Showing posts from January, 2009

The Beans Revolution, 1

Jack & The New Hen That Lays Golden Eggs

Yes, this is the story of another hen that lays golden eggs. Call me Old Jack and this is full of new beans talk – from the unknown to the revolutionary Pushkal – Sanskrit word for full, abundant, many or much. I’ve never been a bean counter myself, but there’s always a first time. It’s the legume called the pigeon pea, and this story is from problem to promise, from peas to pesos. Under the hands of science wizards, this pea has been transformed into a modern-day horn of plenty, if I may mix my metaphor. This is good news first for the farmers of India who grow pigeon pea in 3.5 million hectares (, which is almost the total size of 4 million hectares planted to rice in the Philippines ( Size matters; size is relative.The pigeon pea (or pigeonpea) is a crop of a rainbow of colors. It is hardy and widely adaptable, growing well in cold or hot climates, acidic or alkaline sites, dry or irrigated fields, fertile or infertile…

How to rewrite science creatively

I will tell you what I will do before I will rewrite a difficult, technical article, abstract, paragraph or sentence, but I will not tell you which ones I will do first, or which ones I will not do:
√ Read on the topic from some other sources.
√ Ask someone who knows more about it.
√ Look up the meanings of terms you don’t know. I often look up the meanings of even familiar words, such as approach, because some people don’t look at this like I look at it. Compare with strategy, point of view, methodology if you like.
√ Ask somebody else to do it for you, and compensate him well.
√ Choose another selection or article.
√ Rewrite sentence by sentence or phrase by phrase.
√ Give up, but only after trying your best.
√ Read it 9 times.
√ Think of metaphors.
√ Relate it to something you are familiar with.
√ Rewrite half or part of it and see what happens to your understanding of the whole thing.
√ Go to the encyclopedia and search for related articles.
√ Go to the Internet and browse.
√ Gather more inform…

A pragmatic approach

The following is the abstract of a paper by Graham Badley published in the European Educational Research Journal 2(2): 296-308: ‘The Crisis in Educational Research: A pragmatic approach.’ Can you rewrite it?
This article first identifies and discusses four main causes of the crisis in educational research. These are summarized as false dualism, false primacy, false certainty and false expectations. False dualism is the apartheid that divides positivist and constructivist researchers, with positivists believing in an objective reality and constructivists arguing that reality is a social construction. False primacy is the view that the positivist paradigm has come to dominate research to the detriment of more open, pluralistic and critically reflective approaches. False certainty is the argument that in an increasingly complex and uncertain world, researchers have retreated to a reactionary position in order to shore up the dominant paradigm. False expectations is the case that governmen…

Rethink organic fertilizers

Here are excellent exercises in creative rethinking, all original, all mine. Each pair of sentences are juxtaposed against each other. Unless specified, in each case, I ask you: What is/are the implications? What should be done?
(1) Organic fertilizers. Raw materials for commercial organic fertilizers include manure from commercial poultry and livestock farms. For the control of pests and diseases, the animals are given antibiotics; for faster growth, they receive growth hormones.(2) Stakeholders. All citizens are stakeholders in the progress of the country. A stakeholder is one who has a share of an interest in an enterprise.(3) Good Agricultural Practices. These are proven techniques in farming that reward the farmer properly and well. There are many different kinds of farmers in many different locations.(4) Transfer of knowledge. Hereis a package of technology that promises to triple the income of the farmer if he follows the instructions in the package. Only 5 out of 100 farmers fo…

Rewrite 'The Ecosystem Approach'

Can you rewrite this so that a non-scientist can understand it? It is from the Introduction to the article on 'The Ecosystem Approach' by the Convention on Biological Diversity.The ecosystem approach is a strategy for the integrated management of land, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way. Application of the ecosystem approach will help to reach a balance of the three objectives of the Convention. It is based on the application of appropriate scientific methodologies focused on levels of biological organization which encompass the essential processes, functions and interactions among organisms and their environment. It recognizes that humans, with their cultural diversity, are an integral component of ecosystems.

