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来源:飞度咨询黑龙江新闻    发布时间:2019年03月19日 14:19:44    编辑:admin         

Remember that kid in your grade school class who stuttered?还记得小学时班上那个说话结巴的孩子吗?Well, he was in good company–a whopping three million people in the ed States alone are affected by this problem.其实,他的同伴可不少--光是在美国,就有多达三百万的人有这个毛病。It isnt life threatening, but it certainly can be life hampering, as anyone who has a stutter can tell you.当然,结巴并不会危及生命,但是,相信任何一个结巴的人都会告诉你:Theres something very interesting about stuttering, though, which you might not expect: it can be effected by what you hear.它确实会给生活带来不少麻烦。然而,关于结巴,还有个有趣的现象是出乎你意料的:结巴跟你的耳朵关系密切。For a long time stutterers have understood that talking along in a group, such as when you recite the pledge of allegiance, can make the problem diminish.实际上,结巴会受所听内容的影响。一些结巴患者经过长期实践发现,如果连续地说上一段话结巴现象就会缓和不少,比如说在不停地背诵效忠誓言。With the age of electronics, it was found that hearing your own voice played back to you almost as soon as you speak helps a stutter as well.人们发现,如果在说话时能够几乎同步地听到自己所说的内容会有助于减缓口吃。Thats called the “Delayed Auditory Feedback” effect.这就是所谓的“延时听觉反馈”效应。Altering the pitch of the playback gives an extra boost to the effect as well; thats called “Frequency Altered Feedback.”并且,改变所听内容的音调会加强这一效应,这就是“移频听觉反馈”。Now, researchers at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina have created a small device that combines both these effects in a portable earpiece.目前,位于美国北卡罗来纳州格林维尔市东卡罗莱纳大学的研究者们已经研发出一种便携式耳机,这种耳机将上文所说的两种效应结合在了一起。The device fits inside your ear, picks up the sound of you speaking, alters the pitch a little, and plays it back to you.你只需将耳机放入耳朵,它便会收集你的话语并适当地改变音调,最后在回放给你听。The first tests lookpromising: many of the volunteers who had a stutter found that their problem was helped by wearing such an electronic earpiece.第一批测试看起来效果不错:很多参与实验的口吃志愿者都发现,佩戴上这种电子耳机后,口吃情况有所好转。Scientists who study stuttering sound a more cautious note: such effects, while real, have shown a tendency to be short-term.然而,研究口吃的科学家们给出了一个更为谨慎的结论:这些效果固然真实,但持续时间不够长久。Still, even if it isnt a “fix,” tiny microelectronic devices like this may indeed be a help-and we may be seeing more and more of them in the future.但是,即便这一效果不长,像这样的微电子设备确实对口吃有所帮助--相信在以后会有越来越多这样的产品出现。 201407/312744。

Business商业报道Cotton exports棉花出口Knickers in a twist印度颁布棉花禁令,世界市场反应强烈India bans cotton exports—confusing everyone, including its government.印度禁止棉花出口,让所有人都很迷惑,政府自己也很不解。WHEN Mahatma Gandhi began spinning Indian cotton on a wheel in 1918, it symbolised his desire for national self-sufficiency.1918年甘地亲自用印度的棉花纺织时,这代表着他渴望国家自给自足的心愿。Too much of the fibre was exported to Japan and Britain, on exploitative terms, he felt.他认为出口给日本英国纺织品中太多都是通过不平等的条款出口的。Almost a century on, Indias cotton industry is still integrated with global production chains.近一个世纪以来,印度的棉花产业依然是处在世界产业链中。Thus a decision on March 5th by the countrys commerce ministry to ban exports sent markets around the world into a tizz.因此三月五日印度商务部禁止棉花出口的决定让世界市场都迷惑不已。Derivative prices leapt on New Yorks trading floors.纽约券交易市场的相关金融衍生产品价格飞涨。Panicky Y-front makers the world over worried if their contracts were void.全球Y型内裤制造商陷入恐慌,担心自己的条约无效。Excited stockbrokers in Thailand told their clients to buy the shares of polyester firms.泰国的股票经纪人十分兴奋,告诉客户们购买涤纶厂商的股票。India, after all, is the worlds second-largest exporter of cotton, after America.不管怎么说,印度都是仅次于美国的第二大的棉花出口商。The commerce ministry seems to have been worried that short-term export commitments were more than India could comfortably meet.商务部似乎在担心短期出口承诺难以兑现,It feared a spike in domestic cotton prices, followed by hoarding.害怕国内棉花因囤积居奇而价格飙升。This would hurt Indias textiles industry, which uses cotton as a raw material, is not in the best financial health and is a huge employer.这样会损害以棉花为原材料的纺织业,而纺织业财政状况不佳且提供大量就业。India temporarily banned cotton exports in 2010 in response to similar concerns.2010年印度因为类似原因暂时停止棉花出口。And there is a troubling backdrop, too.这一政策的出台也有难言的苦衷。The world cotton market went nuts in 2011, with supply blips in some countries and high demand pushing global prices last year to their highest since the American civil war.2011年国际棉花市场如同疯了一般,去年一些国家的产量下降,而高需求等因素将全球价格推到了美国内战后的最高点。