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Topic Reading-Vol.1968-8/31/2017

 Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Is 'killer robot' warfare closer than we think?
Machines have overwhelmed humans in battle the field since the end of the 19th century when 700 British troops swept away over 5,000 worriers in the Shangani River, Zimbabwe. Only four casualties were reported by the British side while 1,500 or more warriors were killed mainly by the Maxim Guns, the first powerful and practical machine gun in history.
Also, when the Persian Gulf War ended in 1991, thanks to the guided missiles and bombs, the number of both human casualties and destroyed tanks of the coalition forces was less than one-hundreds of Iraqis respectively.
So what if fully autonomous Ai-controlled killer machine robots or drones were deployed like the scenes you might have seen in Terminator series? Would ordinary human soldiers or human-operated tanks be any match to those autonomous killer machines? It sounds like ideal weaponry to fight against ruthless extremists but what if …
Enjoy reading and thinking if or when the world would see Ai-powered RoboSoldiers or RoboCops soon.


Topic Reading-Vol.1967-8/30/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
World's fastest-growing tourist destinations for 2017
Nearly 370 million people traveled internationally in the first four months of 2017. The figure shows an increase of 6%, or 21 million more travelers, from the same period last year, according to the data compiled by The United Nations World Tourism Organization, or the UNWTO.
What is surprising is both Palestinian territories and Egypt were visited by 50% plus more international tourists than the previous year. Do you feel these places, despite their renowned ancient monuments, can be traveled more safely and comfortably than before?
Over all, economically undeveloped countries are the places that attract more tourists. Is that because they are friendlier to tourists’ budget than developed countries, or there are more alluring things to see or experience to international travelers?
Enjoy seeing the list of top 10 popular countries and think if you want to plan to visit any them before it gets too expensive or crowded.


Topic Reading-Vol.1966-8/29/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
German supermarket clears foreign goods from shelves to make point about racism
It seems like just a reminder to the public about how diverse today’s world is. Imagine how much of the merchandises sold at a supermarket come from other countries. Also, look around your house. How much of the clothes, foods, toiletries, electronic devices and furniture are made in your own country? You’ll be surprised to find how internationalized your life is.
One of the supermarket chains in Germany removed all the merchandises that came from other countries and show the nearly-empty shelves to their customers and the public. The purpose? To show how diverse the world is at a time when anti-immigrants movements are arising. If diversity of product origins provides us with a variety of daily necessities, what about diversity of community and society?
Enjoy reading and seeing the “what if” photos, and think if you want to watch a TV channel that shows only about your own community but nothing else.


Topic Reading-Vol.1965-8/28/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Indian Supreme Court in landmark ruling on privacy
Which should be more concerned, privacy or security?
The Aadhaar database of India is the largest biometric ID card program in the world with over a billion individual records. The database stores very sensitive personal data, such as finger print and iris scan. And the ID card is necessary to file tax returns, open bank accounts, secure loans, buy and sell the property, and also to make purchases of 50,000 rupees, or about $780, and above. This means illegal or suspicious money transactions could be traced by the authority easily. Not a bad idea where underground economy and corruptions are major problems to modernize the country’s economy and practices.
Though the government claims that the system is well secured, the petitioners are worried that the data could be leaked some way or another and virtual personal profiles could be created by the authority.
Enjoy reading and thinking whether the usage of the data base outvalues the risk of data security and safety.


Topic Reading-Vol.1964-8/27/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
How Western civilization could collapse?
Will it collapse again, like Rome did? Some scholars predict so unless the underlying problems are solved before they become out of control. They think there are mounting problems that could, or probably will, disintegrate Western civilization; the cost of complexities, retraction of people and resources to their homeland, and a widening gap between the rich and poor. And global warming seems to be causing and precipitating the downward movement.
Enjoy reading the article, and also watch this video that presents the core problems briefly.


