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2021 April

  • Weeknotes 2021-04-11

    The world: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth's husband, has passed away. So has DMX, American rapper. Big facebook breach reported, etc. Doesn't seem like news, really. My phone number was among the data leaked. The country is still experiencing a surge in cases, hospitals and ICUs still bursting to capacity. Yet in spite of the crisis, the president has not been around. This has prompted questions of whether he's still alive. This in turn prompted multiple proof-of-life photos and videos from the senator-who-is-also-presidential-assistant, some of which may or may have been photoshopped. We are told he will

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  • Weeknotes 2021-04-04

    It's April! Or as it's otherwise known, March 2020 month 13. As is usual, we are suffering the sweltering summer heat. Also, it's Easter Sunday, if that means anything to you. The world: Surprising almost no one, the PH government extended the ECQ lockdown in the NCR+ bubble. Anyone with half a brain could have told you that the one week ECQ was no way going to be enough, given what we know about the virus' life cycle. Meanwhile, we continued to hit record numbers of new cases, our 7-day rolling average now the highest in SEA since the pandemic

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2021 March

  • Weeknotes 2021-03-28

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  • Weeknotes 2021-03-21

    The world: Over the past couple of days, our nationwide daily covid cases broke 7000+, the highest recorded so far. Have to be super careful when going out for errands. Not that I wasn't being careful even before, mind you. Just now, government has announced we are still under GCQ (see my post about the PH quarantine levels), but with more restrictions, etc. Looks like they are still hesitant to provide a stronger lockdown which would require paying people to stay home so they don't starve to death. Links of interest: The internet is splitting apart. The Internet Archive wants

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  • Weeknotes 2021-03-14

    Happy Pi Day! The world: It's the one year anniversary of the world's longest lockdown. In some kind of sick anniversary celebration, local covid cases are on the rise. Yesterday, 5000 new cases were reported, the highest daily rate in 6 months or so. And now a Philippine variant has been detected. Now is not the time to be complacent, we all need to be more careful. The government seems unwilling to impose another widespread ECQ and are focusing on targetted, granular lockdowns. Not sure how effective this would be. Links of interest: An opinionated list of best practices for

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  • Weeknotes 2021-03-07

    March has begun. Did it ever really end? The world: Vaccination finally starts in the country, with initial donated batches of Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccine arriving in the country. Just in time for the one year anniversary of the world's longest lockdown. SinoVac isn't the best choice, but many of my doctor friends say they'll settle for it if that's what's available for them. I think QC is planning to use AstraZeneca for their citizens, but worrying is that AZ's efficacy has been shown to be not so good against certain variants such as the South African one, which has

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2021 February

  • Weeknotes 2021-02-28

    Today is the last day of February. Tomorrow, we march on. The world: Biden ordered his first military strike last week. America is back, etc. This past week, embrassingly our local police and anti-drug agency got into a shootout against each other near the Ever Gotesco mall in Quezon City. Both sides claim they were doing a buy-bust, which is impossible. As usual, there is little transparency about what actually happened, and many promises of "impartial" probes and investigations. People speculate that at least one of the parties involved really was dealing drugs, and they got into a shootout because

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  • Weeknotes 2021-02-21

    Last week of February is about to start. Time flies, as they say. The world: Texas (and other parts of the southern US I guess) have been hit by heavy winter storms, with accompanying power grid failures and such. We have some relatives there so it's a concern. Meanwhile, their governor falsely blames renewables for the power problems and their senator went to Cancun. Facebook cut off Australian news links. I think both sides of these are dumb, but that is the big tech controversy of the week. NASA has landed the Perseverance rover on Mars! Unsurprisingly, we still do

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  • Weeknotes 2021-02-14

    The world: Trump has been acquitted in his second impeachment trial, proving yet again to the world that the US is a flawed democracy dominated by corruption at the highest levels Duterte says he cannot be brave in the mouth against China. Back before the 2016 elections, somebody I used to know claimed that we needed a "rottweiler" like Duterte as president because he would be tough against China. I remember this sometimes and laugh and then am also sad. Links of interest: A couple of Zelda-themed videos I enjoyed for some reason: Life as a Bokoblin - A Zelda

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  • Weeknotes 2021-02-07

    It's February! We are nearing the one year anniversary of being in the longest covid19 lockdown in the world! The world: Myanmar's military staged a coup, and have apparently cut off the country from the internet, maybe? Last night during an international voice chat, the two of us who were in the Philippines were suddenly dropped/disconnected and one of my first thoughts were "Wait, is there a coup happening in our country RIGHT NOW?" Luckily no, it was just the typical bad internet we have here. In local news: Red-tagging, immature public officials, people objecting to laws due to poorly-thought

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2021 January

  • Weeknotes 2021-01-31 Stonks!

