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楼主东城水岸 时间:2006-06-20 00:50:42
  Klinsmann's castle
  克林斯曼的去留(陈继龙 编译)
  Jun 8th 2006 | BERLIN
  From The Economist print edition
  EVERY time Germany wins football's World Cup, some pundits[1] assert, the country takes a turn for the better. Thus 1954 saw the start of the economic miracle, 1974 the birth of modern Germany and 1990 unification. The causality seems implausible, although some economists are talking up the 2006 tournament, which starts this weekend, and is being staged (like 1974's) in Germany. (1)A clearer link exists between the country and its football association (DFB), since they display similar strengths and weaknesses.
  权威人士断言,每逢德国赢得世界杯足球赛冠军,这个国家的状况就会好转,例如,1954年开始的经济奇迹,1974年现代化德国的诞生以及1990年实现统一。某些经济学家现在正大肆宣扬本周末将在德国举行(与1974年一样)的2006年世界杯(译者按:talk up意为“to make something appear more important, interesting, successful etc than it really is”,即“大加吹捧,大肆宣扬”),但这里面的因果联系看似并不可信,倒是该国与其足协(DFB)之间存在一种较为明显的联系,因为它们有着相似的优缺点。
  The DFB, with 6.3m members, acts like a state within a state. In common with other German sports organisations, it has its own rules and enforcement methods.(2) Even more than the political system, it is built for stability, not speed. It has its own parliament, which meets every three years and is made up of delegates from 21 regions. Its presidents' average age and tenure in office almost match those of popes.
  德国足协拥有6300万会员,其职能相当于“国中之国”。同德国其它体育组织一样,它有自己的规定和执行办法。相比政治体系,建立该组织的目的更多地是为了保持稳定,而不是寻求快速发展。它拥有自己的议会,由21个地区的代表组成,每三年开一次会。历届足协 的平均年龄和任期堪比罗马教皇。
  Predictably, change comes slowly to the DFB. It was not until 1970 that it approved an official women's league. Only in 2001 did the DFB allow the top clubs to create their own subordinate governing body. Were it not for the World Cup, especially the staging of the final in the stadium originally built for the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, the DFB would still not have officially admitted its questionable activities during the Third Reich1.
  Yet until recently the DFB was highly successful.(3)Because it saw market forces as incompatible with amateur sport, the DFB started a single professional league, the Bundesliga, only in 1963. This gave birth to the most modern league of the time, which may be why Germany was so good at football, says Thomas Kupfer, who has written a book on football management.
  (4)It was only a matter of time before stability turned into disadvantage. In 1990 the national coach, Franz Beckenbauer, promised that “working together with the eastern Germans, we will be invincible for years.” But the DFB failed to make top clubs professional enough or to foster modern training methods. Nor was young talent encouraged and brought on. German football, like the economy, began to decline, which became obvious when the team was thrashed[2] by England in 2001. Three years later, it took a drubbing[3] at the 2004 European championships.
  Enter Jürgen Klinsmann, a former star footballer, hired as national coach mainly because of a lack of alternatives—just as Angela Merkel became boss of the Christian Democrats2 in 2000. Mr Klinsmann planned not only to win the World Cup, but also to reform the entire DFB. (5)Always a maverick, he capped his career as a player by moving to California to start a sports consulting business.
  再说说尤尔根?克林斯曼,他曾是一位足球明星,能担任国家队主教练主要是因为没有别的合适人选——恰逢安吉拉?默克刚刚在2000年成为基督教社会主义民主党的领导人。克林斯曼不但计划夺取世界杯,还打算对整个德国足协进行改革。独树一帜的他在职业生涯结束后前往加利福尼亚,成功创办了一家体育运动咨询公司。(译者按:maverick是指“an unusual person who has different ideas and ways of behaving from other people, and is often very successful”,即“观点和行为脱俗且往往获得成功的人”。“to cap…by something”指“to have something very good or very bad at the end of an event”,也就是“给……画上圆满的句号”。)
  He has indeed proved a reformer. He has centralised power so that he can prepare his team properly. He has decreed a more offensive strategy, and tried out many younger players. He has hired trainers versed[4] in modern methods, including an American fitness guru[5]. He is fond of management fads, communicating by e-mail and using motivational training. (6)Despite (or perhaps because of) this, Mr Klinsmann has been vilified—not least for continuing to live in California. The DFB's board has rejected his candidate as chief talent scout, even though this job is central to his plans.
  事实证明,他的确是一名改革家。他要求大权独揽,以便于对国家队进行全面调教。他制定了攻击性更强的战术,并且选拔了许多年轻球员。他雇请了包括一名美国体能教练在内的许多深谙现代足球规律的教练员。管理上,他追逐时尚,比如用电子邮件进行联络、采用走训制。尽管(也许正因为)如此,克林斯曼还是遭到了非议——很重要的一个原因是他仍居住在加利福尼亚。(译者按:“not least”这里是用来强调“某事十分重要”,not least for就是指“相当重要的原因是……”。)足协董事会已经拒绝他竞选“首席选秀官”,即便这一工作是其计划的重中之重。(译者按:talent scout意为“人才发掘者”,也就是常说的“选秀”。be central to表示“more important and having more influence than anything else”,即“对……很重要,有较大影响”,注意介词“to”,不是“for”。)
  Will Mr Klinsmann stick around after the World Cup? Conventional wisdom says that the answer depends on how well Germany does. But he may also wonder if the DFB can ever change. Even were Germany to win, which looks unlikely, Mr Klinsmann might prefer to go back to California. That would make it hard to tout[6] any victory as a harbinger[7] of further reform, not just of Germany's football association, but of the country as a whole.
  世界杯后克林斯曼会继续留任吗?舆论认为,这要看德国队在世界杯上表现如何。(译者按:“stick around”是指“to stay in a place a little longer, waiting for something to happen”,意为“逗留,继续等待”。conventional wisdom指“the opinion that most people consider to be normal and right, but that is sometimes shown to be wrong”,即“大多数认为合理正确、有时候也可能被证明是错误的意见”。)不过,他也许反而对德国足协能否有所改变感到彷徨。德国队就算是胜利了——这看上去不太可能,克林斯曼可能仍然宁愿重返加利福尼亚。这样一来,无论对于德国足协,还是对于整个德国,要想借助吹捧胜利来推动进一步改革就很难了。
  1. pundit n. someone who is often asked to give their opinion publicly of a situation or subject提出意见者;评论家;专家
  2. thrash vt. to defeat someone very easily in a game轻易击败 如:Brazil thrashed Italy 5-0.巴西以5:0轻取意大利。
  3. drubbing n. an occasion when one team easily beats another team in sport:痛宰,彻底击败
  4. versed adj. be (well) versed in something to know a lot about a subject, method etc精通
  5. guru n. someone who knows a lot about a particular subject, and gives advice to other people博学的指导者
  6. tout vt. to praise something or someone in order to persuade people that they are important or worth a lot吹捧(be touted as something)
  7. harbinger n. a sign that something is going to happen soon先兆,预兆
  1. 第三帝国(the Third Reich):在德国1000多年的历史上曾经历过三个帝国,这期间也有一个共和国。德国历史上的第一帝国是指公元962-1806年的神圣罗马帝国。1806年,帝国被拿破仑一世推翻。第二帝国是指1871年-1918年的德意志帝国,它是普鲁士通过三次王朝战争统一起来的。1870年在普法战争中,普鲁士击败法国,1871年1月18日普鲁士国王威廉一世在法国凡尔赛宫加冕为德意志皇帝。1914年开始的第一次世界大战以德国的失败和第二帝国的瓦解而告终。战争也导致德国第一次建立了联邦共和国。由于共和国宪法是在魏玛城召开的国民议会上通过的,一般称之为《魏玛宪法》,因此这个共和国又称为魏玛共和国。1933年1月30日,以希特勒为首的德国国家社会主义工人党(即纳粹党)上台执政,建立了法西斯独裁统治,宣告了魏玛共和国的终结。 第三帝国是指1933-1945年的法西斯德国,希特勒自称第三帝国。于1939年9月1日发动了第二次世界大战。1945年5月8日,德国在投降书上签字,第三帝国宣告完结。德国为美、英、法、苏四国分区占领。
  2.基督教民主党或基督教民主联盟(the Christian Democrats):德国实行多党制,主要的政党有:德国社会民主党(Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands),简称社民党;联盟90/绿党(Buendnis 90/Die Gruenen); 基督教民主联盟(Christlich-Demokratische Union Deutschlands),简称基民盟,最大的政党;基督教社会联盟(Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern e.V.),简称基社盟;自由民主党(Freie Demokratische Partei),简称自民党;民主社会主义党(Partei des Demokratischen Sozialismus),简称民社党;德国的共产党(Deutsche Kommunistische Partei);共和党(Die Republikaner)。
楼主东城水岸 时间:2006-06-20 00:56:06
  The kindest cut
  最友善的砍伐(陈继龙 编译)
  May 25th 2006
  From The Economist print edition
  DEPRESSING reports about how quickly the world's tropical forests are being felled are commonplace. But depressing reports about the state of the trees that are still standing are much rarer. In fact, a new study from the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), an offshoot of the United Nations, claims to be the first exhaustive survey of tropical-forest management ever undertaken. (1)Its findings, although grim, do contain a kernel[1] of hope.
  The ITTO examined “permanent forest estate”, meaning land that the governments of its 33 members have formally set aside for forests, and is therefore subject to some form of regulation or protection. The category includes both national parks and timber concessions, in both public and private hands. It covers 814m hectares, and accounts for roughly two-thirds of the world's tropical forests.
  The concept is important, explains Duncan Poore, one of the authors of the report, because it is not always possible, or desirable, to protect every last grove against encroaching[2] farms or homes. Instead, governments should concentrate on maintaining the forests that are the most commercially and scientifically valuable. Yet the ITTO's researchers found that only 15% of the permanent forest estate has a management plan, and less than 5% of it is sustainably managed. That still amounts to an area the size of Germany, the report notes, and represents a dramatic improvement since 1988, when an earlier and less extensive survey found that only one country in the tropics—Trinidad and Tobago—had any well-run forests at all. But (2)relative to the area of forest that has disappeared over the same period, the well-managed area is negligible.
楼主东城水岸 时间:2006-06-20 00:59:21
  The crux[3] is bad government. Poor countries do not always have good forestry laws. (3)Even when they do, they rarely have the capacity to enforce them. It is no coincidence that Malaysia, the country with the highest proportion of prudently managed forest in the study, is also one of the richest. Countries with the worst run forests, meanwhile, are war-torn places such as Congo and Cambodia.
楼主东城水岸 时间:2006-06-20 01:01:07
  问题出在政/ 府/ 管/ 理/ 不/ 力。穷国常常缺乏有效的森林法规,即便是有,大多情况下也无力强制实施。本研究中提到的马来西亚得到妥善管理的森林面积比例最大,而它恰恰也是热带地区最富裕的国家之一,这不能说是巧合。与此同时,对森林管理最为不善的国家都曾遭到战争破坏,比如刚果和柬埔寨。
楼主东城水岸 时间:2006-06-20 01:04:10
  1. kernel n. 1)the most important part of a statement, idea, plan etc [= core]核心,要点,精髓(kernel of)如:This evidence is the kernel of the defendants' case. 2)a very small part or amount of something少许(kernel of)如:There may bea kernel of truth in what he says.他的话可能有一点点是真的。
  2. encroach vt. to gradually cover more and more land 侵占(土地),蚕食(encroach into)如:The fighting encroached further east.
  3. crux n. the most important part of a problem, question, argument etc症结;关键点
  4. earmark vt. to decide that something will be used for a particular purpose or have something done to it in the future指定用途;拨款作……用
楼主东城水岸 时间:2006-06-20 01:11:29
  忍无可忍,为什么要设这么多限制? 翻译了好几篇都无法贴出!
楼主东城水岸 时间:2006-06-20 01:14:04
作者:estyle779 时间:2006-06-20 16:27:36
作者:王荣欣 时间:2006-06-23 03:52:00
  The DFB, with 6.3m members, acts like a state within a state.
作者:王荣欣 时间:2006-06-29 00:25:53
  Enter Jürgen Klinsmann, a former star footballer, hired as national coach mainly because of a lack of alternatives—just as Angela Merkel became boss of the Christian Democrats2 in 2000.
楼主东城水岸 时间:2006-07-17 22:26:53
  Deadly beauty
  致命美景(陈继龙 编译)
  Jun 8th 2006 | SAN FRANCISCO
  From The Economist print edition
  KEVIN HINES, a manic-depressive, was 19 and in one of his weekly downswings on an overcast Monday morning in 2000. He went to the nearby Golden Gate Bridge to kill himself mostly because, with only a four-foot (1.2-metre) railing to leap, “I figured it was the easiest way.” He dived over, but flipped and hit the water at 75mph with his feet first. His legs were crushed, but he somehow stayed conscious and started paddling[1] with his upper body until the Coast Guard fished him out.
  Mr Hines is one of 26 people who have survived suicide attempts at the bridge, but 1,223 are known to have succeeded (ie, were seen jumping or found floating). People are throwing themselves off the bridge at the rate of two a month, which makes it the most popular place in the world for suicides. (1)One book on the subject says that the Golden Gate is “to suicide what Niagara Falls is to honeymooners”.
  Many San Franciscans think that the solution is to emulate[2] the Empire State Building, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, St Peter's basilica[3] and other such places and put up a simple barrier. (2)This, however, is a decision for the 19 board members of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, an entity that oversees the bridge itself and the buses and ferries that operate in the area. Most of its revenues come from tolls and fares, and the district loses money. A barrier would cost between $15m and $25m.
  So the Psychiatric Foundation of Northern California, which has adopted the barrier as its cause, considers it a success that the board has merely allowed a feasibility study, for which various private and public donors have raised $2m. Mel Blaustein, a director at the foundation, has heard several arguments against a barrier over the years—too ugly, too expensive, and so forth—(3)but the most persistent has been that people would simply kill themselves somewhere else, so why bother? This is nonsense, he says; “Most suicides are impulsive and preventable.” A bridge without a barrier, adds Pat Hines, Kevin's father, is “like leaving a loaded gun in the psychiatric ward.”
  1. paddle v. to swim with short, quick movements(以短暂而快速的动作)游水
  2. emulate vt. to do something or behave in the same way as someone else, especially because you admire them [= imitate]仿效
  3. basilica n. 长方形基督教堂
  金门大桥(the Golden Gate Bridge):Joseph B. Strauss在1917年提出建造金门大桥的构想,但由于渡口船家担心生计,军事领袖和工商业界关心造桥影响港口运输等因素影响,在历经十二年的强烈反弹之后,到1930年才通过了建桥计划。1933年开工,造价约3300万美元, 于1937年5月27日开放通车. 它不仅能承受21英呎(水平)及10英尺(垂直)幅度的摇晃,亦能在一口气承载满满六线车道的各式大小车辆,以及站满了行人步道的人群之后,屹立于狂风巨浪而不摇。金门大桥是加州唯一不受州法管辖的桥梁. 它目前由Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District 管理与维护, 所收取的3元美金过桥费主要用于大众交通运输, 渡口及公交车等服务,从而减少交通堵塞.
楼主东城水岸 时间:2006-07-17 22:29:04
  Busy signal
  信号忙(陈继龙 编译)
  Jun 8th 2006
  From The Economist print edition
  LONDON responded to terrorist attack on July 7th in true Blitz style: rescuers were heroic, and ordinary citizens showed compassion and fortitude. (1)Or so the politically correct version goes. A report this week from the London Assembly takes a sterner line. In fact, radios failed to work, medical supplies were lacking, some ambulances arrived inexplicably[1] late and traumatised people were left to wander off.
  This is the third official report into the bombs on tube and bus that killed 56 people last year and injured hundreds more. In May the Home Office offered a “narrative” of events but cast blame only on the terrorists. (2)A parliamentary investigation concluded that the intelligence services, stretched thin, had done their best. The London Assembly's take on the matter will not satisfy those who want an independent public inquiry. But it has, at least, got beneath the gloss[2].
  这是关于去年造成56人死亡、数百人受伤的地铁和公共汽车爆炸事件的第三份官方报告。今年五月,英国内政部首先对此事件进行了“陈述”,但把全部责任都归咎于恐怖分子。后来,英国议会组织对事件进行调查后认为,人手捉襟见肘的情报部门并没有玩忽职守。对于那些希望进行独立公众调查的人而言,伦敦议会对该问题的态度并不能让他们感到满意,不过它至少让问题浮出了水面。(译者按:sb's take on sth是指“someone's opinion about a situation or idea”,即“某人对……的见解”)
  The response to the July 7th bombings was chaotic, and in ways that ought to have been preventable. The emergency services had no coherent plan in place to care for those who survived, the report suggests. (3)But most crippling were the communication failures.
  Police, ambulance workers and firefighters were unable to talk to each other underground; only the radios of the transport police worked in the tunnels. The emergency services had to rely on runners to pass information to and from disaster areas. Yet a report on a big fire at King's Cross tube station had drawn attention to precisely this problem in 1988.
  Communications above ground were not much better. (4)Rescue workers competed with bewildered bystanders for access to overloaded mobile-phone networks. The City of London Police, for its part, asked one wireless operator to favour certain rescue workers by limiting service for ordinary users. Earlier, a body headed by the Metropolitan Police had decided this was unnecessary.
  Richard Barnes, who chaired the assembly's July 7th review committee, says the report is not meant to disparage [3] the work of the rescuers but rather to fix the problems they encountered. Almost a year later, the situation has barely improved: a new digital radio network for London's underground, for example, is running behind schedule. (5)The assembly plans new hearings in November to hold various feet to the fire.
  伦敦议会“爆炸事件调查委员会” 理查德•巴恩斯称,报告无意贬损救援人员所做的工作,而是希望解决他们遇到的问题。事发近一年了,情况依然没有明显好转——原计划在伦敦地下建立的一套新型数字无线电网络,但这一计划至今仍被束之高阁。伦敦议会打算在11月召开新一轮听证会,以期引起各方面对这一问题的高度重视。(译者按:to hold various feet to the fire,就我的理解看,可能相当于“让人如坐针毡”)
  1. inexplicable adj. too unusual or strange to be explained or understood [= incomprehensible, strange]:无法理解的,莫名其妙的
  2. gloss n.(beneath the gloss of) an attractive appearance on the surface of something that may hide something less pleasant 表面地或虚假的吸引人的形象;假象
  3. disparage vt. to criticize someone or something in a way that shows you do not think they are very good or important 毁谤,贬损
楼主东城水岸 时间:2006-07-17 22:32:17
  Bad news about bad guys
  关于坏蛋的坏消息(陈继龙 编译)
  Jun 15th 2006 | WASHINGTON, DC
  From The Economist print edition
  AMERICANS worry about crime. In a big country with hyperactive media, any sensational horror is quickly broadcast from coast to coast, making many people nervous. Last year, for example, after a teenager shot dead ten people in and around a Minnesota high school, pollsters asked a sample of Americans how likely it was that a similar massacre might occur in their own town. Nearly three-quarters said it was “very” or “somewhat” likely.
