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Business Views that Matter

Business Silver Buying

Economy At A Glance Indicator Latest

Gold Buying (troy oz.)

US$ 19.15 US$ 1289.35

As of May 9, 2014

Peso-Dollar ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. Exchange Rate

Php 44.232

Repo Rate


Reverse Repo Rate


Inflation Rate (Apr‘ 14)


91-Day T-Bill Rate




Year Ago

Gross National Income Gross Domestic Product

7.8 (4Q 2013) 6.5 (4Q 2013) US$5.2 Exports billion (March 2014) US$4.72 Imports billion (Feb 2014) 4.1 Headline (April Inflation 2014) Rate 2.9 Core (April Inflation 2014) Rate 19.5% Underemployment (Jan 2014) Rate

8.1 (3Q 2013) 6.9 (3Q 2013) US$4.6 billion (Feb 2014) US$5.95 billion (Jan 2014) 3.9 (Mar 2014) 3.9 (Mar 2014) 17.9% (Oct 2013)

6.4 (4Q 2012) 7.1 (4Q 2012) US$ 4.7 billion (March 2013) US$4.71 billion (Feb 2013) 2.6 (April 2013) 3.1 (April 2013) 20.7% (Jan 2013)

7.5% Underemployment (Jan 2014) Rate

6.5% (Oct 2013)

7.1% (Jan 2013)

Source: NEDA

As of May 9, 2014

Economy risks overheating THE spate of credit rating upgrades is likely to flood the financial market with liquidity amid worries it will overheat the Philippine economy.

With more banks opening their vaults to potential borrowers, chances are money supply (M3) will exponentially rise to match the costs of doing business. Given the liquidity boost, investors will seek fresh profit-making opportunities. Two types of investors usually come into play – those who dabble in the get-richquick scheme such as the stock market and those who opt for the long-term growth of their capital. Downside risks range from a steep rise of inflation and interest rates to wild swings of foreign exchange rates. On their part, monetary officials will resort to employing policy intervention measures such as increase of rediscounting rates and the banks’ reserve requirements to mop up excess liquidity in the market. Pressure on Banks The overriding consideration is to ensure that liquidity growth would not lead to aberrations in the monetary system. Analysts warned that the Philippines was vulnerable to rising foreign investments in real estate or property bubble since regulations in the country are not as stiff as those in China, Hong Kong and Singapore. The immediate risk is the increasing capital inflows which are going to accelerate if these are not managed properly.

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These can lead to an overheating economy and put pressure on the banking sector. The Philippines has attained investmentgrade credit ratings from S&P and Fitch which, analysts say, could lead to excessive inflow of foreign portfolio investments. As expected, Philippine shares had risen to new highs, while interest rates on government securities eased on the back of heightened demand. Remittances and Exports The Philippines last year grew by 6.6 percent, beating most projections and posting one of the fastest growth rates in Asia. But in this year’s first quarter, the economy turned sluggish at six percent as against the 7.7 percent expansion in the same period year-on-year. “Economic indicators released in March showed the Philippine economy leading off to a good, albeit not exceptional, start for the year,” says a report of First Metro Investments Corp., Metrobank’s investment bank. Consumption, which had been affected by the lingering effects of Super Typhoon Yolanda, is seen to bounce back in the second quarter because of robust remittances from overseas Filipinos and exports, the socalled twin towers of the economy.

S&P and Fitch

FIRST Metro Investments Corp., Metrobank’s investment bank.

shares had “Philippine risen to new highs,

while interest rates on government securities eased on the back of heightened demand


5/9/2014 9:52:09 PM


Building Linkages for Understanding


Once e-jeepneys “become common in

Yay FOR PLANET EARTH By Nicole Ann M. Aguila

the streets of Metro Manila, then there is hope in getting back clean air.

WHEN we hear the word “jeep”, we normally think about the noise, the smoke-belching, the cramped space when riding it, the reckless drivers, and of course, the fare hikes. Is it time for old-school jeepneys to finally rest?

An e-jeepney like the COMET promises to decrease vehicle gas emissions and increase a driver’s earnings, enough to feed his family and have a little more extra income. With the COMET, the old Php1,200 worth of gas consumption will shrink into Php500. It can charge itself on designated stations with electrical outlets.

US President Barack Obama views the COMET during his visit to the country. (Photo credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster)

HEALTH BENEFITS Drivers can expect improved health due to less exposure to carbon monoxide and toxic chemicals that come from petroleum. Electric vehicles are now becoming commonplace in several places in US. Towns are adapting to electric cars similar to the COMET. Concerned groups who are into environmental reforms are lobbying for more electric cars to penetrate various industries in the future. Another plus to using electric cars: American researchers probed that if enough Plug-In Hybrid EV were used to achieve a 50% reduction in road transport emission, the results will have a cooling effect on climate. The introduction of this new type of transportation is one step forward to world-class modernization. GOING GLOBAL This is one way for the local government to show the public that it is serious in competing globally. We shouldn’t be left behind. One major impact that e-jeepneys will have on the local industry will be the reduction of gasoline consumption. Of course, the oil companies will be affected because 40% of public transportation in Manila are jeepneys with diesel engines. Once e-jeepneys become common in the streets of Metro Manila, then there is hope in getting back clean air. The Pinoy driver’s livelihood will improve, and in turn, the health of Filipino commuters will become better as well. (Ms. Aguila is an incoming fourth year student at Malayan Colleges Laguna in Cabuyao. She is currently working as an intern for OpinYon.)

