Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Velvet Revolution

The Velvet Revolution can be found here....

Friday, August 26, 2011

What to do when you identity is stolen....

My identity just got stolen, cards applied for and money withdrawn from my bank account. I'm very careful with info. I think my mail got stolen when I was away for a month, despite having it stopped. Its a real big phuck up.

If you can afford the 10 dollar a month services available to protect yourself, good for you.

I don't want to pay a fee to an industry that perpetuates the fraud by not prosecuting fraudsters, and then tries to charge you for a service that essentially doesnt do anything. The law already protects your assets. It takes about 3 hours in one evening to write all the letters and fix the problem, plus a visit to the police station for a police report and your bank to close the old accounts and open new ones with new account numbers.

Here is what I did,


and I filed a complaint with the FTC

By law, after filing a police report and providing a copy to the bank, credit card company and credit bureau, your funds should be returned to you within 7 to 12 business days. A free 90 day alert will protect your credit, and can be done online. A 7 year freeze on your credit history is free too with a copy of a police report. The credit bureaus are also required by law to give you a free credit report after filing a 90 day alert. This is so you can call any bogus accounts opened by the perps with credit card companies, banks, car dealerships and phone companies. Marks on your credit history should be removed. Fraudulent balances on your credit card expunged. And, fraudulently opened account, closed and removed from your credit history.


You can life lock yourself by filling in an online request for the 90 day credit alert from one of the agencies. You only need to file one and theyll broadcast to all the other agencies. You can keep putting in an online 90 day alert as long as you want. Just put a reminder on your calendar for the reset. Surely that's not worth 10 dollars a month for life

Be careful out there.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Philippine Golden Age

The Philippine Golden Age

There are few existing records, both physical or written, of precolonial history and culture in the Philippines. When the Spanish arrived in 1519, they embarked on a systematic process of destroying the existing culture to implant there own. 300 years of Spanish rule was able to erase most everything, all in the name of spreading Christianity.

In 1981, a bulldozer operator on an isolated island in southern Philippines unearthed a treasure trove. Thousands of golden artifacts were unearthed, albeit secretly. The items were taken by the original discoverer, and later, by throngs of antique dealers. For years, the gold artifacts were sold in the underground antique market in Manila.

Video of discovery

Fortunately, a substantial portion of the find was collected by the family of the late National Artist and architect Leandro Locsin. Reluctant to flaunt gold in a country where most of the population lives in poverty, the Locsins sat on the collection for 25 years, waiting for the right conditions to publicly exhibit it. In 2004, the family decided to lend the collection to the Ayala Museum, and the exhibit opened in 2008.

Video of Exhibit

I was fortunate to have seen the exhibit for myself and I was totally blown away. Part of the exhibit was the “Sacred Thread,” a 3.6-kilogram (seen in above pic), thick gold sash made of the woven gold wire so fine, you couldn’t stick a needle into the gaps. I have to admit, I never knew that the Philippines had such technology previous to colonization. These items are testament to a once great civilization. One that has been lost to history, and now I am rediscovering for myself. I literally was in awe. Mind you, Ive been to a lot of exhibits on antiquity. Greco, Roman, Egyptian, even Medieval and Renaissance. This stuff was at par to the best of them. Tutankhamun even! It made me proud.

While at the exhibit I noticed a short blurb on the wall. It spoke of an obscure book called the Boxer Codex. The book is the earliest known record of Filipinos closest to the point of first contact with the western world. The country was discovered in 1590, and the codex written in 1593. It is believed to have been commissioned by the 9th Governor General of the islands, Luis das Marinas, for the King of Spain, as a report on the colonial inhabitants. What ties the book to the exhibit is that it shows graphically the gold jewelry shown as worn by pre-colonial Filipinos.

Why am I talking about all of this? Well, I happen to have been in Bloomington, Indiana (you can call me Indiana Bing) the other day, right were the Boxer Codex is kept. I had an opportunity, and I took it. I made a reservation to see the book with the Lilly library. This is the only book known to have a graphic and descriptive account of Filipinos at the peak of their indigenous civilization. This book was handwritten in 1593. 410 years ago!

They took the book out of the vault and let me handle it. I spent 2 hours browsing the book, looking at the pictures, and translating some passages. I was having a hands-on experience with the Philippine history in 1593. Sweet!

Me rifling for the book card

Found eeeet!

Verified! The book possesses Charles Boxer’s Library Stamp and his notes written in pencil.

This stamp, as told to me by the curator, is one of the Chinese book dealer thru whose hands this book got out of the Philippines, to the Holland House collection in London 19th century and, and then to Charles Boxer right after the war. (blurb: everything was for sale in Europe right after the war primarily to finance rebuilding)

The Negritos – Darkest skinned Filipinos

Filipino Pintados

The Tagalogs


Token Bing Pic

First Contact!

Philippine Fauna

Here is something I also found in the li-bary 

Some Vonegut!

Hope you liked it as much as I did.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Feast of Saint John the Baptist

In San Juan City, Philippines, the Feast of St. John the Baptist is a celebration of wholesale baptism of whoever passes through the town. The towns people use will use scoops, buckets and weapons of mass baptism to forcibly convert every single passersby in dry clothes. Its a helluva lot of fun :)
It took me a while the get means Water Water

It first starts innocently with water pistols in the morning.

Then come the buckets....

I started to notice crowd control moving in.

Then the fire trucks started postioning themselves along the main boulevard.

They started by resupplying the water gremlins

Then somebody opened Neptunes closet and we flooded the town :)

Mayhem ensued

Never pass thru San Juan on the 24th of June

business as usual, but in wet t-shirts.

and then the water turned into a trickle, and it was over. Hope you liked my little report.