Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Brandon Lee & Heath Ledger
Heath Ledger, 28
Brandon Lee, 28
*They completed the four- month cycle: April- January- February- March and Numbers: 4-1-2-3
Or in Mathematics, Swiss Mathematician and Physicist, Leonhard Euler wrote what he admitted to be a paradoxical equation:
The numbers 14, 10 & 11-
14 + 10 + 11= 35. If you divide 35 by 3 (3+5+3= 11)you'll have 11.66 (1+1+6+6= 14).
Here's one from Wikipedia-
"14 is an unlucky number to the Chinese. 14 is usually said as "shi si," which sounds like "ten die". Also, a common way to say "one" is as "yao". Therefore, 14 can also be said as "yao si," literally "one four," but it sounds like "want to die." which also have an unlucky connotation."
Age: 28/2= 14
*Heath was born 14 years after Brandon (1979-1965=14)
*Brandon died 14 years after Heath was born (1993- 1979=14 )
*Heath died 15 years after Brandon died. (2008-1993=15)
-This one's just off by a year but still...
So, if you add 14+14+15=43, then divide by 3, you'll get 14.33and round 'em off, it's still 14.
Or 14.33= (1+4= 5)+ (3+3= 6)= 11
The months April-January-February-March corresponds to 4-1-2-3 which is equals to 10.
Add their ages, 28 + 28= 56. When you add 5+6 = 11 or 2+8= 10
Also if you count the letters of their names:
Heath Ledger=11 Brandon Lee= 10,
In the Philippine Numbers Game called Jueteng, the number 10 is attributed to a Male person & 11 is the number for a Dead Person.
Coincidences, huh? Or their Lives were actually written in the stars and ruled by numbers?
In the Bible: Ecclesiastes Chapter 11 Verse 10-
"Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity."
While The Book of Tobit Chapter 10:11 says, "And he blessed them, and sent them away, saying, The God of heaven give you a prosperous journey, my children."
Vaya con Dios Gentlemen...
Note: Don't take this numerology & all the other stuff seriously. It's just the product of my wayward neurons & fertile imagination.
Monday, January 21, 2008
When the epic battle in the freezing weather was over, the New York Giants towered over the favored Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Wisconsin and booked themselves a seat to Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona.
The match tested both teams' will and grit in the freezing temperature where the mercury pegged at minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit and wind chill to minus 24 in what is probably one of the coldest, if not the coldest one in Professional Football history.
It was a nip and tuck battle between two highly- determined team of gladiators that wasn’t decided until veteran Green Bay Quarterback Brett Favre made an uncharacteristic mistake when his pass was intercepted by the Giants’ Corey Webster paving the way for Lawrence Tynes’ game clinching 47- yard kick for the NFC Championship with a final score of 23- 20 in overtime
The Giants won their first NFC championship since 2000 behind Eli Manning’s resurgence and heads- up play in the post season, their hard work on the defensive end and of course, Tynes’ game- winning kick which proved that three’s a charm for him having missed two kicks earlier, one of which could have won them the game in regulation.
It was sweet vindication for Eli Manning who was often criticized for his inconsistency in the field and with a famous and illustrious sibling named Peyton of the Indianapolis Colts who won the Super Bowl XLI last year in Miami, the pressure on him to win the big one is quite enormous.
By the way, Peyton whose team was dethroned by the Chargers this year did not watch the game in Lambeau Field so as not to jinx his younger brother in his quest for glory and I think the ploy work.
Eli Manning and the New York Giants (13-6) did it in the end, their struggle to get a wild card just to continue playing in the playoffs was relegated to the background and now they have a chance to go for the big one albeit an uphill climb at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona against the magnificent Tom Brady and the New England Patriots who is the only team in history to own an undefeated season at 18- 0 and won handily against a depleted San Diego Chargers earlier in the day.
But the Patriots are beatable if the Giants' game against them last December 29, 2007 will be the yardstick wherein the Giants led by 12 points in the third quarter before collapsing 38- 35.
