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Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/16/2020 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    At the beginning of Feb, Vatican city sent 600,000-700,000 masks to China, which is amazing for a city-state of just 1000 people. I realize the Vatican is politically separate from Italy, I still see the help as coming from your part of the world. I just read that Italy has significantly more doctors & hospital beds/population than the US: 4.0 doctors/1000 population Italy versus 2.6 US. And 34 beds/million Italy versus 29 beds/million US. Hence, the US will really get hurt if we fail to implement sufficient controls. One thing we need to invest more in is vaccine research & production. While we could put everyone in masks, the virus could come back again after we stop using them (as several of you noted). This is something the world needs to do. We need to purse research even after the immediate crisis: https://www.statnews.com/2018/01/11/vaccines-drug-makers/
  2. 3 points
    Hey chinese-forums.com, I'm in the middle of building some Cangjie learning software and I was wondering if it would be useful to the community, since I've seen quite a few posts on this forum asking about Cangjie resources. First a link to a simple landing page (just a landing page for now! Read on for why it's just a landing page): https://learningcangjie.com Some background about Cangjie: Cangjie, developed in the 1970s, is a way of typing Chinese that relies on graphical decomposition rather than phonetic decomposition (my link has a simple example). That means that each key on your keyboard corresponds to a fragment of a character instead of a sound. You then use the keys on your keyboard to piece together a character fragment by fragment. Why might you want that? Well once you're proficient with Cangjie, you can type faster than with phonetic methods because every Chinese character has a uniqe sequence of Cangjie keys so you don't need to type a word and then hunt and peck the correct character from a drop-down menu of potentially hundreds of choices. You can also type characters you don't know how to pronounce as long as you have the character in front of you. Finally, if you're a Chinese learner, Cangjie also offers an additional opportunity to practice graphical recall of Chinese characters that can help considerably when it comes to general reading and writing of characters, since every time you type out a character you're effectively practicing how to piece it together. Then some background about my motivations: I started studying Cangjie a little while ago and of course did the usual song and dance of looking for software to help learn it. There's great software for learning how to touch type English (see e.g. Typing Club), but I couldn't find any good ones for Cangjie, especially in English. Even in Chinese, the resources tended to be fragmentary and strewn about, relying on you as a user to piece everything together. Since programming is my livelihood, after trawling the web some more, looking at both English and Chinese sources, I decided I would have to make this software for myself if I wanted to use it. As I began coding, I realized if I'm going to the trouble of making this software, I should see if others are interested. So I've set up a website to canvas interest. Basically the more interest I get, the more time and polish I'll put into this to release to others. If people are willing to pay, then I'm going to treat this as a real production software project and try to make a definitive high quality Cangjie resource. Assuming enough interest, the roadmap is a soup-to-nuts resource that teaches The principles of Cangjie decomposition, i.e. in what order a character should be decomposed The Cangjie primary forms (and muscle memory practice for them) The Cangjie secondary forms (and muscle memory practice for them) Graphical decomposition of many different characters into their primary and secondary forms And has typing exercises (starting from single characters, then phrases, then sentences) in the same way that English touch typing is taught. Unfortunately this represents a very large time investment and so I wanted to make sure this is something people actually want, before I went and sunk my time into it. And I mention this on the website, but the email addresses I'm collecting to gauge interest won't be used anywhere else for any other purpose and will of course be deleted on request.
  3. 3 points
    I'm an ER doctor, retired. Would report for duty tomorrow morning if asked. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/15/us/coronavirus-physicians-emergency-rooms.html?algo=top_conversion&fellback=false&imp_id=739134863&imp_id=572455840&action=click&module=trending&pgtype=Article&region=Footer
  4. 2 points
    The Trump story is fake news. "The company denied allegations like that on Sunday: „We do not know where this rumour came from"“, said Franz-Werner Haas, executive board of CureVac, to Tagesspiegel. „We have not received an offer. And we will not engage in speculations“. It was correct however that CureVac was at the White House, among other Biotech companies, and spoke to the US president, who signalled „that we should hurry - because a health care issue was pending." (translated from Der Tagesspiegel, a decidedly left-leaning or, in US-American terms, liberal, newspaper)
  5. 2 points
    As you are perhaps already aware, I am one of the users here who uses cangjie, and I think this is a fantastic idea. It is indeed a massive trawl around the internet to gather together all the resources you need to get to a workable typing level in cangjie. I think there is definitely potential for some online platform for typing practice for English speakers, like skritter, but for typing. Great idea! I would suggest one area that you might want to work on if you want to draw in a bigger audience is highlighting the traditional/simplified capabilities of this typing method: one of the greatest benefits of cangjie for many will be the fact that it can be used to type both simplified and traditional. I cannot type in 五筆 (or 笔, 竹竹手山, if you prefer, just to demonstrate the point in question), but I have heard that while it can be used to type traditional, it is heavily slanted towards simplified and doesnt work too well otherwise (again, correct me if im wrong Imron or anyone else). Yes, you could just type in one then auto-convert into the other, but the whole point of learning to type is so you can experience typing Chinese characters like you might English, the freedom to quickly type whatever character you want without having to stop and start clicking at options. As far as I am aware, cangjie is the only system that is able to do this well and with ease (it comes bundled as an IME on most computers, unlike zhengma or other more obscure IMEs). Look forward to seeing more!
