26 Nov JUAN Round Table: a collection of reactions to Tuesday’s insane stories

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JUAN Roundtable Nov 24 2015 copy

  1. VIDEO:Robotics renews hopes of people with disabilities

 24_1If you think robots only exist in movies, then think again, because robotics is becoming more pervasive in everyday life, especially in providing rehabilitative medical services.

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Robotics developers are renewing the hopes of people with disabilities through exoskeletons, which can allow people with lower-body paralysis to walk upright again. From 2010, Cheng Hong and his team spent five years to build the exoskeleton robot, which has got more than 60 national patents in China.

Sisa: Humanoids? Thought they only existed in movies!

Bianca: Yay world!

 

  1. Black Teens Kicked Out Of Apple Store Because They ‘Might Steal Something’

24-2 A cringeworthy video depicting several black students getting kicked out of an Apple store in Melbourne, Australia is generating widespread allegations of racism and racial profiling, The Washington Postreports.

In the video, posted to FACEBOOK on Tuesday night, the students involved asked why they were removed from the store.

A man who seems to be either security or an employee at the Apple store replied,

These guys are just a bit worried about your presence in our store. They’re just worried you might steal something.

 The footage suggests the students were kicked out of the store due to their ethnicity.

All of the students in the video are teenagers and were reportedly born in Africa and moved to Australia as children. They come from Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Eritrea and Egypt, respectively, according to

Mashable.

Apple reportedly apologized to the students for the incident and will continue to investigate what happened.

In a FACEBOOK post on Tuesday night, Mohamed Semra, one of the young men involved in the unsettling incident, made it apparent he felt he was racially profiled.

Racial profiling is indeed a major problem in the US. According to theBureau of Justice Statistics, for example, blacks are three times as likely as whites to be searched during a traffic stop.

As The Washington Post noted last December, the Bush administration made efforts to address racial profiling.

Unfortunately, it is such a widespread problem, the Obama administration is still fighting to stop it.

On more than one occasion, President Obama has also spoken about his experiences with racial profiling before entering the White House.

Responding to developments surrounding the controversial death of Trayvon Martin back in 2013, the president stated,

There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me.

There are probably very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me — at least before I was a senator.

 There are very few African-Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off.

With that said, this recent incident at the Apple store did not occur in the US; it was in Australia. And this is hardly the first time Australia has been accused of having an issue with racism.

One could say this stands as a powerful reminder racism is not a uniquely American problem, but a global one.

It’s difficult to remember this as the US confronts heightened racial tensions linked to high-profile police killings among other situations such as recent developments at Mizzou.

But the fight to end racism and cultivate tolerance must occur across the world, not just in America.

Sisa: Weren’t the current white Australians descended from slaves too? #justasking

Bianca: 2015 na, ano ba. Kick white people out for trying all the cameras on all the iPhones

  1. Pfizer to buy Allergan in $160 billion deal

24_3Pfizer Inc on Monday said it would buy Botox maker Allergan Plc in a deal worth $160 billion to slash its U.S. tax bill, rekindling a fierce political debate over the financial maneuver.

The acquisition, which would create the world’s largest drugmaker and shift Pfizer’s headquarters to Ireland, would also be the biggest-ever instance of a U.S. company re-incorporating overseas to lower its taxes. U.S. President Barack Obama has called such inversion deals unpatriotic and has tried to crack down on the practice.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton pledged to propose measures to prevent such deals. The merger was also slammed by her rival Senator Bernie Sanders as well as by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“The fact that Pfizer is leaving our country with a tremendous loss of jobs is disgusting,” Trump said in a statement.

It was not immediately known how many jobs would be lost as a result of the merger.

Shares of Allergan fell 3.4 percent and Pfizer closed down 2.6 percent as investors learned the merger, under discussion since late October, would bring lower cost savings than they had hoped.

Pfizer also disappointed some investors by delaying by two years a decision on whether to sell off its division consisting of products facing generic competition.

To avoid potential restrictions, the transaction was structured as smaller, Dublin-based Allergan buying Pfizer, although the combined company will be known as Pfizer Plc and continue to be led by Chief Executive Officer Ian Read.

