Sunday, October 31, 2010

Song of Lunch

How do you act in front of an old friend whom you have not seen for 15 years? In the BBC 2010 adaptation of the Song of Lunch, Alan Rickman plays the narrator while Emma Thompson plays the woman who is a friend of the narrator. Together, they meet at an Italian restaurant where they used to date. This 50-minute drama is based on Christopher Reid's poem with the same title where he narrates each and every scene. I haven't had the chance to read the poem yet, so I don't have anything to say about it; rather, the drama I have to talk about. 

My interest was piqued when I saw that Rickman and Thompson were in this show together. Not because they were both in the Harry Potter films and played the best characters (particularly Rickman, who embodies Professor Snape wholly), but they are both talented actors who know exactly what they're doing in delivering their roles to the audience. So points for that, and for having these two powerful actors together onscreen again.

Looking at the drama as a whole, from an Asian drama fan or anime fan point of view, this is what we call a slice-of-life drama which means that the scenes and dialogues are relatable to real life; and because the stories feel real, the viewer feels for the characters as well. Plot-wise, a slice-of-life drama moves very slow, so this show is not for everyone who expect more action going on between the two leads, for all they do is talk, talk, and more talk. Oh, past and present emotions come up as well. 

Because this is a narrative poem, Alan Rickman's character (who we can call 'he') tells the story as he goes out to lunch with an old friend and from then on, conversations, old feelings, and memories came rushing back. We can hear his thoughts and see flashbacks every now and then, but the drama mostly revolve in his insights, opinions, feelings, and regrets. As a character, he doesn't give us a chance to see what Emma's character is thinking (who we can again call 'she'), but we can still see it in the actor herself, with her subtle glances and smiles. I'm glad Alan and Emma played these roles so the audience can see what the characters are like only from their faces (especially the eyes), tone of voice, and movements.

This drama is basically about regrets and moving on from the past. A feeling which I'm sure that most people can relate to. Almost everyone has made a lot of mistakes in their life, and looking back at them, we regret to think that we wish they would have not happened. But what we can do? The action has already been done, and we either learn from it or not, do it again or change it to a better one. That way, when we look back again at the same mistake we did, we won't regret it anymore and say to ourselves that we have learned our lesson. And wallowing on our past would lead to nowhere; for in order to move into the future, we must let go of the past.

But again, remorse is inevitable, just like what the male character said, he "found a treasure and threw it away".

Thursday, October 28, 2010

blog update

Just a small change that I made on my blog; since July 2009 my username has been luraaa, and I just changed it a while ago, into my real name, Lora. I'm not sure why, but I was thinking that I should use my real name when on this blog because there's nothing wrong in using my birth name. I may have the same name as others (I have met two people who have the same spelling as mine), and I don't mind using it on this blog. I'm pretty sure someone won't be able to steal my identity just by posting my real name here anyway. This blog is also linked from my Facebook profile, so people who know me have an idea of who I am. 

So like I said, just a blog update, nothing too big. I always make changes on the layout every now and then, if I decide that I'm too tired of using this or that feature. By the way, I know a lot of people who have a Tumblr, and if you ask me, I have no interest in signing up for that and have another blog to keep track of. Their tagline says that it's "The easiest way to blog", but for me, I'm happy with this site, and I know that they'll keep improving to make their bloggers happy. And I am, really, and I wasn't paid by blogger to say this just to suck up to them. 

With that said, it's almost November, and you know what that means: Harry Potter.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

don't forget to cite!

This has been an interesting day for me for no reason at all, and because of that, I'll be posting two news articles that has no relation to each other whatsoever. The first one might be sad to hear about this news especially those people who have made this technology a part of their memories. Here is the article, and I suggest you to check the link of the original article as well for citation purposes:
Sony Walkman bows out to the iPod after 31 years 
JAKE COYLE AP Entertainment Writer
10/26/2010 | 02:40 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The Walkman, the Sony cassette device that forever changed music listening before becoming outdated by digital MP3 players and iPods, has died. It was 31 years old.

Sony announced Monday that it has ceased production of the classic, cassette tape Walkman in Japan, effectively sounding the death knell of the once iconic, now obsolete device.

The Walkman is survived by the Discman (still clinging to life) and ironic music listeners who think using a Walkman in this day-and-age is charmingly out-of-touch.

It will continue to be produced in China and distributed in the U.S., Europe and some Asian countries. Digital Walkmans are also being made with models that display lyrics and have improved digital noise-canceling technology.

