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Free exchangePenury portrait贫困的历史画像The consensus on raising people out of poverty is surprisingly recent直到最近人们才就脱贫问题达成共识,实在令人惊讶Jul 27th 2013 |From the print editionON JULY 17th India released its latest poverty figures. They tell an encouraging tale: just under 22% of Indians were below the poverty line in 2011-12, down from over 37% in 2004-05. With an election not far off, these statistics will not go unchallenged. Naysayers are aly grumbling that the numbers have been released early to make the government look good. But even as political opponents slug it out, it is worth noting what they are not arguing about. Nobody is saying that a decline in poverty is a bad thing. Nor does anyone dispute that policymakers should try to help large numbers of poor people out of penury. This mirrors a worldwide consensus: whether the ed Nations or the World Bank, sundry public officials or high-minded celebrities, everyone thinks that poverty alleviation is both desirable and possible. The debates are about the details.7月17日,印度公布了最新的贫困人口数据。数据表现出一派令人鼓舞的迹象:2011年至2012年间,生活在贫困线以下的印度人口比例从2004至2005年间的37%以上降至22%以下。该数据公布之时恰逢印度国会大选日益临近,因此注定会引发质疑。质疑者已嚷嚷着这些数据提早发布不过是为了彰显政府的政绩。但是,即使政治对手意欲在此问题上与政府争个高下,可争议之外的东西才是值得人们关注的。没人说贫困人口数下降是一件糟糕的事。当然人们也不会就决策层是否应该试着帮助为数众多的穷人脱离贫困展开争论。这一现象反映出一个已在世界范围内达成的共识:不论是联合国(ed Nations)或是世界(World Bank),还是形形色色的公职人员或心系苍生的名人,人人都认为扶贫不仅可取,而且可行。所有的争论都关乎于细节问题。That might sound wholly unsurprising. Yet in a new paper Martin Ravallion, an economics professor at Georgetown University and a former research director at the World Bank, charts the evolution of thinking on poverty over the past three centuries. He reckons that this consensus is of remarkably recent vintage. Not that long ago every element of the received wisdom—that poverty is a problem, that public policy should try to reduce the numbers of poor, and that there are good ways to try to do so without hurting the economy—would have been suspect.这听起来完全不足为奇。然而,曾担任过世界研究局局长的乔治城大学(Georgetown University)经济学教授马丁#8226;拉瓦雷(Martin Ravallion)在一篇论文中记录了过去三个世纪以来人们对贫困的思考的演变历程。他认为直到最近人们才在贫困的认知方面达成共识。就在不久之前,长期积累下来并且为多数人所接受的观念——贫困是个难题,公共政策应该试着减少贫困人口数量,而且有一些既能够达成这一目标而又不伤害经济发展的方式——一直都受到人们的质疑。According to the mercantilist thinking that dominated European thought between the 16th and 18th centuries, poverty was socially useful. True, it was miserable for the poor. But it also kept the economic engine humming by ensuring the availability of plentiful cheap labour. Bernard de Mandeville, an 18th-century economist and philosopher, thought it “manifest, that in a free nation where slaves are not allow’d of, the surest wealth consists in a multitude of laborious poor.” That attitude was the norm.在16世纪到18世纪间占据欧洲思想界的重商主义者看来,贫困对社会是有所帮助的。的确,在当时这对穷人来说不啻于一个悲惨的世界。但是,贫困同样确保了充足的廉价劳动力,维持经济引擎不断高速运转。18世纪经济学家兼哲学家的伯纳德#8226;曼德维尔(Bernard de Mandevill)认为贫困“表明,在一个不允许有奴隶存在的自由国度里,最可靠的财富蕴藏在无数勤恳的穷人手中。”这一观点在当时实属平常。If poor people were regarded as instrumental in ensuring economic development, that explains why there was little appetite for policies to help them leave poverty behind. What action there was tended to be palliative in nature. In the 18th century changes to the Poor Laws were designed to stop adverse shocks like failed harvests or bereavements from making life even harder for aly poor people. Such policies were designed to protect the poor from the worst deprivations, not to raise them up.如果穷人被视为确保经济发展的工具,这就解释为什么在当时几乎没有人愿意制定实行帮助穷人脱离贫困的政策了。为消除贫困而采取的任何行动在当时看来根本就是治标不治本的。18世纪,修订《济贫法》的目的便是避免那些业已陷入贫困的人们遭受更悲惨的打击,比如说农作物歉收或遭受丧亲之痛,以免他们的生活更加艰辛。制定此类政策的目的是保护穷人免于陷入彻底的赤贫,而不是帮助他们脱离贫困。In the late 18th century attitudes towards the poor took on a moralising tone. Thomas Malthus, a clergyman, blamed the plight of the poor on their own flaws. Technological change might drive wages above subsistence levels, but only temporarily because the fecundity of the poor would soon drive wages back down. His thinking inspired the introduction of a new Poor Law in 1834, which tried to make the workhouse their only option. “Outdoor relief”—giving the poor money—needed to be stopped.18世纪后半叶,人们在对贫穷的看法中夹杂了道德论调。