24.11.07

Creating Pesticides from Plants?

We all know that pesticides nowadays use too many artificial chemical ingredients, and it’s dangerous for our health. The chemical ingredients stick to the vegetables we eat, and then carried away into our body when we eat it. But we haven’t found a good way to get rid of pests. Using animals to eat the insects is still too expensive. Despite these problems, a young man from Indonesia has found a way to do this.

Sulfahri (18), a young man from Sulawesi (Celebes), Indonesia, has created pesticides from the bulbs of Dioscorea hispida, a relative to the air potato. The plant is widely known as gadung in Indonesia, and is edible if boiled. However, it contains poisonous natural chemical ingredients, and may cause nausea and vomiting if not processed well. Sulfahri made the pesticide from these chemical ingredients. The pesticide itself is especially formulated to kill a specific kind of ant that damages cocoa plants. After a long research and camping in a cocoa plantation, he succeeded in making the pesticide. His work is published in a competition sponsored by Lifebuoy®, and he was one of the winners in the category of technology developing.

Making pesticides from plants has been known in the farming business for years. Some made it from gadung, and other from tobacco. However, their works aren’t widely known around Indonesia and other parts of the world, until Sulfahri made his own pesticide and won a competition. The recipes have been published in the internet for quite a long time, but not many farmers use it. We can only hope that other farmers can start making pesticides from ingredients around them. It’s easy. If the government is willing to publish the recipes in newspapers, then the popularity of bio-pesticides – that’s what I call it – will rise. Let’s just hope, and support the government to do these acts.

6.11.07

Better Living in Jakarta

Devoted to those who live in Jakarta -- and for those who want to see something better from it.

We can make Jakarta better with efforts from all of us.

First of all, Jakarta needs more trees and public places. The parks we see now are mostly defunct. Some of them even turned into gas stations. We can see gas stations in the middle of green belts in Jakarta. If we don’t do something to limit the numbers of gas stations, there will be no trees to absorb pollution, and also fewer parks for wild animals and people to relax. Trees in the parks also help absorb, hold, and maintain underground water. Without them, our supply of underground water will be depleted, and we won’t have clean water for our house. Ground levels will also go down if the underground water runs out, because the water supports the ground. If the water runs out, the underground water level gets low, and so does the ground.
Also, we need to add more environment-friendly public vehicles and cut down the numbers of private vehicles. Public vehicles nowadays (not counting the new and environment-friendly Transjakarta Bus and the gas fueled Bajaj) contribute more air pollutants than private vehicles, because their drivers are not taking care of their vehicles. Also, too much private vehicles will cause traffic jams and pollution. We should refrain from using private vehicles when travelling short distances. Don’t use your car if you’re going to the market a few blocks away. Use your bike or walk. If travelling long distances, try using the Transjakarta, because it’s cheap and fast. The government should strictly regulate the quality and quantity of vehicles to avoid pollution and overcrowding of vehicles. We shouldn’t be ashamed when taking the bus. We should be proud for being a part of the act to stop pollution.

In addition, teenagers need other places to go, not only malls. We have too much malls and unnecessary buildings. Some of them are discontinued in the middle of the building. Maybe we should build parks for teens, where they can play basketball or maybe riding their skateboards. The parks will need trees and other plants of course. The environment will absorb pollutants, and teens get healthy in the process. Lead and other chemical substances in the air can degenerate children’s and teenagers’ brains and bring health problems. Another problem is that not all teenagers are rich, and not all of them can go to malls and enjoy their facilities. Those who can’t go to malls need space to play, but the space they need is taken by malls. One case can be found in Central Jakarta. Some children and teenagers were found swimming in the fountain of Plaza Indonesia. A picture was taken and shown in the newspaper. The picture shows one of the main problems in Jakarta: lack of open space. In order to quell this problem, the government should stop giving new permits to build malls, office buildings, and housing estates starting next year.

