Rescuers Work to Find Survivors of a Powerful New Zealand Earthquake
( New York Times )

Rescue workers spent a cold, rainy night pulling survivors from the
wreckage caused by a powerful earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest city, early Tuesday afternoon, killing at least 75 people.

Some emerged unscathed from the rubble, while emergency workers had to amputate the limbs of others who were trapped, the city’s police
superintendent, Russell Gibson, told Radio New Zealand on Wednesday
morning. Around midday, one woman was pulled from the wreckage of a
severely damaged building after being trapped for nearly 24 hours, the police said.

Officials said Wednesday that at least 75 people had been killed, although only 55 had been identified. The authorities have repeatedly warned that
the final death toll could be significantly higher.

As many as 24 Japanese exchange students were believed to be among the missing in the collapse of the Canterbury Television building, which housed their language school. “We understand that a significant
proportion of those that were in that building are Japanese nationals. We are working with the Japan consul around that,” Dave Cliff, a police official, told reporters.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・trap わな(で捕らえる)、(狭い場所に)閉じ込める
・collapse つぶれる、崩れる(こと)
・consul 領事

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



A dog's nose and a maid's knees are always cold.


Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably still be a dog. Sigh! There's so little hope for advancement.




Sit. Stay. Parse. Good Girl!
( New York Times )

Chaser, a border collie who lives in Spartanburg, S.C., has the largest vocabulary of any known dog. She knows 1,022 nouns, a record that displays unexpected depths of the canine mind and may help explain how children acquire language.

Border collies are working dogs. They have a reputation for smartness, and they are highly motivated. They are bred to herd sheep indefatigably all
day long. Absent that task, they must be given something else to do or
they go stir crazy.

Chaser proved to be a diligent student. Unlike human children, she seems to love her drills and tests and is always asking for more. “She still demands four to five hours a day,” Dr. Pilley said. “I’m 82, and I have to go to bed to get away from her.”

But the experiment’s relevance to language is likely to be a matter of dispute. Chaser learns to link sounds to objects by brute repetition, which is not how children learn words. And she learns her words as proper nouns, which are specific labels for things, rather than as abstract concepts like the common nouns picked up by children. Dr. Kaminski said she would not go as far as saying that Chaser’s accomplishments are a step toward language. They show that the dog can combine words for different actions with words for objects. A step toward syntax, she said, would be to show that changing the order of words alters the meaning that Chaser ascribes to them.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・canine イヌ科の動物
・herd 家畜の群れ、群れを集める
・absent 不在の、留守で、without(前置詞)
・stir crazy 長い刑務所暮らしで頭が変になった
・abstract 抽象的な

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



Warm Nights, Cold Noses
( New York Times )

EVERY night for the last year, Kathy Ruttenberg has been taking a bath, putting on pajamas, turning on CNN and getting into bed with a little pig named Trixie.

“She’s a great cuddler if you lie still,” said Ms. Ruttenberg, a
53-year-old artist who lives near Woodstock, N.Y. “But if you’re
restless, she gets annoyed, and her hooves are very sharp.”

Ms. Ruttenberg has the black-and-blue marks to show for it. Still, of all the animals she has in her bed (there are also two kittens and three
terriers, to be precise), Trixie, a 16-pound Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, is her favorite, because of the way she spoons.

Ms. Ruttenberg’s habit of sleeping with pets mirrors that of Paris
Hilton, who has slept with a pig -- of the four-legged variety -- and was once bitten at her home at 3 a.m. by a kinkajou, a tiny raccoon-related creature. Keeping that sort of menagerie may be unusual, but the habit of allowing animals in bed is not. Figures vary, but according to a recent study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14 to 62 percent of the 165 million dogs and cats in this country sleep in bed with humans, with other surveys skewing higher.

The reasons are well documented. First, touching, human or otherwise,
raises levels of oxytocin in the body, creating feelings of contentment. And, of course, the comfort that an unconditionally loving animal provides in bed is a emotional balm, especially for the depressed, lonely or

【 まずは準備運動 】

・cuddle 抱き締める
・restless 落ち着かない、そわそわした
・hoof (馬などの)ひづめ(複数形:hooves)
・skew 斜めに進む、曲がる、歪む
・contentment 満足(すること)

● 解説ザブ〜ン!
posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 米国−社会



More to a Smile Than Lips and Teeth
( New York Times )

To that end, Dr. Niedenthal and her colleagues have surveyed a wide range of studies, from brain scans to cultural observations, to build a new
scientific model of the smile. They believe they can account not only for the source of smiles, but how people perceive them. In a recent issue of the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences, they argue that smiles are not simply the expression of an internal feeling. Smiles in fact are only the most visible part of an intimate melding between two minds.

Some researchers have tried to move deeper, to understand the states of
mind that produce smiles. We think of them as signifying happiness, and indeed, researchers do find that the more intensely people contract their zygomaticus major muscles, the happier they say they feel. But this is far from an iron law. The same muscles sometimes contract when people are feeling sadness or disgust, for example.

The link between feelings and faces is even more mysterious. Why should any feeling cause us to curl up our mouths, after all? This is a question that Darwin pondered for years. An important clue, he said, is found in the faces of apes, which draw up their mouths as well. These expressions, Darwin argued, were also smiles. In other words, Mona Lisa inherited her endlessly intriguing smile from the grinning common ancestor she shared with chimpanzees.

But most importantly, Dr. Niedenthal argues, people recognize smiles by mimicking them. When a smiling person locks eyes with another person, the viewer unknowingly mimics a smile as well. In their new paper, Dr.
Niedenthal and her colleagues point to a number of studies indicating that this imitation activates many of the same regions of the brain that are active in the smiler.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・perceive 知覚する、認める
・meld 混合する、融合する
・signify 意味する、示す
・contract 緊縮する、契約する
・disgust 嫌悪感、反感
・ponder 熟考する、思案する

● 解説ザブ〜ン!
posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 科学