RSS Feed


Topic Reading-Vol.233-11/30/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Spain regions: Catalonia nationalists win election.
You might have read the Topic Reading Vol. 230 - Nov.27th issue about a move in Catalonia to become an independent state apart from Spain, which hadn’t been successful with managing its sovereign territory from becoming independent. Now, it seems apparent that more Catalans welcome the move though it seems to be very challenging under the existing constitution of Spain.
However, with its unemployment ratio over 22%, though a few percentage points lower than the nation’s average, more people may opt to support “a change”, especially the young, whose jobless ratio has been over 40%.
Enjoy reading and guessing if there will be a cause in the Mediterranean region.


Topic Reading-Vol.232-11/29/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
The end of digital democracy? Facebook wants to take away your right to vote.
Do you have any idea what digital democracy means? Now one of the biggest publically traded so-called digital companies, is pulling off its democratic process to decide whether it adopts a new practice or changes an existing one, which doesn’t seem to affect much to anyone.
However, a simple question arises if this policy change has been voted for if that liberal and democratic policy had been in place?
Enjoy reading and learning about how people should or might react to a sudden change in policies.



Topic Reading-Vol.231-11/28/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Mexico's President Calderon seeks to change country's name.
How many of you know that the official name of Mexico isn’t just Mexico or the Republic of Mexico, but the United States of Mexico, Estados Unidos Mexicanos, just like its northern neighbor. It is a nation where affluence, poverty, natural beauty and urban blight coexist with a population of nearly the one Japan. There 31 states, which form a union that exercises a degree of jurisdiction over the Federal District and other territories and each state has its own constitution, congress, and a judiciary.
Enjoy reading and finding what new name is possible brought up and by who.


Topic Reading-Vol.230-11/27/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Catalonia's fight for independence: Are there lessons from the Dutch revolt?
You can always learn from history, especially the ones in your own country or culture. Catalonia, best known apart from the capital, Barcelona, is of course the Mediterranean coast with a population of approximately seven and a half million, represents the one fifth of Spain’s total economy. People in Catalonia feel unheard by the leaders and politicians in Madrid. They also feel overtaxed and unfairly treated. There has been a move to become independent from Spain and there are things people can learn from history, especially the one of their country.
Enjoy reading and learning about Spain’s history of ruling its territories.


Topic Reading-Vol.229-11/26/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
San Francisco lawmakers vote to ban public nudity.
Did you know that San Francisco, California is a city whose reputation as a sanctuary for free expression is one of the highest in the U.S.? Yes, it’s been very popular among hippies, gays, nudists and artists who love freedom of voice, social practices and appearance.
Now the city doesn’t seem to be as tolerant as to allow people to be nude in public places.
Enjoy reading and learning about how the city of freedom is trying to manage the balance. 


Topic Reading-Vol.228-11/25/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Church of England general synod votes against women bishops.
The higher the rank is, the more liberal a person could be?
In order for the Church of England to pass the legislation to approve the appointment of women as bishops, it requires two-thirds majorities in each of the synod's three houses, the bishops were for, so were the clergies but not the laity, the members of the churches, by a very narrow margin.
Enjoy reading and learning about the sensitivity of women becoming high-rank church positions, even in Christianity.


Topic Reading-Vol.227-11/24/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Anonymous declares 'cyberwar' on Israel.
There seems to be multiple warfronts a nation needs to fight and defend against. The first one is physical, such as missiles, bombs and ground battles. The other ones seem to have been weather and geographical situations, and diseases before 20th century. Now in the new millennium, the latter two fronts seem to have been taken place by new ones like social media such as Facebook, and cyber attacks by the enemy country, individuals and even groups or networks of expertise who don’t have any conflict of interest with the country.
Enjoy reading and learning about how influential cyber attacks could be these days.


Topic Reading-Vol.226-11/23/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Even apes have 'midlife crises,' study finds.
First, you need to agree that we, human beings, seem to have midlife crisis to agree that great apes have the same.
Second, you may want to remember if you were happier when you were in youth, like high teens, than now, provided that you’re older than teens.
Lastly, do you agree with a premise that optimism might play a role to make people happier and more positive because it helps people persist in their efforts and take on difficult goals?
If you agree or at least feel interested in the above, please enjoy reading and learning about the similarity in apes and humans.;_ylt=AvcNnQR7txxwxBFqyRZ5N_Ss0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNsMzgxNnZqBG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBGUARwa2cDYTlmMWFhNTktMDFlNC0zMDk2LWFiMWQtNTU0YzkyZjhmMGM1BHBvcwMzBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzRhOTM1MDFlLTMyODktMTFlMi1hY2FkLTNjZDkyYmZmMjAxNg--;_ylg=X3oDMTFpNzk0NjhtBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25z;_ylv=3


Topic Reading-Vol.225-11/22/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
'Green card' process may get easier.
This isn’t for Chinese citizens to get a green card in the U.S., but is for foreigners in China to be eligible to live and work permanently in China. The country wishes to draw talented and dedicated workers from other countries to stimulate and strengthen its science, IT or R&D areas and opens its doors to those who possess such talents and skills.
The big question is, how many people out there want to be permanent residents in China even though their status is upgraded to be able to live, work and move more conveniently.
Enjoy reading and learning about China’s immigration policy. 


