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来源:百科社区    发布时间:2019年06月21日 00:24:26    编辑:admin         

British social ills英国社会病Privet and privation水蜡树和贫困The government has fixed Britains broken inner cities. That was the easy part政府已经修复了英国破败的市内城区,但更难的还在后面TONY BLAIR gave his first major speech as prime minister not to MPs or activists, but to the residents of a housing estate in south London. Standing in front of grey slab-like flats and overhanging concrete walkways, he declared that the poorest people in Britain had hitherto been “ignored...except for the purpose of blaming them”. There would, he said, “be no forgotten people in the Britain I want to build.”托尼布莱尔作为英国首相所发表的第一次重要讲话并不是对国会议员或是激进分子说的,而是给了位于伦敦南部的一个住宅区的居民们。站在灰色厚石板公寓楼和悬伸在外的水泥走廊上,他宣称:“英国最贫穷的人们一直以来,除了受到指责的时候之外,都被忽视了。但是,在我希望建立的英国,他们将不再被遗忘。“In 1997 inner-city estates like the one Mr Blair visited were rife with crime, deprivation and alienation. Politicians think they still are. In 2008 David Cameron, now prime minister, gave a speech in east Glasgow declaring that Britain was “broken”. Yet such places are no longer the countrys most pressing problem. Over the past few years most social blights—from crime to teenage pregnancy—have declined. And the improvement has been fastest by far in the middles of big cities. In suburban and rural areas, and particularly in poor coastal towns, social ills have been ameliorated less or have even got worse. Their residents are the new forgotten people.在1997年,像布莱尔首相拜访的这种内城居民区充斥着犯罪、贫穷和冷漠。政客们认为情况仍然一如既往。到了2008年,戴维卡梅伦,也就是现任首相,在东格拉斯哥发表了演讲,宣称英国已经“破败了”。现在,这些地方已经不再是国家最为头痛的问题。在过去的几年间,大多数社会痼疾—从犯罪到未成人人怀—已经有所缓解。大城市的改善也是前所未有的迅速。然而在市郊和农村地区,尤其是在贫穷的海岸城镇,社会病并未得到有效的缓解甚至更为严重了。那里的居民变成了新一代的“被遗忘的人”。Since 2008 the murder rate in Englands biggest metropolitan areas—London, Manchester and the West Midlands—has declined five times faster than in the country as a whole. Teenage pregnancy, now much rarer in big cities like Birmingham, has ticked up in rural places such as Devon. Most dramatic is the change in schools. In 1997 Ofsted, Britains schools inspector, declared the schools of Tower Hamlets, an east London borough, the worst in Britain. Last year poor children in Tower Hamlets did as well in GCSEs, exams taken at 16, as did all children in the country as a whole. These trends are especially stark in Britain, partly because of the countrys excellent statistics. But they can be traced elsewhere too: violent crime dropped by 61% in Americas biggest cities between 1991 and 2012, but by only 36% nationally.自2008年起,英格兰最大的几个都市区的犯罪率下降速度是全国平均数的5倍。未成年人怀现象现在在伯明翰这样的大城市已经比较少见了,但在农村地区,比如德文郡,却在上升。变化最大的是学校。在1997年,英国教育局,即英国学校的监管当局,宣布东伦敦陶尔哈姆莱茨区的学校是全英国最差的。而在去年,陶尔哈姆莱茨区的贫困学生在GCSE中的成绩和全国其他地区的孩子一样好。这种趋势也许并不是很显眼,部分是因为英国整体都很优秀的成绩。但是这样的变化也表现在其他地方:美国大城市的暴力犯罪在1991年到2012年间下降了61%,而全国平均只下降了36%。This spectacular inner-city recovery—the result of gentrification, sober immigrants and government policy—is extremely welcome, but it leaves politicians with a problem. By European standards, Britain still ranks poorly on many measures: teenage pregnancy, alcoholism and educational failure are too common. And these ills are now dispersed around the country. Politicians who want to drive up school results and push down the national crime rate cannot simply focus on a benighted estate. They will have to fix problems in more unexpected places too. Poor children do worst at school in Peterborough, a cathedral town, and West Berkshire, in the Home Counties. Burglaries are most common in Yorkshire.