Airport Security Inspection, Please!

                                                                                                                          By Vic Odarve

Although most travelers believe that tightening passenger screening is crucial to security so that safety must not be compromised, some find the airport inspection frustrating, inconvenience, and another headache. Nowadays airport terminal baggage and security inspections are not as easy as we think; a long line of passengers queuing for immigration and security checks will be experienced. Evidently, tight airport security is intended to make air travel safe and convenient. Remember the 9/11 attack on the twin towers! So no one will argue.

Passengers Waiting Area

Passengers Waiting Area

So our real adventure begins at the airport. Travelers, with luggage and carry-on baggage must follow a snake like cordoned line, queue in the established points of inspection inside the international airport.

“Security inspection please”, one of the airport security told every traveler as he inspected your baggage and conducted bodily checked up. As inspection was done manually, it almost took an hour queuing; opening and closing your checked luggage and presentation of the necessary travel documents. Then an inspection on carry-on baggage, shoes, laptops, was done through in the x-ray machine.

At this point with the imaging technology, airport security personnel screened passengers faster and efficient to detect prohibitive materials while maintaining passenger privacy. This mitigated risk and ensured the safety of the traveling public.

But just a few meters from that inspection point, another security inspector was stationed to recheck the carry-on bag and do some bodily security inspection. Carry-on baggage was required to open and check its contents; airport officer asked several questions while doing the inspection and finally finished his search to the pocket of my pants. Upon seeing something inside, he said “There, that one”. I pulled out some and give him something. The final inspection finished and the officer bye with a smiling face.

International Airport Terminal

International Airport Terminal

Finally, I felt exhausted and joined other passengers already in the waiting area who greeted with thumbs up sign. I knew what they meant. Maybe I was doing it right for the first time. They, too, were doing the same thing. And at last, I was waiting to board the plane.

Though we feel somewhat airport inspection frustrating, inconvenience, and another headache, tight airport security is intended to make our air travel safe and convenient. Maybe next time, it will be your turn. Whether you like it or not, your real adventure starts at the airport. Once inside the terminal you will be greeted,” Sir, airport, and security inspection, please!

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Quiz! Open Notes and Books

                                                                 By Vic Odarve

But just imagine open books and notes! Students are smiling from ear to ear. But do students really get perfect scores? At first, students think they can get it handily, but these are not always the case. At the end only a few get a perfect score. Why? Teachers know best to what extent the degree of difficulty the quiz should be that only a few can get away with perfect score. Teachers know what easy, moderate, and difficult problems are. Mathematics is not a memory course, but largely understanding of the principles and formulas. It is more on understanding of when, how, and why we use the formulas and its applications in the solution. That’s why it works on open notes and textbooks – a method of a student’s assessment. This is the real world for engineering students.

Quiz, Engineering Math, open books and notes

Quiz, Engineering Math, open books and notes

In the end, both teachers and students are challenged and thrilled. If many get perfect score the teachers seem defeated, but if only few, students win the battle. It’s like war, and a war of strategy, a war of nerves… and it’s enjoyable!

What about if in this war the teacher is defeated? He can have his next round. The teacher is the one who controls the war game. It is just like Mr. Putin’s strategy on how to defeat the hapless Ukraine

Madonna university, Elele Campus

Madonna university, Elele Campus

and annex Crimea. It is just like “to give difficult problems or not to give”- that is the question. So at the end, the teachers must have their heads high and always come out the winner.

Generally, quiz or assessment with open books and notes is more difficult than traditional closed exams. On this type of quiz, one or two of the given problems draws higher order thinking. More often students may not find the answers directly. Lecturers may offer open books and notes as an accommodation to help and challenge students to study their lessons.

Experience teaches us that only those students who have recognized masterfully the math concepts, formulas or procedures in a different order and at various levels of difficulty than they are presented in their textbook or in class; proof read the solutions before going out the exam room get away with perfect scores. When lecturers give a quiz in mathematics, one of the problems must be difficult or required extra/ deeper analysis, at least. So who wants to get a perfect score? Only those students who study an extra mile from the classroom discussion can get the perfect score.

These very few students who get away with perfect scores out from difficult mathematical problems of the highest order are a gem to the teacher. They are like our moon, which was born from a planet sized object which rammed the earth 4.5 billion of years ago provides romantic lights at nighttime. These students, like our moon, give delight and color to our classroom atmosphere. Imagine? They get perfect scores. They are showing their level of excellence. This is our real world, student’s university life, and a reality. We are talking of a real environment and not wormholes, which arise from our imagination.

So who wants open notes and book examination? It may happen once in your student’s life… once in a blue moon. Try and enjoy your university life!

When Leaders are Lying

By Vic Odarve

Lying has been known to downgrade moral values and destroy one’s credibility necessary to lead others, yet public officials and country’s leaders choose to lie simply to hide their ill-gotten wealth and conceal their futuristic plan for glory and power. In order to avoid public outcry for their hidden wealth, leaders hide their bank accounts; deliberately undervalue their assets and other properties; and do not disclose the annual income. In order to get what they want, whether to rebuild their lost empire or conquer and rule the world, some world leaders resort to military adventurism by first lying to the public or the world in general on their true intentions.

