Friday, August 31, 2012

Key West Pink

It's always hard to decide what's for dinner. Here is what Capt. Tavern suggests: Shrimps! I never knew that they have invented a new designation - Colossal! Hhmmm... Key West pink! Looks very inviting!
Key West

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pretty In Pink

Here is a beautiful in pink look of the Miami's sky late in the afternoon today. Sorry about all the ugly wires. I can't help it!
Pink Clouds

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Colorful Juveniles

After several days of much rain from tropical storm Isaac, the baby giant blue crabs (Cardisoma guanhumi) appear in droves here... Remember that they only get the boring pale blue when adults. When still in juvenile stages, they are really pretty in all rainbow hues: green, yellow, red, orange, purple, pink, black... Do rainbows have pink and black colors in them? Do you know??? If not, why not???
Baby Giant Crabs

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Isaac is gone ...
Blue Sky

Photo taken today at 10:27AM.
Click on the player above to hear a sad song...

Monday, August 27, 2012


Isaac has come and gone, but the story does not end there. We have a lot of flooding from the rain that accompanied Isaac. Isaac's center is way over there... but its arms reach way over here on Brickell avenue, and the end result is that we are still having a wet and windy day to deal with. Tomorrow will be back to normal again, I am sure.
Isaac Feeder

Sunday, August 26, 2012

It's Only A Tropical Storm

Thankfully, we are spared of an encounter with a hurricane. Tropical storm Isaac is supposed to skirt the Florida Keys and emerge into the Gulf of Mexico. So we are safe... but as you can see, we are still very, very wet. This is the wet coral rock wall of the very beautiful Plymouth Congregational Church in Coconut Grove.
No Canes

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Prelude To A Cane

This is a miserable day to drive around in Miami. This is Brickell Avenue... and this is NOT Isaac yet. Isaac is supposed to become a Hurricane sometime late tomorrow and will cross the Florida Keys to enter the Gulf of Mexico where it has plenty of warm water to grow stronger. South Florida, including Miami is under a hurricane warning (meaning hurricane conditions may prevail) and everyone, myself included is trying to hibernate and weather this storm. I want my blue sky back... Boo hoo hoo!
Not Isaac Yet

Friday, August 24, 2012

Only a TS

Friday afternoon, and the traffic is crazy... This huge ad usually talks about Coconut Grove's commerce but this time, Coral Gables is paying to get the attention away from Coconut Grove. In a nutshell, if you want to be "trendy," and if you're a Who's Who, you need to be trendy... so you obviously need to shop with the "trend setter." Clear? No? But look at the black storm in the sky... here comes the fringe of Isaac. It is still only classified as a tropical storm (TS) with wind speed of about 70mph. We may be OK because the weather forecasters only issued TS warning for us and no one is uttering the word "HURRICANE." Hope they are correct this time.
Only a TS

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Detour Ahead

This is Brickell Avenue as seen today at about 2PM when the heat is suffocating, especially with this traffic jam caused by ongoing road work. This is about 12th or 13th street... I'm not sure because I have to pay close attention to these Bob's barricades (the orange and white cylindrical things with an orange light atop.) Thankfully they are turned off. When on, they can easily drive me gaga!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Just when you thought it's a good time to talk about pleasant things in life... then you have to start worrying about dealing with Isaac! I need to wake up early tomorrow morning to put some drinking water and food in my refrigerator because it's pretty empty right now. When Isaac comes, and he will whether he is welcome or not..., I'll be forced to go into a long term fasting spell if I am not careful... I may be able to get some photos of the frenzy at grocery stores starting... about... NOW! Looking at this forecast from the National Hurricane center, we'll get very windy this weekend for certain! Aye yei yei! Yikes!
Here He Comes
... Addendum... I didn't feel like waiting until tomorrow morning, but look here... The shelves are already empty and it's only 8:13PM. I can't wait to see the water rush tomorrow morning, but I don't think I want to wake up that early for a crazy photo shot... but if I can't sleep.. I may consider...
Water Gone

