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明星资讯腾讯娱乐2018年02月25日 23:54:12
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Life during the Blitz闪电战下的生活Death threats死亡威胁Love and literature in the time of bombs战乱中的爱与文学The Love-charmof Bombs: Restless Lives in the Second World War. By Lara Feigel.《战乱情迷》,Lara Feigel著。FEW histories of the British home front during the second world warreally capture the “mood, temper and climate”, lamented Elizabeth Bowen, a novelist who lived in London at the time. Deaths constant threat fuelled an apocalyptichedonism. The Blitz was grim, but glorious too, in its way. In addition, the experience left a distinct and enduring literary legacy, writes Lara Feigel,an academic at Kings College London, in her new book, “The Love-charm ofBombs”, which came out in Britain in February and is now being published in America.鲜有讲述二战期间英国大后方的故事能真正体现当时的“”心境、性情、风气”,当年生活在伦敦的小说家Elizabeth Bowen哀叹道。持续的死亡威胁燃起了享乐主义热潮。闪电战残酷无情,但另一方面,这也是场荣耀之战。此外,这次经历也带来了非同凡响不可磨灭的文化遗产,伦敦国王学院的学者Lara Feigel在她的新书《战乱情迷》中写道。该作品已于2月在英国面市,现于美国出版发行。A fast-livingwriting trio Bowen, Graham Greene and Henry Yorke are the main protagonists. They mucked in with the wareffort, but their Blitz was made unique by love affairs. The passions it aroused, and the sense of timelessness that ensued a “suspended present”, Ms Feigel calls it were fertile muses. “These writers,firefighting, ambulance-driving, patrolling the streets, were the successors of the soldier poets of the firstworld war,” the author argues in her introduction.三剑客 Bowen, Graham Greene 和Henry Yorke即是描写这段放纵生活的主要代表。他们分享各自在战时取得的成果,笔下的那些风流韵事也让他们的闪电战与众不同。被唤醒的热情以及时间的永恒性引发了一种 “现实静止”,Ms Feigel形容为 灵感的源泉。“这些作家,当过消防员,开过救护车,在街上巡逻,是一战时期士兵诗人的继任者”作者在引言中陈述道。Bomb-hit London was surely of a different order to the peerless carnage of Flanders fields, but the literary impact of the war, she convincingly shows, is comparable. Yorke was at his most prolific then. For the others the experience bore fruit more slowly. The Blitz would provide the setting for Bowens “The Heat of the Day”, and also for Greenes most passionate work, “The End of the Affair”.轰炸伦敦造成的伤亡虽没有血流成河的佛兰德战役惨烈,但战争带来的文学冲击,却不相上下,Feigel在书中有力地明了这点。Yorke当时文思泉涌,而其他作家的产量相对偏少。闪电战为Bowen的《炎日》,Greene最的作品《恋情的终结》提供了创作背景。Peace was a disappointment. The democratic spirit ebbed and life lost its intensity. Bowen, repelled by the Labour Partys 1945 electionvictory, retreated to Ireland with her sexless husband, but really she lived in a world of letters with a Canadian lover. Yorke, who would never be more than a “writers writers writer”, became a drunk. Greene found new love and increased fame, but like the others, Ms Feigel suggests, he would never again “value the present moment so whole heartedly”.和平令人沮丧。民主精神衰退,生活失去张力。1945年工党赢得选举,Bowen就此退出政治舞台,与她性冷淡的丈夫一同移居爱尔兰,但实际上她沉浸在与加拿大情人构筑起的情信世界。York,本可以超越“作家的作家的作家”,却成了酒鬼。Greene有了新欢,声名鹊起,但Feigel认为,就像其他人一样,他再也无法“全心全意地珍视当下”。This is a strikingly original book. It succeeds in itsambitious combination of group biography and literary criticism. But it is notflawless. Ms Feigel focuses too widely on obscure novelists,in particular a melancholy Austrian emigre, Hilde Spiel,while more illustrious contemporaries Virginia Woolf, Anthony Powell and EvelynWaugh haunt the background like ghosts at the feast. The authors are also tooily believed. Yorke called his fellow firefighters “absolute heroes”, butWaugh, a marine, doubted their courage. Did Waugh have a point? The questiongoes unasked.这是本非常具有创建性的作品。它成功地完成了集体传记与文学的宏伟结合。但也并非十全十美。Feigel过于专注冷门小说家,特别是忧郁的奥地利移民Hilde Spiel,而那些杰出的同代作家 Virginia Woolf, Anthony Powell和Evelyn Waugh 却像鬼魂般游离在盛宴之下。同时,作者对一些史料过于轻信。Yorke称他的消防伙伴“绝对是英雄人物”,但身为海军的Waugh却怀疑他们的勇气。Waugh的话是否中肯,我们也不得而知。But these are minor complaints. For the ageing Rose Macaulay, another British novelist of the period, the war was shattering. Shelost a secret lover to cancer, and his letters to a bomb. The need to conceal the mourning deepened the grief. “The Love-charm of Bombs” excels in demonstrating that these years of bleakness and loss were also, for a fortunate few, a time of extraordinary excitement and literary inspiration.但这些都是小瑕疵。对于另一位英国小说家,当时年迈的Rose Macaulay来说,战争粉碎了一切。她失去了身患癌症的秘密情人,炸弹摧毁了他们所有的情信。她必须隐藏这份悲伤,这反而加深了心中的痛楚。《战乱情迷》极力明了那个不断失去的阴郁年代也是荡漾,充满文学启发的时代,多么难能可贵。 /201404/287441

Leave it on the shelf too long and honey begins to crystallize. 蜂蜜放在货架上太久是会结晶的。Heating the honey returns it to its original condition, but if you add water, you could ruin the honey completely. 将蜂蜜加热使它转化成最原始的状态,但如果你往里加水,你就有可能会完全毁了蜂蜜。Thats because honey, which is a preservative in its original state, ferments once its diluted. 那是因为蜂蜜在其原始状态下是不变质的,而当加水稀释后则会发酵。In ancient times, honey was used as a food preservative. 在古代的时候,蜂蜜被用于食物防腐剂。It works as a preservative because the high concentration of sugar in honey forces the water out of any yeast or bacteria cells that could otherwise contaminate the food. 它作为防腐剂的工作原理是蜂蜜中的高浓度的糖会将酵母或细菌细胞中的水分排出来,否则这些细胞会污染食物。This process, known as ;osmosis,; is also what makes salt such an effective preservative. 这个过程叫做“透析”,同样也使得盐成了一种有效的防腐剂。Eventually, the process of osmosis destroys those cells by drawing out all their water--in other words, by drying them up. 最后,这个透析的过程会通过吸干所有的水分,换句话说就是使其变干燥,从而破坏细胞。So because of its high sugar concentration, pure honey will never ferment or go bad. 所以说由于它的高浓度,纯蜂蜜将永远不会发酵或变质。It may crystallize but by soaking the jar in hot water you can turn it back into a liquid. 蜂蜜是会结晶的,但如果你把蜂蜜罐放到热水里,它是会再变回液体的。Adding water, however, lowers the concentration of sugar in the honey and turns a natural preservative into an excellent food for yeast and bacteria. 加水,降低蜂蜜中糖的浓度,会将天然防腐剂转成酵母和细菌的绝好食物。You may not want a fermented jar of honey on your shelf, but ancient people turned that characteristic of honey to their advantage in creating what may well have been the very first alcoholic beverage. 你可能不会想在你的书架上摆一瓶发酵了的蜂蜜罐子,但是古人利用蜂蜜的这个特点,创造出了第一批酒精饮料。Honey mixed in water and allowed to ferment, produces the drink called ;mead.; 将蜂蜜和水混在一起,让其发酵,制出来的饮料叫“蜂蜜酒”。So you may or may not want to add water to your honey. 但你可能想也可能不想往蜂蜜里兑水。If what you want is mead, go ahead, but if you want your honey to last, . . . keep it pure. 如果你想要的是“蜂蜜酒”,那可以兑水,但如果你想要的就是蜂蜜,那就不要兑水。Next time on ;A Moment of Science,; well see why honey can help baked goods last longer. 下次在“科学时刻”,“我们将会看到为什么蜂蜜可以帮助烘焙食品保质更长时间。201307/250045

