Friday, April 30, 2010


This looks very much like another bubble house that went bust, and now stays unoccupied.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fat Cats

Here is an ad on busy US-1 Northbound traffic for a luxury car. Not sure how well these fat cats are selling.

Fat Cats

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Take One

How do you propagate a tender vine? It's growing and fruiting season in Miami so I am trying to play the gardener the lazy way. Take two new growths, bend them gently and lay them inside two small pots containing soil. Water them. Et voila! The hard part now is to remember to water these two pots everyday. In theory, roots will grow in the small pots and I will have two new vines. I can't wait to test this theory.

Making new plants

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thorny Vine

Bougainvillea is a genus of flowering plants native to South America from Brazil west to Peru and south to southern Argentina (Chubut Province). There are between 4 and 18 species in the genus and they grow very well here in Miami. They are thorny, woody vines growing anywhere from 1-12 meters tall, scrambling over other plants with their hooked thorns. The thorns are tipped with a black, waxy substance and they can really hurt. It's real easy to get a painful sting from this. All you have to do is get close to this bush and touch any part of it. These thorns spring out and grab your flesh as fast as a speeding cheetah. Ouch! There should be some yellow and white colors here but for some reason, those colors do not flower well at all.

No Yellow or White

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mexican Pork

Chilorio is a pork dish from the Mexican state of Sinaloa. Chilorio is generally made from pork fried in chili sauce. In making chilorio, pork is slow-simmered for hours until it falls apart. It is then broken into bite size pieces, fried in lard (yuk,) and cooked in a chili sauce made from re-hydrated dried chili. The sauce is usually flavored with onions, cumin and garlic. There is one Chilorio's restaurant in Coral Gables and its name there is Chilorio's Very Mexican. This one just opened on US-1 near SW 67th Avenue.


Sunday, April 25, 2010


With year round clement weather, Miami is truly a paradise for bikers and you see sportbikes like this one in the streets here and there. This looks like one of the many high performance motorbikes fitted with the Dyno power cycle parts. These bikes are really fast and they can top out at more than 200 miles per hour speed. I try to stay away from them on the highways.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Empty Your Wallets, Please

This is not a very good place to spend Saturday morning, waiting for your car to be "serviced" at a sky high price service dealership. Customers gather here for the bad news but can watch free movie and enjoy gourmet coffee while waiting. If your cars need service here in Miami (and elsewhere in the USA, I'm sure,) you are dead! You are defenseless. That is because your cars are so "advanced" that your local bandit mechanics can't be equipped to rob you, but your dealerships are well equipped to empty your bank accounts. I got a very good free coffee cup here this morning, and I have seen that movie already, thank you very much. Didn't bring my wallet this time.

Please Pay the Cashier

Friday, April 23, 2010


Here we go... this is Miami... You may have seen my recent April Fool's day blog when I talked about my home grown red cucumber. You may not know that there is a reason for that incomprehensible rambling April's 1st joke... I received a great gift, a crystal, and I promised it will get to my blog. So here's the crystal! Promise kept! My dilemma is what does it have to do with Miami? But it does plenty... Bear with me. You want to talk physics? Not that I know a lot, but this has to do with physics and the universe, and that comprises Miami. Don't laugh, there's more...

This crystal is the work of what I think is a great artist. She does many things in art and some are related to biology, mathematics and physics. This crystal is her canvas to showcase what the geeks in computational physics call the Calabi-Yau manifold. Calabi-Yau is the mathematical description of what could be the shape of the hidden 6 extra dimensions of the physical universe in which we only can perceive three spatial dimensions out of a total of nine. There is no way any of us can see the hidden dimensions, so clever scientists (not the mad ones) figured out how to find a way for us mortal to have a sense of what they are talking about. This crystal displays a three-dimensional section across the unimaginably small and complex 6 dimensional Calabi-Yau structure. The laser rendering is a wire frame representation of the simplified mathematical equation. It's simply beautiful and allows a person (me) to peer into the Planck scale of the universe in awe. If ever I can't sleep, which does not happen too often, I turn on the light in the base, look at this beautiful thing and will fall asleep in a nanosecond.

I did a quick and dirty calculation to justify this object's place in Miami. The Calabi-Yau manifolds occupy every single space available of the universe, filling all the void between atoms and smaller particles of matter. So there are many many many of these fellows surrounding all of us. How many? There are 60,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Calabi-Yau (give or take a few) in our known universe. In case you wonder, there are 61 zeros in the number above; and these are my hands holding the crystal in the Miami air. This photograph is uncharacteristically of much higher quality than my usual "crabby" photos. It is taken by my pal "astrologer the talented photographer" Gabrielle. Come to think, now that I have shown my hands, she probably will say I have a short life span. But what are a few years when we talk about Calabi-Yau, I am asking you? Please don't ask me to talk about time, the tenth dimension.

Errata: I was thinking more about the 61 zeros above, and realized that that quick and dirty calculation was too quick and too dirty. Therefore, a correction is in order. A revised less quick and less dirty estimation now says that we are surrounded by a "2" followed by 115 zeros Calabi-Yau manifolds. That's more like it.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rent Me Please

This rental DVD dispenser is seen at many local Miami grocery stores. This particular one belongs to BlockBuster that used to be the giant in movie rental. I say used to be because I think this line of business is having serious competition from the on line movie distribution.

Rent Me

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Litchi chinensis

The potent cold fronts of this year turned out to be a boon for the longan and lychee trees this year. We had a bumper crop last year and don't really expect any fruit this year. But look at this lychee (Litchi chinensis) tree, it can't be anymore loaded than it is now. The red fruits in the summer will be spectacular to see on this tree. My longan trees are also fully loaded with flowers now and the bees are busy at work.

Fully Loaded

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Paint the City Yellow

This is a different view of the area home for the ducks of my yesterday blog. The Baptist hospital in Kendall is seen afar. Out front, a recreational area is built for the visitors who need to get a break from the tough business indoor. Of course, in April, you see yellow Tabeuia in bloom everywhere you look. Breath taking.

Yellow Blooms

Monday, April 19, 2010

Duck Crossing

This very nice recreational area is just outside of Baptist hospital on Kendall Drive. The local ducks hang out here at their permanent home and they are fed by the people who come here for the great outdoor air or for exercise. They feed the ducks too. There is a lot of visiting traffic so the drivers are warned to slow down and watch out for the friendly and fearless feathered creatures that live here.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Breeding Dragons

Dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus) is a beautiful fruit grown in Southeast Asia, Mexico, Central and South America, and Israel. The fruits are born from flowers of the cactus genera, and they come in 3 colors: 2 with pink skin, having different colored flesh (one white, one red,) while another type's skin is yellow with white flesh. Dragon fruit is low in calories and offers numerous nutrients, including Vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, plus fiber and antioxidants, all good for your heart.

Here it is grown at Banjong Orchids.

Dragon Fruit

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hot Sargent

If you don't pay attention, you'd miss the real name of this little cafe inside Miami's Dadeland village. You can read Sgt. Cafe, but you'd miss the word Pepper which is represented by a, what else, red hot pepper. This Sgt. Pepper's Café opened in the Fall of 2007. Located beneath the Metropolis II, Sgt. Pepper's Café is the second location to the well-known Sgt. Pepper’s Subs located in the Cutler Ridge area for over 20 years. You can get sandwich subs, salads, soups and pizza here. They have WiFi and use Boar's Head brand cuts (yummy!) in their sandwiches. I think they are also well known for their Wednesday nights' karaoke though you won't find me near it for this kind of event. But I like their cute Smart car they use to deliver food to their neighbors.


Friday, April 16, 2010

More Construction

In the US, and here in Miami, we take for granted safe and convenient highways to get us to where we want to go. It is easy to forget the amount of hard labor, despite all the heavy equipment available, to transform this kind of raw material into pleasant highway systems. This new entrance and exit to the S. Dade expressway (SR 874) is an ongoing project just off Kendall drive. This is hard work under the increasing hot sun of Miami from now on.

New Addition

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Like Gangbuster

It looks like we can finally say good bye to the cold days in Miami. It's about time. So, what's next, you ask? My Telosma cordata is taking off, after lingering around since end January. Yeah!

Taking Off

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Free Big Muscle

Everyone wants something for free. That's the reliable adage known to all capitalistic sellers of products in the US. Here in Miami, this novelty drink people is giving out free samples of their Muscle Drink. I looked it up and this is what they say:

Muscle Milk® Ready-to-Drink is a protein-enhanced functional beverage that promotes exercise recovery, lean muscle growth, and healthy, sustained energy. Protein provides your body with a sustained source of energy. It also promotes the development of lean muscle, which, along with a regular workout routine, increases endurance, fat burning and strength. So, whether you're training for a triathlon, your wedding dress, or the cover of Quads Weekly, drinking Muscle Milk can help you get it done. Look at the long line the free bait produced today.

Big Muscle

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lunch Break

It's lunch break for this college campus and some administrators enjoy a pleasant outdoor lunch break under the deciduous royal poinciana trees that will be in full bloom in about 3 more months. Spring is here and hots days are not far behind...

Lunch Time

Monday, April 12, 2010

5 Million Dollar Icon

My blog of yesterday did not do justice to the "one of a kind" Jade Buddha currently being viewed in Miami, so here is a better shot for those of you who cannot be here in person.

Jade Buddha

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Jade Prayer

The world's largest jade Buddha, sculpted from a single piece of gem-quality jade, was unveiled yesterday at Wat BuddhaRangsi, a Thai Buddhist Temple of Miami situated in the deep South farmland area known as Redland. For one week, the public is welcome to view and worship this religious icon free of charge.

The story of this giant Buddha dates from 2000 when a massive boulder of Jade was discovered in the arctic circle of Canada. Consisting of 18 tons of gem quality jade, it was called "the find of the millennium" and given the name "Polar Pride." Over the next five years professional carvers and artists sculpted and carved the colossal Jade boulder into a spectacular seven-foot high Buddha, including the lotus flower as the throne.

Jade stone has been considered in the orient as the "Gem of Heaven" and is believed to be a symbolic link between humanity and spirituality. A mineral associated with longevity, beauty, worth and love, Jade is believed to have great medicinal properties and is given one of the highest places among the gem stones.

Valued at US $5 million, this precious Buddha statue has been making its holy way around the world to allow people to admire and worship the rare sighting. Named the world Tour of the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace, it began in 2009.

The Jade Buddha is now in Miami. the next stops will include Memphis, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina; Worcester, Massachusetts; then on to Ontario, Canada; and back to Haymarket, Virginia, USA; and again to Canada: Edmonton, Alberta and Aldergrove, British Columbia. It will resume its USA tour in Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; then to San Jose, Santa Ana, Huntington Beach, California; Honolulu, Hawaii and Long Beach, California.

Starting 2011: the LA Convention Center; Santa Ana, Escondido, Ventura, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Lithonia and Garden City, Georgia; Wichita, Kansas; Chicago, Illinois; Telford, Pennsylvania. In June: Frankfurt am Main, Hannover, Berlin and Munich, Germany. In August, the people of Birmingham of the United Kingdom will get their turn... and so on...

The tour is expected to last several years before concluding on its way back to its permanent home at the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendigo, Australia.

Today, many came here to burn incense and to say a prayer for the ones they love.

Say A Prayer

Saturday, April 10, 2010


The annual Special Olympics event at Miami Dade College took place today. This event is always graced by the presence of many young volunteers mostly from local high schools who love to participate in community projects. These youngsters are sponsored by the Hialeah (a small city in the North of Miami) Police Academy.

Police Cadet

Friday, April 9, 2010


It's March... Not quite, it's April... so this is a few days late... But I promised that every year, you'll see this golden show in Miami. So here it is again:

The Poui is one of the very beautiful flowering trees that can be seen here as well as in Trinidad and Tobago, particularly when there are multiple trees in close proximity (in Trinidad.) It is native to Central and South America and some of the islands in the Lesser Antilles. In Trinidad, the yellow poui is also known as apamata and Gold Tree, however it has a variety of names in other parts of the world. In Mexico the tree is called amapa and in Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica it is called cortez. In Ecuador the trees are known as madera negra and in Peru, tahuari. lapacho negro is the name for the tree in Paraguay and Argentina; in Surinam, it is called greenheart, pau d'arco, taheebo, ipe roxo ; in Venezuela, flor amarillo; in Colombia, guayacan polvillo. Other commercial names for poui include Brazilian walnut and ironwood. While I don't know by what common name we call this tree here in Miami, its scientific name is Tabeuia serratifolia. To be truthful, I am not sure, because this could be Tabeuia chrysantha. No matter what it really is named, it's spectacularly beautiful.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Deep Sea Ready

A happy charter boat captain getting ready to take tourists out for a fun filled day of deep sea fishing. I'd be happy too if I had his job.

Charter Boat

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chalk It Up

Aspiring artistic talents in young college students are free to express themselves today using the outdoor concrete walkway as canvas. It is well planned because no rain is in the forecast.

Sidewalk Artistry

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Corn2Go, Slowly...

A real slow weekday at the Falls shopping complex.

Slow Going

Monday, April 5, 2010

Dry Pool

Property values of Miami homes keep going down and it's no wonder to find homes with backyard like this one.

Pool Gone

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Seduced and Abandoned

A walk around Miami continually reveals some sad sites that reflect the current sorry state of economy in the US. This Miami "mansion" looks sad and abandoned. No sign of life, no landscape, no souls. None that I can detect.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Remembrance of Things Past

If you feel melancholy, visit a cemetery, bring some flowers. You can always find a spot or two to leave them.


Friday, April 2, 2010


You don't have to stray too far from residential areas in Miami to find scenery worthy of farm land. In fact, this is the backyard of a house sitting on either a half or a full acre of land in South Miami. This is through a crack of the wooden fence enclosing these beautiful animals. I am glad this owner is not harboring more exotic animals of the wild such as the pythons that are growing like weeds in the Everglades.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Red Cucumber

This month's theme is "red." It can't be any more coincidental with my pet project that I have worked on for quite a while: genetically create a red cucumber. I have succeeded, and this is its first appearance anywhere. It's extremely hard to modify the genetic traits of the natural cucumber that is green in appearance so that the mature fruit is red. Moreover, I only wanted the fruits to be red, and every thing else remain green. Today, I am in a generous mood so I am unveiling here how I did it:

First, you have to get to the very small scale of matter. And I talk about small, small, small...The closer you get to the Planck scale, the redder your cucumber will be. My "red cucumber" (TM, @) my own first ever attempted Cucurbitaceae rubella "Stultifera aprilis" (TM, @) is not as red as I would like. This is because I could not get all the way to the Planck scale, the reason being I am not very good with the tool I use, the ubiquitous "photographatus pergulae #7". So, with this tool, I manipulated the Calabi-Yau manifold and made sure its holes are odd. I can tell you this is not easy! Then the even holes will auto-vanish and the concomitant green quarks are instantaneously transmuted into their super symmetrical anti-quarks that contain all the "rubella" stochastic properties that are stable to order gamma, et voila! Instant red cucumber!

By the way, Happy April's 1st.

Happy April's 1st!