  6. 2 points
    The Netherlands is now mostly locked down as well. It started with a ban on events of more than 1000 people (last week), then 100 people, then all events, then last night it was announced that the schools were closed starting today (Monday) and restaurants and bars were closed starting 18:00 that night (about 20 minutes after the press conference in which it was announced). I worry these measures come too late. So I am at home, not meeting with people, and going between planning what to do with All That Time! and reminding myself that this is what I do every day: sit at home, translate, send emails, make phonecalls, and so there is no All That Time! to fill and I can pretty much just continue as usual. Only without exercise (rowing club is closed as of yesterday) or seeing people.
  7. 2 points
    At the beginning of Feb, Vatican city sent 600,000-700,000 masks to China, which is amazing for a city-state of just 1000 people. I realize the Vatican is politically separate from Italy, I still see the help as coming from your part of the world. I suspect that the Vatican is rich beyond anyone's wildest imagination regardless of its size 🤣 I am not surprised about this. Italy is (famously) not efficient, but that doesn't mean that things don't work at all. Healthcare that has to be available for free to everyone all the times involves very high costs (and taxes), bureaucracy, waste, delays etc. etc...but at the end of the day you still have a very large system and infrastructures in place that are quite developed and don't easily fail as they are funded by the government. On another note, I had an interesting conversation with my dad (who incidentally is a doctor) last weekend about why fatality rates seems to be so high in Italy. There must be many different reasons (e.g. people don't respect the isolation rules etc.) but his opinion was that due to the high costs, they are only doing swab tests on a very small number of subjects and basically only those who are already in pretty bad conditions. So there must be a very large percentage undeclared cases that just get lighter symptoms and never make the records.
  8. 2 points
    One thing that worries me about the "herd immunity strategy" is that we don't really know whether or not a significant percentage of those who recover from the disease will be left with permanent issues, e.g. reduced lung function. I've only scratched the surface of the research, but here's a 2006 paper that looked at kids who had been infected with SARS. Not to say that this has any transferability to this virus (although this is certainly worrying), but the British strategy seems like one hell of a bet to make. Here in Norway, cities are slowly closing down. We are now the country in Europe with the second highest infection rate. Most of those who can (including myself and my wife, thankfully) are working for home. Hair dressers and other non-critical professions who work with people are temporarily banned from working. The economy is tanking hard, a huge amount of layoffs are expected. It's absurd how things have changed so quickly. We came back from China on 3 February and I started in new job on 10 February. After five years as a public servant I've moved on to the private sector, from "qualitative case work" to IT. Bad timing.The company I work for has already taken a heavy blow as a result of the quarantines, and it's only expected to get worse. As in a 50 percent loss in turnover. As the newest hire, I expect I'd be the first to be let go if push comes to shove... And I don't expect it to be easy to find a new job under the current conditions. Luckily, we have a pretty decent safety net where I'd be guaranteed 60 percent of my former income if I'm laid off (and the government is considering increasing the amount to cope with the situation). Fingers crossed it won't come to that though.
  9. 1 point
    We have just taken the decision based on the update from the UK government to close our shop for the foreseeable future as I am in the vulnerable group and can't take the risk. As we are in the entertainment business ( electronic audio equipment) the source of much of our work is also closing so won't be losing much business anyway and not worth being open for one or two passersby that don't actually want anything we sell. We are in a positive financial situation so not worried for the immediate future and will access what funds are available from the government for small businesses. Take care people.
