Saturday, November 28, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Brick House, acrylic by AVR

Abe V Rotor

Home Sweet Home
By John Howard Payne
Music by Henry Rowley Bishop (1786-1855)
(Arranged for the violin and piano by Henry Farmer)

‘Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home;
A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there,
Which seek through the world, is ne’er met with elsewhere.
Home, Home, sweet, sweet Home!

An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain;
O, give me my lowly thatched cottage again!
The birds singingly gaily, that came to my call –
Give me them – and the peace of mind, dearer than all.
Home, Home sweet, sweet Home.
There’s no place like Home! There’s no place like Home!

Home Sweet Home is one of my favorite pieces on the violin. My daughter would accompany me on the piano in my lectures, and on one occasion, in a concert. The arrangement made by Henry Farmer is made up of three variations revolving on the popular melody of the song. Home Sweet Home was popularized by the pioneers who left their homes in the Old World and settled in the New World - America.

One of the lessons I discussed lately on the school-on-air program - Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid - is about home and family. It was one of the liveliest lessons ever conducted on air with many enthusiastic callers who shared their concepts and views about a happy home. Here is a short list.

1. Home is a roof for everyone, residents and guests.
2. Home is a wall with large windows that let the sun and the breeze in.
3. Home is where fish in the aquarium sparkle in the morning’s sun.
4. Home is a baby smiling, of children playing.
5. Home is a faithful husband and wife.
6. Home is a “place for everything and everything in its place,” but not always.
7. Home is dad and mom waiting for us from school.
8. Home is a workshop for hobbies and inventions.
9. Home is where our dog lies on the doormat waiting for its master.
10. Home is a litter of puppies and kittens.
11. Home is a rooster crowing, nature’s alarm clock.
12. Home is a house lizard’s crispy announcement of a guest coming.
13. Home is a frog croaking in the rain.
14. Home is a safari of wildlife – from insects to migratory birds.
15. Home is a warm embrace of a cat.
16. Home is a cup of coffee, a sip of wine, a newspaper.
17. Home is a warm bath, a cold shower, a bath tub.
18. Home is National Geographic, Time Magazine, Daily Inquirer.
19. Home is ripe tomato, succulent radish, dangling stringbeans,
20. Home is a brooding mother hen in her nest.
21. Home is fresh eggs everyday.
22. Home is the sound of birds and crickets.
23. Home is the sweet smell of flowers, falling leaves, swaying branches in the wind.
24. Home is the sweet smell of the earth after the first rain in May.
25. Home is a singing cicada in the tree.
26. Home is a swarming of gamugamo in the evening.
27. Home is a sala too small for so many friends.
28. Home is a cabinet of books, a study table, a computer.
29. Home is Beethoven, Mozart, Abelardo, Santiago.
30. Home is Charlotte Church, Josh Groban, Sharon Cuneta.
31. Home is Amorsolo. Picasso, Van Gogh.
32. Home is potpourri of appetizing recipes, of the proverbial grandmother apple pie.
33. Home is pinakbet, lechon, karekare, suman, bibingka.
34. Home is a garden of roses, a grass lawn to lie on.
35. Home is an herbarium of plants, a gene bank.
36. Home is home for biodiversity, a living museum.
37. Home is doing repair that has no end.
38. Home is disposing old newspapers, bottles, metal scraps, used clothes.
39. Home is a midnight candle before an exam.
40. Home is a shoulder, a pillow, to cry on.
41. Home is Noche Buena.
42. Home is fireworks on New Year.
43. Home is general cleaning on weekends.
44. Home is a soft bed that soothes tired nerves and muscles.
45. Home is a fire place, a hearth, which takes the cold out of the body and spirit.
46. Home is a Prodigal Son returning, Good Samaritan.
47. Home is a round table where thanksgiving prayer is said.
48. Home is laughter and music, prose and poetry.
49. Home is forgiving, rejoicing, celebrating.
50. Home is angelus and rosary hour.

To sum it all, Home is Home Sweet Home.

Living with Nature 3, AVR

Does castration increase the growth of animals, and make them tame, too?

Abe V Rotor

It's true. Castration increases growth of animals. It also makes them meek and tame.

In the animal kingdom, body beautiful is generally more developed among the males. We take pride in seeing the fullest expression of masculinity in our domesticated animals like stallions, bulls, boars and roasters. But why is the practice of castration?

It is all part of domestication, the key to agriculture, which started thousands of years ago. Castrated animals are daintier and tamer. They lose much of their restlessness and urge to return to the wild. They become better work animals and pets. And because they grow faster and bigger, castration has become a common farm practice. Meat of castrated animals is tastier and more tender because the male hormone is greatly reduced.

The old methods of castration, such as open surgery and pounding of the testes, have been greatly improved, if not replaced by irradiation and use of sterilizing drugs. Caponization is now seldom done in poultry houses because the fowls are sold out early as broilers or fryers, and the chicks are sexed three days after hatching, segregating the males from the future layers. But some old folks still adhere to a common practice in the rural areas of getting rid of the masculinity of their pets like dogs and cats. It is as simple as tying the scrotum above the testes with rubber band or cotton thread and after some time the testes naturally shrivel or fall off.

Spaying of females is also done principally to prevent reproduction, but it is not as popular as castration. Both techniques have greatly influenced today’s family planning among humans – vasectomy in men and ligation in women. While prevention of reproduction for socio-economic reasons is the main objective, we do not know the long term consequences to the individual, family and society as a whole. Old folks seem to be more aware of the limitations of tinkering with nature by confining the practice to animals. ~

Living with Folk Wisdom, AVR. UST Publishing House, Manila

Friday, November 27, 2009

Banana Leaves - Perfect Food Wrapper

Tupig - glutinous rice, sugar and coconut, wrapped
with banana leaves, and cooked over charcoal.

