Thursday, 28 January 2021

A Tropical Plant Called Pineapple – Food 1


A pineapple fruit, ready to consume.

I called a “nanas” or pineaple in English when I was a kid. Pineapple is a plant, actually, and plant has a fruit.

But, we just call fruit as a pineaple for simplicity. There are many pineapple fruit in American groceries.

Price is less than US$2 each, quite reasonable, since its may come from far away, from tropical countries.

Pineapple is believed native to South America with scientific name Ananas comosus, then distributed and cultivated worldwide, especially to other tropical regions.

World produced about 28 million tons per year. Top 5 producer countries are:

- Costa Rica

- Philippines

- Brazil

- Thailand

- India

The pineapples in the grocery store

I like a pineapple because of its sweetness, and the taste might be combination of apple and orange citrus.

The ripe pineapple seems less bitter, the same with zesty and orange fruit.

From internet sources, here some benefit of pineapple by eating a slice pineapple per day:

- helping digesting

- increasing energy intake

- boosting metabolism

- nourishing skin, hair, teeth and nails

- keeping health in general.

Have you tasted pineapple? What do you think?

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Wreaths for Mardi Gras in Louisiana

Fig 01- Mardi Gras wreath with words of Happy Mardi Gras

We have February carnival called as Mardi Gras party, usually 47 days before Easter every year in Louisiana.

Interesting part of Mardi Gras celebration for me is its decorations. Some important items to be decorated are:

- parade float

- team colors in parade float

- Beads

- Mask

Wreaths are hung on doors to greet party friends, guests and family members during Mardi Gras season.

The combination colors of wreaths are:

- metallic purple

- gold

- green

- purple polka

Fig 02- Mask as part of wreath

Mask is one of important items in Mardi Gras celebration. Women and men use mask for at least three purposes:

- hiding their identity

- fuel their imagination

- excitement   

Fig 03- Simple wreath on a white door.

Using mask in celebration, actually come from Italian tradition since centuries ago, hence called as “carnevale.” It is just called as “Mardi Gras face mask” now days.

People also decorate their wreath with mask with include:

- feathers

- streamers

- ribbon trimmings

Have you known Mardi Gras celebration?

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Wild Flowers in the Backyards – Nature 1

Fig 01- A flower blooming through Autumn

As a southern state of USA, we may find wild flowers blooming almost at all 4 seasons in Louisiana.

However, the blooming of wild flowers reach peak in the two seasons of the year:

- Fall
- Spring

As usual, there are plenty of wild flower colors. There are 6 dominant colors which include:

- golden
- yellow
- purple
- lavender
- blue
- pink

Fig 02- White flower with yellow in the center.

I always find white flower, look like Daisy in my backyard. The white petal so smooth with yellow in the center make its very beautiful.

Fig 03- Wild flower resemble to fungi.

Asters are common wild flower in my area, their colors are:

- white
- lavender
- pink

Fig 04- Wild flower with red color

Other common wild flowers are plenty in my areas, and blooming from Spring to Autum. Just for examples are:

- golden yellow sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale)
- purple blazing-star (Liatris sp.).
- American beauty berry (Callicarpa americana).
- ironweed (Vernonia altissima)
- Goldenrods (Solidago sp.)
- giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida)
- narrow-leaved sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius)
- the blue mist-flower (Conoclinium coelestinum).

Many more wild flower in our states from small to medium to larger size in term of flowers and trees.

Do you love wild flowers? What are common wild flowers in your areas?

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Important of Microorganisms in Food Industry – Healthy Life 1


Lactobacillus casei, Shirota is used for enumeration of 
Bifidobacterial in fermented milks

Our life might not exist without microorganisms, since these “tiny” unseen creatures help human being in many ways.

They are digesting our food, fixing gases, decomposing waste and involving in may cycles like to break down dead organisms then to be used as fertilizer by living organism as part of food chain.

In industry, microorganisms are widely used in many industries, from small to large scale ones, and from traditional to cutting edge technology industries.

Bacteria, yeast, molds, combination of several microorganisms and even virus are commonly used in many types of industries.

The types of industry include food industry (industrial products), pharmaceutical industry, biotech industry, agriculture industry and waste treatment (reduce toxic pollutants).

In food processing, our ancestors routinely used microorganisms for production of beverages, sausages and dairy products.

Ornaments in the parking lot

Currently, we could use microorganisms of naturally occurring and genetically modified microorganism to increase food production.

These products (beverages, sausages and dairy products) could be improved their health benefit to public by attaching probiotic microorganisms.

