Archive for March, 2011

Anti-drunk driving bill passes final reading in Congress

Source: Yahoo! News          Link

By Marjorie Gorospe, loQal.ph

 

 

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA — A bill against drunk driving has reached third and final reading in Congress.

The Anti-Drunk Driving Bill (House Bill No. 4251) was co-authored by former President and now Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will implement the law and is currently acquiring breath analyzers and desktop drug-testing kits.

The bill states that the drivers can be charged with drunk driving when operating a motor vehicle if the driver’s mental and motor skills are impaired or when the driver’s blood alcohol concentration level measures 0.06 or higher.

A private motorist caught drunk-driving will pay sanctions of not more than P20,000 and one month suspension of his or her driver’s license.

Public utility drivers who will be caught driving under the influence of alcohol and illegal substance will be facing heavier penalties such as automatic revocation of driver’s license and imprisonment ranging from one month and a day to a year.

Party-list Representative Emmeline Aglipay who co-authored the bill said it will now be easier to identify and apprehend violators as drunk driving is defined clearly on the bill.

The Department of Health National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) revealed that there were 3,077 vehicular accident-related injuries out of the total 9,521 injury cases reported in 77 hospitals for the first quarter of 2010 alone.

The World Health Organization (WHO) showed that alcohol intake, depending on the level of intoxication, often increases the likelihood of accidents due to poor judgment and decreased reaction time, among other effects.

 

Advertisements

PHILIPPINE AIRLINES’ OLD AND NEW SAFETY VIDEO

 

2011 Video by AmbientMedia

 

Decade old video of PAL

 

Ok ok I admit it.  I am one of the very very few airplane passengers who read safety manuals and watch and eagerly listen to safety videos.  Being a constant traveler, it has always been my hope that passengers should be given actual instructional video before the airplane takes off because until now I still sometimes fumble as to the wearing of the “in the event of a water landing” vest.  Yes, that’s how corny I am.  I really wish to be able to hold that vest and try to wear it on my own.  As paranoid as I may sound.

Just over a week ago, I came across through Facebook links the new instructional safety video of Philippine Airlines.  And what can I say??  FINALLY, PAL!

Being a constant traveler myself, I have always been very annoyed if not embarrassed of the safety video of PAL.  It seems like it was created in the 1980s with old fashioned PAL uniform and that slight slant lip of the male model when he speaks lol.  I’m so rude.  Sorry, but I always notice him.  It is such a very nineteen kopong-kopong video, the quality of the filmstrip more than speaks for itself.

But now, FINALLY, PAL heard my plea and the many other pleas of their regular travelers.  Thumbs up to AmbientMedia for the new safety video of PAL.  Hip, modern, it is actually something I’m proud of.  Two thumbs up in fact!  Looking forward to my next trip all aboard Philippine Airlines.

So…

“Mabuhay!  Welcome to Philippine Airlines!,”  sans the slanted lip.

How Stress and Sleep Conspire to Make You Fat

Source: Time Healthland

Link: #comments

By: Meredith Melnick

 

 

 

The trouble with stress is that it seeps into every area of your life — affecting your sleep, mood and the size of your waistline. The interactions between these factors were the subject of a recent study in the International Journal of Obesity, which found that people with high stress and poor sleep were less likely to achieve a 10-lb. weight loss goal.

The study [PDF], led by Dr. Charles Elder of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., involved 472 obese adults (with BMIs between 30 and 50) over age 30; 83% of the participants were women and a quarter were senior citizens over 65. The volunteers were enrolled in a weight-loss program that included attending weekly group counseling sessions, keeping a food diary, exercising at moderate intensity most days of the week (for at least three hours per week), reducing daily consumption by 500 calories and sticking to a low-fat, low-salt diet high in fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins. (More on Time.com: Is Daylight Saving Time Bad for Your Health?)

At the beginning of the study and again six months later, the researchers looked at certain lifestyle measures, like the participants’ stress levels, nightly sleep quality, and depression.

