Saturday, December 31, 2005


Here are the other NYT ideas:

Dialing Under the Influence
Do-It-Yourself Cartography
Dolphin Culture
Embryo Adoption
Ergomorphic Footwear
Fair Employment Mark, The
False-Memory Diet, The
Fleeting Relationship, The
Forehead Billboards
Gastronomic Reversals
Genetic Theory of Harry Potter, The
Global Savings Glut, The
His-and-Her TV, The
Hollywood-Style Documentary, The
Hypomanic American, The
Infrared Pet Dry Room, The
In Vitro Meat
Juvenile Cynics
Laptop That Will Save the World, The
Localized Food Aid
Making Global Warming Work for You
Medical Maggots
Monkey Pay-Per-View
National Smiles
Open-Source Reporting
Parking Meters That Don't Give You a Break
Playoff Paradigm, The
Pleistocene Rewilding
Porn Suffix, The
Preventing Suicide Bombing
Readable Medicine Bottle, The
Republican Elitism
Robot Jockeys
Runaway Alarm Clock, The
Scientific Free-Throw Distraction
Seeing With Your Ears
Self-Fulfilling Trade Rumor, The
Serialized Pop Song, The
Sitcom Loyalty Oath, The
Solar Sailing
Sonic Gunman Locator, The
Stash Rocket, The
Stoic Redheads
Stream-of-Consciousness Newspaper, The
Subadolescent Queen Bees
Suburban Loft, The
Synesthetic Cookbook, The
Taxonomy Auctions
"The Crawl" Makes You Stupid
Toothbrush That Sings, The
Totally Religious, Absolutely Democratic Constitution, The
Touch Screens That Touch Back
Trial-Transcript Dramaturgy
Trust Spray
Two-Dimensional Food
Uneavesdroppable Phone Conversation, The
Urine-Powered Battery, The
Video Podcasts
Why Popcorn Doesn't Pop
Worldwide Flat Taxes
Yawn Contagion
Yoo Presidency, The
Zero-Emissions S.U.V., The
Zombie Dogs

Hello, Garci would need this:
Uneavesdroppable Phone Conversation, The
Sick of your colleagues listening in on your phone conversations? The traditional method of preventing eavesdropping in the workplace is to build dampers and baffles into cubicle walls. But now a device called Babble attacks the problem at the source, transforming the chatter emanating from your cubicle into a flow of meaningless mumblings.

Babble, which hit shelves in June, consists of two speakers and a small sound generator that attaches to your phone. The generator isolates and records the various phonemes - the building blocks of intelligible speech - of your speaking voice. Then when you activate it for a telephone conversation, it generates a stream of random phonemes that counteract the inflections and drops in your voice. When that parallel "conversation" emerges from the Babble loudspeakers and combines with your actual conversation, it produces a choral arrangement of sweet nothings. "It creates the music of voice, without the meaning of voice," explains Danny Hillis, a founder of Applied Minds, a research-and-development firm that created the technology with Sonare Technologies.

While productivity gains may help justify its $395 price tag, Babble could also be valuable for protecting the confidentiality of patient information in places like waiting rooms and hospital reception areas.

Babble can generate voice privacy within a remarkably small space - even at a distance of only two feet between speaker and interloping eardrum. One caveat, however: Babble is designed to counteract your voice only up to the range of normal conversational volume. "After that, it flashes a warning rather than overdrive your voice," explains Bill DeKruif, the president of Sonare. "We're not trying to make arguments confidential."

You need this:
Trust Spray
The hormone oxcytocin, which plays a role in childbirth, breast-feeding, orgasm and feelings of love, is usually thought to have a happy set of responsibilities within the body. But a new study suggests that the hormone could be put to more sinister uses. According to a paper published in the June issue of Nature, a research team at the University of Zurich has determined that a nasal spray containing oxcytocin can be used to make human subjects more trusting.

In the study, 128 male participants played several rounds of a game borrowed from economic and social-behavior theory. The game essentially offers rewards to "investors" who are willing to temporarily entrust some or all of their money to anonymous "trustees." Almost half of the investors who took three puffs per nostril of the oxcytocin spray transferred all of their money to their unseen trustees, whereas only a quarter of those who inhaled a placebo went that far. "Oxcytocin doesn't make you nicer or more optimistic or more willing to gamble," says Michael Kosfeld, who headed the research team. "It causes a substantial increase in trusting behavior."

Kosfeld grudgingly allows that his team's research could one day be applied to exploit people. But for the time being, salesmen, politicians and Lotharios looking to increase their appearance of trustworthiness will have a hard time gaining much benefit from the new findings. "At this point you have to use the nasal spray," Kosfeld says, "so you really need the consent of the other person, which requires a certain degree of trust in the first place." Moreover, the effect lasts only a few minutes - hardly long enough to negotiate a contract for someone's soul.

These limitations notwithstanding, an Internet-based company, Vero Labs, has already been inspired by the Zurich study to create a body spray called Liquid Trust, supposedly containing oxcytocin. "Scientists have recently discovered a chemical that makes people trust each other," reads the company's promotional materials. "For the first time, you can have the world in the palm of your hands."

I thought I need this:
Open-Source Reporting
No liberal blogger could complain about a dearth of material in 2005. From the Bush administration's ham-fisted response to Hurricane Katrina to the indictment of the former Republican majority leader Tom DeLay, opportunities to lambaste the Republican Party were abundant. Of course, staying abreast of all these developing stories was not a facile proposition, at least in the experience of Joshua M. Marshall, editor of the left-leaning blog And so this October he put out a plea for help, asking his readers to share their knowledge of the spreading Washington scandals. He termed the effort "open-source investigative reporting."

The phrase echoes the open-source software movement, whose programmers pool their expertise to write source code. Other Internet-based endeavors, like the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, also draw on a virtual community to produce Web site content. Talking Points Memo provided an ideal platform for a similar experiment: the blog attracts some 100,000 readers a day, many of them hard-core news obsessives. In Marshall's words, they represented a "huge nationwide information-gathering apparatus."

Marshall challenged his virtual news corps to dig into a succession of Republican embarrassments. Drawing on news reports, they laid out a detailed chronology of the events that culminated in the arraignment of the former vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis Libby for obstruction of justice. After Marshall obtained a list of gifts that the disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff showered on Capitol Hill employees, he asked readers familiar with the Congressional ethics code to determine if the goodies were violations. Sometimes his directives were less specific. Take, for example, his post on the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Louis Freeh, whom he derided as an incompetent hack. "Freeh is a walking glass house," Marshall wrote. "Please everyone collect your rocks."

By tapping his readership, Marshall has assembled the rough equivalent of a very large, unpaid news-gathering and fact-checking network. Still, their collective talents won't obviate the need for traditional journalists just yet: Marshall recently announced he intends to hire two reporters, who will be assigned in part to verify the best reader tips and translate them into pithy prose.

We wish:
Fleeting Relationship, The
Americans put a premium on sustaining intimate relationships, but could it be that they gain as much emotional sustenance from the relative strangers they meet on commuter trains, in the stands at softball games and even at strip clubs?

In "Together Alone: Personal Relationships in Public Places," the sociologists Calvin Morrill and David Snow of the University of California, Irvine, along with Cindy White, a professor of communication at the University of Colorado, present a collection of essays stressing the importance of the interactions that occur in public spaces, like bars and gyms. "Fleeting relationships," Morrill explains, are brief interactions that nonetheless are "colored by emotional dependence and intimacy." Morrill's researchers visited strip clubs and found that customers paid not just for the eroticism but also for the sense of connection they felt with the dancers. "You can tell a dancer who really cares about the people she dances with," one customer said. In another chapter, a singles dance designed to foster serious romance was instead used by regulars as an enjoyable, safe, commitment-free place to socialize with strangers and then head home - alone.

The researchers also emphasized the value of "anchored relationships," which are more enduring than fleeting ones, but fixed to a single location. One "Together Alone" contributor, Allison Munch, studied anchored relationships among amateur-softball-league fans. Munch's spectators rarely saw one another outside of the stands, but they formed a "floating community," trading intimate details about their marriages, watching one another's children and sharing food and clothing. One fan said that the stands had become their "back porch."

Indeed, the editors argue, as Americans become ever more geographically isolated from old friends and family, fleeting and anchored relationships may become ever more important. Some people, Morrill says, may find themselves forgoing the weight and expectations of a friendship or romance in exchange for the anchored relationship they have with the grocery-store clerk.

