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Audible Picks: The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

This is part 3 of my Halloween series of posts. Part II is here and Part I is here. Happy Halloween! This post was inspired by AM and AG.

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead is a cult favorite among those fascinated with the inevitable arrival of the zombie apocalypse. The book is hard to find, as compared to Max Brooks’ second book World War Z which is available in National Bookstore, Fully Booked and Powerbooks.

The Zombie Survival Guide is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now. Exhaustively comprehensive, this book covers everything you need to know, including how to understand zombie physiology and behavior, the most effective defense tactics and weaponry, ways to outfit your home for a long siege, and how to survive and adapt in any territory or terrain.

Top 10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack:
1. Organize before they rise!
2. They feel no fear, why should you?
3. Use your head: cut off theirs.
4. Blades don’t need reloading.
5. Ideal protection: tight clothes, short hair.
6. Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
8. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
9. No place is safe, only safer.
10. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.

Don’t be carefree and foolish with your most precious asset: life. The Zombie Survival Guide offers complete protection through trusted, proven tips for safeguarding yourself and your loved ones against the living dead. It is an audiobook that can save your life.

So if you can’t find the book, let’s listen to the audiobook. Once again, Audible saves the day!

P.S. World War Z is also available on Audible.

P.P.S. Max Brooks is the son of Mel Brooks.

P.P.S. If you’re a non believer in the zombie apocalypse and believe that one day robots will rule the world, you can also check out How to Survive a Robot Uprising.


An open letter to Anton Diaz

This post serves as Part II of my Halloween trilogy for 2008 which is also an advocacy shared by other believers such as JJ, AM, AG, and I almost forgot, LD. This post was inspired by AM. Part I of my Halloween is located here. Plurk comments are located here.

Dear Anton,

First off I would like to thank you for your hard work on Our Awesome Planet, a wonderful blog about travel, food and culture in our quaint little archipelago. It is a fine piece of work that you have done for your career and have thus rightly earned the title as one of the more influential bloggers in the country.

However I would also like you to consider, in the best interest of this country, and perhaps modern human civilization as we know it, that in the event of a zombie infestation we would all probably bleed to death (scratch that, Solanum has immediate clotting of the wound in the 1st hour) become reanimated within 24 hours as walking corpses.

Thus, as one of the more popular mainstream bloggers in the Philippines I implore you to help educate the masses on the potential safety measures and precautions one must take in the advent of a zombie invasion. The dawn of the zombie apocalypse can only be classified under the premise of “possible, but improbable.” But in today’s age of wonder and bewilderment, “anything is possible” might just leave an open door towards the potential spread of Solanum or any such virus that can contaminate and reanimate the living into the walking dead.

Thus I have reached the crux of the matter, the purpose for which I write this letter: I would thus like to request if you could include, in all your restaurant reviews a separate rating that determines the level of safety the establishment is to be “Zombie Proof,” a five point rating for every establishment’s survivability and safety whence the dawn of the dead matriculates.

Is your establishment prepared for the zombie apocalypse?

Yes, it is urgent that consumers should know if they are safe within an establishment if and when an apparent zombie infestation occurs while they are dining. Mang Rudy’s Puto and Tea might have the best Filipino delicacies, but will it survive the apocalypse lest the zombies turn Filipinos into their own delicacies? Although White Hat Yogurt may be one of hte best in the country, will it be able to survive a different kind of fermentation?

The Zombie Survival Guide recommends each establishment to have a machete and M1 Carbine on hand to survive advances from the living dead. Do establishments have long, cramped halls for running with waning dead ends? Is there a supply of oil to spill on the floor to catch these reanimations off balance (you don’t use the oil for fire because what’s worse than one zombie is one zombie running to you in flames — thanks, AM)?

With practical suggestions and honest critiques on making establishments “zombie proof” you can assure the safety of the human race, avoiding an apocalyptic nightmare which one can only see in movies such as Dead / Alive, Masters of Horror, Shaun of the Dead, and … Talladega Nights. Variety is the spice of life, and such I would like to suggest such section titles as “Our Gruesome Planet” for this very purpose, an urban survival guide to the living dead.

I hope you consider my request to be in high priority.

Your friend among the living,

Jayvee F.