Abe V Rotor

Imagine if there were no banana leaves to make these favorite delicacies: suman, tupig, bucayo, bibingka, patupat, puto, tinubong, biko-biko, and the like. We would be missing their characteristic flavor and aroma, and their indigenous trade mark. So with a lot of recipes like paksiw na isda, lechon, and rice cooked with banana leaves lining. Banana leaves have natural wax coating which aid in keeping the taste and aroma of food, while protecting it from harmful microbes.

In the elementary, we used banana leaves as floor polish. The wax coating makes wooden floors as shiny as any commercial floor wax sans the smell of turpentine. Banana leaves when wilted under fire exude a pleasant smell. When ironing clothes use banana leaves on the iron tray. It makes ironing cleaner and smoother, and it imparts a pleasant, clean smell to clothes and fabric.

This is how to prepare banana leaf wrapper.

1. Select the wild seeded variety (botolan or balayang Ilk.) and the tall saba variety. Other varieties may also be used.

2. Get the newly mature leaves. Leave half of the leaf to allow plant to recover. Regulate the harvesting of young leaves as this will affect the productivity of the plant.

3. Wilt the gathered leaves by passing singeing the leaves over fire or live charcoal until they are limp and oily. Avoid smoky flame as this will discolor the leaves and impart a smoky smell (napanu-os Ilk).

4. Wipe both sides of the leaves with clean soft cloth until they become glossy and clean.

5. Cut wilted leaves with desired size, shape and design. Arrange to enhance presentation and native ambiance.

Keep a hill of saba variety growing in your the backyard. It grows and multiplies fast with little care. While you wait for the fruit to form and mature, you have banana blossom, too. And banana leaves at any time.~

Living with Nature 3, AVR

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Smoke Belching Bus - Symptom of our Failure

Route is QC to Manila via Commonwealth Avenue.
Photo was taken one early morning before rush hour
Visibility is almost zero at close distance. Smoke has
high level of unburnt carbon, and loaded with Sulfur
Dioxide, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Lead (Pb),
and particulates - all bad to health and the environment.

Atop Commonwealth Avenue flyover .

Coasting free on the long stretch from Fairview to UP
Ayalaland, the bus picked up passengers, who in their
daily grind, won't mind
(or accustomed to) both the
smoke nor danger.

Bus is listing! It could result to serious accident, more so
as it alternately
crosses lanes to beat the traffic and time.

Here is the identity of the bus.

Abe V Rotor

This smoke belching bus is not an exceptional case, it makes us throw our hand up. No one cares anymore. Who does?

I care. My friends care. Millions all over the world do, I am sure. It is symptomatic of failure of our system - science and technology, governance, economics, and most of all - our sensitivity.

Is this the anti-thesis of the Good Life?

Light from the Old Arch 3, AVR

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

20 Philosophies in Ageing Gracefully

Plato lived long, carried on the teachings of his
teacher, Socrates; and founded the Academe -
prototype of today's university. His idea of idealism
is Utopian. It inspires man to reach out for the
stars, so to speak - a key to long and hopeful life.

By Dr Abe V Rotor

1. Ageing 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 is like knowledge – distilled 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.

16. Life cycle biologically - that is a 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?

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.

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

Friday, November 20, 2009

Home from the Plain - A Reflection in Verses

On-the-spot painting by the author, La Union
Botanical Garden, San Fernando, La Union, 2000

Abe V Rotor

1. I stood here many, many years back,
Gazing the horizon and beyond,
As I grew up on this far native land,
Leaving not a footprint on the rock.

2. Where is my home, home from the plain -
Battle in life’s work and wandering?
A family to stand by and sharing
The joys, but ne’er the fears and pain

3. Tell me if one half of the world dies
When infinite is the earth’s resource;
Then it’s the other half the fault lies
Or designed to keep our course.

4. How can the sun reach the hadal depth,
Where the world is cold, where love is dearth?
Hasn’t someone a bit of sun long kept?
Come, come and save the hearth.

5. Heavenly fire the clay took form,
Lives his soul after his ash;
Tempered he survives the storm
Lost in Eden to live with us.

6. I hear church bells ringing;
Prayer, prayer, prayer in trinity;
A child to man, man into wandering,
And man’s return to reality.

7. It is often told this story:
That which we cannot accept,
Upon its death, smells sweet –
And sweeter is its memory.~

Light from the Old Arch 2, AVR

Selected Passages from Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat

Omar Khayyam exudes the familiar serenity and
peaceful expression even in his monument built
in a garden in his place of birth
in Nishapur, Iran

Abe V Rotor
from The Rubaiyat by Omar Kayyam

Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse - and thou
Beside me singing in the wilderness -
And wilderness is Paradise enow.

The rustic imagery lures the busy mind and body to a retreat, a kind of escape temporary from the cares and troubles of the world. This passage must have influenced authors centuries later in alluring Paradise to basic Nature - Nature unspoiled and unscathed by human hand.

"How sweet is mortal Sovanty!" - think some:
Others - "How blest the Paradise to come!"
Ah, take the Cash in hand and waive the Rest;
Oh, the brave Music of a distant Drum.

Paradise is just a passage long enough for man's mortality to reach and experience. Others think otherwise - the true one does not come while man lives. It lies in the afterlife, Omar Khayyam might have called Heaven, a collective Paradise of the good souls and spirits. In John Milton's sequel of Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, there is a part Eve after the Fall said to Adam, "Go, for as long as I am with you, I'm in Paradise." Where lies that distant drum?

Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out by the same Door as in I went.

This passage speaks of the genius of the poet - mathematician and astronomer. Learned men in his time were few. As true learned, Omar Khayyam painfully deciphered knowledge into arts and sciences, for the dichotomy of knowledge is that, either one lends itself to proof, or does not. And yet at the end, man is always in futile grasp of the real mystery of knowledge - which is wisdom.

The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
Turns Ashes - or it prospers; and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face
Lighting a little Hour or two - is gone.

With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand labour'd it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd -
"I came like Water, and like Wind I go.

Such futility is often reflected in the Rubaiyat like a given factor in mathematics or in empirical inferences. Which points to human frailty and imperfection. The beauty of poetry lies in this theme. At the end, futility is the gateway to freedom. "Rubaiyat warns us of the danger of Greatness, the instability of Fortune , and while advocating Charity to all, recommending us to be too intimate with none." (Omar Khayyam: The Astronomer-P0et of Persia)

The Rubaiyat is perhaps the most popular poetry in its time - in the eleventh century in then Persia. It lives among the great poems today. Omar Khayyam is a master of this quatrain style, also used by Nostrodamus: ten syllables per line, in coordinated rhyming, leaving the third hanging as if to enable the reader to pause, take a breath, before regaining momentum for the finality of the whole passage. The Rubaiyat touches quite often the theme of ephemeral pleasure and fleeting moments of life, the instability of Fortune - and inevitability of death in any hour. Generally quatrain is difficult to interpret for its ambiguous nature that open wider view and perspective, and for the economy of expression as if the poem is merely a structural framework of a greater whole. It takes an analytical mind to read in between lines, so to speak.

And yet as one becomes familiar to the style he begins to unlock the meaning of each line, then the whole stanza, and proceeds to the numbered series. It is not unusual to go through the whole Rubaiyat book (159 pages) skimming every page, or skipping some in the process. Strangely enough acquiring separate images as if one gets "lost" only to find his way back later. Why not? Omar Khayyam talks of wine, of ephemeral beauty, imagined paradise, women and song, of science and seance, reality and dream, before man reaches the inevitability of his existence. And even in death and after, Khayyam expertly portrayed scenarios turning back the wheels of time - as if man lives a second life, man taken away from his real self by a jug of wine and pleasure of the flesh, and sweet idleness. These of course set the genius to explore and discover. Such is the man of the hour in Omar Khayyam's time as reflected in his masterpiece.

Read the Rubaiyat. Then try writing poetry in quatrain. It's a great experience. ~

NOTES: Khayyám's full name was Ghiyath al-Din Abu'l-Fath Umar ibn Ibrahim Al-Nishapuri al-Khayyami and was born in Nishapur, Iran.

Omar Khayyám was famous during his times as a mathematician. He wrote the influential Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra (1070), which laid down the principles of algebra, part of the body of Persian Mathematics that was eventually transmitted to Europe. In particular, he derived general methods for solving cubic equations and even some higher orders.

Like most Persian mathematicians of the period, Omar Khayyám was also famous as an astronomer. Khayyám and his colleagues measured the length of the solar year as 365.2425 days. Omar's calendar was more accurate than 500 years later the Gregorian calendar. The modern Iranian calendar is based on his calculations.

Reference: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. English translation by EJ Fitzgerald

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Through the Mist of Time

Children fishing upstream, acrylic AVR 2001

Verse and Painting by Abe V Rotor

It is not on the still water
Nor in the wide blue sky,
It is not in the trees and rocks
That we see ourselves in the hands of time;

Through the mist we see children
Many years back with many years lost;
And much is gained in memory
That hold stories untold.

Who is fishing there? Ahoy!
Only the tingling chime answers;
The childhood in us throbs, throbs
With the sweet music of time.~

Don't Cut the Trees, Don't - AVR, UST Manila (All Rights Reserved)

Nature of Man - A Reflection

Mahatma Gandhi - Man of the Millennium (1900-2000)

Abe V Rotor

1. The arrow and the bow,
True machine before the plow;

A hunter’s life he’d ceased

To found the land of peace.

2. Can we attribute all of man’s change

Oe’r thousands and thousands of years

To factors outside his own will?
Learn the ways of his forebears.

3. Corrupting is civilization to Mankind;

Better was life the Noble Savage had lived;

In the Garden of Eden we have long envied,

Sans want, sans war and its evil kind.

4. Other aspects of man we mustn’t overlook;
Man from other creatures by having a soul,
Which we call conscious intelligence in the book

Everything else not enough, even the sum of all.

5. Truth we seek, its bulk is under;
Iceberg its tip isn’t the danger;

Mum are we, inside is anger;

Silence sets us all asunder.

6. Feelings we may fall short;

Repressed and the water burst,

Rising into waves and froth,
Unless our anger dies first.

7. Denial to anger is just the beginning,

If anger is provoked and prolonged;

Into depression lost from bargaining -

Not enough, acceptance the saddest song.

8. To change our ways, hold your peace;

In his dungeon Gandhi prayed at ease;

Bowed on a loom he wove the cloth

Cloth for the naked, the flag, and both.

9. Through time, humanity has changed through use

Of its environment for his needs through abuse,

From adaptation to alteration,

All in the name of civilization.

10. Kindness without honesty -

That’s sentimentality;

Honesty without kindness -

Simply that’s plain cruelty;

Peace the duo could harness

Brings light to humanity.

