Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Sweet Chocolate Candies and a Yummy Book

Almond chocolate candies.

I had never missed chocolate candies every after meal. Any kinds of chocolates always stick with me, either one bites or bars.

The most chocolate candy that always in my lunch box was the almond chocolate one bite Hersey's Kisses.

I love Kisses because of the fancy shape with little chunk almonds. It said this shape is a teardrop shape, but the way I see it seems like the top of a baby bottle.

Any way, I am always fascinated by the smooth of the tips, perfectly cute and nice.

This photo below is how the Kisses' tip should be. I bought couple bags months ago, I found almost all tips broken. 

Kisses chocolate just unwrapped.

Even the taste was still the same but they did not look good, aesthetic disturbance of images. And undesired effects was my taste buds got hurt when the crack tips were landing on them.

I was thinking that the sensory was not in taste buds but in my mind only. Then, I just avoided Kisses and grabbed Hersey's Miniatures with many varieties of one bite chocolate flavors in small rectangular shapes. 

The cute and nice tips

Slowly, I am slowing down to chew all those my favorite chocolate candies. The sweetener give me extra calories that I might need them not that much.

Another words, I am trying to watch my weight by reducing sugar intake.

Instead of chewing chocolate candies, I am churning chocolate books. I got one of chocolate books. It does not a cookbook, it is a novel.

A yummy book Chocolate Magic by Zelda Benjamin. This cute book is a kind of light drama, clean romance, and sweet story like a cup of chocolate milk.

A yummy book

Here the summary from the book:

Chloe Brandeau, a magical chocolatier struggles to maintain normalcy in her world that suddenly turned upside down with the inheritance of her aunt's run down apartment building.

When a friend insists that having a man in her life could help, Chloe goes on a series of outrageous dates.

Along comes Ethan Behar, a master of acquisitions with no time for trivial pleasures such as chocolate.

Ethan makes an offer for Chloe's building, but ends up bidding for the one thing not on the market -- Chloe's heart”

Finally, don’t you like chocolate candies?

Friday, July 26, 2019

Do You Prefer Golden than Green Kiwis Fruit?

Golden kiwi

I familiar with green kiwi fruits for long time, but recently, I saw yellow or it is said as “golden” kiwis.

What make me to pay attention is about its skin. Compared to green kiwi, the golden ones have no hair, quite smooth.

When I bought it, few characteristics of the golden kiwi fruit are:
- Flesh is yellowish
- there are seeds, but not so many
- sweeter
- smaller core in the middle

Kiwi fruit brand

Don’t worry so much, both green and golden kiwis are identical in respect to:

- amount of calories (110 calories)
- protein
- fat
- carbohydrates

However, since golden kiwis are sweeter, thus, sugar content little bit higher.

Slices of kiwi fruit

Both green and golden kiwis grow well in the New Zealand. Kiwis, we consumed here in the USA, come from this country.

It is said that both green and golden kiwis are non Genetically Modified Organism (GMO). They are natural cross breeding.

Interestingly, I hardly find green kiwis in groceries such as Wall Mart and farmer market recently.

I wonder whether the golden overtaken the green kiwis. I eat both, actually.

If you ever taste, what do you prefer: green, golden or both kiwis?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

What are signs of the mutant genes in the Early Onset Familial Alzheimer's Disease? - Alzheimer's #6.

Previously, I posted about chromosomes related to the Alzheimer's disease and gene mutations as the genetic marker that lead to this pathological disease.

As we might know that the progressive declined in cognitive functions in Alzheimer's disease are associated with depositions of aggregated protein in form of extracellular plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain.

Early-onset Alzheimer's disease appears about in the thirties and mid-sixties of the age which are characterized by the mutation of single gene in any chromosome in chromosome 1, chromosome 14, and chromosome 21.

Long investigations about the mutant gene that causes abundance of amyloid plaques were conducted, then the scientists found that this gene, the gene encoding amyloid precursor protein (APP), sits in chromosome 21. It's an autosomal dominant.

The mutant genes in another autosomal dominant forms of Alzheimer's disease were in chromosome 1 and 14.

