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明星资讯腾讯娱乐2020年02月19日 04:15:49
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In physics, pressure depends on the amount of force acting on a surface and on the size of the surface.物理学上,压力大小取决于作用在表面力的大小和表面积大小。The smaller the surface, the greater the pressure.表面积越小,承受的力越大。Lets say that a woman steps on your toe; she weighs 120 pounds.假设一个重120磅的女人踩到你脚趾了。If shes wearing flat shoes, you would feel the force of 120 pounds sp out over the whole heel of the shoe, maybe around 4 square inches.如果她穿的是平底鞋,你会感到120磅的压力分散到鞋子的整个根部,大概4平方英寸。So the pressure would be 120 divided by 4, or 30 pounds per square inch.所以120磅的压力平均分为4份,或者每平方英寸30磅的力。But when she steps on you with a high heel, the whole 120 pounds of force is concentrated on a heel that is maybe one eighth of one square inch in area.但如果她穿的是高跟鞋,整个120磅的力集中在或许只有八分之一英寸大小的鞋跟上。Now the pressure of her step is eight times as much, or 240 pounds per square inch instead of 30 pounds per square inch.她踩下去的压力也是8倍之多,或者说240磅每平方英寸而不是30磅每平方英寸。Of course, it hurts more.当然,这更痛。It works the other way, too.同理,Spiked heels are painful to wear because your weight is all on the spike and the ball of the foot;穿细高跟鞋是痛苦的,因为你的重量全压在在细跟和脚趾球上。therefore, the pressure is much greater on these points than in running shoes, where your weight is sp out over the whole bottom of the foot.因此,压力在这些点上要比重量被分散在整个脚底的跑鞋大很多。 /201310/261769

Finance and economics财经商业Civil servants and austerity公务员与财政紧缩The times they arent a-changin不曾变革的时代Civil-service payrolls have held up surprisingly well一直以来,公务员的薪酬都出奇地好AFTER the party, the hangover.盛宴之后,宿醉来临。When debt-fuelled economic growth came to a crashing halt in the financial crisis of 2008, governments across much of the rich world sought to cut spending.在2008年的经济危机中,由债务推动的经济增长模式彻底崩溃,随后许多富裕经济体政府则力图缩减开。One obvious target was the states payroll.而其中一个明显的着手点便是公务员薪酬出。Leviathans minions are certainly costly.利维坦仆从们的耗费当然不菲。In the European Union public-sector wages and salaries take up about 10% of GDP.在欧盟国家当中,公共部门的薪水出大约占国民总收入的10%。The Initiative for Policy Dialogue, based at Columbia University, reckons that since 2010 almost 100 governments have set out plans to cut their payrolls.据哥伦比亚大学的政策对话倡议组织估计,自2010年以来,已有接近100个政府着手削减他们的公务员薪酬开。Some cuts may be savage.一些裁员计划或许能用残忍来形容。The headcount in many British government departments may fall by as much as 40% by 2019 from current levels, says a recent report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, a think-tank.近期一篇来自英国政府智囊团财政研究院的报告表明,英国许多政府部门将于在2019年之前裁减目前总数40%的员工。Relative to its 2012 level Italy plans to jettison 20% of public-administration managers by 2016.而意大利政府则计划于2016年之前裁减相当于2012年总量20%的公务员。However, aggregated data on public-sector headcounts offer some surprises.然而,公共部门员工的统计数据却有些出人意料。Whereas Britains public-sector workforce has aly contracted by 8% since 2007, in Germany and France the number has increased.自2007年起英国政府公务员人数已缩减了8%,与此相反的是德国与法国方面却在增加。More intriguing still is what has happened to compensation costs—the amount governments pay bureaucrats in wages and salaries, but not pensions.更耐人寻味的是官僚薪酬待遇变化情况,而不是津贴方面的问题。Of the 30 countries in a Eurostat database, half are spending more after inflation on public employees than they were in 2007, even in cases where headcount has fallen.据欧盟统计局的资料显示,有半数国家公务员薪酬开与2007年的水平相比有所提升。The euro zone as a whole spends only 1.7% less on government wages than it did six years ago.其中部分国家甚至已经着手削减了其公务员规模。以欧元区国家作为整体来统计,其公务员薪酬开仅比6年前减少了1.7%。Belgium spends 10% more, Luxembourg 24%.与此同时,比利时政府反而增加了10%,卢森堡增加了24%。And since 2007, 21 countries, including Cyprus, Italy and France, have not cut the proportion of GDP that they devote to public servants wages.