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A guide to goodness良品导购Values for money价廉物良Want to know if a product is virtuous? Therersquo;s an app for that想知道一个产品是否货真价实?有个软件能帮你Someone spilled hypocrisy on aisle five有人在5号货架的走道上洒了虚伪产品AS HE applied sunscreen to his young daughterrsquo;s face, Dara Orsquo;Rourke, a professor of environmental and labour policy at the University of California, Berkeley, found himself wondering if the lotion was safe. He realised there was no ily available answer. The result;two years, a team of chemists, lots of testing and a chunk of venture capital later;is GoodGuide.com. Launched in 2008, this is a website and smart phone app that rates 140,000 consumer products (currently only in America) according to their safety, environmental sustainability and the ethics of the firms that make them. Now GoodGuide has created a new ;purchase analyser; app designed to inform consumers not just about the values embedded in products, but also about whether they are the virtuous shoppers they say they want to be.当加利福尼亚大学伯克利分校的环境与劳工政策教授多拉bull;欧罗克往他年幼的女儿脸上抹防晒霜时,他发现自己在怀疑这种防晒霜是否安全。他意识到这个问题没有现成的。历时两年,一批化学家进行了大量的测试及后期风险投资,成果是建立了指南网(GoodGuide.com)。这个成立于2008年的网站有配套的智能手机软件,它根据安全性、环境可持续性及生产厂商的道德操守对十四万种消费品(目前仅限于在美国的产品)进行了评估。现在,指南网已开发了一个新的;购物分析家;软件,此软件不仅旨在告诉消费者产品的内在价值,也旨在告诉消费者他们是不是自己所说的希望成为的良心购物者。Using the new app requires selecting a series of characteristics, which can range from whether the user favours organic products to buying only from firms with a good human-rights record. (It also rates how competitively things are priced, via a partnership with Price Grabber.) The consumer then scans the bar code on a product with the camera in their smartphone. The app identifies it and checks in a database to score how it shapes up.使用这个新软件需要对一系列特性进行选择,这些特性涵盖了从用户是否喜欢有机产品到只从人权记录良好的公司购买产品等方面。(通过与Price Grabber合作,指南网还能评估产品的定价有多少竞争力。)然后,消费者用其智能手机中的摄像头扫描产品上的条形码。软件识别条形码并在数据库中进行检索,从而为产品评分。Much therefore depends on the quality of the data, which GoodGuide gathers from various sources, including government reports and scientific studies, and research by its own staff. If the product scores badly, the app will recommend an alternative item which is rated more highly. The app also tracks a consumerrsquo;s purchases to see how well they fit with their selected values, giving a sort of personal virtue (or hypocrisy) rating.因此,评分结果在很大程度上取决于数据的质量,这些数据是指南网从各处搜集而来的,来源包括政府报告、科学研究及其员工所作的调查。如果产品得分很低,软件就会推荐另一种得分更高的替代产品。软件还会追踪消费者的购物记录,看看他们的购物行为在多大程度上符合自身赞同的购物观,然后给出一种个人的购物美德度(或虚伪度)等级。So far, GoodGuide has mostly been used by shoppers who are aly keen to know about any issues connected with products they buy. They are mothers concerned about a childrsquo;s health, older people facing a chronic illness or supporters of a cause, such as animal rights. The hope behind the app is that the idea of finding out about a productrsquo;s background will become mainstream.到目前为止,使用指南网的大都是这样的购物者:他们已热衷于了解任何关于其购买的商品的问题。他们是关心子女健康的母亲、身患慢性疾病的老年人和某项事业(如维护动物权利)的持者。这个软件背后的期望是:;查清一种产品的背景信息这个理念;会变成主流。Consumers rarely change their buying habits, even when confronted with scientific and other data, says Mr Orsquo;Rourke. So he has drawn on insights from behavioural economics, which show shoppers can be greatly influenced by peer pressure and by information passed on to them by people they know. The app tries to take advantage of these pressures. The virtue rating will inform a consumer how well they are doing according to the values which they espouse. That measurement gives an incentive to do better. Soon, the rating will be able to be shared with others on social-media sites such as Facebook, which could inspire (or pressurise) a shopper to consume more thoughtfully. It might even, believes Mr Orsquo;Rourke, turn being a good shopper into an online game.