THE electric jeepney COMET prototype, being tested in the streets of the metro. (Photo credit: Ken Montler/GET International)


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Think Green For A Better Planet

The Threat of E-waste

MOBILE devices are selling like hotcakes these days, and there is wider range of choices, more than the past years. The production of mobiles are seemingly unstoppable. This generates a massive amount of electronic waste. By Allysa Faye F. Greganda Product features keep on upgrading in just months—and the next thing you know, the phone you just bought last year is already outdated. The bottom line is, the industry won’t limit their production due to the business bottomline and consumers always want more of the latest product lines, even if they don’t really need it. E-waste or electronic waste occupies 2 percent of space in the landfills according to research. E-waste comprises broken down mobile phones, computers, LCD screens, tablets, and accessories. Around 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste is generated every year. Non-biodegradable wastes are such that no matter how long they stay in the garbage bin, they will never decompose. Apple, being the one of the biggest electronics producers today, is the manufacturer of the famous iPhones, iPods, iPads and Macintosh computers. The company sold around a one billion devices in seven years. To make up for being one of the major producers of e-waste, they launched a project to promote corporate social responsibility last Earth Day, April 22. The project is to recycle used Apple

products for free in exchange for gift checks. E-cycling is the byword when it comes to recycling products made by giant electronics companies. Serious Threat In the Philippines, we lack proper information and reinforcing groups to deal with used and broken electronics. Most people just throw them away together with household trash. Electronic devices contain hazardous toxins that can later on cause pollution in the soil, air and water. Lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chlorine and bromine are just some of the elements used as components in circuit boards, microchips, wires, and batteries. If burned, toxic chemicals will be released, and that will mix with the air we breathe and cause respiratory problems. Exposure can cause damaged tissue

and cell structures, even internal ailments that includes brain cancer. When e-waste comes into contact with the soil, it may leak into the underground water system and cause harm to local communities. A lot of people do not think much about it, but if e-waste chemicals pollute an ecosystem, food chains can be disrupted. Human, animals and plants can be poisoned and wiped out of existence. Green Tech It is important for local citizens to understand that, as a modern society, social responsibility is top priority. There are simple ways to contribute in the drive to get rid of e-waste and and encourage companies to come up with eco-friendly technolog y. Sending old and broken devices back to manufacturers will help in reducing

the use of minerals and chemicals. Companies will also be able to recycle parts. A good incentive is to sell broken devices to recycling plants. Enviro-cycle, located in Mandaluyong, is an electronic surplus retail shop that is fast becoming the center for bargaining and recycling. If the devices are still functional, just donate them to those who can still use them, but tell friends to dispose of the devices properly. Apple presents one of the best models in e-cycling. Hopefully, more electronic companies will consider recycling their own products, as it can be mutually beneficial—to the consumer, to the company, and mostly, to the environment. There are marketing opportunities to be made when promoting e-cycling. In fact, socially-responsible companies that promote environmental advocacies attract more consumer following, because more and more people do not want to contribute to further environmental degradation. (Ms. Greganda is a graduating student of the University of Perpetual Help Laguna System in Biñan. She is currently an intern for OpinYon.)

PH Should Prepare For El Niño

EL Niño’s effects can lead to both flooding and drought

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THE El Niño may trigger drought and stronger storms, according to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Such concern was emphasized last May 3, 2014 by Senator Loren Legarda. She advised the public that there is no time to waste in getting ready for the El Niño phenomenon that is expected to hit the country in June. This means Filipinos should start conserving water. “As the DOST has warned of an impending El Niño, we expect that government agencies have already set out programs to address the effects of this phenomenon. Foremost of our concerns is food security because prolonged drought would drastically cut down the production of local crops like rice, corn, sugar cane, vegetables and other agricultural products. It can also cause a decrease in fisheries yield,” said Legarda. “Meanwhile, communities should also start water conservation programs. Households should avoid excessive water use and practice reusing water,” she added. The Senator also urged local government units (LGUs) to put up rainwater harvesting facilities in all barangays as part of water conservation program. Such system would help address the country’s water shortage problem, particularly during the dry season, while making use of the excess water from rainfall. “We are already experiencing hot

temperatures, but rain showers occur banana in the area surrounding the every now and then. Manila was pond. “We have to implement programs flooded yesterday due to heavy rain. A rainwater catchment system could such as these water catchment bahave avoided or decreased the vol- sins that bring multiple benefits of water conservation, flood prevention ume of flood,” she explained. Legarda said that the creation of and food production. Moreover, as rainwater catchment basins is man- we expect stronger storms due to El dated by Republic Act 6716, a law Niño, we have to strengthen disasenacted in 1989 that requires the ter prevention programs and ensure construction of water wells, rainwa- that our early warning systems are ter collectors, development of springs in place and effective,” Legarda conand rehabilitation of existing water cluded. wells in all barangays in the country. “These catchment systems can be built using low-cost local materials. But while the system is not yet in place, the people can use drums to store rainwater especially in areas being frequented by rains. We just have to make sure that water is stored properly so it would not become a breeding place for mosquitoes,” she said. Legarda also cited the proposal of environmental lawyer Antonio Oposa Jr. to create rainwater catchment ponds. Vacant land in low-lying areas can be excavated and turned into a pond or lake so that excess water from heavy rains or storms have a place to go. The proposal also includes growing fish to prevent the pond from becoming a breeding ground of mosquitoes and planting vegetables like kangkong SEN. Legarda leads the call for El Niño preparedness and fruit-bearing trees like


