Insect by winter, plant by summer

March 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

A family friend recently gave us a bottle of herbal medicine made from cordyceps. For those who don’t know, cordyceps is a hybrid species that is both a plant and an insect. It is attached to an insect (most likely caterpillar) as a sort of parasite that feed on its host. In time, cordyceps will completely consume its victim (mummification). The process usually takes place in the winter. Eventually, it will transform into a mushroom-like plant in the summer months. People harvest these “mushrooms” and sell them on the market. Cordyceps has many health benefits and is very expensive. 

Easter Week 2013

March 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Easter Week will begin in earnest four days from now on Palm Sunday, when people are given free palm leaves. For Catholics, this is the most important week of the year — much more so than Christmas. Since Easter is always on Sunday, it is not a declared legal holiday in the United States. Good Friday is also not a federal holiday, but it is a state holiday in at least 12 U.S. states. California, where I live, is not one of these states however. As usual, I have prepared a set of Easter trivia questions for all to enjoy. Even if you are not a Christian or do not observe Easter, I hope you will still give the quiz a try. Happy Easter!

$2.3 Trillion in Damages?

March 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

According to AP, a government panel estimated the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan cost the country up to $2.3 trillion. That is nearly as much as the GDP of U.K. and Brazil. I know this was a catastrophic event and Japan is an expensive place to live, but the estimate is absurdly high. The conspiracy theorist in me is skeptical of these numbers. The Japanese government surely would want to use this “disaster” card as an excuse to shift blame on the poor economy. It’s very much politics as usual.

Baby killer?

March 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

It was widely reported yesterday of a lawyer lady who jumped to her death from her apartment’s window (carrying her 10-month-old child). The good news was that the child miraculously escaped serious injuries. While I am usually very sympathetic toward people who commit suicide (because most of them likely suffer from a mental illness), I could not accept any attempt to take the life of another in the process. I know she discussed extensively on her 13-page suicide note how her child’s illness might have been the motivation behind this. But she still had no right to harm this child (who is too young to decide his own life or death). Her act was “evil” and we have to call it as such.    

Passover 2013

March 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

The week-long celebration of Passover (March 25 to April 2) commemorates one of the most significant events in the Hebrew Bible — the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. According to the Bible, the Jews were kept as slaves in Egypt until Moses came to free them from slavery with the grace from God. When the Pharaoh refused to let the Jews go, God unleashed the Ten Plagues, which were basically a series of natural disasters — locusts, hail, thunder, darkness, diseases, ect…..I think you know the rest of the story.

Passover also has a connection to the Christian Bible, as The Last Supper was believed to happen either immediately before or during Passover. In honor of this occasion, I have prepared these Passover trivia questions for my Jewish friends to enjoy. Happy holiday!

Pope Francis I

March 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

What’s a surprise! Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the 266th pope in the history of Catholicism. The media got it all wrong when they focused too much on the American cardinals and the supposed Italian front-runner. The selection of the pope is performed by the Holy Spirit (as believed by Catholics) and not by the activist media and liberal Catholics; this was apparent in the election result. Pope Francis may or may not turn out to be whom people were hoping for, but his elevation to the papacy offers hope and a new beginning for the Church and its followers. 

Earthquakes in So Cal

March 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

In case you have not heard, a series of moderate earthquakes struck Southern California yesterday. The epicenter was in Riverside, which is pretty close to where I live (San Diego). Strangely, I think I was the only one in my family and in my neighborhood to actually feel the quakes. Everyone else seemed to be oblivious of the earthquakes and was surprise to find out about them through twitter and facebook. Since tremblors are regular events here, I guess a 4.7 magnitude quake is not something out of the ordinary. It would take probably a 7.0 or greater to make people here in easy-ville So Cal to take notice.

Many years ago I was taught to duck under a table during a major earthquake. Anyone knows if this method is still relevant?

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