Friday, May 29, 2015

Painting: Fossil Bird

 Dr Abe V Rotor
Fossil Bird, painting ay the author.

Archaeopteryx and bird combined, 
     transition of reptile to fowl;
from cold to warm blooded the key
     to survive in a grueling bowl. 

To an artist the work of imagination,
     where creation is in the mind;
apologies to science and to Darwin,
     art often ahead of the find.       

Need not trace the origin of art,
     but science needs the proof;
like Piltdown Man is all but hoax,
     the greatest scientific goof.~

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Richest Bank Note - 100 Million Yen

Dr Abe V Rotor 
 A WWII bank note of fantastic value.  We called it yapyap or Mickey Mouse money - toy money.  A big joke? Not really. it was a tool of war -  economic sabotage.   

"If I were a rich man" a song;
I would dream of it, too,
but it's not my own,
but my people's,
  my enemy's pawn. ~

Painting: Two Balls of Fire

Dr Abe V Rotor
Forest on Fire by the author 2015

Two balls of fire the forest bears: 
 life-giving sun and a curse,
 what one builds, the other destroys 
the beauty of the first.~

Habagat is... What the monsoon means in 50 ways.

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
  Rampage (Flash Flood in May) painting by the author, circa 2011

Here is a continuing list of what the rainy season (habagat) means to the lives of people, coming from our radio audience on Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid, and students in natural science, UST Graduate School. I invite others to share their own impressions and experiences.

Habagat is ...
1. Respite from a long hot summer, and finally putting it to rest.
2. Greening of fields and mountains.
3. New life and new cycle of living things.
4. Time to plow and plant the fields.
5. Children running in the rain with gay and abandon.

6. A chorus of frogs.
7. Fields are joined together into one big lake.
8. Murmuring streams and roaring rivers.
9. Children go to school in raincoats and umbrellas.
10. The sky is split by lighting and the earth shudders with it.

11. Aestivating fish, snails and crustaceans wake up from slumber.
12. Season of floods
13. Dust turns to mud, sticky with the feet and shoes.
14. Herons arrive by flock - white and gray and other kinds.
15. Migrating birds return home from the south northward.

16. Leaking roof, and you have to do a lot of repair.
17. Being worried when the children aren't a home yet and it's raining cats and dogs.
18. Gusty winds upturn umbrellas and loose skirts.
19. Beach resorts are virtually empty.
20. Off season to tourism, so with many festivities.

Signs of stormy weather during the habagat 
21. Cooler nights and good sleep.
22. Time to go fishing in rivers and lakes with hook and line.
23. Angling frogs in ricefields, a pastime of old women.
24. Fishing along flowing rivers with bamboo traps (bubo), salakab and cast nets (tabukol).
A shot or two whiskey or gin or vodka to counter the cold, and soothe tired nerves and muscles.
26. Floating garbage along rivers and shorelines specially those near cities and towns.
27. Pasig river swells and flows freely, regurgitating garbage and waste, and breaking from summer lethargy. So with other rivers.
28. Erosion of bald hills and mountains, cutbank erosion of river banks and shorelines.
29. Formation of delta, mudflats, deposition of silt in mangroves, siltation of dams.
Season of typhoons ripping houses and trees along their path.

31. Season of water-borne diseases like leptospirosis, typhoid and diarrhea
32. Life emerges and multiplies in all forms - protists, plants and animals.

Braving the floods in Metro Manila. 
33. Singing Magtanim Hindi Biro (Planting Rice is Never Fun) with guitar accompaniment, so with Tinikling, Bahay Kubo, and the like.
34. Animals have their fill on the pasture, wildlife reaches high population density and diversity.
Season of landslides, especially along mountain passes.

36. Double time and effort in controlling weeds in the garden.
37. Sinigang na hito, pesang dalag, "jumping salad" (shrimps served fresh with calamansi and salt).
38. Impassable rivers, swelling lake (remember Typhoons Ondoy, Peping, and Pablo?).
39. Downed electric post, cut off roads, felled trees, mud flows, landslides, evacuation centers.
40. Rainbows, sometimes double, sign of good weather yet herald a coming rain.

41. Siyam-siyam or nep-nep (Ilk) which means nine days and another nine days of rainfall with a brief period of rest in between.
42. no kite flying, old folks warn, waiting till the end of the monsoon, otherwise harvest will be poor.
43. Detecting low pressure area and plotting its development into typhoon.
44. Molds grow on leather, wood and clothes.
45. Rainy season fashion from waterproof boots to trendy jackets and raincoats.

 Harvesting rainwater at home.
46. End of kite flying season.
47. Singing in the Rain movie, Mickey Roony's best performance.
48. Creeks cascade, stream roars like rivers.
49. Overflowing dams, lakes, ponds.
50. Harvesting rainwater for the dry season.

