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Obama turns 49 with Mrs. Obama, kids out of townAlone on his 49th birthday, President Barack Obama fled the empty White House mansion and headed for a more intimate celebration with longtime friends in his Chicago hometown.Obama has been living a bachelor's life for the past several days with first lady Michelle Obama and daughter Sasha visiting Spain and daughter Malia spending the month away at an undisclosed camp.Before leaving Washington on Wednesday afternoon with the family dog, Bo, Obama got a couple of presents he didn't have to unwrap and which the White House described as being the highlight of his day: telephone calls from the women in his life.Mrs. Obama and Sasha phoned in their happy birthday wishes, followed by a lunchtime call from Malia."Needless to say ... both those calls were the highlights of his day," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters who traveled with Obama aboard Air Force One.Obama's Secret Service detail got him a present, though Gibbs would describe it only as "heartfelt."As the presidential motorcade pulled closer to his house in Hyde Park, neighbors lined the street to welcome him home with waves and signs, including "Happy 49th Birthday President Barack Obama" and "Happy Birthday Mr. President."Obama's birthday — though a year short of the milestone 5-0 — also was viewed in this election year as a prime fundraising opportunity for Democrats, who fear losing their hold on both houses of Congress come November.Vocabulary:Secret Service detail: 特工处,detail在此处表示an appointment or assignment, as of a small group or an officer, for a special task(特遣队、小分队)motorcade: a procession or parade of automobiles or other motor vehicles(车队)背单词 — 装英语词汇201008/110733In Southern China meanwhile, there is massive floodings and landslides. State Television has been broadcasting dramatic pictures of buildings collapsing down a mountain and plunging into a river. At least 11 people have been killed.08/81410Romantic comedies affecting off-screen love livesRomantic comedies might provide 90 minutes of light-hearted fun but the happy-ever-after movies are also impacting people's real love lives, according to an Australian survey.A poll of 1,000 Australians found almost half said rom-coms with their inevitable happy endings have ruined their view of an ideal relationship.One in four Australians said they were now expected to know what their partner was thinking while one in five respondents said it made their partners expect gifts and flowers 'just because'."It seems our love of rom-coms is turning us into a nation of "happy-ever-after addicts." Yet the warm and fuzzy feeling they provide can adversely influence our view of real relationships," said Australian relationship counselor, Gabrielle Morrissey."Real relationships take work and true love requires more than fireworks."The survey was released by Warner Home Video to mark the movie "Valentine's Day" going to DVD.Vocabulary:light-hearted: 轻松愉快的happy-ever-after: 大团圆结局,幸福到老rom-com: 浪漫喜剧,romantic comedy的缩写just because: 不为什么,不需要解释背单词 — 装英语词汇201007/109636This is East Africa, the Great Rift Valley, a land in constant upheaval. The flamingos and baboons here at Lake Bogoria live in harmony. They share this landscape and all it has to offer. They may not be compatible. But in the midst of Bogoria's bounty, they can afford to be indifferent. In July, after a successful breeding season, nearly four million flamingos gather along the scenes of the Great Rift Valley. They carve the inlets and crowd the local residents.The baboons who live here all year round can't help but take notice of the sheer numbers of new arrivers. Some baboons have never seen these many flamingos before, and some of them don't know how to behave. There are so many birds at Bogoria that they trip over each other in order to escape. Baboons aren't meat eaters, but this is something unusual for baboons. Choosing between fruits and flesh is a simple matter for these meat eaters.Until now, such an orchestrated attack on flamingos has rarely been witnessed or recorded. The graceful wading birds become a buffet of pink feathers and crimson flesh.The young have discovered a new taste and they like it. Perhaps this is nature's coldly indifferent way of restoring balance.200812/58597从不为人知的新人,演员汤唯经过《色,戒》的锤炼,已经成为炙手可热的红星。作为李安精心打造的《色,戒》的女一号,汤唯的表演被称作影片的“最大惊喜”。在这成功的背后,汤唯付出了怎样的努力?

