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Archive for October, 2011

In bed with books

October 31, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Books No Comments →

That’s how we’re spending the long weekend. We prefer books to people, generally—they’re clever, contained, non-messy (the dust is not their fault) and when we take a break from them they do not get dramatic.

Don’t call us, we’re in Shropshire-Tahiti-London-Moscow-Bohemia-Terralba-Korean airspace.

Heavy Weather by P.G. Wodehouse

Storms might be raging elsewhere in the grounds of Blandings Castle, but there on the lawn there was peace—the perfect unruffled peace which in this world seems to come only to those who have done nothing whatever to deserve it.

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

The coffee was hot and lifesavingly good.

That can’t be a representative sentence, let’s try again.

In her own small way, Madeleine understood what Diane MacGregor was up against at the male-dominated lab.

‘In her own small way’?? Look again.

The Princess Grace Hospital, renamed in tribute to the former American movie star, was where she’d died the year before, following an automobile accident.

Is this a joke? Were we sold a very rough draft by mistake? We checked the cover but it really was the Eugenides. If we wanted clunky prose we would read Stieg Larsson—at least those aren’t supposed to be “literary”.

So we returned to the old reliable.

Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best by P.G. Wodehouse

Peril brings out unsuspected qualities in every man. Lord Emsworth was not a professional acrobat, but the leap he gave in this crisis would have justified his being mistaken for one.

The Cloven Viscount by Italo Calvino

Inexpert at what constituted sin, they multiplied their prohibitions lest they make mistakes, and were reduced to giving each other constant severe glances in case the least gesture betrayed a blameworthy intention.

Currently reading: The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes

Noshing on: Arguably by Christopher Hitchens (We figured we’d read a couple of essays at a time to make it last.)

Coming up:
Snowdrops by A.D. Miller
and the book we’ve been hoarding for a long weekend like this: The Hunters by James Salter.

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Additional reading (Because we saw a bad review of the Tintin movie):

Our favorite Tintin, in which nothing much happens.

Girls in Black

October 31, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing No Comments →

Four weeks ago we put out a call for volunteers to test a new product. The product, Rexona Crystal, claims a “revolutionary anti-white mark technology” that prevents white deodorant stains from getting on dark-colored clothes. Here are the volunteers in black, post-product test.

Leah

Ara

Diana

Eka

Keishia

Ria

Conclusion: Rexona Crystal makes good on its promise.

Thank you, volunteers! For participating in this product test you will receive gift packs from Rexona.

High Heeled Warriors: The Obvious Truth

October 30, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing 3 Comments →


Print showing shoes worn by French women at the court of Louis XIV

Are you a Filipino woman between the ages of 22 and 44? We’ve heard some things about you which we’d like you to confirm.

You are educated, ambitious, optimistic. You make your own life choices. You let go of your inhibitions and seek to immerse yourself in new experiences. You are entrepreneurial and an individualist. You’re creative and expressive, and you see marriage as a way to maximize your potential and express your self-identify.

Is this an accurate portrait of you? And if it isn’t, would you deny it openly? (viz. “I am uneducated, have no ambition, and leave decisions to other people who know more than I do!”)

The above are findings of a psychographic study about Asian women conducted by Universal Networks and Synovate. The survey entitled “High Heeled Warriors” concluded that the traditional roles of Asian women—daughter, wife, mother—are not obstacles to their personal ambitions.

In Emotional Weather Report today in the Philippine Star.

“Would you like to see my etchings?” Picasso at the Met, Manila

October 30, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Art 9 Comments →


Picasso, Blind Minotaur Led by a Girl through the Night, Vollard Suite

Pablo Picasso created 100 copper etchings between September 1930 and March 1937. These pieces commissioned by the art dealer and editor Ambroise Vollard have come to be known as the Suite Vollard.

In 1938, the set of 100 prints appeared in two different formats, one large and one small. Today the small-format prints are scattered among different private and public collections, and only some of these sets, such as the Fundacion Mapfre’s, are preserved in their entirety.