Don't Cut the Trees, Don't - AVR, UST Manila (Poem All Rights Reserved)

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Many Uses of Vinegar

Sukang Iloko - natural vinegar from sugarcane.

Tamalis - fish wrapped with mango leaves
(or banana leaves) and cooked in vinegar

Abe V Rotor

1. When boiling meat, add a spoonful of vinegar to the water to make it more tender.
2. Marinate tough meat in vinegar overnight to tenderize.
3. Pickles in natural vinegar will last longer and taste better.
4. Make butter milk. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of milk and let it stand 5 minutes to thicken.
5. Tenderize meat. Soak in vinegar overnight.
6. Cook fish and meat as paksiw.
7. Freshen vegetables. Soak wilted vegetables in a quart of cold water and a tablespoon of vinegar.
8. Deodorize the kitchen drain. Pour a cup down the drain once a week. Let stand 30 minutes and then flush with cold water.
9. Eliminate onion odor. Rub on your fingers before and after slicing.
10. Clean and disinfect wood cutting boards. Wipe with full strength vinegar.
11. Remove fruit stains from hands. Rub with vinegar.
12. Cut grease and odor on dishes. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to hot soapy water.
13. Clean a teapot. Boil a mixture of water and vinegar in the teapot. Wipe away the grime.
14. Freshen a lunchbox. Soak a piece of bread in vinegar and let it sit in the lunchbox overnight.
15. Clean the refrigerator. Wash with a solution of equal parts of water and vinegar.
16. Unclog a drain. Pour a handful of baking soda down the brain and add ½ cup of vinegar. Rinse with hot water.
17. Replace a lemon. Substitute ¼ teaspoon of vinegar for 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
18. Firm up gelatin. Add a teaspoon of vinegar for every box of gelatin used to keep those molded desserts from sagging in the summer heat.
19. Boil better eggs. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegars of vinegar to each quart of water before boiling eggs, keeps them from cracking.
20. Prepare fluffier rice. Add a teaspoon of vinegar to the water when it boils.
21. Make wine-vinegar. Mix 2 tablespoons of vinegar with 1 tablespoon of dry red wine.
22. Debug fresh vegetables. Wash leafy greens in water with vinegar and salt. Bugs floats off.
23. Sour fruits with vinegar. Try eating young tamarind with vinegar and salt, so with santol.
24. Scale fish more easily. Rub with vinegar 5 minutes before scaling.
25. Pickle green papaya, botolan (seeded banana). Add carrot, onion and the like.
26. Vinegar as “mother liquor” in making new vinegar. Principle of inoculation. .
27. Clean and deodorize the garbage disposal. Make vinegar ice cubes and feed them down the disposal. After grinding, run cold water through a minute.
28. Clean and deodorize jars. Rinse mayonnaise, peanut butter, and mustard jars with vinegar when empty.
29. Clean the dishwasher. Run a cup of vinegar through the whole cycle once a month to reduce soap build up on the inner mechanisms and on glassware.
30. Clean stainless steel. Wipe with a vinegar dampened cloth.
31. Clean china and fine glassware. Add a cup pf vinegar to a sink of warm water. Gently dip the glass or china in the solution and let dry.
32. Get stains out of pots. Fill pot with a solution of 3 tablespoons of vinegar to a pint of water. Boil until stain loosens and can be washed away.
33. Clean the microwave. Boil a solution of ¼ cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water in the microwave. Will loosen splattered food and deodorize.
34. Get rid of cooking smells. Let simmer a small pot of vinegar and water solution.
35. Mix some vinegar with salt. It will clean dishes, pots, glasses, windows, brass, copper, bronze, pans. Skillets. Rinse well with warm water,
36. When boiling eggs, add a tablespoon of vinegar to the water to prevent white from leaking out of a cracked egg and also keep the yolk in the center of the egg,
37. Use vinegar instead of lemon on fried and broiled foods. It gives a tangy flavor.
38. Remove the lime deposits. Add vinegar to warm water and soak your tea kettle overnight. . This will also work on your glass coffee pot. Put three ounces of vinegar in the pot and fill rest with warm water. Clean jars with vinegar and water to remove odor.
39. Wipe jars of preserves and canned food with vinegar to prevent mold producing bacteria.
40. Prevent discoloration of peeled potatoes by adding a few drops of vinegar in water. They will keep fresh for days in the refrigerator.~~

Living with Folk Wisdom AVR, UST Manila

Beliefs on Cooking - Fact or Superstition?

All goes well with happy disposition and bright innovation.

Abe V Rotor

Folks at home have a lot of beliefs about cooking. Here are five of the common old practices and beliefs which the younger generation may find odd and strange. I did some research to provide basic explanation to each of them.

1. While rice is being cooked, never stir it, otherwise it will become nakusel (half cooked).
Actually you cannot hasten cooking by stirring it. And never overload the pot or kettle. Remember that rice, especially laon (seasoned) rice rises more than twice its original volume when cooked. Once steam is produced, lower the heat. Rice cooks better in low fire once boiling point is reached. Open slightly the lid or cover to release pressure or prevent the steam from spilling out. This tip applies best when cooking rice in volume, say in an iron kettle (kawa or tallasi).

2. Don’t leave the ladle in the pot, otherwise you will go poor. (Huwag iwanan ang sandok sa kawali, muubos ang kayamanan.)
Two things can happen as a result. Someone comes (or it may be the cat) and finish your ulam, or germs enter and spoil your food. Remember that the air is laden with ubiquitous spores of microorganisms, and that you will also expose the food to many uninvited guests, from house lizard to cockroach - what in the stillness of the night!

