Friday, December 6, 2019

Egret Sanctuary in Louisiana Avery Island

Community of Egrets in Avery island, Louisiana

I just posted the Tabasco sauce, its head quarter is in Avery Island, Louisiana. The island could be reached by car from my town.

The distance is 81 miles (130 km) from my house, take about 2 hours by car. The island is actually a land surrounded by small rivers (muddy rivers) and swamplands.

Avery Island well known for one of birds sanctuaries in Louisiana. Birds sanctuary known as bird city in the “jungle garden.”

What interest me is Egret, a white bird with long bill and feet. At least, there are 3 kinds of egret in the island:

- snowy egret (Egretta thula)
- cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis)
- great egret (Ardea alba)

The egrets are migrating birds, come to island in the spring for nesting, then left the island in the fall. 


A colony of egrets in Avery Island

What are differents of snowy egret, cattle egret and great egret?

Snowy egret is taller than cattle egret, and then, great egret is greater than snowy egret.

In term of bill colors, snowy egrets have black bills, whereas cattle and great egrets have yellow bills. Interestingly, young cattle egrets have black bill, then color change to yellow when they are adults.

Do you have favorite birds? What kind of birds do you love?

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Tabasco is One of Well Known Louisiana Sauce Brands

Tabasco sauces in the Louisiana restaurants

I just aware recently that sauces Tabasco brand is originally from Louisiana or made in Louisiana with headquarter in Avery island.

Tabasco brand was produced about 151 years ago, 1868. Since then, the company run by families of Edmund Mcllhenny descendants.

The first sauce was called as “Pepper Sauce,” then Tabasco has developed several varieties of sauces, include:
- Green pepper sauce
- Chipotle pepper sauce
- Garlic pepper sauce
- Habanero sauce
- Sweet and spicy sauce
- Buffalo style sauces

Main ingredients of Tabasco sauces are tabasco peppers (Capsicum frutescens), salt and vinegar. 

These main ingredients are mixed with other flavor or style either from local or outside (foreign) resources to create new variety of sauces.


Habanero sauce of Tabasco brand

I myself love to consume Habanero pepper, and Sweet and spicy sauces. Habanero is the hottest sauce of Tabasco.

Interestingly, Habanero sauce is Jamaica style sauce, made of Habanero pepper, mango and papaya. A kind of fruity sauces from Caribbean.

Sweet and spicy sauce is Asian style flavor sauce. The sauce could be used for multiple purposes:
- ingredient for salad dressings
- glazing for grilling meats
- basting shrimp and chicken
- good dip for pried chicken, spring rolls, fried potatoes and spring rolls.

Have you tried Tabasco sauces from Louisiana?

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Art Therapy and Alzheimer's Disease - Alzheimer's 17

Illustration (credit to David Reddick)

The progressive aging of the population causes the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease and dementia is constantly increasing.

Many researches and efforts to prevent and/or delay the onset of dementia and reduce their suffering, both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.

Art therapy is one of the non-pharmacological interventions. This therapy has been used in pain management for the patients who severe with chronic diseases.

As we know Alzheimer's disease and dementia are also chronic diseases with progressive cognitive and function, change behavior, and lead to severe disability and death. Art therapy is also given to them.

The British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT) define that art therapy, “uses art media as its primary mode of expression and communication. Art is not used as diagnostic tool but as a medium to address emotional issues.”


Happy Thanksgiving! (Credit: wallpapercave)

The emotional issues include emotional, behavioral or mental problems, learning or physical disabilities, life-limiting conditions, neurological conditions and physical illnesses.

Whether art therapy is useful and effective for people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia, it is still in unclear. In general, this therapy showed that “their clinical significance is uncertain” as Chiara Zucchella (Italian Neorologist) and her friends stated in Frontiers Neurology.

Putting aside any questions about the effectiveness of art therapy. There are five great reasons to support the arts for people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Justine Schneider in her publication in International Journal of Environmental

Research Public Health (2018): “The Arts as a Medium for Care and Self-Care in Dementia, Arguments and Evidence.” They are:
  1. People with Alzheimer's disease and dementia usually enjoy participating in art.
  2. Even they loss memory, the arts can remain accessible.
  3. They and their caretaker can enjoy the arts and refresh.
  4. The wider community benefits from the fostering of cultural capital in any society, including people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia
  5. Art does no or little harm.
So, people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia can produce and appreciate visual art, even though cognitive decline, the aesthetic preference can remain stable.

The two pictures above are represented of my turkey in the oven. I am preparing thanksgiving dinner for tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 22, 2019

Burden Museum and Gardens, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

One of buildings in the Burden museum and gardens

I drive to my work place pass through Essen Lane every day, without knowing there are museum and gardens.

Essen lane is in the middle of Baton Rouge city, Louisiana where museum and gardens locate.

Burden family donated their 440 acres (178 hectares) land to the Louisiana State University (LSU) in 1966.

The university (LSU), then developed the land to be:
- LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens
- Windrush Gardens
- The LSU Rural Life Museum

The modified land is a kind of “window” to observe Louisiana in the past, now days and future for me.


A house of rural life in the past

I saw a house with a rock chair in Rural life museum. Actually, I found many houses have two rock chairs in rural areas in Louisiana current days.

Two rock chairs with small table in the middle. Older Louisiana, usually couple drink a cup of coffee or tea while sitting in the rock chairs in the afternoon. Sound like romantic life.


Flowers in the botanical garden

We could walk through the gardens, may be miles, and find:
- woodland
- wetland
- research facilities.
- rose garden
- herb gardeners
- ginger gardeners
- fruit
- vegetables

Finally, I think that visiting Burden Museum and Gardens is a good start to who eager to know about cultural past of Louisiana, especially who loves flora, fauna and heritage of agriculture in Louisiana.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

What Cause the Capgras Delusion which Make Difficulty to Recognize Faces? - Alzheimer's 16.

