Bonsai Trees Show in the City Garden – Gardening and Hobby 12

Friday, November 20, 2020


Fig 01- A bonsai tree called as weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)

We just visit a kind of bonsai show by our city bonsai society recently. The show was not that big, just less than 100 trees.

Our city bonsai society also presented:

- lectures and demonstrations

- discuss between members and visitors about caring bonsai trees

- sale different types of bonsai trees.

You may be know that bonsai is a small tree by design, not because of genetic. Simple ways to make bonsai are:

- pot confinement

- root reduction

- defoliation

- prune and trim

- wiring and clamping

Fig 02- Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia)

There are many good trees for bonsai, just some of them are:

- pine

- azalea

- olive

- Indian banyan

- Chinese elm

- Fukien tea

- Crape myrtle

- Ficus benjamina

- Pomegranate

- Common beech

Fig 03- Bonsai from variety of plants

In the USA, the most popular tree for bonsai is a pine. It is because:

- pine is easy to shape with a lot of styles

- ever green

- full grown to 40 years

Fig 04- Visitors for bonsai show

The pines for bonsai, mainly come from native:

- New Mexico

- Colorado

It is said that bonsai pine trees is good if we place indoor. They grow well in the constant room temperature, and in position under light.

Do you love bonsai? What kind of bonsai trees?

Vaccine Efficacy Rate Increases from 90% to 94.5% - Virus 27

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Covid 19 vaccine from Pfizer and Biontech companies
(Credit to Health Industry Hub)

Several days ago, we learned that cooperation between Germany pharmacy company, Biontech and USA company, Pfizer produced vaccine to contain coronavirus, Sars Cov 2.

The Pfizer and Biontech provide data of 90% “efficacy” rate of vaccine called BNT162b2 from third clinical trial.

Then, we got second surprise when Moderna announced 94.5% “efficacy” rate of its Covid 19 vaccine.

You might wonder what the meaning of efficacy rate and effectiveness is.

The simple meaning is that:

- the result of treatments (trials) in the ideal and control condition for “efficacy.” 

- the result of treatments (trials) in the real world for effectiveness term.

Moreover, what are differences between Pfizer and Biontech – Pfizer vaccines?

Moderna Covid 19 vaccine (credit to Reuters)

Several advantages of Moderna vaccine (called as mRNA-1273) are:

- can be maintained in the refrigerator with temperature of F –4 (C –20) for 30 days.

- refrigerators are available in the most doctor offices and all drug stores, both in the cities and rural areas.

- easy to deliver

In contrast, Pfizer – Biontech could be maintained 5 days only with the same refrigerator temperatures.

In term of price:

- US$ 38 a dose for Moderna

- US$ 20 a doses for Pfizer – Biontech

However, 90% efficacy for Pfizer – Biontech and 94.5% for Moderna are great performance vaccines so far.

These two vaccines will be produced about 50 million doses at the end of this year (2020) and 1.3 billion doses by next year (2021).

It is expected that these vaccines to have great impact globally, and we will soon back to normal life before pandemic.

Is Spanish Moss Coming from Spain? – Gardening and Hobby 11

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Fig 01- Spanish moss is hanging off the trees

We just aware that there are plenty Spanish moss hanging of the trees on the near by of our jogging paths.

Then, is Spanish Moss coming from Spain? No, the moss is not coming from Spain. It is said, its common in the areas (regions) such as:

- Central America

- South America

- Caribbean

- Mexico

- the USA

In the USA, the moss grows well in the south states, because of moister condition.

The moss is abundant in the states such as Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The moss also may be found from south areas until north states such as Virginia.

Fig 02- We may see Spanish moss attaches to the trunk of trees

How this an epiphyte plant gets foods and water? By using its leaves:

- absorb nutrients from air

- get water from rainfall 

Fig 03- Spanish moss grows on the ground

There are some negative effect of Spanish moss to the host trees:

- thick moss will block sunlight to reach host tree leaves.

- moss may reduce growth rate of trees. 

Fig 04- Moss covers the trunks

However, the Spanish moss will not kill the host trees, because they are not parasites, and just need the trees to support their life span.

Not all trees are attached by Spanish moss, two most favorite hosts are:

- live oaks

- bald cypress

These two trees are common in the southern states of America.

Do you recognize the Spanish moss in the nature? Do they attach your own backyard trees?

Chemothesis - What a Kind of Covid 19 symptom? - Virus 26

Thursday, November 12, 2020


A concrete table with two benches.

We have known that there are a lot of symptoms for whom infected with Covid 19.

Some well known symptoms or common symptoms are:

- headaches

- fatigue

- muscle pain

- joint pain.

