How many Sand Dunes in the USA?

Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Great Sand Dunes National Park

By seeing at above image you might think it is a Middle East country scenery or Sahara Desert or other tropical countries view.

No, it is a Colorado image, the state I consider as one of northern part of USA with colder temperature.

The dunes called as “Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve” with area size is 603.1 km2 (232.9 mile2).

Many people come there to explore this desert, about a half million (500,000) visitors to explore the area every year.

What they have done in the desert? Some activities are:
- watching sky in the night
- observing cranes migration during Spring and Fall
- Sledding and Sand boarding
- Riding horse
- Hiking
- many mores

Then, How many Sand Dunes in the USA? At least, there are seven sand dunes include in Colorado. Other 6 sand deserts are:

- Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Death Valley, California
- Dumont Dunes, California
- Oregon Sand Dunes National Recreation Area, Oregon
- Algodones Dunes, California
- The Outer Banks, North Carolina and Virginia.
- White Sands National Monument, New Mexico.

Have your state or country own sand dunes and deserts?

Did you Go to Groceries During Self Quarantine Periods? - Virus 8

Saturday, April 18, 2020
Sign to keep distance for 6 feet apart

We are in the order of “self quarantine” or stay at home almost in the 6th week in the USA (varied state by state).

Off course, we went outside for very important purposes, include to buy food from groceries and refill medicines from drug stores.

We went to the grocery three times only. At the first and second visits, we found crowd but hardly found the following items:

- hand sanitizers
- flour and baking yeasts
- canned foods
- soaps
- disinfectant
- toilet papers
- supplements (vitamin and minerals)

Empty buyers, but many items to buy.

It was might be due to panic buying and eagerness to stockpiles as many products as possible.

Third shopping was in the fifth week of stay at home order. Surprisingly, we found almost empty store, no shoppers outside and inside the grocery.

Luckily, the products sold are quite normal in term of quantity and variety, and we could easily spot the products in the our list. 

Fruit and vegetable.

We read from several mainstream medias, some favorites items in the recent weeks are:
- entertainments relate items include puzzles and games
- beard trimmers
- hair clippers
- hair color

We just focus on normal daily need such as food, fruit and vegetable. Yes, we are adding our list to Covid-19 protection relate items.

How about you? Did yo go shopping during stay at home periods? 

The Fastest Test for Covid-19 with 5 Minutes Result - Virus 7

Tuesday, April 14, 2020
T he new fastest test PCR machine based technology
(credit to Abbott)

Now, one of giant American health care companies, Abbot Laboratories developed new test devices called “ID Now Covid-19” for detection of Covid-19 infection.

The device is based on “real-time (RT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology.” The technology is widely used for nucleic acids detection from virus.

Actually, two approaches to detect Covid-19:
- immuno-assays, test by detecting protein which is contained by virus
- moleculer (nucleic acid) tests to recognize genetic code of virus.

The “ID Now Covid-19” test is a machine with technology of nucleic acids to detect virus genetic code, especially for SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The size is quite small, like toaster with weight of 6.6 pound (3 kg). Since it is small size and portable, then, every physician offices may have one in the near future.

Sample from nasal or throat passages

The simple procedures are following:
- A sample from passages of throat or nasal
- A sample then inserted into Abbot “ID Now Covid-19” test machine
- wait for several minutes.

The accuracy of test is higher compared to previous machines. Result may be known for several minutes:
- 5 minutes for a positive test
- 15 minutes for a negative test.

Hope, this kind of machine could provide the tests for who needs, not only in the USA but also all over the world.

Previous posts related to virus:

Why Small Lawn Mower Produces Smoke?

Sunday, April 12, 2020
Smoke comes out from machine

When I cut grass on my yard with my small lawn mower, the problems always the same:
- smokes come out
- when I stop the engine, then machine oil was leaking into filter or prime bulb

In case of cloud (smokes), it is said (from internet searching) few possibilities:
- Oil in the chamber is too much.
- Oil leaking when tilting the lawn mower to the filter or prime bulb
- engine is too hot.

Previously, whatever possibilities, I always face with two choices: bring it to a repairman or just simply buy a new one.

Since cost to fix machine almost equal to new one, I usually buy new one for several times.

My front yard

Recently, I found the answer why my lawn mower produces cloud, it is related to over full oil and leaking oil. 

