2019-11

Global Energy Transport Security

Summary

  • A series of attacks and detentions for oil cargo ships this year have made the Strait of Hormuz a geopolitical hotspot once again, harkening back 35 years to the so-called "tanker wars", part of the Iran-Iraq War.

  • The Trump administration's April decision to re-impose sanctions against Iran's oil exports, coupled with the Iranian government's bellicose rhetorical response looms large as the reason for the recent flare-up in the Strait of Hormuz.

  • The United States is expected to surpass Australia and Qatar to become the world's largest LNG(Liquified Natural Gas) exporter before 2025.

  • LNG is volatile, and those tankers may be more vulnerable to attack than oil tankers.

Backgroud

  • Belfer Center at Harvard University is a research center located within the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Auto Industry Icon Lee Iacocca Dies At 94

Summary

  • He sold Fords, he sold Chryslers, he sold Chrysler Corporation and he sold himself.

  • Ford fired him in 1978, then he joined Chrysler.

  • Chrysler was adrift and taking on water, and Lee Iacocca needed a job.

  • He asked US government for help, and US government helped Chrysler in the form of guaranting more than $1 billion in loans.

  • He retired from Chrysler in 1992 and would go on to lead other projects like the restoration of the Statue of Liberty.

  • He transcended his industry to become and American icon.

Words

  • get across, 使明白,使理解

    • You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your brains won't get you anywhere.

Backgroud

  • Chrysler is one of the "Big Three" automobile manufacturers in the United States.

Shelter For An Aging World

Summary

  • Changing demographics throughout the globalizing world, in particular an increase in the aging population and a decrease in birth rates, are disrupting housing markets.

  • Due to these demographic and financial trends, household structures have changed with increased preference for smaller, shared living quarters and less home ownership worldwide.

  • Falling birthrates and shrinking family sizes, factors for China's housing market, have not yet reduced the pratice of falimy care.

  • Right to Housing is a United Nations-led movement that highlights shelter as a fundamental human right.

The Foodoo Economics Of Meal Delivery

Summary

  • It is a hotly competitive business, attracting the world's biggest moneybags such as Amazon, Alibaba and SoftBack.

  • The food-delivery business can be split into two camps: mostly profitable veterans and loss-making newcomers.

  • The veterans, founded at the start of the century, are led by publicly traded Grubhub in America, and Just Eat and Takeway in Europe.

    • They account for the largest share of the market, offering customers online access to restaurants that already have their own delivery serives.

  • The newbies include listed firms such as Meituan of China and Delivery Hero of Germany, Uber Eats, Ele.me and privately held DoorDash, based in San Francisco, and Deliveroo, from London.

    • For most of them, delivery is their core business, so they share their cut of the bill with riders as well as restaurants.

    • This substantially broadens the market.

  • The only mouthwatering aspect of the delivery business is its potential size.

Background

  • foodoo: food + voodoo

  • listed firm. A company whose stock trades on a stock exchange, and conforms to listing requirements.

The Surprising Ways Art Has Advanced Astronomy

Summary

  • Astronomy and art have been inseparable for centuries.

  • In the era before digital CCD cameras and their predecessors, photographic plates, astronomers were required to be artists.

  • Today, whenever an image is taken of the cosmos, it's initially a monochromatic freeze-frame, and it takes careful layering and palette selection to bring images like the Pillars of Creation to life.

  • Drawing on principles from art to create scientific visualizations, astronomers are able to see their work with a new perspective and, perhaps more crucially, share their discoveries with other scientists more clearly than with traditional techniques.

Background

  • Pillars of Creation is a photograph taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Listen, Ben And Stretch: How Japan Fell in Love With Exercise On The Radio

Summary

  • Japan's communal exercise regime has barely changed since the health insurance bureau of the post office launched rajio taiso in November 1928.

  • After Japan's defeat in the second world war, allied forces banned rajio taiso becaouse of its close association with militarism.

  • Studies show that people who exercise this way for just a few minutes a day have improved bone density, reduced risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack, and are generally in better physical shape than other people their age who don't exercise.

Background

  • rajio taiso: Radio calisthenics in Japanese.