2010年9月29日 星期三

tempest in a teacup/ teapot

The congestion is because of a surge in oil imports from a group of privately owned refiners—dubbed “teapots” because of their small size compared with giant state-owned companies, such as China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, PetroChina Co., and China National Offshore Oil Corp.—that is shaking up China’s oil industry and stoking global markets.

storm in a teacup
Also, tempest in a teacup. A great disturbance or uproar over a matter of little or no importance. For example, All that because a handful of the thousand invited guests didn't show up? What a tempest in a teapot! This expression has appeared in slightly different forms for more than 300 years. Among the variations are storm in a cream bowl, tempest in a glass of water, and storm in a hand-wash basin. The British prefer storm in a teacup. The current American forms were first recorded in 1854. For a synonym, see much ado about nothing.


short order, in short order

Stephen Elop, Nokia's new CEO, has one tricky to-do list and not much time. Although Nokia is the top mobile device maker in the world, its products are seen as a step behind that of many competitors. To revitalize its brand, Wharton experts say, Nokia must in short order develop smartphones that effectively compete with Apple's iPhone and Google's Android devices, make key decisions on the future of the company's software offerings and establish itself as a player in the United States.

in short order

Quickly, without delay, as in The children got ready in short order to go to the mall. [First half of 1800s]

short order
An order of food prepared and served quickly, as in a diner.

short-order short'-or'der (shôrt'ôr'dər) adj.

part with, Part Ways With

U.S. To Part Ways With AIG
The United States is hoping to shed its majority stake in the insurance giant it rescued in 2008.

part with

  1. To give up or let go of; relinquish.

not bad, centimeter, millimeter

漫畫來源: Ted Goff

The researchers found a large variation in lip thickness among women over 60. The pink part of the thinnest lips measured just 3 mm from the top of the upper lip to the bottom of the lower lip, while the fullest lips among the over-sixties measured 2.2 cm.


━━ n. センチ(メートル) ((略 cm)).
 centimeter-gram(me)-second sỳstem cgs単位制.
millimeter, 〔米〕millimetre
〔英〕 n. ミリメートル ((略 mm)). 毫米

not bad

Also, not half bad; not so or too bad; not too shabby. Fairly good, as in Not bad, said the conductor, but we need to play the scherzo again, or The movie wasn't half bad, but Jerry wanted to go home, or Our garden's not too bad this year, or How are things going?--Not too shabby. All of the terms involving bad, which imply that something is less bad than it might be, date from the mid-1700s. The last variant, using shabby in the sense of "inferior," is slang of the late 1900s.

2010年9月28日 星期二

Sirius, Amazing Grace


Canis Major
Canis Major
What are the 'dog days'? The "dog days" are usually the hottest days of the summer in the Northern Hemisphere. They start on or around July 3 and last into late August. It's a time when it can be too hot to be fully productive and when progress seems to stagnate. The name came from the ancient Romans, who referred to the Dog Star's rising and setting with the sun as dies caniculares, or "dog days." The Dog Star, or Sirius, is the brightest star in the night sky. It's part of the constellation Canis Major.
"Things are as they are. Looking out into it the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations." — Alan Watts