Don: Holy guayule,Yale.唐:神圣的灰白银胶菊,雅艾尔。Yael: Holy what?雅艾尔:神圣的什么?Don: Guayule. Its a desert-dwelling shrub from the Southwest.唐:灰白银胶菊。它是一种生长在西南部沙漠中的灌木。Yael: What about guayule? I never even heard of it.雅艾尔:灰白银胶菊是什么样的?我从来没听过。Don: Several things. One of the most important features of the guayule plant is that it is a source of natural latex, ideal for making gloves and other natural rubber products used in the medical industry. But unlike the more common latex extracted from rubber trees, latex from guayule plants does not contain the proteins that cause severe allergic reactions in some people.唐:有几件事你应该了解一下。灰白银胶菊最重要的特点是它能分泌天然乳胶,是制造手套以及其它医疗工厂使用的橡胶制品的理想原料。但是跟常见的那些从橡胶树上提取的乳胶不同,从灰白银胶菊中提取的乳胶中没有会使人产生严重过敏反应的蛋白质。Yael: Nice.雅艾尔:不错。Don: But thats not all. Crop researchers have discovered that the guayule plant is a potentially valuable source of energy. After the latex is extracted from the plant, youre left with the ground up stems and branches—called “bagasse.” Bagasse from guayule contains about as much potential energy per pound as charcoal. USDA chemists are working to develop efficient methods to convert bagasse into ethanol and other consumer y products. Guayule has a few advantages as a source for biofuel. One is that it grows and thrives in the desert. That means it can grow in areas where other crops cant. Guayule shrubs can also be harvested year round, and require very little fertilizer or chemicals to grow. On top of that, the latex extraction process uses only water, no harsh solvents, so the process of producing latex and bagasse is relatively clean.唐:还不止这些呢。研究者们还发现银胶菊是一种很有开发前景的能源。当你把乳胶从植物里提取出来后,就会剩下一大堆银胶菊的秸秆,我们称为“甘蔗渣”。每磅甘蔗渣里含有的能量和每磅木炭一样多。美国农业部的化学家正在研发一种有效的方法,以便把这些甘蔗渣转化成乙醇和其他可供消费的产品。作为生物燃料,银胶菊有一些优势。其中一项就是他在沙漠中茁壮的生长,这就表示了它能在其他生物无法生存的环境中存活。银胶菊灌木一年就能收获吗?它全年都能收获,且只需要一点点肥料和化学药剂。除此之外,银胶菊的乳胶提取工艺只需要水就够了,不需要严格的溶剂。所以生产乳胶和甘蔗渣的过程是比较清洁的。Yael: That does sound promising. ILL look forward to hearing more about guayule in the future.雅艾尔:那听起来的确很有前途,我期望以后能多了解一些银胶菊的知识。Don: I suspect we will.唐:我猜会有机会的。201305/240321

  Beyond them, silver belly fish never let down their guard. 除了它们以外,银钓饵鱼也从不放松警惕。They shimmer like a thousand tiny mirrors, swilling as one of more to confuse any attackers. 它们就像许多面小镜子一样闪闪发光,像一团无形云雾一样形成旋涡,迷惑袭击者。Its their only defense against this, a shark macro. 这是它们唯一的,抵御鲭鲨的方式。These are the great hands of the ocean. 鲭鲨是海洋中的猎犬。They need all their speed and agility against these ghostly spook that is here one moment and gone the next.它们需要速度与灵活并存来应对这幽灵般的族群。前一秒还在此,下一秒便无影无踪。Despite the dangers, small fish have to risk leaving the protection of reef to feed. 尽管危险,小鱼还是要离开礁石去觅食。And perhaps none is bothered than this little rass. 但是没有比这小濑鱼更胆大的了。This gigantic grouper is many thousands of times of her size and an aggressive territorial predator, with one of the largest mouthes on the reef.这条巨大的石斑鱼是它体积的数千倍,是一种守株待兔的凶猛掠食者。带着一张超级大嘴。201409/326416

  Yael:Welcome to another episode of Lunch with Don and Yael.雅埃尔:欢迎来到唐和雅埃尔的另一个午餐时光。So, Don, what are you eating today?那唐,你今天吃什么?Don:Nothing.唐:什么都不吃。YAEL:Nothing!Are you on a diet or something?雅埃尔:不吃? 你在节食还是要干什么?DON:Not by choice. To be honest, Im trying to save money by buying less food.唐:这可不是出于自愿。老实说,我想少吃点省些钱。YAEL:Why?雅埃尔:为什么?DON:Because Im spending all my money on putting gas in my car and heating my home.唐:因为我把所有钱花在汽车和给自家供暖上了。The other day I filled up my tank and spent over fifty bucks!前几天光加个油就花了我50块钱!And you dont even want to know how high my heating bills have been.你甚至不想知道我的取暖费有多高。YAEL:I hear you. Were all in the same boat.雅埃尔:我听到你的诉苦了。我们都差不多。But check this out:scientists at Arizona State University are working on a fuel cell that uses bacteria to produce energy from waste material like sewage or pig manure.但看看这个:亚利桑那州立大学的科学家们正在致力于一项细菌从污水或猪粪等废弃物中产生能量燃料的研究。DON:You mean they can generate energy from garbage? Sounds like science fiction.唐:你是说他们可以从垃圾中产生能源?听起来像科幻小说。YAEL:I know, but this is for real.雅埃尔:我知道,但确有其事。Its kinda technical, but the basic idea is that bacteria are good at breaking down almost any kind of organic waste.里面涉及很多技术环节,但基本的原理是细菌善于分解几乎任何种类的有机废物。They eat stuff like sewage and manure, essentially.它们本质上以污水和粪便等为食。And when they do, the waste material releases electrons.当它们进食的时候,废物材料释放电子。The so-called ;microbial fuel cell; uses the freed electrons to generate electricity.所谓的“微生物燃料电池”使用自由电子产生电能。DON:That sounds great. So where can I get one?唐:听起来不错。我在哪里能得到一个?YAEL:Nowhere, yet. Microbial fuel cells are still in the early prototype stage.雅埃尔:还不行。微生物燃料电池仍在早期的原型阶段。But one day they could make a huge difference.但总有一天它们会带来翻天覆地的变革。The researchers think that in time, the cells could produce around twenty-five percent of the worlds energy demand and help reduce our use of fossil fuels.研究人员认为假以时日,细菌可以产生世界上百分之二十五的能源需求,帮助减少化石燃料的使用。DON:But meanwhile, Im starving.唐:但与此同时,我饿了。YAEL:Wanna share my lunch?雅埃尔:想分享我的午餐吗?DON:That depends . . . what do you have? 唐:这个要看情况。你吃啥? 201312/270437。

  And for me its the beginning of by far away, one of my remote South African adventure yet.对我来说这只是刚刚开始,我的一次远程南非冒险才迈出第一步。Tietoway is the top end of the Northen Cay, Rinwasmark is in a quiet corner South Africas emptiest province.提托威坐落于凯恩斯顶端,这是南非最空旷的省一处安静的角落。But despite of periences, there is a plenty of life here, and there are walking roots to be explored.尽管资源缺乏,这里仍然有大量的动物,还需要步行去探索。The landscape in Juice one massive nature life line, the orange river, it over 2000 kilometers as South Africas longest.南部非洲重要河流奥兰治河, 作为南非最长河流的它超过2000公里。Its vital water sustains a remarkable human population and a surprising agriculture industry. 其重要水源维持着显著的人口及令人惊讶的农业产业。201309/255563

  Science and technology科学技术Metal fatigue in old aircraft老旧飞机的金属疲劳Flying rivets飞行侦查兵A new technique that listens for cracks in ageing aircraft一项侦听老化飞机断裂的新技术WHEN they were built, no one thought they would fly for so long.建造飞机的时候,没人认为它们会飞行这么久。But fitted with new engines and avionics, aircraft can be kept going for a very long time.但是装有新式引擎和航空电子设备的飞机能持续飞行很长一段时间。The average age of the worlds airliners is more than ten years, with some passenger jets 25 years old or more.全世界飞机的平均机龄超过10年,有些客机的机龄超过了25年。Military planes are more geriatric:军用飞机更是超龄:the Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter entered service 31 years ago and the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy 40 years back.西科斯基公司的黑鹰直升机31年前开始役,洛克希德公司的C-5早用到40年了。Both are still going strong.这两款飞机还都强劲地飞行着。Some Boeing KC-135 aerial-refuelling planes, which are based on the venerable 707, have been flying for over 50 years.波音707原型机上发展起来的波音KC-135空中加油机有些已经飞行50多年了。Engineers reckon they could still be in the air when they are 80.工程师们测算80机龄时它们仍然能飞上蓝天。