利用零碎的時間，不用死背英語單字，背文法，直接開口跟著John與Gavin老師一起朗讀國際新聞趣事，每日只要十五分鐘就可以提升你的英語力! - 每日英語跟讀，跟著 John老師一起朗讀時事趣聞。 - 精選詞彙 Vocab播客，收聽John與Gavin老師討論文章內容與精選詞彙。 - 文法跟讀 In-Tense單元，跟著Gavin老師一起反覆練習常用文法例句。 喜歡這個Podcast? 請在Apple Podcast裡給五顆星評分幫我們加油打氣～ 更多跟讀文章在官網: www.15mins.today 商業合作、粉絲交流請來信: email@example.com
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K060: Floating Cities, No Longer Science Fiction, Begin to Take Shape
It is an idea at once audacious and simplistic, a seeming impossibility that is now technologically within reach: cities floating in international waters — independent, self-sustaining nation-states at sea.
Long the stuff of science fiction, “seasteading” has in recent years matured from pure fantasy into something approaching reality, and there are now companies, academics, architects and even a government working together on a prototype by 2020.
At the center of the effort is the Seasteading Institute, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco. Founded in 2008, the group has spent about a decade trying to convince the public that seasteading is not an entirely crazy idea.
That has not always been easy. At times, the story of the seasteading movement seems to lapse into self parody. Burning Man gatherings in the Nevada desert are an inspiration, while references to the Kevin Costner film “Waterworld” are inevitable. The project is being partially funded by an initial coin offering, a new concept sweeping Silicon Valley and Wall Street in which money can be raised by creating and selling virtual currency.
And yet in 2017, with sea levels rising because of climate change and established political orders around the world teetering under the strains of populism, seasteading can seem not just practical, but downright appealing.
Earlier this year, the government of French Polynesia agreed to let the Seasteading Institute begin testing in its waters. Construction could begin soon, and the first floating buildings — the nucleus of a city — might be inhabitable in just a few years.
“If you could have a floating city, it would essentially be a startup country,” said Joe Quirk, president of the Seasteading Institute. “We can create a huge diversity of governments for a huge diversity of people.”
The term seasteading has been around since at least 1981, when avid sailor Ken Neumeyer wrote a book, “Sailing the Farm,” that discussed living sustainably aboard a sailboat. Two decades later, the idea attracted the attention of Patri Friedman, grandson of economist Milton Friedman, who seized on the notion.
Friedman, a freethinker who had founded “intentional communities” while in college, was living in Silicon Valley at the time and was inspired to think big. So in 2008 he quit his job at Google and co-founded the Seasteading Institute with seed funding from Peter Thiel, the libertarian billionaire. In a 2009 essay, Thiel described seasteading as a long shot, but one worth taking. “Between cyberspace and outer space lies the possibility of settling the oceans,” he wrote.
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/321267/web/
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K059: About Australia - Australia changes national anthem to reflect Indigenous history
The anthem, "Advance Australia Fair," has been tweaked to recognize the country’s Indigenous history and communities, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced.
The first line, "Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free," will now end with "one and free."
The anthem has become controversial in recent years, amid growing conversation about Indigenous representation, systemic inequality, and racial injustice. In particular, many have pushed back against the phrase "for we are young and free", a nod to when Britain’s First Fleet landed in Australia in 1788.
The government has a history of changing the song to be more inclusive － when Peter Dodds McCormick’s original 1878 composition was declared the official national anthem in 1984, replacing "God Save the Queen," two instances of "sons" were switched with gender-neutral phrasing.
Inspired by the natural, twisting patterns of a lobster shell, Australian researchers say they have found a way, using 3D printing technology, to improve the strength of concrete for use in complex architecture.
Reinforced with steel fibres, the concrete becomes more durable when set in a pattern that copies a lobster shell, according to a new study from Melbourne’s RMIT University.
Rather than use a mould, the process involves depositing layers of concrete one on top of the other, directed from a computer program using 3D printing technology.
“The lobster shell is always something that still amazes me by its very interesting shapes and architectures, and especially (as) the lobster shell is really amazingly very stiff,” lead researcher Jonathan Tran told Reuters.
Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1429554 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1428933
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K058: About SKorea - Chip shortage hitting Korean carmakers
The continued automotive semiconductor shortage is hitting Korean carmakers, with General Motors Korea announcing plans to halve its vehicle production at its plant here.
GMK said Thursday it decided to halve production at its Bupyeong 2 plant for February. The plant has a daily production capacity of 480 vehicles ― the cut will lead it to monthly production of around 5,000.
Analysts say it is tough to say exactly how long the automotive chip shortage could last, while UBS investment bank said it was expecting the supply-demand mismatch will improve sometime in the third quarter.
Biden’s focus on rebuilding allies to impact Korea-US relations 拜登聚焦重建與盟邦關係 將影響韓美關係
President Joe Biden’s attention to "repairing alliances" has raised hopes that things between South Korea and U.S. will be different under the new U.S. leader.
"This will involve reaching an agreement on Special Measures Agreement negotiations fairly quickly, taking South Korea’s views on North Korea into consideration even if Seoul’s and Washington’s positions are different, cooperation in multilateral issues such as climate change or trade, and trying to get the Moon Jae-in government on board his administration’s position on China," Ramon Pacheco Pardo, who serves as associate professor of international relations at King’s College London.
"I would also expect Biden to support South Korea becoming part of an expanded G7 or similar forum, and supporting a more vocal Seoul in international relations," added Pardo.
Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1430611 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1422097
Apple Podcast 2020年十大熱門節目
KKBox 2020年十大Podcast風雲榜 (唯一語言學習Podcast)
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K057: The world is dependent on Taiwan for semiconductors
As China pushes the world to avoid official dealings with Taiwan, leaders across the globe are realizing just how dependent they have become on the island democracy.
Taiwan is being courted for its capacity to make leading-edge computer chips. That is mostly down to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world’s largest foundry and go-to producer of chips for Apple Inc smartphones, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing.
