Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Vulture and a Child: A Surreal Fable and Saddest Picture - is it? A critique-analysis

UST-AB Photography
Dr Abe V Rotor
I wish to share the result of a discussion with my students in photography and friends in the academe and public service regarding this celebrated photograph. It will no doubt arouse the same pathetic feeling and revulsion, but photographs if grossly browsed like a passing glance may not give the true picture. How I wish we are right in your own judgment. 

Upper photo, enlarged for clarity and study; lower photo is original from the Internet. 
Even the saddest condition this photo portrays has some light of hope that the real situation is not really that worst.

First, the setting of the photo is a community. The grass huts, version of our bahay kuho, typical in farming communities, are huddled into a compound or neighborhood, likely the dwellings of a large family or related members of a tribe.

Second, the photo was taken towards the end of harvest. The harvest is now stored in the shacks after it has been threshed or shelled. Grains are visible over the threshing ground. And it seems gleaning can wait - if ever to be done at all. Which means the harvest is not really bad. Note the normal size of the stovers of sorghum or corn lying on the field and those piled in stack or mandala among the huts apparently stored as buffer stock.

Third, the trees form cozy woodland in spite of the dry condition that characterizes harvestime. Trees usually grow where there is a good source of water, probably a stream or basin which serves as sump for irrigation. (Note the irrigation levee of the field, like the pilapil of our rice paddy. It is likely that the levee is for retaining water from rain, but could serve for flash irrigation as well.) The closer the trees grow, and the wider the area they occupy, means water is readily available throughout the year. In all indications the woodland is a permanent feature of the landscape. It shows the features of an ecosystem – permanence and diversity.

Fourth, in a drought stricken area where people are occasionally driven to famine, the signs of destruction of the place are visible. Trees would be stripped of their foliage, whole trees cut for firewood, people abandoning destroyed homes, and nothing is green. Soil cracks, bushfire remains are evident. But here in the photo the fields bear new growth, some patches of grass, which means that rain is not totally absent or that the ground is bone dry.

Fifth, the vulture is a popular part of the savannah landscape. They have learned to frequent farms, pastures, and villages, and mingle with living things while scavenging in the process. Our concept of wild animals may be exaggerated such as a lion devouring an antelope, or a shark suddenly attacking a swimmer on the beach. Through adaptation, and ingrained in a particular culture, such fear is uncommon to the natives of the place. The relationship of the vulture and the boy in the photo shows no strain on neither part. The vulture keeps a comfortable distance without any sign of aggression or ritual behavior of a predator. Often, vultures are gregarious, and very seldom does one venture alone, especially if there is potential food at hand.

Sixth, the boy is very much alive. He may be thin, but this is common among inhabitants of arid regions. Also, parents don't pamper their children like we do. But they are equally if not more caring and loving. Note the necklace of the child. It could be a tribal insignia or indicator of social standing. Independence and curiosity often go together. Could he be playing? Or just curious at a thing? The apparent absence of fear in the boy is as instinctive as fear itself in the verge of dying. In the latter, too, instinct draws out the ultimate defense of self preservation, whether one young or old – which does not show in the child.

Seventh, community life in rural villages is an extension of family life. Abandonment is very rare. In general the poorer people are, the closer they are bonded biologically and as a community. And it is difficult to rationalize ones way out from collective responsibility. It is unthinkable to leave a young kid alone treading towards a distant feeding camp, when in the first place he has no idea what it is about, more so on how to get there. Could the photo have been scripted?

Eighth, if the photographer did nothing to save the boy as alleged, could it be for the aforementioned reasons? That there was no imminent danger of a vulture about to attack the kid soon after he would breath his last? (Vulture do not prey on living things, they are scavengers). The photographer must have gauged well the situation before he left the place. The ethics of journalism is to uphold human dignity. It is sensitive to human rights and freedom. It is compassionate and humane. These set media on a plane of high respect and caliber. It is unthinkable to attribute the author’s sad fate to his own inaction.

Ninth, The UN could not have missed a basic responsibility as it is known for its thoroughness and comprehensive manner of handling such a sensitive operation, networking with institutions, communities, and known leaders. The presence of a photographer in the area is proof enough that the area is not isolated or abandoned. Also, it is unthinkable for one to put another into a bad light amidst crisis.

