Sunday, 29 August 2021

Are Freshwater Pearls Less Expensive? - Part 2

Pearls from freshwater, sold by IndiaMart

You may read part 1 (previous post):

There are plenty variables, but some factors that determine pearl’s price in the commercial market include:

- colors
- shape and size
- origin (from what oceans)
- whether come from cultured or wild oysters or clams or mussels

Yes, oceanic pearls more famous and expensive compared to their freshwater “fellows.”

Three famous origin of pearls are from:

- South sea pearls, price from US$ 1,000 to US$ 100,000
- Tahitian pearls, price from US$ 500 to US$ 25,000.
- Japanese pearls, cost from US$ 300 to US$ 10,000.


Pearl colors (credit to Alibaba)

Several well know colors for both freshwater and saltwater pearls are:

- golden yellow
- purple
- black
- white
- chocolate
- pink
- silver gray
- cream

Then, Why Freshwater Pearls are Less Expensive? It is because freshwater mussels could produce 30 pearls, while sea water oysters produce 1 pearl only at once.

Do you interest to have pearls?

Freshwater or saltwater pearls?

Saturday, 28 August 2021

Growing Lantana in my Garden for Summer Project

Fig 01- Bright color of Lantana

I just visited one of nurseries in my city, Baton Rouge. One flower called Lantana has been attracted me.

Lantana is a scientific genus with 150 species spread to many part in the world include here in the USA.

This flowers grow well in the southern states of USA, because warmer temperature, and Lantana produce flowers during hot summers.

The states may include:

- Texas
- Louisiana
- Mississippi
- Alabama
- Florida
- Georgia

Sure, the types or species may different on each states.


Fig 02- Another type of Lantana

In Louisiana, we have several types of Lantana, some of them are:

- Lantana camara
- Lantana montevidensis,
- Lantana urticoides
- Lantana Involucrata
- Lantana horrida


Fig 03- Pink color of Lantana

It is said that Lantana may reach to 6 feet (2 meter) tall. Interestingly, the flowers are diseases and insect free.

Butterflies and hummingbirds love to visit Lantana, because flowers have attractive colors and sources of foods.

Many pollinators found nectar and pollen in the Lantana flowers, hence our backyard to be friendly garden for pollinators.

I am planning to grow Lantana in my backyard as my summer project.

Do you have specific project in this summer season?

# Previous posts:

Friday, 27 August 2021

Are Freshwater Pearls Less Expensive? - Part 1

Fig 01- Pearls, cultivated from freshwater, sold by Walmart.

A friend of mine from China offered me whether I would like to buy freshwater pearls when she traveled to China for family vacation.

What?

Pearl?

I never imagine to have expensive jewelry let’s say thousands dollar worth, and a pearl is not my favorite.

She said the price less than a dollar only in China, very cheap for a real, not “imitated or plastic” pearl.

Both freshwater and oceanic pearls are real, natural pearls produced by a kind of clams or oysters.

I check to Amazon, yes, the lowest freshwater pearl cost US$ 8 only, very cheap.

The “normal” prices could be ranged from US$ 50 to US$ 2,000. 50 dollar might be reasonable price for everyone.


Fig 02- A freshwater pearl sold by Amazon

Saltwater or Sea water pearls could range from US$ 500 to US$ 100,000, depend very much on many factors.

Then, you might wonder: what are crucial factors to decide a pearl price in the commercial market?

# To be continued to part 2

## Previous posts:

Thursday, 26 August 2021

One of Ways to Make Barbeque in the Nature – Food 7

Charcoal grill, illustration only

When camping or hiking in the nature (national parks), sure we could cook over campfire.

We may use wood burner grill to cook everything from sausage to:

- burger
- salmon
- chicken
- red meat.

Woods could be replaced by branches trees close by camping area.

The bottom line that we should choose dry branches to produce clean burning and hot fire.

If our branches burn poorly and smoky, just find another firewood that often provided by public campgrounds.

Some people love to grill with woods due to its aromatic and taste fantastic.

Then?


Meat for barbecue, just for illustration

Yes, aromatic called as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is potentially leads to cancer.

But, some literatures suggested to eliminate probability to get cancer is by mixing the grilled foods with fruit and vegetable.

It is because fruit and vegetable contain highly antioxidant. We could use variety of fruit and vegetable to combine with foods, especially meat and chicken to be grilled.

