Cable (A Technical Note)

I recently experienced having a Pink Screen issue on my 40BX400 Sony LCD screen. This happened after I connected it to my workstation's ATI Radeon 4870 HD computer. Everything on screen was shown with a pinkish hue, at resolutions 720p and 1080p. Oddly enough, when I changed to a DVI-to-HDMI connection, this problem did not happen.

After looking around the net, the following possible reasons were brought up:

1. Cable is broken - not my case since I remember I was already able to make it work the other day when this happened.

2. Video card is broken - again not the case, since the DVI-to-HDMI cable option was working, albeit with a significantly lower refresh rate.

3. TV reads the video as a component input instead of an HDMI input - strange bug, considering that I saw this happens on a whole range of flat screen TVs from different manufacturers. However, due to the lack of a better lead, I have come to believe that this is the cause of my problem.

I was able to fix the problem by plugging unplugging the HDMI cable from the TV side a couple of times. I understand, however, that this is a very stupid solution that offers no real explanation as to why the pink screen happened in the first place.

However, I'm glad to see that it works. Try it on your box too if ever this problem comes up. And if you have a better idea as to how we can prevent this, I'm all eyes/ears/ports.

The Epitomy of Lazy Humor

Monday, December 20, 2010

I gotta hand it to the author of Pupung. Whereas a lot of comics have to rely on a constantly evolving and varying delivery of wit and humor, Pupung has managed to stay in the business for as long as I can remember (I started reading it back when I was seven) using approximately five template jokes. Here are those five.

1. Pictured above, its about "Day" the fat kitchen assistant being associated with food, hidden food, or food used for functions other than eating.

2. Somebody from Pupung ends up looking like a non-Pupung personality.

3. Jordan the short guy is being a cheap, buys something that looks ridiculous.

4. An object goes missing and is found being used for something else.

5. The old guy just being old and shit

Not convinced?

Click Here. View by Series.

The wanton lack of creativity makes Jimmy Santos sound like Nikolai Tesla in inventiveness. At least the guy has the knack to not appear everyday doing the same jokes. No, Pupung on the other hand appears on newspapers every single weekday of the year. And he has been doing this for at least 15 years already. Hell, even as a kid I already figured that shit out. You'd think somebody will start calling that shit out or something.

No, Pupung has managed to stay serialized, syndicated, and criminally asinine. A lot of funnier comics have died off for less significant reasons. Meanwhile, Pupung has six books out, and a restaurant named after it.

That's what you call achievement, ladies and gents.

Maid Cafe in Malate

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The other day I was on my way to Robinson's Place Manila when I came across a house filled with huge streamers with anime characters with the inscription "MAID CAFE". It's right across Bellagio Square along Bocobo Street (the street right in front of Midtown Mall from the Pedro Gil exit). I got curious and took a quick look inside. Not to my surprise, I found girls dressed in maid outfits inside, standing around the front of what looked like a normal house (the quality of the girls and outfits in question, I can't testify for or against because I didn't want to linger around too long with my GF tagged along)

On the streamers near the door there were pictures of "themed" rooms like jail cell, torture chamber, school classroom, upper house of congress etc, akin to what they have in some motels (which I learned of through billboards, mind you). Needless to say, it's Malate. The postnotes of signages are in Korean and Japanese. The rooms are themed. The girls are in costume. It shouldn't take a doctorate degree in the obvious to figure that one out.

What's oddly disturbing is the anime streamers, some of which feature popular and current series which are easily recognizable and which innocent youth (if such exist) might misinterpret for something harmless.

I'll try to find out more about the place when I get the time.

Rizal Acquitted

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In a startling turn of events, on the same day that Hubert Webb has found himself acquitted of a crime that happened 19 years ago, and Hayden Kho found himself acquitted of a crime he's been repeatedly doing for five years now, the Coberresimo de Royal Audiencia has reversed its decision of finding Dr. Gat Jose Rizal guilty of conspiracy, sedition and rebellion - a good 114 years after the so called trial-of-the century. After a review of the cases filed, it was determined that Rizal's actions at that time were in fact supporting reverse of the situation and actually decried rebellion. The only reason the jury at the time found it otherwise was that one - they didn't have Rizal101 subject back then and two - Cesar Montano won't be born for another eighty or so years.

Public Static tried to reach Dr. Rizal for comment at the Rizal Park. "Sálgame de este ataúd!"* he says in muffled sounds. Haha, oh Rizal, you card.

*Get me the fuck out of this coffin, or something

Filipino Words and Meanings on Courtship/Love

Friday, December 10, 2010

Here are the meanings of a few words you might encounter in colloquial speech that you might not be too familiar with.

