利用零碎的時間，不用死背英語單字，背文法，直接開口跟著John與Gavin老師一起朗讀國際新聞趣事，每日只要十五分鐘就可以提升你的英語力! - 每日英語跟讀，跟著 John老師一起朗讀時事趣聞。 - 精選詞彙 Vocab播客，收聽John與Gavin老師討論文章內容與精選詞彙。 - 文法跟讀 In-Tense單元，跟著Gavin老師一起反覆練習常用文法例句。 喜歡這個Podcast? 請在Apple Podcast裡給五顆星評分幫我們加油打氣～ 更多跟讀文章在官網: www.15mins.today 商業合作、粉絲交流請來信: firstname.lastname@example.org
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K116: Lavender's Soothing ScentCould Be More Than Just Folk Medicine
Lavender bath bombs; lavender candles; deodorizing lavender sachets for your shoes, car or underwear drawer; lavender diffusers; lavender essential oils; even lavender chill pills for humans and dogs. And from Pinterest: 370 recipes for lavender desserts.
Take a deep breath. Release.
People like lavender. We have been using this violet-capped herb since at least medieval times. It smells nice. But Google “lavender” and results hint at perhaps the real fuel for our obsession: “tranquility,” “calm,” “relaxation,” “soothing” and “serenity.” Lavender has purported healing powers for reducing stress and anxiety. But are these effects more than just folk medicine?
Yes, said Hideki Kashiwadani, a physiologist and neuroscientist at Kagoshima University in Japan — at least in mice.
“Many people take the effects of ‘odor’ with a grain of salt,” he said in an email. “But among the stories, some are true based on science.”
In a study published Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, he and his colleagues found that sniffing linalool, an alcohol component of lavender odor, was kind of like popping a Valium. It worked on the same parts of a mouse’s brain, but without all the dizzying side effects. And it did not target parts of the brain directly from the bloodstream, as was thought. Relief from anxiety could be triggered just by inhaling through a healthy nose.
Their findings add to a growing body of research demonstrating anxiety-reducing qualities of lavender odors and suggest a new mechanism for how they work in the body. Kashiwadani believes this new insight is a key step in developing lavender-derived compounds like linalool for clinical use in humans.
Kashiwadani and his colleagues became interested in learning how linalool might work for anti-anxiety while testing its effects on pain relief in mice. In this earlier study, they noticed that the presence of linalool seemed to calm mice.
In this study, they exposed mice to linalool vapor, wafting from filter paper inside a specially made chamber to see if the odor triggered relaxation. Mice on linalool were more open to exploring, indicating they were less anxious than normal mice. And they did notbehave like they were drunk, as mice on benzodiazepines, a drug used to treat anxiety, or injected with linalool did.
But the linalool did not work when they blocked the mice’s ability to smell, or when they gave the mice a drug that blocks certain receptors in the brain. This suggested that to work, linalool tickled odor-sensitive neurons in the nose that send signals to just the right spots in the brain — the same ones triggered by Valium.
但當研究人員阻斷老鼠的嗅覺能力，或給老鼠一種阻斷腦部某些受體的藥物時，芳樟醇就不起作用。這顯示，芳樟醇的作用方式是逗弄鼻子中對氣味敏感的神經元，再由神經元將信號發送到腦部正確位置，跟煩寧錠觸發的位置一模一樣。Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/333494/web/
精選詞彙 VOCAB Podcast，就在https://www.15mins.today/vocab
語音直播 15mins Live Podcast, 就在https://www.15mins.today/15mins-live-podcast
文法練習 In-TENSE Podcast，就在https://www.15mins.today/in-tense
Hello通勤家族，歡迎你收聽15mins Live Podcast直播，這個我在Mixerbox 做語音互動時，側錄下來的單元。
下週一晚上9pm也會在Mixerbox App與大家進行互動與輕鬆地談些英語學習相關的議題。我們15mins live Podcast除了會用中英文與大家互動外，也會有主題以及John老師的分享補充。未來幾週會嘗試主持這樣的Live語音互動，有空的人歡迎到Mixerbox與John老師聊聊。
- 電報時代 --> 簡訊 --> 網際網路 --> 行動通訊軟體(LINE/Whatsapp)
- be 變 b
- see 變 c
- are 變 r
- you 變 u
- why 變 y
- OK 變 k
- ate 變 8
- for 變 4
- to 或 too 變 2
- one 或 won 變 1
later 變 l8r
tomorrow 變 2mro
for or fore 變 4
Your and You're 變 ur 或 yr
- atm --> at the moment
- brb --> be right back
- bff --> best friends forever
- btw --> by the way
- idc / idk --> i don't care / i don't know
- imo / imho --> in my opinion / in my humble opinion
- ppl --> people
- plz / pls --> please
- ttyl --> talk to you later
- thx / tks --> thanks
- ty / tyvm --> thank you / thank you very much
精選詞彙 VOCAB Podcast，就在https://www.15mins.today/vocab
語音直播 15mins Live Podcast, 就在https://www.15mins.today/15mins-live-podcast
文法練習 In-TENSE Podcast，就在https://www.15mins.today/in-tense
Students of a tourism academy in Bali can now pay in coconuts. The academy previously allowed students to pay their tuition in installments, but the pandemic has made payments difficult. Student can contribute coconut and leaves that could be made into virgin coconut oil and herbal soap that could help raise funds for the academy.