5/9/2014 9:52:18 PM


A popular compound used in soy sauce as a flavor enhancer, known as EFdA, has been shown 70 times more effective than the first-line HIV drug Tenofovir, a new study finds. “EFdA, the molecule we are studying, is less likely to cause resistance in HIV patients because it is more readily activated and is less quickly broken down by the body as similar existing drugs,” explained Stefan Sarafianos, associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology, in a statement. To fight HIV, clinicians typically rely on one type of antiretroviral drug. EFdA, in conjunction with eight other compounds designed to fight HIV, are in a class of compounds known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI). When the virus encounters these NRTI, it gets confused. It interprets the compound’s presence as one of its own building blocks. This “hijacking” essentially turns the virus self-destructive, replicating continuously all while it actively destroys itself. Interestingly, EFdA was first discovered for this purpose in 2001, after Japanese soy sauce manufacturers were searching for a way to enhance the flavor of their product. The finding spurred over a decade of follow-up research, now producing a greater molecular understanding in the latest study. Using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), researchers were able to fit the molecule’s pieces together like a puzzle. HIV patients undergoing treatment with anti-AIDS medications often develop resistance to first-line drug therapy regimens such as Tenofovir. The researchers’ work suggests that the mol-

ecules may help in the development of compounds that can be 70 times stronger than Tenofovir. Professor Sarafianos and colleagues from the National Institutes of Health and the University of Pittsburgh used virology techniques and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) to define EFdA’s mechanism on a molecular level. The research team built together the molecule’s exact structure and configuration. Professor Sarafianos said, “The structure of this compound is very important because it is a lock-and-key kind of mechanism that can be recognized by the target. EFdA works extremely well on HIV that is not resistant to anti-AIDS drugs. It also works even better on HIV that’s become resistant to Tenofovir.” The molecule was discovered by a Japanese soy sauce company while researching ways to enhance flavor of its product. The molecule is part of the compound family ‘nucleoside analogues,’ which is similar to existing drugs for HIV and other viruses. Further testing confirmed EFdA’s potential against HIV and researchers set forth on a decade-long research process. The molecule was shown to be effective in misleading the virus; the molecule appears similar to the building blocks of the virus, and in turn, leads the virus to use these false building blocks, effectively halting the spread and replication of HIV. (Credits: Estel Grace Masangkay/Chris Weller/Bioresearchonline/Medical Daily)

Of Churches and Mosques


STANBUL, TURKEY - We barely had two days to see the city that touts itself as the Cradle of Civilization or as the Center of Culture in Europe. I consider myself as a traveler rather than a tourist but, on this trip, there was no luxury of time. The best option was to join tour groups, to be herded like cattle and surrender your pace and absorption to a larger number. Groupie Groove Group tour season in Istanbul has just started and thousands upon thousands descend on its ancient settlements. There were three other cruise ships, some as high as fourteen decks, when ours docked. Tourist buses were clogging the narrow roads, disgorging passengers who were mostly senior citizens like us. We consider ourselves as being on the sunset phase of our lives or at least past the zenith, so there is an urgency in the dream to see more of the world, especially where what we know might have all begun. The must-see tourist spots were clustered together and they easily demonstrate the greatness there is in Turkey, mainly on how, in the name of Christianity and Islam, man has enriched or razed civilizations. One that symbolizes this well is the Hagia Sophia, a huge impressive domed structure that was a church for more than 900 years and then was converted into a

mosque and used as such for lay! Thus, the Christians in Tur500 more years. Japanese engi- key became Orthodox, no longer neers were still restoring Hagia beholden to the Catholic Pope. Of course, that was not the Sophia when we visited. It is a end of it. The cruel Christian UNESCO World Heritage site. Crusades marched through Christians Rule In 196, Roman Emperor Sep- Constantinople and left it in ruins. There timus Severus inwere also cluded the town as the attempts part of the Roman of the Arabs Empire. Then Emto seize it. peror Constantine In 1453, the the Great named Ottomans Istanbul after finally suchim, as Constanceeded. In tinople. Thus, the 1517, it bemodern song. On came the May 11, 330, ConBoboy Yonzon center of the stantine declared whole world the town as the second capital for Rome. Influ- of Islam. Soon after, mosques enced by his mom Elena, Con- were built all over the place; the stantine became a Roman Cath- grandest of them all was what olic and, soon after, declared is now called The Blue Mosque, that this was the official religion built to overshadow Hagia Sophia just across it. Galing of what was formerly Istanbul. Eventually, the Romans naman. lost grasp of Constantinople at Muslims Turn The Blue Mosque, completed around 395 and it became the capital of a variety of separat- in 1616, has also a huge, high, ist, the East Roman, or what awesome dome, supported by became the Byzantine Empire. It what they call elephant’s feet, was during this time, especially although that is actually miniunder the rule of Emperor Jus- mizing. These are four mighty tinian, that Istanbul witnessed pillars made of bricks and stones high times, including the con- and clad with marble. The edifice is named Blue Mosque pristruction of the Hagia Sophia. The Catholics of Rome and marily because of the more than those of Constantinople had 21,000 tiles with blue patterns disagreements. Over what ex- that were used to cover most of cuse, I didn’t care to know. I just its walls. understood it as cutting umbiliTurn to page 13 cal cords. Hiwalay kung hiwa-


