明星资讯腾讯娱乐2019年08月21日 23:08:02

Don: I was awakened this morning by a flock of birds outside my bedroom window. They were singing up a storm at five in the morning. Somebody ought to blast music in the ears of birds when theyre sleeping. See how they like it.唐:今天早上我被卧室窗外的一群鸟惊醒了,才五点钟它们就开始喧闹了。人们应该在鸟儿睡觉的时候往它们耳朵里灌些音乐才对;;当然了,这些音乐应该是他们自己所喜欢的。Yael: Well, actually, scientists have done just that, and theres reason to believe birds aly have music on the brain when theyre sleeping. Scientists believe that birds dream about their songs. The key is a structure in birds brains that controls the nerves that make singing possible. Not only does this structure control the birds singing, but it also responds to sounds. Whats interesting is that this structure has been shown to be significantly more responsive to sound, especially to recordings of the birds own voice, when the bird is asleep. Even when scientists arent playing recordings of the birds own songs to its sleeping brain, this structure shows bursts of activity throughout the duration of the creatures sleep cycle. So it seems the bird is hearing music in its head.耶尔:哦,实际上,科学家们已经做到了这一点。而且,我们有理由相信,鸟儿即使睡觉时脑袋里也在萦绕着旋律。科学家们认为,鸟儿就是睡觉时也在唱歌。其中的关键是,鸟儿的脑部具有一种结构,这种结构用来控制歌唱神经。这种结构不但可以控制鸟儿的歌唱,还对各种声音特别敏感。有趣的是,明显示,当鸟儿睡着时,这种结构尤其对鸟儿自己的声音反应强烈。即使科学家们不向睡着的鸟儿播放它们自己的叫声,这种结构的阵发性活动也会贯穿于鸟儿的整个睡眠周期。因此,这如同鸟儿在聆听它们脑中的音乐一样。D: Thats peculiar alright, but why would a bird want to dream about what he sings all day?唐:这太神奇了。但是,鸟儿为何做梦还在唱?他们都唱了一整天了。Y: The theory is that dreaming about its songs helps the bird learn its songs and possibly improve them. As with most activities in life, birds learn to sing by studying and practicing. To be good singers they need to listen to songs and reproduce them. Scientists believe that when the bird sleeps it might be re-playing songs from the day, possibly memorizing the songs and trying out variations on the tunes. 耶尔:理论认为,睡梦中唱歌有助于鸟儿学习并提升歌唱技巧。鸟儿生活中的大部分活动都用于学习和练习歌唱。一个好歌手需要不断地聆听歌曲并且不断的做出改进。科学家们认为,鸟儿睡觉时脑中可能在重播它们白天所唱的歌曲;;可能是在背诵歌曲并尝试不同的曲调变化。201202/171456



  During the space shuttles third flight, back in nineteen eighty two, astronauts Jack Lousma and C. Gordon Fullerton saw something remarkable. Above the tail of the shuttle, where there should have been empty space, they saw a faint orange glow instead, flickering with ghostly light. Was the space shuttle haunted? What was going on?时光倒转回1982年,在宇航员杰克·洛思马和查尔斯·戈尔登·福勒顿进行第三次航天飞行时,他们看到了惊奇的一幕。在飞机尾部原应是空白的地方,出现了微弱的橙色辉光,诡异地扑闪着。难道航天飞机上也闹鬼?这到底是怎么回事?To understand this phenomenon, known as ;shuttle glow,; you should know something about the region of space where the shuttle orbits. NASA shuttles stay in low Earth orbit, which is generally about a hundred and seventy miles above the Earths surface. At that height, the atmosphere has tapered away to almost nothing--less than a billionth of the pressure it is at ground level--but there are still gasses there. Indeed, low Earth orbit is well within the ionosphere, a major part of our atmosphere.为了弄清楚“航天飞机辉光”这一现象,有一点你应该注意到,那就是航天飞机飞行轨道所在的区域。美航局的飞机飞行时,一般保持在近地轨道上,即距离地表一百七十英里的地方。在这样的高度,大气程锥形逐渐减少——大气压力比地表的十亿分之一还小——但这里仍然有空气存在。实际上,近地轨道基本被电离层覆盖。而电离层是大气的重要组成部分。The thin gasses of the ionosphere rush past the space shuttle at about five miles per second, forming a very fast, very thin wind. This wind is so thin youd never be able to feel it, even if you stuck your head out the space shuttle window the way a dog sticks its head out a moving car. The wind causes two things to happen.飞机以每秒5英里的速度驶过之后,电离层稀薄的空气就会形成一股快速流动的细风。人类无法感觉到这种细风,即使你将头伸到飞机窗外(像一样将头伸出飞速行驶的汽车)也感觉不到。这种细风会引起两件事情。First, it erodes the surfaces of some materials.The erosion is slight, but it can be significant for camera lenses or other sensitive equipment. Second, the shuttles surface can scoop up atoms from this wind, and these atoms can undergo chemical reactions. One reaction, involving nitrogen and oxygen, can produce a luminous orange glow. And thats what the astronauts saw. It wasnt a ghost--it was shuttle glow.第一,它会侵蚀一些材料的表面。这种轻微的侵蚀用照相机或者其它敏感的设备看很明显。第二,航天飞机的表面会从细风中捕获原子,并且这些原子能发生化学反应。有一种氮和氧的反应就能产生明亮的橙色辉光。这就是宇航员所看到的光。它不是鬼火,而是辉光。原文译文属!201209/200518

  Fitch Ratings has dealt a blow to two of Japans most famous brands: Sony and Panasonic. Now their credit ratings have been downgraded to junk. Fitch says they are both facing weakness in their business.惠誉最近的评级着实是对索尼和松下这两大日本最著名品牌的沉重一击。现在他们的信用评级已降至垃圾级。惠誉称两家公司的经营都处于乏力期。First to Sony. And take a look at its share price. Since March of this year, its fallen 52%. Just look at the slide right here. Now in its last fiscal year, Sony lost 5.7 billion dollars and that is a record. Fitch released this statement to explain its decision earlier today saying that meaningful recovery will be slow, given the companys loss of technology leadership in key products, high competition, weak economic conditions in developed markets as well as the strong yen.首先看看索尼,看看它的股票价格。自从今年3月,股价已刻跌了52%。让我们看看这张幻灯片。2011财政年度,索尼损失额高达创纪录的57亿美元。惠誉公开了这一财政报表,以解释今早做出的决定。同时,索尼公司已失去了在几款关键产品上的技术优势,加上成熟市场中的激烈竞争和疲软的经济条件,以及日益走强的日元,惠誉并认为索尼公司实质性的经济恢复进程将较为缓慢。Now its a similar picture for Panasonic. Since March, the companys share price has fallen by about 46%. And in its last fiscal year, Panasonic lost a record 9.7 billion dollars. Today Fitch said Panasonic isnt competitive in its core businesses, especially in its television and flat panel divisions, a once silver lining though. Fitch did say the company is on the right track in restructuring. The downgrades came, though, after the Tokyo Stock Exchange closed. We will see how investors react on Friday.现在来谈谈松下所呈现的相似情景。自从今年3月,股价已刻跌了近46%。2011财政年度,松下损失额高达创纪录的9.7亿美元。今天惠誉松下在其核心业务上,特别是电视及曾一度光耀夺目的平板电视业务,目前不具有竞争力。惠誉认为松下公司公司正在走结构重组的正确道路。然而,在东京券交易关闭后,其衰退还是不可避免。周末我们将看到投资者如何做出反应。 201212/213409Science and Technology Mimicry The first sparrowhawk of spring科技 模仿 春天第一只雀鹰To obtain better access to warbler nests, cuckoos mimic raptors为了更好地抢占莺的巢穴,杜鹃通常会模仿成猛禽的样子THE resemblance between cuckoos and sparrowhawks has been a cause of comment since ancient times.杜鹃和雀鹰之间的相似性自古以来就是引发的原因。As the photographs above show, the two birds (cuckoo on the left, sparrowhawk on the right) are similar in size, shape and plumage, and both have a conspicuous pattern of bars on their breasts—a pattern found on many species of hawk, but not on the cuckoos relatives.