Happy Year of the Dog

Happy New Year! This image was chosen as the 7th best magazine cover by the ASME last October. Rolling Stone's John & Yoko topped the list followed by the pregnant Debbie Moore and Muhammad Ali's St. Anthony pose.
The rest can be seen in later posting. In this regard, I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year. Thanks to my correspondents, Babeth, Andy, Day and many others. Dr. Khristine, I hope that next year, I would have retyped my past features and have them posted here or elsewhere. Happy Year of the Dog!!!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Editor&Publisher's Top 10 Story for 2005

E&P's Top 10 Newspaper Industry Stories of 2005 Fri Dec 23, 1:51 PM ET

The newspaper industry had quite the rollercoaster year in 2005, with many of the twists and turns leading down rather than up. We saw anonymous sourcing attacked, blockbuster deals struck, and, of course, cuts, cuts and more cuts.

Still, the daily miracle survived, albeit with a need for changes and a continued uncertainty on how to get there. With that, I offer my choices for the top 10 newspaper industry events of 2005. Good, bad and, too often, greedy.

10. Pulitzer Prize allows online entries in all categories.

For the often-stodgy and unbending Pulitzer Prizes -- still hailed as THE journalism award after nearly 90 years on the mantle -- change is a four-letter word. Rules for the Columbia University School of Journalism prizes, which have been credited with sparking many a salary raise and promotion, have remained pretty much the same since 1917. The journalism awards go only to newspapers, the 19-member board has the final say, and finalists are never revealed early -- except when (always) they're leaked.

So when the Pulitzer keepers announced they would allow online submissions in all categories, after only tolerating them in the Public Service award, it marked a sign that Web journalism had arrived and those vying for the annual competition would have an even broader canvas on which to create.

9. Los Angeles Times loses John Carroll, gains first black editor Dean Baquet.

One of the most-respected veterans of newspapering, John Carroll had already earned his stripes as an editor at The Sun of Baltimore and Lexington (Ky) Herald-Leader when he was recruited to pick up the pieces of the troubled Los Angeles Times in 2000. Nursing a black eye from the embarrassing Staples Center scandal -- in which the paper had devoted an entire issue to the city's new sports arena, and allowed the arena to sponsor the issue -- the Times needed a respected and able trainer to return it to contention. Within four years, the paper was back on its feet and then some, winning five Pulitzer Prizes in 2004 and making the past scandal a faint memory.

But the same Tribune Co. that had come to the rescue as the paper's new owner five years ago decided this year to sharpen its slashing knife, with dozens of cuts and cost-cutting demands that eventually prompted Carroll to leave. Carroll's departure paved the way for managing editor Dean Baquet to take the reigns, making history as the paper's first black editor and making the Times the highest-circulation paper with an African-American running the newsroom. But Baquet may also have the toughest editor's job in the industry as he seeks to steer the paper through the changing world of multimedia, and do it with fewer resources.

8. Lee Enterprises Buys Out Pulitzer.

The acquisition of Pulitzer Inc., owners of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Arizona Daily Star, and a dozen other papers by Lee Enterprises, pushed Iowa-based Lee into the big time, making it the fourth-largest newspaper company in the nation. But belt-tightening soon followed when the Post-Dispatch announced newsroom cutbacks would reduce the editorial staff by 12%, which sparked Editor Ellen Soeteber to quit and add to an already battered industry.

7. Detroit newspapers triple deal

The biggest blockbuster trade in Detroit this year had nothing to do with the Tigers, Lions, or Pistons. In fact, it involved three teams from Colorado, California and Virginia. The triple-swap that sent The Detroit Free Press from Knight Ridder to Gannett Co. Inc., and The Detroit News from Gannett to MediaNews Group, marked the biggest upheaval in The Motor City since four-wheel drive. But Michiganders were not the only ones affected as the deal also included ownership changes among the big three at several smaller papers, from Florida to Idaho. The only thing more surprising than the size of the swap was the secrecy surrounding it, as the inevitable rumors did not begin building until the night before the deal went public.

6. Payola pundits

Newspapers' already damaged credibility took another hit in 2005 when four syndicated columnists were found to have been paid off for their views. The first three came early in the year, starting with Tribune Media Service's Armstrong Williams, who was paid $240,000 by the Department of Education to write favorably about the Bush administration's "No Child Left Behind" law. He lost is column soon after. Maggie Gallagher of Universal Press Syndicate followed with revelations that she had been paid $21,500 for promoting Bush's pro-marriage efforts, as did self-syndicating scribe Michael McManus, who received $10,000 for pushing the same views. The last shoe dropped in December when Copley News Service's Doug Bandow resigned after admitting taking money from indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff for writing favorably about some of his clients.

5. Hurricane Katrina forces Times-Picayune to evacuate.

The devastating hurricane not only battered the gulf coast from the edge of Texas to Florida's Panhandle, it also threw local newspapers, such as the Sun-Herald in Biloxi, into the deep end of the, well, flooding. For most, the costliest storm in U.S. history was weathered by relocating temporarily and managing news via the Web. Stories of reporters blogging in Mississippi and photographers nearly drowning in Louisiana were typical.

But no newspaper felt the wrath of Katrina like the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Forced to abandon its Big Easy home, the paper's staff were disbursed to various locations across the Bayou State for more than a month, while many staffers had to tend to their own homes and families from afar.

Utilizing its Web site, and borrowed resources from newspapers in Baton Rouge and Houma, the Newhouse Newspapers' property, led by veteran Editor Jim Amoss, kept the news coming, as well as blogs and online information. Executives at Advance Publications, which owns Newhouse, also pitched in, promising that all employees would be paid during the two months after Katrina, whether they worked or not. The Biloxi paper, and owner Knight Ridder, also did stellar work.

4. Deep Throat revealed.

For 33 years the identity of the infamous Watergate source, dubbed "Deep Throat"
after the porn flick of the 1970s, was the best-kept secret in Washington, D.C. As the guessing games spanned decade after decade, and included several movies, books and even a college class investigation, the trio of Washington Post legends -- Woodward, Bernstein, and Bradlee -- held their tongues. Even Alex Trebek of Jeopardy could not worm the name from Woodward during a guest appearance on the show.

In the end, it was Mr. Throat himself, W. Mark Felt, a former FBI official, who removed the mask in a Vanity Fair story that touched off new debates about both the Nixon administration and anonymous sourcing.

3. Knight Ridder for sale.

Long known as one of the better newspaper chains, Knight Ridder had amassed a collection of some of the industry's most respected properties -- from the Philadelphia Inquirer to The Miami Herald -- during its storied past. Add to that a Washington, D.C. bureau ranked one of the best, and a piece of the highly-regarded Knight Ridder Tribune news service, and you are talking a key news player.

But, like its corporate media competitors, the San Jose-based company was seeing revenue reductions and circulation cuts that were making stockholders nervous. When is largest shareholder, Private Capital Management LP, complained that the company was being undervalued, others joined in a call to sell. Concerns about how a buyout might affect the papers' quality has already prompted two groups, a collection of Knight Ridder alum and leaders of The Newspaper Guild, to attempt to buy the dailies. Initial bidding began in late 2005 and the betting is a new owner, or owners, will be in place by the end of 2006.

2. Valerie Plame Scandal/NY Times fallout/Bob Woodward testifies.

The increased effort to get reporters to reveal confidential sources -- including some via subpoenas -- had been going on for several years and had affected reporters from The Washington Post to the San Francisco Chronicle. But when The New York Times' Judith Miller went to jail on July 6 after refusing to testify in the Valerie Plame leak probe, the issue of anonymous sourcing suddenly had an unlikely martyr. Miller had not even written a story about Plame, the one-time CIA agent whose identity had been disclosed two years earlier by the unjailed Robert Novak. But she served 85 days in the slammer before being released once an agreement for limited testimony was struck. While the Times editorial page urged her release on a regular basis during her time behind bars, it's news pages barely covered the story, even getting scooped by E&P when word came of her release.

Once out of jail, Miller quickly went from journalistic hero to goat. Already reeling from past WMD reporting that turned out to be wrong and, in part, prompted an infamous editor's note in 2004, Miller's rep took another hit as she refused to cooperate with Times reporters attempting to write about her. When the self-described "Ms. Run Amok" got into a memo-trading snit with Executive Editor Bill Keller, Public Editor Byron Calame and Columnist Maureen Dowd, her exit was a forgone conclusion.

But it did not conclude the Plame saga. Just weeks after Miller turned in her employee security card to Times officials, Watergate legend Bob Woodward joined the fray, admitting that he, too, had been the recipient of a Plame leak, and apparently before any other reporter. He also disclosed that he'd keep the information from Post executive editor Leonard Downie Jr., for more than two years and had testified about it in November.