Children with special needs


hildren with special niques or a bite guard may be needs are likely to ex- recommended. Dental caries, or tooth perience tooth decay and may have more decay, may be linked to frecavities than other quent vomiting or gastroesophageal reflux, less than children. This is true be- normal amounts of saliva, cause children with medications containing sugar, special needs may not know or special diets that require how to brush their teeth by prolonged bottle feeding or themselves or find it difficult snacking. Counsel the parent/careto brush properly, let alone floss effectively. Brushing or giver on daily oral hygiene to even the taste of toothpaste include frequent rinsing with may be disagreeable to them. plain water and use of a fluoThus, these children are likely ride-containing toothpaste or to have poor teeth and gum mouth rinse. Explain the need for supervising children to avoid conditions. swallow ing We share fluoride. Refer below parts to an oral of a very inhealth care formative provider and/ publicat ion or gastroenfrom the U.S. terologist for National Inprevention stitutes of and treatment. Health, “Oral Prescribe sugConditions Dr. Joseph D. Lim arless medicain Children with Special Needs: A Guide for tions when available. Early, severe periodontal Health Care Providers”. Tooth eruption may be (gum) disease can occur in delayed, accelerated or in- children with impaired imconsistent in children with mune systems or connective growth disturbances. Gums tissue disorders and inadmay appear red or bluish- equate oral hygiene. Simple purple before erupting teeth gingivitis results from an acbreak through into the mouth. cumulation of bacterial plaque Eruption depends on genetics, and presents as red, swollen growth of the jaw, muscular gums that bleed easily. Periaction, and other factors. Chil- odontitis is more severe and dren with Down syndrome leads to tooth loss if not treatmay show delays of up to 2 ed. Professional cleaning by an years. Refer to an oral health oral health care provider, systemic antibiotics and instruccare provider. Malocclusion, a poor fit be- tions on home care may be tween the upper and lower needed to stop the infection. Viral infections are usuteeth, and crowding of teeth occur frequently in people with ally due to the herpes simplex developmental disabilities. virus. Children rarely get herMuscle dysfunction contributes petic gingivostomatitis or herto malocclusion, particularly pes labialis before 6 months of in people with cerebral palsy. age. Herpetic gingivostomatiTeeth that are crowded or out tis is most common in young of alignment are more difficult children, but may occur in to keep clean, contributing to adolescents and young adults. periodontal disease and dental Viral infections can be painful caries. Refer to an orthodontist and are usually accompanied or pediatric dentist for evalua- by a fever. Counsel the parent/ tion and specialized instruction caregiver about the infectious nature of the lesions, the need in daily oral hygiene. Many teeth with defects are for frequent fluids to prevent prone to dental caries, are dif- dehydration, and methods of ficult to keep clean, and may symptomatic treatment. Gingival overgrowth may compromise appearance. Refer to an oral health care provider be a side effect from medicafor evaluation of treatment op- tions such as calcium channel tions and advice on keeping blockers, phenytoin sodium and cyclosporine. Poor oral hyteeth clean. Oral trauma to the face and giene aggravates the condition mouth occur more frequently and can lead to superimposed in people who have intellec- infections. Severe overgrowth tual disability, seizures, ab- can impair tooth eruption, normal protective reflexes or chewing and appearance. Refer muscle incoordination. People to an oral health care provider receiving restorative den- for prevention and treatment. tal care should be observed A preventive regimen of anticlosely to prevent chewing on microbial rinses and frequent anesthetized areas. If a tooth appointments may be needed. is avulsed or broken, take the Consider alternative medicapatient and the tooth to a den- tions if possible. ••••• tist immediately. Counsel the Dr. Joseph D. Lim is the parent/caregiver on ways to prevent trauma and what to do Dean of the College of Dentistry, National University, when it occurs. Bruxism, the habitual President/CEO of Dr. Smile grinding of teeth, is a com- Dental Care & Laser Center mon occurrence in people and honorary fellow of the with cerebral palsy or severe Asian Oral Implant Acadintellectual disability. In ex- emy and the Japan College treme cases, bruxism leads to of Oral Implantologists. For tooth abrasion and flat biting questions on dental health, esurfaces. Refer to a dentist for mail or evaluation; behavioral tech- text 0917-8591515.



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Fostering International Relations


DOTC corruption is disaster for foreign relations By Erick A. Fabian

ANOTHER foul-up by DOTC is another permanent stain on the Philippines’ already questionable reputation in the foreign relations and trade community. The question here is whether Malacañang will just sit by and wait until it happens again. There goes better opportunities provided by foreign trade and investment into the trashbin of bad foreign diplomacy. The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and its agencies are becoming more filthy, figuratively, and in some ways, literally. It will be a harbinger of more foreign relations disasters as the stink of corruption is reflected in its checkered track record. Just as it is a disappointment in handling transport facilities under its sectoral and attached agencies, so it will be the source of ruin for whatever is left of the country’s foreign partnerships. BITING THE HAND The Aquino administration inherited an already corrupt DOTC from the past. Rather than actually solve problems, it has created new ones, more than Pnoy’s appointees can handle. The public should exercise its right to probe further into the alleged DOTC extortion scandal, involving Czech ambassador Josef Rychtar. To not do so is to bite the hands that feed the country with funding, development opportunities, and trade incentives. Those hands can always pick another developing country somewhere in Asia or Africa. It’s a simple issue of not giving the country helping you a difficult time. It looks like Malacañang has something to hide, because they did a panic move and had to ask the Czech diplomat to shut up if asked by media. Since the President was mum about why the Czech ambassador and Inekon reps have to go out of their way just to tell the public that Presidential sister Ballsy Aquino Cruz and husband Eldon Cruz are clean, we the public have to stay


