Monday, September 24, 2012

4 Infographics and Videos to Better Understand Driverless Cars

With its public testing this summer of its in-house designed driverless car system, Google has brought the next level of automotive technology directly to our computer screens while automotive manufacturers are investing billions of dollars in the idea of empty cars cruising the streets.

While we may be a way off from busy roads without drivers, there can be no denying that autonomous vehicles are coming sooner than most consumers ever expected and understanding the technologies behind them is the first step towards adoption. Whether you plan to send your car out to pick up dinner without you as soon as possible or you want to know what types of cars to avoid with caution while driving given their lack of a human driver, here are four infographics and videos to better understand driverless cars:

1. Infographic: Driverless Car Technologies

Original Source: DanielRosen

Imagining a future where distracted driving and accidental deaths are a thing of the past is one thing; developing technologies to make it happen is another altogether. Those technologies are outlined beautifully in this infographic, with accompanying diagrams and explanations making the job of learning a simple one for any viewer.

The second half of the infographic highlights exactly why driverless cars are so important to humanity at large, showcasing the 450,000 injuries and $230 billion per year in losses generated each year in the United States due to distracted driving. With their promise to eliminate the need to drive when one doesn't have the time for it, driverless cars could potentially end distracted driving altogether.

2. Video: Blind Man Tests Google's Driverless Car

The best way to understand the technology behind driverless cars is to see it in action and Google recently released a video that showcases the car they've been working on. The action follows a legally blind man who quickly jumps behind the wheel, stopping by a laundromat and passing through a fast food drive-thru window before returning home, all without touching the wheel or needing to watch the road.

Given that the concept still feels very futuristic and remote to many people, this video serves as the ultimate tool in simply reminding us that, not only is it possible, it's here now.

3. Shocking Effects of the Google Driverless Car

Did you know that driverless vehicles created by Google have driven more than 1,000 hours on the open road with no human intervention and more than 140,000 hours with minimal human intervention? Given just how close this technology is to our driveways, this infographic takes a look at some of the real world effects that are likely to be seen as driverless vehicles become mainstream. Out-of-work taxi drivers, lost revenue for governments, the elimination of parking fees, increased free time - the list goes on.

The most important statistics offered here revolve around safety, showing once again just how effective driverless cars could be in reducing human injury and damages due to car accidents caused by driver distraction.

4. Video: Sebastian Thrun, Google Driverless Car Developer at TED Talks

Google's Sebastian Thrun, one of the lead developers in the team that helped to build Google's driverless car prototypes and an award-winning computer scientist and educator, paid a visit to TED Talks to give a quick lecture on autonomous vehicles in general and Google's efforts in that field in particular.

Included in the video is footage of Google's vehicles cruising through urban streets, taking turns and making stops without the need for human intervention, an amazing testament to just how close driverless cars are to appearing in the consumer marketplace.

Annie is blogging for, the free auto insurance resource.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

How to Plant a Banana Tree

There are so many banana varieties here in the tropical Philippines and there are as many dishes you could make with it. No wonder, people used to refer to our country as a Banana Republic. But of course, that's no longer the case.

If you have a small garden at home, with a space of at least 3 square meters of soil, you can have your very own cluster of banana trees. There's no need to fertilize it for as long as your soil still has some nutrients - rainwater and plenty of sunshine make banana trees really happy.

More than that, banana trees are one of the easiest to plant and learn how to cultivate.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pictures of our Farm/Resort/Garden in Lipa City - September 18, 2012

Pet Coconut Seedlings and Plants

UPDATE: Grave Matter for Philippine Coconut Industry

Everyday, we get to hear loud thuds hitting the ground. When we first moved here, we thought wow! Free coconuts! In Manila, coconuts go for P20 each or roughly $0.50 US.

Anyway, after our coco craze has waned (took us 3 years), some of these guys became slightly annoying and some, dangerous.

Getting hit with one of these could send you to the ICU or worst - Funeraria La Something.

So, you should do well to always be on the lookout for cracking sounds from high above and get in the habit of ducking for cover. Better yet, don't stay under a tree for long periods of time.

Adopt Pet Coconut Seedlings or Plants

Coconut seedlings ready to be transferred to their own bags

A few weeks ago, I decided to get the kids to love plants, after all they're living er - creatures too. What better way than to call these plants - pet plants. Now, three of my daughters have their own potted Sans Severias. No pics yet, since they're not overly pretty, but once they've grown, I'll post them.

Then I thought, maybe I'd share the love for plants with others and I'll start with these rambunctious coconuts. So if you feel like you'd like to have your own pet coconut plant - feel free to make an inquiry or contact me. No deliveries, only for pickup.

Adopt a Pet coconut en masse for your real life farmville and I'll even treat you to free Barako Coffee.