After years of declining raw-material prices, clothes firms such as Gap announced profit warnings and saw their shares whacked.原材料价格经过多年下滑后,诸如盖普一类的装公司宣布利润预警,并且眼看着股价疲软。The agricultural divisions of two big trading firms, Glencore and Noble Group, were caught with their trousers down and lost money.两大贸易公司嘉能可和来宝集团的农业分部也因此名利俱损。Prices have collapsed since mid-2011, but after a roller-coaster ride everyone is jittery.2011年六月份以来棉花价格崩溃,但是之后的价格过山车之后,每个人仍然都紧张不安。China has been stockpiling a mountain of cotton, presumably to insulate its textile makers from shocks.中国囤积了大量棉花,可能会使织物生产商免于市场震荡。India may in turn be worried that its own surplus is being whisked away to create a safety buffer for the Middle Kingdom. Hence the ban.反过来,印度可能正担心棉花产量会走向下滑,而为天朝创造一个缓冲区。因此禁止棉花出口。A vicious circle of price rises, stockpiling and export bans does not make sense in the medium term for any commodity, whether cotton, onions or iron ore.中期来说任何商品不论是棉花,洋葱还是铁矿石陷入价格飞涨,囤积居奇,禁止出口的恶性循环都不可行。It erodes confidence in supply chains and may dent overall production.这会侵蚀供应链各环节的信心,也可能会阻碍总体产量。Behaviour that may be rational for individual actors can cause chaos if everyone copies it.个人合理的行为,若是每个人都照样做就会造成混乱。No one expects a nation to act for the common good,没有人会期望一个国家会为共同的利益着想,but it seems doubtful that Indias ban is even in its own narrow interests.但是似乎印度禁止出口仅仅出于自身狭窄利益是值得怀疑的。Trying to keep prices low favours textile makers but is bad for farmers who grow the stuff.试图保持低价有利于纺织品生产商却不利于棉农。Indias agriculture minister says he was not consulted about the ban.印度的农业部长说并没有人向他咨询过这项禁令的后果。Narendra Modi, the powerful chief minister of Gujarat, a state in west India, wrote to the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, that the ban was anti-farmer.印度西部古吉拉特邦首席部长莫迪写信给总理辛格,说这项禁令伤农。Mr Singh has promised an immediate review.辛格承诺立刻修订。That seems likely to repeal the ban.这似乎有可能会废除这条禁令。But there may be damage to Indias reputation as a reliable supplier.但是这有可能伤害印度作为一个可靠供应商的信誉。As the news of the ban came out Australias agriculture minister had just launched a report predicting that Australia would double its cotton exports between 2010 and 2013.当禁令的消息爆出时,澳大利亚农业部长发布一份报告预测澳大利亚将在2012-2013年度将棉花出口加倍。His view on Indias ban?他对于印度禁令的看法是什么?Its an opportunity.这是一个机会。 /201305/242237。

Books and Arts; Book Review; Economic history;Centuries of trial and error;How economists rescued mankind from squalor and deprivation;文艺;书评;经济学史;数百年的反复试验;经济学家们如何救人类于悲惨贫穷;Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius. By Sylvia Nasar.《宏伟事业——经济学天才的故事》西尔维亚·娜萨著。In an essay in his popular magazine, Household Words, Charles Dickens issued a challenge to economists to humanise their discipline. “Political economy is a mere skeleton unless it has a little human covering and filling out,” he wrote in the inaugural issue in 1854. “A little human bloom upon it, and a little human warmth in it.”查尔斯·狄更斯曾经办了一本颇受欢迎的杂志,叫《家常话》,1854年,在创刊号上,他给经济学家提出了一项挑战,即要让经济学更人性化,他说,“没有一点人性为其蔽体、充实其血肉,政治经济学就是一具骷髅。要有一点人性才能让它开花,让它有温度。”This is a challenge to which economics and economists have mostly failed to rise. In her new book Sylvia Nasar, a former economics correspondent at the New York Times and now at Columbia University, has at least gone part of the way to satisfying Dickenss wishes. “Grand Pursuit” is a history of economics which is full of flesh, bloom and warmth. The author demonstrates that there is far more to economics than Thomas Carlyles “dismal science”. And she does so with all the style and panache that you would expect from the author of the 1998 bestseller, “A Beautiful Mind”, about John Forbes Nash, the tortured genius behind game theory.遗憾的是,大多时候,经济学以及经济学家并没有完成人性这点要求。但是,在这书里,狄更斯的愿望,至少已有部分得到满足。本书作者西尔维亚·娜萨,曾是《纽约时报》的经济专栏记者,如今就职于哥伦比亚大学,这本书记叙的经济学史有血有肉,有花有果,有热情有温度,作者可算明了经济学不是托马斯·卡莱尔所讲的“沉闷的科学”。娜萨还写过一本书《美丽心灵》,那是1998年的畅销书,讲述受精神分裂症折磨的弈论天才约翰·福布斯·纳什的故事。对于《美丽心灵》的作者,其文风和辞藻在《宏伟事业》中得到延续,不失读者所望。