Vocabulary and Sample sentences:
Hospitality n. – friendly reception of guests
Convert v.– change in form
Installment n. – a sum of money split into equal payments for a period.
精選詞彙 VOCAB Podcast，就在https://www.15mins.today/vocab
語音直播 15mins Live Podcast, 就在https://www.15mins.today/15mins-live-podcast
文法練習 In-TENSE Podcast，就在https://www.15mins.today/in-tense
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K115: Myanmar group compiles junta rights abuse dossier
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1, with nearly 600 people killed in a crackdown on anti-coup protests — nearly 50 of the dead were children — and more than 2,700 arrested.
The Committee for Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) — a group of MPs from Aung San Suu Kyi’s party — said on Wednesday last week that its lawyers would meet UN investigators to discuss alleged atrocities committed by the junta.
“CRPH has received 180,000 items of evidence. This evidence shows widescale abuses of human rights by the military,” the group said in a statement. They include more than 540 extrajudicial executions, 10 deaths of prisoners in custody, torture, illegal detentions and disproportionate use of force against peaceful protests, the statement said.
As well as breaking up protests and making arrests, the security forces have also sought to shut off news of the crisis. Internet access has been throttled, and independent media outlets raided and shut down.
The military insists that it is responding proportionately to what it says are violent, armed protesters. It has defended seizing power, pointing to allegations of voting fraud in the election in November last year which Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won comfortably.
The growing bloodshed has prompted warnings that Myanmar could slide into broader civil conflict, particularly after 10 ethnic rebel armies came out in support of the protest movement.
Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2021/04/12/2003755497
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K114: About brands - Fendi launches fancy ‘doggy bags’ for devoted pet lovers
With more and more Taiwanese opting to care for pets rather than children in recent years, high-end brands have come up with new and innovative ways to attract more customers.
Doggy bags, once referred to as a plastic bag to pack up leftover food from a restaurant, now has a new definition as a luxurious vehicle and rest stop for lovable pets when “traveling” from one place to another.
Fendi recently released a new line of pet accessories, including bags, collars, jackets, and even matching belts for owners to help both experience the life of luxury.
According to Fendi, the new collection features the brand’s signature FF logo in brown and tobacco-like colors, and includes stylish ways to carry and transport your pet’s essentials.
From pet–travel totes, water-resistant nylon jackets, and a leather belt and collar with a metal FF motif tag, the new line is sure to attract devoted pet owners.
Now, when your pet gets tired, you can combine both style and function wherever you go.
博柏利春季推出「露點裝」 網讚：真男人就要這樣穿！| Burberry’s 2021 spring collection featuring ‘nipple windows’ becomes big hit online
With the arrival of spring, fashion brands all across the world are launching their new collections for the first season of 2021.
However, none attracted more attention than Burberry’s latest 2021 spring collection by creative director Riccardo Tisci where several men’s shirts were featured with two large circular cutouts on their chest, making it the focus of many discussions online.
According to foreign media, Tisci’s vision for the season was centered around the romance between “mermaids and sharks.”
Known for combining seemingly unconnected elements together, Burberry debuted its “exploration of contrasting worlds” through its graphic designs and unconventional cuts.
The T-shirt, priced at NT$21,900 proved to be very popular and has been sold out, according to Taiwan’s Burberry website.
Social media users immediately commented online on the modern design and jokingly claim that good men don’t cover their chest, making a wordplay on a phrase in Mandarin with similar meaning for “good men don’t keep other women.”
Some also coined it the “good men uniform,” while others questioned whether those who bought the shirt would feel “breezy” every time they go out. Source article: https://chinapost.nownews.com/20210429-2414954 ; https://chinapost.nownews.com/20210420-2380685
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K113: About UK - UK gamers and politicians take aim at console ’scalpers’
Furious British gamers and lawmakers are training their sights on "scalpers" who are buying up coveted PS5 and Xbox consoles and selling them online at vastly inflated prices.
The popular consoles have also been hard to come by in other parts of the world, but in Britain anger has boiled over to the point where some lawmakers want to ban the practice of reselling them online at higher prices.
While a PS5 normally costs between £360 and £450 depending on the model, its median resale price on sites like eBay is £650-£750, according to US researcher Michael Driscoll.
British Town Crier Championships to be held in silence due to Covid 因為疫情 英國街頭傳告員競賽將在沉默中舉辦
For the first time in its history, this year the British Town Crier Championships are to be held in perfect silence, with the country’s traditional news-bearers to be judged on the quality of their written cries alone.
While judges are usually focused on "three distinct parts of a cry" – sustained volume and clarity, diction and inflection, and content – this year they will focus on whether cries have stuck to the theme and the 140-word limit.
The theme for this year’s competition is "nature and the environment" in support of mental health week 10-16 May.
The British Town Crier dates back to at least the Norman invasion, with two bellmen appearing in the Bayeux tapestry. Town criers were employed to tell townspeople the latest news, proclamations and bylaws, grabbing their attention by ringing a handbell.
Prince William was named ’world’s sexiest bald man’ 威廉王子獲選為「全球最性感禿頭男」
On Saturday, the UK publication The Sun published a story claiming that Prince William is the "world’s sexiest bald man" based on a survey conducted by Longevita, a cosmetics surgery company that provides hair transplants.
The Sun reported that the survey results were determined by analyzing "blogs, reports, and pages found in Google searches" with the word "sexy."
Based on the survey, The Sun wrote, the Duke of Cambridge’s name was mentioned 17.6 million times. The article went on to name the other famous faces who took up the next nine spots in the survey’s results.
After Prince William, Mike Tyson came in second place, followed by "Fast & Furious" star Jason Statham, rapper Pitbull, Michael Jordan, boxer Floyd Mayweather, John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and actor Vin Diesel.
在威廉王子之後，（拳王）泰森排在第2位，其後是電影《玩命關頭》明星傑森史塔森、饒舌歌手Pitbull（嘻哈鬥牛梗）、（籃球明星）喬丹、拳擊手梅威瑟、約翰屈伏塔、布魯斯威利、杜威．「巨石」．強森，以及演員馮迪索。Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1446402; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1445632; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1443919
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K112: New Taipei City to strictly ban e-cigarettes
The New Taipei City Council passed the draft New Taipei City self-government ordinance for e-cigarettes and heated tobacco devices on its third reading on April 29. In addition to stipulating that people under the age of 18 are not allowed to smoke or possess e-cigarettes and heated smoking devices, the ordinance also prohibits the manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in New Taipei City. This means in effect that e-cigarettes will not be allowed in New Taipei City in future. Offenders will be fined from NT$10,000 up to NT$100,000 and may be fined consecutively per violation or ordered to suspend their business or manufacture.
Chen Ran-chou, Commissioner of New Taipei City Government’s Department of Health, said that according to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s National Health Agency, the number of young people smoking e-cigarettes has increased. However, the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act only regulates the prohibition of tobacco imports and sales, and there is no law applicable to those who bring in e-cigarettes from abroad for their own use and possession. In addition, the penalty for illegally selling e-cigarettes is only a fine of NT$1,000 to NT$3,000. Moreover, the penalties apply only to cigarette-shaped devices — but electronic cigarettes come in various shapes and forms, so that businesses that sell non-cigarette-shaped e-cigarettes tend to win their appeals after being fined.
Now that the New Taipei City self-government ordinance for e-cigarettes and heated tobacco devices has been passed, it will be processed by the Executive Yuan for approval. After approval, the ordinance will be promulgated and go into force in three months, making New Taipei City the seventh city or county to have such an ordinance regulating e-cigarettes, following Hsinchu City, Taichung, Chiayi County, Yilan County, Kaohsiung and Taoyuan, but New Taipei City’s regulations are by far the strictest.
「新北市電子煙及加熱式菸具管理自治條例」通過後，將送行政院核定，核定通過後將在三個月內公告實施，成為繼新竹市、台中市、嘉義縣、宜蘭縣、高雄市、桃園市後，第七個通過自治條例的縣市，但規範最為嚴格。Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2021/05/03/2003756713
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K111: Saudi Society Is Changing Just Take a Look at These Coffeehouses
For insight into these head-spinning times in Saudi Arabia, where the ultraconservative social and religious codes that micromanage daily life seem to spring a new leak every month — women driving! movie theaters! Usher and Akon rapping to sold-out crowds! — it sometimes pays to read the Google Maps reviews of specialty coffee shops.
“I visited this place and was in a total shock!” Tarak Alhamood, a customer at Nabt Fenjan, a Riyadh coffee shop, raged online recently. “YOU r VIOLATING the rules of this country. I hope this place get closed permanently.”
The issue was the decision that made Nabt Fenjan a daring outpost of the new Riyadh: Originally opened only for women, the coffee shop began allowing male and female customers to mix in late 2018.
The move propelled the cafe ahead of the law in the kingdom, where most restaurants and coffee shops are divided, by law and custom, into all-male “singles” sections and “family” sections for women and mixed family groups. Men enter through separate doors and pay in separate lines; women sometimes eat behind partitions to ensure privacy from male strangers.
In early December, however, the government announced that businesses would no longer be required to segregate customers — the latest expansion of the social reforms initiated by the de facto Saudi ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Yet Nabt Fenjan was far from the only Saudi establishment to discreetly drop separate sections over the last few years, after the crown prince defanged the religious police, which once enforced conservative social norms. Nor was it the only place to thrive partly as a result.
“I think the reason coffee shops became a trend is because people are more open to change,” said Shaden Alkhalifah, 30, who was studying at Draft Café in Riyadh on a recent evening.
Notwithstanding Alhamood’s Google pan of Nabt Fenjan, even traditionalists have begun to unbend amid the general loosening-up, in larger cities if not yet in smaller ones or rural areas.
