Со свечами

Венсан свалил, сама готовлю...

Венсан свалил, сама готовлю...
Сергей Ефимов 2
Венсан свалил, сама готовлю,
И дочек надо покормить!
А Мишка Прохоров чинил мне кровлю,
Отель мне Тельман хочет подарить!

Кустурица жениться предлагал мне,
И Мишка тоже предлагал!
Ален Делон всё чаще навещает,
Он роль любовника давно сыграл!

Мой первый муж красавчик Бассо,
Мне долго дифирамбы пел,
Но сбросила я с шеи лассо,
Он мало сделать что успел!

Леллуш придёт, его я накормлю,
А Мелани его то не кормила,
Я с удовольствием с ним сплю,
Его любить! О как же это мило!

© Copyright: Сергей Ефимов 2, 2018
Свидетельство о публикации №118110508183

The Creators of Grammar

No student of a foreign language needs to be told that grammar is complex. By changing word sequences and by adding a range of auxiliary verbs and suffixes, we are able to communicate tiny variations in meaning. We can turn a statement into a questionm state whether an action has taken place or is soon to take place, and perform many other word tricks to convey an action has taken place or is soon to take place, and perform many other word tricks to convey subtle differences in meaning. Nor is this complexity inherent to the English language. All languages, even those of so-called 'primitive' tribes have clever grammatical components. The Cherokee pronoun system, for example, can distinguish between 'you and I', 'several other people and I' and 'you,another person and I', In English, all these meanings are summed up in the one, crude pronoun 'we'. Grammar is universal and plays a part in every language, no matter how widespread it is. So the question which has baffled many linguists is - wgo created grammar?
At first, it would appear that this question Collapse )

Old new towns

Where would you look for inspiration if you were planning a new town? If you are Prince Charles or the Shanghai Planning Commision, the past would seem to be the answer; or to be more precise, the English past. The town of Pounbury in the south of England, designed by Prince Charles, is an answer to what he calls the 'hertless urban planning' of the 1960s. It was here that he could offer an alternative to 'ugly' high-rise apartment blocks, large housing estates and zonal planning - where industry, shops and homes are all separated into different areas of a city.Collapse )

Living free?

The Hadza hunter-gatherers of Tanzania live a life that has not changed much in over ten thousand years. They have no crops, no livestock, no permanent shelters. In spite of long exposure to agriculturalist groups around them, who have domesticated both plants and animals, the Hadza have maintained their foraging lifestyle.
The story of the spread of agriculture is the story of growing population density. Villages formed, then cities, then nations. And in a relatively brief period, the hunter-gatherer lifestyle was extinguished in all but a few places. Africulture's rise, however, came with a price. It introduced infectious disease epidemics, social stratification, intermittent famines and large-scale war. Professor Jared Diamond of UCLA has called the adoption of agriculture 'the worst mistake in human history' - a mistake from which we have never recovered.Collapse )

Sea gypsies of Myanmar

We had bbeen travelling for a few hours when on the horizon we spotted the group of small hand-built boats, called kabang. The Moken are wary of strangers, so as we approached, I called out some reassuring words in their language. The family elder, Gatcha, was at first reluctant to stop. Outsiders have been harassing the Moken througout their history and his instinct told him to keep his distance. But after hearing that I had been researching the Moken way of life since 1982, in the end he accepted us into his 'home'.

Home for this nomadic sea people are the kabang, on which they live, eat and sleep for eight months of the year. In these light craft, they traverse the Mergui Archipelago, 800 islands dotted across the Andaman Sea, off Myanmar, collecting what they need to survive and moving on. They get by only on what they take from the sea and beaches each day - fish, molluscs and sandworms to eat; shells and oysters to trade with Malay and Chinese merchants. They accumulate little and live on land only during the monsoons. But the world is closing in on the Moken way of life.

