Welcome and Mabuhay
If you love Marinduque and want to contribute articles to this site, please do so. My contact information is in my profile. The above photo was taken from the balcony of The Chateau Du Mer Beach House, Boac, Marindque, Philippines. I love sunsets. How about you? Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in the right side bar of this blog. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing your copyrights. Thank you and Cheers!
Sunday, January 22, 2017
I have listed the ten most expensive photographs and paintings ever sold in history in my previous blogs. Today I am posting the ten most expensive sculpture ever sold. I am not deep into sculpture, but I enjoy sculpture once in a while. All I know about sculpture is some of the works of Rodin and Michelangelo. For a list and photographs of the top ten most expensive sculptures read the site as follows: Enjoy!
Friday, January 20, 2017
The other day I posted ten of the most expensive photographs sold as of today. My curiosity was aroused on the list of expensive paintings. Before I did my Internet search ( see site below), I thought that the Number One has to be a Picasso or a Van Gough. I am mistaken as listed in the following site as follows: Before you open the link, can you give me an educated guess? Enjoy the paintings!
Thursday, January 19, 2017
I do not intend to infringe on the copyright of this photo. I will remove this photo upon request from the owner of the original photograph.
I just finished reading two interesting articles on the debate/discussion whether photography is an art form or not. (https://contrastly.com/photography-art-form/) and (http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/photography-art.htm).
One of the arguments in favor of photographs as an art form is the fact that people buy photographs as well as paintings and sculptures. According to Wikipedia, the following is the top 10 highest prices paid for photographs (in US dollars unless otherwise stated). All prices include the Buyer's Premium, which is the auction house fee for handling the work.
The list include the rank, the name of the artist, the price paid and the date sold as well as the place of the Seller/Auction House.
1. Andreas Gursky, Rhein II (1999), $4,338,500, November 8, 2011, Christie's New York( see photo above)
2. Richard Prince, Spiritual America (1981), $3,973,000, May 12, 2014, Christie's New York
3. Cindy Sherman, Untitled #96 (1981), $3,890,500, May 2011, Christie's New York
5. Jeff Wall, Dead Troops Talk (A vision after an ambush of a Red Army patrol, near Moqor, Afghanistan, winter 1986) (1992), $3,666,500, May 8, 2012, Christie's New York
6. Andreas Gursky, 99 Cent II Diptychon (2001), $3,346,456, February 2007, Sotheby's London auction
7. Andreas Gursky, Chicago Board of Trade III (1999-2000), $3,298,755, June 26, 2013, Sotheby’s London
8. Richard Prince, Untitled (Cowboy) (2000), $3,077,000, May 14, 2014, Sotheby’s New York
9. Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #48 (1979), $2,965,000, May 13, 2015, Christie’s New York
10. Edward Steichen, The Pond—Moonlight (1904), $2,928,000, February 2006, Sotheby's New York
The new #1 now belongs to Peter Lik whose photograph entitled “Phantom”, was sold in December 2014 to a private collector for a mind boggling $6.5 million.(see link above). It easily surpassed the previous record held by Andreas Gursky’s “Rhein II”, which sold for $4.3 million back in 2011.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail from Dr. Joel Cuello, our current President of Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering (PAASE) listing the link and an article about some of his paintings. I did enjoy viewing his paintings. So he is not only a well-known scientist (he is a globally recognized expert in the engineering of sustainable biological and agricultural innovations) but also a published artist. (http://ovpaa.up.edu.ph/create/#cuello2)
This aroused my curiosity on the relationships between art and science. I did some Internet search on famous scientists who are also artists. Two famous names among several names in the list (https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/01/24/science-wonder/) did not surprised me: Albert Einstein and Leonardo Da Vinci. I have also read several fascinating and interesting articles and viewed several videos that science and art are interrelated and are not opposite disciplines.(https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/from-stem-to-steam-science-and-the-arts-go-hand-in-hand/).
The following video attracted my attention because the scientist/artist is not only a female but a very young one from a country outside the US. I hope you enjoy the following video ( TED) as much as I did.
Finally here are a few quotes on art and science that I hope you will enjoy:
Note: If you are a PAASE member and you are also an artist please let me know. Who is an artist? One, such as a painter, sculptor, or writer, who is able by virtue of imagination and talent or skill to create works of aesthetic value, especially in the fine arts.