Tenth, the impact of the photo broke silence and indifference of the world on victims of circumstances. There must have been some vestiges of projecting compassion, or even draw ire and anger, but as a whole the photo is a reminder of the oneness of humanity, that when someone dies, a little bit is each member also dies; and for the victory of one however modest it may be, makes everyone feel triumphant. The ability of mankind to succeed in all its trials has been the result of such beautiful unity and harmony. Which the child and the vulture brought new light and fresh reminder. ~ 

Padas, a rare specialty but ecologically unfriendly

Ecologically we are destroying the species every time we patronize padas bagoong. One kilo of padas probably amounts to several hundreds of individual fish that potentially mature in six months time reaching up to one kilo apiece. The mature padas is malaga (Ilk) or samaral, one of the tastiest fish in the world.  It is prized by the Chinese in celebration of the Chinese New Year. To Filipinos - and other Asians - serving samaral during Holy Week and fiestas is a status symbol. The price of samaral in the market is twice or thrice that of ordinary fish.
Dr Abe V Rotor 
Padas is the fry of spinefoot or rabbitfish, locally known as Malaga or samaral (right), mainly of the species Siganus canaliculatus and S. concatenates and S corallinus and S. spinus  

The white spotted siganid Siganus canaliculatus (Park, 1797), locally known as “danggit”, is one of the most important and heavily exploited fish species in the country, with adults and juveniles often targeted for boneless production, and post-larvae sizes (padas) for fish paste or bagoong, a popular condiment. Right, dried fish market of danggit, dilis (anchovies), alamang (small shrimps) 

Padas is the fry of spinefoot or rabbitfish, locally known as Malaga or samaral. mainly of the species Siganus canaliculatus and S. concatenates and S corallinus and S. spinus. These species occur in schools in coastal areas around rocky and corals feeding on phytoplankton and browsing on seaweeds and seagrasses. They grow up to 280 mm. They tolerate a wide range of salinity that they enter rivers or go down to the open sea.

Spinefoots or rabbit fishes are members of the Siganidae family. There is only a single genus, Siganus with 32 member-species worldwide. They are found in the Indo-Pacific and eastern Mediterranean oceans, living in shallow coastal waters to a depth of 50 meters. They can be recognized based on pelvic fins with 2 spines (one strong inner and one outer spine, with 3 soft rays in between). Spinefoots are diurnal herbivores that feed on benthic algae. They can be found living in pairs or in school of up to 15 members.

Caution in handling the fish based on the author’s personal experience: The samaral has very sharp and venomous spine on the dorsal, anal and pelvic fins.  The spines can cause a very sharp pain, bleed and numbness (especially when the fish is alive), but they are not fatal. Handling of the fish with hand is done by holding the gill covers, or the widespread dorsal fin.  In this way the fish becomes docile and normally does not attempt to struggle.
When passing through Urdaneta and Villasis towns of Pangasinan you find padas bagoong in bottles sold on the shelf or by peddlers. Sometimes the small fish is beautifully arranged in rows covering the entire bottle. How skillfully and patiently is the art done considering how small the fry is. Those familiar with the product prefer seasoned bagoong  over a newly made one. Like wine, seasoned bagoong is better. They know it if the fish are well settled in the bottle with an appreciable amount of patis appearing as a distinct layer on top. On the other hand, the patis of raw bagoong is at the bottom or middle of the bottle, and if there is too much of it, they know that the product is diluted with water.

Next time a vendor offers padas, think of the tiny fish as the potential tasty malaga or samaral which grows up to a kilo apiece. Harvesting the fry (padas) and its juvenille (danggit) is an opportunity loss for the fish to increase in number and maintain a stable population level, and to grow fully and become affordable to the ordinary consumer. Harvesting of padas and danggit should be regulated, if not banned.  Conservation of this threatened species starts with us.~

Acknowledgement: Wikipedia, Internet; Conlu P V 1986 FishesGuide to Philippine Flora and Fauna Series.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

UST-AB Photography: Life must go on - and on.