Topic Reading-Vol.224-11/21/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Hu, Xi urge army to fulfill historic missions.
Now, you might have learned the challenges the most populous nation in the world is facing, should you have read the topic reading Vol.223, “Experts detail 5 challenges for China”. There is another important transition is being made in CPC, Communist Party of China, the leadership of the Central Military Commission, which belongs to the party.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is the world's largest military force, with 3 million members, and has the world's largest active standing army, with approximately 2.25 million members and its commander in chief is the chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission, which was also handed over to the new secretary general of the party, Xi, at a time when tensions over territorial disputes have been alarmingly high.
Enjoy reading and learning about how the party is announcing the transition, very generally.


Topic Reading-Vol.223-11/20/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Experts detail 5 challenges for China.
The US reelected Obama as their leader for the next four years. China has just officially settled and announced their new generation of their leaders for the next decade. Korea is going to elect its new leader for the next five years. And Japan is going to have a general election to set a new course for the next xxx year(s).
Around the Pacific, there are a numbers of elections for new leadership while disputing over the ownership of tiny islands.
Here, you’ll find an article on what would be the most challenging issues for the world most populous country is facing.
Enjoy reading and learning what challenges PRC is facing. 



Topic Reading-Vol.222-11/19/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Struggle For Smarts? How Eastern And Western Cultures Tackle Learning.
Most of you must have experiences to struggle during class because no matter how smart one might be, there are chances for challenges and or questionings, like complicated math problems, controversial social topics or philosophical premises.
Here are some interesting observations and views about the difference in education in Eastern and Western cultures.
Enjoy reading and listening as to how differently education practices are viewed.



Topic Reading-Vol.221-11/18/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
India backs Aakash 2 tablet-based national education project
You may know that there is fierce competition in 7-inch tablet PC market for functions, user-friendliness, Internet connection, design, weight, resolution, battery-life, and of course the price.
Here is one device even cheaper but faster than its predecessor in India’s education market. A brand-new model called Aakash 2 offers a jaw-dropping price of only $40 for retail and $20 when it’s subsidized for college students.
Enjoy reading and learning about the progressive and aggressive move in a country where education seems to be the best resource for their prosperity.


Topic Reading-Vol.220-11/17/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
More women have driver's licenses than men in US.
Over the course of the last century since Ford Model-T hit the road in 1908, the gender gap of drivers in the U.S. has been narrowing and now is reversed; Female drivers seem to outnumber males.
As one middle-age female driver says she wants to be in her own car for as long as possible and she wants to be independent for as long as she can, cars serve not only as a transportation vehicle but also as a vehicle that allows you to travel at their own will, which has been boys dream until they become eligible to drive.
There seem to be variety of factors that affect the total number of drivers such as insurance costs, economy, life expectancies, social net work and smartphones,
Enjoy reading and learning what’s going on on the road in America.


Topic Reading-Vol.219-11/16/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
When history speaks: Lincoln's three lessons for an Obama second term.
Most of you may know that the 44th president of the U.S. is a big admirer of their 16th, Abraham Lincoln, who was also called “honest Abe.”
Now for his second term, one of the leading Lincoln scholars chose three lessons Lincoln might give to Obama.
Enjoy reading and learning what could be helpful to be a leader of a nation.

p.s. For those interested, there comes a new movie about Lincoln directed by Spielberg.


Topic Reading-Vol.218-11/15/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Portraits of America's New Veterans.
The U.S.A. just celebrated its Veterans Day on November 11, which is intended to honor and thank all their military personnel who served the country in all wars, particularly living veterans. They have parades and church services in many places, and some schools are closed on the day.
There are 22 million of them in America, which represents approximately 7% of its total population of 312 million. There are nearly 1.5 million active service members, the second largest after China’s People’s Liberation Army.
Here, you’ll some see photos of some of their members before and after their services, as well as their letters that tell you how they feel about servicing their country and making their living.
Enjoy seeing and reading their direct and straightforward thoughts, emotions and reflections on servicing their military and participating in a war. 


Topic Reading-Vol.217-11/14/2012

Dear MEL School's Topic Readers,
Will Chinese consumers lead the world?
How rich are Chinese people? The answers will very vary depending on who you ask to because the gap between the super rich and the poor has been and will be widening and the middle class has been and will be growing.
The problem seems to be lack of respects towards middle class which, unlike the super rich, hadn’t existed a generation ago, so that everyone wants to be the rich.
It’s seems quite different from Japanese who tend to be quite satisfied to be in middle class, trying not to compete with others or make extra efforts.
Enjoy reading and learning about how Chinese consumers are expected to grow. 