Few of them are:

- zucchini
- tomatoes
- onions
- mangos
- pineapple.

Do you practice barbecue?

How often?

Lobsters have Good Nutritional Values for Health – Healthy Life 13

Live lobster with a price tag

When I come to ethnic groceries or Asian shops, I always find live lobsters sold in the aquarium with quite expensive price for me.

Include shell and wet body, the grocery sells US$ 9.99 per-pound or more than US$ 20 per-kg with sale tax.

It is mean that there are plenty consumers for these crustaceans.

Since the groceries do business every day, it may have highly market demand for lobster.

The highly demand is main factor why the price so expensive compared to other seafood.

Then, we might have a question: Is lobster good for health?

In respect to nutritional values, yes, lobster contains of:

- mineral
- vitamins (vitamin B12 and vitamin E)
- and omega-3 fatty acids.


Lobsters, ready to cook

Lobster’s minerals include:

- copper
- selenium
- zinc
- phosphorus
- and magnesium.

However, lobster does contain cholesterol. Lobster have 124 mg cholesterol in 85gram meats.

If we have 1.5-pound lobster means that there is around 170-gram meat. Thus, 1.5-pound lobster would have 248 mg cholesterol.

It is allowed to consume 300 mg cholesterol daily for healthy people. Highly healthy for people even to eat 1.5 pound lobster per-day (if they wish to).

In addition to mineral and vitamins, lobster is source of protein. It is good for diet too, since its contain lower fat and lower calories.

# Previous posts:

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Why the Free Meals Program could Attract Kids to Come to Library?

novel with title Sabrina and Corina

I went to library yesterday, check a couple novel out for weekend reading. One of the novel is Sabrina and Corina.

The novel seems about family and life, specifically about Latina in Denver, Colorado.

The picture in the book is an eye catching. Even some people said the cover is not always revealing the content, but I always excited about seeing the cover.

I know, a visualize is very important in some part. The novel (cover) may be seen at above picture.

Then, when I stepped out from the library building I saw one sign at front door on the right side under a Southern Magnolia tree.

The sign is standing a little lower, the adults will be ignoring the sign. In my thought the sign must be for the kids. When the kids walk through they will read it.

Here is the sign:


The sign for kids

I remember when I met a young college professor brought three of her kids to the library for this event last year. She said they had never missed the meals.

She had four reasons to brought her kids for free summer meals in the library:

- Number one, her kids were picky eater.

- Number two, she was so busy to cook fresh and nutritious meals for kids everyday.

- Number three, the kids got used to library and enjoy reading books.

- Number four is about social life, her kids made new friends, talked each others, and played together with them.

Free summer meals for kids are for every kid with 1-18 years of age. This program is a part of Summer Food Service Program.

The program is one of projects administered by Food and Nutrition Service US Department of Agriculture (USDA) that serves in 9 location of libraries and public schools in Baton Rouge.

Meals service times on first come-first served basis while all foods last.

Monday, 23 August 2021

Do you know about E. coli Bacteria? - part 2 - Healthy Life 12

No Spaghetti with Ground Beef Today.

Please read the previous post (part 1):

HUS is a disorder that characterized by acute renal failure and thrombocytopenia syndrome.

There are some points from CDC that I can keep in my mind to prevent from E. coli  bacteria:

- Cook ground beef thoroughly
- An internal temperature to cook ground beef is 160˚F
- Avoid to eat raw or under-cooked ground beef
- After cook ground beef do not forget to refrigerate within 2 hours, then can be used within 3 to 4 days
- Wash hand with soapy water after touching ground beef
- Clean utensil, counter-top, and cutting board thoroughly with soap and hot water or using bleach solution.


Wild flowers, just for illustration.

The most important is never eat recalled ground beef.

I am not going to take a risk.

It will be awful to have diarrhea and stomach cramps that cause me back and forth to toilet or restroom.

This infection also leads to hemolytic uremic syndrome which is so painful. I just avoid the ground beef in a while.

So my spaghetti have no sauce today.

It turned into spaghetti with shrimps, and I added some asparagus, lemon juice, and sprinkle Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, 22 August 2021

Birds Fly Over Our Backyard – Nature 10

A crow flies away

My kitchen faces backyard, so when I am cooking or just sitting, I could see many wild animals, many are birds, but some are mammals:

- variety of birds
- raccoon
- squirrels
- cats (may be belong to neighbors, but I consider wild, since I don’t know who is the owner).