内城的复原令人惊讶,这是地区贵族化、清醒的移民以及政府公共政策的共同结果,这种结果令人欣喜,却也给政治家留下了难题。根据欧洲的标准,英国在很多方面的排名仍处于下等:未成年人怀、酗酒和教育的失败。而现在,这些痼疾已经遍及全国了。那些希望能够提升学校教学成绩以及降低国家犯罪率的政客们,不能只顾着愚蠢的房地产业。他们需要在更多的以前没有关注的地方来解决问题。在彼得伯勒这个教堂小镇,以及伦敦周围诸郡中的西伯克郡,穷人的孩子在学校的表现最糟。在伯克郡里,抢劫案件最普遍。That means putting some noses out of joint. Despite years of reform, England and Wales still have 43 individual police forces. The smaller ones are in the rural areas; city forces are big. Small forces are less good at dealing with professional criminals or problems such as mental illness. The National Crime Agency, which launched last October, may go some way to forcing them to pool their expertise and to tackle problems which cross force boundaries. But it would be better to merge smaller forces into bigger ones, as has been done in Scotland. The police, who know where their weaknesses lie, are mostly willing to support this, but politicians have ducked it.这会把政府气得不轻。尽管改革了多年,英格兰和威尔士仍然还有43个独立的警察机关,小的在农村的,大的在城市。小的执法部门对于处理专业犯罪和其他诸如精神疾病方面心有余而力不足。在去年10月成立的英国国家犯罪局可能会通过种种举措整合全国的执法机构,运用他们的专业知识来共同解决问题。但更好的方法是将小的机构并入大的机构,这已经在苏格兰实施了。警察深知自己的弱点所在,所以很愿意持这项举措,但政客们却一直在回避。State cash should go to where the problems are. Schools in Tower Hamlets get 70% more money per pupil than do schools in Dorset. Given that it is now fairly easy to recruit ambitious young teachers in London, thanks to the increasingly powerful pull of the capital, that discrepancy is too high. Pay should be made more responsive to shortages in talent, whether among teachers or social workers. Programmes that send graduates to tough schools have so far focused on cities. In future their benefits should be more evenly sp.国家预算应该要“好钢用在刀刃上”。陶尔哈姆莱茨区的学校平均每个学生获得的资金比多赛特的学校多70%,是因为现在在伦敦地区很容易就能招聘到有干劲的青年教师,这也多亏了愈发强有力的资金持,而地区间的差距实在太大了。薪水应该与才能的稀缺挂钩,在教师和社工之间都应如此。在城市,将毕业生送去严格学校的项目是必须被执行的,未来这样的优势应该得到更均衡的推广。More broadly, politicians will have to move away from the photo op and grand initiative method of improving society. Dramatically taking charge from Whitehall worked when problems were concentrated; it will not work nearly so well now that they are dispersed. In future, Britains local councils—and indeed its neighbourhood charities and associations—will have to be trusted to do more themselves. Those that fail will need to be made more accountable. And Britains next prime minister ought to make his first speech about social policy from behind a privet hedge.更广泛地说,政客们应该把拍照作秀的时间用来发掘能够提高社会发展的良策。“新官上任三把火”只在问题集中的时候管用,但当问题分散之后效果就不怎么样了。今后,英国当地政府应当更为独立地施政并获得当地人的信任。办事不力的应当被更大程度地追究责任。下一届英国首相应该把他的初次社会政策演讲地点选在水蜡树篱笆的后面了。 /201405/301794。

Business商业报道British law firms英国律师事务所Taking the magic abroad进军梦幻般的国外市场Londons big law firms are expanding their global footprints伦敦的大型律师事务所正在进行全球扩张LAWYERS are cautious folk.律师是十分谨慎的人群。So the recent collapse of Dewey amp; Leboeuf, a big American law firm, has scared them.因此,最近美国大型律师事务所Dewey amp; Leboeuf的倒闭已经吓坏了他们。Dewey failed because it tried to grow too fast, by borrowing too much money.Dewey律师事务所之所以倒闭,是因为急切扩张,借贷了大量贷款。Other firms still want to grow, but they are doing so slowly and carefully.其他事务所仍然寻求发展,但他们做的比较缓慢和小心。Consider Londons top five law firms, known as the magic circle.以伦敦最大的五家律师事务所为例,他们被称为梦幻集团。Allen amp; Overy and Clifford Chance released results early this week, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters were expected to do so later.Allen amp; Overy和Clifford Chance在周初发布了他们的业绩报告,Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 和 Linklaters随后也将发布业绩报告。