The health benefits include to improve digestion, to protect body from pathogens, increase peristaltic activity in intestine and stimulate immune system.  

Above figure (top of this article) shown an example of probiotic microbes from lactic acid bacteria group.

The bacteria called Lactobacillus casei, Shirota is used in dairy product to improve nutritional and health benefit.

The Japan company, Honsha used this bacterium to produce Yakult. The Yakult is believed nutrient rich drink and could improve immune system.

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Nobody Can Replace a Mama's Love – Cardiovascular - Part 2

Red flower beside my office.

She and I love the things related to the fishes, we spent sometimes either fishing or visiting any fisheries in our county.

So we have the same idea that the Underwater World Singapore was the best and closest place to introduce many species, sizes, hues, and behaviors of fishes to our kids.

Each of us was so busy at work and taking care kids, but we kept in touch via social media where we used to support each other. Suddenly, bad news hit my nerves.

It was un-acceptable...she was so young, agile, and always excited about her kids and her life. She passed away in doing her duty as a civil servant.

It was so sad and so sudden. I was very much down to think about the kids, three of them (3, 5, and 7) always stick to her, they need her. Nobody can replace a mama's love for them.

A wonderful red flower

It was a heartbreaking to imagine how her kids' feeling about losing their mama. Can they understand that their mama had never ever among them again...Oh nooo!!!!! The cause her death was very brutal.

Two years later a boy that sit among us in the class also suddenly passed away, and the other one was last year he also passed away suddenly in his duty visitation.

I stared at my paper work in my hand, I opened, there is in the first page:

Cardiovascular disease is any disease that involves the heart and blood vessels and the most causing of death and disability effects in the US.

This disease kills about 630,000 people every year in only the United State, and there are 28.4 million of adults are identified having heart disease (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018).

Many action plans and strategies based on etiology and risk factors to prevent these diseases. The researchers are also going on to reveal the ways that could protect and prevent the heart from any injuries and damages that lead to cardiovascular diseases.

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Nobody Can Replace a Mama's Love – Cardiovascular - Part 1

An autumn color's tree

Summer is over, and I need to reorganize my “study room” before Fall Semester get started. An orange storage bin in the corner of room attracted my sight.

It was a pumpkin color bin for all my papers, notes, and text books of Cardiovascular Anatomy and Physiology and my research paper about Cardio-myocyte.

I was holding my research report. It brought me to the time when I was high school, once a month I and whole my classmates run circling stadium for physical Science class.

Now I lost three of them. They were my classmates, and one of them was a special person for me.

I know her since we were fifteen-year-old at the first day freshman in the high school. We did our school assignments and projects together.

We grow together. We spent the most our time in the school and after school activities, and the friendship get along till we got a job and married.

Creation of a Christmas tree.

Then, I had moved out from our town for some reasons.

The last time I met her was in her office lobby, I saw her get out from her room walked toward me with her beautiful smile, gave me her warmest hug, and asked me about my new place.

I still remember her happy face, happy life, and happy marriage with her adorable kids, and she was so excited to let me know that she, her husband, and kids were going spend a week vacation in Singapore.

Friday, 11 December 2020

Making Perfume in the Organic Chemistry Laboratory - Science 1

Condenser for making perfume

You, we, teenagers, young, old, all of us encountered what we call as “perfume” in daily life.

May be thousands of perfume’s trade marks (brands) are available in the market: from famous to ordinary, from cheap to very expensive; from attractive to ordinary scents.

Many famous brand names perfumes made by modern manufacturer, mass scales, but some of them are homemade or small-scale industries.

In principle, we can produce perfumes by ourselves too, even in the garages.

First, we need apparatus called Condenser (please see above figure). It is a simple tool with two sides of tubulations: distilling flask in one side, and the receiving flask in another side.

Then, please prepared chosen fragrance herbs or shrewd plants in the distilling flask.

A flower, one source of scents. Illustration only.

There are plants or flowers could be sources of scent ingredient naturally, some of them are:

- jasmine

- lavender

- amyris

- lemongrass

- eucalyptus

- narcissus

- common lilac.

These plants known for their attractive fragrances.

Distilling flask which contains crushed plants or flowers within liquid, then ready to be heated.

Steam will bring the solvent, but crushed materials will stay in the distilling flask. Pure fragrance solvent will be collected in receiving flask.

Basically, this solvent could be used for further purposes such as for making perfumes.

You can make your own perfumes or may be your own brands. You may select many flowers you like as source of fragrances.

Just an example, luxury brand, Chanel used fragrance that extracted from plenty flower species include jasmine, rose geranium and iris pallida.

Would you try?

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