US capital’s arbor ardor unabated despite outage outrage 儘管發生大停電,美國首都對樹木的熱情絲毫不減

 Power utilities and regulators alike blame downed trees as the main culprit for recent power outages across the U.S. capital region, but the area’s love affair with a green canopy shows no signs of abating.


 Washington has a long history of tree lovers. It includes former presidents such as George Washington, despite the legendary story about him chopping down a cherry tree, and Thomas Jefferson, who ordered poplars planted on Pennsylvania Avenue between the Capitol Building and the White House. Arboreal fervor went into overdrive in the 1870s when Alexander "Boss" Shepherd, who served as Washington’s leader, ordered the planting of 60,000 trees.


 These days even as extreme storms in both summer and winter knock down trees contributing to power outages that last several days, residents say keeping large trees is a price worth paying.


 Trees are certainly not the only cause of power outages and they are not the only reason why it takes the region so long to get power restored.


 Regulators will study the causes of this outage. But Paula Carmody, who represents consumers as the People’s Counsel for Maryland, said utilities have long tried to make trees take the fall for the power woes. "The utility companies try to blame the victim and that just doesn’t work." (Reuters)


 新聞辭典 love affair:名詞,指對某事抱有極高的熱忱,例句:Her love affair with ballet began when she was ten.(她自10歲起就深深愛上芭蕾。) go into overdrive:overdrive指汽車的加速檔,本文中指開始加倍努力、認真工作,或以激動的方式開始做某事,例句:With her exams only two weeks away, she’s gone into overdrive and is studying ten hours a day.(距離考試只有2週時間,她開始加倍認真,每天讀書10小時。) take the fall(for sb/sth):片語,指替人承擔責任,為某事負責,例句:The team’s general manager takes the fall when the team loses but gets a lot of credit when they do well.(當球隊輸球時,經理必須負起責任,但當球隊贏球時,經理也會獲得許多讚賞。)


Made in Israel? Not a simple question 以色列製造?問題沒這麼簡單

For decades, Israel has marketed an array of cosmetics and food products manufactured in the occupied West Bank as "Made in Israel," blurring their true origins in Jewish settlements opposed by virtually the entire international community. 數十年來,以色列一直把在以色列佔領下約旦河西岸所製造的各種化妝品與食物標示為「以色列製造」來行銷,刻意模糊了這些商品的真正來源是猶太屯墾區,而幾乎整個國際社會都反對屯墾區存在。 Now that practice is being challenged with demands that products made in the settlements be labeled accordingly. 現在這種作法正遭到挑戰,以色列被要求應將這些在屯墾區所製造的商品如實標示。 Recent criticism, coming most prominently from South Africa, is putting Israel in a bind over the muddle it has created in the West Bank:Despite 45 years of control and a massive and costly effort to settle it with Jews, Israel has never annexed the territory – and the Palestinians claim it for a future state. 近來的批評聲浪,其中最主要來自南非,讓以色列陷入它自己在約旦河西岸所製造的窘境中:儘管以色列控制西岸長達45年,並投下鉅資推動猶太人大規模前往西岸屯墾,以色列從未正式併吞這塊土地,而巴勒斯坦人則要求在此建立未來的國家。 Several weeks ago, South Africa issued a notice saying it wants to require merchants "not to incorrectly label products that originate from the Occupied Palestinian Territory as products of Israel." It said consumers should not be "misled" that the products originated in Israel. 數週前,南非發布一項公告表示將要求商人「不要誤把源自被佔領巴勒斯坦領土的產品標示為以色列產品。」南非政府表示,消費者不該被「誤導」認為這些產品來自以色列。 The notice did not specify what the label should say, saying "the burden for proving where the products originate will lie with traders." 公告中並未詳述標示上該如何說明,只說「證明產品來源的責任將由商人自行承擔。」 South Africa is not a major market for Israel. Nonetheless, the voice of the South African government could be a symbolic boost to the Palestinians, given the country’s history of overcoming apartheid and its leading role in the developing world.(AP) 南非並非以色列的重要市場。然而南非政府的聲音對巴勒斯坦人卻可能是一種象徵性的鼓勵,因為南非過去曾克服了種族隔離政策,並在開發中世界扮演著重要角色。(美聯社) 新聞辭典 settlement:名詞,指殖民、定居,或殖民地、新拓居地等,如Many Native Americans were killed during the settlement of the American West by Europeans in the nineteenth century.(歐洲人於十九世紀前往美國西部拓荒期間,有許多美洲原住民遭到殺害。) in a bind:片語,指陷入困境或尷尬處境,如Borrowing money may put you in a real bind.(借錢可能讓你陷入困境。) lie with:動詞片語,指由某人或某事決定、負責,如Responsibility for the disaster must ultimately lie with the government.(這場災難的責任最終必須由政府來擔負。)