身为牧师的托马斯#8226;马尔萨斯(Thomas Malthus)将穷人的困苦归咎于他们自身的不足。技术革新或许会驱使薪资上涨到能维持温饱的水平之上,但是这只是暂时的,因为穷人的多生多育很快就会带动薪资回落。他的思想启发了当时政府在1834年引进实施了一部新的《济贫法》,试图使去济贫院成为穷人唯一的选择。“院外救济”——给穷人发钱——必须终止。Adam Smith took a more humane view. He saw the social and emotional toll poverty could take, and sought to increase support for the idea of redistributive taxation: “The rich should contribute to the public expence [sic], not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.” But even the father of economics did not provide a coherent strategy for moving people permanently out of poverty.亚当#8226;斯密的观点则更为人性化。他认为贫困会对社会和人们的情绪造成恶劣的影响,同时寻找机会增加人们对税收再分配这一理念的持。“富人应该为公共出贡献出一部分所得,不单单以其收入的比例计算,而是应该高于这一比例。”但是,即便是经济学之父也未给帮助人们永远脱离贫困开出一剂疗效持久的药方。By the 20th century the research of Charles Booth and Seebohm Rowntree had brought the issue of poverty firmly into the public consciousness. This in turn encouraged new thinking about the economic rationale for reducing penury. The classical school believed that the real constraint on growth was aggregate savings. Given that the rich saved more than the poor, this implied that less poverty would mean lower growth. John Maynard Keynes disputed this view, arguing that it was aggregate consumption that mattered, in which case reducing poverty could actually aid growth. But it was not until the 1990s that a coherent theoretical framework emerged to show how high levels of poverty stifled investment and innovation. For example, several models showed how unequal access to credit meant that the poor were less able to invest in their own education or businesses than was optimal, leading to lower growth for the economy as a whole. Scholars buttressed the theory with empirical evidence that high initial levels of poverty reduced subsequent growth in developing countries.20世纪,查尔斯#8226;布斯(Charles Booth)和希波姆#8226;朗特里(Seebohm Rowntree)将贫困问题深深地刻入了公众的意识之中。这一举动反过来鼓励了人们对减少贫困的经济原理有了全新思考。古典学派相信真正制约经济增长的是总储蓄量。由于富人比穷人储蓄的多,这表明贫困人数越少就意味着经济增长率越低。约翰#8226;梅纳德#8226;凯恩斯(John Maynard Keynes)驳斥了这一观点,他认为总消费量起到了至关重要的作用,在这种情况下,减少贫困实际上能够有助于增长。但是直到1990年代,一个统一的理论框架才出现,表明高水平的贫困如何限制了投资和创新。比如说,有些经济学模型表明获得信贷的机会不均等是如何导致穷人比优秀的人更无力于投资自身的教育或是生意,进而导致整个社会的经济增长处于较低的水平。学者们用无可辩驳的据给为之一理论提供了持:在发展中国家,初始的高水平贫困率降低了该国后继的经济增长。Poor relations牵强的联系New theories of poverty were also overturning received notions of why the poor stayed poor. The fault had long been placed at their door: the poor were variously lazy, prone to alcoholism and incapable of disciplined work. Such tropes are still occasionally heard today, but the horrors of the Depression in the 1930s led many to re-evaluate the idea that poverty was mainly the result of people’s own actions. Advances in economic models meanwhile allowed policymakers to see how low levels of education, health and nutrition could keep people stuck in penury. Policies to subsidise education or health care were desirable not merely for their own sake but also because they would help people break out of poverty.新的贫困理论同样也颠覆了人们长久以来对穷人深陷贫穷原因的认知。一直以来都认为穷人是咎由自取:穷人想方设法偷懒,容易酗酒并且不能从事要求纪律性的工作。今天这些陈词滥调依然不时的喧嚣尘上,但是1930年代经济大萧条期间的惨况使一些人重新审视了贫困主要是人自身行为的恶果这一个观念。同时,经济学模型不断完善,使得决策者们认识到低水平的教育、健康和营养是如何使人们陷入贫困难以自拔。补贴教育和医保的政策能够得以执行不单单是因为自身的缘故,同样还因为这政策能够帮助人们摆脱贫困。The growth of “conditional cash transfers”, schemes like Brazil’s Bolsa Familia that give poor people money as long as they send their children to school or have them vaccinated, are logical developments of these ideas. The notion of schooling the poor to a better life seemed absurd in the era of de Mandeville: “Going to school in comparison to working is idleness, and the longer boys continue in this easy sort of life, the more unfit they’ll be when grown up for downright labour.” Such poverty of thinking may sound archaic, but it persisted for longer than you might think.“有条件的现金补助计划”的增多正是这些理念合乎逻辑的演进,比如说巴西的“家庭补助金计划”,只要人们将孩子送去学校或是给孩子接种牛痘疫苗,政府就给他们发放现金。在曼德维尔所处的时代,为了能过上更好的生活而让穷人去上学的理念似乎有些荒谬。“与工作比起来,上学就是懒惰的表现,而且孩子们过这种简单生活的时间越长,长大之后越难以适应完全的体力劳动。”这对关于贫困的想法听起来可能会感觉有些过时,但是它们持续的时间超乎你的想象。 /201308/252415

Acne:the scourge of adolescence.粉刺:青春期的灾难。Most people endure it atsome point, and cant wait to be rid of the combination of whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, andpustules that comprise the skin condition that affects over 80% of teenagers and nearly 20% ofadults.许多人都在忍受它带来的麻烦,迫切地想要摆脱白头、黑头、丘疹、脓疱的困扰。这些问题滋扰着超过80%的年轻人和近20%的成人。Acne begins with the pores from which hair grows.粉刺在毛发生长的毛孔上出现,These pores contain sebaceous glands thatproduce a type of oil that lubricates hair and skin.这些毛孔包含了皮脂腺,而皮脂腺能产生可以滋润毛发和皮肤的油。When the glands produce the right amount ofoil, theres usually no trouble.当这些腺体产生适量油脂的时候,通常不会出现问题。But, when a pore gets clogged with too much oil and dead skin cells, problems arise.但是,当一个毛孔被过多的油脂和死去的皮肤细胞堵塞,问题出现了。The onset ofpuberty in most kids involves the production of hormones.许多孩子的青春期伴随着荷尔蒙的产生。These hormones cause the sebaceousglands to make excess oil.这些激素导致皮脂腺分泌多余的油脂。Too much oil clogs pores and attracts bacteria, which feed on the oiland begin to multiply.过多的油脂会堵塞毛孔并滋生细菌,细菌靠这些油脂生存和繁殖。A clogged pore can only stand so much internal pressure before its wallsbreak, allowing the oil and bacteria to seep under the surrounding skin.一个堵塞的毛孔的承载量是有限的,当压力过大时毛壁会破裂,油脂和细菌会渗漏到附近的皮肤上。This gives rise tosomething every teen ds: a pimple.每个年轻人的噩梦-粉刺产生了。Contrary to popular belief, eating foods such as pizza and chocolate does not cause or exacerbateacne.不同于大众的认知,吃诸如披萨和巧克力之类的食物并不会导致或者恶化粉刺。Whether or not a person will have acne as a teenager or adult is largely a matter of genetics:if your parents had it, theres a good chance you will too.不管是青少年还是成年人,人们产生粉刺的原因在于基因:如果你的父母有过粉刺,你很可能也会有。Although there is no cure for acne, simple remedies to prevent a build-up of oil in pores, such aswashing your face with soap and warm water and using oil-free cosmetics, can help.尽管没有根治粉刺的方法,但有办法可以防止毛孔的油脂堆积:比如用温水和肥皂洗脸,使用不含油脂的化妆品。201403/278303

Todays Moment of Science ;digs up; the story behind one of the grizzly bears more unusual nicknames: the ;Rototiller of the Rockies.;今天科学一刻将会深入;挖掘;灰熊的一个不同寻常的绰号背后的故事,这个绰号就是;落基山脉的旋耕机;。Grizzly bear claws are huge–usually three to four inches long. This is perfect for an animal who survives by digging around in the landscape, unearthing tasty treats like ground squirrels and root vegetables.灰熊熊掌很大,一般有3到4英寸长。这种尺寸对于靠挖食为生的动物来说是极为有利的,它们能够在地里挖掘出美味的食物,如地松鼠、根茎类植物等。One of the grizzly bears favorite early season foods is the glacier lily, a beautiful yellow flower with a starchy, nutritious bulb. Bears ;till; up the land, turning over chunks of soil to access those tasty bulbs. And guess what: scientists working in Glacier Park, Montana have learned that this ;tilling; has some important side effects. Areas with recent bear diggings have less plant diversity and higher nitrogen levels than undisturbed parts of the landscape.早春季节,灰熊最喜欢的食物之一就是冰川百合,这是一种非常美丽的黄色花朵,它的球茎内含有大量淀粉和多种营养物质。灰熊会刨开土壤来寻找美味的球茎。你知道吗:在蒙大拿冰川公园的科学家们了解到,灰熊的这种挖掘方式会对土壤产生一些副作用。灰熊挖过的区域会造成植物的多样性减少,并且土壤的含氮量会高于那些没被挖掘过的区域。Without much competition from other plants, left behind glacier lily bulbs can quickly regenerate, and these new lilies produce twice the usual number of seeds, thanks to the nitrogen rich soil!由于没有来自其它植物的竞争,冰百合能够迅速繁殖,同时,由于土壤含氮量高,新生的百合能够产出比平常多一倍的种子。We humans have also gained important culinary knowledge. You see, after digging up glacier lilies, bears often leave the bulbs for a few days to wilt in the sun.我们人类从中也了解到很重要的烹调小贴士。你看,灰熊挖出球茎后,通常会将它晒上几天。This ;cooks; them a bit, and makes them sweeter and easier to digest. First Nations lore shows that early peoples learned to dry and cook glacier lily bulbs by copying the grizzly bear.晒过之后的球茎会更甜,更容易消化。据原住民记载,早期的人类就是通过模仿灰熊才学会晒干和烹制冰川百合的。 /201305/239763

