楼主:华共享 时间:2019年08月26日 06:42:09 点击:0 回复:0
If youre planning a trip to Greece in the future, youll want toschedule a visit to the temple of Apollo at Delphi.如果有一天,你打算去希腊旅游,你可能会将特尔斐的阿波罗神庙列入行程单。This famoustemple was the home to the Pythia, a specially chosen andtrained woman who, according to legend, channeled the voiceand wisdom of Apollo, the god of prophecy.阿波罗神庙的女祭司皮提亚,传说,皮提亚是掌管预言的阿波罗神钦点传达预言和智慧的女祭司。Generals,politicians, and private citizens of the ancient world flocked to Delphi to question the Pythia andseek her divinely inspired advice.古时候,将军、政治家、普通百姓蜂拥而至,只为求得宣示的神谕。Ancient scientists and philosophers attributed the oracles power to vapors that bubbled upthrough a chasm and spring running through the oracles chamber inside the temple.古代的科学家和哲学家称,神谕的力量来自从深坑冒出的袅袅蒸气以及神庙内殿神龛喷出的泉水。Inhalingthese vapors, according to the ancients, induced a trance-like state that endowed the oracleswith divine prophetic power.祖先们认为,吸入气体,飘飘欲仙,并赋予了神圣的预言神力。Around 1900, excavations at Delphi revealed no chasm orescaping gases, and so the ancient accounts were discredited.直到公元1900年,科学家挖掘遗址,并未发现所谓的深坑,也没有飘散的气体。实前人的记载并非属实。Until recently, that is Geological surveys of the area have detected two faults, or cracks in theearths crust, intersecting directly under the oracles chamber.直至最近,在对当地进行考察中,发现了地壳有两道断层或裂缝,正好交错于神庙内殿神龛下面。Samples from Delphic spring waterand rock from the intersecting faults revealed traces of several chemicals including ethylene.特尔斐泉水的样本以及断层裂缝岩石的样本中提炼出几种化学物质,其中包括乙烯。Tests have shown that when administered in proper dosage, ethylene can result in a trance state.实验显示,适当剂量的乙烯使人精神恍惚,Those affected are conscious, able to sit upright, can answer questions, and afterwardsexperience amnesia.但是神志清醒,可以笔直地坐着,可以回答问题,但是可能很健忘。Some subjects react violently, screaming and throwing themselves about.有些个体变得很暴力,大吵大闹,疯疯癫癫。Such reactions to ethylene are consistent with ancient reports.这些对乙烯的反应和前人的记载吻合。Unlike their Greek predecessors,modern scientists leave Apollo out of the picture.与希腊的祖先不同,现代科学家慢慢解开了阿波罗神庙的面纱。But once again, science gives at least partialcredence to something that was once considered only a myth.至少,曾经我们对曾认为是神话的事情有所了解了。201407/310283Post-office banking邮政Put your money where your mail is邮件在哪儿,钱就在哪儿Americas postal service ponders a foray into financial services美邮政业或将涉足金融业WITH a workforce of just over 491,000 in 2013, the ed States Postal Service is second only to Walmart among civilian employers in America. But it still employed more than 200,000 fewer people last year than it did just nine years earlier—when it handled nearly 500m more pieces of mail and had almost 2,000 more retail offices. The rise of e-mail has left Americas massive postal service with far less to do, and it has been scrambling to find ways to raise revenue.2013年,美国邮政务公司雇员超过491000人,成为仅次于沃尔玛的美国第二大雇主。九年前美邮需要处理近5亿封邮件,拥有2000多个办事处,和那时相比去年还是减少了超过20万雇员。电子邮件的崛起导致美国大量的邮政务没什么业务可做,他们开始寻求其他的收入增长点。Earlier this year its inspector-general released a white paper suggesting that post offices should begin offering financial services, such as cheque-cashing, small loans, bill payments, international money transfers and prepaid cards to which salaries or benefits could be transferred. The reasoning is simple: a lot of Americans have scant access to banks and a lot of post offices have too little to do.今年初,美邮总监发布的白皮书显示邮政业要开始提供金融务,这些务包括票兑现,小额贷款,账单付,国际转账以及能够预的工资卡。这么做的原因很简单:许多美国人对的需求得不到满足而一堆邮局又无事可做。More than one-quarter of American households are unbanked or underbanked, meaning they either lack a current or savings account, or they have one but still use alternatives to banks such as cheque-cashers and payday lenders. That is an expensive habit: the average underbanked household has an annual income of only ,500 or so, yet spends around 9.5% of that on fees and interest charged by these banking substitutes.超过四分之一的美国家庭没有账户或者没有得到充足的金融务,这意味着他们没有这种倾向或者没有储蓄账户,也可能他们有账户,但选择如票承兑人或发薪日贷款人等替代方式。这是种代价很高的习惯:一般来说没有账户的家庭年均收入25500美元,而付给这种替代机构的费用和利息达到9.5%左右。High-street banks find it hard to make money serving poor customers, since they tend to have little money on deposit that the banks can lend out. Penalties such as overdraft fees are not always enough to compensate. Since 2008, 93% of bank-branch closings have come in areas where median household income is below the national average.