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明星资讯腾讯娱乐2019年05月20日 01:21:27
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Science in Argentina阿根廷的科学发展Cristina the alchemist炼金术士克里斯蒂娜Argentina is trying to build a scientific establishment阿根廷正努力打造一个科学机构SOUTH AFRICA is not the only middle-income country which aspires to join the worlds scientific powers.南非并不是唯一渴望加入世界科学强国的中等收入国家。Argentina would like to as well.怀有同样渴望的还有阿根廷。The place is proud of its three Nobel science prizes—the largest haul of any Latin American nation—even if the most recent was awarded in 1984.曾经三次荣获诺贝尔科学奖,但即使最后一次获奖发生在1984年,阿根廷仍然以此为傲,因为这是任何拉丁美洲国家都无法比拟的成就。But many researchers fled in the 1990s, when budgets were slashed. Now the government is trying to attract them back, and to encourage younger talent to consider a scientific career.但在20世纪90年代,预算大幅削减,许多研究人员抽身而去。如今,政府正在努力将其吸引回国,并鼓励青年人才以科学为职业。When Néstor Kirchner, the predecessor and late husband of the current president, Cristina Fernandez, took office in 2003, Argentina was spending just 0.41% of its GDP on research and development.前总统内斯托尔·基什内尔于2003年上台,当时阿根廷在研究和开发上的投入仅占其GDP的0.41%。Now, that figure is 0.64%.如今的投入占到0.64%。Kirchner raised researchers salaries, launched a scheme to repatriate departed scientists and gave tax breaks to software companies.基什内尔总统提高了研究人员的工资,推出召回离国科学家的方案,允许软件开发公司享受税收上的优惠。Ms Fernandez followed suit by creating a science ministry and putting a biologist, Lino Barao, in charge of it.费尔南德斯夫人也相继建立起科技部,并任命生物学家巴拉尼奥为部长。She also increased grants to firms that try to develop new products.她还提高了给新产品研发公司的拨款。Many of the Kirchners critics were sceptical, seeing the ministry either as a political marketing ploy or as a soft touch for lobbyists seeking unjustified subsidies.许多针对基什内尔的批评家们持一种怀疑态度,他们认为科技部既是一种政治营销策略,又会被那些寻求不正当补贴的说客轻易利用。But the strategy seems to be working.然而整个策略却似乎正在发挥作用。With help from the Inter-American Development Bank the government has, since 2004, lured back 854 expatriate scientists.2004年,在美洲开发的帮助下,阿根廷政府总共将854名移居国外的科学家吸引回国,It has done so by providing new laboratories and equipment for them, moving their families, and forking out extra money for their salaries.为他们提供新的实验室和仪器,安置其家人,分拨额外资金作为他们的酬劳。As a consequence, according to Dr Baraao,根据尼奥教授所说,Argentine researchers have published 179 articles in leading journals in the past decade, compared with just 30 in the 1990s.之后阿根廷的研究员们在过去的十年里发表在前沿期刊的文章就有179篇,而90年代却只有30篇。Most of the returners are academics. But commercial science has benefited, too.大多数归国人员都是学术派,但商业科学却也从中受益。Indear, a joint public-private biotechnology-research centre based in Santa Fe, recently worked out how to transfer a gene for drought resistance from sunflowers to crops such as maize, soyabeans and wheat.总部位于圣达菲的一家公私合营生物技术研究中心Indear,近日研发出如何将向日葵中的抗旱基因转移到玉米大豆及小麦等农作物上,此举可将旱地产量提升至40%。That can increase yields in droughts by up to 40%. And the government has also doled out 54m in grants for the development of products that include coagulant factors to treat haemophilia,同时,政府还发放5400万美元开发包括发凝血因子在内的产品,transgenic cattle which secrete valuable hormones in their milk, and better ways of probing for oil deposits.以治疗血友病,研究分泌珍贵激素的转基因奶牛,以及提高石油储备的勘探技术。Help for high-tech innovation comes in other forms, too.对高科技创新的扶持还不止这些。The state offers, for example, to pay the cost of patenting inventions in foreign jurisdictions and of hiring lawyers to defend those patents.例如,政府会为在海外司法审批的发明付专利申请费用,并出钱雇佣律师为之辩护。It also acts as a headhunter for information-technology firms seeking employees with PhDs, and will pay part of the salaries of such recruits.同时还为信息技术公司充当猎头,搜寻有士学历的员工,并付其部分薪金。None of these programmes has faced allegations of corruption.所有的项目都没有发生有关贪污的起诉。Whether all this activity will have the effect of stimulating high-tech industry, as Ms Fernandez hopes, remains to be seen.然而,整个方案是否会像费尔南德夫人希望的那样推动高科技工业的发展,还得拭目以待。Argentine scientists are happy to take taxpayers money but according to Luis Dambra, a professor at the IAE business school in Buenos Aires, they look down their noses at the idea of actually getting their hands dirty by going into industry.花着纳税人的钱让阿根廷的科学家们十分高兴,不过布宜诺斯爱丽丝IAE商学院的路易斯·丹布尔教授认为,进入工业领域就是自降身段的说法让科学家们嗤之以鼻。Mr Dambra, though, says industry is equally to blame.尽管如此,丹布尔先生表示工业同样应该被斥责。In , only 21% of Argentine Ramp;D was paid for by the private sector, compared with 44% of Brazils.年,阿根廷研发领域仅有21%的费用是由私营部门付,相比巴西就达到了44%。Firms that might recruit academic scientists often do not see the point.那些有可能聘请学术科学家的公司却总是忽略了这一点。Even those that do may struggle to accommodate people with a non-commercial background into the business world.即便那些看到这一点的公司也可能争抢着将非商科背景的研究员安置在商业领域。Attitudes can change, of course.当然,态度看法总是发生变化的。In the 1980s many British academics were as snobbish about commerce as Argentinas are now.19世纪80年代,许多英国学者看待商业的态度和今天的阿根廷人一样不屑一顾。These days, Britains top universities are gung-ho for spin-outs and the revenue they can provide. But it takes time and consistent policy to make such changes and Argentina is notorious for sudden alterations in the political weather.而现在英国的顶尖大学都在为其所能提供的额外产物和收益而狂热。但是这些转变都需要长久的时间和一贯的政策才能得以确保,而阿根廷却因为在政界中风云突变而名声狼藉。That makes the country a perilous place to invest, whatever the current climate.无论现阶段状况如何,整个国家都成了投资者的危险之地。 /201306/242535

  