Finally, we need to promote healthier lifestyle to Jakarta citizens. We live in an unhealthy place, and it’s bad for our health. What’s worse is that we are endangering ourselves with our lifestyle. Smoking, drinking alcohol, eating junk food, and relying too much on machines, you name it! These acts are making us even less fit than the slowest mammal on earth, the sloth. A sloth is a kind of mammal that only eats leaves, and nothing else. Just leaves. This makes them get less energy, and use a small amount of energy every day. Their hearts beat very slowly, so they move very slowly too. Isn’t it embarrassing? Are we going to be like the sloth and move slower than a monkey? Of course not! We should act now and beat the sloth out of the fitness charts. Eat vegetables and do sports twice a week. For the sports, you don’t have to go to fitness centers and pay big. You can just do some jogging or running around the neighborhood. For a better result, you should walk ten thousand steps a day. It helps maintain the strength and form of your back bone, and it also helps prevent osteoporosis along with milk. It’s just a cheap and easy way to get a healthy life.

25.9.07

Pesticide? No way man!

We've seen and heard many cases of poisoning from pesticides. We won't die so quickly, but believe me -- it shortens your lifespan. Muhammad Ali, the famous boxer, was reported to have the Parkinson's disease not only because of shocks from boxing, but pesticides from the farms near his training gym as well. Too much pesticides also builds immunity to certain insects, and finally they can mutate to withstand a certain dose of pesticides.

Biological pest control was also considered a useful solution, but unfortunately some countries like Indonesia have not maximized its possibilities and uses. But in Indonesia, fully organic farms are increasing in numbers. It doesn't use pesticides, and sometimes it uses pesticides out of organic materials--much safer and nature-friendly.

Recently, a man from Indonesia entered a contest for presenting useful ideas. The contest was hosted by Lifebuoy, a famous soap brand in Indonesia. He entered a pesticide product made from Dioscorea hispida (the same genera as the air potato). It's commonly known in Indonesia as gadung. He made it from the bulbs of the plant, which is poisonous. It's designed to kill ants that damages cocoa plantations. He only spread the pesticide near the plants to prevent making the cocoa poisonous. He tested it in the cocoa plantations, and he succeeded. He killed some ants, without any artificial chemistry. This is a giant step, people. Let's try to make more organic pesticides and fertilizers, to reduce the artificial chemistry in our food. All of them comes from the nature, so it's safe for us.

30.7.07

I MADE IT !!!!

I MADE IT PEOPLE! I made it to the 8th grade! WOOOOHOOOO! *cough* *cough* Sorry.

So yeah, I made it to the 8th grade, and I'm going to start posting again from now. I made a few changes to the blog too. I now call it: LIFE ON GAIA. Gaia means earth, you know. From now, I won't be posting about animals only, but also about the environment, its problems, and also its cure.

Also in this post, I would like to say thanks to Linkin Park for including pics on our crippling planet -- which is because of us too -- on their newest video clip, "What I've Done". We can see how much destruction we have caused on Earth. The lyrics are quite touching too. So, thanks again Linkin Park!

Again, I would also thank you guys for reading. Please send your support to my shoutbox. Happy reading!

21.3.07

Sorry for the hiatus

Hi guys. Sorry for the ULTRA LONG hiatus, but i'm getting real hooked up to school lately, with those things they call "MARCH MADNESS" and all.

Still, I'm going to post as soon as I can. Here's the newest info I got. It may won't be new to you, but I hope this helps.

1. A tiger ALWAYS attacks its prey from behind. Logically, it's easier to strike from behind, but we can't surely tell how they developed such a unique behavior.
2. Some monkeys can get an access to some liquor, making them drunk. When monkeys are drunk, they become more vicious and dangerous than you can ever imagine. So, if you are going to dispose any liquor, please dispose it far from any kinds of wildlife. It can make them sick.
3. One ant can get killed instantly, but a pack of soldier ants is almost indestructible to some animals. They can kill a squirrel together, and even larger animals.
4. The bolas spiders spins a blob of sticky net. The spider then swings the sticky net to catch insects. It uses the blob of net like a swinging mace or any mauling weapon.

Hope that I can post more later.