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时间:2017年10月23日 19:48:32

MY kids have recently picked up a worrying French slang word: bim (pronounced “beam”). It’s what children say in the schoolyard here after they’ve proved someone wrong, or skewered him with a biting remark. English equivalents like “gotcha” or “booyah” don’t carry the same sense of gleeful vanquish, and I doubt British or American kids use them quite as often.我的孩子们最近学会了一个令人担心的法语俚语词:bim(发音与英语的“beam”相似)。孩子们在校园里明别人犯了错,或者用尖刻的话把对方驳得体无完肤时,就会说“bim”。英语里类似的词语“gotcha”或者“booyah”并没有完全传达出那种碾压别人的喜悦。而且我也怀疑,英国和美国的孩子说这些词并没有那么频繁。As an American married to an Englishman and living in France, I’ve spent much of my adult life trying to decode the rules of conversation in three countries. Paradoxically, these rules are almost always unspoken. So much bubbles beneath what’s said, it’s often hard to know what anyone means.作为一个嫁给英国人、目前生活在法国的美国人,我成年后的大把时间,都在努力破译这三个国家语言交流的规则。可矛盾的是,这些规则几乎总是心照不宣的。人们说出的话里有太多掩饰,常常很难明白真实的用意。I had a breakthrough on French conversation recently, when a French sociologist suggested I watch “Ridicule,” a 1996 French movie (it won the César award for best film) about aristocrats at the court of Versailles, on the eve of the French Revolution.在理解法国式对话方面,我最近取得了重大进展。一位法国社会学家建议我看一看1996年的法国电影《荒谬无稽》(Ridicule)。这部片子赢得了凯撒奖的最佳影片奖项,讲述了法国大革命前夕凡尔赛宫廷里贵族的故事。Life at Versailles was apparently a protracted battle of wits. You gained status if you showed “esprit” — clever, erudite and often caustic wit, aimed at making rivals look ridiculous. The king himself kept abreast of the sharpest remarks, and granted audiences to those who made them. “Wit opens every door,” one courtier explained.凡尔赛宫的生活似乎就是漫长的唇舌剑,如果能展示出“esprit”——聪明、学且时常很尖刻的机锋,并让其他人显得可笑——那么你就能赢得地位。国王本人也时刻关注着最犀利的言辞,而说出这种话的人会得到接见。一位侍臣解释道,“机智能打开每一扇门。”If you lacked “esprit” — or suffered from “l’esprit de l’escalier” (thinking of a comeback only once you had reached the bottom of the staircase) — you’d look ridiculous yourself.但是,如果你缺乏“esprit”,或者遭遇“l’esprit de l’escalier”(走到楼梯最下面,才想起如何反击),那么你自己就会显得十分可笑。Granted, France has changed a bit since Versailles. But many modern-day conversations — including the schoolyard cries of “Bim!” — make more sense once you realize that everyone around you is in a competition not to look ridiculous. When my daughter complained that a boy had insulted her during recess, I counseled her to forget about it. She said that just wouldn’t do: To save face, she had to humiliate him.诚然,法国比起凡尔赛的时代已经发生了一些变化。但是当你意识到,周围的所有人都在为了不显得可笑而奋力竞争,那么当代的很多对话,包括校园里高呼的“Bim!”,就都显得合理了。我的女儿抱怨,一个男孩课间欺负了她,我建议她别在意这件事。但她说那是不行的:要想挽回面子,就必须羞辱回去。Many children train for this at home. Where Americans might coo over a child’s most inane remark, to boost his confidence, middle-class French parents teach their kids to be concise and amusing, to keep everyone listening. “I force him or her to discover the best ways of retaining my attention,” the anthropologist Raymonde Carroll wrote in her 1987 book “Cultural Misunderstandings: The French-American Experience.”许多孩子在家就接受了这种训练。为了激发孩子的信心,美国人对子女最愚蠢的言论或许都会柔声赞许,但是法国中产阶级父母却会教导孩子要讲话简洁风趣,好让所有人都愿意听。“我会强迫他或她,想方设法地吸引我的注意力,”人类学家雷蒙德·卡罗(Raymonde Carroll)在她1987年出版的《文化误解:法国和美国的经验》(Cultural Misunderstandings: The French-American Experience)一书中写道。This is probably worse in Paris, and among the professional classes. But a lot of French TV involves round-table discussions in which well-dressed people attempt to land zingers on one another. Practically every time I speak up at a school conference, a political event or my apartment building association’s annual meeting, I’m met with a display of someone else’s superior intelligence. (Adults don’t actually say “bim,” they just flash you a satisfied smile.) Jean-Beno#238;t Nadeau, a Canadian who co-wrote a forthcoming book on French conversation, told me that the penchant for saying “no” or “it’s not possible” is often a cover for the potential humiliation of seeming not to know something. Only once you trust someone can you turn down the wit and reveal your weaknesses, he said. (I think the French obsession with protecting private life comes from the belief that everyone’s entitled to a humiliation-free zone.)