Friday, October 28, 2011

Environment: Ecology in Miniature Dioramas

Dr Abe V Rotor
Faculty Curator, Former St Paul Museum, SPUQC

These mini-dioramas have been removed to give way to a new project in the former Museum. This lesson is dedicated to the students who made them, and to visitors who appreciated the value of these masterpieces.

Coral Reef
The idea of miniaturized dioramas depicting ecological scenes was pioneered by students taking up ecology subject at St. Paul University QC. Their works - two dozen mini-dioramas depicting major ecosystems - were displayed for 15 years at the school museum, then the centerpiece of natural history.

A diorama is a “view window” reproduced from an actual or imagined event or scene made by artists who have a background of painting, architecture and sculpture combined, and of course, history. In this particular case, the diorama artists must have a working knowledge of ecology and biology.

One who may have visited any of the following museums has a better understanding as to what a diorama is in terms of structure, content and medium: National Museum in Manila, Ayala Museum at Greenbelt in Makati, and National Food Authority Grain Industry Museum in Cabanatuan. But the dioramas in these museums are large and spacious. It gives him the feeling that he is right on spot where the event is taking place or where the scene is located. This is enhanced with the right ambiance of lighting, musical background, narration or dialogue and the like.

The mini-dioramas at SPUQ are much simpler and smaller. They are works of amateurs but nonetheless exude the quality an artist cum ecologist can best show with the help of faculty members and the museum staff. Here are seven mini-dioramas depicting the Tropical Rainforest, the Ocean, Pacific Lagoon, Coral Reef, Alpine Biome, Savannah and the Desert,

1. Tropical Rainforest
The earth once wore a broad green belt on her midriff – the rainforest – that covered much of her above and below the equator. Today this cover has been reduced - and is still shrinking at a fast rate. The nakedness of the earth can be felt everywhere. One place where we can witness this is right here in the Philippines where only 10 percent of our original forest remains. Even the great Amazon Basin is threatened. As man moves into new areas, puts up dwellings, plants crops, becomes affluent, increases in number, the more the tropical rainforest shrinks. Our thinking that the forest as a source of natural resources is finite is wrong. Like any ecosystem, a forest once destroyed cannot be replaced. It can not regenerate because by then the soil has eroded, and the climate around has changed. It is everyone’s duty to protect the tropical rainforest, the bastion of thousands of species of organisms. In fact it is the richest of all the biomes on earth.

Tropical Rainforest
2. The Ocean
Scientists today believe that eighty percent of the world’s species of organisms are found in the sea. One can imagine the vastness of the oceans – nearly 4 kilometers deep on the average and 12 km at its deepest - the Marianas Trench and the Philippine Deep - and covering 78 percent of the surface of the earth. Artists and scientists re-create scenarios of Jules Verne’s, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” such as this diorama, imagining man’s futuristic exploration in the deep led by Captain Nemo, the idealistic but ruthless scientist. Such scenarios are no longer fantasy today – they are scenes captured by the camera and other modern tools of research. And the subject is not one of exploration alone, but conservation, for the sea, limitless as it may seem, is facing the same threats of pollution and other abuses man on land, in water, and air. The sea is man’s last frontier. Let us give it a chance.

3. Pacific Lagoon
The vastness of the Pacific Ocean is disturbed now and then by the presence of islands – big and small, singly or in groups - that appear like emerald and pearl strewn on the dark blue water, presenting a most beautiful scenery that attracts people to experience true communion with nature. Originally these islands were the tips of volcanoes, at first fierce and unsettled, but later became tame to the elements that fashioned them through time into lagoons, and other land forms of varied geographic features. As seen in this diorama, this island typical of Boracay is rich in vegetation, coconut trees grow far into the water and on the white sand that cover the shores. The coral reef teems with many kinds of marine life, from rare shellfish to aquarium fishes. In fact the whole island is a sanctuary of wildlife. It is a natural gene bank, a natural museum of biological diversity.

Tropical Lagoon
4. Coral Reef
Second to the Tropical Rainforest in richness in species diversity is the coral reef, often dubbed as a forest under the sea. Corals are simple animals of the Phylum Coelenterata, now Ctenophora, that live in symbiosis with algae. Algae being photosynthetic produce food and oxygen that corals need, and in return receive free board and lodging, and carbon dioxide. Within this zone grow many kinds of seaweeds, some reaching lengths of several feet long as in the case of kelp (Laminaria), and Sargassum, the most common tropical seaweed. As a sanctuary it cradles the early life stages of marine life until they have grown to be able to survive the dangers and rigors of the open sea. Coral reefs are formed layer upon layer through long years of deposition of calcareous skeletons of Coelenterates which is then cemented with sand, silt, clay and gravel to form into rock. Limestone is a huge deposit resulting from this process Scientists believe that without coral reefs islands would disappear and continents shrink. Above all we would not have the fishes and other marine organisms we know today.

5. Alpine Biome
Isolated from the lower slopes and adjoining valley, this ecological area has earned a distinction of having plants and animals different from those in the surrounding area. Because of the unique climate characterized by an intense but short summer and extreme cold the rest of the year, the organisms in this biome have acquired through evolution certain characteristics that made them fit to live in such an environment. Alpine vegetation is dramatic owing to its ephemeral nature. Here annual plants bloom with a precise calendar, attracting hordes of butterflies and other organisms. The trees are gnarled as they stand against the howling wind, mosses and liverworts carpet the ground, streams are always alive, and migrating animals have their fill before the cold sets in. We do not have this biome in the Philippines, but atop Mt. Apo in Davao and Mt. Pulog in Benguet, the country’s highest mountains, lies a unique ecosystem – a combination of grassland and alpine. This could be yet another biome heretofore unrecorded in the textbook.

6. Savannah
Home of game animals in Africa, the Savannah has the highest number of herbivores of all biomes. It had always been the “grand prix” of hunters until three decades ago when strict laws were passed prohibiting poaching and destruction of natural habitats. The diorama depicts the shrub-grass landscape, a stream runs into a waterhole where, during summer, attracts animals from the lowly turtle to the ferocious lion which stakes on preys like zebra and gazelle. Beyond lies Mt. Kimanjaro, Hemingway’s favorite locale of his novel of the same title (Snows of Kilimanjaro). It is said that the beginning of the Nile River, the longest river in the world, starts with the melting of snow atop Kilimanjaro, right at the heart of the savannah.

