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Topic Reading-Vol.1572-7/31/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Pokemon Go takes over town near North Korean border
The hottest game, or a game changer game, Pokemon Go has created a new hot tourist spot in South Korea. Why? Because the game can’t be played anywhere else in the country yet but this tiny city. The city is just outside the index grids that is used to block the country for the use of the world hottest game.
Enthusiastic game fans not only in South Korea but also from China where the game hasn’t been launched take a three-and-a-half-hour bus tour to this northeastern border city to North Korea. Though GPS doesn’t function in this near-border town due to security reasons, those tourist-players enjoy chasing and catching the zombies with their beloved smartphones.
And they aren’t the only ones who enjoy the game. The city officials and businesses also enjoy benefits of this unexpected, sudden tourist boom which has made the remote city known to everyone in the country.
Japan will soon enjoy, or already has, having such game enthusiasts from Korea, China or any other countries that this break-through smartphone game hasn’t been launched.
Enjoy reading and learning how much time and money would you invest on this new entertainment.


Topic Reading-Vol.1571-7/30/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Bangladesh’s Genetically Modified Eggplant                
Pesticide or GMC?
One is proven toxic and harmful chemical substance which protects the crop from its destroyers and ensures the yield while damaging the skins of the handler and also posing risks to the consumers unless the crop is well rinsed. The effects and side effects are both known and economical benefit is also proven.
The other, Genetically Modified Crops, is still uncertain. They seem to provide higher yields but cause apparent threats to neither the growers nor consumers. For a country like Bangladesh where the population is growing rapidly in limited cultivatable land space, it is vital to have effective and efficient solutions to increase agricultural output while improving the lives of the farmers.
In this multi-media report, you’ll see a new government initiated attempt in Bangladesh to make use of GMC.
Enjoy seeing this program and think if you agree with the proponents or opponents of GMC.


Topic Reading-Vol.1570-7/29/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
US: What did Muslims at the RNC think of Donald Trump?
Do American Muslims like or hate Donald Trump? He once said that he would ban Muslims to enter the U.S. should he become president. Now he’s the Republican’s Presidential candidate running against Hillary Clinton. While some of the Christian Republican big names didn’t commit their support to this radical bigmouth, there are some rank and file Muslim Republicans who pledged their support in the convention.
What makes them expect him to do the right thing for them?
Enjoy reading comments by some of the domestic Muslim supporters to an agitator against foreign Muslims.


Topic Reading-Vol.1569-7/28/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The nation that hates to be late
Do you always come to the meeting or class on time?
Swiss has been famous for high quality watches. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that punctuality is pretty much expected and practiced in the nation. For the Swiss, punctuality is expected to show respect to others and their time. For example, trains come and arrive on time, taxies get to the destination as said they would, and deliveries are made within the assigned time window, not to mention showing up the meeting on time with others. That sounds very convenient and efficient, doesn’t it?
But extreme punctuality could cause congestions because everyone does the same thing at the same time precisely, such as s coffee break or store opening. Also, it could be an unbearable pressure when you happen to be met by unexpected event such as a traffic jam or an accident.
Expecting others to do something also means being expected by others.
Enjoy reading and thinking if you feel more comfortable living in a place where people are strictly punctual.


Topic Reading-Vol.1568-7/27/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
London vacations are dirt cheap. Thanks Brexit!
Brexit. Good news or bad news?
It seems like a great opportunity for those who are going to spend money in the U.K., as the British pound fell to its all-time low since 1981 overnight. You can save between 10 and 15 per cent on everything you buy or spend depending on which currency you are converting. For example, you could see the queen’s palace at US$95 now, which was $111 before the referendum.
It’s bad news for those who had invested in the U.K. before the referendum as the value of the investment declined according to the devaluation of the British pound.
Who is the biggest saver? Mr. Masayoshi Son, who recently decided to purchase the UK’s microchip giant ARMS group at 24 billion pounds. How much did he save?
Enjoy reading and thinking if you set the U.K. for your next vacation destination or investment option.


