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Topic Reading-Vol.1390-1/31/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
India celebrates Republic Day in style
Beautiful and peaceful parade. Unlike the victory parade China showed off on the 70th V-J Day, India’s Republic Day celebrations look so colorful and cheerful.
76 years ago on the 26th day in January 1950, India adopted its constitution and became an independent republic. Though 76th isn’t that a significant year for commemoration, the celebrations were no less remarkable than the previous events. Not only typical marching troops, bands and tanks but also police force, children took part in the event.
French president and troops were also seen in the parade, probably not so much to celebrate the event but more likely to close new businesses, including several nuclear power plants.
Enjoy seeing these beautiful and colorful photos of the costumes and decorations in the parade.


Topic Reading-Vol.1389-1/30/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Wedding haka moves New Zealand Maori bride to tears
Emotion awakens. But not by the lightsaber of Jedi but by Hakka performance by the groomsmen at the wedding reception.
You might expect to see Haka, traditional Maori war cry and dance, be shown by All Blacks, New Zealand’s national rugby team, before their international matches. The unique war cry, shouting, body-slapping and furious facial expressions is a way to scare or intimidate the enemy. It is also performed to welcome special guests and at celebration.
These pals of the bridegroom did it so well at the wedding reception, of course not to intimidate but to show their respect to the groom, that the bride was moved to cry and even joined them.
Enjoy reading and seeing how sensational a haka could be.


Topic Reading-Vol.1388-1/29/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
West-wary Iran deepens China ties as sanctions end
Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran. China’s Xi made another historical and strategical visit to these key nations in the region.
The former two had been undoubtedly close allies of the U.S. until recently. Their military forces are well equipped with US weapons and trained by US military personnel.
In the meantime, Iran has been hostile toward the US since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, especially after 1995 when economic sanctions were tightened.
Now, China, a non-western superpower, is approaching these three key players to exercise further influence in the region while the U.S. is somehow less concerned or involved in the situations those countries are facing.
The U.S. established and maintained its influence mainly by its force. China is trying to build new relationships by economy.
Enjoy reading and thinking if China, a non-western, non-Christian, non-democratic Asian giant, looks more comfortable to those Islamic leaders than westerns.


Topic Reading-Vol.1387-1/28/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Beyond fun, when being a gamer turns into a lucrative career
Like playing games? It’s surely fun but making money by playing games seems more rewarding than anything else for enthusiasts. A professional gamer. For those who spend most of their time, energy and passion on pursuing higher scores, it probably is a dream job.
While online gaming offers gamers to compete each other over the Internet, there are onsite competitions where professional gamers compete and show their skills. A crowd of enthusiastic fans gather and cheer such extreme gamers.
These professional gamers can make money by winning such competitions. They can also earn money by sponsors and game production companies for their shows, skills and valuable inputs. But in order to reach such status, you need to be very good at playing and fast to move your fingers, a couple of times faster than average gamers.
Enjoy reading and learning what kind of world those professional gamers live in.


Topic Reading-Vol.1386-1/27/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The crazy way Americans elect their presidents
The road to the White House. Unlike the way to Carnegie Hall, practice, practice and practice, the road to the house in Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. demands more than any other show in the world. There are numbers of events and challenges those runners have to undergo; the Iowa caucus; the New Hampshire primary; Super Tuesday; the conventions; the presidential debates, not to mention the continuous exposures and criticisms in both public and social media. Even this author-journalist admits that it is a guilty pleasure to play an influencing role to the public during the campaign which could start as early as two years before the election.
Despite such big exposures in all sorts of media and costly campaigns, the voter turnout has been quite, below 60%, at presidential elections since 1968. For a TV show, a viewer rate of over 50% is more than a dream but for an election to decide the leader of the nation, what do you think?
Enjoy reading and thinking of the burden and cost to take part in this extravaganza.


Topic Reading-Vol.1385-1/26/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
'Star Trek' show made by fans is a hit
The power of passion. That seems to create more sensation in today’s Internet space and age. Look at this Elvis impersonator who has dedicated himself to recreate this series of “Star Trek” episodes.
The very original bridge of the Starship USS Enterprise was precisely recreated by him and his grandfather in an old retail store in upstate New York. Volunteers have come and given their time, money and passion to create and produce their own episodes, which are all viewable online free.
How come this half-century old science fiction TV show still draws so much attention and passion not only from the fans in the States but also in other countries?
Passion awakens. May the passion be with you.


