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来源:服务生活    发布时间:2018年06月18日 23:28:46    编辑:admin         

Science and technology科学技术The joys of parenthood身为人父的喜悦Fathers day父亲节Having children really does make a man more content with life有了自己的孩子的确会让男人更热爱自己的生活WILL fatherhood make me happy?当爸爸会让我开心么?That is a question many men have found themselves asking, and the scientific evidence is equivocal.这是一个许多男人都会问自己的问题,然而科学家们对此的措辞却含糊不清。A lot of studies have linked parenthood—particularly fatherhood.许多研究项目将双亲的身份—尤其是父亲,with lower levels of marital satisfaction and higher rates of depression than are found among non-parents.和低满足感与高压抑感联系起来,而且认为那些没有为人父母的人们则要逍遥许多。Biologically speaking, that looks odd.从生物学的角度来说,以上的观点其实很滑稽。Natural selection might be expected to favour the progeny of men who enjoy bringing them up.因为从自然选择的角度来说,大自然会更加青睐那些由开心的父亲抚养大的孩子。On the other hand, the countervailing pressure to have other children, by other women, may leave the man who is aly encumbered by a set of offspring dissatisfied.从另一个角度来看,男人天性受到一种相反的压力,希望和其他女性生育更多的孩子,这种压力可能会让受到现有子女负累的父亲感到不满。To investigate the matter further Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychologist at the University of California, Riverside, decided both to study the existing literature, and to conduct some experiments of her own.一位来自加州大学的心理学家,索尼娅·柳米尔斯基,为了弄清这件事情,决定在研究现存文献的同时,也亲自组织一些实验。The results, just published in Psychological Science, suggest parenthood in general, and fatherhood in particular, really are blessings, even though the parent in question might sometimes feel they are in disguise.她研究的结果,《心理科学》上刚发表了不久。研究结果显示,总体上来说,为人父母,的确是会受到祝福的,即便那些受访的父母很多时候觉得可能自己在接受调查时伪装了些东西。Dr Lyubomirskys first port of call was the World Values Survey.首先,柳米尔斯基士从世界价值观大调查开始着手。This is a project which gathers huge amounts of data about the lives of people all around the planet.这是个浩大的工程,用来收集海量的居住在这个星球各个角落里的人的数据。For the purposes of her research, Dr Lyubomirsky looked at the answers 6,906 Americans had given, in four different years, to four particular questions.柳米尔斯基士从这些数据中调出了6,906份来自美国的数据,用以进行她的研究。这些数据从四个不同的年份里收集获得,涉及了四个方面不同的问题。These were: how many children the responder had;这四个方面是:受访者有多少子女;how satisfied he was with life;他对自己的生活有多大程度的满足感;how happy he was;他的快乐感多大;and how often he thought about the meaning and purpose of life.以及他多少次思考过生活的意义和目标。She found that, regardless of the year the survey was conducted, parents had higher happiness, satisfaction and meaning-of-life scores than non-parents.结果她发现,剔除调查的年份因素之后,为人父母的人群比非父母人群具有更高的快乐感和满足感,生活意义项的得分值也更高。The differences were not huge,这些数据的差别其实并不明显,but they were statistically significant.但是从统计学的角度来看,其意义却非常重大。Moreover, a closer look showed that the differences in happiness and satisfaction were the result of mens scores alone going up with parenthood.另外,仔细查看这些数据会发现,男子在当了父亲后,快乐感和满足感会出现细小的差别,分数会越来越高。Those of women did not change.但是女性则没有变化。Armed with this result, Dr Lyubomirsky conducted her own experiment.有了这个结果做撑,柳米尔斯基士开始着手弄自己的实验了。The problem with projects like the World Values Survey is that, 不过诸如世界价值观大调查此类的大工程的问题是,because participants are asked to recall their feelings rather than stating what they are experiencing in the here and now, this might lead them into thinking more fondly in hindsight about their parenting duties than they actually felt at the time.它在收集数据时,要求参与者是回忆自己的感受,而不是叙述他们当下的经历,所以这就容易导致他们去深情地,美化地思考他们为人父母的责任,而不是他们当时真实的感受。Dr Lyubomirsky therefore gave pagers to 329 North American volunteers aged between 18 and 94, having first recorded, among other things, their sex, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, marital status and number of children.