Wednesday, March 31, 2021

100% Effective of Biontech/Pfizer Covid 19 Vaccine - Science and Technology 8

White flowers, just for illustration

Breaking news, breakthrough, amazing that Biontech/Pfizer Covid 19 Vaccine reaches 100% effective rate.

This is the first time since vaccine created in 1796 by Edward Jenner, an English physician to combat small fox virus.

In case, you didn’t know or forget, the following effective rate of covid 19 vaccines which are available in the markets (Mark Terry, February, 2021. Published in BioSpace):

- Moderna, 95%

- AstraZeneca- University of Oxford, 70%

- Johnson & Johnson, 68% to 72%

- Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine, 91.4%

- Sinovac China, 50.38% to 91.25% (depen on many factors)

- CanSino Biologics China, 65.7%

Previous Biontech/Pfizer vaccine effective rate was 95%.

Interestingly, the second breakthrough of Biontech/Pfizer vaccine is its ability to protect young teenagers of 12 to 15 years old.

Hence, the vaccine could be injected to middle and high school students. Then, they may feel confident for next Fall, 2021 classes.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Increasing Tofu Demand During Covid 19 Pandemic - Economics 12

Fig 01- Raw tofu, ready to cook

Few years ago, we always buy tofu from ethnic groceries such as:

- Korean shop

- Asian market

- Vietnam stores

We may find tofu in the Walmart and other big retails almost everyday now. It is because demand for tofu skyrocket recently, especially during Covid 19 pandemic.

Two types of tofu are available in the market with different prices. Costs per pound are:

- US$ 1.64 for common tofu

- US$ 2.64 for organic tofu

As reported by mainstream medias like Washington Post (2020) and Bloomberg (2020) that demand for tofu not only increasing, but also even shortage in many places include Seattle and Washington DC.

We may wonder why?


Fig 02- Tofu nutrition facts

First, USA faced shortage of meat at early months of pandemic, then, many Americans try to find alternative. 


Fig 03- Tofu curry, one of popular dishes

Tofu is not bad choice, since its rich in:

- protein

- fiber

- vitamins

- minerals

This food is actually fermented food, the making process is similar to cheese. The differences are:

- tofu was fermented from soy milk.

- cheese from milks of cows, goats or other mammals.

In addition to nutrition riches, tofu contains:

- no cholesterol

- gluten free

- lower saturated fat

- lower calories

Since getting popular, tofu is a billion dollar industry now. Both in the USA and world markets.

Do you know tofu? Have you tasted it?

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Lonely Canadian Geese - Nature and Wildlife 31

Fig 01- A Lonely Canadian geese

Yes, a Canadian geese is one of migratory, birds visit our city when freezing temperature in the North.

However, at least, since 10 years ago, I saw several of them stay all seasons, hence, it could be mean that these geese live “permanently” in the lakes, especially urban lakes of our state or cities.

I just wonder that why some geese have chosen to live in our southern state?

Temporary answer that they might able to adjust to warmer temperature or other reasons.

As reported by “digbr” (2016), some reasonable reasons are:

- availability of food

- decent habitats

- many lakes and ponds are available for nesting during breeding seasons.

- less predators

- migration makes geese stress.


Fig 02- A geese playing at nearby lake

The Canadian geese was believed to disappear in USA once, found in Minnesota in 1950. Then, introduced and conserved in many states across USA.


Fig 03- A geese tried to find food.

Two species of Canadian geese:

- Branta canadensis, well known as Canadian geese

- Branta hutchinsii, also recognized as Cackling goose.


We mainly found giant Canadian geese in our city, Branta canadensis maxima, with wingspan could reach 7.3 feet (2.2 meter).

Some residents feel intimidating with growing population of Canadian geese in several parts of the city. Male Canadian geese is aggressive during breeding seasons.

Have you encountered Canadian geese during breeding seasons? What do you think?

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Have You Tasted Pistachio Muffins? - Economic 11

Fig 01- Slices of green muffins

My favorite is regular banana muffins. I saw green muffin in a grocery recently. I thought it might be due to the Saint Patrick’s day.


Its called Pistachio Muffins. The price is a little bit expensive compared to regular ones.


4 counts of muffin costs (price may varies from one grocery to others):

- US$ 4.8 for Pistachio muffins

- US$ 3.6 for regular (banana) muffins


Many people said Pistachio is a nut, actually its seed produced by Pistachio trees.


