Friday, January 30, 2009

Tiny Doll Made from Living Cells

Some scientists in Japan have mananged to make a teeny tiny doll out of living cells.

Could his be the world's first golem?

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Spent the morning at my aunt's house today. We caught up, she tried out a successful recipe for bottled sardines (the kind in oil) and we watched Pride and Prejudice. My favorite romantic movies are The Bachelor and Fight Club, so I didn't know if I would like the Jane Austen classic. But lo and behold, I found myself engrossed in the Bennet family's quest to wed. It helped that I was totally smitten by Mr. Darcy (Matthew Mcfayden) from the first minute he stepped into the scene. He's like a younger Snape, and I do like my Alan Rickman.

I thought that would be the last of my brush with the dour but dashing Mr. Darcy, and that Pride and Prejudice couldn't get any better. Then Erwin sent me this. How can you go wrong? It's already a novel about differences in social stations; isn't zombeism a form of class?

I already heart Mr. Darcy, but I think I'd heart him more if he were a zombie.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Quote for the day: January 28, 2009

"The last sound you hear on your way to hell is your guts slapping like a bullwhip."
Jesse (Lance Henriksen) from Near Dark

Zombie Muni-Muni

What is horror to you?

The thought came to me in the shower today. One man's horror could be another man's fantasy. You can tell a lot about a person by what scares them. Are their spooks real or imagined? Could they exist in someone else's real life? Is it something eventual? Is it alive, dying or back from the dead?

My interest in zombies started after I lost my dad. Not that I find then scary, but I've suddenly become interested in the imaginary problem of how to deal with the formerly dead, and what to do if the said formerly dead was someone you knew when he was alive. I haven't written a zombie story about my dad yet. I think the phone call from nowhere story (its called "Lao Peh," came out in the Free Press and is included in Waking the Dead, my upcoming book -- yes, I'm plugging) is enough for now.

But judging from the movies, zombies are relatively easy to battle -- all you need is brains (yours, as long as you keep them in your head) and a chainsaw (not necessarily yours). Even smart zombies can be taken down if you have enough firepower.

The Philippines doesn't have a zombie tradition, but what little can be found are more tragic or comedic (this one, not always intentionally) than scary.

Would the walking dead be sacry to Filipinos or would it be something welcomed? Whe the dead rose in Zsa Zsa Zaturnah, Zsa Zsa's encounter with his dead father was tear-jerking while the whole encounter was more funny than scary (which was Carlo Vergara's hilarious point). I don't know if Pinoys can be scared of the walking dead, perhaps because of close family ties. And should the dead turn rabid, well, I don't think Pinoys would have any qualms about offing them either, no matter who they were in their past life.

I still have to think about what scares me. I would have said that it would be my dad dying, but that's happened already and I'm still here. I don't know if I'd be scared if he came back to life. I don't know if I could shoot the zombie him in the head if he tried to eat me, or if I would want to shoot him in the head at all. My options are open at this point.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Year's Best Fantasy and Science Fiction is No More

Yes, I know I'm the last to hear about this but I'm posting it anyway.

Sadly, the Year's Best Fantasy and Horror will be ending on its 22nd issue. This anthology has been part of my life for so long I don't know what it's going to be like without it.


White lady caught on video

Thanks to Dom for the heads up:

The Philippine Daily Inquirer ran a story about a cop who caught a white lady on his phone cam. Read the story here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm in the Sunday Inquirer (Jan 18, 2009)

Here's a link to the feature on my in today's Sunday Inquirer. Yay!

Shameless Self Promotion January 2009

It;s that time of the month again! No, not *that* time. It's the time when I tell my three readers (Hi, mom!) what I'm up to this month:

Preview Magazine
I wrote the cover story on Kris Aquino for the January 2009 issue of Preview magazine. We shot on the yacht where the Rogue party was held. It was also my first time to work with photographer Mark Nicdao, who also attended the same party but was on some other part of the boat. Yes, boat. Isn't a yacht a glorified boat?

Sunday Inquirer
Ruey de Vera's feature on me came out in today's Sunday Inquirer. I haven't seen it yet but I've been getting messages about it, which is why I know it's there. Thanks, Ruey!

Anvil sent me the proofs of my book early this week. Yay! I'm getting closer and closer to geting my book out. Andrew's illustrations are lovely. Luis and I love them. Understated, yet evocative. So exciting!

Douglas Fairbanks did Parkour

Ramon sent me a link of this accompanied by just one word: Parkour. He was right!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I am NOT Connected to Metro Post

I should have done this earlier. Just in case anyone approaches you and uses my name in connection with the free magazine Metro Post, you should know that I'm not connected with that publication anymore.

I haven't worked with the publisher since the first issue. Just making it clear.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Article out on Fearzone

My article, the first of three, on Philippine horror cinema is out on Fearzone! Yay! :D

Oh, I'm not sure if I've posted this yet, but here's an advanced review of the Digest of Philippine Genre Stories horror issue, which should be out sometime soon...

And my feature in the Sunday Inquirer apparently didn't come out yesterday. Thanks to the people who told me. Maybe next week?

Wow, I feel so weird writing about stuff I've been doing. I'd rather interview someone and write about them! Not that I'm complaining about the stuff that's been happening, mind you. :)

Hokkien was the Imperial Language of Ancient China

I got this in an e-mail forward and thought I should post it. I knew I was royalty! Why, if the Han Dynasty had survived, we'd *all* be speaking Hokkien, bwahahaha!

Forgive the long list of words. I considered taking them out but left them in because they were interesting. Who knew that our ancient ancestors had insurance?

Ancient Imperial Language of China - 2,000 Years Ago

What did it sound like? (*Mind you, it's no way similar to Mandarin*)
Has this ancient language survived?
Who speaks it today?

You'll be Surprised. You have heard it. You, your parents, or grandparents
may still be speaking this ancient, archaic language!

Yes, it's HOKKIEN (Fujian/Minnan Hua)

Hokkien is:

1. The surviving language of the *Tang dynasty*<http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Tang_dynasty>(618-907AD), China's Golden Age of Culture.
Note: *The Hokkien we hear today may have "evolved" from its original form 2,000 years ago, but it still retains the main elements of the Tang Dynasty Language.*

2. Hokkiens are the surviving descendants of the Tang Dynasty -- When the Tang Dynasty collapsed, the people of the Tang Dynasty fled South and sought refuge in the Hokkien ( Fujian ) province. Hence, Hokkien called themselves Tng-lang (*Tang Ren or People of the Tang Dynasty*) instead of Hua Lang (*Hua Ren*).

3. Hokkien has 8 tones instead of Mandarin's 4. Linguists claim that ancient languages tend to have more complex tones.

4. Hokkien retains the ancient Chinese pronunciation of "K-sounding " endings (for instance, Ha*k* Seng (student), Tua O*k* (university) , Tha*k* Che*k* (read a book/study) -- the "k" sounding ending is not found in Mandarin.

5. The collection of the famous "Three Hundred Tang Dynasty Poems" sound better when recited in Hokkien/Teochew if compared to Mandarin.

6. Consider this for a moment: Today, the Hokkien Nam Yim ochestral performance still has its roots in ancient Tang dynasty music. Here's the proof: The formation of today Nam Yim ensemble is typically seen in ancient Tang dynasty paintings of musicians.

More Astonishingly:

Although not genetically- related, Hokkiens, Koreans and Japanese share many similar words (which are different from Mandarin).

That's because Hokkien was the official language of the powerful Tang Dynasty whose influence and language spread to Japan and Korea (just like Latin - where many words were borrowed by the English, French, Italian, etc). Here are just a few words in Hokkien, Japanese & Korean for your comparison:

Hokkien Korean Japanese
Sin Boon (news) Sin Mun Shinbun - newspaper
Cheng Hu (government) Chong Bu

Pang (room) Pang

Chhia (car/vehicle) Ch'a

Mui/M'ng (door) Mun

P'hio (ticket) P'yo

Eng Wan (eternal) Yong Won

Chaek (book) Ch'ae

Ki (flag) Ki Ki

Kang (river) Gang/kang

Poh Hiam (insurance) Poh Ham

Sio Sim (caution) Cho sim

Mo Kui (demon) Ma gui

Cham (attend/join/ mix) Ch'am sok

Kantan (simple) Gan Dan

Sin Sei Kai (new world) Shin Sae Gae

Kok Ka (nation) Kuk Kka

Hya (elder brother) Hyaeng

Choon Pi (prepare) Jun Bi

Si Kan (time) Si Kan

Kam tong (emotion, feeling) Kam Jong Kanjoo

Kamsia (gratitude, thanks) Kam Sa Kansha

Keat Hoon (marriage) Kyol Hon Kekkon

Oon Tong (exercise) Un Dong Undoo

Tua Ok (university) Tae Hak Daigaku

Aun Chuan (safety) An Jon An Zen

Mua Chiok(satisfaction) Man Jok Manzoku

Ai Lang (lover) Ae In Aijin

Seng Kong (success) Song Kong Seikoo

Chhiu Sat (suicide) Cha sal Jisatsu

Pu Do (grapes) P'o d'o Budoo

Chin Por (progress) Chin bo Shinpo

To all 49 Million Hokkien Speakers:

Be Proud of Your Ancient Hokkien Heritage & Language! Speak it Loud and Clear. Teach Your Future Generation this Imperial Language, Less it Fades Away. * Be Proud Children of the Tang Emperors.*

To all Mandarin-speaking friends out there -- do not look down on your other Chinese friends who do not speak Mandarin - whom you guys fondly refer to as "Bananas". In fact, they are speaking a language which is much more ancient & linguistically complicated than Mandarin.

Keep in mind that Mandarin is just:

1. A Northern Chinese dialect (heavily influenced by non Han Chinese) that was elevated to the status of National Language by Sun Yat Sen for the sake of China's national unity.

2. Mandarin was never spoken by your proud, imperial Tang Dynasty ancestors. It was probably spoken by the Northern (Non-Han) Jurchen, Mongols and Manchu minority. *Start speaking the language of your ancestors today.*

Other interesting links: *
http://www.famousch virtual/Penang_ Hokkien*<http://www.famousch virtual/Penang_ Hokkien>

Monday, January 05, 2009

Feeling Mowdel

Was the subject of a photo shoot today, my second one in my entire life, but the first one where I was the lone subject. Syempre, feeling mowdel ako. Did my own make-up and channeled the undead Gina Alajar in Shake Rattle and Roll 3, except in black, and without all the dirt.

The shoot was for Ruey de Vera's feature on me, which will be out this Sunday (I think) in the Sunday Inquirer. Soooo... I encourage all my friends, family and all the nice souls out there to pick up a copy. Sayang naman ang pagmomowdel ko kung walang titingin, di ba? Charing!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Sir Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett just got Knighted! Finally!

So now we must all call him Sir and bow and scrape when he passes by, murmuring how we are not worthy to be so near such genius.

I dances around like happy hamster.

Thanks to Luis for telling me.

Bruce Wayne Vs. Tony Stark

Apparently, Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark's similarities go beyond their being superheroes. For one thing, they're both billionaire playboys (though we sometimes have reason to doubt if its really girls that Bruce is after).

Also, they're head of their own corporations, which they both inherited from their fathers. But as business leaders, they have very different styles. Wayne believes in diversification, while Stark makes his billions off one industry.

Becasue of this, debates have sprung up over who is the better leader, or which enterprise would survive in the real world. Here's one from Business Opportunities and another from Entrepreneur.

My bet? It's a tough call. What struck me was that while Wayne Enterprises like to spread itself over different industries, Wayne doesn't seem so interested in leading his corporate empire. Stark, on the other hand, is involved in the risky business of weapons manufacturing which, I guess, in today's environment, might make sense. So while I would normally be predisopsed to following Team Bruce, I find myself rooting for Team Tony instead. I think it's the mustache that sealed the deal.