Some women whose families might previously have allowed them to work only in the privacy of offices, if at all, now hold barista jobs. Saudis can now mingle with the opposite sex not only at home but also at movie theaters, concerts and even wrestling matches.
Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/4414614
Hello 通勤家族，這一集，大家會聽到我們第一次的15mins Live Podcast直播，這個是前一週，John老師在Mixerbox 做語音互動時，側錄下來的單元。
下週一晚上9pm也會在Mixerbox App與大家進行互動與輕鬆地談些英語學習相關的議題。我門15mins live Podcast除了會用中英文與大家互動外，也會有主題以及John老師的分享補充。未來幾週會嘗試主持這樣的Live語音互動，有空的人歡迎到Mixerbox與John老師聊聊。
Mixerbox App 蘋果
Mixerbox App 安卓
4. Input輸入 Vs. Output輸出
The pandemic has not only led to a shortage of toilet paper, hand sanitizers, surgical masks, and now also parking space in NYC. For those who are concerned about travelling via public transportation would turn to cars. The increased car ownership is now fighting for free street parking with NYC restaurants looking to survive through public dining on sidewalks and street parking. Biker and pedestrians in NYC are also demanding more space in the city.
Vocabulary and samples sentences:
Shortage n. – situation where something cannot be obtained
A ticket n. - piece of paper that gives the holder right to access ; a fine
Pavement / sidewalk n. – the paved area where pedestrians walk on
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K110: About technology - No roof to install solar panel ? Buy one at a park
Lithuania is pioneering a scheme to allow city-dwellers who do not own the roof over their apartment blocks to buy solar panels located in special rural parks for their cheaper energy needs.
"You invest upfront, but then for the next 20-25 years you save on electricity costs," said Vytautas Plunksnis, who bought a 1.5 kw panel located at one solar park.
The park is situated next to an old decommissioned gas power plant which was blanketed in snow this week.
"It’s winter, there’s very little sun, so I cannot say that I have much savings, but I understand that most of my electricity will be generated in summertime," Plunksnis said. （Reuters）
Lost Passwords Lock Millionaires Out of Their Bitcoin Fortunes 丟失密碼讓百萬富翁無法取得他的比特幣財富
Stefan Thomas, a programmer living in San Francisco, has two guesses left to figure out a password that is worth about $220 million.
The password will let him unlock a small hard drive which contains the private keys to a digital wallet that holds 7,002 Bitcoin.
The problem is that Mr. Thomas years ago lost the paper where he wrote down the password for his hard drive, which gives users 10 guesses before it seizes up and encrypts its contents forever. He has since tried eight of his most commonly used password formulations — to no avail.
Of the existing 18.5 million Bitcoin, around 20 percent appear to be in lost or otherwise stranded wallets, according to the cryptocurrency data firm Chainalysis.
加密貨幣數據公司Chainalysis指出，目前有1850萬枚比特幣，約佔20%，處於被遺失或打不開的狀態。Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1438998 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1428060
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K109: Big Meat Hops on the Meatless Bandwagon
Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, scrappy startups that share a penchant for superlatives and a commitment to protecting the environment, have dominated the relatively new market for vegetarian food that looks and tastes like meat.
But with plant-based burgers, sausages and chicken increasingly popular and available in fast-food restaurants and grocery stores across the United States, a new group of companies has started making meatless meat: the food conglomerates and meat producers that Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods originally set out to disrupt.
In recent months, major food companies like Tyson, Smithfield, Perdue, Hormel and Nestlé have rolled out their own meat alternatives, filling supermarket shelves with plant-based burgers, meatballs and chicken nuggets.
Once largely the domain of vegans and vegetarians, plant-based meat is fast becoming a staple of more people’s diets, as consumers look to reduce their meat intake amid concerns about its health effects and contribution to climate change. Analysts project that the market for plant-based protein and lab-created meat alternatives could be worth as much as $85 billion by 2030.
Now, at supermarkets across the United States, shoppers can find plant-based beef and chicken sold alongside the packaged meat products that generations of Americans have eaten.
“There is a growing demand out there,” said John Pauley, the chief commercial officer for Smithfield, one of the largest pork producers in the country. “We’d be foolish not to pay attention.”
In September, Nestlé released the Awesome Burger, its answer to the meatless patties of Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Smithfield started a line of soy-based burgers, meatballs and sausages, and Hormel began offering plant-based ground meat.
Many supporters of meatless alternatives have hailed the new products as a sign that plant-based meat has gained widespread acceptance.
But the emergence of these meat companies in the plant-based protein market has also prompted suspicion and unease among some environmental activists, who worry the companies could co-opt the movement by absorbing smaller startups, or simply use plant-based burgers to draw attention away from other environmental misdeeds.
Pat Brown, the chief executive of Impossible Foods, has long described the project of creating faux meat as an environmental imperative. Brown has even set a deadline: eliminate animal products from the global food supply by 2035.
Not all his new rivals are quite so idealistic. Their goal is not to upend the meat industry in the name of sustainability. It is mainly to make money.
