Category Archives: Patchwork

Hello, 2017!

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Remember well those days when problems reigned.
On gloomy paths and painful days, they drained
Yet strengthened well our will to carry on.
Gigantic may the feat that must be drawn,
Believe and keep the way that wraps the heart.
In faith and hope remain to be a part,
Victoriously prepared for every start.

* Remember the colors of the rainbow? Seven of them for the last digit of this year.

Flying CP

I could no longer remember the exact date, time, and reason when I started booking and taking flights from Cebu Pacific (CP) aka Cebu Pathetic Air.  I am definitely aware of two things – their flights have never been on time and that their baggage handling meant the death of my trolley bag.

It was CP that caused the first crack near its handle.  It was also CP (just four days ago) that broke the entire handle.  Please see photos showing how the whole section went taking another flight off its body (I gave the whole handle to one of their attendants who suggested that I go to their office to get my trolley bag fixed – talk of silly and insensitive assistance!).

to CP

This is simply sharing how they sell their insurance policy.  If you do NOT sign for one, they play football or such rough handling to get even.  How else am I supposed to interpret what they did to my dear trolley bag now invalid?  Please take note that this write-up is the calmer version of my first extremely angry feedback.  I screamed all the bad words into the air to taunt and haunt their planes (though this is only effective in fiction where all wishes come true).

What lessons should I learn from this experience? Here is my list of points to ponder:

  1. Pack way, way lighter so there will be no need of checking in any baggage.  This will make things fair – deprive CP of their baggage fun and additional baggage fee.
  2. If unavoidable, do not buy any trolley bag.  CP seems to love breaking it.  A bigger backpack may actually be better.
  3. Avoid destroying too many neurons.  Be ahead of their boarding time for they have this tendency to fly minutes earlier only to go taxiing the runway for more than half an hour after landing (thus, the whole trip is still delayed).  Please remember that for most instances, actually in ALL instances if you take it from my experience, their flights are always delayed if not cancelled.  Be ready with lots of entertainment like
    • music,
    • movies,
    • games,
    • ebooks,
    • fun company – family, friends, colleagues, or bother fellow passengers if you are travelling alone,
    • checking all open shops at the airport,
    • taking a nap – only if you travel with company who could keep an eye on your belongings,
    • making use of all open restrooms,
    • bugging their clerks with annoying questions, and
    • being creative with wasted minutes instead of sulking in a corner

because CP’s favourite line is “we are sorry for the inconvenience” or “we apologize… blah, blah, blah” and of course, they never mean what they say.

Unless they change for the better, this airline will always live up to its real name – Cebu Pathetic Air.

Why your DNA isn’t your destiny

The new science of epigenetics reveals how the choices you make can change your genes ─ and those of your kids

By John Cloud

Time Magazine, 18 January 2010

  • … research showing that conditions in the womb could affect your health not only when you were a fetus but well into adulthood.
  • In 1986, for example, the Lancet published the first two groundbreaking papers showing that if a pregnant woman ate poorly, her child would be at significantly higher than average risk for cardiovascular disease as an adult.
  • Charles Darwin, whose On the Origin of the Species celebrated its 150th anniversary in November, taught us that evolutionary changes take place over many generations and through millions of years of natural selection. But Bygren and other scientists have now amassed historical evidence suggesting that powerful environmental conditions (near death from starvation, for instance) can somehow leave an imprint on the genetic material in eggs and sperm. These genetic imprints can short-circuit evolution and pass along new traits in a single generation.
  • … the data suggested that a single winter of overeating as a youngster could initiate a biological chain of events that would lead one’s grandchildren to die decades earlier than their peers did.
  • At its most basic, epigenetics is the study of changes in gene activity that do not involve alterations to the genetic code but still get passed down to at least one successive generation.
  • It is through epigenetic marks that environmental factors like diet, stress and prenatal nutrition can make an imprint on genes that is passed from one generation to the next.
  • We all know that you can truncate your own life if you smoke or overeat, but it’s becoming clear that those same bad behaviors can also predispose your kids – before they are even conceived – to disease and early death.
  • … scientists are learning to manipulate epigenetic marks in the lab, which means they are developing drugs that treat illness simply by silencing bad genes and jump-starting good ones.
  • The great hope for ongoing epigenetic research is that with the flick of a biochemical switch, we could tell genes that play a role in many diseases – including cancer, schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer’s diabetes, and any others – to lie dormant.
  • When a methyl group attaches to a specific spot on a gene – a process called DNA methylation – it can change the gene’s expression, turning it off or on, dampening it or making it louder.
  • Other recent studies have also shown the power of environment over gene expression.
  • … epigenetics isn’t evolution. It doesn’t change DNA. Epigenetic changes represent a biological response to an environmental stressor. That response can be inherited through many generations via epigenetic marks, but if you remove the environmental pressure, the epigenetic marks will eventually fade, and the DNA code will – over time – begin to revert to its original programming.
  • … memory – a windly complex biological and psychological process – can be improved from one generation to the next via epigenetics.
  • Jean Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829) argued that evolution could occur within a generation or two. He posited that animals acquired certain traits during their lifetimes because of their environment and choices.
  • … there is a general mechanism for transmitting information about the ancestral environment down the male line… In other words, you can change your epigenetics even when you make a dumb decision at 10 years old. If you start smoking then, you may have made not only a medical mistake but a catastrophic genetic mistake.
  • Scientists had mapped only a certain portion of the epigenomes of two cell types… There are at least 210 cell types in the human body – and possibly far more… Each of the 210 cell types is likely to have a different epigenome… The human epigenome contains an as yet unknowable number of patterns of epigenetic marks… certainly in the millions.