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Thursday, December 25, 2008

To Each and Every One of You...


Merry Christmas, if you’re Christian…
Joyous greetings, if you’re not.
Put all your worries in a bag today
And tie it with a tight knot.
Think of no reasons why you should,
Just be happy… no whys, hows, and whats.
Do, feel, and share all that is good
There can’t be anything wrong in that.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I’m a kid again…

Whenever there’s a need to make a not-so-important decision, I would oftentimes look for signs to aid me in my decision making.

But never have I received as many clear signs and as much encouragement as I did last Wednesday.

Well, technically, I have already made my decision that time… that I would buy myself a toy. And I’ve gotten the necessary “permit” to do so from my wife.

It’s been a long while since I last bought myself anything, really, so it was quite a big thing for me and I was feeling quite uneasy about it. I had been thinking whether or not I should really make it happen as it involves quite a sum of money.

Then, along came December 17 (last Wednesday)…

Talks about the December 18 release of our “paluwagan” were still going around at the office and I had zero balance in my ATM account. I was looking forward to the coming Saturday (December 20) as that was the day I was thinking of making my purchase (while I thought whether or not I was going to follow through with my plans).

Then, some time in the afternoon, someone told me that our money from the “paluwagan” has already been released… what a pleasant surprise!

A couple of hours later, my good friend Arnel received a call from his fiancée telling him to proceed to the Greenhills Shopping Center after work as her cousin was planning on buying the same thing I was thinking of buying. Arnel already has one, by the way, and his fiancée’s cousin needed his know-hows and know-whats.

So, Arnel asked me if I want to come along and do some canvassing. It took me a while, but I eventually decided to do so. I needed Arnel’s know-hows and know-whats, too.

The clock struck six and we immediately packed our things and left for Greenhills. We took the MRT, by the way, and got off at the Santolan station. Since there were no jeepneys when we got there, we decided to walk to Greenhills from the station.

To keep a long story short, what was intended to be just window shopping turned into an actual purchase.

I now present to you, my new toy…

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A day at the Sony Expo 2008

Do you have any idea what this is?


If you don’t, take a good look and think it over. I’ll tell you what it is at the end of this entry. :)

If you’ve been following my blog, you probably already know that I went to SMX last December 6 to attend the awarding ceremonies of Nuffnang’s "My First Sony Experience" blogging contest, hoping to get my hands on that handsome Cyber-shot T700. It was an event within an event, by the way… the main one being the Sony Expo.

I arrived at the SMX at around quarter to 11:00 and got myself registered. Since the program was still minutes away, I went around the exhibit grounds and saw some really neat stuff.

I've always dreamed of witnessing the invention and introduction of something totally new... something revolutionary. The 20th century was full of these... the first radio receiver (1901), the air conditioner and the neon light (1902), manned airplane (1903), color photography (1907), cellophane (1908), electronic TV system (1927), penicillin (1928), car radio (1929), stereo records (1933), the photocopier (1937), the ballpoint pen (1938), the helicopter (1939), color television system (1940), the credit card (1950), optic fiber (1955), the microchip (1959), the audio cassette (1962), the automated teller machine (1969), and that's just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

Well, this year's Sony Expo was the closest I have ever gotten to having that experience as Sony was introducing eight world's firsts there... well, actually nine, but... just read on and you'll see what I mean.

But before I mention any of those "world's firsts", I have to mention that among the first things that really caught my attention were the two stunning girls at the Xplod booth standing beside two equally-stunning cars set-up with Xplod audio systems… the cars that is, not the girls. :P


Moving on...

There were several Bravia HD sets scattered all over the place. HDTVs have LONG been on the top of my wishlist. If only I could claim ownership to even just one of them... just one! Sigh...

One of them, a really big set and hooked on to a Bluray Disc (BD) player, was showing Casino Royale. I must say, that was my first time to see an HD set showing real HD material, and I was floored by the stunning image quality.


A lot of appliance centers that have HD sets on display do not use HD material in demonstrating the power of those beauties… I really don’t get it! How are they supposed to sell HD TVs if they’re showing videos full of “jpeg-artifacts” and stray pixels on their HD screens?!

Show them pores! Show them fine hairs! Show them film grains!

At first I thought it was a joke when someone told me that with bluray technology and true HD sets, one will be able to see the pores on the actors’ skins… and when I saw that at the Sony Expo, as I’ve said, I was floored! Now, I’m wanting one of those more than I’ve ever had!

As if that weren’t enough, Sony was introducing the world’s first Motionflow 240Hz LCD TV… the Bravia Z450.


What’s that, you ask? Well, if you don’t know it yet, one of the “weak points” of LCD panels/sets when pitted against plasma panels is that LCDs have a tendency to “smear” fast moving objects (like a football flying across a football field). With the Z450, there will be none of that!

Colors a bit dull for you? Black not black enough? Well, there’s Bravia X450… the world’s first RGB LED backlight LCD TV.


Moving on…

There’s the Alpha, Sony’s own line of DSLRs. The main attention-grabber was the Alpha 900, mounted with a white-barreled Zeiss lens. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get intimate with it as there was a crowd around it when I went to the Alpha booth.


There are, however, several large prints hanging above the booth… I was told that those were shots taken from the Alpha 900. Wonderful pictures, I must say.

But, really, at 24.6 MP and being Sony’s flagship DSLR, you shouldn’t expect any less from it. Just have a look at its specs, they’re all pretty much up there.

There’s also the VAIO T-Series, the world’s first noise canceling notebook.


You’ve probably been in a situation where you try your darnedest to concentrate on what you’re doing in front of your computer, only to be repeatedly and annoyingly distracted by the sounds of your surroundings. You then pull out your trusty pair of headphones and crank your media player’s and computer’s volume high enough to drown out whatever sounds that you’re bombarded with. Then you’d end up feeling even more stressed out because of the additional noise you’re introducing to your ear drums which, by the way, could also do permanent damage to your sense of hearing.

Well, if you’ve been in that situation a little too often, you’d surely love this!

No, it doesn’t cancel out noise for the user on its own per se, instead it comes bundled with a pair of noise canceling headphones which provides for a quiet computing/working environment to anyone who desires it.

What if you’re not working? What if you want to just relax and watch a movie or listen to music? Yep, you can do that on the VAIO T-series also but, what if you want to stay away from your VAIO for a while? If you have a home entertainment system, Sony’s got another solution for you… the MDR-NC500D (the world’s first noise canceling headphones) which is capable of canceling out 99% of ambient noise! With one of these babies, you will never have to carry your TV or radio off to a secluded place in your house to be able to hear everything that you want to hear… even if there’s a whole bunch of people around you sharing the juiciest gossips with each other at the top of their lungs.


On the move? No problem! The NWZ-S730 Series, the world’s first noise canceling portable music player, can do what the VAIO T and the MDR-NC500D can even if you’re on the go!


Neat, no?

And, there’s more!

There’s the Cyber-Shot T77… the world’s first and slimmest camera with optical image stabilizer…


And the TG1 Handycam… the world’s first, smallest, lightest, and slimmest full HD Camcorder! That’s full HD, baby! And it’s so small that it can literally fit on the palm of your hand!


Amazing stuff, no kidding!

Anyway, enough with the juicy and drool-worthy “toys”… this is getting rather lengthy…

At the program/awarding ceremony, as I’ve mentioned in my brief entry about the event, we (Nuffnangers and media people) were treated to free lunch, serenaded, and entertained. And yes, KC Concepcion was there… she was the one who awarded the winner of the blogging contest.



Honestly, I’m not really into KC… but after seeing her fool around quite a bit at the event, throwing jokes back and forth with her co-hosts (which, I must say, was my favorite part/segment of the Sony expo 2008), I have come to like her quite a bit.

And for the more than five hours I was there, I got to make a few new acquaintances.

And to top it all off, even if I didn’t win the blogging contest, I went home with my hands full… two bags, a stuffed toy, an audio CD, a beach towel, and a travel pouch.


Can’t wait for next year’s expo… :)

P.S. I almost forgot, the first image on this entry is the world’s thinnest LCD HD TV… the ZX1, I believe that is. Only 9.9mm thick!!! It’s not yet available here, though.

Monday, December 15, 2008

You Don't Get To See Things Like This Everyday

This happened just recently... haven't seen anything this funny (and amazing) in a long while! Now, this is what I call FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

video

Here's an article about the incident from Yahoo News:

Bush: Iraq war is not over, more work ahead
By JENNIFER LOVEN, AP White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven, Ap White House Correspondent – Sun Dec 14, 5:37 pm ET

BAGHDAD – On an Iraq trip shrouded in secrecy and marred by dissent, President George W. Bush on Sunday hailed progress in the war that defines his presidency and got a size-10 reminder of his unpopularity when a man hurled two shoes at him during a news conference.

"This is a farewell kiss, you dog!" shouted the protester in Arabic, later identified as Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo, Egypt.

Bush ducked both shoes as they whizzed past his head and landed with a thud against the wall behind him.

"It was a size 10," Bush joked later.

The U.S. president visited the Iraqi capital just 37 days before he hands the war off to his successor, Barack Obama, who has pledged to end it. The president wanted to highlight a drop in violence in a nation still riven by ethnic strife and to celebrate a recent U.S.-Iraq security agreement, which calls for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2011.

"The war is not over," Bush said, adding that "it is decisively on it's way to being won."

In many ways, the unannounced trip was a victory lap without a clear victory. Nearly 150,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq fighting a war that is intensely disliked across the globe. More than 4,209 members of the U.S. military have died in the conflict, which has cost U.S. taxpayers $576 billion since it began five years and nine months ago.

Polls show most Americans believe the U.S. erred in invading Iraq in 2003. Bush ordered the nation into war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq while citing intelligence claiming the Mideast nation harbored weapons of mass destruction. The weapons were never found, the intelligence was discredited, Bush's credibility with U.S. voters plummeted and Saddam was captured and executed.

"There is still more work to be done," Bush said after his meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

It was at that point the journalist stood up and threw a shoe from about 20 feet away. Bush ducked, and it narrowly missed his head. The second shoe came quickly, and Bush ducked again while several Iraqis grabbed the man and dragged him to the floor.

In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt. Iraqis whacked a statue of Saddam with their shoes after U.S. marines toppled it to the ground following the 2003 invasion.

White House press secretary Dana Perino suffered an eye injury in the news conference melee. Bush brushed off the incident, comparing it to political protests at home.

"So what if I guy threw his shoe at me?" he said.

Al-Maliki, who spoke before the incident, praised postwar progress: "Today, Iraq is moving forward in every field."

After the news conference, the president took a 15-minute helicopter ride through dark skies over Baghdad to Camp Victory. Telling hundreds of troops he was "heading into retirement," Bush blamed Saddam for the 2003 invasion and said, "America is safer and more secure" than it was before the war.

For Bush, the war is the issue around which both he and the country defined his two terms in office. He saw the invasion and continuing fight as a necessary action to protect Americans and fight terrorism. Though his decision won support at first, the public now has largely decided that the U.S. needs to get out of Iraq.

Air Force One, the president's distinctive powder blue-and-white jetliner, landed at Baghdad International Airport in the afternoon local time after a secretive Saturday night departure from Washington. In a sign of security gains in this war zone, Bush received a formal arrival ceremony — a flourish absent in his three earlier trips.

Bush soon began a rapid-fire series of meetings with top Iraqi leaders.

He met first with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and the country's two vice presidents, Tariq al-Hashemi and Adel Abdul-Mahdi, at the ornate, marble-floored Salam Palace along the shores of the Tigris River.

Later, Bush's motorcade pulled out the heavily fortified Green Zone and crossed over the Tigris so he could meet al-Maliki at the prime minister's palace. A huge orange moon hung low over the horizon as Bush's was ferried quickly through the city.

The two leaders signed ceremonial copy of the security agreement.

The Bush administration and even White House critics credit last year's military buildup with the security gains in Iraq. Last month, attacks fell to the lowest monthly level since the war began in 2003.

Still, it's unclear what will happen when the U.S. troops leave. While violence has slowed in Iraq, attacks continue, especially in the north. At least 55 people were killed Thursday in a suicide bombing in a restaurant near Kirkuk.

It was Bush's last trip to the war zone before Obama takes office Jan. 20. Obama won an election largely viewed as a referendum on Bush, who has endured low approval ratings because of the war and more recently, the U.S. recession.

