Is your stitched macOS PDF unreadable by Adobe Acrobat? “Export to PDF” solves this.

A PDF I sent students was unreadable by a friend trying to read the file on Adobe Acrobat Reader n a desktop PC. This felt like a repeat of a problem I experienced in 2019 with macOS Catalina. And I had thought a Catalina update had fixed the error.

This time, on the Big Sur 11.3 Beta, the problem surfaced after I had stitched two PDF files in macOS Preview. The resulting PDF was not completely readable by Acrobat on either a PC or Mac. Page 5 of the 7 page document produced this error message:

AdobeAcrobaterror

A solution had been suggested for this new problem on this Adobe forum last year for macOS Mojave – when viewing the combined file in Preview, choose File > “Export as PDF” to generate a “true” PDF file. I tried this and indeed Acrobat could read all the pages. 

Looks like it accurate to say macOS Preview corrupts a stitched PDF – goodness! Good to know.

“Our Conservation Story: Andie Ang, Nor Lastrina & Kathy Xu” on Fri 19 Mar 2021: 8.00pm w/Biodiversity Friends Forum

I am looking forward to this chat with Andie Ang, Nor Lastrina and Kathy Xu, three stalwarts of the nature and environment community who have inspired us with their motivation, dedication and resilience. This will an opportunity to find out about the realities of conservation and advocacy.

I am also delighted to be able to co-host the session with Tan Yin Ling, who found the community in 2017 when the Biodiversity Friends Forum was initiated.

BFF 19 Mar 2021 Panel

Sign up via Eventbrite at http://tinyurl.com/bff19mar

“Tracking otters in Singapore: repositories, communities and communication,” Sivasothi aka Otterman (Wed 17 Mar 2021: 6.00pm – 7.00pm)

About the talk – “Urged to study a furry mammal in his beloved mangroves, Sivasothi aka Otterman began by unravelling the status of otters in Singapore and Malaysia. For this he tapped a network of archived books and journals, museum collections and veteran naturalists near and far, assisted by curators, librarians and scientists.

When otters first returned to Singapore, it was recreational coastal users who helped track otter dispersal. Two decades later, a network of otter-watchers now help him understand the behaviour, dispersal and travails of otters in urbanised Singapore. The stories, shared in social media posts and scientific publications help repay that debt of information provided so generously from around the world, three decades ago.”

Histories Otter Talk

About the speaker – “N. Sivasothi a.k.a. ‘Otterman’ was immersed in mangroves and wildlife for research, education and conservation at the National University of Singapore from the late 1980’s. He promotes public education, youth development and environmental stewardship in Singapore, and contributes to wildlife working groups and close-door engagements to mitigate development impact.”

Register on Eventbrite.

Histories by the National Library Singapore is a series which highlights research on historical and related matters in Singapore and the region, creating an appreciation of the role of humanities and social science research in contemporary society. For more talks, follow GoLibrary on Eventbrite.

World Wildlife Day 2021 “Forest and Livelihoods, Sustaining People and Planet”

The lovely art for World Wildlife Day, yesterday.

WWD 03mar2021

I marked the day with an animal behaviour lecture and ended it with a dialogue about conservation. Thanks to Jack & Rai who hosted a World Wildlife Day dialogue with Anbu (ACRES) and myself last Sunday night.

Screenshot 3158

I am curently reading “Giants of the Monsoon Forest: Living and Working with Elephants,” by by Jacob Shell. A geographer who read widely and travelled to visited a complex array of South Asian and Indochinese (prominently in Burma) peoples who work with elephants. Pushed to the mountains by historical waves of lowland conquests in the region, the geography led to an evolution of elephant working cultures.

giants of the monson forest

Shell sheds light on the co-dependency of elephant and man on forests, which are foraging and mating grounds for their elephants, and which suport the forest-based economies, logging and transport through seasonally flooded terrain. Roads, forest fragmentation and agriculture thereaten these areas but the dificul terrain is also the setting of some of the longest resistance wars which protect the forests.

I know very little about Southeast Asia, a tremedously complex region and the perspectives stitched together Jacob Shell, a geographer, are insightful.

Note: Marcus Chua shares what research reveals about Species Awareness Days tonight!

Video freeze whilst screen sharing in Zoom, on macOS Big Sur? Reinstall Zoom and enable “Use TCP connection for screen sharing”

Update – this note explains this will be resolved with the next Zoom for Mac update (after Ver 5.5.4). Thanks Kenneth Pinto!

My animal behaviour videos froze during the past two lectures. The problem first happened mid-lecture in mid-February which sure had me scrambling, as the short videos are integral to the lesson. This morning the freezing more polite surfaced during the pre-lecture video. I plan a short, relevant video as an AV check with students, and they reported the frozen video.

On both occasions, I was on my wired iMac with BigSur 11.2.2 and I switched to my wireless laptop on macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta and continued the lesson without a hitch [update: the problem was with wired macs]. A search revealed the solution: macOS Reddit user @portzebie was told by Zoom Support to i) uninstall and reinstall the Zoom desktop client, and then ii) go to Zoom preferences > Share Screen > Advanced options > enable “Use TCP connection for screen sharing”. Oh, and iii) restart your Mac!

Zoom  Enable TCP in Screen Sharing

This seems to have worked. Restart your Mac if all is not well at first.

I think tere are some other hiccups with Keynote (“Play” versus “Play in Window”) and with Zoom Screen sharing (enable “Optimise for Video Clip” or not) still. I shall sort that out before my next lecture.

But let me me restart that iMac first.

Zoom Optimise for Video Clip

What can I do for nature and the environment in Singapore?

Why for starters, check out these pages:

NParks has a whole load of opportunities listed on their Volunteer Page. The good thing is you are now required to select a home-base; with this association, you wi be notified if oppotunities near where you live. If interested in conservation activities, you will have to attend an orientation before volunteering, which wil be helpful.

nparks_volunteer

Lepak in SG has organised a local directory of nature and environment groups: https://lepakinsg.wordpress.com.
LepakinSG

Our volunteer group Facebook pages highlight opportunities offered by others in the community, so will help you find your calling!
Toddycats_ICCS

The Biodiversity Challenge 2021 begins!

Preparation of the next generation for participation in conservation is enhanced by a programme initiated in 2017 by the Biodiversity Roundtable, and is called the Biodiversity Friends Forum. And this year, we launched the annual Biodiversity Challenge 2021 over three February mornings of Zoom induction workshops.

BFF_opening2021

We did manage a lot in two hours, and ported the wildlife in Singapore game to a jamboard exercise. It’s less interactive but we managed. And we wil catchup on the more intimate 1:7 field trips allowed for in parks in Singapore. Members of the Biodiversity Roundtable have chipped in with many offerings and will get to know these younglings too!

BFF_Induction2021

To ensure the ball got rolling quickly, we listed two activities in the first week: a night walk on the Rail Corridor (South) that incudes geography and land use in addition to a glimpse at the night fauna, and Sapling Protection Action at the coastal forst resotoation site at Kranji Coastal Nature Park.

BFF Rail Corridor South

BFF_KCNP_SPA

I’m really pleased about the number of BFF Alumni joined the Organising Committee to add valuable help and ideas. Facilitators at the Induction Workshop were mostly all Alumni as well, while Seniors and Mentors of the Biodiversity Roundtable dropped by to say hello to Participant in the Breakout Rooms. I was so glad they were able to do that at the last minute.

BFF_Org2021

Participants can expect to see more of Alumni, Seniors and Mentors at the nature walks, talks and workshops lined up for them in the five months ahead. The BFF series is about building communities as much as awareness and I am looking forward to gettign to know some of them better with time, and learning about their own Acts of Nature!

We will not see big gatherings anytime soon, of course. Already the induction workshop last year was run as parallel sessions in two NUS venues complete with mitigation, due to the threat of COVID-19. Things got much more serious and even the field trips had to be cancelled and negagament driven onine. Our induction workshop is run on Zoom, for all of two hours, but we will complete a second half in March after participants have experienced guided field trips – this is a good thing!

BFF induction2017

Sat 27 Feb 2021: 4.00pm – 6.00pm – Join NUS Toddycats for Sapling Protection Action @ Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve!

What is Sapling Protection Action?

Why we do it?
This is part of NParks’ exciting coastal restoration plan at Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve at Kranji Coastal Nature Park. Coastal vegetation were mostly cleared by settlements and reservoir construction by the 1970’s. With the extention of SBWR to the western edge of Kranji reservoir in 2014, this is an opportunity to practice habitat enhancement: soil preparation, tree-planting and sapling protection.

How do we participate??
Join is for the next session on Sat 27 Feb 2021. You will receive details about where to meet, your Team Leader and attire (long pants and covered shoes). We will provide gloves (bring your own if you have them) and tools. LImited spaces due to COVID-19 mitigation. Register on Eventbrite at https://tinyurl.com/kcnpspa-27feb2021

SPA poster 27 Feb 2021

The Minister of National Development responds in parliament about the fate of Green Spaces in Singapore

About every decade, the constant pressure of development requires a renewal of the understanding of the fate of green spaces in Singapore. Not just by the public, and nature community, but also all of the purposeful agencies of government. The exercise has become an increasingly vociferous, facilitated by the internet and now social media, and this time too, probably by the introspection COVID-19 forced upon us.

So much so, this has been a hotly discussed topic about nature and the environment in our recent history. Stimulated no less by the humble ex-kampung sites of Ulu Pandan and Clementi. The evolving mechanisms of engagement by government have embraced new voices, and we can expect more dialogue about decisions.

Minister Desmond Lee’s speech in parliament today, in response to questions posed by MPs, is certainly required reading. The issues are no longer the substance of private sessions or university classes but being aired in parliament.

I am glad to see this. Participation can be difficult, as can be engagement. But it is also critical to our way ahead.

MND: “Oral Answer by Ministry of National Development on Development Plans for Green Spaces, Feb 1, 2021” [link; pdf]
Screenshot 2811

“A High-Resolution Map of Singapore’s Terrestrial Ecosystems” (Saw, Yee & Richards, 2019)

Gaw, L. Y. F., Yee, A. T. K., & Richards, D. R. (2019). A high-resolution map of Singapore’s terrestrial ecosystems. Data, 4(3) [link].

SG-TerrstrialEcosystems

The classified map of high resolution images of Singapore from 2003 to 2018 is shown in Figure 1. The map has a maximum spatial resolution of 30 cm (as per the panchromatic resolution of WorldView-3). The area of each map class is shown in Table 1. The total non-marine area classified was 742.22 km2, of which 359.06 km2 (49 %) was covered by vegetation and 46.63 km2 (6 %) was covered with surface freshwater features. The remaining area was unvegetated land; consisting of built-up impervious sDuatrafa20c1e9s, 4o,f121684.10 km2 (38 %) and pervious surfaces of 53.00 km2 (7 %).

Grab the PDF of the paper for a better resolution than the image here.