1. More than 2,000 newspaper jobs least.

Using the bizarre premise that newspapers can bring back lost circulation and ad revenue by making their products WORSE, top executives at major chains from The New York Times Company to Tribune took a butcher knife to staffing with buyouts and layoffs that appeared almost epidemic. Although some claim to be adding jobs on the business side for the purpose of boosting revenue and circulation, the loss of hundreds of jobs at so many major newspapers -- most of which are making tidy profits -- does not bode well for the industry's future and shows the dangers of the recent corporate takeovers of the business.

-- Joe Strupp ( is senior editor at E&P.

Greatest Ideas This Year Part 1

The New York Times Magazine came out with the greatest ideas this year (A-C):

Accredited Bliss
If you think financing a motion picture is difficult, consider for a moment the fund-raising bench mark that the filmmaker David Lynch set this year for his new David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace: $7 billion. The director of "Mulholland Drive" hopes to finance seven "universities of peace," with endowments of $1 billion each, where students would practice Transcendental Meditation.

Developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the late 1950's, T.M. is a technique whereby individuals repeat a mantra to themselves during two 20-minute sessions per day. Lynch began practicing it 32 years ago as a student. T.M. rid him of his deep anger, he says, and enlivened his creative process. "When you dive within," Lynch says, "you experience an unbounded ocean of bliss consciousness."

Lynch says he believes that undergraduates today - 3 of 10 of whom say they suffer from depression or an anxiety disorder - need to find that unbounded ocean even more than he did in 1973. To that end, he has recently offered to help underwrite for-credit "peace studies" classes, which would include T.M. instruction, at a number of universities. Pending approval, American University will offer one of these classes next year. Researchers there will also begin studying the technique's effects on student grades, I.Q.'s and mental health.

Drawing on the work of John Hagelin, a quantum physicist and T.M. practitioner, Lynch harbors broader hopes that the seven universities of peace could enable the square root of 1 percent of the world's population - about 8,000 people - to simultaneously do an advanced version of the T.M. technique called "yogic flying." Lynch and Hagelin say that a mass meditation of this size could have a palliative effect upon the "unified field" of consciousness that connects all human beings and thereby bring about the conditions for world peace.

This fall, Lynch toured 13 schools across the United States to promote his plans. Skeptics might wonder how a filmmaker renowned for his dark visions could devote so much energy to the cultivation of happiness. Lynch, however, sees no contradiction. "You don't have to suffer yourself to portray suffering," he says.

Anti-Paparazzi Flash, The
If you have ever felt sorry for celebrities hounded by cameras as they go about their daily business - be that pumping gas or entering a flashy nightclub - you can rest easy. A group of researchers at Georgia Tech has designed what could become an effective celebrity protection device: an instrument that detects the presence of a digital camera's lens and then shoots light directly at the camera when a photographer tries to take a picture. The result? A blurry picture of a beam of light. Try selling that to Us Weekly.

The Georgia Tech team was initially inspired by the campus visit of a Hewlett Packard representative, who spoke about the company's efforts to design cameras that can be turned off by remote control. Gregory Abowd, an associate professor, recalls that after the talk, the team members thought, There's got to be a better way to do that, a way that doesn't require the cooperation of the camera. The key was recognizing that most digital cameras contain a "retroreflective" surface behind the lens; when a light shines on this surface, it sends the light back to its source. The Georgia Tech lab prototype uses a modified video camera to detect the presence of the retroreflector and a projector to shoot out a targeted three-inch beam of light at the offending camera.

The current version is bulky and expensive, but the researchers say a more practical example could be ready for commercial sale within a year. They imagine their contraption installed in environments where cameras might not be welcome: locker rooms, for example, or trade shows. The Motion Picture Association of America has already expressed interest in mounting the technology in movie theaters to combat video pirating.

Anti-Rape Condom, The

The vagina dentata - a vagina with literal or figurative teeth - is a potent trope in South Asian mythology, urban legend, Freudian rumination and speculative fiction (the novel "Snow Crash," by Neal Stephenson, for example). But it took a step toward reality this August with the unveiling of the Rapex, a female "condom" lined with rows of plastic spikes on its inner surface.

The Rapex is the brainchild of Sonette Ehlers, a retired blood technician in South Africa who was moved by the country's outlandish rape rate, which is among the highest in the world. The device is designed to be inserted any time a woman feels she is in danger of sexual assault. Its spikes are fashioned to end an assault immediately by affixing the Rapex to the assaulter's penis, but also to cause only superficial damage. The Rapex would create physical evidence of the attack as well and, as Ehlers laid out a course of events for reporters at a news conference, send the offender to a hospital, where he would be promptly arrested.

Ehlers estimates that each Rapex would cost 50 to 60 cents - a pricey proposition in Africa for a nonreusable item. On a Web site,, she answers other frequently asked questions: How is it inserted and removed? In each case, with an applicator. Do you hate men? No. Won't it get some users killed? Many rapists kill anyway; you stand a better chance against a temporarily disabled man. (On this last point, some may find Ehlers a little blithe about the prospect of an enraged rapist.) In a phone interview, she said that she has found the Rapex prototype to be more comfortable than a tampon. But Chantel Cooper, director of the Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust, remains unimpressed. The Rapex, she said in an e-mail message, sends the retrograde message "that women should be responsible for their own safety."

Branding Nations
If the British consultant Simon Anholt had his way, sitting at the cabinet table with the secretary of defense and the attorney general would be a secretary of branding. Indeed, he foresees a day when the most important part of foreign policy isn't defense or trade but image - and when countries would protect and promote their images through coordinated branding departments. "I've visited a great many countries where they have ministers for things that are far less important," he says.

This year, Anholt, a prolific speaker, adviser to numerous governments and editor of the journal Place Branding, published "Brand America: The Mother of All Brands," in which he predicted that the days when countries will essentially open their own in-house marketing shops are right around the corner. "Governments understand this very well, and most of them are now trying or have tried in the past to achieve some kind of control over their images," Anholt writes. He may be on to something, since governments are quickly realizing that image maintenance isn't just about reeling in tourists - witness Karen Hughes's high-profile public-diplomacy efforts or Tony Blair's Public Diplomacy Strategy Board, an outgrowth of Britain's "Cool Britannia" campaign. Late last year, the Persian Gulf state Oman hired Landor Associates, a brand consulting outfit, to develop and promote "Brand Oman."

Public boosterism campaigns are nothing new. But true nation branding, Anholt says, involves close coordination of the often disparate factors that go into a country's international image: tourism promotion, trade, even foreign policy. Just as companies have learned to "live the brand," countries should consider their reputations carefully - because, he says, in the interconnected world, that's what statecraft is all about. "Today's community of nations is open, transparent and substantially democratic - in many ways, like a marketplace," he writes in "Brand America." "The state's reputation is therefore of critical importance." Given how difficult it is for an unpopular America to make its way in the world, maybe Anholt isn't as crazy as he sounds.

Cartoon Empathy
For anyone who pays even the slightest attention to cartoons, the scene is familiar: birds flying, bunnies hopping, floppy-hatted Smurfs singing and dancing around a campfire. Then without warning a group of warplanes arrives and starts carpet-bombing. As the Smurfs scatter, their mushroom village goes up in flames. After the last bomb falls, amid the burning rubble and surrounded by dead Smurfs, Baby Smurf sits alone, wailing.

The scene comes from a 30-second TV commercial that began being shown on Belgian national television this fall, as part of Unicef's campaign to raise money to help rehabilitate child soldiers in Sudan, Burundi and Congo. The decision to use cartoon characters in the ad, rather than show images of actual children, was calculated not to lessen the horror but to amplify it. "We've found that people have gotten used to seeing traditional images of children in despair, especially from African countries," says Philippe Henon, a spokesman for Unicef Belgium. "Those images are no longer surprising, and most people certainly don't see them as a call to action."

Unicef's goal was to convey to adults the horror of war by drawing on their childhood memories, and Smurfs, Henon says, "were the image most Belgians ages 30 to 45 connect to the idea of a happy childhood."

The spot has generated a considerable amount of controversy. "People have been shocked," says Henon, who emphasizes that the ad is intended for an adult audience and is shown only after 9 p.m. "But we've received a lot of positive reactions. And this has also been apparent in the donations."

Adeyinka Akinsulure-Smith, a psychologist at the Bellevue/New York University Program for Survivors of Torture, agrees that it makes sense to reframe the constant stream of images of suffering from Africa: "The more horrible the thing you're trying to raise awareness for, the harder it is for people to wrap their minds around it. We run up against that in America all the time. Maybe if we showed this stuff happening to Charlie Brown and Lucy and the gang, we'd break through

Celebrity Teeth
Last year, if you walked into your dentist's office saying, "Hey, Doc, can you make my teeth look like Cameron Diaz's or Brad Pitt's?" the answer would have been, "Yeah, sure - with a lot of anesthetic, drilling and permanent reconstruction." But things have changed.

Meet the Snap-On Smile - a thin, flexible, resin shell of perfect teeth that snaps over your actual teeth like a retainer. No adhesive, no drilling. Its inventor, Marc Liechtung, is a dentist at Manhattan Dental Arts, where you can walk in on a Monday, make a painless plaster mold of your teeth and then pick up your new smile by Friday. All for $1,200 to $1,600. Patients can work with a "smile guide" to chose one of 17 colors ("yellow-white," "yellow-gray," even "Extreme White Buyer Beware") and 18 shapes ("squared," "square-round," "pointy"). But many patients just hand Liechtung a celebrity photo and say, "Make my teeth look like this." So he does. But he wants to make one thing clear: "I did not come up with the Snap-On Smile so people could mimic celebrities."

His goal was an affordable, minimally invasive dental tool. "I had patients with almost no teeth who didn't have $20,000 for reconstruction," he says. So this year, after months in the lab, he unveiled Snap-On Smiles. He is licensing them to dentists and has sold more than 300 to his own patients, many of whom have perfectly healthy (and often straight) teeth.

People don't ask Liechtung whether the Snap-On causes permanent damage (it doesn't) or whether you can eat with it (you can - even corn on the cob). "No," Liechtung says, "they just want to know: 'Which is the most popular celebrity?' 'What kind of girls get Halle Berry?' 'Who do guys ask for?'

"In the beginning, it made me sick. I thought I invented some serious medical device, but all people wanted to do was use it to make themselves look like celebrities!" Eventually he thought, Well, why not? "A person comes in, I say I can give them any teeth they want, who are they going to want to look like? Me? No!"

Liechtung wears a Snap-On every day. But whose smile is it? "I just made an enhanced version of my own," he says. But people rarely believe him. "I hate to admit it," he says, "but when they persist, I tell them my teeth are Brad Pitt's, because really, who wouldn't want his teeth?"

Cobblestones are Good for You (already appeared here)

Collapsing the Distribution Window
In February, the film industry as we know it may change forever. That's when "Bubble," a low-budget murder mystery directed by Steven Soderbergh, will appear in theaters - and on cable, and on DVD, all on the same day. The movie is the first in a six-film deal between Soderbergh and 2929 Entertainment, a partnership led by the media moguls Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner, which includes theaters, cable channels and production and distribution companies. While no one expects "Bubble" to break box-office records, even a modicum of success could indicate the arrival of something many in the movie business have anticipated - and feared - for years: universal release.

With box-office revenue slumping and DVD sales skyrocketing, it's not surprising that moviemakers are looking for ways to collapse the period of time it takes for a film to make its way from the multiplex to home video - in industry-speak, the "distribution window." The universal-release strategy has a lot of appeal for moviemakers: in addition to taking better advantage of the red-hot home-video sector, it's also more cost-effective - instead of requiring separate marketing efforts for theater and video releases, universal release requires just one. Plus, the strategy undercuts film pirates, who sometimes offer knockoff DVD's of films before they even hit the big screen.

But not everyone likes the idea. John Fithian, head of the National Association of Theater Owners, has expressed fear that rather than create new revenue streams, the practice will "be a death threat to our industry." And some film purists, like the director M. Night Shyamalan, have said that universal release is also a threat to the traditional moviegoing experience.

Soderbergh, for his part, sees universal release as an inevitable evolution in the film business. "This is my response to certain trends in the entertainment industry," he told a news agency. "The movies are not the way they used to be when I grew up."

Consensual Interruptions
The problem is all too familiar: You're chatting with a group of people when someone's cellphone goes off, interrupting the conversation. What makes the intrusion irritating isn't so much the call itself - the caller has no way of knowing if he has chosen a good time to cut in. It's that the group as a whole doesn't have any say in the matter. Until now.

Stefan Marti, a graduate of the M.I.T. Media Laboratory, who now works for Samsung, has devised a system that silently surveys the members of the group about whether accepting an incoming phone call would be appropriate. Then it permits the call to go through only if the group agrees unanimously - thus creating a more consensual sort of interruption.

The system, it must be said, is highly elaborate. It begins with a special electronic-badge or -necklace device that you and everyone else you might be conversing with must wear. Your badge can tell who is in conversation with you by comparing your speech patterns with those of people nearby. (Anyone within a few feet of you who is not talking at the same time you are is assumed to be part of your conversation.)

Each badge is also in wireless contact with your cellphone and a special ring that you wear on your finger. When a caller tries you on your cellphone, all the finger rings of the people in your conversation silently vibrate - a sort of pre-ring announcing to the group the caller's intention to butt in. If anyone in the group wants to veto the call, he can do so by simply touching his ring, and the would-be call is redirected to voice mail. If no one opts to veto, the call goes through, the phone rings and the conversation is interrupted.

Having solved the problem of when phone calls should interrupt us, Marti is now working on how they should do so. Inspired by the observation that the best interruptions are subtle and nonverbal but still somewhat public, he has designed an animatronic squirrel that perches on your shoulder and screens your calls. Instead of your phone ringing, the squirrel simply wakes and begins to blink.

Conservative Blogs are More Effective
When the liberal activist Matt Stoller was running a blog for the Democrat Jon Corzine's 2005 campaign for governor, he saw the power of the conservative blogosphere firsthand. Shortly before the election, a conservative Web site claimed that politically damaging information about Corzine was about to surface in the media. It didn't. But New Jersey talk-radio shock jocks quoted the online speculation, inflicting public-relations damage on Corzine anyway. To Stoller, it was proof of how conservatives have mastered the art of using blogs as a deadly campaign weapon.

That might sound counterintuitive. After all, the Howard Dean campaign showed the power of the liberal blogosphere. And the liberal-activist Web site DailyKos counts hundreds of thousands of visitors each day. But Democrats say there's a key difference between liberals and conservatives online. Liberals use the Web to air ideas and vent grievances with one another, often ripping into Democratic leaders. (Hillary Clinton, for instance, is routinely vilified on liberal Web sites for supporting the Iraq war.) Conservatives, by contrast, skillfully use the Web to provide maximum benefit for their issues and candidates. They are generally less interested in examining every side of every issue and more focused on eliciting strong emotional responses from their supporters.

But what really makes conservatives effective is their pre-existing media infrastructure, composed of local and national talk-radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh, the Fox News Channel and sensationalist say-anything outlets like the Drudge Report - all of which are quick to pass on the latest tidbit from the blogosphere. "One blogger on the Republican side can have a real impact on a race because he can just plug right into the right-wing infrastructure that the Republicans have built," Stoller says.

Earlier this year, John Thune, the newly elected South Dakota senator, briefed his Republican colleagues on the role of blogs in his victory over Tom Daschle, the former Democratic minority leader. The message seems to be catching on. In Arkansas, the campaign manager for the gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson sent a mass e-mail message to supporters in May promoting the establishment of blogs "to comment on Arkansas politics as a counter to liberal media." With the 2006 elections coming, Democrats have begun trying to use blogs more strategically. But given their head start, Stoller says, conservatives "will certainly have an upper hand." Again.

Holiday Fiction

Sometimes it's nice to read fiction during the Holidays. The New Yorker's Fiction issues not only come out in summer but now also in winter. For your reading pleasure, it gives me immense pleasure to serve you this award winning short story from Lisa Chipongian. "Intramuros" won over about 1,000 entries for the prestigious Boston Review's 12th Annual Contest. Chipongian is a writer and editor based in Wisconsin, as well as a psychologist.
"Our judge, Edwidge Danticat, was moved to elect our winner because of her “vivid and powerful prose” and because there was no other entry that offered so “wonderful a meditation on childhood.” We on the editorial staff join Ms. Danticat in congratulating Lisa Chipongian," said Junot Díaz, himself an award-winning writer.
Also, New Yorker discovered "The Word" from Nabokov.


I want my MTV! I want my Webster! I want My Way!

Monday, December 26, 2005

It loaded the day of Maria and the occupation that the number offered,

That is the result when I typed "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" to the "Lost in Translation" program. First it translated to Japanese and then back to English, then to Chinese and back to English, then to French and back to English (The Christmas Day de Mary and the offer of employment number, you requires with 6a '.) Then completely babelized it to German - English, Italian - English, Portuguese - English (Been born them Day de Mary and the occupation has offered the number, you necessarily with 6a ') and finally to Spanish then back to English.
It loaded the day of Maria and the occupation that the number offered, you necessarily with 6á!!!!!

