If you haven't already seen this, here's a video about a little girl giant I found amazing.

The Little Girl Giant

While you're at it, check out another one, a CG animated short called


...and another, titled The Infecting Pool (sorry, you have to click on the link. I couldn't find it on YouTube and don't know how to embed it here.)



Chavez wins "Person of the Year" poll. Time Magazine ignores result.

Of course this has to do with Chavez calling Bush "the devil" in front of the UN General Assembly a while back, notwithstanding the wild applause he received there (which was promptly ignored by the US media).

Instead, Time names "you" (as in, ikaw) as the 2006 Person of the Year, particularly the people of the Internet, for "community and collaboration on a scale never seen before." Funny how the people who voted for Chavez for Person of the Year got his place instead; funnier still, how these people, awarded by Time, are now the ones burning the mag for its hypocrisy.

Come on, Time. "You" as Person of the Year? That's just lame.



I'm now a bit reluctant about picking up a new comic book since I'm already reading around 40-plus ongoing titles a month. But when an online review site describes Crossing Midnight as something between Neil Gaiman's Sandman and Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke, I had to take a peek at the first issue.

Rooted in Japanese mythology, Crossing Midnight is written by Mike Carey (of Lucifer fame) and is about a twin brother and sister born on different sides of midnight. Issue one gives us an account of the twins' childhood in present-day Nagasaki and the mysterious goings-on they encounter there.

I'm still not sure where the series is heading, but the writing is believable and tight, and the Oriental feel and slow, pensive pace of the narration is different from what we're used to in comic books. We'll just have to see if all this works together after a few issues. Quite possibly another Vertigo hit.



Spotted during the recent UP CAL Faculty Follies: National Artists Bien Lumbera and Rio Alma.

Cel and Leeelee with the English Department cast.



Charles Simic

Fear passes from man to man
As one leaf passes its shudder
To another.

All at one the whole tree is trembling
and there is no sign of the wind.



So I finally got my license from the LTO San Juan branch after a whole day's worth of waiting in line and taking test after useless test. Hearing my name called at the Releasing window at 5:30 PM, just when I was starting to lose hope as to whether I'd be getting it that day or not, kind of blew away the bad vibes I've been absorbing the eight plus hours I was there. So instead of recounting the dozens of foolproof ways I've thought of to improve the efficiency of LTO, I'll instead be posting some amusing observations I made yesterday:

The medical test consisted of two bossy fat ladies asking us our height and weight before giving us a visual test. The visual chart was at one end of the room, the person being tested was at the other end, and everyone waiting for their turn sat in the middle. Since the ladies only wanted the last line of the chart recited, everyone would have memorized it by the time they were called. And since the ladies barely even looked up when they talked to us, we probably could have all been blind and we still would have aced the test.

Before the written exam, the LTO people handed out reviewers whose questions and answers were the same as those on the actual exam (though their computers print out random questions on the questionnaire — so 'di pwede answer key — but do it badly, since I encountered one question three times in my 40-item test). The posters surrounding us in the exam room also detail the various traffic rules, regulations and street signs you'll encounter in the test.

The practical was easy. The guy just had me move the car forward, and then backward. My only worry was the vehicle used for the test: an ancient Volkswagen Beetle, which I'm pretty sure violated more than a dozen LTO regulations — it was tipping to a side, was rusty and muddy, didn't have working seatbelts and lights, and lurched and handled like crazy — yes, I got that from just the two straight lines I had to make.

What did I get from all this? That most people who enter LTO leave with a day sucked out of their lives, that they earn their licenses because of perseverance rather than skill, and that the government is still a funny and sad old little man.




Kingdom of Loathing: A hilarious online game. Part of the appeal KoL had over me (I've been inactive for about a year now) was that it reminded me of the text-based PC games (Zork, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) I used to spend hours playing as a kid. These games were frustratingly clever, and sometimes you had to type in an exact phrase, like, "Point the Rod of Levitation at the reliquary," just to make the game move forward a line. Nevertheless, the descriptions in the text were vivid (they had to be — there wasn't anything else to base the game on) and the puzzles were well-thought-of (Hamlet the game had me pondering over lines of Shakespeare at six years old — beat that!), and was the closest thing to an interactive novel, or an interactive anything, at that time. KoL has illustrations that look more like the scribbles of a toddler, which goes well with its cornball, pun-filled humor, and the gameplay's more point-and-click, but it's still a text-based game at heart.

Flipbook: Release your inner animator. Draw anything on the blank sheets on your screen, which you can then play in sequence to appear like a cartoon. Get to view other people's creations as well.

Meebo: Chat using just your online browser. Better still: log onto your YM, MSN, and Google Talk accounts all at the same time. A nifty little lifehack for offices with Internet restrictions (wink, wink).



Three friends celebrated their birthdays this past weekend. Ibba and pal Rally threw a joint party Saturday night at Quattro, Carding during our Sunday D&D geekfest, and Kato had hers at Bahay ni Juan Sunday night. Only got to properly document Ibba's party, though, where the Chupacabraz guitar guys got to play (too bad, no drums there for Joel). Overall, my weekend had for me one macho mug and eight bottles of San Mig Light, a leveled-up dwarven monk, Kato's unending supply of ghost stories, and three friends who got older. Haberdi, guys.



I just found this so funny. Image lifted off Zig's blog.



I'm not a big fan of Frank Miller, especially of late, his All-Star Batman with Jim Lee being a big letdown (in terms of story, art, shipping dates, and everything else), and, if I remember correctly, he's got a "Batman in Iraq" project lined up — what's up with that?

But 300 was a good read, and seeing the video below made me instantly recall the panels from the comic book — the same kind of feeling I had when I first saw the Sin City trailer. I've shown the 300 vid to Leelee too, so now whenever I utter, "This is madness" around the house, she gamely shouts back, "Madness? This, is, Sparta!" You gotta hand it to Frank Miller — his adaptations translate seamlessly to the big screen, and I've no doubt that 300 will be nothing short of awesome. Poor Alan Moore.

In other news: if you know that the Sony PS3 is being launched this week in the US, then you probably also know about those rabid fanboys who've been quitting jobs, lining up days in advance, and buying launch-date units off ebay for thousands of dollars just to be among the first to play a PS3. Well, here's a video of said game console being murdered in front of said fanboys.



Wislawa Szymborska

"Woman, what's your name?" "I don't know."
"How old are you? Where are you from?" "I don't know."
"Why did you dig that burrow?" "I don't know."
"How long have you been hiding?" "I don't know."
"Why did you bite my finger?" "I don't know."
"Don't you know that we won't hurt you?" "I don't know."
"Whose side are you on?" "I don't know."
"This is war, you've got to choose." "I don't know."
"Does your village still exist?" "I don't know."
"Are those your children?" "Yes."



Three months ago I photographed an interview with Pepe Pimentel (yes, he's still alive!). Here he is teaching us how to count like a man.

And this started my dirty finger project. Since then I've been snapping at friends and their dirty little fingers, all of whom will be posted here eventually (I'm thinking "Finger Fridays"). I have no idea what I can get out of this, but I suppose it's got to be an achievement of sorts once I reach a figure in the hundreds, and eventually thousands. And hopefully some of my friends will get a nice little surprise when they Google up their names.

Actually, before Mang Pepe, there was another person who gave me the finger while I took her photo. This was with a 2-megapixel Kodak cam which I got in 2001, back when digital was still relatively new (I remember most photolabs then didn't know what digital printing was. Amazing).

Oh how fast they grow.



Links! Flash-based games is the theme of the day/ Just scroll on down and click away.

Bubble Wrap: Go figure. Crank up the volume and start popping. Activate Manic Mode for maximum bubble carnage.

Falling Sand Game: Doesn't look much at first, but the complexity is just amazing once you start figuring out the whole logic of it. Grade A geek shit.

Just Letters: A bunch of letters scattered about and a bunch of people online using the same area to push the letters around all at the same time. Frustrating and fun just to spell out a single word.



Acquired a much-longed for (and much-saved for) wide-angle lens around two weeks back, the Canon 10-22mm.

I couldn't be happier with this lens. It's small and light, sharp, focuses fast, renders blues extremely well, has great flare control, and most of all, is really, really wide. And fun, too. I'm already pretty confident with my portrait and product photography skills, and this lens'll help me improve my landscape shots for travel assignments.

Was able to test this lens thoroughly during an overnight stay at Corregidor with birthday girl Cel. Already upped some photos, which can be seen here. Photo of lens above also taken at Corregidor.



I know a lot of people who love their Sandman trades with a passion, but it's kind of sad that they've rarely gone further in exploring the medium. Well, if you want another title in the same vein, I fanboyishly recommend Fables, a modern take on fairytales — in a way not unlike Neil Gaiman's re-imagining of cultural myths in his series. In terms of building a world whose logic revolves around the fantastic, I'd say Fables and Sandman are on the same imaginative level, but in terms of emotional impact and general fun-ness, Fables gets my vote easy.

An ongoing title at 50+ issues strong, Fables has already garnered an impressive seven Eisners, with its writer and creater Bill Willingham still having the time to churn out graphic novels and spin-offs on the side. And it also doesn't hurt that the covers are always gorgeous.

Here's Inquisitor General Hansel on the issue 54 cover. Seems he acquired a taste for killing witches after he pushed his first one into a burning oven.



These two rascals walked in on my set and did the doggie during a shoot I did for FHM. One of them belongs to our stylist and the other to a photographer from the set beside ours.

What's funny is that they're both boy dogs.



Links! If you have time to burn, check out Flash Earth and see the world.

One of the two red roofs in the middle of the screenshot is my house. Though you can't zoom in close enough to make out people, cars and traffic can be seen (note: the view isn't live — most likely updated only once a day), and it can be fun trying to figure out streets and buildings you've been to. Warning: you might not want to try this if you have a slow Internet connection.

Visit Mr. Citymen for some neat videos. The guy who made them blends CG and real life footage seamlessly together — and my daughter loves the cute characters.

For a laugh, try BeerSex. Vote on photos of people, where you indicate the number of beers you need to down to have sex with the person in the photo (conversely, if the person is good looking, you can also indicate the number of beers you're willing to buy him/her). Good old-fashioned mean fun.



And this is my first attempt at blogging. Since my Flickr account is starting to turn into my online portfolio, I've decided to set up this blog so that I can have a place to post my fuglier photos. I'll probably throw in some other stuff from time to time, like links I usually spam to other people, comic book and game news, or my thoughts on the latest TV series I'm watching, and see what sticks.

I'm still trying to figure out Blogger, though. There are still a lot of things about the interface and site design that I want to change, them tugging at my obsessive-compulsive strings. I've managed to google on how to remove the search bar at the upper part of the site, but it seems more advanced renovations require some knowledge in HTML. I guess it's about time I started learning it anyway.

Yay, cheers to my first post.