One thing that does ground old aircraft is the impending failure of their aluminium structure from metal fatigue.让老旧飞机搁浅的一件事就是飞机铝构造因为金属疲劳产生的故障隐患。This begins in parts that are subjected to repeated strains, such as where the wings join the fuselage.这种故障始于承受反复拉紧的部位,象机翼与机身的连接处。Constant flexing of the structure concentrates stress, which leads to microscopic cracks.这些构造部位的频繁伸缩使应力集中,导致微裂纹的产生。These cracks become more numerous and eventually large enough for the structure to fail.这些微裂纹越来越多,最后多到足以使这些部位的构造断裂。Aircraft engineers know a lot about how these cracks progress and keep an eye on them in routine overhauls.飞机工程师们对这些裂纹如何发展以及在例行检修中如何注意这些裂纹所知甚详。Nevertheless, they can be difficult and costly to find.不过发现这些裂纹可能很难且费用高昂。Apart from careful visual inspection, techniques like X-rays and ultrasonic probes are also used.除了仔细地目视检查外,也使用象X射线和超声探头这样的技术。Now a British company has come up with a low-cost way of monitoring cracks in aircraft, even while they are airborne.目前一家英国公司提出了一种成本低廉的监测飞机裂纹方法,即使飞机在飞行中。The trick that Ultra Electronics uses is to listen for them with a system called Asis.超级电子公司采用的诀窍是侦听带有自动语音识别系统的飞机。It does this by fitting small piezoelectric acoustic sensors to parts of the structure to detect the particular frequency of noise caused by a crack in aircraft-grade aluminium.把小型压电声传感器安装到这种构造部位上,检测由航空级铝材裂纹所致的特定频率的噪音,靠这样就能监测飞机裂纹。When first set up, Asis is calibrated to the acoustic signature of the aircraft.安装之初,Asis就按飞机的声波标记图进行了校准。The system can point engineers to where cracks are occurring because the sensors also record the precise moment it is “heard”.这个系统能向工程师指明哪里正在出现裂纹,因为传感器也记录裂纹噪音被“听到”的精确时刻。As the sound ripples through the structure it arrives at different sensors at different times, which can be used to work out the location and severity of the crack.因为声音呈波形在飞机构造中传播,它在不同的时间到达不同的传感器,这点能用来算出裂纹的位置和严重程度。Once on the ground, a touch-screen device a bit like an iPad is plugged into the system and shows where any cracks are on a three-dimensional image of the aircraft.一经在地面上把有点象iPad的触摸屏设备用插头插入系统中,它就会在飞机的三维图像上显示所有裂纹。Asis will be tried out later this year by Americas Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.Asis将由美国国防高级研究计划局在今年晚些时候进行试验。A basic set-up to monitor the boom on a small helicopter starts at around ,000, says Rob McDonald, Ultra Electronics marketing director.超级电子公司的营销总监罗伯?麦克唐纳说,监测小型直升机嗡嗡声的基本设备起价大约6.5万美元。As to the future, he expects the company will explore how Asis might also monitor carbon-composite materials, which are being used increasingly in new aircraft.至于未来,他期待公司会探究怎么让Asis也能监测碳复合材料,碳复合材料在新式飞机中的应用渐增。Less is known about the long-term structural integrity of carbon fibre, but it is not prone to corrosion and is extremely tough, so with a bit of care and attention it might allow aircraft to fly even longer.虽然对碳纤维的长期结构完整性所知甚少,但是它不易腐蚀且极为坚硬,因此稍加关注它就可能让飞机飞行得更久。 /201306/242956If youre not aly convinced that regular exercise is important to stay healthy, now there is yet another reason to break a sweat, especially if youre a woman: breast cancer.如果你还不是十分相信经常锻炼对于保持健康很重要,现在就有让自己大汗淋漓的另外一个理由,尤其是如果你是一个女人的话:它就是乳腺癌。Several studies have linked exercise to lowering the risk of developing breast cancer.一些研究发现运动能降低患乳腺癌的风险。Considering that breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women, these findings are nothing to shrug about.考虑到乳腺癌是女性的第二常见癌症,这些发现没有什么可以规避的。First, regular exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer by helping women to maintain a healthy and consistent body weight.首先,经常运动可以降低患乳腺癌的风险,帮助女性保持健康及体重稳定。Post-menopausal women who have gained more than twenty pounds since the age of eighteen are forty percent more likely to develop breast cancer.从18岁已经增加超过20磅绝经后的女性患乳腺癌的几率高达40%。Women who gain seventy or more pounds in their adult years are eighty percent more likely to develop breast cancer.成年期增加70磅或更多的女性患乳腺癌的几率高达80%。Another study suggests that the correlation between breast cancer and body weight may have much to do with female hormones produced by body fat.另一项研究表明乳腺癌和体重之间的关联会影响身体脂肪所产生的雌性激素。Higher levels of estrogen, as well as testosterone, have been demonstrated to increase ones risk of developing breast cancer.已经明过度的雌激素,以及睾酮会增加人们患上乳腺癌的风险。However, exercise significantly reduces the levels of these hormones by burning body fat, which produces the hormones.然而,运动明显通过燃烧产生激素的体内脂肪降低了这些激素的水平。So the more you exercise, the more fat you burn, hence the lower your hormone levels, and the lower your risk of developing breast cancer.所以越锻炼,消耗的脂肪越多,因此能够降低你的激素水平,从而降低患乳腺癌的风险。How much exercise is necessary?那练多少就合适了?Just thirty minutes of exercise each day or three to four hours a week could lower ones risk of breast cancer by about twenty percent.只要每天锻炼30钟或一个星期三至四小时就能够降低20%患乳腺癌的几率。And exercising more than four hours a week may further lower your risk.而一个星期锻炼4个多小时可能会进一步降低你的风险。Keep in mind, however, that no amount of exercise can guarantee you wont develop cancer.不过,要记住,不是再多的运动就可以保你不会患上癌症。Certain risk factors such as genetic make-up and environmental exposures are uncontrollable. 某些如基因构成及环境暴露的风险因素是无法控制的。 201310/261420Business商业报道Online in China中国网络视频The Chinese stream主流媒体Chinas online- market is the largest and most innovative in the world.中国的网络视频市场是世界上最大的最创新的,It is also the most competitive同时也是最具竞争力的LATER this month PPTV, a Chinese online- firm, will release a new reality show called The Goddess Office about four young women living together in a house, trying to create their own e-commerce company.本月下旬,中国的网络视频公司PPTV会推出一档名为女神办公室的真人秀。故事讲的是四位同住的年轻女性尝试开创属于她们自己的电子商务公司。Viewers will be able to ask the stars questions and send them money and ideas for their start-up.观众可以向主角们提问,并向她们贡献金钱和想法来帮助她们创业。The show will employ familiar television elements: the comedic rapport of the characters in Friends and the commercial ambitions of contestants in The Apprentice.这部剧将会引用熟悉的电视元素:《老友记》中演员间的诙谐,《学徒》中竞争者的商业雄心。But this television show will run exclusively online, rather than on a traditional TV network.但是这部剧只会在网络上映,而不是在传统电视上播出。Around the world online is becoming a bigger and more sophisticated business, but nowhere is that truer than in China.在世界范围内,网络视频正逐渐成为更大更先进的产业,不过在中国更是如此。The country has the largest number of online- viewers: around 450m, or nearly 80% of the internet-connected population.中国拥有最多的网络视频观众:将近4.5亿,或者是网民数的80%。Their numbers will rise to around 700m by 2016, according to iResearch, which tracks the industry.根据追踪这个行业的艾瑞咨询公司的调查,到2016年这个人数将会上升至7亿。In America and Europe, online has yet to supplant broadcast- and pay-TV, but in China it seems rapidly to have done so.