  America and the second world war美国和二战That special relationship那种特殊的关系Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and Americas Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941. By Lynne Olson.书名:《那些愤怒的日子:罗斯福、林白及美国对是否参加二战的争论,1939至1941年》作者:Lynne OlsonWHEN “the chips are down”, David Cameron declared on a visit to Washington last year, Britain and America know that they can always count on each other. Standing beside Barack Obama on a sun-drenched White House lawn, Britains prime minister invoked the memory of their respective grandfathers, serving in the same campaign to drive Hitlers forces from France. The message was clear. Seven decades on, when the British need to claim a special relationship with America, nothing approaches the second world wars talismanic power.去年,卡梅伦在访问华盛顿时说:在“危急时刻”,英美两国明白,双方总是可以互相信赖的。卡梅伦首相与奥巴马一同站在白宫洒满阳光的草坪上,卡梅伦唤起了双方对各自先辈的回忆:他们并肩作战,将希特勒的军队从法国驱赶出去。卡梅伦传达了一条明确的信息:七十年后的今天,当英国需要与美国保持一种特殊关系时,什么也比不了二战的特殊魔力。In truth, for two terrifying years after it declared war on Germany, Britain did not know that America would come to its aid. Winston Churchills government wavered between a conviction that President Franklin Roosevelt did not want Hitler to control the whole of Europe and so would send help, and a suspicion that many in his government dreamed of scavenging the assets of a doomed British empire. Britain made an extraordinary effort to bring America into the war before it was too late. With Roosevelts tacit approval, hundreds of British agents flooded neutral America, secretly spying on isolationist politicians, Axis diplomats and Nazi sympathisers and more openly wooing public opinion with lectures, radio broadcasts and stories planted in friendly newspapers. Marrying a historians thoroughness with a biographers eye for human nature, Lynne Olsons magnificent new account shows what a close-run thing their campaign was.实际上,在英国向德国宣战后可怕的两年中,英国不知道美国会对其提供帮助。丘吉尔政府摇摆不定,时而坚信罗斯福不会让希特勒控制整个欧洲,因此会向英国提供援助;时而又怀疑罗斯福政府中的一些人,认为他们梦想着大英帝国会毁灭,然后蚕食其资产。英国竭尽全力及时地拉动美国参战。在罗斯福的默许下,数百名英国间谍涌入中立的美国,秘密监视孤立派政治家、轴心国外交官和纳粹的同情者,他们还发表演讲、进行电台广播,同时在亲英的报纸上刊登故事,来更加公开地争取民心。在这部精绝伦的新书中,作者Lynne Olson结合历史学家的全面性和传记作家对人性的探寻,向读者展示了他们的行动是如何地惊险。“Those Angry Days” describes a divided America that is little remembered now, amid praise for the greatest-generation years that followed. She depicts an anti-war country in which bars near army bases sported signs banning soldiers, and generals wore mufti to testify on Capitol Hill, lest their uniforms provoke isolationist members of Congress.《那些愤怒的日子》一书描述了一个现在鲜为人知的分裂的美国,字里行间也体现了对之后数年内最伟大一代的赞许。她描述了一个反战的国家,在那里,军事基地附近的酒吧挂着禁止士兵入内的标识,将军则在美国国会山身穿便作,以免他们的制惹恼议会中不主张美国参战的人。In defence of that pacifism, she explains how Americans felt that their country had been dragged into the first world war by clever British propaganda and promises that Americans killed in Europes mud were making the world “safe for democracy”. Twenty years later, many Americans believed that Europes squabbling powers once again seemed unwilling or unable to defend democracy. Less defensibly, a series of grandees—whether army officers, senators, press barons, or students at Yale and Harvard—are shown questioning whether there was any great moral difference between Britain and Nazi Germany, a view that was often tinged with anti-Semitism.美国人感到正是英国人狡猾的宣传和保才把美国卷入了第一次世界大战,这些感受还是有原因的。作者为反战主义辩护,解释了美国人为什么这样想。二十年后,许多美国人认为欧洲争吵不休的大国再次似乎不愿意或不能够保卫民主。作者还较客观地指出:一系列的大人物—不管是军官、议员、报业巨头或是耶鲁和哈佛大学的学生—都在质疑英国和纳粹德国之间是否存在任何道义上的不同,这种观点常常带有一丝反犹太主义色。Many pages are devoted to an isolationist leader whose clay feet are well known: the transatlantic air pioneer, Charles Lindbergh (pictured), who came grievously close to sympathising with the Nazis. But the books power lies in its finely shaded portraits of figures more usually remembered in poster-bright hues of heroism.作者还用了许多笔墨来描述一位孤立派领导人,他就是跨大西洋飞行员查尔斯-林白,他的致命弱点广为人知:他十分接近于同情纳粹。但是本书的妙处就在于作者擅于用委婉的手法对一些人物进行描述,这些人物在当今人们的眼中英雄色更浓一些。George Marshall, who would later become a great war commander, is shown resisting help for embattled Britain until late in 1941. Marshall never quite rebelled openly, but he shielded aides as they leaked and schemed against government policy. Several senior officers were“essentially pro-German”. For his part Roosevelt is shown as perilously indecisive, poring over opinion polls and “waiting to be pushed into war”, as he told his treasury secretary. Even after the attack on Pearl Harbour, which was greeted with champagne by British officials in America, the president hesitated, detecting a “lingering distinction” in public opinion between war with Japan and a second front with Germany. In the end, Hitler made the decision for him by declaring war on America.本书写道:后来成为战时指挥官的马歇尔一直拒绝向四面楚歌的英国提供帮助,这种情况一直持续到1941年年末。尽管马歇尔基本上从来没有公开反对向英国提供援助,但是当来自美国的援助一点点流向英国时,他对之进行了阻止;马歇尔还暗中反对政府的政策。几名美国高级军官“实际上是亲德的”。在本书中,罗斯福优柔寡断至极、埋头研究民意调查、“等着被推入战争”—罗斯福就是这么告诉他的财政部长的。珍珠港袭击发生后,在美的英国军官用香槟酒庆祝,甚至在那以后,罗斯福总统仍然犹豫不决,认为“向日本开战”和“在第二战线与德国开战”这两种民意“一直存在区别”。最后,希特勒率先向美国开战,从而为罗斯福做了决定。The British are not let off scot-free. In addition to planting propaganda, British agents broke American laws with a will. The British tapped phones, opened letters and even forged a map given to Roosevelt, supposedly showing Nazi plans to take over Latin America. Snobbery played into Britains hands. The book could be sub- titled “Wasps at War”, as east-coast anglophiles and Wall Street millionaires pushed their country towards engagement, against isolationist forces drawn from the prairies and small towns of middle America.英国人的所作所为我们可不能不追究。除了四处播撒言论,英国间谍还大肆破坏美国的法律。英方窃听电话、私拆信件、甚至虚造了一幅地图给了罗斯福,让他以为纳粹可能有占领拉丁美洲的计划。英国人正是利用某些美国人的势利眼而达到了自己的目的。该书的副标题可作“战时的VIP们”,因为那时美国东海岸的亲英派和华尔街百万富翁将美国推向了参战之路,尽管那些来自北美大牧场和美国中部小镇的孤立派反对这么做。Among the heroes are Wendell Willkie, the Republican presidential candidate in 1940, who after his defeat backed Roosevelt and vitally campaigned for Americans to be conscripted and trained for war and for Britain to be sent aid. That enraged many in Willkies party, but may have helped avert a Nazi victory.温德尔?威尔基是众多英雄之一,他在1940年是共和党总统候选人,在总统竞选失败后他持罗斯福,并积极动员美国人为战争应征入伍并接受训练、推动为英国送去援助。这激怒了很多共和党人,但这很可能扭转了战局,防止了纳粹的胜利。In the end, the public was ahead of many in the elite. Even before Pearl Harbour, polls showed Americans preferring entry into the war to a German victory over Britain. Japan had hoped its bombs would demoralise Americans. Instead, America was united by the attack. Two years of savage debate had aly aired every argument for and against war, Ms Olson notes. Democracy was Americas strength, as an anxious Britain had hoped it would be. It was a point despotic enemies could never have understood.最后,民众反而走在了很多上层人士的前面。甚至在珍珠港事件发生以前,民意测验就显示美国人更倾向于美国参战,而不是德国战胜英国。日本原本希望在珍珠港投下的炸弹能使美国人人心涣散;然而,那场袭击让美国人团结一心。作者Olson指出,在两年的激烈辩论中,人们可以听到各种持和反对美国参战的言论。民主是美国的力量所在,而这正是焦虑的英国所希望能做到的。而这一点是任何专制的敌人永远也不会明白的。 /201405/296629

  The rise of solo living独居时代的崛起A room of ones own属于一个人的房间Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone. By Eric Klinenberg.《走向单身:独身主义的崛起与诱惑》;艾瑞克·克兰伯格著“YOU need an apartment alone even if its over a garage,” declared Helen Gurley Brown in her 1962 bestseller “Sex and the Single Girl”. To Brown, who went on to edit Cosmopolitan magazine, the benefits of solo living were innumerable: it afforded the space to cultivate the self, furnish the mind, work late and indulge in sexual experimentation. Young women should enjoy their best years without a husband, she advised, as this not only laid the foundation for stronger marriages but also gave them a lifestyle to fall back on in case they found themselves alone again.;就算它是在停车库上方,你也需要一座属于自己的公寓。”海伦·格莉·布朗在其1962年的畅销书《单身女孩》宣扬道。对于这位《大都市》杂志的主编来说,独居生活的好处无穷无尽。独居可以拥有培养自我,心灵供给,熬夜工作,纵情性爱的空间。她认为,年轻女性应该不急于结婚,好好享受她们人生中最美好的年华。这样才能为强力的婚姻培养好基础,同时以防下一次落单能够重返从前的生活方式。Sensational at the time, Browns counsel seems sensible now. Certainly both sexes have taken it to heart, marrying later, divorcing ily and living alone in larger numbers than ever before. In America more than half of all adults are single and roughly one out of seven lives alone. Worldwide, the number of solo dwellers has climbed from 153m in 1996 to 202m in 2006—a 33% jump in a decade, according to Euromonitor International, a market analyst. Yet little is known about the wider social effects of this unprecedented boom, writes Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist at New York University. His new book “Going Solo” offers a comprehensive look at the lures and perils of living alone.布朗的建议曾轰动一时,现在看来也不失理智。很显然,男女双方都将建议铭记于心,迟迟结婚,快速离婚,独自生活的人数比过往多了许多。美国有逾半数的成年人单身,大概有七分之一的人独居。