African Vultures join our New Year’s Preparation

By Vic Odarve

Fearsome, bald, ugly, and dirty! This is how my friends describe these big birds as they patiently waited their turn to clean whatever the garbage left after we slaughtered cows and pigs for New Year’s celebration. These are African vultures…the icons of the African skies and are often seen across the continent.

African Vultures in Nigeria,Africa

African Vultures in Nigeria, Africa

Sniffing and crowding the slaughter area, they alighted on our rooftops and the nearby palm trees. They are our regular visitors whenever we have a huge party celebration- simply looking for whatever the leftovers. Jostling each other over the carcasses of the slaughtered cows and pigs, they gorge themselves when foods are abundant, then relax to allow food to digest. Then these birds frequently visited the area for 3 days as the surrounding still fills the smell of the rotten dead animals.

Roasted pig preparation

           Roasted pig preparation

Though fearsome in their appearance – bald head, devoid of normal feathers,they rarely killed animals by themselves for they have no sharp beaks or talons except when animals are wounded or sick. As always nature does, vulture’s urine contains uric acid, which kills bacteria as they walk through carcasses. That’s why they urinate straight down their legs.

Vultures patiently wait for their turn

Vultures patiently wait for their turn

As the dedicated scavengers, they play their role by recycling rotten animals that no living creatures simply do. They are nature’s purifiers by converting waste into a useful one; hence making our planet habitable.

New Year's day celebration at Elele Catholic Prayers Ministry, Rivers State, Nigeria. More than 10,000 people joined the celebration.

New Year’s day celebration at Elele Catholic Prayers Ministry, Rivers State, Nigeria. More than 10,000 people joined the celebration.

Without these birds who will take care the  rotten/dying/diseased animals in the vast African desert, savannah, and plains? None! And the world will be messed up with diseases! Vultures did the business.

God is a great designer and the role the vultures play in our environment is a remarkable one.

Vultures, one of the icons in African skies, once again join our New Years day preparation-   cleaning the garbage of slaughtered animals – a difficult task for human beings!

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Money; A Source of Evil or a Blessing?

                                            By Vic Odarve

Like a coin with two sides, money can be either an evil or a blessing. Money can make your life easier; sustains your family everyday needs, spending children’s education, and many more. It can be considered as a gift from God and spending it wisely can be used to bless others; hence makes somebody holy. However, unwise handling may lead to a world of chaos and desperation….. downfall of oneself. Money is indeed a double sharp bladed sword and truly powerful!

Billionaire Bill Gates

Billionaire Bill Gates

Everybody needs money. No doubt. An evangelist requires his supporter to give tithes in a form of money to sustain his preaching activity and payment of the slot in radio and television. Sectarian schools raise money to improve educational programs and meet the demands of the changing environments pertaining to education. To some extent, most people need money to pay their pension plan and open a savings account because no one really knows how long a person lives. We are getting older about the passing years and the savings can be used when we cross that awful frail “elderly” age. It is a reality that everyone must accept. It could be a deplorable state if without a money.

New Year's Day Celebration-Father Edeh feeds thousands of pilgrims

New Year’s Day Celebration-Father Edeh feeds thousands of pilgrims

However, when viewed as a gift from God, we can be closer to Him…carrying out our responsibility as Christian to share generously with the less fortunate brothers. God does command… be your brother’s keeper! Billionaires like David Rockefeller, Ted Turner, Michael Bloomberg, had set up foundations and/or partnership programs “saving lives” everywhere their money reaches; heavily donated to depopulation efforts and charities to the needy. In Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Edeh, one of the most revered men of God and one of a powerful and influential religious leader in Africa, establishes several educational institutions to provide opportunities for the handicapped and less privileged members of the society to acquire education free of charge; demonstrate practical and effective charity that will lead to peace in the heart of many in the modern world. These are truly works of God and these make them brother’s keeper!

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Father Edeh of Nigeria

Yes, money too, is dangerous. Money becomes evil when people love it more than God. People fall into temptation and trap into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge their lives into ruin and destruction; wandered from the faith of God and this led to their downfall.  You become a slave and money is your master. The craving for wealth and possessions can lead into all kinds of temptation. Because of this, people often spend nights of cocktails drinking and dancing with friends to the extent that they deprive their families of love and attention.

Hence, money can be either evil or a blessing. It really depends on how people spend it. Those who have been blessed with wealth like Bill Gates and Father Edeh who shared generously with the poor saw money as a vehicle to be used to serve our Maker. But for those who love money to finance and support terrorist activities put themselves in damnation. In the end of days, somebody will come to judge the living and the dead;

20 He who has declared all this says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20

The choice is yours and is irrevocable; to spend money wisely or not, for we will see Him face to face in the final judgment.

