Monday, June 30, 2014

How do you catch a monkey alive?

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

Monkeys are clever, they just don't fall into a trap. Of course the quickest way to catch them alive is to shoot them with tranquilizer. But here is a simpler way, and humane at that.

Cynomolgus, or Crab-eating Macaques, imported from the Philippines to the US were found to be carrying filovirus.
Bore a small hole into a whole young coconut (buko), about an inch in diameter, or just enough for the monkey to insert its hands with outstretched fingers into the nut. Secure the nut with wire or rope among the trees where monkeys abound. Or any place they frequent looking for food.

A monkey comes, looks around, inserts its hand into the hole. Once its hand reaches the inside of the nut, it scoops the soft flesh and holds it into a tight fist. By so doing its hand gets stuck inside the nut. The monkey will not release its hold and will try to carry off the nut. Get the picture of a small fellow getting his fingers stuck into an oversize bowling ball.

The poor monkey tumbles, shrieks, and does everything possible to take the nut off, panicking in the process. But it can't think of releasing his fist. It soon gets exhausted.

"That's how stupid monkeys are," says my friend who has been a trapper since he was a boy. He and his father have been trapping live monkeys which they sell to laboratories in Manila. He admits monkeys are rare these days. Either they are getting few, or they are also becoming smart, too. I believe in both. The natural habitat of animals is being threatened by deforestation and pollution. On the other hand, animals, like the dog Pavlov used in his experiment, respond to conditioned learning. This is true with rodents, birds, fish - and practically all animals - probing that animals are not confined only to instinct.

Inti, the trapper, approached his catch, and with a scoop net, led it into a cage - still stuck with the coconut.

This is indeed one for the Book of Guinness. And it is a proof that the fable about the greediness of monkey is true.

How are other animals trapped alive? There are ways to trap birds, wild fowls, wild pigs, deer, monitor lizard, etc. Share with us your knowledge and experience.~ 

NOTE: DENR discourages, if not prohibits, the hunting of selective wildlife species.  It is highly recommended that conservation laws be strictly followed. DOH similarly warns of the danger of viral infection from monkeys and other animals to humans, and vice versa. Monkeys are carrier of Reston vius (RESTV), a new strain of the dreaded Ebola virus (EBOV) as a result of mutation. While pathogenecity is high among monkeys and low in humans, there is serious cause to contain the virus before it develops higher virulence. 

Here is an account of the resurgent character of RESTV. (Wikipedia) 
"Reston virus reemerged in Italy in 1992, and again in a monkey export facility in the Philippines in 1996. On 11 December 2008, pigs from farms slightly north of Manila, Philippines tested positive for the virus. The CDC and the World Health Organization are investigating. On 23 January 2009, Philippine health officials announced that a hog farm worker had been infected with the virus. Although the man was asymptomatic and the source of the infection is uncertain, this could represent the first case of pig-to-human transmission of Reston virus - a fact that could cause concern, as pigs may be able to transmit more deadly diseases to humans. The situation is undergoing further investigation.~

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Angelus by the Haystacks

Dr Abe V Rotor
Haystacks, painting by Vincent van Gogh 

Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

The fields are empty now,
The harvesters gone,
The birds settle in their roosts,
As the sun goes down.

The church steeple glows
In the waning sight
As the North wind blows
In the dying light.

The haystacks in the breeze
Glow and whisper;
Cheerful are the trees
In song and prayer. ~

Ageing is like wine, it becomes mellow with age.

Only good wine becomes mellow with age. Old age is the time you harvest what you planted in youth. The man is the child of yesterday - but the child in you must always live.
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

Now in their early seventies, author and high school classmates, enjoy the fruits of a well deserved life in their respective professions, families, leadership and service to humanity in the fields of law, business, agriculture, education, media, engineering, civil and military service. This group represents other alumni of the Divine Word College of Vigan, formerly Colegio de la Imaculada Concepcion. This article is dedicated to the memory of their mentors, principally Fr. Panfilo Guianan (HS Director), Rev Frs Salzman, Leisring, and Creder, Mr Ricardo Avila (principal), and Mr Demetrio Rotor (adviser). And also to the memory of their classmates who have gone ahead. This article is an expression of gratitude to their Alma Mater.

1. Ageing is like good wine; it becomes mellow with age. But only good wine becomes mellow with age. And the longer ageing is, the better is the quality of the wine. We can compare it also with wood. “A seasoned timber never gives (up).” A seasoned teacher is wise.

2. Ageing distills knowledge into wisdom. It’s the ripening of fruits on the tree. Knowledge is not all useful; it leaves a lot of wastes. Which I call infollution (information pollution). Like the so many flowers and developing fruits of a huge mango tree, those that fall are useless knowledge; those that do not ripen are knowledge that can’t stand by themselves. Only those that remain full and ripe at the end are like wisdom. Wisdom is tested by timelessness and universality.

