British pub finds smoking ban loophole 英國酒吧找到禁菸令漏洞

◎ 俞智敏

The landlady of a British pub has exploited a loophole in the country’s smoking ban by opening a "smoking research centre" where drinkers can light up legally.


Locals at the Cutting Edge pub in Barnsley, northern England, must fill in a questionnaire on their smoking habits to satisfy legal requirements before sitting down for a drink and a cigarette in the centre.


England and Wales introduced a ban on smoking in enclosed public places in 2007, contributing to tumbling beer sales which have forced over 2,000 pubs to close in the last year, according to the British Beer And Pub Association.


The Cutting Edge’s landlady Kerry Fenton opened the centre recently, which is a separate room in her pub. "It’s given business a shot in the arm and it’s all in the name of research, legal and above board," she told the Sun newspaper. "I’m a non-smoker but I believe in the freedom of the individual."



loophole: 名詞,原指換氣孔、小洞,現尤指(法律等的)漏洞,如The company employed lawyers to find loopholes in environmental protection laws(這家公司聘請律師替他們找出環保法令的漏洞。)

a shot in the arm:片語,非正式用語,指提供刺激因素、激勵,如Getting a new concertmaster was a real shot in the arm for the orchestra.(請到一位新的樂團首席,無異是替樂團注入了一股活力。)

above board:形容詞,指完全誠實且公開,形容某計畫或商業協定無意欺瞞任何人,如The deal was completely open and above board.(這項交易完全開誠布公。)

◎ 俞智敏

The landlady of a British pub has exploited a loophole in the country’s smoking ban by opening a "smoking research centre" where drinkers can light up legally.


Locals at the Cutting Edge pub in Barnsley, northern England, must fill in a questionnaire on their smoking habits to satisfy legal requirements before sitting down for a drink and a cigarette in the centre.


England and Wales introduced a ban on smoking in enclosed public places in 2007, contributing to tumbling beer sales which have forced over 2,000 pubs to close in the last year, according to the British Beer And Pub Association.


The Cutting Edge’s landlady Kerry Fenton opened the centre recently, which is a separate room in her pub. "It’s given business a shot in the arm and it’s all in the name of research, legal and above board," she told the Sun newspaper. "I’m a non-smoker but I believe in the freedom of the individual."



loophole: 名詞,原指換氣孔、小洞,現尤指(法律等的)漏洞,如The company employed lawyers to find loopholes in environmental protection laws(這家公司聘請律師替他們找出環保法令的漏洞。)

a shot in the arm:片語,非正式用語,指提供刺激因素、激勵,如Getting a new concertmaster was a real shot in the arm for the orchestra.(請到一位新的樂團首席,無異是替樂團注入了一股活力。)

above board:形容詞,指完全誠實且公開,形容某計畫或商業協定無意欺瞞任何人,如The deal was completely open and above board.(這項交易完全開誠布公。)


China: "Smoke More to Boost the Economy" 中國:「振興經濟要多抽菸」


What are governments around the world doing to stimulate the economy? Great Britain is cutting sales taxes. Japan is building bridges and paving roads. And China is ordering their citizens to smoke more cigarettes.


The Telegraph reports that government officials in Hubei, China have ordered the local populace to purchase 230,000 packs of Hubei-branded cigarettes. If people "fail to meet their targets" or are caught smoking rival brands manufactured in neighboring Chinese provinces, they are fined and subjected to societal shame.


The move, which flies in the face of national anti-smoking policies set in Beijing, is aimed at boosting tax revenues and protecting local manufacturers from outside competition from China’s 100 cigarette makers.


The Telegraph reports that one village was required to purchase 400 cartons (80,000 cigarettes) for its local government officials, and even Hubei schoolteachers have smoking quotas.


"The regulation will boost the local economy via the cigarette tax," said Chen Nianzu, a member of the Gong’an cigarette market supervision team.


China has 350 million smokers, about a million of whom die each year from smoking-related illnesses.



be subjected to:片語,受到……或被某事(所苦)。例句:The suspect was subjected to cross-examination at the police station.(嫌犯在警察局受到盤問。)

fly in the face of:片語,公然違抗。例句:Your theory is quite wrong; you are flying in the face of all the experts.(你的意見完全錯誤,你是在公然反抗所有的專家。)


Japan FM says Indiana Jones trivialises nuke threat 日本外相說印第安納瓊斯小覷核武威脅

Japan’s foreign minister has taken a swipe at the latest sequel of Steven Spielberg’s ’Indiana Jones’ blockbuster series for trivialising the devastation of a nuclear bomb blast.


"There was a scene in a hit movie last year in which the famous hero, facing a blast from a nuclear test, hid in a refrigerator," Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone said in a speech against nuclear weapons.


"I was surprised by the movie’s lack of awareness of a nuclear bomb blast. A nuclear explosion destroys everything in an instant. I felt concern that this kind of easy-going image might spread around the world."


The minister did not identify the movie, but a foreign ministry official confirmed that it was "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," the fourth in the hit series directed by Spielberg.


Two US atomic bombs dropped on Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki cities in August 1945 killed more than 210,000 people, instantly or in the following weeks. Japan surrendered less than a week later, ending World War II.




take a swipe at someone or something :俚語,攻擊某人或某物;試圖去做。

blockbuster:名詞,廣受歡迎的暢銷電影或書籍。例句:"Ghostbusters" was such a big blockbuster.(電影「魔鬼剋星」當年可真是紅極一時。)


Walnuts may prevent breast cancer/核桃或能預防乳癌


Eating walnuts may help to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, research suggests.


