Friday 31 December 2021

“The Madness of Crowds” and Omicron – Reading 7

It is the last day of the year 2021. Wishing you all in a great spirit to welcome the coming year.

I just finished my reading, a mysterious novel by Louise Penny, “The Madness of Crowds”.

This book is one of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. He is the head of the homicide department at Montreal’s Surete de Quebec.

Fig 01- A Novel: The Madness of Crowds

In this book, the covid vaccine has ended the pandemic. The pandemic restrictions are over. Being crowds are not illegal anymore.

The residents of the Three Pines village have come out from their isolation. Their activities resume to normal life.

Abigail Robinson, a statistician Canada, has been invited to give lecture in the Universite d Elstrie.

Mr. Armand Gamache is assigned to oversee Abigail Robinson.

Her report about the effects of Corona Virus in Canada is a very controversial conclusion.

Fig 02- This novel is dedicated to our heroes

Fig 03- The author Louise Penny

Then, someone is murdered. Inspector Gamache and his colleagues investigate the case.

This book a sweet tribute from the famous #1 New York Times Best Selling author, Louise Penny, to all those first line when pandemic Covid 19 attack.

When I got this book, the new variant, Omicron, was soaring.

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) has confirmed that Louisiana has reached a threshold of greater than 80% Omicron variant sequenced to Covid-19.

For the new onset positive result of Covid-19, we can have Pfizer’s new oral medication Paxlovid for the treatment at home, but the supply of this medication is very limit.

So, better to prevent the Omicron exposure, keep the mask up.

Happy New Year 2022! 

Saturday 25 December 2021

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to You and Yours

It was yesterday when I had been quite busy working on pinwheel and peanut Christmas cookies.

I got to back and forth to the grocery store, Walmart Neighborhood. Actually not that far from my home, about 15 minutes by driving.

Fig 01- A gift with a snowman

I did grab and pay for the Hershey's Kisses holiday for decorations, but when I was about to use them, I could not found them.

No where to be found.

I spend over than one hour to look for them. Try to find at every corners and rooms of my house.

Fig 02- A Christmas decoration

Fig 03- A Christmas ornament

So, I run back to the grocery store and got them, another one hour:

- 15 minutes to go
- 30 minutes to search and pay the items
- and another 15 minute to drive back home.

Hectic days!

It is Holiday Season!

The Christmas Eve!

Now, Holly Jolly Christmas!

Wishing you and family have wonderful holidays and very Merry Christmas.

# Previous postings:

Monday 20 December 2021

The signs of late stage of Alzheimer's Disease – Part 2 - Alzheimer's 1

Claire believe it depends on how we talk to him, they always try to turn his attention into another one, and keep him with the activities that he able to do it.

Fig 01- Illustration only (credit to Google)

He wandered and did flip the time.

He sleeps tightly at day time and awake at all night long.

It was a little hard when he insisted to get out of house in the middle night to go church for Mass.

Every time he want to go church, he tried to get up, pulled the handle door, but the door had been locked and he kicked the door, screamed that he would be late to go Mass.

Spring, I didn't meet Claire. 

Fig 02- A book cover, illustration

Fig 03- Lily flowers in the garden


I heard from Claire that his uncle in the late stage Alzheimer's (Stage 7 or severe decline). Some important signs of the late stage Alzheimer's are:

1) He lose words and he is not able to talk.
2) He has difficulty to swallow.
3) He eat pureed meal and drink thick liquid.
4) He has infection of pneumonia.
5) He has trouble in breathing and need breathing treatments.
6) Hospice is taking care of him.
7) He behaves well, quite, and calm.

# Previous postings:

Saturday 18 December 2021

A Novel of Arian - Then The Fish Swallowed Him - Part 2 – Reading 6

You may read previous posting (Part 1):

- A Novel of Arian - Then The Fish Swallowed Him - Part 1 – Reading 6

His name is Yunus Turabi, a protagonist in this novel. He is a bus driver in Tehran.

Fig 01- A drawing in the back cover of book.