Topic Reading-Vol.1567-7/26/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Tesla: Elon Musk reveals latest 'masterplan'
It is always easy to analyze or criticize any futuristic picture drown by a challenger, who creates innovative ideas and tries to realize them.
Mr. Musk looks at the future and makes his business plan to realize it, such as creating practical electronic cars and reusable space transport, while ordinary people are just sitting on the fence. When Tesla and Space X projects were pronounced, very few people believed they would be realized, even though those concepts were well accepted.
It’s easy to say to cut the use of fossil fuels but it isn’t actually to do so because it requires attention, cooperation and participation from many. The same is true for the reusable rocket that many thought would be impractical technologically or commercially.
Enjoy reading and thinking of the feasibility of his newly revealed next agenda.


Topic Reading-Vol.1566-7/25/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Australian school bans clapping to protect sensitive children
Alternative ways to cheer and praise. Students of a school in Sydney are banned to clap their hands. This new policy was introduced in consideration of the students who are too sensitive to noise. Students now cheer silently, showing excited faces or punching the air.
Isn’t that practicable to eliminate the sound effect completely and depends on another sense, visual, to express one’s thought or emotion?
It seems that people are expected to be more sensitive to others and things aren’t that simple any longer.
Enjoy reading and thinking if you can adopt newly emerging policies or practices.


Topic Reading-Vol.1565-7/24/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Google wins copyright battle over books
It’s no news or anything for the most. You take it for granted that extracts of books are free for search in google. But there has been a long court battle over a copy right issue on this free search. Though some of the book titles no longer hold copyright, others do. And those copy right holders are claiming that google should pay for the commercial use of the extracts. Even though users of the search engine don’t pay a penny to see any extract, the search engine makes money by ads. So it could actually be a commercial use of the extracts.
Google says it is a fair use of the content and it’s only card catalogue for their users.
Whichever the verdict was, users of the search engine wouldn’t have to pay for it.
Enjoy reading and learning what this copyright battle is about.


Topic Reading-Vol.1564-7/23/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
ARM Holdings in £24bn Japanese takeover deal
US$ 32bil to buy a company. Is it expensive to buy a company at a price that is 70 times as much as the company’s net income, or with a 43% premium on the recently traded price? Just your reference, a multiple of 70 times is as high as the market value of Facebook, an already grownup IT giant.
Who is buying a UK microchip company, ARM, at such a high price tag? That’s Softbank, a Japanese IT infrastructure company led by Masayoshi Son that owns Sprint in the U.S. It also invested and remains as a large shareholder of Yahoo and Alibaba. Previously, it acquired Vodaphone’s Japan operation to become a mobile phone carrier.
So why is he buying the already successful chip company? Is that because of the fallen UK pound? It’s because he expects that the company will grow much more for the next decade as Industry of Things flourishes.
If so, which is a wiser investment, $3.2bil to get 10% of the stake or $32bil for all?
Enjoy reading and thinking what this bold investment is about.


Topic Reading-Vol.1563-7/22/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Newly discovered dwarf planet takes 700 years to orbit the sun
What is a dwarf planet? It’s any planetary-mass object that is neither a planet nor a natural satellite. It orbits the Sun directly and not be a moon around another body. It is also massive enough for it to have become spherical in shape under its own gravity.
So why finding such an object in outer space is so important? Unlike the moon or Mars, it sounds too far and little to do anything to do with human’s life or business.
In fact, it is pretty meaningful for astronomers to study because they could tell them how they were formed, which eventually could give more clues how the solar system was created.
What the life is like to take 700 years to go around the sun? How many seasons, if any, are there on the little icy and lonely object?
Enjoy reading and learning about planets and dwarfs of the solar system.


