Friday, March 18, 2011

A Repost From Manila Bulletin

Pacquiao: 'Quintessential Athlete'

MANILA, Philippines - Boxing great Manny Pacquiao will receive a unique citation as "Quintessential Athlete" in recognition of his outstanding achievements in various fields outside boxing during the 11th Gabriel "Flash" Elorde Memorial Boxing Awards and Banquet of Champions on March 25 at the Grand Ballroom of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza.

"We cannot think of a more appropriate citation for our national hero, whom we and Filipino fans have already honored as Boxer of the Year, Boxer of the Decade, Best pound-for-pound boxer, International Hall of Famer , People's Champ and Pambansang Kamao," said Laura Elorde, wife of boxing legend Flash Elorde, in whose honor the awards rites and banquet of champions will be held on the occasion of his 76th birth anniversary.

The awards ceremony, which is also being supported by Congressman Mark Aeron Sambar of the Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party List, will be co-presented by Cobra Energy Drink, Sanicare Kitchen Towels, Procter & Gamble Distributing (Phils.) Inc., Contour Splinting Services, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, SMART, International Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Prestige Poker Sport Club, Southpaw bar & grill and the Elorde gyms.

Elorde said this will be the first time a boxer will be accorded this first-ever recognition for his accomplishments as congressman, businessman, movie and TV personality, commercial endorser, singer and philanthropist. "Manny is not only idolized by boxing fans, but we can say he has an even bigger fan base among those who are not hooked on the sport," said Elorde.

Elorde cited numerous forms of recognition given to Pacquiao, who was once cited in the State of the Nation Address of President Arroyo, had met with a US President Obama at the White House and a US senatorial candidate, had hosted President Arroyo on his birthday and became one of the 25 most influential persons of the world in 2010, a distinction never reached in the history of Philippine sports. "Manny Pacquiao was the same humble person who endeared himself to Filipinos. It was the same Filipino trait that my husband, Da Flash, showed as a bootblack in his younger years and as a seven-time world champion at the peak of his powers," said Elorde.

Reposted From Manila Bulletin

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Repost From AFP

Filipino star Donaire signs De la Hoya deal

Filipino boxing star Nonito Donaire, who stopped Fernando Montiel last month to take two world bantamweight titles, has signed a deal with Oscar de la Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions.

The Los Angeles firm announced Wednesday its multi-year promotional contract with the 28-year-old "Filipino Flash", a former world flyweight and super flyweight champion who collected the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization bantamweight titles last month.

Donaire, 26-1 with 18 knockouts and no losses in 10 years, stopped Mexico's Montiel in the second round last month and will look to defend his crowns this year, reportedly as soon as May 28 in Atlantic City against an undecided opponent.

"I'm honored to be joining so many great fighters and champions on the Golden Boy Promotions team," Donaire said. "I'm going to fight my heart out every time I'm in the ring and will give fans the fights they want to see."

Rival champions of Donaire include Panama's Anselmo Moreno and Ghana's Joseph Agbeko, who defends his International Boxing Federation crown next month against Mexico's Abner Mares.

"Nonito Donaire is one of the top boxers in the world today," De la Hoya said. "We're going to make sure he gets the chance to defend his world titles and stays as active as possible."

Reposted From AFP

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Repost From Chuck Smith

omg! Philippines News Blog

‘Eat Bulaga!’ extends contract with GMA-7

Tito, Vic and Joey (Courtesy of GMA-7)

Tito, Vic and Joey (Courtesy of GMA-7)

The top-rating noontime variety show "Eat Bulaga!" will remain with the Kapuso network for another three years.

This is after TAPE Inc., the producer of the country's longest running television show, signed an extension contract with GMA-7 last Friday, March 11. The extension means "Eat Bulaga!" will continue to be aired on the network until 2015.

GMA Network chief executive officer Felipe Gozon, president and chief operating officer Gilberto Duavit were present during the contract signing. Also present were TAPE Inc. president and chief executive officer Tony Tuviera and senior vice president Malou Choa-Fagar, as well as "Eat Bulaga!" hosts RSotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon, Ruby Rodriquez, Anjo Yllana, Jimmy Santos, and Allan K.

The contract extension officially dispels the long time rumor that "Eat Bulaga!" will be moving to another network.

"Eat Bulaga!" has been with the Kapuso network for almost sixteen years after it moved from ABS-CBN in 1995. It started its more than three decades of dominance in the noontime slot with RPN-9 in 1979 then transferred to ABS-CBN in 1989.

Reposted From Chuck Smith

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Repost From Liz Goodwin

Japan’s earthquake shifted balance of the planet

By Liz Goodwin

Last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan has actually moved the island closer to the United States and shifted the planet's axis.

The quake caused a rift 15 miles below the sea floor that stretched 186 miles long and 93 miles wide, according to the AP. The areas closest to the epicenter of the quake jumped a full 13 feet closer to the United States, geophysicist Ross Stein at the United States Geological Survey told The New York Times.