欧罗克先生说,即使面对科学数据和其他数据,消费者都几乎不会改变他们的购物习惯。于是他利用了行为经济学的观点来开发这个软件。这些观点表明,同辈压力及购物者认识的人传递给他们的信息都能对购物者产生很大的影响。这个软件尝试利用这些压力。购物美德度评估会根据购物者所赞成的购物观来告知他们其购物表现如何。这种评估会促使购物者改善其购物行为。很快,人们就能够在如脸谱网(Facebook)的社交媒介中与别人分享这种评估,这将鼓励(或施压)购物者更加理性地消费。欧罗克先生认为,这个软件可能甚至会将;做一个优秀的购物者;变为线上游戏。hypocrisy n.伪善lotion n.化妆水embedded adj.植入的database n.数据库chronic adj.慢性的, 习惯性的confront v.遭遇201111/162129。

  • Americans are voting in midterm elections that could determine the fate of President Barack Obama's legislative agenda for the next two years. Republicans are expected to make significant gains in the U.S. Congress.美国选民正在参加中期选举投票。这次选举可能决定奥巴马总统未来两年立法议程的成败。共和党人预期会在国会取得重大胜利。At stake in nationwide balloting are all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, more than one-third of the Senate, and more than half of America's governorships.这次全国选举将决定众议院所有435个席位的归属,同时还将选出超过三分之一的参议院议席和全美一半以上的州长职位。President Obama had a simple election-eve message for voters: "You have got a chance to change your community and your country. All you have to do is vote."奥巴马总统在选举前夕向选民们发出了一条简单的呼吁:"你们现在有机会改变你们的社区和国家。你们所要做的就是去投票。”After electoral cycles that saw Democrats win control of Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008, Republicans are widely expected to reverse the tide this year.民主党人2006年赢得国会控制权并在2008年成功入主白宫后,人们普遍预期共和党人今年将扭转局面。Public-opinion polls show Republicans favored among likely voters, many of whom say they are angry and frustrated over the sluggish U.S. economy, high unemployment, and America's soaring national debt.民意调查显示,共和党人在可能投票的选民中受到欢迎。很多选民表示,他们对一蹶不振的美国经济、高失业率以及美国不断飙升的国债感到愤怒和失望。Although Republicans could seize both houses of Congress, it is the House of Representatives where they are thought to have the best chance of taking control.尽管共和党人有机会在参众两院都获得胜利,但他们被认为最有机会掌握众议院的控制权。A party switch in the House would end the four-year tenure of Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Her likely replacement would be House Republican Leader John Boehner, who has pledged to reverse what he sees as the free-spending ways of the Obama administration.众议院政党力量对比的变化将结束民主党议长佩洛西四年的任期。最有可能取代她的人是众议院共和党领袖纳。纳承诺将扭转他认为奥巴马政府开无度的做法。201011/117202。
  • As Job Losses Mount, Asian Workers Return to the Countryside亚洲各国竭力为失业者寻找出路  Millions of Asian workers are losing their jobs because of the global economic downturn. After many years of urban job creation, governments are scrambling to find work in the countryside for the unemployed. 数以百万计的亚洲工人正在因为全球经济衰退而失去工作。多年来城市就业机会不断增加,可是,现在各国政府正竭力在农村地区为失业者找寻出路。Reports of factory closures across the region are increasing. Most job cuts are happening in the manufacturing sector - from toy makers to automakers. Production has either ceased or slowed down because of the global economic crisis. 亚洲地区关于工厂倒闭的报导越来越多。大多数被解雇的员工是在制造业,包括玩具制造业和汽车制造业。由于全球经济危机,生产不是陷于停顿就是放慢了进度。Suparat Sirisuwanangkura, head of the Thai Auto Industry Association, says the industry - which employs 300,000 workers - is trying hard to hold onto workers. But production is expected to fall 20 to 30 percent this year. 泰国汽车工业协会的领导人斯里苏万昂库拉说,有30万职工的泰国汽车制造业在竭尽全力地保住职工,但是,预计今年的生产将下降20%到30%。"