As the cliché goes, “It ain’t over ‘til its over” and the Giants are out to prove that come February 3rd but only if they can handle the pressure of playing in the biggest game in the biggest of stage of their lives on Super Bowl Sunday.
Credit: 1st Photo-AP/David J. Phillip
2nd Photo- Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Friday, January 18, 2008
This is not about Mr. James Bond’s Boss nor is it related to Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service. Rather this is a decree handed down to yours truly by Lady Steffi, High Priestess of her Middle East Queendom hidden underneath the vast arid tract of the Arabian Peninsula.
Let it be for the record that in doing this Royal Decree I acted alone and of my own free- will and was not harmed, coerced nor tortured in whatever form or manner by the henchmen of Lady S from her Desert Queendom who preaches about the Art of character assassinations inherent inside us.
The Edict reads--
Her Royal Highness Lady Steffi of the Middle East Kingdom of Arabia hereby command you to do the M- thing.
Use the first letter of your name to answer each question. Must be places or names…Nothing made up. Can’t use own name for boy/girl’s name question.
Since spies from rival kingdoms might be lurking in the dark, I deemed it necessary to do something like a Pictionary instead of the obvious answers to the questions just to throw them off.
The answers to the questions that you will find below can be found in the collage of pictures you are looking into right now.
The M Code
Famous Singer: You can call him irresponsible in his latest album. He’s the “Lost” crooner who will melt your heart with his cool mellifluous voice.
Four- letter Word: Star light, Star bright I am brighter than you tonight.
Street: This one’s in U-Belt and its hub since the 60s.
Colour: The only color that Enteng Kabisote feared.
Gift/ Present: A Wise choice by a Wise Man from the East.
Vehicle: the Trident, Symbol of Poseidon, Italia’s Pride
Things in Souvenir Shop: Mementos on my fridge door.
Boy name: His real name was Kimitake Hiraoka, a radical writer who committed seppuku for his beliefs.
Girl Name: Japan's 2006 Junior World Champion and a prodigious Ballerina on Ice. A World and Olympic Champion in the making on the senior level.
Movie Title: Sean Penn’s got an Oscar for this Dennis Lehane’s heart- wrenching novel.
Occupation: Mentally Deficient, that’s it. That’s why I am not one in Uncle Sam’s country.
Celebrity: MB, not the German automobile maker but a lovely Italian heartbreaker. The gorgeous Malena in one of Giuseppe Tornatore’s film with a beautiful score by Ennio Morricone.
Magazine: The Smithsonian’s chosen one for people ages 10 and up to read.
City: “Hinahanap- hanap kita…"
Sports: Once upon a time in China err Japan, the Okinawan kind.
Fruit: Mangifera indica L., One of the easiest scientific names that I had to memorize in high school ‘s agriculture subject what with Winged Bean's Psophocarpus tetragonolobus L. on top of the order. Yup, I chose a public agro- industrial school over the more “sosyal” private school run by a religious order.
Reason for Being Late to Work: Mmmmm…
Something you throw away: Unlike Kathy Bates in the movie, I throw them away.
Something you shout: As one American RN fresh out of Nursing School wrote in a progress note--Maggets!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Watching the movie, Charlie Wilson’s War that was based on George Crile’s non- fiction bestseller Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History brought me back in time when as a 9- year old boy growing up in a rustic town in Albay, the Philippines, I first learned of the news of the Soviet Union’s Invasion of Afghanistan on Christmas Day in 1979 from the pages of The Bulletin Today and Daily Express that my Gran’ Pa used to read, an event that caught the world by surprise that was soon followed by the US-led boycott of the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics in protest of the invasion.
And while people in Manila can watch the news on several TV channels, we only got two channels working at the time on our side of the planet depending on where your typical aerial TV antenna was positioned/pointed at-- we have RPN from Iriga City on our west side and GMA from Legaspi City up north.