Taiwan’s role in the world economy largely existed below the radar until it came to recent prominence as the auto industry suffered shortfalls in chips used for everything from parking sensors to reducing emissions. With carmakers including Germany’s Volkswagen AG, Ford Motor Co of the US and Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp forced to halt production and idle plants, Taiwan’s importance has suddenly become too big to ignore.
That is not to say Taiwan is the only player in the semiconductor supply chain. The US still holds dominant positions, notably in chip design and electronic software tools; ASML Holding NV of the Netherlands has a monopoly on the machines needed to fabricate the best chips; Japan is a key supplier of equipment, chemicals and wafers.
However, as the emphasis shifts to ever smaller, more powerful chips that require less energy, TSMC is increasingly in a field of its own. It has also helped Taiwan form a comprehensive ecosystem around it: ASE Technology Holding is the world’s top chip assembler, while MediaTek has become the largest smartphone chipset vendor.
A big worry is that TSMC’s chip factories could become collateral damage if China were to make good on threats to invade Taiwan if it moves toward independence.
“Taiwan is the center of gravity of Chinese security policy,” said Mathieu Duchatel, director of the Asia program at the Institut Montaigne in Paris. Preserving the world’s most advanced fabs “is in the interests of everyone.”
Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2021/02/01/2003751534
Apple Podcast 2020年十大熱門節目
KKBox 2020年十大Podcast風雲榜 (唯一語言學習Podcast)
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K056: California Is Trying to Jump-Start the Hydrogen Economy
Since President George W. Bush fueled a minivan with hydrogen 15 years ago, the promise of cars and trucks powered by the fuel has come up mostly empty.
That hydrogen pump, in Washington, closed long ago. But in California, the beginnings of a hydrogen economy may finally be dawning after many fits and starts.
Dozens of hydrogen buses are lumbering down city streets, while more and larger fueling stations are appearing from San Diego to San Francisco, financed by the state and the federal government. With the costs of producing and shipping hydrogen coming down, California is setting ambitious goals to phase out vehicles that run on fossil fuels in favor of batteries and hydrogen.
Some energy executives said they expect investment in hydrogen to accelerate under President-elect Joe Biden, who made climate change a big part of his campaign and proposed a $2 trillion plan to tackle the problem.
A recent McKinsey & Co. study estimated that the hydrogen economy could generate $140 billion in annual revenue by 2030 and support 700,000 jobs. The study projected that hydrogen could meet 14% of total American energy demand by 2050.
The use of hydrogen, the lightest and most abundant substance in the universe, is still in its infancy, and California is determined to be its cradle in the United States.The state now has roughly 40 fueling stations, with dozens more under construction. While those numbers are tiny compared with the 10,000 gasoline stations across the state, officials have high hopes.
With about 7,500 hydrogen vehicles on the road, an aggressive state program of incentives and subsidies from cap-and-trade dollars envisions 50,000 hydrogen light-duty vehicles by mid-decade and a network of 1,000 hydrogen stations by 2030.
Hydrogen-powered vehicles are similar to electric cars. But unlike electric cars, which have large batteries, these cars have hydrogen tanks and fuel cells that turn the gas into electricity. The cars refuel and accelerate quickly, and they can go for several hundred miles on a full tank. They emit only water vapor, which makes them appealing to California cities that are trying to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
“Almost any objective analysis for getting to zero emissions includes hydrogen,” said Jack Brouwer, director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine.
Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5106534
Hello 通勤家族，歡迎收聽Look Back Sunday回顧星期天，在這個節目John老師會彙整過去不同國家與主題的熱門跟讀文章，讓你可以在十五分鐘內吸收最精華的世界時事趣聞！我們這週聽聽非洲的趣聞，Let's get right to it!
Topic: Are African Artifacts Safer in Europe? 非洲文物在歐洲更安全？
Is Africa’s cultural heritage better off in Europe or in Africa?非洲的文化遺產存放在歐洲或非洲，何者比較好呢？
That is the question at the heart of a yearslong debate that has gripped museums in Europe, where many officials say they support the idea of repatriating artifacts, but worry that African museums cannot compare to state-of-the-art facilities in Britain, France or Germany.這正是歐洲博物館界討論多年的問題的核心，許多歐洲博物館的管理階層表示，他們贊成應把文物送回非洲的想法，卻又擔心非洲各地博物館不具備英、法或德國那些先進博物館的的條件。
That debate has been given new life in recent months after an investigation by the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper found that many of the artifacts that will be on display in the Humboldt Forum, a huge new museum under construction in a rebuilt Berlin palace, had for years been stored in less-than-ideal conditions. The report featured searing depictions of flooded storage rooms and depots choked with toxic dust.最近幾個月，這場討論再度熱絡起來，因為南德意志報調查後發現，預定在「洪堡論壇」展出的文物之中，許多已存放在不盡理想的環境下多年。洪堡論壇是興建中規模宏大的新博物館，將位在柏林一座重建的宮殿內。這篇報導對那些文物的存放室淹水，庫房覆滿有毒灰塵，作了特別尖刻地描述。
The Humboldt Forum will bring together the collections of several existing museums in the city under one roof, but reports in German news media have focused on the storage facilities of the Ethnological Museum of Berlin, which will be the Forum’s largest single contributor.洪堡論壇將把柏林幾座現有博物館的藏品集中在一起，不過德國新聞媒體的報導著重在柏林民族學博物館的庫房。這座博物館將是洪堡論壇展品的最大提供者。