在美国和欧洲,网络视频还未取代免费与付费电视,但是在中国似乎很快就要取代。A government news source has said that in 2012 only 30% of households in Beijing watched TV, down from 70% three years earlier—although official figures are not always reliable.来自政府的消息称2012年,北京看电视的居民从三年前的70%下降到仅仅30%,—虽然官方数据并不总是可靠。Googles YouTube service is blocked in China, but local companies, including Youku Tudou and Sohu, are wildly popular.谷歌的YouTube视频务在中国是被屏蔽的,但是本土公司包括优酷、土豆、和搜狐广受欢迎。There is lots of user-generated content, but viewers spend most of their time watching professional shows, such as the full-length films, television dramas and comedies that the websites license from China and around the world.有许多视频内容是用户自制的,但是观众大多数时间还是收看网站得到中国和世界其他国家授权的专业节目,如长篇电影,电视剧和喜剧。Media gluttons can devour all this content without charge, as long as they sit through the advertisements.只要观众能耐心等到广告结束,传媒大亨们就能够不付代价地买下这些内容。Online- sites in China owe much of their popularity to the governments tight regulation of the TV industry:中国网络视频网站的流行应功于政府对电视业从紧的规定:all of the 3,000-plus stations are state-owned and their programmes are heavily censored.3000多个电视台都是国有的并且台里的节目都经过严格审查。Rules about content range from the predictable.对于节目内容的规定从可以理解的到令人费解的。It takes months for programmes to get official approval for broadcasting, and only an estimated 30% of shows that are made get aired on TV.节目播放通过审批要历时数月,大概只有30%制作的节目能在电视上播出。Online- sites, in contrast, need a government licence to operate, but are left to police the content on their sites themselves—perhaps because the government never expected them to attract such a mass of viewers.相反,网络视频网站虽然需要政府许可才能运营,但却能自主决定在网上提供的内容—或许政府从来没有想到这些网站能够吸引这么多观众。In principle its the same, but in reality its very difficult to say what the standards are for the online- content players, says Victor Tao, the boss of PPTV.PPTV的总裁陶闯说:原则上讲两者一样,但是事实上,对网络视频内容提供商来说,没有一定的标准。For example, last month the government ordered television channels to edit episodes of Pleasant Goat and the Big Big Wolf, a long-running childrens cartoon, because it was deemed to be too violent.例如长期播送的少儿卡通节目《喜羊羊与灰太狼》,上个月政府要求各电台剪辑该节目,原因是内容太暴力。But online- firms that host episodes of the show seem not to have been given the same instruction.但是提供了该节目的网络视频公司没有收到这项指示。Around five years ago Chinese online- firms started competing directly with television by making their own programmes, and this year they will spend a combined 1 billion yuan on shows like The Goddess Office, according to Jiong Shao of Macquarie Securities, an advisory firm.大约五年前,中国的网络视频公司开始通过制作他们自己的节目来直接与电视竞争。据来自麦格理卷的邵炯透露,今年网络视频公司将为女神的办公室这一类节目投入总共10亿元。Online- shows resonate more with the people aged between 15 and 40, who flock to their sites.年龄在15岁到40岁之间的群体更容易对网上视频节目产生共鸣,而他们正不断地涌向视频网站。For example, Surprise, a series made by Youku that parodies such things as university entrance exams, has been viewed 260m times since it premiered on Youku in August.例如,惊叹是由优酷网站制作的模仿类系列节目,其中有模仿高考等场景,八月份在优酷首发后,观看量达到2.6亿。This year the number of people watching online on their mobile devices has surged.今年,通过移动设备观看网上视频的人数激增。Analysts expect the arrival of fourth-generation mobile networks to accelerate this trend.分析家预测第四代移动网络的到来将会加速这一趋势。People who watch shows on mobile devices spend more time viewing, overall, than those on desktop PCs, according to Victor Koo, the boss of Youku.优酷老板古永锵,说那些拿着手机看视频的人,会比用电脑看视频的人观看更长时间。The main challenge for him and his rivals is to lure more advertisers.不过,古永锵和他的竞争者们所面临的最大的挑战,是如何去吸引更多的广告商。The size and innovation of the Chinese online- industry may be unique, but its economics are not.中国网上视频产业的内容和创新可能是独一无二的,但其经济收益却未见得。Like all online- companies that rely on ad revenues, Chinese firms find it hard to make much money, if any.和所有依赖广告收益的网上视频公司一样,即便是有钱赚,但这些中国公司很难挣到大钱。Although the industry had revenues of around 9 billion yuan in China last year, few firms are profitable.尽管去年此产业获得90亿的营收,但几乎没有公司是盈利的。This is because their costs are so high. Buying bandwidth to deliver content to so many users is expensive, and so are the rights to license content.这是因为他们的成本太高了。购买带宽来为如此多的用户传送内容实在是太昂贵了,版权也是。As a result there have been nearly as many mergers as there are elimination rounds on The Voice of China, one of Chinas most popular TV shows.这样的结果是,中国最受欢迎的电视节目—中国好声音的淘汰赛有多少轮,那么就有多少兼并案。Last year Youku and Tudou, the most popular online- sites, merged.去年,优酷和土豆,中国最受欢迎的网上视频网站合并。In May Baidu, an internet-search giant, bought PPS, a site, for 0m and merged it with its existing service, iQiyi.五月,网络搜索巨头百度以3.7亿的价格收购了视频网PPS,并兼并了其现有的视频务商爱奇艺。Self-interest has helped change the treatment of copyright in China.自利动机让中国人改变了对版权的看法。Several online- firms are stockmarket-listed, and as a result they take content licences seriously, especially since as makers of their own shows they now have intellectual property to protect.一些网上视频公司都是上市公司,他们自然更把版权当回事,尤其是自己做节目后,他们不得不保护知识产权。They are suing those who pirate their content and are thus stealing some of their potential traffic.他们把那些偷走他们流量的盗版行为告上法庭。Youku alone has several hundred copyright lawsuits on the go.单是优酷就已经有几百个侵权案正在处理。Turning the channel换个频道Online- firms are also setting their sights on the living room.网上视频公司还把目光放到卧室里面。Several firms are designing internet-enabled set-top boxes; LeTV is making an internet-enabled television.一些公司设计了能接入网络的机顶盒;乐视电视制造出互联网电视。By invading TV stations home turf they can make themselves more valuable to advertisers—and may even be able to start charging subscription fees.通过抢占电视台的后方,他们让自己更受广告商青睐—他们还可能会开始收订阅费。However, there is no guarantee that this will make the industry profitable.但是,这并不意味着该产业就能盈利。The biggest enemy to the online- service providers is consumer behaviour, says Mason Xu of Heyi Capital, a venture-capital firm.网上视频务供应商最大的敌人是顾客的习惯,合一资本的徐梅森如是说。Because the government runs the television business, consumers are used to paying little for cable—the equivalent of around a month for digital cable.因为政府掌管着电视产业,消费者习惯只花一小笔钱—每月的数字信号差不多为三美元。So it is unclear if they will pay much for online , even if it comes with extra benefits such as ad-skipping.所以,尽管他们能因此享受跳过广告等额外好处,但他们是否愿意为网上电视掏多少钱还尚未可知。A study by McKinsey, a consultancy, suggests that around 15% of Chinese viewers might subscribe to online on an internet-enabled TV set if it cost no more than 30 yuan a month.麦肯锡咨询公司的研究显示,在每月花销不高于33元的前提下,大约15%的中国观众有可能愿意订阅互联网电视上的网上视频。But even that is probably optimistic.即使这样都可能是过于乐观的。Getting slaughtered in the ratings by online has prompted Chinas TV channels to try harder.网上视频抢占了收视率,这使得中国的电视台更加卖力。A wave of singing competitions and dating shows—some of them adaptations of successful Western ones—have come on air in recent years, particularly on provincial satellite channels.一系列唱歌比赛和相亲节目—一些模仿了西方的成功模式—近年来在荧屏上走俏,尤其是那些省卫视台。Meanwhile CCTV, the central governments giant channel, continues to lose viewers.同时,中央电视台,中央政府的主要频道,依然在流失观众。Last month officials scolded other stations for their vulgar and excessive entertainment and pushed for more morality-building and educational shows.上个月,官方指责了其他电台的豪放和过火的节目,他们推行更多的道德建设和教育节目。Some singing contests are being forced off the air, and from next year satellite stations will be limited to one foreign show a year.一些唱歌比赛被迫停止播放,明年起,卫星电视台每年都只能播出一个国外节目。This will only accelerate the broadcasters decline and the switch to online viewing.这只能会加速电视台的衰落与向网上观看的转移。TV is useless now, one person posted on a Chinese weibo, or microblogging site. Fortunately we still have computers.有人在微上说现在的电视没什么用途了,幸好我们还有电脑。 /201311/264726