他的新競爭對手並非全都如此理想主義。他們的目標不是顛覆肉品業以追求永續，主要是為了賺錢。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/4169563
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K108: About the UK - Coronavirus-free Scottish island up for auction
Many countries are struggling with the fourth wave of the coronavirus, with countries implementing lockdown and stay-at-home order.
In response, a British auction house is selling a beautiful island in Scotland for £80,000 (about NT$3.15 million), which comes with a beautiful castle.
According to CNN, this small island in the Scottish Highlands covers 11 acres is surrounded by beautiful and tranquil lochs.
Also, you can enjoy living on the island with zero chance of intrusion due to the remote location.
Future Property, the British auction house that published the island’s bid information, said the island had been uninhabited for 500 years and had always been owned by the same family.
衛報再讚台灣抗疫效力 The Guardian praises Taiwan’s triumph over COVID-19 compared to Britain
With the gradual, worldwide distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, many look back to where it all began, wondering when life will return to normal.
As the virus continues to wreak havoc in its second year around the sun, foreign media reflect on precisely what Britain, an island just like Taiwan, did wrong in its virus-prevention response.
According to an article published in The Guardian, the authors first listed various similarities between both countries, including both being ruled by a democratic government, both are islands, both have large populations living in crowded cities with medical care that is accessible.
The article pointed out that Taiwan’s main reason to ride out the pandemic relatively unscathed is primarily rooted in the approach the government took.
In comparing both countries’ government responses, the article states that Britain made the disastrous decision to treat the pandemic like the flu and limit its spread instead of stamping it out.
On the other hand, Taiwan built on its past experience dealing with the 2003 SARS outbreak, and border control was immediately in place, effectively limiting the number of cases.
The article quoted Jay Patel, a Covid-19 researcher at Edinburgh, who stated that Britain mainly focused on “preventing the number of cases to exceed what the healthcare capacity could handle,” while Taiwan was focused on “eliminating” the virus entirely.
The Taiwanese government’s quick realization of the seriousness of the COVID-19 threat was lauded by many. Though the country was barred from the WHO, the Guardian notes that Taiwan did try to raise the alarm internationally about the possibility of fast transmission between humans. Source article: https://chinapost.nownews.com/20210322-2267859 ; https://chinapost.nownews.com/20210324-2281263
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K107: ‘My Turn to Get Robbed’: Delivery Workers Are Targets in the Pandemic
The delivery of restaurant orders and other goods has become a bigger part of daily life across the nation since the pandemic forced millions of people indoors. And in New York City the delivery workers have become a lifeline for people working from home and for vulnerable residents who have been warned against going outside.
On any given day thousands of men, and a growing number of women, can be seen crisscrossing city arteries, transporting takeout, groceries and medicine in plastic bags on top of their well-worn bikes.
But their visibility has also made them targets for opportunistic criminals looking for a quick profit through robbery, as the unemployment rate has spiked into the double digits and economic desperation has grown in the city’s less affluent neighborhoods, which were already hit hard by the pandemic.
Stolen electric bikes can be easily sold on the streets for cash or dismantled for their parts. The bikes can cost thousands of dollars and are vital tools for the workers, who often make less than $60 a day. Many have come to rely on the bikes, because they can go about 20 mph, enabling workers to travel farther and make more trips to increase their slim bottom lines.
The theft of electric bikes doubled during the first year of the pandemic, rising to 328 in 2020.
Investigators said robbers often use fraudulent credit cards to call in bogus orders and lure delivery workers to secluded locations. The delivery workers then are faced with two dire options: let go of the pricey bikes they need to remain employed or risk injury and even death.
“We believe more often than not it is a setup,” said Rodney Harrison, the New York Police Department’s chief of department.
The northern section of Manhattan, Southern Brooklyn and the Bronx have seen the biggest spikes in robberies, investigators said. Most of the victims were threatened with sharp objects, guns and other weapons.
There were about 50,000 commercial cyclists in New York in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available, city transportation officials said. That figure has since soared, by some activists’ estimates, to about 80,000.
In October, more than 1,000 protesters joined a demonstration outside City Hall organized by a collective known as Los Deliveristas Unidos to call attention to the robberies and other poor working conditions, including low pay, a shortage of protective gear, and a lack of places to rest or use a restroom.
去年10月，1000多人在紐約市政廳外參加「快遞員聯合會」的抗議，要求大眾關注快遞員易遭搶劫等惡劣的工作條件，包括低薪、防護裝備不足、缺乏休息處和洗手間等。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5332541
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K106: Amid Awakening, Asian Americans Are Still Taking Shape as a Political Force
For years, Asian Americans were among the least likely of any racial or ethnic group to vote or to join community or advocacy groups. Today they are surging into public life, running for office in record numbers and turning out to vote unlike ever before. They are now the fastest-growing group in the U.S. electorate.
But as a political force, Asian Americans are still taking shape. With a relatively short history of voting, they differ from demographic groups whose families have built party loyalties and voting tendencies over generations.
“These are your classic swing voters,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, director of AAPI Data.
