Vegetables: Types

Dear reader,

Last month I did a short introduction to vegetables. Therefore, this month I intend to show you how vegetables are categorized. 🙂

Since I’m not a specialist in vegetables, I didn’t have any idea how they’re classified or ranked. Initially I thought that maybe vegetables would be divided in two or three groups at maximum, but I was wrong!

According to Vegetables.co.nz (a not-for-profit levy-funded organisation representing a collaboration of national vegetable industry groups in New Zealand) “vegetables classified according to which part of the plant is eaten. Some vegetables fit into more than one category when several different parts of the plant are edible, e.g. both the roots and leaves of beetroot can be eaten.”

There are nine types of vegetables:

  • Bulbs: they usually consist of layers, or clustered segments and grow just below the surface of the ground producing a fleshy, leafy shoot above ground.
  • Flowers: the edible flowers of certain vegetables.
  • Fruits: vegetable fruits are fleshy and contain seeds.
  • Fungi: when referring to vegetables, fungi are commonly known as mushrooms.
  • Leaves: the edible leaves of plants.
  • Roots: usually a long or round-shaped taproot.
  • Seeds: (legumes) apart from sweet corn, seeds grow in pods which are sometimes eaten along with the seed.
  • Stems: the edible stalks of plants when the stalk is the main part of the vegetable.
  • Tubers: vegetables which grow underground on the root of a plant.
Some edible parts of a vegetable

There are hundreds of different vegetables around the world! Personally I think it will be fun to write and, most important, to learn how to use them correctly to make delicious salads! 🙂 In addition, there a lot of benefits in eating vegetables on a regular basis:

Vegetables are extremely beneficial for our health! 😉

That’s all for this month! I hope you have found this article useful and interesting. Stay tuned for more articles about vegetables in the future, please!

Best Regards from The Land of Cabbage (and Onion too) 😉 ,

Wilson

Works Cited 

“Vegetable Classifications.” Vegetables, Vegetables.co.nz, 2021, http://www.vegetables.co.nz/tips-and-advice/vegetable-classifications.

Vegetables: Introduction

Dear reader,

It has been a long time ago that I haven’t written about food in general, so I think it’s time to go back to this very important topic. 😉 

There are so many things to write about food. However, before that I should confess that I’m a fresh beginner since I don’t know how to cook (although I’m quite interested in learning). I just know how to eat.. 😉

One thing that I became very interested recently is how to make a delicious salad. I do know that there are a lot of available videos in the Internet showing how to make it, step by step, even for a beginner like me. However, I think that first I should try to learn and understand the benefits of vegetables. Therefore, the purpose of this short article is to do a light introduction to them. 🙂

According to Wikipedia, “the word vegetable was first recorded in English in the early 15th century. It comes from Old French, and was originally applied to all plants; the word is still used in this sense in biological contexts. It derives from Medieval Latin vegetabilis (meaning growing, flourishing of a plant), a semantic change from a Late Latin meaning to be enlivening, quickening.

Also, the meaning of vegetable as a plant grown for food was not established until the 18th century. In 1767, the word was specifically used to mean a plant cultivated for food, an edible herb or root. The year 1955 saw the first use of the shortened, slang term veggie. A more precise definition is: any plant part consumed for food that is not a fruit or seed, but including mature fruits that are eaten as part of a main meal. Falling outside these definitions are edible fungi and edible seaweed which, although not parts of plants, are often treated as vegetables.”

Therefore, the words “fruit” and “vegetable” are mutually exclusive:

A Venn diagram shows the overlap in the terminology of “vegetables” in a culinary sense and “fruits” in the botanical sense.

