Friday, July 27, 2007

Tagged - Eight facts about Jego

Mother of pearl, Ive been tagged. By Sparks of Caffeine Sparks fame. Normally this blog is the black hole of tags, where memes get sucked in never to appear again, but this could be fun. It's the 8 Facts tag.

The Rules:
  1. In the 8 facts about [name], you share 8 things that your readers don’t know about you. At the end, you tag 8 other bloggers to keep the fun going. Each blogger must post these rules first.
  2. Each blogger starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  3. At the end of the post, a blogger needs to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
  4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
Now I might have trouble finding eight people to tag as per rule no. 3, but since this one doesnt promise indescribable pain and suffering if I break the chain, I suppose I can get away with tagging less than the required number. Here are my eight facts:

1) I can't fart silently. I suppose my sphincter isnt built that way. If I try to stealth-fart, I do not end up with a silent whoosh like normal people. I end up with something like putt-putt-putt-putt as I try to let loose a soundless one, fail, stop in mid fart, then try again, until all the gases are expelled. It takes too much effort so I gave up trying and head for the bathroom instead or if outdoors, walk a reasonable distance away from populated areas, preferably downwind.

2) And on the other end, I can burp at will. I'll swallow a bit of air and hold it in my upper esophagus just below the vocal chords and can let out a belch that would do Barney Gumble proud. My second daughter has inherited this skill, and at a tender age of three or four, we could do a duet of Kelly Rowland and Nelly's Dilemma with her belching the parts where Kelly goes oh.
No matter what I do (burp)
All I think about is you (burp)
3) I can move my ears. That's not such a difficult feat you say? I can move one ear at a time at will. The left alone, then the right alone, then both of them together for the finale.

4) Im a published author. A long time ago I wrote one short komiks story for a publishing house in Quezon city. Atlas publications I think it was. (Or was it the other one? They published Women's Home Companion magazine as well.) The same house that published Carlo J. Caparas's works. I saw artists drawing and inking panels and that thrilled me no end. I dont remember what the title of the piece was, and I dont remember where they published it, since I did it all on a whim and wasnt at all serious about it and just did it to see if I could make a few bucks. The story was about 2 friends who suddenly found themselves on opposite sides of the Philippine revolution against Spain and didnt have much action in it. It was all dialog and the editor said it was out of place for an 'action' komiks but he liked it anyway and decided to run it. He gave me some tips on how to write komiks, too. I got paid less than a hundred pesos and didnt submit any other stories. I somehow regret not doing so now. Who knows how it wouldve turned out. Oh well, water under the bridge.

5) My first trip overseas was in London. I spent a little less than 2 months there and I didnt see a single celebrity. Not one. Although I might have seen the narrator of Teletubbies once in a pub. I can't be sure it was him but he was wearing a smart business suit and was drunk and was singing the Teletubbies theme song and sounded exactly like the guy on the TV show. My next trip was to New York city and I spent a little under a month there and saw Liv Tyler walking on Park Avenue and might have seen Jerry Seinfeld in Newark airport.

6) My brothers and sister sing very well and all have performed on stage in concerts and stage plays. This kid is my nephew. I never developed the knack for singing. I guess it is a recessive gene that didnt take with me.

7) In high school I walked EDSA from Makati to Monumento, just to see if I could do it. I did and was sore for days. Several years later, I walked from Baclaran to our house in Caloocan because a pickpocket stole my wallet on a bus and I didnt have money for jeepney fare. This time I knew I could do it.

8) I dont like instant coffee. It's brewed coffee or tea. Instant coffee is an oxymoron.


Im tagging:

Baleeeew (Mag-update ka naman!)
Isa ka pa!! Mag update ka din!
Ryukenden and Time Bandit's blogs no longer exist (or have fallen into disrepair) so Im tagging them through Nothing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

New on the Links section

Blogging from the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, the newest link in the Beings section of the blog over there yonder on the right-hand side, Verisimilitude welcomes Caffeine Sparks to the growing list of Pinoy blogs (I only have Pinoy bloggers in the Beings section--sue me) I have commented on (which means theyre interesting). Check out Sparks's take on life as a working (post-graduate) student in Australia, and her take on what's going on back here in the islands from her computer over there down undah.


