Friday, December 31, 2010

PLANET ZERO Goes Down Before The Year Ends

With the year nearing its end, I am suddenly slapped in the face a few times by a stroke of bad luck with computers, specifically my desktop.

There's a reason why I still stick with Windows and keep Linux on the netbook. I still like playing games from time to time and am still not overly proficient with the nuances of Ubuntu. After more than a year running the desktop for 24 hours and I guess 4 or 5 reinstalls due to software issues, my primary drive decides to go down. I have never owned a Western Digital drive in my life but since they were cheaper I opted to get a 1.5TB for storage purposes and rarely access it except for downloading new stuff. Thankfully it hasn't gone down yet but it is currently going through a file consistency check which appears to take more than a few hours the maximum wait time to finish.

My main issue is the 320GB Western Digital which still has an IDE interface. My 40GB seagate still works but I had to format that as well due to software issues which caused my torrent files and a few files becoming unreadable. It sucks that I have to redo everything but I hope that the 1.5TB data is still intact.

I may need to build a new box dedicated to storage and P2P soon and start a RAID system to avoid this situation from happening again. I am thinking if I can do this on Ubuntu or FreeNAS but the latter is using ZFS which is used mostly by Solaris or FreeBSD, I may need to do more research on that.

In my opinion, Western Digital sucks and I am sticking to Seagate on my next system.

Anyone want to buy all my Western Digital HDDs?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Useless Anecdote

Yes, There is nothing interesting today and I am bored.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Greetings!

And they'd like to greet you HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

'Twas The Night Before Christmas (The Politically Correct version)

Politically Correct Santa by Harvey Ehrlich

'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
How to live in a world that's politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to "Elves",
"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.

And labor conditions at the north pole
Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.
Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.

And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!

The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.
And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their roof-tops.

Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called "Unenlightened."
And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose

And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation,
Demanding millions in over-due compensation.
So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life,

Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.
And as for the gifts, why, he'd ne'er had a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.

Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.
Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.

Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that's warlike or non-pacific.

No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.
And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.

For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.
No baseball, no football...someone could get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.

Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.
So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.

He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
But you've got to be careful with that word today.
His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.

Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;

Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere...even you.
So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...
"May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth."

Notice:  This poem is copyright 1992 by Harvey Ehrlich.  It is free to
distribute, without changes, as long as this notice remains intact.
All follow-ups, requests, comments, questions, distribution rights, etc
should be made to .

'Twas The Night Before Christmas (The Dieter's Christmas)

Just at the right time when I think the world is getting fat, I found this excellent parody of the poem The Night Before Christmas penned in 1823 allegedly by Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston, Jr (depending on who you trust)

I hope you get to read this before you take the first bite of your Christmas dinner.


‘Twas the night before Christmas and all round my hips
Were Fannie May candies that sneaked past my lips.
Fudge brownies were stored in the freezer with care
In hopes that my thighs would forget they were there.

While Mama in her girdle and I in chin straps
Had just settled down to sugar-borne naps.
When out in the pantry there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the kitchen I flew like a flash,
Tore open the icebox then threw up the sash.
The marshmallow look of the new-fallen snow
Sent thoughts of a binge to my body below.

When what to my wandering eyes should appear
A marzipan Santa with eight chocolate reindeer!
That huge chunk of candy so luscious and slick
I knew in a second that I’d wind up sick.

The sweet-coated santa, those sugared reindeer
I closed my eyes tightly but still I could hear;
On Pritzker, on Stillman, on weak one, on TOPS
A Weight Watcher dropout from sugar detox.

From the top of the scales to the top of the hall
Now dash away pounds now dash away all.
Dressed up in Lane Bryant from my head to nightdress
My clothes were all bulging from too much excess.
My droll little mouth and my round little belly,
They shook when I laughed like a bowl full of jelly.
I spoke not a word but went straight to my work
Ate all of the candy then turned with a jerk.
And laying a finger beside my heartburn
Gave a quick nod toward the bedroom I turned.
I eased into bed, to the heavens I cry–
If temptation’s removed I’ll get thin by and by.
And I mumbled again as I turned for the night
In the morning I’ll starve… ’til I take that first bite!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fun With Google Translate

Boredom And Its Chilling Effects

Doing nothing and just randomly search the hivemind for something interesting I found this but do not know what to make of it.

Ah well, enjoy!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

State Of Being

This is what I need to be doing right now.

But I am peeved by the fact that I am in this frustrated state and I need the above so that I can be doing this.

