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#301 2019-01-16 00:45:43

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

278) Pumpin

Pumpkin, fruit of certain varieties of squash (namely, Cucurbita pepo and C. moschata) in the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae), usually characterized by a hard orange rind with distinctive grooves. Pumpkins are commonly grown for human food and also for livestock feed. In Europe and South America, pumpkin is mainly served as a vegetable and used interchangeably with other winter squashes. In the United States and Canada, pumpkin pie is a traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas dessert. In some places, pumpkins are used as Halloween decorations known as jack-o’-lanterns, in which the interior of the pumpkin is cleaned out and a light is inserted to shine through a face carved through the wall of the fruit.

Pumpkins, which produce very long annual vines, are planted individually or in twos or threes on little hills about 2.5 to 3 metres (8 to 10 feet) apart. The fruits are generally large, 4–8 kg (9–18 pounds) or more, and yellowish to orange in colour, and they vary from oblate to globular to oblong, though some varieties are very small or feature a white rind. The rind is smooth and usually lightly furrowed or ribbed; the fruit stem is hard and woody, ridged or angled. The fruits mature in early autumn and can be stored for a few months in a dry place well above freezing temperatures. The largest pumpkins are varieties of C. maxima and may weigh 34 kg (75 pounds) or more; the most-massive pumpkins ever grown have exceeded 907 kg (2,000 pounds). Some varieties of C. argyrosperma are also known as pumpkins.

Pumpkin nutrition facts

Pumpkin fruit is one of the widely grown vegetables incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins. Though this humble backyard vegetable is low in calories, nonetheless, it packed with vitamin-A, and flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants such as lutein, xanthin, and carotenes in abundance.
Pumpkin is a fast-growing vine that creeps along the surface in a similar fashion as that of other Cucurbitaceae family vegetables and fruits such as cucumber, squash, cantaloupes, etc. It is one of the most popular field crops cultivated around the world, including in the USA at commercial scale for its fruit, and seeds.

The fruits vary widely in shape, size, and colors. Giant Pumpkins weigh 4–6 kg with the largest capable of reaching a weight of over 25 kg. Golden-nugget pumpkins are flat, smaller and feature sweet, creamy orange color flesh.

Pumpkins, in general, feature orange or yellow exterior skin color; however, some varieties can exhibit dark to pale green, brown, white, red and gray. Yellow-orange pigments largely influence their color characteristics in their skin and pulp. Its thick rind is smooth with light, vertical ribs.
In structure, the fruit features golden-yellow to orange flesh depending upon the polyphenolic pigments in it. The fruit has a hollow center, with numerous small, off-white colored seeds interspersed in a net-like structure. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of protein, minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

•    It is one of the very low-calorie vegetables. 100 g fruit provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins. The vegetable is one of the food items recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
•    Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C, and vitamin-E.
•    At 7,384 mg per 100 g, it is one of the vegetables in the Cucurbitaceae family featuring highest levels of vitamin-A, providing about 246% of RDA. Vitamin-A is a powerful natural antioxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucosa. It is also an essential vitamin for good eyesight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin-A may help the human body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.
•    It is also an excellent source of many natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds such as α, ß-carotenes, cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Carotenes convert into vitamin-A inside the human body.
•    Zea-xanthin is a natural anti-oxidant which has UV (ultra-violet) rays filtering actions in the macula lutea in the retina of the eyes. Thus, it may offer protection from "age-related macular disease" (ARMD) in the older adults.
•    The fruit is a good source of the B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
•    It is also a rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
•    Pumpkin seeds Pumpkin seeds indeed are an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which are good for heart health. Also, the seeds are concentrated sources of protein, minerals, and health-benefiting vitamins. For instance, 100 g of pumpkin seeds provide 559 calories, 30 g of protein, 110% RDA of iron, 4987 mg of niacin (31% RDA), selenium (17% of RDA), zinc (71%), etc., but zero cholesterol. Further, the seeds are an excellent source of health promoting amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan converted into GABA in the brain.

Selection and storage

Pumpkins can be readily available in the market year around. Buy completely developed, whole pumpkin fruit instead of its sections. Look for mature fruit that features a fine woody note on tapping, heavy in hand and stout stem. Avoid the one with wrinkled surface, cuts and bruises.

Once at home, ripe, mature pumpkin may be stored for many weeks to come under cool, well-ventilated place at room temperature. However, cut sections should be placed inside the refrigerator where it can keep well for a few days.

Preparation and serving methods

Some hybrid varieties usually subjected to insecticide powder or spray. Therefore, wash them thoroughly under running water in order to remove dirt, soil and any residual insecticides/fungicides.

Cut the stem end and slice the whole fruit into two halves. Remove inner net-like structure and set aside seeds. Then cut the flesh into desired sizes. In general, small cubes preferred in cooking preparations.

Almost all the parts of the pumpkin plant; fruit, leaves, flowers and seeds, are edible.

Here are some serving tips:

•    Pumpkin can be employed in a variety of delicious recipes either baked, stew- fried; however, it is eaten best after steam-cooking in order to get maximum nutrients. In China, young tender, pumpkin leaves consumed as cooked greens or in soups.
•    In the Indian subcontinent where it is popular as "kaddu or sitaphal," pumpkin is used in the preparation of "sabzi," sweet dishes (halwa), desserts, soups, curries, etc.
•    The fruit employed in the preparations of pies, pancakes, custard, ravioli, etc., in Europe and US.
•    Golden nugget pumpkins are used to make wonderful soufflés, stuffing, soups, etc.
•    Roasted Pumpkin seeds (Pepita) can be eaten as snacks.

pumpkin-yellow-281kg-29-250x250.png


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#302 2019-01-18 01:11:09

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

279) Layers of the Sun

The Sun, as shown by the illustration to the left, can be divided into six layers. From the center out, the layers of the Sun are as follows:

1.    the solar interior composed of the core (which occupies the innermost quarter or so of the Sun’s radius),
2.    the radiative zone,
3.    and the convective zone,
4.    then there is the visible surface known as the photosphere,
5.    the chromosphere,
6.    and finally the outermost layer, the corona.

The energy produced through fusion in the Sun’s core powers the Sun and produces all of the heat and light that we receive here on Earth. The process by which energy escapes from the Sun is very complex. Since we can’t see inside the Sun, most of what astronomers know about this subject comes from combining theoretical models of the Sun’s interior with observational facts such as the Sun’s mass, surface temperature, and luminosity (total amount of energy output from the surface).

All of the energy that we detect as light and heat originates from nuclear reactions deep inside the Sun’s high-temperature “core.” This core extends about one-quarter of the way from the center of Sun (where the temperature is around 15.7 million kelvin (K), or 28 million degrees Fahrenheit) to its surface, which is only 5778 K “cool”.
Above this core, we can think of the Sun’s interior as being like two nested spherical shells that surround the core. In the innermost shell, right above the core, energy is carried outwards by radiation. This “radiative zone” extends about three-quarters of the way to the surface. The radiation does not travel directly outwards – in this part of the Sun’s interior, the plasma density is very high, and the radiation gets bounced around countless numbers of times, following a zig-zag path outward.

It takes several hundred thousand years for radiation to make its way from the core to the top of the radiative zone! In the outermost of the two shells, where the temperature drops below 2,000,000 K (3.5 million degrees F) the plasma in the Sun’s interior is too cool and opaque to allow radiation to pass. Instead, huge convection currents form and large bubbles of hot plasma move up towards the surface (similar to a boiling pot of water that is heated at the bottom by a stove). Compared to the amount of time it takes to get through the radiative zone, energy is transported very quickly through the outer convective zone.

The Sun’s visible surface the photosphere is “only” about 5,800 K (10,000 degrees F). Just above the photosphere is a thin layer called the chromosphere. The name chromosphere is derived from the word chromos, the Greek word for color. It can be detected in red hydrogen-alpha light meaning that it appears bright red. Above the surface is a region of hot plasma called the corona. The corona is about 2 million K (3.6 million degrees F), much hotter than the visible surface, and it is even hotter in a flare. Why the atmosphere gets so hot has been a mystery for decades.

Quick Facts about The Sun :

Sun lies at the heart of our Solar System, where it is by far the largest object of our Solar System, holding 99.85% mass of the entire Solar System, Diameter of Sun is 109 times the diameter of Earth i.e. about one million Earths can fit inside the Sun.

1000000 Earths = 1 Sun

The temperature of Sun ranges from 10,000 Fahrenheit in photosphere, while in the core it is more than 27 million Fahrenheit, driven by nuclear reactions. This is equal to exploding 100 billion tons of dynamite every second to match the energy produced by Sun. It orbits some 25,000 light-years from the galactic core, completing a revolution once every 250 million years or so.

Formation & Evolution of Sun

The sun was born about 4.6 billion years ago. Many scientists think the sun and the rest of the solar system formed from a giant, rotating cloud of gas and dust known as the solar nebula. As the nebula collapsed because of its gravity, it spun faster and flattened into a disk. Most of the material was pulled toward the center to form the sun.

The sun has enough nuclear fuel to stay much as it is now for another 5 billion years. After that, it will swell to become a red giant. Eventually, it will shed its outer layers, and the remaining core will collapse to become a white dwarf. Slowly, this will fade, to enter its final phase as a dim, cool theoretical object sometimes known as a black dwarf.

The Structure of the Sun

Anatomy of Sun

The sun is basically a giant ball of gas and plasma that keeps on getting hotter and denser as we travel from the outer layer to the innermost layer. Temperatures vary from a 5780K on the outer visible layer i.e. photosphere to about 15 million Kelvin in the Core i.e. innermost layer

(0K = – 273°C) .

Layers of Sun :

1. The Core of Sun

The core of the sun is the actual powerhouse where the nuclear fusion reactions which generates massive amounts of energy takes place. The temperatures at core go upto15 million K, whereas density of core is 160,000 Kg/m^3.

2. The Radiative Zone

After the core comes the Radiative zone, which extends upto 70% of the sun’s radius. The energy flowing from the core through the radiative zone, travel in a haphazard path, losing energy in the process.

3. The Convection Zone

The convective zone, like the rest of the Sun, is made up entirely of plasma. A plasma is a ‘gas’ that conducts electrical currents, just like a wire does. The plasma in the convective zone is mainly made up of hydrogen (70% by mass), helium (27.7% by mass) plus small quantities of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. The bottom of the convection zone is heated by the radiations coming out of the radiative zone. The temperature at the bottom of the convection zone is 200,000° C. At the same time the top of the convection zone (surface of the Sun) is being cooled by the creation of light. The temperature at the surface is only about 5700° C.

4. The Photosphere

The photosphere is the visible surface of the Sun that we are most familiar with. Since the Sun is a ball of gas, this is not a solid surface but is actually a layer which is about 100 km thick (very, very, thin compared to the 700,000 km radius of the Sun). Sunlight as we know it – the visible white light, is emitted from the photosphere. The photosphere is one of the coolest regions of the Sun (about 6000 K), sunspots caused by strong magnetic fields are also visible in the photosphere layer of Sun, because of the distance from the sun to Earth, light reaches our planet in about eight minutes.

Since the sun is a ball of gas with no solid form, different regions rotate at different rates. The sun’s equatorial regions rotate in about 24 days, while the Polar Regions take more than 30 days to make a complete rotation.

A number of features can be observed in the photosphere with a simple telescope (along with a good filter to reduce the intensity of sunlight to safely observable levels).

5. The Chromosphere

The chromosphere is 2000-3000 km thick and the temperature rises from around 6000k to 20,000K. These high temperatures result in hydrogen emitting a reddish light (H-alpha emission) and can be seen in the exciting prominences that project from the sun and in the thin reddish line that can sometimes be seen as a ‘rim’ round the dark disk of the moon inside the corona. It is this colour that gives the chromosphere its name (color-sphere).

6. The Corona

This is the outer layer of the sun and is the whitish halo seen around the disc only during a total solar eclipse. This can be seen in the picture of the solar eclipse above. Temperatures range from 2 to 3 million degrees.

solar-anatomy.jpg


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#303 2019-01-20 00:12:16

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

280) Liver

The liver is your largest internal organ, weighing about 1.5 kilograms in adults. It sits in the upper, right-hand side of your abdomen, just under your diaphragm (a sheet of muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen). Your liver is divided into 2 main lobes — the right and left lobes — by a membrane called the falciform ligament.

The liver is a dark reddish-brown organ, and holds up to half a litre of blood at any one time. It receives blood from the hepatic artery, as well as from the portal vein. The hepatic artery delivers oxygen-rich blood from the heart, while the portal vein delivers blood that has just left your gastrointestinal tract. Blood reaching the liver via the portal vein is rich in nutrients that need to be processed by the liver.