  10. 1 point
    I think that character is the cursive of 壽, which would make it 鶴壽 (not 鶴拳) and 海濤 (not 海灣). Looking closer, the seal below also reads 海濤, which would suggest it is the name of the calligrapher. The other part reads 端午書於海上
  11. 1 point
    Never fails to amaze me. But, according to my observation no matter how educated a society is, the majority of the people are clueless about proper/healthy diet and hygiene... I give Warren Buffett the benefit of a doubt about many things including when he says he drinks more Coke to protect against Corona, but he also admitted he would still go to a major meeting, "because he had already agreed to it". The guy is 89 years old!
  12. 1 point
    Malaysia has gone into semi lockdown. Another religious congregation causing an outbreak. Malaysia have jumped on it far faster than Italy. Korea have another outbreak- a church squirted saline from the same bottle in people’s mouths to protect them. They used the same bottle across all people. Enough said. This has happened in a highly educated society. UK have given a live press conference. Frankly speaking, the messages coming out from the government and chief medical officers are confusing. 7 days isolation still stands if you are ill but family members isolate 14 days. The rest of the world is 14 days straight off. That herd immunity theory is going to haunt them badly. if the story is true, it just shows how much of a businessman he is.
  13. 1 point
    @Tomsima thanks for the words of encouragement! Yeah simultaneously being able to type simplified and traditional characters indeed sounds like something I could highlight; thanks for the suggestion! I have a couple questions for you if you have the time to reply since you've already made the Cangjie journey. What prompted you to learn Cangjie? Looking back, do you think there would have been any resources that would've helped accelerate your learning?
  14. 1 point
    Mortality is most certainly not related to age in absolute numbers. If the average life expectancy in Russia is 57 years for men, then this is equivalent to being 80 year olds in Japan, Italy or Germany... Only the most selfish p** 🤬would ask for exclusive rights to a vaccine in a pandemic. Luckily, the main owner of this company is also one of the founders of SAP (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAP_SE). He does not need Trump´s billions.
  15. 1 point
    From Germany: Just got back from the pharmacy. A queue of old ladies and none of them would stop their 5 minute chat with the pharmacist, who would every now and then lean over to better understand them... Here is a graph showing the risk of each profession: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/15/business/economy/coronavirus-worker-risk.html Not too reassuring that I am in the top right corner, but it could be worse. After all I am not a oral hygienist...
  16. 1 point
    with a ~1%(?) chance of death, not many people will take up that sort of offer. long term problems in survivors after the disease are not clear
  17. 1 point
    Similar story here - my day to day life is actually fairly unaffected. And here in the UK everything is still open, albeit very quiet. Concert hall last night was as empty as I've ever seen it, pubs are quiet, gym is quiet. Etc. Given that the UK approach is still "you're mostly going to get it anyway", I almost feel I'd be better off getting it now so a) there's still hospital capacity if I need it and b) I can stop worrying about inadvertently affecting old folk.
  18. 1 point
    A couple of points: -- Since the virus seems to hit older people harder, you'd expect higher death rates in areas with older populations. Oddly, least affected might be countries with lower life expectancies. -- A lot of play today in the British press especially about projected deaths from the virus. But these projections are based on death rates during the first couple of months of the epidemic. While a vaccine may be well down the road, it's not unreasonable to expect death rates to fall as effective treatment approaches get identified. Bit of scare-mongering going on unless these news reports also acknowledge this.
  19. 1 point
    I don't think they think kids are immune, just that they don't suffer badly. My worry is the snotty little dirty handed scruffs are going to infect everyone else. Also if the kids are off school it will probably fall to the grandparents or other older extended family to care for them, not good either. I think that it won't be long before we (the UK ) will also be on lock down. I am seriously considering closing the shop for a couple of weeks. As we are in the entertainment business it won't be long before clubs, pubs, venues etc will closed and then there is no work for us. Not worried about funds, there are grants to apply for, started the ball rolling already. I am in the vulnerable group, I am not risking being open for 1 or 2 customers a day, nothing we do is urgent or important. I have plenty to keep me busy, so an enforced stay at home is not a problem. As we live above the shop and we don't have many reasons to go out anyway normally, it won't be hard. Security wise we will be on the premisses so can keep an eye on things, this was one problem some one brought up, lots of empty shops. So shopping online, and battening down the hatches for the duration and bring on the Dunkirk spirit - put the kettle on and keep calm.
  20. 1 point
    Not to dispute your larger point ("infect everyone and let the chips fall where they may" does seem like an awfully risky bet), but that paper specifically looked at "children who had previously received hospital treatment for SARS" - i.e. children who were affected by it badly enough to require hospitalization. (thankfully, in the case of coronavirus there seem to be very few of those) Likewise with the other link - these were people discharged from a hospital after having a serious enough case to be admitted to one. The fact that in the US we've got 50 states and dozens of major cities each independently making their own decisions about when / what to close is going to make for some interesting research down the line.
