Monday, May 12, 2014

Mariñas, Anna Beatrice F.

Mariñas, Anna Beatrice F.                          STS                                                      May 11, 2014
2011-78869                          Social Climbers-Food for Thought                            Prof. Juned Sonido      

Monkeys are highly intelligent creatures that live similarly to how humans do and David Attenborough claims that they do have the richest social lives, (which I cannot (yet) completely agree to since there are much more animals I have yet to learn about). One thing I find to be the most important trait of these monkeys is their ability to be highly inquisitive of their environment. Like humans, they are very observant and investigate everything that cross their paths and construct discoveries to be beneficial for them. What particularly caught my interest was their knack for cracking nuts and coating themselves with insect repellent. This phenomenon describes, in the simplest ways, how nature is in itself a threshold for protecting, providing for and propagating life.
In a land mass where multiple species do live amongst each other, similarly, it also amazes me how they are able to thrive in the same environment while maintaining different ways of surviving, adapting and co-existing within social roles. It seeks to describe how animals are instinctively brilliant in and physically very adaptable to varying changes in their environment. At the same time, it bewilders me how their advanced brains are able to schedule a calendar of seasons for fruit-picking which might probably be similar to how Mayans predict weather through astronomy.  A new idea I’ve acquired is their handedness. I am not aware whether this may indicate the same left-brained or right-brained inclinations as one will find in humans but this is an interesting study to look into.
Another film in relation to this narrates how chimps start to mix their diet with meat and begin to walk upright on two feet; behaviors which they believe may have led to the domestication of animals. The idea of chimps (or any primate for that matter) domesticating any other animal is strange, but fortunately enough, evolutionary theories make this plausible and slightly believable. It remains a question to me as to how advanced primates thought for themselves and the future circumstances such as food preservation and propagation. But I think that such adaptations to the biological and environmental demands would have eventually lead to genetic modifications (e.g. larger brain) that ultimately lead to emergence of culture.
      The spectrum and depth of evolutionary theories and constant research in this field have implied that we do not yet have full answers to our ancestors, and that while we remain to be inquisitive, it is ironic that modern technology can helps us unearth the an untold journey. Despite knowing our present, it must be part of humanity to know where he came from, and these explanations strive to fill that gap of wonder and doubt-for now.
      On a completely different note, the documentary implies that the earth is a temple to sacred and prosperous wild life which remains hidden and unknown to many. The life which thrives beyond the books we’ve grown accustomed to in school and the in-depth documentaries in the university will never be able to encapsulate the life entwined among the branches of the wilderness. Many are not aware of, nor are they interested in our natural resources, but if they knew any of the intricacies of nature, they would not bring about potential threats to these creatures such as construction, hunting practices, poaching and all destructive activities that extend the list. If such reasons are known to them and self-profit remains to be a priority, then we talk of an immorality, or maybe, amorality.

Mariñas, Anna Beatrice F.                          STS                                                     May 11, 2014
2011-78869                                      Bird watching                                                     Prof. Juned Sonido                                                                              
Bird watching was and still is one of the most interesting and highly unlikely subjects I came across in UP. It did not surprise me that UP, being among the greenest communities in the metro, housed 56 species of birds. But as soon as the guest speaker flashed a series of pictures of local birds of varying shades, shapes and sizes, I was in disbelief. The thought that those humble creatures were elegantly circling above my head as I was pre-occupied with the pressure of school work and the unbearable heat struck me. The ignorance to tiny creatures was a sin. Suddenly the curiosity and enthusiasm to meet them jolted me. It was an unexpected happy activity for the day to be tasked to walk around campus to spot these birds. But as my group wandered aimlessly to and from unmarked pathways, I never saw any of the birds projected to us, and it felt like an empty promise. I did, however, spot a brood of native hens strutting and clucking, as if annoyed to see me in anticipation to see rarer species, so we helplessly proceeded in hopes of finding one, but we just never were at the right place at the right time.
After this day of bird-watching, I really have taken a huge step to make sure I look up among the tress and listen to the healthy bushes, still in high hopes of finding a bird. Within the week, I did spot a bird. It was sitting on a frail branch beside the College of Science with its back to me. It had a healthy black coat from top to bottom except for a long white strip on its tail-I believe it was a fan-tailed bird. Even if it was not, I was happy for the rest of the day. My attempts of bird-watching were not futile. Since then I remained keen eye and kept a sharp ear to my surroundings. In my tranquil searches, my cluttered mind wondered how scientists regularly visit these creatures for research purposes. Could I have been so drawn and hypnotized towards technological means of entertainment that I fail to find happiness around me and that bird watching, a simple nature activity now seems so noble and unique?
What I take away from this class activity is that we are disconnected from nature. The solace that we find it in seems to be too foreign from the familiarity of technology in our hands. The quiet beauty that surrounds us every day goes by unnoticed and unappreciated, until we come to a conscious effort to look beyond the seemingly empty trees and peaceful air. I also have noticed that people do not behave in correspondence to nature. The boisterous noise we have grown accustomed to from loud music, video games, television shows and etc. have been too tightly pressed in us and as a result, pulled us away from the tranquil corners of Mother Nature.
Finally, as I was contemplating for this paper, I began to conceptualize a possible project for future STS classes. I propose that the professor collaborate with a class and brainstorm on a feasible nature preserving project that would be executed semester after semester until completed, where another consultation shall be arranged., (e.g. tree-planting, recycling, campus clean up, bird-feeder project). This way, as students, we maintain a harmonious ecological environment; improve holistic wellness and hands-on learning.

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