The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Thursday, October 24, 2013

On the Psychology of Exaggerating and Downplaying Friends


Two of the most common defense mechanisms that many people commit towards their friends are exaggerating and downplaying.

When a person does exaggerating as a habit, it may be seen as her attempt to assert her believability because she knows deep inside that her credibility is low, so she feels the need to exaggerate things.

She tends to exaggerate some qualities of her friends because she thinks that, by doing so, she gets also portions of the praises and the credits. Therefore, exaggerating your friend's qualities or achievements is actually self-centered--it's all about you and not about your friend. You exaggerate something about your friend not for her to gain praises but for the illusion that you yourself are the one who's earning the praises. It's like reaping or partaking of the fruits of the labors of others.

This is similar also to exaggerating the qualities of one's own country to achieve a false sense of national pride. People who habitually exaggerate know deep inside that what they are claiming is untrue, so they are deluding not only others to impress them but also themselves.

Now, this is the reverse. It is the tendency to minimize the significance of someone or something or to make something or someone appear less important than it really is.

The primary reasons a person would downplay qualities or achievements of her friends are feelings of insecurity and envy, either because she feels threatened by a friend's positive qualities; or, because of her insecurity, she feels that the higher the praises her friends gets, the lesser her own accomplishments are being noticed--so, she develops the tendency to withhold due praises for the friend because she feels that this is hurting her own ego.

People who find difficulty in praising their friends or who rarely acknowledge the accomplishments of their own friends are obviously doing downplaying, most likely because they feel envious of them or praising them lessens their own sense of achievement.

The Last Leaf
Give due, proper, and exact credit and praises. If a friend of yours won 1 million in a lottery, don't tell people that he won 5 million. If a friend is good at boxing, don't tell everyone that he is good also in being a politician when he is obviously not.

Be honest. Be exact. Don't be delusional. Don't exaggerate.

On the other hand, if your friend is good at something, acknowledge this. As a friend, reaffirm his qualities. Acknowledge his accomplishments. Don't feel threatened by this. Don't let this diminishes your own sense of achievement. Don't feel a lesser person every time you praise other people.

Be fair. Be honest. Be a real friend...whether in front of them or behind their backs.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Isang Order Pa Nga

(On the Origin of Some Filipino Dishes)
by aLfie vera mella

Maraming Filipino ang madalas ipagmalaki ang kanilang kultura na kesyo wala nang gaganda pa rito. Ang paniniwalang iyan ay isang halimbawa ng pagkamayabang at pagka-ignorante. Dahil kung ating pag-aaralan, karamihan naman ng aspeto ng bawat kultura ay hango rin o impluwensiyado ng kultura ng ibang bansa. Isang halimbawa ay ang marami sa mga masasarap na putaheng Filipino na gaya ng mga sumusunod.

The word adobo originated from the Spanish word adobar, which literally means “marinade” or “to marinate.”

Marination is the process of soaking foods in a seasoned liquid before cooking to enhance their flavor and/or to tenderize the meat. The liquid, called the marinade, is often made with ingredients such as vinegar, lemon or lime juice, pineapple, or wine. It may also contain oils, herbs, and spices to further enhance the flavor. 

As the Filipino dish, adobo is meat (usually pork or chicken) stewed in a marinade of vinegar, soy sauce, and herbs like laurel or bay leaves and spices such as pepper. It is native to Spanish and Portuguese cuisines and was adopted in Latin America and other regions colonialized by Spain and Portuguese in the previous centuries that included certain provinces of the Philippines.

Many Filipinos regard adobo as a Philippine national dish.

Adobokare-kare, and bistek are among the most common dishes in the Philippine cuisine.
Kare” is most likely derived from the word curry, a generic English term primarily employed in Western culture to denote a wide variety of dishes that originated from Southern and Southeastern Asian cuisines. The common feature of curry dishes is the incorporation of a combination of spices and herbs especially curry powder. The Philippines' kare-kare, however, does not contain curry powder. Its name may have been derived only because of its yellowish color that is comparable to a curry dish.

Kare-kare is meat (typically beef and oxtail plus some innards like tripe and intestines) and some vegetables (eggplant, Chinese cabbage, string beans) cooked in a variety of spices, herbs, and other ingredients that include ground roasted peanuts or peanut butter, ground glutinous rice, garlic, onions, and annatto-seed (atsuweteextract. It is served almost always with a side of sauteed shrimp paste (bagoong) as a complimentary condiment.