The U.S. Treasury, concerned about losing billions in tax revenue, has been taking steps to limit the benefits of tax inversion deals, but it admitted last week that it would take legislation from Congress to stop such moves.

The deal enhances offerings from both Pfizer’s faster-growing branded products business, with additions like Botox, and its older established products unit. Still, investors had hoped Pfizer would sell off the lower-margin business in 2017, a move now put off by the time required to integrate Allergan.

Sisa: BOTOX! Marami niyan si Ellen for facial care. Sumobra pa nga ata eh. Batak kung batak teh!

Bianca: matutuwa si Kris Juan

  1. DOT giving away free trip to PHL for tourists with the best ‘fail photo’

24_4The Department of Tourism (DOT) wants tourists to share their photos while in the Philippines. But it’s not asking for Instagram-perfect images, but for “fail” photos. The best submissions will get to fly back to the Philippines for free.

“Behind every amazing travel photo in the Philippines is a couple of #photofails that came before getting the perfect shot! It’s time to dig these up because one of them might just win you a return trip to the Philippines this 2016,” DOT’sFACEBOOK page said in a post inviting tourists to share those slightly embarrassing snapshots.

To join the contest, tourists can share their entries on Instagram, Twitter, or FACEBOOK and post it with the hashtag #visitphilippinesagain2016. For entries sent through Facebook, the official Facebook page of the DOT, The Philippines, should be tagged.

Submission of entries began on November 16. Tourists can send their photos until midnight, January 15, 2016, Philippine time. Three “fail” photos will be picked to get a free trip for two back to the Philippines. Winners will be announced on DOT’s social media pages.

“Ang gusto po nating mangyari sa 2016—iyong mga unang pumunta rito, first-timers sa Philippines, or even those who frequent the Philippines—is to come back again,” said DOT spokesperson ASec. Arturo Boncato Jr. in a report by Sherrie Ann Torres on GMA News TV’s Balitanghali on Monday.

 

Sisa: Sus, ilang Pinay na naman ba ang makikitang umunlad ang buhay. #MonkeyEatingEagle

Bianca: SA government, madami

  1. UK bacon and sausages sales hit by cancer link – report

24_5Sales of pre-packed sausages and bacon fell sharply at Britain’s top grocers in the weeks following publication of a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, which said eating processed meat can cause bowel cancer, data published on Monday showed.

The France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the WHO, last month put processed meat in its Group 1 list, which includes tobacco, asbestos and diesel fumes, for which there is “sufficient evidence” of cancer links.

Researcher IRI measured sales of bacon and sausages at Britain’s major grocery stores in the week ended Oct. 31 of the IARC announcement, and the following week ended Nov. 7, estimating the value of sales declines at about 3 million pounds ($4.5 million) over the two weeks.

“While there have been links between certain types of meat and some forms of cancer before, this announcement from a highly respected global body was picked up widely by the media and has had an immediate impact on some people’s shopping choices,” said Martin Wood, head of strategic insight, retail solutions & innovation at IRI.

IRI said sales of pre-packed sausages on a value basis fell 15.7 percent in the week to Oct. 31 compared with the same week the previous year, while pre-packed bacon sales were down 17 percent.

IRI estimated the incremental fall in sales due to the cancer scare at about 10 percent.

It said sausages and bacon sales fell 13.9 and 16.5 percent respectively in the following week.

IRI said overall spending on meat stayed broadly consistent, suggesting shoppers were switching to other meat products. ($1 = 0.6610 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; Editing by David Holmes)

Sisa: Die now. Die later. Die anyway!

Bianca: do we believe everything that we hear?

  1. Virtual reality app brings crisis zones closer to home

24_6 Bombed-out buildings tower overhead, and rubble is piled high in the deserted streets of Syria’s onetime economic hub Aleppo. Gunshots can be heard in the distance.

The destruction of four years of civil war is overwhelming — and then you switch your phone off.

“Welcome to Aleppo” is one of more than a dozen virtual reality videos available on a mobile app launched this month by Los Angeles-based media company RYOT.

