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2019年11月21日 20:27:03 | 作者:百姓诊疗 | 来源:新华社
Although many of these city foxes do get killed by cars, the population as a whole is thriving. That’s because a regular supply of water means a regular supply of prey, including voles and ground squirrels. 尽管这些生活在城市之中的狐狸很多被汽车撞死,但是它们的整体数量却在上升。这是因为有着充足的水源遍意味着有着充足的猎物,这些猎物包括野鼠和地鼠。Playing on the streets at night is dangerous, but for the pups, it’s vital for improving their coordination. Parents keep a vigilant eye on their antics. Despite the hazards of city life, the Bakersfield kit foxes are now crucial to the overall survival of the species. 夜晚在街道上游荡十分危险,但是这对于狐狸幼崽来说却十分关键,因为它们需要提高它们对于城市的协调性。狐狸父母警惕地照看着它们的孩子。尽管城市生活十分危险,但是目前贝克尔斯菲市沙狐对于整个物种的存活十分关键。The promise of an easy source of food is a good reason why animals live in cities, especially at times of year when food is hardest to find in the wild. During the winter months, Anchorage in Alaska is home to North America’s largest browser, the moose. But a moose during the day is a little obvious, so they prefer to move around by night. While most of the human population sleeps, the moose wander the streets in search of food.食物来源简单、稳定可靠,这很好地解释了为什么动物们在城市定居,尤其是在这样一个食物很难在野外发现的时代。在冬季的几个月中,阿拉斯加州的安克拉治是北美最大的食草动物驼鹿的家园。不过驼鹿在白天活动实在太过显眼,因此它们更倾向于在夜间活动。当人们在夜晚熟睡时,它们开始在街上寻找食物。英文文本来自普特英语,译文属未经许可不得转载。201312/267975Business商业报道Comcasts future康卡斯特的未来Thinking outside the set-top box跳出机顶盒定式Americas largest cable company is becoming more like the firms it is battling against for the attention of couch potatoes美国最大的电信公司越来越像在为赢得电视迷而战WHEN Comcast, Americas largest cable operator, took a stake in NUniversal in , 30 Rock, a popular NU comedy, wove the deal into its plot.年,美国最大的有线电视公司康卡斯特收购了环球影视,后者旗下的情景喜剧《我为喜剧狂》随后便将这一交易加入剧情。The programmes characters came under the thumb of a new corporate parent, Kabletown, which introduced innovations like moving customer services to a part ofIndia with no phones in order to provide the same level of service at zero cost.其情节为片中人物所在公司被名为Kabletown的母公司收购,Kabletown发起了一个向还未进入电话通信时代的印度市场的开拓项目,目的是以零成本向印度用户提供相同水平的务。Comcast employees can take a joke. Last month, at a gathering to celebrate Comcasts 50th anniversary, they showed a clip of the show, to the amusement of the firms real employees.康卡斯特的员工们可以此自娱,在上个月公司50周年庆典上,有人播放了这一情节,藉此公司的真正员工。A sense of humour is a sign of confidence.幽默是自信的表现。Thanks to the 28 billion it spent to acquire NU, Comcast is the worlds largest media firm, with a market capitalisation of around 128 billion.出资280亿美元收购环球影视,康卡斯特也成了市值近1280亿美元的全球最大媒体公司。NU gave Comcast control of a range of new content, including broadcast and cable networks, aHollywoodstudio and a theme-park business.环球影视将旗下一系列的节目交给了康卡斯特,包括广播、有线网络、一个好莱坞摄影室及一座主题公园。Comcast is also Americas most powerful media business, because it controls what people watch and the pipes that deliver it.同时,康卡斯特也是美国最具影响力的媒体公司,因为它掌控着人们的收视导向及传播渠道。In its efforts to retain that position it is having to adapt to the new ways that people want to watch TV and consume entertainment that smaller rivals are pioneering.人们希望以全新的方式看电视、消遣,稍小的媒体公司正主导着这一趋势,为了保住优势,康卡斯特也在进行新的尝试。The cable business has changed dramatically since Ralph Roberts purchased a small cable system inMississippiin 1963.自1963年拉尔夫?罗伯特在密西西比收购一家小型有线电视系统以来,康卡斯特的有线业务便发生了翻天覆地的变化。Today his son, Brian, runs a firm operating in a vast and mature business; nearly 86% of American households subscribe to pay-TV.