Functions of the liver

The liver performs more than 500 functions, including:

processing nutrients from food;
storing energy;
filtering toxic chemicals and bacteria from the body;
processing alcohol;
producing certain proteins and fats (including cholesterol), and controlling their metabolism;
storing iron;
making certain vitamins, including vitamin A;
helping with blood clotting; and
processing medicines.

Bile

The liver also produces bile — a yellow-green fluid that consists of water, bile salts and a chemical called bilirubin. Bile is made in liver cells and travels through a system of channels and ducts in the liver before eventually leaving the liver via the hepatic ducts. Bile is then transported to the gallbladder and the duodenum (the first part of your small intestine) to help with digestion of dietary fats and the removal of certain waste products from the body.

Damage to the liver

The liver is a unique organ because it can lose 80-90 per cent of its cells to disease before it stops functioning, and has the capacity to regenerate itself. However, it is possible for toxins such as alcohol and diseases such as hepatitis or conditions that block the flow of bile to permanently damage the liver. Because the liver has such a large excess capacity, signs and symptoms of disease may not occur until it has been severely damaged.

Signs and symptoms of liver disease

One indication that the liver may be damaged or not working properly is jaundice — a yellow discolouration of your skin and the whites of your eyes, which is caused by a build-up of bilirubin in the body.

Other symptoms of liver disease include persistent itching, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite and sometimes abdominal swelling or pain. Some forms of liver disease cause dark urine and pale stools.

Testing the liver and its function

A simple blood test, called a liver function test, can be used to assess the basic functioning of the liver. It measures various enzymes and proteins that are produced by the liver, as well as bilirubin, to determine whether the liver is functioning within normal limits.

Other tests commonly used to detect problems with the liver include imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT scan or ultrasound of the liver.

Front View of the Liver

The liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of the belly. Weighing about 3 pounds, the liver is reddish-brown in color and feels rubbery to the touch. Normally you can't feel the liver, because it's protected by the rib cage.

The liver has two large sections, called the right and the left lobes. The gallbladder sits under the liver, along with parts of the pancreas and intestines. The liver and these organs work together to digest, absorb, and process food.

The liver's main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines. The liver also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions.

Liver Conditions

Types of liver disease include:
•    Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, usually caused by viruses like hepatitis A, B, and C. Hepatitis can have non-infectious causes too, including heavy drinking, drugs, allergic reactions, or obesity.
•    Cirrhosis: Long-term damage to the liver from any cause can lead to permanent scarring, called cirrhosis. The liver then becomes unable to function well.
•    Liver cancer: The most common type of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, almost always occurs after cirrhosis is present.
•    Liver failure: Liver failure has many causes including infection, genetic diseases, and excessive alcohol.
•    Ascites: As cirrhosis results, the liver leaks fluid (ascites) into the belly, which becomes distended and heavy.
•    Gallstones: If a gallstone becomes stuck in the bile duct draining the liver, hepatitis and bile duct infection (cholangitis) can result.
•    Hemochromatosis: Hemochromatosis allows iron to deposit in the liver, damaging it. The iron also deposits throughout the body, causing multiple other health problems.
•    Primary sclerosing cholangitis: A rare disease with unknown causes, primary sclerosing cholangitis causes inflammation and scarring in the bile ducts in the liver.
•    Primary biliary cirrhosis: In this rare disorder, an unclear process slowly destroys the bile ducts in the liver. Permanent liver scarring (cirrhosis) eventually develops.

Liver Tests

Blood Tests:
•    Liver function panel: A liver function panel checks how well the liver is working and consists of many different blood tests.
•    ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase): An elevated ALT helps identify liver disease or damage from any number of causes, including hepatitis.
•    AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase): Along with an elevated ALT, the AST checks for liver damage.
•    Alkaline phosphatase: Alkaline phosphatase is present in bile-secreting cells in the liver; it's also in bones. High levels often mean bile flow out of the liver is blocked.
•    Bilirubin: High bilirubin levels suggest a problem with the liver.
•    Albumin: As part of total protein levels, albumin helps determine how well the liver is working.
•    Ammonia: Ammonia levels in the blood rise when the liver is not functioning properly.
•    Hepatitis A tests: If hepatitis A is suspected, the doctor will test liver function as well as antibodies to detect the hepatitis A virus.
•    Hepatitis B tests: Your doctor can test antibody levels to determine if you have been infected with the hepatitis B virus.
•    Hepatitis C tests: In addition to checking liver function, blood tests can determine if you have been infected with the hepatitis C virus.
•    Prothrombin Time (PT): A prothrombin time, or PT, is commonly done to see if someone is taking the correct dose of the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin). It also checks for blood clotting problems.
•    Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT): A PTT is done to check for blood clotting problems.

Imaging Tests:
•    Ultrasound: An abdominal ultrasound can test for many liver conditions, including cancer, cirrhosis, or problems from gallstones.
•    CT scan (computed tomography): A CT scan of the abdomen gives detailed pictures of the liver and other abdominal organs.
•    Liver biopsy: A liver biopsy is most commonly done after another test, such as a blood test or ultrasound, indicates a possible liver problem.
•    Liver and spleen scan: This nuclear scan uses radioactive material to help diagnose a number of conditions, including abscesses, tumors, and other liver function problems.

Liver Treatments

•    Hepatitis A treatment: Hepatitis A usually goes away with time.
•    Hepatitis B treatment: Chronic hepatitis B often requires treatment with antiviral medication.
•    Hepatitis C treatment: Treatment for hepatitis C depends on several factors.
•    Liver transplant: A liver transplant is needed when the liver no longer functions adequately, whatever the cause.
•    Liver cancer treatment: While liver cancer is usually difficult to cure, treatment consists of chemotherapy and radiation. In some cases, surgical resection or liver transplantation is performed.
•    Paracentesis: When severe ascites -- swelling in the belly from liver failure -- causes discomfort, a needle can be inserted through the skin to drain fluid from the abdomen.
•    ERCP (Endocscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography): Using a long, flexible tube with a camera and tools on the end, doctors can diagnose and even treat some liver problems.

164177.jpeg


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#304 2019-01-22 00:20:26

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

281) Permutation and Combination

Permutations and combinations are both related mathematical concepts. Because they are related concepts, most of the time they are used with each other or switched or swapped with each other without realizing it. As mathematical concepts, they serve as precise terms and language to the situation they are describing or covering.

“Combination” is defined as the selection of objects, symbols, or values from a wide variety like a large group or a certain set with underlying similarities. In a combination, the importance is made on the choice of the objects or values themselves. One combination comprises one value plus another value (as a pair) with or without additional values (or as a multiple).

Values or objects in a combination do not require order or arrangement. The combination can also be random in nature. Also, the values or objects can be considered as alike or the same in comparison with each other. A combination, with relation to permutation, can be several in numbers while permutation can be less or single in comparison.

On the other hand, permutation is also the selection of objects, values, and symbols with careful attention to the order, sequence, or arrangement. Aside from giving an emphasis on these three things, permutation gives the values or objects’ destinations by virtue of assigning them into a specific placement with each other. For example, a certain value or a combination of values can be assigned as the first, second, and so on.

With respect to a combination, a permutation is basically an ordered or arranged combination. A permutation also deals with a number of ways to arrange, rearrange, and order the objects and symbols. One permutation is equal to a single arrangement or order. One arrangement or permutation is distinctly different from another arrangement or permutation.

Permutations and combinations are often used as word problems in mathematical textbook exercises. Another application is in data preparation and probability in research. Using “permutation” and “combination” can easily help to predict something with the given data.

Permutation has the formula: P(n,r). Meanwhile, finding the combination requires this particular mathematical method -

The (n,r) in the second permutation formula (which also applies when finding the combination) represents two things–the value of “n” is the initial number mentioned while the second value (which is r) is the times that the decreasing and succeeding value will be multiplied to the value of “n.”

Summary:

1.“Permutation” and “combination” are related mathematical concepts. “Combination” is any selection or pairing of values within a single criteria or category while “permutation” is an ordered combination.

2. Combinations do not place an emphasis on order, placement, or arrangement but on choice. Values can be single or paired. On the other hand, permutations place a high emphasis on the three aforementioned characteristics. Aside from these three, a permutation also gives the destination of each value (or paired value).

3. A number of permutations can be derived from a single combination. Meanwhile, one permutation calls for a single arrangement.

4. Permutations are often regarded as ordered elements while combinations are looked upon as sets.

5. A single permutation is distinct and different on its own and from each arrangement while a combination is often alike in comparison with other combinations.

6. Both “permutation” and “combination” are often used in math word problems and probabilities in statistics and research.

Formulas

.

.

For example,

.

.

It is to be kept in mind
1. 0! = 1,
2. Number of permutations is greater than or equal to number of Combinations.

.

Permutations-300x225.jpg


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#305 2019-01-24 00:00:54

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

282) Lissajouss figure

Lissajouss figure : Any of a number of characteristic looped or curved figures traced out by a point undergoing two independent simple harmonic motions at right angles with frequencies in a simple ratio.

Lissajous figure, also called Bowditch Curve, pattern produced by the intersection of two sinusoidal curves the axes of which are at right angles to each other. First studied by the American mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch in 1815, the curves were investigated independently by the French mathematician Jules-Antoine Lissajous in 1857–58. Lissajous used a narrow stream of sand pouring from the base of a compound pendulum to produce the curves.

If the frequency and phase angle of the two curves are identical, the resultant is a straight line lying at 45° (and 225°) to the coordinate axes. If one of the curves is 180° out of phase with respect to the other, another straight line is produced lying 90° away from the line produced where the curves are in phase (i.e., at 135° and 315°).

Otherwise, with identical amplitude and frequency but a varying phase relation, ellipses are formed with varying angular positions, except that a phase difference of 90° (or 270°) produces a circle around the origin. If the curves are out of phase and differing in frequency, intricate meshing figures are formed.

Of particular value in electronics, the curves can be made to appear on an oscilloscope, the shape of the curve serving to identify the characteristics of an unknown electric signal. For this purpose, one of the two curves is a signal of known characteristics. In general, the curves can be used to analyze the properties of any pair of simple harmonic motions that are at right angles to each other.

Lissajous Figures were first described in 1815 by Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838), who is best known today for his book, "The New American Practical Navigator", still available today. He also wrote widely on mathematics and astronomy, while pursuing a career as a navigator, surveyor, actuary and insurance company president, as well as being a member of the Corporation of Harvard College.

The optical production of the curves was first demonstrated in 1857 by Jules Antoine Lissajous (1833-1880), using an apparatus. Today we can do the same experiment more easily with a laser beam that reflects from the two mirrors vibrating at right angles to each other and then traces the Lissajous figure on the wall.

lissajous01.gif


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#306 2019-01-26 00:56:13

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

283) Beetroot

The beetroot is the taproot portion of the beet plant, usually known in North America as the beet and also known as the table beet, garden beet, red beet, or golden beet. It is one of several of the cultivated varieties of Beta vulgaris grown for their edible taproots and their leaves (called beet greens). These varieties have been classified as B. vulgaris subsp. vulgaris Conditiva Group.

Other than as a food, beets have use as a food colouring and as a medicinal plant. Many beet products are made from other Beta vulgaris varieties, particularly sugar beet.

Etymology

Beta is the ancient Latin name for beets, possibly of Celtic origin, becoming bete in Old English around 1400. Root derives from the late Old English rōt, itself from Old Norse rót.

History

From the Middle Ages, beetroot was used as a treatment for a variety of conditions, especially illnesses relating to digestion and the blood. Bartolomeo Platina recommended taking beetroot with garlic to nullify the effects of "garlic-breath".

During the middle of the 19th century, wine often was coloured with beetroot juice.

Food

Usually the deep purple roots of beetroot are eaten boiled, roasted, or raw, and either alone or combined with any salad vegetable. A large proportion of the commercial production is processed into boiled and sterilized beets or into pickles. In Eastern Europe, beet soup, such as borscht, is a popular dish. In Indian cuisine, chopped, cooked, spiced beet is a common side dish. Yellow-coloured beetroots are grown on a very small scale for home consumption.

The green, leafy portion of the beet is also edible. The young leaves can be added raw to salads, whilst the mature leaves are most commonly served boiled or steamed, in which case they have a taste and texture similar to spinach. Those greens selected should be from bulbs that are unmarked, instead of those with overly limp leaves or wrinkled skins, both of which are signs of dehydration.

The domestication of beets can be traced to the emergence of an allele which enables biennial harvesting of leaves and taproot.

Beetroot can be boiled or steamed, peeled, and then eaten warm with or without butter as a delicacy; cooked, pickled, and then eaten cold as a condiment; or peeled, shredded raw, and then eaten as a salad. Pickled beets are a traditional food in many countries.

A traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dish is pickled beet egg. Hard-boiled eggs are refrigerated in the liquid left over from pickling beets and allowed to marinate until the eggs turn a deep pink-red colour.

In Poland and Ukraine, beet is combined with horseradish to form popular ćwikła, which is traditionally used with cold cuts and sandwiches, but often also added to a meal consisting of meat and potatoes. Similarly in Serbia where the popular cvekla is used as winter salad, seasoned with salt and vinegar, with meat dishes. As an addition to horseradish, it is also used to produce the "red" variety of chrain, a popular condiment in Ashkenazi Jewish, Hungarian, Polish, Lithuanian, Russian, and Ukrainian cuisine.
Popular in Australian hamburgers, a slice of pickled beetroot is combined with other condiments on a beef patty to make an Aussie burger.

In Northern Germany, beetroot is mashed with Labskaus or added as its side order.

When beet juice is used, it is most stable in foods with a low water content, such as frozen novelties and fruit fillings. Betanins, obtained from the roots, are used industrially as red food colourants, e.g. to intensify the colour of tomato paste, sauces, desserts, jams and jellies, ice cream, sweets, and breakfast cereals.

Beetroot can also be used to make wine.

A moderate amount of chopped beetroot is sometimes added to the Japanese pickle fukujinzuke for color.

Food shortages in Europe following World War I caused great hardships, including cases of mangelwurzel disease, as relief workers called it. It was symptomatic of eating only beets.

Nutrition

Raw beetroot is 88% water, 10% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and less than 1% fat (see table). In a 100-gram amount providing 43 calories, raw beetroot is a rich source (27% of the Daily Value - DV) of folate and a moderate source (16% DV) of manganese, with other nutrients having insignificant content.

Preliminary research

In preliminary research, beetroot juice reduced blood pressure in hypertensive animals, so may have an effect on mechanisms of cardiovascular disease. Tentative evidence has found that dietary nitrate supplementation such as from beets and other vegetables results in a small to moderate improvement in endurance exercise performance.

Beets contain betaines, which may function to reduce the concentration of homocysteine, a homolog of the naturally occurring amino acid cysteine. High circulating levels of homocysteine may be harmful to blood vessels, thus contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease. As of 2008 this hypothesis is controversial as it has not yet been established whether homocysteine itself is harmful or is just an indicator of increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

Other uses

Betanin, obtained from the roots, is used industrially as red food colorant, to improve the color and flavor of tomato paste, sauces, desserts, jams and jellies, ice cream, candy, and breakfast cereals, among other applications.

The chemical adipic acid rarely occurs in nature, but happens to occur naturally in beetroot.

Safety

The red colour compound betanin is not broken down in the body, and in higher concentrations may temporarily cause urine or stools to assume a reddish colour, in the case of urine a condition called beeturia. Although harmless, this effect may cause initial concern due to the visual similarity to what appears to be blood in the stool, hematochezia (blood passing through the math, usually in or with stool) or hematuria (blood in the urine).

Nitrosamine formation in beet juice can reliably be prevented by adding ascorbic acid.

An introduction to beetroot

Like many modern vegetables, beetroot was first cultivated by the Romans. By the 19th century it held great commercial value when it was discovered that beets could be converted into sugar. Today, the leading commercial producers include the USA, Russia, France, Poland and Germany. Many classic beetroot recipes are associated with central and Eastern Europe including the famous beetroot soup known as borscht. Beetroot's earthy charm has resulted in its ubiquitous influence on fashionable menus and recipes. Its delicious but distinctive flavour and nutritional status have escalated it to the root you can't beat!

Belonging to the same family as chard and spinach, both the leaves and root can be eaten - the leaves have a bitter taste whereas the round root is sweet. Typically a rich purple colour, beetroot can also be white or golden. Due to its high sugar content, beetroot is delicious eaten raw but is more typically cooked or pickled.

Nutritional highlights

Beetroot is of exceptional nutritional value; especially the greens, which are rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C. Beetroots are an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of fibre, manganese and potassium. The greens should not be overlooked; they can be cooked up and enjoyed in the same way as spinach.

Historical health uses

The plant pigment that gives beetroot its rich, purple-crimson colour is betacyanin; a powerful agent, thought to help suppress the development of some types of cancer.
Beetroot is rich in fibre, exerting favourable effects on bowel function, which may assist in preventing constipation and help to lower cholesterol levels too.

Research

Beetroot fibre has been shown to increase the number of white blood cells, which are responsible for detecting and eliminating abnormal cells. Red beetroots have been ranked as one of the 10 most potent antioxidant vegetables and are also one of the richest sources of glutamine, an amino acid, essential to the health and maintenance of the intestinal tract.

Other studies have looked at the effect of beetroot juice on blood pressure. A reduction in blood pressure is beneficial for the avoidance of heart disease and stroke. Studies state that nitrate rich foods like beetroot may help in heart attack survival.

Beetroot juice has gained popularity since Paralympic gold medalist David Weir announced that a shot of the juice was his secret to success.

How to select and store

Good quality, fresh beetroots should have their greens intact. The greens should be fresh-looking with no signs of spoilage. The beetroot should be firm, smooth, and a vibrant red-purple, not soft, wrinkled or dull in colour. Fresh beets with the greens attached can be stored for three to four days in the fridge, but beets with the greens removed can be stored in the fridge for two to four weeks. Raw beets do not freeze well since they tend to become soft on thawing. Freezing cooked beetroot is fine as it retains its flavour and texture.

Tip: Slightly limp greens can be restored to freshness if stored in the refrigerator in water. However, if it's too late, you can simply cut them off.

Wash beets gently under cool running water, taking care not to tear the skin. It is this tough outer layer that helps keep most of the beetroot's pigments inside the vegetable. The leaves can be steamed lightly to retain their nutritional quality. When boiling beetroot, leave the beets with their root ends and one inch of stem attached and don't peel them until after cooking since beet juice can stain your skin.
Tip: If your hands become stained during preparation and cooking beetroot, rub some lemon juice over them to help remove the colour.

Though available year round, beets are sweetest and most tender during their peak season, from June to October. Beets are enjoying a resurgence in popularity among modern chefs. While heirloom varieties like white and golden yellow beets make for pretty dishes, only red beets have the cancer-fighting compound betacyanin.

Safety

For some people, eating beetroot may induce beeturia; a red or pink colour in the urine or stool. It is totally harmless! Beet greens and, to a lesser extent, the roots contain high levels of oxalate. Individuals with a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones should avoid over-consuming beetroot.

beet.png


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#307 2019-01-28 00:18:41

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

284) Cabbage

Cabbage, (Brassica oleracea), vegetable and fodder plant of the mustard family (Brassicaceae), the various agricultural forms of which have been developed by long cultivation from the wild cabbage (Brassica oleracea). The edible portions of all cabbage forms - which include kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts—are low in calories and are an excellent source of vitamin C. Head cabbage, generally designated simply “cabbage,” is a major table vegetable in most countries of the temperate zone.

All forms of cabbage have succulent leaves that are free of hairs and covered with a waxy coating, which often gives the leaf surface a gray-green or blue-green colour. The plants grow best in mild to cool climates and tolerate frost; some forms tolerate hard freezing at certain periods of growth. Hot weather impairs growth and quality. The common forms of cabbage may be classified according to the plant parts used for food and the structure or arrangement of those parts.

•    Leaves: loose or open foliage (kale and collards [B. oleracea, variety acephala]) and leaves folded into compact heads—large terminal heads (e.g., head cabbage [B. oleracea, variety capitata]) and small axillary heads (e.g., Brussels sprouts [B. oleracea, variety gemmifera])
•    Flowers and thickened flower stalks: flowers little or not modified (broccoli [B. oleracea, variety italica]) and flowers much thickened and modified (cauliflower [B. oleracea, variety botrytis])
•    Stem: much expanded to a bulbous structure (kohlrabi [B. oleracea, variety gongylodes]).

Head cabbage is one of the most economically significant forms of the plant. Hard-headed cabbage was developed in northern Europe during the Middle Ages, and soft-headed cabbages, such as savoy, are believed to have originated earlier in southern Europe. The heads of horticultural varieties of head cabbage range in shape from pointed through globular to flat; from soft to hard in structure; through various shades of green, gray-green, and magenta or red; and from less than 1 kg to more than 3 kg (2–7 pounds) in weight. The less-hard varieties must be used more or less promptly after harvest for salads, in cookery, or for the manufacture of sauerkraut, whereas the very hard late-maturing Danish type is suited to winter storage.

The so-called Chinese cabbages, including bok choy (Brassica rapa, variety chinensis) and napa cabbage (B. rapa, variety pekinensis), are forms of a related species.

Cabbage nutrition facts

Have you ever wonder what would be the secret of Chinese people's eternal youthfulness? Yes...It is cabbage!

Rich in phytonutrient antioxidants, this cool season leafy vegetable belongs to the "Brassica" family, a broad family of common plants that also include brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, kale, and broccoli. It is one of the widely cultivated crops around the world.

Scientific name: Brassica oleracea (capitata group).
   
Cabbage structurally consists of clusters of thick leaves superimposed in over the other in compact layers, allowing it to take round or globular shape vegetable. Several varieties of cabbage cultivated worldwide including green, purple, red, and Savoy (Brassica oleracea var. sabauda L, features loose-wrinkled leaves).
   
Bok-choy or "Chinese-cabbage" is a long cylindrical shaped leafy vegetable, comprising of short, compact leaves. It is of different species of the same Brassica genus of plants. Bok-choy characteristically has a dynamic growth pattern.

Napa cabbage is another Chinese vegetable variety in the Brassica family. It grows to oblate shaped head consisting of tightly arranged crinkly, thick, light-green color leaves with prominent white veins.

Health benefits of cabbage

•    Fresh, green leafy cabbage is incredibly nutritious; but very low in fat and calories. 100 grams of leaves carry just 25 calories.
•    The vegetable is a storehouse of phytochemicals like thiocyanates, indole-3-carbinol, lutein, zeaxanthin, sulforaphane, and isothiocyanates. These compounds are potent antioxidants and known to help protect against breast, colon, and prostate cancers and help reduce LDL or "bad cholesterol" levels in the blood.
•    Fresh cabbage is an excellent source of natural antioxidan; vitamin C. Provides 36.6 mg or about 61% of RDA per 100 g. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
•    Total antioxidant strength measured regarding oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC value) is 508 µmol TE/100 g. Red cabbage has higher antioxidant value, 2252 µmol TE/100 g.
•    It is also rich in essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that our body requires them from external sources to replenish.
•    It also contains an adequate amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron required for the red blood cell formation.
•    Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin-K, provides about 63% of RDA levels. Vitamin-K has the potential role in bone metabolism through promoting osteoblastic activity. Sufficient amounts of vitamin-K in the diet contribute immensely to your bone health. Also, vitamin-K also has established a role in the cure of Alzheimer's disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in their brain.

Selection and storage

Cabbage is a cool-season crop. In the US supermarkets, however, they can be readily available year round. While buying, choose fresh, compact, firm, medium-size head heavy for its size.

Pests are common in cabbage. Conventionally grown heads may be subjected to insecticide sprays to avoid pest infestation. Therefore, wash thoroughly in cold running water, then soak in saline water for about 30 minutes. Then again give a gentle wash in clean water in order to remove sand, dirt, pests, eggs/ova/cysts, and any residual insecticides.

Use cabbage while farm fresh to get its maximum health benefits. However, it can be stored in the refrigerator for few days for later use.

Preparation and serving methods

To prepare, trim off the stem end and discard any withered outer layer leaves. Wash the head as described above. Cut the head into two halves and then slice the leaves as you may desire in the recipes.

Here are some serving tips:

•    Thoroughly cleaned cabbage can be eaten raw, in fact, is very nutritious.
•    Add sliced or grated fresh leaves to vegetable salad preparations.
•    Raw sliced or chopped leaves can be added to vegetable salad preparations.
•    Fresh or pickled cabbage leaves used as rolls in filling (sarmale) minced meat in many parts of Central Europe, Balkans, and Asia-minor regions.
•    Stew fried cabbage, onion, garlic, bell pepper, and green chilies mixed with steamed rice, and soy/chili/tomato sauce is one of the favorite dishes (Chowmein) in China and other South East Asian regions.
•    Furthermore, it is used in the preparation of a kind of soup with added beet juice, and yogurt is known as "borscht," a very popular in eastern European nations.

