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Topic Reading-Vol.1480-4/30/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Is it safe to reheat take-away?
Do you like take-out or delivery food? It is surely convenient especially when you don’t have time or guts to make something yourself. When you eat it immediately, there won’t be any problems. But when you keep take-away/take-out food or any cooked food for a while in the fridge, you need to make sure to reheat it until the bacteria in the food is killed.
How? Doesn’t microwave kill any living creatures including bacteria?
Enjoy watching the video to learn how to reheat a saved dish.


Topic Reading-Vol.1479-4/29/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Ukraine marks 30th anniversary of Chernobyl disaster
30 years have passed but still abandoned. That’s what Chernobyl is now. Over a quarter million people were forced to move to safety places from their homeland. There still is a 30-kilometer exclusion zone from the melt-down reactor. Works to construct a mega shield structure to cover the reactor are ongoing. But it will still take decades to remove the radioactive materials from the reactor. There seems to be no hope for this ghost town to revive in the foreseeable future.
It was a combination of an accident and human errors, no matter what the initial cause was. The same was true for the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.
The lesson humans should learn from these two nuclear disasters is never say never.
Read this article and watch the video to learn how things could go wrong.


Topic Reading-Vol.1478-4/28/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
U.S. and Saudi Arabia, trapped in a bad marriage
These two countries share almost nothing to share. Not only the basic human and historic backgrounds such as race, religion, language, history and cultures, but also social system and practices such as governance, politics, human rights, judicial system and military.
To make this bilateral relations chiller, they are now competing in the oil market. Are these two states still, if ever, called allies?
Saudi still plays important roles to keep the stability in the Arabian Peninsula and help show US’s military supremacy in the region, even though no high ranking officials or royal family members, not to mention the king or crown prince, welcomed the president of the United States of America in the airport.
Will their relationship change in the foreseeable future?
Enjoy reading and learning what Saudi means to the U.S.


Topic Reading-Vol.1477-4/27/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
India drought: '330 million people affected'
You might think India is hot and humid. It is hot indeed but not always wet. The subcontinent gets very wet during monsoon season. But it has gotten less rain for the two consecutive seasons. Consequently, the water levels of the countries’ 91 water reservoirs are historically low. As the population increases and economy advances, more water is needed especially for non-essential uses such as swimming pools, gardens and car washes. But in rural areas where no tap water is available, people have to walk and wait long to get water at over 40C temperatures.
There are approximately 500 million people in the country who don’t have access to toilets of any type. The government is working on providing and promoting more toilets. But will that be possible when there are such severe water shortages across the country?
Enjoy reading and thinking of any idea to provide and conserve water in the sizzling sub-continent with over 1.3 billion people.


Topic Reading-Vol.1476-4/26/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Study: Over 90% of Great Barrier Reef suffering from coral bleaching
It’s an absolutely shocking result. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia’s proud and prominent national treasure and also tourism resource, is found bleached much more severely than ever before. Northern part of the reef has suffered the most, over 80% is seriously bleached. That is not recoverable at least for some time, or never.
Good news is that southern part of the reef, which is closer to more populous lands, is found to be much less bleached.
So what has caused such bleaching? Warmer ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, El Niño seems to be the main cause. And of course, climate change and human activities are to blame as well.
Enjoy reading and learning about this drastic change in ocean ecosystem.


Topic Reading-Vol.1475-4/25/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
India's population explosion will make or break its economy
This soon-to-be the most populous country needs more workers! While in China, the most populous country now, over 20% of the new college graduates are unable to find jobs, there are numbers of job slots that aren’t filled in India. Why?
Inadequate education. Though numbers of new colleges emerged to fill the needs for booming IT industries, the quality and curriculum haven’t kept up with the job requirements.
As things are changing much faster and more drastically day by day, education must not only keep up with the present requirements but also move ahead for the future.
Enjoy reading and thinking how education should change in today’s fast-moving world.