suspicious. The question remains as to who are the perpetrators of the alleged extortion. Where there’s smoke, there’s a fire. ALARM SIGNALS Every time the DOTC begins to ink a deal involving billions of pesos and groups connected to oligarchs, we smell trouble brewing. To make matters worse, DOTC Secreta r y Emilio Abaya has been charged last May 5, 2014 with graft and corruption over the awarding of the MRT7 contract for contactless ticketing system to AF Consortium, a joint Ayala-Metro Pacific venture. The backdoor deals and hustling happening in DOTC have become so chronic, officials are beginning to assume that foreign business reps will easily drool over offers of kickbacks. This is their mistake. In economically-advanced countries, especially, corruption is frowned upon. Officials either resign, go to jail, or commit suicide on merely being linked with clandestine practices. Every instance of shady dealing in our transactions with foreign nationals does not go unnoticed. The foreign business community will hear and talk about it for years to come. PUTTING OUT FIRES It is one thing to stamp out fires for corruption-related failures. Does the Aquino government have to wait until our relationship with for-



eign investors is burnt to ashes? There is a certain point when no amount of PR will cover up the bad smell. People will notice. The international community will talk about it, and soon, Aquino’s appointees will be running around like headless chickens. There is also the matter of the awarding of the contract to the AF Consortium. The Ayalas and Manny Pangilinan’s First Pacific Group have vested interests in the MRT7 ticketing system, that is obvious. For one, they will exploit the endless opportunities that the MRT7 infrastructure will provide — vantage points for telecommunications, advertising, shopping mall expansions, control of consumer traffic, data mining, the sky is the limit. It will give Pangilinan’s group a way to recoup the costs of maintaining the other train system, MRT3, after selling it to the government. Puppet? Note as well that the group that filed the complaint, the National Federation of Filipino Consumers, is seemingly linked with the SM Consortium. Google search results using the group’s name only turn up with the recent news items involving the MRT7 project and the SM group’s interest in it. There is an existing group called ‘Federation of Filipino Consumers, Inc.’ but it is doubtful whether they are the same group. SM wants the MRT7 deal bad

enough that it is willing to pay the full amount to the government. It would have been a strategic advantage for Henry Sy’s group. What most see as a a mere advanced ticketing system, can actually become the eyes and ears of the interested companies in the MRT7. If that isn’t god-like omnipotence, just like Big Brother in Orwell’s novel 1984. We will be watched without our knowledge every time we take the train. One quick look at news reports for the past five years will show that foreign companies other than Inekon have been stung by the DOTC’s remarkably elastic method of making bids. The sour deal with Korean shipping giant Hanjin last February comes to mind.

instance of “Every shady dealing in

our transactions with foreign nationals does not go unnoticed. The foreign business community will hear and talk about it for years to come.

DOTC Sec. Abaya


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Shaping the Future

Domestic Abuse in Social Media

ACCORDING to psychologist and anti-domestic violence advocate Rodney Vlais, the 24/7 reach of social media and smartphones are attractive to abusive partners who are not satisfied with the amount of control they can exert unaided. “Men who use violence against their current or former partner often do so to control her actions and to limit her world,” he explains. “The violence often has a purpose, so that he can maintain power over her, to stop her from doing things that he doesn’t want her to do, to make her do certain things, or to punish her for not meeting his demands.” “Fear is often used here. Social media provides a new way for these men to monitor her movements, control her social word, harass and limit her freedom by keeping her afraid,” Vlais adds. Experts are warning of a growing form of domestic violence they call “digital abuse.” Officials say digital abuse is when one partner uses technology to control and intimidate a significant other. Mental health professionals say it’s such a new problem, couples could be in a digitally abusive relationship and not realize it. The constant calls and threatening texts, Gina (not real name) says her ex-boyfriend’s electronic communication was relentless.

“I was always fearful of not answering my phone when he called and not responding to his text messages,” says Gina. After months of high-tech harassment, Gina says she realized she was a victim of digital domestic abuse. Psychiatrist Gail Saltz says it is a growing issue. “Now, sadly people are using digital technology to exert their power, their influence and control,” explains Saltz. Digital abuse is just starting to be recognized by experts and goes beyond constant phone calls and text messages. “Things that range from constantly checking to what they’re posting on social media and asking for passwords to more extreme cases as where

partners create fake identifies on Facebook to see if they can get their partner to engage with someone else, and then accusing them of cheating and flirting in appropriately,” says Katie RayJones of the USbased National Domestic Violence Hotline. The popularity of being constantly connected can make recognizing a problem difficult. “Isn’t this what everybody does? You know, everybody is on social networking, everybody is texting. Isn’t that just normal behavior?” asks Saltz. Ray-Jones says that normal behavior can turn to obsession. It’s important to recognize warning signs. These signs include extreme jealousy, monitoring and isolation. Technology expert Dave Hatter warns that digital abusers can escalate their surveillance by using apps which monitor their partner’s location through their