The tree is native to middle east or central Asia, but now, well grown in the states of:

- California

- Arizona

- New Mexico


Fig 02- Pistachio muffin.

California is the main producer of Pistachio seed in the USA. Almost a half of 58 counties in California has grown Pistachio trees.


Fig 03- The Pistachio muffin on the table

In term of economic value, California get US$ 3.6 billion per year from pistachio seeds industry as reported by FarmProgress (2018).


Pistachio seeds price is increasing recently, from US$ 2.65 per pound in 2018, to be about US$ 9 per pound in 2021, and predicted more in coming years.


Two factors caused price increasing:

- increasing demand

- cost of production is getting expensive due to increasing water price to keep plants healthy.


Moreover, It is profitable to grow Pistachio trees in the farm in the USA.


Back to muffins, do you like Pistachio or green muffins? What do you think?

Monday, March 22, 2021

What is Finnish Nightmare? - Social Psychology 3

Fig 01- Sunlight, just for illustration.

When I was a student in Denmark in 1990’s, sure, I met students or people from other Scandinavian countries:

- Finland

- Sweden

- Norway

- Iceland


I did not notice “awkward behavior” called as “Finnish Nightmare.” The a socially awkward was depicted in a webcomic by Karoliina Korhonen.

The webcomic was translated in Asian (far eastern) countries:

- China

- Japanese

- Korea.


In Japan, the book got Gaiman award in 2017. The award is designed to make Japanese aware of the best comic outside Japan.


Fig 02- Matti, the comic figure, feels awkward to sit to next other 
people (credit to Karoliina Korhonen)

The comic got hit in China, especially to millennial generations, because they “dream” of privacy as one of reasons.


Fig 03- Matti decided to buy than take a free sample 
(credit to Karoliina Korhonen).

Finland has huge space compare to crowd cities in China. However, Matti, male Finnish in the cartoon respects:

- peace

- quiet

- personal space


Young Chinese who was born as a kid under China’s single child policy identified themselves as Finnish nightmare.

They believe that their characters similar to Matti in terms of:

- avoids talking to others

- live alone happily

- hide from neighbors

- inconvenient to work in pairs

- do not like to be single out

- a kind of social phobia.


Do you know about Finnish Nightmare? What do you think?

Saturday, March 20, 2021

A Very Simple Quesadilla and Vegetables

Fig 01- Quesadilla with several vegetables

We have posted one of Mexican dishes called as A Tamale:

- A Tamale is one of Typical Mexican Dishes.


The quesadilla is one of taco types from Mexican foods. A tortilla is a main part of quesadillas.

In case you don’t know “a tortilla,” it is a round, flat and thin bread, usually made of:

- wheat flour

- corn flour


Generally, a quesadilla’s tortilla is filled with following items:

- cooked meats

- spices

- mushrooms

- tomatoes

- onions

- cheese


Fig 02- A half cut of quesadillas

Since we cook a very simple quesadilla, our quesadillas filling are not follow common standard. 


Fig 03- A sour cream

We are not professional chef cook like our blogger friend Angie. She is not only very talent chef cook, but also an artist. 


Fig 04- Daisy sour cream

We recommend you to visit her blog:

- Angie's Recipes . Taste Of Home.


Moreover, our quesadillas filling are following:

- rotisserie chicken

- mild cheddar cheese.

- Olive oil

- red bell peppers

- chopped onion

- chili powder

- cumin

- dried oregano


Finally, we consume our simple Quesadilla with slices avocado, tomatoes and sour cream!

You may visit other food bloggers:

- Bread&Salt

- A TUTTA CUCINA

- le ricette di mamma 'anatina'


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Vaccinated but Mask Up - Sign & Sky 3

Fig 01- People need to wear mask

100 million or more Americans have been vaccinated until today, March 16, 2021.

Positive cases of Covid 19 have been decreased, from 300,619 cases (January 9, 2021) to 57,000 cases as of March 16, 2021.

With these facts, but don’t mean people should back to normal without masks. In entrance of one of our city parks, we saw a big sign:

Mask Up, Baton Rouge!

Until today, face masks are required in many public spaces include:

- library

- traditional shops or ethnic groceries

- farmer markets

- book stores

- super markets

- banks

- drug stores


Fig 02- Sunset in the corner of our city

We saw a little bit “crowd” in many places, but, yes, almost all are wearing mask and have social distances.


