Apr 24, 2007

Lifestyle (Word of the Day, 2007/4/18)

※LOHAS: Lifestyles Of Health And Sustainability
※According to a report: 2006 Working hours per week
※Cycles: How we will Live, work, and buy.
1. Day Time—What job do you do? (Ex. teacher, engineer)
1.1 Annual Goal:
1.2 Seasonal Goal:
1.3 Monthly Goal:
1.4 Weekly Goal:
2. After Day Time—What hobby do you like? (Ex. public speaking, food cooking)
2.1 Annual Goal:
2.2 Seasonal Goal:
2.3 Monthly Goal:
2.4 Weekly Goal:
3. In the Weekend-- What do you interest? (Ex. movie, music, museum, snack)
3.1 Annual Goal:
3.2 Seasonal Goal:
3.3 Monthly Goal:
3.4 Weekly Goal:

Apr 4, 2007

Where is the water from?

Have you ever visited a mud volcano?

Mud volcano isn't a real volcano. It doesn't erupt lava. It erupts mud instead. Mud contains water. So, here comes a question, "where is the water from?"

This is a very simple question. You might have an answer already. You may remember the Chinese poem. It says, "Don't you see? The water of the Yellow river comes from the sky." Analogizing to Mud Volcano, you may say, "Don't you see? The water of the Mud Volcano is from the sky." As the rainwater permeates through earth and become groundwater, it dissolves the mudstone into mud. This is what geographers say. Do you agree with this viewpoint?

Logically, there are two possible answers to this question. One is the above. Besides, we have an alternative choice. That is geologists' assertion. There is a debate between geographers and geologists. Most geologists think that the water comes from mudstone strata themselves. Just like lemon juice comes from lemon itself.

It may be unthinkable, but it is true.

There is mud reservoir underground. And the chamber is filled with over-pressurized gas. Because of the pressure, mud is forced to escape from the reservoir through the fractures. Therefore the fractures are full of gas and mud, so that groundwater can not flow into the reservoir through them. And mudstone is waterproof. It is impossible that the water comes from the outside of mudstone. However, where is the original water from?

For answering this question, we have to go back to the era when the mudstone formed. What happened then? We don't known. But, "the present is a key to the past". If we know what is happening on deep seafloor now, we may answer the question.

Geologists have found a huge amount of gas hydrate in the mud sediments on deep seafloor recently. Gas hydrate is a kind of solid ice-like compound. It is combined with natural gas and water at high pressure and low temperature. It reminds us that the mudstone strata, formed from mud sediments on deep seafloor, also contain a huge amount of gas hydrate. As the strata crack, the pressure releases and gas hydrates decompose into water and gas. That is where the water from. The water is from the inside of mudstone strata. And the mud contains ancient sea water.

Have you changed your mind? Or you may ask, is there any evidence?

Of course! The Mud is salty. If you like to taste it, you will find that.

By the way, you had better recognize this viewpoint, because gas hydrates may become the most important source of energy in the coming future.
(Alan's C9 speech, 2007/4/4)

Time (Word of the Day, 2007/4/4)

Section 1 Definitions
l Noun
1. a limited period as between 2 events, for the completion of an action
ex: It will take you a long time to learn French.
2. the regular period of work of a worker
ex: full time / part time
3. a particular point in the day stated in hours, minutes, seconds, etc.
ex: bedtime / lunch time / summertime
4. an unlimited period in the future
ex: In time, you will forget him.
5. a period in history
ex: Queen Victoria’s time
6. a period or occasion and the particular experience connected with it
ex: We had a good time at the party.
l Verb
record the time taken for something or someone

Section 2 Phrases

Someone + kill time
Someone + wastes time
Pass time
Ex: Listening to the music helps her to pass the time.
Someone + spend time
Ex: I spend 15 min. to the office everyday.
It + takes time
Ex: It takes me 15 min. to the office.
Someone + have no time for + something
Ex: I have no time for doing an diet.

In time
On time
Against time: in an effort to finish something within a certain period
Ex: We are working against time to get this dictionary finished.

Free time: leisure time

For a time: a short period
From time to time: sometimes
Time after time: often, repeatedly
Once upon a time: a long time ago
At that time: at that moment

Further nouns related to time
Time keeper
Time-table: schedule

Apr 3, 2007

Where Has the Mountain Gone?

I'll tell you a sad story about a mountain that is losing its treasure.
I show you a picture taken by Japanese geologist in 1932. It's Banping Mountain. It looked like being chopped off by half.
When I was a child, I was curious about where the half of the mountain had gone.
My father told me a story about it.
A god sliced off half of the mountain, mixed it with the water of Lotus Lake to make large amounts of free dumpling for the poor people. Finally, the missing half of the mountain had gone to the stomachs of greedy villagers.
When I grew up, I became a student of Tsoying Senior High. I witnessed the changing of the mountain under the rumbles of blasting. The mountain got lower and lower while the city got more and more prosperous. I didn't really know where the half of the mountain had gone, but I certainly knew where the other half has. Part of the other half is composed of limestone. It was not sliced away by the god. It had gone to the kiln and was used for cement and steel making. It played a very important role in the miracle of Taiwan’s economic development. The missing part of Banping Mountain was exchanged for the increasing national income. The greedy people as well as the villagers in the previous legend have destroyed the mountain to satisfy their own needs.
The entire cliff and the limestone layer almost disappeared.
Limestone mining has removed the original vegetation, destroyed the natural habitat, and moreover, has changed the stable geology structure and caused landslide.
Now, I am a teacher of Tsoying High. I always take my students to Banping Mountain to study the plants, fossils, and geology. I'm glad that the limestone mining has ended since 1997. The greens come back to the mountain, and it means the habitat is expanding. Humans and animals also come back. It has recovered from quarries into Nature Park although the grand cliff returns no more. We can see the bright future of the mountain. After the battle between environmental protection and economic growth, it reached a new point of balance.
What do we learn from the missing Mountain?
We have to reconsider the question:
"How can human beings live with Mother Nature harmoniously?"
No doubt, the answer is "Sustainable development".
"Sustainability" means that we have to ensure our economy and society can continue to exist without destroying the natural environment on which we all depend. Achieving sustainable development is no easy task. The decision-making at the highest levels and our day-to-day behavior has to change.
As we look back at the missing Banping Mountain, have we ever changed our attitude toward Mother Nature?
In 2003, the government of Kaohsiung City decided to imitate the stubborn old man who removed mountains, which blocked his way in front of his house in an old Chinese legend. In early 2004, the southern end of the Mountain has gone and become a roadway. It lost the balance once more.
In the near future, the tunnel of the Mass Rapid Transit will do it again. Part of the Mountain will lose as usual. The battle seems endless.
What have we learned from the missing mountain?
Beyond the construction site, at the foot of the mountain, a grass does its best to break through the dried mud and grow strongly. When will the spring come back to Banping Mountain?
(Alan's C2 Speech)

Apr 1, 2007

Welcome to TsoYing Toastmasters Club!

To provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity
1. To master the art of public speaking.
2. To develop leadership abilities.
3. To improve communication skills.
Teacher Association Office, 2F, the First Building, Tsoying Senior High School
55, Haigong Rd., Zuoying, Kaohsiung, Taiwan 813
Every 1st and 3rd Wedneseday, 7:00-9:30pm