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Coco Dilemma
October 4th, 2008 posted by AJ007 under Alumni Stories, Current Events, Opinion, Random Thoughts. [ Comments: none ]

Why is it that coconuts, the driver of our future are not taken seriously?

Is it because we are not well informed?

Actually, coconut oil yields high lauric acid content. Back in 1997, I’ve read an article from The Philippine Star about Jon J. Kabara who discovered in the University of Michigan that mono lauic acid (gyceryl monolaurate) or simply monolaurin lowers the viral load of AIDS in the human body. Luaric acid is apparently rich in colostrums that explain why breast fed babies shows high resistance to sickness.

In my last visit to DOST in pursuing my thesis, I came across with this information that we are now encapsulating monolaurin.

When I was still dealing with my baby thesis, my quest for information gathering lead me to the R&D Head of UNILAB back then in school year 1997 – 1998. Through the kindness of Dr. Torres, the R&D head, I was allowed to use their library at UNILAB.

Monolaurin could perturb the protien shell of the virus and penetrated until the nucleus thus killing the virus and halting its capacity to infest. And this is only momolaurin, one of the products of a coconut.

Coconuts as we all know are good source of oil that is mainly used in producing frying oils. Now that the price of copra has gone up to an average of PhP41.00/Kilo, it is only logical that the price of coconut oil has increased as well. A 375 mL frying oil sells for PhP50.

For those who love to use cosmetic products, you’ve probably heard of virgin coconut oil that is a good moisturizer and emollient. Your lotions and creams should contain emulsifiers and other emollients like stearic acid, monoglyceryl stearate and cetyl alcohol, these are all coconut based. Croda, Cognis, Rohm and Haas, etc are example of multinational companies that manufactures those products mentioned. Our very own Cocochem carries the same product line.

The high oil yielding coconut is also big for biodiesel industry. Currently, D&L sells BioActive brand at every gasoline station. Actually, even overly used coconut oils could be converted into biodiesel because the oxidized oil could by reduced by saponification, the then neutralized by acidification then finally, converted into a fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) by methylation. For chem. Students who are interested to make a more advanced study in this topic, you may approach Ms. Josefina V. Yumul and she’ll surely glad to help you out.

Coconut also yields “tuba,” a sweet tasting coconut wine. The coconut sap where we extract the “tuba” also yields coco sugar. The “sapal” of coconut meat in preparing a coconut milk could be make into coco flour. And the coco butter fat is a delicious substitute in manufacturing reconstituted milk.

Right now though, coconut land owners have this “pain – in – the – ass” problem. They are not allowed to cut down coconut trees that over populates the land area, or even those that are too old to be productive. You see, right now, there is a specified ratio of coconut trees per hectare that should be planted to ensure the health of the coconut trees that could be directly attributed to the yield of fruits.

If we rely on coconuts for progress and we can’t organize the coconut farming scheme because the law prohibits cutting down coconut trees that stands in the way, then does it not defeat the purpose of it all?

Catch – 22?

AJ007 has blogged 7 posts

“How to catch a lion in the Sahara Desert”
September 20th, 2008 posted by JB under Random Thoughts. [ Comments: none ]

Found this from somewhere. Made me giggle for a few minutes.

Theoretical Physics Methods

The Dirac method

We assert that wild lions can ipso facto not be observed in the Sahara desert. Therefore, if there are any lions at all in the desert, they are tame. We leave catching a tame lion as an exercise to the reader.

The Schrödinger method

At every instant there is a non-zero probability of the lion being in the cage. Sit and wait.

The Quantum Measurement Method

We assume that the sex of the lion is _ab initio_ indeterminate. The wave function for the lion is hence a superposition of the gender eigenstate for a lion and that for a lioness. We lay these eigenstates out flat on the ground and orthogonal to each other. Since the (male) lion has a distinctive mane, the measurement of sex can safely be made from a distance, using binoculars. The lion then collapses into one of the eigenstates, which is rolled up and placed inside the cage.
The nuclear physics method

Insert a tame lion into the cage and apply a Majorana exchange operator on it and a wild lion. As a variant let us assume that we would like to catch (for argument’s sake) a male lion. We insert a tame female lion into the cage and apply the Heisenberg exchange operator, exchanging spins.

The Newton method

Cage and lion attract each other with the gravitation force. We neglect the friction. This way the lion will arive sooner or later in the cage.

The Special relativistic method

One moves over the desert with light velocity. The relativistic length contraction makes the lion flat as paper. One takes it, rolls it up and puts a rubber band around the lion.
The general relativistic method

All over the desert we distribute lion bait containing large amounts of the companion star of Sirius. After enough of the bait has been eaten we send a beam of light through the desert. This will curl around the lion so it gets all confused and can be approached without danger.

The Heisenberg method

Position and velocity from a moving lion can not be measure at the same time. As moving lions have no physical meaningfull position in the desert, one can not catch them. The lion hunt can therefore be limited to resting lions. The catching of a resting, not moving lion is left as an exercise for the reader.
Experimental Physics Methods

The thermodynamics method

We construct a semi-permeable membrane which lets everything but lions pass through. This we drag across the desert.

