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Topic Reading-Vol.2271-6/30/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Will we stop speaking and just text?
How much percentage of your personal written communication, inbound, outbound or internal, uses emoticons or emojis?
Emoticons are pictorial icons created by punctuation marks, letters, and numbers to display an emotion or sentiment, such as ‘( and (>_<). So, you can create numbers of emoticons on a  keyboard. On the other hand, Emoji are pictographs of faces, objects, and symbols. Instead of creating an icon, you need to choose from the suggested list. There are over 2,800 Unicode emoji that can be used in most smartphones, tablets, and PCs. The key benefits of emoticons and emoji are instant and universal. In most cases, they reach your mind directly without interpretation or translation beyond the language barrier. A prominent tennis champion, Roger Federer sometimes tweets mainly by emoji. Also as shown in Vol.2257, emoji can be more useful than languages for emergency situations like an earthquake or tsunami. But could such icons replace written or spoken language communication? Or, should they be used mainly to compensate or reinforce texts? Certainly, not of AI speakers.
Enjoy reading and think as to how communication and interactions will change in the next decade.


Topic Reading-Vol.2270-6/29/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
What if we knew when and how we are going to die?
Though it is inevitable, people naturally avoid thinking about their death. That may be partly because we don’t know when and how to die. But if a person, who suffers from a mortal disease or injury for example, came to know when he or she is going to die, what their reactions might be? Would they become more focused on what they have been enjoying, try their best to beat the illness, or do anything they’ve wanted to do?
Knowing when the life is ceased might bring positive and negative effects. Most people probably become more conservative or focused on practices or ideas they have believed, liked and been used to. Many are expected to become less open to new ideas or cooperative to the society and environment. Also, there are people who try their best to accomplish the things they have been doing or enjoy the relationship with families and friends.
In the meantime, knowing when to die would allow people to plan some events that have previously been impossible to predict, such as the final day and funeral services. Also, people could rethink whether to hire or marry someone who is going to cease to breathe soon.
Enjoy reading and think if you would like to know when and how to die if possible.


Topic Reading-Vol.2269-6/28/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Algeria turns off internet for high school exams
The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria is a country of youth. Approximately 28% of the total population of 40 million are under age of 15. The North African country conducts a nationwide high-school diploma exam in June every year. As many as 700,000 students are taking the test in 2,000 exam halls this year. It is a serious business for high school students and they try all kinds of efforts to get good or just enough scores to pass the tests.
Nowadays, digital technologies have made leaking and cheating of exams quite easy and widespread. Because of the significance and influence of the certificate exams, there were considerable cases of leaks of the problems before and during the exam last year via social media. Therefore, the education ministry is taking a bold move this year by imposing a nationwide Internet blackout for an hour during the six-day exam period.
It surely is annoying for the rest of the population. In the meantime, it could be a good opportunity to spend an hour without online interactions.
Enjoy reading and think what you would do during the blackout hour.


Topic Reading-Vol.2268-6/27/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Canada legalises recreational cannabis use
Canada has become the second country that legalizes the recreational use of cannabis, only after Uruguay. It’s now officially and legally ok to grow, sell or buy, and enjoy smoking marijuana as long as you are 18 or 19 years or older depending on the province.
Smoking marijuana has been quite popular among Canadians. It is estimated that they spend almost as much money on cannabis they do on wine. So, the new law might have simply set guidelines for this already-popular practice.
Some people travel to other countries to enjoy certain practice or receive special service that is not permitted in their home country, such as drinking alcohol, shooting a gun, or having an abortion. Will there be young visitors to Canada to smoke marijuana? What will the educational institutions do that send their students regularly to Canada to study English?
An immigration officer asks a young visitor, “What is the purpose of the visit?” The visitor says without hesitation, “To smoke marijuana.” The officer says, “Welcome to Canada. Enjoy s---ing.”
Read the article and think if you would still send your child to Canada for any purpose.