  The FBI's announcement this week that violent crime rose by 2.5% between 2004 and 2005 will soothe[1] no nerves. Nor will the news that murders jumped by 5%—the biggest spike[2] in 15 years. The new numbers should be treated with caution; they do not yet take account of population growth, which is about 1% a year. (1)But still, some experts worry that America's long run of success in reducing crime may be over.
  Why did it fall? Some credit “zero-tolerance” policing. (2)Some think long jail terms keep the worst offenders out of circulation. Others look at demographic factors, such as the legalisation of abortion in 1973, which some argue, controversially, prevented many potential criminals from being born. Now their number is rising again.
  The sharpest increases in murders last year occurred in the Midwest, in cities such as Omaha and Milwaukee. (3)Granted, a 55% increase in Omaha is only 11 more murders. But the numbers highlight a trend for the big gangs of New York and Los Angeles to spread into heartland towns. “A small group of youths are carrying guns, wearing colours and killing each other over trivial disputes,” says George Kelling of the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University. Mostly, it is not about turf[3], but about “dissing[4]”, he says.
  去年谋杀犯罪率上升最为显著的是在中西部地区城市如奥马哈和密尔沃基。就奥马哈而言,谋杀犯罪率上升55%,也就相当于多了11件谋杀案,这毋庸讳言,但是对于纽约和洛杉矶来说,这些数字则充分表明大批犯罪分子已经开始向中心城市涌动。(译者按:“granted”一般用来表示“you admit that something is true”,即“承认某事没错”,是一个副词。这句话的含义可以通过一个例子来理解:某地原本只发生了1件谋杀案,后来又发生了1件,增长率就是50%。如原本有100件,增长率则只有不到1%。也就是说,奥马哈的犯罪率本来不高,增加多一点,不是很严重,但象纽约、洛杉矶这些犯罪率本来就高的城市,再增加一点,就很严重了,说明那里犯罪几乎无处不在了。)Rutgers大学刑事司法院的乔治•凯林说:“一小伙年轻人背着枪,佩戴着各色标志,为了一点点小事不和就你打我杀。”他说,这与帮会斗争无关,而是“犯上作乱”。(译者按:“colour”这里是指“a flag, shirt etc that shows that someone or something belongs to or supports a particular team, school, club, or country”,也就是“表明某人或某物属于或支持某一特定队伍、学校、俱乐部或国家的旗帜、衣服等,常用复数。)
  1. soothe v. to make someone feel calmer and less anxious, upset, or angry使平静,安慰,缓解(压力)
  Comfort安慰 • make somebody feel better • cheer somebody up使振奋 • console 慰藉• reassure 使安心;打消疑虑• soothe • cheer up振奋 • don't worry别担心
  2. spike n. a sudden large increase in the number or rate of something(数字或比例)激增;骤增
  3. turf n. 区域,势力范围,活动范围;帮派,帮会;地盘
  4. diss v. to say unkind things about someone you know对(认识的人)出言不逊
  形容词—— disrespectful 失礼的 • cheeky无礼的,放肆的 • impertinent无礼的,鲁莽的 • impudent 放肆无礼的,厚颜无耻的• insolent 傲慢无礼的• sassy 无礼的,厚脸皮的
  动词—— disrespect 不尊敬• diss 出言不逊
  New York(纽约):美国纽约州南部的一个城市,位于哈得逊河口的纽约湾。由荷兰始建时叫新阿姆斯特丹,后来以纽约郡基督的名义改为英语名字。它是全国最大的城市和金融、文化、商业、船运和通运中心。最初只包括曼哈顿岛,1898年重新划定包括今天曼哈顿的五个行政区:布隆克斯、布鲁克林、昆士和斯特提岛。
  Los Angeles(洛杉矶):美国加利福尼亚州南部一城市,位于一大片都市地区中,太平洋沿岸。所谓的天使之城由西班牙人于1781年建立,并几次作为殖民地首府。19世纪70,80年代铁路修通和90年代在该地区发现石油后,该城开始真正的成长。如今是一个重要的造船业、制造业、通讯、金融和集散中心,其娱乐业尤为著名。
楼主东城水岸 时间:2006-07-17 22:35:04
  Blogging off
  走出博客(陈继龙 编译)
  Jun 15th 2006 | NEW YORK
  From The Economist print edition
  “I LOVE Microsoft and Microsoft did not lose me,” protested Robert Scoble, a little too loudly, on his blog last week, in a bid to end feverish speculation in the blogosphere about why, exactly, he had decided to leave Microsoft. The software giant's “technical evangelist”, Mr Scoble has become the best-known example of a corporate blogger. On his blog, called Scobleizer, which he started in 2000, he writes about Microsoft's products, and has sometimes criticised them fiercely—(1)thereby both establishing his credibility and, by its willingness to tolerate him, helping to humanise his employer.
  (2)As blogging's influence has grown, so has Mr Scoble's—both inside and outside Microsoft. Last year, after he blogged against Microsoft's decision to abandon support for a law prohibiting discrimination against gays, the company's managers backed down[1]. He helped write a book, “Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk With Customers”, published in January, that has become essential reading for any boss trying to define a new-media strategy for his business.
  So why leave? Mr Scoble has denied several of the theories circulating in the blogosphere, including that he had become fed up with having his expenses challenged or with sharing an office; that Microsoft challenged his views too often; that he had become frustrated; and that the firm had not tried hard enough to keep him. Still, his friend Dave Winer, another blogger, described Microsoft as a “stifling[2] organisation” before observing that “when he finally decided to leave, it's as if a huge weight came off him, and all of a sudden, the old Scoble is back.” He views Mr Scoble's departure as evidence that Microsoft has been unable to move with the times: “I'm glad to see my old friend didn't go down with the ship.” Another blogger says that his departure heralds the “end of honest blogging”. 那他为什么要离开微软呢?博客界流传着好几种说法,有的说他受够了别人对自己的业务开支说三道四,有的说他无法容忍与别人共用一个办公室,有的说微软公司三番五次对他的观点提出质疑,有的说他遭到了挫折,有的说公司没有竭尽全力挽留他,对此他都予以了否认。此外,他的朋友戴夫•温纳(也是博客作家)说,“他下定决心离职时感到如释重负,刹那间人们熟悉的那个斯高伯又回来了。”然后又说微软是一个“不开明的公司”。他认为,斯考伯的离去证明微软公司无法与时俱进,“很高兴看到我的老朋友没有与微软一起走向没落。”另一个博客作家说,他的离开昭示着“诚实博客的终结”。
  (3)The real reason may be less sinister—though troubling for the growing number of employers encouraging their employees to blog. Blogging allows staff to build a personal brand separate from that of their firm; if they are good at it, and build up a readership, that brand may be more valuable to them elsewhere. Mr Scoble is off to join PodTech.net, a rising star in video podcasting, which is now far more fashionable than blogging and potentially far more lucrative[3]. It seems that Mr Scoble is most impressed by Rocketboom, one of whose founders, Amanda Congdon, is said to be drawing 300,000 viewers a day to her videoblog, and is about to start charging advertisers $85,000 a week—almost as much, Mr Scoble is reported as saying, “as I made in an entire year working at Microsoft.”
  1. back down to admit that you are wrong or that you have lost an argument作出让步;认输
  2. stifling adj. a situation that is stifling stops you from developing your own ideas and character (环境)令人窒息的;压抑的;沉闷的
  3. lucrative adj. a job or activity that is lucrative lets you earn a lot of money [= profitable]有利可图的;赚钱的
  words for describing a job that you earn a lot from用来表达“赚钱”的词汇:
  well-paid/highly paid • pay well • lucrative
  when a business produces a profit(当生意赚钱时)
  profitable • lucrative • money-spinner赚大钱的人(事) • goldmine财源
楼主东城水岸 时间:2006-07-17 22:36:19
  Ulterior motives
  居心叵测(陈继龙 编译)
  Jun 22nd 2006 | OTTAWA
  From The Economist print edition
  IN ONE of the more shameful episodes of its past, Canada imposed a hefty head tax _______① all Chinese immigrants in 1885, then banned their entry altogether from 1923 to 1947. For the 15,000 or so Chinese men who had come to build Canada's transcontinental railway and the many more that came thereafter, (1)it became first prohibitively expensive and then impossible to send for their wives and children.
  _______② decades, Canadians of Chinese descent have demanded an apology and redress[1]. Successive federal governments ignored them, apologising to various other groups, including 14,000 Japanese-Canadians, who also received C$21,000 each for their internment and property expropriation during the second world war. (2)Fearing this might open the floodgates, a Liberal government declared in 1994 that the past was the past and that no further compensation would be forthcoming.
  (3)Given this, the decision this week by Stephen Harper, the Conservative prime minister, to offer both an apology and compensation to Chinese-Canadians might seem surprising—but not if the politics behind it are taken into account. While only about 20 of those who paid the head tax are still alive and fewer than 300 of their widows, Chinese-Canadians now form a community of around 1m with considerable political and economic clout. And its members form a crucial link _______③ Canada's burgeoning trade with China.
  Before January's general election, the former Liberal government angered the group by offering a programme of acknowledgment and education to cover all wronged ethnic groups, but no explicit apologies. Mr Harper, whose party lacks support in urban and immigrant communities, adroitly[2] stepped in with a campaign promise both to apologise and to compensate.____________________. (他说到做到。)
  Whether this will set a precedent for many other aggrieved[3] groups is doubtful. Some, like the Canadian Jewish Congress, want only acknowledgment rather than financial compensation (for the government's refusal to allow the 907 German Jewish refugees _______④ board the St Louis to land in Canada in 1939). The federal government did set aside C$2.2 billion in the last budget to compensate the children of aborigines[4] who were taken from their parents and abused in residential schools.(4) But that was to resolve a mountain of lawsuits that it was in danger of losing.
  [replyview]这是否会成为其它许多受过不公平对待的种族的先例尚且无法确定。有些团体比如加拿大犹太人代表大会就不需要赔款,只希望政府承认曾于1939年拒绝让圣•路易斯号船上的907名德裔犹太人登陆加拿大。联邦政府确实从上年度财政预算中划拨了22亿加元,用以赔偿那些被强迫离开父母并在寄宿学校遭到虐待的原住民儿童,可这么一来它就要处理一大堆极有可能输掉的官司。(译者注:第一个that指代的是上一句所提到的赔款,第二个that引导的是一个定语从句,修饰a mountain of lawsuits,后者作为从句中lose的宾语,it指代上一句中的the federal government,即the government was in danger of losing a mountain of lawsuits. lose a lawsuit意为“败诉”。)[/replyview]
  Still, there is hope for others if they follow the Chinese-Canadians' lead. A federal election is expected as early as next spring, when Mr Harper hopes to turn his minority _______⑤ a majority. (5)An immigrant group concentrated in an urban area is certain to get the ear of any Conservative candidate. And perhaps an apology too.
  [replyview]其他人如果步加拿大华人的后尘,也是有希望的。联邦选举预计最早将在明年春天举行,哈珀希望到时自己能从少数派成为多数派。所有保守党的候选人肯定都会洗耳恭听市区聚居的侨民团体的诉说,也许还要道个谦吧。(译者注:“get/have somebody's ear”表示“to be trusted by someone so that they will listen to your advice, opinions etc”,即“得到某人信任从而愿意听取你的意见和建议”。第二句为省略句,省略了上句中的主语和谓语以及定语,可还原为“…… is certain to get an apology of any Conservative canditate too”。)[/replyview]
  1. 在文中空白处填入适当的介词:
  2. 英译汉(将划线部分英文翻译成中文):
  1.redress n. money that someone pays you because they have caused you harm or damaged your property [= compensation]赔款;赔偿
  2. adroit adj. clever and skilful, especially in the way you use words and arguments (用词、论辩)机敏的;熟练的
  3. aggrieved adj. having suffered as a result of the illegal actions of someone else 受虐待的,受侵害的
  4. aborigines n.原住民;土著
  [replyview]1. ①on;②For;③in;④on;⑤into
  3.He has been true to his word(注:答案肯定不是唯一,但至少你可以学习作者的写法)
楼主东城水岸 时间:2006-07-17 22:39:23
  Brothers in arms
  袍泽之情(陈继龙 编译)
  Jun 29th 2006 | TORONTO
  From The Economist print edition
  RAY BLANCHARD, a researcher at Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, was reviewing some data a few years ago when he noticed something odd: gay men seemed to have more older brothers than straight men.
  Intrigued—and sceptical—he decided to investigate. He recruited 302 gay men and the same number of heterosexual controls and inquired about their families. How many siblings[1] did they have, _______① what sex, and how had the births been spaced? How old had their parents been when they had had them? Dr Blanchard found that only one detail seemed to predict sexual orientation: the more elder brothers a man had, the more likely he was to be gay. (1)Neither elder sisters nor younger siblings of either sex had any effect, but each additional elder brother increased his chance of being gay by about 33% from the population average of one man in 50.
  由于对此感到好奇和怀疑,他决定做个调查。他招募了302名同性恋男子和一样多的异性恋男子,并问及一些与家庭有关的问题:有几个兄弟,几个姐妹,前后出生间隔多长时间?出生时父母多大年龄?布朗夏尔博士发现,预示性取向的似乎只有一个细节:哥哥越多,成为同性恋的可能性就越大。姐姐以及弟妹的数量对某人的性取向没有任何影响。一般而言,平均50个男人中就有1人可能成为同性恋,每多一位哥哥,此人成为同性恋的可能性就增加33%左右。(译者注:这句有些费解,我的理解是:from the population average of one man in 50中的“from”与前面的“increase”相对应,也就是在此基础上增加了33%。这个基础就是指“平均每50个男人中就有一个人可能成为同性恋”,这是一般而言的,如果这“一个”人多一位哥哥,他成为同性恋的可能性就增加33%,也就是这个“50分之一”发生的可能性增加33%。有点乱,仅供参考。)
  It was a rather perplexing discovery. It implied either that being brought _______② with a lot of elder brothers affects a boy's sexual orientation, or that a mother's body is somehow able to keep count of how many sons she has conceived, and that this count affects the orientation of future children. (2)Hard as it was to explain, though, the finding was replicated again and again, across different cultures, eras and even psychiatric groups.
  Those who argued for a social explanation suggested that having lots of elder brothers makes a boy more likely to engage _______③ same-sex play, and might also increase the chance he is a victim of sexual abuse. But, regardless of whether either of these conjectures[2] is true, neither playing with other boys nor sexual abuse has been scientifically linked to homosexuality.
  Anthony Bogaert of Brock University in St Catharines, Ontario, therefore decided to examine the other hypothesis—that the phenomenon is caused by something that happens in the womb. He has just published his results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  Dr Bogaert reasoned that if the effect were social, elder brothers would wield[3] the same power even if they had not been born _______④ the same mother. Lots of half- or step-siblings, or adopted brothers, for instance, would also cause their younger brothers to be gay. On the other hand, if the effect were really due to birth order, biological brothers would make their younger brothers more likely to be gay even if they did not grow up together; indeed, even if the younger boy grew up without any older boys around at all.
  Dr Bogaert collected a new sample of several hundred men, this time specifically recruiting those who had grown up with “brothers” to whom they were not biologically related. He collected information on how long they had been reared with each sibling, as well as about biological siblings _______⑤ whom they had been separated.
  He found that only the number of biological elder brothers had an impact on a later-born boy's sexual orientation; non-biological siblings had no effect. This was true even when a boy had grown up surrounded by an enormous gaggle[4] of non-biological elder brothers. (3)By contrast, elder brothers raised in a separate household “influenced” their younger brothers' sexual orientation in exactly the same way as they would have done had they been living with them.
  Like many of the best pieces of research, this one raises questions, as well as answering them. One is, how does the mother's body keep count of how many sons she has conceived? A second is, how does that change the environment in the womb? A third is, how does that change affect sexual orientation? And a fourth is, is this an accidental effect, or has it evolved for some reason?
  To these questions, Dr Bogaert has no answers, though in some cases he has his suspicions. He speculates that, for reasons as yet unknown, a mother's immune system takes note of the number of male offspring and that each succeeding male fetus is subjected to increased levels of antibodies. These somehow affect its development. (4)Clearly, something strange is going on, because things other than sexual orientation are also affected by birth order. Boys with elder brothers are also likely to have larger-than-normal placentas while in the womb. And despite that apparent nutritional advantage (for a larger placenta should be able to draw more food from the mother's bloodstream), they are also likely to have lower birth-weights than would otherwise be expected. 博加尔特博士并没有回答这些问题,但就某些个案提出了自己的猜想。他推测,由于一些尚不为人知的原因,母体免疫系统可监测男性子代的数量,并且升高的抗体水平会影响每一个后孕男胎。这些对胎儿的发育会有一定的影响。不过显然,出生顺序并不单单会影响性取向,因此奇怪的现象层出不穷,比方说,有哥哥的男孩在子宫中的胎盘可能比正常大,而且,尽管具有明显的营养优势(因为大胎盘能从母体血流中摄取更多的养料),他们出生时的体重仍可能比预计的要轻。
  (5)Dr Blanchard, meanwhile, calculates that about one gay man in seven can chalk his orientation up to having elder brothers. But _______⑥ the question of whether there is some evolutionary advantage for a mother who has many sons to include a gay one among them, neither he nor Dr Bogaert has an answer.
  与此同时,布朗夏尔统计发现,大约七分之一的同性恋男子认为其性取与自己有哥哥有关。(译者注:chalk sth. up to是指“把……记在……”,引申为“把……归因于”)但是,至于是否存在某种进化优势而使得多子母亲的儿子中出现一个同性恋,无论他还是博尔加特博士,均未给出答案。
  1. 选择适当的介词或副词填入文中空白处:
  ①a. from b. with c. of d. by
  ②a. about b. forth c. out d. up
  ③a. in b. on c. with d. for
  ④a. by b. from c. to d. in
  ⑤a. by b. from c. to d. with
  ⑥a. for b. with c. on d. to
  2. 英译汉(将划线部分英文翻译成中文):
  1. sibling n. 兄弟姐妹
  2. conjecture n. 推断;臆说;猜测
  3. wield v. 行使权力,施加影响;挥舞
  4. gaggle n. (吵闹的)一群人;鹅群
  [replyview]1. c(of what sex ……性别);d(bring up抚养长大);a(engage in从事于);c(to);b(be separated from);d(an answer to)
楼主东城水岸 时间:2006-07-17 22:41:09
  A stilted story
  踩高跷的故事(陈继龙 编译)
  Jun 29th 2006
  From The Economist print edition
  IF THERE were a Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Ants, Matthias Wittlinger of the University of Ulm, in Germany, would probably be top of its hate list. The reason is that Dr Wittlinger and his colleagues have, as they report in this week's Science, been chopping the feet off ants. And not only that. They have been making other ants walk around on stilts.
  Saharan desert ants of the genus Cataglyphis have to travel long distances to discover food in their impoverished, sandy environment. How they find their way home once they have done so is a mystery. Ants in more temperate climates often lay down chemical trails, but Cataglyphis, apparently, does not. Like honeybees and ancient mariners, they can navigate by the sun, so they know the general direction in which to travel. But, also like ancient mariners (who knew their latitude, but not their longitude), such solar reckoning cannot tell them when to stop.
  Dr Wittlinger, therefore, decided to investigate a century-old hypothesis that desert ants have internal pedometers—in other words, they count their steps out, and they count them back. When one total matches the other, they are home. To test this idea he trained his ants to walk from their nests to a feeding station through a ten-metre-long channel. When they had picked up the food, he caught them and made them return through a different channel, which also led to the nest. (1)When they made this return journey, they began their characteristic nest-searching behaviour, quartering the ground in detail looking for the entrance, after travelling about ten metres.
  Once the ants had mastered this trick, the experiment proper began. Some ants, when they arrived at the feeding station, had the ends of their legs amputated[1], to shorten their stride length. Others were fitted with stilts in the form of pig-bristles[2] glued to their feet. Both lots were then returned to the feeding station, to make the journey home.
  (2)As predicted, the ants on stilts, whose stride-length meant their internal pedometers[3] had not clicked enough times, walked blithely[4] past their nests, and were left stranded almost five metres on the far side before they started looking for the hole. Meanwhile, the poor stumped[5] ants travelled only about six metres before they started their search.
  The story, however, has a happy ending. Having proved his point, Dr Wittlinger returned both stumped and stilted ants to the nest and gave them a few days to recover. Then he let them out for another run. Now that they could re-count their outbound journeys, they were able to calculate the journey home correctly. Ants may not be very bright, but it seems they have a head for figures.
  1. amputate v. 切除(手臂、腿等)
  2. pig-bristle n. 猪鬃
  3. pedometer n. 步数计
  4. blithely adv. 无忧无虑地;悠然自得地
  5. stump v. 脚步沉重地行走;绊倒;难住
楼主东城水岸 时间:2006-07-17 22:43:45
  Come to sunny Colombia
  到阳光明媚的哥伦比亚来吧!(陈继龙 编译)
  From The Economist print edition
  MENTION Colombia, and most people think of cocaine, kidnappings and guerrilla violence. (1)These have served to keep all but the most danger-loving tourists away for decades. But under Álvaro Uribe, Colombia's president since 2002, violence has fallen steadily and many parts of the country have become safe. Now the government is trying to r_______① conventional images of Colombia with different ones: white-sand beaches, colonial cities, jungle-clad mountains and placid coffee farms.
  The tourism campaign has begun at home. This month, during the mid-year school holidays, thousands of Colombians have enjoyed the newly-recovered freedom to travel, using specially policed routes from major cities to favourite holiday spots.________________________(就现在来看,此举旨在打消外国游客的顾虑。)With a promotional b_______② of just $4m this year, the tourism agency is concentrating its efforts on tour operators and cruise[1] and airline executives. This spring, it invited 130 of them to see the country's beaches, its coffee farms and the Amazon region.
  Mr Uribe has himself l_______③ bosses of cruise-ship firms. (2)This seems to have paid off. In May, Royal Caribbean announced that from next year some of its ships would call at Cartagena, a colonial walled port on the north coast. The Florida Caribbean Cruise Association held its annual meeting in the city last week.
  [replyview]乌利比总统本人也已游说了游船公司的老板,结果看来是一帆风顺。(译者注:根据LONGMAN,“if something you do pays off, it is successful or has a good result”,因此文中的“pay off”是指游说成功,因为其与船有关,故引申为“一帆风顺”。)今年5月,皇家加勒比海公司宣布,明年起其部分船只将停靠卡塔赫纳(位于哥伦比亚北海岸、殖民时期建造的港口城市)。佛罗里达加勒比海游船协会上周还在该市召开了年会。[/replyview]
  Tourism officials expect 1.5m foreign visitors this year, more than 50% up from the 925,000 in 2005. (Mexico, Latin America's top tourist destination, a_______④ 20m foreigners a year.) Lonely Planet, a travel publisher, has chosen Colombia as one of its top ten travel hotspots for 2006, in large part because of the improvement in safety.
  But care is still needed. Lonely Planet advises tourists to steer clear of[2] Chocó on the Pacific coast, Putumayo in the far south and “anywhere east of the Andes”, where there are still guerrillas. America's State Department and the British Foreign Office also w________⑤ travellers against wandering into rural areas.
  Even so, groups of foreign h________⑥ have recently taken to visiting Ciudad Perdida, one of the largest and oldest pre-Columbian settlements in the Americas, in the jungles of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The area is still home to leftist[3] guerrillas and remnants of their arch-enemies[4], the right-wing paramilitary militias. (3)But the fact that many other parts of what is a large and physically beautiful country are now safe to visit amounts to progress.
  1. 根据首字母以及括号内的词性提示和英文释义填入单词(注意复数、时态形式变化等):
  ①r________(v. to put something new in the place of something old, damaged, or broken)
  ②b________(n. the money that is available to an organization or person)
  ③l________(v. to try to persuade the government or someone with political power)
  ④a________(v. to make someone interested in something, or make them want to take part in something)
  ⑤w________ (v. to tell someone about something before it happens so that they are not worried or surprised by it)
  ⑥h_________ (n. someone who walks long distances in the mountains or country for pleasure)
  2. 英译汉(将划线部分英文翻译成中文):
  1. cruise n. 乘船游览;(在大船上度过的)假期
  2. steer clear of 避开,绕开
  3. leftist n.&adj. 左翼(的);左派(的);左撇子(的)
  4. archenemy n.主要敌人
  [replyview]1. ①replace 替换,替代(近义词:renew,change)
  ②budget 预算;
  ③lobbied 游说(lobby for/against;lobby sb. to do sth.)
  ④attracts 吸引;
  (1)“使某人喜欢或想要做某事”可用:attract, tempt, seduce
  (2)“使某人想去某地”可用:attract, draw, bring in, lure
  (3)“两性之间有吸引力”,“迷人、魅惑”可用:be attracted to, fancy, be interested in, want, lust after
  ⑤warn 提醒
  〔附注〕“提醒(警告)某人某事”可用:warn • give somebody a warning • warn off • caution • tip off • alert • sound/raise the alarm • forewarn • I told you!/I told you so!
  ⑥hikers 远足者;徒步旅行者
  3.The aim now is to convince foreigners.(注:答案肯定不是唯一,但至少你可以学习作者的写法)
楼主东城水岸 时间:2006-07-17 22:45:13
  Selling the sage of Qufu
  推销孔圣人(陈继龙 编译)
  Jul 6th 2006 | TOKYO
  From The Economist print edition
  THE old man would surely be proud. This week some 300 representatives, from 35 different countries, gathered in Beijing's Great Hall of the People for the first-ever Confucius Institute conference. (1)This was no philosophical pow-wow[1], but the world's largest-ever conference on teaching Chinese as a foreign language. Confucius Institutes are China's answer to the Alliance Française, Germany's Goethe Institut and the British Council, and officials hope they will help meet a growing global demand for Chinese-language education.
  孔老夫子肯定会感到自豪。本周,来自35个国家的近300名代表在北京人民大会堂召开了首届孔子学院大会。这不是一次讨论哲学思想的会议,而是迄今为止最大的一次研究对外汉语教学的大会。孔子学院的意义如同法兰西联谊会、德国歌德学院和英国文化协会,中国官员希望它将有助于满足全球对汉语教学日益增长的需求。(译者注:“sb’s answer to somehitng”是指“someone or something that is considered to be just as good as a more famous person or thing”,即“与……一样有名、出色”、“具有与……等同的意义或重要性”)
  Confucius Institutes have got off to a roaring start. The first was established in Tashkent in Uzbekistan in June 2004, the 75th in Cracow in Poland exactly two years later. No other Chinese international franchise has done as well. Officially, they are overseen by Hanban, the agency charged by the Education Ministry with promoting the teaching of Chinese overseas. (2)But Hanban's staff of only around 50 can barely cope with the volume of applications, on top of[2] its other duties which include administering Hanyu Shuipin Kaoshi, the standard test of proficiency in Chinese.
  孔子学院一开始发展就非常迅猛。(译者注:get off to a bad/good start意为“开局不顺/顺利”,roaring表示“迅猛的”)第一所孔子学院于2004年6月在乌兹别克斯坦塔什干成立,短短两年后在波兰克拉科夫就成立了第75所。目前中国还没有哪一家国际机构能与之媲美。这些孔子学院的官方主管部门为国家汉办(国家汉语国际推广领导小组办公室),后者是教育部下属机构,负责海外汉语教学推广。不过,仅有50名左右工作人员的汉办实在难以应付纷至沓来的办学申请,而且它还担负其它一些职责比如汉语水平考试管理(考查汉语掌握程度的标准考试)。
  So Hanban has let the network grow organically. One key to its success has been the use of joint ventures. The institutes are not run by Hanban, but by partnerships between Chinese universities and local universities in the host country. The host university takes the responsibility for housing the institute; its Chinese partner provides the teaching staff and materials.
  (3)A second advantage is the institutes' ability to adapt to local demands, rather than following a set curriculum. Thus, in Nairobi, you can learn how to make Tianjin dumplings, while in Singapore you can sign up for a 14-day study tour of the sage's hometown, Qufu, in Shandong province.
  (4)Hanban claims that the primary role of the Confucius Institutes is to teach Chinese, but their name is also evocative of China's former influence in Asia, and its growing presence now. Despite the iciness of official relations between China and Japan, universities there are falling over each other to set up the next institute. Already there are four, the most in any Asian country; the number is set to double by the end of the year. Even in the 21st century, Confucius is proving to be China's best ambassador.
  1. pow-wow n. (北美印第安人)议事会;会议,聚会
  2. on top of 另外,紧接着(祸不单行)
楼主东城水岸 时间:2006-07-17 22:47:47
  The bane of Italy
  祸起意大利(陈继龙 编译)
  Jun 29th 2006
  From The Economist print edition
  ALEXANDER STILLE'S new book on Silvio Berlusconi, the flamboyant[1] former Italian prime minister, is neither a biography nor a work of investigative journalism. Its real value is that it represents the first attempt, in English at least, to recount in a readable fashion the story, not of Mr Berlusconi himself, but of Berlusconi-ism. (1)That gives it a wide appeal, for, as its author argues persuasively, Berlusconi-ism is the extrapolation[2] to grotesque[3] extremes of a phenomenon that has gradually, and all too imperceptibly, become widespread.
  Mr Stille is at his best when he describes how a man with a corporation with billions of dollars of debt succeeded in less than eight months, between 1993 and 1994, in turning himself into his country's leader. (2)Along the way, he identifies various keys to Mr Berlusconi's success.
  One was the unprecedented application of modern business methods to Italian politics. Mr Berlusconi's campaign organisers set up pay-as-you-go[4] phone numbers so voters paid to listen to Mr Berlusconi and the stars of his television empire. Party candidates were required to spend the equivalent of $800 on a kit, similar to a salesman's kit, with a manual on how to communicate with voters. Advice included: “If you use a public toilet and it's dirty, clean it, otherwise those who come after you will think you dirtied it.”
  (3)Then there was Mr Berlusconi's own exploitation of “anti-politics”, his depiction of himself as an outsider—a technique that allowed him to tap into a rich vein[5] of support among mainly poor, rural and poorly educated voters who distrusted the institutions. Finally, of course, there was television. Mr Stille produces evidence to demonstrate its influence: “A study of female former Christian Democrat voters showed that an astonishing 75% of those who watched four or more hours of TV a day cast their ballot for Berlusconi, while only 40% of those who watched two hours or less did so.”
  He acknowledges that his subject's rise to power (and, to an even greater extent, his return to power in 2001 after six years in opposition) was fostered by some of the specific characteristics of Italian society. Italians were, and are, largely unconcerned by Mr Berlusconi's conflicts of interest. Indeed, a survey during the 2001 election found that almost a quarter of voters thought that Mr Berlusconi's personal interests meant he would “govern the country better”. (4)Nor are Italians overly concerned by the sort of illegality of which their former leader has been repeatedly accused by the judiciary. Above all, though, Mr Stille argues, Italy is a “weak democracy with few institutional checks and balances.”
  Mr Stille's book is ill-timed: Mr Berlusconi has just been voted out of office and, at 69, his chances of returning are slim. But the Berlusconi formula, which Mr Stille sums up as “money + media + celebrity = political power”, is by no means applicable only to Italy. Some or all of the same basic elements are there in other politicians, particularly in America: in Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Bloomberg and Jesse Ventura, a former professional wrestler who became governor of Minnesota. (5)“Silvio Berlusconi”, writes Mr Stille, “may appear at times a caricature, but in fact he is a reflection of ourselves in a fun-house mirror, our features distorted and exaggerated but distinctly recognisable.”
  1. flamboyant adj. behaving in a confident or exciting way that makes people notice you自命不凡的;神气活现的;浮华的;耀眼的;引人注目的
  2. extrapolation n. 推论,推知;外推
  3. grotesque adj. 非常讨厌的;无礼的;怪诞的,奇异的
  4. pay-as-you-go adj. 付费的(电话或网络服务)
  5. a (rich) vein of (很)有几分
作者:王荣欣 时间:2006-09-01 17:16:24
  第四篇   Feb 16th 2006 Stuff of dreams
   Barry's prolific historical paintings demonstrate his ambition to rival the painters of antiquity and the Renaissance and to practise what the then president of the RA, Sir Joshua Reynolds, always preached—that history painting was the noblest form of art.
  》》》 Barry的不少历史画 表明了 他想与古代及文艺复兴的画家比肩的雄心,并实践了“历史画是最尊贵的艺术形式” 的说法(时任皇家美术学院院长的约书亚.雷诺兹爵士一直倡导)。
  His melodramatic “King Lear Weeping over the Body of Cordelia” and his sexually charged “★Jupiter and Juno on Mount Ida[7]”, now both part of a retrospective of the artist's work in Cork
  》》》sexually charged 该怎么翻译?“洋溢着性爱”?读不懂。
  The ★erotic[23] drawings and prints by him and his pupil Theodor von Holst are so explicit that the Tate has hung a veil between them and Fuseli's popular fairy paintings nearby, which are a favourite with children.
  》》》Fuseli和他学生Holst的素描和版画 表现色情太明显了,Tate美术馆就挂起幕布,与旁边Fusel受欢迎的、孩子们最喜爱的仙女画隔开。
  第九篇 Feb 16th 2006 Ready, fire, aim
  No doubt (2)the good people ▲at politicalgraveyard will soon update their site. Ever since Dick Cheney took aim at a quail on February 11th and hit a 78-year-old lawyer instead, America has been talking of little else.
  》》》政坛坟场网无疑会迅速更新网页了,自从2月11日切尼瞄准一只鹌鹑,却换成击中一位78岁的律师,美国人 大谈特谈。
  第十篇Feb 23rd 2006  Ominous 不祥之兆
  It is easy to see why some believe that bird flu could turn out to be primarily a development—rather than just a health—issue for the whole African continent.
  The evidence in the case comes from prosecutors in Naples who are looking into 19 games that were played in Italy's top division in the 2004-05 season.
  Even living artists are selling for unprecedented sums.
作者:中山慕容 时间:2006-09-01 18:16:17
  楼主精神可嘉, 水平也很高. 但可惜"ECONOMIST"是一本对母语是英语的人来说也不容易看懂的杂志, 倒不是英语有多深,是所讲的内容之广和深奥. 楼主贴到天涯, 恐怕懂欣赏的人不多啊. 其实对国人来说, 翻译最难的倒是中译英, 有机会楼主能否开个中译英的贴子?
作者:sevenyears_zuo 时间:2006-10-27 21:27:49
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-18 23:06:52
  Little love lost
  爱意难寻(陈继龙 编译)
  Jun 29th 2006 | PARIS
  From The Economist print edition
  “THIS is a marriage of reason,” said Joseph Kinsch, chairman of Arcelor, when he presented the proposed merger of the Luxembourg-based steelmaker and Mittal Steel to the press on June 26th. It was certainly not love at first sight. For almost five months Mr Kinsch and Guy Dollé, the company's chief executive, used every defence they could to rebuff[1] Mittal's hostile bid. They mobilised politicians, bankers, public-relations advisors and—in what was meant to be the fatal blow to Mittal's bid—a white knight in the guise of[2] Severstal, a Russian steelmaker. But clarity came after a nine-hour meeting on June 25th when Arcelor's board at last agreed to sell the company to Mittal Steel for cash and stock valued at €25.6 billion ($32.2 billion).
  The merger will create by far the world's largest steelmaker in terms of market value, revenue and output. It is good news for Arcelor, for Mittal—and the whole steel industry. The two companies complement each other in geography and the types of steel they produce. Their union is likely to inspire more mergers and takeovers that will increase the industry's efficiency. One banker in the deal says all steelmakers are now asking themselves what they should do next.
  Because about half of the global steel market is still parochial[3] and fragmented, size brings many advantages. Big companies have more power to negotiate with suppliers and are better able to withstand the industry's cycle. They can exploit synergies in purchasing, and in manufacturing as well as in marketing and trading. Some small producers with a focus on a niche in the market, such as Sweden's SSAB, a company specialising in high-strength steel, are very profitable. But small steelmakers without their own technological edge are unlikely to survive.
  Further consolidation is likely to make the industry healthier. After a painful crisis it has returned to profitability thanks to robust economic growth. In Europe consolidation came to a halt after three big mergers at the end of the last decade. Thyssen and Krupp of Germany joined forces in 1997. Two years later British Steel and Hoogovens of the Netherlands formed Corus. And in 2001 Arcelor was born after Usinor of France merged with Luxembourg's Arbed and Aceralia of Spain. Corus is considered a takeover target while ThyssenKrupp is determined to stay independent—at least for the moment. Hence most of the mergers will probably be in emerging economies. For instance, although China accounts today for one-third of global demand, Baosteel, its biggest producer, is much smaller than Arcelor.
  Lakshmi Mittal, the boss of Mittal Steel, believes that ultimately the industry is likely to be dominated by a handful of producers of more than 100m tonnes a year. His proposed behemoth[4], at any rate, will produce some 120m tonnes a year. But the deal is not quite done yet. First, on June 30th, at least half Arcelor's shareholders must vote against the proposed merger with Severstal to stop it.
  That seems likely. Mr Mittal's bid is now 49% higher than it was in January. He has made further concessions to get Arcelor's bosses to concede defeat, contenting himself with a 43.6% stake in the new company. He gave Arcelor four of the seven seats on the management board. Mr Kinsch will be chairman of Arcelor Mittal, as the company will be called, and a bitterly disappointed Mr Dollé will depart.
  Several shareholders, including Romain Zaleski, Arcelor's biggest, with a 7.8% stake, have decided to vote against a merger with Severstal. Even if the Russian deal is approved, Mr Mittal can still scupper[5] it, by buying 73% of Arcelor shares through his own tender offer before it expires in July. Again, Mr Zaleski has promised his backing.