3. When re-heating viand, remove the pot cover. (Kung magpainit ng ulam, huwag takpan.)
When re-heating food, remove the pot’s cover. Thoroughly clean the cover before putting it back. The underside of the cover is usually the source of inoculants that cause food spoilage. Here the conditions are favorable to the growth and development of microorganisms, as we open and close the pot, and when the pot is closed for a long time. Underneath the cover is a perfect place for incubation of many kinds of microbes.

4. When cooking crabs and shrimps first bring the water to boiling, then immediately immerse them - dead or alive – to make them bright red.
The conventional technique of cooking crustaceans usually produces yellowish to roan color, whereas instant heat transforms the chitin that makes the exoskeleton into a bright red color, thus making them attractive and appetizing especially if they are loaded with fat (aligi').

5. Certain mungo seeds remain hard after cooking.
While enjoying your favorite dish of “mungo with pork and ampalaya leaves,” all of a sudden you find yourself grimacing with pain after biting a stone-hard mungo seed.

Blame it to no one, but the lazy canny farmer who, instead of harvesting only the mature mungo pods, uproot the whole plant. The hardened seeds come from immature pods mixed with the mature seeds. The starch in the immature pod has been locked up and hardened during drying, making it difficult to soften even under prolonged cooking. To remedy this problem, grind the seeds before cooking.

As a matter of information, mungo or mungbean (Phaseolus radiatus) is the counterpart of soybean in the tropics for its high nutritive value and many uses. It can be made into flour, sotanghon (noodles), lumpia, toge' (sprouts), hopia, curds, and many more products.

Living with Folk Wisdom AVR, UST Manila

Malunggay - Miracle Tree

Dr Abe V Rotor

Make your own “mineral water” with malunggay seeds.
Why spend for mineral water when you can make one right in your home? With all the empty plastic bottles around, you can prepare safe drinking water just by adding crushed seed of malunggay (Moringa oleifera).

This is what you can do. Fill up a liter size bottle (family size softdrink) with water coming from the tap, or if you are in the province, a deep well or spring. Add two malunggay seeds crushed by hand. Allow the setup to settle for two to three hours or until the sediments have settled down. Slowly transfer the filtrate to another bottle for immediate or future use.

Scientists found out that malunggay seeds directly kill bacteria and coagulate suspended particles, slowing down Brownian Movement (constant movement of particulates in liquid medium, colliding with one another and against the walls of the container). Malunggay also impart a refreshing taste to the drinking water. Try it.

Malunggay is the most popular tree vegetable in the tropic.
In the province no home is without this small tree at the backyard or in a vacant lot. The leaves, flowers, juvenile pods and young fruits of Moringa oleifera (Family Moringaceae) go well with fish, meat, shrimp, mushroom, and the like. It is one plant that does not need agronomic attention, not even weeding and fertilization, much less chemical spraying. You simply plant an arms length cutting or two, in some corner or along the fence and there it grows into a tree that can give you a ready supply of vegetables yearound. What nutrients do we get from malunggay?

Here is a comparison of the food value of the fresh leaves and young fruits, respectively, in percent. (Marañon and Hermano, Useful Plants of the Philippines)

• Proteins 7.30 7.29
• Carbohydrates 11.04 2.61
• Fats 1.10 0.16
• Crude Fiber 1.75 0.76
• Phosphorus (P2 O 5) 0.24 0.19
• Calcium (CaO) 0.72 0.01
• Iron (Fe2O3) 0.108 0.0005

Owing to these properties and other uses, rural folks regard malunggay a “miracle tree.” Take for example the following uses.
• The root has a taste somewhat like that of horse-radish, and in India it is eaten as a substitute to it.
• Ben oil extracted from the seed is used for salad and culinary purposes, and also as illuminant.
• Mature seeds have antibacterial and flocculants properties that render drinking water safe and clear.

From these data, it is no wonder malunggay is highly recommended by doctors and nutritionists for both children and adults, particularly to nursing mothers and the convalescents~~

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Night of Music in a Garden

Long horned grasshopper produces a sound katydid-
... for which it got
its name. It is music
to the ear, soothing
and pleasant, it will lull one to sleep.

Abe V Rotor

What makes a garden an ideal place for the relaxation may miss the eye. Beyond the beauty of flowers, of the diversity of life forms, and the coolness it brings to a tired soul, there is still one more thing a nature lover must not miss: a night of a music, courtesy of nature’s miniature musicians.

I refer to these principal singers, the cricket (Acheta domesticus and Gryllus sp.) and the long-horned grasshopper or katydid (Microcentrum rhombifolium), all belonging to a large group, Order Orthoptera, in which the grasshopper is a typical member.

Since childhood I have always been fascinated by insect music. Stealthily, in many attempts, I tried to look for the singer; but on getting nearer to the source of the music, the singer abruptly stopped. I learned later that these insects are ventriloquists and a slight turn of their wings or bodies would deceive the hunter.

But not until I finally succeeded in pinning down with a flashlight the little Caruso in the middle of his performance.

He is well hidden behind a leaf, brown to black, compact and sturdy, nearly two inches long, with a long tail and a pair of antennae. His front wings are raised 45 degrees above his abdomen on which the hind wings are folded. This is the cricket’s fiddling position. Now he rubs the two leathery wings against each other in a back and forth motions, a process called stridulating, which inspired man to invent the violin. On closer examination the base of the front in lined with sharp edge, the scrapper, while the ventral side has a file like ridge, the file, which represents the bow of the violin.