Kitten NOT included

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Business Opportunities in the Philippines at

Thought of the day: One of the most terrifying things in the world are babies. It's one thing to make em, it's another thing to have life squiggling - and pooping on your arms. It's a brand new life on the same level as yours and you - yes you, are in charge of it. Anything that can and will go wrong falls entirely on your shoulder - for life. Anything that goes right, you only take partial credit for.

via Flickr: Black Glenn

Business opportunities in the Philippines on

As I have mentioned previously, hunting for business opportunities on is one of my favorite hobbies - that aside from playing America's Army 3 on Bridge AI Map, planting gabi, luya and malunggay.

Though is replete with MLM, Networking, "Online Business", food cart, franchising and Eloading schemes in their business opportunities section - occasionally, you do find gems in the rough.

These are tied to real world businesses that produce actual products that's not composed of a mish mash of foreign sounding leaves or roots ground together and packaged with shiny plastic then consequently applied to your face - or underarm. (Yes, I'm talking to you Barley leaf, stem, root or whatever... God, you can find them everywhere...)

1. Popnick Snacks Reselling

Picture from Sulit
The name is catchy, come on, say it,

"Pop Nick" 

not cornick

"Pop Nick"

You buy it for PHP 1,500 per sack, repack it, then sold to Sari-sari stores or the grocery for a projected profit of PHP1,500 per 15 kg. sack. Easy as 1-2-3.

I've inquired with the seller on this one, but I do have some concerns about logistics. They're in Quezon City. I'm in Lipa City, Batangas.

2. Balloon Workshop

Not really a business opportunity per se, it does provide additional income possibilities or money saving knowledge for anyone who's into events planning, catering, restaurant, flower arrangement or even the photography business.
Picture from

Most of these business are tied up to each other so partnering with a supplier could help you save some time if you haven't done so already.

What I'm Really Looking For

Agribusiness opportunities. Most of the existing opportunities in the Philippines you can find advertised online - not just in but also in most websites - are sideline businesses that don't need a lot of work, sweat, capital (I even saw one that claims to turn your PHP 100 to 100,000,000.)

Agribusiness and related propositions are quite hard to find and market - because of 3 requirements that not many people have or are willing to give - land, financial capital and heartbreaking sweat.

Having 2 of these 3, namely, land and sweat, I'm still groping the marketing aspects. Right now, I have 300 luya plants on the ground waiting to grow and 60 gabi plants that need sunshine. We have an inventory of hundreds of sans severia plants, 300 mahogany trees, a few bayabas trees and 1 Staghorn fern that I haven't got a clue on how to propagate.

Do take a look at our agribusiness experiment over at

Right now, I'm still brainstorming on how I can turn these plants into money. Sell em? Yeah, sure, our location is killing us and we can't afford to lease in downtown and compete with the pros.

Online? Now there's a thought. Shipping and logistics is going to be quite troublesome though. I don't have transportation.

If you think you can solve my problem, do feel free to contact me over here:

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Blog Convention Philippines Venue

It's 2:49 AM and I cannot sleep. A lot of things have been running around my mind for a while and I haven't been able to post much for the last month - or maybe even longer. I've lost track of my blogging time. I've put a pause on hosting guest bloggers because hosting guest bloggers is like hosting real guests. You have to be pleasant, nice and treat them as VIPs. It takes a lot of brain time and is a huge energy drain to an introvert like me.

Blog Convention Philippines Venue - I know that it's a weird post title. But it's something that suddenly crossed my mind after I visited Google Plus and saw the campaign of a Google Plus acquaintance.

There are a lot of successful - "moneywise" and "exposure-wise" Filipino bloggers in the Philippines, (I'm not one of them) but most of them still belong to an elite cadre of English speaking, SEO toting, marketing and politically related bloggers in Metro Manila.

I'm still brainstorming the idea and tomorrow I have to plant gabi, but anyway, I have to think of ways to stimulate activity here on aside from farming. The physical work is draining my intellectual, emotional and psychological energy and maybe this is it.

Offer a venue for a blog convention or marketing push for free - as in walang bayad na pera na pesos.

Yes, there is a catch - 3 I can think of actually.

1. The place is nothing like it used to look like. 

It used to look like this: Now - it's a jungle ruin and the pool is not operational. To be frank, I would need 15,000 pesos a month to run the pool again. Soooooooo.... :/

But, I can clean up the critical parts and prepare for something with some expenditure.

2. It's quite secluded - but it really is accessible. 

The Map -

3. I have to like the convention host

Personality wise, I'm beginning to act like Rabbit in Winnie the Pooh.

48/365 - Grave-Digging Rabbit
Creative Commons Image via Flickr Name too weird to put here...
If people so much as step on my vegetables or pee on them, I might whack em with a gabi or a banana stump...