Obama, a Democrat, has promised he will bring all U.S. combat troops back home from Iraq a little over a year into his term, as long as commanders agree a withdrawal would not endanger American personnel or Iraq's security. Obama has said the drawdown in Iraq would allow him to shift troops and bolster the U.S. presence in Afghanistan.

The new U.S.-Iraqi security pact, calls for all American troops to be withdrawn by the end of 2011, in two stages. The first stage begins next year, when U.S. troops pull back from Baghdad and other Iraqi cities by the end of June. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Saturday that even after that summer deadline, some U.S. troops will remain in Iraqi cities.

Journalists and staff who made the 10 1/2-hour trip to Iraq with the president agreed to tell almost no one about the plans, and the White House released false schedules detailing activities planned for Bush in Washington on Sunday.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Consumer Alert! Do Not Be Fooled!

Last Sunday, while buying some stuff at ACE Hardware (SM West Branch), we were presented with this product by one of ACE's sales people.



He did the talk... saying that it's very safe, that there were no poisons involved, yada yada... then he told us that it comes with a two-month trial period. If it doesn't work within that period, we can return it at any ACE Hardware branch.

Since we have quite a number of "non-paying-tenants" in our house, we decided to give it a try.

Well, it had been plugged in since last Sunday night and almost every night thereafter we still saw mice and roaches loitering and scampering all over the place... even near the device which is supposed to be driving them away.

On the backside of the box that the device came in is a warning that states:

"Not suitable for use with the following 5 pets: hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, tarantulas, and chinchillas."

Also printed there is this claim:

"Pest Shield from JML creates an invisible forcefield in your home which eliminates rats, mice, and cockroaches instantly and humanely."



Well... I don't see any eliminating happening.

Tonight, on my way home, I passed by a pet shop that happens to sell white mice. And, yes, I bought one just to get solid proof that it DOESN'T WORK.

So, I put the mouse I bought in a milk can and placed it very near the device... unsurprisingly, it didn't seem to be affected at all.


Take a look at this video and judge for yourself.

video

If it "uses a specially designed microchip which emanates a harmless signal that interferes with the nervous system of pests", the mouse should at least be behaving quite strangely... maybe bite its own tail or run around in circles or something, I don't know.

By the way, the flickering of the video is NOT caused in any way by the device, take my word for it. My camera, as I've mentioned a few times in the past on this and my other blog, is already malfunctioning.

Anyway, her's my final verdict...

Eliminate pests it DEFINITELY DOES NOT... and, for that, HUMANE it truly is!

Who You Gonna Call

I was browsing through Yahoo News and saw this article about Atari’s “new game plan”. I became curious and ended up reading the whole article. I thought I was going to read about the company releasing a new console or something… however, as it turns out, that’s not their “new game plan”.

In a nutshell, the “new game plan” is all about releasing new games for the different consoles, along with a bunch of massively multiplayer online (MMO) games.

Ok… not really the BIG news I was hoping to read about.

Until I saw one of the titles.

It read… “Ghostbusters: The Videogame”!

Didn’t take me long to find a link to the game’s official website, and this is what I saw:


And so, nostalgia struck…

...Fridays, 7:30pm, ABS-CBN (Channel 2), after Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, was still in grade school then…

Anyway, the screenshots of the game are pretty awesome (images from Gamespot):




I hope it’ll play well when it comes out in June next year.

Unlike the NES one. :P


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Listen or Thy Tongue Will Keep Thee Deaf

An army Captain was assigned to a base situated in the middle of a desert. Although he despised the idea, he couldn’t resist as the order came from the top.

He was greeted by a young Sergeant upon disembarking from the C-130 Hercules in which he’d just spent the last seven hours contemplating on his would-be lifestyle in the desert base and reliving the “good life” he had at his previous assignment.

“Welcome, Sir…” the Sergeant said to him cheerfully.

The Captain, tired and rather unhappy with what he saw of the surroundings, quietly responded with a nod.

Upon reaching the Captain’s quarters, the Sergeant gave the Captain a little tour of the room hoping to make things as comfortable and familiar to the Captain as possible.

After that, the Sergeant offered to take the Captain for a tour around the base.

“Not now, Sergeant, I’m really tired… let’s just do that tomorrow.”

It was already past nine in the evening, and as soon as the Sergeant left, the Captain changed his clothes and went to bed.

*****

The next day, just a few minutes of getting seated behind his desk in his new office, the Captain heard a knocking on his door. It was the young Sergeant.

“Good morning, Captain! Would you like to have the tour now?” the Sergeant asked.

“If you insist, let’s get this over with…”

*****

The Sergeant proved to be a very good tour guide. For every structure he points out to, he would provide the Captain with tons of details about it, like what’s in it, who’s allowed in it and who’s not. He even gave some historical background for some of the buildings.

About three quarters of the way through the tour, the Captain saw a little pink house which, quite noticeably, the Sergeant seemed to ignore.

“What’s in that pink house?” the Captain asked curiously.

“Oh, that… well… uh… I suppose you understand that we don’t have any girls here… and… well… things get pretty boring here some times, if you know what I mean…”

“Ok, stop! I don’t want to hear anymore of your perversions! Understood?!” the Captain said angrily.

The Sergeant apologized and continued with the rest of the tour.

*****

A little over a year passes since the Captain arrived and he has so far been fairing well. Much so that he has grown to like the place.

However, for the past few weeks he’s been struggling with his steamy urges. Self-service wasn’t helping anymore.

While sipping a cup of coffee in his office, he remembered the pink house he saw when the Sergeant toured him around the base. He suddenly felt excited.

He downed the hot coffee in record time and rushed off to the Sergeant’s station.

*****

“Good morning, Sir… anything I can help you with?” the Sergeant asked.

“Uh… yes…” the Captain sheepishly replied, “remember that pink house you told me about before?”

The Sergeant grinned and said teasingly, “Ooooh… thaaat…”

“Cut the B.S.! I need this now! Tell me more about the pink house!” the Captain said angrily.

“Sorry, Sir. Ok… uh… inside that pink house is a beautiful pink camel…” the Sergeant began, “believe me, Captain, she’s beautiful! And very energetic, too! She can go daily without tiring. Nearby, there’s a pink wooden stool… since the camel is pretty tall, you’ll need it to…”

“I’ve heard enough! Is she available now?” the Captain asked hurriedly.

