Monday, August 20, 2007

Turning my world upside down

Why MMDA needs to make a U-turn on its decision

The logic was simple enough. For a 4 year old.

No daylight, no day...


No trafficlight, no traffic.

Genius! Absolute Genius!

And so began the brainchild of the MMDA. The masterplan to eliminate all traffic in Metro Manila... by eliminating all the traffic lights in Metro Manila! (I can almost hear Dr. evil laughing in the background. Mwahahahahaha!)

At first it was actually working in the places it was implemented (namely C5, Edsa and Quezon Avenue.) No traffic lights meant that in these areas, no car was stopping on its own. No traffic lights meant no MMDA officers were needed to check for traffic.


It took precisely .0000087 milliseconds after implementation for the first problem to occur.

And more problems started pouring in.

Now, obviously obsessed at making the whole damn idea work, we're seeing MMDA resort to smarter and smarter ideas that will give the whole "no traffic light, no traffic" theory a run for its money as the most awe-inspiring spark of genius in human history.


Problem #1: Not all people want to drive indefinitely until the end of a highway. Sometimes, just sometimes, they need to go to the other side of the road.

So how do you make sure everyone got to their destination if there were no traffic lights left on the road?

Bright Idea #1: U-turn slots.

In its purest form, a U-turn is always welcome.

You lost your way? No problem! Make a U-turn and backtrack your way to last place you can remember.

You overshot your intersection? No problem! Make a U-turn and take right turn.

Sure it wasnt the most brilliant of inventions known to the motoring world, but hey, you thank God in the few times you actually use it.

And then the Devil corrupted it.

The MMDA turned this poor thing from an instrument of God to a motorists's nightmare.

In the long stretch of C5 for example, they setup U-turn slots instead of having intersections with traffic lights (and hence, traffic). For someone in the northbound lane, to be able to go anywhere next to the southbound lane, they had to look for the nearest available U-turn slot.

Problem #2: U-turn slots are also choke points
These U-turn slots, depending on how popular the destination was, often got clogged up and used up 2-3 lanes more than was originally planned. This in turn, caused the other lanes to slow done because the U-turns became a choke point...

Apparently besides crazy drivers that swerved 3 lanes to be able to reach the U-turn, the main problem was caused by trucks that took up 4 lanes just to TURN.. which either caused traffic or accidents that caused traffic...

Which led to...

Bright Idea #2: Install "Do not use this U-turn if you are taller than this" signs.

I kid you not. They physically put bars that would hit the top part of the trucks in the U-turn areas that clogged traffic. This should make sure Truck drivers would think twice before using a U-turn slot.

Which led to...

Problem #3: Truck drivers DONT think. Thats why they're truck drivers hehehe

Which led to...

Bright Idea #3: Take out all the minor U-Turns so the Trucks dont clog c5...

Which led to...

Problem #4: Almost ALL the U-turns are minor. So basically there are almost no U-turns left in c5. Few U-turns = Longer drives = Larger gas bills for everyone.

No bright ideas have been churned out at the moment on how to address this.

Problem #5: One use of Traffic lights was, as extensive MMDA research now shows, to give a chance for pedestrians to cross to the other side of the road.

Let me repeat. Traffic lights stop cars. If cars are not moving, people can cross.

If cars ARE moving at high speeds on a 8-lane highway, people can still cross. To the afterlife.

Bright Idea #4: Why did the chicken cross the c5? He didnt. He's a chicken remember?

Now, why do people cross the road anyway? Sounds like a joke, but the MMDA takes it seriously. According to MMDA research, people cross the road because they are Stupid.

Just read the signs they posted: "Bawal tumawid. Nakamamatay." roughly translated in in english as "Dont Cross. You will die, stupid."

So there. People cross the road because they are stupid. Not because they need to go to the other side for minor things such as work and life.

Bright Idea #5: The occasional pedestrian walkway

Of course, the MMDA think tanks, being geniuses that lived in their own ivory towers, were not aware of the continued existence of millions of stupid people in Metro Manila.

So once in a while, they made pedestrian walkways or underground tunnels that turned Stupid people into Smart People. Or at least gave Smart people a way to cross the street.

Of course, since Smart people are heavily outnumbered by Stupid people, these walkways are actually quite few and far between.


