RuBisCO_disco

Drawings, writings and the search for the sex appeal quark

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ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: I donated blood!

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Some commentary incoming. If you’re not into reading me blather on for a few paragraphs, skip to the pics at the end. :)

– o –

I’ve always wanted to donate blood since forever, it’s just that I was never heavy enough to pass the weight requirement. For those of you who are eligible, you people really should donate because not everybody can, and there’s a lot of people that need blood transfusions.

What I did was I called the Philippine Red Cross in Cebu to ask where I can donate blood, and they happened to have a blood drive in Metro Colon last Saturday, so I got my sedentary ass up and went there. There wasn’t much of a line there, so after I got weighed (I passed! YAY!), I filled up a questionnaire, then there was a short interview, followed by them taking my vital signs and blood type.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by rubiscodisco

May 25, 2014 at 11:23 am

Wish List 2013!

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This year, I want to keep the tradition of putting up my own christmas wish list for friends and family who are planning to give me presents this christmas. There are many reasons to why I am planning to make this a tradition of mine. First of all, it minimizes waste from gifts that didn’t fit, that I don’t use, or that I would want to throw away. Secondly, it takes the pressure off the person looking for what gift to give me, because she or he (usually a she) can be assured of buying me something that I like. Thirdly, it ensures that I’m happy with the gift that I get. Anyway, here are some wish list items:

Books. This is a no-brainer for me. While I do have particular tastes in books, I’ll probably still be happy even if you give me a book I never heard of. If you want, you can check out my goodreads page to see a list of books that I want to read, and to see which ones I have read already. Also, it’s totally okay to text me if I already have the book you intend on buying or not. Classics, sci-fi, fantasy, and horror are my favorites, and I’m not a big fan of romance or inspirational books. A few books I’d want on my shelf would include Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett, Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett again, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke, Smaller and Smaller Circles by F. H. Batacan, and Foundation by Isaac Asimov. If you bought it from a secondhand bookstore, I would like it even more, provided it’s still in readable condition.

Board or Card Games. Something fun to bring for a game night with friends would be nice. Some of the newer, cooler games would be good, like things where imagination is a big plus such as GloomDixit, and Story War. More competitive games along the lines of Settlers or Catan  or Ticket to Ride will also be appreciated.

Video Games. Something I can play on the PC would be great. I like RPG’s more than FPS games. I don’t care if the game is old, or has minimalist graphics, as long as it’s fun.

Clothing and Apparel. Personally, I’d prefer bold bright colors, or patterned clothes. I don’t like clothes with conspicuously large brand logos in them, I don’t really care for that. I used to buy my tops in medium, but I’m starting to buy the small sizes, since I look a bit coat-hangery in medium. I like things that are whimsical, or a bit cheeky. My favorite pair of shoes are purple chucks with a pointed, wizardy tip, and I own a pair of black jeans that have small slits at the side of the ankles, so that’s the kind of whimsy I’m talking about. Even a cool, quirky pin would make me happy though. Ooh, also, shirts with funny or geeky quotes, or that reference science, internet, or nerd culture, would be so loved.

I’d also like a new pair of pants that aren’t black or blue or khaki, but a new color. Nothing too bright, a muted or subdued color will do. I am a size 29-30. I don’t like skinny jeans. Buying me pants from a thrift shop/ukay-ukay store would make your gift even more awesome. Tops fade a lot, so I’m not sure about tops from the thrift shop, unless it’s a jacket. I wouldn’t risk giving me shoes though, because it might not fit me even if you know my size, but a coupon for a shoe store would be nice :P.

It’s also okay to surprise me, really. I am merely putting those things above as a guide, and any gift or card would be so nice. Tools or things that are useful would be a great thing. Donations in my name to a charity I like would also be great. I recently lost my swiss army knife (Victorinox), so that can be a great gift too. Anyway, thanks in advance for buying me a gift! :)

Written by rubiscodisco

December 10, 2013 at 7:51 am

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Moth on a Train

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Last Saturday (and by last Saturday I mean August 3, 2013) was surprisingly busy for me spending my whole day outside. On the other hand, let’s face it, any weekend where I get out of my room for more than two hours is already out-of-routine busy, but today was especially eventful because, dun-dun-duuuun, I went to Cinemalaya!

I watched Transit, which is about a family living in Israel with their children under threat of these children being deported. I unfortunately overslept and so by the time I got to the theater, the movie was already halfway through, but the part that I was able to watch was, well, -ood. (As in I didn’t get to watch the first part, so it isn’t good. Okay, not very funny, but at least it doubles as a Doctor Who reference!)

