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Deflating the balloons mindset

Attending activities can be as enlightening as surfing the Internet.

During the Parents-Teachers Conference yesterday at Martin’s school, one female parent raised a hand to be allowed to speak. The emcee obliged.

The parent reacted to the plan of the school to release balloons into the air during its 25th Foundation Day. Without any explanation on her being an environmentalist, she said that letting go of balloons puts sea creatures into danger. OK, fellow parents as well as the school’s officials must have asked silently: Why the heck?

She explained that deflated or burst balloons are likely to end up landing on the seas, with marine animals eating them like food. She mentioned that there was a study that discovered dead sea creatures with pieces of deflated balloons in their stomachs.

With an enlightened tone, a school official promised to cancel the balloons plan and to consider the parent’s suggestion to just let go of butterflies instead.

Thank God for such activity, the Parents-Teachers Conference. It kind of reinforced the environmentalist mindset in me.

I now realize that balloons may still put life to parties but kids (and adults alike) must be educated that letting go of balloons into the air may end the life of other God’s creatures. Better burst the balloons.

Suggested link on caring for the seas and God’s sea creatures: http://www.endangeredspeciesinternational.org/fish6.html

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My Macbook’s backlight problem just solved

Thanks to Mr. Neil Turner for being my digital angel for this morning.

I’ve been banging my head on the wall for (figuratively) for my problem with “my” (it actually belongs to my office) Macbook’s screen backlight which has been unpredictably off and on. I am sure I haven’t done anything to cause the problem.

I even gave up on Googling (sorry but I prefer to ‘verb’ the word) on the concern.

Until this morning when God seemed to shed light on my head. Then I was able to hand-pick this URL from the list spewed by Google: http://www.neilturner.me.uk/2009/01/18/fixing_your_macbook_scree.html.

The tips came from Neil Turner and I chose the tip #2: “Zap your PRAM”. It worked like magic. And if I may add to the tip, the Macbook user trying this should be advised that as soon as s/he heard the ‘ding’ sound and the backlight was on, s/he should already release the keys s/he’d been holding down.

Thanks again, Mr. Turner. Your tip shed (back)light on my Macbook.

CJ Puno’s access-to-justice crusade: Closing the gap between poor and justice

Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno’s crusade for the poor and underpriviledged’s access to justice has gradually paying off. My organization has participated in the National Forum on Access to Justice in June 2008. I have also read some of his writeups in relation to access to justice by the poor. And who will not admire the man that exudes courage and determination to create a moral-force movement as a response to the ailing political system that the country is under.

As a result of the Access-to-Justice forum, the Supreme Court launched the Small Claims Court in October 2008 by virtue of the En Banc Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases. With this rule and the court’s launching, Puno hoped to “shorten the distance between ourcj dreamĀ  of justice for the poor and the cruel reality on the ground.”

Not only that. The SC has just come up with another rule, this time concerning requiring practicing lawyers to each render 60 hours per year of free legal aid to indigent litigants (that is, poor individuals involved in legal cases). Cases covered are “those actions, disputes, and controversies that are criminal, civil, and administrative in nature in whatever stage wherein indigent and pauper litigants need legal representation.” Free legal aid services refer to appearance in court or quasi-judicial body for and in behalf of an indigent or pauper litigant and the preparation of pleadings or motions.

The rule thus resolves the problem of shallow bench of lawyers to support the poor litigants. It means more and more free lawyers in the employ of government quasi-judicial agencies such as National Labor Relations Commission and the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB). It means more number of cases resolved in less time, or agrarian justice in action for farmers.

The rule takes effect on July 1. So civil society groups must included this in their respective advocacy agenda.

Here’s looking forward to more concrete actions from the man of the hour. Reforms in small doses do result in lasting healing of the society’s illnesses.

Ubuntu implements cool new notifications

Ubuntu implements a new way of notification via its latest version in the offing. No more Post-It-like objects appearing onscreen.

I’m now using the development version, Jaunty Jackalope Alpha 5, as my production system. (I don’t encourage folks, especially the noobs, to try to shift to it now. They might not be as lucky as I am for not experiencing major crashes.)

Take a look at the following snapshots:

For mails via Evolution Mail

From Ubuntu New Notifications
For music via Rhythmbox

From Ubuntu New Notifications
When there’s change in brightness level

From Ubuntu New Notifications
When AC power is unplugged

From Ubuntu New Notifications
For online chats via Pidgin

From Ubuntu New Notifications
For print jobs

From Ubuntu New Notifications

As at this time, I cannot configure or do some tweaking to the notifications in terms of transparency or opacity, color, or placements. In the meantime, I feel satisfied with everything.

My kids are pogs addicts

My wife and I can’t do anything about it: My kids have been preoccupied with the latest game craze, pogs. When they wake up in the morning, the first thing they would do is retrieve their pogs cards from a secret place and place them on the dining table. Robb is even more OC. He would eat meal with his pogs cards in one hand; the fork would then be of no use. That pogs addiction has been one of the reasons why we resort to spanking them. Why, the kids oftentimes forget to eat on time, do their homework promptly, and go to bed early.

My youngest 3-year-old son, Josh, has been ‘infected’. It’s been his routine to ask one peso from us and, without our knowledge, buy pogs (which costs 3 cards per peso) from a nearby store. Unfortunately, he cannot play it because he does not have the strength to slam the cards. His kiddie neighbors who are older than him would entice him to a game, which is of course one-sided. Everytime he loses, he comes back to Mommy and ask for another peso. Sometimes, Josh would discover the places where his Kuya and Diko hid their pogs. He’d get those to either give to other kids or lose to them in a one-sided game.

Look at the pictures of Robb and Martin playing solitaire with their pogs as soon as they got home from school.

The craze has not yet died out but has been in a dormant stage because of the rainy season. But I guess that preludes it. Only then would Lea and I sigh in relief.