Archive for June, 2012

Draw ATM Cash Using Your Phone – Goodbye Credit Cards

Automated machines are amazing. From 

Automated machines are amazing. From vending cupcakes to money, they make our lives easier. Now a new technology is set to change the way we use ATM machines. Using this technology, you can withdraw cash from ATM with your phone, instead of using credit/ ATM card. The system is known as NCR Mobile Cash Withdrawal system, where the ATM machines are used to withdraw cash without using any card.

An app on your phone (iOS or Android) allows you to access the ATM. Your PIN and account details are saved on your phone and you simply transact amounts via your phone. It requires a 2D bar code to be scanned before the whole procedure starts.

This technology is brilliant since you become safe from fake ATM machines, skimming frauds and all such kind of troubles. The existing ATM machines require no additional hardware upgrade, only a small software update does the job. The company is hoping to select partners before rolling out the system for public access. Watch the video below to see how it works.

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Pinoy Pulitzer winner Jose Antonio Vargas, other US illegals, on Time’s June 25 cover

Filipino Pulitzer prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas, who publicly declared last year that he was an illegal immigrant in the United States, graces the June 25 cover of Time Magazine, along with 35 other undocumented immigrants in the US.

Vargas also wrote the cover story, describing how he has seen “little progress” in US’ immigration policy since 2010 when four undocumented students trekked 1,500 miles from Miami to Washington to press passage of the “DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act.”

The bill proposes permanent residency for immigrants who came to the US as minors and achieved certain educational accomplishments.

Moved by what the four students did, Vargas revealed in an essay published in the New York Times in June last year that he too was an illegal immigrant.

Vargas is a journalist who was part of the Washington Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007.

In his essay in the New York Times, Vargas revealed that as a 12-year-old boy in 1993, he was handed a jacket and told he was going somewhere cold.

He did not know that he was being escorted to the United States without the proper documents by a “coyote” posing as his uncle.

He only discovered four years later that he was an illegal alien when his application for a driver’s license was turned down because of his fake green card.

Vargas is just one of more than 10 million illegal immigrants in the US, with many studying in public institutions or performing vital services.

Of that number, some 280,000 are Filipinos, according to recent data from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics.


Under the proposed law, the immigrants who are eligible for US citizenship are those who: have entered the US before the age of 16;
have been in the US for at least five consecutive years;
have graduated from a US high school, or have obtained a GED, or have been accepted into college; are between the age of 12 and 35 at the time of application; and have good moral character.

In 2010, the DREAM Act was passed by the US House of Representatives, but was thumbed down by the Senate.

According to a December 2010 report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the passage of the bill “would affect federal revenues in a number of ways.

While the new measure could increase US revenues by as much as $2.3 billion over 10 years, the CBO report said it could also increase net direct spending by $912 million over the same period.

It further noted that while the legislation could reduce deficits by about $1.4 billion over the 2011-2020 period, ” eventual conversion of some of the conditional nonimmigrants to legal permanent resident (LPR) status after 2020 would lead to significant increases in spending for the federal health insurance exchanges, Medicaid, and the Supplemental Nutrition.

Support land restoration now!

Support the largest land restoration initiative in history at PlanetaPledge. We’re giving it our full backing. It’s important to give your support now ahead of the Rio+20 United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development, scheduled for 20-22 June in Brazil.

World’s oldest movies discovered in prehistoric caves

Marc Azéma of the University of Toulouse—Le Mirail and independent French artist Florent Rivère published their discovery in the June issue of Antiquity. They report that Stone Age artists used torches to create an animation effect on cartoon-like drawings inside caves.

“Stone Age artists intended to give life to their images,” Azéma wrote. “The majority of cave drawings show animals in action.”

The paintings show various animals in states of motion. Without the torch effect, the images appear to simply be of superimposed animals with multiple heads and appendages. But when the lighting effect is administered, the paintings appear to move in sequence.

Azéma has spent 20 years studying Stone Age animation techniques, citing 53 figures in 12 French caves.

“That such animation was intentional is endorsed by the likely use of incised disks as thaumatropes,” Azéma wrote.

Astronomer John Hershel first developed thaumatropes in 1825. The “miracle wheel,” works by spinning several images on a disk to create the illusion of movement. The world’s oldest known film is the Roundhay Garden Scene, created in 1888.

“Paleolithic thaumatropes can be claimed as the earliest of the attempts to represent movement that culminated in the invention of the cinematic camera,” Azéma and Rivère wrote.

Cave paintings have been thrust back into the public consciousness recently with the new film “Prometheus,” which speculates that the ancient artworks provide a map to finding extraterrestrial life. And while these movies are certainly of a more primitive nature, they do contain far fewer plot holes.

Animated video of ‘Lupang Hinirang’ released

MANILA, Philippines – Here’s a breath of fresh air from the usual “Lupang Hinirang” videos seen on televisions, which usually feature actors or politicians.

Animated characters make up the new music video of the country’s national anthem presented by Rock Ed Radio and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

The 1-minute-38-second clip, which uses the Radioactive Sago’s performance of “Lupang Hinirang,” is directed and animated by Arnold Arre.

