每日跟讀#706: Weightlifter’s temporary vision loss due to Valsalva phenomenon

每日跟讀#706: Weightlifter’s temporary vision loss due to Valsalva phenomenon

October 23, 2019

每日跟讀#706: Weightlifter’s temporary vision loss due to Valsalva phenomenon


A 30-year-old man in Nantou County was in the gym recently and suddenly started experiencing lightheadednness and temporary vision loss. After leaning against a wall and resting for a while he started feeling better, but the experience scared him, and he went to the hospital.




According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Nantou Hospital, the problem was most likely caused by the Valsalva phenomenon, leading to a sudden drop in his blood pressure; in these circumstances there is no need to seek medical treatment, and the symptoms should improve after a little rest. The hospital added that people doing weight training should not push themselves too much.




Many people, when exerting themselves physically, can develop headaches or feel faint, due to insufficient blood circulation and lack of oxygen being delivered to the brain as a result of low blood pressure. There have been instances in the past of people lifting weights suddenly fainting and falling backwards.




Activities such as weight training, lifting heavy objects, straining on the toilet, coughing, vomiting and sneezing that involve holding one’s breath can all lead to the symptoms observed when doing the “Valsalva maneuver,” such as temporary dizziness, headaches, heart palpitations and even temporary feeling of wanting to faint.




This is due to loss of blood circulation in the brain or other parts of the body caused by low blood pressure, leading to a lack of oxygen to the brain. If people start to see stars or feel dizzy — both symptoms of the Valsalva phenomenon — during exercise or weight training, they should take a rest and try to breathe regularly, and they should recover in one or two minutes. If the symptoms persist, they should seek medical attention.




Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2019/10/07/2003723485


每日跟讀#705: About Japan - Sightseeing train turns ’problem’ Kyoto line into talk of the town

每日跟讀#705: About Japan - Sightseeing train turns ’problem’ Kyoto line into talk of the town

October 22, 2019

每日跟讀#705: About Japan - Sightseeing train turns ’problem’ Kyoto line into talk of the town


A railway here in Miyazu, Kyoto Prefecture once on the verge of being defunct has a new lease on life with its slow-moving sightseeing train featuring a cafe-like interior.




The Tango Aka-Matsu is operated by Kyoto Tango Railway (Tantetsu), whose lines were famously dubbed the symbol of unprofitable train routes in the Heisei Era, which started in 1989.




The train, which connects Nishi-Maizuru and Amanohashidate stations, runs at reduced speeds offering scenic views.




Passengers let out cries of delight on a weekend in December as the fully occupied 33-seat train approached Yuragawa Kyoryo bridge over the Yuragawa river.




"It’s amazing. It’s like we are on the sea," one passenger said.




The 550-meter-long bridge is only a few meters above the river, making passengers feel as if the train is traveling on the water.




Next Article:


Japan convenience store apologizes after viral rodent video 日本便利商店在老鼠影片瘋傳後道歉


Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart apologized after video went viral on social media of rats scurrying about one of its stores in Tokyo’s popular Shibuya district, prompting it to close the outlet until further notice.




Video clips posted on YouTube and Twitter appeared to show at least six of the long-tailed rodents, with some descending from refrigerated display racks stocked with "onigiri" rice balls and bento meals before scampering down an aisle.




Public broadcaster NHK said it had been viewed more than 5 million times.




"We take this case seriously," the company statement said, noting that it had suspended business at the outlet since Monday while it investigates the cause.




FamilyMart will take disinfection and prevention measures and decide whether to reopen the store taking into consideration the surrounding environment.




Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1322516 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1323939



每日跟讀#704: United We Stan: How the Internet Merged Pop Culture and Politics

每日跟讀#704: United We Stan: How the Internet Merged Pop Culture and Politics

October 21, 2019

每日跟讀#704: United We Stan: How the Internet Merged Pop Culture and Politics


Whatever persona Elizabeth Warren hopes to project in her presidential campaign, it is probably not that of a child witch. But that is the persona that some of her biggest fans have chosen for her.




