How much income is considered poor in the USA?

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Rich and poor gap wider, credit to Elisabeth Mutschlechner

          Per capita income is measured by dividing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by total population for specific period in a country. The period should be yearly. USA per capita income is considered higher in the world.
          Based on International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported in 2018, USA ranked 9th in the world in term of nominal GDP per capita. Top 10 countries with average income in US$ are following:
1. Luxembourg (US$ 120 thousands)
2. Switzerland (US$ 87 thousands)
3. Iceland (US$ 85 thousands)
4. Macao SAR (US$ 84 thousands)
5. Norway (US$ 83 thousands)
6. Ireland (US$ 81 thousands)
7. Qatar (US$ 66 thousands)
8. Denmark (US$ 64 thousands)
9. USA (US$ 62 thousands)
10. Singapore (US$ 61 thousands)

          Now, back to the question: How much income is considered poor in the USA? The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determine poverty line for two categories in 2019, they are individual and household.
          Person be included as poor if his or her income below US$ 12,490 per year, and US$ 25,750 of annual income for household of four (mom, dad and two children) is considered under poverty line.
          Since cost of living is varies between one state to another state, then each state has own poverty line. The state of Alaska poverty line for individual is US$ 15,600 and US$ 14,380 for Hawaii. In term of household, New York has poverty line of US$ 29,016 for household of four, higher than national average. Mississippi has lower poverty line for household of four which is US$ 21,686.

How much annual income to be considered poor in your country or state?

Why Chocolate Coat Dogs Live Shorter?

Sunday, February 10, 2019
Cute chocolate puppies, credit to Mychelle Blake

Dog lifespan is between 10 – 13 years, while the breed called Labrador has lifespan of 10 – 14 years or average of 12 years. Actually, not longer than human. This bred is popular in America, UK and Canada. Interestingly, the lifespan of Labrador depends on colors very much.

The Labradors with chocolate coat have shorter lifespan or less than 12 years average compared to other colors such as yellow and black. The question is: Why? There are two reasons: first, physically that chocolate Labradors tend to get ear infection, obesity, joint conditions and skin diseases (hot spots).

Second that chocolate coats have narrow “gene pool” genetically. The fact that chocolate color is recessive, thus to get chocolate color offsprings, breeders tend to breed both parents (a mature male and female) which have chocolate colors. The reducing of gene pool is believed to lead to dogs health problems.

Moreover, three colors that are black, yellow and chocolate are popular in the world. Five colors: fox red, white, black, yellow and chocolate are common breeds in the USA and some extends to Canada.

In respect to colors, all colors of Labradors are kindly and to be one of favorite dogs for children. They could be trained easily. Quite surprisingly, both owners and breeders notice that chocolate Labradors are little bit difficult to follow or obey rules and certain instructions. They are could be categorized as disobedient compared to other dog colors.

Do you believe it? 

What is Painting Stylistic of Baroque?

Friday, February 8, 2019
Figure. One of Baroque style of art, painted by Caravaggio, credit to WUBR

Baroque style started in around 1600 in Rome, Italy, then spread to Europe continent. The style was initiated by the Catholic Church to respond to the Protestant reformation, where the style had to be more forceful, more emotional and with a greater realism. Then, Baroque style influenced artists in painting, sculpture and architecture.
Art Encyclopedia (2016) listed prominent artists of Baroque style, some of them are Diego Velazquez, Rembrandt, Caravaggio and Carlo Maratta (paintings); Giovanni Bernini, Juan Martines Montanes and Jorg Zurn (Sculptures); and Christopher Wren, John Vanbrugh and Balthasar Neumann (architecture). An example of painting from Caravaggio as one of Baroque artists could be seen at above Figure.
Caravaggio is nickname for Michelangelo Merisi who developed Baroque in style form known as “lights and dark.The style was developed in 1600’s as the mark of ending of Renaissance style era.
The Caravaggio paintings are characterized by darkness as background, and then spot light on the figures. As of above painting, we don’t see architectures, landscapes or views as background. We just see girl and boy as spot figures.
Caravaggio's style was not very accepted, especially from religious communities in Italy, because his models are coming from common people such as from street, farming or brothels. His style influenced over European artists includes Spanish, Dutch and French at early times. Then, respected by Italian artists of next generations.
Art Encyclopedia. 2016. Baroque Art. Retrieved from http://www.visual-arts-

What are Important Species of American Fresh water fish?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Large mouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), Credit to Texas Park and Wildlife
If you like fishing in freshwater, there are many attractive fish species include economic ones in the river, stream or lake. Some of them are:
1.Large mouth bass
4. Black Crappie
5.Rainbow trout
We could catch Large mouth bass with size of 4-10 pounds (2 – 5 kg) weight and from three or four inches length. This kind of fish could be found in a river and a lake. If we lucky enough, we could find schooling of Large mouth bass in the middle of lake. Large mouth bass is good for eating. Taste is depend on how we cook it. Overall, the taste is delicious.

Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), credit to WDFW
The bluegill is also called as brim, bream, or copper nose with scientific name Lepomis macrochirus. In nature, the fish lives in streams, rivers or lakes. The size is around 3 pound (1.5 kg) weight, perfect size for barbecue. 
Sunfish is look like Bluegill, I think it is because they are the same genus that is Lepomis. Then, black crappie also has the shape similar to sunfish and bluegill. They are the same family of Centrarchidae (read with sound: sin-tr-ark-i-day).

Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), credit to Idaho Fish and Game
Other common freshwater fish is rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is cold water fish, usually found in the shallow river of northern part of America. We could fish rainbow trout around December or January each year. The size around 2 kg weight.

Does Oarfish As a Precursor to Tsunami and Earthquake?

Sunday, February 3, 2019
Giant oarfish, credit to Pinterest

Fish with size of 3.5 m length and 4 m length are found in different locations in Japan. This marine creature called as Oarfish with scientific name Regalecus glesne, could reach 17 m length and 270 kg, is rare in nature.

Oarfish or king of herring that appearing on beach (last January, 2019) of Toyama and Imizu, Japan could mean many things. Japan people, based on their mythology believed that Oarfish bring messages from sea god or “Ryugu no tsukai.” It is a harbinger of tsunami and a powerful earthquake.

Based on the fact that 2011 Tohoku earthquake, then followed by tsunami caused around 19 thousand Japanese death. Prior the disaster, more than 10 Oarfishes washed up near by Tohoku in 2010. The disasters even occurred far away in Chile, Haiti and Taiwan.

Is it true? Is there relationship between Oarfish and eartquake or tsunami? It is fact that in addition to rarity, Oarfish also live under sea, from 500 m to 1000 m from ocean surface, deep down to the sea floor. Sighting of Oarfish on the beach is extraordinary event.

Many factors caused Oarfish to swim up to the beaches. Oarfish and other creatures which live close to sea bottom are responsive to movement of faults. Another reason that poor physical conditions drive Oar to come up to the surface.

Thus, It is possible that Oarfish is “messenger of sea god” to foretell the earthquake and tsunami. Do you believe it?

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Friday, February 1, 2019
Risk factors of type 2 diabetes, credit to topsimages

Type 2 diabetes is a form of diabetes occurs when blood sugar (glucose) increases than normal level (in-controlable) in our body, also called as hyperglycemia. More than 400 million people are living with this type of diabetes in the world in 2015.

In the USA, there are around 30.3 million people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2015, and more than 80 million are in stage of pre-diabetes. The number are estimated will be increase both in America and world in coming years.

How people could get type 2 diabetes? Body doesn’t use insulin effectively. To respond to this condition, pancreas produces more insulin than usual. Day by day and at the some point, pancreas ability to produce insulin decreasing, thus blood glucose can not be keep at normal level in the body.

Some risk factor of type 2 diabetes are following:
* Excess weight
* Physical in-activity
* Poor diet

Other factor could stimulate type 2 diabetes are older age, genetic or family history, certain ethnicity and high blood pressure. However, in term of age, children also got type 2 diabetes.

We could conclude that there are two kinds of risk factors: non-modifiable and modifiable. Please see at figure above.

Dangerous Volcanoes in America

Mount St.Helena,Washington State, credit to

We almost not aware that volcano eruptions also occur in the northern hemisphere. Mount St.Helena in Washington State, USA has erupted at least 5 times in 1980s. The eruptions cause 57 people died, thousand animals suffered and damaged of hundred miles of forests. The explosion is most destructive and deadliest in the American history.

About 21 explosions in 1990s. Occasional eruptions occurred until 2008. Then, no eruptions but volcano still active until recently.

Another dangerous volcano mountain in the USA is Mount Hood, northern Oregon. The mount last erupted in 1700, but volcano still active. It is estimated that if explode event in small eruption will cause serious danger.