The 9.0 magnitude quake (the fourth-largest recorded since 1900) was caused when the Pacific tectonic plate dove under the North American plate, which shifted Eastern Japan towards North America by about 13 feet (see NASA's before and after photos at right). The quake also shifted the earth's axis by 6.5 inches, shortened the day by 1.6 microseconds, and sank Japan downward by about two feet. As Japan's eastern coastline sunk, the tsunami's waves rolled in.

Why did the quake shorten the day? The earth's mass shifted towards the center, spurring the planet to spin a bit faster. Last year's massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile also shortened the day, but by an even smaller fraction of a second. The 2004 Sumatra quake knocked a whopping 6.8 micro-seconds off the day.

After the country's 1995 earthquake, Japan placed high-tech sensors around the country to observe even the slightest movements, which is why scientists are able to calculate the quake's impact down to the inch. "This is overwhelmingly the best-recorded great earthquake ever," Lucy Jones, chief scientist for the Multi-Hazards project at the U.S. Geological Survey, told The Los Angeles Times.

The tsunami's waves necessitated life-saving evacuations as far away as Chile. Fisherman off the coast of Mexico reported a banner fishing day Friday, and speculated that the tsunami knocked sealife in their direction.

(An energy map provided by NOAA shows the intensity of the tsunami caused by Japan's earthquake: Reuters/NOAA. Below, Satellite image of Japan's coast moving: NASA.)

Reposted From Liz Goodwin

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Repost From Jeff Donn of AP

Japan quake causes emergencies at 5 nuke reactors

Japan declared states of emergency for five nuclear reactors at two power plants after the units lost cooling ability in the aftermath of Friday's powerful earthquake. Thousands of residents were evacuated as workers struggled to get the reactors under control to prevent meltdowns.

Operators at the Fukushima Daiichi plant's Unit 1 scrambled ferociously to tamp down heat and pressure inside the reactor after the 8.9 magnitude quake and the tsunami that followed cut off electricity to the site and disabled emergency generators, knocking out the main cooling system.

Some 3,000 people within two miles (three kilometers) of the plant were urged to leave their homes, but the evacuation zone was more than tripled to 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) after authorities detected eight times the normal radiation levels outside the facility and 1,000 times normal inside Unit 1's control room.

The government declared a state of emergency at the Daiichi unit — the first at a nuclear plant in Japan's history. But hours later, the Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the six-reactor Daiichi site in northeastern Japan, announced that it had lost cooling ability at a second reactor there and three units at its nearby Fukushima Daini site.

The government quickly declared states of emergency for those units, too. Nearly 14,000 people living near the two power plants were ordered to evacuate.

Japan's nuclear safety agency said the situation was most dire at Fukushima Daiichi's Unit 1, where pressure had risen to twice what is consider the normal level. The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement that diesel generators that normally would have kept cooling systems running at Fukushima Daiichi had been disabled by tsunami flooding.

Officials at the Daiichi facility began venting radioactive vapors from the unit to relieve pressure inside the reactor case. The loss of electricity had delayed that effort for several hours.

Plant workers there labored to cool down the reactor core, but there was no prospect for immediate success. They were temporarily cooling the reactor with a secondary system, but it wasn't working as well as the primary one, according to Yuji Kakizaki, an official at the Japanese nuclear safety agency.

Even once a reactor is shut down, radioactive byproducts give off heat that can ultimately produce volatile hydrogen gas, melt radioactive fuel, or even breach the containment building in a full meltdown belching radioactivity into the surroundings, according to technical and government authorities.

Despite plans for the intentional release of radioactivity, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the 40-year-old plant was not leaking radiation.

"With evacuation in place and the ocean-bound wind, we can ensure the safety," Edano said at a televised news conference early Saturday.

It was unclear if the elevation of radioactivity around the reactor was known at the time he spoke.

The outside measurement of radiation at Daiichi was far below the allowed limit for a year, other officials said, reporting that it would take 70 days standing at the gate to reach the yearly limit.

Dr. Irwin Redlener, a pediatrician who runs a disaster preparedness institute at Columbia University, said the reported level of radiation outside the plant would not pose an immediate danger, though it could lift the rate of thyroid cancer in a population over time.

However, he called the reported level inside the plant extraordinarily high, raising a concern about acute health effects. "I would personally absolutely not want to be inside," he said.

While the condition of the reactor cores was of utmost concern, Tokyo Electric Power Co. also warned of power shortages and an "extremely challenging situation in power supply for a while."

The Daiichi site is located in Onahama city, about 170 miles (270 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo. The 460-megawatt Unit 1 began operating in 1971 and is the oldest at the site. It is a boiling water reactor that drives the turbine with radioactive water, unlike pressurized water reactors usually found in the United States. Japanese regulators decided in February to allow it to run another 10 years.

The temperature inside the reactor wasn't reported, but Japanese regulators said it wasn't dropping as quickly as they wanted.

Kakizaki, the safety agency official, said the emergency cooling system is intact and could kick in as a last line of defense. "That's as a last resort, and we have not reached that stage yet," he added.

Defense Ministry official Ippo Maeyama said dozens of troops trained for chemical disasters had been dispatched to the plant in case of a radiation leak, along with four vehicles designed for use in atomic, biological and chemical warfare.