Images of Hermione Granger, played in the “Harry Potter” films by a young Emma Watson, materialize at Warren’s every move. Warren steps onto the debate stage, and her fans craft tweets where Hermione stands in as her, rolling her eyes at the boys in wizarding class. Warren reads the whole Mueller report, and Hermione smugly wags her wand. In one extremely cursed tweet with zero likes, Warren’s face is transplanted onto Hermione’s frame, posed alongside Beto O’Rourke as Harry and Pete Buttigieg as Ron Weasley.




What is this strange chimera of presidential campaigning: a candidate’s head on pop culture’s body? It is the product of a great convergence between politics and culture, citizenship and commerce, ideology and aesthetics. Civic participation has been converted seamlessly into consumer practice. It is democracy reimagined as fandom, and it is now a dominant mode of experiencing politics.




You can see it in the efforts to sort the candidates into “Harry Potter” houses, converting the election to a personality quiz in a children’s book, and in the mashup video that distills the 2020 candidates into quotes from Michael Scott, the buffoonish boss of “The Office.”




A photograph of three congresswomen of color is published and instantly compared to a Whitney Houston GIF, as if women interrogating Michael Cohen are analogous to Houston confronting her cheating boyfriend. Politicos of all stripes are styled as saints and stamped onto novelty devotional prayer candles.




Here, political engagement slips easily into the habits of consumption. President Donald Trump’s fans follow him around the country like groupies, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s boosters fetishize her funnel-neck coat as a symbol of the #resistance.




Candidates’ supporters now identify as stans — a term derived from the 2000 Eminem song about a fan who becomes so obsessed, he kills.




Political stanning has a way of remapping the landscape of mainstream politics — maybe even overwriting physical reality itself. Frantic online cultural production swarms around Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg whenever she experiences a health scare, as if memes alone could sustain the octogenarian’s life.




Trump’s fans imbue him with improbable prowess when they edit him into pro-wrestling videos showing him smacking down CNN. But perhaps the most explicit riff on the trend was the infamous Beto O’Rourke sex tweet, which translated his political positions into sexual ones.




Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/345410/web/


每日跟讀#703: Scientists identify ancient baby bottles …and some are really cute

每日跟讀#703: Scientists identify ancient baby bottles …and some are really cute

October 20, 2019

每日跟讀#703: Scientists identify ancient baby bottles ...and some are really cute


Ceramic vessels, sometimes fashioned in whimsical animal forms, were used thousands of years ago as baby bottles to feed infants animal milk, according to scientists, offering an intriguing look at how and what infants were fed in prehistoric times.




Archaeologists said on Sept. 25 they confirmed the function of these ceramic objects by finding chemical traces of milk belonging to animals such as cows, sheep and goats in three such items found buried in child graves in Germany.




The oldest of the three vessels described in the study was made between 2,800 and 3,200 years ago during the Bronze Age. Other similar objects dating back as far as about 7,000 years ago during Neolithic times have been found in various other locations, the researchers said.




“I think this has provided us the first direct evidence of what foods babies were eating or being weaned on in prehistory,” said biomolecular archaeologist Julie Dunne of the University of Bristol in the UK and lead author of the study, published in the journal Nature. “I think this shows us the love and care these prehistoric people had for their babies.”




These objects, little enough to fit into a baby’s hands, served as vessels for milk, with a narrow spout for the baby to suckle liquid. While the three objects examined for the study were somewhat plain, others boasted lively shapes including animal heads with long ears or horns and human-looking feet.




“I find them incredibly cute. And prehistoric people may have thought so, too — they would certainly have a dual function of entertaining the children just like modern stuffed animals,” said archaeologist Katharina Rebay-Salisbury of the Austrian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology, and a co-author of the study. “They testify to the creativity and playfulness we often forget to attribute to our ancestors,” Rebay-Salisbury added.




Life at the time was not easy, Rebay-Salisbury added, with many people living in unhygienic conditions, experiencing famine and disease and facing low life expectancy. During the Bronze Age and subsequent Iron Age in Europe, perhaps about a third of all newborns died before their first birthday and only about half of children reached adulthood, Rebay-Salisbury said.




These feeding vessels may have made life easier for mothers, as animal milk could substitute for breastfeeding, the researchers said. “Duties of mothering — amongst which feeding is an important one — can also be undertaken by other members of the community when children are fed with feeding vessels,” Rebay-Salisbury said.




Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2019/10/06/2003723440

文法跟讀 In-Tense #025: Much - Uncountable Nouns

文法跟讀 In-Tense #025: Much - Uncountable Nouns

October 19, 2019

Welcome to 15mins.today the home of English Shadowing. I'm your host Gavin and this is InTense Episode 25.


So now guys, in Episode 23 we looked at “a lot of” and Episode 24 we looked at “many” countable nouns. So of course today we're going to look at uncountable nouns and “much.” Now the one thing we use “much” for a lot and that is the question, “How much is it?” ,what is the cost? “How much do I have to pay?” So when it comes to that, there's no way we can change that to “a lot of” because that is the standard question, “How much is it?”


Now it is very tricky to do uncountable nouns because you have to learn them, that's all. That's the only way to know which nouns are uncountable, you have to study them. The only shortcut I can offer would be that there is sort of a cheating rule that says if you can say “one chair, two chairs” that is countable.


If you say “one water, two water” you cannot, so that's uncountable. So for uncountable nouns you have basically groups that you could say that are usually uncountable like, liquids> milk and water, abstract ideas> advice chaos motivation, powder and grains> rice, wheat, sand, mass nouns> furniture hair transportation, natural phenomena> sunshine snow rain weather. “The weather is nice today.” States of being> sleep stress childhood, feelings> anger happiness enthusiasm courage and then gas> oxygen air.


Now that is sort of a rough idea which things can be used for uncountable nouns. If you really want to know, I suggest you go onto Google and search> “list of uncountable nouns PDF” and they will give you a list, I saw one list with 450 nouns for uncountable nouns. So that said, let's get started with our questions, number one.


Drill Sentences:


Did Jane drink much milk? Yes, she drank much milk.

Did Jane drink much milk? No, she did not drink much milk.


Did you spend much money? Yes, I spent much money.

Did you spend much money? No, I did not spend much money.


Do you have much love for cats? Yes, I have much love for cats.

Do you have much love for cats? No, I do not have much love for cats.


Does Peter eat much rice? Yes, he eats much rice.

Does Peter eat much rice? No, he does not eat much rice.


Do you get much sleep? Yes, I get much sleep.

Do you get much sleep? No, I do not get much sleep.


Do John and Jane show much anger? Yes, they show much anger.

Do John and Jane show much anger? No, they do not show much anger.


Do you enjoy much sunshine? Yes, I enjoy much sunshine.

Do you enjoy much sunshine? No, I do not enjoy much sunshine.


Did Peter give much advice? Yes, he gave much advice.

Did Peter give much advice? No, he did not give much advice.


Does Anna have much furniture? Yes, she has much furniture.

Does Anna have much furniture? No, she does not have much furniture.


Does your country get much rain? Yes, my country gets much rain.

Does your country get much rain? No, my country does not get much rain.


Well guys that that is it, keep practicing. It is a very awkward thing for me, even I feel myself wanting to say “a lot of” because it's just simpler, it makes life a bit easier and some of these questions seem a bit strange to ask somebody. Maybe I wouldn't phrase them in that exact order but it is for practice purposes only. So keep repeating and good luck and catch you next time, bye!





精選詞彙 Vocab #031: Runner creates artwork with Strava running app

精選詞彙 Vocab #031: Runner creates artwork with Strava running app

October 18, 2019



Lenny Maugham, a avid runner in San Francisco decided to turn his running routes into artwork. Instead of running scenic routes of San Francisco, he would plan his route like a Batman logo, shape of a heart, and starship enterprise. So far he has made a total of 53 works, making him a running artist. His Frida Kahoolawe artwork is a 46.5km run that took him 6 hours and 8 minutes to complete.


Vocabulary and Sample Sentences:


Scenic adj – dealing to view of beautiful natural scenery

  • Lenny got tired of just running around the scenic spots of San Francisco.
  • People go up to the Taipei 101 tower to enjoy the scenic view of the city.

Route n. – way or course taken from a starting point to a destination.

  • Peter’s newspaper route included Zhongxiao E. Road and Xinyi road.
  • By not taking the expressway to Yilan, we are actually taking the long route.