Topic Reading-Vol.2267-6/26/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
US withdraws from UN Human Rights Council
Another US withdrawal from international efforts. Last year, the Trump administration announced to withdraw from the global compact for migration, an inter-governmental agreement to cover all dimensions of international migration under the UN auspices. Also, the administration of the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas emitter retreated from the Paris climate agreement, the international effort to address dangerous global warming.
Now, one of the founding members of the United Nations, and also one of the permanent members of the Security Council has announced that it withdraws from the UN Human Rights Council, or UNHRC, a UN body to promote and protect human rights around the world.
Though the administration had threatened the UN body for its retreat for about a year, this sudden announcement was made just a day after President Trump’s immigration policy that separates families at the US-Mexican border was accused by the High Commissioner.
What’s the next war front, trade or non-proliferation of nuclear weapons?
Enjoy reading and think if the world is reading the prologue to a new world order.


Topic Reading-Vol.2266-6/25/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Eid al-Fitr: A healthy way to break the fast
Ramadan is the Islamic holy month of fasting. During the period, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and engaging in sexual activity from dawn to sunset to surrender to the creator. It also makes them aware of the pains of hunger and thirst, so that they become more appreciative of what they have.
After the month-long fast, Muslims celebrate the end of the holly event called Eid al-Fitr, which was held on 15th and 16th of June this year. They give a specific prey and give money to the poor and the needy before the feast. You can imagine what and how much more food than usual they eat during these break-fast days. But after a month of restrictive eating and drinking period, their stomach and digestive systems aren’t in normal shape. Careful and moderate eating is essential to not to surprise the body. Also, it may be good time to rethink and reorganize what to eat and how much every day.
Enjoy reading about this break-fast festivity and think what restrictive diet could do to your spirit and diet.


Topic Reading-Vol.2265-6/24/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Greece and Macedonia sign agreement on name change
The Republic of Macedonia is a small, landlocked Balkan country with a population of about two million. The former Yugoslavia state declared independence in 1991 like Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Despite the official name, the country has been described as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or FYROM, because of a dispute with Greece, which has a region with the same name.
In order for Macedonia to be a member of the EU for the economy and the NATO for security, the current administration decided to rename the country the Republic of North Macedonia and signed an agreement with Greece. Though an agreement is signed, it still needs to be ratified by the parliament of both countries, and in a national referendum in Macedonia.
Is this a compromise, concession or surrender for the people in Macedonia? Are all Greeks happy with the deal? It seems to depend on who you ask the question.
Enjoy reading and think what a name change means to the citizens.


Topic Reading-Vol.2264-6/23/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Ikea bans all single-use plastic from its stores and restaurants
Do you have any idea how much plastic is produced annually? Approximately, 300 million tons of plastic is produced every year, and the most popular plastic product is single-use plastics, such as PET bottles, straws, cutlery, and bags. You may think most of them are recycled, but actually, only 14% of plastic is collected and less than 10% of such plastic products are recycled. Where does the rest of the plastic go? Simple. It goes around you or into the ocean. It is predicted that there will be more plastic in weight than fish in the ocean by the middle of the century. Also, single-use plastic makes up over 70% of all litter on beaches and in waters in EU. What can we do?
One of the multinational retailers, IKEA, has announced to stop using and selling single-use plastic items at its over 400 stores and in nearly 50 countries. The retailer sells modern, eco-friendly, ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances, and home accessories.
It might be just one step toward reducing plastic items now but could trigger other single-use plastic users, such as MacDonald’s and Starbucks, to rethink their business practices.
Enjoy reading and learn what a Swedish retailer is trying to do.


Topic Reading-Vol.2263-6/22/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Scientists lay out how to save a melting Antarctica -- and the grim future if we don't
Antarctica. Though this icy continent is far away from most inhabited places, what is happening there significantly affects the world. If no decisive measures were taken to stop the global warming, about a quarter of the sea ice in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica would disappear in the next 50 years, according to a paper in the journal Nature by nine prominent scientists. And if that happened, sea levels would rise about half a meter from where it was in 2000.
You might have heard similar warning scenarios about the melting sea ice in the Arctic and ice sheet in Greenland. But this is not just another warning for global warming. The Southern Ocean around Antarctica is vital to the condition and ecosystem of the planet. For example, it soaks up heat and carbon to slow the speed of global warming. Also, the ocean supports the life in other seas by providing nutrient-rich deep water to lower latitudes regions in. So, it’s not just penguins on the continent or residents of the coastal regions that will be severely affected by the rapid melt of Antarctic ice but all living creatures all around the world.
Enjoy reading and learn the impact mechanism of melting Antarctica.