“Sorry, Sir, but there’s a very long line…” the Sergeant replied in a sad tone.

“The hell with the line, I’m the Captain here!”

“Ok, Sir… um… I’ll just squeeze you in on the list after the Colonel… but still, you need to wait for three more weeks. And, don’t tell anybody.”

“Dammit! Three weeks?!” the furious Captain blurted.

“Sorry, Sir, but that’s the soonest slot I can make available for you.”

“Ok then, three weeks…” the Captain said as he started to walk out of the Sergeant’s station.

*****

As soon as he finished his morning routine, the Captain rushed off to the Sergeant’s station.

He excitedly knocked on the door and was greeted by the Sergeant.

“So, it’s my turn, right?” the Captain asked excitedly.

“Yes, Sir…”

And before the Sergeant could say any more, the Captain was already heading towards the pink house.

*****

The Captain opened the door and saw the beautiful pink camel. The Sergeant was right, it was really a sight to behold. Its fur was shiny and it smelled of perfume. And, it was indeed pink.

Hurriedly, the Captain picked up the nearby stool, placed it behind the hind legs of the beautiful beast, got on top, unzipped his pants, and had his way with the animal.

Then, suddenly, he heard a rapid knocking on the door.

“Captain?” said a familiar voice from behind the door. “Captain? Are you there?”

“Don’t disturb me! I’m busy!” the Captain blurted out.

“Captain … you need to feed her first before…”

“Get back to your station, Soldier!”

Frustrated at being unable to get the Captain’s full attention, the Sergeant opened the door slightly to see what the Captain was doing.

The Sergeant’s jaw dropped the moment he saw what was happening inside.

“Captain! What are you doing?!” the Sergeant yelled.

“Didn’t you understand? I told you to leave me alone!” the furious Captain yelled back.

“You’re doing it all wrong, Sir!”

Shocked at what he heard, the Captain froze… “Wha… what do you mean?”

“Sir, you’re not supposed to ‘do’ the camel…” the Sergeant whispered, “You’re supposed to ride the camel, go to town, and get a woman there!”

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What Will Tomorrow Bring?


What lies ahead of him, he wondered, aside from the stretch of concrete pavement that, if his view wasn’t obstructed by trees and people, would narrow to a pinpoint in the horizon?

His shadow fell to his right on the concrete sidewalk and down to the asphalt-paved road, stretching to about twice his height.

Everything around him was bathed in the descending sun’s golden light. The sky was devoid of clouds except for a few thin flossy ones that appeared motionless. A gentle breeze blew from his left, carrying with it the briny smell of the sea.

Aside from the noise coming from the vehicular traffic whizzing past him, the air was filled with the sound of waves crashing against the sea wall.

Often times, he would bask in the beauty of it all… but, not this time.

With no particular destination in mind, he walked, slowly, with his eyes affixed to an unseen mark on the pavement that seem to always be a few feet ahead of him.

Stripped of all his optimism, he repeated to himself silently, “What lay ahead?”

My Favorite Poem...

I can't remember when I first read this poem, all I know is that it was very long ago and it became an instant favorite.

But no matter how much I love it, I seem incapable of putting it into practice... there's just so many things to consider.

There had been a few times, but I believe I should do it more.

For some reason, I was suddenly reminded over the weekend of a video/advertisement I saw on CNN years ago, at a time when I was still slaving over plates and stuff... a time when I LISTENED to the TV more than I watched it. I was very much up-to-date with the happenings in the world then.

I witnessed so many things as they unfolded through live coverages of the two cable news giants...

The S.W.A.T. team discovering Cunanan's lifeless body inside a boat house, he apparently committed suicide to avoid being arrested for murdering Versace...

The Hong Kong handover...

9/11...

Ok, I'm very much off-topic now...

Going back to the poem, it's Robert Frost's "Road Not Taken". And here's the video/ad I mentioned about earlier... I don't think it can be read/recited any better than this!

video

By the way, the guy in the video is Alan Bates, a British actor. Got the video from YouTube. I decided it best to snatch the video and upload a copy of it in my own account. I've seen videos disappearing over time, and I don't want to lose this one.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Nope... Next please...

(Related to last Wednesday's post)

December 5 came... and gone... and yes, I got what I was hoping to get. And, with it, came my hopes and excitement for what's to unfold today.

Well... eventually, things didn't turn out the way I hoped. I didn't get the camera. Sigh...

Nevertheless, it was a pretty enjoyable day...

I got to see a lot of interesting gadgets (which left me salivating) at the Sony Expo held at the SMX Hall 3...


and, along with that, I got to see KC Concepcion in person...


had free lunch...

got serenaded...


got a bunch of freebies (two nice bags, a huge towel, a CD, and a red stuffed bunny whose head looks comically similar to... aaahh... nevermind)...


And, I got to make four new acquaintances...

SilentBreacher (Bob), Lystra (Lystra), SunnySideUp (Ervin), and McRye (Mike)...

It was really a pleasure meeting you guys. :)

P.S. So, if it's not this... could it be December 15, 2008?

Friday, December 5, 2008

10 (+1) Random Little Facts (tagged by Angel)

I’ve been seeing a lot of this game of tag on the blogosphere but I’ve never thought I’d be participating in one. Angel tagged me with this “10 random facts about me” thingamajig, so…
  1. Traveling long distances is one of my natural highs (may it be by land or by air… I have yet to experience traveling on a ship).
  2. I don’t like having pets.
  3. I collect all sorts of things (so far I have stamps, comic books, phonograph records, books, toys, promotional items, old money, a few autographed photos of celebrities, and a few basketball and Marvel trading cards).
  4. I prefer sandwiches/burgers/pizza/pasta over rice and viands.
  5. I have a thing for the unusual/uncommon.
  6. I love learning new things.
  7. I’ve always wanted to have a tattoo… a big one, big enough to cover at least half of my back.
  8. I had always been an average student.
  9. I enjoy startling people (very much).
  10. Elmer Bernstein's “The Magnificent Seven”, George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”, and George Winston’s “Linus and Lucy” are my all-time favorite compositions.
  11. “Pure Imagination” (from the movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”) is one of my all-time favorite songs, especially the version sung by Lou Rawls.
I know I’m supposed to tag other people, but I can’t think of anyone who’ll take time to “play” this game except for Carlotta. :P Anyway, I’ll just tag anyone and everyone who reads this… :P

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

An Inexplicable Excitement

It’s rather disheartening for me to read/hear about our moods/emotions being caused by lack or excess of certain neurochemicals in our system, hormonal imbalances, or being the results of activity (or lack thereof) of specific parts of our brain.