  Mr Kinsch, for one, seems resigned to the merger going ahead. He said that he hopes that it will eventually become a marriage of hearts. He also denied any regret for the insults he and his lieutenants hurled[6] at the Indian-born entrepreneur's company and culture, including a dismissal[7] of Mittal shares as “monkey money[8]”. Such behaviour was forgotten, he declared, as soon as everyone sat down together at the same table. That sentiment would have sounded more convincing coming from Mr Mittal.
  1. rebuff v. 回绝;怠慢
  2. in the guise of 打着……的幌子
  3. parochial adj. 受地方限制的;狭隘的
  4. behemoth n. 庞然大物
  5. scupper v. 破坏(计划)
  6. hurl v. (at)对……破口大骂
  7. dismissal n. 解除;不予考虑
  8. monkey money n. 公司临时股票;外国货币
  1.白衣骑士(white knight):为鼓励另一家企业进行成功的公司兼并,一个善意的第三方加入以击退另一竞买者。
  2.猴子钱(monkey money):公司的临时股票,外国货币。米塔尔是一家印度公司,这么说有种族歧视的意味。
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-18 23:14:12
  Shrinking wireless
  微缩无线(陈继龙 编译)
  Jun 29th 2006
  From The Economist print edition
  THE miniaturisation of the components of computer chips has proved unstoppable. In each new generation, those components are smaller and more tightly packed than they were in its predecessor. Progress has been so rapid that chip designers are approaching apparently fundamental barriers to further reductions in size and increases in density. One of these is imposed by the need to wire the components in a chip together, so that they can exchange signals. But, in a miniaturised version of the shift to wireless communication in the macroscopic world, a group of researchers led by Alain Nogaret of the University of Bath, in England, think they can make chips whose components talk to each other wirelessly.
  At present, the electronics that transmit and receive the radio waves used in wireless devices are too large to be used within individual chips. But Dr Nogaret believes he can overcome this. Last week he and his colleagues at three other British universities, another in Belgium and a research institute in France won the money to try to build such a device.
  The researchers intend to use the standard lithographic[1] techniques employed in chipmaking to coat a semiconductor with microscopic magnets. These magnets will generate local magnetic fields that point in opposite directions at different points on the chip's surface. Electrons have a property called spin[2] that is affected by magnetic fields, and the team hopes to use an effect called inverse electron-spin resonance to make electrons passing through the chip emit microwaves.
  The technique they are proposing is the reverse of the process in medical magnetic-resonance imaging. In MRI, the patient is placed in a strong magnetic field that causes some of his body's atomic nuclei, which act like tiny magnetised spinning tops, to align[3] themselves with the field. These nuclei are then zapped[4] briefly with a second magnetic field that knocks them out of alignment with the first one. The coils in the scanning apparatus detect these magnetic changes, which are used to build up a map of the part of the body being examined. After a few seconds, the nuclei realign themselves with the field, radiating small amounts of energy as heat or, more rarely, as radio waves.
  In chips, Dr Nogaret proposes to use the spin of the electron rather than the spin of the atomic nucleus. Electrons flowing through the chip would “see” a magnetic field that flips from one direction to the opposite every few hundred nanometres (billionths of a metre). This is the equivalent of zapping a stationary object with an oscillating[5] magnetic field of the sort used in MRI. The changing magnetic field would force the electrons to oscillate, too, but would not allow them to radiate heat. As a result, they would be forced to emit radio waves—or, rather, microwaves, which are similar but of shorter wavelength.
  Dr Nogaret envisages great advances that would stem from the success of his work, and these are not confined to the possibility of packing components yet more tightly. In today's chips, the failure of a single connection can put the whole circuit out of action. This should not happen with a wireless system because it could be programmed to re-route[6] signals. Manufacturers could thus relax their standards and produce chips that were cheaper than, but as reliable as, their predecessors.
  The project will not be plain sailing. Generating microwaves powerful enough to transmit data reliably will probably involve stacking several layers of magnets and semiconductors together and encouraging the electrons in them to oscillate in unison[7]. But if it works, a whole new wireless world will be opened up.
  1. lithographic adj. 平版印刷的
  2. spin n. 自旋
  3. align v. 排列
  4. zap v. 打击;轰击
  5. oscillate v. 持续振荡,摇动;摇摆不定
  6. re-route v. 变向发送;改道
  7. in unison 完全一致;完全协调
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-19 00:01:20
  Heavyweight metal
  举足轻重的金属(陈继龙 编译)
  Jun 29th 2006
  From The Economist print edition
  FIRST it was metals, now it is the companies that mine them. In May prices for copper, nickel and other metals rose to record levels, although they have since fallen a bit. Now three mining firms are proposing the most expensive merger in the industry's history. The $40 billion deal, in which an American company, Phelps Dodge, plans to take over two Canadian ones, Inco and Falconbridge, would create the world's biggest producer of nickel, the number two in copper, and the fifth-ranked mining firm overall. The records may not stop there: two other mining firms, Xstrata and Teck Cominco, had previously bid for Falconbridge and Inco respectively, and could make further offers.
  一开始价格不断攀升的是金属,而今是矿业公司。5月,铜、镍和其它金属价格升至创纪录新高,尽管此前曾有小幅度下跌。而现在,三家矿业公司正在谋划该产业有史以来最昂贵的一次合并。此宗涉及美国菲尔普斯-道奇公司并购加拿大Inco镍业公司和鹰桥公司的交易总额达400亿美元,合并后的公司将成为全球最大的镍生产商和第二大铜生产商,公司整体规模也将位居世界第五。纪录也许还会进一步被刷新——此前,另外两家矿业公司瑞士Xstrata和Teck Cominco公司也曾各自对鹰桥和Inco提出过收购要约,并且有可能进一步抬高价码。
  Soaring commodities prices have left mining firms flush with cash and keen to expand. One way would be to search for more metal in the ground, instead of on the stockmarket. But organic growth is expensive at the moment; as firms rush to increase their output to take advantage of high prices, every conceivable input, from engineers to mining trucks' huge tyres, is in desperately short supply. Developing new mines is also slow. Mining executives worry that projects that get the go-ahead[1] when prices are high will not look so attractive when the next slump comes.
  That could be true of the proposed merger too, of course. Phelps Dodge offered a premium of 23% over the price of Inco's shares and 12% over Falconbridge's. Those shares, in turn, have been rising for several years along with the firms' wares—nickel, for the most part, at Inco, and nickel and copper at Falconbridge.
  The bosses of the firms insist that the mark-up[2] is justified, for several reasons. For one thing, they reckon they can squeeze savings of $900m a year out of the combined entity by 2008, by sharing equipment and personnel among adjacent mines, for example, and pooling their marketing staff. More importantly, they argue that the size and diversity of the new company will make it less vulnerable to mining's painful cycles, and so more attractive to investors.
  The biggest and most diversified mining companies, such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, do boast higher share valuations. They produce everything from aluminium to zircon[3], and so are less susceptible to fluctuations in the price of any particular metal. By the same logic, the more mines a firm is running or developing, and the more countries it operates in, the less risk each individual project poses to profits.
  几家世界最大、产品最富多样性的矿业公司,如BHP Billiton和Rio Tinto公司,也确实推崇定高股价。它们的产品包罗万象,从铝到锆石不一而足,故而不易受到某一种金属价格波动的影响。同理,一家公司运营或开发的矿井越多,并且业务涉足越多的国家,某一项工程面临的利润风险就越低。
  The merged trio will certainly have a broader geographical spread, with mines in five continents. But its main projects, in stable places like the United States, Canada and Chile, never seemed that risky in the first place. Furthermore, despite having sidelines[4] in cobalt[5] and molybdenum[6], the new firm's fortunes will depend chiefly on the price of copper and nickel—two of most volatile metals of late.
  Some analysts mutter that Phelps Dodge embarked on the merger chiefly to save itself from being taken over. Investors seem to share their doubts: Phelps Dodge's shares fell by 8% after it announced the deal, despite a simultaneous pledge to spend $5 billion on a share buy-back[7] scheme once the merger is concluded.
  On the other hand, the price of nickel and copper jumped on the news. Traders seem to have assumed that the companies would have contemplated[8] such an expensive deal only if they thought that metals would remain in short supply for some time. The more money that mining firms spend buying one another, rather than exploring for and developing new mines, the likelier that is.
  1. go-ahead n. (give sb. the go-ahead或get the go-ahead)许可
  2. mark-up n. 涨价;提价
  3. zircon n. [金属]锆
  4. sideline n. 副业;局外旁观;边线
  5. cobalt n. [金属]钴
  6. molybdenum n. [金属]钼
  7. buy-back n. 产品返销
  8. contemplate v. 考虑;想到;接受(事实);冥思苦索
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-19 00:04:29
  Blues' delight
  痛并快乐着(陈继龙 编译)
  Jul 13th 2006 | ROME
  From The Economist print edition
  HE MAY be lumbered[1] with a nine-party coalition and a one-seat majority in the upper house of parliament. But Italy's prime minister, Romano Prodi, seems to have something that could yet offset these handicaps: luck. As he himself noted, Italy's win against France in the World Cup final on July 9th was as narrow as his own victory in the election in April. Tied 1-1 after extra time, the Italians won a penalty shoot-out when a Frenchman (who ironically plays for an Italian club, Juventus) hit the crossbar. That gave Italy's captain, Fabio Cannavaro, the trophy—and Mr Prodi a boost, politically and maybe even economically.
  Analysts at ABN Amro, a Dutch bank, have estimated that a World Cup victory adds 0.7% to the winner's GDP, mostly through extra demand. Research by another bank, JPMorgan, has found that consumption in European countries that won the cup in recent decades rose afterwards by more than the EU average. Some analysts remain sceptical of a “World Cup effect”, arguing that it merely brings forward spending. But Mr Prodi's own finance minister, Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, thinks Italy's win will have a positive effect “because it has an impact on confidence and signifies that ambitious goals are within our reach”.
  荷兰ABN Amro银行的分析人士估计,在世界杯上每胜一场,就会使获胜国的GDP增长0.7%,主要是通过扩大消费需求。另一家银行JPMorgan的研究显示,最近几十年获得过世界杯冠军的欧洲国家的消费均超过欧洲平均水平。但有些分析人士对“世界杯效应”仍持怀疑态度,认为它仅仅是拉动提前消费而已。不过普罗迪的财政部长托马索•帕多阿-斯基奥帕相信,意大利胜利的效应将是积极的,因为“它不但增强了信心,也意味着我们雄心勃勃的目标是可以实现的。”
  Yet the benefits of Italy's victory could be offset by the loss of esteem it would suffer were it to use the triumph as an excuse for taking the easy way out of another challenge. Not the least remarkable aspect of Italy's success is that it was achieved against a background of spectacular footballing strife back home. Thirteen of the 23 members of the Italian squad in Germany play for clubs that are threatened with relegation[2] over a match-fixing scandal. Most at risk is Juventus, a publicly quoted club that supplied five of the players (including Mr Cannavaro). It could be relegated from the first to the third division by a sports tribunal in Rome. The verdicts were expected to be handed down by the end of this week.
  The justice minister, Clemente Mastella, had suggested that the national team's victory might earn the clubs a reprieve[3]. Encouragingly, Mr Prodi would have none of it. His sports minister, Giovanna Melandri, branded the proposal “idiocy”. Just as importantly, some of the players themselves rejected the idea. Gennaro Gattuso, a midfielder who plays for AC Milan, the club owned by Silvio Berlusconi that could also be relegated, said: “Those who have committed offences ought to be punished.” That is a welcome new thought in Italy.
  司法部长克莱门特•马斯特拉暗示说,国家队的胜利也许能为俱乐部赢得喘息之机。好在普罗迪并不同意这么做。(译注:would have none of something表示“不允许,不同意”)他的体育部长乔瓦纳•梅兰德里认为这一提议纯属“白痴行为”。有些队员本人也反对这一提议,这同样重要。效力于AC米兰(前总理贝鲁斯科尼的球队,这次也有可能降级)的中场队员热纳罗•加图索说:“犯了错就应该受到惩罚。”这种新观念在意大利受到了一致欢迎。
  1. lumber v.
  1)[vi 始终与副词或介词连用] 笨重、缓慢地移动(lumber up/towards/into/along 等)
  2)[vt](get/be lumbered with something)强迫给予某人一项工作;强加责任于某人
  如:A career was less easy once I was lumbered with a husband and children.
  2. relegate vt.
  1)降级,降职(降到次要位置)relegate somebody/something to something
  —relegation n.
  3. reprieve n.
  1)暂缓,喘息之机 [↪ respite] (reprieve from)
  2)(死刑)缓期执行 give/grant somebody a reprieve
    加利亚尼(AC米兰副 ):禁赛1年;
    安德雷亚.德拉瓦莱(佛罗伦萨 ):禁赛3年6个月,
    迭戈.德拉瓦莱(佛罗伦萨名誉 ):禁赛4年;
    洛蒂托(拉齐奥 ):禁赛3年。涉案足协人员:
    卡拉罗(前足协 ):禁赛4年6个月;
    马齐尼(前足协副 ):禁赛5年。
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-19 00:07:44
  Wag the dog
  尾巴摇狗(陈继龙 编译)
  (译注:英语中有这样一种说法,即“It’s a case of the tail wagging the dog”,直译为“这可是一件尾巴摇狗的事。”,比喻“某个不重要的事物占据主导地位”。)
  Jul 6th 2006
  From The Economist print edition
  FOR the past two years in Silicon Valley, the centre of America's technology industry, conference-goers have entertained themselves playing a guessing game: how many times will a speaker mention the phrase “long tail”? It is usually a high number, thanks to the influence of the long-tail theory, which was first developed by Chris Anderson, the editor of Wired magazine, in an article in 2004. Though technologists and bloggers chuckle[1] at how every business presentation now has to have its long-tail section, most are envious of Mr Anderson, whose brainwave quickly became the most fashionable business idea around.
  Whether a blockbuster film, a bestselling novel, or a chart-topping rap song, popular culture idolises the hit. Companies devote themselves to creating them because the cost of distribution and the limits of shelf space in physical shops mean that profitability depends on a high volume of sales. But around the beginning of this century a group of internet companies realised that with endless shelves and a national or even international audience online they could offer a huge range of products—and make money at the same time.
  The niche, the obscure and the specialist, Mr Anderson argues, will gain ground at the expense of the hit. As evidence, he points to a drop in the number of companies that traditionally calculate their revenue/sales ratio according to the 80/20 rule—where the top fifth of products contribute four-fifths of revenues. Ecast, a San Francisco digital jukebox[2] company, found that 98% of its 10,000 albums sold at least one track every three months. Expressed in the language of statistics, the experiences of Ecast and other companies such as Amazon, an online bookseller, suggest that products down in the long tail of a statistical distribution, added together, can be highly profitable. The internet helps people find their way to relatively obscure material with recommendations and reviews by other people (and for those willing to have their artistic tastes predicted by a piece of software) computer programs which analyse past selections.
  Long-tail enthusiasts argue that the whole of culture will benefit, not just commercial enterprises. Television, film and music are such bewitching[3] media in their own right that many people are quite happy to watch and listen to what the mainstream provides. But if individuals have the opportunity to pick better, more ideally suited entertainment from a far wider selection, they will take it, according to the theory of the long tail. Some analysts reckon that entire populations might become happier and wiser once they have access to thousands of documentaries, independent films and sub-genres[4] of every kind of music, instead of being subjected to what Mr Anderson calls the tyranny of lowest-common-denominator[5] fare. That might be taking things a bit far. But the long tail is certainly one of the internet's better gifts to humanity.
  Conglomerates[6], such as Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, on the other hand, regard the long tail as another swing at them from a dragon-like blogosphere which resents the “mainstream media” or MSM, as bloggers often call it. Lowest-common-denominator hits, after all, are an important part of their business. Like many people connected to the technology industry, Mr Anderson (formerly a journalist for The Economist) clearly relishes[7] the way the internet is challenging traditional media companies. Perhaps because of this, he is a little too dismissive of hits. Some are indeed manufactured and cynical: the music industry bribes radio stations to blitz people with tracks they have picked; book publishers pay retailers for the spot in the window; and Hollywood holds back films from honest reviewers lest a bad write-up[8] spoil an opening. But most hits are popular because they are of high quality. As Mr Anderson's book acknowledges, there is an awful lot of dross[9] in the tail. And the way in which the internet makes it easy for people to share likes and dislikes about entertainment will help hits as well as more obscure material.
  Mr Anderson has backed away somewhat from his original article in Wired in which he suggested that the long tail would be a bigger market than the hits. His book says, more cautiously, that “all those niches can potentially add up to a market that is as big as (if not bigger than) the hits.” Perhaps the true effect of unlimited digital distribution on individual media choices will be even more positive than he imagines. It may be that only the middling, manufactured sort of hit will fall by the wayside: the genuinely popular variety will remain just as powerful. Most hits start somewhere in the long tail and move up; so as content in the tail becomes easier to discover, the hits that emerge from it should also be of higher quality.
  One weakness of this otherwise excellent book is that it tries to apply the theory of the long tail to fields far beyond entertainment and e-commerce. Offshoring, for instance, is the long tail of labour, says Mr Anderson, and there is also a long tail of national security, in which a “short head” of state violence has been challenged by niche producers such as gangs and terrorists. In trying to find long tails everywhere, Mr Anderson risks diluting some of his idea's meaning and novelty.
  The cover of Mr Anderson's book promises to answer the question: “Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More”. But his book may alarm as well as help businessmen. Karl Marx once described a communist society in which “nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes...to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner.” Mr Anderson suggests that the long tail is bringing about something similar. The tools of media production—computers, desktop printers, video cameras—are now so widely and cheaply available that a generation of young people are becoming amateur journalists, commentators, film-makers and musicians in their spare time, rather as the philosopher imagined. Amateurs offering their work free of charge will contribute a significant portion of the long tail, so at the very end there will be a “non-monetary economy[10],” says Mr Anderson. If true, that could prove to be the most fascinating long-tail effect of all.
  1. chuckle v.(at) 轻声地笑,暗自发笑
  2. jukebox n. 投币式自动点唱机
  3. bewitching adj. 令人着迷的,让人着魔的
  4. genre n. 流派
  5. lowest-common-denominator n. 最小公分母(的);〔引申〕被大多数人接受的
  6. conglomerate n. 大公司,联合企业,集团
  附注:大公司(a big company): corporation, multinational, conglomerate
  互联网公司(an Internet company): dot-com
  子公司(a company that is owned by a larger company): subsidiary, affiliate
  公司名缩写形式(abbreviations used in company names): Ltd (Limited);Co. (Company); Corp. (Corporation);PLC (英国人用法,Public Limited Company,澳大利亚和南非则用Pty.,即Proprietary)
  7. relish v. 欣赏,品味
  8. write-up n. (关于新书、电影的)评论;报道
  9. dross n. 次品,废物,渣滓
  10. non-monetary economy 物物交换经济
  长尾巴理论:根据wikipedia的解释,长尾(Long Tail)是2004年Chris Anderson在给连线杂志的文章中首次使用的词汇,用以描述某种经济模式如Amazon.com或Netflix。长尾术语也普遍使用于统计学中,如对财富分布或词汇应用的统计。长尾理论的基本原理是:只要存储和流通的渠道足够大,需求不旺或销量不佳的产品所共同占据的市场份额可以和那些少数热销产品所占据的市场份额相匹敌甚至更大。即众多小市场汇聚成可与主流大市场相匹敌的市场能量。Google被认为是安德森长尾理论的最佳例证。Google所服务的客户正是那些品牌影响力不够强大,而且渠道不健全的中小企业。Google的Adsense服务80%的产业尾巴,从而获得成功。
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-19 00:11:06
  Who's your Daddy?
