Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Self-Administered Test in Manners and Etiquette (with answer key)

By Dr Abe V Rotor

1. Talking loudly can be seen as overbearing and rude; it will also make people angry and upset, even before you can establish a good relationship with them.

2. Speak with respect; avoid negative remarks that may insult someone else. Exception: when you are in court or any investigative forum.

3. Don’t speak of bodily functions such as using the bathroom or telling crude jokes. This is however all right in casual conversation.

4. Terms like Thank you, Please, You’re welcome, I’m sorry – are said only on appropriate occasions. Just don’t say it for nothing.

5. Hold the door for anyone following you closely – unless he is able bodied, and perhaps stronger than you.

6. Speak highly of your parents, unless they are already dead.

7. It is okay to swear but not to use filthy language. Swearing is an act of affirming your innocence or sincerity.

8. Pay attention to how you carry yourself, such as in handshake. Shake hands firmly – not limply. People know you in how you shake hands.

9. Don’t interrupt, cut off or override unless you are the teacher or referee.

10. You can phone before 7 am or after 9 pm, if it is business matter.

11. It’s okay to spend an hour or more chatting with someone. It’s your private phone anyway.

12. Address older adults and professional seniority with the title Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms until you are asked by them to address them by their first names.

13. Michael is Mike, Arturo is Art, Jaime is Jim, Vicente is Vic – why still ask his nickname when you have dropped formalities of knowing each other?

14. On the computer (e-mail) and cell phones, it is all right to use CUZ for because, U for you, DA of the, DAT of that. 2 for to etc )

15. It’s okay today, in texting and e-mail, to commit errors in grammar and spelling, and faulty sentence construction.

16. Always give gratitude and be thankful. If this is not enough just to say thank you, show how grateful you really are with say, a note, a flower, token or gift.

17. Some people feel than being “mannered” is “fake” or unauthentic. Instead, realize that manners are normal and healthy social conventions that make interactions easier and more pleasant.

18. If you are in school, make sure that you behave so that your teacher will speak highly of you – pay attention in class and do your homework. Treat your teacher with respect. Do all these with the end in view of getting a good grade and earning a good reputation among your classmates. Perhaps you will even get a medal for good conduct and behavior.

19. If someone else is speaking, try hard not to be domineering or overbearing by taking over the story or subject matter at hand, even if you feel that you can tell it better. Let him finish, then give your two cents worth.

20. Avoid annoying others with your cellphone. Be sure to turn off your phone. If by whatever reason your cellphone rings in the middle of a lecture. Stand up and say sorry, and erase any suspicion that it is someone else.

21. Etiquette is a French word and it origin was during the time of the French aristocrats – at the court of Louis XIV. This is the reason why in America, the notion of etiquette is occasionally disparaged – and looked upon as old-fashioned or elite.

22. Etiquette is a code that influences expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social groups – in spite of the unique characteristics of these groups, there are etiquette rules that are common to them.

23. Etiquette in the Philippine has been greatly influenced by European Renaissance – but has lost must of its influence, except in high society.

24. Start showing your manners with your parents. They’ll be overjoyed that their children are speaking to them with respect, for respect shows that you have good manners.

25. Manners are little rules that help us all act with respect toward one another. If you are unsure what to do in a particular situation, remember that manners strive to make anyone around you feel comfortable, and take action based on this thought.
x x x

ANSWERS: 1t, 2f, 3f, 4t, 5f, 6f, 7f, 8t, 9f, 10f, 11f, 12t, 13f, 14f, 15f, 16t,17t, 18f, 19t, 20f, 21t, 22t, 23t, 24t, 25t

RATING: 24-25 Excellent; 21-13 Very Good; 18-20 Good; 15-17 Fair; 14 and below - listen regularly to Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid 738 KHz AM Band DZRB [www.pbs.gov.ph] 8-9 in the evening, Monday through Friday

A Test in Photojournalism

Dr Abe V Rotor

Part 1: True or False (Write T or F before each question)

__1. Adjust shutter to B and mount camera on tripod when shooting night scenes – a busy street, Christmas lights, stars, constellation, etc.
__2. Today’s digital camera is more versatile, relatively cheaper, easier to operate – but not necessarily superior in quality - to film camera.
__3. Some digital cameras can used the lenses of film cameras, particularly SLRs.
__4. The most advanced digital cameras are made by Kodak.
__5.When a close up of flower is blurred, the subject is too close.
__6. Basketball player in air totally blurred – shutter speed is too slow.
__7. Sunny outdoor view is rough, with dot matrix like in “pointillism.” – ASA/ISO value too high.
__8. Photo is too light all over, no accent, clarity poor/ insufficient light, lens opening too small, or both.
__9. When having your picture taken, relax your shoulder and your face muscles will also relax.
__10. “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” and “Micro Safari” have one in common – micro photography.

___11. For best results there is no substitute to having a manual camera with semi-automatic system for photographic art – kahit digital camera pa.
__ 12 . When taking pictures, the rule is that the source of light must be at the back of the photographer.
___13. The lens opening of a camera is like the pupil of the human eye.
___14. Single lens reflex (SLR) means you are looking at the subject through the lens of the camera.
__ 15. Satellite imaging can detect weather disturbances, pollution; it can predict crop yield levels, and in fact even hideouts of terrorists.
___16. Satellite imaging is used in cartography, that is, the science of mapping the features of the earth.
__ 17. Deeper interpretation of contrast is in the subject of the photo, rather than interplay of light and shadow, colors and lines.
__18. The larger the lens opening the better is the depth of field.
__19. If the background is bright and your subjects are posed against it, what you can do to counteract glare is to use flash.
__20. Filters emphasize outlines, increases contrast of light and shadow, warm and cool and colors. It is also used in silhouette photography.

__21. Light microscope reveals the world of microorganisms – countless of them in a single drop of water.
__22. Electron microscopy produces photographs of extremely small objects up to 5,000 times in a myriad of colors like a rainbow.
__23. Radio telescope enables the human eye to see very far objects like stars using the same principle of lens telescope.
__24. One area of photography that enables us to see fast moving objects normally invisible to the eye is through slow motion photography.
__25. The aura emitted by our body is visible through photography.
__26. Photography brings to the eyes of the world good things to appreciate, and evil things to correct.
__27. Photojournalism is a risky profession, like other media men, they risk their lives. In fact the Philippines has the most number of fatalities among media men, second to Iraq.
__28. War is the arena of photography – war against poverty, graft and corruption, environmental degradation, diseases, ignorance, terrorism, and the like.
__29. Yet photography offers the newest, most modern, technologically advanced, now popularized to be enjoyed by millions of people everyday.
__30. Photography is the extension of our eyes and other senses, in fact our intellect, our feeling and our soul.~

