Tag Archives: Science

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Banana of all Bananas


Every once in a while, life offers something new, unique, extraordinary with a flare of rarity that few could ever come to grasp or comprehend and with the change of, or advancement in applied science and technology thru  research, many in today’s presently changing world of new ideas, inventions, medical and technological innovations  as  for instance births of new human offsprings can bringst forth not just a single baby born but could end up 8, 9 , 12 or so babies  with the use of fertility drugs. Same is true in plants and many agriculturists  are going as far as producing hybrid types and trying genetical modifications to produce the desired output. Also rice have experienced revolutionary ways to produce yields in much different more advanced methods to produce higher yields than what used to be just normal. Scientists have to reinvent the rice plant again in order to keep up with the still rapidly growing  population. The newest techniques in biotechnology and genetic engineering employed by  scientists involves the transfer of the genes from one rice plant directly into the cells of another, reducing breeding time and allow for the transfer of specific traits. Instead of crossbreeding plants by hand in the field, scientists are now able to make finite genetic changes to plant embryos in test tubes, virtually ensuring the success of the transfer. This blog talks about one such ordinary variety of banana that was grown without the aid of genetically infused growth and many agriculturists are perplexed at how this banana tree bore fruit more than what is usually produced per bundle. In a remote village in the north of the Philippines in the City of San Fernando, which happens to be the ancestral place of my grandparents, a banana tree was found to have bore a 9-ft. bundle of fruit. Which gives us the intriguing imagination of the huge economic windfall to be derived should the genes of the banana fruit be extracted and re-grown  en-mass and re-planted. This banana just sprang out naturally and it was a case of genetic accident which is rare and should thus be preserved and multiplied to benefit more people globally.

Banana high breed.True or false

9-Foot long bundle of banana discovered in Brgy Catbagen,Sn Fernanco La Union.
A record crop yield on just 1 banana stalk.It produced a 9-ft long bundle grown without the aid of genetically infused growth.It was discovered recently in a remote village in the Northern Province of La Union in the Philippines.

A look at vegetable-rich Batinah region


We kept coming back for the motorcycle and camel rides in Batinah from time to time not minding too much on the long stretches of green fields along the way. This time we did not miss the chance to visit them. Our kind and unassuming Omani host offered the entourage a refreshing visit in  his vegetable and goat farm. We  found out vegetables and fruits are planted and [harvested] in great quantities in this part of Oman so that makes them not really dependent on vegetables from major exporters. Oil-rich Oman seems intent on becoming vegetable-rich as well, though it pales in comparison to figures achieved by vegetable-growing countries in Asia or North America. I later discovered that a considerable chunk of food crops in Oman is cultivated on the coastal region of Batinah plain, which extends north-westwards from the north of Muscat region to the rim of the United Arab Emirates.To name some, they are tomatoes, pumpkins, mangoes, bananas, sweet potatoes, sweet corn and an assortment of select fruits, like dates which have greatly increased over the last few years.

This blog under the category of plants and wildlife documents 4   vegetable plantations that we have visited namely okra, stringbeans, eggplant and cabbage. These products find its way to almost all the supermarkets and retailers in Oman.

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Okra comes packed with glutathione, a protein molecule that is naturally produced in the body and  is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body guard against the harmful effects of germs and bacteria that cause cancers and other diseases. It helps to improve liver, heart and lung functions and boost the immune system.

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Okra farms and other farms planted to vegetables are a common sight in the Batinah coast of Oman.
Okra eaters
Okra eaters,according to history.

Okra has made a name in ancient times, with its beginnings in Egypt where it is cultivated before the time of Queen Cleopatra. Then it became popular  to many parts of the world during the Atlantic slave trade.  The shortage of coffee beans in WWII gave rise to okra seed’s prominence as a very good substitute.  This incident made the word “okra fever”. Since then, okra’s popularity never disappeared from local markets to convenience stores throughout the world and throughout the year.

The world’s most beautiful women in ancient times, Cleopatra of Egypt and Yang Guifei of China loved to eat okra according to historical accounts.The world’s most productive land of okra in a rural area in Kami, Kochi Prefecture , Japan, is known popularly for how the young and old all look very healthy. When asked about their secret in having good health in that area, they graciously answer “okra”.

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Okra is also reported to be beneficial to those suffering from diabetes as it helps to stabilize the blood sugar. Some people who claimed to have their diabetes cured or their condition greatly improved with the daily consumption of water that has been soaked with okra.

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The other side of weeds.

So you think you know what a weed is? Did you ever think “why” you have weeds?  Did you ever think about positive values and functions that weeds might provide? There are many wildlife uses for weeds, including hosting more insects than you see or can imagine.Many wild mammals feed on weeds.  There are more good insects than bad in gardens, many being predators of the bad, or serving as food for birds.  Small parasitic insects, also serving as biological controls for bad ones, feed on the nectar of many weed flowers.   Some weeds host the larvae of butterflies, such as the monarch larvae on milkweeds.  We all have seen bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies feeding on flower nectar of many weeds.  Especially important to these are the late season wildflowers, when not much else is in flower, such as goldenrod and aster.

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The Omani farm owner showed his  unrelenting appetite for a memorable pose with us.

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Farmworkers in almost all the veggie fields are tended to by Bangali laborers like this stringbean fields we visited. Green beans (string beans) have been, in recent studies shown to have impressive antioxidant capacity.Research comparing the overall antioxidant capacity of green beans to other foods in the pea and bean families has found green beans to come out on top.For one, it’s also a valuable source of silicon for bone health and healthy formation of connective tissues in the body.

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Cabbage contains enormous anti-ageing compounds like beta carotene and Vitamin C. These compounds repair the damaged cells of the skin and give healthy and shiny skin protecting against the ageing of the skin.

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Although iron is essential for many biological process in the body, excess accumulation of it is not beneficial and causes certain harmful effects in the body. Increased accumulation of iron causes rise in the production of free radicals in the body and is associated with high risk of heart disease and cancer.Therefore,studies have taught us that it is necessary to remove the excess iron to reduce the free radical production which can be done by nasunin, a phytonutrient present in eggplant.

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Prior to the discovery of oil in the 1960s, the agricultural sector was vital in the Omani economy.  The principal agricultural area is found along the Batinah coast, in the northeast between Muscat and Diba al-Hisn. Oman is famed for producing very high quality agricultural goods and the highest quality products are usually exported to the neighboring Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.To this day, agriculture remains to be one of Oman’s main non-oil exports.

Sink Holes are for real and they’re stunning.


Has anyone of you ever heard of (or encountered) a Sink Hole? Sorry but I didn’t even know it ever existed. With the long Eid weekend holidays at this time of the year giving as a perfect time to relax or unwind,my friend, Ted bragged  me about a must-see sink hole which I shrugged [it off] as just a waste of time going there.Until it became obvious that what my very own eyes saw was a stunning view of the world’s most stunning sinkhole. In shape, it seemed like a cavernous limestone bowl and it’s so beautiful it has become a tourist attraction.A sinkhole, which can be properly termed also as a sink, snake hole, swallow hole, swallet, doline, or cenote, is a natural depression or hole in the Earth’s surface caused by Karst processes — the chemical dissolution of carbonate rocks.A geologist or scientist would we the perfect someone to explain this subject. How big are sinkholes? Mind you, sinkholes may vary in size from 1 to 600 metres (3.3 to 2,000 ft) both in diameter and depth, and vary in form from soil-lined bowls to bedrock-edged chasms. Sinkholes may be formed gradually or abruptly, and can be found everywhere around the globe.It is worth mentioning that sinkholes sometimes grab headlines for swallowing cars, houses and occasionally whole streets.
However amazing as it is, this sinkhole in Oman is so stunning it has been turned into a tourist attraction.While similar holes engulf residential streets or open up in front of despairing home owners, the beautiful limestone hollow in Bimmah sinkhole has long been attracting tourists taking countless photos for FB or other purposes and taking a refreshing dip.

We had just hied off at the Wadi Dayqa Dam (to be blogged later) and next thing was… we found ourselves pondering about the beautiful sight that was not included in our original itinerary——- at this very intriguing place at Dibab Lake Park.Wheww…Bimmah Sink Hole.Beautiful as it is, water is bluish, we saw a lot of people swimming on it,though it is quite salty just like the seawater or even saltier.

If you are wondering how deep this sinkhole is, the locals say it is a good 20m deep at its lowest point.Thank goodness, our time was not wasted to visit this sink hole located somewhere along the coastal road going to Sur.What’s more,its within walking distance from the parking lot. Not really tiring.There are restrooms/shower rooms provided for those who want to take a swim at the Dibab Lake Park.