Google Blog Search

Out of sheer boredom, I decided to search through Google Blog Search. I typed in a few keywords from my blog entries from Random Ria and Alleba Politics. And I got a high knowing that some of my posts/entries were either the first among the results or in the first page of results. Yeah, yeah, call me vain, but it did give me a sense of pride, somehow.

It also made me realize that the blog search is actually a good tool for researching, idea-forming and other such tasks. And I thought, it would just be fluff, another feather in Google's cap.

Deception Point by Dan Brown

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I first read DECEPTION POINT months ago. And I liked it. Although the topic was a far departure from those in Dan Brown's earlier and more popular books--Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, it basically had the same elements: deception, twists, turns and a good dash of trivia and knowledge here and there.

This novel, however, deals more with politics and science. Instead of the Catholic Church, the institution in question is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The book reminds me of Michael Crichton's writing. Except of course, for the obvious pending romance between two of the main characters. Dan Brown kinda gives me the impression that he secretly wants to be a romance novel writer. Anyhow, the romance is kept to a minimum (although it is distracting and annoying at times).

The story revolves around the upcoming presidential elections and the bizaare events that can make or break the two contenders for the presidency. Senator Sedgewick Sexton is aspiring for the presidency. He criticizes NASA's overspending and the president's (Zachary Herney) tendency to bail out NASA from their blunders. Sexron's campaign is gaining steam from the public's surprising positive reaction to his hard stance against NASA. NASA, however has a discovery of meteoric proportions which could easily rob the momentum from Sexton. In a wise, political manuever, Pres. Herney calls upon intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton to be one of a select civilians to verify NASA's discovery. Not so coincidentally, Rachel is Sen. Sexton's somewhat estranged daughter who harbors hatred and bitterness towards her ruthless father.

The book's back cover has the following summary:
"When a new NASA satellite spots evidence of an astonishingly rare object buried deep in the Arctic ice, the floundering space agency proclaims a much-needed victory--a victory that has profound implications for NASA policy and the impending presidential election. To verify the authenticity fo the find, the White House calls upon the skills of intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton. Accompanied by a team of experts, including the charismatic scholar, Michael Tolland, Rachel travels to the Arctic and uncovers the unthinkable: evidence of scientific trickery--a bold deception that threatens to plunge the world into controversy. But she can warn the President, Rachel and Michael are ambushed by a deadly team of assasins. Fleeing for their lives across a desolate and lethal landscape, their only hope for survival is to discover who is behind this masterful plot. The truth, they will learn, is the most shocking deception of all."

Pulse-pounding? Not quite. But it is a good read. Very intriguing. And yet, dull at times. Nonetheless, if you're a Dan Brown fan, or simply wants to read something good, do read Deception Point.

In a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest, DUH!), I think this deserves an 8. Good plot and pacing but points off for being boring at certain parts and even more points off for the icky, cheesy and not so subtle romantic angle.



For internet rookies like me, availing free user-friendly website tools is a MUST. When I first tried making a site on my own (ie without the help from my cousin), I used Bravenet.com tools to make a guestbook, a message board and a contact/feedback form. It was wayyy back when I blogs didn't even exist.

Now, I don't have any actual websites, only numerous blogs. Out of boredom (since it's sembreak right now), I decided to add a few features on my site such as polls and a refer to a friend button. And after browsing through other free providers, I decided to settle with bravenet once again since I am already comfortable with their interface.

Surprise, surprise, they now have a plethora of ther free services which are user-friendly and customizable. I decided register for their mini-poll service (see my latest Amazing Race post) as well as their vote caster, tell-a-friend and traffic exchange services. Navigating through the costumization service takes a little time to get used to, but it's worth it.

Making the poll using bravenet was definitely easier than making one in pollhost.com which I used for my Bebs vs Love post.

I didn't avail of their stat counter since I am already using the services of StatCounter.com which I already find very efficient.

Bravenet's other services are calendar, classifieds, counter stats, daily cartoons, e-cards, email forms, faq service, fast url redirect, free links, guest map, guest book, headline news, horoscope, live chat, mailing list, message forum, password gate, photo center, site ring, site search, today in history and web journal (blog service). They also offer tips for webmasters and other free stuff (clip arts, javascripts, etc).