Topic Reading-Vol.1474-4/24/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Vietnamese girls smuggled into China and sold as child brides
Two main reasons are to be blamed for this girl trafficking problem. As a result of the decades-long one child policy and cultural preference for a boy, there is a huge gender imbalance in China. Boys can’t find their brides. Where there are needs for something, there is business to fill them. When the needs can’t be filled legitimately, the price goes premium. That is why border-crossing human traffickers smuggle girls from Vietnam to China.
Those who are little educated or live in poor families are their target. They could be cheated or even drugged to be sent to China and forced marriages.
They say “marriage” but those girls aren’t documented. They won’t have social status or security. There is no way to move out or escape. There are there without officially recognized.
Read and think of the situation those smuggled girls are facing.


Topic Reading-Vol.1473-4/23/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Shared business flights are under way
Nothing is more expensive and wasteful than an empty flight. The crew is on board and paid, the fuel is burnt and the air is polluted. It is not only economically but also environmentally disastrous, isn’t it? If a jet is flown at all, it should be boarded by as many passengers as it can carry.
There are approximately 300 business jets in China. According to industry data, about 2,500 of their return flights carried no passengers in 2015. They could have flown at least 10,000 passengers if such opportunities had reached to those who needed or wanted to travel on the given days. And of course, the owners or operators of those business jets made economical returns.
Now a new app is developed to present such special opportunities to those who want to enjoy luxury and convenience. Sounds like air-Uber, doesn’t it?
Enjoy reading and thinking of taking a shared private jet.


Topic Reading-Vol.1472-4/22/2016

Topic Reading-Vol.1472-4/22/2016
Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Greenland ice melt off to record early start  
Another sign of accelerating global warming?
Greenland’s ice sheet is the second massive only after the one in Antarctica. It melts in summer and refreezes in winter. If it melts more than refreezes, sea levels will rise accordingly.
This year, the ice sheets have started melting earlier than before and earlier than previously estimated. Now scientists are wondering if the simulations they made need considerable adjustment or not.
But why are land ice sheets so critical to sea levels?
Enjoy reading the article and watching the video and learn the mechanism of sea level rising.


Topic Reading-Vol.1471-4/21/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Czech Republic poised to change name to 'Czechia'
Czech [tʃɛk] Republic. It may be more famous for its historic capital city, Prague.
The country was occupied by Germany during WWII, and became a communism country as Czechoslovakia in 1948 under Soviet influence. In 1989, a new republic was formed but peacefully dissolved in 1993, forming two independent states, Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is now one of the most peaceful, stable and well-organized countries in the EU.
So why do they want to be called 'Czechia' [tʃɛkiə]? Is that one of the “change-the-status” trends this year like New Zealand’s flag referendum and soon-to-be-voted Brexit?
Enjoy reading and thinking which name makes you more familiar with the historic and exotic state.


Topic Reading-Vol.1470-4/20/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
This Is What Will Happen When You Eat Avocados Every Day
Do you like avocados? If yes, how often and how much do you eat avocados?
No need to mention that the avocado is known as one of the super-foods. As many probably know that it has low saturated fat and high unsaturated fat content, which improves your cholesterol balance. But how good really is it?
Recent studies found that in addition to balancing cholesterol, avocados help control weight, prevent cancer and slow aging.
That really sounds like a super-food, doesn’t it?
Enjoy reading and learning how beneficial avocado is. But be warned that it is not only rich in nutrition but also in calorie.


Topic Reading-Vol.1469-4/19/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Why are India's housewives killing themselves?
An opposite social phenomenon. While suicide rates for married people in western countries, like the US and Australia, are lower than those who aren’t in the same age group, the rates are higher in India. In fact, nearly 70% of the Indians who committed suicide were married people. Furthermore, nearly 50% of those women were housewives.
Does a marriage do any good in India? Is being a housewife such a desperate task or life there?
There seem to be various aspects, backgrounds and situations to be looked at, such as education, religion, social status, family size, arranged marriage and social expectations that are particular in India.
Enjoy reading and thinking of being a housewife or househusband in your society.