Topic Reading-Vol.1963-8/26/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Cambridge University Press reverses China censorship move
Cambridge University Press, or CUP, and its archrival Oxford University Press (OUP) are two of the most renowned university press houses in the world. They started publishing academic materials even before the invention of Johannes Gutenberg’s movable-type printing press.
When the publisher was threatened to be banned to publish their publications in China, they agreed to censor and block access to some of the articles, including The China Quarterly, that the Chinese authorities don’t want their people to look at such as the Tiananmen Square massacre.
So, if The China Quarterly is a leading scholarly journal that covers ALL aspects of contemporary China including Taiwan and publishes high-quality, authoritative research, keeping readers up to date with events in China providing readers with historical perspectives, in-depth analyses, and a deeper understanding of China and Chinese culture, how is it possible to disregard one of the most historic civil movements of the country’s modern country?
Such decision to undermine academic freedom and integrity caused a severe backlash from the academic community that the publisher was left no choice but to reverse its decision.
Enjoy reading and think which seems to be more significant for CUP, the steak they could have lost in business or price they paid to restore their academic integrity. 


Topic Reading-Vol.1962-8/25/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Could new China railway put Laos on the tourist map?
Laos is an inland country in the Indochinese peninsula, surrounded by Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and China. Approximately three-fifths of nation’s population is Lao people and the rest are diverse indigenous peoples. The capital city is Vientiane, which is neither as popular nor busy as other fast-growing cities like Hanoi or Yangon in the region. One of the famous travel destinations in Laos is Luang Prabang, the ancient capital of the province where traditional Lao wooden houses and hints of European architecture that were built during the French colony era are seen.
Now, what does it take to make this under-developed country to catch up its neighbors? Building railroads may sound like a little old-fashioned approach but it is a surer way to boost passenger and cargo traffic. The problem is that it takes time, fund and know-how to construct railroads including bridges and tunnels where needed, as well as to set operating systems and run trains. Who has them all? China does. They are so fast and experienced to complete such a large-scale project in an unbelievably short period of time.
Also, if the project works as planned, it’ll be the first of that kind to welcome Chinese tourists first before others, unlike other popular tourist spots.
Enjoy reading and thinking if you’d like to visit this mysterious country before it’s gotten crowded.


Topic Reading-Vol.1961-8/24/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Nation on track for 5 maglev lines by 2020
The magnetic levitation, or Maglev, is a transport technology that uses magnetic levitation to move vehicle. It looks more like a monorail system than conventional railroads but it runs without making contact with the ground because it uses magnetic levitation to move vehicles. Also, thanks to the friction-free mechanism, Maglev vehicles accelerate and decelerate faster than conventional trains and can ascend higher grades.
Currently, the Shanghai Maglev Train is the fastest and longest commercial train in operation. It connects Shanghai Pudong International Airport and central Pudong, Shanghai at a top speed of 430km/h. It is the fastest and longest maglev commercially operated as of today.
Now, China is expanding the use of the technology in more practical and economical way. Several mid-to-low speed Maglev lines, still faster than conventional trains but not as fast high-speed-railways or as Maglev’s potential speed of 500km/h, are planned in major cities. While developing greener and quieter mass transportation systems in their own country, they are eyeing exporting the system and operation know-how to other countries.
Enjoy reading and imagine what the mass-transportation will be like in China when they host the Olympic Games next time.


Topic Reading-Vol.1960-8/23/2017

 Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The solar eclipse: Live updates
The eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth and blocks the sunlight.
When the Moon covers the entire disk of the Sun, called a full solar eclipse or total eclipse, it becomes almost as dark as night, which isn’t so often seen in populated regions
On August 21, a total solar eclipse was seen across swaths of the continental U.S., passing from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast. Though there have been numbers of eclipses over the U.S., it was nearly a century ago when continental Americans observed such a great show of the solar system. And everyone on the continent seemed to have enjoyed the rare phenomenon, including the residents of the White House and park-goers across the country.
Good news. Those who missed the show don’t have to wait for another century or decades. There is another one coming up soon in 2024, which can be seen in Mexico, the central US (Texas to Maine) and eastern Canada. More good news. It’ll be a longer one, four and a half minutes!
Enjoy reading the article and seeing the photos of the excited people under the eclipse and think if you’d like to see the next one in America in a few years’ time.


Topic Reading-Vol.1959-8/22/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
20 top Middle Eastern foods -- which is the best?
The Middle East is a geographical and cultural region located primarily in western Asia, part of northern Africa and southeastern Europe. Map
It generally has a hot, dry climate, but with irrigation by the major rivers such as the Nile, Tigris, and Euphrates, the region is known as the Fertile Crescent.
Just like other ethnic foods, a little is known about Middle Eastern foods, save shish kebab, skewered and grilled cubes of meat or donor kebab, grilled meat on a vertical rotisserie. But just like other local dishes of other places, the most palatable and enjoyable foods are wholesome and economical. That’s because they are usually made with locally produced ingredients. Unlike fast foods in chain restaurants, traditional foods have been evolved and served over a long period of time. Yes, local food is not only wholesome but also ecologically and economically friendly.
Enjoy reading the descriptions and seeing the photos of these most popular Middle Eastern foods, and think which one(s) you’d like to try next.


