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Lessons in Love, by Way of Economics


By Ben Stein

AS my fine professor of economics at Columbia, C. Lowell Harriss (who just celebrated his 96th birthday) used to tell us, economics is the study of the allocation of scarce goods and services. What could be scarcer or more precious than love? It is rare, hard to come by and often fragile.


My primary life study has been about love. Second comes economics, so here, in the form of a few rules, is a little amalgam of the two fields: the economics of love. (I last wrote about this subject 20 years or so ago, and it’s time to update it.)



In general, and with rare exceptions, the returns in love situations are roughly proportional to the amount of time and devotion invested. The amount of love you get from an investment in love is correlated, if only roughly, to the amount of yourself you invest in the relationship.


If you invest caring, patience and unselfishness, you get those things back. (This assumes, of course, that you are having a relationship with someone who loves you, and not a one-sided love affair with someone who isn’t interested.)



High-quality bonds consistently yield more return than junk, and so it is with high-quality love. As for the returns on bonds, I know that my comment will come as a surprise to people who have been brainwashed into thinking that junk bonds are free money. They aren’t. The data from the maven of bond research, W. Braddock Hickman, shows that junk debt outperforms high quality only in rare situations, because of the default risk.


In love, the data is even clearer. Stay with high-quality human beings. And once you find that you are in a junk relationship, sell immediately. Junk situations can look appealing and seductive, but junk is junk. Be wary of it unless you control the market.


(Or, as I like to tell college students, the absolutely surest way to ruin your life is to have a relationship with someone with many serious problems, and to think that you can change this person.)



Research pays off. The most appealing and seductive (that word again) exterior can hide the most danger and chance of loss. For most of us, diversification in love, at least beyond a very small number, is impossible, so it’s necessary to do a lot of research on the choice you make. It is a rare man or woman who can resist the outward and the surface. But exteriors can hide far too much.



In every long-term romantic situation, returns are greater when there is a monopoly. If you have to share your love with others, if you have to compete even after a brief while with others, forget the whole thing. You want to have monopoly bonds with your long-term lover. At least most situations work out better this way. ( I am too old to consider short-term romantic events. Those were my life when Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon were in the White House.)



The returns on your investment should at least equal the cost of the investment. If you are getting less back than you put in over a considerable period of time, back off.



Long-term investment pays off. The impatient day player will fare poorly without inside information or market-controlling power. He or she will have a few good days but years of agony in the world of love.


To coin a phrase: Fall in love in haste, repent at leisure.



Realistic expectations are everything. If you have unrealistic expectations, they will rarely be met. If you think that you can go from nowhere to having someone wonderful in love with you, you are probably wrong.


You need expectations that match reality before you can make some progress. There may be exceptions, but they are rare.



When you have a winner, stick with your winner. Whether in love or in the stock market, winners are to be prized.



Have a dog or many dogs or cats in your life. These are your anchors to windward and your unfailing source of love.


Ben Franklin summed it up well. In times of stress, the three best things to have are an old dog, an old wife and ready money. How right he was.


THERE is more that could be said about the economics of love, but these thoughts may divert you while you are thinking about your future.


And let me close with another thought. I am far from glib about the economy. It has a lot of pitfalls facing it. As workers and investors, we know that many dangers lurk in our paths.


But so far, these things have always worked themselves out and this one will, too. In the meantime, they say that falling in love is wonderful, and that the best is falling in love with what you have.

愛情經濟學看似兩種不相干甚至互斥的事物,然而其實愛情也是一種投資,也需要盤算計較,有人賺到終身幸福,有人賠到痛不欲生。美國著名經濟學家、政經評論家、電視節目主持人班.史坦(Ben Stein)在紐約時報撰文,道出其中奧祕:

     我在紐約哥倫比亞大學的經濟學老師哈里斯告訴學生:經濟學就是研究如何分配稀有商品與勞務的一門學問。這世上還有什麼比愛情更稀有珍貴?愛情不僅稀有、難得,而且往往相當脆弱。我這輩子主修的學問其實是愛情,其次才是經濟學。因此本文要融合這兩個領域,提出「愛情經濟學」(the economics of love)的運作規則。




















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Garden Is a Seedbed for Green Cosmetics
Rolf Oeser for The New York Times

Joscha Huter, 40, cultivates the plants and flowers used to make the popular line of German natural cosmetics, Dr. Hauschka.

