E. Science and Technology

The Natural Environment and Human Activities to Find and Apply the Laws of Nature

Natural Environment: A globe at Brown University in Providence, USA (2015). For those of us who live between heaven and earth, we are greatly influenced by the climates and landforms of the Earth. Below are photos of the natural environment in various locations.
Earth Science: Lake Como in Como, Italy, a glacial lake at the foot of the Alps, has been a popular vacation destination since Roman times (1995). Across Europe and North America, there are numerous landforms that were created by erosion and deposition during the Ice Age and have been used by the people of those regions.
(Cont’d) Niagara Falls, formed by the action of glaciers and the river on the land, is not only a scenic spot but its fall has also been harnessed to generate hydroelectric power. View from the Canadian side (2015).
(Cont’d) Cape Cod, USA, consisting of end moraines, outwash plains, etc. formed by glaciers. Once prosperous from fishing, it is now a resort. View from the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown on the tip of the Cape (2015).
Earth Science: The Andes, formed by the collision of the Nazca and South American plates, as seen from Santiago (2013). The mountains are rich in natural resources such as copper, silver, tin, etc.
(Cont’d) One of the world’s largest class 930E dump trucks, once worked at the Los Pelambres copper mine in Chile. Pictured at the former Komatsu headquarters in Komatsu, Japan (2012).
Earth Science: The Indo-Gangetic Plain, which stretches between the Himalayas and the Deccan Plateau, as seen in New Delhi (2009). The collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates not only led to the formation of the Himalayas, but also resulted in the formation of plateaus and mountains and aridification in Northeast and Central Asia, giving rise to a wide range of landforms and climates in Asia.
(Cont’d) Yamdrok Lake (4,441m), a natural dammed lake and one of the three sacred lakes on the Tibetan Plateau (2007).
(Cont’d) Wucai Pond (3,576m) of Huanglong (黄龙) in the Min Mountains (2007).
(Cont’d) Shuzheng Lakes (2,187–2,280m) of Jiuzhaigou (九寨沟) in the Min Mountains (2007).
(Cont’d) Giant pandas live in the mountains of Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces. Pictured at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (成都大熊猫繁育研究基地) in Chengdu, Sichuan (2007).
(Cont’d) The highlands and mountains of western China serve as the headwaters of many rivers, which in turn supply water to the people living downstream. The photo shows the Yellow River (黄河), which is fed by the Bayan Har Mountains and nurtured one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Pictured in Jinan, which is located where the river water will soon reach the Bohai Sea (1997).
(Cont’d) The Mekong, which originates from the Tibetan Plateau, flows through Indochina. Pictured in Mỹ Tho in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, where agriculture is thriving (2009).
(Cont’d) Compared to the sparsely populated western regions of China, the eastern plains and basins are home to a particularly large population in the country. The photo shows the Forbidden City (故宫) in Beijing on the North China Plain (2005). The palace was designed according to Zhouli, a classic book, and represented the center and order of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
(Cont’d) The Himalayas also have a significant impact on the climate, blocking the humid air from the south and creating arid regions in the north. The photo shows the set of The Silk Road (『敦煌』) (1988) in Dunhuang in the arid region (1996). The story revolves around a man who encounters Buddhist culture on the western periphery of China and tries to preserve its heritage amidst a war in the 11th century.
(Cont’d) The arid region extends into Mongolia. Pictured in Ulaanbaatar (2013).
(Cont’d) The Himalayas, on the other hand, create a rainy season in the Asian monsoon region that stretches across South and East Asia, allowing for extensive rice cultivation. Pictured in Siem Reap (2009).
(Cont’d) Rice cultivation began in Japan about 3,000 to 2,500 years ago. The photo shows the Toro ruins in Shizuoka, where rice cultivation began about 2,000 years ago (2023).
Meteorology: Rain is essential for survival, but too much rain can cause disasters. In recent years, typhoons approaching Japan have become larger due to the rise in seawater temperature caused by global warming. The photo shows what is popularly known as the “Underground Temple” in the Metropolitan Outer Underground Discharge Channel in Kasukabe, Japan (2023). The typhoon season in late summer increases the need for operation of the flood control facility.
Meteorology: In the Cayman Islands (2012).
Environmental Protection: “Bangkok’s green lung” where nature is preserved across from the Chao Phraya River. View from Mahanakhon Tower (2020).
Scientific and Engineering Activities: A jet engine being overhauled at HAECO in Hong Kong (2016). Throughout human history, people have found and applied the laws of nature to expand the capabilities of the human body beyond its natural limits. Below are some photos of scientific and engineering activities.
Astronomy: Ancient humans systematized the flow and cycle of time based on the movements of the sun and/or moon, developing calendars to organize their lives. The photo shows a sunset in São Paulo (2013).
Astronomy: The “almost” supermoon seen one day after the April 2020 supermoon in Bangkok (2020).
Astronomy: The tombolo to Shingu Island in Suo-Oshima, Japan, appearing at low tide for about three hours (2023).
Astronomy: Wave-eroded layers on Aoshima Island in Miyazaki, Japan, appearing at low tide (2023).
Mathematics: Singapore’s most famous parabola, a pattern in nature (2016).
Mathematics: The golden ratio, a pattern in nature and beauty, is also found in “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” (『神奈川沖浪裏』) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2015).
Physics: Light is “the energy from the sun, a lamp, etc. that makes it possible to see things” (OALD). Along the Enoden Line in Kamakura, Japan (2022).
Physics: Buoyancy is “the fact of floating, being able to float or able to keep things floating” (OALD). On the Caribbean Sea (2012).
Physics: Lift is “the pressure of air moving upwards on an aircraft when flying” (OALD). Near Taipei Songshan Airport (2017).
Simulation: Virtual landing at Tokyo Haneda Airport with the B747 flight simulator at Thai Airways in Bangkok (2020).
Public Health: Social distancing in an elevator during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangkok (2020).
(Cont’d) The Thai government asked people to stay at home in March 2020. In front of a building in Bangkok (2020).
Chemistry: Flame reaction over the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok (2021).
Chemistry: Oxygen (氧气) for altitude sickness in Lhasa (3,656m) (2007).
Chemistry: An application of ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) resin at the University of Hong Kong (2015).
Architecture: The main building of the University of Hong Kong (2015).
Architecture: The traditional Japanese woodwork “kigumi” (木組み), designed by Kengo Kuma, inside a Starbucks in Dazaifu, Japan (2018).
Mechanical Engineering: Tuk tuks in Bangkok (2019).
Mechanical Engineering: A Hindustan Ambassador (out of production) taxi at a gas station in Chennai (2009).
Mechanical Engineering: The chassis of a Tesla Model S in Hong Kong (2015).
Mechanical Engineering: A trolley bus in Ulaanbaatar, an EV system without a battery(ies) (2013).
Mechanical Engineering: Currently the oldest tram in Hong Kong (No. 120, built in 1949) (2015).
Robotics: The RX-78-2 Gundam that landed in Tokyo (2009).

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