Happy 30th Birthday, World Wide Web!

Thirty years ago today, the World Wide Web was conceived. Here’s an important letter from the man who invented the web on March 12, 1989, Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

“Against the backdrop of news stories about how the web is misused, it’s understandable that many people feel afraid and unsure if the web is really a force for good. But given how much the web has changed in the past 30 years, it would be defeatist and unimaginative to assume that the web as we know it can’t be changed for the better in the next 30. If we give up on building a better web now, then the web will not have failed us. We will have failed the web.”

It’s time for us to take back control of the web.

Trolls, incels, and toxic males can’t keep a good Captain Marvel down

Sam, Ellen and I watched “Captain Marvel” today.

So awesome! We love Carol Danvers so much. And, yes, Thanos better watch out.

Here’s an excellent review from Wired on why “Captain Marvel” is about female power, not empowerment. Spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie yet.

“If there’s one line, one quote, that will endure from Captain Marvel, it’ll likely be this one from Carol Danvers herself: ‘What happens when I’m finally set free?’”

The ballad of Cyclops and Wolverine

Heh, some things never change, even after both Scott Summers and Logan came back from the dead.

Cyclops and Wolverine are “The Last X-Men” and they’re building a new team. Uncanny X-Men #13 shows this new team in action, and the X-Men finally feel like the X-Men again. The X-Men comic books haven’t felt like that in a while.

Screenshot of my digital comic book from ComiXology.

‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ to become Netflix Spanish-language original series

I never thought I would see the day when “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, the landmark novel of one of my favorite authors, Gabriel García Márquez, would be adapted for the screen.

“Rodrigo Garcia and Gonzalo García Barcha, García Márquez’s sons, will serve as executive producers on the series, which will be filmed in Colombia.

“‘For decades our father was reluctant to sell the film rights to Cien Años de Soledad,’ Rodrigo Garcia said, using the original Spanish title, ‘because he believed that it could not be made under the time constraints of a feature film, or that producing it in a language other than Spanish would not do it justice.'”

Gracias, Netflix!

10 years without ciggies

On March 6, 2009, I quit smoking.

Yup, it’s been a decade since I made one of the best decisions in my life. Not bad for someone who used to smoke a pack, or even a pack-and-a-half, of Marlboro Reds a day.

Some people have been asking me how I was able to do it. I did it cold turkey. Cutting down gradually works for some people, but not for me. But yeah, it was pretty hard at first. My secret is that whenever I felt the urge to smoke, I would drink water instead. So, yeah, I was drinking a lot of water during those first few weeks hahaha!

Another technique that worked for me was to announce it on social media. I posted on FB and Twitter every day for a year to record my progress (Day 1 without ciggies, Day 2 without ciggies, etc.). I don’t know if that will help other smokers who are trying to quit, but in my case I was motivated because I didn’t want the streak to end. After that, I would just post every anniversary of the day I quit smoking.

Full disclosure: I actually quit cold turkey for three years from 2004-2007, but gave in to temptation because I was stressed during our coverage of the 2007 Philippine legislative and local elections when I was still the multimedia editor of INQUIRER.net. Even after three years, one cigarette was enough to get me hooked again. Lesson learned haha!

The virtual walls that divide us

Technology was supposed to connect us, but instead we are separating ourselves from others and building virtual walls.

Here’s a great post about this techochamber from The Minimalists.

“In time, however, we began to separate ourselves into self-selected tribes. From the comfort of our couches, we erected plexiglass walls around our ideologies and identities, creating an echochamber to protect us from our own insecurities. As the tribes grew larger, the walls grew taller and thicker, and the technology that once connected us now divided us.”

Time to change today

We want to make changes. To take control of our lives. Only we keep saying we’ll start “tomorrow”.

Here’s a good reminder why we should stop finding a reason to wait until tomorrow.

“Your first step in the right direction doesn’t need to be a big one. And you don’t need to be an expert to get started. Just make one small change in the right direction. Once you’ve got momentum in the right direction, the next step will be easier.”

Stop waiting. Start now.

The ballad of Typhoid Mary

Typhoid Mary: An Urban Historical” by Anthony Bourdain is the 14th book I’ve finished this year.

Bourdain truly was a gifted writer and fascinating storyteller, and this is a moving account of how a hardworking Irish immigrant and excellent cook named Mary Mallon ended up becoming infamous in history as Typhoid Mary.

“I’m a chef, and what interests me is the story of a proud cook – a reasonably capable one by all accounts – who at the outset, at least, found herself utterly screwed by forces she neither understood nor had the ability to control. I’m interested in a tormented loner, a woman in a male world, in hostile territory, frequently on the run. And I’m interested in denial – the ways that Mary, and many of us, find to avoid the obvious, the lies we tell ourselves to get through the day, the things we do and say so that we can go on, drag our aching carcasses out of bed each day, climb into our clothes and once again set out for work, often in kitchens where the smell, the surroundings, the ruling regime oppress us.”