I tell you, it was a funny exercise one had to do just to get a fair TV reception during those days not to mention the struggle one has to endure while you were up there on the hot tin roof trying your best to position those aluminum antennas to perfection so that you can watch some shows on your black & white console TV starting at 6 o’clock in the evening if you were lucky enough to catch the unpredictable and unreliable schedule of the networks.
No news from the Radios for me either, since the Philippines was still under Martial Law at that time and most local commentators probably think that World News was not worth the airtime vis-à-vis the New Society’s mumbo-jumbos that they were asked to praise to high heavens on air by the lapdogs of the Dictator Marcos.
But I had an abundance of Time, Newsweek and Asiaweek magazines courtesy of a doctor who rented my aunt’s house next door as his residence cum clinic. Those magazines plus the usual newspaper fare were my ticket to the world, current- events wise.
Anyway, back to the movie, Charlie Wilson played by Tom Hanks is a Democratic Texas Congressman who loves booze, drugs, women and all the perks that his position can get to satisfy his insatiable appetite for hedonism.
He was your typical politically incorrect Congressman who can dish out lines like “You can teach a woman how to type but you can’t teach them to grow tits” when asked why he prefers beautiful and voluptuous women in his office and get away with it. He was your typical leech on Capitol Hill that suck the blood out of the nation’s coffers. He was a loud, foul- mouthed, indifferent, and arrogant man until he saw CBS’ Dan Rather on TV interviewing the Mujahideens that were fighting the Evil Empire while on a field assignment in war- torn Afghanistan.
His curiosity piqued, he began to inquire about the US role in the on-going conflict that led him to a disgruntled CIA Case Officer Gus Avrakotos (Philip Seymour Hoffman) as well as to the bed and politics of the known anti- communist and Houston Socialite Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts) who arranged for him to meet Pakistani strongman Gen. Muhammad Zia-Ul- Haq as well as visit the Afghan refugee camps in Peshawar where he had an epiphany after seeing and hearing from the very mouths of the refugees the atrocities being committed by the Soviets to the Afghan people.
Thus, the beginning of the Soviet’s downfall in Afghanistan was sealed. And the Unholy Alliance among the players in the Reagan Administration’s not-so-secret proxy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan was born. And the Central Intelligence Agency’s dirty role in the war effort from across the border in Pakistan to return the favor to the Russians what they did to America by way of the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Vietnam began.
Director Mike Nichols showed us the wheeling and dealing that is the hallmark of the America’s brand of Democracy as well as the policies that go with it whether foreign or domestic.-- from the “favorable exchange” in Congress to an inside look at political fund-raising gatherings to sleeping with the enemy. You name ‘em and the film showed ‘em albeit in passing but just enough for the viewers to get a glimpse and understanding of the real deal, of how the system work behind those facades that the customary players (the US Government, the Media Conglomerates, Congress, etc) want the people to believe.
He showed us how Charlie Wilson as a member of the House Defense Appropriations Sub- Committee raised the ante by doubling the initial measly $5 million budget for the US support to the Mujahideens that eventually reached almost $1 billion with a lot of help from Arab Countries like Saudi Arabia and the rich Gulf States.
He showed us how the CIA procured arms to supply the Afghans with weapons that can level the playing field against the Russians. This is realpolitik in its truest sense of the word, when strange bedfellows like the Isrealis, Egyptians, Saudis and Pakistanis can set aside their religious differences with the aid of the Almighty Dollars from Uncle Sam worked together to fight a “God-less” enemy in Afghanistan.
True enough, with the help of the new sophisticated weapons in their hands, the Mujahideens turned the tides of war in their favor and the USSR rather than get stuck in the quagmire did the unthinkable and withdrew after years of trying to tame Afghanistan, their pride and reputation as a superpower be damned.
Of course, this was aided by the winds of change blowing wherein Mikhail Gorbachev’s Glasnost and Perestroika gaining grounds in the Russian home front and other Warsaw Pact Nations that eventually led to the collapse of the Soviet Empire.
