Of Nuts and Bolts


Neanderthals on the hunt.

I must say the blogging scene in the Philippines is getting dry and dull. Politics is at an ebb because Congress is not into a production mode and all the President’s men and women are so busy we can’t keep pace.

Top Blogger Raissa Robles seems to have slowed to a crawl, perhaps because of health reasons, and Get Real is doing its normal rancid dirty-sniping business, tearing down and rarely building. The Observers is not popping out a lot of articles and the griping-twins, Ellen Tordesillas and Angela Stuart Santiago, are grousing to the left and grousing to the right. I struck the term “bitching” as overmuchly unkind. It’s the new, kinder, gentler JoeAm.

JoeAm is trudging faithfully along refusing to beg for outside articles, but wishing he could catch a break.  I tell you, it’s a veritable cerebral desert hereabouts.

So it is time to get deep and consider a few topical nuts and bolts, the lunacy and the sanity we deal with in our miserable, mundane little lives. Let’s check out our hyper-dynamic world, a place that astounds and amazes whilst confounding and confusing we mere mortals . . .

Of Nuts

Some headlines simply grab at your attention. Take this beauty that ran in The Telegraph:

Swedish men told to beware testicle-munching fish

pacu fish

Pacu or “Ball Cutter” fish

The sub-header explained: “Experts have warned Swedish men to keep their swimming trunks on if taking a dip in a sound off the country’s southern coast, after a South American fish known for attacking testicles was discovered in the area.” Boy howdy, for sure. This nasty fish is a relative of the Amazonian piranha and packs a nasty bite. It evidently likes the size of dangling manhoods. The graphic Telegraph article, not suitable for children or even most men, reports that victims have been known to bleed to death upon having fed said fish. Somehow the munching cruncher got transported from South America to a sound in Southern Sweden, creating no small level of concern for the locals.

Of Bolts

Google doodled an honor to physicist Erwin Schrödinger yesterday. He was the 1933 Nobel Prize winner and one of the fathers of quantum mechanics. Schrödinger would be 126 years old today. He popularized one of his theories aptly called “Schrödinger’s Cat”. He postulated that, if you put a cat, a vial filled with poison, a hammer, and a radioactive substance in a sealed box, the correct state of the cat is neither dead nor alive. The reason? The radioactive material is both there and decayed at the same time, and you have no idea which. If the material decays, the hammer is keyed to break the poison vial, the cat drinks it, and ends up dead. But you don’t know the state of the cat until you open the box. It’s rather like you don’t know if the NSA phone traps are a malicious spy tool or an important defense tool until the terrorist bomb explodes. Or doesn’t. You are arguing a nonsensical paradox. The cool thing about it is you can neither win nor lose the argument. Until the bomb explodes. Or doesn’t.

schreodengers cat

Of Nuts

I see Petron has claimed responsibility for the oil leakage that dumped 500,000 liters of pollutant into the waters near Cavite. Filipinos across the nation are yawning, for it is not an American pipeline, but Senator Santiago is rumored to be calling for tearing up the VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement) with the U.S. because America’s boats use oil.

Of Bolts

Many people are erroneously crediting Dr. James Powell with inventing the vactrain concept, a train in a vacuum tube travelling at extraordinarily high speeds. The originator of the idea was none other than famed space engineer Robert Goddard who came up with the idea in the 1910’s. His train would have traveled about 1,000 miles per hour. Dr. Powell’s would travel up to 8,900 miles per hour, and has been explored in detail as a vehicle to launch rockets into space, boosting them off the ground to defeat the high pull of gravity. Now a number of people are pushing the concept for passenger travel, trying to get investors to part with the billions needed for a start-up. If you wish to buy a license to operate a train, you can get one for only $100. (Note to self: file this one under nuts, not bolts).

Of Nuts

Speaking of travel, approximately 100,000 certified nuts have signed up as volunteers for a one-way ticket to Mars where the selected travelers will live in a can on a planet with no trees or oceans or clouds in the sky. The Mars One leaders, who are not themselves volunteering, will divide the top candidates into teams of four to get them trained up by having them live in isolation. Presumably there is no vial and no hammer in the isolation can, but we won’t know for sure until they emerge. Or don’t. The goal is to occupy Mars by 2023. This is real, as this extract from a recent Mars One press release indicates: “Stephan, Sara, Henri and Beatriz, who like tens of thousands of applicants to the Mars One project from around the world, say they are willing to spend the rest of their lives on the red planet.” 