FPJ! FPJ! Dokyu for yu

A contribution from Daye Caluza

BAGUIO CITY--Like national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and even Jesus Christ, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr. is an archetypal hero that most Filipinos will value as part of their culture.
This was one of the findings of an undergraduate thesis, presented in a video documentary format, by communication students of the University of the Philippines Baguio.
The 41-minute documentary, “Alamat ng Pagkabayani,” explained why Poe rose as a “hero of the masses.”
Poe’s value as a cultural icon, the documentary said, would ensure that his name and relevance would endure among Filipinos.
The documentary gathered the views of communication and film teachers, filmmakers and psychologists to explain why Poe, in reel and real life, had made an impact in the life of the ordinary Filipino.
“It was timely to choose FPJ as our thesis subject because we saw in him the potential of being [categorized] as one of the archetypal heroes in contemporary times. We wanted to find out how his image as a hero was created considering that he was, figuratively, in every Filipino’s heart,” said Zig Dulay, one of the members of the group that produced the documentary. Its other members were Richelle Carr Cabrales, Marie Joy Gonzales and Jo Ann Papio.
The documentary opened by showing images of the political turmoil after the “Hello, Garci” tapes surfaced in July this year.
It also showed Poe’s widow, Susan Roces, criticizing President Macapagal-Arroyo for stealing the presidency “not once, but twice.” Images of the big anti-Arroyo protest that was joined in by Poe’s supporters on Ayala Avenue in Makati City served as a backdrop in the documentary.
The protests, according to the documentary, started because many Filipinos thought that Poe was cheated during the presidential elections last year. It said Filipinos are used to crisis, and through time, they look up to a hero who would save them.
Filipinos looked up to Poe as the “hero of the masses" because of the impact of his “hero role” in his films.
Prof. Roehl Jamon of the University of the Philippines Film Institute said Poe, in his films, was seen as an “ultimate savior” of the oppressed whose qualities (a
gentleman, brave, a skilled fighter, law abiding and discerning) were accepted by Filipinos.
Prof. Alfonso Deza of the UP College of Mass Communication’s Communication Research Department said Poe was admired because the character he portrayed in his films showed values acceptable in Filipino culture such as being humble, God-fearing and helpful.
He said these qualities made Poe an ideal model for the ordinary Filipino.
Poe’s most popular film, “Ang Panday,” embodied his character as a hero who possessed outstanding strength.
“FPJ’s extraordinary powers as portrayed in the [Panday] films were used to save his people from crisis and injustice,” the documentary said.
“Whether FPJ is Panday or a policeman from Tondo, his role is always about a person who is extraordinarily strong. His strength is always for the people. He is a hero because a hero lives for others,” said Prof. Nicanor Tiongson, dean of the UP CMC and a well-known scholar in film and theater arts.
The documentary said among the things that underscored Poe’s image as a hero was his respect for the women in his films.
“Women were portrayed as the main protagonists in his films and not him. This was opposite to common thinking of the Filipinos that men were always the protagonists,” it said.
“FPJ’s roles in his films are like magic which enter the minds of Filipinos. It reached a point that ‘Panday’ in film and FPJ in real life have become one,” it said.
It added that Poe endeared himself to the masses because his films gave people hope.
But Jamon said Poe’s charismatic image was not entirely natural.
He said it was planned and developed by his mother studio, Sampaguita Pictures, who molded their stars to be ideal and wholesome in real life during its peak in the 1950s and 1960s.
“Until the last, he still heeded to the wishes of the people. His decision to run as a president was proof that he lived for others,” the documentary said.
The documentary said like Rizal and Aquino, Poe is “alive for the people.”

Praning Over American Shabu

A media statistics watchdog said that the US media's handling of the shabu or meth addiction was this year's worst reporting flop.
Methamphetamine (known as ‘meth’) was the King Kong of the drug war in 2005 - decried on the nightly news, the newsweekly covers, and the morning news programs . Newsweek called it “America’s Most Dangerous Drug” (and showed gruesome photos of “meth mouth.”). The New York Times reported that it was more difficult to beat than crack. But academic research tells a different story. According to the University of Michigan, meth use among high school students has actually declined 28% in the last five years. And the current number of meth users (583,000) is only slightly greater than the number of crack users (450,000), although the “crack epidemic” is portrayed as a thing of the past. As for the claim that relapse rates are worse among meth addicts than other drug abusers, it’s simply not true. Only six percent of those who have tried methamphetamines also reported using it in the last month. That’s hardly a sign."
You want "statistic praning"? Try the Philippine's handling of the marijuana use.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Nation joins in welcoming Christ's birth

That is Manila Bulletin's headline today. As it was last year and the year before nauseum. I will ask a grant from PCIJ jsut to look at the headline of Bulletin every Christmas, New Year and All Saint's Day. If I see an exact headline, I will help file a class suit for redundancy. That they are rehashing old stories year after year. I admire Bulletin for their industriousness and for giving us fresh news di ba?

Happy New Year naman

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

I spent a good part of my Christmas Eve nacht following up on a Bombo Radyo story that Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis Chavit Singson was shot. Called up a lot of sources. Chavit it turned out was in Australia and alive. Not even shot. As one of his colleagues said, Baka narinig na nagpaputok siya. Ha ha ha. As a result, I forgot a dinner date. Forgot to watch King Kong. Still, Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

It's a Wonderful Life

I watched Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" on Channel 9 one December afternoon back when I was young. It's inspiring. It's black and white. It's so innocent. Then ten years ago, I watched "It's Wonderful Life by Frank Kafka" on PBS in Connecticut. It's ironic. It's in ironic black and white. It's anti-innocent. Now we have this. Sigh. Merry Christmas, the hamburger way.

Everybody's Making a List

and Checking it Twice. I will give you lists to ponder during the Holiday break. One is the WHO list on the hottest topics and the neglected issues of the year. Bird flu, siyempre, is the hottest. Another is Science Magazine's hottest story of the year which is Evolution. Three researches of importance to our understandign of evolution are the sequencing of the chimpanzee genome, the human halotype map (not your preference of ube and kaong over gulaman but the genetic variability of human) and the formation of new species and how they differ from us.The Ten Worst Xmas Gifts this Year. Also the top plagiarism acts in 2005.. The top worst movie mistakes (with pictures). The most puzzling artifacts including the Baghdad battery, the ancient airplane and the giant balls of Costa Rica. And finally, Ebert's top ten movies of 2005. You will be Crashed. The Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Totally subjective. No Himig Natin. Or any Yoyoy ditties.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Describe Yourself

For your Xmas Guests

I am selling these doormats for your guests who can't take the hint. Contact me here

Advice to the Lovelorn Pero Sexual Physics Ito Ha?

The Joy of Sexual Physics with Dr John

"Love is a matter of chemistry, sex is a matter of physics"



Q My boyfriend, Junjun, has a very small penis. In fact, it is so small that I can’t actually see it, although he assures me that it exists and informs me when it is erect. Recently, through my study of physics, I have learnt that the laws of quantum mechanics become apparent at the level of the very small, and was wondering what implications this might have on our sex life?
Miss B
A. The area of physics that applies to the very small is called quantum theory. Suppose we take your boyfriend’s word for it that his penis actually does exist, then quantum theory says that in addition to having a material existence, his penis also has a wave function that measures its probability of existing in every state at every point in space and time. When an observation is made, his penis exists in one of these states and locations; but before observation, his penis exists in a nether state described by the sum of all possible states. If you don’t understand this, then don’t worry because if you think you understand it, then you have probably misunderstood. Einstein despised this interpretation of quantum theory because of his belief that God does not play dice with penises. Schrodinger despised it because he thought it was absurd to think of a pussy that could be both dead and alive at the same time. It is probably safe to say that nobody properly understands quantum physics; it just conforms to all the observations.
An explicit example of this is the double slit experiment. In this experiment, a beam of electrons is shot through two slits and a photographic film placed behind the slits records the resulting pattern. If the electron were simply a material particle obeying the laws of classical mechanics, then we would expect to see two tiny lines burned into the photographic film behind each slit. However, what we actually see is an interference pattern corresponding to the interference of two waves. When electrons are shot one at a time, we see the same pattern. The explanation of quantum physics, and the only explanation consistent with these observations, is that the probability distribution of the each electron spreads out over space, allowing a single electron to penetrate both slits simultaneously and proceed to interfere with itself behind the slits.

