Showing posts from January, 2011

Fight Hate With Love

Shirley Kristel Ausena excitedly told her mom early Tuesday morning that she had to go to Makati for a job interview in a call center. Other than giving her fare, her mother prayed in her heart that her daughter, the eldest of their three kids and described as “a family-oriented child,” would bag the job. Her parents did not worry when she was not yet home around midnight. They heard about a bus blast on the news but they just shrugged it off. Past midnight, just after turning on the TV, they could not believe their eyes when “they saw Kristel’s name being flashed on the news. At first, [they] said they were not convinced that it was their daughter since the spelling of the name was different.” (Source: INQUIRER.Net) After trying to contact Kristel on her cell to no avail they rushed to the hospital, fervently hoping that it was all a mistake. Before they got there, her father received a text message from his second daughter that Kristel indeed died in the blast. “Her body was cut in …


Susan Maushart felt so concerned when she saw that her three teenagers were so connected that they were actually disconnected. “They don’t remember a time before e-mail, or instant messaging, or Google… Like so many teens, they couldn’t do their homework without simultaneously listening to music, updating Facebook and trading instant messages. If they were amused, instead of laughing, they actually said ‘LOL’ aloud. Her girls had become mere ‘accessories of their own social-networking profile, as if real life were simply a dress rehearsal (or more accurately, a photo op) for the next status update.’” (Source: Associated Press)

So, she decided to pull the plug. After turning off the electricity for six weeks, the entire family had no Internet, no TV and no other gadgets such as cell phones and iPods even when she turned on the power again. Susan admits that it was not due to sheer parental authority. She planned to write a book—eventually, she wrote it—about their unplugged lives. She c…


“Oh, no! Does that mean we are no longer compatible?”
That’s what one radio anchor exclaimed to her co-host (her spouse) in reaction to the news that, due to a wobble in the earth’s axis, zodiac signs may have changed. According to Time Magazine’s online NewsFeed, “The astronomers from the Minnesota Planetarium Society found that because of the moon’s gravitational pull on Earth, the alignment of the stars was pushed by about a month.” So, for example, I was born under the Cancer sign. But, due to this shift, I am no longer a crab but a car… err, a Gemini. It turns out that astrology has had issues from its inception… Ancient Babylonians had 13 constellations, but wanted only 12, so threw out Ophuchicus, the snake holder. Libra didn’t even enter the picture until the era of Julius Caesar.” (Ibid)
I even read somewhere about an astrologer who writes a horoscope column for a newspaper. One cloudy night he could not read the stars. So he decided to just cut, mix and paste previous predic…

The Roseto Secret

Imagine a community where it is very hard to find anyone below 65 with heart problems. That’s the intriguing situation of the people of Roseto, an Italian town in Pennsylvania. “These people were dying of old age. That’s it.” (Source: Malcolm Gladwell, “Outliers: The Story of Success”) Fifty years ago, a breakthrough study of Roseto found something more intriguing. The Rosetans were not exactly health buffs. For example, they used animal lard for cooking instead of olive oil. In fact, “many were struggling with obesity.” (Ibid) DNA was not even the key. Their relatives who lived outside Roseto were not as healthy. It wasn’t even the weather in that hilly region of eastern Pennsylvania. Its nearby towns had worse health issues. The study found “that the secret of Roseto wasn’t diet or exercise or genes or location. It had to be Roseto itself. [They] had created a powerful, protective social structure capable of insulating them from the pressures of the modern world.(Ibid) In short, t…