Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Major Major!!

Fictional character biography

He has the surname Major, and at birth his father gave him the first and middle names Major and Major, informing the mother that he had named the boy 'Caleb' in accordance with her wishes. She only discovers Major Major's actual full name when his birth certificate is required for him to enter kindergarten, and the shock leads to her death. The novel explains that the name was a joke, and not a particularly funny one, on his father's part.

His father is mentioned briefly in the novel. A staunch Calvinist, he is one of the richest alfalfa farmers in his community. He receives a farm subsidy for every crop of alfalfa that he does not grow with his farmland and uses this money to buy more land to not grow alfalfa on. He believes that receiving money for not producing something is divinely ordained. Ironically, he preaches the proverb "You reap what you sow", and maintains that federal aid to anyone but farmers is "creeping socialism". "He would leap out of bed at the crack of noon each day, to ensure that the chores were not being done."

Inducted during World War II, Major Major is promoted from Private to Major while still in recruit training, without attending the Officers Training Corps or with any advance warning at all. This is caused by an IBM machine with a "sense of humor almost as keen as his father's". A recurring joke in the book is that he bears a striking resemblance to Henry Fonda, even to the point that some people think he is in fact the actor. In an interview,[citation needed] Heller stated that he would imagine Major Major to be played either "by Henry Fonda or by somebody who looks nothing like Henry Fonda."

During the novel, it is revealed that he can never be promoted nor demoted, because the army has only one Major Major Major Major and Ex-PFC Wintergreen will not allow this situation to change.

Major Major was also promoted to squadron commander after his predecessor, Major Duluth, was killed in action. It is this event that causes Major Major to become a recluse: he stops eating meals at the mess hall, he avoids all his duties by forging false names to correspondence requiring his signature, and he enters and exits his office through a window.

Upon discovering that forging false names (like Washington Irving and Irving Washington) to official correspondence would considerably decrease his workload, Major Major began to sign every document with those two names. This caused a duo of C.I.D. men (who were not working together, and were in fact trying to kill each other) to begin an investigation to learn the forger's identity. Because Yossarian once censored an enlisted man's letter under the name of the group chaplain, the CID men believed that the chaplain was intercepting Major Major's correspondence and forging signatures onto them. This investigation eventually leads to the chaplain's arrest and trial. However, Yossarian had also used the name Washington Irving to sign documents, probably giving the idea to Major Major.

Thematic Importance

Major Major and his father highlight the absurdity of bureaucracy. His character also stands in contrast to the other authority figures in the book who relish their power and use the bureaucratic system and the law of Catch-22 to maintain or try to increase their power over others. Major Major demonstrates how an indifferent bureaucratic system can award a position of authority to someone who, being unwilling or unable to handle the position, can only fulfill his responsibilities by hiding from them. Major Major doesn't want to be mistaken for Henry Fonda or to hold a position of authority; he only wants to live a "normal" life by mitigating the damage dealt by his ridiculous name, but bureaucracy forbids this of him. The situation is another Catch-22, as are the orders he gives regarding visiting officers: the men can only see him when he's not in.

Eventually Major Major disappears from the book, although it is uncertain if this is because he hides or if he was "disappeared" like Dunbar. He simply may have had no part whatsoever in events, due to his plan to completely avoid his duties.

OFW in HK loses job after hostage crisis — DOLE

Another overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Hong Kong was fired from her job following the bloody hostage crisis in Manila last week, which left eight tourists from Hong Kong killed, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Tuesday. DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said that a Filipina domestic helper, whose name was not disclosed to media, was fired after her employers in Hong Kong found it “uncomfortable" to have someone from the Philippines in their household after the hostage-taking incident. This page requires a higher version browser She however added that the DOLE managed to find another job for the Filipina OFW days after she was fired. Baldoz likewise said that she does not expect any more OFWs to lose their jobs after the bloody hostage-taking.

“Hindi ako nag-eexpect ng backlash… I don’t think it [the situation] will worsen, and it will only be a few cases," she said in an interview aired over “24 Oras" on Tuesday.

She however advised OFWs in the Chinese territory to “respect" the “grief" being felt by Hong Kong residents due to the tragedy. “Patuloy pa rin irespeto ang national grief na nararamdaman ng buong gobyerno ng Hong Kong… Doblehin pa ang maayos na serbisyo sa employers nila," she said in the same television interview.

(Let’s continue to respect the national grief being felt by the entire Hong Kong government. Let’s redouble the good service we provide their employers.) Baldoz added that there have been no further reports of maltreatment and discrimination among OFWs in Hong Kong as of posting time.

On August 23, dismissed Police Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza, hijacked a bus carrying 21 Hong Kong tourists and four Filipinos. After an 11-hour hostage drama, nine people died— the hostage-taker and eight Hong Kong tourists. (See: Hostage crisis ends in bloody carnage; 8 hostages dead) Filipinos based in Hong Kong are reportedly feeling the backlash of growing outrage over the way the police handled the incident. The Philippine Consul General in Hong Kong confirmed last week that a domestic helper was dismissed by her employer in reaction to the hostage crisis. Some 150,000 Filipino workers are currently based in the Chinese territory, based on government records.—Andreo C. Calonzo/JV, GMANews.TV

10 Interesting Topics of Conversation for Every Occasion

Here are a few interesting topics of conversation to get you started:

1. Who is the most interesting person you ever met? You can see how this would easily lead people to voice opinions and ask 'why?'.

2. Where in the world would you most like to visit? This dream location may be shared by others and so it makes people feel solidarity, but also, people will be itching to ask 'why?' and keep the conversation flowing.

3. What has been the most life-changing experience you've ever had? Here, people can share funny and touching stories if they want to, which will help you get a deeper understanding of them. Likewise, if people don't feel relaxed enough to give a heart-felt reply they can answer in a funny way and it all adds to the conversation.

4. What is the most spontaneous thing you've you ever done? That opens the door to all sorts of funny and romantic stories.

5. Who's had the biggest influence on your life? Because this person has influenced the person you're asking, they must view them positively and have strong ideas about them. That means they're likely to enjoy talking about them.

6. What thing that you haven't yet done would you most like to do? This kind of inspirational question always gets people talking and everyone's usually happy to chip in with comments about people's hopes and wishes. Just be careful when commenting that you don't rain on their parade. It's their right to have whatever hopes they want.

7. What is the best quality you've inherited from either of your parents? This is particularly interesting at a family gathering when people know the parents you're talking about. It's also a bit of a bonding experience, speaking favorably about your parents.

8. From which person have you learned most in your life? This is another uplifting, positive topic of conversation that usually gets people talking.

9. What historical figure do you most identify with? This lets you know something about the other people around you; it also opens up discussion of the events these historical figures were involved in. Yes, potentially it takes you into dangerous waters of politics and religion but people usually take this question in the spirit of fun in which it's meant, so potentially awkward moments are easily averted.

10. What kind of music do you like? You could then go on to talk of CDs you've bought or gigs you've been too. You might even ask - 'what's the most embarrassing album in your collection?' That's usually met with all-round hilarity!


The Xbox is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Microsoft. It was released on November 15, 2001 in North America, February 22, 2002 in Japan, and March 14, 2002 in Australia and Europe and is the predecessor to the Xbox 360. It was Microsoft's first foray into the gaming console market, and competed with Sony's PlayStation 2, Sega's Dreamcast, and Nintendo's GameCube. The integrated Xbox Live service allowed players to compete online.

The Xbox was discontinued in late 2006, although the final Xbox game, Madden NFL 09 was released in August 2008. Support for out-of-warranty Xbox consoles was discontinued on March 2, 2009; any in-warranty repair now needed will not be undertaken and faulty consoles will replaced with an Xbox 360 instead. Xbox Live support was discontinued on April 15, 2010.

What is Visual Basic?

VISUAL BASIC is a high level programming language which evolved from the earlier DOS version called BASIC. BASIC means Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. It is a very easy programming language to learn. The code look a lot like English Language. Different software companies produced different versions of BASIC, such as Microsoft QBASIC, QUICKBASIC, GWBASIC ,IBM BASICA and so on. However, people prefer to use Microsoft Visual Basic today, as it is a well developed programming language and supporting resources are available everywhere. Now, there are many versions of VB exist in the market, the most popular one and still widely used by many VB programmers is none other than Visual Basic 6. We also have VB.net, VB2005 and the latest VB2008, which is a fully object oriented programming (OOP) language. It is more powerful than VB6 but looks more complicated to master.

Features of Visual Basic
Using Visual Basic is the quickest and easiest way to create powerful, full-featured applications that take advantage of the graphical user interface in Windows. For companies developing custom applications, Visual Basic reduces development time and costs. Its intuitive interface makes Visual Basic an excellent tool for programmers.
New users benefit from mouse operations and a consistent look and feel; more advanced users benefit from easy-to-use features, such as drop-down list boxes and multiple-window applications.
Visual Basic provides the basis for the programming language that is used in all Microsoft Office applications, Visual Basic for Applications, and a variety of applications from other vendors.
Visual Basic supports a number of features that make it an excellent language for quickly creating full-featured solutions, including the following:
• Data access features
By using data access features, you can create databases, front-end applications, and scalable server-side components for most database formats, including Microsoft SQL Server and other enterprise-level databases.
• ActiveX technologies
With ActiveX technologies, you can use the functionality provided by other applications, such as the Word processor, the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, and other Windows applications. You can even automate applications and objects that were created by using the Professional or Enterprise editions of Visual Basic.
• Internet capabilities
Internet capabilities make it easy to provide access to documents and applications across the Internet, or an intranet, from within your application, or to create Internet server applications.
• Rapid application development (RAD)
• Support for multilingual applications
• Interactive debugging support

A Cavalier and a Heat fly into an airport...

Funny things happen in airports. Sometimes, a traveler's home country is in the throes of a revolution and that traveler is denied entry into the United States, leaving the traveler to live in the airport until everything is sorted out. Sometimes, a family sprints through an airport while "Run, Rudolph, Run" plays on the overhead speakers, leaving the family completely oblivious to the fact that they left their son, Macauley Culkin, at home by himself. And sometimes, a two-time MVP runs into the most outspoken member of the team he left on a one-hour national television special.
Well, that's awkward. It seems like LeBron has been trying to avoid contact with all of his former Cavalier teammates who are not 7-foot-3 and Lithuanian. For him to accidentally run into the one Cleveland player who has voiced his disappointment in LeBron's choice was probably one of those heart-skips-a-beat moments where LeBron needed a split-second to compose himself before approaching his former dance partner.

Thankfully, Williams appears to have played things pretty cool. He could have been a jerk about it. He could have just ignored LeBron. He could have told him that ground transportation left from an above-ground location when it really left from the basement level. But no, he manned up and let bygones be bygones, Ally McBeal-style. Get him during the season, he had to be thinking. Very cool, Mo Williams, especially considering he just suffered through a four-hour flight delay. That's poise under pressure, you guys.

Maybe, someday, when we look back on this whole LeBron-in-Miami situation, we'll realize him fortuitously meeting Mo Williams in an airport was the beginning of him mending fences with Cleveland. Now, all he has to do is fly into the same airport millions of times, meet each angry Cavalier fan and hope they'll be as nice as Mo Williams. Quite the undertaking, but LeBron's got a few million dollars he can spend on the quest.

Facebook post gets Detroit-area juror in hot water

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. – A judge removed a juror from a trial in suburban Detroit after the young woman wrote on Facebook that the defendant was guilty. The problem? The trial wasn't over. Hadley Jons, of Warren just north of Detroit, could be found in contempt when she returns to the Macomb County circuit court Thursday.

Jons, 20, was a juror in a case of resisting arrest. On Aug. 11, a day off from the trial and before the prosecution finished its case, she wrote on Facebook that it was "gonna be fun to tell the defendant they're guilty."

The post was discovered by defense lawyer Saleema Sheikh's son.

Circuit Judge Diane Druzinski confronted Jons the next day and replaced her with an alternate.

"You don't know how disturbing this is," Druzinski said, according to The Macomb Daily.

A message seeking comment was left for Jons on Monday.

"I would like to see her get some jail time, nothing major, a few hours or overnight," Sheikh said. "This is the jury system. People need to know how important it is."

Sheikh's son, Jaxon Goodman, discovered the comment while checking jurors' names on the Internet. He works in his mother's law office.

"I'm really proud of him," Sheikh said.

Without Jons, the jury convicted Sheikh's client of a felony but couldn't agree on a separate misdemeanor charge.


K-pop is an abbreviation for Korean pop music (also referred to as GaYo or KaYo music), specifically from South Korea. Many of these artists and musical groups have branched out of South Korea and have become popular in many countries around the world. The popularity of K-pop is often considered a part of the rise of the Korean Wave, the recent surge of popularity of contemporary South Korean culture in Asia.
Current style

K-pop is similar to the boy bands of America in the 2000s. However, unlike American pop music, which had most of its boy bands and girl groups either break up or informally disband, bubblegum pop is still very popular in South Korea. Groups such as TVXQ, Super Junior, Girls' Generation, Wonder Girls, Big Bang, SS501, Kara, SHINee, 2PM and U-Kiss continue to be top sellers in K-pop, and artists like Ahyoomee and LPG have released novelty songs, to varying degrees of success. However, the 2000s has seen the rise of R&B vocal groups, such as SG Wannabe, Davichi and SeeYa having success with their albums. Ballads are also very popular, as 2006 has seen the release of ballad singles by non-ballad artists, including Shinhwa and Baek Ji Young. In addition, trot music has made a comeback in mainstream K-pop as well, mostly due to the success of Jang Yoon Jung and Park Hyun Bin. The year 2007 was marked with the release of numerous girl and boy bands, though only a few managed to top the charts. Despite new bands debuting, physical sales for CDs have become increasingly low, due to the stagnation of the K-pop industry. The highest selling album of 2007 did not even reach the 200,000 mark with only 190,998 copies sold.

The beginning of 2008 saw the rise of electronica dominance in the K-pop scene,[14][15] influenced by the release of Big Bang's mini-album Always, which heavily featured the genre.[16] Other artists also followed the trend, such as Jewelry for their song "One More Time" and Brown Eyed Girls for "L.O.V.E." Even artists that release music in other genres have released electronica-influenced albums to suit the current trends, including Epik High, Gummy, Clazziquai, and Lee Seung-cheol.

A Message About Prayer

Friends, I have been blessed in recent weeks with many reminders of how weak and needy I can sometimes be, and of how much I stand in need of love, support, guidance, nurture and strength from God, from the community of Friends and from my loved ones. Blessed but also distressed. I do not really like to see myself as weak and needy.

With all this on my mind this morning, I felt a need to pray and did not know how to begin, so I meditated awhile on a sample prayer taught by Jesus, the one often called the "Our Father" or "The Lord's Prayer". I believe the words of this prayer are not given to us so that they can be repeated by rote as part of a ritual. I believe they are given so that they can teach us something about prayer itself and about the God to whom we pray. Here is what they have taught me this morning as I meditated on them:

First, our God is a parent to us, and we are invited to speak to God as to a parent. Gender is not the issue. We can call God "Father" (or "Papa") as Jesus did, or "Mother" if that is easier for some of us. The point is that God gave us being, God loves us, God cares for us, and God watches over us with the loving attention of a parent. We can talk to God in a familiar way.

Second even though God is our parent, God is also in Heaven, in the Sky, High Above us. God is not our God only, not in our control, and not on our "side" against someone else. We are to hallow God's name. To refrain from using it in profanity certainly, but more importantly not to dishonor it by invoking it as a cover or a sanction for our human agendas and parochial concerns.

We are urged to pray that God's will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. The way things are now is not God's will for how they should be, but the things that we ourselves want and wish for aren't necessarily God's will either. We are to ask for God's own will to be acccomplished, rather than ours, and in asking we need to commmit ourselves to seek for that will and then to cooperate with it, as far as we are enabled to understand it.

We are encouraged to ask for our "daily" bread today. Not for cake or steak, and not for a lifetime supply of even bread, and not for a plan or a roadmap or a promise to always be secure. Just for enough to feed us now.

We are also to ask for forgiveness for the wrongs we have done, and to offer the same forgiveness for wrongs we have suffered, if any. We have a need to be freed from the chains of bitterness, guilt, and blame, in order to face the future in faith and love.

Finally, we are to ask that we not be "put to the test" beyond our strength. We don't have to be spiritual heroes. We don't tell the tempter to "bring it on". Instead we ask our Parent to deliver us from evil. And we trust that He will.

In sum: We are invited to ask God to deliver us from evil, to forgive us and help us forgive, to give us what we need today. We are invited to ask that God's will be done. We are reminded that God is our Parent but is also a Heavenly God with a name that should be hallowed.

Mendoza’s woman friend tells NBI ‘she absolutely didn’t know’

The woman who claims to have accompanied former Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza to Manila faced authorities on Tuesday, and maintained she did not know about his real plans that eventually led to the death of eight tourists and the ex-police officer himself.

The woman, identified only as “Rose," executed her affidavit before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Tuesday.

“Rose" said that although she accompanied Mendoza aboard her car on his trip from Batangas to Manila, she had nothing to do with the disgruntled policeman’s plan to hold hostage a busload of Hong Kong tourists. “Gusto ko lang pong malinis ang aking pangalan… Talagang walang-wala po akong alam. Kung ako po’y may alam doon, ‘di ko po siya [Mendoza] isasama," she said in an interview aired over GMA News’ “24 Oras" on Tuesday. (I just want to clear my name. I absolutely knew nothing. If I knew something about it, I wouldn’t have allowed him to go with me.)

She added that she allowed Mendoza to go with her to Manila on the belief that the former cop would go to the Manila Police District (MPD)’s headquarters to surrender his M16 rifle, without realizing he would later use it to keep the tourists hostage and later shoot them. “Hindi ko po alam na doon siya pupunta… Ako nga po ay talagang nalulungkot din sa ginawa niya. Ni sa panaginip, hindi ko po akalaing gagawin niya iyon," she said.

(I didn’t know that was where he was going. I myself am truly saddened with what he did. Never have I imagined he could do such a thing.)

She explained that she was convinced by Mendoza to allow him to drive the car, which was barred from Metro Manila streets that day due to the government’s number-coding scheme.

Mendoza explained that since he was in police uniform, he could easily avoid being apprehended by traffic authorities.

“Rose" surfaced to clear her name on Monday, a week after Mendoza was killed by members of the Manila police’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team in a nighttime assault after negotiations failed during the hostage crisis. (See: Woman who brought hostage-taker to Manila surfaces)

Eight Hong Kong tourists died in the tragedy, in what has been generally acknowledged as a rescue attempt that failed due to a number of lapses both in the negotiation phase and during the actual assault. (See: Hostage crisis ends in bloody carnage; 8 hostages dead) The woman’s lawyer, Eugeryl Rondacio, meanwhile said that he hopes his client’s affidavit will help authorities complete its probe into the incident. “My client gave an official statement in the hope that this will set the facts (straight) and complete the investigation," he said. He added that his client has already surrendered her driver’s license to the NBI, and is expected to undergo psychiatric interrogation in the coming days.—Andreo C. Calonzo/JV, GMANews.TV

5 Simple Ways to Conserve Your Makeup

A Frugal Foundation Trick
Natalie DeStefano, makeup artist at the Rita Hazan Salon in NYC, recommends wetting your makeup sponge slightly before you dip it into your foundation. The dampness will cause the sponge to absorb less product, thus leaving more in the bottle.

Squeeze More Swipes
Get a few more uses out of an almost-gone mascara by standing it in a glass of warm water or heating it up with a hair dryer.

Save Your Mascara Wand
Wash it thoroughly and use it to tame unruly eyebrow hairs or to separate and de-clump lashes. Oftentimes, great mascara application comes from the brush. If you aren't too keen on a newly purchased formula, use the wand from your tried-and-true to see if it makes a difference.

Use a Lip Brush
Slathering on your lipstick may cause you to overapply, which you'll only blot off onto a napkin. Use a lip brush and you'll save product, plus get a more even, precise color. Check out this one from e.l.f. (only $1 at eyeslipsface.com).

How to Catch a Liar..

Are you being lied to? Find out how you can tell.

1. How is the person speaking?
Although a change in voice can be the tip-off to a lie, experts say that to be sure, you should also pay attention to a person's speech rate and breathing pattern -- if either speeds up or slows down, chances are you're not hearing the whole truth.

Jupiterimages Corporation

Jupiterimages Corporation
2. What is the person saying?
Liars tend to avoid exclusionary words like "but," "nor," "except," and "whereas," because they have trouble with complex thought processes. Liars are less likely to use the words "I," "me," and "mine." In their attempts to distance themselves psychologically from their tall tales, liars will tend to communicate using fewer personal pronouns.

3. Is his face giving it away?
You may think disguising your true feelings is easily accomplished with the help of a smile, but the expressions that flash across your face will give away what you're really thinking -- whether you know it or not. Experts advise paying close attention to the micro-expressions that a face can't hide. These clues are often so difficult to detect that even trained experts have trouble discerning them.

PLUS: 13 Things Your Bartender Won't Tell You

4. How is the person smiling?
A smile can sometimes mask a person's true feelings. Pay close attention to how a person smiles as well as other facial movements. You may be able to detect the emotions he or she is trying to hide -- such as fear, anger, and disgust. A true smile will incorporate both a person's lips and eyes.

5. Does the body language follow the story?
It's more important to examine a person's entire demeanor, as there's no one feature that's apt to give away a liar. Honesty is characterized by features that are in sync with one another -- so besides posture, note the fit between face, body, voice, and speech.

PLUS: 20 Secrets Your Waiter Won't Tell You

6. Is your subject behaving uncharacteristically?
Experts believe changes in a person's baseline -- how she generally conducts herself -- are worthy of your attention. You should weigh rate of speech, tone of voice, posture, and hand gestures against what you know, along with the context of the situation.

7. Is the question simple or embarrassing?
It's normal for someone to look away when asked a difficult question. But when someone avoids your gaze when asked a simple question, you should be suspicious.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hostage in Manila - funny moments haha

Recovered Memory Therapy (RMT)

At one time, memory researchers believed that human memory worked like a video recorder. All one had to do was to find the right tape, play it back, and relive the memories precisely as they were originally experienced. However, subsequent research showed that this model is inaccurate. Rather, most memories are simply forgotten. Few people have real memories of events that occurred before their 3rd birthday. Most memories during childhood are simply forgotten. For those memories that are actually remembered, the mind stores only elements of the actual events and reconstruct full memories later when the memories are recalled. The act of recalling memories can change them so that at the time of the next recall, they are somewhat modified.

Recovered Memory Therapy (RMT) was quite popular during the 1980s and 1990s but is now rarely used. It is a therapeutic technique based on the belief that traumatic memories of abuse -- typically sexual abuse experienced during childhood -- can be forgotten or repressed and later recovered during therapy. No matter how memories were recalled, they were believed to be accurate. Many suggestive techniques were used to reconstruct what appeared to be memories; however they are generally unrelated to real events from the past.

About 15 to 20% of persons with memories recovered via RMT go on to recover memory of ritual abuse and Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA). Such memories are often personally devastating. No hard evidence of SRA has ever been found. The consensus among investigators is that it never existed in the past and doesn't exist now.

However, there are many self-help and mutual support groups of individuals who have gone through RMT, have recovered what they believe to be memories of real abusive events, and firmly believe that they are the victims of childhood sexual assault, and/or SRA. The Internet has been very useful to these groups in helping them contact and communicate with other survivors.

RMT led to tens of thousands of adults accusing their parents of sexual abuse during childhood. Hundreds of parents went to jail. Tens of thousands of families of origin were shattered; many never recovered. The current near-consensus is that RMT does recover what seem to be childhood memories, but the memories are false. RMT as a therapeutic technique went into decline during the mid-1990s and has since been abandoned by the vast majority of therapists and counselors. Many former RMT therapists have switched to EMDR -- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, That form of therapy appears to be just as useless as RMT. However, at least it does not have the same potential for harm as did RMT.

Most therapists today differentiate between two types of memories:

  1. Memories of events that have always been available for recall, continuously from the time of the abuse to the present time. These are believed to be reasonably accurate. However, they are not precise recollections. The memory process itself distorts all memories.
  2. What appear to be memories that were laboriously pieced together during many months of RMT therapy. These are believed to be byproducts of the RMT processes and are entirely or almost entirely unrelated to real events. They feel like real memories, but are of incidences that never actually happened.