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In a 2005 piece in the Times, Jon Pareles called the British rock group Coldplay “the most insufferable band of the decade,” and he placed the blame on the band’s front man and singer, Chris Martin, whom he called a “passive-aggressive blowhard.” Earlier this year, in a study sponsored by the hotel chain Travelodge of the bedtime habits of 2,248 people in the U.K., Coldplay topped a poll of music choices that would help people fall asleep. Coldplay apparently relieves what Travelodge called the “pressures of modern living.” Martin may use the same metric to judge his band’s music. On coldplay.com, you can find a handwritten note, dated “Thursday 12 June London,” that addresses the recent release of the band’s fourth studio album, “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends.” “I feel very relieved that the album is finally released out into the big wide world today,” it says. “I hope there’s songs on there that will make a shit day slightly less shit, or a good day even better.” The album sold more than seven hundred thousand copies in the first week of its release in the ed States. (Since the group’s début album, “Parachutes,” was released, in 2000, news items about the troubled entertainment conglomerate EMI routinely correlate the health of the corporation with the health of Coldplay.)Is Coldplay warm milk or just quietly dependable? Don’t ask Martin, who has transformed the English art of diffidence into a masochistic religion: “We owe them a career, really,” he has said of Radiohead. He has also said, “Like millions of people in the world, I can’t listen to Coldplay.” He’s half right about Radiohead—Coldplay exhibits a taste for melancholy and smeared, stretched-out sounds that leads straight back to Thom Yorke and his friends. The main antecedent is U2, who invented the form that Coldplay works within: rock that respects the sea change of punk but still wants to be as chest-thumping and anthemic as the music of the seventies stadium gods. Translated, this means short pop songs that somehow summon utterly titanic emotions and require you to skip around in triumphant circles and pump your fist, even if it is not entirely clear what you are singing about.The link to U2 has been made explicit on “Viva la Vida,” which was co-produced by Brian Eno, the man who moved U2 from a feisty, soccer-chant style into the expansive and hypnotic sound that has defined the rest of their career. The problem is that Coldplay doesn’t seem to have unplumbed depths, or a voice as distinctive as either Bono’s or the Edge’s, whose guitar is U2’s second vocalist. The guys in Coldplay are a sweet bunch, and their best songs are modest affairs. “Yellow” was the track that made them famous eight years ago. There’s some guitar work that echoes the Edge’s—chiming, small chords played high on the neck and repeated, over and over, pushing the song away from the divisions of song form and closer to the ecstasy of the drone (when it works)—but the core of the song is Martin serenading someone with the oldest trick in the book: “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you, and all the things that you do.” It’s a big fat “Aw!,” and it gets me every time.