The Film tried its best to convey as much as it can History- wise to the viewing public but found wanting. They resorted to footages as well as dialogues where names of prominent personalities were floated to make the film more authentic but did not impress--
What with an F-16 being shot down by a Stinger surface to air missile instead of the obvious Russian fighter jets like the Migs and Sukhois? Although they got the menacing Mi- 24 Hind Helicopter on some scenes, still they could have done away with that shot of the US F-16 being blown up in the sky.
Also they made it appear that the “Lion of Panjshir” Ahmad Shah Massoud as the recipient of the bulk of the CIA’s arms delivery but anybody who knows his Afghan War History knew that this is not the case since the arms were delivered by the Pakistanis to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a Pashtun rebel leader with deep ties with Pakistan rather than to the forces of Gen. Massoud.
Although Massoud was a known ally of the West and a brilliant war tactician but being a Tajik did not endear him to the Pakistanis who serve as the conduit of arms getting into Afghanistan and so was denied the much needed arms supply.
Was this a ploy on the part of the right- wingers to mislead the American public that the CIA did support Gen. Massoud's forces rather than the ones that the Pakistanis nurtured until it metamorphosed into the dreaded Talibans and in the long run Al Qaeda?
The Pashtuns and Tajiks deep- rooted hatred for each other can be summed in the lines uttered in the movie that became a source of a little controversy, “When a Tajik man wants to make love to a woman, his first choice is a Pashtun man.”
By the way, Massoud was the same leader of the Northern Alliance who warned about Al- Qaeda’s plan to attack the West and was assassinated during a supposed media interview by the henchmen of Osama Bin Laden posing as reporters just two days before the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center.
Charlie Wilson on advice from Gus Avrakotos who knows better that the war is not over even after the withdrawal of the Russians asked his friends in Congress to allocate funds for the construction of schools in Afghanistan and was rebuked instead by one of his colleagues by telling him that, “nobody gives a shit about a school in Pakistan”, that only show you how some members of the US Congress were illiterate not only on matters of foreign policy but also on geography..
The emergence of Al Qaeda, Taliban, Jemaah Islamiya, Abu Sayaff and all the other terrorist groups that were responsible for the worst terrorists attacks that the world has seen began when the “Victors” became oblivious of the fact that while driving the Soviets out of Afghanistan is sweet victory in a sense, they did not see the consequences of their subsequent actions when they left the war-weary Afghans with their country in shambles to fend for themselves.
These lapses and miscalculations of the Powers That Be resulted in us, reaping the rotten fruits of their indifference. And it can be said that the seeds of the modern form of terrorism were sown in the blood- splattered soil of Afghanistan.
The lessons of the Afghan War can be summed up in these lines that appeared at the end of the movie,
“These things happened . They were glorious and they changed the world…
…and then we fucked up the end game.”
Note: This is Part One of what I call The Afghanistan Trilogy- The Kite Runner, Lions for Lambs and Charlie Wilson's War.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Yes Folks, you are looking at a bottle of Limited Edition 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon from the De La Montanya Family of Sonoma, CA with an Autographed label from all the members of the rock band, Journey.
With just 16 cases on sale, proceeds of the $100 bottle goes to California's Greater Bay Area Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Hmmm, I'm thinking of getting one but...
Anyway, let me introduce you to Journey's very potent line- up:
Arnel Pineda (lead singer)
Neal Schon (guitar)
Jonathan Cain (keyboards)
Ross Valory (bass)
Deen Castronovo (drums)
And new lead singer Arnel Pineda’s journey with Journey begins this coming February 21 at the Festival de Viña del Mar in Chile to jumpstart their 2008 Concert Tour Series…
I say, let's drink to that.
Note: Hey Karmi, you have a chance to see Arnel Pineda in his baptism of fire with Journey. :)
Monday, January 07, 2008
I was tinkering with my layout and accidentally deleted my "blogberks" links.
Now, I have to put it back manually.
The good thing is, there is not much since I only link up people that I visit often.
If your blog is on my blog roll, then it only means one thing---
That you're a real damn good blogger!
But first, I need to get some Z's.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Bad Weather. Snow Storm. Blizzard Condition.