Officials at the museum, which closed to the public in 2017 to prepare for the move to its new home, have responded with what observers call an unusual degree of openness.民族學博物館2017年起停止對外開放，好準備搬新家。館方回應外界質疑的態度十分開放透明，開放程度之高觀察家以異乎尋常形容。
They have denied some of the reports, in particular the claim of flooded storerooms, but said their depots were beset with problems common to museums across Germany. Those included outdated facilities, a lack of staff members, and a sense of disarray that dates to moments of crisis in German history.館方否認報導中的某些部分，尤其是庫房淹水，不過他們說，倉庫發生的問題在德國各地博物館都很常見，包括設施陳舊、人手不足和擺放方式雜亂，這些問題從德國歷史上那些動盪時期以來就一直存在。
Despite all that, they steadfastly rejected that those conditions might call into question their stewardship of the artifacts, many of which were collected during the era of European imperialism.雖然倉庫有這些問題，但館方堅決否認這些問題意味著管理不善。倉庫內許多文物是在歐洲帝國主義時期收集而來。
Sindika Dokolo, a Congolese art collector who runs a foundation that has organized the return of artifacts to Congo and Angola, said it was true that “a whole generation” of museum professionals, like curators and conservationists, needed to be trained “in most of the African countries.” But while that new generation was being trained, he said, it is European museums’ responsibility to make sure African audiences had access to the artifacts in their possession.剛果藝品收藏家多克洛管理一個基金會，在這個基金會安排下已有一些文物送回剛果和安哥拉。多克洛說，「多數非洲國家」的確有必要訓練「一整個世代的」博物館專業人員，如策展人和文物修復師。不過他說，在非洲訓練這個新世代的同時，歐洲博物館有責任確保非洲的文物愛好者能看到歐洲握有的非洲文物。
It is up to them to create the conditions that would let African artifacts "play their role where they need to be right now, in Africa," he added.多克洛說，歐洲博物館有責任創造條件，讓非洲文物「在非洲當下需要的地方發揮作用」。
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/345221/web/
Topic: Neanderthal genes found for first time in African populations
African populations have been revealed to share Neanderthal ancestry for the first time, in findings that add a new twist to the tale of ancient humans and our closest known relatives.非洲的人類族群首度被科學家揭露帶有尼安德塔人的血統。這項發現為古代人類和尼安德塔人──與我們血緣最相近的親戚物種──之間的故事，帶來新的轉折。
Previously it was believed that only non-African populations carried Neanderthal genes due to interbreeding that took place after a major human migration out of Africa and across the globe about 60,000 years ago. The latest findings suggest human and Neanderthal lineages are more closely intertwined than once thought and point to far earlier interbreeding events, about 200,000 years ago.前，學界普遍認為只有非洲以外的族群帶有尼安德塔人的基因，這是因為人類大約在六萬年前發生過一次大型的「源出非洲」遷徙，散播到全球各地，而後與尼安德塔人異種交配。最新的研究結果顯示，人類和尼安德塔人的譜系比科學家先前認為的還要緊密相繫，並且指向更早以前──大約在二十萬年前──就出現過異種交配。
“Our results show this history was much more interesting and there were many waves of dispersal out of Africa, some of which led to admixture between modern humans and Neanderthals that we see in the genomes of all living individuals today,” said Joshua Akey, an evolutionary biologist at Princeton University and senior author of the research.普林斯頓大學的演化生物學家、也是該篇研究的資深作者約書亞‧阿奇表示：「我們研究的結果顯示，這段歷史其實更為有趣。其實歷史上曾經發生過好幾波源出非洲的向外擴散，其中幾次造成現代人類與尼安德塔人混血，也就是我們今日在所有現代人類個體的基因組中所看到的現象。」
The study suggests living Europeans and Asians carry about 1 percent Neanderthal DNA, compared with on average 0.3 percent for those of African ancestry. Akey and colleagues believe that this Neanderthal DNA arrived in Africa with ancient Europeans whose ancestors — over many generations — had left Africa, met and mated with Neanderthals and then returned to Africa and mixed with local populations.這份研究指出，相較於祖先來自非洲的現代人，身上平均帶有百分之零點三的尼安德塔DNA，現代歐洲人和亞洲人則帶有百分之一的尼安德塔DNA。阿奇和他的同事認為，這個尼安德塔DNA和古老的歐洲人一起抵達非洲，而這些歐洲人的祖先──在好幾個世代以前──從非洲離開，遇到尼安德塔人，並與他們交配，然後回到非洲，再與當地人口混血。
“An important aspect of our study is that it highlights humans, and hominins, were moving in and out of Africa for hundreds of thousands of years and occasionally admixing,” said Akey. “These back-to-Africa migrations, largely from ancestors of contemporary Europeans, carried Neanderthal sequences with them, and through admixture, contributed to the Neanderthal ancestry we detect in African individuals today.”阿奇指出：「我們的研究其中一項重要的層面在於，它點出人類，以及其他古代人類亞族，在數十萬年間不斷地移入移出非洲，並且偶爾發生混血的情形。」他補充說：「這些回到非洲的移民，主要來自於當代歐洲人的祖先，他們身上帶有尼安德塔人的基因序列，並且經由混血，導致我們今日在非洲人身上探測到的尼安德塔血統。」
The increasingly fine-grained details of our ancestors’ migration patterns and intimate encounters with other types of human are coming into focus thanks to the advent of sophisticated computational genetics techniques. These statistical methods allow scientists to line up the Neanderthal genome side by side with that of ancient modern humans and DNA from different living populations and figure out whether the different lineages have been steadily diverging or whether there are blips where large chunks of DNA were exchanged at certain time points.多虧了精密電腦計算基因學技術的來臨，關於我們祖先的遷徙模式，以及與其他人種的親密接觸，愈來愈細緻的細節逐漸變得清晰。這些統計學方法讓科學家能夠將尼安德塔人和古現代人的基因組並列，進行對比，也能夠對照今日不同人類族群的DNA，判斷這些相異的譜系是否一直持續產生分歧，又或者是否有跡象顯示某些時間點曾經出現大塊的DNA交換。
The latest comparison highlights previously unnoticed ancient human genes in the Neanderthal genome, apparently acquired from interbreeding events dating to about 200,000 years ago. This suggests an early group of humans travelled from Africa to Europe or Asia, where they encountered Neanderthal populations and left a faint imprint on their genome that could still be detected more than 100,000 years later.最新的基因組對比，凸顯出先前不曾被注意到的古人類基因存在於尼安德塔人的基因組中，明顯來自於距今約二十萬年的雜交事件。這項發現顯示，曾有早期人類族群從非洲前往歐洲或亞洲，在當地遇到尼安德塔人族群，並在後者基因組中留下淺淺的印記，在超過十萬年後的今天仍然可以探測得到。
