目前日期文章:201402 (150)

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Life Can Be Sweet without Sugar

Back in the 1970s, when research revealed just how damaging dietary fats are to our health, food manufacturers slashed the fat content of their products almost overnight. Unfortunately, they began adding sugar to pretty much everything to make things "tastier." For example, in the U.K., Kellogg's Special K, which is touted as a low-fat, weight loss food, contains almost twice as much sugar as it did in 1978. Similar increases can be cited for many other common foods all over the world. But what's the problem with sugar? Isn’t it all just natural goodness, designed to give you an energy boost?

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◎俞智敏

Two Czechs have breathed new life into telephone booths made obsolete in the cell phone age, converting them into mini libraries with the first installed at a Prague hospital recently.

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◎陳伃軒

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◎國際新聞中心

Kissing helps us assess potential partners if, like a Jane Austen heroine, we cannot wait forever for Mr Darcy to come along, a study suggests.

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《中英對照讀新聞》Wearable computing goes to the dogs 穿戴式電腦產品應用在狗狗身上

◎魏國金

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◎詹立群

There have been more than one thousand planets confirmed outside our Solar System, but only a few are within star clusters.

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◎管淑平

Saudi Arabia’s feared religious police entered a public park in the Gulf Kingdom and told women to stop using swings, an act that drew applause and criticism by viewers of a picture showing the men warning some women at the swings.

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◎陳伃軒

A bomb exploded in a bustling food market in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore on Wednesday, killing one person and wounding 13 others, officials said.

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◎張沛元

A couple who root for Ohio State say they’ve made sure their baby daughter embraces their football allegiance by giving her a name that implies automatic fandom: Scarlet Gray.

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◎陳成良

A disgruntled viewer is suing Japan’s national broadcaster for mental distress caused by an excessive use of words borrowed from English.

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Danger – Unexploded Fruit!

It’s hot now in Taiwan and the summer weather means melons are everywhere: sliced melon, chilled melon, and, of course, ice-cold melon drinks. All these are absolutely delicious, and all completely normal. However, in eastern China’s Jiangsu Province, melons have been behaving in a totally abnormal way: they have been exploding! Some farmers have been using a growth hormone called forchlorfenuron. Since forchlorfenuron is a plant hormone, it’s not usually dangerous to humans and is used safely in a number of countries, including Australia. The exploding problem, however, seems to have multiple causes. The fruit growers applied the chemical to mature melons, not young ones. Then, there were heavy rains which plumped up the fruit. Finally, the type of melon the farmers had planted had much thinner skins than normal. The result was not a booming rural economy, but booming melons!

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How about a holiday in space?

In the 1968 movie, 2001 a Space Odyssey, travelling to the moon is normal. We see a passenger (who may be a scientist) sleeping in a large American spaceship. Soon, this fantasy could become reality; however it will certainly be different. For one thing, it will be in a much smaller spacecraft. One company promising to provide flights is Virgin Galactic, owned by British business man Richard Branson. For another, the flights will be shorter, at around an hour and a half. What’s more, passengers will only travel to the edge of space. There, they will experience three to four minutes of weightlessness before returning to earth. But in another way, the flights may be similar. Scientists are excited that tickets cost just NT$5,756,361. This means they will be able to do cheaper and more frequent experiments in near space than they can now. The day when we can all afford holidays in space may not be far away.

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Electric Bikes Clean Up

In Taipei, scooters are both popular and ubiquitous. They offer quick, cheap transportation and easy parking. However, they are also responsible for air and noise pollution. Is there any alternative to these two problems? The answer may be the electric bicycle. On Xiamen Island in China, the government has banned scooters but allows people to purchase electric bicycles. These machines carry people around silently and do not emit any exhaust. According to China’s environmental protection standards, Xiamen’s air is classed as first rate. Is every one happy? No, they are not. Both the Xiamen traffic department and local residents agree that the growing number of electric bicycles is causing more accidents. Banning them seems unlikely. Instead, better driver education and stricter enforcement of existing laws are necessary. This should help this quiet and clean alternative to the scooter continue to transport people around Xiamen.

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French Riot Police Fume at Booze Ban

French workers are well-known for enjoying very generous labour laws. One of their rights is to have a glass of wine with their lunch. This extends to the country’s infamous riot police (the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité, or CRS). Until now they have been able to enjoy a glass of wine or beer with their lunch, even when they are on duty.

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Kate and Wills Break Tradition

Viewers of today’s royal wedding between Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton may have a feeling of déjà vu. As in previous weddings, the couple will travel to Westminster Abbey in London with a parade and horse-drawn carriages. The ceremony will be attended by heads of state and international royalty.

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Uneasy Peace on the Ivory Coast

 

Along with the civil war in Libya, the small African country of the Ivory Coast has also been gripped by turmoil. Back in November, an election monitored by the UN took power from the then president, Laurent Gbagbo. The winner of the election, Alessandro Ouattara, was supposed to take power in December. However, Gbagbo refused to go, and Alessandro Ouattara’s supporters took to the streets.

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Spiderman does it again!

Alain Robert, the French urban climber, has scaled the world’s tallest building in Dubai. Known by most as ‘Spiderman’, Robert took over 6 hours to climb more than 820 meters to the top of the skyscraper. Hundreds of people watched and cheered for the real-life superhero as he slowly moved up the Burj Khalifa.

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‘Friday’ Nets a Profit

The latest teen sensation has become famous not because she is so good, but because most people believe she is so bad. 13 year old Rebecca Black posted the music video of her song ‘Friday’ on youtube in February. The song, which includes banal lyrics like ‘Tomorrow is Saturday / And Sunday comes afterwards’ soon got attention, for all the wrong reasons.

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Footlong Inches Ahead of Big Mac

For years, McDonald’s has been the leader of the fast food field. It has had the most franchises, the widest international reach, and the highest profits. Now, however, Subway, the sandwich maker, has nosed ahead of the famous chain. At the end of 2010, Subway had 33,749 restaurants worldwide, whereas McDonald’s had 32, 737. This is a result of Subway’s aggressive expansion strategy. It has broken away from the pack mostly because of its determination to develop world markets. For example, it already has 199 stores in China, and expects to have more than 500 by 2015.

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Aid Workers Face Uphill Battle

Last week, Japan was hit by the most devastating earthquake in its history. The magnitude 9.0 quake was followed by a tsunami, which washed away whole towns. Thousands of people are now feared dead. Millions more are enduring everything from power cuts to homelessness. Most frightening of all, a Japanese nuclear power plant is struggling to control a radioactive leak.

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