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LIST | Persons who can go out during mandatory COVID community quarantine

On Wednesday, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases revealed a complete list of persons exempted f...

Monday, November 30, 2015

VIDEO | Asians try Filipino food. Check out their reactions!

A lot of Youtubers from various countries have been posting clips of themselves trying out food not local to them. A sweet couple of Asians (one Filipino, one Indonesian), together with their Mexican friend, taste Filipino junk food. 

Arnold Telagaarta, his girlfriend Heart, and their Mexican friend Lupe tried Nagaraya, Boy Bawang, Regent ube cake, polvoron, Pamana chicharon, Ricoa Flat Tops, salted tamarind candy (sampalok), and Piattos.

Check out their reactions below! Watch it.

Video Courtesy: Youtube user Arnold Telagaarta

Sunday, November 29, 2015

LIST | 5 awesome Filipino innovations you might not know

Did you know that aside from the creativity that we Filipinos possess, we also have that ingenuity, street-smart attitude, swag skills, and innovative thinking that bring us at par with our international counterparts? In a recent post I made, I talked about several Pinoy entrepreneurs who made it or are currently making it BIG including SALt (salt-powered lamp) innovator Engr. Aisa Mijeno. Now, let's talk about more products of Filipino minds!

Set aside all Filipino problems that brought us to the international headlines (e.g. tanim bala scam). Skip Filipino entertainment-related developments that always get some attention anywhere. Here are five awesome Filipino innovations you might not know, but will now learn about. Enjoy!

1. Plastic-to-Fuel Converter

Screenshot: Youtube channel Reuters

Bacolod native  Jayme Navarro utilized a way to turn thousands of trash into fuel such as diesel, gasoline, and kerosene. The incineration and conversion process begins when the plastics are shredded and dried, which are then placed into an air-tight chamber for decomposition. The plastic granules inside undergoes smelting and evaporates, the vapor of which becomes distilled into the different fuel variants.

The result is a cost-effective way to produce cleaner, cheap fuel from plastic.

2. Amphibious Tricycle (featured in my first blog Spotlight Philippines)

Video Source: Youtube channel Top Gear Philippines

Designed by a group of Filipino inventors and innovators led by Dominic Chung and Atoy Llave, the Salamander amphibious tricycle is the first of its kind to be created. It is a tricycle that can wade through the waters especially when heavy flooding takes place. This water-and-land traveling tricycle is definitely what the country.

3. First Windows graphics accelerator chip

Image Source: Imbenta.Net

Yep, there were a few Filipinos who had the chance to venture into and explore the world of tech when the industry was just starting to grow. The first single-chip graphical user interface accelerator which enhanced computers' performance was developed by Filipino entrepreneur, engineer, and philantropist Diosdado Banatao. The innovation has allowed computer users to use graphics for commands and not the usual typed commands in older computers.

Aside from the graphical UI accelerator, he was also behind the 16-bit microprocessor-based calculator, the first 10-Mbit Ethernet CMOS with silicon coupler data-link control and transreceiver chip, and the first system logic chip set.

4. Improvised Medical Incubator, Weighing Scale and Warmer

Image Source: Imbenta.net

Credited for her contributions to the field of medicine, National Scientist Dr. Fe del Mundo is truly a woman, although not known to many Filipinos, who deserves all the love and respect of her countrymen. She became the first Filipino woman and the only woman to have enrolled at the Harvard University School of Medicine during her time. Among her priceless accomplishments, a makeshift incubator that can be used in rural areas without electricity was one of the game-changers at that time. It was composed of two native differently-sized laundry baskets placed one inside another. She also made a cloth-suspended weighing scale for infants and a bamboo warmer for newborns with special care needs.

5. Furniture from Forest Waste

Image Courtesy: Naturecast.com

Let's talk green! Featured on Rappler, Naturescast is a wood-like material actually composed of forest waste (twigs, branches, leaves) which are then ground and bound to form stylish and sturdy furniture from chairs and lamps to walls and ceilings. Some of the products of Nature's Legacy, the company behind Naturescast, are being used by outlets like The Body Shop.

There's just a lot of development nowadays that Filipinos do. Just think about the numbers of start-ups that have flourished in the country. Don't forget the inventions and researches that are being conducted inside top universities.

