2015年11月30日 星期一

stilled, sparkle, sparkling clarity, re-gifted, flat Champagne

WSJ “發掘被次貸危機掩蓋的閃光點” --原標題Sparkles Behind Subprime Hits
閃光點意義不明 我差點誤解為 flash point
sparkle ”(經營表現)令人振奮或感興趣的公司:


Sparkling Clarity
知名詩人余光中的夫人范我存,長年鑽研古玉飾品及器物,2008年新春開始,在新思惟人文空間首度舉辦「一斛晶瑩」Sparkling Clarity串珠首飾發表會,將變形珍珠與古玉結合,呈現另一種與眾不同的美感。范我存在創作過程中發現「變形珍珠」具有豐富的色彩及多元的形狀,因此構想以變形珍珠為主要配件進行首飾創作,再搭配其長期蒐藏的古老飾件,呈現出穿梭古今、融會傳統與時尚的品牌。余光中特別為此展命名為「一斛晶瑩」Sparkling Clarity,斛與壺同音,「晶瑩」則是融合各種美石之意。......

Mr Watanabe’s departure set off speculation about whether civil war within the LDP was about to break out into the open, with defections to a new political force. If only in this respect, the scale of Japan’s slump benefits Mr Aso for now, since it has stilled such a rebellion. 2009




So here’s a bit of information to help put you at ease: Unless it is cold hard cash, it’s going to be re-gifted. The most beautiful glassware, those color-coordinated throw pillows, a Ming Dynasty vase — nobody keeps anything these days, even a crowd-pleaser like a bottle of Champagne. Especially, as it turns out, Champagne. Put a trace tag on a bottle of a Champagne you give someone, in the manner of the scientists that study the migration patterns of birds, and you’re likely to see it make a half-dozen stops, so that by the time someone finally opens it, it will very likely be flat. Blair Gordon, an interior designer who once re-gifted an expensive bottle of Champagne at a dinner party only to find the woman who had given it to him sitting opposite him, glaring, calls Champagne “the new fruitcake.”



flat (NOT ACTIVE) Show phonetics
adjective flatterflattest
1 not active; not interesting or lacking emotion:
After the excitement of the party, life seems rather flat now.
I thought her performance a little flat.
I think the colours in this painting are rather flat (= not varied or bright).
UK I left my car lights on all night and now the battery is flat (US dead(= has no electrical power left in it).

2 describes a drink which has stopped being fizzy:
If you don't put the top back on that bottle of beer, it will go flat.
Compare still (NOT MOVING).

flatly Show phonetics
adverb
in a way that lacks emotion or interest:
The witness responded flatly to the judge's questions.

flatness Show phonetics
noun [U]
when someone or something lacks emotion or interest:
All the critics remarked on the flatness of the performance.

still (NOT MOVING)
adjective
1 staying in the same position; not moving:
Children find it difficult to sit/stand/stay still for very long.
I can't brush your hair if you don't keep/hold still.
She sat perfectly still while I took her photograph.
The air was so still (= There was so little wind) that not even the leaves on the trees were moving.
She dived into the still (= calm and not flowing) water of the lake.

2 MAINLY UK A still drink is one that is not fizzy:
Would you like still or sparkling water?

still
verb [T]
to make something stop moving or become more calm:
He tried to still the swaying of the hammock.
LITERARY She cuddled her baby to still its cries.

still
noun
1 [C] SPECIALIZED a photograph of a piece of action in a film

2 [U] LITERARY when it is quiet and calm:
In the still of the night, nothing moved.

stillness PhoneticPhoneticPhoneticPhoneticPhoneticPhoneticPhoneticPhoneticPhoneticPhoneticPhonetic Hide phonetics
noun [U]

clar・i・ty


  
━━ n. 透明; 明快さ.


spar・kle



  
━━ n., v. 火花(を出す,出させる); 泡立ち[つ]; ひらめき; きらめき[く]; 光輝(を放つ), 光る ((with)); 生気(がある).
 spar・kler ━━ n. きらめく物; 美人, 才子; 花火; 〔話〕 光る宝石; ダイヤモンド.
 spar・kling ━━ a. 発泡性の.
sparkling water ソーダ水.
sparkling wine スパークリングワイン.


sparkle Show phonetics
verb [I]
1 to shine brightly with a lot of small points of light:
The snow/sea sparkled in the sunlight.

2 If a person or performance sparkles, they are energetic, interesting and exciting:
Alice is shy and quiet at parties, but her sister really sparkles!

sparkle Show phonetics
noun [U]
1 bright shine:
The radiant smile and the sparkle in her blue eyes were the clear signs of a woman still deeply in love.

2 energy and interest:
Their latest performance of My Fair Lady really lacked sparkle.
The sparkle went out of/left her (= She became unhappy) after her husband died.

sparkling Show phonetics
adjective
1 shining brightly:
sparkling white teeth

2 energetic and interesting:
a sparkling performance
sparkling conversation/wit

3 A sparkling drink is one which is fizzy:
Champagne is a sparkling wine.

Compare still (NOT MOVING).










sparkle
Show phonetics
verb [I]
1 to shine brightly with a lot of small points of light:
The snow/sea sparkled in the sunlight.

2 If a person or performance sparkles, they are energetic, interesting and exciting:
Alice is shy and quiet at parties, but her sister really sparkles!

sparkle Show phonetics
noun [U]
1 bright shine:
The radiant smile and the sparkle in her blue eyes were the clear signs of a woman still deeply in love.

2 energy and interest:
Their latest performance of My Fair Lady really lacked sparkle.
The sparkle went out of/left her (= She became unhappy) after her husband died.

sparkling Show phonetics
adjective
1 shining brightly:
sparkling white teeth

2 energetic and interesting:
a sparkling performance
sparkling conversation/wit

3 A sparkling drink is one which is fizzy:
sparkle Show phonetics
verb [I]
1 to shine brightly with a lot of small points of light:
The snow/sea sparkled in the sunlight.

2 If a person or performance sparkles, they are energetic, interesting and exciting:
Alice is shy and quiet at parties, but her sister really sparkles!

sparkle Show phonetics
noun [U]
1 bright shine:
The radiant smile and the sparkle in her blue eyes were the clear signs of a woman still deeply in love.

2 energy and interest:
Their latest performance of My Fair Lady really lacked sparkle.
The sparkle went out of/left her (= She became unhappy) after her husband died.