  Business商业报道Facebook and WhatsAppFacebook与WhatsAppGetting the messages即时通讯,拿下!Why Mark Zuckerbergs social network is paying such a whopping sum for a messaging startup马克?扎克伯格的网络帝国为何花这么大笔钱收购一家初创的即时通讯公司?THE rivalries among the tech industrys giants have often resembled a Game of Thrones, in which companies such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple constantly try to invade one anothers online kingdoms.科技巨头们的对抗往往跟权力的游戏里所呈现的相差无几,就像Facebook、谷歌、亚马逊和苹果一样,他们彼此之间都不停地尝试着入侵对方的网络王国。On February 19th Facebook took a dramatic step to defend its turf, saying it would pay 19 billion for WhatsApp, a messaging service that had also attracted the attention of Google and almost certainly other suitors.为了捍卫自己的领地,有家企业则于2月19日迈出了惊人的一步:Facebook宣布将以190亿美元的价格收购WhatsApp。而这是一家同时吸引了谷歌以及几乎可以肯定其他一众追求者的即时通讯应用公司。Even veterans of Silicon Valley goggled at the staggering sum of money changing hands, which comprises a mixture of cash and shares in Facebook.这笔交易涵盖了现金和Facebook的股权,而其数额之大就算是在硅谷打滚了多年的行家也为之侧目。WhatsApps price tag is the most ever paid for a venture-capital-backed company and gives a startup founded in a valuation that is greater than that of household names such as Southwest Airlines and Sony.这是有史以来针对风投持的创业公司规模最大的一笔收购交易,同时,这次交易也让年创立的WhatsApp估价比诸如西南航空、索尼之类家喻户晓的企业更高。The deal marks the coming-of-age of messaging apps, which let people send text messages and share photos and other stuff without incurring charges from telecoms firms.这笔交易标志着即时通讯软件的成熟。通过WhatsApp,人们不需要向电话运营商付费,就能够发送信息、分享照片以及一些其他东西。WhatsApp is free to use for 12 months and then costs a mere 99 cents a year.人们可以免费使用这款软件长达12个月,接着每年仅需99美分便可继续使用。Plenty of other such apps have sprung up, including Viber, which Rakuten, a Japanese internet giant, recently bought for 900m, and the immensely popular WeChat, which belongs to Tencent, an innovative Chinese company.许多相类似的应用已经在市场中涌现,例如最近被日本网络巨头Rakuten以9亿美元收购的应用Viber,以及受到极大欢迎的微信,而这是一个由中国创新企业腾讯公司所开发的应用。All of them have benefited from two profound trends that are transforming the technology landscape.以上的所有应用均得益于两大影响深远的,正改变着科技格局的趋势。The first of these is the rapid growth of web-connected smartphones, which has allowed WhatsApp and its rivals to sp like wildfire.首先便是能够连接互联网的智能手机迅速普及。这一趋势让WhatsApp以及其对手们能够像野火一般飞快地蔓延开来,获得大量的用户。Announcing the deal Mark Zuckerberg, Facebooks boss, said WhatsApp had reached 450m users much faster than any other web service.在宣布交易之时,Facebook的老板马克?扎克伯格表示,目前WhatsApp已经拥有了4亿5千万用户,远比其他任何网络应用务的用户要多。It has also made itself addictive: 72% of its users are active on it every day.与此同时,它也成功地使用户们沉溺其中:每天的活跃用户数占总数的72%。And the viral nature of its appeal means it has achieved all this without spending a penny on marketing.如此强烈的病毒式吸引力意味着这家公司没有在市场营销上投入过一分钱,便取得了这一切成就。Casual-gaming apps are also sping rapidly on mobile devices.同样地,休闲游戏类应用正迅速地攻占着人们的移动电子设备。King.com, which filed for an IPO in New York on February 18th, is a case in point.英国移动游戏公司King.com于2月18日在纽约提交的IPO申请书,便很好地印了这一点。The company, which makes the hit game Candy Crush Saga, saw its monthly active users soar from 67m in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 408m in the same period last year.这家公司便是知名游戏《糖果粉碎传奇》的开发商,而他们的每月活跃用户数量从2012年第四季度的6千7百万上涨至去年同期的4亿8千万。Its revenues soared too, hitting 1.9 billion last year compared with 164m in 2012.公司利润也在飞涨,其数额从2012年1亿6千4百万美元上涨至去年的19亿美元。The second trend behind WhatsApps success is the dramatic decline in the cost of building start-ups.WhatsApp成功背后的第二个趋势便是创业成本的大幅降低。Thanks to things such as cloud computing, which lets young firms buy vast amounts of cheap computing capacity, entrepreneurs can create globe-spanning businesses on shoestring budgets.在种种因素的作用下,企业家们可以用极低的成本在全球扩展业务。例如云计算,这便是一种能让新公司廉价购买大量运算能力的方法。WhatsApp has just 32 software engineers, which means that each one supports some 14m users.WhatsApp仅有32名软件工程师,也就相当于每一位工程师要维护接近1千4百万用户的运作。And the volume of messages it is handling is said to be the equivalent of all the SMS messages transmitted by the worlds telecoms companies.据称,WhatsApp所处理的信息总量已相当于全世界所有电话运营商所处理的短信量总和。Indeed, WhatsApps success in many ways mirrors that of Facebook itself, which came from nowhere to dominate social networking.诚然,WhatsApp的成功或多或少复刻了Facebook自身的发展模式,他们同样地是从默默无闻小公司起步,建立起了自己的社交网络帝国。Recently, however, Facebook has been losing some of its cool, especially among younger users.然而,近期Facebook已不再像从前一样那么吸引人,这一情况在更加年轻的用户群体中尤为明显。That may explain why the famously paranoid Mr Zuckerberg is willing to pay a kings ransom for a company that might ultimately eclipse his own creation.这或许能解释为何众所周知的偏执狂扎克伯格愿意付出一笔巨资去购买一家可能会完全超越自己Facebook的公司。He has spent lavishly before, paying around 1 billion for Instagram, a photo-sharing app, in 2012.而在此之前,他也做过一掷千金式的事情:2012年付了约10亿美元收购。But does the whopping price tag for WhatsApp make sense?但是,对WhatsApp进行如此高价的收购真的合理吗?Assuming it keeps adding users at its current rate of 1m a day—and they end up paying for its service—it could generate hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue.假设它依旧能保持每天1百万的用户增长速度,接着这批用户最终将付费使用这款应用,而这能够为公司带来成千上万的收益。Twitter, which reported 665m of revenue last year, has a market capitalisation of 30 billion.据称,去年利润为6亿6千5百万美元的Twitter总市值为300亿美元。Much will depend on how well Mr Zuckerberg gets on with Jan Koum, the boss of WhatsApp, who is joining Facebooks board and will run the app as an independent business.这笔交易的最终收益情况如何,很大程度上将取决于扎克伯格是否能与简?库姆进行良好合作。这位WhatsApp的老板将加入Facebook董事会,并且会继续独立运营这款应用。Mr Koum, who has a well-known aversion to collecting peoples data and plastering advertising over his app, seems an odd bedfellow for Facebook.