Friday, August 24, 2012

A Socially-relevant Blog Post

Before anything else, I'd like to congratulate Mark Anthony Bersola for winning the "Guess the Haribon's Base Kit" contest.  He was one among three who guessed it correctly with whatever "vague clues" I gave.  Thanks to Malvin Lim of Great Toys online for all the nice freebies, and to those who took the time to attend the MACY2MEET.  I'll post a more detailed entry later on.

I would like to set Gunpla aside to give way to a socially-relevant issue, mainly because it affects me directly, as a writer/blogger, artist and songwriter, and maybe even you guys.  This is with how Senator Tito Sotto got caught plagiarizing not one but 5 (or maybe even more) bloggers in his speech about House Bill No. 4244, otherwise known as the Reproductive Health Bill (RH Bill for short).  His position on the RH Bill got drowned by his plagiarism, so much that whatever veracity it may have had is now as meaningless as his position as a Senator.

Why?  Because instead of owning up to it and apologizing for an obvious mistake, Sotto remained adamant and even ridiculed bloggers in general by saying "she's just a blogger, why would I quote her?" referring of course to blogger Sarah Pope.  His "thief of staff," Atty Hector Villacorta, later on defended Sotto by saying that blogs are in the public domain and do not have copyright.  A lawyer who does not know his law isn't a precedent, it seems to be as common as house flies circling trash.  What's worse is this tandem seem to miss the point by saying that plagiarism is common place; everyone copies, even god, when it made man in its image.  They're just words, and even the words "copyright" and "plagiarism" were, er, copied.  Other Senators of the Philippines defended Sotto, others, like what most politicians do, remain silent.

For sure, this lawyer did study law, right?  But how can he miss the fact that copyright is BY VIRTUE OF CREATION.  When Sarah Pope made that blog entry, she cited Natasha McBride.  Sotto's and Villacorta's reasoning was they cannot quote a blogger for quoting McBride, and since they can't seem to find McBride's website, they copied from Pope's website instead.  Technically, they weren't quoting McBride anymore, since they used Pope's entry near-verbatim.

That's not the worst of it.  Miguel Syjuco of Rappler wrote a very lengthy thesis on Sotto's plagiarism.  I won't get into detail about what he wrote, lest I plagiarize him, you can go read his article for yourself, but Sotto plagiarized a lot more people than earlier cited.  Also, Villacorta stands in for Sotto in getting flak from Netizens, but, for crying out loud, Tito, don't you know what COMMAND RESPONSIBILITY means?  It's still YOUR (plagiarized) speech, even if you had others write it for you.  It's still YOUR position on the RH Bill.  Unless of course, you thought being a Senator excuses your from that responsibility.  Sarah Pope's "just a blogger," but remember, you're just a Senator, a position afforded to you by the people who elected you, and if need be taken away from you

Someone asked me if I ever plagiarized, meaning directly copied verbatim, anything in my lifetime.  Probably, when I was a kid who didn't know better, when I copied from books onto my notes for homework, which I later gave up on because I was already reading the damned thing, so why do I have to copy it?  Later on in High School, a very good English teacher taught me the virtue of speaking and writing better English, and the follies of plagiarism.  By then, I was already "inventing" stuff from what I read, basically condensing those into something I wrote, but, that English teacher knew better to remind us of citing our sources.  At one point, I erroneously used someone's photograph and made a vector version of it, but I couldn't find the source.  As I later one was able to, I gave the photographer notice, and he said okay, but later on rated about it on his dA account.  Even the smallest of infractions matter. 

Personally, I don't really mind being copied (it's flattering in most cases), it doesn't even matter if I am credited (both have happened).  But, when I do post something that isn't mine, especially in this blog, I quote my sources whether it was significant or otherwise.  The crux of the matter is, we have a Senator who is shameless and unremorseful, and a lawyer who doesn't know his law his excuses is similar to a kid whose dog ate his homework.

What else is there?  Do we eventually end up doing this?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Something Airborne Comes This Way...

I'm still detailing the Bathala, wings and all, and it's actually a surprise, especially for me, to be able to work on another <ambitious> build.  This won't be a rush project, but, I'll devote most of my <free> time on this (while working on the Bathala's details), and if I finish it in time, this might become my entry to the <ugh> GBWC.