sparkling Show phonetics
adjective
1 shining brightly:
sparkling white teeth

2 energetic and interesting:
a sparkling performance
sparkling conversation/wit

3 A sparkling drink is one which is fizzy:
Champagne is a sparkling wine.
Compare still (NOT MOVING).


Luis Ho Pushes China Into World Astronomy Club

Photo
“How can something so tiny like a black hole influence the entire galaxy itself? The belief now is that they know how to talk to one another.” — Luis Ho. CreditGilles Sabrie for The New York Times
Luis Ho, 48, is the director of the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics and a professor at Peking University in Beijing. As an American researcher who has worked for more than two years in China, he has a unique perspective on the country’s scientific ambitions.
Dr. Ho is on leave from Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, Calif. We spoke for nearly three hours this summer at his office there — it once belonged to Edwin P. Hubble — and later by telephone. A condensed and edited version of the conversation follows.
Q. Where did you grow up?
A. In Mozambique, which during that time was still a colony of Portugal. In the Africa of my childhood, there was a clash of backgrounds. The Portuguese were not very accepting. There were many outward expressions of racism. Then, in the late 1970s, after the country became independent and essentially deteriorated into a very ugly civil war, we were forced to leave. They confiscated all my father’s properties. We left with our suitcases.
Where did you go?
By a stroke of good fortune, we somehow got visas for the U.S., so to East Boston. I was 12, the only Asian in a very rough school. My father washed dishes. At school, people made fun of me. That made me determined to learn English quickly enough to get into a better school, which I did. I got into the best one in the city, the Boston Latin School. From there I went to Harvard, where it seemed as if I was the only person who wasn’t rich and worked. It felt like wherever I went I was the outsider.
When did that end for you?
One day at Harvard, I stumbled into a lecture about the black holes in the Milky Way. I was absolutely captivated. I sought out the lecturer, Paul Ho [no relation], and he immediately gave me a research project.
One of the things I loved about astronomy was that it was not tied to the mundane. It was not even tied to our planet. Maybe this was a reaction against all the day-to-day things my family had to struggle with.
What area of astronomy did you work in?
Black holes. I was one of the first people to show how common they are. This was one of the results of my doctoral thesis in 1995. Before, the thinking was that they should exist but that they were really very rare. I was able to demonstrate that every big galaxy has a nucleus containing supermassive black holes. This was suspected before, but I was able to prove it.
How did you accomplish that?
By searching for an indirect way to show their existence. I looked for signs of energy, and what I found was that basically every galaxy had a black hole. We just hadn’t seen it before.
After I finished my doctorate, the Hubble Space Telescope was repaired. It made it possible to measure the rotation speed of the stars and gas around those black holes. The Hubble confirmed many of the points of my thesis.
How central are black holes to understanding what the universe looks like?
We’re learning they are to be considered to be one of the key ingredients that make galaxies look the way they do. The big question is, how can something so tiny like a black hole influence the entire galaxy itself? The belief now is that they know how to talk to one another.
Continue reading the main story

An Earthling’s Guide to Black Holes

Welcome to the place of no return — a region in space where the gravitational pull is so strong that not even light can escape it. This is a black hole.
We are living in an era of tremendous breakthroughs in our knowledge of the universe. Why are we learning so much now?
A lot of it is technology-driven. Astronomers have a lot of very nice new toys. The rapid development of astronomy is completely tied to access to big telescopes. That’s one reason why I urged China’s leaders to partner on one of the big new international telescopes.
China has great scientific ambitions. It’s an unwritten rule that to be part of the astronomy club, you need to be part of a big telescope. It wasn’t an easy sell. The three new telescopes that were coming were all to be on foreign soil, and that was a difficult concept. They eventually choose to join with Caltech, the University of California, Canada and India on theThirty Meter Telescope.
When you were growing up, did you ever think you’d come to live and work in China?
Not ever. One of the things that influenced me was meeting so many talented young Chinese scientists. I helped some get into American universities. I could relate to their struggles here. When they returned to China, it wasn’t always possible for them to succeed. There was a mismatch between their talents and opportunities.
Over the past decade, things have begun to change. China has made large science investments, and these people now have something to go back to. In 2013, when the Kavli people approached me, I felt I might have something to contribute to an environment like that.
What appealed to you about the foundation’s offer?
It actually was very unappealing. It came at the worst possible moment. My wife and I had just had a baby. There were older kids in high school. They could not be uprooted. The job meant living in Beijing, with its pollution, traffic and cramped apartments. My wife, who stayed behind, said, “We’ll just have to make it happen.” My wife didn’t want me to lose this opportunity.
It involves a lot of juggling. To save commuting time, I sleep at my Peking University office. I get up at 5 a.m. to Skype my daughter. I tutor my son via the Internet.
I return to California every two months to see them.
Chinese education has a reputation for being mechanistic and rigid. Have you found it that way?
They had a very rigid system because, in a different time, that’s what worked.
I know what made Carnegie an effective center for astronomy research. It was an environment that allowed a lot of free discussion and brainstorming. I’m trying to bring some of that to our institute in China.
My dream is that 20 years from now, the best students from Harvard and Princeton will want to go to Peking University, not the reverse. What my institute can do is provide an oasis where I can expedite the process, because I have more control over this little patch.
I think the Chinese system can evolve, and Kavli is providing one model. We have nonhierarchical interactive discussions. We’ve attracted very high-level visitors to lecture and teach. Already, our Kavli Institute attracts many non-Chinese postdocs, and they want to come here because they see the ferment.
The other thing is that China now has the means to invest in science. And it is willing to do so! Even in the most advanced countries, basic astronomy is a hobby science. Yet in China they are willing to spend on it. With that and these great human resources, the trick is to combine them.
After a lifetime of travel and displacement, do you feel at home in Beijing?
That’s where I hope I can find a home. That’s why I work so hard to make the program successful. I am there for the long haul. I’ve been learning to speak and write the language. Funny thing: The last time I returned I actually missed the place. A year ago, it was the most alien place to me.

Lessons From Cellphones on Distribution of Wealth

In developing countries, information about the distribution of wealth or poverty may be gleaned from someone’s mobile phone records, a new study reports.
The study, published in the journal Science, was done in Rwanda. In much of Africa, as in developing countries elsewhere, accurate statistics on poverty are difficult to collect.
“This could be a useful policy instrument to estimate the geographic distribution of poverty and wealth,” said Joshua Blumenstock, a data scientist at the University of Washington and one of the study’s authors.
He and his colleagues relied on anonymized data on billions of interactions, including details about when calls were made and received and the length of the calls. The researchers also looked at when text messages were sent, and which cellphone towers the texts and calls were routed through in order to get a rough idea of geographic location.
“So it’s the who, where and when of the call, but not the what or the why,” Dr. Blumenstock said.
They combined this information with responses collected from about 850 cellphone owners to build an algorithm that predicts how wealthy or impoverished a given cellphone user is.
Using the same model, the researchers were able to answer even more specific questions, like whether a household had electricity.
The researchers are trying to do similar work in Afghanistan, where certain areas are difficult or dangerous to access and ground surveys are not possible.
“We don’t think this method is the be-all or end-all, but in the absence of good information, this is better than nothing,” Dr. Blumenstock said.

3.2 Millimeters: A Troubling Rise in Sea Level

3.2
Sea levels are rising, and rising faster every year.
According to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, sea levels rose an average of 1.7 millimeters a year during the 20th century. Some areas have had larger rises than others, and measurements vary from year to year at different locations.
Measuring sea level is difficult. Scientists use tidal gauges and satellite altimeter data to measure these changes, and there are some questions about the precision of these tools. Variations in land level complicate matters further; it is often difficult to distinguish rising seas from falling land. And as water warms, it expands.
Continue reading the main story

Short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change

Still, there is no question about the basic facts. Since 1993, the average rate of increase has nearly doubled, to 3.2 millimeters a year. The retreat of glaciers and the melting of the Greenland ice sheet have contributed to these accelerating increases. Extreme sea levels during storm surges like that of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 have increased since 1970, mainly the result of rising seas.
By 2081, yearly increases are likely to be as high as 16 millimeters a year, or about six-tenths of an inch. By the end of this century, seas will have risen by as much as three feet, and levels will almost certainly continue to rise for many centuries.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a web tool that shows the effect of changing sea levels across the country. A three-foot rise in sea level in Malibu, Calif., for example, would put many houses near Malibu Beach under water. In New York, most of Harlem River Drive and Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive south of 168th Street would be inundated, and Ellis Island would be about half its present size. In Florida, Tampa and Miami would lose large areas of land, and much of the Keys would disappear.

Canada woman faces 10 years in prison for giving pigs water on hot day



Canada woman faces 10 years in prison for giving pigs water on hot day


Anita Krajnc tried to give pigs in a tractor-trailer water as the vehicle was stopped at a traffic light on the way to the Fearmans Pork processing facility

Canada woman clashes with pig farmer after giving animals water on hot day.


Jessica Murphy in Ottawa

Monday 30 November 2015 20.41 GMTLast modified on Monday 30 November 201522.11 GMT

A Canadian animal rights activist could face up to 10 years in prison for giving water to pigs heading to the slaughter on a scorching summer day.