There are 1001 more. Add your own experiences to this list. ~

A simple way to trap gamu-gamu (winged termites)

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

It's swarming season of gamu-gamu (winged termites), midges and gnats. Tape a cellophane or plastic bag around a lighted bulb as trap. Once trapped the insect loses its wings and is doomed. Gamu-gamu is fed to fish or dried as feed ingredient for poultry and animals. It is also served as exotic food. It is high in protein and believed to be an aphrodisiac.

What I have known earlier is a similar technique for outdoor by hanging a fresh branch with fine leaves like tamarind near a lighted bulb to attract the circling insects which then settle down on the branch, thus reducing nuisance caused by the insects' sheer number. The more important reason to trap these insects is to reduce their number in the long run.

Swarming is breeding en masse, an orgy, with pairs settling down after their celebrated nuptial flight, consequently to found new colonies. It is not surprising if termites are later found inside apparadors, among old piles of clothes and books, in bodegas and storerooms, in libraries and museums, in well tended gardens, and in beams and trusses of houses.

This is nature's way to disseminate the species and establish niches of new colonies to avoid species inter-competition. Here in the new colony the pair starts building a family which grows into thousands of members in their long lifetime. We can only imagine the destructiveness caused by one colony with the queen termite reproducing daily for a lifetime that may reach ten to even twenty years!

By the way, swarming is triggered by a biological clock that wakes up potential breeders, soldiers and workers, becoming males and females respectively, among termites, and ants. Nature fits them with two pairs of detachable wings, loads them with sex hormones, and extra calories in anticipation of the first strong rain that comes as early as April in the northern hemisphere. Then all of a sudden the night comes alive, with thousands, if not millions, of tiny flying insects swarming around any conceivable light in the house, street, around campfires, colliding with cars and banging against glass panes.

Swarms come from different colonies to interbreed in order to insure a stronger gene pool for the species, otherwise the species weakens through inbreeding.

The enigma of the insect world may not be fathomed by our searching mind, not even with the computer and modern laboratories. But definitely this simple devise - a plastic bag trap - erases some fear insects pose, and gives man a sense of victory against a persistent enemy. ~ 

Acknowledgment: Leo Carlo my youngest son, inventive as he is, raised the idea of this insect trap which he put it to work at home. It is my pleasure to share this practical, safe and  expenseless, technique through these photos.

Swarming is a biological phenomenon taking place mainly at the onset of habagat or monsoon.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Are you living a simple life? Evaluate yourself.

Dr Abe v Rotor
Lesson on Simple Living
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio 
738 DZRB AM, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

“Simplicity is the peak of civilization.” – Jessie Sampter

Typical rural living, Floridablanca, Pampanga  

Check if you are practicing each of the following: There can be no step-by-step guide to simplifying your life. However, these are important reminders. Do these apply to you?

1. Make a list of your top 4-5 important things.

2. Evaluate your commitments.

3. Evaluate your time.

4. Simplify work tasks.

5. Learn to say no.

6. Make a Most Important Tasks (MITs) list each day.

7. Spend time alone.

8. Go for quality, not quantity.

10. Create an easy-to-maintain home.

11. Carry less stuff.

12. Simplify your budget.

13. Leave space around things in your day.

14. Live closer to work/school.

15. Always ask: Will this simplify my life?

16. Limit your communications.

17. Get rid of what you don’t need.

18. Get rid of the big items.

19. Clean /Edit your rooms.

20. Limit your buying habits.

21. Spend time with people you love.

22. Eat slowly.

23. Streamline your life.

24. Learn to live frugally.

25. Learn what “enough” is.

26. Eat healthy.

27. Exercise.

28. Declutter before organizing.

29. Find inner simplicity.

30. Find a creative outlet for self-expression.

26 – 30 You are a model of Simple Life, an apostle.
21 – 25 You are appreciated by people around you. You are happy and they are happy, too.
16 – 20 You live moderately – know how to adjust, if there’s too much or too little.
15 and below You are not living a simple life. Listen more to Paaralang Bayan

 Ideal countryside living: clean and fresh air, water, and food.   

 Acknowledgment: Thanks to Zen Habits Manifesto: 72 Ideas to Simplify Your Life. Every Wednesday is Simplicity Day on Zen Habits; Internet

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Celebrating the Month of May through Paintings

Dr Abe V Rotor
Light through the Forest, 2015
                                 May, the parting of seasons:
                                      summer bids goodbye,
                                 welcomes the rainy amihan;
                                     wakes the trees in sigh.

A Wholesome Bouquet  2015

May, the month of flowers and blossoms,
bright and shy and stern,
offers to the Creator but His own gifts,
man's thanksgiving in return. 

Red Fish and Brood 2015

Wonder what the month of May is in the deep;
it's a mother fish with a brood in her keep.

Rainbow Trees 2015

Wonder what the rainbow is in May
when the sky is clear and blue;
how these trees mimic the rainbow,
like the heart longing and true.

A Camouflage of Moth 2015

Hidden safe by disquise and design
from jaws and sting and beak
by nature's law of deceit to save
the defenseless and weak. ~