Topic Reading-Vol.1562-7/21/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The submarines and rivalries underneath the South China Sea
A lot of construction activities have been observed on the rocks and the surface of the disputed South China Sea. Though such actions were ruled unlawful by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, there are no sign of slow-down or back-off. Why so? Aren’t such exposed facilities vulnerable to missile attacks or bombings?
It seems that real things are happening under the water. While large southern area of the South China Sea is too shallow for undercover submarine operations, the area China claims theirs has much deeper basin, which allows Chinese navy to deploy submarines undetected, especially the ones that are capable of launching nuclear ballistic missiles that could reach the mainland US.
Enjoy reading and learning what is going on in the disputed waters.


Topic Reading-Vol.1561-7/20/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Belly fat: What's the best way to get rid of it?
Summer has come.
“Let’s go to the beach!”
“Great idea but when?” (I need to reduce my belly fat to look a little nicer!)
It may sound awkward but it is an obstacle to get to a place where your belly is exposed to others whose waistlines look slimmer than yours.
You don’t mind it at all? You’d better be because the belly fat isn’t just an extra layer of your skin but a sign of your physical or health problems.
So what is the best (or easiest) way to reduce, if not remove it?
Enjoy reading and learning some methods that were tested to reduce belly fat.


Topic Reading-Vol.1560-7/19/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Coup attempt in Turkey: What you need to know
The coup attempt in Turkey seems to have done things by the book. Occupying the state buildings and TV stations, blocking the key transportation points and airports, and ordering martial law and curfew. Also, it was implemented when the president was taking a vacation in a beach resort. So why did it fail?
One reason was that the president was more supported by the public than they thought. People were shocked by the sudden and unwanted coup attempt that would destruct their lives. Another factor seems to have been the smartphone. While TV stations were occupied, the president managed to broadcast his message to the public. The coup plotters couldn’t control the Internet traffic.
Now there is a big purge going on. It seems that when a coup attempt fails, it simply strengthens the incumbent government that the coup plotters wanted to overturn.
Enjoy reading and learning about the latest coup attempt.


Topic Reading-Vol.1559-7/18/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Identical natural quadruplets born in Shanghai: 1 in 13 million
Four baby girls at once! This Chinese family doubled its family size in a day, from four to eight.
The quadruplets were delivered by Caesarean section, which is a quite common practice to deliver multiple babies from a mother especially in an early stage. In fact, they were only 31 weeks after the conception, weighing only around or less than a kilogram each.
The family already had had two children before these new family members, which sounds quite uncommon in a country where a strict once-child policy had been implemented until recently. Also, costs to raise children are awfully expensive there especially for education in order to have children be competitive at school and also be enrolled in good universities. The parents are already worrying about their financial burden to raise their fortune.
Enjoy reading and thinking how you’d name four girls at once. Directions, seasons, names of flowers or simply by the order they came out?


Topic Reading-Vol.1558-7/17/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
New Zealand beach bought by crowdfunding is given to public
Do digital technologies divide or unite people? In some cases, digital technologies divide those who have no or limited access to them from those who do, and make their living standards far behind to the others and career opportunities quite limited. It is often called digital divide.
However, digital technologies can bring people, idea and/or money together to achieve something that can’t not be made by individuals or small groups. Think of videos that caused huge public movements in Arabian countries or recent protests against the police’s shooting of African Americans.
Here in New Zealand, a crowdfunding cause successfully purchased natural beauty from a private owner and made it a public property. How did they do it?
Enjoy reading and learning about what crowdfunding can do by bringing people together.


Topic Reading-Vol.1557-7/16/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Chilcot report: US 'pushed UK into Iraq War too early', says ex-ambassador
The Iraq Inquiry was announced on 15 June 2009 by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown to investigate the nation's role and involvement during and after the Iraq War between 2001 and 2009. The investigation was headed by Sir John Chilcot and took seven years to complete, nearly as long as the investigated period, and the final report was announced on 6 July 2016.
Is it worth taking several years to review an action taken over a decade ago? Absolutely for sure to the British who love learning from history.
As for Americans, who initiated the action and campaign and left Iraq still in chaos, they say they are too busy dealing with the present problems in the country.
Enjoy reading and thinking how valuable it is to learn from mistakes.