Funny, I’m the new Harry Potter

Meet the Wizard at 69
Did I meet an accident yester-day? No, I met a closed, clean glass door at The Mall of Asia near Manila Bay.I became the new Harry Potter yesterday, 11 January, at Racks behind The Mall of Asia. Now I have my own scar on my forehead, above the right eyebrow. Looking at it this morning, ‘It’s not discernible,’ says my wife. What did she mean; did she want the scar bigger?My scar is courtesy of Racks. I mean, it happened there. Mine is an inverted L. L stands for Low Intensity Conflict – I bumped my head onto an immovable object. I believe it was a glass door. I know I have charm; now I know I'm not an irresistible force.It was early evening; my family and I were eating and our table outside Racks was facing West, the great ManilaBay and the great sky. Did I see stars? I didn’t even see the glass door.We were celebrating the baptism of my first grandson, Sean Ryker Hilario, of Jomar & Clarisse Conanan. My wife Ampy, daughters Jinny, Daphne, Neenah, Ela, sons…

The Man Who Reinvented Creative Thinking

He is the same man who reinvented desktop publishing; visit I just want to put it on record that I’m claiming those 2 today, 11 January 2009 Manila time.

An invitation to a party

This is the terrace of La Huerta at Antipolo, Rizal. I was there last year courtesy of the owner, Luz Buhay Lorenzo, and I found the place subtly relaxing, the air invigorating, the food excellent, and the chocolate superb! Thanks, Luz. The place itself is a sumptuous feast to the soul.

Bloody Christ! Fr Anton's

19 August 2008, Sam Martin and I saw Fr Anton Pascual at Caritas. Fr Anton had  protege painters, all prisoners, and all around were their paintings. The painter of this Christ (as well as the others) is at the stage of his painting life when he is still copying from the master. I passed that stage too in learning how to write well.

While Global Learning looms

I’m writing a book

In fact I’ve rewriting it for the nth time now. 2 of the chapters in this book you can already read if you visit ‘Vanguards in War & Peace,’
The Global Learning I’m referring to is about global earning coming from credit created by banks not out of actual investors’ capital – the whole world is about to learn that once everybody realizes that, we should not be surprised if Atlas Shrugged.

The Inquirer says. In AIG’s fall, we sinned all

Doctors tell you only half the story of Cancer. That’s the half you know. Economists tell us only half the story of Corruption. Do we know which half?
2 assumptions, 2 sets of data. One, the Philippines is the most corrupt in the world. Two, the Philippine media is the most free in the world. If your mind is statistically inclined, if you go by correlation, you’ll go crazy. Ergo, the Philippines is most corrupt because the Philippine media is most free. Ergo, if you want to control corruption, control the media. Control yourself! I don’t believe the Philippine media is most corrupt, and neither do I believe the Philippines is most corrupt. No, I’m not part of the traditional media. Yes, I’m a Filipino and I love my own, my native land. Mind you, Cancer is not the Big C; Corruption is, and nothing is bigger. Cancer is individual; Corruption is social. While American authors like to write about individual rights, I, Filipino author, like to write about social wrongs. I don’t believe in huma…

I'm an original. Networding is browsing leisurely

Networding is browsing leisurely.

You browse ideas, not only pictures.
Don't browse words - that's not the idea of networding. The idea is to connect the unconnected first without the use of words. When you read to help you think - you should read - just browse. Jot down your thoughts - I jot down mine on the pages of the book! The first thoughts that come are vague thoughts. Welcome them all.

I’m A Male.

American Chronicle: My Enabler, My Encourager

I subscribe to male dominance. You know, I’m an A Male, A for Adam, an Alpha male. You know, A before E, E for Eve, Man over Woman, and I’m not talking only about superiority. Did you notice? Even those 12 years of the Chinese zodiac are dominantly Alpha male: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig – Rats! It’s a New Year, and this is the Year of the Ox. But I’m a Dragon, and a romantic. When was a Dragon a romantic? This one is. Let me tell you about my romantic heart, falling in love with one after another week after week, as God is my witness and American Chronicle is my Enabler, my Encourager. Glad to have made that acquaintance.My very first was my sweetest and best. I knew. First love never dies. I thought. And I had at least 1 love every week since, almost every one a prolonged encounter, only 1 or 2 affairs being almost fleeting, one-night stands. But the first one that happened in February 20…