Sunday, January 15, 2017
I have not been following the music scene in the Philippines. However, just the other day I received an E-mail from our current Philippines American Academy of Science & Engineering (PAASE) President, DR Joel Cuello, about one of the members of PAASE that is both a mathematician and a world famous pianist. His name is Dr. Raul Sunico. I have vaguely heard of his name, and had never heard him play. So I did some Internet search and here's a video of Dr Sunico that I enjoyed very much.
Here's a biography of Dr Sunico:
Raul M. Sunico graduated from the University of the Philippines with the degrees of Bachelor of Music (cum laude), Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, and Master of Statistics. A scholarship from former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos through the
Young Artists Foundation of the Philippines enabled him to finish his Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School in New York and a Doctor of Philosophy degree, major in piano Performance from the New York University. In 2005, he was also conferred a
Doctor of Humanities degree (honoris causa) by the Far Eastern University.
Sunico has given solo recitals in the United States, Canada, Mexico, India, Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Japan, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Poland, Spain, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Sweden, England, and the Philippines. He was the
soloist of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Transylvania Philharmonic Orchestra (Romania), Szczecin Philharmonic Orchestra (Poland), Towson Community Orchestra (Maryland, USA), Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan Normal University Wind Orchestra, Tokyo Sinfonia, Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, Ho Chi Minh Symphony Orchestra, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, and other major Philippine orchestras.
Sunico is concurrently the President of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Dean of the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music. BRAVO!!
My first practical knowledge that there is a correlation between music and mathematics was in the early 1950's when I was a college student at the University of the Philippines. One of my many UPSCA ( UP student catholic action) friends was studying piano at the College of Music. She graduated with high honors from the College of Music. Later on she studied Mathematics and graduated with high honors again. She was then appointed as Instructor in Mathematics at the College of Liberal Arts. Her name: Mercy Lopez. I have no contact with her since then, but needless to say, I admired her very much and had a crush on her for being a talented pianist and mathematician.
Below is a short video about Math and Music.
For additional details on music and math correlation read the following:
Friday, January 13, 2017
The following are old photos I just discovered recently dating from 1952 to 1957 mostly of Macrine's and my UPSCA Activities. UPSCA is the University of the Philippines Student Catholic Action for those of you not familiar with the initial.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Just recently, I learned that there is a new controlled released formulation of Carbo-Levodopa manufactured by Impax Pharmaceuticals called Rytary. Since my wife has PD I was very curious if switching from the immediate release formulation she is currently taking to this controlled release medication will benefit her. The following is an article published by the National Parkinson Foundation that I found very informative.
"The What’s Hot in Parkinson’s disease blog written in April 2013 featured a new extended release dopamine drug called IPX066. This new dopamine formulation achieved full FDA approval in January 2015. The drug is now sold under the name Rytary. At National Parkinson Foundation we frequently hear from Parkinson’s disease patients that current Carbidopa/levodopa medication preparations fail to adequately address disease-related symptoms. In this month’s What’s Hot column we will update you on important information on Rytary, and also offer a few tips for switching.
It is important to understand the reasons that an individual Parkinson’s disease patient may consider an extended release dopamine medication. The frequently cited medication related problems include:
1. Medication dosages taking too long to “kick in” and start working
2. Medication wearing off before the next scheduled medication dose
3. Severe on-off medication fluctuation periods (e.g. rapid cycling during the day ranging from feeling completely on medication to completely off medication)
4. Dyskinesia (too much movement, usually resulting from too high of a blood level of dopamine)
5. Too many pills:
6. Too many medication dosage intervals (e.g. taking medications every 1-2 hours throughout the waking day).
Patients may also have other disease related issues that levodopa preparations will not address, including walking, balance, talking, and thinking issues, but these will likely require a totally different approach than simple levodopa replacement or Rytary. Dr. Robert Hauser at the National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence at the University of South Florida, along with colleagues from 68 North American and European study sites, recently published a paper on a new extended release formulation of carbidopa/levodopa (IPX066 now called Rytary).
The new formulation of carbidopa/levodopa extended release (IPX066/Rytary), is different than its predecessors. It contains special beads designed to dissolve at different rates within the stomach and the intestines. The medication capsule was designed to provide longer lasting benefit for patients with Parkinson’s disease. The randomized study included 393 Parkinson’s disease patients who reported at least of 2.5 hours of “off time,” defined as periods when they felt the medication was not working. The authors aimed to improve the number of hours of “off time” each day for patients randomized to the new extended release formulation (IPX066/Rytary) as compared to the older and standard regular release carbidopa/levodopa. The results revealed that the group on extended release formulations took less overall medication dosages (3.6 vs. 5 doses per day); however they also took more total pills. The daily “off-time” improved by over an hour each day in the extended release formulation. Both medications in this trial were safe and well tolerated.
If we return to the six areas (listed above in bullet points) where Parkinson’s disease patients have been seeking improved medication formulations, Rytary was observed to improve issues in two categories: wearing off between dosages, and improvement by increasing the time interval between dosages. The results of the current study cannot be widely applied to patients with severe dyskinesia, severe on-off fluctuations, and later stage disease. The new extended release formulation also increased the total blood-stream levodopa exposure by 30-40% as compared to conventional immediate release levodopa. Increasing levodopa in the bloodstream is thought to decrease the threshold for dyskinesia, and this has been observed with other Parkinson’s drugs such as Entacapone and Stalevo. Although dosed less frequently, the extended release formulation can require more total pills per day (see FDA conversion table below). The authors of the Rytary study felt that a newer formulation of the same drug, which they anticipate will be used in future clinical practice, would allow for a decrease in pill number.
In a recent interview with the lead author, Dr. Hauser, we addressed some of the important tips for switching to Rytary.
Though it is unknown who the “best” patients in clinical practice will be, it is suspected that patients with bothersome motor fluctuations, and patients taking a minimum of four 25/100 Sinemet regular or extended release (or the equivalent Madopar dosing) may be reasonable candidates.
Patients with motor fluctuations on three doses of Sinemet or Madopar could benefit, but a satisfactory benefit could possibly be obtained by adding a dose of Sinemet or Madopar rather than switching to Rytary. There may be select patients who can take a Rytary dose that is approximately three times the usual individual Sinemet or Madopar doses, and be able to maintain three times a day dosing at least for a period of time (i.e. before disease progression).
Dosages of Rytary are not interchangeable with other levodopa (Sinemet or Madopar) products. The capsules can be opened and the contents sprinkled onto foods such as apple sauce, if swallowing problems are present. The most important information for patients and families is to avoid magical thinking when switching to the Rytary formulation of levodopa. Further dose adjustments will be likely after the initial medication switch. It will be important for the patient, family, and doctor to discuss the symptoms and optimize and tweak dosages and intervals on the Rytary formulation.
Patients and families should be excited by the news of this new formulation of carbidopa/levodopa. However, patients and clinicians should be aware that there are limitations in the use of Rytary, and that caution should be exercised, especially because in select cases dyskinesia may manifest after switching. Dosages and dosage intervals of any formulation of carbidopa/levodopa, including Rytary, should be carefully adjusted at each clinic visit to address changes in Parkinson’s symptoms.
Patients may also be slightly disappointed that 3-4 capsules of Rytary may need to be taken at each dosage interval. The success or failure of dopamine replacement therapy will always be more dependent on the expert adjusting the therapy than the formulation itself. The “timing is critical principle” from Parkinson’s Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life should be considered during dose adjustments for any Parkinson’s disease patient. It is really positive news that drug manufacturers are now listening to Parkinson’s disease patients, and are trying to address the major concerns, though there is a lot of room for improvement and more formulations in the marketplace.
Personal Conclusion: As of today, My wife will not benefit switching from her current immediate release medication since she is taking less than 4 pills a day. Moreover, this new drug is much more expensive than my wife's current immediate released formulation medication.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Colorectal Cancer malady is closed to my heart. In the late 1990's I was diagnosed with stage 1 colon cancer. The cancer was removed by surgery and I am fine. On the other hand my son-in-law died four years ago from Colon cancer because it was not diagnosed early. It was already on stage 4 when he learned he had the disease. Because of this I did some web search on the prevalence of the disease in the US. Here's what I found.
Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. The American Cancer Society’s estimates for the number of colorectal cancer cases in the United States for 2016 are:5,270 new cases of colon cancer and 39,220 new cases of rectal cancer.
Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is: about 1 in 21 (4.7%) for men and 1 in 23 (4.4%) for women. This risk is slightly lower in women than in men. A number of other factors (described in Colorectal cancer risk factors) can also affect your risk for developing colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States when men and women are considered separately, and the second leading cause when both sexes are combined. It is expected to cause about 49,190 deaths during 2016.
The death rate (the number of deaths per 100,000 people per year) from colorectal cancer has been dropping in both men and women for several decades. There are a number of likely reasons for this. One is that colorectal polyps are now being found more often by screening and removed before they can develop into cancers or are being found earlier when the disease is easier to treat. In addition, treatment for colorectal cancer has improved over the last few decades. As a result, there are now more than 1 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the United States.
