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).