In a chaos and violence strike of bus drivers, Yunus is arrested, and sent to a jail.

He is interrogated by Hajj Saeed.

The condition of the jail, Evin Prison, is horrible, there is no toilet!

The author details about urine, feces, and his masturbations in the jail.

Hajj Saeed interrogates Yunus with menace and torture, asking his relationship in the past and his adultery.

The interrogations are quite “gross”.

Fig 02- Colorful flowers, illustration.

Fig 03- Night sky, illustration.

Arian pictures Iran straightforward without obstacle, and shy. The condition includes dynamic of:

- life
- power
- and abuse power

It seems this novel contains a bitter “vulgar” humor and is an allegory of post-revolutionary Iran.

Yunus Turabi is not a prophet.

He is an ordinary person. He just like an insect that easily attracted by the porch light.

# Previous postings:

Thursday 16 December 2021

The signs of late stage of Alzheimer's Disease – Part 1 - Alzheimer's 1

It was late Winter when I went to Claire's house.

Chilled outside but in the house was warm enough.

I saw an electric fireplace was on. Claire's uncle was sitting on his wheelchair in front of the fireplace. He was a big guy, and turned around.

Fig 01- A house, just for illustration

When he saw me, he unlocked his chair and get couples of little steps toward me and he moved his right hand toward me.

I thought he want to greet me by hand shaking, but he pulled my hand and kissed it.

He always did the same things to every woman. Women only. He can recognize between man and woman.

Not always! Because he ask about me to his nurse aid, “Who's the man?” I guessed he didn't see my ponytail.

Fig 02- White flowers

Fig 03- An electric fireplace (Photo: Overstock)

He went back to his spot, in front of fireplace. He tried unbutton his top pajama, and took it off.

He wanted to put top pajama on through his feet. Claire came to him and fixed it.

He counted his pajama buttons, “One, two, three, four!” And he said, “Four!”

His nurse aid said, “Yes, you have four buttons.” He recount again and tell her, recount again and tell her, again, and again.

I ask Claire that is he easy get upset, angry, mad, or fight?

# To be continued to Part 2

## Previous postings:

Tuesday 14 December 2021

The Best Tacos which I Love to Consume in Louisiana – Part 2 – Food 10

Fish taco is style of taco from Baja, Mexico. This kind of taco is famous in California as well as in Louisiana. Since our state is hub of seafood industries.

Fig 01- Baja fish taco

The taco is blended of:

- fried fish, usually grouper, sea bass and other marine fish
- cabbages
- creamy sauces

I love fish, especially marine fish, hence this type of taco is comfortable for my tastes.

Fig 02- Taco and other foods

Fig 03- Just for illustration

Fig 04- Barbacoa taco

The fourth type of taco which I love is Barbacoa taco. It is said as an authentic dish from Mexico.

My favorite is goat or lam instead of beef. It is because a goat or lam has specific taste for me.

Like other taco, it can be combined with several kinds of vegetables. The goat or lam is seasoned with spicy stuffs.

What type of tacos do you like?

Do your city, state or country have specific or own taco taste?

# Previous postings:

Sunday 12 December 2021

A Novel of Arian - Then The Fish Swallowed Him - Part 1 – Reading 6

It is just a light novel

Hang on!

Please, take a little attention to see the picture above. Is there something that remind you to your childhood book?

Fig 01- A novel “Then the fish swallowed him.”

Or any imagination in your childhood about the story from the biblical scripture?


It is a story about Jonah, a rebellious prophet. Jonah was swallowed by a giant fish, then he stayed in belly fish for three days.

Many versions about what was going with Jonah in the belly fish.

The story in this book is also about Jonah, Jonah of Iran in the nowadays (I think 😊)!

Fig 02- Illustration only

Fig 03- Peppers, just for illustration

Fig 04- Two fish, made from metal.

The author of this book is Amir Ahmadi Arian, an Iranian journalist and novelist.

He is a lecturer at City College and Baruch College and settling in New York City.

This book is his first novel in English.

Talking about Iran, Iran is one of a few theocracy countries globally which is Islamic Republic.

