What Food Should We Try While in Japan? - part 1

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Kare raisu

When I was in Japan, some friends of mine suggested me to taste a sushi and sashimi. I like sushi, but not sashimi.

If we are “googling,” there are many suggestions about food we should try when visiting Japan: 50 foods, 42 foods, 30 foods, 28 foods, 20 foods and 15 foods.

Of these, some examples are:
- Kare raisu
- Shabu shabu
- Ramen
- Onigiri
- Katsudon
- Udon
- Yakisoba
- Okonomiyaki
- Yakitori
- Tempura

Kare raisu is a curry rice, one of popular dishes. I love to eat with chicken. Japanese also called it as a “chicken curry rice.”

Onigiri and tamagoyaki

I have 6 favorite of Japanese foods:
- Kare raisu
- Onigiri
- Shabu shabu
- Udon
- Yakisoba
- Okonomiyaki

Onigiri is a rice in form of cylindrical or triangular. The ingredient fish (a small pieces of pickled fish). Then, wrapped with sea weed.

I guessed the taste is different to sushi in term of ingredients. I always consumed onigiri with tamagoyaki (rolled omelet) and tomatoes. 

Shabu shabu

Shabu shabu is a kind of soup for me, where sliced of vegetables and meats is mixed and stirred in the hotpot. Instead of meat, I prefer fish.

Hotpot is on the table, and we could eat as we boil. Eating shabu shabu with specific sauces (such as ponzu sauce).

Have you tried one or all of these three Japanese foods: kare raisu, onigiri or shabu shabu? What do you think?

What is Inside Stupa of the Buddha Temple of Borobudur?

Saturday, July 27, 2019
Several stupas

A dome like monument in Buddha temples is called as a “stupa.” The symmetrical monuments with size of 200 square meter sit on the Borobudur temple.

We will find 73 stupas on the world largest Buddha temple of Borobudur, central Java, Indonesia.

On the peak of Borobudur, there is the biggest stupa. We can’t see anything inside, since its closed (no holes) stupa.

Other 72 stupa are perforated. We able to see clearly what inside the stupas, and if lucky enough, we may reach Buddha statue by our hand.

What stupa means and purposes?:
- to store Buddha’s sacred relic
- to worship Buddhist saint
- to learn a lesson of Buddhism
- used by pilgrims where they circumnavigate the dome

Stupas with mountain view

Superstition belief that if our hand, especially children reach the statue inside the stupa, our wish will come true.

It might relate to the symbol of statue as represent of living Buddha with his power to protect and provide energy to his followers.

The biggest stupa in the middle (little bit far of top).

The biggest stupa is the main stupa. It seems to command the other small stupa. The tour guide said that there is a big Buddha inside the main stupa.

A Buddha statue sits inside stupa

Buddha statue inside the stupa:
- sitting straight
- leg crossed
- right foot above the left one.
- right hand face up
- left hand face down

Do you know about stupa? Where do you see stupa for the first time?

Over Crowded Tourists on Crucial Objects

Thursday, July 25, 2019
Daffodil Hill, California

Recently, you might know from many medias (mainstream and social) that Daffodil hill in California was closed indefinitely.

The reason? Due to Over Crowded Tourists who caused:
- destroyed flowers field to make photograph (selfie)
- parking damages
- uncontrolled traffics in the nearby areas
- environmental deteriorates

Daffodil hill was not alone. The trend seem worldwide, the examples of over crowded tourist sites are coming from different countries:

- Machu Picchu, Peru
- Mount Everest, Nepal
- Venice, Italy
- Santorini, Greece
- Barcelona, Spain

Yellow Daffodil

The Daffodil hill is known for daffodil flowers, together with horses, peacocks and chickens attracted many people to visit.

The area used to mining areas in a century ago. Visitor could observe very old barns, mining equipment, original wagon wheel and antique farming tools.

Another view of Daffodil hill

These combinations of nature and history makes anyone, young and old to love and enjoy the Daffodil hill.

Initially, daffodil was planted by first owners to remember Holland as their country origin. The next owners, then plant to thousands of flowers. 

Combinations of white and yellow Daffodil flowers

If we come on the peak of blooming, we would be witness of blooming for 300,000 bulbs.