Historical data on Asian American voting patterns is spotty. Analyses of exit polls show that a majority voted for George Bush in 1992, Ramakrishnan said. Today, a majority of Asians vote for Democrats, but that masks deep differences by subgroup.
It is too early for final breakdowns of the Asian American vote in 2020, along either party or ethnic lines. But one thing seems clear:Turnout for Asian Americans appears to have been higher than it has ever been.
As relatively new voters, many Asian Americans find themselves uniquely interested in both major parties, drawn to Democrats for their stances on guns and health care and to Republicans for their support for small business and emphasis on self-reliance. But they do not fit into neat categories.
Former President Donald Trump’s repeated reference to the “China virus” repelled many Chinese American voters, and the Democrats’ support for affirmative action policies in schools has drawn strong opposition from some Asian groups. Even the violence and slurs against Asians, which began spiking after the coronavirus began to spread last spring, have pushed people in different directions politically. Some blame Trump and his followers. Others see Republicans as supporters of the police and law and order.
More Asian Americans are running for office than ever before. At least 158 Asian Americans ran for state legislatures in 2020, according to AAPI Data, up by 15% from 2018.
Asian Americans lean toward Democrats — all the more so among the American-born. But there are things pushing Asians away from the Democrats as well.
Despite recent increases in political representation, some Asian American communities still feel invisible, and some members argue that could lead to a rightward turn.
雖然近年來亞裔在政治界的代表變多了，有些亞裔團體仍感覺自己不受重視，一些成員認為這種現象可能使亞裔立場向右轉。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5395759
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Topic: The Old Pop Music Is Over. Introducing a Playbook for Pop 2.0.
What pop means changes depending on what angle you’re looking from. It can be a descriptor of audience size, indicating something that’s popular, or it can be a genre tag, specifying a sound. But for much of the past three decades, these two definitions have effectively been one and the same.
You know the sort: Katy Perry’s confetti cheer, Justin Timberlake’s feather-light chirps, Lady Gaga’s exorbitant theater, Taylor Swift’s guileless guile. Music that strives for gloss, pep, ecstasy, spectacle. Often an expression of whiteness, too. A one-size-fits-all solution.
For a time, in the 1980s, this kind of pop music — think of Michael Jackson and Madonna — was effectively monoculture, which is why the two meanings of pop have been so tightly tethered and so difficult to disentangle.
But in the past couple of years, this framework has been almost completely dismantled, owing in large part to the widespread adoption of streaming. What were once regarded merely as pop subgenres — K-pop, Latin trap, melodic hip-hop and more — have become the center of the conversation.
This is not an arbitrary agglomeration of styles. This is Pop 2.0 — music that comes from several different scenes but works with its own distinct set of rules. It is the first time in decades that the playbook for pop success has been updated, and it has profoundly reshaped the sound of America.
Previously, when artists from hip-hop, country or hard rock were said to be going pop, that implied they were sacrificing something essential about themselves in exchange for something plastic and transitory. Pop was a softening. A compromise.
Now, thanks to the largely frictionless internet, and the evolution in how Billboard calculates its charts — accounting for streaming data in addition to sales and radio play — these styles top the charts in unfiltered fashion. Hip-hop almost completely dominates streaming. Latin trap and reggaeton thrive on YouTube.
K-pop, the dominant sound of young South Korea, has become a live-concert blockbuster and outrageously popular online worldwide.
All of that has made for Billboard charts that look vastly different than they did a decade ago and sets the template for how all of pop music will sound moving forward.
凡此種種，都使現在的告示牌排行榜和十年前看來大不相同，也替整體流行樂的前行之路定好了調。Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/335845/web/#2L-14007387L
Topic: Australia wins AI ’Eurovision Song Contest’
Dutch broadcaster VPRO decided to organise an AI Song Contest after the country won the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. The aim was to research the creative abilities of AI and the impact it has on us, as well as the influence it could have on the music industry, according to the official Eurovision website.
Thirteen teams entered the contest, with Australia beating out Sweden, Belgium, the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands to take home the title, giving fans a taste of Eurovision after 2020 contest was cancelled due to COVID-19.
The winning song, titled Beautiful the World, includes audio samples of koalas, kookaburras and Tasmanian devils, and was made by music-tech collective Uncanny Valley as a response to the Black Summer bushfires.
獲勝曲的題目為「Beautiful the World」，含有無尾熊、笑翠鳥與袋獾的聲音樣本，由音樂技術團體「恐怖谷」製作，回應黑暗夏日的叢林大火。
Topic: Slow music- Chord change in Germany of 639-year organ piece
Hundreds of fans attended a special kind of musical happening on Sept. 5 at a church in Germany: a chord change in an organ piece that is supposed to last for an entirety of 639 years. The performance of the ORGAN2/ASLSP, or As Slow As Possible, composition began in September 2001 at the St. Burchardi Church in the eastern town of Halberstadt and is supposed to end in 2640 if all goes well.
The music piece by the American composer John Cage is played on a special organ inside the medieval church. The last sound has been the same one for the last six years and 11 months, and therefore the chord change on Saturday last week was a big event among fans of the John Cage Organ Project.
