A positive 2024

By Alex P. Vidal

“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.”—Melody Beattie

SOME of our most beloved relatives, friends, and colleagues left us in 2023. In my case, my mother, Paz, passed away peacefully (God bless her soul) while I was away; many of my personal friends and former media colleagues and allies also went home to the Kingdom of God (God bless their souls, as well).

We don’t want to lose more in 2024–although everything in life in as far as man’s mortality is concerned, is beyond our control.

As much as possible, we only want and wish for the good tidings, peace of mind, success in our chosen profession, family, business, mission in life, and, most of all, health, the ultimate wealth.

The Year Of The Wood Dragon is bringing fortune and abundance, according to the Dragon Chinese Horoscope 2024. It is reportedly “a fortunate and auspicious time to start a new relationship or family.”

The Year Of the Wood Dragon will reportedly bring lots of positivity and support for the development of love and family.

Like in the previous years, let’s be hopeful and positive that this will take place and prevail over pessimism, defeatism, and whatever lousy, unproductive, toxic, and negative isms.

Here’s hoping for the positive 2024. So help us God.


DON’T DELAY. Some of our important choices have a timeline. If we delay a decision (to get married, to work abroad, to transfer residence, to change career, etc) the opportunity is gone forever. Sometimes our doubts keep us from making a choice thus an opportunity may be missed. Let’s think, decide and move!

FORGIVENESS. Christmas is a season of love and forgiveness. So even if we are not aware of it, holding a grudge against someone who has done wrong cripples us. Our energy is consumed by hatred and ill-feelings rather than being spent on worthwhile endeavors. Better to forgive but don’t forget.

CHAOS, HOSTILITY. Some of the main reasons why our relationship with our neighbors–rich or poor– has always been chaotic and hostile are:  A. Envy (both parties) B. They know our dark secrets (vice versa) C.  Jealousy (both parties) D. Territorial dispute. Some people are always uncomfortable when they see their friends talking to their neighbors.

SAVING OUR PLANET. In the can, let’s always recycle food and drink cans. Recycling aluminum requires only 5 percent of the energy it takes to process the original from the earth’s crust. One-third of aluminum is currently reused, but it should be more.

WHEN SOMEBODY ATTACKS US AND WE CAN’T DEFEND OURSELVES, we shouldn’t scream. It tightens our throat and tires us out. Instead, we must yell when in danger. A yell comes from the diaphragm, experts say, creating a louder sound with less effort.

D IS FOR DIET. Vitamin D supplements may be the newest weight-loss pills. When University of Minnesota researchers measured blood levels of the sunshine vitamin in 38 overweight people, they found that when the subject went on a low-calorie diet, those with higher levels of vitamin D lost more weight than those with lower levels.

ANTHROPOMIMETIC MACHINES. No matter how closely a robot resembles a human on the outside, if we crack it open, the jumble of wires is unlikely to bear much resemblance to our insides. A group of European researchers aims to bridge that gap–its robot prototype is anthropomimetic, maning it mimics the human form.


WHAT SCARES THE AIR FORCE. A pair of binoculars and a cellular phone can threaten modern warplanes. In 1999, Serbian airplane spotters watched U.S. aircraft leave an airbase in Italy. The spies alerted anti air-missile battery crews in Serbia to aim their long-wavelength radar overhead, enabling the crews to destroy a stealth F-117A nighthawk.

LISTENING TO LEAVES. Western Washington University geophysicists are making localized air-pollution maps by tracking the magnetism of three leaves. Car and some industrial pollution contain particles of magnetic iron oxide that stick to the leaves, making them magnetic.

WIRELESS EYES. A team of MIT researchers has entered the race to develop an implant that can restore partial vision to the blind. Unlike other implants under development, MIT’s system does not place electrodes directly on the retina, which can damage the eye during implantation. Instead, the device stimulates nerves near the eyeball that carry visual information to the brain.

THE BEGINNING. Conventional radar ranges are increasing, and that’s just the start of the problem. Over-the-horizon radar can detect airplanes by bouncing signals off the ionosphere, 56 miles above Earth, while passive radar can provide enemies with rough tracks of an airplane’s location, direction and altitude.

WARNING: There is an international boom industry in anti-aircraft missiles and warplanes that are designed to defeat U.S. stealth technology. (Source: Popular Mechanics.)

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)