Internet economies 互联网经济Going local 变得地方性The internet is not that global after all 互联网根本不那么具有全球性Jul 14th 2011 | from The Economist print edition THE internet is flattening the world. Or so they say. Yet new statistics from the OECD, a rich-country think-tank, and Boston Consulting Group (G) show that the global “network of networks” is shaped by local forces.据称互联网正在抹平这个世界。然而,来自富裕国家智囊团(欧洲)经济合作与发展组织(OECD)及波士顿咨询集团(G)的新数据显示全球“网络之网”是由地方性的要素形成的。(无线通信技术的融合以及非接触式近距离无线通信技术的产生,构成了“网络的网络”(Network of networks),相关基础设施也已经准备就绪,建立在基础之上的先进应用不断增加。高效能的SIM卡是这些技术发展的最终动力。——译者注)The OECD’s statistics on broadband internet access in its member countries have long been closely watched (in particular the mediocre ranking of America, which still lags behind most of Europe in high-speed links). The organisation has now broken out numbers on wireless broadband subscriptions. And the national differences turn out to be even bigger (see chart).长期以来,经济合作与发展组织发布的有关其成员国宽带上网的数据就被密切关注(尤其是美国二流的排名,在高速链接方面仍然落后于大多数的欧洲国家)。该组织还公布了无线宽带的订购数量,结果显示在这方面国与国之间的差异更大(见图)。G, for its part, in a new study of 46 countries, looks at how businesses, consumers and governments use the net. The data show that different countries have distinct internet economies. Britain’s internet infrastructure rates poorly, mainly because of its slow broadband speeds, but it has the highest per-person online spending and its government agencies are very active. Hong Kong, by contrast, tops the world in connectivity, but its consumers prefer to spend their money offline.波士顿咨询集团方面,在一项对46个国家展开的新研究中,着眼于企业、顾客及政府如何使用网络。数据显示,不同国家有各自独特的互联网经济。对英国的互联网基础设施的评价很差,主要是由于它的宽带速度慢,但英国的网络购物消费及其政府却是非常的活跃。相比之下,香港的连通性能世界第一,但香港消费者们更不喜欢网购。201107/145351

A resurgent Republican Party is basking in the afterglow of its best midterm electoral showing in 16 years. Republicans scored a huge majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, pared the Democratic majority in the Senate, and captured a slew of governorships across the nation.美国共和党16年来最好的一次中期选举结果让他们备受鼓舞。共和党在众议院以巨大优势赢得多数,削弱了民主党在参议院的多数派势力,并夺取了全国各地大量的州长职位。Two years after American voters gave Democrats the White House and the party's biggest legislative majorities in a generation, they forcefully reversed course and handed a significant chunk of power back to Republicans. With the nation mired in economic doldrums, high unemployment, and soaring national debt, an angry and anxious electorate dealt Democrats a stern rebuke.两年前,美国选民一手帮助民主党人入主白宫,并使他们获得20多年以来在立法机构中多数党优势最为显著的一次胜利。如今他们奋力扭转了这一格局,把相当大的一部分权力重新交回共和党人手中。随着全国经济陷入低迷、失业率居高不下以及国债不断飙升,愤怒和焦虑的选民们对民主党人给予严苛的责难。House Republican Leader John Boehner is expected to become the chamber's next speaker -- and the man President Barack Obama will have to work with to get legislation passed beginning next year. Addressing jubilant supporters, Boehner took stock of America's new governing reality. 众议院共和党领袖纳预期将成为众议院下一任议长,也是奥巴马总统自明年伊始推动立法通过时不得不与之合作的人物。纳在对欢欣鼓舞的持者们发表讲话时,审视了美国新的执政现实。"While our new majority will serve as your voice in our people's house, we must remember, it's the president who sets the agenda for our government," Boehner said. "The American people have sent an unmistakable message to him tonight, and that message is, 'change course.'"纳说:“在属于全美国人民的众议院中,我们作为新的多数派将代表你们的声音。同时,我们也必须铭记,设定政府议程的人是总统。全美国人民今晚已经向他发出了明确无误的讯息。这个讯息就是:改变现有的政策方向。”Republicans will have a commanding House majority of well over 40 seats.共和党人将在众议院掌握远远超过40个席位的绝对优势。201011/117294

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