As divers and beachcombers, they pose no threat to others who share these waters. In spite of this, the authorities are always pressuring them to settle in one place. Ten years ago, 2,500 Moken were still leading a traditional seafaring life, but that population is slowly declining and now stands at around 1,000. If they cease to be sea gypsies, it is feared that their unique understanding of the sea will disappear also. Moken people can dive down 20 metres without breathing equipment and have developed extraordinary underwater vision. They are experts at reading changes in the sea and it is even said they can anticipate a tsunami.

A day spent fishing and gathering was followed by a night of eating and ritual. The following morning Gatcha and his family pushed out to sea to continue their journey. The dry season was nearing its end and soon they would be setting up a temporary camp on kand. But just as the rains come and go, I wonder if the Moken still be living here when I next return.

The story of the Aral Sea

A message form Life co-author Helen Stephenson

I remember reading about the Aral Sea a long time ago. I think it was one of the first environmental stories that had an impact on me. Since I first read about it, there have been twists and turns in the story, which these three short news items from the National Geographic news page explain.
April 2010. One sunday afternoon in Kazakhstan last August, three dozen fishermen met near the shore of the North Aral Sea. They brought food to eat and they had races and throwing contests. Afterwards, they relaxed telling stories and singing songs about the Aral Sea and fishing and how much they loved both of these things. For many years before this, there had been no reason to celebrate. The Aral Sea in Central Asia, once the fourth largest lake in the world, had shrunk because of irrigation and drought. Then in 2005, the Kazakh government and the World Bank constructed a dam that separated the northern and southern parts of the sea, allowing the northern part of the Aral Sea to start recover. There are fish in the water again and for the past four years, fishermen have come here to celebrate. {hili[ Micklin is a scientist who has been studying the sea since the 1980s. 'Nature can come back.' he says.

October 2014. Satellite images released this week show that the eastern part of the Aral Sea is completely dry. 'It is likely the first time it has completely dried up in 600 years,' said expert Philip Micklin. The Aral Sea once recovered 67,300 square kilometres. It's actually a freshwater lake, not a saltwater sea. since two of Central Asia's biggest rivers, the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, flow into it. The Aral Sea used to be a busy place. It provided work for 40,000 people and supplied the Soviet Union with a sixth of its fish. As the lake dried up, it separated into several small lakes which together were only a tenth of the lake's original size. The eastern part nearly dried up in 2009, but it recovered in 2010 after substantial rainfall. Now, it's completely dry.

June 2015. Yusup Kamalov, a scientist from Uzbekistan, is my guide. We're standing looking at a vast desert. Except that it's not like any other desert - there are abandoned fishing boats lying on the sand. Fifty years ago, the southern shore of the Aral Sea was right where we stand. Now it is 80 kilometres away to the northwest and we set off to drive to the water's edge. On the way, we pass oil and natural gas rigs standing on the sand. 'Each year a few more are put up,' says Kamalov. 'Can you imagine,' he says, 'that 40 years ago the water was 30 metres deep right here? Eventually, we see a silver line sparkling on the horizon. We reach the water and I try to swim - but the water is so salty I just float on the surface. And with 110 grams of salt per litre of water (compared to about 35 grams in the world's oceans), no fish are able to survive here. 'This is what the end of the world looks like,' says Kamalov.

