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每日英語跟讀 Ep.1018: ‘Africa Rising’? ‘Africa Reeling’ May Be More Fitting Now
For decades Africa was eager for a new narrative, and in recent years it got a snappy one.
The Economist published a cover story titled “Africa Rising.” A Texas business school professor published a book called “Africa Rising.” And in 2011, The Wall Street Journal ran a series of articles about economic growth on the continent, and guess what that series was called?
The rise seemed obvious: You could simply stroll around Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, or many other African capitals, and behold new shopping malls, new hotels, new solar-powered streetlights, sometimes even new Domino’s pizzerias, all buoyed by what appeared to be high economic growth rates sweeping the continent.
For so long Africa had been associated with despair and doom, and now the quality of life for many Africans was improving. Hundreds of thousands of Rwandans were getting clean water for the first time. In Kenya, enrollment in public universities more than doubled from 2007 to 2012. In many countries, life expectancy was increasing, infant mortality decreasing.
But in recent months, as turmoil has spread across the continent, and the red-hot economic growth has cooled, this optimistic narrative has taken a hit. Some analysts are now questioning how profound the growth actually was.
“Nothing has changed on the governance front, nothing has changed structurally,” said Grieve Chelwa, a Zambian economist who is a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard.
“Africa rising was really good for some crackpot dictators,” he added. “But in some ways, it was a myth.”
No place exposes the cracks in the “Africa rising” narrative better than Ethiopia, which had been one of the fastest risers.
Ethiopia is now in flames. Hundreds have been killed during protests that have convulsed the country.
It seems the continent as a whole is heading into a tough period. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, faces its gravest economic crisis in years because of low oil prices. At the same time, it is trying to fight off Boko Haram, one of the most bloodthirsty insurgent groups on the planet.
South Africa, the continent’s most developed nation, has been wracked by waves of unrest. Troops with assault rifles stomp around college campuses, trying to quell student protests. The country’s currency, the rand, hovers near a record low.
South Sudan, which topped The Economist’s list in 2013 of the world’s fastest-growing economies, is now a killing field, the site of one of Africa’s worst civil wars.
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/305550/web/
每日英語跟讀 Ep.1017: The Actor Behind the Ape
The leader of the troops walks slowly through the ranks of soldiers, who part respectfully, as he looks at them with an expression that combines anger, pain and grim intent. But this isn’t a human commander. It’s Caesar, the ape who is the principal figure in 20th Century Fox’s “Planet of the Apes” franchise. The scene comes from the latest in the series, “War for the Planet of the Apes,” which opens in the United States on July 14, and has generated laudatory reviews.
In “War,” the fragile truce between humans and apes has given way, and we discover the sinister Colonel (played by Woody Harrelson), whose early actions set in motion a series of devastating events for both populations.
Caesar, the ape whose expressions we are watching via digital transformation as he reacts to the Colonel’s murderous deeds and musters his forces, is played by British actor Andy Serkis. In BoxOfficeMojo.com’s ranking of actors by their ticket sales, Serkis is in the top 30, outflanking Brad Pitt and Daniel Radcliffe, among other far more famous names. His films average $125 million at the box office, more (by some distance) than those of Samuel L. Jackson or Tom Hanks. He has been acting professionally for nearly 30 years and has starred in numerous movies, some of them blockbusters like “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the 2005 “King Kong,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the “Apes” reboot.
Yet, for most moviegoers, Serkis, 53, is probably neither a household name nor face, since he has specialized for more than a decade in creating roles through performance capture — a complex technology that records the movement and facial expressions of human actors and then painstakingly renders them digitally to create fantastical characters, like Caesar, Gollum and King Kong.
Caesar, wrote A.O. Scott of The New York Times in a review of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” is “a role that continues to redefine screen acting in the digital age. His facial expressions and body language are so evocatively and precisely rendered that it is impossible to say where his art ends and the exquisite artifice of Weta Digital, the special-effects company, begins.”
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/315730/web/#top
每日英語跟讀 Ep.1016: Evidence That Robots Are Winning the Race for American Jobs
Who is winning the race for jobs between robots and humans? Last year, two leading economists described a future in which humans come out ahead. But now they’ve declared a different winner: the robots.