自2007年以来,有21个国家仍未削减公务员薪酬,这其中包括塞浦路斯、意大利和法国。Finding explanations for dearer public payslips is tricky.要为日益高昂的政府工资单找理由,不是一件容易的事情。One reason might be wage drift—the automatic increases in salaries that can occur as civil servants are granted annual promotions in seniority, simply for having been in their jobs for another year.其中一个原因或许可以总结为工资浮动—这一机制确保了公务员薪酬随着职位的逐年提升而增加,而职位的提升往往并不需要什么理由,仅仅在自己的岗位上又待了一年的公务员便可获得提升。In 2012, for example, more than 600,000 staff from Britains National Health Service received rises averaging 3.5%, despite a pay freeze.例如,除了一次薪金冻结之外,英国国家医疗卫生务系统超过60万名员工,在2012年得到了平均3.5%的薪金涨幅。In 2010 Barack Obama also decided to freeze government pay, yet the median salary for federal employees climbed by over ,000 during the following two years.在2010年,美国总统奥巴马虽然同样地实施了薪金冻结,然而在其后的两年内,公务员薪酬中位数则突破了3000美元的大关。Wage drift could outweigh the effect of reduced headcount, which is likely to be concentrated in the lower echelons of the civil service.工资浮动机制的影响,可能远比裁减人员的作用更大,而这是由于政府的裁员计划主要面向低层公务员。Another possibility, suggests Alberto Alesina of Harvard University, is that governments simply failed to implement planned spending cuts.哈佛大学的艾尔波托?艾莱斯那表示还有另一种可能:简单地说,那就是政府没有去执行早已制定好的开削减计划。At the end of January Greeces highest administrative court ruled that pay reductions for the armed forces and emergency services were unconstitutional: the government now faces a heavy bill in back pay.在一月底,希腊最高行政法院宣布,政府对军队以及应急务部门的经费削减行为是违宪的:这意味着政府现在要面对的是堆积如山的欠薪账单。Portugals constitutional court also opposed the scrapping of Christmas bonuses for civil servants on similar grounds.同样地,葡萄牙宪法法庭也反对其政府取消相关部门公务员圣诞节奖金的计划。These data are worrisome.以上种种数据令人十分不安。The implicit trade-off of austerity was pain now, prosperity later.如今交由政府当局权衡的利弊是自己能否忍受开削减的痛苦,以换取将来的经济繁荣。Yet as growth in advanced economies picks up, many civil services seem no more streamlined than before.但随着发达国家经济增长复苏,许多公共务将愈发臃肿不堪。 /201403/279136

Company accounts公司账目Truthful top lines真实的头条New global rules aim to make it harder for firms to fib about their revenues新的国际规则致力于让公司收入造假变得更加艰难WHEN companies should recognise revenues on their books is one of the most contentious and consequential issues in the staid profession of accounting. For simple sales of goods the timing is usually straightforward, but in the areas of services and long-term contracts it gets murky fast. Companies may manipulate the “top line” of their accounts—their revenues—say, by booking sales they are not yet sure of (to boost their reported profits) or not booking sales that they are certain of.公司应当认识到其报表上所列载的收入项在有着固定准则的专业会计上是最容易引起争议以及一系列问题内容之一。就简单的商品销售而言,其时间的记录是简单的明了的,但是在务以及长期合同领域,记录的问题就变得模糊而复杂。公司有可能会巧妙的操纵他们账目上的“头条”—即收入—也就是说,将那些还未最终确定的订单以及那些他们肯定不会有的订单,列为收入项。In Britain the controversy surfaced again after HPs takeover of Autonomy in 2011. The American firm later took a big write-down on its purchase, blaming it in part on the British software firm having pumped up its reported revenues by counting expected subscription fees as current sales .在英国,在2011年惠普收购Autonomy之后,争议再一次的浮出水面。美国公司随后将收购的账面价值故意调低,指责英国的软件公司在一定程度上通过将预期的会员费用当成当期销售收入入账以达到通过虚增收入来美化其账目的目的。Revenue recognition is perhaps the biggest headache for investors trying to compare companies in different countries. The GAAP standard used in the ed States is Byzantine, with more than 100 different protocols for various permutations of transactions and industries, whereas the IFRS rules applied in most of the rest of the world offer only broad guidance.收入确认可能投资者试图比较公司不同的账目时最令他们头疼的事情。在美国,一般公认会计准则是拜占庭式的,这项准则针对各行各业的不同事物的之间的穿插交易制定了100多项的错综复杂的条款,与此同时世界其他地方所用的国际财务报告准则却仅仅是提供了广泛的直到。