Snow: 5 - 10 inches. 3-4 feet in open areas.
Temp: 17 degrees F. Windchill: 0 to minus 10.
Lions for Lambs & 3:10 To Yuma.
Longganisa and Tinapa chased by Caffeine- free Diet Coca Cola.
Charlie Wilson's War & Love in the Time of Cholera.
Bagoong Balayan, Kare- kare and Fried Tilapia.
Pistons Basketball, Pistachio and Michelob Pale Ale...
Across the Universe & The Kite Runner.
Drove to Burger King for a Double Whopper & Onion rings at 4 a.m.
de Palma's Redacted plus Franz + Polina.
Gotta catch a wink by 9 a.m.
Friday, January 04, 2008
In about two weeks or so, the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will open at the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit. It is one of the biggest auto shows in the world and a must- see event on this side of the planet.
This year, I plan to be there having missed the last two years of the event. And if you're a car buff, you're going to love it.
Let me just give you an idea of how big and prestigious this event in the Motor City with this blast from the past...
The 2005 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) was held from January 14- 22 at the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit, Michigan, USA. Hundreds of thousands of car lovers and enthusiasts converge in the Motor City to watch the latest and trendiest car of their dreams- from the traditional high- end auto makers to the affordable ones; they made the 2005 edition a roaring success by their new and innovative designs that were a feast to the eyes of everyone.
The show was a showcase of the latest technological achievements and innovations of the different car makers in the world that came out with their best gear forward and gave the people their money’s worth for the entire duration of the said event. Every car maker literally went to town from the red-hot Ferraris to the sleek Maseratis to the flashy yellow Lamborghinis down to the simple Honda CRVs and Minis just to name a few. The Americans, Europeans and Asian Powerhouses made their presence felt for the eventful nine -day exhibition.
There’s the sentimental favorite, the new Concept Aluminum Ford GR-1 Shelby with a V-10 engine which boasts of a top speed of more than 200 mph is a reminder that the American Muscle cars are here to stay, the invasion of Porsches and Beemers notwithstanding. The Thunderbirds, Mustangs and Corvettes were show stoppers too. The Chrysler 300 was adjudged as the 2005 Motor Trend Car of the Year. The new F-150 in partnership with the king of motorcycle Harley- Davidson is a crowd- favorite as well. The Jeep Hurricane Concept where it can spin 360 degrees on its axis is a jaw- dropping hit! The strong Hummer is an example of brawn and power and the luxurious Maybach of beauty and elegance.
The traditional British’ timeless but cool and elegant craftsmanship can be seen in the Rolls, Jags, Bentleys and Aston Martins. The German giants like BMW (who had their futuristic Hydrogen Powered Concept Car), Porsche, Mercedes Benz and Audi were in a class of their own with their time -tested designs. While Swedish automaker Volvo unveiled their environment friendly one that electrified the crowd with the electric 3CC model although this time it was made not in their Swedish factory but in sunny California. Toyota had their compact and environment- friendly Prius too. Honda, not to be outshined by their rivals unveiled its new line of the ruggedly built Ridgeline designed to capture a piece of the lucrative American Truck market.
The Sports world presence can be felt as several race cars from NASCAR to the IRL and Formula One were displayed prominently. The 7-11 Honda racecar of Brazilian driver Tony Kanaan of the Andretti Green Racing Team and Toyota’s Target number 9 racecar of Kiwi driver Scott Dixon of the IRL IndyCar Series fame were certified crowd- drawers. What with the 2004 Formula One World Champion Ferrari F4 race car lurking conspicuously within the Ferrari exhibit booth? You can’t ask for a far better deal than this!
For nine days in January 2005, the Motor City was abuzz with people coming from all walks of life and from all over the globe as they were spun and wheeled to the sight and scent of the dizzying arrays of the trendiest and futuristic automobiles on this side of the planet.
Motown right in the heart of Michigan will always be the automobile capital of the world where the beautiful concepts and designs of the now and future automobiles rules.