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Daily Archives: July 24, 2022

Chart: Working from Home Is More Common in Big Cities in the U.S.

Source : WFH Research

Humour: News in Cartoons

Keep Bones Healthy Over 65

It’s true that our bones tend to lose strength as we get older. But even in later years, there’s plenty we can do to prevent falls and fractures.

Stay active

Being inactive makes your muscles and bones lose strength. This increases your risk of osteoporosis, falls and fractures.

Moderate-intensity exercise

People over 65 should try to get 150 minutes (2 and a half hours) of moderate-intensity exercise every week. It’s best to do some exercise every day, spread across the day. Doing something is always better than doing nothing. Exercise outdoors if you can and build up slowly.

Moderate activity will raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster and feel warmer.

One way to tell if you’re exercising at a moderate level is if you can still talk but can’t sing the words to a song.

Examples of moderate-intensity activities include:

  • walking
  • water aerobics
  • ballroom and line dancing
  • riding a bike on level ground or with few hills
  • playing doubles tennis
  • pushing a lawn mower

Activities for strength

You should also try to do activities to improve muscle strength at least twice a week.

This could include:

  • lifting weights
  • dancing
  • carrying groceries
  • going up and down stairs
  • exercising to music
  • heavy gardening, such as digging or shovelling
  • yoga

Activities for balance and flexibility

It’s also a good idea to do activities to improve balance and flexibility twice a week as this can reduce your risk of falling.

Activities such as yoga or tai chi are best for this. These types of activity can also ease stiffness and unsteadiness associated with painful joints.

You can do activities twice a week that combine moderate-intensity exercise with improving your strength, balance and flexibility or you can do different activities.

You should also try to avoid sitting around for long periods. If you find you have been sitting for more than about 20 to 30 minutes, get up and go for a stroll.

If you have a health condition such as heart disease or arthritis, you may be able to join a suitable group exercise class.

Exercising with osteoporosis

If you have a high fracture risk or spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis, you need to look after your back.

It’s especially important to bend your knees when lifting objects. Avoid movements that involve awkward bending and lifting movements.

You may need to be cautious about some types of high impact exercises. Your GP can advise you about this.

Eating for healthy bones

Some people find their appetite starts to drop as they get older. Eating less can make it more difficult to get the nutrients you need to keep muscles and bones healthy.

Staying active will help to keep your appetite up. But if you don’t feel like eating much some days, it’s still important to try to stick to a healthy, balanced diet.

For healthy muscles and bones, you need calcium, vitamin D and protein:

  • calcium keeps our bones and teeth healthy
  • vitamin D helps our bodies to absorb calcium
  • protein is important for muscle maintenance

Another reason to eat a balanced diet is that it will help you to maintain a healthy body weight. Keep your weight up. Being underweight is linked to a higher risk of fractures.

If your diet isn’t as good as it should be, you may want to consider taking a dietary supplement.

Go for one that contains calcium and vitamin D. Your GP or pharmacist can help you choose one that’s suitable for you.

Some medicines can affect your appetite. If you think a medicine you’re taking may be affecting your appetite, perhaps because it makes you feel nauseous, talk with your pharmacist or GP. They may be able to suggest an alternative.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for both strong muscles and healthy bones. Our bodies make vitamin D from the action of the summer sunlight (from late March/April to the end of September) on our skin. All adults are advised to consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement, particularly during the winter months (October to March).

People who are not often exposed to the sun should take a daily vitamin D supplement throughout the year.

These include people who:

  • are not often outdoors, such as those who are frail or housebound
  • are in an institution, such as a care home
  • usually wear clothes that cover up most of their skin when outdoors

People with dark skin, such as those of African, African-Caribbean and south Asian origin, might not get enough vitamin D from sunlight, so they should consider taking a supplement throughout the year.

Some foods contain vitamin D. These include oily fish such as mackerel and salmon, eggs, foods fortified with vitamin D such as fat spreads, and some breakfast cereals.

But it’s difficult to get enough vitamin D from food alone.

If you have osteoporosis, your GP may prescribe a calcium supplement, too.

Other ways to protect your bones

Other things to consider to help prevent falls and fractures:

  • quit smoking and try these tips to help you cut down on alcohol
  • go for an eye test – poor eyesight can affect mobility and balance
  • get your hearing checked – ear problems can affect your balance
  • look after your feet – foot pain can affect your mobility
  • review your medicines with your GP or pharmacist – some medicines can make you feel dizzy or drowsy
  • make your home safer to avoid accidents

It’s important you do not stop taking a medicine without getting advice from a qualified health professional.

Source: NHS

Chart: EU Population Declines for Its Second Year

Source : Statista

Chinese Automakers Want to Bring Assisted Driving to the Masses

Evelyn Cheng wrote . . . . . . . . .

As Chinese companies race for a slice of the world’s largest car market, they’re betting heavily on assisted driving technology.

China sold nearly 21.5 million passenger cars last year. That’s roughly the equivalent of sales in the United States, Europe and Japan combined, according to industry data accessed through the Wind database.

Electric cars have grabbed a growing share of that Chinese market. Tesla, start-ups like Nio and traditional automakers have jumped in. After initially competing on battery driving range and in-car online entertainment, companies increasingly emphasize assisted driving capability.

Chinese tech giant Baidu and automaker Geely are among those rushing to make a bet on making assisted driving a reality.

Just 15 months since the companies’ Jidu electric car project launched as part of a tie-up, the brand revealed Wednesday a concept car it says is 90% of what customers will get next year for about $30,000. Tesla’s Model Y runs closer to $50,000 in China.