Over the course of the study, 60% of participants lost at least 10 lbs. — the threshold that gained them entry into the second, weight-maintenance phase of the trial (the results of which are not yet available). As expected, researchers found that factors like exercise, keeping a food diary and attending behavioral counseling sessions were highly correlated with successful weight loss. (On average, participants lost nearly 14 lbs.)

But the researchers also found some other influential predictors of success: sleep quality and stress. Participants who reported sleeping less than 6 hours, or more than 8 hours, per night at the start of the study were less likely to meet the 10-lb. weight loss goal, compared with people who slept 6-8 hours. (More on Time.com: Lack of Sleep Linked With Depression, Weight Gain and Even Death)

Stress compounded that association: people who slept too little or too much and reported high levels of stress were only half as likely to make it to the second phase of the study as people who got 6-8 hours of sleep and had low stress. What’s more, weight loss was tied to reductions in stress and depression over time, leading the authors to suggest that for people trying to shed extra pounds, it might be worth focusing on proper sleep and stress reduction too. “[C]linicians and investigators might consider targeting sleep, depression and stress as part of a behavioral weight loss intervention,” the authors concluded.

This isn’t the first time scientists have identified sleep or stress as a culprit in weight gain. At last week’s American Heart Association meeting, researchers from Columbia University released data from a study of 26 healthy men and women, showing that when people are sleep-deprived (4 hours of sleep a night for six nights), they eat significantly more calories than when they’re well rested (9 hours of sleep a night for six nights). In the study, sleep-deprived women ate 329 more calories per day, and men ate 263 more calories — and most of those excess calories came from foods like ice cream and fast food.

It’s thought that disruptions to the sleep cycle stimulate a hormone called ghrelin, which in turn stimulates appetite.

Further, there’s increasing evidence that chronic stress can trigger overeating as a coping behavior. And studies show that high-calorie, fatty foods light up some of the same reward pathways in the brain that drugs do (at least in mice) — in other words, fatty, sugary snacks can become “addictive.”

For dieters, the combination of poor sleep and lots of stress can be a serious gut-buster.

So Who Gets the Armrest?

Source: Yahoo! Finance

Link: who-gets-the-armrest?mod=family-travel

By: Scott McCartney

 

 

Ethics and etiquette for bad behavior, boors and stinky food in coach at 30,000 feet.

Where else but on an airplane are people jammed into limited space and forced to share re-circulated air, not to mention bad behavior? One person leans back and encroaches on another. A neighbor’s large belly or long legs extend into the space you paid for. One passenger’s onion rings are polluting an entire row.

Travel in coach these days and expect to be infringed upon somehow. Stress, fatigue, thin air and the yearning to stretch out bring out the worst manners in many. Travelers do things they’d never do at home or in the office. Among strangers, they elbow each other over arm rests or splay legs to grab as much real estate as possible.

Frustrated and fatigued parents watch with resignation as their children kick seats or pound tray tables. Game-players and music listeners leave the volume up, never thinking that those around them must listen to their beat as well.

To some, the decline in civility aboard passenger jets coincides with a decline in airline service and comfort and an increase in airline rules and fees. By pushing seats closer together, filling middle seats far more frequently and replacing amenities with fees, airlines have helped bring out the worst in their customers.

“You’re being put-upon in a way you shouldn’t be in the first place,” says Anna Post, etiquette expert at the Emily Post Institute and a frequent traveler herself. “Stressed, often rushed, you’re cramped, in many cases tired and hungry, thirsty and bored. None of these are conducive to getting along with strangers in a tight environment.”

Travel authorities — frequent travelers, long-time aviation industry leaders, flight attendants and ethics and etiquette experts — don’t agree on the best way to cope with on-board aggravations.

[More from WSJ.com: Grin-and-Bear-It May Be the Best Course for Bad Manners on Flight]

Tolerance for intrusions varies. Some long-time travelers have adopted the attitude that if someone’s legs stray into your legroom, kick back. Others say travelers have to have more tolerance for people with long legs that don’t fit into tight airline seat pitch or large girth that won’t squeeze into a 17.2-inch-wide seat.

