Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for January, 2011

The Weekly LitWit Challenge 4.6: Write us a sonnet.

January 31, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Contest 27 Comments →

The Yucch-meter has started to get a Groundhog Day feeling about these LitWit Challenges: Have we been reading the same story with slight revisions over and over again for several weeks? Therefore we have devised a plan to keep the Yucch-meter from taking a flying leap out the window only to wake up the next day, look at the readers’ submissions, and read the same story again. We shall require the contestants to write poetry.

Not free verse; we do not have enough napalm to deal with that. We have chosen a form with stringent rules: The Sonnet. Do read these rules before composing your entry. No, it’s not just the rhyme scheme and meter. (Too complicated? Try this how-to.)

Here’s Matthew Macfadyen (one of the more recent onscreen Mr Darcys) reading Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29. You may spare yourself the video and just listen to his voice.

Melty, isn’t it. Our favorite sonnet is number 130, in which love is expressed as a series of insults.

Your assignment is to compose a sonnet and post it in Comments by Friday, February 4, 2011 at 11.59 pm.

If you just asked “What’s the maximum word count?” please proceed to the nearest concrete wall and smash your head against it. Again.

The winner will receive two books about students: The Lord of the Flies by William Golding and The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason.

The Weekly LitWit Challenge is brought to you by our friends at National Bookstore. Start writing those sonnets.

They start early, don’t they? (updated with a statement from the UP MassComm graduation committee)

January 31, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events 9 Comments →

Fabia alerted me to this item in the Lowdown column in the Manila Standard.

Some students belonging to this year’s graduating class of the University of the Philippines’ College of Mass Communications have hit upon a novel idea to make some money, get free stuff and subsidize their numerous parties. The students in charge of the yearbook (which will be paid for by the college’s graduating class) discovered that some photography and printing suppliers will do almost anything to get their business—and that’s where their entrepreneurial instincts kicked in.

The students in charge of the yearbook decided to “bid out” the production and printing deal to potential suppliers. But it’s only a bidding in the rigged sense of that word, because the students weren’t really looking for the lowest and best bid, as people who bid out contracts are supposed to do.

These MassComm students were more interested in awarding the deal to the supplier who could promise them the best “under the table” deals, who would wine them and dine them and who would take all the “test shots” of their faces that they wanted. In the end, one losing bidder told us, they ended up awarding the contract to someone who reportedly promised them a car, apart from what all the other bidders gave them—free booze, food and endless studio pictures of themselves in various poses. . .

Did this really happen? Is this what they learned from their elders? After all we live in a society where people are admired for how much they can get away with.

Tell us this isn’t true. Someone, anyone, please.

* * * * *

Official Statement of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication Graduation Committee 2011 (UP CMC GradCom 2011) on the Manila Standard Today column “Convincing Noynoy” by Jojo A. Robles (Jan. 28, 2011)

31 January 2011

To All Concerned:

This official statement is in response to the Manila Standard Today column of Jojo A. Robles entitled “Convincing Noynoy” ( published last Friday, Jan. 28, which the Committee believes to be a defamation of the College of Mass Communication, its students, and its Graduation Committee for 2011. We demand that the Manila Standard Today publish this statement in its entirety.

No actual bidding process, in the strictest sense of the word, took place for the batch’s yearbook photo studio selection. The graduating batch selected its yearbook photo studio of choice between two candidate studios. This number was determined through Committee meet-ups, as well as reasonable and meritorious consideration of objective feedback from the studios’ own clients, previous and current. The Committee declined certain studios because of their failure to meet certain deadlines and standards (professionalism: deliveries, deadlines, accessibility, quality of output) that were set to ensure efficient Committee operations.

As an ad hoc committee organized for the duration of a single academic year, the Committee reserves the right to implement its own guidelines, in this case by presenting prospective studios to the graduating batch for all students to vote upon. Although the Committee considered these studios’ packages, it was primarily negative feedback from their clients that drove the Committee to decline them. The Committee feels these are reasonable and fair standards grounded in the fundamental goal of achieving what is best for the graduating batch in the most transparent and efficient manner possible.