The nuts contain ingredients such as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytosterols that may all reduce the risk of the disease. Mice fed the human equivalent of two ounces (56.7g) of walnuts per day developed fewer and smaller tumours.


The US study was presented to the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting.


Researcher Dr Elaine Hardman, of Marshall University School of Medicine, said although the study was carried out in mice, the beneficial effect of walnuts was likely to apply to humans too.


She said: "We know that a healthy diet overall prevents all manner of chronic diseases."


"It is clear that walnuts contribute to a healthy diet that can reduce breast cancer."


Previous research has suggested eating walnuts at the end of a meal may help cut the damage that fatty food can do to the arteries.



equivalent: 此為名詞,相等物。例句:There is no English equivalent for ’bon appetit’ so we have adopted the French expression.(英文裡沒有等同於「bon appetit」的詞,所以我們直接採用這個法文。)

manner:名詞,種類。例句:Very little is known about the new candidate - what manner of man is he?(我們對這個新候選人的了解不多,他是什麼樣的人?)

contribute to:動詞,促成,捐獻。例句:Her family have contributed 50, 000 U.S. dollars to the fund.(她家捐了5萬美元給這個基金會。)


Boy, 6, Takes Wheel After Dad Passes Out 6歲男孩在父親昏厥後接手開車

◎ 魏國金

A six-year-old boy grabbed the wheel of his family’s pick-up truck and stopped it from crashing after his father became unconscious in the driver’s seat.


Tustin Mains told police in North Platte, Nebraska, he was in the back seat with his three-year-old brother when their dad Phillip slumped over at the wheel.


He had been driving the family home from a restaurant when he suffered a low blood sugar attack and suddenly passed out. Brave Tustin leapt into his father’s lap to steer the Chevrolet Avalanche for several blocks, even turning around when he entered an area he did not recognise.


Although Mr Mains’ foot had slipped off the accelerator, the vehicle continued to travel at 10-15mph with the boy at the wheel until it was spotted by police.


North Platte officer Roger Freeze ran up to the moving truck, reached through an open window and slipped the gearstick into neutral before rolling it into a park.


Mr Mains said Tustin had done a good job of driving the truck, with the only damage being a minor scrape which happened when he brushed the side of a bridge.



pass out︰昏倒,或委婉指稱過世。例句︰After three drinks, the man passed out.(三杯黃湯下肚後,這人醉倒了。)

at (behind) the wheel︰在駕駛、在掌舵。例句︰They took turns at the wheel.(他們輪流開車。)lock the wheels就是指煞車。

run up to︰跑到……旁。例句︰The kid ran up to the teacher to show her his drawing.(這孩子跑到老師身旁,去給她看自己的圖畫。)


’Rip off’ mayor elected「敲竹槓」鎮長當選


A Croatian politician has been swept to power after promising voters he would rip them off at every opportunity.


Bare-faced Josko Risa was voted in as mayor in Prolozac with a landslide victory using the slogan:"All for me - nothing for you."


"I just told them the truth. This town will be like my family business. If I get a little something, so do they," he explained.


Locals who backed Risa said they would be happy to have him as mayor, despite his bizarre campaign pledge.


Ivan Vjisnic, 57, said: "We know what we’re letting ourselves in for."


"We’re going to get ripped off no matter who takes over. At least he’s being honest and up front about it. And he has said that if things get better for him then they will get better for us."



rip off:片語,剝削、敲竹槓。例句:They really ripped us off at that hotel.(那家旅館著實敲了我們一筆竹槓。)

let oneself in for:片語,招致或找來~(通常是困難或不願見到的事物)。例句:I don’t want to let myself in for a lot of extra work.(我不想讓自己接下許多額外工作。)

up front:片語,直率的。例句:You should be up front about potential problems.(你應該坦率地面對潛在問題。)


Sarkozy, Bruni kissing video on Facebook branded ’nauseating’ by press薩科茲、布妮親吻影片上Facebook被媒體稱「噁心」

◎ 管淑平

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has come under attack from the press after he revamped his Facebook page by posting a video of him kissing his supermodel wife Carla Bruni.


The video, which was shot this month during an informal interview between First Lady and competition winners from a women’s magazine, has been branded as "nauseating" by the press.


In the video, Sarkozy is seen dropping in on the group, apparently unannounced, and then kissing his wife before perching himself on the arm of a chair.


And as the group chatted, Bruni gazed at him adoringly, and even leaned across to wipe his eye.


After the video was released, it caught the attention of the British press, who said it was a public relations disaster, and some newspapers have called it "nauseating" and "embarrassing".


But Sarkozy did not take the criticism to heart, and posted the video on his Facebook page.



nauseating、embarrassing:形容詞,因虛偽的動作、言語而令人感到噁心肉麻的。例句:I don’t wanna hear their nauseating conversation.(我不想聽他們肉麻的對話。)

drop in on:動詞片語,順路拜訪某人。We dropped in on him on the way to Taipei yesterday.(我們昨天去台北的途中順路去拜訪他。)

take something to heart:動詞片語,認真看待某事、把某事放在心上。She has taken all your advice to heart.(她把你的所有建議都聽進去了。)


Sleeping and eating - the French do it best 睡覺和吃飯──法國人最在行

◎ 俞智敏

True to their reputation as leisure-loving gourmets, the French spend more time sleeping and eating than anyone else among the world’s wealthy nations, according to a study published recently.


