Monday, January 14, 2019

Houses with Price of One Dollar?

House for US Dollar one, credit to Aria Bendix

Yes, you could have a house with one of US dollar equal to value of 0.87 Euro. Why so cheap? It is because a lot of houses are abandoned by their owners. The city of Gary, Indiana decreased their population from 178 thousand in1960 to 76 thousand currently, decrease more than a half.

More than 30% of houses no ownership, thus the city tried to sell the empty houses with a single dollar only.

Gary city, Indiana is not far from busy city of 2.7 million population, Chicago, Illinois. Driving will takes around 30 minutes or US$ 5 for one way bus ticket.

The city seems don’t get profit for selling abandoned houses, the main purposes is to attract new residents to make city more prosperous. Neighborhoods will sustainable with new business development.

New resident no need to pay expensive mortgages like in many US cities, but they need to pay utilities and taxes. Revenue could be used to pay city debt of US$100 million.

However, US$1 houses are not ready to move in, you need to repair them. Repairment cost much cheaper than buy new houses.

Do you excite to buy one?

Friday, January 11, 2019

Can Your Dog Get Depressed?

Depressed dog, credit to Sarah Knapton

Can Your Dog Get Depression? The answer is yes. Like human beings, dog may get depressed as well. Clear signs of depressed dogs are (Mitrokostas, 2018) :
- changes in sleep patterns than usual
- no appetite to eat
- withdrawn behaviors
- licking and chewing a lot
- less wagging the tail

Knapton (2017) adds that common symptoms of depresion are “being less playful, followed by being less sociable with people, restlessness, decreased appetite, and interacting less with other dogs.”

The question then, what cause dogs depression? The main factor is that disruption of their routines or major changes in their daily activities. The disruptions or major changes may lead to their mood problems.

Some disruptions or major changes that may cause dog depressed are:
- change ownership
- long period of enclosure
- changes in daily rules

How to overcome your depressed dogs? Some experts suggested to make your dogs as comfortable and healthy as possible. Your friendly attitudes and an extra attention will help too. Just simple!

You may like to read:


References
Knapton, S. 2017. How to spot if your dog is depressed, and what you can do about it. The Telegraph. Retrieved from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/ science/2017/07/20/spot-dog-depressed-can-do/

Mitrokostas, S. 2018. Signs your dog might be depressed, according to an expert. Retrieved from https://www.msn.com

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Formal Elements of the Painting

The Starry Night (Source: Puchko, 2015)

          One of my favorite work of art is painting. There are two basic forms of styles in painting, they are representational and abstract. Three well known representations are realism, naturalism and illusionism. Then, generally speaking, there are two abstracts style that are non-representational and expressionism.
          I interested with Vincent van Gogh works of art. As mentioned by Artble (2016) that Vincent van Gogh was famed for his bold, dramatic brush strokes which expressed emotion and added a feeling of movement to his works
          Then, his paintings style may be included as one of the post-impressionist paintings. It is branch of representational style. This style is rejecting to depict observed world, but the world is depicted based on memories and emotions in order to connect with the viewers on a deeper level.
          One of Van Gogh famous painting is “the starry night”. Please see at above. Visual qualities make this item (The Starry Night) my favorite is that this painting portray a beauty of nature in different way or unusual manner. Painting looks realistic but not actually realistic at the same time. This is an example of post-impressionist paintings. Yellow is dominant, even at night. In addition, there are plenty of “halos” made me curious.
          Finally, as described by Puchko (2015) that village in “the starry night” cannot be seen from window of Van Gogh during his live in Saint-Paul Asylum, Saint-Rémy, France. The village might be “creative village” only, based on his memory of his homeland, the Netherland.


References
Artble. 2016. Vincent Van Gogh Style and Technique. Retrieved from    http://www.artble.com/artists/vincent_van_gogh/more_information/style_and_technique
Puchko, K. 2015. 11 Things You Didn't Know About 'The Starry Night'. Retrieved from        http://mentalfloss.com/article/62621/11-things-you-didnt-know-about-starry-night


Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Different Between Stonefish and Japanese Fugu

Stonefish (left) and Japanese fugu (right)

At my previous article (Stonefish: Venomous Spikes, but Delicious Meat), some friends confused between two venomous fishes, stonefish and Japanese fugu. Sure, they have different scientific names, organs source of poisonous and the way of handling their poisonous.

Scientific genus for stonefish is Synanceia, while famous genus of Japanese fugu is Takifugu. The most poisonous and prestigious fugu called torafugu translated to tiger blowfish in English.

Spikes, 13 spikes are venomous parts of stonefish; thus, sting is the way of poison to penetrate human body. Japanese fugu has a liver as the most poisonous organ, and there are some other venomous parts as well, include skin, ovaries and eyes.  

Certificate to sell and buy of Japanese fugu, credit to Natrainner

Toxic for Stonefish is Verrucotoxin, whereas Tetrodotoxin is poison for Japanese fugu. Tetrodotoxin is more dangerous than cyanide, measured by 1200 times deadly compared to cyanide. Exposure to Tetrodotoxin by “a pinhead” could kill an adult in hours.

