Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Death of Privacy

 If you can make it, disarm yourself of any electronic device on a weekend, and stay home. Or take a vacation away from electronic devices.  It could be the best way of restoring a part of your privacy. 

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM  8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday

Loss of privacy is exacerbated by modern technology. 
Someone is watching your every move – at the bank, on the Internet, even walking down the street. Our right to be left alone has disappeared, bit by bit, in Little Brotherly steps.” Say Time magazine in a special issue on The Death of Privacy. We are headed for an even wired unregulated, overintrusive  privacy-deprived planet.  Privacy is dying.

Our letters are no longer private on e-mail dispatch. ID are also for time record, entry pass, emergencies, discounts.  We carry USP (removable disc) which contains a library of information indistinguishable whether for private or public consumption.  And who cares, if you too, get access to the same unsolicited materials?

Don’t forget to lock up your personal computer; even then, be sure no one knows your PIN (personal identification number). One moment every it contains is copied without your knowing it.  For hackers it worst; you can’t keep your own files anymore.

Go to the mall, drop at the Post Office, pick up grocery, visit an ITM.  Waiting for a ride, speeding on a highway, practicing in a gym, promenading?  Anything you do, even in your rented bedroom, someone is looking at you through the electronic eye, a n-generation of the conventional camera, complete with sounds, and special effects, versatility likened to Hubs telescope or Skylab’s.     

In fact your organs are monitored on TV during diagnosis, more so during operation.  I saw my kidney bombarded by laser.  “Oh, you are awake,” my doctor was surprised.  “See, the stone is gone, the fragments are being flushed out.” It’s me I was seeing. I don’t know if I passed out afterward that. 

Cell phone.  Yes, it’s a magnificent invention. You can be at any place at anytime. And with modern hybrids, you send and receive information to whomever without full control.  That is why clever people make a dummy of them and hide their reality.  This is your Second Person, your avatar, your clone, but you are soon to be discovered, and little by little your second person becomes your first person – you.

Good if it’s the real you as you would like put your best foot forward, so to speak.  Somebody did some anatomical experiment, putting your face on another body, doing a thing you don’t like in a place your find impossible to be, attired differently, if at all.  And your dignity? “Oh, it’s not me,” you deny, but it’s your face people see. And this monster runs on the wire and soon you find yourself an international figure (disfigure). You are lost.    

Melly asked me if it’s all right to have a digital ID system.  Why not, who does not have one nowadays?  Even a kinder child has one around the neck; college students enter the school premises by swiping their ID to show their face and number on the monitor, otherwise you are trapped and questioned. Remember terrorists are also in white.

But the worst and ultimate loss of privacy is in having a Personal Gene Map.  Since HGP (Human Genome Project was launched and published, there will come a time each of us will be wearing a mini disc that contains the map of our chromosomes and their corresponding genes, and each gene carrying a specific trait from the color of your hair to your temperament. In short, genetic cartography reveals all our traits which doctor, insurance companies, prospective employers and spouses are, and likely, to know. “Will the map also show loyalty, infidelity?” asked Melly.  I was speechless.  I was nodding my head in disbelief.  Why not? Hasn’t holism been re-defined by science and technology. Now what chromosome or chromosomes, and what gene or genes can we view the so-called inner self – conscience?  God, where is the soul to be found?

How are you spied on?

Bank machines – Every time you use an automated teller; the bank records the time, date and location of your transaction.

Prescription drugs – If you use your company health insurance to purchase drugs, your employer may have access to the details.

Browsing on the web – Many sites tag visitors with magic cookies that record what you’re looking at and when you have been surfing.

Cellular telephone – Your calls can be intercepted and your access numbers cribbed by eavesdroppers with police scanners.

Credit cards – Everything you charge is in a database that police, among others, can look at.

Registering to Vote – Voter registration records are publis and online – if computerized.  They typically list your address and birth date.

Making a phone call – The phone company does not need a court order to note the number you’re calling – or who is calling you.

Supermarket scanners – Many grocery stores let you register for discount coupons that are used to track what you purchase.

Sweepstakes –  In the US these are bonanzas for marketers.  Every time you enter one, you add an electronic brushstroke to your digital portrait.

Satellites – Commercial satellites are coming online that are eagle-eyed enough to spot you – and maybe a companion – in a hot tub.

Electronic tools – In many places, drivers can pay tolls electronically with passes that tip off your whereabouts.

Surveillance cameras – They’re in banks, federal office buildings, 7-elevens, even houses of worship; New Yorkers are on camera up to 20 times a day.  How about us in Metro Manila?

