Artist turns to Facebook to find the bullies in her youth

Here’s the poignant tale of cartoonist Meghan Lands on her quest to track down the people who tormented her in her youth








Idiotproof ways to avoid losing in the 2019 Elections

If it looks like you don’t have a chance to win, don’t run. Don’t believe the myth that if your face is always on some tabloid or tarp… or, if you’re a candidate in just about every election, you’ll build name recognition and get elected. The reverse is true: being “visible” all the time may heighten the voters’ highly-developed “epal” detector… and the more times you run, the less likely you are to win. Most folks who run the second or third time do not win. Also important, if every survey finds you in the tailend of perceived winnable candidates, take it as a sign. To abort.


Basic basic – find out how many votes you need to win.  Moderate your ambition. If you want to become a senator, realize that you have a lot of ground to cover to garner the required millions of votes to win. (If you can’t get even 200 people to like your Facebook page, you need very serious thinking time. Badly. Urgently.) A lot of ground means a lot of expenses. One running for representative or local office requires much, much less funding. Be realistic: create a vote goal – an estimate of the number of people that you need to like you enough to vote for you. The simple act of creating a vote goal can save you a lot of time campaigning for a race you might not have had a shot at.


Have a differentiator. Politics is a comparative game. Especially in political campaigns where you are running against multiple candidates, you need to create a contrast. You need to create a reason for voters to choose you. Avoid the perennial cliches, i.e. “Serbisyong Totoo”, “Atin Ito”, “Para sa Mahirap”, “Maka-Diyos, Maka-Tao”, etc. They may have been big ideas in the past — but big ideas are only big ONCE.


Run for the right reasons. Don’t run to be able to afford upgrading your audiophile sound system.  Don’t run because your car needs a license plate that’s not subject to coding. Don’t run because you hate the good looks of your opponent. Run because you have the intelligence and talent to do the most good for your town or community.  


It’s about the voter. Your campaign should center around the question “What’s in it for the voter?”. Imee Marcos instinctively knew the primal desire of most of her provincemates when she run for governor and stuck ruthlessly to the promise “Manang Imee = Trabaho”. Political campaigns should be about delivering results for the greatest number of people. The candidate is a vehicle for that, but a lot of times campaigns can get lost in the weeds and focus on personal details about a candidate that are not relevant. Example: Koko Pimental for Senator – Bar Topnotcher.


Budget for a winning political campaign. The “goodness of your heart” won’t singlehandedly win you an electionYou must budget for any campaign; make sure you plan to have the money you need to win your campaign. Check out the costs of similar campaigns and candidates, while also assessing potential competition and the cost of a winning strategy. Live with the fact that, as a candidate, you will spend a great deal of your time asking (even begging) for financial help – mostly, from moneyed total strangers.


Listen more than you talk. It is not about the candidate; it is about the voter. Majority of candidates get so focused on the political campaign that they start to believe that the election is about the campaign itself. But that is not the case. Political campaigns are a means to get our message out, they are not the message itself.


Tell a great story.  Good campaign planning requires good storytelling. Always remind yourself that voters are hopelessly riveted to movies and teleseryes that spin tales of struggles, setbacks and happy endings. Use this insight to drive home your compelling message. President Duterte didn’t need to have a catchy jingle or the endorsement of movie stars; he won by singlemindedly enthralling us with his personal experiences of fighting criminals, corrupt officials and druglords.

The stories got us craving for more.


Exercise won’t make you lose weight – you gotta lose the sugar

Our Sugar Intake Is The Real Culprit, Say Experts

I Forbes Magazine

In a fascinating and scorching editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, three authors argue that the myth that exercise is the key to weight loss – and to health – is erroneous and pervasive, and that it must end. The evidence that diet matters more than exercise is now overwhelming, they write, and has got to be heeded: We can exercise to the moon and back but still be fat for all the sugar and carbs we consume. And perhaps even more jarring is that we can be a normal weight and exercise, and still be unhealthy if we’re eating poorly. So, they say, we need a basic reboot of our understanding of health, which has to involve the food industry’s powerful PR “machinery,” since that was part of the problem to begin with.

