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  1. im098

    Ask me anything: Life in Buangkok chalet

    Have u made any friends with fellow residents and discussed your respective LIFE STORIES before joining the esteemed community ??
  2. Politics Foxconn's Terry Gou Says Sea Goddess Backs Him to Run for Taiwan President By Debby Wu April 17, 2019, 11:39 AM GMT+8 Updated on April 17, 2019, 12:17 PM GMT+8 Billionaire mulling challenge against President Tsai Ing-wen ‘I came to ask Mazu and she told me to come forward,’ Gou says Foxconn founder Terry Gou claimed a divine endorsement for his possible run for Taiwan’s presidency: support of the Chinese sea goddess Mazu. The Taiwanese billionaire told reporters after visiting a New Taipei City temple on Wednesday that the sea goddess encouraged him to “come forward” to support peace across the Taiwan Strait. He made the remarks a day after saying that he was considering a run on the opposition Kuomintang line to challenge Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, whose Democratic Progressive Party advocates a more decisive break from the mainland, in next year’s general election. “Today, Mazu told me I should be inspired by her to do good things for people who are suffering, to give young people hope, to support cross-strait peace,” Gou said, adding that the goddess had recently spoken to him in a dream. “I came to ask Mazu and she told me to come forward.” Gou was scheduled to stop by another temple before visiting the KMT headquarters at 3 p.m. local time. The party is expected to nominate a candidate in the coming weeks for the general election. The 68-year-old Gou has amassed a personal fortune of about $4.4 billion building consumer electronics on which other companies can slap their brand, including Apple Inc. and Sony Corp. Foxconn Technology Group -- the main assembler of iPhones -- was among the first Taiwanese companies to build factories in China to tap lower wages and land costs. Gou is Taiwan’s third-richest person and the 442nd in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His resources could help him stand out among a field of potential challengers that includes former New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu and former legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng. Han Kuo-yu and Ko Wen-je, the outspoken mayors of Kaohsiung and Taipei, respectively, also haven’t ruled out a run. Wednesday’s temple visit, in which Gou spoke the Taiwanese language, also demonstrated his retail political skill. The emphasis on local cultural and spiritual traditions may help counter criticism that he’s too sympathetic to Beijing, where the officially atheistic Communist Party plays down religion and promotes Mandarin. The sea goddess Mazu is believed to protect fishermen and sailors and is worshiped by Taoists and Buddhists. Temples to the deity can be found throughout East Asia, including China, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam. “Mazu said the economy would improve following peace and prosperity,” Gou said, adding that he believed the goddess had long supported his business success. Taiwan and China have been governed separately since Chiang Kai-shek moved his Nationalist government to Taipei during the Chinese civil war. The KMT has controlled the island’s government for all but 11 years since the conflict, including decades under martial law. China cut off official communication with Taiwan after Tsai’s DPP ousted the KMT from the presidency and parliamentary majority in 2016, citing her refusal to accept that both sides belong to “one China.” But she’s also been criticized by members of the DPP’s pro-independence base for not acting more decisively and she’s facing a challenge for the party’s nomination from her former premier, William Lai Ching-te. HOW COME Tua Pek Kong never show any signs to endorse WHO the rightful 4G LEADER is
  3. Angmoh called them Hean and Loong so endearing,. ..... Or they think Hean and Loong are their surnames, this reporter does not do homework
  4. Rewriting Life Chinese scientists have put human brain genes in monkeys—and yes, they may be smarter A quest to understand how human intelligence evolved raises some ethical questions. by Antonio Regalado April 10, 2019 Human intelligence is one of evolution’s most consequential inventions. It is the result of a sprint that started millions of years ago, leading to ever bigger brains and new abilities. Eventually, humans stood upright, took up the plow, and created civilization, while our primate cousins stayed in the trees. Now scientists in southern China report that they’ve tried to narrow the evolutionary gap, creating several transgenic macaque monkeys with extra copies of a human gene suspected of playing a role in shaping human intelligence. “This was the first attempt to understand the evolution of human cognition using a transgenic monkey model,” says Bing Su, the geneticist at the Kunming Institute of Zoology who led the effort. According to their findings, the modified monkeys did better on a memory test involving colors and block pictures, and their brains also took longer to develop—as those of human children do. There wasn’t a difference in brain size. The experiments, described on March 27 in a Beijing journal, National Science Review, and first reported by Chinese media, remain far from pinpointing the secrets of the human mind or leading to an uprising of brainy primates. Instead, several Western scientists, including one who collaborated on the effort, called the experiments reckless and said they questioned the ethics of genetically modifying primates, an area where China has seized a technological edge. “The use of transgenic monkeys to study human genes linked to brain evolution is a very risky road to take,” says James Sikela, a geneticist who carries out comparative studies among primates at the University of Colorado. He is concerned that the experiment shows disregard for the animals and will soon lead to more extreme modifications. “It is a classic slippery slope issue and one that we can expect to recur as this type of research is pursued,” he says. <iframe width='640' height='480' frameborder='0' allowfullscreen src='//'></iframe> A genetically-altered rhesus macaque performs a memory task in a Chinese lab. Research using primates is increasingly difficult in Europe and the US, but China has rushed to apply the latest high-tech DNA tools to the animals. The country was first to create monkeys altered with the gene-editing tool CRISPR, and this January a Chinese institute announced it had produced a half-dozen clones of a monkey with a severe mental disturbance. “It is troubling that the field is steamrolling along in this manner,” says Sikela. Evolution story Su, a researcher at the Kunming Institute of Zoology, specializes in searching for signs of “Darwinian selection”—that is, genes that have been spreading because they’re successful. His quest has spanned such topics as Himalayan yaks’ adaptation to high altitude and the evolution of human skin color in response to cold winters. The biggest riddle of all, though, is intelligence. What we know is that our humanlike ancestors’ brains rapidly grew in size and power. To find the genes that caused the change, scientists have sought out differences between humans and chimpanzees, whose genes are about 98% similar to ours. The objective, says, Sikela, was to locate “the jewels of our genome”—that is, the DNA that makes us uniquely human. For instance, one popular candidate gene called FOXP2—the “language gene” in press reports—became famous for its potential link to human speech. (A British family whose members inherited an abnormal version had trouble speaking.) Scientists from Tokyo to Berlin were soon mutating the gene in mice and listening with ultrasonic microphones to see if their squeaks changed. Su was fascinated by a different gene: MCPH1, or microcephalin. Not only did the gene’s sequence differ between humans and apes, but babies with damage to microcephalin are born with tiny heads, providing a link to brain size. With his students, Su once used calipers and head spanners to the measure the heads of 867 Chinese men and women to see if the results could be explained by differences in the gene. By 2010, though, Su saw a chance to carry out a potentially more definitive experiment—adding the human microcephalin gene to a monkey. China by then had begun pairing its sizable breeding facilities for monkeys (the country exports more than 30,000 a year) with the newest genetic tools, an effort that has turned it into a mecca for foreign scientists who need monkeys to experiment on. To create the animals, Su and collaborators at the Yunnan Key Laboratory of Primate Biomedical Research exposed monkey embryos to a virus carrying the human version of microcephalin. They generated 11 monkeys, five of which survived to take part in a battery of brain measurements. Those monkeys each have between two and nine copies of the human gene in their bodies. Su’s monkeys raise some unusual questions about animal rights. In 2010, Sikela and three colleagues wrote a paper called “The ethics of using transgenic non-human primates to study what makes us human,” in which they concluded that human brain genes should never be added to apes, such as chimpanzees, because they are too similar to us. “You just go to the Planet of the Apes immediately in the popular imagination,” says Jacqueline Glover, a University of Colorado bioethicist who was one of the authors. “To humanize them is to cause harm. Where would they live and what would they do? Do not create a being that can’t have a meaningful life in any context.” The authors concluded, however, that it might be acceptable to make such changes to monkeys. In an e-mail, Su says he agrees that apes are so close to humans that their brains shouldn’t be changed. But monkeys and humans last shared an ancestor 25 million years ago. To Su, that alleviates the ethical concerns. “Although their genome is close to ours, there are also tens of millions of differences,” he says. He doesn’t think the monkeys will become anything more than monkeys. “Impossible by introducing only a few human genes,” he says. Smart monkey? Judging by their experiments, the Chinese team did expect that their transgenic monkeys could end up with increased intelligence and brain size. That is why they put the creatures inside MRI machines to measure their white matter and gave them computerized memory tests. According to their report, the transgenic monkeys didn’t have larger brains, but they did better on a short-term memory quiz, a finding the team considers remarkable. Several scientists think the Chinese experiment didn’t yield much new information. One of them is Martin Styner, a University of North Carolina computer scientist and specialist in MRI who is listed among the coauthors of the Chinese report. Styner says his role was limited to training Chinese students to extract brain volume data from MRI images, and that he considered removing his name from the paper, which he says was not able to find a publisher in the West. “There are a bunch of aspects of this study that you could not do in the US,” says Styner. “It raised issues about the type of research and whether the animals were properly cared for.” After what he’s seen, Styner says he’s not looking forward to more evolution research on transgenic monkeys. “I don’t think that is a good direction,” he says. “Now we have created this animal which is different than it is supposed to be. When we do experiments, we have to have a good understanding of what we are trying to learn, to help society, and that is not the case here.” One issue is that genetically modified monkeys are expensive to create and care for. With just five modified monkeys, it’s hard to reach firm conclusions about whether they really differ from normal monkeys in terms of brain size or memory skills. “They are trying to understand brain development. And I don’t think they are getting there,” says Styner. In an e-mail, Su agreed that the small number of animals was a limitation. He says he has a solution, though. He is making more of the monkeys and is also testing new brain evolution genes. One that he has his eye on is SRGAP2C, a DNA variant that arose about two million years ago, just when Australopithecus was ceding the African savannah to early humans. That gene has been dubbed the “humanity switch” and the “missing genetic link” for its likely role in the emergence of human intelligence. Su says he’s been adding it to monkeys, but that it’s too soon to say what the results are.
  6. Unknown Species of Tiny Ancient Human Discovered in Philippine Cave Scientists are reporting the discovery of a previously unknown species of ancient human that lived in the Philippines over 50,000 years ago. Evidence suggests the new species, named Homo luzonensis, was exceptionally tiny—and possibly even smaller than the famous Hobbit species uncovered on the island of Flores in 2004. The story of human evolution just got a hell of a lot messier—and considerably more fascinating—owing to the discovery of a previously unknown human species. Bits of teeth and bone pulled from Callao Cave on the Philippine island of Luzon point to the existence of a distinctly human species, one deserving of the Homo designation in terms of its genus. At the same time, however, the fossils found in Callao Cave exhibit features unlike anything ever seen before, thus warranting the declaration of a completely new human species, Homo luzonensis. The details of this astonishing discovery were published today in Nature. Needless to say, this is a huge deal. New human species tend to not be discovered on a regular basis. The discovery of Homo luzonensis, with its curious set of physical characteristics, is telling us some surprising new things about human evolution and what happened to the pioneering hominins who left Africa so long ago. This story begins in 2010 with the important discovery of a single human foot bone, dated at 67,000 years old, in Callao Cave. The exact species could not be determined, but it was the first direct evidence of a human presence in the Philippines. As an important aside, we’ve since learned that hominins—the sub-group of primates that are more closely related to us than to chimpanzees and bonobos—were living in the Philippines as long as 709,000 years ago. A butchered animal bone found a the Kalinga site in Luzon, Philippines, showed hominins were active on the island as far back as 709,000 years ago. The newly discovered species, called Homo luzonensis, lived in the Philippines around 67,000 years ago. It’s not known if the two groups were related. Indeed, the story of human evolution is getting increasingly complicated. Hominins first appeared in Africa some 6 to 7 million years ago, with the first evidence of a hominid presence in Eurasia dating back about 1.8 million years ago, likely the archaic human known as Homo erectus. Incredibly, this dispersal happened long before our species, Homo sapiens, emerged; we finally entered onto the scene 300,000 years ago, spilling into Eurasia about 100,000 years later. There, we joined two other human species, the Neanderthals and Denisovans. Most extinct hominins are not our direct ancestors, but they’re our very close relatives. Each species went on its own evolutionary journey, adapting to their new circumstances and environments in different ways. By around 50,000 to 60,000 years ago, there were multiple human species living at the same time, doing their own thing at various locations in both Africa and Eurasia. The scientists who found the human foot bone in the Philippines, a team led by Florent Détroit from the National Museum of Natural History in France and Armand Mijares from the University of the Philippines, kept working at Callao Cave in an effort to find more clues. These ongoing excavations resulted in the discovery of 12 new hominin elements, including teeth, a partial thigh bone, and several hand and foot bones. These fossils belonged to three different individuals, two adults and one child. No genetic evidence could be extracted from the specimens, and sadly, no skulls were found. These remains were pulled from the same stratigraphic layer as the foot bone found in 2010, dating these individuals to the same time period. Five upper teeth of the newly described human species, Homo luzonensis. Analysis of the bones and teeth suggested a previously unknown species of human. Also, these hominins appear to have been exceptionally small. The authors of the new study suspect H. luzonensis was subject to an evolutionary process known as insular dwarfism, in which a species’ body size becomes significantly reduced over time on account of limited access to resources. A similar thing likely happened to Homo floresiensis, an extinct human species popularly known as the Hobbit. The remains of these diminutive humans, who stood no taller than around 3 feet and 7 inches (109 centimeters), were discovered on the island of Flores in Southeast Asia back in 2004. The discovery of Homo luzonensis—who may have been shorter than the Hobbits—may signify the presence of yet another human species moulded by insular dwarfism—a rather astounding discovery, to say the least. It’s important to point out, however, that insular dwarfism in H. luzonensis remains a distinct, yet unproven, possibility. As the authors noted in the study, “further discoveries and more definitive evidence are needed.” The Hobbits and H. luzonensis bear striking similarities, and they were around at roughly the same time, but their evolutionary relationship is not known. It’s conceivable that both human