Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Are Figs Good Sources for Minerals? - Health and Medicine 18

Fig 01- Figs fruits, ready to consume

We have a figs tree in our backyard for 3 years, the height no more than 3 feet (1 meter).

It is because our figs tree leaves are favorite to wild animals, hence, the tree has almost no leaves.

Actually, there are plenty of figs fruit in the market, both groceries and traditional (farmer) markets.

Some people find “difficulty” to consume figs, because of its skin. But the fruit contains highly of:

- natural sugars

- minerals

- soluble fibre

Its has higher sugar content. A couple of medium size figs has 16 gram of sugar. Other fruits with higher sugar content are manggo, grapes, cherries, banana, watermelon and pears.

Are Figs Good Sources for Minerals?


Fig 02- Half cut fruit

Yes, figs are sources of minerals, good for health and perform many functions in our body.


Fig 03- Figs fruits in the small plastic box

One of mineral benefits from figs is reported to improve bone density, thus, good to prevent osteoporosis. The osteoporosis is common to women than men.

There are many kinds of mineral, some of mineral in figs are:

- potassium

- calcium

- magnesium

- iron

- copper

Have you tasted figs fruit? Do you like it? What do you think?

Monday, December 28, 2020

The Mid Stage of Parkinson’s Diseases - Parkinson’s Diseases 21

 

Christmas decorations

At previous post, we talked about early stages of Parkinson’s (What are Early Stages of Parkinson’s Diseases? - Parkinson’s Diseases 7).

Then, the stage is followed by “mid stage.” Patients always fall down at this stage, it is because:

- losing balance

- slowing physical movement

Slowing physical movement causes patients un-able to respond automatic and quickly, hence they are losing balance to avoid fall down.

Parkinson’s Foundation (please go to their web: parkinson.org/) suggested several exercises to improve balance:

1) Tai Chi

- movement of the body, back and forward on our feet.

2) Dances

- Tango is one of good dances to improve balance control


White wild flowers at our backyard

3) Boxing

- by moving arm rapidly is good for balance exercise

4) Agility boot camp

- many series of tasks will improve balance.

However, the mid stage Parkinson’s patients are “still independent,” and able to do the daily routine works such as:

- eating

- dressing

- hygiene

- doing most important activities.

The mid stage Parkinson’s patients also faced with non-motoric symptoms, include:

- fatigue

- constipation

- sleep problems

- communication problems due to change in voices

Some therapies may be administered to improve Parkinson’s patients condition at mid stage.

Finally, the patients could be trained to adjust to new environment and need to adapt to make live easier for patients, partners and caregivers.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Donation to Food Banks – Economics 8

Fig 01- Collection of foods at Library

We noticed many boxes at the entrance of our city library in the last several months.

The boxes are collection boxes for foods. As members of library, we are encouraged to donate foods, then librarians will deliver them to near by Food Banks.

In normal economics, about 14% of Americans depends on food banks. During the pandemic, there is surging demand for foods across America.

About 30% of food banks has been closed in the USA, due to several factors such as:

- less supplies

- highly demand

- lack of donations

- no volunteers to find new donors

On the other side, farmers struggle to send their produces to the market, because of supply chains disturbance.


Fig 02- Just small donation

Hence we witnessed of farmers:

- dumping their milk

- amass their livestock, because no market

- destroying their produces.


Fig 03 – Some our canned foods

In the normal life, who or what agencies (institutions) provided foods to Food Banks? 


Fig 04- Canned foods in the box

Here are donors or suppliers of Food Banks in cities of America:

- 33% from groceries

- 25% from government programs

- 42% from farmers and food banks own budgets.

Not all groceries, but groceries as a member of feeding America organizations have delivered their foods to Food Banks. The foods may included:

- fresh food

- dry goods

- any imperfect or close to expiration foods.


Finally, we hope this pandemic is over soon, and life back to normal. Economy returns to before pandemic as well.  

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Price and Bonsai Show in Our City – Pet and Hobby 14

Fig 01- A sign of bonsai show

Bonsai society has regular show in our city. Members and whoever interest are encourage to come and participate in the show.

When we visited one of show, no more than 100 trees are displayed. But quite reasonable number for a small room.

About 15 people were gathering. I guessed they both member of society and just common people like us.

I knew from society and other several sources, the names of top bonsai trees in our state are:

- Bald cypress

- Trident maple

- Japanese Lace Leaf Red Maple

- Chinese Elm

- Brazilian Rain Tree


Fig 02- Two most beautiful bonsai

Several beautiful bonsai trees are displayed in entrance and center room of show. 


Fig 03- Bonsai called as “Willow Leaf Picus” on displayed

We noticed and recognized few types of bonsai. It seems they are local and imported types of bonsai.


Fig 04- Members of society and guests have a look at 
several bonsai.

Few types of bonsai on display are:

- Green Mound Juniper

- Willow Leaf Picus

- Chinese elm

- Bold Cypress

- Bougenville

- Fukien tea

- Japanese black pine


Fig 05- Green Mound Juniper

Yes, the show has bonsai auction, called as “silent auction.” People involved in the auction:

- members

- guests

- whoever interests with bonsai

The prices may range from couple hundreds to couple thousands, depend very much on:

- bonsai types

- age of bonsai

- cost to take care of bonsai

- arts

- bargaining


Do you love bonsai trees or have any favorite of bonsai types?

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Small Business in Neighborhood – Economics 7

Fig 01- Sign of donuts shop.

No surprise for me that about 60 million people work in the small business. It is about 47% of private workforce in the USA.

We see many small business near by our neighborhood. We have been using some of these services:

- Tax Preparation and Bookkeeping

- Cleaning Services

- Online Tutoring

- Catering Services

- Mobile Hairdresser Services.

- Car services such as washing, oil changes, tires replacement, and windshield repair.

- Small engines repair

Local produces are sold in small groceries, ethnic shops, and farmer markets. They are cheap and fresh.


Fig 02- Donuts sold in the shop

We love to eat in the our favorite restaurants before covid 19 pandemic. Some provided international or certain ethnic menus.


Fig 03- One of my favorite donuts

For breakfast, we bought donuts some times. Sure we consume local ones, not well famous brands such as “Dunkin Donuts.”

The price range from US$ 1.66 to US$ 15.99 for a dozen donuts. Some of our favorites are:

- Glaze

- Chocolate

- Apple fritter

- Cinnamon role

- Donuts holes

How about with local business in your neighborhood?

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Can Plants Memorize Information? - Science and Technology 1

A plant changes its leaves color

No, plants do not have a “brain.” So, how do they memorize information? They have cells to have “a sophisticated calcium based networks” like memory in animals.

A report revealed when certain plant treated with drops of water:

- at first drop, plant will react by wincing its leaf

- after a while, plant learned to understand that water was harmless, thus plant does not react to other drops of water.

Another surprise, plant “memorized” this knowledge quite longer than expected, even compared to average animals:

- plant could memorize or hold new information for several weeks.

- insects have very short memory, could only from one to two days.

Since plants have no brain, their ability to store “expertise” in weeks, even two months is beyond amazing.


The plant with green and red leaves

Orchids have ability to trick insects, hence orchid called as a “clever” plant. They produce chemicals similar to female insects pheromones.

Pheromones is a wind borne chemical may affect on other insects behaviors. Chemical combinations or concentrations of Pheromones stimulate pollinators to do pollination.

In addition to Pheromones, many pollinators are attracted by orchid because of nectar and mimic foods, they include:

- bees

- wasps

- flies

- ants

- birds

- moths

- butterflies

Do you know or aware a kind of smart plants around you?

Friday, December 18, 2020

Body Mass Index (BMI) and Cancer – Cancer 9

Part of a garden in the city

You might know what is Body Mass Index (BMI). It is relationship between body weight and height of a person. The simple formula is:

BMI = 703 x (weight / height2).

Just for example, a person weight 70 kg (154 lb) and height is 170 cm (70 inches), thus his BMI is 22.1

It is said that the person BMI is normal, in healthy range. For comparison of BMI:

- 18 or less is thin (underweight)

- 18 to 25 is normal (healthy weight)

- 25 to 30 is overweight

- 30 over is obese.

So, what is relationship between BMI and cancers?

The higher BMI, the risk to get certain type of cancers is increasing! At least as one of indicators of unhealthy condition.


Chili ready to be harvested from our backyard

People knew long time ago that obese causes health problems such as heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.

