living

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Perfectly planned for quality living

Published September 11, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30376030

Perfectly planned for quality living

Sep 10. 2019
The scenery at Izumi Park Town, the Tapio Shopping Centre (left) and The Sendai Royal Park  where is next to the Sendai Izumi Premium outlets.

The scenery at Izumi Park Town, the Tapio Shopping Centre (left) and The Sendai Royal Park where is next to the Sendai Izumi Premium outlets.
By Parinyaporn Pajee
The Nation

346 Viewed

In this second part of the two-part series, the writer travels to Sendai in Northeast Japan to see how nature is being interwoven with urban development.

Leaving behind the forests and parks nestled in and around Tokyo’s business district, we head to Izumi Park Town – a 10 kilometres away from Sendai.

The Izumi Park Town is the sustainable residential area in Migayi Prefecture on which Mitsubishi started work some 50 years ago. The development was launched in 1969 when Mitsubishi snapped up some 10.74 square kilometres (6,712.5 rai) of forest land on the mountainside. The first stage of Izumi Park Town started in 1974 and Mitsubishi has been developing the area ever since, adding an industrial area and recreation zone to the housing areas.

Built from scratch, Izumi Park is now regarded as an ideal town with infrastructure and urban planning systematically designed to enhance people’s interactions and connections. The management of the town is carried out under mutual community rules while the development programme is designed to encompass almost every aspect of urban living ranging from living space to schools, industrial and business districts, as well as recreational areas and even hospitals, all designed to accommodate people of any age and gender. The most recent developments include the new shopping mall Izumi Park Town Tapio and Sendai Izumi Premium outlets.

This peaceful coexistence takes place under a set of rules developed to enable the town to operate with the benefits and interests of the community in mind while showing respect for each other. Community members are made aware of their role and responsibility to respect the rules, allowing this quality society to maintain its high living standards.

With a current population of approximately 25,000, the town has been systematically developed and is rich in green spaces. Houses are beautifully designed, surrounded by trees, public parks and golf courses as well as such facilities as shopping malls, supermarkets and outlets that accommodate the ever-increasing number of tourists. Visitors are mesmerized by the impeccably organised urban spaces, appropriately divided into four different zones from living, urbanisation, recreation and working.

Intersections are replaced by T-sections to avoid traffic incidents.

Intersections are replaced by T-sections to avoid traffic incidents.

In the Living area, the emphasis is placed on the design of roadways to enable the most effective functionality, which includes different types of roads with carefully calculated geometric designs that have minimal curves and take account of the disruption caused by private driveways. Intersections are replaced by T-sections to avoid traffic incidents and here, as elsewhere, priority is given to the inhabitants’ safety and well-being.

In addition, each residential project is required to have at least 30 per cent green space of the total spatial programme and provide a communal area to encourage public activities and interactions between community members.

A site visit of AP (Thailand) team including four students from AP's Open House and the press at Izumi Park Town.

A site visit of AP (Thailand) team including four students from AP’s Open House and the press at Izumi Park Town.

The design also takes care to ensure no sensibilities are offended by ensuring that the roofs are in cool tones and there are no fences, In the meantime, the town encourages the use of the community bus provided by Mitsubishi Estate that offers residents comprehensive services at a cheaper cost. Responsibility for the public and private space is shared between the Sendai City, the landowner, MEC (Mitsubishi Estate Group) and the Plant Committee to make sure every tree in the town gets the care it needs to thrive.

The highly urbanized town centre is home to the schools, public activities and shopping malls and surrounded by the recreation and activity areas that include the golf course, tennis courts and horse tracks.

The working zone is home to the business area, with the light industry and office zones systematically managed and properly separated from the heavy industry zone.

The housing area is designed to situate behind the trees area that help to reduce the noise from vehicles.

The housing area is designed to situate behind the trees area that help to reduce the noise from vehicles.

Vittakarn Chandavimol, chief of AP (Thailand) ’s Corporate Strategy and Creation, is well pleased with the visits to Tokyo and Sendai, telling us that they inspire AP to adapt what they see in Japan into their upcoming projects.

“There are obviously a lot of differences between our two countries so there are things we just can’t do, like creating the concept of Izumi Park Town in Thailand. But there are also many things we can try, such as adopting the green environment design in housing projects both vertically (condominium) and horizontally (housing estate), the traffic design and also how to raise the community awareness,” he says.

“And we cannot adopt the same business model as Mitsubishi Estate has used for Izumi Park Town. Here Mitsubishi has developed phase after phase over a 50-year period and continues to do so. We, on the other hand, work from project to project.

“We don’t have a huge plot of land like Izumi Park Town, but what we can apply is how to develop different projects simultaneously in the same area serving different target groups and then try to turn these into a community,” he continues.

Vittakarn Chandavimol, chief of AP (Thailand) ’s Corporate Strategy and Creation at the Izumi Park Town, Sendai, Japan.

Vittakarn Chandavimol, chief of AP (Thailand) ’s Corporate Strategy and Creation at the Izumi Park Town, Sendai, Japan.

Vittakarn is also certain that the field trip is equally as beneficial to his students and the press.

