Sunday, March 25, 2007

Moutain Beat

I used the concept of Heart Beat scan in this video clip. The aim of this project is to increase awareness regarding Quarrying. By the way quarrying, as defined by wikipedia “A quarry is a type of open-pit mine from which rock or minerals are extracted. Quarries are generally used for extracting building materials, such as dimension stone. Quarries are usually shallower than other types of open-pit mines.” Quarrying may result to flattening of Mountains which is a sanctuary of living creatures such as birds, insects, animals and trees. Aside from destroying the habitats of these creatures, quarrying also produces toxic chemicals that harm the people living near the quarrying site. This toxic chemical causes cancers and very tremendous diseases to people. So quarrying must be stopped as soon as possible.

Extra Extra
To partially end this blog, I would to take this chance to thank Ms. Grace Feraer, our Environmental Science lecturer for giving us this opportunity to value and to increase our awareness regarding our Environment. Though the requirements were tough and rigid, still, I’m thankful to her for maximizing our dark four-cornered classroom into a bigger, brighter virtual classroom. This kind of learning is really effective and new. Compared to the traditional teaching which is soooo boring. I’m looking forward to a more entertaining and fun learning to other subjects! Thank you very much and chow!

Friday, March 23, 2007

World Water Day: A Billion People Worldwide Lack Safe Drinking Water

Drinking Water More than a billion people lack access to safe drinking water. Every day, 14,000 people die from diseases caused by this global water crisis, the majority of them children under 5 years old.

World Water Day, established in 1992 by the United Nations, is an annual observance to raise public awareness about this critical global health issue and to inspire personal action. Read the interview with Gary White, executive director and co-founder of WaterPartners International, to learn how you can help:

My Insights
From Global Warming, let us move to Water issue. Actually they are related to each other since Global Warming can cause too much evaporation which resulted to drought. But let’s focus on how tremendous water problem is. As stated in the article, almost 14,000 people died everyday due to lack of access to safe drinking water. That’s EVERYDAY, so that’s 420,000 every month, and 5,110,000 in a year. That was very devastating! So to solve this issue and increase awareness, the United Nation launched World Water Day in 1992. “This is an annual observance to raise public awareness about this critical global health issue and to inspire personal action.” This year, World Water Day 2007 will be guided by the theme “Coping with Water Scarcity”. The United Nation are hoping to fully increase awareness regarding this very serious issue.

In relation to that, the Philippines are also making its way to increase awareness regarding the scarcity of safe drinking water. I was really inspired with the documentary project of my classmates in Envi. They were assigned to discuss the topic of water pollution. Though they are amateur, in fairness to them, the documentary was really moving. It opened up my mind on how serious water problem pollution is. I also liked the clip they added about the La Mesa Water Shed Ad Campaign. The commercials were very good. Aside from that, I was touched when they discussed the water problem in Laguna Lake. As a matter of fact, my house is just 15 meters away from the lake, so used to play there in my younger days. I remember that’s almost 16 years ago, Laguna Lake is still clean, the water is very clear. But now, it is polluted. That’s really sad and past is past. All we can do now is to prevent and stop abusing the blessing that God has given us. I realized that I’m very blessed because I’m not included in those billion people who lack safe drinking water. As they always say, every drop is important. So be a responsible water drinker and user!


Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Trip to ESCape

The Story before the Trip
Material Recovery Facility
Last Tuesday, together with Julian and Jen, we conducted our video shoot for our Envi Documentary. The topic that was assigned to us is about Land Pollution. Obviously this type of pollution involves garbage. Honestly, I can’t believe that we finished this documentary because it took us a lot of time and effort to produce this documentary. I remembered to weeks ago, no one was really concerned about this project except to Albert. At that time, I was really not paying attention because I take it for granted that this project is very easy to do. So Albert asked us if we want this project to pursue, he suggested that its just 20% lost for our grade. So that means 80% is highest possible grade that we can get. That’s sounds funny but it gave me a realization that we should do this project as soonest as possible. So Albert grouped us into 3 groups. A topic was assigned to every group and we got the topic of Call to Action for Land Pollution. I was happy when that topic was given to us because I already had an idea about this as well as resources for this issue. But honestly speaking I wasn’t sure of the place that we are going to shoot. I remember, for almost 4 years in high school, I always passed by to this place because my school is just 3 blocks away from that building. But I’m pretty sure, that place is under the environmental department of Muntinlupa because I always see a lot of folded cartons, plants, bundles of “walis tingting” and the “yellow people” (these are the people you see in sidewalks, wiping are waste). So here comes Monday (a day before the shoot), I went back to this place to assure if this is it, so without any hesitation, I entered their office and present my self and ask some inquires. In God’s grace, this is it! At that time, I realized that this place is the ESC or the Environmental Sanitations Center of Muntinlupa. And this is the right place for our topic. So here comes the information that we incurred in our documentary…..