I would rather have emotions to be just that… emotions, feelings aroused by experiences or reactions effected by circumstances... not something caused by over-reactive glands and such.

And when I’m feeling upbeat for no apparent reason, I’d rather take it as a “sign” that something very pleasant is coming my way.

Like now…

I have a few things to be excited about right now, the nearest of which could happen this coming Friday (and Saturday, if it DOES happen on Friday). After that, I still have (at the very least) three more things to look forward to before this year ends.

But, then again, none of those are definite events as far as my personal involvement is concerned. They WILL happen, that’s for sure, but not necessarily with me around.

Somehow, I’m feeling really upbeat (not to mention pretty restless) about something, but I can’t really figure out what it is. And the excitement I’m feeling right now is not like the excitement I usually feel whenever I’m in anticipation of something I really like, like an upcoming trip to the province or a soon-to-arrive letter/mail.

Contrary to what the fields of science and medicine are saying about this, I think something good’s coming my way… I can feel it in my stomach.

I’ll probably come back and edit this as the days unfold…

Dates of note:
December 5, 2008
December 6, 2008
December 15, 2008
Any day before Christmas (may happen any time)

Merry Christmas to me?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Did You Know...

that Armstrong, Aldrin, and Colins (yes, the Apollo 11 crew members) had to declare to the U.S. Customs the rock and dust they’ve gathered from the Moon upon their return?


Here’s proof that what you just read (and the image above) is not a joke…

Giant leap for mankind wasn't enough to clear Customs
By Charles Arthur, Technology Editor Monday, 19 February 2001

It was a small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind, but for United States Customs it was just another day at the office. Which is why when the triumphant crew of Apollo 11, led by Neil Armstrong, returned to Earth, one of the first questions they faced was: are you going through the red channel or the green channel?

Documents which have just come to light via the internet show that even if you've just traveled to the Moon and back - especially if you've just traveled to the Moon and back - the US Customs wants to know what you've got. Anyone who has visited the US will be familiar with the huge list of items which travellers are required to declare, such as plants, drugs and other preparations.

Historians at NASA, the US space administration, have confirmed that the document, signed by the three crew members, Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins, is authentic. It lists their departure point as "Moon" and arrival as "Honolulu" on 24 July 1969.

But what, Customs wanted to know, was in those bags? "Moon rock and Moon dust samples," the crew responded. How many people had disembarked or joined the round trip from Cape Kennedy? Thankfully, the answer to both was "nil" - no lost souls and no extra aliens. And was anyone ill, or were there "any other conditions on board which may lead to the spread of disease" - which in this case would presumably be mysterious space viruses? "To be determined", the crew responded to the latter question, though the test of time suggests that nothing untoward happened.

It is unclear whether this practice became the pro forma for returning lunar astronauts from Apollo 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17. "We have a lot of records here, but that would be something really for Customs," said Colin Fries, a NASA archivist. "It's hard to prove a negative."

Friday, November 28, 2008

True or False

Have you heard about Aladdin supposedly saying “Good teenagers, take off your clothes.” in Disney's animated movie of the same name?

Or about a photographic image of a topless woman being shown in Disney’s “The Rescuers”?

Or about Coca-Cola containing cocaine?

Or about Sylvester Stallone starting in a porn film?

Or about babies who are born in-flight being entitled to free air travel for the rest of his/her life?

Or about Michael Jackson’s prosthetic nose falling off during a TV special?

Or about the clever consumer who got himself more than a million miles’ worth of free air travel from a pudding promotion?

Or about NASA spending millions trying to come up with a pen which will work in outer space (and the Russians coming up with an easy solution… the pencil)?

Some true, some not so… I’ll live it up to you to find out.

I accidentally stumbled upon this website today while browsing someone’s blog… and I’m hooked! If you’re a trivia buff, you’ll definitely enjoy it. :)

http://snopes.com/

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The New Noel

No-El, No-El, her supporters did say
HR five fifty seeks for extended stay.
In the guise of a dance, intentions they keep,
Ortega first denied but later did speak.
No-El? No-El? No-El? No-El?
Mandanas did seem to tell so well.

Bowing down, he prayed, unlike any friar,
a grace heard by men beyond them far.
Surprised at what she heard, with both eyes alight
"Oh my God" from her mouth was seen taking flight.
No-El? No-El? No-El? No-El?
Dureza did seem to tell so well.

Not to be, without support, Enrile did say,
the Congress and people a big role will play.
Palace wants no change to the Charter this time…
prayer’s only a wish, bother’s not worth a dime.
No-El? No-El? No-El? No-El?
“Nay” said Enrile, and that he did tell.

Fourth complaint is in the bin, and Casiño did find
her allies played being all deaf, mute, and blind.
Committee had voted forty two against eight
Saying substance in case is inadequate.
No-El? No-El? No-El? No-El?
Who knows what all these may possibly spell.

Ermita later spoke to the media and said
that the Congress’s ruling should be respected.
What’s in store, what’s to be, in two thousand ten?
Speculations abound, concerns have risen.
No-El? No-El? No-El? No-El?
Who knows what all these may possibly spell.

So let us all with one accord
Pray for the best from our loving Lord
That hath made Heaven and earth of nought
And with his blood mankind has bought.
No-El? No-El? No-El? No-El?
Pray to the King of Israel!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm Not an Animal Person

Have you ever laughed hysterically at something which others around you don’t find at all amusing?

I have… a great example would be when an officemate told me years ago about someone putting his/her dog inside a microwave oven to dry it up after giving it a bath. Well, the story ends with the dog exploding inside the microwave oven.

I thought it was so darn funny until I found out that it was most likely a made up story, a myth which has been going around in the States (and perhaps in some other countries), and one that has been “busted” in a Mythbusters episode (which eventually took the novelty of the story away from me).

Almost everybody I told the story to reacted angrily at the person who supposedly did it, commenting violently at the dim-witted creep. I, on the other hand, as I’ve already mentioned, just thought it was really funny.