Birds that always visited my backyard during spring and summer seasons are:

- cardinals
- humming birds
- wood peckers
- Mocking birds
- Crows
- blue birds


A juvenile heron in neighborhood

One day I heard the sound of crow. The sound was “rattle” on my ear, then like “click and bell.”

I approached close and closely to photo taken, but it flies suddenly. Pictures are not good enough.

Actually, crows are abundance birds in my city, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It seems that they able to adapt to the city environment.

We may find crows every where. Birds are reasonable medium size. Wing size when it open wide is around 32 to 40 inches (81 cm to 102 cm).

What do you think about crow?

# Have a great summer

Saturday, 21 August 2021

Do you know about E. coli Bacteria? - part 1 - Healthy Life 12

3D Escherichia coli (Photo Credit: (Illustrators) Alissa Eckert
and Jennifer Oosthuizen/CDC.gov)

I was thinking about to cook spaghetti sauce with ground beef, added some button mushrooms and basil for my supper, and I need to go buy those stuffs in grocery store.

A couple minute in my way headed to the closest grocery store in my neighborhood, I remembered that the local radio talked about recalled ground beef that suspected has been contaminated with the E.coli.

E.coli infection occurs in 10 states and there are about 190 cases. Thanks Lord, no one get killed.

So far, the ground beef from two companies have been recalled because laboratory testing of ground beef from these companies spotted the outbreak strain of E. coli O103.

This strain is acquired Shiga-toxin.

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli can cause a person get sick, usually for three to four days after intake the contaminated food.


A cooked food, just for illustration

The symptoms are watery diarrhea that often with:

- blood (hemorrage colitis)
- severe stomach cramps
- little or no fever
- vomitting
- and may lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

# To be continued to part 2

Friday, 20 August 2021

Like Crazy, “a wild child cares for the wild woman who raised him”

 

Like Crazy, a book cover

The phenomena of mental disorders are about the same. The signs and symptoms are overlapping to get to know the classification of disorders.

When the symptoms are still mild and still toleratable, we think that it just his or her characters and moods.

Many sufferers of mental disorder are not aware that they have kind of disorder. Some of sufferes' acts lead to a danger and a crime.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic takes rule our lives, there are many children ask their parents stay with them instead of in the “nursing home” facilities.

They decide to take care their parents.

Dan Matthews decided to take care for his mother was a decade before pandemic Covid-19.


The author and his mom.

When this book was published by Atria Book in May 2020, this book brings a kind of uplifting for the children who have fragile parents to care for.

This a worth book to read. The astounding book “when a child settles down to care for the wild woman who raised him.”

Good book to read for who cares with his or her mom!

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Do You Visit Car Service Center Every Year?

Fig 01- Car service center.

I need to come to the car service center at least one per 4 months or 3 times a year for oil changes.

In addition to oil change, I also ask the service men to do some basic services such as:

- Checking filter whether change needed
- Checking washer fluid
- Checking brake fluid
- Checking anti freeze
- Checking steering fluid.

Since my car is Japanese car, Toyota brand, thus, I come to Toyota care center in my city, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

It is requirement by government (local government) to check emission and smock in authorized centers every year.

Then?


Fig 02- Service check in

If nothing happen, I just pay US$ 15 to US$ 25 for inspection fee, depending on the seriousness of problems.


Fig 03- The waiting room

It is because I did at private inspection centers. Actually, US$ 10 for local government inspection fee only. 


Fig 04- A cup of coffee

I bought my Toyota ten years ago (in 2009), I feel that a lot of benefit for serving my car regularly, few are:

- Car is running smoothly
- Hassle free
- Increase driving safety
- Lower running cost compared to the same car age.

The service is not take too long, usually 1 hour. If a lot of things must be checked and replaced, then take two hours or little bit longer.

There is a waiting room which provides self service of a hot coffee. We may drink a cup of hot coffee or milk coffee while waiting the service is completed.

By the way, How Many Times a Year that You Visit Car Service Center?

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Can Succulents Improve Room Humidity? - Science 6

Fig 01- A kind of succulent, Aloe vera

We may surprise that there are more than 200 species of succulents, and each species may consist of 40 varieties.

