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2019年09月21日 18:09:21 | 作者:ask卫生 | 来源:新华社
In the 14 billion years since the Big Bang, galaxies have been created, filled with stars, planets, and moons, and the universe has been expanding the whole time.大爆炸以后的140亿年里,包罗万象的星河创生了,它囊括了无数的恒星,行星以及卫星。宇宙还在不停地膨胀。We’ve learnt space is quite big, at least a hundred and fifty billion light years across.我们探究后得知太空非常辽阔,至少有1500亿光年长。The universe may be infinite; it might literally go on forever.宇宙也许是无限;它可能会永远膨胀下去。The answer is it doesn’t have to be anything, in principle, the universe could be infinite and there’s no outside. Or it could be closed on itself. It could be such if I looked far enough in that direction I see the back of my head.原则上讲宇宙有很多可能性,它可以是无限的,没有尽头,或者它是封闭的。很可能是这样,如果朝一个方向观察得足够远,我可能会看见我的后脑勺。We may never know the Big Bang produced a universe that goes on forever. But we do know that the Big Bang hasnt stopped yet.我们不可能知道大爆炸形成的宇宙会不会永远膨胀下去。但是我们知道大爆炸还没有停止。The Big Bang is really continuing now, we are continuing to bang if you want in the sense the expansion of the universe is continuing.现在大爆炸确实在继续,宇宙确实在继续膨胀,从这个意义上讲,我们也会继续爆炸。One of the most astounding discoveries in the last few years has been the realization that our universe is not slowing down like we once thought, but is actually speeding up, is accelerating, is in a run-away mode. We now believe there’s something called dark energy, the energy of nothing that is pushing the galaxies apart, and is killing the universe.过去的几年里,最令人震惊的发现之一就是人类意识到,宇宙并没有像我们想的那样减速膨胀,而是在加速,以近乎逃跑的方式在加速。现在我们相信宇宙间存有一种物质叫做暗能量。这种能量会推离宇宙推,进而将其毁灭。We can’t see this destructive force and we have no idea why it exists, but it could mean the end of everything created in the Big Bang. If dark energy continues pushing the universe apart, our milky-way galaxy could become a lonely outpost, a hundred billion years from now, most of our galactic neighbors will be out of sight. Stars will burn out, galaxies will grow dark, even atoms will tear apart. The birth of the universe, the Big Bang was over in a flash, but the death of our universe will take almost forever.我们看不见这种破坏性的力量,我们也不知道它为何存在,但是它意味终结,大爆炸所创造的一切都会终结。如果暗能量继续分离宇宙,我们的系就会变成孤独的前哨。再过1000亿年,大多数比邻的星系将会从视野里消失。恒星会燃尽,星系会黯然,就连原子也会分崩离析。宇宙的起源-大爆炸会在瞬间结束,但是宇宙却差不多永远存在。That great philosopher of the western world, Willie Allan, once said “eternity is an awful long time, especially toward the end”.西方国家一位伟大的哲学家威廉·艾伦说过,“永恒是长的可怕的时间,尤其是在接近尾声时。”Figuring out how our universe will end is as dark a mystery as the Big Bang. It could collapse back in on itself like a balloon when the air is let out.宇宙如何终结就如谜一样黑暗的大爆炸。它可能会像气球漏气一样坍塌回原形。201205/184906

VOTERS in Texas have had three electoral excitements lately. The first was that in February, after a series of rejections, federal judges in San Antonio finally approved a new map for the statersquo;s congressional districts, meaning that Texas could finally set a date for its primary (May 29th). The second is that their votes may actually matter a lot in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. The third came on March 12th, when the Justice Department blocked a controversial state law, passed last year, which would have required people to produce identification carrying a photograph before voting.德克萨斯的选民们近来经历了三件选举兴事。第一件事发生在二月,在一系列拒绝之后,联邦法官们在圣安东尼奥市最终认可了本州的国会选区的新地图,意味着德克萨斯可以最终为他的候选人初选会确定一个日子(5月29)。第二件事就是他们的选票事实上可能对共和党首长任命的竞争有着举足轻重的影响。第三件事发生在3月12,当司法部门驳回了去年通过的有争议的州法,关于要求选民在投票前照相作为身份明的事。As it stands almost 30 states require some form of identification at the polls, although most of those do not require photographic ID. The Justice Department blocked a similar measure in South Carolina in December, and this week a judge in Wisconsin overturned a voter-identification law there on the ground that it was unconstitutional. Future cases are expected; Alabama, for example, has a photo requirement scheduled to take effect in 2014.以现状来说,将近30个州在投票环节要求一定程度的身份认,尽管绝大多数都不要求照片方式的身份认。司法部12月在南卡罗来纳州也驳回了类似的一项措施,并且在这周在威斯康星州的法官也推翻了那里的一项选民身份认法规,因为那条法规违反了宪法。未来的情况可以预见,比如阿拉巴马,的照片要求预定将在2014生效。Supporters of identification, who are usually Republicans, say it is a necessary protection against voter fraud, even though the number of people who have been caught sneaking into the polls is negligible. Democrats argue that such provisions have the effect of disenfranchising minorities, young people and the poor, who are more likely to lack suitable ID than other groups (and who mostly vote for them). In Texas nearly 800,000 people would have been affected. Because of the racial disparities, the Justice Department determined that this would be a violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, designed to bar discrimination at the polls.身份认持者,大部分是共和党人声称那是对抗投票作弊的必要保护措施,尽管在投票中作弊的人数少到几乎可以忽略。民主党则争论那样的规定对剥夺少数人的权利有影响,年轻人和穷人,会比其他群体更可能缺少合适的件(但恰恰他们更可能投票给民主党)。在德克萨斯将有将近800,000人受到影响。因为种族差异,司法部判定这是对在选票环节禁止歧视行为的1965年选举权法的违背。Since both political parties have an interest, both will press on. Rick Perry, the Republican governor of Texas, condemned the decision as an example of federal meddling. The law, he said, ;requires nothing more extensive than the type of photo identification necessary to receive a library card or board an airplane;.因为双方政党都有利益取向,两边都将坚持。德克萨斯的州长Rick Perry责难的认为这个决定又是联邦越界干预的一个例子。他说原法案只限定要求了获取图书卡或是机票所必需的认照片的类型而已,并没有更宽地限制什么。That raises a good point. Identification is important; people often need it to get financial services, or a job, or just books from the library. If hundreds of thousands of people in Texas do not have it, that is a problem that should be fixed. No doubt both parties would agree. But in the meantime people will, at least, be a little more confident about their ability to vote.这是一个有力的观点。因为身份认的确很重要,人们时时都需要用它来申请金融务,工作,甚至借书。如果德克萨斯成千上万的人都没有它,那就是个一定要解决的问题了。毫无疑问在这点上两党都必须同意。但是至少在这期间人们更加坚信他们投票的权利。201203/175444

Obituary;Garret FitzGerald;讣告;加勒特·菲茨傑拉德;Garret FitzGerald, statesman, philosopher, journalist and lover of numbers, died on May 19th, aged 85;政治家,哲学家,记者,大众情人,于5月19日逝世,享年85岁; If you had the good fortune to sit next to Garret FitzGerald at dinner—wrapped round by his natural warmth and curiosity, as well as numbed by the sheer volume of Dublin-tinctured words that tumbled out of him—you might learn many dozens of mind-bogglingly arcane facts. The quickest way to fly from Reykjavik to Vilnius in 1960, a skill he had honed in his first proper job as an analyst for Aer Lingus; the route of the now-defunct railway from Farranfore to Reenard via Cahersiveen, the fruit of his love of all train timetables; the relative popularity over time of his own Fine Gael party and the rival Fianna Fail in county councils the length and bth of Ireland, derived from an obsession with opinion polls so immense that journalists were cautioned not to mention them; and the precise geographical pattern of the decline in the use of Irish between 1770 and 1870, compiled from old census volumes which he would prop on the car dashboard when being driven, on constituency visits, from place to place.