A chord change means that the sound of the organ pipes changes either because new sounds are added or existing sounds end. On Sept. 5, two new organ pipes were added. Organizers say the performance is “one of the slowest realizations of an organ musical piece.”
A compressor in the basement creates energy to blow air into the organ to create a continuous sound. When a chord change happens, it’s done manually. On Sept. 5, soprano singer Johanna Vargas and organist Julian Lembke changed the chord. The new sound reminded some listeners of the metallic buzz inside a big ship’s engine room.
The next chord change is planned for Feb. 5, 2022, the German news agency DPA reported. When the piece officially started on Sept. 5, 2001, it began without any sound. It was only on Feb. 5, 2003, the day of the first chord change, that the first organ pipe chords could actually be heard inside the church.
Cage was born in Los Angeles in 1912 and died in New York in 1992. He’s known not only as a composer, but also as a music theorist, artist and philosopher.
The St. Burchardi church has a long, checkered history. It was built around 1050, and was used for more than 600 years as a Cistercian monastery. It was partially destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War, later rebuilt, at some point secularized and over the centuries also served as a barn, a distillery and a pigsty, the John Cage Organ Project said on its website.
Chord changes usually draw several thousand visitors to Halberstadt, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of guests allowed into the church was limited this year.
Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/09/13/2003743299
Topic: Paul McCartney's Tip to Michael Jackson Pays Off
It is one of the twice-told tales of the music business: Decades ago, Michael Jackson received some sound investment advice from Paul McCartney.
Back in the early 1980s, McCartney showed his friend a notebook full of songs he owned, by artists like Buddy Holly. The real money, McCartney suggested, was in music publishing, the side of the business that deals with the songwriting rights for big catalogs of songs. As McCartney himself has told it, Jackson perked up and said, "I'm gonna buy your songs."
He did. And it was the smartest deal Jackson ever made.
In 1985, Jackson bought the ATV catalog, which included 251 Beatles songs, along with a few thousand others, for $47.5 million. It proved to be Jackson's most valuable asset, helping to finance a lavish lifestyle even as Jackson's own musical career reached a low point in the years before his death in 2009.
Now those songs have helped provide a windfall for his estate. On Monday, Sony said it had agreed to pay $750 million for the Jackson estate's share of what is now Sony/ATV — a collection of more than 1 million songs, with hits by Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga, chestnuts like "Moon River" and "Mona Lisa," and of course the Beatles songs.
Sony's buyout caps an extraordinary turnaround in Jackson's finances that began after his death. Jackson died more than $500 million in debt, having drawn on his share of Sony/ATV as a lifeline through a $270 million loan in 2006, years after his last hit but shortly after he was acquitted of child molestation in a trial that damaged his public image around the world.
The Jackson estate has long since paid off most of Jackson's personal debts. But the latest deal will allow it to clear its last obligation, a $250 million debt that was tied to Jackson's holdings in Sony/ATV.
The deal for the song catalog could now push those earnings above $1 billion, a big return for a financial move that began as a simple conversation between two music legends.
這筆歌曲版權交易現在可能會將獲利數字推高至10億美元以上，而這對以兩位音樂傳奇人物之間簡單對話為起頭的財務行動來說，是個很大的回報。Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/295664/web/
Taiwan’s role in the world economy largely existed below the radar until recently. With the auto industry suffered shortage in computer chips used for everything from parking sensors to reducing emissions, TSMC the world’s biggest semiconductor foundry semiconductors came under the spotlight.
Vocabulary and sample sentences:
Court v. – to be involved romantically / pay special attention to win support
Under the radar id. – to go unnoticed
Monopoly n. – have dominance in the market, supply or trade.
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K105: Hides that reveal: DNA helps scholars divine Dead Sea Scrolls
Genetic sampling of the Dead Sea Scrolls has tested understandings that the 2,000-year-old artefacts were the work of a fringe Jewish sect, and shed light on the drafting of scripture around the time of Christianity’s birth. The research — which indicated some of the parchments’ provenances by identifying animal hides used — may also help safeguard against forgeries of the prized biblical relics.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, a collection of hundreds of manuscripts and thousands of fragments of ancient Jewish religious texts, were discovered in 1947 by local Bedouin in the cave-riddled desert crags of Qumran, about 20km east of Jerusalem. Many scholars believed the scrolls originated with the reclusive Essenes, who had broken away from the Jewish mainstream. But some academics argue the Qumran trove had various authors and may have been brought from Jerusalem for safekeeping.
DNA sequencing conducted by Tel Aviv University and the Israel Antiquities Authority has allowed for finer matching or differentiation among the scrolls. While the sheepskin of some of the scrolls could be produced in the desert, cowskin — found in at least two samples — was more typical of cities like Jerusalem, where Jews, at the time, had their second temple and were under Roman rule.
“The very material, the biological material of which the scrolls are made, is as telling and as informative as the content of the text,” Noam Mizrahi, Bible studies professor at Tel Aviv University, told Reuters. The Israeli researchers, assisted by a Swedish DNA lab, determined that two textually different copies of the Book of Jeremiah were brought to Qumran from the outside.