ECKWÄLDEN, Germany — You know you are not in an ordinary garden when a man in dirt-covered trousers, tending witch-hazel plants, describes his work in words that could come from Nietzsche.


Rolf Oeser for The New York Times

Dr. Hauschka products are made by WALA Heilmittel at its headquarters and have sales of nearly $150 million.

“It demands a higher level of consciousness and a force of will to garden at this level,” said Joscha Huter, 40, who cultivates the plants and flowers used to make the popular, expensive line of German natural cosmetics, Dr. Hauschka. “There’s a point where gardening becomes an art.”


There’s also a point where it becomes a crackerjack business: this rarefied garden in a southern German valley is the seedbed for an environmental marketing phenomenon that has captivated Hollywood.


Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Richard Gere and Robert Downey Jr. are among the celebrities who have publicly extolled Dr. Hauschka’s skin care products. While the stars may not express themselves like 19th-century German philosophers, their devotion has helped to win Dr. Hauschka a cultlike following from Beverly Hills to the Upper East Side.

Sales of WALA Heilmittel, the maker of Dr. Hauschka, have more than doubled in the last five years, to nearly $150 million, about 8 percent of that from the United States, where it also sells herbal remedies. The 73-year-old company, which labored for decades in obscurity, now finds itself in the sweet spot of a booming market for green cosmetics. Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, and other giants are pushing all-natural brands.
五年來, 「德國好世家」製造商WALA Heilmittel的營業額增加一倍以上,達到將近15,000萬美元。這家已有73年歷史的公司,現在突然成為綠色化妝品在市場暴紅的知名品牌。雅詩蘭黛、萊雅等化妝品巨擘都推出純天然的品牌。

“Dr. Hauschka is shining because they’ve been doing this for a long time, and now everybody wants to do it,” said Joe Smillie, the senior vice president of Quality Assurance International, a San Diego firm that certifies the organic content of food, fabric and other goods.

WALA is one of dozens of German companies — from windmill manufacturers to organic beverage producers — that are benefiting from a growing global appetite for environmentally friendly products. Germany’s recent economic renaissance has had an unmistakably green hue.

Even in this Birkenstock land, WALA is uncommonly chaste/rigorous. Visitors to the garden are asked to switch off their cellphones, for security reasons and to avoid disturbing the harmony of nature.

The fact that WALA’s green label comes with a dash of Hollywood glitter makes its German managers squeamish, given that they run the company almost as a collective, with all the profits either plowed back into operations or handed out to the 700 workers.

“If celebrities like Dr. Hauschka, we’re happy, of course,” said Philip Lettmann, WALA’s chief financial officer. “But we’re even happier if an ordinary person with a skin problem finds help by using our products. Our philosophy was here long before the green trend began.”

Indeed, the company’s roots are in herbal medicine. WALA was founded in 1935 by Rudolf Hauschka, a Viennese chemist who sought to develop remedies using only natural ingredients. In 1967, it added the skin care line, named after the founder, who died two years later. 

The company’s name — an acronym that stands for Warmth and Ashes, Light and Ashes — suggests a crystals-and-karma sensibility more suited to Northern California than southern Germany.

But WALA is based on a school of early 20th-century European philosophy known as anthroposophy. Developed by the Austrian theorist Rudolf Steiner, the philosophy is predicated on the existence of a spiritual world that can be accessed by the human intellect.

Mr. Steiner’s thinking was also influential in more down-to-earth matters. He championed biodynamic agriculture, a rigorous form of organic farming that shuns pesticides and uses no fertilizers that were not already present in the garden.


An acolyte of Mr. Steiner, Rudolf Hauschka planted a biodynamic garden in this town, 28 miles west of Stuttgart, in 1955. There, a team of eight gardeners cultivates more than 150 plants, flowers and trees, ranging from Echinacea to monk’s hood. They are harvested by hand, then crushed and dried. Extracts are taken with water, never alcohol. 