“We bring our product development team to Japan too. While we can’t pick up and do in Thailand what we have observed from the field trips we’ve organised over the past few years, we carry the concepts inside our heads. When the Japanese start doing something, they do it

thoroughly and deeply. It can takes years to be successful and so forus it’s like a shortcut to learning.”

In the meantime, AP is also focusing on greening the environment. It is now working with the Big Trees Project in removing and relocating the big trees before clearing and construction begins whereas before it would simply have cut them down. The Big Trees Project’s arborist

and tree surgeon gives the guidelines on how to trim, cut or remove the tree properly. It is even sharing these ideas with its clients, bringing the project’s experts to teach people how to plant trees and take care of them.

See also thethe first of a two-part series on Mitsubishi Estate’s projects in Japan at  https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30376024

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Living in the arms of Mother Nature

Published September 11, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30376024

Living in the arms of Mother Nature

Sep 10. 2019
By Parinyaporn Pajee
The Nation

334 Viewed

With a prime location between the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Station, it’s easy to understand why Marunouchi is one of Japan’s most prestigious and popular business districts.

Leading property developer AP (Thailand) loves the area too, recently leading the Thai media and four of its top Open House students to the heart of the Japanese capital to explore new ideas in land development through its Japanese partner Mitsubishi Estate, which owns and manages one third of Marunouchi, an area that’s home to more than 4,000 companies housed in 100 buildings and which draws some 230,000 workers every day.

This year, AP is focusing its attention on sustainability and looking at ways to bring a green ambience to the spaces in which we live and work. And ever since Mitsubishi Estate invested in AP Thai six years ago, the property developer has been organising field trips to Japan and adapting the ideas it gains from these visits to its developments in Thailand. Two key places are the Marunouchi business area in Tokyo and the Izumi Park Town, a town in Sendai which was built by Mitsubishi Estate and which is still being developed even though the first house was built 50 years ago.

The Cafe by Aman

The Cafe by Aman

Our first stop on the Tokyo leg of the visit is Mitsubishi Estate’s headquarters in Otemachi next door to Marunouchi where Takanori Murakami, deputy general manager of the company’s Urban Development Promotion Department, is on hand to explain in detail how a green environment including a man-made forest has been incorporated within the concrete skyscrapers in the Otemachi, Marunouchi and Yurakucho areas. He tells us about the short-term initiatives the company wants to accomplish in 2020 and its long-term plans it aims to complete by 2050 before we are heading to a site visit around the area where the small forest surrounding the Cafe by Aman. This is a popular spot among salaryman, a place to eat their lunch and take a break from the concrete jungle.

Takanori Murakami, deputy general manager of the company’s Urban Development Promotion Department, is on hand to explain in detail how a green environment including a man-made forest has been incorporated within the concrete skyscrapers in the Otemachi, Marunouchi and Yurakucho areas

Takanori Murakami, deputy general manager of the company’s Urban Development Promotion Department, is on hand to explain in detail how a green environment including a man-made forest has been incorporated within the concrete skyscrapers in the Otemachi, Marunouchi and Yurakucho areas

 

Over the last decade, Marunouchi has been undergoing a major facelift led by Mitsubishi Estate. Older office buildings have been replaced by new skyscrapers with offices on their upper floors and a variety of shops and restaurants on their lower floors. These newly opened

shopping and dining complexes have revitalised the formerly unexciting business district and are drawing an increasing number of non-business visitors too. This mecca of business is brought closer to nature through plants and trees that fill every vacant space including the

pillars of the buildings and the walkways.

During the Edo period, Marunouchi (literally “within the enclosure”) was located within the outer moats of Edo Castle and contained the residences of some of Japan’s most powerful feudal lords. During the Meiji Restoration, an old castle became the Imperial Palace and the

Meiji government decided to sell the land that had once been home to the residential quarters of those feudal lords to the private sector to encourage urbanization. Only Mitsubishi understood the government’s intentions and purchased all the land. Their conviction that a modern state required an international business centre opened the doors to the future of Marunouchi.  Ichigokan, which literally means the first building, was the first edifice to be constructed in this area by Mitsubishi Estate back in 1894.

The Ichigokan - the first building of Marunouchi area.

The Ichigokan – the first building of Marunouchi area.

 

The red brick townscape was designed by British architects and earned it the nickname ‘London block’. Tokyo Station opened later in 1914.

The Ichigokan was reconstructed and reopened in 2010 as a museum focusing on 19th-century Western art. The area has now grown to become the lungs of the city, bringing people and nature together into a seamless coexistence.

One of the best examples of green living is Ichigokan Plaza, which is home to countless species of plants that take turns to bloom depending on the season. A sizeable green space is provided for visitors to rest, relax and be immersed in the natural surroundings while the

space design and lifestyle aspects reflect the coexistence between urbanites, building construction, and large trees. One of the examples is The Cafe by Aman that stands out thanks to the minimal aesthetics of its design and decoration with massive transparent floor-to ceiling glass that look out to 3,600 sqm of urban forest.

Mitsubishi Estate’s residential arm brings nature to residential development through the Bio Net Initiative, which carefully chooses planting inside the project to harmonize with the surrounding area.

Launched in February 2015, the Bio Net Initiative has now been developed into 150 projects under the condominium brand The Parkhouse. The initiative was chosen as the winner of Good Design Award of 2015 and Excellence Prize of the Biodiversity Action Grand Prize 2015 for its environmentally friendly design with outstanding considerations of flora and fauna such as birds, butterflies, flowers and grasses. The Parkhouse exists as a part of natural ecosystem and the design takes into account the appropriate number of plants, and quantity of earth water, and wind required to match the holistic space of the project to ensure total harmony. Eighteen of the 150 projects have received the ABINC biodiversity certification from the Association for Business Innovation in Harmony with Nature and Community.

At the Ichigokan Plaza, the green landscape has been added and the area.

At the Ichigokan Plaza, the green landscape has been added and the area.

 

The site visit and details provided by Mitsubishi Estate, says Vittakarn Chandavimol, chief of AP’s Corporate Strategy and Creation, shows the AP team, Open House students as well as Thai media how everyone can create a better place. For AP, he adds that the trip will inspire his team to adapt these concepts into their development projects.

“Since the real estate business needs to grow hand in hand with city development, we attach importance to improving and elevating living quality under our AP World vision. We seek to draw a blueprint of good quality of life for today and the future. Thus we have come up with

the ‘Grow’ philosophy which offers a master plan for sustainable development. Along with developing AP Group’s residential projects, we take into consideration functionality and convenience of residents in our space design and also aim to understand how urban people can live with nature, especially developing residences with green areas inside. We hope to offer another piece of the jigsaw for a perfect ecosystem that allows for the coexistence of urbanites, buildings, large trees and various ecosystems and makes life safe and sound physically and mentally from the inside out. We believe it will ensure quality living

for big-city residents,” he says.

Vittakarn Chandavimol, chief of AP (Thailand) ’s Corporate Strategy and Creation

Vittakarn Chandavimol, chief of AP (Thailand) ’s Corporate Strategy and Creation

 

The concept has already been put into practice in AP’s new condominium project Life Sathorn Sierra, which is located just a few minutes walk from Talat Phlu BTS station. Designed as a prototype of sustainable, balanced vertical living, the project stands out for its Forest Park

in the City concept and is now available for sale.

This is the first of a two-part series on Mitsubishi Estate’s projects in Japan. The next feature will take readers to the Izumi Park Town in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, here https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30376030

Bang & Olufsen soars after chairman says he’s ready to sell

Published August 25, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30375320

Bang & Olufsen soars after chairman says he’s ready to sell

Aug 24. 2019
By The Jakarta Post

274 Viewed

Bang & Olufsen was on track for its best trading day since the beginning of the year after its chairman signaled that the beleaguered maker of luxury TVs and stereos is up for sale.

It’s not clear that B&O, which is based in western Denmark, has any potential suitors, but the comments by Chairman Ole Andersen to the Borsen newspaper were initially embraced by investors, who drove the stock up as much as 15 percent after the market opened in Copenhagen on Friday. As investors took a bit more time to think, B&O’s gains petered out, and the shares were about 2 percent higher after roughly an hour of trading.

“If we were to get an approach, then we’ll listen, but it would naturally also need to be discussed with the shareholders. We’re obligated to do that,” Andersen told Borsen. Asked whether such a scenario is now more relevant, given the latest developments at the company, Andersen said yes.

The comments come after a disastrous year for B&O, which even after Friday’s share-price gains is down more than 50 percent in 2019. B&O issued its most recent profit warning in June, when it said that sales were falling even faster than anticipated.

“We’re in a situation where we need a contingency plan, and we of course have one,” Andersen said.

Per Hansen, an investment economist at Nordnet in Copenhagen, said in a note to clients that “B&O’s challenge lies first and foremost in the fact that it can’t react fast enough and that it still has a high cost base.”

Andersen himself noted earlier in the week at the company’s annual general meeting that B&O had fallen behind in product launches. He also acknowledged that management had faced “considerable challenges” in pushing through the necessary changes to the sales and distribution network.

Hansen notes that the company “probably hasn’t had a recent offer made to it and it probably doesn’t have a long list of potential suitors that it can call.” Ultimately, discussing a possible sale is a scenario that he says “ought to have been explored earlier.”

“The last 12 month haven’t created any justified expectations of an imminent sale at a very high price,” Hansen said. “For investors it looks like the current best card to play is that the share price is historically low.”

Sparkle Roll

Investors may now be asking themselves why B&O’s board was so determined to fend off a 2016 takeover attempt. Back then, Sparkle Roll — a company controlled by Chinese billionaire Qi Jianhong — indicated it was interested in buying B&O as it built up a major stake. But Andersen rebuffed its overtures, referring to the uncertainty surrounding a potential bid. That was three years ago, when a B&O share cost considerably more than now.

Andersen has more time to focus on B&O these days, after being ousted from the head of the board of Danske Bank late last year in connection with a $230 billion money laundering scandal. His departure was forced through by A.P. Moller, the biggest shareholder in Danske. Andersen has also agreed to step down as chairman of food-ingredient maker Chr.