虽然这位以不采集用户个人信息以及回避应用广告推广而闻名的库姆,对Facebook来说似乎格格不入。But the deal was clearly one that he couldnt refuse.但很显然,这确实是一笔让他无法拒绝的交易。 201402/277474Business商业报道Corporate transparency公司透明化Measuring mud离析淤积物How transparent are the worlds biggest listed companies?世界上最大的上市公司透明程度到底如何Clear envelopes have yet to catch on透明的信封,要流行还尚需时日ARE you cheating on your spouse?你正对自己的配偶不忠吗?If so, please stand up and declare it.如果是这样,请站起来承认。Total silence? What virtuous ers The Economist has.全都沉默?《经济学人》的读者是何其品德高尚啊。Trying to measure corruption is a bit like surveying adultery.尝试去测量腐败的程度就有一点像是调查婚外情。Those who indulge in it are unlikely to admit it.深陷其中的人们可不愿意主动承认。So when surveying big companies, Transparency International, an anti-corruption watchdog, asks a different question:于是调查大公司时,反腐败监管机构透明国际问了个不一样的问题:how transparent are you?你的透明程度如何?Its latest survey, “Transparency in Corporate Reporting”, looks at the worlds 105 biggest listed firms.它的最新调查“企业报告中的透明度”涵盖了世界上最大的105家上市公司。It measures three things.他衡量三方面情况。First, a companys internal rules and procedures to prevent corruption.首先是公司用于防范腐败的内部条例、流程。Second, the transparency of its organisational structure.第二是组织构架的透明度。Third, TI asks whether a firm publishes detailed financial information about its activities in every country where it operates,第三,TI将询问公司是否公布了每个它参与运营的国家中所做活动的详细财务信息,including how much it pays in taxes and royalties to each government.比如向政府交了多少税,交了多少版权费。Most firms in the sample have strict rules barring bribery.样本中的大部分企业都有严格的条例杜绝行、受贿。The average score on this count was 69%, up from 47% in , the last time TI conducted a similar exercise.这项标准的平均得分率从TI上次在年引导一个类似练习时的47%提到了现在的69%。Many firms also disclose ample details about which holding company owns which subsidiary, and so forth.许多企业还披露了哪家控股集团拥有哪家子公司等丰富的细节。Of the 105 companies, 45 scored a perfect 100% for organisational transparency.全部105家企业中,四十五家在企业透明度上的得分率都达到了完美的100%。On the third measure, however, most firms remained tight-lipped.但是在第三项指标上,许多企业都守口如瓶。This does not mean they have done anything illegal.这不表示他们就干过违法的事。Suppose a mining firm pays 10m to a government for a licence to dig.设想一个采矿业公司为了得到挖掘许可,向政府付了1000万美元。The fee may be legitimate, but the government may wish to keep it secret, to make it easier to embezzle.这项费用可能合法,但政府也可能希望在这件事上保密,让侵吞变得更容易。A company that is completely transparent may find it hard to win any more contracts from dodgy governments, which, alas, control a lot of the worlds natural resources.完全透明的公司也许会很难从乐于遮掩的政府那里赢得更多的合约,然而这些政府却控制着全世界的自然资源。Statoil, Norways state-controlled oil-and-gas firm, was by far the best performer, yet it scored only 50% on this measure.挪威的国家控股油气企业挪威国家石油公司在这项指标上只得了50%。More than a third of firms scored zero; the average was a meagre 4%.三分之一以上的企业得分为零;平均得分率只有可怜的4%。Campaigners have long complained that money from oil and minerals props up predatory governments, and lobbied firms to publish what they pay.竞选者一直在抱怨从石油和矿产得来的钱持了掠夺成性的政府,并且游说企业公布出他们付了的东西。Big Western miners and drillers have taken heed: the top five on TIs list are all involved in natural resources.西方大型挖掘与钻井公司已经留意到TI列表上的前五名都和自然资源有关。Many firms, however, are reluctant to answer probing questions from Western busybodies: Gazprom, Russias state-owned gas giant, scores zero on the first and third measures.但是许多公司不愿回答西方好事者提出的探查性问题:俄罗斯国有天然气巨头俄罗斯天燃气公司就在第一和第三问题上得分为零。TIs calculations are open to challenge.这项评估受到了挑战。Do Amazon, Google and Berkshire Hathaway deserve to be ranked near the bottom?亚马逊,谷歌,伯克希尔·哈撒韦应该排在接近底部的位置吗?Probably not.也许不是。These firms may not disclose as much as TI would like,这些企业公布的信息没有TI期待的那样多,but they are not in businesses where one is ever asked to bribe a cabinet minister to win a mining concession.但他们所处的商业环境也并不需要他们去贿赂内阁大臣以获得采矿许可。TI does a good job of focusing attention on a serious problem.TI在聚焦重要问题方面做得不错,But like The Economists adultery survey, its results should be taken with a handful of salt.但就像经济学人杂志的婚外情调查一样,其结果只应受到谨慎的参考。 /201307/248621

  Designer headphones名牌耳机The sound of music音乐之声Dr Dre’s creation of a market for costly cans may herald the return of true hi-fi说唱歌手Dr Dre创造的高端耳机市场可能预示着高保真时代的回归Aug 24th 2013 |From the print editionFOR decades the market for expensive headphones was mainly limited to hi-fi buffs. But now that the boxy stereo system in the corner of the bedroom is largely a thing of the past, and young music fans listen mostly on portable devices, headphones have become as much of a fashion statement as the music player itself. Among the first to spot the potential of this market was Dr Dre, an American rapper-cum-tycoon. In 2008 he and Jimmy Iovine, a record producer, launched their Beats range of headphones, to great success. They have all but created a new product category: premium-priced (0-plus) cans whose sound quality is good enough, but which mainly sell on their brand image.几十年以来,高端耳机市场都局限在高保真行家圈里。但是现在箱式音响系统已经过时了,年轻的音乐爱好者基本都用便携式设备听音乐,耳机跟音乐播放器一样成了一种时尚。Dr Dre就是最先发现这个市场潜力的人之一,他是一个著名的美国说唱歌手。2008年,其与音乐制作人Jimmy Iovine一起推出了他们的Beats系列耳机,大为成功。他们创造了一种全新种类的耳机品类:高价耳机,(价格在100美元以上),音质足够好,销售主要靠品牌形象。Beats Electronics and its founders have proved adept at using celebrity endorsements and product placement to plug their headphones. In America the company now has almost half the market for premium-priced cans, compared with 21% for Bose, a longer-established maker. Beats headphones are bassy: that’s what hip-hop fans want, but might not suit opera lovers. Overall, though, they are a lot better than the earbuds that come free with most portable devices.Beats电子和它的成立者擅长利用名人效应和植入式广告宣传其耳机。在美国,该公司现在拥有高端市场接近一半的市场份额,相比之下,老牌耳机生产商Bose只有21%的份额。Beats耳机重低音表现绝佳,这正是嘻哈乐粉丝想要的,但是可能不对歌剧爱好者的味。然而,总的来说,它们比便携设备标配的耳机好多了。There is in any case a limit to how good music will sound through even the best headphones. Most of the music tracks on portable music players are in the form of mp3 audio files, in which the music has been compressed to make the files smaller and thus fit more of them into a given amount of storage capacity. Jim Anderson, a sound engineer who teaches at New York University, first plays his students an mp3 music file through good speakers, and then an uncompressed master recording of the same song: they are amazed at how much they have been missing, he says.无论如何,即使是通过最好的耳机,好音乐也无法完全展现出来。大多数便携音乐播放器上的乐曲都是mp3格式的,这种格式下,歌曲被压缩的更小,以便在有限的容量内放更多首歌。音响师Jim Anderson在纽约大学任教,他说,他先通过优质播放器给他的学生播放了一首mp3格式的歌曲,然后播放了未压缩版本的歌曲,他的学生惊讶于前者丢失细节之多。