Pop Culture

Google Inc. today launched Google Chrome, a new open source browser intended to create a better Web experience for users around the world. Available in beta in more than 40 languages, including Filipino, Google Chrome is a new approach to the browser that’s based on the simplicity and power that users have come to expect from Google products.



If the title still doesn’t clue you in, you can now legally download the original Red Alert for free. This in the 13th celebration of the game and the upcoming release of Red Alert 3. Download includes games for both the Soviet army and the Allied forces.

Still don’t believe it? Here’s the link from the Electronic Arts official site:

Sept 3

The Dawn

Tickets at P200 with one free drink. Gates open at 8pm.

After much bullcrap we had to put up with from that cancer stick-manufacturing company that was supposedly putting one of Manila’s biggest bands back together for a reunion gig, we get an update regarding tickets, a new team behind it and new direction for the concert.


Rhona Mitra as Lara Croft

Rhona Mitra's Lara Croft, photo from Ray's Net

I have a special place in my heart for Tomb Raider. It’s the first PC game I after graduating from the pixel-happy realm of Pacman, Tetris and Solitaire. It’s gone on a spree of sequels, crossed game console platforms, spawned a movie and the Wilson Tortosa-drawn comic book, and its protagonist Lara Croft has metamorphosed from the crudely animated geek’s digital wet dream material to the kick ass geeks’ mastrubation visual aid rendered with amazing graphics.

As we all know, outside of the Angeline Jolie (and her painfully horrible faux British accent) celluloid landscape, Eidos and Core have gotten models in the past to play real-life Laras in their marketing materials and promotional appearances . Most popular, perhaps, would be Rhona Mitra (who’s moved on to television and movies).


An artwork international comic book artist Whilce Portacio did for the comic book fan Francis Magalona

An artwork international comic book artist Whilce Portacio did for the comic book fan Francis Magalona

Scanning Plurk this morning I came upon news (because I rarely read the paper and have no time for television) that rapper, TV host and Pinoy pop culture icon Francis Magalona has been diagnosed with leukemia and is now confined for treatment in a yet to be disclosed hospital. This I believe is only proper as he and his family have never been known to actually crack open their privacy for the public to prey on and I do believe that fighting such an illness and the following recovery would only be effective when kept in silence and with only the people you’re closest to. But that shouldn’t stop people from supporting and praying for him during this battle.

Currently still undergoing a series of tests, his wife apparently shared with the Inquirer that Francis M started having symptoms of the illness this March and that it didn’t really manifest the extent of his condition right away. Also, according to the rapper himself, “What I’d rather talk about is how to we can solicit blood donations to replace the supply that I have consumed in the hospital.”

We only hope for the best for Francis M. So blood donations of any blood type and platelet are welcome if not encouraged, though of course would undergo necessary lab tests because of medical requirements (read: no existing blood-hinged diseases and allergies among others). Interested donors may drop by The Medical City in Ortigas Ave, Pasig City (a stonethrow away from the Meralco Compound). Perhaps we can also post prayers and well wishes on his personal blog at francismagalona.multiply.com.

Dino Ignacio on Revision3s Internet Superstar

Dino Ignacio on Revision3's Internet Superstar

On the recent episode of Rev3‘s Internet Superstar, host Martin Sargent welcomes into his shack Dino Ignacio, the creator of Bert Is Evil. So in case you’ve been living under a rock (or are too young to remember), Bert is Evil was a hugely popular site that Ignacio created and maintained during the late 90s.

The site featured Bert, a muppet from Sesame Street of the Ernie and Bert duo, and was geared towards pointing out how Bert was as innocent as he seemed by displaying an array of fake (read: Photoshopped) images that depicted the muppet either conniving with various nefarious historical figures or being the big brass behind histories largest controversies and tragedies.

The site was probably one of the first few fruits of the Internet that carried a viral appeal to it, so much so that it was one of the most popular memes at the time, even with copycats coming out of the woodwork, all berating the evils of Bert. The project also won for Ignacio a Webby Award and a People’s Choice Award.

Ignacio talking about how Bert is Evil was born and how popular it was, citing several anecdotes about how it was accepted in the booming Internet community of the 90s.

Ignacio, a Marikina native, went to UP’s College of Fine Arts where he stayed for three years and published Memento Mori and the mini comic Sigaw Saklolo under Alamat Comics, which was how I first heard about the guy. In 1998, after he wen to to the US to accept his Webby Award for Bert is Evil, he decided to stay on and enroll at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. His work on Rex Navarette‘s “Maritess vs the Superfriends” flash animation is probably one of his more popular works,and can be safely seen as onf of the Internet’s earliest viral videos, even before the term was coined. To be honest, I simply cannot remember how many people have recommended that I watch it, being linked by countless local blogs and sites and circulated via e-mail and social networks. He is now living my dream of working for Electronic Arts.

Internet Superstar host Martin Sargent and Dino Ignacio

Internet Superstar host Martin Sargent and Dino Ignacio

Despite being an ancient meme by Internet standards, Bert Is Evil was resurrected from near obscurity after Bert resurfaces as a familiar figure next to Osama Bin Laden at a Bangladesh anti-American rally after 9-11,  proving that a good meme never dies. Ignacio’s phone started ringing with calls from the authorities about his possible link to the terrorists.

Here’s the link to watch the video interview if you haven’t already, or you can also download the episode by subscribing to Internet Superstar on iTunes.

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