大型为穷人提供务很难赚到钱,因为他们的存款太少,而要把这些钱贷出去。透费这种惩罚措施并不总是能够偿还成本。自2008年起,93%的行陷入这样的境地—家庭账户收入的中值低于国家平均水平。These are the distressed customers to whose rescue the USPS hopes to ride. Some 59% of its post offices are in places with either a single bank or none at all. In rural hamlets they are often one of very few commercial establishments; even in the postal services diminished state, there are still more than seven post offices for every Walmart in America. Post offices aly sell money orders and provide electronic remittances to nine Latin American countries; from 1911 to 1967 the USPS also held personal deposits. Providing small, brief loans at lower interest rates than payday lenders could save low-income consumers hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in interest and fees. The post office would compete not with banks, but with their more expensive stand-ins.正式这些贫穷的顾客点燃了美邮的希望。美邮59%的邮政所周围只有一家或者没有。在美国乡下,他们常常是为数不多的商业机构之一;即使是在邮政务日益萧条的州,邮政所和沃尔玛的数量比也大于7:1。邮政所造就开始向9个拉丁美洲国家卖邮政汇票并提供电子汇款务;1911年到1967年之间,美邮还有个人存款业务。提供利率比发薪日贷款人低的小额短期贷款,能为低收入客户节省数亿甚至数十亿美元的利息和费用。邮政局不是和竞争,而是在和比收费高的替代机构竞争。Some, notably the head of the committee of the House of Representatives that oversees the USPS, are unconvinced. They see the postal services expansion into financial services as government overreach, and a delay of the necessary “right-sizing” of a massive agency that does far less than it used to. Jennifer Tescher, who heads a charity focused on the underbanked called the Centre for Financial Services Innovation, notes that the USPS “has zero capacity, understanding or capability in this arena”. “The only asset they bring to the table”, she believes, “is distribution.” Even that is of limited value outside rural areas: Ms Tescher notes that just because a spot lacks bank branches does not mean it has no cheque-cashers and corner shops selling prepaid cards—many with longer and more convenient opening hours than the post office.众议院委员会负责人指出美邮的做法明显不具信力。他们把邮政业扩张到金融领域的行为视作政府的手伸的太长,认为这是在拖延这个远远低于过去功效的大型机构合理精简的步伐。一个专注于那些无法得到充分金融务的人的慈善团体—金融务创新中心的负责人詹妮弗说美邮不了解这一领域,既没资格也没能力。她相信美邮唯一的优势是渠道,即使这在农村以外地区基本没有价值。Tescher女士提到这些区域缺少网点并不意味着没有票承兑人和贩卖预付卡的小店—和邮局相比,他们的营业时间更长、更方便。Although turning the USPS into a part-time financial institution may seem outlandish in America, roughly 1 billion people in 50 countries rely on their postal systems for financial services, according to the Universal Postal Union, the ed Nations agency that helps the post arrive on time. The business models vary widely. In some countries post offices act as a payment centre, allowing people to receive remittances, pay bills and top up or tap money stored on their mobile phones. Some operate full-service banks: Japan Post, for instance, is one of the worlds biggest. In other countries, such as Brazil, commercial banks form partnerships with post offices; in Malawi private banks can rent space from post offices.根据万国邮政联盟,尽管美邮成为兼职的金融机构在美国看起来很奇怪,但世界上50个国家的10亿人依靠邮政系统提供的金融务。这种商业模式差别很大。在一些国家,邮局充当付中心的角色,人们可以接收汇款、付账单利用移动电话存取款。有一些则成为提供全面务的:比如日本邮政就是世界上最大的之一。在像巴西一类国家,商业和邮政成为合作伙伴;在马拉维,私人能向邮局租借场地。A World Bank study found last year that postal banks are likelier than conventional ones to provide accounts to those outside the financial mainstream. The bigger the postal network, the greater the ability to reach such people. That may not convince those who would like to see the USPS shrink, but for those who want to preserve it, it could help to justify its scale.去年世界研究发现,相对于传统,邮政更有可能为主流金融区域之外的人提供务。邮政网络越大,接触到这些人的能力就越大。这也许不足以说那些希望美邮精简的人,但对于那些想要保持它的人来说,这能帮助他们明美邮规模的合理性。 /201404/291901Business商业报道Facebook and virtual reality脸谱网与虚拟现实A game of goggles一场头戴式3D眼镜的The social network makes another expensive bet on the future社交网络又向未来押了一笔高昂赌注AT SXSW, a techie festival that took place inTexasearlier this month, some lucky attenders were able briefly to immerse themselves in HBOs fantasy television series, “Game of Thrones”.在本月初,影视音乐互动大会上,一个技术展在德克萨斯州拉开帷幕,一些幸运的参加者能短暂的将自己沉浸在HBO的奇幻电视剧《权利的游戏》中。By donning virtual-reality goggles made by Oculus VR, people could see how the world looked from the top of the 700-foot-tall Wall that protects the Seven Kingdoms from enemies that lurk beyond.