The industry most affected by automation is manufacturing. For every robot per thousand workers, up to six workers lost their jobs and wages fell by as much as three-fourths of a percent, according to a new paper by the economists, Daron Acemoglu of MIT and Pascual Restrepo of Boston University. It appears to be the first study to quantify large, direct, negative effects of robots.
The paper is all the more significant because the researchers, whose work is highly regarded in their field, had been more sanguine about the effect of technology on jobs. In a paper last year, they said it was likely that increased automation would create new, better jobs, so employment and wages would eventually return to their previous levels. Just as cranes replaced dockworkers but created related jobs for engineers and financiers, the theory goes, new technology has created new jobs for software developers and data analysts.
But that paper was a conceptual exercise. The new one uses real-world data — and suggests a more pessimistic future. The researchers said they were surprised to see very little employment increase in other occupations to offset the job losses in manufacturing. That increase could still happen, they said, but for now there are large numbers of people out of work, with no clear path forward — especially blue-collar men without college degrees.
“The conclusion is that even if overall employment and wages recover, there will be losers in the process, and it’s going to take a very long time for these communities to recover,” Acemoglu said.
“If you’ve worked in Detroit for 10 years, you don’t have the skills to go into health care,” he said. “The market economy is not going to create the jobs by itself for these workers who are bearing the brunt of the change.”
The paper’s evidence of job displacement from technology contrasts with a comment from Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who said at an Axios event that artificial intelligence’s displacement of human jobs was “not even on our radar screen,” and “50 to 100 more years” away.
The study analyzed the effect of industrial robots in local labor markets in the United States. Robots are to blame for up to 670,000 lost manufacturing jobs between 1990 and 2007, it concluded, and that number will rise because industrial robots are expected to quadruple.
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/311786/web/#2L-9739951L
According to the National Academy of Sciences, money can buy you some happiness. Their findings suggest that spending money to save time may reduce stress about the limited time in the day, thereby improving happiness. The study found that people who outsource or pay to get their disliked tasks done has better overall life satisfaction.
Vocabulary and Sample Sentences:
Outsource v. obtain goods/services from an outside supplier
Errand n. short journey to collect or deliver something
Stress n. mental or emotional strain from demanding circumstances
Jamie Chua is a Singapore socialite who is also a social media influencer. She is famous for sharing her lavish lifestyle on social media and owning more than 200 Hermes bags. How did she become a socialite? While Jamie was a flight attendant, she met an Indonesian tycoon, then fell in love and got married. The 15-year marriage ended in divorce when Jamie was 36 years old. Ever since her divorce, Jamie has built her reputation as a socialite. During her divorce, she was known for asking NT6.24 monthly alimony payment, but nobody knew how much she did eventually get.
Vocabulary and Sample Sentences:
Socialite n. a person who is well known in fashionable society and is fond of social activities and entertainment
Lavish adj. rich, elaborate, luxurious
Alimony n. court-ordered provision for the support of spouse after divorce
每日英語跟讀 Ep.1015: Edward Enninful Is Named Editor-in-Chief at British Vogue
Edward Enninful, the creative and fashion director of the U.S. magazine W, is set to replace Alexandra Shulman as editor-in-chief of British Vogue, its parent company, Conde Nast, confirmed Monday. The first man and the first black editor to take the helm of Britain’s most powerful fashion publication in its 100-year history, Enninful will begin his new role Aug. 1.
A top stylist and acclaimed fashion director who migrated to Britain from Ghana as a child, the 45-year-old Enninful is known for his cheerful demeanor, his legendary fashion covers and for having an army of loyal fans in and out of the fashion business. He received an Order of the British Empire in June for his services to diversity in the fashion industry.
Conde Nast’s international chairman and chief executive, Jonathan Newhouse, called Enninful “an influential figure in the communities of fashion, Hollywood and music which shape the cultural zeitgeist,” and added that “by virtue of his talent and experience, Edward is supremely prepared to assume the responsibility of British Vogue.”
The appointment comes three months after Newhouse named another man, Emanuele Farneti, to the helm of Italian Vogue, following the death of Franca Sozzani.
Enninful was an unexpected choice. Born in Ghana, Enninful was raised by his seamstress mother in the Ladbroke Grove area of London, alongside five siblings. At 16, he became a model for the British magazine i-D after being scouted while traveling on the Tube, London’s subway system. He has called modeling his “baptism into fashion.”
By 17, he was assisting on photography shoots for the publication with the stylists Simon Foxton and Beth Summers. In 1991, at 18, he took over from Summers as i-D fashion editor, making him one of the youngest-ever leaders of a major fashion publication. He also obtained a degree from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Although there are a handful of notable exceptions, the fashion industry has a dearth of black power players, and that had been a source of immense frustration for Enninful, who has made a considerable effort to improve things. He has made headlines with accusations of racism, including after he was assigned to sit in the second row at a couture show in Paris in 2013 when white “counterparts” were in the first.
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/312421/web/
每日英語跟讀 Ep.1014: Going Under the Knife, With Eyes and Ears Wide Open
"Do you want to see your tendons?”
Dr. Asif Ilyas, a hand and wrist surgeon, was about to close his patient’s wound. But first he offered her the opportunity to behold the source of her radiating pain: a band of tendons that looked like pale pink ribbon candy. With a slender surgical instrument, he pushed outward to demonstrate their newly liberated flexibility.
“That’s pretty neat,” the patient, Esther Voynow, managed to gasp.
More surgery is being performed with the patient awake and looking on, for both financial and medical reasons. But as surgical patients are electing to keep their eyes wide open, doctor-patient protocol has not kept pace with the new practice. Patients can become unnerved by a seemingly ominous silence, or put off by what passes for office humor. Doctors are only beginning to realize that when a patient is alert, it is just not OK to say, “Oops!” or “I wasn’t expecting that,” or even “Oh, my God, what are you doing?!”
“For a thousand years, we talked about the operating theater,” said Dr. Mark Siegler, a medical ethicist at the University of Chicago and an author of a recent study on surgeon-patient communication during awake procedures, published in The American Journal of Surgery. “And for the first time, in recent years the patient has joined the cast.”
A few studies suggest that some patients feel less anxious about staying awake during surgery, despite possible gruesome sights, than they do about being sedated.
Voynow did not need a preoperative physical exam, blood work, an IV drip or even an attending anesthesiologist. As nurses wheeled her on a gurney out of the O.R., she looked pleasantly surprised. “I’ve had root canals that were worse,” she said.
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/312421/web/
每日英語跟讀 Ep.1013: About Europe - Sculpture restoration work draws laughs, memories in Spain
Restoration work on a sculpture in northern Spain has resurrected memories of a restored Christ fresco in another Spanish city eight years ago that drew ridicule as well as tourists.
The latest incident concerns a relief sculpture on the exterior of an ornate office building in the city of Palencia. What was once the bust of a smiling woman now looks more like the head of a cartoon character.
The disfigurement was brought to light by a local artist who lives near the office building and was tipped off by a florist on his street. Antonio Capel posted before and after photographs on his Facebook page, triggering a flurry of social media reaction and attention from journalists.
Painting found in Italian gallery’s wall confirmed to be long-lost Klimt／義大利畫廊牆壁發現的畫作 證實是佚失多時的克林姆名畫
Gustav Klimt’s "Portrait of a Lady" disappeared from an art gallery in northern Italy 23 years ago. It was presumed stolen.
The location of the masterpiece has been one of the art world’s biggest mysteries ever since — only to be solved after discovering a secret door in the gallery’s walls.
In December, a gardener at the Ricci Oddi Modern Art Gallery in Piacenza, Italy, found a painting hiding in a plastic bag within an external wall while clearing away ivy. Experts confirmed Friday that that painting is the long-lost Klimt work.
"I’d like to say with no lack of emotion that I can announce the painting is authentic," Piacenza Prosecutor Ornella Chicca told reporters Friday.
According to BBC News, "Portrait of a Lady" is valued at $66 million.
Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1409264 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1412404
每日英語跟讀 Ep.1012: Biden-Harris ticket among most tweeted people in 2020
According to Twitter, the announcement of “Black Panther” actor Chadwick Boseman’s death on his account was the most shared tweet in 2020, and with over 7.5 million “likes,” it also became the most liked tweet in history. US President Donald Trump was No. 1 among the top 10 most-tweeted about people worldwide, followed by US president-elect Joe Biden, whose running mate Kamala Harris at No. 10 was the most tweeted about women this year.
K-pop supergroup BTS has continued to dominate the top 10 most tweeted musicians for four straight years, reflecting the boyband’s milestones on the Billboard charts and successes at award shows in recent years. They are followed by Kanye West, Beyonce, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Cardi B, Blackpink, Drake, Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift.
The hashtag #COVID19 was the most popular one on the social media platform, and the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter was at the second spot following the tragic death of George Floyd in May. The hashtag #StayHome was the third most popular one.
【VoiceTube Vclass 黃玟君老師的完勝英文閱讀課】
每日英語跟讀 Ep.1011: The Perfect Gift? It’s the One They Asked For
Social scientists bear glad tidings for the holiday season. After extensively observing how people respond to gifts, they have advice for shoppers: You don’t have to try so hard.
You’re not obliged to spend hours finding just the right gift for each person on your list. Most would be just as happy with something quick and easy. This may sound too good to be true, but rest assured this is not a ploy by some lazy Scrooges in academia.
These researchers are meticulous analysts of gift-giving rituals, and this year they have more data than ever to back up their advice:
Don’t aim for the “big reveal.” Many shoppers strive to find a sensational toy or extravagant piece of jewelry that will create drama when it’s opened. But drama is not what recipients want, according to a new study by Jeff Galak of Carnegie Mellon University.
He and his colleagues have found that gifts go wrong because the givers are focused on the moment of exchange, whereas the recipients are thinking long-term: Will I actually get any use out of this?
Don’t “over-individuate” your gifts. People too often give bad presents because they insist on buying something different for everyone.
In experiments using greeting cards and gifts, psychologists found that people typically feel obliged to choose unique items for each person on their list even when the recipients wouldn’t know if they got duplicates — and even when one particularly good gift would work better for everyone.
The more gifts you select, the more likely you’ll pick some duds. If you can find one sure thing, don’t be afraid to give it more than once.
— Don’t be ashamed to regift. Researchers have found that most people assume that someone who gave them a gift would be deeply offended if they passed it along to someone else. But these same studies show that most givers actually aren’t offended.
Once they give someone a present, they figure it’s the recipient’s right to dispose of it at will.
— Let your recipients do the work for you. They know what they want better than you do. If they’ve asked for something, buy it instead of surprising them.
Psychologists have found people are happier getting items listed in their gift registry than unsolicited gifts, and in some cases they’re happier still to receive cash. (But one of the researchers, Francis Flynn of Stanford University, cites an exception: Don’t try giving your spouse cash.)
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/307851/web/
Pets are an inseparable part of our world and our families. Pet companionship can help improve psychological wellbeing, and according to studies, pets can also help with human immunity. Study from Mount Sinai Hospital analyzed data from over 3 million people, found a 24 percent reduction in risk of death within 10 years for dog owners. Benefits of owning a pet include: Dogs produce more immunoglobulin when stroked. An antibody in their saliva, which fights antigens. Next, pets can also help people respond better to stress, and this in turn boosts the immune system. Last, microbes on pets have strong connection to the microbes in people’s bodies. Some researches have shown that pet microbes can directly influence the health and immunity of people.
Vocabulary and Sample Sentences:
Companionship n. a feeling of fellowship or friendship
Wellbeing n. state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy
Immunity n. ability to resist a particular toxin or infection.
【VoiceTube Vclass 黃玟君老師的完勝英文閱讀課】
每日英語跟讀 Ep.1010: About UK- Scotland is making tampons and pads free
Scotland has become the first country to allow free and universal access to menstrual products, including tampons and pads, in public facilities, a landmark victory for the global movement against period poverty.
The Scottish Parliament voted unanimously in favor of the Period Products bill on Tuesday, months after lawmakers had initially signaled their support.
It means period products will be available to access in public buildings including schools and universities across Scotland. According to the new rules, it will be up to local authorities and education providers to ensure the products are available free of charge.