Topic Reading-Vol.2262-6/21/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Can we trust AI if we don't know how it works?
Which is more reliable, reasonable or acceptable, a decision made by an educated and qualified human or Artificial Intelligence powered by machine learning and algorithms? As AI is taking more decision-making roles in the areas where human intelligence and judgment used to play a part, such as a loan approval, medical diagnosis, and driving, humans are becoming less aware or informed of how those decisions were made. For example, when a person who is declined a loan application by an AI assessor wants to know the reason, will the machine or a human be able to provide a rational explanation in plain language?
Algorithm is a list of mathematical rules or procedures to follow in order to achieve an objective. It learns as more relevant data is provided. Unlike conventional computer programs that are written by humans, outcomes of AI are hardly retraced or reverse engineered for an explanation. In other words, Blackbox.
As long as the outcome is right or more appropriate for the situation, it won’t bother many. But when it is questioned, it isn’t designed to provide proper or understandable explanations. Will that be problematic?
Enjoy reading and learn what AI decisions are like.


Topic Reading-Vol.2261-6/20/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Trump Kim summit: Imagine a North Korean family
Was that really the pressure by US military or its key-ally China that had pushed North Korea’s dictator to risk traveling to Singapore to shake hands with Trump?
Indeed, Kim Jong-un is an absolute dictator of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He can rule and decide any matters of his country, military, and government as well as the fate of 25 million-or-so people in his realm. No matter how closely related a person is to him, even a brother, uncle, or long-term mentor, he or she is never free from capital punishment, not to mention the traitors and defectors.
Is he fearless? Not really. He’s always afraid of assassination by anyone including his closest aides, generals, and even his own bodyguards. He is also worried if his people might revolt against his regime.
Here is a presumed story of an ordinary family in this highly secretive country.
Enjoy reading and learn what the life of an ordinary family is like in North Korea.


Topic Reading-Vol.2260-6/19/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Coming of age: Why adults in Japan are getting younger
What does becoming an adult mean to the young? In Japan, 20-year-old has been considered the age to be adult since 1876. When a person reaches the age of adulthood, they are responsible for themselves legally and socially and allowed to drink alcohol and smoke. There is even an official ceremony, called The Coming of Age Festival, to welcome new adults every year in January, where all new adults are celebrated by their respective local communities.
In Japan, when a person reaches the age of 18, he or she can get a driver’s license, vote for elections, and get married if their guardians agree. After 2022 when the new laws take effect, they can marry without a parental consent, borrow loans and apply for credit cards, but they still have to wait to become 20 either to smoke or drink.
Why are they changing the laws? What are soon-to-be adults thinking of the change?
Enjoy reading and learn this rare drastic move in Japan’s usually conservative society.


Topic Reading-Vol.2259-6/18/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Men outnumber women by 32.66 million on Chinese mainland
Competitions aren’t limited to enter a prestigious university or to get a job in a government department in China. There is a much more serious, life-determining event that young Chinese men are facing. To find a girlfriend or wife.
As of the end of 2017, men outnumbered women by 32.66 million on the Chinese mainland. Though this imbalanced gender ratio of 104.81 males for every 100 females has improved from previous years because of the comprehensive two-child policy implemented since 2015, there still are a lot more young men than women. However, among the generations that were severely affected by the previous one-child policy, the situation is more intense. Between the age of 15 and 29, there are 112 men for every 100 women. So, how to find and get along with a girlfriend is no less serious than getting a good job.
But where there is a problem, there are always solutions either online or in person. Since young Chinese are used to take extra-curricular courses, some young men are now attending schools that teach them how to date women.
              Check this video=> A dating school for China’s many men
By the way, if women have more choices than men, what their attitudes tend to be?
Enjoy reading and think about what kind of social challenges China will face in the future.