Vegetables play an important role in human nutrition where most are low in fat and calories. They supply dietary fiber and are important sources of essential vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. Particularly important are the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E. When vegetables are included in the diet, there is found to be a reduction in the incidence of cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic ailments. Research has shown that those that eat more than five servings everyday have an approximately 20% lower risk of developing coronary heart disease or stroke. The nutritional content of vegetables varies considerably; some contain useful amounts of protein though generally they contain little fat, and varying proportions of vitamins such as vitamin A, K, and B6; provitamins; dietary minerals; and carbohydrates. However, vegetables often also contain toxins and anti-nutrients which interfere with the absorption of nutrients. These include α-solanine, α-chaconine, enzyme inhibitors, cyanide, oxalic acid, tannins and others. These toxins are natural defenses, used to ward off the insects, predators and fungi that might attack the plant. Some beans contain phytohaemagglutinin, and cassava roots contain cyanogenic glycoside as do bamboo shoots. These toxins can be deactivated by adequate cooking. Green potatoes contain glycoalkaloids and should be avoided (Vegetable).

The figure below compares some vegetables (and some fruits too) that don’t need so much pesticide (the “cleanest” ones) with those that require a lot (the “dirtiest” ones) 😉 :

The clean 15 x the dirty 12!

It’s interesting to mention here that China and India are the largest vegetable producing countries, but I wonder if they’re the largest exporter countries too.. In addition, Japan as the fifth largest one quite surprised me since it’s a very small country!

The largest producers of vegetables!

It seems to have a correlation between the countries that produce more vegetables and the ones that consumes more:

Vegetable consumption [Kg / person] (source: United Nations FAO))

That’s all for today! I hope you have found this short article useful and interesting. Stay tuned for more articles about vegetables, please!

Best Regards from The Land of Cabbage (and Onion too) 😉 ,

Wilson

Works Cited 

“Vegetable.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 3 Mar. 2021, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetable.

The vaccines for COVID-19 are finally coming!

Dear readers,

Although the vaccination against the COVID-19 already started timidly on the last quarter of 2020, only now that the population in general around the world is being vaccinated against this horrible virus. For example, my sister, who is a nurse, received the first dose last week in my hometown (Porto Alegre, Brazil). 🙂 Global vaccination tracker (source: vaccinations data from local governments via “Our World in Data” – New York Times – January 30th, 2021)

One thing that is probably drawing the attention of a lot of people is the amount of different vaccines that are being distributed to the population in various parts of the world. “By January 2021, 69 vaccine candidates were in clinical research, including 43 in Phase I–II trials and 26 in Phase II–III trials. In Phase III trials, several COVID‑19 vaccines demonstrated efficacy as high as 95% in preventing symptomatic COVID‑19 infections. So far, nine vaccines have been authorized by at least one national regulatory authority for public use: two RNA vaccines (the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine), three conventional inactivated vaccines (BBIBP-CorV from Sinopharm, BBV152 from Bharat Biotech and CoronaVac from Sinovac), three viral vector vaccines (Sputnik V from the Gamaleya Research Institute, the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine and Ad5-nCoV from CanSino Biologics), and one peptide vaccine: EpiVacCorona (COVID-19 Vaccine).”

“Nine different technology platforms – with the technology of numerous candidates remaining undefined – are under research and development to create an effective vaccine against COVID‑19. Most of the platforms of vaccine candidates in clinical trials are focused on the coronavirus spike protein and its variants as the primary antigen of COVID‑19 infection. Platforms being developed in 2020 involved nucleic acid technologies (nucleoside-modified messenger RNA and DNA), non-replicating viral vectors, peptides, recombinant proteins, live attenuated viruses, and inactivated viruses (COVID-19 Vaccine).”

Conceptual diagram showing three vaccine types for forming SARS-CoV-2 proteins to prompt an immune response: (1) RNA vaccine, (2) subunit vaccine, and (3) viral vector vaccine.

