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Showing posts from February, 2008

To Reflect and ....Act

The difference between the poor countries and the rich ones is not the age of the country. This can be shown by countries like India and Egypt, which are more than 2000 years old and yet are poor. On the other hand, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, that 150 years ago were unimpressive, today are relatively rich, developed countries. The difference between poor & rich countries does not reside in their available natural resources. Japan has a limited territory, 80% mountainous, inadequate for agriculture and cattle raising, but it is the second biggest world economy. The country is like an immense floating factory, importing raw material from the whole world and exporting manufactured products. Another example is Switzerland, which does not plant cocoa but has the best chocolate in the world. In its little territory they raise animals and plant the soil only 4 months per year. Not enough, but they produce dairy products of the best quality. It is a small country that transmit…

Here Comes the Rain Again

Its been raining again for several days now and its unusual at this time of year. As I was listening to the news last night, PAGASA people were complaining about the abnormal weather pattern. And its worrisome that as of this writing, there were reports of 14 landslide starting at the stretch of San Miguel down to Viga. But what makes our place interesting, is for a Japanese researcher based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is working to study the pattern of landslides in our place using satellite remote sensing technology. And among the many islands in southeast asia, our place was chosen because of our climate, no pronounced dry and wet season.

Like An Audience to A Sabong

Again, renewed calls for President GMA to step down is the call of the day. Like a scene in a cockpit arena when one cock is fatally injured, everyone is shouting and cursing. It's a pity that even senate investigation panel looks more of a courtroom drama, a tearful witness and presidential hopefuls wanting airtime on national television. What seems to be an investigation becomes a time consuming event that leads to only a committee report. Personally, I'm not a digital infrastructure expert but I think anyone can access the internet even in a remote island like ours, no need for a very expensive National Broadband Network. I have been remotely accessing the internet when no one in our province knows that it can be done except that the speed is only 56 kbps which is slow as of today's standard but better than none. What makes this failed ZTE deal interesting is, why the need for such an expensive network when there are already existing private telecommunication compani…

Giving Lowly Paog a New Lease In Life

Yesterday, I met some friends and had a free wheeling discussion about development ideas for Catanduanes. One of the interesting concept was extracting ethanol from nipa palm which is abundant in the island. According to Wikipedia, the nipah palm has a high, sugar-rich sap yield. "Fermented into ethanol, the palm's large amount of sap may allow for the production of 15,000 to 20,000 liters of the biofuel per hectare (compare with sugarcane at 5,000-8,000 liters, or corn, at 2,000 liters)." Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, drinking alcohol or grain alcohol, is a flammable, colorless chemical compound, and is best known as the alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. In common usage, it is often referred to simply as alcohol. It is a straight-chain alcohol and its molecular formula is variously represented as EtOH, CH3CH2OH, C2H5OH or as its empirical formula C2H6O (which it shares with dimethyl ether, I supposed what our folks were drinking before as defined by Wikipe…