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Anti-vaccine campaigners反疫苗活动家Clueless独领风骚Celebrities make us sick听信名人的话让我们生病JENNY MCCARTHY, a celebrity who introduced herself to the world on the pages of Playboy 20 years ago, is the proud owner of a Pigasus award, bestowed every April Fools day on “the performer who fooled the greatest number of people using the least talent”. Ms McCarthy, an anti-vaccination campaigner, says she is not opposed to vaccination. But she has defended debunked claims that jabs can trigger autism, and reckons her son was cured of his autism through vitamins and diet. More recently the anti-vaccination cause has been taken up by Alicia Silverstone, an actress whose name may now forever be linked to “Clueless” (pictured), a 1995 update of Jane Austens Emma in which she starred.珍妮·麦卡锡是一位名人,她因20年前出任杂志而一举成名。她很自豪拥有Pigasus奖,该奖项于每年愚人节颁发给那些“用很少的才智愚弄了大多数人的演员”。麦卡锡女士是一名反疫苗活动家,她称自己不反对接种疫苗。但她坚持宣称接种疫苗会导致孤独症,而且还认为自己儿子通过维生素和食疗治好了孤独症。最近艾丽西亚·西尔维斯通发起了反疫苗运动,她是一名演员,如今她的名字可能会永远和“独领风骚”(如图所示)联系在一起,她担任了该电影的女主角,该电影上映于1995年,是现代版的简·奥斯丁的《艾玛》。Whooping cough (pertussis), a contagious bacterial infection that is deeply unpleasant for adults and can be fatal for small children, was supposed to have been largely eradicated from the ed States, thanks to widesp vaccination. Infections fell from 222,202 in 1941 to 1,010 in 1976. But lately it has made an unwelcome return. In 2012 48,277 cases were reported, the highest figure in over half a century. On June 13th California declared an epidemic; 3,458 cases, including two deaths, have been reported so far this year. Other parts of the country, including Tennessee and Alabama, have also seen big rises, and there has been a worrying climb in measles cases.百日咳是一种接触传染的细菌性感染疾病,对于成人来说非常讨厌,而对儿童来说可能会致命。由于疫苗的广泛普及,该疾病在美国几乎已经绝迹。感染病例从1941年的222,202降低到了1976年的1,010。但后来它又死灰复燃。2012年报告的病例有48,277例,这是近半个世纪以来病例最多的一年。今年6月13号加州宣布疫情,发现病例3,458例,迄今为止有两人死亡。美国的其它州,包括田纳西州和阿拉巴马州,感染病例人数也大幅度增加,而且麻疹病例人数也开始增多,这非常令人担忧。Ms McCarthy and her ill-informed followers bear only part of the blame. At least as important is the phasing-out, in the 1990s, of an old vaccine which had nasty side-effects. The immunity conferred by the replacement appears to wear off sooner; health officials urge older children and adults to take a booster jab, but few do. Still, kooky anti-vaccination fears appear to be doing real harm. A study of a 2010 whooping-cough epidemic in California, in which ten babies died, found that areas where many people refused to vaccinate their kids were 2.5 times likelier to have high incidences of whooping cough. No such study has been conducted on this years outbreak, although the wealthy coastal enclaves of Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties are among the hardest-hit.麦卡锡和她那一无所知的同事们对此负有一部分责任。至少重要的是,在20世纪90年代,一部分产生了严重副作用的老疫苗被逐步淘汰,而更换的新疫苗产生的免疫力已经渐渐消退;卫生官员们督促那些年龄较大的儿童和成人再去注射疫苗以刺激免疫力,但是几乎没人去做。古怪的反疫苗情绪似乎造成了实质性的伤害。2010年加州曾经流行过百日咳,造成了10名婴儿死亡,对该疫情的一个研究发现大部分人都拒绝为孩子注射疫苗的地区百日咳疫情发生率是其他地区的2.5倍。尽管今年马林、纳帕和索诺玛郡富裕的沿海围地是疫情最严重的地区,但没有人对这次疾病爆发的数据进行研究。Listening to the ideas of Californian celebrities has not always been bad for Americans, as Ronald Reagan demonstrated. But when it comes to vaccination, probably best to leave it to the experts.就如罗纳德·里根所说,听听加州名人们的观点对美国人没有坏处。但是当提到疫苗时,最好去关注专家的意见吧。 /201407/310071Business商业报道Entrepreneurs in Japan日本的企业家Time to get started到了该开始的时间了Shinzo Abe is giving new hope to Japans unappreciated entrepreneurs安倍晋三给了日本不被看好的企业家们希望IT BEGINS from now, tweeted Takafumi Horie, the former boss of Livedoor, an internet firm, two months after emerging from prison this spring.信息技术时代从现在开始, 堀江贵文说道。