And what about the stereoscopic sound effect? A pair of tympana, which are drum-like organs, found at the base of the front tibia, are actually ears which, together with the raised wings, serve as resonator, sending the sound to as far as a mile away on a still night.

Now let us analyze the music produced or is it only a sound, mistaken for some music qualities? A sound produced by a single stroke called pulse. Each pulse is composed of a number of individual tooth strokes of the scraper and file. Pulse rate is from four to five per second, but on warm summer night the rate becomes faster; thus, cricket are not only watchdogs (they stop when they sense an intruder), they are also indicator of temperature – and perhaps the coming of bad weather. It is for these reasons, other than their music, that the Chinese and the Japanese love them as pets.

The pulses of cricket are relatively musical; that is, they can usually be assigned a definite pitch, varying from 1,500 to 10,000 hertz, depending on the species. Those of the long-horned grasshopper or katydid are more noise like; that is, they contain a wide band of frequencies, including clicking and lapsing, and cannot be assigned to a definite pitch. The monotony of its sound must have led to the coining of the insect’s name, katydid-katydid-katydid…

There are three musical pieces the cricket play. Calling songs are clear crisp, and loud, which, of course, suit the intention when a female comes around and nudges the singing male, his music becomes soft and romantic, lasting for many minute to hours, and he forgets his role of warning of an intruder or telling of the coming of storm. Anyone who is love- struck is like that.

But worse can come all of a sudden. This sentinel falls silent as he takes the bride. And when another suitor is around, this Valentino takes a fighting stance and sings the Storm the Bastille, a battle song.

I came across studies on insect music. I began to take interest, imitating it with the violin. It is impossible and the audiospectrogram tells why. Biologically, only the members of the same species understand one another. No two species can communicate vis-à-vis this auditory means. This is one area in development biology, which has not been fully explored. How did this mechanism of species communication evolve? With computers today, can it be explored as an alternative and safe means of controlling destructive species? Maybe we can mimic the music a species produces to lure its members, then trap or eliminate them.

As the garden meets sunrise with fluttering butterflies, so does it enters the night with an array of concerto and orchestra music, and the garden becomes a place for meditation. I say that the music produced by this insect –whatever is the interpretation - is a sound of peace and a chant of praise for life itself. The chores of the day vanish easily, and I find the evening so relaxing and conducive to good sleep - and dreams.

The great Charles Darwin himself expressed his deep feelings for these night’s musicians in his book, “Cricket at the Heart”. He said, “I love it for the many times I have heard it, and the many thoughts its harmless music has given me.”

Carolus Linneaus was more affected by these insects. He kept them to send him to sleep. Japanese children delight in collecting them, as American children trap fireflies. Caged crickets are sold in shops. Haven’t I found a battery- operated caged cricket lately? Computer age! Poet David McCord laments, “The cricket’s gone. We only hear machinery.”

As for me, I still find peace with these humble companions in the night.

x x x

Living with Nature 3, AVR (All Rights Reserved)

Ecology’s Dilemma Today

Bacarra belfry ruin, Ilocos Norte

Children playing under a lone tree, QC

Dr. Abe V. Rotor

• It looks like man has been able to trace the source of the water that comes from the proverbial Pierian Spring, the secret of health and long life. For years it was believed that the spring lies up in Shangrila atop the Himalayas, or according to the Greeks on Mt. Olympus, or the Egyptians in the Pyramids. One does not have to go there now. Even today the average life span of man is mid 70. It will not be a surprise if one out of a hundred individuals will be a centenarian. One report claims that the life span of man can be increased up to 140 years by the middle of the millennium. How long did Moses live?

• But cancer is on the rise, so with AIDS, and the spread of genetically linked defects and illness. Work-related and stress-related deaths will likewise increase with heart and severe depression as the leading diseases, followed by the traditional diseases like respiratory and diarrheal diseases. Already there are 15 million people who have died of AIDS and 40 millions more who are living with HIV, the viral infection. A pandemic potential with up to 1 billion people to become affected with HIV has started appearing on some crystal balls and this is not impossible if it hits populous Asia.

• Cloning, the most controversial discovery in biology and medicine, will continue to steal the limelight in this millennium, stirring conscience, ethics and religion. It is now sensed as the biggest threat to human society, and if Frankenstein is back and some people regard him as a hero instead of a villain, we can only imagine the imminent destruction our society faces - the emergence of sub- and ultra- human beings. On the other hand, there are those who look at cloning as an important tool of medicine to enable doctors to save lives and increase life expectancy. They also believe that cloning in situ (on site) will do away with tedious and unreliable organ transplants.

• Gene therapy is in, medicinal healing is out. It means diagnosing the potential disease before it strikes by knowing its source. Actually diseases are triggered by specific genes. Reading the gene map of an individual, the doctor can “cure” the disease right at it genetic source. We call this gene therapy, the newest field in medical science. But the altered gene will be passed on to the next generation. Playing God, isn’t? Definitely it is, and it is possible to use this technology not only for the sake of treatment but for programmed genetic alteration. Another Frankenstein in the offing? But scientists are saying gene therapy can be a tool in removing permanently the genes that cause cancer, AIDS, and genetically linked diseases like diabetes, Down’s Syndrome, and probably alcoholism.

• We are in an age of test tube babies. There are now 100,000 test tube babies in the US alone since 1978, the arrival of Louise Brown, the world’s first test tube baby. The industry has just started booming with sperm and ova banks established and linked with the Internet and other commodity channels. Not only childless couples can have children, but even a sixty year old woman can - through what is coined as menopausal childbirth technology. Surrogate mothers for hire, anyone?