3. Old age is harvesting what you planted in youth. The man is the child of yesterday. Start early in life to plant the seed of success, more so, the seed of service. Monuments are not built for no reason at all. And even without a monument a good deed is monumental in the hearts and minds of those you serve and those who believe in you – especially those you have changed their lives.

4. Ageing physically and physiologically - this is inevitable. But don’t let the mind and the heart age prematurely and uselessly. Like faculty, practice makes them alive and full. Reason, thoughts, imagination, love, compassion should not go to waste by chronological age.

5. The child in you must always live. That Little Prince that rules over the grownup in you that says “a matter of consequence is not only those that are urgent and important,” is also preserving the ideal. Idealism must live together with realism.

6. There are those who are late bloomers; they bloom with age. Catalyze the blossoming of the beautiful things – how late they may come in life. It is better to bloom in old age than to blossom early – and the blossom just fades away. You’ll even regret it because it could mean to you as failure.

7. In old age don’t lose your trophies and medals - because of one false move, worst, if deliberate. Or because of a persistent habit you thought you can get away with even in old age. There is nothing more regretful if you fall into disgrace in old age – you don’t have a second life to amend for it.

8. Hold your horses. Stop, look, listen. Getting older adopts “slow but sure” attitude towards situations and decisions. “Quick to think, but slow to act,” may be appropriate in old age. That is why in traditional societies, decision makers are old people, village elders.

9. Make your assets grow for others, as you prepare to leave the world. Have the philanthropic heart. You can’t take your riches to your tomb. The Egyptians never did. The young pharaoh Tutankhamen left his belongs for the afterlife in his tomb, now in the Egyptian Museum. . Economics does not work well with each one of us holding a treasure chest and locking it up. Imagine if the world is dominated by Madoff, by AIG, by Lehman Brothers - even with their generosity.

10. Older societies are more peaceful than younger societies. Make peace as you grow older. Old men don’t go to war. It is the brave who dies young. “Where have all the flowers gone?” speaks the youth cut down in their prime. All wars – ancient, religious, political – the young is the sacrificial lamb. People as they grow older can’t simply be made easy tools for power and greed. .

11. Expanded family ties; three generations not in a row, but in a chain. For the first time in the history of man that four three generations live under one roof. And soon four generations - as longevity increases. While in the city the family is getting small, agrarian families is expanding because of longer life span.

12. Scientific and technological thrusts are toward ageing, longevity: rejuvenation, on-site cloning of tissues and organs, ergonomics (designing tools and materials that fits well to the comfort of the user) - geriatrics, gerontology (all about the science and caring of the aged.)

13. Extension of retirement, active retirement – this is the trend today for old people. Soldiers become security guards; teachers become professor emeritus, executives as consultants, professions doing odd jobs. Age of retirement is not after all boring. So when does one really retire?

14. Foster, adopt, and have the needy, the homeless, the orphaned, the abandoned as your own children especially if you are childless. Even then, by the time you are very old, your children shall then be on their own. Be like Brad Pit and Angelina Jolie who have adopted children of different color. Sponsor scholarships for the deserving but are unable to pursue their studies.

15. Resurrection and immortality are myths. Humans will always remain mortals. More than a hundred corpses of rich Americans are in cryonic tanks waiting for the time to resurrect the. DNA extracted from cadavers and human fossils will never make a living replica of the departed or deceased.

Famous Filipino writers (left to right): Sedfrey Ordoñez, Ophelia A Dimalanta, Hortencia Santos Sankore, Larry Francisco, and Jose Garcia Villa

16. Life cycle is universal given to everything, living or non-living. But with man’s rationality we can plot our life cycle, on so many socio-economic matters. The late Justice Secretary Ordoñez wrote a book, Life Cycle. He said the inevitable is biological, but the way we live our lives, is within much under our control and will. “Men choose to live long which they have no control of, yet refuse to live nobly within their will.” So said the great Roman Philosopher Cicero.

17. Nature is selfish within your lifetime – you care so much for those close to your genes, to the point of dying for them. But nature, after you are gone is altruistic after you are gone; it distributes your genes to where they will most fit in the name of evolution through which a species should be best equipped in order to survive. We can hardly trace our family tree beyond the third generation. Where are the offspring of the pharaohs, of the King of Siam?

Severino Reyes a.k.a. Lola Basyang, wrote his first story for children at the age of 75. He wrote hundreds of children's stories for the stage, comic books and cinema.   Top TV hosts and artists Ms Lisa Macuja and Luz Fernandez (Lola Basyang) perform on screen and stage Severino Reyes' Obra Maestra -  Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang. 

18. Kindness is key to fulfillment; it is also the Golden Rule. “Treat an old man as you wish men to treat you when you are old.” Say Chaucer in Pardoner’s Tale. But be kind yourself as an old man or woman. And that kindness must be unconditional. ARK in Evan the Almighty means – Act of Random Kindness. That’s the way to change the world, so said God in that film.

 Fr James Reuter SJ, playwright, author, spiritual adviser
and Ramon Magsaysay Awardee, remained active way past ninety.