Following 12 years of consultation, on May 28th the boards that control the two accounting systems released a new joint standard they hope will put these issues to rest. Scheduled to take effect in 2017, it represents a neat middle ground, adopting the IFRSs principle of one size to fit all industries, but with GAAP-style clarity. It spells out how companies will have to break down sales contracts into their component obligations and allocate the total value among them, estimating the worth of any variable fees they expect, like performance bonuses. Firms will then recognise the revenue assigned to each individual element as it is completed.经过十二年的协商之后,在5月28日控制两个会计系统的委员会发布出了一个新的联合标准他们希望可以用来解决这些问题。这个标准计划将于2017年生效,它描绘了一个干净的中间地带,采纳了国际财务报告准则的统一标准来适应各行各业,但是会像一般公认会计原则那样清楚明了。它阐述了公司应当怎样将销售合同分解为义务的组成和并且如何将总值分配其间,如何预估他们所期望的各种可变费用诸如绩效奖金等费用的价值。公司也将承认这些已经完成的被分配到每个单元的收入。The biggest impact will be felt in industries that rely on bundled product-plus-service contracts, such as software and telecoms. In the 1990s Microsoft was accused of “cookie-jar accounting”, holding back revenue so as to recognise it during weak quarters, to smooth its reported earnings. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed an administrative action against the company that was later settled. Some rival software firms took the opposite approach, booking all the proceeds from sales immediately, even if they were required to offer support or upgrades in the future.这对于那些产品及务捆绑的行业而言影响似乎是最大的,例如软件以及电信行业。在二十世纪就是年代的时候微软公司曾因“饼干罐会计”而被指控,即隐藏收入以供于在收入较弱的季度确认来美化其账面上的收入。美国券交易委员会对于这些曾被行政裁定但最终都得以解决的公司留有底案。一些敌对的软件公司则选择了相反的途径,立即将所有的订单转化为收益,即使他们要在将来提供后续的持或者升级。Regulators responded by bringing in the highly prescriptive accounting standards that software firms rue to this day, which make it hard to offer customers tailored packages of discounts and upgrades without falling foul of the rules. The abolition of such industry-specific rules should give software firms more flexibility to negotiate contracts. Mobile-phone operators will henceforth book the stand-alone value of handsets upfront, even when they are providing these free as part of a bundled contract. Verizon, Americas largest mobile operator, estimates that under the new model its wireless divisions reported profit margin would have been six to nine percentage points higher in 2011.监管机构的反应是将高度规范的会计准则引入这个行业,这使得软件公司至今都追悔莫及,因为这使得公司很难裁定是否打包提供给客户的折扣以及升级是否有触犯规则。特定行业规则的废除能够给予软件公司最大的灵活性来谈判合同。电话运营商自此以后会将手机前期的预付费用入账为一部分独立的价值,即使当他们把这些作为免费的捆绑合同的一部分。威瑞森,美国最大的移动通信公司,估计到在新的模式下其无线业务的利润率的报告将会比2011年时高出六到九个百分点。For investors in America, the risk of switching from the rigid “rules-based” GAAP method to the IFRSs “principles-based” approach is that unscrupulous companies will enjoy more leeway to mislead them. The new system tries to compensate for this flexibility by beefing up disclosure requirements: footnotes to financial statements will have to give detailed information about sales arrangements, so that ers can assess any questionable judgment calls.对于在美国的投资者而言,从严格的以“规则为导向”的一般公认会计原则方法而转向国际财务报告准则的“原则为导向”的处理方法便是打开了风险的开关,并且这样做是不道德的,因为公司会有更多发挥的余地来用以误导投资者。新体制试图通过增强披露弥要求来补这种灵活性,财务报表附注必须披露销售安排的细节信息,以便于读者可以评估任何可疑的问题。The creation of a global rule on revenues is the biggest success yet in a decades-long effort to standardise company accounts worldwide. It may not prevent the next Enron, but it will make it easier for investors to judge companies, while helping multinationals cut compliance costs.全球收入会计准则的创立是经过数十年的努力将世界范围内的公司账目标准化的最大的成功。这并不能阻止下一个安然公司(财务作家),但这会使得投资者更加容易的评判一个公司,同时也有助于帮助跨国公司减少合规成本。 /201406/305945

  