Kinakalantari - Inaagaw ang karelasyon ng ibang tao

Naniningalang pugad - nanliligaw

Dumidiga - Pumoporma

Nangangahoy - naghahanap ng liligawan

Namamangka sa dalawang ilog - Pinagsasabay ang dalawang katipan

Ulupong - Kobra, nanghaahas ng syota ng may syota

Talipandas - Mautak, in a very bad way

Tumutubol - Tumatae, natatalo sa pagibig

Nakikiapid - Nakikipagrelasyon sa taong meron nang relasyon

Pulot Gata - Pulot Gata

Mactan: Prologue

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Prologue: Dimenticato - The Forgotten

And for what, pray I ask of you, does a man perform incredible feats that are neither expected of him nor necessary for his preservation? Glory? Reassurance of his competence? Deluded grandeur of predestination? One can only wonder, for it is often that history remembers outcomes - but rarely intentions.

May 18, 1524. Malta.

This morning I woke up to the beating of my own frailing heart, clashing with the steady dripping of the tiled roof above my head. Rain comes and takes its toll on the human spirit. And though I am but in my thirties, my body groans and creaks just from rising from my cotton-mat bed as though I have been on this earth twice as many seasons. This enervation - it's almost nostalgic longing for my youth-filled days.

My name is Antonio Pigafetta, born of the affluent Pigafettas of Vincenza. I am a catographer, an astronomer, a geographer, and a linguist. Today is the second month that I have spent in this well-fabricated prison of invisible steel bars and political restraint.

I live in this room a guest to the noble duke of Florence, but the time I spend here is time spent as a captive of my own country. Outside the large oak doors are guards - to guard me or to prevent me from running away, I am not sure anymore - along with many other things that I've lost faith in.

Now I'm writing this personal account of the greatest story I've come to witness, this day, with the crudest of writing implement in hand and only the most diluted of ink. It pains me to share such a story in such form but I believe I have to put this into writing by any means.

Beside me is a window overlooking an old world gradually being changed by shifting powers, and beyond that, a blue sky encompassing a new discovered world unfolding before our very eyes. To my side, a golden cross full of scratches and an sizeable earring - testaments to the idea that though the world may change there are standards that will forever remain -


And men who will go to lengths unimaginable to uphold them.

This is my tale to tell, as a legacy of what I know.

My Company Christmas Parties, A Statistical Report

Monday, December 06, 2010

Number of parties attended: 7

Number of parties where I wore the same outfit: 3
Number of parties where I blacked out so hard I couldn't remember what I was wearing: 0.2 (not sure)

Number of parties where I danced like an idiot: 4
Number of parties where I danced like an idiot half naked: 1

Number of opening prayers lead: 3
Number of opening prayers lead unprepared: 3

Roles done during a party:
Prayer lead - 3
Co-Emcee - 1
Random committee dude - 1
Angry protester - 1

Number of times I said "This is the last time I'm helping out": 5

Themes Attended:
Masquerade - 2
70s - 1
Goth - 1
No theme - 2
Crippling poverty - 1

Major prizes won: 1
Oventoasters won: 3
Starbucks GCs won: I can't remember

Perimeter over diameter: 3.14

Angeli Flores of Blush

Thursday, December 02, 2010

A rather obscure contest I've been following lately has finally been completed. Project Lotus, a talent contest aimed at assembling the first Pan-Asian girl group has made its choices and chosen to represent our country is Angeli Flores, who people who are in the know are rooting for the most (even those who are not Filipino). I guess we have another potential world celebrity in the making.

So here's to Angeli Flores of Blush. Congratulations and more power to your group!

Kris Kringle Suggestions

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Let's face it. After a few years the whole "Something.." themes just get old. Here are a few more suggestions for monito/monitas Kris Kringles to shake up the whole game for yet another year of fussing over where to buy cheap shit wrapped in slightly used toilet newspaper.

Something Alive - Good for groups that are "game" and are willing to step out of the bounds of comfort. Bad if you're all squares, because chances are you'll all just end up buying, and receiving plants. Last time somebody tried to pull this in an IT company, a rabbit lay unclaimed, and several wildlife made a new habitat of our server room. Fun stuff - at least until somebody gets bit in the nads.

Something Deadly - It's always tricky to try and find something that's significant enough to qualify as deadly, but not so deadly enough as to have the ass of the giver arrested. Good for groups who don't have to go through full body scans when going to work/school (i.e. Airport staff, pilots, prisoners) but good for people who seem to harbor ill will towards each other, and mutual destruction is the only way out.

Something you will not mind dangling around your neck. - It should be something that the giver will not be afraid to dangle around their neck. As an additional bonus, require people to dangle whatever they receive for an entire day. Think of it as a social experiment. Will you give something less embarassing with the thinking that maybe everybody else is thinking the same thing or will it be otherwise?

Something functional AND edible - Let imaginations run wild. A lollipop can be a booger picker too. Bubblegum can be paste. Condom regulates populations and has various flavours. Pills... well nevermind.

Something old - boring stuff, but it'd be interesting what people can dig up, specially if it's in their backyard. Specially if their backyard happens to be a communist mass grave.


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