为此,柳米尔斯基士给329名来自北美地区的志愿者发了调查问卷。这些志愿者从18岁到94岁不等。她第一手记录下他们的性别,年龄,种族,社会经济地位,婚姻状态以及子女的数量。She told them they would be paged at random, five times a day.她告诉他们受访者将会被随机排列,一天五次受访。When they were so paged, they were asked to complete a brief response sheet about how they felt, then and there.当受访者被随机排列好后,将会被要求完成一份简明的答卷,用来调查关于其当时的感受。She did not, however, tell them why she was asking these questions.当然,柳米尔斯基士并没有告诉受访者她为何问他们这些问题。The upshot was the same as her findings from the World Values Survey.结果,这次的结局和她在世界价值观大调查项目里得出的结论是一致的。Parents claimed more positive emotions and more meaning in their lives than non-parents, and a closer look revealed that it was fathers who most enjoyed these benefits.相比那些还没做父母的人,为人父母者在他们的人生中显示出了更加积极的情感和更多对他们人生意义的积极思考。Moreover, further analysis revealed that this enhanced enjoyment came from activities which involved children rather than those that did not.同时,通过更加仔细的观察,显示出父亲在上述方面更加典型。另外,更进一步的分析表明了上述的那种积极和欢乐来自于有关孩子的活动。生活中不涉及孩子的日常活动则没有这种效果。It looks, then, as if evolution has bolted into men a psychological mechanism to keep them in the family.所以说,由此可见,似乎自然进化让男人们产生了一种心理学机制,把他们闩在了家庭里。At first sight, it is strange that women do not share this mechanism, but perhaps they do not need to.乍一看,似乎女性没有这种机制很奇怪,但是仔细想想,她们也许根本就不需要这种机制。They know, after all, that the children are theirs, whereas the best a man can do is hope that is true.她们至少知道,自己的孩子一定是自己生的。That, and a mans potential to father an indefinite number of offspring if he can find willing volunteers, might encourage him to stray from the bosom of his family.但是孩子是不是男人自己的血脉,他们只能祈求上天了。所以说,一个男人想做一大堆子子孙孙的父亲的潜在本能,会激励他挣扎着走出家庭的怀抱。Enjoying fatherhood, by contrast, will help keep him in the porch.但是,相反的,身为人父的喜悦,则会让他们在家里的门廊前停住脚步。 /201307/247868。

Have you ever heard the color blue? Or tasted the musical note F-sharp? For most people, in both cases the answer is no. But for some people blue has a particular sound or shape, and F sharp has a slightly sour taste. This unusual blending of the senses is called synesthesia, a rare neurological phenomenon occurring in roughly 1 in 100,000 people.你曾听到过蓝色么?你曾经尝到过音符F调么?对于大多数人来说,是否定的。但是,对于某些特定人群来说,蓝色确实有一种特定的声音或形状,F调也确实有一种酸酸的味道。这种不寻常的感官混淆被称为“共同感觉”,一种鲜有的神经学现象,通常十万分之一的人有这种症状。People with this condition do not merely associate sound with color or taste with sound, or imagine hearing a sound when they see a certain color. Rather, when a person with synesthesia encounters a particular sensory stimulus, say seeing the color red, she will hear a sound even when there is no outside source producing the sound.有这种症状的人不仅仅会将声音与颜色联系、味觉与声音联系,也可能会在看到某种特定颜色时设想听到了某种声音。更确切地说,一个有“共同感觉”的人如果受到了某种特殊的感官刺激,比如看到了红色,哪怕外界并未有发音源,她也依然会听到某种声音。In a similar manner, a particular sound may cause someone with synesthesia to see certain shapes or certain colors, even when there is no object in that person’s line of sight. The same goes for taste and smell.类似情况下,某种特定的声音也会引发拥有“共同感觉”的人能看到某种形状或特定的颜色,哪怕在他的视觉范围内并未有这样的物体出现。对于味觉和嗅觉,这种情况也同样存在。Scientists know very little about what causes synesthesia. While it appears to be hereditary, the actual neurological processes that account for the phenomenon remain a mystery. Although most scientists agree that the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for memory, plays a role, exactly how the hippocampus might cause synesthesia is not clear.科学家们对于为何会引发“共同感觉”知之甚少。虽然看起来这是一种遗传疾病,但事实上,对于这种现象的神经发生过程如何解释依然成谜。尽管很多科学家们认为“海马体”-大脑中用于控制记忆的一片区域导致此种现象出现,但究竟它是如何影响并引发“共同感觉”的症状依然不得而知。Otherwise, scientific knowledge about synesthesia is limited to several interesting observations. For example, synesthetic perceptions remain consistent over time. In other words, if a person with synesthesia sees blue and green flashes when he hears a C-sharp, he will always see those same colors upon hearing that note.另外,目前对于“共同感觉”的科学认识也仅仅是基于几种有趣的现象观察。比如,这种连觉的感知并不会随着时间过去而消失。换句话说,如果当一个人在听到C大调时看到蓝色与绿色闪过,那么将来一旦他听到同样的声音,眼前就会浮现出蓝色和绿色。 /201307/248665。

