Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Twin Hearts and the Sky





This is my entry for Ana's Earth Wonders: Sky!






This post is linked to





and



and

EARTH WONDERS by anaeugenio



Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

PLANTS EXPOSED: Plants in Videogames 1/5

We learned in high school that Biology is the branch of science which focuses on the study of living things, organisms that have...LIFE. The word "bio" actually came from the greek word bios which means "life"1. We were also introduced to the three(3) out of five(5)2 Life Kingdoms on earth namely: Kingdom Animalia, Kingdom Fungi and Kingdom Plantae. I think Kingdom Monera(Bacteria) was also mentioned in our biology class, but I can't seem to remember the details about it. Out of the three top kingdoms, Kingdom Plantae is said to have been the start of life on earth. From the existence of water and sunlight, algae was introduced and from these simple life forms, oxygen was manufactured and made available in our planet. Given the basic needs of animals: water and oxygen, animals emerged and thus started the introduction of more complex life forms on earth.

Since Plants from the Kingdom Plantae are given given high importance and is the primary source of life on earth, I intend to emphasize in this post, their significance and contribution to the existence of life on earth...to your existence, to my existence...to the existence of man. However, the post will have a twist. Instead of the usual formal complimentary style of writing, I will use a medium, specifically VIDEO-GAMES, as sources of information with which I plan to tell the world(like what other people do) that plants are living organisms too! Therefore, this post kicks-off, PLANTS EXPOSED: Plants in Videogames.

I used to be an avid(addict) gamer during my pre-teens, teens and early adult stage(and a normal gamer now), I have read and played a dozen or more games. I am not too old to have played with the Atari but is old enough to have played with Game&Watch and the Nintendo Family Computer. From the games I've played, I will try to share videogames exposing plants as part of the gameplay, a playable character or a supporting character in the game. I also ranked the games according to the significance of exposure, quantity of exposure and my gaming experience. Significance of exposure answers the question, "how important the plants were in the game?". Quantity of exposure, on the other hand, answers the question "how many times the plants were exposed?". Lastly, my gaming experience answers "how satisfied was I in playing the game when the "plants" were exposed?"


We can now start the Top Eight(8) Videogames with Plant Exposures!*


#8 Patapon
Sony Computer Entertainment America, 2008.
PSP

Patapon is one of the most unique games ever published in the gaming industry. The game boasts of its rhythm based gameplay where the player must follow a rhythmic pattern with which corresponding actions are undertaken by the playable characters. For example, by pressing CIRCLE,CIRCLE,SQUARE,CIRCLE...it orders your army to attack enemies if they are on sight. Pressing SQUARE,SQUARE,SQUARE,CIRCLE will tell your army to continue walking in their path. Surprisingly(hehehe), I haven't completed this game. Since with my experience, the game failed to keep me in playing the game with the very feature that made it one of the most innovative games produced for the PSP. Rhythm or Music games are just not my forte I guess. Patapon won several awards in 2008. It is one of Gamespot's "Best of 2008" winning the awards for "Best in Music" and "Most Innovative Game". IGN on the other hand, awarded the game with "Best Music/Rhythm Game", "Best Artistic Design", "Best Original Score" and "PSP Game of the Year". The game as of this date, has two sequels namely, Patapon 2 and, well...yes...Patapon 3.

So where are the plants? The Plant Exposures are actually the presence of a tree in "Pan Pakapon Mini Game" and that of the "Mater Tree"(and some minor appearances of sunflowers). In the mini-game, you will guide Pan in playing his trumpet, making sure that he is able to follow the "Bon-bon" song of a SINGING TREE. The Singing Tree is the first significant plant exposure in Patapon. The Tree has no name, but it sings, talks and has human feature such as eyes, nose and mouth! And during the course of the mini-game, the Singing Tree dances in a disco like manner complete with disco lights in multicolor effect too! The second exposure is the "Mater Tree". This Mater Tree is the tree where all the characters/Patapons are born. With the presence of selected materials such as "Banal branches", "Tender Meat" and "Stones". Combining different materials will produce different types of patapons such as Yaripons, Tatepons and Yumipons.

The significance of the plant exposures in Patapon is good. I regret though that the Trees don't feature the dominant color of most plants....GREEN. They are shown in very dark colors, dark grey and black shades. However, it is repeatedly shown since you see them everytime you need to get special items from the Pan Pakapon mini-game and everytime you want to add or revive patapons from the Mater Tree. This is Plants in Videogames #8....the game that shows the wacky side of a singing tree and that which brings us to the basic scientific theory that "Life on earth started with plants"....PATAPON.




TO BE CONTINUED......



-------------------------------------------

A trip to my garden this weekend gave me an opportunity to take photos of some plants in bloom! Here are some of the flowers in the secret garden.



My Episcia Cupreata in bloom, I will try to get some other color variety for company. :)



This is my Latana with lots of blooms last Friday.




A Mini-Rose in bloom.



The following are
photos of my Calliandra Haematocephala...


This is the flower in full bloom.




This is the flower bud just a day before it will fully bloom.



This
photo shows three stages of the flower. From the berry-like bud to the flower in full bloom.



This post is brought to you by




and



and




Hope you enjoyed this weekender post! Happy Gardening!



"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves."
by Mahatma Gandhi




--------------------------------------------

* Final Fantasy Games are excluded from this feature because I intend to post a separate PLANTS EXPOSED article featuring the grandest and most addicting RPG game in the industry(IMHO).

References:
1 www.thefreedictionary.com
2 waynesword.palomar.edu/trfeb98.htm

Image References:
www.ign.com
www.kingPs3.com
mysite.verizon.net
krooze.wordpress.com
www.unikgamer.com
library.thinkquest.org
www.beastbeat.net
www.pinoypsp.com
www.emuparadise.me
www.Iparchive.org
www.gamerdna.com
chrono.gamewiki.com
videogameafterlife.blogspot.com
www.jap-sai.com
www.plantsvszombies.com
www.techpinas.com
http://gweenkent.blogspot.com
www.pippysays.com

www.cashgenerator.co.uk

Bibliography:
waynesword.palomar.edu/trfeb98.htm
www.blueplanetbiomes.org/plants.htm
www.gamefaqs.com
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patapon

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Diana Ross



My Entry for Tina's Wordless Wednesday and the Blue Wordless Wednesday!







This post is linked to


and





Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Gerbera


This is my first Gerbera! It was also the first bloom from my care after around a year with no blooms at all! Sadly, it only lived for 4 or 5 years...severely damaged by the El Nino phenomenon of year 2006/2007.




This post is linked to Lisa's



Awesome Macro Monday!

Friday, September 16, 2011

New Kingdom's Garden

My friends and family members know that caring for plants is one of the things that would very well describe me. It has always been a challenge for me to buy plants from the local nurseries and try my best to survive them, and hopefully make them bloom again in the future. However, most of the time, my plants die after a week or months if they're lucky enough. The longest living plant that I was able to care for WAS a cactus. I got it from our province and brought it to Manila; took care of it while dealing with the intricacies of college life and until the time when I had to return and help in the family business. The cactus lived around eleven years! I regretted the fact that I brought it home to our province last year; around May this year, the rains sadly ended its life. Last year, I had the chance to experience a whole new world of gardening. My mother was able to bargain from my father, a space at the side of our house where a fountain and mini pond is located. I bought a lot of initial plants from our local traders...Medenilla, Powder Puffs(Calliandra), Orchids, Don Manuel, Hydrangea and Gerberas.


The Mini pond Area


Kingdom, not satisfied with the meager garden space, decided to expand its territory and thus developed the small area adjacent to the mini pond area. This move sparked my brother's rage where he being the architect of the house, should be the one in-charge of our garden.