Jerusalem doggie DNA database to trace poo offenders 耶路撒冷狗狗DNA資料庫追蹤狗屎違規者

The Jerusalem municipality is planning to compile a DNA database for dogs in the Holy City in a bid to combat the problem of dog poo by tracing droppings back to the offending pooch.
In a statement, the municipality said it would first be collecting saliva samples from dogs in the city before inputting them into a citywide database.
"The municipality pilot project calls for establishment of a database of dog DNA to allow us to reduce the soiling of pavements, parks and public spaces," the statement said.
Once the DNA database has been compiled, the city will conduct testing to see whether the samples can be effectively matched to dog droppings found around the city.
Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz said the municipality hoped to get saliva samples from around 70 to 80 percent of the 11,000 dogs registered in Jerusalem.
Once the database is that complete, the programme will begin trying to match droppings to the offending canine, charging each pooch’s owner a fine of 750 shekels. (AFP)

in a bid to:片語,為了,試圖。例句:She tried acupuncture in a bid to lose some weight.(她為了減重嘗試針灸。)
trace back:片語,追溯。例句:He has never traced back his lineage, but believes his great-grandparents were from East Europe.(他從未追溯自己的家系,但深信他的曾祖父母來自東歐。)


App for leaving your virtual mark at physical places 讓你在實際地點留下虛擬記號的App

Imagine standing at the Eiffel Tower and being able to see messages and videos overlaid through your smartphone from all visitors who have come before you. A new app called Wallit combines augmented reality, a virtual view of the real world that can be extended with graphics and other content, with a social experience.
It allows users to post and view content at virtual walls in popular places, tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, stadiums and stores.
"Think of a virtual wall on the face of the Golden Gate Bridge from one end to the other where people can leave sentiments, photos, movies and even audio that are persistent at that location, even though the people who generate the content constantly keep changing," said Veysel Berk, the founder of Wallit.
The goal, he said, is to record a cumulative, human experience at a location that exhibits the character of a place over time.(Reuters)
physical:形容詞,實際的。例句:All physical objects occupy space.(所有實物都佔有空間。)
overlay:動詞,覆蓋,塗在上面。例句:The foundation of the house is built from rubble overlaid with concrete.(這間屋子的地基是以粗石覆蓋水泥建成。)
face:名詞,(物體的)正面。例:the north face of a mountain山的北面。


Left Party wants men to pee sitting down 左派黨要男人坐著尿尿

Men who work for the Sormland County Council in central Sweden should sit down rather than stand up when urinating in office toilets, according to a motion put forward by the local Left Party chapter.
The Left Party in Sormland is taking a stand to ensure men take a seat when emptying their bladders in the county council’s own toilets.
According to the party, there are two very important reasons for the proposal encouraging men to sit instead of stand when they urinate.
One reason has to do with hygiene and a desire to ensure that no one who uses the toilets at the county council’s offices will be required to walk through puddles or residue left by stray urine which happens to splash out of the bowl and onto the floor when male employees pee standing up.
The Left Party also cites medical research it claims shows that men empty their bladders more efficiently when they are seated.
The improved bladder evacuation not only reduces the risk for prostate problems, according to the party, but also helps men who sit rather than stand achieve a longer and healthier sex life, the local Folket newspaper reported.
As a first step in its quest to get men to take a seat, the Left Party proposes labeling toilets which are designated for men who absolutely want to remain standing when they pee.
take a stand:片語,表明、主張。例句:He takes a stand against our opinions.(他反對我們的意見。)
has to do with:片語,與…有關。例句:It has nothing to do with me.(這件事與我無關。)
residue: 名詞,殘餘、殘渣。例句:All chemicals, when applied to crops, animals, water or soil, will leave residues.(所有施用於農作物、動物、水或土壤的化學製品,都會留下殘餘。)