Clarissa Ocampo testifying before the Committee

Clarissa Ocampo testifying before the Committee

In most recent events in Asian countries notably in China and Philippines, governments are purging the hidden wealth of public officials who are lying their true income and property assets; carry out the strict implementation of graft and corruption practices and its penalty, and order the investigation of the dishonest officials. But as always in the past, usually public officials would not declare full disclosure of net worth on the property and deliberately tamper the statements of assets, liabilities, and net worth in the yearly income report.

Such was the case of former President Estrada charged with plunder by over lying the ownership of the bank account. Clarissa Ocampo, the banker from Equitable-PCI Bank revealed that he was using the alias, Jose Velarde. That was it and the jury proved that he was lying; thus he was put in prison. The same thing for the former Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was formally charged with perjury and violations of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials. The Ombudsman indicted Corona for allegedly deliberately lying on his true net worth by not declaring properties and several bank accounts as well as undervaluing a number of real estate properties. In China, retired domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang and his associates were found to have ill-gotten assets worth $ US 14.5 bn and #7 billion yuan bank accounts. They were lying for not declaring the true worth.

In the world’s stage, some leaders resort to shadowy moves by lying the public or the world in general on their true intentions of their actions. World leaders, for instance, opt to lie in order to pursue the own agenda; cover ups strategic plans especially on security matters; attain their selfish end and use to gain a strategic advantage over another country. Lying might be a smart and savvy move because often an explanation of their action is done later to ease public condemnation and disappointment. That is what happened to Putin and Hitler.

During his press conference on March 4, 2014, Putin informed the people that he had no intention to annexe Crimea. But what happened on the referendum on March 16? The people had the option that Crimea to be part of Russia. A tricky maneuver! Thus Crimea was annexed and became a part of Russia. He was lying to the world!

Hitler, too, was lying. Barely after 6 months of his promise not to take anymore Czech territory after the Munich Pact, he grabbed the rest of Czechoslovakia on the pretext of protecting the German-speaking population. He was also lying to the world.

In human history, lying seems the easiest formula the world leaders and public officials have to use in order to attain their hidden objectives.

God, in no instances, encourage lying would be an acceptable thing to do. But rather, it teaches us that we are hurting ourselves by lying. It’s in the Bible,

“Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves.”- Ephesians 4:25

As always as in history, public officials are lying in order to hide the ill-gotten wealth. That is the case of Estrada and Corona. Hitler, on another hand, resorts to lying in order to carry his dream to conquer Europe and eventually rule the whole world. And now, Putin is lying, under the pretext of protecting Russian-speaking people in Crimea, to recover and rebuild his lost Russian federation.

The world has already read and learned the lessons that these people are lying for wealth and glory. The world knows and is now watching closely Mr. Putin of Russia!

Why China’s Behavior Alarms Neighbors

By Vic Odarve

In history, it is the military might coupled with aggressive totalitarian leadership that increases the risk of an incident or miscalculation or fueled by overconfidence bring the world wars. And China has all these elements! China’s exponential military budget over the past few years; military posture over the South China Sea; and aggressive totalitarian leader that defies international norm on settling disputes thru United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea worries her small and relatively weak neighbors.

Yes, China is militarily strong and is still growing. According to the survey conducted by Global Firepower report, China has the third most powerful army in the world next to Russia and United States.

Commercial flight across the South China Sea

Commercial flight across the South China Sea

China military power rises exponentially in the past five years. Beijing is undergoing massive military modernization program widely regarded as among the most aggressive and advanced in the world; aspiring to build a truly powerful 21 st century military with budget excessive for the country’s legitimate defense needs. The elevated budget levels for the past few years may build even more potent forces; attempt to intimidate potential competitors in Asia; and suggests that the primary purpose is projecting power across long distances, not defending the homeland anymore. Today, China has its strategic missile forces combat ready and has also developed a broad array of space weapons designed to destroy enemy’s satellites; and also built the world’s largest army of cyber warriors, and drones.

Moreover, Chinese government, with its Communist party in power, is authoritarian in structure and ideology usually headed by few influential people. Most often than not, authoritarian government can be abused by leaders who are corrupt; people under the leadership just follow the leader without questions; and may lead in making a bad decision. In authoritarian government, there’s a political stability, but it is sometimes ruled with fear.

History always reminds mankind that country with powerful military and authoritarian rule usually have expansionist policy and intimidate the smaller neighbors. That is what happened in Europe before World War II. Germany, with Hitler authoritarian rule backed up with the powerful military machine, invaded her neighbors without considering the international norm of respecting sovereignty. Few months ago, Russian under Putin absorbed Crimea by demonstrating her military might and authoritarian regime rule. Today, China’s behavior is alarming; claims that China’s territorial seas extend into much of the South China Sea and declare to be within their Exclusive Economic Zones and establishes a new demarcation line on the air and naval navigation.

AS always shown in history, military might coupled with an authoritarian leader increases the risk of an incident or miscalculation or fueled by overconfidence bring the world in flames. China’s behavior is likened to Germany and Japan before World War II. This behavior alarms her relatively weak and small neighboring countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei