Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Read Comics in Public Day

Apparently, August 28 is Read Comics in Public Day.  I only found about it through my Twitter feed today; chalk up the day's difference to timezones, then.

Now, normally I don't go for silly Internet-initiated celebrations anymore (I'm all grown up now, sadly), but this is one advocacy I'm all happy to support.  We all should read more comics.

To celebrate the event, I brought comics to class and gave them to my students to read.  Here they are going through my copies of Death, Jr. and the classic Alien Legion.  Afterwards, they asked to borrow my comics to read after class.  Who am I to say no?

On the downside, I was so busy today I didn't get a picture of myself reading comics in public!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mating Snails

I saw these two snails doing the nasty during my morning walk.  See how they're entwined with each other?

Whyfiles.org has an informative article on snails' mating process.  Snails, apparently, are hermaphroditic: they can take on male or female roles in reproduction.  Want to know what's weirder?  Look up the famous snail "love dart."

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ateneo Blue Knights Come to Life!

Who needs weird Japanese anime / video game cosplay when you you've got some super-cool school symbols to choose from?

I was pleasantly surprised to see these two Blue Knights in battle armor taking part in the Ateneo de Davao contingent for the Kadayawan Floral Parade. The armor was pretty well-made -- molded plastic, I believe -- and the paint job wasn't bad either. To round out the costumes, they both had the Ateneo seal for shields as well as the sword and banner.


Gotta tip my hat to this pair. It was a sweltering 30 C, and they must have been sweating buckets in the armor. But they managed to finish the 3-kilometer walk from Roxas Boulevard to San Pedro Street. Now that's dedication!


Go, Blue Knights!

Faces of Kadayawan, Part 3









Faces of Kadayawan, Part 2









Saturday, August 11, 2012

Don't Tell Me


Way back in high school, our local TV station -- GMA, I think, because there was no cable then -- would play this music video every afternoon. I never did get the name of the band: they weren't nearly as famous as any of the other acts, and I don't know of any other hits of theirs from the period. But I found both the music and the visuals mesmerizing. I don't know, it must have been the exotic European background, or the oddly clashing synth-pop tune, or maybe it was the goofy gap-toothed lead.

Then I grew up, buried it all in my subconscious.

Then, today, while working on a presentation with 80's hits from 8Tracks playing in the background. The song wasn't even on the playlist, but some the lyrics came to me and...well, what's the Internet for, anyways? A quick search on Google led me to Youtube, and here we have a blast from my past.

The band is Blancmange. Wikipedia tells me they released another album in 2011. Who knew?

And going against the truism that Youtube only contains herp-derp comments, here's an interesting factoid about the video:

This video was filmed in Valencia, Spain, during the celebration of the Fallas festival in March 1984.

This is a last glance at Spain BEFORE it joined the EU in 1985. The band would have had passport checks and everything. Spain was a different world back then. The girls are looking amazing in their traditional costumes, they are totally thrilled with the boys and the camera crew, and they're as cute as buttons.

Doodling

It's been a whole since I doodled anything. Thought I'd give the drawing hand a spin before it got too rusty. This here was made using Bamboo on the iPad with a P50 stylus from CDR King.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Reset

Every August, Ateneo teachers take three days off to go on retreat.  It's one of those optional-but-highly-encouraged university activities; but it's also well ingrained in the psyche of the school that participation is fairly high, without any of the arm-twisting that you might expect.  Many, in fact, do look forward to it.

My first two years, I opted for the live-out retreat.  The schedule is much lighter, the venue isn't nearly so far away, and most importantly, I get to go home and sleep in my own bed at the end of the day.

This year, though, I finally took the plunge into the full-on stay-in silent retreat.  Apart from giving up my home comforts for two nights, there was the prospect of a three-hour journey to Kidapawan (in reality, worse than I imagined).

What drive me to such a decision?  The need for spiritual enlightenment?  The quest for inner peace?  Well, no, and no.  What I really wanted, more than anything else, was to disconnect myself from technology for a few days.


Burger Time

I was away on a three-day retreat.  To celebrate my homecoming, my wife welcomed me with -- guess what? -- burgers for dinner.

This batch was particularly good.  Lean meat, not too oily, topped with caramelized onions and melted cheese, with a leaf of lettuce to add the crunch to the flavor. 

Don't you wish your girlfriend made burgers like these?

Friday, August 03, 2012

Presbyopia

Sometime early this year I finally had to surrender the notion that I would stay young forever. 

The plan, I once thought, had been fool-proof.  In a nutshell: stay I'm touch with my Inner Child.  Stay around young people.  Maintain my old hobbies, and pick up some new ones along the way.  Read. Travel.  Fall in love.  And learn, learn, learn, and keep on learning.  All of which I did, enjoying it immensely.

I was going to stay young forever, dammit!

But you never really know when and where the assault is going to happen.  Well, actually, you do, from all the whispered tales of people just like you.  You just don't think it's going to happen to you, like it did to me: my eyesight started to go.