I’m not an animal person, though I’ve never maltreated any creature with four legs or less… okay, let me put a qualifier there… I have never maltreated any creature for fun. Why I do it is either to prepare the poor creature for the dinner table or to keep our house as pest-free as possible.

However, I think I have mentioned in an entry before that, although I'm not an animal person, I am quite fascinated with wild animals, especially the large species... big cats, pachyderms, reptiles... basically those that can cause carnage or serious damage.

Anyway, I found this really funny story on The West Virginia Blogger’s Blog:

How To Properly Clean Your Toilet
  1. Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the water in the bowl.
  2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.
  3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids. You may need to stand on the lid.
  4. The cat will self agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from the toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this.
  5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a “power-wash” and rinse”.
  6. Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there are no people between the bathroom and the front door.
  7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift both lids.
  8. The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom, and run outside where it will dry itself off.
  9. Both the commode and the cat will be sparkling clean.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Something About the Statue in the Angels and Demons Movie Trailer...

The Angels and Demons trailer seems to be rousing the curiosity of many of those who’s seen it.

So, what’s the fuss all about?

Well, it’s the statue… Yes, the statue of the angel that turns into a statue of a demon after a flash of lightning... the same statue shown on the Angels and Demons poster.









My blog’s been getting quite a number of visitors (specifically, on my Angels and Demons trailer post) coming from Google who had been searching for “statue in angels and demons trailer” (or other similar terms).

So what about it?

Well, something’s amiss.

There are 13 statues standing on top of (the REAL) St. Peter’s Basilica’s façade, and none of them are angels… nope, not a single one. Also, in the trailer, the arrangement of the statues near the perimeter of the dome’s drum has been modified somewhat.

And?

Well, if you don’t know it yet, the identities (or, should I say, representations) of the statues (on the REAL St. Peter’s Basilica) are very well established… and they are very well known, biblically speaking that is.

They are Thaddeus, Matthew, Philip, Thomas, James the Elder, John the Baptist, Andrew, John the Evangelist, James the Younger, Bartholomew, Simon, Matthias (yup, the twelve apostles)… and Christ the Redeemer… whose statue stands at the center, directly above the apex of the pediment…


THAT happens to be where the statue-in-question is standing in the trailer.

Case closed.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My First Sony Experience Is With My Sony Television Set

Well, it’s not really mine, but my parents’… but, then again, my brother and I were probably the ones who have spent the most time in front of it.

“Kulit Bulilit”, “Sesame Street”, “Batibot”… “Uncle Bob’s Lucky Seven Club”, “Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang”, “Okay Ka, Fairy Ko”… “John en Marsha”, “The Sic O’Clock News”, “Goin’ Bananas”… “Looney Toons”, “The Magical World of Disney”, “Heckle and Jeckle”… “The Smurfs”, “He-Man”, “M.A.S.K.”… “G.I. Joe”, “Transformers”, “Ghost Busters”… “Voltron”, “Voltes V”, “Bioman”… “Astroboy”, “Inhumanoids”, “Visionaries”… “Japan Video Topics”, “Tele-Aralan”, “Wok With Yan”…

I could probably fill up several pages just listing down all the programs I remember watching on our old Sony TV set which served our family for close to 20 years.

I searched all over the web trying to find out what model it was, but alas, I couldn’t find any mention of it anywhere. The closest thing (in appearance) I’ve been able to find is the Sony KV1300E (shown below - Photo by Rainer Steinführ) .


It was quite small… perhaps a 13 incher with a wooden casing and it had quite a number of knobs and dials on it.

Like the KV1300E… I believe it had two big dials (one for VHF channels and the other for UHF channels) and at least four small knobs (the power button/volume control knob, the brightness adjustment knob, the hue adjustment knob, and the color adjustment knob).

As far as I can remember, our TV set looked very similar to the KV1300E EXCEPTING THAT our set had a physical/mechanical lock (yup, with a keyhole) situated between the speaker and the UHF channel dial (or somewhere near that area)… something I’ve never seen on any other TV set I’ve come across.

I remember trying (just once) to gently press on the lock (which, in its “unlocked” position, was protruding out of the set) and it felt like it had a spring inside. My brother and I thought (and concluded) that if we were to press on it hard enough it would lock up, rendering the TV unusable. And since we never saw a key for it in anywhere in our house, we never dared trying it out. For that, I never found out how it really functioned.

Anyway, it had undergone numerous repairs during the last five-or-so years it was with us… once for having its channel dial falling off. This reminds me of those occasions when my mother would yell at us every time she would hear rapid clicking sounds coming from the living room. Since we were instructed not to turn the channel dial counter-clockwise (for some reason), my brother and I developed this habit of turning the dial as rapidly as possible to get through all the channels as fast as we could. :P

If parents are our first teachers, and teachers are our second parents, that TV set was my private tutor, such that it taught me many things which I wouldn’t have learned from any of my teachers or my parents.

Like my first Spanish words ( “mi”, “yo”, “ola”, “agua”, “casa”, “cerrado”) and my first Spanish sentences (“Mi casa es su casa”, and “Yo quiero un vaso grande de agua fria”) which I learned from Sesame Street.

With it, I also learned how to count from one to ten in Japanese (“ichi”, “ni”, “san”, “shi”, “go”, “roku”, “shichi”, “hachi”, “kyu”, “jyu”), though I’ve already forgotten the title of the program I learned that from (which, by the way, also taught me that “helicopter” is called “herikoputa” in Japanese).

It made me aware of the latest technological developments in Japan at the time (through “Japan Video Topics”) like the use of cooking oil as car fuel (yep, it’s not new… I first heard of it in the late 80s, I believe… if not, within the first quarter of the 90s).

It was also through that television set that I first witnessed how things were made/done/processed, like samurai swords, cars, bottled milk, cheese, artificial insemination in cows, and cartoons/animation (an industry which I got myself involved in a few years ago).

And, to top it all off, that television set allowed me to feel first hand the sensations of being electrocuted when my fingers accidentally touched the metal terminals of the plug as I was plugging the set to the electric outlet. :P

And they say television is detrimental to a child’s development. :P

Unfortunately, my parents decided to get rid of it when we moved in to our new home some 14 years ago.

That television set definitely had a great significance in my life, just like how Sony’s World’s First Motionflow 240Hz LCD TV (the Sony Bravia Z450) most probably will. Considering what they say it’s capable of doing, it will definitely change my TV viewing experience… especially if I’m going to watch Formula 1 races on it. Imagine… speed without the blur.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Name This Plane And Go To Italy


That is, if you win.