现如今,子承父业的布莱恩掌管着一家规模更大、业务更成熟的公司:康卡斯特占据着美国付费电视业务近86%的市场份额。This has forced Comcast and other cable firms to increase revenues by raising prices rather than by chasing new viewers.这也使得康卡斯特及其他有线电视公司通过增加收费,而非拓展新用户的方式来实现增收。But not every viewer will tolerate high prices.但是,并非所有用户都能容忍高价。The proportion of households with pay-TV has fallen slightly since 2010 as some have cut the cord.2010年以来,付费电视用户比例已出现小幅下滑现象,部分用户已经减掉线缆。Comcast now has 21.6m subscribers, 1.6% fewer than a year ago.现在,康卡斯特的有线电视用户为2160万,比去年低1.6个百分点。As well as cord-cutters Comcast and other cable providers must defend their turf from a pack of new entrants.除了减掉有线电视的用户外,康卡斯特及其他有线电视运营商还需要面临新的竞争,These include telecoms firms such as Verizon and ATamp;T, which offer pay-TV and fast broadband, and firms that stream over the internet, such as Netflix and Amazon.其中包括像威瑞森及ATamp;T这样的电信巨头提供的付费电视、高速宽带业务,还有奈飞、亚马逊公司在网络上提供的流媒体视频。These companies have not killed cable, but they have helped to shape the way people want to watch programmes: increasingly, on mobile devices and at a time of their choosing.这些公司尚未将有线电视逼上绝路。但却已经改变了人们观看节目的渠道,奈飞公司在年轻人中间很受欢迎。Netflix is popular with the young. Around 20% of households headed by people under 25 do not have a television but watch programmes on other devices, such as laptops and tablets.25岁以下年轻人组建的家庭中大约20%没有电视机,他们通过笔记本、平板电脑等其他设备收看电视节目。If Netflix were a cable channel, its subscription revenues in 2013 would put it third inAmerica behind ESPN and HBO, according to MoffettNathanson, a research firm.根据一家名为MoffettNathanson的调查公司提供的数据显示,如果奈飞是一家有线电视台,其2013年的订购收入可紧跟ESPN、HBO,位居第三。Comcast has responded by trying to resemble the firms that could unseat it, offering more interactivity, personalisation and portability.对于那些威胁到自己的竞争对手,康卡斯特的应对策略是向用户提供互动性更强、更具人性化、更加便携化的务。Television is going to change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50, says Brian Roberts.布莱恩?罗伯茨表示:电视在未来五年的变化会比过去五十年的变化还大。Comcast executives talk about apps for the television and rolling out innovations every three to six months.此外,他还谈到了电视应用及每三到六个月便会更新的问题。The firm is paying particular attention to its user interface, or what, until recently, was called a TV guide.康卡斯特非常注意用户界面的设计,或者最近被称之为电视指南的东西。Comcasts is now arranged not numerically by channel, but alphabetically by programme, by network and type of content.现在,康卡斯特并不是按照数字排列频道,而是按照字母顺序、网络和内容分类。Couch potatoes even less inclined to effort can download an app to their iPhone and shout commands at it to locate shows.电视迷可以不假思索便可将应用下载到自己的iPhone,并可通过语音找到相应节目。Comcasts new set-top box is cloud-based, adding to the potential for flexibility: films and programmes stored in the cloud can be watched on any device.康卡斯特的新机顶盒云基站为用户提供了更为灵活的选择:It tracks viewing history and recommends programmes accordingly, much like Netflix.存储在云基站的电影或节目可以在任何设备上观看,同奈飞相似的是该设备还会根据观看历史推荐相关节目。Comcast has made it easier for TV-watchers to find their way to full seasons of episodes that are available on-demand so people can binge on shows.康卡斯特让电视观众更容易找到电视上供点播的整部电视剧,这样用户便可尽情享受节目了。Other pay-TV providers are experimenting with new features, and some have approached Comcast to license its technology.其他的付费电视供应商正试用一些新特性,部分已经接近康卡斯特,获得技术许可。One popular idea is TV Everywhere, which makes it possible for pay-TV subscribers to watch live and on-demand programmes on their mobile devices wherever they like.在那些新特性中,电视无处不在的理念比较流行,该创意可让订购付费电视的用户随时随地观看直播、或者点播节目。It has started slowly but is taking off as more content-owners agree to license the digital rights to their programmes.这一设想虽然进展缓慢,但已经起步,越来越多的节目供应商同意向相关运营商颁发数字权限。Tools like this may help Comcast and its rivals justify their high prices and convince people to stick with their television package.这样的功能也让用户觉得康卡斯特及其竞争对手的高收费物有所值,也让人们有理由继续使用他们提供的电视程序。Giving customers more products to keep them around for longer is an old tactic.为了长久留住顾客,向他们提供更多产品是一个老套的策略。Cable companies have long offered bundles of broadband, television and phone line.有线电视公司很早便开始想用户提供宽带、电视、电话三线合一的务,Comcast is going much further with its home-services business, which includes alarm systems, baby monitoring and temperature control.而康卡斯特准备进一步综合家庭务,该务将涵盖报警系统、婴儿监视器及温度控制。And it is bringing in partners.康卡斯特还同其他公司展开合作,In October Comcast teamed up with Twitter to allow its subscribers to find or record programmes that are being tweeted about.10月康卡斯特同推特强强联手,他们推出了一项可以让订购其电视节目的用户查找、记录推特用户推文中的节目。Like its competitors it is also testing smaller, cheaper packages of television channels and broadband, to appeal to cost-conscious youngsters.同其竞争对手一样,康卡斯特也在测试更小、更为廉价的电视频道和宽带节目,以迎合节约的年轻群体。The greatest change for Comcast is the reorientation of its business towards broadband.康卡斯特最大的变化非宽带业务再定位莫属,By next year Comcast may well have more subscribers to its broadband services than for television.明年康卡斯特宽带务用户或许会超过其电视务用户。Those who eschew pay-TV will still need an internet package, and cable could pick up customers from satellite operators, whose internet speeds are slower.那些抛弃付费电视的用户仍旧需要使用网络,有线网络可以从卫星运营商那里抢回部分用户,毕竟后者的网速更慢。Ironically content going to the internet gives cable companies that monopoly power back to a certain extent,巴克莱的分析师康南·文卡特斯瓦尔表示:极具讽刺意味的是转入网络的节目让有线电视公司可以在一定程度上进行垄断,because you dont have competition in broadband to the extent you have it in , says Kannan Venkateshwar of Barclays, a bank. Comcast and other cable companies are experimenting more with usage-based pricing, charging more for heavy data consumption.因为他们在宽带业务方面没了竞争对手,而在视频方面却有了。康卡斯特及其他有线电视公司正越来越多的尝试基于使用的付费方式,使用数据更多的用户需要付更多费用。Mr Roberts has always had big ambitions and an appetite for deals.罗伯特总是雄心勃勃、扩张欲望强烈。In 2004, two years after he became boss of Comcast, he launched an unsuccessful 66 billion hostile bid for Disney.2004年,罗伯特接任康卡斯特两年后便发起了对迪斯尼的恶意收购,但并未能如愿。The deal with NU pushed Comcast to a new level in size and clout, at a time when most media companies were slimming down to focus on what they did best.收购环球影视时正值大部分媒体公司缩小规模、聚力做精之际,完成收购后康卡斯特的规模及影响力达到了更高的水平。Time Warner, a content firm, has spun off Time Warner Cable; next year it will do the same with Time Inc, its magazines business.其竞争对手时代华纳公司出售了时代华纳有线公司,明年还会出售做杂志业务的时代出版集团。The hunger games饥饿游戏Even Comcasts few critics acknowledge that the firm secured an excellent price and favourable terms for NU. The rationale was that adding content would provide a hedge to Comcasts core cable business.即便康卡斯特没有人批评公司收购环球影视,毕竟这笔交易价格合理、条件有利,但关键在于继续收购会为康卡斯特的核心业务,即有线电视业务产生不利影响。But few feel that there have been any significant benefits from content and distribution sharing a parent.但是,没有人注意到共享一个母公司的两家子公司在业务内容及资源分配上会产生积极的作用。I would be just as happy if they had not bought NU, says one Comcast shareholder.康卡斯特的一位股东说道:很高兴他们收购了环球影视公司。He might be happier to hear rumours that Comcast has hired a bank to advise it on a possible bid for TWC,Americas second-biggest cable operator.如果听到了康卡斯特已经聘请某,估算竞标美国第二大有线电视运营商,即时代华纳有限公司可行性的谣言,他可能会更高兴。This would give Comcast 34% of the American market. Scale can help cable firms compete with rival pay-TV services, and give more leverage in negotiations with content-providers, which continue to raise the cost of carrying their programmes.如果竞标成功,康卡斯特将会占据美国有线电视市场34%的份额,规模化效益有利于康卡斯特同其他付费电视公司竞争,并且还能增加同节目供应商谈判的筹码,后者仍在为自己的产品加价。Thats why Liberty Global, a rival cable company, has its eye on TWC too.这也是其竞争对手自有媒体公司同样有意竞标时代华纳有线公司的原因,自有媒体还投资了Charter通讯公司,后者也有意同时代华纳有线公司合并。It has taken a stake in Charter, another cable operator keen to merge with TWC. Comcast is saying nothing about a deal, and some ask whether regulators would even allow it.康卡斯特对于此次交易只字未提,有人会问监管部门是否会运行这笔收购。30 Rock has aly concluded its final season.《我为喜剧狂》已经完季,Who will mock Comcast, if Kabletown becomes Kablecountry?谁来继续借此调侃自娱呢?如果Kabletown扩张成为Kablecountry, /201312/268944Science and technology科学技术The first case of ursine tool use第一只会用工具的熊Ready for my close-up, Dr DeeckeDeecke士,准备给我来张特写吧PRIMATES apart, few mammals employ tools.除了灵长类动物,会使用工具的哺乳类动物屈指可数。Sea otters use rocks to smash clams open,海獭会在石头上砸开蛤蜊;dolphins wrap sponges around their noses to protect themselves while they forage on the seabed,海豚在海床上觅食时,会将海绵绑在鼻子上以保护自身;elephants swat insects with branches and humpback whales exhale curtains of bubbles to trap schools of fish.大象会用树枝拍打昆虫;驼背鲸会呼出阵阵气泡来困住鱼群。Until now, these four examples had been thought the extent of the non-primate mammalian tool-users club.至今,人们仍认为非灵长类动物中只有这四种会使用工具。But a study just published in Animal Cognition, by Volker Deecke of the University of St Andrews, in Britain, has added a fifth and rather surprising one.但英国圣安德鲁大学的Volker Deecke在《动物认知》上刚发表的研究指出了第五种会用工具的动物,而且是令人相当意外的一种。That epitome of rugged wildness, the grizzly bear, seems to be the only species other than humans to have invented the comb.粗犷野性的象征—灰熊,看来是除了人类以外唯一一种发明了梳子的动物。Dr Deecke made this discovery while studying grizzly-bear behaviour from a small boat in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, on July 22nd 2010.这一点是Deecke士于2010年7月22日在阿拉斯加冰河湾国家公园一艘小船上研究灰熊习性时发现的。After a period of play-fighting with another bear and a short bout of feeding on a beached whale carcass, a bear of between three and five years of age, sex unknown, waded into the shallows of the bay.一只灰熊在与另一只熊打闹了一阵并吃了一点被冲到沙滩上的鲸鱼尸体后,涉水来到了海湾的浅滩中。Once there, it picked up a fist-sized rock and carefully rotated it for about a minute before dropping it back into the water.在那,它捡起了一块拳头大的石头,小心翼翼地旋转了约一分钟后,将其扔回水中。Moments later, it picked up another, of similar size, and again rotated it.片刻之后,它又捡起了另一块差不多大小的石头旋转起来。This time, rather than discarding the stone, it held it against its muzzle and started to rub.但这次它没扔掉石头,反而把石头放到口鼻处开始来回磨蹭。Using its left paw to press the rock against its skin and its right paw to support the rocks weight, the bear rubbed away at its muzzle and face for roughly a minute before dropping the stone back into the water.那只熊用左掌将石头按在皮肤上,用右掌托着石头,将石头在口鼻和脸上蹭了大约一分钟后才将石头扔回水里。Then it grabbed a third stone of the same size, rotated it and rubbed its face, muzzle and neck for a further two minutes before discarding it.然后,它捡起第三块同样大小的石头并在旋转后用来磨蹭脸、口鼻和脖子将近两分钟后将其扔掉。This done, it spent two minutes grooming its right paw with its teeth before returning to the whale carcass.做完这些后,它又花了两分钟用牙齿来梳理右掌的毛,之后便回到鲸鱼尸体处。Dr Deecke found, upon close examination of his photographs, that all three rocks were encrusted with barnacles and he reckons these were acting as the functional equivalent of the teeth of a comb.士Deecke在仔细研究所拍照片后发现,那三块石头上都粘有藤壶,而他认为这些藤壶的功能梳齿一样。He thinks the bear was probably using its makeshift combs for comfort, rather than vanity.Deecke士认为,那只熊自制梳子可能是想让自己舒,而不是为了美观。But crucially for the concept of tool-use, the animals rejection of the first rock it picked up shows a discriminating understanding of what was required to get the right amount of scratching from a comb;但是,那只熊没有用它捡到的第一块石头,这说明它有能力判断子什么样的梳子才好用;which rock, in other words, was the tool for the job.换言之,就是哪块石头可以拿来当梳子。这一点对判断动物是否会使用工具至关重要。An important question from a biological point of view is whether this animals behaviour is unique.在此,有一个很重要的生物学问题:是不是只有这一只熊会使用工具?Other tool-using mammals are social species.其他会使用工具的哺乳类动物都是群居动物,That means one individuals chance invention is easily copied by others of its group, resulting in a primitive culture.也就是说个体偶然的发明很容易被群体里的其他成员模仿,从而形成原始的文化。Grizzly bears have not been considered particularly sociable in the past, but if others in Glacier Bay are seen combing themselves in this way that view might have to change.过去,人们并不认为灰熊具有明显的群居特征,但如果冰河湾有其他灰熊被发现使用这种方法梳理毛发,那上述观点就可能会被推翻。It might, though, be that Dr Deeckes preening animal is unique.不过,也有可能只是Deecke士看到的那只梳理毛发的熊比较特别罢了。That would suggest it came up with the idea of using rocks as combs by itself, rather than copying someone else—truly smarter than the average bear.那就意味着这只熊拿石头当梳子是自己的原创,并非模仿——果然是只特别聪明的熊。 /201307/246985

Italian payment practices意大利的付习惯Unhealthy delays有害的延误Late payments are an Italian speciality—particularly in health care延迟付是意大利的特色——尤其在医药保健领域IN MEDICINE speed is of the essence.在医药领域,速度就是核心。If the ambulance arrives a minute late, the patient may be dead.如果救护车晚到一分钟,病人就可能死亡了。Italian paramedics are no doubt as swift as those in other countries.意大利的护理人员无疑同其他国家一样行动迅速。But Italys health-care authorities are shamefully slow when it comes to paying suppliers—making it difficult for them to survive.但谈到向供应商付时,意大利的医疗机构就慢的令人羞耻了—简直让供应商们难以生存。Were still waiting to be paid for goods sold in , says Stefano Rimondi, the managing director of Bellco, a maker of equipment for dialysis with revenues of more than 100m and a workforce of 360 people.我们还在等年出售的货物的付款,Bellco公司的常务董事Stefano Rimondi说道。Bellco是一家渗透设备制造商,拥有360名员工,每年收入超过1亿欧元。We have one employee working full-time chasing up late payers, he adds.他补充道,我们有一个员工全职专司向延迟付款人追讨款项。Bellco is not the only company to suffer.Bellco不是唯一一家深受其害的公司。The 250 other members of Assobiomedica, a trade group for firms that supply medical equipment, are owed 5.6 billion;提供医疗设备的贸易组织,意大利生物医药联合会下属的250家公司有未付款56亿欧元;those of Farmindustria, which represents 200 pharmaceutical firms, are waiting for 4 billion.意大利制药工业协会下属的200家制药公司则有未付款40亿欧元。The farther south you look, the longer the delays in payment.你往南看的越远,付的延迟时间就越长。The Friuli and Trentino-Alto Adige regions in north-eastern Italy and Valle dAosta in the north-west settle bills after about three months.在意大利东北部的Friuli 和Trentino-Alto Adige区域,以及在西北部的Valle dAosta都在三个月后付账单。The regions of Calabria and Molise pay on average after two years.Calabria 和 Molise区的人平均两年后才付账。The record is held by one Neapolitan health authority:那不勒斯省中某市的卫生部门保持着相关记录:some of its suppliers have been waiting for more than four-and-a-half years.他的一些供应商已经等了至少四年半了。Small Italian firms that rely on the home market are hit particularly hard.一些依赖家庭市场的意大利企业尤其损失严重。Often they cannot get bank financing at reasonable interest rates.他们通常不能以合理的利率从贷款。And long delays in payment create all kinds of tax and accounting headaches.而长时间延误付款将导致税收和会计方面的一系列问题。Suing late-payers doesnt help much.起诉延迟付款者也没有太大作用。Courts are at least as slow as health-care authorities.法院的速度至少和医疗机构一样慢。In five regions a law even blocks the use of courts to compel authorities to cough up.甚至有一项法律在五个地区中禁止法院强制官员吐出资金。Once we were able to recover about 5m of interest a year, but now weve had to give up, says the executive of a large American drugmaker, which had started to take legal action in 2007.一家大型美国制药公司在2007年采取法律行动以后说道:曾经我们可以收到一年大约500万欧元的利息,但现在我们放弃了。Pharmaceutical firms cannot simply stay clear of the worst offenders:制药公司不能简单的远离最极端的冒犯者们:they are legally required to supply drugs even to notoriously slow authorities.法律甚至要求这些为慢的臭名昭著的官员提供药品。Desperate measures are also unlikely to help.令人绝望的法规同样很难起到作用。Starting a boycott of late-paying authorities could trigger an antitrust investigation.启动对延迟付款官员的联合抵制将触发反垄断调查。And paying sweeteners to move invoices to the top of the list can land you behind bars.而通过贿赂使账单排到列表最顶端的举动将使你锒铛入狱。Some suppliers are pinning their hopes on new European Union legislation which requires health-care authorities to settle bills within 60 days;一些供应商寄希望于要求医疗机构在60天内付款的欧盟监管新条例;it takes effect in March next year.此条例将于明年三月份生效。Yet Mr Rimondi would be shocked if things improved:但如果情况真的有所改进的话,Rimondi先生会感到震惊,Some clause will be dreamed up so that the directive can be dodged in Italy.将有一些条款被设计出来,让意大利逃过监管。 /201307/247869

Its time to go again to the A Moment of Science mailbag. A listener writes:又到了科学一刻的读信时间,一位听友写道:Dear A Moment of Science,亲爱的《科学一刻》栏目:Everyone gets bored from time to time. But I was wondering–what is boredom exactly, scientifically speaking?每个人时不时都感觉到对某事的厌倦。但是我想知道---从科学的角度看,厌倦具体指的是什么呢?Boredom is one of those really common things that, partly because its so common, is rarely investigated with much rigor. But a study by researchers in Canada aims to change that. In fact, theyve come up with a definition of boredom.厌倦是一个普遍存在的现象,因为它是如此普遍,因此人们很少花费时间精力对它进行调查研究。加拿大研究人员试图改变这种现状。事实上,他们已经对厌倦给出了定义。According to the study, boredom is “an aversive state of wanting, but being unable, to engage in satisfying activity,” arising from failures in one of the brains attention networks.调查研究表明,厌倦是指“渴望但又无法从事令人满意的活动的一种反感状态”,起因是大脑注意力网络故障。In other words, youre bored when you cant quite focus on stuff–such as thoughts or things happening around you–that allows you to engage in absorbing activities. And, to make it worse, youre sort of aware that you cant pay attention, which makes you feel listless and, well, bored.换句话说,当你无法完全集中精力在某些事情上,例如思考问题或者发生在你周围的事无法吸引你的注意力时,你便会感到无聊。更糟糕的是,你意识到自己不能集中注意力,这会让你更加无精打采进而产生厌倦情绪。Boredom is linked to many psychological, social, and health problems. For example, being bored at work can make you less productive and, in some jobs, can lead to serious accidents. Also, boredom has been linked to substance abuse and other health issues.厌倦与许多心理学、社会学还有健康问题相关联。例如,对于工作的厌倦会让工作效率低下,对于某些工作来说可能导致严重的事故。同时,厌倦与滥用药物以及其他健康问题密切关联。There are all sorts of ways to try to avoid becoming bored, or snapping out of it when you feel bored. But this research could be a first step towards developing more scientific ways to curb boredom.其实有各种各样的方法可以让你避免陷入厌倦的困境或者及时从厌倦的状态中脱身。此项研究仅仅是开发更多科学方式以抑制厌倦的第一步。 /201306/243671