这种现象在巴黎,在专业阶层当中或许更严重。不过,法国的很多电视节目都有圆桌讨论的情形,让衣着考究的嘉宾用尖刻的口吻相互嘲弄。在学校会议、政治活动,或者公寓楼居民协会的年会上发言时,我几乎每次都会遇到别人炫耀高超的智力。(成年人并不会真的说出“bim”,只是脸上闪现出一丝满意的微笑而已。)加拿大人让-贝努阿·纳多(Jean-Beno#238;t Nadeau)与人合著了一本关于法国式谈话的书,即将出版。他告诉我,爱说“不”、“不可能”的习惯,常常是为了避免因为看起来不知道某事而可能受到的羞辱。他说,只有当你信任某人时,才能不必那么机智,袒露自己的弱点。(我想,法国人对保护私生活的偏执,源于他们认为每个人都有权得到一个免受羞辱的空间。)At least it’s not boring. Even among friends, being dull is almost criminal. A French entrepreneur told me her rules for dinner-party topics: no kids, no jobs, no real estate. Provocative opinions are practically required. “You must be a little bit mean but also a little bit vulnerable,” she said.至少这样聊天不会无聊。即使是在朋友之间,表现得无趣几乎也是犯罪行为。一名法国企业家告诉我,她为聚餐话题立下的规矩是:不谈孩子、不谈工作、不谈房地产。这实际上就需要提出争议性的意见。她说,“必须要有一些恶毒,但也要有一些脆弱。”It’s dizzying to switch to the British conversational mode, in which everyone’s trying to show they don’t take themselves seriously. The result is lots of self-deprecation and ironic banter. I’ve sat through two-hour lunches in London waiting for everyone to stop exchanging quips so the real conversation could begin. But “real things aren’t supposed to come up,” my husband said. “Banter can be the only mode of conversation you ever have with someone.”切换到英国式的交谈模式则会令人不知所措。在这种模式里,人人都努力表现得不把自己当回事,结果就是大量的自嘲和讽刺性的调侃。在伦敦,我曾好几次耐着性子坚持到两个小时的午餐结束,一直等着所有人停止相互打趣,这样才能开始真正的交谈。但“可别以为一定会谈什么实质内容,”我丈夫说。“和有的人,只存在戏谑这一种谈话模式。”Earnestness makes British people gag. Viewers respond to the “gushy, tearful” speeches of American actors at the Oscars with a “finger-down-throat ‘I’m going to be sick’ gesture,” writes Kate Fox, author of “Watching the English.” Moralizing politicians get this, too.真诚会让英国人呛着。《观察英国人》(Watching the English)的作者凯特·福克斯(Kate Fox)写道,对美国演员在奥斯卡颁奖礼上“含泪发表的煽情”感言,英国观众会做出“把手指塞进喉咙里,表示‘我要吐了’的动作”。面对爱说教的政客,他们也不会客气。Even British courtships can be conducted ironically. “ ‘You’re just not my type,’ uttered in the right tone and in the context of banter, can be tantamount to a proposal of marriage,” Ms. Fox writes.就连英国式的求爱,也可以在冷嘲热讽中展开。“在戏谑语境下用恰当的语调说出‘你决不是我喜欢的类型’,简直无异于求婚,”福克斯写道。Being ridiculous is sometimes required. The classic British hen night — a bachelor party for brides — involves groups of women wearing feather boas to a bar, then daring one another to “kiss a bald man” or “remove your bra without leaving the room.” Stumbling around drunk with friends — then recounting your misadventures for months afterward — is a standard bonding ritual.有时候,表现得滑稽可笑是必须的。在传统的英国女子婚前单身派对上,会有很多姑娘戴着羽毛围巾前往酒吧,然后用激将法撺掇彼此“亲吻一个秃顶男人”或是“当场脱掉内衣”。醉醺醺地和朋友一起出丑——然后在接下来的几个月里一直回顾自己当时做的糗事——是建立友情的标准仪式。After being besieged by British irony and French wit, I sometimes yearn for the familiar comfort of American conversations, where there are no stupid questions. Among friends, I merely have to provide reassurance and mirroring: No, you don’t look fat, and anyway, I look worse.被英国式的嘲讽和法国式的机智包围后,我时不时会渴望美国式谈话给人带来的那种熟悉的舒适感。这种谈话里没有问题会被认为是愚蠢的。在朋友之间,我只需要宽慰对方,并拿自己做参照:不,你看起来不胖,而且不管怎样,我看上去更遭。It might not matter what I say, since some American conversations resemble a succession of monologues. A 2014 study led by a psychologist at Yeshiva University found that when researchers crossed two unrelated instant-message conversations, as many as 42 percent of participants didn’t notice. A lot of us — myself included — could benefit from a basic rule of improvisational comedy: Instead of planning your next remark, just listen very hard to what the other person is saying. Call it “mindful conversation,” if you like. That’s what the French tend to do — even if it ends with “bim.”我说什么可能根本不重要,因为有些美式谈话其实是一连串的独白。叶史瓦大学(Yeshiva University)的一名心理学家在2014年牵头进行的一项研究中发现,当研究人员将两个不相干的即时通讯对话交叉在一起时,多达42%的参与者毫无察觉。我们中的很多人,包括我在内,可以从即兴喜剧的一条基本规则中受益:与其构思接下来要说什么,不如干脆非常认真地听对方在说什么。不妨称之为“用心交谈”。法国人往往会这么做,尽管最后会加上一个“bim”。 /201503/364986