“I think many frequent fliers try to take the approach that, ‘We’re all in this together for the next X hours’ and try to make it work,” says James Vesper, a platinum-level flyer on both Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL – News) and US Airways (NYSE: LCC – News).

And since airlines are filling their planes fuller than ever with passengers, frequent traveler Ron Goodenow has one suggestion: “I think it would be great if an airline, as part of its pre-flight announcement, said something like, ‘We have a very crowded flight today folks. Please be kind to your neighbor.’ ”

Case Studies

1. You’re in the middle seat, between two strangers. Who gets the armrests?

Anne Loew, veteran flight attendant: The folks in the aisle seat can lean toward the aisle, and the window-seat passenger has the window to lean on. The poor middle-seat passengers are suffering enough — they get both armrests.

Gordon Bethune, former Continental Airlines chief executive: They do.

James Vesper, frequent traveler: The middle seat gets both arm rests.

Richard Wishner, frequent traveler: You share. The bigger guy gets the forward part of the armrest.

Anna Post, etiquette expert: There is no innate winner of the arm-rest battle. If I’m in the middle seat, I try to claim one. They are not both yours for the duration.

Kirk Hanson, Santa Clara University ethics professor: Fairness requires the allocation of at least one arm rest to each traveler. Therefore, the side seats get the “outbound” armrests away from the middle seat. The middle passenger gets both armrests, in part as compensation for the dreaded middle seat.

[More from WSJ.com: Delta Sends Its 11,000 Agents to Charm School]

2. A tall man sits down and his knees jut out wide, encroaching on your space.

Thom McDaniel, veteran flight attendant and union president: You are entitled to your space from armrest to armrest in the seat you purchased, so you should say something if anyone encroaches.

Marion Blakey, former head of the FAA and the NTSB: Nothing — he can’t help it. When the doors close look quickly for another seat.

Mr. Bethune: Gently push back.

Mr. Wishner: Drop something on the floor. When he hopefully picks it up, reclaim your legroom space.

Ms. Post: Body language can say a lot here. He bumps me I look down towards him — not look at him. I’ll adjust myself in a way that makes him realize he made me adjust. You can always say something, but tone is going to carry the day. Snarky is not OK.

Mr. Hanson: The tall man is not at fault for being tall. Candid discussion when you all sit down goes a long way toward everyone making accommodations for this situation.

[More from WSJ.com: Pregnant Commuter Tracks Subway Chivalry]

3. You’re in the window seat and two strangers in the middle and aisle seats are asleep. You have to go to the bathroom.

Mr. McDaniel: No good options here. You have to wake them up politely. If you try crawling over them, not only is it really awkward looking, but if they wake up, you will startle them, and that’s worse.

Mr. Bethune: Go to the restroom. Sorry.

Mr. Wishner: Climb over them.

Ron Goodenow, frequent traveler: I wait as long as possible and politely tap a shoulder and say something like “its that time.” Never had a problem or nasty look.

Ms. Post: Tap them on the shoulder, the shoulder is a safe place, rather than the leg or a hand. Sometimes the act of unbuckling your seat belt will wake them up. If you’re hopping up every 20 minutes, that is not acceptable.

Mr. Hanson: It is the responsibility of the person in the aisle seat to initiate a group bathroom break every 90 minutes or so. On long flights when people sleep, the aisle person should announce to the others that he or she is going to sleep and ask if anyone wants to get out before he does.

4. On a long flight on a full plane, some kids are getting restless, speaking loudly, and kicking seatbacks.

Ms. Loew: Say something to mommy and daddy.If it doesn’t stop tell the flight attendant.

Ms. Blakey: I watched one flight attendant handle this adroitly by saying she “would hate to have to put him off the plane.” Not another kick.

Mr. Wishner: Turn up the volume on your headset.

Mr. Goodenow: Look back and leave a perplexed look and say something like “been there, done that” to the weary parent.

Ms. Post: It’s not good to try to discipline someone else’s child. Ask for what you want, but don’t try to justify it. Tone carries a lot. You don’t want to get into an argument with parents.

