Sunday, January 29, 2006
Featured Aphorism by BALTASAR GRACIAN
Deal solely with men of honor; may such only may you be involved, and such only may you involve. What they have done is best pledge of what they will do, even in the business of shuffling the cards, for they deal above board, and so it avails more to lose with men of honor, than to win with men of dishonor, for there is no profit in crookedness, because it is unbeholden to honesty; on this account there is no true friendship among thieves; nor are their protestations of friendship true, even when they seem it, for they are not made in good faith, and those without such should ever be abnominated of men, for they do not cherish honor, do not cherish virtue, and honor is the throne of virtue. - Baltasar Gracian
A collection of aphorisms from the works of BALTASAR GRACIAN
Translated by Martin Fischer
Published by Barnes & Noble Books, 1993
Title: The Fortune Teller
Artist: Jehan-Georges Vibert
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Fortune and Cheating Heart
MEET PARALUMAN PERALTA of Dasmarinas Village, Makati City; age 24.
Well, not exactly her real name and locale. Neither is it her true age. She’s more commonly known as Puring who lives in Moriones in Tondo, Manila. She celebrated her 48th birthday last month.
She’s a grifter, and quite good at it. She preys upon unsuspecting men and swindles them not of money, but of their time and attention. Her base of operation: the Internet shop at the corner of J. Abad Santos Avenue and Batangas Street. Her mode of ensnaring: her blogsite at friendfinder.com.
Her entries illustrate a lonely life of a young socialite aboard a luxury yacht docked in the exotic island of Mustique in the Caribbean. It was supposedly her parent’s final attempt to separate her from as far away as possible from her lover in Manila — a good for nothing, two-bit Svengali. When readers asked where the lover is now, she would feign uncertainty; even speculating that he might have sold out his love for her by accepting a substantial amount of money from her father.
Intrigued by the opportunity to play the role of a knight in shining armor, four avid readers got hooked and have been corresponding with her consistently. Their ingenious suggestions on how to escape from her parents’ stifling grasp delighted her to no end. All of them eventually professed their respective deep concern and eventually, a love for her.
Puring was in heaven! She has never before experienced so much adoring attention. This was definitely much better than her favorite telenovelas or her real life for that matter.
HER MARRIAGE TO HER HUSBAND, Juancho, a second cousin, was pre-arranged by their parents. She never experienced the thrill of courtship or true love. Upon graduation from college, she was married and that was that. Consummation of their marriage was a loveless, one-bam-thank you-mam sexual episode that is more prevalent among drunk johns and cheap whores at sleazy brothels in Ongpin.
Six months after the wedding, Juancho flew to Saudi Arabia to pursue a career in engineering. In the more than twenty years he has been there, he would only come home to attend the funerals of his parents or sibling. However, like a dedicated husband, he did provide for Puring a comfortable life. They have no children for obvious reasons.
ONE DAY, PURING BEGAN to experience an even more intoxicating effect from a well-written prose by a new reader. He was Manuel from Negros Occidental. Her heart would seemingly miss a beat every time she received an email from him. He would disclose in the most romantic manner how he would attempt to release her from such cruel incarceration.
Suffice to say, the other online suitors were immediately dumped in favor of this Manuel who seemed to personify Don Juan and Cyrano de Bergerac combined.
Subsequently, his email would get a bit bolder. In one, Manuel described how the summer sunset would cast a golden glow on their bare bodies — shimmering with tiny beads of sweat from the heat of their passion — as they make love right there on the secluded Mustique beach. Their climactic whimpering and groaning would shamelessly compete against the seagulls’ harsh cries as if awakening the moon to cast its silver light. Puring was deliriously enchanted. She would repeatedly read this passage with erotic excitement.
However, Manuel confessed financial constraint stood in the way of executing his plans. He was somewhat embarrassed when he wrote that his money was allocated to his lawyers who were helping him retrieve his family’s farmland in Bacolod back from the land grabber whose family was politically-connected to the administration.
And then suddenly, Manuel stopped communicating. Puring thought she would lose her mind. Could it be that Manuel was killed by a member of the land grabber’s private army as Manuel had often alluded to?
But then one day, out of the blue, Puring received an email from Manuel; profusely apologizing for his long absence. He reasoned that he has been traveling; asking some relatives to loan him some money to pay the final installment of the lawyer fees he owed, as well as for the costs of surveys and legal documentations.