The average French person sleeps almost nine hours every night, more than an hour longer than the average Japanese and Korean, who sleep the least in a survey of 18 members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).


And while more and more French people grab a bite at fast-food chains these days or wolf down a sandwich at their desk, they still spend more than two hours a day eating.


The Japanese, scrimping on sleep and burdened with long commutes and working hours, still manage to spend close to two hours a day eating and drinking, placing them third behind New Zealanders.


The Japanese like to spend what remains of their scarce free time watching television or listening to the radio. This takes up 47 percent of leisure time in Japan.

日本人喜歡把剩餘不多的空閒時間用來看電視或聽廣播,這大概佔去日本人休閒時間的47% 。


grab/get/have a bite:(非正式用語),指匆忙地吃點簡單的東西。如Bob often tries to get a bite between meetings.(巴布經常在會議中間隨便吃點東西。)

wolf down:(非正式用語)wolf做動詞,指狼吞虎嚥地吃東西,如The boys wolfed the sandwiches (down) and then started on the cakes.(男孩們大口吞下三明治後,接著又開始吃起蛋糕。)

scrimp: 動詞,指節省、剋扣,如There is a risk that the debt-ridden airline that may be tempted to scrimp on maintenance or security.(這家負債累累的航空公司可能會想辦法剋扣維修與安全的經費。)片語scrimp and save亦指節儉、省吃儉用,如We had to scrimp and save in order to send the children to college.(我們得省吃儉用才能讓孩子們念大學。)


Man flu is not a myth 男流感非迷思


Surveys have shown that up to 30% of men take sick days because of colds and flu, compared with just 22% of women – often dubiously citing ‘man flu’ as the reason they feel so ill.


But man flu may not be a myth after all thanks to research showing that men really are the weaker sex.


Researchers from McGill University in Montreal found that women have a more powerful immune system than men thanks to their hormones.


The study showed that the female sex hormone oestrogen boosts the immune system’s first line of attack against bacteria and other invaders. The finding raises the possibility of using oestrogen-based drugs to shore up the male body’s defences.


The research focused on an enzyme called caspase-12. It raises susceptibility to infection by blocking the inflammation the body uses to fight bacteria and other unwanted bugs.


It is thought the phenomenon has its roots deep in evolution, with healthy female bodies being key to reproduction.


新聞辭典 Dictionary

sick day:(口語)病假。例句:Did Angela take a sick day today?(安琪拉今天請病假嗎?)至於「sick leave」則通常指長期的病假。

shore up:原指利用木頭或金屬製的支柱撐住不穩固的圍牆,引申出對運作不順利或可能失敗的事物加以「支撐、支持」的解釋。例句:The President shored up his own political position.(總統穩住自己的政治地位。)

bug:(口語)微生物;病菌;病毒。用法如:the flu bug(流感病毒)。


Pig Brother’ reality show to sell more bacon 「豬兄弟」實境秀推銷培根肉


’Pig Brother’ reality show to sell more bacon


Move over Miss Piggy, show business has found its new pink-snouted celebrities -- meet Piggy, Lilly, Pauli and Fredi, the stars of Austria’s latest reality show "Pig Brother".


Starting Monday and for the next six weeks, the four little piglets will be followed by live cameras and their private lives splashed across the Internet, all part of a marketing ploy by a local food fair.


The goal is to be named "Super Pig".


The town of Helfenberg in northern Austria is organising its third annual Speck Spectacle in early June and "Pig Brother" is just the appetiser.


Each week, viewers will get to vote for the "Favourite pig of the week" and each Sunday, the little porkers will have to take part in Pig Olympics to gather the points needed to win.


True to reality-show format, the piglets -- philosopher Pauli, diva Piggy, friendly Lilly and courageous Fredi -- will be filmed non-stop for a month and a half as they eat, sleep and roll themselves in the mud.





mud:名詞,泥。相關片語,one’s name is mud,陷入麻煩或遭羞辱。例句:If I can’t fulfill the task, my name will be mud.(我若無法完成這項任務將名譽掃地。)


Emotional intelligence ’aids sex’ 情緒智商高能「助性」


A study of more than 2,000 female twins showed that those with greater emotional intelligence had larger numbers of orgasms.


These women were better able to monitor their own and others’ feelings and emotions, which is key, say the King’s College London investigators. Their findings appear in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.


All of the 2,035 participants completed questionnaires giving details of their sexual behaviour and performance and also answered questions designed to test their emotional intelligence.


The research found a significant association between emotional intelligence and the frequency of orgasm during masturbation and intercourse.


Professor Tim Spector, director of the Twin Research Department at King’s College London and co-author of the study, said: "These findings show that emotional intelligence is an advantage in many aspects of your life including the bedroom.


"This study will help enormously in the development of behavioural and cognitive therapies to improve women’s sexual lives."




intercourse:名詞,性交。例句:Our survey reveals that most couples have intercourse once a week.(我們的調查顯示,多數伴侶每週行房一次。)

cognitive:形容詞,認知的。例句:Some of her cognitive functions have been impaired.(她的認知功能部分損傷。)


Teen Robs Shop With Banana Then Eats Evidence 青少年持香蕉行搶商店,然後吃了證物

◎ 魏國金

A teenager was caught trying to rob a store with a banana - then ate the makeshift weapon to destroy the evidence.


Sadly for John Szwalla he was unable to swallow the skin which was photographed by police in North Carolina, America. The 17-year-old is currently in the county jail charged with attempted armed robbery.