Dead Set: Big Brother meets the Zombie Apocalypse

Happy Halloween!

Are you prepared for the zombie apocalypse?

To top off a really productive week I was able to borrow a few Zombie flicks from Adel. These included Day of the Dead (2008), Dance of the Dead (2008), Dead Space: Downfall and with high recommendation, Season 1 Episode 1 of Dead Set. I was immediately sold to the series when Adel told me that the plot involved the reality TV housemates left to fend for themselves at the Big Brother House while the zombie infestation consumes all of humanity; their eyes glued to the set for that last piece of living flesh.

And such is a quaint, revealing picture of mass media: we’re all lifeless forms in front of the media, waiting to consume such lustful objects of scrutiny. 🙂


Armani Exchange sells designer clothes, LAN accessories, etc

If you live in the Alabang area and have need for paraphernalia for your next LAN party … or Internet cafe, you’d probably want to check out Armani Exchange. Yeah you heard me right. Not Columbia. Not Silicon Valley or PC Express. But Armani Exchange.

It isn’t apparent from outside their latest window concept display.

But when you go in and have a closer look, you’ll see what I mean:

Just remember: White-Orange, Orange, White-Green, Blue, White-Blue, Green, White-Brown, Brown. 🙂


The Ticket to ATM Perdition

We’ve seen it before – ATM kiosks idle from operation, rebooting into a blank screen showing off the RAM, BIOS, Windows and finally, the batch file that launches the ATM app.

Thursday was unintentionally revealing to me as I had, in my pocket, an ATM card that consistently crashed all the ATM’s I inserted it into.

First strike was the ATM located in Greenbelt 5. I thought it was just a random bug, until it happened twice, barely one second after sliding the card in.

Second strike was an ATM located in Greenbelt 1 (which can now be accessed via the new GB5 extension annex. Yes, Virgina! The Dulcinea restaurant is now indoors!). So this was when I meticulously inspected the card to reveal a small crack in the magnetic strip.

Silly, really. But frustrating as well. It was really embarrassing to reboot the ATM with people lined up behind me. “Oops!” I said, thrice, and made an unscheduled trip to my branch to apply for a replacement card.

Such is the ticket to ATM perdition.


Pocketful of Kids in Ortigas opens October 25

I took time off to come to a sneak preview of a new toy store that’s away from the crowd. For one, it’s located at the 15th floor of Strata 2000 Building in Emerald Ave (that’s almost across MMPI). When you walk into the store, you’re greeted with toys you’ve never seen in any Rustan’s or Toy Kingdom outlet. They’ve got hand puppets, blocks, wire mazes, organics and yeah among other bizarre things you’d find only in Oz, a talking tree and a talking cash register. The store is everything you’ve probably dreamed of when we were kids, and it serves as a haven for children and their adult companions to be within the privacy of their own little world. There are no “violent” toys at Pocketful of Kids.

it’s really touching to see how a vision like this can turn to reality. The store was founded by Natalie Tanchip and just like other off the beaten track places like Elbert’s Steak Room, a store such as this defies all the laws of marketing which we’ve all come to accept – and the first one is location. Who would have thought?

If you’re still undecided as to what to get your friends and family members this Christmas, I urge you to visit Pocketful of Kids as they have really great stuff you won’t find elsewhere: they are the exclusive distributors of Alex, Tatiri, Learning Resources, Melissa and Doug, among many others. On my first visit, I already bought my Christmas gift for Ananya! And get this – they also do gift wrapping and deliveries. I had mine delivered since the package was pretty huge.

Here’s a complete listing of the items they have for sale and the exclusive brands that they carry. You can view more photos here.

Pocketful of Kids
Pocketful of Kids is the very first interactive toy village in the country that carries popular American and European toy brands that encourage children to wonder, discover and learn through play. For more information, please visit 15/F Strata 2000, Emerald Avenue, Ortigas or call (02) 634-7888 or (02) 634-2888.

IMOVIO iKIT challenges netbooks, makes a “smartphone”

So what do you think? Wrote about this earlier today:

This is what happens when you challenge the netbook line and come up with something much smaller – you end up with well, a smartphone that can’t make calls. I actually don’t know what to call it. I also don’t know if this will really replace anything that you already have. It’s not a cellphone because you can’t make calls, but you can surf via WiFi and 3G through your cellphone. It’s not something you can really show to present to clients. So what is it, really? What’s the value proposition of this $175.00 device? It sure is cool to have, but it lurks too much into the realm of the mobile phone to be 100% efficient.