Science and technology科学技术Hotel hygiene旅馆卫生Mind the remote当心遥控器The next time you check in…下次你在办理入住手续的时候…NO ONE likes to think about who was in their hotel room before them, let alone what they got up to.没人愿意想象在他们入住旅馆之前有人在里面待过,更不愿去想那些人在房间里干了些什么,The best to hope for is that your lodgings are clean and hygienic.如果房间干净卫生就谢天谢地了。But are they? Researchers from the University of Houston have probed the cleanliness of rooms, exposing the most—and least—filthy surfaces.可是事实真的如此吗?休斯顿大学的研究者调查了客房的洁净度,揭露了那些最肮脏的地方。After swabbing samples from hotel rooms in Indiana, Texas and South Carolina, they found the TV remote control and the bedside-lamp switch were among the most contaminated.他们分别在印第安纳州、德克萨斯州和南卡莱罗纳州的旅馆客房提取了样品,然后发现其中的电视遥控器和床头灯开关是最脏的,The toilet, bathroom sink and items from the housekeepers carts also had high levels of bacteria.厕所、洗手池和保洁员手推车里的物品也是细菌量较高的地方,Maids mops and sponges were thought to pose the greatest threat as they could cause cross-contamination between rooms.研究人员认为最大的威胁来自保洁员的拖把和海绵,因为它们可能造成各房间的交叉污染,Some of the cleanest surfaces included the bed headboard and the bathroom-door handle.而床头板和浴室门把手等地方是最干净的。Katie Kirsch, an undergraduate who this week presented the results to the general meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, cautioned that the data were limited by a small sample size:大学生Katie Kirsch这周在美国微生物学会的全体大会上提交了研究结果,值得注意的是,他们只在每个州的三家旅馆进行了调查,样本太少所以数据有一定限制。only three hotel rooms were tested in each state. Within each room the same 19 surfaces were tested for aerobic and coliform bacteria.他们在每间房取19个相同的地方进行有氧大肠菌群测试,No infectious diseases were tested for and the presence of bacteria is not necessarily a health threat.他们没有进行传染病测试,因为这里的细菌不大会引发健康威胁,Indeed, humans have always lived with bacteria.事实也确实如此,我们每天都和细菌生活在一起。As a whole, Ms Kirsch thought hoteliers maintained a high level of sanitation.总的来说,Kirsch认为旅馆老板把环境卫生维持在一个较高的标准,But the researchers, who included members of Purdue University and the University of South Carolina, were concerned that there is no universal cleaning process for hotels.但是包括普渡大学和南卡莱罗纳大学在内的一些研究人员担心旅馆没有一个通用的保洁程序,Standards are largely down to the beady eye of individual housekeepers.卫生标准的高低很大程度上取决于个别管家的警觉性,They suggested applying Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, a preventive approach to reducing the risk of physical, chemical and biological hazards.所以他们建议采用“危害分析和关键环节控制点”这种预防方法来减少物理、化学和生物方面的威胁,HACCP was drawn up by NASA, Americas space agency, to ensure the safety of food for astronauts.HACCP由美国宇航局NASA起草,起初是用来确保航天员的食品安全,Since then it has been adopted by a number of industries.后来被各个行业广泛采用。But is cleaning a hotel room really rocket science?打扫旅馆房间是一件很复杂的事吗?Good hotels value a reputation for cleanliness, and people can easily discover online those that are filthy.好旅馆会在整洁方面很重视自己的名声,并且人们很容易在网上发现那些较脏的旅馆。Paranoia about cleanliness has aly risen to the point that sterile modern living can make people sick by weakening their immune systems.一些重视清洁的偏执狂已经上升到打造无菌生活的层面,但这样会削弱他们的免疫系统使他们更容易生病,The odd night in a roach motel might even do some people a bit of good.所以在出没的汽车旅馆度过一个不平凡的夜晚甚至可能对某些人更有益处。 /201402/275475

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