Are Gifts Blessing Or Bribe?

By Vic Odarve

Like light which behaves both as particle and wave, gifts are also dual in nature. Gifts could mean a blessing or a bribe to a giver or receiver. Both scenarios are possible. It depends on how we perceive them! It depends on its environs where it acts.

Adventure at Niger Delta, Nigeria, Africa

Adventure at Niger Delta, Nigeria, Africa

A mom told her son,”Son, you must have to visit your teacher/lecturer on his birthday. Bring this gift and greet him happy birthday”. The package consisted of imported wine and perfume. “What’s wrong? We did not ask and it is heartily given?” the lecturer reasoned out.

Some politicians, too, with monies screw from public funds, play like a god or paternalistic landlord. They distribute cash in millions as gifts to their voters. Those closer to their hearts receive larger windfalls! In return, people regard them as if they are lords as if they are gods in their districts as if they are God’s gifts to humanity. “What’s wrong? We did not ask and it is heartily given?” the people reasoned out.

A year ago, a wife of one lecturer got angry when he refused to give gifts to his boss and predicted: “You’ll never be promoted on your job as a lecturer and receive no salary increase if you don’t know how to give gifts!” Sure enough, the lecturer never got any promotion during his decade-long of teaching at the university. He was not among the chosen ones to be promoted and received a salary increase. In the group, he possessed the highest teaching qualifications. Gifts establish a connection to your bosses for a favored action.

Chocolate hills visit

Chocolate hills visit

A gift is a gift and nothing more. But a politician who gives a gift to the voters or a student who gives a gift to his lecturers/teachers is another thing. A gift is no longer a gift! It is a bribe for a vote in the coming election for a politician and also a bribe to facilitate a passing grade for a student by the lecturer/teacher. For a boss would mean a promotion and salary increase to his/her subordinates.

GIFT BECOMES A BRIBE

A gift is defined as something that is bestowed, usually to give pleasure or show gratitude while bribery is the illegal influencing of any person in the exercise of a public duty through the payment of money or anything of value.

Bohol, Philippines adventure

Bohol, Philippines adventure

To distinguish whether a gift is a bribe or not is a very difficult. In math, these two variables are functions of the motives of the giver and receiver and value of the gifts. A gift is given without any expectation of gain while in bribery a favor is expected. More often ‘a gift can be disclosed, a bribe needs to be concealed.

This is the usual perception. The definition becomes clearer if we know closely on the motives and subsequent actions of both parties that follow the gift giving. The value of the offer can be determined, but the motives can be deceptive and difficult to discern.  Most often bribery makes its debut under the cloak of gifts. Sometimes it depends on country’s culture where there be a hairline differences between gifts from bribes. Not all gift-giving is bribery.

Some cultural customs of the country consider commissions, honorariums, give away, incentives, and consultation fees as gifts while others as bribes. These also spell the difference.

BRIBES AND CORRUPTIONS

Bribes are close relatives to corruptions. Corrupt people permeate the world. Look at some famous people in the world today. Proven guilty, they are facing plunder charges in connection with bribes, corruption, scandals, scam, etc. Some of them are presidents, senators, congressman, and politician. The common denominator- they are allegedly receiving bribes, kickbacks, incentives, etc. in the form of gifts. Whatever the things they receive they call them gifts or blessings!

Corruption, which is the most hated social problems and difficult to eradicate, sometimes emanating from one’s own cultural background. It can starve investment of public-improvement projects and instead; fattened the pockets of the corrupt officials.

Though the practice is culturally rooted, a genuine political will allow checks and balances, transparency, and independent scrutiny. In some instances, these actions may act as sort of remedy in curbing corruption.

Lecturers, populace, bosses or superiors always claim in the chorus that what they receive are gifts, not bribes. Whatever the perceptions, a gift like a light in the science of Physics, has dual nature; that is, it can be a blessing or a bribe. The judgment in receiving gifts as ethical, proper, appropriate or blessing is yours and it is irrevocable. The book of Revelation reveals everything, as follows; Rev 22:11-12;

11 Let the sinner continue to sin and the defiled remain in his defilement; let the righteous continue to do what is right and he who is holy grow holier.”

12 “I am coming soon, bringing with me the salary I will pay to each one according to his deeds.

 So be it! And glory to God in the Highest.