据市场分析公司欧睿信息咨询公司数据统计,全球独居人数已由1996年的153百万攀升至2006年的202百万人—十年间增加了33%。而这始料未及的上涨所引起的更广泛社会效应却鲜有人知道,纽约大学社会学家艾瑞克· 克兰纳伯格写道。他的新书“走向独居”一书向我们全面诠释了有关独居生活的诱惑和冒险。Mr Klinenberg parts with those who see the rise of solo living as yet another sign of the decline of civic society. Now that marriage is no longer the ticket to adulthood, a desire to live alone is perfectly reasonable, he writes. Young adults view it as a rite of passage, a period of personal growth before possibly settling down. Its cultural acceptance has helped to liberate women from bad marriages and oppressive families, granting them a space to return to civic life. And as elderly adults live longer than ever before, often without a partner, many hope to stay independent for as long as possible. Nearly everyone who lives alone prefers it to their other options, says Mr Klinenberg, and ever more people hope to join the ranks.有人将独居人数的上涨视为公民社会衰退的象征,克兰伯格对此并不赞同。他在书中写道,现在婚姻并不再是通往成熟的唯一途径,独居的渴望是非常理智的。青年人将独居视为成熟的仪式,安定之前的自我成长。文化上对独居的接受让妇女得以从不良婚姻,压抑家庭解放出来,确保她们能有足够空间重返公民生活,而且随着人们寿命延长,年老者多无伴,许多人希望尽可能保持独立。几乎每位独居者更享受现在的生活,而且越来越多的人希望加入独居的队伍当中。Solitary living need not mean solitude. The author offers evidence that people who live alone are often more socially active than their cohabitating peers. The “communications revolution” has allowed more people to experience the pleasures of social life from the comforts of home, and cities with high numbers of singletons enjoy a thriving public culture of bars, cafés and restaurants. Urban officials are now eager to lure professional singles—known to both work and play hard—in the hope that they will stimulate the local culture and economy.独居生活并不意味着形单影只。克兰伯格在书中罗列种种例子,表明独居的人比群居的同龄人更加活跃于社交。“通信革命”让更多人体验到由居家舒适感带来的社交愉悦,享受到和众多单身族一起在酒吧、咖啡馆和餐馆同欢这一种兴盛的公共文化。如今,城市官员热切希望职业单身族能够在当地定居。众所周知,职业单身族不仅勤于工作也乐于享受,这样就可以大大促进当地的文化和经济。Living alone is easy enough for the young and solvent; less so for the elderly, frail and poor. Mr Klinenberg came to this story while working on a book about the lethal Chicago heatwave of 1995, when hundreds of people died alone at home, out of touch with friends and neighbours. The trend for solo living can too easily morph into social isolation, particularly for men, who are less adept than women at making and sustaining connections. Other bugbears include loneliness, discrimination (in the workplace, the tax code and so on) and workaholism. Ageing single adults—a fast-growing group—complain that there are few decent, affordable alternatives to withering away.对于年轻人和富有的人来说,独居是很容易的,而对于长者,体弱多病或者穷人来说相对较难。克兰伯格正是在写作一本关于1995年芝加哥致命热浪的书而关注到独居现象的。当年,有成百的人在房子里孤独地死去,邻里朋友并不相知。独居的热潮很容易演变为社会孤立,特别是对于男人。因为男人并不如女人那样会创造和维持社会连接。其他令人担忧的原因还包括孤独感,歧视(在工作场所,免税代码等等)和工作狂。作为快速增长的群体,曾经的单身青年逐渐老去,开始埋怨很少有其他体面的,付得起的变老方式傍他们逝去。Mr Klinenberg looks wistfully to the Scandinavian countries, where generous social-welfare benefits and communal urban design allow more people to live alone together. He optimistically calls for “bold policy initiatives” such as more affordable housing and assisted-living facilities. “Well need them,” he adds, “since so many of us will be living alone.”克林伯格想必非常渴望到斯堪的纳维亚国家生活。 这些国家拥有慷慨的社会福利,而公共的城市设计允许许多人可以一起享受独居生活。他积极呼吁“政治上进行勇敢的首创改良”—诸如提供老百姓付得起的房屋和辅助生活设备。“我们将需要这些。”他补充说道“因为将来我们中的大多数人将过上独居的生活。“ /201405/302139。

  Science and technology科学技术Epigenetics and health表观遗传学与健康Grandmas curse祖母的诅咒Some of the effects of smoking may be passed from grandmother to grandchild祖母吸烟产生的影响可以会遗传至孙子或孙女Think of your grandchildren!想想你的孙辈吧!ONE of biologys hottest topics is epigenetics.当今生物学最热的话题之一是表观遗传学,The term itself covers a multitude of sins.这个术语本身就涵盖了许多宗罪。Strictly speaking, it refers to the regulation of gene expression by the chemical modification of DNA, or of the histone proteins in which DNA is usually wrapped.严格来说,表观遗传学研究的是DNA或含有DNA的组蛋白化学改性中的基因表达调控现象。This modification is either the addition of methyl groups to the DNA or of acetyl groups to the histones.这种改性或者是甲基增至DNA中,或者是乙酰基增加到组蛋白中。Methylation switches genes off.甲基化作用关闭基因,Acetylation switches them on.乙酰化作用启动基因。Since, in a multicellular organism, different cells need different genes to be active, such regulation is vital.