(Novelist, playwright, and multiple Palanca winner Dean Francis Alfar posts vignettes in his excellent blog Notes from the Peanut Gallery and I thought, I could do that.)

Eustaquio took the stand. Not 'took the stand' took the stand. I mean he walked on over to the stand where the bailiff swore him in and then sat on the chair in the stand. Which makes one wonder why we call it a stand. Shouldnt we be calling it a sit? Anyway, Eustaquio walked over to the stand and sat and prepared to testify, which amused Eustaquio no end, since the etymology of the word testify had to do with someone holding their testicles as a sign that they were telling the truth, if one were Roman, or had something to do with holding the testicles of the one youre swearing the truth to, if one were Hebrew. Testify, testicles, Eustaquio smiled to himself and started to visualize himself holding the balls of counsel for the defendant, Atty. Cuadrado, a fat, sweaty man in an ill-fitting barong, who kept wiping his brow with a monogrammed silk handkerchief. This image in his head disturbed Eustaquio immensely as he wasnt a homosexual as far as he can tell. So he tried to shake the image from his head by shaking his head rather vigorously.

"Are you allright, Professor Eustaquio?," asked Atty. Cuadrado.

"Yes. Yes, I am. My apologies," Eustaquio replied.

"Then let's proceed with your testimony, shall we?"

Testimony, testify, testicles, Eustaquio thought, and looked at the silk handkerchief coming up to the brow, then being pocketed, which brought Eustaquio's gaze to Atty. Cuadrado's fly, which was open. Eustaquio looked up at Atty. Cuadrado's face, mouth agape, blinked, and tried to shake the image from his head by shaking his head rather vigorously.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The master brain

I think to myself, "Raise your right hand" and sure enough it rises. Who is ordering my brain to fire the neurons that order my nerves to send signals to my muscles to raise my right hand? If the mind is just the brain, then the brain is doing this all by itself. There is nobody, no mind, ordering it to raise my right hand. Im a slave to my brain. I do whatever it wants me to do--Im a robot. There is no "I". The I is an illusion. The I is the brain's invention to make me feel good about being a slave to it, to make me feel in control. I cannot want to raise my right hand without the brain making me want to raise my right hand first. There is no free will. There is only the brain that wants to make more brains and to make more brains it has to fool the robot into feeling good about itself because if it doesnt feel good, then it won't get laid, because really who would want to boink a dour, depressing, bloke? The brain, my master, wants me (the me who thinks it's in control but who doesnt really exist) to be happy and funny and hopeful about the future because that way I'll keep working and not be despairing about how meaningless it all is because that's the kind of slave that has more chances of boinking and making more brains.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Money from nothing and the chicks aint free

Something we've all long suspected but couldnt quite believe to be true. Money comes from nothing. We are creating a black hole and feeding it. The escape velocity is becoming faster and faster and soon it'll be faster than the speed of light and there will be no escape.

This is how deep the rabbit hole goes.

From the Google video site:
Paul Grignon's 47-minute animated presentation of "Money as Debt" tells in very simple and effective graphic terms what money is and how it all is being created. It is an entertaining way to get the message out. The Cowichan Citizens Coalition and its "Duncan Initiative" received high praise from those who previewed it. I recommend it as a painless but hard-hitting educational tool and encourage the widest distribution and use by all groups concerned with the present unsustainable monetary system in Canada and the United States.
Take 45 minutes out of your schedule and see this video. And then figure out what we have to do next.

"And I sincerely believe... that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." Thomas Jefferson.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Good luck, Becks

The only way we can boost Philippine football is if the Americans embrace it, we being little brown brothers and all, and right now there is no bigger name in football--oh alright, soccer--than David Beckham, probably the best set piece man in the world.