Mr Horie is involved in no fewer than 30 new companies, including a space-tourism venture.堀江贵文是门户网站活力门的前总经理,前两个月刚从监狱中被释放。If any of them grow to be big, Mr Horie, who was convicted of fraud in 2011, may show that a fallen Japanese entrepreneur can make a comeback.堀江贵文涉足于不少于30家的新公司,包括一家太空旅行企业。如果这些公司中的任何一家发展起来了,堀江贵文,这个曾在2011年被告有罪的企业家,将明一个失败的日本企业家可以东山再起。The mood among Japans would-be business moguls is at its most buoyant since the dotcom bubble burst a decade or so ago.由于十几年前的互联网泡沫的破裂,日本那些想要成为商业精英的人正怀着十分沉重的心情。A higher stockmarket is boosting the chances of a successful initial public offering.股票市场正在提高它首次成功公开募股的机会。The prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is Japans first leader to treat entrepreneurs as something more than greedy hustlers.安倍晋三首相,是日本第一位处理这些如贪婪的骗子般的企业家们的问题。For the past few years Mr Horie, a brash self-publicist, has been exhibit A in the case for holding that view.在过去的几年里,堀江贵文,一个傲慢又自我的公关,在那起案件中率先出示据来阐明自己的观点。But now Mr Horie says he is being welcomed back into the business world.但是现在,堀江贵文说他回到企业界这件事倍受欢迎。Mr Abes three-part plan to revive the economy, known asAbenomics, is designed to help start-ups as well as big business.安倍晋三复苏经济的三步计划被称为安倍经济复苏计划,是用来帮助新兴小企业和已有的大企业的。First came monetary loosening from the Bank of Japan, and a fiscal stimulus.首先是日本中央的货币放松政策,紧接着加大财政开。The third part, a series of reforms to boost long-term growth rates, includes radical deregulation in newspecial economic zones sp across the country.第三部分是一系列的刺激长期增长率的改革,包括在经济特区放松管制。If this pledge is honoured, many new opportunities could emerge for entrepreneurs in industries ranging from medical care to agriculture.如果这个经济计划成功了,很多给企业家的新机会就会大量的涌来,横跨医疗务业和农业。The reforms also involve pressing the banks to stop demanding onerous personal guarantees when entrepreneurs seek loans for their businesses.这个改革同时施压给,让停止向企业家索要大量的个人担保当企业家们想要为他们的企业借贷时。Most of all, Mr Abe admits, Japan needs to become more accepting of initial failure.最重要的是,安倍晋三承认,日本需要去接受首次失败。As a second-time prime minister after a disastrous first term, he is himself a comeback kid.作为一个第一次以失败告终,第二次登上首相位置的领导人,安倍晋三自己就是一个东山再起的例子。He reportedly described for guests at his home this summer how the young Walt Disney ran his business into the ground five times before he at last succeeded.有报道称,他这个夏天邀请客人到自己家中,并向客人描述年轻的华特迪士尼在最终成功前是怎样经历了五次失败的。Digital types were delighted when he attended a meeting of the Japan Association of New Economy, chaired by Hiroshi Mikitani, the founder of Rakuten, an online-commerce giant.数字类型企业很乐观,当安倍晋三参加新经济联盟的一个会议时。此次会议由三木谷浩史主办。Mr Mikitani has been brought in to advise the government on its deregulation efforts.三木谷浩史,日本乐天公司的创始人,一位网上贸易伟人。三木谷浩史建议过日本政府实行货币放松政策。For now, Japans vital signs on entrepreneurship are dire.现在,日本企业家的状况不容乐观。The overall number of firms is shrinking, and the rate at which new companies are born as a proportion of existing ones is less than half that in America and Britain.公司的总数正在大量减少,新公司的诞生率比英美的一半还少。In 2012 the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, a survey by a group of universities, put Japan in joint last place out of 24 developed nations for levels of entrepreneurial activity.根据2012年的全球创业观察报告的一份调查显示,日本由于创业活动长期不景气的水平,被放到了24个发达国家之外。 Japans record on fostering new firms is worse even than continental Europes.日本的一份关于发展新兴企的报告结果甚至比欧洲大陆的还要糟糕。Just 6% of Japanese participants in the survey thought there were opportunities to start a business in their country, and only 9% believed they personally had the skills required.调查显示,只有6%的参与者认为在他们本国家日本创建新企业是有机会发展的,9%的人认为他们已经掌握了创建新企业所需要的技术。The equivalent figures for the French were 38% and 36%.相同的调查问题在法国的结果是38%和36%。Other Asians, in contrast, were bursting with optimism.相反地,在其他亚洲地区新兴企业的发展很乐观。