Over half of older workers want to continue full time: Survey

Published August 23, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30375197

Over half of older workers want to continue full time: Survey

Aug 22. 2019
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower and Education Low Yen Ling (in pink blazer) observing a LifeWork course for mature workers with Centre for Seniors executive director Lim Sia Hoe (in pale grey, standing).ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower and Education Low Yen Ling (in pink blazer) observing a LifeWork course for mature workers with Centre for Seniors executive director Lim Sia Hoe (in pale grey, standing).ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID
By The Straits Times

245 Viewed

About 25% prefer to stay in current jobs; Centre for Seniors urges more help in career planning

About a quarter of older workers want to work and stay in their current jobs, according to a survey of more than 400 workers released by the Centre for Seniors yesterday.

A separate study of around 300 older workers by the centre also showed that more than half wanted to continue working full time.

With such aspirations, the centre said more measures are needed to help older workers plan their careers, after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced during the National Day Rally speech on Sunday that the retirement and re-employment ages will be raised.

He announced that the retirement age will go up to 63 in 2022, and eventually to 65 by 2030.

The re-employment age will also go up from 67 now to 68 in 2022, and eventually to 70 by 2030.

Centre executive director Lim Sia Hoe said: “Older people say they want to work longer but they do not know how to and what jobs are open to them. There can be mismatches between jobs and older workers because these staff can have certain requests, such as leaving work early. They require life coaching so they know where to go and what resources are available. They also need to know themselves and adjust their expectations.”

The centre, a non-profit social service agency, is helping to prepare such workers with its LifeWork course. The course, which can last from one to three days, provides a toolkit for older workers to plan and manage their work-life transition, addressing concerns of career, retirement, health and family at different stages of life, especially at critical age junctions of 55, 62 and 67 years old. Around 3,000 workers from about 40 organisations have attended the course since it was piloted in 2016. A small number of workers also signed up for the course on their own.

The centre also launched a job portal for older workers last year called Silverjobs.sg. The portal has around 40 age-friendly employers across industries, such as the food and beverage sector, security, community care, corporate and administrative roles, engineering and delivery services.

It will help to match employers with older workers in suitable roles.

The centre has also developed an employment pathway for mature workers, which includes preparing both workers and employers before allowing for a job trial to ensure the right fit for both sides.

These moves are in line with the recommendation by the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers that calls on employers to engage mature workers in structured career planning sessions.

Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower and Education and a member of the workgroup, said: “We hope that employers in the private sector and seniors will also take time to reflect, discuss and talk about how to prepare older Singaporeans to enjoy longer, more productive careers.

“We have to get them talking about re-employment early and not just a year before – 55 is a good age milestone. Such conversations and plans will give employers and seniors time to build up the skills required and help the seniors to build confidence in case he or she is prepared to go into a second career.

“Employers are also generally more aware of the skills needed for the industry, so we hope the employer can guide employees into what courses they should go for, to prepare for career transitions.”

Exotic species get claws into pet market

Published August 23, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30375170

Exotic species get claws into pet market

Aug 22. 2019
By China Daily
Asia News Network

470 Viewed

Higher wages and better living standards mean many Chinese are no longer satisfied with cats and dogs, so they are embracing lizards, snakes, crocodiles and even rare ants. Yang Wanli reports.

Pet ownership is not a new phenomenon in China. For example, for thousands of years, rural dwellers kept dogs to guard their homes while they were busy in the fields.

 

A customer watches a marmot at a pet store in the Laiguangying Pet Market in Beijing this month. WANG JING/CHINA DAILY

A customer watches a marmot at a pet store in the Laiguangying Pet Market in Beijing this month. WANG JING/CHINA DAILY

The relationship between pets and their owners was a working partnership until 30 years ago, when standards of living started to rise as a result of the reform and opening-up policy, and people began owning animals for companionship and pleasure.

A distinct change has been noticed in recent years, with a sharp rise in the ownership of exotic pets, especially among members of the younger generation, who are no longer satisfied with traditional animals such as dogs and cats.

As a result, the country is seeing a rapid rise in the number of nontraditional pets, such as birds of prey, rare frogs, snakes, pygmy sharks, lizards, insects of all sizes and colors, and even crocodiles.

 

Exotic pets at a store in Beijing:an African hedgehog. WANG JING/CHINA DAILY

Exotic pets at a store in Beijing:an African hedgehog. WANG JING/CHINA DAILY

According to the annual report on China’s pet market published by Goumin, the country’s largest pet website, the market value rose from 14 billion yuan in 2010 to 170 billion yuan ($24 billion) last year.

Although the report didn’t provide specific statistics about the exotic pet market, it showed that 36 percent of China’s 73 million pet owners keep reptiles and rodents.

In 2000, only about 20 shops on Taobao, China’s largest online shopping platform, sold exotic pets. Now, a search using the keywords “exotic pets” brings up details of more than 1,000 retailers.

Also, the number of registered members of pxtx, one of China’s biggest online forums for lovers of turtles, lizards and snakes, has risen from nearly 1,000 in 2002 to more than 400,000.

This year, about 30 pet exhibitions will be held in China, 26 of which will feature lizards and rare birds, according to World Animal Protection, a global nonprofit group.

A report released by the group shows that the global trade in exotic pets has “flourished”, with more than 500 bird species and 500 reptile species traded worldwide, and the Chinese market has seen rapid growth in recent years.