When we went to one of nurseries in my city, Baton Rouge, Louisiana that we saw more than 20 species and varieties of succulent plants.

Around 35 important species have been planted in gardens or small industries all over the world, some of them are:

- Aloe vera
- hens and chick succulent
- burro’s tails
- Panda Plant
- Roseum
- Pincushion Cactus

One of special about succulent that they could store water in their body (leaves and stems), thus, many people believes that succulent is a symbol of enduring love.


Fig 02- Variety of hens and chick succulent

I myself have one species of succulent, Aloe vera. I put the plant inside when temperature drop during winter season, and outside when spring and summer.


Fig 03- Variety of burro’s tails

I use Aloe vera to treat my hair some times. It is because the succulent contains “proteolytic enzymes” to make smooth and shiny hair.

Then, Can Succulents Improve Room Humidity? Yes, sure. Several other benefits of succulent include:

- Improve skin cells
- Function as conditioner to take care our hair
- Improve hair growth
- Prevent itching on our scalp
- Improve purify the air, thus enrich fresh oxygen
- Brighten the room
- Improve pain tolerance

Do you have succulents indoor or outdoor (in your garden?) What kinds of succulent do you have?

A Cactus?

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Have You Tasted Matcha Latte with Soy Milk or Almond Milk? - Food 6

Fig 01- Matcha Latte

Do you like coffee latte?

How about matcha latte?

Matcha is green tea (Camellia Sinensis) leaves powder.

Matcha is from Japanese word that means ground tea because the leaves of green tea have been done by grinding in the stones or granites to produce very fine powdered green tea leaves.

So what's fascinated me about matcha?

The ways how to produce matcha.

I just knew that before harvesting, all tea trees have to be covered to block the direct sunlight.

After the tea leaves grow rapidly, in the Spring, about three week before harvest, men in the tea fields prepare the poles and reed woven mats or dried rice stalk woven to shade the tea fields.

Blocking the sunlight is to block the process of photosynthesis.


Fig 02- Matcha Latte with soy milk.

These fresh green tea leaves must be immediately steamed for about 20 seconds to prevent oxidation so that the green color remains bright, the aroma and nutrients are maintained, then the leaves ready for the next step, drying process.


Fig 03- Cookies eat with tea

After drying, the next process is to select and remove fine branches or parts which are not needed, then the leaves are made into powder by using millstone or granite, so that they become very fine powder.

We do not drink tea leaves, do we?

After the tea leaves soaked in water, we get rid off the tea leaves. But matcha green tea is in powdered form, so that when we drink matcha means we drink the whole tea leaves. Nothing to discard.

My experience for the first time drink matcha tea seemed like taking herbal medicine. Since the some of coffee shops serve matcha in their menu, sometimes I like to have matcha latte, either with soy milk or almod milk.

Have You Tasted Matcha Latte with Soy Milk or Almond Milk?

Monday, 16 August 2021

Measles Outbreak in a Recent year – Part 2 – Healthy Life 11

Koplik 's Spots or small red spots in the soft palate mucosa
(CDC/ Heinz F. Eichenwald, MD)

You might not read the previous post:

Koplik Spots

Two or three days after initial symptoms, the small spots with white in the centers appear in the inside of the cheek or soft palate.

These spots look like grain of salt with red color as their background (reddish halo).

Their size are very small, about 1 or 2 mm.

Koplik's spots also can appear on the conjunctiva, and vaginal mucosa.

These red spots lesions can last for one or two days. See the picture below.

The measles rash.

Within 12 or 24 hours after the Koplik's Spots are shown, the rash or skin eruptions of measles will appear starting below the ear and spread over the body.


Cartoon, illustration only, credit: Shutterstock

After one or two day the rash can cover all around the body surfaces. When the rash is appearing, usually the fever is high.

The complications from rubeola could be very serious. It can cause ear infections, broncho-pneumonia, croup, and also inflammation in the brain.

The person who never get vaccine measles and the person who has problem with immune system, they are in high risk to get contagious of measles virus.

To prevent from the infection of measles, the series of shot measles vaccine are required.

The vaccine is live vaccine that combine with Rubella and Mumps (MMR).

Recreational Fishing in the Louisiana – Part 2 – Nature 13

Fig 01- Fishing recreation boats in lake Pontchartrain basin. Please read the part 1: TheRecreational Fishing in the Louisiana – Part 1 – Na...