Technology firms科技公司Status shift地位逆转Investors have unfriended some high-tech stars投资者对一些高科技明星公司的态度已不再友好GOOGLE splashed out an undisclosed sum of money on April 14th to buy Titan Aerospace, whose solar-powered drones it plans to use to help deliver wireless internet access to remote parts of the world. Like Googles new drones, which can reach impressive heights, tech shares soared in the early part of this year. Then in March a sell-off began that battered the stocks of many Silicon Valley stars. The tech-heavy NASDAQ stockmarket index steadied somewhat early this week, and shares in older tech firms like HP and IBM, which are traded on the main market, have done well. But investors and companies are still jittery.4月14日,谷歌投出一笔数额尚未公开的资金用以收购泰坦航空,计划借助后者的太阳能无人机来为世界上偏远地区提供无线网络接入务。就像谷歌的新无人机能攀爬到惊人高度,今年年初科技股价格出现了激增。接着在3月份股价开始出现下跌,这打击了许多硅谷明星企业的股票。本周早些时候,以科技股著称的纳斯达克股票市场指数比较稳定,像惠普和IBM这种在主板交易的老牌科技公司的股票表现不错。但投资者和企业仍然战战兢兢。Those worried that a new internet bubble pumped up by wild dreams and unabashed greed is now deflating will be watching closely to see whether tech firms latest results give further cause for alarm. On April 15th Yahoo published its quarterly earnings, which showed a tiny increase in revenue after excluding the cost of fees paid to its partner websites. Its shares rose on the news. Google was due to report its results the next day, after The Economistwent to press.有些人担心,由狂野的梦想和毫不掩饰的贪婪所催生的新一轮网络泡沫正在破裂,这些人将密切关注科技公司最近的经营结果是否会进一步引起恐慌。4月15日,雅虎发布了季度收益,数字中显示出,剔除掉付给合作网站的费用后,其收入有着微幅增长。消息发布后雅虎股价有所上涨。4月16日本刊付印后,谷歌也应该发布了其经营结果。It is not just web firms whose performance is under the microscope. Shares in biotech companies, which adapt and exploit processes found in living organisms to create drugs and other useful products, have also taken a beating. Having risen by 60% last year, the NASDAQ biotech index has fallen by 18% since the middle of March. On April 4th alone investors pulled 372m out of the multi-billion-dollar iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology exchange-traded fund—the biggest one-day withdrawal since the funds creation in 2001.并非只有网络公司的表现被置于了显微镜下。那些利用活体器官中发现的突起来生产药物或其他有用产品的生物技术公司,其股票也已遭受了打击。纳斯达克生物技术指数去年上涨了60%,但今年自3月中旬以来已经下跌了18%。4月4日,个体的投资者们从拥有几十亿美元的iShares纳斯达克生物技术交易所交易基金中撤出了3.72亿美元,这是自2001年改基金成立以来最大的单日撤资。Other firms developing novel technologies have suffered sagging share prices, too. Tesla Motors, whose snazzy electric vehicles are a must-have in Silicon Valley, had a 350% run-up in its shares last year. This year they kept rising, reaching 240 in mid-March, by which time the market capitalisation of Tesla, which sold only 23,000 cars last year, was more than half that of GM, which sold almost 10m. They then started to slip, and on April 15th they closed at 194, as investors continued to debate the wisdom of the firms plans to invest 5 billion in a huge battery-making factory.其他发展新科技的公司同样遭遇了股价低迷。特斯拉汽车公司生产的时髦电动汽车是硅谷的必备品,去年该公司的股价上涨了350%,今年其股价仍保持上涨势头,截至3月中旬已达每股240美元,当时,特斯拉公司的市值超过了通用汽车市值的一半—前者去年仅销售了23,000辆汽车,而后者去年销售了近1000万辆。但接着特斯拉的股价开始下滑,4月15日时跌至每股194美元左右,原因在于投资者们不断争论该公司向一家大型电池生产企业投资50亿美元的计划是否够聪明。