Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Grape and Cherry Tomatoes at Our Backyard – Pet and Hobby 3

Two grape tomatoes ready to harvest

We have some small projects in our backyard for this summer, one of projects is to grow tomatoes in the plastic pots.

There are two type of tomatoes in our projects:
- grape tomatoes with two varieties
- the cherry tomato

Yes, the size and shape look like the grapes that why we call as grape tomatoes. They are growing and producing fruits well in the environment such as:
- little bit acid (about 6 pH) soils
- loose and nutritious soil
- full sun (about 12 hours under sun)
- some amount of water


A cherry tomato, green stage


The size is small like grape tomatoes, but cherry tomatoes are round shape. It is said that the cherry tomato is hybrid of wild and domestic tomatoes from currant and garden varieties.

Cherry tomatoes are quite sweeter than grape tomatoes. Health benefit of cherry tomatoes like other fruits and vegetables:
- improve healthy hair and skin
- may lower weight
- increasing energy


The grape tomato, a different variety

From saplings to first harvest will take time about two months or little more. One plant and stems produce a lot of tomatoes.

The color changes from green to yellow and then to red by days. Very easy to pick when tomatoes getting red.

We may find both cherry and grape tomatoes in many grocery stores. The price quite reasonable.

Which one do you like? Cherry or grape tomatoes?

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Can Parkinson’s Diseases Cause cognitive impairment? - Parkinson’s Diseases 12

Beautiful view, just for illustration

I posted about Parkinson’s diseases that relate to “disturbance of physical movement due to nervous system disorder.” Please read: Why People Could Get Parkinson’s Diseases?

Some examples of motor disorder are:
- trouble in walking
- slowness in moving
- tremor
- stiffness

Recently, researchers found that Parkinson’s diseases not only caused physical movement difficulty, but also affect on brain changes.

These changes in brain have some effects on non-motor disorder:
- to slow ability to think and memorize (cognitive impairments)
- stress
- depression
- difficult to sleep
- less sensory function

The cognitive impairment ranges from mild to severe. The mild is not reduce ability to do normal daily activities, and even not be noticed sometimes.

However, the severe impairments may cause significant problems to pursue daily activities.

Surprising facts that:
- 20% to 50% Parkinson’s patients have mild cognitive ability
- 40% Parkinson’s lead to dementia (Alzheimer’s) diseases.

In addition to Parkinson’s, cognitive dysfunction may relate to vitamin B12 deficiency, thyroid diseases or other illness.

Moreover, based on current understanding, scientists put emphasis on non-motor disorder to manage Parkinson’s diseases. Hope, this approach will have better results in near future.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Heating and Higher Humidity over the Weekend

Illustration of temperature above F 90 degrees 
(credit to Mystateline)

We experienced temperature at F 95 (C 35) degree yesterday. Almost all deep south states have the same higher temperature above F 90’s:

- South Carolina
- Louisiana
- Mississippi
- Alabama
- Georgia

It was forecast that temperature keep higher F 90’ (C 32) degree over the weekend, and next several days in these deep south states.

In the USA, temperature for this summer is estimated to be warmer compared to the last year. Summer in 2020 about 1 to 3 degree higher than 2019.

Heating together with humidity make me sweat a lot, and feeling heater (more than F 100s degrees) and inconvenient.

Many people, especially elders face health problems with heat and humidity:
- interruption in sleep
- problems of respiratory
- asthma problems
- allergy problems

How about temperature in your areas, states or countries? Is warmer than usual?

To avoid heating up, we should stay hydrate and stay home during sunlight. It is dangerous to go outside in longer time period.

Take care, caution and stay safe!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Are Anal Cancer Rates Increasing Recently? - Cancer 2

Anal cancer, just for illustration 
(Credit to Cancer Research UK)

Since last 15 years, anal cancer rates are increasing, about 12,000 death cases just last year alone.

In term of percentage, increasing by 2.7% from 2001 to 2015, and 3.1% per year since 2016. It is estimated much more now if diagnosing is expanded to widely population.