I used to run the smoked engine until it stops, then re-start, stop, re-start it up and stop totally. 

But now, after stopping the smoked engine, I let the engine cooling down for a while. Draining some oil out. Check the oil level by available dipstick.

Drying the lawn mower under the sun for 15 minutes. Push red prime button for several times, and start the engine. It works

I am happy with my yard lawn mower now. I fixed the problem. Hope, it would work well at least for this year.

Will We Have Hantavirus Outbreaks or Pandemic? - Virus 6

Thursday, April 9, 2020
A case of Hantavirus infection in China

People was quite “hysteria” when knew there is another virus, Hantavirus infection in addition to Covid-19.

The news was spread around the globe by Chinese English newspaper, Global Times about two weeks ago, exactly in the middle of Coronavirus pandemic.

The question then, Will We Have Hantavirus Outbreaks or Pandemic? Before answer the question, let’s know the first infection history.

We knew Hantavirus during Korean war, 1951 – 1953. The virus caused:
- dead to 190 American soldiers
- infected other 3,000 American soldiers

The infection was transmitted from rodents to human through:
- less likely by biting
- feces
- saliva
- urine

Hantavirus transmission from mouse to human
(credit to Herald journalism)

A reported said that fatality rate due to Hantavirus is about 38%, very much higher compared to Covid-19, around 3% to close to 10% in many places.

Yes, it is serious and dangerous. However, there is “little” possibility to be outbreaks or pandemic with at least 5 reasons:

1) No infection through human to human recorded until recently.
2) Not all mice carry Hantavirus
3) house mice and roof rats have never known to infect people with Hantavirus
4) limited people only contact to mouse that carries Hantavirus
5) Early infected persons can be treated better and likely cured in the intensive care

Hope, one dead case of Hantavirus infection in Yunnan province, China on March 2020 will not spark to all over the world.

Solvang is One of Danish Towns in America

Tuesday, April 7, 2020
One side of Solvang town

I knew Danes have settled in northern parts of America. They are easily found in the states such as:
- North and South Dakota
- Illinois
- Iowa
- Wisconsin
- Michigan

It is interesting to know that Solvang is Danish town in Santa Ynez valley, Santa Barbara, California. The reason to live in California was to avoid harsh winter in northern part.

Solvang is Danish word for sunny field, the town has 5,900 population with European tastes and influences.

This beautiful “little village” is a kind of gateway to see Danish early settlement in California.

The town is small enough to walk around for two or three hours, especially at the weekend, and enjoy peaceful setting of historic Denmark heritages.

We may found authentic Danish products if stop by in the:
- bakeries (sell Danish pasteries, bread and decorated cakes)
- souvenir shops
- antique shops
- museums
- candle shops
- many small shops
- a lot of restaurants

In specific days, we may “watch” parades and shows such as car show, include classic cars.

Have you visited Solvang or any Danish town in America?

The Roles of Incretin Hormones for Diabetes Patients - Diabetes 22

Friday, April 3, 2020
Fig 01- Incretin hormone in the body (credit to Wiley Online Library)

We just mentioned little bit about Incretin Hormones in the previou post, How Lipotoxicity Relate to Diabetes? - Diabetes 6 | Tanza Erlambang Update

This hormone is created to trigger our body to respond to food intake. Our body has two kind of Incretin Hormones:
- GLP 1 (Glucagon Like Peptide 1)
- GIP (Gastric Inhibitory Peptide)

When we are eating foods, our gut produce GLP 1 to stimulate beta cells in pancreas to produce insulin and our body to decrease appetite.

In case of appetite decreasing, there is involvement of the mechanisms of brain – gut responses. The responses include by increasing of energy expenditure.

Scientists may exploit this mechanism by designing specific drugs and foods to treat metabolic diseases and over weight people.

Other roles of GLP 1:
- influence gut motility
- inhibit secretion of gastric acid
- inhibit secretion of glucagon.

Fig 02- Bell peppers. Spicy vegetable

Fig 03- Cheese in the grocery. Illustration

In respect to diabetes, GLP 1 has several functions:
- inhibit releasing of post-prandial glucagon
- slow down the stomach emptying
- the most important is increasing insulin sensitivity.

We will discuss little bit about GIP (Gastric Inhibitory Peptide) by next post.

Other diabetes relate posts: