Which Menus do You Like from Taco Bell Fast Food Restaurants?

Sunday, June 30, 2019
Self order

My last visit to Taco Bell, fast food restaurant was about 3 years ago or may be longer. I remember that we should queued up to order and pick our order.

Queue line was quite long, some times in lunch time. We could spend more than 30 minutes from order to pick up.

I saw at least two self order machines when I visited one of Taco Bell chains recently. Surprising me, automation can’t be avoided every where, here, in America.

Menus, no customer services

In case you never come to Taco Bell restaurants, especially for international friends that there are main menus:
- Tacos
- Buritos
- Quesadilas
- Nachos
- Vegetarian

These menus are Mexican menus with American taste. I always order Nachos, occasionally together with Burritos.

Nachos is Mexican food that found in America only. So, you can’t find Nachos in Mexico. 

Table at the corner

Nacho is a appetizer or snack originally, composed of tortilla chips, then covered with slices cheese.

Taco Bell chains sell what they called as a Nachos Bell Grande, which is the same with original Nacho which consist of tortilla chips, but difference covered.

The cover includes:
- ground beef
- diced tomatoes
- fried beans
- cheese sauce
- sour cream
- sprinkle green onions.

Two self order machines

Burrito is a food with ingredients which wrapped with a tortilla flour. The wrapped is “a closed ended cyclinder.”

Ingridients for US$ 1 Beefy Fritos Burritos are:
- seasoned ground beef
- cilantro rice
- cheese sauces
- fritos corn chips.

If you ever visited Taco Bell restaurant recently, what menus do you like?

Why Tsimane People, Bolivia Have the Healthiest Heart in the World?

Saturday, June 29, 2019
Illustration for Starchy foods (credit to Google)

We knew that Japanese people, especially women have the healthiest heart in the world.

Their slim, drinking green tea sugar free, and eating fish promoted Japanese women for healthy hearts.

Recently, researches found that Tsimane People who live in the Amazon river, Bolivia have healthier heart compared to Japanese women.

If we compare the hearts of Tsimane to American people:
- Hearts of Tsimane people much more health than American average
- 80 years old of Tsimane people similar to health of 50 years old American heart.

Researchers refers to 3 important things that might responsible to Tsimane “excellent” heart conditions:
- Diet
- Physical activities
- Habits

Canoeing is one of physical activities (Credit to Google)

In respect to diet, Tsimane people eat low fat and high fiber foods. They consumed 70% of starchy foods:

- Banana (plantains)
- Rice
- Corn
- Manioc root
- Cassava

Source of protein comes from wild animals. They are hunting for mammals and fishing in the Amazon river for fish.

Banana is one of starchy foods

Tsimane tribe is slim in appearance, thus, obese no exist in the community. It is because they are physically active.

They are going every where such as for hunting, fishing, farming and enjoying by:
- Walking on foot
- Riding bicycle
- Canoeing of small boat
- Swimming in the river

Smoking for illustration only

Another good habit of Tsiname people have that they almost no smoking, thus in addition to hearts, they have healthy lung as well.

Would you like to copy the way of life of Tsimane tribe?

Did Your Place or State Get June Snow this Year?

Thursday, June 27, 2019
June snow in Colorado

Almost all states (49 out of 50 states) of America experienced snow in recent years. Florida was snow free state only.

If we look at data from National Climate Data Center back to a decade or several decades ago, there were 3 states snow free:
- California
- Florida
- Hawaii

In case of Louisiana that the state has snow fall around 0.1 day or two to three hours average in a year.

Moreover, I visited Colorado around May last year. I was surprised of snow in some places close to hills and mountains. Pile of snow was seen near by the streets.

Make me wonder that some areas of several states have snow in the middle of June. At least two states got snow in late June, 2019, they are:
- Colorado
- Montana

Light snow fall in Montana

Colorado got almost 2 feet (61 cm) of snow fall in summer this year, June 22, 2019. The last June snow was recorded almost 100 years ago, June 17, 1928.

Montana, another northern state of America experienced June snow this year. This state even had snow in July last year, 2018.

How about with your area, state or country? Do you experience with summer snow?

Are Thermopolia the First Fast Food Restaurant?

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Thermopolia, a fast food restaurant in the ancient Roman

In modern era, many people believe (arguably) that White Castle is the first fast food restaurant in the world.

It was founded in Wichita, KS in 1921, then developed the chains across America. White Castle has 599 locations in 33 states until recently.

Some menus that the White Castle sells are:
- Slider with egg and cheese
- Hash Brown Nibblers
- Waffle Slider with Sausage
- Chicken rings
- Coffee
- Smoothie
- Many other soft drinks and beverages

One of menus in the White Castle fast food restaurant

Then, several decades after White Castle, two American fast food restaurants, KFC and McDonald open restaurant chains world wide.

These restaurants together with other American restaurants to be multinational corporations and present in almost any countries in the world.

Americans not only export high technologies, but also their tastes across the borders.

KFC menus for illustration only

We may wonder, did fast food and its restaurants invented or created in the modern era? The answer is no.

Ancient Roman is known as the first who invented fast foods and fast food restaurants in the world.

Thermopolia were restaurants to sell hot things that ready to eat. In fact, they sold hamburgers, fish sauces, baked cheeses, hot drinks and many others.

Who are the consumers? Common people, include poor people who have no time to prepare their own food.

Not like modern fast food restaurants, the Thermopolia had small rooms to provide services of take out food only.

It is interesting for me, how about you?

Have You Ever Tasted a Super Hot of Habanero Pepper?

Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Habanero and other peppers

I found many kind of peppers when I visit Mexican and Asian groceries couple days ago, few are:
- Habanero
- Jalapeno
- Poplano
- Pasilla
- Puya
- Serrano

Habanero is interesting hot pepper for me. First, its origin. Many people thought it is a Chinese pepper. Malaysian even called it as “Coronong” chilli.

In fact, Habanero is origin from Peru, then disseminated by Spanish to many parts of the world.

Second, it is said that Habenero is one of the hottest pepper in the world. Several other hot peppers include:
- Caroline reaper
- Trinidad moruga scorpion
- Naga viper
- Ghost pepper
- Komodo dragon

Habanero in a grocery

The hot or heat or spiciness of peppers is scaled in what we call as Scorville Heat Units (SHU). This unit is based on concentration of capsaicinoids in the peppers.

The higher the concentration of capsaicinoids, then the higher the scale units, thus, the higher spiciness or hit or hot. We can feel it in our tongue when we taste or eat those peppers.

Jus for illustration that Habanero has 100 thousand to 350 thousand SHU scale, and Jalapeno has around 5 thousand SHU scale.

We could conclude that Habanero is much more spicy or hot or heat compared to Jalapeno.

We buy Habanero for making sauces or ingredient in our food recipes. Sometimes, we use it to make salsa or salads.

It is said that Habanero has health benefits:
- Capcaisin in habanero could prevent weight gain
- Improve metabolism
- Lower blood cholesterol
- Lower blood pressure

Have You Ever Tasted a Super Hot Habanero Pepper? 

Why Neon Tetra Fish is Good For Aquarium?

Monday, June 24, 2019
A neon tetra in aquarium

I occasionally visit pet shops which sell ornamental fish, in case I visit, I always see that the stores provide tetra neon (Paracheirodon innesi).

Super market such as Wall mart, in its garden section or section of pet foods for cat and dogs, we can find fish for aquarium, include neon tetra.

There are many species of ornamental fish, price could be from US$ 1 to US$ 25. Some species of fish are:

- Neon tetra
- Platy
- Kissing gouramy
- Fancy guppy
- Zebra danio
- Swordtail
- Guppies
- Oscar
- Discus
- Bettas

Schooling of Neon tetra in aquarium

What make me wonder is that I could find Neon tetra in every pet shops for ornamental fish or any shops which sell ornamental fish.

The question then, Why Neon Tetra Fish? is Good For Aquarium?

Based on reading, neon tetra is the most popular ornamental fish not only in the USA, but also world wide. The reasons are:

- Reasonable price
- Easy to take care, thus good for beginner
- Colorful or pretty
- Peaceful
- Lively

Tetra neon in natural habitat

Peru or Latin America is natural habitat of Neon tetra. The fish is easy to keep in an aquarium. Around 20 fish may live in a small aquarium.

In nature, neon tetra has life span of 10 years, but 5 years in aquarium. Size around 1 inch (2.54 cm). Fish eat any flake foods.

Do you have an aquarium? What fish you keep in your aquarium?

Do You Like Paper Map Instead of Digital One?

Friday, June 21, 2019
Paper map sold in bookstores

I just wonder, why many book stores sell “paper map,” since we may get digital map from Google free of charge.

Printed paper map out of date some times, while digital map is up to date and validated regularly.

We experienced lost when we went to several cities few years ago, it was because street name changed but not validated by paper map.

We could use many programs or applications to find addresses easily now days, few of them are:
- Google map
- Cell phone

Google map

Google digital map is interactive:
- We can zoom in or zoom out
- We could search additional information during our traveling such as from nearby gas station to hotel, from rest area to public park
- We also could find alternative routes.

Through Google map, we may send our addresses or destination or directions (from starting point to end point) to our cell phone.

Google will follow our travel. She knows where are we or our position in the map. If we get lost or confuse, we may ask her.

Road Atlas printed in 2019

Since paper map or road atlas still be printed in 2019, I assumed that demand for paper map is exist now days.

I saw the cheapest price is US$ 2.75 and highest price is US$ 9.92. The map covers either a city or a country. The map is for traveling purposes.

Even though the prices are quite reasonable, but we need to spend the money to have it.

By the way, which one you prefer: printed map or digital (google) map?

Who are the stars of Renaissance Artists? - Part 1

Thursday, June 20, 2019
Mary with her child, sculptured by Michelangelo

As we know that Renaissance is revival period for many fields: science, literature, philosophy, music and off course art.

In the field of art, at least there were 50 more recognized artists in this period. The question then: Who are the stars of Renaissance Artists?

The answer may be 4 or 3. My favorites are three, they are:
- Michelangelo
- Leonardo da Vinci
- Raphael.

Michelangelo was well known as architect, sculptor and painter. One of his monumental work was "Madonna of Bruges."

This sculpture of Mary and her child is “the very core of Christianity,” since it refers to “virgin Mary and son Jesus together.”

Sculpture was created in Italy, then exported to Belgium around 1504. Some other iconic works accomplished by Michelangelo are:

- David
- Pieta
- Moses
- Bacchus
- Angel
- The creation of Adam


Bacchus sculpture is made of marble in 1496 – 1497. The nude statue represents god of wine from Roman mythology.

At early time, this statue drew controversy, because god was posed in drunken (rolling eyes and walking in lack of balance) by Michelangelo.

In fact, Bacchus is associated with love of grape (wine), ecstasy and madness. 

Creation of Adam

Michelangelo depicted “creation of Adam” based on Biblical narrative in 1508 – 1512. It has been “iconic of humanity.”

Painting of the “creation of Adam” has been replicated and reproduced in many forms worldwide.

Have you seen art works of Michelangelo in Italy?