Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Waterlilies - Monet's ultimate masterpiece

Waterlilies - Monet's ultimate masterpiece in the twilight of his life 
Dr Abe V Rotor 
Acknowledgment: photos from the Internet, Wikipedia. 


Waterlilies - Claude Monet's Signature

Claude Monet (1840-1926); murals in a museum enshrine his fame.  

Monet painted his famous murals Waterlilies towards the end his long productive life as an impressionist. He worked with fading eyesight and in frail health. Few men have shown such an extraordinary feat.  Among them was the great modern painter Pablo Picasso. Ernest Hemingway's Nobel prize winning novel, The Old Man and the Sea, pictures such rare quality with sweet irony of anonymity.

What a genius to make a masterpiece with the last rays of the sun, 
drawing each like thread and weaving the aging colors of rainbow; 
while thousands at their bidding rise early to catch the rising sun,
aiming at fortune - and failing - search it at the end of the rainbow. ~

Monday, September 23, 2013

Invitation to a forest mural

Invitation to a forest mural
Dr Abe V Rotor 
Wall mural by the author and his children - Marlo, Anna and Leo Carlo. St Paul University QC 2002

Come into the forest and leave all your things behind 
       and discover a world once your own, 
ancestral home of your forebears through evolution
       where the first seed of mankind was sown.

Come into the forest of murmuring trees primeval, 
       cradle of  creatures big and small,
where in diversity, sages say, there's harmony,
       home to the transients and tenants all. 

Come to the forest that was, and had been, Milton's best,
       Rousseau's scenery and Tarzan's lair.
Where the famed Paradise was lost and never regained,
       so with the gods and the deities fair.  

Come to a make-believe forest, masterpiece of man,
        whose art combines the truth with the tale,  
a wall transformed into landscape in a city jungle 
        reminding us all should we fail.  

The Art of Contrast in Nature

Dr Abe V Rotor
.
A painting could be or as rough and daring as a waterfall,
                                         ... or as soft and delicate as an orchid 
It's all in the inner eye of the artist, 
sanctuary of the real and the ideal,
the ugly and the beautiful,
of water rising into clouds and pouring down as rain,
 in cadence with lightning and thunder, 
waking the summer stream,
 roaring through the river of no return.
  
Time passes, forgetfulness reigns,
how numbed, how lifeless ...
then rises a new life, peeping into a world
where once a waterfall was careless and supreme,
where once a river flowed,
where trees stood to reach the sky
and nurtures life under their crown,
unknown, unseen,
The Artist: ANNA ROTOR-
STA MARIA

until immaculate white petals open
to greet the day,
a new world, a new beginning.~.




Autumn in Paintings, Verses and Song

Autumn in Paintings, Verses and Song
Dr Abe V Rotor
Autumn Leaves in acrylic by AVR                    
The Woods in Autumn acrylic by AVR
Autumn Moods

Meditate at sunrise
In kaleidoscope of colors
Weaving through the mist, 
With whispers of devotion.

Take a book and flip the pages,
Slowly with intent feelings,
As the early breeze brushes
Your forehead  and brawn.

Or walk down the lane
Trodden only by the unseen;
Before the season is over,
Let each one praise Nature.

Autumn Leaves 1
The falling leaves
Drift by my window
The falling leaves
Of red and gold

I see your lips
The summer kisses
The sunburned hands
I used to hold

Since you went away
The days grow long
And soon I'll hear
Old winter's song

But I miss you most of all
My darling
When autumn leaves
Start to fall

Since you went away
The days grow long
And soon I'll hear
Old winter's song

But I miss you most of all
My darling
When autumn leaves
Start to fall.


 A Walk in the Woods in Autumn acrylic by AVR
Autumn Leaves 2

The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sun-burned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

C'est une chanson, qui nous ressemble
Toi tu m'aimais et je t'aimais
Nous vivions tous, les deux ensemble
Toi que m'aimais moi qui t'aimais
Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s'aiment
Tout doucement sans faire de bruit
Et la mer efface sur le sable les pas des amants désunis


"Autumn Leaves" is a much-recorded popular song. Originally it was a 1945 French song "Les feuilles mortes" (literally "The Dead Leaves") with music by Hungarian-French composer Joseph Kosma and lyrics by poet Jacques Prevert the Hungarian title is "Hulló levelek" (Falling Leaves). Yves Montand (with Irene Joachim) introduced "Les feuilles mortes" in 1946 in the film Les Portes de la Nuit.  
The American songwriter Johnny Mercer wrote English lyrics in 1947 and Jo Stafford was among the first to perform this version. "Autumn Leaves" became a pop standard and a jazz standard in both languages, both as an instrumental and with a singer. Popularized by world famous singers like Frank Sinatra, and Nat King Cole. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

"Please come, and I'll give Thee rest."

Mural and Poem by Dr Abe V Rotor

Wall mural and pond, at home, AVR 2010

The walls I painted hills and valleys and forests, 
towering to the roof I painted blue, clouds rising, 
birds flying in flock to meet the rising sun, as fresh
as the morning air, chirping sweet songs, circling;

And below a dozen pako fish wake to the golden 
reflection of morning, eager for food and company;
I wonder if ever they feel the confines of a den,
for I have faithfully copied Rousseau's scenery.  