Well, it does make calls, but you need to connect it to a mobile phone to do data. More of like, a modem of sorts. We’re back to the Palm Pilot ladies and gents.

Plurkfiesta at Bona Coffee

Met up with good friends Peter and Jen (Peter took this photo, which I’m grabbing), old friend JM (@Shrubber) from the PhilMUG days and his lovely wife Beverly. Not in the photo is Eugene who was all ninja’ed up outside, we didn’t even know he was there till he told me on Plurk.

Highlight topic for the night was conversation with JM on how online forums have a certain lifespan for quality content from a great community before they’re overrun with just anybody. I think being “elitist” (a word that needs to be further defined, but you prolly know what I mean) isn’t necessarily a bad thing in a number of cases.

Sorry you couldn’t make it, Manolo.


Proven: Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion

There are some shocking studies that you’ve always held to be true at the back of your mind, but were afraid to express because you’d be accused of generalizing things. Well, as it is, a new study shows that not everyone is entitled to an opinion.

“On topics from evolution to the environment to gay marriage to immigration reform, we found that many of the opinions expressed were so off-base and ill-informed that they actually hurt society by being voiced,” said chief researcher Professor Mark Fultz, who based the findings on hundreds of telephone, office, and dinner-party conversations compiled over a three-year period. “While people have long asserted that it takes all kinds, our research shows that American society currently has a drastic oversupply of the kinds who don’t have any good or worthwhile thoughts whatsoever. We could actually do just fine without them.”

Well, that’s Fultz’s opinion anyhoo, and he probably counts as one of the 62% whose opinion counts. Does it mean anything as well if my source is taken from The Onion? The study shows that 38% of people in the US have opinions “that actually don’t matter.”

I wonder how much can be quantified locally with people talking about things they seem to not have a full grasp on? When we write, do we write with authority?

There are no innuendos to my posting this – it’s just something worth looking into. But then again, that’s just my opinion 🙂


New industry magazine buzzing next month

The most interesting ones are the industry magazines, because that’s where all the behind the scenes stuff’s at. So Geoff and Tiff invited a few of us (Internet community + college marketing orgs) to a contributor’s night meet and greet for a new industry magazine (photos here and here). You’ve probably seen it on Plurk and a few blogs – Hive Pub Magazine. In my initial chat with Geoff I asked if this was similar to Adobo Magazine, the official industry mag for the local advertising, PR and below the line industry, and I was right on the dot.

They’d be doing an initial print run of 10k copies, and the magazine will not be for sale. Geoff told me that Inkwell will be printing the glossy, which is cool as well (they used to print my high school paper as well as internal magazines for UA&P).

This is long been waiting to happen. I remember about a year ago another publishing company wanted to do a magazine on the blogosphere, but it never pushed through. You might think it ironic that Hive is taking something that was born online, bringing it offline – and that maybe it might not work. I think this is a good move, as the target market isn’t really the online space, because we’d just be preaching to the choir. I think the vision (Geoff, let’s do an interview) is a reach outward to combine the talents of the blogging, SEO and the “new media” community with the capacities of the local ad industry. That alone is formidable.

Issue one is out this November 2008.


This Week in Philippine Spam

Have you been receiving a lot of spam lately in your comments? A certain “Keren Pascual” (not confirmed to be the real one, obviously) has been spamming comments in ALL of my blogs using the URLs of the Philippine Star and reposting articles from the lifestyle sections of our top broadsheets. Not only is that spam, it also might have copyright issues because everything sources back to the Star’s website despite some articles belonging to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

I’ve also been receiving comment invites to the Consumer Expo 2008 by T3 Magazine and Summit. I have nothing against them (I know Vince and Ed personally) but I really think they should take a second look at whoever they hired to do the event’s Internet marketing. I know it’s not just in my blog – I saw the same invite in other bloggers’ comments section.

That’s what my email contact form is for — these sort of invites. Please, Internet marketer, don’t spam the comments section and give T3 a bad reputation. If they had emailed me, I’d have written about it anyway. It isn’t tasteful when it comes spammed several times into your comments section, especially for such a kick ass event!

Remembering Grim Fandango

Grim Fandango. Manny Calavera. The Companeros theme song. I’ve been on a retro stint lately, and recently downloaded Grim Fandango (1.1GB) and can finally run it on a decent computer (the last time I ran this, I had a Pentium MMX)! For those of you who’ve played it, you’ll definitely agree with me that this is one of the best adventure games ever made alongside hits like Monkey Island, Quest for Glory, Maniac Mansion and … Zak McKraken.

What was sad was this Lucasarts production only sold about 95,000 units in its peak in 1998. The main culprit was the shift to more action oriented games (first person shooters) such as the original Half Life by Sierra / Valve. This really killed the role playing adventure genre and the last that I’ve seen that remains of this is The Longest Journey series.

Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty as the First MDG

As a development studies guy, the campaign to end poverty is a tangible one. Not too many people know about the eight Millennium Development Goals for 2015. First on the list is Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger.

There are three targets:

Target 1:
Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day

* Higher food prices may push 100 million people deeper into poverty
* Conflict leaves many displaced and impoverished

Target 2:
Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people

* Full employment remains a distant possibility
* Low-paying jobs leave one in five developing country workers mired in poverty
* Half the world’s workforce toil in unstable, insecure jobs

Target 3:
Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

(This is where I stopped and looked at my post and said to myself, who am I kidding?)

Honestly I don’t feel very comfortable talking about physical poverty. I oftentimes think I can relate, or even empathize with how they really feel. But the sad truth is that I will never know and saying “I know how you feel” or “THIS is what we should do to help them” is an exercise of many assumptions.

I don’t believe in those one shot medical missions, nor do I believe in “PR-driven” outreach programs. Because at the end of the day, the ones who “feel good” aren’t the poor.

Remembering Day of the Tentacle

That video above is a 20 minute speed run of one of the most boggling adventure games I’ve played.

The main reason Day of the Tentacle sets itself apart so greatly despite sharing a handful of elements with its predecessor is the fact that it draws from completely different inspirations. With Maniac Mansion, Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick sought to tribute the horror/scifi B-movie genre. With Day of the Tentacle, that influence was replaced by the work of Chuck Jones. If Maniac Mansion is like playing through a cheesy horror movie, Day of the Tentacle is like playing through a Saturday morning cartoon, and everything from the brand of humor to the puzzle design reflects this. Knowledge of the previous game is not assumed, and there’s definitely a “reboot” feel to the whole project – this game is in a completely different spirit than the original, sporting a new style and tone. Not that this change was an unwelcome one. In fact, that Day of the Tentacle is very much Maniac Mansion’s equal in terms of quality is probably the mildest praise one will see bestowed on the game, which tends to be considered among the best ever produced.

If you’re old enough to remember Laverne, Hoagy and Bernard from Maniac Mansion 2 or Day of the Tentacle, you’ll really appreciate this 20 minute speed run. I was banging my head just trying to figure this game out back in 1993. These were the days when nobody heard of game FAQS. I remember wasting hours on the phone with friends as we cracked our heads to figure Day of the Tentacle 2 out. In retrospect, here is a great article that talked about one of the best adventure / puzzle games ever made.


Thoughts at 2300 HRS

I rarely ramble, but here are a few things that have been on my mind lately.

1. We need more valuable and diverse local web property. All I see are blogs, forums and micro sites. It would be nice to venture into original and useful properties to build value. But then again, it might be the culture as well.

2. I think it’s silly that a number of bloggers bear some sense of enmity with journalists in general. It’s not about what medium you write in, it’s who you are that makes you. Just because it’s “new media” doesn’t make journalism “old media.” A little respect would go a long way. We’re all more closely intertwined than you think. So are bloggers better..? Again, it’s about what you do. Can’t we just quit it and learn from each other?

3. I think know that IPTV or Internet television is going to make bigger waves in 2009. Smaller area for penetration, higher quality control for content. And the ironic thing is that it won’t be snowballed by television networks.

4. I have another big hunch that we’ll be seeing less of “Make Money Online” in 2009 and more of “Make Meaning Online.”

5. Arise, local venture capitalist to fund new media projects!

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