- or other persistence of pain related symptoms

For severe infections, the symptoms might be following:

- encephalitis, cause brain inflammation

- Chronic pain, long term pain.

Moreover, you may like to read my relevant previous post about common symptoms for infected persons

- How to Know Someone Infected by Wuhan Virus? - Virus 1.

A cat, just for illustration

Moreover, the strange symptom for me is called chemethesis. It is happen when an infected person almost lost his or her taste sense, but he or she able to detect cool peppermints and chilies.

From “,” the summary of chemethesis is following:

Chemesthesis is defined as the chemical sensibility of the skin and mucus membranes. Chemesthetic sensations arise when chemical compounds activate receptors associated with other senses that mediate pain, touch, and thermal perception. Examples of chemesthetic sensations include the burn-like irritation from chili pepper, the coolness of menthol in mouthwashes and topical analgesic creams, the stinging or tingling of carbonation in the nose and mouth, and the tear-induction of onions.

Hope, no one of us be infected by virus Sars Cov 2. Stay safe, healthy and virus free.

Do You Know a Prickly Cactus Pear? - Food Variety 5

Monday, November 9, 2020

Two of the sweet cactus pears

We just noticed in one of our city groceries “a pear like fruit” on the shelf. The size and shape look like the same with a green pear at glance.

It is called a Prickly Cactus Pear or a sweet cactus pear, with scientific name is Oppuntia engelmanni.

The Prickly Cactus Pears are found a lot in the country or regions of:

- Mexico


- Africa

- Mediterranean areas

- West Indies (the Caribbean islands)

- other regions of arid and semiarid

Some countries grow the fruit for commercial purposes, as an important income source of farmers.

The Prickly Cactus Pears on the grocery shelf

Like green pear, the Prickly Cactus Pears is sweet and may be consumed at raw stage.

The taste is similar to other fruits such as:

- strawberry

- raspberry

It is said that the cactus pear is a healthy fruit. Its contains:

- antioxidants

- fiber

- carotenoids.

Finally, do You Know and have tasted a Prickly Cactus Pear? 

Do Women Heart Beats more than Men? - Heart 9

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Ginger plant, just for illustration

Let us talking the fact that women’s heart is healthier than men’s. Men tend to have heart diseases (coronary artery disease) than women while they are in the young age.

Female estrogen (sex hormone) is believed to alleviate arteries walls to cause the blood flow easily. At this point, It might one reasons why women live longer than men.

After 65 years old, the sex hormone production decrease, then women face the higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, but the risk factors are the same for both men and women.

Some risk factors of heart diseases are:

- high blood pressure

- high cholesterol.

- smoking

Halloween decoration, just for illustration.

Do Women Heart Beats more than Men?

The answer is yes. It is because women heart size is smaller than men, around 66% of men’s size.

The different of heart beat rate average between men and women are:

- 78 to 82 beats per minute for women.

- 70 to 72 beats per minute for men.

Clearly, fact shows that women’s heart beats are faster than men.

Previous posts relate to heart:

What is the Irregular Heartbeats? - Heart 1

Why Sugary Drinks Cause of Heart Diseases? – Heart 2

- What is the Meaning of Cardiovascular Disease? - Heart 3.

Cleaning the Roof as a House Routine Maintaining – Gardening and Hobby 10

Monday, November 2, 2020

Fig 01- Dirty roof, just for illustration

Roof is one of important parts of our house. People do cleaning house roof for many purposes, from just to make look beautiful to prevent from destroying to get good bargain when selling it.

Many of my neighbors call a cleaning roof company to do the cleaning, but few did by themselves.

These chemicals are favorite to clean roof in my neighborhood:

- bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite).

- Sodium Hydroxide.

- or Sodium Percarbonate

Bleach not only clean the roof, but also kill the organisms (micro plants) which attached on shingles.

Two important “micro plants” may destroy our roofs are:

- algae

- mold

Fig 02- Clean roof after washed by bleach

What is different between algae and mold?

Both are living organism. Algae need sunlight to live and grow, while mold does not require sun to survive.

Mold eats material on the roofs, and our roofs to be infected by molds. thus can make shingles rotten over times.

Fig 03- A house roof looks black in color, before cleaned

Our roofs may look “ugly,” because mold produces colors, include:

- black

- gray

- brown

- green

- white 

Fig 04 – Roofs of a house look pretty after cleaning

Many brands of roof cleaners are available in the market, some of them are:

- Thetford

- Dicor

- Propack

- Wet and forget

- Eterna

- Spray and forget

It is easy to clean the roof, first, just spray the shingles with bleach or other brand cleaners, let the solution on the surface for 30 minutes. Then rinse with pressure water.

The result is amazing. Roof looks shining. Please see Figure 02 and 04. Our neighbors did clean their roof every other year.