Dream no more I said to myself, of Paradise Regained -
It is here, in the very core of being next to the heart
and soul, this Phrygian landscape with touch of vane,
the essence of contrition and amendment for my part.

For nothing is unforgivable, that Sin inherited by us
from our ancestors - we're doomed, deprived of heaven
on earth. No! the gifts of our Creator have been passed
onward, and here I created a piece of that lost Eden.

Here I see God across the wall, and above my head,
His harmonious creation over land, across the sea,
I am part of the cycle of life everyday, even in bed,
as seasons come and go, here I feel always free.

When lakes and rivers dry, and the sky no longer blue;
as cities grow, land fills with waste, air no longer fresh;
I pick my brush, say a prayer in color, shade and hue,
to my Creator, "Please come, and I'll give Thee rest." ~  

UST-AB Finals (3CA1 2 3 4); PowerPoint Presentation Topics and Rules

Dr Abe V Rotor

For the finals, prepare a 50-frame PowerPoint Presentation about a topic of your choice, with preference to the following: . 
  • Successful UST Alumini in their respective fields of specialization, and community - at least five Thomasians.  They must have finished a course at UST.  They are looked upon as model, and practicing Thomasian values and principles.  
  • UST in action - events on-campus and outside that projects UST image as an ideal institution of learning.  Documentary  in nature, your work must speak well and true about UST and its alumni. 
  • UN campaign on reducing food waste which runs to billions of dollars a day.  When computed in relation to present need, savings on food waste would suffice supply, proper nutrition, improved health, and alleviating poverty.
  • Restoring integrity of government, upholding people's right to be governed by sincere, honest, and qualified leaders.  Restoring faith of people in their government, improving international image of the country.
  • True picture of the Filipino.  Who is he today in the face of tradition on the one hand, and globalization on the other - his regard to religion, family, career, commitment to community, his outlook to the future.  Does the Thomasian fit into the picture?   

  • "The Filipino is first," "Only in the Philippines," "The Filipino can." "Where in the Philippines?"  These and many more adages, motherhood statements, gimmicks, put the Philippines in the limelight.  Behind all these are disturbing issues: high infant mortality, birthrate, corruption, crime, traffic, cost of electricity, water, transportation, low productivity etc. Can the Thomasian do something? 

  • Environmental concerns, area- and event-specific. 
  • University without Walls, Distance Education, E-Learning, on-line teaching
Topics of your choice must be first approved by the professor.   

  • Presentation is one-on-one with the professor starting October 4, Friday (3CA3 and 3CA4), and October 7 for 3CA1 and 3CA 2. Sequence to be arranged by the class officers.
  • Holistic presentation, i.e., inter disciplinary, functional, experiential, contemporary.  
  • Present objectively, with positive views and advocacy. Uphold values and Filipino culture, and code of journalism.  
  • Follow standard format for PowerPoint, with modifications as may be necessary. 
  • Work must be original and specific to the present  course of Photography.  Previously submitted work in other subjects not accepted.  
  • Sign each photo you actually took at the right side, bottom. 
  • Show your presence  in action. 
  •  Use photos not your own only when necessary.  
  • Avoid downloading from the Internet. Be aware of intellectual property rights, laws and rules in journalism and publication.   
  • Label CD, including case (front and back) with your own original design.
  • Print CD content, portrait, 6 frames per page. 

    Your work will be submitted to our Faculty of Arts and Letters as part of its reference materials and documentary, with signed endorsement by the author, noted by the professor. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Biological Basis of Selfishness and Selflessness

Dr Abe V Rotor
 
The hermit crab lives on discarded shell, moves to a bigger one as it grows.  Sea anemones, barnacles, seaweeds and others  live on its shell-house which it caries from place to place thus benefiting these symbionts.  In turn they provide camouflage to the hermit crab from predators, and in its search for prey. Photo credit from Internet and Wikipedia.  

All organisms, simple or complex, plant or animal – and human – are governed by genes, which through the long process of evolution, are the very tools for survival in Darwin’s treatise on Survival of the Fittest through Natural Selection.

The acquisition of successful genes is key to the survival of present day species, and the explanation on the failure of those which did not. Two words are important: adaptation and competition. This dual attributes are directed to self-preservation through the process of acquiring the basic necessities of life either by adjusting to it passively or actively. Definitely it is not one that is easy to share to the extent of losing its benefit in favor of another.

But if we analyze it, this is true to each individual. Now organisms do not live as individuals; they live as a community, as a society. Which leads us to the logical inference that if the individual organism, in order to survive must be selfish, then how can it be able to establish a community in which it ultimately become a part?

This is very important because the community is the key to resource sharing from food to space; it is the key to collective bargaining in times of peace or war. The community is like a bundle of individuals behaving singularly. It is collective planting time when the monsoon arrives, harvesting when it ends. The rituals that go with such activities enhance the success of bonding, and enshrine it into an institution.

