Friday, August 17, 2007

Toxic toys, Oratio Imperata and a Typhoon

Toxic Toys

The major toy stores in Manila have started recalling some Made-in-China toys from their shelves. The US consumer authorities and regulators have found that the paints used in these toys contain high amounts of lead. Also one brand of toys have magnets that easily detach and small children are liable to swallow them.

What's wrong with these Chinese made toys? Earlier this year other Chinese made products were the focus of consumer rage and controversy, starting with melamine laced pet food, toothpaste with anti-freeze and drugs that killed patients in Panama. China's economic growth has raced but it seems that product safety had been left on the wayside. The Beijing politburo has to take note for this would definitely tarnish from Gold to Bronze the Made-in-China Olympics next year.

On the other hand toy design is now extremely complex with kids demanding more realistic and complex toys. While my parents contented themselves with wooden and metal toys in their childhood, I had contented myself with Made-in-Japan metal robots and simple electronic toys. Toys were not computers then 35 years ago.

Many of my toys were Made-in-Japan. I had a robot that whirred and had a TV screen on its chest. There were RC toys then but they cost an arm and a leg. My dad while he catered to many a whim of mine, drew the line and never bought any RC toy for me. I dreamed that I would have little flying planes, helicopters, a toy submarine and a toy warship.

This 40 year old child now went to a Manila toy store and found that he can buy the toys of his dreams, a tiny RC chopper, a toy sub, a tiny RC plane, a toy aircraft carrier, a toy battleship .... Many of the toys are not that expensive and all are Chinese made.

I did indulge one of my childhood dreams and bought a toy submarine in the US early this year. I just found out that a toy submarine is probably the most boring RC toy ever invented!

Oh well. Should toys be simple and children should be given the room to dream and imagine?

Of course children have to be kept safe.

Oratio Imperata

Let me hit back at those impious wags who say that the Cardinal Archbishop of Manila, Gaudencio Rosales hedged his bets, prayed for rain and it rained. The impious should leave the Cardinal alone in his job of praying to God. The impious can laugh their way to damnation and not be able to get on the Ark!

Now many people are complaining about having too much rain. Well the Bible is filled of stories of characters who are so ungrateful of God's goodness. We have floods because we have clogged the waterways with solid waste. We cut down the trees. We deserve this fate Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is also not exempted. Madame President and film director Quentin Tarantino got stuck in floodwaters.

The Old Testament has the medicine for this ungratefulness. The Israelites had to wander for 40 years in the desert for being ungrateful, taking Manna for granted and for being plain a_ses!

We are condemned to wander for a millennium in the desert of ruined environments for our horrible treatment of nature. The Cardinal will have to pray Oratio Pro Ingrata!

Oratio Imperata is not just a prayer for rain but a prayer for the renewal of creation. It is a beautiful prayer and I'll pray it rain or no rain!

A typhoon is coming

Oh well classes have been suspended and I have to go on field work. I hope the weather cooperates or else I won't be able to do any owrk.

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