Georgina Chapman is no longer 100% behind Harvey Weinstein

Georgina
Chapman is no longer 100% behind Harvey Weinstein
>  And
> now for the news with the real substance… If
> I am going to write about a Hollywood scandal involving
> people I’ve never met, at least I can claim pride in one
> thing: 
> this is breaking news. 
> This is breaking news as I write this,
> two hours before deadline, but it won’t be breaking news
> when this column goes
> to print. 
> Georgina Chapman,
> fashion goddess, founder of Marchesa, and wife of Harvey
> Weinstein, is leaving
> him. 
> She just made this announcement. After
> the news of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual sociopathy broke
> in a New York Times article, I got to thinking…what kind
> of a woman is Georgina
> Chapman. I
> had first seen Chapman’s face on the cover of a local New
> York magazine, a neighborhood glossy, where she talked about
> her fashion line
> and upcoming (2007) marriage to Weinstein. 
> “Did you see that beautiful designer who married
> this scruffy guy named
> Harvey Weinstein?” I asked my friend. 
> Then the retort with the knowing look, “Harvey
> Weinstein is biiiig.” It
> puzzled me. 
> Here was a movie-star beautiful, well-schooled lady
> marrying a much
> older man who wouldn’t even tuck in his shirt for the red
> carpet, who wouldn’t even
> shave. 
> Early on in their
> relationship, Chapman made bit appearances in movies like Factory
> Girl and Match
> Point,
> among others. 
> And then there is
> the success of Marchesa. The
> brand started in 2004, the same year Chapman met
> Weinstein. 
> The Marchesa line has
> been an easy standout for its creative textile, which, it
> turns out, can be credited
> to cofounder Keren Craig. 
> Because
> of the timing, it is impossible to tell what of Marchesa’s
> success was due to
> the Weinstein effect. 
> Nor should
> there be a question that the success was tied in part to the
> Hollywood producer. 
> Weinstein was helpful not just in
> getting Marchesa gowns on big actresses but Chapman’s red
> carpet appearances served
> as ongoing publicity for the line. 
> Well known designers are often well known because
> they were known before
> (think Stella McCartney) or they were close to people who
> could trigger fame
> (think Tory Burch). 
> But I suspect
> IBM Watson’s 2016 collaboration with Marchesa to create a
> dress for the Met
> Gala that would dynamically change color according to moods
> reflected on
> Twitter feeds was not a Weinstein victory. 
> It is the first time fashion and Artificial
> Intelligence
> have come together. 
> And the dress,
> like many things out of Marchesa, was exquisite. Over
> the last several days, a few articles have come out
> about Harvey Weinstein’s media shy wife. 
> Some were defending her character, hence her
> career. 
> Others were tying Marchesa’s ascent to
> Chapman’s relationship with the predatory producer. 
> Chapman’s announcement today makes clear which was
> her true
> love. As
> for Hollywood’s treatment of women in general, it is
> atrocious. 
> The practice of abusing starlets, real
> and aspiring, is worse than an open secret. 
> The women making claims now were likely abused during
> other
> auditions, during other projects. 
> If you think of anyone in power in the entertainment
> industry, suspect
> guilt. 
> That popular opinion now
> chooses to treat this behavior with shock and
> disapproval…well, it’s about
> time. 
> It’s about time that women
> have recourse that is actually more potent than the threat
> of a lawsuit. 
> The media is finally there to help deal
> the dying blows to these predators. 
> Public opinion is finally there to back them
> up. This is what I hope comes out of the past two
> days. 
> I hope it means that times have
> changed. 
> I hope it means female
> objectification is despised, even if a President does
> it. 
> I hope Ellen Pao (formerly of Kleiner Perkins) gets
> her day in court, even if it’s the court of public
> opinion.  
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> also hope the Marchesa line survives. 
> Some of those gowns in the Fall 2017 Collection
> are simply works of art.
>

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Bindlestiff Studio and Its Filipino Transformation

 

 
            
 
A few yards north of the corner of 6th and Howard in San Francisco’s once undesirable neighborhood around 6th and Mission, a small shoddy theatre stood.  The name meant a tramp, a person of limited means, possible homeless, itinerant and it was appropriate for its surrounding neighborhood.  I had the pleasure of attending a performance of one act plays at the original incarnation of Bindlestiff in the mid 90s, fan as I am, then and now, of art expressed off the beaten path.  The performance space was a fire hazard, the audience seating populated with metal stools, and the wine…at least they sold wine.  But the plays, well, they were different.  They took risks that mainstream plays dare not.  There was a date between two serial killers and another play was a monologue of a paranoiac on the verge of homocide.
 
Sixth Street feeds into and out of Highway 280 and over the decades I would look from my passing car for the graffiti-like posterboard that presided over the entrance of the what seemed like such a cool venue for theatre.  And one day, who knows when (since so much time has passed), it was gone.
 
I wouldn’t be writing about this theatre in this column if not for its 1997 transformation into a Filipino American performing arts venue with the appointment of Allan Manalo as artistic director.  That was 20 years ago and I had never learned of this until this month when I came across a social media post on an upcoming Filipino production at Bindlestiff.  What a pleasant surprise to learn that the theatre is still in operation.
 
I was fortunate enough to see the last night’s performance of one act plays, a reprise of my experience of the mid 90s, Stories High XVII.  The performances, which ran for two and a half weeks from August 31 through September 16, 2017 were the culmination of a workshop in which participants wrote, directed and performed in their own original plays.  The program is sponsored by PAWA (Philippine American Writers and Artists, San Francisco Grants for the Arts and the San Francisco Arts Commission.  My favorite performance was of a Fil-Am couple in the early stages of dating trying to hide the criminal dispositions of their respective families.  It featured belly-laughing portrayals of a Filipino father and a Filipina mother.  The workshop occurs over the summer and enrollment for next year is open to the public.
 
The Bindlestiff Studio is self-described as the “only permanent, community-based performing arts venue in the nation dedicated to showcasing emerging Filipino American and Pilipino artists.”
 
Compared to when I first went there more than 20 years ago, the space is new, bathrooms nice, stairs of buffed metal, surfaces painted.  It is less authentic than the original even though the coordinates are the same.  It seems rich.  Indeed, the entire neighborhood has undergone a shocking gentrification over the last 20 years.  Sixth and Mission may still possess some of the unsavory elements that has made it what it is, but it feels reasonable to walk around the area on a busy night now and the sprawl of tech wealth has left its mark around every corner. 
 
As for me, I am just glad to find that Bindlestiff is up and running again.  That it is now a Filipino studio sweetens the notion even more.
 
 
For upcoming events, go to www.bindlestiffstudio.org.
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3rd Conference on WWII in the Philippines

By :Cristina Osmena


When I think of Manila past, I picture fields of cogon grass, growth unchecked, and fertile soil teeming with creatures long since displaced—snakes and bats, large incomprehensible insects, invisible dwarves, jungle rats, prehistoric roaches, and khaki slugs. I imagine a place nature-wild and breezy, where the country’s elite clustered to beat back the overwhelming weather-driven oppression typical of the Tropic of Capricorn. In their mutual company and consolation, they could emulate the happy post-war boom of 1950s America. This was the image of my mother’s childhood that she shares with me, a Manila where she and her group of preteen friends could ride their bikes unattended across EDSA as if it were just a wide empty road across a long stretch of Idaho cornfields. I rarely stop to think that just the decade prior, my mother’s bike would have traversed cracking bone and putrid air, dense with fear and shock and the particulate residue of Japan’s tenure in the land of our ancestors, that time of terror that ended so violently on February 12, 1945 and left a hundred thousand of our ancestors dead before their time.

This, among other things, is what the Bataan Legacy Historical Society, Memorare Manila 1945 and the Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program of the University of San Francisco coordinated to present on September 9, 2017 (coincidentally, my great-grandfather’s 139th birthday) in a series of panel discussions featuring speakers who came from as far away as the Philippines and Canada.

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What the rise of Artificial Intelligence is going to do to your privacy

From this title, I think I’ve stolen my own wind. Furthermore, I am using the term Artificial Intelligence loosely because it looks a lot better than Predictive Analytics or Machine Learning, which I want to discuss in this column. Finally, one more disclaimer: since this paper’s fan base is located, among other places, in the San Francisco Peninsula that is now nicknamed Silicon Valley, I have to concede that some readers are going to know a lot more about this than I do and that my discussion here will insult their intelligence. Instead of begging their pardon, I implore them for commentary. There is a comment section to the online version of this article…

Let me start with the matter that has caused me to push aside the list of upcoming events I was going to publish on (one on September 9, the 3rd Conference on WWII in the Philippines where tickets can be purchased here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/3rd-conference-on-world-war-ii-in-the-philippines-the-legacy-of-two-nations-tickets-34923528213,is worth the parenthetical insert), and write with fury and fever. Have you ever noticed any of these companies or services that charge very little to sell you a service? Usually it is a service that is sold and not a product. That service will collect some information about you and you are, explicitly or not, through a Terms of Agreement (that you didn’t read) or a simple lack of legal protection, allowing them to keep that information, giving it to them, letting them study you, analyze you. These companies are well known names like Facebook, Amazon and Uber and less well known like 23 and Me.

23andMe provides DNA testing services where for $99, you can find out about your ancestry, and for $199, you can find out about your health and ancestry. You get some entertaining insight into your genetic background and they grow their data base of DNA samples. With the rise of things like Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning, which has enabled more accurate predictions of human consumer behavior, health, and more, has come the rise in value of all things data. You never would have guessed that companies are making loads of money trafficking in nuggets about us that they get practically for free. Well, of course you’ve guessed—you live in Silicon Valley.

Here’s an issue you may not have considered. These private companies like 23andMe will likely get purchased by a Google, a Facebook, or an Amazon. These companies, with their monstrous market valuations that are comparable to the GDP of the Philippines, are the aggregators of datasets, datasets about us, the public. With the large amounts of data of various kinds gathered under a single roof and the power today to make use of that information, individual companies will be blessed with the ability to know things about us that we do not know ourselves. It is not predicting my consumer behavior that concerns me. I expect this kind of creepy obsession with how I spend. It’s the other stuff, things I can’t think of, that scares me. When three giant companies have bought up all the datasets, will they know how long I will live (can this be predicted from my genetic code?) or where I will be tomorrow or, even creepier, where I am taking my kids today and tomorrow and next week, their ages, birthdays, friends, and hobbies. And what if an unfriendly entity like, say, Russia or North Korea, acquires a controlling interest in one of these public companies? Will all of our data belong to Vlad or that crazy missile guy with the bad haircut? What if they don’t even pay for the privilege…what if one of these companies/data repositories gets hacked?

Someone I know expressed concern that the rise of AI would lead to a violation of our civil liberties. Is it that simple? Is it a civil liberty violation if another government is invading our privacy?

There is some legislative protection that someone needs to draw up out of that intellectual vacuum called Congress. But it won’t come fast enough. Data sets need to be ring-fenced, especially medical data and all information related to minors. That’s a first step before attacking the real problem of stopping that data from ending up all in one place.

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A Filipina from Beverly Hills

I recently had my high school reunion, an alumni class of Beverly Hills High School, that was impressively swollen compared to now. Over 630 people constituted our senior class. More interesting to the readers of this paper, I can only think of three of us who hailed from the Philippines. Regina Santos is one of them.

Regina did not pass through a feeder elementary school like I did. She attended Catholic schools before transferring to Beverly High for 9th grade. Born in Quezon City, Regina migrated with her parents at the age of four to the East Coast. After six months, her parents, who met working in the financial industry in Manila, separated and Regina came to Los Angeles with her mom.

While I had noticed Regina in high school and I had wondered if she might be Filipina, I never asked her about it until I saw her at the recent reunion. She was a cheerleader; I spent my days with a crowd derogatorily referred to as “the math club.” We were defined by our interests and, while this seems very appropriate, it certainly illustrates the experience of minority immigrants who happened to land in places where there were few to none in our minority demographic. Like me, she “made an unsuccessful attempt to integrate with other Filipinas in the States.” The difference was just too large. Beverly Hills was too far away. On my end, there were not enough of us to create a critical mass of Filipinas to group as one and identity politic.

I write this profile because it illustrates the life of a well-integrated immigrant, a phenomenon that is unusually common for Filipinas.

Regina went on to live a very well-adjusted American life, getting her Bachelor of Arts from UCLA, pursuing a career in public relations, starting her own firm and, after 15 years, taking a long look at herself and finding her persona too corporate, her femininity compromised by the task of surviving in the professional world. At this, she pivoted. Today, she is a professional performance coach and fitness consultant, the creator of a lifestyle concept she named “Running in Heels” which helps high-performing women achieve professional, physical and personal lifestyle goals.

It is a story that resonates with creativity and achievement, but I wondered what mindshare the land of her birth took up with her. She was fortunate enough to have a mother who made sure to bring her back home every summer. “I’m always so appreciative of the motherland,” she said. “There’s an innate paradox―when I go, I feel too American, and when I come to the States, I’m too Filipina.”

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard these comments in the last few months (since I started listening for them). I hear FilAm stories, success stories that coincided with integration stories that disconnected us from our original culture. We marry outside our community and, because the motherland is thousands of miles away, we may occasionally forget. One thing I’ve realized is that our subculture (too American to be considered Filipina in the Philippines) is four million strong and our stories are variations on similar themes. Perhaps its time to recognize that we are our own unique branch of the diaspora and embrace the differences that now define us.

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Solar consumer advisory

I had been planning to write a profile of a friend from high school who was one of the few other Filipinas in my grade (there were three of us out of a class of over 600). This will have to wait until next week because I’ve come across some alarming news.

Because of my affiliation with a solar company based out of the United States, I often find myself in conversation with Philippine-based players in the industry. I understand that some consumers are coming across solar panels that are selling for twenty-five cents per watt. These panels have names that are not familiar to me and are coming out of manufacturers in China and Taiwan. If readers in the Philippines and friends of readers in the Philippines are coming across panels like these, do not purchase these panels. A reasonably low price for the consumer market in the Philippines would be $0.40 to $0.45 per watt, not $0.25. Lower prices can be achieved at higher volumes. Purchasing ultra-cheap panels, though tempting, will sacrifice the long term performance of the system.

I feel compelled to write about this because solar is a very promising solution, especially for the Philippines. Small islands stand to install a system once and enjoy electricity for decades without the need to purchase fuel (and all the attendant hassles that go with transporting and consuming a fossil fuel). But I’m concerned that the problems presented by low quality panels may obscure the benefits of a well-engineered solar photovoltaic solution. The problem with low quality panels is that performance may degrade much faster than better panels. I have seen old versions of photovoltaics dangling from wires generating electricity in trickles. This can come from shoddy lamination or low quality silicon or low quality cells. It only takes a few of these examples to ruin a good story.

Here is a list of high quality brands of solar panels: Trina Solar, Canadian Solar, First Solar, SunPower, LG, and Panasonic. There are other brands, including one with which I am affiliated that I am leaving out to maintain credibility, but this is a good go-to list. I have it on good authority that Trina Solar and Canadian Solar are available in the Philippines. I have also gleaned a bias from some people in the Philippines for US-made product. This is no longer a good rule of thumb, especially in the solar industry which has priced out expensive manufacturing workforces like the US. SolarWorld, for example, is not a superior brand to Trina Solar, for example.

Electricity prices to the end consumer are still shockingly high. Retail customers of the largest distribution utility are still paying something like $0.16 US per kWh while customers of the second largest distribution utility (in Cebu) are shelling out $0.20 US per kWh on average. These are better than peaking prices in California but far more expensive than most other states in the US. It is surprising, therefore, that solar has not been more vociferously adopted. Part of this may be the sizable up front cost (which shrinks daily) and part of it may be due to a lack of installation resources. All in, I am hearing that costs for a fully installed solar system has fallen below $2 per watt peak. This should be economic motivation enough to avoid the hefty costs charged by the utility.