The Trip to ESC
At first, it was pretty sad because the head of ESC was not feeling well so she’s absent. So her secretary referred as to Mr. Vincent Alon, head of Computer Operation of ESC. We had a doubt at that time about this person because we thought that his specialization is more on computer thingy. But we are wrong. In fairness to him, he is good about their organization as well as responsibilities.
Without any hesitation, we started immediately are interview.

So our first question was (it was actually in tagalog but I’ll translate it to English) “What can you say about the problem of garbage in our society?” He answered, “It was really a big issue and for sure people are aware of this but the concerns were very low. Almost tons of garbage are generated everyday by establishments and house holds.“ Then a follow up question were asked. “How tremendous is this garbage problem?” He said, “it is very tremendous because garbage can result in a bigger problem. This includes diseases, water contamination, disorderliness and many more. Then we asked him again, “How can we resolved this problem?” He said, “Again as I said earlier, people are the main source of garbage, that is why they are the one responsible for this issue. There are a lot of simple ways to minimize garbage pollution. For instance, as much as possible, lessen the consumption of plastics when buying groceries. Proper management disposal is also effective. These include sorting biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials. “ He also added, “by doing this simple ways, we can minimize garbage problem. Then to wrap up the interview, we asked him “What are the programs that ESC offers to resolve the issue of land pollution?” We were overwhelmed to his response. He said, “ there are a lot of programs that ESC can offer. This includes: Garbage Collection and Disposal Services, Street Cleaning Services, Clean and Green, Sagip-Ilog Brigada, Kabalikat sa Kalinisan, Bantay Basura and many more.

Trolley BinBut he emphasized more in there most effective projects. First, the Trolley Bin, since Garbage Trucks can’t reach narrow places such as houses near railroads, people usually throw their garbage in passing trains. To resolve this problem, they introduced Trolley Bin. This trolley bins collect garbage in houses near railroads. There are separate day of collection for the Bio and Non-bio waste. This is only implemented in few areas in Muntinlupa. But this is really effective. With the success of the Trolley Bin, it will soon be replicated in other barangays.

Next is Bioreactor. This is a machine used for bioprocessing. The technology is called “Accelerated Composting”, where biodegradable wastes, such as market wastes are being processed into raw compost. Almost everyday, 500 kg. of mixed waste; fish waste, spoiled vegetables and fruits mix with saw dust, after being shred are charged or loaded to the bioreactor. After which, 300 kilos of raw compost are also being discharged daily and transferred to the curing area at the Pacwood site. This was very successful in reducing biodegradable waste most especially in public market. Right now, ESC had already two bioreactors, one in Alabang Public Market and the other one is in Tunasan.

After this interview, Mr. Alon toured us in their MRF or Material Recovery Facilty. The facility includes, dumping area, weighing area and the storage room. It was actually a small place but it was really functional and helpful in reducing land pollution. Then we end are conversation.

We were really thankful to ESC most especially to Mr. Vincent for giving us tons of information regarding are documentary. And I can’t miss to say this, Mr. Alon was really professional, he’s good in acting in front of the camera. And I’m very happy because the flow of our interview were continues and there are no cuts at all. So if you want to know more about our documentary, watch our presentation next week.

Want to know more about ESC? Follow this link:

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Updater in actionFirst and foremost, this is my 5th blog entry for my Environmental Science subject. Obviously this entry looks different compared to my previous posts. As you see, there’s no article and some links. I just realized lately, why should I comment to the articles of others if I can react or share my insights regarding my own article or work.

So now, as seen in the picture, is my latest artwork entitled Ninature. The title is in fact a combination of two words, Nina and Nature. That beautiful girl namely Nina is actually a friend of mine way back in high school. So what’s the connection of Nina and the Nature? Honestly there’s no connection at all. But for the sake of Environmental Science, I’ll connect it as accurate as possible!

My goal for this artwork is to relate or connect art and nature. As you observed in the picture, shades of green are the major color used in the artwork. Vines, Leaves and some flowers were utilized to complement to the concept of nature. The four waves were added to give an impact to the artwork. The vines (located at upper part) though it just a stroke also created an impact to the concept. The most challenging part of this artwork was the picture of Nina. The problem was, the picture of Nina was choppy. I mean the left side of her head was cut because I just grabbed it in her friendster. So the whole design must complement to her “cut head”. To resolve this problem, I used long leaves to cover the left portion of her head and added more leaves to form a bouquet of leaves. I also did some retouching to her face. I removed her eye bugs, a little toning of the skin and I added a tattoo to her face. Another problem that I encountered is the finishing touch. I’m already done with the whole design but there’s something missing with my work. It’s to dull and the elements of the artwork do not complement well with the white background. So I decided to experiment with the background color and I ended up using a gradient style of shades of green.

The interpretation of my work is simply to Go Green! As said to my previous blog by PETA, Let Vegetarian Grow in You. Though I don’t fully support vegetarianism, my aim for this artwork is “Let Nature Grow in You”. This means that let the nature start at you, at your house. Try to practice a greener life. Aside from eating green plants, practice also planting trees. By doing these, we could lessen pollution and sustain the life of the place called Earth.

For larger size copy, follow this link:

Friday, March 9, 2007

Top 10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Global Warming

Global Warming Comics
Burning fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal, oil and gasoline raises the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and carbon dioxide is a major contributor to the greenhouse effect and global warming.
You can help to reduce the demand for fossil fuels, which in turn reduces global warming, by using energy more wisely. Here are 10 simple actions you can take to help reduce global warming.

1) Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Do your part to reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposables. Buying products with minimal packaging (including the economy size when that makes sense for you) will help to reduce waste. And whenever you can, recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans. If there isn’t a recycling program at your workplace, school, or in your community, ask about starting one. By recycling half of your household waste, you can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.

2) Use Less Heat and Air Conditioning
Adding insulation to your walls and attic, and installing weather stripping or caulking around doors and windows can lower your heating costs more than 25 percent, by reducing the amount of energy you need to heat and cool your home.

Turn down the heat while you’re sleeping at night or away during the day, and keep temperatures moderate at all times. Setting your thermostat just 2 degrees lower in winter and higher in summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.

3) Change a Light Bulb
Wherever practical, replace regular light bulbs with compact florescent light (CFL) bulbs. Replacing just one 60-watt incandescent light bulb with a CFL will save you $30 over the life of the bulb. CFLs also last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, use two-thirds less energy, and give off 70 percent less heat.

If every U.S. family replaced one regular light bulb with a CFL, it would eliminate 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gases, the same as taking 7.5 million cars off the road.

4) Drive Less and Drive Smart
Less driving means fewer emissions. Besides saving gasoline, walking and biking are great forms of exercise. Explore your community’s mass transit system, and check out options for carpooling to work or school.

When you do drive, make sure your car is running efficiently. For example, keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by more than 3 percent. Every gallon of gas you save not only helps your budget, it also keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

5) Buy Energy-Efficient Products
When it’s time to buy a new car, choose one that offers good gas mileage. Home appliances now come in a range of energy-efficient models, and compact florescent bulbs are designed to provide more natural-looking light while using far less energy than standard light bulbs.

Avoid products that come with excess packaging, especially molded plastic and other packaging that can't be recycled. If you reduce your household garbage by 10 percent, you can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.

6) Use Less Hot Water
Set your water heater at 120 degrees to save energy, and wrap it in an insulating blanket if it is more than 5 years old. Buy low-flow showerheads to save hot water and about 350 pounds of carbon dioxide yearly. Wash your clothes in warm or cold water to reduce your use of hot water and the energy required to produce it. That change alone can save at least 500 pounds of carbon dioxide annually in most households. Use the energy-saving settings on your dishwasher and let the dishes air-dry.

7) Use the "Off" Switch
Save electricity and reduce global warming by turning off lights when you leave a room, and using only as much light as you need. And remember to turn off your television, video player, stereo and computer when you're not using them.

It’s also a good idea to turn off the water when you’re not using it. While brushing your teeth, shampooing the dog or washing your car, turn off the water until you actually need it for rinsing. You’ll reduce your water bill and help to conserve a vital resource.