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Catch Me If You Can

The giant blue land crab (Cardisoma guanhumi) is the largest of Florida's semi-terrestrial crabs. In its juvenile form, the crab is a dark brown, purple, or orange in color. As an adult, it is a bluish-gray color. Females sometimes appear light gray or white. A distinctive feature of these blue land crabs is that one claw is larger than the other. In southern Florida, these crabs are seen in low-lying areas of coastal counties and they rarely are found more than 5 miles from the coast. Adult blue land crabs are terrestrial (land-dwelling)critters and they return to the sea only to drink or to breed. They live in burrows several feet deep or at least to a level that will allow water to seep in for moisture. . Giant blue land crabs are primarily vegetarians, preferring tender leaves, fruits, berries, flowers and some vegetables. Their peak reproductive activity occurs during full moons in the summer. After mating, an adult female lays her eggs but carries the egg mass beneath her body for approximately 2 weeks prior to migrating to the ocean and releasing the eggs into shallow inshore waters. After hatching in the open ocean in October and November, the young crabs are carried by the ocean tides back to the shores.

The adult life of the blue land crab is spent away from salt water and in burrows 3 to 5in (8 to 13cm) wide and up to 5ft (1.5m) deep like what you see in this photo. In Florida, state regulations forbid harvesting of the blue land crabs for food from July 1st to October 31st so these crabs are safe today until November 1st of this year.

If you want to catch these fellows now, beware, because this is what The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says:

68B-54.002 Statewide Open and Closed Seasons for Harvesting Blue Land Crabs.

(1) Blue Land Crabs shall only be harvested during the open season, which is from November 1 of each year through June 30 of the following year.

(2) No person shall harvest, attempt to harvest, or possess any blue land crab during the period beginning on July 1 and continuing through October 31 of each year.

Bag Limit - No person shall harvest in any one day or possess at any time more than 20 blue land crabs.

It's not easy to catch these crabs because they can feel your foot steps and "poof," they disappear in their burrows before you can even blink. The decree above also says that these crabs can only be caught bare hands or with a landing or dip net. So... Good Luck!
Cardisoma guanhumi

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Rolls Royce

While I'm on a Roll, let's continue talking about the rich and the famous... the Rolls Royce type! Got that? Roll... Rolls Royce! How clever! Well, the car in the photo I show you today actually could bring shame to the elite group that I will be introducing to you... but hey, it's a Corniche, so it's not something to sneeze at.

But first, you ought to know something in the history of the famous Rolls Royce automobiles that is quite cute. The Corniche, like the one you see in my photo taken at Commerce Lane, was Rolls-Royce's coupé and convertible version of the Silver Shadow produced between 1971 and 1996. The Corniche was named "Silver Shadow Mulliner Park Ward two door fixed head coupé" (alternatively, drop head coupé... Eddie Murphy owned that one.. but I am getting ahead of myself...) from 1966 until 1971 when the Corniche name was applied. The exterior design was by John Polwhele Blatchley. It's kind of ugly, if you asked me.

Although the 1971 Corniche was the first car of that name that the company sold, the "Corniche" name had been registered by Rolls-Royce in the 1930s. The original Corniche was a prototype based on the Bentley Mark V featuring coachwork by the Paris firm, van Vooren. The single car drove 15,000 miles (24,000 km) of endurance testing in Continental Europe before being BLOWN UP by a bomb at Dieppe, France while waiting at the dockside to be shipped to England. How do you like that? So the original Corniche production was killed by World War II.