That lack of ambition means venture-capital firms have few big payoffs to look forward to, with the result that there is a limited pool of cash available for those who do want to have a go at starting a business: a vicious circle that will be hard to break.抱负心的缺乏使得风险投资公司很难下定决心去投资,从而使得那些确实想要经营一家企业的企业家缺少现金持,这将会成为一个很难打破的恶性循环。Young Japanese firms attract around one-twentieth of the venture-capital money that start-ups in America pull in.新兴的日本公司会吸引二十分之一的新兴美国风投公司的资金投入。The outlook for creating new businesses could begin to improve if Mr Abe succeeds in leaning on the banks to stop demanding extensive debt guarantees.如果安倍晋三成功的让不再要求借贷企业家提供大量的借贷凭,创建新型公司的前景可能会有所发展。Now many would-be entrepreneurs, faced with the risk of losing their homes, give up before they start.现在,很多想要进入企业家行列的人由于会担有失去家的风险,所以他们在开始之前就放弃了。In the short term the reform may make capital a little scarcer as banks t cautiously.在短期内,此项改革会使得放出更少的资金投资,因为的每一步都会走的很慎重。But in the long run it could transform Japans attitude to entrepreneurship, says Yoshito Hori, the founder of GLOBIS, a business school.但是长期来看,这项改革将会改变日本人对企业家原有的态度,堀义人说道。堀义人,商业学校GLOBIS的创建人。The industry ministry is promising to provide generous funding with the aim of doubling Japans rate of business start-ups by 2020.工业部门保,他们会提供大量资金,让日本在2020年前实现新兴企业增长率变为两倍。To do that it will have to add another 100,000 start-ups to the current annual tally.为了实现这个目标,必须在当前的基础上,每年再增加100,000个的新兴企业才可以。However, its record on picking winners is not great:然而,挑选赢家的报告却不是很好:its bureaucrats famously tried to stop the young Sony importing transistor technology and Honda from moving into cars.官员们已经烦透了去阻止索尼进口三极管科技和本田公司转向汽车行业。So the risk is that it ends up backing many duds, draining the public coffers to little benefit.所以这样做的风险是,会对很多已有的企业不利,所得的利润也微乎其微。The mother-in-law factor岳母的因素There are other reasons to be optimistic.当然也存在着乐观原因。The success of the big firms born in Japans great period of post-war entrepreneurialism later discouraged graduates from joining newer ventures.大公司在日本战后鼎盛时期的成功诞生削弱了毕业生们加入这场商业冒险的想法。Experienced managers are seldom keen to leave large companies.有经验的管理者很少会离开大公司。Wives, mothers and mothers-in-law exert a strong influence on men not to join risky start-ups, says Yoshiaki Ishii, head of new-business policy at the industry ministry.妻子,妈妈,以及岳母给了男人们很大的影响,让他们不要踏入有风险的新兴企业,石井说道。石井,工业部门新兴企业的管理者。But the perceived balance of risk is shifting.但是这种感知到的风险正在转移。Many of the giants are struggling.很多的领袖搜在努力着。The cost of starting a firm is plunging thanks to cloud computing and other innovations.创建一家新企业的花费得益于云计算和其他一些创新。Mr Horie says he is financing his new ventures through crowdfunding networks such as Campfire.堀江贵文说,他正在通过群众募资网站为他的企业筹资,例如: 萤火网站。The government could help to remove plenty of other hurdles to entrepreneurship.政府可以帮助去除很多阻碍企业家精神的障碍。One difficulty for science and technology start-ups is that large Japanese firms have signed up exclusive rights for the bulk of university discoveries. 创业的科学技术难点之一就是日本的大公司会签约买下大量的大学研究成果。Small, disruptive firms are not usually able to access and develop them. And a widespnot invented here mindset stops established firms joining up with small ones to commercialise new ideas.这样子就会导致小公司无法很好的发展。一个广为流传的不要在这里起家的心态也使得公司不想要去和小公司合并。As a result many recent ventures—such as DeNA and GREE, two social-gaming operators—have been internet and software businesses that depend less on research, notes Daisuke Iwase, a founder of Lifenet, an online insurance firm.结果使得现在很多的企业—像DeNA和格力,两家社交类游戏经营公司—都经营着网络和软件这些不太依赖于调查的业务,一家网上保险公司救生网的创建人Daisuke Iwase阐述道。There is too much talent chasing after smartphone apps and social gaming, he says.继智能手机应用软件和社交类游戏之后,有太多类似的很棒的应用陆续出现,他说道。