For the company’s rose cream, one of its signature products, it buys large amounts of rose oil from suppliers in Turkey, Bulgaria, Iran and Afghanistan. The trade allows WALA to engage in more planetary good works. In Afghanistan, it is encouraging farmers to plant roses in place of opium poppies, said Antal Adam, the chief spokesman.

A public relations executive who used to work in Cologne, Mr. Adam took a pay cut to join WALA. Like so many of the employees, he seems to have drunk the organic Kool-Aid — only in this case, it is bitter elixir, a foul-tasting herbal remedy that he cheerfully swigs after lunch to aid digestion.

The same fervor, Mr. Adam said, applies to WALA’s celebrities, who get free samples but no money for their endorsements. “We could always buy a face,” he said. “Our celebrities do this because they are convinced of the product.”

Dr. Hauschka’s success in the United States owes much to Susan West Kurz, a beauty expert and author who transformed a tiny import business into a franchise. The key was introducing Hollywood makeup artists to the products, which she did with the help of her first husband, the character actor J. T. Walsh.

“Right up until the end, he was talking about it,” Ms. West Kurz said of Mr. Walsh, who died in 1998 after a career playing memorable villains in films, including “Pleasantville.” “There was a mystique around it.”

Even today, Dr. Hauschka clings to its image by shunning department or convenience stores. It is available in natural product stores, pharmacies and from licensed skin care specialists. 

In 2007, it left the Sephora chain of cosmetic stores, which is known for thoroughly training its saleswomen, because it says Sephora balked at training them adequately to sell Dr. Hauschka.

The company has also refused to sign on to industry certifications in the United States for organic or natural products, because it says its methods are more rigorous than competitors that claim to be organic or all-natural. “Over the last 30 years, every major brand has usurped some of our language,” Ms. West Kurz said.

While Dr. Hauschka’s image is powerful, it is not bulletproof. Sales in the United States have sputtered in recent weeks, after a strong first quarter. Executives chalk it up to the soaring price of gasoline, which they say has discouraged shopping for cosmetics.

Perhaps the fullest expression of WALA’s philosophy is its unorthodox ownership structure. The original owners gave up their stakes in 1986, creating a foundation that is legally owned by the German public, and hence cannot be sold. A similar legal arrangement in the United States makes it impossible to sell the American distribution rights.

Many suitors have tried. In 1997, Estée Lauder paid $300 million for Aveda, a maker of natural beauty products, while L’Oréal paid $1.1 billion for the Body Shop in 2006.

“I get called by private equity firms every day,” said Mirran Rephaely, the chief executive of Dr. Hauschka in the United States.

In Eckwälden, Mr. Lettmann also gets calls. Before joining WALA, he worked for a private equity firm in Munich. Now he keeps a bottle of bitter elixir next to his desk, and sounds less like a finance whiz than a soul mate of Mr. Huter, the philosophical gardener.

“WALA exists in the economic world, but we don’t work for profits,” he said. “Our primary impulse, from the beginning, is healing.”

The fact that WALA’s green label comes with a dash of Hollywood glitter makes its German managers squeamish, given that they run the company almost as a collective, with all the profits either put back into operations or handed out to the 700 workers.

“If celebrities like Dr. Hauschka, we’re happy, of course,” said Philip Lettmann, WALA’s chief financial officer. “But we’re even happier if an ordinary person with a skin problem finds help by using our products. Our philosophy was here long before the green trend began.”




在環保行銷(environmental marketing, green marketing)的時代,從生產、定價、促銷到運送,均需謹守環保原則,本文所提的綠色化妝品(green cosmetics)品牌(brand)「德國好世家」,即是奉行環保行銷,且在當紅的環保行銷現象(phenomenon)中扮演要角的廠商之一。


「德國好世家」的護膚產品(skin care products)因標榜純天然(all-natural),而獲得名流(celebrity)加持,「德國好世家」並因而有了類似教派(cultlike)的死忠愛用者(following)。






此一學派主要理念為以科學方法研究和解釋人類的性靈世界(spiritual world)與本性(nature of man),而人類可透過本身的智能(human intellect),接近與進入(access)這個世界。


這一派信徒同時相信人與大自然存在一種責任意識(consciousness),因此必須以生物機能(biodynamics)互動、不干擾大自然和諧(avoid disturbing the harmony of nature)的方式耕種食物。