According to the annual report on China’s pet market published by Goumin, the country’s largest pet website, the market value rose from 14 billion yuan in 2010 to 170 billion yuan ($24 billion) last year.

Although the report didn’t provide specific statistics about the exotic pet market, it showed that 36 percent of China’s 73 million pet owners keep reptiles and rodents.

In 2000, only about 20 shops on Taobao, China’s largest online shopping platform, sold exotic pets. Now, a search using the keywords “exotic pets” brings up details of more than 1,000 retailers.

Also, the number of registered members of pxtx, one of China’s biggest online forums for lovers of turtles, lizards and snakes, has risen from nearly 1,000 in 2002 to more than 400,000.

This year, about 30 pet exhibitions will be held in China, 26 of which will feature lizards and rare birds, according to World Animal Protection, a global nonprofit group.

A report released by the group shows that the global trade in exotic pets has “flourished”, with more than 500 bird species and 500 reptile species traded worldwide, and the Chinese market has seen rapid growth in recent years.

 

Exotic pets at a store in Beijing: a marmot. WANG JING/CHINA DAILY

Exotic pets at a store in Beijing: a marmot. WANG JING/CHINA DAILY

Millennial identities

Many Chinese fans of exotic pets are ages 20 to 35, the so-called millennial generation, who are passionate about exploring new things and seeking a unique identity.

“Young people are our major customers. Instead of raising a traditional pet, they want something special to show off to their friends, especially via social media. Also, many enjoy the experience of learning and knowing more about a certain wild animal by raising it as a pet,” said Liu Yiyan, who owns a store that sells lizards, snakes, African hedgehogs, marmots and flying squirrels.

Liu, 25, loves exotic pets. At age 21, he started raising a central bearded dragon, a lizard native to the woodland and deserts of central Australia.

“It was cool to have a lizard as a pet when most of my friends had cats and dogs. Nowadays, young people want to be different, and having an exotic pet is a good way to stand out,” he said. “When I discovered that many people had a strong interest in exotic pets, it gave me the confidence to start my business.”

Together with his 29-year-old sister, Liu runs his store at the Laiguangying Pet Market near Beijing’s North Fifth Ring Road. In the two years since it opened, the 35-square-meter store has seen a steady rise in customer numbers, earning the siblings a combined monthly income of about 25,000 yuan.

Prices range from 300 to 5,000 yuan for each animal, but those that exhibit rare colors, have great affinity for human contact or are happy to interact with their owners cost more. “Snakes are easiest for beginners, but women prefer flying squirrels because of their cute appearance,” Liu said.

He said many purchasers are novices in the exotic pets market and have barely heard of the animals. “Most brick-and-mortar stores like mine prefer to sell exotic pets that have been popular for several years. That makes it much easier for novices,” he said.

 

Exotic pets at a store in Beijing: a snake. WANG JING/CHINA DAILY

Exotic pets at a store in Beijing: a snake. WANG JING/CHINA DAILY

Internet interest

By contrast, the internet is the major trading platform for people looking for the most unusual pets. For example, a popular retailer called Ant Farm, which opened in 2010, sells the insects on Taobao.

The store, which receives about 2,500 orders a month and has 30,000 registered fans, sells more than 200 kinds of ants. They range from honeypot ants-a queen costs nearly 3,000 yuan-to Messor cephalotes, where a group consisting of a queen and three to five worker ants costs 2,000 yuan.

“Owning ants is still a new thing in the exotic pets market. I was among the first group of ant lovers that emerged about 10 years ago. Back then, the group only had a few hundred members, but now, the number is estimated to be 100,000,” said Yang Yu, 35, Ant Farm’s owner.

A colony of ants usually costs about 10,000 yuan, much less than a single rare tortoise, according to Yang. Some ordinary species, such as bullet ants or the Bornean queenless ant, cost just a few hundred yuan for a small group, meaning they are popular with younger collectors.

Yang said raising ants is a good option for quiet people. He said owners have a lot of fun observing the highly organized insects working collaboratively, and it is considered a tremendous achievement if the group produces the next generation in captivity.

He has established two online ant chat groups, each of which has nearly 2,000 members. Many are high school students, who are still beginners in the field, while others are senior players, though still age 40 or younger.

“They share common ground-a strong interest in ants and great curiosity about the small underground kingdom. Most of them are their family’s only child and they want a pet for companionship,” he said.

“Thanks to increasing social tolerance, you will not be seen as a geek for raising an exotic pet. On the contrary, it has become a cool thing that has attracted more people.”

 

Exotic pets at a store in Beijing: a lizard. WANG JING/CHINA DAILY

Exotic pets at a store in Beijing: a lizard. WANG JING/CHINA DAILY

Background research

Given the rising popularity of exotic pets, experts are urging owners to conduct research on animals before buying them. Many have warned that some exotic pets may pose health risks because they can carry bacteria and parasites linked to infectious diseases. For example, some reptiles can transmit salmonellosis, whose symptoms include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and vomiting.

“The old, young and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop severe illnesses. In some serious cases, people can die from the infection,” said Zou Qiangjun from the Beijing Aquatic Wild Animals Rescue and Care Center.

He said that in recent years, the center has received reports of pets, including snapping turtles and giant salamanders, being bred in captivity and then abandoned.