The paper also highlights the relative lack of genetics research in African populations, despite modern humans having first emerged on the continent and despite African populations today being more diverse genetically than the inhabitants of the rest of the world combined. “To more fully understand human genomic variation and human evolutionary history, it is imperative to comprehensively sample individuals from all regions of the world, and Africa remains one of the most understudied regions,” said Akey.該篇論文也點出，儘管現代人類最初發源於非洲大陸，而且今日非洲人類族群的遺傳多樣性遠高於世界其他地區居民的總和，目前學界對於當地族群的基因研究仍顯得相對缺乏。阿奇指出：「如果要更全盤了解人類基因組的變異，以及人類演化的歷史，廣泛對世界各地區的人類個體進行採樣是絕對必要的，而非洲目前仍然是研究最為不足的地區之一。」
It is not known whether all African populations, some of whose roots stretch into the deep past, share this Neanderthal heritage. KhoeSan (bushmen) and Mbuti (central African pygmy) populations, for instance, appear to have split off from other groups more than 100,000 years ago. The findings are published in the journal Cell.目前仍不清楚是否所有非洲族群──其中有些族群的根源延續自遙遠的過去──共同擁有這項「尼安德塔遺產」。舉例而言，非洲的「科伊桑族」（亦稱布須曼人）以及「姆巴提人」（非洲中部的一支矮黑人），似乎在超過十萬年前就已經和其他人類族群在演化上分道揚鑣了。該篇研究刊登於期刊《細胞》上。
Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/02/16/2003731045/2
Topic: 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.包裹在一塊鑽石內的小晶粒，含有一種此前從未在鑽石內發現的礦物。這項新發現有望揭示地函深處發生的不尋常化學反應，地球地函位在行星地殼與外地核之間。地球地函的總厚度約1802英里（2900公里）。
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.科學家從南非一處名為「科菲芬丹火山管」的火山區挖出這種礦物。閃閃發亮的鑽石散布在火山管內暗色的火成岩之中，鑽石本身則含有其他來自地表下數百英里的微小礦物。在其中一塊閃亮的石頭內，科學家發現一種暗綠色、不透明的礦物，他們估計這種礦物生成在地底下105英里（170公里）處。
Scientists noted that, for a mantle mineral, goldschmidtite has a peculiar chemical composition.科學家指出，對地函礦物而言，「針銀碲金礦」具有獨特的化學組成。
Topic: 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 30.一名男子走進奈洛比市一家汽車展示場，拿出大量1000肯亞先令紙鈔（約9歐元），買下一台豪華賓士轎車，急著將9月30日後就一文不值的現金脫手。
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.隨著肯亞中央銀行禁止所有舊版千元先令流通的日期逼近，握有大筆現金的大人物備感壓力。
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.最大面額1000先令的新版紙鈔在六月推出，這項行動旨在迫使逃稅者、奸商和犯罪集團，釋出積存的來歷不明財富。肯亞央行六月表示，約有2.18億張千元先令在市面流通。
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.人們開始想方設法，擬定可以迅速脫手小額現金的方法。例如，一名酒商和有錢人達成協議，每天幫對方將50萬先令，連同自家營業額存進銀行，藉此收取5%到10%的回饋。
Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1322040 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1321332
Apple Podcast 2020年十大熱門節目
KKBox 2020年十大Podcast風雲榜 (唯一語言學習Podcast)
Every year just before the gift giving season, the question of the perfect gift arises. In some years, it could be easy to find that most sought-after gift, for other years, it could become an ordeal. How should we go about finding the “perfect gift”? Social scientists advise shoppers to not try that hard. Although shoppers strive for that surprise when the gift is opened, scientists found that recipients only think about “Will I get any use out of this?”. Next finding scientists found is that regifting does not actually offend people. Last, if you know the recipients asked for something, just buy them that as a gift.
Vocabulary and Sample Sentences:
Extravagant adj. – lacking restraint in using money / costing too much money
Insist v. – demand something forcefully
Offend v. – to cause upset
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K055: In Canada, Unraveling Centuries of Indigenous Land Claims
Whenever Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or his Cabinet ministers speak in certain parts of Ontario or Quebec, they begin by acknowledging they are on “unceded Algonquin territory.”
That recognition is just one of the ways Trudeau’s government has been trying to signal a top priority: righting the wrongs Canada has done to indigenous people, especially over land that aboriginals say was taken from them unjustly.
But finding common ground on this issue has proved to be one of Trudeau’s most difficult policy initiatives, and critics say efforts to resolve the land disputes have bogged down. But both sides agree on the importance of sorting out the claims.
“The process of negotiating land claims should be an absolute pillar of reconciliation,” said Ken Coates, a historian at the University of Saskatchewan who studies treaties and is a consultant to indigenous groups. “This is our chance to get it right and if we don’t — boy, when will we get the chance again?”
Of the many issues dividing Canada’s federal and provincial governments from its indigenous people, land claims are among the most symbolically important and economically consequential, often involving vast amounts of territory.
Some claims involve hundreds of millions of dollars, and tribes are often interested in controlling the land at issue, by, for example, having a say over logging, oil exploration and mining.
One claim by various Algonquin groups involves the 8.9 million acres of the Ottawa watershed — which includes Canada’s Parliament buildings and Supreme Court. The government thought it had settled that claim in principle a year ago, but it has ended up in litigation anyway.
The claims are legally thorny, often requiring historians, archaeologists, geographers and geologists to give evidence sometimes stretching back before recorded history to support, or challenge, them.
In some regions, land may have been occupied by different indigenous groups at different times, even changing hands after battles that were unrecorded. These groups may all assert rights, and claims can overlap.
Then there is the problem of treaties. Some indigenous groups, like the Algonquins, never signed treaties giving up their land. The government says it is talking with about 140 indigenous groups in that situation.
Others did sign treaties, and a government tribunal that deals with treaty disputes has 72 cases and is so overwhelmed that it cannot estimate how long it will take to resolve them.
The result is that settlement negotiations occur at a frustratingly slow pace.
