Saturday, November 26, 2016

Humanities: Dolls don't die, they grow up instead.

Dr Abe V Rotor
Photos by Marlo R Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog

Lesson: Remembering good old days with dolls, puppets, and mascots. They refresh us as we grow up.

When was the last time you had an ear-to-ear smile?
And a heart-to-heart talk?

There are two ways to grow - up or fat. Thanks heaven, I didn't.

Remembering kinder days. And The Sound of Music.

Please don't call me, madam, or sir. I'm transform.

Pigs go to heaven, too. And cars can grow angry.
Well, it's all in the mind.

Ants are lovable creatures, just don't hurt them.
Remember King Solomon who halted his army to
let the ants pass.

You're the Lonely Goatherd, I suppose.
Or the Red Riding wolf?

Cock or owl? It depends if you are a day or night person. 
It could be Ibon Adarma revived.

So you think you can dance. When was the last time you tried ballet or break?

Work while you play, and play while you work. That's house chore rule No 1.

Don't grow up, Little Man. I still want to play.

Dolls simply don't die, they just outgrow us up

Living with Nature, AVR. Acknowledgment: SMX Mall of Asia

Saving the Endangered Sword Bean

Dr Abe V Rotor

Living with Nature - School on Blog

Lesson: Let's help preserve threatened and endangered species. The backyard is a good place to multiply these species that have become rare because of abuse or neglect.

Sword Bean has long disappeared from the backyard. It used to be a popular succulent vegetable with the young pod sliced thinly, cooked as salad, with meat or fish, or in bulanglang, and other recipes. These seeds shown in the photo have been germinated with the hope of saving this endangered plant.

Revolutionizing the Burger

Dr Abe V Rotor and Anna Christina R Sta Maria
Rice burger with patty filler and a peel of lettuce  
Lavish triple serving of the same make but different side dishes 
Traditional burgers from single- to triple-decker, extravagantly stuffed 
Big bite - but how? Obese-setting serving, likewise an oversize mug. 
Hybrid breakfast or big snack. Perhaps brunch (breakfast-lunch)

Burgers the culprit of today's pandemic,
more stuff than one really needs;
protein overdose, so with calorie and fat,
lavish beyond obesity heeds.

While the world's half is in dire of food,
too much has the other half;
little of the bread, much less of the meat, 
wouldn't a burger be cut in half?  ~

Genetically Modified Organism (GMO): Neo-Frankenstein Monster

Dr Abe V Rotor


A Genetically Modified Organism (or GMO) is a result of rapid genetic pooling or buildup of desirable traits by means of genetic engineering, rather than through the conventional method.

The conventional agricultural breeding methods are tedious, and subject to uncertainty. Today’s biotechnology opened a frontier whereby the genes of organisms can be transferred and combined according to the traits one wishes to combine. It is actually opening a floodgate of possibilities, spectacularly including cross-species or cross-phyla transfer of genes. This could mean a firefly gene implanted in a rat can make the rodent glow in the dark.

All these scenarios have their early beginnings with the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) model proposed by F.H.C. Crick and J.D. Watson in 1953, the two later sharing the Nobel Prize in biology. So precise is the double helix model that with modern tools, one can insert a portion of the genetic material from one organism onto another, causing the latter to carry a desired trait. Thus a gene of a bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis, spliced into the genetic structure of corn produced the Bt corn, the first genetically modified crop. The plant is claimed to be caterpillar-resistant since B. thuringiensis causes disease in caterpillars that destroy corn. Protein gene of one legume can increase the protein nutrients of another. Beta-carotene gene from daffodils, when introduced into rice produces golden rice.

The questions are, when introduced, what extent are the modifications? What kinds and directions will they go? Could an organism, reaching a level of modification, lose its genetic identity, thereby becoming alien to its adopted environment?

We ask these questions in the light of the following premises:

1. A single gene may control one trait, but where there are more traits controlled by multiple, blending genes, the process can get out of hand. The collective expression of modified gene combinations, not to mention the effects of disturbed loci in the genes, can be dangerous. It will take time for us to know the adverse effects of GMO on human beings and the environment.

2. Every trait of an organism, in one way or the other, has an affect on the environment, and vice versa. This means that if the protein is elevated, the higher protein levels will need more nitrogen, thereby requiring fertilizer subsidy. An increase in milk output means more cattle feeds, and antibiotic input to protect the animal from milk production-related stress. There is a saying in ecology that there is no such thing as “free lunch”.

3. Ecologically, how will a GMO relate to the natural members of the environment? How will the new organism now fit into the ecosystem in which its “parents” were once a part, integrally built by laws governing seres, niches and evolution? We may be only interested in how the organism serve our purpose for the moment, but unaware of its usefulness or destructiveness, when left alone in its own environment.