Exhibited photographs by students in Communication Art, University of Santo Tomas 
Prepared the caption of each of three photos of your choice.

Life must go on.

Ad Infinitum to Doom

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 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday
Kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra). Heavy fruiting indicates coming drought and poor crop yield. 

When a tree dies, a rivulet dies;
When a rivulet dies, a stream dies;
When a stream dies, a river dies;
When a river dies, a lake dies;
When a lake dies, a valley dies;
When a valley dies, a town dies
Ad infinitum to final doom.

x x x

"Cities in the Sky" - Boom or Doom?

134 cities with the most high-rise buildings

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 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

Acknowledgement: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article's factual accuracy is disputed. Please help to ensure that disputed statements are reliably sourced. (October 2013)

Burj Khalifa in Doha, Qatar - soon to be the tallest buildings in the world 

Do you like to live in a high-rise building in a big city?
A self-analysis based on 20 scenarios. 
Dr Abe V Rotor

You would feel you are on top of the world, and in Cloud 9 dreaming, detached from the rest of humanity and the realities of life;

You will be dependent for most of your daily activities on technology, and on hired services and remote control gadgets;

You will not have neighbors in the traditional sense built by natural communities, but by acquaintances and circumstances;

You will be living most likely alone, or with others incidental to your work; your quarters as residence and workplace;

You will learn to tolerate the effects of changing pressure on fast lanes and elevator, but not its ill consequences;

You will learn to defeat fear of living in a high rise building, but unable to erase the worst scenario of an earthquake;

You will be accustomed with locations, directions, floor numbers, hour of the day, yet get disoriented not without embarrassment;   

You will be using credit cards, take advantage of the convenience of e-mails, e-commerce,
e-learning, and the ethic of self-service;

You will not know when the sun rises or sets behind heavy curtain; and aware only of the direction and views your window faces; 

You will learn to live with the danger of possible disaster with worst scenarios depicted in movies, and the 9-11 Twin Tower tragedy;            

You will learn to live without touching the ground much less the garden soil, pick flowers and fruits, sit on the grass, except on occasions; 

You will soon forget what a tobacco plant looks like, if apple mango is a hybrid, how to make kites that fly; if toads also croak;

You will be seeing your doctor now and then for unexplained ailments, and he will tell you the air above the city is stale; it's smog;

You will have to go to the gym to lose weight, avoid fast foods and overeating, and fight off psychological appetite and sedentary living;  

You will find it difficult to tell if your condo, studio, apartment, suite, is truly a home with your family - or just temporary, or for investment; 

You dare not think The Day After Tomorrow is a true story, not even a futuristic one, yet know for certain that cities are the main targets of war;

You seem to see the world fleeting with The Good Life, frivolous and prosaic, unaware of the passing of seasons, and inevitability of getting old;  

You can hardly trace your roots save immediate relatives because of transience, change of domicile, and acculturation;

You think you have reached the peak of civilization; you can't imagine yourself to be living in Castaway, Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson;   

You will keep your faith in the Almighty but feel less attached to organized religion in the light of spiritual enlightenment and freedom;  

You feel you are on top of the world, and in Cloud 9, longing to be part of humanity again, and face the grim realities of life.~ 
Tallest buildings by comparison
 Tallest buildings in the world in a composite satellite image. It used to be that only the Great Wall of China is the only man made structure that can be seen from the moon with the naked eye. Now the great cities and tall building complexes are a common sight from the moon glowing in the dark space like a star, and beaming with sunlight on a clear day.  
Neo-Tower of Babel - the Two-Mile-High Ultima Tower.  Actually, it's a concept as old as in paleolithic times when humans became really humans some 2.6 million years ago when whole mountains were carved into cave dwellings and communities.  Put them together in a compact scale, and you have the proto-Ultima tower - even higher and wider, cum subterranean and towering superstructures and networkings.  While all these manifest human genius and creativity, the syndrome of the biblical tragedy - the Fall of the Tower of Babel - will always haunt mankind of its vulnerability -  and eventual doom.            
 New York
This is a list of cities with the most high-rise buildings. 
A high-rise is defined as a structure at least 35 meters (115 ft) or 12 stories tall. Cities with 100 or more high-rise buildings are listed here.

Rank      City             Country          Buildings       Population
1          Hong Kong  Hong Kong       7,896        7,061,200
2          Singapore   Singapore        6,959        5,312,400
3          New York United States      6,504        8,336,897
4          São Paulo  Brazil                6,467       11,316,149
5          Caracas[3] Venezuela        3,864         5,962,259
6          Moscow  Russia                3,754       10,452,000
7          Seoul South Korea             2,955       10,421,782
8          Rio de Janeiro Brazil          2,947         6,161,047
9          Tokyo Japan                     2,779       13,001,279
10        Toronto  Canada                2,511         2,791,140
11        Istanbul Turkey                  2,439       11,372,613
12        Mumbai  India                    2,299       20,748,395
13        Tehran Iran                        2,203       15,828,365
14        Karachi Pakistan                1,942       22,000,000
15        Buenos Aires Argentina      1,870         2,891,082
16        Belo Horizonte Brazil          1,770         2,594,968
17        Kiev Ukraine                      1,531         2,819,566
18        Dhaka Bangladesh             1,521       15,000,000
19        London  United Kingdom     1,478        8,174,000
20        Osaka Japan                     1,463        2,643,805
21        Mexico City Mexico            1,364        8,836,045
22        Delhi  India                        1,347      21,753,486
23        Lahore Pakistan                 1,285     10,500, 000
24        Madrid Spain                     1,227        7,213,271
25        Chicago United States        1,125        2,707,120
26        Bangkok Thailand              1,106         6,653,987
27        Recife Brazil                      1,103        1,549,980
28        Santiago Chile                   1,094        4,985,893
29        Shanghai China                  1,057        9,145,711
30        Campinas Brazil                   931        1,056,644
31        Beijing China                        899       12,746,519
32        Sydney Australia                  845        4,399,722
33        Curitiba Brazil                      800        1,797,408
34        Minsk Belarus                      808        1,830,700
35        Yekaterinburg Russia           792        1,323,000
36        Isfahan Iran                         739        1,908,968
37        Kuala Lumpur Malaysia        725        1,887,674
38        Manila Philippines                778      11,553,427
39        Paris France                        689       2,234,994
40        Porto Alegre  Brazil              674       1,420,667
41        Jakarta Indonesia                 674      9,898,978
42        Los Angeles United States    659       4,234,340
43        Vancouver Canada               638         578,041
44        Mashhad Iran                       635      3,069,941
45        Sofia   Bulgaria                     631      1,404,458
46        Chittagong Bangladesh         630      6,500,000
47        Kolkata India                        627      9,811,265
48        Rawalpindi/Islamabad Pak    625     2, 680, 905
49        Karaj   Iran                          622     1,967,005     
51        Dubai U Arab Emirates         568     2,262,000
52        Macau China                       564     546,200
53        Tabriz Iran                          563     2,276,880
55        Melbourne  Australia            555     4,200,000
56        Chongqing China                  539     6,300,000
57        Kharkiv Ukraine                   522     1,461,000
58        Faisalabad Pakistan            521     2,540,069                                   
60        Guangzhou China                503     7,607,200
61        Wuhan China                      479     4,550,000
62        Montreal Canada                475     1,620,693
63        Barcelona Spain                 463     1,615,908
62        Bangalore India                  462     4,292,223
65        Honolulu United States        439     953,207
66        San Francisco US               417     799,185
67        Ankara Turkey                    416     4,751,360
68        Hyderabad Pakistan           410     3,429,471
69        Lima Perú                          400     8,700,000
69        Multan Pakistan                 396     5,216,268
70        Benidorm Spain                 390     67,627
71        Houston United State         360     2,208,180
72        Shenzhen China                 357     1,245,000
73        Ottawa Canada                351     883,391
74        Rotterdam Netherlands      349     616,248
75        Novosibirsk Russia            348     1,425,508
76        Bogotá Colombia              346     6,776,009
77        Philadelphia US                330     1,449,634
78        Washington  US                330     588,292
79        Berlin Germany                326     3,429,300
80        Bilbao Spain                     302     354,145
81        Santo Domingo Dom Rep  300     2,552,398
82        Málaga Spain                    298       576,725
83        Miami United States          295      424,662
84        Valencia Spain                  292       810,064
85        Tianjin China                     289    11,760,000
86        Brisbane Australia            286     2,115,440
87        Frankfurt Germany           285     670,095
88        Gold Coast City Australia  281     469,214
89        Calgary Canada               260     988,193
90        San Juan Puerto Rico       252     434,374
91        Dallas United States         246     1,266,372
92        Edmonton Canada            244     812,201
93        Boston United States        237     608,352
94        Arlington United States     232     204,568
95        Atlanta United States        231     420,003
96        Valencia Venezuela          229     2,222,549
98        Seattle United States        222     594,210
99        Brussels Belgium              208     1,134,638
100     Auckland New Zealand       205     1,377,200
101     Denver United States          204     588,349
102     Peshawar Pakistan            196     3,307,798
103     Milan  Italy                        196     4,216,268
104     Glasgow United Kingdom   192     662 954
105     Minneapolis  United States 192     377,392
106     Detroit United States          170     916,952
107     Birmingham UK                  166     965 928
108     Burnaby Canada                164     223,218
109     Baltimore United States      159     640,150
110     Pittsburgh United States     151     311,218
111     Miami Beach United States 150     87,925
112     St. Louis United States       150     355,663
113     San Diego United States     149     1,266,731
114     Perth  Australia                  145     1,602,559
115     Manchester UK                  138     2,030,519
116     Fort Lauderdale US            136     183,606
117     Gujranwala Pakistan           136     1,124,799
118     Adelaide Australia               136     1,172,105
119     Las Vegas United States     135     558,880
120     Winnipeg Canada                132     619,544
121     Portland  United States        129     550,396
122     Cincinnati United States       120     752,490
124     Austin United States            119     743,074
125     Leeds United Kingdom         118     715,000
126     London Canada                   116     470,000
127     Wellington New Zealand       116     393,400
128     Milwaukee United States      114     604,477
129     Nashville United States         114     590,807
130     Kansas City United States    112     475,830
131     Cleveland United States        111     438,042
132     New Orleans United States   107     288,113
133     North Sydney Australia         107     61,802
134     Newark United States           100     278,980