戴上由Oculus VR公司制造的虚拟现实眼镜,人们可以看见从700英尺高的城墙顶端俯瞰的世界,而这城墙保卫着七大王国免受潜伏在城墙外敌人的侵扰。The digital rendition was so lifelike that gazing down from the Wall gave some folk vertigo.其细节重现栩栩如生以至于从城墙上俯瞰时会使人眩晕。Such a compelling experience explains why Oculus Rift, the companys virtual-reality headset, has captivated keen gamers.如此令人信的体验解释了该公司的虚拟现实耳机Oculus Rift俘获了狂热游戏迷的原因。It has also caught the attention of Facebook, which announced on March 25th that it had bought Oculus VR for around 2 billion.这也引起了Facebook公司的注意,在3月25日,其宣布已用约20亿美元收购了Oculus VR公司。This deal, which comprises 400m in cash and the rest in Facebook stock, comes not long after the social networks purchase of WhatsApp, a messaging app, for 19 billion.这笔交易包括4亿美元的现金交易,其余部分以Facebook公司股票交易。且这就发生在Facebook公司以190亿美元收购信息传送应用程序WhatsApp的不久之后。WhatsApp at least has more than 450m users.WhatsApp应用程序至少有超过4.5亿用户。Oculus VR, a startup that is less than two years old, has so far only sold its headsets to game developers.Oculus VR这一新创办不超过两年的公司,目前只向游戏开发者卖出了它的虚拟现实耳机。So why is Facebook paying so much for it?那么为什么Facebook公司为购买它付出了这么多?And why is it betting on a much-hyped technology that has so far failed to live up to its promise?且这一大量炒作的技术,迄今仍未兑现其承诺,Facebook公司为什么在这一技术上押注?Part of the answer is that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebooks boss, and his colleagues think advances in areas such as graphics processing power and thin, high-resolution screens mean that virtual-reality headsets are at last y for mass consumption.部分原因是Facebook公司的老板Mark Zuckerberg以及他的同僚们认为,例如图形处理能力,薄而分辨率高的显示器等领域的发展进步,意味着虚拟现实耳机终于为大众消费做好了准备。David Ebersman, the firms finance chief, reckons the potential to mint money in gaming alone justifies Oculuss price tag.公司的首席财务官David Ebersman认为Oculus仅在游戏上赚钱的潜力就明它的价签是合理的。Other firms spy the same opportunity.其它公司侦寻着同样的机会。Sony recently unveiled a prototype virtual-reality headset for its PlayStation 4 game console and Microsoft is rumoured to be developing one for its Xbox console.索尼公司最近公布了一款为其PlayStation 4游戏平台打造的虚拟现实耳机的原型机,且有传言称微软正为其Xbox游戏平台研发一款虚拟现实耳机。But some gaming veterans reckon the headsets will appeal only to hard-core gamers.但是一些游戏老手认为这种耳机将只会吸引狂热的游戏玩家。And Facebooks purchase of Oculus has infuriated some of those.且Facebook公司收购Oculus公司这一举动已经将他们中的一些人激怒。After the deal was announced, Markus Persson, a prominent game developer, tweeted that he had just cancelled a plan to bring a game to Oculus.在交易宣布后,一个著名的游戏开发商Markus Persson就在推特上说他刚刚取消了一个想交由Oculus公司研发游戏的计划。“Facebook creeps me out,” he added.“Facebook公司吓到我了,”他补充道。That is unlikely to bother the social network, whose decision to buy Oculus was also motivated by a broader strategic concern.那不太可能扰乱Facebook社交网络公司,其收购Oculus公司的决策也是出于一个更加广泛的战略要求。Facebook grew up in an era dominated by personal computers.Facebook公司是在个人电脑主宰的时代发展起来的。It failed miserably to spot that computing was shifting fast to new mobile “platforms” such as smartphones.可悲的是它过去没能发现电脑正迅速向智能手机等移动平台转移。It has since raced to catch up in the world of apps and is now keen not to miss the next generation of big platforms.此后它迅速去追赶全世界应用程序的发展,而现在不希望错过下一代的大平台。Mr Zuckerberg thinks virtual reality could be one of these and foresees people putting on Oculuss goggles in their homes to, say, attend virtual classes or see their doctors.Zuckerberg先生认为虚拟现实可能是这些平台的其中之一。他说他预见人们戴上Oculus公司的虚拟现实眼镜在家里参加虚拟课程或看医生。But experiments in marrying entertainment with headgear, like 3D televisions that require viewers to wear special glasses, have been disappointing.但就像观看3D电视需要佩戴特殊眼镜一样,将设备设计成头戴式的效果一直不尽如人意。“Two billion dollars seems like a significant amount of money to pay for something that has yet to emerge,” says Brian Wieser of Pivotal, a research firm.研发公司Pivotal的Brian Wieser说:“对于一些尚未实现的东西来说,20亿美元似乎是一笔大投资。”True, but unlike Google, which spends lots of money on futuristic projects in its secretive “Google X” lab, Facebook is willing to let startups try riskier stuff, and then pay princely sums to acquire them.确实如此,谷歌公司在神秘的“Google X”实验室进行的未来项目中投入大量资金,然而与谷歌公司不同,Facebook公司宁愿让新创业的公司试验风险较高的事物,然后付天价收购它们。Other firms have also been buying talent and technology: according to Thomson Reuters, an information provider, the Oculus purchase took the total spent on technology Mamp;A worldwide since the start of 2014 to 65.2 billion—the highest amount for the equivalent period since 2000.其他公司也正在购买人才和技术,据信息提供者Thomson Reuters透露,自2014年初以来,Oculus公司在世界范围内的技术并购中,总共花费了625亿美元,这是自2000年以来同期最高值。The Oculus deal also represents a twist in the tech industrys very own Game of Thrones, an epic of incessant plotting and warfare.科技行业自身的权力游戏是一篇永不停歇的阴谋和战争的史诗,在这场游戏中,Oculus公司的交易也代表着一个转变。Google wants its Glass smart specs to be a new mass-computing platform and this week said Luxottica, a seller of high-end eyewear, would help it make them look nicer.谷歌公司希望其智能眼镜设备能够成为新一代的集群计算平台,与此同时,一家高端眼镜设备销售商Luxottica也表示将全力帮助该产品优化外观。Googles vision of the future involves complementing the real world seen through its specs with a visual feed from its search engine and other services.谷歌眼镜可以通过其搜索引擎和其他务实现信息视觉化展示,谷歌公司对未来的愿景包含透过谷歌眼镜实现对真实世界的补充。Facebooks is of people immersed in lifelike digital worlds.而Facebook公司的愿景是人们可以沉浸在逼真的数字世界。Their rivalry should be a real spectacle.他们的竞争应该是场真正的奇观。 /201404/284371Science and technology科学技术Synaesthesia通感Smells like Beethoven闻起来像贝多芬Using the word note to describe an odour may be more than just metaphor用音符来描述气味可能并不仅仅是个隐喻What do you hear?你闻到了什么?THAT some people make weird associations between the senses has been acknowledged for over a century.有些人的感觉之间存在着奇怪的联系,这种情况一百多年来已为世人所知;The condition has even been given a name: synaesthesia.它甚至还有了个名字,叫做通感。Odd as it may seem to those not so gifted,也许常人会觉得奇怪,synaesthetes insist that spoken sounds and the symbols which represent them give rise to specific colours or that individual musical notes have their own hues.通感者却坚持说听到说话的声音时,他们脑子里出现的是特殊的颜色,还会说每个音符都有自己的色。Yet there may be a little of this cross-modal association in everyone.其实所有人可能都有点这种跨感官感知联合现象。Most people agree that loud sounds are brighter than soft ones.大多数人都同意响亮的声音比轻柔的声音亮些。Likewise, low-pitched sounds are reminiscent of large objects and high-pitched ones evoke smallness.同样,低音让人联想起宏大的物体,高音给人渺小的感觉。Anne-Sylvie Crisinel and Charles Spence of Oxford University think something similar is true between sound and smell.牛津大学的Anne-Sylvie Crisinel和Charles Spence认为,气味和声音之间也存在类似的联系。Ms Crisinel and Dr Spence wanted to know whether an odour sniffed from a bottle could be linked to a specific pitch, and even a specific instrument.Ms Crisinel 和Dr Spence想弄清楚瓶装的气味能否与特定的音调甚至乐器联系起来。To find out, they asked 30 people to inhale 20 smells—ranging from apple to violet and wood smoke—which came from a teaching kit for wine-tasting.为了找出,他们测试了30人,让每人吸入20种气味从苹果、紫罗兰的气味到木材烟尘这些气味来自品酒师教材。After giving each sample a good sniff, volunteers had to click their way through 52 sounds of varying pitches, played by piano, woodwind, string or brass,在认真体味每种气味后,志愿者要从52种音调不同、and identify which best matched the smell.音色各异的声音中点选出听起来感觉与气味最相配的。The results of this study, to be published later this month in Chemical Senses, are intriguing.研究结果十分有趣,本月将被发表在《Chemical Senses》杂志上。The researchers’ first finding was that the volunteers did not think their request utterly ridiculous.第一,研究者发现志愿者并不认为这项实验荒唐透顶。It rather made sense, they told them afterwards.试验结束后,志愿者们说实验还是有点意义的。The second was that there was significant agreement between volunteers.第二,志愿者的意见有重要的共同点。Sweet and sour smells were rated as higher-pitched, smoky and woody ones as lower-pitched.他们认为酸、甜的气味音调高,烟味和木头的气味音调低;Blackberry and raspberry were very piano.黑莓味和覆盆子味闻起来很像钢琴,Vanilla had elements of both piano and woodwind.香草味像钢琴和木管乐的混合体,Musk was strongly brass.麝香味则非常像铜管乐。It is not immediately clear why people employ their musical senses in this way to help their assessment of a smell.为什么人们会用乐感来帮助自己评价味道?并不能被立刻揭晓。But gone are the days when science assumed each sense worked in isolation.但是科学已不再认为人的各种感觉之间没有联系了。People live, say Dr Spence and Ms Crisinel,士Dr Spence和Ms Crisinel说:in a multisensory world and their brains tirelessly combine information from all sources to make sense, as it were, of what is going on around them.人们生活在这个世界上,万事万物会引起各种感觉。大脑似乎在不停地综合来自各方面的信息,判断周围发生的事情。Nor is this response restricted to humans.这种反应也不仅仅发生在人类身上。Studies of the brains of mice show that regions involved in olfaction also react to sound.