I am still searching for my creative muse...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Writer's Block & The Importance Of Grammar, Punctuation And Capitalization

Whilst I try to fight off writer's block I opted to bring back some little nuggets of knowledge fun via twitterverse.


"From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put." - Winston Churchill

"You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country."  - Robert Frost

"Punctuation is important. For instance, commas save lives: Let's eat grandpa. Lets eat, grandpa" - Unknown

"Capitalization is important. Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your Uncle jack off a horse." - Unknown

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Working Under Moonlights

It has been approximately 2-3 months since I got a paycheck.

Although, it does not bother me that much right now I have to preempt possible inflation and emergency situations that may hamper my economic development. I find it funny that I sometimes consider my existence as a recognized entity by the UN

I was contacted by one of the local recruiters to join a startup seeking to grow as a pioneer in Recruitment. It sounded a good idea at that time and the proponents of this organization also founded the now rebranded Stream Global Services. I would still like to focus on writing but everyone still has to eat.

I accepted a lower paying job with lighter responsibilities and thin benefits. At that time, I thought to myself "why not?" It is a startup so they may not be able to pay much and perhaps now is the time to at least weaken the barriers a bit and see how it works out. Compensation-wise, according to some people that work on the local recruitment scene, it is above-average and since I came from a specialized industry they estimate that it does sound interesting and something new indeed.

I was not promised the moon and the stars during my job offer but I think they missed to mention that there are limits to how high the sky will be. Something I only learned during my first week.

Very disappointing in my opinion. They talk about the usual corporate values, mission and vision, blah blah blah. Potentially, I can compare this to another Dilbert world.

I have a week to decide and I guess I need to concentrate more on observing what I should anticipate from this organization.

I remember reading or hearing something regarding something that most likely would be apt for this conundrum "It is my lime & I will squeeze it when I want to".

Monday, November 08, 2010

Archos 43

I tried crowdsourcing for an answer in the quest for my new PMP from a previous post.

A kind soul answered my query and pointed me to the Archos line. I probably chose Creative at first due to it being a brand name and of course, they were the pioneer of sound back  in the mid-90s.

After my first day at work, I thought I'd pop in to one of the shops and ask around. I found out that the specific model I was looking for is relatively new but I saw a glimpse of the Archos 5. A soon to be discontinued model that basically looks like the iPod touch.

I checked the unsealed box and it seems a better choice than the Creative Zen X-Fi2 that alternative PMP users have been hearing about. The Archos seems to match almost everything that I am looking for in the PMP. If it was readily available and a few hundred off the current prices I would have probably made an impulsive decision just like when I purchased my ASUS 1000HE netbook which I still hold dear.

I am going to email the distributor right now and see if it is available. I hope I get to touch before making the purchase!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Alternative PMPs - The Day My iPod Died

I just found out that my 4th Generation iPod Nano died.

While I felt a tinge of sadness but I think now is the time to find an underdog when it comes to Portable Music Players (PMP).

Here are some brands that I found out as an alternative to the Apple iPod as being the best in its class.





I am thinking the following features should be available in search of that PMP:

  • Full video, picture, audio support on both proprietary and open alternative formats
  • MTP support on most sync software found in both Windows and Linux,
  • 24 hours battery life when in continuous playing mode
  • USB and WiFi support for synching data and installation of apps (latter could be waived)
  • Small and thin form factor
  • Digital recording function 
  • Support for 3.5 mm connectors
So far, Creative is on top of my list. I have yet to explore which models are fit  for my needs. I'll have to research a bit more and get some ideas. It looks like I'll be thinking more during trips than just let wind vibrations distract and capture the attention of my brain!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Happy Days - An Evolution Of A Generation

'Happy Days' actor who played Mr. Cunningham dies -, Philippine News for Filipinos

When I first heard this I have always wondered what it would have been like to be there witnessing a generation change the world through free-thinking ideas. The Happy Days series was one of those shows you tend to keep close to your heart as it changes the way you view things.

I remember watching the show on an old colored TV with bad RF reception as Richie Cunningham and his gang going through the motions of American puberty growing up in the 50s. I must say that the 50s was a decade of innocence. Nearing the end of the decade, this generation started to question the necessity of conforming and realized individualism and innovation as the new "cool".

In my personal opinion, some time between the 50s and the 60s was where the term "being cool" became popular as the urge for individualism and being different in a socially acceptable level rose to be what defined their generation.

It would have been nice to be there and be part of the grassroots movement of coining the term cool in a global scale. 

