Sunday, November 19, 2017

Chocolate review: Cicada Artisan Chocolate Salted Caramel

Another chocolate bar I got from Sydney is this salted caramel from the same artisan chocolate maker from the bazaar. It is a milk chocolate and therefore is an exception to the series of articles on dark chocolates that I posted here.

Salted caramel chocolate from Cicada
Details on the chocolate
Close-up of details including nutrition information
The maker states that the bar may contain nuts and gluten. I think this is a very honest statement considering all the hype about others being 'gluten-free' or 'nut-free'. This is good milk chocolate and those who love chocolate shouldn't be too conscious about the nuts and gluten unless, of course, they are specifically allergic to these. I would definitely buy this chocolate again if I see them in a shop here or abroad.

On "phone zombies" and road safety

[This is my post for the World Day of Remembrance for all the victims of road crashes]

You see a lot of people these days who are always on their smart phones. Many are walking while doing something with their phones whether making a call, typing away, listening to music or perhaps attending to social media. Many are not aware of what are happening around them and this puts them in a situation where that increases their vulnerability. There are those who cross streets without checking for oncoming traffic. There are those walking along the roadside who are not mindful of the likelihood of being sideswiped by vehicles. As such, there is a need to address this behavioral concern to reduce the occurrence of incidents that could lead to deaths if not injuries.

There is a nice article I read recently about an initiative in the Netherlands where they installed pavement traffic lights:

Scott, G.L. (2017) "Dutch City Installs Pavement Traffic Lights to Help 'Phone Zombies'," Inverse,, (Last accessed 11/19/2017).

The assessment for this initiative is quite limited - one day as mentioned in the article - but is promising especially from the perspective of innovation. We need such innovative thinking in order to address the issues about safety. This is but one example of many aimed at curbing road crashes that lead to injuries and deaths particularly with respect to the most vulnerable among us.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Of collections and model airplanes

I have several hobbies collecting various items of interest to me. When I was much younger I had several collections, too, including stamps (I was pretty much into philately at one time) and coins. My stamp and coin collections started with the stamps and coins Tatay brought from his trips overseas particulary from Japan and Indonesia. He made a lot of friends from different countries and they exchanged greetings on Christmas and New Year for a few years. It was later when he participated in an international training program in Tokyo when suddenly we had mail coming from many countries including Africa, Europe and Asia when I was encouraged by my mother to start a collection. She and a close cousin even bought me albums for where my stamps can be organized.

My coin collection started with Japanese coins but I eventually got more from various countries thanks to an uncle who was a seaman. His pasalubong to me were coins from the countries whose ports their ship called on.

Fast forward to the present and I now have a few active collections including my humble watch collection (mostly Swatches that I use regularly) and model airplanes. The planes aren't the kind you assemble from so many parts but rather the ones airlines and shops typically sell as scale replicas of their own aircraft. I only collect planes from airlines the wife and I have flown on. And so there are not so many of them but they have already occupied a good amount of space on my office shelf.

British Airways model plane being assembled. This was purchased by the wife during her most recent trip.
Qantas and Cathay Pacific model planes mounted, and British Airways model underway. I got the Cathay and Qantas models from a toy fair where one booth was selling models. I was tempted to purchase others but I had to keep by my code about airlines we have flown on.

The challenge for me is to find models of planes I've flown in the past and that includes one of the now defunct Northwest Airlines (acquired and now flying as Delta) and another of Egypt Air. I also don't have JAL and ANA planes. I hope to get one from each airline soon as well as those from Asiana and Korean Air.