Your boyfriend’s penis is not that different from an electron. If it is small enough, then its wave function will also spread out over a space large enough for it to penetrate more than one slit simultaneously. In fact, the smaller the penis, the more slits it will be able to penetrate at once. If you were to line up a number of ladies on a bed, your boyfriend would be able to thrust into all of them at once. To be optimistic about his penile inadequacy, what he will lose in quality of stimulation, he will gain in quantity.

So you may wonder, if your boyfriend were to ejaculate while his penis-wave-function is penetrating multiple slits simultaneously, how many ladies could he potentially fertilise? Could the wave function of his spermatozoa fertilise every lady whose slit he is penetrating, so that he could fertilise multiple women simultaneously? Well, according to quantum theory, although the wave function of his penis can spread out over space to penetrate multiple slits at once, his penis is still a material object that goes through one slit or the other, as are also his spermatozoa. And so with every entry involving an ejaculation, he will at best only fertilise one lady. The best he can do to get around this restriction is to ejaculate over many consecutive entries, because if his penis randomly goes into a different slit with each entry, then he could conceivably fertilise a different lady with each ejaculation.

But will these ladies want to mother his child? After all, penis size is largely genetic, and in the event that their child is a boy, they will probably want him to be more generously endowed than your boyfriend. A form of contraception is therefore advisable, but a simple condom will be ineffective. At such small sizes, quantum theory predicts that the spermatozoa will simply tunnel through the condom. If a spermatozoon is ejected from a very-small-penis, then it logically follows that the actual spermatozoon must be even smaller than the already-very-small-penis. Since the consequences of quantum mechanics become noticeable at the level of the very small, then each spermatozoon will have a probability distribution that will actually smear through the condom. And given the huge sample size of spermatozoa ejected in even a modest ejaculation, it is a near certainty that one of these will tunnel through the condom to cause fertilisation.

This fact confers a dangerous selective advantage to men-with-very-small-penises because these men can pass their genes on to the next generation more efficiently by deceptively fertilising ladies under the illusion that they are being protected against fertilisation by using a condom. This enhanced reproductive efficiency is multiplied by the ability of men-with-very-small-penises to fertilise multiple ladies every time they indulge in sexual intercourse. From one perspective, the development of a very small penis could be considered the next step in male hominid evolution.

The only contraceptive protecting humanity against the prominence of males-with-very-small-penises is the quantum prediction that before a very-small-penis is observed, then there is a probability that it doesn't really exist. This probability is probably quite high because a subatomic particle, atom or molecule probably can't urinate or copulate on its own. If it could, then we would all be covered in microscopic penises. Before you agree to participate in any of the sexual implications opened up by very-small-penises, check your boyfriend out under the electron microscope. As a general rule, it doesn't exist until you observe it.

How do You Solve a Problem Like Saddam? Ask Macoy

Saddam is surely to be hanged. But how do you dispose the body? The fate of the bodies of dictators vary. Some are burned or buried in unmarked graves. The body of Evita Peron is one of the most traveled. If you want to know more, read this. Then reflect on our Apo Marcos.

Googling Gogoling

How good are you in googling? Really? Learn this 75 tips and you become a search ninja

Filipino Unrealism and Neil Gaiman

First Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards

The First Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards

Award-winning author Neil Gaiman & Fully Booked presents:

The 1st Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards

New York Times Bestselling author Neil Gaiman and Fully Booked are proud to announce the first PHILIPPINE GRAPHIC/FICTION AWARDS. Seeking to recognize Filipino talent in emerging literature, the contest will award prizes for comics (the Alex Niño award) and genre fiction (the Gregorio C. Brillantes award). Mr. Gaiman has said "There's a strong tradition of Filipino realism in literature; I want to encourage Filipino unrealism."

Over Php300,000 worth of prizes, including the Php100,000 grand prize for the 1st place winners!

Comic book writing contest:
1st prize = Php100,000
2nd prize = Php30,000
3rd prize = Php15,000
Youth Award (16 yrs. old and under) = complete set of Sandman comic books nos. 1-75

SciFi/Fantasy/Horror writing contest:
1st prize = Php100,000
2nd prize = Php30,000
3rd prize = Php15,000
Youth Award (16 yrs. old and under) = a set of Neil Gaiman novels: Anansi Boys, Making of Mirrormask, Stardust, Neverwhere, American Gods, Smoke and Mirrors.

Contest Guidelines:

1. Entries must be submitted between November 30, 2005 to January 30, 2006, with complete details of the author/s on a separate sheet, to be sealed on a legal size letter envelope.

2. The contest is open to all Filipino citizens (even those who may be in a foreign country at the time, so long as they are still legal citizens), ecept current officers and employees of Fully Booked and the contest sponsors.

3. All entries must be in English.

4. There are two categories: comics and prose fiction. Each person may submit/be involved with only one entry per category. For the comics division, artists are not allowed to submit multiple entries with different writers.

5. Works must not have been awarded by another body or published in a national publication.

6. All entries must be original. No adaptions of produced/published/copyrighted material are allowed. All intellectual propoerty rights of entries must belong to the author/s. Fully Booked and its sponsors shall be excempt from any or all liability in the event that the work is said to infringe upon the intellectual property
rights of other existing work. All rights revert to respective authors, but FULLY BOOOKED maintains/reserves the right to publish submitted works without permission/approval.

7. All entris must include four (4) hard copies, typewritten or computerized (preferrably computerized). Every page must contain the title of the work and all pages numbered consecutively. For prose, the entry must include one (1) soft copy on a CD-ROM. EACH ENTRY MUST BE TYPEWRITTEN OR COMPUTERIZED, DOUBLE-SPACED ON 8.5 X 11 INCHES BOND PAPER WITH APPROXIMATELY ONE-INCH MARGIN ON ALL SIDES. IF COMPUTERIZED, THE FONT SHOULD BE ARIAL, TIMES NEW ROMAN OR BOOK ANTIQUA AND THE FONT SIZE SHOULD BE 12 PTS. Files should be in .rtf or Rich Text Format. The authors name and address must not appear on the entry. For comics, entries must consist of four (4) hard copies (bond paper size) and one (1) soft copy on CD-ROM; no original art must be
submitted. In case entries from abroad win, an authenticated copy of the Authorization Form by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate will be required.

8. Fully Booked has no obligation to return submitted material.

9. For prose, all entries must fall under the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and/or horror. For comics, the theme is open.

10. A special award may be given to the best entry submitted by authors aged sixteen (16) and below. This award will only be given to an entry that has not won a major award in its category.

11. Attached to the notarized Application shall be signed consent and understanding of the above rules. For minors, this should be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian's signature.

12. For comics, twelve (12) pages is the maximum length. For prose, entries may not exceed seven thousand (7,000) words.

13. For comics, all artwork should be in black and white. No signatures must appear on any of the pages of the entries.

14. The Board of Judges shall have the discretion not to award any prize if, in its judgement, no worthy entry has been submitted.

15. Fully Booked has the sole right to designate the persons who shall constitute the Board of Judges in each of the contest categories. The decision of the majority of the Board of Judges in all categories shall be final.

16. All rules and guidelines of the contest must be followed STRICTLY. Non-compliance will subject the entry to immediate disqualification.

For more details on the event, pls. visit Full Booked Online at

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Whaz in a Name?

This is true. Ever since Gloria was born, the name Gloria was used less and less by parents. It peaked at number 27 in the 1940s and plunged, plunged to 420th in 2004. Fidel is 999th. Joseph is 9th. Mine's really going down the drain since the turn of the other century. Here's the link just to uplift you. There are 5,000 names here. Sorry Gobleth, you are unique only in that sense.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Pinoy Taste

This was sent to me. There was supposed to be a picture of that carinderia near NAIA which has this menu but there was no attachment. Funny though

1. TAPSILOG - Tapa, Sinangag, Itlog

2. LONGSILOG - Longganisa, Sinangag, Itlog

3. HOTSILOG - Hotdog, Sinangag, Itlog

4. PORKSILOG - Pork, Sinangag, Itlog

5. CHICKSILOG - Chicken, Sinangag Itlog

6. AZUCARERA - Adobong Aso

7. LUGLOG - Lugaw, Itlog

8. PAKAPLOG - Pandesal, Kape, Itlog

9. KALOG - Kanin, Itlog

10. PAKALOG - Pandesal, Kanin, Itlog

11. MAALOG NA BETLOG - Maalat na Itlog, Pakbet, Itlog

12. BAHAW - Bakang Inihaw (akala ninyo kaning lamig ano)

13. KALKAL - Kalderetang Kalabaw

14. HIMAS - Hipon Malasado

15. HIMAS SUSO - Hipon Malasado, Sugpo, Keso

16. HIMAS PEKPEK - Hipon Malasado, Kropek, Pinekpekan

17. PEKPEK MONG MALAKI - Kropek, Pinekpekan, Monggo,
Malasado, Laing, Kilawin

18. DILA - Dinuguan, Laing

19. DILAAN MO - Dinuguan, Laing, Dalandan, Molo

20. BOKA BOKA - Bopis, Kanin, Bokayo, Kape

21. BOKA BOKA MO PA - Bopis, Kanin, Bokayo, Kape,Molong Pancit

22. KANTOT - Kanin, Tortang Talong

23. KANTOT PA - Kanin, Tortang Talong, Pancit

24. SIGE KANTOT PA - Sinigang na Pige, Kanin, Tortang Talong, Pancit
25. SIGE KANTOT PA IBAON MO - Sinigang na Pige, Kanin,Tortang Talong, Pancit - Take out