The project offers a 360-degree window into the war-torn city, captured with a camera made up of six GoPros, then stitched together to create a full panoramic view of the scene. A Syrian woman narrates a three-minute tour.

Users — watching on a mobile device or wearing a virtual reality headset — can shift their viewpoint at will — looking up, down and even behind them to take in collapsing buildings and ruined streets by moving or tilting their device.

“I’ve always struggled to show the scale of devastation after a disaster. With virtual reality, you get an opportunity to really see scale and scope,” said co-founder Bryn Mooser.

“It brings people directly to far-off places or places in crisis so they can experience firsthand what that looks like.”

RYOT’s virtual reality app offer viewers a variety of immersive experiences, from post-earthquake Nepal to the US-Mexico border fence, and most recently an up-close look at a migrant camp in Calais, northern France.

Mooser and co-founder David Darg say they hope their virtual reality films will increase awareness and generate money for aid groups working on the ground.

The films include a call for the audience to take action. The Syria film directs users to RYOT.org/Syria, where they can donate to humanitarian organizations.

Oliver Money with the International Rescue Committee, one of the groups linked to the Syria project, said virtual reality could “bridge that divide” between crises and donors.

For IRC and other aid groups, it is a “huge challenge” to keep crises like Syria in the public consciousness, Money said.

“Something that can help bring that home to people in a more immersive way has the potential to be very powerful,” Money told AFP.

Sisa: Who likes poverty porn? Who is into massacre porn? I just don’t get it! Just donate.

Bianca: yay humanity

 

  1. Victims’ families remember Maguindanao massacre

24_7 MAGUINDANAO — Hundreds gathered at Sitio Masalay, Barangay Salman in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao on Sunday to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the gruesome killing more popularly known as the Maguindanao massacre.

On November 23, 2009, 58 people, including members of the media, were killed. The victims were supposed to cover the filing of the certificate of candidacy of Governr Ismael Mangudadatu, but instead of heading to Shariff Aguak town where the office of the Commission on Elections is located, they were brought to the massacre site and brutally killed.

The families of the victims, the provincial government of Maguindanao, and other sectors gathered at the massacre site to remember those who died, as well as a reminder that there should be continuous prayer and call for justice.

Families and relatives of the massacre victims shared their experiences after the massacre, most of them becoming emotional.

Governor Mangudadatu also expressed his feelings towards the case, adding that he still believes in the justice system in the country.

Crying for justice, they all hoped that there will be a conviction before President Benigno Aquino III’s term ends in 2016.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said she still feels sadness and anger in the five years that she has been coming back to the gravesite.

She also vowed not to give up on the case, as she gave an update on the trial which was banned from media coverage.

One of the daughters of massacre victim Gina Dela Cruz cannot help but be emotional while remembering her mother. This was her first time to go back to the massacre site after 2009, as she noted that feelings from the past are all coming back.

Meanwhile, for Jergin Dela Cruz Malabanan, 21, said the pain still remains.

“Noon ‘di ako naniniwala sa hustisya pero sa mga sinabi ni Sec. De Lima, may pag-asa pa pala. Konti na lang makamit na namin ‘yun,” Malabanan said.

Prayers were offered after the program where candles were lit and flowers offered to the markers of the 58 victims.

White balloons were also released in the air as a symbol of ending impunity.

Meanwhile, around 40 bikers rode around 14 kilometers from Datu Saudi Ampatuan to the massacre site.

The bike for peace and justice is headed by Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao assemblyman Khadaffeh Mangudadatu and Buluan Vice Mayor King Mangudadatu, along with the 6th Infantry Division and PNP Maguindanao.

This is their way of showing support and commemorating the anniversary of the gruesome massacre five years ago.

The bike for peace and justice is also in line also with the first National Bikers Day in the country.

Sisa: Justice delayed is justice denied.

Bianca: six years have passed, eto pa din tayo.

