Sunday, November 30, 2014

Incipient Signs of Heart Attack

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8-9 evening class, Monday to Friday  
 Heart attacks have been linked not only to diet, smoking and obesity but also to less obvious risk factors – many of which we have no control over. Among the oddest are the following: (Time Sept 6/99)

• Baldness – A shiny spot on top of the head has been linked to a risk in heart attack three times higher than average.

• Bad gums – People with periodontal disease have higher risk of heart attack by nearly twice. Bacteria may enter the blood and cause deadly clots.

• Foul weather – Exposure to very cool temperatures can trigger heart attacks as well as angina and strokes.

• Body shape – Being overweight is bad enough, but if your fat lies more in the abdomen than the hips, you are especially prone to heart attack.

• Day of the week and time of the day – Cardiac events tend to occur most often between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The way to beat Invasive Species is to eat them

Dr Abe V Rotor
 Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8-9 evening class, Monday to Friday

What is the best way to beat invasive species? Well, if humans managed to eat field rats, mole crickets, snails, pythons, alligators - and other "pests", why can't these undesirable organisms be part of his culinary taste and art?

Golden Kuhol (Pomacea caniculata)

1. Pets turned wild - knife fish and janitor fish.  Once fancy pets in aquarium, they found their way to Laguna Lake and Taal Lake. They can be cooked like any fish.  
2. Food to pest - Golden Kuhol (Pomacea caniculata).  Imported in the seventies as food  like the popular French escargot, it has spread to rice fields, where they have developed in a major pest of rice. Cook it with tanglad and luya, better still with gata.

3. Migratory swarms - Locust (Locusta migratoria) moves in swarms, thousands upon  thousands riding on wind current, invading fields and forests many kilometers away. They settle down as solitary grasshoppers, remaining in the place, mate and multiply, until the next migratory season. Have you tasted sauteed mole cricket  June beetle, gamu-gamu (winged termite)?  It tastes the same. 

4. Biological Warfare in peace time - Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica) introduce by the Japanese during World War II, now a common garden pests. One time a recipe was prepared on the request of a school head, and all his teachers tasted it - with delight. 

5. Fugitive to invader - Asian carp in Illinois, Missouri and Mississippi river. It is similar to our tilapia - Tilapia nilotica and T. mosambica.  American will learn to love the carp like we Asians. Just like how we first accepted it when it was introduced in the fifties by Dr Deogracia Villadolid, a prominent fisheries expert. Today tilapia is an important part of the Filipino diet,   

6. Breakout from cage - Black spiny-tailed Iguana has invaded Florida.  It eats about anything, including birds. When made into adobo, its meat tastes like that of monitor lizard.

7. Trans-oceanic invasion - Lion fish has venomous spines and dangerous to aquatic and human life alike. Origin Pacific and Indian oceans to the Caribbean. It's cooked like any marine fish.

8. Adaptive mechanism of survival - Nutria a rodent originated in South America and has invaded the Gulf Coast, destroying valuable wetlands, and make bore tunnels through levees.  In the Philippines the Rattus rattus norvigicus was accidentally introduced and have adapted to city life. 

9. Wildlife gone wilder - Armadillo, a gentle and peaceful armored animal of Central and South America is upsetting the balance of food webs, eating just anything, even stealing eggs of threatened sea turtles.  They say it's good meat. The closest animal to the Armadillo in the Philippines is the Scaly Anteater which is a threatened species.    

10. Biological Control agent gone wild - Toad (Bufo marinus) introduced in Australia to control sugarcane pest, now overruns even homes and highways. This is poisonous, even animals have learned to avoid it.  It is for this reason, itspopulation increased rapidly in Australia.  

Except for No 10, these invasive species have found their way to the dining table. Man's gustatory delight is indeed the best way in dealing with undesirable creatures. ~ 

Are you a Handy Man in the house?

