Two struck by lightning
Two lifesaving instructors were reportedly struck by lightning early yesterday during a training session on a beach at Sizihwan in Greater Kaohsiung. The pair were said to be in critical condition. Two other instructors and a trainee who suffered from shock after witnessing the lightning strike were also sent to a nearby hospital, where they were reported to be in stable condition. Kaohsiung Harbor City Water Lifesaving Association president Chen Li-na (陳麗娜) said the association decided to hold a training session that day as scheduled, despite continual rainfall throughout the morning. Thirteen instructors and 23 students were participating in the lesson. The instructors were standing on the beach and assessing whether it was safe for the students to go into the water when the lightning struck, Chen said, adding that the pair who were injured were very experienced and knew the dangers of going into the water during a thunderstorm. The Central Weather Bureau’s Kaohsiung Weather Station said people should not go near the ocean or into the mountains when there is a potential for thunderstorms.
Marines to be on TV
The Republic of China Marine Corps is to be featured this week in a National Geographic Channel program that reports on the rigorous training marines go through. The first of six episodes will be aired on Wednesday, with subsequent episodes every Wednesday over the following weeks, the channel said. The series highlights the rigorous training faced by the Marine Corps Amphibious Reconnaissance and Patrol Unit at a naval base in Greater Kaohsiung, the Ministry of National Defense said. The program reports stories behind the unit’s arduous 10-week training, which includes crawling over stones and a six-day task that requires trainees to finish a long run, swim in the sea and row at night, the ministry said. National Geographic Channel recently released a preview of the program which can be viewed on the Facebook pages of the channel and the ministry. This was the second cooperative project between the military and National Geographic Channel. The channel produced a documentary on air force exercises that took place in 2011. Titled Inside: Highway, Runway, the film, features the Hankuang 27 Road Runway Exercise that involved using a southern highway as a military airstrip, and was broadcast in October 2011.
Math professor honored
A Taiwanese professor was awarded a silver medal, dubbed the Fields Medal of the Chinese-speaking world, in Taipei yesterday, the only mathematician from Taiwan to be recognized this year, according to the International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians. Chang Chieh-yu (張介玉), an assistant professor at National Tsing Hua University’s mathematics department, was awarded the medal in the triennial Morningside Medal of Mathematics, which was first awarded in 1998. Chang received his bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees from National Tsing Hua University and did a post-doctorate fellowship at the National Center for Theoretical Sciences and National Central University. He told reporters that the nation’s math field has improved in recent years, but said there is room for improvement. He suggested mathematicians engage in exchanges with foreign talent to find inspiration. The award was established by Chinese-born US mathematician Yau Shing-tung (丘成桐), who was awarded the Fields Medal in 1982.