You’ve got only until November 23, 2008 to join.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The 42nd International Bazaar

Let’s say you’ve got a major event, an event about twice the size of, let’s say, ABS-CBN’s Grand Kapamilya Negosyo Fair… an event which will be participated by delegates from various Embassies… and one which, at some point, will be graced by Ambassadors/Ambassadresses of and dignitaries from various countries (all under one roof, all at the same time).

How’d you handle that?

At the 42nd International Bazaar (held yesterday at the PICC Forums 1, 2, and 3, at the CCP Complex), EVERYONE was allowed in, provided that he/she has an entry ticket (sold for 100 pesos each) and that he/she subjects himself/herself to a fairly fast and simple security check.


There were no bouncers with bulging chests and biceps anywhere in the bazaar grounds (like the ones seen at the Grand Kapamilya Negosyo Fair). There were no sudden changes in admission rules even with so many people in attendance. There were no over-reactive security personnel (and procedures) even if there were some high-priced items on display in some booths like pieces of jewelry and exquisite furniture pieces.

And unlike the people coming out of the Negosyo Fair, people coming out of the Bazaar seemed to have a cheerful glow on their faces.

It was one of the finest, most well-organized, pleasant, and fun events I’ve been to, I must say.

Some of the countries/embassies that took part in the bazaar were Thailand, Korea, Italy, France, Holland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Iran, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, India, and Spain… there were wines, cheeses, chocolate/sweets, leather products, perfume, furniture, clothing items, jewelry, ornaments, and many MANY other things. There were also several local exhibitors selling local products.

I’ve heard that there’s going to be a sort of repeat of this bazaar some time in December at the World Trade Center.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

ABS-CBN's Grand Kapamilya Kalokohan Fair


Oh... I mean Grand Kapamilya Negosyo Fair

Thinking that we'll be able to get some nice leads to an extra source of income, my wife and I (along with our son and her eldest sister--yes, she came back this morning) went to the "Grand Kapamilya Negosyo Fair" at the World Trade Center this afternoon.

As we were walking through the parking lot heading towards the main entrance, we saw a bunch of people (various groups) with a somewhat gloomy look on their faces... I jokingly told my wife "parang ang lulungkot ng mga mukha ng mga lumalabas galing diyan ah" ("The people coming from there seem to have sad looks on their faces")

Upon reaching the front of the building, I was quite surprised to see the size of the crowd inside... it was huge... a vast sea of people gathered in front of the registration booths waiting and wanting to get in.

Then things started to turn ugly...

As I reached the end of a considerably long line leading to the entrance, I overheard a lady ask a security guard "Bakit daw hindi pinapapasok ang mga bata?" ("Why are they not allowing children to get in?") But since the line was moving quite fast, I never got to hear what the guard's answer was.

As my son and I reached the main entrance... a lady guard told me coldly and in a manner that sounded very much like a reminder "Hanggang dito lang yung bata ha" ("the child will only be allowed in this area") as she made hand gestures to point to me the area she was referring to.

By that time, I was actually already fuming mad. But since my wife has countless times asked me to keep my temper in check, I just stood there silently, holding my son close to me as I waited for my wife and her sister to get through the entrance.

I eventually decided that I would stay with my son at the lobby and let my wife and her sister see what's inside.

As the two ladies where falling in line for the registration, I heard some commotion coming from the entrance of the fair. There I saw this fairly young lady, a mother, having a heated discussion with security officials.

Still not knowing the reason why they wouldn't allow children to go inside, I went closer to where the altercation was happening and listened in.

And this is what I found out...

The planners/organizers of the fair suddenly (just today, after they saw the huge crowd) decided that they will not allow children under the age of seven to get in as precautionary measures such that in case of something bad happening, THEY will not have a hard time vacating the area.

I thought to myself, "Quite acceptable, considering what happened in ULTRA some time ago..."

So there we were, my son and I, along with several other kids and guardians, wandering aimlessly around the lobby like flies on a huge repugnant piece of poop.

And as time went by, I grew more and more pissed...

What really infuriated me was that there were no chairs at all for the poor souls that were denied access to the oh-so-GRAND fair! There's not even a clearly designated area for the likes of us! So, if you've got a child with you who's younger than seven years old, you're doomed!

Making a decision like that on the day of the event is just absurd! Stupid even.

You know why the lady I mentioned earlier was blowing her top off? She called the Fair's hotline yesterday to ask if infants are allowed in the Fair, to which she was told "yes". She also asked how much an infant's ticket cost, and she was told that infants can go in for free.

There was also this other, older, lady who was making a scene at the Information counter. At one point, she asked the people at the counter why nothing was mentioned in the ads about it. A guy told her (in an a$-holey manner) "hindi ho kasi namin inaasahan na ganito karami ang pupunta eh" ("we didn't expect having this many people").

Then she lashed at the guy "Bulok ang pagpapaplano niyo! Mga tanga kayo!" ("Your planning stinks! You guys are stupid!")

I agreed (and still agree) with her.

After about 45 minutes or so, my wife and her sister emerged from the fair and was welcomed by my terminator look. She asked me if I wanted to go in... as disappointed and frustrated as I was, I decided not to.

I then asked her if she was able to get any flyers or brochures to which she replied "Eh puro naman gluta gluta sa loob saka crystal clear at kung anu-anong pagkain... at, kalahati lang naman ng loob ang may laman..."

And so... we left.

Friday, November 14, 2008

December 21, 2012

I’ve never heard of the upcoming movie 2012 until after I read Angel’s comment on my previous entry.

But instead of trying to find out what the movie is about, I went looking for information about the year itself thinking that, for something (such as those four numbers) to be used as a movie title, there must be something big about it.

And, sure enough, there is.

If you don’t know it yet, take note of this date… December 21, 2012.

Some say it’s the day of the end of the world (again), while others say it’s a “moment of awakening”.

Interesting!

Although I’m not really a believer of prophesies and predictions (as well as astrology, ghosts, and dream interpretations), I nevertheless find these things fascinating and entertaining.

So, what is it about the date?

