When in Australia recently, I visited a eucalyptus forest that was once the scene of an appalling wildfire. Perhaps naively, I had expected to find that many trees had been killed .They hadn’t. They had blackened bark, but were otherwise looking rather well, many of them wreathed in new young leaves. This prompted me to consider fire and the role it plays as a force of nature.
Fossil charcoals tell us that wildfires have been part of life on the earth for as long as there have been plants on land. Fire was here long before such plants as grasses; it predated the first flowers. And without wanting to get mystical about it, fire is ,in many respects , a kind of animal, albeit an ethereal one .Like any animal, it consumes oxygen .Like a sheep, it eats plants. Sometimes, it merely nibbles a few leaves; sometimes it kills grown trees. Sometimes it is more deadly and destructive than a swarm of locusts.
The shape-shifting nature of fire makes it hard to study. Some fires are infernally hot; others, relatively cool. Some stay at ground level; others climb trees. Moreover, fire is much more likely to appear in some parts of the world than in others. Satellite images of the earth show that wildfires are rare in, say, Northern Europe, and common in parts of Central Africa and Australia.
Once a fire gets started, many factors contribute to how it will behave. The weather obviously has a huge effect: winds can fan flames, rains can quench them. The lie of the land matters, too: fire runs uphill more readily than it goes down. But another crucial factor is what type of plants the fire has to eat.
It’s common knowledge that plants regularly exposed to fire tend to have features that help them cope with it, such as thick bark, or seeds that only grow after being exposed to intense heat or smoke.
John Kenneth Galbraith, the iconoclastic economist, teacher and diplomat, died Saturday at a hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts。He was 97.
Mr. Galbraith was one of the most widely read authors in the history of economics; among his 33 books was "The Affluent Society" (1958), one of those rare works that forces a nation to re-examine its values. He wrote fluidly, even on complex topics, and many of his compelling phrases — among them "the affluent society," "conventional wisdom" and "countervailing power" — became part of the language.
An imposing presence, lanky and angular at 6 feet 8 inches tall, Mr. Galbraith was consulted frequently by national leaders, and he gave advice freely, though it may have been ignored as often as it was taken. Mr. Galbraith clearly preferred taking issue with the conventional wisdom he distrusted.
Mr. Galbraith, a revered lecturer for generations of Harvard students, nonetheless always commanded attention.
From the 1930"s to the 1990"s Mr. Galbraith helped define the terms of the national political debate, influencing both the direction of the Democratic Party and the thinking of its leaders.
He tutored Adlai E. Stevenson, the Democratic nominee for president in 1952 and 1956, on Keynesian economics. He advised President John F. Kennedy (often over lobster stew at the Locke-Ober restaurant in their beloved Boston) and served as his ambassador to India.
Though he eventually broke with President Lyndon B. Johnson over the war in Vietnam, he helped conceive of Mr. Johnson"s Great Society program and wrote a major presidential address that outlined its purposes. In 1968, pursuing his opposition to the war, he helped Senator Eugene J. McCarthy seek the Democratic nomination for president.
In the course of his long career, he undertook a number of government assignments, including the organization of price controls in World War II and speechwriting for Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Kennedy and Johnson.
He drew on his experiences in government to write three satirical novels. He took on the Harvard economics department with "A Tenured Professor," ridiculing, among others, a certain outspoken character who bore no small resemblance to himself.
At his death, Mr. Galbraith was the emeritus professor of economics at Harvard, where he had taught for most of his career. A popular lecturer, he treated economics as an aspect of society and culture rather than as an arcane discipline of numbers.
The arsenal of antibiotics strong enough to squelch nasty bacteria is rapidly dwindling worldwide, which makes worried infectious-disease doctors more intent than ever that the drugs be deployed only when strictly needed.
These specialists know that every antibiotic carries its own risks, and that the more frequently and broadly a drug is used, the more likely it is that harmful microbes will develop tricks to sidestep it. But a team of researchers in the Netherlands, where a more selective use of antibiotics has led to much lower levels of resistant bacteria than are circulating in the United States, thinks the medical finger-waggers have not gone far enough.
"As doctors, we&39;ve paid a lot of attention to questions of which antibiotics we should use to treat what sorts of infections, but have focused much less on how long that treatment should last," said Dr. Jan Prins of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam.
In a small but provocative study published in the June 10 issue of the British medical journal BMJ, Dr. Prins and colleagues from nine hospitals suggested that even some cases of pneumonia — a potentially life-threatening disease — could be treated with a three-day course of antibiotics, rather than the conventional 7- to 10-day treatment.
The Dutch study analyzed the cure rates of 186 adults who had been hospitalized with mild to moderately severe pneumonia. All received three days of intravenous amoxicillin to start. After that, the 119 who were showing substantial improvement were randomly divided into two groups; about half continued with another five-day course of oral amoxicillin, and the others got look-alike sugar pills. Neither the patients nor the doctors knew who was getting which treatment until the end of their participation in the study.