7. The Desert
Scenes of the Sahara flash in our mind the moment the word “desert” is brought about to both young and old, in fantasy or reality. Here lies a wasteland, so vast that it dwarfs the imagination. Deserts are found at the very core of continents like Australia and North America, or extend to high altitude (Atacama Desert) or way up north (Siberian Desert) where temperature plunges below zero Celsius. In the desert rain seldom comes and when it does, the desert suddenly blooms into multi-faceted patterns and colors of short-growing plants. Sooner the desert is peacefully dry and eerie once again, except the persistent cacti and their boarders (birds, insects and reptiles), shrubs and bushes that break the monotony of sand and sand dunes. But somewhere the “desert is hiding a well,” so sang the lost pilot and the Little Prince in Antoine de St. Exupery’s novelette, “The Little Prince.” I am referring to the oasis, waterhole in the desert. It is here where travelers mark their route, animals congregate, nations put claims on political borders. Ecologically this is the nerve center of life, spiritually the bastion of hope, a new beginning, and source of eternal joy particularly to those who have seen and suffered in the desert. The desert is not a desert after all.


(More lessons are found in

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Environment: Pond makes us feel at home with nature

By Abe V Rotor
  A pond of Nymphaea lilies

Are you aware that having a pond to complement your garden is beneficial for you and members of your family? This is so because a pond represents an ecosystem. As such it has the basic features of a functioning ecological unit. Thus you will feel part of the living system called biosphere.

Home of the Living Minutiae

The pond is a field laboratory for microbiology. Plankton organisms are revealed under the microscope. In their diversity, a whole new world unfolds - a world man did not know before Anton van Leeuwenhoek introduced the science of microscopy sometime in the 17th century.
You will be surprise to see microscopic algae - green, yellow, orange and in varied hues and designs. Microscopic animals from Paramecium to Vorticella when seen under the microscope takes you to a world of make-believe and fantasy. Many of them may appear aliens from outer space.

These are monerans and protists, the world’s oldest - yet simplest- organisms. It is a wonder why these organisms did not evolve and develop into complex organisms like the plants and animals we know- and why they are ensconced in a confined environment such as a pond.

The microcosm of the ocean is the pond. It is like “seeing the world in a grain of sand.” And for the eons of time and generations these organisms have passed through, it is like “holding eternity in the palm of the hand.” Thus the pond is the representation of our biological world, manifesting how little we know of God’s immense wisdom contained in a drop of water that teems with myriads of micro-organisms.

Pond Life

Anyone who takes time out to sit by the pond could lose his thoughts in the larger realm of nature and the countryside. Cattail and umbrella plants which belong to Family Cyperaceae rise among the floating water lilies, whose pink to purple flowers break the monotony of the pondscape. The centerpiece of a pond may be a community of yellow and pink flowered Nymphaea, and colony of white-flowered lotus.

There may be a small island built at the center, the pond being the moat of this sanctuary connected only to the outside world by a foot bridge naturally hidden by twining plants and lianas. The island is cozy with some trees riprapping it and providing shade to a native hut.

Staying here detaches one physically and mentally from the cares and worries of the world. Because it is a world by itself - so small, so private, so remote and secure.

Peering through the deep green water, one may be surprised to see a school of colorful carp and tilapia, stirring at the slightest hint of company and food. Their graceful movement creates gentle waves and soft lapping sounds against the center island and bank.

And to an observant eye, small fish like Poecilia and rainbow fish form small schools that inhabit the edges of the pond and its tiny islets and coves formed by aquatic plants and rocks. These tiny fish are always mindful about staying out of the path of their large counterpart. Other than small insects that fall into the water, and on planton organisms, they subsist as gleaners of any kind of food.

At the bottom of the pond lies the harmless, independent janitor fish known for their role of eating crust of algae and scum. That is why they are important in keeping aquariums and ponds clean. In the process, togwether with snails, they convert organic matter into detritus, the pond’s natural fertilizer, and the source of sediments that accumulate and become a foothold of aquatic plants. Seldom to these helpful creatures rise to the surface, but if you want to see these shy, docile fish, peer into the water on a clear day when the sun is directly above, and you will find them lying prostrate at the bottom, like sunken ship on a sea floor.

The P
ond Provides Relaxation

Stress–relieving benefits can be derived from a pond. When you need to relax, observe the turtles basking in the morning sun, stretching their neck and appendages. Or watch those cooling off on a hot day, their nostrils and carapace protruding out of the water. Nearby, a toad might patiently sit on a leaf pad, sheepishly eying an unwary insect for its next meal, its long tongue coiled like spring, ready to strike like lasso.

Bees buzz from flower to flower, while red, green and brown dragonflies hover prettily above the water as they search for a suitable place to lay eggs that will hatch into aquatic nymphs that feed on mosquito wrigglers and Daphnia. Strung on leaves and stalks are spider webs glistening with dewdrops. These resemble strings of diamonds that will soon turn into nearly invisible death traps for the hoppers, mosquitoes and flies that stray into them.

Fishing Sport

Catfish and mudfish are indigenous in ponds, whether man-made or natural. They are virtually permanent residents, and are masters of camouflage, and for being resistant to changing seasons, aestivating in summer beneath the muddy bottom, becoming active again come rainy season. Tilapia is the most visible among the large fishes. It multiplies fast. As such there is need to thin the pond occasionally by net, or hook and line. Ponds are a source of viand and fishing is adventure when the water starts to recede. It is a local sport for old and young when the rainy season ends.

It is not only the aesthetics and functional value that make ponds well-loved fixtures; they are a microcosm of larger ecosystems – the lakes and seas. They make us feel at home with nature.

Do you have a garden pond at home? Share us your views and experiences.

 A pond of cattails and Nymphaea lilies

 Fountain pond, UST Manila 

A note of simple expression of thanks and gratitude to all followers, participants and viewers of Living with Nature - School on Blog. Your contribution has greatly helped us expand in the number and variety of lessons and coverage. This is very encouraging as we are about to begin our fourth year with hundreds of pageviews daily from different parts of the world. We have now more than 2,100 posts, with a number of lessons regularly updated and edited for added information and easier access. The lessons are also linked with radio and outreach programs. We invite you to help in enhancing a greater multiplier effect. You may wish to contribute by any means, from disseminating the lessons in your area yourselves, or by donating to our current extension work and radio broadcast (school-on-air) through Philippine National Bank Dollar Account No. 372756300038, or 372756300020 (peso account). 

Living with Nature-School on Blog is purely a voluntary effort to help conserve the natural environment, and to bring functional literacy to millions who lack access to formal education, and to augment formal learning and experiential knowledge. - Dr Abercio V Rotor

Effective Teachers and Teaching Models – A Self-Administered Test

Dr Abe V Rotor and Ms Melly Tenorio

Dr Rotor with Senator Edgardo Angara and TV host Tintin Versola, on winning the
National Book Award
in Science for his book, Living with Nature in Our Times 2008.