Topic Reading-Vol.1384-1/25/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Ninth planet may have been discovered, researchers say
The ninth planet? 10 years after having lost a planet in our solar system, a new planet seems to emerge.  
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology, or CalTech, reported to have found theoretical evidence of a new planet in the outer solar system. Nicknamed Planet Nine is believed to be ten times heavier than Earth and orbits the Sun in 10,000 to 20,000 years.
One of the researchers of this new discovery played a role to downgrade the former ninth planet, Pluto, to a dwarf planet in 2006, which disappointed many. Now he’s encouraging science and research community to find factual evidence of this far-away planet.
Enjoy reading and learning about this new hope of adding a new family member to our solar system.
Just in case, the other eight brothers and sisters in our solar family are, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.


Topic Reading-Vol.1383-1/24/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
KFC's secret recipe for Africa
1,000 restaurants. That's as many as Kentucky Fried Chicken, or K.F.C. operates in Africa. Not many enough considering the fact that most of them are only in one country, South Africa. As the continent is expected to have more new stomachs than any other continent for the next few decades, the restaurant giant is eager to cope with the challenges ahead by making their meals more relevant and recognizable to the locals. One of such attempts is to serve jollof rice, a spicy rice dish most popular in Nigeria
Another challenge is the price. No matter how prestigious the brand or food is, one meal shouldn’t cost more than a day’s earning, an average of two dollars in the continent.
It’s quite challenging to meet the tastes and budget of local markets while maintaining the standards and profits of the global food chain.
What about the naming? Will Kenyan Fried Chicken work better in Kenya?
Enjoy reading and thinking what would take for a global food chain to fill the stomach of Africans.


Topic Reading-Vol.1382-1/23/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Wealth of richest 1% 'equal to other 99%'
1% of global population is roughly 70 million. And their wealth is estimated to be as much as the rest of the population, 6,930 million has, according to a report presented by Oxfam International, an international confederation to find solutions to poverty and injustice around the world. The problem the confederation wants world leaders to look at isn’t just the sheer numbers or fairness but the trend. It seems that the inequality or the gap between the rich and poor is widening.
In the meantime, thanks to better nutrition and healthcare, global inequality of life expectancy are narrowing. Which matter more?
Enjoy reading and thinking what the distribution of wealth mean to the world.


Topic Reading-Vol.1381-1/22/2016

 Dear MEL Topic Readers,
South Korea’s next generation is shunning marriage
Marriage crisis? Some young Korean women are spending $500 on a photo wearing a wedding dress without a groom.
The number of unmarried women has been steadily increasing in South Korea. Also, the period of not-yet-married has been getting longer. Living and working in a country where traditions could be barrier to career development, more young career women think they are left no choice but to stay unmarried, longer or forever. This trend is also seen in other Asian countries where there are more career opportunities these days for women.
Will these unmarried women change their minds if men agree to share the household chores? That could help some, but doesn’t seem to ease or erase another big issue, raising children.
Traditionally, mothers are expected to take full care of their children especially when they are young. This is also true in Japan where similar tradition or expectation lies.
Enjoy seeing the video and thinking what could change those young women’s mind.


Topic Reading-Vol.1380-1/21/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Editorial: Tsai should prove sincerity about peace across Taiwan Straits
Updated: 2016-01-16 20:24. No sooner than the election result was announced, this editorial was posted by China Daily. Though its editorial policies seems slightly more liberal than most Chinese language newspapers, the media is often used as a guide to the government’s or party’s policy of China, just like state run media. This “official message” is harshly and clearly re-clarified China’s position to Taiwan, aimed directly to the newly elected leader of Taiwan as well as to the world communities.
It writes, “Many differences remain between the mainland and Taiwan, … under no circumstance should the differences be used as excuses to seek Taiwan independence, which means war.”
Now a ball has been thrown across the strait. It’s the newly-elected president turn to clarify her position and reaction.
Which side is more open and friendly to the other remains to be seen.
Enjoy reading and thinking what the 1992 Consensus is and means to Taiwan.