Technical experts said the plant would presumably have hours, but probably not days, to try to stabilize things.

Leonard S. Spector, director of the Washington office of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, said loss of coolant is the most serious type of accident at a nuclear power plant.

"They are busy trying to get coolant to the core area," said Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. "The big thing is trying to get power to the cooling systems."

High-pressure pumps can temporarily cool a reactor in this state with battery power, even when electricity is down, according to Arnold Gundersen, a nuclear engineer who used to work in the U.S. nuclear industry. They can open and close relief valves needed to control pressure. Batteries would go dead within hours but could be replaced.

The IAEA said "mobile electricity supplies" had arrived at the Daiichi plant. It wasn't clear if they were generators or batteries.

It also was not immediately clear how closely the reactor had moved toward dangerous pressure or temperature levels. If temperatures were to keep rising to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, it could set off a chemical reaction that begins to embrittle the metallic zirconium that sheathes the radioactive uranium fuel.

That reaction releases hydrogen, which can explode when cooling water finally floods back into the reactor. That was also concern for a time during the 1979 Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania.

If the reactor temperature keeps reaches around 4,000 degrees, the fuel could melt outright, and the reactor could slump right into the bottom of the containment building in a partial meltdown. Then the crucial question would be whether the building would stay intact.

"The last line of defense is that containment — and that's got to hold," Gundersen said. If it doesn't, the radioactive load inside the reactor can pour out into the surroundings.

The plant is just south of the Miyagi prefecture, which was the region hardest hit by the quake. A fire broke out at another nuclear plant in that area in a turbine building at one of the Onagawa power reactors. Smoke poured from the building, but the fire was put out. Turbine buildings of such boiling water reactors, though separate from the reactor, do contain radioactive water, but at much lower levels than inside the reactor. A water leak was reported in another Onagawa reactor.

No radioactive releases were reported in any of the other affected plants.

As Japan is one of the most seismically active nations in the world, it has strict sets of regulations designed to limit the impact of quakes on nuclear power plants. These standards call for constructing plants on solid bedrock to reduce shaking.

As one of the most seismically active countries in the world, Japan has strict sets of regulations designed to limit the impact of quakes on nuclear power plants. These standards call for building plants on solid bedrock to reduce shaking.

Even so, 10 of Japan's 54 commercial reactors were shut down because of the quake, and Tokyo Electric Power said it had to reduce power generation. Japan gets about 30 percent of its electricity from nuclear power.

Reposted From Jeff Donn of AP


Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Repost From Abac Cordero of Philippine Star

Tired, sleepless Azkals 'frozen'
By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) Updated March 14, 2011 12:00 AM Comments (5) View comments SHARE: facebook share facebook tweeter twitter yahoo buzz yahoo! buzz
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Aly Borromeo
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MANILA, Philippines - Azkals team captain Aly Borromeo checked out the pitch yesterday and couldn’t believe what he saw.

“(It) almost turned into ice,” he said on his Twitter account.

Worse, the Azkals couldn’t even get to practice and warm up because their luggage got lost somewhere in transit.

The Azkals are tired, cold and weary in Mongolia.

With only two days before the match, the Azkals are just trying to keep their confidence at a high level.

“Yesterday is over and done with,” added Borromeo from Ulan Bator, the freezing Mongolian capital where yesterday’s weather was at a low of -13 and a high of -24 degrees Celsius.

Borromeo said they’re all hoping for the best.

“Greater expectations, greater results ahead,” he said.

“Two days until game time. It’s time to focus,” said defender Anton del Rosario, who was quite surprised to find Filipino fans in Mongolia.

“What are all these Filipinos doing in Mongolia? We’ll have more fans than Mongolia,” he said.

Borromeo and the Azkals travelled almost 24 hours to get to Ulan Bator Saturday, all the way from earthquake-ravaged Gotemba in Japan via Beijing.

It was a treacherous journey out of Japan considering the damage caused by the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck its northeastern coast. The Azkals were in a training facility in Gotemba, 174 kms away from Tokyo when the great earthquake struck at 2:46 p.m. Friday.

The Azkals almost got stranded in Gotemba, and their March 15 match with Mongolia almost threatened. But the Japanese Football Association made sure they safely got out of the country.

It wasn’t easy.

The Azkals had to take a bullet train to Tokyo in the morning, and were stranded at the Narita International Airport because of flight delays.

They managed to board the plane to Beijing at around 8 p.m. and caught a connecting flight to Ulan Bator past midnight.

The Azkals arrived in Ulan Bator past 4 a.m., and, all wrapped in their Columbia thermal gear, were met by the terrible winter conditions. Ulan Bator is said to be the coldest national capital in the world.

Worse, they arrived minus their luggage, which got left behind in Beijing, and was to be brought to the Palace Hotel yesterday afternoon.

“We safely arrived in Mongolia. It’s 4:30 a.m. Definitely ready for bed,” said Simon Greatwich on Twitter.

Reposted From Abac Cordero of Philippine Star


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