Puring’s better judgment was overwhelmed by her growing longing for Manuel; so much so that she suggested loaning him the money. But Manuel refused. He told her that he would be traveling up north to visit an uncle with high hopes he would be the one to provide him with the necessary funds.
It was another two months of not receiving any word from Manuel. Puring was literally going batty -- intensified by a growing longing to hear from Manuel.
Finally, an email arrived from him. He claimed that his uncle wouldn’t have any cash until after the harvest. However, his uncle knew someone in Baguio who could be of assistance so, off to Baguio he went. Unfortunately, he, too, was strapped for cash. That was the reason for his inability to communicate sooner.
This time, Puring wouldn’t hear any more refusals from Manuel. She demanded the name of his bank and account number. Immediately the following morning, she went to her bank and filled out the necessary forms to transfer half a million pesos to Manuel’s account. Puring had recently received a gift of cash from her father from the sale of some prized real estate properties in Binondo; she justified it was her own money, not from her husband Juancho; hence, she could do whatever she wished with it.
Manuel was greatly appreciative of Puring’s generosity. He was finally convinced, he told her, that he would win his case, especially now that he had the much needed funding. Unfortunately, that was the last email he received from Manuel. And that was almost a year ago.
Nowadays, Puring spends her time sitting by the window; idly wondering what life could have been with someone she truly loves.
by Christina Valhouli, Forbes Magazine
Scams: Online and Offline
Protect yourself from clever Internet and other scams: Recent Internet ScamBusters issues
The foregoing story is purely a work of fiction. Any similarities between any characters herein and actual persons living or dead are purely coincidental.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Featured Quote by WILLIAM JAMES
Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.
US Pragmatist philosopher & psychologist (1842 - 1910)
Art Credit: The Getty
Title: Venus and Mars
Artist: Palma Il Giovane (Italian, 1605-1609)
Medium: Oil on canvas (80 7/8 x 56 1/4 in.)
Labels: Words of wisdom
Saturday, January 21, 2006
RUNNING ON EMPTY
Everyone was at a loss for words when told what happened to William. He’s a friendly and soft-spoken guy not prone to macho posturing or senseless violence. Most see him as too timid and docile to provoke or engage in any caustic arguments
He remains in critical condition; one bullet remained lodged inside his chest. The other two — one on his left shoulder and the other on his left bicep — were already removed earlier. The remaining bullet requires a more invasive surgical procedure, and at his present condition, William may not survive such operation. They have to wait.
William’s father and mother, along with some other relatives were huddled in a corner of the waiting room; offering comfort to one another. William is the younger of their two children. The older child, Amy, is a nurse in a New Jersey hospital. The money that she sends over every month affords the family to live quite comfortably.
The father, like 27-year-old William, is just as docile and easily caves in to his domineering wife’s every demand. He has retired from his job as a civil servant, and his life’s only purpose nowadays it seems is to stay home and subserviently care for his wife. She’s a sickly woman; a willing host to numerous complaints and fond of self-diagnosing her ailments.
When the daughter from New Jersey sent them money to buy a car for the mother’s convenience and comfort, William was immediately designated as its driver. Never allowed to go abroad to pursue a more rewarding career and life of his own, William was expected to be much like his father — a caregiver and now his mother’s driver as well.
Cedric was in the same waiting room seated on a sofa next to Sonya, the family lawyer’s assistant. He was advised by the lawyer to remain quiet and not to say a single word to the police until he got to the hospital. The lawyer was in Tagaytay when summoned by William’s father. For good measure, he had Sonya who lives nearby go to the hospital and keep the young man company until he arrives.
Other than being cousins, Cedric and William are best of friends. He was with William the entire evening and the sole eyewitness to this senseless shooting.
What others do not know about William is — whenever behind the wheel alone or with Cedric — his personality would frighteningly transform from that of an innocuous and timid into another altogether different character — rude and malevolent.
He would become downright nasty at times; always ready with his middle finger or to trade curses with other drivers on the road. He would never give anyone a right of way — won’t even budge an inch — even if causing a severe tie-up in a busy intersection. He has no patience for slow moving pedestrians and wouldn’t think twice of cutting through an elderly person’s path struggling to cross the street.
William would often ignore stop signs and red lights, over speed, tailgate, weave in and out of traffic, pass on the right, make unsafe lane changes, and blind oncoming drivers with his super bright headlights. He apparently derives perverse pleasure from annoying other drivers.
Earlier that evening, on his usual menacing streak, he suddenly switched on into high beam his already super bright headlights onto an oncoming vehicle. When the other driver, blinded by the light, stepped on his brakes, William slowed down as he rolled down his windows and mockingly laughed at the direction of the stopped car’s driver as he passed it.
Cedric was mortified when the other car suddenly made a u-turn and trailed them at top speed. It was a hazadous chase through San Juan’s narrow and hilly streets. Not quite that familiar with the area, William suddenly found himself in a dead end street, unable to make a quick u-turn.
Reverse became impossible when the pursuing vehicle blocked their path. A man from the passenger side seat got off and walked over to William’s side of his car and opened fire with his pistol.
The noise of the bursts of bullets tripped off the alarms of the parked cars. Concerned by the blaring alarms that suddenly filled the streets, as well as people who started to come out of their houses, the gunman jumped back to their vehicle for a quick getaway. Their wheels screeched as the car backed away and made a turn at the corner. It then sped off away from the scene.
Although William was able to duck and dodged the bullets aimed at his head, three hit him on his upper body; one of which pierced him from his left side and lodged inside his chest. Cedric was completely unharmed but the frightening scenario made him urinate in his pants.
Just before the gunman ran back to their vehicle he shouted at Cedric, “I have your plate number and I will trace you and blow your brains out next time I find you!” Cedric was so terrified by the whole incident that he was still visibly shaking when the police and ambulance came.
It was nearing midnight when Cedric was accompanied by the lawyer and Sonya to the police headquarters to file an official report and answer some questions from the investigating officer. They were led to a small musty room lit by two bare 100-watt bulbs. They each grabbed a steel folding chair and waited for the inspector already on his way down from his upstairs office.
As Cedric sat there anticipating the questions the inspector might ask him, out in the hallway, through the open door, he heard an oddly familiar gravelly voice. As he slowly turned his head towards its source, Cedric was frozen in fright to recognize the gunman earlier that evening. He was now attired in a police officer uniform, standing by the water fountain; idly chatting with two of his fellow police officers.
Three Studies: Aggressive Driving, Road Rage, and Driver Aggression
How to Avoid Road Rage
The Opposite Situation: A Domineering and Tyrannical Mother
*The foregoing story is purely a work of fiction. Any similarities between any characters herein and actual persons living or dead are purely coincidental.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Featured Photo Site: NYCLondon
For those longing to see some pictures of New York City, here is an intensely awesome gallery of black and white photographs taken by R. Gardiner. He was born in Sydney and had moved to New York in 1999, but now lives in London.
As he had written on his blog entry, “With a million unique visits to this web site in 2005 (and many times more page views), I am more convinced than ever it is the ideal medium for photographers to exhibit to a wide audience. The web can not reproduce the beauty of a physical print of course.”
This photo site, nyclondon.com, is absolutely worth exploring!
Labels: Featured photographer
CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF THE FIRST KIND
MSNBC reports that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is once again discussing his UFO sighting experience, this time with GQ magazine. It supposedly occurred in Leary, Georgia in October of 1969 as he was preparing to speak at a Lions Club meeting. Mr. Carter was at that time running as governor. He recalled that it was a bright light that got "closer and closer to us," but then "changed color to blue," then to red, then back to white, and then "receded into the distance." The former president, however, does not believe the unidentified aircraft came from Mars.
Cecil Adams of The Straight Dope casts doubts on Mr. Carter’s creditability by citing a report by Robert Sheaffer, a volunteer researcher for the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. Mr. Scheaffer reported in an issue of Zetetic magazine that what Mr. Carter actually saw on that fateful October evening was not a flying saucer, but the planet Venus, a notorious trickster in these matters.
Whether what Mr. Carter saw was indeed a UFO or not, what most Americans were irked about was he never made good on his promise—while campaigning as a presidential candidate—to make the U.S. Air Force’s UFO dossiers more transparent to the American public once elected president. However, when he did become president, it suddenly became a dead issue. And now, more than a couple of decades later, he’s back with his UFO sighting stories.