Other innovative products that Filipinos can usually think of, because they're just seen and heard on the news, are the e-jeepney, yo-yo, patis (fish sauce), body heat-powered flashlight created by Ann Makosinsk, low-cost landslide sensor, Project NOAH and its Philippine-made MOSES tablet, and of course, the Aurelio supercar. But did you also know that Filipinos also innovated an electric firecracker (Elektro firecracker), a 3-in-1 ANOS Patriot fire truck, and an improvised community guard baton? 

Feed your curiosity. Search them up! :)

MONEY | PSE Index (PSEi) Stock Performance (January - November 2015 Returns)

There are less than 25 tradings days left before this tough investment year ends and a little less than 20 days before Christmas bonuses start raining to keep the Holiday festivity up. Some investors might just be curious about how the companies/stocks included in PSE (Composite) Index or PSEi fare since 2015's first trading day.

Well, let's take a look at the table of PSEi stock performances or stock returns from January 5 to November 27, 2015.

It's no shocker that only 12 of the blue chip companies (stocks) in the Philippines have experienced gains in the stocks' prices. The market has seen turbulence and waves of volatility most evident in August when a steep decline and mega sale of stocks took place. Most of the blue-chip stocks listed in the PSEi have taken huge losses, that's considering when one bought the specific loser stocks at the end of January 5 and still held on to it until November 27, 2015. 

PSEi ended 2014 at 7,230.57, topped 7276.62 on the first trading day of 2015, and reached an all-time peak of 8,136.97 in April 2015, before it dropped down to 6927.07 in November 27. That's around 4.68% loss for the PSEi.

Some notable performers, however, include SM Prime Holdings (SMPH), LT Group (LTG), Manila Electric Company (MER), Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC), GT Capital Holdings (GTCAP), and Globe Telecom (GLO). Meanwhile, the biggest losers are Alliance Global Group (AGI), Petron Corp. (PCOR), Energy Development Corp. (EDC), Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), International Container Terminal Services (ICTS), San Miguel Corp (SMC), and Bloombery Resorts Corp. (BLOOM).

Will there be reversals in the current stock prices? Will there be significant gains as the Holiday season approaches? Will some stock prices continue going down the drain? Are investors confident that these companies will do better in 2016? Will you still hold on or let go? We'll see.

P.S. If you want to know a little bit more about the blue chip stocks of the Philippines, visit this link. If you want to check out the first half performance of the blue chip stocks, try this link out.

P.P.S. Check out MLB's Facebook page via  Mania LifeBox for more updates. :)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

LIST | 10 worst inventions made in history

Most inventions created by mankind really serve their purpose well. From cars that enabled us to traverse distances to planes that brought us closer to our loved ones within just a few hours, inventors crafted these things to provide convenience and save time in our limited lifespan.

But sadly, there are just those stuff which failed to improve the lives of humans or those which caused misery to so many lives. This post lists down 10 of the worst inventions made in history. 

1. Shiri

Screenshot: Youtube channel Nobuhiro Takahashi

A Japanese mechanical butt made from silicone, Shiri responds to human touch. It will tense up in fear when hit or slammed and will shiver (in pleasure) when stroked. The way it works is that its internal microphones detect and recognized the sound produced when a human's hand touches it, thereby allowing the RoButt to respond to. It's great that a RoButt can now express feelings by deploying artificial "muscle" motion. The underlying question, however, is who would want to buy that? 

2. High 5 Simulator

Source: imgur user justsomeotherguy

Found yourself triumphant over a GSW bet with no other than yourself? Here's for all loners out there who'd like to feel that victorious high five! The High 5 Simulator was invented in the 90s to enable anyone to celebrate a landmark moment alone. This spring-loaded arm simulates the effect of a high five with a fake hand on-call each time you'd need it. Surprisingly, an iPad app version was launched five years ago.

3. Vibrating Ab Belt

Video Source: BeautykoInformercial's channel

Due to capitalism's pressure to make the most out of every employee, people have come to adapt the sedentary lifestyle, working through eight-hour shifts sitting in front of the computer and going home only to relax, tune in on the latest news updates, and sleep. Deemed to be a cost-effective way of staying fit (well, kind of) versus the more cost-heftier gym workouts, the vibrating ab belt was developed to tone the core areas by sending electric charges to the target muscles for contraction. 

The dangerous thing with the belt is that it could destabilize the circuitry of the heart, thereby endangering it. While some may say that these belts really work, others simply recommend doing regular push-ups or sit-ups. That would be more effective and cheap!