Mail-order transactions – Many companies, including mail-order houses and publishers, sell lists of their customers.  Why do you think you’re getting those catalogs?  

Sending e-mail – In offices, E-mail is considered part of your work.  Your employer is allowed is allowed to read it – and many bosses do.

1.      Protect Yourself

2.      Just say no to telemarketers. Say, “I don’t take phone solicitations.”

3.      Consider removing your name from many direct-mail and telemarketing lists.

4.      Pay cash whenever possible.

5.      Be wary about buying mail order.

6.      Give your Social Security number only when required by law.

7.      Think twice before filling warranty cards or entering sweepstakes.

8.      Be careful when using “free blood pressure clinics.”

9.      Avoid leaving footprints on the Net.

10.  Surf the Web anonymously.

If you can make it, disarm yourself of any electronic device on a weekend, and stay home. Take a vacation away from electronic devices.  It could be the best way of restoring a part of your privacy.  Set on mailbox, if not switch off,  your cell phone to enjoy your weekend or vacation.

 As people go to live in cities and high rise apartments, they give up privacy in the guise of freedom and modern culture. .
Advertisements break traditional customs, introduce a lifestyle that favors liberalism and consumerism.    

Assignment: List down in what ways, and other means, you can preserve or restory your privacy.

Beware of Food Colors

Dr Abe V Rotor

Food colors in drinks and food.

The case of jubos in tamarind sweet.

All of a sudden when answering the call of nature, I was alarmed to see the color of my urine bright red. I cried, Blood! I tried to compose myself to be able to reach the hospital in the earliest possible time. But what surprised me at the same time was that my fingers were also stained red. I examined the “tamarind sweet” I had just eaten. I found the culprit - Jubos, the dye used in dying shoes. Jubos is used to color the local confectionery. How many food preparations are artificially colored for better presentation? Since that time on I have been very careful with colored foods. Ube cake, anyone?

These are things to remember about food dyes, specially if you suspect of a food or drink to be colored artificially.

• Be familiar with the natural colors of fruits and other food products. There are rare ones though. For example, purple rice cake (puto) comes from a variety pirurutong or purple rice. Ordinary rice flour and ube flour produce the same color. This can be imitated with the use of purple dye.

• Processed foods like smoked fish and ham are colored, usually golden yellow, to be attractive.

• Confectionery products are made to appear like cocoa, coffee, orange, strawberry, grapes and the like, when in fact the ingredients are mainly sugar artificial flavors and food dyes.

• Fruit juices carry dyes to enhance their natural colors. Example, calamansi juice is made to appear like lemon or orange. Soft drinks would look dull and unattractive without artificial colors.

• Cakes and other bakery products may deceive the eye and even the palate. Cake decors are definitely made of food dyes of many colors and different color combinations.

• Artificial colors are filtered by our excretory system so that they appear in the urine. This is not the case of natural colors such as achuete or anatto (Bixa orellana), pandan (Pandanus odoratissimus), ube (Dioscorea alata), and mango (Mangifera indica).

Reference: Living with Nature, AVR

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tamales keeps freshness and natural taste of fish

Make culinary art as simple, practical and healthful as possible.  Cook small fish like dulong (Ipon Ilk), and dilis (anchovies) the tamales (tamalis Ilk) way.   Let's return to indigenous cooking practices - and live happy, long and healthy like our ancestors.  
Dr Abe V Rotor

Follow these steps, refer to the photos. 
  1. Wash fresh fish with a strainer.
  2. Add salt, chopped ginger and onion. 
  3. Wilt leaves with stalk
  4. Pack in small amount, good per person.   
  5. Line stainless pan (or clay pot) with banana stalk
  6. Arrange packed tamales for cooking, cover.
  7. Don't overcook, serve whole pan on dining table
  8. Best when steaming hot, save the juice
  9. Pack is ideal for baon 
  10. Eat with fresh tomato for variety. 
Share this lesson with your family, school and community. Let's return to indigenous cooking practices - and live happy, long and healthy like our ancestors.  

Disturbing Views on the Road. Neutral Morality Coming of Age

Photos taken from the front seat of a car.      
 It's wrong to block the sight of motorists and pedestrians,
 more so to distract their attention.  
 Balloons on the road, with no occasion to celebrate, 
what a sight!  Heat and cigarette pose danger of explosion,  

 The disappearing sidewalk is one for the Book of Guinness. Now you see it, now you don't. 
What is this sexy model doing on the road? Don't get too close for better view.
It's a tender, deadly trap.
 Need a helping hand? Boy scout or traffic aide wanted.   
 Chaos, that's normal traffic.  Truck ban, bicycle lane, traffic on a standstill. 