The Suite Vollard is coming to Manila.

The Metropolitan Museum of Manila will host Pablo Picasso’s famous etchings from 10 November 2011 to 8 January 2012.

The Met is located at the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Manila. For more details please call 5211517 or visit their website at www.metmuseum.ph.

What if you could live forever, but you’d have to buy the time? (Updated with winners)

October 29, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies 16 Comments →

The three winners of In Time iPhone 4 cases with card holders are scientist who looks younger than his/her age, shadowplay who looks older than her age, and radiohead who looks his/her age. Please post your full names in Comments (they won’t be published). You can pick up your prizes next week; details to follow.

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This is the premise of In Time, the latest film from Andrew Niccol, director of Gattaca and Simone and writer of The Truman Show. Starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, In Time is set on an alternate Earth in which science has unlocked the key to immortality. Humans stop aging at the age of 25, at which point they have only one year to live. From that moment on they have to buy time, literally, in order to go on living.


When we saw GATTACA for the first time we had a nerd spasm. “Eeeee it’s guanine, adenine, thymine, cytosine!”

“It’s about what happens when you desire to live forever,” Andrew Niccol said at San Diego Comic-Con. “The movie, for me, is like the child of GATTACA, but the genetic engineering has just gotten better. First of all, it’s an action thriller. I think a lot of people will just accept it on that level. They’ll go for the car chases and they’ll go to see Amanda Seyfried waving a gun in people’s faces, which she does brilliantly!”

GATTACA was one of the first movies in which we beheld Jude Law in all his glory. Jude, Jude, Jude, you should’ve lain off the yaya.

“But some people will go for the ideas,” Niccol continued, “because obviously it does say something about our desire to stay young forever. While we can’t turn off the aging gene, we do go to a lot of extremes to stay young.”

On the look of the film: “The world you’ll see is very familiar. Everyone is engineered to have a body clock and the idea is that this invention is the death of all other invention. The clock is good for no-one, we like to say in the movie. The poor die and the rich don’t live. But it’s interesting because the poor have no time to create anything new – there are no new cars, no new technology – and the rich have no incentive – why invent a new car when you could do it 100 years from now?”

Is immortality everything it’s cranked up to be? “There’s an interesting character in the movie that, even though he’s got thousands of years on his clock and his chronological age is about 105, wants to die. There may be a possibility that, even if we could switch off the aging gene and live forever, our psychology may not be able to keep up with our biology. So, as his character says, “Your mind can be spent even when your body’s not.” He’s actually immortal and wants to die. It’s an interesting thing. I think we need to go through the whole aging process.”


Justin Timberlake, Andrew Niccol and Matt Bomer on the set of In Time. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

In Time opens in local theatres on 28 October. Would you like an In Time iPhone 4 case and card holder? In Comments, post your real age, followed by the age you think you appear to be (Try honesty). We pick 3 winners, to be announced on Sunday.

The Weekly LitWit Challenge 7.4: Spy story (Updated)

October 29, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats, Contest 3 Comments →

The winner of LitWit Challenge 7.3: 14 months till the end of the world is dindin. Congratulations! Please pick up your prize at the Customer Service counter at National Bookstore, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati. Their number is 8974562.

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Photo: Saffron Sassafras Saoirse Schmitz Z. Safin with her luggage.

You are a spy from a foreign country. (You can be female or male, with all the undercover skills.) Your cover has been blown and you are in mortal danger. You hop on the first available flight and it takes you to Manila. You have no money and no friends in this city. All you have is a suitcase of designer clothes. You need to lay low until Control gives you the signal to surface. You have to find a place to live and a way to support yourself for at least one month. What will you do?

500 words or less, due Saturday, 29 October 2011 at 11.59 pm. Three winners will win copies of the movie tie-in edition of John LeCarré’s spy classic Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

The Weekly LitWit Challenge is brought to you by our friends at National Bookstore.