4. Genetic engineering may increase the number of plants and animals that now depend entirely on man’s care and attention. Many genetically altered breeds and varieties may no longer be able to live and prosper in the open. This is indeed an antithesis of natural farming.

Practical Household Management Tips

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

Lesson on Development Communication: List down twenty practical tips in managing the home. Feb 18 assignment, one page handwritten. 

Dr Abe V Rotor

This is a continuing list of practical household management tips, which can be followed easily, and shared with the members of the family, friends, in the school and community.  Learn and perfect each tip through demonstration. Illustrate or photograph each tip. Compile into a manual.   

1. Cut spent toothpaste tube and glean on remaining content. You can have as much as five brushing.  Use remaining paste as hand-wash to remove grease and fishy odor.

2. Don't dispose used cooking oil in sink. It reacts with detergent and solidifies like soap - the same process called saponification, blocking drainage canal and sewer. 

3. Rice weevil can be controlled by placing crushed bulb of garlic in the stored rice. Loosely wrap garlic with cloth or paper.  Cover the box. In a day or two, the weevils succumb to the garlic odor. Others simply escape.  

4. Make your own hand wash detergent.  Scrape soap with knife, dissolve in water.  Presto! You can have all the hand wash you need. Use your formula to refill empty dispensers. Label with the soap you used and the dilution you made. Avoid commercial concentrated brands -  they are too strong, and dangerous to children.       

5. Protect tip of pencil with rolled paper.  This serves as cap to extend the life of the pencil, and prevent accident. Use gloss, colored  paper - the kind used as promo leaflets. Instead of refusing, or throwing it away, you can make a beautiful pencil cap.  You can also roll it as extender when the pencil becomes too short, thus maximizing its use.       

6. Garden pots from PET bottles (1- to 2-li).  It’s free, whereas commercial garden pots are expensive. Cut at midsection with a sharp knife or blade; puncture three equidistant holes on the side, an inch from the base, not at the bottom.  This is to keep reserve water for the plant. Plant one kind per pot: oregano, alugbati, kamotekangkong, ginger, onion, garlic, mustard, pechay, and the like.  Scrape some topsoil for your planting medium.  There’s no need of fertilizer and pesticide.  Keep a pot or two of growing garlic or onion, also ginger; they are insect repellants.

7. Sugar solution extends the life of cut flowers.
In horticulture, they call this pulsing, a technique of providing nourishment and extending the shelf life of cut flowers. This technique lengthens vase life twice as much.  It allows buds to open and postpones stem collapse, while it enhances freshness of the opened flowers.

8. Pulsing for roses is done by immersing the stem ends for one to three hours in 10% sugar solution, and for gladiolus 12 to 24 hours in 20% sugar solution. Daisies, carnation, chrysanthemums, and the like are better handled if harvested and transported in their immature stage, then opened by pulsing.  It is best to cut the stem at an angle, dipped 6 to 12 hours in 10% sugar solution compounded with 200 ppm of 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate, 100 ppm citric acid.  Best results are obtained at cool temperature and low relative humidity. 

9. Press the base of the jaw joint to relieve toothache. There’s a saying that when your tooth aches, there’s nothing you can do about it except to take painkiller. Mabuti pa ang sakit ng tiyan.  At least for stomach ache you can manage to find a comfortable position, or press the painful part to secure relief.

But here is a simple remedy Dr. Vanda Hernandez, school dentist of St. Paul University QC, demonstrated which I found to be effective. There is a mass of nerve cells called Gasserian ganglion that connects the nerves of the gums and teeth, and their surroundings. Now this is how the simple remedy works.  Open your mouth wide, feel where the joint of the jaw is located. Now close your mouth and press this nerve center with the finger until you obtain relief. Do this along the side of the affected tooth. Repeat until pain subsides.  Once you have practiced the technique, you can do it discreetly even with people around when the need arises.   

10.  Smoke therapy (suob) –  old folks’ aroma therapy.     
Basang, my auntie who took care of me when I was a child, was sick and dying. Doctor Catalino, our rural physician, gave her injection but her condition did not improve, and now she was in a pit of convulsion.  As a last ditch Cousin Bistra who knew something about herbal cure gathered leaves of kamias (Averrhoa balimbi) and roasted it on charcoal until a characteristic aroma began to fill the room. Fanning it over the patient face, with prayers chanted, Basang began to calm down, the color of her skin improved, and soon fell into deep sleep. 