Fig 03- Mini palm tree in the bush.

Moreover, in our city as of today, people are not encouraged to visit love ones in the following public facilities:

- hospital

- nursing home

- skilled nursing facility

- other residential care facilities


How about in your places or cities? Are people required to wear mask until today?

Monday, March 15, 2021

Little Blue Heron in the Lake – Nature and Wildlife 30

Little blue heron in the lake

There are 72 species of herons, bitterns and egrets in the world. 10 of species are identified in the USA.

We might find the following herons, bitterns and egrets in the Northern America (Jill Staake, 2020 in the Birds & Bloom):

- Great blue herons

- Little blue herons

- Great egret

- Snowy egret

- Green heron

- Black-Crowned Night Heron

- Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

- Cattle Egret

- Tricolored Heron

- Reddish Egret


Blue sky, just for illustration

Of those herons, bitterns and egrets, I have posted Yellow-Crowned Night Heron:

- Yellow Crown Night Heron around Our Neighborhood - Nature and Wildlife 16.


Interestingly, there are 3 stages development of little blue heron (Egretta caerulea) in respect to color:

- juvenile, entirely white color.

- immature, gradually changed to blue colors

- adult, dark blue color.


Do you know little blue heron? What color do you see in nature?

Friday, March 12, 2021

Advantages of Nasal Spray Vaccine for Covid 19 Virus - Science and Technology 7

Lemon, just for illustration

In developing countries, one of obstacles is to deliver vaccine by injection which people “fear” with syringe needles.

In fact, especially in very remote areas, needles are used multiple times. People feel very hurt after inoculations.

Scientists have tried to develop Nasal Spray Vaccine for Covid 19 virus recently.

The countries involve in this project include:

- USA

- Finland

- UK

- India


Finland in front line now. Finnish scientists have succeeded in vivo trials using animal model.

Human clinical trials will be conducted in the next coming weeks by Rokote Laboratories Finland Ltd (SciTech Daily, MARCH 8, 2021).


Nasal spray vaccine (credit to Time Now)

In addition to needle alternatives, nasal spray vaccine for Sars Cov 2 virus has several advantages:

- more effective to control corona virus transmissions

- reach specific target to Covid 19 virus which infected mucous membranes

- cause immune system to produce specific protein in blood and nose to fight corona virus.

- environment friendly

- cheaper

- no need refrigerator to store the vaccines

- easy to administer


Moreover, like Finland, USA company has developed nasal vaccine too, in the first stage of human trials now.

The vaccines are tested to 180 individual of ages from 18 to 55 years. The result will be known soon.

Do you know that we have nasal vaccine already? The flu vaccine has been administered through nasal spray in the USA.

Nasal vaccine is not new, but will be a new method to combat Covid 19 virus!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Vincent Van Gogh and Zinnia Flower – Art & History 2

Fig 01- Zinnia elegans with butterfly

The sunflower is one of well known flowers painted by a Dutch painter, Vincent Van Gogh. The cost almost reached US$ 40 million in 1987 auction

I did not know that the painter has other flowers as painting objects as said by Teresa Bernard, 2015: The Flower Paintings of Vincent van Gogh | Teresa Bernard Oil Paintings (teresabernardart.com).

They include:

- irises

- roses

- poppies

- corn flowers

- myosotys

- chrysanthemums

- almond blossom

- red poppies and daisies

- pink roses


Fig 02- Vase with Zinnia, painted by Van Gogh (1886)

What interesting for me is Zinnia flower depicted by Van Gogh. In nature, Zinnia has 13 different species. 


Fig 03- Sky after raining, just for illustration

Native to Mexico and close by areas, Zinnia flowers are popular around the globe now days.

Several popular Zinnias to grow are:

- Purple Prince

- Queen Red Lime

- Aztec Sunset

- Red Spider

- Early Wonder

- Queen Lime


Since Zinnia riches in nectar, the flowers attract many pollinators:

- butterflies

- hummingbirds

- ladybugs

- Japanese Beetles

- wasps


It is might be the reason, Zinnia flowers to be a must plant in the gardens in many countries.

High Occupancy Vehicle Parking Only - Sign & Sky 6

Fig 01- Sign for special parking only At previous post, we talked about parking for Low Emission Vehicles: - Special Parking for Low Emis...