The major point the team makes – which they say the public doesn’t really understand – is that exercise in and of itself doesn’t really lead to weight loss. It may lead to a number of excellent health effects, but weight loss – if you’re not also restricting calories – isn’t one of them. “Regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and some cancers by at least 30%,” they write. “However, physical activity does not promote weight loss.”

Plus, in the last 30 years, exercise has stayed about the same, while overweight and obesity have skyrocketed. So something else must be at play – like the type of food we’re eating. That part has gotten steadily worse over the years, as highly-processed sugary foods and sodas have taken over as our go-to choices. “According to the Lancet global burden of disease reports,” they write, “poor diet now generates more disease than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined.” This is a disturbing statistic. But it gets worse.

The related and larger issue is that even normal weight people who exercise will, if they eat poorly, have metabolic markers that put them at very high risk of chronic illness and early mortality. “Up to 40% of those with a normal body mass index will harbour metabolic abnormalities typically associated with obesity, which include hypertension, dyslipidaemia, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease.”

And the crux of the issue is this: We’re continually “fed” the idea that all that’s behind the rise in obesity is lack of exercise, or sedentariness. There have certainly been a lot of studies and popular articles suggesting that sitting is our downfall. Instead of effective messages about diet and health that science actually knows to be true, “members of the public are drowned by an unhelpful message about maintaining a ‘healthy weight’ through calorie counting,” the team writes, “and many still wrongly believe that obesity is entirely due to lack of exercise. This false perception is rooted in the Food Industry’s Public Relations machinery, which uses tactics chillingly similar to those of big tobacco.”

What we know to be true is much simpler: “Sugar calories promote fat storage and hunger,” the write. “Fat calories induce fullness or satiation.” For every additional 150 calories in sugar (i.e., a can of soda) a person consumes per day, the risk for diabetes rises 11-fold, regardless of how much or little we exercise. The single most effective thing people can do for their weight, they write, is to restrict calories – and even more, restrict carbohydrates.

So if this is all true, and research seems to suggest it is, how will it change? It might take quite a lot of work to shift our psychology around food, especially since advertising is so saturated with the message that carbohydrates are good for us. The celebrity endorsements might need to be tweaked, the authors say, and certainly the way foods are advertised and, perhaps, created, need to be shifted. The public should be repeatedly hit with the message that whole, natural foods, where possible and affordable is the best way to go. If you’re trying to lose weight, reduce your calories (especially sugars) – don’t think exercise alone will cut it. And even if you’re normal weight, you can’t subside solely on junk and stay healthy.

The authors end with this powerful finale: “It is time to wind back the harms caused by the junk food industry’s Public Relations machinery. Let us bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity. You cannot outrun a bad diet.”

Is it a “sin” to use other people’s music on social media?


Copyright law is a complicated topic, but get it wrong and you could end up in legal hot water. You might think that if you don’t intend to monetize your video or if you’re just making a fan video, you’re in the clear to use copyrighted music on YouTube. But that’s far from the truth.

The fact is that unless your video is only for your personal use (as in, not sharing it online anywhere) you must get permission from the copyright holder to use any music on YouTube. But doing so isn’t always easy. Even just tracking down the owner can be tricky, but this guide will walk you through how to legally use copyrighted music.

What Might Happen If You Don’t Get Permission?


Best case scenario, if you don’t get permission to use a song in your video, you might be asked to take it down. But you might also face more severe consequences. For example, if you post your video on YouTube, you could get a copyright strike against your account or have the audio on your video muted. Any ad money might be given to the copyright holder, or in a worst case scenario, you could get sued.

To avoid the legal headaches (and potentially expensive fees and settlements) you’ll need to make sure you have explicit permission from the copyright holder to use any music.

How to Get Permission to Use a Song in Your Video?

The first step in getting permission to use recorded material is determining who owns the copyright and contacting them.