Topic Reading-Vol.216-11/13/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Which is who?
Many of you might have heard or seen Madame Tussauds in London, a major tourist attraction that displays waxworks of historical and famous figures including politicians and comedians, and movie and sports stars. But how many of you knew that the wax museum has expanded its branches in Amsterdam, Bangkok, Berlin, Hollywood, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, New York City, Shanghai, Sydney, Vienna and Washington, D.C.?
Here is a great and swift work of their New York branch after the US election, 2012.
To enjoy seeing and guessing which is who or even wax or human, click the below URL and see the fourth photo of the eleven posted on the web site. Apology for the inconvenience.;_ylt=AiW_RTDBNOQizKvFg6mnSiys0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTIycjZzaG0wBG1pdANIQ01PTCBvbiBhcnRpY2xlIHJpZ2h0IHJhaWwEcGtnA2lkLTI4MjY1MjQEcG9zAzIEc2VjA2hjbQR2ZXIDNQ--;_ylg=X3oDMTFpNzk0NjhtBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25z;_ylv=3%23crsl=%252Fphotos%252Ftop-shots-of-the-week-november-9-2012-slideshow%252Fmadame-tussauds-photo--489406049.html#crsl=%252Fphotos%252Ftop-shots-of-the-week-november-9-2012-slideshow%252Fmadame-tussauds-photo--489406049.html


Topic Reading-Vol.215-11/12/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
BBC director general resigns after erroneous child abuse report.
A day after US CIA director’s abrupt resignation, there was another big head resignation from a public broadcaster across the Atlantic, the BBC’s director general, who had assumed the post only less than two months ago, for broadcasting false claims by a sex abuse victim by a senior politician back in the 1980s.
The resigned director said in his “public announcement” that his resignation was an honorable thing to do because the role of the director general is also the editor in chief and ultimately responsible for all content.
Enjoy reading and learning what the moral standards and integrity of the leadership should be.



Topic Reading-Vol.214-11/11/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Left vs. Right: Can We Ever Get Along?
After the long heated election campaign, arguing and criticizing each other, will people of both sides able to deal with each other friendly or civilly without hesitation or reluctance?
It seems like left or right, or liberal or conservative, issue isn’t limited to politics but more like an issue where a person’s fundamental values lie.
Enjoy reading and learning what right or left, red or blue, or conservative or liberal could mean and how one side can learn from and lean to the other.


Topic Reading-Vol.213-11/10/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Transcript of Romney’s Concession Speech.
You might have already heard or read what the reelected president of the U.S.A. said when his election campaign ended with victory. But when there is a winner, there is always a loser.
Here is an opportunity how to admit a defeat of once-in-a-lifetime campaign with integrity.
Enjoy watching and reading a concession speech that is only made once in four years.


Topic Reading-Vol.212-11/9/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
In historic first, gay marriage is approved by popular vote in Maine, Maryland.
While not only the US citizens but also the world were paying close attention to the presidential election result, there had been another historic voting took place on the election day, which was to ask the voters whether to legalize gay marriage within their states, Maine and Maryland.
There was another historic election result was produced on the Election Day, to elect a senator in Wisconsin, who admitted openly that she is a gay.
44 years after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, the status of gay seems to be more acknowledged and supported by the majority of the voters in certain states in America.
Enjoy reading and learning about how Americans view and acknoledge bisexual partnerships.  


Topic Reading-Vol.211-11/8/2012

Extreme Voting: How Astronauts Cast Ballots from Space.
Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
Can you imagine voting in an election hundreds of miles above their nearest polling location, where neither the Internet nor LTN/4G signals is accessible? There above any the clouds or even the stratosphere, several astronauts are working in the International Space Station, and two Americans are in their missions October 6th, 2012 when the US presidential election is held. They chose to vote before leaving Earth but they also could vote from the space using a specially designed and encrypted secure transmission to their mission control center in Huston, TX.
Enjoy reading and learning how extreme a voting could be and remember “Every vote counts.” 


Topic Reading-Vol.210-11/7/2012

Topic Reading-Vol.210-11/7/2012
India's Congress holds mass rally to defend reforms.
Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
The country is expected to be the most populous within a few years, surpassing China, but still not open to foreign retailers yet mainly to “protect” their small retailers and other stake holders including farmers. Their state governments are more autonomous, which make it difficult for the central government to bring in reform to their much lagging infrastructure, investment, and governance. It is the most populous democratically governed country in the world but its political system doesn’t seem to bring about good changes or progress while other countries in Asia has been growing more rapidly and aggressively.
Enjoy reading and learning about India’s politics.