So, some experts have recommended forcing large firms either to develop the discoveries to which they have the rights, or else to pass them on.因此,一些专家建议,强制大公司继续买断大学研究成果,或者把研究成果转让。Japans entrepreneurs still feel vulnerable to sudden crackdowns, and fear they would be punished more harshly than big-business chiefs.日本的企业家们因为这样的制裁而身心疲惫,他们害怕自己会受到比这些大公司领导更为严厉的惩罚。Last year GREE unexpectedly found itself under investigation for possibly violating gambling laws.去年,格力公司意外地发现自己可能由于违反法律,而处于被监视状态。Its young, billionaire founder, Yoshikazu Tanaka, has since tried to ingratiate himself with the establishment:格力旗下年轻的亿万富翁田中良和试图让自己符合与公司制度:he now appears in a suit, not a T-shirt.现在,他在公司不穿体恤衫而改为西装了。In all, much has to change before Japan becomes a kinder place for those trying to create businesses.总而言之,在日本变得很适合创业者们生存之前,还有许多的改变需要去做。There is a risk that Abenomics fails and brings about quite a different sort of rupture in the corporate climate, says Jeffrey Char, an entrepreneur and investor.安倍经济复苏计划存在着失败的风险,这将会使得公司合作风气破裂,杰弗里查说道。杰弗里查是一位企业家,也是一位投资商。If the central banks radical monetary loosening is not followed by thorough deregulation and strong growth, the result could be a sovereign-debt crisis.如果中央的货币放松政策没有彻底的实施和强有的巩固的话,可能会导致严重的主权债务危机。In such a crisis many of Japans biggest firms could collapse, says Mr Char:在这样一种危机下,很多日本的大公司都将会瓦解,杰弗里查说道:that would leave people with no choice but to start their own businesses. Boosting entrepreneurship through reforms would certainly be less painful.这将会使人们没得选择,只能创建新公司。通过改革而刺激企业家精神明显是一个更好的选择。 /201309/255800Schumpeter熊彼特Digital disruption on the farm农场上的数据化颠覆Managers in the most traditional of industries distrust a promising new technology最为传统的行业管理者们对前景光明的新技术疑虑重重INNOVATION is a word that brings to mind small, nimble startups doing clever things with cutting-edge technology. But it is also vital in large, long-established industries—and they do not come much larger or older than agriculture. Farmers can be among the most hidebound of managers, so it is no surprise that they are nervous about a new idea called prescriptive planting, which is set to disrupt their business. In essence, it is a system that tells them with great precision which seeds to plant and how to cultivate them in each patch of land. It could be the biggest change to agriculture in rich countries since genetically modified crops. And it is proving nearly as controversial, since it raises profound questions about who owns the information on which the service is based. It also plunges stick-in-the-mud farmers into an unfamiliar world of “big data” and privacy battles.说起创新,人们往往会想到那些规模较小,经营灵活的初创企业运用前沿技术来做聪明透顶的事儿。不过,对于那些规模庞大,历史悠久的行业来讲,创新也是同样重要。农业正是这类行业的典型。农民可谓是最顽固的管理者—也就难怪他们对规范性种植这种注定颠覆旧有业务的新概念会疑虑重重。实质上,这个系统在指导农民针对不同土地种植相应作物上拥有极高精确度。在那些富裕国家中,这可谓是自转基因作物之后的最大变革,但也同样充满争议,因为这其中有一个深刻的问题亟待解答:究竟谁应持有这项务赖以生存的信息?这项技术同时也迫使一向循规蹈矩的农民进入充满了“大数据”和隐私权争议的陌生世界。Monsantos prescriptive-planting system, FieldScripts, had its first trials last year and is now on sale in four American states. Its story begins in 2006 with a Silicon Valley startup, the Climate Corporation. Set up by two former Google employees, it used remote sensing and other cartographic techniques to map every field in America (all 25m of them) and superimpose on that all the climate information that it could find. By 2010 its database contained 150 billion soil observations and 10 trillion weather-simulation points.孟山都一项名为“FieldScript”的规范性种植系统在去年实行了第一次试验,该系统如今已经在美国的四个州开始销售。这一切还得从2006年在硅谷由两位谷歌前雇员成立的一家名为气候公司的初创企业说起。此公司运用了遥感和其他制图技术将美国的每片土地都描绘了下来,并且在其上又叠加了一切可用的气候信息。截至2010年,它的数据库涵盖了1500亿土壤观测数据,以及十万亿天气仿真数据。The Climate Corporation planned to use these data to sell crop insurance. But last October Monsanto bought the company for about 1 billion—one of the biggest takeovers of a data firm yet seen. Monsanto, the worlds largest hybrid-seed producer, has a library of hundreds of thousands of seeds, and terabytes of data on their yields. By adding these to the Climate Corporations soil- and-weather database, it produced a map of America which says which seed grows best in which field, under what conditions.气候公司原本打算依靠这些数据来出售农作物保险。但是去年十月份孟山都以10亿美元的价格收购了该公司—这可谓是史上最大规模的数据公司收购交易。孟山都是世界上最大的杂交种子生产商,拥有几十万类型的种子库,还有达一百万兆规模的产量数据。把这些信息和气候公司的土壤天气数据结合,就会得到一个信息丰富的美国地图,你可以在上面看出不同种类的种子在什么地段、什么条件下长势最好。FieldScripts uses all these data to run machines made by Precision Planting, a company Monsanto bought in 2012, which makes seed drills and other devices pulled along behind tractors. Planters have changed radically since they were simple boxes that pushed seeds into the soil at fixed intervals. Some now steer themselves using GPS. Monsantos, loaded with data, can plant a field with different varieties at different depths and spacings, varying all this according to the weather. It is as if a farmer can know each of his plants by name.FieldScripts 使用所有的这些数据来运行由Precusion Planting制造的设备。该公司在2012年被孟山都收购,专门制造位于拖拉机后部,同步运行的播种机和其他设备。比起原先简陋的盒子结构和等间距播种功能,到如今播种机已经发生了翻天覆地的变化。其中一些能够利用GPS来引导自己。孟山都的产品经过数据加载,能够根据天气的变化进行不同深度、不同间距以及不同品种的播种活动。其准确程度很高,如同一位农夫能将各个作物熟记于心。Prescriptive planting is catching on fast. Last November another seed producer, Du Pont Pioneer, linked up with a farm-machinery maker, John Deere, to beam advice on seeds and fertilisers to farmers in the field. A farm-supply co-operative, Land OLakes, bought Geosys, a satellite-imaging company, in December 2013, to boost its farm-data business.规范性种植正在迎头赶上。去年十一月份,另一个种子生产商杜邦先锋同农场机械制造商约翰迪尔联手给农民提供种子和化肥方面的指导。名为“Land OLakes农场供应合作社于2013年12月收购了卫星成像公司Geosys以提高其农场的数据业务。The benefits are clear. Farmers who have tried Monsantos system say it has pushed up yields by roughly 5% over two years, a feat no other single intervention could match. The seed companies think providing more data to farmers could increase Americas maize yield from 160 bushels an acre to 200 bushels—giving a terrific boost to growers meagre margins.其中的好处显而易见。那些试用过孟山都系统的农民交口称赞,声称过去两年的产量因此而上升了5%左右,这一成就无可匹敌。种子公司认为给农民提供更多的数据能够把美国的玉米产量从160蒲式耳每英亩( 10吨每公顷)增加至200蒲式耳—这对于一向薄利的农民来说是个大好消息。But the story of prescriptive planting is also a cautionary tale about the conflicts that arise when data entrepreneurs meet old-fashioned businessfolk. Farmers might be expected to have mixed feelings about the technology anyway: although it boosts yields, it reduces the role of discretion and skill in farming—their core competence. However, the bigger problem is that farmers distrust the companies peddling this new method. They fear that the stream of detailed data they are providing on their harvests might be misused. Their commercial secrets could be sold, or leak to rival farmers; the prescriptive-planting firms might even use the data to buy underperforming farms and run them in competition with the farmers; or the companies could use the highly sensitive data on harvests to trade on the commodity markets, to the detriment of farmers who sell into those markets.不过,当熟识数据的企业家们遇上传统的生意人,规范性种植这一传奇也会因其中的火药味变得扣人心弦。农民们对于这项技术本来就是喜忧参半:虽然产量有所提高,但是这却使得他们的核心竞争力—用于种植的判断力和技艺变得无足轻重了。不过,更大的问题是农民对于兜售这项新技术的不信任。他们担心自己所提供的收成的详细数据可能会被滥用。他们的商业机密可能会被出售、或者泄露给竞争对手;这些指令种植企业甚至可能利用这些信息去收购那些表现欠佳的 农场,使其成为不可忽视的竞争势力;它们还有可能利用这些高度敏感的数据在大宗期货市场上交易,从而给在此市场中作为卖方的农民造成损失。