As this adoption happens, as it should, just please beware. Not all panels are made alike. Some really are better than others. Check your brands; check your suppliers. Don’t fall for the heavily discounted product that sounds too good to be true.

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Generation Exile and what to do about it

I was going to name the latest novel I’m working on Generation Exile but I chose another working title so I can put this one out in cyberspace. GenerationX was a book by Douglas Coupland that, although entertaining and tolerably written, garnered more that its due attention—the title became the calling card of the then-20 somethings, my generation. Generation Xers were defined by the prospect that their standard of living would be less affluent than their parents and their itinerate disposition (a poor jet set that always travels on mileage programs). The book is about three lost souls, disconnected from history and things of consequence, filling the pages with trivial stories, like the TV show Seinfeld.

Generation Exile (since it is my would be book, I can define it) are the Philippine kids that coincidentally are contemporaries ofGeneration X. They grew up duringMarital Law, abroad and isolated, and also became 20-somethings in the early nineties. Because of the disconnection from our home country, physically and politically, they harbor upbringings outside the common experience and are therefore disconnected from their mother culture. For a longtime, I thought of these people as the Martial Law babies. Now I think the predicament describes the lot of many Filipino-Americans who grew up away from the mother country, have careers away from the mother country, and find themselves so well integrated with broader America that the Philippines is receding into a concept that may or may not have anything tangible attached to it.
What do we do about that, if anything at all?
Well, we could create support groups and bring Kleenex, talk about Game of Thrones and identity stories. Or we could party.
Now, this sounds more superficial than it actually is. A few cohorts, including me, are contemplating a membership wing to a large, well-established Philippine foundation that would allow Filipinos who are geographically displaced (usually by their jobs) to plug into a Philippine network. Of course, the membership is almost entirely social, except that the money raised with go to funding education initiatives in thePhilippines. Going to parties should always be this guilt free.
My team and I are in the early stages of fleshing out this membership drive. Remember, initial members are entitled to call themselves founders, will have access to the not to be discounted Filipino diaspora, party invite privileges, and the opportunity to volunteer for the main charity’s other activities.
If anyone reading this is interested in getting involved, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The flagship organization will being New York. Opportunities to expand elsewhere will come later.
It’s well past deadline here in New York so I’m signing off. This call for help is sincere. All emails that have a human behind them will be answered. Calling all Generation Exiles, come party for a cause.

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Weevily Rice, American Soldiers, PhilDev Events and other Motley Thoughts

 
I have been reading a book by Hampton Sides called Ghost Soldiers, published by Doubleday in 2001.  Someone in Cebu mentioned this book to me a few years after publication when I observed that very little was written about the on-ground experience during World War II.  I only recently ordered it and stand corrected on that general comment.  However, Ghost Soldiers is about the rescue of American POWs who survived the Bataan death march.  In the first pages is a list of about 500 names, presumably of those imprisoned.  None of the names were Filipino.  There were names like Guice and Esperidion, Katz and LaVictone, but nothing that seemed like it hailed from the Malayo-Polynesian alphabet.  So I will revise my inquiry and put the question to the readership:  is there anything published that recounts the experiences of FILIPINO soldiers in WWII?  How about the experience of Filipino civilians (I’ve found only one)?  If you have an answer, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
In case you are wondering about the genesis of my email address, it is because an American politico told me that Filipinos who run for office in the United States are “zeros, no…less than zero.”  I’m not running for anything, but I thought I’d latch onto the comment and stoke the identity politics that it incites.
 
In the book Ghost Soldiers, POWs were fed weevily rice, rice that was infested with snout-nosed bugs that place their larvae inside the grain to gestate, grow, and eat their way out at maturity.  This is why we are trained from an early age to wash the rice.  Please click on this video to see https://youtu.be/5NOyn_NsoqY.  I never knew this is why we were supposed to wash rice. It seems that the Japanese captors in Bataan went through the trouble of cooking the rice but not washing the rice.
 