With billions of galaxies that exist in our universe, I tend to believe the possibility of other far more advanced extraterrestrial civilization out there. I wouldn’t be so audacious as to claim that humankind is so special as to be the only existing living intelligence in our entire immense universe. I’m not basing such belief on my once fascination with the Jetsons or Star Trek, but rather on numerous credible sighting reports such as the one reported by CBS Morning News about ten years ago.
CBS received a copy of a tape of a radio communication between the air traffic controller and the captain of a Japan Air Lines flight that had only minutes ago taken off from Anchorage, Alaska en route to Tokyo. In this tape aired by CBS, the pilot was inquiring about a huge aircraft hovering directly above them, but the tower personnel insisted the radar was not indicating any other aircraft in their vicinity.
The captain then radioed back that the mysterious aircraft was now cruising right alongside them, and described it as about the size of a naval aircraft carrier. After about another couple of more minutes, the captain reported it had suddenly flew sideways disappearing into the horizon in a blink of an eye. The whole incident was witnessed and later on officially reported by the entire flight crew.
Interestingly enough, other major airlines, especially the British Airways, prohibit their flight personnel from making public any unusual UFO sightings they may encounter.
photo credit: alatorre
Thursday, January 19, 2006
GLAMROCK’S UNDISPUTED DIVA
Annie Lennox, as a child, attended a school for the exceptionally intelligent and was later on educated as a classical musician; studying the flute at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
She joined David Stewart as a singer for the Eurythmics after three years as lead singer for The Tourists. She left Eurythmics in 1990 and began her equally successful career as a solo artist. Her 1992 LP, Diva, attained phenomenal critical and commercial success.
She has since followed it up with two more albums, including rejoining Dave Stewart for the recording of Peace LP. She won the Academy Award for Best Song in 2004 for "Into The West” from the film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
Photo credit: musikbase.de
Labels: Featured artist
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
CRUEL TWISTS OF FATE
A Reuters Oddly Enough News item mentioned a surgical mix-up in a South Korean hospital. Doctors removed part of the stomach of a patient due to have thyroid surgery, while removing the thyroid gland of another scheduled for stomach surgery. The mistake was discovered when the staff was filing post-operation paperwork for the two women who were both scheduled for surgery on that same day. Doctors later performed the correct surgical procedures on both women and re-attached the part of the stomach they had removed from the patient with the thyroid problem.
Besides this report by Reuters, there has been previous incidents of oversight we've already heard of such as surgeons leaving different items inside their patients (i.e., piece of gauze, small surgical instrument, and etc.).
And in some cases, although the surgery was successful, the post-operation procedures weren’t adhered to; hence, causing fatal effects such as what happened to Andy Warhol. He checked in at New York Hospital for a common gall bladder operation, but somehow never managed to check out alive.
The most horrific surgical foul-up I have ever heard of, which troubles me to this day whenever it comes to mind, occurred way back when I was still in college.
My girlfriend and I spent a weekend in Maryland with her uncle who was one of the two plastic surgeons affiliated with the local hospital. One evening, while her uncle and I were shooting pool after dinner, I asked him what life was like for a plastic surgeon in a small city. He told a few amusing stories. But after a couple of cocktails, he seemed comfortable enough to confide about a disturbing experience he had a couple of years earlier.
One summer, he was awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call from the hospital urging him to go in at once. When he asked where the other plastic surgeon on call that night, he was told that he was already with the administrator in the conference room with a patient’s family. He knew better than to inquire any further. The fact that the hospital administrator was there in the middle of the night was a bad enough sign that something gravely serious was going on.
He continued to tell me the rest of the story as if pained by it. It was a case that involved an infant whose penis was cut off due to a malfunction by the device used for circumcisions. The baby’s parents had no other choice but to accept the hospital’s multi-million dollar cash settlement, including at the hospital’s expense, all the life-long procedures involved in transforming the infant into a female.
I was too dumbfounded to press him on for details. He did, however, mumble a deep concern for the infant and the psychological trauma he was bound to endure. They were successful with the initial phases of the baby’s physical transformation, but there were more to follow as the baby gained in age. They were also cognizant of the infant’s psychological and emotional makeup remaining as those of a male. Indeed, there is not enough money in the world to assuage the spiritual pain that infant was destined to cope with later on in life.
This entry is not a statement against the shortcomings of the medical industry; rather, a mere discussion of mishaps—isolated cases for the most part—that were obviously not ill-intended by its practitioners.