However, it’s not a matter of just contacting the artist or record label. In fact, there are two (or more) rights owners to a given piece of recorded music — the rights to the written song (including the composer, lyricist, and/or music publisher) and the rights to the particular recording (the record label and performer/s.)

 How Do You Find the Copyright Owner of a Song?

Often, tracking down the owner and successfully contacting them is the most challenging part of getting permission, but a good place to start is with the music publisher or the record company.

You can often find the contact information for music publishers through performing rights societies, since all professional songwriters and music publishers belong to one of these organizations. ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC are the main organizations, and members can only belong to one of them. Try searching their databases for a given title, but if you don’t find it at one society, the copyright owner likely belongs to one of the other two. If you find the title here, you should also find the contact information for the owner.

If you can’t find the copyright holder through these organizations, you can try contacting music licensing companies (PRS) for Music (which represents composers, writers and publishers) or PPL (which represents performers and record companies) for information about recordings they license.

How to Ask for Permission to Use a Song?

Once you’ve tracked down the copyright holder, you can contact them, usually by writing a letter. Refer to this sample letter or follow this guide. The main thing is to identify yourself, the song you want to use, and explain how/where it will be used. Finally, you can ask them to sign and return the letter by way of agreement, or contact you to negotiate.

If you expect your usage/views to be very limited, you may get permission to use the piece for free, but if you expect to profit from or monetize your video, you will likely need to pay the owner a fee.

How Much Does It Cost to License a Song?

The cost to license a copyrighted song can vary widely. The cost for a song from a small independent artist might be less than $100, while a track by a major artist or label can run thousands of dollars. Some licenses might also charge you a percentage of revenue instead. The key is to carefully read the terms of the license to know what you’re getting into. Licensing services like Getty and others have clear, easy to understand terms, which makes them an appealing option for creators.

Alternatives to Getting Permission

If you’re not up to the task of tracking down the copyright owner, you can purchase a royalty-free license. Note that royalty-free doesn’t necessarily mean the license itself is free, just that you won’t pay royalties for using it. There are free royalty-free options, however. YouTube’s own Audio Library is a good place to start. You can also search for pieces that are in the public domain and therefore free to use.

15 Reasons why Trump hates the book “Fire & Fury” with passion



Sex, lies, tears, fears — and lots of profanity.

All of that and more is in Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” to be published Tuesday by Henry Holt. It features riveting behind-the-scenes anecdotes from Trump’s White House, including juicy details on how the most powerful men and women in Washington worked together to make Trump president — and turned on one another after he took the oath of office.


Here are a few of the many revelations from the 310-page book.

1. TRUMP WAS CRANKY: Trump, angered by the quality of his accommodations the night before the inauguration at Blair House, was so unhappy he bickered the next morning with his wife, Melania.

“Too hot, bad water pressure, bad bed,” Wolff wrote. “Throughout the morning, he was visibly fighting with his wife, who seemed on the verge of tears and would return to New York the next day; almost every word he addressed to her was sharp and peremptory.”

2. SEPARATE BEDROOMS: The Trumps are sleeping in separate quarters in the White House, the book says. According to Wolff, that hasn’t happened since the Kennedys.

3. THE HAIR: Long the subject of curiosity and ridicule, Trump’s coif gets a fresh look in the book, with daughter Ivanka describing the First Hair.

“An absolutely clean pate — a contained island after scalp reduction surgery — surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray,” Wolff writes of Ivanka’s explanation of her dad’s do, noting the color is from Just for Men. “The longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump’s orange-blond hair color.”

4. HOPE HICKS & COREY LEWANDOWSKI: The two aides were in a relationship during the campaign, according to the book.

Lewandowski, who managed Trump’s presidential campaign from its start to April 2016, and Hicks, a campaign spokeswoman who is now Trump’s White House communications director, had an on-again, off-again romantic relationship, Wolff wrote. After Lewandowski was fired, she worried about her ex’s treatment by the press, prompting Trump to console her.

“You’ve already done enough for him,” Trump told her. “You’re the best piece of tail he’ll ever have.”

5. FEARS AND TEARS: Everyone in the Trump family, including Donald Trump himself, was shocked that he won on Election Night.