Still, if you're looking to chisel a date in the Walkman's tombstone, then Oct. 25, 2010, is as good as any. For many, that it's taken this long is surprising: "They were still making those?" Perhaps Oct. 23, 2001, the day the iPod was launched, is the better date of expiration.

But none of the success of Apple's portable music players would have ever happened without the cassette Walkman. Some 220 million have been sold since the first model, the TPS-L2, debuted in July 1979. (It retailed for $200.) At the time, transistor radios were portable, but there was nothing widely available like the Walkman.

It was developed under the stewardship of Sony founders Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka. Morita insisted the device not be focused on recording but playback, a relatively odd notion at the time.

Originally called the "Soundabout" in the U.S., the Walkman was an immediate sensation and a revolution in music listening.

Foremost, it was portable. Music no longer needed to be something that one experienced sitting in a room, but could be blasted on the bus, pumped while jogging on a beach or played softly while studying.

By turning the volume up, anyone could be tuned out.

The detached teenager with foam earphones slouched in the back seat or bobbing his head in the elevator became an indelible image of the '80s. (The first Walkman did have an orange "hot line" button to lower the music and increase the microphone so you could hear someone talking to you.)

Music, previously listened to in a room with shag carpeting and a stereo, was cast into the world, made a part of daily life. Pink Floyd could join a walk in the park, Public Enemy could soundtrack a commute.

More than portability, it fostered a personalization to music, a theme the iPod would also highlight in those early dancing silhouette ads. A big reason there's so much nostalgia for the Walkman today is because it eliminated any separation from music. It felt like an appendage, which is perhaps why some (with questionable fashion instincts) clipped theirs to their belt.

The Walkman was also the father of the mixtape, an offspring that nearly trumps the progenitor. For the first time, music was something you could make yours by arranging it and swapping it.

For those young and unfamiliar with this process, making a mixtape typically entailed gathering songs by the Cure and Depeche Mode, labeling the tape with care and awkwardly giving it to a love interest.

The Walkman didn't disappear so much as it was improved upon. Sony continues to use it as a brand, but the company long ago ceded hipness and style to Apple. The iPod will likely one day befall a similar fate, and another generation will gasp in joined wistfulness.

When it comes to music and how we hear it, we're all romantics. -AP

It's sad, really, if you think about it; that the once famous and innovative technology has now become obsolete. The scary fact is, it only took 31 years. It may seem like a long time for an average human being, but if you think about it, it's not really that long, for it's not even less than half a century, which means that a lot can happen in 30 years, and there is still more to happen in the next 30. It didn't take 30 years for another World War to take place. It took Korea about 50 years to recover from the war to be the most technologically-advanced countries in the world today. It took more than 30 years for Copernicus to prove that the Earth is the centre of the universe after Aristarchus discovered it a few years after Aristotle's time. So really, I wouldn't be surprised when a new technology rises after Apple's takeover for we never know what will happen, say, after 3 years, knowing what the modern world can do.

Now here's the second article I wanted to share with everyone too, and I find it embarrassing and funny to be real. I feel like this post is still pulling my leg everytime I read it. Please visit the original site of where I got this from too. 
License to plagiarize
First Posted 10:35:00 10/21/2010
CALIFORNIA, United States—Thanks to the Philippine Supreme Court of Midnight Chief Justice Renato Corona, Filipinos now enjoy a "right" unlike any bestowed anywhere else in the world.
Filipinos are now free to copy the words and thoughts of other authors without attribution and without fear of being charged with plagiarism unless the accuser can prove “malicious intent.”

This new “right” was promulgated by the Supreme Court on October 15, 2010 in the Matter of the Charges of Plagiarism against Associate Justice Mariano C. Del Castillo where the court majority voted to absolve their colleague of plagiarism charges for including in his ruling entire paragraphs lifted directly from foreign sources without attribution.

The charges of plagiarism arose when Del Castillo wrote the majority decision in the case of Vinuya et al vs. Executive Secretary, issued on April 28, 2010, where he denied the petition of the Philippine comfort women for a writ of mandate to compel the Philippine government to ask Tokyo to provide compensation to those who were victims of sexual slavery by Japanese occupation forces during World War II.