A Filipinization or linguistic corruption of the phrase beef steak, bistek is simply a Filipino version of beef steak. Basically though, bistek is strips of sirloin beef slowly cooked in a marinade of soy sauce and calamansi or lemon juice with rings of onions or even fried potato slices or cubes on the side.

Sa Madaling Salita
Marami sa mga ipinagmamalaki at tinatangkilik na putaheng Filipino ay nanggaling sa kultura ng ilang bansang nakipagkalakalan o umokupa sa Pilipinas noong mga siglong nakaraan, at wala namang masama riyan. Kung iyong lalawakan ang iyong pananaw, mapagtatanto mo na ang bawat kultura ay impluwensiyado rin lang naman ng samu’t saring kultura ng iba’t ibang bansa.  

Or, in Simple Words
Many of the revered and patronized Filipino dishes originated from the cultures of people who, in the previous centuries, had traveled to the Philippines either to colonialize regions of the country or simply do business and trades. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just a proof that no culture is pure or hundred-percent original and that cultures inevitably influence each other. So, while it’s okay to be proud of one’s culture, one should be also openminded, humble, and be ready to acknowledge the inevitable and significant contributions of other cultures.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Say Cheese to Myselfie!

(On the Origin and Destigmatization of Selfies)
by aLfie vera mella

The word selfie has been officially included in the dictionary (Oxford English Dictionary, August 2013) to mean "a type of self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone or using a webcam or an automatic camera." It could be also a picture showing several persons whom include the person who took the picture.

Therefore, if a picture of a person is taken by another person not included in the frame, then it is not a selfie. A picture is considered a selfie only if the person who took it was included in the picture itself.

One of the First Known Selfies
Athough selfies have gained commercial popularity only in the current decade, the idea or concept may be traced back to the early 1900s when Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia took one of the first teenage self-portraits using a mirror and a Kodak Brownie camera to send to a friend in 1914. Besides, centuries prior to that, there were already artists who had painted portraits of themselves, often titling these simply as "Self-Portrait."

In 1914, Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia took one of the first teenage self-portraits using a mirror and a Kodak Brownie camera to send to a friend.

A self-portrait, on the other hand, is a representation of an artist drawn, painted, sculpted, or photographed by the artist herself. Self-portraits have been made by many artists since the earliest times; however, only until the Early Renaissance in the mid-15th century when artists can be frequently identified depicting themselves as either the main subject or important characters in their work. 

Many regard "Portrait of a Man in a Turban" by the Flemish painter Jan van Eyck of 1433 as the earliest known panel self-portrait. 

Destigmatization of Selfies
Is there something laughable or stupid about posting selfies on the Internet, particularly on social networking sites like Facebook? It depends.

To me, there's nothing wrong in posting selfies per se. Selfies themselves should be fine. It is a neutral thing. What's wrong anyway with posting a harmless picture of oneself so that friends and other acquaintances may see it? It's not even with the number of selfies posted; instead, it largely depends on the nature of the selfies themselves--on what are shown on the selfies.
This is a selfie taken by my stepdaughter Marina that included her sister, Jannica; her mom, Charina; and me, her stepfather.

What would make a posted selfie ridiculous and stupid is the nature of the selfie itself. If the selfie depicts something that may put the author in trouble or, at the least, embarrassment; then she might as well not post it; she should rather keep it in the privacy of her personal files. For example, selfies that express troubling or embarrassing elements such as nudity or any illegal or criminal activity are what I would discourage anyone from sharing publicly. Otherwise, posting even a hundred wholesome selfies should be fine and should not be frowned upon.

The Last Leaf
Therefore, everything boils down to a person's being tactful and responsible when sharing a selfie of herself. Don't feel embarrassed if you want to post on a website or any social-networking site a selfie as long as it does not put you in trouble or a bad light or embarrassing or incriminating situation. 

Monday, October 07, 2013


The contemporary U.S. band Kings of Leon has just released its sixth studio album, 'Mechanical Bull,' the first single off which is "Supersoaker"--the guitar works in this song are certainly Postpunk--angular, melodic, regularly structured, crisp, and mildly distorted; the vocals soar a la U2, Cactus World News, Tuesday Blue, and The Armoury Show; the driving drumbeats and the simple basslines are danceable.

The new Kings of Leon album is certainly a foot stomper.