The bizarre drama began when Szwalla entered the shop with a banana under his shirt. The hapless thief told staff in the internet cafe that he had a gun and demanded cash, according to local reports.


Owner Bobby Ray Mabe said he and a customer jumped on to Szwalla, pinning him into a chair. But while they waited for police, Mabe says the teen stuffed the banana into his mouth and swallowed it.


When deputies arrived they took pictures of the banana peel instead. Forsyth County Sheriff’s office spokesman Major Brad Stanley said police joked about charging Szwalla with destroying evidence.



jump on︰片語,向…猛撲、突然襲擊,也有嚴厲斥責之意。例句︰He’ll jump on every little mistake you make.(你犯的每個小錯,他都會痛斥一番。)

pin︰動詞,按住,使…動彈不得,也有把…歸咎於之意。例句︰The residents of the building pinned the robbery on a security guard.(大樓住戶將搶案怪罪於一名警衛。)



Police escorts from cash machines 警方提供提款護送服務


Police officers are offering to escort people home if they take out money from a cash machine and are nervous about being mugged.


The scheme is mainly intended for pensioners but any residents can telephone the Metropolitan Police to request a personal guard for their journey back from the bank.


Posters advertising the service state that the police escorts will follow on foot "from a safe distance" so not to draw attention to the customer. Officers "cannot do your shopping with you" and will only escort people to their homes, the adverts add.


Alan Burnett of Age Concern and Help the Aged said that many elderly people would welcome the extra protection.


"In a recent survey among older people, a large majority reported that they would like neighbourhood police officers, and police community support officers, to take proactive steps to make vulnerable senior citizens safer and feel safer," he said.



on foot:片語,徒步、步行。例句:The suspect attempted to flee on foot.(這名嫌犯試圖徒步逃逸。)

draw attention to~:片語,讓~引人注意。例句:The speaker drew attention to the point at issue.(演說者讓大家注意到這個爭論點。)

do one’s shopping:片語,購物。例句:Mother does her shopping on Saturdays.(母親常在週六大採購。)


The secret life of penguins revealed 揭開企鵝生命的祕密


Famous for its cuteness and comic gait on land, the penguin also has an enigmatic life at sea. Zoologists have long wondered where the flightless seabird goes during these long spells away from land.


French scientists attached monitoring devices to a dozen macaroni penguins on the Kerguelen Islands of Indian Ocean. The tufty-headed penguins headed out to sea at the onset of winter for their annual forage and returned on the following spring to breed.


Once at sea, the birds swiftly swam eastwards into the southern Indian Ocean, the investigators found.


The birds swam astonishing distances, clocking up 10,430 kilometres on average during their six months away. In the final weeks of the migration, they rushed to get home, covering a massive 1,743 kms in just one month.


Foodwise, the blood test showed that the penguins had gorged on crustaceans during their time at sea. Contrary to expectations, they had not tucked into the Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, which only occurs farther south in colder waters.



forage:動詞。覓食;在包包裡搜尋某物。例句:He was so broke and had to forage around for food on street.(他以前窮到得在街上到處找東西吃。)

gorge on、tuck into:動詞片語,大量地、狼吞虎嚥地吃。例句:There’s a study claimed that gorging on snacks before meal may be helpful to lose weight. (有一份研究宣稱,飯前猛吃零食或許有助減肥。)



Football is a barometer of ’serious’ racism 足球是「嚴重」種族主義的指標


Football is proving to be a valuable barometer of the serious impact of racism and xenophobia in society, the UN’s expert on racism said after a rash of incidents at stadiums.


Githu Muigai, the United Nations Special Rapporteur against racism, highlighted racist chanting during a recent match between Juventus and Inter Milan in Italy, directed at Inter’s Mario Balotelli, who is of Ghanaian origin.


"This is just the tip of the iceberg," Muigai observed. "We know that this year alone, football governing bodies must have fined or reprimanded more than a dozen teams on the basis of the racism of spectators."


But he also warned against dismissing racism among some fans as a political problem linked to right-wing groups that were out of tune with the rest of society.


"If you take what people say and see how people react in football stadiums, then you know that at the heart of society we still have serious problems we have to address."



barometer: 名詞,原為氣壓計、晴雨表,引申為可用來顯示或衡量情勢發展狀況的指標,如This survey is considered to be a reliable barometer of public opinion.(這項調查被視為是評估民意的可靠指標。)

tip of the iceberg:片語,冰山一角,These small local protests are just the tip of the iceberg.(這些小型的地方性示威只不過是冰山的一角。)

out of tune:片語,原指(音樂上)走了調,引申為指與某人或某事格格不入、不搭調,如Your ideas are out of tune with company policy.(你的想法與公司政策格格不入。)


New technology could instantly wake shut-down laptops 新科技能即刻喚醒關機筆電


Researchers have developed a technology that could allow laptops to wake up instantly from a shut-down state without draining battery life the way sleep states do.


University researchers have built ferroelectric material -- commonly found on smartcards -- on silicon, which could allow certain transistors to retain information after power is shut off. Scientists from Pennsylvania State University, Cornell University and Northwestern University are involved in the research.


The new findings could save users time by instantly booting laptops to their state when they were shut down. For example, a transistor in the laptop will be able to retain the state of a Word document on shutdown, and instantly reload the same state on reboot.