Toronto resident Anita Krajnc, 48, was charged with criminal mischief after clashing with the driver of a tractor-trailer carrying pigs to an Ontario pork processing plant in June.


Krajnc and a fellow protester tried to give the pigs water as the vehicle was stopped at a traffic light on the way to the Fearmans Pork processing facility, about 45 miles south-west of Toronto.


A video of the incident shows the driver, identified in court documents as Jeffery Veldjesgraaf, climbing from the vehicle to confront Krajnc.

“Jesus said, ‘If they are thirsty, give them water,’” she tells him.


Veldjesgraaf responds: “You know what? These are not humans, you dumb frickin’ broad.”


He threatens to call the police and then asks: “What you got in that water?”

When she replies that it is just water, he says: “How do I know?”

Ontario hog farmer Eric Van Boekel, who owned the pigs, filed a police complaint the next day.

After a pre-trial hearing on Monday, Krajnc told the Guardian: “It’s an outrage. It’s insane to charge somebody with criminal mischief for doing that.”

Krajnc, who founded Toronto Pig Save – a group whose mission is “to bear witness of suffering of animals in transport and at slaughterhouses” – called her group’s activities “small acts of charity”.

The pigs’ owner, Van Boekel, said his pigs are treated ethically and in accordance with all standards and regulations.

He told the Guardian he was concerned for both the safety of his product and that of the animal rights protesters, who sometimes crowd near the large transport vehicles when they are stopped in traffic.


“We don’t have a fight with the protesters per se,” he said.


“It’s a free country. Their views – we don’t agree – but they have a right to their opinion as we do ours. If they’d like to protest in a safe and reasonable manner, they’re afforded those rights.”

Several online petitions have sprung up in Krajnc’s defence. By Monday afternoon, one – entitled Compassion Isn’t a Crime – had gathered more than 125,500 signatures, while another, calling on the Ontario court of justice to drop charges against her, had more than 24,600 signatures.

Krajnc’s next pretrial date is 15 December. The earliest her case is expected in court is next August.



稍後補注

nondescript, caption, disquisition, annotation, reverse- caption contest




A look at the winner of Robert Mankoff's reverse-caption contest: http://nyr.kr/17I3pYB



Closed Captioning on Netflix Movies
By J. D. BIERSDORFER
Roku is exploring ways to add closed captions to certain Netflix videos when viewed on a TV, but there is a computer workaround for those with a Netflix account.



Hu Yu-wei, Taiwan's information minister, posted a picture of the iPhone 5 on his Facebook account yesterday, along with a caption, saying "Help the economy and bolster consumption," according to the Associated Press, which was first to report on the ...
Google to Add Captions, Improving YouTube Videos




Drawing by Lee Lorenz
Contest #172, December 8, 2008

Each week, we provide a cartoon in need of a caption. You, the reader, submit your caption below, we choose three finalists, and you vote for your favorite. Finalists for this week's cartoon will appear online Monday, December 15th, and in the December 22nd & 29th issue of The New Yorker. Any U.S. resident age eighteen or older can enter.






It has some malignant power over his mind, and its fascinations are irresistible.Whatever be the dignity or profundity of his disquisition, whether he be enlarging knowledge or exalting affection, whether he be amusing attention with incidents, or enchaining it in suspense, let but a quibble spring up before him, and he leaves his work unfinished


 I had not a dispute but a disquisition, with Dilke on various subjects; several things dove-tailed in my mind, and at once it struck me what quality went to form a Man of Achievement, especially in Literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously - I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason



A caption contest or caption competition is a competition between multiple participants, who are required to give the best description for a certain image offered by the contest organizer. Rules and information about the competition process are also given by the competition organizer.
[新聞] 聽障者的新夥伴!馬上把對話轉成字幕的穿戴式裝置
在 Google Glass 出現之後,大家對於眼鏡能變化出各種功能已經不陌生。那除了把生活變得酷炫,能不能也用來幫助身心障礙者的日常需求?Frants Innovators 就做了這樣的事,他們設計出一款搭配任何眼鏡都能使用的 LTCCS──可穿戴式即時字幕系統(Live-Time Close Captioning System),將即時對話轉成文字字幕,幫忙聽力受損的人可以更輕鬆的和別人交談:http://www.biosmonthly.com/contactd.php?id=6797
在 Google Glass 出現之後,大家對於眼鏡能變化出各種功能已經不陌生。那除了把生活變得酷炫,能不能也用來幫助身心障礙者的日常需求?Frants Innovators 就做了這樣的事,他們設計出一款搭配任何眼鏡都能使用的 LTCCS──可穿戴式即時字幕系統(Live-Ti
BIOSMONTHLY.COM

dis·qui·si·tion
Pronunciation: \ˌdis-kwə-ˈzi-shən\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin disquisition-, disquisitio, from disquirere to investigate, from dis- + quaerere to seek
Date: 1640
: a formal inquiry into or discussion of a subject : discourse

音節dis・qui・si・tion 発音記号/dìskwəzíʃən/
【名詞】【可算名詞】

nondescript

adj.
Lacking distinctive qualities; having no individual character or form: “This expression gave temporary meaning to a set of features otherwise nondescript” (Katherine Anne Porter).
[NON– + Latin dēscrīptus, past participle of dēscrībere, to describe; see describe.]
IN BRIEF: Not easily described.

pronunciation They struggled to come up with a caption for the nondescript photo.


Definition of nondescript in English:

ADJECTIVE

Lacking distinctive or interesting features or characteristics:she lived in a nondescript suburban apartment block

NOUN

Back to top  
A nondescript person or thing:the nondescripts were straight out of the nine-to-five banking bureaucracy

Origin

late 17th century (in the sense 'not previously described or identified scientifically'): from non- + obsolete descript'described, engraved' (from Latin descriptus).

Derivatives


caption

Pronunciation: /ˈkapʃ(ə)n/
Translate caption | into French | into German | into Italian | into Spanish


noun

  • a title or brief explanation accompanying an illustration, cartoon, or poster: he designed a series of posters with the caption: ‘No One is Innocent’
  • a piece of text appearing on a cinema or television screen as part of a film or broadcast: the programme has a closing caption thanking the university for its cooperation
  • Law the heading of a legal document.

verb

[with object]
  • provide (an illustration) with a title or explanation: [with two objects]:the photograph was captioned ‘Three little maids’

Origin:

late Middle English (in the sense 'seizing, capture'): from Latin captio(n-), from capere 'take, seize'. Early senses 'arrest' and 'warrant for arrest' gave rise to 'statement of where, when, and by whose authority a warrant was issued' (late 17th century): this was usually appended to a legal document, hence the sense 'heading or accompanying wording' (late 18th century)


annotation

Pronunciation: /anəˈteɪʃ(ə)n/



noun

  • a note by way of explanation or comment added to a text or diagram:marginal annotations
  • [mass noun] the action of annotating a text or diagram:annotation of prescribed texts

Origin:

late Middle English: from French, or from Latin annotatio(n-), from the verb annotare (see annotate)


artisan

(är'tĭ-zən, -sən)
n.
A skilled manual worker; a craftsperson.
[Probably French, from Italian artigiano, from Vulgar Latin *artitiānus, from Latin artītus, skilled in the arts, past participle of artīre, to instruct in the arts, from ars, art-, art.]
artisanal ar'ti·san·al (är'tĭ-zə-nəl, -sə-, är'tĭ-zăn'əl) adj.
artisanship ar'ti·san·ship' n.

cap・tion





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━━ n. (ページ・章などの)表題 (title), 見出し (heading); (さし絵の)説明; (映画の)字幕.
━━ vt. 表題[字幕]を付ける.