The owners have planted about 16 thousand bulb per year continually. These thousands new bulbs to replace the old or died ones.

Unfortunately this beautiful farming had been victimized of over crowded tourists.

Do you have over tourists in your areas? If so, what should be done? 

Do You Like to Insert Microchip in Your Brain?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Neurons in our brain

We have known, micro-chips installed in computer for long long time ago. Then, is it possible to implant computer chip in the human brain?

Sure, the answer is possible. For what purposes? Few are:
- to stimulate nervous system
- to boost brain performances in term of memory and senses
- to fight diseases (Parkinson and Alzheimer's)
- to communicate with other’s brain
- to communicate with computers
- to commend digital devices such as smart phone to write such as a text message.

Quality of chip and brain interactions will improve over the years, even we can’t predict where is the end.

Chips are ready to implant in the brain

We need surgery to insert the chips, placed to brain cortex or on the brain surface.

In case of Parkinson diseases, we call “deep brain stimulation,” surgery costs reach US$ 50 thousands.

The expensive cost didn’t discourage people to receive “deep brain stimulation.” Since decade ago, estimated more than 90 thousand this kind of treatment around the world.

Brain image for illustration

The implant chip to treat Parkinson diseases which relate to:
- tremor
- stiffness
- rigidity
- movement disorders (physical and neurological disorders).

The current chip to treat Parkinson diseases is considered out of date technology, thus need to be improved.

Elon Musk proposed new computer chip with multi-functions that associates to brain, include connect mind to machine by next year.

The surgery involves robot, considered simple and easy, comparable to LASIK surgery.

Do you want one?

Daycare Center for Pet in Our City

Sunday, July 21, 2019
A sign of petsuites

Daycare for pets is a new kind of industry in the USA. I mean it has been developed just in 1990’s. Several factors that stimulate the industry:

- population grew steadily in urban area.
- dogs are living indoors
- no child in households, make pets get more attention.
- American families spend more money on pets.

First opened in New York city, followed by San Francisco, California. Then spread to other wealthy cities.

I guessed, not all cities have a kind of pet daycare centers.

Building of Pet Suites

When I visited farmer market recently, I saw first time the sign of “petsuites.” It is the first center in our city.

Petsuites is nearby to farmer markets and several ethnic groceries. Pet owners may go shopping before or after coming to center. 

The pet center, I considered not big enough, but it seems convenient. I saw some people come in and out with their pets.

Pet Suites side

There are advantages to entrust pet centers:
- well care
- safe
- clean
- friendly

Sure, dogs and cats have different rates. Cats are cheaper than dogs. Dogs rates are based on their weights. Heavier are expensive.

Are pets care centers available in your city? Have you use pets daycare services? 

Hurricane Barry Made Landfall in Louisiana Recently

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
A bridge before hurricane arriving

We, Louisiana residents just experienced with Hurricane Barry landfall. The category 1 hurricane then weaken to be tropical storm.

Hurricane category 1 means that wind speed range from 74 to 95 mph per hour or 119 km to 153 km per hour.

Hurricane Barry brought 3 things to Louisiana:
- wind
- rise of water level
- rain

Branches fall down

More than 70 thousand residents, included our house have no electricity during Hurricane Barry in action.

Ourselves in the dark since Saturday (July 13, 2019) to Monday (July 15, 2019). We slept with candle light in the night.

Water level on rises

We can’t cook, can’t turn on AC and no digital devices. Windows are opened to reduce heat. Live like backward.

We saw some branches of our trees as well as branches of our neighborhood’s trees were falling down. 

Ice was sold out in a Walmart grocery

Ice and bread are sold out in the near by Walmart groceries. No McDonald, Taco Bell and franchises opened during rainy and windy days.

Luckily, we found some ready to eat foods in Walmart neighborhoods. We also could buy fruits, cakes, juices and some soft drinks.

A corner after hurricane

Actually, this hurricane was not that hard compared to Katrina hurricane in 2005. We have no electricity almost one month. Very bad.

The hurricanes season are expected until October or November every year. However, hopefully, there is no hurricane to hit our area anymore.

One hurricane is enough for this year.

Is Aarhus, Denmark the Happiest City in the World?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
The street toward Aarhus Cathedral

I am lucky to have opportunity to stay for a while in the Aarhus, Denmark as the happiest city in the world.