Here's my two cents: Just bring back the damn traffic lights!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Les Miser Lab

No longer cold, wet and hungry... but looking miserable nonetheless. And damn cute hehehe

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The MBA Tryouts

After YEARS of procrastinating, I finally took the plunge and tried my hand at the DLSU Grad School entrance exam for my MBA last saturday.

Just to be sure, I took out the dusty GMAT reviewer I purchased FOUR years ago and reviewed it the night before the exam.

GMAT for dummies: GMAT is a combination of tests on math and verbal intelligence. The score you get here can determine your eligibility for entering US-based graduate schools.

1. It was over 7 years since I last did any mathematical computations MANUALLY. (Damn you Microsoft Excel!!!) I had trouble multiplying by hand and forgot how to DIVIDE.

2. It was over 7 years since I last wrote an essay. By hand. I was hanging out in hospitals the past month and I was starting to envy the penmanship I saw in doctors' prescriptions after I was done with my review.

3. I did not remember how to solve for mathematical problems like "If Peter can do this much work in 20 days, and Paul can do this much work in 10 days, how fast can they do it if they work together?". My brain simply rejected it. Answering this stuff usually copied Peter's manager so Peter would work faster.

4. Questions with "Choose the BEST answer" is evil. Too many brain cells will die in vain trying to solve for it.

5. I make a few mistakes. Diagnostic test puts my GMAT equivalent at... Hmm... Not bad :) Alcohol has not killed off everything in this brain hehe

6. After taking the diagnostic test, I read the next chapter of the book "How to plan to take the test". Hehehehe I check the time. I have six hours before my exam. And I have to sleep.

7. There are three types of plans, depending on the time--- More than 4 weeks, More than 2 weeks But less than 4 weeks, AND Less than 2weeks. Nothing about six hours. I wonder why? hehe Oh well. Minor detail.

8. I try 1 or 2 other excercies. Then I sleep. hehe 90% of the GMAT reviewer was never meant to be read anyway :) If im meant to ace it, then i will (i hope hehe).


What I was thinking while taking the actual exam (In actual order of realization):

1. Woohoo! Over 80% of the examinees are female. Some are actually cute. None have rings.

2. Everyone has at least 2 pencils on their desk. Some geeks have 5 all neatly laid out in front of them. I look at mine. I have ONE and the tip is broken. And I dont have a sharpener.

3. My seatmate has a sharpener. But shes not cute.

4. For the first time in my life I waste a pickup line to get a sharpener. A sharpener! The end is near!!

5. Of the 20% male populace, at least 30% were gay. Less competition for the girls. Hehehehe

6. Even the proctor is gay. No threat there.

7. Essay begins. Writing by hand is soooo... slow...

8. The pencil is an instrument of pure torture. My hand is getting tired and I havent even written down half of what I was thinking.

9. I should have had breakfast. My stomach is growling already...

10. Damn pencil breaks. Lucky for me I now have a sharpener hehe. Pickup line not wasted after all.

11. Pencil broke again. I sharpen again. Pencil shavings start to decorate my desk. I miss my Thinkpad already.

12. Essay is over. 15 minute break.

13. I have 12 texts in my inbox. I reply only to the pretty one (And I'm not only saying she's pretty because she reads this blog hehehe) I grab a quick breakfast at the cafe and silence my stomach.

14. I check the expressions of the cute examinees. Not good. Oh well, lets see who I end up with classmates. Maybe luck will be on my side this time.

15. 2nd part of the test begins. I realize I have not gone to the bathroom. Spider sense tingling.

16. The test is a walk the park. I'm glad im this smart. And high on caffeine.

17. Hmmm mental math. 3 classes per term, 20 students each, mostly girls. All of which have FRIENDS. If I dont like the class, I can drop the class and a new batch of girls will be available the next term... What a hunting ground!!! hehehe

18. After 15 minutes into the 2hr 30 minute test... I realize with horror that I HAVE to go to the bathroom. And the doors are closed.

19. Math is surprisingly easy. 3429/8903X + 2132109/994532Y = 9431241. Solve for... what the heck, I HAVE to go to the bathroom. F@ck it! C sounds like the right answer. C it is.

20. "I HAVE to go to the bathroom!" becomes a mantra.

21. "F@ck it! C sounds good. " also becomes a mantra.

22. My mental fortitude reaches the breaking point. I pass my papers and go for the bathroom. Oh well, theres always next term :)