Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mars, 'Noli,' and 'Marimar'

In between fits to finish an article, I browse various Web sites, usually my favored ones, in search of something interesting, or something that will brighten my day and will prompt me to finish what I'm doing. And recently, following are what I found, and my two cents' worth on each find:

From Reuters: This image is a composite mosaic of four polar views of Mars, taken at midnight, 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. local Martian time taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft and released October 16, 2006....

From BBC News:
Volunteers sought for Mars test

First reaction: OMG!!! This is kind of cool - and a great find now I'm considering a career outside of writing.

So, read, read, read:
"The European Space Agency (Esa) is seeking volunteers for a simulated human trip to Mars, in which six crew spend 17 months in an isolation tank.

They will live and work in a series of interlocked modules at a research institute in Moscow.

Once the hatches are closed, the crew's only contact with the outside world is a radio link to "Earth" with a realistic delay of many minutes.

It sounds like Big Brother, but there are no plans to televise the test...."

Hmm.... So far, OK:
"...In all, 12 European volunteers will be needed. They must be aged 25-50, be in good health, have "high motivation" and stand up to 185cm tall. Smokers, or those with other addictions, to alcohol or illicit drugs, for example, will be rejected.

Esa is also looking for a working knowledge of both English and Russian...."

Bummer. Why this chance is only for Europeans, or among those who have the resources to explore the universe (hello, Descovrir, they're financing it)? What happened to equal opportunity? And as I remember how my sweetie put it once, to paraphrase, the US (and other advanced countries as well) are spending too much money for space explorations. Why not pool the resources to save our planet instead? Might be too late, but we can try - more. Ditto, sweetie.

From PDI: "Ang Pagtitipon" by Leandro Cruz

'Noli' in oil on canvas

Artist Leonardo Cruz gives Jose Rizal a different gift on the hero's 146th birth anniversary - painting 28 key scenes of the novel Noli Me Tangere in rich colors, giving the literary opus a new perspective, and which recently is translated by Penguin Books, proving more that the novel is truly one of world's classics.

Cruz's works are on exhibit at Fort Santiago, Manila. This effort will hope to entice more Filipinos, particularly the young, to read, and understand a classic such as Noli, and that the visual rendition, as Cruz paints the scenes in a comic-like manner, will make the novel graphically appealing, thus, creating the curious, and reigniting the imaginations of those who read the work, to look back on it.

More on Cruz's Noli rendition and about the novel here. (Interestingly, the author of this article shares the same birthday with our national hero. Don't ask me though how old this author is, hehehe).

On local TV:

Thalia as Marimar
Localizing "Marimar"

It's official. Marimar will no longer be seen on Philippine TV as dubbed in Filipino. The telenovela captured us because of its dramatic, juicy, lilting, lines (as dubbed in our own language). Remember, it dislodged the tabloidized TV news programs from their seats in the prime time, as the telenovela offered a concise, fast-paced storyline (in contrast with the Filipino soaps then that neared a decade to end) - a different take on the favored plot of poor-girl-becomes-victorious-and-avenges-for-her-sorry-past-

GMA 7 won the rights to remake Marimar. I'm a bit nostalgic about this - I was a late bloomer about the Thalia/Marimar rave. I didn't know then what the fuss was about when my high school friends (whom I miss) talked of Marimar, Sergio, Choy, Fulgoso (the talking dog), until I saw it and got hook eventually, even cutting our patintero/volleyball games and going home by 5pm to catch the telenovela.

It was first weird to see a Mexican "talking" in our lingua franca. But we got the hang of it, eventually empathizing with the protagonist's plight, even little girls wishing to be like the multimedia, beauteous artist Thalia. The phenomenon has become a subject in media classes as well (another blog post might be needed to discuss about everything that is with the phenomenon), as it altered the Filipino's prime time viewing. Soon, media outfits caught on the business the foreign telenovela is raking in - it is said cheaper to import canned soaps than produce them - and they scrambled (well, ABS-CBN that is) to get the other Thalia-starred soaps.

GMA is into remaking these days - even Shaider they're remaking too - but don't we just wish (especially savvy, media consumers), to see more quality, Filipino-made programs, than adapting programs as our own? Business-wise, it's not OK, but on my end, I want to have "good" memories of the programs (even not ours, and dubbed in our language, yet retained their production) that became part of my not-so-distant growing up years.

There goes my chopsuey post.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Redesigning Descovrir

I’m back online – been out for more than a week (?) due to allergic conjunctivitis (thought I’ll have measles, sheesh, because that allergy was coupled with recurring slight fever and terrible joint pains).

Got slowly back online since I have to check office e-mail, and other e-mails pertaining to work, plus I must accomplish my assignments – work and school.

Back to the blog, I hid it for a while, and now I got the time to do all these fancy stuff – which is cool, by the way, I mean the process, of revamping this. As for the redesign:

Softening the look. I opted for purples and pinks of varying shades to somewhat soften the stern, kind of masculine, white background and black font color used to be dominant in this blog.

I’m now using purples and pinks for link, blog title, blog description, post title, border, sidebar title, and visited link. But retained black for text and sidebar text color – to somewhat give a feel that I’m actually writing using black ink – for classiness.

Linking more friends, must sites, and certified idols. Yeah, the blog roll is quite many now (to your right, please). Apart from blog friends, I now added my daily dose – AP, CNNMoney, Columbia Journalism Review, PCIJ, Poynter Institute, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time – sites I often visit to feed me news (which I’m neglecting for quite a time).

My blog friends are also many now – the staples back from college, university publication, UP naming mahal, and friends gained online and from a magazine cover and editorial shoot with the country’s hottie tourism chief (wink, wink to Mina) – sorry, girl wasn’t able to reply when you texted from our airport – was wasted then.

I also added into another group, the sites of my boss (Sir H logged off his site though), my UP profs (Sir Danny, Ma’am Rach - I didn't get Sir Luis as prof, since he no longer teaches in the graduate deparment - but he's one reason why I decided to study in UP and take up Journalism), and idols – an outstanding lawyer, a well-read columnist, a TV news personality (so far, the only one who can make me awake way late to watch his and his team’s well-produced documentaries).

I also linked my affiliations – current to previous works, and where I’m studying and I studied, and where I had my OJT.

Purpose of linking all these? One log in and I’ll be welcomed to all these sites for my online reading.

Adding fancy stuff. Yeah, I have this page element my blogthing now (up there, before the post). Something that caught my fancy and thought fun to post, for you also before you read the latest post of a 26 year-old cute sweetie here (ehem, ehem, and ehem). If you didn’t like my post, at least, you can try my blogthing, hehe. New blogthing for every new post, that’s the goal.

I also linked my images here, where I can store the cutest of me (he-he-he). I’m running out of hard disk space so I’m storing them here.

I also elaborated more about myself – after all, I initially wanted (and still want) this blog to be a discovery and rediscovery of my being a starting journalist, student, blah, blah (it’s all there, up there please, in the blog title, and to your right, about me too).

Honoring copyright. Yes. From now, since this will no longer be a text-heavy blog, I’ll be using images, borrowing from various sources, specifically from Google images (which are free and for re-use). Citing where I got an image is just proper to acknowledge the people or the site which put it – a rightful practice I got from Atty. Te (blog link here, right, down, there).

Revamping me. My way to start redesigning myself – some things about me need to change – and hopefully I change for my good….

Welcome to Descovrir - redesigned.