All posts by Pol Pinoy


Tokyo, Japan – Six top international inventions for 2013 were awarded this year’s Kyoto Prize in ceremonies held at the Royal Palace in Tokyo  this weekend. The Kyoto Prize is an international award to honor those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of mankind. The prize is presented annually in each of the following three categories: Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy.

The winning inventions were awarded the golden medals under the category of Basic Sciences.  Each award comes with $500,000 cash prize.

The winners and countries represented were: Ctrl+Alt+Del Wand (Philippines), Runny Nose Portable Tissue Dispenser (Japan), Swiss Army Shovel (Mexico), Noodle Soup Chopstick Fan (China), Steering Wheel Snack Tray (Germany) and Wind-powered Clothes Drier (Venezuela).

The panel of international judges noted  that this year’s awardees represent the cream of the crop among the most useful, innovative, inexpensive and brilliant inventions the Kyoto Prize has seen in decades.



diet-water-12066Washington, D.C. – Every 5 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) jointly issue “Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” aimed at providing authoritative advice about consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices, and being physically active to attain and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and promote overall health.

The latest edition of the guidelines came out in 2010.  A year later, the USDA and HHS revised what Americans have always been taught about nutrition through the “food pyramid,” replacing it with the “food plate.”  Largely based on the 2010 guidelines, the food plate focuses on food groups and portions of each group as part of a healthy diet.  One-half of the plate consists of vegetables and fruits, and a quarter each of proteins, grains and dairy. 225x180_my_plate_usda

Today, the USDA and HHS presented a preview of the next guidelines that will be released in 2015.  They pretty much are the same as the 2010 guidelines except for the addition of diet water.  Government researchers have concluded that diet water is essential for good nutrition.

Over the years, millions of Americans have turned to bottled water as part of their daily nutritional intake, thinking that bottled water greatly contributes to a healthy diet. “However, Americans have been drinking the wrong kind of bottled water,” the USDA and HHS pointed out.  “They should be drinking diet water instead.”

“Americans should follow the example of the Japanese,” HHS said. “They are among the healthiest people in the world, living up to their centenarian years. This is because of the healthy foods they eat and the diet water they drink.”

So far, diet water is produced and bottled only in Japan, but other countries have begun to establish diet water plants in anticipation of a surge in demand, especially upon learning of the impending 2015 Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. government.


imageYerba Buena Island, San Francisco – As crews from Caltrans battle against time to ensure the timely opening of the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge the day after Labor Day, the Asian mayors of San Francisco and Oakland are engaged in a rhetorical duel over the name of the new structure.

Oakland mayor Jean Quan wants the new span to be named the Oakland Bay Bridge while San Francisco mayor Ed Lee insists it should be called the San Francisco Bay Bridge.  Quan argues that the new span sits on the eastern side of the Oakland City and Alameda County line, but Lee says that the  tower of the new bridge casts its shadow over the western side, right by Yerba Buena Island  which is part of the City and County of San Francisco.

Quan said that Oakland needs a landmark to help its tourism image. “San Francisco already has the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, ” Quan said , ” so I hope Lee would not be so greedy to claim the new Bay Bridge span as well.”

To settle the issue, two “Browns” are mediating.  California Governor Jerry Brown proposed a public debate between the two Asian Mayors and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown has volunteered to be the judge.

Both mayors have tentatively agreed to the debate.