Safety profile

Cabbage may contain "goitrogens,” certain plant-derived compounds, primarily found in cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, etc., may cause swelling of the thyroid gland and should be avoided in individuals with thyroid dysfunction. However, they may be used liberally in healthy persons.

cabbage.jpg


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#308 2019-01-30 00:22:32

ganesh
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Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

285) Horse

Horses are members of the family Equidae, which includes the wild donkeys of Africa and Asia and the zebras of African plains and mountains. The origins of horse-like mammals have been traced back some 55 million years to a small “dawn horse” known as Eohippus. More recently, during the Pliocene and Miocene periods (which ended some 1.5-2 million years ago) horses and their relatives as we know them today were probably the most abundant medium-sized grazing animals in the world. Since then, every species has experienced a major reduction in population size.

One wild horse, the tarpan, a small, shy, gray species lived on the Russian steppes of Eurasia until some time in the eighteenth century, when it became extinct because of overhunting and cross-breeding with domesticated species. Almost nothing is known about this animal apart from scant information in a few museums. The only other true wild horse, the slightly larger Przewalski’s horse (Equus przewalskii ), is now also thought to have gone extinct in the wild as recently as the mid 1960s. Some members of this species were, however, preserved in captivity so at least some representatives of this ancient lineage remain.

Horses are grazing animals of wide open plains, where constant vigilance is necessary in order to avoid predators such as lions, tigers, leopards, and wild canids. Apart from their keen senses of vision, hearing, and smell, horses are well equipped to outrun most potential attackers. Wild horses also undergo extensive seasonal migrations in search of optimal feeding and watering habitat. The feet of these hoofed animals (perissodactyls) are modified for agility and rapid movement. Horses have light feet with just one toe and, when moving, the hoof is the only part of the foot to touch the ground. Horses are also characterized by their long, slender legs, capable of a steady,

Prolonged movement or a long, striding gait. A deep chest allows for their large lungs, as well as the animal’s large stomach, which is important for digesting the great amounts of relatively bulky plant materials.

Grasses and herbs form a major part of the diet. While these materials are relatively abundant, they are often not very nutritious, being low in protein and difficult to digest. Horses eat large quantities of plant materials each day and must be able to transform this into energy and nutrition. Plant cells are composed of cellulose, which the digestive system of few mammals is capable of breaking down. To assist with this process horses and their relatives rely on microorganisms within the large intestine and colon to break down and ferment their bulky diet. In contrast to ruminating animals such as deer and cattle, horses have a small and relatively simple stomach in which proteins are digested and absorbed. The digestive system of horses is far less efficient than that of a cow, for example, which means that the former must eat considerably more of the same materials in order to acquire a similar amount of energy.

Przewalski’s horse is closely related to the domestic species (Equus caballus ), but is distinct in its appearance. Reaching more than 7 ft (2 m) at the shoulder, and with a length of almost 8 ft (2.5 m), these horses are a dark bay-dun color with a much lighter underside and muzzle patch. The dark mane narrows to a single, narrow dorsal stripe along the back, ending in a black tail. Early Stone Age cave paintings feature many illustrations of horses that closely resemble this species. It was formerly widespread in steppe and semiarid habitats of Kazakhstan, Sinkiang, Mongolia, and parts of southern Siberia. The Przewalski’s horse first became known to Western science in 1879, when it was discovered by a Polish explorer after whom the horse is named. Although there are no known estimates of the initial population size, by the early twentieth century it was already rare and found only in parts of southern China and Mongolia.

These animals were once highly prized by Mongolian people for their stamina. The wild herds once also provided semi-nomadic tribes with an essential supply of milk, meat, and hides, the latter being used for clothing as well as construction materials for their hut-like homes. Although the species is now extinct in its native habitat, sufficient animals are kept in zoological collections to enable a systematic program of captive breeding to take place. As a result of these efforts, there are now more than 1,500 individuals in captivity in many parts of the world. Apart from the hopes of conservationists to see this horse returned to its natural habitat, there is also a strong national desire amongst people in Mongolia to see these animals returned to the plains of its rightful heritage.

In their natural habitat, wild horses live in herds that consist of a number of mares, a single stallion, and foals and colts of a wide age span. The stallion is responsible for leading the herd to safe watering and feeding grounds and for protecting the females and young from predators. Stallions are extremely protective of their herds, and fights with other males who attempt to overthrow the stallion are common. Male horses fight with their hooves and teeth, especially the enlarged canines of the lower jaw - a prominent feature on mature males. A wide range of facial and other expressions are used to help avoid conflicts or to ensure that these are of short duration, as animals risk injury in such sparring events. Baring the teeth and curling the lips, while at the same time flattening the ears, is one of the most aggressive threats, while a number of vocalizations and stomping movements with the feet are also used to enhance the meaning of the gestures.

Almost everything we know about the social life of these animals is based on observations of semi-wild Przewalski’s horses and feral populations of domestic horses. In the Przewalski’s horse, young are born from April to June, following a gestation period of about 330 days. Mares usually bear a single foal which, shortly after birth, is able to stand up and follow its mother—an essential ability if the foal is not to fall prey to ever-vigilant predators. Foals remain close to their mothers for the first few weeks of life and do not become independent until they are almost two years old. Following this, they remain with the herd for several more years until they mature. In a natural situation, males are driven away from the herd as they reach mating maturity. These solitary males usually join with other males to form small bachelor herds. Females, in contrast, may remain with the herd they were born into and will, in time, breed with the dominant male of the herd.

The precise origins of the domestic horse are not known but they likely arose from either the tarpan or Przewalski’s horse. The earliest records of domestication are unclear and it is possible that this took place simultaneously in different parts of the world. Some reports suggest that it was attempted as early as 4000 BC in Mesopotamia and China, while evidence suggests that by 2000 BC domesticated horses were in use in China. Since then, horses have been bred for a number of purposes and there are now thought to be more than 180 different breeds. The powerful Shire horses were bred as draught animals in England, while most modern thoroughbreds, bred for their speed, stamina, and grace, are derived from breeding other species with primarily Arabian horses. The increasing spread of agriculture almost certainly played an important role in the use of domesticated species for draught purposes, but others were also bred and crossbred for their hardiness in extreme climates. Horses have also featured heavily in warfare, and many battles have been won and empires taken by mounted warriors.

Wild horses have suffered considerably since the arrival of humans on Earth. Horses and donkeys were once widely harvested for their meat and skins, particularly in parts of Asia. Elsewhere, the integrity of true wild species became diluted as domestic species interbred with wild animals. Natural changes may also have had some role to play in the demise of the wild horse, but it is more likely that human encroachment on the great plains of Asia, with spreading agriculture, has had the greatest and most long-term effect.

It is now too late to protect the last true wild horses, but considerable efforts are required to ensure that the last member of this ancient lineage, Przewalski’s horse, and its natural habitat are protected in a manner that would enable this species to be reintroduced to its native habitat. Consideration should also be given to the preservation of wild stocks of domesticated varieties, such as the mustangs of North America, the Dartmoor and Exmoor ponies of Great Britain, and the brumbies of Australia, where these species have a role to play in maintaining the ecology of their respective habitats. In some countries, however, feral horses have caused considerable destruction to local plants and control programs are required to limit herd size so that they do not cause irreversible damage to fragile ecosystems. In other regions, feral horses play a useful role in cropping long coarse grasses, which helps keep the ecosystem open for other smaller, more fastidious grazing animals and plants. Some plants are known to germinate only when their seeds have passed through a horse’s digestive system, as many of these plants may have evolved at a time when large herds of wild horses roamed the plains and acted as natural seed dispersers.

One of the defining features of domestic horses is their height, which is measured in hands, with a hand being equivalent to 10 cm (4 in).

Animal Facts

Although there is only one surviving species of wild horse, DNA tests suggest four wild bloodlines contributed to the ancestry of the domestic horse, and there are now around 300 breeds. These have been developed both for their speed, as in the case of the thoroughbred, and their strength, such as the Shire horse — the tallest of all breeds.

Today this species exists only as domestic breeds. These animals live on all continents of the world except Antarctica. In many places feral herds have appeared, such as in the Carmargue wetlands of southern France. The natural range of wild horses is thought to be the Eurasian steppes from Poland to Mongolia. Despite all being descended from domestic breeds, feral horses live in the same harem system as their wild ancestors, with a single male leading a small group of females. There are several breeds of horses, from the miniature Falabella and Shetland ponies to the mighty draft horses bred for hauling carts. Lighter horses were bred for speed. For example, the thoroughbreds used in racing are bred from fast-running Turkish and Arabic military breeds.

Vital Statistics

Distribution: Worldwide distribution, although less common in Africa than elsewhere. Originally domesticated from wild horses that used to roam extensively in Europe and Asia.

Weight: 27 - 1520 kg (700 - 3360 lb), depending on breed.

Height: 43 - 220 cm (17 - 87 in).

Maturity: 2 years, but not bred until 3.

Gestation Period: 335 - 340 days.

Breeding: 1; twins are rare and not normally viable; weaned at about 8 months.

Food: Grazes on grasses and other plants, also eating bark and leaves.

Lifespan: 25 - 30 years, but can be up to 50.

Nostrils : The broad nostrils help the horse breathe quickly when running.

Colouration : Shades of brown and black are commonly associated with horses, often broken up with white areas.

Teeth : Incisors are well suited to nibbling plant matter, but may also inflict a painful bite.

Hooves : Horses have just a single toe, enlarged to form a hoof.

Speed Of Movement : Horses have a recognized series of ‘paces’: walk, trot, canter and gallop.

American%20Doll%20full%20body%20web%202011.JPG


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#309 2019-01-30 17:40:36

Monox D. I-Fly
Member
From: Indonesia
Registered: 2015-12-02
Posts: 1,950

Re: Miscellany

ganesh wrote:

Horses are members of the family Equidae, which includes the wild maths of Africa and Asia and the zebras of African plains and mountains.

Wait, math is an animal?


Actually I never watch Star Wars and not interested in it anyway, but I choose a Yoda card as my avatar in honor of our great friend bobbym who has passed away.
May his adventurous soul rest in peace at heaven.

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#310 2019-01-30 22:13:12

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

Hi Monox D. I-Fly,

It was been rectified now.

ganesh wrote:

Horses are members of the family Equidae, which includes the wild donkeys of Africa and Asia and the zebras of African plains and mountains.

This is strict censorship in the forum. The word has been automatically filtered replacing math in place of another word.

Forum Rules: No Swearing or Offensive Topics. Young people use these forums, and should not be exposed to crudeness. There is a bad language filter on this website, do not try to "get around it".


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#311 2019-01-31 14:17:25

Monox D. I-Fly
Member
From: Indonesia
Registered: 2015-12-02
Posts: 1,950

Re: Miscellany

ganesh wrote:

Hi Monox D. I-Fly,

It was been rectified now.

ganesh wrote:

Horses are members of the family Equidae, which includes the wild donkeys of Africa and Asia and the zebras of African plains and mountains.

This is strict censorship in the forum. The word has been automatically filtered replacing math in place of another word.

Forum Rules: No Swearing or Offensive Topics. Young people use these forums, and should not be exposed to crudeness. There is a bad language filter on this website, do not try to "get around it".

That... gives me some ideas for some interesting curses...


Actually I never watch Star Wars and not interested in it anyway, but I choose a Yoda card as my avatar in honor of our great friend bobbym who has passed away.
May his adventurous soul rest in peace at heaven.

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#312 2019-01-31 15:01:15

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

Hi Monox D. I-Fly,

One of the forum rules : Remember: We Are People Here! And some of us are quite young. smile smile


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#313 2019-01-31 19:14:31

Monox D. I-Fly
Member
From: Indonesia
Registered: 2015-12-02
Posts: 1,950

Re: Miscellany

ganesh wrote:

Hi Monox D. I-Fly,

One of the forum rules : Remember: We Are People Here! And some of us are quite young. smile smile

Let's change the topic, then.

ganesh wrote:

Horses are grazing animals of wide open plains, where constant vigilance is necessary in order to avoid predators such as lions, tigers, leopards, and wild canids.

If you shortened wolves and the likes as wild canids, why didn't you do the same with lions, tigers, and leopards as wild felids?


Actually I never watch Star Wars and not interested in it anyway, but I choose a Yoda card as my avatar in honor of our great friend bobbym who has passed away.
May his adventurous soul rest in peace at heaven.

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#314 2019-01-31 20:37:22

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

Monox D. I-Fly wrote:

If you shortened wolves and the likes as wild canids, why didn't you do the same with lions, tigers, and leopards as wild felids?

Canid : any animal of the dog family Canidae, including the wolves, jackals, hyenas, coyotes, foxes, and domestic dogs.

Felid : any animal of the family Felidae, comprising the cats.

Wild canids are a group of related, dog-like animals that share common physical and behavioral features that allow them to survive in the wild. They are found all across the world and each species has unique adaptations specific to its natural environment.

Felidae is a family of mammals in the order Carnivora, colloquially referred to as cats. A member of this family is also called a felid or feline. The term "cat" refers both to felids in general and specifically to domestic cats.

The characteristic features of cats have evolved to support a carnivorous lifestyle, with adaptations for ambush or stalking and short pursuit hunting. They have slender muscular bodies, strong flexible forelimbs and retractable claws for holding prey, dental and cranial adaptations for a strong bite, and often have characteristic striped or spotted coat patterns for camouflage.

The Felidae comprises two subfamilies, the Pantherinae and the Felinae. The former includes the Panthera species tiger, lion, jaguar, leopard, snow leopard, and Neofelis species clouded leopard and Sunda clouded leopard. All the non-pantherine cats are part of the Felinae, which includes several genera and the majority of cat species.


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#315 2019-02-01 01:07:21

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

286) Eagle

Eagle, any of many large, heavy-beaked, big-footed birds of prey belonging to the family Accipitridae (order Falconiformes). In general, an eagle is any bird of prey more powerful than a buteo. An eagle may resemble a vulture in build and flight characteristics but has a fully feathered (often crested) head and strong feet equipped with great curved talons. A further difference is in foraging habits: eagles subsist mainly on live prey. They are too ponderous for effective aerial pursuit but try to surprise and overwhelm their prey on the ground. Like owls, many decapitate their kills. Because of their strength, eagles have been a symbol of war and imperial power since Babylonian times. Their likeness is found on Greek and Roman ruins, coins, and medals.

Eagles are monogamous. They mate for life and use the same nest each year. They tend to nest in inaccessible places, incubating a small clutch of eggs for six to eight weeks. The young mature slowly, reaching adult plumage in the third or fourth year.

The harpy eagles, named after the foul, malign creatures (part woman and part bird) of Greek mythology, are large, powerful, crested eagles of the tropical forests of South America and the South Pacific. They nest in the tops of the tallest trees and hunt macaws, monkeys, and sloths. The great harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja), which ranges from southern Mexico to Brazil, is about 1 metre (3.3 feet) long and bears a crest of dark feathers on its head. Its body is black above and white below except for a black chest band. It is becoming increasingly rare, particularly in Mexico and Central America. The New Guinea harpy eagle (Harpyopsis novaeguineae) is about 75 cm (30 inches) long. It is gray-brown and has a long tail and a short but full crest. Very similar in appearance and habits is the Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi). It is about 90 cm (35 inches) long, brown above and white below, with a crest of long, narrow feathers. It is an endangered species.

The harrier eagles, six species of Circaetus (subfamily Circaetinae, serpent eagles), of Europe, Asia, and Africa, are about 60 cm (24 inches) long and have short unfeathered legs. They nest in the tops of trees and hunt snakes.

The hawk eagles (genera Spizastur, Spizaetus, Lophaetus, and Hieraaetus, subfamily Accipitrinae) are lightly built eagles that have fully feathered legs and large beaks and feet. They hunt all kinds of small animals. Members of the Spizaetus species (e.g., the ornate hawk eagle [S. ornatus] of tropical America) have short wide wings, long rounded tails, and ornamented heads. Bonelli’s eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus), of Mediterranean areas and parts of southern Asia, is about 60 cm (24 inches) long, is dark above and light below, has a broad tailband, and usually shows a white patch on the back.

The martial eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus) of Africa is heavily built, brown above with black throat and black-spotted white underparts. It has a short, barred tail and bright yellow eyes. It is large and strong enough to kill jackals and small antelopes, but its usual food is chicken like birds and hyraxes.

The sea eagles (sometimes called fish, or fishing, eagles, Haliaeetus species) are very large eagles that live along rivers, big lakes, and tidewater throughout the world except South America. Some reach 1 metre (3.3 feet) long, with a wingspan nearly twice that. All have exceptionally large high-arched beaks and bare lower legs. The undersurfaces of the toes are roughened for grasping slippery prey. These birds eat much carrion but sometimes kill. They snatch fish from the water surface and often rob their chief competitor, the osprey. The largest sea eagle is Steller’s sea eagle (H. pelagicus), of Korea, Japan, and Russia’s Far East (particularly the Kamchatka Peninsula). This bird has a wingspan surpassing 2 metres (6.6 feet) and can weigh up to 9 kg (20 pounds). The only sea eagle of North America is the bald eagle (H. leucocephalus), which is found across Canada and the United States and in northern Mexico. The white-bellied sea eagle (H. leucogaster), frequently seen on the coasts of Australia, ranges from New Guinea and Indonesia through Southeast Asia to India and China. A well-known African species is the African fish eagle (H. vocifer), found along lakes, rivers, and coastlines from south of the Sahara to the Cape of Good Hope.

White-tailed sea eagles (H. albicilla), native to Europe, southwestern Greenland, the Middle East, Russia (including Siberia), and the coastlands of China, had disappeared from the British Isles by 1918 and from most of southern Europe by the 1950s; however, they began to recolonize Scotland by way of Norway in the 1950s and ’60s. By the early 21st century, more than 5,000 breeding pairs could be found across northern Europe as a result of systematic reintroduction programs begun in the 1980s. At present, Scottish populations number more than 150 birds, and a handful of sea eagles have been reintroduced to Ireland.

Asian species include the gray-headed, or greater, fishing eagle (Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus) and the lesser fishing eagle (I. naga).

The serpent eagles, or snake eagles, Spilornis (six species, subfamily Circaetinae), eat mostly snakes, including large poisonous ones. They occur in Asia. Other birds called serpent eagles, notably the long-tailed members of the genera Dryotriorchis (e.g., African serpent eagle) and Eutriorchis (e.g., the endangered Madagascar serpent eagle), occur in Africa.

Verreaux’s eagle (Aquila verreauxii) is an uncommon bird of eastern and southern Africa. It is black with white rump and wing patches. It reaches about 80 cm (31 inches) in length, and it subsists mainly on hyraxes.

The eagle is a (generally) large sized bird of prey meaning that the eagle is one of the most dominant predators in the sky. Eagles are most commonly found in the Northern Hemisphere including Europe, Asia and North America. Eagles are also found on the African continent.

There are more than 60 different species of eagle in the world with only 2 of these eagle species being found in the USA and Canada. However, one of these eagle species is one of the most common species of eagle, the bald eagle. Despite its name, the bald eagle has a full head of feathers but their bright white colour makes the bald eagle very distinguishable. The golden eagle is the only other species of eagle found on the American continent.

The size of an eagle is dependent on the species of eagle. Eagles can range in size from 40cm to over 1m in height. The wingspan of an eagle tends to be at least double the length of the eagle's body. Eagles have feathers on the ends of their wings which the eagles move up and down to help them when flying.
Eagles are dominant predators and are known as birds of prey. Eagles feed off smaller birds and bats in the sky and small mammals and fish on the ground. The eagle is well known for its incredible eyesight. An eagle's eyesight is so good that an eagle can apparently see a mouse on the ground when the eagle is still high in the sky.

The eagle is used as a symbol in many national flags and emblems all around the world, as an eagle is believed to resemble power or good fortune. Eagles are dominant and ruthless predators in their environment and eagles therefore have very few natural predatorsthemselves. Eagles are most likely to be hunted by smaller animals when they are chicks or still young and inexperienced so they are fairly vulnerable.

Female eagles build their nests in tall tree tops or on high cliffs where they are at their safest. The mother eagle tends to lay two eggs, which hatch after about a month. In many eagle species however, one of the eagle chicks is naturally slightly stronger than the other chick, with the stronger chick generally killing it's weaker sibling.

Eagles have adapted well to their dominant predatory lifestyle. Not only do eagles have exceptional eyesight and are about to soar remarkably quickly through the air for such a large bird, but eagles also have pointed beaks and agile feet known as talons. The beak of the eagle is perfectly designed for ripping flesh away from bone, and the talons of the eagle are so strong that the eagle is able to carry it's prey in its feet until it reaches a safe place to eat it.

Eagle Foot Facts
•    The eagle has very specially adapted large, clawed feet which are known as talons.
•    The talons of the eagle are powerful and strong and allow the eagle to catch prey on the ground or in water when the eagle is still in the air.
•    The talons of the eagle are designed to carry prey through the air and they are strong enough to hold onto a fish which weighs more than the eagle.
•    The feet of an eagle have four strong toes, and at the end of these toes are large, curved claws which enable the eagle to hook onto its prey.
•    The talons of a baby eagle are very short when compared to the talons of an adult eagle, and it takes a few years for the feet of the baby eagle to be fully sized.

Eagle Teeth Facts
•    Eagles have very sharp and pointed beaks which the eagle often uses to grab prey with.
•    The eagle uses the sharply pointed beak to bite animals at the base of their skull to kill them before swallowing them whole.
•    The beak of an eagle is extremely strong and powerful, although they will rarely carry their prey in their beak for large distances.
•    The beak of an eagle is made out of keratin and therefore is growing constantly, much like the hair and fingernails of a human being.
•    The beak of the eagle is almost as long as the head of an eagle and the eagle uses the hooked end of the beak to rip apart prey that this too big to swallow whole.

Bald-Eagles-have-a-6-foot-wing-span-300x229.jpg


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#316 2019-02-03 00:08:46

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

287) Cheetah

Cheetah, (Acinonyx jubatus), one of the world’s most-recognizable cats, known especially for its speed. Cheetahs’ sprints have been measured at a maximum of 114 km (71 miles) per hour, and they routinely reach velocities of 80–100 km per hour while pursuing prey. Nearly all the cheetahs remaining in the wild live in Africa.
Cheetahs are covered almost entirely with small black spots on a background of pale yellow and have a white underbelly. Their faces are distinguished by prominent black lines that curve from the inner corner of each eye to the outer corners of the mouth, like a well-worn trail of inky tears. Cheetahs have a long, slender body measuring 1.2 metres (4 feet), with a long tail (65–85 cm [2–3 feet]) that generally ends in a white tuft. They are about 75 cm tall at the shoulder. Weight ranges from 34 to 54 kg (75 to 119 pounds), males being slightly larger than females.

Natural History

Cheetahs have evolved many adaptations that enhance their ability to sprint. Their legs are proportionally longer than those of other big cats; an elongated spine increases stride length at high speeds; they have unretractable claws, special paw pads for extra traction, and a long tail for balance. Internally, the liver, adrenal glands, lungs, bronchi, nasal passages, and heart are all large to allow intense physiological activity. During a chase, cheetahs take about 31/2 strides per second and 60 to 150 breaths per minute. Chases are usually limited to sprints of less than 200–300 metres, however, because the increased physiological activity associated with running creates heat faster than it can be released through evaporative cooling (sweating through their paws and panting).

Unlike most carnivores, cheetahs are active mainly during the day, hunting in the early morning and late afternoon. A cheetah eats a variety of small animals, including game birds, rabbits, small antelopes (including the springbok, impala, and gazelle), young warthogs, and larger antelopes (such as the kudu, hartebeest, oryx, and roan). Prey is generally consumed quickly to avoid losing it to competitors such as lions, leopards, jackals, and hyenas.

Cheetahs inhabit a wide variety of habitats, including the dry, open country and grasslands where they are most often seen, as well as areas of denser vegetation and rocky upland terrain. Groups consist of a mother and her young or of coalitions made up of two or three males that are often brothers. Adult males and females rarely meet except to mate. Male coalitions live and hunt together for life and occupy an area that may overlap the range of several adult females. Female home ranges are generally much larger than those of male coalitions.

Following a gestation period of three months, the female gives birth to two to eight cubs, usually in an isolated spot hidden in the cover of tall grass or thicker vegetation. At birth, cubs weigh about 250 to 300 grams (slightly more than half a pound). Their fur is dark and includes a thick yellowish gray mane along the back, a trait that presumably offers better camouflage and increased protection from high temperatures during the day and low temperatures at night during the first few months of life. Mortality among young cubs can be as high as 90 percent in the wild, often because of other predators. The mother leaves her offspring when they are 16–24 months old. Young males are chased away by the resident male coalition, traveling several hundred kilometres before establishing residence and becoming mating active at 2 and 1/2 to 3 years of age. Female offspring will generally inhabit the same vicinity as their mother. Life expectancy of cheetahs is about 7 years in the wild and generally from 8 to 12 years in captivity.

Status And Taxonomy

The cheetah has lived in association with humans since at least 3000 BCE, when the Sumerians depicted a leashed cheetah with a hood on its head on an official seal. During this period in Egypt, the cheetah was revered as a symbol of royalty in the form of the cat goddess Mafdet. Cheetahs were kept as pets by many famous historical figures, such as Genghis Khan, Charlemagne, and Akbar the Great of India (who had more than 9,000 in his stable). These cats were also used for sport. Trained and tame, they were typically hooded and carried on horseback or in a cart, then dehooded and released near their quarry. In spite of the large numbers of cheetahs kept in captivity by royalty during the 14th–16th centuries, almost all were captured from the wild because there was essentially no captive breeding. Because of this continuous drain on wild Asiatic populations, cheetahs from Africa were being imported into India and Iran during the early 1900s.