Looking a gift horse in the mouth吹毛求疵In response to such worries, the American Farm Bureau, the countrys largest organisation of farmers and ranchers, is drawing up a code of conduct, saying that farmers own and control their data; that companies may not use the information except for the purpose for which it was given; and that they must not sell or give it to third parties. The companies agree with those principles, though so far their contracts with farmers do not always embody them. Also, once data have been sent and anonymised, farmers might be said no longer to own them, so it is not clear what rights to them they still have. For this reason and others, some Texan farmers have banded together to form the Grower Information Services Co-operative, to negotiate with the data providers.为了安抚农民的担忧,作为全国最大的农牧场主组织的美国农场局正在起草一项行为守则,使农民对他们的数据有拥有权和控制权,那些规范性种植公司仅能把数据用于初衷,而且不能够把数据出售或者赠与第三方。公司们纷纷表示同意遵守,但是到目前为止,这些原则却并没有体现在和农民签订的合同中。此外,一旦数据被出售并且匿去原有者名字,农民们可能就不再享有所有权,那么对于其他权利的讨论就会变得模糊。由于这种种的原因,一些德州农民联合成立了种植者信息务合作社以同数据提供者们进行谈判。Another worry is that, since the companies have not yet made the data fully “portable”, farmers may become locked into doing business with a single provider. To assuage all these concerns, the Climate Corporation has set up a free data-storage service for farmers, which others cannot access without the farmers permission. New niche data-management firms are entering the market, which should help make it more competitive.另外使人担心的则是由于这些公司还未使数据完全“便携化”,农民们可能只能和单一供应商进行交易。为解决此问题,气候公司已经为农民建立了免费的数据存储务,访问者必须具有农民的授权。新的利基数据管理公司正在纷纷涌入市场,从而使其拥有更多的 竞争性。For the time being, though, the biggest companies will dominate prescriptive planting. They collect the most comprehensive data and make better use of them than anyone else. And that raises a problem which affects big data in all its forms. Prescriptive planting could boost yields everywhere, just as mass, anonymised patient records could improve health care. But its success depends on service providers persuading users (farmers or patients) to trust them. If the users think they are taking a disproportionate share of the risks while firms are getting an excessive chunk of the benefits, trust will remain in short supply.不过就目前看来,最大的几家公司将主导规范性种植市场。比起其他任何公司,他们将有能力收集最为全面的数据,并且能更好的利用这些数据。而这将会引起足以影响所有形式的大数据的问题。如同大量匿名病人的记录能够改善医疗保健系统一样,规范性种植也将提高各地产量。然而此举能否成功将依赖于务供应商能够说用户以建立信任关系。如果使用者认为自己所负担的风险大得不成比例,而供应商们得到了太多好处,那么信任关系很难成立。 /201406/308171Science and technology科学技术Dealing with asteroid strikes应对小行星撞击A close shave近地掠过After a hit and a near miss minds are focusing on the risks from space rocks在一次撞击和一次近距离擦肩而过后,人们开始关注来自外太空岩石的威胁One close shave with an asteroid is cause for excitement.一次小行星近地掠过是一种刺激,Two on the same day is scary.同一天发生两次就是惊险了。On February 15th planet Earth experienced exactly that, as a hunk of itinerant space rock passed by extremely close.在2月15日,行星地球正经历了这样的惊险:一块流动的大块头太空岩石在咫尺的距离掠过地球,While another exploded spectacularly in the skies above Russia.而另一块则十分壮观得在俄国上空爆炸。The first asteroid, called 2012 DA14, had been known to astronomers for around a year.第一颗小行星名为2012 DA14,天文学家在大约一年前发现。They had calculated that there was no risk of collision. But the 30-metre, 190,000-tonne rock came close: 27,700Km above the surface, inside the orbit of some satellites.他们计算出小行星的轨道,并无撞击危险。但这枚直径30米、重达190000吨的石块离得是那么近:距地表27,700千米,处于一些卫星轨道内。It was the nearest ever recorded for an asteroid that size.对这种大小的小行星,这是有记录以来距离最近的一次。The second came quite literally out of a clear blue sky, appearing without warning and then disintergrating about 30 seconds later over Chelyabinsk.第二颗在一片晴空万里中毫无警告得出现了,约30秒后在车里雅宾斯克市上空解体了。According to NASA, the 10,000-tonne meteor released about 500 kilotonnes of energy when it broke apart, equivalent to the yield of a largish nuclear bomb.来自NASA的数据显示,这颗10000吨重的陨石在肢解时释放了大约500吨质量的能量,相当于一颗大型核弹的爆炸当量。