Topic Reading-Vol.1468-4/18/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
McDonalds to open 1,250 new China outlets
That’s an over 50% increase in five years from the current 2,200 outlets now. The projected number of outlets will surpass Japan’s, currently the second after the US.
That doesn’t sound surprising considering the population and growing economy of the country. In fact, new car sales in China were five times more than Japan and 50% more the US last year.
As China’s middle class population grows and urbanization progresses, food and restaurant chains seek for growth opportunities. Starbucks wants to have Chinese drink more coffee than their traditional tea, and McDonalds tries to replace Chinese’s favorite pork with beef.
What matters more than taste, life style, fashion, convenience, cleanliness or location? As the income and life style diversify at a historically-high pace in China, their taste and diet may evolve accordingly quite fast as well.
Enjoy reading and thinking of franchising one of these fast food restaurant or coffee chains in China.


Topic Reading-Vol.1467-4/17/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
China is the world's top executioner, but it doesn't want you to know that
Capital punishment is legal punishment by death. It has been abolished or not been practiced most of the countries but still legalized and executed in 36 countries. Some of them are very populous countries such as China, India, the United States, and Indonesia, over 60% of the world population live in the countries where death penalty is executed.
According to the data estimated by the Amnesty International, there was a huge increase in the number of executions in 2015 to 1,635, up over 50% from the previous year.
Most of the executions were made only in three countries. Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. However, China, which doesn’t publicize such data, is believed to have executed much more than the world total.
Read and think if capital punishment deters offenders from committing serious crimes.


Topic Reading-Vol.1466-4/16/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Tesla reveals its $35,000 car for the masses
Passion to feel cleaner, sound quieter or drive faster? For the price of an entry level conventional luxury car, you’ll get a faster fully-electric vehicle as early as next year. Yes, Tesla’s volume-zone model has just been unveiled. But even before the official debut, over 100,000 people had put down payment for the car, just to get this much-anticipated electric car earlier than others.
The company seems to have been confident to get enough orders for their bold investment to purchase the ex-GM-Toyota factory in California and build a lithium-ion factory in Nevada.
While many look around and negotiate to get a better deal when they buy a new car, there are such enthusiastic people who open their wallets without even looking at the car.
Enjoy reading and thinking what it would take to sell a new product before launch.


Topic Reading-Vol.1465-4/15/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
How much does class matter in Britain today?
Social mobility. Yet it is not a phrase that is openly used in most countries, it still seems to matter to some extent. Education, entrepreneurship, initiative, diligence, talent and alike has shown great success and achievement in all areas. But in general, good education costs a lot and only very few are eligible for full-bright scholarship. Funding is the key for education. Also, success can’t be realized without opportunities. Those who are given good opportunities seem more likely to succeed. And opportunities are often created by connection.
Now, you might think who or what social class, if any, can enjoy such funding and connection?
Enjoy reading and thinking of social mobility in your society.


Topic Reading-Vol.1464-4/14/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Why these three questions can solve any problem?
What kind of problems do you have? Think of any problems you have now and ask yourself if you really want to or need to solve them.
And if there are some, pick one of them and think of better ideas to solve, improve or remove the problem. This process may not be so difficult because solutions are usually simple. For example, if you are overweight, you just need to eat less and/or exercise more.
Lastly, ask yourself if you can implement the solution. This is the most challenging part because if you can do it now, you could have done it before.
The bottom line is very simple yet the most challenging. Do what you’ve got to do.
Enjoy reading and asking yourself these questions.


Topic Reading-Vol.1463-4/13/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Zhubi Reef lighthouse comes to life
Lighthouses for maritime safety and security. China has started operating its third lighthouse on an artificially made reef in the disputed South China Sea.
While most ships are equipped with radars and GPS location and navigation systems, how essential is it to have structures like these? If those lighthouses are intended to provide such maritime benefits, why were they built despite the objections from the countries around the sea?
No matter how much argument there is, the fact remains once it’s built.
Enjoy reading and thinking what could be the next move in the disputed waters.


Topic Reading-Vol.1462-4/12/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
John Kerry, G7 minsters make emotional visit to Hiroshima memorial
Visiting and seeing the place. Meeting and talking to the people. There is no better lesson than these. No matter how much you read or study, unless you see the fact or the history, you’ve never learned enough. That’s why traveling makes people learn a lot, doesn’t it?
Now the first sitting secretary of state visited the place where the country bombed the first atomic bomb in human history, not for apology but for the past and honor those who perished and for future. It is still a good progress because no one in the position has done so for the last seven decades.
Enjoy reading and thinking what the “future” could mean.