By the end of treatment, roughly 89 percent of the patients in each group were cured of their lung infections without further intervention. In a commentary accompanying the study, Dr. John Paul, a microbiologist at Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, England, writes that, at least for a subset of patients with uncomplicated, community-acquired pneumonia, the finding "suggests that current guidelines recommending 7-10 days should be revised."
As lead investigator of the Dutch study, Dr. Prins was not ready to go quite that far. He cited the study&39;s small size and the seriousness of the illness as a reason to wait until the finding is independently replicated before advising a wholesale change in practice.
从1979到2004年实行改革开放这27年里，中国发生了巨大的变化。 经济每年增长9.4%，居民消费每年增长7%，进出口每年增长16.7%。2004年国民经济总产值达1.6494 万亿美元，进出口总额达1.1548万亿美元。我们已经基本上建立了社会主义市场经济。我们的生产力和综合国力在不断提高。社会各项事业蓬勃发展，人民生活实现了从温饱到小康这一历史性的飞跃。
Norman Joseph Woodland was born in Atlantic City on Sept. 6, 1921. As a Boy Scout he learned Morse code,the spark that would ignite his invention.
After spending World War II on the Manhattan Project , Mr. Woodland resumed his studies at the Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia (it is now Drexel University), earning a bachelor’s degree in 1947.
As an undergraduate, Mr. Woodland perfected a system for delivering elevator music efficiently. He planned to pursue the project commercially, but his father, who had come of age in “Boardwalk Empire”-era Atlantic City, forbade it: elevator music, he said, was controlled by the mob, and no son of his was going to come within spittingdistance.
The younger Mr. Woodland returned to Drexel for a master’s degree. In 1948, a local supermarket executive visited the campus, where he implored a dean to develop an efficient means of encoding product data. The dean demurred, but Mr. Silver, a fellow graduate student who overheard their conversation, was intrigued. He
conscripted Mr. Woodland.
An early idea of theirs, which involved printing product information in fluorescent ink and reading it with ultraviolet light, proved unworkable.
But Mr. Woodland, convinced that a solution was close at hand, quit graduate school to devote himself to the problem. He holed up at his grandparents’ home in Miami Beach, where he spent the winter of 1948-49 in a chair in the sand, thinking.
To represent information visually, he realized, he would need a code. The only code he knew was the one he had learned in the Boy Scouts.
What would happen, Mr. Woodland wondered one day, if Morse code, with its elegant simplicity and limitless combinatorial potential, were adapted graphically？ He began trailing his fingers idly through the sand.
“What I’m going to tell you sounds like a fairy tale,” Mr. Woodland told Smithsonian magazine in 1999. “I poked my four fingers into the sand and for whatever reason — I didn’t know — I pulled my hand toward me and
drew four lines. I said: ‘Golly! Now I have four lines, and they could be wide lines and narrow lines instead of dots and dashes.’”
Today, bar codes appears on the surface of almost every product of contemporary life.All because a bright young man, his mind ablaze with dots and dashes, one day raked his fingers through the sand.
The region around this Belgian city is busily preparing to commemorate the 200th anniversary in 2015 of one of the major battles in European military history. But weaving a path through the preparations is proving almost as tricky as making one’s way across the battlefield was back then, when the Duke of Wellington, as commander of an international alliance of forces, crushed Napoleon.
A rambling though dilapidated farmstead called Hougoumont, which was crucial to the battle’s outcome, is being painstakingly restored as an educational center. Nearby, an underground visitor center is under construction, and roads and monuments throughout the rolling farmland where once the sides fought are being refurbished. More than 6,000 military buffs are expected to re-enact individual skirmishes.
While the battle ended two centuries ago, however, hard feelings have endured. Memories are long here, and not everyone here shares Britain’s enthusiasm for celebrating Napoleon’s defeat.
Every year, in districts of Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium, there are fetes to honor Napoleon, according to Count Georges Jacobs de Hagen, a prominent Belgian industrialist and chairman of a committee responsible for restoring Hougoumont. “Napoleon, for these people, was very popular,” Mr. Jacobs, 73, said over coffee. “That is why, still today, there are some enemies of the project.”
Belgium, of course, did not exist in 1815. Its Dutch-speaking regions were part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, while the French-speaking portion had been incorporated into the French Empire. Among French speakers, Mr. Jacobs said, Napoleon had a “huge influence — the administration, the Code Napoléon,” or reform. of the legal system. While Dutch-speaking Belgians fought under Wellington, French speakers fought with Napoleon.
That distaste on the part of modern-day French speakers crystallized in resistance to a British proposal that, as part of the restoration of Hougoumont, a memorial be raised to the British soldiers who died defending its narrow North Gate at a critical moment on June 18, 1815, when Wellington carried the day. “Every discussion in the committee was filled with high sensitivity,” Mr. Jacobs recalled. “I said, ‘This is a condition for the help of the British,’ so the North Gate won the battle, and we got the monument.”