26. SIGE KANTOT PA HA - Sinigang na Pige, Kanin,Tortang Talong, Pancit, Halo-halo

27. SIGE KANTOT PAIBAON MO PAPA! - Sinigang na Pige, Kanin, Tortang Talong, Pancit... Take out with Ketchup

28. PAKANTOT - Pandesal, Kanin, Tortang Talong

29. PAPAKANTOT - Papaitan, Kanin, Tortang Talong

30. PAPAKANTOT KA BA - Papaitan, Kanin, Tortang Talong, Kapeng Barako

31. PAKANTOT SA YO - Pandesal, Kanin, Tortang Talong,Saging + Yosi

32. PAKANTOT KA - Pandesal, Kanin, Tortang Talong,Kape

33. PAKANTOT KA HABANG MATIGAS PA - Pandesal, Kanin, Tortang Talong, Kape, Inihaw na Bangus, Maruya,Tinola, Ginisang Aso, Pancit

34. SUBO! - Sugpo, Bopis

35. SUBO MO - Sugpo, Bopis, Molo

36. SUBO MO PA - Sugpo, Bopis, Molo, Pancit

37. SUBO MO PA MAIGE - Sugpo, Bopis, Molo, Mais, Pige

38. SUBO MO TITE KO - Sugpo, Bopis, Tinola, Teryaki,Kochinta

39. SUBO MO TITE KO BILIS - Sugpo, Bopis, Tinola Teryaki, Kochinta, Bihon, Tawilis

40. SUBO MO TITE KO BILIS, HAYOP! - ...same as #39, minura mo lang yung waiter kasi ang tagal ng order.

Excuse me for Asking

but are you a slut? There is a slut-o-meter to know if you are one. I, unfortunately, am not. This is sad. But President Gloria is less of a slut than me at less than 3 percent? I am only 4 percent slut BTW. Pamela Anderson is 81 percent slut. Dubya is 6 percent. Jenni, you are a virgin (0 percent), which is worse. The Pope is 3 percent slut. God is -4.32 percent slut??? The Devil is 4.11 slut. Diana Zubiri, ehem, is 57.14 slut. Jessica Zafra is 8 percent, naughtier than Madonna (5 percent).

Hurray for Diana and Maui

FHM Philippines is now no. 42 among the most wanted men's magazines in the world, according to the International Federation of Audit Bureaux of Circulations. This list is based on circulation, title and origin. Of course Playboy is still numero uno. Because of the interviews? FHM has a monthly circulation of 120,000, compared to more than 3 million for Playboy.

Monday, December 19, 2005

This January

Serious Matters: Journalism

Bakit ang tagal? New York Times scolded for their late, later story on the Bush government spyign on its own people under the "War Against Terrorism" program. Mr. Wag the Dog comes out with a new term for "censoring stories even as they are published": fog facts.

Corporate Evil

You wear Caterpillar Shoes, crave for Coke, smoke Marlboro Lights and drive your SUV. Maybe you are a med rep or a pilot. Scan the link. They are evil. Does that make you evil? You decide. Drink Milo? I don't think so.

Going Monkeys

Men, forget the candle-lit dinner and Barry White music. Watch Discovery Channel especially when it's Monkey Week.
And definitely not the Japanese Lizard Week.
Especially not Barney

Friday, December 16, 2005

From Martin Masadao: Tanging Ama

I came down in April this year with the resolve to finally put my life in some semblance of order, purpose, etc. leaving hurt feelings behind in Baguio. I first heard the news about Daddy's cancer from Felina via text message. I was alone at the apartment at that time, it must've been dusk, as I remember the light on my mobile being the only source of illumination as I wept over the sad news. I sent Daddy a text message that read "Dad, just heard the news from Felina. I'm sure you'll be able to overcome this. Always remember that we love you." A few seconds later Dad replied with: "Thank you very much but pardon my asking, who is this please?" Ha! You see I had then just recently changed my mobile number and had somehow failed to give Dad my new number. I told him it was me, and he texted back, "Finally, I hear from you!". We exchanged a few more text messages between us -- the usual candor and repartee we would occassionaly send to each other.

I remained in the dark apartment, with thoughts of Dad. Thoughts of how I was feeling at that moment. I was trying to dissect the core of my feelings and emotions then. Why was I bawling? Did I really miss the old man? A plethora of thoughts, feelings, words -- that i've long wanted to express to my Dad -- flooded my mind. I had to anaesthetize myself over bottles of beer just to calm me down and make me sleep.

I visited Dad for the first time since his diagnosis sometime in June. It was early evening. Dad had just finished his supper. I walked into his room and saw him in bed reading a magazine. I went beside him, took his right hand to my forehead. Gave him a hug. With affected aplomb I said "So, how've you been hanging on?!" Dad put on the same tone and said, "Oh, I'm okay! Had my first chemo today!" I looked into his eyes as he did mine, and I knew, we both knew -- I'd like to think we were thinking of the same thing -- that we were both struggling and not giving up on what fate had recently dealt on both of us. That is, my decision to leave Baguio and he, his medical condition. Two totally different situations but nonetheless requiring the same resolve to overcome the mental and emotional burden.

He told me then to go eat my dinner and ask the boys downstairs (who are part of a motley of what my Dad considered his household help) to buy me some beers. He also remarked that I had lost some weight since last he saw me. I joked, "It's in my modelling contract that I maintain a certain weight".

I visited dad a few more times after. Not as much as I wanted, but I had also to keep myself busy in Manila. Working on every project (no matter how small the pay or intellectually unchallenging they may be) that would come my way. It was in the middle of one project this November that I got a call from Mommy instructing me to rush to Malolos since Dad was being rushed to the hospital. The urgency in Ma's voice was enough for me to understand the gravity of the situation. I was literally going back and forth as I was pacing the exhibit area that I was setting up that day. Do I leave my assistants behind and let them finish the work for me and go to Malolos? Or do I stay and finish the job, then proceed to Malolos? I opted for the latter because my professional life was at stake. Also, my presence in Malolos, I deemed, would not make much of a difference regarding Daddy's condition. An hour later, Felina calls with the sad news. Apparently, he had not even made it to the hospital.

I arrived in Malolos the day after Daddy died. That was Sunday, November 13. I had sort of prepared myself for that moment. Rehearsing what to say to relatives, friends. I was joking my good friends Reji and Andi that I would put on a meryl-streep-out-of-africa act. Andi had forewarned me that no matter how I prepare myself, it would still be different once I see Dad in person. Or once he is finally laid to rest on the ground. That first night I spent in Malolos during the wake, I was terribly distracted by the crowd milling in and out and around my Dad's house. People I didn't know. To be honest, I didn't even care to know. All I desperately wanted was some peace and quiet and time alone to be beside his coffin. That moment I wished for had come only in the wee hours of the next morning, when most of the guests had gone to their homes.

I sneaked towards my Dad's coffin while no one was looking. I looked straight into his face. Tears welling in my eyes, I was trying not to shake violently lest the few remaining "watchers" think that I was about to have a seizure. All throughout I was whispering to Dad, "I love you, Dad, we love you. You know that don't you?" Over and over again I kept repeating those words to him as I looked at his face. During that time I had also felt a certain lightness. I must say I also felt his spirit beside me. When I say 'spirit' I don't mean his ghost. Rather, his loving ways, his warmth, his caring. I put my arms around me as if to hug him. It was nice to let go like that. I also felt that my Dad, deep inside his heart, loved me.