This set of questions was designed for participants in Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) and viewers of Living with Nature - School on Blog. This is posted on popular request by the audience. I invite others to answer these questions often asked about teachers, their teaching methods and models, in True or False. Please refer to the answers at the end of the test which include details and other information.

1. In teaching, Humanities and Science must go together. This requires the use of both the left brain which is creativity and the right brain which is for logic or reason.

2. The majority of the teacher-participants are experimentalists. They uphold the experimental educational philosophy. This means that these teachers are flexible and open to educational change.

3. Twelve are advocates to perennialists, educational philosophy, which means that they do not subscribe to just one philosophy, and they shift their roles from being facilitators of learning to transmitters and interpreters of knowledge

4. Twelve are eclectic that is, they perceive themselves as authority figures in the classroom, transmitting and interpreting knowledge.

5. Nine are realists. They tend to focus on the here and now. They stress knowledge as how it is applied or observed. For example the laws of nature are better understood through observation and research.

6. Most of the expert teachers are idealists. They view education as a means of developing students’ intellectual abilities. Influenced by the Greek philosophers Socrates and Plato, these teachers stress the importance of logic and philosophy.

7. Of the two compositions used as basis in relating it to effectiveness in teaching. Essentials refer to requisites or “musts” for the attainment of teaching expertise.

8. Enhancers are teaching practices and behaviors contributory to teaching expertise

9. The effective teacher draws inspiration from his or her family, school administration and his community.

10. Subject matter expertise – All of the experts demonstrates a very thorough knowledge of subject matter, which facilitates effective organization of content to promote learning.

11. Being up-to-date with the latest developments in their fields – The experts are updated and very knowledgeable, explain new alternative ways of solving a problem – refers to effective classroom diagnostics

12. Knowledge of practical application and concrete, interesting examples to clarify abstract ideas/concepts – All of the expert teachers have readily available examples which are clear, simple, and interesting, to clarify issues or ideas – subject matter expertise.

13. Instructional Expertise – The expert teachers demonstrate facility in the use of varied instructional strategies, demonstrate knowledge of different teaching strategies, adopt group dynamics, and are particular in instructional clarity. They have the ability to simplify and clearly present lessons.

14. The founders of the world’s greatest religions were teachers.

15. Dr. Albert Schweitzer was great English explorer and teacher-missionary in Africa who became famous for his philosophy “reverence for life.”

16. Classroom Management Expertise – This is the ability of the teacher to prepare for and provide a physical learning environment. Students engage actively in class, time is properly managed, and students behave accordingly. A highly desirable study ethic prevails in class.

17. Efficient handling of routine activities and time management – refers to effective diagnostics.

18. Maintenance of students’ on-task behavior is a key enhancer. They use socialization techniques, encourage students to recite, motivate, and check their progress. There is never a dull moment in the classroom for an expert teacher.

19. Absence of class disruptions – The expert teachers make sure that the class does not suffer from unnecessary disruption. The experts are not reactive to disruptive situations; they are proactive, meaning they anticipate and prevent such situations to happen – or they can immediately remedy the situation from getting worse.

20. Classroom Management Expertise – this is the ability of the teacher to prepare for and provide a physical learning environment. Students engage actively in class, time is properly managed, and students behave accordingly.

21. Expert teachers have a range of teaching experience from 2 to 47 years, with a median of 25 years.

22. The experts were honor graduates and campus leaders.

23. In general, the 69 outstanding teachers did not choose teaching as their first career.

24. Women dominate the teaching profession.

25. Honor graduates are the best teachers because they are highly knowledgeable and can adjust easily to situation.

Reference: Unveiling Teaching Expertise: A Showcase of 69 Outstanding Teachers in the Philippines, Flordeliza Clemente-Reyes 2002. Lesson on Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid, DZRB 738 AM, 8 to 9 o’clock in the evening, Monday to Friday.

1. False, brain lobes interchanged.
2. True
3. False, they are eclectic.
4. False, they are perennialists
5. True
6. False, there are very few – only 1 in the survey is an idealist.
7. True
8. True

9. True. Almost one-half of the expert teachers consider the supportive role of family members who understand the nature of teaching as having greatly contributed to their success. Twenty of the expert teachers mentioned of a family member as their mentor and source of inspiration. On the other hand the role of school administrators is very important, with almost 70% of the participants attributing the administration’s support to their success. The ambiance of teaching is equally important whereby the school is one large respectable family with a community atmosphere.

10. True
11. True
12. True

13. True. Use of varied teaching strategies – 90% of the expert teachers use varied teaching strategies. They employ other than lecture and recitation, song and movement, role-playing, pantomime, choral; reading visual imagery, concept mapping, brainstorming, contest, simulation, oral debate, cooperative learning etc.

14. True
15. True. He was one of the last great explorers to bring knowledge, peace and Christianity into the Dark Continent.

16. True
17. False. – All expert teachers manage classroom routine and time efficiently. The teacher is familiar with the names of his students, and knows who is absent, who is a fast or slow learner. More than half of the experts (58%) do not check attendance because the students are properly monitored and absenteeism does not pose a problem. Classes start and end on time. The teacher employs different ways of maximizing class time, such as the use of OHP, and other instructional devises, including handouts.

18. True, 92% of the model teachers used this technique.
19. True
20. True

21. True, it takes 25 years to be a model teacher. There is a saying, “Experience does not only make a good teacher; experience is the best teacher.”

22. False. They were academic achievers in college. There were only 14 of the experts who were active in extracurricular activities in college, say in athletics and campus politics. Fifty-eight are academic achievers, with 33 as top performers but who did not make it in the dean’s list, and 25 who were consistent scholars and honor students. Only 11 were average academic performers.

23. True Only 26 actually set their minds to teaching as early as upon graduation in high school. For one reason or another, 43 set out for other careers. Others found teaching compatible with their present professions, while a good number opted to spend their retirement as teachers or professors.

24. True. Of the 69 outstanding teachers, women constitute 74% as compared with that of men which is 26 &, or a ratio of 4 to 1. The reason for this is that men place less priority to teaching than better paying jobs. This is manifested in the choice of careers. In the case of men, they prefer law, engineering, and applied courses in industry and technology that offer better professional growth opportunities and pay as compared to teaching.