Photo credit: Twilight Zone (episode 42), 1960
Labels: medical negligence
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
I like street art. Every summer, in Manhattan, you’ll see artists with color chalks sketching wonderful copies of masterpieces right on the pavement. The next day, you’d find scant traces of which; erased by the pedestrians having walked on them or washed away by the rain. Other street artists choose the temporary plywood walls that obscure construction sites as their preferred medium. That’s all it is — a temporary public exhibition done in good taste.
What I find disturbing are those spray-painted graffiti that assault the senses; done more to defile someone’s property or cry out a personal hate agenda. The New York subway system used to be severely affected by this dilemma. Currently, no train from the yard is allowed to run if it has been vandalized. New measures are always being developed to secure the train yards and discourage night time spray painters.
According to a New York Daily News report, arrests of graffiti artists in the city were up 90 percent. The success was credited to the NYPD’s anti-graffiti program. It handed out about 150 digital cameras to each precinct and other commands as a means to monitor vandalism and identify patterns. The NYPD has so far made 700 arrests and examples of their work have been stored in a database - so when their tags, or signatures, are found, they can be busted for the latest paint job.
Ironically, New York City has become the center of street art pioneered by Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat; former graffiti artists who were nurtured by the legendary Andy Warhol. Although still regarded by Mayor Bloomberg as the scourge of the city, some street artists have been gaining the attention of trendy downtown gallery curators, as well as the advertising industry.
The corporate America in which these street artists used to disdain is now supporting their work. The Tats Cru group from the Bronx uses advertising style of the 1950s to promote multinational soft drink and sports shoe manufacturers. However, they deny having sold out; referring to their lucrative commissions as a natural progression to another level.
There will be ongoing debates over the legitimacy of graffiti as an art form. Nonetheless, see more of it all over New York for years to come.
Photo Credit: The Dark
Labels: art matters
Monday, January 16, 2006
Meaty Art of VICTORIA REYNOLDS
Slices of pork as art? Why not? Los Angeles artist Victoria Reynolds is quite candid to admit that meat has been her muse these past eight years. It’s her way of expressing raw sensuality?
In her interview with Noche Kandora of Lust Magazine, Ms. Reynolds revealed her purpose in using images of uncooked meat in her artwork. She claims, “Living in the flesh is great—though we might disparage it, thanks to the Biblical Paul, who was probably a gay male living in a drastically homophobic society. In Dutch Protestant paintings of the 15th and 16th centuries, meat often referred to ‘the weak flesh.’ In my paintings, the beauty of the flesh is shown, and the ornate frames emphasize the non-Puritanical content. People call the frames "over the top” or excessive. They’re often painted to match the meat. When viewing the paintings, some say they have a gag reflex while thinking at the same time they're beautiful.
Before she got involved with meat, her oil paintings were about “lots of deteriorating soft-serve ice cream cones. Messy, sticky. Things got more and more ornate—frothing and curdling banana splits, dark glistening cherries atop whipped cream. Cream and meat come from animals. The whipped cream looked like the lacy tripe paintings I do now. There's a type of tripe called Bible tripe—because of its wafer-thin sheets that fan out. Some might say that the televangelists spew forth Bible tripe.”
To view more work by Victoria Reynolds, visit: Richard Heller Gallery
Labels: art matters
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Featured Quote by OSCAR WILDE
Title: Reflection, 1983
Artist: James Childs
Saturday, January 14, 2006
THE INCORRIGIBLE RUSSIAN
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Russia's Liberal and Democratic Party leader, has always been up front with his in-your-face fascistic political agenda, which oftentimes borders on insanity. He has no qualms for glorifying Adolph Hitler and supporting the aggressive use of nuclear weaponry. He has also vigorously advocated Russia's invasion and "reacquisition" of Alaska. As a means to fight bird flu, instead of vaccines, he suggested supplying every Russian citizen with appropriate armament to blow away everything with feathers.
Most recently he has fixed his ire on the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. During an interview with Pravda, Zhirinovsky chastised Rice for calling on Russia to "act responsibly" in supplying natural gas to Ukraine; attributing, as he claimed it, the secretary of state’s "coarse anti-Russian statement" to her being "a single woman who has no children.
He went on with his tirade. "If she has no man by her side at her age, he will never appear. Condoleezza Rice needs a company of soldiers. She needs to be taken to barracks where she would be satisfied.”