Only the height of the detonation-dozens of kilometers up–kept the fatality count at zero, although more than 1,000 people were injured as windows were blown out of buildings.好在爆炸发生在数十公里的高空,未有人员死亡。虽然有超过1000人受伤,但只是被震碎的建筑物玻璃伤到。This double whammy has focused minds on the threat from asteroids, something that astronomers have long known is real but which tends to be treated with giggles whenever it is brought outside the lab.这次双重晦气已引起人们对小行星威胁的关注。长久以来天文学家们就清楚这种实实在在的威胁,但一旦在实验室外提起就会引来哄堂大笑。Some politicians have nevertheless taken action.不过还是有些政客们采取了行动。In 1998 Americas Congress ordered NASA to begin cataloguing the very largest, planet killer asteroids-defined as those more than a kilometer across.美国国会在1998年下令NASA将那些大型的行星杀手级别的小行星编入目录,直径超过1公里的都归入其中。The agency reckons it has accounted for more than 90% of them.NASA认为超过90%的这类小行星都已记录在案。But as the impact from such a beast would be catastrophic, the few undiscovered rocks still represent a threat.但是由于这种怪兽可能带来灾难性的撞击,少部分未被发现的此类岩石仍然是个威胁。Deep impact深度撞击These days, a mix of national organizations and universities run an alphabet soup of detectors.目前,一群来自不同国家组织和大学的研究人员开始了初步的探测。But the field is still a bit of backwater, and budgets are tight.但是该领域仍是一潭死水,预算很紧张。John Tonry, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii, is building an asteroid-hunting telescope called ATLAS with m from NASA.John Tonry, 一位来自夏威夷大学的天文学家,正在建造一个名为ATLAS的小行星搜索望远镜,NASA提供了500万美元的经费。Dr Tonry cannot afford to hire a proper telescope engineer, and is having to design the device himself.士Tonry负担不起一个正式的望远镜工程师,必须亲自设计这台望远镜。ATLAS is intended to spot mid-sized city killers like 2012 DA14.ATLAS望远镜的目的是为了辨认出类似2012 DA14这样中等大小的城市杀手。Astronomers reckon the risk from these is at least as great as that from the biggest ones because there are many more of them.天文学家估测这类小行星的威胁绝不在那些更大的小行星的威胁之下,因为数量实在太多。Exactly how many more, though, is hard to say because, being small, they are hard to see.不过至于准确数量却很难说,因为他们实在太小难以被发现。ATLAS should be able to spot a rock on a collision course a few days before it hits, giving time to organize a hasty evacuation.ATLAS应该可以提前数天发现一块沿着撞击轨道运行的岩石,争取足够的时间组织快速疏散。Of course, rather than evacuating the impact zone, it would be better if there were some way to deal with a threatening asteroid more directly, by nudging it into a different orbit.当然,比起疏散撞击区域,找到一个更直接应对小行星威胁的方法会更好,比如把小行星推入不同轨道。Asteroid deflection suffers from a even greater giggle factor than asteroid detection, but several ideas have been proposed. One popular method is to use nuclear weapons.让小行星偏向的想法比小行星探测更会招致哄笑,但已经有人提出了一些主意。Detonating a nuke near an asteroids surface could boil away some of the rock and-by Newtons third law of motion-impart a shove in the other direction.一个通俗的方法是使用核武器。在小行星表面附近引爆一枚核弹可以蒸发掉一些岩石质量。根据牛顿第三运动定律,还会在其他方向产生作用力。Done early enough, this would shift the objects orbit sufficiently to stop it hitting Earth.如果爆炸时间足够提前,这足已改变小行星的轨道,防止与地球的撞击。(当然这毫无意义,只是纯粹在卖弄学问罢了。Alternatively, simply ramming the offending rock might provide enough force to provoke a suitable reaction and change in orbit.作为另一种选择,针对来犯岩石的很普通的撞击,也许能产生足够的作用力引发反作用力,进而改变轨道。The European Space Agency plans to launch, in 2015, a spacecraft called Don Quijote that will test the feasibility of doing this.欧洲航天机构计划在2015年发射名为堂吉诃德的太空船,以测试这种方法的可行性。Other ideas are more elegant: painting the rock white, for instance, will alter the way it interacts with sunlight, nudging it into a new orbit.其他的主意要优雅得多:比如把岩石表面涂成白色,这样将改变太阳光对其的作用力,也就改变了运行轨道。Or rocket motors might be strapped to it, to propel it in a desirable direction. Or a large spacecraft could orbit around it, where its gravity would alter the asteroids orbit around the sun.或者在岩石上捆绑一个火箭发动机,将其推向一个想要的方向。