Well, THEY (scholars) say that the Mayan's "Long Count" calendar ends on that day, marking the end of a 5,126-year era (well, some are saying it’s October 28, while others say it’s December 23. But a majority believes it’s December 21). And many (not the scholars) are interpreting this as an indication for the occurrence of a huge event.

However, the Mayans never really mentioned (or even hinted at) anything about an apocalypse… to them, it’s just a cycle. When a cycle reaches its end (being the 5,126th year), they just reset the year to zero and start counting again.

According to an article I found on the topic:

"'For the ancient Maya, it was a huge celebration to make it to the end of a whole cycle,' says Sandra Noble, executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies in Crystal River, Fla."

Another thing that THEY’re saying will occur on that date is the alignment of the Earth and Sun (and I think the Moon is also in with the act) with the center of the Milky Way galaxy. A phenomenon which is estimated to happen only once in 26,000 years! Now, if you’re a believer of Astrology, this is without a doubt a huge thing.

Along with that, NASA has claimed that the Sun will experience another “polar shift” during that year (that being the North Pole becomes the South and vice versa). The last time the Sun had its poles shifting occurred in February 2001.

Also, Michael Drosnin, in his book The Bible Code (which I’ve personally read and have already long forgotten until now), mentions of a meteor hitting the Earth in 2012.

But then, so far, there are no detected meteors which are in a collision course with the Earth. The closest one would be “99942 Apophis” which, in 2004, was observed to have the probability (of 1 in 233) of colliding with the Earth in 2029. Later on, the date of probable impact was moved to April 13, 2036 considering that the meteor passes through a “gravitational keyhole”, the occurrence of which was calculated with a 1 in 45,000 probability.

Personally, I don’t see any real cause for alarm from any of these… however fascinated I still am. For me, it’s really more of “what if” rather than “OMG!”

Angels and Demons Trailer


I got to see the Angels & Demons trailer a couple of nights ago on Apple Trailers… and… let’s just say I’m getting more excited about the movie.

The intro of the trailer was pretty stunning… it starts with a fly-by aerial view of the St. Peter’s Square coming from the back of St. Peter’s Basilica then pans and zooms in to a statue of an angel which, after a flash of lightning turns into a statue of a demon. The scene is made to look like it was filmed at a time when a papal conclave was in progress as a cloud of black smoke is seen rising from the chimney of, what I suppose is, the Sistine Chapel during the fly-by shot.

(Note: Obviously, the introductory scene is computer generated and a very nice one at that... but, have you noticed anything wrong about it?)

By the way, there’s also a narration on this scene which, I’m assuming, is spoken by a member of the Illuminati. I would have been more specific as to the speaker’s probable identity if the story is still fresh in my mind… unfortunately, it’s been a while since I read the book and I have already forgotten all of the characters and much of the details of the story.

Anyway, the introductory scene is then followed by a series of clips from the movie (each shown for only split seconds) showing Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) with shorter hair, a smoking branding iron, and a helicopter landing on St. Peter’s Square among many other bits and pieces.

The series of clips was then followed by a shining and spinning Illuminati ambigram which I enjoyed very much seeing again.

I really hope that the movie will do justice to the superior novel (in comparison to Da Vinci Code) it’s based on.

I also hope that this movie will not be given the X rating like Da Vinci Code was. It’s fiction for Pete’s sake!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Getting a Whiff of the Green Stuff Again... Aaaaahhh... Heaven...

I can still remember the time when my mother would take us to the barber shop at least once a month to get our hair cut. My brother, who was still very little back then, would be made to sit on a little rectangular wooden stool placed on the barber’s chair so that his head would be higher than the backrest.

I remember seeing white face towels being boiled in a big stainless drum at the back of the barbershop. I also remember seeing the barbers sharpening their foldable razors (labaha) with leathery belts that hung on the sides of the barber’s chair.

Just as unforgettable were the sound of noisy mechanical razors, the “plopping” and “crackling” sounds of hands landing on some old fellow’s body, and the rapid snipping sounds of scissors.

And crowding on top of the long ledges built onto two opposing walls of the shop, just below the similarly long mirrors, were the bars of soap covered with bits of hair, the brushes and cups of soapy water (used for lathering up and applying the soap on the customers’ napes in preparation for shaving), the tubs of pomade, the plastic bottles of fragrant talcum powder, the huge brushes (used for brushing off hair from the customers’ necks), combs and scissors of various sizes… and several large glass bottles of green fragrant liquid…


Yep, hair tonic.

Never really knew what they were for, but I remember asking our favorite barber (suki kumbaga) Mang Pepe (who passed away many years ago) to put some on me each time he would finish cutting my hair.

I so love the smell of the stuff that I felt ecstatic when I saw it being sold at a store in Quiapo a couple of months ago. (I went back there last week and bought the smallest bottle they had, for 18 pesos, just to get to smell it again!)

It’s just a little disappointing that hair tonics nowadays (at least those that I saw at the Quiapo store, including the one I bought) are sold in plastic bottles, unlike those that I used to see in the barbershop years ago which, as I’ve already mentioned, were contained in glass bottles.

Anyway, I tried finding out what it was for and found this:
“Americans are concerned with the appearance and cleanliness of their hair. In the medicine cabinet there is a bottle of hair tonic. What is hair tonic? Its main ingredient is petroleum (much like naphtha). This product is not as popular today, having been replaced by gels, mousses, and hair sprays. Hair spray keeps the hair in place like hair tonic may, but doesn't provide the greasy look that hair tonic has.

“Our hair is dead, yet advertisers try to sell us tonics and lotions for our hair, to make it look better or "healthier." Americans spend a lot of time caring for these dead cells, not because of their protective or warming abilities, but because of fashion. Hairstyles are a major part of American fashion and are always changing. This was certainly the case in the thirties as well. In those days, men who coated their hair in thin petroleum and combed it down had the stylish and acceptable hair fashion, even though it never moved and it looked greasy for the rest of the day.

“To those who pay attention to consumer products and health claims, the word "tonic" has acquired negative medical connotations because it has absolutely no scientific meaning, yet creators of health products have used it to describe products that are supposed to restore the body's health. However, in the 1930s, few people were educated about the medical claims manufacturers made.”
Hmmm… greasy huh? Naturally, I poured some of it on my hand to find out if the hair tonic I bought is the same as the hair tonic described in the article. It’s not greasy at all, and I don’t remember it ever being greasy…
 

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