Tuesday, November 16, 1999


I've been invited by the editor in chief of a new Philippine magazine called "PULP" to do a regular monthly one page strip for them. I've decided to call it "Tales of the Big City" because each strip will feature stories of different people living in Manila, Philippines, from all walks of life dealing with their lives and concerns. Because it would take a month between each installment, I opted to make each strip self contained, telling one whole story in just one page of around 10 panels or more each. It is indeed quite a challenge to do something like that but it is not something I'm too unfamiliar with. I did something similar back in 1992 for another publication called UZI Weekly where I had to submit a self contained one page strip every 2 weeks. I'm sort of nervous about it, because this work may well be the one that would afford my writing and art the largest exposure I've had so far.

The first story that I submitted, called THE MONSTER, would set the atmosphere that would hopefully establish the tone I'd like the strip to have. The magazine will be released next month, with a launching that will be held on December 13 at the Glorietta fountain area in Makati, Metro Manila.


Have you ever heard of SETI? A group of dedicated scientists are putting enormous amounts of time and hard work in to actually looking for signs of intelligent life outside the Earth. This project has been called SETI, or the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence. Those ultra smart guys at SETI have developed a program called SETI@home where the ordinary fella like you and me can help process data that has been received by their powerful Arecibo radio telescope. What is SETI@home? From their website:


"SETI@home is a scientific experiment that harnesses the power of hundreds of 
thousands of Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial 
Intelligence (SETI). You can participate by running a free program that downloads 
and analyzes radio telescope data. There's a small but captivating possibility that your 
computer will detect the faint murmur of a civilization beyond Earth. "

What you do is download their program, which when installed on your computer, acts like a screensaver which runs when you have left it idle after a few minutes. The program is rather small at 710KB so it's really fast and easy to download. When you run this program, it will automatically connect to the SETI@home server to get a chunk of data referred to as "Work Units" which is around 300kb each and should download no longer than 3 minutes, more if connection is slow. That is the only time you need to be connected to the internet, after which the program will start processing this data until it is finished, a process that takes anything from 9 hours to 40 hours, depending on the system you have. When the program finishes processing the data, you will be prompted to reconnect to the internet to submit the data and then download another work unit.

What's in it for you? I don't know, but personally, it feels great to be involved in something like this, you know, helping in finding out if there really is something out there. And like what is mentioned in their website, if your computer is the one that was able to process data that gives a reading of possible intelligent life, well, you'll go down in history as one of the first to discover aliens! Just think about it....

Download your program now!