In 2012 and 2015, the center rescued two 1-meter-long Siamese crocodiles that had been abandoned in a river and on a golf course. When experts examined the crocodiles, they discovered that the reptiles had been bred in captivity.

According to a report by World Animal Protection, nearly 50 percent of first-time buyers “hardly take any time” to learn about their animals.

“They lack enough knowledge and preparation to raise wild species at home. Some young wildlife might be cute and suitable for keeping at home, but things may go beyond people’s expectations,” Zou said.

“Wild animals belong in the wild. The best thing we can do for them is to respect their original conditions and leave them in the wild.”

Architect Tetsuo Kondo shares his insights on the creation of AP Pavilion

Published August 15, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30374811

Architect Tetsuo Kondo shares his insights on the creation of AP Pavilion

Aug 15. 2019
AP Pavillion at Parc Paragon is designed by Japanese architect Tetsuo Kondo.

AP Pavillion at Parc Paragon is designed by Japanese architect Tetsuo Kondo.
By Parinyaporn Pajee
The Nation

169 Viewed

Tetsuo Kondo is a renowned Japanese architect who is visiting Bangkok to talk about his work in designing the AP Pavilion at Parc Paragon, where the AP World event has been organised by the AP Thailand Group as a means of inviting people to experience what the company calls an ideal world.

The concept has three underlining philosophies: Grow, a master plan for sustainable development; Flow, the building of society and experience in every dimension of quality; Joy, the elevation of living standard for happiness and peace of mind. The three elements are embedded in the group’s residential development and service innovation and provide a solid foundation for setting new standards for quality of life in accordance with the AP World vision.

Vittakarn Chandavimol, chief of corporate strategy and creation for AP Thailand Group, says that of the key philosophies for quality of life, Grow is the master plan for sustainable development. It is a design to achieve good physical and mental health from the inside to the outside. It involves developing green areas, conservation of the environment and moving into the future steadily.

“One of our Grow efforts is the saving of big trees on the Rhythm Ekkamai Estate. Another project is a collaboration between AP Academy and BIG Trees Project and Thailand Urban Tree Network to design a special course for tree management in housing projects.

“Meanwhile Joy means the joy of living and involves having peace of mind and family security with Katsan service innovation, which acts as your personal guardian 24 hours a day and Homewiser, which acts as your home expert complete with a maintenance concept and a design of life space for every family member. Flow aims to build a community of sharing and trust through our service innovation. We are looking to build an ecosystem for a quality society and are working with Denmark’s leading furniture brand HAY to offer a sharing community in AP projects.

“The event AP World is our first showcase of the quality of life and we took over five years to prepare it.”

As for the highlights at AP World, AP Thailand Group has collaborated with Kondo, a progressive architect from Japan who is known for a distinguishing design concept that focuses on how human beings live their lives. Kondo connected architecture with surrounding elements, whether it be climate, history, culture or the environment, to make the AP World Pavilion a unique showcase of sustainable living in the future, Vittakarn says.

Kondo has designed the marquee to be different from other pavilions or show booths held here, which are exposed to the sunshine and have crowds of visitors walking by from Paragon Shopping Centre and Siam Centre. AP Pavilion is not afraid of the heat, the Pavilion is transparent in four sides of the wall and on the roof. However, visitor inside the Pavilion doesn’t feel hot as would be expected. It is like the indoors with air-conditioned temperatures.

Kondo says that after the AP people told him about the AP World philosophy of Grow, Flow and Joy, it reminded him of the idea of sustainability or sharing community. So he designed the Pavilion to reflects Bangkok’s real hot temperature and at the same time interact with people who visit inside the Pavilion and also passers-by.

The architect also brings an aluminium balloon floating on the ceiling, which is not just for decoration but it’s an item that reflects the sunlight heat. And it also reflects things happening inside.

“Up there it is hot but down here the temperature is normal and it’s a cool breeze with help from air-conditioning,” says the architect.

Tetsuo Kondo, right, talks about his idea in creating AP Pavillion.

Tetsuo Kondo, right, talks about his idea in creating AP Pavillion.

Throughout the seven days of AP World, there are many activities, including the presentation of service innovation and services that improve the quality of life from five AP businesses: BC, Smart, SEAC, Vaari and Claymore.

“These businesses aim to bring about an ideal world of living where every space is designed with a deep understanding of customers together with modern innovation,” Vittakarn says.

“Kondo is distinguished for his experimental approach to art, focusing on making art pieces interact with audiences. His design concepts focus on how humans live their lives. Kondo connected architecture with surrounding elements, whether it be climate, history, culture or the environment, to make AP World Pavilion a unique showcase of sustainable living in the future.

“He wants and hopes to design a future that has no boundary between architecture and human and the environment.”

Cloudscape

Cloudscape

One of his masterpieces was a collaboration with Transsolar, a world-class climate engineering company. Called “Cloudscapes”, it was an installation art that made you feel like you are walking up the stairs and vanishing into a white cloud. The piece was shown at Venice Architecture Biennale 2010.

“We use the real cloud in the air and it was made from water, floating with 1.5-metre thickness and people can feel the feeling differently when they were below the cloud, in the cloud and above the cloud,” says Kondo.

Another of his works that is well known both in Japan and in the international art community is “A Path in the Forest” – the installation in the forest of Estonia 10 years ago. A sequel to his Venice showcase, the work further reinforces the underlining concept that there must be no boundary in his architecture by designing a white steel walkway curvy narrow, thin, fastened to trees in the forest by belts only. Apart from leaving existing threes intact, it gives the most delicate touch to the old natural setting.

A Path in the Forest

A Path in the Forest

Kondo says that the idea is to bring people in harmony with nature, history and the environment, which is his interest in creating art works.

When asking about his idea in quality of living, the Japanese architect says that he doesn’t limit his work to short term happiness.

“There are many things when talking about the quality of living. But one thing you should think about is our life in a longer phase, and not concentrate just in the next in five years. We also have to think one hundred years ahead that we can’t avoid thinking about how to live with nature as for the human being. We should think about the environment and that is what I am trying to do as an architect as well,” he says.

Cloudscape

Cloudscape

As an architect, Kondo’s philosophy in work thus is the connecting of everything from human beings to nature, history and culture.

“For me, the environment doesn’t mean only climate change but it means everything from nature, human beings, temperature, light, culture and history. As an architect I try to find ways to make the architecture in having a good relationship between environment,” he says.

After graduating from the National Institute of Technology in 1999, Kondo began his career as an architect at Kazuyo Sejima and Associates SANAA, a leading architectural firm. He also lectures at Tokyo University of Science and Keto University.

A Path In the Forest

A Path In the Forest

Go on, have a heart

Published August 14, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30374713

Go on, have a heart

Aug 14. 2019
By The Nation

153 Viewed

TMB is once again partnering with ING Bank later this year for the 2019 edition of the “TMB | ING Parkrun”, the popular walk, run, and mini-marathon charity event that raises funds for the Cardiac Children Foundation of Thailand under the royal patronage of HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana.

This year, runners can choose to “make a difference” by joining either the Park Run event or the Virtual Park Run. All proceeds will go to support the cost of surgery for young patients with heart diseases.

“For the last 10 years, TMB has partnered with ING for the Parkrun and for the last 5 years, the objective of this event has been on encouraging runners and donors to support surgery costs through purchasing tickets and donating money to help kids with heart problems. Each year, more than 7,500 children are born with heart conditions and are waiting for surgery. Today, as always, there are many patients waiting for help under the care of the Cardiac Children Foundation of Thailand under the royal patronage of HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana,” said Piti Tantakasem, chief executive of TMB, adding that the event has raised funds to save more than 1,200 youngsters.

“As a representative of ING, I’m proud to be a part of this project and I want to invite everyone to join. The public can join the event in different ways, from buying a ticket to join the Park Run to run at the event, or trying the Virtual Park Run. Donors can also take part in the #GoodForHeart activity,” said Eileen Lau, managing director and head of Corporate Communications, ING Bank Asia.

The Park Run will be held on December 15 and participants will run through three beautiful parks, Chatuchak Park, Queen Sirikit Park, and Vachirabenjatas Park (Suan Rot Fai), in the heart of Bangkok. There are three distances available: 2.6 km, 5.2 km, and 10.5 km.”

The Virtual Park Run allows runners to run at any park and at any time between November 15 and December 15. TMB will donate an additional Bt1 million if the accumulated running distance of the participating Virtual Park Runners exceeds 100,000 km. Participating runners will receive a medal posted to them after the event.

Tickets for both running categories are available from today at https://parkrun.tmbfoundation.or.th for Bt600. All ticket holders will a light-weight, comfortable and ecofriendly zeroH2O running shirt. The shirts will be sent via post. Those who wish to donate money can do so via the website.

Runners and donors will receive a receipt via email which can be used for tax deduction.

For more information, visit https://parkrun.tmbfoundation.or.th, contact (085) 567 389, LINE@ : @tmbingparkrun and Email tmbingparkrun2019@gmail.com.

Citi Thailand encourages volunteers to help save the sea

Published August 13, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30374649

Citi Thailand encourages volunteers to help save the sea

Aug 13. 2019
By The Nation

140 Viewed

Citi Thailand, citing His Majesty the King’s interest in the concept of sustainable development championed by his father King Rama IX, has noted that Thailand ranks fifth in the world among countries contributing to garbage in the seas.

It noted a recent survey by Georgia University in the US and pointed out that sea trash not only endangers marine life but hampers the global economy, damages ships and fishing vessels and ruins beaches.

However, Citi Thailand said in a press release this week, young people are increasingly interested in “conservation tourism”, by which travellers can both enjoy their seaside holidays and engage in one or all of three recommended activities to help the environment.

First, they can volunteer to collect plastic trash on the beaches and in the sea. “This activity is popular among youths because it’s is easy and costs nothing,” said Wanvisa Komindr, a senior vice president at Citi Thailand.

“It can promote unity and can be extended to practices that reduce plastic use in favour of materials that are environment-friendly, such as fabric bags for shopping around the beaches and glasses, cups and use food containers that are reusable.”

They can also volunteer to care for aquatic creatures. Catching and even feeding marine animals at sea has to be discouraged because it alters the animals’ habits, Wanvisa noted. Predators have been known to lose their aggressiveness when food is artificially provided, upsetting the natural ecological balance.

