Hello world!

papa2I shall be writing topics as it comes to mind. It could be topics, past or present, but relative to the times. I shall also be reacting to articles published, whether domestic or foreign, and voicing my opinion. My views shall always be objective.

Every now and then I shall also be sharing with you videos, photos, sayings and graphics of people, animals, places, etc., that I find interesting, which I hope you will appreciate.

Also, there are times when I will be posting articles about facts – why it happened that way or what could have been if something else happened.

I welcome you to my blog site and I look forward to inter-acting with you.

Your participation, your thoughts and commentaries, either for or against, will be very much appreciated.

We may have differences in opinion but that is the essence of being rational, to be able to agree to disagree. It is my aim that as we go along we enlighten not only ourselves but also those that finds the opportunity/chance to visit this site.

Let us enrich each other in knowledge and build each other up in friendship.

Thank you.

Jesus Sievert a.k.a  Quierosaber

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¡Hola mundo!

Escribiré temas como estos vienen a la mente. Esto podría ser temas, pasadas o presentes, pero con relación a los tiempos. También reaccionaré a artículos publicados, doméstico o extranjero, y expresaré mi opinión. Mis vistas siempre serán objetivo.

De vez en cuando también compartiré con ustedes vídeos, fotos, refranes y gráficos de la gente, animales, lugares, etc., que encuentro interesante y espero que lo aprecian.

También, hay tiempos cuando fijaré artículos sobre hechos – por qué pasó así o lo que podría haber sido si algo más pasara.

Bienvenidos a mi sitio de blog y espero colaborar con Vd. en el futuro.

Su participación, sus pensamientos y comentarios, para o contra, serán muy apreciados.

Podemos tener diferencias en la opinión pero eso es la esencia de ser racional, ser capaz de consentir en discrepar. Esto es mi objetivo que como continuamos, aclaramos no sólo nosotros mismos sino también aquellos  que encuentran  la oportunidad/posibilidad de visitar este sitio.

Déjenos enriquecer el uno al otro en el conocimiento y en la amistad.

Gracias.

Jesus Sievert alias Quierosaber

Astronauts manufacture socket wrench using 3D printer

Astronaut Barry Wilmore with his space fabricated ratcheting socket wrench.

Astronaut Barry Wilmore with his space fabricated ratcheting socket wrench.

This is one amazing technology really that has to be told and there is no better place to apply it than at the International Space Station (ISS) where it takes time for a replacement part or some other items to arrive, if indeed it is needed, especially in an emergency. Almost always an item needed has to wait for it to be flown up to them on one of the regular supply ships.

We have heard of many types of printers, but a 3D printer is very much unlike them. 3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.

It all starts with making a virtual design of the object you want to create. This virtual design is made in a CAD (Computer Aided Design) file using a 3D modeling program (for the creation of a totally new object) or with the use of a 3D scanner (to copy an existing object). This scanner makes a 3D digital copy of an object and puts it into a 3D modeling program. A common process of rapid prototyping is to apply a fine powder (plaster, bioplastic, polyurethane, polyester, epoxy, metal, etc.) in such a 3D inkjet printers.

3D printing is making an impact already on many industries, like, the automotive, medical, business and industrial equipment, consumer-product industries, etc., but most of all at the ISS.

Hard to imagine for many of us who haven’t seen how the machine works.

The ISS is no stranger anymore to a 3D printer. It has its own zero-gravity 3D printer since November and it had already made 20 objects whilst onboard, but all these were designed before the printer was in space.

The first object it made was a replacement part for the printer itself.

But what happened this time is that the ISS needed to have ratcheting socket wrench and the company that made the 3D printer onboard the ISS heard that astronaut commander Barry Wilmore was asking for it.

“We had overheard ISS Commander Barry Wilmore mention over the radio that he needed one, so we designed one in CAD and sent it up to him faster than a rocket ever could have,” said Mike Chen, founder of Made in Space.

Needless to say that the wrench is the first unplanned printing project emailed from Earth to be made in in space.

Made In Space hopes that eventually, astronauts will be able to print replacement parts for the station and equipment to be deployed beyond the station, but that’s far in the future, they say.