4. Golf Putting Bra

Video Source: Youtube channel Diagonal View

Are you a woman who loves to play golf? A Japanese company with all its pure intentions made a bra that can act as a mini putting ground. The golf putting bra also featured extra pockets for golf balls and tees and had a programmed speaker that congratulates the player with "Nice shot!" Well, the company might have forgotten that bras are a need, and not just a sports accessory. Unless shy girls play privately or loud girls go on half-naked, then this thing's just pretty much useless.

5. Parachute Jacket

Image Source: Wikimedia

Designed in 1912 by French inventor and parachuting pioneer Franz Reichelt, the parachute jacket made buzz at that time when Reichelt wore one to test it by jumping from the Eiffel Tower. Unfortunately, it failed to deploy. He died. What a waste of life.

6. Auto-Tune

Screenshot: Youtube channel rebecca

This audio editing technology has somehow ruined the lives of wannabe singers like Rebecca Black who yearned to become as successful as the likes of Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, or Boyce Avenue, but ended up being criticized for doing so. 

To date, Rebecca Black's song "Friday" is one of the most popular auto-tuned songs gathering at least 86 million views and 1,76 million dislikes. It should be noted though that Rebecca Black can sing! Check out her voice in her rendition of Lorde's  "Royals".

7. Comfort Wipe

Image Source: Miles Kimball

Some people can't stand the idea of wiping off poo-poo in their butt using their own hands (for water or tissue). That's why the Comfort Wipe, a plastic extension of your arm, was invented. What you'll do is that you'll just grasp the normal handle and you'll insert a tissue at the other end so that you can easily smash/glide it on your butt. Once finished wiping, pressing a button will release the already-used tissue paper unto the bowl. 

The Comfort Wipe failed to make it to market, but a version for obese and/or physically challenged individuals can be bought online. It's not that worse after all.

8. Baby Cage

Video Source: Youtube channel British Pathe

In the 1930s, London nannies who had not enough living space for their infants and toddlers decided to use the suspended baby cage. It did solve the problem with space and gave their young ones enough air and sunlight exposure that they need, but essentially, the baby cage put these lives to risk as they were hanged outside windows, not to add the fact that it felt inhumane to place a child outside like you're drying your laundry.

9. Pet Rock

Video Source: Youtube channel British Pathe

Inventor Gary Dahl realized that one can market a rock for some pretty Christmas gift items! The Pet Rock became popular, Gary earned $15 million in its first six months of hitting the shelves. The rock, as a gift, was placed in a carry case (box) with air holes on it and some straw inside it. Costing $4 (or 180 Php) each, each package came with a manual on how to care and feed the rock. Around 1.5 million people forgot the fact that the rocks are ubiquitous. They're found everywhere! Why not get your own rock and pet it?

10. Agent Orange

Image Source: Prezi user Ben Thorn

According to the History website, Agent Orange is a "powerful mixture of chemical defoliants used by U.S. military forces during the Vietnam War to eliminate forest cover for North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops, as well as crops that might be used to feed them."

In 1961-1972, more than 19 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed over 4.5 million acres of land in Vietnam and caused tumors, birth defects, rashes, psychological symptoms and cancer to the affected people of Vietnam and returning US servicemen.

This herbicide mix made by man is definitely one of the world's worst inventions to date as no one benefited from it.

TECH | 35 cool new inventions you would love to have

I got to check out this cool Youtube channel The Future Is Now which features so many up-and-coming and currently existing gadgets that are ready to take on the world. These devices will surely make you want to strive harder at work to get a piece of!

Take a glimpse of what the future holds for everyone of us! With the accelerating pace of technology, wondering what's yet to come is definitely something that goes beyond what the mind can take. Take this mind-blowing playlist of some of the things that we can get to try in life! Enjoy your weekend!

Videos Courtesy: Youtube channel The Future Is Now

Thursday, November 26, 2015

TECH | Bye Bye Wi-Fi, Hello Li-Fi! Downloading an HD film in a matter of seconds now achievable!

The development of the world wide web, together with the consequent fast-paced movement of invention and innovation from the smartphone and tablet predecessors to all-in-one, sleek, stylish, and minimalist gadgets, has in some ways opened doors to everyone from all walks of life granting them the opportunity to change and improve the way they think and learn and to understand just about anything in just a few types and clicks. 

