Month: January 2007

news roundup

here’s an interesting TIME article article about the Stonehenge, possibly (one of) the planet’s most intriguing manmade structures (left basically intact) ever! the Stonehenge has been attracting thousands of tourists each year, and will no doubt continue to do so in the years to come. it’s one of the places that i’d definitely want to visit (fingers crossed), along with Machu Picchu in Peru.

there is also an interesting piece of news about the whole continent of Africa being slowly ripped apart due to geological activities. hmmm…

tiger wins again! 

tiger woods is still on a roll and he’s gathering steam, too. after stretching his PGA tour wins to 7 (the second longest winning streak in golf history) — following his triumph at the Buick Invitationals — tiger woods is set to defend his title at the Dubai Desert Classic this week in UAE.


max butts in

i was about to give my old trusty laptop a much-needed rest, when i heard hot panting breath behind me. well! who else could it be, but dear old max who hates being left out of the scene. after nosing out and scattering the items on my study table, he plopped his forelegs on my knees. i guess i have no choice…

and now, a word from max our resident canine wiseguy


max:   woof, woof… woof

a couple of ‘perk-you-up’ updates

finally! Acalypto is scheduled to appear in local theaters a week from now (*thunderclap*, followed by sound of *clashing cymbals*).

here’s hoping nothing will come up to delay this playdate (again). not that i expect to enjoy all of it (it’s a gory bloodfest, to say the least). i’ll probably be blinking through patches, but i sure am not gonna let that get in the way of enjoying this flick. truth is, i’ve been trying to convince a few adventurous souls here to watch the movie with me. as of last count — it’s still zero nyahahaha! scaredy cats!

which reminds me, the Temeraire series (3 books so far) is definitely going to be screenplayed by good ol’ Peter Jackson (LOTR, Heavenly Creatures). yayyy! i must admit this is one of the biggest reasons why i began searching for this series in local bookstores. as soon as i’ve read some excerpts of book 1 (His Majesty’s Dragon), i fell for it hook, line and sinker.

hmd.jpg  novik2.jpg  bpw.jpg

apparently the author herself (Naomi Novik) was tickled pink — make that ecstatic — when she heard that PJ had acquired the options to film all 3 books (UPDATE: book 4 is initally titled A Brazen Armament). here is Quint’s (one of my favorite critics over at AICN) interview with Ms. Novik regarding the upcoming project… 

uhm, for those who have read book 3 of this series (The Black Powder War), here is a tidbit from Ms Novik: a deleted scene from that volume…

let’s talk about books baby

i haven’t have had much time to read lately, so i’m back to skimming through some of my old favorite titles. these include a number of fantasy books: Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series jsmn.jpg(His Majesty’s Dragon, Throne of Jade, The Black Powder War) and Susanna Clarke’s challenging but hugely satisfying Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. There is also John Keegan’s masterful Mask of Command and Capt. John Kincaid‘s droll autobiographical account of the Peninsular War — Adventures in the Rifle Brigade and Random Shots from a Rifleman.

i’m not sure why, but for some reason i find Napoleonic wars fascinating, particularly the Peninsular War (1808 – 1814) which took place in the Iberian Peninsula. i even plodded through vols. III and IV of Sir Charles Oman’s A History of the Peninsular War (for cryin’ out loud!), which a lot of my friends find baffling if not downright bizarre.

in fact, i have yet to meet anyone (locally at least) who shares this interest. i guess that makes me a bit of an oddball. big deal.

shelf.jpgand then, there’s my durable list of old Georgette Heyer favorites (she’s like an updated version of Jane Austen, but a lot more funnier and easier to read) and James Herriot’s stable of delightful books recounting funny and heartwarming scenes from his veterinary practice (All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, etc.) 

interesting stuff

here’s a passel of interesting news from various fronts lately

In Science, a number of scentists are suggesting that there may have been living creatures in Mars when NASA’s Viking 1 and 2 landed on the red planet in 1976. in an ironic twist, a recent analysis of the Viking mission data is hypothesizing that these space probes may have inadvertently killed the very same life forms that they have been sent off to study (tsk tsk… talk about stumbling in the dark!).


For a more comprehensive explanation, you can check out‘s news release on this

and here’s also the latest update on dark matter, invisible stuff which apparently  takes up a huge portion of the universe. you can check out the details at


In Technology (Consumer Electronics), SonyEricsson recently announced the arrival of its newest Walkman phone — the W200. It features a VGA camera and a 128mb meory stick (memory expandable to 2Gb). SE’s Walkman products have great audio quality. i know, because my current mobile unit is an SE W800i (bought a year ago). it looks like a toy and feels like one but the sound quality (it has radio and mp3 player) is comparable to that top-of-the-line mp3 players.

on a more wistful note, i’m still dreaming of the time when i can finally have a Wiimote of my own (reminder: tv screen guard is a must). it’s the perfect foil for couch potatoes like me (*sigh*). it’ll also give me another incentive to visit every now and then to check out the amusing idiocies of some Wiimote users.

nyc subway guy gets his due


i just read this amazing story about a 50-year-old blue-collar NYC guy who saved a 20-year-old film student in NY’s subway lately. seems like Cameron Hollopeter was experiencing some kind of a seizure when he fell into the subway tracks just a few moments before a train was due to arrive. Fortunately for him, Wesley Autrey, a quick-thinking construction worker (guy in yelow jacket), jumped off from the platform and held the student down with him in one of the cracks as the train rumbled over them “with inches to spare”.

the rest (outpouring of praises, rewards and media attention), as they say, is history… 


again, wow. it must be the greatest feeling in the world to know that you saved another human being. no i’m not talking about the rewards (they’re just the icing really, and they have their downside too). i’m referring to that unmatched feeling of having done something worthwhile in your life — an unthinking act unvarnished by any motive — an unutterably pure moment that cannot be touched nor altered by anything that happened before and after the event. if all of us can be defined by such moments i’m sure the world would be a better place. NB (picture taken from NYT)

a glimpse of boracay

here are a few snaps of our trip to boracay a few months ago. i found a few of these pictures aimlessly lying around in my desk, so i guess it’s about time i put them up here. you know, just in case they get lost (through sheer neglect har-har-har) or something…

a cloudy day at the beach

we also found a few shops (catering to various tastes) but i really liked this one — it features an eclectic blend of beach knick-knacks and colorful souvenir items…


one downside of that little interlude was that the weather was mostly downcast the whole time we were there, so everytime the sun peeked out — out we went. the palm trees looked downright dazzling in the sunlight. also, this picture like looks a monochromatic postcard of some secluded beach (you can almost feel the wind rushing at your face) so i’m placing it here.


and for the tolkien enthusiast, there’s something to perk you up while you’re basing in the tropical sun: an LOTR-themed pub! i was surprised to see a spot of Middle-earth in this tropical setting, but something a bit out of place can’t be that bad when you’re outdoors…