August 29th, 2014

Arguing with Myself: What ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Has Become

Lately, we have seen a lot of people doing the ice bucket challenge. There have been videos of people, celebrities or not, dumping themselves with cold water and “nominating” other people to do the same challenge within twenty-four hours. But what is this challenge really? For what cause? For what purpose?

The Ice Bucket Challenge

Ice Bucket Challenge refers to a dare game in which the participant must pour a bucket of ice water over his or her head and nominate any three individuals to perform the same challenge within the next twenty-four hours. If a nominee fails to complete the challenge within time, he or she is expected to donate money to a charitable organization, most notably for research and treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), otherwise commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The origin of the challenge is quite unknown and has been attributed to different people and even organization.

The Shift to ALS

Despite being a rather old “game,” the ice bucket challenge gained mainstream fame recently as it has been used in a campaign to raise awareness on ALS. I have been made aware about the condition back in 2006 when I read about the life story of Jason Stuart in Awake! However, most people are not aware of this condition, thus, the campaign to raise awareness using the ice bucket challenge. I will not discuss the ALS here, but should you want to know about it, you can read about it here.

The shift to ALS of the ice bucket challenge is to let people experience how having ALS is like. According to some people, pouring cold water on your body allows you to momentarily experience what ALS victims experience—numbing of muscles and chills—however, this is not confirmed as ALS victims suffer more than just that. What is clear, though, is the fact that this challenge was designed to let people know of the disease and call an action to help those who suffer it by urging people to donate to any ALS foundation/organization. Quite a heartwarming intention. But the challenge has become something else.

What Is Has Become

The number of people doing this challenge is overwhelming. However, I cannot help myself from feeling indignant to some people who did the challenge. I might seem hypocritical and exaggerating here, but really, how many of those people who did the challenge actually know what this is about? Most of them, most likely, did the challenge because it the current social media trend. How many of them even know what ALS is? How many of these people actually did the challenge because of the original cause/campaign? And how many of these people actually did the challenge because they just wanted to join the bandwagon?

I have seen several videos online of people—celebrities and not—dumping cold water over their heads. It’s actually disheartening that majority of these people did not even take time to mention anything about ALS nor urging other people to donate to any ALS organization/foundation. Most people—local ones who did the challenge—simply poured cold water on themselves and nominated their friends (this is also true to some celebrities). They seem to have forgotten that this current “trend” is to, at least, raise awareness about ALS and, most especially, call an action to help those who suffer the condition.

Sadly, at least for me, this campaign has been hijacked by selfish individuals who wanted to market themselves in some ways. Let’s be real here. How many of you who did the challenge actually thought “Hey, let’s do this to let people know of ALS and urge people to donate,” rather than “Hey, this is going to be cool on my social media and gain likes”? And how many of those of you who did the challenge actually became aware of ALS before doing it? Do you even know what ALS is? Do you even know why this campaign was launched? How many of you there has the intention to donate and/or help ALS victims? I have even come across some videos who mentions “ASL ice bucket challenge”—simple slip of the tongue? I think not. It simply shows how little they care about the cause.

If you are going to do the challenge, at least mention the cause in your video or call an action to help those suffer the condition by urging people to donate, linking an ALS organization to your video, mentioning what ALS is, or whatever you can do to help raise awareness about ALS. Do not just join the bandwagon just because it is the trend. So if you are going to do the ice bucket challenge because it’s the current social media trend and not because you want to raise awareness about ALS or to call an action to help those ALS victims, please don’t.

August 23rd, 2014
incidentalcomics:

The Story Coaster
Drawing for the 7/14 Sunday NY Times Book Review - thanks to editor Pamela Paul! 

incidentalcomics:

The Story Coaster

Drawing for the 7/14 Sunday NY Times Book Review - thanks to editor Pamela Paul! 

(via queerdean)

August 22nd, 2014

32teeth:

why do boys call other boys “pretty boy” as an insult???? that’s probably the most flattering thing anyone could ever say to me?? call me pretty boy. tell me im the prettiest boy you’ve ever seen

I don’t get offended at all.

(via aaron-oreo-kirby)

August 21st, 2014

This is Dorian and me.

(Source: illckr, via callmenagi)

venticupofmeh:

Aaaaaand PART 3!