Topic Reading-Vol.1958-8/21/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The island that changed English
Language is the main tool for communication. It reflects the culture and history of the community that is used in. It also changes accordingly to the environment and situations. For example, while new words and phrases are added to daily dialogues, such as smartphone and apps, unused or outdated ones are forgotten over time like a cassette tape and fax machine. 
So, local languages that are almost exclusively spoken in isolated communities like remote mountain villages or small islands, seem to evolve distinctly different from the original source of the language. 
That was what this reporter experienced when she visited one of the small islands in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, where 280,000 people live in 65 small islands. 
Enjoy reading and learning what could influence a language over time.


Topic Reading-Vol.1957-8/20/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Introducing AURA, the room service robot
How would you like to check in a hotel? There are quite a few options these days to accommodate different needs and styles. For example, check-in kiosks are quite popular in business hotels in Japan, just like the ones in the major airports around the world. Also, robots in distinct appearances, such as a dinosaur and reception lady, welcome and register guests in an innovative hotel chain. Either machine you are welcomed by, you will have less stress in language barrier because those machines are multi-lingual.
But what about housekeeping or room service? Is it acceptable for you to be delivered what you asked for, such as an extra towel, bottled water, or hair dryer? Now in a hotel in Singapore, you may be serviced by a robot called AURA that delivers small items to the guest rooms.
Well, it has been quite usual to see robots or machines carry parts to the assembly lines in factories for the last few decades. Also, there are high-tech, high-speed machines stocking and picking items in major fulfillment centers.
Enjoy reading and thinking which you would prefer to be serviced in a place where your native language or even English is barely spoken.


Topic Reading-Vol.1956-8/19/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Woodcarving of ancient masterpiece debuts in North China
Along the River During the Qingming Festival is a painting by Zhang Zeduan in early 12th century, during the Song Dynasty. The paint depicts the daily life of people, the festive spirit, and the landscape of then capital, Bianjing. It is considered one of the greatest painted artworks in China’s long history.
Now, China’s quest for supremacy doesn’t seem to be limited in military or economy. They’ve created a carved wood version of this prominent painting that reaches 18 meters tall and weighs 12 tons. It took 35 artists and craftsmen for five years to complete this magnificent work.
Enjoy seeing the photos of this gigantic yet detailed wood carved version of the famous artwork.


Topic Reading-Vol.1955-8/18/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The revolution Putin wants to ignore
The first part of the revolution took place in February, March in the Gregorian calendar, 1917 and replaced The Russian Empire by a provisional government in Petrograd, now Saint Petersburg, the capital of the empire.
Then in October, November in the Gregorian calendar, of the same year, the provisional government was overthrown by Bolshevik Party under Vladimir Lenin whose ideas known as Marxism–Leninism.
After a few years of civil war against counter-revolutionaries and other socialists, Bolsheviks reconstituted themselves as the Communist Party and created the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1922.
The Soviet became one of the two super powers after the world two rivaling the US but resolved in 1991, and the Russian Federation assumed most of the roles.
The still-mighty federation has been ruled by Vladimir Putin since 2000. However, the powerful leader doesn’t seem to be motivated to commemorate or celebrate the 100th anniversary of the revolution. Why?
Enjoy reading and learning what roles the TV and the Internet could play respectively these days.


Topic Reading-Vol.1954-8/17/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Tryst with the future: Where India will be in another 70 years
Within a few years after the last world war ended, numbers of states became independent especially in the Asian and African Continents, and India was the largest one of all in terms of the size of population, democracy, and religion. Seven decades after the independence, the nation’s population is added by one billion and the numbers of voters increased by around 650 million. Some may think the subcontinent is large enough as a home for 1.3 billion people, but it is, in fact, the tenth most densely populated country, more densely populated than Japan.
There have been significant improvements in areas such as literacy, life expectancy, and economy. In the meantime, social, religious, cultural and even gender gap have been widening. For example, while having the largest Hindu believers, India is adding quite a few Muslim population as well and is expected to have the largest Muslim population in the world by the middle of the century.
Enjoy reading and learning what India is like now and what sort of challenges lie ahead. 