Ms. Precila Delima who is taking her doctorate in biology in UST related in class a practice among the Ibanag of Cagayan of using suob by mothers who have just given birth. Garlic and shallot onion (sibuyas tagalog) are roasted on charcoal, and packed with cloth.  While still warm the patient sits on the pack for several minutes, with her whole body covered with blanket.  She perspires profusely, eliminating wastes and toxins from her body.  The whole procedure is closely attended to by the “olds” in the family with the direction of the village manghihilot or homegrown midwife (comadrona or  partera Ilk.). Old folks believe that this practice is important because it drives out evil spirits or wards them off in order to prepare the way the mother faces the crucial responsibility of motherhood – after child bearing follows the bigger task - child rearing. 

11. If the father or mother leaves the house, place the clothes he or she last worn beside the sleeping child so that he goes into deep sleep.  This is pheromones in action. Pheromones are chemical signals for bonding in the animal world, and among humans. Like the queen bee that keeps its colony intact through pheromones, so we are attracted by a similar odor, although of a less specific one.  People are compatible through smell. Pheromones are left in  clothes and other belongings, so that a baby may remain fast asleep as if he were in his mother’s or father’s arms.   
 Go for fresh food, the least processed, the healthier and cheaper.  Do it at home.
 Home gardening for good health and nutrition - and income, too.

12.  Don’t eat between meals, old folks advise.
Coffee break is a corporate invention, and snacks are the first version of fast food, thanks to capitalism. So why take heed of the old advice?

Well, let’s look at it this way. Our old folks take heavy meals, mainly rice or corn, depending on the region they live, and they do not eat anything in between meals. Yet they work for long hours, and are healthy.  How is that?

Starch in cereals is polysaccharide, which means that it has to be broken down into simple sugar before it is “burned” by the body to release energy. Starch has to be hydrolyzed with the aid of enzyme (amylase) found in our digestive system.  Glucose, the ultimate product is broken down through oxidation (respiration), providing the needed energy for various body functions.  This transformation takes hours, releasing energy throughout the process, and by the time the fuel is exhausted, it is time for the next meal.  This is a simple test. Have you experienced having a grain of rice unknowingly tucked between the gums and teeth?  After an hour of so, the grain taste sweet. It means that the grain is undergoing hydrolysis – from starch to sugar.
White sugar (sucrose), on the other hand is directly burned, after it has been split into two monosaccharides.  That is why too much white sugar leads to high blood sugar – if we do not burn it – and may in the long run become the cause of diabetes. 

Broil, don't fry.  It's healthier and more economical.

This eating regimen of old folks may apply to manual workers, principally in the field.  Today we find this virtually impossible to follow.  First, we need a lot of energy, mainly for the brain, and secondly, we are already accustomed to having snacks.  In fact many of us never stop eating. A foreigner once commented, “Filipinos are always eating.”  What with all the advertisements - from TV commercials to giant billboards - and the proliferation of food carts and stores.  ~

"Talipapa" - People's Market

Growth center of social and economic life on the grassroots,  fallback of the economy in crisis, where the ordinary vendor, like the unknown soldier, is a hero.

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 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

Vendor sits on a queenly throne overlooking her "business empire."  
These photographs were exhibited at the University of Santo Tomas by students in Communication Art. 
Love the talipapa 
Market's birthplace,
the primordial concept of commerce,
beginning of exchange of goods by barter,
where barter evolved into trade;
flea market, local version, unique,
beautiful, distinctly Filipino;
a place for thrifty spending,
classless marketing;
it's people's economics,
family enterprise,
where business is unlimited -
outlet of farm surplus
so with home made crafts;
where transaction is by bargaining,
the suki system as an institution;
it's the "nerve center" of daily activities,
growth center of social and economic life
on the grassroots,
fallback of the economy in crisis,
where the ordinary vendor,
like the unknown soldier
is a hero.

 Tingi-tingi  is the term for retail in supermarkets. 
Display of goods is an art.
Rain may dampen the place but not the spirit. 
Fruits, fruits, fruits - local and imported. 
Meat section in red and yellow illumination for meat to look fresh. 
Colored light is avoided by flies. So with lighted candles. 
Biking through, like drive in buying. 
Tourists and researchers are fascinated by the talipapa as an institution.
Taking time out.  Soon the market will close for the day. 
Ready-to-cook food, from barbecue to ground meat. 
Framed with all kinds of goods - telescope view of a young vendor.
Marine fish fresh from the ice box - samaral and red lapu-lapu. 
Walis tingting from coconut midrib.
Time to rest, "home service" at the talipapa.
Padyak is the talipapa's popular transport.
 The push cart is the talipapa's equivalence 
of a grocery cart, and it is multipurpose, 
from delivery of goods to janitorial service.