如果你有幸在晚餐时坐在Garret FitzGerald旁边——置身于他天生的热情与好奇中,谈定地听着他都柏林味十足的口音在那里滔滔不绝——你也许能得知很多神秘的事实,开阔了眼界。60年代从Reykjavik飞到Vilnius最快的途径;他首次在一份体面的工作中(爱尔兰航空公司的一名分析员)习得的技能;那条已经不存在的铁路——通过Cahersiveen从Farranfore到Reenard;他最喜欢的列车时刻表;共和党对那段出风头的时光和统一党称霸爱尔兰各乡镇委的时候,民意调查里那些说不清道不明的事,有些就是记者也小心地不去提及;以及根据他拜访各选区时,从各地收集到的旧的人口普查宗卷中所得出的1770到1870间爱尔兰语的使用率,下降趋势,在地图板块上的精确表现。What modesty would restrain him from telling you—even in the 674 small-print pages of his autobiography—was the precise route by which Ireland, while he was cheerfully inhabiting the corridors of the Seanad and the Dail, moved away from sterile, irredentist sectarianism to become a more open and tolerant place; how the sombre dominance of the Catholic church began to recede from the countrys moral life; how Ireland opened itself alike to Europe and to foreign investment, eventually finding it could leap off like a tiger; and, most wonderful and difficult of all, how North and South began to accommodate and make peace with each other, to such a degree that as he lay dying Queen Elizabeth was in Dublin Castle, trying out a line of Gaelic.那些即使是他也不好意思说出来的——在他674页自传中也没提及——是爱尔兰各地的精确路线。那会儿他高高兴兴地游走于上议院和下议院,使统一党宗派主义远离枯燥,成为一个更开放、更有肚量的地方;阴沉的天主教配势力是如何开始退出这个国家的日常生活的;爱尔兰是如何融入欧洲,开展对外投资,最终如龙腾虎跃;以及,最重要的是,如何让南北地区的人民融洽相处。就好像在都柏林的城堡里放倒了衰老的伊丽莎白女王,开拓出了盖尔人的一片天地。His own contribution, because it was the start of these processes, often looked like failure. His referendum to amend slightly the law on abortion was shot down, his referendum to bring in divorce resoundingly defeated; but he had succeeded in broaching the subjects in a civil way. On Northern Ireland, the 1973 Sunningdale power-sharing agreement swiftly collapsed, and his New Ireland Forum, in which constitutional parties from both sides were to meet and talk together of the pluralist, inclusive Ireland he longed for, was ruthlessly scorned by Margaret Thatcher. (“Out, out, out,” she cried, demolishing all its proposals one by one; it wasnt what she said, he reflected later, but the tone in which she said it, so sharp and condescending.) Even the Anglo-Irish agreement of 1985, in which Britain acknowledged for the first time the Republics interest in the North, was pictured by unionists as betrayal and by terrorists as encouragement. In fact it was a small, determined step towards the Good Friday agreement 13 years later.他自身的那些贡献,作为这一系列的开端看起来总像是个失败。他提出的对流产法的小幅度修改,民意惨淡;他提出的关于离婚的法案遭到民众的强烈抵抗;但他成功地带起了民法方面的课题。在北爱尔兰,1973年的Sunningdale,权利分享协议在签署不久后就瓦解了,而他的新爱尔兰论坛又遭到玛格丽特?撒切尔的强烈鄙视(“滚,滚,滚”,她一边喊,一边一个接一个的否定那些题案;后来他补充道这不是她的原话,但就是这种犀利而又“客气”的语气)。该论坛实现了他渴望的一幕——双方的正式代表就教堂等问题沟通交流。即使是1985年的Anglo-Irish协议也被共和党看做背叛,被恐怖分子视为一种鼓励。英国在该条约中首次公认了共和国在北方的利益,不过事实上只是比13年前的Good Friday协议前进了一小步。