8.8 Quake in Chile

Chile was just shaken by 8.8 magnitude Earthquake and it devastate the nation the caused bridge to collapse, houses destroyed, and vehicles were made to turn up side down or crushed.

Nations around the Pacific Oceans and are warned of its tsunami effect as what happened in the 1960’s— roughly a quarter of the globe.  Historically, many people died then in Hawaii, Philippines and Japan as caused by 9.5 magnituded earthquake that triggered tsunami in the Pacific Ocean. 

As per report by the airport directorEduardo del Canto Santiago, the  airport will remain closed for at least 24 hours, said. The passenger terminal suffered major damage, he told Chilean television in a telephone interview. TV images show smashed windows, partially collapsed ceilings and pedestrian walkways destroyed.

Many old and new buildings were also affected including hospitals.   

$40.2M debut for Shutter Island

Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio tandem paved way for another blockbuster hit.  Shutter Island got $40.2 on its debut.  Athough all the cast and crew has to be recognized, Ben Kingsley himself recognized the two for their better chemistry.  As to his own words, it was “absolutely thrilling” to be offered the role by the iconic director, adding, “He’s legendary, but … he’s absolutely cutting-edge, modern in where he wants and where we all want cinema to go in the future.”  He also admires DiCaprio’s performance as something with extreme edge.  He admits to love working with DiCaprio.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Final figures will be released Monday.

1. “Shutter Island,” $40.2 million.

2. “Valentine’s Day,” $17.2 million.

3. “Avatar,” $16.1 million.

4. “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” $15.3 million.

5. “The Wolfman,” $9.8 million.

6. “Dear John,” $7.3 million.

7. “Tooth Fairy,” $4.5 million.

8. “Crazy Heart,” $3 million.

9. “From Paris With Love,” $2.5 million.

10. “Edge of Darkness,” $2.2 million.

“Shutter Island”  is an adaptation from Dennis Lehane’s novel starring DiCaprio as a U.S. marshal caught up in conspiracies and delusions while investigating the disappearance of a patient at a hospital for the criminally insane. 

Poster photo is excerpt from Google Images

Philippines May Face Its Worst Drought in History

These days, you can feel the humid almost every where in the Philippines as if it is already a part of Middle East.  My brother once said that this kind of humid was what he experienced when he still works for a firm in Saudi Arabia.  As per reports this phoenomenon is not just happening in the Philippines but in many parts of South East Asia and South Asia.  It is called the “El Nino” phoenomenon. 

Filipinos eat calamity news for breakfast.   We are a survivor.  We just survived the two typhoons that devastate the nation in last quarter of 2009.  Life must go on for the Filipinos but the recent drought seems to be another difficult situation.  Nearly 400,000 acres of farmland have already been affected and still increasing til July or up.  Many crops were already damaged at about $61 million, as per gathered report.  If not given an effective and immediate counter solution, this drought is threatening a widespread blackouts and food crisis as electrification and farming depends on ample supply of water.  A possible two- to three-hour blackout every day until the national elections in May could happen, as per mentioned in the House energy committee hearing this week.

Cloud-seeding operations already done in many areas as northern part of Luzon and the government has allotted some $20 million to aid farm and fishing in at least 14 of the country’s 80 provinces. 

Hope experts across the globe would provide suggestions and support in terms of knowledge and technology.  We already have lots of intelligent good talkers in the government.  Now we need good doers with exceptional wisdom in natural crisis as drought.  Seldom have we seen this on politicians.  

Historically, mega structures is needed to battle a national crisis and to uplift the nation above and beyond where it is.  Inventors must also take part as necessity is the mother of all inventions.  Hope the Filipino brilliant engineers and professionals on this area in many countries of the world would voice out their know how and suggestions.   I believe, Filipino inventors could also produce its own “Bloom Box” if provided the grant and support it needed both from the government and private sector.

Fire at Bangalore’s Carlton Towers

Per gathered report, nine (9) people died in a fire that hit Carlton Towers Banglore, India.  It happened on the seventh floor.  It is where many business and commercial establishments are located.  Panic was the main cause of casualties as mentioned by eyewitnesses. Few have jump out of the building, as they say.  Many fainted after they inhale the smoke. 

Investigators believed that the caused of fire was Electrical faulty wiring (short circuit). 

The building was completely evacuated.

We Need a Collaborative Partner to this Blog

  • This Blog Averages around 1,500 visitors/readers per month (around 50 per day)
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You can e-mail me at denissalvatierra@yahoo.com with your suggestion and proposal.

Change Has Come to America’s Credit Cards

The new federal credit card rules finally took effect Monday to regulate the business that eaten America alive over the past years.   As per report, the rules, passed by Congress in May, seek to “level the playing field” between consumers and credit card companies, President Obama said.  Nonetheless, new regulatory bodies are needed to replace the fractured oversight of seven regulatory bodies that failed to prevent the abusive credit card practices. 

