Who knows?

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There is a world of flying cars, of teleportation devices, robots, and time travel. As (science fiction movie) cliché as these things sound, they may just be made possible. They say that no one can predict the future but with how the world and technology looks today, perhaps one can already say that that world is what our future holds.

Technology makes our lives a whole lot easier and a whole lot better. It was just 24 years ago when the first touchscreen phone, the IBM Simon, was made. Now, we call it a “smartphone” and almost everyone has one. Not only is it used just for communication purposes anymore but also for browsing the web, taking videos and pictures, reading books (e-books), listening to music, navigating through the use of GPS, taking down notes, finding good restaurants nearby, booking a taxi ride, emailing, shopping online, and so many others. The number of things we can do with it seems limitless and all these are at the touch of our fingertips. While this all sounds amazing, the smartphone is but one of the many inventions that revolutionized the world. The past year has brought us a whole new wave of technology – technology that, if not already doing so in the present time, will shape the future of the planet in the years to come.

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The year 2015 marked the start of a few technological breakthroughs such as Project Loon, 3D printing, and Nanotechnology. Project Loon is a cost-effective social-engineering project created by Google. It aims to reach out to the 60% of the world’s population, around 4.3 billion people, who do not have access to internet service. This is done through launching large helium balloons containing solar-powered electronics into the sky. Once the balloons are up there, they make a radio link to a telecommunications network and give off high-speed internet connection to devices that cannot be reached by cell towers. With this, the 4.3 billion people may then be provided with the social and economic benefits that Google says they can get with internet access.

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Imagine creating a 3D model of your face or even “printing” real and edible pizza. Both of these things are now possible through 3D printing. 3D printing is another cost-effective breakthrough in technology. Although it has been around since the 1980’s, it was only further developed on a larger scale in the 2000’s. 3D printing is the process of “printing” or making a 3D object from a digital file made using a 3D modeling program. To “print” or create the object, layers and layers of material are added onto each other, otherwise known as an additive process. This is done until the object is formed. Over the course of a few years, 3D printing has given birth to new techniques and processes that are now being used in medical (e.g. printing of body parts, organs, and human tissue), architectural, mechanical, engineering (i.e. prototypes), and other various fields.

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We know for a fact that atoms make up everything around us. What better way is there to make everything better than to change or manipulate them at the most basic level? Nanotechnology is basically science and engineering on an extremely small scale. No matter how tiny this technology is though, it has numerous applications in science such as those in medicine, food, and material sciences. Nanotechnology in medicine for example, could work in the creation of nano cages. These nano cages could deliver cancer-killing medicine at a molecular level. In food, nanotechnology serves as nanosensors to detect salmonella, pesticides, and other contaminants during the packaging process and in material sciences, as additives to fabrics which make these bacteria growth and stain-resistant.

With the many advancements in technology created by brilliant inventors year after year, who knows? Who’s to say what is or what will be impossible? Maybe decades or centuries from now, the world would look exactly as we picture it. Maybe it won’t. Maybe not the way we expected it to but right now, one thing is for sure: We create the future.

Written by ZM

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A Year in Review: Pop Culture in 2015

What was so important about 2015? I’m asking this, not as a question specific to your lives, but as a question specific to the area of pop culture. Pop culture is essential in our society as it gives life to an otherwise dull world. Though I am in no way a ‘pop culture junkie’, I am fascinated with the different things that happen in the world of pop culture each year. As with every year, 2015 had its fair share of contributions to pop culture history, from new albums released by Billboard heavy-hitters to absolutely devastating losses for the movie industry, long awaited continuations of iconic movie franchises to the retirement of a basketball legend, here are the most important things that happened in the world of pop culture of the year 2015

 

In the realm of social media, certain celebrities were given the spotlight in the different social media platforms, such as Bill Cosby with all the rape accusations filed against him and the divorce of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. Donald Trump was a popular choice for ridicule in social media because of his various candidacy speeches. Shia Labeouf was another popular choice because of his memorable antics such as the “Just Do It!” motivational speech and watching every single movie that starred himself with a bunch of people. Perhaps the most talked about celebrity last year was Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner. Her announcement shook the internet and the world as well. Caitlyn wasn’t the only Jenner to have an impact on social media. Kylie Jenner’s lips were apparently so beautiful, people would do anything to make their lips look like hers, and thus the “Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge” was born. It invaded social media for quite some time until it died out. Another challenge that took the internet by storm was the “Don’t Judge Me Challenge” wherein a person who is actually beautiful pretends to be ugly by placing horrid makeup on their faces. They then cover the camera and then when the camera is uncovered they are back to their normal, beautiful selves. In relation to being beautiful, the recent ‘Miss Universe Mishap’ was briefly talked/raged about by many netizens. Steve Harvey incorrectly crowned Miss Colombia as the ‘Miss Universe of 2015’, then he later apologized and announced that Miss Philippines was indeed the real ‘Miss Universe of 2015’. Though when it comes to confusion, the Black/Blue or White/Gold dress is a pretty tough act to follow. Netizens were basically just arguing about whether a dress was colored black and blue or white and gold. The Filipino netizens didn’t stop there however and went on to argue about who was their #APECHottie. The 2015 APEC summit was held in the Philippines, and the Filipinas got hot and bothered because of the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and the Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto. Although when it comes to the trendiest topic in Philippine social media, AlDub cannot be beat. AlDub, a pairing between Alden Richards and Yaya Dub (formally known as Maine Mendoza), is perhaps the most prominent event in Philippine pop culture of 2015. AlDub dominated Philippine social media from when it first began in July and is continuously doing so. This is one train that seems to have no signs of stopping.

 

Social media can be a great platform for dank memes and annoying challenges, but it can also be a humble abode for song artists. The internet went crazy over Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ music video but music videos weren’t the only thing dominating social media last year. 2015 saw the resurrection of Adele as she released her new single ‘Hello’, which is included in her new album ‘25’. Billboard juggernaut, Justin Bieber released a flurry of singles this year including ‘What Do You Mean’ and ‘Where Are U Now’, but didn’t stop there as he released his new album ‘Purpose’. Popular boy band, One Direction also released their new album ‘Made in the A.M.’ this year. Many dance crazes were also born this year such as the ‘Whip and Nae Nae’. These dance crazes are popular among the teens and for that reason I do not see them dying out this year. Sports didn’t fail to invade social media last year either. The diving fail of the Philippine team in the SEA Games was promptly talked about. The historic ‘25-0’ run of the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Regular Season and the controversial FIBA finals game between the Philippines and China were two more sports related social media takeovers. The long awaited fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. was a social media hit as well as the fight between Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo. Arguably the saddest sports pop culture event last year was the announcement of NBA icon Kobe Bryant that he was retiring.

 

From music and sports we move on to the the breakout movies of last year. 2015 was a great year for lovers of animated movies because of releases such as the tear-jerking and heartwarming Disney/Pixar movie ‘Inside Out’ and the adorable and funny Universal Pictures movie ‘Minions’. The 2015 movie scene was also filled with relatively fresh blood movies such as sci-fi flick ‘The Martian’, rap biopic of the NWA ‘Straight Outta Compton’, legacy of Rocky boxing movie ‘Creed’, and crime thriller film ‘Sicario’. The most memorable movies of 2015 however were not the new movies but the sequels to age-long franchises. The ‘Terminator’ franchise was succeeded by ‘Terminator: Genisys’, the ‘Jurassic Park’ franchise was rebooted with ‘Jurassic World’, the ‘Mad Max’ franchise was succeeded with ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, the ‘Avengers’ continued to fight on with ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, the ‘Fast and Furious’ rode for one last ride with ‘Furious 7’, the ‘Mission Impossible’ team continued work as usual in ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’, and James Bond was still doing what he does best in ‘Spectre’. Even with all these sequels and reboots to memorable franchises, they all had to bow down to the one movie that everyone has been eagerly waiting for. 2015 saw the long-awaited sequel of one of the most beloved franchises from a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars. ‘Episode VII: The Force Awakens’ was the most eagerly awaited movie of 2015 and it showed as it went on to destroy box office records once it released. The Force is indeed strong in this one.

 

2015 was a huge year for pop culture filled with confusion, fangirling, disappointments, Shia Labeouf, and Star Wars. As the New Year ushers in, let us remember that we should always accept and love one another. When someone on the internet has an opinion that is different from yours, don’t insult them or their mom, ignoring or simply accepting it are better alternatives. Okay that’s it, thank you for reading my pop culture 2015 post. I hope that you have a prosperous new year and that the Force may be with you.

Carved With Beauty

By CDA

Hello there! I am Cara A. and  for my first ever entry, I want to share a poem (titled “Carved with Beauty”) that came to life in the mind of my 12 year old self.

Golden sun rising above

Among sapphire skies I love

Surrounded by cream puffs of clouds

Creating magic in my eyes, no doubt

 

Emeralds of grass beneath my feet

With spouts of colorful flowers

Where buzzing and rainbow creatures meet

Sipping nectar with all of their power

 

Birds of different kinds

Chirping and humming melodies in my ear

Unleashing creative imagination in my mind

And providing music I need to hear

 

I could go on and on

From morning till dawn

Highlights of each pleasure

Which gives majestic pleasure

Gift of the Almighty

The place carved with beauty

 
What’s so special about this poem? This was the first (I think) ever poem I’ve written. Before, I was a girl who despised both reading and writing. I used to think it was a waste of time. And then during the 7th grade, I got invited to a journalism workshop during the summer. And despite the many reasons I gave my parents as to why I should not go and waste a week of my summer, I was still forced to go. They said it was an opportunity and that I should grab it. Maybe they saw some potential in me, even just a little. And so I went, thinking I was putting a week, 7 long days, of my summer to waste. Well, I was wrong. I was a changed girl after those 7 days. I was, and still am, a girl who enjoyed writing (and reading, of course). This poem is one of the turning points, one of the reasons why I started to believe in myself and my capabilities.

*Disclaimer: Photos used are taken by yours truly

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Pushing Daisies: Pie maker brings back the dead.

 

2016 is going to be filled with exciting new shows and exciting new seasons. From the long-awaited Sherlock Special to the new season of Agent Carter. But like any good things that happens to life, it’s good to look back time to time on those shows that might have been overlooked or may have been remembered dearly. This may have been the case for Pushing Daisies. It’s either you know it or you never knew it existed. If you’re looking for a show to break you away from the modern tv that we have now, look no further.

Pushing Daisies is about Ned (Lee Pace), a pie maker with an extraordinary gift. He can bring back the dead with a single touch. I’ll repeat that: A pie maker that can bring back the deadInteresting? Keep reading. But there are certain rules to this gift:  If he does bring back the dead and they live for more than a minute, then something or someone has to take over. Basically, for every action there is an equal reaction. A person for a person within proximity of the alive-again person. Touch that alive-again person twice, dead again. Forever. But if Ned happens to touch the person before a minute, then an exchange would have not occurred. I have to clarify that this rule also works for animals and plants. Confusing? Don’t worry. You’ll get used to the concept as you follow the show.

One of the factors that makes the show amusing is that a pie maker works with a detective who’s only after the reward in every case. This detective, Emerson Cod (Chi McBride), asks Ned to extract information from the dead as a lead for a case. When they find the killer, they split the cash in half. All seems all and well until this part-time job of Ned leads to the discovery of his childhood sweetheart, named Charlotte “Chuck” Charles (Anna Friel), in a coffin, a victim of a murder. What happens next? Go figure.

This show is quirky without a doubt. The show’s visuals are aesthetically pleasing, especially that they have set-up the show much like a story book with a narrator even! And I have to say that it fits well with the story. There’s even moments where Kristin Chenoweth would break out in song due to unrequited love. The problem? The show ended only at season 2. At the end, I recommend you to watch this show. Binge watch it even, if you must.

Finished watching and you don’t know what to do next? Check out the site of Bryan Fuller, the creator of the show, Living Dead Guy. There he released all of the scripts of the show, which is very rare for a creator and writer of a show to do.

WATCH THE TRAILER:

 

Written by Angelica Marie M. Casuela

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