19. Don’t just pass people along the way. Stop, help them, feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, visit the imprisoned, clothe the naked, comfort the lonely, and heal the sick. In Matthew 25, Christ said, “What you have done to the least of my brother, you have done it to me.” Indeed this is the most meaning act of a human to humanity. You deserve a place in heaven.

20. Facing death is a beautiful thing to one who has reached old age. It’s like a candle in its final brightness. Angelus to the old who is dying unifies the family, gathers the broken fragments of relationships. Bonding is strengthened. It’s time for the living to say the kindest things about the departed. Let the occasion be a memorable and lasting one. Dying is leaving to the living a new hope, renewed love, and a new beginning.

x x x

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fishing for Peace of Mind

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday
"Through years of fishing I have counted the blessing of this sport by good health and peace of mind - my biggest catch ever." AVR

Saturday 4:00 am
A hurried coffee anticipates your thoughts in the anchored boat. The shore wakes up very early with returning night fishermen. You receive “Lucky fishing” more casually than “Bon Voyage.”

5:00 am
You anchor at 10 to 30 fathoms, your companion calculates by sixth sense. Your other companion: absolute silence. By now the fish stirs to dawn and appetite. Cast your line.

5:30 am
The fish bites. The line jerks and grows taut. Tug to drive the hook in and pull but give a little line if he goes for a wild run. Ready the scoop net, and land him in. Probably your heart jumped with a seven-pound bite, a five-pound pull, but you get only a two-pound grouper or sea trout.

6:00 am
Your second or third catch, your partner’s fourth or twelfth. And he is not unusually excited. The sea is creaseless now except for ripples of small fishes chased by larger species. Occasionally a game fish stirs or a tortoise, which feeds of drifting weeds, pops its head out and lets a heavy sigh. Flying fishes playfully glide and splash in kaleidoscope colors. You squint at the early sun.

8:00 am
You try trawling. Your partner checks bearing for distance and location and idles the engine. Your line dangles far and you hold it firm as your boat makes the rounds. You feel a tug, give an arm’s length or two of line to allow the fish to take a big bite. When the fight begins, your companion instinctively pulls the boat to a stop and you continue pulling. Play with wit. It’s dorado, carelessly strong and fast. Tire him first for easier landing.

10:00 am
The sun beats on your Mexican-rim hat and old long sleeve. You reach for cold drinks and sandwich. You see boats, perhaps a dozen, each to its own. Fishing is a highly individual sport.

11;00 am
You return and dock in. Tie your catch through the gill. Feel the weight of the bunch at your heart’s content. Somewhere around the corner men talk about the big fish that got away.

It is time to cook your catch. Broiled fish and sinigang are best for a family picnic on a weekend.

It is unthinkable that a fisherman dares to be alone at sea, aware that his life is being dependent on a defenseless frail craft. Yet freedom and love for adventure dominate all dangers, as if by going to sea he satisfies an ancient craving.

Here he seeks contemplation to break a prosaic life style. Or escape heavy social demands. The fishing line, like a communication wire, carries messages outside of convention and even rational matters. It connects two worlds – the deep and modern man. The game is primitive but it is played with fair rules.

Ernest Hemingway’s character in The Old Man and the Sea dramatizes the ritual. To wit.

“He felt neither strain nor weight, and he held the line tightly. Then it came again. This time it was a tentative pull, neither solid nor heavy, and he knew exactly what it was. One hundred fathoms – down a marlin was eating the sardine that covered the point and the shank of the hook. He was happy, feeling the gentle pulling, and then, he felt something, hard and unbelievably heavy. It was the weight of the fish and he let the line slip down, down, down, unrolling off the first of the two reserve coils. As it went down, slipping lightly through the old man’s fingers, he still could feel the great weight, though the pressure of his thumb and finger were already almost imperceptible…”

Much is said of great men who were fishermen in leisure, or in deep thoughts. Darwin and Newton changed the history of the world with their discoveries. The greatest Teacher who ever lived was a fisherman. Ideas are the greatest catch.

Through the years of fishing, or casting, and occasional big time fishing, I have counted the blessing of the sport not by my average or biggest catch, but by good health, better insight of personal values, and brighter outlook in life.

I believe that our faculties are sharpened by meditative moments through which we subconsciously sooner or later, find ourselves with more resolve to the assigned task of daily living. Incubation of ideas is like building a structure. It takes place during contemplative moments. Why many decisions are put off until after well-spent weekend?

Fishing reminds us of humility. I was boasting of my first catch. Later, I realized it cannot even qualify for an amateur’s record. Didn’t I laugh at a fisherman who hauled a chunk of coral he believed to be a big fish? The day after that, I came home empty handed and nearly lost my life at sea and he was so sorry to hear about the incident.

Millions over the world enjoy this lifetime sport. “Once a fisherman, a fisherman forever,” so goes the saying.

When the rivers and brooks run with fresh upstream water, the ponds full, and where freshwater meets the sea, or after a tempest, or during new moon, go find your fish.

Although luck plays a good part, yet experience and knowledge are no substitute. Nobody though, becomes perfect at fishing there is always something new to learn, and often it is the sixth sense that works better.

