Sunday 31 July 2022

Declining of Golden Swamp Warblers Population – Nature 35

We have seen less and less Warblers in our neighborhood during bird migration seasons at least for the last 5 years. 

Image 1- A golden Warbler on the birdhouse

Based on reported by Audubon Louisiana (2022) that population of Golden Swamp Warblers has been decreased since 1960.

Declining of bird population may be at the rate of 40% or even higher. It is quite great number

Golden Warblers should visit our neighborhood by about from Spring (March) to Fall (October).

Unfortunately, they are seen less and less year by year. The question then: what are causing of population declining?

Image 2- Morning in the city

Image 3- Golden warbler at the birdhouse

Several factors are believed to contribute for declining of Golden warbler in our state, Louisiana:

- losing of nesting habitats
- less of suitable places for living
- decreasing of forest, especially wet forest

Based on our observation at neighborhood that Golden warbler just breed once a year or once per season with 1 to 5 eggs.

After incubation period of 10 to 13 days, these eggs will hatch at rate of 60% or less. It is another reason that may contribute to declining of population.

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Thursday 28 July 2022

Lantana for Summer Project in My Backyard – Nature 34

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.

Image 1- Bright color of Lantana

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

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

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

Image 2- Another type of Lantana.

Image 3- Pink color of Lantana

Image 4- Butterfly at a garden

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?

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Monday 25 July 2022

Do You Like Boba Bubble in Your Drink? - Part 1 – Food 20

In this small town, Baton Rouge, LA, at least 16 bubble tea shops that I can choose to get a cup of beverages with chewy texture pearls of tapioca starch.

Image 1- Black pearl tapioca bubbles in the Matcha tea.

In spans of three years, this kind of pearls be a favorite “jewel” in here, especially among teenagers and young adults who are still energetic and/or love something new.

Actually, the pearls are lack of nutrients and the taste is bland; so to make a little flavor there is some sweet or fat are added that contribute to high calories in the bubbles. 

Image 2- Flower, just for illustration

Image 3- The bubbles or boba sit on the bottom.

No wonder, when someone on dieting or weigh watching said boba is just “Yikes”.

The pearls or bobas are made from tapioca starch. Tapioca is also known as cassava or yuca. The starch is from the flesh of root with white or white-yellowish color.

Moreover, Tapioca is staple foods for many in the tropical countries. Higher calories, but lower in term of:

- protein, minerals and vitamins

# To be continued to Part 2

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Friday 22 July 2022

Stretching to Prevent Leg Cramps - Healthy Life 23

I used to have muscle cramp, how about you? Have you had experiences muscle cramps in your leg?

Image 1- Grits and pickled jalapenos for breakfast after stretching

Some sources (please search through internet) mentioned the causes of muscle cramps as the following:

-long period exercise
-tired muscle

Image 2- Flowers, just for illustration

Even muscle cramps are harmless or they might be a common problem that affect on anyone, the experience of cramps could lead to:

-reduce quality of our life
-reduce quality of sleep
-reduce our daily activities

Image 3- A little sweet snack

Depending of severity and frequency of the symptoms of muscle cramps, the treatments can be invasive and non invasive.

Some of us prefer to take medications to prevent-leg-cramps, or alternative medications, such as acupuncture or dry-needling. 

Image 4- Pumpkins, illustration only

Non-drugs treatments are also effective to prevent-leg-cramps, such as:

-massage and relaxation
-change sleeping and sitting position
-heat therapy, physical exercise and stretching

Stretching, many benefit of it. Stretching can ease pain and improve flexibility. Muscle stretching, 10 seconds calf muscle stretching three times a day for 2 months can treat and prevent musle cramps in the leg.

At last, beside stretching or any non-drugs treatments, staying hydrate is important to prevent the leg cramps.

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Wednesday 20 July 2022

The Proper Times to Take Pills – Part 2 – Healthy Life 22

You may read previous posting (Part 1):

- The Proper Times to Take Pills – Part 1 – Healthy Life 22

Image 1- Supplement, OTC drugs

What are consequences of our biological rhythm to our medications?

Let’s say relation between the proper time to take pill (medicine) and daily activities of our body.

Here, we make simple examples of two medications (please read Jackie Middleton, published in Best Health, April 2, 2021):

- blood pressures medications
- cholesterol medications

Image 2- Flowers in the garden

Image 3- Three mangoes, illustration only

It is suggested to take prescribed blood pressure and cholesterol level medications at night, because the cholesterol level is higher at night too.

Sure, there is link between hypertension and cholesterol level. Hence, taking both pills for blood pressure and cholesterol level before bed time will reduce both high blood pressure and the cholesterol level.

Moreover, interestingly majority researchers prove that dropping of blood pressure and cholesterol level occurs when patients take medications at night.

Finally, we should consult to our physicians about the best time to take any medications.

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Monday 18 July 2022

8 Eggs of Bluebird for Incubation – Nature 33

We talked about birdhouse for Bluebird at the backyard that you may read the previous post:

Size of Bluebirds Birdhouse at the Backyard – Nature 31

Image 1- Eggs of Bluebird

I don’t know exactly how many eggs could be laid by Bluebird in one season. Some of my neighbors said between two and eight eggs.