  你爸爸是谁?(陈继龙 编译)
  Jul 13th 2006 | HONG KONG
  From The Economist print edition
  SO CHINA got its way after all. The takeover battle for PCCW, Hong Kong's incumbent telecoms company, ended this week before it had even properly begun. On July 10th Francis Leung, a local tycoon, stepped in to buy a 23% stake in PCCW held by its founder and chairman Richard Li, for HK$9.2 billion ($1.2 billion). Mr Leung's offer, for the moment at least, scuppers[1] bids from two private-equity firms, Australia's Macquarie Bank and America's TPG-Newbridge, which were both willing to pay HK$60 billion for all of PCCW's telecoms and media assets.
  That Mr Leung appeared on the scene so quickly is surprising; the original bids became public just a few weeks ago. That he has appeared at all is less so. The Chinese government, through China Netcom, a state-owned telecoms group that owns 20% of PCCW, opposed a “foreign” takeover and wanted the Hong Kong firm to stay in local hands. Netcom believed that Mr Li's attempt to sell the firm's assets violated a pact that gave Netcom a say in any sale of the company. That Mr Li apparently did not mention this pact to the private-equity bidders suggests that he knew his planned sale would displease his Chinese partner.
  梁伯韬这么快就亮相,着实令人感到惊讶;公开竞购也就是几个星期前的事。本来,他的出现早在人们意料之中。(译注:less so应该指代less surprising,at all表示“根本上”。全句大概意思是:考虑到梁本人与政府的关系,他的出现是迟早的事,人们本来不会感到特别意外,但他会这么快就“闪亮登场”就有些出人意料了。)中国政府由持有电讯盈科20%股份的国有电信公司——中国网通出面,反对由“外资”控股,希望这家香港公司能继续掌握在本地人手中。网通认为,李泽楷擅自出售电讯盈科资产,违反了一条关于网通对参与公司任何出售行为均拥有发言权的协定。李泽楷对那两家私有股竞购公司只字不提这一协定,表明他明知他筹划的这次出售会令中方感到不快。
  Though Macquarie and Newbridge were prepared to bring Netcom and Hong Kong investors into their consortia[2] and dilute themselves into a minority position, it was not enough. As the co-founder of Peregrine Investments, a Hong Kong investment bank that pioneered the flotations[3] of “red chip” mainland companies on the Hong Kong stockmarket in the 1990s, Mr Leung's strong links with China proved decisive. Though Peregrine went bust during the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98, Mr Leung emerged unscathed[4] and went on to hold senior jobs, including one at Citigroup Asia. Most importantly, he is the favourite banker of Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong's richest man and the father of Richard Li, whose takeover of Hong Kong Telecom by PCCW Mr Leung helped to organise in 2000.
  This week's deal means that Hong Kong's main telecoms assets stay in local hands, but are in effect controlled by Netcom. Macquarie and Newbridge go away empty-handed, at least for now. One person close to events, however, believes they could end up taking a stake in any consortium formed by Mr Leung to finance the purchase of his stake.
  It is PCCW's public minority shareholders who are the clear losers. Mr Li hopes to appease them by paying them around HK$0.35 a share as a special dividend from his own pocket. That is the difference between PCCW's share price before takeover talks started and Mr Leung's offer: Mr Li is, in effect, giving away his premium. Even so, minority shareholders stood to gain far more from a sale to one of the two private-equity bidders; and PCCW's share price has fallen more than 90% since 2000.
  Mr Li comes out smiling, having struck what was probably the best deal he could get. He collects cash for most of his stake (though he is allowing Mr Leung to pay 70% of the total price later) and can now focus on other ventures. The chief damage is to his ego. Mr Li's attempt to escape from his father's shadow by building up PCCW over the past few years has failed. All the talk in Hong Kong is that his exit, via Mr Leung, was at least partly arranged by Dad. At the same time, this sorry saga demonstrates with equal clarity that Hong Kong's real daddy is Beijing.
  1. scupper v.破坏计划(多用于新闻报道,=scuttle);故意沉船,凿沉
  2. consortium n. (pl. consortia)财团;企业集团
  3. flotation n. 股票发行(时间)
  4. unscathed adj. (escape/emerge ~)未受伤的;安然无恙的
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-19 00:14:31
  Friendship and trade
  友谊与贸易(陈继龙 编译)
  Jul 20th 2006 | DANDONG
  From The Economist print edition
  CHINA'S main lifeline to North Korea, a narrow road-and-rail bridge across the Yalu river, does not suggest there is much business to do on the other side. A trickle[1] of trucks flows along its single-lane carriageway, which stretches for less than 1km (barely half a mile). Hours go by without a train. The North Koreans hoped a few years ago to create a busy investment zone on their side, but all they have is a shabby town of mostly idle factories. At night it is an expanse of darkness with only a few pinpricks[2] of light.
  Yet trade is picking up. Chinese trucks crossing the Friendship bridge—built by the Japanese in 1943 and bombed by the Americans during the Korean war—are filled with more than just the bare necessities of life. China still props up North Korea with supplies of grain and oil. But in the past few years the trucks have begun transporting more machinery for factories and electronic products such as television sets for a small but affluent elite. And North Korean businessmen have become a familiar sight in Dandong, at the Chinese end of the bridge, staying at the best hotels in what to them must seem a fantasy land of bourgeois luxury.
  但是现在鸭绿江两岸的贸易却有了起色。(译注:pick up指“改善,有起色”)驶过这座友谊桥——1943年由日本人建造,朝鲜战争中被美军炸毁——的中国卡车满载的不再仅仅是生活必需品。虽然中国仍通过供应粮食和石油来支撑朝鲜,但在过去的几年里,这些卡车开始为朝鲜工厂运送它们所需的机器设备,为极少数有钱人运送电视机之类的电子产品。在这座桥中国一端的丹东常常可以看见朝鲜商人的身影,他们住在当地的一流宾馆里——对他们而言那就像是一块享尽资产阶级奢华的乐土。
  China exported $1.08 billion-worth of goods to North Korea last year, 35% more than in 2004 and 122% more than in 1995, according to Chinese statistics. More than half of all trade in 2005 was handled by Dandong. Less promisingly for North Korea, exports to China fell by 14.8% to $499m. North Korea makes little of interest to the Chinese, as the paltry array of North Korean trinkets on sale in Dandong suggests. But there is demand for North Korea's raw materials. Dandong's tour boats take visitors close to the North Korean bank where they can see timber piled up ready for shipment across the river—close to a hotel that rarely has guests and a fairground[3] Ferris wheel that never moves.
  中国统计数字表明,去年中国向朝鲜出口额达到10.8亿美元,较2004年增长35%,比1995年增长122%。2005年全年超过一半的贸易是在丹东完成的。朝鲜的情况则不太妙,对中国的出口额减少了14.8%,仅为4.99亿美元。从朝鲜人在丹东销售的一些廉价小装饰品上可以看出,朝鲜人在中国几乎挣不到什么钱。(译注:interest to the Chinese是指“吸引中国人的地方”,make little of…则表示“几乎没有利用上”,也就是说朝鲜有吸引中国人之处,但不善加以利用,只会做一些小本买卖,因而很难赚钱。注意:此句不是“of little interest to sb.”,后者指“对……没有多少吸引力”。)但中国人需要朝鲜的原材料。当丹东的游船载着游客靠近朝鲜岸边时,他们会看见成堆的随时将被跨江运往中国的木材——紧挨着的却是一家门庭冷落的旅馆和一台从不转动的游乐场转轮车。
  Some Chinese even show interest in investing in North Korea. Sinuiju, the town on the North Korean side of the bridge, has attracted little attention since North Korea declared it to be an investment zone in 2002. The Chinese-born Dutch businessman named by North Korea to run the zone was jailed for fraud by China soon afterwards. North Korea has since devoted more attention to developing Kaesong near its border with South Korea.
  But a dozen or so Dandong firms have recently set up businesses, ranging from restaurants to a factory making cigarette lighters. In Dandong's main bookshop, the only book on North Korea is a guide for investors. It advises Chinese businesses not to rush in blindly, not to expect quick returns and not to comment on North Korean politics.
  1. trickle n.滴,淌;稀疏的人流、车流、货流
  2. pinprick n.一小片(点);小孔;小烦恼
  3. fairground n. 露天市场;集市
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-19 22:20:47
  Mr Bush's first veto
  布什首次动用否决权(陈继龙 编译)
  Jul 20th 2006 | WASHINGTON, DC
  From The Economist print edition
  FIVE and a half years into his presidency, George Bush finally vetoed a bill this week. Oddly enough, it was one that most Americans support: it would have expanded federal funding for embryonic[1] stem-cell research. The House and Senate had both passed the bill by wide, but not veto-proof margins, so Mr Bush's word is final, at least until after the mid-term elections in November.
  Stem cells are cells that have not yet decided what they want to be when they grow up. That is, they can become blood cells, brain cells, or pretty much any other type of cell. Their versatility makes them extremely useful for medical research. The ethical snag[2] is that the best stem cells are harvested from human embryos, killing them. For the most ardent pro-lifers[3], including Mr Bush and many of his core supporters, that is murder. Proponents of embryonic stem-cell research point out that hordes[4] of embryos are created during fertility treatment, and the vast majority of these are either frozen indefinitely or destroyed. Is it really wrong to use them for potentially life-saving research? Yes, said Mr Bush on July 19th, flanked[5] by some families who had “adopted” other people's frozen embryos and used them to have children of their own.
  Mr Bush's veto does not kill stem-cell research. Scientists who spurn[6] federal cash may do as they please. The government still pays for research on stem cells taken from adults, a process that does not kill the donor. And a decision by Mr Bush in 2001 allows federally-funded scientists to experiment on the few dozen embryonic stem-cell “lines” that already existed then, which can be propagated[7] in a laboratory.
  Nonetheless, scientists are furious with Mr Bush. Federal funding would surely push them faster towards those elusive cures. Research based on adult stem cells may be promising, but not nearly as promising as that based on embryonic ones. There are worries that those few dozen embryonic stem-cell lines represent too narrow a gene pool, and that they cannot be endlessly extended without damaging them. Other countries, such as Britain and China, are enthusiastically experimenting on embryonic stem cells. But the world's most innovative nation is hanging back.
  1. embryonic adj.胚胎的
  2. snag n.暗桩;阻碍,障碍
  3. pro-lifer n. 反对堕胎者
  4. horde n.群;游牧部落
  5. flank v.在……的两侧;夹击
  如:Lewis entered flanked by two bodyguards. 刘易斯进去了,身边左右各有一名保镖。/mountains flanking the road马路两旁的山峦
  6. spurn v.傲慢地拒绝;拒斥
  7. propagate v.繁殖(reproduce);传播,宣传
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-19 22:24:00
  Hero or bully?
  英雄抑或恶霸?(陈继龙 编译)
  Jul 20th 2006
  From The Economist print edition
  WHEN lawyers speak, laymen are often baffled. So it is refreshing to hear an exchange such as the following, between the attorneys-general of New York and California, as reported in the American Lawyer. “You want to step outside, that's fine! I grew up in the Bronx!” said Eliot Spitzer, New York's attorney-general. “No problem,” shouted Bill Lockyer, California's attorney-general, “I grew up in east LA. Let's go!” In the end, the two men settled their dispute without violence.
  What does this incident tell us about Mr Spitzer, who is likely to be elected governor of New York state this year? As the title of Brooke Masters's new biography suggests, Mr Spitzer is a combative fellow. He can be admirably plain-spoken, too. But his aggression is not always channelled to useful ends, and he sometimes talks up a tempest but fails to follow through.
  To his boosters, Mr Spitzer is a paragon among prosecutors: diligent, imaginative and incorruptible. He gets up at five and, after a run and shower, works tirelessly to bring mighty malefactors[1] to justice. He cut his teeth breaking up a mob-connected trucking cartel[2]. On becoming New York's top prosecutor in 1998, he went after bigger targets. In 2002, for example, he wrung[3[ a $1.4 billion settlement out of ten investment banks for hyping[4] dud[5] stocks to small investors, among other transgressions[6]. His record of fighting for the little guy makes him an ideal Democratic candidate.
  在斯皮策的拥护者看来,他是检察官中的典范——工作勤奋、富有想像力而且清廉。他早上五点起床,跑跑步,再洗个澡,然后不知疲倦地工作,直到顽固的犯罪分子受到法律制裁。在打破勾结犯罪团伙垄断货车运输业的某卡特尔一案中,他小试牛刀。(译注:cut one’s teeth [on sth.]初学乍练)1998年成为纽约最高检控官后,他开始追求更大的目标。例如在2002年,他迫使十家投资银行签订了一份价值14亿美元的补偿协议。这些银行涉嫌用无效股票欺诈小本投资者等多项犯罪。他这种为小人物而战的经历使他成为一名理想的民主党候选人。(译注:本人对股票不甚了了,不太清楚这个dud stocks到底指的是什么,不过下面这段话可能有助于你我了解:Some people are getting rich off the internet; you could too. But every investor must ask themselves if they can handle and afford the risk. You could pick a dud stock and lose all your money, but on the other hand, you could pick the next Yahoo, Ebay (EBAY) or Amazon (AMZN) and become a multi-millionaire.)
  To his detractors[7], Mr Spitzer is a bully who abuses his office to further his political career. Bashing[8] Wall Street generates vote-wooing headlines. But his critics charge that he sometimes disregards due process. He makes accusations amid media fanfare[9] and then quietly drops them when he cannot find evidence that would stand up in court. By threatening to indict[10] whole companies—spelling certain bankruptcy—he forces their managers to settle. Ms Masters, a Washington Post reporter, is studiously even-handed in telling the story, but it is clear where her sympathies lie. Her first chapter is entitled: “When markets need to be tamed”.
  Her book is thorough and often engaging. We learn that Mr Spitzer came from a competitive family where Scrabble routinely sparked friendly but intense squabbles[11]. His father, a squillionaire[12] property developer, once reduced young Eliot to tears during a game of Monopoly. “He said, you're going to learn what happens when you borrow and you don't repay.” Mr Spitzer recalled.
  Mr Spitzer's combativeness, says Ms Masters, has led some observers to wonder whether he has “the temperament to serve effectively as governor, a multifaceted executive job that require[s] both administrative and conciliation skills.” (5)Or, as the Wall Street Journal more pithily[13] put it, New Yorkers should question “whether Mr Spitzer's habit of publicly smearing individuals while bringing no charges in court is appropriate behaviour by any prosecutor, much less one running to be New York's governor.”
  1. malefactor n.坏人;罪犯
  2. cartel n.卡特尔;同业联盟
  3. wring v.(out of)强迫获得;逼迫某人说出(真相)
  4. hype v.大肆宣传;大作广告
  5. dud n.无用之物;作废的东西
  6. transgression n.越界;违法犯罪
  7. detractor n.诽谤者;诋毁者
  8. bash v.严责;非难;重击
  9. fanfare n.大张旗鼓;炫耀;号曲
  10. indict v.起诉;控告
  11. squabble n.口角;为琐事争吵
  12. squillionaire 亿万富翁〔squillion表示极大的数字(在trillion之上),该词在诸如韦伯、朗文、剑桥等词典上都没有摘录,通过google,尚知其意,是一个上世纪80年代才创造出的新词,类似的还有zillion〕
  13. pithily adj.简洁的;精练地
  Monopoly: a very popular type of board game that has been sold since the 1930s. Players use toy money to buy streets and buildings on squares on the board, and then make other players pay rent if they move onto those squares. The squares on the board show the names of real streets in cities in the US (=in an American Monopoly set), London (=in a British Monopoly set), or other big cities around the world. People sometimes use the expression Monopoly money to mean a very large amount of money(类似于台湾的“大富翁”游戏)
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-19 22:26:28
  The seven-year itch
  七年之痒(陈继龙 编译)
  Jul 27th 2006 | MACAU
  From The Economist print edition
  THE army of workers operating along what used to be Macau's waterfront is conducting “land reclamation[1]”: dumping sand into the water to create more land on which to build ever more casinos, resorts and hotels in the formerly Portuguese playground. Cranes and bulldozers beaver away[2] throughout the territory, building new high-rises. Like most of China's booming conurbations[3], Macau is paying an environmental price; the air is thick with smog and dust, and the Pearl River has transferred some of its pollution to Macau's seas. But the damage pales when set against[4] the promise of growth, and billboards proudly herald the coming of “the Las Vegas of Asia”.
  在过去曾是澳门码头的沿线地区,成群结队的工人们正在“填海造田”:把沙子倒进水中以形成更多的陆地,从而在这片曾经是葡萄牙人的一亩三分地上建造更多的赌场、度假村和饭店。起重机和推土机无处不在,全力以赴地建造着新的高楼大厦。同中国大多数飞速发展的大都市一样,澳门正在为此付出环境上的代价。空气中弥漫着烟雾和灰尘,一些来自珠江的污染物也流入了澳门附近海域。但是,展望未来发展,这种损失算不了什么。一张张广告牌自豪地昭示着“亚洲的拉斯维加斯”即将来临。(译注:pale指“逊色、失色”,此处的when set against可以用“before”或“beside”来代替,意为“相比……”)
  Amid all the buzz, the music from a boat docked at the inner harbour sounds a strange note. The red-robed musicians and their audience are Taoists engaged in a religious ceremony. As the musicians play their instruments, the believers on board burn incense and empty scraps of food into the water as an offering to the gods. The contrast of ancient ritual with feverish modernisation is the story of modern Macau: the story of development transforming a once-sheltered nook[5].
  Macau's stunning economic boom—2004 saw its GDP grow by 28%—has been powered by gambling, tourism and the construction necessary to support such endeavours. Since Stanley Ho, Macau's most famous casino mogul[6], found his monopoly on the gambling industry broken in 2001, American firms such as Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands Corporation have stepped in to build impressive new facilities. Visitors include rich and powerful Chinese, wishing to indulge in games of chance illegal on the mainland, as well as tourists from nearby countries like South Korea and Singapore.
  There has been a price. Construction firms are eager to hire immigrants from Fujian, Guangdong and even Shanghai who are willing to work for lower wages than the local Macanese. The ill-will thus created was evident last May 1st, when locals (quite a few of whom were also illegal immigrants when they first arrived) rioted. They protest that outsiders are finding jobs in the new economy while many middle-aged Macanese remain jobless.