This mutations lead to abnormal Presenilin 1 and Presenilin 2, which modified amyloid precursor protein so that increase amount of toxic form of Aß peptide.

Presenilins are kind of catalytic protease complexes that directly cleave the amyloid precursor protein.

A person who carrying Presenilin mutation shown an alteration different of variant of amyloid beta peptides in the cerebrospinal fluid.

Mutation of presenil 1 and presenil 2 modify processing of amyloid precursor protein the increasingly of particular toxic form of Aß peptide. This mutation suspects a heritable form of Alzheimer's disease.

So, the signs of mutant genes that lead to early onset Alzheimer's disease is prominent amyloid deposit in the brain. The abnormal process of amyloid precursor protein lead to extracellular deposit. The amyloid deposit is characteristic fibrils of amyloid beta peptide.

Here, my fav lady who always make me smile :)

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Cutting Grass in Our Yard during Uncertain Weather

Lawn mower is starting to work

Type of grass that grew on our lawn seems tolerate to heat and drought. The grass also need low maintenance only.

We cut grass down almost routinely, every three weeks during spring and two weeks during summer.

You may know that higher temperature together with length day light causes grass grow fast.
Thus, we need to increase frequency to mow our lawn from every 3 weeks to every two weeks or even every 10 days in the middle of hot temperature.

Because of too heat, F 106 or C 41 degree, we delayed to cut our grass at front and back yards for a while.

Thick and tall grass, but covered by wild weed

Then, storm and hurricane came. We faced windy and rainy for more than a week. Branches fell down everywhere.

Blackout made live inconvenient. Grass grew uncontrollable. Grass looks thick and tall than usual.

Our front lawn after grass cut.

We observed our grass covered by wild weed. Ugly looking. After finding a proper time, then we clean our lawn.

By the way, how many times a month that your grass cut during summer?

Thursday, July 18, 2019

In what chromosomes are the gene mutation related to Alzheimer's Disease? - Alzheimer's #5.

Image 1. Human chromosome with a combination of fluorescence dyes.

In this post, I have two images about chromosomes that related to Alzheimer's disease.

The image 1 above is an artificial line up of chromosome. There are always in a pair to indicate one chromosome is from mother and another one is from father.

Every pair chromosome is arranged based on their number and become a full set of 46 chromosome. This arrangement is called karyotype.

The chromosomes are packages of long string of genes. A gene is a segment of DNA that contain the code for making a particular protein.

To identify for human chromosomes, we can see from the unique banding pattern. Some abnormalities or diseases can be learned from the bands.

Despite of the late onset Alzheimer's dementia causes are still unknown, but the scientists tend to say that it could be by a combination of lifestyle, environmental, and genetic. 

Image 2. Chromosome 19 (Image from US National Library of Medicine)

The specific genes that directly cause the late onset Alzheimer's disease is from Chromosome 19.

The genetic marker of Alzheimer's disease on chromosome 19 is APOE. The mutation in this chromosome cause increases Apolipoprotein E (APOE) that plays a big role in memory ability in aging.

For the early onset Alzheimer's disease comes about a person between thirties and mid-sixties is caused by genetic mutation.

The mutation was in the any one of number of different of single gene in any chromosome with number 1, 14, and 21.

In my opinion, this is one of interesting parts to understand Alzheimer's disease. Isn’t it? 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Have You Tried to Grow Tabasco Peppers in Your Yard?

Tabasco peppers

I plant a couple of Tabasco peppers in my backyard, just for fun. I bought “baby” plants from Walmart nursery.

Tabasco is a kind of chili variety with scientific name Capsicum frutescens. People said the chili come from Mexico.

It is said that Tabasco is good for:
- sauce
- pepper vinegar
- chili powder
- cayenne peppered

Flowers and buds are growing

Tabasco is categorized as medium hot chili in term of Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Scale range is from 30,000 to 50,0000 SHU.

I think that it is quite easy to take care the plants. Just put the plants in a suitable soil (moisture soil) with a little bit organic fertilizer.

Then, watering every day, but avoid too much watering such as not let water standing on the surface of soil.

Peppers are ready to be harvested

Since I start with plant, just take around 20 to 30 days to have the first pepper. If we start from seed, it would take little longer, around 80 to 90 days to get first harvesting.

