Scientific and Mass Culture

Lotto by the numbers

The pot for the Grandlotto 6/55 prize remained elusive as of last Monday’s draw. It has risen already to around P574 million last time and would likely breach 600 million. The large pot is a big payoff for the stream of bettors that line up the Lotto outlets everyday. Their dream is to get this prize for just P20 per combination.

Giovanni Tapang, PhD

Sign up on the statement to Call for Justice for the Killing of Leonardo Co and his Companions

An urgent appeal to President Benigno Aquino III and the Philippine Legislature to effect a thorough, independent, and transparent investigation on the killing in Kananga, Leyte of Leonardo Co, a renowned Filipino scientist, and his two companions

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Scraping the bottom of the barrel

Every semester, I get the op-portunity to lecture about national industrialization and its relation to science and technology development at several Science, Technology and Society classes in the University of the Philippines in Diliman. I discuss about the need to develop domestic industries, not only to provide local employment and goods, but also to push for local science and technology to flourish outside the academe and have an impact on a larger part of Philippine society.

Dr. Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.

6th Science for the People Colloquium - August 18, 2010

"Pagtitiyak ng Produktibidad ng Sakahan at Seguridad sa Pagkain sa Gitna ng Nagbabagong Klima"

The Moscow puzzles

I recently got hold of an English translation of Boris A. Kordemsky’s The Moscow Puzzles: 359 Mathematical Recreations, which was first published in 1956. In American mathematics and science writer Martin Gardner’s introduction, the book was said to be “the best and most popular puzzle book ever published in the Soviet Union.” Being a fan of brain teasers myself, I immediately flipped through its pages and was surprised that I was already familiar with some of the puzzles involving matches and coins, some of them I learned from my brother and my father. What struck me the most, however, is the puzzle I found I remembered to have been taught me by my own mother.

Kim Gargar

Undoing underdevelopment

Yesterday marked the turnover of the helm of government to the new president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd. There are immense challenges that he must face—from his daang matuwid to undoing the decades-long underdevelopment that our people face. How far President Aquino’s campaign for reform will reach will depend on how far he is willing to go to reverse the policies that have kept this situation in place.

Dr. Giovanni Tapang

Decision to industrialize leads to advances in S&T and not the other way around

This is a response to Mr. Luz's commentary entitled, "Agham," printed last May 8, 2010, where he asserts that the country's low levels of science and math achievement is the culprit behind our inability to develop and maintain a significant industrial base.

Greening the vote

As we celebrate Earth Day 2010, let us remember that the state of our environment is tied to the political and economic aspects of our society.

This link is crucial to understand why—in spite of our country’s rich natural resources—we have remained underdeveloped, our people deeper in poverty and has become more vulnerable to the backlash of a destroyed environment.

Clemente Bautista Jr.

Vulnerable elections (4): Ultraviolet misprints

It might come as expected to a lot of us by now that the Comelec’s automated election system (AES) encounters one problem after another. Recently, news came out that the markings on the ballots for the May polls are unreadable by the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines that will be used in the upcoming national and local elections. According to the Comelec itself, errors in the ultraviolet (UV) markings printed on the ballots are due to the high-speed printing process used by Smartmatic.

Dr. Giovanni Tapang

Vulnerable elections (2): Cutting it close

The upcoming May 2010 elections is an experiment of sorts. We will have the first automated national elections with more than 50.7 million registered voters. Voters from more than 329,000 precincts will troop to 76,000 clustered precincts (CP). Each CP will have at most one precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machine for around 1000 voters.

Dr. Giovanni Tapang
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