Topic Reading-Vol.1953-8/16/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Russia Decoded
Russia, or the Russian Federation, is the largest country in the world by land area with nearly 150 million people, the ninth most populous. It has more nuclear weapons than any other countries and the largest military budget only after the US and China. Despite the size and military might, it’s economy lags behind Canada and South Korea due to the falling oil price. However, Russia maintains its strong presence and influence not only in Eurasian region and but to the world. Why?
Enjoy watching these six brief videos that cover what modern Russia is about in; Kremlin, Military, KGB-FSB, Social Inequality, Oligarchy and Media Control.


Topic Reading-Vol.1952-8/15/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Mash-up combines Pakistan and India's anthems to make a viral hit
Pakistan celebrated its 70th birthday on the 14th of August, and India did the same on the day after. Just like many other neighboring countries, they have been disputing over a territory that both claim as their own, called Kashmir. It is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. It was once part of the Mughal Empire until the middle of the 18th century, but is now a disputed territory and administered by three countries; India, Pakistan, and China.
While no peaceful resolution is expected for the dispute between the two countries within a foreseeable future, some artists from both sides of the border tried to promote peace with a video that unites their national anthems on their independence days. The video starts with a message, "When we open our borders to art, peace comes along," and went viral in cyberspace beyond the political border.
Enjoy reading the article and listen to the song that tries to reduce the divide.


Topic Reading-Vol.1951-8/14/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Amazon and Alibaba battle it out in Asia
20 years ago, who could understand what this headline meant? It still sounds pretty odd even today for those who are not familiar with or users of these two e-commerce giants.
Amazon is a two-decade old veteran in online sales, started in the US and has expanded to many other counties. The company is also the leading provider of cloud infrastructure services.
Founded by an English teacher in 1999, Alibaba is a leading e-commerce and online payment service provider in China. Their e-payment service, Alipay is becoming one of the two dominant payment platforms along with WeChat Pay.
Though it is a real battle between American and Chinese, fortunately it is just in the market place in South East Asia, not in the disputed waters.
Enjoy reading and thinking who will be the dominant, or most liked player in the market 10 years from now.


Topic Reading-Vol.1950-8/13/2017

 Dear MEL Topic Readers,
China's 'four great new inventions' in modern times
Inventions, innovations or just sheer numbers?
First is a hassle free bike rental. Anytime, anytime and anyone. All you need is your smartphone to rent a bike. Sounds very convenient, too convenient that many worry about abandoned bikes on busy streets and entrances. Good for health, though.
Second is the network of high speed railroads across the country. Having been extended to over 20,000km only in a decade, It surely has achieved the fastest expansion and operating speed in the world. Amazing speed and scale.
Next is Alipay and also Tenpay, online and mobile payment services. These service are so convenient for day-to-day shopping and payment that the country is becoming rapidly cashless. Another usage of the smartphone.
Lastly, e-commerce. China is one of the markets where more and more people now prefer buying things and services online. Another amazing speed and scale but not on the train but on smartphones.
Enjoy reading and thinking what inventions mean.


Topic Reading-Vol.1949-8/12/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Can Japan survive without immigrants?
It seems uncomfortable for Japanese to have neighbors or fellow workers from foreign countries.
While the country is rapidly aging and desperately needs younger workers to fill the labor gap, sustain the social welfare system and maintain a demographic balance, Japan is still reluctant to accept foreign workers, immigrants or refugees.
Japan is one of the few sovereign countries that don't have any land borders. So easy to stay isolated, block out foreign immigrants from entering and maintain its distinctive identity. In fact, the island country was closed to foreigners between the 17th to 19th centuries, like its neighboring countries. There is a clear distinction in the country when it comes to classifying people, Japanese or a foreigner.
Will Japan never change its immigration policy or bet on alternative labor resources?
Enjoy reading and thinking if automation, AI and robots could take place for all human labors.