My plant no more than 40 cm (1.3 feet) tall, but it can reach to 1.5 m (5 feet) tall.

We could see the pepper colors changed: start from green, then turn to yellow, orange and bright red. The red means the fully ripen stage of Tabasco peppers.

Have You Tried to Grow Tabasco Peppers in Your Yard?

Friday, July 12, 2019

Why are Cooked Shrimps Cheaper than Raw Ones?

Cooked shrimps and boiled corns

I went to Tony’s seafood market and deli, the biggest seafood market in my city, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, this morning.

I planned to buy one or two pounds of shrimps to cook with a recipe which I found in a blog.

Just to let you know that Louisiana has several kinds of shrimps. Four commercial values are:
- white shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus)
- brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus)
- seabob shrimp (Penaeus sp)
- pink shrimp (Farfantepenaeus duorarum)

Louisiana produces around 100 million pounds of all kind shrimps per year, mainly from the Gulf of Mexico.

Plastic bags of seafood market and deli

The shrimp industries provided 15 thousand jobs and greatly impact on Louisiana economic. They bring about US$ 1.3 billion annually to Louisiana state.

Cooked shrimps

When I was in the market, I saw both the raw and cooked shrimps. The shrimps either plain cooked or cooked with recipes.

What surprising me was the price. Cooked shrimps are US$ 9.99 per pound, whereas raw ones are US$ 11.99 per pound.

Cooked shrimps are two dollar cheaper than raw ones. Why? I really don’t know the answer.

I decided to buy cooked shrimps together with boiled corn. Ready to go and to eat.

Make me wonder, did you find in your place where cooked things are cheaper than raw things? 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Do you think the Alzheimer's Disease can be passing down from parent to child? - Alzheimer's #4.

(Picture: s3.amazonaws.com)

The exactly causes the Alzheimer's disease are still unknown. Some sources said many factors can contribute to the how this disease begins, and how it grows and develops.

Since the scientists conducted their Human Genome Project, they can decipher the puzzle of of codes in human genes, knowing:
- the sequence of genes
- mapping the location of genes
- and also the linked maps (inherit traits).

Alzheimer's disease was classified into two different onsets:
- The first one is early-onset Alzheimer's disease, the signs and symptoms of the early-onset show up when a person is about between thirties and mid-sixties of ages.

-The second one is late-onset Alzheimer's disease. The signs and symptoms show up when a person is in the mid-sixties of ages.

(Picture: s3.amazonaws.com)

Based on National Institute of Aging at the National Institute Health, the Alzheimer's disease in early onset is one of some inherit genetic disorders.

The early onset Alzheimer's disease can be passed down to the children.

This inherit disease also called autosomal dominant trait. It means one copy of an alter gene that cause a disease or disorder in one person is passed down from one of the affected parent. 

Here the picture of autosomal dominant trait:

A person who has biological mother or father suffers the early onset Alzheimer's disease, this person has 50 percent chance for having
the early onset Alzheimer's disease (Picture: NIH)

Sadly, if a person who has biological mother or father has a gene mutation of the early onset Alzheimer's, this person has 50 percent chance for having a gene mutation.

So, from the diagram above we can see how the genetic disease inherits from generation to the next generation.

Now, let's do math! If a mother (or father) has early-onset Alzheimer's disease has 2 children, one of the two will get Alzheimer's disease. When she/he has 4 children, then 2 of the children will have this disease,

Fortunately, this early-onset Alzheimer's disease is less common. There is 1 person from 10 person who suffer with Alzheimer's disease.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Recreational Fishing in the Coastal areas and Lakes of Louisiana

Ready for fishing

May be, I just once went fishing in the last 15 years, but never using boats to get fish. I just sit on the bridge waiting for fish bites my baits.

Some neighbors and friends have a boat for recreational fishing.

A boat at above belong to my neighbor, they are ready for fishing at one of coastal areas of Louisiana.

They might go a bit far to find best coastal fishing places, few are:
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Mississippi coastal places
- Florida beach areas

Louisiana has several lakes as well that good for recreational fishing, namely:
- Lake Pontchartrain Basin
- Calcasieu Lake
- Lake D’Arbonne
- Toledo Bend Reservoir
- Red River

Fishing recreation boats in lake Pontchartrain basin.