Topic Reading-Vol.1556-7/15/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Japanese Emperor Akihito considering abdication, broadcaster says
Though Japan’s history is not as long as the one of China, Japan has the oldest monarchy in the world, unlike China’s numbers of dynasties. The incumbent emperor, Akihito, is the 125th holder of the monarchy. Even though his title is nothing but symbolic, his personal commitment for peace is well respected among most Japanese.
He’s now 82 years old and has undergone a few medical treatments recently. Though some of his heavy duties have already been handled by the crown prince, there still are quite a few physically demanding duties and tasks. And he now wants to abdicate the monarchy to his eldest son, crown prince Naruhito.
However, things aren’t that easy. His abdication requires an amendment to the existing law which doesn’t state anything about abdication. The emperor’s wish may take some time to be realized. When it occurs, Japan’s era name, presently Heisei, will be a new one.
Enjoy reading and thinking of what a new era name


Topic Reading-Vol.1555-7/14/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
South China Sea: China defiant as tribunal backs Philippines
Another loss to China. The Permanent Court of Arbitration judged that China has no historic evidence to justify the ownership of the disputed South China Sea under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
China immediately and defiantly dismissed the judgement and said they would never abide by the distorted ruling.
China is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and signed the UN convention on the law. Does a permanent member have veto power over any ruling just like they do at the Security Council?
It seems like a more obvious violation of an international treaty than the invasion to Crimea by Russia,  another permanent member of the council
Enjoy reading and thinking if any country has a privilege to veto or deny internationally recognized decision or ruling.


Topic Reading-Vol.1554-7/13/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
World's Top Employers for New Grads
Market cap shows how much a publically traded company is valued by investors. The larger the market cap is, the more powerful and expected the company is. Although that doesn’t assure that the company is more liked by students to work for than others, the companies whose market cap is higher seem to attract good talent.
Here is a list of most preferred companies to work for by the students who will be graduating next year. Not surprisingly, the hottest ones are IT giants such as Google, Apple and Microsoft, followed by finance and consulting big names. Of course there are renowned consumer goods manufacturers are on the top 25 list such as P&G, Nike and BMW.
They all seem to offer good compensation and benefits as well as pride and respect in their respective industry, not to mention highly prospective career opportunities.
Enjoy checking the list and thinking which ones might interest you for your next career.


Topic Reading-Vol.1553-7/12/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Japan's wanko soba challenge: The ultimate all-you-can-eat noodle binge
Hungry? While the Nathan’s annual hot dog eating contest in New York, you can try this all-you-can-eat soba challenge anytime in Morioka, a northern prefectural capital in Japan. Unlike a conventional self-serving buffet, this Wanko Soba is served by a woman with no mercy. Once you start this course, you just keep emptying the tiny bowls filled with a mouthful of soba noodles. When you finish one, the server will get you another without asking your wish or order. Fifteen little bowls of soba noodles is equivalent with one serving in an ordinary bowl. Some people go over 300 bowls in this menu. That’s 20 servings!
Begging to the server won’t stop her to refill your bowl with another. There is only one way to finish this challenge. How?
Enjoy reading and thinking if you’re interested in trying this soba eating challenge.


Topic Reading-Vol.1552-7/11/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Many Animals Seem to Kill themselves, but it is not Suicide
Do animals commit suicide like some humans do? It is known that some animals, dogs, orcas or bears die not because of a disease or aging. They die by not doing the right thing or by refusing to do the right thing. For example, some loyal pet dogs die after their master’s death by refusing to eat or drink. Mother spiders let their offspring eat them as their first meal.
Then, what is the difference between suicide and such self-destruction?
Suicide is an action of killing oneself intentionally, which needs cognitive ability to worry about the future or upcoming event or situation, while self-destruction could be caused by stress or uncomfortable condition or situation for the animal, such as being caged or isolated from the group.
Enjoy reading and learning about animal behaviors and human interpretation of them.


