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Monthly Archives: February 2013

With Passion, Age Does not Matter

So true!
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For me at least, because here I am. almost 40 and learning to ride a bike for the first time:)

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So, to motivate myself, I had to find a pink one that was just right for me:)  I found the perfect bike in  a makeshift yard where one can buy all sorts of imported pre-owned bikes from Japan and lovingly restored by Filipino artisans.  It has been a month of irregular practice but these past few days I was able to balance myself on the bike and in the process learned so much about myself and what I could possibly do if there would be no negative, self-limiting thoughts on what I can do and cannot do.  While I was learning to ride without supervision from my sweet husband, I was also standing up to a bully in the workplace.  I stood my ground and did not give in.

And you know what, my dear students?  I have you to thank for it!  Remember in GENDERS class where you all ditched the tough guy archetype in favor of the sweet guy?  Sometimes, we just have to channel this inner tough guy in us in order to fight our battles, whether they are internally or externally inflicted, especially by those who try to render us powerless.  It worked for me just recently:)

The next stop for my biking adventure, biking on all kinds of terrain, perhaps?  Don’t stop me:)

INTFILO S22 Class Debate on “Do Violent Games Make You Violent?”

It was just fitting that, as part of the lesson in Plato, we had this debate issue in a class full of gamers and future game developers.Image

About 90% of the class believed there is no correlation between violent video games and aggression  while,

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about 10% (4 people:P) believed that there is.  It was fun for me and if these pictures are any indication, it was for them as well!  I have to say though that students in my other INTFILO A52 class were more articulate in sharing their sides on the issue.

Thank you for actively participating!  Moments such as this, make teaching seems like the most blessed of professions:)

Featured Post: Creation Story of Martin Sy of S22

Check out Martin’s hyper excellent work:)

The Beginning

 
Everything started out with nothing.

The universe of eons past was one that was devoid of anything. No matter existed. No light permeated through the thick black darkness that enveloped this specific point of space where the earth floats now. There was only the void. But then if one were open-minded enough, would it not be reasonable to say that nothing is itself, something? Is it not that we are so much accustomed to thinking that something’s absence equals nothing so much so that we do not pause to consider that this nothingness can in fact be something?

For more, head over to Martin Sy’s original post!

Featured Post: A Myth of the Universe by Joyce Uy of S22

Featured Post:  A Myth of the Universe by Joyce Uy of S22

Featured Post: Creation Story from Mark Tolentino of S22

bEAUTIFUL WORK FROM MARK TOLENTINO FROM S22!  For the original post head over to Mark’s blog🙂

 

How Earth Turns to Life

For a long time, the solar system is just a lifeless group of heavenly bodies. There are just the planets revolving around the sun, moons revolving around each planet, a belt of asteroids staying still between two planets, and comets passing by once in a while. No sign of any life forms anywhere can be found, until group of five great creatures coming from somewhere on the galaxy arrived around the solar system. The group is so powerful that it moved in and out of the planets every moment. Until they noticed a planet that is more lifeless than the others, one of them told the group that the planet looks bad. However, they decided to come in. As they roam around the whole place and see nothing but the dull planet itself, one of them thought of innovating the planet. All of them agreed on the idea and with the use of their own specific abilities, they scattered around and change the planet.
 
 
(credit: NASA.gov)
After they agreed on changing the planet, Terre, who thought of the idea, quickly moved on to making the place better looking. Using his own ability, he summoned solid blocks of dirt from the galaxy and pressed them below where he is standing. He continued on throwing blocks of dirt anywhere he wanted. After watching Terre doing that, the others are also on the move. Eau, who swiftly wanders from place to place, splashing water on the planet covering most of its dull face with blue. He even splashed on Terre’s blocks of dirt on different parts of planet. Suddenly, after a moment, green objects sprouted from the blocks of dirt. The blocks have grown hair-like coverings on their surfaces. Moreover, the water that Eau poured has solidified and covered the whole block Terre put on the south because the temperature there is lower comparing to the other portion of the planet. It has turned into a crystallized block. Eau saw that happening, and it triggered him to find more places where the temperature is colder. On the north, he felt that it is almost the same temperature as on the south so he also splashed on the blocks on the north. After a while, the blocks also crystallized. Standing still, Vent is just watching them while gusting air all over the planet. Due to the strong wind Vent has blown, the water produces current that slams on some blocks of Terre. This current turned the blocks into something more attractive to their eyes. On the other side of the planet, Flamme is getting tired of waiting for the others to finish, so he also started moving and controls enough heat coming from the sun and traps it around the planet. After doing that, Flamme noticed the wind that Vent blown moves faster while Eau’s water slowly evaporates. Then, the evaporated water combines with the air and suddenly cools forming puffy white object on the air.
 