  21. 1 point
    I saw that too (it was on Chinese news). To be fair, this whole thing is kind of China's fault in the first place (unless the conspiracy theories about the US military are to be believed), so there probably should be helping out. Still, Western countries could have sent more help in February. One country which did offer a lot of help (especially in terms of supplies) was actually Japan. If there is one good thing to come out of this, then it's the improved Sino-Japanese relations. I've heard that many Chinese TV stations even took the 抗日 TV dramas off the air. Yeah China has sent a team of 9 doctors and supplies to Italy last week (which in the current climate is quite something, regardless of whether its been paid for or not really). It's been really appreciated in Italy and it's on all the newspapers, hopefully it will change the way the Italians see Chinese immigrants, who are too often discriminated in my opinion. As far as I know Italy didn't provide special support in February but I've been told that there were a number of initiatives by privates and communities (e.g. there is a huge group of people from wenzhou living in Tuscany) who sent supplies.
  22. 1 point
    Yeah agree with the sentiment, and hoping this means it will be really hard for future political parties not to invest heavily in national healthcare systems.
  23. 1 point
    Must *slap* stop *slap* touching *slap* fa....wait, damnit! While I'd like to see the UK at the cutting edge of scientific research, I do wonder if a deadly epidemic is the right time. And I'm not sure the population is fully on board with the 'just get it over with' approach.
  24. 1 point
    This will probably be my last update from Harbin, as things seem to be much more "interesting" in Europe now. I went outside of my apartment complex on Thursday for the first time in over 2 weeks (not due to being scared about catching the virus, it's just such a hassle signing in and out etc). Harbin finally opened up the big shopping malls, and even some smaller shops have opened too. Hopefully they will begin to do away with the constant temperature checks and name signing over the next couple of weeks. There is a fair bit of traffic now, although still much less than usual. Crossing the road is a little dangerous again: I took the opportunity to take a long walk outside. I'm in a modern apartment complex where all they had to do was lock some gates and put extra people on guard duty, but I always wondered what they did about the traditional apartment buildings. As you walk around you begin to realise that you need to stick to the main roads, as the small ones all have makeshift fencing to control the flow of people: There was quite a long queue outside this supermarket, and I was impressed by the distance being kept between each person (maybe not quite 1.5 m, but much better than usual). The supermarket in the mall next to my apartment didn't have any queues at all, and was just normal busy: I finally got to eat a meal not made by my own hands (some jiaozi, which I have never made before). Although the restaurants were open, it was take-out only. All the other stores in the mall seems to be open, but only a handful of customers. I've got another 3-4 weeks before I have to go back to the UK. I hope to be able to get some normal-style living in before jumping into a yet another quarantine-like situation back home.
  25. 1 point
    Yes, but wearing mascara and make up helps 😁 let me know if you want product recommendations.
  26. 1 point
    Here's some examples today when I walked through to my home after work today. The other pictures showed the plastic sheets being intact and in good condition though I did find a couple of places where the plastic was worn through as shown. Not sure if the damaged plastic was due to wear and tear or keys. Personally, I don't use a key to press the button though I have seen a few people do it. I use my finger and then rub my hand with some sanitiser. From what I see, the plastic sheet coverings must be replaced fairly regularly.
  27. 1 point
    In HK, all lift buttons are covered by a clear plastic sheet for ease of cleaning. The sheets are also replaced frequently. A behaviour learnt during the SARS period.
  28. 1 point
    Depends on the type of mask. Surgical masks are one use. The 3M N95 type are multiple use unless they’re visibly soiled. There’s still a limit. Masks do expire apparently. I saw some news article about a Canadian stockpile of expired masks. Not sure how that actually affects them though.
  29. 1 point
    These are my goals for 2020, as of now... Daily: 30 minutes reading time Deeply focus on at least 5 unknown new words 30 minutes active listening (active TV watching, LCTS, etc) Diary entry "Teach" my wife for 15 minutes per day (as long as she stays interested... this can just be a basic conversation together based on her vocabulary) Weekly: Continue at least 1 hour formal tutoring (online) Write a 500-1000 word essay At least two 30-minute conversations with language partners Yearly Read 6 novels At some point, begin a more serious study of Classical and Literary Chinese Thoughts?
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