Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for September, 2009

Bertrand Russell, Superhero

September 28, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Books No Comments →


Well, this is unexpected — a comic book about the quest for logical certainty in mathematics. The story spans the decades from the late 19th century to World War II, a period when the nature of mathematical truth was being furiously debated. The stellar cast, headed up by Bertrand Russell, includes the greatest philosophers, logicians and mathematicians of the era, along with sundry wives and mistresses, plus a couple of homicidal maniacs, an apocryphal barber and Adolf Hitler.

Algorithm and Blues by Jim Holt in the NYT.

Titian-haired girl in cardigan

September 27, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Contest No Comments →

Saffy loves Nancy Drew

The winner of the Nancy Drew LitWit Challenge is Astron for the tale of manananggal attacks, the international illegal organ trade, and local corruption.

Congratulations! You can claim your Nancy Drew set any day starting Tuesday, September 29, at Wild Ginger restaurant in the basement of Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati.

Thanks to everyone who posted their entries. The weekly LitWit Challenge is brought to you by National Bookstore.

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To the winners of the 3rd Birthday Field Trip, there’s a note for you.

This will happen again.

September 27, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Science 2 Comments →



It doesn’t take a doomsayer to predict it. We broke the weather, meteorological patterns are shot, calamities of this nature will almost certainly recur. Much of Metro Manila is overbuilt, the ground is covered in cement, there’s no earth to suck up the water and the trees have been cut down. The drains are clogged with trash and plastic bags. Then something like typhoon Ondoy strikes and we wonder how it could’ve happened.

Let’s do what we can in the relief operations (You won’t have to go far—someone from your own office or school will need help), then plan for the next deluge. Or drought.

Your imaginary date

September 27, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Contest 38 Comments →

This week’s LitWit Challenge is easy.

Which literary character would you like to date? And where in the Philippines would you go on your first date?

The two best entries get this:

The Paris Review Interviews vol. 1

The Paris Review Interviews, Volume One: Dorothy Parker, Truman Capote, Jorge Luis Borges, Kurt Vonnegut, Billy Wilder and other greats talk about the craft of writing.

You have until 11.59 pm on Friday, 2 October 2009 to post your entries in Comments. Keep it under 500 words, please. Start dreaming.

The weekly JessicaRulesTheUniverse LitWit Challenge is brought to you by the very nice people of National Bookstore.

Saturday, 0207. The LitWit Challenge: Your Imaginary Date is now closed. The winner will be announced later.

How to make a magazine cover

September 26, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, History 1 Comment →

The weather is broken, Metro Manila is underwater, and the floodwaters are still rising. While the government scrambles to find someone else to blame for the flooding, the inefficient disaster relief, everything, here’s something to take your mind off the rising waters for five minutes.

The Most Controversial Magazine Covers Of All Time, in Web Designer Depot.

From the elegant

The New Yorker

to the dead-on hilarious.

Texas Monthly

Government shakedown of book readers continues

September 26, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Money 1 Comment →

It’s not over.

In July this year President Macapagal-Arroyo tried to take credit for settling a problem she had allowed her own people to create. In her State of the Nation Address, Ms Arroyo virtuously declared that she intended to increase taxes on tobacco but the government should not be in the business of taxing minds. She was referring to her administration’s flirting with rogue-state status by violating the Florence Agreement and its accompanying Nairobi protocols.

The Philippines, from the Quirino administration onwards, had pledged to support an international policy promoting the duty-free entry of books. Until, that is, the Department of Finance decided it should put the squeeze on book lovers, in its eyes perhaps a minor source of new revenue, but still, a source to be squeezed like any other. . .

Knowledge tax in PDI.