(credit: NASA.gov)
When they finished doing what they want, they all gathered to see how the planet has changed. The planet, which is dull before, has turned into more attractive with blues, greens, and whites all over the place. However, Vie, the one who did not do anything yet, felt that there is still something missing to complete the change of the planet. With that, he summoned dirt from the galaxy and molds them just like how they almost look. He created many forms including many that are different from their looks. After that, with the help of the others, they placed Vie’s creations everywhere then Vie give life to his creations. 

 
(credit: LiveScience)
As his creations have gained their lives, they started moving doing different things. Seeing that, all five of them felt satisfied on what they all done to the planet. Then, they just decided to go the south part of the planet and settle their place there. From time to time, they visit Vie’s creations to see how they live over. However, there are times that the creations are not doing fine that make them mad. To teach them lessons, every one of them uses his own abilities. Terre shakes the ground to alert the creations. Eau uses his ability to drown some creations while they are under the water. Vent summons a powerful twister at different places. Flamme sometimes burns a place and sometimes gives a lot of heat to some places. There are also times that they help each other to teach the creations better lessons. Terre and Eau work together to send an enormous wave of water to the creations. On the other hand, Eau, Flamme, and Vent combine their ability to send a large amount of water from the air to the ground and blowing a strong wind at the same time. However, Vie does the most brutal punishment among them. Vie removes the life from a creation once he noticed that a creation does really wicked.

 
(credit: HowStuffWorks)
For a long time, the five of them do these to set the rules, “what to do” and “what not to do,” among all creations without these creations knowing them.

The story was motivated by two major sources: the Greek Mythology and the Biblical Creation of Life. The concept of gods are used to depict the powerful creatures that came from somewhere around the galaxy. Like the Greek gods, these powerful creatures also possess unique abilities that they used to start the change on the planet. Each of them can control different elements such water, air, and fire. Then, the creation of life enters when each of them started to move and do what they wanted to change the planet. It started with the creation of the land, followed by the sea bodies. Then, the air surrounding the earth was also created. The heat that was trapped on earth was used to form the clouds. Finally, the greatest part of the creation was the creation of life itself, which is when “Vie” made the new creatures and gave them life.

Do Video Games Make you More Violent?

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The jury is out there, and it seems like everything else, this issue has two sides.  This is an excellent summary done by kotaku. com.

25 Video Game Violence Studies, Summarized

With video games so consistently a topic in the mass media’s examinations of the recent Sandy Hook shooting, we decided to take a look at the studies that try to determine what effect—if any—video games have on violent or aggressive behavior. President Obama made a call for more studies, providing the CDC with $10 million in which to do their research. But here’s a handy flash card for the ones that already exist.

For more, check out kotaku.com

Featured Post: INTFILO Assignment 2

Fun read, Vianca Layno of A52:)

INTFILO creation story

This creation story focuses on how God bestowed order upon Earth.

solar_system_small In the beginning, God was alone and wandering through space. He was a very powerful, sadistic, and immortal spirit. He was able to create anything. He created things and then destroyed them just so he can do something with his tremendous power. He can control everything that he creates. He can create unpredictable objects, and still control them, whenever he wanted to. Because he can  control everything, he does not need anyone to manipulate or handle anything for him.