Topic Reading-Vol.209-11/6/2012

China's 18th Party Congress: Why so secretive?
Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
It’s hardly believable that the world largest country in terms of its population and the amount of CO2 emission doesn’t have any law or clear rules to select its leaders. Furthermore, those prospective candidates don’t appear to run an election campaign like the States to win the seat but try to look harmless and obedient enough to be picked and endorsed by the retiring and retired leaders.
Enjoy reading and learning about one of the most mysterious and secretive selection processes for a nation’s leaders in the world.


Topic Reading-Vol.208-11/5/2012

Dear MEL School’s Topic Readers,
How giant tunnels protect Tokyo from flood threat.
By now, the worst part of the devastated are of New York and New Jersey by Sandy would have been taken care, though it would still a take long time to bring things back to a durable level such as transportation, utilities, public facilities and private homes.
There is a huge underground tunnel to discharge water to protect metro Tokyo from flooding, which hasn’t been paid so much attention as it doesn’t do anything at normal times.
Enjoy reading the text and seeing the video of this gigantic flood-saving underground tunnel.


Topic Reading-Vol.207-11/4/2012

Europe's oldest prehistoric town unearthed in Bulgaria.
It’s hard to believe that prehistoric people fortified their town, but not for their habitat but for salt, which seemed to be more valuable than any other in those days because it was used to preserve meat.
It seems pretty exciting to discover something that was produced or used over five thousand years ago and try to figure out how people lived and used things in those days.
Enjoy reading and learning another historical discovery of a prehistoric town in Europe.


Topic Reading-Vol.206-11/3/2012

Dear MEL School's Topic Readers,
Eurozone unemployment rises to new record.
What unemployment rate do you consider extraordinary high? 5%, 7% or 10%?
In the 17-country eurozone, the unemployment rate hit a record high of 11.6 percent in September, with Spain and Greece have over 25%, and 50% for youth, of unemployed job seekers in their respective market.
To compare those figures, US’s latest figures shows 7.8%, and Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has a jobless rate of only 5.4 percent. So, you may need to choose where to work.
Enjoy reading and learning how difficult to find a job in Europe. 


Topic Reading-Vol.205-11/2/2012

Dear MEL School's Topic Readers,
How to survive Tokyo's subway sandwich.
How many of you have traveled by Tokyo’s public rail network, either subway or railway before and how many of those who have done it felt so unbearable on the train?
The writer, who had lived in New York before settling in Tokyo five years ago obviously feels subway ride in Tokyo during the rush hours is like being pushed in a cattle cart, not showing any sympathy for those who commute on the train every day for many years or decades unlike the person who has taken it only a few times and has been avoiding it ever since.
Enjoy reading and learning how a foreigner in Tokyo, even a seasoned New York’s subway rider, views and feels Tokyo’s subway system.



三菱東京UFJ銀行 三鷹支店(店番号222)普通 1560629 株式会社アイデア
・ 冬休み前後のレッスン日程は以下をご参照ください。
  Primary-1, 2: 最終レッスン12/25、最初のレッスン1/4
  Junior-1: 最終レッスン12/25、最初のレッスン1/4
  Junior-2: 最終レッスン12/26、最初のレッスン1/5
  Senior-1: 最終レッスン12/24、最初のレッスン1/7
  Senior-2: 最終レッスン12/25、最初のレッスン1/4
  Advance-1: 最終レッスン12/24、最初のレッスン1/7

Topic Reading-Vol.204-11/1/2012

Dear MEL School's Topic Readers,
Disney buying Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion.
We’ll see new Star Wars movies soon!
Disney is buying the production company and the right to make Star Wars series movies and is going to make and release a new episode in a couple of year!!!
The last release of one of the most popular science fiction & adventure movie series in history, Star Wars, back in 2005, Revenge of the Sith, which concluded and also connected the six-episode movie series beautifully.
For those who might not seen or known the movie series, here is a quick view of the titles and years of their releases of the movie series:
IV: A New Hope (1977), V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), VI: Return of the Jedi (1983),
I: The Phantom Menace (1999), II: Attack of the Clones (2002), III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
You might wonder why it started from episode 4 and finished in 3. Those who are interested in finding the reasons, please explore the galaxy yourself.
Enjoy reading and learning about movie business.;_ylt=AjaVhvrYcQRCzZ.soTfx8.Gs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNsbXRqN2s0BG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBGUARwa2cDN2Y5OWNjZjYtNWUzYi0zZDkyLTgyN2YtNDdjMTY3NjFjOGJjBHBvcwM5BHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyA2Q0Y2UwNjczLTIyZDAtMTFlMi05ZDVmLTJjOTE2NzBjMWMwNA--;_ylg=X3oDMTFpNzk0NjhtBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25z;_ylv=3