In our cases, during several years period, our birdhouse was used twice for Bluebird nesting:

- first time with 8 eggs
- second time with 5 eggs

Image 2- Red Cypress, illustration

Image 3- Newborn Bluebird babies

Bluebirds start to lay eggs in the early Spring (about February to March) in our state, Louisiana, but could be later months in our neighborhood.

You may see color of Bluebird’s egg at Image 1 (top image above), sometimes the color is blue tends to white.

Eggs size is around 0.8 inch (2.03 cm) length, quite little compared to chicken’s eggs off course.

Incubation period could take between 11 to 19 days. Just to compare that chicken’s eggs incubation period was about 20 to 21 days.

Have you ever seen Bluebird eggs?

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Saturday 16 July 2022

Cooked Snail is One of Favorite Foods in France - Food 19

You may read the previous post (Part 1):

- The Rainbow Before Evening : Cooked Snail is a Favorite Dish in Many Asian Countries – Food 18

Image 1- A land snail is crawling

Surprisingly, snails together with oyster are among 25 typical dishes we should try to eat when visit France.

Thus, France may be the only western countries consume snails. This food is considered as luxury.

They cook snails include shell with butter, called as “escargots à la bourguignonne.”

Image 2- An insect crawling on flowers

Image 3- The cooked snail in France, credit to Mona

Snail is protein rich food and sources of minerals and vitamins. We found vitamin E and several minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium and selenium in snail dishes.

As I read in one report (TouchStone Snails, 2020: Nutritional value of nails) that snails are “an ideal weight watchers diet.”

The snail is good for diet because its contain:

- low calories
- low fat
- reasonable amount of protein.

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Friday 15 July 2022

Factors Causing the Late Onset Alzheimer's Diseases – Part 2 - Alzheimer’s 7

You may read previous post (Part 1):

- Factors Causing the Late Onset Alzheimer's Diseases – Part 1 - Alzheimer’s 7

Image 1- Astrocyte (Neuroscience, Purves et al).

In our brain, APOE is mainly produced by astrocyte. Then, diseases associate with APOE may include:

- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson's Disease
- Vascular Dementia
- Type 2 Diabetes Melitus
- Ischemia Stroke
- Type III Hyperlipoproteinemia. 

Image 2- Cloudy in our city

In the late onset Alzheimer's disease, there are three type APOEs:

- APOE2 is associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer's
- APOE3 the most common variant and is considered neutral
- APOE4 is associated with a greater risk.

Image 3- A yard, illustration only

The function of APOE is to regulate lipid transport from one cell type or tissue to another.

Image 4- Morning view at the corner

In our brain, APOE is mainly produced by astrocyte and its function is to transport cholesterol to our nerve cell (neuron) in the brain.

Whenever an imbalance between the production and clearance of beta-amyloid peptide in our brain, thus, the accumulation and aggregation of beta-amyloid will be occurred. This become a toxic in our brain.

This toxicity also depends on the paired helical filaments of the microtubuli-associated protein tau.

So, in the in the late onset Alzheimer's disease, the toxic in the brain destroy the nice balancing of healthy brain, prominently the two proteins which are called beta-amyloid and tau.

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Thursday 14 July 2022

Is Rising Price due to Greedflation?

When we are shopping to Walmart grocery, we always pick a bucket of 8 pieces fried chicken.

Image 1- A bucket of fried chicken

8 pieces quite fresh, crunchy and delicious. The bucket of fried chicken consists of:

- two thighs
- two wings
- two breasts
- and two drumsticks

What surprise us that the price increases at unbelievable rate, about 50% compared to few months ago, from just US$ 6 to more than US$ 9 nowadays.


Image 2- Fried chicken in the bucket

Image 3- Eight pieces fried chicken

Off course, the company or corporate blames to many things that cause rising in price such as: decreasing supply, disturbing in distribution (transportation) and gasoline price

However, the fact shows different story that many companies include in food industries profit billion of dollars.

Then, inflation rate is 9.1% only, even thought the highest in last 40 years. Much less than price increasing.

Corporate get too much profit. Greedy.

Hence, should we call it greedflation? What do you think?

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Wednesday 13 July 2022

Free Coffee at Toyota Car Repair Shop

We visit car repair shop at least twice a year. Since our car is Toyota brand, we always go to Toyota repair shop for many purposes.

Image 1- Free coffee for customers

In addition of car repair shop, we have other two English words with relate meaning:

- a garage
- a car workshop

Some purposes of our regular visit to Toyota car repair shop are:

- oil change after our car travel some thousand miles distances
- general “checkup” for car maintenance
- emission testing

Image 2- Entrance into Toyota repair car

Image 3- Waiting room, not crowded

Oil change is not that long to wait just about less than hour, because I think just easy to do.

If we need to replace car’s “spare parts” because of emission standard or just old one is not work well, then It will be complicated:

- due to extra cost
- and long hours to wait

Luckily, the Toyota repair shop provide free coffee and free lunch boxes sometimes. Hence, we are drinking coffee and reading while waiting in long hours.

How about with car repair shop in your city?

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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...