Like a runaway train, Zhirinovsky ranted on. "Condoleezza Rice is a very cruel, offended woman who lacks men's attention. Such women are very rough. … They can be happy only when they are talked and written about everywhere: 'Oh, Condoleezza, what a remarkable woman, what a charming Afro-American lady! How well she can play the piano and speak Russian!'
"Complex-prone women are especially dangerous. They are like malicious mothers-in-law, women that evoke hatred and irritation with everyone. Everybody tries to part with such women as soon as possible. A mother-in-law is better than a single and childless political persona, though."
A State Department spokesman issued a statement to the press that Rice would not "dignify the article with a response."
Photo credit: MosNews.com
Thursday, January 12, 2006
It’s official; at least in America. There is such a thing as onlineaholics or Internet addiction disorder as coined by psychotherapists who specialize on its treatment.
Mental health specialists estimate that 6 percent to 10 percent of the approximately 189 million Internet users in America have a dependency that can be as destructive as alcoholism and drug addiction. Therapists and rehabilitation centers treat Web addicts with the same methodical approaches, including 12-step programs which are used to treat chemical addictions.
According to a New York Times article, Hooked on the Web: Help is on the Way, “There is at least one inpatient program, at Proctor Hospital in Peoria, Ill., which admits patients to recover from obsessive computer use. Experts there said they see similar signs of withdrawal in those patients as in alcoholics or drug addicts, including profuse sweating, severe anxiety and paranoid symptoms.”
The report also mentions the prevalence of other technologies that contribute to behavioral addictions such as the BlackBerry wireless e-mail devices, sometimes called CrackBerries because they are considered so addictive; the Treo cellphone-organizer; and cellphone text messaging.
The hospital's treatment program places all its clients together for group therapy and other recovery work, whether the addiction is to cocaine or the computer, the report claims.
Labels: Internet matters
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Featured Photo Site: MY SARISARI STORE
Many photo bloggers and fellow members of pinoyblog.com are already familiar with Sidney’s photo galleries and may wonder why I’m featuring his site.
You see, I’m doing it for the benefit of my friends and relatives living abroad who keep asking me to email them pictures of Metro Manila. I thought it would be better if they go directly to MY SARISARI STORE and enjoy a whole lot of them. Besides, Sidney has the eye for capturing the many facets of our city.
So, here it is! Enjoy!
Labels: Featured photographer
A NEW YORKER BEGGING TO BE LOVED
“I want to be accepted here, but I feel that everybody’s judging me and rejecting me. Come on, where’s the American spirit? Accept me. I want to be embraced, because my values are like yours. And I’m here. I’m not hiding,” cried Wafah Dufour, a California-born musician and law school graduate who lives in New York.
She is also Osama’s niece, daughter of his half brother, Yeslam. She adopted her mother’s maiden’s name after the 9/11 attacks were blamed on his uncle.
And who could blame the guys from not calling her despite of her exotic good looks? To do so might invite the Homeland boys to declare open season on one’s phone and Internet history records. Who needs that?
GQ Magazine will publish a photo spread of scantily-clad Wafah in its upcoming edition. This may be the beginning of her relationship with the press; hence the Bin Laden clan’s aspiring LaToya.
News source: MSNBC/Associated Press
Photo credit: Jeff Riedel/GQ via Reuters
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
AMERICA’S TOP SHOCK JOCK
He is America’s top shock jock who has recently signed a $500 million, five-year deal with satellite radio, Sirius. Last week, he was rewarded with another $200 million-plus in stock for helping boost Sirius' subscriber ranks to 3.3 million.
His two most dreaded people are the French and the Filipinos; the former for their arrogance, as well as for having allowed the Nazis to march into Paris without resistance, and the latter for having sued him in California for defamatory remarks he made about the Filipinos’ penchant for eating dogs.
Another controversial incident that infuriated Filipinos occurred on "The Howard Stern Show" on September 22, 1992 when he stated, "Filipinos are cheaters and they think playing baseball is the greatest achievement of all and not knowing the value of the sport or the purpose of the game." This was in reference to a charity baseball game that Stern participated in together with hotel employees, mostly Filipinos, many years back.
To make matters worse, he added, "The Philippines is a very strange country. I always recommend to everybody not to go there, unless you want to get laid. The Philippines is a country where fathers sell their own daughters for sex. That's how desperate they are over there. I think they eat their young over there."