It hasn’t sunk yet on Sen. Estrada where he is

estradaSenator Jinggoy Estrada, who is facing graft and plunder charges before the Sandiganbayan (graft court) in connection with the scandalous pork barrel scam, and is presently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City, does not seem to understand or, perhaps refuses to understand, where he is spending his time these days.

Together with his lawyers, Estrada has been maneuvering all sorts of ways to be free from the hole he is in, but the magistrates of the Fifth Division, exercising probity, have denied him every time he hatches a ploy, except perhaps, for medical and humanitarian reasons, giving exception to his position.

With Christmas and New Year holidays very much in the air, Estrada is again applying the same stratagem of asking the anti-graft court to grant him temporary liberty on December 25 and on December 31 to January 1 ‘to honor the birth of our Lord’ with his family, as Estrada explained it.

Well, there is nothing wrong with this request, especially for us Filipinos, and in convincing the court, Estrada even used embellished words describing the birth of Christ as ‘the most honored and respected tradition.’

But the court simply issued a forthright, if not realistic, rebuttal of Estrada’s motion granting him furlough with the following statement: “Allowing Estrada to be given furlough to be able to join his family ‘to honor the birth of our Lord’ would be a display of partiality in his favor. As a detention prisoner, accused should not be treated differently from all other prisoners who may want to visit their families during the holidays.”

The law if applied rightly does not really distinguish whether the person is an ordinary citizen or a public servant if accused and indicted of serious crimes.

Estrada as a law maker should be the first one to understand this and should stop from silently suggesting that he be given a preferential treatment.

It is about time it sinks in Estrada’s head where he is, what he has done, and who he is now before seeking another chance for freedom while his case is being heard and verdict decided.

Until then his ‘wings’ are clipped as the PNP Custodial Center continues to be his home.

Estrada has kind words for Roxas

DILG Secretary Mar Roxas

DILG Secretary Mar Roxas

In an event that saw Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas and Manila City Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada sign a trust fund for informal settler families (ISF)’s homes to celebrate this year’s Urban Poor Solidarity Week, the latter had only kind words for Roxas.

The trust fund is pursuant to the General Appropriations Act of 2014, which provides for the construction of socialized housing for ISFs in Metro Manila, amounting to P334.5 million for the cities of Malabon, Las Pinas, Muntinlupa, Caloocan, Navotas and Manila to share. Roxas’ role, was simply to facilitate and, perhaps, fast track the planning and development of the project with the help of Estrada.

The Manila housing projects are expected to benefit 585 urban poor families.

“We are here to provide sturdy and safe houses for all those living in danger areas,” said Roxas.

Grateful for this upturn of event, Estrada lauded the good it does when national and local governments have an understanding and agreement on projects benefiting the poor. But, most of all Estrada had nothing but praises for Roxas – now and then.

It must be remembered that during Estrada’s presidency, Roxas was his trade secretary.

Manila Mayor Joseph "Erap" Estrada

Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada

Estrada, in his speech, affirmed Roxas’ “unquestionable integrity” as a public servant. He even commended Roxas for pushing for e-commerce during his stint as trade chief, paving the way for the business process outsourcing boom in the country today.

Now pundits are speculating if these kind words of Estrada for Roxas, spoken at this time when there seems to be an undercurrent of disunity between Erap and Vice President Jejomar Binay on the latter’s aspiration for the 2016 presidency because of the entry of neophyte Senator Grace Poe into the picture, is a sign of shifting of allegiance?

Sen. Poe may have declined time and again from entering the 2016 presidential race for reasons that she what she is – a neophyte senator, and I believe she will keep her word, but nothing will prevent Poe from accepting the vice presidential position if it is offered to her.

With the presidential race practically a year and a half away still, and with Roxas not withdrawing yet despite his poor ranking in the survey, could there be resurgence of Roxas’ approval and trust rating if he teams up with Poe?

The better question is: Could Estrada’s support for a Roxas-Poe ticket revitalizes Roxas’ standing among the voters?

Note that Binay considered Erap as joking when the latter declared his preference for Poe, if she runs against Binay for president, citing that Poe is the daughter of his best friend, the late Fernando Poe Jr.

What would be the biggest joke is if there will be a Binay-Poe ticket.

But I don’t think Poe will get sucked to it, and neither will Erap allow it to happen.

Will there be a Roxas-Poe ticket because of Erap?

Conceivable – yes.

But everything hangs on President Aquino’s decision, in consultation with the Liberal Party (LP) hierarchy and its affiliate political coalition members.

 

Ultimate mockery of Philippine justice system

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima leading the raid at the New Bilibid Prison.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima leading the raid at the New Bilibid Prison.

How else would one describe it when high-profile prisoners convicted for their nefarious activities outside and sent to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa to serve their sentences, continue their corrupt practices with all the trappings that drug money can buy, yet still?

Coming from the horse’s mouth, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima expressed disgust over what she saw inside the maximum security compound of the NBP, when she, together with armed agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP)-Special Action Force, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and Presidential Anti-Organize Crime Commission (PAOCC), raided the infamous place to verify long time reports that drug rings were operated from behind bars.

Their suspicions of who were doing it were confirmed when the surprised visit saw the same names of 20 drug operators outside then, doing the same evil deeds of pushing illegal drugs from inside the NBP now.

“I am disgusted, even beyond disgusted,” De Lima said. “They are here to serve jail time but instead, they’re living like kings.”

De Lima promised that heads will roll, referring of course to prison officials who have been corrupted many times over for these illegal drug syndicate to flourish even in perceived unlikely places. This normally happens, when like the convicts, the prison officials are also consumed with greed.

Like kings, indeed, the drug lords were living inside their refurbished “kubols” or dormitory spaces because it contained all the luxurious amenities that only the wealthy can afford, and with their vast resources inside that gives them the power and clout, they lord it over everybody, including the NBP officials.

Unbelievable what the raiding team discovered inside, like, strip bars, sex dolls, jacuzzi, methamphetamines, high-powered guns, entertainment appliances, sauna facility and even secret pathway, but how the drug lords cum prisoners acquired them, as if they were still in the comforts of their homes, really boggles ones mind considering where they are – inside the NBP.

But what really hurts is that, not only are the convicts still in the business of making enormous amount of money from their illicit drug dealing while destroying families, lives and the future of many young Filipinos, thus, lamentably, making an ultimate mockery of the country’s justice system, but even the government officials are themselves doing a perversion of the laws inside the NBP facility.

 

Binays causes radio commentary program to go off air

The Binays: Vice President Jejomar Binay and Makati Mayor Junjun Binay

The Binays: Vice President Jejomar Binay and Makati Mayor Junjun Binay

I do not know the veracity of this report but since the allegations come from veteran and hard-hitting TV host, radio broadcaster and columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), Ramon Tulfo, then, I presume there is some credibility to it. The reason why I am presupposing is because only the PDI and Coconuts Manila have come out with the story.

Be that as it may, the story has a damning impact, not only on Vice President Jejomar Binay’s character, but also on how desperate Binay is in resurrecting himself from his downward spiral in approval and trust ratings based on the latest Pulse Asia survey on presidential wannabes for 2016.

According to Tulfo, Binay caused a popular morning radio commentary program to go off the air until Jan 5, 2015, after he ‘invited’ himself to become one of its regular hosts.’

Apparently, because of Binay’s present predicament, where he is trying very hard to extricate himself from the muck of corruption and ill-gotten wealth heaped against him, which is the main reason for his steep decline in the polls rating, he was invited by the hosts of dwIZ’s Karambola radio program, as guest, to air his side on the issues/charges against him. Note that the program discusses current events.

This happened on December 10, but much to the surprise and consternation (the word used by Tulfo) of the hosts, Binay, together with his son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, returned to the radio program on December 12, this time, uninvited.

Perhaps, out of courtesy the Binays were allowed air time to speak, but what confused the hosts was that Binay thanked them instead for making him a regular on the Karambola program. The son reportedly declared that he “also wanted to be a regular on the program.” The Vice President, however, was said to have cut him short, saying they might be accused of having a dynasty on radio.

According to Tulfo, Binay, along with his son, was once again expected to appear on Karambola December 15, but the show was replaced with another program without notice.

Tulfo was reportedly saying that the Karambola hosts decided to go on vacation until Jan 5 to avoid an ugly scene with the Vice President. It’s the first time Karambola went off the air since it began its broadcast in 2005.

Indeed, this is a very shameful episode for the Binays, especially the presidential aspirant.

But, for one who is facing a second plunder complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman by lawyer Renato Bondal in connection with the alleged overpricing of the construction of the P1.33-billion Makati Science High School, Binay will do anything outrageous to spare him and his family further embarrassment that he sees will eventually cost him the presidency that he covets more than anything in this world.

Government must act on distressful state of MRT-3

mrtIf the different mishap shown on prime TV news involving the country’s Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3) has not jolted the Aquino government, specifically the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), from taking drastic corrective measures before lives are lost, hopefully the report made by experts from Mass Transit Railway Hong Kong (MTR HK) on the condition of MRT-3 will.

It is more of a chilling report on how poor management in operations and maintenance is endangering the lives of commuters availing the transport system.

The DOTC cannot simply wash their hands for the distressful state of MRT-3 for their negligence is what the report is all about. Not only have they compromise safety but in their laxity and inattentiveness to the needs of the system, they have readily and steadily shortened its expected lifespan.

To better appreciate the disturbing report, let me just cite some observations MTR HK made, as published:

MTR Hong Kong noted that the condition of the tracks is “most alarming and requires immediate attention.”

“A broken rail is a serious threat to the safe operation of a railway. It can potentially case train derailment resulting in substantial casualties in a high usage system like MRT-3.”

“Track condition is found to be in poor and unacceptable condition to allow continuous safe operations of the railway.”

The observations above seem to focus only on the rail and for a reason because that is what keeps the train on track running safely even at high speed.

Suffice to say that what the MTR HK team has found is that the pathetic condition of the country’s MRT-3 is because of DOTC officials’ inadequacy and inattentiveness, if not total ignorance towards: asset management and rail operations management in general, which includes maintenance programs for both carriage and railways, personnel training programs and safety programs. All these could prolong the life of the metro system making it even more profitable. But, its downfall could only be attributed to the indifference and lack of professionalism by people entrusted by no less than President Aquino to keep the metro transport running and in top shape and the riding public safe at all times.

This brings to fore the question that is in most people’s mind: Should MRT continue to be run by government or should a private entity be chosen to manage it?

Lima conference fails to resolve climate change issue

climate changeIt looks like the Philippines and other poorly developed nations will continue to bear the brunt of the destructive consequences of weather disturbances now that the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in the Peruvian capital Lima from Dec. 1 to 12 has ended with no consensus being reached in resolving climate change issue.

The objective of the COP20 meeting attended by world leaders and delegates was to create a framework for world nations to build a deal that would replace the accords met in 1997, commonly called the Kyoto Protocols, which was adopted in Kyoto, Japan.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty, which extends the 1992 UNFCCC that commits State Parties to reduce greenhouse gases emissions, based on the premise that (a) global warming exists and (b) man-made CO2 emissions have caused it.

The meeting in Lima was intended to pave the way for a new agreement addressing climate change, planned to be passed at the end of 2015 in Paris and come into force in 2020.

Nations impacted by climate change were hopeful that something beneficial will come out of Lima after U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping made announcement, during their recent meeting in Beijing, that both countries will curb their greenhouse gas emissions over the next two decades.

“As the world’s two largest economies, energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases, we have a special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change,” Obama said in a joint news conference with Xi.

On his part, Xi is called for “an energy revolution” that would include broad economic reforms addressing air pollution.

Alas, the acknowledged ‘two largest economies, energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases’ were the ones blamed for the failure of the Lima UNFCCC.

Developing nations led by China insist the West must bear a bigger burden for carbon cuts, having started decades earlier to pollute their way to prosperity.

But rich countries point the finger at developing giants like China and India furiously burning coal to power their rapid growth.

Developing nations further demand that pledges incorporate not only action on reducing carbon emissions, but also financial help and adaptation aid to shore up their climate defenses.

Many developing nations said the text did too little to oblige the rich to raise a promised $121 billion by 2020 or to help set up a mechanism to compensate for loss and damage from storms, floods or rising sea levels.

African nations and OPEC oil exporters were also among those opposed.

Peruvian environment minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, hosting the talks, urged compromise. “We are very close. We know that we will need your flexibility. Let us work together,” he said.

But that is easier said than done.

Meanwhile, the poor nations at the receiving end can only pray and hope that a consensus of some kind can be reached by those contributing immensely to climate change if only to mitigate its harsh impact.