If Belgium was reluctant to get involved, France was at first totally uninterested. “They told us, ‘We don’t want to take part in this British triumphalism,’ ” said Countess Nathalie, a writer and publicist who is president of a committee representing four townships that own the land where the battle raged.
Jane Goodall was already on a London dock in March 1957 when she realized that her passport was missing. In just a few hours, she was due to depart on her first trip to Africa. A school friend had moved to a farm outside Nairobi and, knowing Goodall’s childhood dream was to live among the African wildlife, invited her to stay with the family for a while. Goodall, then 22, saved for two years to pay for her passage to Kenya: waitressing, doing secretarial work, temping at the post office in her hometown, Bournemouth, on England’s southern coast. Now all this was for naught, it seemed.
It’s hard not to wonder how subsequent events in her life — rather consequential as they have turned out to be to conservation, to science, to our sense of ourselves as a species — might have unfolded differently had someone not found her passport, along with an itinerary from Cook’s, the travel agency, folded inside, and delivered it to the Cook’s office. An agency representative, documents in hand, found her on the dock. “Incredible,” Goodall told me last month, recalling that day. “Amazing.”
Within two months of her arrival, Goodall met the paleontologist Louis Leakey — Nairobi was a small town for its white population in those days — and he immediately offered her a job at the natural-history museum where he was curator. He spent much of the next three years testing her capacity for repetitive work.
He believed in a hypothesis first put forth by Charles Darwin that humans and chimpanzees share an evolutionary ancestor. Close study of chimpanzees in the wild, he thought, might tell us something about that common progenitor. He was, in other words, looking for someone to live among Africa’s wild animals. One night, he told Goodall that he knew just the place where she could do it: Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve, in the British colony of Tanganyika (now Tanzania).
In July 1960, Goodall boarded a boat and after a few hours motoring over thewarm, deep waters of Lake Tanganyika, she stepped onto the pebbly beach at Gombe. Her finding, published in Nature in 1964, that chimpanzees use tools — extracting insects from a termite mound with leaves of grass — drastically and forever altered humanity’s understanding of itself; man was no longer the natural world’s only user of tools.
After two and a half decades of living out her childhood dream, Goodall made an abrupt career shift, from scientist to conservationist.
The knowledge-based economy represents a new strategic era that human beings are entering.So knowledge is becoming the most important source of growth as well as productivity.//
The knowledge-based economy has one characteristic, that is innovation. Innovation meansthe ability to generate and use knowledge to innovate. It is not only a determinant of wealth;it is also the basis of competitive advantage.//
The first step towards the knowledge-based economy can be made if one is able to effectivelydevelop a vision of the future, exploit one&39;s self-potential and stay open-minded.//
I am very glad that China will soon carry out the National Medium-to-long Term Program forEducation Reform. and Development. This program, I&39;m sure, will encourage your young peopleto absorb new knowledge and apply it in science and technology.
Equipped with the camera extender known as a selfie stick, occasionally referred to as “the wand of narcissism,” tourists can now reach for flattering selfies wherever they go.
Art museums have watched this development nervously, fearing damage to their collections or to visitors, as users swing their slicks with abandon. Now they are taking action. One by one, museums across the United States have been imposing bans on using selfie sticks for photographs inside galleries (adding them to existing rules on umbrellas, backpacks and tripods), yet another example of how controlling crowding has become part of the museum mission.
The Mirshhom Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington prohibited the sticks this month, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston plans to impose a ban. In New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has been studying the matter for some time, has just decided that it will forbid selfie slicks, too. New signs will be posted soon.
“From now on ,you will be asked quietly to put it away,” said Sree Sreenivasan, the chief digital officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “It’s one thing to take a picture at arm’s length, but when it is three times arm’s length, you are invading someone else’s personal space.”
The personal space of other visitors is just one problem. The artwork is another. “We do not want to have to put all the art under glass,” said Deborah Ziska, the chief of public information at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, which has been quietly enforcing a ban on selfie sticks, but is in the process of adding it formally to its printed guidelines for visitors.
Last but not least is the threat to the camera operator, intent on capturing the perfect shot and oblivious to the surroundings. “If people are not paying attention in the Temple of Dendur, they can end up in the water with the crocodile sculpture,” Mr. Sreenivasan said. “We have so many balconies you could fall from, and stairs you can trip on.”
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Thursday, Jasmine Adaos, a selfie-stick user from Chile, expressed dismay. “It’s just another product,” she said. “When you have a regular camera, it’s the same thing. I don’t see the problem if you’re careful.” But Hai Lin student from Shandong, China, conceded that the museum might have a point. “You can hit people when they’re passing by,” she said.