Topic Reading-Vol.2258-6/17/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Are windowless planes the future of travel?
What do you enjoy the most during a long flight? Meals, movies, games or reading? There are flights that last over ten or even 15 hours. Though windows are usually closed during those long flights, it is always a pleasure or relief to see outside through the window time to time even if you’re sitting in a first-class seat. But Dubai-based airline Emirates, one of the most popular long-haul flight operators, has come up with an exclusive first-class suit that features virtual windows. The passengers can still see real-time virtual views of the outside world through window-like monitors. What are the benefits of removing real windows from the cabin? Why do passengers pay a premium for non-real views?
There are also other ideas for future airplanes and aerial vehicles, either manned or unmanned, or powered either by conventional engines or an electric motor.
Which makes you more comfortable or nervous to fly, a windowless airplane or a pilotless drone?
Enjoy reading the article and see the images of futuristic flying vehicle designs.


Topic Reading-Vol.2257-6/16/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Could an emoji save your life?
Most of the mobile phone users must have seen or used emojis. The emoji is a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication worldwide. They include sequences for gender or skin tone, flags, and the components used to create keycap, flag, and other sequences. Originated on Japanese mobile phones in 1999, emojis have become increasingly popular around the world especially on smartphones and now there are over 2,800 emojis in the Unicode Standard as of June 2018. Since the emoji is used without training and beyond language barriers, it could be regarded as one of the most popular international communication tools.
Also, the emoji expresses the meaning, feeling and even situations clearly and instantly like pictographs and other visual images that are used to show for safety instructions to passengers and warnings signs to visitors. Now, some people are campaigning to use this common communication tool as an early warning message tool for climate and environmental events, especially for an earthquake. Since so many people are visiting or staying in places whose languages are different from theirs, universal and easy-to-understand mobile messages are essential and convenient for critical events. So, why not use it more effectively?
Enjoy reading and think if someday the emoji will become the leading universal communication tool over languages.  


Topic Reading-Vol.2256-6/15/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
World's highest glass bridge to open world's highest bungee jump
The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge is a glass-bottomed, transparent suspension bridge over a 300-meter-deep valley in the Zhangjiajie Park, China. This 430-meter-long bridge is so popular among tourists that it is walked by 8,000 visitors a day.
Now, the world’s longest glass bridge has set another world record as the world’s highest bungee jumping site. The higher the jump site is, the longer and the faster falling is enjoyed. Fearless jumpers can not only enjoy the hair-raising freefall but also the magnificent view of the valley. Whether you are a bungee jumper or not, it seems worth walking on the bridge to enjoy seeing the breathtaking view and others falling down to the deep valley.
Enjoy reading and learn about this thrilling bridge.


Topic Reading-Vol.2255-6/14/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
10 things about Harvard graduates: Liberals, virgins and iPhones
Established in 1636, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts is the oldest higher education institute in the U.S. It is regarded as one of the most prestigious universities having produced leaders in various fields, including eight of 45 US presidents, 62 living billionaires, 157 Nobel Laureates, 10 Academy Awards, and 48 Pulitzer Prized. Although the door to this prominent university is open to all ethnicities, with now the majority of the new students being non-white, only about 5% of applicants are accepted. Along with the brand reputation, its tuition is one of the highest among all higher education institutions. The university offers various grants and scholarships to maintain the diversity of the students.
So, you may wonder what those Harvard graduates are like. Were they mentally stable during their college days? Did they drink or smoke? Are they politically liberal or conservative? Where do they find their first jobs?
Enjoy reading and learn what those promising students are like.