We don't have any plans to shut down any plants. But, of course, we have to adjust many things - no overtime or very few," said Suparat. "The two shifts may try to make it one shift. The last one we, as much as possible, try to avoid is reduction of manpower." 他说:“我们不打算关闭任何汽车制造厂。但是,当然我们需要作多方面的调整,我们不会再给加班费或者给得很少。还可能要把两班制改成一班制。最后的一步是我们尽可能要避免的,那就是削减人力。”Governments across Asia are worried about mass unemployment and the social instability that could bring. Many of those losing their jobs are migrant workers, who have left the provinces to work in Asia's booming cities. 亚洲各国政府为大批人失业而感到忧虑,因为这可能导致社会动乱。许多失业的人是流动民工,他们离开家乡省份到亚洲兴旺的城市地区谋生。In China, their numbers are staggering and they are returning in large numbers to their hometowns. Geoffrey Crothall is the spokesman of the Hong Kong-based China Labor Bulletin, an organization involved in workers' rights in China.  在中国,民工的人数更是高得惊人,而大批中国民工正在返回老家。克罗塞尔是总部设在香港的劳动者权益组织--中国劳工通讯的发言人。"Some official figures are saying the number of people who lost their jobs [last year] is around eight million, most of whom are migrant workers," said Crothall. "If you put that in the context of the number of migrant workers in China - which is usually estimated at 130 million - that gives you some idea of the scale of the lay-offs at the moment." 他说:“某些官方统计数据显示,失业的人数约有8百万,大多数是民工。中国流动工人的总数是1亿3千万人。在这样背景下,你就会对当前员工解雇的规模有点概念了。”Some governments are hoping that new investments in the countryside could help ease employment pressures.  某些国家政府希望对农村地区的投资能帮助缓解失业造成的压力。Beijing is hoping its 0 billion stimulus plan, with its huge spending on infrastructure in the provinces, can help absorb some of these workers. But between six to seven-million new graduates will be added to the labor force in the next few months. 北京希望,政府的6千亿美元的经济刺激计划能帮助这些失业民工重新就业。这一计划将在省级的基本建设方面花费巨额资金。但是有6百万到7百万的应届毕业生几个月后即将就业。The government is offering to refund college education expenses for graduates willing to work in the rural areas. 政府愿意还给那些愿意去农村地区就业的大学毕业生他们上大学时交的学费。Crothall says the stakes are high for Beijing."If these workers cannot be re-employed, the potential for social unrest increases and the government is very well aware of that," he said.In Japan, the government is also offering work in farms to unemployed young Japanese, as a way to build a new generation of farmers. 在日本,政府也向年轻的失业者提供在农场的工作机会,以培养新一代农民。In Thailand, Jaded Chowtchilai, a labor activist who helps unemployed women workers, says dismissed workers are trying their luck in the provinces.  在泰国,曾帮助失业妇女的劳工活动分子贾迪德说,被辞退的工人在地方省份碰运气找工作。"I think most of them try to find a job; but, it's difficult," said Jaded. "Some jobs are far away, in another province. Some of them go to countryside, go to the farmland." 他说:“我想他们大多数想找到工作,但是这很难。有些工作地点遥远,在另一个省份。有些人就干脆到乡下去种田了。”With the Thai government promising greater incentives to farmers, as part of its economic stimulus plan, this may be where hope lies for the thousands losing their livelihoods. 泰国政府承诺给予农民更大的物质刺激,这是经济刺激规划的一部分,对几千名失去谋生之道的人说来,这可能是希望所在。Farm incomes in the region have fallen, as agricultural commodity prices dropped from their record highs last year. Some Asian officials say jobs will have to eventually return in the industrial sector for the labor market to stabilize. 亚洲农民的收入不断下降,因为农产品的价格从去年的创记录高度跌了下来。某些亚洲官员说,要稳定劳工市场,最终还得由工业部门来重新开创就业机会。01/61051。
  • Scientists in Britain close to cracking chicken-egg puzzleWhat came first, the chicken or the egg? Scientists in Britain think it was probably the chicken, after using new computer technology to try and crack the age-old riddle.Researchers at the Universities of Sheffield and Warwick, in northern and central England, say the secret lies in the eggshell -- specifically the vital role played by a chicken protein in forming it.Scientists aly knew that the protein, ovocledidin-17 (OC-17), plays a part in eggshell formation, but the new technology allowed the team to demonstrate exactly how the protein makes it happen.In a computer simulation, the OC-17 protein acted as a catalyst to kickstart the formation of crystals that make up an eggshell by clamping itself on to calcium carbonate particles.The OC-17 protein then dropped off when the crystal nucleus was large enough to grow on its own, freeing up the protein to start the process again.Eggshells are created when this happens many times over within a short period of time."Understanding how chickens make eggshells is fascinating in itself but can also give clues towards designing new materials and processes," said Professor John Harding from Sheffield University, one of the authors of the research."Nature has found innovative solutions that work for all kinds of problems in materials science and technology -- we can learn a lot from them," he added.Vocabulary:play a part in: 与……有关,对……有影响kickstart: to help a process or project start more quickly(促使……开始,使尽快启动)背单词 — 装英语词汇201007/109124。
  • New York Mass Transit Boosts Security Following Moscow Attacks纽约地铁加强安保措施The massive New York City public transit system has stepped up security measures after two suicide bombings in Moscow's underground train system killed at least 39 people. The police department says there has been no specific threat against the city's subway system, but additional security has been put in place as a precaution.莫斯科两起自杀式炸弹爆炸导致至少39人丧生之后,纽约庞大的公共交通系统加强了安保措施。纽约警察局说,尽管纽约地铁系统并没有受到特别的威胁,但纽约市还是加强了对地铁系统的安保措施。The additional coverage includes more armed officers and sniffer dogs patrolling subway stations as well as more frequent bag checks and increased surveillance of high-traffic areas.这些额外措施包括配置更多的武装警察和嗅探犬,更频繁的包裹搜查以及加强对交通繁忙地段的监测。Mayor Michael Bloomberg says all New Yorkers, including the more than 250,000 with Russian heritage, express their deepest sympathy to the victims of the Moscow train bombings. He says any terrorist attack reminds the city it needs to remain vigilant.纽约市长布隆伯格说,所有纽约市民,包括25多万名有俄罗斯血统的人,对莫斯科地铁爆炸事件深表同情。他说,任何恐怖袭击都提醒纽约必须保持警惕。"The answer to what we're doing is we change it every day and for security reasons, obviously, we're not going to tell anybody what we are doing," he said. "But you can rest assured that we have great interest in what goes on around the world." “出于安全考虑,我们每天都做改动,我们不会告诉任何人这些改动是什么。但是你可以放心,我们高度关注世界各地发生的事情。”The two bomb attacks in Moscow occurred during Monday's busy morning rush to work. Russian officials say early indications are that the attacks were the work of militant groups from the Northern Caucasus.The attacks, carried out by two women, have spurred transit officials in New York City, Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago and other U.S. cities to temporarily tighten security to deter copycats.莫斯科地铁爆炸案促使纽约、华盛顿、波士顿、芝加哥和其它美国城市的交通官员都临时性地加强了安全措施,以防止任何类似事件发生。One subway rider in New York, Willma Matthews, says the attacks in Russia serve as a reminder of the vulnerability of mass transit.威尔马·马休斯是纽约的地铁乘客。他说,俄罗斯的恐怖袭击提醒人们,公共交通系统是一个薄弱环节。"If someone wants to do something, I guess you can't stop people," she said. "You don't know what's under someone's coat."“如果有人想要做什么,你没有办法阻止他们。你不知道别人衣里藏了什么。”Last month, an Afghan immigrant living in the western U.S. state of Colorado, Najibullah Zazi, pleaded guilty to charges of leading a plot to bomb the New York subway system.上个月,住在科罗拉多州的阿富汗移民纳吉卜拉·查兹承认了有关他带头策划对纽约地铁发动爆炸袭击的指控。201004/100637。