Wi-Fi has continued to break the barrier that hindered anyone from getting access to trillions of information technically contributing to a raised awareness and enhanced knowledge of all things comprehensible. But while a lot thought Wi-Fi is one of the best things that have happened to humanity in the 21st century, a new method of data transmission that when commercially launched will enable anyone to download a high-definition (HD) film in seconds has been in the works!

Li-Fi is a superbly fast alternative to Wi-Fi. It's 100 times faster than current Wi-Fi technologies. The image below shows how Li-Fi (from visible light communication) works.

Image Courtesy: Boston University

A real-world pilot testing of Li-FI technology carried out by Estonian start-up Velmenni in offices and industrial environments in Tallinn, Estonia's capital, has revealed that Li-Fi is able to send data up to 1 GBps or 224 gigabits per second! I think the fastest download speed that money can buy in PH right now is 200 Mbps or 200 megabits per seconds. 

Meanwhile, Li-Fi tech can realistically reach speeds of up to 224,000 megabits per second which is more than 1,000 times that of what Sky Broadband provides for a price of around 35k Php per month!

As of this moment, Li-Fi is not yet being mass produced because techniques are still being developed on how to retrofit it to the devices that we have.

But imagine if we have LED bulbs that act as some form of router counterparts for Li-Fi? Or say, your smartphone's Flash or back light or wall lamps emitting Li-Fi? How about accessing your favorite websites and streaming online movies while inside the plane?

Li-Fi technology was developed in 2011 by Professor Harald Haas of the University of Edinburgh, who demonstrated that with a flickering light from a single LED, he can transmit more data than what a cellular tower can do. Check out his TED talk video below.

Video Courtesy: Youtube channel TED

Although this breakthrough technology will provide wider opportunities for everything that involves "data", it won't be as promising a catalyst here in the Philippines which needs massive infrastructure upgrades to cater to the still-growing BPO industry and other sectors that rely heavily on digital transmission.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

VIEW | Will people like me online? The role of social media as indicator of social acceptance at a glance.

The dominance of the digital age and the internet era has since spawn new waves of social norms and ways of thinking. And the existence of internet technology has broken physical divides and provided an avenue for people from all over the world to see various movements take shape and advocacies thrown under the spotlight.

For any marginalized individual, group, or sector of society, this means having a great opportunity to fight for equal representation and societal acceptance. The flexibility of Facebook and Twitter among social media websites, Tinder among dating apps, and Youtube among video streaming sites has then given the community (-ies) or individual a bigger voice to promote and support the issues and rights concerned.

However, an underlying question anyone will ask is: are you (am I) valid online? Am I likable? If you’ll take a look at the sites that you use, there are a number of ways to determine whether or not you and your posts and/or comments are socially acceptable and valid.

But, what makes an opinion or perspective acceptable and valid? Perhaps, having an opinion that does not hurt or barrage anyone? Or a view that does not cut through the general norms of society. Here is a list of criteria that can guide you in evaluating people’s perception of you online.

First, Facebook’s upgraded like button enables anyone to properly express how they feel about anything (e.g. your post). Aside from a like button, they can award you an angry smiley, a sad face, an excited and enthusiastic look, or a happy emoticon. This definitely makes you aware of how others feel about your thoughts and generates a negative impact as much as a positive impact could. It will either pull down your self-esteem or make you more confident. 

Another aspect to look at is the comments box, not only provided by Facebook, but also by Youtube, news agencies, and blog sites, that allows you to see how people respond to your posts. It also gives you a hint of how reactive people are in your online circle.

The third criterion that can be of help to you is the number of match you make on dating apps like Tinder. The other person’s swipe significantly tells you that someone’s interested in you. The more swipes you get, the more socially accepted you feel. This does have an effect on your morale and self-esteem. Getting no match is the worst that you can get.

The number of retweets and shares that you get---may it be in Twitter or Facebook respectively---with your post also helps you keep track of your influence. More than the number, it’s the sentiment, message, or post attached to its tweet or share that will give you an idea of how well-perceived you are online.

All of these criteria tell you where you are currently placed in the social acceptance spectrum.

But, perhaps the question of social validity and acceptance should need not be raised or overemphasized no longer, as in essence, acceptance does not need to come from others. It comes from within. Because no matter what happens, and no matter who you are, people will always have something to say.

Perhaps, the questions “Are you valid online?” or “Will people like me online?” are not necessarily what you should seek an answer for, regardless of your age, looks, and even sexual orientation. The more appropriate question might just be, do I need to be?

Someone once said, “Don’t lose yourself in the search for acceptance by others.”