Iranian call Jonah as Yunus, like other Islamic countries call Yunus as Jonah in western world.

# To be continued to Part 2

## Previous postings:

Saturday 11 December 2021

Could Botulinum Toxin be Turned to Beneficial Substance? - Part 4 – Science 10

You may read the previous postinga (Part 1, 2 and 3):
- Could Botulinum Toxin be Turned to Beneficial Substance? - Part 1 – Science 10

Fig 01- Rice, a dish in many countries.

Why does the toxin lethal and deadly?

The toxin can cause the paralysis of peripheral neuromuscular junction, which is the junction between our nerve to the muscle.

The muscle or striated muscle will excited whenever the nerve release chemical substance acetylcholine.

Botulinum then inactive the protein that regulate release of acetylcholine. Because acetylcholine releasing is prevented by toxin, the muscle cannot excite anymore and becomes paralyze.

Fig 02- Chocolate, an illustration

Fig 03- Pickled eggs

Fig 04- Meat products and an egg

Fig 05- Seafood products at the market

Good news that engineers turned this lethal toxin to beneficial substance for many purposes.

The purified protein of botulinum toxin when administered by injection into the muscle, it can cause local paralyze.

Based on the concepts, this toxin is used in pharmacology for:

- certain disorders
- and also for specifically anti-wrinkle.

Now, I understand that botulinum toxin can be used:

- to cure and heal some diseases
- for cosmetic such as face rejuvenation.

# Previous postings:

Thursday 9 December 2021

The Best Tacos which I Love to Consume in Louisiana – Part 1 – Food 10

Taco Bell is well known franchise to sell taco across America and some parts of the world.

But, we have restaurants which sell special menus of tacos.

Yes, here in Louisiana, actually, we have plenty restaurants sell the best tacos

Fig 01- A Tinga taco is one of my favorites

The restaurants sell many kinds of tacos, and in addition to taco that some restaurants provide hundred of different type of menus.

In respect to taco, I love these four types:

- Tinga taco
- Veggie taco
- Baja fish taco
- Barbacoa taco

Chicken is one of my favorites, then match with sauces (tomatoes, chili), onion sliced, tostadas and beans.

This menu called as tinga taco.

Fig 02- A Taco wrap sold in Walmart

Fig 03- Cloudy weather, illustration only

Fig 04- Veggie taco

Veggie taco contains certain favorite stuff such as:

- cabbages
- spicy or hot stuff (peppers, chili, jalapenos)
- onions
- zucchini
- tomatoes
- cheese
- cilantro and black bean

Some time, veggie taco also includes with meat. Yes, thus, not really 100% veggie.

# To be Continued to Part 2

## Previous postings:

Wednesday 8 December 2021

Changes of Parents Behaviors When Caring a Baby – Part 2 - Science 11

You may read the previous post (Part 1):

Interestingly, female as well as male have the same changes when they take care the infants.

Fig 01- Decoration, just for fun

The changes in respects to:

- brain regions
- and hormonal activities

Their behavior’s changes to deal with new reality that is development of newborns in term of:

- crying
- hearing
- breathing
- sleeping
- reflexes
- and vision.

Fig 02- A cute rabbit, illustration

Fig 03- Painting by Ruth Stuart, local artist

Fig 04- A horse and baby, painted by Ruth Stuart

Fig 05- A little girl and a baby, painted by Ruth Stuart

However, as suggested by Johnston-Ataata and Kokanovic (2014) that most parents have wrong perceptions about having a new baby:

1) Parents misled by social romantic that are both parents and babies will have strong or perfect bonding instantly.

2) Parenthood is wonderful and joyful life event. The perceptions are totally different with reality sometimes.

# Previous postings:

Johnston-Ataata, K and Kokanovic, R. (2014, October 2). “Most new parents are totally unprepared for their new babies.” Retrieved from Washington Post.

Blooming of Gloriosa Lilly - Nature 135

Temperature is getting higher, more than 85* F (30* C) in our areas, hence it is good time for tropical origin flowers to bloom. Image - Blo...