Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Eldest is the second book of the author Christopher Paolini for the Inheritance Cycle. The first book is titled as “Eragon” and the book that followed Eldest is Brisingr.

The novel follows the adventure of the Dragon Rider Eragon and his dragon, Saphira. After the battle in the dwarves citadel of Farthen Dur, Eragon realized that he have much to learn so as to be able to defeat Galbatorix and assure the victory of the allied forces of the Varden, Kingdom of Surda, and the Dwarves.

The book opened and ended in tragedy. The first is the death of the Varden’s chief, Ajihad, and the lost of Murtagh to the enemy. The last tragedy is the death of Hrothgar, the king of the dwarves in the hands of the traitor Murtagh and his new dragon.

In the second book, Eragon discovered many things in the land of the elves and he also learned many things aside from magic that may become useful in his future battle with Galbatorix. The book also focused on Eragon’s cousin Roran and their odyssey from Carvahal to the battleground of the Burning Plains.

The second book of the Inheritance Cycle is as riveting and as interesting as the first book of Paolini. The focus on Roran is also refreshing since it adds new perspective to the story. So to Eragon fans there, this book is not a disappointment. Also, readers of the fantasy genre will also love the Inheritance Cycle of Christopher Paolini.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How to Protect Yourself from the Heat of the Sun

The summer heat is on! And this summer heat is not the ordinary ones that we experience every year because of the El Nino that hit the country. Because of the El Nino, the country is experiencing a dry spell and many farms were ruined because of the drought. The extreme heat ushered in many health problems like heatstroke, sunburn, and other skin diseases.

The Department of Health warned the public to avoid being under the direct heat of the sun. There also studies saying that being exposed to the sunlight from 10 AM to 3 PM causes skin cancer. However, there are those times when we have to work under the sun. Here are some of the things that you could do to protect yourself when you have no choice but to stay under the sun.

Tip # 1: Cover Yourself

The best protection is to avoid being directly exposed to sunlight. This could be done by covering yourself up with umbrella and hats. It is recommended that you use umbrellas with thick cloth because the thicker the cloth is, the better it is in protecting you from the sun. Umbrella gives you the best protection because it covers not only your head but also your arms and nape.

If you prefer using headgears, then I recommend wide brimmed hats than baseball caps. Wide brimmed hats will protect your face and nape. It is also better to wear light colored clothes because these kinds of clothes are better in reflecting away radiation from the sun as compared to dark colored clothes. The more radiation are reflected, the lesser the heat absorbed by the clothes, thus the lesser the heat experienced by your body. White is the best reflector of radiation while black is the poorest since it absorbs most of the sun’s radiation.

Remember that Ultraviolet rays, sun’s radiation that causes skin cancer, can pass through clouds. So, even in a cloudy day, it is recommended that you cover yourself up.

Tip # 2: Use Sunblock

Sunblock is good to use in protecting exposed parts of your skin and will block the UV rays if properly applied. Sunblock lotions could be bought at the groceries or your local drugstores. Choose sunblock lotion that is SPF 30 and above. SPF is the rating used to show how strong the sunblock lotion is in protecting the skin. The higher the SPF value, the better the sunblock lotion in protecting your skin.

Tip # 3: Drinks Lots of Fluids

Sweat is usually produced when your body is exposed to heat. Sweat cools off the skin by absorbing the heat in the skin. The drawback of sweating is that we lose fluids that are inside our body. Dehydration is experienced when the body has less amount of fluid than what is required. The signs of dehydration are when we feel thirsty and when the color of our urine is yellowish.

It is recommended that you always have bottled water or fluid replenishing drinks like Gatorade at hand. Keep on drinking water so as to replenish your body’s lost fluids and prevent dehydration. Drinking water refreshes your throat and gives you a steady supply of sweat so as to keep your body feel cool.

Tip # 4: Protect Your Eyes

Extreme heat and sunlight is harmful to your eyes. Our eyes are also susceptible to the harmful effect of the UV rays. Thus, it is recommended that you protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses. Also avoid looking directly at the sun.

