Reading for the Day II: “Poisoning the Sulu Sea”

Below, article just posted on the World Wildlife Federation – Philippines website. This is IMPORTANT. If you care anything about preserving the Philippines’ marine eco-systems, please read on:

Poisoning the Sulu Sea

Together with concerned civil society groups, WWF-Philippines is campaigning to prevent an Australian geo-engineering firm from dumping massive amounts of toxic urea into the heart of the Earth’s Coral Triangle – the Sulu Sea.

Urea is an organic compound commercially derived from ammonia (NH3) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Large quantities of CO2 are produced in the manufacture of ammonia from coal or petroleum-based raw materials.

Australian-based Ocean Nourishment Corporation (ONC) reportedly claimed to have received the official go-signal to release 500-tonnes of granulated urea into the waters adjoining the Philippines and Borneo for a large-scale carbon sequestration and ocean fertilization experiment before the year ends. WWF-Philippines immediately checked with the DENR, BFAR and UP Visayas and as it turns out, none of the agencies approved the proposal.

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Monday Morning: Reading “Cooking Thai Food in American Kitchens”, Book 2

Sister-in-law Ying is Thai (though she’s also half Indian), and self has gone around Bangkok with her, eating in Thai markets. Self thinks that if sister-in-law ever wanted to embark on a second career (instead of what she does now, catering Thai food to Manila hoi poloi), she could easily have one as a tour guide to Thailand.

Anyhoo, book self picks up to peruse this morning is not one of those recommended by sister-in-law, but something hubby brought back with him when his company sent him to Bangkok for two weeks, way back in the Jurassic Period (late 90s). At that time, self had a big surprise waiting for him on his return: a new car. Yes, self was so fed up with her beat-up old Sentra that, while hubby was away, she went to a Nissan dealership in Serramonte mall and bought an Altima with her Discover card. Yes, she put the entire amount on a card. When she asked the salesman if that would be all right, he immediately replied: “Of course! This is America!”

And at that moment, self thought how she really did love America.

And, after that, for years and years (until, that is, son reached the latter teens — boo) son thought of his Mum as the coolest Mum in the whole world.

(Once again, I digress)

Anyhoo, this morning, since self does not have to teach a class at xxxx community college (in honor of Veteran’s Day), self is perusing a cookbook (Apologies, dear ex-classmate Jeffrey E. — your book had me up half the night, and now self’s eyeballs are quite exhausted) which she discovers, amazingly, is available at

Self has never ever cooked a single dish from this cookbook, but this morning, since self has so much time on her hands (aside from grading a humongous pile of papers, that is– a pile almost six inches high), she decides to give it a try.

And she opens the cookbook at random (which is her preferred way of finding a recipe), and she lands on a recipe for “Meat Pie.” Self is mighty confused, but there IS an accompanying picture, and yes the picture does show a yellowish-looking loaf of something displayed on a serving tray, surrounded with leaves and radishes carved in the shape of flowers. A check of the list of ingredients reveals: 1 cup ground beef, 1/2 cup ground pork. Self thinks it is really so different, this specification of “cup” for ground beef, as if the ingredient being measured were baking flour instead of — instead of, well, raw meat. But never mind.

Next page is a recipe for “Delicious Hamberger” (Yes, it is spelled just like that in the cookbook). The accompanying illustration shows a whole serving tray of wonderful meat balls, glistening (with some kind of oily fat?) and surrounded by a salad of chopped green beans, pearl onions, and cherry tomatoes.

The recipe for “hamberger” involves soaking 3 slices of bread (type of bread not specified, but self is almost sure this refers to plain old white bread) in evaporated milk for 10 minutes. Then combining ground beef with chopped onion, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, and the bread and milk combo, then frying the garlic and adding the meatballs to the pan when garlic is starting to brown (Oooh, this is making self mighty hungry!) and then adding, for a garnish, the green beans, pearl onions, and cherry tomatoes.

Hmmm, self thinks recipe sounds pretty good! She’ll try it for dinner. Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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