Then afterwards, half succumbing to peer pressure from my two friends who went with me to the movies, and half in the sheer anger and frustration for having missed half of Transit, I watched Purok 7. It was about the life of two children (11-ish sister and 5-ish kid younger brother) whose mother has gone to work in China and whose father has a new wife. Their mother is on death row for drug trafficking, which is a constant source of tension in the movie. However, they manage to have light moments living life, and it’s all really rather cute and, though I hate using the word, heartwarming (*rolls eyes).

Me and the peer pressure

Me and the peer pressure. Photo by Albert of filipeanut

But what I really wanted to talk about was the trip on the way home. I took the LRT-1 train to SM North EDSA. By the way, my poor knowledge and laziness in exploring Manila has bitten me in the ass, cause I got down two stations away, thinking that SM was near Monumento Station (that stupid map at Vito Cruz station was inaccurate!). But anyway, LRT-1 was really full at the time, with people’s bodies touching completely. In most situations, what I was doing to the large dude in front of me could be construed as sexual harassment, and all that was going through my head was “awkwardawkwardawkwardawkward….”. Until I was entertained.

There I was, getting bored in the uncomfortable packing, when I looked up and saw a moth riding the train. I’m sure I was the only one who noticed it there, nobody else was looking up. It was near the air conditioning ducts to the side of the door. I couldn’t tell what species it was because I know next to nothing on insects, but I’m pretty sure it was a type of hawk moth (Sphingidae). I’ll try to draw what it looks like, or you can just google “hawk moth” for a better illustration.

What the moth must be thinking (If it could think, that is. I have more neurons in my optic nerve than in its whole nervous system) while lost in that train. It probably wandered in from some station, and would have been surprised by the very cool air conditioned environment and the distinctive armpitty odor of crowds. It was fun to watch as it clung there, especially since the force of inertia as the train starts up after stopping on a station makes it swing backwards, its legs frantically scrabbling so it won’t fall. But finally, it was time to me to get down two stations too early in north EDSA, and I had to part ways with the moth.

it looked something like this, but brown.

it looked something like this, but brown.

So that was one happy thing that happened yesterday. I hope that moth turns out okay, or that it had at least been successful in leaving behind offspring. It was a cute moth.

– o –

This post is brought to you by random vlogging.

Written by rubiscodisco

August 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm

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A small case of religious inequality in UP Cebu

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Let it be known that I write this post in full knowledge that I also was not able to do anything about this problem back when I was in school. In my defense, I did not care much about the issue when I was a student. I had not had much exposure about the underlying issues. Were I a student again, I hope I would do something about it.

I am just here to ask a question about how UP Cebu operates. Specifically, this is about how the management handles the graduation rites and associated activities. I had noticed this problem for many months now, but I think it is more relevant to post this at this time with the graduation just around the corner.

A Graduation Committee of UP Cebu officials organizes the graduation rites. This committee, aside from planning and holding the actual commencement exercise, is also the one responsible for organizing the Baccalaureate Mass. The problem is that I don’t know where the money that is used to fund the Baccalaureate Mass comes from, and this is a problem because the mass is a Catholic service, not a non-sectarian one.

I have asked around people from previous batch orgs, and in those involved in campus political parties. It seems that the likeliest place where they get the funds for the baccalaureate mass is the graduation fee paid by all graduating students. All of them. Including the Protestants, INCs, Mormons, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, and followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

 If the baccalaureate mass is paid by graduation fees from all the students, isn’t it unfair that the mass is a catholic service? A lot of those people that have other religious alignments would not be encouraged, indeed, would find no benefit in attending the mass which they are paying for. Indeed, even if the mass were non-sectarian, it would still not be something which all graduating students would want to go.

 I would recommend that a catholic baccalaureate mass should be struck off from the budget of the funds from the graduation fees. This would not only remove the religious favoritism, but would lower the rate of the fee. Undoubtedly, some people would still expect a baccalaureate mass, but if so, there should be a voluntary collection to fund the mass. I also believe the responsibility of organizing the mass should be given to the religious student organizations. A government institution organizing a service of only one sect as part of its official duties doesn’t sound constitutional to me.

 I am quite surprised that I have not heard of anybody else noticing this anomaly. The political organizations in UP have always been quick to oppose measures that make the students pay more than they should. Nonetheless, I am optimistic that sooner or later this policy will be questioned by UP students. This might only be a small detail, it might seem like nit-picking even, but if I am right, this nit has been sucking the resources of graduating students for a long time now, and given time, all that money can add up.

Written by rubiscodisco

March 17, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Wish list

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So the holidays are coming, and whether it’s Christmas, or Hannukkah,  or Mithras day, or Newton day, its quite expected that people are to give gifts to each other in this occasion.

People somehow have many different opinions on the whole gift-giving craze of the holidays. There are those, for example, who think that gift-giving and the holidays in general are extravagant and nothing more than a ploy to get consumers to blow off cash and stimulate the economy. Then, there’s the stress and hassle of it all, especially in the picking out of gifts. I think it was Bridget Jones who said that people should just pay other people to buy them things and wrap it for them. This would make much more sense than the usual disappointments we get when a poor, misguided loved one decides that a muffin-maker or some other horrid item is a good gift idea.

On the other hand, if we did do as Bridget wanted, it would do nothing to distribute wealth evenly across the people. Only rich people would get the best gifts, and the poor would get the more shoddy ones. Inequality is such an awful thing, and should at least be mitigated. After all, the theme of the season is generosity and sharing.

But if we really were to be logical about the entire thing, we should ask ourselves this: is the thrill of not knowing what to expect for presents really worth the risk of disappointment over bad presents? A simple cost-benefit analysis is in order, and for me, I’d rather have a pretty good idea of having a good gift rather than have a chance at a pleasant surprise, if I run the risk of being disappointed. And we also have to take note that this also minimizes the waste of all those presents that were never wanted and so were never used.

So with that in mind, I’ve decided to publish a list of suggestions – and take note, these are merely suggestions – for presents for me. Now there are probably only like, 3 people who give gifts to me during the holidays, so I’ll try to make the list interesting to the rest of you.

– o – Read the rest of this entry »

Written by rubiscodisco

November 25, 2012 at 12:12 am

Posted in Uncategorized

In which I draw semi-okay and show you the pictures

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Oh gods! Haribon did not tell me to do this, I promise! It’s just I didn’t have anything else to write and this seemed like fertile material. On the other hand, since this is what I’ll be discussing, let me take this opportunity to pimp out our fun run.

– o –

Last week, somebody at work convinced me to draw a few pictures for the Million Hectare Challenge ads. And before you say anything about the grave error in their part for asking me – somebody who is not a professional artist – to do it, they did intend to get amateur and home-made drawings from Haribon Members, so that’s ok. Anyways, I was asked to draw three wildlife species for the ads.

I sometimes geek out on a particular project and devote a lot of effort into it for no reason in particular, other than the satisfaction of obsessing over something. That is definitely what happened here, and so I figured I might as well show the pics.

The first one is of the Philippine Hanging Parrot, also known as Colasisi (as in the poem-games of the olden times for the Bisaya). Loriculus philippensis is a small parrot endemic to the Philippines (surprise, surprise) and it lives in forest areas. It’s quite common, actually. I’ve seen more than a few in the many birdwatching trips that I’ve been in, and I’ve seen many being caged as pets in houses and illegal vendor’s stores.

My right wrist was really aching by the end of drawing this one, and this was only the first of three. I don’t own a digital pen-thingy, so I had make do with a mouse. It was quite fun though, and I’m glad of how it turned out since this was my first time to paint anything remotely realistic. You will note that the background suffers from lack of detail, something that is common for all three drawings. That’s because I get tired after having drawn the subjects themselves and just went “oh to hell with it…” and did a few strokes for the scenery.

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Written by rubiscodisco

November 9, 2012 at 12:07 am

Grave messages

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Yet again, I have found my blog devoid of an entry for more than a month. I’ll try to make this at least semi-regular again and mean it this time. How have I been doing? I have been busy with work, which will probably soon spill into this blog in one or two articles coming soon. Anyways, here’s a belated halloween-themed article. Hope you like it.

– o –

Today I got to visit the cemetery with my Aunt’s family. There wasn’t much to say about the trip, really. We only came to visit one gravestone (Somebody I did not know personally from her husband’s – my Uncle’s – side of the family). The trip was long, and the weather was hot and humid, but I enjoyed the long walk towards the gravestone, which was a the far end of the cemetery. Only a few birds were out (Lanius cristatus and Gerygone sulphurea).

I had to think up of a way to entertain myself during our brief stay, so while the cousins were off to the long queue of the drinks stand, I was busy looking at the gravestones in the field. I got the idea from Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, actually. He used to introduce the ghosts in the story by their year of birth and death, and their epitaph. I listed down a few notable gravestones.

While most of tombstones had run-of-the-mill boring epitaphs that said things like “Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:15) and “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” (Psalm 23), some really did try with their own quotes and managed to be mildly interesting.

For example, one went:

Diosdado V. Todifa
January 23, 1993 – September 9, 1996
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven – Ecclesates 3:1

Another was a stone which I had read only as we were going, and so I couldn’t list down its details. It’s epitaph went:

“Parting is all we know of heaven”

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Written by rubiscodisco

November 2, 2012 at 12:12 am

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