  Finance and economics财经商业Free exchange自由交易One of the giants巨人Ronald Coase, the economist who explained why firms exist, died on September 2nd, aged 102罗纳德科斯,著名经济学家,于9月2日逝世,享年102岁。他向世人阐明了企业存在原因。I HAVE made no innovations in high theory, was how Ronald Coase modestly summed up his lifes work.罗纳德科斯如是总结他一生的事业:在高层理论研究中,我并没有创新。My contribution to economics has been to urge the inclusion…of features of the economic system so obvious that…they have tended to be overlooked.我对经济领域的贡献在于,将甄选经济指标这一步骤引入人们视野,而之前,人们对此并不重视。Attention to the overlooked helped Mr Coase transform both law and economics.而正是他对这一被忽视的步骤的注意使得他改变了法律与经济。Born in the London suburb of Willesden in 1910 to working-class parents,1910年,罗纳德科斯出生在伦敦威尔斯登的一个工人家庭,Mr Coase had an academic temperament and an interest in science but lacked a taste for mathematics, a flaw that might have kept him out of economics in later decades.他很有学术天赋,对于科学也很有兴趣,遗憾的是他缺少对数学的尝试,也许这就是使得他在接下来的十年中无缘经济的原因。He studied commerce at the London School of Economics, a course tailored to those destined for middle management.科斯在伦敦经济学院学习贸易,这一学科是给将来的中层管理者量身定做的。The degree included instruction in economics, and he quickly fell for the dismal science.该学科包含了经济介绍,科斯很快便迷上了政治经济。A one-year travelling scholarship gave him the chance to apply what he had learned.一年的旅行奖金给予了科斯将所学应用于实践的机会,He chose to tour Americas industrial cities in the hope of answering a question that troubled him:他来到美国工业城市,希望能在这找到一直困扰他的问题:why did companies exist?企业为何存在。Economists of the time were enthralled by the special magic of the price mechanism.时下的经济学家都被价格机制的神奇魔力吸引。In a free market, prices should adjust to allocate resources where they are most valued.在自由市场,通过价格的变动来分配资源,使尽其用。A certain price for wool, for example, encourages farmers to raise sheep and bring wool to market to meet consumer demand.例如,如果羊毛价格高,农民就会更多的喂养羊群,将羊毛销往市场以满足需求。As more is produced and demand is sated the price falls, discouraging farmers from wasting time and resources producing unwanted goods.当生产的羊毛越来越多,需求被不断满足,价格就会下降,这就使农民减少生产,避免将时间跟精力浪费在非需商品上。Yet whereas some parts of the economy rely on prices to guide materials and labour to their best uses, others do not.经济在某些方面依靠价格来引导资源和劳力发挥最大作用,而其他方面又并非如此。Within firms tasks are doled out by fiat and strategies are set by the Politburo of the corporate board. Mr Coase wanted to know why.在企业里,高层向下布置任务,企业董事会制定政策。科斯想知道为什么是这样的模式。As he watched American car plants in action, he realised that the existence of the firm compensated for a critical flaw in the price-setting mechanism.就在科斯观察美国汽车工厂运行时,他意识到企业的存在正好弥补了价格生成机制中最严重的漏洞。In the real world it is often costly for buyer and seller to arrive at a final price.现实生活中,让买家跟商家达成最后的交易价格很费力。Transaction costs, like the need to negotiate or draw up contracts, prevent the price mechanism from working smoothly.交易成本,例如协商,签合同,这些都会使价格机制无法平稳运行。Firms would exist, he reckoned, when it was cheaper and easier to co-ordinate activity within a centrally planned organisation than to spell out contract details for every step in the production process.科斯猜想,当在一个有中心规划的机构里,协调各部门行动比在生产过程中为每一步都签订详细合同的成本更低更便捷,企业就出现了。Mr Coase first presented his proposition in a lecture in Dundee in 1932, at the tender age of 21.科斯首次提出这样的主张是他1932年在英国敦堤的一次演讲中,当时他才21岁。In 1937 he published The Nature of the Firm, an article based on the Dundee lecture.1937年,他以在敦堤的演讲为基础出版了《企业的性质》。An entire field of research would eventually be built on this paper, but it garnered scant attention at first.后来整个领域的研究都是以科斯在敦堤的演讲内容为基础,只是一开始并未引起很多人的注意。Mr Coase bounced around British academia in the 1930s and 1940s, from Dundee to Liverpool and back to the LSE, researching the workings of public utilities as he went.上个世纪30跟40年代,科斯在英国学术界十分活跃,从敦堤到利物浦,然后又回到伦敦经济学院,科斯一路研究公共事业公司的运行机制。In 1951 he migrated to America and proved similarly itinerant, until an article on radio-spectrum property rights caught the eye of scholars at the University of Chicago.1951年,他移民到美国,并不断地继续明类似的理论,直到射频频谱的知识产权一文的发表才吸引了芝加哥大学学者们的眼球。In 1959 he was invited to Chicago to air his views.1959年,科斯受邀到芝加哥去阐明他的观点,His audience included future Nobel prizewinners like George Stigler and Milton Friedman:底下的观众包括像未来诺贝尔得奖者乔治·施蒂格勒,弥尔顿·弗里德曼。confident, room-commanding men sceptical of Mr Coases conclusions.他们自信对科斯的结论表示怀疑。Over the course of a two-hour discussion the measured Mr Coase won them around.在两个小时的讨论之后,科斯终于得到他们的认可。He was asked to write up his arguments and in 1961 produced The Problem of Social Cost, another landmark text.科斯尽数写下他的观点,并于1961年出版了另一代表作《社会成本问题》。By 1964 Mr Coase was on the University of Chicagos faculty.从1964年起,科斯一直在芝加哥大学任教。His debates with the Chicago academics centred on market externalities:科斯与芝加哥的学者们围绕市场外部性进行了讨论:economic choices that impose social costs or benefits on others.经济选择会带来利益或需要社会成本。Factory pollution may disturb or poison nearby residents, for example.例如,工厂污染会影响或者危害周围的居民。Earlier generations of economists diagnosed a market failure that governments could set to rights.以往的经济学家得出政府能调整市场失败的结论。The polluting factory does not face any costs from spouting black smoke over a town: the costs are external from its perspective.污染性工厂对于向城镇释放黑烟的成本表示无压力,因为这个成本在他们的估算外。A tax on pollution would internalise the cost, however.但是征收污染税能将这个成本内部化,The price mechanism would work once more, as the tax encouraged the factorys managers to reduce pollution to socially optimal levels.于是价格机制再一次生效,因为税收能迫使工厂管理者将污染物的排放减少到社会最优水平。Mr Coases work suggested another answer.科斯的成果又暗示了另一个结论。In the world of theory, without transaction costs, no government intervention would be needed to address externalities.理论上说,如果没有交易成本,就不需要政府干预来强调外部性。The factory owners and the residents could work out side-payments on their own.