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Do Co Mo

We have already talked about using translation apps whilst travelling or being lost in translation, for example in the Chinese language. An interesting development has however recently emerged in the mobile app world for the Japanese language: and is geared towards finding a decent place to eat on your travel.

DoCoMo, a Japanese mobile communications operator, has developed an app called “menu translation”, which, as the name suggests, translates menus from Japanese into English, Chinese (both Madarin and Cantonese) and Korean.

It’s a very useful tool to help tourists explore the wonders of Japan; they only need to use their smartphones to take a picture and the app will show the English translation. There’s even an option to get extra information via Wikipedia if the user wants to know more about a particular term. The app is unfortunately unavailable for the iPhone but has been published on the Android market.

Being lost in translation is not a nice feeling, especially if you are trying to conduct business. To play it safe, ask SanTranslate.

By | October 18th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

Innovation flies high with Boeing 787 Dreamliner

It’s lighter, it can fly further and it consumes less fuel: it’s the Boeing 787 Dreamliner of All Nippon Airways, deemed by some analysts as a landmark in aviation history.

On 28 September the US plane maker Boeing officially delivered its first 787 Dreamliner to Japan‘s All Nippon Airways. One game-changing aspect of the aircraft is its ability to fly nonstop for about 15,000 kilometers – the same as a jumbo jet and 30% further than similarly sized aircraft.

The extensive teamwork and collaboration between ANA and Boeing resulted in the world’s most advanced and innovative aircraft. It is also the world’s first commercial plane to use composite materials for most of its structure. Thanks to its newly designed engines, aerodynamic improvements, increased use of lightweight composite materials and advanced computer systems, the 787 consumes 20% less fuel than its predecessor, making it Boeing’s most fuel-efficient airline in its class. This significant drop in fuel consumption means a similar 20% increase in range, enabling ANA to significantly lower operating costs. The Dreamliner also generates 20% less CO2 and 15% less NOx, making it truly eco-friendly. The special design of the aircraft and its engines reduces its noise pollution by up to 60 per cent.

All Nippon Airways provides passenger services through 936 domestic and 638 international passenger flights, as well as cargo services through 9 cargo freighters. Since 31 2010, it has operated with a fleet of 210 aircraft. ANA projects its aviation fuel costs will be cut by 10 billion yen a year after its 55 Dreamliners are introduced to service.

By | October 18th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

The Population Bomb Part 2

Pre 1970s India presented a grave picture. With a population of over half a billion and an economy that was largely reliant on foreign aid, it was apparent that a master stroke was needed to turn the tide.

It is understood that the wheat being grown in India during the 60s was nowhere near enough to sustain its population. One of the most common methods of any agronomist in such circumstances is to try and increase the wheat yield in plants through selective breading. The problem is that when this is relied on too much, the increased wheat yield makes the plants top heavy, which causes the stem to bend and break. When this occurs, it becomes very difficult to harvest the wheat by mechanical means, so despite there being an increase in yield, the problem is not solved.

Agronomist, Humanitarian and Nobel Laureate, Norman Ernest Borlaug addressed this issue through years of study and experimentation on crop in Mexico. After much effort, he developed a semi-dwarf variety wheat plant that was disease resistant and had a very high yield. He circumvented the problem of taller wheat grass collapsing under extra weight by breeding varieties that had smaller, thicker stems, making them strong enough to withstand the weight of extra grain.

Through constant import of the new dwarf wheat and grown under the intense supervision of Borlaug himself, India’s yields increased from 12.3 million tons in 1965 to 20.1 million tons in 1970. By 1974, the country was able to declare itself self-sufficient and continued to grow rapidly. Upon reaching the new millenium, the country was harvesting a staggering 76.4 million tons of wheat.

Borlaug was awarded the the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10th 1970 and is often credited as the man who saved a billion people from starvation. When we consider the individuals that make up such a number, it is difficult not to fantasize about the potential waiting to emerge; in those numbers might be an individual who who makes a breakthrough in breast cancer research, a future diplomat instrumental in stymying the tide of war or another agronomist who develops the next strain of dwarf wheat.

It is interesting to see how interconnected our efforts are. From beginning his research in Wilmington, Delaware, Borlaug’s actions affected many countries, from Mexico to India and Pakistan, and then later on to Africa despite the fact that war was spreading across many of those regions. When an important message needs to be spread, we can be encouraged by the fact the if we choose, we can make country borders and language barriers no obstacle at all.

By | October 17th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments
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