The only means of strengthening one's intellect is to make up one's mind about nothing - to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts.


The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.




A ‘Slumdog’ Kind of Night at the Oscar Ceremony
( New York Times )

“Slumdog Millionaire” and its director, Danny Boyle, with their modern-day fairy tale about hope and hard times in the slums of Mumbai, pushed aside big-studio contenders to sweep top honors at the 81st annual Academy Awards on Sunday.

Accepting the best director award, Mr. Boyle paid tribute to the people of Mumbai, who figured by the thousands in his film. “You dwarf even this guy,” he said, looking at his Oscar statuette. Minutes later, “Slumdog Millionaire” was named best picture, helping give the evening a distinctly international tilt.

In one of the night’s few surprises, the best foreign language film went to “Departures,” a drama about an unemployed cellist, from Japan. Many observers had predicted “Waltz With Bashir,” an Israeli animated drama about that country’s past war in Lebanon, would take that prize.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・fairy tale おとぎ話(fairy:妖精)
・tribute 感謝の言葉、賛辞、みつぎ物、捧げ物
・dwarf 小びと、小さくする・見せる
・statuette 小像(statue:像)
・distinctly はっきりと、際立って
・predict 予言する

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posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 文化・芸術



Low-Tech Fixes for High-Tech Problems
( New York Times )

BEHIND the cash register at Smoke Shop No. 2 in downtown San
Francisco, Sam Azar swipes a customer’s credit card to ring up
Turkish cigarettes. The store’s card reader fails to scan the
card’s magnetic strip. Azar swipes again, and again. No luck.

As customers begin to queue, he reaches beneath the counter for a black plastic bag. He wraps one layer of the plastic around the card and swipes it again. Success. The sale is rung up.

“I don’t know how it works, it just does,” says Mr. Azar, who learned the trick years ago from another clerk. Verifone, the company that makes the store’s card reader, would not confirm or deny that the plastic bag trick works. But it’s one of many low-tech fixes for high-tech failures that people without engineering degrees have discovered, often out of desperation, and shared.

Today’s shaky economy is likely to produce many more such tricks. “In postwar Japan, the economy wasn’t doing so great, so you couldn’t get everyday-use items like household cleaners,” says Lisa Katayama, author of “Urawaza,” a book named after the Japanese term for clever lifestyle tips and tricks. “So people looked for ways to do with what they had.”

【 まずは準備運動 】

・swipe 強打する、(磁気データカードを)読み取り機にさっと走らせる
・queue 長い列をなす、並ぶ
・layer 層、積み重ね
・confirm 強める、確認する
・degree 程度、度、学位、称号
・desperation 絶望、死に物狂い

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posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 生活



It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.


I've stopped drinking, but only while I'm asleep.




Minister Quits at Bad Time for Japan’s Economy
( New York Times )

The resignation of Japan’s finance minister, who faced criticism for his odd behavior at a news conference at a Group of 7 meeting in Rome over the weekend, poses fresh problems for the country’s leadership during a worsening recession.

The episode, which led the minister, Shoichi Nakagawa, to quit on Tuesday, was a major setback for Prime Minister Taro Aso, who has been in office since only September. He has already come under fire for his handling of the economy and for a series of embarrassing gaffes of his own.

At the news conference in Rome on Saturday, a red-faced Mr. Nakagawa gave muddled answers and at times appeared to nod off. A clip of Mr. Nakagawa in which he yawns groggily and closes his eyes while speaking has been circulating on the Internet.

Mr. Nakagawa denied that he had been drinking and said cold
medication and fatigue were to blame for his behavior.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・recession (景気の一時的)後退、退場
・embarrasse 困らせる、当惑させる
・muddle ごちゃまぜにする、まごつかせる
・nod off 眠り込む.
・yawn あくび(する)
・groggily よろよろして、ふらふらして
・fatigue 疲労

● 解説ザブ〜ン!