工厂拥有者跟居民他们自己就能达成赔偿协议,Residents might pay the factory to emit less or the factory might pay the town for leeway to pollute more.居民能弥补工厂,让他们少排放,工厂也能赔偿给居民,使自己多排放,Either way an efficient outcome should result without government help. This Panglossian view became known as the Coase Theorem.其中任一有效的办法都不需要政府的帮助。这种趋于至善的观点就变成了科斯理论。Yet Mr Coase himself recognised life is more complex than theory.但是科斯本人也意识到现实远比理论复杂。Neither private bargaining nor a pollution tax can make a market perfectly efficient given transaction costs like the expense of monitoring a factorys emissions.如果考虑到像监控工厂排放这样的交易成本,不管是私下解决或者立法征税,都不能使市场最有效。Mr Coase reckoned the law had a critical economic responsibility: to minimise the disruptive effect of these costs on markets.于是科斯想到法律负很大的经济责任:法律能最小化交易成本对市场的负面影响。A system of clear and easily transferable property rights can play a role like that of the firm, allowing useful economic activity to take place that might otherwise be gummed up by the hassle of negotiating and enforcing contracts.一个清晰并且容易转让的产权体系能扮演一个类似企业这样的角色,它可以保那些可能被协商跟强加协议弄砸但其实有利可寻的经济活动的正常进行。His insight revolutionised policy.科斯这般的洞察力使政策发生了变革。Tradable emissions permits, which helped eliminate acid rain as an environmental problem in America, are a direct application of his work.可议的排放许可就是科斯理论成果最直接的应用,这项应用帮助降低了美国酸雨这样的环境问题。Almost 70 years after that first Dundee lecture Mr Coase won the Nobel prize for economics.大概在科斯第一次敦堤演讲70年后,他获得了诺贝尔经济学奖。A scholar must be content with the knowledge that what is false in what he says will soon be exposed, he noted in his speech.他在他的演讲中提到:一个学者应该有他话语里的错误会很快被揭露的意识,并且要对此感到满意,As for what is true, he can count on ultimately seeing it accepted, if only he lives long enough.因为只要他活得够长,他就能寄希望于看见那些正确的道理被人们接受。 /201309/258154。

  

  The real Jane Austen一个真实的简奥斯汀As vital as her stories生气勃勃,人如其著She still fascinates 200 years after the publication of ;Pride and Prejudice;《傲慢与偏见》问世两百年后,她依然神秘撩人The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things. By Paula Byrne.《真实的简奥斯汀:细微之物,足见平生》 宝拉伯恩著“A LIFE of usefulness, literature, and religion, was not by any means a life of event,” wrote Henry Austen of his spinster sister Jane. This image of the sequestered author persisted for years. But contemporary scholars have reappraised “dear Aunt Jane” as an independent and worldly-wise woman who wielded a sardonic pen. She continues to fascinate, 200 years after the publication of “Pride and Prejudice”. This is the charm of a new biography from Paula Byrne, a British author, who breathes yet more life into Austen and her works by considering the objects that populated her days.“她的一生虽裨益他人,与文学与宗教为伴,却并无白云苍,大起大伏。”简的哥哥亨利曾这样写道。多年以来,简的形象一直是终生未嫁,隐僻幽居。然而,当代学者开始重新审视这名“亲爱的奥斯汀姑姑”,把她看作一个深谙尘世智慧的独立女性,舞动着手中的讥讽之笔。《傲慢与偏见》问世两百年后,她依然神秘撩人——这份魅力同样延续到英国作家宝拉伯恩为奥斯汀所著的传记之中。在宝拉笔下,那个时代的流行物件,是通向奥斯汀生平及著作神秘之门的钥匙,展示出一个更加生气勃勃的简。Each chapter is organised around a single thing. Some are Austens possessions, such as a topaz cross she received from her brother. Others are simply from the period, such as a barouche (an upmarket carriage), which helps to illustrate how well-travelled she was and how transport indicates status in her novels. In “Northanger Abbey” Catherine Morland finds a trip in Henry Tilneys curricle erotic, whereas she is nonplussed by John Thorpes gig. Broadly chronological, this thematic approach offers a revealing picture of Austen and a lively social history.这本传记的每一章都围绕着一个单独的物件展开。有些是奥斯汀的私人收藏,例如她从哥哥那儿得到的一个托帕石十字架。其余的则是那个时代的流行品,例如四轮马车(一驾上等马车),足现她游历之广以及在她的作品中,交通工具对于身份的烘托。在《诺桑觉寺》里,凯瑟琳.莫兰觉得享利.蒂尔尼的二轮马车新奇诱人,面对约翰.索普的马车时却不知所措。这种主题式的记传方式,按时序徐徐展开一幅奥斯汀生平及其活跃的社会活动的长卷。Austens formative years are the most interesting. Three vellum notebooks contain her “Juvenilia”—the stories and poems she wrote as a teenager. Her “greatest gifts are here in embryo”, writes Ms Byrne, clearly relishing Austens satire and lack of restraint. The young author lampooned famous figures and offered parodies of sentimental novels. But she reserved her choicest words of wit for her sister Cassandra. When they were not living together they corresponded frequently, and Austen often tried out different voices—“gossipy, jokey, affectionate”—to make her laugh.奥斯汀写作的成型期最耐人寻味。有三本羊皮纸笔记记录了她的“少女之作”——她在青少年时期写的故事与诗歌。宝拉很享受此时奥斯汀式的讥讽语调和无拘无束,她写道,她“无与伦比的天赋在此酝酿成型”。此时年轻的奥斯汀嘲讽当时鼎鼎有名的人物,戏仿那些多愁善感的小说。但是她最具智慧锋芒的字字珠玑却是散落在与其姊卡桑德拉的信件中。两人不住在一处时便频繁通信,而奥斯汀常常尝试不同的腔调——漫谈式的,玩笑式的,或是浪漫式的——来逗她发笑。During this time the movements of family followed the flows of inheritance; a vexatious matter that drives Austens narratives. Old maids and mothers were often housed by rich cousins; a child might be made heir to childless relatives. An East Indian shawl introduces Aunt Phila—who at 21 sailed to Bengal in order to find a husband—and her daughter, Eliza. A romantic figure, and presumably illegitimate, Eliza first married a man who fell under the guillotine in the French Revolution, and later married Austens brother Henry. This coquettish cousin is fictionalised as Mary Crawford in “Mansfield Park”. Austen also drew on Henrys militia experience for her depiction of flirtatious redcoats in “Pride and Prejudice”. Her midshipman brothers helped inform references to the navy.在这段时期,因为继承的缘故,她不得不经常搬迁—这类烦心事反倒丰富了她的叙述内容。老姑娘和母亲总是寄居在有钱的侄子家中;孩子会成为膝下无子的亲戚的继承人。一条来自东印度的披肩引出了费拉阿姨—她在二十一岁时乘船到孟加拉寻找结婚对象——和她的女儿伊莱莎的故事。伊莱莎是个天性浪漫的私生女,她的先夫死于法国大革命的断头台上;后来她嫁给了奥斯汀的哥哥亨利。这个轻佻娇纵的嫂子后来成了她在《曼斯菲尔德庄园》里玛丽.克劳福德的原型。亨利本人的军旅生涯也为她在《傲慢与偏见》中浮夸的“红制”军人形象提供了素材。而她作做海军的兄弟们则提供了海军生活的第一手材料。The books liveliest passages are about city life and romance. Austen frequently visited London and lived in Bath for years. She was probably not a beauty—only one authenticated portrait exists (although Ms Byrne makes a strong case for another with uncertain provenance). But her wit and intelligence lured many a suitor. None of them stuck, but many are recalled with mirth in her letters. Austen was no prude. Her novels feature illicit liaisons and she gives Mary Crawford a sexually loaded naval joke about “Rears and Vices”. But she had high standards and a mortal fear of childbirth. She was all too aware of the way women either died during labour or “grew old by confinements and nursing”.这本传记最轻快活泼的篇章描述了城市生活和浪漫故事。奥斯汀频繁造访伦敦并在巴斯寓居多年。她可能算不得一个美人—她的画像中只有一幅真迹存世(尽管宝拉坚信另一幅来历不明的画像也是真迹),但是她的机锋和智慧却吸引了许多追求者。无人获其芳心,成就美眷;然而在她的信件中,关于他们的回忆大多充满欢乐。奥斯汀并非严肃拘谨之人,她的小说写到过男女私通;玛丽.克劳福德就曾开过一个下流的海军玩笑“臀部与罪恶”。不过她的确道德自律,且畏惧生产。她十分明白:有些女性会死于生产,或是在不断怀和持续哺乳中年华逝去。Ms Byrne has an obvious affection for her subject. This book may offer few revelations, but it paints a fresh and vivid picture of an inimitable woman.显而易见,宝拉对其传记对象—简奥斯汀—充满喜爱之情。这本书可能并无多少“惊人内幕”,但它无疑描绘出了这名独一无二的女性—血肉丰满,栩栩如生。 /201406/304652The South China Sea南海Not the usual drill非一般钻井Tensions mount dangerously in contested waters争议水域局势紧张BARACK OBAMAS tour of four countries in Asia late last month was supposed to reassure Americas friends of its commitment to the region, and to deter China from provocations in its many territorial disputes. In the South China Sea, at least, the tactic has not worked. Chinas quarrel with Vietnam, which had been dormant in recent months, flared up dangerously this week. And a new front opened in Chinas continuing tussle with the Philippines over different parts of the sea.奥巴马上月末访问亚洲四国,本应令盟友对其“重返亚洲”的承诺安心,并阻止中国挑起其诸多领土争端。但至少在南海,这个战略不起作用。中国与越南的纠纷缓和数月后,本周再度剑拔弩张。此外,中国与菲律宾又因持续不断的主权争议另一海域发生新冲突。Vietnam first. China sent its new billion rig, the Haiyang Shiyou 981, to drill for oil in waters that Vietnam regards as inside the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) it is entitled to under the international law of the sea. Vietnam demanded that the rig be withdrawn and sent nearly 30 coastguard vessels to try to stop it starting work. A protective Chinese flotilla repulsed them, ramming one and firing water cannon at others. China has declared a three-mile exclusion zone around the rig, larger than is normal.越南首当其冲。中国运送新的钻井平台“海洋石油981”进行海上石油钻探,平台价值10亿美元。越南认为中方作业区域位于其依国际海事法拥有的专属经济区内,要求中方撤离钻井平台,并派出近30艘海警船试图制止中方再度作业。中国护卫舰队驱逐了越方海警船,撞击一艘并向其余船只发射水炮。此前中方宣布“海洋石油981”钻井平台半径3海里范围为禁航区,这大于正常值。It insists the rig is operating in its own waters. It appears to claim that the area is within the EEZ attached to an island chain it controls, which China calls Xisha and the Vietnamese Hoang Sa. The islands, the Paracels in English, have been occupied by China since 1974, when it drove out the former South Vietnamese regime. Vietnam still regards them as part of its territory.中方坚持钻井平台的作业区完全位于本国海域,声称这片区域在其专属经济区内,连接着由中方控制的岛链(中国称之为西沙群岛,越南则称黄沙群岛)。这片岛链英语名称为Paracel,中国于1974年赶走岛上的越南政权后便占领了这里。但是越南仍视之为自己的领土。As always, Chinas claim is hazy. It produces maps with a vast U-shaped area covering almost the entire South China Sea, enclosed in a “nine-dash line”, which it says gives it historic rights to the land inside. This uncertainty has created tension in various parts of the sea, where the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims. The dispute with the Philippines is the most active. That, too, intensified this week when the Philippines arrested 15 Chinese fishermen for poaching hundreds of endangered turtles in what it sees as its own waters.中国的主张一如既往的含糊。它制作地图时划出一片巨大的U型地带,用九段虚线将几乎整个南海划在国土范围内,并称自古以来对里面的土地拥有主权。这个不明确性在各海域形成紧张气氛,包括菲律宾、马来西亚、文莱与台湾等国家和地区。其中与菲律宾的冲突最频繁。本周菲律宾扣留了15名中国渔民,理由是这些渔民在菲律宾视之为领海的地方偷捕濒危海龟,紧张局势再度升级。Mr Obamas trip was marked by a beefing-up of Americas security ties with the Philippines, but not by an explicit American commitment to back it in the South China Sea. Vietnam is not an American ally, although relations have warmed in recent years, partly because of Vietnams fear of China. America has condemned Chinas “provocative” drilling plans but may prove powerless to thwart them. That could undo whatever progress Mr Obama made on the reassurance front.奥巴马此行被认为加强了美国与菲律宾的安全关系,而非美国重返南海的明确承诺。尽管近年美越关系好转,但越南并不是美国的盟友。部分原因是越南对中国的担心。美国谴责了中国的“挑衅性”钻探计划,但或许无法阻止该计划实行。那可能使得奥巴马在安抚盟友方面取得的进展功亏一篑。 内容来自:201406/306097Yael: Have any unpleasant memories, Don?雅艾尔:你有过不愉快的记忆吗,唐?Don: Sure. Who doesnt?唐:当然。谁都会有。Yael: What would you say to having them permanently erased from your brain?雅艾尔:如果把它们从大脑里永久得清除,你会怎么看?Don: Without losing other memories?唐:不会丧失其它记忆吗?Yael: Right. Scientists did just that with rats. They trained rats to fear two different sounds by sending a mild electric shock through the rats paws when they played the sounds. This Pavlovian technique resulted in the rats freezing up in nervous anticipation of the shocks every time they heard either sound. Scientists wanted to know whether they could erase one of the memories without erasing the other one, even though both sounds result in the same fear.雅艾尔:对。科学家对老鼠做过这样的实验。当他们弹奏音乐时,科学家使温和的电流震动传送到它们的爪子,以这种方式训练老鼠害怕两种不同的声音。这种巴普洛夫的技术导致老鼠每次听到其中一种声音就因害怕点电击而紧张地发抖。科学家想知道在两种声响同样使它们恐惧的前提下,它们是否能够在消除一种记忆的同时而不丧失另一种记忆。Don: I didnt know scientists knew how to erase memories at all.唐:我一点都不认为科学家们知道怎么去除记忆。