With more than 10 million avid listeners to his syndicated radio show, one can only imagine how many Americans might have actually believed him.
Photo credit: bigbelch.com
Monday, January 09, 2006
Featured Website: PhilStories
It is a site dedicated to the Filipino fiction writing community. PhilStories accepts user-authored works submitted by its members. Posts can be in English, Filipino, Visayan or any other Philippine language; even Taglish if you’re audacious enough.
Go and check out PhilStories and you may be inspired to compose and submit a couple of stories.
Labels: featured site
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Featured Quote by SOCRATES
I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled [poets] to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.
Socrates, In Apology, sct. 21, by Plato.Greek philosopher in Athens (469 BC - 399 BC)
Title: The Death of Socrates, 1787
Artist: Jacques-Louis David (French, 1748–1825)
Medium: Oil on canvas; 51 x 77 1/4 in. (129.5 x 196.2 cm)
Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1931 (31.45)
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Art Terrorist: BANKSY
He is Britain’s most notorious “art terrorist” who specializes in sticking fake objects to the walls of major museums and galleries and waiting to see how long it takes for curators to notice. He has been a major source of embarrassment for New York’s The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art, as well as the British Museum.
Banksy prefers to remain anonymous due to several pending arrest warrants, but he is believed to be Robert Banks from Bristol. Donning a fake beard, prosthetic nose and hat, he would enter a museum with his modified cheap oil painting and then glues it on a wall. He claims that it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.
Banksy also believes that in the future we all could be anonymous for fifteen minutes.
Labels: Featured artist
Thursday, January 05, 2006
HIGH FASHION CSI PHOTOGRAPHY
Inspired by Luc Sante’s Evidence, Melanie Pullen sets out to reconstruct images of crime scenes as fashion shoots. She uses specially made props and sets, extensive make up, designer threads and some powerful digital colour alteration in making the large colour prints.
A New Yorker who now lives in Los Angeles, Ms. Pullen, 29, is a granddaughter of an editor of Audubon magazine. She worked at the family firm, AG Editions, publishing information for stock photographers and other material before she taught herself photography during a stay in England. She has since done professional work as a photographer for several magazines including Rolling Stone and Village Voice, as well as publicity work, album covers, movie posters and fashion photography.
photo credit: Melanie Pullen @ Ace Gallery
Labels: Featured photographer
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
A SOON U.S. WORK OPPORTUNITY
Our local men and women (even without college degrees) who are longing to go to America for a better paying job may soon have the opportunity to do so and earn as much as $80,000.00 a year. That is, if they know how to drive and are willing to work as interstate long-haul truck drivers.
According to industry figures, eighty-five percent of American products move by truck, and there is a shortage of truck drivers in the country. Furthermore, costs increase whenever production bottlenecks occur due to non-delivery of merchandise. The American Trucking Association (ATA), in its May 2005 report, pointed out this growing dilemma. It also acknowledged that demand for truck drivers outpaces supply by about 20,000 drivers.
Saratoga Transportation in New York vigorously attracts drivers by offering a minimum salary of $42,000 per annum plus benefits. It has also been increasing the mileage that drivers are eligible for. With more miles, some drivers are making $80,000 annually.
There are also driving schools to fill the shortfalls such as Harry Kowalchyk’s National Tractor Trailer School in Syracuse, New York. His school provides new candidates for trucking companies across the Northeast. Mr. Kowalchyk claims there are hundreds of job openings for truck drivers in America’s Northeast area alone.
The ATA attributes the shortage mainly to young workers who have more career options, as well as unwillingness by those with families to stay away from home for long periods of time. However, a surprising number of older workers — retirees and those who have been displaced from another job — are taking up trucking. One driving school student holds an MBA; another student is a scientist formerly at Bristol Myers. IT workers who lost jobs as their work was outsourced are learning to be truck drivers as well. The traditional image of a brawny and brutish truck driver is long gone, so trucking is open to women as well.
According to ATA, the number of long-haul truckers needed in the United States will hit 1.62 million by 2014, the same time 219,000 drivers hit retirement age. The industry cites its needs for at least 539,000 new truck drivers over the next nine years. Logically speaking, it isn’t too far fetched an idea for these trucking companies to eventually start recruiting from the Philippines. It should also be noted that ATA has a loud lobbying voice in Washington; work visas for foreign workers can be surely facilitated as needed.