species are descendents of H. erectus, and that both ended up isolated on their respective islands. In terms of the distinct physical differences observed in H. luzonensis, the most notable were seen in their teeth and foot bones. Their molars, in particular, were unlike anything ever seen before in a human species. Writing in an accompanying News & Views article, anthropologist Matthew Tocheri from Lakehead University in Thunderbay, Ontario, described how their teeth exhibited both ancient and modern features. When compared with the molars of other hominin species, H. luzonensis molars are astonishingly small, and the simplified surfaces of their crowns and their low number of cusps are features that look similar to the molar crowns and cusps of H. sapiens. Yet the shapes of H. luzonensis teeth share similarities with the teeth of H. erectus from Asia, and the size ratio of H. luzonensis premolars to molars is similar to that of Paranthropus, species of which are known for their massive jaws and teeth. This is unbelievably fascinating, but the story gets even more intriguing—and potentially even more confusing. The toe bone in question: The third metatarsal of H. luzonensis. The third metatarsal—the long bone in the middle toe—in H. luzonensis is exceptionally strange, bearing an uncanny resemblance to those seen in Australopithecus—an ancient human ancestor that lived in Africa some 3 million years ago and never left Africa. Well, at least to the best of our knowledge. H. luzonensis also featured hand bones similar to those of Australopithecus. There are at least two possible explanations for this odd toe bone, neither of which seem wholly plausible. Crazy theory number one: Conventional thinking has it that Homo erectuswas the only hominin species to have left Africa during the Early Pleistocene, the period between 2.58 to 0.78 million years ago. The evidence found in Callao Cave would seem to suggest that we’ve got it all wrong, and that other hominins, including groups more closely related to Australopithecus (or even Australopithecus itself!), made their way into Eurasia during this period. More evidence is needed to back this extraordinary possibility. Crazy theory number two: An intriguing aspect about the H. Luzonensisthird metatarsal is that it allows for more curved toes. This is significant because curved toes are great for tree climbing and hanging from branches. Australopithecus, a suspected tree climber, was equipped with this particular physical feature, and it would seem to suggest the same for H. luzonensis. But if H. Luzonensis is not closely related to Australopithecus, then why the curved toes and hands? It’s possible that some hominins retained their tree-climbing abilities for much longer than is conventionally appreciated. Another possibility is convergent evolution, in which similar physical characteristics appear in unrelated species. Should this be the case, if would mean that, after thousands of years of upright, bipedal locomotion, H. Luzonensis was returning to an arboreal existence, and evolving the requisite physical characteristics. It’s a mind-blowing theory, no doubt, but again, one in desperate need of further evidence. “The discovery of H. luzonensis underscores the complexity of the evolution, dispersal and diversity of the genus Homo outside of Africa, and particularly in the islands of Southeast Asia, during the Pleistocene,” the authors appropriately conclude in the new study. “This is a truly sensational finding.” Paleontologist Adam Brunn, a researcher at Griffith University and an expert in the hominin colonization of southeast Asia, had been hearing rumours about the Luzon fossils for years, saying it’s “brilliant” to finally seeing the new findings published. “It’s not everyday a new human species is discovered. To describe one, to add a new relative to our family tree, is an enormous privilege—and a huge responsibility,” explained Brunn in an email to Gizmodo. “The discovery team has done a very meticulous and commendable job describing these new fossils, and their naming of a new species, in my opinion, is valid. This is a truly sensational finding.” Gerrit van den Bergh, a senior lecturer at the University of Wollongong’s Centre for Archaeological Science, said the researchers were “justified” in their decision to name the new species. He said it’s fascinating that Luzon is now the second known island, after Flores, in which a distinct human species existed before the arrival of H. sapiens. “These insular species may have evolved on each island in perfect isolation, and you could say that their evolutionary pathway has gone in a completely different direction as those of their counterparts on mainland Asia, for example Homo erectus or the Neanderthals,” wrote van den Bergh, who wasn’t involved with the new study, in an email to Gizmodo. “Most notably they became very small bodied, which is what also happened to other large mammals that became stranded on islands, such as various fossil pygmy elephants that we know once inhabited many islands in the Mediterranean and Island Southeast