The Philippine Onion

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Posts Tagged ‘mad science’

Philippine ‘typhoon corridor’ bill breezes thru House on third reading

Posted by commiedyan on November 23, 2007

Manila–Fearing the consequences of typhoon Mina (international codename Mitag; click here for real-time tracking), the House approved without a vote on third reading a measure creating the Philippine ‘typhoon corridor’ at four this morning. House Bill 999.9 sponsored by Rep. Perpetuo Quixote of windswept Batanes had been certified as urgent by Malacañang, allegedly to calm the political weather.

Deliberations of the public works committee had earlier been described as stormy, and before news of Mina, discussions had just been going round and round in circles and spirals.

The measure, mandating the use of state-of-the-art weather control technology, not only eliminates all damage from tropical disturbances but also quadruples the country’s wind energy potential to 16 gigawatts, proponents said. In addition, it would also help shed the country’s image as a state of calamity.

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, alleged Philippine president, lauded the development but warned of difficult negotiations in the bicameral conference committee because of radically conflicting provisions. Hearings on the senate bill have also frequently been cancelled because of bad weather.

The corridor, to be constructed at an estimated cost of anywhere from P55 billion to P1 trillion, will be financed in the main by official development assistance from China. It will thenceforth be the sole authorized passageway for all typhoons through the country, and will be administered by the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC). The infrastructure project will be the first of its kind in the world, NDCC spokesperson Anthony Golez said.

The House version envisions the corridor to be carved across valleys and mountains 20 kilometers south of the northern tip of Luzon. The counterpart bill in the upper chamber, sponsored by senators Aquilino Pimentel and Miguel Zubiri, wants the corridor to cut the whole country longitudinally, from Davao, zigzagging through the major cities in Mindanao and on to the Visayas and Luzon. The House version provides that displaced residents would be relocated to Taiwan while that of the Senate designates Malaysia and Singapore. Both versions provide for the establishment of wind farms along the breadth of the corridor under build-operate-own (BOO) arrangements. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in analysis, congress, Nature, science | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Suplico, Tamano, Roque reported missing

Posted by commiedyan on November 11, 2007

The wives of Rolex Suplico and Harry Roque have reported their spouses missing for more than three days. The girlfriends of Adel Tamano, on the other hand, have contacted TPO to inquire about the story we published more than a week ago. TPO is cooperating with the police. From accounts, we’ve learned that the three were supposed to have met with Prof. Joey Magpantay at the McDonalds branch in Philcoa last Friday. Mrs. Magpantay said Joey came home after waiting for an hour at the appointed place.

Posted in briefly noted, police blather, science | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Crab mentality slows down Ayala biotech firm to a crawl

Posted by commiedyan on November 11, 2007

The losing faction in a long-standing rivalry has temporarily shut down the Ayala-owned and UP-based Bioengineering Applied Science and Technology (UPBeast) over the weekend.

TPO gathered from insider sources that Dr. Ally Ma. Sagun has defected to local anti-GMO activists led by Roberto Verzola, long the bane of the firm located at the Ayala science park in the Diliman campus.

Sagun’s main rival explained that her nemesis just could not accept the fact that the Ayalas had chosen to commercialize her discovery first. This involves the genetic modification of local crabs so that they would mature into crab relleno or stuffed crabs, an expensive delicacy because of the labor-intensity of preparation. Read the rest of this entry »

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UP physics prof offers Filipino time machine to Rolex in impeachment bid

Posted by commiedyan on November 6, 2007

With hardly any chance the House majority leadership would allow a fortified impeachment bid against GMA, the only ray of hope now appears to be UP professor Joey Magpantay’s prototype Filipino Time Machine (FTM), with which, he assures us, we will never be late again. If talks succeed between Rolex Suplico and Magpantay, Rolex, Adel Tamano, and Harry Roque, with impeachment documents in hand, will be transported back to the Batasan to moments just before Ruel Pulido and Rep. Edgardo San Luis filed the original complaint before the chamber’s secretary general.

But a few delicate technical and financial issues need to be addressed. The strange contraption requires 1 gigawatt of electric power, almost 8% of the total in the entire Luzon grid. There would have to be proper coordination with the Wholesale Elecricity Spot Market (WESM), the National Transmission Company (NTC), National Power Corporation (NPC) and Meralco. Otherwise, the surge in demand as Joey flicks the switch at his backyard in the UP campus would cause voltage instability and even massive brownouts throughout Luzon.

Next hurdle is, who would foot the bill? Joey says it will take about one hour for the intrepid trio be atomized, sucked into the space-time vortex, and reconstituted, amended, and verified, at the targetted place. TPO calculations suggest that with 1 gigawatt for 60 minutes, at the wholesale time of use (TOU) rates of NPC of about P5 per kilowatthour, the electricity bill would amount to at least P5 million. The Black and White movement, we were told, is now passing the hat.

The most difficult problem, however, remains. The space-time pinpoint mechanism is not precise. Any little voltage and frequency perturbations might transport Suplico, Tamano, and Roque to Iloilo, Batac, or Taipei, and if things really get fouled up, back to the time of ex-presidents Diosdado Macapagal or Ferdinand Marcos.

Magpantay waxes optimistic that in due time and with scale economies, he might be able to offer the service to anyone willing to pay P1 million to be transported to better times. “How about if all the rest of our countrymen who can no longer endure the indignities of Arroyo want to time-travel as one?” we asked. “That is possible,” Joey said, but “the copper and coal required to pull that off could trigger a world economic crisis.”

Just before deadline we interviewed Rolex:

TPO: Que hora es segun tu reloj?

Rolex: Lo siento. No tengo reloj.

Posted in congress, politics, science, special reports | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Abalos gave thumbs up to spurious contract before resigning

Posted by commiedyan on November 3, 2007

by hands up!

On the heels of the controversial appointment of Iligan judge Muselin Macarambon to a vacancy at the Commission on Elections, a new scandal is brewing over a contract resigned chair Benjamin Abalos allegedly signed with a Philippine biotechnology firm to minimize spurious voting.

Hardly had the ink on Macarambon’s appointment papers dried when whistleblowers at the Comelec started pointing fingers at Abalos and Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez over the $659M deal with Philippine Newt Technologies Inc. (PNT). I tried but failed to reach the other commissioners yesterday.

A copy of the contract was released by Jimenez after complaints of ‘flying voters’ started to pile up over the recent barangay or village elections, where voters complained that neighbors were able to vote more than once. Others complained of dead people voting. But Jimenez explained that the old technology employed, swabbing indelible ink on a voter’s nail to prevent her/him from voting more than once, just didn’t work. “The cheats always found a more potent solvent to wash the mark off,” he said. Further, law-abiding voters also complained that the method was unhygienic and more importantly, destroyed expensive manicures, he said.

The PNT system is much simpler, Jimenez said. Right after a voter slips a ballot into the box, his right forefinger is cut off with a knife and the wound cannot escape notice in another voting precinct, he said. Because of the injectible protein invented and produced by PNT, the finger would regenerate before the next election. Also, Jimenez said, the cut portions would also serve to validate results in recounts requested by losing candidates.

The bone of contention, according to one of the whistleblowers, however, was that there was no guarantee that the fingers would grow back in time. She said she was party to clinical trials which showed that about 1 in 20, as a rule of thumb, did not grow back the appendage after two weeks.

As of press time, Mr. Harry Tu Co, CEO of PNT had explained to us that election inspectors could be relied upon to distinguish a fresh wound from gangrene. He also dismissed as highly speculative fears that the wayward limbs would grow into their owners clones.

Posted in politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »