Words Words Words

Links to many online dictionaries for many professions.


Many English lessons and English-Mongolian side-by-side PDF books


Learning English and Buddhism in Mongolia


Learning Medical English for doctors, nurses and dentists in Mongolia

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NEWS: Mongolia opens State Palace to visitors

Originally posted on ChinaDaily.com.cn on August 27, 2012

Photo taken on Aug 26, 2012 shows the outside view of the State Palace in Ulan Bator, capital of Mongolia. Mongolia opened its State Palace to visitors on Sunday to attract more tourists at home and from abroad. [Photo/Xinhua]

ULAN BATOR, Mongolia - Mongolia opened its State Palace to visitors on Sunday to attract more tourists at home and from abroad.

At the opening ceremony, government officials said, it was the first time that the government headquarters was opened to Mongolian and foreign visitors.

They hoped the decision, made at the first regular government meeting on Saturday, can strengthen Mongolians' love for their history and culture, and help foreigners to learn more about local culture and tradition.

The State Palace or Government House, built in the 1950s, is the work place for Mongolian president, parliament speaker and prime minister, and the parliament hall is also located in the building.

Inside the palace, a traditional Mongolian ger is used as a reception site for foreign leaders or dignitaries. It also houses a statue of Genghis Khan and nine white flags symbolizing the state power of Mongolia.

The palace is open to the public only at weekends.

Mongolian Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag (front) and government officials attend the opening ceremony of the State Palace in Ulan Bator, capital of Mongolia, Aug. 26, 2012. Mongolia opened its State Palace to visitors on Sunday to attract more tourists at home and from abroad. [Photo/Xinhua]

Word List:
  • reception: the area inside the entrance of a hotel, an office building, etc. where guests or visitors go first when they arrive

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

NEWS: Massive resources have Mongolia balancing interests

Originally posted on Vancouver Sun on August 27, 2012
Mongolia has a desire to control its own mines and resources
but is under pressure from neighbour and trading partner China.
Photograph by: David Gray, Reuters Files , Vancouver Sun
It is no surprise that one of the first foreign officials on the plane to Ulan Bator last week after a new Mongolian government was finally put together after June's election was China's state councillor and national security adviser Dai Bingguo.

In a three-day visit, Dai did the rounds of the new government, including Prime Minister Norov Altanhyag of the Democratic Party, with the message that China is a friendly and dependable neighbour.

Many of Mongolia's nearly three million people are not so sure and politicians frequently echo the fears that China's passion for Mongolia's extraordinary reserves of mineral resources is only the tip of the iceberg of imperial ambitions in Beijing.

Previous governments have taken several steps to try to curb Chinese investment in mineral deposits, which have had a chilling effect on all foreign investment.

But the reality Mongolian politicians and the public cannot ignore is that China is now Mongolia's top trade partner, taking more than 90 per cent of its exports.

About 60 per cent of investment in Mongolian mining enterprises comes from China. Even though markets welcomed the coming to power of a Democratic Party government, which is judged to be less extreme in its suspicion of foreign investment than other parties, it only has 31 seats in the 76-seat parliament.

Altanhuyag has had to form a coalition with smaller parties such as the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, which is in favour of nationalizing resources.

The new prime minister's move to placate the economic nationalists in his camp was to appoint as minister for mines a man with a record of calling for greater state ownership of Mongolia's natural resources, Davaajav Gankhuyag.

In one of his first media interviews last Thursday with the newspaper Odriin Sonin, Gankhuyag said he hopes the new government implements Resolution 57 previously passed by parliament. This calls for the state to acquire 50 per cent ownership of the massive Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper mine being developed in southern Mongolia.

The Oyu Tolgoi reserves, estimated to be 41 billion pounds of copper and 21 million ounces of gold, were identified by the Vancouver company Ivanhoe Mines, now called Turquoise Hill.

Turquoise Hill has passed much of the project to Rio Tinto, which now controls 51 per cent of Oyu Tolgoi and expects to invest $6.2 billion in the mine and begin production next year. Long-term contracts have been signed with Chinese customers for the copper.

Under the current agreement, the Mongolian government owns 34 per cent and can only increase its stake to 50 per cent after 30 years of commercial production.

Implementation of Resolution 57 would significantly reduce that timetable. The Mongolian government could increase its stake to 50 per cent after the companies have regained their investment in the project.

So China's State Councillor Dai is unlikely to have been encouraged by the flavour of the new government.

Of immediate concern for Beijing is the unwillingness of the Mongolian government to approve a $926-million bid by the Chinese state-controlled company Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco) for a 58-per-cent controlling interest in the Ovoot Tolgoi coal mine.

Ovoot Tolgoi is now owned by SouthGobi Resources, whose majority shareholder is Turquoise Hill. Turquoise Hill says it needs to sell some of its stake in Ovoot Tolgoi to raise cash to fulfil terms of its agreement with Rio Tinto over Oyu Tolgoi.

But in May, before the election, parliament moved to block the deal with Chalco and other politically sensitive agreements by passing changes to the Foreign Investment Law.

The new regulations prevent foreign companies from owning more than 49 per cent of companies involved in mining, finance, media and telecommunications. In addition, a government panel must rule on any proposed investment in those four sectors by a foreign state-con-trolled company regardless of the percentage ownership the deal would produce.

Over the election period, there has been an understandable delay by officials to address the Ovoot Tolgoi deal, but Turquoise Hill chief executive Alex Molyneux recently said the government has done everything in its power to block the Chalco purchase.

But China does have a significant lever in its favour.

For the first few years of development of the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project, Rio Tinto and Turquoise Hill will require imported power from China 80 kilometres to the south. So far, there has been no agreement in talks that have been going on for about a year. Mongolia's economy grew at 17 per cent last year and this year looks just as good.

But the Ulan Bator government needs its share of the revenues from mining projects to provide the jobs, education, house and health services Mongolians are demanding.

The impetus to get projects like Oyu Tolgoi moving is considerable and doubtless some accommodation with the Chinese will be found to avoid any stalemate.

Word List:
  • to curb: to control or limit something, especially something bad
  • "chilling effect": seriously discouraging some action by someone
  • to placate: to make somebody feel less angry about something
  • to block: to prevent something from happening, developing or making progress
  • impetus: something that encourages a process or activity to develop more quickly

Friday, August 24, 2012

NEWS: Change in the Gobi: Mongolia’s Economic Boom

Originally posted on Time on August 14, 2012
by Hannah Beech

Mongolia is the most sparsely populated country on the planet, yet it is also, by some estimates, the world’s fastest growing economy.

An audience watches Prime Minister S├╝khbaataryn Batbold speak in Ulan Bator. by Davide Monteleone—VII
Photographer Davide Monteleone and I may have had one of the only drivers in the Gobi—that forbidding expanse of gravel and sand in southern Mongolia—who had no sense of direction. Granted, the instructions we received were pretty vague: at the second (or was it the third?) livestock path, we should take a left. What counted as an animal thoroughfare, we wondered? Was it that little indentation in the gravel? Or the line of hoof prints heading east?

After much bumping along, we finally reached our destination, a traditional Mongolian circular tent called a ger, surrounded by a crowd of camels, goats and other livestock. I wanted to talk to the herders, who were unhappy with the compensation they had received from Oyu Tolgoi, the copper and gold mine that is Mongolia’s biggest foreign investment project to date and which may add one-third of future value to the country’s GDP. Davide was photographing the forbidding panorama and the hardy nomads who live there. And then, just as he was trying to compose a picture that would convey the aridness of the landscape, it began to rain. Fat drops fell, landing on the camels’ eyelashes. Here we were in one of the driest places on earth, in the middle of a freak rainstorm.

Mongolia is a land of improbable contrasts. It is the most sparsely populated country on the planet, with fewer than 3 million people. Yet it is also, by some estimates, the world’s fastest growing economy, powered by at least $1.3 trillion in untapped minerals. The natural-resource boom is remaking the capital, Ulan Bator, which now boasts shiny new skyscrapers and luxury malls that contrast with the city’s decrepit Soviet architecture. Yet one-third of the country remains impoverished. Democracy, which the country’s citizens embraced after a peaceful revolution in 1990 that displaced the long-ruling socialists, gives people a voice through regular elections. But corruption has eroded the life-changing potential of the rush of foreign investment—valued at $5 billion last year in a country with a $10 billion GDP. Mongolia, today, is increasingly a land of haves and have-nots, a land of both wind-chapped nomads and mining executives who power Hummers, not horses. For anyone in Mongolia, our off-course driver included, it’s hard not to feel disoriented.

Word List:
  • thoroughfare: a public road or street used by traffic, especially a main road in a city or town
  • indentation: a cut or mark on the edge or surface of something
  • hardy: strong and able to survive difficult conditions and bad weather
  • arid: having little or no rain; very dry
  • impoverished: very poor; without money

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

NEWS: Snowy Green Mongolia

Originally posted on The Inquirer on August 13, 2012
|By John Henderson

White Lake, one of the many gorgeous lakes in northern Mongolia. (Bertrand Linet)
KHOVSGOL NUUR NATIONAL PARK, Mongolia - For me heaven in July is 60 miles from the Siberian border, sitting by a royal-blue lake so clear I can see fish 50 feet below the surface.

The only humans near me are four traveling companions and some Mongolian nomads cooking mutton. We're all outnumbered 3 to 1 by the curious yaks resting near me.

Yaks aren't the prettiest beasts. They look like horses with dreadlocks. But they certainly are among the most peaceful.

They don't see many tourists in this part of the world, so they eye me like giant cats waiting to be fed. Or maybe they'd like to ask, "Why are you here?" Yes, indeed.

Why Mongolia?

Just look around. The next day I'm riding a horse past the yaks and the lake and our ger camp deep into a lime-green forest. We pass through a meadow of wildflowers. To our left is a mountain covered in beautiful fir trees greener than anything I've seen in Ireland.

We're at about 7,300 feet and we see no industry. No factories. No trucks. No loggers.

"If this was in Europe," said Alex, a Dutchman I met on the trip, "this place would be covered with hotels."

Mongolia remains one of the last unspoiled destinations on Earth. It's not just because it's the world's most sparsely populated country. Its 2.8 million people are sprinkled around a nation a bit more than twice the size of Texas. That's 1.8 people per square mile.

You can travel overland for five or six hours through some of the world's most spectacular scenery, where mountains stay snowcapped year round, without seeing another person. The village of Shine-Ider has 100 residents. Mongolia has so few settlements, Shine-Ider is on Lonely Planet's national map.

Mongolia's unspoiled nature isn't by design. Foreign powers ruled Mongolia for nearly 400 years with the exception of pockets of freedom ranging from a few years to seemingly a few hours. From 1920 to 1990, the Soviet Union controlled Mongolia with an iron fist. No one could get in. No one could get out.

When Mongolia gained independence in 1991, it had more pressing needs to develop than tourism. Thus, I realize something while traversing overland 1,500 miles for 16 days.

What I'm seeing is pretty much what Genghis Khan saw 800 years ago.

My first brush with the life of Genghis Khan comes on my first day after we leave Ulan Bator, the gritty capital with architecture right out of 1960s Siberia but with a growing feel of cosmopolitan chic.

Monday, August 20, 2012

100+ Free Science and Math Textbooks and Lecture Notes

Originally posted on DebunkingDenialism.com

These are all legal free books offered by many government agencies.


Free Introductory Biology Textbooks
  • Rediscovering Biology: Molecular to Global Perspectives – a textbook that covers advances in biology during the last few decades. Covers genomics, proteins and proteomics, evolution and phylogenies, microbial diversity, emerging infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS, developmental genetics, cell biology and cancer, human evolution, neurobiology, biodiversity, biology of sex and gender and genetically modified organisms.
  • Inside the Cell – very introductory textbook in cell biology, covering areas such as organelles, cellular reproduction and cancer.
  • On-Line Biology Book – a introductory biological textbook looking at chemistry of cells, cell division, human genetics, plant structure, nervous system, digestive system, evolution and paleobiology and biological diversity.
Free Molecular Biology, Genetics and Cancer Textbooks
  • The New Genetics – shorter primer on recent advances in genetics. Covers microarrays, RNA inference, imprinting and epigenetics, recombinant DNA technology, PCR, genome evolution, genome sequence, forensics,
  • Genetics for Surgeons – a basic textbook in genetics, focusing on general principles of genetics, genetics disorders that a surgeon can come across and familial cancer.
  • Genomes (2nd edition) – another textbook in genetics, looking at general principles, new advances in genomics, genome sequencing, assembly of transcription initiation, genome regulation and evolution as well as molecular phylogeny.
  • An Introduction to Genetic Analysis (7th edition) – this textbook focuses on genetic mapping, but has large coverage of gene function and transcription as well as DNA replication and recombinant DNA technology. Also has several chapters devoted to mutations, development, cancer, population, quantitative and evolutionary genetics.
  • Weed To Wonder – a short online textbook on the scientific background to artificial selection of corn. Covers topics such as domestication, hybrid vigor, genome sequencing, mobile genetic elements and biofortification.
  • Molecular Biology of the Cell (4th edition) – a searchable version of the 4th edition of the popular textbook Molecular Biology of the Cell by Bruce Alberts and others. It cannot be browsed directly, so search the different headlines in the table of contents to read the book from start to finish. Requires cunning uses of the search feature.
  • Molecular Cell Biology (4th edition) – another classic molecular biology textbook by Lodish and others available at NCBI.
  • The Cell: A Molecular Approach – yet another general molecular biology textbook by Cooper at NCBI.
  • Dynamics of Cancer: Incidence, Inheritance, and Evolution – textbook examining cancer on the level of epidemiology, molecular biology, progression and evolution.
  • Holland-Frei Cancer Medicine – another textbook about cancer, includes topics such as cancer and apoptosis, growth factors and signal transduction, oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, invasion and metastasis as well as cancer immunology.
Free Evolution Textbooks

