WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE?

I’m not planning on dying anytime soon but I was just a little curious about the aftermath of becoming deceased.

I suppose my spirit will go to heaven and my body will turn to ashes or dust, depending if it’s cremated or buried.

People who knew me will send their condolescences to my next of kin and they might even shed a tear or two or shout ‘God Riddens’ from the rooftops.

They might mourn my passing for a few spectacular moments but in truth, they will not miss me beyond the next meal and sleep..

So what does happen when we die?

Are we suddenly invested with supernatural powers and are granted a visa in perpetuity to pass through the Pearly Gates to the afterlife, as another living creature, reincarnated or otherwise?

Are you kidding me?

I started to wonder after watching a ridiculous film called ‘Swiss Army Man’ about the antics of a dead corpse washed up on the beach of a deserted island.

Now I realize that farting after we die is trending all over social media and we DO fart, extraordinarily though it may sound, after we die.

So the ridiculous film I watched was actually thought-provoking and quite informative.

Hand on my heart, I can honestly say that I HAVE seen a man fart before my very own eyes but I have NEVER seen a dead man, let alone a farting dead man.

Of course, if we can fart when we die, we can poop too.  That’s otherwise called Defecation to the Shitless Wonders out there who are wanting to expand their English vocabulary.

And if you have ever heard the uncouth expression ‘Shit come out of your mouth’, now you know where it comes from and why.

Truly, I would not care to be a funeral undertaker who has to clean up the almighty mess.

The horrific smell of sulphurous gas caused by farting cannot be ignored.

We all know, I think, that bodies shrink and shrivel as we begin to decompose.  Our body temperature cools and rigor mortis sets in.

Our bodies just bloat, blister and burst until we eventually become no more than a skeleton.

So much for embalment but who wants to be preserved as a Mummy or a stuffed model of who we once were?

It amazed me to note from that ridiculous film that a man can die with an erection of his ‘youknowwhat’ and maintain it after he has died.

Totally mind-blowing I know but apparently true!

Let me take another look at all those depictions, paintings, sculptures and the like, of that Jewish guy who was crucified on the cross all those years ago.

I think I might have missed something.

Anyway, are you still along for the ride?

I have tried to write this essay/article with a sense of humour but at the same time with a sprinkling of expressions which are relevant and pertinent for anyone learning English as a second language.

Many of the important expressions I have highlighted.

I’ve read somewhere that our corpse turns all sorts of weird colours as our red blood cells go into overdrive and that bacteria, acid, stuff like that, endogerously (what a word!) enjoys a fabulous feast.

I love post-mortems, don’t you?  Coroner’s Inquest.  An autopsy on the body.  Death by misadventure, whatever that means.

That’s it, my friends.  I’ve said my piece.

I want to go and Rest in Peace.

Well, not yet exactly but chill out for sure.

VOLCANOES FOR KIDS

This a short presentation about the geological phenomena we call volcanoes.

Long ago, it was the Romans who named it the mountain of fire.

So what is a volcano?

It is a large mountain with a crater at the top, inside of which there is a cauldron of heat created by liquid rock we call magma.

Think of it then as a portal to the inner crusts of the earth.

The whole thing exists on tectonic plates way down in the earth.

A volcanic eruption is caused when those tectonic plates collide and hot magma reaches the surface of the earth at the crater.

The magma now becomes lava and is spewed into the air.

Lava, hot ash, volcanic gasses and rock spew down the mountainside at lightning speed and at extreme temperature.

Many volcanoes are either dormant or extinct and some have never erupted at all.

Indonesia is a country in south east Asia and lies in the so called Ring of Fire.

There are many voclanoes in its vast archaepeligo of islands.

The most famous ones are probably Toba, Krakatao and Bromo.

Mount Toba erupted seventy thousand years ago and left a crater in the form of a huge lake  100 kilometres long, 50km wide and 500 metres deep.

Mount Toba is considered extinct.

Krakatoa is different.  It lies in the sea in the Sunda Strait between  the islands of Sumatra and Java.

Krakatoa was a dormant (sleeping) volcano until it suddenly erupted in 1883 and killed many hundreds of thousands of people.

Kratatoa is an example of a volcano which lies under the sea and causes tsunamis.

The original Krakatoa is now extinct but amazingly a new volcano emerged in its place which is called today The Child of Krakatoa.

Mount Arenal in Costa Rica is another more recent example of a dormant volcano having a sudden eruption in 1968 and leading to a loss of human life.

Mount Bromo, on the other hand in east Java, remains active to this day and is a great attraction on the Indonesian tourist trail.

Visit with care!

Volcanolgists talk a lot about Supervolcanoes, of which Mount Toba was one.  Yellowstone is one in the United States which is being watched closely while the last supervolcano to erupt was Mount Helena, also in the United States,  in 1980.