The bill’s accompanying financial memorandum estimates it could cost around £8.7 million a year by 2022, depending on the number of women who will take advantage of the free products.
BBC announces probe into 1995 Diana interview BBC宣布調查1995年黛妃專訪
The BBC announced Wednesday the immediate start of an investigation into how it obtained an explosive 1995 interview with Princess Diana that lifted the lid on her troubled marriage to Prince Charles.
The late princess’ brother, Charles Spencer, has alleged that the flagship "Panorama" programme reporter who conducted the interview, Martin Bashir, showed him faked documents to persuade his sister to take part.
New reports have surfaced alleging that Bashir used underhand methods to persuade Diana to talk, including by claiming her own staff members were being paid to spy on her.
In the November 1995 interview, which was watched by a record 22.8 million people, Diana detailed her collapsing marriage to the heir to the throne.
Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1418379 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1417500
【VoiceTube Vclass 黃玟君老師的完勝英文閱讀課】
每日英語跟讀 Ep.1009: Oregon Preschool Policy Could Be National Model
On Election Day, Multnomah County, which includes Portland, Oregon, passed one of the most progressive universal preschool policies in the nation.
The measure, to be paid for by a large tax on high earners, will provide free preschool for all children ages 3 and 4, in public schools and in existing and new private preschools and home-based child care centers. It will also significantly raise teachers’ wages so they are equivalent to those of kindergarten teachers.
It seeks to overcome the central problem in early childhood care and education: It is unaffordable for many families, yet teachers are underpaid. The solution, Multnomah County voters decided, is to finance preschool with public funding instead of private tuition and to pay teachers much more.
It also seeks to overcome some of the pitfalls of universal preschool policies in places like New York and Washington, D.C. In doing so, early childhood researchers say the policy could serve as a blueprint for the rest of the country.
“This was focused on access to quality preschool, so when children enter kindergarten, they are able to succeed,” said Jessica Vega Pederson, a county commissioner and a chairwoman of the measure’s steering committee.
Caregiving has become a much more politically salient issue. The closings of schools and child care centers because of the coronavirus made clear the extent to which the sector underpins the economy. Joe Biden has made caregiving a central part of his economic plan.
Research has shown that high-quality preschool is beneficial for children, particularly those from low-income families. It helps them prepare for kindergarten — academically, socially and behaviorally — and shrinks achievement gaps. Research has shown that for poor children, it results in increased earnings and better health later in life.
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/359776/web/
【VoiceTube Vclass 黃玟君老師的完勝英文閱讀課】
每日英語跟讀 Ep.1008:About Japan - Japan shop deploys robot to check people are wearing face masks
A shop in Japan has enlisted a robot to ensure customers are wearing masks, as the country prepares for a possible third wave of coronavirus infections.
Robovie, developed by the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International in Kyoto, is able to pick out customers who aren’t wearing masks and politely ask them to cover up. It can also intervene when they fail to socially distance while queuing up to pay.
The trial, which began last week at the club shop of Cerezo Osaka, a professional football team, will run until at least the end of November.
Robovie’s developers hope the experiment will reduce close contact between shoppers and staff, adding that they believe most people will feel less embarrassed by being asked to cover up by a robot than by a fellow human being.
Giant Japanese robot spurs hopes for tourism after virus hit 受病毒衝擊後 巨大的日本機器人為觀光業燃起希望
An 18-metre “Gundam” robot that can walk and move its arms was unveiled in Japan on Monday amid hopes that it will help invigorate tourism hit by COVID-19.
The robot is modelled after a figure in “Mobile Suit Gundam”, a Japanese cartoon first launched in the late 1970s about enormous battle robots piloted by humans. The series spawned multiple spin-offs and toys and gained a worldwide following.
It will be the centrepiece of the Gundam Factory Yokohama, a tourist attraction that opens on Dec. 19 in the port city.
“I hope this will lead to stimulating tourism demand and revitalising local areas,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference.
Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1417090 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1417730
每日英語跟讀 Ep.1007: Two UK retail collapses threaten 25,000 jobs in 24 hours
The UK retail industry suffered one of the harshest blows yet after two of the country’s best-known retailers collapsed, putting 25,000 jobs at risk in less than 24 hours.