• If diseases can be predicted and successfully treated, and life can be prolonged – these have indeed grave consequences to population increase. Already there are 6 billion people inhabiting the earth today, and we are increasing at the rate of more than 80 million a year. After 2150 we shall have reached 13 billion, the estimated maximum capacity our planet can support. Is Malthus right after all? It looks like the ghost of this English political economist and priest is back to warn us, this time more urgent than his 1789 prediction that our population would grow until it reaches the limits of our food supply.

• Our Earth is getting warmer, and this is not any kind of comfort but destruction. We have experienced seven of the ten warmest years in the past decade and we are heading toward another Noah’s episode. Low lying areas where the rich farmlands and many big cities virtually squat will be flooded. Heat is trapped by the carbon that we generate from our cars and industries creating a “greenhouse effect.” As the world’s temperature increases, the polar ice will melt, more rains and climatic disturbances will ensue. Climate scientists have predicted that by year 2100 the earth’s temperature will go up from 1 to 3.5 degrees centigrade. But wait, the worst is yet to come. Global warming will plunge us ultimately – towards the middle of the millennium – into another ice age! There will be a buildup of ice at the polar regions as the ocean currents fail to carry warm water to the poles and back.

• The trend of lifestyle will be toward the simple and natural, even in the midst of high tech living. More and more people will go for natural food and natural medicine as they become conscious of their health. The media and the information highway will provide more people access to entertainment and information. Remote management and distance learning will greatly influence business and education. But people will still seek greener pastures in cities and in foreign lands.

• “Save the earth!” has yet to be a denominator of cooperation and peace among nations. The failure of the Earth Summit five years ago at Rio de Janairo, and the first summit before in Stockholm, has produced valuable lessons leaders must learn. There is only one ship in which all of us are riding. Let us all save our ship.

All in the name of Progress

It is all in the name of progress that nations are pursuing. The West insists of pushing the frontiers of technology into the so-called “third wave.” The East, the Asian Pacific region, insists on industrialization in order to catch up with the progress of the West, while the Middle East has yet to undergo a major socio-cultural and political transformation while aiming at lofty economic goals.

Progress, it is generally believed, is the aim of globalization, and globalization is building of a world village. Isn’t this the key to peace and cooperation? Sounds familiar to scholars and leaders.

Maybe, but the greatest challenge lies in the preservation of a healthy Mother Earth, a common denominator of concern irrespective of political, ideological and religious boundaries. It is the saving of the environment that will be the biggest challenge to this and the coming generations.

Poor Rating of Earth Summit

Let us look at what happened to the promises made by leaders from 178 nations who gathered in the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro seven years ago. These are the four areas of accord: biodiversity, climate, deforestation, and population.

On the biodiversity accord signed by 161 countries (except the US), ecosystems continue to be assaulted and fragmented. On arresting global warming as a result of emissions from industries and vehicles, developing countries on the path of industrialization have exacerbated the problem. Deforestation virtually knows no limits and bounds as long as there is wilderness to conquer. Every year forests are lost the size of Nepal. Asia has lost 95 percent of its woodlands.

There are now 6.7 billion people on earth. Every year about 85 million people are added. This is slightly bigger than the Philippines’ total population. Although birth rates are going down in the West as well as in the NICS, there is a boom in babies in rural Asia, Latin America and Africa.

What is the score of the Earth Summit? Rhetorics and promises can not be relied upon. It is in this area that globalization should be reviewed. Globalization should be defined in economic, cultural and environmental terms. This triad approach has yet to be addressed to all members of the global village. And there should be a new world governance, more credible than the UN, to undertake this gargantuan task.

“Hundreds of millions of people will starve to death,” warned Paul Ehrlich in his book, The Population Bomb. This is an echo of the Malthusian Theory raised 250 years ago. This means farmers, in spite of biotechnology, can not keep up indefinitely with increasing food demands. Yet there is a great disparity in food distribution. While the average adult needs 2200 calories a day, an American consumes 3603 as compared to the intake of a Kenyan which is only 1991 calories.

Degradation of the land, the breaking up of ecosystems, are resulting to modern day exodus of ecomigrants who cross borders, invade cities and build marginal communities, threaten security of nations, and creates other socio-economic problems. Desertification, soil erosion, overuse of farms drive multitudes to search for greener pasture, many in the guise of overseas workers, settlers, refugees.

The birth of megacities is a human phenomenon in modern times. The world’s cities are bursting at the seams. Half of the world’s population live in urban areas today, and more are coming in. In developed countries 75 percent of their population live in cities. By year 2015, 27 of the world’s 33 largest cities will be found in Asia, with Mumbai and Shanghai bursting with 20 million each. Today the most populous city in the world is Tokyo with 27 million people. New York has 16.3 million which is about the same as Sao Paolo. Metro Manila has 10 million.

On global warming, figures show how the world fares under greenhouse effect. This phenomenon is attributed to the severity of the last three episodes of El Nino in the last three decades, and to the prevalence of deadly tornadoes, hurricane, floods and natural calamities.

A hole in the sky was caused by damaging chemicals that tear down the vital atmospheric ozone shield that keeps us from too much heat and radiation. The size of the ozone hole about the Antarctic region is estimated to be like the whole continental US – and is still expanding. CFC use is now restricted in most countries, but there are other damaging chemicals used by agriculture and industry. Methyl bromide for one is 40 times more destructive to ozone than CFC.

Indeed, this millennium is the deciding point whether we can save Mother Earth - or fail. If we fail it is also the doom of mankind and the living world. It is yet the greatest challenge to man's rationality.

Dying Earth, painting in acrylic, AV Rotor 2005

Living with Nature, 3 AVR

Thursday, November 5, 2009

About Great Men and Women - Some Keywords and Adages

Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay

British National Hero Horatius Nelson

Florence Nightingale, founder of the nursing profession

Abe V Rotor

Here are some interesting things I gathered in teaching Humanities and History.

1. Story telling is an art. Strive for the “state-of-the-art of story telling”

2. Rhett Butler played by Clark Gable had this famous line, “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn.” Movie title - Gone with the Wind.

3. There is a famous statement that captures how powerful Rome was at its height. “All roads lead to Rome.”

4. England became the biggest empire in 18th century and had colonies all over the world – India, Australia, US, Canada, to name the most important. There is a famous statement which says, “The sun never sets on English soil.

5. This is one element of a good anecdote that stimulates the intellect, sagacity, understanding. It shows cleverness. Wit.

6. This is another element of good story that lifts the spirit, and brings man towards optimistic goals. Inspirational

7. Bato batio sa langit …. Doesn’t speak well of a good story. This refers to fatalism. Bahala na is a bravado stance.

8. Avoid this aspect in story telling, promoting an idea, thing or person. Propagandism.

9. This is one aspect we should avoid in story telling: directly imposing a norm or moral obligation. Moralism

10. It took this man to convince four kings to support his plan to reach East if he goes strait West – thus he name the island he first landed as East Indies. Christopher Columbus.

11. If you are presented with a simple problem that has a simple solution instead of wasting time and resources, they say, “Cut the Gordian Knot.” Who first showed it this way by cutting the complicated Gordian Knot with one slash of his sword. Alexander the Great

12. He is known even to the present as the “man of the masses” who at one instance promoted a engineer on the spot. Annual awards given to outstanding Asians in his memory is equivalent to the world's highest award - Nobel Prize. Ramon Magsaysay.

13. The most loved anecdote teller of all time. His anecdotes and anecdotes about him are known all over the world. Abraham Lincoln.

14. He took the crown from the hands of the Pope who was about to crown him, and crowned himself. Napoleon Bonaparte.

15. This is the Lady with a Lamp who made her rounds in the hospital with a tiny lamp. Florence Nightingale

16. Emperor, a city was named after him, whose mother was a Christian in disguise, latter became liberal ti Christian in practicing their faith. Constantine, the Great

17. Ordered by his superior not to proceed in his mission because the enemy ships were waiting, he took the telescope and trained it on his right eye which is blind, and said, “I can’t see the enemy, sir.” He proceeded and won in one of the most celebrated naval battles in history. National British hero. Horatius Nelson.

18. He isolated himself in his room for days, eating but little, and when he emerge, his face lighted like that of a saint, and holding his masterpiece Hallelujah. Who is this composer. Handel

19. He attended a concert which played his masterpiece. At the end, the audience stood to pay respect to the composer. Someone had to signal him to acknowledge. Ludwig Van Beethoven

20. This flying insect circled the a lamp from which Rizal used it as symbol of martyrdom. Moth

Light from the Old Arch 2, AVR

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's not really autumn with the Talisay

Abe V Rotor

Talisay (Terminalia catappa) is a highly deciduous tree changing its crown at least twice a year - one at the onset of summer and the other at the start of amihan season in the Philippines when cold winds from Siberia arrive. The leaves turn bright yellow, orange, red to purple before they fall off from the tree. It is more pronounced in November to December than in summer months.

Typically deciduous trees shed their leaves starting in autumn and become leafless throughout winter. It is different in the tropics. Thus we see that the talisay is not an indicator of the arrival of Autumn or Fall just like the deciduous trees in the temperate region. In the first place we do not have the distinct four seasons of the year.

Its deciduous characteristic must be a carryover of a primitive biological cycle dictated by ancient genes. Which means that its distant ancestor must have been indigenous in the temperate region, and has undergone a number of biological phenomena, namely -
  • Acclimatization through plant introduction by natural means, and later, by human activities.
  • Speciation or the development of new species deviating from their ancestors under a new environment.
  • Continental drift, slow movement of land masses from their original latitude and longitude.
Expression of the ancient gene of deciduousness is carried to this day by many "migrants" like narra, tanguili, fire tree, dapdap, and many others.

Talisay trees do not lose their leaves all at the same time -
some are early and others late, like in this group of trees
at UST. Talisay is highly resista
nt to drought, salinity, and
apparently to pollution. It ventures up to the shoreline
and estuaries, and can grow at high elevation, too.

Closeup of a talisay sapling. Old and young leaves alike respond
to deciduousness. The shoot becomes dormant, leaving the tree
almost bare for several days. By some precise biological signal new
leaves grow and make a new crown for the tree - fresh gr
een at first,
becoming deep green and luxuriant. The thick and broad canopy

which remains to the next fall earns the tree its name, umbrella tree.

Dead leaves pile under the tree, or they are swept by wind and
water to other places, f
orming mulch to retain soil moisture
and help prevent forest fire by preventing the growth of weeds.
They also sustain the needs of beneficial organisms, consequently
converting them into compost, and
fertilizing the tree and
nearby plants. Through the years
soil is built layer after layer
on the forest floor. This is important in
the formation - and stability
of a multi-storey tropical rainforest. Deciduousness of many
species of forest trees, particularly the dipterocarps, is key to
high biomass production and
biological diversity. The
tropical rainforest has the highest biological diversity of all
ecosystems in the world.

Living with Nature
3, AVR 2009 (All Right Reserved)