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Showing posts from June, 2010

Bon courage, President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III!

I sure didn't vote for Senator Noynoy Aquino during the 2010 Presidential Elections. I preferred someone else. However, for the future of the country, I wish all the best for President Aquino and his administration. This is a difficult time for most of the country. I can only hope and pray that he succeeds in making the Philippines a just, peaceful and prosperous nation.

For the tough days ahead, I hope, Mr. President, that you will lead the nation and make the best decisions for the country. May you have the wisdom and the courage to do the right things at the right time.

Bon courage, Mister President.

My first Adobe Flex application

I have always liked learning about new programming tools and am always on the lookout for which tools would do best which job.  From time to time, I check on the status of rich internet applications, and in particular Adobe Flex (or Adobe AIR), which is a great framework in case you want nice user interfaces.

Finally, my chance came. My wife needed a software to record and analyze the trend of prices of various products on the market. So, basically, she needed a convenient way to store information into a database and display it on a chart, a use some statistical tools to come up with business decisions. And most importantly, she needed soon -- in about a week's time.

Adobe Flex first came to my mind and after a quick research, I determined that it's the right tool for the job.  It's very convenient for making graphical controls (text input, buttons, tables), data visualization (charts), and -- after a bit of clarification -- it handles local file databases (sqlite). These …

Looking for a Chinese name

My second son, Andrew Meson, is now going to a new school since we moved late last month to the capital of the Philippines. It turns out that this school is catering to the East Asian community in the capital (mostly Chinese-, Korean-, and Japanese-Filipino students). And to add to our surprise, we were asked to give our son a Chinese name!

So, I spent the whole day yesterday trying to come up with a good name for my son. I already know some Chinese characters because I have learned Japanese during my stay as a student in Japan. Still, I found it a rather challenging task. So I can only wonder what it would be like for a parent who has no knowledge whatsoever of the Chinese language.

I found that many "baby names" websites actually have a list of popular Chinese names. So, if you don't want to complicate things, you just pick one from there.  The downside is that it's not exactly tailored to what you might want for your child's name. For that I found the Mandarin…

Eating right to prevent and cure diseases

I saw this very interesting TED talk by Dr. William Li: Can we eat to starve cancer?

The idea is that a lot of diseases, from cancer to obesity, are related to the growth of blood vessels or angiogenesis. And in the end, Dr. Li presents a strong case for changing our diets to control angiogenesis and, hence, control or prevent diseases like cancer and obesity.

Related reading(s):

Football Frenzy!

The biggest sports event of the planet, the FIFA World Cup 2010, has started last Friday, the 11th of June 2010.  Finally, I am in a country where football reigns supreme -- unlike my native Philippines that's living inside it's own NBA basketball bubble -- so I get to watch ALL the games!

By tomorrow, all the teams will have played their first matches. Germany leads the pack with a staggering 4-0 slaughter of the Australians. Let's see if they can keep it up. South Korea also did a splendid 2-0 win over the sluggish Greeks, and so did the Dutch against the Danes (although in a less spectacular manner).  The Brazilians, though not quite showing good teamwork, have managed to win 2-1 over the North Koreans.

The most memorable gaffe so far is that of England's goalkeeper Robert Green, and for his sake I hope someone else (perhaps the Spanish keeper? hehehehe) will commit a graver error. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow's match between Spain and Swit…


This video by Sasha Aleksandrov, titled Magnitka, reminded me of what used to be the National Steel Corporation in Iligan City, Philippines. It amazes me how such crude industrial environments can be viewed as a living piece of art.

Basketball, Culture and History in the Philippines

Thanks to my friend Martin, I bumped into this exciting book by Rafe Bartholomew, Pacific Rims: Beermen Ballin' in Flip-Flops and the Philippines' Unlikely Love Affair with Basketball. This is a great piece, not only of sports writing, but also into the role of a sport in the culture, politics and history of a country.

For someone as baffled as I am why basketball is super popular in the Philippines (and I'm a Filipino!) this book is a must have!