I've been a bit busy this weekend (see below), so this post is running a bit late.
- An ongoing saga right here in the Philippines:
- Last weekend, community pantries for the needy started sprouting up in Metro Manila and all over the country, largely inspired by one started in Maginhawa here in Quezon City. The central idea was "give what you can, take what you need." Stories spread of heartwarming stories like a poor old man donating some food even though he had very little and an ice cream vendor giving away the remnants of his cart for the day to those in the queue.
- Government critics pointed out the need for these pantries was largely a result of the lack of support from the government. (They're not wrong.)
- Predictably, it didn't take long for the government to butt in, with the police reportedly investigating the people behind the pantries for communist links. Some other national government people even said they might require permits. For what, giving food away?
- The backlash was predictably quick, with netizens and even local government offcials and senators castigating the critics. Mayors started chiming in that the community pantries were welcome in their cities and that there was no permit required to help each other.
- However, notable spokespersons of the NTF-ELCAC still insisted on insinuating communist links to the pantries. There were also the usual critics who decried people getting stuff for free, speaking from the privilege of their safe houses and expensive cars. Critics also raised whether these pantries were spreading covid because of how people spend a lot of time queued up.
- Some women in Pasig went viral for a bit after they were caught on video raiding a community pantry and getting much more than could be reasonably expected, one of them even carting off a trayful of eggs. They supposedly claimed they were going to give away to their neighbors. They later apologized, but supposedly they were planning to file charges against the person who took a video of them. My take: the thing about decentralized movements like this is that they tend to easily self-correct through the vigilance of the participants as seen here. There have been no other reports of similar incidents after this one went viral, so at the very least they served as an example of what not to do.
- Last Friday, a community pantry started by actress Angel Locsin ended in disaster when an old man died while in the queue. Blowback from the pantry critics and the DDS was fierce. Locsin quickly issued an apology and accepted the blame, drawing contrasts with how the national government never apologizes or admits to mistakes.
- Recently, news broke that the National Security Adviser had imposed a gag order on the notorious NTF-ELCAC spokespersons re: community pantries.
- Probably one of the reasons we can't have nice things: people can't be generous without some other people becoming suspicious and assigning nefarious motives. We'll see what happens with these pantries moving forward.
- Speaking of covid, India's experiencing the worst surge of the pandemic so far. Twitter has been accused of censoring tweets critical of the Indian government's covid response. The US is facing calls to loosen export bans and lighten up on vaccine patents to help out India (and the rest of us in the global south, really).
- Some lighter news: One year ago in Apr 24 2020, an epic battle among a ton of people named Josh was scheduled a year in advance, to fight for the name. It happened yesterday! They had a pool noodle battle and named a 5 year old "King Josh" or some such. Lots of fun!
Links of interest:
- Messaging app Signal, famous for its encryption protections, raised concerns about vulnerabilities in software often used by authoritarian regimes to bypass the security of such apps: Exploiting vulnerabilities in Cellebrite UFED and Physical Analyzer from an app's perspective. The great thing is how the report does a hilarious "wink wink nudge nudge" implying the users of such apps might not want to target Signal in the future.
- Some stuff about blogging and personal websites:
- How fit can you get from just walking? One of the tragedies of the pandemic is that I've had to reduce my general walking output, since I can't just wander around as far as I want anymore.
- Mads Mikkelsen: "Make everything important."
- There's a page / app you can check to see how many people have blocked you on Twitter.
Did you know:
- In the Spanish dub of Terminator 2, instead of "Hasta la vista, baby", the Terminator says "Sayonara, baby!" via reddit.
- Jack Black's parents were satellite engineers. (This entry spoils the ending of that entry, sorry!)
- Local liturgical song Tanging Yaman, often attributed to Carol Banawa, was actually first recorded by now-Senator Risa Hontiveros
- The big thing for me this week (that I hinted at in the previous weeknotes) is that I decided to give LUDUM DARE 48 a shot! It's a game jam, where you make a game in 48 hours (well, that's the mode I'm participating in). Tt's the first time I'm doing one, despite a lifetime of flirting with the idea of gamedev. Initial build is already available, even though there's still 9ish hours to go. (I need to sleep!) I'll probably (should) write more about this experience in a future post.
- Around the middle of this week, I got the first ever email that actually complied with the contact protocol I had specified here in the site and on LinkedIn, namely putting a certain keyword in the subject line. I've had that condition for years, so I was really amazed someone actually read it!
- I'm still sketching, though I've fallen a couple of days behind due to the game jam. I tried to do one on paper like a comic but my handwriting was so terrible I had to edit it digitally!
- Movies: Watched Rocky (1976), and I meant to watch the next Bond flick too, but ran out of time. New Mortal Kombat movie also came out this past week, I might watch that.
- Falcon and Winter Soldier season finale ran last Friday. A lot of people are happy with it (and the season overall), but I felt like some parts were too rushed and the finale suffered as a result. Will probably post more thoughts on it this week. After this, we won't have MCU content until Loki kicks off next month I think.
- This week's Invincible is getting to the good part!
- Still drafting a bunch of Strixhaven on Arena (though I had to stop for the weekend due to the game jam). Most of my drafts went well, though the last 2 I did this week were terrible. I ended up listening to the Limited Resources podcast for the first time and got some good tips, hopefully that improves my drafts moving forward. I'll probably play in the Sealed Open next weekend! Follow along via the MTGStrixhaven tag!
- Fire Emblem: Three Houses actually had some progress this week. I really should finish this run soon.
- Downloaded Horizon Zero Dawn on PS4 because it's temporarily free! I've been wanting to play this for a while, hopefully I have time for it this coming week.
- Played some Street Fighter V again this week; I figured since a new character dropped, it might be easy to find matches again. I did manage to fight quite a few, but I also did quite poorly, dropping back to Ultra Bronze. Thinking about switching to a different character since everyone seems to know how to fight Ryu, so I unlocked Honda! We'll see who I actually end up using.
- Books: Currently about halfway through Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.
- Trivia: Pop Quiz is back (albeit monthly now, not weekly), so the trivia team was able to join two quizzes this past week. We didn't win either though.
- Had a couple of birthdays in the family this weekend, so my game jamming was interspersed with zoom / messenger calls and food deliveries and such.
This coming week:
- new Invincible, One Piece, BNHA, etc
- new expansion dropping for Root, one of the digital boardgames we've been playing (and the one I have yet to write a review for... sounds like a perfect opportunity!)
- Strixhaven Sealed Open on Arena next week!
This post was a bit rushed, so typos etc are a feature, not a bug.