’Human barcode’ could make society more organized, but invades privacy, civil liberties 「人體條碼」可能使社會更有秩序,但侵犯隱私、公民自由

Would you barcode your baby?
Microchip implants have become standard practice for our pets, but have been a tougher sell when it comes to the idea of putting them in people.
Science fiction author Elizabeth Moon rekindled the debate on whether it’s a good idea to "barcode" infants at birth in an interview on a BBC radio program.
"I would insist on every individual having a unique ID permanently attached--a barcode if you will--an implanted chip to provide an easy, fast inexpensive way to identify individuals," she said on "The Forum" .
In her opinion, human barcoding would save a lot of time and money.
The proposal isn’t too far-fetched--it is already technically possible to "barcode" a human--but does it violate our rights to privacy?
"Once we let the government and businesses go down the road of nosing around in our lives...we’re going to quickly lose all our privacy," Stanley, senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Daily News.
rekindle:動詞,重新點燃,重新挑起。例句:His letter rekindled my memories of those good old days.(他的信重新喚起我那些往日美好時光的記憶。)
far-fetched:形容詞,牽強的、勉強的、不切實際的。例句:Your far-fetched excuses are not convincing.(你的牽強藉口說服不了人。)
nose around:動詞片語,查探、打聽,四處查看。例句:Police officers are nosing around in the neighborhood for clues.(警察正在這社區四處查探線索。)


London airport queues ’depend on wind’ 倫敦機場排隊人龍長短「要看風向」

Long waits to clear passport control at London Heathrow Airport can depend on which way the wind is blowing, Britain’s immigration minister said.
Delays at the world’s busiest airport for international passenger traffic have triggered a furore in Britain as the clock ticks down to the July 27 opening of the London Olympics, for which Heathrow will be the main gateway.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said passengers from New York might well have to wait longer to clear passport control if their flight arrives 10 minutes after one from Lagos in Nigeria, for example, rather than 10 minutes before.
"That will depend on the wind, over which, with the best will in the world, airlines and the Border Force don’t have the control," he told a parliamentary committee.
BAA, the airport’s owner and operator, said some passengers had to wait up to three hours to get through Heathrow Terminal 4 last month. Green said the queue lengths seen at some times of the day at Heathrow were "unacceptable".
British actress Joan Collins blasted Home Secretary Theresa May after being held up at Heathrow recently. "1000s waiting at passport control--listen up Ms. May--need more officers!" the 78-year-old former "Dynasty" star said on Twitter.
which way the wind is blowing:片語,指某事的可能發展態勢,例句:He quickly saw which way the wind was blowing and tried to comfort the worried parents.(他很快就看出事態走向,並試圖安慰憂心的家長們。)但本文中則指字面上意義,亦即風向。
with the best will in the world:片語,指即使已竭盡所能但仍可能無法做到某事,尤指無能為力的狀態,例句:With the best will in the world, if you don’t have a passport you can’t go.(就算有心,假如你沒有護照就無法成行。)
hold someone/something up:片語,指阻止、拖延某人或某事,例句:An accident on Main Street held up traffic for thirty minutes.(大街上發生的一場意外讓交通受阻了30分鐘。)


Online sharing, how much is too much? 網路分享,多少是太多?


Whether it is photos, personal status or unwanted comments, most Americans think people ’overshare’ personal information online and a third admit not everything they post is true.
A survey for Intel Corporation on mobile etiquette and digital sharing showed that 90 percent of Americans think too much is being divulged, and nearly half feel overwhelmed by all the data that is out there.
One in five of the 2,008 people questioned by Ipsos Observer for Intel admitted that some of what they post is false.
For many, sharing online with smartphones, laptops and tablets is easier than in person. A third of people admitted they were more comfortable with digital sharing than face to face, and a quarter said they had a different personality online.
The wealth of digital information can also be annoying.
Most US adults said they are vexed by people who complain constantly and similar numbers found posting inappropriate or explicit photos and private information bothersome.(Reuters)
divulge:動詞,洩漏;透露。例句:The soldier was shot for divulging the plans to the enemy.(這個士兵因向敵人洩漏計畫而被槍斃。)
in person:片語, 親自;親自出現地。例句:You should come here in person tomorrow. (明天你必須親自來。)
vex:動詞,使生氣;使痛苦。例句:His longevity vexed his heirs.(他的長命讓繼承人們感到惱火。)