天狼星的英文正統名稱來自於拉丁語Sīrius,又來自古希臘語ΣείριοςSeirios是「熱烈」或「炎熱的天氣」之意),[14]但是這古希臘詞也可能在希臘古風時期之前從某處發展過來。[80]最早發現使用這個名稱要追溯到公元前7世紀赫西俄德的詩作《工作與時日》中。[80]天狼星還有另外超過50個編號和名稱。[53]阿拉伯語裏,天狼星被稱爲الشعرى(拼音:al-ši『rāal-shira中文:「首領」),[81]英文的另一稱謂Aschere就從其而來。在梵語裏,天狼星是Mrgavyadha(「獵鹿者」)或Lubdhaka(「獵人」)。當被稱作Mrgavyadha時,天狼星代表樓陀羅濕婆);[82][83]稱作Scandinavia時,天狼星就被視爲Lokabrenna(「Loki放下的火」或「Loki的火炬」),日本土語稱之爲青星Aoboshi)。在中世紀占星術裏,天狼星是一顆Behenian fixed star[84] associated with beryl and juniper. Its kabbalistic symbol File:Agrippa1531 Canismaior.png was listed by Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa.[85]
天狼星在許多的文化上都有特別的意義,特別是代表狗。事實上,他是大犬座中最明亮的星,在口語上最常被稱為"星"。他也是傳統的獵戶神話中的狗:古希臘人認為天狼星的光芒對狗有不良的影響,使它們反常的出現夏季熱("犬日"):它們過度的喘氣導致過份的乾燥和置身疾病的危險中。在極端的例子中,口吐白沫的狗也許有狂犬病,可能導致被咬的人受到傳染和死亡[20]。古羅馬人知道這些日子是三伏日並稱這顆星是小犬(Canicula)。在中國天文學,這顆星稱為天狼星(拼音:Tiānláng;日語羅馬字:Tenrō;韓語천랑韓語羅馬字表記法:Cheonlang)[86],在中國的星官是井宿。在更遠處,許多北美洲的原住民也將天狼星與狗連結在一起;在西南方的原住民Seri托赫諾奧哈姆族註記這顆星是跟隨著綿羊山的狗,黑足稱之為'狗臉',柴羅基族將天狼星和心宿二配成一對,做為靈魂之路兩端的看守犬。內布拉斯加的波尼族有幾種聯想;狼族視它為'狼星',而其他的部落認為是'郊狼星'。到了更北方的阿拉斯加白令海峽Inuit稱這顆星為'月之犬'[87]。 有些文化將這顆星與弓和箭聯繫在一起。古代的中國人將之與船尾座大犬座結合想像成橫跨在南天的一把大弓,在這種組合下,箭頭正對著天狼星。相似的組合也出現魏在埃及丹德拉(Dendera)的哈索爾神廟壁畫上,沙特女神(Satis)將她的箭畫在牛頭人身的女神哈索爾(天狼星)之上。在後期的波斯文化,這顆星稱為Tir,並且被當成一支箭[88]

至晚十時,維城夏季遲降的夜幕逐漸低垂,在柴可夫斯基《1812序曲》壯麗歡快的樂聲中砲聲隆隆,璀璨的煙火從海中升起,沉黯的夜空中忽然爆出各色燦爛的 火花,數萬觀眾歡聲雷動,接著樂團與觀眾在蘇格蘭風笛的導引下齊唱聖曲〈(上帝的)奇異恩典〉(Amazing Grace),為一年一度的盛會畫下句點。
巧合的是,慧遠的英文名字正好叫Grace,在學校中同學和老師就常常叫她作Amazing Grace。

Amazing Grace

A popular hymn.
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
We have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
Wikipedia article Amazing Grace.

2010年9月27日 星期一

shipper, logistics companies

Shippers Say China Slows Handling of Japan Goods
ABC News
AP By JOE McDONALD AP Business Writer China has stepped up customs inspections of goods shipped to and from Japan, slowing trade, logistics companies said ...

'fangnu', 'shanzai', cardigan, cardigown

房奴'fangnu',山寨 'shanzai'

cardigown (a long cardigan, belted like a dressing gown

Beijing, Sep 22 (IANS) Popular Chinese colloquial terms and slangs have been included in the latest edition of the Oxford Chinese-English dictionary.

Compiled over the past six years by Oxford University Press and its Chinese partner, Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, the dictionary is the largest single volume of its kind and contains 670,000 Chinese words and phrases, the Global Times reported.

New words include 'shanzai', which means cheap counterfeits of big-brand bags and electronic products, 'fangnu',房奴 which means those people who suffer from the burden of heavy home mortgages, especially young people in big cities, and 'mengliao', which means hot gossip.

日本語 (Japanese) 採音譯
n. - カーディガン

A cardigan is a type of sweater (or jumper) that ties, buttons or zips down the front; by contrast, a pullover does not open in front but must be "pulled over" the head to be worn. The cardigan was named after James Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, a British military commander, following his service in the Crimean War.[1] It is usually machine- or hand-knitted from wool or cotton although cheaper ones may be partially acrylic. Cardigans are available for both genders.

Plain cardigans are often worn over shirts and inside suit jackets as a kind of less formal waistcoat or vest that restrains the necktie when the jacket has been removed.

2010年9月26日 星期日

Comic Muse compresses her lips

So, and much so universally, the world of his dread and his unconscious worship wagged over Sir Willoughby Patterne and his change of brides, until the preparations for the festivities of the marriage flushed him in his county's eyes to something of the splendid glow he had worn on the great day of his majority. That was upon the season when two lovers met between the Swiss and Tyrol Alps over the Lake of Constance. Sitting beside them the Comic Muse is grave and sisterly. But taking a glance at the others of her late company of actors, she compresses her lips.

compressed conversations.