Free Immunology, Vaccine and Epidemiology Textbooks
  • Immunology – shorter textbook on immunology covering complement, structure of antibodies, tumor immunology, regulation of immune system, immunization, autoimmunity, hypersensitivities and immunodeficiencies.
  • Immunology and Evolution of Infectious Disease – introductory textbook in immunology that covers the basics. Covers vertebrate immunology, benefits and molecular background of antigenic variation, immunological memory, and the evolution of the immune system.
  • Immunobiology – the 5th edition of his classic textbook on immunology. It cannot be browsed directly, so search the different headlines in the table of contents to read the book from start to finish. Requires cunning uses of the search feature.
  • Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases – a comprehensive textbook on vaccines, covering principles of vaccination, vaccine safety, and covers the majority of vaccine-preventable diseases and their associated vaccines, such as measles, influenza, polio and HPV.
  • Epidemiology for the Uninitiated – a short textbook on the basics of epidemiology provided by British Medical Journal
  • Basic Epidemiology – an epidemiology textbook from WHO. Good set up with key messages and easy-to-understand mathematics.
  • Human Herpesviruses: Biology, Therapy, and Immunoprophylaxis – an encyclopedia-like textbook on the human hepresviruses.
Free Pharmacology, Endocrinology, Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cells Textbooks
  • Medicines by Design – a book on drug development, covering basic pharmacology, medicines isolated from nature, and how scientists go from molecules to medicines.
  • The Structures of Life – A shorter primer on proteins, x-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance, structure-based drug design.
  • Endocrinology: An Integrated Approach – a solid textbook on endocrinology looking at general principles of hormones, the structure and function of different glands such as gonads, pituitary, adrenal and thyroid glads. and their associated diseases.
  • Regenerative Medicine – report on stem cells by the Department of Health and Human Services covering current progress and future perspectives.
  • Stem Cells: Scientific Progress and Future Research Directions – a larger textbook on stem cells. Topics covered include embryonic and adult stem cells, stem cells and diabetes, gene therapies etc.
  • StemBook – peer-reviewed chapters by experts in stem cell biology. More advanced than the other books on stem cells in this list as this one details topics such as regulation and function of small RNAs in embryonic stem cells, the relationship between stem cells, cancer and epigenetics, the neural stem cell microenvironment, immunologic targeting of the cancer stem cell, tissue engineering and molecular imaging of stem cells.
Free Neurology and Neurobiology Textbooks
  • Physical Neuroscience Lecture Notes – almost 200+ pages of lecture notes on physical neuroscience. Covers action potentials, ion channels, neurotransmitters, ligand-gated receptors, intracellular signaling, dendritic integration and computational neuroscience.
  • Neuroscience – an earlier edition of a classic text in neuroscience by Purves and others. Covers organization, signaling and the effects of neurotransmitters, sensation and sensory processes, development and complex brain functions, memory, sex and emotion.
  • Neurobiology of Sensation and Reward – looks at the history of reward research, detailed overview of different senses, and the neurological connection between sensations and rewards as well as human rewards such as perfume, visual arts, and music.
  • Basic Neurochemistry – covers inter- and intracellular signaling, growth, development and differentiation, inherited and neurodegenerative diseases as well as neural processing and behavior such as the molecular biology of vision and neurochemistry of Schizophrenia.
  • The Neurobiology of Olfaction – an anthology on recent advances in the field. Topics include olfaction in C. elegans, insects and Xenopus, the development of the olfactory system, pheromones and mammalian behavior and of course the basics steps in human olfactory processing.
Miscellaneous Free Biology Textbooks
  • Testing Treatments: Better Research for Better Healthcare (2nd edition) – A short textbook on the value and application of evidence-based medicine. How do we know a treatment works?
  • The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy – a diagnostic handbook detailing various diseases and disorders.
  • WormBook – the best book on the nematode C. elegans.
  • Essentials of Glycobiology – a book from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press (2009) with lots of details on stuff like evolution of glycan diversity, discovery and classification of glycan-binding proteins and glycans in physiology and disease (e. g. parasitic infections).
  • Developmental Biology – an earlier edition of the classic textbook by Gilbert. Topics include genes and development, ethical issues, cell-cell communication in development, early development in invertebrates, insects, birds, fish and mammals, development of tetrapod limb, sex differentiation and plant development as well as developmental mechanisms of evolutionary change.
  • Grey’s Anatomy of the Human Body – a classic text in anatomy.
  • Development of the Human Heart – a fairy short introduction to the development of human heart.
  • Online Textbook of Bacteriology – a basic overview of bacterial microbiology that looks at topics such as structure and function of procaryotes, mechanisms of pathogenicity, interactions with the immune system as well as case studies looking at specific microorganisms that cause disease in humans.
  • Bacteriology – another bacteriology textbook looking at both basic stuff like structure, bacteriophages, horizontal gene transfer and more complex topics like gene regulation and specific disease-causing bacteria.
  • Virology – textbook about viruses. Talks about stuff like replication strategies, viral genetics, HIV, chemotherapy against viruses, virus-host interactions and various specific types of viruses.
  • Parasitology – short textbook about parasites such as ticks, nematodes, malaria and intestinal parasites.
  • Mycology – describes Actinomycetes, yeasts and opportunistic mycoses.


Free Introductory and General Chemistry Textbooks
  • General Chemistry I Course Notes – almost 200 pages course notes in general chemistry. Details stuff like moles, the periodic table, chemical equations and stoichiometry etc.
Free Biochemistry Textbooks
  • Biochemistry – an older edition of the classic text by Berg, Tymoczko and Stryer. A general textbook in biochemistry. Covers biochemical evolution, protein structure and function, exploration of genes and evolution, enzymes and kinetics, metabolism and signal transduction.
  • Biochemistry Online: An Approach Based on Chemical Logic – an online textbook on biochemistry. Covers lipid and protein structure, carbohydrates, DNA, genomics, binding, transport, kinetics, catalysis, phosphorylation, oxidation, signal transduction and metabolic pathways.
  • Biochemistry Lecture Notes I – not precisely a textbook, but a full set of biochemistry lecture notes from Humboldt State University.
  • Biochemistry Lecture Notes II – extensive lecture notes on more advanced topics.
  • Medical Biochemistry Concepts – another non-textbook textbook, but loads of material spread out onto different pages.
Free Physical Chemistry Textbooks
  • Physical Chemistry in Brief – 450+ page textbook in physical chemistry. Covers topics such as basic terms of physical chemistry, state behavior, fundamentals of thermodynamics, thermochemistry, chemical equilibrium and kinetics, electrochemistry as well as the physical chemistry surfaces and dispersion systems.
  • Introductory Physical Chemistry I – 100+ lecture notes on physical chemistry, looking at stuff like Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, thermochemistry, Carnot Engine, entropy and chemical equilibrium.
  • Introductory Physical Chemistry II – shorter lecture notes on more advances subjects, such as The Gibbs-Konovalov theorem.
  • Physical Chemistry I: Quantum Mechanics – almost 400 pages worth of lecture notes on how quantum mechanics is relevant for physical chemistry. It first looks at some mathematical tools such as matrices and partial differential equations and then stuff like particle in box, angular momentum and tunneling.
  • Physical Chemistry II Lecture Notes – an additional set of lecture notes (over 300 pages) on physical chemistry. Deals with equations of state, laws of thermodynamics, thermochemistry, entropy and kinetics.
  • Physical Chemistry Course Notes – yet another 300+ page document with lecture notes for physical chemistry.
Free Miscellaneous Chemistry Textbooks
  • A Spectroscopy Companion – book on spectroscopy that talks about electrostatics, electrical properties and optical constants.


Free Introductory Physics Textbooks
  • Light and Matter – a physics textbook for individuals with a background in life science. Deals with Newtonian mechanics, conservation laws, electromagnetism, optics and certain aspects of modern physics.
  • Simple Nature – calculus-based textbook for introductory physics.
  • Conceptual Physics – a physics textbook emphasizing conceptual, rather than mathematical, understanding.
  • Introductory modern physics – 80+ course notes on the basics of relativity, quantum mechanics and nuclear physics.
  • Motion Mountain – huge textbook on classical mechanics, relativity, quantum mechanics and unification.
Free Classical Mechanics and Mechanics of Materials Textbooks
  • Mechanics – a calculus-based textbook on Newtonian mechanics.
  • Mechanics – an overview of classical mechanics including topics such as Newton’s laws of motion, one-dimensional motion, force and dampened harmonic oscillators, two-dimensional motion like projectiles, central forces, rotating reference frames, three-dimensional movement and systems of particles.
  • Mechanics of Materials – a textbook on the basics of the mechanics of materials. Describes stuff like stress, strain, mechanical properties of materials, axial members, torsions of shafts, symmetric bending of beams, stress transformation, design and failure as well as stability of columns.
  • Mechanics Course Notes – looks at basic mechanics, Lagrangian dynamics, linear oscillators, small vibrations and non-inertial reference frames.
  • Modern Mechanics – a solid 500+ page lectures notes on various aspects of mechanics, from the ground up (1, 2, 3, 4).
Free General and Special Relativity, Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology Textbooks
  • General Relativity – textbook on general relativity for upper-undergraduate level, but excellent for self-study.
  • Lecture Notes on General Relativity – the text is called “lecture notes”, but it is more like a 400+ textbook.
  • Lecture Notes on Special Relativity – a three-part text on special relativity that covers Minkowski space and Lorentz transformations, length contraction and time dilatation, relativistic kinematics and experimental tests of relativity.
  • Einstein Light – mix between textbook and website, but has introductory information on many aspects of relativity.
  • Introduction to Differential Geometry and General Relativity
  • Notes on Relativity and Cosmology – textbook on relativity and cosmology by Marlof.
  • Elements of Astrophysics – 400+ page textbook on special relativity, dynamics, random fields, properties of electromagnetic radiation, thermal radiation, radiative transfer, radiation fields, classical, quantum and relativistic field theory, inflation, origin of cosmological structure and so on.
  • All astrophysical and cosmology coverage in the Review of Particle Physics – a series of reviews on Big Bang cosmology and nucleosynthesis, cosmological parameters, dark matter, cosmic microwave background, cosmic rays, solar neutrinos, neutrino mass, mixing and flavor change.
  • Course Notes on Galaxies and the Universe – covers topics such as galaxy classification, global properties and systematics, dust in galaxies, stellar content, star formation, environmental effects on galaxies, dark matter, large-scale structure, galaxy interactions and merges, gamma ray burst and evolution of galaxies, galaxy formation and cosmic microwave background radiation.
  • Introduction to Black Hole Theory – an introductory overview on black holes that details topics such as Schwarzschild solution, Chandrasekhar limit, gravitational collapse, Penrose diagrams, four laws of black hole dynamics, Hawking radiation
  • Lectures notes on Cosmology and Stellar structure – shorter overview on the expansion of the universe as well as stellar formation and structure.
Free Miscellaneous Physics Textbooks
  • Electricity and Magnetism 350+ course notes on electricity and magnetism that covers topics such as electric fields, electrostatics, conductors and isolators, electric potential, magnetic dipole moment, capacitors, resistors and batteries, magnetic force and relativistic field transformations (1, 2, 3).
  • Thermodynamics and statistical models in physics – 100+ page course note overview over thermodynamics and entropy.
  • Energy – overview of the physics of energy. Talks about kinetic and potential energy, mass-spring oscillators, thermal energy in solid material, the photoelectric effect and quantum mechanics.
  • Vibration and Waves Course Notes – almost 300 page course notes about vibration and waves (1, 2, 3).


Free Calculus Textbooks
  • Calculus – short introductory textbook for calculus.
  • Elementary Calculus: An Infinitesimal Approach – another calculus textbook, but a more rigorous treatment of infinitesimals
  • A Brief Introduction to Infinitesimal Calculus – a shorter text focusing on axiomatic formulations.
  • Calculus – the first edition of the textbook by Gilbert Strang.
  • Mathemtical Analysis I – the basics of mathematical analysis, such as set theory, real numbers, fields, vector and metric spaces, function limits and continuity and differentiation.
  • Mathematical Analysis II – a textbook on more difficult concepts of mathematical analysis, such as integration and differentiation on non-linear spaces.
  • Vector Calculus – a short 100+ page compendium on vector algebra. Covers topics such as spherical polar coordinates, differentiation of vector functions, partial derivatives, scalar and vector fields, surface integral and flux, the divergence theorem and so on.
Free Linear and Abstract Textbooks
Free Probability and Statistics Textbook
  • Introduction to Probability – a basic, but long, textbook in probability theory. Covers various probability distributions, combinatorics, conditional probability, expected value and variance, central limit theorem, Markov chains and random walks.
  • A Computational Introduction to Number Theory and Algebra – covers basic properties of integers, congruence, computing with large integers, distribution of primes, Abelian groups, rings, finite and discrete probability distributions, probabilistic algorithms, matrices, finite fields,
  • Statistics at Square One – introductory statistics textbook by BMJ.
Free Miscellaneous Mathematics Textbook

Computer Science

Free Cryptography Textbooks
  • Lecture Notes on Cryptography – textbook on cryptography covering areas such as trapdoor functions, pseudo-random bit generators, block ciphers, private-key encryption, public-key encryption, message authentication, digital signatures.
  • Rethinking Public Key Infrastructures and Digital Certificates; Building in Privac – a textbook on cryptography made available online by MIT Press. Covers preliminaries of cryptography and showing protocols with selective disclosure.
  • Handbook of Applied Cryptography – an older textbook that covers the mathematical background of cryptography, public key encryption, digital signatures, hash functions and data integrity, as well as identification and entity authentication.
  • Introduction to Modern Cryptography – another free cryptography textbook. Covers block ciphers, pseudorandom functions, hash functions, asymmetric encryption, digital signatures etc.
  • Basic Cryptanalysis – introductory textbook on how to break ciphers. Analyze monographic substitution systems, periodic polyalphabetic substitution systems etc.
Free Python Textbooks
  • Think Python – solid introductory textbook to the Pytho programming language.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

NEWS: Endangered wild horses head to Mongolia

Originally posted on Mother Nature Network on July 16, 2012
By Agence France Presse

Four mares, aged three to five, will be flown 18 hours in wooden boxes to Bulgan, northwest of the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator to repopulate the critically endangered species.

Equus ferus przewalskii in its native habitat in Mongolia at the Khustain Nuruu National Park.
(Photo:Paulo Philippidis/Flickr)
Four rare Przewalski's wild horses were headed for the Mongolian steppe from Prague on July 16 as part of a project to reintroduce the critically endangered species to its ancient homeland.

Prague zoo runs a breeding program and is charged with keeping the world genealogy book for the equines which have survived only in captivity since the last wild horse was seen in Mongolia in 1969.

The four mares, aged three to five, will be flown 18 hours in wooden boxes to Bulgan, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) northwest of the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator.

"The mares are more nervous than last year," Prague zoo director Miroslav Bobek said, referring to another four horses sent to Mongolia in 2011.

From Bulgan, the horses will be taken by road to the Gobi B national protected park, where the population of the horses shrank to 49 from 150 during the severe winter of 2009-2010.

"They must be animals of an adequate age, with the correct genetic setup, in a good shape, and we also chose them by character to avoid taking mares susceptible to stress," Bobek said.

Two mares sent last year have already given birth in the steppe.

"We'd like to continue with the transports to Mongolia... where we're trying to create sustainable conditions for both the horses and the people who live close to them," said Bobek.

Characterized by thick necks, large heads and stocky girths, Przewalski's horses weigh between 250-350 kilograms (550-770 pounds) and stand about 1.2-1.3 metres (3.9-4.3 feet) tall at the withers.

With ancient cave paintings in Lascaux, France, featuring wild horses eerily resembling the Przewalski variety, the species is thought to have lived in Europe 20,000 years ago, but climate change chased the animals away to Asia.

Europeans only encountered the wild horses at the end of the 19th century when Russian explorer and geographer Nikolai Mikhailovich Przewalski discovered them in mountains bordering the Gobi desert.

In the 20th century, hunting brought Przewalski's horses to the verge of extinction.

Word List:

  • equine: relating to horses
  • adequate: good enough or large enough for a particular purpose
  • susceptible: likely to suffer from a particular illness or condition, or to be affected by it more severely than others are
  • girth: round middle of a horse (where the saddle is strapped)

Friday, August 17, 2012

LYRICS: Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe

Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe

I threw a wish in the well,
Don't ask me, I'll never tell
I looked to you as it fell,
And now you're in my way

I'd trade my soul for a wish,
Pennies and dimes for a kiss
I wasn't looking for this,
But now you're in my way

Your stare was holdin',
Ripped jeans, skin was showin'
Hot night, wind was blowin'
Where you think you're going, baby?

Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here's my number,
So call me, maybe?

It's hard to look right,
At you baby,
But here's my number,
So call me, maybe?

Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here's my number,
So call me, maybe?

And all the other boys,
Try to chase me,
But here's my number,
So call me, maybe?

You took your time with the call,
I took no time with the fall
You gave me nothing at all,
But still, you're in my way

I beg, and borrow and steal
Have foresight and it's real
I didn't know I would feel it,
But it's in my way

Your stare was holdin',
Ripped jeans, skin was showin'
Hot night, wind was blowin'
Where you think you're going, baby?

Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here's my number,
So call me, maybe?

It's hard to look right,
At you baby,
But here's my number,
So call me, maybe?

Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here's my number,
So call me, maybe?

And all the other boys,
Try to chase me,
But here's my number,
So call me, maybe?

Before you came into my life
I missed you so bad
I missed you so bad
I missed you so, so bad

Before you came into my life
I missed you so bad
And you should know that
I missed you so, so bad

It's hard to look right,
At you baby,
But here's my number,
So call me, maybe?

Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here's my number,
So call me, maybe?

And all the other boys,
Try to chase me,
But here's my number,
So call me, maybe?

Before you came into my life
I missed you so bad
I missed you so bad
I missed you so, so bad

Before you came into my life
I missed you so bad
And you should know that

So call me, maybe?

NEWS: Getting a New (Leg) Up

Originally posted on The Age on August 12, 2012
by Stathi Paxinos

Best foot forward: Cameron Ward with some of his prosthetics. Photo: Jacky Ghossein
WHEN a Mongolian swimmer walked into the Paralympics prosthetics repair centre in Beijing four years ago, Cameron Ward knew he had to help. The Australian prosthetist could hardly believe the state of the prosthetic that the man had been using as a right leg. It looked like a jumbled mess of scrap metal welded together with home-made joints that in Australia ''would be criminal to fit to someone''.

''It looked like his local villager had bashed something together out of metal rather than it being skilfully crafted out of all types of material like carbon fibre and silicons and things like that. It was really uncomfortable, a bit of metal sticking up into his stomach,'' Ward says.

So Ward went about working to replace the leg so that the swimmer could walk to his events at the Water Cube the next day.

Ward gets the thumbs up from a Mongolian swimmer at the Beijing Paralympics. Photo: Jacky Ghosseinein
''He was actually really scared when we told him that we would have to make him a new leg,'' Ward says. ''He was really worried because he couldn't afford it but we said, 'No, it's all covered by the service'. He was overjoyed when he heard that news.

''Whilst it was not the latest and greatest technology in prosthetics it certainly was compared to what he was on. We had to be mindful when we made him a new leg of where he was going back to. He was going back to Mongolia and wouldn't be in the position to be able to maintain the service of very high-tech stuff so we kept the leg we made for him relatively low tech so that the guys on the ground in Mongolia could still service it and he would get a good life out of that.

''But still the difference in technology between what he had and what he ended up on was phenomenal and you could tell how much it meant to him to be comfortable in the socket for the first time in probably a long time.''

Ward, who works as a senior prosthetist for Sydney company APC Prosthetics, which supplies the Australian Paralympic team, will again be working in the repair centre in London helping Australian competitors and those from around the world. It is a cause he is particularly passionate about, having moved to Sydney more than a decade ago so that he could work with Paralympic athletes.

Ward says the centre in Beijing completed about 2000 repairs, ''ranging from really quick jobs through to entire rebuilds''.

''It's almost like a triage centre where they work out the emergency level of whatever needs to be repaired, then that gets categorised and as soon as you finish a job you just walk out and fix another one,'' Ward says.

''That can be anything from fixing broken sprinting blades to rebuilding entire legs for people from Third World countries through to fixing wheelchairs and the whole array of the devices that the Paralympians need. Any of those things can go wrong and therefore need assisting, adjusting or repairing.''

Some sports, such as wheelchair rugby where collisions are part of the game, needed extra resources.

''The rugby guys obviously smash into each other left, right and centre and they actually have welders on site at the game to do it as they go,'' he says.

Ward said as a prosthetist responsible for repairing the athletes' competition and everyday prosthetics, he must take into account the environment to which the athlete would be returning.

''You've got to be very mindful with what you're making them,'' Ward says. ''The latest and greatest technology is not going to be the most suitable for them back in their [home] environment … there's no point putting a high-tech piece of equipment on that they're just not going to be able to maintain. They're not going to have the skills to be able to make those adjustments and the maintenance so that's something you definitely need to consider.''

Word List:
  • prosthetics: man-made parts of the body
  • jumbled: to mix things together in a confused or untidy way
  • bashed: to hit somebody/something very hard
  • phenomenal: very great or impressive
  • socket: part of the prosthesis (artificial limb) that fits around the remaining leg or arm
  • prosthetist: someone who makes, adjusts and repairs prosthetics
  • passionate: having or showing strong feelings of enthusiasm for something or belief in something
  • triage: the process of deciding how sick/injured/damaged a person/thing is, so that the most serious cases can be treated first
  • mindful: emembering somebody/something and considering them or it when you do something
  • suitable: right or appropriate for a particular purpose or occasion

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

NEWS: Wind farms in Mongolia could help minimize pollution, reliance on coal

In Mongolia, the construction of wind farms means big changes for a coal-powered country.
Originally posted on GlobalPost.com on August 13, 2012
by Kit Gillet

SALKHIT, Mongolia — In the vast rolling plains of Salkhit, 45 miles outside the capital of Ulan Bator, a work crew are busy bending large metal cables into an elaborate, squat structure. Once complete, and with a turbine the length of a football field inserted into the top, it will form a key part of the first wind farm to operate in this coal-rich but infrastructure-poor Asian country.

Over the next month, 31 wind turbines will go into operation across this isolated site, supplying an impressive 5 percent of the nation’s current power needs. More importantly, those involved are hoping it will kick-start a clean energy revolution in a country in dire need of non-polluting energy sources.

“We have a vision to transform Mongolia into a clean energy powerhouse of Asia,” says Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan, CEO of Newcom Group, the company behind the project.

Mongolia actually has all of the natural advantages that could make it one of the key sources of clean energy in the world: high plateaus with constant winds; vast, sparsely inhabited plains that could be developed without too much disruption to traditional herder’s lives; and strong sunlight even in the bleak winter months.

“In Mongolia you have large expenses of land, you've got more than 300 days per annum of sunlight and fairly constant wind. So it’s got basically the perfect trifecta for renewable energy in the world,” says Neal Detert, an American project manager at Clean Energy LLC in Mongolia.

The problem is that Mongolia’s past, present, and future are indelibly tied to coal. The black carbon fuel drives the economy (which grew at over 17 percent last year) and is the country’s major export.

It also made Ulan Bator, by some people’s reckoning, the most polluted capital city in the world last winter.

“I had seen the pollution numbers before arriving, but living here is a whole different experience,” says Christa Hasenkopf, a research fellow at the University of Colorado who is studying pollution in Ulan Bator.

Hasenkopf compares the levels of smoke, soot and dust particles present in the capital’s air to those around a firefighter battling a wildfire — “and this is all winter long,” she adds.

Rapid urbanization over the last few decades has resulted in nearly 60 percent of this once-nomadic population living in the capital city alone. A vast shantytown of ex-herders, many still living in traditional yurts and cooking on coal fires, stretches to the north of the city as far as the eye can see.

This migration has pushed existing infrastructure to near breaking point. Roads in and out of Ulan Bator are crammed with traffic and heavily potholed. Classrooms and hospitals are overcrowded, and limited power plants are running at full capacity.

“All of the power plants in Mongolia are old and coal-fired,” says Saurabh Sinha, an economist with the United Nations Development Program in Ulan Bator.

“Increased urbanization and major mining projects are causing a serious strain on the power sector, and the energy infrastructure really needs a lot more investment,” he adds.

Money is pouring into the Mongolian economy like never before, mostly from a handful of large mining concessions run by foreign firms like Ivanhoe and Rio Tinto. Yet so far these projects are, if anything, stretching the existing infrastructure further by using significant quantities of power from the grid.

Over 80 percent of Mongolia's electricity is produced by five coal power plants built mainly in the 1970s and 80s. The newest went into operation in 1991, and with power demands across the country rising dramatically over the last few decades each plant is forced to run at full capacity most of the year, especially in winter when temperatures drop to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

“The power stations were never intended to serve a population this size, so there is only low capacity electricity in the shanty town areas — enough for basic lighting but not heating,” says Hasenkopf. “This makes the situation worse since poor people have to burn low-grade coal to keep warm.”

Those involved in the clean-tech industry are optimistic that wind and solar energy have the potential to radically transform the country, moving it away from coal and at the same time developing an industry as valuable to the country as the fossil fuel is today.

A Japanese research group set up in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster last year has proposed establishing an Asian super-grid, with Japan and other countries importing electricity via high-voltage transmission lines that originate predominantly in newly-created wind and solar farms in Mongolia. So far the project is just at the drawing board stage, but the potential is clearly there.

“Mongolia has a lot of solar and wind energy resources,” says Newcom CEO Byambasaikhan. “Our abundant resources are enough to power all of Asia.”

Newcom, along with its suppliers and partners, which include General Electric and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, are already looking beyond the 31-turbine Salkhit pilot project that will start producing electricity later this year.

They are beginning the development of what could eventually be a 1,000-square-mile wind farm in the Gobi Desert. In its first phase alone it will be able to produce six times as much electricity as the Salkhit site, and account for a significant proportion of the country’s energy needs.

Mongolia is developing fast. If developed right, many believe the country has the potential of going from a nation with one of the most polluted cities in the world for almost half of the year to one of the least polluted countries on the planet.

“Mongolia holds some of the greatest potential in the world right now,” says Clean Energy’s Neal Detert. “Twenty wind farms of a similar size to this first one would be able to power all of Ulan Bator’s energy requirements.”

Word List:
  • vast: extremely large in area, size, amount, etc.
  • elaborate: very complicated and detailed; carefully prepared and organized
  • infrastructure: the basic systems and services that are necessary for a country or an organization to run smoothly, for example buildings, transport and water and power supplies
  • impressive: making you feel admiration, because they are very large, good, skilful, etc
  • trifecta: a series or set of three things or influences
  • reckoning: the act of calculating something, especially in a way that is not very exact
  • soot: black powder that is produced when wood, coal, etc. is burnt
  • shantytown: an area in or near a town where poor people live
  • stretches: to spread over an area of land
  • crammed: full of too many things or people
  • pothole: a large rough hole in the surface of a road that is formed by traffic and bad weather
  • strain: need more than can be supplied
  • concessions: a right or an advantage that is given to a group of people, an organization, etc, especially by a government or an employer
  • intended: that you are trying to achieve or reach
  • optimistic: expecting good things to happen or something to be successful; showing this feeling
  • potential: that can develop into something or be developed in the future
  • radically: new, different and likely to have a great effect
  • fossil fuel: coal, oil
  • predominantly: mostly; mainly
  • abundant: existing in large quantities; more than enough

NEWS: Peacekeeping Drills Begin in Mongolia

Originally posted on ChinaDaily.com.cn on August 8, 2012

ULAN BATOR, Mongolia - The 10th "Khaan Quest" multinational peacekeeping exercise started in Mongolia on Sunday.

More than 1,000 soldiers from 10 countries, including the US, South Korea, India, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, France, Britain and Germany took part in the exercise.

China, Russia and Kazakhstan sent observers to the exercise at the Five Hills training center, some 50 kilometers to the southwest of the capital Ulan Bator. This year's maneuvers consist of various training courses including battalion level staff exercise, platoon level counter-improvised explosive device training, field training and medical outreach to the civilian population of Ulan Bator.

The Khaan Quest 2012 focuses on multinational peacekeeping operations intended to improve interoperability among US, Mongolian and other international forces, Michael Thompson, exercise director of Khaan Quest 2012, said in a welcome letter.

He said training together could improve the participating forces' operational capability to provide security and to deter hostile threats affecting populations around the world.

President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces Tsakhia Elbegdorj, Chief of the General Staff Tserendejid Byambajav and military officials, diplomats from China, the US and Japan attended the opening ceremony.

At the ceremony, Mongolian paratroops and cavalry put on performances for soldiers and military officials from the participating countries.

The Khaan Quest exercise is sponsored by the US Army and hosted annually by the Mongolian Armed Forces.

Word List:
  • maneuvers: a planned movement by a military group
  • battalion: a large group of soldiers that consists of three or more smaller groups called companies
  • platoon: a small group of soldiers that a lieutenant is in charge of
  • to focus: to give attention, effort, etc. to one particular subject, situation or person rather than another
  • to deter: to make someone decide not to do something
  • paratroops: soldiers who are trained to jump from planes using a parachute

Sunday, August 12, 2012

NEWS: In a very close match, Nyambayar gets Silver medal

Cuba’s Ramirez wins flyweight Olympic boxing gold
Originally posted on Boston Herald on August 12, 2012
By Associated Press

Tugstsogt Nyambayar wins Mongolia's 5th Olympic medal almost beating Cuba's Ramirez
LONDON — Flyweight Robeisy Ramirez won Cuba’s second Olympic boxing gold medal of the games Sunday, capping a stellar run through the tournament with a 17-14 victory over Mongolia’s Tugstsogt Nyambayar.

The 18-year-old Ramirez won Cuba’s 34th Olympic boxing gold, second only to the U.S. team’s 48.

Ramirez got his toughest test of the tournament from Nyambayar, who fell just short of winning only the third gold medal in Mongolia’s Olympic history. Ramirez led by just one point entering the final round before surviving.

Word List:
  • stellar: excellent
  • run: a period of something good or bad happening; a series of successes or failures

Saturday, August 11, 2012

NEWS: World Champion Slayer Tugstsogt Nyambayar Going for Gold

Originally posted on Yahoo.com on August 11, 2012
Boxing: Cuban dances into final, more home cheer
By Patrick Johnston | Reuters

Tugstsogt Nyambayar of Mongolia performs a fighting pose after being declared victor over Misha Aloian of Russia
LONDON (Reuters) - Cuban teenager Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana dazzled once again on Friday to reach the flyweight final at the London Games and set up a gold medal clash with world champion slayer Tugstsogt Nyambayar of Mongolia.

The silky southpaw, ranked 34 by world governing body AIBA, danced and smiled his way through his semi-final bout at the ExCel arena, the 18-year-old toying with Ireland's Michael Conlan before recording a 20-10 victory which could have been more.

The Cuban opted to cover up in the first two minutes of the bout against the eager Conlan, who rained down blows which Carrazana fended off with his gloves before unleashing punches from all angles to leave the Irishman guessing.

Carrazana's performances across the week in London have been a highlight and he will start as favorite for gold on Sunday when he takes on Nyambayar and the expectation from back home as he tries to win Cuba's first boxing title since the 2004 Athens Games.

"We know the Olympics are the biggest show on earth when it comes to sporting events but when you're in the ring everything is the same, you could be anywhere," Carrazana told reporters, attempting to play down the pressure.

The Cuban showman is likely to face a sterner test in the final against Nyambayar, who easily swatted aside Russian world champion Misha Aloian 15-11 in the first of 10 bouts in Friday's evening session.
The 20-year-old student proved too quick for a lethargic Aloian, the top seed, and routinely landed strong jabs and big right hands through the Russian's lazy defense.

Nyambayar is part of a quartet of Mongolian fighters that have impressed in London with their aggressive style, but the last one standing will aim for his country's first gold of the Games when he takes on Carrazana.

"The Mongolian people have a great history and I will be really proud to get a medal for Mongolia," he told reporters. "The population of Mongolia is not that big, it's only 2.8 million people and despite this, we are extremely proud of our history. It will be a great honor to get the medal."

Word List:
  • dazzled: to impress somebody a lot with your beauty, skill, etc
  • clash: a short fight between two groups of people
  • slayer: to kill someone in a violent way
  • silky: smooth, almost effortless, great skill
  • southpaw: left-handed
  • opted: to choose to take or not to take a particular course of action
  • rained down: frequent and constant, overwhelming
  • sterner: serious and difficult
  • swatted: to hit something, especially an insect, using your hand or a flat object
  • lethargic: the state of not having any energy or enthusiasm for doing things
  • quartet: four people

NEWS: Mongolia's Tugstsogt Nyambayar, Cuba's Robeisy Ramirez Set For Gold Medal Match

Originally posted on Bad Left Hook on Aug 10, 2012
by Scott Christ

Tugstsogt Nyambayar beat Yasurbek Latipov from Uzbekistan
The flyweights have finished up their semifinal bouts this afternoon in London, and the gold medal match for Sunday is set.

Tugstsogt Nyambayar (Mongolia) def. Misha Aloian (Russia), 15-11: Another upset, and now the 20-year-old Mongolian goes for gold. Aloian was the No. 1 seed and favored by many to win the gold at the start, though Cuba's Robeisy Ramirez had picked up some steam as a possible favorite during the tournament. Nobody's really thought about Tugstsogt, but here he is, and he's got his shot. When he was 17, Tugstsogt beat Aloian in Milan at the Worlds, too, in the semifinals. Repeat, not revenge.

Robeisy Ramirez (Cuba) def. Michael Conlan (Ireland), 20-10: Conlan, like pretty much everyone the 18-year-old Cuban has fought, is good. And not on Ramirez's level. This kid is a special talent, and if he manages to turn pro within the next five years, he could make some huge noise in the lower weights. For my money, he remains in the running for the outstanding boxer of the tournament award. He's really something.

NEWS: Boxing Bronze for Mongolia’s Uranchimeg

Boxing Bronze for Italy’s Mangiacapre and Mongolia’s Uranchimeg

Originally posted on RIA Novosti on August 10, 2012

Denys Berinchyk and Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg By Jack Guez
Italy’s Vincenzo Mangiacapre and Mongolia’s Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg won bronze in the men’s Olympic light welterweight boxing Friday after losing their semifinals.

Cuba’s Roniel Iglseias Sotolongo and Ukraine’s Denys Berinchyk will now face off for the gold medal in Saturday’s final.

Mangiacapre, a serving police officer, lost his semifinal 15-8 on points to Sotolongo, who outclassed him throughout.

The first round was cautious, with both fighters catching each other with jabs, before the Cuban started to take control in the latter stages to win 3-2.

Sotolongo maintained his dominance in second and third rounds, winning 7-4 and 5-2 respectively.

Berinchyk, the losing finalist at last year’s world championships, came back from behind to win an action-packed fight against Uranchimeg 29-21.

In a bout that saw both fighters show plenty of aggression, Uranchimeg won the first round 6-4, before Berinchyk pushed him hard in a second round that was scored 9-8 in the Mongolian’s favor.

Berinchyk then turned up the heat in a punishing third round that he won 17-6, knocking Uranchimeg down twice.

Men’s boxing at the Olympics uses three three-minute rounds, unlike the four two-minute rounds used in women’s fights.

Word List:
  • face off: an argument or a fight
  • outclass: to be much better than somebody you are competing against

Friday, August 10, 2012

NEWS: Mongolia's relationship status with China? Complicated.

Originally posted on Christian Science Monitor on July 25, 2012
By Peter Ford

Mongolia just rushed a law through parliament to make it harder for China to invest in Mongolia.

A mine worker sits in a traditional tent at a mining camp southwest of the Mongolian capital city, Ulan Bator. 
David Gray/Reuters

In today's harsh economic climate, most countries are falling over themselves to attract Chinese investment.

Mongolia's government, however, just rushed a law through parliament to make it harder.

The law requires investments by foreign state-owned enterprises in strategic sectors, such as mining, to get special government approval. And it has held up a deal by Canadian mining company Ivanhoe to sell a majority stake in one of its Mongolian coal mines to Chalco, the Chinese state-owned aluminum giant.

"We need a policy to stop all the [mining] licenses ending up in Chinese hands," says Tsolmon, a former deputy foreign minister, who like most Mongolians uses only one name. "Otherwise we could wake up one morning and most of our land would be controlled by the Chinese. That would not be good."