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in Beijing had barely concluded when copies of the outfits worn by the leaders at the event’s opening began appearing for sale in China.北京的亚太经济合作组织峰会还未终结时,领导人在峰会开幕式上所穿的装的复制品就已经在中国有售了。Several vendors produced copies of the mandarin-collared jacket and matching accessories and offered them Wednesday on Taobao.com, the online marketplace owned by the e-commerce giant Alibaba, for prices ranging from 320 renminbi, about , to 2,999 renminbi.几家销售商生产了那种中式领的外套和搭配的饰品,并于周三在由电子商务巨头阿里巴巴所有的网上市场淘宝网上以320元人民币(约合52美元)至2999元人民币不等的价格售卖。By midday Thursday, the items had disappeared from Taobao. Alibaba did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Chinese media coverage of the items raised questions about whether the copied garments were a violation of the intellectual property rights of the original designers.截至周四中午,这些产品已从淘宝上消失。阿里巴巴未即对采访请求予以回复。中国媒体对这些产品的报道让人质疑这些复制的装是否侵犯了原设计者的知识产权。The outfits were part of an APEC tradition of dressing leaders in designs inspired by clothing from the host country. This year’s jackets came in a choice of brown, green or purple silk and were widely noted for their resemblance to “Star Trek” uniforms.这些装是亚太经合组织峰会用以主办国饰为灵感的设计打扮领导人的传统的一部分。今年的外套有棕色、绿色或紫色丝绸几款选择,并被许多人指很像电影《星际迷航》中的制。“What Xi Dada wears will definitely be hot,” one vendor said, using a nickname for the Chinese president that roughly means “Uncle Xi,” The Beijing News reported on Thursday, before the items were removed from Taobao. The vendor told the newspaper that the key to selling copied garments is to move quickly, adding, “If leaders can wear it, why can’t we?”“习大大穿的这款衣一定会火,”一位销售商说,《新京报》在这些商品被从淘宝移除之前于周四报道。这名销售商对该报说,卖这些复制装的关键是要趁热打铁,并补充说:“领导人能穿,咱们为啥不能穿?” /201411/342618

The latest app that#39;s sweeping the web is the fiendishly addictive, and surprisingly difficult, Kuku Kube.最新颜色辨识应用程序Kuku Kube正在席卷网络,它像恶魔般使人上瘾,并且难度惊人。It has been designed to put your colour vision and eyesight to the test by showing boards of coloured squares.这个游戏在测试中展示由色色块组成的多个板块,是一个测试色觉和视力的游戏。On each board, one of the squares is a slightly different shade of the same colour and the aim is to find this odd square by tapping it with your finger or clicking it with the mouse.在每个同色的板块中,有一个色块相比其他相同的色块颜色略微浅,而游戏的目标就是用手指敲击或者用鼠标点击去找出这个不一样的方块。Although the game appears relatively simple, and starts with a board of just four coloured squares, it quickly grows to a board of up to 81 squares.尽管这个游戏看起来相对简单,而且在开始仅仅有四个色色块,但是很快,它就增长到高达八十一个的色块。And the differentiation between the shades becomes more subtle over time.而颜色间细微的差别也随着时间的推移变得更加微妙。Players get a point for every correct square identified, but if they click or tap the wrong square they lose a point.玩家识别出一个正确色块,就可得到一分,但如果点击了错误的色块,就会失去一分。Plus, players get just 60 seconds to find the odd square on each board before the timer runs out and the game ends.另外,玩家只有60秒的时间,玩家需要在计时器停止、游戏结束之前找到每个不一样的色块。It was created by Canada-based Network365 and is available for free on Facebook, Android, iOS and on desktop browsers.它是由加拿大Network365公司创建,Facebook、安卓、iOS和桌面浏览器上免费提供此游戏。There are eight levels, and as a player progresses the squares change orientation or add borders to make it harder.它设有八级,且伴随着玩家的升级,它的色块会改变方位并增多板块以加大难度。On the desktop version the game lets you continue until the timer runs out, but on mobile apps players can#39;t progress until they have scored more than 20 points on each level.