It turns out that economists—or at least the handful of geniuses that Ms Nasar discusses—are a peculiarly interesting bunch. John Maynard Keynes was an exotic mixture of Bloomsbury intellectual and civil-servant mandarin with a touch of Puck thrown in. Joseph Schumpeter was an obsessive scholar who spent his spare moments riding thoroughbreds, collecting mistresses and, on the odd occasion, taking part in orgies. Irving Fisher, the Yale economist who declared, in October 1929, that stocks had reached “what looks like a permanently high plateau”, was a health nut and prohibitionist. Joan Robinson, whom Schumpeter dubbed “one of our best men”, wore Mao suits and pronounced that North Korea was bound to outperform the South.原来经济学家都是特别有趣的一群人,至少娜萨女士在书里写的那些天才们都特别有趣。约翰·梅纳德·凯恩斯是英国伦敦布鲁姆斯伯里区知识分子和政界要人的结合,还有点英国民间传说中迫克精灵的味道,是个奇怪的混合体。约瑟夫·熊彼得醉心学问,闲暇时爱骑好马,爱搜猎情人,偶尔参与狂欢。而耶鲁大学经济学家欧文·费希尔是一位十分注重健康生活的人,奉行禁酒,他在1929年十月判断股市到达“永久性的高点”。熊彼得封之为“我们最好的男人之一”的琼·罗宾逊夫人,喜欢穿中山装,断言朝鲜必定会胜过韩国。Ms Nasars story is made all the more appealing by the fact that she does almost nothing to conceal her prejudices. She has little time for Karl Marx, a man who was so convinced of his rightness, and so buried in his books in the British Library, that he failed to observe the world around him. He did not bother to visit a single British factory. He refused to exchange a word with the intellectual titans of the time, including Charles Darwin and George Eliot, both of whom lived just a few miles from his front door. He ignored overwhelming statistical evidence that the working classs share of the nations wealth was increasing. By contrast, Alfred Marshall was everything that Marx was not: the embodiment of all that was best in Victorian high- mindedness. Marshall was alive to what was going on around him. He frequently visited factories and firms, and travelled around the worlds new “empire of energy”, the ed States. He threw his weight behind popular education and incremental reform.娜萨女士从不费心遮掩自己的偏见,这让她的故事更有可读性。书中关于卡尔·马克思的篇幅甚短。马克思对自己的公正颇有信心,但他总在大英国书馆埋头读书,没有时间去好好观察身边的世界,他连一家英国工厂都没去参观过,也拒绝和当时思想大家交流。查尔斯·达尔文和乔治·艾略特离他住地几英里外,他们却从未讲过话。势不可挡的统计数据,足以表明工人阶级占有国家财富的份额在增长,他对此视而不见。阿尔弗雷德·马歇尔与马克思截然相反,他是维多利亚时期优秀品质的化身,关心身边世界,经常访问工厂企业,环游世界新的“活力帝国”——美国。他全心全力持大众教育和逐渐改革。In lesser hands Ms Nasars story might have degenerated into a series of pen portraits: tittle-tattle for the middlebrow. But she unifies her account with a series of big questions. How, for example, did humanity escape from the grinding poverty that has been its lot through most of human history? Why was a static society replaced by a dynamic one? And how best to cope with the booms and busts that have been capitalisms peculiar contribution to human life?如果娜萨女士文笔稍差一些,这些故事就要成了一堆钢笔肖像速写,成了关于一帮知识界平庸人物的杂淡。但是她用一些大问题对叙述加以统一,比如,人类是如何从占据其历史大部分时间的凄惨贫穷中逃离出来的?比如,为何动态社会取代了静态社会?又比如,资本主义给人类生活带来它特有的贡献——经济繁荣与衰退的循环往复,对此什么才是最好的处理方式?In Marxs view the capitalist system, for all its ability to unleash productive power, was haunted by a contradiction: the drive to increase profits would immiserate the poor and lead to crises of overproduction. But Marshall demonstrated that capitalism advances not by immiserating the poor, but by boosting productivity. Factory owners make relentless small improvements that allow them to produce both higher wages and lower prices, thereby sping the gains of material progress throughout society. Schumpeter further expanded the idea of productivity increases. The economy doesnt simply get bigger and bigger. It goes through a constant process of discombobulation as entrepreneurs invent new products and processes. Marx got it upside down: capitalisms recurrent crises actually make it stronger.在马克思看来,资本主义系统,虽然能解放生产力,却有着不可调和的矛盾,即对高额利润的追逐将让劳苦大众的生活更为悲惨,并导致生产过剩,出现经济危机。但是根据马歇尔的论,资本主义的发展并非依靠加大对穷人的剥削,而是靠着提高生产力。工厂主永不停止地进行微小的改进,因此在提高工资的同时能降低产品价格,从而使物质的进步惠及整个社会。熊彼得进一步充实了生产力发展的观点,经济的发展并非简单地变得越来越大,随着企业家发明新产品新工作程序,它经常经历混乱。马克思没有认识到周期性的经济危机事实上发展了资本主义。Economics was a practical as well as an analytical science. From the left, Beatrice Potter Webb argued that mass destitution could be cured by “the household state”. Fisher showed that good management of the money supply could contribute to stability. Keynes insisted that crises could be prevented if the government could act as the spender of last resort, just as the central bank was lender of last resort.