Harmony with Nature, the key to peace of mind and happiness, is probably the ultimate in fishing. Isaac Walton, father of this sport, lives with his song:

In these flowery mead would be,
These crystal streams would solace me;
To whose harmonious bubbling noise,
I with my angle would rejoice.” ~

The author's long time fishing companion, the late Melecio Martinez, proudly shows a rich catch to a curious boy - who, too, may find someday fishing a meditative sport.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Control coconut beetle by broadcasting sand into the leaf axils.

Silica penetrates into the delicate tissues of the insect. As a result its injury leads to dehydration and infection, and consequently death.
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

Rhinocerus beetle (Oryctes rhinocerus) is a scourge of coconut,drastically reducing production, if not killing the tree at any stage. Right, a healthy tree can produce up to 50 nuts every two month.   
Mode of attack by both the larva (grub) and the adult characterized by boring into the very heart of the crown destroying the unopened bud leaves.  Right, damage bud after emergence. Heavy infestation results in the decapitation of the standing tree.  
Noticed that coconut trees growing along or close to sandy shores are seldom attacked by coconut beetle - Oryctes rhinoceros, a scourge of coconut whose larva and adult burrow into the bud and destroy the whole top or crown of the tree.

Farmers broadcast sand into the leaf axils of coconut trees in their early development stage until they have grown too tall to be reached.The scientific explanation to this practice is that sand (or silica, the raw material in making glass) is very sharp. Under the microscope each particle is a glass shard which can penetrate without difficulty the soft joints (conjunctiva) of the insect's armor. This is the insect's "Achilles heel," so to speak.

As the insect moves, the silica penetrates into the delicate tissues of the insect. As a result its injury leads to dehydration and infection, and consequently death.

If you have young coconuts growing at home and you find signs of the pest, scoop some sand and sprinkle it in between the leaf stalks - or axils. This is safer than using chemical insecticide. And you practically spend nothing, except work and patience.~

Palm Sunday is a nemesis to the coconut trees, and to the coconut industry, the mainstay of the Philippine economy in coconut-based areas. Thousands of trees are sacrificed for their young leaves made into paslaspas during Palm Sunday (Holy Week).  Young trees are killed for the bud leaves as well as for the the core or ubod which is made into fresh lumpia, a popular delicacy.

Coconut tree stripped of their young leaves for palaspas are easy target of the coconut beetle. The inflicted wound attracts the fecund female rhinoceros beetle to lay eggs, and the wound serves as entry for the newly hatch grubs which ultimately will bore and destroy the tree. Adult beetles are likewise lured to attack wounded trees.  Analogous to this is that, after a typhoon, infestation rises sharply.  Weakened condition of wounded trees exacerbate the damage which leads to premature death.  Coconut trees are known to live productively for fifty years,and even longer.  
Today there's a serious pest of coconut - Scale Insects (Aspidiotus destructor). Several provinces particularly in Region 4 have been placed under emergency. Harvesting young leaves of coconut for handicraft, culinary, palaspas, and the like, further predisposes infested coconut trees to succumb.  The young leaves are the ultimate defence when the older leaves are heavily infested with the scale insect. 

Malunggay bark is remedy for wounds

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

The bark of malunggay (Moringa oleifera) is an effective remedy for wounds inflicted by poisonous fish such as stonefish, Bangkok catfish (hito) and, samaral (malaga Ilk).

Scrape bark of malunggay and make a poultice (soft moist mass spread over the wound). You may use cloth or bandage to keep it in place. Remove when pain subsides. Get medical attention if wound is serious.

Malunggay has antiseptic antimicrobial properties, and refreshing effect. 
Malunggay poultice is also used on minor wounds and skin disorders, it relieves pain and discomfort.

 Acknowledgement: Photo at right from Internet

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Take red or muscovado sugar instead of white or refined sugar. You'll live longer and healthier.

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday
Rural folks would rather eat panocha or muscovado, which is likened to whole grain with the bran intact (e.g. pinawa rice and whole wheat flour).  When sugar is refined, the very vitamins and minerals needed by our body’s metabolism are removed, going with the molasses which we usually use as feeds for animals.  

Healthy snack with muscovado sugar, panocha (twirled muscovado), native chocolate, and sweet potato or kamote.  

Sugar consumed in its natural state (like fruits and grains) are broken down and slowly released into the bloodstream, in a manner our body can program its assimilation.  But refined sugar raises the blood sugar rapidly.  This rush is followed by an equally rapid crash that often leaves us feeling tired, irritable or depressed.  As energy falls, our response is to reach for more sugar to perk us up. 

The sudden rise and fall of our blood sugar causes emotional instability, confusion, dizziness, and headache.  Over-consumption of sugar can trigger a craving similar to the physiological dependence produced by drugs. These symptoms, along with drowsiness, forgetfulness, or general “spaced-out” feeling are typical symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Adrenaline is released during the body’s chemical chain reaction triggered by eating excess refined sugar, creating a stress throughout our body and mind. Sugar also depresses the activity of our white blood cells, lowering our resistance to infection. It may lead to the development of diabetes. For this reason many oriental nutritionists call refined sugar a “white poison.” 