Among the changes that took effect Monday:

  • Increased interest rates cannot be applied retroactively to existing balances. New rates can apply only to new charges.
  • The interest rate on a fixed-rate credit card cannot be increased during the first year an account is open unless the customer is more than 60 days behind in making a payment.
  • Banks cannot automatically sign up customers for programs that allow them to exceed their credit limit for a set fee. Customers must proactively opt-in to such programs.
  • Fees on a credit card, such as the annual fee, cannot be more than 25% of the card’s initial credit limit.
  • People younger than 21 must show they can make credit card payments or have a co-signer to open an account.
  • Bills must denote how long it would take to pay off the card’s balance if only the minimum payment is made, and how much in total the customer would end up paying.
  • Payments over the minimum must be applied to the balance with the highest interest rate.
  • The due date for credit card payments must be the same every month, and payments cannot be due earlier than 5 p.m. on a business day. Customers have until the next business day when a due date falls on a weekend or a holiday.
  • Those provisions follow ones that took effect in August requiring banks to notify customers at least 45 days before increasing a card’s interest rate and to mail statements 21 days before the bill is due, up from 14 days.

The new rules are expected to help consumers but critics say it won’t solve all the problems. 

But as mentioned by one customer, “at least we’re no longer going to get run over by the train from behind,” he said. “Now we can see it coming and maybe jump to the next track.”

Highlights of Philippine Visual Arts (Paintings)

Spolliarium by Juan Luna

(The painting is actully a giant one size 4×7 meters, exhibited at Metropolitan Museum Philippines, the frame is different)

In the late 1800’s when most Asian were still trying to figure out the meaning of modern art, Filipinos are already making waves in Europe.   And decades before Hollywood captured the Roman gladiators on film, Juan Luna from Philippines already captured its moving reality on canvas.  Juan Luna won the gold on a competition in Madrid, Spain.  He was only 24 then, an ex-naval officer and pensionado of the Philippine Colonial Government.  As recorded, everyone who view could not believed what they saw.    As told, Michael Angelo took 60 years to perfect such style.  Juan Luna only made it in 6 years.

In native Filipino language “Nilampaso lang naman ni Juan Luna ang pinaka magagaling na pintor sa buong mundo ng panahong iyon.” 🙂

Partly Exerpt info:

Juan Luna had briefly attended classes at the Academia de San Fernando and was the protege of Alejo Vera, one of the young Filipino so impressed Vera that he took Luna along with him when he went to Rome to undertake some commissions. In Rome, Luna imbibed the classical spirit of Michelangelo and Raphael and worked hard—for eight months—on an immense canvas which measure roughly 4 x 7 meters. The painting, which now hangs in the hall of Flags, Department of Foreign Affairs, a gift from the Spanish government in 1958, is the Spoliarium. This was to be his entity at the Madrid Exposition of 1884. It was an immediate sensation. It won not only the highest possible honor, the first of three Gold Medals, but also enthusiastic notice in the newspaper columns of Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris. Many of the notices were extravagant raves. Here is a sampling taken at random: “The largest work, the most frightful, the most discussed work of the Exposition.” “It is more than a painting, it is a book, a poem.” “It is something more than the mere mechanism of genius, of the art composition. . . Luna is a thinker.” “The superior qualities of Luna are: as an artist, his ambition to produce great designs; to subdue the multitude with the resources of the highest class in art; serious and rough, not with vile adulations from the pencil nor of color in beautiful lines; as a painter, his energetic style, broad and noble, truthful and on occasion fantastic.” “A giant of art, a kind of Hercules, that enters furiously leveling down all the gods with blows from his club, bringing in a new art, full of ideas and forms, carrying a Spartan soul and the brush of Michelangelo...

Since then, Filipinos have shown various styles and excell all over the world.  Below are the highlights of Art Paintings by various Filipino Artists of the 20th Century.  Bravo!

 

Above painting images are just tip of the iceberg.  Better visit the Philippines and its museums for view more world class paintings made by Filipino Visual Artist.

Note:  I don’t sell Philippine Paintings.   I just showcase the rich visual arts culture in the Philippines in recognition of the greatness of Philippines’ finest painters and visual artist.  In the Philippines, below is one of the oldest artform (archaeological findings) renowned to world art critics (dated Before Christ)…

All artworks are excerpt fromm Google Images

Bloom Box = Energy Breakthrough

If you didn’t know it yet, there is an energy breakthrough that may soon become the next big thing.  It is called the Bloom Box.  As per gathered information, over around 100 start-ups from Silicon Valley are said to be working on it.  One of them is Bloom Energy.  This is literally rocket science but the wiz from Silicon Valley is turning the idea into something user friendly.  To cut the crop, the Bloom Box is described as “a little power plant- in-a-box.  It is being develop so anyone can have his own power plant in the convenince of his/her own backyard.  As mentioned, the Bloom Boxes will generate electricity to empower home and it will be wireless. It is intentionally to replace big power plant.  A Bloom Box can literally power an average American home. In the contrary, it can power four to six (4-6) average homes from either Asia or India.  Average American homes uses more power than those from Asia and India.  Isn’t it great?  It ain’t a dream, it’s perfectly real! 