In 1900 an estimated 100,000 cheetahs were found in habitats throughout continental Africa and from the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula to India. Today cheetahs have been extirpated from a large portion of this area. In Asia they are nearly extinct, with the largest confirmed population (a few dozen) inhabiting northeastern Iran. In Africa there are an estimated 9,000 to 12,000 cheetahs, with the largest populations existing in Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe in Southern Africa and Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa. Smaller, more isolated populations exist in other countries, including South Africa, Congo (Kinshasa), Zambia, Somalia, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, and the Central African Republic. All populations are threatened, even within protected areas, because of increased competition from large predators such as lions and hyenas. Outside of reserves, humans pose a threat in several forms, including habitat loss, poaching, and indiscriminate trapping and shooting to protect livestock.

The cheetah was common throughout North America, Europe, and Asia until the end of the last ice age, about 11,700 years ago—a time coincident to when large numbers of mammals disappeared throughout the Northern Hemisphere. All North American and European cheetahs and most of those in Asia vanished. About this time the cheetah populations seem to have experienced what may have been the first and most severe of a series of size reductions (demographic bottlenecks). Modern cheetahs retain evidence of this historic event in their DNA. There is a very high level of genetic similarity in all but the most rapidly evolving parts of the cheetah’s genome, which makes all of today’s individuals appear highly inbred. This condition has been linked with increased susceptibility to infectious diseases (such as feline infectious peritonitis, or FIP), increased infant mortality, and high levels of abnormal male gamete. No evidence, however, links low levels of genetic variation with reduced fitness in wild populations.

Early taxonomists interpreted the numerous specialized traits of cheetahs as evidence that they diverged from the other cat species early in the evolutionary history of the cat family (Felidae). The cheetah was therefore granted unique taxonomic status, and since the early 1900s it has been classified as the only species of genus Acinonyx. Cheetahs are often divided into five subspecies: A. jubatus jubatus in Southern Africa, A. jubatus fearsoni (including A. jubatus velox and A. jubatus raineyi) from eastern Africa, A. jubatus soemmeringii from Nigeria to Somalia, A. jubatus hecki from northwestern Africa, and A. jubatus venaticus from Arabia to central India. The king cheetah, once thought to be a distinct subspecies, is a Southern African form that has a “blotchy” coat pattern presumably from a rare recessive genetic mutation.

Numerous molecular genetic studies suggest that the cheetah shares a common ancestor with the puma and jaguarundi, from which it diverged six to eight million years ago, probably in North America. Fossils attributable to cheetah like species dating from two to three million years ago have been found in North America in what is now Texas, Nevada, and Wyoming.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#317 2019-02-03 19:15:22

Monox D. I-Fly
Member
From: Indonesia
Registered: 2015-12-02
Posts: 1,950

Re: Miscellany

Speed and unretractable claws aside, I can't even distinguish physically between a cheetah and a jaguar or a leopard.


Actually I never watch Star Wars and not interested in it anyway, but I choose a Yoda card as my avatar in honor of our great friend bobbym who has passed away.
May his adventurous soul rest in peace at heaven.

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#318 2019-02-03 20:59:41

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

Hi Monox D. I-Fly,

1. Cheetah

Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), known as the fastest land animals, have long, slender bodies covered with unique black spots scattered across their tan coats. The name cheetah comes from the Sanskrit word "chitraka," which means "the spotted one," according to the World Wildlife Fund.
With aerodynamic bodies, long legs and blunt, semi-retractable claws, cheetahs are formidable carnivores that can sprint at speeds of up to 60 to 70 mph (96 to 112 km/h), according to the Smithsonian National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute.

Physical characteristics

Adult cheetahs are, on average, 30 inches (77 centimeters) tall at the shoulder, and 44 to 56 inches (112 to 142 cm) long from head to rump, with their tails adding another 26 to 33 inches (66 to 84 cm). Typically, these large cats weigh between 75 and 140 lbs. (34 to 64 kilograms), according to the Smithsonian.

Cheetahs have small, round heads and mouths filled with relatively small teeth (as compared to other large cats). Their small teeth allow more room in the skull for large nasal passages, which, along with a large heart and lungs, facilitate efficient air intake during the cheetah's powerful sprints. However, the smaller teeth create a disadvantage if the cheetahs have to fight with other large cats, like lions. But cheetahs are built for speed and will typically flee the area when they encounter a larger predator.

Cheetahs have long, thin bodies with long, powerful legs and a flexible spine. Such characteristics allow these runners to stretch their long bodies when they sprint and cover significant ground with each rapid stride - around 20 to 22 feet (6 to 6.7 meters) per stride, according to the San Diego Zoo. Cheetahs have been known to accelerate from 0 to 45 mph (72 km/h) in just 2.5 seconds. For comparison, the fastest cars in the world can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.5 seconds, according to Consumer Reports.

Cheetahs can also turn very quickly, even while in midair, thanks to their long tail, which counters their body weight. Their semi-retractable claws, similar to dog claws, provide great traction during sprints and sudden turns.

A cheetah's spotted coat helps it blend into its environment when it's resting, stalking prey and hiding from predators. Cheetahs also contain signature black tear streaks on their faces that go from their eyes to their mouths.

2. Jaguar

Jaguars are large cats that can be found in North, Central and South America. They are identified by their yellow or orange coats, dark spots and short legs. The dark spots on their coats are unlike any other cat spots. Each spot looks like a rose and are called rosettes.

Jaguars are the biggest cats in the Americas and the third largest cats in the world, according to Defenders of Wildlife. From head to flank, these cats range in length from 4 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters). The tail can add another 2 feet (60 centimeters) in length, though their tails are quite short when compared to other large cats. Lions' tails, by comparison, can grow up to 3.5 feet (105 cm).

Males are heavier than females. Males can weigh from 126 to 250 lbs. (57-113 kilograms), while females weigh 100 to 200 lbs. (45-90 kg), according to the Denver Zoo.

Habitat

Jaguars typically live in forests or woods, but they are also found in desert areas, such as Arizona. They tend to stay close to water and they like to fish. Jaguars will dip their tails into the water to lure fish, much like a fishing line.

Historically, jaguars roamed the southwestern United States from Texas to California. Famed mountain man James "Grizzly" Adams even reported seeing a female and two cubs in California's Tehachapi Mountains near Bakersfield sometime in the mid-1800s.

But anti-predator efforts of the early 1900s wiped out jaguars from the northern reaches of their range. Today, the northernmost breeding population is in the state of Sonora in Mexico. Still, the occasional jaguar does make a home in Arizona. Experts debate how important this habitat is for overall jaguar survival, but some conservationists in the state argue that Arizona could be important habitat for the big cats as the climate warms and prey move north.

3. Leopard

Leopards are big cats known for their golden, spotted bodies and graceful, yet ferocious hunting techniques. They are often thought of as an African animal, but leopards live all over the world. Though their reach is vast, their numbers are declining.

Size

Leopards are larger than a house cat, but leopards are the smallest members of the large cat category. They grow to only 3 to 6.2 feet (92 to 190 centimeters) long. Their tail adds another 25 to 39 inches (64 to 99 cm) to their length. Males and females vary in weight. Females typically weigh 46 to 132 pounds (21 to 60 kilograms) and males usually weigh around 80 to 165 lbs. (36 to 75 kg), according to the San Diego Zoo.

Habitat

The leopard is very adaptable and can live in many different places across the globe. Leopards are found in sub-Saharan Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, southwestern and eastern Turkey, in the Sinai/Judean Desert of Southwest Asia, the Himalayan foothills, India, Russia, China and the islands of Java and Sri Lanka, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). These large cats can live in almost any type of habitat, including rainforests, deserts, woodlands, grassland savannas, forests, mountain habitats, coastal scrubs, shrub lands and swampy areas. In fact, leopards live in more places than any other large cat.

Leopards are solitary creatures that only spend time with others when they are mating or raising young. They are also nocturnal and spend their nights hunting instead of sleeping.

Leopards spend a lot of their time in trees. Their spotted coat camouflages them, making them blend in with the leaves of the tree. They will often drag their prey into trees to keep it from being taken by other animals, according to National Geographic.

Diet

Leopards are carnivores, but they aren't picky eaters. They will prey on any animal that comes across their path, such as Thomson's gazelles, cheetah cubs, baboons, rodents, monkeys, snakes, large birds, amphibians, fish, antelopes, warthogs and porcupines.

Leopards are ambush predators; they crouch low to sneak up to their prey and pounce before it has a chance to react, according to the Animal Diversity Web, a database maintained by the Museum of Zoology at the University of Michigan. A leopard will kill its prey with one swift bite to the neck, breaking it.


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#319 2019-02-05 00:33:41

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

288) Bitter Melon

Momordica charantia (colloquial: bitter melon; bitter apple; bitter gourd; bitter squash; balsam-pear) is a tropical and subtropical vineof the family Cucurbitaceae, widely grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean for its edible fruit. Its many varieties differ substantially in the shape and bitterness of the fruit.
Bitter melon originated in India and was introduced into China in the 14th century. It is widely used in East Asian, South Asian, and Southeast Asian cuisine.

Description

This herbaceous, tendril-bearing vine grows up to 5 m (16 ft) in length. It bears simple, alternate leaves 4–12 cm (1.6–4.7 in) across, with three to seven deeply separated lobes. Each plant bears separate yellow male and female flowers. In the Northern Hemisphere, flowering occurs during June to July and fruiting during September to November.

The fruit has a distinct warty exterior and an oblong shape. It is hollow in cross-section, with a relatively thin layer of flesh surrounding a central seed cavity filled with large, flat seeds and pith. The fruit is most often eaten green, or as it is beginning to turn yellow. At this stage, the fruit's flesh is crunchy and watery in texture, similar to cucumber, chayote or green bell pepper, but bitter. The skin is tender and edible. Seeds and pith appear white in unripe fruits; they are not intensely bitter and can be removed before cooking.

Some sources claim the flesh (rind) becomes somewhat tougher and more bitter with age, but other sources claim that at least for the common Chinese variety the skin does not change and bitterness decreases with age. The Chinese variety are best harvested light green possibly with a slight yellow tinge or just before. The pith becomes sweet and intensely red; it can be eaten uncooked in this state, and is a popular ingredient in some Southeast Asian salads.

When the fruit is fully ripe, it turns orange and mushy, and splits into segments which curl back dramatically to expose seeds covered in bright red pulp.

Varieties

Bitter melon comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. The cultivar common in China is 20–30 cm (7.9–11.8 in) long, oblong with bluntly tapering ends and pale green in color, with a gently undulating, warty surface. The bitter melon more typical of India has a narrower shape with pointed ends, and a surface covered with jagged, triangular "teeth" and ridges. It is green to white in color. Between these two extremes are any number of intermediate forms. Some bear miniature fruit of only 6–10 cm (2.4–3.9 in) in length, which may be served individually as stuffed vegetables. These miniature fruit are popular in Bangladesh, India (common name 'Karela'), Pakistan, Nepal and other countries in South Asia. The sub-continent variety is most popular in Bangladesh and India.

Culinary uses

Bitter melon is generally consumed cooked in the green or early yellowing stage. The young shoots and leaves of the bitter melon may also be eaten as greens.
In Chinese cuisine, bitter melon is valued for its bitter flavor, typically in stir-fries (often with pork and douchi), soups, dim sum, and herbal teas(gohyah tea). It has also been used in place of hops as the bittering ingredient in some beers in China and Okinawa.

Bitter melon is commonly eaten throughout India. In North Indian cuisine, it is often served with yogurt on the side to offset the bitterness, used in curry such as sabzi or stuffed with spices and then cooked in oil.

In South Indian cuisine, it is used in the dishes thoran/thuvaran (mixed with grated coconut), mezhukkupuratti (stir-fried with spices), theeyal (cooked with roasted coconut) and pachadi(which is considered a medicinal food for diabetics). Other popular recipes include preparations with curry, deep-frying with peanuts or other ground nuts, and pachi pulusu, a soup with fried onions and other spices. In Karnataka bitter melon is known as hāgalakāyi  in Kannada; in Tamil Nadu it is known as paagarkaai or pavakai  in Tamil. In these regions, a special preparation called pagarkai pitla, a kind of sour koottu, is common. Also commonly seen is kattu pagarkkai, a curry in which bitter melons are stuffed with onions, cooked lentil and grated coconut mix, then tied with thread and fried in oil. In the Konkan region of Maharashtra, salt is added to finely chopped bitter gourd, known as karle  in Marathi, and then it is squeezed, removing its bitter juice to some extent. After frying this with different spices, the less bitter and crispy preparation is served with grated coconut. Bitter melon is known as karate  in Goa; it is valued for its health benefits and used widely in Goan cuisine.