The shares of social-media companies have been especially badly hit, faring worse than both the NASDAQ and the broader Samp;P 500 index. This partly reflects concern over their ability to keep growing. Twitter has seen its share price fall from a high of just over 73 in December to around 46, as investors have fretted about falling advertising rates and levels of user engagement at the firm.社交媒体公司的股价受到了特别严重的打击,比纳斯达克指数和覆盖面更广的标准普尔500指数都要更糟。这部分反映了市场对这些公司能力的关注在持续增加。由于投资者已对其广告价格和用户参与水平的下降表示担忧,Twitter的股价从12月的73美元多的的高峰跌落到46美元左右。Say you want a revolution你说你想带来一场革命Questions have also been raised about Facebooks ability to keep growing strongly. “Social networks promised marketers a revolution, but what they have delivered is just boring traditional ads,” argues Nate Elliott of Forrester, a research outfit. That judgment may be a little harsh, but Facebook is certainly casting around for new sources of revenue. Among other things, it is trying to become a “Facebank” that offers services such as electronic money and international payments: it was reported this week that the firm was seeking a licence for such activities in Ireland.投资者同样在质疑Facebook保持强劲增长的能力。市场调研机构福雷斯特公司的内特·艾略特质疑道:“社交网络曾向卖家们承诺会带来一场革命,但它们所提供的只是乏味的传统广告。”这一论断可能有点刺耳,但Facebook确实正在寻找新的收入来源。除了其他手段,Facebook正在努力成为一家能提供诸如电子货币和国际付相关务的“脸谱”,据报道,本周该公司正在争取获得在爱尔兰从事这类活动的许可。Shares in some Asian web companies, such as Tencent of China, have fallen, too. But the news is not all bad. Yahoo, which has a stake in Alibaba, a giant e-commerce company, reported that the Chinese firms revenue soared in the last quarter of 2013. Alibaba is planning to list its shares in America this year.诸如中国的腾讯等一些亚洲网络公司的股票也在下跌,但情况并没那么坏。在电商巨头阿里巴巴中持有股份的雅虎发表报告说,2013年最后一个季度中,中国公司的收入有显著增长。今年阿里巴巴正在计划在美国上市。There are plenty of other tech firms queuing to stage an IPO. Those looking for evidence of a bubble should keep an eye on upcoming listings for firms such as Box, a business founded in 2005 that has made a name for itself in online file-sharing and storage. Like Twitter it has significant revenues, but is not yet in profit. They should also keep a close eye on venture capitalists. American funds raised almost 9 billion in the first quarter of the year, the most since the last quarter of 2007. But plenty of venture money is now pouring into me-too firms and deals with crazy price tags. Recent events may have taken some air out of a tech bubble in the public markets, but financiers are still busy pumping one up behind the scenes.还有其他许多家科技公司正在排队等待IPO。那些寻找泡沫据的人应该留意一下像Box这种即将上市的公司。Box像Twitter一样,有着巨额的收入,但尚未实现可观的利润。那些人还应该密切关注风险投资家的动向。今年第一季度,美国各基金筹措了近90亿美元,是自2007年最后一季度以来的最大值。但是现在大量的风险资金正在涌向山寨公司,并挂出疯狂的价码。近期的一些时间可能已经把公开市场的科技泡沫中抽出了一些空气,但金融家们仍在幕后忙着给这些泡沫注气。 /201404/293870。

Science and technology科学技术Art criticism and computers艺术和计算机Painting by numbers数字图画Digital analysis is invading the world of the connoisseur数字分析正侵蚀艺术品鉴赏界JUDGING artistic styles, and the similarities between them, might be thought one bastion of human skill that machines could never storm.对艺术风格,跟他们之间的相似之处的评价,可能被认为是一块机器无法侵犯的人类技艺圣地。Not so, if Lior Shamir at Lawrence Technological University in Michigan is correct.并非如此,加入密歇根州老孙死理工大学的Lior Shamir没错的话。A paper he has just published in Leonardo suggests that computers may have just as good an eye for style as humans do—and,他刚刚在李奥纳多发表的一篇文章之处电脑的眼力可能不必人类差——而且,in some cases, may see connections between artists that human critics have missed.某些情况下,电脑甚至能够发现一些家忽略的,艺术家之间的相似之处。Dr Shamir, a computer scientist, presented 57 images by each of nine painters—Salvador Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, Vasily Kandinsky, Claude Monet, Jackson Pollock, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Mark Rothko and Vincent van Gogh—to a computer, to see what it made of them.士Shamir,一位计算机专家,将Salvador Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, Vasily Kandinsky, Claude Monet, Jackson Pollock, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Mark Rothko和 Vincent van Gogh九位画家的每人57幅作品扫描到计算机中,看看它能得出什么。The computer broke the images into a number of so-called numerical descriptors.于是电脑将图像分解为许多所谓的数字描述符。These descriptors quantified textures and colours, the statistical distribution of edges across a canvas,这些符将质地和颜色量化,帆布的边缘的统计分布,特定种类的形状的分布,the distributions of particular types of shape, the intensity of the colour of individual points on a painting,一幅作品上独立的点的颜色的深浅,还有任何蕾丝不规则碎片的本质,and also the nature of any fractal-like patterns within it.不规则碎片是指大小不同形状相似的特质,比如雪花的边缘。All told, the computer identified 4,027 different numerical descriptors.结果,电脑总共确认了4027种不同的符。Once their values had been established for each of the 513 artworks that had been fed into it,一旦它们对于这513件被反哺给电脑的每件艺术品的价值被确立,it was y to do the analysis.计算机马上可以开始分析。Dr Shamirs aim was to look for quantifiable ways of distinguishing between the work of different artists.士Shamir的目的事项寻找区分不同艺术家作品的可量化的方法。If such things could be established, it might make the task of deciding who painted what a little easier.如果上述事实能够被实成立,区分各个画家的作品的工作将会简单一点儿。Such decisions matter because, even excluding deliberate forgeries, there are many paintings in existence that cannot conclusively be attributed to a master rather than his pupils,这样的决定对我们很重要,因为即使是在排除有意伪造之后,任然有许多作品不能被确认出自某位画家,而非他的学生,or that may be honestly made copies whose provenance is now lost.或是某个出处无可探寻的逼真的复制品。To look for such distinguishing features, Dr Shamir programmed the computer to use a statistical method that scores the strength of the distance between the values of two or more descriptors for each pair of artists.为了寻找这种能有助于区分的特质,Shamir士设法使计算机能利用一个统计学方法来评价用来比较每两位画家的两个以上的描述符的价值之间距离的大小。As a result, he was able to rank each of the 4,027 descriptors by how useful it was at discriminating between artists.最后,他就能根据描述符分辨艺术家的能力来给它们打分。Surprisingly, the values of 19 of the 20 most informative descriptors showed dramatically higher similarities between Van Gogh and Pollock than between Van Gogh and painters such as Monet and Renoir,令人吃惊的是,在提供的消息最有用的20种描述符中,有19种显示出梵高和波洛克作品之间的相似度,要远远高于梵高和像莫内和雷诺瓦的画家之间,who conventional art criticism would think more closely related to Van Goghs oeuvre than Pollocks is.而传统的家认为后者的作品与梵高作品更接近。相反地,达利和恩斯特的作品的差距却比预期要大。What is interesting, according to Dr Shamir, is that no single feature makes Pollocks artistic style similar to Van Goghs.有趣的是,Shamir士指出,没有一个特质能单独明波洛克的艺术风格与梵高的相似。Instead, the connection is based on a broad set of image-content descriptors which reflect many aspects of the two artists styles,相反,他们的联系是在长长的一系列反映了这两名画家的许多艺术风格的图像内容符的基础上形成的,including a shared preference for low-level textures and shapes, and similarities in the ways they employed lines and edges.风格中包括,他们都偏爱低档面料跟外形,他们勾勒线和边的方式相似。What was intended, then, as a way of improving the ability to distinguish between different hands has also thrown up a new way of looking for stylistic similarities.于是,原本用来宜于区分不同画家的作品的方法,也能用来寻找艺术家的不同风格。Whether Pollock was actually influenced by Van Gogh, or merely happened upon a similar way of doing things through a similar artistic sensibility, is not clear.虽然波洛克实际上到底是受到了梵高的影响,还是仅仅是由于在处在相似的艺术风气下,不得而知。But it gives art historians a new line of investigation to pursue.但是它给艺术历史学家提供了一条新的线索。 /201305/240044。