Monday, October 31, 2011

№ 55. Strong and Hard: 7 Billion

The human race is now 7 billion strong. But the ants easily outnumber us with a quadrillion (wikianswers) swarm from super colonies and some such megapoli (BBC News). They say that the population climb we are embarking is a steep curve. Alarm bells and Malthusian echoes are again being sounded to temper our fertile imaginations and inclinations. Many claim that the resources which are already stressed and stretched to irresponsible limits can dissipate further with nothing reserved for the future generations.

Yesterday we just visited the dead. After that long litany of titles, saints and honors such as the "Rose of Sharon", "All ye holy Angels and Archangels" and "we beseech Thee hear us", we went for a stroll. 

We noticed that it was a little less crowded, maybe because, this year, our family rituals were advanced by two days---before the November 2 crowds. There were also several vacant niches marked by a red square with a Chinese character for "Fu" or luck. The resting spaces were still empty because the beneficiaries were still living. 

Still, even with millions passing away, the rate of population increase has outpaced the death rate. Is October 31st a happy day to celebrate the 7 billion living before our official days for the dearly departed: All Saints's and All Souls's (7 Billion)?

I hope we're really lucky to be alive. And, with such red hot luck, I also trust that the tides bring us alternative thinking, food supply and energy. There should be enough for everyone. That's an imperative and not just an option. Oh well/hell.

Monday, October 24, 2011

№ 54. Dreadlines


"The most final of deadlines; a critical target date which, when missed, plunges a project deep into a terminal spiral and you in the crapper.

The deadline was last Thursday but I ain’t sweating it. Dreadline’s still next week." (predatorinchief)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

№ 53. To Remember Is To Suffer

N is for noir, nimbus, nitrogen and nocturnes, from Lettrines

I had read about this film in Gibbs Cadiz's "Forgiveness in the Age of Terror".

A few weeks back, I searched and grabbed a torrent. And when I finally decided to have time, sit down and watch the Cannes Grand Prix winner, the subtitles were missing! I thought, this couldn't be another one of my "French 4: A Nightmare on Kostka" specimens.

Flashback to college.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

№ 52. 99%

The Ninety Nine Percent, the dangling One Percent and the great divide.

99% Fur                        1% Monster
99% Blue                      1% White
99% Funny                    1% Hungry                 
99% Cute                      1% Bitter

from VodkaMom

Thursday, October 13, 2011

№ 51. Star Wars

Back in the early 21st century, Spider-Man 1 was shown in tandem with the much maligned Star Wars Prequels (I, II, III). My friends were surprised why I preferred the Lucas film over the arachnid marvel. Spidey was on many accounts better told and more engaging. The prequels were a disappointment, read: Jar Jar Binks.

Jar Jar

First, I'm a sucker for sweeping strokes and the macro-enterprise. The allusions to the aging Roman Empire on the brink of collapse, the Senate horsetrading and grandstanding, clash of ideals and ideology, the memory of Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (1980s!), hyperdrive and  light saber proved too strong a pull towards the dark side.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

№ 50. Steve Is Risen Interface (SIRI)

Tsk, tsk. Not an iPhone 5, as many were hoping---to douse the dour mood, but a mere 4s. Regardless, the reviews are mostly glowing. Steve Jobs must be mighty smug somewhere at the pearly gates or by the black river.

Let me glow with anticipation, then. Someone from Greenbelt Apple Store told me it'll probably be available by December this year. Somebody loan me some. Quick!

SIRI, the acronym for 4S's voice command interface (aka robot assistant) has excellent feedback. I see possibilities for SIRI!

I am a kibitzer by avocation. So here's an excerpt of the Wired review, with a liberal helping of my side comments (SIRI Version 2):

№ 49. Voodoo

Meet Iya.

Iya's skin and thick dreadlocks are black from the Tayabas sun. On occasion, she serves mild tea foraged at the lush knees of Mt. Banahaw's greens.

She refuses to read palms on Fridays and Saturdays. That's when she goes to Quiapo to buy buttons from Paulo and sundry from her favorite suki.

Since Paulo doesn't accept money for the buttons, Iya gave him her striped cat, James. She wears a purple heart to remember her favorite pet.

On Sundays, you can see Paulo playing with James near Plaza Miranda. Sometimes, Iya joins them.

PS: Iya used to be a voodoo doll but she has since converted.

James the striped cat @ Mackerel

Monday, October 10, 2011

№ 48. Man/Bird on a Wire

But I swear by this song
And by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee

I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
He said to me, "You must not ask for so much"
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door
She cried to me, "Hey, why not ask for more?"

Oh, like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free

---Leonard Cohen's "Bird on a Wire"

№ 47. A Missing Piece of Alexandria

from doctorbulldog:  The great Library of Alexandria,
established by Ptolemy II (circa 280 BC),
has come to symbolize the receptacle of knowledge of Classical civilization.
This great repository was barbarously razed in the Middle Ages.

I bought a hardbound copy of the book, "The Man Who Walked Between the Towers", at Book Sale. For P120, it was a steal!

The narrator spoke of the high adventure of a tightrope artist but with a quiet remembrance of the Twin Towers, at the very end.

As books exist to be told and retold, and to survive the many retelling, our copy was meant to bear battle scars and dog ears. I think I read it for my nephews a number of times.

Then Ondoy belched into our walled urban lives.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

№ 45. iElvis

He was a wizard of the first order.

He had conjured both marketing hypes and niches---which had us enthralled, corrupted and addicted. Only he could produce, with a sleight of hand, consumer technology that is magic. Everyone else is reduced and separated by the Red Sea either as a parishioner drunk with his vision or a philistine mocked with envy.

"'What made Steve Jobs truly great,' U2 singer Bono said Thursday in a statement, 'is that he was only interested in doing truly great things. He was bored by an easy ride or easy profit. In a world littered with dull objects, he brought the beauty of clean lines and clear thought. [He was] one of a very small group of anarchic Americans who through technology literally invented the 21st century. We will all miss the hardware-software Elvis.' (LA Times)

On a related note, iPhone has this neat, sentient (almost?) voice command interface. Why SIRI?! Somebody asked if this stood for "Steve Incarnated Robot Interface."

Until the next iPhone iteration, then. Not 4s but a version 5, please. Maybe this time SIRI will feel, sound and look like Steve Jobs. One more, lace the chips with his DNA?

Bento Box:

Steve Job's DNA in vitro? (LA Times)

№ 44. October Rolling Into Its Dark, Hallow End

Hi there!

You're safe.
Don't worry.

Haha, I don't have Sadako
lurking in my old iPhone.

She's contained
in our old, busted, portable TV.

It's at home---
stored or abandoned somewhere.

Yes, I'm safe.


No snowflakes on screen.
No static noise
or is it silence?


We're safe.

I hope.

I see our windows.
They're silent---
almost feral.


They peer into the woods.

Still, no static.

I hear only quiet sentinels.


We're safe....

red fear @ makbex