Debenhams said Tuesday morning it’s preparing to close its doors for good after failing to find a buyer. Late Monday last week, Arcadia Group, the retail empire of billionaire Sir Philip Green, which owns brands including Topshop, Topman, Burton, Wallis, and Dorothy Perkins, began insolvency proceedings.
It looks like a sad end for Debenhams, which can trace its history back to 1778, when William Clark set up a store in London’s West End selling fabrics, bonnets, gloves and parasols. In 1813 William Debenham invested in the firm, which became Clark & Debenham. By 1950, the renamed Debenhams was one of the largest department store groups in the UK.
德本納百貨看來將落入這悲慘結局。該公司之歷史可追溯到一七七八年，威廉‧克拉克在倫敦西區所開設的一家販賣布料、帽子、手套及陽傘的商店。一八一三年，威廉‧德本納投資了該公司，將其更名為「克拉克與德本納」（Clark & Debenham）。到了一九五○年，更名為德本納的該公司已成為英國最大的百貨公司集團之一。
Both retailers have anchored malls and main streets across Britain for decades and operate about 600 stores combined. Retail experts said the pandemic and the associated restrictions only tell part of the problems that the companies have encountered. Both have struggled to respond to the increased competition from low-cost rivals like Primark, as well as from online disruptors such as ASOS and Boohoo. The industry is set to lose 235,000 retail jobs this year, according to the Centre for Retail Research.
Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/12/07/2003748239
每日英語跟讀 Ep.1006: How does influenza differ from a common cold?
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is prevalent in fall and winter. People may wonder how one can tell the difference between influenza and a cold. Influenza is an acute respiratory tract disease caused by influenza viruses, whose main routes of infection are via airborne droplets and contact. The difference between the flu and what we generally call a cold is that ordinary colds can be caused by many kinds of virus, some of the common ones being rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and adenoviruses.
Influenza viruses are classified into types A to D, of which only types A and B can cause seasonal influenza outbreaks. Type A influenza includes the H1N1 and H3N2 subtypes, while type B includes two lineages called B/Victoria and B/Yamagata.
The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) explains that colds mainly cause respiratory tract symptoms such as sore throat, sneezing and runny nose, sometimes accompanied by a fever, whereas influenza symptoms are systemic, meaning that they affect the whole body. As well as experiencing more serious fever, fatigue and cough symptoms than one would with a cold, some flu patients also suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Other commonly seen symptoms include muscular weakness, headaches etc. In severe cases, influenza may also cause serious complications such as encephalitis and myocarditis.
The CDC says that babies and children under school age are a high-risk group for influenza complications, and flu vaccines do not produce sufficient protection until two weeks after vaccination, so if you have children aged over six months old but below school age, they should be given a flu vaccine as soon as possible.
Fall and winter are the seasons when it is easiest to catch the flu. In Taiwan, influenza breakouts tend to steadily increase starting in November, reaching a peak in the next year around Lunar New Year and gradually reducing from March onward. The CDC reminds the public that if you experience three kinds of symptom, namely fever, aches (including headaches and distinct muscular aches) and fatigue, you must be aware that it could be the flu. Furthermore, influenza is highly contagious, and if people with the flu cough or sneeze in closed spaces while not wearing a mask, they can easily spread the virus to others.
Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/12/08/2003748293
A pharmacist explains that white masks are the most popular in Japan. Since the inner and outer sides are both white, it can be difficult to tell which side should be worn where. Similarly, the green, blue, and pink masks that are common in Taiwan pharmacies can sometimes be just as confusing for users to wear. So, which side should be on the outside? The outside should be the side with the pleats facing down. There are two reasons for the downward facing pleats on the outside – first, it is easier for users to breathe, and people who wear glasses will not get their glasses misted up when they exhale. The other reason is that dust will not accumulate in downward-facing pleats.
Vocabulary and Sample Sentences:
Distinguish v. recognize something as different
Straps n. a strip of material that is used to fasten, secure, or carry something, or hold on to something.