After reviewing Del Castillo's ruling, the lawyers of the comfort women discovered that "Ponente" (decision author) Del Castillo had lifted entire paragraphs of his decision from three sources: “A Fiduciary of Theory of Jus Cogens" by Evan Criddle and Evan Fox-Descent, "Breaking the Silence on Rape as an International Crime" by Mark Ellis, and "Enforcing Erga Omnes Obligations in International Law" by Christian Tams.

While using those foreign sources, Del Castillo drew the opposite conclusion and ruled that sexual slavery during WW II was not a “Jus Cogens,” a "higher law," like prohibiting genocide or the slave trade, which may not be violated by any country.

Perhaps it was precisely this contraposition that explains why Del Castillo chose not to cite the foreign sources.

In its October 15, 2010 decision, the Court dismissed “for lack of merit… the charges of plagiarism, twisting of cited materials and gross neglect against [Del Castillo]" because the Court found that their colleague did not have “malicious intent” when he copied the passages from foreign sources

The Court accepted Del Castillo’s feeble excuse that his legal researcher had inadvertently dropped off two citations in the footnotes. Two may be a little understandable but Del Castillo blatantly lifted 22 distinct passages from the foreign sources without attribution.

The Justices also accepted Del Castillo’s lame argument that his computer was not equipped with a software program that would warn him that he was plagiarizing. (Students, take note of this creative “it’s Microsoft’s fault” excuse).

In her separate dissenting opinion, joined by Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, Associate Justice Lourdes Sereno (the lone Aquino appointee on the Court) declared that Del Castillo had indeed committed plagiarism in drafting and passing the decision in the Vinuya case. “The majority decision will thus stand against the overwhelming conventions on what constitutes plagiarism. In doing so, the decision has created unimaginable problems for Philippine academia, which will from now on have to find a disciplinary response to plagiarism committed by students and researchers on the justification of the majority decision.”

Justice Sereno further added: “It has also undermined the protection of copyrighted work by making available to plagiarists ‘lack of malicious intent’ as a defense to a charge of violation of copy or economic rights of the copyright owner committed through lack of attribution.”

Justice Sereno expressed her regret that the effect of the majority decision was to render Philippine intellectual property laws virtually “meaningless."

The faculty of the University of the Philippines College of Law immediately expressed its outrage at the majority decision of the Court. “In common parlance, ‘plagiarism’ is the appropriation and misrepresentation of another person’s work as one’s own," the faculty statement read. "In the field of writing, it is cheating at best, and stealing at worst. It constitutes a taking of someone else’s ideas and expressions, including all the effort and creativity that went into committing such ideas and expressions into writing, and then making it appear that such ideas and expressions were originally created by the taker. It is dishonesty, pure and simple."

"A judicial system that allows plagiarism in any form is one that allows dishonesty. Since all judicial decisions form part of the law of the land, to allow plagiarism in the Supreme Court is to allow the production of laws by dishonest means. Evidently, this is a complete perversion and falsification of the ends of justice.”

In response to this denunciation, the Supreme Court threatened to cite the UP Faculty for contempt for making a “sub judice” comment as Philippine lawyers are prohibited from commenting on active cases before the court.

As I am not a Philippine-licensed attorney, the Philippine Supreme Court cannot cite me for contempt so I can freely declare what my “companeros” in the Philippines may not dare say. The majority members of this Court, all GMA appointees, are contemptible for making “a complete perversion and falsification of the ends of justice.”

There you go. Can't say I'm proud of it, because I think that this is a failure in the Philippine judicial system. Pardon me for not giving my reasons on why I posted these two articles, for sleep deprivation has been getting to me for the past couple of days. For now, this is the best that I can do.

However, this is just a reminder particularly for post-secondary students to not forget their citations and references when they do an academic paper either in MLA or APA style format. This is what I've been learning in one of my courses, and it's useful information especially for aspiring book or magazine editors. And I admit that this post does not show how I should have used the two articles for references, and I apologize for that as well. But at least you got these two articles to chew on.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Yeah, ours is better than yours

Talk about being ethnocentric. I was debating with myself whether to post this or not because this would cause a bit of an outrage to my fellowmen; but hey, the man started it, and because he said it, I'll post him in here. He should be glad that he was mentioned in this post, although I never got to ask for his name (and why would I?). This is actually a personal post, which I said before that I would never do here on this blog, but due to the man's arrogance, I decided to write about him and why he epitomizes the Filipino culture and society.