经济学是一门分析科学,也是一门实践科学。比阿特丽斯·波特·韦伯认为“每个家庭自为国家”能够解决大众贫穷的问题,费希尔让我们知道,对货帀供应进行良好管理有助于保持经济稳定。凯恩斯坚持认为,如果政府能在最后时刻出手消费,中央能在最后时刻提供贷款,便能阻止经济危机的发生。“Grand Pursuit” peters out at the end. It is easy to see why Ms Nasar thought Amartya Sen might be the right terminus for her train. He is an economic genius who has devoted his life to thinking about the elimination of the most dramatic form of want: famine. But it is, nevertheless, odd to end a history of economics without discussing the financial crisis of 2007-08 and the furious arguments it has engendered within the economics profession. Surely the likes of Paul Krugman and Lawrence Summers should have had at least a walk-on role at the close of the story. But that is a blemish in what is generally a wonderful book. “Grand Pursuit” deserves a place not only in every economists study but also on every serious ers bedside table.《宏伟事业》逐渐进入尾声,娜萨女士选择阿马蒂亚·森作为本书最后一位经济学家,原因可以理解,阿马蒂亚·森是一位经济学天才,毕生研究怎样消除饥荒。但是,作为一本写经济学历史的书,没有论及2007-08年的经济危机以及由此产生的激烈论争就结束了,这不合常理。像保罗·克鲁格曼,劳伦斯·萨默斯这些人,本该在本书最后章节有所提及,。不过,这本书总体来说很精,《宏伟事业》不仅值得每一位经济学家研读,也可作为严肃书籍读者的床头书。 /201306/242929。

Let’s begin with a cleaning tip: If you have some tarnished or corroded brass that you want to clean, an old brass candlestick for example, you can use Coca-Cola, or any other cola soft drink, and that brass will come clean.有个去污点子:如果你想要清除铜锈,例如铜烛台,可以使用可口可乐或者其它可乐饮料,清洗后的烛台光亮如新。How Does This Work?饮料是如何清洁的呢?And if Cola is such an effective cleaner of corroded metal , what is it doing to the inside of your stomach?如果可乐能有效清洁金属锈斑,那么可乐对人体的胃会产生什么影响呢?Cola cleans brass because it’s mildly acidic.可乐能清洁铜锈是因为可乐呈弱酸性。Here’s what happens: When brass or another metal alloy becomes tarnished, this means that there has been a chemical reaction between the oxygen in the air and one of the metals in the alloy.铜或其它金属合金生锈是因为空气中的氧气和合金中的某种金属发生了化学反应。Oxygen atoms combine with metal atoms to form what’s called an oxide, and this oxide is what makes the metal appear tarnished. Acids, like the weak acid present in your can of Coke, can react with oxides to effectively reverse the process of tarnishing. The acid dissolves the metal oxides that make the tarnish, leaving only shiny metal behind.氧原子结合了金属原子,形成所谓的氧化物。氧化物就是金属锈。而酸,比如可乐中的弱酸,和氧化物产生化学反应,能有效避免生锈。酸可以分解金属氧化物,化学反应后的金属锃亮。Try It At Home!在家试验You can try this at home, even if you don’t have a brass candlestick. Leave a tarnished old penny in a glass of cola overnight. In the morning it will be shiny and fresh.即便家里没有铜烛台,你可以做这样的试验:晚上,将一枚旧硬币丢进装有可乐的杯里。第二天早上,硬币就变得闪亮如新。Your Stomach And Acid酸对人体胃的影响If the acid in cola is so good at attacking tarnished metal, what might it do to your insides? Actually, your stomach aly contains its own supply of acid which it uses to digest food.如果可乐能有效清洁金属锈斑,那么可乐对人体的内脏会产生什么影响呢?事实上,人体的胃里就有分泌的酸液来消化食物。This stomach acid is a great deal stronger than the acid in a can of Coke. Indeed, stomach acid would be an even better tarnish remover than cola!胃酸的酸性比一听可乐还强。说真的,胃酸甚至比可乐更能除锈。 /201304/233894。

Business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。

Beate Gordon贝雅特·戈登Beate Sirota Gordon, interpreter of Japan to Americans, died on December 30th, aged 89贝雅特·希洛塔·戈登,美国的日本翻译官,于2012年12月30日逝世,享年89岁。DRAFTING a constitution isnt something one does every day. It took Washington, Franklin and Co several months to achieve, that steamy summer in Philadelphia in 1787. When Beate Sirota was roped in to do it, in chilly, ruined Tokyo in the spring of 1946, she was amazed. She was no lawyer. She was 22, and only just an American citizen. Her idea of fun was going out every night. She had tagged on to General MacArthurs occupation army mostly to find her parents, whom she had left in Japan before the war. Her job, which she did very well, was to translate Japanese. But suddenly there she was, called in with two dozen men, to write—in deepest secrecy—the basic law for post-war Japan. In a week. “Beate, youre a woman,” said her colleagues. “Why dont you do the bit about womens rights?” “Wonderful, Id love to!” she cried—and then realised she had no idea how.