Archives for August 2011

Fascinating Buildings

photo by: Hazel

When I first saw this photo, Star Wars and Darth Vader crossed my mind. It looks like a cyborg to me…ehehe. This is the Art Gallery of Alberta, Canada located in downtown Edmonton. This $88 million 85,000-square-foot (7,900 m2) building was designed by Randall Stout architects. Indeed a great architecture.

Below are some of the most fascinating buildings in the world.

 the Crooked House in Sopot, Poland (photo not mine)

the Kansas City Library (photo not mine)

the Atlantis on Palm Beach in Dubai (photo not mine)

the Bubble House in Tourettes-sur-Loup, France (photo not mine)

the Dancing House in Czech Republic (photo not mine)

upside down housethe upside down house in Szymbark, Poland (photo not mine)

piano housethe Piano House in China (photo not mine)

These just show what a creative human mind can make. Looks like accredited online colleges have been cranking out brilliant people with online engineering degrees. Fascinating!!!

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Algae and Its Benefits

Algae on Pond

Wondering what is giving this pond that green murky look? It is the free floating algae also known as pond scum. The algae gave the pond a more refreshing and fascinating look but most people little did know that it is not what makes the algae crucial organisms to pond ecosystem or lake. The most important function of algae is it helps in maintaining the food chain to the marine life by providing food, energy and shelter.

Algae can also be a source of

• Food – source of agar and oil that used as additives in various food products.
• Biofertilizers – can maintain soil fertility and can yield crops even without the use of agrochemicals.
• Fuel – the lipids (fancy name for oil) derived from algae can be used in producing Biofuel.
• Waste water treatment – serves as biofilters by absorbing the heavy metals and other pollutants in water.

But then, anything in excess is harmful and can have negative effects. Excess algae growth is undesirable as it can have dreadful consequences to aquatic wildlife.

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Plumbing Problem Solved

We were having problem with our toilet since the other day until this morning. We only have one bathroom so it was really, really hard. My daughter flushed something down the toilet. Kids! Why do they love to play in the bathroom and sink? This has been our problem since my daughter learned to walk. When she was still a toddler squeaky toys were intentionally stuck in the toilet. Now that she is big she accidentally dropped things. The last time was the toothpaste. Good thing that she didn’t try to flush it so I just got it out using my gloved hand. This time she said she accidentally dropped a medicine bottle and flushed it hoping that the bottle will be flushed all the way through but the bottle just got in deeper then got stuck. I tried to flush it again but it just plugged up and didn’t flush anymore.

Hubby hates plumbing job that’s why he said he took up computer science. Computer is where he is good at and he doesn’t know anything about plumbing repair, but this morning he had no choice but to be a do-it-yourself person and try to pull out the medicine bottle in the toilet. First, he used his gloved hand to reach for the medicine bottle but he said he can’t feel it so he used a tong but the bottle just slipped. He tried to grab it again and again with tong until he was sweating all over but still no good. It left us no choice but to seek help from a plumbing and drain services.

Manong plumber (that’s how we call him) came after 30 minutes of waiting. He worked on the toilet immediately and got out the medicine bottle in less than 15 minutes. Hooray!!! He used this special tool consisting of a metal cable inside a tubular handle. It is sort of a hook on one end and a crank type on the other. He inserted the tool into the toilet bowl outlet and he pushed the cable down while cranking until it snagged the bottle then Manong pulled it out. When I asked what the tool is called, he said it is a “closet auger”. It is amazing how a very simple tool like that can do big wonders.

That’s the difference of the pretending do-it-yourself person and the real plumber. The latter is well equipped and knows the tricks. Kudos to you, Manong!


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The Train is Coming!

I was so overwhelmed by what my bestfriend told me yesterday. She said I can grab her photos and use them on my posts. By the way, my bestfriend’s name is Hazel who is now migrating to Canada with her family. They are now in Canada to fix some papers and at the same time to have their vacation. Certainly, vacation is not complete without sightseeing and visiting wonderful places. Hazel said that while they were strolling, she remembered me when she saw gardens and landscapes so she photographed them. Isn’t that sweet?

Below is one of the pictures that caught my attention when I browsed her album.

Photo by Hazel Kampitan

…rail track in good condition with spotless surroundings. So clean that you can’t spot any trash on the ground, not even a piece of candy wrapper. Along sides are greens that will astonish you during your train trip.

It makes me wonder why we can’t have the same clean railways here. Railways should stir up economic development but seems like what is happening here is the other way around. Railways are in poor conditions and there are areas that are fairly miserable.

Photo by GEDL Kounosu

The squatters’ shanties are along sides. Some are even occupying the railroad’s right of way; they cook, play basketball, gamble, children are playing and running across, etc. that is why accidents and deaths are just but common in areas like this. If someone shout “the train is coming”, all those on the tracks will go to the side but there were unlucky who get stuck and hit. They didn’t see that along with the train is death.


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King of the Road

Jeepney is the most popular public transportation in the Philippines thus it is hailed as the “King of the Road”. The Americans left their military jeeps to the Filipinos after World War II which the Filipinos stripped down and altered so as to accommodate more passengers hence, the jeepneys were born.

When we were still in the province, my Dad used to modify owner type jeeps and handcraft them into passenger jeepneys. The owners then accessorize them with colorful flamboyant decorations. Here in the Metro, jeepneys are not as heavily decorated as those in the province but both are overly crowded. The jeepney drivers make the 22-seater as 24, the 20-seater as 22, and so on and so forth, for them to have greater earnings at the end of the day.

king of the road

There are also nearly dilapidated jeepneys that should be in junk that are still choking the roads because for the drivers earnings are far more important than their passengers’ comfort. I can’t blame them though because it’s their means to feed their family.

What I hate are the jeepneys with loud air horns and music that gives my butt some bouncing. These are common here in our place…with route “Cubao-Montalban”. Yes, they are the King of the Roads here. Before you ride these kinds of jeepneys, also known as “patok”, you might want to insert earplugs first or else you’ll be deaf by the time you reach your destination. And if you are not lucky enough, you can ride one with daredevil driver that will get you off in the middle of the highway with a kinky hair even if you have used the best hair conditioner.

Patok Jeepney Pictures, Images and Photos

Those are the downsides. But yes, of course, riding the King of the Road also has advantages. That is why even if I can afford to ride a taxi I still prefer the jeepney because I feel safer in it with other passengers than riding a taxi alone plus, taxis are hard to get. I can also take the FX ride but most of the time they are already full before they reach our place while the jeepneys are available 24/7. Besides it is the cheapest means of transportation, with Php8 ($0.19) for the first five kilometers plus Php1 ($.02) for every succeeding kilometer. I am commuting in jeepneys since time immemorial and all I can say is it is enjoyable to ride this King of the Road despite of its downsides.

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