研究显示,老鼠大脑的嗅觉区同样会对声音做出反应。Taste, too, seems linked to hearing.味觉似乎也与听觉有关联。Ms Crisinel and Dr Spence have previously established that sweet and sour tastes, like smells, are linked to high pitch, while bitter tastes bring lower pitches to mind.此前Ms Crisinel和Dr Spence已经确定,酸味、甜味就像酸、甜的气味一样与高音相关;苦味则带来低音的感觉。Now they have gone further.如今他们走得更远。In a study that will be published later this year they and their colleagues show how altering the pitch and instruments used in background music can alter the way food tastes.在今年计划发表的一项试验中,二人与同事揭示了背景音乐中乐器和音调的改变会如何引起食物味道的改变。In this experiment, each volunteer was given four pieces of toffee.在这项试验中,每位志愿者得到了四块太妃糖。They consumed the other two, however, to the accompaniment of a higher-pitched piano piece.他们在忧郁低沉的铜管乐声中吃掉两块,又听着音调较高的钢琴曲吃掉另外两块。Volunteers rated the toffee eaten during low-pitched music as more bitter than that consumed during the high-pitched rendition.志愿者评价说,音乐的音调低时吃的糖较苦,音调高时吃的糖较甜。The toffee was, of course, identical.当然,所有的太妃糖都一样。It was the sound that tasted different.声音才是尝起来味道不一样的东西。 /201403/279795

Business商业报道American industry and fracking美国工业和水力压裂技术From sunset to new dawn从日落到新的黎明Capitalists, not just greens, are now questioning how significant the benefits of shale gas and oil will be for America. The new sceptics are missing the big picture资本家们,而不仅仅是环保主义者们,现在在质疑页岩气和石油的利益对美国到底有怎样的意义。新的怀疑论者会看不到大局势Fracking the midnight oil水力压裂获取午夜石油IN A new book, The Frackers, Gregory Zuckerman says of the late George Mitchell, a pioneer of the technique of hydraulic fracturing to tap unconventional reserves of oil and gas, that his impact eventually might even approach that of Henry Ford and Alexander Graham Bell.在一本新书《水力压裂技术者》中,Gregory Zuckeman提及乔治·米切尔,运用水力压裂技术开发非传统石油和天然气储备的先锋,说道:他的影响最终甚至会达到亨利·福特和亚历山大·格雷汉姆·贝尔的高度。Yet of late doubters have been making themselves heard too.但是近期怀疑者们的意见也传了出来。In October Peter Voser said that one of his biggest regrets as boss of Shell is the 24 billion his firm has invested in North Americas shale beds.十月份Peter Voser说作为壳牌石油的老板的最大的后悔之一是他的公司在北美的页岩层的240亿美元的投资。This summer, the firm took a big writedown on this investment and slashed its production targets.这个夏天,这个家公司减少了这项投资并且大幅度削减它的生产量。Also last month BHP Billiton, which spent around 20 billion in 2011 in a bet on shale, said it would auction half of its oil and gas acreage in Texas and New Mexico.上个月,2011年在页岩竞标中花了大概200亿美元的必和必拓,也会拍卖它在德克萨斯州和新墨西哥一半的有石油和天然气的土地。It is not just the biggest energy companies that have turned sceptical on shale.不仅仅是最大的能源公司对页岩有怀疑。More than a dozen chief executives of smaller firms specialising in unconventional gas and oil have lost their jobs this year, as the firms troubles have made them the targets of activist investors.更多专注于非传统燃气和石油的较小公司的首席执行官今年也丢掉了工作,由于公司的困难使他们成为了激进的投资者的目标。Adding to the general air of negativity, last month economists at Goldman Sachs put out a report arguing that even at its current cheap price, shale gas would provide only a modest boost to the American economy as a whole.上个月高盛投资的一名经济学家提出一份报告辩称甚至在它目前的便宜价格,页岩气也仅仅为美国整体经济提供一个谦虚的繁荣,更是增添了整个的消极氛围。It argued that the energy industry is itself a fairly small part of the economy and creates relatively few jobs; and it was doubtful about the pace of innovation in fracking, and the extent to which cheap energy will prompt other industries to invest more.报告说能源产业自身是经济非常小的一个部分并且创造相对较少的工作;并且关于在水力压裂技术方面的革新步伐和在什么程度上廉价能源能够促进其他产业更多的投资是很值得怀疑的。No one disputes that the new technology has transformed Americas prospects as a hydrocarbons producer.没有异议的是新技术把美国的前途转换成为一个氢碳制造者。Gas output has risen by one-third since its most recent trough in 2005, and oil production has risen by 30% since its recent low in 2008.自从2005年最近低谷期以来天然气的输入已经上升了三分之一,石油的生产也从2008年的低产量上升了30%。This year America is expected to overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the worlds largest producer of oil and gas combined.今年美国预期超过俄罗斯和沙特阿拉伯成为世界上最大的石油和天然气联合生产者。Jobs in energy have nearly doubled in America since 2005; since the end of the recent recession they have grown at a faster rate than in any other big industry.自从2005年以来能源领域的就业已经上升了两倍;自从最近的萧条结束后他们比其他任何大型产业增长的速率都要快。