The adjective compressed has 4 meanings:

Meaning #1: pressed tightly together
Synonym: tight

Meaning #2: reduced in volume by pressure

Meaning #3: (biology) flattened laterally along the whole length (e.g., certain leafstalks or flatfishes)
Synonym: flat

Meaning #4: pressed into less space

Thalia, muse of comedy, holding a comic mask - detail of “Muses Sarcophagus”, the nine Muses and their attributes; marble, early second century AD, Via Ostiense - Louvre

2010年9月24日 星期五


premeditation Pronunciation (noun) Planning or plotting in advance of acting.
Usage:In reply, and quite without premeditation, his hand went out to hers, covering it as it lay on the railing.

[名][U]前もって計画[考慮]すること;《法律》予謀, 故意
with premeditation

framer, regularly summon the ghosts

The Founding Fathers Versus the Tea Party
Movements that regularly summon the ghosts of the framers end up promoting an uncomfortably one-sided reading of history.


The noun has 2 meanings:

Meaning #1: someone who makes frames (as for pictures)

Meaning #2: someone who writes a new law or plan
  1. One that frames: a picture framer; a framer of new laws.
  2. often Framer One of the people who wrote the U.S. Constitution.

2010年9月22日 星期三

urinary cortisol , ascertained

《中英對照讀新聞》Stress hormone heart death link 壓力荷爾蒙與心臟病死亡相關
◎國際新聞中心High levels of the stress hormone cortisol are closely linked to death from cardiovascular disease, a Dutch study suggests.荷蘭研究顯示,壓力荷爾蒙可體松數值的高升,與因心血管疾病死亡密切相關。

In a six-year study of 860 over-65s, those with the highest levels of cortisol had a five-fold risk of death from cardiovascular disease. No link was found between high cortisol levels and other causes of death.一份針對860名65歲以上民眾的6年研究顯示,可體松高的人,心臟病死亡風險高5倍。可體松數值高與其他死亡原因之間,並未發現關聯。

Cortisol is produced in order to help the body recover from stress and regain its physiological stability. But very high levels have been linked to risk factors for cardiovascualr disease.可體松是為了幫助身體從壓力中恢復,重拾身體穩定度而產生。但是可體松數值爆表,可能是心血管疾病的危險因子。

In this study, researchers measured urinary cortisol levels in each participant. During the six years covered by the study, 183 people died. Cause of death was ascertained from death certificates.在這份研究中,研究人員評估每位參與者尿中的可體松數值,研究涵蓋的6年期間,有183人喪生,死亡證書確定死亡原因。

The third of the subjects with the highest urinary cortisol had a five-fold increased risk of dying of cardiovascular disease.尿中可體松含量最高的3分之1受試者,因心血管疾病死亡的風險增加5倍。新聞辭典urinary:形容詞,尿的,泌尿系統的。如:urinary tract infections 泌尿道感染。-fold: 字尾,……倍。例句:In the last 50 years, there has been a 33-fold increase in the amount of pesticide used in farming.(過去50年間,農耕使用殺蟲劑的量增加了33倍。)

ascertain:動詞,確定。例句:The police have so far been unable to ascertain the cause of the explosion.(警方目前還不能確定爆炸原因。)

tr.v., -tained, -tain·ing, -tains.
  1. To discover with certainty, as through examination or experimentation. See synonyms at discover.
  2. Archaic. To make certain, definite, and precise.

[Middle English acertainen, to inform, from Old French acertener, ascertain- : a-, to (from Latin ad-; see ad-) + certain, certain; see certain.]

ascertainable as'cer·tain'a·ble adj.
ascertainableness as'cer·tain'a·ble·ness n.
ascertainably as'cer·tain'a·bly adv.
ascertainment as'cer·tain'ment n.

2010年9月19日 星期日


inaudible Pronunciation (adjective) Impossible to hear; imperceptible by the ear.
Usage:He had laryngitis, and his voice was almost inaudible.


2010年9月18日 星期六

"Trocks", drag ballet corps

2010年9月14日,英國倫敦,紐約全男班芭蕾舞團The Trocks在孔雀劇院登臺,演出《雷蒙達的婚禮》和《垂死天鵝》。 國際線上消息:2010年9月14日,英國倫敦,紐約全男班芭蕾舞團The Trocks在孔雀劇院登臺,演出《雷蒙達的婚禮》和《垂死天鵝》。團員在後臺化粧。 ...