Topic Reading-Vol.1948-8/11/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Cashless trend takes hold in China
Only in a few years, originally just a mobile phone turned into a ubiquitous multifunctional gadget that offers texting, messaging, tweeting, photos and videos, games, music, and browsing. Nowadays, the handy device is taking a place for cash, credit cards, and prepaid cards.
It’s been about a decade since the smartphone appeared on the market. China alone, there are over 600 million smartphone users and the number is rapidly increasing. Accordingly, numbers of new convenience have been invented and created for this personal, mobile device.
Now, Alipay by Alibaba and WeChat by Tencent are the two dominant platforms of mobile payment in China. A young lady says she can hardly recall when she paid for something in cash last time. This doesn’t sound so strange in today’s smartphonized society. But this emerging and expanding trend hasn’t just stopped there. A 67-year old woman says, "Gone are the days when I had to search all my pockets for a coin," when she shops in a nearby wet market to buy daily groceries near her home. In China these days, instead of being asked cash or card for payment, you are more likely to be asked, “WeChat or Alipay?”
It seems that countries waiting for economic development will also follow the suit because there are hardly any other convenient payment options available there.
Enjoy reading and thinking what other new platforms could emerge from China.


Topic Reading-Vol.1947-8/10/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The health benefits of apples
‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ This old saying seems to be true. Loaded with a wide variety of nutritional benefits, maybe you should pick some apples in your next grocery shopping. They are good with cereals, in a salad, for pies of course, and as a snack. There are various kinds of apples with different colors and textures, and most of them are economically friendly. Also, thanks to the storing technologies, apples are on the shelves all year round.
Unless you dislike them, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to omit apples from your menu.
Enjoy reading and thinking how you would eat or use an apple next time.


Topic Reading-Vol.1946-8/9/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Los Angeles reaches deal with Olympic leaders for 2028 Games
As reported in Vol.1921 on July 15th, Paris and Los Angeles set to host 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games because no other city wanted to. The two finalists were given a chance to decide which city would take which of the two events, 2024 or 2028, and LA came to choose the latter only within two weeks. It seems like quite a swift decision to make considering the cost and investment, public interest and support, and business and marketing to bring the world sports event together.
But why 2028, not 2024? Who will still be sitting in the office or taking the role in the city to coordinate and organize such a huge and complex project of this scale for that long?
One thing for sure is that the incumbent president of the host country will not be sitting in the oval office in 2028. Indeed, California is Democrats state.
Enjoy reading and thinking why LA and the US Olympic Committee didn’t want 2024.


Topic Reading-Vol.1945-8/8/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Toronto: the city of 140 languages
What does this multi-cultural cosmopolitan city offer? It seems to be a lot more than one might think.
The city’s metropolitan population is approximately six million and is adding 100,000 new residents a year. It is the most populous city and metropolitan area, a center of business, finance, arts, and culture in Canada, and is also recognized as one of the most multicultural cities in the world.
Toronto offers comfortable yet still affordable urban living compared with other global cities. There are a lot of trees and parks, beautiful lakes and shores and a wide variety of recreational areas. Though winter is not as warm as most people want, Toronto seems to offer much more to attract more people and entice the residents.
Enjoy reading and learning what this multicultural city is like.


Topic Reading-Vol.1944-8/7/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Judges order FAA to review airplane seat sizes
What’s FAA? The Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, is a US authority that regulates civil aviation, including airports, air traffic, and aircraft personnel. In short, the FAA is the governing body for air travel in America.
As for the seat, the agency allows airlines to determine how to size and space their seats as long as all the passengers and crew can evacuate within 90 seconds in case of an emergency.
Now, they are challenged by a passenger advocacy group and ordered by federal judges to review seat sizes and legroom on commercial airlines. This claim was made because airlines have been shrinking leg room and seat size in economy cabin while Americans are getting larger in size.
It’s a controversial issue because the size of the body varies widely by the passenger. Also, the speed of physical response differs by the individual’s age, size, and ability. Does just one average passenger size work for all? How long and how wide is enough for passengers to sit for hours physically safely and also to evacuate swiftly in an emergency?
Enjoy reading and thinking if it’s practical for airlines to charge by size and weight of the passenger. 


Topic Reading-Vol.1943-8/6/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
How Vancouver became China's aviation hub to the West
Vancouver, Canada seems like a preferred flight destination in North America from China and Hong Kong. If you see a Mercator map, Los Angeles or San Francisco looks closer to China but flight distance to Vancouver is shorter. In fact, over 100 flights are flown between China and Vancouver every week to provide 26,000 seats. Vancouver has become one of the most popular destinations for Chinese travelers.
Also, connecting at YVR, the airport code of Vancouver, is convenient when traveling to the U.S. because passengers can bypass Canadian immigration and proceed directly to US Preclearance. And Vancouver is not limited just for traveling but has been getting popular for studying, investing and living. Of course, there is a sizable Chinatown that provides at home food and atmosphere.
Enjoy reading and learning about one of the hottest cities in North America.