Quite surprising that 90% of anal cancer relate to Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Other risk factors are:

- women infected with cervix or vulvar cancers are riskier.
- men with penile cancer have higher risk to be infected with anal cancer
- smoking habit
- multiple sex partners
- more women than men

Because most of anal cancer relate to HPV, thus who got HPV vaccine will have lower chance getting anal cancer.

The vaccine was available since 2006. Who feel under higher risk groups may get 3 shots from physicians. It is fact that people who get shots, free for both HPV and anal cancer.

Take care!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Fruit Flies Infest Our Foods in the Kitchen

A fruit fly on the banana (credit to Battlefords News-Optimist)

It is started from Spring until recently, we found a lot of fruit flies hovers around in the kitchen. They are infesting on:
- any fruits, but I observe mainly on ripe bananas
- fermented drinks like wine and beer.
- many sweet drinks include milk, coffee and tea
- rotting and decaying foods.

The flies life span is quite short, they live for several weeks only. One adult may produce 500 eggs. In our home, the eggs are found on:
- buckets, mop buckets
- garbage disposals
- drains
- trash cans


Very simple trap.


The eggs hatched, at room temperature then develop into several stages:
- lava, take about 8 days
- pupas, around 6 days
- adult for several weeks

Are fruit flies dangerous?

Yes, it is because they are carry bacteria that may contaminate foods in our kitchen, some of bacteria are:
- Salmonella
- E. coli
- Listeria sp

How to reduce or eradicate fruit flies at home? At least, there are 4 simple methods:
1- We never let ripe fruits on the kitchen table, but we should store them in refrigerator or discard them.
2- Find out the exact location of their breeding areas
3- Keep the drain as clean as possible by flushing drain with water (hot water).
4- We can make simple trap by using glass jar (please see above picture)

Do you see fruit flies in your kitchen in this summer? Do you know how to trap them?

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Could Plants be Able to Avoid Herbivores by Producing Odor?

An insect eating the leaf, illustration only.

I sometimes wonder why plants could survive with a lot of herbivores live around. The answer, actually relationship between plants and herbivores is like cat and mouse in some degree.

Both relationships, cat – mouse and plants – herbivores are survives, and they goes through evolution process in long time, may be thousand years.

Long long time, we might know that plant have methods (adaptations) to protect themselves from eaten by herbivores, some are:

- barrier such as a waxy cuticle and bark
- modified branches such as thorns
- hard shells
- modified leaves such as spines.

Interestingly, recently, scientists found that plants have strategy to produce camouflage odors or produce similar odor of other plants to:
- confuse herbivores.
- not easily to be identified by herbivores.
- not be able to be located by hungry insects
- carry information in plant communities

Nature work so wonderful, do you believe it?

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Have you Seen Spotted Garden Eel? - Pets and Hobby 2

Pretty garden spotted eel as pet in the aquarium

This creature looks unique and beautiful with black spots along the body. Actually, garden spotted eel is fish.

Scientific name of this fish is Heteroconger hassi, distributes naturally in the Red Sea and Pasific Ocean.

Spotted eel found living to form colonies in deep sea of oceans, usually in the warm parts of oceans with areas characteristics:
- sandy flat
- close to coral reefs
- plenty of seagrass, in order to camouflage with background.

The garden spotted eels may live in the shallow to deep ocean, from 7 to 45 m (23 to 150 feet).


Two spotted eels burrowing in the sand


May we adopt garden spotted eels as our pet? Since, this marine creature is not include in endangered species list, yes, we can keep the animal as a pet.

I check through internet, the price is quite expensive, US$ 69.9 per individual. We need at least 3 individuals to form colonies in our aquarium.

It is suggested to keep spotted eels in the aquarium with size at least:
- 50 gallons (189 litres) water
- 6 inches (15 cm) thick sand.

Do you know that you can see this eel in aquarium of several public zoos?

Grape and Cherry Tomatoes at Our Backyard – Pet and Hobby 3

Two grape tomatoes ready to harvest We have some small projects in our backyard for this summer, one of projects is to grow tomatoes ...