North Dakota, which sits on the huge Bakken oil and gas field, now boasts an unemployment rate of just 3%, the lowest among all the states.位于巨大的贝肯石油天然气油田的北达科他州目前自夸失业率是所有州中最低的仅仅是3%。Some pessimists worry about the speed at which shale-bed wells run dry.一些悲观主义者们担心页岩层干涸的速度。David Hughes, a geologist at the Post Carbon Institute, a greenish think-tank, says the combination of gass low price and the heavy spending needed to keep it flowing casts doubt on whether the exploitable reserves of unconventional oil and gas are as big as they are fracked up to be.David Hughes,属于绿色智囊团的the Post Carbon Institute的一个地质学家,说天然气的低价和需要保持它流动的沉重花销的结合使可开发利用的非传统石油和天然气的储备是否有他们通过水力压裂技术获取的那么多存疑。Optimists argue that the fast decline rate has come as no surprise, and that the technology, and the industrys experience in deploying it efficiently, are improving fast enough to mitigate much of the effect of weak prices.乐观者们辩论到无需惊讶迅速下降的生产率,并且高效运用技术和产业经验也在快速提高足以抵消掉不够占优势的价格的大部分影响。Each stage of fracking is significantly evolving, says Rick Grafton, an oil and gas veteran at Grafton Asset Management, an investment firm.水法压裂技术的每个阶段都是有意义的进化发展,Rick Grafton,一个投资公司G2的石油和天然气研究者,说道。Yet he concedes that while gas prices remain at historic lows, it will remain unattractive to invest in wells that produce only gas—as opposed to ones that produce oil or a mix of gas and natural-gas liquidssuch as butane and propane.但是他承认如果天然气价格继续保持历史低价,那投资那些仅仅生产天然气的油田会继续保持没有吸引力的。As new gas has flooded onto the American market since 2008, its price has fallen by two-thirds to less than 4 per million British thermal units.由于从2008年新天然气涌入美国市场以来,它的价格已经下跌了三分之二比每百万BTU4美元还要便宜。The average price needed to cover all the costs over a wells life cycle is around 6, says Mr Grafton.而需要用来付所有覆盖矿井生产周期成本的平均价格大约是6美元,Grafton先生说道。He expects it to stay below that level for three to five years, if not longer.他期待它保持三到五年低于那个水平,如果不能长久维持的话。As a result, gas exploration in America is increasingly being determined by the prices of oil and NGLs.结果是,美国的天然气开发越来越被石油和天然气液体的价格决定。If they are high enough, energy firms will drill for these, treating the gas as a by-product.如果它们足够高,能源公司钻井开发他们,而把天然气作为副产品。In North Dakota, the infrastructure to get much of this gas to market affordably is lacking, so the gas is burned, generating an intense light that can be seen at night from space.在北达科他州,获得大部分这种天然气且花费公司又能够承担的基础设施是缺乏的,所以这种天然气被烧掉了,产生明亮的光晚上从高空都可以看到。Roughly speaking, fracking for oil and NGLs is profitable when oil is trading on American exchanges at above 80 a barrel, as it has mostly done for the past four years.粗略的讲,当石油在每巴仑80美元的美元汇率以上进行交易时,如它在过去的四年大部分时候做的一样,水力裂压法获取石油和天然气液体是有利可图的。As long as energy firms expect this to continue, there will be lots of drilling, and thus lots of gas as well as oil and NGLs.只要能源公司希望这种情况能够继续,这里会有许多的钻井,并且因此有许多的天然气还有石油和天然气凝析油。The market consensus is that the problems of Shell, BHP Billiton and some other big firms mostly reflect a combination of coming late to the party, paying top dollar for drilling sites and choosing some that turned out less productive than expected.市场的一致性体现在壳牌石油、必和必拓公司和其他大公司的问题大部分反映了一个联合,即晚参加这个花费高昂来钻井和选择一些被发现比预期产量要少矿址的聚会。Firms that made better, timelier choices are still doing well.那些做了更好的,及时的选择的公司现在仍然做的很好。Until Twitter went public earlier this month, the years hottest American IPO was of shares in Antero Resources, whose wells in the Appalachians are expected to increase their output by 76% in 2014 and 47% the year after.直到推特这个月的早些时候公开上市,今年最热的美国首次公开募股是Antero Resources天然气公司股票,它在阿巴拉契亚山脉的矿井被期待到2014年将它们的产出提高76%和2015年提高47%。There is a danger that something—an unexpected slide in oil prices, say—might make investors turn cold on shale firms.这里的危险是某些情况,如超出预期的石油价格下跌,可能使投资者在页岩开发公司上转冷。Many of them are master limited partnerships or similar corporate structures that enjoy tax advantages but in exchange must return their entire profits to investors each year.它们中的许多是业主有限合伙企业或者类似享有税收优惠但作为交换必须每年返他们所有盈利给投资者的公司结构。That means the firms, which require vast amounts of capital, must constantly raise it afresh, making them exceptionally vulnerable to sentiment among investors. However, no such freeze is in sight.这意味着这些需要大量资金的公司必须持续重新提升,使他们对投资者情绪特别敏感。但是,没有任何冻结看得见。