Institutions were born from socio-economic needs which spontaneously developed into cultural and political rolled into one complex society. To answer where selfness starts is easier to answer than where selflessness begins.

If the premise is biological what proofs can we show that it is so?

• Social insects – ants, bees and termites – bind themselves as a colony. Any attack on the colony sends soldiers to fight the enemy. Paper wasps sting as intruders. The honeybee does not consume the nectar and pollen it gathers, but brings the harvest into the granary from which it get its share later. An ant clings to death at an enemy. When a bee sting, its abdomen is ripped away and is surely to die.

• Starve an aphid or a mealybug, and it will produce young prematurely – even without first becoming an adult. This is called paedogenesis. Or an adult may produce young without the benefit of mating and fertilization. This is parthenogenesis.

• A plant stressed by drought will cut its life cycle short in order to use the remaining energy to produce offspring. This is true to grasshoppers or caterpillars – they skip one or two moulting and metamorphose so that they can mate and reproduce.

• The spacing of plants is determined not only of soil and climatic conditions that control the growth and development, but by a biological mechanism known as allelopathy. A date palm will kill its own offspring around its trunk and under its crown. Those that grow outside its shadow becomes a part of the oasis’ vegetation.

• Bacteria, yeasts, and other microorganisms go into luxury feeding where there is plenty, and nature seems not to mind, until they consume the food, and worse until their waste accumulates and becomes toxic. This is called autotoxicity. Thus in fermentation, it is the toxic material - alcohol - that eventually kills the yeasts themselves, and another process follows until the organic forms of compounds are transformed and ultimately returned as inorganic ready for use by succeeding organisms.

• The dalag and many other species of fish eat their young leaving only those that can escape. Here the advantage of controlled population and survival of the fittest are shown.

• Vultures seldom attack a living prey; they wait to its last breath. A male lion will kill a cub which it did not sire. But we know too, that there are surrogate mothers in the wild like the cuckoo, and among domestic animals.

Because of the complexity of social behavior, Dr E O Wilson of Harvard University, attempted to explain many of the observed behavior into a field of biology he called sociobiology. In a simple illustration, if your child is about to be hit by a fast oncoming vehicle, a mother would risk her life to save him. Dr. Wilson would then asks a third party if he or she would do the same thing to a child who is not his own – much less without any relations.

This leads us back to our previous question: When does selfishness end and selflessness begin?~

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

UST-AB Photography: Passing Views - Post-impressionism with the Camera

Dr Abe V Rotor  
Photos unedited
How does post-impressionism apply with the camera? Explain. 
Boundary arch of La Union and Ilocos Sur 
Balikbayan estate, Ilocos Sur


Construction of new bridge across Banaoang River, Santa Ilocos Sur.  View from the old Quirino Bridge.  

Highway eroded by tidal wave, Santa, Ilocos Sur 
Skeleton of kamachili Tree, Sagpat, San Vicente, Ilocos Sur
]
Octopus fishing on the rocky shore of Sta Maria, Ilocos Sur 
Fish pens on a river, Bacnotan, La Union  

Santa Paradise, Ilocos Sur: Sta Maria rock,  
Tobacco field, Magsingal, Ilocos Sur
Facade of 17th century St. Agustine church, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur. Baroque architecture. 
 Death trap MM
 
  Road block - drive at your own risk
Life goes on 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Ode to Lowly Creatures

Ode to Lowly Creatures

Dr Abe V Rotor

Haring gagamba (king spider), Amadeo, Cavite

Spider

Your home is the space
where your embroidery sways
and glitters with the rainbow
giving life to shadow.

Redeem your mother Arachne
vanished for her art by Athene;
put the morning star to rest,
and the sun to its crest.

Diatoms

Fortune on the De Beers' wasteland -
diamonds embedded in the rocks,
the greatest wealth of any man,
vast and immeasurable in bucks.

To anyone of us a fortune awaits,
whose skill can too, blaze a trail
on land and sea where man satiates
his craving for the holy grail.

Here's wealth to the researcher;
in Sesame's magic the lens opens
to a world of diatoms everywhere,
a greater wealth that never ends.

Hermit Crab
A rare pet you are -
you never had a home,
now you have two:
you borrowed the one
on your back; the other,
above your head -
that you earned it from
the humility of a pet.


Hermit crab (Pagarus sp)
 Actinotrichia fragilis, red Marine alga

Red Algae

You are mistaken
to be aloof and mean;
of all seaweeds
you are the least seen,
for you live in the depth,
in the dimmed coral reef,
clothed in violet or red
which is your greatest gift
to catch the fading light,
to escape the grazers
and to be out of sight.

Sargassum
You make a forest on the sea floor
where the fish hide from the storm;
what puzzles those who explore
is your massive yet simple form.

Above: Sargassum; snorkeling on coral reef, Bacnotan, La Union

Tussock Caterpillar

You are Medusa in the garden,
a serpent in garb all golden,
sowing destruction on your way
until Perseus put you awa
y.
Hairy caterpillar (higad)