正如上面的照片显示的两只鸟(左侧的是杜鹃,右侧的是雀鹰),它们在大小,形状和羽毛上都很相似,二者的胸前都有突出的条纹——许多鹰类都有这种类型的条纹,但杜鹃的亲戚中却没有。Until now, though, no one has thought to take that observation any further, and test whether the one is truly mimicking the other.虽然现在还没有人对此进行更深入的观察,并实杜鹃是否真的在模仿对方。Cuckoos would have good reason to do so, since the warblers and other small birds in whose nests they lay their eggs are understandably frightened of hawks, and give them a wide berth.杜鹃有很好的理由去模仿鹰,由于莺和其它的小型鸟类在它们的巢中产卵,自然这些小型鸟类就很害怕鹰,并且对鹰敬而远之。Such leeway would make it easier for a female cuckoo to lay where she chose.这样的空当就给了雌杜鹃自由选择巢穴产卵的机会。Nick Davies and Justin Welbergen, a pair of ornithologists at Cambridge University, have now corrected that omission.尼克?戴维斯(Nick Davies)贾斯汀?韦伯尔根(Justin Welbergen)是剑桥大学的鸟类学专家,它们现在补充了这种遗漏。They have tested the idea that cuckoos mimic hawks—or, at least, that warblers think cuckoos look hawklike.它们已经实了杜鹃会模仿鹰——或者说,至少在莺看来,杜鹃非常像鹰。As they report in the latest edition of Behavioral Ecology, they have found that it is true, but only up to a point.就像它们在最新一期的Behavioral Ecology上报道的那样,它们已经发现这是正确的,但至少在某种程度上可以这么讲。To carry out their test, Dr Davies and Dr Welbergen put stuffed birds near reed-warbler nests, to observe the nestholders reactions.为了进行它们的测试,戴维斯士和韦伯尔根士将几种鸟类标本放到了莺的芦苇巢附近,用来观察这些巢主人的反应。They used three species: sparrowhawks (which are a direct threat to a warblers life), cuckoos (which do not harm adult warblers, but do stop them reproducing successfully) and doves (included as a control, since they pose no threat at all).他们用了三种鸟类:雀鹰(直接威胁莺生命的猛禽),杜鹃(不会威胁成年莺类,但是会顺利地影响莺类的繁殖),还有鸽子(只是作为一个对照,它们不会对莺类造成任何威胁)。The breast of each stuffed bird was adorned with a piece of white silk.每种鸟类的胸前都用一块白色的丝绸装饰。Some pieces of silk were left plain. Others had bars drawn on them with a felt-tip pen.一些丝绸偏左放置。其它条纹则用记号笔画制而成。Once the stuffed birds were in place, the two researchers recorded the reactions of the nestholders.一旦将这些鸟类标本放置好,这两位研究人员就记录巢主人的反应。In particular, they measured how closely the nestholders were willing to approach the stuffed intruder, and also how noisily the intruder was mobbed, in an attempt to drive it away.他们会专门评估这些巢主人对于不速之客的接近程度,以及围攻入侵者并试图将其赶走的激烈场景。The barring, they found, was crucial.他们发现了一个非常关键的例外。Though the warblers could clearly tell the difference between the species (they mobbed the cuckoos most and stayed farthest away from the sparrowhawks),虽然莺类可以很清楚地分辨出这些鸟类的不同(它们主要围攻杜鹃,最大限度地远离雀鹰),in the cases of all three types of stuffed bird those decorated with stripes were approached more cautiously and mobbed less than those without stripes.对于那些装饰了条纹的三种鸟类标本,它们更谨慎地接触,并且围攻那些没有条纹的鸟类。Hawk-like stripes do, then, provoke what is, from a cuckoos point of view, the desired reaction: less of the sort of behaviour that is likely to interfere with her egg-laying mission.从杜鹃的角度来看,鹰状条纹所起的主要作用就是它所希望看到的:如果缺乏这种行为会则会影响到杜鹃的产卵任务。Not perfect mimicry, but good enough to be useful.虽然这种模仿不甚高明,但已经足够用了。Probably, Dr Davies and Dr Welbergen have caught cuckoo and warbler in the middle of an evolutionary arms race.也许戴维斯士和韦伯尔根士已经注意到了杜鹃和莺正处于一个进化的军备竞赛中。Come back in 10,000 years and cuckoos and sparrowhawks may be indistinguishable.回到10000年前,杜鹃和雀鹰或许就难以分辨了。 /201212/215308

  WHEN Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign foundered last summer, leading to the mass resignation of his staff and reports that his campaign debt exceeded m, the problem was not that he seemed to prefer luxury cruises through Greece and Turkey with Mrs Gingrich (speaking, right) to the messy business of a political campaign. The problem, as he was only too happy to explain, was that “much like Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, I’m such an unconventional political figure that you really need to design a unique campaign that fits the way I operate and what I’m trying to do.”当纽特·金里奇在去年夏天的总统竞选活动中败阵,导致他的竞选团队人员大量辞职,同时被媒体爆出因竞选他已负债超过100万美元时,他的问题并非比起竞选活动中的各种繁琐事务,他更喜欢和他的妻子(图右说话的女士)一起来个希腊或土耳其豪华游艇巡游。正如他津津乐道的那样,他的问题在于他说的“我是像里根和撒切尔夫人这样卓尔不凡的政治人物,因此你们要为我设计独一无二的竞选活动,要适合我所做的以及我想要做的”。What that meant in practice was shilling for money over the internet and turning in some incandescently angry debate performances. It worked, after a fashion. He began rising in the polls. He announced directly, “I’m going to be the nominee.” But then people started voting. The first three contests split, with Rick Santorum squeaking to victory in Iowa after spending far more time there than any other candidate; Mitt Romney winning New Hampshire, where he has a home; and Mr Gingrich unexpectedly trouncing the opposition in South Carolina. Then he lost Florida and Nevada in quick succession, his snarling pomposity punctured by a Romney barrage of negative ads.实际上,这只不过意味着他的竞选团通过因特网筹了点钱,然后就演变成一场声势浩大的骂战而已。这有些作用。然后他的民调持率开始攀升。他直接宣布:;我将成为党内提名人。”但另一方面人们已经开始投票了。前三名的竞争者各有胜负,里克·桑托伦在爱荷华州投入的时间比任何一个候选人都多,侥幸获胜;米特·罗姆尼在新罕布什尔州获胜,这是他家乡所在地;然后金里奇出人意料的在南卡罗莱纳州击败对手。紧接着,金里奇在佛罗里达州和内华达州败下阵来,因为罗姆尼用铺天盖地的负面广告,大肆抨击他那咄咄逼人,不可一世的嘴脸。The Gingrich campaign had a strategy, of sorts: their hero would win the South, ending with a victory in Louisiana’s primary on March 24th, whereupon momentum would work its magic. That did not happen. Aside from South Carolina, Mr Gingrich has won precisely one of the 38 states and territories that have so far voted: his adopted home state of Georgia. In late March he sacked one-third of his campaign staff. On April 3rd he decisively lost Maryland, Washington, DC and Wisconsin, his wife’s home state. Mr Romney improved his delegate total to 634 against 263 for his closest rival, Mr Santorum. The race now goes quiet until April 24th, when five states vote, the biggest prizes being New York and Mr Santorum’s home state of Pennsylvania.金里奇的竞选团队有一套策略,分为几步:他们的主角金里奇将以南部获胜,其中最后一战是3月24日路易斯安那州的初选胜利,接着竞选势头就会发挥它的魔力。可是事与愿违。除了南卡罗来纳州,金里奇在已经投票的38个州和地区中只在一个地区获得胜利:他的第二故乡乔治亚州。3月底,他把自己竞选团队中三分之一的人给炒鱿鱼了。4月3日,他输掉了马里兰州,华盛顿和他妻子的家乡威斯康星州这些决定性地区的竞选。罗姆尼获得代表人的票数总计提升至634票,其最大的竞争对手桑托利姆则获得263票。选情现在则是平平无奇,直到4月24日才会有大的波动,因为到那时五个大州将开始投票,拥有最多票数的则是纽约和桑托利姆的家乡宾夕法尼亚州.For the Gingrich campaign, however, the real problem had become clear some time before this week’s results. It was the voters. They kept making the wrong decision. And so Mr Gingrich’s flack announced that they were going to be “focusing exclusively on what it’ll take to win what we’re going to be calling a big-choice convention in August.” In other words, having failed to appeal to a majority, or even a plurality, of voters—the people who ostensibly select the candidate—Mr Gingrich will appeal to their superiors to correct the peons’ error. During this campaign Mr Gingrich has consistently claimed that he frightens, and is running against, “the Washington establishment”, which is of course laughable; he served ten terms in Congress before becoming a “consultant”, think-tanker and free-floating policy wonk. This strategy buries even the pretence of anti-establishmentarianism.对于金里奇的竞选来说,其存在的真正问题在本周投票结果揭晓前一段时间就已经变得清晰了.问题出在选民上。选民们一直犯错。金里奇的广告中宣称,他们将“只把重点放在能让他们赢得所谓‘8月大抉择会战’的那些人身上”。换句话说,因为他们未能获得大多数,甚至是决定性数目选民的持,于是金里奇将获取这些人中有话语权的人的持,来纠正这些劳苦大众的错误。竞选中金里奇一直宣称,他害怕,但又将反对”华盛顿权贵“们到底,这一说法显然十分可笑。早在金里奇成为一名”顾问“,智囊团成员和随波逐流的政策专家之前,他就已经连任十届国会成员。这一策略甚至让金里奇无法打着”反正统主义“的幌子。 Explore our interactive map and guide to the race for the Republican candidacy.He has since softened his stance a bit, but he has also vowed to stay in the race until Mr Romney clinches a majority. How long that vow will last is anybody’s guess. Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate who, together with his family, has given Mr Gingrich’s Super PAC more than m, said that he believes Mr Gingrich is “at the end of his line”. A recent poll showed that 60% of Republicans want him to quit the race.看看我们的互动地图和本次共和党候选人提名竞选的指南。金里奇的立场已经变得缓和了一些,但他仍发誓将竞选进行到底,直至罗姆尼获得绝大多数选票。这一誓言能维持多久难以预料。大亨谢尔登·阿德尔森和他的家族已经给予金里奇的超级政治行动委员会超过1500万美元,这位大亨说他相信金里奇“已是穷途末路”. 最近的一次民调显示60%的共和党成员希望他退出竞选。Acknowledging defeat will not be easy. The next presidential race will probably attract a more daunting field of candidates, leaving little room for a man who will then be 72 and whose House career ended in censure and disgrace. In stump speeches he has traced the origins of his presidential aspirations back to 1958, when he was 15 years old. In the early 1990s he described himself as an “advocate of civilisation, definer of civilisation, teacher of the rules of civilisation…leader (possibly) of the civilising forces.” Or possibly not.承认失败并不容易。下一次的总统竞选,将吸引更多富有实力,令人望而却步的候选人,这样一来,留给这位72岁,其议会生涯在谴责和耻辱中结束的男人的空间所剩无几。在政治演说中,他曾经追忆他想当总统的起源,当时是1958年,他只有15岁。20世纪90年代早起,他形容自己是一个“文明的倡导者,文明的定义者,文明规则的教授者.....文明力量的领袖(大概吧)”. 看来事实并非如此。201204/177455

  Stokes turned out to be entirely unreliable.斯托克斯被明完全不可靠。Just two months after he got here, Vincent learned that the school was closing and moving to Isleworth, a London suburb where Stokes promised Vincent a proper job.在仅仅两个月后他到这里的时候,文森特得知学校被关闭并且已经搬到伦敦郊区的艾尔沃斯,斯托克斯承诺文森特在那里会有一份合适的工作。Vincent decided to walk there and to visit his sister on the way, who was teaching in Welling a mere 100 miles away.文森特决定步行去那里,并且顺便去拜访他的,她在威林仅100英里之外教学。Vincent got there in three days.文森特花了三天走到那里。Ive got a pal, a regular out and outer.我有一位朋友,一位常规和常理之外的朋友。Shes a dear old gal.她是一位可爱的老相识。Oh, Ill tell you all about her.哦,我会告诉你关于她的一切。This walking business wasnt just a case of saving on rail fares.这不仅仅是一桩节省铁路票价的事情。He was driven to do it by the religious mania that was growing in him.他越来越笃信不疑的宗教狂热驱使着他。Hed been ing Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan.他一直在看约翰·班扬的《天路历程》。It affected him immediately.他即刻受到影响。He wasnt a penniless Dutch teacher walking to see his sister.他不单单是一位去看望自己的身无分文的荷兰老师。He was a humble pilgrim making his difficult way in life.他是一位历经着自己生活磨难的谦虚朝圣者。Its a feeling Vincent never lost.这是一种文森特永远不会失去的感觉。注:听力文本来源于普特201208/194977

  Science and Technology Monitor Bright sparks科技 观察 生气勃勃者Innovation Awards: We invite nominations for our annual prizes recognising successful innovators in seven categories创新奖:我们邀请在七个领域中有成功创新的作为我们年度奖的提名人THE ECONOMISTS tenth annual Innovation Summit will take place in London on October 21st.经济学人杂志第十届年度创新峰会将于10月21日在伦敦举行。Expert speakers will examine the latest trends in innovation, from the laboratory to the marketplace.专家中的发言人会考察从实验室到市场中创新中的最新趋势。For this years tenth anniversary event we will be inviting all of our previous winners to participate.在今年的十周年纪念活动中,我们会邀请所有往届的获奖者出席。And at an awards ceremony on the evening of October 20th we will present this years awards to successful innovators in a range of fields.并且在10月20日的颁奖晚会上,我们会把奖颁给今年该领域中成功的创新者。Accordingly, ers are invited to nominate outstanding innovators in seven categories: bioscience (which includes medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and agriculture);因此我们请读者在以下七个领域中提名杰出的创新者:生物科学(包括医学设备、制药、生物技术和农学);energy and the environment; computing and telecommunications;能源与环境;计算与通信;;no boundaries; (including nanotechnology and other emerging fields);;无界限;(包括纳米技术和其他新型领域);consumer products and services; business processes; and social and economic innovation, a category that recognises individuals who have pioneered technologies and business models that improve everyday lives.消费品和务;商业过程;以及社会和经济创新,即个人通过改进技术和商业模型来改善生活。Nominees should be people, not companies, behind an innovation that has been a proven success in the past decade.提名人必须是人而非公司,所谓;创新;需在过去十年中有切实的成功可考。Please submit your nominations by visiting economistinnovation.com, where you will be asked to supply the nominees name, affiliation and contact details, and a 200-word summary explaining why the person in question deserves to win in a particular category.请登陆economistinnovation.com网站来提交您的提名,您需要提供提名人的名字、单位和详细联系方式,附上一篇200字的概述来解释这个候选者为什么值得在这个领域中获此奖项。The deadline is April 7th.本活动截止日期为4月7日。 /201212/216605。

  Obituary;Norman Wisdom;讣告;诺曼·威斯登;Sir Norman Wisdom, comedian, died on October 4th, aged 95英老牌喜剧演员诺曼·威斯登爵士于10月4日辞世,鹤寿95。What a chirpy little fellow that Norman was! All puppy eyes, rubber legs and innocent smiles, even when the world was crashing round him. Show him a grand piano, and hed have to dive into it. Suggest a manhole, and hed plummet straight down it. Run a cable across the road and hed go flying into next week. Hed fall over his own shadow, or box it into a pulp behind the sofa; hed fall over his own feet, and saunter on singing.诺曼,多么活泼的小矮子! 他,有着十足的小眼、橡皮腿和即使是世界末日也没心没肺的笑。见到大钢琴,他一定会朝里钻,说有一个坑,他一定会径直往下跳,见到横穿道路的电缆,他一定会在下星期表演绊倒。他会被他自己的影子绊倒,甚至,他把自己的影子装进沙发后的纸桨盒;他也会被自己的双脚绊倒,随后又唱着歌儿闲逛。Its true they didnt find him uproarious everywhere. Hed rock them in the aisles in Blackpool, but raise only a shrug in New York. His mime of eating a sandwich on a fast-moving train would leave them cold in Glasgow, but make them fall about in Tehran—and in Moscow and Buenos Aires and, very oddly, in Tirana, where perhaps the only possible reason was that they were as mad as himself.这一点倒是不假——并不是每一地方的人们都认为他的表演令人发笑。虽然,在黑泽,他会使人们笑破肚皮,但是在纽约,人们只会对他的表演来一个耸肩示疑。虽然,他在一列飞驰火车上吃三明治的哑剧表演,打动不了格拉斯哥人,但是,他会使德黑兰、莫斯科和布宜诺斯艾利斯的人们捧腹大笑。很是讶异的是,地拉那的人们亦一样捧腹,地拉那,[那可是共产主义国家阿尔巴尼亚的首都哟],或许,地拉那人捧腹的唯一可能原因是他们也像诺曼一样发了狂。 He was born grinning, it seemed. He was certainly born small, and never made much progress after. The littlest in his gang at school, the tiny cabin boy aboard the Maindy Court sailing for Argentina, almost the scrawniest in his regiment in India in the 1930s. Everyones mascot, jester, dogsbody, hoping to foil the punches by rolling over and begging for a pat on the head. He was five-foot-four on a good day, easily dwarfed by bosses, army sergeants, aristocrats or rivals for the willowy girls who strolled into his life. When his second wife walked out on him in 1968 he couldnt help remarking, bitterly, that she had left him for someone handsomer and taller.诺曼似乎是咧嘴笑着出生的。他出生时一定也很小,而且后来也从未见长大了多少。在学校时,他是小伙伴中最小的。上世纪30年代,他是印度驶向阿根廷的美蒂宫廷号船上的一个小不点式的船舱侍应生,几乎是侍应生中瘦得皮包骨最严重的一个。他成了船上每一个人的吉祥物、供人逗乐者、打杂工,希望通过打滚并乞人拍其头来彰显自己重要。他过上一段好日子的时候,身高1米64,一位身材纤长的姑娘进入了他的生活。他的身高在上司、军士、贵族或对手面前,明显相形见绌。1968年,他的第二位妻子遗弃了他,他痛不自禁地诉说,她离开他是因为某个人比他更英俊更高大。Smallness shaped Little Norm, but poverty taught him something, too. As a boy, thrown out by his drunken father, he slept rough in London and stole to eat. The gutter wasnt a bad place, considering. He learned things there, such as how to lift eggs very nimbly and delicately from a stall and secrete them, uncracked, in his pockets. He also acquired the trick of making his lower lip tremble when asking, his pathetic face only just above the counter, for a free pie from a coffee stall. By the time of his first hugely successful film, “Trouble in Store” (1953), he could stretch the pathos really far: to the point where, soaking wet after a tumble into a duck-pond, he sadly serenaded his love in a teashop, and then found he had nothing in his pockets to pay with except one small, wriggling fish.贫穷决定了矮子诺曼的人生方向,但贫穷也教会了他某些东西。在他还是一个少年的时候,他的父亲就把他赶出家门,他在伦敦露宿街头,偷窃为食。就他而言,贫民窟还算是好去处。伦敦岁月,他学到了本领,比方:如何敏捷灵巧地把蛋从摊子上偷走并在他口袋中完好地隐藏起来。他也学到了在乞讨时使下唇发抖的技巧,乞讨时,为了向咖啡摊主讨要一块免费馅饼,他把自己脸刚好伸在柜台上方,显出一副凄惨面容。到1953年,他的首部获得巨大成功的电影《麻烦要来》上演之时,他把他的装可怜的本领发挥到了极至:在一个简明的场景里,他在滚进一鸭子池塘全身湿透后,于一间茶馆向他爱慕的女子凄凉地唱起小夜曲,而随后付账时,他才发现衣袋里除了一条小小的、扭动着的鱼,分文没有。Yet hed always find a swagger from somewhere, and carry on. With this attitude he worked his way through provincial theatres in the 1940s, dying and thriving by turns. When theatre managers slammed doors in his face hed just keep on, “Give us a chance, Mr Smith”, “Let me sing you a song, Mr Jones”, until he wore them down with sheer persistence. When he was allowed on the stage for long enough, tap-dancing and pratfalling all over the place, everyone loved him and the audience went wild. And never wilder than on that April night in 1948 when he marched through the door of Bernard Delfonts London Casino and became an overnight sensation. “Welcome to the West End, Norman,” Mr Delfont said.然而,他总是努力使自己显得自信满满,并践行之。在40年代,他凭着这种心态挤进了各地方戏院,尽管生计时好时坏。有时,戏院老板将他拒之门外,他会不断争取,“史密斯先生,给我一个机会”,“琼斯先生,我给你唱歌吧”,直到由于他的死缠滥打使老板们厌烦而最终接收他。当他在舞台上得到机会有足够长的时间表演踢踏舞和旋地舞后,人人都迷上了他并欣喜若狂。但没有哪一次狂欢比得上1948年4月的狂欢——他步入伯纳德·德尔方特场大门造就的彻夜狂欢。“诺曼,城西区欢迎你”,德尔方特道。Lifes physical batterings trained him up, too. His father sometimes beat him so savagely that his head hit the ceiling before he crashed, but that taught him how to fall. People bullied and belted him, so he learned how to box, and that became part of his act on a regular basis. Did he whip his tormentors? Not half! Every time he went down, on stage or screen, he would struggle up with smouldering determination. Even pounded into the mud until he swallowed it, as he was in a football match in “Up in the World” (1956), he emerged as “that dangerous little man”, baring his teeth like a tiger.生活的沉重打击也促使他奋力前行。有时,他父亲对他的殴打是如此残忍,以至于在他崩溃前,头已撞到天花板。但是,这教会了他如何使伤害小一些。人们欺凌他,殴打他,让他学会了如何躲避伤害。而且,这些经历也成了他表演节目中的不可或缺的一部分。他对伤害他的人还以拳头否?绝不!每当他在舞台或屏幕上出现表演失误,他都会用心中潜伏的坚强意志奋力再战。就像他于1956年出演的电影《平步青雲》中一场足球赛那样,即使被捣成烂泥,也要坚持到把烂泥吞下去。电影中,他扮演“富有攻击性的矮小子”,这小子露出像老虎一样的牙齿。He never forgot to be dignified, though. Perhaps this was why Albanians liked him. Higher-ups (and his world was entirely full of higher-ups) could treat Little Norm with contempt, but he would triumph somehow. He would walk on their grass, turn his hose on their tailored backs, or tip the entire navy top brass over the rail and into the sea. He was as good as they were. Scruffy he might be, with tie askew and too-short trousers, but he was not a tramp. And though barked at by his superiors, especially the despairing Mr Grimsdale, he would just come sunnily back with his bright but disastrous ideas.然而,他没齿未忘的是,人——是有尊严的。 也许,这就是阿尔巴尼亚人喜欢他的原因。虽然,小矮子诺曼之上的大人物们(他的人生中处处有大人物)对他以蔑视待之,但他总会有办法对付他们。他会在大人物的草坪上散步,脱下自己的裤子换上大人物们的定制装,或者,掀掉草坪围栏上的全部上好的藏青铜饰并将其抛入海中。实际上,他们与他没有两样。虽然,他也许衣装褴褛、领带斜系、裤子太短,但他并不是一个流浪汉。虽然,他的上司,特别是令人失望的 Grimsdale先生曾如叫一般使唤他,但他也只是快乐地回忆起他的辉煌而不是曾经的那些坏念头。Once he had decided that comedy was his life, he practised and practised. This discipline the army taught him—as well as how to play 11 instruments, and trip up people on parade. When he caused hilarity once by falling off a horse, he rehearsed more such tumbles until he was black and blue. At work, he would go through his routines from 9am till just before six in the darkened theatre; out of work, he would spend hours pulling faces in mirrors. His reward was stardom in the 1950s and 1960s, a knighthood in 2000, a yacht and several gleaming motors. He had to skip in the 1980s to a mansion in the Isle of Man, so the tax man wouldnt get him.一旦他决定把喜剧表演作为他的生存手段,他就练习再练习。这种训练习惯都是他在从军生涯中养成的——他也学会了演奏11种乐器和在游行中向人群表演绊倒。一旦他的马摔表演引起轰动,他通常加倍表演,直到遍体鳞伤。上班时,他会从上午九点到晚上六点剧院漆黑一片,做完日常事务。下班后,他又花数小时在镜前拉脸。上世纪50到60年代,他的收入来自他的演员职业。2000年,他被授予爵士,有一艘快艇,数辆闪亮的托。80年代,他不得不悄然溜到马恩岛的一公馆,以便收税员找不到他。 /201212/216816



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