Yes, Denmark is the first rank of happiest country in the world for 2013 and 2014, and always top 10 after those years.

Some reasons why Denmark is considered as the happiest country are:
- a strong civil society
- a well-functioning democracy
- a high degree of security,
- trust
- freedom
- prosperity
- good working conditions  
- balance of life

One of Aarhus city corners

The happy rank is based on survey conducted by several institutions included:
- the United Nations World Happiness Report
- Gallup survey
- the World Values Survey
- the European Social Survey.
- the Happiness Research Institute.

The Aarhus University park

If we ask Danish, why are they happy? The simple answer that are:
- nice to neighbors
- visit sea or beach frequently
- walk in the wood or gardens or public parks
- smile

Students almost 20% of population. There are 45 thousand students of 250 thousand city populations. They come from around the globe.

A Latino quarter

Aarhus is a dynamic city with young age population. Average age of residents are 38 years old.

In my opinion that summer is a festival season. People sit and enjoy outside:
- in front of cafe
- seaside or harbors
- in the park
- in front of fountains

It seem for me that music everywhere. Even, there is Latino square with Latino music, food and drink.

It is not surprise, Aarhus was appointed as capital culture of Europe in 2017.

Have you visited Aarhus city or Denmark?

Is it Norm to Hire Underage Workers in Developing Countries? - part 1

Monday, July 15, 2019
The Apple factory in China

In many cases, company stock prices relate to quality of product. The high quality may increase demand, thus rise price and stock.

In some points, customers see certain ethics or norms as part of brand value.

Apple ought to contract underage employees (fifteen-year-old) to work in any sections of its factories in some developing countries.

Teenagers employee may damage or destroy brand performance in the market and brand value in the minds of customers, hence may affect company (Apple) stock price.

No law gives permit for 15-year-old children to work full time during school days.

Under some requirement, teenagers may work several hours in school day, and part time during weekend.

All companies and organizations must comply with this law. If not, in this case is Apple will face legal actions.

Workers in China

However, there are some ethics or norms that are believed and practiced by society in daily life.

Stakeholders may look down (lower brand values) to companies against the social norms.

Children in a developing country, just for illustration

Since Apple produces iPhone in developing countries such as China, where crime and drug abuse rate is higher.

Is it reasonable to accept underage employees to work in its factory? 

What Effect of Diversity Patrons on the Arts in the 15th-18th centuries? - part 1

Saturday, July 13, 2019
Portrait of Isabella D'este by Titian around 1534 to 1536.

Renaissance is the word that refers to rebirth with broader meaning in Europe history.

During the renaissance period (15th-18th centuries), Europe witnessed of new world finding (Columbus found American continent); new understanding of astronomy system (Copernicus); and many other important inventions.

In respect to ancient Greece and Rome, it was a revival of intellectual, value and classical art of these former empires.

Non-religious groups such as families and governments started to be patrons of arts in the renaissance era, and was flowering in Italy.

As suggested by Muscato (2003) that the cities of Italy were controlled by powerful “princess,” they are elected representatives, lords and dukes.

These leaders hired painters, sculptors and designers to be the official court artists. In addition, rich people could be patron by bringing the artist in their private homes.

 Portrait of Isabella d'Este, 
painted by Leonardo da Vinci around 1499

One of well known patrons was Isabella d'Este, she was a ruler of Mantua, Italy and a great patron of:
- painters
- writers,
- poets
- musicians

Three famous painters supported by Isabella d'Este are:
- Leonardo da Vinci
- Mantegna
- Titian 

Medal of Isabella d'Este,
carved by Gian Cristoforo Romano in 1505

Some artists were associated with Isabella are:
- Perugino
- Battista Spagnoli
- Raphael,
- Andrea Mantegna,
- Castiglione
- Bandello.

Writers who gote supported by Isabella d'Este are:
- Ariosto
- Baldassare Castiglione

Musicians such as Bartolomeo Tromboncino and Marchetto Cara also got supported by Isabella d'Este.

# Continued to part 2

Reference

Muscato, C. 2003. Patrons of Renaissance Art: Roles, Influence & Famous Works. Retrieved from study.com..