In northern India and Nepal, bitter melon, known as tite karela  in Nepali, is prepared as a fresh pickle. For this, the vegetable is cut into cubes or slices, and sautéed with oil and a sprinkle of water. When it is softened and reduced, it is crushed in a mortar with a few cloves of garlic, salt and a red or green pepper. It is also eaten sautéed to golden-brown, stuffed, or as a curry on its own or with potatoes.

In Sri Lanka, it is known as karavila  in Sinhala and is an ingredient in many different curry dishes (e.g., karawila curry and karawila sambol) which are served mainly with rice in a main meal. Sometimes large grated coconut pieces are added, which is more common in rural areas. Karawila juice is also sometimes served there.

In Pakistan, where it is known as karela  in Urdu-speaking areas, and Bangladesh, where it is known as korola  in Bengali, bitter melon is often cooked with onions, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, coriander powder, and a pinch of cumin seeds. Another dish in Pakistan calls for whole, unpeeled bitter melon to be boiled and then stuffed with cooked minced beef, served with either hot tandoori bread, naan, chappati, or with khichri (a mixture of lentils and rice).

Bitter melon, known as gōyā  in Okinawan, and nigauri in Japanese (although the Okinawan word gōyā is also used), is a significant ingredient in Okinawan cuisine, and is increasingly used in Japanese cuisine beyond that island.

In Indonesian cuisine, bitter melon, known as pare in Javanese and Indonesian (also paria), is prepared in various dishes, such as gado-gado, and also stir-fried, cooked in coconut milk, or steamed. In Christian areas in Eastern Indonesia it is cooked with pork and chile, the sweetness of the pork balancing against the bitterness of the vegetable.

In Vietnamese cuisine, raw bitter melon slices known as mướp đắng or khổ qua in Vietnamese, eaten with dried meat floss and bitter melon soup with shrimp, are common dishes. Bitter melons stuffed with ground pork are commonly served as a summer soup in the south. It is also used as the main ingredient of stewed bitter melon. This dish is usually cooked for the Tết holiday, where its "bitter" name is taken as a reminder of the bitter living conditions experienced in the past.

In Thai cuisine, the Chinese variety of green bitter melon, mara  in Thai, is prepared stuffed with minced pork and garlic, in a clear broth. It is also served sliced, stir-fried with garlic and fish sauce until just tender.

In the cuisine of the Philippines, bitter melon, known as ampalaya in Tagalog and parya in Ilokano, may be stir-fried with ground beef and oyster sauce, or with eggs and diced tomato. The dish pinakbet, popular in the Ilocos region of Luzon, consists mainly of bitter melons, eggplant, okra, string beans, tomatoes, lima beans, and other various regional vegetables all stewed together with a little bagoong-based stock.

In Trinidad and Tobago, bitter melons, known as caraille or carilley, are usually sautéed with onion, garlic and scotch bonnet pepper until almost crisp.
In Mauritius, bitter melons are known as margose or margoze.

Traditional medicinal uses
   
Bitter melon has been used in various Asian and African herbal medicine systems for a long time. In Turkey, it has been used as a folk remedy for a variety of ailments, particularly stomach complaints. In traditional medicine of India, different parts of the plant are used as claimed treatments for diabetes (particularly Polypeptide-p, an insulin analogue), and as a stomachic, laxative, antibilious, emetic, anthelmintic agent, for the treatment of cough, respiratory diseases, skin diseases, wounds, ulcer, gout, and rheumatism.

Momordica charantia has a number of purported uses including cancer prevention, treatment of diabetes, fever, HIV and AIDS, and infections. While it has shown some potential clinical activity in laboratory experiments, "further studies are required to recommend its use". In 2012, the germplasm and chemical constituents, such as momordicin within several varieties of the gourd, were being studied.

For fever reduction and relief of menstrual problems, there is no scientific research to back these claims. For cancer prevention, HIV and AIDS, and treatment of infections, there is preliminary laboratory research, but no clinical studies in humans showing a benefit.

With regard to the use of Momordica charantia for diabetes, several animal studies and small-scale human studies have demonstrated a hypoglycemic effect of concentrated bitter melon extracts. In addition, a 2014 review shows evidence that Momordica charantia, when consumed in raw or juice form, can be efficacious in lowering blood glucoselevels. However, multiple reviews have found that Momordica charantia does not significantly decrease fasting blood glucose levels or A1c, indicators of blood glucose control, when taken in capsule or tablet form. Momordica charantia may be beneficial in diabetes; however, the effects seem to depend on how it is consumed. More studies need to be performed in order to verify this effect. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center concludes that bitter melon "cannot be recommended as a replacement therapy for insulin or hypoglycemic drugs".

(Glycated hemoglobin (hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, A1C, or less commonly HgbA1c, haemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, Hb1c, etc.) is a form of hemoglobin that is covalently bound to glucose. It is formed in a non-enzymatic glycation pathway by hemoglobin's exposure to plasma glucose. It is measured primarily to identify the three-month average plasma glucose concentration and thus can be used as a diagnostic test for diabetes and as assessment test for glycemic control in people with diabetes )

In Jamaica, tea brewed from cerasee leaves is a popular remedy for stomach and abdominal ailments. The plant grows wild in many areas, and the tea is made with freshly gathered leaves. The dried leaves in tea bags are also sold commercially and readily available for sale in stores.

Adverse effects

Reported side effects include diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, hypoglycemia, urinary incontinence, and chest pain. Symptoms are generally mild, do not require treatment, and resolve with rest.

Pregnancy

Bitter melon is contraindicated in pregnant women because it can induce bleeding, contractions, and miscarriage.

Bitter melon tea

Bitter melon tea, also known as gohyah tea, is an herbal tea made from an infusion of dried slices of the bitter melon. It is sold as a medicinal tea, and a culinary vegetable.

A typical commercial package will make a claim similar to the following.

Gohyah Tea is good for bile, liver, dieuretic. Helpful to digestion; prevent from influenza, throat inflammation. Reduce cholesterol in the blood.

Gohyah is not listed in the Grieve's herbal database, the MPNA database at Michigan University (Medicinal Plants of Native America, see Native American ethnobotany) or in the Phytochemical Database of the USDA - Agricultural Research Service (ARS) - National Plant Germplasm System NGRL.

bittergourd-p.jpg


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#320 2019-02-05 15:38:53

Monox D. I-Fly
Member
From: Indonesia
Registered: 2015-12-02
Posts: 1,950

Re: Miscellany

ganesh wrote:

In Indonesian cuisine, bitter melon, known as pare in Javanese and Indonesian (also paria), is prepared in various dishes, such as gado-gado, and also stir-fried, cooked in coconut milk, or steamed. In Christian areas in Eastern Indonesia it is cooked with pork and chile, the sweetness of the pork balancing against the bitterness of the vegetable.

When I was reading the article, I kept wondering what this bitter melon is. Turns out it's pare. Now I wondering why did they call it bitter melon despite the fruit shape looks way more similar to a corn? Why not call it bitter corn?


Actually I never watch Star Wars and not interested in it anyway, but I choose a Yoda card as my avatar in honor of our great friend bobbym who has passed away.
May his adventurous soul rest in peace at heaven.

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#321 2019-02-05 23:40:45

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

I haven't heard of anything by name 'Bitter Corn'. Facts regarding 'Bitter Melon':

Bitter Melon Benefits You Should Know About

Boons from Bitter Melon

Scientific Name: Momordica charantia

Bitter Melon Nutrition Facts

Bitter melon boasts a variety of essential vitamins and minerals needed for the smooth function of the body.

But aside from these healthful components, bitter melon contains active compounds that may help combat or even improve some of the most common chronic diseases today. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

What Is Bitter Melon?

The easiest way to identify a bitter melon (Momordica charantia) is through its rough and wrinkled skin, which some might even call “warty.” But while the fruit might appear off-putting, bitter melon is actually famous for its effects on obesity and diabetes.

Bitter melon, also called bitter gourd or Indian bitter melon, is a climbing shrub that typically grows in countries with a tropical climate. The bitter melon plant is a relatively fast-growing plant characterized by its thin stems, tendrils and bright yellow flowers that only bloom for a day.

Bitter melon fruits usually start off with a light green shade and become yellow or orange as they ripen. Native to India and other countries with warmer climates, bitter melon fruits are usually prepared in dishes, while the leaves are used in teas and soups. But aside from its culinary uses, bitter melon is also used as a traditional medicine in China, India and South America, specifically for tumors, asthma, skin and digestive problems.

One of the most well-known uses for bitter melon is for the management of diabetes, as the fruit contains three different components that help in blood sugar regulation, namely charantin, peptides and alkaloids.

Get These Bitter Melon Benefits Today

Some of the benefits you can obtain from adding bitter melon to your diet are:

May improve blood sugar regulation. Bitter melon contains hypoglycemic compounds, which may help improve your body’s ability to utilize sugar for energy. In a 2018 placebo-controlled trial published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, bitter melon and cucumber juice were given to prediabetics. After a few weeks of administration, the individuals given bitter melon juice had significantly lowered fasting plasma glucose levels.

Bitter melon may also help boost fat metabolism, which may contribute to the prevention of obesity, which is one of the risk factors of diabetes. In an animal study done in 2016, bitter melon extracts were found to effectively reduce adiposity in obese mice by promoting balance in lipid intake and metabolism.

In addition, it has been found to significantly help improve insulin sensitivity. In a study done by the Philippine Department of Health, they found that bitter melon has the same mechanism as glibenclamide, an anti-diabetes drug.

Aids the immune system. Bitter melon is said to contribute to better immune function, as it is filled with numerous antioxidants and other essential nutrients, one of which is vitamin C. It contains about 55 milligrams of vitamin C per serving, which is an essential micronutrient for improved immunity as it supports cellular function and oxidant scavenging.

Might reduce/prevent inflammation. Numerous studies show that the different components of bitter melon lend it its anti-inflammatory properties. A 2018 study published in the journal Phytomedicine showed that a peptide extracted from bitter melon seeds helps in alleviating inflammation by inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokines. Another 2018 animal study shows that the administration of bitter melon polysaccharides may help in reducing gastric inflammation and oxidative stress.

Bitter Melon Side Effects and Complications to Look Out For

Because of its active compounds, bitter melon may amplify certain medications’ effects. Bitter melon is largely recommended for diabetes patients due to its ability to help in the regulation of blood sugar. However, eating bitter melon while you’re on diabetes medications may cause your blood sugar to drop more than it’s supposed to, causing hypoglycemia.

If you’re planning on making bitter melon a regular part of your diet, it would be best that you ask your doctor if you would need the dosages for your diabetes medication lowered. Other subgroups that need to limit or avoid bitter melon consumption include:

Pregnant or breast feeding women. Bitter melon contains active components that may trigger bleeding during pregnancy. There have also been insufficient studies focusing on the effect bitter melon has on pregnancy. To be safe, it would be best that you limit your intake.

Patients who will undergo surgery. The consumption of bitter melon may compromise the regulation of blood sugar during surgery. If you’re scheduled for surgery, it would be best that you avoid consuming this vegetable at least two weeks before.

How to Cook Bitter Melon: Follow These Preparation Tips

The rough and unique appearance of bitter melon might seem discouraging at first, but preparing it for cooking is relatively simple. However, the first thing you should learn is how to choose the best bitter melon possible. Some of the things you should remember when choosing your first bitter melon are:

Choose those that are firm and light in color. Darker colored bitter melons usually have a much more intense flavor, which may prove to be overpowering for first-timers.
Small to medium-sized bitter melons are better. Bigger bitter melons are usually more bitter than the small ones. While you’re going to get more flesh from the bigger ones, you’re also going to get a much more bitter taste.

Once you’ve successfully chosen the best bitter melon, you should know how to correctly prepare it for cooking. To help you, here is a guide from Food Republic on how to prepare bitter melon:

Split the bitter melon fruit in half.
Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
Slice the fruit into thin half-moons.
Optionally, you can toss the pieces in some salt and let them sit for about 30 minutes. This will help draw out some of the bitterness, if you’re not accustomed to the flavor yet.

Try This Tasty and Healthy Bitter Melon Recipe Today

Bitter melon, staying true to its name, is known for its sharp taste, with other variants being more bitter than others. While bitterness in other foods is usually seen as undesirable, cooks and regular bitter melon eaters note that its flavor is actually appetizing. If you’ve managed to get your hands on a bitter melon, you might want to try these healthy and tasty recipe to add some zing to your meals.

