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Topic Reading-Vol.142-8/31/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Arctic sea ice reaches record low, Nasa says.
The extent of sea ice in the Arctic Sea has already been measured the lowest even before it reaches the level in September. And if you consolidate the thickness of the ice, which is measured by submarines, the volume of sea ice seems to be only 30% of what it was in a few decades ago.
Humans could take advantage of shrunk ice as ships might be able to pass closer routes to and from Europe or North America, that could save fuels to burn but in the mean time it could even endanger already endangered species around the polar region. And furthermore …
Enjoy reading and learning from this recent report on our mother planet.


Topic Reading-Vol.141-8/30/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
M…. tops Forbes list of powerful women; C------ No. 2.
Can you fill the missing letters to identify who are the top two influential and powerful women in the world this year? They both are politicians, not actresses or sports athletes, one from Germany and the other from the U.S.
There other powerful and influential women from different field on the list.
Enjoy reading and enjoy finding who are the ones chosen to be more influential than others.



Topic Reading-Vol.140-8/29/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
The hybrid you know and love, recharged.
Toyota’s Prius, famous for its gasoline and battery hybrid driving system has been enjoying its brisk sales for the last decade especially in Japan and the US. As a matter of fact, it has been the best selling model of all in Japan for the last few years despite the price tag that is considerably higher than K-cars or other economical models. Now the company is promoting its PHV version in the U.S., which allows you to charge its battery by plugging to a charging station or plug.
Enjoy reading and watching the video how this new eco vehicle works.



Topic Reading-Vol.139-8/28/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
U.S. trade gap with China cost 2.7 million jobs: study.
Cost 2.7 million jobs, means the trade gap cost, not costs every year, in a ten-year period between 2001 and 2011. Sometimes numbers are shown differently from most of the readers or listeners think they are intentionally or not.
Another point to be worth mentioning here is that there is a phrase in the article saying, an undervalued currency effectively subsidizes export and taxes imports.
It was not so long ago that Japan was bashed by the U.S. exactly the same China is now.
Enjoy reading and learning what the trade deficit could mean to a country and how it influences its politics, economy and job market.



Topic Reading-Vol.138-8/27/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Apple and Samsung get South Korea bans at Korean court but Apple triumphs over Samsung, awarded over $1 billion damages at California court just a day after.
You may know that both companies, the world leaders of high-tech mobile devices such as tablet PCs and smart phones, are suing each other for allegedly copying each other’s cosmetic design, interface functions and features. The judge in the Korea court and the jury in the California court made stagnantly different verdicts on the same issues by the same plaintiff and defendant.
Enjoy reading and learning how the two highly competitive companies are claiming their uniqueness of their respective products, designs and technologies.


Topic Reading-Vol.137-8/26/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Lance Armstrong ends fight against doping charges.
Even if you aren’t a cycling or bike racing fan, the name Lance Armstrong, a seven-time winner of the Tour de Pairs probably rings your bell. Although he’s already retired, he’s facing tougher and longer road to ride on in order to maintain his fame, fortune and life-work.
Enjoy reading and learning how seriously the US Anti-Drug Agency is tracking the legendary cyclist.


Topic Reading-Vol.136-8/25/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Anti-Japan protests across China over islands dispute.
This is a BBC version of report about the disputed island of Senkaku in Japanese or Diaoyu in Chinese islands which lie on the critical shipping lanes off the coast of Taiwan, which also claims its sovereignty over the islands.

Interestingly, China daily downplayed the news showing their unwillingness to bring this sensitive issue to the public so much.

Enjoy comparing and reading the two different articles on the same topic.


Topic Reading-Vol.135-8/24/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Russian punk band verdict draws criticism around globe.
Only by singing a song and got a two-year sentence! That’s how simple it is but issue there is what song and where the young Russian ladies sang it. Judicious system in a heavily dictated countries are on criticism recently, especially in Russia and China, where judges aren’t as independent as they are in other more democratically established countries.
Enjoy reading and learning from this article.