  1. Filipina Hidilyn Diaz wins 3 bronzes at World Weightlifting Championship

24_8HOUSTON, USA – Filipina Olympian Hidilyn Diaz earned bronze medals in the snatch, clean and jerk and total events in the women’s 53 kilogram division at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Weightlifting Championship on Sunday, November 22, which took place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

Diaz, 24, who represented the Philippines at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, improved her chances of earning a spot at the Rio 2016 Games with a 96kg lift in the snatch event and 117kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 213kg.

Diaz was dominant at the 2015 Asian Weightlifting Championships, winning gold in all 3 events in the 53kg category in Phuket, Thailand this past September.

The Philippines tacked on another medal in Houston as Nestor Colonia, 23, also of Zamboanga City, earned bronze in the clean and jerk in the men’s 56kg division.

To qualify for the 2016 Olympics, an athlete “invited by the Tripartite Commission must have participated in a minimum of one (1) qualification event,” of which the IWF Worlds is included, according to rio2016.com.

Spin.ph expounds, saying “An athlete can qualify in the Olympics via team qualification where a country can gain three to six berths based on team rankings in the 2014 and 2015 World Championship, and continental qualification events, or via individual qualification by being one of eight in the top 15 in each weight category from countries which have not yet gained Olympic berths.”

Diaz is also the first Filipina to medal in the competition, according to Spin.

Sisa: Strong is the new sexy? I wish.

Bianca: Filipina women who win

  1. ‘Mr. Ugly’ Pageant Winner Blasted for Being ‘Too Handsome’

24_9Pageant judges have crowned a new winner of Zimbabwe’s 4th annual “Mister Ugly” contest, upsetting supporters of reigning champion and prompting claims of cheating.

Judges on Saturday chose 42-year-old Mison Sere, citing his numerous missing front teeth and a wide range of grotesque facial expressions, over William Masvinu, who had held the title since 2012.

Masvinu and his supporters mobbed the judges upon hearing their decision, claiming that Sere was “too handsome” to win and his ugliness wasn’t natural since it was based on missing teeth.

“I am naturally ugly. He is not. He is ugly only when he opens his mouth,” maintained Masvinu, gesturing at his rival.

“Do we have to lose our teeth to win? This is cheating,” shouted another contestant, Patrick Mupereki.

There was pushing and shoving as the results were announced and insults were hurled at the judges.

Sere dismissed the critics as just “sore losers” as he pocketed the $500 in winnings.

“They should just accept that I am uglier than them,” he said. “I hope to get a TV contract. I already moved around schools performing and showcasing my ugliness so this is a chance to make it on TV.”

Pageant organizer David Machowa originally told the Associated Press that he began the contest to remove the stigma of ugliness.

“Looks are God given,” he said. “We should all be proud of who we are.”

The pageant involved three rounds of modelling, with individual and group struts down a catwalk of a Harare nightclub. This year’s competition attracted a record number of 36 entries, compared to just five in 2012 when Masvinu began his winning streak.

Beauty pageants are popular in this southern African country and even though they are typically for women, scandal is not unusual. Earlier this year, Miss Zimbabwe winner Emily Kachote faced a backlash on social media, with Zimbabweans calling her ugly and undeserving of the crown.

She was later forced to step down when just two weeks into her reign, images surfaced of her posing nude — which incidentally also brought down her predecessor.

 

Sisa: Pwede yung pagwapuhan tapos pasamaan ng ugali? Madaming winner dun!

Bianca: seriously, oh my god, why

  1. The condition affecting 2-3 million Americans that may go undiagnosed

 24_10There’s a deeply unpleasant condition. It afflicts both genders equally and is not seasonal. Its sufferers may awaken in a great deal of pain, likely in the peripheral joints such as the fingers, hands, and knees, but the axial joints—which is to say, the hips and spine—are also vulnerable. The joints are tender to the touch. The condition may even affect the Achilles tendon, and ligaments around the hips and spine. “There’s stiffness,” said Dr. Amit Garg, chairman of the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s dermatology department.

It’s psoriatic arthritis—not to be confused with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis—and it affects approximately 2-3 million Americans. What’s unique about psoriatic arthritis is it’s characterized by inflammation of not only joints, but also tendons and ligaments. “That is pretty unique to psoriatic arthritis,” Dr. Garg said. “It is quite distinct.”