A mislaid overcoat一件记不起放在哪的大衣He had the ideal background for conciliation, with a Catholic father from the South and a Protestant mother from the North (though it was she who taught him his catechism, forbearing only to instruct him how to sign himself at the gospel). Sectarianism was so foreign to him that when he met rank prejudice, he often burst out laughing. Politics was in his blood, his father having been in independent Irelands first government in 1922; though he himself wandered into it from academia, reluctant to give partisan speeches in the open air or at dance halls, and quite inept at the plotting and manipulation so dazzlingly displayed by his Fianna Fail nemesis, Charles Haughey. Though he was foreign minister from 1973-77 and taoiseach twice, in 1981-82 and 1982-87, he remained somehow an innocent, mislaying as he travelled overcoat, pyjamas, watch; and not realising, so carried away was he with his theories for redistributing wealth in Ireland, that to put value-added tax on childrens shoes might spell suicide at the polls.作为调和主义者,他有个理想的背景,出身天主教的南方父亲和出身新教徒的北方母亲(尽管是母亲教他教义,不过只教了他如何在福音书上签名)。宗派那些对他来说是如此不着边际,以至于当他接触到等级偏见的内容时经常会突然笑起来。政治早已融入他的血液,他的父亲在1922年曾为爱尔兰独立政府效力;尽管他本人犹豫着要不要从学术界转到政界,心不甘情不愿地在公共场所或舞厅里发表党派性演讲,就那相当笨拙地安排和操作,理所当然的败给了他统一党的对手,Charles Haughey。尽管他在1973-77年间任外长,1981-82及1982-87年间担任总理,但仍保持着纯真的心。就像放错了旅行要用的外套,睡衣和手表(而不自知),他就带着他的爱尔兰财富再分配理论各处奔走,宣称买童鞋要付增值税,此举可能在民调中引发自杀。Economics was a relatively late interest. He said he learned it at the Irish Times, where he wrote to the end of his life a Saturday column full of figures under the pen-name “Analyst”. Over 50 years, he reckoned, he produced 2,250,000 words for the Times (besides providing copy, briefly, for The Economist). History and French were his degree subjects, and his verbosity in French a source of pride. He embraced the European Economic Community not just because it let Ireland reach over Britain to the world, but also because it gave him the excuse, before meetings in Brussels, to discuss with Fran?ois Mitterrand some puzzling lacunae in the Catholic intellectual tradition of 19th-century France.《经济学人》是个相对较晚开始的兴趣。他说是在爱尔兰时报上读到里面的文章,他本人直到临终一直以“分析家”这个笔名投稿,周六专栏里那些数据就是他的作品。他估计在50多年里,为时报写了225万字(除了为《经济学人》写的,简短的摘要)。作为历史及法文科班出身,他为自己冗长的法语骄傲。他欢迎欧洲经济体不仅是因为经济体使爱尔兰跨过英国,走向世界,也因为这给了他一个借口——在布鲁塞尔会议前,与Francois Mitterrand讨论一些关于天主教在19世界法国传统教育里出现的那些令人困惑的空白。He was tender and naive, losing his life-savings on an unwise investment in 1992; yet he was also tough. Meeting the families of IRA hunger-strikers in the 1980s, he would be sympathetic as ever, but would never let himself be swayed by terrorists or “crawthumpers”. Though mocked as otherworldly, he stuck to his crusade for a “new Ireland”—reunified or not, as the majority in the North wanted it—in which Catholic and Protestant identities would be equally celebrated. For, when all was said and done, he was a statistician first; and when shown any air-traffic controllers chart he could tell, to a high degree of accuracy, that at such-and-such a time and place the different flightpaths, no matter how divergent, were bound to cross.此人温柔又天真,在1982年的一次不明智的投资中失去了其一生的积蓄。即使如此,他做事还是雷厉风行。80年代会见那些愤怒罢工者的家属时,他仍会抱有有同情心,但再也不会让自己受恐怖分子或“暴徒”的影响。尽管被嘲讽为“不现实”,他仍然卖力地推行他的“新爱尔兰”革命——无论统一与否,介于北方大多数希望如此——以天主教徒和新教徒的身份一样庆祝。因此,当一切尘埃落定时,起初他是个统计员,之后当有提及他所知的空中航线,他都能准确的说出,如什么时间、什么地点,不同的航线,无论怎么分散,都必定能越过。 /201210/205680

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