Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How to Sign Out of Yahoo! Mail Android Phone App

Signing out or logging out online accounts is as important as keeping our passwords safe. Whether we are using a shared computer or our personal phones, safeguarding our privacy is still of prime concern. With the wide usage of smart phones, android phones and compatible apps, this is given more emphasis.

One time I tried using the Yahoo! Mail app I recently downloaded on my android phone to see its functions and possible new features. But as I went through the app, I noticed that there was a missing feature: the sign out link. I tried clicking various links to see if the sign out link is imbedded in them to no avail. In the end, I did what I do most of the time when things go out of hand – reset things.

For the Yahoo! Mail app, what you can do is to go to the Accounts and Sync under the Settings menu and delete your Yahoo! Mail account there. This will effectively sign you out of the app. But I observed some lagging so better wait until the sign in page appears again, as shown above.

The Dark Knight’s Beginning and End

We’re not the religious type of moviegoers. In fact, we often get to see a particularly interesting movie a few months after it has been officially released. That has been true for the Batman movie trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan. After watching Batman Begins we were intrigued by the themes shown in the film thus we opted to watch the next two ones to see a wider view of the Dark Knight’s storyline.

What makes the Chris Nolan films lasting at least in our minds is that they keep the character of Batman grounded on humanity. In the first film we see the beginnings of Batman, this symbol’s (yes, I prefer to call it a symbol) motivations, and strengths and occasional weaknesses. I particularly enjoyed going over the concept of fear as introduced in the film and how it was set to be destroyed in fulfilling a particular goal (or in the film, in fulfilling Bruce Wayne’s goal).

The Dark Knight (the second film) lays down a wide, if not open, definition of madness. The Joker is perhaps the most difficult character Batman has faced in the trilogy for he had a well-grounded view of the people, of the government, and the ‘chaos’ that goes with the existence of these two. Unfortunately, the Joker has anointed his views with a corrupted sense of what people can do thereby making a would-be hero into a complete maniac like himself (recall Harvey Dent).

The last installment to the trilogy, although geared to wrap up the events in this Batman storyline, carries its own set of themes. I saw here how vengeance can be warped into a form so distorted that one tends (as in the case of Bane) to cover it with quasi-logical arguments for justification. Bane claimed that he was an agent of change for Gotham but in fact oversaw the near-fall of the city.

There are so many sub-themes actually seen in the films and it would foolish to attempt to describe them all here thereby robbing the film of its own worth. To a large extent, the Batman storyline here is almost a novel already. As I always say, see the materials itself to get your own views. See the films and relive Batman in a very different manner.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Remembering UPCAT and UPLB

For several days now, the details of the recently released U.P. College Admission Test or UPCAT has been the talk online. Greetings abound. And regrets and optimistic messages intertwine over newsfeeds and comments. That made me recall my own my experiences.

Of course I remember well that moment, in a computer shop just a few blocks from our school, when I clicked on the surnames under E and found my name as one of those who qualified to enroll in UP, specifically in U.P. Los Baños. It was one of the highest highs I had at that time.  But owing to some strained family relations at that time, I never openly announced that fact at home. That came in the form of verbal news from one of our neighbors who took the trouble to tell / ask it to my mother since she saw my name on the banner just outside school. (Thus the restored relations.) It was all bliss until graduation with an academic honor award in tow.

The rest, as has always been the case, was history. Spent several (yes, several) years in campus and graduated with a considerable amount of self-esteem on doing research. That I think was a nice compensation for not getting any honor during college.

On many occasions, I openly expressed my longing for this university to my intimates. They would respond “Miss mo na nga ang UP, eh ang UP, miss ka kaya?”  as a way of countering of my thoughts. Beyond the freedom and liberality for which it became infamous, what I miss the most in UP is the constant – and that would mean every day – academic challenge that pervades the whole campus. It did not suffocate me, this atmosphere; but in many ways it enabled me to improve myself in all aspects. I am still in that improvement phase, honing the skills in those short years, and I intend to keep it that way.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Relating With “All the Sad Young Literary Men”

The New Year commenced in a haze will all the events that happened within my immediate family circles. Add to that the fact that I was not able to properly cocelebrate the January 1 welcoming as I was in an awful condition, no thanks to that bad cold which paid a visit to my unready body. These may seem to be weak excuses for not updating Viole(n)t Mugs but – just like before – I desire redeem myself. Even if one month has elapsed already.

Thus I chose to share a fiction work which took the role of a companion while I was darn sick during the last few days of the previous year. Keith Gessen’s “All the Sad Young Literary Men” was, and still is, a great find for me. Much of this book’s contents speak of the vast experience set-ups that young men may find themselves in.

Written in different viewpoints and alternating first-person, third-person narratives, “All the Sad Young Literary Men” is about the lives three young men who are in their varying stages of changing lives. Some for good. Some, well, are for worse. All the lives read here revolve around the theme of writing, be it a dissertation or a write up meant for the public, but corrupted by their experiences and beliefs.

To a large extent I can relate to most of the experiences and thoughts expressed by the author through his characters. Although some viewed the work in a bad light, I came to see it as a lietral companion. In the absence of frequent friends to talk to (unlike in college days), I learned to regard the characters as people who were able to tell me things about me as a male (or as a young man to be more precise) which I could not have possibly realized on my own. Sure, they may be seem to rude from a female’s viewpoint but you can treat that as man talk, part of reminding one’s self every now and then to talk things about being a man and its accompanying ups and downs.

There are two thoughts I would like to recount, the first one about having screwed up life:

“When you are young...and you’re on your way, and you have everything before you and everyone with you – you don’t know anyone else – and you look at all the others with their screwed-up lives and you know you’ll do things differently, you know you will, and you do.

“You are kinder, gentler, you are smarter.

“And then one day you look up and you’ve done all the the things you said you were going to do but somehow you forgot something, something happened along the way and everyone’s gone, everything’s different, and looking around you see you have the same screwed-up life as all those other idiots. And there – you are.”

The second is above love, something which I think is fitting to mention as Valentine’s Day is just a few days from now:

“We hurt one another. We go through life dressing up in new clothes and covering up our true motives. We meet up lightly,..., and then we give each other pain. We don’t want to! What we want to do, what one really wants to do is put out one’s hands – like some dancer, in a trance, just put out one’s hands – and touch all the people and tell them: I’m sorry. I love you. Thank you for your e-mail. Thank you for coming to see me. Thank you.

“But we can’t. We can’t. On the little raft...only one other person could fit. Just one! And so, thwarted, we inflict pain. That’s what we do. We do not keep each other company. We do not send each other cute text messages. Or, rather, when we do these things, we do them merely to postpone the moment when you’ll push these people off, and beat forward, beat forward on our little raft, alone.”

Which means, in one point of view, that we cannot do everything for all the girls out there. Only one can be worthy of all your efforts.

In the end, even if I try to digest every single part of the book here, I would not be able to do justice to it. And so, as always, I invite you to read this short work of fiction. (But you may probably need a working knowledge on Soviet history and the Israel-Arab countries conflict.)