Yael: They do. You see, long-term memories arent nearly as solid as we like to think. Theyre actually very fragile. Every time we recall a long-term memory, it becomes malleable. Just before playing one of the sounds, scientists injected half the rats with a chemical that interferes with memory reconsolidation. Thus, when they were in the process of remembering what accompanies the sound, the drug went to work.雅艾尔:他们知道。显而易见,长期性记忆并非我们想象的那么牢固。每当我们回忆一段长期记忆时,它就会继续延展。在播放其中任一种声音之前,科学家们给一半的老鼠注射了干扰记忆的化学物质。这样,在老鼠回忆伴随声音所发生的事情时,这种药物就会起作用。Don: Then what?唐:那又怎么样?Yael: When they played both sounds a day later, the rats that had been injected with the chemical did not freeze up when they heard the sound that had accompanied the drug. They froze as usual when they heard the second sound.雅艾尔:一天后科学家再次播放这两种声音,当被注射药物的老鼠听到注射时的声音后没有表现出害怕。但听到第二种声音时还是像往常一样呆住了。Don: They had forgotten to be afraid. Hmm. This business makes me kind of nervous.唐:他们忘记了害怕。嗯。这个实验听起来有点恐惧。Yael: I know what you mean, but for people with post-traumatic stress disorder, selective memory erasure could prove enormously useful.雅艾尔:我明白你的想法,但选择性记忆对于患上创伤后精神失调的人有很大的帮助。Don: True. I guess some fears are best laid to rest.唐:那倒是真的。我认为有的恐惧最好将它埋葬掉。201305/242123

  Free exchangePenury portrait贫困的历史画像The consensus on raising people out of poverty is surprisingly recent直到最近人们才就脱贫问题达成共识,实在令人惊讶Jul 27th 2013 |From the print editionON JULY 17th India released its latest poverty figures. They tell an encouraging tale: just under 22% of Indians were below the poverty line in 2011-12, down from over 37% in 2004-05. With an election not far off, these statistics will not go unchallenged. Naysayers are aly grumbling that the numbers have been released early to make the government look good. But even as political opponents slug it out, it is worth noting what they are not arguing about. Nobody is saying that a decline in poverty is a bad thing. Nor does anyone dispute that policymakers should try to help large numbers of poor people out of penury. This mirrors a worldwide consensus: whether the ed Nations or the World Bank, sundry public officials or high-minded celebrities, everyone thinks that poverty alleviation is both desirable and possible. The debates are about the details.7月17日,印度公布了最新的贫困人口数据。数据表现出一派令人鼓舞的迹象:2011年至2012年间,生活在贫困线以下的印度人口比例从2004至2005年间的37%以上降至22%以下。该数据公布之时恰逢印度国会大选日益临近,因此注定会引发质疑。质疑者已嚷嚷着这些数据提早发布不过是为了彰显政府的政绩。但是,即使政治对手意欲在此问题上与政府争个高下,可争议之外的东西才是值得人们关注的。没人说贫困人口数下降是一件糟糕的事。当然人们也不会就决策层是否应该试着帮助为数众多的穷人脱离贫困展开争论。这一现象反映出一个已在世界范围内达成的共识:不论是联合国(ed Nations)或是世界(World Bank),还是形形色色的公职人员或心系苍生的名人,人人都认为扶贫不仅可取,而且可行。所有的争论都关乎于细节问题。That might sound wholly unsurprising. Yet in a new paper Martin Ravallion, an economics professor at Georgetown University and a former research director at the World Bank, charts the evolution of thinking on poverty over the past three centuries. He reckons that this consensus is of remarkably recent vintage. Not that long ago every element of the received wisdom—that poverty is a problem, that public policy should try to reduce the numbers of poor, and that there are good ways to try to do so without hurting the economy—would have been suspect.这听起来完全不足为奇。然而,曾担任过世界研究局局长的乔治城大学(Georgetown University)经济学教授马丁#8226;拉瓦雷(Martin Ravallion)在一篇论文中记录了过去三个世纪以来人们对贫困的思考的演变历程。他认为直到最近人们才在贫困的认知方面达成共识。就在不久之前,长期积累下来并且为多数人所接受的观念——贫困是个难题,公共政策应该试着减少贫困人口数量,而且有一些既能够达成这一目标而又不伤害经济发展的方式——一直都受到人们的质疑。According to the mercantilist thinking that dominated European thought between the 16th and 18th centuries, poverty was socially useful. True, it was miserable for the poor. But it also kept the economic engine humming by ensuring the availability of plentiful cheap labour. Bernard de Mandeville, an 18th-century economist and philosopher, thought it “manifest, that in a free nation where slaves are not allow’d of, the surest wealth consists in a multitude of laborious poor.” That attitude was the norm.在16世纪到18世纪间占据欧洲思想界的重商主义者看来,贫困对社会是有所帮助的。的确,在当时这对穷人来说不啻于一个悲惨的世界。但是,贫困同样确保了充足的廉价劳动力,维持经济引擎不断高速运转。18世纪经济学家兼哲学家的伯纳德#8226;曼德维尔(Bernard de Mandevill)认为贫困“表明,在一个不允许有奴隶存在的自由国度里,最可靠的财富蕴藏在无数勤恳的穷人手中。”这一观点在当时实属平常。If poor people were regarded as instrumental in ensuring economic development, that explains why there was little appetite for policies to help them leave poverty behind. What action there was tended to be palliative in nature. In the 18th century changes to the Poor Laws were designed to stop adverse shocks like failed harvests or bereavements from making life even harder for aly poor people. Such policies were designed to protect the poor from the worst deprivations, not to raise them up.如果穷人被视为确保经济发展的工具,这就解释为什么在当时几乎没有人愿意制定实行帮助穷人脱离贫困的政策了。为消除贫困而采取的任何行动在当时看来根本就是治标不治本的。18世纪,修订《济贫法》的目的便是避免那些业已陷入贫困的人们遭受更悲惨的打击,比如说农作物歉收或遭受丧亲之痛,以免他们的生活更加艰辛。制定此类政策的目的是保护穷人免于陷入彻底的赤贫,而不是帮助他们脱离贫困。In the late 18th century attitudes towards the poor took on a moralising tone. Thomas Malthus, a clergyman, blamed the plight of the poor on their own flaws. Technological change might drive wages above subsistence levels, but only temporarily because the fecundity of the poor would soon drive wages back down. His thinking inspired the introduction of a new Poor Law in 1834, which tried to make the workhouse their only option. “Outdoor relief”—giving the poor money—needed to be stopped.18世纪后半叶,人们在对贫穷的看法中夹杂了道德论调。身为牧师的托马斯#8226;马尔萨斯(Thomas Malthus)将穷人的困苦归咎于他们自身的不足。技术革新或许会驱使薪资上涨到能维持温饱的水平之上,但是这只是暂时的,因为穷人的多生多育很快就会带动薪资回落。