According to Wikipedia there is a timeline of cool:

For what it's worth, Thanks to the Happy Days gang for allowing us to remember how it was like to be innocent and documenting what it was like to be part of a generation that has freed us from the shackles of conformity and promoting individualism.

I certainly hope that future generations will take the better characteristics of individualism and conformity and unite them to form a better society than we have now.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Norton 360 - Does Any Self-Respecting Geek Still Use This?

I don't know about you guys but I don't use Norton or McAfee anymore. I am unsure why Norton 360 was there on the scene but does anyone still actually use this on a geek-powered production environment?


If you do, let yourself be heard!

Media Consumption - It Can Eat You Alive

The Internet is just piles of stacks of information bunched up together, read or viewed by persons who have interest in a particular subject. Personally, I call it a media glut.

Strangely enough, people just like to consume information. We have become or soon to be a media-consuming society. If anyone remembers the movie WALL-E, the little robot saves humankind from lethargy and the heavy loss of physical human social interaction which has lost its appeal due to the addicting lure of media consumption. The humans in this animated movie have subjugated themselves to a comfortable chair and the basic needs have been rendered so common that they take it for granted.

The majority of developed countries have these conveniences easily accessible that they are considered fat. I mean no offense to those who are horizontally challenged but I would bet that a part of that group is plopped down on a comfy chair, consuming media. I know it must be hard to pry off yourself from the chair but if you think about it, this will lead you to consume large amounts of visually appealing forms of entertainment and render your body physically unfulfilled with huge amounts of energy being stored in unappealing areas. Let me ask you, why would you want to be glued to the tube and feel bad about it?

If you don't feel anything at all then you may be as worse as the crack addict on the street. We start becoming dependent on media and forget the other niceties that life has to offer. Social relationships for one comes to mind. When was the last time you had an intellectual conversation over a non-intoxicating drink with a friend? When was the last time you grind yourself against another warm body in the dance floor? Better yet, when was the last time you felt you have reached a higher form of physical exhilaration because you made your body go through an adrenalin-induced exercise?

Recently, someone posted this story in a forum. You would not want to be the subject of this story.

On a chemical level, you need endorphins. I remember being so bored once I watched Legally Blonde. There was this scene where the heroine got an internship in a law firm and had this bright idea to prove why the defendant could not have allegedly murdered the victim. As it turns out, the defendant excercised a lot and to quote the heroine directly "I just don't think that Brooke could've done this. Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't"

I for one, am still thankful that in the real world we still try to cope up with the conveniences that technology offers but there are certain people I know who have been enslaved by these lures of convenience. When was the last time you really went out? 

I encourage you to spend some time outside. Once in a while, try working that physical body of yours and try a mental exercise to get the rust off of those underutilized parts. You don't buy a car that you never use, right? It is a waste of money and resources if you don't use that car once in a while. The same goes for your meat bag, how about using it by helping those who lack the physical faculties to do simple things.

Maybe you should stop reading this and start contributing by making yourself useful!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dog Dating

You know I'm cute, right? In case you haven't noticed, I can be funny too!
That's it, Dating has gone to the dogs!!!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Map Of Online Communities

Map of Online Communities
I chanced on this while browsing Gizmodo.

LOL at the Icy North part of the map! Ha ha

Found a larger map posted by Zak. Credits to the author and the original poster.

Laptop VS Notebook VS Netbook

I just finished reading a netbook review and the 126 comments crawling with ideas and opinions about the distinguishing features of a Netbook, a Notebook, and a Laptop. It seems that on every new product model that comes out, the lines between them get blurrier and blurrier which strikes me as odd.

In the interest of simplicity, I researched more on what the official definitions of each is:
Laptop - From what I understand, this is your desktop replacement. Huge 17in screen and works as a desktop that you can carry. Typically, powerful enough to run the latest games and other productivity apps you want to run. This category is also heavy. I have heard they can weigh around 8-10 lbs but it comes with almost all the bells and whistles that a desktop can have.

Notebook - This would be the lighter version catered more for the mobile office user. In this category, you deal more with office productivity apps and other office-related tasks. You need it to be portable if you switch desks to sit with clients, create presentations for a meeting, or just check your office mail. They are not as powerful as the Laptop but that is compensated for mobility and longer battery life. 

Note: There is a sub-category for the notebook called a sub notebook. This is a much more lighter version of the notebook usually by taking out the optical drive and replacing it with more USB ports or better design for cooling.