“Yellow” is one of Martin’s few straightforward lyrics. For the band’s second album, Martin started singing in free-floating slogans. “Am I part of the cure? Or am I part of the disease?” is a line from “Clocks,” perhaps the group’s loveliest song. The music evokes the song’s name, revolving around three circling and falling piano arpeggios. The payoff comes when Martin stretches out the words “you are” in a falsetto sung over the piano figure. You are what? Go figure, and I haven’t the slightest idea what is going on with the “tides” and the “clocks” in the lyrics. Doesn’t matter. “Clocks” is a big-budget “Ooh!” with lots of pretty lights—it works. At the end of the song, Martin repeatedly sings, “Home, home, where I wanted to go.” There’s the only part you need take note of—an essentially conservative sentiment, and probably a comfort zone for a guy who grew up thinking he wasn’t particularly cool and lost his virginity at the age of twenty-two.I’ve always wanted to like Coldplay for just that attribute. They’re a band of nice young lads being rewarded for niceness. But on the band’s third album, “Xamp;Y,” a need to Signify Something began to overwhelm the charm. The little bouquet of roses on the doorstep became an oversized vessel filled with cloying, synthetic gas.The title track of “Viva la Vida”—also known as the “iPod song,” because it is used in an Apple ad—is easily the best thing about the album. Don’t go to the lyrics for any cues; it is entirely obscure why such a jaunty, upbeat song would be referencing “Roman cavalry choirs” or revolutionaries or St. Peter. Martin is the king? Was the king? Whatevs. Coldplay knows how to build a song that draws you in with easy, karaoke-y moves. I spent a weekend hearing an eight-year-old and an eleven-year-old sing the song (fighting about the lyrics, and sometimes rewriting them), and I never tired of the melody. After that, though, you are on your own. There are Eno touches that catch the ear: the chattering strings and bell-like keyboards that close out “Death and All His Friends,” or the timbre of the instrumental “Life in Technicolor,” which sounds like it’s emanating from the end of a long metal tube. “Technicolor” is one of the album’s few concise, concentrated pieces of writing; the rest sounds both incomplete and puffed up, like scraps of previous records scrambled and rearranged. This upending of their style isn’t even radical enough to be bad. “Viva la Vida” is an album that keeps going out of focus, a series of disconnected pieces that is impossible to hold on to. And why are they wearing all those vaguely military jackets? What’s with Liberty leading the people on the cover? They must know that beyond the cozy confines of London there are a couple of major conflicts going on. It does not feel like the moment, especially for such a vague band, to be playing with any symbols of war. 2005年的一期泰晤士报中,乔恩帕雷利斯(Jon Pareles)把英国摇滚组合酷玩乐队称为“十年内最难以忍受的乐队”,而且归咎于乐队的名誉负责人和歌手马丁,并称他做“消极好斗的吹牛大王”。今年早些时候,由连锁酒店Travelodge赞助的一份研究对2248名英国人的睡眠习惯进行了调查,研究表明酷玩乐队名列床头音乐的首位。他们的音乐能明显减轻该酒店所谓的“现代生活压力”。其实马丁也可以使用同样的标准去评判他乐队的音乐。 在coldplay.com上,你能发现将一张手写的便条,写着"6月12日星期四 伦敦",并论及最近发布的第四张乐队专辑《Viva la vida or Death and all his friends》。网站上写道:“今天我感觉到非常宽慰,专辑终于得以流入这个万千世界”。我希望上面有歌曲能够使糟糕的日子变得没有那么糟糕,把美好的日子变得更加美好。专辑在美国发布后,首个星期已售出超过七十万张。 (自2000年乐队的首张专辑《Parachutes》发布以来,新闻消息总会说酷玩的命运关乎巨头EMI的生死)。究竟酷玩乐队是EMI的救命稻草还是仅仅比较可靠呢?问马丁也没用。他把英式的羞怯风格转为对忍受虐待的信仰。 "我们确实抢了他们饭碗",谈到电台司令时他这么说道。他也说过"像世界上数百万人一样,我不能去听酷玩的音乐"。不过他只说对了一半,酷玩乐队的音乐的确偏好一种邋遢而又模糊的延长音,能让人直接联想到电台司令的汤姆约克(Thom Yorke)和他的队友。其实这种效果的鼻祖主要是U2,是他们创造了酷玩乐队现在的演奏风格:这种摇滚顾及到了朋克的巨大改革,但仍然追求一种让人心跳加速的,像进行曲那般的效果,正如70年代室内摇滚天王的音乐。换言之,就是指那种短小的流行歌曲,虽然你不完全知道在唱什么,但它总能激起你巨大的情感,让你激动得蹦蹦跳跳,振臂高呼。布赖恩伊诺(Bryan Eno)监制的《Viva la vida》已经展示了专辑与U2的关系,因为布莱恩曾经把U2原来活跃的足球音乐风格改造成深邃的催眠音乐风格,而后者则造就了他们以后的职业生涯。但问题是酷玩乐队似乎没有如此深度,也没有波诺(Bono)或刀子(the Edge)那样有特色的嗓音,而且U2他们能把吉他演奏得像伴唱。酷玩那些家伙都很轻柔,他们最好的曲目也显得不愠不火。 《Yellow》他们八年前的成名曲。当中有几段吉他弹得像刀子演奏的钟音,就是不断重复在琴颈高处的小和弦。它使歌曲远离了各种音乐流派而更加接近低音所带来的迷幻效果(如果成功的话)。