When I travel from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, I pass through the bridge over Lake Pontchartrain Basin.

I saw many fishing boats both belong to real fishermen and fake fishermen.

Fake fishermen refer to recreational and game fishing, include some neighbors and friends.

A catch fish

Lake contains many aquatic animals, they are:
- Fish
- Crustaceans
- Mussels
- Reptiles

Fish species includes:
- Anchoa mitchilli
- Bull shark
- Gulf Sturgeon
- Paddle fishermen
- Flagfin
- Broadstripe

Some crustaceans:
- Ribbon Crawfish
- Plain Brown Craw fish

Mussels live in the lake are:
- Rayed Creekshell
- Elephant-Ear
- Southern Pocketbook
- Southern Hickorynut

We may see reptiles too:
- Alligator
- Snapping Turtle

Off course, we never fishing alligators. We collect crustaceans and mussel with specific gears.

Have you ever fishing by a machine boat in the coastal areas or lakes? 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Why the Free Meals Program could Attract Kids to Come to Library?

A novel with title Sabrina and Corina

I went to library yesterday, check a couple novel out for weekend reading. One of the novel is Sabrina and Corina.

The novel seems about family and life, specifically about Latina in Denver, Colorado.

The picture in the book is an eye catching. Even some people said the cover is not always revealing the content, but I always excited about seeing the cover.

I know, a visualize is very important in some part. The novel (cover) may be seen at above picture.

Then, when I stepped out from the library building I saw one sign at front door on the right side under a Southern Magnolia tree.

The sign is standing a little lower, the adults will be ignoring the sign. In my thought the sign must be for the kids. When the kids walk through they will read it.

Here is the sign:

The sign for kids

I remember when I met a young college professor brought three of her kids to the library for this event last year. She said they had never missed the meals.

She had four reasons to brought her kids for free summer meals in the library:
- Number one, her kids were picky eater.
- Number two, she was so busy to cook fresh and nutritious meals for kids everyday.
- Number three, the kids got used to library and enjoy reading books.
- Number four is about social life, her kids made new friends, talked each others, and played together with them.

Free summer meals for kids are for every kid with 1-18 years of age. This program is a part of Summer Food Service Program.

The program is one of projects administered by Food and Nutrition Service US Department of Agriculture (USDA) that serves in 9 location of libraries and public schools in Baton Rouge.

Meals service times on first come-first served basis while all foods last.

Friday, July 5, 2019

What are Health Benefit of Eating Mango?

A kind of mango sold in groceries

It is start to have mango fruit season in our city, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. No, not local product, but from elsewhere.

Domestic and import mangoes may be come from:
- Florida
- California
- Hawaii
- Puerto Rico
- Brazil
- Peru
- Guatemala
- Mexico

The price as usually start to cheaper and cheaper. Current price is quite expensive, $ 99 cents per mango, but slowly will reduce to $ 10 cents per mango only.

In late August, most groceries store sell a box of mangoes for US$ 3 to US$ 5. One box contains 24 to 36 mangoes.

Fresh mangoes in the boxes

Contradict to USA market, mango in the countries such as Mexico has no seasons. It is mean that we may find mango year round or at any time.

As fruits, mango rich in vitamin. Sure, it also contains carbohydrate and minerals. Let’s see the contents:
- Vitamin (C, A, B6 and E)
- Iron
- Calcium
- Zinc
- Gallotannins
- Mangiferin
- Antioxidants
- Protein
- Low calories and fats

Mango trees in Florida

Mango has some health benefits:
- Improve immune system
- Help heart health
- Stimulate digestive health
- Lower cholesterol level
- Improve skin health
- Possibly to maintain blood sugar

My own reasons to eat mango:
- It could improve my health (improve immunity) during winter
- Make me feel fresh, especially mango juice during summer

Do you like to eat mango? What is your reason?

Tropical Fruits in the USA Markets

Fig 01- Two kinds of tropical fruits If you visit any groceries in the USA, you may easily spot tropical fruits. Banana is the most favorite...