桌面版本的游戏可以让你在计时器停止前继续玩下去,但手机应用程序的玩家,在每个级别超过二十分之前,不能玩下一关。The app makers said scores lower than 11 are poor, scores between 15 and 20 is #39;lower than average#39;, 21 to 30 is considered normal or average, and a score higher than 31 means your eyesight is #39;great.#39;该应用程序创造者表示,分数低于十一的人色觉比较差,分数介于十五至二十分的玩家则“低于平均水平”,二十一至三十的玩家被认为是正常或一般,而得分比三十一高意味着你的视力“非常好”。#39;This puzzle is designed to evaluate the quality of your colour vision,#39; said the developers.“这个游戏是为了评估你的色觉,”开发者称。#39;You should identify the difference, if possible, and share your result with your friends.#39;“你应该找出差异,如果可能的话,还可与你的朋友分享你的结果。”But they stressed: #39;Even though this test can be very accurate, it should never be used to replace a doctor#39;s visit.但他们强调:“虽然这个测试非常准确,但是它不应该被用来代替医生的问诊。”#39;[It] provides basic information and guideline for your eyesight and colour test, and is not intended to replace a full or partial eye examination.#39;“它为你的视力和色测试提供基本的信息和指南,但不是为了取代全面或部分的眼科检查。”Eyesight and colour was recently linked to how we perceive the world by Michael Abrash, chief scientist from Facebook-owned virtual reality (VR) experts Oculus.Facebook旗下的虚拟现实(VR)专家Oculus公司的首席科学家Michael Abrash,提出了视觉与色近来被联系到我们如何感知世界。He explained that humans only have three colour sensors, we can’t see infrared or ultraviolet and we have a blind spot in each eye.他解释说,人类只有三种颜色感应器官,我们无法看到的红外线或紫外线,而且我们的每只眼睛都有盲点。#39;Our visual data is actually astonishingly sparse and even if we were able to accurately record and process every photon that reaches our eyes, we’d still have too little data to be able to reconstruct the world accurately,#39; he said.“实际上,我们的视觉数据的不足是惊人的,即使我们能够准确地记录和处理每一个到达我们眼睛的光子,能够准确地复原世界的数据对我们来说还是太少。”他说。He used the recent black and blue/white and gold dress as an example.他用了最近裙子是蓝黑还是白金的问题作为例子。#39;Our visual system takes its best guess and sends that to the conscious mind,’ he continued.“我们的视觉系统选用并发送最佳猜测至我们的意识,”他继续说。#39;The way that the brain compensates for the limited data it receives is by maintaining a model of the real world that it constantly updates as new data comes in.“大脑为了补偿其接收信息的有限,在每次有新的数据输入时,不断更新以维护在脑中反应现实世界的模型。”#39;And it is that model, not the real world, that you experience and trust implicitly. We are inference machines, not objective observers.“而这只是你所感受到的和完全信任的模型,而不是真正的现实世界。我们是一个干预机器,而不是客观的观察者。 ”He then showed a red and blue pill on hands that were shown on a yellow background to give an example of how this inference model breaks down.为了举出一个能够明这个推论模型是如何失效的实例,他随即在手上展示了一个之前被展示在一个黄色的背景下的“红色和蓝色”的药片。The colours of the pills are the same shade of grey, and the red and blue colours that people see are simply what their brains perceive, based on the rest of the information around them.这两个药片都是一样的灰色,而人们看到的红色和蓝色仅仅是他们的大脑感知,这基于他们周围其余的信息。And even when a person knows that the pills are grey, they still see them as red or blue.而且甚至当一个人知道药丸是灰色的时候,他们仍然认为他们看见的是红色或蓝色。#39;Your visual system isn’t interested in whether the photon coming from a tile on a random image are red or blue or grey,#39; Mr Abrash continued.“你的视觉系统对一个来自随机图像的光子到底是红色或蓝色或灰色的并不感兴趣,”Abrash先生继续说道。#39;Knowing that didn’t keep anyone from being eaten by lions on the Savannah. What it is interested in is identifying potentially relevant features, in the real world, under a variety of conditions.“知道这一事实并不会让人们幸免于萨凡纳狮子之口。人们关注的是,在各种条件下的现实世界中,去鉴别潜在的相关特征。”#39;Your visual system constantly corrects for the colours in the scene. It is reverse engineering reality rather than just recording it. The colours seen are your brain’s “best guess.”’“你的视觉系统不断更正出现在视线里的色。这不是单纯的记录,而是对事实的逆向工程,你看到的颜色是你的大脑的#39;最佳猜测’。” /201504/372815


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