Part 1
Part 2

August 20th, 2014

jaclcfrost:

the whole concept of flirting is just lost on me most of the time really. whenever someone is like “oh they were flirting with you” i’m just like. what. whenever someone is like “were you flirting with them?” i’m just like. what. whenever someone is like “oh you totally were flirting with them!” i’m just like. what. what is flirting. what is going on. what. i have no idea what’s going on. what

same, really

(via jashykins)

doctorwho:

In case you missed it: With the premiere of Series 8 only a few days away, we figured it was high wibbly wobbly timey wimey time to reveal the titles for the rest of the episodes, and here they are: 

Episode 1: Deep BreathWritten by Steven MoffatDirected by Ben Wheatley
Episode 2: Into the DalekWritten by Phil Ford and Steven MoffatDirected by Ben Wheatley
Episode 3: Robot of SherwoodWritten by Mark GatissDirected by Paul Murphy
Episode 4: ListenWritten by Steven MoffatDirected by Douglas Mackinnon
Episode 5: Time HeistWritten by Stephen Thompson and Steven MoffatDirected by Douglas Mackinnon
Episode 6: The CaretakerWritten by Gareth Roberts and Steven MoffatDirected by Paul Murphy
Episode 7: Kill the MoonWritten by Peter HarnessDirected by Paul Wilmshurst
Episode 8: Mummy on the Orient ExpressWritten by Jamie MathiesonDirected by Paul Wilmshurst
Episode 9: FlatlineWritten by Jamie MathiesonDirected by Douglas Mackinnon
Episode 10: In the Forest of the NightWritten by Frank Cottrell BoyceDirected by Sheree Folkson
Episodes 11/12: Dark Water/Death in HeavenWritten by Steven MoffatDirected by Rachel Talalay

Our friends over at the Nerdist have added that, 

On the directing front, veteran Who director Douglas Mackinnon is getting three episodes this year, up from the two he did (brilliantly) last series. Aside from Mackinnon, all of the other directors are new to the show and have a long history of work in various fields. Ben Wheatley, of course, is the director of such horrifying features as Kill List and A Field in England, while the two-part finale is directed by American-born, Canadian-working director Rachel Talalay who broke into the business working on the Nightmare on Elm Street films and directing Freddy’s Dead in 1991. [x]

doctorwho:

In case you missed it: With the premiere of Series 8 only a few days away, we figured it was high wibbly wobbly timey wimey time to reveal the titles for the rest of the episodes, and here they are: 

Episode 1: Deep Breath
Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Ben Wheatley

Episode 2: Into the Dalek
Written by Phil Ford and Steven Moffat
Directed by Ben Wheatley

Episode 3: Robot of Sherwood
Written by Mark Gatiss
Directed by Paul Murphy

Episode 4: Listen
Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Douglas Mackinnon

Episode 5: Time Heist
Written by Stephen Thompson and Steven Moffat
Directed by Douglas Mackinnon

Episode 6: The Caretaker
Written by Gareth Roberts and Steven Moffat
Directed by Paul Murphy

Episode 7: Kill the Moon
Written by Peter Harness
Directed by Paul Wilmshurst

Episode 8: Mummy on the Orient Express
Written by Jamie Mathieson
Directed by Paul Wilmshurst

Episode 9: Flatline
Written by Jamie Mathieson
Directed by Douglas Mackinnon

Episode 10: In the Forest of the Night
Written by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Directed by Sheree Folkson

Episodes 11/12: Dark Water/Death in Heaven
Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Rachel Talalay

Our friends over at the Nerdist have added that, 

On the directing front, veteran Who director Douglas Mackinnon is getting three episodes this year, up from the two he did (brilliantly) last series. Aside from Mackinnon, all of the other directors are new to the show and have a long history of work in various fields. Ben Wheatley, of course, is the director of such horrifying features as Kill List and A Field in England, while the two-part finale is directed by American-born, Canadian-working director Rachel Talalay who broke into the business working on the Nightmare on Elm Street films and directing Freddy’s Dead in 1991. [x]

elubviq:

expert-jumper:

unscinfinity:

expert-jumper:

