Friday, August 25, 2006

Pluto Demoted

It's sad to know that the smallest planet in our "previous" solar system (consisting of the Sun and all nine planets, and all other celestial objects here and there) has been demoted, according to the new definitions voted by the "experts" from the IUA.

It's just because of these definitions of planets that a thing we've known ever since our childhood has been ostracized.

Now, how come this "labeling" sounds oddly familiar?

Dinky Pluto loses its status as planet

By WILLIAM J. KOLE, Associated Press Writer 50 minutes ago
Pluto, beloved by some as a cosmic underdog but scorned by astronomers who considered it too dinky and distant, was unceremoniously stripped of its status as a planet Thursday.

The International Astronomical Union, dramatically reversing course just a week after floating the idea of reaffirming Pluto's planethood and adding three new planets to Earth's neighborhood, downgraded the ninth rock from the sun in historic new galactic guidelines.

The shift will have the world's teachers scrambling to alter lesson plans just as schools open for the fall term.

"It will all take some explanation, but it is really just a reclassification and I can't see that it will cause any problems," said Neil Crumpton, who teaches science at a high school north of London. "Science is an evolving subject and always will be."

Powerful new telescopes, experts said, are changing the way they size up the mysteries of the solar system and beyond. But the scientists at the conference showed a soft side, waving plush toys of the Walt Disney character Pluto the dog — and insisting that Pluto's spirit will live on in the exciting discoveries yet to come.

"The word 'planet' and the idea of planets can be emotional because they're something we learn as children," said Richard Binzel, a professor of planetary science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who helped hammer out the new definition.

"This is really all about science, which is all about getting new facts," he said. "Science has marched on. ... Many more Plutos wait to be discovered."

Pluto, a planet since 1930, got the boot because it didn't meet the new rules, which say a planet not only must orbit the sun and be large enough to assume a nearly round shape, but must "clear the neighborhood around its orbit." That disqualifies Pluto, whose oblong orbit overlaps Neptune's, downsizing the solar system to eight planets from the traditional nine.

Astronomers have labored without a universal definition of a planet since well before the time of Copernicus, who proved that the Earth revolves around the sun, and the experts gathered in Prague burst into applause when the guidelines were passed.

Predictably, Pluto's demotion provoked plenty of wistful nostalgia.

"It's disappointing in a way, and confusing," said Patricia Tombaugh, the 93-year-old widow of Pluto discoverer Clyde Tombaugh.

"I don't know just how you handle it. It kind of sounds like I just lost my job," she said from Las Cruces, N.M. "But I understand science is not something that just sits there. It goes on. Clyde finally said before he died, 'It's there. Whatever it is. It is there.'"

The decision by the IAU, the official arbiter of heavenly objects, restricts membership in the elite cosmic club to the eight classical planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Pluto and objects like it will be known as "dwarf planets," which raised some thorny questions about semantics: If a raincoat is still a coat, and a cell phone is still a phone, why isn't a dwarf planet still a planet?

NASA said Pluto's downgrade would not affect its $700 million New Horizons spacecraft mission, which this year began a 9 1/2-year journey to the oddball object to unearth more of its secrets.
But mission head Alan Stern said he was "embarrassed" by Pluto's undoing and predicted that Thursday's vote would not end the debate. Although 2,500 astronomers from 75 nations attended the conference, only about 300 showed up to vote.

"It's a sloppy definition. It's bad science," he said. "It ain't over."

Under the new rules, two of the three objects that came tantalizingly close to planethood will join Pluto as dwarfs: the asteroid Ceres, which was a planet in the 1800s before it got demoted, and 2003 UB313, an icy object slightly larger than Pluto whose discoverer, Michael Brown of the California Institute of Technology, has nicknamed "Xena." The third object, Pluto's largest moon, Charon, isn't in line for any special designation.

Brown, whose Xena find rekindled calls for Pluto's demise because it showed it isn't nearly as unique as it once seemed, waxed philosophical.