Allen amp; Overy had a good year, with its revenues growing by 6% and its profits by 7%. Clifford Chance, the biggest, did even better, with revenues up by 7% and profits up by 13%.Allen amp; Overy事务所的收益不错,总收入增长6%,利润增长7%。最大的Clifford Chance事务所表现的更好,总收入增长7%,利润增长13%。Emerging markets are where the growth is.这种增长来自于新兴市场。Allen amp; Overy now gets 22% of its revenue from such places, up from 15% a few years ago.Allen amp; Overy事务所来自于新兴市场的收入从几年前的15%增长到22%。It opened an office in Vietnam a month ago and another in Jakarta 17 months previously.它一个月前在越南开了一个营业处,17个月前在雅加达同样开了另一个。As for China, so many Western firms have piled in that they have competed each others fees down,对于中国,涌入了如此多的事务所以至于他们相互低价竞争。but Wim Dejonghe, Allen amp; Overys boss, is still optimistic:但Allen amp; Overy的比利时老板Wim Dejonghe仍然很乐观,他表示:the centre of gravity has moved from Shanghai to Beijing, he says, as the focus has shifted from inbound mergers and investment to Chinese money flowing out.市场的中心已经从上海转移到北京,因为焦点已经从入境兼并和投资转移到中国资金的外流。David Childs, the boss of Clifford Chance, is also bullish on China.Clifford Chance的老板David Childs同样看好中国市场。His firm cut partners during the recession,在经济萧条期间他的公司削减了合作伙伴,but not in Asia, the Middle East or Brazil.但不是在亚洲,中东和巴西。As for downward pressure on fees, Mr Childs says, slowly, They are very careful buyers…in Asia, before insisting that his firm has no trouble with pricing there.就收费走低的压力的问题,Childs先生缓缓地说:亚洲人是很谨慎的买家。随后他坚持,在亚洲他的公司没有定价方面的困扰。The firms revenues grew by 28% in Asia this year, thanks in part to a push into Australia.transaction flows.今年公司在亚洲地区的收入增长了28%,部分是得益于进入澳大利亚市场。Next year will be tougher: though bank regulatory work and dispute resolution are providing steady fees, Id much rather have healthy明年的形式可能会困难一些:尽管监管工作和调解纠纷在提供稳定的酬金,我更希望拥有可观的交易佣金收入。The magic circle may be getting a new competitor.梦幻集团可能会有一个新的竞争者。Herbert Smith, a second-tier firm, announced a merger with Freehills, one of Australias biggest, on June 28th.6月28日,位于行业第二集团的Herbert Smith事务所宣布与Freehills事务所进行合并,后者是澳大利亚最大的律师事务所之一。With revenues of over billion, the merged firm will be bigger than Slaughter and May.合并后的事务所将以10亿美元的收入超过Slaughter and May事务所。It will push for work related to Austrialias commodity boom and Asian capital markets.它将推进与澳大利亚商品市场和亚洲资本市场等相关的工作的发展。But David Willis, Herbert Smiths boss, is keen to stress the firms un-Dewey-like gradualism:但Herbert Smith的老板David Willis着重强调公司不同于Dewey的增长模式:Were not expecting a huge increase in earnings in year one.我们不期望在一年之内实现收入的大幅增长。Thats not why were doing this.这不是我们进行合并的原因。 /201307/249195。

Science and technology科学技术Solar energy太阳能Flower power花朵的能量In matters of clever design, nature has often got there first若论巧夺天工,自然常常更胜一筹A virtuous spiral上面的螺纹看似简单,实际有效SOLAR-POWER stations take up a lot of room.太阳能发电站占地面积巨大,They need either vast arrays of photovoltaic panels, which convert sunlight directly into electricity, or of mirrors,站内大部分的空间被光伏太阳能板或和定向反射镜所占据。前者能将光能直接转换为电能;后者会将太阳热折射到锅炉,which direct it towards a boiler, in order to raise steam and drive a generator.利用锅炉将水加热成蒸汽,驱动发电机组工作,达到热能转化为电能的目的。The space these arrays occupy could often be used for other purposes.这些整齐排列的面板和镜身所占的区域通常能用于其它用途。Two researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have now devised a better and more compact way of laying out arrays of mirrors.麻省理工学院的两位研究员就找出了更好的方法布置定向反射镜排列,不仅能节约出更多的空间,还能提高发电效率。Slightly to their chagrin, however, and somehow appropriately,然而,有点儿让他们懊恼的是,they found when they had done the calculations that sunflowers had got there first.他们计算出的和向日葵花盘型花序上所排列的,大致相同。Alexander Mitsos and Corey Noone started with the observation that existing concentrated solar-power plants,Alexander Mitsos和Corey Noone这两位研究员先从观察运行中的集中型太阳能发电厂入手。as those which drive boilers are known, usually have their mirrors arranged in a way that resembles the seating in a cinema.如大家所知,这些发电厂用太阳能驱动锅炉做功产生热量。通常定向反射镜的安排布置与电影院座椅位置如出一辙。The mirrors are placed in concentric semicircles facing a tower, on top of which the boiler and the turbine sit.高塔处于荧屏所在的中心位置,所有的定向反射镜则以高塔为圆心,呈半圆形分布。That arrangement, however, sometimes results in the mirrors shading each other as the suns position in the sky changes,随着一天中太阳在天空中位置的变换,镜身间会出现相互遮挡的问题。even though the mirrors are usually attached to robotic arms that track the sun as it moves.即使厂家通常会在镜身后部安装能随太阳位置变换而相应变换的机械手臂,但这一问题还是无法解决。According to their report in Solar Energy, Dr Mitsos and Mr Noone found that they could do better.据他们在《太阳能》杂志上发表的文章称,两位研究员认为能有方法解决这一难题。They divided each of the mirrors in a real power plant, PS10, in southern Spain into about 100 pieces.在一家位于西班牙南部的发电站,PS10中,他们把每一片定向反射镜的平面面积分为差不多100块。They then plugged each of those pieces into a computer model that calculated all of the energy losses然后将每一片镜身上的这100多块面积里产生的吸热数据接入电脑,通过电脑程序计算出能量损失总和。by noting points where mirrors were not optimally oriented to the sun and places where they hindered one another by blocking incoming or reflected rays.这包括镜身没能直对太阳造成的损失,以及镜身位置因相互遮挡使折射光线受阻或反射到锅炉的光线受阻时造成的损失。It then rejigged them into a better arrangement.然后再根据数据重新对镜身进行排列组合。Fermats conjecture费马螺线魔力Previous efforts have been directed mainly at stopping the mirrors shading each other, which tends to mean sping them out.在此之前,人们做出了种种努力,但总是在镜身相互遮挡这一问题上束手无策。而对此常会采用的是展开布局,增加排列面积来避免这种情况出现。Dr Mitsos and Mr Noone also wanted to save space.而两位研究员还想节省面积。In trying to do so they stumbled on an unusual arrangement that had the desired effect.为此绞尽脑汁之际,他们无意中发现有一种非常规的排列布局有很好的效果。When they showed this layout to a third researcher, Manuel Torrilhon of Aachen University in Germany,他们将这种布局安排展示给另一位研究者,德国亚琛工业大学的Manuel Torrilhon。he recognised the spiral patterns within it, and this prompted the trio to test a design specifically modelled on nature.后者认为这种设计中有螺线存在,这促使三位研究者以向日葵花盘型花序为蓝本仔细测试设计。That design was a pattern known as a Fermat spiral, in which each element is set at a constant angle of 137° to the previous one.他们采用的设计即费马螺线。即每一个圆在之前一个圆旋转角度为137度时,折线回旋螺线。It is most familiar as the arrangement of the florets that make up a sunflower head.这一排列布置与向日葵花的盘型花序纹路如出一辙。When the three researchers programmed their model to arrange PS10s mirrors in front of the tower in a segment from such a spiral,三位研究者按照计划安排PS10发电厂的镜身位置,在高塔前,将定向反射镜呈部分费马螺线状布局。they both improved the efficiency of the collection process and saved space.结果显示在吸收太阳热量的过程中,效率得以提高,占地面积减少。The improvement in efficiency was, admittedly, quite small,诚然,效率提高非常有限,but the space saving was significant—almost 16%.而空间节省面积却很高,减少近16%。If solar power is to make up much of the worlds electricity output in future, as supporters of alternative energy hope it will,如果太阳能如可替代能源持者所希望的一那样,在未来成为世界电力的重要来源,a lot of land will be needed for the power stations.那么太阳能发电站势必将需要占据更大的面积。Reducing that requirement by a sixth, as this discovery promises, would be a big gain.如果能像此次研究所发现的那样,有希望将定向反射镜所占地面积减少六分之一,那么这将是一个巨大的进步。It would also show that if you look hard enough, there really is nothing new under the sun.同样让我们认识到的是,地球上还有许多未知等待我们认真研究。 /201403/280877。

Science and technology - Psychosomatic medicine科学技术Psychosomatic medicine身心医学Think yourself well要相信,你的身体很棒You can. But it helps to think well of yourself in the first place你可以拥有很好的体魄。但首先,你要自我感觉好,这会有帮助的。THE link between mind and body is terrain into which many medical researchers, fearing ridicule, dare not t.许多医学研究者都不敢探究躯体和心理的关系,因为他们害怕,踏进这一领域会受人嘲笑。But perhaps more should do so.但也许,研究这方面的人应该多一些才好。For centuries, doctors have recognised the placebo effect, in which the illusion of treatment, such as pills without an active ingredient, produces real medical benefits.几个世纪以来,医生已逐渐认可了安慰剂效应。因为患者会产生错觉,认为自己在接受治疗。比如,用无活性成分的药片也能产生实际疗效。More recently, respectable research has demonstrated that those who frequently experience positive emotions live longer and healthier lives.根据最近的可靠的研究表明,平时积极乐观的人会活得更长久、更健康。They have fewer heart attacks, for example, and fewer colds too.比如,他们心脏病发作的次数更少,也很少感冒。Why this happens, though, is only slowly becoming understood.然而,人们才开始慢慢了解这种情况发生的原因。What is needed is an experiment that points out specific and measurable ways in which such emotions alter an individuals biology.人们需要的是做一场实验,明确这样的情绪是通过怎样具体的、可测量的方式来改变人的生理状况。And a study published in Psychological Science, by Barbara Fredrickson and Bethany Kok at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, does precisely that.北卡罗来纳大学教堂山分校的芭芭拉·弗雷德里克松和贝瑟尼·可可就是按照这个思路做了一项研究,并在《心理科学》上发表了相关论文。Dr Fredrickson and Dr Kok concentrated their attentions on the vagus nerve. This nerve starts in the brain and runs, via numerous branches, to several thoracic and abdominal organs including the heart.弗雷德里克松士和可可士把注意力集中在迷走神经上。这对神经起于颅腔,通过无数分与胸腔、腹腔的几个脏器相连。Among its jobs is to send signals telling that organ to slow down during moments of calm and safety.它的其中一项工作就是为器官发送信号,让它们在躯体平静、安宁的状态下放缓节奏。How effectively the vagus nerve is working can be tracked by monitoring someones heart rate as he breathes in and out.他们通过监测一个人吸气、呼气时的心率,追踪记录迷走神经如何有效地工作。Healthy vagal function is reflected in a subtle increase in heart rate while breathing in and a subtle decrease while breathing out.如果吸气时心率略微增加,呼气时略微下降,则说明迷走神经工作正常。The difference yields an index of vagal tone, and the value of this index is known to be connected with health.两次心率之差构成迷走神经张力指数。人们都知道该指数与健康程度有关。Low values are, for example, linked to inflammation and heart attacks.例如,低指数就与炎症、心脏病发作几率有联系。What particularly interested Dr Fredrickson and Dr Kok was recent work that showed something else about the vagal-tone index: people with high tone are better than those with low at stopping bad feelings getting overblown.让弗雷德里克松士和可可士特别感兴趣的是最近的研究,因为它显示了迷走神经张力指数的另一个性质:与张力指数低的人相比,指数高的人能更好地防止不良情绪失控。They also show more positive emotions in general.研究也显示,指数高的人大体上情绪更乐观。This may provide the missing link between emotional well-being and physical health.这也许弥补了心理健康与生理健康之间缺失的环节。In particular, the two researchers found, during a preliminary study they carried out in 2010, that the vagal-tone values of those who experience positive emotions over a period of time go up.尤其值得注意的是,两位研究人员在2010年的初步探究中发现,人们如果体验一段时间的积极情绪,迷走神经张力指数会就增加。This left them wondering whether positive emotions and vagal tone drive one another in a virtuous spiral.这为他们留下了疑念,积极情绪与迷走神经张力是否处于一个良性循环之中,互相促进?They therefore conducted an experiment on 65 of the universitys staff, to try to find out.因此,他们对本校的65名员工展开实验,一探究竟。They measured all of their volunteers vagal tones at the beginning of the experiment and at its conclusion nine weeks later.他们在实验开始时测量了所有志愿者的迷走神经张力指数,九周后实验结束时又再次测量。In between, the volunteers were asked to go each evening to a website especially designed for the purpose, and rate their most powerful emotional experiences that day.在实验期间,他们要求志愿者每天晚上登录一家专门为此设计的网站,为当天所经历的各种最强烈情绪评定等级。Dr Fredrickson and Dr Kok asked their volunteers to consider nine positive emotions, such as hope, joy and love, and 11 negative ones, including anger, boredom and disgust.弗雷德里克松士和可可士为志愿者提供了九种可供考虑的积极情绪选项,如期待、开心、热爱,还有十一种消极情绪,包括愤怒、疲倦、厌恶。They were asked to rate, on a five-point scale, whether—and how strongly—they had felt each emotion.两位士要求他们以五分制一一打分:是否有这样的情绪、情绪有多强烈。One point meant not at all; five meant extremely.1分代表完全没有,5分代表非常强烈。In addition, half the participants, chosen at random, were invited to a series of workshops run by a licensed therapist, to learn a meditation technique intended to engender in the meditator a feeling of goodwill towards both himself and others.此外,他们还随机邀请了一半志愿者到一个注册治疗师开的一系列工作坊中,学习冥想的技巧,旨在让冥想者产生一种善待自己、善待他人的情绪。This group was encouraged to meditate daily, and to report the time they spent doing so.他们鼓励这组人每天冥想,并向他们报告冥想用的时间。Dr Fredrickson and Dr Kok discovered that vagal tone increased significantly in people who meditated, and hardly at all in those who did not.弗雷德里克松士和可可士发现,冥想的人的迷走神经张力显著增加,而那些不冥想的人几乎没有任何变化。Among meditators, those who started the experiment with the highest vagal-tone scores reported the biggest increases in positive emotions.在众多冥想者之中,那些实验一开始就拥有最高指数的人,积极情绪增加的幅度最大;Meditators who started with particularly low scores showed virtually no such boost.而一开始指数就很低的人,几乎没有这样的奇效。Taken as a whole, these findings suggest high vagal tone makes it easier to generate positive emotions and that this, in turn, drives vagal tone still higher.作为一个整体来看,这些发现意味着,这迷走神经张力指数越高,越容易产生积极情绪;反过来,积极情绪又能促进指数的提升。That is both literally and metaphorically a positive feedback loop.无论是从直观还是隐含的角度看,这都是一个正反馈循环。Which is good news for the emotionally positive, but bad for the emotionally negative, for it implies that those who most need a psychosomatic boost are incapable of generating one.对于情绪乐观的人来说,这是个好消息;但对于消极的人来说,情况正好相反,因为它意味着,那些最需要振作精神的人却往往无法产生积极情绪。A further experiment by Dr Kok suggests, however, that the grumpy need not give up all hope.然而可可士的进一步研究表明,脾气不好的人也尚存希望。A simpler procedure than meditation, namely reflecting at night on the days social connections, did seem to cause some improvement to their vagal tone.有一种比冥想简单的方法,即每天晚上对白天的社交活动进行反思,似乎能在一定程度上提高迷走神经张力指数。This might allow even those with a negative outlook on life to bootstrap their way to a mental state from which they could then advance to the more powerful technique of meditation.就算是对生活不抱希望的人,也可能通过这种方式自我解脱,达到另一种精神状态,然后他们可以进一步使用效果更好的冥想技巧。Whether, besides improving general health, the mechanism Dr Fredrickson and Dr Kok have discovered helps explain the placebo effect remains to be investigated.除了提高综合健康水平,弗雷德里克松士和可可士发现的机制是否有助于解释安慰剂效应,还有待进一步研究。But it might, because part of that effect seems to be the good feeling engendered by the fact of being treated.但这的确有可能,因为安慰剂效应就包括实验中因治疗产生的良好情绪。More generally, doctors in the ancient world had a saying: a healthy mind in a healthy body.更为普遍的是,古代的医生就有个说法:身体好,精气儿足。This sort of work suggests that though this proverb is true, a better one might be, a healthy mind for a healthy body.而这个实验则启发人们,尽管谚语说得有理,但精气儿足,身体好可能才更准确。 /201310/260643。

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。