Some basic explanation about the most popular vaccine types is shown below:

  • RNA vaccine: it contains RNA which, when introduced into a tissue, acts as messenger RNA (mRNA) to cause the cells to build the foreign protein and stimulate an adaptive immune response which teaches the body how to identify and destroy the corresponding pathogen or cancer cells. RNA vaccines often, but not always, use nucleoside-modified messenger RNA. The delivery of mRNA is achieved by a co-formulation of the molecule into lipid nano-particles which protect the RNA strands and help their absorption into the cells. Authorized vaccines of this type are the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Adenovirus vector vaccine: it’s also known as a non-replicating viral vector vaccine, and it uses an adenovirus shell containing DNA that encodes a SARS-CoV-2 protein. The viral vector-based vaccine against COVID-19 is non-replicating, meaning that it doesn’t make new virus particles, but rather produce only the antigen which elicits a systemic immune response. Authorized vaccines of this type are the British Oxford–AstraZeneca, the Russian Sputnik V, and the Chinese Convidicea vaccine. Vaccines in clinical trials include the Johnson & Johnson’s Ad26.COV2.S.
  • Inactivated virus vaccine: it consist of virus particles that have been grown in culture and then are killed using a method such as heat or formaldehyde to lose disease producing capacity, while still stimulating an immune response. Authorized vaccines of this type are the Chinese CoronaVac and BBIBP-CorV as well as the Indian Covaxin vaccines.

Probably you’re asking yourself: which vaccine is more efficient against the COVID-19? Before answering this question, we must understand what does vaccine efficacy mean .. 😉

“Vaccine efficacy is the percentage reduction of disease in a vaccinated group of people compared to a not vaccinated group, using the most favorable conditions. Vaccine efficacy was designed and calculated by Greenwood and Yule in 1915 for the cholera and typhoid vaccines. It is best measured using double-blind, randomized, clinical controlled trials, such that it is studied under best case scenarios. Vaccine effectiveness differs from vaccine efficacy in that vaccine effectiveness shows how well a vaccine works when they are always used and in a bigger population whereas vaccine efficacy shows how well a vaccine works in certain, often controlled, conditions (Vaccine Efficacy).”

The outcome data (vaccine efficacy) generally are expressed as a proportionate reduction in disease attack rate (AR) between the un-vaccinated (ARU) and vaccinated (ARV), or can be calculated from the relative risk (RR) of disease among the vaccinated group.

The basic formula is written as:

where:

  • VE = Vaccine efficacy,
  • ARU = Attack rate of un-vaccinated people,
  • ARV = Attack rate of vaccinated people.

An alternative, equivalent formulation of vaccine efficacy

 
where RR is the relative risk of developing the disease for vaccinated people compared to un-vaccinated people.

“In the case of COVID‑19, a vaccine efficacy of 67% may be enough to slow the pandemic, but this assumes that the vaccine confers sterilizing immunity, which is necessary to prevent transmission. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) set a cutoff of 50% as the efficacy required to approve a COVID‑19 vaccine. As of 7 January 2021, authorized and approved vaccines have shown efficacies ranging from 62–90% for the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine (various dosage regimens) to 95% for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. With CoronaVac, after three delays in releasing results, Instituto Butantan (in Brazil) announced this month that the vaccine was 78% effective in mild cases and 100% effective against severe and moderate infections based on 220 COVID‑19 cases from 13,000 volunteers. The efficacy of the Moderna vaccine is 96% for those aged 18 to 64. The Novavax vaccine was found to be 89% effective in the UK (Vaccine Efficacy.)”

Regardless of which vaccine has the best efficacy, the most important thing is to be vaccinated! As a Brazilian doctor said a few weeks ago: “If you think that a vaccine that has a 50% efficacy will not protect you from being contaminated by the coronavirus, think about the following: if you do not get vaccinated, your own efficacy is 0% ! ” 😉

Best Regards from The Land (Still) Without Vaccines,

Wilson Pardi Junior

Works Cited

“COVID-19 Vaccine.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 31 Jan. 2021, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_vaccine.

“Vaccine Efficacy.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 9 Jan. 2021, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccine_efficacy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Happy New Year 2021!