他的思想启发了当时政府在1834年引进实施了一部新的《济贫法》,试图使去济贫院成为穷人唯一的选择。“院外救济”——给穷人发钱——必须终止。Adam Smith took a more humane view. He saw the social and emotional toll poverty could take, and sought to increase support for the idea of redistributive taxation: “The rich should contribute to the public expence [sic], not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.” But even the father of economics did not provide a coherent strategy for moving people permanently out of poverty.亚当#8226;斯密的观点则更为人性化。他认为贫困会对社会和人们的情绪造成恶劣的影响,同时寻找机会增加人们对税收再分配这一理念的持。“富人应该为公共出贡献出一部分所得,不单单以其收入的比例计算,而是应该高于这一比例。”但是,即便是经济学之父也未给帮助人们永远脱离贫困开出一剂疗效持久的药方。By the 20th century the research of Charles Booth and Seebohm Rowntree had brought the issue of poverty firmly into the public consciousness. This in turn encouraged new thinking about the economic rationale for reducing penury. The classical school believed that the real constraint on growth was aggregate savings. Given that the rich saved more than the poor, this implied that less poverty would mean lower growth. John Maynard Keynes disputed this view, arguing that it was aggregate consumption that mattered, in which case reducing poverty could actually aid growth. But it was not until the 1990s that a coherent theoretical framework emerged to show how high levels of poverty stifled investment and innovation. For example, several models showed how unequal access to credit meant that the poor were less able to invest in their own education or businesses than was optimal, leading to lower growth for the economy as a whole. Scholars buttressed the theory with empirical evidence that high initial levels of poverty reduced subsequent growth in developing countries.20世纪,查尔斯#8226;布斯(Charles Booth)和希波姆#8226;朗特里(Seebohm Rowntree)将贫困问题深深地刻入了公众的意识之中。这一举动反过来鼓励了人们对减少贫困的经济原理有了全新思考。古典学派相信真正制约经济增长的是总储蓄量。由于富人比穷人储蓄的多,这表明贫困人数越少就意味着经济增长率越低。约翰#8226;梅纳德#8226;凯恩斯(John Maynard Keynes)驳斥了这一观点,他认为总消费量起到了至关重要的作用,在这种情况下,减少贫困实际上能够有助于增长。但是直到1990年代,一个统一的理论框架才出现,表明高水平的贫困如何限制了投资和创新。比如说,有些经济学模型表明获得信贷的机会不均等是如何导致穷人比优秀的人更无力于投资自身的教育或是生意,进而导致整个社会的经济增长处于较低的水平。学者们用无可辩驳的据给为之一理论提供了持:在发展中国家,初始的高水平贫困率降低了该国后继的经济增长。Poor relations牵强的联系New theories of poverty were also overturning received notions of why the poor stayed poor. The fault had long been placed at their door: the poor were variously lazy, prone to alcoholism and incapable of disciplined work. Such tropes are still occasionally heard today, but the horrors of the Depression in the 1930s led many to re-evaluate the idea that poverty was mainly the result of people’s own actions. Advances in economic models meanwhile allowed policymakers to see how low levels of education, health and nutrition could keep people stuck in penury. Policies to subsidise education or health care were desirable not merely for their own sake but also because they would help people break out of poverty.新的贫困理论同样也颠覆了人们长久以来对穷人深陷贫穷原因的认知。一直以来都认为穷人是咎由自取:穷人想方设法偷懒,容易酗酒并且不能从事要求纪律性的工作。今天这些陈词滥调依然不时的喧嚣尘上,但是1930年代经济大萧条期间的惨况使一些人重新审视了贫困主要是人自身行为的恶果这一个观念。同时,经济学模型不断完善,使得决策者们认识到低水平的教育、健康和营养是如何使人们陷入贫困难以自拔。补贴教育和医保的政策能够得以执行不单单是因为自身的缘故,同样还因为这政策能够帮助人们摆脱贫困。The growth of “conditional cash transfers”, schemes like Brazil’s Bolsa Familia that give poor people money as long as they send their children to school or have them vaccinated, are logical developments of these ideas. The notion of schooling the poor to a better life seemed absurd in the era of de Mandeville: “Going to school in comparison to working is idleness, and the longer boys continue in this easy sort of life, the more unfit they’ll be when grown up for downright labour.” Such poverty of thinking may sound archaic, but it persisted for longer than you might think.“有条件的现金补助计划”的增多正是这些理念合乎逻辑的演进,比如说巴西的“家庭补助金计划”,只要人们将孩子送去学校或是给孩子接种牛痘疫苗,政府就给他们发放现金。在曼德维尔所处的时代,为了能过上更好的生活而让穷人去上学的理念似乎有些荒谬。“与工作比起来,上学就是懒惰的表现,而且孩子们过这种简单生活的时间越长,长大之后越难以适应完全的体力劳动。”这对关于贫困的想法听起来可能会感觉有些过时,但是它们持续的时间超乎你的想象。 /201308/252415

  

  Science and technology科学技术Driverless automobiles无人驾驶The car that parks itself自动泊车Autonomous vehicles are arriving piecemeal, as more and more driving tasks are taken out of human hands汽车驾驶中的手动操作不断减少,自动驾驶的汽车正循序渐进地融入我们的生活CARS that need no driver are just around the corner according to Google, which has been testing vehicles bristling with aerials and cameras on public roads in America.谷歌称无人驾驶的汽车即将面世,它近日正忙着在美国的公路上测试布满天线和摄像机的汽车。But Google does not make cars, so it will be up to firms that do to bring the technology to market.不过谷歌不汽车生产,因此这项技术的面纱还有待汽车生产商来揭开。And carmakers are a conservative bunch. Still, slowly and steadily the autonomous car will arrive, with the help of an increasing number of automated driving aids.虽然汽车制造商拖拖拉拉,但是在越来越多的自动驾驶助手的帮助下,自动汽车将一步步缓缓到来。Volvo recently demonstrated one such feature: a car that really does park itself.最近沃尔沃就展示了其中的一项功能:真正具备自动停车功能的汽车。Some cars aly have systems that assist with parking, but these are not completely autonomous.有的汽车也装有停车助手,但它们并不是全自动汽车。They can identify an empty parallel-parking space and steer into it while the driver uses the brake.这样的汽车仅能识别空车位并在驾驶员刹车时停入。The Volvo system, however, lets the driver get out and use a smartphone application to instruct the vehicle to park.但是沃尔沃的系统可以让驾驶员置身车外,通过手机应用来指挥停车。The car then trundles off, manoeuvres into a parking place and sends a message to the driver to inform him where it is.随后车轮转动,汽车驶入停车位并发送短信告知驾驶员停车地点。The driver can collect the car in person or use his phone to call it back to where he dropped it off.