Gang Badoy-Capati, founder and executive director of Rock Ed Philippines, said the animated video aims to pay tribute to all Filipinos who worked hard to make the Philippines “as free as it is today.”

The country celebrates its 114th day of independence today, June 12.

“I think it’s about time that we have new visuals about the Philippines,” Badoy-Capati told ANC. “Animation can make it as adventurous as it can be.”

She also shared one of the many lessons that both children and adults can learn from the video.

“We wanted to emphasize that something can grow from someone’s sacrifice,” she said. “I think Araw ng Kalayaan is really about that.”

Here’s a look at the new animated video of “Lupang Hinirang.

Turning ‘Banig’ Into Symbol Of Patriotism

Whenever Filipinos see a banig (native hand-woven mat), chances are, they would instantly conjure up images of themselves having a relaxing sleep.

With the country’s 114th Independence Day celebration fast approaching, leading real estate developer Ayala Land, Inc. sought to associate banig with something other than nap time – transforming the hand-woven wonders into the ultimate symbol of Philippine patriotism.

What symbol? The Philippine flag, of course. After all, somebody would’ve gotten killed waving such flag over a century ago.

Friday night, Ayala Land, in partnership with the Makati City government and the Makati Commercial Estate Association, Inc. (MACEA) unveiled the largest hand-woven Philippine flag at the Ayala Triangle Garden. It is the first and only Philippine flag made out of banig.

Mounted horizontally at the heart of the Ayala Triangle Garden, the imposing masterpiece was crafted by artisans in Basey, Samar, said Ayala Land Assistant Vice President Mel Ignacio.

“It is 50 square meters and is made of tikog grass, which is the material used to make banig. The weaving was done by 25 people and they worked on it in a little over a month,” Ignacio said.

Incidentally, the old practice of tikog-weaving still flourishes in the old town of Basey even as banig took on other forms and uses such as bags, throw pillows, framed decors, and furniture matting. Souvenir-hunters and tourists eat it up, too.

“The flag symbolizes our independence. We wanted to do something to symbolize our ingenuity and culture. Our ancestors have been using it for a long time. The banig has also proven to be important in the lives of many people,” cited Ignacio.

Indeed, banig is symbolic of Filipino culture and identity.

The beautiful stories behind these hand-woven mats are further showcased in a Banig Exhibit, which complements the huge flag display and was put up in with the help of the Filipino Heritage Festival.

The banig flag may be the most meaningful Philippine flag-inspired, large-scale installation yet at the Ayala Triangle Garden.

Ignacio said that last year’s display, which was also unveiled during Independence Day celebration, featured a “3-D flag” while the previous year saw a Philippine flag image formed from plants.

“Maybe the school children can come here. We want them to be proud about their heritage and see the flag,” Ignacio said.

For his part, Ayala Land, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Tony Aquino, said: “Ayala Land is committed to continue working with key stakeholders, led by the local government of Makati City, to ensure the growth and development of Makati as it evolves beyond its borders into the country’s leading city for business, lifestyle, entertainment and culture.”

The banig flag, Ignacio said, would be on display for up to a month. Hopefully, the message of this powerful symbolism would linger. 🙄

The Gift of Stories – The Caliph of Bagdad

Many Centuries ago, a banquet was held in the palace of the Caliph of Bagdad to celebrate the birth of a new son. As was the custom, leaders and men of high station came from all across the land to present gifts and enjoy the feast provided by the Caliph. Each brought a costly gift, except for one very wise sage named Mehelled Abi. Abi came to the feast empty-handed.

Each guest paraded in elegance before the Caliph to present his gift. Fine cloths, jewels and gold were given in abundance. As each gift was received with a smile from the Caliph, the givers turned and gave a frown as they watched the sage standing at the end of the line with no gift to give.

At last the sage came before the Caliph, and the room grew silent as all wished to hear what words he shared with their ruler. “Fine rainments, jewels and gold the prince has received, and may he be blessed by many more gifts as he grows to manhood. But, I bring the most precious gift of all. I bring the gift of “Stories.” Laughter broke out in the room until the Caliph held up his hand to silence everyone and let the sage continue.

“From the time that your son is able to understand my words,” said the sage, “I will come to the palace every day and tell him stories. The tales I tell him, both true and fanciful, will make him wise and righteous as he grows in wisdom through my words. When the day comes, my Caliph that you can rule no longer, your son will sit above your people as their chief. He will be just and merciful, and all of Arabia will rejoice in his leadership.”

Mehelled Abi kept his word. The child, who was named Haroun-al-Rashid, was tutored daily by the wise old man and told stories from all around the world – tales both true and fanciful. When the time came for him to rule as Caliph, he extended the borders of his empire from the Byzantine Empire in the West to China in the East. He ruled with wisdom like few other men possessed.

Harun (called Aaron by westerners) is still know as Aaron the Upright, Aaron the Just and Aaron the Rightly Guided. Bagdad grew in power. Art and music flourished as did the art of storytelling. Some say that the Book 1001 Arabian Nights was stimulated by the rule of this Caliph – all because of the gift of stories.

May your children be blessed by the gift of your stories.