Mount Hermon; A Mysterious Mountain

By Vic Odarve

Let us discover Mount Hermon. Known for its majestic beauty, this mountain is approximately 2,814 above the sea level. It borders Israel, Syria, and Lebanon. It is the main source of the Jordan River. Mount Hermon is a very large triple peaked mountain. One of its three summits is the highest point on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea. This mountain is believed to be the site of the transfiguration of Jesus Christ. In the book of Enoch, this mountain is also the site that the 200 fallen angels descended from heaven. These events have profound impacts among the religious faithful; Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Why these events happen on this mountain remain a mystery.

THE DANCING SISTERS

THE DANCING SISTERS

TRANSFIGURATION OF JESUS

Transfiguration is a dramatic change in appearance. In mathematical language, this is similar to transformations! A change of forms in expressions or formulas that makes our mathematical calculations simpler and easier! That’s why we have logarithms, Laplace, Fourier, Mellin and Z transformations!

Jesus also does transformation. A dramatic change of appearance or transfiguration! It was witnessed by the apostles. He transforms to other dimensions – from earthly appearance to spiritual or heavenly dimension of existence. Among the twelve disciples, only Peter, James, and John had witnessed their Master dramatically transfigured. This transfiguration reveals his glory as the son of God. A true nature of his divine existence!

By transfiguration, Jesus gives his disciples a glimpse of what he looks like when he will be on his kingdom with his Father. Just a glimpse! See what happened! Jesus face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light! Below are the verses taken from Matthew 17: 1-2;

1 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain where they were alone.
2 Jesus’ appearance was changed before them: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became bright as light.

This thing happened at Mount Hermon….a mysterious mountain!

THE FALLEN ANGELS

There were two hundred fallen angels descended to Earth at the summit of Mount Hermon. These watchers as they are called in the book of Enoch mated with humans. This class of spiritual beings was in charged with the observance and study of creation. And what happened? They transgressed by intermarrying with humanity and introducing forbidden technologies to earth.
They saw that daughters of Adam were beautiful and good looking. All of them took unto themselves wives. This was against God’s law as angels did not need to procreate like humans. As a punishment they could not go back to heaven anymore. These angels violated both their own nature and their office. God cannot forgive their sins. Having families, these angels taught their human wives charms, enchantments, astrology, cutting of roots and acquainted with plants, sorcery, and others.

Since then, these fallen angels were living on and around the area of Mount Hermon. Their hybrid children were monstrous giants called Nephilim. The aftermath of these giants was awful. Upon their death, they would release evil or demonic spirits that will remain bound to the earth. Since then, mankind won’t have any peace. That’s why we have demons and evil spirits.
It was believed that the tribe of Dan which the Antichrist will come from moved to this area during the days of the Judges. They adopted the Canaanite worship of these angels. Caanites Gods, Baal and Ashtaroth, have the origin at Mount Hermon! Following are taken from the book of Enoch 6: 1-3;

And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.’ And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it.

Again, this happened at Mount Hermon…. A mysterious mountain!

Today this mysterious mountain is one of the hot spots in Middle East. Christians, Muslims, and Jews have contested this mountain for thousands of years. After the 1967 Six-Day war, both Syria and Israel administered military posts on Mount Hermon’s slopes.

Today, thousands of visitors come and visit this mysterious mountain! Some folks believe that this mysterious mountain is one of the Earth’s portals to other universes. A gateway to another world! Nobody knows!

The Joy of Helping Others

               By Vic Odarve

My office is open to all students except on some special occasions. And one day, a student came to my office asking assistance on how to derive the famous Einstein equation E= mc2. Upon recognizing that he was not my student, I asked him “How do you know that I can derive the equation?”My friend told me, Sir”, he replied warily.

Final Exam

              Fr. Edeh’s Arch Exam room

Then on another occasion, students came to my office bringing laptops and asking more tips on solving problems on matrices, statistics, and linear programming using MS Excel. The same thing: most of them were not my students! Then I asked them, “How do you know that I can help you?”Our friends told us, Sir”, they replied in unison.

“No problem”, I said to myself. I love to help students. A little help would mean a lot to them. These students are resourceful and they are making the best of things while I am still in this university.

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                  Seminar Workshop

Then one day somebody knocked my office door. I was surprised. He was not a student! He was a university teacher and an owner of a mall in the community. He requested for a website design offering assistance for campus students! I was overwhelmed! I was wondering how he got the information. Without asking questions and hesitation, I made one for him! Later I found out   that students told him that I am making a website for free.