Track n. / v. – a path or road / follow the trail or movement of someone or something.

  • Michael Schumacher raced down the track at 300km/h.
  • I can use my laptop to track my phone.


每日跟讀#702: About Japan - Japan has so many vacant homes it’s giving them away

每日跟讀#702: About Japan - Japan has so many vacant homes it’s giving them away

October 17, 2019

每日跟讀#701: About Japan - Japan has so many vacant homes it’s giving them away


Four years ago, Naoko and Takayuki Ida were given a house in the small town of Okutama, in Tokyo prefecture. For free.




A free house may sound like a scam. But Japan faces an unusual property problem: it has more homes than people to live in them.




In 2013, there were 61 million houses and 52 million households, according to the Japan Policy Forum. And the situation is poised to get worse.




Japan’s population is expected to decline from 127 million to about 88 million by 2065, according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security, meaning even fewer people will need houses. As young people leave rural areas for city jobs, Japan’s countryside has become haunted by deserted "ghost houses."




It’s predicted that by 2040, nearly 900 towns and villages across Japan will no longer exist - and Okutama is one of them. In that context, giving away property is a bid for survival.




Next Article:


Struggling farming school in Hokkaido revived by its lamb products/苦撐辦學的北海道農校靠羊肉產品起死回生


An agricultural high school in Japan’s northern prefecture of Hokkaido - its survival once at stake due to a shortage of students - has bounced back by earning fame through the delicious lamb produced by its students.




The Embetsu agricultural high school, the sole high school in the town of Embetsu in northern Hokkaido, has about 60 students and owns around 25 hectares of land used. It keeps around 20 to 40 Suffolk sheep, a breed from Britain, with students mainly handling the breeding of animals and processing of meat.




At school events, it has sold meat processed into lamb slices, ground lamb and sausage. But it had been struggling due to the declining number of incoming students, leading authorities to consider whether they should close the school.




The turning point came about four years ago, when the town began sending the school’s lamb products as one of the return gifts to people who donated money to the municipality under the country’s so-called hometown tax donation scheme.





Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1314285 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1315959



每日跟讀#701: About Africa - Mysterious Mineral from Earth’s Mantle Discovered in South African Diamond

每日跟讀#701: About Africa - Mysterious Mineral from Earth’s Mantle Discovered in South African Diamond

October 16, 2019

每日跟讀#701: About Africa - Mysterious Mineral from Earth’s Mantle Discovered in South African Diamond


A single grain of rock lodged in a diamond contains a never-before-found mineral. And that newfound substance could reveal unusual chemical reactions unfolding in the depths of the mantle, the layer of Earth that lies between the planet’s crust and outer core. The entire mantle is about 1,802 miles (2,900 km) thick.




Scientists unearthed the mineral from a volcanic site in South Africa known as the Koffiefontein pipe. Shining diamonds speckle the dark, igneous rock that lines the pipe, and the diamonds themselves contain tiny bits of other minerals from hundreds of miles beneath Earth’s surface. Within one of these sparkling stones, scientists found a dark green, opaque mineral that they estimated was forged about 105 miles (170 kilometers) underground.




Scientists noted that, for a mantle mineral, goldschmidtite has a peculiar chemical composition.




Next Article:


Kenyans rush to swap banknotes as cash ban looms 鈔票禁令在即,肯亞人搶著換鈔


A man walked into a Nairobi car yard and paid for a luxury Mercedes with a mountain of 1,000 shilling ($9 euros) banknotes, desperate to offload cash that would be worthless after September 30.




With the deadline looming before the Central Bank of Kenya bans all old edition 1,000 shilling notes, big fish with their fortunes stashed in cash are under pressure.




A new print of the 1,000 shilling banknote, the largest denomination, was rolled out in June. The operation is aimed at flushing out dirty money being hoarded by tax evaders, crooked businessmen and criminal groups. The central bank in June said there were roughly 218 million 1,000 shilling notes in circulation.




People are getting creative, devising schemes to quickly unload small amounts of their cash. For example, a liquor shop owner gets 500,000 shillings every day to bank together with his daily sales, as a deal with a wealthy guy, and get between five and 10 percent in return.




Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1322040 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1321332



每日跟讀#700: Taiwan’s first domestically produced electric self-driving minibus

每日跟讀#700: Taiwan’s first domestically produced electric self-driving minibus

October 15, 2019

每日跟讀#700: Taiwan’s first domestically produced electric self-driving minibus


At a cost of NT$30 million (approx. US$966,000), Taiwan’s first domestically developed self-driving electric bus, Winbus, took to the road on Sept. 24 at a demonstration event at Changhua Coastal Industrial Park in the county’s Lukang Township. Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua, Changhua County Commissioner Wang Hui-mei and several other guests were given a preview ride in the Winbus, traveling at 30km per hour along roads in Lukang. During the demonstration, the vehicle simulated stopping for pedestrians and at traffic lights. At the event the deputy minister also signed a memorandum of understanding with Winbus’ developers to begin operating the self-driving vehicle on public roads within Lukang by the end of the year. Everyone hoped this would provide a boost to local industry.




The intention is for Winbus to operate on public roads within the bustling streets of tourist hotspots. Prior to the Winbus officially coming into service, deputy minister and the county commissioner, together with Automotive Research & Testing Center president Liao Ching-chiu and several other guests, boarded the sleekly-designed “smart bus,” loaded with futuristic technology, for a 4.4km journey from the testing center to the Taiwan Glass Gallery. En route, the Winbus successfully navigated a T-junction without traffic lights, identified and gave way to pedestrians, changed from the slow to the fast lane, applied the brakes in a controlled manner for vehicles in front, crossed traffic light junctions and turned left at an intersection before arriving at its destination.




Speaking to reporters, Wang Hui-mei said Changhua County Government will fully cooperate with the central government and businesses to enable the project to be expanded throughout the county, perhaps extending the system nationwide and even entering into international markets. Liao said the exterior modeling of the Winbus was carried out by Taiwanese designers and claimed that its capabilities outstrip that of any similar-sized self-driving minibuses currently in operation around the world, adding that Winbus heralds the achievement of a new milestone in “smart transportation.”





每日跟讀#699: Water found in atmosphere of planet beyond our solar system

每日跟讀#699: Water found in atmosphere of planet beyond our solar system

October 14, 2019

每日跟讀#699: Water found in atmosphere of planet beyond our solar system


Scientists for the first time have detected water in the atmosphere of an Earth-like planet orbiting a distant star, evidence that a key ingredient for life exists beyond our solar system, according to a study published on Wednesday.




Water vapor was found in the atmosphere of K2-18b, one of hundreds of “super-Earths” — worlds ranging in size between Earth and Neptune — documented in a growing new field of astronomy devoted to the exploration of so-called exoplanets elsewhere in the Milky Way galaxy. More than 4,000 exoplanets of all types and sizes have been detected overall.




The latest discovery was reported in research by a team of scientists at University College London (UCL) published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Astronomy. “We found water,” UCL astrophysicist Ingo Waldmann told Reuters of the breakthrough, revealed from observations made with the Hubble Space Telescope, which analyzed starlight filtered through K2-18b’s atmosphere.





More precisely, it marks the first time scientists have found water in the atmosphere around a super-Earth — as opposed to a gas giant — orbiting a star within its “ habitable zone,” just the right distance for liquid water to potentially exist on the surface.




Angelos Tsiaras, an astronomer at UCL, said the team is focusing its attention on identifying exoplanets with conditions similar to those on Earth. “But of course this is not in order to find a place where we could go. This is still science fiction,” Tsiaras said, noting that K2-18b orbits a dwarf star in the constellation Leo that lies 100 light years from Earth.




While light from the sun takes several minutes to reach Earth, light from K2-18b’s star takes a century to reach our planet, “so for us to travel there is impossible,” he said. “Given it’s so far away we don’t really have any other choice but stay on our own Earth, so it’s important to make Earth great again rather than looking for an alternative to go to,” Tsiaras said.




Aside from the tremendous distance separating Earth from K2-18b, the exoplanet is likely exposed to far more radiation than Earth, diminishing the prospects for life evolving there. However, the discovery brings astronomers closer to answering the fundamental question of how unique Earth is in the universe, the scientists said.





Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2019/09/15/2003722288