起草宪法并不是一个人每天都要做的事。在1787年那个潮湿的夏日里,身处美国费城的华盛顿、富兰克林和其他一些人耗费了数个月才完成了美国宪法的起草工作。1946年春的东京,满目疮痍,春寒料峭,当得知被安排加入到战后日本国宪法的起草工作时,贝雅特感到十分吃惊。因为当时贝雅特只有22岁,也不是一名律师,仅仅是一个普通的美国公民而已。她脑海中有关乐趣的唯一概念就是每天晚上出门逛街。在日本,她一直与麦克阿瑟将军率领的驻日占领军生活,绝大部分时间是用在寻找二战发生前就已经与之失散的双亲。贝雅特最擅长的工作就是将日语翻译成英语。突然有一天,她和其他24个人被秘密地集中到一个地方,起草战后日本国宪法。时间是一周。与她一起起草宪法的一名同事对她说:“贝雅特,作为一个女人,你为什么不去为争取妇女的权益做点贡献呢?”贝雅特大声回答到,“太好了,我非常愿意去做”。可之后贝雅特才意识到她根本不知道从何做起。She saw all too clearly, though, how women were treated in Japan. From the age of five to 15 she had lived there while her father Leo Sirota, a concert pianist from Ukraine, taught at the Imperial Academy. The land seemed enchanted to her, all exquisite gardens and cherry blossom and black-eyed, straight-haired children with whom, unusually for a Westerner, she was allowed to play. Over puppet shows and shuttlecock games she picked up the language, she claimed, in just three-and-a-half months. And she learned other things. Japanese women, for example, never came to her mothers parties. Only the men came. Japanese women would serve their husbands friends dinner, then eat alone in the kitchen. In the street they always walked three or four paces behind the men. They were usually married to men they did not know, could inherit nothing, and could even be bought and sold, like chattels.贝雅特是十分清楚在日本国内妇女是如何被对待的。从五岁算起,贝雅特一共在日本生活了十年。他的父亲,利奥·希洛塔,是一位来自乌克兰的音乐会钢琴演奏家,在日本帝国学院任教。贝雅特被这片土地深深地吸引,对于她这样一位来自西方世界的人而言,精致的花园,美丽的樱花,能够与之一起玩耍的黑眼睛,直发的孩童,这里的一切都是不同寻常的。贝雅特声称,通过木偶戏和踢毽子,自己在三个半月的时间里就完全掌握了日语。除此之外,贝雅特也了解到了其他事情。比如,日本妇女从不参加自己母亲的聚会。母亲的聚会只有男人参加。日本的妇女在帮助自己丈夫和丈夫的朋友们享用完晚餐之后,才能一个人在厨房独自用餐。在街上,日本妇女通常只能跟在丈夫后面三步或四步远的地方。结婚之前,日本妇女根本不知道自己的丈夫是谁,父母死后也继承不到任何东西,她们甚至还会像牛羊一样被买卖。Fired with her task, she raced in a requisitioned Jeep round Tokyo, borrowing other countries constitutions from war-battered libraries. Rattling through them, she produced what became Article 24:被接受的任务所激励,贝雅特开着申请到的吉普车穿梭于东京各个饱受战争损害的图书馆,借阅其中其他国家的宪法。正是由于贝雅特辛勤忙碌的工作,才有了后来日本国宪法的第二十四条:Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual co-operation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis. With regard to choice of spouse, property rights, inheritance, choice of domicile, divorce and other matters pertaining to marriage and the family, laws shall be enacted from the standpoint of individual dignity and the essential equality of the sexes.婚姻仅以两性的自愿结合为基础而成立,以夫妇平等权力为根本,必须在相互协力之下予以维持。 关于选择配偶、财产权、继承、选择居所、离婚以及婚姻和家庭等其他有关事项的法律,必须以个人尊严与两性平等为基础制订之。There was plenty more, as she warmed to her mission: womens right to paid work, to custody of children, to equal education. Much of it was stripped out, because it made the mens eyes water on the American side as much as the Japanese. A kindly colonel pointed out that she had put in far more rights than were in Americas constitution. She fired back that that wasnt hard. He told her that matters like divorce did not belong there. She informed him, from long experience of trying to sort out her parents papers with Japanese bureaucrats, that if rights were not aly mentioned in a constitution they would never be written into the civil code. Then, to her huge vexation, she burst into tears.正如她从她的使命中所感受到的温暖那样,日本国宪法第二十四条的内容,远不仅仅如此:妇女享有报酬权、孩子监护权、平等接受教育权。但是,这些内容绝大部分被最终排除掉了,因为这些内容不仅会让美国男人也会让日本男人十分感动。一位友好的陆军上校向贝雅特指出,她在日本国宪法中起草的有关妇女权益的内容远远多过了美国宪法中的有关内容。贝雅特愤怒地回答到:“这并不难做到”。上校告诉她诸如离婚此类事情不应写进宪法中。贝雅特也义正言辞地告诉上校,基于她在日本有关官员的协助下长期收集整理父母有关材料的经历来看,如果此类权利不被写入宪法,那么它们就根本不可能写入民法中。话音落下,心中的苦恼使得贝雅特眼中的热泪夺眶而出。The Japanese negotiators hated Article 24. But because they liked her, and because they were told that “Miss Sirotas heart is set on this” (with no word of the fact that this mere girl had also written it), they acquiesced. And so, to her astonished satisfaction, history was made. Whenever she visited Japan in later years women would cluster round to take her photograph, press her hand and thank her for her gift to them.来自日本的谈判代表十分憎恶宪法第二十四条。