Muscovado is unrefined sugar with the natural flavor, color and aroma of sugarcane juice from which it is made.

The Calorie value of muscovado is 11 per teaspoonful (4 grams). Muscovado retains much of the natural minerals and vitamins present in sugarcane juice. The juice, expressed by traditional means, is slowly heated until it dries into a golden yellow to brown color, retaining 4-5 percent moisture. Mineral and Vitamin content of Muscovado Sugar (mg per 100g):

· Total mineral salts 740
· Phosphorus (P) 3-4
· Calcium (Ca) 75-95
· Magnesium (Mg) 13-23
· Potassium (K) 15-150
· Iron (Fe) 1.3
· Vitamin B1, B2, B6, Niacin and Pantothenic acid.

This product is free from any harmful chemicals such as formic acid, sulfur dioxide, preservatives, any flocculants, surfactants, bleaching agents or viscosity modifiers.

It came from non-genetically modified sugarcane variety (non-GMO), organically grown to full maturity. Shelf life is 6 to 10 months in air-tight container under room temperature.

Next time you take coffee, make suman or bibingka, or simply "sweeten your tooth," say muscovado - instead of just azucar.  It's a little difficult to pronounce, but it's good for your health. ~

Grecian Life

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio

738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday
Young Spartans at play by Edgar Degas 

A healthy mind in a healthy body,
the Spartans showed it all the way,
and you carried on the living torch,
the discipline and all that it may

to instill, to inspire, to build.
What greater Glory that was Greece
were it not for posterity?
Else the Pierian Spring be missed.

The gym, the field, the vast open,
classroom anywhere, even the dungeon;
lessons unwritten, they are performed;
skill and grace rise above hands-on.

Once a teacher always a teacher, they say;
faith and wisdom and age -
trio, the most treasured as you grow,
for old age alone means little to a sage.~

Dedicated to my co-teachers: Prof Babes Lacap and company, on the occasion of the traditional annual Sportfest held at St Paul University QCEdgar Degas (1834 –1917), a French artist, regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism although he rejected the term, and preferred to be called a realist, especially identified with the subject of the dance. His mastery in the depiction of movement, as do his racecourse subjects and female nudes are notable for their psychological complexity and depiction of human isolation. (Google Ad, Wikipedia)

50 Verses of Meditation

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

For class reading with background music of Meditation (From the Thais), by Massenet. Teacher sets the sequence in meditative mood.

Fr Miguel Benavides, founder University of Santo Tomas (1611)

1. When the skies cry and tears fall,
The grass is greener, so with the soul.

2. The rain pelts on the faces of children
Turned heavenward. Look my brethren.

3. Walks he alone in the rain singing,
Whether the wind's cool or the sun peeping.

4. If I'm responsible for what I tame,
Would I have a choice of only the lame?

5. A gentle breeze came through a lid;
Where's the window when the wall's solid?

6. Pray, but if Thor holds back the lightning bolts,
We may not have mushroom and the jolts.

7. Hush! Suddenly the world became still;
Gone is the lark or the raven on the sill.

8. Saxon wall, each turret a guard-
Now empty, lonely is war afterward.

9. Radial symmetry starts from the center,
That balances an outside force to enter.

10. What good is a lamp at the ledge?
Wait 'til the day reaches its edge.

11. In seeing our past we find little to share,
If the past is the present we're living in.

12. In abstract art you lose reality;
How then can I paint truth and beauty?

13. Brick wall, brick roof, brick stair,
Glisten in the rain, dull in summer air.

14.What's essential can't be seen by the eye
Like the faith of Keller and Captain Bligh.