Mr. Hanson: Travelers who are particularly sensitive to noise should carry earphones or earplugs. My first tactic is always to look between the seats and get the eye of both child and parent. If the kicking continues, then I get up and look over the seat top and ask politely for the parent to control the kicking. The third step is to ask the flight attendant to intervene.

5. Your seatmate brings a smelly meal on board and loudly starts munching.

Ms. Loew: Food that looks and smells as if it came from an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “Nasty Bits” could be, for some, one step too far. But not much can be done once the person is slopping and munching away.

Mr. Goodenow: My normal solution is to crank up my MP3 player and curl up in the direction of the window until it is over, praying my clothes will escape.

Ms. Blakey: Basically [you have to endure it] unless he spills on you.

Mr. Vesper: If my clothing is endangered, I’d ask him/her if they have an extra napkin. Otherwise I breathe through my mouth.

Ms. Post: May be totally gross, but the damage is done. You can’t tell someone they can’t eat that. If they are spilling, yes, say something. You can’t be food police on the plane.

Mr. Hanson: Airlines have brought this on themselves by eliminating food service. Not only did I have a middle seat [recently], I was in the back and all the food-for-sale was gone by the time they reached me. I got out my smelly cheese and ate it in front of my seatmates.

6. Do you recline your seat?

Ms. Loew: More people are choosing not to recline in deference to their fellow passenger. If someone reclines and you can’t do your work, then you are permitted to ask them to please adjust their seat. Expect a dirty look and a 50/50 chance of achieving your goal.

Mr. McDaniel: You have the right to recline, however it is nice if you check to see if anyone has their computer open or has something that can spill on their tray before reclining. If you choose to recline, do it slowly or just halfway.

Mr. Bethune: Live with it. The recline is your space.

Mr. Wishner: Put your knee in the back of his seat.

Ms. Post: It’s OK to recline, just don’t do it fast. If the airline gives you the option to recline, that is yours. You don’t need to ask permission.

Mr. Hanson: Some seats are so close together, and some seatbacks recline so much, that ethics and courtesy demand not asserting your “right” to recline all the way. One should always assess the impact your reclining has on the person behind.

Anti-spanking bill passes first reading

Source: Yahoo! News

Link: anti-spanking-bill-passes-first-congress-hearing-20110329-004534-088.html

By Anna Valmero, loQal.ph

 

 

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA — The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) lauded the passing of a bill that penalizes spanking or hitting children as a form of discipline.

The Positive Discipline Act of 2011 passed the first reading at the House committee on the welfare of children. The bill is co-authored by Tarlac Representative Susan Yap and  Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy.

The said bill promotes positive and non-violent forms of disciplining children.

High profile cases of child violence and beatings prompted Congress to act with a proposed legislation to assist parents in fulfilling their parental authority while upholding children’s rights.

Once approved into law, the bill mandates a comprehensive program to protect children from all forms of physical or mental (psychological) violence, injury and neglect.

“At most the punishment would be an aresto major, which includes one to 60 days of imprisonment but for cases like this, usually the DSWD (Department of Social Work and Welfare)  intervenes to reorient the parents on how to handle their children,” said Herrera-Dy.

A study by Plan International, the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) and Australian Aid (Ausaid) showed high incidence of school children being subjected to physical punishment to discourage misbehavior.

As defined under the bill, positive and non-violent discipline refers to “an approach to correct the behavior of a child and to teach a lesson that would build self-discipline and emotional control while nurturing a good relationship with the child by understanding his or her needs and capabilities at various ages”.

The Department of Education has affirmed its support to the bill and has likewise initiated some actions together with UNICEF that would address violence against children not just in school but at home.

“Evidence stress that violence against children is harmful as it impedes their development and has negative impact on their childhood,” noted Child Rights Network (CRN) co-convenor Selena Fortich. “This is an opportunity for the Philippines to be in the forefront of the advocacy to institutionalize and promote positive and non-violent ways of discipline for children.”

