Sunday, November 28, 2010

Facebook Politics, Part 2

Pundits charge the Aquino administration with being run like a student council. "Lightweights", as Sen. Miriam Santiago puts it. Their succession of faux pas and gaffes bears out the charge: careless tweets, unimaginative campaigns, and backstepping all around.

Really, what do you expect a government that's run by consensus? And when it all comes down to it, isn't that what we wanted in the first place? Consensus? Participation? Collegiality? When you have to take everybody's opinion into account, you end up with no opinion. When everyone has to have a say on where to go, you end up going nowhere.

A lightweight administration? Indeed! But only because it chooses to pander to a lightweight constituency. What's that old saw? We get the government we deserve.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Facebook Politics

I know Enteng Romano III from way back when. Not personally, of course, but professionally. Before he rose to prominence as convenor of the Black and White Movement, he was already a high-profile consultant and speaker in the local IT scene. You might say I know him well from his many brochures and email invitations to his events. Later on, Mr. Romano turned his energies to political advocacy and, well, zoom! For that he had my respect.

I didn't expect to hear more of Mr. Romano, so his resignation last week came as Department of Tourism undersecretary came as a surprise: I didn't even know he had been appointed to the position.

In a way, it's sad. Mr. Romano resigned because of the flap over the "Pilipinas Kay Ganda" campaign. Mr. Romano chose the honorable way out. He owned up to the error, even though his name hardly came up in the furor. One would hope that his exit would provide closure to the issue, but since the real target seems to be Sec. Lim, it seems this will grab the scorn and the limelight for a few weeks more.

The irony is this: now that Mr. Romano has resigned, people are more sure that he was a decent, responsible man, unlike other officials who cling to their posts come hell or high water. Perhaps he shouldn't have resigned? Too late, folks.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

"Lesser Evil"

A friend posed this question to me long ago: "Would you knowingly have sex with someone who had HIV? Even with a condom?"

This comes to mind because today's national broadsheets both carry the same headline: "Condoms are the lesser evil" -- reference, of course, to how the newspapers chose to interpret Pope Benedict's words in the upcoming book Light of the World.

Lesser evil?

Indeed. But only in the sense that it is a lesser evil to wrap a towel around a steel pipe before beating someone over the head with it, as opposed to beating someone over the head with the bare steel pipe.

The moral thing to do, of course, is not to go around hitting people with steel pipes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Of bellyaching Photoshop artists

Consider this a rant, at the same time another polemic on free software vs proprietary software.
Last Saturday, I took my files to the printer so I could see if there were any hiccups with what I had prepared. Apparently there was.

The cover illustration for one of the books was only available in medium-resolution JPEG format. Still, I didn't think it would be a problem as I only wanted two colors. It should have been easy to separate the red from the black, right?

Well, wrong. At least according to the Photoshop artists I spoke to.

My next two books

What with my graduate classes, undergraduate classes, web sites, book production, and, ahem, engagement, I haven't really had time to attend to this blog the past week. Fortunately, some projects have closed or are coming near that, and so I can breathe again. Just barely.

I have a number of things I'd like to write, I just have to get past my own inertia first. Soon, I promise.

In the meantime, here are the covers for the two books I've been working since July. I've been a one-man shop in the production of these books -- I've done everything from layout to cover design to printer negotiations. I wish I had more help but....

Note to self: working with writers is like herding cats.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


A week ago, I posted about the wife toy sold at a local mall. Said toy caught my eye because of its somewhat misogynistic description. Gilbert commented that he wanted to see the "husband" version.

Well, Gilbert, wait no more, for here it is!

Plagiarism at Ateneo de Davao

In the wake of the Supreme Court's handling of the charge of plagiarism against one of its own, the University president sent out this memo last week:


In the light of the recent Supreme Court decision "In the Matter of the Charges of Plagiarism, etc., against Associate Justice Mariano C. del Castillo," promulgated in October 2010, which quoted the definition of plagiarism given in the 8th Edition of Black's Law Dictionary as the
"deliberate and knowing presentation of another person's original ideas or creative expressions as one's own," and stated that "Thus, plagiarism presupposes intent and a deliberate conscious, effort to steal another's work and pass it off as one's work," I wish to inform all concerned that the University will continue with its current understanding and treatment of
plagiarism as stated in its ADDU (College) Student Manual, 2010 Edition:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Salsa recipe

I've recently concocted a salsa mix that I really like. Unfortunately, I just threw the ingredients together and forgot the measurements. Luckily, my fiancée is a cooking whiz and so we spent an evening reconstructing the recipe. In the spirit of sharing and open source (and so I don't eventually forget), here it is:

  • 2 400g cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup red bell peppers
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp ground pepper (to taste)
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar (to taste)
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 1 tbsp water

Boil in a pan and stir till moderately thick.

Your mileage may vary, but we found it tasty.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Corrupting young minds

Every semester since I started teaching at Ateneo I've managed to sneak in Ubuntu in all my IT classes. It's something new for the students and many of them go on to use it in their thesis projects. That gives me an exposure rate of around 100 students per year. Heh, I love corrupting young minds.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Saw this toy at the local mall, just had to take a picture. The caption says "Wife" and underneath: "She's made to serve you!" "She's quiet, she'll never interrupt the game!" "She'll never run up the credit cards!" "Best of all, she'll never say no!"

I, for one, would not wish to meet the person who wrote up those tags. Issues, issues, issues....

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Three Wise Men

The Three Wise Men of Bisaya writing in Davao City: Mac Tiu, Don Pagusara, and Satur Apoyon.


Found at a native goods shop in Oyanguren.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Cups and Lowercase


Recently rescued from the to-shred pile, these doodles were the product of last semester's technopreneurship panel defenses and division meetings.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Monday, November 01, 2010