但该首歌曲的核心在于马丁用经岁月洗练的歌词所吟唱的这段小夜曲:"Look at the stars, Look how they shine for you, and all the things that you do."然后是丰富饱满的一声"ah-",每次都能触动我的心弦。马丁直抒胸臆的歌曲为数不多,《Yellow》是其中之一。在乐队的第二张专辑中,马丁开始使用较为自由的歌词。"Am I part of the cure? Or am I part of the disease?"这句歌词来自可能是酷玩最动人的歌曲——《Clocks》。 旋律照应了歌曲名,一直围绕着三个重复的钢琴下行琶音。 而高潮出现在马丁随着钢琴用假声唱出的"you are"。但曲中的"你"是什么呢?自己去猜吧。歌词中的什么"tides"和"clocks"我还完全没有头绪。不懂也没关系,重磅大碟《Clocks》在一片欢呼与光芒中的隆重推出取得了巨大成功。而在歌曲的结尾,马丁反复低唱"Home, home, where I wanted to go。" 只有那部分你才注意到他的那一份本质上深藏的情感,潜藏在小伙的心底的安全区域:这是一个从小就自认不是特别酷的男孩,是一个22岁时拥有了初夜的男孩。我总想出于这一点而去喜欢酷玩乐队:他们是一伙因善良而获得回报的年轻男孩。 但是乐队的第三张专辑"Xamp;Y",一种张示某种东西的欲望开始掩盖他们的魅力。 犹如门前台阶上的一小束玫瑰变成了一个发涨的罐头,还充满了令人反胃的人造毒气。《Viva la Vida》的同名歌曲也叫"iPod歌",因为苹果公司用来做了广告。它无疑是该专辑的亮点。但为什么这首轻松活泼的,积极向上的歌曲竟与"罗马骑兵唱诗班"或革命者或圣彼得扯上了关系?这的确让人很费解,你也不要期望在歌词中能找到头绪。马丁是那国王吗? 曾经当过那国王吗?管他呢。酷玩乐队知道如何去创造一首歌,能够用简单的卡拉OK节奏把你吸引住。我听着8岁和11岁的小孩唱这着首歌度过一个周末(虽然他们歌词都不熟,有时还改词)但我从不厌烦这首歌的旋律。 然而一曲终了,只有你独自一人能够感受到。曲中不乏伊诺式的悦耳魅力:低诉的弦乐与钟声般的键盘能将"死神和他所有朋友"都关在门外;而纯器乐曲《Life in Technicolor》的音色,则像从一个长金属管的末端中发出的绝响。《Life in Technicolor》也是专辑里少数短小精悍的曲目之一,其它的曲目听上去又空虚又不完整,像前一专辑的片段被打碎之后再重组,然而当中的破坏元素又够不上叛逆。《Viva la Vida》这张专辑将继续淡出人们视线,这一系列断断续续的专辑是很难让人追随的。另外他们为什么都穿上那些暧昧的军装?封面上带领着人民的除了自由是什么? 他们一定知道在舒适的伦敦之外还有几起主要的冲突在进行着。但把战争的元素加进演奏当中,特别是对于这样一风格模糊的乐队,好像还不是时候。 /200808/45585

【中英对照】1. Create a plan for each day--use the plan to organize your day, but don't be married to the plan--remain flexible.每天做一个计划——用这个计划来安排你的日子,但不要过于死板,要保持灵活性。 2. Keep a list of your priorities in view. Measure your to-dos and planned actions against them.将考虑中的事情按主次列一个表,衡量它们的重要性并且有计划地对待。3. Ask of each new task before you: "Who is the best person to be doing this task?"对你面临每一个新任务的时候问一句,“谁是完成这个任务的最佳人选?”4. Ask specifically for what you want, including conditions of satisfaction, and timeframes. Don't expect people to your mind.明确的提出你需要的东西,包括满意的条件以及时间的构成。不要指望别人了解你的心思。5. Skip the morning news on TV. It's primarily negative. Skip the late night news on TV. It's even more negative than the morning news. Go to sleep earlier, , or write a journal.不要看早间新闻, 它们大多是消极的。不看晚间新闻, 它们更消极。早点上床,阅读或写一篇日记。6. Start each day with 30-60 minutes of ing--business, educational or inspirational.每天早上阅读30-60分钟——可以是商业的,有教育意义的或是启发心智的书籍。7. Refine and clarify your vision. Where are your actions taking your organization?精练地阐明你的见解。你行为的最终目的是什么?8. Whatever you are currently complaining about--stop it.无条件放弃你现下所有的抱怨。9. Use the 80/20 rule to your advantage.用80/20的准则对待你的收益。(注:80/20的准则——销售额的80%来自20%的客户或20%的产品,停止把你80%的时间花在只有20%生意的80%的顾客和产品上, 将你80%的时间化在带来80%生意的的顾客和产品上。) /200905/71942

常春藤联盟(The Ivy League)   在美国,“常春藤学府”一般隐喻著和高等学习院校有关,但只有一些学校被公认为“常春藤联盟”。常春藤联盟由美国东北部之八所学校组合而成:布朗大学、哥伦比亚大学、康奈尔大学、达特茅斯学院、哈佛大学、宾夕法尼亚大学、普林斯顿大学、及耶鲁大学。除康奈尔大学外,所有这些学校均在北美独立战争前创设,每所院校的入学标准均非常严格。这些学校之间的学术与运动竞争性纪录始于十九世纪末。

Find the shape of your body to change or try to belly fat, without losing a gym, with high prices? If so, try this workout, high energy cardiovascular, which was developed by Kelli Roberts.想不用去昂贵的健身房就能减去腹部脂肪,成功塑身吗?那么试试Kelli Roberts发明的心血管高强度运动法吧。Burn with 10 minutes of exercise routine can have up to 150 calories per day.每天用此法锻炼10分钟能消耗150卡路里热量。The first two minutes of the routine is the burning of fat: Jump Rope--Begin by selecting two jumps for each turn of the rope. Safety: Use the correct size jump rope and always land softly on the toes (the beginning of the foot). Continue to think I'm losing weight.前2分钟是燃烧脂肪:跳绳——双脚跳。安全注意事项:使用长度合适的跳绳,用前脚趾着地(不要太用力)。心里一直想:我在减肥。Two to three minutes: the squat thrust in a push-up the proper technique for this exercise is to the feet shoulder width apart and your arms are crossed the Straits on the sides. Slowly squat with your head forward and put his hand on the edge of the soles. The hands should be pointing forward. Then in one motion, press back and legs behind them board position. Ask a bare plate and then jump back into a crouch and standing up. Keep thinking, the fat disappears.第2-3分钟:下蹲后促腿俯卧撑动作。这个动作的正确技巧是:双脚打开与肩同宽,两手放在身体两侧。慢慢蹲下,两眼直视前方,把手朝前放在两脚内侧,双腿同时向后蹬,直到腿伸直,做一个俯卧撑,然后膝盖立即收回至胸前,站立。心里一直想:脂肪消失了。 /200910/86825