The atomic fission method

We irradiate the desert with slow neutrons. The lion becomes radioactive and starts to disintegrate. Once the disintegration process is progressed far enough the lion will be unable to resist.

The magneto-optical method

We plant a large, lense shaped field with cat mint (nepeta cataria) such that its axis is parallel to the direction of the horizontal component of the earth’s magnetic field. We put the cage in one of the field’s foci . Throughout the desert we distribute large amounts of magnetized spinach (spinacia oleracea) which has, as everybody knows, a high iron content. The spinach is eaten by vegetarian desert inhabitants which in turn are eaten by the lions. Afterwards the lions are oriented parallel to the earth’s magnetic field and the resulting lion beam is focused on the cage by the cat mint lense.


JB has blogged 120 posts

Having solved all of the country’s problems, GMA proudly halves the cost of texting
July 29th, 2008 posted by JB under Random Thoughts. [ Comments: none ]

Apparently, because the other bleeding matter of rising prices of everything and SSDD (same shit, different day) everywhere you look have been solved, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (or simply GMA to the 90-something-million Filipinos who deeply, deeply love her) turned her presidential super powers to the cost of texting.

And I accurately quote:

“You know, I asked the telecom companies, like, reduce the cost of texting already. And they’re all like, fo sho, babe! And now, instead of paying 1 peso, you only have to pay .50 cents. Yippeee! Ain’t I so cute? Those who want to fall in line to pinch my bottom, please do so now coz I’m, like, bending over!

Here’s a snippet of GMA’s 2008 SONA; go google for the rest.

Just one of the reasons why I luuuuv this country to death.

Tags: SONA+2008

JB has blogged 120 posts

“Disadvantages of an elite education”
July 22nd, 2008 posted by JB under Random Thoughts. [ Comments: 1 ]

The first disadvantage of an elite education, as I learned in my kitchen that day, is that it makes you incapable of talking to people who aren’t like you. Elite schools pride themselves on their diversity, but that diversity is almost entirely a matter of ethnicity and race. With respect to class, these schools are largely—indeed increasingly—homogeneous. Visit any elite campus in our great nation and you can thrill to the heartwarming spectacle of the children of white businesspeople and professionals studying and playing alongside the children of black, Asian, and Latino businesspeople and professionals. At the same time, because these schools tend to cultivate liberal attitudes, they leave their students in the paradoxical position of wanting to advocate on behalf of the working class while being unable to hold a simple conversation with anyone in it.


JB has blogged 120 posts

“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” — John Maynard Keynes
July 13th, 2008 posted by JB under Random Thoughts. [ Comments: 15 ]

The video below presents the “infamous” double-slit experiment — how super small pieces of matter [photons, electrons, etc] behave both as a wave and a particle [which is really weird as it's like saying you can be in two places at the same time], and how the very act of observing them changes the way matter behaves.

This continues to blow away the minds of physicists everywhere as it shows how seriously strange reality is; The Matrix now seems a lot simpler.
YouTube Preview Image

Indeed, the phrase “the very act of observing changes the observed” has found its way in several fields and is often applied [incorrectly] even in normal everyday circumstances.

For further understanding, check out the double-slit experiment; also, the often-referred Schrödinger’s cat.

JB has blogged 120 posts

This quintessence of dust (with apologies to William Shakespeare)
April 29th, 2008 posted by tikgirl under Random Thoughts. [ Comments: 3 ]

Journeying through memory lane, I remembered what question Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye) asked to the cab driver when he was about to go back to his New York home when he was (again) kicked-out of his school, “Where do the ducks move in the winter?”. He was referring to the ducks that he often looks at on the mini ponds at Central park. And they were debating and debating but they weren’t able to give the answer to each other. They still haven’t figured out if the ducks went into hibernation or have just moved south (or north). What greatly affected me during this time of reading and finishing J.D. Salinger’s novel, Catcher in the Rye, is that Holden and I shared something in common during that time in our lives; we were both at lost. We were both searching for that justification of where and what will happen to our lives. We were paddling our own boats into the world; we, sucking our baby teeth and whistling the lullabies that we had learned during the sleeping sessions both of us have had on the afternoons are being swamped into the realities of life. And regards to the street proverb “Being a teenager is hard”, which made me think to paddle hard. But I digress.