    It's February tomorrow! Somehow, the world still turns. The world: Somehow the most viral world news this week doesn't seem to have been about any kind of politics, but rather about capitalism. The Gamestop/stock market brouhaha was a sage of retail investors on reddit going head-to-head with hedge funds over the stock price of a dying gaming company (among others) that dominated most of my feeds for the week. It's actually a lot more compliced than that. If you want a more in-depth look, I recommend Matt Levine's Money Stuff column over on Bloomberg, he covered the whole thing for

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  • Weeknotes 2021-01-24

    Wow, January is almost done. Wouldn't you know it. The world: Biden inaugurated as US president, world celebrates US getting rid of Trump. Biden isn't exactly unproblematic, but he is at least sane and boring. There will be time enough to criticize him later, for now let them be enjoy victory. My expectations of him are at least moderately higher than the ones I had for Trump the internet gets inundated with an inordinate amount of Bernie Sanders memes locally: the govt continues to bombard us with controversies, this time stirring up a red-tagging hornests nest by abrogating the DND-UP

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  • This is 2021 week 3. Or week 2. Two and a half? How do calendars work? The world: relatively calm compared to the chaos of the previous week. However in the US, a storm may be brewing over Biden's inauguration next week locally: still a lot of confusion/inconsistencies around the vaccination plan. Or at least some senators think so. Meanwhile, we are close to breaching 500k cases. Links of interest: I've been reading a lot about personal note taking recently, in a bid to find ways to improve my own systems. I skimmed this book from like 2004ish: How to

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  • We are barely more than a week into 2021 and it has already been quite a year. The world: the week started off with something as innocuous as a guy going viral for making his daughter work six hours to figure out how to use a can opener and open a can of beans. I can't explain Bean Dad, but it was so weird and surreal the way it took over the internet for a while. impossible to discuss the last week without mentioning the violent attack by Trump supporters on the US capitol upon incitement by the president himself

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  • It's a brand new year, a brand new week, a brand new day. There's no real reason to believe 2021 will be a better year, but we can choose to try to be better, and maybe that in itself is better. Last week's New Year's Eve transition played out pretty much as expected. We just stayed at home, actually had an early media noche dinner (around 9ish) and observed the fireworks for a little bit. Yes, there were still fireworks, despite the supposed ban at the LGU level. I would estimate a drop in fireworks volume of maybe 20% at

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2020 December

  • I started doing these weeknotes at the top of 2020, so this one signals one complete year of doing my weekly reviews/notes in public. I thought it appropriate for a review! Did it turn out to be a good practice? I think for me yes! Not necessarily for anyone following the blog (all 3 of you), since a lot of the weeknotes stuff might seem boring or irrelevant to you. But for me, forcing me to publicly write some thoughts about the past week has been good for my own self-awareness and keeping me writing regularly. I mentioned this in

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  • Weeknotes 2020-12-20

    It's the penultimate week of the year, and I'm sure I'm not the only who's had enough of this accursed year and looking forward to moving on to the next one. I know that's silly since the world won't magically become better when the calendar flips over to January the first, but I think it helps our mental health to have this sort of "fresh start" mentality, even if it's on an arbitrarily chosen date. The holiday season continues to be weird, thanks to the pandemic. My brothers and I have been trying to hash out how to have the

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  • Weeknotes 2020-12-13

    Time passes yet again. I think I have to get used to not having much personal stuff to report in the weeknotes on certain weeks (aside from the watching/gaming parts), especially given the pandemic where I'm at home 90% of the time. Speaking of the pandemic, the UK started vaccinations last week, and the US FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine as well, so hopefully this is where things start to turn around. Sadly, it may be a while before vaccinations get widespread, especially here in the Philippines. I'm hoping things clear up by mid next year for us here, but

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  • Weeknotes 2020-12-06

    This week felt like another set of those moments-in-between, where not much seemed to happen, but it somehow still went by quickly anyway. I think the household and the family has slowly gotten used to the idea that any big Christmas celebration isn't happening. My niece's birthday was last weekend, so we sent her gifts via Grab delivery instead of being able to get together. Most likely something similar's going to happen for gift exchanges on Christmas. We're still trying to figure out what we can do in the meantime. The extended family has proposed a zoom call on the

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2020 November

  • Weeknotes 2020-11-29

    December is almost upon us! I had an opportunity last week to take on some additional work, but on further reflection, I thought I'd pass on it. I am in general, averse to working during the Christmas season (that is to say, more so than during the entire year in general). Even back when I was working full-time, I'd prefer taking most of my leaves during December. It's really a result of the terrible traffic in Metro Manila, which gets significantly worse during Christmas season, a trauma that lingers even when I'm home all the time. The past week went

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