***

How is it diagnosed? Well, there’s no single diagnostic test, said Dr. Garg. A blood test alone, for example, is insufficient. Patients are given an evaluation that includes taking a history around the systems, an examination of the joints and ligaments, and then blood work to exclude other conditions that may mimic psoriatic arthritis. Imaging via x-ray and ultrasound can also be useful.

Typically, psoriatic arthritis is diagnosed in people ages 35-55. By and large, they don’t get it out of the blue, but have an underlying condition—a skin disease called psoriasis—that long precedes the onset of symptoms, by up to ten years. This means, unfortunately, that if you have psoriasis, you are at greater risk for developing psoriatic arthritis; a quarter to a third of patients who have the former ultimately develop the latter. (Psoriasis affects 2-3 percent of the American population, and psoriatic arthritis affects 25-30 percent of that segment.) “Less than 10 percent of people develop the symptoms of arthritis before the systems of psoriasis,” said Dr. Garg.

Ashley Eisenman, a 32-year-old graphic designer in California, was diagnosed with psoriasis when she was two months old. When she was 27, she noticed that her elbows and neck were hurting. “Thinking back on it, I was always sore and groggy, and I’ve never been a morning person,” she said. “I thought that’s just how I was.”

Eisenman didn’t realize, until she was diagnosed, that psoriatic arthritis was the cause of her elbow pain, her red joints, her constantly sore feet, and her swollen hands. At one point, she even had to use petroleum jelly to get a ring off her bloated finger.

Psoriatic arthritis most commonly affects the bottoms of the feet, the plantar fascia, the heel, and ligaments around the hips and spines. When ligaments and tendons are involved, patients tend to notice stiffness and creakiness. Around the fingers and toes, digits will have uniform swelling and perhaps redness. Dr. Garg called them “sausage digits.”

The doctor also stressed that patients of psoriatic arthritis, which is an inflammatory condition, can exhibit symptoms that extend beyond joints and tendons and ligaments. (These are called ‘constitutional symptoms.’) Among them are dry, irritated eyes, fatigue and fever, or the nails can take on an abnormal shape and color.

 

Sisa: Andropause? Menopause? Ganun talaga. Lahat ng tao tumatanda.

Bianca: know your strength

  1. Rapper Snoop Dogg helps deliver 1,500 turkeys in Inglewood

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Snoop Dogg has helped deliver more than 1,500 turkeys to families in Inglewood.

Mayor James Butts tells KNBC-TV that the rapper joined him for Thursday’s giveaway at an indoor arena and that he took pictures with hundreds of people at the event.

This is the second year the rapper has helped Inglewood pass out the turkeys to families in need. Last year, the rapper asked the city what he could do to give back to the community, where his production crew is headquartered.

Butts says he suggested the rapper help pass out turkeys.

The city passed out 800 turkeys at last year’s event.

Sisa: Kung sa Makati may birthday cake, sa Inglewood may TARKEEEYY!

Bianca: yay rap

  1. 20 important things my father taught me that make Me daddy’s Little girl

24_12If you have an amazing dad like mine, you realize how incredibly fortunate you are.

He’s always there for me, always has been.

Dad changed my diapers and read me bedtime stories.

He taught me how to fly my first kite at the shore.

Dad wiped my tears and gave me butterfly kisses, having the best knack to make everything better.

Dad taught me how to ride my bike and that a scrape on the knee was not the end of the world… just experience.

He played endless amounts of Ultimate Frisbee games with my friends and I (even after a long day at work) just because he really wanted to.

He gave me my very first corsage and took me to the Father/Daughter dance. I was the proudest girl around standing on my tiptoes, dancing the night away on his feet.

Dad was there with toolbox in hand when I moved into my first apartment and helped paint my room.

He gave every guy that walked in the door the hairy eyeball, which said, “If you mess with my baby girl, next time we meet, it won’t be so pretty.”

Along with mom, dad is the first person I fell completely in love with the second I was born.

Dad has taught me many things.

