Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cassava grown from inverted cutting is poisonous.


Dr Abe V Rotor

This is not true.  But let us take it this way.  Cassava cuttings if planted upside down will take a much longer time to grow, if at all. Those that survive become stunted (bansot), thus at harvest time they are left behind in the field. Come next planting season, and they are rouged, their tubers by now are about a year old. Tubers accumulate poisonous cyanic substances as they mature, and the longer they stay in the field the higher is the poison level in their tubers.

A one-year old cassava tuber has twice the amount of cyanide than regularly harvested ones do (4 to 5 months in the field). Thus cassava poisoning is not uncommon. Beware of cassava tubers harvested from borders or along fences. These must be very old indeed. By the way, when preparing cassava, choose the freshly harvested tubers. It is in the bark where the poison is concentrated so that it should be completely peeled off.  While boiling, take off the pot cover in order to allow the poison to escape as gas -  cyanogas , which is similar to the poisonous gas used in executing convicts in the US.  ~

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Art of Loafing


Dr Abe V Rotor

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[Living with Nature]



Univwersity of Santo Tomas graduate students on a field trip, 
PeƱablanca, Pampanga, 2010

Be like Thoreau and Darwin,
world's greatest loafers,
toying ideas that shock the world
Of Civil Disobedience,
and Survival of the Fittest.

For the mind soars to the sky
by imagination more than reason,
and time is kindest
when the body stops working
and the spirit calm,

To nurture the hidden genius,
in sparks and spurts,
otherwise spilled to waste
in worries and cares,
and undue haste.

Churchill by the Thames,
painted peace,
when the sky was burning,
and thunder and bomb
were one sound.

Audubon's birds were real
like living specimens,
with time at his command;
and Solomon halted his army
to let the ants pass in band.

Loafing, the habit and the art,
robs and rewards:
he by the hearth falls asleep
in spring; and who fishes ideas
with a fishing pole. ~