EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Science
ASIAN Geographic

ASIAN Geographic 3/2019

ASIAN Geographic is the bi-monthly magazine that scours the region to bring readers the most compelling stories and images from the world's largest and most diverse continent. Readers enjoy a unique melting pot of breathtaking photography and in-depth features covering culture, nature, sustainability issues and exploration into the history of this diverse region. A regular 'Exploration' segment follows brave field editors as they travel deep into Asia's unexplored regions to take readers on a journey.

Country:
Singapore
Language:
English
Publisher:
Asian Geographic Magazines Pte Ltd
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8 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
impressions of the wild

01 Title: Price of Greed | Media: Mixed | Description: A clamorous reed warbler (Acrocephalus stentoreus) ignores a big fat juicy caterpillar of Allancastria louristana in pursuit of a “spider”, which turns out to be the tail of the spider-tailed horned viper (Pseudocerastes urarachnoides), a viper species discovered in 2006. Both the viper and the caterpillar are endemic to western Iran whereas the warbler is a migrant bird. 02 Title: Looking for Land | Media: Colour pencil and pencil | Description: A polar bear trapped on a small ice sheet was looking for thicker ice to move to. Polar bears are threatened not just by climate change but also trophy hunting. 03 Title: Spotted Seal mother and pup | Media: Mixed | Description: Spotted seals (Phoca largha) are inhabitants of arctic or…

5 min.
four treasures of the study

In ancient China, literacy was often associated with political authority and status,and so was something valued. Nobles in particular emphasised literacy training and children from these families were taught calligraphy from a young age. Chinese calligraphy is a heritage art form that holds great significance in Chinese culture. It was not just a means of communication but also a supreme visual art form. As such, how words are written is as important as the words that are written. Chinese characters convey more than just phonetic sounds and semantic meanings. The way words are written is seen as a manifestation of a person’s character and his physical energy. A Tang Dynasty text personified calligraphy, explaining that a written character should stand balanced on all four sides, standing upright like a gentleman; the…

1 min.
four treasures of the study (文房四宝 )

Paper ( Zhi ) Its invention is famously credited to Cai Lun, a court eunuch who presented it to Emperor Hedi in 105 AD. Common materials for making paper are fibres of plants like hemp, bark and grass stems. Brush ( BI ) A wide variety of brushes are used in Chinese calligraphy. Archaeological evidence reveals that brushes were writing tools commonly used in the Shang Dynasty, which existed from 1766 to 1122 BC. A brush typically comprises a bamboo or wood handle and a tip made of animal hair. They can be categorised by their size and also by the texture of brush hairs. A good brush tip must fulfil four criteria: It has to be pointed and round and comprised of flexible hairs of uniform length. Ink stone ( Yan ) An ink…

1 min.
the iucn red list categories

Extinct (EX) The animal no longer exists on Earth Extinct in the Wild (EW) There are no more of these animals living in the wild, only in zoos or laboratories Critically Endangered (CR) The animal may soon disappear from the wild Endangered (EN) The animal faces a high risk of extinction in the wild Vulnerable (VU) The animal is in some danger of extinction in the wild Near Threatened (NT) The animal is likely to be endangered in the future Least Concern (LC) At lowest risk Source: International Union for Conservation of Nature…

6 min.
prized medicinal plants and animals

Caterpillar fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis This queer-looking ingredient usually sold in Chinese medicine shops is actually an entomopathogenic fungus that grows out of caterpillars of the ghost moth, killing it and producing a long, thin mushroom. For this reason, its Chinese name ‘dong chong xia cao’ reflects its identity as being both a worm and a “grass” in different seasons. It is found mainly in soft soil on mountains or well-drained grassy marshlands above 3,500 meteres in the Himalayan regions of Nepal, Bhutan, India and Tibet. Widely used as a medicine and tonic by Chinese for hundreds of years, the fungus, more commonly known as cordyceps, is taken to increase strength, rejuvenate the body, reduce stress and improve sexual performance. It is also believed to cure heart, respiratory, renal and liver diseases. It…

4 min.
eye for the precious

Tay Thye Sun, a consultant gemologist at Far East Gem Lab, says jade is very popular especially among the Chinese, such as in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Ruby, sapphire and more recently, spinel are also gaining popularity. Amber and tourmaline are stones that are getting more popular because of the demand from China. He says colour and clarity are the two key features to consider when buying gemstones. Colour Without colour, coloured gemstones are not so desirable. Therefore, the more intense the colour, the better the quality. Tay shares insights on what quality gemstones should look like: • Ruby – The colour of ruby should be deep red but not too dark or light. Gem dealers describe the best colour as ‘pigeon blood’. As there is no definition for this description,…