On March 4th, 2021 Moses McCormick, aka “Laoshu50500” on YouTube, suddenly passed away (but surely did not leave us). Following the news, it only felt right for me to share my thoughts on the topic of language learning that was almost entirely a product of Laoshu’s gift to the world. He was the man who kick-started my learning of Chinese, gave me the confidence to practice in public and learn from my mistakes, and instilled in me the joy of learning languages in a useable form. …


It probably comes to no surprise that the top two most consumed beverages in the world are tea and coffee, respectively. Growth prospects for both beverages show positive trends with dominant growth occurring in the Asia-Pacific regions. Compound Annual Growth Rates (CAGR) are projected to be around 6–7% for tea and coffee from 2018 to 2024. Currently, China is the number one tea producing country, while Brazil is the number one coffee producing country in the world. …


https://www.esa.int/var/esa/storage/images/esa_multimedia/images/2018/01/space_weather_effects/17231521-7-eng-GB/Space_weather_effects_pillars.jpg

Clear skies with a 50% chance of extremely high velocity, micro-bits of rock. Temperature lows in the -40s and highs in the 100s celsius. For satellite engineers, the detrimental impacts of temperature fluctuations and collisions with orbital debris (natural and man-made) as small as a few centimeters are clear. Thankfully, monitoring stations such as the U.S.’s Space Surveillance Network (SSN) and the Air Force’s Space Based Space Surveillance operate 24/7 for the purpose of tracking objects in Earth’s vicinity. On the other hand, the presence of electromagnetic (EM) radiation and charged particles are aspects of space weather vastly more complicated…


Space debris, or space junk, clouds the Earth’s orbit. ESA/ID&SENSE/ONIRIXEL

The crowding of small satellites in orbit was seen as a potential issue as early as 2001 when three individuals, Yakovlev, Kulik, and Agapov, wrote a paper for a European conference on space debris. Graphs using NASA data showed the increasing favorability for lighter weight satellites. They concluded that if the number of small satellites continued to increase, space debris in those regions could become a problem. Any object in Earth orbit can pose as a threat, but space debris can be looked at as objects that simply clutter space and serve no purpose. Here, we define space debris as…


Credit: Sean (https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/104216432)

For Westerners, Taiwan remains low on the list for the most frequented destinations within Asia. Growth in tourism has steadily increased for the island since 2008 when Chinese mainland citizens were granted access, but the numbers for U.S. citizens remain small. Fortunately though, Taiwan allows 90 days of visa-free entry for U.S. citizens and the number of visitors from the U.S. has grown to over half a million as of 2018. Being one of the most mountainous islands in the world, Taiwan offers a number of adventurous opportunities given its richness in cuisine, culture, and natural beauty. …


In the San Augustine Plains of central New Mexico, 27 radio telescopes stand tall, operating nearly 24 hours, 7 days a week capturing extremely weak signals emitted from all over the Universe. This flat and vast land, once a seabed, sits at an altitude of 7,000 feet and is surrounded by 360 degrees of mountains. Despite the ideal conditions of this location, “listening” to these faint radio emissions is becoming increasingly difficult as the Earth becomes “noisier” in the same direction in which these dish antennas are pointed, the sky. At ground level, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s (NRAO) Very…

Adam (N4ADK)

Amateur radio operator, photographer, bass player from Richmond, VA.

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