但因为大家都喜欢贝雅特,也因为大家都知道“希洛塔女士的心执着与此(对这仅有的女士把条款已经撰写成的事实都不置一词)”,他们退却了。如此,历史已经明贝雅特从中得到了令人吃惊的满足。在之后几年中,不管贝雅特何时重回故地,日本的妇女都会簇拥向前争相与之合影留念,握手,以表达她们对贝雅特所赠予她们的礼物的感谢。Noh in Ohio俄亥俄州的能剧Looking back, she put it down mostly to luck. Luck that her fathers work had taken her to Tokyo in 1929; luck that she had been allowed to absorb Japan and Japanese, but had been taught largely in American schools; luck that she had been able to get to Japan after the war, the first civilian woman to go there, and find her parents emaciated but safe; luck that MacArthur had picked her for his secret team.回首过往,贝雅特将其中绝大部分归因于运气。在她看来,幸运地是,父亲的工作使得父亲能够在1929年把她带到东京;幸运地是,尽管她接受的大部分是美国教育,但她依然能够深入到日本以及日语之中;幸运地是,在二战后她还能回到日本,成为战后第一批到达日本的民间妇女,并成功寻找到身心憔悴但依然健在的双亲;幸运地是,她被麦克阿瑟将军挑选进他的秘密团队之中。Yet skill was involved, too. She knew she had always understood Japanese better than most people: picking up as a student in California, for example, the threats and nuances that others missed in Japans wartime propaganda broadcasts. In peacetime, she felt bound to do whatever she could to rebuild and improve understanding of the country. From 1954, on the staff of the Japan Society, she worked tirelessly to bring Japanese masters to America, so that people in Florida or Ohio could watch the bows and sips of the tea ceremony, or the gentle koto-playing that had delighted her as a child, or the masked solemnity of Noh plays. Moving on in the 1970s to the Asia Society, she travelled the continent—braving jungles, monsoons, the breathless peaks of Tibet and seven-hour banquets in Tashkent—to bring back Javanese dancers, water puppets from Hanoi, pansori-singers from Korea.当然,个人才能也包括在其中。贝雅特深知一直以来她比大多数普通人更了解日本:例如,作为一个在加利福尼亚州成长起来的学童,贝雅特清楚的知道在日本战时广播宣传节目中存在的被其他加州人所忽略的言语之间的细微差别和威胁。在和平年代,贝雅特觉得自己有必要竭尽所能去重塑美国人对日本这个国家的认知。从1954年起,作为日本协会的工作人员,贝雅特不知疲倦地将众多日本艺术大师介绍到美国,从而使得在佛罗里达州和俄亥俄州的人们能够欣赏到诸如茶艺中的鞠躬和啜饮,或是在小时候让贝雅特兴奋不已的文雅的古筝表演,或是通过面具能传达庄严的能剧表演。20世纪70年代贝雅特所在的日本协会演变成亚洲协会—贝雅特游历亚洲大陆,勇敢地面对过丛林,季风,令人窒息的世界屋脊以及塔什干的七小时宴会,她为美国人民请回了爪哇的舞者,河内的水上木偶戏以及来自韩国的清唱歌手。Immersed in all this, and aware that her post-war work had been secret, she never mentioned her constitution-drafting until 1995, when she wrote a memoir. After that, she was full of it. Yet, when all was said and done, she did not think Article 24 was the most important clause in Japans post-war constitution. That honour, she said, belonged to Article 9, under which Japan renounced war and embraced peace. And hers was second.贝雅特沉浸在这些工作之中的同时,对于她在战后所从事的工作有很高的保密意识。直到1995年,贝雅特才在自己的回忆录中提及她曾参与过日本国宪法的起草工作。在此之后,贝雅特对此感到很满意。可无论如何,贝雅特并不认为宪法第二十四条是战后日本国宪法中最重要的条款。在贝雅特看来,日本国宪法中最重要的条款是宪法第九条,因为在这项条款之下,日本国从此宣布放弃战争,拥抱和平,而她所撰写的宪法第二十四条的重要性不能与之相比。 /201406/305944。

Science and technology科学技术Human evolution人类的进化You look familiar 你,似曾相识Another piece of humanitys family tree is fitted into place确定另一人类谱系THE opening scene of Mel Brookss film History of the World: Part One dispenses with human origins in one line: 梅尔布鲁克斯的电影世界历史:第一部一开场就用一句台词概括了人类的起源:And the ape stood, and became man. 猿猴站立起来了,然后变成了人。Would that it were that easy for palaeontologists to sort out. 对古生物学家来说,要是真能如此解释,那也未免太容易了。The transition to humanity is generally agreed to have occurred between Australopithecus, a genus of small-brained, 人们普遍认为,人类是在南猿,bipedal primates whose most famous member is a fossil nicknamed Lucy, and the big-brained species Homo erectus. 和直立猿人之间完成人类进化过渡的。But pinning down when precisely this took place, and which of the various australopithecine species were involved, has been challenging. 但至于这段过渡期确切发生在什么时候,又属于众多南猿物种的哪一分,人们众说纷纭。Now the most human-like australopithecine found to date is clarifying things—and staking a claim to be the species from which early humans evolved.而目前发现的与人类长得最像的南猿,让一切变得清晰起来,同时,它也被确定是后来进化为早期人类的物种。Fossils of the new species, Australopithecus sediba, were discovered in 2008 in a cave in South Africa. 新发现的物种化石南猿源泉种于2008年在南非一个山洞中被发现。Initial research, led by Lee Berger of the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, concluded that the species came too late in the fossil record to be the ancestor of the Homo lineage. 