8) Plant a Tree
If you have the means to plant a tree, start digging. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. They are an integral part of the natural atmospheric exchange cycle here on Earth, but there are too few of them to fully counter the increases in carbon dioxide caused by automobile traffic, manufacturing and other human activities. A single tree will absorb approximately one ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime.

9) Get a Report Card from Your Utility Company
Many utility companies provide home energy audits to help consumers identify areas in their homes that may not be energy efficient. In addition, many utility companies offer rebate programs to help pay for the cost of energy-efficient upgrades.

10) Encourage Others to Conserve
Share information about recycling and energy conservation with your friends, neighbors and co-workers, and take opportunities to encourage public officials to establish programs and policies that are good for the environment.

These 10 steps will take you a long way toward reducing your energy use and your monthly budget. And less energy use means less dependence on the fossil fuels that create greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming.

My Insights
Before getting this article, I’m actually browsing about the pros and cons of Bio Fuel. As I read up to the end of that “Bio Fuel” article, a link about additional readings regarding the environmental awareness appeared. One of these is “Top 10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Global Warming”. At that point in time, I suddenly realized, why should I discuss bio fuel if I can discuss simpler but very useful information in saving the environment. So that’s the story why I chose this article.

Honestly I’m speechless or shall I say wordless?? with this article because it’s very simple and no need for elaboration. Isn’t it obvious? these steps are very simple and effective. Try to visualize, millions of energy and less pollutions will be incurred if all people in the world will follow these steps. At the same time by following these, you could minimize your expenses. And lastly, if we all now practice these 10 simple steps to reduce global warming, just imagine the whole world will be a better place!


Thursday, March 8, 2007

Bio Artist Uses Science to Create Art

An Example of Bio-Art

TROY, N.Y. — Adam Zaretsky once spent 48 hours playing Engelbert Humperdincks's Greatest Hits to a dish of E.coli bacteria to determine whether vibrations or sounds influenced bacterial growth. Watching the bacteria's antibiotic production increase, Zaretsky decided that perhaps even cells were annoyed by constant subjection to "loud, really awful lounge music."

This sense of humor is a huge component of Zaretsky's work in the growing field of bio-art, a broad term for the blend of art, technology and science that is attracting artists, scientists and controversy. Having recently taught at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Zaretsky has become a prominent figure in the realm of bio-art and RPI is becoming a Petri dish for the cultivation of new works.
My Insights
This information is very overwhelming to me. Though I don’t fully considered myself as an artist, for me bio art is really a breakthrough in the field of art as well as in science. And it’s pretty amazing how bio-artist bridge the gap between art and science. I find these artist very genius and talented. Who would think that sound vibrations could affect bacterial growth and generate art works to it? Amazing huh?

By just having bioluminescent bacteria and rotting fruit, you could generate bio-art to it. And there are a lot of ways to create bio-art through other organisms. As stated by Adam Zaretsky, a bio-artist, "(Bio-art) is a way of looking where we interface with ourselves, human culture and the rest of the living world. And this is true. As I see it, he is trying to create an artwork by interacting into a living medium. These living medium could be bacteria, animals, plants and even humans.

Right now Adam Zaretsky and other bio-artist are now promoting this kind of art. As a matter of fact, they are offering short course of this form of art. They are actually teaching this course at "VivoArts: Art and Biology Studio". The course guides a mix of artists, scientists and medical students in the exploration of life sciences through projects that examine the human connection to living systems.

Though this form of art is becoming popular, contradictions and debates regarding moral issues are also on the rise. "Transgenic manipulation of animals is just a continuum of using animals for human end," regardless of whether it is done to make some sort of sociopolitical critique, said Alka Chandna, a senior researcher with PETA in Norfolk, Va. "The suffering and exacerbation of stress on the animals is very problematic."

Chandna also warned that scientists can't always predict what other health problems the animals will suffer from their alterations. "We're all in support of creativity but we're opposed to all suffering." Aside for animal activists, bio-artists also face national legal scrutiny. As a proof, Steven Kurtz, a professor at SUNY Buffalo, was arrested on federal terrorism charges nearly three years ago after police discovered certain types of bacteria and other biological materials in his home. It may sound funny because your aim is to just create art from bacteria and then suddenly you will be accused of terrorism. Funny huh? Hehehe…. But honestly, it is a serious matter. Improper use of bacteria may result to different diseases and a threat to society. That is why bio-artist is working out to combat this through the creation of the Center for Bio-Media, a gallery, lab and educational facility that will be open to the public.