globe_west_2048Sometimes, he would create a small ball, a stick, and several holes throughout space. He would try to shoot the ball into a hole by hitting the ball with a stick. This was one of the activities that he enjoyed very much. He liked the feeling, that there was something unpredictable just like, when he was not sure whether he would shoot the ball or not. When he was bored, he created a gigantic ball. It was not the type used for his favorite leisure activity. It was much bigger. He also made other balls after, but only chose one to concentrate on. On the chosen ball were trees, different bodies of water and land, animals, insects, flowers, fruits, and wind. He named the ball Earth. He also made a ball of fire, which was much bigger than the latter. He placed it far from Earth. It provided light and heat to the Earth. After, even if he did not do anything, Earth and the ball of fire, which he called the sun, continued to exist without any problem. Everything was in harmony. However, it was all very boring to him. The Sun and the Earth operated in a predictable way. He knew what would happen later, and after that. So, just like his game of ball and stick, he made the Earth events unpredictable. He, then made humans. Each had a different pattern of behavior. Even though they had a pattern of behavior, they were still unpredictable, especially, when combined with emotions.

princip460x276God ended up controlling a lot of events. He manipulated men to create things such as properties, laws, and hierarchy. There were also elections, where humans could choose their own leaders. However, it is all just an illusion. Even though the humans voted for the person they thought were the best for the role, the winners would lose their freedom, and become puppets of God. He would create wars, calamities, and bizarre events, that humans cannot explain. He watched the humans react to these. At one time, he went inside a human, took control of his body, and then killed a leader and his wife, which resulted to an infamous chaos, that enveloped the whole world. At another, he made the Earth hotter, and made them believe that this was their doing. He did not really care whether the humans were in peril or not, he just wanted to watch his creations be unpredictable, and react to whatever was thrown at them.

oserchanger-comAfter a long time, God wanted to experience living on Earth, and bestow upon the order, that he wanted, so he went inside one of the humans. He can move from one human to another, but he stayed in one of them. He chose to stay in the most powerful human in the world at that time. The man was in control of a huge amount of resources. None of the humans knew that he was on Earth. He blended in with them. He still loved hitting balls with sticks. He was amazed on what happens on Earth. He still manipulated the newly elected leaders to do what he wants, and the events to favor the land he led. Despite all these, he still gave the humans free will and a sense of judgement.

iraq_bombing_200401121To show to the people his and his land’s power, he wanted to throw unlimited fireballs at the Land of Sand, but doing so without enough reason will turn a lot of people against him. So he changed his shape and clothing and blended in with the people from the Land of Sand. One day, he overheard a group of people conversing about their plan to throw huge amounts of fiery metal at God’s land. However, the people were not from the Land of Sand, and he knew that. God thought how lucky he was to have heard this. When the day of the attack came, he let his land be attacked, and hundreds of his people die. God told his people, that the attackers were from the Land of Sand (the people did not know he wanted to attack it). He, then pursued his plan of throwing fireballs at the Land of Sand, and told the people, that this will benefit mankind.

manipulationGod’s land became more powerful. A huge population of humans willingly became slaves of his land. They left their homeland, and serve God’s. He had powerful friends, who helped him whenever he was in need. He and his friends went to parties and gatherings together, and shared secrets. He had several enemies, who cannot defeat him. This was the order that God wanted. Many humans would kiss his feet, some would shake his hand and kiss his cheeks, some would try to shoot his head and stab his back, but no one would see his true self and intentions.

Until this day, God continues to covertly exist on Earth and manipulate humans.

Photo sources:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/elegantfigures/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/
http://project44eveandadam.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/the-art-of-womanipulation/
http://thecanonsstall.blogspot.com/2012/03/ive-got-hang-up-about-manipulation and.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/sep/25/firstworldwar.exhibition
http://warisacrime.org/content/20-years-us-war-iraq-marked-today-washington-dc

Featured Post: Introduction to Philosophy Assignment

Wonderful!

“HERSTORY”

by Monaliza L. Alcaraz

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(watercolor painting by me)

It all began in a world where life was possible. A higher being, knowing of this good news, created a woman and made her possess the power of creativity and the power of love. The higher being had done this for a reason and it was because the world was full of sadness, emptiness, darkness. The woman, brought to life, was descended to the world by the higher being and from then on, everything changed.