Bitter Melon Healthy Recipes

Ingredients:

1 pound bitter melon
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
2 chopped onions
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
2 chopped tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon mango powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
2 potatoes, peeled, cut in long strip and half cooked

Procedures:

Rinse bitter melon.
Trim on both ends as needed and scrape any blemishes or hard skin.
Cut into small rounds.
Heat the oil in a skillet on medium-high heat.
Add bitter melon in a single layer. Stir and cook until brownish.
Reduce the heat if they tend to burn.
Add the onions, potatoes and all the seasonings. Stir until the potatoes are cooked.
Add the tomatoes.
Cook slowly on medium low heat, half covered, stirring as needed, until everything is cooked.

Bitter Melon Juice

Ingredients:

100 grams bitter melon
1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
250 milliliters water

Procedures:

Wash the bitter melon thoroughly, removing any debris or dirt. Remove the seeds and inner pith.
Cut the bitter melon into smaller pieces. Combine water, salt and turmeric powder. Soak the cut pieces in the mixture for about 15 minutes. Discard the water.
Cut the lemon in half and squeeze out its juice. Set aside.
Using a blender, blend the bitter melon pieces with water until it gets the consistency of a smooth paste.
Filter the bitter melon with a strainer to get its juice. Add the lemon juice. Serve cold.

Bitter Melon May Help You Achieve Better Overall Health

Diet is one of the main components in the journey to better health, and making sure you’re loading yourself with nutritious and healthy foods should be one of your top priorities. With the abundance of beneficial components that bitter melon is filled with, this fruit deserves to be one of your top choices when it comes to new additions to your diet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Bitter Melon

Q: How do you eat bitter melon?

A: Bitter melon may be prepared in a variety of ways. In Chinese cuisine, bitter melon is stir-fried with some pork or beef, while in Indian cuisine, it is cooked with coconut or stuffed with spices. There are various recipes available in cookbooks and on the web you can try out.

Q: What is bitter melon good for?

A: Bitter melon is rich in numerous vitamins and minerals that can influence numerous body systems and processes. It is especially popular due to its effect on insulin sensitivity, making it a good vegetable to add to your diet if you’ve been struggling with insulin resistance. Bitter melon also contains anti-cancer, anti-tumor, hepatoprotective, antimicrobial and antiviral properties, making it a relatively impressive vegetable.

Q: Can I eat bitter melon when I’m pregnant?

A: While bitter melon is loaded with nutrients that you may deem beneficial for both your and your child’s health, its influence on blood sugar levels may cause numerous adverse effects. If you’re planning on eating bitter melon, it would be best that you consult your health practitioner to ensure your safety.

Q: Where does bitter melon come from?

A: Bitter melon is usually cultivated in tropical countries, mainly in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. However, it is now being cultivated in other parts of the globe. Today, it is now being cultivated in the warmer parts of the U.S., such as Florida.

Q: Is bitter melon an alternative for diabetes medication?

A: While bitter melon has been found to be beneficial for diabetes management, it cannot be used as a primary mode of treatment for diabetes, especially without specific instructions from your doctor. It’s important to note that a healthcare professional should also be consulted if you plan on adding bitter melon as a regular part of your diet if you’re on any kind of diabetes medication.


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#322 2019-02-06 15:28:29

Monox D. I-Fly
Member
From: Indonesia
Registered: 2015-12-02
Posts: 1,950

Re: Miscellany

I don't like bitter melon, but I do like bitter melon crackers. It tastes like eel crackers, crispy with a bit of bitterness. I still remember my first experience eating one.


Actually I never watch Star Wars and not interested in it anyway, but I choose a Yoda card as my avatar in honor of our great friend bobbym who has passed away.
May his adventurous soul rest in peace at heaven.

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#323 2019-02-07 00:48:07

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

Monox D. I-Fly wrote:

I don't like bitter melon, but I do like bitter melon crackers. It tastes like eel crackers, crispy with a bit of bitterness. I still remember my first experience eating one.

smile smile I don't know what eel crackers are!


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#324 2019-02-07 01:13:15

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 29,270

Re: Miscellany

289) Porcupine

Porcupines are large, slow-moving rodents with sharp quills on their backs. They are found on every continent except Antarctica. Scientists group porcupines into two groups: Old World porcupines, which are found in Africa, Europe and Asia; and New World porcupines, which are found in North, Central, and South America. The North American porcupine is the only species found in the United States and Canada.
Sharp quills

All porcupines have a few traits in common. The most obvious trait is the long, sharp quills that cover their bodies. Some quills can get up to a foot (30 centimeters) long, like those on the Africa's crested porcupine, according to National Geographic.

Porcupines use the quills as a defense. They make shake them, which makes them rattle, as a warning to potential predators. If that doesn't work, they may charge backwards into the predator. The quills are loosely attached but cannot be thrown or projected, according to the Animal Diversity Web. Some quills have scales or barbs that make them very hard to remove. Once a quill is lost, it isn't lost forever. They grow back over time. A North American porcupine can have 30,000 or more quills, according to National Geographic.

Size

The largest porcupine is the North African crested porcupine. It grows up to 36 inches (90 centimeters) long. The smallest is the Bahia hairy dwarf porcupine. It grows up to 15 inches (38 cm) long. Porcupines weigh 2.5 to 77 lbs. (1.2 to 35 kilograms), depending on species, and their tails can grow up to 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm), according to the San Diego Zoo.

The length of quills varies by type. New World porcupines have small quills that are around 4 inches (10 cm) long, while Old World porcupines have quills that can grow up to 20 inches (51 cm) long, though there are some exceptions.

Habitat

In general, porcupines live in just about any terrain, including deserts, grasslands, mountains, rainforests and forests. Dens in tree branches or tangles of roots, rock crevices, brush or logs are the porcupine's home.

Habits

Porcupines are nocturnal, which means they are active during the night and sleep during the day. During the night, they forage for food. New World porcupines spend their time in the trees, while Old World porcupines stay on the ground.

Porcupines aren't really social. Both types of porcupines are typically solitary, though New World porcupines may pair up. A mother and her young is considered a family group called a prickle.

Diet

Porcupines are herbivores. This means they eat mostly vegetation. Some porcupines love wood and eat a lot of bark and stems. They also eat nuts, tubers, seeds, grass, leaves, fruit and buds.

Though they don't eat meat, porcupines chew on bones to sharpen their teeth. Bones also give them important minerals, like salt and calcium, to keep them healthy. Porcupines are also known to eat bugs and small lizards every now and then.

Offspring
Female porcupines carry their young for a gestation period of 16 to 31 weeks, depending on species, and give birth to one to three babies at a time. Baby porcupines are called porcupettes.

Porcupettes are about 3 percent of mother's weight at birth, according to the San Diego Zoo. At birth, they have soft quills, which harden in a few days. Porcupettes mature at 9 months to 2.5 years, depending on species and can live up to 15 years in the wild.

Classification/taxonomy

New World porcupines make up the Erethizontidae family, which comprises four genera and 12 species. There are 11 species, in three genera, of Old World porcupines in the Hystricidae family.

This is the classification of the North American porcupine, according to Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS):

Kingdom: Animalia
Subkingdom: Bilateria
Infrakingdom: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclass: Tetrapoda
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Theria
Infraclass: Eutheria
Order: Rodentia
Suborder: Hystricomorpha
Infraorder: Hystricognathi
Family: Erethizontidae
Subfamily: Erethizontinae
Genus: Erethizon
Species: Erethizon dorsatus, with seven subspecies

Conservation status

Porcupines are listed as least concern or as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), depending on the species. Species listed as vulnerable include the Phillipine porcupine and the bristle-spined porcupine. There are currently no species listed as endangered, though some species don't have enough data to come to decision on its status.

Porcupine, any of 25 species of large, herbivorous, quill-bearing rodentsactive from early evening to dawn. All have short, stocky legs, but their tails range from short to long, with some being prehensile. The quills, or spines, take various forms depending on the species, but all are modified hairs embedded in skin musculature. Old World porcupines (Hystricidae) have quills embedded in clusters, whereas in New World porcupines (Erethizontidae) single quills are interspersed with bristles, underfur, and hair. No porcupine can throw its quills, but they detach easily and will remain embedded in an attacker. Base coloration ranges from grayish brown through dark brown to blackish, but this colouring is overlaid by variegated patterns of white, yellow, orange, or black due to bands on the spines.

New World Porcupines (Family Erethizontidae)

The North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) is the largest species in the family, usually weighing less than 7 kg (15.4 pounds) though males occasionally grow significantly larger. Its body is up to 80 cm (31 inches) long, with a tail up to 30 cm. Both are covered with a total of 30,000 or more hollow quills. On the ground the porcupine ambles along and cannot jump; in the trees it climbs slowly but has excellent balance; in the water it swims well. When approached, the animal presents its rear. If attacked, it will drive its powerful, muscular tail against the assailant. Fishers, however, are able to prey upon porcupines by attacking their underside; bobcats and wolverines also are known to hunt porcupines successfully.

The North American porcupine inhabits forests, including wooded areas along rivers in tundra, grassland, and desert regions. Its range extends from Canada to northern Mexico, although it is absent from the southeastern United States. It is sometimes seen during the day, and it is the only New World porcupine that is terrestrial as well as arboreal. It will roost in trees but also dens in hollow trees, logs, or stumps, in addition to caves, rock crevices, burrows, or snowbanks. Individuals living in coniferous forests spend much time on the ground. Those living in deciduous and mixed forests, however, are more often seen in the trees, which are their source of food. During spring and summer, their diet includes buds, twigs, roots, stems, leaves, flowers, berries, seeds, and nuts. In winter, evergreen needles and the cambium layer and inner bark of trees become important sources of food. Bones and antlers are gnawed upon for calcium and other minerals. Although porcupines do not hibernate during the winter, they remain in their dens during especially cold or inclement weather. They are generally solitary but sometimes den in groups.

All other New World porcupines are arboreal, living in tropical forests from southern Mexico to South America. Their muzzles are large and rounded. The stump-tailed porcupine, Echinoprocta rufescens, is one of the smallest at 37 cm plus a short tail. New World porcupines primarily eat fruit at night and rest during the day in hollow trees or crouch on branches or in tangles of woody vines. Their digits bear long, curved claws, and most species have long, muscular tails that can be curled upward and twisted around branches. Further improving the tail’s grip are stiff bristles on the lower surface of the tail’s tip (the upper surface is hairless). Still, like their northern relative, these tropical porcupines move slowly and are unable to jump, so they must descend to the ground to cross gaps between trees. The hollow quills of New World porcupines are sharp, stiff, and circular in cross section and have barbed tips. New World porcupines bear usually one young, sometimes two, after about 200 days’ gestation.

Old World Porcupines (Family Hystricidae)

Old World species are primarily terrestrial, although the long-tailed porcupine of Southeast Asia (Trichys fasciculata) also climbs in trees and shrubs for food. It is the smallest member of the family, weighing less than 4 kg, and is somewhat ratlike in appearance; it is about a half metre long, not including the tail, which is about half the length of the body. Brush-tailed porcupines (genus Atherurus) move swiftly over the ground and can climb, jump, and swim. They sometimes congregate to rest and feed. Brush- and long-tailed species shelter in tree roots, hollow trunks, rocky crevices, termite mounds, caves, abandoned burrows, or eroded cavities along stream banks. Short-tailed porcupines (genus Hystrix) are the largest, weighing up to 30 kg, with bodies almost a metre long and a tail 8–17 cm long. They move slowly in a ponderous walk but will break into a trot or gallop when alarmed. Like the North American porcupine, they gnaw antlers and bones to supplement their herbivorous diet, which includes the underground portions of plants, fallen fruits, and cultivated crops in addition to bark. Often sheltering in holes, rock crevices, or aardvark burrows, Hystrix species also excavate burrows of their own that can become extensive over years of occupation. European populations of the African crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) retreat into their dens during storms and cold spells, but they do not hibernate. This species lives in Italy and Sicily, where it may have been introduced by man, and in Britain, where it was certainly introduced. Old World porcupines bear a litter of one to four (two are usual) after a gestation of approximately 100 days.

Spines of Old World porcupines are flattened, grooved, and flexible or long, hollow, and sharp. Hystrix species have large rattle quills on the tail that are large, hollow, and shaped like elongated stemmed goblets. The quills strike each other when the tail is shaken, producing loud sounds used to communicate with other individuals (especially during courtship) and to warn predators. The long quills along head, nape, and back can be erected into a crest. Atherurus species also have specialized hollow quills that are used as rattles.

Porcupine.jpg


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#325 2019-02-07 14:34:11

Monox D. I-Fly
Member
From: Indonesia
Registered: 2015-12-02
Posts: 1,950

Re: Miscellany

So, what's the physical difference between a porcupine, an echidna, and a hedgehog?


Actually I never watch Star Wars and not interested in it anyway, but I choose a Yoda card as my avatar in honor of our great friend bobbym who has passed away.
May his adventurous soul rest in peace at heaven.

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