Saturday, February 24, 2007

Green Mac

I finally switched over to a mac about a month ago and it's been great. No, this isn't a "Supported Post." hehe. But I just got tired of all the viruses on my PC laptop. I'd say I must've formatted my laptop at least ten times ever since I bought it 5 or 6 years ago. So much for anti-virus software. Also, the hard drive on my PC was only 6 GB. That's pretty small for today's standards. Not only that, but the battery didn't seem to last too long (i.e. it would only work if it was plugged in). That sort of defeats the purpose of the laptop, which is that it's supposed to be portable. It was portable long as there was a plug outlet nearby. ;) Anyway, I thought it would be a difficult transition from PC to mac, but the mac is truly a user-friendly computer. Ok, forget the fact that Steve Jobs actually got the idea for the windows format from Xerox, but still, gotta admire the guy for improving and marketing the product very well.

Recently, however, I was surprised to find out something about macs...something disturbing. I was doing some blog hopping and came across Ajay's blog. She had a post about Greenpeace claiming that the upcoming Vista operating system will not be compatible with as much as half of the PCs out there. That incompatibility will force people to upgrade sooner, thus trashing their computers into landfills along with their hazardous chemicals. I thought, "No worries. I don't use a PC anymore. Everything's cool, right?" Wrong. That same Greenpeace website had bad news for mac users, also: apple ranks among the least environmentally-friendly electronic products. These products also include iPods and iBooks. According to Greenpeace
When they [apple products] are tossed, they usually end up at the fingertips of children in China, India and other developing-world countries. They dismantle them for parts, and are exposed to a dangerous toxic cocktail that threatens their health and the environment.
I was quite surprised to read this. Of all the companies I would expect to be green, surely it would be apple. Say it ain't so, apple. Well, I did just what Greenpeace suggested and clicked on their "email Steve Jobs" link, which had a pre-formatted letter urging Jobs to make his products greener. When apple was in trouble a few years back, Jobs stepped in and saved the company with his leadership. He can show his leadership abilities once again by stepping up and making the company more environmentally-friendly.

Technorati tags: apple, Steve Jobs, Greenpeace, mac

Monday, February 12, 2007

Final Thoughts on my Vacation

I've pretty much posted the highlights of my Philippine vacation. Now for some random thoughts about my trip:

1) The Philippines is still obsessed with looking white (i.e. skin whiteners). Here's some billboards I saw in Manila :

Is this colonial mentality or what? Although I have to point out that I only saw these ads in Manila, not in any other city I visited. So I don't know if I can attribute this "wanting to look like a white person" phenomenon to the entire Philippines.

2) Discrimination is still rampant. Here's an example of a typical job ad from a Baguio newspaper with height, age, and of course, the "pleasing personality" requirement:

Do you really need an age or height requirement when working the front desk? C'mon, just have them sit or stand on a couple of books if they're short. :D Meanwhile, at this Manila establishment, they don't mince words:

What's an unattractive person to do? hehe. Can you imagine being rejected for this job? "Miss, you've got all the qualifications, but unfortunately.... well, you're not easy on the eyes." hahaha. Well, at least the restaurant didn't require the waitress to have a "pleasing personality." :D

3) Fireworks....annoying fireworks. I became annoyed at all the people setting firecrackers near our house in Baguio and leaving their trash everywhere.

I suppose this graphic poster of severed fingers they had posted at the sari-sari stores wasn't enough to deter the revelers from playing with fireworks:

I'm not trying to be KJ, as they say in the Philippines, but some of these fireworks ARE illegal and dangerous. I did see a headline the next day that there were 600 fireworks-related injuries. So much for that graphic poster.

4) Nothing beats relaxing around a bonfire with a few drinks. Here's one where I drank hard liquor around a bonfire, but didn't get drunk. The liquor was only 65 proof. :D
We had to move the hard liquor b/c it was a little too close to the fire. ;)

6) The export of human labor continues. Yet another relative has left to work overseas as a nurse. I have another relative studying nursing. I think she already has a degree in another field. Is the Philippines always going to be an exporter of human labor? Will there ever be a time when people will consider the Philippines as the one with "greener pastures"?

7) Tough jobs....there's a lot of them in the Philippines. Some of these tough jobs include vendors (whether it's chicharon or peanuts or sweets,etc.) on buses or those prawn vendors along the highway who advertise their product by holding up the prawn as you whiz by them on the highway. Other jobs are unofficial. For example, kids will flag taxis for you but expect some sort of tip. Probably one of the toughest jobs I saw was the restroom or comfort room (CR) attendees at bus stops who collect 1 or 2 pesos from riders who use the bathroom. If I had that job, I wouldn't even touch the coins. I'd just tell them to put it in a box or something. And if they ask for change, I would just let them use the CR for free. ;)

Well, I guess that's all I have to say about my trip. Looks like I can get rid of this sim card I bought in Manila... won't be needing it anymore:
I had a blast. As Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz once said, "There's no place like home." Too bad I won't be back for a while. Yan ang buhay ng Fil-Am .... or Amboy, as someone once called me. ;)

Technorati tags: Baguio, Philippines, skin whitener, discrimination, firecrackers