Mongolia, a sparsely populated, mineral-rich country landlocked between Russia and China, is in an awkward geopolitical spot.

For most of the 20th century, it was dominated by the Soviet Union, which installed a puppet regime. Before that, Mongolia was part of the Chinese Empire for two centuries. Today, the country is attempting to steer a more independent path by reaching out to what it calls "third neighbors," such as the United States, Japan, South Korea, and the European Union.

But geography is implacable.

"We cannot change our borders," says Mr. Tsolmon. "We have to find a way to make our location work to our advantage."

In one sense, "Mongolia is in a particularly good place, both geographically and metaphorically," says Houston Spencer, the spokesman for Oyu Tolgoi, a $7 billion copper and gold mine operated by Rio Tinto that is about to start production.

"To have one of the world's largest copper deposits ready to come on line when the hungriest copper consumer in the world is sitting next door is pretty good timing," Mr. Spencer says. Oyu Tolgoi is planning to sell the vast majority of its production to Chinese customers.

Indeed, says President Elbegdorj, "it is because we share the longest land border with the fastest-growing big economy in the world that foreign investors are interested in Mongolia."

But China is already Mongolia's largest foreign investor, and 85 percent of Mongolia's exports – be they minerals, cashmere, wool, or milk products – go to China. Some Mongolians are worried that Oyu Tolgoi, and massive coal deposits at Tavan Tolgoi that are also destined for China once large-scale mining starts there, will only deepen their country's uncomfortable dependence on their giant southern neighbor.

Mongolia's economy was left in ruins by the collapse of the Soviet Union, recalls Sumati, a well-known Mongolian pollster and political analyst. "If China's economic health suddenly deteriorates … we may really face big troubles," he warns.

And even if China's economy stays on track, its role as Mongolia's indispensable customer gives Beijing unusual power: When the Dalai Lama has visited Ulan Bator in the past, China has expressed its displeasure by closing its border with Mongolia for a few days, just as a reminder.

The Mongolian authorities, while seeking the best possible relations with their neighbor, are also trying to broaden their options. The government plans a new railroad, for example, that would connect to the trans-Siberian track and offer a northern exit route for Mongolia's coal and copper concentrate.

It makes political and strategic sense, but the eastern Russian port of Vladivostok is 3,000 miles from the Tavan Tolgoi coal mine, while the Chinese port of Tianjin is only 1,000 miles away, points out Graeme Hancock, chief operating officer of Erdenes TT, the Mongolian government firm mining at Tavan Tolgoi.

"Digging the coal is the easy bit," Mr. Hancock says. "This game is all about logistics and how to transport the coal to market at the least cost," he adds. That puts China in a powerful position.

China is not popular in Mongolia because of its imperial past, and also because "when violations of labor rights and environmental standards are reported, they seem to happen usually in factories linked to Chinese investors," says Oyungerel, a human rights activist recently elected to parliament. The illegal influx of Chinese laborers is also a source of resentment, she adds.

When Mr. Sumati's polling company asked Mongolians last April "which country is the best partner for Mongolia?" only 1.2 percent of respondents suggested China. The other 98.8 percent may have to get used to the idea, Tsolmon says.

"Policy does not depend on human will but on reality," he argues bluntly. "We cannot fly away. And there is no point in complaining about where we live. All we can do is make the best of it."

Word List:
  • "to fall over themselves": to be very enthusiastic about doing something
  • sparsely: existing in small amounts, or a large distance apart
  • "puppet regime": a government that is appointed by and whose affairs are directed by an outside authority
  • implacable: having or expressing very angry or determined feelings that will not change
  • to deteriorate: to become worse
  • to stay on track: to continue a course of action without changing to something else
  • indispensable: difficult or impossible to exist without or to do something without
  • to broaden: to start including more things or people
  • resentment: an angry unhappy feeling that you have when you think you have been treated unfairly or without enough respect
  • bluntly: speaking in a direct and honest way, even if this offends or upsets people

Thursday, August 9, 2012

NEWS: Uranchimeg's boxing win makes London 2012 Mongolia’s most successful Olympics ever

Originally posted on InsideTheGames.biz on August 8, 2012
By David Owen at ExCel in London

August 8 - It was one of those priceless Olympic moments.

At around 10 o'clock, a small corner of East London was transformed suddenly into an outpost of Ulan Bator, as scores of Mongolians celebrated a new Olympic landmark for the landlocked Asian country.

The victory of boxer Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg in his light welterweight quarter-final bout against host nation favourite Thomas Stalker means that Mongolia is now assured of winning more medals at London 2012 than in any previous Olympics.

With a silver and two bronze medals already in the bank, Uranchimeg's win means that two Mongolian boxers – flyweight Tugstsogt Nyambayar being the other – have qualified for the semi-final stage of their respective competitions.

This assures them of at least a bronze medal.

This, in turn, guarantees Mongolia a haul of at least five medals – a new record.

The country has mustered four medals on three previous occasions, most recently in Beijing four years ago, when it won its first two golds.

It seems particularly appropriate that this record should have been attained at London 2012, as the metal ore for some of the medals was mined in Mongolia.

In effect, the five medals will be going home.

Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg (left) in action against Thomas Stalker during the men's light welterweight boxing quarter-finals at the London 2012 Olympic Games
Uranchimeg's victory was all the more noteworthy as it was achieved in a highly-charged atmosphere, with the vast majority of spectators noisily urging on the home favorite Stalker.

The din ratcheted up still further for the start of the third and final round, which the Mongolian began with a 14-13 lead.

Stalker responded with a relentless, if sometimes guileless, assault, but at the bell, it was impossible to say whether the red-vested Briton had done enough.

The answer when it came was "not quite", Uranchimeg taking the decision by 23 points to 22.

As a distraught Stalker stormed away, the 100-200 Mongolians present – many armed with the highly distinctive red, blue and gold national flag – began their celebrations in earnest.

They had chanted their support throughout the contest, in spite of being comprehensively outnumbered.

Now they assembled in a happy gaggle at the foot of one of the stands.

One fan said that their fighter's performance had made the 11-hour flight to London worthwhile.

It was, of course, a particularly special moment for Uranchimeg himself, boxing in his third Olympics.

"My soul is full of emotion," he said.

"It has been my longstanding dream to get a medal, which I have now achieved."

The watching Chultem Otgonbaatar Sato, first vice-president of the Mongolian Sports Press Union, indicated that there was every chance the country's medal haul would grow further in the final days of the Games.

Dates with the figure "8" in had proved lucky for Mongolia in the past, he told me.

This latest Olympic landmark had been achieved on the eighth day of the eighth month.

Word List:
  • landmark: an event, a discovery, an invention, etc. that marks an important stage in something
  • assured: certain to happen
  • haul: a large number of points, wins, or successes that someone gets
  • mustered: to come together, or bring people together
  • noteworthy: deserving to be noticed or to receive attention because it is unusual, important or interesting
  • din: a loud, unpleasant noise that lasts for a long time
  • relentless: not stopping or getting less strong
  • guileless: behaving in a very honest way; not knowing how to trick people
  • assault: to attack something
  • distraught: extremely upset and anxious so that you cannot think clearly
  • earnest: with more force or effort than before
  • gaggle: a group of noisy people