 

Gadgets You Should Get Rid Of (or Not)

Source: Yahoo! Finance

Link: Gadgets-You-Should-Get-Rid-Of-nytimes-1557697455.html?x=0

 

SAM GROBART, On Thursday March 24, 2011, 10:00 am EDT

 

The common rap against technology is that it leads to an accumulation of devices. But the nature of technology is changing. Fewer products are doing more tasks — all accomplished by countless lines of massless software code.

And so we no longer need to accumulate products. If anything, we can cut down. The question is, Which can be replaced and which are fine, or even preferable, to keep? It is plain as day that paper maps and Rolodexes have given way to their digital counterparts. But what else can you get rid of? Here is a list of common consumer technologies and products and a somewhat opinionated judgment on whether to keep or pitch it.

DESKTOP COMPUTER Lose it. You may have one now, but are you really going to replace that deskbound PC when it becomes out of date? Assuming you are not a hardcore gamer or a video editor, laptops have all the necessary computing power the average user needs. If you want to replicate that desktop experience, you can always connect your laptop to a larger display and keyboard.

HIGH-SPEED INTERNET AT HOME Keep it. With the advent of devices like the MiFi, which converts a 3G mobile signal into a Wi-Fi cloud for multiple devices to share, you might be thinking about giving your Internet service provider the boot and using your cellphone as your Internet connection, even when at home. That would work — provided that you get a strong data signal where you live; that you never intend to stream video from Netflix, YouTube or Hulu; and that you have an unlimited data plan from your wireless provider. Given all these caveats, it probably makes more sense to stick with your I.S.P.

CABLE TV Depends. While you may and should hold on to a good broadband connection at home, it is debatable whether you need to pay for cable TV. Sports fans probably will want to keep it, as many leagues restrict online content, but casual viewers who mainly want some shows and movies to watch could get by with a good Internet connection and some low-cost subscriptions to services like NetflixHulu Plus andAmazon Instant Video.

POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERA Lose it. Yes, a dedicated camera will probably take a better picture than the small lens and image sensor of a smartphone, but it will not be that much better. And a point-and-shoot has limitations of its own. It is hard to share photos until you have transferred them to your computer, and there are no apps for cameras, as there are for smartphones, that allow you to quickly apply cool filters and treatments to the shots you took. Perhaps most important, a camera may or may not be close by when a photo-worthy moment arises, but it’s very likely that your phone will.

CAMCORDER Lose it. Camcorders get squeezed at both ends of the video spectrum. On the low end, smartphones can capture video, and while it may not be Imax quality, many people do not care. At the high end, new digital S.L.R. cameras (like Canon’s EOS Rebel T1i, which costs around $750 with a lens) can shoot full-HD video while taking advantage of all the interchangeable lenses that were created for still photography. That camcorder you have now is probably the last one you will own.

USB THUMB DRIVE Lose it. File sharing does not require hardware anymore. In almost any case you can think of, you can move files around digitally via the Internet. That could mean signing up for a service likeDropbox, which creates a private, shareable hard drive in the cloud, or by simply e-mailing yourself attachments and storing them in the drafts folder of Gmail, Yahoo Mail, etc. A USB drive is just something to misplace or break.

DIGITAL MUSIC PLAYER Lose it (probably). Do you have a smartphone? Then you have a music player. Why load yourself down with an extra gadget? Apple popularized the music player with its iPod, but when was the last time you saw that iconic white box with the dial on the front? Music is data, and many multifunction devices can handle it along with many other kinds of data (like video, e-mail and apps). The one exception may be if you enjoy music while exercising. In that case, a tiny player like the $49 iPod Shuffle might be a better accessory than a larger, heavier smartphone.

ALARM CLOCK Keep it. Smartphones can be terrific alarm clocks. They can ramp up the volume gradually, display weather information and awaken you to your favorite song. And when on the road, they are still light-years ahead of the incomprehensible alarm clocks in hotel rooms. But a recent daylight time glitch in iPhones that fouled up the clock could give some early risers pause. Furthermore, setting and resetting smartphone alarms may require a dive into one submenu too many; turning a little knob on the back of a clock and flipping a switch is still simplicity itself.