What I am avoiding with all this talk of rice weevils were the atrocities mentioned at almost every page of the book—the deaths under fire, the deaths by execution, the deaths by torture, ignited gasoline tortures.  And there were the ancillary sufferings, scurvy and beriberi, lost eyes, lost teeth, “rank metallic tastes (scouring) the backs of tongues,” and the effect of neurotoxins from rancid fish heads.  I am not bold enough to detail the real atrocities in this piece, but let me say that it is a book that is rich in awful experiences.  I am only left to wonder…with Filipinos suffering side by side, did they suffer more?  How can a writer manage to capture only the experiences of American soldiers?
 
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On a separate note, the Philippine Development Foundation (PhilDev) has two events upcoming.  On August 5th, the 3rd Annual Golf Tournament will take place from 11am to 8pm at the Chardonnay Golf Club in Napa.  The day will end with a cocktail reception and a silent auction.  Click on this link to purchase tickets for $125: https://www.flipcause.com/ secure/cause_pdetails/MTk2NzQ=
 
On September 9, 2017, PhilDev will host a dinner at Peppertree Canyon, a vineyard and urban farm in Orange County in Southern California.  Tickets are $300 for individuals, $500 per couple, or $2500 for a table of ten.  Sponsorships are also available.  The chef making this dinner experience possible is Christian Navarro, chef and founder of Hella Fraiche.  Tickets can be procured through this link:  https://www.flipcause.com/ secure/event_step2/MTk2NzY=/ 12285
 
 
And in yet another topical pivot, I wanted to thank Christina Laskowski of the Science and Technology Advisory Council for her prolific supply of content for this column.  She does more than her share for the Filipino community and the network that supports budding Filipino technologists.  If you ever meet her, please give her a hug and thank her for all she does.

 

 
 
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Google Launchpad Accelerator Class 4 starts this week with 2 RP companies

In May, Google announced its fourth class of Launchpad Accelerator. This is the same program I mentioned in April in which Google acts as a non-financial incubator for selected start-up tech companies from emerging countries. Class four has landed this week in Silicon Valley for a two week “boot camp” at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco.

The class consists of thirty-three companies from sixteen countries including Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico. Two companies are representing the Philippines—BLOOM, a blockchain technology company focused on the dependably robust remittance market in the Philippines, and HonestyApps, a platform that is targeting the fast creation of mobile app.

BLOOM, aka BloomSolutions, Inc, is a Bitcoin-based software company focused on remittances. The company was founded by 36-year old University of the Philippines graduate Luis Buenaventura and University of Queensland graduate Israel Keys. CEO Keys also holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Self-proclaimed cryptocurrency specialists, Bloom’s team is aiming to deliver on one of the great promises of technology--that it improves the lives of those on the other side of the digital divide. Remittances have historically been dominated by high-charging banks, Western Union, and distribution infrastructures like those owned by the Lhullier family. It is high time that a disruptive technology ease the process of money transfer as well as lower the cost of transactions. According to its website, Bloom can lower remittance costs by more than 50%. I am looking forward to hearing and writing more about this company.

HonestyApps is an app creation platform that has been used to create event apps and dating apps, among others. While their Facebook page confirms that the founders are now stateside, I can find very little on the management team. First order of business at Google, I hope, is that they guide the companies on filling out an About page and a Team page for their company websites.

Google has explicitly mentioned in their announcement that they are going to instruct the members of class 4 on the use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. While AI promises to be the latest status-quo disrupting technology in not-just-Silicon-Valley- anymoreland, there seems to be a platform war underway among the large tech giants. Thus, training companies in emerging countries to use the Google platform may be just as beneficial to Google as it is to the companies.