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/320990/web/
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K054: Vietnamese and Taiwanese Lunar New Year Customs compared at Hanoi event
On Jan. 16, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau’s office in Ho Chi Minh City teamed up with some Vietnamese business operators to host a cultural exchange on the theme of Vietnamese and Taiwanese Lunar New Year customs. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for people to travel back and forth between Vietnam and Taiwan, so the day’s activities attracted owners and managers of many Taiwanese businesses operating in Vietnam to go and get an early taste of the Lunar New Year.
Vietnamese and Taiwanese alike worship their ancestors and sit down for New Year’s Eve meals on Lunar New Year’s Eve, but some of the details are a little different. For example, when celebrating the New Year, Vietnamese people of all ages eat traditional square leaf-wrapped rice dumplings whose stuffing mainly consists of glutinous rice, pork and mung beans. Once prepared, the dumplings are boiled for more than 10 hours.
When worshiping their ancestors at Lunar New Year, Vietnamese people traditionally display some peach blossoms and prepare a five-fruit tray symbolizing yin and yang and the five elements. They also choose 12 kinds of dried and candied fruit, representing the months of the year, and place them in a candy bowl. The variously flavored dried and candied fruits represent the sour, sweet, bitter and spicy flavors of human life. The Vietnamese present these things along with the already-cooked square dumplings as offerings to their ancestors while praying for everything to go smoothly in the coming year.
Chou Hsin-yi, director of the Tourism Bureau’s Ho Chi Minh City office, observed that Vietnam and Taiwan have many things in common culturally, and they both celebrate the lunar calendar New Year, which is also known as Spring Festival. In the past, Spring Festival was one of the busiest times for Vietnamese travelers to visit Taiwan, and that is why the bureau chose this moment to invite Vietnamese businesspeople to demonstrate the differences and similarities between Lunar New Year customs in the two countries.
The pandemic has led to general tourist traffic between Vietnam and Taiwan being cut off. To make sure that Vietnamese travelers would not forget about Taiwan during this time of sickness, Chou gave an introduction to the three major tourist events connected with Spring Festival and Lantern Festival in Taiwan, namely the Taiwan Lantern Festival, the Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival and the Pingsi Sky Lantern Festival. Chou hopes that the pandemic will be over before too long and the travel business would be restored to its former prosperity.
Taiwan’s representative in Vietnam Richard Shih also spoke at the event. He said that there were more than 1.3 million trips between Vietnam and Taiwan in 2019, and more than a million Taiwanese are currently waiting to visit Vietnam. Shih said he hopes that traffic, travel and tourism between Vietnam and Taiwan will soon recover. He said that when flights are officially resumed, annual trips between the two countries are sure to head for the 2 million mark.
Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2021/02/02/2003751583
Apple Podcast 2020年十大熱門節目
KKBox 2020年十大Podcast風雲榜 (唯一語言學習Podcast)
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K053: As Economy Lags, Hugo Chavez's Movement Fades in Venezuela
As president, Hugo Chavez lavished millions from this country’s oil boom on his home state of Barinas.
But boom has turned to bust, the economy is in shambles and the love affair is over.
Similar sentiments are being heard around the continent, where political dynasties are falling or under intense pressure and where protests and social unrest are on the rise.
In Brazil, legislators have begun an impeachment proceeding against President Dilma Rousseff, as scores of other political leaders have become embroiled in a huge corruption scandal.
In Ecuador, protesters angry at President Rafael Correa have taken to the streets to demonstrate against budget cutbacks necessitated by vanishing oil revenues.
And in Argentina, President Mauricio Macri was inaugurated last month after surging to a surprising win against the candidate of the Peronist party of his predecessor, Cristina Fernandez. His victory ended 12 years during which Fernandez or her late husband, Nestor Kirchner, occupied the presidential palace.
The strains are being felt most keenly by leftist governments, but analysts say that something other than ideology is at work here. South America saw robust growth in the century’s first decade, thanks to a historic boom in the value of raw materials and other commodities that are sold to the rest of the world.
High prices for oil, natural gas, coal, copper, gold, silver, bauxite, soy beans and other products led to steady growth, a sharp drop in poverty and an expansion of the middle class throughout the region. That growth, in turn, brought political stability, with leaders and parties being repeatedly re-elected.
“There’s been a pretty striking continuity in many countries, in large part thanks to the commodities boom that leaders and parties have been riding,” said Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialog, a policy analysis group in Washington. “When that’s over, voters look elsewhere and for new leaders, but governing is extremely difficult because they no longer have the resources to meet the high expectations that have been generated during the commodities boom.”
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/291818/web/
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K052: Fine for not yielding to pedestrians raised to NT$6,000
To improve pedestrian safety, a set of draft amendments to the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act was passed during a Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) review board meeting on Jan. 28.
Pedestrians have absolute right of way when walking on a crosswalk, but accidents still happen from time to time that involve injuries or even deaths caused by vehicles not stopping or giving way to pedestrians. Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung said that the MOTC hopes to make traffic more human-oriented, and cars and motorcycles should give way to pedestrians at intersections. It has long been said that vehicles should “politely“ give way to pedestrians, but in fact vehicles should always stop to let pedestrians go first unless there is a “no pedestrians“ sign.
Lin asked for the reform to start from the three aspects of “people, vehicles and roads” by enforcing the law that demands yielding to pedestrians at intersections, reviewing road design specifications, and planning to increase penalties, so as to increase drivers’ awareness of the need to give way to pedestrians.
Regarding the increase in fines, the amendment refers to the laws of the US, Japan, France and South Korea. Drivers who do not allow pedestrians to pass first will be fined NT$1,200 to NT$6,000, increased from the current NT$1,200 to NT$3,600. Those who cause injury or death will bear both civil and criminal liability as well as facing a fine of NT$7,200 to NT$36,000.
Having been passed at the MOTC review board meeting, the draft amendments will now be transferred to the Legislative Yuan for review.
Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2021/02/08/2003751951
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K051: The ‘Right to Repair’ Movement Gains Ground
If you buy a product — a car, a smartphone, or even a tractor — and it breaks, should it be easier for you to fix it yourself?
Manufacturers of a wide range of products have made it increasingly difficult over the years to repair things, for instance by limiting availability of parts or by putting prohibitions on who gets to tinker with them. It affects not only game consoles or farm equipment, but cellphones, military gear, refrigerators, automobiles and even hospital ventilators, the lifesaving devices that have proved crucial this year in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, a movement known as “right to repair” is starting to make progress in pushing for laws that prohibit restrictions like these.
In August, Democrats introduced a bill in Congress to block manufacturers’ limits on medical devices, spurred by the pandemic. In Europe, the European Commission announced plans in March for new right-to-repair rules that would cover phones, tablets and laptops by 2021.
And in more than 20 statehouses nationwide, right-to-repair legislation has been introduced in recent years by both Republicans and Democrats.
Over the summer, the House advanced a funding bill that includes a requirement that the Federal Trade Commission complete a report on anti-competitive practices in the repair market and present its findings to Congress and the public.
The goal of right-to-repair rules, advocates say, is to require companies to make their parts, tools and information available to consumers and repair shops in order to keep devices from ending up in the scrap heap. They argue that the rules restrict people’s use of devices that they own and encourage a throwaway culture by making repairs too difficult.
They also argue that it’s part of a culture of planned obsolescence — the idea that products are designed to be short-lived in order to encourage people to buy more stuff. That contributes to wasted natural resources and energy use at a time when climate change requires movement in the opposite direction to rein in planet-warming emissions.
Manufacturing a new device or appliance is still largely reliant on polluting sources of energy — electricity generated from burning fossil fuels, for instance — and constitutes the largest environmental impact for most products.
Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5015841
Hello 通勤家族，歡迎收聽Look Back Sunday回顧星期天，在這個節目John老師會彙整過去不同國家與主題的熱門跟讀文章，讓你可以在十五分鐘內吸收最精華的世界時事趣聞！我們這週聽聽加拿大的趣聞，Let's get right to it!
Topic: Calgary Zoo returning pandas to China due to bamboo barriers
The Calgary Zoo will be returning two giant pandas on loan from China because a scarcity of flights due to COVID-19 has caused problems with getting enough bamboo to feed them. Er Shun and Da Mao arrived in Canada in 2014 as part of a 10-year agreement between Canada and China. After spending five years at the Toronto Zoo, the two adult giant pandas arrived at the Calgary Zoo in March 2018 with cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue.
The zoo’s president, Clement Lanthier, said last week the facility spent months trying to overcome transportation barriers in acquiring fresh bamboo and decided it’s best for the animals to be in China, where their main food source is abundant.
“It’s about the animals. At the end of the day, we cannot pretend that we care for animals if we don’t take those tough decisions,” Lanthier said. “We believe the best and safest place for Er Shun and Da Mao to be during these challenging and unprecedented times is where bamboo is abundant and easy to access.” Lanthier said the zoo had contingency plans for a steady supply of fresh bamboo, but limits on flights from China was the first problem. Transporting more from California added even more frustrations. “Every week, every 10 days there is more and more problem moving bamboo to Calgary. This risk is unacceptable. We don’t feel comfortable at all that we can impose that risk on the health and the welfare of the pandas.” According to Lanthier, the animals didn’t like some kinds of bamboo and other supplies that arrived were past their expiry point.
Giant pandas have unique nutritional requirements and 99 percent of their diet is made up of fresh bamboo. Each adult consumes about 40kg daily. Lanthier said the news came as a bit of a shock to the Chinese government. In other locations where pandas are exhibited — such as France, Spain and parts of Asia — bamboo can be grown locally.
He said the pandas had been one of the biggest draws at the Calgary Zoo, but the decision wasn’t one about business. “It’s based on animal welfare. I cannot imagine if one day, two days, three days in a row I am unable to provide the bamboo. That would be catastrophic.” There’s no date for when the pandas will return home. Lanthier doesn’t want the Canadian and Chinese governments to delay things. “We need the federal government and the Chinese government to expedite the permit process, so we can move them back to where this risk of not getting their next meal will be managed differently,” he said.
Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/05/19/2003736635
Topic: Justin Trudeau’s Official Home: Unfit for a Leader or Anyone Else
At Canada’s official residence for its prime minister, security cameras keep silent watch over the fences, visitors pass through gates that can block truck bombs and a detail of uniformed Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers patrol day and night.
But the prime minister himself is unlikely to be found inside.但總理本人不太可能在裡面。
When Justin Trudeau became prime minister three years ago, he took a pass on moving his family into the official residence at 24 Sussex Drive, built in 1868 by an American-born lumber baron. Decades of neglect had turned Canada’s top political address into its most famous home renovation project.
But no recent prime ministers have been willing to commit the tens of millions of dollars it would take to make the stone house habitable again. It would look as if they were spending money on themselves, a politically toxic step in Canada.
Trudeau, 46, who lived at 24 Sussex as a child when his father was prime minister, is no exception.現46歲的杜魯多也不例外。他幼年父親當總理時住過薩塞克斯街24號。
“No prime minister wants to spend a penny of taxpayer dollars on upkeeping that house,” Trudeau told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. earlier this year.杜魯多今年稍早對加拿大廣播公司說：「沒有一位總理會為了修理那棟房子，花掉納稅人任何一分錢。」
There was little criticism of Trudeau’s decision to live with his wife and their three children in Rideau Cottage, a relatively modest, two-story red brick house behind Rideau Hall, the house of Canada’s governor general who fulfills Queen Elizabeth II’s duties as head of state.杜魯多與妻子和三個孩子住在麗都別墅，這是一幢相對平實的兩層樓紅磚建築，坐落在加拿大總督府後方。加拿大總督代表英國女王伊麗莎白二世行使國家元首的職權。杜魯多的決定幾乎無人批評。
That is because the official residence’s deteriorating condition is no secret to Canadians, with government reports documenting its decline for more than a decade.這是因為總理官邸破敗對加拿大人並不是秘密，十幾年來政府報告詳細記錄了官邸的衰敗。
Those reports make grim reading for anyone but a contractor hoping to land the renovation job.報告內容對任何人來說都不是好消息，除了想接整修工程的包商以外。
“The building systems at 24 Sussex have reached the point of imminent or actual failure,” one report, by the National Capital Commission, the federal agency that manages official residences, found this year. It rated the residence’s condition as “critical.”負責管理官邸的聯邦機構「國家首府委員會」今年在報告中指出：「薩塞克斯街24號的建築體系即將或已經崩壞。」報告將官邸的情形評定為「危險級」。
Its wiring, according to the report, has become a fire hazard; the boiler is obsolete; the exterior stonework is crumbling; and the plumbing blocks up regularly.報告顯示，官邸的線路系統有走火之虞，供應暖氣和熱水的鍋爐老舊過時，外牆石造部分正在崩解剝落，而且水管經常阻塞。
The building by a pool added by Trudeau’s father is “rotting,” the report said, and air-conditioning comes from inefficient window units that could make it easy for intruders to slip in. Many of those windows need replacement anyway. Everywhere there is asbestos.報告說，這座杜魯多父親在旁邊新添一個水池的建物正在「腐壞」，而且空氣調節仰賴效率低的窗型冷氣，讓人很容易溜進去。許多裝了窗型冷氣的窗戶都該換了。到處都有石棉。
On top of all that, the house is ill-suited for official functions. Among the house’s many deficiencies, “the dining room is at the same time too large for a family and too small for state dinners,” the report said.更重要的是，這間房子不適合官式活動。報告說，這房子有諸多缺點，包括「餐廳對一個家庭來說太大，辦國宴卻太小」。
The current cost estimate to deal with everything (excluding security upgrades): 38 million Canadian dollars ($28.7 million).目前估計，解決所有問題但不包括安全設備升級的費用是3800萬加拿大元（2870萬美元，約台幣8.6億元）。
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/334262/web/
Topic: Canadian doctors - cancel our pay rise and spend money elsewhere 加拿大醫師：取消我們的加薪，把錢花在別的地方
Nearly 800 doctors and medical residents in the Canadian province of Quebec have signed a letter protesting against plans to raise their pay, arguing that the funds would be better spent on other areas of the province’s beleaguered healthcare system.
"We, Quebec doctors, are asking that the salary increases granted to physicians be cancelled and that the resources of the system be better distributed for the good of healthcare workers.’’
It was drafted late last month by Médecins québécois pour le régime public, a group of doctors and medical students who support public healthcare.
The letter says recent pay raises negotiated by their professional associations as "shocking", given the "draconian cuts" that have left nurses, orderlies and others overworked and underpaid, as well as led to a widespread lack of services for patients.
The Quebec government recently announced increases of 1.4% and around 1.8% for specialists and general practitioners respectively, while recent data suggests that the average specialist in Quebec makes C$403,500 annually, while family physicians make C$255,000.
Source article: http://iservice.ltn.com.tw/Service/english/english.php?engno=1185672&day=2018-03-21
Apple Podcast 2020年十大熱門節目
KKBox 2020年十大Podcast風雲榜 (唯一語言學習Podcast)
Scotland became the first country to allow free and universal access to menstrual products in public facilities. It is the movement against period poverty. Period poverty is a global issue affecting women and girls who don’t have access to safe, hygienic sanitary products, and/or who are unable to manage their periods with dignity, sometimes due to community stigma and sanction.
Vocabulary and Sample Sentences
Unanimously adv. – two or more people in full agreement
Access n. v.– means of entering or approaching a place;
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K050: About Canada - Fly south or roost? Canadian ’snowbirds’ weigh Florida mid-pandemic
Birds of a feather normally flock together, but the pandemic has divided Canada’s "snowbird" warm weather migrants into two camps：those staying home this winter and those heading to Florida no matter the cost.
Nearly a million Canadians make the annual pilgrimage, fleeing to the southern United States to pass what would otherwise be gray and snowy months with their toes tucked in the sand and ocean breeze in their hair.
The coronavirus has led a majority to forgo the trip this year － but for those flouting Canada’s repeated calls to stay put, the price tag on winter at the beach has skyrocketed.
Each plane ticket costs Can$500 and hauling the vehicle 55 miles across the border sets customers back $1,000.
Officials in Jasper, an alpine town in Canada’s Alberta province, have put up signs asking motorists to avoid allowing moose to lick the salt off their cars.
"They’re obsessed with salt, it’s one of the things they need for the minerals in their body," Jasper National Park spokesman Steve Young told CNN. "They usually get it from salt lakes in the park, but now they realized they can also get road salt that splashes onto cars."
At the Jasper National Park, where people often park on the side of the road in hopes of catching a glimpse of the moose, letting the animals near your car is actually a serious danger.
By allowing moose to lick the salt off your car, they will become habituated with being around cars. That poses a risk to both the animals and the drivers who can accidentally crash into them.
Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1422097
Dear 15mins fam 通勤家族，
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K049: A Monster Wind Turbine Is Upending an Industry
Twirling above a strip of land at the mouth of Rotterdam’s harbor is a wind turbine so large it is difficult to photograph. The turning diameter of its rotor is longer than two American football fields end to end. Later models will be taller than any building on the mainland of Western Europe.
Packed with sensors gathering data on wind speeds, electricity output and stresses on its components, the giant whirling machine in the Netherlands is a test model for a new series of giant offshore wind turbines planned by General Electric. When assembled in arrays, the wind machines have the potential to power cities, supplanting the emissions-spewing coal- or natural gas-fired plants that form the backbones of many electric systems today.
GE has yet to install one of these machines in ocean water. As a relative newcomer to the offshore wind business, the company faces questions about how quickly and efficiently it can scale up production to build and install hundreds of the turbines.
But already the giant turbines have turned heads in the industry. A top executive at the world’s leading wind farm developer called it a “bit of a leapfrog over the latest technology.” And an analyst said the machine’s size and advance sales had “shaken the industry.”
The prototype is the first of a generation of new machines that are about a third more powerful than the largest already in commercial service. As such, it is changing the business calculations of wind equipment makers, developers and investors.