Earlier I said “rocket science” because the man behind (K.R. Sridhar) invented the same for NASA, a few years ago.  He is confident because that thing works.  Better than that, it can produce oxygen. 

This was supposed to be for NASA’s Mars mission but it was scrapped.  Who would have thought that this invention could make people live on Mars, as guaranteed by Sridhar?  Previously, such are only seen on movies.   Sridhar made a breakthrough by inventing a new kind fuel cell, which is like a very skinny battery that always runs. Sridhar feeds oxygen to it on one side, and fuel on the other. The two combine within the cell to create a chemical reaction that produces electricity. There’s no need for burning or combustion, and no need for power lines from an outside source.   Wow!!! 

Sridhar did not loose hope.  Instead of shelving the idea, he managed to get a meeting with John Doerr from the big Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins on October 2001.  Doerr believed in Sridhar’s proposal and the rest is history.  For those who didn’t know Doerr, he is man behind the discovery of Netscape, Amazon and Google.   When he listened to Sridhar, the idea seemed just as transformative: efficient, inexpensive, clean energy out of a box. 

A question was raised if Bloom Box is a threat to utility companies.  Doerr confidently say, “No, I think the utility companies will see this as a solution,” Doerr said. “All they need to do is buy Bloom boxes, put them in the substation for the neighborhood and sell that electricity and operate.”  It was also mentioned that Bloom Box system can use fossil fuels like natural gas. Its system can use renewable fuels like landfill gas, bio-gas, and can use solar.”

To prove of its worth and reliability, Doerr bragged that they already has customers. Twenty large, well-known companies have quietly bought and are testing Bloom boxes in California.   As told, they were at their customer’s hub in Oakland the day Bloom installed their boxes, each one costing $700-800,000.  One perfect reason why companies tried, it is because 20 percent of the cost is subsidized by the state, and there’s a 30 percent federal tax break because it’s a “green” technology.   In layman’s terms… around 50% off.  Some of the companies are:  FedEx, Wallmart, eBay, Google, etc.  

There were reports that eBay have already saved the company more than $100,000 in electricity costs since they bought Bloom Box for their firm.  Former Secretary of State Colin Powell himself testified that Bloom Box works.  He is currently one of the Board of Directors.  As to gathered reports, Mr. Powell do not believed that this will be the messiah to ongoing global power problem.  Istead, he reiterated that he believe it will have its significant contribution.

The people behind is aming that Bloom Box would be in every home in five to ten years. 

The world is excited of the Bloom Box.

Madeira Flood

As per reports, Madeira was flooded due to the worst storm that hit Portugal since 1993.  40 people were reported dead and there is a possibility that figures will rise.  Around 120 was reported injured and still undetermined number of missing.  There were also reports of mudslides and flash flooding.  

Mossad on Hot Seat

The assasination of one of Hamas military wing Mahmuh al-Mabhuh that recently happened in Dubai was unexpectedly not that explosive in the news world.  If this happened in the 70’s, Israel will again be in the world headlines in days or weeks as its inteligence agency Mossad are being pinpointed by Dubai Police.   Mahmuh al-Mabhuh was found dead in a Dubai hotel room last month.  It was told that there were five Irish passports that were used by the assasins. There were also six British passports, three French and one German passport used, according to the Dubai police.  This reminds me of the “Bourne Identity” movie series 1, 2 and 3.    To the spectators, such is an action packed thriller story to follow.  But it ain’t a movie and the killings are a reality in this situation.  Furthermore, the issue is too sensitive as the wounds to both Israel and Arab world are deeper and more complex than anyone could imagine.  

Interpol has already issued arrest warrents for 11 people who are accused of killing the Hamas commander that was found to use British, Irish, French and German passports.  As per gathered report, Dubai is pressuring Israel for the Arest of Mossad Chief.   Israel rejected the request as Dubai they say did not provide incriminating proof. 

I could not blame the media why only few wrote stories on such sensitive issues as this. Israel and Dubai surely do its damage control.  It’s just that the recent assination is far damaging from what Israel has been through in the past.  It is because the political and diplomatic context has changed in the last decade.  Furthermore, this may escalate into bigger conflicts and wider persfective. 

To know more about the Mossad, Hamas and the Middle East conflict, kindly click to link below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mossad

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Mahmoud_al-Mabhouh

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab%E2%80%93Israeli_conflict

photos are excerpts from Google Images

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