Topic Reading-Vol.1461-4/11/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
More obese people in the world than underweight, says study
Decades ago, underweight was a far more serious problem than overweight. Now, obesity is the leading weight problem in the world.
It is estimated that there were approximately 100 million obese people out of the total population of four billion worldwide in 1975. Four decades later, the number went up to 640 million out of the total of seven billion in 2014. This means while the world population grew by 75% in forty years, the number of obese people increased by over six folds.
The U.S, and China are leading the trend, reaching 90 million obese people respectively. The UK seems no less critical than those two populous countries by having 15 million obese people, which represents roughly a quarter of its total population.
The cause is simple. Less consumption than intake, the same as money. Then the solution is simple, isn’t it?
Enjoy reading and thinking what could solve this problem.


Topic Reading-Vol.1460-4/10/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Panama Papers Q&A: What is the scandal about?
Panama is not only known as its channel. It is also known as tax haven like some other islands in the Caribbean. Tax haven is a place where taxes are levied little or none. It also offers secrecy about who owns the money. It is then useful for those who have a lot of money but don’t want to pay taxes, show their identities or disclose the root of the money. Sounds very queer, doesn’t it?
So what kind of money will be sent and kept there? Money obtained by illegal activities such as drug deals, bribes and any non-registered cash transactions. It’s not hard to imagine who could get such money, is it?
Now if such secrecy is leaked and publicized in large scale, what will happen to those who enjoy or enjoyed such haven? There are names of former and current world leaders as well as professionals of world organizations.
Enjoy reading the text and seeing the video what this historic scandal is about and think what will happen to those whose names are released.


Topic Reading-Vol.1459-4/9/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
What is the most extroverted city in the US?
Each local community is somehow distinct from others, at least to some extent. If you compare mega cities like New York or Los Angeles to rural and isolated cities in the South or Midwest, there seem to be distinctive differences in the mindset of the people who live there. But how much?
An extensive online research was conducted to find the variances in personality traits in 860 US cities. The survey results show that some predictable patterns; people in large cities like New York tend to be emotionally less stable or socially less agreeable with others than those who live in smaller communities.
Enjoy reading and thinking what kind of social environment fits better to you.


Topic Reading-Vol.1458-4/8/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
How do cats always land on their feet?
Another revelation of mysterious bodily mechanism by technology. Everyone knows cats land nicely and gently on the ground but no one knows how they do surely. Now this much argued secret has just been answered by this super slow motion video.
You’ll see a wild cat turning and twisting its body around in the air to prepare for landing, in a way no other animal can do in such a short time, and effortlessly.
Will human-created robots ever be able to make a twist like this?
Enjoy seeing this amazing video but don’t dare to try it yourself.


Topic Reading-Vol.1457-4/7/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Microsoft just put a data center under water
Underwater servers? Yes. In order to promote its cloud server business, Microsoft is testing if an underwater pod filled with servers serves better than the ones on the ground.
It’s cooler there so there is no need to run air-conditioning. Also, there is sea current there which moves the attached turbine to the housing pod to generate electricity.
All confirmed and potential benefits are mentioned such as energy saving, lower carbon footprint, and faster access. But if this concept is so beneficial, why it hasn’t been practiced widely?
Enjoy reading and guessing what the downside of this idea is.


Topic Reading-Vol.1456-4/6/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Chinese Korean War remains returned from South Korea
Over 60 years after the deadly war, searches still continue. An estimated two million soldiers and civilians were killed respectively during the three-year proxy war between the East and West, which took place in north and south of the Korean Peninsula. In fact, those two countries are technically still at war because no peace treaty has been signed. However, as the relationship between two former enemies improved mainly for economic interests, South Korea has been returning the remains of fallen soldiers back to China. The process to identify which remains belong to which country requires time and patience. But one by one, they are sent back to their homeland to rest in peace.
Enjoy reading and learning about this ongoing war history.