The GE machines will have a generating capacity that would have been almost unimaginable a decade ago. A single one will be able to turn out 13 megawatts of power, enough to light up a town of roughly 12,000 homes.
The turbine is capable of producing as much thrust as the four engines of a Boeing 747 jet, according to GE, and will be deployed at sea, where developers have learned that they can plant larger and more numerous turbines than on land to capture breezes that are stronger and more reliable.
The race to build bigger turbines has moved faster than many industry figures foresaw. GE’s Haliade-X generates almost 30 times more electricity than the first offshore machines installed off Denmark in 1991.
In coming years, customers are likely to demand even bigger machines, industry executives say. On the other hand, they predict that turbines will reach a point at which greater size no longer makes economic sense.
Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5180307
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K048: British hospitals use blockchain to track COVID-19 vaccines
Two British hospitals are using blockchain technology to keep tabs on the storage and supply of temperature-sensitive COVID-19 vaccines, the companies behind the initiative said on Tuesday, in one of the first such initiatives in the world.
Two hospitals, in central England’s Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick, are expanding their use of a distributed ledger, an offshoot of blockchain, from tracking vaccines and chemotherapy drugs to monitoring fridges storing COVID-19 vaccines.
The technology will bolster record-keeping and data-sharing across supply chains, said Everyware, which monitors vaccines and other treatments for Britain’s National Health Service.
Logistical hurdles are a significant risk to the speedy distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, but have resulted in booming business for companies selling technology for monitoring shipments from factory freezer to shots in the arm.
Pfizer Inc and BioNTech’s shot, for example, must be shipped and stored at ultra-cold temperatures or on dry ice, and can only last for up to five days at standard fridge temperatures. Other vaccines, such as Moderna Inc’s, do not need such cold storage and are therefore easier to deliver.
Firms from finance to commodities have invested millions of dollars to develop blockchain, a digital ledger that allows secure and real-time recording of data, in the hope of radical cost cuts and efficiency gains.
Blockchain originated from Bitcoin, and it was created for the sake of Bitcoin — Bitcoin being blockchain’s first application. A blockchain is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of its data.
Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2021/01/25/2003751156
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K047: A Fresh Take on a 1934 ‘Murder’
A gruesome murder has been committed on a train in the middle of the night. Only 13 occupants of the carriage could have committed the dastardly deed. Was it a) the Russian princess; b) the American widow; c) the English governess; or d) the Hungarian count? Or any of the nine other multinational posh people and their servants rubbing shoulders on the luxury locomotive, snowbound in the middle of Eastern Europe, with a brilliant Belgian detective inconveniently in their midst?
Chances are this sounds familiar. It’s the setup for one of the most famous detective stories in the world: Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel “Murder on the Orient Express,” which has sold millions of copies. It was made into a sumptuous 1974 movie, directed by Sidney Lumet with the starriest of casts (Lauren Bacall, Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman!). It has been adapted for television, stage and radio. There is a Japanese television version and a computer game.
All this meant that Kenneth Branagh, the director and star of the new film version, which opened in the United States on Friday with the starriest of casts (Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penélope Cruz, Judi Dench!), had his own mystery to solve. How do you reinvent one of the world’s best-loved whodunits for a new era? Branagh’s solution was to modify, and sometimes entirely change, character and plot details in ways that may dismay purists but that he felt would give the piece a more contemporary resonance.
“There is always the thorny issue of who will know the plot and how can we divert them,” Branagh said in a telephone interview. “We knew we had to get people’s attention for a recalibrated character in Poirot,” Christie’s idiosyncratic Belgian detective.
To that end, Branagh and the scriptwriter, Michael Green, begin the movie with a showdown at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, as the detective solves another mystery. “I wanted to embrace the exotic and worldly side of Christie, to come into the big, hot open skies and find a new Poirot, our ticket for an exotic adventure,” Branagh said.
With an opening that has Poirot tripping up an escaping villain in a positively James Bond-esque manner, Branagh immediately established the detective as a far more dashing man of action than the novel’s small hero “muffled up to the ears of whom nothing was visible but a pink-tipped nose and the two points of an upward curled mustache.”
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/320990/web/
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K046: Cold snap devastates fish farms in Yunlin County
Despite the temperature rising to a high of 23 degrees Celsius on Jan. 3, the cold snap continues to inflict heavy losses on Yunlin County’s milkfish farming industry. As of Jan. 3, the bitter weather had frozen to death or inflicted frostbite on more than 190,000 milkfish on the county’s fish farms, which accounts for 50 percent of the farms’ milkfish population.
Yunlin County Agriculture Department Deputy Director Tsai Keng-yu said that, as of 4pm on Jan. 3, cold-damage data provided by the relevant public bodies showed that Taisi Township was the worst affected, with 700 hectares of farm affected and 140,000 fish dead or injured, or approximately 60 percent of fish population lost. About 300 hectares of fish farms in Sihhu, Kouhu and Mailiao townships had been damaged, which equates to about 50,000 fish, or 30 percent of the local farms’ fish stocks. The entire county had lost 190,000 fish, but the death toll could rise further as some fish farmers had not yet finished dredging their ponds.
A fish farmer surnamed Ting from Taisi Township said he was breeding approximately 1,500 milkfish on his fish farm and had been raising them for over one year. Ting said the cold snap had almost completely wiped out his fish. Furthermore, because milkfish are “working fish” reared within a clam pond polyculture, and are therefore not the fish farms’ primary breed species, it will be difficult to quantify the extent of the losses. However, what is certain is that without the assistance of the milkfish chomping through algae and other surface growth, farm owners would have to regularly carry out manual dredging of their ponds. As well as significantly increasing their workload, this could also result in a reduction of the water quality, which might kill the clams and cause more than NT$1 million in losses.
Another fish farmer, surnamed Yao, said that he had turned his fish pond’s waterwheel up to full speed during the cold weather, which, in addition to groundwater percolation, meant that only a little over 100 of his fish perished. However, Yao said that those fish lucky enough to survive were a ghost of their former selves, exhibiting much-reduced energy levels. “If we get another cold snap, they might not be able to survive. All I can do is wait and pray,” said Yao.
Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2021/01/10/2003750262