Sunday, May 11, 2014

Jose Miguel Pineda - Reaction Papers

Jose Miguel Pineda           

Bird Watching

On the 6th of May, we had our first speaker discuss about the different species of birds that inhabited the campus. I was mildly interested in the session, only paying attention to names and appearance of the birds he mentioned. I did learn quite a few things however. Afterwards, our professor gave us tasks to photograph as many birds we could find around the campus. I came well prepared on that day. Armed with my camera and sun block, we managed to get some nice photos of a shrike. The birds we photographed were kind enough to sit still to be caught. It had a coat of grey on its upper back that turned to black as it went down. It had a white breast that was bordered with a light shade of brown as it touched its black feathers. It was roughly bigger than a maya as it had a bigger beak and longer tail.
Bird Watching I feel is a worthwhile hobby to pursue. It emphasizes the virtue of patience and develops a person’s understanding of his environment. Before, I would hurriedly pass through without giving whatever’s around me a second glance. I only had my next destination and the need to escape the summer heat in my mind. I only give notice to the CS building, the jeepney stops and the passing cars. I saw the metal, felt the concrete and smelled the smoke. What I regretted was not paying more attention to what I experienced.  
The trees, the grass, the sky; they all seemed so alien now. Before, I would never notice the beautiful flora that decorated the campus, the humid smell in the air signaling rain, the different chirps the birds that live near and how the thin branch felt when it would rub against my bald head.
I would love for the university to construct an aviary so that people would have an easier time if they were to take pictures and study the behaviors of the birds.

Social Climbers and Food for Thought

It is already known that monkeys and chimps share some behavioral similarities with us humans. Examples of this are the way they adapted their diets to coexist, the way they band together for safety the way they use tools to crack nuts, the way they had what resembled a class system. These behaviors drew comparison to the final part of the documentary where we saw how the earliest of men hunted their prey.
Early man had no claws to dismember their prey, no fur to protect them from harsh weather, no heightened senses to feel what’s around them. Instead, they had their brains. They invented what they lacked and adapted when they needed to. If you were to view the perspective of the bushman’s prey, you see a creature standing upright wielding stone claws. With your physical advantage, you can run faster but the creature persists. He never tires with his portable water supply. He never loses your trail with his tracking skills honed for generations. But he runs on two feet, he could never catch you. That’s where you’re wrong. Running on two feet consumes less energy than it would on four legs and combined with man’s ability to perspire, he can endure far longer than the animal. He is relentless and you fall prey to him in the end.
Man has this ability to shape his environment to suit his needs. He learned to plant even on the harshest of soil. He learned to domestic animals by breeding the desired traits they wanted from buffalo and dogs. Man quenches his hunger for food and drink and yearns for more so he invented religion and arts. As the abundance of available food grows, so does the population of man. From the villages we had long ago to the metropolis of the present. Sooner or later the Earth will be insufficient and man will look for others worlds to shape.

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