Topic Reading-Vol.2254-6/13/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Key 'step forward' in cutting cost of removing CO2 from air
A new idea and technology have gotten closer to reality. Extracting carbon dioxide, or CO2, from air sounds like a great solution to cope with global warming. However, it still is too costly to commercialize or mandate to the emitters. Also, what to do with the extracted CO2 is another issue needs to be resolved.
Now, a Canadian company backed by the Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates has come up with practical and economical solutions to remove CO2 from the air. The system sucks air and extracts CO2, and then use the gas by combining with hydrogen derived from water to produce carbon-neutral fuels. With its advanced technology and engineering work along with the generated renewable energy, the entire process of removing CO2 has become substantially more economical than other methods.
However, the world still seems to need legislative supports, incentives, or obligations to make use of any advanced solutions to combat global warming.
Enjoy reading and think if ever humans prioritize the environment over immediate benefits.


Topic Reading-Vol.2253-6/12/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
San Francisco bans sales of flavored tobacco products
Some may wonder what flavored tobacco products are. They include menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars and vaping, or e-cigarette liquids. Vaping works by heating a liquid to generate vapor that the smoker inhales. Though it doesn’t produce as much smoke or odor as an ordinary cigarette, it is not permitted in most smoke-free environments. Also, despite the uncertainty of its health risks, vaping is not allowed in schools because many e-smokers are also or turn to smokers. In fact, vaping is spreading widely among children because of various kids-enticing flavors, such as Blue Raz Cotton Candy, Peach Green Tea, and Frozen Lime Drop. It is a promising product for tobacco companies.
Now, voters in San Francisco chose overwhelmingly to ban the sales of flavored tobacco products in a referendum. They don’t want their children to see fancy ads in convenience stores and buy vaping liquids like sodas or candy bars. Even a grandson of the founder of Reynolds, a giant tobacco company, promoted the proposition along with numbers of health advocate groups.
Will the Bay community move to ban sugary drinks to refrain their children from becoming overweight?
Enjoy reading and think if child vaping is going to be banned in other communities.


Topic Reading-Vol.2252-6/11/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The invented language that found a second life online
Have you heard Esperanto before? It is a constructed language created by a Polish eye doctor in 1887 to be used as the second language for people all over the world. Esperanto means “a hopeful person” in Esperanto. Though the language is easy to learn, the number of its speakers is small and uncertain. Since the language isn’t particularly popular in any country or region, people try to learn it mainly for interest, not for practical purposes.
However, the Internet has been helping the speakers and learners of the language. There are online communities and exchanges that connect people beyond borders and languages.
The language survived two world wars in the last century. Will it survive another century?
Enjoy reading and think which is and will be more popular as an international communication tool, Esperanto, English, or Emoji.


Topic Reading-Vol.2251-6/10/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The jobs in India that attract thousands of applicants.
What are your priorities to find a job? There are factors such as challenge, satisfaction, salary, benefits, job security, work environment, location, flexibility, and status only to name a few. In India, a government job of any kind, such as police, military or railway, seems to be one of the most demanded and highly esteemed occupation. For example, over 23 million people applied for 100,000 posts in the national railway services, including porters, electricians, and trackmen. Also, a local government received 2.3 million applications for just 368 secretariat jobs.
Why over 6,000 people compete for a secretarial job? Surprisingly, many of those applicants are overqualified for those government jobs whose salaries are just competitive with private sectors. There seem to be both tangible benefits and intangible motivations for government jobs in India.
Enjoy reading and learn what drives people to look for a government job in India.


Topic Reading-Vol.2250-6/9/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Cancer blood test ‘enormously exciting’
The earlier the better to detect a cancer for treatment. But it is neither practical nor economical to use colonoscopies to detect colorectal cancer to every adult or mammograms to check breast cancer to every woman every year. If there were easier and cheaper ways to test and detect cancers, many lives would be saved not to mention the pains and expenses for the treatment.
A team of scientists at John Hopkins University has announced a universal blood test for cancer. The new blood test hunts for mutations in genes that arise in cancer and proteins that are often released. When these early signals are detected, more specific tests can be conducted to identify if and what type of cancer is developing. This could make a significant difference to treat patients if early-stage tumors were removed or killed.
Enjoy reading and learning about this breakthrough medical advancement.