  Ethnic tension is growing too. Macau is thoroughly cosmopolitan[6], with Nepalis, Brazilians and Filipinos working beside Portuguese and Chinese. But the relationship between them and the newly arrived mainlanders is problematic. “The mainland Chinese are rude and look down on us,” says a Nepali security guard, a sentiment echoed by many locals. And though the authorities have failed to keep mainlanders out, foreigners who have worked there since long before the handover are finding it hard to bring their families over. “My daughter won't be joining me because it's hard to get a work permit now,” says one Filipino, who has worked in Macau for 24 years.
  It is not only racial harmony that is under threat. Under Portugal Macau escaped many of the depredations of the Cultural Revolution, and it remains one of the last repositories of traditional Chinese culture. Figurines[7] depicting the god of wealth sit outside most doors, attended by burning sticks of incense. The temples of Tin Hau, Kum Iam and Pak Tai continue to draw the faithful, who take pride in pointing out that their religion has survived both the rule of Portuguese Christians and the handover to atheist China. Such piety[8], however, sits uncomfortably with the gambling, the neon lights and prostitution that are forever gaining ground.
  The old order, at least, is not particularly pleased by the prospect. “It used to be just a sleepy fishing village when I was a child,” recalls a middle-aged resident. “We used to pump water up from hand-wells.” He sighs. “I have no idea what it's going to look like a year from now.”
  1. reclamation n.开垦;改造(v. reclaim)
  2. beaver (away) v. 努力工作 n.海狸(毛皮)
  3. conurbation n. 有卫星城的大都市(adj. conurban大都市的;城市圈的;卫星城的)
  4. nook n. 僻静处;隐蔽处;犄角旮旯
  5. mogul n.显要人物;大家;有权势之人
  6. cosmopolitan adj.世界性的;全球的 n.四海为家之人
  7. figurine n.小雕像;小塑像
  8. piety n.虔诚;孝行
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-19 22:30:23
  India's deadly Maoists
  要命的印度毛派分子(陈继龙 编译)
  Jul 26th 2006 | DELHI
  From Economist.com
  “THE single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country,” is how Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, in April described its Maoist rebels, known as “Naxalites”. Many were taken aback: a violent insurgency in Indian-administered Kashmir has claimed tens of thousands of lives; its north-eastern states are wracked[1] by dozens of secessionist movements; and its cities have been subject to repeated terrorist atrocities—culminating in this month’s bomb attacks in Mumbai, which killed nearly 200 people.
  Compared with such well-known horrors, the Naxalite threat is low-key, insidious[2], and, to the city-dweller, largely invisible. Yet it now affects at least 170 of India’s 602 districts: a “red corridor”, running from the Nepali border in the north to the state of Karnataka in the south. It takes in some of the poorest parts of India, and in particular forests inhabited mainly by tribal peoples. In some places Naxalites have, in effect, replaced the state, running local affairs through their own councils, and administering their own rough justice. The Indian government estimates that the Naxalites, heirs to a 40-year old movement that splintered[3] and then united in 2004, now have some 10,000 armed fighters, and a further 40,000 full-time supporters.
  They have also executed ever-larger military operations: attacking trains, arranging jail-breaks and, most recently, arranging a co-ordinated attack on a police station, a paramilitary base and a resettlement camp for people displaced by the conflict. In one attack, on July 17th, some 800 Naxalites were involved, and more than 30 people were killed—mostly hack to death with axes.
  That came in Dantewada, a remote, forested, dirt-poor and sparsely populated district in the south of Chhattisgarh state. Dantewada has become the main focus of the war with the Naxalites, following the emergence in the district, a year ago, of an anti-Maoist movement, known as Salwa Judum. This is usually translated as meaning “peace march” in the local language, Gondi, but is perhaps closer to “purification drive”. Portrayed as a spontaneous response to Maoist exactions[4], Salwa Judum is now—and many say always has been—an arm of the state, where about 5,000 local tribal people have been armed as “special police officers”, and pitted against[5] the Naxalites.
  我们来说说丹德瓦达。这是一个森林密布、人烟稀少的偏远穷困地区,位于查蒂斯加尔邦南部。一个名叫“萨尔瓦-朱杜姆”的反毛派组织一年前在丹德瓦达揭竿而起,随后该地区就成了与纳萨尔派交战的中心。 按当地方言“冈德语”,“萨尔瓦-朱杜姆”一词为“和平进军”之意,不过译作“净化运动”可能更为贴切。人们把“萨尔瓦-朱杜姆”说成是一个回应毛派分子强硬行为的自发组织,它现已成为——而且许多人都说从来都是——一支政府军。政府将大约5000名土著武装成“特别警官”,锋芒直指纳萨尔派分子。
  As part of this campaign, villages have been emptied, supposedly in order to protect the residents from the Maoists, but often, in practice, in order to root out Maoist sympathisers. Another aim may have been to provoke the Maoists into violent retaliation, and so lose them local support. The result has been a bloody local war in which at least 350 people have so far lost their lives, and nearly 50,000 are holed up[6] in relief camps, with little prospect of being allowed back to their villages, and harbouring well-founded anxieties about the state’s ability to protect them.
  A huge swathe[7] of Dantewada, where no roads penetrate the forest, remains outside the government’s control. There, the Maoists are well-entrenched[8]. Nearly 60 years after independence, the Indian state has still failed to deliver to these parts even rudimentary development: roads, schools, health-care. A big iron mine in the district employs mainly outsiders and pollutes a river. It is easy to see why a crude, violent ideology, discredited even in its homeland, might take root, and why Mr Singh might be right about the Naxalite threat. Other terrorists attack the Indian state at its strongpoints—its secularism, its inclusiveness and its democracy. Naxalism attacks where it is weakest: in delivering basic government services to those who need them most.
  1. wrack v. 亦作rack,毁坏;破坏
  2. insidious adj. 暗藏危害的;阴险的
  3. splinter v. 裂成碎片;(组织)分裂
  4. exaction n. 强征;索要
  5. pit against 使对立;使竞争
  6. hole up 避难或藏匿
  7. swathe n. 长而窄的地带
  8. entrenched adj. 确立的;不容易变动的(in)
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-20 19:51:40
  The dream of the personal computer
  PC之梦(陈继龙 译)
  Jul 27th 2006
  From The Economist print edition
  NOT many 25-year-olds can reasonably claim to have changed the world. The IBM personal computer, which was launched in 1981 and celebrates its 25th birthday in August, is a rare exception. Other personal computers had been launched before; but it was the IBM PC that ended up defining the standard around which a vast new industry then coalesced[1]. IBM, the titan of the computing world at the time, quickly lost control of its own creation, allowing others to reap the benefits. But leave aside what the PC has done for the fortunes of particular companies, and instead step back and consider what the PC has done for mankind.
  The PC's most obvious achievement has been to help make computers cheaper, more widely available and more useful than ever before. Before it appeared, different computers from different manufacturers were mostly incompatible with each other. The PC's architecture was not perfect, but its adoption as an industry standard made possible economies of scale in both hardware and software. This in turn reduced prices and enabled the PC to democratise computing.
  It is also worth celebrating the innovation that has been unleashed[2] by the PC. Its flexible, general-purpose architecture has made it the platform on which new technologies, from voice-over-internet calling to peer-to-peer file-sharing, have been incubated. Most important of all, the PC has, in the past decade, turned primarily into a communications device, thanks to the rise of the internet. Cheap, fast global communication, online commerce, the ability to find the answer to almost any question on the web using a search engine and the many other wonders of the internet are all underpinned[3] by the widespread availability of inexpensive, powerful PCs.
  But although the PC has its merits, it also has its faults. Its flexibility has proved to be both a strength and a weakness: it encourages innovation, but at the cost of complexity, reliability and security. And for people in the developing world, PCs are too bulky, expensive and energy-hungry. When it comes to extending the benefits of digital technology—chiefly, cheap and easy access to information—to everyone on the planet, the PC may not be the best tool for the job.
  Look on the streets of almost any city in the world, however, and you will see people clutching tiny, pocket computers, better known as mobile phones. Already, even basic handsets have simple web-browsers, calculators and other computing functions. Mobile phones are cheaper, simpler and more reliable than PCs, and market forces—in particular, the combination of pre-paid billing plans and microcredit schemes—are already putting them into the hands of even the world's poorest people. Initiatives to spread PCs in the developing world, in contrast, rely on top-down funding from governments or aid agencies, rather than bottom-up adoption by consumers.
  Merchants in Zambia use mobile phones for banking; farmers in Senegal use them to monitor prices; health workers in South Africa use them to update records while visiting patients. All kinds of firms, from giants such as Google to start-ups such as CellBazaar, are working to bring the full benefits of the web to mobile phones. There is no question that the PC has democratised computing and unleashed innovation; but it is the mobile phone that now seems most likely to carry the dream of the “personal computer” to its conclusion.
  1. coalesce v. (into/with) (事物或观点)结合,接合
  2. unleash v. 发泄,放纵;给狗解开皮带
  3. underpin v. 巩固;支撑,支持
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-20 19:57:40
  The bird flu capital of the world
  世界禽流感之都(陈继龙 编译)
  Jul 27th 2006 | JAKARTA
  From The Economist print edition
  LAST week, Indonesia announced its 43rd human death from bird flu. It has now recorded more fatalities than any other nation, and in stark[1] contrast to all other countries its death toll is climbing regularly. It looks as though things will get worse before they get better.
  The Indonesian government claims to be committed to fighting the disease, caused by the H5N1 virus, but it does not seem to want to spend much of its own money doing so. After the international community pledged $900m in grants and slightly more in very soft loans to combat the spread of bird flu globally and to help nations prepare for a possible human flu pandemic[2], Indonesia put in a request for the full $900m—all of it in grants.
  A national bird-flu commission was created in March to co-ordinate the country's response but it has yet to be given a budget. Its chief, meanwhile, has just been given a second full-time job—heading efforts to rebuild the part of Java devastated by an earthquake in May.
  今年3月,印尼成立了全国禽流感委员会,旨在协调本国应急反应工作,不过其所需专项资金至今仍未到位。其间,该委员会 正好又被安排了第二份专职工作——负责遭5月份地震毁坏的爪哇岛部分地区灾后重建工作。(译注:此段是指“虽然有了组织机构,但由于缺乏资金以及有关领导无法专心工作,禽流感防治工作不能取得进展。)
  Observers say that the available money is being mis-spent, with the focus on humans rather than on animals. The agriculture ministry, for example, is asking for less money for next year than it got this year. This is despite hundreds of thousands of hens dying every month, to say nothing of infected cats, quails, pigs and ducks. Farmers are being compensated at only 2,000 rupiah (21 cents) per bird, well below market price, thereby discouraging them from reporting outbreaks. The country's veterinary[3] surveillance services are inadequate. Pledges to vaccinate hundreds of millions of birds have not been met.
  The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation is starting to establish local disease-control centres to cope with the effects of a virulent mutation, should one occur, but reckons that only one-third of the country will be covered by year's end. A bunch of international do-gooders[4] that is trying to plug some of the gaps is finding it hard to raise money.
  In fairness, Indonesia has many priorities to deal with. It is contending with the aftermath of earthquakes, a volcanic eruption and a tsunami—all in the last seven weeks. More than 1,500 children die every day from treatable illnesses such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, dengue fever and malaria. Besides, many Indonesians either do not believe the hype—they point to the SARS threat in 2003 that never materialised[5]—or say that if outsiders are so worried they should pay for the necessary measures.
  The UN's bird flu tsar[6], David Nabarro, is a diplomat. He calls the issues involved “really tricky” and says recrimination[7] achieves little. It will take “many, many months”, he thinks, for Indonesia to get on top of bird flu. Keep your fingers crossed.
  联合国禽流感事务高级协调员戴维•纳巴罗则是一个擅长使用外交辞令的人。他称这里面的问题“实在棘手”,并说一味指责只会收效甚微。他认为,印尼尚需“很多、很多个月的时间”才能完全控制禽流感疫情。但愿如此吧。(译注:get on top of 完全控制;keep sb’s fingers crossed 祝成功)
  1. stark adj.刻板的;死板的;完全的;刺耳的;刺目的
  2. pandemic adj.&n. 大范围流行的(疾病);大流行的(疾病)
  3. veterinary adj. 兽医的
  4. do-gooder n. someone who helps people who are in bad situations, but who is annoying because their help is not needed - used to show disapproval 爱管闲事的人;一厢情愿的乐善好施者(通常用于表示不赞成)
  5. materialize v. 使具体化;实现,成真
  6. tsar n.(czar)沙皇;掌权者;被任命的有特权的官员
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-20 20:00:37
  Evolve or die
  不进则退(陈继龙 编译)
  Jul 27th 2006
  From The Economist print edition
  THE personal computer spawned[1] a new industry. But many of the firms that initially flourished in the PC era are now finding life difficult. Dell, the leading PC-maker, issued a profit warning last week that sent its share-price to a five-year low. Intel is trying to regain ground lost to AMD, its increasingly confident competitor. Microsoft has just announced that it will buy back 8% of its shares for around $20 billion—a sign that its high-growth days are behind it.
  But none of these firms is in mortal danger. That is more than can be said for many of the smaller firms of a similar vintage[2] to the PC. Novell's two top executives departed in June following a string of poor results. Silicon Graphics filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May. 3Com replaced its boss earlier this year following lacklustre[3] performance. Borland shed one-fifth of its workforce and is preparing to sell the best-known part of its business; this month its finance chief resigned. 不过,这些公司还没有哪一家面临灭顶之灾,而许多同期开始生产PC的小公司就说不准了。Novell公司的两位最高执行官由于一连串糟糕的业绩已于6月份离职。硅谷制图公司则于5月份申请了《破产法》第11章规定的破产保护。3Com公司的老总也因无出众成绩而于今年早些时候被免职。Borland公司则裁减了五分之一的员工,并拟转让公司部分知名业务;其财务主管也已在这个月辞职。
  All four firms are contemporaries of the IBM PC, the creatures of a distant era when only around 200 institutions were connected to the internet. Each had a bold vision of technology, but then failed to evolve as the very innovations they pioneered became commonplace.
  Novell prospered by selling networking software to link up computers and enable group-working. Yet the firm failed to keep up with its rivals, chiefly Microsoft and IBM. It then shifted strategy and acquired an open-source software company in 2004, leaving users of its earlier products feeling neglected.
  Silicon Graphics, founded in 1982, makes sophisticated computers for modelling things such as cars and aeroplanes. But as PCs became more powerful, the firm was wrongfooted[4] by the shift to commoditised hardware: its last profitable year was 1999. (The firm has kept itself afloat by selling its lavish office buildings to Google, the technology industry's darling today.)
  Similarly, 3Com, which makes computer-networking gear, floundered[5] as such products turned into low-cost commodities. And Borland, which makes programming tools, was squeezed between industry giants on the one hand and free software on the other.
  Companies that start off with a wildly successful product often fail to stay the course, explains Jim Collins, the author of “Built to Last”. “If you have a great idea, it creates a false sense that you are stronger and more successful than you actually are,” he says. Failure to evolve can then lead to extinction.
  《以建设谋持久》一书作者吉姆•科林斯解释说,依靠某种红极一时的产品发家的公司常常都无法坚持到最后。(译注:按照Longman注解,wildly一词有两个意思,一是“in a very uncontrolled or excited way”,即“失控地,兴奋地,狂热地”,二是“extremely”,即“极度,非常”。这句话的意思是指:有些公司刚开始推出一种产品并大获成功,从而得以扬名立万,可由于缺乏与时俱进的意识而原地踏步或者干脆倒闭。这句话为后面的引语作了铺垫。“有了一个好主意”是不够的,不能吃老本,要不断“想出好主意”,不断进步。)他说:“如果你想出一个好主意,就会给你一种错觉,以为你自己很强大,很成功,其实并非如此。”不进则退啊(不能进化就会走向灭绝)。
  1. spawn v. 产卵,大量繁殖后代;造成,产生
  2. vintage n. 葡萄酒酿造年期;制造年期
  3. lackluster adj. 无光泽的;黯淡的,不活跃的
  4. wrongfoot v. to surprise and embarrass someone, especially by asking a question they did not expect使难堪;使窘促不安: Woo's political skill and ability to wrongfoot the opposition
  5. flounder v. 挣扎;踌躇,不知所措;有很多问题且极有可能失败
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-20 20:03:38
  Something new
  新意(陈继龙 编译)
  Aug 3rd 2006 | BEIJING
  From The Economist print edition
  AFTER years of prospering as the world's workshop, China now wants to be its laboratory as well. “Innovation” has become a national buzzword[1], and Chinese leaders have been tossing it into their speeches since the beginning of the year, when President Hu Jintao started an ambitious campaign to drive China's economy further up the value chain. True, new campaigns and catchphrases[2] are declared by the government and the Communist Party in China all the time, and mostly end up fizzling out[3] in puddles[4] of rhetoric. But there are signs that the government intends to back its innovation campaign with more than just words.
  中国作为“世界工场”,多年来发展蒸蒸日上,但现在它也希望成为“世界实验室”。“创新”已经成为举国上下一个时髦词儿。今年年初,胡锦涛 启动了一项雄心勃勃的规划,旨在推动中国经济进一步与价值链接轨。从那以后,中国领导人在讲话中就经常提到“创新”一词。确实,中国政府和中国共产党总是宣布各种新计划,创造各种新术语,可最终都因流于表面文章而不了了之。不过,许多迹象表明,中国政府正准备用实际行动来支持这次创新规划。
  In launching their “National Medium- and Long-Term Programme for Scientific and Technological Development (2006-20)”, Mr Hu, the prime minister, Wen Jiabao, and other top officials have vowed to spend more on science and technology, and to insist on business reforms. Their goal is to move China beyond its dependence on natural resources and cheap labour, and stake its place among the economies that depend on education and information technology.
  在推出《国家中长期科学与技术发展规划纲要(2006-2020)》后,胡锦涛 、温家宝总理和其他高级官员都许诺要加大科技投入,并坚持行业改革。他们的目标是推动中国不再过于依赖自然资源和廉价劳动力,并投身于依靠教育和信息技术的经济体系之中。
  Officials say privately that the new policy emerged only after years of contentious internal debate. One divide was between nationalists, who advocated a go-it-alone approach towards developing indigenous technology, and others who were more open to international collaboration. There were also disagreements as to whether the campaign should concentrate on scientific mega-projects or incremental innovation.
  One target is to reduce China's dependence on imported technology to 30% or less by 2020. According to Professor Fang Xin, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the initiative is a matter of necessity. China must learn to innovate if it is to sustain growth. Foreign firms, she notes, reap more than 60% of the profits from China's high-tech exports. Other officials say that, on average, China's 20,000 large and medium-sized enterprises undertake fewer than five new development projects and generate only two and a half new products each year.