Volcanoes are obviously extemely dangerous to life of any kind living within say a specific radius but this does not deter some people from accepting the risks and living on the mountain slopes of a volcano.

Volcanic soil is rich in potassium and phosphorus, providing nutritients to fertile farmland and producing geothermal heat energy to warm water and run power plants.

There are about fifteen hundred volcanoes on planet earth today

The sight of an erupting volcano is certainly a spectacular sight but best of course seen at a safe distance and taking all necessary precautions.

That is the end of my presentation about Volcanoes.

Thank you for listening.

 

 

LIFE CYCLE OF A PLANT

This is an English language lesson aimed at elementary school students learning English as a second language.

The topic is Life Cycle of a Plant

Plants are very important.

They make oxygen and are an essential agent for the ecology of the planet.

Plants provide food for people and animal to eat.

Plants need water, air, light, temperature and time to grow.

Not all plants need soil to grow.  They just need the essential nutritients such as mineral, potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus.

There is something called hydrophonics which enables plants to grow without soil.

The word ‘hydrophonics’ is taken from the Greek language and means ‘water labour’.

Some plants produce flowers but have no leaves or stem.

The Rafflesia from the Indonesian rainforest of Sumatra, is a case in point and actually the largest known flower in the world.

Trees, shrubs, grass and flowers are all types of plants.

Birds, insects and the wind all play an active role in the pollination of the plant.

Pollen enables the plant to reproduce more seeds.

There are, in fact, six stages of the life cycle of the plant.

They are:

  1. The seed is planted and made ready to grow. This is called germination.
  2. Roots and shoots grow from the plant
  3. Flowers grow from the shoots
  4. Pollen from the birds, insects and wind fertilizes the plant.
  5. The flowers produce fruit
  6. The fruit makes new seed. Seeds continue the cycle when the plant dies.

And so the life cycle of the plant begins again.

 

WORD WATCH

Life     Live     Leaf     Leave

Types   Tips     Trips

 

KEYWORDS TO PRACT

Life cycle                    Stages              Oxygen

Pollen                          Fertilizer          Germination

Seed                            Roots               Shoots

Temperature                Ecology           Hydrophonics

Nutritients                   Reproduce

A SPEECH ABOUT PLASTIC

This is a short speech about plastic.

I am only a school student but I listen to my teacher, my parents and to the experts who speak about the plastic problem on news tv channels and social media.

English is my second language.  English is the language I use to express myself clearly.

I want to be heard.  I want to be understood.  I want to be taken seriously.

I want to make a difference.

I believe I can make a difference.

This is what I think.

Everybody uses plastic everyday.

Plastic is made in the factory.

Vinyl, acryllic, celluloid and polystyrene are all examples of types of plastic.

Cups, bottles, straws, stirrers and shopping bags are just some things made from plastic which we frequently use.

Plastic has become the man-made curse of the material world.

I am a reluctant member of this plastic-disposable consumer-driven society.

From which there does not seem to be any escape or practical solution offered.

We want the plastic product but not the consequences.

Phrases such as climate change and global warming are coined but appear quite meaningless in the face of the problem plastic presents to society.

Plastic waste is thrown away and dumped.

We do not seem to care.  Or do we?

Plastic waste can be recycled and used again by us.

Only half of all plastic waste in the world today is currently recycled.

Plastic waste is not trash or garbage.

If we do not recycle plastic waste, what happens?

It goes down the drain and sewer,then to the river and then to the open ocean.

Every single day, the ocean tide washes up plastic waste on the beaches of the world.

From Indonesia to the southern tip of Africa and to the far flung waters of the Caribbean.

The islands of Bali, Madagazcar and Barbados are not unaffected.

Beaches are not beautiful anymore.  They are dirty and disgusting, unwelcoming places.

The residual ocean waste becomes micro-plastic over time.

Fish think it is food and they eat it.

Guess what?

We eat fish.  So we eat plastic too.  Really!

Come on! Let’s get real and be more responsible.

Let’s recycle much more, a lot more,  of our plastic waste.

At home.  At school.  In the street.  Everywhere we go.

Know what to do.  Where.  When.  How.  And Why.

It’s a challenge. It is up to you.

Thank you very much for listening to my speech.

Now it is time for action.

INTRODUCTION TO SCIENCE

Science has been a passion of mine since childhood.

It  is such a fascinating subject, full of amazing discovery and invention.

Science, for sure, gives everyone the knowledge to live in a better, safer, healthier world.

Science faces the challenge of the ever curious, questioning mind.

It gives us the opportunity to explore the life on earth of humans, animals and plants while also understanding where things come from, how they are made and how they work..