Do you know who owned these Rolls? The list is very long, but it's interesting to know some of the more famous Rolls owners:

Michael Jackson - 75 Corniche Turbo - 90 Silver Spur II - 99 Silver Seraph (all three were stretched models,)
Freddy Mercury, singer of the group Queen - 74 Silver Shadow,
Sylvester Stallone - Phantom,
Elvis Aaron Presley - 66 Silver Cloud,
Brigitte Bardot - Corniche,
John Lennon - 65 Phantom V,
Eddy Murphy - Phantom & Phantom Drophead Coupe,
Donald Trump - He collects Rolls Royce!
HRH Sultan de Brunei - every shape and sizes of Rolls-Royce and also one specially made for his highness. This super super rich sultan owns about 5,000 cars, but who's counting?

And... drum Roll, please... Lan - 'cause I'm going to buy this one so I can be listed!
Rolls Royce Club

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Munroe's My Name

The Coconut Grove Peacock Tour, an organization that develops and brings public art exhibition to Coconut Grove, during the Spring of 2010 through the Winter of 2011, hosted a herd of beautiful peafowl, fiberglass peacocks decorated by Coconut Grove artists one of whom is Deborah Starbuck who was the author of the peacocks. The funding of this project were to benefit local charities and non-profit organizations. The peacocks were on display throughout the Coconut Grove village and main through fares in March 2010. The charity auction was held one year later in March 2011. Local sponsors included the Mayfair Center, the Miami Heat, the Zoo of Miami, the Port of Miami, Hampton Inn hotel among other businesses and individuals, and a peacock adorned with different decorations was made for each sponsor.

Here is one such peacock that was sponsored by the Cloisters on the Bay and Munroe is in display inside this gated community. Yes, that is the name given to this peacock, named after Captain Ralph Middleton Munroe who was one of the earliest settlers of Coconut Grove which was accessible only by water at the time he was here. If you pay close attention and zoom in on this photo, you would see that the artist has faithfully fitted this peacock with Captain Munroe's signature bow-tie and Captain's cap. The distant images on the Peacock tail illustrate the beautiful club house at The Cloisters on the left, the playground at Peacock Park on the right, and the Barnacle house at the center.

By the way, you didn't think for a minute that I would be deterred by that iron gate? Right?
Inside the Cloisters

Saturday, August 18, 2012

You Shall Not Pass

I heard about this exorbitantly luxurious place in Coconut Grove: The Cloisters In Coconut Grove. It is a gated community of 40 tri-level villas located right in the heart of Coconut Grove’s village center. The market in The Cloisters dipped about 22 -28 months ago when there were several short sales (in case you do not live in the US, short sales mean the mortgage is in distress and the house is for sale at large discounts) that were purchased for less than $200.00 per square foot. Now prices are starting to slowly rise again. This year a unit traded for US$1,285,000 or $227.00 per square foot and all of the active units are listed for $265.00 per square foot and higher (up to $503.00 per square foot.)

I am not sure how I can get past this formidable looking gate to get inside for a few shots. Let's see... Peanuts... Open up! No?... Ginger... open up! No?... Pepper... Open up! No?... Abracadabra... Open up! No?... Pedaliaceae... Open up!

Nah! This thing does not seem to understand Latin! I'll return some other time...
Stay Out, Please

Friday, August 17, 2012


You saw an Ackee tree previously, now you can see up close one of its fruit that has fully ripened and split open to show the three black seeds surrounded by the soft creamy and spongy white aril. If you are real hungry and want to eat this, you need to clean and wash the aril before boiling it for approximately 30 minutes. Don't use the water because it has residue of the toxin hypoglycin. The Ackee fruit is used to produce soap in some parts of Africa where it is also used as a fish poison. The dried seeds, fruit bark and leaves are known to have been used medicinally as a treatment for colds, fever, water retention (edema), and epilepsy. Beginning 2005, the first commercial shipments of canned ackee from Haiti were approved by the United States for shipment to the US market but I have never seen it sold in the local stores in Miami. I may have to venture into Miami's Little Haiti to find this fruit in cans... not that I would eat it, ripened or not. Luckily, I don't think I have any cold, fever, edema or even epilepsy at this time, at least not that I know of. When I do, I'll think about this some more.
Ackee Fruit