  The plan also calls for an increase in research and development spending from its current 1.23% of GDP to 2.5% by 2020, putting China in the same range as OECD countries' current scores. Ms Fang says banks and government departments will be told to help out with their credit, taxation and currency-exchange policies. According to Denis Simon of the State University of New York's Levin Institute, who advises the Chinese government on science policy, this move comes just in time. “If China doesn't do this right,” he says, “it risks becoming a good 20th-century industrial economy just when it needs to figure out how to be a 21st-century knowledge-based economy.”
  But to succeed, says Mr Simon, China needs to attend to other matters as well. These include an “internal brain drain[5]” that sees much of the country's best talent going to work for foreign firms in China, and the country's notoriously lax[6] regime for protection of intellectual-property rights. Mr Simon predicts that such protection will improve as more local businesses with an interest in the matter join the chorus of complaints from foreigners.
  Another huge obstacle is the nature of China's educational system, which stresses conformity and does little to foster independent thinking. Confucian philosophy reveres the teacher above all. More innovative Western economies, according to Ms Fang, operate under Aristotle's maxim[7]: “I love my teacher Plato greatly, but I love truth more.”
  1. buzzword n. 专门术语;时髦词语;漂亮口号
  2. catchphrase n. 口头禅
  3. fizzle out 逐渐停止或消失(尤指由于人失去热情或兴趣)
  4. puddle n.一小池液体(尤指雨水);小水坑
  5. brain drain人才流失
  6. lax adj. 松散的;不严格的(=slack)
  7. maxim n. 箴言;格言;名人名言
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-20 20:05:24
  The brand of me
  自我标榜(陈继龙 编译)
  Aug 10th 2006 | NEW YORK
  From The Economist print edition
  “WHAT'S the difference between God and Larry Ellison?” asks an old software industry joke. Answer: God doesn't think he's Larry Ellison. The boss of Oracle is hardly alone among corporate chiefs in having a reputation for being rather keen on himself. Indeed, until the bubble burst and the public turned nasty at the start of the decade, the cult of the celebrity chief executive seemed to demand bossly narcissism[1], as evidence that a firm was being led by an all-conquering hero.
  过去软件业有一个笑话说:“上帝和拉里•埃利森有什么不同?”回答是:上帝认为他不是拉里•埃利森。在各公司领导人中,以自恋闻名的并非仅仅这位甲骨文公司老板一个人。事实上,在十年前IT业泡沫破裂、公众骤然失去理智之前,对知名首席执行官的顶礼膜拜似乎使得自恋一直都是老板们必须具备的条件,因为它表明一个公司是在一位无敌英雄的领导之下。(译注:根据Longman,“the bubble bursts”是指“a very successful or happy period of time suddenly ends”,即“一段非常成功或者欢乐的时期突然结束”。“get/turn nasty”相当于“suddenly start behaving in a threatening way”,即“行为突然之间变得有危险性”。)
  Narcissus met a nasty end, of course. And in recent years, boss-worship has come to be seen as bad for business. In his management bestseller, “Good to Great”, Jim Collins argued that the truly successful bosses were not the self-proclaimed stars who adorn[2] the covers of Forbes and Fortune, but instead self-effacing[3], thoughtful, monkish[4] sorts who lead by inspiring example.
  A statistical answer may be at hand. For the first time, a new study, “It's All About Me”, to be presented next week at the annual gathering of the American Academy of Management, offers a systematic, empirical analysis of what effect narcissistic bosses have on the firms they run. The authors, Arijit Chatterjee and Donald Hambrick, of Pennsylvania State University, examined narcissism in the upper echelons[5] of 105 firms in the computer and software industries.
  To do this, they had to solve a practical problem: studies of narcissism have hitherto relied on surveying individuals personally, something for which few chief executives are likely to have time or inclination. So the authors devised an index of narcissism using six publicly available indicators obtainable without the co-operation of the boss. These are: the prominence of the boss's photo in the annual report; his prominence in company press releases; the length of his “Who's Who” entry; the frequency of his use of the first person singular in interviews; and the ratios of his cash and non-cash compensation to those of the firm's second-highest paid executive.
  Narcissism naturally drives people to seek positions of power and influence, and because great self-esteem helps your professional advance, say the authors, chief executives will tend on average to be more narcissistic than the general population. How does that affect a firm? Messrs Chatterjee and Hambrick found that highly narcissistic bosses tended to make bigger changes in the use of important resources, such as research and development, or in spending and leverage[6]; they carried out more and bigger mergers and acquisitions; and their results were both more extreme (more big wins or big losses) and more volatile than those of firms run by their humbler peers. For shareholders, that could be good or bad.
  Although (oddly) the authors are keeping their narcissism ranking secret, they have revealed that Mr Ellison did not come top. Alas for him, that may be because the study limited itself to people who became the boss after 1991—well after he took the helm. In every respect Mr Ellison seems to be the classic narcissistic boss, claims Mr Chatterjee. There is life in the old joke yet.
  作者虽然对受调查老板的自恋状况孰重孰轻秘而不宣(有点出乎意料),但透露说埃利森并不是最严重的。这可能是因为研究本身仅限于调查1991年以后成为老板的人——而他在1991年前就早已掌舵,对他而言这未尝不是一件憾事。(译注:alas此处作副词,用于“mentioning a fact that you wish was not true”。)查特叶断言,埃利森在任何方面看起来都是典型的自恋型老板。这就是过去的那个笑话在现实生活中的写照。(这样的老笑话在生活中还有很多。)
  1. narcissism n. 自我陶醉,自恋
  2. adorn v. 装饰(decorate)
  3. self-effacing adj. 谦虚的(modest);谦卑的
  4. monkish adj.僧侣的;苦行僧般的;禁欲的
  5. echelon n.等级,阶层
  6. leverage n. 影响作用;杠杆作用;举债经营
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-21 20:09:05
  A ticket for corruption
  罚单,为腐败而开(陈继龙 编译)
  Aug 10th 2006 | NEW YORK
  From The Economist print edition
  “THE UN needs a good smack in the face,” fumed one city councillor. New York has long been fed up with the United Nations and its diplomats. The city has 1,700 of them, about 1,699 too many. Their meetings cause endless traffic jams and annoying multi-car motorcades[1]. As for their outstanding fines for traffic violations (more than $18m at the last count), these have so infuriated[2] Michael Bloomberg, New York's mayor, that in 2002 he vowed to tow away illegally parked consular[3] vehicles. Colin Powell, then secretary of state, had to step in to broker[4] a compromise.
  一位市议员怒气冲天地说:“该狠狠地给联合国一记耳光。”长期以来,纽约已经受够了联合国和它的那些外交官员们。对于这座城市来说,就算只有一名这样的外交官也嫌多,何况却有1700名。他们开会造成无休无止的交通堵塞,会议用车组成的长长的车队也让人烦恼不已。至于他们违反交通规则却不缴罚款一事(最新统计数字显示超过1800万美金),更是让纽约市长迈克尔•布卢姆伯格感到大为光火,以致于他在2002年就发誓要将那些违规停靠的领事馆车辆拖走。(译注:outstanding 这里是“未付清的,有待偿还的”的意思。at the last count是指“according to the latest information about a particular situation”)时任国务卿的科林•鲍威尔不得不从中斡旋,最后双方才达成妥协。
  Can anything be done? In 2002 Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, New York's senators, added an amendment to a foreign-aid bill that allowed the city to recoup[5] unpaid parking tickets from foreign-aid disbursements to offending countries. But now a new weapon has been discovered: shame. Two economists have found a direct correlation between the number of people who park by the city's fire hydrants and in its loading bays[6], and the level of corruption in their home countries.
  A study by Raymond Fisman and Edward Miguel, economists at Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley, gives a rare picture of how people from different cultures perform under new cultural norms. For instance, between 1997 and 2002 diplomats from Chad averaged 124 unpaid parking violations; diplomats from Canada and the United Kingdom had none. The results from 146 countries were strikingly similar to the Transparency International corruption index, which rates countries by their level of perceived sleaze[7]. In the case of parking violations, diplomats from countries with low levels of corruption behaved well, even when they could get away with breaking the rules. The culture of their home country was imported to New York, and they acted accordingly.
  The same applied to high-corruption countries. Their diplomats became increasingly comfortable with parking where they liked; as they spent more time in New York, their number of violations increased by 8-18%. Overall, diplomats accumulated 150,000 unpaid parking tickets during the five years under review.
  Yet any moral superiority New Yorkers may feel should be tempered by the behaviour of the American embassy in London. Last year, embassy staff stopped paying the congestion[8] charge—now £8, or over $15—for bringing cars into central London. The growing pile of unpaid charges now stands at $716,000.
  1. motorcade n. 车队
  2. infuriate v. 让某人感到极度愤怒
  3. consular adj. 领事的
  4. broker v.从中调解,安排;斡旋
  5. recoup v. 补偿;弥补;挽回损失(recover)
  6. loading bay 码头(=loading dock)
  7. sleaze n. 不道德的行为(与性及谎言有关)
  8. congestion n. 交通堵塞
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-21 20:11:51
  Newcomers don't like the smells
  城里人闻不惯那味儿(陈继龙 编译)
  From The Economist print edition
  GEORGE WILLIAMS, one of Scottsdale's last remaining cowboys, has been raising horses and cattle on his 120 acres for 20 years. The cattle go to the slaughterhouse, the horses to rodeos[1]. But Mr Williams is stomping[2] mad.
  His problems began last year when dishonest neighbours started to steal his cattle. Then other neighbours, most of them newcomers, took offence at his horses roaming on their properties. Arizona is an open-range[3] state: livestock have the right of way and there is no fine for trespassing[4]. This has been on the law books since 1913. Mr Williams, who is elderly and in poor health, is angry that he has to spend so much of his time fielding[5] complaints and retrieving stolen cattle.
  去年,有些不厚道的邻居开始偷他的牛,之后他的麻烦便接踵而至。有的邻居(大多数都是刚刚迁来的人)还攻击他那些跑到他们地里的马。亚利桑那是一个开阔的“草原之州”,家畜在公路上享有优先通行权,对家畜侵入他人土地也不予罚款。(译注:“the right of way”可指“优先通行权”和“允许在别人的土地上穿行”,根据上下文,这里是指前者,因为后面的trespass有“进入别人的私人土地”的意思。)自1913年以来,这就一直有法律明文规定。威廉斯很生气,因为年老体弱的他不得不花很多的时间来回应别人的怨言和找回被偷的牛。
  Such grumbles are common in Arizona. The most recent Department of Agriculture census shows that 1,213 of Arizona's 8,507 farms closed down between 1997 and 2002. Many cattlemen are moving out to more remote parts of the state. Arable[6] farmers are struggling, too. Norman Knox, a respected grain farmer in Gilbert, recently learned that the owner of his rented land wants to build condos. Mr Knox is 72 and has to move. He reckons that 50-70% of the farmland in Gilbert has been sold for development in the past two years.
  This affects not only cowboys and farmers, but small businessmen too. For 20 years, Gary Young, owner of Gilbert's Higley Feed, sold range blocks and cubes to cattlemen who fed them to cattle during the droughts. But 18 months ago he switched to selling pet food and baby chicks to new home-owners.
  这不但影响了牛仔和农民,也影响到了小商业者。吉尔伯特Higley饲料公司老板盖瑞•扬二十年来一直向牧民销售固体块状浓缩牧用汤料(译注:range此处是指“草原”,与前文的“open-range”一致;block指块状物体,cube指立方体,这里应该代指块状饲料或“浓缩草料”等,即可能是将牲畜所需饲料进行固化、压缩并切割成块状。是不是类似于“压缩饼干”?另,在英语中stock cube是指“固体浓缩汤料”,加上后面提到的“干旱时饲喂”,因此准确的译文可能为“固体块状浓缩牧用汤料”),干旱时牧民们就用这些汤料来喂牛。可是,一年半前他已经转行向新来的住户售卖宠物食品和小鸡了。
  Doc Lane is an executive at the Arizona Cattlemen's Association, a trade group. He says Arizona's larger ranch owners are making decent profits from selling. It is the smaller players who are the victims of rising land values, higher mortgages and stiffer city council rules. What happens all too often is that people move in next to a farm because they think the land pretty. But soon they start complaining to the council. In Mr Williams's case it was the horses that annoyed them. Other newcomers don't like the noise, the pesticides and the smell of manure.
  Locals worry about the precious, dwindling cowboy culture. Arizona's tourism boards like to promote a steady interest in all things cowboy and western[7]. Last year more British and German tourists came than usual, and many of them were looking precisely for that. Arizona's Dude[8] Ranch Association fills its $350-a-night luxury ranches most of the year; roughly a third of the guests are European.
  Many of the ranchers themselves see all this tourism as a cheeky[9] attempt to commercialise a real and vanishing culture. In Prescott, estate agents promote “American Ranch-style” homes with posters of backlit[10] horse riders. On the other side of the street is Whiskey Row, a famous strip of historic cowboy bars. But in Matt's Saloon on Saturday night, real cattlemen could not be found.
  Farm folk like Mr Knox and Mr Williams are weighing up their options. Many will migrate to remoter places where land is cheaper and not crowded with city people. Younger ones take on side-jobs as contractors and are cattlehands part-time. Older cowboys aren't sure what to do.
  The Arizona Cowboy College in Scottsdale, which trains cattlehands, conducts the school for profit but also for maintaining the cowboy culture. The six-day courses include cattle-herding, rustling[11] and ranch-survival skills. The owner, herself a rancher, says the courses are popular, especially with retired businessmen.
  1. rodeo n. 牛仔驯马、用绳索捕捉牲畜、骑马赛跑等娱乐活动;牧马技术表演
  2. stomp v. 踩踏;跺脚
  3. open range 开放牧场;开旷草原
  4. trespass v.(未经允许)进入别人的私人土地
  5. field v. to answer questions, telephone calls etc, especially when there are a lot of them or the questions are difficult回答(问题、电话访问,尤指较多或较难回答时)
  6. arable adj.与种植或耕种有关的(arable land可耕地)
  7. western n. 西部电影(尤指反映19世纪美国西部牛仔生活的电影)
  8. dude n. 在西部牧场度假的城里人;纨绔子弟
  9. cheeky adj.无礼的;厚颜无耻的
  10. backlight v. 从后面照亮
  11. rustle v.偷(牛、马等牲畜)
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-21 20:14:08
  How green is your Apple?
  你的“苹果”有多绿?(陈继龙 编译)
  Aug 25th 2006
  From The Economist print edition
  DISPOSING of computers, monitors, printers and mobile phones is a large and growing environmental problem. Some 20m-50m tonnes of “e-waste” is produced each year, most of which ends up in the developing world. According to the European Union, e-waste is now the fastest-growing category. Last month new rules came into force in both Europe and California to oblige the industry to take responsibility for it. In Europe the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive limits the use of many toxic materials in new electronic products sold in the European Union. In California mobile-phone retailers must now take back and recycle old phones.
  Many technology firms are already eliminating certain chemicals and offering recycling schemes to help their customers dispose of obsolete equipment. Yet there is a wide variation in just how green different companies are, according to Greenpeace, an environmental lobby group that launches a new e-waste campaign on August 25th. It has ranked the top mobile-phone and PC-makers based on their progress in eliminating chemicals and in taking back and recycling products.
  The RoHS rules ban products containing any more than trace amounts of lead, mercury, cadmium[1] and other hazardous substances, including some nasty materials called brominated flame-retardants (BFRs)[2]. To do well in Greenpeace's rankings, firms must make sure both products and production processes are free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC)[3] and some BFRs that are not on the RoHS list. Greenpeace also wants companies to adopt a “precautionary principle” and avoid chemicals if their environmental impact is uncertain.
  Although not everyone will agree with Greenpeace's methodology, its ranking still has some merit. Nokia does well: the world's biggest handset-maker has already got rid of PVC from its products and will eliminate all BFRs from next year. But, Greenpeace grumbles, it is not sufficiently “precautionary” in other areas. Dell, however, scores well in this regard and on recycling, but loses marks for not having phased out PVC and BFRs yet, though it has set a deadline for doing so.
  Perhaps the biggest surprise is the poor rating of Apple. Despite having an image steeped in California's counterculture[4], it is one of the worst heel-draggers, says Zeina Al-Hajj of Greenpeace. The company insists that it has a strong record in recycling and has eliminated BFRs and PVC from the main plastic parts in its products. It scores badly because it has not eliminated such chemicals altogether, has not set time limits for doing so, does not provide a full list of regulated substances and is insufficiently precautionary for Greenpeace's tastes. As for recycling, the 9,500 tonnes of electronics Apple says it has recycled since 1994 is puny[5] given the amount of equipment the firm sells, says Ms Al-Hajj. Apple responds that many of its products (such as the iPod music-player) are small and light. Greenpeace points out that Nokia also makes tiny devices, but is much better at recycling them.
  Alas for Apple, whatever the pros and cons of Greenpeace's ranking criteria, consumers are likely to be influenced by it anyway. Comically, Greenpeace is now considering a plan to promote its e-waste campaign via podcasting—a technology that Apple helped to popularize.
  1. cadmium n. 镉
  2. brominated flame-retardants (BFRs) n. 溴化阻燃剂
  3. polyvinyl chloride (PVC) n. 聚氯乙烯
  4. counterculture n. 反正统(主流)文化
  5. puny adj. 小的,微不足道的
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-21 20:23:31
  Sickening spinach
  讨厌的菠菜(陈继龙 编译)
  Sep 21st 2006 | PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA
  From The Economist print edition
  A SMALL card sits above an empty shelf in the Whole Foods store in Petaluma, California. “Consumers are advised NOT to eat fresh bagged spinach at this time. As a precaution, Whole Foods Market has temporarily removed ALL fresh spinach and fresh salad mixes containing spinach from its stores.”
  On September 14th the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta issued the first of several daily alerts concerning an outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7, a potentially lethal pathogen typically associated with adulterated[1] beef. Investigators had traced it to consumption of fresh raw spinach sold in bags. A few days later, an investigation conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had narrowed down the culprits to a California-based grower, Natural Selection Foods, and at least one of its distributors. So far, a 77-year-old woman in Wisconsin has died from eating spinach traced back to Natural Selection, and 146 people in 23 states are ill, some very seriously. Half of the victims have been hospitalised, a high rate that may indicate an especially virulent strain of E. coli.
  Investigators continue to search for the cause of the outbreak. They have scoured the company's processing plant as well as the farms that grow the spinach, looking at everything from irrigation water to the proximity[2] of livestock, with no sure connections made so far. The fact that Natural Selection is in California's Salinas Valley has raised alarms, however. According to the FDA, fresh produce from the valley, including spinach, has been the source of nine E. coli outbreaks since 1995.
  Moreover Natural Selection, which supplies several supermarket chains across the United States with conventionally produced fresh spinach, is also the nation's largest grower and shipper of certified organic produce, under its Earthbound Farm brand. (4)If organic spinach becomes implicated, the financial consequences for the organic sector of the fresh produce market, which prides itself on its purity, could be severe.
  此外,“天然选择”也是美国最大的、持有许可证的有机食品生产商和货商,经营商标是“Earthbound Farm”,向全美数个连锁超市供应按常规生产的新鲜菠菜。假如这次事件真的涉及到有机菠菜的话,对于以纯净自居的新鲜有机食品市场而言,可能会造成严重的经济后果。
  But with the FDA advising consumers not to eat fresh spinach from any source until further notice, the outbreak could ruin California's whole spinach industry. The state grows about three-quarters of the American crop. In recent years the market for fresh spinach has benefited hugely from what one producers' spokesman calls “a great health profile”. In 2005, per capita consumption[3] in America was forecast at 2.2 pounds (one kilogram), up from just 0.6 pounds ten years ago. That total isn't likely to increase again for a while.
  1. adulterate v. 掺假,伪造次品
  2. proximity n. 接近,邻近,附近
  3. per capita consumption 人均消费
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-22 19:42:29
  Testament of youth
  青春作证(陈继龙 编译)
  Sep 21st 2006
  From The Economist print edition
  MOST marketing operations pay close attention to what young people are buying and thinking. Not Britain's political parties, however, for the simple reason that the under-30s are unlikely to go anywhere near a polling booth. In 1964, 11% of those aged 18 to 24 claimed not to vote, according to the British Election Study. At the general election last year that figure rose to 55%. A report this week by Reform, a think-tank, suggests that this reticence[1] is costing them dearly. Changes in government policy, it argues, have turned being young into a terrible bore.
  There are already two powerful economic forces working against the so-called “IPOD generation” that are beyond the government's control. First, the ageing of the population is fast increasing the ratio of people in retirement to those of working age. So the young can look forward to handing over a rising proportion of their pay to support the oldies in their decline. Second, the cost of buying a house in places where people want to live has shot up beyond the reach of the young. In 1995 24% of all first-time homebuyers were under 25; today, less than 15% are, according to the Halifax, a bank.
  This much is uncontroversial. But the report also argues that the Labour government has made life worse for young people, in three ways. First, increased spending on health care has tended to benefit the old, who use the NHS[2] more than the young. Second, tilting the tax and benefit system towards people with children has transferred money from the young to the middle-aged. Third, higher tuition fees are landing university graduates with hefty debts. And the future doesn't look much better: the government's proposed pension reforms, along with the decline of defined-benefit company-pension schemes, make grim reading for the under-30s too.
  “These changes ought to have brought about a re-examination of the burden of taxation on this age group,” says Nick Bosanquet of Imperial College London, one of the authors of the report. He reckons that, after paying various taxmen and lenders, graduates take home only around half of their salaries. The average for all salaried workers is about three-fifths.
  Are things really that bad? When examined in a freeze-frame[3], being young does not look much fun financially. But welfare states are meant to transfer resources from the vigorous to the fragile. Some benefits are merely deferred: today's 25-year-olds will have babies and hip[4] replacements one day. And although people in their 20s and 30s tend to be heavily indebted this passes when they sink into their 40s and 50s, says Richard Disney of Nottingham University.
  Even so, the feeling that young people are being squeezed presents a political opportunity for the opposition parties. David Willetts, the Conservative shadow education secretary, said in a speech last year that the young “could be forgiven for believing that the way in which economic and social policy is now conducted is little less than a conspiracy by the middle-aged” against them. The Liberal Democrat commission on tax policy worried in August about inter-generational unfairness too.
  There will be more of such talk. For the Tories[5], it offers a way to discuss reducing spending without sounding as if they are merely the mouthpiece[6] of the wealthy. It gives Lib Dem leaders a way to argue activists out of promising to out-spend Labour. And it might even persuade some of those gloomy 25-year-olds to vote.
  1. reticent adj. unwilling to talk about what you feel or what you know [= reserved]闭口不谈的,保持缄默的 reticence n.
  2. NHS National Health Service (英国)国民医疗服务制度
  3. freeze-frame n. when you stop the action on a video at one particular place定格,停帧,凝镜
  4. hip adj. doing things or done according to the latest fashion [= cool]赶潮流的,新潮的,时髦的
  5. Tory (英国)保守党党员
  6. mouthpiece n. a person, newspaper etc that expresses the opinions of a government or a political organization 代言人,传声筒
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-22 19:45:45
  The horror
  恐怖(陈继龙 编译)
  Oct 5th 2006 | WASHINGTON, DC
  From The Economist print edition
  TO JOURNALISTS, three of anything makes a trend. So after three school shootings in six days, speculation about an epidemic of violence in American classrooms was inevitable, and wrong. Violence in schools has fallen by half since the mid-1990s; children are more than 100 times more likely to be murdered outside the school walls than within them.
  Of course, that average is not wholly comforting. Most children who are murdered are murdered by someone they know. But most parents know with certainty that neither they nor their friends or relations are killers, so their worries focus on strangers. Their fears are inevitably stoked[1] by the breathless coverage of school shootings.
  On September 27th a 53-year-old petty criminal, Duane Morrison, walked into a school in Bailey, Colorado, with two guns. He took six girls hostage, preferring the blondes, molested[2] some of them, and killed one before committing suicide as police stormed[3] the room.
  On September 29th a boy brought two guns into his school in Cazenovia, Wisconsin. Prosecutors say that 15-year-old Eric Hainstock may have planned to kill several people. But staff acted quickly when they saw him with a shotgun, calling the police and putting the school into “lock-down”. The head teacher, who confronted him in a corridor, was the only one killed.
  And on October 2nd a 32-year-old milk-truck driver, Charles Roberts, entered a one-room Amish[4] school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. His suicide notes mentioned recurring dreams of molesting children, but it is unclear whether he did so. He lined the girls up, tied their feet and, after an hour, shot them, killing at least five. He killed himself as police broke into the classroom.
  What to make of such horrors? Some experts see the Colorado and Pennsylvania cases as an extreme manifestation of a culture of violence against women. Both killers appeared to have a sexual motive, and both let all the boys in the classroom go free. But it is hard to extrapolate[5] from such unusual examples, and one must note that violence against women is less than half what it was in 1995.
  Other experts see all three cases as symptomatic of a change in the way men commit suicide. Helen Smith, a forensic[6] psychologist, told a radio audience “men are deciding to take their lives, and they're not going alone anymore. They're taking people down with them.” True, but not very often.
  Gun-control enthusiasts think school massacres show the need for tighter restrictions. It is too easy, they say, for criminals such as Mr Morrison and juveniles such as Mr Hainstock to obtain guns. Gun enthusiasts draw the opposite conclusion: that if more teachers carried concealed handguns, they could shoot potential child-killers before they kill.
  George Bush has now called for a conference on school violence. Will it unearth anything new, or valuable? After the Columbine massacre in 1999, the FBI produced a report on school shooters. It concluded that it was impossible to draw up a useful profile of a potential shooter because “a great many adolescents who will never commit violent acts will show some of the behaviours” on any checklist[7] of warning signs.
  1. stoke v. (stoke fear/anger/envy etc) to cause something to increase 使增长,助长,增添
  2. molest v. to attack or harm someone, especially a child, by touching them in a sexual way or by trying to have sex with them [= abuse]伤害,骚扰,调戏(儿童)
  3. storm v. 猛攻,突袭
  4. Amish 安曼教派:17世纪晚期从门诺教派脱离出来的一个再洗礼派正统教派,现在主要存在于美国宾夕法尼亚州东南部
  5. extrapolate v. to use facts about the present or about one thing or group to make a guess about the future or about other things or groups推论,推断
  6. forensic adj. relating to the scientific methods used for finding out about a crime 法庭的,法院的,与犯罪行为论证方法有关的
  7. checklist n. a list that helps you by reminding you of the things you need to do or get for a particular job or activity清单,一览表
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-22 19:46:55
  A natural choice
  天生我才必有用(陈继龙 编译)
  Oct 12th 2006
  From The Economist print edition
  BORN in the trough[1] of the Great Depression, Edmund Phelps, a professor at Columbia University who this week won the Nobel prize for economics, has spent much of his intellectual life studying slumps of a different kind. The Depression, which cost both of his parents their jobs, was exacerbated[2] by the monetary authorities, who kept too tight a grip on the money supply. (1)Mr Phelps is interested in unemployment that even open-handed central bankers cannot cure.
  Most scholars stand on the shoulders of giants. But Mr Phelps won his laurels[3] in part for kicking the feet from under his intellectual forerunners. In 1958 William Phillips, of the London School of Economics, showed that for much of the previous hundred years, unemployment was low in Britain when wage inflation was high, and high when inflation was low. Economists were quick—too quick—to conclude that policymakers therefore faced a grand, macroeconomic trade-off, embodied in the so-called “Phillips curve”. (2)They could settle for unemployment of, say, 6% and an inflation rate of 1%—as prevailed in America at the start of the 1960s—or they could quicken the economy, cutting unemployment by a couple of percentage points at the expense of inflation of 3% or so—which is roughly how things stood in America when Mr Phelps published his first paper on the subject in 1967.
  In such a tight labour market, companies appease workers by offering higher wages. They then pass on the cost in the form of dearer prices, cheating workers of a higher real wage. Thus policymakers can engineer lower unemployment only through deception. But “man is a thinking, expectant being,” as Mr Phelps has put it. Eventually workers will cotton on[4], demanding still higher wages to offset the rising cost of living. (3)They can be duped[5] for as long as inflation stays one step ahead of their rising expectations of what it will be.
  The stable trade-off depicted by the Phillips curve is thus a dangerous mirage. The economy will recover its equilibrium only when workers' expectations are fulfilled, prices turn out as anticipated, and they no longer sell their labour under false pretences. But equilibrium does not, sadly, imply full employment. Mr Phelps argued that inflation will not settle until unemployment rises to its “natural rate”, leaving some workers mouldering[6] on the shelf. (4)Given economists' almost theological commitment to the notion that markets clear, the presence of unemployment in the world requires a theodicy[7] to explain it. Mr Phelps is willing to entertain several. But in much of his work he contends that unemployment is necessary to cow workers, ensuring their loyalty to the company and their diligence on the job, at a wage the company can afford to pay.
  “Natural” does not mean optimal. Nor, Mr Phelps has written, does it mean “a pristine element of nature not susceptible to intervention by man.” Natural simply means impervious to central bankers' efforts to change it, however much money they print.
  (5)Economists, including some of his own students, commonly take this natural rate to be slow-moving, if not constant, and devote a great deal of effort to estimating it. Mr Phelps, by contrast, has been more anxious to explain its fluctuations, and to recommend measures to lower it. His book “Structural Slumps”, published in 1994, is an ambitious attempt to provide a general theory of how the natural rate of unemployment evolves. Some of the factors that he considered important—unemployment benefits or payroll taxes, for example—are widely accepted parts of the story. Others are more idiosyncratic[8]. He and his French collaborator, Jean-Paul Fitoussi, have, for example, blamed Europe's mounting unemployment in the 1980s in part on Ronald Reagan's budget deficits, which were expansionary at home, but squeezed employment in the rest of the world.
  A few years ago David Warsh, an economic journalist, lamented that the glare of the Nobel prize left other equally deserving economists, such as Mr Phelps, languishing “in the half-lit penumbra[9] of the shortlist”. (6)This week, after an unaccountably long lag, professional acclaim for this bold, purposeful theorist finally converged on its natural rate.
  1. trough n. 凹槽,波谷
  2. exacerbate v. 恶化,加剧
  3. laurel n. 桂冠,殊荣;月桂树
  4. cotton on开始理解
  5. dupe v. 欺骗,愚弄
  6. moulder v.(molder)崩溃,腐朽,分裂
  7. theodicy n. 神学论
  8. idiosyncratic adj.特殊物质的,异质的
  9. penumbra n. (日、月食)半影
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-22 19:51:41
  Danger zone
  危险地带(陈继龙 编译)
  Oct 5th 2006
  From The Economist print edition
  SO FIRMLY entrenched in the political economy has the minimum wage become that its latest increase, on October 1st, to £5.35 ($10.08) an hour, caused little stir. Yet the introduction of a national pay floor in 1999 was one of New Labour's most radical economic policies. Although minimum wage rates had previously covered a few industries, this was the first time that a general rate had been set.
  During the 1997 election campaign the Conservatives said that the policy would destroy jobs. Some economists calculated that hundreds of thousands of people might be put out of work. These dire warnings proved way off the mark after the national minimum wage came into force seven years ago. The feared job losses did not materialise.
  1997年大选期间,保守党称这一政策会损害就业。一些经济学家估计,数十万人可能因此失业。可自从7年前最低工资标准开始实行以来,事实证明这些警告纯属杞人忧天。(way off the mark=inaccurate 不正确)人们担心的失业现象并没有发生。
  However, that benign acquisition had much to do with the cautious approach the government, advised by the Low Pay Commission, at first adopted. In April 1999 the main rate—for workers aged 22 or over—was set quite low, at £3.60 an hour. Eighteen months later, the rate edged up to £3.70. At this level it was worth only 36% of average hourly earnings for all employees. Furthermore, workers aged 18 to 21 had a separate, lower rate, which began at £3 in 1999 and was raised to £3.20 in October 2000.
  The modest starting point for the minimum wage meant that it affected relatively few workers. The commission initially thought that it would raise the pay of around 2m workers but in practice only about a million gained. This limited any possible loss of jobs.
  After the initial period of caution, however, the government got bolder. This month's increase pushed the main rate up by 6%, comfortably ahead of average earnings which went up by 4.4% in the past year. Since 1999 the minimum wage has risen by 49%, outstripping[1] average earnings which increased by 32% in the past seven years. As a result, it is now worth 41% of average hourly earnings.
  This trajectory[2] contrasts sharply with what has happened in America. The federal minimum wage has stayed at $5.15 since September 1997. At this level, it is worth 27% of average hourly wages for all employees other than those working in agriculture or for the federal government—far stingier[3] than Britain's rate.
  The commission accepts that the period when the minimum wage rose faster than average earnings is over. The worry, however, is that it has already risen to a level that will hurt employment. The Confederation of British Industry said on September 24th that businesses in several parts of the economy, such as retailing, were struggling to cope with the minimum wage. A few days later the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) added that the latest increase would have “serious implications” for firms. David Kern, who advises the BCC, says: “There is now a distinct risk that the minimum wage will have an adverse effect on jobs.”
  Whether employment will necessarily take a big knock is uncertain. Mainstream economic theory suggests that a minimum wage set too high will cost jobs. However, the evidence from other countries has been quite mixed. Some studies find no impact on employment whereas others find the jobs do indeed disappear, especially among young people.
  In a recent appraisal of employment policies in the world's developed economies, the OECD said that “a moderate minimum wage generally is not a problem”. Britain's experience in the first few years of the policy bears out[4] that judgment. But more recent increases have pushed the rate up to a level where it may inflict damage.
  1. outstrip v. to be greater in quantity than something else 超过,超越
  2. trajectory n. 轨道,轨迹;某段时间内发生的事件(常引起某种特定的结果或达到特定目的)
  3. stingy adj. 吝啬的;不足的,太少的
  4. bear out 证实
楼主东城水岸 时间:2007-05-22 19:53:42
  High risk, high reward
  不经历风雨,怎么见彩虹?(陈继龙 编译)
  Oct 12th 2006 | WASHINGTON, DC
  From The Economist print edition
  A frying pan, a pair of sneakers and some amoxycillin please
  THESE are tough times for Wal-Mart, America's biggest retailer. Long accused of wrecking small-town America and condemned for the stinginess of its pay, the company has lately come under fire for its meanness over employees' health-care benefits. The charge is arguably unfair: the firm's health coverage, while admittedly less extensive than the average for big companies, is on a par with[1] other retailers'. But bad publicity, coupled with rising costs, has stirred the Bentonville giant to action. Wal-Mart is making changes that should shift the ground in America's health-care debate.
  对于美国最大的零售商沃尔玛而言,现在是困难时期。由于实行低价策略(Always Low Prices)而把美国搞得土里土气,并且支付薪水也很“抠”,该公司长期以来备受责难。最近它又因为在员工医疗保险待遇上的吝啬而遭到指责。有证据表明,这一指责是不公平的——尽管该公司医疗保险所涵盖的项目不及大公司平均水平,但与其它零售商相比都是一样的。不过,由于舆论宣传不利,加之成本不断增长,这个位于Bentonville的巨无霸一气之下再也坐不住了。沃尔玛的改革将会把人们讨论的话题转移到对美国医疗保险制度的争论之上。
  One strategy is to slash the prices of many generic, or out-of-patent, prescription drugs. Wal-Mart recently announced that its Florida stores would sell a list of some 300 generic drugs at $4 for a month's supply; other states will follow. That is above cost but far less than the prices charged by many pharmacy chains, which get profits from fat margins on generics.
  Wal-Mart's critics dismiss the move as a publicity stunt. The list of drugs includes only 143 different medicines and excludes many popular generics. True, but short-sighted. Wal-Mart has transformed retailing by using its size to squeeze suppliers and passing the gains on to consumers. It could do the same with drugs. Target, another big retailer, has already announced that it will match the new pricing. A “Wal-Mart effect” in drugs will not solve America's health-costs problem: generics account for only a small share of drug costs, which in turn make up only 10% of overall health spending. But it would help.
  The firm's other initiative is more controversial. Wal-Mart is joining the small but fast-growing group of employers who are controlling costs by shifting to health insurance with high deductibles[2].
  From January 1st new Wal-Mart employees will only be offered insurance with very low premiums (as little as $11 a month for an individual) but rather high deductibles (excesses): an individual must pay at least the first $1,000 of annual health-care expenses, and on a family plan, the first $3,000. Unusually, Wal-Mart's plan includes three doctor visits and three prescription drugs before the big deductible kicks in[3]. Since most employees go to the doctor less often than that, the company argues, they will be better off because of the lower premiums. That may be true for the healthy, say critics; sicker workers will see their health costs soar.
  This debate, writ large[4], is the biggest controversy in American health care today. The Bush administration has been pushing high-deductible plans as the best route to controlling health costs and has encouraged them, with tax-breaks for health-saving accounts. The logic is appealing. Higher deductibles encourage consumers to become price-conscious for routine care, while insurance kicks in for catastrophic expenses.
  Early evidence suggests these plans do help firms control the cost of health insurance. But critics say that the savings are misleading. They argue that the plans shift costs to sicker workers, discourage preventative care and will anyway do little to control overall health spending, since most of the $2 trillion (a sixth of its entire GDP) that America spends on health care each year goes to people with multiple chronic diseases.
  For the moment, relatively few Americans are covered by these “consumer-directed” plans. But they are becoming increasingly popular, especially among firms employing low-skilled workers. And now America's biggest employer has joined the high-deductible trend. That is bound to have an impact.
  1. on a par with 与……同等
  2. deductible adj. 可扣除的
  3. kick in 仿制品,冒牌货
  4. writ large 显而易见的
作者:yuweiyuwei 时间:2008-12-28 14:35:00
作者:慕非 时间:2009-02-01 21:08:31
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