As a child, my favourite most prized possession was not a dinky car or a soldier fort or a bagatelle board (all of which I had) but a telescope which I inherited from my late grandfather.

Still to this day, I use it to look into the night sky and enjoy the delights of everything I see.

There are, of course, very many different fields of scientific study.

Physics, biology, chemistry, geography and technology are just some of them.

Science has certainly come a long way over the centuries and mankind owes a great debt of grattitude to the likes of Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Louis Pasteur, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Alexander Graham Bell amongst many others.

I suppose you can call all of them my pop (popular) idols in the Historical Hall of Fame depicted by the posters on my bedroom wall alongside Taylor Swift, Tom Cruise and Lionel Messi.

Nevertheless, there are still many problems and mysteries existing on earth not yet solved.

In a way, that is the beauty of science.

Scientists strive through experiments and trials to search for solutions to the diseases, viruses, earthquakes, landslides, storms and volcanic eruptions which plague the planet.

Those great scientists of the past have brought us the electronic light bulb, refrigerators, motor cars, plumbing for water, engineering feats, television, animation, anti-biotic medicine, the internet and smartphones, all of which play a dramatic and meaningful role in all of our lives.

The world of science is always evolving and today there are new trends.

Unmanned space travel, robots, stem cells and DNA genetics, advancement in technology, renewable energy sources, conservation of endangered animals and getting to grips with climate exchange are but a few of those trends.

The buzz-words like biodiversity, deforestation, clinical trials, natural habitat, ozone layer, flying saucers and extra-terrestial life on another planet drive forward my own curiosity and quest to know what a scientist needs to know.

And every one of us is at heart a scientist.

I may be ‘long in the tooth’ and decades of abivalent living have aged me five-fold beyond the wimp I once was.

Thank you for taking the chance to read this.

Thank you for coming into my scientific world.

So What is Science?

Does anybody know?

Alas, now, I cannot wait for my next science lesson.

Discoveries in Science make for a wonderful world

WE NEED PLANTS

The aim of this lesson is to provide a simple explanation about Plants as a Science introduction to students learning English as a second language.

So here goes!

The simple truth is that we need plants!

Plants are a living organism on earth just like animals and humans.

They provide us with food, raw materials, medicine, clothing and other things for our daily needs.

Trees, flowers, shrubs, hedgerows, grass, vines, fern and moss are all just examples of plants all around us in the world of botany.

The principle parts of a plant are the roots, stem and the leaves.

Plants can be grown in soil or in water.

The roots of a plant usually have a fixed position where they can absorb water and minerals.

The stem rises upright from the roots and provides branches to support leaves, flowers and fruit.

The leaf is the food factory of the plant.

It uses natural sunlight from the sun, carbon dioxide from the air plus minerals and water from the soil to make its own food.

This process is called photo-synthesis.

It generates a special chemical called chlorophyl which makes the food and keeps the leaf green.

Flowers and fruit are then the products of the ‘food factory’.

If the plants are well nurtured, then they will continue to reproduce.

Quite often, the soil is not rich enough with mineral nutritients and fertilizer is needed to stimulate the growth of the plant.

It is very important for plants to grow in a natural habitat determined by temperature and available sunlight,  protected from disease and parasites.

If we are honest, we are all botanists when we keep a recreational garden at home or visit public gardens in our town or city.

We can see that nature takes care of its own and that we need plants for the preservation of life on earth.

THE SOLAR SYSTEM

The sky is a gateway to an endless universe of planets, moons, stars, satelites and debris which we call comet, meteorite or asteroid, depending how it looks and how big it is.

Earth is just one of the eight planets which orbit the sun to make up the solar system.

The other seven planets are jupiter, saturn, urnaus, neptune, venus, mars and mercury.

The world of interstellar is gigantic and the solar system is just one small fraction of it.

The sun is regarded as the ‘Mother’ of all stars and is a massive gas-ball giving out heat, energy and life to everything on earth.

The earth was formed 4.6 billion years ago and is ninety three millions away from the sun.

It takes eight minutes for sunlight to reach earth from the sun.

It takes three hundred and sixty five days for the earth to orbit around the sun in a complete rotation.  That is a whole solar calendar year.

The solar system is just one of the galaxies which exist in space.

Another one which is well known is the Milky Way but you can usually only see it through the magnified lens of a telescope.

Humans believe that extra-terrestial or alien life may exist on another planet in the universe.

Astronauts began the journey into space in rockets in the quest to better understand the development of life.

Unmanned spacecraft have continued that quest.

So far, the  moon, the nearest globe to earth, is the only place where humans have set foot other than earth.

The moon is actually not a planet but a satelite which orbits the earth.

The solar system has been barely explored.