But most of all, these are the things dad taught me that will make me forever be daddy’s little girl:

  1. To always speak up and stand up for who you are and what you believe in… even when you may need a step stool.

Dad raised me to be unique and pursue my own dreams.

Thanks to him, I have always embraced my own path, not walking down the one most traveled.

  1. The meaning of respect, both giving and receiving.

My dad was born and raised to treat everyone with respect, and he brought me up no differently.

Dad taught me you can tell a lot about a person’s character based on how he or she respects his or her loved ones and elders.

  1. How to get that nasty science project to work back in seventh grade.

Dad was there every step of the way, helping me make the coolest dry ice tornado for my science fair because it meant the world to him to see me succeed… even if it was only seventh grade.

  1. To work hard for the things you want.

“When it’s not working, work harder,” he always said.

Even though I wanted to roll my eyes when something wouldn’t work out as planned, dad’s motivation encouraged me to work my hardest. It always pays off.

When the game doesn’t pan out perfectly, dad is there by my side to pick up the cards again and try out a better hand.

  1. The importance of saving money and the value of a 401K.

Sometimes we want what we want, exactly when we want it.

We’re the generation that yearns for instant results, but dad instilled patience.

My dad taught me the meaning and value of the phrase “save your money,” because that’s what his dad taught him.

  1. That he is one of your biggest supporters.

A great dad is all about you, whether he’s coaching your soccer game or cheering on the sidelines in the rain.

My dad sat through 16 dance recitals from “Tiny Tutus” through junior year with a smile on his face and a bouquet of flowers to greet me.

He pushed through the crowd with camera in hand to get to just where I would walk down the aisle at my college graduation ceremony.

  1. How to understand your algebra homework.

…Enough said.

  1. How to dance.

Obviously, dad’s utter coolness now shows he was also pretty rad back in the day.

He knows a thing or two about working the dance floor… and he didn’t even need twerking to do it.

  1. All about “good” rock and roll.

My dad certainly did not fail to get me hooked on the classics since I was young.

We listen to our favorite “Breakfast With The Beatles” radio show on Sundays with pancakes, and classic rock is always streaming through the house.

  1. How to get through honors geometry.

Those cringe-worthy geometry problems that seemed impossible to solve… dad was always there to lend a helping hand.

  1. Self-defense.

My dad’s motto has always been, “Should the need arise, kick ‘em in the balls.”

  1. The beauty of a classic car.

My dad is the ultimate gear head. Needless to say, his passion rubbed off on me.

He taught me how to wash and wax my car (no car wash allowed).

Classic car shows are the norm in the summer for “daddy and me” dates (with ice cream, of course).

  1. To appreciate your heritage.

Dad taught me everything about my roots.

When I studied abroad in Florence, Italy, the homemade pasta, limoncello and carefree lifestyle truly hit home.

Dad came to visit of course, and his smile was priceless.

  1. To never take anything (or anyone) for granted.

Dad has lived through it all.

He experienced love and loss and passes down words of wisdom to me: “Life is way too short to stress over sweating the small stuff.”

  1. Don’t judge a book by its cover, but don’t feel bad walking away from it after you finish either.

He taught me early on not to be impressed by people trying to impress.

When someone’s good on the inside it doesn’t take much work to see it.

  1. Never have expectations, and you won’t be disappointed.

Dad has always told me to never go into any relationship or situation with expectations; it will limit your disappointment.

  1. Life is really what you want it to be.

My dad has encouraged me to set my dreams, and work hard to make them come true.

The people who you choose to live in your daily circle have a major impact of you reaching those goals and dreams. Choose them wisely.

In the words of dad, “Surround yourself with things and people you love, and have no regrets.”

  1. What a gentleman should be like and how a lady should expect to be treated.

No exceptions.

  1. It is evident dad loves you, even when he may not agree with you.

My dad likes that I think for myself with drive and determination.

  1. You are never, ever too old to call him “Daddy.”

When it comes down to it, I love my dad for everything he’s taught me… and so much more.

At every age and every stage, I will always and forever be daddy’s little girl.

Sisa: Lucky are those who have very good fathers. It is easy for them to understand the love of Father God.

Bianca: daddy’s girl through And through

 

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