15. Similar is rainbow and moth in flight
When you see them against the light.

  A slice of rainbow

16. From respite in summer fallow,
The fields start a season anew.

17. From green to gold the grains become
As they store the power of the sun.

18. Not all sand dunes for sure
Ends up on empty shore.

19. One little smoke tells the difference,
Like a faint pulse is life's reference.

20. It's collective memory that I'm a part
To write my life's story when I depart.

21. Lost time, lost opportunity and lost gain,
like passing wind that may not come again.

22. Who sees silver lining of clouds dark and bold
seeks not at rainbow's end a pot of gold.

23. A clenched fist softens under a blue sky
like high waves, after tempest, die.

24. When a flock of wild geese takes into the air
a leader must get ahead to break the barrier.

Swallows on wire. Florida Blanca, Pampanga

25. Even to a strong man, a little danger may create
the impression he's small or the problem is great.

26. In the doldrums or during sudden gusts,
the ship is much safer with a bare mast.

27. Wind, current, and keel make a perfect trio
only if they have one direction to follow.

28. You really can't tell where a sailboat goes
without keel, but to where the wind blows.

29. The sound of a yes may be deep or hollow,
and knowing it only by its own echo.

30. Walk, don't run, to see better and to know
the countryside, Mother Nature and Thou.~

31. We do not have the time, indeed an alibi
to indolence and loafing, letting time pass by.

Sun on a hazy day

32. As we undervalue ourselves, so do others
undervalue us. Lo, to us all little brothers.

33. Self-doubt at the start is often necessary
to seek perfection of the trade we carry.

34. What is more mean than envy or indolence
but the two themselves riding on insolence.

35. The worst kind of persecution occurs in the mind,
that of the body we can often undermine.

36. How seldom, if at all, do we weigh our neighbors
the way we weigh ourselves with the same favors?

37. Friendship that we share to others multiplies
our compassion and love where happiness lies.

38. Evil is evil indeed - so with its mirror,
while goodness builds on goodness in store.

39. That others may learn and soon trust you,
show them you're trustworthy, kind and true.

40. Kindness and gladness, these however small
are never, never put to waste at all.

41. Beauty seen once breaks a heart,
Wait for the image to depart.

42. Being right and reasonable;
Black or white, and measurable.

43. She's coy who speaks soft and light;
Smoke first before fire ignites.

44. Every promise you can't keep
Drags you into a deeper pit.

45. To endure pain of hatred,
A leader’s wisdom is dared.

46. Make believe prosperity;
Sound of vessel when empty.

47. Take from the ant or stork,
Patience is silence at work.

48. Good wine grows mellow with age;
Good man grows into a sage.

49. He finds reason for living
Who sees a new beginning.

50. Beauty builds upon beauty,
Ad infinitum to eternity. ~

Friday, June 20, 2014

There's gold in eucalyptus!

The eucalyptus bears the proverbial  golden leaves - pure gold particles one-fifth the diameter of human hair  embedded in the leaf veins! 
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), relative of the macopa (Eugenia jambalana) and duhat (Syzigium cumini) under Family Myrtaceae. Lagro QC 

 This towering eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus dwarfs the adjacent barangay hall, covered court, and high school buildings, yet she is unassuming. Her lanky nature with dull green foliage with a tinge of blue flimsily hanging like the weeping willow (Salix sp), does not stir much attention of passersby, not even residents around.  

No, she does not exude the regal pose of the narra (Dipterocarpus indicus), the Philippine national tree; the shady crown of the acacia (Samanea saman), the biggest legume in the world; and the coconut (Cocos nucifera), the miracle tree.  Paradoxically all these trees occupy the same compound, the center of barangay activities.

Even as the wind blows the eucalyptus has little confetti to throw, few notes to whistle, little shade to draw on the ground. Yet she is a living Panacea, the Greek goddess of universal remedy from insect bite to asthma to alleviation of mental and physical fatigue.  Her leaves have virtual cure-all power: antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and they exude volatile oil into the air and even as they lay on the ground. She keeps at bay vermin from mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, flea,ticks, to rodents.  Yet, unlike other pesticides, the volatile oil of eucalyptus is refreshing, soothing to the lungs, increasing oxygenation and blood circulation. 

Why, Indisposed feelings are gone! That pep is back! Where have all the flies gone? 
If there is a tree that is a must in the neighborhood, better on the backyard, it is this goddess tree Panacea.   

But wait, there is a hidden treasure in the leaves of eucalyptus, the proverbial "gold leaves," as shown by this photomicrograph.   Gold vein! Microdeposits of pure gold.  This new discovery is more important in gold prospecting where eucalyptus grows, indicating deep beneath the earth lies a "pot of gold."  Asked if it's worth collecting the leaves for gold - Australian scientists wryly said no.  The amount is too little to be worth the effort. Well, gold is gold.

Every time I look at a eucalyptus tree I see Panacea holding a gold leaf.  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Take this IQ Test on Analogies, Similarities, Opposites, and Odd Out Words

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog 
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

   Words, words, words - they come in analogies, similarities, opposites, odd out. Confusing, tricky, intriguing. They make good testing materials which we often encounter in IQ and other tests. Here are some examples. Answer them in one sitting, in say 10 minutes.

Albert Einstein, world's greatest genius  

You may adopt the patterns and come up with your own set of test materials for your class, research, group dynamics, or simply to spice up informal gatherings.

A. T
here are four terms in analogies. The first is related to the second term in the same way that the third is related to the fourth. Complete each analogy by picking two words from the four in parenthesis.

1. mother is to girl as (man, father, male, boy).
2. wall is to window as (glare, brick, face, eye).
3. island is to water as (without, center, diagonal, perimeter)
4. high is to deep as (sleep, cloud, float, coal)
5. form is to content as (happiness, statue, marble, mold).

B. Similarities. Pick the two words in each line with the most similar meaning.

6. lump. wood, ray, beam
7. collect, remember, concentrate, gather
8. idle, lazy, impeded, indolent
9. divert, arrange, move, amuse
10. antic, bucolic, drunk, rustic
C. Opposites. In each line below pick the two words which are most nearly opposite in meaning.