Topic Reading-Vol.1551-7/10/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
China fits final piece on world's largest radio telescope
Another number one in the world by China. This time it isn’t the number of a certain product being sold or length of railways or a bridge for transport. It is a radio telescope, as large as 500 meters in diameter, to detect lights and signals from the space, especially the ones traveled for many light years. It is in fact nearly 70% larger than the now the largest telescope in Puerto Rico.
What are they attempting to do with such a gigantic telescope? According to Chine media, it is designed to survey hydrogen and also to detect pulsars and gravitational waves in order to explore space and look for extraterrestrial life. However, its’s archrival the U.S. thinks it also serves for space military campaigns.
Whatever the intention might be, this huge structure on the land is going to help scientific community learn more about the universe.
Enjoy reading and seeing the video to learn about another scientific initiative by China.


Topic Reading-Vol.1550-7/9/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Can Bill Gates' donation of 100,000 chickens help Africa's poorest?
Chickens are efficient and productive. They lay eggs every day. When they no longer lay eggs, they become healthy meat. No need to walk or care them much. Just feed them, basically.
So the renowned philanthropist, co-founder of Microsoft, has committed to donate 100,000 chickens to poor farmers in sub-Saharan regions. He hopes that chickens will improve their nutrition and income, provided that they grow chickens instead of eating or selling them at once for immediate return.
It sounds like a good initiative but needs to be watched and implemented carefully in the local level. If chickens are that valuable, there must be ones who want to steal them from helpless farmers. Also, if people are so hungry, they may simply fill their immediate needs.
Enjoy reading and thinking how this philanthropic initiative could help farmers in Africa.


Topic Reading-Vol.1549-7/8/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Shenzhen to become global driver of civilian drones
Industry concentration. The most notable one is Silicon Valley where the brightest talents, the most aggressive funds, the best suppliers and the leading companies gather to create most advanced information technologies and products. Similar concentration is seen in the automotive industry in Japan, Germany and now China.
It also creates competitive spirit. It is after all the driving force to advance and grow in any business.
Now, for one of the fastest growing sector in engineering and manufacturing is drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, UAV. Surprisingly, Shenzhen, often referred as the manufacturing part of Hong Kong, has become the distribution hub of this prospective industry. One reason is that there is huge potential in China’s agriculture market which is huge yet inefficient or underdeveloped. Those drone developers, manufactures and service providers are competing to be on the bandwagon not only to march in China but also across the world.
Enjoy reading and learning about this new industry concentration in China.


Topic Reading-Vol.1548-7/7/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The Ultimate 21st century word
A grammar question. Why “are” is used with a singular pronoun “you”? Isn’t that supposed to be “is”? Then what about “they”? How would you feel if “is” is used with a pronoun “they”?
There are growing number of people who want to be called by their preferred gender pronouns openly these days as LGBT becomes more accepted across the societies and countries in the world.
In fact, as more people prefer being called beyond traditional “he” or “she,” societies are trying to accommodate such preference by creating or authorizing new pronouns.
One idea to accommodate such needs is to use “they” as a singular pronoun to replace “he” or “she.” A linguist thinks it’s easier to accept extending the use of already existing pronoun than creating a new one.
Enjoy reading and thinking if “they” become popular or authentic as a singular pronoun soon.


Topic Reading-Vol.1547-7/6/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Going green: Morocco bans use of plastic bags  
Who are the largest consumers of plastic bags? This question is easily answered by most of you, Americans (maybe Chinese if there is reliable data available). But who are the next?
Surprisingly, this tiny North-African country with a population of about one-tenth of the U.S. uses more plastic bags than any other country. They seem to be obsessed by this environmentally harmful convenience using as many as 900 bags per person a year.
The country has been trying to take leadership role to become greener and recently made a law that prohibits production, import and distribution of plastic bags. Making such a progressive and aggressive law is remarkable but it is just a start. How the law is practiced is in fact much more important. One question is if they have enough substitutes or practical solutions for 900 bags per person a year.
Enjoy reading and thinking what Moroccans use that many plastic bags for.