I say forget about us being world beaters in basketball. We're training a Philippines basketball team, pouring money into them, for what? A shot, an outside shot, a one-in-a-gazillion shot, of winning one, single, solitary medal in the Asian championships, and a ultra-micro-nano-chance of winning a medal in the Olympics, which is this present Philippine team's dream. No wonder the Philippine Olympic Committee favors the boxers. On a good day, our boxers, most of them from poor families, can come up with up to four or five medals in international tournaments.

Football is different. You can be 5 foot 3 and still be the best in the world. Ask Maradona. We're quick, we're smart, and sipa is the national sport. We're naturals. Our kids only need a place to play. In Thailand, there are sipa courts and football courts everywhere. Even small futsal-sized courts under the freeways.

So good luck, Becks. I hope you can turn the Yanks on to the beautiful game. This way we can put our colonial mentality to good use by picking up the game ourselves after you get the Yanks to go out and start kicking that polka dot ball.

Update: I tried googling for images of David Beckham to use in this post. I would advice against it. But if you want to see why, try it yourself. Enter david beckham on a Google image search.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Evolution at work, maybe

From the comment section in Vox Day's blog, I was pointed to this article in the BBC News site. The headline reads Butterfly shows evolution at work. It says
Scientists say they have seen one of the fastest evolutionary changes ever observed in a species of butterfly. The tropical blue moon butterfly has developed a way of fighting back against parasitic bacteria. Six years ago, males accounted for just 1% of the blue moon population on two islands in the South Pacific. But by last year, the butterflies had evolved a gene to keep the bacteria in check and male numbers were up to about 40% of the population.
My emphasis. Now the impression one gets from the article is that the blue moon butterly (Hypolimnas bolina) developed a brand new gene in less than 6 years. A blink, nay, a micro-blink of an eye in evolutionary time scales. Evolution at work indeed, on the express lane. Needless to say, biologists are pretty excited.

Gregory Hurst, a University College researcher who worked with Mr Charlat, added: "We usually think of natural selection as acting slowly, over hundreds of thousands of years.

"But the example in this study happened in the blink of the eye, in terms of evolutionary time, and is a remarkable thing to get to observe."
Indeed it is. IF it is what they say it is, that is, if it indeed a new gene that developed that quickly in response to the bacteria, as the first breathless paragraphs of the article seem to be saying. But

The researchers are not sure whether the gene that suppressed the parasite emerged from a mutation in the local population or whether it was introduced by migratory Southeast Asian butterflies in which the mutation already existed.
Right. It might not be a new gene after all. They have to examine other populations of the butterfly first to make sure that the gene does not exist in those populations. So the headline should say Evolution at work... maybe. We're still checking. The article reports rapid natural selection as if it were a remarkable thing. It isnt. An epidemic would wipe out individuals that arent resistant to the disease, and leave those with resistance to breed, and the epidemic could do that quite rapidly indeed. What would be remarkable is if they somehow determine that the gene is indeed new, because that could indicate that a specific code was developed as a response to the bacteria.

I dont know if this article is unwitting propaganda in the ongoing battle between the Darwin adherents and their opponents or is just simple tabloid sensationalism, the kind like this one here.

Update (16 July 2007): The link I provided to CNN's squid story in the last paragraph above has since been corrected. It now reads 'Huge squid washes up on beach' instead of 'Bus-sized squid...'.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

One friggin year

A year ago, three jabronis got together and decided to put up a blog site that could act as a repository for the latest inanities they found in the internet and A Blog About Nothing was conceived, with the first post on 16 July 2007.

The site came about because they decided, despite the miles separating them, to keep in touch via email (with a fourth jabroni, who later decided to join the blog as well for lack of a better thing to do, I suppose) about the silly stuff they stumbled upon while surfing the world-wide web. This took the place of the ribbing and horsing around they did when they all were working in the same company in Makati. It is quite natural that a blog would be born out of this enterprise. Since they were having too much fun, they decided to share their discoveries to the world at large.

The site is sometimes vile, sometimes crass, and most definitely not PC. It is, in short, our inner primate frat-boys showing despite the decent, upstanding citizen personas we exhibit to the outside world.

Consider this a warning. I hope you have fun.