Actually, Mount Kilauea, Hawaii also American active volcano, but I don’t consider located in northern hemisphere. Mount St.Helena, Mount Hood and Mount Kilauea are three of the among most dangerous active volcanoes in the world. Other volcanoes include:
- Cotopaxi, Ecuador
- Mount Vesuvius, Italy
- Mayon Volcano, Philippines
- Mount Merapi, Indonesia

Some Feature Comparisons of 1G to 4G in Mobile Telephones

Mobile phone, just for illustration, credit to pragativadi
Since first generation in 1980’s, mobile telephone has evolved from 1G to 4G, and even 5G is coming soon worldwide. The improvement from 1G to 4G is relating to transmission band, frequency band and services.
The development of Mobile telephone is not only to its technology, but also increasing number of its users. As mentioned by Sharma (2013) that the number of mobile cellular subscribers are four times than fix telephone lines, and the trend is increasing in recent years. Thus, technology efficiency is important.
The new generation of Cell Phone bring new technology and high data rates than the older generation (Agrawal et al, 2015). The increasing of wireless phone is following by highly requirement for better features and standard uses.
In respect to Standards used and Features, the different of Mobile Telephones 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G are following (Agrawal et al, 2015 and Sharma. 2013): 
1)Analog system

1)Voice only, no data communication
2)Slow speed and low capacity
3)Less secure

1) Enhanced efficiency
2) Improved system capacity
3) Voice and data services.
4) Enhanced security

1) does not support high data rates
2) Weaker digital signal.
3)Unable to handle complex data.
1)Supports multimedia
2)Value added services like television, GPS and video conferencing.
3)High speed internet
4) Increased capacity.

1)Expensive Cost of upgrading 3G devices
2)Power consumption is high.
3)Expensive base station
1)High efficiency and High voice quality.
2)Easily access internet, streaming media etc
3)Simple protocol architecture.
4)Efficient multicast/broadcast.

1)Higher data prices 2)very expensive and hard to implement
3)Complex hardware. 4)Power usage is more.

Agrawal, J., Patel, R., Mor, P., Dubey, P and Keller, J.M. (2015). Evolution of Mobile Communication Network: from 1G to 4G. International Journal of Multidisciplinary and Current Research Vol.3 (Nov/Dec 2015 issue). Pp.1100-1103
Sharma. P. (2013). Evolution of Mobile Wireless Communication Networks-1G to 5G as well as Future Prospective of Next Generation Communication Network. International Journal of Computer Science and Mobile Computing Vol.2 Issue. 8, August- 2013, pg. 47-53

Seasonings of Indonesian Food Sold in America

Several seasoning from South East Asia

When I visited Asian groceries, I always buy traditional food from South East Asian regions such as Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Some of foods are ready to eat and fresh, mainly baked and fry dishes or cakes. Many foods are dried and preserved foods. Several frozen foods include fruits are also available.

I like to use shrimp paste from Philippine and Malaysia to make foods have aromatic smell and delicious taste.

I sometimes cook traditional foods, it is easy because there are many seasonings that are ready to be used. We just prepare beef, chicken or fish, then mixed it with seasoning. Easy and quick.

Some available seasonings for making dishes called: rendang, nasi goreng, rawon, opor ayam, soto ayam and chicken curry. At least I have something to eat, thus no need to miss traditional dishes because of these seasonings.

As an example, one of my favorites is “Beef Rendang.” If we cook based on traditional recipes, then would take hours. By using Rendang seasoning, we just need to prepare boneless beef, boiled its with seasoning for a while. The result is smell like traditional ones and off course very delicious.

Just try it !

Painting Stylistic of Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo (Part-1)

Thursday, January 31, 2019
Figure. One of most famous painting by Raphael created in 1511 (Source: Anirudh, 2014).
          We may hear the word of “revolution” or dramatic changes in every aspect of life: social, political, cultural, science and technology, and even work of arts. Uniquely, artists, in many cases, respond to their environment conditions to change their own works. New style born to correct old one or to anticipate unseen future change of mankind behaviors.
In history, there were important periods of stylistic, namely Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo. Cranmer (2015) described the different of these periods with manners. Renaissance was seen as individualism, naturalism and detail of work of art. Then, Baroque has characters of exaggerated motion, clear, and ornate details. The period of Rococo was characterized by more light, florid, and graceful compare to Baroque and Renaissance.
          Scientific knowledge is one of important factors to create style or art work that distinguish one period to other periods. It is noted that inventions and discoveries by scientists have supported the artists’ eagerness to capture the changing colors of light and shadow in their work of arts. Thus, new version of art may be born.
          Renaissance art emerged in Italy around 14th century. Actually, Renaissance art occurred in two antagonist situations; one side there were backdrop in political stabilities; but on other side, there were the development of new technologies. Thus, Renaissance art parallel to flowering with the printing press; understanding of a new system of astronomy; the discovery and exploration of new continents; and philosophy, music and literature progress.
The stars of Renaissance artists are Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. Of these three, Raphael was known as great masters in depicting realistic of life. Anirudh (2014) recorded 10 most famous paintings by Raphael. At the top was titled “The School of Athens” (Please see Figure at above).

Anirudh. 2014. 10 Most Famous Paintings by Raphael. Retrieved from
Cranmer, I. 2015. Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical. Retrieved from