phone GPS or installing keylogging software that records what they type on their computer. “Even without GPS, you may go in a building where there are wayfinding techniques and the phone signal itself to try and triangulate your position won’t be as accurate as GPS,” says Hatter. “There’s a lot of ways you can track those devices. I always come to it from a perspective as you might be tracking me without me knowing it, but you literally could be using it like an ankle bracelet on someone and basically insist that they do it and basically track their every move, even with their full knowledge.” Saltz says even more troubling, digital abuse can turn dangerous. “People of all ages are vulnerable to the use of digital technology to basically be abusive and that abuse that starts in that way can often lead to, directly to physical abuse,” she says. Gina says when her exboyfriend’s digital abuse became physical, she ended the relationship. Now, she warns others who think their digital boundaries may be violated to reach out for help right away. “When I was going through this,” explains Gina. “I felt like I was completely alone. I didn’t tell anybody about what was happening.” Ray-Jones says it’s difficult to estimate exactly how many people digital abuse affects because some people don’t even recognize it. ( Bastow -

The Samsung Galaxy Beam 2 Has a Built-In Projector

Gadget Review

THE Samsung Galaxy Beam 2 is the next generation of the first smartphone on the market that had a built-in projector. China seems to have a high demand for this particular product, whereas we don't see the demand here in North America. Although it is a very interesting concept, it also makes the smartphone more revolutionized and overwhelming. The Samsung Galaxy Beam 2 is a midrange, Android 4.2 device that has a 4.66inch screen with a 800 x 480 pixel display. The projector has a WVGA resolution. The projector is located right on the top of the device. This is definitely moving towards the smartphone being able to do everything and anything. The Samsung Galaxy Beam 2 is a perfect phone for any movie lover or theater lover. You could pretend to own your own projected movie theater in the comfort of your own bed.

Network-Able Medical Equipment


OUR PILLARS OF MODERN COMPUTING: It was bound to happen, and the time has come for it to happen. Perhaps not too long ago, the field of medicine has been “taken over” by cloud computing, and from here onward, things will not be the same. Cloud computing is one of the pillars of modern computing. The other three pillars are broadband, big data and server virtualization. The field of medicine is not the only one that has been “taken over”. Practically every field of human activity could benefit from these four pillars. CLOUD COMPUTING: Before cloud computing came along, companies or organizations had to put up their own data centers either in their own premises, or offsite in hosted facilities. That approach would entail a lot of capital expenses, investments that would go to waste as soon as the machines are depreciated. Because of cloud computing however, any company or organization could use the data centers of cloud service providers in remote locations. The internet cloud is neither a place nor a state of being, as many would try to describe heaven. In a manner of speaking, the internet cloud is the totality of computing power somewhere and everywhere, for everyone to use

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as long as they could afford it. BIGGER BANDWIDTH: The bigger the bandwidth, the faster is the connectivity. From the very slow dial-up connectivity, we moved up to the not so slow digital service line (DSL) connectivity. Fast forward, many areas are now moving up to fiber connectivity. From that point on and onward, things will also not be the same. Broadband is the “juice” that enables us to transmit voice, text and data faster and better, the latter in terms of being more stable and more reliable. Because of broadband, we are now able to transmit or view larger files, and that includes big data. BIG DATA: It could be said that big data has always been there, but until now the technology did not exist to mine all of it and to analyze all of it. Yes, the size of big data has always been there, but what is new is the ability of new technologies to read data, to fetch data deep down into the data assets, in ways that has not been done before. In layman terms, this would include every piece of data that has ever been recorded about a medical patient, no matter how many and how widespread it is. For example, that would include x-ray files and cardiograph files. SERVER VIRTUALIZATION: Before virtualization came along, many servers were needed to provide the comput-

ing power of data centers. As is a computer. That is why I always it is now however, data centers say that an Automated Teller Maincluding those in the internet chine (ATM) is a computer, and so cloud would need lesser serv- is a Point of Sale Terminal (POST). ers. That means having more Given that definition, any digital computing power with lesser medical equipment is a computer, includexpenses. This new ing dialysis technology is also machines good for the enviand x-ray ronment, because mach i nes. with lesser servI have ers, lesser energy known this would be needed. all along, In a related debut I never velopment, data thought storage space has that all digibeen “divorced” Ike Señeres tal medical from the servers, so equ ipment much so that these could be networked. As I see it are now scalable. FROM BUYING HARD- now, the state of the present techWARE AND SOFTWARE nology has surpassed my own TO BUYING SERVICES: imagination because the equipBecause of cloud computing, ment could not only be networked companies could now buy offsite now, these could also be located in services without buying hard- the internet cloud, thus eliminatware and software. Actually, ing the need for on-site machines. clients could now buy “Software LEVELING THE HOSPITAL as a Service” (SaaS), instead of FIELD: Because of cloud comsimply buying software licenses. puting, any hospital big or small This approach is directly related could now have access to all to Business Process Outsourcing kinds of medical equipment and (BPO). More than ever, anything devices, no matter where they and everything could be out- are, for as long as they could consourced now, and even the BPO nect to the internet. Before cloud companies could outsource their computing came along, only the own computing needs to inter- big hospitals could afford to buy the big pieces of equipment, thus net cloud service providers. NETWORK-ABLE MEDI- subjecting the quality of medical CAL EQUIPMENT: Technical- services to the availability of big ly speaking, any machine that has capital. The field has now been a processor, a keypad and a display leveled for the good of all.