再或者发射一个大型太空船绕其运行,太空船的引力将会改变小行星绕太阳运转的轨道。The trouble is that many of these ideas rely on having plenty of warning. Even small asteroids are big, as 2012 DA14 shows.问题在于,这里面的很多主意都依赖于充足的预警时间,即使是处理如2012 DA14般的小块头小行星。That means shifting them at short notice is going to be difficult.这就意味着,在很短的预知时间下,将很难改变他们的轨道。When Americans National Research Council studied the problem in 2010, it came to the conclusion that even nuclear weapons would require warnings times measured in years or decades.当美国国家研究委员会在2010年研究这个问题时,得出一个结论:即使是使用核武器也需要数年甚至数十年的预警时间。Evacuation, it said, was the only feasible option for dealing with little warning. Others are more optimistic.委员会同时提到,在面对那些很难被辨认出而不期而至的小行星时,疏散是唯一可行的办法。The day before the explosion over Russia researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, proposed putting into orbit a solar-powered laser that could use its beam to vaporize the surface of an incoming asteroid and thus knock it off course, even at a few days notice.其他人要乐观一些。就在俄国上空的爆炸发生前一天,来自圣巴巴拉加利福尼亚大学的研究人员提出一个把太阳能激光器发射到小行星轨道的方案,使用激光蒸发掉小行星表面的物质。这样即使只有数天的预警时间,也能使其偏离轨道。Bet your life?用你的生命做赌注?Hard-nosed economists might wonder whether spending money on asteroid research-either for detection or deflection-is really worth it.精明实务的经济学家也许会怀疑在小行星研究上投资是否物有所值,不管是小行星探测或是轨道偏移。After all, for all their drama asteroid strikes are rare, and there are plenty of other threats to worry about.毕竟,小行星撞击是个非常戏剧性且罕见的,而我们还有众多其他的威胁需要担忧。But the relative lack of information makes the true risk difficult to calculate.但是由于信息的相对匮乏,真正的风险难以评估。An asteroid strike is an event with a low probability, but a high death toll when it does happen.小行星撞击是低概率事件,但是一旦发生,就意味着大量的死亡。That, as Dr Tonry points out, does funny things to risk calculations.士Tonry指出,这让计算风险变得有些奇异。Our best guess is that you can expect maybe 100 people a year to die from asteroid strikes, he says.他说,我们最好的估算是,每年大约会有100人死于小行星撞击,Of course, what that really means is that you might see 100,000 death every thousand years, or 100m every million.当然,实际上这意味着每隔数千年发生一次10万人的死亡,或者每百万年发生一次1亿人的死亡。After dodging two potential catastrophes in one day, the world may decide it is better to be safe than sorry.在一天之内躲过了两次可能的灾难之后,我们的世界也许会决定,安全总比遗憾好。 /201312/269271

Stretching and toning are certainly important, but their benefitsare different from that of aerobic exercise.伸展和拉伸显然很重要,但是,对身体的益处有别于有氧运动。Surprisingly,aerobic exercise isnt just beneficial to your heart, it alsosharpens your mind.意想不到的是有氧运动不仅仅有益身心,还能灵活大脑。You dont have to be a jock to enjoy the brain benefits of aerobic exercise.享受有氧运动对于大脑健康的福利,并不一定要向运动员般剧烈运动。Moderateaerobic exercise is plenty.适度有氧运动就获益颇多了。Several studies involving older adultsdemonstrated that simply walking a mile or so three times a week,increases blood flow in the brainand strengthens connections between neurons, resulting in improved mental performance ontasks requiring attention.一些有关老年人的研究实,只需每周三次散步一英里左右就能促进大脑血液循环;增强神经元间的“互动”,提高注意力,从而提升智力。One of the studies divided a group of seniors into two different six-month exercise coursesonecourse consisting of aerobic exercise,the other consisting of stretching and toning.一项研究将老人们分为两组:一组做有氧运动;另一组做伸展和无氧拉伸半年的时间。Again, werenot talking about marathon-training here.但是,运动量都是适度的而非马拉松式。The aerobic-training course gradually built itsparticipants up to walking 45 minutes at a moderate pace three times a week.有氧运动组让老人们养成了每周三次45分钟正常步伐走路。At the end of the course, the people who completed the aerobic training showed significantimprovements in attention-related mental tasks.有氧运动训练完后,参加者在注意力相关的智能测试有显著提升。The stretching and toning group showed littleimprovement.而后一组受训前后并无明显差异。 201405/295948

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