Dear reader,

This year of 2020 was really a tough year. Almost everybody in this chaotic world was affected directed or indirect by the coronavirus pandemic. Almost two million people died worldwide because of this very dangerous and contagious virus, consequently affecting the lives of millions of families that lost them. Although me and my family was able to arrive at the end of 2020 without being infected, my mother-in-law passed away some weeks ago due to pancreatic cancer. 😢

Therefore, for this New Year of 2021 I wish and hope that all of us can have much health, more empathy and tolerance with each other anywhere, including the workplace. And that everybody can be vaccinated against the coronavirus as soon as possible! 🙏🙏🙏

I also would like to thank you for your support in coming here to this small corner at the cyberspace just to read my blog. 🙏

Best Regards from The Land of Rising Sun,

Wilson Pardi Junior

The importance of forgiveness

Dear reader,

In these current times where intolerance predominates on a large scale among people who just think differently, and consequently friendships and family ties are easily broken, one of the most difficult things today is the act of forgiving the other person.

Of course there are some cases in what is extremely difficult to forgive someone, especially those related to some kind of horrible crimes such as killing, rape, etc.

According to Wikipedia “Dr. Robert Enright from the University of Wisconsin–Madison founded the International Forgiveness Institute and is considered the initiator of forgiveness studies. He developed a 20-Step Process Model of Forgiveness. Recent work has focused on what kind of person is more likely to be forgiving. A longitudinal study showed that people who were generally more neurotic, angry, and hostile in life were less likely to forgive another person even after a long time had passed. Specifically, these people were more likely to still avoid their transgressor and want to enact revenge upon them two and a half years after the transgression.”

Dr. Robert Enright says that there are eight keys to forgiveness:

  1. Know what forgiveness is and why it matters
  2. Become “forgivingly fit”
  3. Address your inner pain
  4. Develop a forgiving mind through empathy
  5. Find meaning in your suffering
  6. When forgiveness is hard, call upon other strengths
  7. Forgive yourself
  8. Develop a forgiving heart

What about you, dear reader? Do you agree (or not) that forgiveness is really difficult? Let me know what you think about it. So feel free to comment here, please. 🙂

Works Cited

“Forgiveness.” Wikipedia, Wikipedia Foundation, 22 Nov. 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forgiveness.

Enright, Robert. “Eight Keys to Forgiveness.” Greater Good Magazine, Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley – USA, 15 Oct. 2015, https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/eight_keys_to_forgiveness.

Blog under maintenance mode..

Dear reader,

I’ve been so busy on these last two months that I barely have time to write my monthly post at this corner of the cyberspace..  😦

In addition, I have noticed that I still have a lot of previously published posts that need to be converted to pages with the purpose to be easily found on the above menu. Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t allow us to duplicate a post automatically to a page. Basically, we have to copy and paste the post content to a new page.

Therefore, until next November 15th this blog will be under “Maintenance Mode” with the purpose to copy all the relevant posts to their respective pages, so you won’t need to scroll down all the main page to find a post of your interest.  😉

My sincere apologies for this inconvenience! 😦

Thank you very much for your understanding and patience.

Best Regards from sunny Japan,  🙂

 

 

 

History of photography: the camera obscura (part 3)

Dear reader,

One year and half a go I wrote a gentle introduction and a second article about the camera obscura, the precursor of the photographic camera. The third part was supposed to be written after the two parts on April 2019, but unfortunately I had to postpone it. 😦 However, at last this month I continue writing about this simple, but very interesting device! Therefore, it follows bellow more examples using the principle of the camera obscura in the history of mankind:

  • 1650 to 1800 – introduction of the magic lantern, popular portable box-type drawing aid and painting aid:

– the German Jesuit scientist Gaspar Schott constructed his own sliding box camera obscura, which could focus by sliding a wooden box part fitted inside another wooden box part and wrote about this in his 1657 Magia universalis naturæ et artis (volume 1 – book 4 “Magia Optica” pages 199–201),

– by 1659 the magic lantern, which can be seen as a development of the (box-type) camera obscura device, was introduced and partly replaced the camera obscura as a projection device, while the camera obscura mostly remained popular as a drawing aid,

– German philosopher Johann Sturm published an illustrated article about the construction of a portable camera obscura box with a 45° mirror and an oiled paper screen in the first volume of the proceedings of the Collegium Curiosum, Collegium Experimentale, sive Curiosum in 1676,

Illustration of a portable camera obscura device from Johann Sturm (1676)

– Johann Zahn (the most prolific writer and illustrator of the camera obscura)’s Oculus Artificialis Teledioptricus Sive Telescopium, published in 1685, contains many descriptions, diagrams, illustrations and sketches of both the camera obscura and the magic lantern,

Cover of the book Oculus Artificialis Teledioptricus Sive Telescopium, published in 1885 by Johann Zahn

Works Cited

“Camera obscura.” Wikipedia. 20 Feb. 2019. Wikimedia Foundation. 28 Feb. 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_obscura.

 

 

 

 

The importance of praying

Dear reader,

In these difficult times where we have to deal with so many things that afflict us in our personal lives, sometimes we do not give importance to some acts that, despite being so common or simple, have an enormous importance in our daily lives.

One of these acts, which the vast majority of people in this chaotic world do, is to pray. Even those people who consider themselves atheists possibly prayed at least once in their lives. 

A lot of people, unfortunately, think that praying is a waste of time. Probably because most of them have the wrong assumption that some God or something similar won’t listen to someone’s pray. What they still don’t understand is that praying is more than just to trying to communicate with a superior entity..

There are many reasons why praying everyday, or at least often, is important:

  • is an open communication “channel” with God (or some entity),
  • is a way to get more confidence through our daily acts,
  • is an efficient process to rebuke and ward off bad thoughts,
  • is a (not scientifically proven) therapeutic treatment,
  • is a protection mode for all those we love,
  • is an interesting way of reflection so that we become wiser and,
  • is an act of humility (IMHO, that’s the most important! 😉 ).

Although I am Catholic, I believe that the vast majority of people from different religions around the world share the same feeling that how important it is to pray.

Praying with humility helps us to be a better human being.

What about you, dear reader? Do you agree (or not) that praying is really important? Let me know what you think about it. So feel free to comment here, please. 🙂

La Dernière Folie de Claire Darling

Dear reader,

At last, I was able to start my first movie review here! And it couldn’t be better, especially considering that the main character of this interesting French movie is played by the most beautiful and charming French actress of all the times, i.e., the unmatched, beautiful and charming Catherine Deneuve  😉

Since it’s a French drama movie released in 2018, its original title is “La Dernière Folie de Claire Darling”, which means “Claire Darling’s The Last Madness” in English. Directed by Julie Bertuccelli, it’s produced by Yael Fogiel and Laetitia Gonzalez. It’s written by Julie Bertuccelli, Marion Doussot, Mariette Désert, Sophie Fillières and Lynda Rutledge.

Official poster in English for the movie “La Dernière Folie de Claire Darling”

The movie is based on the book “Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale” by Lynda Rutledge and basically, the movie’s plot takes place in Verderonne, a small village in the Oise (a department in the north of France). It is the first day of summer and Claire Darling wakes up persuaded to live her last day. She then decides to empty her house and sells everything without distinction. The beloved objects echo his tragic and flamboyant life. This latest madness brings back Marie, her daughter, whom she has not seen for 20 years!

Besides Claire Darling (the movie’s main character) that is played by Catherine Deneuve, the other main character is Marie Darling (Claire Darling’s daughter) played by Chiara Mastroianni who is actually Catherine Deneuve’s daughter! 😉

Claire Darling (Catherine Deneuve) and Marie Darling (Chiara Mastroianni) 

It is worth watching the movie just by the presence and the beautiful interpretation of Catherine Deneuve. In addition, what I most enjoyed when watching this movie was the typical atmosphere of the French countryside with its peculiarities. The plot of the movie is very interesting and as it develops, many secrets that were kept in the main character’s memory come to the fore. The interaction between mother and daughter in the film is positively highlighted by the fact that the two actresses are actually mother and daughter in real life.

The official trailer for this interesting movie can be seen by clicking on the following link:

I enjoyed watching this movie last month, so I do hope that you can have a chance to watch it too! 🙂

Best Regards from the Land of 面白い映画,

Wilson, the Watcher

PS. Since this is my first official movie review I would like to introduce you the WS(Wilson’s Scale) for grading movies. It’s a grade between 1 and 10 (with 0.5 spacing) that considers the following characteristics of a movie and its possible influence on the audience:

  • screenplay,
  • acting,
  • cinematography (how it was filmed, i.e., technical aspects, camera movements, choice of shots and sequences),
  • mise en scene (the stage design and arrangement of actors in scenes for a film production, this French expression is also commonly used to refer to single scenes that are representative of a film),
  • visual effects,
  • sound & music,
  • depth of thinking,
  • emotional impact,
  • critical analysis and,
  • enjoyment. 

In summary, the “La Dernière Folie de Claire Darling” movie received a 7.5 (out of 10) grade, i.e., I definitely recommend it! 😉

Speak Inspire Empower: How To Give Persuasive Presentations To Boost Your Confidence And Career

Dear reader,

At last I was able to start my first book review here! And it couldn’t be better, especially considering that the author, Mark Robinson, is my best VF (Virtual Friend) in the Netherlands!  😉

In his debut book, entitled “Speak Inspire Empower: How To Give Persuasive Presentations To Boost Your Confidence And Career”, Mark teaches how we should give public speaking presentations in a way that the audience feels fully rewarded for watching them. I really enjoyed reading his book, not only because it contains a lot of wise advice on how to become an excellent presenter, but also because it is written in a chronological and funny way, where sometimes we can even identify with the author himself through his experience acquired over the years. In other words, this very practical book is not intended only for a beginner, but also for experienced presenters since it has many interesting tips on how to improve our presentations, especially in front of a large and diverse audience!

Front cover of “Speak Inspire Empower: How To Give Persuasive Presentations To Boost Your Confidence And Career” book

Despite of having almost 400 pages, it’s a very easy book to read since the author explains in a didactic way step-by-step all the basic and necessary requirements to be able to capture the full attention of the audience throughout the presentation, including a happy end, i.e., a standing ovation to the presenter! For example, at the end of each chapter there is always practical exercises where the reader can improve his/her public skills.

Back cover of “Speak Inspire Empower: How To Give Persuasive Presentations To Boost Your Confidence And Career” book

Even for those who are addicted to using PowerPoint in their presentations, there is a dedicated chapter on how to become (almost) free from such evil dependency.. 😉

However, the best part of this very useful book is the section that teaches you how to get a moment in your presentation! 

Therefore, do it yourself a favor: read this awe-inspiring book if you want to boost your confidence and make an excellent presentation for a demanding audience! 😉

Best Regards from the Land of Literate People,

Wilson, the Wacky Writer

PS. Since this is my first official book review I would like to introduce you the WS (Wilson’s Scale) for grading books. It’s a grade between 1 and 10 (with 0.5 spacing) that considers the following characteristics of a book:

  • contents,
  • price,
  • easy of understanding,
  • layout (presence of colors, illustrations, etc)
  • number and quality of references (it can be other books, articles or even links to videos)
  • number and quality of proposed exercises (including answers or not) when appropriate, i.e, it depends on the contents of the book and (mostly important),
  • what the reader can learn from reading it! 😉

In summary, the “Speak Inspire Empower: How To Give Persuasive Presentations To Boost Your Confidence And Career” book received a 9 (out of 10) grade, i.e., it’s definitely a five-star book! 

 

 

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