It is the year 2046. The time has come for the annual Blog Inspection. Armed android wardens begin to arrive at the homes of the country’s prisoners who were once called citizens. A warden knocks on a ramshackle door. It is answered by an old man, bedraggled, starving, weary. The robotic guard’s abdominal display screen flickers to life with the image of a popular post on tumblr. “This has to be on everyone’s blog at least once,” intones the android. Fear enters the man’s eyes. He has not reblogged this post. He shrieks and, with one fell motion, blasts a hole into the android’s head with his laser magnum. Everyone in the neighborhood watches on in horror as the man, calling for liberation, is tackled by dozens of androids. His screams die with the buzz of plasma spears. There is no freedom. This has to be on everyone’s blog at least once. Everyone’s.

are you okay there

E V E R Y O N E

NO CHANCES TAKEN

elubviq:

expert-jumper:

unscinfinity:

expert-jumper:

It is the year 2046. The time has come for the annual Blog Inspection. Armed android wardens begin to arrive at the homes of the country’s prisoners who were once called citizens. A warden knocks on a ramshackle door. It is answered by an old man, bedraggled, starving, weary. The robotic guard’s abdominal display screen flickers to life with the image of a popular post on tumblr. “This has to be on everyone’s blog at least once,” intones the android. Fear enters the man’s eyes. He has not reblogged this post. He shrieks and, with one fell motion, blasts a hole into the android’s head with his laser magnum. Everyone in the neighborhood watches on in horror as the man, calling for liberation, is tackled by dozens of androids. His screams die with the buzz of plasma spears. There is no freedom. This has to be on everyone’s blog at least once. Everyone’s.

are you okay there

E V E R Y O N E

NO CHANCES TAKEN

(via darlingyoufellapart)

August 19th, 2014

sassybaristas:

Has this been done?

I feel like the barista community needed our own version of this text post phenomenon.

Because I was once in love with a Starbucks barista.

(Source: venticupofmeh, via queerdean)

August 15th, 2014

Arguing with Myself: Demolishing Stigmata Against Call Center Agents

The people who know me really know that I swore to myself that I would never work in a call center; however, I get the wrong reaction all the time. Many people think that I look down on the profession, but I don’t—really, I don’t. The main reason why I swore not to work in a call center is the fact that I am not good at handling irate people and I do not like working graveyard shifts.

I have a lot of friends who work in call centers, and I admire them for that—for working graveyard shifts and being patient enough to handle irate people. What saddens me is that these friends of mine and every other call center agents have been stigmatized with several things. There have been massive misconceptions about working in a call center, and these misconceptions have become widespread through online social media and even through word of mouth. And with this blog, I aim to destroy these social stigmata placed upon call centers agents (because why not?).

It is a job for stupid people and rejects.

What most people only know is that call center agents either take or make calls—a thing that anyone can do. What they fail to realize that these agents take or make calls on a systematic procedure. Well, I cannot actually give specifics since I am not from the industry, but from what my friends told me, I can conclude that they do not just say hello, have a little funny chat, then, say good-bye.

To quote another writer, Griffin Dangazo, who addressed this issue: “They [the general people] have no idea how emotionally exhausting it is when your caller bombards you with insults and profanity or when you are faced with issues that are ridiculously simple it’s inexplicable why they even bothered to call or an issue that’s so hard that your knowledge base has no idea about it and your floor support instinctively switched to defensive mode giving you BS spiels to tell your caller just to prevent Sup Call. A call might ensue a complicated argument; a pleasant interaction or simply a call for help and help given but on top of these, we also need to ensure that we are meeting our metrics like customer satisfaction, first call resolution, average handling time and many more. Hence, only a person with no brain can call it a no-brainer job.” They go on extensive training from answering the call, making the call, logging the incident on file, empathizing with the caller, and much more. Anyone stupid cannot handle all these trainings.

Another thing that people point out is the fact that call center agents are rejects from their “original professions.” They are nursing graduates, educations graduates, HRM graduates, etc. These people did not make it to the profession they studied for, so they went on being call center agents. Now, let me ask this question: “Is there a degree specifically designed to teach people to become call center agents?” NO. There isn’t. They are not rejects; they are more of overruns because of the rapid rate of unemployment in the country. We have more nurses and teachers than what the government and the private sectors could employ. Besides, there are a lot of nurses working as editors, baristas, ESL teachers, and many other professions.

Call center agents are promiscuous and unfaithful.