1. Ask questions that require more than a one-word response. You do not want to put the other person in a position to be able to say yes or no. Instead of saying "are you going away this weekend?" ask "where are you going this weekend?" Now the person will probably answer with a location, for example, the beach. Now you have something else to talk about! The beach, silly!避免问一般疑问句。不要问对方“你周末是否出去?”而是问“你周末有什么打算?”然后你可以沿着他的话题接着问下去。 /201001/94814

Sometimes willpower is a lot like the television remote control — hard to find just when you want it most. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, stop smoking, get to the gym regularly, win a promotion or pay off some debts, developing your sense of willpower is an important part of changing any behavior.We all know that breaking a bad habit or establishing a new, healthy one can be difficult, but persistence pays off. Researchers at the University of Washington found that 63 percent of those who made New Year’s resolutions were still keeping their resolution two months later. It’s not going to be easy, but there are ways to increase your willpower, stay resolved and achieve your goals.First Things FirstDon’t try to restructure your finances, win a promotion and lose weight all on the same morning. Establish one clear, specific goal and formulate a realistic strategy for achieving it. Extra willpower sometimes requires extra energy, so don’t stretch yourself too thin. Focus on one goal at a time.Start SlowMomentum builds gradually, and whatever your goal, don’t expect to achieve it overnight. Real success takes time. If you are trying to kick a caffeine habit, start by replacing your morning cup of coffee with a glass of water, instead of vowing never to drink coffee again. Congratulate yourself on the small achievements that will pave the way toward a larger one. These successes help your will power grow.Support NetworkBolster your willpower by tapping into a support network. Ask friends, family or colleagues for assistance and tell them exactly how they can help. If your credit card bills have skyrocketed, for instance, let friends know that you are cutting back on expenses. Suggest having a potluck dinner instead of meeting at an expensive restaurant. Find a support group or organization related to your goal and attend their meetings. You can get valuable advice, understanding and information — all of which increase commitment and willpower.Changing Your EnvironmentIf possible, alter your environment to reduce temptation or encourage positive behavior. Want to get in shape? Keep an extra set of workout clothes in your office as a reminder to stop by the gym on the way home. Quitting smoking? Avoid bars or restaurants where you might be tempted to light up.More Than WillpowerSometimes changing your behavior requires more than willpower. If you are struggling with an addiction or want to make a significant lifestyle change, seek the guidance and support of a professional. An expert may be able to provide intensive support and followup or prescribe medication to reduce physical symptoms. For example, without help only 5 percent of smokers can quit but that number rises to 30 percent when people seek both drug therapy and counseling. /200901/60532


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