Go with sth– ph.v to suit something
For British students, A-level exams are the most important exams before leaving school for University. Due to the pandemic, the exams in June were abandoned and students were given a grade by their Teachers based on past performance. However, once the A level grades were published, people realized that 39 percent of teachers’ assessments had been downgraded under an algorithm based on a school’s past performance. This meant that it was harder for smart students in disadvantaged areas to do well while rewarding the mediocre students in top private schools. Students were outraged and took to the street and started a petition to demand change.
Vocabulary and Sample Sentences:
Assessment n. evaluation of the nature, quality, ability, of someone or something
Mediocre adj. of moderate quality
Inflation n. the action of inflating something
每日英語跟讀 Ep.1005: About Australia - Australian stinging trees contain ’scorpion-like venom’
Australia is notorious for its venomous spiders, snakes and sea creatures, but researchers have now identified "scorpion-like" toxins secreted by a tree that can cause excruciating pain for weeks.
Split-second contact with the dendrocnide tree, a rainforest nettle known by its indigenous name gympie-gympie, delivers a sting far more potent than similar plants found in the US or Europe.
Irina Vetter, an associate professor at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience, said the research team discovered a new class of neurotoxin miniproteins, which they christened ’gympietides’.
Vetter said the long-lasting pain inflicted by the tree may be explained by the gympietides permanently altering the chemical makeup of the affected sensory neurons － not due to the fine hairs getting stuck in the skin.
Magpie swoops Australian reporter moments before he goes on air／準備進入現場報導前 澳洲記者遭喜鵲俯衝猛撲
A magpie swooped an Australian reporter in the face on Monday, moments before the journalist went live on air for the evening bulletin.
Nine Network reporter, Brett McLeod, was preparing for his live cross outdoors when the crow-like bird dived at his face but he quickly regained his composure and delivered his piece to the camera.
The black-and-white Australian magpie, not related to the European magpies famous for taking glittering treasures for their nests, tend to attack anyone who comes close to their suburban nests.
Spring is widely known as the ’swooping season’ to Australians when birds, mostly magpies, attack humans and even other birds when they stray too close while its fledglings hatch and nest.
Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1409467 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1410492
每日英語跟讀 Ep.1004: Leopard cat, anteaters escape from Taipei Zoo
A leopard cat at Taipei Zoo named Fei Fei was discovered missing on the morning of Nov. 22 after digging around the artificial rock near the roof netting of the Formosan Animal Area in the zoo’s Outdoor Display areas. Fei Fei apparently took flight through a hole in the netting.
Taipei Zoo spokesperson Tsao Hsien-shao said that during the inspection in the area on the morning of Nov. 22, a zoo employee noticed that a leopard cat was missing. The CCTV footage showed that Fei Fei, a female leopard cat, who was almost four years old and had been sent to the zoo by an animal rescue organization, was digging on the artificial rock wall and had managed to make a hole. It is thought that the leopard cat might have entered the hole and is hiding behind the rock wall, although it cannot be ruled out that she has escaped from the zoo altogether. Fei Fei is a rescued leopard. Her right leg was amputated after she sustained a serious injury.
Zookeepers have made six holes around the artificial rock through which to place food, hoping to encourage the leopard cat to come back through the hole of its own accord. Leopard cats are sensitive creatures, and zoo staff say they will try to keep a distance so that the leopard cat will become less wary, increasing the possibility of it emerging through the hole by itself. Members of the public are advised to maintain a safe distance if they encounter the missing animal and avoid disturbing it, and to notify zoo authorities immediately.
Previously, on Sept. 1, a mother anteater named Little Red and her daughter escaped from the zoo by jumping over fencing. After the zoo sent out a large search party, the baby anteater, named Red Bean, was found; however, no trace of the mother has yet been found. The zoo is calling on the public to keep an eye out for the missing anteater.
Collared anteaters, which are nocturnal animals, usually stay in the zoo building during the day and only take their cubs outside at night. When zookeepers inspected the activity site on the morning of Sept. 1, they discovered that Little Red and her daughter were missing. They immediately checked the CCTV footage and confirmed that earlier that day Little Red, with her cub in tow, had climbed over the electric fence at about 2:30am and escaped.