Visitors to Thailand are being welcomed to help build nursing farms for marine animals, feeding them and otherwise engaging with them animals under expert supervision.

Divers are encouraged to gather up loose fishing nets. The Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Centre estimates that up to 40 per cent of sea creatures die because they get entangled with human debris in the water, such as fishing nets.

“The most important concern is to travel without causing impacts on the environment in the long run,” Wanvisa said. “Citi Thailand’s ‘Save the Ocean – Clean the Sea’ project recently let volunteers collect fishing nets and undersea trash that’s not naturally degradable.”

How to make divorce easier on the kids

Published August 6, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30374251

How to make divorce easier on the kids

Aug 05. 2019
By The Nation270 Viewed

With couples in Thailand now divorcing at a rate of 333 per day, a psychiatrist is offering advice on how to ease the blow for any children involved.

Krongkarn Kaewchong, deputy director of patient care at Nakhon Ratchasima Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital, said the divorce rate was on the rise, chiefly in that province and in Bangkok and Chonburi.

The provincial administrative department put the national divorce rate at 24 per cent in 2004 (86,982 among 365,721 marriages), but the figures rocketed last year to 41 per cent (121,617 in 297,501 marriages).

The modern family structure is seen as the primary cause for the rise, given pressure piled on parents in their jobs and social surroundings, as well as financially. The pressure undermines tolerance, Krongkarn said.

Krongkarn Kaewchong

Krongkarn Kaewchong

“Divorce is common, but it’s not ‘someone else’s fault’. Newly divorced couples tend to feel incomplete because of the sentimental loss.

“But, even once married life has ended, they should persist in their parental duties to prevent mental health problems arising in their children, such as becoming easily distracted, aggressive or depressed. And the people around the couple should provide support and avoid expressing opinions about the divorce.”

Krongkarn’s other advice for single parents:

• Assure children that they were not part of the cause of the divorce. Young children haven’t yet developed logical thinking, so some might believe their bad behaviour or poor grades led to their parents splitting up.

• Maintain the children’s same lifestyle as before, as much as possible.

• Treat children the same way as before.

• Tell them the true reasons for the divorce so they can adapt better.

However, he cautioned, parents should avoid talking about their ex-spouse’s bad behaviour if it might stir hatred in the children.

They shouldn’t try and persuade children to choose sides, or “use” children to take revenge on the ex-partner.

Children shouldn’t be forced to live with one parent or the other if it might cause them to feel guilty or become fearful of being abandoned by both parents.

“Divorced parents should be concerned about their children’s potential mental problems as they yearn for parental love,” Krongkarn said. “They have to let the children speak out and express their feelings, which helps relieve their stress. The more confidence they gain, the less they’ll want to talk about it.”

New elevators to aid seniors and disabled

Published August 5, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30374158

New elevators to aid seniors and disabled

Aug 03. 2019
Senior citizens chat at a retirement home in Beijing. [Photo/Xinhua

Senior citizens chat at a retirement home in Beijing. [Photo/Xinhua
By China Daily
Asia News Network

399 Viewed

Older residential buildings make life tough for those with limited mobility

China plans to install more than 20,000 elevators by the end of this year to promote accessibility for the disabled and senior dwellers of old residential buildings that have limited modern equipment.

The program came as the country marks the seventh anniversary of a landmark regulation introduced by the central government to boost physical accessibility in new facilities and buildings.

Launched by the China Commission of Promotion of Publicity for the Undertakings of Chinese Disabled Persons earlier this year, the program has seen 2,000 installations completed in a number of provinces including Jiangsu, Yunnan and Henan, according to the commission’s deputy secretary-general Xu Gang.

Xu, while speaking at a news conference on Friday, said the program is expected to help tens of millions of senior and disabled inhabitants of old residential buildings and is crucial for their equal participation in society.

“The input into an accessible environment … is a major symbol of social progress,” he said.

Xu said China has an estimated 85 million people with disabilities craving for accessible designs. The need was also fueled by the country’s fast-aging population.

The National Statistics Bureau said in January that China had almost 250 million people age 60 and above, accounting for 17.9 percent of its population.

A 2016 survey conducted by the Office of National Working Commission on Aging found more than 40 million seniors had limited or no capacity to take care of themselves.

Chen Zhenhua, head of the office’s information technology department, said Chinese seniors have an average eight years of poor health before they reach a life expectancy of 77 years old, and many are victims of bone and joint diseases.

“That has seriously affected seniors’ mobility and social participation,” he said.

In 2016, the office, alongside the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and dozens of other departments, issued a guideline on creating a senior-friendly environment, which kicked off a flurry of programs aimed at renovating old residential buildings with limited accessibility for vulnerable groups.

China had about 170,000 such old communities nationwide, and about 5 million elevators are needed to improve living conditions for more than 42 million families, the vice-minister of housing and rural-urban development Huang Yan said at a news conference early last month.

As of last year, more than 10,000 elevator installations have been finished, and another 11,000 elevators were either under construction or going through the approval process, she said.

In addition, China also renovated almost 3 million homes for families of disabled people between 2016 and last year, according to a white paper released last month by the State Council Information Office.

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