Thursday, August 16, 2012


It's high noon. I stopped by and hollered at the workers on the roof of this new house being remodeled. How hot is it up there? "Caliente!" is what they hollered back. It must be 100 degrees plus up there. All of a sudden, I feel so cool although my shirt is soaking wet from my walking in this hot high noon sun. I am glad I'm not up there!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Christian Cyclist

It's early in the morning and it is already getting very hot... This cyclist is taking a break from his riding and he is really concentrated to read what looks like a bible. There is a remote chance that he may be reading a copy of The Bicycle Rider's Bible by Jeff Marshall and George Laycock but I don't think so, judging from the shape and the thickness, this is the real Bible that he is reading.
Christian Cyclist

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wanna Get Drunk?

Once in a while, life gets you down, like right this moment for me. It's easy to say "Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on!" But to do it? You need help, real help... and here it is: Hyphaene coriacea in person, the Natal iLala palm! Hear me out!

Southernmost of the ten or so species in the genus Hyphaene which are found in Africa, coastal Arabia, western Madagascar and southern India, it is Hyphaene coriacea that is found mostly in KwaZulu-Natal and southern Mozambique. Female plants like this one bears pendulous inflorescences from the leaf axils, on which large bunches of fruit develop that can be up to 2,000 per plant, but I am not going to count them here. These fruits take about two years to reach maturity and another two years before falling from the plant. In their native countries, the fruits are dispersed by elephants, monkeys and baboons.

The iLala palm is an ethnobotanically-important plant to the Maputaland, part of which is the vigorous local industry in the manufacture of palm brews. That's what can perk you up when you are all black and blue and melancholic: the sugary sap extracted from the stems and flowers is fermented by natural yeasts into a kind of beer called ubuSulu or iNjemane which, when fresh, tastes rather like gingerbeer.

As much as 60 to 70 liters can be obtained from an average tree and the alcohol level reaches 3.6-3.7% by volume within 36 hours. I understand that this rather potent spirit is consumed during social events in its native land accompanied by much laughter and conviviality.

That's it, I am coming here tonight and I know what to do: "The growing tip is cut away, leaves are stripped, incisions made and a leaf stalk inserted as a spout. The sap oozes down and I will get drunk over my sorrow! There is no need to wait for fermentation by yeast!"

Monday, August 13, 2012

Golden Hasselblad

I often talk about Miami's golden shower flowering tree, but this is the first time I really get intimate and have a close up shot of its flowers. As I said, yellow is my favorite color. This is one reason why that is so. I think I need to get myself a professional grade Single Lens Reflex camera. This iPhone really does not do justice to this tree and its flowers. May be... if I stop eating and live like Mahatma Gandhi for a few decades, I may be able to pay for something like a Hasselblad H4D-60. What do you think?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cumulonimbus capillatus incus

OK. Let me give you a mini lesson about why we have afternoon thunder storms in Miami. This photo is taken at South Beach's Pier park. The public beach is to the left. Ocean Drive is to the right along with all the famous tourist attractions. Please concentrate and look up to the sky.. Higher, please!

What you see are cumulus (cumulus congestus) clouds. These clouds can rapidly develop vertically into Cumulonimbus capillatus incus clouds that go higher up to an altitude between 2 to 16 kilometers.

Cumulonimbus is thus a towering very tall, dense, vertical cloud that has the bad habit of generating thunderstorms and other inclement weather. Cumulonimbus originates from Latin: Cumulus "heap" and nimbus "cloud". It is generated from atmospheric instabilities. These clouds can form alone, in clusters, or along a cold front in a squall line. Once formed, they can create lightning and other dangerous severe weather. Cumulonimbus clouds can further develop into supercells whose features are severe thunderstorm with generous water downpours.

Are you following my lesson? Didn't think so!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Crab and Raw Fish Amuse-Gueule

The newly renovated Rusty Pelican restaurant in Key Biscayne had my full attention and I came back for another sample of their new style menu... Here are two mouth watering appetizers: a crab cake in the foreground, and sea bass ceviche further up in the photo. Although I do not particularly like to venture into eating raw fish and hopefully do not become addicted, I must admit I did not mind chomping on a few pieces of the quite "delicious" morsels of sea bass in lime juice here. Excellent! I rate this a five octopuses out of a maximum of five octopuses from my personal book of exotic rating. The beach chairs you see outside are sittings in the outdoor patio. That will be an excellent place to sit in the November clement weather to enjoy the Miami downtown skyline at dusk.

Friday, August 10, 2012

South Beach Bum

This is the southernmost public beach of Miami Beach. To the immediate left is the hugely trendy South Beach tourist trap. This is adjacent to Pier park, just in front of all the restaurants, bars and night clubs across the south end of the famed Ocean Drive. The huge sand beach you see is in no way natural. In fact, sand was dragged from the ocean floor and dumped on the shore to create artificial beaches along the island that is Miami Beach. The ongoing work you see on the top of this shot is the second phase of a beach renourishment project on Miami Beach that is expected to complete by November this year.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began this US$15.8 million project in March of this year when they dredged about 250,000 cubic yards of sand off Key Biscayne and pumping it through a buried pipeline to the shore of Miami Beach. Miami's scuba divers and snorklers hated this project because it clouded the water they swim in.

Phase two of this restoration work began in May when about 107,000 cubic yards of sand already on the beach between 10th and 18th streets are being spread onto an eroded section between 27th and 44th streets.

As you can guess, the sun here is hot, hot, hotter and hottest so the business of renting shade is flourishing. The large blue umbrella you see to the right costs US $20.00 for 6 hours of rental and each beach chair adds another US $10.00 per six hours. Some (shameless) people come with their own personal umbrellas and their own chairs. The space on the hot sand is free of charge on a first come first served basis.

In the foreground, what you see is no tourist. This is a quite entrepreneurial homeless (I can tell...) person who has found a way to take a nap "legally" in a public place.
South Beach

Thursday, August 9, 2012

FSAC Taking Shape

A bit less than a year ago, this site was prepared to begin construction. And now, abracadabra... poof... this is a sneak preview of the new Student Activities Center that is taking shape. The new Rathskeller, a popular place for students to hang out for food and beverage will occupy the ground floor. With luck, it will be right next to the lake for a formidable view. I think the name of this new building will have the word "Fairholme" in it because the first US $20 Million came from that foundation. How about the Fairholme Student Activities Center (FSAC?) So, meet me soon at the Rat in the FSAC, OK?
Student Activities Center

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Eat Me Ripe

For years, I always thought somehow that the fruits of this tree are poisonous. But it is not quite so after all. Only under certain conditions. This is a fruit-bearing tree known as Ackee in Barbados. The ackee, also known as the Zakari el trufi, y chocorras el albatros, akee apple or akee (Blighia sapida) is a member of the Sapindaceae family, native to tropical West Africa. The common name is derived from the West African Akye fufo. The term ackee originated from the Akan language. I have never known that it is related to the lychee and the longan that I know quite well.

The flowers of the ackee are unisexual, fragrant and they bloom during warm months. The fruit is pear-shaped. When it ripens, it turns from green to a bright red to yellow-orange, and splits open to reveal three large, shiny black seeds, surrounded by soft, creamy white to yellow flesh, the arils. The scientific name honors Captain William Bligh who took the fruit from Jamaica to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England in 1793. The ackee fruit was imported to Jamaica from West Africa (probably on a slave ship) before 1778.

Very prominent in Jamaican cuisine, Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica, and ackee and saltfish is the national dish. The oil of the ackee arils contains many important nutrients, especially fatty acids. Linoleic, palmitic and stearic acids are the primary fatty acids found in this fruit. Ackee oil makes an important contribution to the diet of many Jamaicans.

So, why my long time fear that this fruit is poisonous? It turns out that the unripened portions of the fruit contain in large quantity the toxins hypoglycin A (found in seeds and arils) and B (found only in the seeds.) When ingested, this toxin depletes the level of glucose in blood and causes hypoglycemia, which can be fatal. Clinically, this is called the Jamaican vomiting sickness. Remember... Never eat unripe ackee fruit. If you do... Abdominal discomfort begins two to six hours, followed by sudden onset vomiting. In severe cases, profound dehydration, seizures, coma, and death may ensue. Now, you have been warned! The fruits on this tree are ready for Jamaican cooking... let's find some saltfish...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

By George, It Did It!

Look what I found today! The Coco de Mer broke ground and germinated after all. In March, I came here and nothing had happened, but today is quite different. The double-nut from the "République des Seychelles" (Repiblik Sesel in Créole) finally emerged after more than a year hibernating. Its companion, the second double-nut is also in this shot, further up in this photo where you can see the second irrigation system. It is slower and probably will peek-a-boo with us soon. How exciting! Watching this plant grow will be so zen... In a way, it's like watching the world in slow motion. I like that!
Coco de Mer

Monday, August 6, 2012


Listen, are you ready for a metaphorical trip to the past? First, look at the longans in the photo taken today... they are the last batch from my trees this year. They are huge because these were safe way up high at about 30 feet on top of the trees. All the ones at lower levels have been raided by my friends. For two weeks, these longans up there gave me many a nights of unrest. I was simply obsessed, the same way as captain Ahab's obsession with Moby-Dick, The Whale! In the US canon novel dated 1851, author Herman Melville, via the psyche of Capt. Ahab who was crippled by Moby-Dick, vowed revenge. He projected into the poor whale all malignant and evil intentions and a protracted fight between man and animal ensued. Here, the Longan up there dropping one at a time forced me to get my tallest ladder and the longest harvesting pole out of the closet. After three long hours of sweat and tears under the merciless Miami sun, I got most of them down here. There are still some more up there, but I gave up. The Longan won! Bad, bad, bad Longan! I see longan ice cream in my near future...
Moby-Dick on Tree

Sunday, August 5, 2012


This is a view of Coconut Grove from a very popular restaurant, the Monty's Seafood/Raw Bar famous for its stone crab. Unfortunately, stone crab season is from October to May of each year. At this time, you'd have to settle for their regular menu, which is quite ordinary... It's not Friday at 5PM, their hot weekly Happy Hour so it is quite empty in this shot. If you ask me, I'd say I prefer Scotty's Landing, which is just a stone throw from here. To be fair to Monty's, I won't tell you why. If you are in Miami, you ought to give both places a shake out and decide for yourselves. However, outdoor eating is at its best here in Coconut Grove.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I Thee Wed

Here is an outdoor Miami wedding that I witnessed "remotely" tonight peeking through the looking glass of the newly renovated Rusty Pelican restaurant in Key Biscayne. I was too slow and missed a golden opportunity when the groom kissed the bride while some impressive sailboat sailed by in the background water that is Biscayne bay. Moments later, I stole this family shot showcasing the Miami downtown sky line at dusk. Only in Miami!
I Thee Wed

Friday, August 3, 2012

BD Gift

I was given this orchid specimen a few days ago. It's an AM/AOS awarded Miltonia spectabilis var. Morelliana. This beautiful orchid species has fully opened flowers today, which is, drum roll..... please.... my BD. How about that! Kisses and hugs are welcome! No guys, please!

Miltonia spectabilis is an outstanding Miltonia. It is a species of orchid occurring in extreme eastern Brazil and has been erroneously reported to be native of Venezuela. Being the largest flowered of the species of this genus. Miltonia spectabilis is a very common species in the rain forests of the States of Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo, following the Serra do Mar, which runs somewhat parallel to the coast. This species occurs in altitudes between 400 meters (1300 ft.) and 1000 meters (about 3300 ft.). It probably extends into the State of São Paulo. The Brazilian Miltonias usually produce flowers that open in succession on long inflorescences but the Miltonia spectabilis var. Morelliana, this one, warm growing, produces fewer flowers on much shorter flower stems; and this species stands out among its peers.

The flowers of Miltonia spectabilis are the largest and fullest in the genus, especially due to the uniformly dark colored wide lips which earned this species the AM/AOS award. This incredible species of orchid from Brazil is spectacular today with its dark purple flowers wearing the fragrance of black licorice. The flowers are expected to last 6 - 8 weeks.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It's Red and It's Bull

I was always intrigued by this product... and now that it is parked right next to me, I wasted no time to say my peace. I think I tried one can of this Red Bull a while back but tossed it away after one sip. It was too sweet, and I wasn't sure what's in the can. If you are curious, read on...

Claimed to be produced in Austrian and Swiss Alps using Alpine spring water, this is marketed as a potent energy drink. Besides the water in each can, it contains caffeine; glucuronolactone, a derivative of sugar contained in grains; other derivatives of vitamin B; Sucrose & Glucose, Red Bull energy drink contains Taurine. According to the manufacturer, Taurine is an amino acid, which is almost true. They say Taurine naturally exists in the human body and found in high concentrations in muscle, brain, heart and blood. That's not quite the truth. Taurine is concentrated in bile and found in the large intestine.

Red Bull says Taurine is involved in vital functions of the human body; that it acts as a detoxifying agent by binding with harmful substances and thereby accelerating their excretion from the body; that Taurine is also involved in neurological processes and positively influences the performance of the heart. Further, they say taurine plays a role in thermoregulation.

In truth, Taurine is essential for cardiovascular function and the development of skeletal muscle, the retina and the central nervous system. But you need about 1 gram of it for each kilogram of body weight, which your body already has if you are in good health.

Taurine was named after the Latin word "taurus" when it was first isolated from ox bile in 1827. The natural question that you may have is this "Should you spend your hard earned money to buy this energy drink?" Here's the answer:

Taurine is regularly used as an ingredient in energy drinks, with many containing 1000 mg per serving, and some as much as 2000 mg. A 2003 study by the European Food Safety Authority found no adverse effects for up to 1,000 mg of Taurine per kilogram of body weight per day.

A review published in 2008 found no documented reports of negative or positive health effects associated with the amount of Taurine used in energy drinks, concluding that "The amounts of guarana, taurine, and ginseng found in popular energy drinks are far below the amounts expected to deliver either therapeutic benefits or adverse events". There you have it... but... there's more...

The Red Bull people had this to say:

"Have you heard...

…about the origin of taurine in Red Bull? Many people bet it comes from some delicate parts of the strongest and most potent bulls in the world. Well, fact is that the taurine in Red Bull is produced synthetically by pharmaceutical companies and is not derived from animals."

So, if you think that drinking a few cans of this stuff will have the same or better effect than Viagra, think again. This is in no way an endorsement of Viagra, please do not distort my analysis!

Finally, if you wondered where all this Taurine come from, it's mostly made in China where about 3,000 tons are manufactured each year.
It's Bull

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hable Con Leon

Healthcare is BIG business in the US. Actually, I can use the word gargantuan and will not be too far from the truth. This truck is brand new... meaning that this Leon conglomerate is making good money and is expanding. In Miami, you are handicapped if you can't understand Spanish. Fortunately, the numbers in Spanish are the same as when they are in English (... not so in Chinese and in Japanese, mind you! But please do not get me started on that thought...) so I know I can contact Leon if I need to, which I hope I will never have to. Is Leon getting into the computer business now? Is it what it says on this truck? Where is my personal interpreter when I need her? Life is so stressful here! No sé, caramba! Whatever that may mean.

Do you know how I know this truck is brand new? Look at its temporary white license plate still in paper form. Here, new vehicles are issued temporary license plates that can be used for 2 weeks.
Spanish R Us