Topic Reading-Vol.1546-7/5/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Hajj 2016: Saudi Arabia introduces bracelets for safety
An e-bracelet for all pilgrims. That sounds like unlikely combination for once-in-a-lifetime worshipping obligation. But after the disastrous stampede last year that killed hundreds of worshippers, the hosing country of the Hajj, Saudi Arabia has decided to bring in this up-to-date device and system to monitor and organize millions of pilgrims to Islam's holiest cities, Mecca and Medina.
What will the e-bracelet do? It’ll provide service information to the holders in multiple languages, as well as help authorities identify people where they are at a given time, so that they can organize the traffic.
Enjoy reading and learning about this high tech solution to the traditional event.


Topic Reading-Vol.1545-7/4/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Woman wins appeal to use dead daughter's eggs
Daughter’s last wish. If there were such a thing that could possibly be realized, nothing would prevent her parents to fulfill it, even though it would cost considerable physical and financial burdens.
The 60-year mother of a dead daughter who died of cancer is ready to give birth of her daughter’s child, or her own grandchild using the dead daughter’s egg with donor sperm. The health authority in the UK declined her request to use the frozen eggs due to lack of written consent by the daughter.
Is it ok then if there was a message log on WhatsApp?
Enjoy reading and thinking if the mother’s appeal should be rejected or respected simply by a piece of paper.


Topic Reading-Vol.1544-7/3/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Make UK the 51st state
OK. Exit was decided. Now where should the UK go? Should it break up to a few kingdoms, stay as a solitary country or be united with some other party?
Here is an interesting suggestion as to what Brits should do by an American journalist. He argues that the U.S. offers alternative trade, travel and partnership benefits that the EU provided, without heavy financial burden while assuring autonomy to rule the new state.
It sounds too radical but also logical in some extent, though there will be some confusion when they order chips in the restaurant or push a button in the elevator when one visits the other state.
Enjoy reading and thinking what would you say if you were a Brit.
 Note: in case you aren’t familiar with the Kardashians, check this out.


Topic Reading-Vol.1543-7/2/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Chinese anger at Lady Gaga-Dalai Lama meeting
How secular an artist should be? Isn’t singing not only artistic but also spiritual? Won’t you expect music not only entertaining but also moving?
Lady GaGa’s meeting with the Dalai Lama went viral in China’s cyber space. Some accused her of not being sensitive to China’s position on Tibet. Others tried to play down such accusations and show respect on her personal conduct.
There were quite a few last-minute cancellations of top musicians’ concerts in China last year because of their previous engagement with, support or comments on un-favored persons or political issues to China.
After all, China is still, and most likely will be for a while, a censored and controlled state by one party.
Enjoy reading and thinking why Lady Gaga took such a considerable risk before her big events in the second largest single market for entertainment.


Topic Reading-Vol.1542-7/1/2016

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Why female apes are irritable?
The bonobo [bəˈnoʊboʊ] used to be called the pygmy chimpanzee. It is in fact the closest ancestors to humans along with the chimpanzee. Bonobos live south of the Congo River while chimpanzees live north of the river because neither of the apes are good swimmer. The bonobo has longer legs than the chimpanzee and has long hair on head. The species live about 40 years in captivity and is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Only little has been known about this rare species because of its small population and remote habitat.
Now a new research was conducted and revealed the life and habit of this little-known ape. Some distinctive differences were observed among the bonobos in their behaviors from the Chimp, which could make primatologists even more encouraged to study this endangered species.
Enjoy reading and learning about this cousin species of humans.