Then I just realized that I want to be a Catcher in the Rye, just like Holden Caulfield wanted himself to be, after several realizations, dates, and Tom Collinses. We will be two characters, one in the fiction, and one in reality, who will hang around the so-called edges of the cliffs of life where “children and teens” play around the rye fields. And then, if one of them tries and strays out to the edge, we will be the ones to catch them and lead them back to the harmonious life in the rye field, where they could scurry down and learn a thing or two about it. If this metaphor gets your neurons moving, yes my reader; I realized what my weltanschauung is. After closing down the book, along with its chapters of laughs and realizations, I realized that I am to fulfill Holden’s dream, in a way that it let me see and pursue my self-growth. Life for teenagers is like a rye field; it is full of golden sunlight if you would only look up and try not to hide under the shadows of the stalks. During my go as a teen, I was always on that rye field; freely moving, freely running and horsing around without a doubt that the world is hard, just like falling into the cliff (and into oblivion, if I may exaggerate). If not for that realization, that enlightening moment when I finished the book, I might be one of those who haven’t a single care in mind. The immature adults, as they say. The ones who have fallen into the cliff without [them] realizing it. My moment might be objective, because it happened only to me, but I would like to point out to you, my dear reader, that living in the most transient state of life (teenager life) without realizing what it is to be one, what we wanted to be, and without that eventful enlightenment will only make our maturing or fermenting to stop-short. Even a quintessence of what maturity is or even an idea will motivate us as to what it is to be human, to be living the life out of being that risky adolescent with a proboscis of a skunk.

I was lucky enough that Holden caught me; if not, I would be one of the fallen children in the cliff; forever swimming to the rocky shore, missing out the grandeur lessons of the rye field, missing out its shiny mornings and cool nights. Living a very unsatisfied adulthood, or if we go to the extremes, living like a zombie: without realizations, without an identity. In this path where we all search for ourselves, wouldn’t it be too good to just fly off somewhere where it would not be as stressful as being a teenager? I doubt it. Without passing the rye field of life, we will all go down to swim into the murky depths of the river where the cliff is silently sitting, bidding its time to lure us to jump down. I was lucky; Holden’s thoughts caught me when I was on the verge of falling and crashing down onto the rocky end of the cliff. Into the abyss of what we call “self-induced prophesies” of what we ought to be, dictated by others. I was lucky; Holden caught my arms when I was slithering away to the edge of the cliff.

Now, where do the ducks move in the winter again?

Tags: Cathcer, in, the, Rye

tikgirl has blogged 13 posts

“100 years in the future”: predictions from 1900
March 3rd, 2008 posted by JB under Random Thoughts. [ Comments: none ]

Click to enlarge and read.

JB has blogged 120 posts

“He who is not busy being born is busy dying” - Bob Dylan
February 25th, 2008 posted by white garapata under Random Thoughts. [ Comments: 3 ]

I was not, I was, I am not, I do not care. Beware you people passing by, as you are now, so once was I, and as I am now, so must you be — Prepare for death and follow me.

See and Enjoy the classical faces of Death.

Tags: danse, macabre, death

white garapata has blogged 13 posts

Does gender roles influence how humans smell space?
February 22nd, 2008 posted by JB under Random Thoughts. [ Comments: none ]

Few people have experienced traveling into space. Even fewer have experienced the smell of space. Now this sounds strange, that a vacuum could have a smell and that a human being could live to smell that smell. It seems about as improbable as listening to sounds in space, yet space has a definite smell. Being creatures of an atmosphere, we can only smell space indirectly. Sort of like the way a pit viper smells by waving its tongue in the air and thenpressing it to the roof of its mouth where sensors process the molecules that have been adsorbed onto the waggling appendage. I had the pleasure of operating the airlock for two of my crewmates while they went on several space walks. Each time, when I repressed the airlock, opened the hatch and welcomed two tired workers inside, a peculiar odor tickled my olfactory senses. At first I couldn’t quite place it. It must have come from the air ducts that re-pressed the compartment. Then I noticed that this smell was on their suit, helmet, gloves, and tools. It was more pronounced on fabrics than on metal or plastic surfaces. It is hard to describe this smell; it is definitely not the olfactory equivalent to describing the palette sensations of some new food as “tastes like chicken.” The best description I can come up with is metallic; a rather pleasant sweet metallic sensation. It reminded me of my college summers where I labored for many hours with an arc welding torch repairing heavy equipment for a small logging outfit. It reminded me of pleasant sweet smelling welding fumes. That is the smell of space.

- ISS Science Officer Don Pettit, a red-blooded dude

They said it is a very unique smell. As they pulled the hatch open on the Soyuz side, I smelled “SPACE.” It was strange… kind of like burned almond cookie. I said to them, “It smells like cooking” and they both looked at me like I was crazy and exclaimed: “Cooking!”

- Anousheh Ansari, world’s first space tourist, who happens to be a chick.

JB has blogged 120 posts

F1 is great
February 18th, 2008 posted by coldfacedkiller17 under Random Thoughts. [ Comments: 4 ]

I know Filipinos are not much fans of Formula 1 racing, but I’m crazy about this sport. And my idol in this field is Brazilian Ayrton Senna. The lesson I learned from him is to give your best shot in whatever you do. Sadly, he passed away on May 1, 1994 when his race-leading Williams crashed on the Tamburello corner in the San Marino Grand Prix.

coldfacedkiller17 has blogged 1 posts


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