约翰内斯堡的威特沃特斯兰德大学教授Lee Berger,带领的研究团队经初步研究发现,新物种是化石史上最接近猿人谱系的祖先。This week, however, a range of new research into sediba, again led by Dr Berger, has been published in Science. 本周,科学杂志发表了 Berger士对源泉种的一系列新发现,These studies conclude that sediba did in fact predate Homo erectus and, moreover, that parts of its anatomy are surprisingly similar to modern man.称源泉种实际上要早于直立猿人,并且其结构的某些部分与现代人也极为相似。The fossils examined in the Science papers are of an adolescent boy and an adult woman. 科学杂志发表的论文研究的化石对象,一个是少年,一个是成年女子。They are well preserved, and encased in sediments that allow uncommonly precise dating. 这两具化石保存完好,由于是在沉积层出土,所以可以很精确的确定它们的年代。They lived 1.977m years ago, predating the appearance of Homo erectus by 77,000 years. 他们生活在197,7000年前,比直立猿人早出现7,7000年。The period is an especially muddled one for palaeontology, being full of fragmentary fossils that are difficult to assign either to Homo or to Australopithecus. 这段时期令古生物学家一直很迷惑不解,因为所有的化石碎片很难确定到底是属于南猿还是直立猿人。The sediba fossils, by contrast, have some of the most complete features in the early human record.相比较而言,源泉种化石具有部分早期人类最完整的特征。The new studies centre on the most telling bits of anatomy in the story of human evolution: 最新的研究把重点放在研究人类进化最有说力的结构部位:the brain, pelvis, hands and feet. 脑,骨盆,手和脚。The brain itself does not fossilise, but the inside of the cranium retains an impression of its contours. 脑部分本身是不会变成化石的,但在头盖骨内部却还保留着脑的轮廓。The researchers mapped these with high-powered X-ray beams to create a three-dimensional model of the surface of sedibas brain.研究人员借助高功率X射线,描绘出了源泉种脑表面的三维模型。They found that its size was on a par with other australopithecines, 他们发现源泉种的脑尺寸与其它南猿一样,but its shape was more like that of a human brain. 但是其形状则更像人类的大脑。Specifically, the frontal lobes, which are the seat in modern humans of higher cognitive functions such as abstract reasoning, 特别是大脑前庭部分,它使现代人具有较高的认知能力—例如抽象推理的能力,looked more humanlike in sedibas brain than they do in the brains of other australopithecines. 而相比较南猿来说,源泉种的大脑前庭更像人类。That suggests the neurological changes which gave rise to humanity may have predated the brains expansion—an event that had, hitherto, been regarded as crucial to the emergence of humans. 这表明,人类产生所依赖的大脑神经上的变化,有可能在大脑变大之前就已经出现,这也是迄今为止被认为是人类诞生的关键因素。The hands, feet and pelvis of sediba indicate that it both climbed trees and walked upright, though with a different gait from that of humans or chimpanzees. 从源泉种的手、脚和骨盆来看,源泉种既能爬树又能直立行走,但步态与人类或是猩猩有点不一样。The species may have been a toolmaker, as its hand allowed for a human-like grip. 这种物种有可能也会制作工具,因为它的手可以像人类一样抓取东西。Sedibas pelvis, an upright butterfly shape, is likewise reminiscent of the human one. 源泉种的骨盆,呈垂直蝴蝶形,同样让人看到人类骨盘的影子。It therefore sheds light on a longstanding debate: 这也使长期的争论变得清晰起来:whether it was bipedalism or giving birth to babies with large heads that drove changes in the shape of the human pelvis. 是否这种物种是用两只脚行走,或是它所生的后代头比较大,使其骨盆发生了改变,和人类的骨盆形状一样。Adult sediba had small heads, which indicates that walking upright was the advantage brought by the modern pelvis. 成年的源泉种头比较小,这也表明,南猿在骨盆进化之后,直立行走才变为可能。All of which makes sediba more similar to modern humans than are other australopithecines—and more similar, even, than Homo habilis, until now seen as one of the earliest humans. 所有这些使得源泉种比其它南猿,甚至比能人更像现代人类,直到现在有人把源泉种视为最早的人类成员之一。The consensus had been that habilis was a transitional form between Australopithecus and Homo erectus. 普遍认为,能人是介于南猿与直立猿人之间。Dr Berger posits that sediba may have evolved directly into Homo erectus, leaving habilis as an evolutionary sideline, and not even part of the genus Homo. 而Berger士认为,源泉种有可能直接进化为直立猿人,而能人却是进化过程中的一个分,甚至和源泉种不属于一个类别。Slowly, then, the origin of the strange assemblage of characters that makes a human being human is emerging. 之后,一些奇特的人类特征才开始慢慢出现。As the oracle said, the beginning of wisdom is: know thyself.正如神谕所说:智慧从认识自己开始!点击此处下载本期经济学人讲解PDF与音频字幕 /201306/244476。

Science and technology科学技术Invasive species入侵物种Boom and bust繁衍与湮灭Invasive Argentine ants may be less persistent than once feared入侵性阿根廷蚂蚁可能没有想象的那么可怕Ready for take-off随时准备离开DESPITE their name, Argentine ants are a well-travelled lot.如果不顾它们的恶名,阿根廷蚂蚁可以说是很好的旅行家。Human commerce has allowed them to hitch rides from their homeland to every continent on the planet, with the exception of Antarctica.人类的商业活动将它们带到了世界各大洲,南极洲除外。And when they arrive, they often thrive.并且当它们到达时,它们就会繁衍。At least 15 countries now host colonies, which frequently prosper at the expense of native species.目前,至少15个国家受到外来物种的入侵,这种入侵是以牺牲本土物种为代价的。This flexibility, combined with an aggressive temperament, makes them one of the worlds best-known and most-hated invasive species.这种侵略性及适应性使得它们成为世界上最著名同时也是最令人深恶痛绝的入侵物种。Yet, as any general knows, establishing a beachhead is not the same thing as conducting a successful, long-term occupation.但是,众所周知,建立一个滩头阵地不同于成功地进行一次长期占领。Argentine-ant colonies sometimes collapse suddenly, and with no obvious explanation.阿根廷蚂蚁的入侵有时突然毫无缘由地停止。In a paper just published in Biology Letters, a group of researchers at Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand,在最近发表在《生物书简》上的一篇文章中,新西兰惠灵顿维多利亚大学的一组研究人员,led by Meghan Cooling and Phil Lester,由梅根?库灵和菲尔?莱斯特领导,describe their attempts to study such disappearances systematically.描述了他们对这种系统性消失的研究。The researchers examined 150 sites across the country where Argentine-ant nests had been recorded.研究者们考察了全国范围内150个已经被记录下来的阿根廷蚂蚁据点。At 40% of them they found that the ants had vanished.他们发现其中的40%已经消失,At many of the other sites, ant numbers were much reduced,而在其他的据点,蚂蚁数量减少,with areas that once sported dozens of nests over hundreds of hectares reduced to just one or two colonies covering much smaller tracts of land.原来几百公顷的面积上有几十个蚁巢,而现在一片小面积土地上只有一两个聚居群。And with the invaders gone, native ants seemed to be re-establishing themselves,随着侵略者离开,本土蚂蚁似乎在重建自己的种群,suggesting that the Argentine ants impact on biodiversity had been transient, rather than permanent.这表明阿根廷蚂蚁对生物多样性的影响只是暂时的。A statistical analysis of the data yielded an estimate for the likely survival time of a typical colony of between 12.9 and 15.3 years,数据统计分析估测了一个典型的聚居群可能的生存时间。and suggested that warm and dry conditions were more favourable for survival than cold, wet ones.该分析也表明,比起寒冷潮湿的条件,温暖干燥的环境更有利于生存。Exactly what caused the collapses is still not clear, although the researchers suspect that unfamiliar diseases may have played a role.尽管研究者们怀疑不熟悉的疾病可能起到了一定作用,但导致阿根廷蚂蚁消失的确切原因尚不清楚。y is not strength团结不是力量It is a plausible theory.这种理论可信。Because they grew from a small number of founder colonies,因为它们是从很小的群体发展起来的,or possibly even a single one,New Zealands Argentine ants are genetically similar to one another.新西兰的阿根廷蚂蚁之间的基因非常相似。That may be one reason for their success: ant researchers hypothesise that, being so closely related,这也许是它们成功的原因之一:蚂蚁研究者假定,the individual insects are unable to distinguish their nest mates from members of other colonies,关系紧密的个体昆虫不能够把同巢穴的同伴同其它聚居区的成员区分开来,which causes ants from different nests to co-operate as if they were kin,这导致来自不同巢穴的蚂蚁就像亲戚一样相互合作。and has led students of the field to speak not of hundreds of individual infestations, but of a single, country-spanning super-colony.这使得这一领域的学者不再谈及成百的个体侵扰,而是谈及单一的、跨越全国的超级群体。But a shallow gene pool can be a weakness, too.但是,一个浅薄的基因库也可能是一个弱点。If one nest proves susceptible to some environmental factor,如果一个巢穴容易受到某些环境因素的影响,be it disease, predation, or even a cold snap or wet spell,不管是疾病、掠食,亦或是寒流、潮湿期,then it is likely that all the other colonies will share that vulnerability.那么极可能其他的聚居群也有着同样的弱点。Now that they have documented the extent of the collapse the next step,库灵表示,他们现在已经记载了蚁群消失的范围,says Ms Cooling, is to test the hypothesis of genetic vulnerability and try to work out precisely what causes the sudden reversals of formicine fortune she has seen.下一步是验基因脆弱性这一假设,并努力找出导致蚁群突然转变的确切原因。And it is not just ecologists who will be waiting for the results.而等待这一结果的不止是生态学家。New Zealands government had reckoned it might have to spend NZm a year keeping the newcomers under control.新西兰政府估计,每年可能会花掉NZm用于控制新物种的入侵。If Mother Nature can do the job instead, then it would represent a tidy saving for the countrys exchequer.如果自然母亲能够完成这项工作,那将会为国库省下一大笔资金。 点击此处下载本期经济学人讲解PDF与音频字幕 /201306/244905。