Topic Reading-Vol.1942-8/5/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Why North Korea still hates the United States: The legacy of the Korean War
Korea had been ruled by Imperial Japan from 1910 until World War II ended in August 1945. Then it was split into two regions by the 38th parallel, North and South, the former under heavy influence and support by the Soviet Union and the latter by the U.S.
On June 25, 1950, the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea poured across the boundary and attacked the pro-Western Republic of Korea, the Korean War began.
The UN forces led by the US fought fiercely and pushed back the North to the Chinese border, and then communist Chinese troops launched massive counterattacks that made the war the most furious and devastating one ever, killing as many as five million soldiers and civilians during the three-year war.
Finally, the war came to an end in July 1953, but the Korean peninsula is still divided today. In fact, North Koreans still hate and are hostile towards the US and Japan, having test fires over a dozen of missiles this year alone.
Read the article and see the videos to learn why and how much North Korea hates the US.


Topic Reading-Vol.1941-8/4/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Why the radio is one of history's most important inventions
Do you still listen to the radio often? Unless you sit in a car, you might not have turned on the radio for a while, either for AM, Amplitude Modulation, or FM, Frequency Modulation, station.
Ever since the first entertainment program was transmitted to the general public on December 24, 1906, radio had been the popular and dominant broadcasting tool until TV and the Internet took the place. At first, it was housed in a wooden box and placed in the most prominent position in the houses. Later, as technology advances, radios became so smaller and handier, and even became one of the features of the alarm clock, stereo system or radio cassette player. Now, radio is just a chip and no longer seen as a stand-alone unit.
But before forgetting this one of the most prevailing technologies of the 20th-century, enjoy reading and learning how technologies innovated and improved this great invention.


Topic Reading-Vol.1940-8/3/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Couple one visit away from visiting every Cracker Barrel in America
What is Cracker Barrel? Founded in 1969, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is an American chain of restaurant and gift stores with a Southern country theme. There are 645 restaurants in 44 states.               Images of Cracker Barrel
Without intending initially, a couple in Indiana started visiting many of the chain’s restaurants from the 1960s in their Recreational Vehicle. As they traveled across the country, they began marking the location of their favorite restaurant and decided to visit them all. Now, there is only one Cracker Barrel restaurant in Oregon that is waiting for their arrival this fall.
When another new restaurant opens, they’ll be checking the map and make a plan to get there.
Enjoy reading the text and seeing the photos of the couple, and think how many more Cracker Barrel restaurants will be visited by them.


Topic Reading-Vol.1939-8/2/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
New diesel and petrol vehicles to be banned from 2040 in UK
Is 2040 a far-away future? Depends.
If no more petrol fueled cars are allowed either to be driven or sold on the road, what do you think auto manufacturers, gas stations and repair shops will do? When will you see the very last new petrol-fueled sports car displayed in a show room? When will you start struggling to find a gas station to fill the tank? More importantly, do you want to be one of few people to drive an air-polluting vehicle while your friends, co-workers, and neighbors have already switched to environmentally friendly electronic cars? The sound of the engine might make people around your car frown with disgust in the very near future.
So if 2040 is going to be last year to see such a car or hear an engine noise with century-old technology, people will most likely start switching to an environmentally-qualified, electronically motored vehicles as soon as they become available and affordable.
Do you still think 2025, just eight years from now, a distant future or a year to replace your car?
Enjoy reading and thinking when you will be driving, or being driven by, an automobile of the new century.


Topic Reading-Vol.1938-8/1/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Sperm count drop 'may lead to human extinction'
Fear of extinction? According to a study conducted to men in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, the number of their sperms halved in the last forty years. That sounds like a significant enough drop to worry about the reproductive capability of the human race.
But why? Some researchers say chemicals in pesticides, plastics, smoking, stress, obesity, and diet to blame, like for any other problem. Others say watching TV also contributed to the decrease. Can anyone link these issues with sperm count?
Another question. If the number of human sperms has dropped this much, what about animals, birds, and fish? They all live in the same environment, or even more exposed to the environment and chemicals than humans.
Also, for the last forty years, have the couples in those areas been encouraged to have more children?
Enjoy reading and thinking what could have influenced to sperm count.