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Topic Reading-Vol.2538-3/24/2019

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Christchurch shootings: New Zealand falls silent for mosque victims
During Friday Prayer on March 15, a self-proclaimed white supremacist fired semi-automatic weapons and rifles at the Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. 50 people were killed and over 50 people were wounded by the attack.
On March 22, the whole nation observed a silence to mark a week since the massacre. Thousands of people gathered in Hagley Park, near one of the mosques the shooting took place. The Muslim call to prayer was broadcast on national television and radio. Many non-Muslim women wore headscarves to show solidarity with Muslim women. Maori haka has been performed in many places to express their sorrow. The shooting also triggered the government to make a decisive move to ban all assaulted weapons.
Indeed, they are broken-hearted, but they are not broken, and the country is now more united than ever before beyond race, religion or generation.
Read the article and think what people could do to restore and enhance goodwill and harmony.


Topic Reading-Vol.2537-3/23/2019

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
AI and spices: Would you put cumin on a pizza?
Spices are essential for most cooking styles, especially for Cajun, Chinese, Indian, and Persian cuisines. If you don’t cook, you never know how many kinds of species and how much of each spice were used to enhance the flavor of the dishes you are enjoying. Indeed, the blending of spices creates a unique flavor and taste of each dish. And the recipe is often traditionally or culturally inherited, or ingenuously created.
As you know, AI can learn such human ingenuities in a very short period of time, called deep learning. So, how about using AI to create a new spice mix, or an alternative spice mix to substitute expensive or hard-to-obtain spices? In fact, the world biggest spice company has been working on improving their AI model to come up with such spice mix suggestions that only experienced expertise can make.
It seems that the more AI is trained and sophisticated, the more sensitive it becomes to human tastes.
Enjoy reading and imagine the time when you find dishes on the menu with AI enhanced sauce, dressing, or flavor.


Topic Reading-Vol.2536-3/22/2019

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Five myths about staying in cold weather
Though the winter has already gone in most parts of the northern hemisphere, it will come back again after the fall. And it is coming to the southern hemisphere. Whichever the case is, many people try to keep them warm whether they are inside or outside. There are sayings and beliefs on how to keep you warm in cold weather, such as turning a ceiling fan, drinking alcohol, or wearing a hat. But how true are they? Does any of these myths work better than the others? It seems that the answers are quite situational and conditional.
Enjoy reading and learn some of the tips that keep or don’t keep you warm,


Topic Reading-Vol.2535-3/21/2019

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Coca-Cola reveals how much plastic it uses
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is a British charity that aims to rebuild a greener future through the framework of a circular economy, which involves rethinking and redesigning of the present take, make, and waste industrial model. So far, 150 companies have committed to reducing their plastic usage, including global giants like Nestle and Unilever. Recently, the foundation announced a report that revealed the annual usage of plastic packaging of 31 companies. For example, Coca Cola, which holds 500 beverage brands worldwide, uses three million tons of plastic a year. The beverage giant has committed to recycling all of their used bottles and cans by 2030. Another example is Nestle, the world's largest food and beverage company, used 1.7 million tons of plastic. February this year, the Swiss company replaced plastic straws from its products with paper ones.
If a company wishes to improve the bottom line of their financial statement, they need to reduce not only the costs but also the wastes they create, particularly plastic these days.
Enjoy reading and think which is more important to you when you choose a drink, just a cheaper or flashy one, or one with a greener image.


Topic Reading-Vol.2534-3/20/2019

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Only six countries have equal rights for men and women, the World Bank finds
Do women enjoy freedom, opportunities, treatment, and equal rights as men in your country? For example, can women go places, start a job, get paid, marry, have children, own and run a business, or get a pension like men do? According to a report from the World Bank, there are only six countries that women can enjoy entirely equal rights as men, which are Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg, and Sweden. Also, women in the UK, Australia, and Germany are found to have nearly equal rights. However, while women are treated more equally in many countries than a decade ago, countries in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa give less than half the legal rights of men. Since the report focused mainly on legal rights, it might not reveal what the actual situations are like. In fact, religions, traditions, and customs are the ones that have more significant influences on daily lives.
Enjoy reading and think what factor you think could improve women’s rights and opportunities the most in your country.


Topic Reading-Vol.2533-3/19/2019

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Meet Tengai, the job interview robot who won't judge you
As the job markets become more open and competitive, it becomes increasingly challenging for recruiters to maintain fairness and appropriateness of job interviews especially when there is a wide diversity among the applicants. There is virtually no interviewer who is free from any prejudice, stereotype, or bias. Interviewees often think they are mistreated or even discriminated on the basis of their ethnicity, age, gender, appearance, weight, or language.
Also, the capacity, or manpower is limited for most companies and organizations to interview all of the qualified applicants. They often end up narrowing the number of applicants to interview much fewer than they want.
So, what if there were a robot that carries out initial job interviews 24/7 without any bias and makes thorough reports for the recruiter? Then, the recruiter examines the report and decides which candidates should advance to the next stage. That kind of robot-aided interview process could provide fairer opportunities to both the applicants and recruiter. And in fact, it has been tested in Sweden for a debut this year, and the English version is scheduled next year.
But how do interviewees feel about being interviewed by a robot with a human-like fact?
Enjoy reading and think if an interview by a robot or a chatbot should be added or mandated as part of a job screening process.


Topic Reading-Vol.2532-3/18/2019

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
America's most popular national park is ...
Of the 418 national park sites in the US, 61 of them are national parks and others are recreation areas, seashores, parkways, memorials, battlefields, and so on.
Which ones are more popular than others? Let’s take a look at a few numbers before checking which national park sites are more popular than the others.
The population of the United States of America is around 328 million.
About the same number of people visited the National Park Service sites last year.
Though the country is geographically far from other countries, save Canada and Mexico, it attracts around 80 million visitors annually.
Now you might have grasped the size of the numbers.
Of the 418 national park sites, the most visited sites are the Golden Gate National Recreation Area near San Francisco and the Blue Ridge Parkway that goes through 450 miles in North Carolina and Virginia, with around 15 million visitors each.
Among the 61 national parks, Great Smoky Mountains National Park that straddles the border between Tennessee and North Carolina stands top of the list with over 11 million visitors, followed by the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.
If you are planning a trip to or thinking of visiting America, don’t miss these popular spots. But remember. 112 national parks charge entrance fees.

Enjoy reading and seeing the photos of the most popular America’s national park sites.