How would you like tailing this face all the way to 
your workplace or home? Hauntingly disturbing. Is he or a she? 
Camouflaged bus with ads looks like new.  Actually a surplus from the junkyard.~

Florence Nightingale - The Lady with a Lamp

Lamp is symbolic of Life; it is the light of divinity, wisdom, intellect, and good works. It is the  pinnacle symbol of self-sacrifice, as it consumes itself to offer light to the world. So does the lamp of Florence Nightingale, the lamp of Diogenes searching for an honest man at midday, the torch of the academe that spread the light of knowledge and wisdom. 

Dr Abe V Rotor

Light a Candle

In the dark look at the sky and the stars
They’re living gems, a thousand eyes;
They soothe the soul, heal wounds into scars –
They come to mingle with fireflies.

Short is life; man is but a living dust,
But many great things come to pass.
Someday you shall learn from the sages,
Those who live through the ages.

Not for glory, they fill the emptiness;
Go light a candle in gladness.
Fireflies and stars in the night are one,
Like flowers that bear the sun.

Who is Florence Nightingale? She is one of the most famous women of the world. She is the founder of the nursing profession

Her first patient was a dog. And this is the story.

One day when she was a girl she happened to pass by a wounded sheep-dog on the roadside.  The shepherd told her that his dog met an accident and broke a leg. The wound was so bad that the dog would have to be killed since this was the custom in those days.

She did not delay; she made splints and bandaged the wound, and not for long the dog was running about again. The shepherd was very thankful to Florence, and when she became famous he would tell people that her first patient had been his dog, Cap.

In 1854 war broke in Crimea in the southern part of Russia. It was fought between Russia on one side and Turkey, helped by Britain and France, on the other. Florence was then 34 years old, and had convinced her rich parents to let her become a nurse.

The conditions prevailing in the Crimean War were getting worse. There were no hospitals, or if there were, they were poorly managed. There were few doctors and nurses were more of housekeepers of hospitals. It is not like the hospitals we know today. There were as many wounded soldiers dying due to lack of proper medical attention, as there were in the battlefield, a condition the British soldiers were experiencing.

On receiving this news the Minister of War in England wrote a letter to Florence requesting her to organize a team of nurses to go to Crimea, which is more than a thousand miles away, and would take weeks to reach through poor roads and rough seas.

She accepted the challenge and immediately set forth with 38 women volunteers, most were devoted nurses from religious hospitals. They braved the stormy sea, and when they were on the way, the Battle of Balaclava was being fought. This is the famous battle in British history known as The Charge of the Light Brigade.

This is how a survivor described the battle.

“Because of the mistake about what they were supposed to do, these six hundred men galloped along a valley more than a mile long, with Russian cannon shooting at them from all sides. Many of them were killed and wounded, but they never stopped until they had ridden right up to the cannon and captured them.”

The wounded soldiers from the Battle of Balaclava were among the first patients of Florence and her volunteers.

The life of nurses was very hard in those days. They attended to many household and kitchen works. There was very little time to rest. What made the condition worse was because women in those days were not equally treated with men. There was discrimination, especially by the doctors who were all males.

But Florence persevered, so with the remaining volunteers and new nurses she trained. The hospitals became very clean and orderly. She established a system of management. There were enough supplies. Gardens were cultivated to supply the hospitals with fresh fruits and vegetables. There were fewer patients dying than before and they were recovering much faster.

Florence would be holding a lamp in the middle of the night, or into the wee hours in the morning, just to check the conditions of the patients. This scene became the symbol of the modern nursing profession.

Here in our country we have many battles to be fought. But these battles are not those in Crimea many years back. The enemy is different yet the objective is the same – the welfare of the people. We need fighters against poverty, disease and hopelessness. We need fighters who give themselves unselfishly, voluntarily without fear.

We have leaders in the Philippines in the like of Florence Nightingale. One of them is Dr. Fe del Mundo, a medical doctor who founded the hospitals for children. These hospitals are among the best managed government hospitals in the Philippines today. Because of these hospitals thousands and thousands of children have been saved. Many more patients were given proper medical attention in the last fifty years or so. Many doctors and nurses have been trained to follow the example set by Dr. Del Mundo.

People who have apparently lost hope find the lamp in the middle of the night burning bright. Florence Nightingale and Fe del Mundo are making their rounds. ~ 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Oh, time! You are a friend.

Dr Abe V Rotor 

Brief rest before taking a test.

Dream, yesterday was a dream!
A unicorn I rode to rainbow's end
to where a pot of gold might lie.
Oh, time! I thought you're a friend.