Wolff wrote that Melania was terrified Trump could win. Trump offered his wife a solemn guarantee: There was simply no way he would prevail, according to the book. But on Election Night, after it became clear Trump would be the victor, Melania was in tears — but not tears of joy, Wolff wrote.

6. WHO GIVES HIM ADVICE: When Trump was confronted by Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’S “Morning Joe” about whom he consults with, the new president was frank.

“You won’t like the answer, but the answer is me,” Trump responded, according to the book. “I talk to myself.”

7. KEEP OUT: Trump was so scared of being poisoned, he had a lock installed on his bedroom inside the White House, causing friction with the Secret Service.

The Secret Service didn’t like the lock because agents insisted they must have access to the room, according to “Fire and Fury.” According to the book: “Then he imposed a set of new rules: nobody touch anything, especially not his toothbrush. (He had a longtime fear of being poisoned, one reason why he liked to eat at McDonald’s — nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely remade.)”

8. FLYNN WAS WARNED: Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, a target of the Russia probe who last month pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, was warned about accepting money from Russia for a December 2015 speech in Moscow.

According to Wolff, Flynn was informed that it had not been a good idea to take a $45,000 speaking fee from the Russians. Flynn responded that “it would only be a problem if we won,” Wolff wrote.

9. THE OBAMAS WERE “VERY ARROGANT”: Trump didn’t like how Barack and Michelle Obama acted during the pre-inauguration meeting between the outgoing and incoming first couples.

Trump believed that the Obamas acted “disdainfully — ‘very arrogant’ — toward him and Melania,” according to the book.

10. RUDY FOR SCOTUS: Trump has repeatedly pointed to his appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court as one of the signature achievements of his first year in office. But, according to Wolff, Trump actually wanted a loyalist on the bench and was considering Rudolph Giuliani.

Before choosing Gorsuch, Trump “kept returning” to Giuliani because the former New York City mayor and Trump campaign surrogate had backed him up after the “Access Hollywood” tape fiasco.

11. “TAKE A SHOWER, STEVE”: Trump was never shy about insulting Bannon, his chief White House strategist.

“Guy looks homeless. Take a shower, Steve. You’ve worn those pants for six days,” Trump said at one point, according to Wolff.

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon delivers remarks during the Value Voters Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, U.S., Oct. 14, 2017.
Mary F. Calvert / Reuters

12. JARED AND IVANKA WANTED COMEY OUT: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were convinced that the FBI Director might go after the Kushner family’s real estate dealings and encouraged the president to fire him.

The book says that Comey became the focus of Trump family discussions and they feared he would rise by damaging them.

13. TRUMP THOUGHT FIRING COMEY WAS HEROIC: Trump was initially pleased with his decision in May to fire FBI Comey — even though it quickly led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel in the federal Russia probe.

The president thought that ousting Comey would show he could stand up to the FBI, Wolff wrote.

14. TRUMP WANTED TO ATTEND THE WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS DINNER: Trump skipped the annual celebration amid a very public feud with the media. But Wolff writes that Trump actually wanted to participate and sought from aides the latest news from the celebration as it was occurring, asking for updates on the jokes.

Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Donald Trump, listens during a meeting with small business leaders at the White House in Washington on Jan. 30, 2017.
Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

15. EVERYONE HATES EVERYONE, BASICALLY: Wolff paints a clear picture that alliances inside the White House are scarce and venom is omnipresent. Chief of Staff John Kelly doesn’t like Trump’s family, he writes; Gary Cohn has contempt for Kushner, and Trump himself even has wondered at times when Kushner and Ivanka might quit.

“Kelly’s long-suffering antipathy toward the president was rivaled only by his scorn for the president’s family,” Wolff wrote.

(Thanks to NBC News)

Coming in our lifetime: Germany’s “train of the future”

Train travel just got even more attractive.