Although availing of free services such as Bravenet's limit the possibilities for my blog, for now, I am content with using it.

Amazing Race: Family Edition Poll and Updates

There are only 6 teams left with the Bransen Family leading the pack. Unfortunately, my personal favorite, the Gaghan Family is now lagging behind the others. Hopefully, they will be able to have a better standing this week.


CBS.com has a added a nifty feature in their Amazing Race website. They have invited former Amazing Racers such as Bill of the Guido Team, Al (one of the clowns) and Flo and Zach to post in a group blog commenting on the groups and their performance for each episode. It does make for an interesting read for bored people who are fans of the show.



A few nights ago, a cousin of mine scoffed at another cousin's pet name/term of endearment for his girlfriend. Cousin 1 said that "Bebs" is a corny/silly term of endearment. SO, I brought up her own corny, "hilas" term of endearment for her own boyfriend, "Love." HEHE!

{For those who don't know, "Bebs" is a mutation of Babe (-> Babes -> Bebs).}

So now, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to take a poll. Please vote for the term of endearment that you find less corny/silly.

Which term of endearment / pet name do you prefer?

Free polls from Pollhost.com


Frenzy over Friendster

It's funny that people are going crazy over the fact that Friendster (no links coz I'm mad at them too, hehe...) has a new feature. You can now see who browsed through your profile. Good for you right??? THINK AGAIN! If you have been stalking people -- your crush, your enemies, people you hate, people whose pictures you laugh at, celebrities, pseudo-celebrities, ad infinitum -- they will now know that you do. Oh, yes... it works both ways. Thus, friendsters everywhere are nervous. HAHA!!! I, self-confessed, uber-mega-stalker of every person possible even those I vaguely know, just laugh at the idea. SO what???

Let them wonder why I browsed through their profile. Let them think how I know them or how I stumbled through their page. Let them have sleepless nights (AS IF!). Seriously, are we really that shocked that other people use friendster to stalk and snoop like we do??? HELLO!!! Earth to you, it's not a novel idea. Ever since we signed up for it, we already knew its potency as a stalking device.

Now, what really pissed me off was Friendster's introduction of the Groups feature. So, I master-organizer of groups of all sorts, was crushed when this feature suddenly went kaput, gone without a trace, nowhere to be found without any explanations or apologies. THAT REALLY PISSED ME OFF!!!

Friendster sucks and we know it. We only stick with it because people are already there, unlike Orkut or Multiply or any of the other sites offering the same services. Personally, I prefer Multiply. So friendsters, lets go forth and multiply... hehe... Seriously, try it out. ;)

The Amazing Race: Family Edition

I was able to watch the live satellite feed of the season premiere of The Amazing Race. And it did not disappoint. Although the American History theme did throw me off quite a bit, I liked the novel idea of having families as teams. I like most of the teams especially the Gaghans, coz the kids are just too cute. Hehe... And it's nice to see the teams helping out each other.

BUT I do hate the Paolo Team. Their constant bikering is damn irritating.

I did like the Blacks and I was really sad when they were eliminated. :'(

Although this edition of the Amazing Race is rumored to be confined within the 51 states of USA, I hope it will match the intensity and excitement of the past seasons.

The Amazing Race airs on Studio 23 and AXN. The live satellite feed is shown on Studio 23, 9 am on Wednesdays. The primetime broadcast of S23 is at 8 pm on the same day while AXN airs it at 9 pm.

A Step Further

Two weeks ago, I was hired by the high school department of the school I am studying in right now. I am now one of the official remedial classes instructors. I was assigned the Saturday classes since the regular teachers don't want to teach on Saturdays. But I do, oh yes I do. Hehe...

I am now handling the remedial classes for the 2nd year Math Elective: Statistics on Saturday mornings, and for the 4th year Math Elective: Trigonometry. I was also I assigned to handle the 3rd Year Math: Geometry. I was initially hesitant to take the Geometry assignment because I wasn't so fond of Geometry in high school and we didn't have it in my other college.

Fortunately, I think I have been doing well. Better than I was doing in my tutoring classes simply because I am now focused on Math and I have at least 9 hours per week to discuss Math, Math and Math. HAPPINESS!!!

Plus, I think that this opportunity gives me an edge because it is a good practical application of my current course: Bachelor of Secondary Education major in MATHEMATICS. AND I think this will also help me improve my teaching methods and acquire some good classroom management skills. The fact that I have to give exercises and quizzes and I have to grade the students only adds plus points to the experience. I also think that it presents a very good challenge to me since I am handling students who have not so great grades in (and attitude towards) Mathematics.

My earliest memory of wanting to be something was wanting to be teacher. I remember back in grade 3, I was happy teaching my classmates hwo to do our math assignments, hehe... But I realized or at least I thought I was good at writing so then I wanted to be a writer, a journalist or something to that effect. Then, I got into a science high school which forced me to re-think my ambitions in life. And so I decided I wanted to be an evironmental scientist. But things sucked for me (I WAS DEFINITELY NOT BUILT TO BE A LAB RAT!). Although I barely finished BS ES, my career prospects weren't as exciting as I thought it would be. Actually, they were but I wasn't quite as excited as I thought I would and/or should be.

I had a stint as a tutor at a sucky profit-oriented tutorial center which cemented my desire to be a good teacher so I decided to study to be a teacher and be a freelance tutor while studying. And now, here I am, not quite an education graduate but already an official remedial instructor.

Although there are time when I do want to quit or feel like I am getting way too stressed or that everything is spiralling out fo control, my passion for math and teaching has kept me afloat.


30 things before I turn 30

A couple of nights ago, I began to think that I am about to turn 25 in about a year and a half. And most people think that turning 25 is some sort of milestone. So it got me into thinking of things I wish to have or accomplish when I turn 25. To make it sort of meaningful or at least cute, I tried to make a list of 25 things. But since I only have about a year and a half left, I thought it would be too ambitious and unattainable. SO, I amended the list into...

30 Things I HAVE to Have or Accomplish Before I Turn 30 (April 28, 2008):
  1. buy myself a neat laptop, MP3 player, the latest mobile phone and digital camera USING MY OWN MONEY;*

  2. successful D***D****.com (a website my paternal cousins and I are currently working on)*;

  3. hold a successful CEX (another great idea by me and a maternal cousin) at least once* but hopefully twice;

  4. go to Boracay and/or Palawan*, travel to Europe and/or go on an Asian Cruise;

  5. have an undergraduate degree in Education* and a masters degree in either Education or an ES-related field;

  6. attain and maintain an ideal weight of 110-115 lbs unless I get pregnant (AS IF!);

  7. a kick-ass wardrobe composed mostly of stuff I bought for myself;

  8. read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy;

  9. learn to play a sport*;

  10. learn Flash, php and other website development applications*;

  11. learn a foreign language (either build on the little Italian or Spanish I already know or learn an entirely different language);

  12. pay for my own cellphone bill (which I already do) and the best internet connection available*;

  13. have a bank account with at least a million pesos in it;

  14. earn at least P50,000.00 monthly from all my jobs and businesses;

  15. healthy: no diabetes, no cancer, no heart problems, normal levels of cholesterol, blood sugar, etc;

  16. still not smoking;

  17. have learned to play an instrument (preferably reacquaint with the piano or learn to play the violin);

  18. have taken voice lessons*;

  19. have produced, directed, written, acted or otherwise participated in making an independent film;

  20. write a book;

  21. live in own apartment or house;

  22. learn how to drive;

  23. establish an academic institution (preferably a center for gifted children which focuses on math [hehe]);

  24. throw a fabulous birthday party for myself (hehe);

  25. forgive and make amends with at least one of this people ML, MA or MC or any other person who has scarred me significantly;

  26. write as a legitimate columnist for a local or national newspaper;

  27. earn respect and reputation as a writer and preferably win a Palanca Award for essay (as I am not creative enough for the other categories);

  28. work for a government office for at least a year even just as a consultant or a part-timer;

  29. live a moral life without being judgmental of others;

  30. touch the life of at least one person in a positive way.