11. short, length, shorten, extent, extend
12. intense, extensive majority, extreme, diffuse
13. punish, vex, pinch, ignore, pacify
14. reply, tell, relate, disconnect, refute
15. intractable, insensate, tract, obedient, disorderly 

D. Odd Out. Pick the two words which have commonality, from the rest in the group.

16. knife, razor, scissors, needle, lance
17. bravery, disgust, faith, energy, fear
18. prosody, geology, philosophy, physiology, physics
19. glue, sieve, pickaxe, screw, string
20. receptionist, draftsman, psychiatrist, blacksmith

1. father, boy
2. face, eye
3. center, perimeter
4. cloud, coal (one is found high above the earth, the other deep within it)
5. statue, marble (these are examples of form and content)
6. ray, beam
7. collect, gather
8. lazy, indolent
9. divert, amuse
10. bucolic, rustic
11. shorten, extend
12. intense, diffuse
13. vex, pacify
14. relate, disconnect
15. intractable, obedient
16. needle, lance (the others have sharp edges)
17. disgust, fear (emotions; the others are virtues)
18. prosody, philosophy (aspects of literary culture; the others are sciences)
19. sieve, pickaxe (these separate things; the others fix them together)
20. receptionist, psychiatrist (main work is dealing with people; the others deal with things)

Acknowledgment: How intelligent are you? by V Serebriakoff

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Lighter Side of Life - Slip of the Tongue

Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature School on Blog 
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday                                             
Dolphy, Philippine legend in comedy

Charlie Chaplin, pioneer in cinema comedy
  • Chairs! I mean Cheers!
  • How are you to die? You mean, How are you today?
  • How do I love three, let me count the ways. (From a favorite English poem by Robert Browning). You mean thee. Wrong spelling may be fatal.
  • It was raining cats and dogs, and there were poodles in the road. Puddles, you mean.
  • Joseph, the Dreamer came all the way from Canada. Canaan, you mean.
  • "Name two pronouns." Inattentive student: Who? Me?
  • Genetics: Cross an elephant with a fish. Swimming trunk. HehHeh!
  • What are your parents' name? "Papa and Mama." Baby talk.
  • A quorum is a place to keep fish in. You mean aquarium.
  • Elizabeth Aye, Aye Aye! You mean, Elizabeth III.
  • Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. Of course not; it was hemlock, a poisonous plant. Respect the fodder of philosophy. Again, please - father.
  • In mathematics, Persia gave the dismal point. It would be dismal indeed without the decimal point.
  • William Tell invented the telephone. Of course, not. It was Graham Bell. And the bell was invented long before him.
  • Home wasn't built in a day. So with Greece.
  • "Here lies my captain, fallen cold and deed." You may perfect in reciting "Oh, Captain! My Captain!" yet fail to get the audience accolyte just for one mispronounced word. Accolade, sorry.
  • A good reader should not rob the people who erected him. (A Japanese commenting on leadership).
  • "Ako'y palopalo, burakrak naman ako." Chinese and Japanese mixed up in singing a popular Philippine song. [I am a butterfly (paroparo); and I am a flower bulaklak)]
  • All about corn: Mais (mother corn), corny (baby corn), pop corn (father corn), maestra (teacher corn)
  • Spouse is not the singular of spice, but mouse is to mice. Child – children; chicken-chickens. Queer English.
  • Capillary is a little caterpillar. Parasite is a kind of umbrella. Collective noun – garbage can
  • I liquidate you from all blame. The marriage was illegible. She dresses very auspicious. She is related to me by animosity.
  • Who likes history? Do you have a copy of “Caesar’s Garlic Wars?” Louis XVI was gelatined. (Gaelic, guillotined). Feminine of history – herstory. Women’s Lib!
  • An enthusiastic chef to customers: “Try our new menu. It is a real threat.”
  • “I hope I don’t protrude.” A fellow who knows little English was apologetic on learning only ladies were invited to a party. He is, but the right world is intrude.
  • A minister wanted to sell six second-hand organs which had just arrived from Germany in order to raise fund for his church. So during the homily he announced, “I have sex organs. They are slightly used…” He didn’t sell any.
  • Elderly teacher: "Pedro, I am beautiful - what is the tense." Looking at his teacher innocently, "Past tense, ma'am."
  • "Spell egg." "E-egg-egg."  Necktie? N-e-c-ki-ti-hi-he  Elephant?  "e as in elephant, el as in elephant, e as in elephant again, .... I forgot ma'am"
  • "Chemical formula of water?" "H2O, ma'am." Teacher to inattentive pupil: "What is H2O?"  "HIJKLMO, ma'am."  
  • Psychologist: "Please tell me, it looks like you depressed?"  Patient: "No Doctor, I am the priest."
  • And here are some overused double bladed words. noisepapertongressmandemocrazy "Government off the people, buy the people and poor the people."
References: Living with Nature 3, AVRJokes, Quotes and One-Liners for Public Speakers, Prochnow HV and HV Prochnow Jr, 1897, 1931

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Burying fruits in ash, sand or sawdust delays ripening.