This happened more than 2 months ago, back when I was in the Philippines for a short vacation. I bought a phone when I was there, and it happened that I needed to do a transaction that involves me going to a branch of my network provider (which I'm not going to mention, due to privacy). I was at a mall somewhere in Makati (or Glorietta, to some people who can recognize this place) when I went to their office. I was with my friend too, and I hope that she doesn't recognize herself as the person who I'm with that time (I doubt it though. She accompanied me to go there, making time for me despite her busy schedule. Pfft. Really? Okay, just pretend this wasn't you because I only realized this when I went back here.). So there we were at the office, patiently waiting for my turn to speak with a representative. I was told to photocopy a photo-id, and I was glad that I had my old driver's licence with me. They didn't know it was an older version, but it hasn't expired yet. A new one was recently released before I left for the Philippines, and I thought of bringing the old one for safety purposes, and in case my photo identification was needed. Anyway, when the security guard or a representative did the task for me, he reproduced it that fit the whole 8"x 11" sheet of paper. At first I was shocked, that my face was plastered on that huge paper, and anyone can see it. It's not like the people who'll be reading it are hyperopic, because eyeglasses are made available at this time and age. Alright, enough ranting. It already happened, and people wouldn't remember me anyway because I'm not there. But because of the design and the colors, the licence seemed unfamiliar to the man, so he was looking at it intently, half-smiling and then he said, "Mas maganda pa rin yung lisensya namin dito." (Our licence is better than yours.). He said it proudly, as though the basis of the best country is determined by the driver's licence cards. Then he said it again and turned to my friend and asked her, "Diba? Mas maganda pa rin yun mga lisensya dito kaysa sa kanya." (Right? Our licence here is still better than hers.). I can't for the life of me remember what my friend said, and if she does remember, let me know. Well it doesn't matter to me what you said, because I was surprised at what the man told us. I was speechless, and my mind wasn't able to process quickly what to reply back. I think I forced a smile to answer him, but I can't remember what I said. No, I didn't say anything. I've been racking my brains for a while and I think my friend didn't say anything, or she just nodded in response to the man who was forcing her or looking at her to hear her answer. Wow, he's not just being ethnocentric, he's being dictatorial as well.

This man, who looks at a mere licence card, from a province that he might have never heard of, states that Philippine licences are better than mine for no reason at all. He doesn't state why or how, or point out evidences to why he thinks they're better. The only thing he says is that they're better, no questions asked. Couldn't get more logical than that. How am I supposed to believe him when he doesn't even give me evidences for me to think about? From a scientific point of view, if he doesn't give me facts, his argument would lose. And for sure he did. He might not have realized it, but pondering about this event now, I'm thinking, well, the man needs more time to read and watch objective newspapers and programs and less time in front of the television that features the actors' lives and their daily dramas in life. I'm not judging him though, for his personality, but only on this particular time that happened. And woe is me, for I wasn't able to blurt out what I should've done, which also makes me a coward who doesn't stand up for my rights to question his assumptions. Maybe next time, when I get more courage to do it. Or maybe I wasn't myself that time? Because I remember I was like in a trance, that everything that happened there was just a dream. Okay, enough excuses.

By this simple and random interaction at a local office of a large telecommunications provider, does this show you how the Filipino society thinks? Of course, I'm looking at it in a larger perspective, by generalizing that everyone thinks the same way. I'm sure they don't, but it just irks me when some people think this way. And I know that I may have behaved like this during my lifetime, for I'm only human; but aren't we told that it's better to learn our mistakes so we don't have to do it again? Or if we can't not do it, we can avoid it or find a better way to approach and solve it. Afterall, experience is (and will alway be) the best teacher.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A walk in Manila part II

Just a quick post to show you the poster that Carlos Celdran gives his audience after the tour (and the free food). This just proves how lazy I am to write a post, that I all I can do is attach a photo. 

I'm sorry, but there is nothing I can do. I can't do translations for the Japanese and Korean dramas I watch, I don't have the time to watch all the movies that I want to watch and recap because life takes them all away. All these addictions of mine are long overdue, and come winter break I hope I will find the time to do them, while working on a research paper and working so I can pay the internet that I use when I post an entry here or watch my dramas at Dramafever or crunchyroll

If this post doesn't make sense, you're right. It's already late, and I need to wake up for school tomorrow. I know I don't give out any of my personal information here because it's my preference, but when I say school, it doesn't mean that I'm a fresh high school graduate. Far older than that, but not that old. I think I mentioned in my other post way back that I grew up in the 90's. Go figure.