Quick-boot capabilities are enabled in laptops and most mobile devices, but many are unable to recreate shutdown states. Laptops usually never reboot back to their shutdown state, unless they are in sleep mode, which drains battery power. In essence, ferroelectric materials could wake up laptops from sleep mode, but without drawing any battery power.



drain: 動詞,(土地)排水,(資源等)逐漸枯竭。drain也可當名詞,brain drain字面意思是腦力枯竭,也就是指「人才外流」。 例句:The nation’s economic downturn may help reverse ’brain drain’ in W.Va.(美國的經濟衰退或許能逆轉西維吉尼亞州人才外流的情況。)

retain︰動詞,保有;留住;記住。例句:She retains an appearance of youth. (她保有年輕的外貌。)

in essence:片語,在本質上;大體上。名詞essence是指本質、要素。例句:The essence of language is communication. (語言的本質是溝通。)


Burger King to scrap ad after complaint 接獲抱怨 漢堡王要撤廣告


Fast food giant Burger King apologized for an advertisement featuring a squat Mexican draped in his country’s flag next to a tall American cowboy and said it would change the campaign.


Mexico’s ambassador to Spain said posters released in Europe for Burger King’s new Tex-Mex style "Texican whopper," a cheeseburger with chile and spicy mayonnaise, inappropriately displayed the Mexican flag, whose image is protected under national law.


The ambassador wrote a letter complaining to Burger King and requested the ad campaign be discontinued.


Burger King said the ads were meant to show a mixture of influences from the southwestern United States and Mexico, not to poke fun at Mexican culture, but said it would replace them "as soon as commercially possible."


A TV version of the ad shows the strapping cowboy and the pint-sized Mexican wrestler -- nicknamed "Just a Little Bit" -- living together as roommates. At one point, the American lifts up the Mexican to help him put a trophy on a high shelf.



squat:動詞/名詞,蹲;蹲踞;形容詞,蹲坐的,矮胖的。例句:I really hate squat toilets; I got bad knees.(我真的很討厭蹲式馬桶;我膝蓋不好。)


trophy:名詞,獎盃。trophy wife,獎盃老婆,專指事業有成的男人所娶的性感老婆,藉此來炫耀其個人成就。獎盃老婆通常非該男子的首任老婆,也與其成就無關。


’Ill’ worker fired over Facebook 「生病的」員工因為上Facebook被炒魷魚


A Swiss woman has lost her job after her employers spotted she was using the Facebook website when she had claimed to be too ill to use a computer.


The unnamed woman was suffering a migraine and had told her employer, she needed to lie in a darkened room.


The company said its discovery that she was also using Facebook destroyed its trust in her and prompted her sacking.


But the woman told a Swiss newspaper she was innocent. The woman said she had been accessing the internet on her iPhone while in bed.


She said she did not believe the company’s assertion that a colleague had inadvertently noticed her using Facebook, accusing it instead of spying on her.


She said the company had created a fictitious Facebook persona which become "friends" with her, allowing the company to monitor her online activity.


But the company says it followed a simple logic: that those who are well enough to use Facebook with a migraine are well enough to work with a migraine.



sack:動詞,解僱。例句:They sacked her for being late.(他們因為遲到解僱她。)

inadvertent:形容詞,不經意的。例句:All authors need to be wary of inadvertent copying of other people’s ideas.(作者必須小心,以免不經意抄襲他人的點子。)

persona: 名詞,人物,角色。例句:He had a shy, retiring side to his personality that was completely at odds with his public persona.(他性格有害羞靦腆的一面,與他的公眾形象完全不同。)


Afghanistan’s only pig locked up: official 官員說︰阿富汗唯一的豬被關禁閉

◎ 魏國金

Afghanistan’s only known pig has been taken off display at Kabul Zoo and locked away to avoid panic among visitors who may be worried about swine flu, the zoo’s director said.


"We put the pig temporarily in his winter house under quarantine because of swine influenza," director Aziz Gul Saqib told AFP.


He said he had sent e-mails to other international zoos to find out if they had also put their pigs in quarantine because of health fears.


The WHO has officially backed away from calling the illness swine flu, going instead for influenza A (H1N1) to dispel the impression that it can be caught from eating pork products or through contact with pigs.


There have been no confirmed cases of swine influenza in Afghanistan and the country does not have any direct flights with nations affected.


The interned animal was one of two given to Afghanistan by China in 2002, months after the ouster of the hardline Taliban regime, to help reestablish the zoo after it was destroyed during civil war.


However, the other pig -- and their offspring -- were killed in an attack by a bear. Despite being the only pig, it was not too lonely, Saqib said. "The pig made friends with a goat and was happy sticking to the goat in the enclosure," Saqib said.



quarantine︰可當動詞與名詞,指隔離、(使乘客)接受檢疫。例句︰He was quarantined for three weeks when he had scarlet fever.(他患猩紅熱時被隔離了3週。)

back away︰退卻、退縮。例如,back away from one’s principles(背棄原則。)

stick to︰在此有緊隨、依附之意。例句︰Stick to me and you won’t get lost.(緊跟我,你就不會迷路了。)


Masked Mexican thieves cash in on new H1N1 flu 墨西哥蒙面賊利用H1N1新型流感


Masked Mexican thieves cash in on new H1N1 flu


Three armed thieves in Mexico City hid their faces while robbing watches from a department store by wearing the blue surgical masks which are now ubiquitous in the new flu-hit city.


Employees and security guards at a branch of the Sanborns department store told the daily Excelsior newspaper that the thieves were able to slip through the shop on Sunday without attracting attention, as they blended into a sea of masked shoppers.


One of the robbers threatened store assistants with a gun while another guarded the door and the third helped himself to watches from the jewelry department.


Banks in the Mexican capital have been forced to abandon normal rules over not letting in customers wearing face coverings.


Faced with the new flu outbreak, which has triggered a major global health scare, the government took emergency measures over the weekend and advised residents in the crowded city to wear face masks at all times outside their homes.



cash in on:片語,利用、從~中撈到好處。例句:Let’s cash in on the fine weather and go out.(讓我們利用好天氣出去玩吧。)

ubiquitous:形容詞,普遍存在的、無所不在的。例句:Bluetooth technology becomes more ubiquitous in markets around the world.(藍芽技術在全球市場上變得更無所不在。)

help oneself to:片語,隨意拿取、偷取。例句:They broke into the shop and helped themselves to the stock.(他們破門而入,隨意竊取店內貨品。)


In China, Knockoff Cellphones Are a Hit 山寨機在中國熱賣


The phone’s sleek lines and touch-screen keyboard are unmistakably familiar. So is the logo on the back. But a sales clerk at a sprawling electronic goods market in the Chinese coastal city SHENZHEN admits what is clear upon closer inspection:this is not the Apple iPhone; this is the Hi-Phone.


“But it’s just as good,” the clerk says.


Nearby, dozens of other vendors are selling counterfeit Nokia, Motorola and Samsung phones — as well as cheap look-alikes that make no bones about being knockoffs.


Technological advances have allowed hundreds of small Chinese companies to churn out what are known here as shanzhai cellphones, often for as little as $20 apiece.


Although shanzhai phones have only been around a few years, they already account for more than 20 percent of sales in China, which is the world’s biggest mobile phone market, according to the research firm Gartner.



knockoff: 名詞,(名牌、高價品)的低價翻製、仿製品。例句:Can you tell me how to determine the Hermes Birkin is authentic or just a cheap knockoff?(你能告訴我如何分辨這個愛瑪仕柏金包是正牌還是只是便宜的仿製品?)

make no bones about:片語,直截了當、毫不掩飾的。例句:He makes no bones about his dissatisfaction with the food of the restaurant.(他毫不掩飾對這家餐廳菜色的不滿意。)

churn out:片語,大量生產出某物。例句:Our factories are ready to churn out the bag by thousands a day.(我們的工廠準備以一天數千件的數量大量生產這款包包。)


Ashton Kutcher wins Twitter battle with CNN 影星艾希頓庫奇在Twitter打敗CNN


For now, Ashton Kutcher is the king of Twitter. But there is a new challenger — Oprah.


Kutcher triumphed over CNN in their much ballyhooed race to be the first to reach a million followers on the microblogging Web site. Kutcher surpassed that benchmark recently, narrowly edging out the breaking news feed from CNN.


Kutcher had long trailed CNN, but he staged a rally in recent days that captured the attention of the Web. The million mark race was taken by many as a symbol of huge upswing of Twitter’s popularity.


In recent months, the site has increased exponentially in visitors. The search engine Yahoo said that searches for Twitter over the past four months increased more than 5,559 percent over the same time last year.


Among the many new users to join was Oprah Winfrey, whose entry caused ripples across Twitter. She gained more than 130,000 followers in less than a day, suggesting Winfrey — so successful in television, magazines, books and other media — would thrive on yet another platform.



ballyhoo:(口語用法)動詞,指大吹大擂地宣揚,如The ads ballyhooed the movie’s virtues.(廣告大肆宣揚那部影片的優點。)

edge out:指險勝、擠出去、取代,如Foreign car manufacturers are edging domestic companies out of the markets.(外國車廠正逐漸把本國車廠擠出市場外。)

upswing:名詞,指向上擺動、高漲、增加或改善。如Many analysts are predicting an upswing in the economy.(許多分析家都預測經濟即將回升。)


Apple’s iPod Touch is latest US military weapon 蘋果iPod Touch成了美軍最新武器


Apple’s iPod Touch is the latest piece of kit for members of the US military that is proving to be a valuable tool in Iraq and Afghanistan.

蘋果公司的iPod Touch在伊拉克與阿富汗現正證明是一種珍貴工具,也是美軍成員最新裝備。

Soldiers need little training with the relatively low-cost consumer device, which can run useful applications in operational areas, according to Newsweek.


The iPod Touch enables soldiers to connect with other soldiers as well as intelligence resources such as aerial images for reconnaissance and translation software.

iPod Touch能夠讓士兵與其他士兵聯繫,並連結到諸如空照圖及翻譯軟體等情報資源。

Soldiers can use iPod Touch apps to translate spoken and written Arabic, Kurdish and two Afghan languages, add translated phases to maps and images, and show video messages to villagers.

士兵可以利用iPod Touch的應用程式翻譯阿拉伯語、庫德語及


Another app enables solders to take a photo of a street sign and then get information on local areas such as water supplies and sympathisers.