This is, perhaps, the worst stigma given to them. For one thing, (sexual) promiscuity and unfaithfulness is not linked to one’s profession, but to one’s morals. There are unfaithful teachers, restaurant managers, students, construction workers, and the list can go on. And hell, I am a writer, and I can be promiscuous if I want to. Promiscuity and unfaithfulness are rampant these days, especially since the Philippine show business has decided to romanticize and sensationalize these matters. Point is, there might be some promiscuous and unfaithful call center agents, but being a call center agent does not automatically make you promiscuous and unfaithful.

Call center agents are rich.

Yes, they get paid quite a lot( quite higher than most jobs, to be exact), but that does not mean they are rich. If they were, why are they still working for someone else instead of having their own personal businesses?

There are a lot of people who keeps asking their call center agents friends for “free treats” or other financial favors. Look, just because they are paid a bit higher than most people are does not mean they have a lot of money to spare. They also have bills and other necessities and financial responsibilities. Perhaps one of the very reason they entered the industry is they needed that amount of a salary. At the end of the day, no matter how small or big your monthly salary is, it is all up to how you manage your finances.

Call center agents are arrogant douchebags and assholes.

Again, whatever your profession is, you can be an arrogant douchebag and asshole. I have a lot of call center agents friends who are actually great people. Granted, there are some who are arrogant douchebags and assholes, but again, it isn’t automatic that you become of these people when you work in a call center agent. You can be an arrogant douchebag and asshole no matter what your profession is.

Call center agents are social climbers.

A social climber is someone who seeks social prominence, for example by obsequious behavior. The term is sometimes used as synonymous with parvenu, and may be used as an insult, suggesting a poor work ethic or disloyalty to roots. Call center agents are often stigmatized as social climbers because: 1.) they have better gadgets than most people, 2.) they tend to speak English most of the time even in “inappropriate” places like public transport, 3.) they “tend” to show off their means and other bragging rights via social media, and the list can go on.

I cannot say much about the other things, but what is wrong with bragging what you have when you actually worked hard for it? Call center agents work their asses out to reach quota/goals to receive incentives/bonuses—hell, they even need to work on holidays like Christmas, Valentines, and even their birthdays or that of their families or even during storms and typhoons—so if they brag about having something new or being someplace else, what of it? They deserve something to reward themselves.

And as for speaking in English: they work in an environment EOP (English-only policy), thus, they are somehow “conditioned” to do so. For some, it has become a habit while others find it hard to switch from English to their mother tongue in a blink of an eye especially when they are surrounded with people with whom they converse with in English at work. Yes, perhaps it might look a little “douche-ish” when they speak in English on a public transport, but then again, what of it? No one’s getting hurt when they do, right?

Why the stigma though?

I could list a lot more of stigmata that these call center agents have been given, but I think I only need to address those that aren’t true as I have seen first hand from my friends. Come to think of it, a lot of people are not willing to work in call centers because they are afraid that they’ll be stigmatized with these, but what they fail to see is the great employment opportunity for them: leave credits, bonus, high salary, health insurance for themselves and their dependents. There is nothing wrong with being a registered nurse working as a call center agent or being simply a call center agent itself whatever your educational or former professional background is.

So instead of discriminating the industry and the people who work in it, why should not we, instead, be grateful for what it generates: more jobs for Filipinos and the opportunity to support their families. Perhaps, it all boils down the “traditional” thing that we Filipinos have—crab mentality. I think it’s high time we removed that mentality from our lives and move forward.

And for all those call center agents out there, perhaps these stigmata won’t fade really soon and there could be nothing you can do to stop other people from spreading these, but there is one thing you all can do—prove them wrong.

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August 12th, 2014

Wait, wait, wait. Sam has the anti-possession sigil inked on his chest, so how was Crowley able to possess him in order to kick Gadreel out of Sam’s body? Ooohhhh … My head hurts.

August 10th, 2014
Cebu’s very own cultural wine made form fermented mangoes harvested in Guadalupe. At least, we now have a wine to brag (Europeans have grape wine; we have this). Available in two variants: green (unsweetened) and yellow (sweetened), both with 12 percent alcohol content. Each bottle is at 750.00 PHP.

Cebu’s very own cultural wine made form fermented mangoes harvested in Guadalupe. At least, we now have a wine to brag (Europeans have grape wine; we have this). Available in two variants: green (unsweetened) and yellow (sweetened), both with 12 percent alcohol content. Each bottle is at 750.00 PHP.