  What do leaves and solar panels have in common?树叶和太阳能板有哪些共同之处呢?Both absorb sunlight and turn it into energy.它们都能吸收阳光并将之转换成能量。But while solar panels typically have smooth surfaces,leaves have tiny wrinkles and folds that allow for maximum light absorption.但是太阳能板的表面一般较为平整,而叶子表面有细小的纹理和褶皱,这些纹理和褶皱使树叶能够最大限度地吸收阳光。Recently, scientists took a cue from nature and engineered plastic solar panels with leaf likesurfaces.最近,科学家们受到大自然的启发,设计出一种与树叶表面结构类似的塑料太阳能板。Most flat surfaced solar panels absorb some light and turn about eighteen percent of itinto electricity.大多数表面平整的太阳能板在吸收阳光后仅能将其中的18%转化为电能。Panels with ridged surfaces can absorb more light by channeling light waves,thereby significantly increasing their efficiency at converting light into electricity.而有脊状表面的太阳能板可以通过引导光波来吸收更多的阳光,因此大大提高了光能转化为电能的效率。Besides making panels more efficient, ridged and wrinkled surfaces could allow solar panels to bemade out of bendable plastic instead of silicon.这种脊状、褶皱的表面不仅提高了太阳能板的效率,同时也使得可弯曲的塑料能够代替原本用于制作太阳能板的硅。Silicon is naturally better at absorbing light thanplastic, but its also more expensive and more brittle.硅从本质上来说吸收光的性能要比塑料好,但是其成本昂贵同时也易碎。Flexible plastic is cheaper and more durablebut typically not as good at absorbing light.柔韧的塑料相比之下更为便宜也更为耐用,但一般来讲吸收光的性能还是不太好。But with leaf like surfaces, solar panels made frombendable plastic may be able to absorb light just as effectively, if not more so, than regularpanels.但是有了这种叶状表面,用可弯曲的塑料制成的太阳能板能够像普通太阳能板一样吸收阳光,甚至要比普通太阳能板的效果还要好。Another benefit of the wrinkled surface technique is that its especially useful for increasingabsorption at the red end of the light spectrum, which has the longest wavelengths.褶皱表面的另一个好处就是它在显著提高太阳能板吸收光谱中波长最长的红光端的效率。Conventional solar panels typically absorb very little of red and infrared light.传统的太阳能板只能吸收少量红光和红外线。But the foldingtechnique increased absorption of this light by nearly 600 percent.但是这种褶皱的表面可以使吸收红光的效率提高近6倍。Plastic, leaf like solar panels are not yet y for widesp use.塑料、叶状的太阳能板目前还没有被广泛使用。But they could one day helprevolutionize the solar industry by allowing for thin, flexible panels used on windows, clothing, andmost flat surfaces.但是它们终有一天会掀起一场太阳能产业的变革,因为这种薄而柔韧的太阳能板可以应用到窗户、衣和多数的平整表面上。201403/279632。

  Its four A.M.早上四点,Youre tucked safely into a warm bed, savoring the last few hours of sleep before daybreak.你还躺在温暖的被窝里,享受着天亮前几个小时的睡眠时间。And then, suddenly…然而就在这时突然一阵声音惊扰了你的美梦…It must be time to wake up, roll out of bed, and tend to the farm.听到起床号了就得爬出被窝开始劳作。Except its four A.M.,但是现在才四点!its still dark out, and youre not a farmer.外面仍然漆黑一片,而且你又不是农民。Its that neighbor of yours, the one that for some unimaginable reason keeps a rooster as a pet.鸣叫的公鸡是隔壁家的,那个家伙不知道为什么养了只鸡当宠物。A rooster that flaunts the most basic rules of neighborhood etiquette by crowing every morning before sunrise. What gives?每天太阳升起前,公鸡都会仿佛问候邻居早安一样的打鸣。原因何在? 201312/268351

  Like a science fiction time traveler, an arctic plant of the late Pleistocene age, over thirty one thousand years old, is growing again after a long frozen sleep.犹如科幻小说里的时间旅行者,一种曾存活在更新世晚期的极地植物经过31000多年的冰封沉睡之后,再次得以生长。Narrow leafed campion (Silene stenophylla) is a small plant whose modern relatives are found in eastern Russia and northern Japan.窄叶剪秋萝(柳叶蝇子草)是一种小型植物,它们的现代近亲生活在俄罗斯东部与日本北部。Its a perennial species that grows on stony cliffs or sandy shores. Once a year, it produces five-petalled flowers that range in color from white to pink to lilac.它是一种多年生植被,生长在石崖或砂质海滨。它每年开花一次,花朵有五片花瓣,花色有白色,粉色,还有丁香紫色。Russian scientists examining an ancient arctic squirrel burrow recovered ancient campion fruits from the sediments.俄罗斯科学家在北极科考一处古代松鼠的洞穴时,在其沉淀物中获得了剪秋萝的果实。Curious to see if the fruits seeds might germinate, they planted them. The seeds didnt grow, but the scientists werent discouraged.出于好奇,科学家们想知道果实中的种子是否可以发芽,因此他们种下了种子。They knew an ancient sacred lotus dating back twelve hundred years had been restored. Why not the campion? They decided to try growing a new plant from fruit tissue.