驾驶员可以自行取车,也可以用手机将车调回自己下车的地点。Autonomous parking could thus be provided at places like shopping centres and airports, which are controlled areas in which automated vehicles can be managed more easily than on open highways.因此自动停车适用于购物中心和机场等地,相对于开阔的高速公路,这类地点有人管理,自动停车更易操作。In the past, designs for doing this have relied on car parks being fitted with buried guide wires that a vehicle can follow to an empty bay.以前自动停车往往依赖于停车场内埋于地下的导线,从而引导汽车驶入空车位。That, though, creates a chicken-and-egg problem:不过这就带来了先有鸡还是先有蛋的难题。car-park operators will not invest in such infrastructure until there is a sufficient number of suitably equipped cars on the road.路上装有自动停车系统的车辆足够多时停车场管理者才肯投资安装电线。Drivers, conversely, will not want to buy self-parking cars if there is nowhere to use them.与之相反,司机们如果觉得无用武之地也不会购买自动泊车的汽车。This means, as Mikael Thor, a Volvo safety engineer working on the project, observes, that for autonomous parking to work most of the technology will have to be in the car itself.如此一来,正如负责此项工程的沃尔沃安全工程师Mikael Thor观察的那样,想让自动停车顺利运行,大部分技术依赖于汽车本身。The Volvo test car, which looks like a normal car, therefore uses on-board GPS mapping, cameras with image-recognition software, and radar sensors to find its own way around a car park and avoid pedestrians and non-autonomous vehicles.沃尔沃测试车的外形与普通轿车无异,装有车载GPS地图、配备图像识别软件的摄像机以及雷达感应器,用于在停车场识别道路并躲避行人和非自动车辆。Mr Thor says the system is five to ten years from commercial deployment.Mikael Thor称这一系统还需5至10年才能投入商业应用。If it proves a success then infrastructure might adapt to it, for instance by packing cars into tighter spaces, but would not need to anticipate it.如果使用成功,停车场的基础设施也会与之适应,比如把车排得更加紧密,而且不用提前占位。Look, no hands瞧啊,无人驾驶Driverless cars would also need to communicate with one another, to enhance safety. That, too, is coming.无人驾驶的汽车需要彼此互动来提高安全性,这一设想在不远的未来也将成为现实。A number of carmakers are developing wireless networking systems through which vehicles can exchange data, such as their speed, their steering angle and even their weight, to forewarn anti-collision systems and safety devices if an accident looks likely.很多汽车制造商正在开发无线网络系统,促使车辆交换速度、行驶方向乃至车重等数据,从而在事故到来之际为防撞车系统和安全设施提供预警。Ford, for example, recently tested a brake light that can provide an early warning to other motorists.以福特为例,最近它测试了一款可以为其他驾驶员提供预警的刹车灯。If the brakes are applied hard in an emergency, a signal is broadcast.如果在紧急情况下突然刹车,该系统就会发出信号。This illuminates a warning light in the dashboard of suitably equipped following vehicles, even if they are out of sight around a bend or not immediately behind the vehicle doing the braking.如果后面的汽车装备得当,该信号将点亮仪表盘上的预警灯,即使转弯处看不到或者紧跟某辆急刹车的汽车也不用担心。Ford has been testing this system as part of a collaborative research project with several European carmakers.福特与几家欧洲汽车制造商共同调研这个项目,上面的测试正是该项目的一部分。They have put a fleet of 150 experimental vehicles on the roads.它们已将包含150辆测试车的车队驶向马路。When it tested a group of these, Ford found the technology let drivers brake much earlier, helping avoid collisions.对其中部分车辆进行测试后,福特发现该项技术能使刹车变得简单,还能防止撞车。A driverless car would be able to react even faster.无人驾驶车的反应速度会更快。Another member of the research group, BMW, has been testing driverless cars on roads around Munich—including belting down some of Germanys high-speed autobahns.调研组的另一个成员—宝马正忙着在慕尼黑周边的道路上测试无人驾驶车,包括在德国的一些高速公路上急速飞奔。The ordinary-looking BMW 5-series models use a variety of self-contained guidance systems.其貌不扬的宝马5系列装有各种各样完备的制导系统,These include cameras mounted on the upper windscreen, which can identify road markings, signs and various obstacles likely to be encountered on roads.包括架在上挡风玻璃上的摄像头,它将用于识别道路标志、符号以及道路上有可能碰到的各种障碍。The BMWs also use a radar, to gauge how far the vehicle is from other cars and potential obstacles, and a lidar, which works like a radar but at optical frequencies.宝马的无人驾驶车还装有雷达,用于测量车辆彼此间以及与潜在障碍之间的距离。The lidar employs laser beams to scan the road ahead and builds up from the reflections a three-dimensional image of what this looks like.该装置实为激光雷达,与雷达作用相同,但通过光频段工作。The image is processed by a computer in the vehicle, which also collects and compares data from a high-accuracy GPS unit.激光雷达采用激光束扫描前方的道路,并据此绘制三维图像,预测此为何物。A series of ultrasonic sonars similar to those used in vehicles to provide parking assistance are placed around the car to add to the virtual picture. And just to make sure, a set of accelerometers provide an inertial navigation system that double-checks the vehicles position on the road.车辆上的电脑会对图像进行处理,同时通过高精度GPS装置收集与比较数据。与车辆装载的停车助手类似,宝马在无人驾驶车四周安装了一系列超声波定位仪,用于增加虚拟图像。为确保这一目标顺利实现,加速装置带有惯性导航系统,从而为车辆的道路定位提供了双重保险。Although these cars can be switched to an autonomous driving mode, like Googles vehicles they are still required to have someone in the driving seat who can take over in the event of any difficulty.虽然这些车都可以调成自动驾驶模式,但与谷歌的测试车类似,必须有人坐在驾驶座上应对突发难题。The BMWs can steer themselves, slow down, brake and accelerate, even changing lanes to overtake slower vehicles.宝马的自动驾驶车能够自动转向、减速、刹车或加速,还能变道超越前方车速较慢的汽车。BMW, though, does not yet talk of when it might offer fully autonomous cars to customers; rather it says that it expects to see highly automated driving functions available in its models from around 2020.但是,宝马从未说明何时能为消费者提供全自动汽车,仅仅称它希望在2020前后开发出具备高度自动化驾驶功能的模型车。Policymakers want to see more development before fully autonomous cars are sold to the public.在全自动汽车上市之前,政府也期待它的的进一步发展。California and a number of other American states have licensed experimental self-driving cars, provided they have someone on board who can take control if needed.加利福尼亚州和美国多个州许可自动驾车实验,前提是车内有人应对突发情况。For the time being, this is about all that is likely to be allowed. Americas National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said recently that it believes self-driving cars could bring great safety and other benefits,目前为止,这已经是最高程度的许可了。近日美国公路交通安全称其认为自动驾驶汽车能提高安全系数,好处多多,but at this stage it does not think completely autonomous vehicles should be permitted on public roads, other than for testing. Self-parking cars may be one way drivers and regulators gain confidence in the technology.但现阶段除道路测试之外,全自动汽车上路的时机还不成熟。不过自动泊车为驾驶员和政府带来了信心,全自动汽车的到来指日可待。 /201311/262948。