Moreover, the Committee did not engage in such unscrupulous deals similar to the ones it is being accused of. The closest the Committee has gotten to “wining” and “dining” are food and beverage orders that are typical in client-customer meetings and have no bearing whatsoever in the yearbook selection process. “Test shoots” are a necessary privilege, in this case, when one wants to ensure concrete basis of judgment in sealing a yearbook photo studio contract.

The assertion that the Committee excessively abused these test shoots to suit its members’ personal whims and fancies are false. The Committee only participated in three (3) test shoots, necessary to provide the graduating batch ample basis for its choice via a democratic election.

Finally, no studio has promised a car, liquor, food, or any other photo package privileges apart from those stipulated in their respective contracts of agreement that the Committee has vigilantly reviewed.

The Committee is offended by this column and believes it to be a malicious, unwarranted attack on its reputation and integrity. In light of this, the Committee, on behalf of the College of Mass Communication, demands a full published apology and retraction from Mr. Robles, no more, no less.


Brits: Still disappointed. Murray: Still Scottish. Fred Perry: Still the last British slam winner.

January 30, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Tennis 1 Comment →

Djoker just did everything right. Photo from the Guardian.

Player trying not to be a one-slam wonder defeats player trying to be first Brit in 75 years to win a slam.

Novak Djokovic (easily) defeats Andy Murray 6-4 6-2 6-3 to win his second slam. His first was also at Melbourne three years ago.

Factoid that should worry team Murray: In three grand slam finals appearances he has not won a single set.

Rapunzel in 5-7-5

January 30, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Contest, Movies 44 Comments →

Rapunzel—there’s another disturbing fairy tale. A hidden tower with no stairs, the only access a high window that you could reach by grabbing onto the heroine’s hair?? Tangled, the new Disney musical retelling of Rapunzel, avoids the unanswerable questions (How does she shampoo? Won’t her neck snap when someone rappels with her hair?) in favor of a brisk story of a girl escaping from her horribly manipulative mother.

We’re giving away 5 Tangled paper lamp shades (like they have in the movie). To get one, tell the story of Rapunzel in haiku form (3 lines, 5-7-5 syllables).


Princess Rapunzel
Has a really big problem
with conditioner.

Post your entry in Comments by Wednesday, February 2 at 0200hrs. The winners will be announced on Wednesday night.

Tangled opens on Feb 2 in Digital IMAX 3D (SM North EDSA & SM Cebu), Digital 3D and regular 35MM format.

Monocle looks at OFWs

January 29, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, The Workplace No Comments →

There’s an article about Overseas Foreign Workers and the Philippine economy in the February 2011 issue of Monocle. Lots of pictures, and it presents the Filipino worker’s skills in a good light.

Since the 1970s, the Philippine government has offered training to Filipinos wanting to work on oil tankers belonging to Danes and Norwegians, construction sites in Osaka and in private homes stretching from Beirut to Bologna, actively encouraging them to look for jobs outside the country rather than join the ranks of the 2.7 million unemployed or the 22 per cent of the population who are living on just over $1 a day.

Today, one in nine Filipinos works abroad, where they can earn salaries five or six times higher than they can at home. During 2010 alone, 53,532 people left the Philippines while those nine million already settled across 80 countries sent €17bn home to their relatives. Only India, China and Mexico receive more remittances than the Philippines. At 12 per cent of GDP, it is a source of income the government is more than happy to see coming in.

On the bright side, you’re getting killed by Jason Statham.

January 29, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies 2 Comments →

View the slideshow: The Sixteen Worst Ways To Be Killed by Jason Statham

5. The Technical Suicide. Statham hacks off your hand, then uses your own severed hand, which is holding your own gun, to shoot you in the head. (Crank)