科学家们获悉有一株1200年前的古代圣莲获得新生,那剪秋萝为什么不可以呢?他们决定通过果实组织成分培育一株新植物。It had been frozen all those years, so some cells might be viable.果实已被冷冻多年,因此有部分细胞应该得以存活。By bathing the fruit tissue in a culture solution with growth hormones, similar to a technique commonly used to start plants from cuttings,将果实组织浸泡在含生长激素的营养液中(这种培育方式类似于植物的扦插),the scientists were able to restart cell division and get several plants to grow.科学家们能够重建细胞分裂,从而让许多植物得以生长。The plants not only flourished, they produced flowers. The flowers went on to produce fruit and seeds that were viable and germinated into a second generation of plants.这些剪秋萝不仅枝叶茂盛,而且开花结果,种籽继续发芽繁殖出下一代。The ancient campion was given a second chance at life.古老的剪秋萝重获生命。As the earth warms and more and more arctic permafrost melts, larger numbers of ancient plants will be exposed, giving us a chance to bring plants of the ancient past back to life.随着全球变暖,更多的极地冰川融化,会有更多的古代植物重见天日,这也给予了我们重新培植这些植物的机会。And who knows, one day we might resurrect a mammoth to eat them.也许有一天,我们能够让猛犸象复生成为我们的美餐,谁知道呢? /201306/243010Sit on a swing, let someone push you, and away you go.坐上秋千,身后一人使劲一推,你便飞了出去,翱翔半空。But what happens if the person who pushed you walks away, and you want to swing faster and higher.但要是再身后推你的人走开了,而你仍想秋千荡得更高更快,那该如何?If youve ever been in the second grade, you know the solution to that.这个问题,只要你上了二年级,就知道该怎么做。Just startpumping your legs-stretching them forward then drawing them up underneath you-and youcan make yourself swing higher.首先用以摇晃双腿,再向前伸展开来,最后将腿滑向身体之下,秋千就能荡得更高。Have you ever wondered why this is?但你是否想过这是什么原理?Swings work by converting potential energy into kinetic energy, then kinetic energy back intopotential energy, over and over again.秋千的工作原理是将势能转化为动能,然后又将动能再转化为势能,一遍遍的重复这个过程。The kinetic energy is the fast part of swinging; its the speed you have as you rush back and forth.动能是秋千快的一部分能量,表现为来回运动时的速度。Potential energy is the high part of swinging.势能存在于秋千荡的的高度之中。The higher you go on the swing, the more potential energy you have.秋千荡得越高,所获得的势能也就越大。Even though youre not moving at the very top of each swing, you can think of your height asyour potential for speed.即使在秋千的顶点你并没有运动,但你仍然可以将你的高度认为是潜在的速度。A physicist would say that your kinetic energy-that is, your speed-is“stored” as potential energy at the top of each swing.物理学家会告诉你,动能,也就是速度,储存在每次摆动顶端的势能里。More height is more speed, just waiting to happen.这就意味着,荡得越高,速度也就越快。You can increase the energy of your swing in two separate ways.以下两种方式都可以增加摇摆的能量。If someone pushes you, that increases your kinetic energy.要是有人在身后推你,那将增加动能。By pumping your legs, you can increase your potential energy.摇晃双腿的方式,增加的是势能。By raising your legs at the top ofeach swing, you can raise the overall center of mass of your body, effectively raising the height ofyour swing.当双腿达到每次摇摆的顶部,身体重心也提高,这就有效的提升了秋千高度。Pump after pump, the energy you burn in your legs increases your swings potential energy.不断的摇晃,双腿产生的能量将增加势能。That extra height will add up, giving you a wilder swing ride.由此,秋千会荡得更高,更精。 201407/311127

  Japan’s consumption tax日本的消费税Taxonomics税收经济学A crucial rise in a controversial levy may be in doubt提高富有争议的税收引来质疑Aug 3rd 2013 | TOKYO |From the print editionTHE Japanese are among the world’s most reluctant taxpayers. They reserve their deepest loathing for value-added tax (VAT). That may be because one of the inventors of VAT, Carl Shoup, an American economist, used them as guinea pigs for his new levy during the occupation after the second world war. Japan soon scrapped VAT, reintroducing a “consumption tax” only in 1989. This quickly became as hated as its foreign-imposed forerunner.日本人是世界上最不情愿的纳税人之一。他们对增值税恨之入骨。可能是因为增值税的发明者之一,美国经济学家Carl Shoup在二战之后用他们作为其新税收类型的小白鼠。日本很快废除了增值税,直到1989年重新引入了一种消费税。