And to the other end I walked the trail,
To find my rainbow gone at the bend;
And I, on a crossroad I stood alone.
Oh, time, I thought you are a friend.

What road shall I take - the less trodden?
I gazed at the horizon to its end,
Rough was the way and never ending.
Oh, time! I thought you are a friend.

And here I am, half gone, long is the way;
Lo! I see again my rainbow at the end;
Tread on I must, there's no unicorn now;
Oh, time! you are indeed a friend.

10 Home Remedies and First Aid Tips

Dr Abe V Rotor

1. Stop that sneeze quick! 
Press the base of your nose hard and hold it there until the urge to sneeze subsides. You may do it subtlety even in the middle of a speech or conference, but don’t wait for the last minute; sneeze can’t wait. 

2. Don’t talk to the baby while feeding.
Baka masamid siya. It is bad to the baby when milk gets into his larynx and lungs. Talk to him after he is through and has burped.

3. Put oil on the bombonan, the soft suture of the skull of a baby, with oil before bathing him.
Oil seals the hair roots and forms a film on this sensitive part of the baby which protects it from sudden wetness and change in temperature. Oil also softens the dry layer of skin which sheds off as the baby grows.  

4. If the father or mother leaves the house, place the clothes he or she last worn beside the sleeping child so that he goes into deep sleep.   
This is pheromones in action. Pheromones are chemical signals for bonding in the animal world, and among humans. Like the queen bee that keeps its colony intact through pheromones, so we are attracted by a similar odor, although of a less specific one.  People are compatible through smell. Pheromones are left in  clothes and other belongings, so that a baby may remain fast asleep as if he were in his mother’s or father’s arms.  

5. Sterilize handkerchief with hot iron in the absence of cotton gauze and bandage.
In an emergency case, or for simple treatment, this is what you can do.  Get a clean handkerchief and iron it repeatedly at high temperature for a duration of five minutes to seven minutes. To save on energy, you may prepare two or three handkerchiefs for the purpose. 

6. Press the base of the jaw joint to relieve toothache.
There’s a saying that when your tooth aches, there’s nothing you can do about it except to take painkiller. Mabuti pa ang sakit ng tiyan.  At least for stomach ache you can manage to find a comfortable position, or press the painful part to secure relief.

But here is a simple remedy Dr. Vanda Hernandez, school dentist of St. Paul University QC, demonstrated which I found to be effective. There is a mass of nerve cells called Gasserian ganglion that connects the nerves of the gums and teeth, and their surroundings. Now this is how the simple remedy works.  Open your mouth wide, feel where the joint of the jaw is located. Now close your mouth and press this nerve center with the finger until you obtain relief. Do this along the side of the affected tooth. Repeat until pain subsides.  Once you have practiced the technique, you can do it discreetly even with people around when the need arises.    

7. Warm water soothes itchy and sore throat, arrest coughing.
Don’t take medicated drops or syrup for your itchy or sore throat. All you need is warm water which you sip now and then to relieve your throat and stop your coughing.  Have a thermos at hand.  Just add to tap water the same amount of hot water to come up with an approximate temperature of 50 to 60 degrees Celsius. Drink warm water liberally to replace water loss and restore metabolite balance while helping the body eliminate waste and toxin.    

8. Press the base of the nail of the large toe to wake an unconscious person.
First, place the patient in a comfortable position, loosen his clothes for better blood circulation, and be sure he gets fresh air. It is a common practice to fan an unconscious person or to keep him warm if he is cold. Using your thumb slowly press the base of the large toe and watch for signs that the patient is coming back to consciousness. First he stirs, pulls his leg away from your hold (if he senses pain), then takes a deep breath which is usually accompanied by moan. Release your hold.  Repeat until he becomes fully conscious. If he does not respond, press harder but be gentle.  Try the other large toe. If there is no response immediately sought for medical attention. Remember that prolonged unconsciousness endangers the patient to harm complications.

9. Use elbow to test a tepid bath for the baby.
When testing the proper bath temperature, immerse your elbow for a couple of seconds to feel if a bath is just right – not too warm nor too cold. The finger is not as sensitive to do this test. Next time you bathe your baby, try this useful tip.

10. Gulat ang gamut sa sinok. To stop hiccup, jolt the person.
Now and then anyone may fall into a pit of hiccup for reasons not well understood even in the medical field.  But as sudden and unpredictable it came, just by jolting the person is enough to terminate hiccup. 

This is what you can do to help your friend in a pit. The first remedy is to give him water. If this does not work, gently massage the back of his head.  If still this does not work, secretly time the interval of his hiccup.  Jolt him up real good coinciding with the next hiccup.  Pronto! The hiccup is gone. ~