25. False, however high intelligence is preferred.~

A note of simple expression of thanks and gratitude to all followers, participants and viewers of Living with Nature - School on Blog. Your contribution has greatly helped us expand in the number and variety of lessons and coverage. This is very encouraging as we are about to begin our fourth year with hundreds of pageviews daily from different parts of the world. We have now more than 2,000 posts, with a number of lessons regularly updated and edited for added information and easier access. The lessons are also linked with radio and outreach programs. We invite you to help in enhancing a greater multiplier effect. You may wish to contribute by any means, from disseminating the lessons in your area yourselves, or by donating to our current extension work and radio broadcast (school-on-air) through Philippine National Bank Dollar Account No. 372756300038, or 372756300020 (peso account). Living with Nature-School on Blog is purely a voluntary effort to bring functional literacy to millions who lack access to formal education, and to augment formal learning and experiential knowledge. - Dr Abercio V Rotor

(More lessons are found in

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Building a "Children of Nature" Culture

Dr Abe V Rotor

This is the outline of my keynote address before the participants of the Second Philippine National Biodiversity Meeting (BIOME) and the First Conference on Science, Education and Technology (SEDTEC) held Virac, Catanduanes, October 18-21, 2011.

Children Fishing, Painting in acrylic by AVR

Building a "Children of Nature" culture.

1. Our children need to know the true meaning of biodiversity. Four attributes - richness in kind, population, interrelationship.

Biodiversity per se does not guarantee sustainability unless integrated with functioning systems of nature.

2. Our children’s development must be holistic
In all four stages: genetic, childhood, lifestyle – and fetal (in the womb)

Sing, talk to your baby while in the womb.

3. Our children are at the front line and center of people’s revolution spreading worldwide.

Arab Spring is sweeping North Africa and the Middle East, so with the escalating unrest questioning the present world order. All over US the young are angry at economic inequity.

4. Our children become new heroes – heroes for the environment, martyrs for Mother Earth. Heaven is in a regained Paradise on earth.

The coming of a universal faith, irrespective of denomination. To be saved is not by faith and promise. Heaven starts here on earth.

5. Let’s prepare our children to face the consequences of loss of privacy and secrecy, from personal to institutional transparency.

“You can no longer hide. There is no place you can remain with anonymity.” Wikileak unveiled classified information about the Iraq and Afghanistan war. Bank secrecy laws and safeguards are changing. Citizens have the right to know many hidden financial transactions.

6. Our children’s involvement in social media makes them actors and not mere spectators. They become involved, concerned with issues, local and far reaching.

There is need to strengthen Development Communication (DevComm) over conventional entertainment and reactionary media.

7. Our children will inherit our aging infrastructure. Aging Infrastructure pulls down the economy, increases risk to disaster, creates ghost cities and making life miserable.

A new field of biodiversity has been born in deserted towns, on the 38th Parallel between South and North Korea, in land mines areas, ghost towns, among deserted high rise buildings, in high radiation areas like in Chernobyl (Russia) and Fukushima (Japan).

8. Our children are deprived of natural beauty and bounty with shrinking wildlife, conversion of farms and pastures to settlements, and destruction of ecosystems.

“Canned Nature” (delata) have become pseudo Nature Centers. Gubat sa Siyudad, Fantasyland, Ocean Park, Disneyland

9. Our children, and succeeding generations are becoming more and more vulnerable to various infirmities – genetic, physiological, psychological, pathologic.

Computer Syndrome is now pandemic, and its toll is increasing worldwide. South Korea is the worst hit.

10. Our children’s learning through codification defeats logical thinking and creativity. Thus affect their reasoning power, judgment and decision, originality of thought and ideas.

More and more children are computer-dependent. They find simple equations and definitions difficult without electronic gadget.

11. Our children face the age of singularity whereby human and artificial intelligence are integrated. Robotics robs human of his rights and freedom – new realm of curtailment and suppression. (2045 – The Year Man Becomes Immortal – Time Magazine)

This is falsehood!

12. Our children finds a world of archives - memories, reproductions, replicas – of a real world lost before their own time.

We are making fossils, biographies, dirges and lament, as if without sense of guilt.

13. Our children will realize that optimism will remain the mainstay of human evolution, rising above difficulties and trials. Hope is ingrained in the human brain that makes vision rosier than reality.

Anxiety, depression will continue to haunt, in fact accompany progress, but these all the more push optimism up and ahead.

14. Our children are overburdened by education. They need freedom to learn in their own sweet time and enjoy the bliss and adventure of childhood and adolescence.

E-learning is taking over much of the role of schools and universities. Open Universities, Distance Learning will dwarf classroom instruction. Beginning of a new University of Plato’s dream.

15. Our children will witness in their time the beginning of a post-capitalism order, environmental revolution, rise of growth centers and shift in economic dominance and order, more green technologies, and space exploration.

This is Renaissance in in the new age.

16. Our children will continue looking for the missing links of science, history, religion, astronomy etc, among them the source of life itself and its link with the physical world.

Linking of disciplines, narrowing down the gaps of specializations, making of a new Man and culture.

17. Our children become more and more transient in domicile where work may require, and for personal reasons, and when given choice and opportunity in a global perspective, intermarriages notwithstanding.

“Citizen of the world” is a person without a specific country. He is therefore, rootless.
Humans since creation are rooted politically, culturally – and principally biologically.

18. Our children will have a family size of ideally 2 or 3 children, enabling them to achieve their goals and dreams in life. They will strengthen the middle class the prime mover of society.

A natural way of family planning and population planning, trend of industrialized countries.

19. Our children will live simpler lives, going back to basics, preferring natural over artificial goods and services. In the long run they will be less wasteful that us.

There is always a hidden desire to escape when things get rough. This is instinct for survival either by detour or turning back.

20. Our children will clean the land, water and air we the generation before littered. They will heal the earth we defaced, damage. With generation gap closed, the task will be shared by all.

We must be good housekeepers of Mother Earth now.

21. Our children will be part of devolution of power, decentralization of authority, a new breed of more dedicated leaders.

Children hold the key to change. It’s the Little Prince that changed and saved the pilot in an ill-fated plane crash in Sahara.

22. Our children face acculturation and inter racial marriages. Melange of races is on the rise – Eurasian, Afro-American, Afro-Asian, etc – a homogenization process that reduces as a consequence natural gene pools.

Culturally and scientifically, this is dangerous. Homogenization leads to extinction of races and ultimately the species.

23. Our children are likely to face the dark side of genetic engineering - human cloning. There is no evidence of successful cloning of the human being as yet, although speculations are great that human cloning experiments are being done clandestinely.

Success in cloning animals pioneered by Dolly the sheep does not promise a good future to humans - and to the whole of creation. Cloned animals fail to follow the normal life cycle. Thus Dolly died a premature death - much earlier that the donor-parent. Analogously, clopned human will fail to enjoy the parental love in infancy, discovery in childhood, adventures in youth, responsibility in adulthood, and fulfillment in old age.

24. Our children face the coming of the Horsemen of Apocalypse – consequence of human folly and frailty (nuclear, pollution, poverty). More than we grownups, they are more resilient to adapt to the test.

History tells us that this is true.

25. Postmodernism may do more harm than good for our children in a runaway technology and culture. They cannot and will not be able to keep with the pace and direction of change.

This is not true. “I am the master of my fate, I’s the captain of my soul.” And this is what we want our children to become – but only when they are CHILDREN OF NATURE.

A note of simple expression of thanks and gratitude to all followers, participants and viewers of Living with Nature - School on Blog. Your contribution has greatly helped us expand in the number and variety of lessons and coverage. This is very encouraging as we are about to begin our fourth year with hundreds of pageviews daily from different parts of the world. We have now more than 2,000 posts, with a number of lessons regularly updated and edited for added information and easier access. The lessons are also linked with radio and outreach programs. We invite you to help in enhancing a greater multiplier effect. You may wish to contribute by any means, from disseminating the lessons in your area yourselves, or by donating to our current extension work and radio broadcast (school-on-air) through Philippine National Bank dollar account No. 372756300038, or 372756300020 (peso account). Living with Nature-School on Blog is purely a voluntary effort to bring functional literacy to millions who lack access to formal education, and to augment formal learning and experiential knowledge. - Dr Abercio V Rotor

For everything there is a season

A message to my students in Philosophy of Man, St. Paul University QC, Summer 2009, quoting Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Photo by Marlo R Rotor, Bamban Tarlac, 2006

For everything there is a season
And a time for every matter under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time for war, and a time for peace.

Dedicated to the memory of the late Justice Secretary Sedfrey Ordoñez, author of Life Cycles, a book that tells us that for everything there is a season. x x x

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Squash Ukoy

Abe V Rotor

Move over junk food.

Try ukoy with grated squash, with usual ingredients of egg and shrimp. It's best for breakfast and snacks. It's nutritious. It breaks monotony of recipes and menus.
Carotene from squash improves eyesight. It's recommended for children who spend hours with TV and the computer.
NOTE: You can dry the grated squash for next cooking. Vary the ingredients, too. Shredded fish, dilis or anchovies, minced meat, bacon, for those with allergy on shrimps. Why don't you add onion leaves and kutchai?
Happy eating!

Biotechnology at Home (Mango Jam, Bagoong and Patis, Salted Eggs)

By Abe V Rotor

1. Mango jam for home and business, too.

It is the peak mango season. A lot of fruits goes to waste - ripe, green and juvenile. Don’t allow this to happen. Mango makes a perfect jam for snacks and dessert. Try this easy-to-follow procedure.

• Wash mangoes thoroughly in running water.
• Cut into halves, scoop out pulp and pass through a coarse sieve.
• Measure pulp and add sugar.
• For every two cups of mango pulp, add one cup of sugar.
• Cook in a stainless pan. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until thick enough to be spooned out.
• Pack in warm sterilized jars while hot and seal immediately.

It is a practice to make the inferior fruits into jam. Well, as long as they are well ripe, fresh and clean. A word of caution though - just a single overripe fruit mixed inadvertently is enough to spoil the wholesome taste of the jam. Also, use stainless knife and pan to prevent discoloration of the product.

This formula is applicable for other fruits like pineapple, papaya, chico, banana, tiesa and the like.

2. Make bagoong and patis at home.

Before these indigenous products became commercialized, rural households had been making their own supply following this simple procedure.
• Wash fish or alamang in clean water.
• For every three cups of fish (e.g. anchovies or munamon), add one cup of salt and mix well.
• Place fish and salt mixture in earthenware (banga or burnay) or glass container.
• Cover container tightly with muslim cloth and banana leaves to keep away flies and other insects.
• Let the setup stand for at least a month; better still after a year to develop its aroma and flavor.

Seasoned bagoong yields a clear golden layer of patis on top. If the patis layer is at the middle or bottom it means the bagoong is not yet mature, or it must have been diluted with water.

3. Homemade salted eggs, anyone?

Making salted eggs is a very old technology, and most likely originated in China.
Here is an easy-to-follow procedure, the old folks’ way.

• Mix 12 cups of clay and 4 cups of salt, adding water gradually until they are well blended.
• Apply a layer of this mixture at the bottom of a palayok or banga.
• Coat each egg with the mixture.
• Arrange the coated eggs in layers, giving a space of 3 to 5 cm in between them.
• Add the extra mixture of clay and salt on top, cover the container with banana leaves, and keep the setup in a safe and cool place.
• Try one egg after 15 days by cooking below boiling point for 15 minutes. If not salty enough, extend storing period.
• Color eggs if desired.

Salted eggs plus fresh ripe tomato and onions makes a wholesome viand. It goes well with any meal.

(More lessons are found in

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Anaphylaxis Attack and Symptoms

Compiled and Edited by AV Rotor

Anaphylaxis is acute reaction of the body to allergy, and it can be fatal.

Anaphylaxis can strike within seconds or minutes of exposure to an allergen. Or it may sneak up slowly, with symptoms delayed up to two hours from the time of exposure. Initial symptoms may even disappear, then return full-force within 4 to 12 hours.

It’s a terrifying feeling, you may become flushed, and your skin may become quite itchy and red. The frightening thing is, you begin to feel you’re having difficulty taking a full breathe, that you are suffocating. As your blood pressure drops, you feel dizzy and sweaty and become pale. You body is not kidding. Anaphylaxis can kill by suffocation.

Anaphylaxis is systemic reaction, during which exposure to an allergen triggers an allergic response throughout the body rather than just near the site.

Findings about anaphylaxis.

1. It doesn’t take much to trigger this body-wide allergic response – a single peanut or tiny paper wasp can set off the reaction.

2. During an anaphylactic attack, a rush of chemicals – histamines, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins – is released in an attempt by the body to defend itself. These chemicals are produced by basophiles found in the blood, mast cells found throughout the body, including eyes, noise skin and gastrointestinal tract.

3. Anaphylaxis may affect many organs, such as the throat, lungs, blood vessels, and intestines.

4. Histamine and other chemicals released by the body may produce widespread itching, welts, and hives on your skin.

5. It can cause blood vessels to become leaky, resulting in a drop in blood pressure, swelling of the skin, and fluid in your lungs.

6. It may bring circulation of your blood and oxygen to a near-standstill as your blood pressure drops.

7. There is nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, wheezing and difficulty swallowing, at first. It makes it difficult or impossible to breathe as your tongue and throat swell up and your lungs go into asthmatic spasms.

8. It triggers nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea as your gastrointestinal system goes haywire.

9.There's a metallic taste in the mouth, cramping of the uterus during pregnancy, sudden need to urinate.

10. There is heart palpitation, a feeling of light-headedness or faint, and can lead to loss of consciousness (syncope), .

11. Around 90% of adults didn’t even tell their doctors about their anaphylaxis reactions.

12.Chances are: If you have had anaphylaxis in the past, the odds are you will have it again. (from 380 anaphylaxis patients)
•25% had just 1 episode
•18% had 2 episodes
•57 % had 3 or more

Causes of Anaphylaxis
1. Food – peanut, shellfish, crustaceans,
2. Insects – fire ant, honeybee, bugs
3. Drugs – more than ½ million serious allergic reaction occur in hospitals (Penicillin)
4. Latex – condoms, balloons, gloves
5. Exercise – eating 3-4 hrs before exercising increases risk
6. Narcotics
7. Aspirin
8. Blood transfusions
9. Food additives
10. Poisonous plants, such as lipang kalabaw and sabawil atap.

Recommendation: Keep a diary of your allergens and avoid them. Weed out your refrigerator, cupboard, drawers. Allergens may appear in an unsuspecting product. Prevention and vigilance are important. Seek medical treatment immediately before anaphylaxis sets in.

References: Ansorge R and E Metcalf et al (2001) Allergy Free Naturally Rodale Inc NY, 532 pp; Rotor AB (1983) The Men Who Play God: A Collection of Yen Short Stories Ateneo de Manila University Press 147 pp

Environmental Medicine - Tolerance or Immunity?

By Dr Abe V Rotor

Many diseases and ailments develop through long and constant exposure to poverty, tempering the body and spirit. We are not certain how to measure the pain of those affected, much less to compare with ours. How little can we take pain and endure the suffering as other people do.

This condition reflects social inequity that is often viewed with indifference. We can’t hide from ailments, while others can. This could be the reason why there are more reported cases of human health in a highly developed society.

Phobia, anxiety, disease, malnutrition, loneliness, are difficult to decipher and separate from one another when one is suffering of extreme physical, mental, and emotional distress.

Basis of Environmental Medicine

Environmental Medicine can be summarized in three parts.

Total Load - accumulation is like drops of water in a bucket which becomes full, and overflows, resulting to allergies.
Individual susceptibility - heredity, age, gender, physical, emotional, and nutritional condition, seasonality, etc.
Floodgate-spillway principle of simple ailments to develop into serious diseases, and even death. Delayed-onset has serious complications that affect organs.

Environmental medicine grows with the rush of modernization. As we prosper economically we seem to have forgotten the basic equation of weighing the deleterious by-products of progress, and keeping them out of harm’s way. Here are some basic equations that keep our environment healthy.

• oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange that keep the biosphere in balance,
• energy-matter relationship that maintains steady energy supply,
• organism-habitat balance that protects species and ecosystems,
• acid-alkaline balance that prevents formation of acid rain.

Our apparent disregard to these basic equations have resulted into the these consequences:

• Nature’s distilling process – evaporation-condensation - is now contaminated with pollutants.
• Acid rain is formed by the combination of CO2 and SO2 in air with water vapor.
• Algal bloom causes “fish kill” when dissolved Oxygen is displaced by CO2 emitted decomposition.

So little do we know about human health in relation to our changing environment.
There are many ailments from falling hairs, infections, allergies to direct poisoning that accompany harmful substances entering the food chain, and ultimately into the food web. They puzzle doctors and researchers, disturb the economy and peace. These among many other environment-related ailments constitute the scourge of modern man.

Thus there is urgent need to vastly enlarging, if not revise many areas and approaches in medicine and human health care.

Modern medicine has taken us to the fast lanes and well into the sophistications of
computerization, Human Genome Project, Gene Therapy, “Pharming.” (Implantuing genes of pharmacological plants to food crops.)

Alternative medicine, being part of culture and closest to local remedies, time-tested and practical, shall remain the mainstay of folk medicine, catering to the grassroots.

The relationship of the three main fields of medicine – conventional, alternative and environmental - is like a tripod.

Six Blind Men and an Elephant

This fable by the Persian poet Jalãl al-Din Rümï (d 1273) is about human ignorance.

Each one of the Sight-Challenged men mistakes the part for the whole, just as today's adherents of various religious sects, political ideologies, and economic theories, claim a firm hold on Truth while disparaging or ignoring others.

1st Blind Man: A bed, referring to the belly.
2nd Blind Man: A venomous snake, the trunk
3rd Blind Man: A rope, the tail.
4th Blind Man: It's a pillar, a leg.
5th Blind Man: A beautiful fan, the ear.
6th Blind Man: A sword, the tusk.

In a parallel way, most people are blind to the Earth, perceiving it only in terms of utility -- as stacks of natural resources, raw materials, background scenery, and other commodities -- rather than as a Living Whole.

One wonders whether the six blind men - or women - would not have asked directions, joined hands, done a bit of networking, before declaring that they had Truth by the tail, trunk, ears, belly, tusk, or leg.

Which leads us to examine the so-called syndromes that continue to haunt mankind – his relationship with his fellowmen on one hand, and with the environment, on the other. ~

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Photography 6: Philippine Crocodile

Philippine Crocodile: a photographic study of the docile behavior of this living fossil, and master of camouflage. Tagaytay Zoo. Photos by Matthew Marlo R Rotor, Canon EOS 350 with Sigma lens 70-300 mm.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Development Communication - Test on Socio-Cultural Issues (True or False, 25 items)

Development Communication - Test on Socio-Cultural Issues (True or False, 25 items)
Dr Abe V Rotor

True or False
____ 1. We are living in Postmodernism era, that is, "we are living ahead of our time in a free fall."
____ 2. Homogenization refers to inter-racial and inter-cultural marriages, to the nth degree, thus creating various combination ultimately leading to a homogenous people, thus Homo sapiens.
____ 3. We Filipinos have earned all tops awards - from sports to science. In fact we have won the Nobel Prize for peace, and another, community service.
____ 4. The term modern consciously attempts to distinguish itself from what we call traditional such classical music and traditional farming, .
____5. The European Union has recently voted Russia's membership, primarily because of its oil deposits.
____6. ASEAN and APEC, if combined in their present structures and functions, make an EU in Asia.
____7. Today the Avian or bird flu virus has hybridized with the human flu virus forming a virulent form. It has also been found to infect pigs.
____8. A Chinese scientist predicted that anthrax is going to be the next pandemic human disease.
____9. In the early 1920s, some 100 million people died of Spanish flu in just 24 weeks – more than the total death due to AIDS in 24 years.
___10. We are prisoners of our genes, and therefore must accept our fate.
___11. The church does not have a common stand on liposuction even if it is unnatural and harmful – indeed a violation of ethico-morals.
___12. Urbanization and industrialization go hand in hand like a couple.
___13. Biopirating (stealing biological resources) is a form of ecosabotage.
___14. The true reason the US and UK attacked Iraq is because Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
___15. The so-called Cold War which lasted for 45 years was characterized by polarization of countries into democracy and socialism.
___16. We must be more concerned with endangered species, rather than endangered ecosystems, since loss of species is definitely irreversible.
___17. Suicide is precipitated by depression. No one would simply want to end up a good life.
___18. The rate of suicide is higher in less progressive countries because of poverty.
___19. Acculturation is all right, as long as the ethnic communities are integrated into the main stream of society.
___20. Agriculture and ecology are in conflict when it comes to the preservation of the natural environment.
___21. The richest nation and institution ever on earth is the Vatican, seat of the Roman Catholic church.
___23. Test tube baby, surrogate motherhood, artificial insemination, GMOs – they go altogether in a package - the most recent in the business world.
___24. Man and woman have the same intelligence level , as well as physiology – biologically speaking, that is.
___25. It is all about design. In today’s world, designs tend to be more aesthetic than functional.

NOTE: Answers to be provided January 30, 2009
Score Rating
24-25 Outstanding; 20-23 Very Good; 15-19 Good; 10-14 Average; Below 10, Fai

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Self-Administered Test on Fruits and Vegetables (True or False, 25 items)

Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid, Assign in Communication nd Change (CA217)
Dr Abe V Rotor and Ms Melly C Tenorio

1. There are more cancer cases among meat eaters than vegetable eaters.

2. Hybrids (rice, corn) yield remain the same in the succeeding planting using the same seeds – that’s why they are called hybrids.

3, Sugarless sugar, like aspartame, have no calorie value, that’s why it is safe to diabetic people.

4. Chalky rice is both varietal and agronomic. It could be both. In the case of the latter, there was too much nitrogen fertilizer applied on the crop.

5. Japanese rice is the same as California rice and Thai rice and Philippine rice.

6. Squash, potato, camote, cucumber are preferred to be served without peeling them, because vitamins and minerals are found mainly in the skin.

7. As a general rule, if you are not familiar with the looks of a kind of mushroom and there is no assurance on the label or by authorities, don’t eat it; there is no antidote of mushroom poison.

8. Before buying any fruit juice, powdered or ready to drink, read the label. Be sure it does not contain aspartame or any artificial sugar.

9. Before buying noodles or both mix, read the label of ingredients – be sure there is no MSG Monosodium Glutamate or vetsin.

10. Bihon comes from mungo, sotanghon from rice, pasta from semolina wheat, bread from spring or winter wheat.

11. All kinds of bamboo have edible shoot (labong) – parehong kawayan.

12. All bananas produce edible blossom (puso ng saging)

13. Sea vegetables are actually edible sea weeds, and sea weed are not weeds in the true sense.

14. There are five groups of vegetables: leafy-flower-stem vegetables, root vegetables, seed vegetables, fruit vegetables, and fruit vegetables. The fifth is mushroom, seaweeds, algae (Chlorella) and cyanophytes (Spirulina), and the like.

15. Camote (Ipomeao batatas) is both leaf and root vegetable; so with singkamas (Pachyrhizus erosus)

16. Ampalaya (Momordica charantia) and sayote( Sechium edule), are fruit and leafy vegetables.

17. According to researches, cows milk causes allergy more than any food. In legumes it is peanut, among cereals it is wheat. T

18. Do not buy potato that is green and sprouting. It contains a toxin substance known as Solanine.

19. For thousands and thousands of years, the law of co-evolution made organisms become interrelated among each other on one hand, and organisms with their natural environment on the other. Man, with science and technology and modern institutions, has broken this natural interrelationship – this is the main reason of ecological imbalance, health problems, and the like – and man’s bleak future as a species.

20. One main reason for increasing prices of food and unsteady supply, deterioration quality notwithstanding, is global warming.

21.What makes food expensive is the sophisticated culinary art - the aesthetics of food in restaurants and hotels. Learn the art and trade. Bring it home. Share with your spouse and children, the kitchen and dining room can be transformed into restaurant or hotel of sort.

22. Cloudburst or thunderstorms are beneficial more than destructive. They bring in the rains for our plants.

23. Do not buy seeds of plants you are not familiar with; don’t be sold to the beautiful label. For all we know they are not suitable to local conditions.

24. Be austere (austerity), be wise and cautious, trust your senses (not emotion and psyche) when buying anything. Packaging will not improve quality, increase value or guarantee your safety.

25. The reason for the series of lessons on food, agriculture, home gardening, pesticide-free vegetables and the like in Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid - is to bring into consciousness reality of life that is simple, self-sufficient, healthy and happy – at our finger tips, at our command. Indeed it is liberation, road to freedom from extreme consumerism which is the precursor of abusive capitalism.

ANSWERS: 1t 2f(Hybrids have unstable genetic makeup) 3f 4t 5f 6t 7t 8t 9t 10f 11f 12f 13t 14t 15f 16t 17 18TPotato is a relative of the most poisonous plant in the world – tobacco, and the most pungent plant – pepper (capsicin). In fact you can graft tobacco with potato – also with pepper, and tomato, and eggplant 19T 20t 21t 22F (detrimental, so with acid rain) 23T(Consult local farmers or agriculturist) 24T(Don’t be a guinea pig or experimental mouse) 25T

RATING: 24-25 Outstanding; 21-23 Very Good; 17-20 Good; 12-16 Fair; 11 and below, participate in PBH, DZRB 738 AM, 8 to 9 pm, Monday to Friday.

Test on Ecology Part 2: True or False

By Dr Abe V Rotor

1. Ozone (O3) is produced through chemical reaction combining 02 with 0 (mol oxygen), an irreversible reaction.
2. CO2 and CO in the air, when combined with H2O will form acid rain which is mainly Sulfuric Acid.
3. When buying a car, refrigerator, or air-conditioner be sure it is ozone-friendly.
4. Even without man and all his lavish way of living and enormous population, still the earth will experience “global warming.”
5. The earth actually needs today a new breed of heroes for Mother Earth in the likes of Ernest. Schumacher, Rachel Carson, Chico Mendes, Aldo Leopold, Theodore Roosevelt, Jane Goodall.
6. The first scientific breakthrough threatens the world of deadly radiation. T(Splitting of the Atom)
7. Humans are still nomadic and hunters to the present, so that we virtually ravage nature freely in order to provide for our own socio-economic need.
8. The second scientific breakthrough “shrunk the world,” so to speak.
9. When we breath, we air we inhale is composed of around ¾ Nitrogen, 1/5 Oxygen.
10. The number one source of oxygen in the atmosphere is from the ocean and seas.
11. Cold water holds less dissolved Oxygen than warm water does.
12. As water freezes, it expands – which explain how rocks are split and tumble down, triggering avalanche and land slide.
13. Tobacco smoking has insignificant effect to global warming.
14. An iceberg may be towed from source to be used as potable water.
15. Warm water contains more plankton organisms than cold water.
16. Smog is a combination of smoke and fog – a grayish to dark blanket that hangs on an inversion layer about cities.
17. The strongest typhoons in the Philippines occur in July and August.
18. Ecological paradigm of salvation means we commit a mortal sin when we cut down a tree that gives life to your fellowmen and other living organisms. Restoration is the true penance and atonement.
19. The Great Dust Bowl occurred in the early part of the last century; it filled the sky with dusts from over cultivated fields. The situation was solved and since then the incident never happened again.
20. Energy is neither created nor destroyed; the resultant form is dissipated at various levels
21. There is a felt reversal of migration flow into major cities, and that is, from urban to rural.
22. Modern agriculture is one culprit to global warming.
23. Capitalistic societies are better managers of the environment than socialistic or communistic societies.
24. The primordial approach to reduce the effects of human activity that lead to the depletion of natural resources and disturbance of the delicate ecological balance is – population planning, that is to defuse the present population explosion.
25. The father of ecology is St. Isidro who is also the patron saint of farmers.

ANSWERS: 1F, 2F (SO2 + H2O), 3T, 4T, 5T, 6T, 7F(like fishing in oceans), 8T (T) microchip – communication; the world is wired.), 9T (78 % and 21 % respectively), 10T (phytoplankton make the pasture of the sea), 11F (opposite), 12T, 13F (highly significant), 14T, 15F (Temperate waters are richer fisheries.), 16T, 17F (towards December, we are nearer to the Cold Front that clash with the ITCZ) , 18T, 19T (the Dakotas were the most affected), 20T, 21F (Cities are still growing, and the trend has not been established.), 22T, 23F (Both are inefficient), 24T 25F (St. Francis)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Primer on Ecology Test (25 items, true or false)

Dr Abe V Rotor and Ms Melly C Tenorio
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid DZRB 738 KHZ AM, 8 to 9 pm, Monday to Friday

1. Deserts are extremely dry, hot – Gobi desert, Sahara, Australian desert, North American desert.

2. Because of the harsh condition of a desert , there is no culture that lives permanent in it – except Kalahari in Southern Africa,the setting of the film, The God’s Must be Crazy.

3. The smallest ecosystem is a pond, which may be compared to a small lake. It contains has the structural and functional organization of an ecosystem.

4. Forests in America and Europe – temperate deciduous forests, and our forests in the tropics – tropical rainforest, have one thing in common. They are multi-storied, often reaching five stories or layers.

5. Taiga or evergreen forests are widespread both on the northern as well as on the southern hemisphere.

6. The largest biome in the world is the ocean; it has also the most number and kind of ecosystems.

7. The new breed of heroes today are those who protect the environment, in the likes of Rachel Carson (Silent Spring), Henry David Thoreau (philosopher) and our own Chin Chin Gutierrez and Von Hernandez both recognized and featured by Time.

8. There is no such thing as free lunch in ecology. What you get you pay. Thus for every ton of grain you harvest, you must put back to the soil the equivalence of soil nutrients like N, P, K, replacement of water and other inputs notwithstanding.

9. The sun is the prime mover of the earth’s phenomena such as wind and ocean currents, including tornadoes, typhoons, precipitation, drought, flood, due to differential heating of the surface of the earth.

10. The energy we get from eating rice actually comes from the heat of the sun – thus it generates body heat.

11. Organisms in the depth of the ocean obtain their energy from volcanic vents spewing sulfur compounds. Sulfur bacteria manufacturer food by means of chemosynthesis, the counterpart of photosynthesis by plants.

12. Algae or lumot, seaweeds included like lato and gulaman, are classified as plants (Sub-kingdom Plantae because they contain chlorophyll, thus they can manufacture food from the sun.

13. Fungi such as mushrooms, yeasts, molds, Penncilium and even those that cause diseases constitute a separate sub-kingdom - Mycophyta.

14. Evolution can be traced from the phylogenetic tree – meaning, the positions of the different sub-kingdoms in the form of a chart – the bottom are primitive/ancient becoming more complex and modern towards the top of the chart.

15. There is no living thing that has of no use at all. Each has a role to plant in the biosphere, whether this be good or bad in our own judgment.

16. A single process in nature can produce two or more products. Fermentation of sugar leads to production of ethanol and acetic acid. Decomposition of organic matter produces fuel gas (methane) and organic fertilizer.

17. In Photosynthesis what is most important is the sugar that is p[produced. Never mind the secondary product. That is of minor value and consequence.

18. Economic development must be holistic, that is the ecology of the place must be preserved, protecting all parts of the ecosystem – watershed, waterways, the land and soil, etc.

19. In biology, there are two kinds of metabolism constructive and destructive. Keep the two in balance for good health and shape.

20. The virus is not considered a living organism because it lacks the criteria of life. It can’t carry on the basic life processes.

21. Archeobacteria and Cyanobacteria are the same – they are either saprophytic or pathogenic. (F)

22. Spanish flu pandemic killed 100 million people in 1918 to early 1920s, killing 1 out of 6 people on earth. The average age in the US was reduced to 12 years old.

23. Influenza kills both young and old, but more senior citizens succumb to the epidemic.

24. Reverence of life the number one rule – and value – that we should practice in ecology. Like people, we cannot protect living things unless we love them. We cannot protect creation with out loving it. It is the highest form of prayer to the Almighty.

25. Ecology comes from the Greek word Oikos meaning house. Our planet Earth is our house, it is our spaceship – and the only one. Fortunately everything is free – water air space – we tend to forget that our only role is good housekeeping.

x x x
False - 1, 4, 5, 10, 12, 17, 21, & 23; the other items are True

24-25 Excellent
22-23 Very Good
19-21 Good
16-18 Fair
13-15 Passed

Test Global Warming ANSWERS:1F (competition with food and nutrition),1T, 2F, 3T, 4T, 5F, 6T, 7T, 8F, 9T, 10F (one-fourth, 11T, 12T, 13T, 14T, 15T, 16T - 1.90. Of the total freshwater (2 %), glacier and ice make up 78.19 %, 20.58 %groundwater, and 0.82% rivers and lakes, soil 0.41%; 17F, 18F, 19F (There are doubting Thomases.), 20T, 21F (It's a concern of every citizen of the world.), 22F(Penguins are found at the Antarctic), 23T(We have yet to perfect the technology; ethanol from sugarcane is more efficient.), 24T(Pesticides killed the birds that herald spring.), 25T.

24 – 25 outstanding
20 – 23 very good
16 – 19 good
12 – 15 pass
Below 11 - Listen more to Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid and research.