GPS UNIT Lose it. The least expensive GPS units cost around $80. But your smartphone can do the same thing, if not more, for half that price, or even free. Android smartphones already have Google’s turn-by-turn navigation app built in. And earlier this month, Google announced that the company would be including live and historical traffic data in route planning, so you hopefully get to where you are going faster.

If you have an iPhone, you have several options for GPS apps, including Navigon’s MobileNavigator (which starts at $30) and ALK’s CoPilot Live ($20). Renting a car? Decline the optional GPS; if you have a smartphone, you already have one with you.

BOOKS Keep them (with one exception). Yes, e-readers are amazing, and yes, they will probably become a more dominant reading platform over time, but consider this about a book: It has a terrific, high-resolution display. It is pretty durable; you could get it a little wet and all would not be lost. It has tremendous battery life. It is often inexpensive enough that, if you misplaced it, you would not be too upset. You can even borrow them free at sites called libraries.

But there is one area where printed matter is going to give way to digital content: cookbooks. Martha Stewart Makes Cookies a $5 app for the iPad, is the wave of the future. Every recipe has a photo of the dish (something far too expensive for many printed cookbooks).

Complicated procedures can be explained by an embedded video. When something needs to be timed, there’s a digital timer built right into the recipe. You can e-mail yourself the ingredients list to take to the grocery store. The app does what cookbooks cannot, providing a better version of everything that came before it.

Now all Martha has to do is make a decorative splashguard for a tablet and you will be all set.

 

Guatemala’s first lady divorces “for her country”

Source: Yahoo! News

Link: guatemalas-first-lady-divorces-her-country-20110324-174302-620.html

 

 

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – Most loving couples hope their marriage will last “until death us do part”. But for Guatemala’s first lady, politics got there first.

Sandra Torres tearily announced on Thursday she had divorced her husband President Alvaro Colom for the sake of the nation, thereby hoping to skirt a law in Guatemala that blocks the president’s relatives from running for office.

A constitutional clause dating from Guatemala’s transition to democracy in the mid-1980s after decades of autocratic rule prevents family members of the president from taking power.

But Torres, who was already a divorcee, hopes to step into Colom’s shoes after an election later this year.

An ambitious politician who many analysts say wields significant power behind the scenes in Colom’s center-left National Union of Hope (UNE) party, Torres said she was putting the Guatemalan people before her own personal happiness.

“I am getting a divorce from my husband, but I am getting married to the people,” the 51-year-old Torres said at a news conference, fighting back tears. She called the decision, which will force the first couple to live apart, “very difficult.”

“I am not going to be the first or the last woman who decides to get a divorce, but I am the only woman to get a divorce for her country,” added Torres, Colom’s third wife.

The couple quietly filed for divorce by mutual consent in a family court on March 11 but the news was not made public until this week. The couple refused to say whether they would remarry later and declined to talk about their living arrangements.

While the constitution explicitly bans blood relatives of the president and vice president from running for office, it is unclear what the rule is on ex-spouses and the electoral court will have to decide if Torres will be allowed to run.

Opposition politicians blasted the move, with the leading right-wing Patriot Party (PP) calling it “electoral fraud.”

PP candidate Otto Perez Molina, an ex-general who commanded troops at the height of Guatemala’s 36-year civil war, is leading polls ahead of the first round of voting in September.

Perez Molina lost to Colom in 2007 and is running again on a platform of fighting crime in the small Central American nation which is renowned for its ecological diversity but also has one of the highest murder rates in the western hemisphere.

The constitution bans former dictators and religious figures from running for president and does not allow re-election, possibly raising questions about the candidacies of other figures in the wide cast of presidential hopefuls.

Zury Rios, the daughter of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt, is eyeing a bid, as are evangelical preacher Harold Caballeros and former President Alvaro Arzu.

Rights activists accuse Zury’s father of masterminding some of the most brutal government-backed massacres in the 1960-1996 conflict between security forces and leftist guerrillas.

(Writing by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Kieran Murray)

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: