Thursday, December 30, 2010

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He was the best of us all

"Rizal could have lived beyond December 30, 1896, if he had stayed out of the Philippines and its politics. If he remained in Hong Kong, then he would just be another forgotten expatriate Filipino doctor. Rizal, however, was different. You could say he had a death wish and this, for me, makes a "conscious hero" doubly brave, because unlike military heroes whose job description contains "death in battle," Rizal was a quiet, peaceful man who willfully and calmly walked to his death for his convictions. Before his execution, his pulse rate was reputedly normal. How many people do you know who would die for their convictions if they could avoid it?"

From the essay "Why Rizal is the National Hero" (1989) by Ambeth R. Ocampo (included in the compilation Rizal Without the Overcoat, 2008 ed.)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

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Heinous fuckery most foul

“This is a bawdy tale. Herein you will find gratuitous shagging, murder, spanking, maiming, treason, and heretofore unexplored heights of vulgarity and profanity, as well as non-traditional grammar, split infinitives and the odd wank. If that sort of thing offends you, then gentle reader pass by, for we endeavor only to entertain, not to offend. That said, if that’s the sort of thing you think you might enjoy, then you have happened upon the perfect story!” 

On The Exchange, I write a review of Fool by Christopher Moore.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

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Free book contest!

Over at The Exchange, we're having our first book giveaway contest. The winner gets this:

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg is a pleasant, comforting read. The milk and cookies are pretty awesome too, except the courier company may have issues transporting dairy. Nonetheless, the book would be an excellent companion during the holidays. Check out the contest details, and send us a message! Deadline for entries is midnight on Christmas Day. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

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These are strange days

Thursday, December 2, 2010

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"Oh my Eugenia!"

Two weeks ago, Leonard Co and two members of his team were killed while on field in the forests of Leyte. He was a brilliant botanist and hard core field scientist. Few were as passionate or as genuine. He was very generous, always ready to share from his vast store of knowledge. His death is a crippling loss to science.

An excellent article on Leonard Co by Michael Tan in the Philippine Daily Inquirer:

"The stories were about Leonard the person, much loved and respected. He was famous for his generosity with friends and students; yet he was also known for his simplicity, in particular his trademark Chinese cloth shoes. There was Leonard the entertainer, full of humor and wit and which didn’t exclude poking fun at himself, for example, his “membership” in the Ho Chi Minh Society, together with feigned lamentations about possibly ending up a perpetual bachelor like his idol. Eventually he did marry, and had a daughter, named after the Swedish scientist Linnaeus."

Read the full article here.


Woman! Whoooa Man!

I woke up on Tuesday extremely achy and wanting nothing to do with the outside world. The next day, I went to the school clinic and the doctor told me I had a viral infection in my intestines and/or the rest of my body. She wasn't quite clear where the infection was except that I should rehydrate and watch out for cough and colds. I am home today when I should be in school. I am still woozy, but I think the virus is fleeing for fear of my Gatorade/water/paracetamol regimen. I'm much better, because I've regained control of my mental faculties. Look, I'm writing!

Despite being in the miserable clutches of Virus Last Name Unknown, I had to go out and brave the elements. On Tuesday, while still in denial, I had class and talked about plasma membranes (unaware that my own membranes were under seige...okaaay). Yesterday, I bought my brother a white polo and a tie for his graduation photo. Next year, he will be in high school and will also probably be taller than me.

Adventures at home

HBO was a great friend to me this past couple of days. I saw So I Married an Axe Murderer again. Mike Myers was genius in this movie. It also takes me back to this one afternoon when I was younger (possibly in grade school). I was home alone, and the movie was also playing also on HBO. Nothing really interesting was happening, except that I was alone and entertained. Before my brother was born, I spent a lot of afternoons alone. I always remember them being quiet and sunny, like it is now.

On HBO, I also saw 8 Mile again. Isn't Eminem adorable in this movie? Although "adorable" is hardly a word to describe Eminem. When the movie was over, I started downloading Eminem songs.

I saw the newest Glee episode. For sectionals, they had Santana do a cover of "Valerie." Then a shocking, but very welcome, surprise: Tina and Mercedes sing "Dog Days are Over" (I still haven't quite gotten over this). And something less shocking (but pleasant nonetheless): "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" by Kurt and Rachel. Those two do have their moments. Congratulations, I have returned to Gleek-dom.

Not much in books since printed words seem to overwhelm my virus-addled brain. I have picked up the History of Love by Nicole Krauss, though, and am quietly making my way through it. I got distracted from Everything is Illuminated and ended up reading My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger. Bless its pure, sweet soul. It tried very hard to pry open my cold, black heart.

I've just about run out of writing mojo. And to stay true to my consistent shameless plugging of The Exchange: please mosey on over there to read my review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We wrap up Harry Potter/J.K. Rowling month today, and move on to the next featured author who shall later be named.

Intestine-friendly lunch now. Later.
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