European train rides have long been favored by the well-traveled, bringing us back in time with champagne bars and grand suites (the Belmond Venice Simplon-Orient-Express) and even serving as inspiration for The Hogwarts Express (The Jacobite Steam through Scotland). Across the continent, train travel allows travelers to seamlessly cross borders and swap cities with little more than a ticket in-hand, all the while taking in spectacular sights. And in years to come, it could grow more appealing to commuters, too.

Last week, German railway company Deutsche Bahn unveiled ‘Ideenzug,’ which translates to ‘Idea Train’—a regional train of the future, if you will. The project has been in the works for years, and while it’s still in the development stage, the commuter train could be decked out with everything from “reservable sports cabins” with spin bikes and digital personal trainers to big screen TVs, an area to play video games, and “privacy pods” where travelers can snag a little R&R. Suffer from motion sickness? Chairs on the Idea Train would swivel, facing any direction you want. Some of the seats would also be “noise-canceling,” thanks to a curved design and glass panes separating seats. It’s unclear where exactly the Idea Train would run, but the project is in partnership with Germany’s Southeast Bavarian Railway.

Idea Train
Courtesy Deutsche Bahn

Chairs on the Idea Train will swivel, facing any direction you want.

Future tests will help determine which design ideas prove most promising, Jörg Sandvoss, the CEO of Deutsche Bahn Regio told International Railway Journal. “When developing such concepts, it is not about implementing a train with all the creative ideas at once, but rather taking individual approaches into consideration for new trains,” he said.

The Idea Train hopes to compete with both the impending reality of self-driving cars—as well as, locally, the construction of Germany’s A94 highway, which will stretch from Munich to Simbach am Inn when it’s completed in 2019, according to The Local.


Even more interesting reads here:



Theoretically, what would happen in a Robredo presidency?

There may come a time when Digong will get so extremely fed up with all the destabilization plots against him…

that he’ll just pack his bags, along with his ever reliable kulambo…

and, head back to Davao. Back to his nocturnal taxi driver gig.

When that happens, it’s back to yet another female leader.

A dreaded moment for most. (And not because of gender issues.)


To show that she’s in control, Leni’s first decisive act would probably be to rename the international airports.

JRIA, for short. (In synch with the KatNiel name-coupling phenomenon.)

Not just one – but all three terminals.


Of equal importance is to appoint a go-to person… her special assistant… her very own Bong Go… but probably, more inches… taller… more macho… not as clean-shaven as Da Bong. My uzi friends are unanimous in their choice.


And because government cannot function without proper funding, Leni will be remiss in not appointing a Finance Secretary whose experience in juggling funds is unparalleled.


The critical Tourism portfolio rightfully belongs to one who has traveled extensively… and has seen the innate beauty of our country in islands like the Spratlys. A glib talker… an expert on hotels and the hospitality industry… a man who knows publicity is of utmost importance in any undertaking and can swing a TV interview on BBC or CNN effortlessly. There can only be one.


Intelligent Filipino kids are the caretakers of our future. Leni must certainly appoint an Education secretary whose intellect has been honed since childhood. Can you think of anyone else who was an expert on the intricacies of martial law while still at 6th grade?


To continue the big strides in Agriculture that DU30 nurtured, we need a DA Secretary to focus in a direction other than rice sufficiency which the country has already achieved.  This time it’s our lucrative banana export industry. One expert name rises above all.


Leni could use a battle-tested Press Secretary. One who has gone to war with just about each and every faux-journalist… or “blogger”, as she calls them.


The Presidential spokesperson should match the intellectual level of the President. Ladies and gentlemen, I propose the appointment of one who raised our consciousness on the quirky British royalty pecking pole… one who made us more knowledgeable of centuries-old titles like “Dutch” and “Duchess”.


With these essential people in place, the new President can proceed to more pressing important matters.

Like selecting historical landmarks and protecting these from damage and/or vandalism in the years to come. Offhand, I can pinpoint two.


OVP "Boracay Mansion" QC

The OVP “Boracay Mansion” QC

Bus stop on Magallanes/SLEX

I’ve gone quite a long way… but another theoretical question just came up.

What if the PET recount shows Bongbong really won the elections?

Esep esep.