  Business商业报道Canadian retailing加拿大零售业Drug deal 药品生意A merger to see off an American challenge实行兼并抗衡美国的挑战THEY met on July 11th in a minivan on a country road.7月11号,维斯顿·佳林,加拿大零售王朝的孙子和科库至·霍尔格,When they emerged Galen Weston, scion of a Canadian retailing dynasty, and Holger Kluge, chairman of the countrys biggest drugstore chain, had made a deal.乡村最大的药品连锁店董事长在一条乡村道路上的小货车里见了面并达成协议。The Weston groups Loblaw grocery chain, by far Canadas largest,agreed to buy Shoppers Drug Mart for 12.4 billion.维斯顿集团的罗伯劳连锁店,作为加拿大目前最大的食品杂货连锁店,同意以12.4亿加拿大元的价格购买其康药房。With this, the relatively cosy world of Canadian retailing comes of age.随着此合同的签订,加拿大零售业迎来一个比较舒适的氛围。To global retailers accustomed to merciless competition Canada is appealingly civilised.相对于国际零售商惯于的残酷竞争,加拿大则更偏向于文明的请求。Unlike Americans and Europeans, Canadians have not been hammered by a housing bust.不同于美国和欧洲,加拿大没有受到房地产泡沫的打击,Fewer big grocery chains are fighting for market share than they are south of the border.很少有大的百货公司连锁店像他们南边的邻居一样在争取市场份额时那么努力。Compared with the ed States, Canada has about 60% of the retail floor space per consumer and profit margins are higher.加拿大有美国60%的人均零售面积但利润却更大。But things are becoming less comfortable.但是,事情开始变得有点不乐观。Target, an American discount chain, moved into Canada this year, joining Walmart, a behemoth that has been there since 1994.塔吉特公司,一家美国的折扣连锁店,今年加盟沃尔玛,进入加拿大。沃尔玛,自1994年就进入加拿大的大公司。Safeway, another American grocer,pulled out in June,西弗伟公司,另一家美国百货公司,则在6月份退出。but only because a Canadian rival, Sobeys, made an irresistible offer for its stores.原因不仅因为加拿大内部的竞争,超市也为他的商店提供了令人不可抗拒的价格。Clothes retailing is getting more crowded, too.装零售业也人满为患,J.Crew arrived in 2011 and Nordstrom, an American department-store chain, is expected in 2014.J·克鲁2011年进入加拿大,诺斯通,一家美国连锁百货商场有望2014年进入。All this is happening as consumers are becoming less cheery: economic growth is sluggish and debt is high.面对这些,由于经济萧条,债台高筑,消费者越来越不怎么乐观。Century-old Loblaw is part of the Weston familys transatlantic empire, which ranges from food manufacturing to the Selfridges and Fortnum amp; Mason department stores in Britain.世纪公司罗伯劳是维斯顿家族横跨大西洋帝国的一部分。在英国,它涉及食品制造到塞尔福里奇和福特纳姆amp;梅森百货商店。Loblaw hit a rough patch in the mid-2000s, when it briefly fell into loss.罗伯劳公司经营曾在20世纪中叶的时候亮过红灯,陷入短暂的亏损之中。But it has since streamlined operations and upgraded its technology.但是从那时起,它就精简业务,提高科技。Shoppers Drug Mart has built its network steadily over the past half-century.其康药房在上半个世纪里建立了稳定的商业网。The merged group, with sales of C42 billion, is in part a counter to the American onslaught.合并之后的集团,售价高达420亿加拿大元,在某种程度上,是对美国冲击的一种反击。Shoppers will remain a separate unit and keep its top managers.商店依然是独立的单元,并保留其高级管理者。Even so, the partners expect to save C135m on annual technology and marketing costs.即使如此,合伙者希望每年能在科技和市场上节省13.5亿加拿大元。More important, says Ken Wong, who teaches business strategy at Queens University in Ontario, is the opportunity for both chains to wring more from their private-label product lines and loyalty programmes.王肯,安大略洲皇后大学商业策略讲师说,更重要是两个连锁店有机会从自有品牌和客户忠诚上赚取更多。By Canadian standards they are adept marketers of their own ranges.按照加拿大标准,他们在各自的领域里是熟练的经销商。But Canada lags private-label powerhouses such as Britain and Switzerland.但在,加拿大在自有品牌上落后于其他强手,比如英国和瑞士。There is much to be gained from selling Shoppers “Life” range of mouthwashes and plasters in Loblaws groceries and pushing Loblaws “Presidents Choice” food in Shoppers pharmacies, says Mr Wong.王先生说,在罗伯劳的百货店销售生活用品,从漱口水到药膏,在其康药房促销“总统的选择”的食物有很大的好处。Loblaws loyalty programme will get a boost from merging with Shoppers superior scheme and both will gain from having a bigger data lode to mine.和其康合并的方案,会让罗伯劳的客户忠诚项目参与人数大增,双方都会有一个更大数据脉矿开发。The deal will mark the arrival in Canada of another global fad.这个决议标志加拿大另一个全球风尚的到来。Until now Canadian grocers have largely ignored the trend in other rich countries to open “convenience” shops in the neighbourhoods where their customers live.目前加拿大百货店已经很大程度上忽视了在其他发达国家有客户居住的社区开便利店的趋势。The acquisition of Shoppers 1,242 stores, which are mainly smallish outlets in cities and towns, provides Loblaw with a full-fledged convenience chain at a stroke.超市的1,242家分店,多为市镇的小网点,这为罗伯劳公司的反击提供了充分的便利链。It places Loblaw “at the front of the pack”, says Kenric Tyghe of Raymond James, a financial-advice firm.金融咨询公司瑞士金融集团的Kenric Tyghe 说,合并让罗伯劳公司走在前列。The stockmarket likes the deal:股票市场看好这个交易:shares of both companies jumped on the news.消息传出之后两家公司的股票都上涨了,So did those of rivals Metro, a supermarket, and Jean Coutu, a drugstore chain.股票上涨的还有他们的对手一个超级市场和一个连锁药店,尚酷都。Investors are speculating that these two will join to form another Canadian champion. That is unlikely to deter further incursions from across the border.投资者认为这两个公司的联合会形成一个新的加拿大冠军并有可能阻止国外进一步的打击。 /201308/252296

  

  

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