Topic Reading-Vol.1379-1/20/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Tea or Coffee; Which drink is better for you?
Which drinker are you, tea or coffee?
(In this case, tea is brown tea, not green tea or Chinese tea.)
A scientific study was conducted to find which drink has more real and measurable effects on our body and mind for wake-up, sleep-in, tooth color, soul healing and physical merits. No other factors such as taste, flavor or price are taken into account.
The results are quite interesting and surprising. While there doesn’t seem to be any clear-cut benefits in one drink over the other, both drinks seem to provide considerable effects on human brain, emotion and health. So you don’t need to decide or change your mind what to fill in the next cup.
However, when Starbucks is working on opening 2,500 outlets in China in the next five years, it may not be so long before coffee drinkers outnumber tea lovers.
Enjoy reading and thinking which is going to be the drink for your breakfast.


Topic Reading-Vol.1378-1/19/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Opinion: Why American-Chinese food is real Chinese food
What is authentic Chinese food?
According to Merriam-Webster, “authentic” could mean real or genuine : not copied or false;  true and accurate; made to be or look just like an original.
So are Chinese dishes in America, such as Orange chicken, egg foo young, chop-suey and fortune cookies authentic? Were these popular dishes invented by non-Chinese chefs or to entice non-Chinese Americans?
Back in 1840’s, there were numbers of Chinese workers immigrated to the U.S., particularly in California to build railroads. They had no or very limited access to their original or genuine Chinese foods. They had no choice but to make dishes with the ingredients and spices that were available. Also, Chinese food has wide and distinctive variations by region. So those Chinese immigrants seemed to come up with dishes that were edible and palatable for Chinese from different origins in China. Though they are meaty, deep or stir fried and saucy compared to the ones in China, Chinese dishes in America still seem to be “authentic Chinese dishes.”
Enjoy reading and thinking what makes authentic dishes, who cooks, how it is prepared or where and to whom it is served.


Topic Reading-Vol.1377-1/18/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Turkey v Islamic State v the Kurds: What's going on?
It’s more complicated than one might think. Tukey. It is the easternmost NATO ally with a population of roughly 80 million. Though it is a secular state, Islam is the dominant religion with 99.8 percent of the population being registered as Muslim, Sunni. They speak Turkish, not Arabian, so the country is united by ethnicity. However, there are sizable minority within Turkey, the Kurds that spread across the neighboring countries such as Syria, Iraq and Iran.
And now ISIS, or ISIL. Within a week, the country was shaken by bombs by these two groups. They have to face two fronts at the same time. It’s very complicated because they get support from its allies to fight against one front, ISIS, but get criticism on the other front, Kurds.
Why they are in such a complicated situation? How are they going to manage these contradictory fronts while the relationship with Russia and the stability of the region are both shaking?
Enjoy reading and learning this complicated and paradoxical situation in Turkey.


Topic Reading-Vol.1376-1/17/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Big Mac with a side of quinoa? Inside the world's first McDonald's Next
What do you expect in MacDonald’s menu?
In this new version of the world largest restaurant chain, you will no longer see ordinary photos and descriptions on the board. Instead, you will be consulted by the touch screen monitor of a kiosk that shows both their traditional burgers and fries or modernized menu with full of healthy or greasy choices. All you need is to choose and touch the ones you’d like and swipe a card or use your smartphone for payment.
This new concept restaurant opened in Hong Kong to offer healthier experience and more convenience to the fast-moving residents (and may be visitors from Mainland).
Why this change? They had to. After finding almost a half of the respondents to the global survey want to lose weight, and mostly by changing their diet, McDonald’s had no choice but to renovate and upgrade their menu offerings, services and even interiors to bring back the left and bring in new customers to their restaurants. All-fresh salad bar, healthier side dishes and prepare-to-order burgers and sandwiches. You name it. They are hoping to stay ahead of the competition.
Enjoy reading the article and seeing the photos of this brand new Mac restaurant.

p.s. If you want to learn what Quinoa [kiːnoʊə] is about, check the video in the below website.


Topic Reading-Vol.1375-1/16/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The 10 Best at CES 2016
Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, used to exhibit mainly electronics appliances and products, computers and mobile gadgets. But BBC picks up the ten Best at the show this year all from automotive and electronics hybrid concepts, technologies and products.
One of the emerging categories is infotainment, a hybrid concept of information and entertainment. Ford and Amazon, unlikely names for Consumer Electronics some years ago, came up with a collaborative system that links Ford’s Sync infotainment system with Amazon’s smart home hub. A driver can command the in-car infotainment system to access to their home electronics system such as air-conditioning, lights and door-opening.
Others include autonomous driving, advanced e-vehicle and voice or motion activated control systems.
Sadly, no mentioning on any Japanese firms this time, which used to dominate all the media coverage.
Enjoy reading and learning about these latest and emerging technologies that you may be using in a few years’ time.


