Sunday 14 November 2021

Old Car – Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1970s

Fig 01- Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1970s

When we visited a garden in our city, we saw an old car coming and then driver parks the car at the parking lot.

What make me wonder:

- how old is the car?
- how to maintain this old car?

By searching through internet, I found interesting facts about Chevrolet Monte Carlo:

- the first generation of car was made in 1970 to 1972
- 130,657 cars are built in 1970
- 5742 cars are built as Super Sport (SS) cars in 1970
- new brand car price was US$3,123

Yes, some cars, especially SS 454s are well maintain and still running on the street now days.

Are they sold in the market today?

Fig 02- Lonely parked at the corner

Fig 03- Photo from back

Yes, there are bargaining in the market with plenty of interest between buyers and sellers.

You might surprise that 41% owner of 1970 SS Chevrolet Monte Carlo is young generation or generation X who born between 1965 to 1980.

How the price?

Based on reported by Greg Ingold (2021 in Hagerty Media) that the best performance car was sold with price tag US$ 100,100.

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Friday 12 November 2021

Can Texting Make You Shopping More and Fat? - Part 1 - Healthy Life 17

Fig 01- Shopping more after texting

Many researchers found that texting (by using smartphone) can cause weight gain, and even while doing activities such as walking or jogging may make people get more fat.

It is because texting make people reduce their steps, slow their movement, thus metabolism slow down, then calories burning less in our body.

Moreover, Smith, J in a report published by Runner’s World (2019: Here’s How Much Being Glued to Your Phone Ups Your Odds of Obesity) suggested about the bad sides of using smartphone that:

- 5 hours per day with smartphone will increase 43% risk of obesity.
- discourage people to eat healthy food
- make people less doing exercises

Smartphone is so attractive now days, the simple reason that it has similar and even might be better than certain portable computer in term of internet connections and applications.

Fig 02- Pumpkin and decoration, illustration only

Fig 03- Milk chocolate, illustration.

We can use multiple functions of a smart phone such as:

- sending e-mail
- texting few words
- making friendly call
- searching information through internet
- watching video
- playing game
- and many more.

# To be continued to part 2

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Thursday 11 November 2021

Do You Know Ghost Orchids? - Part 2 – Nature 14

A ghost orchid print, sold by Walmart

Previous posting (Part 1):

It is believed that ghost orchids are decreasing day by day due to many causes include:

- over collection by human
- but the most responsible is human development in state of Florida.

The development leads to destruction and changes of habitat and hydro-logical conditions.

From several sources that no nursery and garden centers sell the ghost orchids, but we can buy the seeds in some nursery centers in the Florida.

I tried to search in Walmart and Home Depot nurseries at my town, Louisiana, but nothing.

I just found the print without frame for US$ 11.99 and with frame for US$ 29.99 each piece.

Quite beautiful to hang on the wall.

One of ghost orchid pollinators, fig sphinx (credit to iNaturalist NZ).

Like other flowers, ghost orchids have pollinators as well. Four or five moths species visit orchid for pollination frequently.

Three of them are well known:

- fig sphinx (Pachylia ficus)
- pawpaw sphinx moths (Dolba hyloeus)
- giant sphinx moth (Cocytius anteus)

The giant sphinx moth has long proboscises to feed on orchid’s nectar, then pollinates the flowers.

Did you hear about ghost orchids?

Have You Seen them in Nature or somewhere else?

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Tuesday 9 November 2021

Organic Vs Natural Foods – Part 4 – Food 9

Nice dip, just for illustration

Previous postings (Part 1, 2 and 3):

In respect to price, organic foods cost 20 percent to 100 percent more than conventionally produced foods (Valliant, 2014).

Some of the reasons are:

- more labors
- demand higher than supply
- higher cost fertilizer
- crop rotation to keep soil healthy and prevent weed growth
- grows more slowly
- post-harvest handling cost
- and organic certification costs

White onions, illustration only

The certification is provided by USDA (United States Department of Agricultures).

In term of shelf life, organic foods last longer than natural foods, since natural foods less proceed and contain higher water.

Water caused natural foods to be spoiled easily. But, since organic foods is handled and sold by big supermarket (Merz, 2016) or specific retails such as Whole Foods Market, thus, organic food is often fresher.

Then, fresh food tastes better.

# To be continued to Part 5

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Sunday 7 November 2021

Do You Know Ghost Orchids? - Part 1 – Nature 14

One of ghost orchids (credit to The news-Press)

I just read from medias and make me curious about “ghost orchid” (Dendrophylax lindenii).

It is because:

1. Ghost orchid is a rare species, found only in Cuba and Florida
2. Two thousand orchids only live in the Florida
3. Several percentages, about two hundred orchids blooming in summer.
4. Orchids have no leaves
5. Roots cling to the bark of trees.

Uniquely, ghost orchid blooming once a year only from June to August in nature. The blooming could last for several weeks.

As suggested by Russell McLendon (2019: 12 Enchanting Quirks of the Rare Ghost Orchid) that other specific characters of ghost orchid:

- orchid may germinate after infection by certain fungus
- smell likes apples

Another ghost orchid (credit to Florida Native Orchid)

What species of trees which ghost orchids to attach to?

Four important tree species are:

- maple
- cypress
- pond apple
- palm tree

How about with ghost orchid population in nature?

Are they decreasing in number?

# To be continued to Part 2

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Friday 5 November 2021

A Traditional Product of Louisiana – King Cake – Part 2

Inside King Cake

Previous posting (Part 1):

Vietnamese variety cake is quite lighter and flakier.

I like this variation, since less sugar, easy to eat and tasteful. We could find in the store called Dong Phuong Bakery, locates at eastern city of New Orleans.

The bakery made 30 thousand cake during Mardi Gras festival in 2017. Very much compared to other bakery on that occasion.

The bakery sells many kinds of King cake, some of them are:

- cream cheese
- pecan
- and classic cinnamon.

The price is quite higher during festival, depend very much on size and filing:

- Small size about US$16
- Large cake cost US$ 29
- Extra large price US$ 39

Colorful of King Cake

I never made the cake by myself. Just to give you an idea of King cake ingredient is following:

- Dry yeast
- sugar
- butter and milk
- egg yolk and salt
- grated lemon zest and nutmeg
- flour, cinnamon
- and colorful sugar.

Be careful, caloric content is high. One slice of cake could contain 321 calories.

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Tuesday 2 November 2021

Organic Vs Natural Foods – Part 3 – Food 9

The facts of organic and natural foods (Organic Food, 2016)

You may read previous postings:

The question: Is organic foods more advantages in terms of more nutritious content and safer?

The answer of this question might be seen at above Table (The facts of organic and natural foods).

We can examine the fact of organic and natural foods from the Table. 

There is no doubt that demand for organic foods is growing faster over the last decade.

As reported by Faber (2016) that organic food is growing in terms of sales (soaring from $3 billion in 1997 to more than $10 billion in 2003); and the industry's share of the U.S. food market (grow from about 2 percent to roughly 3.5 percent by the end of the decade).

Autumn season, just illustration

It is logic that since natural foods have no excessive processing of food items; thus the foods might not disturb the health benefits.

However, as described by Lange (2016) that it is difficult to single out the organic foods only to increase people health benefit, since people also:

- drink healthy water
- take exercise
- and do other good relate healthy things.

# To be continued to Part 4

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A Little Fig Tree in the Yard - Nature 110

 Many people love fig fruit, but some avoids consuming it because of sweetness or high calorie contents, especially for diabetes patients. I...