Renaissance men文艺复兴者As for the effects of fracking on the broader American economy, most of the forecasts that are bullish on this question assume that gas prices will remain at historic lows.至于水力压裂法在拓展美国经济的影响上面,许多关于这个问题的乐观预测假设天然气会继续保持历史低价。I cant see any scenario, other than a widesp ban on drilling, that would push prices higher than 6, says Scott Nyquist, one of the authors of a report by the McKinsey Global Institute which argues that unconventional oil and gas are set to provide a strong lift to American business.我没有看到任何方案,而不是一个在钻井上广泛传播的禁止令,这样会使价格比6美元高,Scott Nyquist说道,他是麦肯锡公司认为非传统石油和天然气被设定为美国商业提供一个有力的撑的报告的作者之一。The report reckons that between now and 2020, shale gas and oil will add 380 billion-690 billion, or two to four percentage points, to Americas annual GDP, creating 1.7m permanent jobs in the process.该份报告认为在现在和2020年之间,页岩气和石油会为美国每年GDP增加3800亿到6900亿美元或者二到四的百分点,在这个过程中创造170万永久的工作岗位。Americas New Energy Future, a recent report by IHS, another research outfit, talks of a manufacturing Renaissance and predicts a 533 billion boost to GDP by 2025, creating around 3.9m jobs.美国的新能源未来,IHS,另外一个研究组织,谈到制造业的文艺复兴并且预测到2025年GDP有5330亿的增长,大概创造390万工作。At first, say both McKinsey and IHS, a lot of the action will be in the energy business itself: not just in drilling and pipelines but in roads and ports, and all the other activities needed to produce and distribute the fuels. Electricity production is being transformed too, with gas-fired power stations being built to replace dirtier coal-fired ones.随着修建燃气电站来代替火电站,电力生产政治被变革.这样帮助美国2010到2012年能源生产排放的温室气体减少了10%。This has contributed to a 10% fall in the greenhouse-gas emissions from American power generation between 2010 and 2012. IHS reckons gas-fired stations will be providing 33% of Americas electricity in 2020, compared with just 21% in 2008.IHS答复相对于2008年燃气电站仅仅供给了美国21%的电力,到2020年燃气电站会提供美国电力的33%。In the next few years the benefits of fracking will become more visible in other industries, especially those, such as chemicals firms, that consume a lot of energy or use raw materials derived from hydrocarbons.在接下来的几年,水力压裂法的利益将会在其他产业中更加可视化,特别是那些,例如化学公司,消费许多能源或者使用源于氢碳化合物原材料的产业。European industry pays around three times as much for its gas as its American counterpart, and Japanese firms pay more than four times as much.相比它的美国竞争对手,欧洲产业要花费三倍的成本来获得页岩气,日本公司要花费多于四倍的成本。A report this week by the International Energy Agency, a think-tank backed by energy-consuming rich countries, predicts that by 2015 Americas energy-intensive firms will have a cost advantage of 5-25% over rivals in other developed countries.本周国际能源机构的一份报告预测到2015年美国能源密集型公司会有比其他发达国家的竞争对手的成本低5-25%的优势。Since 2011, 128 new energy-hungry industrial plants have been announced in the Gulf Coast region alone, with a combined value of 114 billion.自从2011年,128个新的能源密集型工业工厂在墨西哥沿岸地区设立,整体价值1140亿美元。Many are in petrochemicals. Methanex recently started advertising jobs in a methanol plant it has dismantled and shipped from Chile to Louisiana.许多是石油化学产品。梅塞尼斯最近开始广告招聘在一个它所有的分拆出来的并且从智利转移到路易斯安那的甲醇公司的工作。A second plant will start up in 2016.第二家工厂会在2016年设立。In October Yara, a Norwegian fertiliser manufacturer, said it will join forces with BASF of Germany to build a world scale ammonia plant on the Gulf Coast.十月,亚拉,一个挪威化肥制造商,说它会加入德国的BASF在墨西哥沿岸地区建立一个世界范围内的氨工厂。The aluminium, iron and steel industries are also taking advantage of cheap gas supplies.铝、铁和钢工业也在利用廉价天然气供应的优势。Recently 19 new or expanded plants have been announced by firms including US Steel, Alcoa and ArcelorMittal.最近包括美国钢铁,Alcoa 和Arcelor Mittal在内的公司宣布将会有19家新的或者扩张的工厂。Nucor is rebuilding on a site in Louisiana, whose original plant was dismantled and shipped to Trinidad nearly a decade ago, when gas prices were rising in America.Nutor在路易斯安那州重新建立厂址,近十年前它的原厂被分拆和转移到特立尼达岛,当美国的天然气价格上涨。Makers of such things as cement and tyres are heavy consumers of energy, too, and thus stand to benefit from cheap gas.这些产品的制造者是粘合剂,能源的巨大需求是轮胎,因此坚持从廉价天然气中受益。Fracking the midnight oil水力压裂获取午夜石油Compressed or liquefied gas can also be used to power motor vehicles. American firms with big commercial fleets, such as FedEx and ATamp;T, are looking to cut costs by switching to gas power.压缩的或者液化的天然气也能够被用来给机动车提供动力。美国拥有巨大商业车队的公司,例如联邦快递和美国电话电报公司,在寻求转为天然气动力的方式来削减成本。