很快人们也烦透了这一税收。The gaijin are watching again as Japan struggles to raise the consumption tax for only the second time since its introduction. The IMF, the OECD (a Paris-based club of mainly rich countries) and local institutions all reckon a series of rises is the only way for Japan to control its gross public debt, approaching 250% of GDP.近日日本开始准备第二次提高消费税,这引来了外国人的再次关注。货币基金组织,经合组织和日本国内机构都认为日本控制国债的唯一方法就是提高税收。日本国债已达到GDP的250%之多。The Democratic Party of Japan, which won legislative backing for the hike last year, argued that without it Japan could soon go the way of Greece. Financial markets have counted on the tax rise going ahead despite a change of government since then. This week the authorities surprised them by saying they would set up a panel to examine whether to proceed as planned.日本的民主党在去年取得了增税的立法持。民主党表示若不增税,日本可能陷入希腊的境地。从那时起,尽管政府任职有所变动,金融市场一直指望着增税的到来。本周,政府宣布成立专家小组讨论是否增税,这让金融界大为震惊。The plan is to lift the levy from 5% to 8% next April and to 10% in 2015. That would bite just as Abenomics, a popular three-part plan to reflate the economy, designed by Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, is taking off. The first two stages, a radical monetary loosening by the Bank of Japan (BoJ) and a generous fiscal stimulus, were aimed at jolting consumers out of their deflationary mindset and inspiring firms to invest. But so far it is mainly the urban wealthy and big firms that are benefiting. A consumption-tax increase, on the other hand, would immediately lighten all pockets.日本计划明年四月将消费税从5%提高至8%,到2015年进一步提高到10%。由首相安倍晋三设计的安倍经济计划是一个三步走计划,意在重振日本经济,即将开始施行。增税会对安倍经济计划产生不良影响。前两步是通过日本激进的货币宽松政策和强劲的财政刺激,去除消费者通货紧缩的思维定势,激励企业投资。但是到目前为止,只有城市财富和大公司从中获利。另一方面,消费税的增加会立即使人们的财富减少。The fear is that a rise in revenues from the tax could be far outweighed by years of lost growth if consumers take fright. The only other consumption-tax rise, of 2% in 1997, was blamed for consigning Japan to a second lost decade, though this coincided with other events such as the Asian financial crisis. Without counting broader knock-on effects, says Robert Feldman of Morgan Stanley, the 3% rise scheduled for 2014 would reduce GDP by over 1%.最大的隐患是如若消费者产生恐慌心理,税收的收益会远低于经济增长放缓的损失。唯一的一次消费税增税出现在1997年,增加了2%,被指责使日本陷入了二次衰退。尽管这次衰退还有这其他诸如亚洲金融危机等的原因。根斯坦利的Robert Feldman表示,不算其带来的连锁效应,2014年增税3%会使GDP减少至少1%。An alternative could be to lift the tax more gradually. Koichi Hamada, an economist at Yale University who helped to design Abenomics, has said that the levy could be raised in increments of 1% over five years. Mr Abe’s panel will study this option, among others. As long as the tax is raised significantly in some way, says Naka Matsuzawa at Nomura Securities, the bond market would probably stay calm.另一种方法是更循序渐进的增税。耶鲁大学的经济学家Koichi Hamada参与设计了安倍经济计划。他表示增税可以在未来的五年增加1%。安倍先生的团队会研究这一策略。野村券的Naka Matsuzawa认为,如果增税,债券市场可能会保持冷静。Ditching the tax increase entirely remains unthinkable. Recent economic indicators, such as strong real annualised GDP growth of 4.1% in the first quarter, as well as a slightly improved jobs market, leave Mr Abe with little excuse but to go ahead. The BoJ this week added its voice to those pushing for a rise. And taxpayers may be more accepting than the politicians think. An unscientific straw poll by The Economist found that seven out of ten shoppers in Ginza, a high-end shopping district, were y for a tax increase, as narrowly preferable to a debt crisis.整个的放弃税收增长是不可想象的。最近的经济指标,诸如一季度强劲的真实年化GDP增长达到4.1%,还有人力市场状况的轻微回暖,这些都使得安倍政府必须接着干。本周,日本也宣布持增税。纳税人可能比政治家想的更容易接受增税。经济学人做的一份非学术民意调查发现,七成东京银座的消费者选择准备好了迎接受增税,而不是迎接债务危机。 /201308/251397Science and technology科学技术Astrochemistry天体化学The great test tube in the sky空中的大试管Space is one big chemistry set宇宙是一个很大的化学装置MOST people think of the empty space between the stars as being, well, empty.