New applications are constantly being added to the iPod Touch arsenal, such as a secure web browsing tool that prevents users from visiting websites that may contain malware.

iPod Touch的新應用程式不斷增加中,像是一種安全網路瀏覽工具,能讓使用者避免造訪可能藏有惡意程式軟體的網站。


kit:名詞,成套工具;(士兵的)個人裝備。例句:They marched twenty miles in full kit. (他們帶著全副裝備行軍20英里。)

aerial:形容詞,大氣的、高聳的、飛行的。例句:Aerial shows thrill kids.(小朋友超愛航空展。)

malware: 指的是「malicious software」,又稱為惡意程式、流氓軟體或黑心軟體。spyware則是「間諜程式」,另外ransomware(贖金軟體)則是一種新形態的惡意 軟體,它會加密綁架受害電腦上的重要檔案,威脅受害者付出贖金以取回原有的檔案。


No he can’t! Arizona college snubs Obama 不,他不行!亞利桑納州的大學冷落歐巴瑪


Arizona State University has snubbed President Barack Obama by declining to give him an honorary degree when he addresses students at a graduation ceremony there, it was reported.


In a break with tradition that has sparked howls of protest, the college has said it will not honor Obama on the grounds that America’s first black president has an insufficient "body of work."


US universities invariably bestow honorary degrees upon speakers invited to give commencement addresses for graduates.


However an ASU spokeswoman was quoted in several reports as saying Obama had done nothing to deserve the honor, despite being elected the first African-American president and publishing two best-selling books.


Obama will be receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame when he delivers their commencement address on May 17.


"Perhaps Notre Dame has a better understanding of what Obama already has accomplished simply by reaching our nation’s pinnacle of political power and public service," the East Valley Tribune said.



snub:動詞/名詞,冷落,怠慢。例句:He snubbed me by ignoring my request.(他漠視我的要求,冷落怠慢了我。)


commencement:名詞,開始,發端。commencement ceremony,畢業典禮;commencement address,畢業典禮致詞。


Female hairiness health warning 女性毛髮過多可能為健康警訊


Excessive hairiness in women is not just a cosmetic problem but is likely to be a sign of an underlying medical condition, say UK doctors in a report.


Five to 15% of women have excess hair, and a hormone disorder is the most likely cause in many cases, they said.


Women with the problem should not be afraid to seek medical advice, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists report urged.


Polycystic ovary syndrome(PCOS)is the cause in 70% to 80% of cases.


Report author, Dr Rebecca Swingler said the condition, known as hirsutism, is distressing and can be particularly upsetting for young women.


In addition to PCOS, rarer causes of excessive hairiness include certain tumours and thyroid dysfunction, as well as the use of certain drugs.



excessive:形容詞,指過量的。例句:Excessive exercise can sometimes cause health problems.(有時候過度運動可能造成健康問題。)

underlying:形容詞,潛在的。例句:A woman who had chronic underlying health conditions died earlier this week.(一名有潛在慢性疾病的女性本週稍早過世。)

upsetting:形容詞,讓人難過的。例句:Seeing her again would be an upsetting experience after so many years.(這麼多年後再看到她會讓人難過。)


Berlusconi says he world’s most popular leader 貝魯斯孔尼自稱是全世界最受歡迎的領袖

◎ 魏國金

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has compared himself to Jesus Christ and Napoleon, boasted that he was the world’s most popular leader.


The conservative premier said opinion poll findings in his possession showed his popularity at just over 75 percent, making him far more popular than U.S. President Barack Obama -- or any other head of government.


"The opinion polls I know say that he (Obama) is at 59 percent. Only (Brazilian President Luiz Inacio) Lula tops 60 percent -- he is at 64 percent. So mine is a record high," he said.


On his way out of the concert hall, the 72-year-old Berlusconi -- who has proclaimed himself the Jesus Christ of Italian politics and once said he was second only to Napoleon-- was heckled by protesters who shouted "Go Away!."


A poll published in March by left-leaning La Repubblica daily said support for Berlusconi stood at 56 percent and had risen in April for the first time since October thanks to his hands-on response to a deadly earthquake.



second only to︰僅次於。例句︰Radon is second only to cigarette smoking in causing lung cancer.(氡氣引發肺癌的機率僅次於抽菸。)

heckle︰刁難、強烈質問、使難堪。比如︰heckle the performers with shouts(對表演者吼叫起鬨。)

hands-on︰親自參與、親身實踐。比如︰a hands-on mayor(事必躬親的市長);反義辭為hands-off(不插手、不干預),比如 a hands-off governor(不管事的首長。)


Parking fine tossed due to sign goof 因標示不清而免繳違停罰款


A British city could be forced to repay drivers for parking fines after a ticketed man pointed out that a bus lane sign lacked the word "only".


Derek Brocklehurst successfully argued to have the Manchester City Council toss a $43 ticket for parking in the bus lane after he pointed out that the sign allowing buses, bicycles and black cabs to use the lane did not include the word "only," the Daily Mail reported Monday.


Brocklehurst said he has helped 20 people escape similar fines for parking in the same area before the sign was corrected in March, and he is urging anyone else fined during the erroneous sign’s tenure to come forward and demand their money back.


"I have helped a number of other drivers do the same thing, and have printed off a standard letter available to anyone else who got a notice of fine before the sign was changed, to challenge it," he said.



point out:片語,指出、指明。例句:The tour guide pointed out the best-known paintings in the gallery.(導遊指出畫廊裡幾幅最著名的畫。)

come forward:片語,站出來、主動爭取。例句:Only one witness of the car accident has come forward. (這起車禍只有一人出面作證。)

print off:片語,複印(書或文章)。例句:How many copies do you want printed off?(你想要複印多少份?)


Kenya women to sex-starve men into political breakthrough 肯亞女人發動性罷工以突破政治僵局


Women’s activist groups in Kenya have called for a seven-day sex ban on the country’s men in an attempt to shock the political class into overcoming bitter feuds and working together.