  • Doctoral degrees士学位The disposable academic学位贬值Why doing a PhD is often a waste of time为什么读通常是浪费时间?Dec 16th 2010 | from PRINT EDITION ON THE evening before All Saints’ Day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg. In those days a thesis was simply a position one wanted to argue. Luther, an Augustinian friar, asserted that Christians could not buy their way to heaven. Today a doctoral thesis is both an idea and an account of a period of original research. Writing one is the aim of the hundreds of thousands of students who embark on a doctorate of philosophy (PhD) every year. 1517年的万圣节前夕,马丁路德将批判教会的95条纲论钉到了威登堡一教堂的门上。那时,论文仅作为人们辩论的场所存在。路德,一个奥古斯丁教的传教士,他认为基督徒们不能买断到天堂的路。今天,一篇士论文是一种想法也是对某一特定时期原创性研究的陈述。完成一篇士论文是成千上万一届又一届为取得士学位而奋斗的士生们的目标所在。In most countries a PhD is a basic requirement for a career in academia. It is an introduction to the world of independent research—a kind of intellectual masterpiece, created by an apprentice in close collaboration with a supervisor. The requirements to complete one vary enormously between countries, universities and even subjects. Some students will first have to spend two years working on a master’s degree or diploma. Some will receive a stipend; others will pay their own way. Some PhDs involve only research, some require classes and examinations and some require the student to teach undergraduates. A thesis can be dozens of pages in mathematics, or many hundreds in history. As a result, newly minted PhDs can be as young as their early 20s or world-weary forty-somethings. 在大多数国家,取得士学位是进入学术界的基本条件。士是独立研究的开始,有点学术著作的意思,通常是在与导师密切合作的基础上完成的。不同的国家、大学甚至是不同的学科,取得士学位的要求也不尽相同。有些申请者需首先读两年的硕士并取得相应学位或学历。他们中有些在攻读士学位期间可以获得一定的补助,而有些则完全是自费。有些士生专门搞研究,而有些则需完成一些课程和考试,还有些需他们给本科生上上课。至于士论文,数学的需要几十页内容,而历史方面的需要更多。因此,士毕业有的年轻才20多岁,而有的都到不惑之年了。One thing many PhD students have in common is dissatisfaction. Some describe their work as “slave labour”. Seven-day weeks, ten-hour days, low pay and uncertain prospects are widesp. You know you are a graduate student, goes one quip, when your office is better decorated than your home and you have a favourite flavour of instant noodle. “It isn’t graduate school itself that is discouraging,” says one student, who confesses to rather enjoying the hunt for free pizza. “What’s discouraging is realising the end point has been yanked out of reach.”士生有一个通病:不满足。有些士认为他们干的是“奴隶们才干的活”:一周工作7天、每天10个小时、低薪以及不确定的未来,这些都很普遍。有这么个讽刺:当你工作的办公室装修的比你家漂亮时,当你端起一碗泡面的时候,你就知道自己是一名士生了。“其实学校本身并不让人沮丧”,采访中的一个士这么说道,他坦言宁愿**,而真正让人沮丧的是不知道这样的生活何时才是尽头。Whining PhD students are nothing new, but there seem to be genuine problems with the system that produces research doctorates (the practical “professional doctorates” in fields such as law, business and medicine have a more obvious value). There is an oversupply of PhDs. Although a doctorate is designed as training for a job in academia, the number of PhD positions is unrelated to the number of job openings. Meanwhile, business leaders complain about shortages of high-level skills, suggesting PhDs are not teaching the right things. The fiercest critics compare research doctorates to Ponzi or pyramid schemes. 这些士生们牢骚不断也不是什么新鲜事,但培养学术型士的机制似乎的确出了什么问题(诸如法律、商业和医学等强调实践方面的专业学位士相比还不错)。尽管培养士主要是针对学术研究方面的,但有很多士专业的设置与需求却不一致。同时,企业老板们总是抱怨缺少高层次人才,表明士期间所学的内容完全不对口嘛。更有甚者,将整个学术型士的培养机制比作是一个庞兹骗局。201108/147782。
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