"Eight is enough," he said, jokingly adding: "I may go down in history as the guy who killed Pluto."

Demoting the icy orb named for the Roman god of the underworld isn't personal — it's just business — said Jack Horkheimer, director of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium and host of the PBS show "Star Gazer."

"It's like an amicable divorce," he said. "The legal status has changed but the person really hasn't. It's just single again."

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

It Felt Like My Last Supper

This meal felt so like my last supper.

This was just last Saturday, after I got home from UST.

I reflected on what transpired that day, and I know I just sat staring at this meal. If it weren't for my niece's footsteps as she went down the kitchen stairs, I wouldn't have gotten out of my stupor.

Pero gano'n pala 'yon. When you know that you should have enjoyed something a few hours before, there is a sense of regret that would gnaw inside you.

I regret leaving. You know who you are.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Evenful Weekend

A lot of things happened last weekend.

Murphy's Law Saturday

Last Saturday, I acted as tour guide for our new employee, the one that will replace the company's artist. I was supposed to leave at 9:30, unfortunately, one of my superiors asked me to install the scanner from one computer to her computer. Nakakainis lang kase parang in short notice, kailangan kong gawin yon. I was getting frantic na nga because I asked the guy to wait for me by 10 AM. I think I was able to leave the office at about 10:20?

After the first outlet, I decided to leave and pass by the route I thought would bring us earlier to our next destination. Much to my dismay, we were caught in a traffic jam. It was really fucking irritating. And my boss called me on my mobile and gave me another assignment.

When finally we were able to board the bus going to Crossing, I was confident that things were going to run smoothly. Alas, when we got to Guadalupe, our bus went on queue. Damn. We got out of there after 48 years.

By the time we got to EDSA-Crossing I was really hungry. Since it was lunch time when we arrived, all the fast food joints were full of people. We had to make do with a Chowking outlet. After lunch we visited each outlet located within the area. And then we were off to Cubao.

Cubao was were my strength was drained. We had to pass by reeking back streets, noisy malls, crowded streets, and abandoned commercial complexes to reach our destinations. By 4 PM, I was raring to go. But then I had to pass by UST, so I was able to get home by 9:30 PM.

And it was my nephew's birthday pa pala.

Incredulous Sunday

It was after breakfast when I read the SMS. I was being asked to come to work that rainy Sunday morning because another supervisor had to use the Bluetooth device. So I went. What irked me was that they bought lunch, but did not include me. Typical of them.

Bored, I logged on to IRC, and joined several channels. I talked to someone and he invited me over his place. So I left early and then I proceeded to his place. I was in for a big surprise.

The condo unit was nice. But it reeked of something. I tried to search for the source of the stench. Much to my horror, the foul-smelling odor came from my host. It was a good thing that he had the TV on, so I focused my attention to it instead. After watching CSI: New York and The Wedding Date (I love Debra Messing), I decided to leave and left I did even if he tried to convince me to stay.

I ate since my stomach was already grumbling. But then my best friend texted me and I decided to meet him. Unfortunately, his partner was already there, and they left early. I then went to Netopia at Park Square 1. But there was this irritating kid who kept squeezing himself between me and his friend, so he was invading my space with his big bratty butt. I left.

At home, I ate dinner and watched TV. My sister's masseuse came, and my sister had her massage inside the room where I was staying. After her, she asked if I wanted a massage also, and I said yes since I felt so stressed. At least after that, I felt as if all the tensions and problems were all removed.

I had a good night's rest. Finally.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Never Date An Unemployed

Especially an out-of-school seventeen year old. They're like leeches, they suck the blood out of you, those ungrateful wenches...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fully Loaded

The next few days will prove to be hectic for me. The personnel department will be conducting a seminar by the end of this month, and I was asked to assist in creating the PowerPoint presentation. It kinda sucks because I had to create 6 more presentations, and yet no one from the sales department is submitting their materials.