Since consumers have been persuaded, largely by Beats, that it is worth paying a fair whack for some half-decent headphones that look nice, perhaps they could be persuaded—especially since the storage capacity of many portable devices is now huge—to turn their backs on cheap mp3s and seek out recordings in true high fidelity. Linn Records, an online distributor of high-resolution music files, sold around 60,000 songs between April and June of this year, most of them in the FLAC format, which compresses the music lightly, saving a bit of storage space, without any loss of quality. Apple’s iTunes has a similar, though slightly lower-quality offering.既然Beats说了消费者放弃那些外观不错但是不够像样耳机,可能消费者也能接受购买高保真的音乐,而不是便宜的mp3格式音频,尤其是现在很多便携式音乐播放器容量变得巨大。在线高保真音乐销售商Linn Records今年二季度卖出了大约6万首歌曲,大部分都是Flac格式的歌曲,Flac格式对乐曲稍稍压缩,节省了一点空间,但是音质却没什么损失。苹果的iTunes也是一样,尽管质量稍差一点。If sales of these hi-fi recordings take off it may boost the market for really top-notch cans like those of Grado Labs, another American firm. Grado has for decades relied on reviews in specialist magazines, and word-of-mouth recommendations from fans, to sp news of its headphones’ faithful reproduction. In contrast to Beats, it has eschewed image-making: it has not advertised since 1964. Unlike Dr Dre, then, its fortunes are less tied to the fickle tastes and fast-changing fashions of the young.如果这些高保真音乐的销量飞涨的话,可能会使得顶级耳机生产商,诸如另一家美国公司Grado Labs生产的耳机市场火爆起来。几十年来Grado都凭借专业杂志的评测和粉丝的口口相传传播其质量过硬的耳机信息。相比Beats,它避免品牌化,自1964年以来从未做过广告。所以不像Dr Dre,其命运也与瞬息万变的年轻人的品味与潮流无关。 /201308/254541

  

  Yael: I was walking my cocker spaniel this morning, and we ran into two other dogs---a great dane almost as tall as I am, and a tiny Chihuahua! I cant believe they are all the same species! 今天早上我在遛的时候碰到了两只其他的——一只是跟我差不多高的大丹犬,还有一只小吉娃娃。简直不能相信他们属于同一物种!Don: You know, scientists are making great strides in understanding the genes that allow such a wide range of shapes, sizes and personalities in different dog breeds. 你知道的,科学家们在探索基因方面已经取得了长足进展,在研究这些不同形状,不同大小,不同性格特点的不同的种类的基因。Did you know domestic dogs were bred from wolves about 15,000 years ago? 你知道国内的是由一万五千年前的狼繁衍而来的吗?Y: Thats pretty recent in evolutionary terms, isnt it? 从进化的角度来讲,那就是近些年的事儿,不是吗?D: Very! Humans have sped up the diversification of dogs by selecting for particular physical or behavioral traits such as size, coat type, trainability, and hunting or herding ability. 太对了。人类通过选择特定的生理和行为特征,如大小、外观、是否可训练性和狩猎型或放牧的能力,已经加快了种的多样化。But dogs still show greater variety than any other domesticated animal, and for a long time this variance has largely been unexplained. 但是相比其他家养动物而言,显示出更明显的多样性,并且在很长的一段时间内,人们无法解释这种多样性。A group of genetics researchers collaborated with dog breeders and veterinarians to study the DNA from 148 different dog breeds. 一个基因研究小组与的饲养者和兽医合作研究了来自148个不同品种的DNA。With such a large sample of genes from very different kinds of dogs, they were able to identify regions in the dog DNA that are important in regulating some key traits that differ between breeds. 在来自不同的的DNA大样本的研究下,他们鉴定出DNA中的区域特征在决定的某些区别与其他的关键特征方面有着至关重要的作用。Four regions were found that may regulate life span, a breed characteristic that usually decreases with increasing body size. 有四个区域可以调节寿命,而且品种的特性会随着体型的变大而逐渐消失。Regions associated with some behavioral stereotypes like herding, pointing and boldness were also identified. 而且也确认了那些和固有品性相关的区域,像是放牧,勾缝以及大胆尝试。Y: What can they do with this information? 他们会拿这些信息做什么?D: The study could have far-reaching benefits for dogs and their owners. 这项研究对于和他们的主人都是有深远影响的。With further research, dog owners and vets could use this information to customize the care, diet and medicines to the particular needs of their breed, and to identify and perhaps prevent breed-specific diseases. 进一步研究会得出,主人和兽医可以凭此信息对有特定需求的定制保健,饮食和药物,并识别同时也可能会防治特种的疾病。201308/253152

  Youve just opened a bottle of wine for dinner. On the label, you see these words: Contains Sulfites. What are sulfites? And what are they doing in your wine?设想一下,你在晚餐时刚刚打开了一瓶酒,你会在酒瓶的标签上看到:含亚硝酸盐。亚硝酸盐是什么?这些成分在你的酒中发挥什么样的作用呢?Sulfites are chemical compounds found naturally in grapes, garlic and other plants. Thousands of years ago, people realized something nifty about sulfites: they kill or slow the growth of bacteria and most yeasts. This comes in handy for winemakers, who add specific yeasts to ferment wine, and dont want wild yeasts or bacteria to spoil it. Sulfites prevent spoilage in wine, acting as a preservative.亚硝酸盐是在葡萄,大蒜和其他植物中常见的一种化合物。几千年前,人们就发现了亚硝酸盐的一些妙用:它们能杀死细菌,或者降低细菌滋生和发酵的速度。这个发现对于酿酒师来说是非常重要的,他们通常会在酒中加一些特定的酵母使酒发酵,但是同时,他们又不想野生酵母和细菌破坏了这个过程。而亚硝酸盐就能阻止酒的腐坏,在其中发挥了防腐剂的作用。The amount of sulfites naturally in grapes is very small, and theres a bit more produced during fermentation. But to take full advantage of sulfites preservative abilities, winemakers add a little more to the process. The Egyptians sterilized wine containers with sulfites, and sulfites have been added to wine for hundreds of years.葡萄中含有亚硝酸盐的量非常少,在发酵过程中数量会有稍许的增加。但是,为了有效利用亚硝酸盐的防腐作用,酿酒师们通常会在酿酒过程中多添加一点点亚硝酸盐。埃及人也曾使用亚硝酸盐对酒类容器进行杀菌,而且,亚硝酸盐被添加进入酒类也已经有了几百年历史了。So the relationship between wine and sulfites goes way back. But in 1985, the Food and Drug Administration required wine with added sulfites to say so on the label. Why?因此,酒和亚硝酸盐的关系其实可以回溯到很久很久以前。但在1985年,食品与药品要求,若酒类有添加亚硝酸盐,需要在标签上注明,为什么?Researchers had recently discovered that less than one percent of the population is sensitive to sulfites. Most have mild reactions, like an itchy rash. But some folks have life-threatening reactions, including difficulty breathing and low blood pressure.因为有研究人员之前发现,有不到1%的人会对亚硝酸盐产生过敏反应,虽然多数人的反应比较轻微,比如说会起很痒的皮疹,但有部分人的过敏反应会威胁到生命安全,这些反应包括呼吸困难或低血压等。These rare but serious reactions are most often seen in asthmatics. Not all asthmatics are sensitive to sulfites, but the labels there for those who need to steer clear. As the old saying goes, in wine–and now on the label–there is truth!我们经常会在哮喘症患者身上看到这些少有但严重的反应。其实,也并不是所有的哮喘症患者都会对亚硝酸盐过敏,标签上的说明只是为了警示需要注意的人避开这些成分。就像老话常说的那样,酒后,现在是标注在标签上-吐真言! /201305/242155

