Post for May 22-28 2016

TaN: As I ate my lunch slowly and quietly alone, I felt sad for myself as well as for people in my same situation.  I realized I felt pity for people like me who have to contend with life alone and do things that are normally done with company.  However, I am neither so lonely nor pitiful as to desperately seeking company because this feeling is rare and I am glad in my single blessedness to be by myself.  It is just a passing feeling.

Perhaps this feeling is a foreboding of things to come because, for now, I still have “family” but things change and the future for those like me is uncertain.  Perhaps it will be just a matter of finding a suitable and lasting hobby or vocation or advocacy to last me the rest of my life.  For now, I am content with my status quo.

TaN: Listening to the podcast of Alex Jones, last Apr 21, an interviewee was discussing geophysics and mentioned that the planet crust experiences extra stress during the full or new moon.  This triggered a notion (in me) that it would not surprise me if and when most or a great majority of ground tremors and movements occur during these two phases of the moon’s cycle — as compared with or to other days of the month or lunar cycle.

It would make sense since the gravitational pull exerted by the moon on the planet surface would cause the crust to “bulge” or any prior buckling or bulging of tectonic plates at their edges to be yanked upwards and thereby triggering tremors and other ground surface movements.

This is not to say that tremors occur only during full and new moons but it opens up the likelihood that the probability of tremors transpiring is higher during those times and that we should be extra vigilant, especially if or when we are expecting a quake to occur.

Perhaps our geophysicists, specifically seismologists and volcanologists, can conduct some kind of research into this matter and perchance come up some time in the (near) future a method, instrument, algorithm, or way of (not really predicting but some type of) anticipating ground movements.  This should be accompanied by a thorough, accurate, and adaptive (i.e., it can easily adapt or be edited or updated whenever new tectonic plates emerge or change behavior) map of all tectonic plates and their behavioral movements, especially in relation to its adjacent tectonic plate/s.  This mapping could be valuable in assisting in the “early warning system” for quakes and tremors.

[Btw, if and should we eventually acquire the ability to anticipate ground tremors, I sincerely hope that we do not tamper with nature too much.  What I mean is that, we should avoid the common practice of preempting nature: like triggering an avalanche before it gets too massive and cause greater destruction and seeding strong weather systems (like typhoons/cyclones/hurricanes and tornadoes) to mitigate its destructive intensity before it reaches populated areas.  In the case of earthquakes, there are just too many uncontrolled variables and factors that intimately intermingle with the global tectonic plate mosaic that triggering a tremor before it accumulates too much potential energy may prove to be more dangerous and destructive than if we were to leave it alone and let nature have her way.]

TaN: It just dawned on me that the (Philippine) Senior Citizen’s Act, even the expanded and “improved” latter version, still leaves a lot to be desired.  For one thing, there are many restrictions and conditions that leaves the senior/elderly “out in the cold”.

One case in point is the applicability to the water and power utilities.  If I got it right, the senior discount can be availed of or applicable only if the occupant/s is/are seniors and voided when there are other non-senior occupants.  I can understand if the occupant has just turned senior but what if the occupant is in his/her 80s, 90s, or older and needs a live-in caretaker?  This would mean that the benefit can no longer be enjoyed.  This is ridiculous!

Another case in point is the applicability to goods bought at the supermarket.  It would appear that according to what has been printed in the booklet, the senior discount must have a bill within a range to avail of the benefit — not less than 4 different items (quantity is not indicated), worth at least P650, only applicable to certain (prime or essential) commodities (which is understandable and only proper), and the benefit can be availed of only once a week.

Given this, consider the scenario that the senior citizen needs only one particular item, say eggs.  Suppose s/he only needs the eggs.  It would be quite impractical for her to buy 3 other kinds of goods and, at the same time, make sure the total amount will reach P650 when s/he needs only P10 to P15 worth of eggs.

It is understood that a supermarket or store has a minimum purchase requirement to make a transaction viable or feasible but viability or feasibility does not have to be considered for every single transaction.  Taking into account the insignificant percentage of such (rare) occurrences against the overall daily transactions so the impact on the earnings would be negligible, how would the senior citizen enjoy his/her benefit?

In my opinion, the minimum total purchase amount and the minimum number of different items should be scrapped, leaving only the maximum total purchase amount and the applicable duration (of a week before the next availment of the benefit).  Although this has a minimal impact on the total number of senior citizens to be affected, still…it would be nice if the benefit can be maximized.

Still another case is the applicability to pharmaceuticals and medical treatments and therapies.  Although this has good intentions, its benefit is not significantly felt, especially since the mark-up of most, if not all, pharmaceuticals are obscenely high (as much as 224,783% for Prozac and 569,858% Xanax, according to Gary Null, PhD in the transcript of an interview with Peter Rost, MD of Pfizer, dated Feb 14, 2013) having OVER “HALF A MILLION” PERCENT — please refer to: http://gna.squarespace.com/home/the-state-of-health-in-america-gary-null-interviews-dr-peter.html.  Even with the Affordable Medicines Act of Mr Mar Roxas (which he is so proud of), the profit margin is still indecently huge.

Yet another case in point is the applicability to movies.  It is understood that this benefit is not inherent in the Senior Citizen’s Act and, instead, individual cities (through their own initiative) pass ordinances to extend additional benefit to seniors in movie houses.  And, in order so as not to encroach too much on the profitability of cinema houses, the benefit is availed of during off-peak periods — where business practice dictate that they have to open but there is very little clients so they might as well “donate” the perk to senior citizens as some sort of a consolation for both parties.  In this particular instance, I must be grateful and I am grateful.

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