    Dr Abe V Rotor

In the countryside where there are no modern facilities for storage, farmers have devised methods of storage to increase the shelf life of fruits, and allow them to ripen properly. One method is to cover the fruits, such as tomatoes, mango and bananas with ash or sawdust.

Still life in Pastel, by Anna Christina Rotor 

To show the effectiveness of this practice, scientists at UPLB stored tomatoes (Pope variety), for the duration of one to two weeks, in rice hull ash in two preparations – one moist and the other dry.  Tomatoes stored in dry ash ripened faster, while tomatoes stored in moist ash ripened slower and showed a more uniform and deeper red color.  The tomatoes were also heavier and firmer than those stored in dry ash.  Tomatoes that were simply stored by piling suffered significant losses and that ripening was uneven. The colors of the fruits were pale red and predominantly yellow.

It was an old practice I observed among vegetable traders who ship green Pope tomatoes grown in Claveria (Cagayan de Oro) all the way to La Trinidad Valley in Benguet by boat and truck. The tomatoes were laid open in the cool air, until they ripened into bright red color.  They were then individually wiped with waxed cloth, assorted and returned to their crates and marked Baguio Tomatoes. Tomatoes that ripened on the way, which normally takes about a week, turned into yellow to orange color and were priced much lower than those ripened in the cool highland air.

We can only imagine the high cost and difficulty of shipping the fruits all the way from Mindanao via Manila pier to the Benguet, then transporting the commodity back to Manila where they are sold. Now there is a substitute to this practice.  Tomatoes can be delayed in ripening and that they ripen uniformly into red color when stored in moist rice hull ash. ~

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Landscapes of Values

 Ladder and Circle Models
Dr Abe V Rotor
Ladder of Values
It is called Maslow's Hierarchy of Motives or Needs, or Ladder of Values. Whichever term is used, the principle is the same: man rises from biological existence to social integration - then to self-fulfillment and self-commitment - or actualization. which is often associated with honor, martyrdom or heroism, the highest level of human achievement. It is on this level that greatness is achieved - the greatness of Gandhi, Rizal, Mandela, Mother Teresa et al.  That is why we regard them as models in searching for the meaning of life - "Why am I here?" 

There is a scholarly book, Man's Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl, a first hand account as prisoner in a Nazi camp during the second World War. He introduced the term logotherapy, a tool for survival in extreme condition. Most of the prisoners who survived the ordeal were those who saw meaning in their lives beyond the camp. It's a way of comparing contemporary issues.  Live life with a purpose, with a goal beyond present circumstances.  

Circles of Values

It's not only ascendant, but the series of concentric realms increase in size in  a figure-tabular matrix.  Primordial is man's concern for himself for the day, followed by man's concern for his family and tomorrow.  Corollarily, as man looks farther - into his own lifetime and to that of his children and children's children, his horizon of concern or involvement  increases. people are divided by their concern. For example, the issue about the European Union facing financial difficulties means little - if at all - to an ordinary worker. He would rather focus his attention on ways of meeting his family's needs. 
A push-cart picker was having his usual round in a park. He scavenged anything he could sell to a junk shop. In a rare occasion he found lady luck.  He tore a bronze statue including the marker.  Just as he was about to leave, the police caught him. 

When asked during the interrogation "Why did you destroy the statue?" he simply quipped "I only wanted to sell the bronze for food." ~
There is an analogy of "Tell me your friends and I'll tell you who you are."  You know a person by his perspective in life.  We may gauge him by the book he reads, the TV program he watches, by his interest in world opinion, More so in his personal philosophy on issues such as environmental summit, nuclear threat by Iran and North Korea, deleterious effect of genetic engineering to the natural world. But how firm are his values?  

The other side of midnight comes stealthily and may not spare the unwary and smart Alec.  Victims are not few, and they are not ordinary people. How many heads of state had their heads rolled at the end. Lately the president of Liberia was sentenced to 50 years of imprisonment. We don't have to go far.  The fate of Saddam Hussein, Ali of Tunisia, Mubarak of Egypt, Gaddaffi of Libya leaves us indellible lessons. Milosevic died in his cell in the Hague before the International Court of Justice could pronounce a verdict of guilty of his crime against humanity. Regarded living heroes died villains. Scandal rocked two of the world's biggest institutions led by Strauss Khan of World Bank, and Murdoch, media tycoon.  Magistrates lost face because they lied.  False medal, fake title, illegal business, unexplainable wealth, and the like, have ruined lives, left ghosts haunting for other victims. 

Does the ladder of values work? How about the other landscape - circle of values?  

Yes, they do. The light of the world comes from values.  It comes from the Boy who saved Holland. From  William Tell bravely hitting the apple on the head of his son in order to gain freedom. From Heidi, the orphan girl on the Alps who brought joy to lonely and sick people. From The Man with a Hoe, gazing into the horizon after a hard day's work is regarded Realism over and above Romanticism. And from The Little Prince comes out now and then to guide us out of life's wasteland.~