Tip # 5: Don’t Go Out Between 10 AM and 3 PM

Sun’s heat is the greatest between 10 AM and 3 PM. Because of this, it is recommended that you avoid going out, as much as possible, during these times.

These are the some of the tips that you could follow to protect yourself from the harmful effect of the summer heat. Follow these tips and you will be fine.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How to Prevent Earblock

Earblock, known medically as Barotrauma, is a phenomenon experienced by a person when the airplane descends from a high altitude to lower altitudes. It usually occurs when the plane is landing to the airport. As it lands, the pressure inside the plane increases until the eardrums can’t bear the difference of pressure inside and outside the ears.

People having earblock experience deafness and pain inside the ears, specifically at the eardrums. Earblock is usually felt in small pressurized airplanes. It may also be felt in large commercial planes, albeit milder than in smaller planes.

There is no medicine to remove the pain accompanied by earblock. The only solution is to equalize the pressure in the inner ear with the pressure outside so as to ease the tension experienced by the eardrums. Here are some of the ways to combat earblock while the plane lands:

1) Yaaaaawn

Yes, yawning is not just being done when you are sleepy. It has other purposes and its main purpose is to equalize the pressure inside the ears with that of the environment. When you yawn, sometimes you may hear a popping sound inside your ears. That sound is caused by the air rushing to your ears from the Eustachian tube, otherwise known as the auditory tube. This tube connects the inner ear with the pharynx.

2) Pinch Your Nose then Blow

If yawning can’t ease the earblock, the next thing you can do is to force air to your inner ear. To do this, you have to pinch your nose and blow hard through it. The air will have no place to go but to pass through the auditory tube and enter the inner ear. You may feel uneasy doing this but it is the best way of easing the pressure for your eardrums.

3) Chew Gum

As the plane lands, it is suggested that you chew bubble gum to prevent earblock. Chewing makes the muscle around the auditory tube to move so as to allow the opening of the tube. The air will easily enter the inner ear and normalize the pressure.


Be careful when doing the above techniques to ease earblocks, especially the second suggestion. Do not blow too hard or you may break your eardrums. You will know that you blew enough air if your ears feel much better and your hearing returned to normal.

It is also suggest that you refrain from chewing gum while the plane is ascending to higher altitudes. The reason for this is that the pressure in the inner ear will decrease, as the pressure inside the plane decreases. When this happens, it is more likely that you will experience earblock when the plane descends.

See a doctor if pain and deafness persist after following the suggestions mentioned above.


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Picture of Ear taken from Wikimedia Commons.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Commuting Danger Zone: Litex Area

 Map of Litex Area

Litex is the area that is located at the intersection of three roads. These roads are the Payatas Roads (formerly Gravel Pit Road), Batasan Road, and the Commonwealth Avenue. Payatas Road pass through Barangay Payatas then along the La Mesa Watershed and ends in the town of Montalban (Rodriguez) in Rizal Province. The infamous Payatas can be seen when you pass the Payatas Road. This road is used by many people who live in Montalban and other areas near the Montalban-Quezon City boundary but work or study in Metro Manila.

Batasan Road, on the other hand, leads to the House of Representative.

Litex is alive 24 hours a day due to the fact that many people pass through this area. Consequently, Litex is filled with pedestrians and street vendors that hogged the sidewalks. Thieves and snatchers prowl this area and look for unwary commuters that brandish their cellular phones.

When passing or commuting through Litex, make sure that your valuables are well hidden. Never bring your cellphone out in this area especially when the jeepney runs slow due to heavy traffic. The congested streets and the slowing down of jeepneys are the opportunities waited upon by snatcher to snatch up their targets.

You should also avoid wearing valuable earrings when you are in Litex. Many girls got their ears torn because thieves snatched their earrings away.

As much as possible, avoid Litex and Payatas Road during late nights because many criminals board public jeepneys to hijack the jeepney and steal everything valuable from the passengers.

When you are in a car, it is safer to roll up the windows and lock all doors.

Remember, when traveling and commuting, you can never be too careful. Be extra cautious when you are Commuting Danger Zones and that includes Litex.


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Map of Litex Area obatined from Google Maps