<h3<Evolution of ‘smart cars’

“It’s a car, and, even more so, a robot,” Jidu CEO Joe Xia said during the livestreamed event in Mandarin, translated by CNBC. “We use a concept car to quickly prove our early stage design and idea.”

The four-seat vehicle, called Robo-01, has replaced the dashboard with a long screen extending across the front of the car and removed cockpit buttons — since the driver can use voice control instead, Xia said.

Theoretically, the half-moon of a steering wheel can fold up, paving the way for a cockpit seat with no window obstructions, once full self-driving is allowed on China’s roads. Two large external sensors for assisted driving can retract, for aesthetics and for protection in the event of an emergency.

Xia claimed Jidu “can become the standard for self-driving cars.” But the company declined to share what level of assisted driving software would come with the car.

Many electric cars, including Tesla, Nio and Xpeng, offer some form of tech-enabled driving assistance. In late May, Chinese self-driving tech start-up WeRide said it received a strategic investment from German engineering company Bosch to produce an assisted driving software system for mass production and delivery next year.

“I think the definition of smart cars has evolved a lot,” said Xuan Liu, vice president at autonomous driving software start-up DeepRoute.ai, said in a phone interview Wednesday.

“Consumers are considering two important factors in intelligent vehicles,” he said. “First of all, the most important one is autonomous driving. I think they are also interested in this so-called intelligent cabinet, so they want the interaction with the vehicle system.”

Jidu plans to launch a limited version of its first production model in the fall. Deliveries are set to begin next year, with a target market of family passenger vehicles priced above 200,000 yuan ($29,985), Baidu CEO Robin Li said on an earnings call in late May.

Jidu, Baidu’s electric car venture alongside Geely, revealed its first concept car on June 8, 2022.

Baidu has majority ownership of Jidu, and the search giant has rolled out commercial robotaxis in parts of China using its Apollo autonomous driving system. That’s the same system, along with other tech from Baidu, that will be used in Jidu’s concept car.

Co-investor Geely did not have an official release about Jidu’s concept car, after increasing its capital support earlier this year.

Geely has pushed into the electric car industry with its own vehicles, and announced in November a multi-year plan to build up the software component of the cars. The automaker said it aimed to commercialize full self-driving under specific conditions, called “Level Four” autonomous driving in a classification system, by 2025.

Earlier this month, Geely announced its subsidiary has launched the first nine of 72 satellites to support mapping and autonomous driving.

Competing for customers

Though electric car sales have surged, interest in Jidu’s first concept car appeared modest.

About 50,000 people viewed one of the main streams on the WeChat messaging app Wednesday night.

In contrast, Nio’s annual car release event in December drew about 200,000 views, though it included a musical performance. That event introduced a new sedan and custom augmented reality glasses that can impose digital images over the real, physical world.

For companies focused on self-driving technology, they’re looking at a market at least a year or two into the future.

For Chinese consumers, the main draw of self-driving cars is getting assistance during the commute home after a long day at work, Liu said. As for the business side, it’s the possibility that lower software costs will speed up widespread use, he said.

DeepRoute.ai in April announced it cut the price of autonomous driving software from $10,000 per car to $3,000. Liu said the company was able to slash the price by using cheaper sensors but better software, and he expected the price could fall further once the start-up is able to work with automakers for mass production and deployment from 2024 onward.

While regulators have yet to allow full self-driving cars on most roads en masse, companies like DeepRoute.ai, Baidu and others are building data records through their robotaxi operations.

Liu said such data can help improve algorithms for self-driving technology, and build a track record to support potential changes in regulation.

Source : CNBC

Overseas Funds Cut China Sovereign Bonds for Record Fifth Month

Overseas investors cut holdings of Chinese sovereign bonds for a fifth month in June, the longest string of outflows on record, as rising US Treasury yields reduce the attractiveness of yuan-denominated debt.

Global funds held about 2.3 trillion yuan ($340 billion) of Chinese government bonds in June, according to data released by the People’s Bank of China. That’s less than the 2.38 trillion yuan of the securities they owned in May, according to official Chinabond data, and marks the longest stretch of monthly outflows since Bloomberg began tracking the data in 2014.

Overseas demand for Chinese government bonds has waned as the yuan weakened and yields dropped relative to those of US Treasuries, which have risen as the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates to combat inflation.

China’s benchmark 10-year yield rose eight basis points in June, its biggest jump since October, on the back of a record supply of government debt and tighter liquidity. Similar-maturity US yields jumped 169 basis points in the same period as the Fed hiked rates by 75 basis points and signaled the possibility of a similar increase for July.

Also weighing on the appeal of Chinese debt is the country’s potential plan to boost its fiscal stimulus as it copes with Covid lockdowns and a property slump. That would entail the unprecedented issuance of 1.5 trillion yuan of special bonds for the rest of 2022 and add to existing yuan-debt supply.

Chinese bond investors may find some relief, with the central bank committing to keeping liquidity conditions ample amid growth headwinds stemming from the turmoil in the nation’s property sector. At the same time, the risk of renewed Covid lockdowns may provide support to sovereign bonds.

By the end of June, foreign investors’ holdings of Chinese bonds — both government and corporate — shrunk to 3.64 trillion yuan or 2.6% of the total market versus 3.1% in January, according to central bank data.

The outflows come as China’s economy grows at its slowest pace since the coronavirus outbreak two years ago. Second-quarter growth was 0.4% from a year earlier, below the forecast of 1.2% in a Bloomberg survey, making Beijing’s growth target for the year increasingly unattainable.

Source : BNN Bloomberg