Topic Reading-Vol.134-8/23/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
40 Taiwanese foods we can't live without!
Have you been to or are you planning to visit this tasteful country with numerous delicacies are found on a score of streets in its capital city dedicated to snacking?
Here are some recommended dishes by CNN that may inspire your appetite and desire to travel there.
Enjoy reading the brief descriptions and seeing the stimulating photos.


Topic Reading-Vol.133-8/22/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Male contraceptive pill 'step closer' after mice studies.
If there is a pill that works for women, why not one for men? This simple question may soon be solved as experiments to mice seem to have worked quite successfully. This could significantly reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies provided that such medicine is easily accessible and reasonably available for those who are in such need.
Enjoy reading and learning about this interesting scientific mechanism.


Topic Reading-Vol.132-8/21/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Samsung starts US, UK sales of Galaxy Note 10.1.
Now, you can take notes while surfing the Internet on a tablet PC! It sounds amazing and quite useful especially for students who are busy taking notes while doing a research or enjoy net surfing or watching a video with a piece of device, or a business professional who take notes while presenting an idea or plan to his or her client, IF it works smoothly AND it’s accompanied with useful apps.
There is another note; South Korea is rolling out a $2 billion project to replace paper books with digital texts. It sounds very possible and understandable that the country is taking advantage of its most advanced electronics companies in the world that provide devices to put the country ahead of others, especially its neighbor country.
Enjoy reading and thinking what you can do with another newest and hottest gismo.


Topic Reading-Vol.131-8/20/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
The Fattiest Foods in America: Decadent Dishes From Across the USA!
If someone wants to get fat, there are 38 greasy, fatty, rich and sweet ways achieve his or her objective; go to America and enjoy these dishes, while learning how to describe food and dishes in English.
Enjoy reading the descriptions and seeing the photos of the fattest and fattiest food EVEN in America!


Topic Reading-Vol.130-8/19/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Bill Gates seeks answers in the toilet!
This is no joke but a very serious, present and vital problem needs to be solved with new ideas and innovations and implementations to deal with people and children in developing countries where there are no modern clean toilets especially when the population of those countries is increasing at a much faster pace than ever before. People in developed countries use flush style toilets whether with washlet, Japanese standard bidet, or not several times a day without thinking about its role and value but probably they are the most necessary infrastructure along with running water and electricity in today’s world.
Enjoy reading and learning how the founder of Microsoft is trying to change the world again, especially where his Windows OS or Office Apps aren’t used so much or at all.


Topic Reading-Vol.129-8/18/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
The most popular boy’s name in England.
What do you think is the most popular new-born boy’s name in England these days? Harry, the star wizard name of the famous story and also one of the prince’s name or Oliver or Jack that sound very familiar and most likely names to be listed top of the list?
Very very surprisingly, due to the increasing Muslim population in Britain, which represents nearly five per cent of the total nowadays, variations of their prophet’s name “Mohammed” has become the top of the list.
Enjoy reading and learning about what’s getting popular and will be for the next few decades in Britain.


Topic Reading-Vol.128-8/17/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Jumping into a dream job: Parachuting with the U.S. Army’s extreme skydiving team!
Who do you think has the best office with the highest possible space, fastest elevator to the ground, open and clean air, magnificent and spectacular view even an ex-president is willing to share and most importantly, excitement without looking at a computer screen?
It would be exciting and aspiring to jump off a plain at 4,000 meters above the ground and enjoy the fastest descending and get paid a salary and decent medical care and pension?
Enjoy reading and watching a video about a job that could be more exciting than any others.


Topic Reading-Vol.127-8/16/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Olympic Medals; How many is enough?
When it comes to counting the number of medals won by each country, the U.S., China and GBR are the top three that earned the most medals at the 2012 London Olympic Games, 104, 87 and 65 respectively. But in which sport event were these medals awarded? Interestingly, the U.S. won 60 out of 104 total medals in Athletics and Swimming only. There are tables in this article that show you in which sport event each country won their medals.
Enjoy reading and learning how the medals were awarded.