I wonder if  anyone has checked to see if China’s nine-dash line extends to Mars.

Of Bolts

Taiwan has cooled down now that the Philippine NBI has recommended charges of murder be filed against the Coast Guard crew that killed a Taiwanese fisherman. Taiwan will again begin to accept Filipino OFW’s. President Aquino is a genius.

Of Nuts


I was going to do a blog on the light force emerging in the Philippines, laying waste to the dark-souled exploiters of ordinary Filipinos. I need not name names, right? The list would embrace socialites skimming relief funds and senators treating the public coffers as a personal piggy bank and murderers of four dozen people and a president with neck problems and a host of people who go to bed rich and happy after having pulled one over on the gullible public. The light force is modern internet media which empowers that aforesaid gullible public to exchange information and revealments, thus becoming much less gullible, and cutting off aforesaid exploiters from their exploitations. Once cut off, they tend to become small, whiny little grouches who act as if they were the victims. I don’t need a whole blog to say that. The leader of the light force is a brilliant president. Does he look like Yoda, or what?

Of Bolts

A recent discovery suggests that Neanderthals, who roamed Europe about 50,000 years ago, may have been smarter than we give them credit for. They evidently had learned to apply tools to animal hide to make the leather softer and wearable. Indeed, modern “man” may have learned a few tricks of the trade from their heavy browed pre-mates.

I wonder if they blogged . . .

34 Responses to “Of Nuts and Bolts”
  1. edgar lores says:

    1. That mammoth is one big mama. The entry in Wikipedia is full of astonishing facts. One gem:

    “Thomas Jefferson, who famously had a keen interest in palaeontology, is partially responsible for transforming the word mammoth from a noun describing the prehistoric elephant to an adjective describing anything of surprisingly large size. The first recorded use of the word as an adjective was in a description of a large wheel of cheese (the “Cheshire Mammoth Cheese”) given to Jefferson in 1802.

    1.1. In the Philippines, the mammoths are alive and well.

    1.2. Of Bolts: In related news, Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick claimed, on World Elephant Day (August 12), that elephants could be lost in little more than a decade due to ivory-poaching.

    2. Of Nuts: In Australia, an Australian-Filipino candidate for Parliament, Jaymes Diaz, has brought embarrassment on himself by mentioning a six-point plan of the Liberal Party on border protection policy but was unable to explain the key points. The resulting publicity might make him known and win?

    • Joe America says:

      1.1. Do you speak of the Philippine mammoths as being the rich and powerful, or the rising middle class that is eating its way to obesity? (That was my impression last week at Jerry’s Grill, where 80% of the diners were decidedly large of girth.)
      1.2. Tragic. That and gorillas. And Siberian tigers. And other species, too. Like the tuna we love . . . too much . . .
      2. Ahahahaha. The old advertising slogan, any news is good news if you are in the limelight. Broadens your reach.
      3.0. Do you like my deft sleight of mind as I gave up arguing Snowden and went with Schroder’s cat on that whole subject?

  2. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Neanderthals of 50,000 years ago are smarter … RIGHT ON!!!! It validated my premise that 19th century Filipinos were far smarter than Filipinos of today. Here is why. In the absence of Barnes&Nobles and Starbucks’ free Wi-Fi expensive books of Jose Rizal, Noli me Tangere and El Felibusterismo fanned the flames of fiery independence from Aparri to Jolo despite it was written in Spanish, characters were fictious events factual less than two years it was releaseds in Germany.
    Fast forward today, it would require two semesters of El Felibusterismo and Noli me Tangere to untangle its meaning mentored by PhD graduates from University of the Philippines, Ateneo and la Salle and they still fail and fail miserably.
    Despite thousands of anti-government bloggers, internet cafe in every sari-sari stores Philippines is still standing strong. Filipinos may not be that smart today and forever will be compared to Filipinos of yesteryears.
    Take Get Real for exzmple. He ex-commed and bannished me because I cannot offer a solution, fast forward today they copied my style of not offering any solution. They go berserk when Benigno Aquino succeeds in running the country. I wonder what these Get Real folks are made of. Maybe Pacu is swimming among them.

    Benigno Aquino will put Raissa Robles and Alan out of business. There are no more scandals to cover. Philippines is happy and gay fine and dandy. MABUHAY!!!!!!!!

  3. JosephIvo says:

    On Schrödinger.

    Science developed a little since Schrödinger. Quantum mechanics are better understood and a zillion of experiments confirmed the validity of the model. Stephen Hawking explains very well that not one scientific model can explain all reality but a set of theories can, called the M-theory. Similarly not a one single two dimensional map can represent true direction and true size as a projection of the whole globe, the Mercator projections respect direction well but not the size, with an infinite error at the poles. But many smaller maps can represent smaller areas in an accurate way for both, direction and size. With adjacent maps having extremely small errors where they overlap. The same for scientific models, e.g. extreme small things or extreme fast things need to be represented by models that differ from the classical Newtonian one. Infinity and areas close to infinity are difficult to understand with just common sense.

    Schrödinger used a simple “linear ruler” to explain the “un-reality” of size near the poles in a Mercator projection, or he uses the uncertainty in quantum mechanics that describe events at the extreme small scale to explain cat size events. The likelihood that an the almost infinite number of particles the cat consists of, all behave in a synchronous yes or no state needs a number to express the probability with so many zeros after the decimal point that the universe might be too small to write it down.

    But indeed one can build more than one model to explain reality as long as it does not contradict what is observed. And it is ok if your model explains that the table disappears each time you leave the room and reappears when you enter, you only will have to extend your model a little when the ceiling collapsed during your absence and you find it on top of the table when you return. Or that the earth was created not 7 billion but 7000 years ago and that all fossils were hidden to confuse mankind and test their faith. What model is true? Bahalana, both are true, truth is in the eyes of the beholder. What is the better one? For me it is the more “elegant” one, the one that is simpler and easier to understand. The same applies when assessing what is happening with the NSA. As more data might become available, another theory might become more “elegant” and I will shift adherence.

    Sorry, I shouldn’t comment before noon it looks like, before my first SM light. Love your mixed grill of thoughts.

    • Joe America says:

      Great, you actually understand that stuff. heh heh We all travel in our separate realities, for sure. Some more lunatic than others, where sanity is defined by being aligned with the observable. Sometimes the realities join, a moment of joyful unity amongst general chaos, and we can praise the Almighty for that. Whatever or whoever the Almighty is, in various assorted realities.

  4. ProPinoy says:


    The Get Real site is in full blown hate-bating mode now. They are enjoying rubbing in the Gilas defeat. Its quite sad really when you think about how they get such a kick out of pissing other people off. I don’t understand their mentality. Whatever mindset they have I’m sure its not constructive at all and I don’t see the benefit of their hate-bating antics. Having said that, the transition from the Get Real site to your site is like Night and Day. Your intellectual and respectful discourse is such a breath of fresh air. Sometimes I wonder why I bother wandering to their site…its like getting your feet stuck in the mud. A morbid curiosity I suppose? Even you admit peeking at their garbage from time to time right?

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I’ve noticed that the authors seem to be having a contest as to who can stir up the most crass comments. It is pretty disgusting stuff, actually. I do peek in because they work in the same arena I do, and I like reading a range of perspectives. Even vile ones.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Get Real’s orgy of hate will lead to maelstrom of violence.

    • The Mouse says:

      GRP = bandwagon haters. Most “fans” of Gilas right now are probably bandwagon fans; but GRP are bandwagon haters.

      I have been following Gilas from two months ago when they started training.

      And truth be told, I think Gilas performed BETTER than expected. Two years ago, we finished fourth. The main goal this year was to get at least third. But they were able to grab the silver and qualify for the world cup next year. And the lead of Iran was not bad especially compared to how they “massacred” other teams.

      The defeat was not against Iran, but it was a victory over South Korea (finally..hehe)

      GRP can’t even distinguish real hoops fans from bandwagon fans (who were trashing Iran). Real Pinoy hoop fans know how hard to beat Iran is RIGHT NOW that they have Haddadi, Khamrani…. GRP probably does not even know that Toroman coached the Iranian team and coached the PH team in 2011. Maybe, they don’t even know that the current national team coach of Qatar once coached the national team of Japan.

      As I said in a previous blogpost, GRP is the epitome of what they claim to hate.

      • Joe America says:

        That is so true, that GRP IS what it criticizes. All the dysfunction of attitude and product. To ban those who disagree. How cowardly and weak is that?

        And you make a good point about Gilas. Many are rooting for the Philippine name and have no idea who the players are, for the Philippines and certainly not Iran. To get upset because the “name” lost is quite strange. To comprehend the talent and understand “why” the Philippines lost is a way to look at what needs to be done to win next time. Very good.

  5. ricelander says:

    Corruption issues are definitely more provocative and intriguing. It never fails to spark a kind of explosion inside because it is visceral. An old blog of mine itself, now closed, was born due to a GMA corruption issue.

    Either there is less corruption now or they have learned their lessons about hiding their crimes. Or the old “truth-seekers” have become less relentless, tired maybe, or afraid to discover the rot of old allies. It helps that PNoy himself is discreet and mainstream media is protective while GMA was awfully reckless and scandalous. Yet, there’s the P10B pork barrel scam which is raging now and the MRT scandal (which seemed to have been all but swamped aside) but I am not blogging about it,… you are not blogging about it…

    It is all for the better. Corruption to my mind is red herring anyway. If anything, instances of corruption are useful only to point to the rank hypocrisy of the once-idealistic-crusaders-turned-unprincipled-corrupt-powerwielders.

    Now we can talk more clearly of issues that are REALLY pulling down the economy. Like for instance, the plunging FDI. And smuggling. And high cost of power. And the oligarchic control of the economy…

    • Joe America says:

      You have touched on some matters I’m trying to organize for Friday’s blog, the grand shift in what government is about thanks to the anti-corruption push.

      It’s interesting that the apparent congressional abuses of pork were revealed by whistle-blower, as fallout from the Napoles escapades. It could have come out by “process” had an FOI bill requiring SALN’s from legislators been put in place, with public audits of how wealth flows to legislators. I like President Aquino, but I fault him for not forthrightly opening up government. The amount of dirt there now makes it look as if he was complicit in hiding that dirt.

      The positive is that more whistleblowers are likely to come forward since the mood is to welcome them rather than shoot them.

      I agree that many more wholesome activities are underway thanks to honest people doing honest work. When the nation is cleaned up, competence is given priority over favor, and anti-trust and FDI initiatives hopefully come forward, the Philippines will positively roar. Or, elect Binay as President and . . .

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      The less blog chatter the better for Filipinos. It means there are less scandals. The norms of Philippine media is if there is less scandals to cover, THEY CREATE IT !!!! They create it to survive !!!! ABANGAN !!!! The Philippine Media will start hate-baiting against Benigno Aquino.

  6. Jo says:

    I love your wit, Joe, I really do. I especially love that I can look forward to your blog with its regular updates. I always learn new things from you.

    If you need a break, though… take it. The spirit needs to be refreshed, no matter how young likes yours it is. 🙂

  7. Jo says:

    You’re welcome. 🙂 I look forward to what you churn out next.

  8. That ball cutter fish can make a grown man cower in fear. That fish should also seek Atty. Topacio’s balls. LOL

  9. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    JoeAm’s Philippine Photo Profile a Satellite view of Philippines looks like an old bent man with a cane with too much problem walking away from the U.S. towards Singapore for medication.

  10. bebot says:

    of bolts

    The expected fishing accord between Philippines and Taiwan should and must not be a jeopardy to the Filipino fisherman but instead would underpin their livelihood

    of nuts

    I do agree that the Philippines indeed need a light force- like Yoda or magic wand of Harry Potter – to diminish the skulduggery of our unscrupulous politicians to the extent they are maimed physically and mentally for them to have a dose of their medicine that they inflicted to the poor people / common tao and for them to understand the plight of these deprived people.

    • Joe America says:

      Maybe we should seed the Chinese coast with about a million of those nasty ball-cutter fish..

      I wish the Catholic Church in the Philippines were organized to report to ArchbishopTagle. It would be very different than the CBCP lead political church we see now. He really laid a whipping on the corrupt government officials the other day, inviting them to spend a night with a poor family to get perspective.

  11. cha says:

    Coming from left field here (and that’s probably an understatement!) , but indulge me if you will. Or consider giving the left brain a break and just “keep right” for a moment or two.

    Watch the video first or other way around will do. (Right brain thinking follows no logical order anyway.) Here goes my Nuts and Bolts…

    This, is definitely nuts, you say to yourself. 
    Then from out of nowhere, it hits you. 
    Like a sudden bolt of lightning. 
    And you understand. 
    Because you, too, have been there. 
    Life. And love.
    It’s lights in. Lights out.

    • cha says:

      Lights on, not in. Dang it.

    • Joe America says:

      OCD. Obsessive compulsive disorder, which I believe most of us have to some degree. Which is what you suggest. Maybe life is the business of stifling OCD (our assorted ghosts and neuroses) and being laid back. Unlocking the locks, as it were. I enjoyed the video. Been there, done that . . .

  12. deswie says:

    Pls write more about rural devt in philippines pls…. 🙂

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