For all you guys, I'll have to say my apologies beforehand.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Interview for a New Job

I was absent from work yesterday in preparation for the interview and exam for the new company that I'd like to work for.

I thought my plans were gonna get ruined because it was raining by the time that I got out of the house. I decided to take a cab instead and lucikly I arrived 45 minutes before the interview. There were other applicants already there, but they were all applying as agents, I think.

There was a hottie there. Unfortunately, when I listened to him speak, may pagka-obobs. :D Sorry.

I approached the receptionist and told her that I was scheduled for an interview that day, and I had to look for Tashy. She had had me write my name down on the visitor's log, and she entered something on her computer. I was asked to get back to my seat.

A few minutes later, Tashy called me and gave the interview. I admit that I was scared to hell. She basically asked what was written on my resume. After that, she asked me to go back to my seat to wait since she had to set up the computer where I will be taking the written exam.

The written exam, when I was called after a few more minutes, was kinda easy. I admit that I had mental block. But thanks to the pointers of Athena, I was able to answer most of the questions. The number two was hard; I didn't know what the answer was.

Everything lasted for an hour and a half. Tashy said that they still had to submit the exam abroad, and they would contact me if ever I pass.

I sure hope I do. Wish me luck.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Dream: Atomic Bomb

Saturday morning, I woke up from this dream.
Oh, and my niece and I sang the videoke almost all day Sunday. Would you believe we got a 92 on our duet on Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On"? Ha ha ha. Her choice of song.

Friday, August 04, 2006

One Step for Man

I was asked by my sister to go out with her (and her daughter) to jog last night. Eh, knowing that it would be the first time after oh-so-many months of not doing nightly excercise, my niece and I decided to brisk walk instead. I was surprised that I could walk for three miles in an hour without suffering a major breakdown. Of course cramps set in, but only for a minute or so. I actually enjoyed it.

On our way we passed by the houses of several classmates of my nieces and nephew, and we passed by the house of Dr. Vicki Belo (ganda ng house).

Siguro in the next few days, gagawin ko ulit. I need to burn fat and let toxins and excess water out of my body.

I'm doing this for my health. No need to go to expensive gyms.

And I'm doing this for G**o. (Phanks, quiet.) :D

Clash of the (Philippine) Titans I

This was (and still is) one of the greatest clashes in Philippine politics. Ramos won the 1998 elections, earning the ire of Santiago, who was leading all surveys then. He is now an "economic consultant", while she, a low-profile/behind-the-scene senator.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What Road?


In High Circles

Lately I noticed that my boss has been "bugging" me with lots of research - from uranium, coal, gold, fish, food, to trumpets (trumpets!). I actually have two pending articles to read and research about. I noticed this after the secretary has "fallen from grace", that is, my boss woke up to reality that his secretary is nothing but a bag of shit. (He's actually not talking to her that much.)
Anyway, not only him, but also our vice-president has been asking me for help lately.
Or is it just because they saw me doing nothing one time? Pero hindi rin, because they both now na tapos ko kaagad ang pinagagawa nila. Kaya marami akong time to do anything, including maglandi sa net.
All in all, I have no complains (except the salary! Joke, sir!). Sarap lang ng feeling na kasama ka lagi sa conversation nila. At least now I have the courage to voice my thoughts out, although cautious pa rin.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Bored On a Monday Evening

Where to begin.

I was asked by my sister to do some paperwork for her. It's kinda easy at first, but when I really got down to it, I had to think and assess like a foreigner. I was able to finish two: the first one had complete information, while the other, first page pa lang, alam mong pwede ng i-scrap.

I exchanged text messages with Joms last night because I was bored. Well, we reached the point were I said that sana I was as goodlooking as the tuklings over there at Greenbelt. He replied "Laspag na ang pwet m. Haha." I realized, totoo sinabi niya.

At least now there's something I can look forward to every weekends. My new friends and I meet Saturday afternoons, and we talk about Magic and other things. It's relaxing for me.