Never mind the overuse of <>.

So, I'll make this <exciting> for you guys with a guessing game (for Philippines only).  Whoever correctly guesses the base kit of the Haribon will have a chance to win an HG Age Gafran and a set of (3 X 0.5mm + 3 X 1.0mm) WHIPS.  The entries should be sent via email.  The Winner will be announced during the MAC Forums Y2 meet.  Deadline for submission is on 17 August 12MN PST (+8.00 GMT).

TWO GUESSES PER ENTRY.  No direct clues will be given, for that will ruin the fun of the game.  You will have to guess the KIT itself (so don't ask about scale or grade, guess the KIT itself).  I'll give VERY VAGUE hints until the deadline, but none of them would be too revealing.  As of this edit, I already got a couple of emails for the contest. 

When you email, don't confirm whether you guessed correctly or not, but I'll reply to confirm your entry.  I'll be transparent and list everyone (their handles/nicknames) who have joined.  If there are more than one correct guess, all of them will be "raffled off" during the MACY2MEET.  If there's no correct guess, then all who have joined are eligible for a draw, or, I will choose one which is the <closest guess>, whichever is more appropriate or popular).

Update 2:

Hints: What is the kit used for the Bathala's base? What is the kit prize for this contest?

Those ARE NOT the base kits for the Haribon.  Also, the Haribon banner itself has subtle hints. 

So, those who have already sent their entries, I'll allow you to have another go at it. To be fair to other entrants, I'll allow two guesses from hereon.

Update 3:

Deadline has been changed to 17 August 12MN PST (+8.00 GMT).

Hints: It's been recently released, and I mentioned it somewhere...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Simple Epyon Wing Modification

Raise your Wing!  I planned to do this when I did my Epyon Wing Fix, but never really gave it a second thought be cause I hadn't any plans for the Epyon. The modification is very simple, and all I did is drill the lower part of G25 (the intermediary of the backpack and the Wing) so the long peg simply goes through it when I interchange G24 and G25, and the two parts should merge without a hitch.

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This raises the Wing's vertical position significantly, without any additional modifications.

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"BATHALA" - PMX-003 MG The O vMatX Part IX

Taking Flight!  Though I will still be working on the Bathala, this will be the final update of sorts for this project overall, mainly because I have work projects coming in, and I have to decide if I'll even enter this year's GBWC. I might use this improved wing for another kit instead of entering with the Bathala, mainly because it'll be too costly for me to get another MG The O at Toys R Us at mall price just to be able to enter. I'm thinking of getting an Infinite Justice or Sword Impulse (or some other similar kit), but as of the moment everything is frozen, even my budget for any new kit.

Anyways, I've finished majority of the wing, enough to be able to mount it and do a test fit to see if the mechanism can hold up to the weight. As predicted, the weight is rather significant, probably as heavy as the PG Strike Freedom's backpack/wing. The central gear mechanism is able to hold both wings when folded, or even when the main wing is spread, and so does the wing arm. I've made adjustments to the gears of the wing arms, pinning the gears on the receptacles aside from superglue, so that it holds it's place even during high tension. I've also added lock washers to prevent the nuts from slipping out when the wings are being handled.

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The wings spread out. The main wings look short because of foreshortening especially since they curve inward. Looking at it at an angle reveals how long the longest "feather" really is (left wing), and how it curves inward (right wing).

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Test fit. The Bathala can actually hold the wings up on its own when the Main wings are folded inward towards its center of gravity. I've also added another pair of V-fins, these coming from my PG RFA.

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The wings, "fully" spread. I can still spread it further but it would look unnatural. Because of the overall weight, plus, the added leverage when spread, I won't be able to do this kind of pose for the wing (unless I make pose receptacles for them), not that it will be allowed if I enter it in the GBWC this year. In this configuration, the wingspan comes to a kewl ~100cm (~39in). I had to lay this down on the floor and set my tripod up down angle to get the entire thing inside the viewfinder.

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That's it for now. Will post another update if ever.

And These Came in the Mail

Rather, I had these sent to my school since I was on an off-site training.  Bosny Philippines has once again graciously sent me free...