THE KEYPAD IS IN THE DISPLAY: Before smart alecks would argue with me about what I said, I will say it first, that the keypad in the tablets and the smart phones is in the display. Therefore, there is still a keypad (or a keyboard) in these devices, except that it is already in the display (or the screen). What is most important in these devices is now really the keypad, but the processor that makes it possible for the software and the applications to work. MOBILE APPS VERSUS WEB BROWSERS: Apps and browsers are completely different from each other, although they could work alongside each other. Apps are software applications that are “native” to the devices. Apps “talk” to the servers to fetch data when needed, but most application features are already in the devices. On the other hand, browsers are simply “readers” (or surfing tools) so to speak. Browsers actually “read” data from a website, meaning to say that the data in this case is “native to” or are “residing” in the site that is offsite. THE MOUNTAIN GOES TO MOHAMMED: Simply put, Mohammed no longer has to go to the mountain, because the mountain now goes to him, figuratively speaking. That’s a big wow! For feedback, email iseneres@ or text +639083159262


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etc. Last Note Ol’ Fred had been a faithful Christian and was in the hospital, near death. The family called their pastor to stand with them. As the pastor stood next to the bed, Ol’ Fred’s condition appeared to deteriorate and he motioned frantically for something to write on. The pastor lovingly handed him a pen and a piece of paper, and Ol’ Fred used his last bit of energy to scribble a note, then he died. The pastor thought it best not to look at the note at that time, so he placed it in his jacket pocket. At the funeral, as he was finishing the message, he realized that he was wearing the same jacket that he was wearing when Ol’ Fred died. He said, “You know, Ol’ Fred handed me a note just before he died. I haven’t looked at it, but knowing Fred, I’m sure there’s a word of inspiration there for us all.” He opened the note, and read: “Asshole, you’re standing on my oxygen tube!”


A professor at the University of Texas was giving a lecture on the supernatural. To get a feel for his audience, he asks “How many people here believe in ghosts?” About 90 students raise their hands. “Well, that’s a good start. Out of those of you who believe in ghosts, do any of you think you’ve seen a ghost?” About 40 students raise their hands. “That’s really good. I’m really glad you take this seriously. Has anyone here ever talked to a

ghost?” About 15 students raise their hands. “Has anyone here ever touched a ghost?” 3 students raise their hands. “That’s fantastic. Now let me ask you one question further. Have any of you ever made love to a ghost?” Way in the back, Bubba raises his hand. The professor takes off his glasses, and says, “Son, all the years I’ve been giving this lecture, no one has ever claimed to have made love to a ghost. You’ve got to come up here and tell us about your experience.” The big redneck student replied with a nod and a grin, and began to make his way up to the podium. When he reached the front of the room, the professor asks, “So, Bubba, tell us what it’s like to have sex with a ghost?” Bubba replied, “Heck! From way back there I thought you said ‘Goats’!”


A man and woman are at a bar having a few beers. They start talking and soon realize they’re both doctors. After an hour, the man says, “Hey, how about if we sleep together tonight? No strings attached.” The woman doctor agrees to it. They go back to her place and he goes in the bedroom. She goes into the bathroom and starts scrubbing up like she’s about to go into the operating room. She scrubs for a good 10 minutes. At last, she goes into the bedroom and they have sex. Afterward, the man says, “You’re a surgeon, aren’t you?” “Yes,” says

the woman, “how did you know?” “I could tell by the way you scrubbed up before we started,” he says. “That makes sense,” says the woman. “You’re an anaesthesiologist, aren’t you?” “Yeah, how did you know?” asks the man. The woman replies, “Because I didn’t feel a thing.”


Once upon a time in a land far away, a beautiful, independent, self-assured princess happened upon a frog as she sat contemplating ecological issues on the shores of an unpolluted pond in a verdant meadow near her castle. The frog hopped into the princess’ lap and said: “Elegant lady, I was once a handsome prince, until an evil witch cast a spell upon me. One kiss from you, however, and I will turn back into the dapper young prince that I am, and then, my sweet, we can marry and set up housekeeping in your castle with my mother, where you can prepare my meals, clean my clothes, bear my children, and feel forever grateful doing so.” That night, as the princess dined sumptuously on a meal of lightly sauteed frog legs seasoned in a wine and onion cream sauce, she chuckled to herself and thought: “I don’t f*cking think so.”


Two women had been having a friendly lunch when the subject turned to sex. “You know, John and I have been having some sexual problems”, Linda told her friend. “That’s amazing!” Mary

replied, “So have Tom and I. We’re thinking of going to a sex therapist”, said Linda. “Oh, we could never do that! We’d be too embarrassed!”, responded Mary. “But after you go, will you please tell me how it went?” Several weeks passed, and the two friends met for lunch again. “So how did the sex therapy work out, Linda?”, Mary asked. “Things couldn’t be better!”, Linda exclaimed. “We began with a physical exam, and afterward the doctor said he was certain he could help us. He told us to stop at the grocery store on the way home and buy a bunch of grapes and a dozen donuts. He told us to sit on the floor nude, and toss the grapes and donuts at each other. Every grape that went into my vagina, John had to get it out with his tongue. Every donut that I ringed his penis with, I had to eat. Our sex life is wonderful, in fact it’s better than it’s ever been!” With that endorsement Mary talked her husband into an appointment with the same sex therapist. After the physical exams were completed the doctor called Mary and Tom into his office. “I’m afraid there is nothing I can do for you,” he said. “But doctor,” Mary complained, “you did such good for Linda and John, surely

MYSTERY NEWS MAPELLI, 44, has created a lot of Internet buzz by topless dancing with 12,000 bees all at once. The Portland, Oregon-based beekeeper describes her bee dances as “a duet among many.” “These 12,000 bees push with their powerful wings from each side of my body, I resist and then I let go and flow and move with them,” she writes on her website.” It is a deep meditation and I feel the hive mind surround me, hold me, and expand my body on a cellular level.” In order to attract the bees to her topless body, Mapelli anoints her body with a special pheromone oil that is equivalent to the scent of 100 queen bees.

