Best Cities to Raise a Family in California – 2019

According to, there are 5 California Cities on the top 20 cities out of 176 US cities.


Visit the article on WalletHub for more information:

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Solar Panels that produce fresh water and green energy

Scientists have modified solar panels to produce drinkable water from sea water while generating electricity. This is possible because a majority of heat generated by solar panels was not being used efficiently.

The new panels use this type of heat to produce fresh water through evaporation method. This type of solar panel can be valuable for project to reclaim dessert areas in Africa and Australia.

Solar panel design

Link: Article on

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3 California cities are in the top 10 US cities to raise a family

This report is researched by using 46 key metrics with 180 cities in the US.

Irvine is ranked 2nd; Fremont is 3rd; and Huntington Beach is ranked 9th.

Source: WalletHub

You can read the article at


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Happiness Ranks of Vietnam and Neighbor Countries

This is from the Ranking Happiness Report 2015-2017,

Vietnam is ranked 95th, out of 156 countries. This belongs to the second half of the list.

No countries from Southeast Asia is ranked in the top 25. Taiwan is ranked 26th is the top countries from Southeast Asia.

There are 4 countries that are between 26th and 50th range.

happy ranks 25-50

There are 3 countries ranked between 51 to 75.

Happy ranks - 51-75

There are 4 countries ranked between 76 to 100

happy ranks - 76 to100

2 countries ranked between 101 to 125


Surprisingly, India is below 125th rank; Same is with Myanmar.


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Chicken Gizzard Appertizer Recipe

This is a double boiled recipe.20160607_113858[1] 20160607_085105[1] 20160607_085428[1] 20160607_085816[1] 20160607_110513[1] 20160607_113350[1]

  1. Check and clean the gizards if necessary
  2. Boil the gizards with 1 cup of red wine, (cabernet sauvignon was used in this article) and water, enough to submerge the gizzards. A dutcht oven is recommended. for 1 hour with medium heat
  3. Pour the gizards into a strainer, rinse the gizzards.
  4. Pour 1 cup of chicken broth, and 2 cups of water into the empty pot or dutch oven. Add a cup of slides onion, 1 crushed garlic, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of siracha, 1 teaspoon of peper and 1 table spoon of brown sugar. Bring it to a boil
  5. add the gizzards back to the pot/dutch oven. Boil the gizzards with low heat for 2 hours, until the liquid is evaporated.
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Binh Dan Restaurant

This is one of my favorite restaurants in Little Saigon. This quan nhau is specialized in goat meat (thit de), but other dishes are good as well. Some of my favorite dishes are goat curry, grilled goat chops, long heo luoc, tiet canh de and lau de.

If you like Vietnamese food that go with beers, you should check this restaurant out.

tiet canh de 20150618_130853 long heo dat biet menu

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Would California convert sea water to drinking water?

I tried to google about this topic this morning and my finding is as follows:sea water greenhouse

  • It may not be at a large scale but it is happening
  • desalination projects are only one of many efforts that California takes on to free itselft from drought-depedent water sources

While tradition desalination process consumes significant energy and thus is expensive. Newer desalination methods needs much less  enerny. An article on by Cheryl Katz shows Trevi Systems use a method called “energy skimping desalination”. This method use 1/4 of the energy and can be driven by solar energy. Trevis Systems is part of a Bay Area start up. A pilot plant of Trevis System is being built in United Arab Emirates “to desalinate seawater”, using solar energy.

Trevi Systems can also be used to desalinate sewage water:
“can economically cleanse brackish groundwater, industrial effluent, and other forms of liquid waste”

A desalination project is being tested t in California’s agricultural Central Valley. It uses parabolic solar mirrors and captures water evaporates.

The largest desalination plant in the US will be in operation in early 2016. It will produce up to 50 millions gallon of drinkable water a day, using Isrealis technology. Santa Barbara restart its desalination plant, which passed a pilot test in the 90’s

There are other smaller projects that are in planning stages. Desalination research projects are also thriving at MIT, UC Berkeley, University of Texas and Standford. These research may result in new implementations in California in the near future.




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10 Vietnamese dishes you must try before you die.

I choose to write this article in English because I imagine that many individuals around the world may have this question in mind. This is my personal list and you can use the comment field to express your list. Over time, we can combine into a popular list of 10, if we have enough responses.

Gỏi Cuốn – Spring roll

This dish can be made at home. If you can buy fresh pork belly and fresh shrimp, it will be delicious.

Here is a photo and recipe from

goi cuon/spring roll photo

Bánh xèo

This dish was prepared at my grandmother home on special occasions. Van restaurant in Little Saigon is where we go to for Banh Xeo

Here is a picture and recipe on by Thien Kim Lam

Chả giò

Here are some recipes. For old school you must use rice paper, not springroll wrapper.

cha gio

Bò bảy món

Thien An or Anh Hong are the 2 restaurants in Little Saigon that we take our visitors to.

this photo is on

Chả cá Thăng Long

This photo is on

Cha ca thang long

Canh chua cá và cá kho tộ

Image on flicker

canh chua ca kho to

Tôm kho tàu

This photo is on and I think this chef made it pretty good. If the shrimp is fresh, it will be so good.

tom kho tau

You can try this as in

  • cơm tấm bì
  • bánh bèo bì
  • bánh mì bì

Com tam at Com Tam Dat Thanh RestaurantMy favorite place is Com Tam Dat Thanh

Bún bò Huế

Some homemade bun bo hue are quite better than in the dish in a restaurant. There are a few restaurants in Little Saigon that you can try: Vy Da, Saigon Deli or Bun Bo Hue So 1


Lẩu dê hầm thuốc bắc

You can try this one at Phuong Hoang Restaurant in Little Saigon California, my favorite place for this dish. If you attemp this at home you have to buy goat mutton and make sure you include skin and bone, to be authentic

lau de ham thuoc bac

What is your list

I will add more info to this article soon. Please use the comment section and let me know your list.

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What dishes are on the first Thanksgiving diner?

I was curious about what dishes were on the first Thanksgiving dinners for the Pilgrims and the Wambanoag Indians. Searching on Google, I found an article on

In summary, the findings are

  1. North America DucksTurkey could be a protein of the diner; but venison may be the plentiful meat for the diner: roasted deer and venison stew. Very likely, ducks, geese and swans probably were part of the diner.
  2. There were not stuffing, and nuts and onions were used.
  3. Vegetable were onions, beans, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, carrots and perhaps peas, which are locally plentiful in the area. A thick corn porridge may be part of the diner as well
  4. Fruits for the diner include blueberries, plums, grapes, gooseberries, raspberries and, of course cranberries. However, cranberries sauce was not probably part of the diner because there were not amber of sugar.
  5. Seafood were probably part of the diner according to culinary historians, because of New England location. Mussels, lobsters, bass, clams, and oysters may be part of the diner.
  6. Potatoes were not part of the diner. Other roots like Indian turnips and ground nuts might have been part of the diner.
  7. There were no pumpkin pie at the first Thanksgiving diner. A milk-honey-spices custard were probably improvised and were roasted in pumpkin gourds.



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5 items you must stock before disasters strike

1- Clean drinking water:

stockfordisasterYou should stock water enough for 2 weeks. This is based on an assumption that aids won’t reach your area up to 2 weeks. Each person in the family needs 1/2 gallon of water per day, in case you need to calculate.

2- Non-perishable food

Military rations, or food for hiking can be ideal, or canned food. Dried food can also be useful. But it may need water for preparation like dried milk and dried eggs.

3- First aid kit:

Your first aid kit should be stored in such a way that you can carry with you in case you need to move to a rescue destination. recommends items to be in the kit. Click this link to view this list.

4- Matches, candles and flash lights

Power outage could happen and it could last a few weeks. Make sure you stock batteries for your flash ligts

5- Outdoor cooking equipment

These can be your outdoor grill or camping stove/range. Be sure you have amber of propane gas.

Additional items can be

  • pack and go kit that you need to bring along when you need to move to a safe location.
  • blankets
  • radio and batteries
  • power generator

Please post your comments to make more suggestions.

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