Visit the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center for more key statistics.
Monday, January 9, 2017
Three months ago, I heard that my neighbor across the street had some serious eye problem that required immediate attention. I was not sure what was his exact eye problem, but I did not see him doing yard work or drive to the grocery store for almost two months. I saw his wife doing all the yard work and all the driving. I heard he was not allowed to do anything even doing computer work that he loved. I also heard that his frequent use of his computer was probably the cause of his eye problem*.
Last week, I finally saw him tinkering on his car on his driveway. I went across the street and asked him exactly what happened to his eye.
He told me he had retina detachment but is now fixed. He said he had a gas bubble injected into his eye( pneumatic retinopexy) and he is now OK. I was curious of what he told me and about the gas bubble injection. I did some Web search and here's a summary of what I learned about Retina Detachment and its treatment.
Retina Detachment a very serious eye condition that happens when the retina separates from the tissue around it. Since the retina can't work properly under these conditions, you could permanently lose vision if the detached retina isn't repaired promptly. Retinal detachment is an emergency situation in which a thin layer of tissue (the retina) at the back of the eye pulls away from its normal position. Retinal detachment separates the retinal cells from the layer of blood vessels that provides oxygen and nourishment. The longer retinal detachment goes untreated, the greater your risk of permanent vision loss in the affected eye. Retinal detachments affect between 0.6 and 1.8 people per 10,000 per year. About 0.3% of people are affected at some point in their life. It is most common in people who are in their 60s or 70s. Males are more often affected than females.
Warning signs of retinal detachment include the sudden appearance of floaters and flashes and reduced vision. Contact your an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) right away if you want to save your vision.
There are four methods for the treatment for retinal Detachment as follows:
1. Laser (thermal) or freezing (cryopexy). Both of these approaches can repair a tear in the retina if it is diagnosed early enough. This procedure is often done in the doctor's office.
2. Pneumatic retinopexy. This procedure can be used to treat retinal detachment if the tear is small and easy to close. A small gas bubble is injected into the eye (specifically into the clear, gel-like substance between the lens and the retina), where it then rises and presses against the retina, closing the tear. A laser or cryopexy can then be used to seal the tear.
3. Scleral buckle. This treatment for retinal detachment involves surgically sewing a silicone band (buckle) around the white of the eye (called the sclera) to push the sclera toward the tear until the tear heals. This band is not visible and remains permanently attached. Laser or cryo treatment may then be necessary to seal the tear.
4. Vitrectomy. This surgery for retinal detachment is used for large tears. During a vitrectomy, the doctor removes the vitreous (the clear, gel-like substance between eye's lens and retina) and replaces it with a saline solution. Depending on the complexity of the retinal detachment, various combinations of vitrectomy, buckle, laser and gas bubble may be used to repair the retina.
Reference and Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/retinal-detachment/home/ovc-20197289
*Can prolonged used of computers cause retina detachment? Read: http://www.wwiipress.net/news-experts/2016-07-30/72636.html
Sunday, January 8, 2017
I woke up this morning with the news ( below) flashing in my TV. I look at my picture window( see photo above) and it does not look that bad. However, It has been continuously raining here since last night and the winds are gusty, but so far no major flooding has occurred.
The photo above also showed my picture window after I dismantled all the Christmas decorations since the Feast of the Three Kings is now almost over. My orchids, cyclamen and poinsettia are in bloom. Outside is cold and windy but no freezing rain, thanks God!
The following is the Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service. It comprised of all the Counties in North Central California which included our County-Sacramento
The National Weather Service in Sacramento has issued a Flood Warning for Urban Areas and Small Streams in... Colusa County in central California... Yolo County in central California... Sutter County in central California... Solano County in central California... Southwestern Placer County in central California... Central Shasta County in northern California... Southwestern Amador County in northern California... Sacramento County in central California... Lake County in central California... Stanislaus County in central California... San Joaquin County in central California... Southwestern Calaveras County in northern California... Western Tehama County in northern California... Southwestern Butte County in northern California... Glenn County in central California... Southwestern Yuba County in central California...
Recommended actions: Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles. A Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring. All interested parties should take necessary precautions immediately.
The heavy rains and snow ( in the Sierras) are expected to continue in the next two days. Stay warm and do not drive unless it is necessary. Happy Three Kings and again may 2017 bring you Prosperity and Happiness.