The woman touched the ground, squinted her eyes, smelled the air and waited for a sound but there was nothing. She whispered to herself, “There has to be something. Anything.” So she closed her eyes, focused and aligned herself with the higher being. She touched the air above her, her fingertips paralleled to her toes. She swirled all around the emptiness while she thought of three things: color, shape and size. The colors light blue, yellow and the absence of color, white. She swirled until she was exhausted, her eyes still closed. She lied down on the ground and as she opened her eyes, there right above was the light blue sky, white clouds and the brightest of all, the sun. She smiled to herself and became so excited that she immediately wanted to color some more.

All around her, darkness still reigned. She looked upwards. Inspired by her first creation, she again aligned herself with the higher being and meditated. She slowly kneeled and touched the ground and thought of colors green, brown and blue while again she closed her eyes. She then heard sounds that were unfamiliar to her, but she listened intently. And all of a sudden, every sound stopped at once. She was still kneeling and touching the ground. As she moved her hands slowly feeling the ground, it was somehow moist and damp. She opened her eyes and was surprised by so many objects she saw right in front of her. There were almost identical trees with green leaves and brown branches, trunks and roots. There were blue ponds in all shapes and sizes and rivers that made water flow. She looked beneath her and saw that she was touching the moist and damp earth. She inhaled, and she smelled the air, her lungs being filled with the earthly aromas.

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(watercolor painting by me)

Her creations made her very happy, but she felt that there were some things missing. Her heart felt empty even if she was surrounded by beauty. And so she pondered on this thought and sat down under a tree near a pond. After a long moment of pondering, she was very exhausted but satisfied with her ideas. She asked the higher being to tone down the brightness of the sun and so the night came together with the moon that dimly lit her creations. After a long sleep, she stretched and again aligned herself with the higher being. This time she was solemn. She kept her excitement low and focused on what she wanted to create next.

First, she had put her hands on her heart while she aligned herself with the higher being. She thought of so many, the power she possessed made it easier to imagine and conceptualize. It never created a clutter inside her head because the higher being helped her organize her thoughts. She was already prepared when she opened her arms, stood her ground and focused on the objects she wanted to create. She took her time and one by one they were all beginning to come to life. She whispered to herself, whispered to the higher being that these things be created with souls and for a long moment she was completely absorbed.

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(watercolor painting by me)

Her heart pounded on her chest. She inhaled and the air smelled different but still with a tinge of the moist and damp earth beneath and around her. She placed her hands on both sides, and waited. Little did she know that there were already three men and three women in front of her along with animals such as birds inhabiting the trees, fish inhabiting the ponds, insects crawled the ground and trees, horses were standing nearby, bears inhabiting by the river and so on and so forth. The persons she created were looking at her as if they knew that she is the creator or the first created. They stood closer to her, held her hands and knelt. She felt their gentle touch then slowly she opened her eyes. She was overwhelmed by the number of living things she has created. Tears streamed down her face, accompanied by happiness she felt in her heart. First, she fixed her eyes to the men and women she created; the three men whether interests a woman, another man or both and likewise for the three women. She asked them to stand and they all stood right away then they all walked towards the animals. She touched the animals gently on the head, and they all respected and acknowledged her. The other living persons done the same and they too were respected and acknowledged by the animals.

The woman who was first created gave her gratitude by daily aligning herself to the higher being as well as the other persons whom she taught. The men and women took care of the trees, ponds, rivers, animals and most especially themselves and one another. She, the first woman, made the higher being so happy that as a result, the higher being created more women and as well as men to take care of the first woman’s creations. They were all given the power of creativity and as well as the power of love and for that, there are different objects created by different men and women all around the world every day. And these creations were made possible through men and women’s ideas and most especially through aligning themselves with the higher being.

–End –

A Checklist for Real Masculinity?

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Though the list is not really new, most of my male students in GENDERS list respect for women as one of the rules they learned from their parents, in the light of gang rape scandals in India, this rings loud and clear.  But to me, this ad is even more powerful because it highlights RESPECT FOR ALL WOMEN and not just those “women” men think are worthy of respect and that there are those you do not.  Certainly, we respect everyone because they are people, first and foremost.

For more, head over to Huffington Post.