The paper architect

For a long time, Zaha Hadid was known as "the paper architect', someone whose grand designs never left the page to become real buildings. But in recent years her buildings have sprouted up like mushrooms all over the world: the Guangzhou Opera House in China, a car factory in Germany, a contemporary art museum in Rome, a transport museum in Scotland , and the Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympics in London.
Hadid is now one of the most sought after architects of our age. She is also one of the few women to have made it in a profession still dominated by men. In Britain, where Hadid lies (she was born in Iraq in 1950), less that 15% of practising architects are women. A lot more than that enter the profession, but either because of difficulty in getting recognised or because of the deep conservatism surrounding most British architecture, over half of them leave. But being 'a woman in a man's world' seems to have given Hadid extra strength. At times she felt she was banging her head against a wall trying to get her designs accepted, but she persevered. Famous for her fierce independence, one of her former tutors called her 'a planet in her own orbit'.
Pinning down her individual style is difficult. Certainly she has been influenced by the modern trend in architecture that likes to play with the traditional shape of buildings and fragment them, creating unpredictable angles and surfaces. Working in this way, she and her fellow architects have produced arious rather off the wall spaceship-like structures that seem to defy the normal laws of engineering, but which have intrigued and excited the public.
So the visual impact of her designs from the outside is clearly important to her, but Hadid maintains that the key consideration when she creates an architectural design is people's well-being. In other words, how they will feel inside the spaces she creates. This has drawn her increasingly to become interested in public projects, such as housing, schools and hospitals. Recently she won the RIBA Stirling Prize for her design of a school complex in Brixton, south London.
Shaped as a zig-zag, the steel and glass structure of Eelyn Grace Academy takes up only 1.4 hectares compared to eight hectares for a typical secondary school. To compensate for the lack of internal space, Hadid designed a building with lots of natural light and dramatic angles, so that students view the activity of other students from each different perspective within the structure. The masterstroke is the insertion of a 100m running track right in the middle of the site between buildings to celebrate the school's emphasis on sports.
This idea of offering the viewer multiple perspectives from within the building is a theme that runs through Hadid's work. Her most famous building, MAXXI - a museum for the 21st century - in Rome, is a great example. It is a complex and spectacular structure of interlocking concrete shapes. Inside spaces interconnect 'like winding streets compressed into one single site in the building', so that the visitor is surprised and charmed at each turn. The Rosenthal Center in Cincinattiproduces a similar effect. Like an extension of the street it sits on, it draws you in, with walkways directing you this way and that, and windows inviting you to sample the view. 'It's about promenading,' says Hadid, 'being able to pause, to look out, look above, look sideways.'
So what inspires someone like Hadid to produce such radically different buildings? She speaks in complimentary terms about the work of her contemporaries. She also cites the natural landscape and organic geological patterns as an influence. But it is not a question that she seems too concerned with and nor perhaps should we be. Hadid is an artist, sharing with us her vision of what buildings should be like and always, as she does so, trying to keep human interests - our interests as users and viewers - at heart. Perhaps we could do with more architects like her.

Robert Capa

Robert Capa is a name that has for many years been synonimous with war photograhpy.
Born in Hungary in 1913 as Friedmann Endre Erno, Capa was forced to leave his native country after his involvement in anti goernment protests. Capa had originally wanted to become a writer, but after his arrival in Berlin had first found work as a photographer. He later left Germany and moved to Grance due to the rise in Nazism. He tried to find work as a freelance journalist and it was here that he changed his name to Robert Capa, mainly because he thought it would sound more American.
In 1936, after the breakout of the Spanish Civil war, Capa went to Spain and it was here over the next three years that he built his reputation as a war photographer. It was here too in 1936 that he took one of his most famous pictures, The Death of a Loyalist Soldier. One of Capa's most famous quotes was 'if your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough.' And he took his altitude of getting close to the action to an extreme. His photograph, The Death of a Loyalist Soldier is a prime example of this as Capa captures the very moment the soldier falls. However, many hae questioned the authenticity of this photograph, claiming that it was staged.
When World war II broke out, Capa was in New York, but he was soon back in Europe covering the war for Life magazine. Some of his most famous work was created on 6th June 1944 when he swam ashore with the first assault on Omaha Beach in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Capa, armed only with two cameras, took more than one hundred photographs in the first hour of the landing, but a mistake in the darkroom during the drying of the film destroyed all but eight frames. It was the images from these frames however that inspired the visual style of Steven Spielberg's Oscar winning movie 'Saving Priate Ryan'. When Life magazine published the photographs, they claimed that they were slightly out of focus, and Capa later used this as the title of his autobiographical account of the war.
Capa's private life was no less dramatic. He was friend to many of Hollywood's directors, actors and actresses. In 1943 he fell in love with the wife of actor John Austin. His affair with her lasted until the end of the war and became the subject of his war memoirs. He was at one time lover to actress Ingrid Bergman. Their relationship finally ended in 1946 when he refused to settle in Hollywood and went off to Turkey.
In 1947 Capa was among a group of photojournalists who founded Magnum Photos. This was a co-operative organisation set up to support photographers and help them to retain ownership of the copyright to their work.
Capa went on to document many other wars. He never attempted to glamorise war though, but to record the horror. He once said, "The desire of any war photographer is to be put out of business".
Capa died as he had lived. After promising not to photograph any more wars, he accepted an assignment to go to Indochina to cover the first Indochina war. On may 25th 1954 Capa was accompanying a French regiment when he left his jeep to take some photographs of the advance and stepped on a land mine. He was taken to a nearby hospital, still clutching his camera, but was pronounced dead on arrival. He left behind him a testament to the horrors of war and standard for photojournalism that few others have been able to reach.
Capa's legacy has lived on though and in 1966 his brother Cornell founded the International Fund for Concerned Photography in his honour. There is also a Robert Capa Gold Medal, which is given to the photographer who publishes the best photographic reporting from abroad with evidence or exceptional courage. But perhaps his greatest legacy of all are the haunting images of the human struggles that he captured.

Face Recognition in Babies

Controersy exists over whether newborn infants possess an innate ability to perceive facial features, or alternatively that they learn to recognize faces through exposure to the world around them.
Some scientists argue that babies begin life knowing how the human face is organized; in other words that newborns have some genetic predisposition to recognize and distinguish between faces. Although we cannot be certain what exactly babies see when they look at a face in front of them, they have an innate preference for gazing at facelike objects, such as a pair of round blobs over a horizontal line. It is argued, therefore, that newborns have some simple representation of facial structure. We know this because newborns see well enough to imitate an adult's facial expressions and can distinguish among faces, even recognizing their mother's face soon after birth. At this time they also show a prefernce for attractive rather than unattractive faces. However, if the images of the faces are turned upside down, infants show no preference for attractive over unattractive faces. All these abilities are present so early in life that there can be no time for learning them, leading some psychologists to argue that people are born with an innate knowledge of basic facial features.
Other scientists argue that newborns probably focus on general elements of faces such as the shape of the head and curved contours, rather than facial features themselves. Researcher Paul Quinn has shown, for example, that infants of three to four months distinguish among silhouettes (i.e., shapes with no internal features) of the heads of cats and dogs. They also show preference for pictures of cats over horses and chairs over tables. Such a propensity to prefer cats to horses is unlikely to be the result of innate factors. Rather, the infants have some inbuilt preference for general perceptual features. They also show a preference for unfamiliar things.
A series of studies by Pascalis, de Haan, and Nelson lends support to the hypothesis that face perception is learned rather than innate. According to these researchers, aging causes the brain to tune in to the types of faces seen most often and to tune out the other types. A newborn relies on broad visual clues that eventually get replaced by a system for rapidly recognizing familiar human faces.
The researchers showed pairs of photos - of people and a species of monkey - to the three groups: six-month-old babies, nine-month-old babies, and adults. One of each pair of photographs was shown first to make it familiar to the subjects since experiments have previously shown that humans, from newborns to adults, are attracted to novelty or unfamiliarity. Later, the pairs of photographs of people and monkey were shown to the three groups. The babies in the youngest group spent more than a second longer looking at the novel pictures of both humans and monkeys. The differences in looking-time shows that these six-month-olds recognized which photo was novel and which was familiar, regardless of species. However, the nine-month-old babies spent more time looking at the new human face only. The adults followed the same pattern as the nine-month-old infants, spending a longer time looking at the new human face, but about the same amount of time looking at the new and familiar monkey faces. This shows that nine-month-olds and adults no longer have the ability to discriminate faces of other species that the six-month-old infants have.
The researchers argue that the results show that young babies have the ability to differentiate between faces of different species but that this ability becomes less marked by the age of nine months. Interestingly, the loss of this ability to discriminate among faces of monkeys occurs at the same time that infants lose the ability to discriminate among foreign speech sounds. At six month of age infants can discriminate among sounds of nearly all languages, but between nine and twelve months, they start to specialize in discriminating only the sounds of the languages they hear regularly. Just as with visual face perception, speech sound perception appears to narrow during an early tuning period that is dependent on learned experience rather than some innate characteristic. At present, researchers are uncertain whether this is a developmental coincidence or a result of an underlying general mental apparatus.

Caffeine Extraction Methods (TOEFL text)

caffeine is a naturally occuring compound found in the nuts, seeds, and leaves of over sixty plants. When it is extracted from these plants, it is a white, bitter-tasting powder. Caffeine affects the body in various ways: stimulating the cerebral cortex, increasing the heart rate, and causing several other psysiological reactions, including insomnia and irritability. Because of its potentially harmful effects, processes have been developed extract caffeine from coffee, giving the consumer the option of tasting a flavorful drink without the concominant side effects. Once the caffeine is removed, it is sometimes added to other beverages, in particular soft drinks, and can also be used as an additive in many medications, especially nonprescription pain relievers.
Several methods are used to extract caffeine from coffee beans. A method commonly favored until recently uses methylene chloride, a compound with solvent properties whose molecules bind to molecules of caffeine. Methylene chloride can be aplied in two ways: directly or indirectly. In the direct method, the unroasted green coffee beans are soaked in this chemical solvent and the oils are removed along with the caffeine. To overcome this problem an indirect method was developed. In this method the caffeine is extracted from the coffee beans by soaking in hot water. The resulting solution is then treated with methylene chloride to extract the caffeine and the remaining flavors and oils are returned to the coffee beans and reabsorption. In this indirect method, the chemical solvent never actually touches the beans.
Methylene chloride has been found to have several potentially dangerous effects. It can cause faintness, dizziness, and headaches if inhaled at high concentrations, and in mice it has been shown to cause cancer when ingested at high doses. However, at lower doses no carcinogenic effects have been shown. Nevertheless, due to the potential dangers, other more natural methods of caffeine-extraction have been introduced in some production plants.
The most common alternative solvent is ethyl acetate, which is a chemical compound found naturally in many kinds of fruit. Because it is naturally derived, it is regarded as a safer alternative/ The process of caffeine extraction is the same as with methylene chloride, although using ethyl acetate is generally more time-consuming.
Another method of decaffeinating coffee is known as supercritical carbon dioxide extraction. At high pressures and high temperatures, carbon dioxide is in a supercritical state, which means it acts both as a gas and a liquid. Supercritical carbon dioxide is forced through green coffee beans and penetrates into the beans dissolving up to 99 percent of the caffeine. The carbon dioxide is then drawn off and any residue left on the beans dissipates as a gas when the beans are allowed to cool to room temperature.
The charcoal, or carbon filter, method uses how water to dissolve the caffeine and other substances from the coffee beans. The resulting liquid solution is passed through a carbon filter, which removes the caffeine. The remaining solution containing the original flavors and oils is then reunited with the beans. A variant of this method called Swiss Water Process uses a coffee-flavored solution as the solvent. This takes away the caffeine while leaving the flavors and oils.
Because of the time and expense of all of the above methods, a controversial new approach has been developed but is not yet approved. This involves genetic enineering to delete or turn off genes associated with caffeine production in the plant itself. This idea has provoked much criticism from certain quarters due to the fact that the caffeine helps plants to protect beans against fungi. Beans that cannot produce caffeine could become coated with fungi, which might prove toxic to human consumers.