The Internet is for sale

Do you have a spare P350,000? The Internet, apparently, is for sale for that amount.

I regularly read the classified ads section of Sun.Star Cebu, the paper I work for. At any given day, you’d have people selling anything from pets, houses, power tools to second-hand vehicles to adult toys (under Various Items, together with “Injectable Testosterone for male menopause?).

Sunday is the best day to read the classified section. Sun.Star Cebu averages a hundred pages on Sundays, with the classified ads section accounting for half of these. Looking for a boarding house in Cebu? You can find a lot of advertisements there for boarding houses. Looking for a job in Cebu? On a Sunday, many companies put out full-page advertisements listing their job vacancies.

Classified ads are billed by the column inch so you often see ad copy abbreviated. And so you have massage services promising “good quality srcs. w/guartd 2tal satsfction young M/F exprt thrpst.? One says they have “cuteboy & pinay? for home and hotel service. There’s also the “NONSURG? services for face-lifts, mole removals, and get this: “earhole repair.?

But this ad takes the cake:

The Internet is for sale

Most likely the advertiser meant Internet cafe. But if you think he or she is really selling the Internet 🙂 and you want your piece of the action, send me an e-mail and I’ll give you the contact numbers.

From Pigeon Rank to GMail Paper, you gotta love Google

Open GMail today and you’ll see a different front page. Google regularly posts updates to the GMail service, including the current storage space offered, on the front page. Today, the front page introduces what is purported to be a new product: GMail Paper.

GMail Paper, according to their April Fool’s joke page, is a free service that gives you a physical copy of your messages, delivered to your doorstep.

gmail paper GMAIL PAPER. The page is the latest of Google’s great April fool’s jokes. Click to view very large version.

The site says “the cost of postage is offset with the help of relevant, targeted, unobtrusive advertisements, which will appear on the back of your Gmail Paper prints in red, bold, 36 pt Helvetica. No pop-ups, no flashy animations—these are physically impossible in the paper medium.”

The page even has made up testimonials of beta users. Google really has funny April Fool’s jokes. Remember the Pigeon Rank several years back? But for sheer daring, I have to give it to the BBC Panorama staff who reported good spaghetti harvest because of a mild winter in 1957. The report even came with footage of a Swiss family harvesting pasta from spaghetti trees. After the broadcast, the BBC was swamped with calls inquiring on how they can grow their own spaghetti trees.

Close encounter of a different kind

If you looked up the Cebu sky last night, you’d have the crap scared out of you. At least seven balls of light were clearly visible in a linear formation (if you squint hard enough and connect the dots, it could be the Grim Reaper’s scythe.) The lights were stationary and stayed visible for minutes.

Text messages were being sent around, asking people to look up the sky. I ran to our office’s canteen and saw the lights for myself. It was eerie and beautiful. (Click on the photo to view the larger image.) Across the street, people were stopping to look at it. I couldn’t make out their faces, whether they showed awe or fear or fascination.

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Busted: Newspaper photo reveals married man’s affair

It was a picture of domestic bliss-a couple taking their child to a picnic in a public park in Cebu. The pair was laughing and appeared to enjoy an afternoon away from the demands of work and pressure of urban life.

The problem was the man wasn’t having a picnic with his legal family, he was spending time with his mistress. When his wife saw the photo in Sun.Star she had a heart attack (she’s okay or so the man says). The man called up the photographer to ask why he printed it when it was “obvious” that the woman was too young to be his wife. He also said he and his mistress had been able to hide the affair from the wife for so long “pwerte namong tago ani” (we really tried to keep this a secret).

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Fatal song

Supreme Court Associate Justice Renato Corona warned judges over the weekend not to sing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” in karaoke bars. The song has been blamed for a lot of karaoke-related killings in the Philippines.

Corona made the statement when asked to comment on the suggestion of arming judges after the recent killing of Pasay Judge Henrick Guingoyon.

Many people have been killed while singing My Way in karaoke bars. The song, an English translation of a French tune, is a favorite in karaoke bars (at least in those that I used to frequent when I was still with The Freeman ages ago). Ironically, the song is also said to be a favorite in funerals.

I recall reading at least three stories on killings in karaoke bars in Cebu but, save for one, I’m no longer sure which songs so enraged the suspects so as to kill their victims. In February 2004, a man singing the “Spaghetti Song” in Moalboal town was shot. In December 2001, a man was killed in Lapu-Lapu City, where I live, after two customers ganged up on him for hogging the microphone.

Deferred success my gluteus maximus

An association of teachers had considered a proposal to use “deferred success” as euphemism for “fail.”

According to the Global Language Monitor: “The Professional Association of Teachers in the UK considered a proposal to replace any notion of failure with deferred success in order to bolster students self-esteem.”

Among the euphemisms spotted this year are: misguided criminals for terrorist (used by the BBC); thought shower or word shower for brainstorm so as not to offend those with brain disorders; womyn for women; and Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings in place of Christmas greetings containing the word Christmas.

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Weasley clock for muggles

If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter series, you’d be familiar with the wall clock used by the Weasley family. It doesn’t tell the time but location of members of the Weasley family.

I don’t know how true this report is but Gizmodo quotes a report from that researchers are working on a similar contraption (there’s even a photo in the site) using GPS to get the location data from family members’ cellphones.

Microsoft researchers are working on a wall mounted display wich will allow busy families to keep track of each other. Researchers have christened it as the “whereabout clock”. They agree to being partially inspired by Harry Potter novels. The whereabout clock’s screen uses icons bearing the faces of each family member. Signals from their mobile phones are used to tell the computer where they are and the icons wander between colored segments to show whether they are at home, school, work or elsewhere.