Topic Reading-Vol.2249-6/8/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
10 'pitiful' excuses companies use not to hire women execs
Pay gap isn’t the only gender inequality in the U.K. (Vol.2190). Much fewer women are sitting on the board or taking senior positions in the corporations and even central bank in the kingdom where both the monarch and the prime minister are both females. The UK government disclosed 10 most common excuses by corporate execs why they hadn’t nominated women for the board or senior positions. Those excuses are shocking with full of discrimination and prejudice, such as “don't think women fit comfortably into the board environment,” and “other board colleagues wouldn't want to appoint a woman on our board."
Despite the government’s effort to narrow the gender inequality in pay and positions, there seems to be quite significant, prevailing boys’ club culture in the queendom. And please be reminded that this survey was conducted by the government whose head is a woman. What those respondents have in their mind could be even more staggering.  
Enjoy reading and learn the perception that corporate executives have on women.


Topic Reading-Vol.2248-6/7/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Alibaba reveals new driverless delivery bot
Another high-tech surprise by China’s retail giant, Alibaba. A driverless delivery vehicle. Despite the world’s largest population, China has been experiencing a shortage of workforce in manufacturing and service sectors due to rising labor costs. To cope with the challenge, delivering robots and order-and-payment app in restaurants, as well as delivery drones, have already been part of Alibaba’s ventures. Now, the e-retail innovator has introduced a new automated multi-functional vehicle that could be used for delivery and coffee vendor.
The key technology being used in this driverless delivery bot is solid state Lidar, the laser sensors to create a 3-D map of the surroundings in real time. It is an essential part of the technology used for autonomous driving. It works much like radar, but it emits pulses of infrared light instead of radio waves. Once the sensor identifies objects, the car's Ai-powered computer can predict how they will behave and controls the vehicles accordingly. Unlike conventional lidars that spin continuously on top of the car roof, this Alibaba-version lidar is solid state, which makes the vehicle looks less odd on the street despite the unattractive appearance.
Many break-through ideas and innovations come from Silicon Valley and SF Bay Area in the U.S. But Hangzhou, where Alibaba headquartered, and Shenzhen, where Tencent and many high-tech ventures are located, in China seem to be driving businesses much faster these days.
Enjoy reading and think how many these auto-delivering bots are running on the streets on and after this year’s Single’s-day Sales on November 11th across China.


Topic Reading-Vol.2247-6/6/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
What does your accent say about you?
Accent is a distinctive way of pronouncing a language, especially one associated with a particular region, social class, or sometimes education. A well-known example is American English and British English. Indeed, people who live in the other side of the pond speak quite differently from each other, though they share the same origin. However, not all the people in Britain or the US speak the same way. There are distinct regional accents within both countries, such as Boston accent and Sothern accent in the U.S., and Liverpool accent and Irish accent in the U.K. There is also a noticeable difference in pronunciation by social class, such as received pronunciation, or the Queens English, and Cockney English, the accent of working-class Londoners.
Whichever the case is, studies found that people seem to have a natural preference for familiar accent, even babies and children who are not as socially biased as adults.
Do people stereotype others by accent?
Enjoy reading and learn what accent means to people.  


Topic Reading-Vol.2246-6/5/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Two of the world's biggest brands are now Chinese
Brand equity is a value premium that a company creates from its products, services, and activities. It is intangible asset of the company. For example, when a company tries to expand its product line, say a new car or game, consumers assume that the quality and value of the new product is in line with other products of the brand. The company can leverage the brand recognition and save money, time and effort to market the new product.
Until recently, Chinese brands haven’t been so popular or recognized in other marketplaces. But now, smartphone brands like Xiaomi and Oppo, drone manufacturer DJI, and online game, e-commerce and payment giants like Alibaba, and Tencent are popular in many countries. And when their brand value is measured, Tencent and Alibaba are within top 10 in the BrandZ ranking along with Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. Indeed, all of these brands are also the world top 10 most valued companies in term of market capitalization.
Enjoy reading and think which comes fast, brand value or corporate value.


Topic Reading-Vol.2245-6/4/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Childhood obesity is high in home of Mediterranean diet
When a person’s body mass index (BMI), a measurement obtained by dividing a person's weight by the square of the person's height, is over 30 kg/m2, he or she is classified as obese, and if the index ranges between 25-30 kg/m2, they are considered overweight. So, a person who weighs heavier than another whose height is the same, or a person who weighs the same but shorter in height, has higher BMI.
A new study from the World Health Organization has revealed that children in the Mediterranean diet region, such as Greece, Italy, and Spain, have higher BMI than those who live in northern part of Europe. Since the Mediterranean diet is considered healthy and prevents cardiovascular diseases and Type 2 diabetes, the results were surprising to many.
Typically, the Mediterranean diet includes a lot of colorful vegetables olive oil, a modest intake of fish, and little dairy foods, red meat, and sweets.
Then, why do children in the healthy diet are becoming fatter? Change in lifestyle or eating habits? Whichever the cause is, childhood obesity raises the risk of adult obesity and other diseases later in their lives.
Enjoy reading and think if the difference in height of children in different regions might also have affected the data.


Topic Reading-Vol.2244-6/3/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Fog harp makes water out of thin air
Just as electricity is generated by solar panels or wind turbines, water can be collected from relatively easily-available natural resource. Fog collection. As the exposed surface of fog-collection net cools in the morning or evening, moisture in the air condenses faster than it evaporates, and then water droplets are formed. The droplets, or dew, then flow down towards a trough below the fog net, providing precious water for people, plants, and livestock in dry areas. This idea has been practiced since the 1980s in many parts of the world, such as South America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East where water is scarce.
In our mother nature, this phenomenon is observed on plant leaves and blades of grass, creating dew. So, researchers at Virginia Tech University have developed more efficient fog net by observing plants’ leaves and branches. They call it fog harp because of its appearance.
Nature has evolved over billions of years. There seem to be a lot to learn and earn from nature.
Enjoy reading and learn about fog harp.


Topic Reading-Vol.2243-6/2/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
How Michael Jackson's tilt defied gravity
The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, was an American singer, songwriter, and more notably dancer. His smooth slides and spins, racy crotch grab, and moonwalk thrilled the whole world regardless of the language or culture.
In 1988, the world was even more shocked to see him lean forward 45 degrees backs straight and feet flat upon the floor. This anti-gravity lean seemed physically impossible even for MJ who had extraordinary strength in his muscles and athletic ability. So how did he do it? Were his ankles and Achilles tendons far stronger than ordinary humans? Then, what about his fellow dancers who performed the same leaning with him? There must have been some trick. You might wonder if they were hung by piano wires or some sort. No. Then how?
Enjoy reading and find how MJ “beat” the gravity.


Topic Reading-Vol.2242-6/1/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The health benefits of eggs
There are all kinds of cooking methods for eggs, boiled, fried, poached, scrambled, and coddled, just to name a few. Also, the number of egg dishes is uncountable, such as eggs benedict, omelet, French toast, egg salad, and deviled eggs. Furthermore, eggs are a key ingredient used in many cooking applications, including baking, dressings, mayonnaise, sauces such as hollandaise and béarnaise. Yes, eggs are one of the most popular foods in the world.
An egg consists of three main parts: the white, yolk, and shell. While the white is primarily protein, the yolk has fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Indeed, eggs are rich in nutrients.  Some people worry about the cholesterol that is mainly contained in the yolk. However, cholesterol in food is found to affect our blood cholesterol much less than the saturated fat, such as meat fat, butter, and cheese.
Eggs are also economically and environmentally friendly. Eggs are produced only by feeding hens. They lay an egg every day if they are fed with grain and calcium. Eggs can be produced almost anywhere, transported and stored at normal temperature for weeks. They are an ideal source of energy and nutrition even in under-developed, remote, and poor places.
Enjoy reading and learning about the benefits of eggs.