Topic Reading-Vol.1374-1/15/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
France open mosque days hailed but racism fears remain
It seems like a good start. Open mosque events were held nationwide in France on the first anniversary weekend of the attacks at the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish supermarket, which left 17 victims. It was also two months since the November 13 attack in Paris that left 130 people dead. Both brutal attacks were claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, which badly affected the perception of Muslims in France and across Europe where over a million refugees fled from Syria and Africa, most of whom are Muslims.
Approximately 2,400 mosques across the country went open to people of all and no religious faiths to show and talk for better understanding of the religion, customs and people. Muslims represent nearly eight percent of the total population in France. But because of these barbaric acts by the extreme Muslims, they seem to feel that they are unfairly viewed and treated. They hope this kind of opportunities help reduce or remove the prejudice or misunderstanding on Muslims, their culture and religion.
Enjoy reading and learning about this new move for comprehension and integration.


Topic Reading-Vol.1373-1/14/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
This bird will out-dance you, because it has a built-in tutu
Males work hard to attract a mate. That is not only true in human society but also in the animal kingdom. Wealth, status, fame, power, muscles, athletics, art, intelligence or appearance, you name it.
As for birds, some sing beautifully in the season and others spread their feathers like the peacock. But look at this Parotia. It’s a bird species only lives in New Guinea and also is known as six-plumed birds of paradise due to their six head quills, does more than one can hardly imagine and does it very well.
Seeing is believing.
Enjoy seeing this amazing video and guess what each act is intended for.


Topic Reading-Vol.1372-1/13/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Mein Kampf hits stores in tense Germany
Or “My Struggle” is one of the most controversial books in the world. It was written by the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler mostly while he was in prison in the mid-1920s and printed in 1925, eight years before he came to power. It illustrates Hitler’s ideological concept and plans for the future to colonize neighboring countries for Germany’s prosperity.
It had been banned to be reprinted because of the extreme antisemitism that let to Holocaust and fears for stirring neo-Nazi sentiment until 70 years after the author’s death when the copyright expired by German law.
Now this book is available in bookstores across the country, though not all the booksellers are excited to promote it. It is a critical time for the country and the public because of the flooding immigrants from Syria and Africa. Public sentiment seems divided whether to allow them to fit into their country or not. In those days, it was the Jew that were discriminated by Nazis. Today, who could be targeted by extremists like Neo-Nazis?
Enjoy reading and finding what this 90-year-old book could mean or bring to Germans.


Topic Reading-Vol.1371-1/12/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
U.S. gun violence: The story in charts and graphs
Very contradictory. The more people become victims of gun violence, the more guns are sold.
As is well known, Americans own more guns than any other country in the world, 270 million guns are owned by civilians, not counting the ones owned by the 1.4 million military service men and women. This staggeringly high number represents nearly 90% of the total population, or 88 guns per 100 citizens, the highest per capita gun ownership in the world.
But the more serious problem seems to lie in people’s mind. The sales of guns are on the rise.
Mass shootings seem to have made people worry about their own safety. While some politicians, most notably the President, try to curb gun sales, people are buying more guns to protect themselves.
Another surprising figures are the number of people who were murdered by guns that far surpass the number of people who were killed by terrorists for the last 12 years even with the 9.11 attack that killed nearly 3,000 people.
Learn how guns are sold and used for fatal crimes in the USA.


Topic Reading-Vol.1370-1/11/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
China conducts successful test flights at newly-built airfield in South China Sea
The Spratly Islands, or the Nansha Islands in Chinese, comprise more than 30,000 islands and reefs in the South China Sea. The disputed archipelago lies off the coasts of the Philippines, Malaysia, and southern Vietnam. The area is particularly important as shipping lanes as well as rich maritime resources.
China started constructing an airfield at one of those reefs in April 2015 and completed it in September. The runway is over 3,000 meters in length, long enough to land virtually any aircraft. It is not acceptable by international law to build an artificial land like this and claim it as one’s territory. However, despite the criticism not only by the countries around the sea but also from the world community, China had two aircraft land at the runway on Jan. 6, 2016. They claimed they had successfully carried out test fights to a newly-built airfield on a South China Sea reef that was completely within China's sovereignty.
Does it make any difference whether to use a civilian or military aircraft to land at such a disputed runway?
Enjoy reading and learning another territorial move in the South China Sea by a member of the UN Security Council. 