The bees usually stay on her body for about two hours at a time. When Mapelli is done shaking her tail feather with the bees, an assistant removes the pheromone oil around her neck and then she jumps up and down to shake off the swarm, the Daily Mail reports. She then removes any stingers sticking to her flesh with a soft brush. Mapelli believes her bee dances send a message to the bees as well.

is bloated with methane gas caused by decomposition and will soon reek, regardless of whether it explodes. Local and federal authorities disagree which are responsible for its disposal. Ms Butler said the town of 600 people did not have the resources to deal safely with the carcass, though Canadian officials say it is their re-

A recently widowed Jewish lady,was sitting on a beach towel at Cocoa Beach, Florida. She looked up and noticed that a man her age had walked up, placed his blanket on the sand nearby and began reading a book. Smiling, she attempted to strike up a conversation with him. “Hello, sir, how are you?” “Fine, thank you,” he responded, and turned back to his book. “I love the beach. Do you come here often?” she asked. “First time since my wife passed away last year,” he replied, and again turned back to his book. “Do you live around here?” she asked. “Yes, I live over in Suntree,” he answered, and then resumed reading. Trying to find a topic of common interest, Sarah persisted. “Do you like pussycats?” With that, the man threw his book down, jumped off his blanket onto hers, tore off both their swimsuits and gave her the most passionate ride of her life! As the cloud of sand began to settle, Sarah gasped and asked the man, “How did you know that was what I wanted?” The man replied, “How did you know my name was Katz?”

“I hope to help the bees of the Northwest by encouraging them to swarm and become hardy to the ever-changing environment,” she said in the description for a bee dance video posted to YouTube in 2012.

sponsibility. She told broadcaster NTV that if the town were to push the whale out to sea, it could pose a hazard to passing ships. The whale appears to have bloated beyond twice its normal size The town, a tourist destination inside Gros Morne National Park on the Canadian island’s west coast, has seen a new type of visi-

tor since the whale carcass came ashore. “It’s very difficult to keep people away, simply because it’s not too often that you see a blue whale,” Ms Butler told broadcaster CBC. Last year a sperm whale carcass that washed up on the Faroe Islands exploded as a biologist attempted to dissect it. (

To emphasize its importance, the grand mosque was built with six minarets. On to the Hagia Sophia were also added four minarets, the arrows to heaven, indicating its conversion of use. There were no blue tiles. Instead the new occupants applied thin layers of lime over most of its walls, thereby covering embellishments of colorful mosaics and gold touches that depicted Jesus Christ, Mother Mary, Saint Gabriel and other Christian stories when the church was built during the Byzantine period. The horizontal portions of the crosses that were all over the church were also removed to make the place suitable for Moslem worship. The Civilian Edict Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque are a breath away from Topkapi Palace, the official residence of the sultans, the overseer of the spirit and the corpus. “This is Istanbul’s version of Disneyland”, said a local. Today it solemnly displays evidences of opulence of that Ottoman era, like a dagger with handles encrusted with emeralds or a fist-size diamond. Appreciate their craftsmanship though I may, jewelry is not my cup of tea. I’m more interested in human conditions. There are several gates WE TAKE A STAND

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Explosive Dead Whale THE residents of a town on Canada’s Newfoundland Island fear a blue whale carcass that washed up on its boardwalk last week could explode at any time. The 25m (81ft) whale on Trout River’s rocky beach is one of several believed to have died in heav y ice weeks ago. Town Clerk Emily Butler says the body

you must have a suggestion for us! Please, please, can’t you give us some help? Any help at all?” “Well, OK,” the doctor answered. “On your way home, I want you to stop at the grocery store and buy a sack of apples and a box of cheerios.”


Topless Woman Dances with Bees

Laughs and The Extraordinary

to the palace, one of which was reserved for minor sultans. Attached across this gate were iron chains that led to the expression: “get off your high horse”. This was the way the relatively lesser ones were humbled; they had to proceed on foot. One of the rooms that the lesser ones – except for doctors, teachers, and musicians - can never get into was the Harem which, when you ponder upon it, is not just actually a room but a system of community. In it were the sultan, his mother, his wives, and children. While a sultan is allowed to have sex with four women or wives, he could have hundreds of women in this community. I wonder sultans were able to keep it up. What is more interesting is the high intrigue that occurred between the resulting scores of wives in trying to jockey their sons to inherit the throne. Eldest sons were prime candidates but since there were many panganays, the ambitious women among the partners were capable of sordid crimes. But we leave it at that. Trips like this trigger one to want to learn some more about civilizations. I have sworn to myself to return to Turkey. It injects such a tingling vibration, probably owing to the thousands of spirits sacrificed in one tiny place, in the name of God.


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