由于在多细胞有机体中,不同的细胞需要借助不同的基因以激活自身,所以这种调控至关重要。What has got a lot of people excited, though, is the idea that epigenetic switches might be transmitted down the generations.但令人兴奋的是,有观点认为,表观遗传现象中的基因表达调控功能有可能世代相传。Some see this as contrary to Darwinism, since it would permit characteristics acquired during an organisms lifetime to be passed on to its offspring, as suggested by a rival theory of evolution put forward by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.有些人将之视为对达尔文学说的反,因为这将允许有机体存活期间所获得的特征遗传给后代,正如法国著名生物学家让巴蒂斯特拉马克所提出的与进化论相对的学说。This is an exaggeration.这种想法有些夸张了。The DNA sequence itself is not being permanently altered.基因序列不会一直变化,Even those epigenetic changes that are inherited seem to be subsequently reversible.甚至那些表观遗传学意义上的变化遗传给下一代后,似乎仍然存在可逆性。But the idea that acquired characteristics can be inherited at all is still an important and novel one, and a worrying example of the phenomenon has been published this week in BioMed Central Medicine.但是,因表观遗传现象所获得的特征完全可以遗传的观点仍然新颖且重要。本周,BioMed Central Medicine刊出了一项研究,可例这一现象,其结果令人担忧。The study in question, by Virender Rehan of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, and his colleagues, was of the intergenerational effects of nicotine.该项研究是由洛杉矶生物医学研究所的Virender Rehan和他的同事们开展的,研究的是尼古丁的代际影响。It was done in rats, but a rats physiology is sufficiently similar to a humans to suspect the same thing may be true in Homo sapiens.研究人员虽然在大鼠身上进行实验,但因为大鼠的生理机能与人类十分相像,所以研究人员怀疑对于大鼠的研究结果可能同样适用于智人。In a nutshell, Dr Rehan showed that if pregnant rats are exposed to nicotine, not only will their offspring develop the asthma induced by this drug, so will the offspring of those offspring.简而言之,Rehan士想说明的是,如果大鼠怀时接触尼古丁,不仅下一代会因此患上哮喘,第三代也会深受其害。Dr Rehan and his team injected their rats with nicotine when they were six days pregnant.Rehan士和他的团队在大鼠怀的第六天为其注射尼古丁。They then allowed them to give birth and raised the pups to the age of three weeks, before some were examined.大鼠的后代出生后,由母鼠养育三周。The rest were allowed to mature and breed, and their own offspring were similarly examined.然后研究人员选取一部分后代进行检查,其余的第二代大鼠继续生长繁殖,最后研究人员对第三代大鼠进行类似的检验。There was, however, no further administration of nicotine.但是,第二代大鼠在妊娠期间,不再被注射尼古丁。The pups of the treated mothers had asthmatic lungs.检测发现,被注射尼古丁的母鼠所繁殖的第二代大鼠肺部有哮喘病变。The organs airways were constricted,大鼠肺部的气道处于收缩状态。and molecular analysis showed abnormally high levels of fibronectin and collagen—which would stiffen the lung tissue—and also high levels of receptor molecules for nicotine.经过分子分析发现,大鼠肺部的纤维连接蛋白和胶原蛋白含量异常升高,这将导致肺组织硬化;同时尼古丁受体分子增加。That was expected, since the developing embryos were exposed to the nicotine when their mothers were treated.结果表明,母鼠被注射尼古丁后,其后代在胚胎发育时期就会受尼古丁的影响,这一结果正如预期。However, when the team did similar tests on the grand-offspring of the treated mothers, they got similar results.但是,当研究团队对第三代大鼠进行类似检查时,发现了同样的情况,Those grand-offspring had not been exposed to nicotine.即使这些第三代大鼠并没有接触尼古丁。The cause of the grand-offsprings asthma, Dr Rehan believes, is epigenetic modification.Rehan士认为,第三代大鼠的哮喘是表观遗传中的改性现象。Nicotine is not only affecting lung cells, but also affecting sex cells in ways that cause the lungs which ultimately develop from those cells to express their genes in the same abnormal ways.尼古丁不仅侵袭肺部细胞,还会影响生殖细胞,使得生殖细胞在发育器官时,在肺部异常表达基因,导致新发育的肺部同样受到尼古丁的不良影响。Exactly what those epigenetic changes are is hard to track down.表观遗传现象具体引起了哪种变化,目前难以获知。The team have started looking, but could find no clear pattern except that one form of nicotine-induced acetylation, that of H3 histones, could be blocked by a molecule called RGZ.研究团队已经开始研究这一问题,但目前只研究出一种明确的模式:尼古丁会引起H3组蛋白的乙酰化,This molecule is also known to protect lungs against the asthma-causing effects of nicotine.进而导致一种叫做RGZ的分子受到抑制,而目前已知RGZ分子可以保护肺脏,使其免受由尼古丁引起的哮喘。That suggests it is the acetylation of H3 histones rather than the methylation of DNA itself that is creating the effect.这表明由尼古丁引起的哮喘是源于H3组蛋白的乙酰化,而非DNA自身的甲基化作用。Which crucial genes these histones surround remains obscure.研究团队目前没有研究出这些受影响的组蛋白包含着哪些关键基因,Nor have the team yet found out whether the epigenetic effect they have discovered reaches further than grand-offspring.也没有发现表观遗传的影响是否会延续至第三代以下的后代。If it does, though, it suggests that epigenetics really might act like the biblical curse:然而,如果有研究表明后生效应会世代相传的话,这就表明表观遗传现象真真是有如圣经上的诅咒:that the sins of the fathers will be visited on the sons, even unto the third and fourth generations.父辈的罪孽,会降罪至他们的下一代身上,甚至会延续至第三代或者第四代。 /201401/271825

  When you eat a fatty food, it moves through the stomach andon to the intestines.当你食用富含高脂肪的食物时,脂肪通过胃流入肠道。In the intestines, a number of processes occur to transfer fat from the foodto special fat cells in your body.在肠道中,脂肪经过一系列的消化流程从食物转化为体内的特殊脂肪细胞。First, the gall bladder produces bile that breaks the foods fat droplets into smaller droplets.首先,胆囊分泌胆汁分解食物脂肪滴,使其更小。Next,the pancreas secretes enzymes that attack the fat droplets and break them down into two parts:fatty acids and glycerol.然后,胰腺分泌胰腺酶作用于脂肪滴,将其分解为两个部分:脂肪酸和甘油。This happens because fat droplets are too big to pass through cell membranes.这是因为脂肪滴过大,无法穿过细胞膜。The broken downfat is absorbed by the cells lining the intestine, where it is reassembled into fat molecules andeventually shuttled into the bloodstream with the help of lipoprotein particles.分解的脂肪被肠粘膜细胞吸收,重组成脂肪细胞,最后负载在脂蛋白颗粒上进入血液循环。For the most part fat is stored in the fat cells that compose fatty tissue.大部分的脂肪储存在脂肪细胞内,形成脂肪组织。Think of a fat cell as a tinyplastic bag filled with a drop of fat.脂肪细胞好比一个容纳脂肪滴的塑料袋。Interestingly, fat cells do not multiply.有趣的是,脂肪细胞并不会变多。The body contains a finitenumber of fat cells that expand as they absorb fat.身体内的脂肪细胞数量有限,它们在吸收脂肪后体积膨胀。So how can you make those fat cells smaller?那么,如何使得这些脂肪细胞变小?Eat well and exercise.健康饮食和运动。When you work out, yourbody burns energy, primarily in the form of glucose.运动时,身体消耗葡萄糖以燃烧能量。After breaking down stores of carbohydratesto produce glucose, the body goes after fat, which it breaks down into fatty acids that can also beused to make glucose.当储备的碳水化合物转化成的葡萄糖被完全消耗后,身体就开始分解脂肪,由此产生脂肪酸,而脂肪酸也会产生葡萄糖。201408/324212

  

  

  

  YAEL:Today, on a Moment of Science, were conducting an experiment on sleep deprivation.雅艾尔:在今天的科学一刻节目中,我们正在进行的是一项睡剥夺眠的实验。On my right, we have my friend Bob, who hasnt slept in eighty-eight hours straight!我的右手边是88小时没有合过眼,我的朋友鲍勃。Bob? Bob? Okay, so hes pretty unresponsive.鲍勃?鲍勃?好吧,他没什么反应。And on my left, we have Don, who has been restricted to no more than four hours of sleep a night for the past two weeks.而我的左边是唐,他被限制在过去两周每晚睡眠时间不超过4个小时。How are you feeling, Don?现在感觉如何,唐?DON:Well, Im a little tired, Yael, but not as tired as Bob over there, who I think is drooling.唐:嗯,雅艾尔,我只是感觉有点累,但是没有鲍勃看起来那样累,我觉得他在流口水。YAEL:If youve ever relied on a doctor or an airplane pilot, then you know theres a lot at stake over whether Don is telling the truth about how tired he feels.雅艾尔:如果你的吃饭职业是医生或飞机飞行员,那你就会清楚唐在讲自己是否有多累的感觉存在着很多危险。DON:Of course Im telling the truth. I feel fine.唐:我当然说的是实话。我感觉很好。YAEL:Well, you might think you feel fine, but I have in front of me the result of the cognitive performance tests both you and Bob over here took earlier today.雅艾尔:嗯,你可能会自认为感觉很好,但在我面前的是今天早些时候你和鲍勃两人的认知表现测试结果。And guess what?! Don! Don!你猜结果如何?唐!唐!DON:Huh? What?唐:嗯?什么?YAEL:These cognitive performance tests show that you and Bob are having equal trouble performing some pretty basic tasks.雅艾尔:这些认知表现测试显示你和鲍勃在执行一些非常基本的任务时有着一样的麻烦。DON:But Bob hasnt slept in three days!唐:但鲍勃可是3天没睡过觉!YAEL:Exactly. So that means that even missing only a couple of hours of sleep a night really adds up if you do it every night.雅艾尔:没错。所以即使如果每天只是少几个小时的睡眠,长此以往如此也会有显著的效果。In other words, sleep debt is cumulative,换句话说,睡眠债是累积的,and right now, you have no more business going out there and driving a car than Bob does.而现在,比起鲍勃,你最好也别出门谈生意及驾驶车辆。Whats more, youre so tired right now that you cant even properly evaluate how tired you are, which makes your sleep debt even more dangerous.更重要的是, 现在如此疲倦的你甚至不能正确地评价自己有多疲倦,这使得你的睡眠债更危险。DON:Guess I better catch up on some Zs!唐:我想自己最好感觉补点觉!YAEL:Looks like Bobs beaten you to it. 雅艾尔:看起来鲍勃已经先你一步。 201311/263599

  

  

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