  Science and technology科学技术Human intelligence人类智力Cleverer still还是更聪明Geniuses are getting brighter.天才越来越聪明。And at genius levels of IQ, girls are not as far behind boys as they used to be而在智商达到天才水平的人数上,女孩不再和从前一样远远落在男孩后面。SCIENCE has few more controversial topics than human intelligence—in particular, whether variations in it are a result of nature or nurture, and especially whether such variations differ between the sexes.在科学领域,没有什么话题比人类智力这一话题更有争议了,而智力的差异是天赋使然还是后天培养造成的?以及这种差异是否与性别相关?The mines in this field can blow up an entire career, as Larry Summers found out in 2005 when he spoke of the hypothesis that the mathematical aptitude needed for physics and engineering, as well as for maths itself, is innately rarer in women than in men.这两个问题尤为如此。拉里萨默斯在2005年发现,这块领域上的地雷足以毁掉整个一个人职业生涯,他当时谈到一个假设,物理学,工程学还有数学本身都需要一定的数学天分,而女性的数学天分天生就比不上男性。He resigned as president of Harvard University shortly afterwards.此后不久,他便辞去了哈佛大学校长的职务。It is bold, therefore, of Jonathan Wai, Martha Putallaz and Matthew Makel, of Duke University in North Carolina, to enter the fray with a paper that addresses both questions.因此,杜克大学的乔纳森维,马萨普塔拉兹和马修马可的作为可谓大胆,他们发表了一篇论文,对上面两个问题均有所论述,使他们加入了这场争论。In this paper, just published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, they describe how they sifted through nearly three decades of standardised tests administered to American high-school students to see what had been happening to the countrys brightest sparks.该论文刚刚发表在《心理科学最新动向》上,描述了他们如何对近三十年来美国高中学生参加的标准化考试结果进行筛选,以获知在美国最聪明的天才们身上发生了什么。They draw two conclusions. One is that a phenomenon called the Flynn effect applies in particular to the brightest of the bright.他们得出两个结论。一个结论是被称为弗林效应的现象对天才当中最聪明的那些尤为适用。The other is that part, but not all, of the historic difference between the brainiest men and women has vanished.另一个结论是最聪明的男性和女性人数之间的历史差距只是缩小了一段,而非完全消失。The three researchers drew their data from Duke Universitys Talent Identification Programme, TIP, which is designed to ferret out especially clever candidates early on: all the participants had scored in the top 5% of ability when confronted with exams designed for much older students.这三名研究人员的数据来自杜克大学的人才识别工程,该工程旨在提前搜寻出特别聪明的应试者:所有的参与者的考试成绩均排前5%,而这些考试都是针对年龄比他们大得多的学生的。TIP, in turn, draws on three national exams: SAT, EXPLORE and ACT.转过来,TIP的数据又源于三个全国性考试:SAT,EXPLORE及ACT。Altogether, Dr Wai, Dr Putallaz and Dr Makel looked at data from 1.7m children.维士,普塔拉兹士和马可士一起查看了170万儿童的数据。Those data spanned the years between 1981 and 2010.这些数据介于1981年到2010年之间。In the general population boys are well known to do a bit better than girls in maths.在普通人群中,普遍认为男孩的数学要比女孩好一点。Girls, in turn, edge out boys on tests of verbal reasoning.而反过来,女孩在文字推理的测试上比男孩略胜一筹。The result is similar overall IQ scores.在智商上的比较结果也大体类似。Among the best young mathematical brains, however, that equality does not pertain.然而,这些最聪明的年轻数学天才里并无平等可言。Here, boys do a lot better at maths than girls—but less better than they used to, as the researchers discovered.研究人员发现,在这里面,男孩在数学上要比女孩好得多,但差距要比以前小一些。In the early 1980s, the ratio of males to females in the top 0.01% of maths scores in SAT, the Scholastic Aptitude Test, was around 13 to 1.在上世纪80年代早期,学术能力评估测试的数学成绩前0.01%的人数中,男女比例约为13比1。By the early 1990s it had fallen to four to one.到了上世纪90年代早期,这一比例降到4比1。After this, however, it remained obstinately unaltered.然而此后该数字便停滞不前了。The other two tests, both of which post-date the period in which the SAT shows those huge changes, indicate less lopsided sex ratios of between two and three to one.在SAT出现上述巨大变化的时期之后,另外两个考试的男女比例均在3比1到2比1之间,性别倾向性更低。But neither shows girls making much recent progress towards equality.但两个都未显示出女孩最近向平等迈出多大步伐。Nurturing talent培养天资This study is not perfect. Its most interesting result rests on data from just one of the three sets of exams it looked at and its sample sizes are, necessarily, small.以上研究并不完美。他们查看了三个考试的数据,但其最引人关注的结果所依赖的数据仅来自中一个考试,样本规模肯定不够大。But it chimes with the findings of a much older investigation, carried out in 1983 by a group of researchers at Johns Hopkins University, which also discovered a male-to-female sex ratio of 13:1 among the most able young mathematicians.但其结论与很早之前的一份调查结果一致,该调查是由约翰霍普金斯的一组研究人员在1983年进行的,发现在最有天赋的年轻数学家里,男女比例也是13比1。Why a dramatic rise in the aptitude of Americas brightest young female mathematicians should then be followed by two decades of stagnation is not obvious, and, not being experts in mine-clearance, the researchers offer no hypothesis.美国最聪明的年轻女数学家的天资为何在飞速提升后,又经历了20年的停滞期,并未交代清楚,研究人员也并非扫雷专家,没有提出任何假说。It is clear that the rise itself must be nurture of some sort—possibly a change in teachers attitudes towards girls who are interested in maths—but the subsequent stasis could have either explanation.很明显,这种提升本身肯定是某种后天培养造成的— 可能是教师对待对数学感兴趣的女孩态度上的转变—但是随后的停滞用天赋与后天培养都能解释。A line of reasoning in favour of nature is that put forward by Simon Baron-Cohen, a psychologist at Cambridge University.剑桥大学的心理学家西蒙?拜伦-科恩提出了一条的推论,持天赋论。This connects the extreme systematising patterns of thought which make a good mathematician with the preponderance of men among those with Aspergers syndrome, a form of autism that does not harm a persons general intelligence.这条推论将极高系统化思维模式与艾斯伯格综合症患者中男性占多数两者联系起来。But the disparity could equally well be the result of some as-yet-unelucidated difference between the ways girls and boys are brought up.而在抚养女孩和男孩的过程中一些至今仍无法言表的差别同样可能造成这种数量上的不同。The nature of the beast野兽的本性That such unelucidated environmental influences can have real effects on IQ is eloquently illustrated by the Flynn effect.弗林效应有力的阐明了这种无法言表的环境影响对智商是有实际影响的。This phenomenon, brought to the worlds attention in the 1980s by James Flynn of the University of Otago, in New Zealand, is that average IQs around the world have been rising at the rate of 0.3 points a year for the past eight decades.上世纪八十年代,新西兰奥塔哥大学的詹姆斯福林让这一现象受到了全世界的关注,这一现象是:在过去的八十年里,世界的平均智商每年增加0.3。Using the TIP data, Dr Wai and his colleagues showed that this is as true of the brightest youngsters in American society as it is of lesser mortals, suggesting that even they can have their abilities boosted by whatever is causing the Flynn effect.通过TIP数据,维士及其同事指出,弗林效应适用于差一点的普通人,也同样适用于美国社会中最聪明的年轻人,他们实际上也会受到造成弗林效应的因素的影响,水平得到提升。Once again, the changes seem to be mainly in mathematics.又一次,这些变化似乎主要体现在数学上。Scores in the brightest childrens verbal-reasoning and ing abilities demonstrate no clear trend, but all three national tests show sustained improvements in their mathematical ability over the past three decades.最聪明的孩子的文字推理和阅读能力的成绩并未出现一个明显的趋势,但是在过去的三十年里,他们的数学能力在三个全国性考试中都显示出持续的进步。No one knows what causes the Flynn effect.没人知道是什么造成了弗林效应。Theories range from better nutrition, via a more stimulating general environment, to the phasing out of lead in petrol and paint.关于弗林效应诱因的理论有许多,从更好的营养,到更具刺激性的总体环境,再到汽油和涂料中逐步停止铅的使用。What is clear is that it cannot be a change in gene-given ability, which is what most people mean by nature in this debate, because too few generations have passed for natural selection to have had any meaningful impact.但可以明确的是,这不会是一种基因赋予的能力上的变化,这种能力也就是这场争论中大多数人所指的天赋,因为没有哪代人在经过自然选择后,天赋受到什么具有实际意义的影响。 /201312/270911

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