In the days that would follow, I kept thinking of my dad. The times we shared. I refused to dwell on the fights we had or the resentments I had harbored against him in the past. No, this time I only focused on the bright times. I told dad, in my mind, we will both move on. I also told him that I no longer bear those resentments and that I have long forgiven him for them. Funny, but I had wanted to write my Dad a letter and seal it and put it on his coffin on the day of the burial. In that letter I was supposed to write all the other things I wanted to tell him. But then I thought, would a letter be a letter even if it were unread? (I thought back to my philo class, you know, the one about the tree in the forest making a 'sound' even if no one was there to hear it). I also felt that to put that letter would be impolite to others. It's like whispering in front of other people. I also didn't want to be pressed by insensitive and nosey relatives/friends asking me what I had written there. And if ever, I didn't want to upstage Dad with that gesture. Steal the limelight from him. No, this was about Daddy. Not me. But really, I decided not to write a letter because I knew that I had communicated everything I wanted to say to my dad since that first visit of mine in June, during the succeeding visits, all the way through the wake. And funny, I still do all the time. Everyday I think of him. And I know that he knows. He understands. We've made peace a long time ago. That hug by his bedside wrote paragraphs and more between us. It spoke for both of us. How nice.

I leave you all now with an untitled poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay. It expresses what I've been feeling the past days...

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year's leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year's bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go, -- so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, "There is no memory of him here!"
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.

Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1917

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The CIA Reads Newspapers

Do you have a feeling that intelligence agents read you. Yes, they do. Here's a CIA report on "open information" and secrets. CIA analyst Stephen Mercado said that some newspaper reports can not be credible.
"An analyst or policymaker often finds even accurate HUMINT a problem. For example, when an officer of the CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence (DI), reads a report on a foreign leader based on “a source of unproven reliability,” or words to that effect, the dilemma is clear. Yet, the problem remains with a report from a “reliable source.” Who is that? The leader’s defense minister? The defense minister’s brother? The mistress of the defense minister’s brother’s cousin? The DI analyst will likely never know, for officers of the Directorate of Operations (DO) closely guard their sources and methods. This lack of clarity reportedly contributed, for example, to the Iraqi WMD debacle in 2002-03. The DO reportedly described a single source in various ways, which may have misled DI analysts into believing that they had a strong case built on multiple sources for the existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.With open information, sources are often unclear. With secrets, they almost always are."
Maybe they know something we know, Vince. That the reliable source happens to be us. He he he . Read on


Again I received a dispatch from the police and again the phrase "dissident terrorist" had been used in lieu of NPA. Terrorism as a term had been used a lot of times that it has lost its sting. And yet we do not really know what terrorism means. Here's one attempt

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Graphic 100

Greetings! I am with the Philippine Graphic magazine and we are compiling what we call "Graphic 100" -- a list of 100 young cultural leaders from different fields (literature, visual art, graphic art, theater, photography, music, etc). I would like to ask you for nominees as well as your opinion on the names that have been nominated.

Weng Carranza Paraan
Associate Editor

Monday, December 12, 2005

Basta Poet, Good Lover.

Speaking of Santi, He he he. Why are painters such sweet lovers nga ba? (see previous entry). “SEX AND ART are the same thing,” declared Pablo Picasso.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Darangen Epic

BAGUIO CITY – The Darangen Epic of the Maranao People of Lake Sebu joined the Hudhud Chants of Ifugao as the " Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritages of Humanity" proclaimed last week by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The Darangen Epic was one of 43 new masterpieces announced last week during the UNESCO's third, and what was feared to be the last, proclamation. Among the more famous masterpieces in this third batch are the Brazilian Samba of Roda from Recôncavo Baiano, Japanese Kabuki, the kris of Indonesia and India's Ramlila or the traditional performance of the Ramayana.

UNESCO defined the title "as an international distinction destined to raise public awareness of the value of this heritage, which includes popular and traditional oral forms of expression, music and dance, rituals and mythologies, knowledge and practices concerning the universe, know-how linked to traditional crafts, as well as cultural spaces."

There are now 90 such masterpieces proclaimed since 2001. The Hudhud chant of the Ifugao here in the Cordillera was proclaimed in 2001.

The Darangen, which was one of the 64 candidates for this year's batch, is often compared to the Ramayana and was said to have been first told in the 14 th century. It is a romance of many cycles but basically tells the story of Princess Gandingan and Prince Bantungan. The Darangen gives us a glimpse of the culture of the Lake Sebu Maranaos before they were colonized.

The Darangen comprises 17 cycles and 72,000 lines and encompasses everything from love, ethics, customary laws, politics and social values.

It literally means "to narrate in song" in Maranao.

According to the earlier pronouncement of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, the Darangen would be included in national school curriculum.

According to the Unesco press release, though the Darangen is orally transmitted, parts of the epic had been recorded in manuscript using an obsolete Arabic –based writing system.

"Being cherished as heirlooms by certain Maranao families, these manuscripts are highly valued for their antiquity and prestige value. Specialised performers of either sex sing the Darangen during wedding celebrations that typically last several nights," Unesco said.

"Nowadays, the Darangen is infrequently performed owing in part to its rich vocabulary and archaic linguistic forms that can only be understood by practitioners, elders and scholars. Indeed, the growing tendency to embrace mainstream Filipino lifestyles represents a serious threat to the survival of this ancient epic," it added.

The National Museum and National Library, which also archived the Hudhud, was also tasked to set up an archive of the epic in its complete form, allowing for the epic's preservation and promotion.

These two Filipino "intangible masterpieces" may be the last of its kind.

In 2003, UNESCO adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which stipulates that a Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity be created, alongside a List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.

That meant that preservation efforts would include only these 90 masterpieces.

Although Hudhud was the only Southeast Asian "treasure" included in 2001, this year's list also included Sbek Thom or Khmer shadow theatre for Cambodia and the space of Gong culture in the Central Highland of Vietnam. In 2003, the court music of Nha Nhac State of Vietnam, Royal Ballet of Cambodia and Wayang puppet theater of Indonesia were included together with the Bunraku puppet theater of Japan, Vedic chanting of India and Gujin music of China.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Serious Matters: Journalist Sources

First, here are some links you might need.

WWII Soldier's Last Letter Makes It Home

Are search engine architects information wastrels?

Apparent Hunter S. Thompson suicide note published

New book features Soviet documents about chess and “the [Bobby] Fischer problem”

Guide Aims to Help Bloggers Beat Censors
“A Paris-based media watchdog has released a free guide with tips for bloggers and dissidents to sneak past Internet censors in countries from China to Iran.”
The “Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-dissidents” is here

Compilation footage of reporters actually doing their jobs!

A fresh look at the science of eating habits
“Drawing on recently declassified Department of Defense studies, Wansink explains how, during World War II, the US government tried to get consumers to buy alternative cuts of meat such as liver and kidneys because much of the domestic supply was being shipped overseas to feed soldiers and allies. The Defense Department turned to experts, including anthropologist Margaret Mead, for advice on how to get Americans to change their eating habits.”

Google Earth threatens democracy
“The recent news that South Korea is to take the US to task over Google Earth images which expose its military installations to close Commie scrutiny has provoked a mini stampede of other peace-loving nations eager to protect their assets from prying eyes.”

Is Your Printer Spying On You?

Google blackballs CNET after news site uses Google to find info about Google’s CEO Ha ha ha

Next we have Companies With Highest Levels Of Employee Injury and Illness

Some Prominent Names From the List
1-800-FLOWERS • Airborne Express • American Airlines • Coca-Cola • Caterpillar • Chiquita • Continental Airlines • Coors • Dillards • Domino's Pizza • El Al • FedEx • Ford • Frito-Lay • GE • Goodyear • HarperCollins • HCA • Honda • K Mart • Kraft • Kroger • La-Z Boy • Levi Strauss • Lowes • McGraw-Hill • Michelin • Mitsubishi • Nabisco • Nestle • New York Times • Nissan • Northrop Grumman • Northwest Airlines • Oneida • Pepsi-Cola • Philips • Pier 1 • Pillsbury • Publix • Purina Mills • Sara Lee • Sealy • Sears • Sherwin-Williams • Southwest Airlines • Target • TRW • TWA • Tyco • Tyson Foods • United Airlines • UPS • US Postal Service • Wal-Mart
What's with the presses????

The Voice of America had already prepared the obituary for Corazon Aquino. Others include
Kofi Annan George H. W. James Earl Carter Fidel Castro Louis Farrakhan Ted Kennedy Ed Koch John McCain Ralph Nader Colin Powell Nancy Reagan Lech Walesa Lee Iacocca Henry Kissenger Nelson Mandela Daniel Ortega Prince Charles Aleksandr Solzehenitsyn Queen Elizabeth Donald Trump Neil Armstrong Dick Cheney Al Gore Marvelous Marvin Hagler Bo Jackson Jesse Jackson Earvin Magic Johnson Senator Bob Kerrey Joe Montana
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