Based on info from “cancer.net,” overweight and obese may relate to the following cancers:

- Kidney

- Uterine

- Prostate

- Breast

- Pancreatic

- Colorectal

- Thyroid

Hope, we could maintain our BMI at normal range to avoid health problems, include cancers. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Chicken Eggs from Backyard - Pet and Hobby 13

 

Fig 01- An egg on the hand

I know some friends raising chickens in their backyard at the nearby village, just for fun, and off course for fresh eggs and meats as well.

There are plenty chicken breeds in the market. The favorite chicken breeds in our states are:

- Rhode Island Reds

- Leghorns

- Plymouth Rocks

- Black Australops

- Buff Orpingtons

- Barred Rocks.

I love Leghorn, because she produces mid size eggs, and I feel tasteful of her eggs. Yolk is perfect with a bread toast.


Fig 02- Playing at backyard

The chickens or roosters feed on plenty of variety foods if we are raising them at the backyard. They may eat vegetables and fruits


Fig 03- Chicken eggs from a small farming.

Several fruits or vegetable are eaten by backyard chickens:

- watermelon

- strawberries

- blueberries

- lettuce

- kale

- turnip greens

- chard

- squash

- pumpkins

- cucumbers.


Do you love to eat eggs from small or family farming of chickens? Why?

Monday, December 14, 2020

The Last Snow in Our City was in 2017 - Nature and Wildlife 24

Fig 01- Neighbors played with snows.

Our city locates in Southern part of USA, temperatures are varies from F 43 (C 6) to F 91 (C 33) degrees.

As far as I remember during last 10 years, I experienced the lowest temperature with F 25 (C -4) degree, and the highest temperature with F 106 (C 41) degree, like in the desert areas.

Yes, we have “cold” season, and what we called as a short “winter.” While summer is quite long, and very hot.

We are considered as rainy state, average of our rainfall was about 63 inches (160 cm) per year, quite higher compared to national average, 28 inches (71 cm) per year.

However, we did have snow, even though not every year. 3 last snows are in the following years:

- 2008

- 2010

- 2017


Fig 02- A snowman created by neighbors

Snow fall in the specific days in the following years:

- 6 inches (15 cm) in 2017

- 1 inch (2.5 cm) in 2010

- 2 inches (5 cm) in 2008.


Fig 03- A dog as a snowman in our neighborhood.

Since our city less experience with snowfall, its impacted very much on commute, especially in the early morning.

In general, our neighborhoods were happy with snowfalls. No school for Kids during the first day of snowfall.

Some neighbors show their talent to build snowmen. They have fun to show their creative.

Did your city get snowfall every year?   

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Low Blood Pressure and Parkinson’s - Parkinson’s Diseases 20

Two “Red eye” tetras are swimming in the aquarium

Previous post mentioned about non motor symptoms of Parkinson's diseases (you may read: Non Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s - Parkinson’s Diseases 19).

Low blood pressure is one of non motor symptoms of Parkinson’s diseases. It is said that this symptom could be treated.

I saw some super markets or malls provide a simple equipment to check blood pressure for free.

The normal range of blood pressure is between 90/60 mmHg to 120/80 mmHg. Below or higher than this range is considered “not normal,” either low or higher blood pressure.

There is medical term call “orthostatic hypotension.” It is happen when we change position such as from “sitting to standing.”

There are many options to treat low blood pressure, some are:

- dietary

- changing behaviours

- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs


A bird in the corner of a house in our neighborhood.

Sure, patients should consult to Medical Doctors (MD) about possible best option to treat “orthostatic hypotension.”

However, just to let you know, there are some prescriptions drugs available in the market (drug stores):

- Northera (droxidopa)

- Florinef (fludrocortisone)

- ProAmatine (midodrine).

It is fact, “orthostatic hypotension” might relate to psychiatric illnesses. If this a case, the drugs are:

- phenothiazines

- tricyclic antidepressants

- monoamine oxidase inhibitors

Finally, key word is to know non motor symptoms of Parkinson’s diseases, then find the help from physicians or relevant experts. Like other diseases, early treatment is crucial.

Woods for Fireplace in the Winter - Nature and Wildlife 26

Pile of woods for sale I don’t know how many households using woods for heating in the winter in my neighborhood. In America, depend on t...