Asia.” Anthropologist Dean Falk from Florida State University had few quibbles with the new paper, but the one issue she did raise was beyond the control of the researchers: their inability to find a skull. Despite this major limitation, she “became convinced that the authors have identified hominins with unique dental features combined with at least some features of hands and feet that resemble Australopithecus,” adding that these “specimens may, indeed, represent a previously unidentified species,” wrote Falk in an email to Gizmodo. The small teeth of H. luzonensis, she added, suggests they had small bodies, but we can’t know for sure. That said, “insular dwarfism would not be at all surprising on the island.” “You gotta love the curved hand and feet bones, and I don’t have a problem with speculating that their owners might have spent a good deal of time in trees,” Falk told Gizmodo. “Could it be that—at least some—hominins continued to sleep in tree nests until very recently, at least geologically speaking?” Ultimately, however, the story of human evolution just got a lot more “bushier,” she said. No kidding. And a lot more interesting, if that’s even possible. As this new paper beautifully illustrates, the unfolding human origin story is turning out to be absolutely incredible.
  7. Reiwa: Japan announces name of new era BY TOMOHIRO OSAKI APR 1, 2019 In a much-awaited moment that heralded the opening of a new chapter in Japan’s history, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced Monday that the new Imperial era will be named Reiwa, taking one of the final steps toward initiating the nation’s first imperial succession in three decades. The new era will start on May 1, when Crown Prince Naruhito ascends to the Chrysanthemum Throne following the abdication of his father, Emperor Akihito, a day earlier. The arrival of Reiwa 令和 will in turn end a 30-year run of the Heisei 平成 (“achieving peace”) Era, which began in Jan. 8, 1989. The new era will be the 248th in the history of Japan, which has used the Chinese-style calendar system since 645. In modern times, each era has run the length of an emperor’s reign. What differentiated the arrival of the latest era from its past four predecessors — Heisei 平成, Showa 昭和, Taisho 大正and Meiji 明治 — is that the government announced its name while the reigning Emperor is still alive. This is because Emperor Akihito — in a rare address to the nation in August 2016 — hinted at his desire to abdicate due to his advanced age, as opposed to his immediate predecessors who reigned until their deaths. His unprecedented address soon kicked off preparations for what will be the first abdication by a sitting Japanese monarch in around 200 years. The naming of a new Imperial era is a significant event here. Gengo, as it is called, plays an integral role — both practically and psychologically — to the lives of Japanese people. In a nation where gengo has long been cherished as a way of identifying a year — as in “Heisei 31,” which corresponds to 2019 — in many official documents and computer systems, its change has had far-reaching practical implications, too. Local municipality officials, computer engineers and calendar manufacturers, for example, have spent months preparing for necessary changes. With gengo often seen as reflective of the zeitgeist, speculation had been rife about what the new era would be named.
  8. 5000 thousand years of civilization !!!
  9. im098

    My former sec sch website kym? GPGT

    Is Your fav math teacher second from left
  10. im098

    Temasek investment arm appoints new CEO

    Meanwhile the Chairman mentor post is created
  11. His father Sudoku program is open source, sharing the code with the world to appreciate his SOLO work His son works in a Team, coming out with a group project that he takes all the publicity and most of the credit for it !
  12. Kim Jong Un Rethinking U.S. Nuclear Talks, Set to Make Statement Jihye Lee North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will soon make an announcement on whether to halt nuclear disarmament talks with the U.S., a move that comes after his February summit with Donald Trump broke down over Pyongyang’s demand to remove sanctions on its economy. North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, who was at the summit in Hanoi, told a news conference in Pyongyang Friday that North Korea has no intention to make concessions to the U.S. and much less the desire to conduct such negotiations, Russia’s TASS news agency reported. She also said North Korea is also considering whether to maintain its moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests, AP reported. South Korea’s so-called peace stocks, which move on speculation about developments in North Korea, fell after the report that the regime is reviewing plans to suspend denuclearization talks with the U.S. In a televised New Year’s address, Kim threatened to take a “new path” if Washington didn’t relax crippling economic sanctions. North Korea wants “corresponding measures,” or immediate rewards, for any steps his regime makes.