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chinadaily.com.cn 2022-04-25 18:24


>South Korea's population may ‘de-age’

A couple wearing masks to prevent contracting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walks among blooming cherry blossoms in Seoul, South Korea, April 9, 2022. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korea's population may become a year younger on paper if the country's president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol succeeds in abolishing the concept of the "Korean age."

South Korea currently has several ways of counting age.

One of them is the "Korean age" system Yoon's government is looking to do away with, which involves South Koreans being labeled as one year old at birth and adding another year upon the New Year.

Lee Yong-ho, chief of Yoon's transition team's political, judicial, and administrative subcommittee, said during a news conference on April 11 they are pushing to standardize the way age is counted in South Korea.

"There would be much less confusion if we could have the same idea of what it means to be how old we actually are," Lee said, adding his team would push for this change to be implemented by early 2023.


>Electric chopsticks enhance salty tastes


Japanese researchers have developed computerized chopsticks that enhance salty tastes, potentially helping those who need to reduce sodium in their diets.

Co-developed by Meiji University professor Homei Miyashita and beverage maker Kirin Holdings Co., the chopsticks enhance tastes using electrical stimulation and a mini-computer worn on a wristband.

The device uses a weak electrical current to transmit sodium ions from food through the chopsticks to the mouth where they create a sense of saltiness, Miyashita said.

"As a result, the salty taste is enhanced 1.5 times," he said.


>US Congress fails to fund pandemic aid program

Travelers wearing masks walk around inside John F. Kennedy Airport on April 19, 2022 in New York City. [Photo/Agencies]

People who don’t have health insurance are now being charged $100 or more for COVID-19 testing by some labs and may face bills for hospital treatment, and free vaccines may not be as easy for everyone to get since emergency federal aid for some pandemic programs has run out and hasn’t been renewed by Congress.

Funding for the uninsured was dropped by Senate and House negotiators after Republicans opposed the money needed to extend the program, a senior Democratic aide in the US House told CNBC.

The Health Resources and Services Administration, which runs the uninsured program for HHS, stopped accepting claims to test and treat uninsured patients on March 22 due to insufficient funds.

While the US is providing Covid shots for free, the agency stopped covering the costs to administer the vaccines for uninsured people as of April 5.


>Artistic designs laid in tea foam


It's common to see a barista create coffee art, but it's a whole different ballgame doing the same thing with tea.

Different from the method of brewing tea during the Tang period, in the Song Dynasty the prevalent tea preparation was through dian cha.

The process begins with hot water being poured over fine powdered tea creating a paste, with more hot water slowly added as the tea is constantly whisked by hand with a bamboo stick.

It usually requires whisking the mixture between 180 and 200 times before water and tea are fully blended and froth appears.

Then one can make artistic designs in the froth with the tea paste.


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