NOTE:    Reference has no data for Nos. 50, 54, 123

UST-AB Photography: Application of the Eight Realms of Multiple Intelligence

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 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

The Concept of Multiple Intelligence
1. Man’s intelligence is vast and varied, permeating into five divisions, namely, logic, mathematics, science, philosophy, history and humanities.

2. Knowledge becomes self-conscious, that is, knowledge is reflective of its diverse disciplines, modes of inquiry, fields of scholarship and systematic study. The thrust is what and how far do we know of the knowable universe.

3. Knowledge builds upon knowledge with the divisions of knowledge closely interconnected. It is not a matter of summing up knowledge, because knowledge is synergistic, which means that the whole is far greater than the sum of all its parts.

4. The growth of knowledge is enhanced through encyclopedic growth and development as it bridges history, cultures and generations – indeed mankind’s greatest heritage to its members and society.

5. Like the Maslow’s ladder organization, the usefulness of intelligence follows a four-tier structure - first, the accumulation and organization of knowledge and information (which involves the head); second, expression through skills (hands); third, valuing (heart); and fourth, concern and involvement (humanity). These 4 Hs are the pillars of education.

The 8 Realms of Intelligence

1. Interpersonal (human relations) - Sometimes this is referred to as social intelligence. Leaders, advertising experts, politicians, teachers excel in this field. “They exude natural warmth, they wear disarming smile,” to quote an expert on human relations. Name your favorite characters. My models are Nelson Mandela, Condolezza Rice, Henry Kissinger and our own, the late Carlos P. Romulo.

2. Intrapersonal (inner vision self-reflection and meditation) – Masters in this realm are priests, nuns, poets, yogi practitioners. St. Francis of Assisi is a genius in this domain. Pope John Paul II, Maximilian Kolby, Mother Teresa of Calcutta are unparalleled. Didn’t Beethoven compose music with his inner ear and Helen Keller “see” from an inner vision?