Topic Reading-Vol.1455-4/5/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The story behind China’s “Minecraft” military camo
Camouflage [ˈkæməflɑʒ]. Is it still such a big deal to visually camouflage armored vehicles when the enemy troops might have already known what, where and how fast they are moving by reconnaissance activities using satellites, drones and infrared scopes?  Do troops still aim the target visually and manually?
Maybe so because modernized Chinese armed forces, People’s Revelation Army, showed off digitally camouflaged armed vehicles proudly at the 70th anniversary of WWII in Beijing in October 2015. The armored vehicles paraded were all painted withdigital’ camouflage patterns. You may wonder how such artificial and unnatural patters blend in the surrounding nature. But in fact, it is the trend in most of the modern armed forces around the world.
Enjoy reading and learning how humans’ eyes are tricked so easily.


Topic Reading-Vol.1454-4/4/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Chinese woman writes four books with her toes
Even more hopeful and passionate for her life than most ordinary people. Though she is unable to move her arms, she does most things in daily life herself such as eating meals with chopsticks, combing her hair and using her smartphone with her toes. Furthermore, she writes books by typing the keyboard. In fact, four books have been published in her local market. She is writing more to inspire ordinary people to write and publish books.
Another encouraging story for writing.
(Check Vol. 1542, JK Rowling’s rejection letters by publishers, if you haven’t read)
Enjoy reading and thinking if you want to try writing.


Topic Reading-Vol.1453-4/3/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
JK Rowling shares Robert Galbraith rejection letters
She’s used to be rejected. As many know, her first million-seller, Harry Potter, had been rejected by over a dozen publishers before it went on printing. Now she’s one of the most successful living authors, any book or story she writes will have a guaranteed success at least commercially, provided that J.K. Rowling’s name is on the cover.
But what if any creation of hers is submitted to publishers without her identity? They will surely scrutinize it with critical and commercial eyes, and they might turn it down.
Even if the book is published, will readers around the world buy and read it? They will also compare it with millions of other books on the shelves or website that are written by popular authors.
So, knowing such challenges, this prominent author sent the manuscript of her new story to several publishers under a different penname. In fact, under a man’s name. What happened before the revelation of the author’s identity and after? Read the extract from Wikipedia.      
Enjoy reading and thinking what people rely on the most when it comes to choosing what to read and value.
Before Rowling's identity as the book's author was revealed, 1,500 copies of the printed book had been sold since its release in April 2013, plus another 7,000 copies of the ebook, audiobook, and library editions. The book surged from 4,709th to the 1st best-selling novel on Amazon after it was revealed on 14 July 2013 that the book was written by Rowling under the pseudonym "Robert Galbraith". Signed copies of the first edition are selling for $US4,000–6,000. 


Topic Reading-Vol.1452-4/2/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Economic slowdown: Does China know what it's doing?
No longer a planned economy. They used to look at what the government said. Now they watch what and how much the consumers spending on. If that is the reality, how much growth could be achieved in 2016? Is the government capable of guiding the nation’s economy as pledged? Where the second largest economy will go this year is everyone’s concern. Though its economy is growing faster than any developed countries, state enterprises and foreign investors had put too much money into production capacity with way-overestimated future outlook. Steel, construction, automobile and shopping centers are all just too much or too many. How and when such overcapacity is going to be slashed is so imminent but no one knows when and how the adjustment is going to happen. It seems that China’s economy is on the brink of a big shake.
Enjoy reading and learning what the outlook of China’s economy is like.


Topic Reading-Vol.1451-4/1/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Japan kills 333 minke whales
Japan still hunts whales despite the International Court of Justice’s order to ban the disputed practice. Why do they kill whales to research the population and the effects of environmental changes? Do they kill its people for census?
Do Japanese people need whale meat desperately? Is whale meat so popular in Japan’s diet?
Japan has been criticized by the international community for its hunting of whales and dolphins, neither of which is popular among most of the population. In fact, many, especially young, even don’t know of such practices or criticisms.
It seems like just childish reluctance or resistance to accept words by others.
Enjoy reading and watching the video and think what it would take to change their mind.