Handling of both stonefish and Japanese fugu needs the special chef. Since the most dangerous, it is tough to get license to sell and buy Japanese fugu. Like going to college, training is rigorous and could be 4 years. Long hours of training, but not everybody will pass and get certificate.

In term of price, stonefish price is US$30 per-kg (US$15 per-pound) in the American grocery. I don’t know any restaurants offer stonefish dishes. As far as I remember, Japanese fugu dish is 5 thousand yen (US$45). 

However, through Google searching, the price of Japanese fugu dishes could range as cheap as US$9 to as expensive as US$200.

I love many Japanese foods such as Sushi, Onigiri, Okonomiyaki, Kare raisu, Ramen, Yakitori and Udon. But not fan of poisonous Puffer fish or Stonefish, and not raw fish. 

Read Also:

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Stonefish: Venomous Spikes, but Delicious Meat

Stone fish sold in an ethnic grocery

I saw Stonefish, an ugly and venomous creature in an ethnic grocery several days ago. Stonefish’s spikes are most deadly spikes compared to other fish. The venom called as verrucotoxin is a neurotoxic venom which could kill an adult by an hour. 

At least, the venom results in extreme pain to the people. Body reaction may in forms of heart failure and severe shocks. Wounded can’t be healed for long time, goes months, and even years for some cases. 

Sashimi of Stonefish, credit to Shaira Luna

I ask to the grocery employees, why they sell the Stonefish. One clerk said that it is because of deliciousness. The answer was quite surprising me, I never expected that venomous fish is a good food for eating.

I am googling, the outcomes: wow, the fish is one of favorites menus in several Asian countries. The people over there either fry or boil the fish, then mixed with special seasoning. Look very delicious.

Japanese is eating raw Stonefish as sashimi, namely “Okoze.” Special chef needed to prepare this kind of sashimi. In case you don’t know, sashimi is a slice of raw fish eaten with special “seasoning,” usually wasabi paste and sauces.

I love sushi, sushi with salmon or fish eggs, but never eat sashimi when I was in Japan long time ago. I just know that Okoze sushi also sold here in America. 

In nature, the fish lives in Pacific and Indian oceans. There are 5 species, namely Synanceia alula, S. horrida, S. nana, S. platyrhyncha and S. verrucose. The size very much depends on species, the range of weigh is 1 to 5 pound (0.5 to 2.5 kg) and length size is around 14 to 20 inches. 

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Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Small Size of Coconut Tree

Young green coconut attached on a dwarf tree

Naturally, coconut trees (Cocus nucifera) could reach 60 ft (20 meter). Not only difficult to harvest, but also dangerous of falling the fruits. Hundreds of people dead every year due to falling of coconuts. Higher compared to be killed by lightning and shark.  

Biologists have successfully created hybrids by crossing tall and dwarf varieties with result of shorter trees. In addition to small size (less than 2 meter height) that the fruits could be picked easily, and the trees produce quicker. 

Water and flesh of young coconut

Shorter plant takes 2 to 4 years for producing, whereas the taller varieties need 5 to 9 years to produce fruits after planting. The advantage of dwarf trees that they have more coconuts per year than taller ones. However, shorter trees have life span around 25 years only, while taller ones up to 100 years. 

Here, in the USA, the ethic groceries sell brown and green outer skin coconuts. The green is young coconut for fresh consumption. People drink the water and eat the flesh (meat) of young coconuts.

Brown refer to mature coconut. People used older fruit for many purposes, include for source of cooking oil, beauty products (skin moisturizer and softener, prevent wrinkle and improve skin elasticity) and source of medicine (treats skin burns and blisters, and prevent infections).  

Coconut contains good medium chain triglyceride of saturated fat (raising good cholesterol), magnesium, protein, highly potassium, iron and number of vitamins (K, B-6, E and C). It is believed that consume coconut water and flesh may promote good functions of muscle, digestive system and heart contractions.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

When Will Cashiers Extinct?

Counter without cashier

Many jobs have disappeared in recently and many more in next 10 years in America. If they are existing, they might be in different fashions. There are many reasons, some of them are cheap labor costs elsewhere, immigration and consumer tastes. 

However, the most reason is automation or high technology to conduct service and produce consumer goods. Several jobs are predicted to be extinct soon include postal workers, jewelers, telemarketers, cashiers, manufacturing workers and even farmers. 

A digital receipt, credit to Walmart

Since last years, we saw more than 80% counters are without cashiers in Walmart, the biggest grocery store in the USA. It is mean that we must check out by ourselves. The system made difficult for us at first, but we are getting familiar now.

We not only pay electronically for groceries, but also could get digital copy of purchase receipt by registration at Walmart Supercenter. No receipt paper and might save tropical trees for future generations. In this sense, automation is good for us.