3. Kinesthetics (athletics, sports, body language, dance, gymnastics)- Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Bjorn Borg excel in their respective sports. Now think of your idol in the sports world, or in the art of dance. Lisa Macuja Elizalde is still the country’s top ballet dancer. Paeng Nepomoceno, Efren Bata Reyes and Manny Pacquiao top the local list.

4. Languages or linguistics - There are people who are regarded walking encyclopedia and dictionary. The gift of tongue in the true sense is in being multilingual like our very own Dr. Jose Rizal. Authors like Ernest Hewmingway, John Steinbeck, Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, Boris Pasternak, Miguel Cervantes, to name a few, represent this realm. How fast can you learn the dialect or language of a place?

5. Logic (dialectics, Mathematics) - Marxism is based on dialectics which is a tool in studying and learning philosophy. Likewise, this realm includes the intelligence of numbers – mathematics, geometry, accounting, actuarial science, etc. This is the key to many IQ tests. Einstein, Mendel, Newton, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle are popular figures who represent this realm. I saw "A Beautiful Mind," the story of Noble Prize winner John Nash who excelled in a new field of economics.

6. Music (auditory art) – Frederick Chopin, Nicanor Abelardo, Lucio San Pedro, Ryan Cayabyab, Lea Salonga – name your favorite. Amadeus Mozart produced therapeutic musical compositions. Beethoven is perhaps the most celebrated composer of classical music. Surprisingly he could hardly keep pace with his steps when dancing. I like to listen to Pangkat Kawayan play Philippine music. Mabuhay Singers, Madrigal singers, the Las Piñas Boys, and the UST Choral Ensemble, have won international fame.

7. Spatial intelligence (drawing, and painting, sculpture, architecture, photography) - The greatest contemporary artist, Pablo Picasso, was robbed in his studio. Hog-tied, he carefully studied the robber, the way an artist studies his model. After the incident he sketched the face of the robber and gave it to the police. The police made a hundred arrests without succeeding in pinpointing the culprit. The sculptor Rodin wanted his subject to look as if it were melting, like clay softened by rain. What could be a better expression of poverty for his masterpiece, “The Burghers of Calais?” Juan Luna and Fernando Amorsolo remain unequaled.

8. Naturalism (Green Thumb, Relationship with the Natural World) - There are people who have “green thumb”. Their gardens are beautiful even with little care. There are those who can predict weather, fishermen who know when a fish bites, farmers who pick the reddest watermelon, fullest macapuno nuts, just by feel and sound. Good doctors, I am sure are not only good because of high scholastic records, but have the green thumb as well. Charles Darwin and Carolus Linnaeus are the world's top naturalists.

Here is an exercise on Multiple Intelligence. With a piece or paper, list down the eight realms on the left column. Through self-analysis score each realm using the Likert Scale: 1 is very poor (VP); 2 is poor (P), 3 is fair (F), 4 is good (G), and 5 is very good (VG). This exercise takes around ten-minutes. It requires concentration and objectivity.

What are your top three realms? Can you draw out their interrelationships? Relate them with your personal strength. On the other hand, in what ways can you improve on the other realms? Now relate your score with your present studies or work, and with your relationship with your family and community.

Yes, everyone has a distinct intelligence - and spark of genius, too.

UST-AB Photo Study: Verses before the ruins of 16th century Bacarra belfry (Bacarra, Ilocos Norte)

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 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

Lesson:  How do you critic literary works and photographs? How would you make a similar photo study, say of our Arch of the CenturiesIntramuros? What are the limitations of a photo study such as the Bacarra Bell Tower?  (HAND WRITTEN ON BOND PAPER, l page only) 

Tower of Babel, biblical but true;
lofty Eiffel will have its time, too.
stairway to heaven is man's dream
he god in him to claim God's realm.

Where have all the faithful gone?
The prayerful old and young;

pilgrims come one by one
to fill the emptiness of time.
The sun peeps behind this huge tower

once proud in its prime;

I can not wait nor my children can

to see it succumb in time. 

History marks the march of time

in events big and small

by the hand that holds the pen 
and the magic crystal ball.