Netbook - This is a relatively new category in the market of mobile computing. I am actually writing on one right now. The Netbook is more for the casual user who wants to surf the web and is very light by a pound or two from the Notebook. It is also the cheapest among the aforementioned but is not as fast and runs apps at minimum speed. I chose this category since I do not plan on doing heavy graphics from games plus I do more light writing and browsing. The battery life is a little better than the Netbook and theoretically some manufacturer claims to provide up to 15 hours battery life which I have yet to experience.

By this time you may be wondering why the lesson of distinction for this category. I'd like to hear from you folks if the ASUS 1215N is a netbook or a notebook? I am considering selling this one and start getting something much more powerful. 

You think it is worth the upgrade from an ASUS 1000HE?

Possibly The Most Racial Field Trip Ever

During the first 3 months of the beginning of the year, students usually go on field trips. Signed waivers, unhealthy snacks, and other contraband one usually cannot bring in to the classroom is now in backpacks getting the student ready for an awesome field  trip.

The usual destinations for a break from the dreary walls of the classroom are museums, Beverage manufacturing plants, Pencil factories, planetariums, and historical sites.

I found this little gem from last year about how an innocent little field trip goes hilariously wrong at the end.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Cebu Pacific Flight Attendants Are Concerned With Your Safety

For regular flyers, safety is important but that doesn't mean it has to be boring. Cebu Pacific Air communicated this messsage on safety through dance when someone posted this video.

Personally, I think this is a great idea, especially for their upcoming IPO. Reading various comments and news about this video were half and half on the pros and cons.

In my estimation, people are entertained by this but it begs the question, Does this stunt actually deliver the message clearly on flying safely with Cebu Pacific Air? One of the points that were made is that the dance is distracting, the pros of this is that it grabs the attention of the passenger before the long boring flight. I think I will leave everyone to their own opinions on this one.

Unfortunately, as quoted by the Philippine Star, Vice president for marketing and distribution Candice Iyog mentioned that this demo on flight safety is just a test while they are up in the sky. Frankly, I hope they continue this and make it worthwhile for the long trips.

It would be interesting to note that another video was posted that they have been practicing the dance.

Nevertheless, Kudos to the person(s) behind this bright idea. I think PAL needs to come up with great ideas and we do need innovation through competition.

Credits to the posters and articles linked to this post.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Vogon Poetry

Here is a little anecdote I thought of before my brain cells gave up...

"I tried turning my life around too many times I ended up dizzy and puked a little"

Someone out there may have thought of the same thing but I posted it first! Ha ha

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Modern Jose Rizal Protests In Church - A Commentary

December 30, 1896 was a day when a national hero died. His name was José Rizal. A Filipino educated in the west and died by firing squad during the 333 year colonial rule of Spain. Some local historians claim his heroism to be riddled with controversy and historical rumors surround this character as one of the proponents of the Philippine Revolution against Spain's colonial subjugation.

September 30, 2010 a quaint man dressed in the fashion of the late 1800's holding a placard with a name inscribed, "DAMASO" protesting the Church's involvement in state politics by shouting during the normal ritual of professing one's faith through holy mass as a member of the Roman Catholic church.

Carlos Celdran is a big supporter of the Reproductive Health bill and for what its worth I partially agree with the freedom of choice. Unfortunately, I do not agree to his methods of protest. Out of respect to any religious enterprise, one should not interrupt their rituals of solemnity. I do not see the point of committing a sin by a catholic against the heads of their own religion. 

Nevertheless, I agree that the church should never involve itself in politics. Their opinion matters but they cannot decide for themselves on behalf of others as to what should be the best course of action. This is why we have religious conflicts, they tend to decide with others that they are right and the rest are wrong. Why can't we just say our piece and leave it to the public to decide what the best course of action is?

This same thought goes to Carlos Celdran's approach to showing his support for the Reproductive Health Bill. As clever as he is, I think he would have been more effective doing this in Luneta instead of disrupting a holy ritual (maybe after?). If this was done in a Mosque he may have ended up being stoned or whatever form of punishment our Muslim brethren deem appropriate for such intolerable behavior.

Looking at this from my point of view, the intention seems to have merit but the creative approach could have been better.

Can't we all just get along through civil debates and letting the public decide for themselves what the merits of your side of the argument is?

Of course, this is just commentary but I believe it is something that you, the public, should ponder on. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts and bicker about them.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Geotagging On Games

I recently tried using FourSquare via Firefox on my netbook. If you do not know what FourSquare is you need to read up on your mobile app news. In a nutshell, it's a social networking site similar to the recently introduced Facebook Places. The site logs where you and your gadget is which they call "checking-in". It seems fun for a few times but it gets boring and the fact that you tell people where you are seem to be a bit too invasive on one's privacy.

On another note, there is also Alternate Reality Games. The first time I heard of this was back in 2005, the biggest one of all was Perplex City. I subscribed to their mailing list and found out that you have to actually travel and purchase cards from the creators to actually enjoy the game.

In this mobile world becoming increasingly smaller, I wonder about the business opportunity on these two great ideas. Why not a Geotagged game local to a specific region (or country)?

I remember back in the 80's when I was still active on the RPG scene, AD&D was one of the hottest pen and paper games played by those who loved to read and imagine. Fanatics went a little bit beyond the pen and paper and started it out in real life.

I see a potential profit model here with most of society owning mobile phones and love to play games. Since social networking is the big thing nowadays, why not create a new mobile alternate reality game? If I only knew how to code this would probably be a good idea. I am probably not the first person to come up with the idea but I would encourage anyone with the resources and knowledge to think about it.

We all like money in some level and if you have the talent and resources why not go and start it up? Please don't forget my cut, by the way....


How To Make Your Roomie Wash The Dishes

For most people, dishwashing is a boring chore. You are stuck next to a sink and get wet while still smelling like last night's bad dinner.

If you can skip for work before your room mate wakes up, you may try this as an incentive to get him/her to wash the dishes...

If you put it this way, who knows? Your mate may just say yes.... Ha ha


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

OpenOffice files Oracle divorce papers

"Uncertainty breeds mistrust

Open sourcers have seized control of the OpenOffice project and product and declared their independence from database giant Oracle.…"

It appears the Open Source community is doubtful of the capitalist corporation Oracle, and their intentions with one of the more popular competitors of MS Office. I just renewed my use on OpenOffice since I installed Linux again on my laptop. I'm glad to say it is still as solid as ever but then again I am a light user of the open source office suite so that observation may be mixed with bias.

Nevertheless, the name change to LibreOffice will not affect my decision on sticking with what works. I'm happy with what I have and I thank the developers and maintainers for keeping the software free from capitalist hands.

If I were you, help support free software by encouraging it's use. Eventually, when the dust settles, everyone will follow suite to the standards and you may never have to pay for a full office application again.

Now, let me cash in my last paycheck and get back to my pursuit of the great capitalist dream!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Plan On Changing Your Notebook Soon?

I found this on my RSS reader. Never hurts to spread out some good news....

Planning on getting a new laptop or a desktop PC, perhaps shopping early for a Christmas gift? Then you might want to visit The Great Lenovo October PC Fest on October 1 to 3 at Metrowalk Ortigas.

Score up to 60% off on selected Lenovo laptops and desktops. You may want to surprise your kid with a Lenovo S10-3 netbook for Christmas. Or get an All-In-One PC for the family. Well if you’re looking for a new laptop or a desktop then this sale might be something that happened just for you.

Also, if you find it in your kind hearts to buy me one, you know where to contact me. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Job Hunting

Here I am updating my old rickety resume with the last stint I had in IT. I cannot belive that more than 4 years have passed since I did a major update. I kept thinking what made me stay for all those years. Was it the money? The people? The benefits? Such thoughts got me thinking that first it was money, then it was people, then the benefits.

As I mentioned before, I have met a lot of characters here and there. It's your typical A-Z crowd. From the people who I think I jive with to the people who are just plain nutty. I don't mean to abandon anybody, I tried to know everyone either by face or name but this brain can only take so much. Thinking back, I remember a lot of faces but rarely remember their names.

Anyhoo, I digress so let's go back to my resume. Apparently, keeping track of what you have done is mentally taxing. There are so many minute details that you can write on but the question is, which of those mattered? I'd like to think that I contributed something culture-changing but since they expanded, the culture evolved. I guess being a melting pot of different perspectives can be bad if not utilized properly or nobody takes their time to guide the direction that it takes. If I were in a position to make a decision, I could have prevented that and would probably not allow such a thing to devolve the office culture I once loved.

We all hear about that change is a constant but we always forget that we can redirect that change and use it to our advantage. If left alone, you get chaos. That rarely puts us in a better position in moving forward. We love to bicker and we love to take advantage of others. I guess its a natural thing for social beings. Its engraved in our minds that we should be at an advantage. Sad but true.

Ah well, I'm almost done with updating my resume and will just proof it later.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


When was the last time you watched a movie that left you mentally exhausted? That was the question that impeded on my mind after watching the latest Christopher Nolan project, Inception. The cast is led by high-caliber actor and academy award winner, Leonardo Di Caprio and supported by a strong support cast which includes, Ken Watantabe ( The Last Samurai) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun, Ten Things I Hate About You).

The brunt of the story shows a seemingly unlikely future where people can manipulate the subconscious by entering the victim's so-called Dreamscape and plant the most simple of ideas that affect the way a person decides in the real world. In a much more deeper level, if too much ideas are planted on the victims subconscious, this can affect the totality of the person when they wake up form their slumber.

It appears that this sort of activity is considered illegal yet used often in any type of espionage for those that can afford but yet again this has never been shown to be true. Proof that this is accepted as part of the future's business practices have not surfaced either during the movie.

The plot maintains the old anti-hero versus the system feel but in this script it deals with mind manipulation using the subconscious as the medium. If you remember the Wachioksi Brothers the Matrix and Phillip K Dick's Paycheck, you can see the similarities and know that this was inspired work in the realm of science fiction. Depending on how deep one thinks, I do not see that anyone will get the canon of the movie immediately. I can imagine the difficulty of executing complicated situations in a visual form that requires the mental capacity of the above-average to grasp in a few minutes the visual and mental stunning concepts while watching the film.

Just like in the Matrix Trilogy, the concepts are similar but the difference is that the aforementioned shows reality as generated by computers and the current is reality generated by the subconscious. The battlefield in this story is interestingly enough the subconscious of the victim which has a whole plethora of possibilities and limitations.

There is a dark quality to the movie that projects a clean-on-the-outside-but-dark-on-the-inside atmosphere. Leonardo Di Caprio's character, Dominic Cobb and his supporting cast shows this in the simplest way possible. I strongly believe that this is the appeal of the film. There is not much visual grit and violence to see but the mental concept is left to the viewer's imagination.

As the movie progresses along, one will initially think that the plot revolves around Leo's team versus the victim. That plot slowly shifts that implication and draws it's attention slowly to Leo and the complicated past his character endures.

There is a lot of implied ideas on the film where you think you will grasp it but a twist changes the flow of the plot and as I mentioned this is a mental roller coaster and the mind needs to be active at all times.

I feel I do not need to discuss the whole plot as I encourage you to watch it with a clear mind. If I go on about the details of the plot, I'd end up with spoilers and you may soon realize that the little spot on your screen is spittle from your mouth after a moment of cursing at me in the most vicious of tongue.

What I liked about the elements on the film is the use of real-world experience's to explain what we tend to miss. One example is what they called the Kick. This is essentially how to wake up a dreamer in the dreamstate. If you remember dreaming, you always end up in the middle of something but never at the beginning of the dream. Most of the time you either wake up from that dream, falling from a high-altitude or dying. When one thinks about it, these explanations of what happens in real life are true. In the film, they attempt to explain these truths in order to simulate the Kick by waking up the dreamer by either plunging the dreamer's real body in a tub of water or simulating the feeling of falling from a chair or any place where the body itself will feel like its falling which in turn causes the dreamer to wake up.

Here is something to think of when you watch this film which I believe is the best movie this Summer of 2010.

Is Dominic Cobb still dreaming or is he still in what he considers his own reality?

I'd like to hear your own interpretation of the movie and tonight when you dream, I challenge you with a question:

Will you be dreaming tonight and be able to control your subconscious?

Let me know how it ends.  

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Last Day

Today is my last day at work. I have been planning this since August when I heard that the account I was working in had to pull out when they were swallowed up by a bigger institution. It's too bad since I was starting to like it and I knew almost every nook and cranny in their process. Alas, all good things must come to and end. I do not regret staying here for as long as I have but I felt I am no longer needed here and I need to do something new. 

I have met a lot of interesting characters and I surely hope I have made a name for myself here. Beyond the courtesy and social niceties, I decided to leave abruptly to avoid any regrets on my choice of leaving. Taking into account the cost-cutting measures and the egos I have encountered have added a stronger affirmation of the urge to leave and start anew in a different field of discipline. 

I understood the risks and I plan for the long-term and have a recovery plan in case it doesn't work. If this doesn't work out I may have to succumb back to my origins and try again. Nevertheless, I am in the pursuit of passion and when was the last time that the romance of pursuing a passion been a disappointment?

Off to a new adventure is both exciting and unnerving but that's why it is called a leap of faith.