Topic Reading-Vol.1369-1/10/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Diet debate: Low-fat or high-fat - does it matter?
Which type of yogurt, milk, or ice cream do you usually eat, non-fat, low-fat or full-fat?
If you look at the store shelves, there isn’t much difference among them as to how much shelf space each type of product is allocated. People may be well divided as to how they perceive fat to their health or diet.
Is fat that bad for health? Not quite so as long as it is taken moderately and in balance. In fact, fat makes food taste more palatable than without. If fat is removed from food, substitute ingredients like sugar is added to compensate the loss of taste. In some cases, calories of such substitutes, for example sugar, exceeds the calories of the removed fat.
It doesn’t sound so nutritious, does it? People’s physiological balance has evolved based on the food intake in the region or culture over the course of many years and generations. Removing certain element of natural food or replacing it with something artificial may not be so nutritious.
Enjoy reading and learning what fat does to you.


Topic Reading-Vol.1368-1/9/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The film that Star Wars stole from
Though it wasn’t actually a prequel, Kurosawa’s “Hidden Fortress” seemed to have awaken the creator of Star Wars. It was 1958 when this Kurosawa’s entertaining movie was released in black and white. The movie featured two weak peasants, one strong woman and man. Lucas seemed to have used these characters as two droids, Princes Lair and Luke Skywalker in Star Wars movies, most likely the Episode 4.
In fact, Lucas admitted that “Hidden Fortress” inspired his creativity for his movie series he wrote, created and released in 1979. There are similarities that you can see in this comparative video:

What do you think? If you’ve seen the latest episode, “The Force Awakens,” you may realize more look-a-like scenes. So, JJ Abrams, the director of the movie, might have studied the legendary movie as well.
Enjoy reading and seeing the video, for fun.


Topic Reading-Vol.1367-1/8/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The biological secrets that make Sherpas superhuman mountaineers
Who are Sherpas? They are people of Tibetan stock living in the Nepalese Himalayas. They often serve as porters on mountain-climbing expeditions. When mountain climbers try to conquer a high peak in Himalayas, they usually hire Sharpers to help them guide the way and carry necessary equipment and supplies.
It has been known that they possess extraordinary physical strength in such high altitudes but had never been revealed their biological and physiological mechanisms until this new research conducted by a British scientist was presented.
She and her colleagues found that their mitochondria, parts of human cells that respire to generate energy is super-efficient. Also, while the blood circulation within small blood vessels of the visiting mountaineers significantly slowed during the climb, Sherpas’ blood circulation remained normal.
How long do you need to live in such a highland region to be comparable with Sherpas?
Enjoy reading and learning what this study could bring about for people live on the ground.


Topic Reading-Vol.1366-1/7/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The oil price, Iran and Saudi's economy
Budget crisis. As posted on the last day of the last year in Vol.1359, the Gulf’s oil giant needs to cut its spending and subsidizing. It is because of the sharp drop in revenues as oil prices have fallen more than 60 percent since 2014. Since nearly 90 percent of government revenues come from oil, the kingdom is struggling to battle in two major fronts.
One is how to manage the financial budget for the next few years as price recovery isn’t expected in any foreseeable future. That is due to the lower demand than production.
Another is to eliminate its competitors in oil production. Since Saudi can produce oil at a lower price than most of its competitors, they remain as price leader in the market even under $40 per barrel.
The question is how long they can live without an increase in revenues?
Enjoy reading and learning what’s going on in the Gulf region.


Topic Reading-Vol.1365-1/6/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
China says it’s building new homegrown aircraft carrier
Get one of already-established technology from abroad and mimic it. Just as they did for now the longest high speed railroad systems in the world, China has officially announced the long speculated its aircraft carrier program.
China secretively purchased an incomplete aircraft carrier from Ukraine when the country had no way of completing and using it in 1998, claiming it to be used for an amusement park. They converted it to the Liaoning and commissioned it in 2012. Meanwhile, they started building two carriers of their own version to be in operation in a few years.
Three aircraft carriers versus US’s ten. But while the US is deploying their carrier fleets in other waters, China can use their all three in the South China Sea where territorial disputes are becoming increasingly intense. Furthermore, China has as many submarines as the US. Submarines are like mines. It would be risky to send ships to the water where there are many of such hazardous underwater vessels waiting for preys unless you have removed or expelled them beforehand.
What will the South and East China Sea be like in 2020?
Enjoy reading and thinking what such deterrent reinforcement of military power will bring about.