大多数人们认为星星之间就是空无一物,但事实并非如此。But it is not. It is actually filled with gas.实际上有气体弥散其中。Admittedly, at an average density of 100-1,000 molecules per cubic centimetre, it is a pretty thin gas.诚然,分子平均密度102-103/cm3的气体非常稀薄。But space is big, so altogether there is quite a lot of it.不过由于空间很广阔,气体分子总体数量是可观的。Most of it, about 92%, is hydrogen.大部分的气体是氢,另外8%是惰性气体氦。A further 8% is helium, which is chemically inert.还有一小部分由氧、碳、氮等其他元素构成的分子。But a tiny fraction—less than one-tenth of a percent—consists of molecules with other elements, such as oxygen, carbon and nitrogen, in them. Though these other elements are a mere soupon of the interstellar soup, they do give it real flavour.虽然这些元素仅仅是“星际浓汤”轻微的调料,但它们确实增添了汤的味道。Signs of life生命的迹象So far about 180 types of these molecular ingredients have been detected in space from their microwave spectra—the energy produced when molecules rotate around their chemical bonds.到目前为止,人们已经通过微波谱线探测出约180种分子成分。分子绕其化学键旋转时,分子能级会发生改变,从而产生微波谱线。There are two reasons for wanting to study them.研究微波谱线有两个原因。One is that these molecules are probably the precursors of life.一是分子可能是生命的预兆。The other is that the rarefied nature of astrochemistry changes the way processes work.二是天体化学其稀薄的属性会改变化学反应的过程。It means the individual steps in chemical reactions can be disentangled from one another in a way that is hard—and sometimes impossible—on Earth.人们可以用这种方式把化学反应中独立的一步从彼此步骤间分离出来,有时这在地球上很难实现。And it allows reactions to happen that are unknown on Earth.并且还有可能发生人类未知的化学反应。Now the astrochemists have a new tool:the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array in northern Chile.现在天体化学家有了新工具:阿塔卡马大型毫米/亚毫米波天线阵。It was officially opened on March 13th but has aly been making discoveries, including the most intense bursts of star birth in the early universe.3月13日ALMA正式运作,到现在已经有了发现,例如宇宙早期恒星诞生最激烈的爆发。ALMA consists of 66 dishes and is the worlds most powerful radio telescope.ALMA有66台天线,是世界上最强劲的射电望远镜。At a cost of 1.3 billion it should provide a hundredfold increase in sensitivity and resolution over the best older instruments.花费13亿美元想必会使灵敏度分辨率比过去最好的仪器还要好百倍。Those older telescopes had to focus on nebulae, where the interstellar gas is most concentrated.以往的望远镜必须关注星云,那里是星际气体最集中之处。And older telescopes can detect only strong, simple signals of the sort emitted by small molecules like carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, which have two and three atoms respectively.一个可用双筒望远镜看到的典例是气体环绕恒星所形成的猎户座的”剑”。并且老望远镜只能探测到一氧化碳、氢氰化物等小分子释放出的强的,简单的信号。Spotting more complex substances was almost impossible because their rotational energy is scattered by their numerous bonds across a wide range of frequencies.而鉴别更复杂的物质几乎不可能,大量化学键占有很宽的频率范围,以至于旋转能被散射掉。ALMA, by contrast, can detect such things routinely.相反ALMA可以轻易探测到这些信号:It has aly identified glycolaldehyde and acetone, molecules that have eight and ten atoms respectively.它已经鉴定出了乙醇醛和丙酮。In particular, ALMAs masters, a consortium of research agencies from Canada, Chile, Europe, Japan, Taiwan and the ed States, hope to find simple sugars and organic acids—molecules most researchers in the field believe were needed to get life going on Earth.特别的,由加拿大、智利、欧洲、日本、台湾及美国的财团组成的研究机构掌控ALMA,希望以此寻觅简单的糖类和有机酸——该领域大多数研究人员认为它们是地球上生命的必需之物。The ability to study chemical reactions stage by stage will be equally important.能够研究化学反应中的每一步同样很重要。High-school chemistry lessons, with their neat equations transforming, say, 2H+O into 2HO, miss out a plethora of intermediate steps such as the formation of hydroxyl, OH.高中化学课上简单的反应方程式省略了大量的中间步骤。例如 2H? + O? 2H?O 就没有体现形成羟基的过程。In a lab, these intermediates are often too short-lived to be detectable.