For further information read:
Businesses are Feeling the Pinch of Growing Shortage of Long-Haul Truck Drivers
By Eric Durr
© 2005 The Business Review (Albany)
Art Concept: FOOD FACILITY
A restaurant without a kitchen created as an art concept (installation?) and hosted by Mediamatic.
Diners at Amsterdam’s Food Facility go online to check out the menus from take-out restaurants in the neighborhood while a food advisor, not a waiter, stands ready to offer food quality critiques, estimated delivery times, and places the orders. Diners are encouraged to mix and match from various establishments.
A separate food DJ receives the food from the delivery person, unpacks and prepares them to be served by the food advisor at the patron’s table.
For photos and exhibition illustrations of Food Facility, visit Mediamatic.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
RELIGIOUS WAR AGAINST BARBIE
Parents beware! Barbie may not be as innocuous as she seems. The religious right has gone to war against the doll for promoting "gender confusion."
Bob Knight, the director of Concerned Women for America’s Culture & Family Institute claims that children aged four to eight are given three options by Mattel’s Website for their choice of gender. Better think twice then before giving your precious little princess a Barbie doll lest you want to risk her becoming a degenerate bisexual or a lesbian; that is, if CWA is to be believed.
Poor Barbie, there was a time when she was under fire from the feminist movement about her impossible to attain physique while some religious groups attacked her career choices. But for crying out loud, Barbie is an inanimate plastic object!
The previous culprits fingered by the religious right for having promoted sexual deviancy were SpongeBob SquarePants, Tinky Winky, and Lenny the Shark. The anime characters may soon be next considering their stylish wardrobes and hair dos, or are they too violent and misogynistic to be a threat?
Makes one ponder what the Concerned Women for America’s true agenda here is.
Monday, January 02, 2006
A WRITER’S CUBICLE FOR RENT
During one of those holiday season get-togethers with balikbayan friends, I was asked what enterprise already at work in New York could be developed here in Manila. Instantaneously, I thought of the New York Times article I read about communal work spaces. Creating one in Metro Manila will definitely provide our local talent with an ideal environment to hone their craft — similar to The Village Quill in Manhattan or the Writers Junction in Venice Beach, California.
In this New York Times article, A Cubicle For You And Your Muse, its author, Liesl Schillinger, claimed the idea of a communal work space is not new, that “the tradition began in Lower Manhattan nearly 30 years ago, when a group of writers, including the biographer Nancy Milford, banded together to rent an office. In 1978 the group incorporated as the nonprofit organization the Writers Room, which has fostered the creation of more than a thousand books and screenplays, said Donna Brodie, the executive director since 1994. Today it has a roster of 400 writers who take turns at 40 desks on the top floor of a building on Broadway at Astor Place. Members include Lawrence Block, the best-selling mystery writer, and Michael Berg, a writer of the screenplay for Ice Age, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2003.”
The author also quoted a writer of short stories, Ms. Manghnani, who explained: "If I'm at home working, people don't respect you that much; they call or text or e-mail, or make arrangements to have coffee. But if I'm at a place that sounds legitimate to other people - a library or a writers' room - they don't disturb me as much. No one calls you at the gym and says, 'Let’s go have a burger.' "
For Metro Manila, such work spaces should also welcome graphic and Web artists. Other than English-proficient call center agents, our country has an abundance of talent that is good enough for overseas outsourced creative projects. Better we provide them now with the optional ideal space where they could further develop their skills.
Photo credit: Ruby Washington/The New York Times
Labels: art matters
Sunday, January 01, 2006
FIVE THOUGHTS FOR THE NEW YEAR
Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will. – George Bernard Shaw
The ancestor of every action is thought. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It seems to me that people have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don't. They sit in front of the television and treat life as if it goes on forever. - Philip Adams
The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind. – William James
There are admirable potentialities in every human being. Believe in your strength and your youth. Learn to repeat endlessly to yourself, 'It all depends on me.' – Andre Gide
Title: The Figure 5 in Gold, 1928
Artist: Charles Demuth (American, 1883–1935)
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949 (49.59.1)
Charles Demuth's painting The Figure 5 in Gold
inspired by the poem, The Great Figure by William Carlos Williams
The Great Figure
Among the rain
I saw the figure 5
on a red
to gong clangs
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city
William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)
Sour Grapes: A Book of Poems
Four Seas Company, Boston, 1921