That was it! I designed a website for free. It was a good website design and it attracted students’ attention. It became a big hit in the campus! The news spread like a wildfire in the entire university. Students were asking who design the website! The word was spreading.

Madonna University, Elele Campus, Rivers State, Nigeria

Madonna University, Elele Campus, Rivers State, Nigeria

After a few months and upon their request, I conducted a seminar on website design inside in the campus. The seminar drew much attention to students and community people alike. There I found myself speaking in a huge crowd that I never expected. My heart filled with joy. I could see on their faces how happy the students and community people were!

That’s how the things started. From a student who came to know the E= MC2 and ended on a seminar engagement on website design!

This is life. A little help makes a big difference to our neighbors. Just by helping others freely without expecting something in return! Helping others by sharing your knowledge gives you a happiness that money can’t buy. The events become the opportunity for growth. It motivates us to do more and make our life fulfilling. You feel that you are adored and loved by the students as well as the community people. Sharing our knowledge to the less fortunate makes you always feel happy. It also brings joy to our neighbors, too! You have done something good to your brothers and pleasing to the eyes of our Maker. The bible says,

“Let each of us bring joy to our neighbors helping them for the good purpose, for building up.”
– Romans 15, 2

I did it for the glory of God the Father! And to the one sitting on His right hand where no angels and prophets were ever admitted!

QUIZZES THAT STUDENTS LOVE

QUIZZES THAT STUDENTS LOVE

 “It was so simple but challenging”, quipped one student after the quiz. Definitely students love this type of quiz. They find the quiz on finding the determinants, inverse matrices, and eigenvalues/eigenvectors give them the opportunity to test how far their learning progresses on that particular course. That is, taking a simple but challenging quiz!

Engineering Mathematics 2 Batch 2012-2013 Second Semester

Engineering Mathematics 2 Batch 2012-2013 Second Semester

What makes it simple? It is simple because the given matrices during the quiz were almost similar to the examples discussed in details during classroom session except a change on one of the entries in every row. This type of quiz is challenging because it is open notes, books, and other related materials. Laptops are allowed where they can use the program MS Excel. But everybody has to observe the” strictly no borrowing materials from the classmates!” rule.

Another word of caution! Solutions must be legibly written and presented in detail or step by step. Laptops are used only for counterchecking or guide as their works in progress. That’s it and nothing more!

WHY THIS TYPE OF QUIZ WORKS?

Open books, notes, and related references during quizzes are welcomed by engineering students. Mathematics especially dealing on matrices is difficult to work with. As matrix size increases, the difficulty in computation also increases. Rules are sometime complicated and requires complete understanding before our confidence of getting correct answer develops. Memorization of procedures does not work well if without understanding as you will soon forget the procedures as the solution progresses. Most often in matrices a change of a single element or entry will change the whole environment of computation. The solution is very sensitive to the slight changes in the initial condition of the matrices. Just like chaotic theory, any error in a single step can produce large error in the final answer. That’s why open notes, books, etc during quizzes works well with matrices. The main objective is to make students familiar the algorithm on how to get to the final answer.

The reason is clear. Let the students learn the basics of matrices operation. With almost all computation nowadays done by a computer, we are preparing our students to this world ahead. It is then the classroom learning works in the open fields after completing their course. In a real world, computers and engineers work hand in hand in the industrial fields.

WHAT WAS THE RESULT?

As expected silence engulfed the whole classroom as quiz started. Everybody was busy and concentrated on their works. No ogling for solutions on another paper. All eyes were on their own paper. Time limitation for the quiz was enforced. A real world in a classroom!

What was the result on that quiz? Only sixty percent (60%) passed. Failed students came to me with various reasons. Some confided that they had not prepared well and not listening during classroom lectures. In summary, failed students had reasons with the same denominator. They same old stories! Still clinging to their old ways of bad habits! They vowed to change the old ways. They blamed themselves for failing the quiz! One thing is certain…not blaming to the lecturer!

So, what is next? Some wept and admittedly vowed to change for a better! Then I told these poor youngsters, “Go and change your ways for it is not too late, more quizzes are coming. Unless you change your ways, you will not pass this course”

Sounds biblical?  Yes. Students must change their ways in order to pass the course. Jesus at the early part of his preaching often told the crowd to change the ways and believe the good news so that they will not be perished. Everybody must be prepared.

“He said, “The time has come; the kingdom of God is at hand. Change your ways and believe the Good News.””

– Mark 1,15

“I tell you: no. But unless you change your ways, you will all perish as they did.”