Topic Reading-Vol.1364-1/5/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
China releases guideline on military reform
It has been like that but it will clearly be more. Unlike most other countries, China’s armed forces, People’s Liberation Army, or PLA, is under the Communist Party of China, not the state or the government. And the top leader of the armed forces is the chairman of the Central Military Committee of the party, not the president of the country.
That is what China has clarified the positioning of the world largest military in the number of personnel, over two million.
They are going to cut the size, modernize their equipment, reorganize the management, strengthen the outer and cyber space forces and integrate armed police and militia under one chain of command, including two more aircraft carriers and space operation unit.
Enjoy reading and comparing the armed forces under the command of a party like modern China, dictator like Nazi Germany and elected leader/government like most of the democratic countries.


Topic Reading-Vol.1363-1/4/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Filipino priest on hoverboard suspended by church
A Catholic priest on a hoverboard. This headline itself sounds progressive enough for conservative followers of the religion. But one priest in Philippines, the third largest catholic country after Brazil and Mexico, sang a song on a Segway-like hoverboard during Christmas Eve mass cruising around the church filled with devoted followers.
The video clip of this hoverboard mass went so viral that the priest was suspended for lack of respect for the Church's highest form of worship.
Was it then OK to do the same during a mass of less significance?
Would he still have been suspended if the video hadn’t become so viral?

Enjoy seeing the video and reading the article, and think if the priest should be disciplined.


Topic Reading-Vol.1362-1/3/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Should we solar panel the Sahara desert?
The Sahara desert is the world largest hot desert. It covers large parts of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan and Tunisia, about a quarter of the African continent. These countries are more developed compared to the ones in the south, sub-Saharan Africa where only around 30% have access to electricity. This means huge demand for electricity is expected in the coming years or decades as their economy develops and living standards improve.
The question is how this area should be powered without producing greenhouse gasses. One of the simplest solutions is to install solar panels in the Sahara desert where no other practical use of the dry surface has been worked out. Sounds like a simple idea but there are issues need to be looked at such as technology, economy, geography, efficiency, environment and politics.
Enjoy reading and thinking what will be the


Topic Reading-Vol.1361-1/2/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
How to learn 30 languages
Learning 30 languages? Sounds like a new year’s dream, a wishful dream that is seen during the first night of a new year. If 30 sounds too ambitious or too many, how about five or ten?
Well, three or four may be within an acceptable range if a person spends time in different places or in a place where different languages are spoken and exchanged. But there are in fact people who speaks more than a dozen languages as if they are their native tongues. Still, capability to speak 10 or more languages fluently sounds well beyond extraordinary.
Learning another language seems to train one’s brain by improving attention and memory. Consequently, the more languages you learn, the later dementia is diagnosed, like several years. So it is beneficial to learn other languages.
Hw those super multilinguals obtain such ability? One such multilingual woman says she can easily put herself in other’s shoes and think how they feel. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Does it apply to ordinary people?
But one thing seems to be certain. In a multilinguals’ gathering, Ukrainians and Russians, Israelis and Palestinians were all seen conversing happily and eagerly. Fact to face talks bring good interaction and communication, and sometimes solutions.
Enjoy reading and learning the tips and benefits of language learning.


Topic Reading-Vol.1360-1/1/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
'Comfort women': Japan and South Korea hail agreement
Finally both governments of the neighboring countries agreed to settle the disagreement.
Though nothing would comfort or compensate the pain those women went though and have suffered throughout their lives, a milestone consent was announced by the two governments at the very end of the 70th year after the war ended.
Japan “apologized” for the conduct during the war and “agreed to pay” the amount South Korea asked for, one billion yen, to fund victims.
It is estimated that there were as many as 200,000 women were forced to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers in Korea during the previous war.
In return, South Korea “will consider” this issue resolved finally and irreversibly, and also look into removing the symbolic statue placed by the activists outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul.
It might have been a diplomatically agreeable settlement but will there be a mutual agreeable outcome soon?
Enjoy reading and thinking what this accord could mean to those 46 women who have been waiting for apology and compensation by Japanese government for too long.