Such findings, the researchers say, indicate that the wording of Jewish texts was subject to variation and interpretation — contrary to later views of holy writ as fixed. The lesson, Mizrahi said, is that “Second Temple Jewish society was much more plural and multifaceted than many of us tend to think.”
Tiny slivers of parchment — or just dust — were taken for testing. The process could prove a godsend for spotting counterfeits, such as five supposed Dead Sea Scrolls that were removed from the Museum of the Bible in Washington in 2018. “Since we can distinguish scrolls that originated from Qumran from other scrolls, we think that maybe in the future it could help identify real versus false scroll pieces,” said Oded Rechavi, neurobiology professor at Tel Aviv University.
羊皮紙的極小碎片──或是塵埃──也被送去檢驗。這個過程日後可望成為及時雨，協助科學家發現贗品，就像是華盛頓的聖經博物館在二○一八年撤出展覽的五塊偽造死海古卷殘片。台拉維夫大學的神經生物學教授歐迪‧雷查維表示：「既然我們現在能夠區別源自昆蘭沙漠的古卷軸跟其它卷軸，我們認為這項技術未來也許能幫助學者鑑別卷軸碎片的真偽。」Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/06/07/2003737755
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K104: How Big Is Amazon, Really?
I’m fond of repeating a shopping statistic that often surprises people. In the United States — even during the pandemic — only about $14 out of each $100 worth of stuff we buy is spent online. Amazon is responsible for roughly $5 of that.
So is Amazon a giant that dominates our internet spending or a blip in America’s shopping universe? It depends on how you look at the numbers. Amazon is huge in internet sales, but puny relative to all the goods Americans buy.
Our perception of Amazon’s size influences how the public and policymakers think about the company. And yet while the company’s share of spending matters, it also doesn’t tell us everything.
Permit me to get a little nerdy about numbers. Without a doubt, Amazon is the king of online shopping in the United States. Research firm eMarketer estimated that Amazon will be responsible for more than 40% of Americans’ e-commerce spending this year. The second-largest internet store, Walmart, is far behind at about 7%.
Back to my point, though, that internet shopping remains relatively small. The picture is a little different depending on how you count.
U.S. government data on online shopping plus those eMarketer estimates put Amazon at about 5% of all U.S. retail sales.
(And there’s a wrinkle: A trade group for retailers recently told me that there could be inaccuracies in the government counting of shopping that blurs the line between stores and online, such as picking up online orders in person.)
Data can be a weapon. Amazon often uses a version of the 5% sales figure to counter critics who say the company is too big and powerful. But government investigations into big technology companies are looking at the behavior of Big Tech, not just their size. They’re trying to answer whether companies abuse their power to get advantages over competitors and hurt us.
Amazon has had a profound influence on people’s behavior, the strategies of entire industries and our communities no matter what the numbers say.
What we’re seeing in real life from Amazon and beyond are big ripple effects from a small market share.
So, is Amazon big? Yes and also no. And the reality is that no matter what the numbers say, Amazon commands the attention of people, other companies and governments because it’s influential in reshaping the world.
Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5379685
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每日英語跟讀 Ep.K103: Breathe Deeply : Workplaces Embrace Wellness
On a rainy Thursday afternoon, in a plush pink conference room in Manhattan, a group of colleagues formed a meditation circle. As they sat in their own silence, sirens and traffic wailed below. “Bathe in the joy of truly loving yourself,” a former Tibetan Buddhist monk advised them.
Over the course of an hour, the participants — co-workers at WayUp, a company that matches employers with recent college graduates and students — were guided through deep breaths, spoke to one another about “flow” and “powerful creative states,” and completed a self-hypnosis exercise.
They bonded over their challenges with sleep and overworking. At the end of the session, one employee mentioned his chest feeling less tight; another described a pinch in her back dissipating.
“That was awesome,” said Brandon Santulli, the office manager at WayUp. It was his first time meditating. “I feel very energized now,” he said, “and that’s not usually how I feel until I get another cup of cold brew.”
As companies have stressed the importance of work-life balance and mental health, and a younger, more open-minded workforce has joined their ranks, wellness initiatives have ramped up nationwide.
These optional activities, often scheduled during company hours, include basic meditation and yoga, as well as vision-boarding (creating a collage, essentially), energy consulting, sound baths and hypnotherapy. They are meant to be restorative and instructive, without veering too didactic. And they’re not peculiar to millennial-led startups: Multinational corporations, restaurant owners and federal government agencies are among the employers calling for more wellness in the workplace.
“No one wants to sit down for an hour and be lectured about stress management,” said Cassandra Bianco, the founder of Wellbeings, a network of corporate wellness consultants who, in addition to leading the meditation workshop at WayUp, have performed cacao ceremonies for Spotify and hosted an intuitive eating course at the Wing, a co-working space and social club for women. “They want to sit for an hour and feel de-stressed.”
The ultimate purpose is to encourage a corporate culture that takes a more holistic approach to employee well-being and embraces imperfection in the daily grind.
“I’ve seen firsthand what five deep belly breaths before a meeting can do,” Bianco said.
Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/4433226