Topic Reading-Vol.126-8/15/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
What is the role of the Vice President of the US?
After learning what is running mate in the last issue, you might have a question as to what role and responsibilities the Vice President of the US takes. Here is a brief explanation.
Enjoy reading and learning about the roles of America’s leaders.


Topic Reading-Vol.125-8/14/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
What is running mate in US presidential election?
GOP’s presidential candidate Mitt Romney has picked his running mate for his presidential election. But what is running mate? Why so important? What’s the role?
Enjoy reading and learning about America’s presidential election practice.


Topic Reading-Vol.124-8/13/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
3D printer could build a house in 20 hours.
Can you imagine a 3D printer to build a house by laying down a concrete foundation, putting up walls, even inserting wiring and plumbing in less than a day? The aim of this thought is to take advantage of this super-efficient building process, the poor and needy can be provided their housing fast and economically. It also could be used to build shelter houses in places devastated by a natural disaster such as earthquake, tsunami or flood.
Enjoy reading and learning about this breakthrough and eye-opening technology. 


Topic Reading-Vol.123-8/12/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Why Olympians bite their medals?
You might have seen more photos of the gold medalists biting their hard-won gold medals in the Olympic Games this year than ever and wondered why they bit their medals, which contains just 1.3% or 6 grams of pure gold. There is an interesting analysis of this newly emerged practice among the top athletes.
Enjoy reading and learning about the medal and its taker.


Topic Reading-Vol.122-8/11/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Italian university switches to English.
This article was posted on our blog on June 2nd but again presented to draw the readers’ attention to competition in academic world especially time when Japanese politicians are struggling only among themselves, not paying any attention to the nation’s future, education.
 It is an eye-opening one for most of the faculty members of universities and colleges in non-English speaking or teaching countries, especially Japan. Two basic necessities are mentioned, competitiveness of the university, and employability and career expandability of their students. They want to invite good teachers and students and teach their students to be more practical in today’s globalized world. This move is significant because this university is one of the oldest universities in Milan and a flagship institution for science, engineering and architecture, which produces one in three of all Italy's architects.
Enjoy reading and learning about how globalization is affecting higher education.


Topic Reading-Vol.121-8/10/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Many human 'prototypes' coexisted in Africa.
What can you think of a “prototype” of human being? According to the researchers, it seems that there had been at least a few or several human prototypes in Africa, until one of which evolved to the present humans whereas others became extinct at some point long ago, like the way other creatures did. There must be a lot more to be found in Africa to reveal how humans evolved and disappeared from the land.
Enjoy reading and learning about human evolution.


Topic Reading-Vol.120-8/9/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Twitter rumor leads to sharp increase in the price of oil.
If you were an oil trader, importer or exporter, you would have wanted to be fooled by such a hoax twitter that pushed the oil price up by a little over a dollar in just a matter of a minute.
Just a hoax? It could be abused to cause financial damages, create confusions or take advantage of others’ concerns or worries.  
Enjoy reading and thinking what else could happen next.


Topic Reading-Vol.119-8/8/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
How Long Does it Take to Get to Mars?
The latest mission to the red planet, the Curiosity Lander, made its successful landing of its Mars Rover on the planet and it has already sent numbers of photos.
How long did it take to get there? It took 253 days this time. Why it took so long? Well, the red planet is only 55 million km away, and if a spacecraft is travelling in excess of 20,000 km/hour, you would expect the spacecraft to make the journey in about 115 days, but it takes much longer.
Why? Read and enjoy learning about space trip.