The Adjacent Walkway of the Mini pond Area


My brother always complained to my parents on how I "trespassed" on his garden, on the supposed Victorian concept of our house. Therefore, with my unceasing plea for the lives of my plants, my very loving mother bargained, again, from my father regarding my plants. So it was decided that I could have the space at the back of our store...and this space, is actually our old garden! Since before the construction of our house in the village, we lived behind our store, our rooms and dining table is just a few steps from our establishments backdoor. July 2011...the end of my old place, and the start of a new one! I quickly went to traders all over our area and got some nice stone blocks they call pan de unan...and some terracotta pedestals...it is not a good combination, but I was on a tight budget! haha! Bought sacks of soil and ipa and some more pots for the transport of my plants from the Victorian house to the old storage space.

You may find below photos of my new garden area with a "Before & After" effect! Don't forget to hover the mouse pointer and wait for the second photo to materialize.




This is the view from the entrance overseeing platforms infront and at the left.



This is a better view of the left platform and the shaded area corner at the back.




A view of the shaded area corner, receiving area and the place where I do experiments.


** Don't forget to hover the mouse over the photos and wait for the 2nd photo to be shown. **




From the entrance of the garden(which is actually the backdoor of our store), I had my Bromeliads and Hydrangaes on the right side since it is a shady area with bright light exposure.


Bromeliads & Hydrangeas by the entrance


Above these plants, I placed chicken wire fence with which I hanged some of my orchid species and Asplenium specimens. On the pedestals, or raised platforms, my Roses enjoyed a good feed of bright light and shade in the afternoon. Below them are my Rain Lilies and Daisy plants. Just this afternoon, I was able to add a walking path made of bricks in the said area, you may not see it in my uploaded photos. You may find larger varieties of Roses at the back of the front platform. I call this area my Rose Corner...it is where I place my....uhhmmm..Roses. hehe!


Rose Corner with new unpotted roses!


On the left platforms are my Senior Member Hibiscus, Thunbergia, a Begonia, some other Hibiscus and my Don Manuel. A Welcome plant or Zamia can be found below the Thunbegia. At the back of this platform, you will find my shaded garden corner. That is where my Begonia collections are located. Some begonias are hanged while some are placed on the three-layer pedestal. This place is also my "receiving" area...it is where I initially put my new acquisitions or new members until they are potted and positioned in the garden.

At the back of the "Receiving Area" is my nursery area. This is where I experiment on cuttings, where I sow seeds and where I keep my water tank...water is collected from the gutter of the building when it rains! Talk about water conservation. haha! So today, even if my Garden is in the old space, even if I have to walk 50 meters from the store entrance before I get to my Garden, even if I have to open padlocks just to see my Garden and even if my Garden is not Victorian....I am confident enough to call it a Garden....complete with pots, sunlight, fertilizers, shovel, broom, water hose and a gardener who personally takes care of the plants!

Plumeria Area...I love Plumerias! Can't wait for them to bloom.


Here are some other photos of my New Garden. And luckily, today, it IS Friday! Therefore, I can post blooming plants and link with Tootsie's Fertilizer Friday and Tina's Weekend Flowers! Yehey!


My Orange Pagoda Hibiscus


My newly acquired Philippine Fire Tree Seedling.


Twin blooms of my pink Rose


This is the only surviving volunteer plant of the new garden before July 2011. I saved it and planted it along with my cannas at the right corner of the raised bed.


My White bouquet plant's FIRST bloom!


My Dwarf white Bauhinia is also in bloom today! Most of my white flowers are in bloom today. Some of my white rain lilies are also in bloom at the village house. :)



I hope you enjoyed the Brief History of Kingdom's Garden. Thanks for dropping by and have a very Happy Weekend ahead! Be happy!




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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Halo-halo Wednesday!

This is my entry for Ana's Earth Wonders: Light.





I am also joining Wordless Wednesday! and Tina's Wordless Wednesday! Here's my entry.

* I am using Solitude Rising's Hover Effect. Just hover the mouse pointer on the f
irst photo
to reveal the second photo.
*



This post is linked to



EARTH WONDERS by anaeugenio



and





and






Happy Happy Wednesday!


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