Self-Administered Test on (True or False, 25 Items)
 Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio 
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

1. Prune trees (cutting of branches) in summer when their branches are bare, and you can see which need to be cut. Use crosscut saw for smoother and even cut.

2. When cutting a large horizontal branch with saw or bolo, be sure you start on the upper side and continue on until it is severed. Never cut from underneath.

3. After cutting a branch, there is no need to paint the cut end with oil-based paint to prevent insects and pathogens.

4. When loosening the blade of electric fan, turn the knob clockwise.

5. It is important to disassemble the electric fan for thorough cleaning. Use a dry paintbrush first to remove dust and lint, and then wash blade, casing and body with warm water and soap. Oil axle and other moving parts.

6. Allow newly cemented flooring or pavement to set for a day before you open it for use.

7. In rotating tires of you car, follow the x pattern, so that the rear wheels go to the front, and the front wheel to the rear.

8. To prolong life of iron (plantsa) and ironing board, and making ironing safe and convenient make a banana leaf cushion or matting for the iron. Never scrap the bottom of the iron with knife or sandpaper.

9. For a practical Christmas tree, get a tall potted plant, and decorate it minimally. It will save you a lot of money and help reduce garbage.

10. A hundred-piece Christmas bulb may consume electricity equivalent to to four bedroom light bulbs, thus it is wise and safe to refrain from ostentatious show of Christmas lights.

11. Christmas lanterns can be made from materials otherwise thrown as waste, such as plastic bottle, old tires (cars and bikes), Styrofoam and plastic molds used for packaging. But be sure to dispose off of them after the holidays.

12. It is not recommended that cut hair gathered from beauty saloons and barbershops be made into wigs and pin cushions, because lice and certain diseases may be transmitted.

13. Egg white makes an excellent hair net (setting spray); it is rich in protein.

14. Beer is used in setting hair.

15. Lagis ng niyog with calamansi is as good if not better than most commercial hot oil. Mayonaise is an excellent hot oil substitute. Certain top stars use it.

16. Tea is good face wash (removes black and white heads), so with hugas bigas.

17. Am is a good food supplement for babies. This is obtained by rice in its final stage of cooking.

18. Dark curtains make a room look more spacious; light curtains create an opposite effect.

19. Plyboard is more durable than plywood of the same thickness.

20. Kiln-dried wood does not warp or shrink, that is why it is more expensive than ordinary lumber.

21. Initial charging of rechargeable batteries is necessary when using them for computers, cell phones and the like. This is true to new car batteries.

22. Most handy tools are designed for the right handed because there are few left handed. Left handed tools are made to order.

23. Today, it is more practical to use liquid tiles than conventional tiles; it is also more versatile and fits to suit different ambiance.

24. Today, prefabricated house parts are becoming more popular, from door and window assemblies to lattices and stone rafts. All you need is to order the prefab material and install it.

25. Reviving the handyman culture or do-it-yourself culture sets a motion of hobby, necessity, enthusiasm, creativity and opportunity to save and to earn, which is unanimously acceptable among Filipinos.

ANSWERS: False - Nos. 1 (trees may be stressed with limited water supply and high temperature, 6 (allow curing for at least a week or two, depending upon the use of the pavement and kind of cement used), 18 (opposite), 19 (plywood has more plies or layers), 21 (read and follow the instructions); the rest of the questions are True.

RATING: 24 – 25 - Outstanding handyman, can be a resource person.
20 – 23 - Very good handyman, reliable to help others and the community
16 – 19 - Just the kind of handyman around
12 – 15 - Passing - apprenticeship and practicum needed
Below 11 - Listen more on Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid, enroll in a short vocational course.

Movies on Parade at UST

Movies Fill Our Lives
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8-9 evening class, Monday to Friday  
Of pirates and witches...

Fantasy comes down to earth alive
in flesh walking: ghosts, fairies,
creatures of sea and land they thrive
in human laughter and tears

that fill empty lives e’en just a while
and give the world a break
in the idleness of time passing by
cares and worries at stake  

where friends and foes hold hands,
monsters tame and meek;
stories sad and happy cater to fans,
all for freedom they seek

from doctrinaire and conventions;
for it’s imagination that rules
and dictates all human institutions
with technology its tools;

movies – books visual, by audition,
in make believe and reality,
man’s gift to himself, his own  invention,   
his passport to liberty. ~

Wizard of Oz and fairytales
Of forest deities and kingdoms 
Finding Nemo, the friendly fish

Of old cultures and postmodern

And adventure with the imagination …

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Baby Talk: "Please eat vegetables."

Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8-9 evening class, Monday to Friday  

      Mackie with her pink Teddy Bear at home

Baby talk is the earliest language;
it is the universal language
of all creatures, all generations;
"Please eat vegetables." ~

Air Potato - Dioscorea bulbifera L

Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8-9 evening class, Monday to Friday  
Growing habit of the plant. The tubers are produced on the vine, a characteristic of ube and other members of the family. This introduced species produces more and bigger tubers of varying sizes. A single vine can produce as series of tubers such as this in the photo.
A unique figure emerges from the shape of this tuber resembling a mother with twin babies. The tuber weighs about three kilos.
Closeup of the arial tubers showing different sizes and shape.

Family Dioscoreaceae includes, ube (Dioscorea alata), tugi' (D. esculenta), and the poisonous nami (D. hispida). Planted and harvested at Don Antonio Heights, QC. Planting material was provided by the late Sister Francisca Rotor, SPC. Photos by AV Rotor


Dioscorea bulbifera, R. Br.; L.; Russ. ex Wall. India (Kumaon region, Western Himalayas): axillary tubers cut into pieces, steeped in water, and boiled prior to eating. Hawaii: aerial bulbs eaten.... Vernacular names – Hawaiian: Ho. English: Air Potato. (India) Kumaon region, Western Himalayas: Genthi. Ref. BHARGAVA, HANDY, NEAL, STURTEVANT. Internet

A word of caution. Among the species of Dioscorea - D. hispida or nami is poisonous.  Avoid this yam. Consult farmers in the area, better still your local agriculturist.  Nami is detoxyfied by natives to render it edible.  For the aerial yam or air potato it is best to peel the tuber deep enough to remove the sub-surface.  Grate or cut into pieces.  Boil thoroughly with pot open in the process. It is usually made into cake like suman (rice flour cake) or halaya (pasty ube). 

Members of the Cuciferae or Cabbage family are the most sprayed vegetables.

The most sprayed vegetables are the crucifers – cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, mustard, celery, carrot, pechay, wonbok, and the like. 
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8-9 evening class, Monday to Friday  

Community vegetable gardening. Barangay Valencia, San Juan MM 

These vegetables shown below are native to our soil and climate. Consequently, they have natural resistance to pests and diseases that would not spare other introduced varieties, especially those of foreign origin.

Native vegetables generally don't require chemical spraying. Can you identify these vegetables?   Do you have these in your community?
What recipes are these vegetables prepared.

Tinkering with the genes of indigenous species erodes natural resistance. Our native rice varieties for example, although they are not top producers, are resistant to pest, drought, flood, can compete with weeds, and do not need much care. Genetically “improved” rice varieties became pampered with fertilizers, water, planting distance, thorough soil cultivation, and most specially, spraying with insecticides and fungicides. They are likened to our present breeds of animals. Our poultry today can no longer thrive in the open, whereas our native fowls are “self-supporting”.

This is true with many vegetables. That is why commercial vegetables throughout their life cycle are provided with a “chemical blanket” to protect them from the onslaught of pests and diseases, many of them became destructive as a result of induced mutation. Indiscriminate chemical spraying has been found to build biological specialization so that certain insects and pathogens, which survive, carry on their acquired resistance to the next generation.

To the farmer this means more frequent sprayings at higher dosages, with elevated toxicities. This is what is happening today with many vegetables bought in the markets. The sector least heard of regarding this dilemma is the pesticide industry because it greatly benefits from it.

Pesticides are believed to be the most common source of poison that causes liver and kidney ailments. They affect our nervous system and impair our senses. They have long been tagged as a major cause of cancer, diabetes, allergy and other physiologic disorders. Because most of the pesticides today are synthetic chemicals, our body cannot readily degrade and excrete them. Instead, they tend to accumulate until a threshold level is reached that leads to many health problems.

Let us look at the second category of vegetables: those which are grown successfully only with the aid of pesticides. Without pesticides, they cannot survive the attack of pests and diseases.

The most sprayed vegetables are the crucifers – cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, mustard, celery, carrot, pechay, wonbok, and the like. The pesticides used on them are the most potent brands, leaving no chance to caterpillars ensconced in deep holes, mites in the roots, and aphids in leaf axils. The poison must be absorbed and distributed throughout the plant so that any insect that feeds on the sap is sure to get the poison and die. This is why such poisons are called systemic, which means that they are translocated in all parts of the plant from roots to tips of stems and leaves, to flowers and fruits. The sap carries them in the same way substances are carried and distributed by blood to all parts of our body.

Flowers of squash (Cucurbita maxima) and saluyot (Corchorus olitorius) are a favorite in preparing bulanglang or diningding, popular among Ilocanos.
   Poisons of this kind are also used on cucurbits (melons, watermelons, cucumbers, upo, squash, patola and ampalaya). The principal enemy is the fruit fly (Dacus cucurbitae), which lays eggs on the young fruits. Mango growers also use systemic poison to protect the fruits from another species of fruit fly, Dacus dorsalis. Mango importing countries like Australia, Japan and the United States impose strict regulations against fruit flies which also attack other fruits and vegetables like oranges and bananas, endangering their local fruit industries.

There are vegetables that may have been sprayed long before they are harvested such as peanut (Arachis hypogea) and mungo (Phaseolus radiatus). Rice and corn are relatively safe from the pesticides sprayed on them during their growing period. It takes at least 20 days for the grains to set and mature, ready for harvesting. By this time, the sprayed chemical has leveled off safely. It is the protective spraying before and during the storage of the grains that must be strictly regulated as this can leave harmful residues.~

Monday, November 24, 2014

Native American Art in Postmodern Times

Verses by Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8-9 evening class, Monday to Friday
 Indian dance to pop music,
its rhyme and rhythm lost;
what music lacks costume fills,
but at pseudo fashion cost  
 A single tree in a lake of snow;
orphaned from the woods I know;
the prairies where once they roamed 
these horses are all but doomed.   
Which run faster, feet or stream?
coherent words or scream?
witness the houses and flowers,
the idleness  before the showers.  
 A world of fantasy in Exupery's The Little Prince
save for a fox untamed and a stairway to the sky,  
amid night butterflies and day roses sans thorns - 
a potpourri of events in a setting false and wry.   

Fireworks, but whose and for whom -
doesn't matter, if at the bidding end, 
such spectacle by man genius is open,
more to the poor and the children. 
If Jack and the Beanstalk is still alive,
here is a scene to ponder and compare, 
to dream of the goose that lays the golden egg,
with thousands at their bidding simply stare.  

Do you still believe in Santa Claus?
If you believe, then you do not know;
and if you know, then you don't believe.
Just listen to the soft falling snow. ~

A List of Indigenous Tools and Equipment

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8-9 evening class, Monday to Friday
Bayong, the most popular utility basket, is made of pandan, buri or coconut leaves.

These are indigenous tools and equipment, many are now rare. The younger generation may not be familiar with many of these in the list. Others have simply evolved into new designs or tools which are difficult to trace as to their origin. There are regional variations and have adopted distinct cultural traits. In fact, there are universal inventions which cannot be claimed by a specific country or culture, such as the following:

1. Trowel (Barrusot Ilk)
2. Hand palay harvester (rakem)
3. Laying hen’s crib (baki)
4. Farmer’s backpack (kuribot)
5. Boat sled (takuli)
6. Bullock Sled (pasagad)
7. Bare bull cart (partigo)
8. Bull cart with sides (kariton)
9. Sledge hammer (maso)
10. Dike (pilapil) bolo (pangtabas)
11. Heavy duty bolo (badang)
12. Everyday bolo (buneng)
13. Dagger (balisong Tag; daga Ilk)
14. Iron nail remover (kabra)
15. Crowbar (bareta)
16. Log saw (sarrotso)
17. Ax (wasay Ilk)
18. Wide brimmed hat (payabyab)
19. Woven hat (kallugong)
20. Planting pole (tik-tak mechanism)
21. Fish basket (alat)
22. Chewing nut bag (tampipi)
23. Scythe (kumpay)
24. Fishing pole (banni-it)
25. Slingshot (palsi-it)
26. Toy hand cannon (palsu-ot)
27. Blowgun (salbatana)
28. Threshing rope with handle (hawak)
29. Threshing board
30. Woven mat (banig)
31. Coconut midrib broom (walis tingting)
32. Soft grass broom (walis tambo)
33. Coco shell cup (ungot)
34. Earthen water pot (calamba, caramba)
35. Earthen pot (for cooking) (palayok, banga)
36. Fish fence (tarit)
37. Fish trap (salakab)
38. Bottom fish trap (kudagdag)
39. Fish net with x-frame (salloy)
40. Throw net (tabukol)
41. Fixed fish trap (bubo)
42. Bird pole trap (taay)
43. Bird loop net (singgapong)
44. Spear (pika)
45. Dugout trap (palab-og)
46. Bow and arrow (pana)
47. Coconut grater (gadgaran)
48. Curve bolo for trimming levees (panabas)
49. Hammer or mallet (martilyo)
50. Lever to draw water from well (babatwagan)

Bamboo craft.  Can you identify the items in this photo? 
1. Chisel (paet)
2. Planer (katam)
3. Lever (hose type) nibel
4.Push cart (kararit Ilk)
5. Rake (karaykay Ilk)
6. Fish basket (alat')
7. Wooden clog/shoes (bakya)

8. Ladder (hagdan, agdan Ilk)9. Harvesting pole (panunkit, sibbol Ilk)
10. Raincoat made of anahaw (annanga Ilk)
11. Winnowing basket (bila-o, biga-o Ilk)
12.Saw (lagari, ragadi Ilk) 3 types
13. Mortar and pestle (
alsong ken al-o Ilk)

14. Iron kettle (kawa, silyasi Ilk)
15. Wooden ladle (aklo Ilk)

NOTE: List has not been arranged according to use/s, not even alphabetically. This is to allow inclusion of more tools and equipment.

Functional and environment-friendly art from waste

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8-9 evening class, Monday to Friday  

Utility bag from discarded packaging materials - functional and environment-friendly art. Courtesy of Celing, enterprising housewife (Marcelina Centeno Daño. For particulars and order, please call: 3945696 ).

Giant Christmas Tree made of soft drink plastic straw - one for the Book of Guinness. Parish church, Bocaue Bulacan

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dirge in the Western Sky

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8-9 evening class, Monday to Friday
 Fiery sunset over South China Sea 

The night has a thousand eyes,
bright and twinkling in song;
but one dreary night one cries
out, the cry of Armageddon.

No song can bring back the moon
and the stars - they've died out
under a blanket of doom
where spirits roam about.

No other but his own death,
and the earth's, man is doomed;
masked by power and wealth,
softly he digs his own tomb. ~

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Stem Cell Burger, anyone?

Who cares about laboratory grown burgers
    to a hungry world, to teeming cities,
to slum dwellers, and – to affluence and fancy?
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM, 8-9 evening class Monday to Friday
Burger revolution: farm meat to lab meat
Burger made from stem cells in the laboratory,
     it could be beef, pork, chicken, fish, 
and in many different combinations no single
     recipe can define, menus in array.

Stem cells are universal to all living things,
     plants the simplest, animals complex,
human ultimate, ethico-moral notwithstanding,
     but who can stop science, progress? 

Simple as seed germinating into stem and root,
     as zygote differentiating into tissues,
to organs, to systems, on to a complete being;
     from organelles to uni-celled protists.     

Analogy from simple to complex shows Nature
     at work, transferring life in patterns,
key to evolution's continuity and diversity -
     but these don't need man's intervention. 

Disobedience from the tree of knowledge persists,
     discovery by invention or serendipity,
man saw how a seed grows, an embryo forms,
     n vivo, in vitro, Eureka! 

If in test tube life grows, and tissue culture 
     replicates the mother, henceforth grow
stem cells harvested from the bone marrow,
     adipose, amniotic, umbilical - 

Would a mold make a bone, a heart, an eye,
     kidney? Or simpler, in situ - pronto!
it's bio-automation, two centuries after Ford;
     burgers in millions, nay in billions.  

Who cares about laboratory grown burgers
    to a hungry world, to teeming cities,
to slum dwellers, and – to affluence and fancy?
     It is hard to defect from the bandwagon.

Pavlov after all makes no exception, more so
     in consumerism, and Darwin’s
survival in fitness, and on the expense of others,
     is true from ancient to postmodern.

For why should man eat the bacteria in BT corn?
      The arctic flounder in tomato?
Daffodil in rice, human hormone in cow’s milk?
     Bio-pharmed plants, other Frankenfood?

Perhaps because he accepted coffeeless coffee,
     sugarless sugar, fatless fat;
sulfite, chromates, monosodium glutamates,
     irradiation, moieties and clones.  

And now stem cell burgers, and other products
     from lab meat - today’s Green Revolution –
so why farm the land, raise cattle on the ranch,
     hunt down the endangered species?

When you can grow food in test tube
     from stem cells of endless source:
animal, plant, moneran and protist – and human -      
     Stem cell burger, anyone? 

Mutation Gone Wild Through Genetic Engineering

What good is science that creates a Frankenstein monster deprived of love, home and family, a rebel against humanity?Glass paintings and Poem by Dr Abe V Rotor
 Crustacean mutants
 Turkey fish Siamese twin
Deformed Groupers

        Evolution through fusion: Sargassum fish 

Who is your father, who is your mother?
your sister, your brother?
You look like no one; 
where did you come from?

Who is your guardian, who is your maker?
your ancestor, your kin?
You look like alien; 
where did you come from?

Who is your friend, who is your neighbor?
your mate, your children?
You are an outcast; 
where did you come from?

Why do you have blood other than your own?
Tissue and cells enlarged?
chromosomes paired, unpaired
DNA snipped, spliced? 

Why do you have to be a giant among the small?
Or Lilliputian to be smart?
shaped like barrel or grass,
armed with less or more?

Why do you have to eat more than you should?
ravage all - big and small
to grow too large heeding not
the fate of the dinosaur?

Why do you have to veer away from your origin?
evade the dictates of nature?
live like vagabond 
sans company, sans home?

What good is science destined to nowhere?
 thriving on trial and error?
and having no control 
of good and evil? 

What good  is science sans conscience clear?
though genius its master
at the border of insanity
for fame and glory? 

What good is science that creates a Frankenstein
monster deprived of love,
home and family, 
rebel against humanity?

What good is science that destroys what it builds?  
like mad destroying the Pieta
for not seeing true beauty
in  simplicity and piety?

x x x 

* Spontaneous thoughts of the author while painting these images of an unnatural world.