Recognizing faces (Illustration: Jade Brady Art)

First of all, I would like you know how I admire teachers. Have you imagined, how smart are they? They able to remember the whole student's names and faces in the class after two meetings.

Remembering a new face is a challenge. Sometimes depend on the first impression.

How about the loved ones? Sure, we recognize them instantly.

According to recognize faces, last week posting (Alzheimer's 15) about a wife who severe with Capgras delusion. She believes that her husband was another person who is pretending to be her husband.

What the cause of this delusion?

One of the interesting theory is from Ramachadran and Hirstein (1997).
They proposed that Capgras delusion are more common in the ventral of 
occipitotemporal which is a pathway that connected with amygdala. 

Based on this theory, the delusion is a result from the disconnection between face-processing area and the limbic system. 


Amygdala related to limbic system in memory and emotion
(Neuroscience, Purves)

Related to the case of the case of a wife with pretending husband, another case about capgras delusion was illustrated by Ramachandran.

The case about a young man (25 year old) who got a car accident and landed with his head. This young man has problem to recognize his loved ones.

The young man told to his mother that you look my mom, but she actually his mom. The same thought is also to his dad, he said that this man look like his dad.

Here the general theory from Ramachandran, “When we look at object or a face, the message reach to the temporal lobes where it identified then it gets relay to structure amygdala. Amygdala is a getaway to limbic system that contains the emotional centers of the brain. Amygdala also generate emotional response to whatever we're looking at.”

Then Ramachandran explained, “the message get to temporal lobe cortex, the patient recognize his mother as being his mother and evoke the appropriate memory but the message does not get to amygdala because the fibers going from the temporal cortex to amygdala, into emotional centers, are cut as result from accident. There is no emotion, there is no warmth and the patient say he is not my mom.”

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Peeking the Book of GUTSY WOMEN of Hillary and Chelsea

The book of Gutsy Women

I am just chilling at home during the Arctic blast with cups of hot sweet tea and some books.

One of the books is “The book of Gutsy Women, Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience.”

The authors are Hillary Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea. In the launched of this book, Hillary said that this idea rose because since Chelsea was a little girl, she talked about the inspirational courage resilient woman and role models.

Then mother and daughter came up with the book about women “For everyone looking for inspiration to live their own gutsy life.”

This book is about the stories of the woman that they deeply admire them because those women have redefined its possible not only for themselves but also for us.

I am really wondering what types of people that can inspire their life. Hillary is very tough lady!

Hillary Clinton was US Secretary of State, New York State Senator, and she also practicing as a lawyer, First Lady of US (1993-2001) and First Lady of Arkansas (1983-1992).


Women's right Champions Nadia Murad. the Noble Peace Prize 2018.

There are 103 women from the old time to the last young girl. All of 103 women divided into 11 categories (chapters).

In the first chapter, Early inspirations, started with women the most inspire them Dorothy Rodham and Virginia Kelly, both are Chelsea grandmothers.

Followed by Harriet Tubman who lived in shadow of constant violence, cruelty, and racism. She was a part of Underground Railroad and she is credited with bringing hundred of slaves to freedom.

In the chapter Education Pioneers, there are many of them, the first one is Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz from Mexico (at the time Mexico was a part of Spain),

In the chapter of Earth Defenders, one the most interesting is a very young girl Greta Thunberg.

The Healers: Besides Nightingale and Betty Ford in this chapter, there are also Dr. Gao Yaojie, a retired Chinese gynecologist; obstetrician-gynecologist Dr Hawa Abdi from Somalia; Flossie Wong-Staal, Chinese molecular biologist.

In the chapter of Storytellers, there are 7 women, e.g. Maya Angelou, Mary Beard, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, Ali Stoker, Amani Al-Khatahbeh.

The last chapter is Women's Right Champions. The last persons wrote by Hillary, Nadia Murad. the Noble Peace Prize 2018. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

A Caroline Chickadee Scary Sings in Our Backyard

A Caroline Chickadee siting on the branch

The Arctic storm hitting almost 70% of America in recent days. It was reported that temperatures reached record low in many places across nation.

We experienced temperature below zero, minus 4 (-4) Celsius or F 25 degree in Louisiana, deep south America.

Last night, wild birds “song” unusual, scary sound in our backyard. We recognized the sound from Chickadee bird.

We knew from literature that two kinds of chickadee look very similar:
- Caroline chickadee with Latin name Poecile carolinensis.
- Black cap chickadee with Latin name Poecile atricapillus.

It is believed Caroline chickadee live in the southern states such as:
- Texas
- Louisiana
- Mississippi
- Alabama
- Georgia
- Florida


A black cap Chickadee during winter

Since we live in Louisiana, southern state of America, thus we guess that Caroline chickadee birds are living in our backyard.

When temperature drop below zero Celsius degree, Chickadee sang like long whistle “feee beeee.” sound. Very odd sounds. Strange for me.

We thought that truck came to pick up garbage, but we wonder then:
- why the truck come at around 3 AM to 4 AM? Truck always come as early as at 5 AM.
- day was not garbage pick up day for our neighborhood.

Actually, sound could be signs of many things, some of them:
- aggressive behavior among bird members or pairs
- a predator approaches the bird
- an intruder come into the nest

However, recently scary Caroline chickadee bird sound makes us to reach the understanding:
- it could mean alarming that environment surround birds is uncomfortable, freezing. 

Egret Sanctuary in Louisiana Avery Island

Community of Egrets in Avery island, Louisiana I just posted the Tabasco sauce, its head quarter is in Avery Island, Louisiana. The...