__31. A famous photograph – a naked young girl, her body burned by napalm (Orange Agent) running along a highway with other children, while soldiers simply didn’t mind, was taken during the recent Iraq war.
__32. A lone man standing in front of a column of tanks was taken during the Vietnam war. The photo freezes the action as if the man succeeded in his suicidal act.
__33. Today, photography – from shooting to printing - can be done in a home studio, and therefore offers a good business opportunity. In fact documentaries and short movies can be done.
__34. Composition is the key to telling a story, be it a painting, a poem, a novel – or a photograph.
__35. The elements of art – are also the elements of photography.
__36. Foreshortened effect is shown on traffic signs written on the highway.
__37. 400 ASA/ISO/DIN film is more sensitive than 100 ASA/ISO/DIN film, in the same way as 4 megapixels is more sensitive than say, 2 megapixels.
__38. As the number increases - 30, 60, 100, 250, 500, 1000 – it means the shutter mechanism proportionately slows down or decreases speed.
__39. Here are three ways to improve your photo when lighting is poor: use tripod, use flash, increase ASA or DIN – in any combination, or all of them at the same time.
__40. You can get multiple exposures in a single shot of fireworks even without a tripod.

__41. The opening of a flower bud step by step is recorded by means of time lapse photography, a technique that compresses time to enable the eye to witness the event in a short time frame.
__42. Buildings appear in concentric circle converging at the top if you use fisheye lens.
__43.When using a wide angle lens for a group photo, those on the sides appear to be very thin while those at the center are fat.
__44. Telezoom lenses extend the view, compressing distance, thus they are used in war zones.
__45.Allow the pupil of the eye to narrow down by sending a series of faint flashes before the real flash is made. This is to prevent red eye in the photograph.
_ 46. With the state-of-the-art digital photography, a poorly taken photo can be edited anyway - so, why worry?
__47. Black and white photos are simpler to process and print than color photographs.
__48. The computer is equipped with a software to correct blurred, burned, incomplete and misaligned photos to appear normal.
__ 49. As a rule do not retouch a historical documentary photos; they are more authentic in their original state.
__ 50. It is easier to photograph emotions rather than features, because they come naturally, while you have to do a lot of script in the latter.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The World of Numbers

Dr Abe V Rotor

We are fond of numbers and we use different terms to denote animals, plants and our own species. These terms given to groups of animals give us distinct and more vivid imagery about their natural gregarious character.

Here are common examples.

• Lions – pride
• Goat – trip
• Cows – flink
• Sheep – flock
• Birds – flock
• Fishes – school
• Ants - colony
• Flies – swarm
• Cattle – herd
• Bacteria – colony
• Geese – gaggle (on the ground); skein (in the air)

Grouping of plants is unique. Botanists and agriculturists use terms like tillers, as in rice;suckers in banana, runners and stolons in gabi and Bermuda grass, slips in pineapple. All these refer to the asexual progeny of a mother plant, duplicating itself many times in its lifetime. These are agronomic terms: a paddy of rice, an orchard, a grove of coconut, a plot or patchof vegetables.

Among us humans we use many terms such as a battery of lawyers, a battalion or platoonof soldiers, class in schools, team in games. a choir, a batch of graduates, or simply throngfor a huge crowd. In an organization we group people into departments, divisions, sections, etc, specifying work and responsibility. Then we have such terms as congregation, fraternity, gang, and the like.

Systematics became a science not only to quantify but organize numbers. In biology, systematics which refers to identification and classification of organisms adopts the terms kingdom, phylaor division, class, order, family, genus and species, among sub-types, including smaller categories as races, varieties, breeds, accessions and cultivars.

Numbers, numbers, numbers - we live by numbers.

x x x

Reference: Living with Folk Wisdom, by AV Rotor, UST Press Manila

Living things resurrect from the dead, others have self-healing power

. Dr Abe V RotorRaptors like eagles and hawks are choosy of their food - only live and healthy preys, and often specific ones - to avoid poison and pathogens that might harm them.

Starfish can regenerate a lost arm, or develop into two organisms, or more, if cut through the center.
The skink (photo), gecko lizard and house lizard have tails that detach from the body in extreme danger and during assault by their enemy. The detached tail wiggles vigorously attracting the attacker, while the tailless survivor stealthily goes into hiding. A new tail will regenerate in a few weeks.
Green pond frog produces antibiotic substance that enhances its amphibian life.

This catfish buries itself in mud and remains encrusted throughout the dry months, then when rain comes, it frees itself and resumes normal activity.

This green snake goes into aestivation in summer or hibernation in winter, as it may be the case, so that people often believe they resurrect from the dead. Others believe that they just come out from spontaneous generation.


Dr Abe V Rotor

They tell us of the magic of lizards growing new tails, crabs regaining lost claws, starfish arising from body pieces. How can we explain the mystery behind these stories?

The biological phenomenon behind these stories is called regeneration. The male deer grows a new set of anthers each year; sea squirts and hydras are produced from tiny buds; the same way plants grow from cuttings. New worms may regenerate from just pieces of the body; and some fish can sprout new fins to replace the ones that have been bitten off.

Experiments demonstrated that the forelimb of a salamander severed midway between the elbow and the wrist, can actually grow into a new one exactly the same as the lost parts. The stump re-forms the missing forelimb, wrist, and digits within a few months. In biology this is called redifferentiation, which means that the new tissues are capable of reproducing the actual structure and attendant function of the original tissues.

Curious the kid I was, I examined a twitching piece of tail, without any trace of its owner. I was puzzled at what I saw. My father explained how the lizard, a skink or bubuli, escaped its would-be predator by leaving its tail twitching to attract its enemy, while its tailless body stealthily went into hiding. “It will grow a new tail,” father assured me. I have also witnessed tailless house lizards (butiki) growing back their tails at various stages, feeding on insects around a ceiling lamp. During the regeneration period these house lizards were not as agile as those were with normal tails, which led me to conclude how important the tail is.

Regeneration is a survival mechanism of many organisms. Even if you have successfully subdued a live crab you might end up holding only its pincers and the canny creature has gone back into the water. This is true also to grasshoppers; they escape by pulling away from their captors, leaving their large trapped hind legs behind. But soon, like their crustacean relatives, new appendages will start growing to replace the lost ones.

Another kind of regeneration is compensatory hypertrophy, a kind of temporary growth response that occurs in such organs as the liver and kidney when they are damaged. If a surgeon removes up to 70 percent of a diseased liver, the remaining liver tissues undergo rapid mitosis (multiplication of cells) until almost the original liver mass is restored. Similarly, if one kidney is removed, the other enlarges greatly to compensate for its lost partner.

Read for the baby in the womb so that he will be intelligent. Sing to him and he will be good in music.

Child development starts in the womb. In the various stages of embryonic development, the brain absorbs early information that are built into impressions carried by the child as he grows and may persist to adulthood.

Mothers talk to their baby in the womb. Kind words, classical music, happy disposition are important in building healthy impressions. On the other hand, violence, sorrow, fear, and indifference have negative effects to the development of the child.

To get better harvest, furrows must be parallel with the sun’s movement.
Actually this principle of arranging the rows of plants on an east-to-west orientation allows better and longer sunlight exposure, thus enhancing photosynthesis. There is less overshadowing among plants compared to north-to-south direction, especially when inter cropping is practiced (e.g. corn with peanut, sugarcane with mungbeans, and coconut and coffee).

To prevent glass from breaking, first put a spoon before pouring hot water.
Sudden heat may cause glass to break. To cushion this effect, the spoon absorbs heat faster, in fact it attains higher temperature than glass or porcelain (china) does.

This principle is also applied when cooking meat. Meat becomes tender in a shorter time by putting spoon or fork in the cooking pot. Metal absorbs more heat that elevates the temperature of boiling water, which normally remains at 100 degrees centigrade (Celsius).
x x x

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Poetry - Escape from Prometheus Land

Dr Abe V Rotor

Little do you know of the sun,
how it sets and rises,
As the rhythms of life in moments of joy
and sadness.
Lo, the li’l boy all day sings like Aesops’
fabled locust;
In summer belittles the ant,
and what had he to boast?

The rains came, torrid the winds became,
dark was the night.
And groping he went his way, battling
with all his might.
But he was not Paul and neither was he
man enough
To weather the test, a game played
rough and tough.

The wind with the sail, they go like birds
gliding free,
And life is like that, wanting of nothing
on calm, old sea,
Like a tree untested by storm, its idle roots
are shallow,
Its branches are lanky, its unseasoned limbs
hallow.

What purpose is war then, El Niño,
the apocalypse men?
Darwin has the answer, but can man
break the omen?
Tolstoy and Hugo tell of the goodness
of man distilled,
Not in time of plenty and peace,
but in the battlefield.

If you wish to reach Heaven alone,
do not bother,
For the Flood has purified your kind,
everyone now a brother.
And salvation awaits all brethrens,
more so the least,
And bless he who saves him from the fury
of the beast.

Go, leave the dungeon, follow the light
seeping through
The walls of ignorance and fear,
indifference and hate.
Pry open and run for the woods.
make haste.
There is not enough tears and time
to waste.

Ah, where does the sun shine brightest,
you no longer ask,
Neither where the blue sky and the blue sea
wear gray mask.
From Prometheus’ exile you came
and how you got here
Is immaterial now, for the gods
have joined the cheer.
~

Trees are the biggest and oldest living things.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Assignment in Communication: Functional Literacy Trivia (50 items) - Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid

People's School-on-Air, DZRB 738 AM, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday
Dr. Abe Rotor and Ms Mely Tenorio

Functional literary is the thrust today for grassroots education. What particular subject can you draw out of this list which you can develop into a syllabus for field lecture (outreach). Explain. For 3CA3 and 5CA3, please use regular bond in handwriting.

1. Lightning spawns mushrooms, and fertilizes the earth through nitrogen fixation. When lightning strikes, nitrogen, which comprise 78 percent of the air is combined with oxygen (21 percent of the air) forming nitrate (NO3). Scientists call this process, nitrogen fixation or nitrification. Nitrate, which is soluble in water, is washed down by rain. Electrical discharge also aids in the fixation of other elements such as sulfur, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium into soluble compounds. Common species of mushroom growing in the wild are: Volvariella (rice hay or banana mushroom), Plerotus (abalone mushroom), Auricularia (tainga ng daga), and a host of other wild species.

2. Wounding a tree, like mango, induces it to fruit. It is a practice to wound a tree with bolo to induce it to flower – but will the flowers set into fruits? There were five callers; one answered no; the others, yes. Answer: In most instances yes, but severe and repeated wounding may eventually kill the tree or shorten its life

3. What seaweed is highly regarded, in fact it is called “food for the gods”? Answer: gamet (Ilk) or nori (Porphyra sp) which is cultured in Japan.

4. Lighted candle drives flies away. It is a practice to wound a tree with bolo to induce it to flower
but will the flowers set into fruits? There were five callers; one answered no; the others, yes. Answer: In most instances yes, but severe and repeated wounding may eventually kill the tree or shorten its life

5. Kapok laden with pods means there’s going to be a poor harvest.
Ceiba pentandra, or cotton tree, has large secondary roots to compensate for its lack of primary root that can penetrate the deeper source of water. Nature endowed this plant with fleshy trunk and branches to store large amount of water for the dry season. Insufficient rains or early onset of summer triggers flowering, as it is the same case in many species subjected under stress. Thus a fruit-laden kapok tree is an the indicator of poor harvest farmers rely on. It has been observed that a bumper crop of kapok fiber (mainly used for pillow fillers), occurs during El Niño, a climatic phenomenon characterized by prolonged drought.

6. Ring around the moon means a storm is coming.
High humidity in the air causes an optical illusion of a halo around the moon. It is also observed around bright stars. This means the air is heavily laden with water vapors, which is potential rain. Everything is still, not a breeze is felt. There’s an uneasy feeling. Take heed if the barometer reading drops.

7. Red and gray sunsets are signs it’s going to rain. Or a storm is coming.
High relative humidity builds clouds. Suspended water vapors reflect the rays of the setting sun red, orange and crimson in many shades and hues, while the thick clouds form a gray overcast.

8. During full moon crabs are lean.
Crabs feed in the moonlight. They are mainly saprophytic, subsisting on dead organisms, but they are also great hunters and predators. They become fat in preparation for the new moon, living on their food reserve during the dark nights. That is why crabs are fatter just before new moon.

9. In the northern hemisphere a typhoon or storm moves in a circular manner. Is it (a) clockwise, or (b) counterclockwise? There were four callers, two answered clockwise, while the other two answered counterclockwise. The answer is counterclockwise. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is clockwise. This is due to the rotation of the earth influenced by the Corriolis Effect.

10. Land and sea breeze occurs alternately. On a fine day, at around 10 o’clock in the morning, breeze starts to build up. What is the direction of the breeze? (a) from land to sea or (b) sea to land? Five called up, only one got the correct answer – a.
Explanation: Land absorbs heat faster than water does. Since warm air is lighter than cool air, it rises and the cool air from the sea blows in. In the late afternoon and early evening, air movement is exactly the opposite. Land cools off faster than water does, so that the cool air above the land blows out to the sea to replace the rising warm air. (sea breeze). This is the reason many people put up homes along coastlines, and why big cities are located between land and sea, among other reasons. (Manila, Cebu, Davao, Vancouver, New York, Tokyo, Hongkong, etc).

11. Without tasting it, you can tell if lemonade is already sweet or it still needs more sugar. If the seeds of calamansi float it means you need more sugar – true or false? Of the seven callers three got the right answer.

12. In the open sea, where big fish eat small fish, the accumulated pesticide residues and toxic metals is mostly concentrated in the (a) liver, (b) flesh or muscle, (c) fat tissues. Of the seven callers, 3 got the right answer – liver, while 3 answered flesh or muscle. Even fish in lakes and rivers where there is heavy pesticide and fertilizer application carries the poisonous materials mostly in the liver. This is true to animals, domesticated and wild because of toxic wastes they can pick up from agriculture and industry.

13. Which of these families of vegetables is the most sprayed? Cabbage family (Crucifers), Bean family (Legumes), Tomato family (Solanaceae). Squash family (Cucubits)
Answer: Cabbage family which include pechay, lettuce, cauliflower, and broccoli is the most sprayed. Of the seven callers, 5 got the right answer, one answered legumes and one, Solanaceae. All these families of plants received variable amounts of spray chemicals.

14. Crabs – alimango, alimasag, talangka – are fattest during (a) new moon, (b) full moon, (c) all phases of the moon. There were four callers, and no one got the answer, which is new moon. During full moon crabs are lean. Crabs feed in the moonlight. They are mainly saprophytic, subsisting on dead organisms, but they are also great hunters and predators. They become fat in preparation for the new moon, living on their food reserve during the dark nights. That is why crabs are fatter just before new moon.

15. Spirulina is the oldest living vegetable, a one-celled and blue green? Three callers got the term right. The name is Spirulina, meaning small spirals because this blue-green alga appears like a spiral under the microscope. It is Dr. Domingo Tapiador, a former UN-FAO expert who propagated the use of Spirulina in the Philippines and around the world.

16. What is the name of fatless fat in the US market? Olestra. Three callers answered it right. Olestra is a large molecule made up of 7 or more fatty acids around a molecule of glyceride; while normal fat is made up of three fatty acids around a molecule of sugar. Because it is too large, olestra is not absorbed by the small intestine so that it goes straight right through, oftentimes causing embarrassment. Bioethics: Don’t overindulge in food – it causes obesity while it exacerbates starvation and poverty. The problem today is that “half of the world is starving while the other has simply too much food.” (Susan George)

17. What ocean is the ring of fire located? (a) Pacific, (b) Atlantic, or (c) Indian Ocean. There were 5 callers and all got the right answer – Pacific Ocean. The ring of fire, also known as seismic belt is actually a crack of the earth’s crust shaped like a circle that covers mainly southeast Asia – beginning on New Guinea, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, up to Alaska, down to Oregon in the US (Mount St. Helens) and along the fringes of California to Mexico then to Middle America and crossing the hundreds of Islands in the north and south Pacific and finally reaching Australia. Most earthquakes and volcanic eruptions happen along the ring of fire.

18. There are animals that remain dormant in summer (aestivate) as well as in winter (hibernation). How do we classify the dormancy of mudfish (dalag) ensconced under the mud in carabao wallows? There were 6 callers; two got the right answer which is aestivation

19. When you are angry, does the pitch of your voice go (a) up, (b) down, or (c) remains the same? There were six callers, 3 answered (a) - higher pitch, and the other three, (b) lower pitch. None answered (c) pitch remains the same

20. What is the fastest growing plant, its stem can grow up to 2 meters or more in a day? Answer: Bamboo There were four callers – two got the answer right, one answered kamote tops, and another squash. Other plants grow also very fast such as ube, but none can surpass the bamboo’s rate of elongation..

21. Botanically speaking, is peanut a (a) root, or (b) fruit? Of the eight callers, only two got the answer correct – fruit. Peanut is a product of pollination and fertilization. The flower is bright yellow which after it is pollinated and fertilized will form a juvenile pod that penetrates into the ground and there it fully develops into a nut which we harvest after a month of so.

22. The queen termite can grow to a size of a finger (a) yes (b) no There were six callers, four got the answer correctly. Yes, the queen termite can grow real big. For ceratin species, the queen can even be larger. It is full of eggs, laying all the time to keep the population of soldiers and workers.

23. A macapuno coconut tree usually bears (a) all nuts macapuno, (b) 50-50 macapuno normal nuts, (c) only few macapuno, most are normal nuts. There were five callers, 3 got the answer correct. Only few nuts in a single tree are macapuno. However, UPLB has developed a technique to produce more macapuno nuts in a sigle tree. Macapuno is a diseased condition caused by a virus which fortunately is not harmful to humans. It was Dr. Gerardo Ocfemia, a professor of mine studied the coconut diseases among them the nature of the macapuno nut.

24. Bringing salt under a sour fruit-bearing tree will cause the fruits to fall. True (a) False (b) Answer: Naturally. What goes better than a pinch of salt when eating juvenile sampaloc, kamias, kasoy or green mango?

25. Old folks tell us that before a sea turtle is slaughtered it cries. Is this really true? True (a) False (b) Seven listeners called up, and except for two, they believe the story to be true. The scientific explanation is that a sudden change in environment activates the tear glands to secrete fluid and prevent the eyes from drying up, which we attribute as tears. Such a sight draws pathetic feelings that may save the life of the fated creature. Because sea turtles are endangered species, their tears mean much more to the fate of man. Analogously, “the bell tolls, but tolls for thee.”

26. How do we know if honey is pure? Pure honey does not solidify if refrigerated. If adulterated the sugar will form into crystals. How about vinegar? Natural vinegar is soothing to the nostril, while glacial acetic acid is sharp. Natural vinegar improves with time; glacial acetic acid loses its strength. Glacial acetic acid is banned as food; it is for industrial use only.

27. When buying bagoong the patis may be found at the top (a), at the middle (b), or at the bottom (c). Which one indicates the best kind of bagoong? Answer: when the patis layer is clearly on top.

28. Do not arrange your bed with your head pointed north, otherwise blood will be drawn to your head causing headache and hypertension. True or False? Only one of the four callers believed in it. There is not evidence that the magnetism of the North Pole will have this reported deleterious effect.

29. Antibiotics is not effective in treating cold. cough, and flu. Of the six callers, three believe it is effective. Antibiotics kills only bacteria – not viruses. Flu is cause by virus.

30. Hybrid corn, hybrid rice, hybrid cattle are not GMOs. Of the seven callers, only one got the wrong answer. Hybrids are not GMO; they are products of the conventional breeding process involving the union of the male and female gametes

31. June 22 - Today is the longest day in the northern hemisphere. Is it the same as in the southern hemisphere? Is it also summer in Australia or in New Zealand? Eight callers got the answer right. Seasons in the southern hemisphere are exactly the opposite with those in the northern hemisphere because of the tilting of the globe.

32. The right brain is for creativity while the left is for reasoning, True or False. Of the seven callers two got it wrong. The left brain is for reason and the right for imagination and creativity

33. What is the specialized tool in teaching that delivers a lesson using animals as characters? Who is the great teacher who used this teaching tool? Answer: Fable and Aesop

34. What insect has the most powerful digestive system; it can even feed on natural cellulose? There were 9 callers – 6 got the right answer; 3 answered ant, housefly and locust. Answer: termite. Termites live on wood and other natural cellulose which is digested by protozoa living in their digestive tract while the termite harbors them in return – a relationship developed through co-evolution.

35. How do you know if a diamond is real? Of the six callers, two got the answer correctly. Other answers are: strike the diamond with hammer (It should not break), look at it against the light and creates a prism, diamond emit a bright blue color. Thje right answer is, real diamond scratches glass. That is why glass cutters are made up of diamond in the sun. Diamond-tip cutters and drills last longer. Only diamond can cut diamond because it is the hardest matter on earth. Thus its dust is used to cut itself.

36. What is the kind of fish Christ blessed, which multiplied - and together with bread - fed the people (multitude) assembled around Him on the shore of Galillee? It is the same fish the fishermen caught in abundance when He instructed them to cast their net at the other side of the boat after a catchless night in the Sea of Galillee? Answer: Tilapia (T. nilotica). It was Dr. Deogracias Villadolid who introduced tilapia in the Philippines in the fifties. Today, like the biblical story, it is tilapia that is most abundant and affordable fish for Filipinos. Four callers got the correct answer; one answered bangus, our national fish.

37. Dogs show intelligence over and above mere instinct. A scientist by the name Pavlov tested it this way: Every time he gave food to his dog, he would ring a bell. After sometime, just by ringing the bell the dog began to salivate. What do you call this kind of learning? Answer: Conditioned learning. Does it also apply to humans? Answer: Yes

38. This is a favorite dish of Ilocanos known as “jumping salad.” What is it really? There were five callers who got the correct answer. Except one who said he learned about this rare dish from a friend, the callers apparently Ilocanos, said they have actually tasted jumping salad. This dish is prepared from newly caught small to medium shrimps from the estuaries and rivers, and while they are still very much alive are served right there and then with calamansi and salt, momentarily agitating the fated creatures. Pronto! The shrimps, on removing the cover, frantically jump out of the plate, save the dazed one. You should be skillful in catching them from the table (and even on the floor) deftly picking them by the head, taking caution so as not to get hurt by their sharp rostrum. You can imagine the danger you face as the creature makes its last attempt to escape. You must get a firm hold before putting the struggling creature into your mouth, tail first and quickly bite off the head, severing the sharp dagger in your hold. The creature wriggles in the cave of your mouth and you can actually feel its convulsion fading as it undergoes the initial process of digestion. Being an Ilocano myself, eating jumping salad is an adventure and rarely do you experience having one nowadays, unless you are living near the sea, river or lake, or a good friend brings live shrimps to town in banana stalk container to keep them alive. Try it; it’s one for the Book of Guinness.

39. Only the female mosquitoes bite for blood. Males feed on plant juices and exudates. Four out of six callers got the answer correct.

40. The British named their bombers and reconnaissance planes in World War II, Mosquito, so with the Italians for their anti-tank rockets – a tribute to the superb agility of this pesky minutia.

41. It’s a word for thrift, frugal, named after a people who actually practice it. It’s also a term which means KKB (kanya-kanyang bayad). Answer: Dutch. The Dutch are real frugal people mainly because of the extreme condition of their environment – “a land borrowed from the sea.” They are however very progressive and their country is among the most developed industrialized countries in Europe. The counterpart of the Dutch when iy come to frugality are the Ilocanos.

42. He is the teacher of Alexander the Great who said, “It is easier to make war than peace. Always strive to make peace.” Answer: Aristotle Of the six callers, one answered Socrates, another Plato, while the rest got the correct answer.

43. Who is the most famous violin maker in the world? There are only very few violins he made which carry his name. Lately the price paid for a 300-year old original violin he made was $3.5 million, the highest ever for a musical instrument sold in auction. Of the seven callers, four got the correct answer

44. What is the world’s number one vegetable? Answer: Onion, a close relative of garlic, Family Liliaceae.

45. Can you breed a carabao with a tamaraw and make a hybrid? True or false Answer: No. The tamaraw has completed speciation (the process of species formation which takes hundreds if not thousands of years), having originated with a common stock with the carabao. One of the tests whether or not related organisms have reached complete speciation is that they have lost the ability of interbreeding.

46. The three scientific breakthroughs are
• Splitting of the atom (nuclear power, atomic bomb);
• Invention of the microchip (electronics, computers); and
• Cracking the DNA code (Human Genome Project, genetic engineering).

47. It is a laboratory procedure in separating and reading the chromosomes of man (and other organisms, too). Answer: Karyotyping. This method has been used in determining chromosomal aberrations and gene- as well as sex-linked abnormalities. What is the name of a bold project to map the chromosomes, and therefore the genes and the traits they carry, in man. Answer: Human Genome Project (HGP). In the near future man will be carrying his “gene map” which will show his genetic makeup to doctors, employers, insurance agents, to his chosen mate. HGP opened a new field of medicine – Gene Therapy. Even before a disease is expressed, through the gene map, the defective gene undergoes repair.

48. What wildlife species was named after Rizal? Describe this creature. Answer: Flying lizard – Draco rizali - a small relative of the monitor lizard that glides from tree to tree. Rizal found this in the forest of Dapitan where he was exiled.

49. There are persons prone to mosquito bites. Generally, they are those who
• Don’t take a bath regularly
• Wear dark clothes, especially black,
• Have relatively higher body temperature,
• Have relatively thin and tender skin,
• Love to stay in corners and poorly lighted places, and
• Are not protected by clothing, screen and lotion

50. Dogs eat grass for self-medication, so with parrots eat clay. Dogs eat grass – it sounds strange. But they do once in a while to get rid of toxins from their body. Thus we see them browsing on grass and herbs which induce vomiting. These also act as expectorant and laxative. Many birds, like the parrot, eat clay after eating poisonous fruits. ~

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Are you a favorite of mosquitoes?



Dr Abe V Rotor

There are persons who are a favorite of mosquitoes.

True. Here are their qualifications. (Please check if you are the favored person.)

• They don’t take a bath regularly.
• They wear dark clothes, especially black.
• Their body temperature is relatively higher.
• Their rate of breathing is faster.
• Their skin is relatively thin and tender.
• They love to stay in corners and poorly lighted places.
• They are not protected by clothing, screen or off-lotion.

Of all these, it is the first that is most crucial.~

Living with Folk Wisdom, AVR-UST

Rice tops all cereals in the world

Rice is the mainstay of Asian Agriculture
Dr Abe V Rotor
There no cereal that can beat rice. Close at its heels are corn and wheat.
  • Rice is eaten by more people than any other cereal. It is the staple food of Asians and other tropical countries.
  • Rice is more digestible than wheat. Gluten in wheat is hard to digest and can cause a degenerative disease which is common to Americans and Europeans. Corn starch is heavy, and whole corn is hard to digest.
  • In making leavened products, rice can be compared with wheat, with today’s leavening agents and techniques. Name any wheat product and rice can match it.
  • Rice is affordable and readily available everywhere, principally on the farm and in households, and of course, in the market.
  • The rice industry is the mainstay of Asian agriculture. Patronizing it is the greatest incentive to production and it saves the producing country of precious dollar that would otherwise be spent on imported wheat.
  • Rice is grown in different types of environment - lowland, upland, knee- or neck-deep basin, in-between trees and palms, on terraces on hillsides and mountains. It is intercropped with legumes and vegetables and other plants (including corn).
  • Rice comes in 100,000 cultivars, probably more. These include wild types, varieties, agronomic strains, and genetic lines farmers have been planting through centuries around the world, now in the custody of gene banks, like the rice gene ban kf the International Rice Research Institute.
  • When it comes to water regime, rice is a hydrophyte, mesophyte, selectively xerophyte(drought resistant), and moderately halophyte (saline tolerant). It is elevation tolerant, growing many meters above sea level where climate changes to almost temperate conditions.
  • The byproducts of rice have many uses from roughage for large animals to mushroom culture and composting. Practically there is no waste in rice.
  • Rice hay is made into paper and board, housing materials, mulch, fuel, and the like. It is piled into mandala that lends quaintness to culture through music and dance, and other forms of arts.
  • Rice is the best wheat flour substitute and can go will with many native crops in its cultivation, as well as in various food preparations. Rice goes with vegetables, fish, meat, fruit, soup, sweets, sautes, etc. It is made into coffee, or mixed with cocoa.
  • Rice has many indigenous uses from suman (rice cake) to bihon (local noodle). It is made into puto and kutsinta. It can be mixed in various proportions with corn starch (maja), ube (halaya), gabi (binagol), and tugui’ (ginatan), cassava (cassava cake and sago).
  • Rice is the source of "tiki-tiki" the miracle substitute of milk during the second world war, saving the lives of millions of infants and young children.
  • Rice is fermented into rice wine tapoy in the Cordillera and sake among the Japanese, and beer Cooking wine is also made from rice.
  • Rice oil is superior to many cooking oils. It has better effect to health than most sources from plants, and animal fat as well.
  • New products are being developed from rice - from rice milk to glass manufacture, school paste and plywood binder. Natural antibiotics are known to be of high level in pinawa and unpolished grain.
  • Have you heard of black rice - pirurutong? Yes, the whole grain is glutinous and entirely black. Nothing beats its kind. So with pinipig, tinubong, patupat.

Here's a toast to the versatile rice. ~


First of a Series: Practical Tips from Ka Abe and Ka Melly on Paaralang Bayan (School on Air)

There are ten (10) pillars of Practical Living as a way of life and philosophy.
  1. Save, save, save
  2. Live simply
  3. Attain self-sufficiency
  4. Learn science and develop your skills
  5. Share with your community
  6. Keep your surroundings clean
  7. Systematize and organize
  8. Believe in serendipity and providence
  9. Sacrifice want in favor of need
  10. Set goal for the succeeding generations
1. Garlic makes an effective and safe pesticide

There's a universal belief that garlic drives evil spirits away. Well, this time it's insect pest that it will drive out of your garden.
Here are five ways to do it, entomologists (experts on insects) tell us.

1. Plant garlic among your garden plants, say mustard, tomato, pepper, okra, beans, and let it grow with them. Here is a caution though. Don't plant it too close to the crop so as to avoid its allelopathic effect (chemical secretion from its roots to compete with nearby plants).

Garlic serves as natural repellant of insects that would otherwise attack these crops, as well as ornamental plants. You can even harvest the bulbs at the end of the season. By the way, fresh garlic leaves are used in the kitchen like those of its relatives, kutchai (Allium tuberosum) and onion (Allium sepa). Try on fried eggs, batchoy and mami.

2. Hang garlic bulb on trellis and viny crops like patola (Luffa), ampalaya, cucumber, sitao,batao,and the like. Garlic exudes a repelling odor that keeps destructive insects at bay. Now and then crush some cloves in the open to refresh the garlic odor.

3. Make a spray solution direct from its cloves. The simple method is to soak crushed garlic cloves in water for a few minutes, then spray or sprinkle the solution on plants attacked by aphids, mites, caterpillars, and other pests. Adjust strength of solution to the severity of infestation.

Other than its repellant properties, garlic is also anti-bacterial and anti-viral. It could be for this that it was used to ward off the Bubonic Plague carrier - a flea (Xenopsylla cheopis) during the Dark Ages in Europe. It's no wonder people at that time believed in the power of this species of the Lily family in driving away evil spirits.

4. This is another method. Soak approximately 100 grams of chopped garlic cloves in about 50 ml of mineral oil (turpentine or kerosene) or cooking oil for 24 hours. This is then slowly mixed with 500 ml of water in which 20 grams of powdered natural soap (Perla or Ivory) has been dissolved. Soap serves as emulsion to make oil and water miscible. Stir the solution well and strain it with an old shirt or nylon stocking, then store the filtrate in an earthen or glass container and keep it in a cool, dark place.

This serves as mother stock, ready for use, diluting it one part to twenty parts of water, or down to one part per hundred. It is reputed to be an effective insecticide against most common garden pests. It can be sprayed or sprinkled liberally on practically all plants, including ornamentals and orchids.

5. Garlic is planted as "trap crop." In spite of its repellant properties garlic is not pest-free. There are insects that attack it, such as thrips (Thrips tabaci), flea beetle (Epitrix), white flies (Bemesia), and some plant bugs (Hemiptera). Just allow the standing garlic plants to attract these insects, thus saving other crops from being attacked by the same insects. Then rouge the infested garlic plants and burn together with the pest.

Garlic can save us a lot of money, and eliminates the hazard to health and environment caused by chemical insecticides. It is an ancient practice in the Fertile Crescent, Egypt and ancient China, a key to natural and sustainable farming and a balance ecosystem.

Let's revive this simple practice today.

2. Throw sand into the axil of the leaves to control coconut beetle.
Have you noticed that coconut trees growing along or close to sandy shores are seldom attacked by coconut beetle? By the way this insect, Oryctes rhinoceros, is a scourge of coconut, the larva and adult burrow into the bud and destroy the whole top or crown of the tree. Because of this observation, farmers broadcast sand into the leaf axils of coconut trees in their early development stage until they have grown too tall to be reached.
There is scientific explanation to this practice. Sand which is silica, the raw material in making glass is very sharp. Under the microscope each particle is a glass shard which can penetrate without difficulty the conjunctiva of the insect's armor. This is its "Achilles heel," so to speak.

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

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

3. Prefer brown eggs over the white ones.
Brown eggs come from native fowls that subsist mainly on farm products. They are very resistant to the elements and diseases that they simply grow on the range. White eggs on the other hand, come from commercial poultry farms and are highly dependent on antibiotics and formulated feeds. Another advantage of brown eggs is that they have thicker shells. Besides, their yolk is brighter yellow as compared to that of white eggs.

Preference to natural, and organically grown, food is gaining popularity worldwide. It is because many ailments, from allergy to cancer, are traced to the kinds of food we eat. Many kinds of allergies have evolved from genetically engineered food, for which they have gained the reputation of Frankenfood, after the novel, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, published in 1818.

4. Tanglad and soro-soro: best stuff for lechon
Lemon Grass or tanglad (Baraniw Ilk) and Sorosoro or karimbuaya (Ilk) are the most popular spices to stuff lechon - baboy, baka, manok, and big fish likebangus.

These are wild plants that do not need cultivation; they simply grow where they are likely useful, indeed an evidence of co-evolution of a man-plant relationship. Tradition and culture evolve this way. Scientists elevated this knowledge to what is called ethnobotany, a subject in the graduate school. Retrieving and conserving traditional knowledge is as important as beating a new path.

For tanglad, all you have to do is gather the mature leaves, sometimes roots, make them into a fishful bundle and pound it to release the aromatic volatile oil. Stuff the whole thing into the dressed chicken or pig or calf to be roasted (lechon). Chop the leaves when broiling fish. Crushed leaves are used to give a final scrub. Tanglad removes the characteristic odor (malansa) and imparts a pleasant aroma and taste.

Tanglad is also used to spice up lemonade and other mixed drinks. It is an excellent deodorizer for bathrooms and kitchen. It is also used in the preparation of aromatic bath.

Not so many perople know that sorosoro makes an excellent stuff for lechon. The mature leaves are chopped tangential and stuffed into the dressed chicken or bangus for broiling.It has high oil content in its milky sap. It leaves a pleasant taste and it serves as a salad itself. It has a slight sour taste. Like tanglad, sorosoro removes the characteristic flesh and fishy odor. Add chopped ginger, onion and garlic as may be desired.

One word of caution: The fresh sap of sorosoro may cause irritation of the eye and skin. Wash hands immediately. Better still, use kitchen gloves.

Happy cooking.

Tanglad - Andropogon citratus DC

Soro-soro - Euphorbia neriifolia
Updated and edited articles from Living with Folk Wisdom by the author 2010

Second of a Series: Practical Tips ni Ka Abe and Ka Melly on Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid, Radyo ng Bayan

1. To keep coffee hot longer, first pour hot water to preheat the cup. Empty the cup and pour in the real coffee. Enjoy.

2. If you are using glass for coffee, place a spoon first before pouring in the coffee. The metal absorbs sudden and excess heat that may cause the glass to crack.

3. Be sure oil is hot enough before putting into the pan the thing to wish to fry, say meat or fish. A drop of water will readily splatter when introduced into the pan. Be careful.

4. Get rid of ants in the kitchen. Wipe table, floor, and other surfaces with diluted natural vinegar. Vinegar freshens the smell of the kitchen as well.

5. To know if the honey you are buying is genuine or not, place it in the ref. Real honey does not solidify and has no residue. Fake honey does. Sugar in adulterated honey settles as thick residue.

7. Healthy and hale, take the plunge, or turn off the water heater. Temper your body, once in a while – then regularly. This builds resistance to changing weather conditions.

8. Forgot your toothbrush on a camping trip? Pick a small guava stem; chew to soften one end like brush. Chew young leaves like poultice as paste and astringent. Rinse and you’ll feel fresh.

9. Serve lemonade without tasting and know its sweetness is just right. Stir with calculated sugar. When seeds float, it’s too sweet. If they settle down you need more sugar.

10. To make potato fries crispy on the outside and soft inside, immerse in ice water for a minute or two. Proceed with usual deep frying. Do the same with kamote or sweet potato, gabi (taro), and ubi and sinkamas (yam)

11. Wood ash from firewood and charcoal for cleaning. Removes slime when scaling fish, cleans metals and utensils, and eases disposal of pet droppings. Gather ash after cooking and store in a convenient container. Dispose ash after use as fertilizer; ash is rich in potassium, a major plant nutrient.

12. Keep salt in glass container snugly closed every after use. It is hygroscopic, that is, it absorbs humidity causing it to become soggy. Coffee cakes when exposed, so with sugar. Spices lose their essence.

13. Hang in dry and cool place garlic and shallot onion in bundles to prolong shelf life. In the province. the bundles are hanged above the stove. Smoke is a natural protectant against pests and rot.

14. To hasten the ripening of fruits like chico, mango, guyabano, atis and caimito, rub a little salt at the base of the peduncle (fruit stem). For nangka, drive a stake of bamboo or wood 2 to 3 inches long through the base of the stem. As a rule pick only fully mature fruits.

15. Collective ripening of various fruits is hastened with the inclusion of banana in the plastic pack or container. Explanation: the trapped ethylene gas emitted by banana catalyses ripening.

16. Pry open, instead of pounding with stone or hammer, oyster using the tip of an ordinay knife. Find the hinge behind the shell. This is its Achilles heel. Insert and twist. Poor shell simply opens clean and whole. Eat straight with gusto.

17. When eating banana, observe your friends peel. If peel is in three pieces, that normal - human; if four or more, that's angelic; if two, primitive - and if he removes the peel completely and holds banana with bare hands, that's evolution. Of course, this is just for a lively gathering.

18. Bagoong smells, so with patis. But the best recipes can't be without. Here's what to do. Heat desired amount of water with bagoong to boiling, don't stir. Get rid of the froth. Now you can proceed with the usual cooking of bulanglang, pinakbet, and the like. Walang amoy bagoong o patis. (No trace of the raw smell)

3rd of a Series: Ten Practical Tips from Ka Abe and Ka Melly (Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid, Radyo ng Bayan)


1. Insert balled newspaper (better brown paper to get rid of possible lead content from ink and paint) into shoes to remove odor, absorb moisture, keep shoes in shape.

2. Orange peeling kept in sugar jar prevents sugar from caking and discoloring into dark clumps.

3. For banana delayed in ripening - cut away rot on the stem to prevent its spread and unpleasant odor.

4. Banana leaves as floor polisher. Mature leaves of saba variety (other varieties will do) is first wilted on flame to melt the natural wax. It also imparts a pleasant smell.

5. Don't throw away coconut husk. Make it into flower pot for orchids and ferns. Shred to make scrub for floor and utensils. Cut whole mature nut crosswise, trim off protruding shell. Now you have a foot floor polisher. Happy exercise.

6. Add talc powder (baby powder) to hardware nails to prevent rusting. Be sure tio keep the container tight.
7.Notice in some restaurants, rice is mixed with salt in the dispenser. Rice absorbs moisture preventing the salt from clumping and soggy.

8. Stuck bubble gum in clothes? Don't force to remove. Put soiled clothes in the freezer. Once solidified, peel off the gum clean and easy.

9. Remove old and unsightly cobwebs, but save the spiders, unless they are the dreaded kind. House and garden spiders trap and devour insect pest. They are nature's biological agents, friends of farmers and housewives.

10. Leave trail marks in a jungle to guide you back. Bend and break branches or shrubs, consistently at your right bent towards you and height, to serve both as marker and compass.

11. Now and then anyone may fall into a pit of hiccup for reasons not well understood even in the medical field. But as sudden and unpredictable it came, just by jolting the person is enough to terminate hiccup.

This is what you can do to help your friend in a pit. The first remedy is to give him water. If this does not work, gently massage the back of his head. If still this does not work, secretly time the interval of his hiccup. Jolt him up real good coinciding with the next hiccup. Pronto! The hiccup is gone.

x x x

Monday, August 15, 2011

Poetry - Babel

Dr Abe V Rotor

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

The sun peeps behind this huge tower
Once proud in its prime;
I can not wait nor my children can
To see it succumb in time.

Where have all the faithful gone?
The prayerful old and young;
Pilgrims come one by one
To fill the emptiness of time

History marks the march of time
In events big and small
By the hand that holds the pen
and the magic crystal ball.

Poetry - Rhapsody in Blue

Dr Abe V Rotor

Let me hold on your roof dear Mother Earth
and not be detached to outer space
to view your whole being that gave me birth
and beauty of all things and ways.

From a thousand mountains high I find peace
in the rhapsody of a Cherubim
descending, riding on cumulus to the East
onto the path of the sunbeam.

Below I see the reflection of heaven
all in blue, soft and pristine -
where the sea ends and the shores leaven,
where lost Eden could have been.

I am a Prodigal Son who lived so bold
In the days of lust and waste;
what can I offer you now that I’m old
but this simple song of praise? ~

Lightning, Nature’s First Invention

Dr Abe V Rotor

All over the globe lightning strikes at one point or another
incessantly night and day, in good or bad weather.
The atmosphere and earth meet in deafening thunder
that accompanies a spark of a thousand atomic bombs
enough to light a city for days if captured and stored.

In the process chemistry combines nitrogen with oxygen,
one-to-three in proportion to form nitrates in tons
and tons in a single bolt, becoming negatively charge
and soluble, riding on the rain to descend to earth.

Nitrate the free radical ion joins a positive ion and forms
combinations of compounds that nourish plants and all
photosynthetic organisms - and the saprophytes, too
- the mushrooms and their kin of Kingdom mycophyta.

Wonder the hills and mountains turn green soon after
the first rain in May or even only a shower in April;
afterwards the whole landscape builds into a realm
of emerald green as the sky sends boundless energy.

Electrical energy transforms into chemical energy
passing from the inorganic to the organic world, thence
through the living world - the food chain and web,
food pyramid, there into the ecosystems and biomes,
finally to the biosphere that make the earth full of life.

Mysterious are nature's ways, the sun's energy
transforming into electrical energy through lightning,
henceforth building proteins, the building blocks
of all living things, great or small, as they grow and die,
and into the the next cycle the process is the same,
ad infinitum.

Tunnel Windows of Santa Monica, Capiz

Dr Abe V Rotor

Daybreak, I ask what lies beyond the wall, and a whisper

came through, what goes in there?

And the view

I see is the same though,

yet a vine across the window

is calling, hello!

Walls, walls, walls, I complain.

Windows, windows, the sun and wind answer in refrain.

One window is blocked

with the machine of a clock

that had long stopped.

Tic-tac-tic-tac-tic-tac...

Here's one bright morning, ah, but another game,

yet a holy name I hear to learn to say, Amen.

I see heaven through a keyhole,

and myself whole;

I wish to reach it, but the key isn't mine

And neither time.

Acknowledgment: Santa Monica church; Rev Msgr Benjamin Advincula

Episcopal Vicar for the Clergy, Archdiocese of Capiz,

and Parish Priest of Santa Monica

Old Walls of Faith

Dr Abe V Rotor

Crowned windows with garland,
and sealed by time,
while faith ruled over the land
once in its prime.

Stand tall, oh tower, and taller still,
the faithful gazes forevermore,
for heaven by wealth cannot fill
the vacuum of the poor.

Don't sleep, and never doze;
have presence,
for faith behind walls may lose
its essence.

Silence in these walls is deafening,
You can hear your breathing;
But if peace reigns in the Being,
You won't really hear a thing.

The World of Dogs

Dr Abe V Rotor

The genes of the wolf come alive
where the ultimate game is to survive;
the species born in the wild
must in anywhere thrive.

Pity the dogs if they are man's best friend,
Else man is dogs' worst fiend.
Test the rational side of man
the way he puts a stand
on behalf of his best friend
all the way to the end.

Remembering the rescuer, White Bulldog;
and the children have found another world;
their language no longer whims and bark
nor friendly pat and leisure in the park.

Sketches in Flight

Dr Abe V Rotor

I speak not, I sleep not,
and must be quiet;
I'm afraid, I must be brave,
calm and patient.

I fly fast but time isn't,
my baby's comfort
fills my soul and heart
to reach the port,

I'm blessed with love
by a common bond,
thankful to my Creator
as I look beyond.

Above I imagine Him
guiding our destiny,
and earthbound,
man's technology. ~

Armageddon ticking

Dr Abe V Rotor

Armageddon in human hands released,
piece by piece ticking with the clock;
innocence denied, sanity defied
to the final shock.

Time capsules all into infinity:
pleasure and pain, evil and goodness -
all that is on planet earth,
into emptiness.

It's Sodom revived, so with the Flood
and Vesuvius a thousand times;
and in war none but the innocent
is the price.

And the god in man and man in God
in futile struggle comes to end
the earth shall be no longer,
so with a heaven.

Fabled paradise shall be no more,
lost and regained, and finally gone;
Then a new world shall rise - perhaps
without man. ~