GM, Ford and Chrysler have launched pickup trucks that can switch between petrol and gas.GM,福特和克莱斯勒汽车公司也发布了能够在汽油和天然气之间进行切换的小卡车拖拉机。The growing supply of cheap shale gas has led to a wave of investment in converting terminals that were built to handle imports of gas into ones that can export it.廉价页岩气的持续供应导致了转换终端设备的投资浪潮,该设备被设计来处理通过该设备天然气输入输出的问题。Some, such as Andrew Liveris, the boss of Dow, a chemicals giant, worry that if too much of Americas gas is exported, prices will rise, robbing it of its competitive advantage.有些,如Andrew Liveris,一家名为Dow化学大公司的老板,担心如果太多的美国天然气被出口,那么价格会上升,抢走了它的竞争优势。However, the new export facilities will come on stream slowly, especially if the government keeps dragging its feet over granting export licences.但是新的输出设备在缓慢投入生产,特别是如果政府坚持通过授予出口许可来拖它的后腿。And even if all the currently planned facilities are opened, which would make America the worlds largest gas exporter, gas prices in America would still be some way below the world price—probably no more than 6 per BTU, says McKinsey.甚至如果所有目前计划的设备开动了,这会使美国成为世界上最大的天然气输出国,美国的天然气价格也会以某种方式低于世界价格水平—可能不会多于每BTU6美元,麦肯锡公司说道。So America should be able to enjoy a boost to its trade balance while still preserving its manufacturers advantage over foreign rivals.所以美国应该仍然能够在对它的外国对手保持它的制造业优势的情况下享受到它的贸易平衡的增长。Look on the bright side光明的一面The argument over the impact on the job market is essentially over whether the glass is half-full or half-empty.就业市场冲击的争论关于玻璃杯究竟是半空还是半满是有必要的。The most that Goldman concedes in its sceptical report is that the long-term decline in jobs in energy-intensive industries has merely bottomed out.大部分高盛在它有疑虑的报告中承认的是能源密集产业长期工作大萧条已经完全降到最低点。But even this would be worth celebrating.但是甚至这样也是值得庆祝的。IHS is not the only forecaster to be much more cheerful.IHS不是唯一的比较乐观的预测者。It predicts that unconventional energy, as well as providing jobs in its own right, will be supporting 400,000 jobs in manufacturing in 2015 and 500,000 jobs, or 4.2% of total manufacturing employment, in 2025.它预计非传统能源,也在它自己的权利范围内提供工作,到2015年会在制造行业提供400,000工作和到2025年500,000工作或者制造业雇佣的4.2%。The spending-power of those new workers, and the cut in businesses and households energy bills, should provide a broad boost to the economy.这些新雇员的消费能力和在商业和家庭能源账单上的削减应该会对经济提供一个广泛的增长。Goldman again puts a cautious spin on the numbers: shale energys overall effects will add just a few tenths of a percentage point to the annual growth rate, says Jan Hatzius, its chief economist.高盛再次在数据方面提供了一个谨慎的说法:页岩能源的全面影响会仅仅对年增长率增加几十个百分点,Jan Hatzius,它的主要经济学家说道。But although this sounds modest, if sustained for a decade or more, it would add up to something big. Not quite a revolution, perhaps, but a significant turnaround in Americas prospects.但是尽管这个听起来很谦虚,如果持续十年或者更久,它会累积很大一笔。不算是一个革命,可能,但是是美国前景上的有重要意义的转弯。 /201311/265679

Perhaps the Elephantine Jews didnt know about the rule, or perhaps distance from Jerusalem made them indifferent to it,也许是笨拙的犹太人压根就不晓得规矩,抑或是离耶路撒冷的遥远使他们变得漠不关心,because they built their own temple, here in the heart of this alien land.因为他们在这陌生的土地上建立自己的神庙。They boasted about its antiquity, how it was older than the rebuilt Jerusalem temple,他们吹嘘子自己的古代辉煌,如何比耶路撒冷重建圣殿年代更为久远,with five monumental gateways, a holy of holies inside, with bronze hinges to the doors, a cedar roof, and gold and silver vessels.有五个宏伟的石门,最里则是最神圣的场所,有着铜铰链门,雪松的屋顶,金银的器皿。More outrageously, animals were, indeed, sacrificed to Elephantine along with offerings of grain and fruit.更肆无忌惮是, 事实上是用于祭祀的牲畜们,还有谷物和水果。There was much curling of smoke and sprinkling of blood.这里曾经烟雾缭绕并且鲜血撒满地。But circumstances were about to deal the proud Elephantine Jews a cruel blow.但现实环境是与这种骄傲粗笨的犹太人打交道通常对人是残酷的打击。Their temple stood right next to the Egyptian temple of Khnum, the rams-headed god who presided over the annual life-giving flood of the Nile.他们的寺庙位于埃及Khnum寺庙旁边,这里的公羊神明掌管尼罗河一年一度的洪水。The Egyptians held rams sacred, but the Jews sacrificed them to a God they proclaimed as the one and only.埃及人认为公羊是神圣的动物,但犹太人则用它们祭祀自己宣称是唯一的神明。Not tactful.这种做法一点也不明智。The priests of Khnum bribed the commander of the local Persian garrison to attack and destroy the Jewish temple.Khnum的祭司贿赂当地波斯驻军的指挥官发动袭击并摧毁了犹太圣殿。201406/305592

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