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is an all-male drag ballet corps which parodies the conventions and clichés of romantic and classical ballet. It was co-founded by Peter Anastos, Natch Taylor and Antony Bassae in the United States in 1974, as a group producing small, late-night shows, in off-off Broadway lofts. Their first show as on September 9, 1974, at a second story loft on 14th street, in the heart of the meat-packing district.[1]

After receiving a favorable critical review in The New Yorker by Arlene Croce, it was discovered by a wider audience. The "Trocks" toured the world, with prolonged engagements in many major cities. In 2008 they performed at the Royal Variety Performance, in front of Prince Charles.[2]

The dancers portray both male and female roles in a humorous style that combines parodies of ballet, posing and physical comedy with "straighter" pieces intended to show off the performers' technical skills. Much of the humor is in seeing male dancers en travesti; performing roles usually reserved to females, wearing tutus and dancing en pointe.

  1. The clothing characteristic of one sex when worn by a member of the opposite sex: an actor in drag.

2010年9月12日 星期日

2010年9月11日 星期六

came across as insensitive. flat out

In a statement, Mr Hartnett said: "I apologise if my remarks came across as insensitive.

"I am working flat out with my colleagues to ensure everyone's tax is correct and the new computer system will help us do this.

1. Also, come upon; run across. Meet or find by chance, as in I came across your old letters today, or He came upon her looking in the store window. or If I run across it, I'll call you. The first term dates from the 1800s. The first variant was used by Oliver Goldsmith in She Stoops to Conquer (1773): "You are to go sideways till you come upon Crack-Skull Common." The second variant was used by Mark Twain in Tramp Abroad (1880): "If I don't run across you in Italy, you hunt me up in London."
2. Also, come across with. Pay or give what is expected or demanded, as in He finally came across with some food, or The landlord wants the rent, so come across. [Colloquial; late 1800s]
3. Make a particular impression, as in He comes across as a very sincere person or Her meaning doesn't really come across; she'll have to revise the speech. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s] Also see get across; put across.

flat out

adv. Informal

  1. In a direct manner; bluntly: told me the truth flat out.
  2. At top speed: running flat out.

the third half of your brain

"We want to make Google the third half of your brain."
SERGEY BRIN, Google’s co-founder, on a new Internet search product.

right to down tools

French workers demonstrate for the right to down tools at 60

In France trade unions and opposition leaders are calling on President
Sarkozy to shelve his plan to raise the minimum retirement age from 60 to

2010年9月10日 星期五


Chimps Face Grave Threat as Bushmeat Trade Expands
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the area with the greatest number of chimpanzees, the primates are relied on for food more than ever, according to a new study.

bushmeat 野味
Meat from wild animals, especially nongame animals.

In an uncharacteristic about-face,transactions on the online-payment system

Apple Blinks in Apps Fight
In an uncharacteristic about-face, Apple loosened its control over software development for its iPhones and iPads as the company feels heat from a U.S. antitrust investigation and rising competition from mobile devices powered by Google's Android software.
Apple's Press Release on App Store Rules

PayPal Confident About China
EBay CEO John Donahoe said China has become one of the fastest-growing markets for the company's PayPal, with total transactions on the online-payment system rising 88% there in the first half.

2010年9月9日 星期四

self-serving, self-serving hypothesis

Transocean hit back in a strongly-worded statement, dismissing a “self-serving report ... that attempted to conceal the critical factor that set the stage for the Macondo [well] incident: BP’s fatally flawed well design. In both its design and construction, BP made a series of cost-saving decisions that increased risk – in some cases, severely.”




1. Serving one's own interests, especially without concern for the needs or interests of others.
2. Exhibiting concern solely for one's own interests: a speech full of self-serving comments.

self-servingly self'-serv'ing·ly adv.

self-serving hypothesis
A hypothesis based on the observation that people sometimes make illogical attributions to enhance or protect their egos.

2010年9月8日 星期三

nothing but

「補教人生」連續劇的主角高國華說了一句「菜英文」:You have nothing but beautiful.連簡單的文法都弄錯。這個錯誤讓媒體大肆嘲弄,但我卻覺得他至少有一個優點──他就是敢講。


You are nothing but beautiful or you are nothing but beauty ...

- [ 翻譯此頁 ]

nothing but

Only, as in She thinks of nothing but money. This term was first recorded about 1380.

2010年9月6日 星期一


How to end spoilt brat syndrome?

  1. A child, especially a spoiled or ill-mannered one.
  2. A child of a career military person.

[Possibly from brat, coarse garment, from Middle English, from Old English bratt, of Celtic origin.]

brattish brat'tish adj.
brattishness brat'tish·ness n.

brat2 (brăt) pronunciation

2010年9月2日 星期四


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