实验室里,这些中间过程非常短暂,人们难以探测。But in space an intermediate may hang around a long time before it encounters its partner in the next stage of a reaction.不过在太空中,一个中间过程会持续很长时间,直到碰到下一步反应的搭档。ALMA can see the microwave traces of such intermediates, and thus gain a better understanding of them.ALMA可以看到这些中间过程的微波轨迹,因此研究者可以更好的了解这些过程。There are also completely new reactions to discover.还有全新的反应有待人们发现。Anthony Remijan, of Americas National Radio Astronomy Observatory, who is one of the astronomers putting ALMA through its paces, is studying the formation of methyl formate, a compound widely used on Earth in applications from insulation to insecticides.美国国家射电天文台的Anthony Remijan是将ALMA引入这个方向的天文学家中的一员。他正在研究甲酸甲酯的形成过程。从绝缘体到杀虫剂,可以说地球上到处都是甲酸甲酯。Usually it is synthesised either from methanol and formic acid, or methanol and carbon monoxide.通常它由甲醇和甲酸,或甲醇和一氧化碳合成。But there is, in theory, a third route that uses formic acid and an unstable substance made from methanol and hydrogen.但是在理论上,还可以使用甲酸和一种不稳定的物质来制造甲酸甲酯。This has not been seen in an Earthly laboratory, but Dr Remijan thinks it is an important pathway in space, and ALMA should soon tell him if he is right.这还没有在地球上的实验室中发现,但Remijan士认为在太空中这是一个重要的过程。ALMA应该很快就会告诉他他是否正确。Probably, that particular discovery will have no practical consequences.也许,上述特别的发现不会产生实用效果。The known syntheses are effective, and methyl formate is aly cheap.甲酸甲酯熟知的合成方法很有效,而且它很便宜。But it will prove a principle about using the cosmos as a chemistry laboratory, and the hope is that similar findings about other molecules that are harder to make may allow chemical engineers at home to reformulate their processes.但是,这明了一个理念:用宇宙充当化学实验室。希望有关其他较难制造的分子的类似发现能够让化学工程师在家里重新制定它们的合成过程。If that happens, the test tube in the sky really will have proved its worth.如果可以,天空中的试管确实有其价值。 /201312/267955

  

  

  Ever heard of a man named Buckminster Fuller, or Bucky, as hisfriends called him?听说过一个叫巴克敏斯特·福乐的人吗?R.Buckminster Fuller was a twentieth centuryscientist, philosopher, inventor, and was also named a great architect.朋友们常叫他巴基。巴克敏斯特·福乐是二十世纪的科学家,哲学家,发明家,同时他也是一名伟大的建筑师。Part of what made Bucky so special was his concern for the planet and humanity.他如此特别的部分原因是他很关心地球和人类。When you have a shortage of resources, he said, you get war.他说当缺乏资源时,就会发生战争。Thus, he developed an idea called ComprehensiveAnticipatory Design Science.所以,他开创了一种观念,叫作“全面预期设计科学”。It’s a mouthful, but what it entails is his belief that to solve humanity’smajor problems.这个名字有点拗口,但它需要巴基的信念来解决人类主要问题。We have to look forward to the future; we have to anticipate what will becomeproblems as resources diminish, etc.我们必须展望未来;我们必须预期会出现的问题,比如资源减少等等。His goal? Quote:他是目标?“More and more life support for everybody, with less and less resources.”引用一句话:用最少的资源维持更多人的生活。He wasespecially interested in developing more efficient housing; that is, a new way of constructingbuildings so that they provide more housing space with the use of fewer resources.他对开发更高效的住房特别有兴趣;那是一种建造房屋的新的方式,用更少的资源提供更多的住房空间。One solutionhe came up with in the late 1940′s is the geodesic dome, the invention he is most famous for.上世纪40年代末,巴基提出了一个解决方法,即球型屋顶,这也是他最著名的发明。The geodesic dome is a structure shaped like a piece of a sphere.球型屋顶是一个形状像球体的结构。It’s made up of a complexnetwork of triangles, and the more complex this network the closer the comes to the shape of atrue sphere.它由一个复杂的网状三角形构成。网状结构越复杂,建筑物的形状就越接近于真实的球体。What’s so great about the dome is that it does exactly what Bucky wanted; that is,it has the highest ratio of enclosed area to external surface.圆屋顶额伟大之处在于它封闭区到外部表面的比例最高,那正是巴基想要的效果。In other words, it uses fewer materialsto create more housing space.换句话说,就是用更少的材料建造更多住房空间。201408/320555

  

  

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