I enjoy the stream of startup companies unearthed by Google’s competition. I now use Zipmatch (from class 3) for my Philippine real estate searches. I also find it promising that there is a growing ecosystem of fintech players in Manila. The Philippines certainly stands to leverage technology into improved consumer credit and payments systems. This could be life-changing for the underprivileged who are still burdened with prepaid systems and cash-based transactions. Lightning fast payments may serve to blur the line between credit and prepaid.

The Google boot camp ends on July 26th with a private event for the participants. They will probably be sequestered inside hip brick buildings in San Francisco’s SOMA district for most of their two weeks here. So in case we do not see you, which is very likely, Bloom…Honesty, safe travels, live long, prosper, and break down that digital divide.

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Filipina candidate for Seattle Port Commissioner visits BayArea

On July 19, 2017, Frontier Tech Talk is holding its firstpanel discussion of the summer, Driving Innovation and Reach.  This one is about the space race.  The event will take place from 6pm to8:30pm at the Burlingame offices of law firm Carr-McClellan at 216 ParkRoad.  For tickets, please go to https://eventbrite.com/e/frontier-tech-talk-driving-innovation-and-reach-tickets-35988186635or do an internet search for “Frontier Tech Talk July 19”.  Philippine-focused STAC, short forScience and Technology Advisory Council, and Carr-McClellan are co-sponsoringthe event.
 
The guest speakers include Bea Querido-Rico and EmelinePaat-Dahlstrom.  Of course, I haveto mention this detail:  both Beaand Emeline are Filipinas.
 
Paat-Dahlstrom, flying back to the Bay Area from her currentbase in New Zealand, has been active in the space-focused start up world,consulting and working for startups involved in developing commercial transportto the Moon.  She will speak abouther efforts in engaging emerging countries in space.
 
Querido-Rico is an engineer by training and served mostrecently as program manager for the Port of Seattle, having worked previously atBoeing and Lockheed Martin, among other places.  She received a Masters from the MIT-Zaragoza InternationalLogistics Program.  Querido-Ricoleft her position at the Port of Seattle in May of 2017 to run for the positionof Port Commissioner.
 
What does the Port of Seattle do, you may wonder.  On those rare Seattle days when heavyprecipitation is not obscuring your vision (or spirits), you may notice thevast corrugated coastline in and around the city, home to harbors and ports,marinas and fishermens’ terminals.The Port of Seattle runs these as well as the Seattle-TacomaInternational Airport.  There is agap, so goes the argument from parties close to the candidate, between thePort’s current development efforts and the local aerospace industry that is1300 strong in the Seattle area. Querido-Rico proposes to bridge this gapbetween the government’s imagination and the vision of private industry.  She has begun to gain support from spaceventure capitalists as a result.
 
Work on space-focused businesses has been underway for quitesome time.  Indeed, Elon Musk’sSpaceX, with its ambitions of putting man on Mars, has been busy launchingsatellites into orbit, a more practical pursuit it doesn’t advertise.  However, impediments to prolific space travelstill exist.  Shocking, right?  Not the least issue is radiationpoisoning.  Without the protectiongiven to us by the Earth’s atmosphere, prolonged exposure to the Sun’s rays onthe Moon or Mars may result in radiation exposure that has not yet beenunderstood.  The same is true forrepeated trips to and from these destinations.  Another issue is the long-term effects of zero gravity, whichcan deteriorate muscle mass and bone density.
 
None of these would be deal killers, though, not forme.  If presented with anopportunity to visit the Moon on a short trip, particularly if I’mallowed to bring my pogo stick, I would sign the waiver.  Hopefully, these matters and more willbe covered on Wednesday.  So pleaseget your tickets and please support Bea Querido-Rico in her politicalambitions.  We don’t have enoughFilipinos in office in the United States.We really don’t.
 
 
Querido-Rico’s web page is rockitbea.com and she has acrowdfunding website at https://www.freefunder.com/campaign/for-a-progressive-port.  I just made a donation and the websitegave me this link to share http://ffnd.co/yW25xU.  To quote Lin-Manuel Miranda, a thing Ido in almost every column, “leave it to the immigrants, they’ll get the jobdone.”
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