"This is a national boycott to show that the women of this country have resolved to push for reforms," Rukia Subow of the Kenyan women’s organisation Maendeleo ya Wanawake(The Women’s Development Organization) said.


The activists argued that the country’s egocentric male leaders should have no time for matters of the flesh when the east African nation is ensnared in economic and political trouble.


The organisation even said it would pay prostitutes to join the strike.


Subow urged the wives of quarreling coalition partners President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to support the movement. The premier’s wife, Ida Odinga, said she supported the strike body and soul.


Patricia Nyaudi, executive director of the Federation of Women Lawyers, argued the initiative was more than just a media stunt and was aimed at promoting a stronger sense of sacrifice.



egocentric:形容詞,自我為中心的,自私、自大的。例句:He’s so egocentric that he never once considered other people’s feelings.(他自私到從沒考慮過別人的感覺。)

ensnare:動詞,使陷入某種負面或非法處境。例句:The young mayor is ensnared in sex scandal.(這名年輕市長陷入性醜聞。)

media stunt:名詞,刻意安排的動作以吸引媒體注意。例句:Some Hollywood celebraties are skilled in various type of media stunt.(有些好萊塢名人很擅長用各種方式博版面。)


Hallelujah or Highway to Hell? Songs to die for 哈里路亞還是通往地獄的公路?到死都想聽的歌


Frank Sinatra’s "My Way" is the most popular song played at funeral services, but other more arresting death-bed choices were revealed in a poll published in Britain.

法蘭克.辛那屈的名曲「My Way」是喪禮上最常放的流行歌曲,但根據英國最近公布的一項民調顯示,還有其他更驚人的臨終選擇。

Australian rockers AC/DC’s "Highway to Hell" has stormed into the funereal charts along with Queen’s "Another One Bites The Dust," while Leonard Cohen’s "Hallelujah" has a new lease of life after its recent success on a talent show.


For classical music fans, Schubert’s "Ave Maria," Puccini’s "Nessun Dorma" and Bach’s "Air On A G String" are among the most chosen pieces to comfort their loved ones as they pay final farewells.


While hymns and classics may have been traditional favourites, pop songs now account for more than half of the music chosen as people’s final soundtrack, according to the poll of over 30,000 funerals.



arresting:形容詞,指引人注意的,醒目的,如an arresting looking woman(一名外型引人注意的女子)。

bite the dust:俚語,指死亡,尤指陣亡,或指失敗、結束,如The soldier was too young to bite the dust.(這名士兵年紀輕輕、根本不該死去。)或His career bit the dust when he lost his job.(當他失去工作時,他的事業也跟著完蛋了。)

a new lease of life(英式)/a new lease on life(美式):指(讓某人)在疾病或悲傷後重新感到快樂或健康、重獲新生,如His grandchildren have given him a new lease of life.(他的孫子們讓他感到重獲新生。)或指改造老舊的東西,使其煥然一新,如I’ve had that blue sofa re-covered and it’s really given it a new lease of life.(我把那張藍沙發拿去重新換面,現在它看起來就像新的一樣。)


Australia union warns of nanotech health risks 澳洲工會警告奈米科技可能帶來健康風險

Advanced nano technologies could bring with them a human health catastrophe to rival past use of cancer-linked asbestos, Australia’s top union group said on Tuesday.


The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) said there was little protection for workers exposed to so-called nanotech.


"Remember when asbestos was introduced, it was considered to be a miracle product, and it wasn’t until many years later that we found the devastating effect it had," ACTU Assistant Secretary Geoff Fary told state radio.


Asbestos fibres, resistant to heat, fire and chemicals, were widely used in construction and insulation before being linked to asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma and other cancers.


Nano-scale technologies, 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, are now used in hundreds of ordinary items from car fuel lines, bed sheets and cosmetics.


The unions called for Australia’s centre-left government to begin a register of companies using nanotechnology, while introducing new safety tests and product labelling for consumers and workers using nanotech products.



catastrophe:名詞,大災難;大禍。例句:The catastrophe of a tragedy usually brings death or ruin to the leading character.(悲劇的結局常常是主角死亡或毀滅。)

rival:動詞,與……匹敵;比得上。例句:He soon rivaled the others in skill. (他在技術上不久便與其他人並駕齊驅。)



Pizza-making machine has chefs in a spin 披薩製造機讓大廚憂慮


A vending machine that bakes fresh pizza in minutes for a few euros has got Italian chefs in a whirl before it hits the streets in the coming weeks.


The bright-red "Let’s Pizza" machine uses infra-red rays and technology developed at the University of Bologna to knead flour and water into dough, spread it with tomato sauce and a choice of topping, and cook it -- all in less than three minutes.


Its developer, Claudio Torghele, says the machine has proved popular in trials in two Italian regions, but gourmets say it is an affront to traditional methods of cooking the classic dish.


"This is not just a vending machine, it’s a mini-pizzeria," said Torghele, 56. "It has windows where you can watch the pizza-making process. Kids, including my own, love it: when the machine is working, there’s always a crowd."



in a spin:片語,非常焦慮與困惑。例句:He’s in a spin over the arrangements for the meeting.(他對會議的安排感到焦慮困惑。)

in a whirl:片語,陷入混亂。例句:The naughty girl got her mother in a whirl.(那個淘氣的女孩把她媽媽搞得暈頭轉向。)

topping:名詞,鋪覆在食物上的醬汁、糖霜或佐料。pizza topping,鋪在披薩上的餡料。