Topic Reading-Vol.118-8/7/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Truman grandson visits Hiroshima A-bomb memorial.
Two atomic bombs have ever been used to kill people and destroy everything on the ground in human history, one was on Hiroshima on the 6th day and the other on Nagasaki on the 9th day of August in 1945, both of which had been authorized by the then US president Harry Truman. Each bomb killed over a hundred thousand innocent people and ruined the cities. Very little remained on the sites and those who were near the sites suffered from the effects of radiation for the rest of their lived. The total number of victims is estimated to be around 350,000.
67 years later, the commander-in-chief’s grandson is paying a visit to both cities trying to keep talking about the consequences of the bombings with the survivors and their families.
Enjoy reading, learning and thinking about the meaning of such event.


Topic Reading-Vol.117-8/6/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Syria crisis: Kofi Annan quits as UN-Arab League envoy.
The ex-Secretary General of the U.N., a man of respect and honor criticized the UN security council, the second to the highest but actively the top decision making function of the U.N., as “finger-pointing and name-calling”. It’s a sheer shame but a fundamental problem of the world organization that grants veto, a right to say no without rationale, to five states that claimed victory in the last world war over a half century ago, while innocent people are being killed and suffered even at this right moment.
The honored diplomat is still being respected but hasn’t been supported by a couple of the most influential members of the Security Council.
Enjoy reading and learning about this disappointing resignation of this special envoy.


Topic Reading-Vol.116-8/5/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Olympic badminton players disqualified for trying to lose.
It’s hard to believe having been working so hard to win a medal and not trying to win a match in the Olympic Games? The badminton players who disqualified for trying to lose their games were even booed by the spectators as they played! They seemed to care about winning medals and patriotism but definitely didn’t about the spirit or people who had come to see the world top players play at their best.
Enjoy reading and learning about this disappointing incident.


Topic Reading-Vol.115-8/4/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Hundreds of millions without power in India.
What it’s like not to have electricity in two days in a row in a metro cities like New York or Tokyo in the middle of summer? How many people could be trapped in elevators, trains or buildings, not to mention the cars, trucks and busses on the road that are no longer controlled by signals? It’ll make not only the transportation or traffic but also communication including your favorite smartphone or the Internet. Foods and drinks would be spoiled and restaurants would be all closed.
Balancing economic growth with stable infrastructure, distribution of wealth, regions, demographic, job opportunities human rights and environment, seems to be the biggest challenge for those rapidly growing and developing nations.
Enjoy reading and learning about this massive blackouts in one of the hottest and most populated countries.


Topic Reading-Vol.114-8/3/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Education reform would make gaokao only one factor in China.
In June every year, nearly ten million Chinese students take this national college entrance tests called gaokao to enroll in universities across the nation, which currently simply ranks them by test scores and gives approximately six out of ten test takers tickets to enroll in the universities accordingly to their test scores. The country initiated its testing system over a thousand years ago to select intelligent government servants and the people seem to have been very acceptant of the practice. Now they seem to want to review the practice not to lax the students but to have them focus more on academic achievement rather than test scores or to give more flexibilities to universities to select students to stay competitive in the global education market.
Enjoy reading and learning how the testing practice is reviewed.


Topic Reading-Vol.113-8/2/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Soldiers fill empty Olympic VIP seats as storm grows.
Empty seats at such popular sport games look even emptier than actually they are as so many eager fans have missed the chance to watch those historic, for some even once-in-a-lifetime, event.
If those empty seats are scattered, those may not be as recognizable as sections of empty seats here and there. As the organizers say, the more the seats are filled, the higher and better the atmosphere of the events will be.  
Enjoy reading and learning how the seats of the Olympic Games are organized.


Topic Reading-Vol.112-8/1/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Nothing to Sneeze At: Cats Worse Than Dogs for Allergies.
Do you sneeze where there are any cats or dogs around? It seems more people have allergy to cats than to dogs, not because of their finer fur but of their protein found on their skin.
Do cats have more protein than dogs?  
Enjoy reading and learning about how pet allergy is caused.