– Luke 13,3

That’s it. Failed students must change for a better for they will they will not only pass this course but one day they will also meet the One sitting on the throne for final judgment to all mankind.

 

Effective University Teachers

              By Vic Odarve

What are we looking for in a university teacher?

Teaching courses for kinder and secondary level may have its own requirements. Good teacher qualities such as understanding, patience, passion, confidence, and many more. How about college students? Students are no longer kids!

working overtime for lecture preparation

Working overtime for lecture preparation

There are many qualities needed but the most desired ones for an effective university teacher are the following;

1. Must be an academically able.

“You cannot give if you don’t have”, as the saying goes. That is why we prefer a teacher who has written books and experience in their courses which they are teaching. This indicates teacher has something on his head.  A sound foundation of the course is the first step. Other ingredients such as the manner of presentation, discussions, and exposition of the subject matter will come to play later by experience.

Marking Quiz scripts

Marking Quiz scripts

2. Must be able to bring excitements/interactions with the students inside the classroom.

A good and effective teacher draws excitement whenever he discusses the subject matter. As a result, strong interaction takes place. He has the ability to inculcate and impart these ideas to the students. The magnitude of exchanging ideas and the excitement is felt by the students largely determine the grasping of knowledge. The more they feel and the stronger they excite, the more they learn. This is the best scenario inside the classroom.

University teacher works like the Higgs boson particle. This particle completed the missing link for our standard model of particles of physics for the past 45 years before confirmed its existence last July 4, 2012. This particle answers on how matters obtain mass. And it works like a university teacher in the classroom and on how student obtains learning in their courses.

Lecturer at work

Lecturer at work

Here’s how why it works like a teacher! The Higgs field exists across the whole universe. As particle trudges the Higgs field, the field becomes excited and the Higgs boson mediates interaction and exchanging particles take place. The magnitude of the mass acquired by the object depends on how the particle feels the effect of excitement and interaction in this field. That is why we have heavy, slight, or massless objects as photons and gluons.

Sounds like a classroom teacher?

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Briefing her students on the next lessons

3.  University teacher must be able to make his own examples in addition on what are in the textbook. Examples which are based on local setting are preferable so that students can relate and have a clear picture. Much more if examples are part of a student’s daily lives. It’s a real life drama unfolding before the very eyes!

References like biblical passages, even a world apart from the topics discussed, may give a clearer picture on the principles of the subject matter.

Who knows? By quoting biblical verses you are touching lives, morally and spiritually. Though different worlds as setting, real life against the old scriptures, it can offer a vivid picture on what you meant. Bear in mind! God’s word is convincing and powerful!

Is your teaching institution has a  teacher as described? If so, glory to our God in the Highest.

Did Man See and Talk With God?

BY Vic Odarve

This is a question that nobody would like to answer. It sounds to be figurative or literal; hence, the probable answer will be figurative or literal explanations. The following conversations give us a glimpse of the nature of God and if a man has really seen and talk to the Lord God.

ABRAHAM TALKING WITH THE LORD GOD FACE TO FACE GEN 18:26-33

After the two angels left in Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham and the Lord God had a lengthy conversation – face to face. Just like a man who asked requests and God responded. It was because Abraham asked several requests to spare the two biblical cities from the doom of destruction. That was, he interceded for the sake of righteous ones living with the wicked population. And that Abraham did not believe that God would kill the good people living in the midst of the wicked population. From fifty good people who could be found he was able to narrow down to only ten. The Lord God closed their conversation as follows;

32 But Abraham insisted, “May my Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found?” And Yahweh answered, “For the sake of ten good people, I will not destroy Sodom.”
33 When Yahweh had finished speaking with Abraham, he left and Abraham went home.

Cebu City, Philippines

MOSES TALKING WITH THE LORD GOD FACE TO FACE EXO 33:11-23

Lord spoke to Moses face to face. Sensing that he got a favor from God, Moses had several requests regarding how to lead his people, to know  His name, and to assure of His presence. And finally, when Moses asked that he wanted to see his face, God responded in the following conversations;
20 And again he said: Thou canst not see my face: for man shall not see me and live.
21 And again he said: Behold, there is a place with me, and thou shalt stand upon the rock.
22 And when my glory shall pass, I will sit there in a hole of the rock, and protect thee with my right hand, till I pass:
23 And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face thou canst not see.

NOBODY HAS SEEING GOD

But there are several verses teaching us that God cannot be seen. Even Moses in his final request to see His face during his conversation with God in the mount (more…)