郝世家因此大力鼓吹(champion 生機農耕法(biodynamic agriculture),亦即以嚴格的方式(rigorous form),從事有機種植(organic farming),讓自然時令、節氣、土壤、動物、人類於生態系統中自然運作,完全不使用農藥(pesticide)與化肥(fertilizer)。


除了使用天然成分(natural ingredient),「德國好世家」也有別於一般護膚產品,並不在百貨公司或便利商店(convenience store)販賣,只在天然產品商店(natural product store)、藥妝店(pharmacy)、有照護膚專科醫師(licensed skin care specialist)處販售。

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A Tiny Fruit That Tricks the Tongue
Joe Fornabaio for The New York Times

RADISH, WHERE IS THY STING? At flavor-tripping parties, guests find that miracle fruit makes everything sweet

    Published: May 28, 2008

    CARRIE DASHOW dropped a large dollop of lemon sorbet into a glass of Guinness, stirred, drank and proclaimed that it tasted like a “chocolate shake.” 



    Skip to next paragraph
    Joe Fornabaio for The New York Times

    HOW’S IT DO THAT? Franz Aliquo, who calls himself Supreme Commander, right, supplied miracle berries grown by Curtis Mozie, left, to party-goers in Long Island City, Queens, last weekend.

    Joe Fornabaio for The New York Times

    Those who attended sampled the red berries then tasted foods, including cheese, beer and brussels sprouts, finding the flavors transformed. Beer can taste like chocolate, lemons like candy. Mr. Aliquo says he holds the parties to “turn on a bunch of people’s taste buds.” 

    Joe Fornabaio for The New York Times


    Joe Fornabaio for The New York Times


    Nearby, Yuka Yoneda tilted her head back as her boyfriend, Albert Yuen, drizzled Tabasco sauce onto her tongue. She swallowed and considered the flavor: “Doughnut glaze, hot doughnut glaze!”
    一旁的米田由香(音譯)把頭往後偏,讓男友亞伯特袁把幾滴Tabasco辣醬滴在她舌頭上。她把醬吞下去,覺得味道像「甜甜圈糖漿,辣的甜甜圈糖漿!」 They were among 40 or so people who were tasting under the influence of a small red berry called miracle fruit at a rooftop party in Long Island City, Queens, last Friday night. The berry rewires the way the palate perceives sour flavors for an hour or so, rendering lemons as sweet as candy. 



    The host was Franz Aliquo, 32, a lawyer who styles himself Supreme Commander (Supreme for short) when he’s presiding over what he calls “flavor tripping parties.” Mr. Aliquo greeted new arrivals and took their $15 entrance fees. In return, he handed each one a single berry from his jacket pocket.

    “You pop it in your mouth and scrape the pulp off the seed, swirl it around and hold it in your mouth for about a minute,” he said. “Then you’re ready to go.” He ushered his guests to a table piled with citrus wedges, cheeses, Brussels sprouts, mustard, vinegars, pickles, dark beers, strawberries and cheap tequila, which Mr. Aliquo promised would now taste like top-shelf Patrón.

    The miracle fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum, is native to West Africa and has been known to Westerners since the 18th century. The cause of the reaction is a protein called miraculin, which binds with the taste buds and acts as a sweetness inducer when it comes in contact with acids, according to a scientist who has studied the fruit, Linda Bartoshuk at the University of Florida’s Center for Smell and Taste. Dr. Bartoshuk said she did not know of any dangers associated with eating miracle fruit.
    學名為Synsepalum dulcificum的神秘果原產於非洲西部,西方人到18世紀才知道有這種東西。據研究這種果子的科學家、佛羅里達大學嗅覺味覺中心專家琳達巴爾托修克說,導致味覺反應改變的是一種叫神秘果素的蛋白質,它能與味蕾結合,與酸接觸時引出甜味。巴爾托修克博士表示,她還沒聽過有人因為吃了神秘果而出事。

    During the 1970s, a ruling by the Food and Drug Administration dashed hopes that an extract of miraculin could be sold as a sugar substitute. In the absence of any plausible commercial application, the miracle fruit has acquired a bit of a cult following. 

    Sina Najafi, editor in chief of the art magazine Cabinet, has featured miracle fruits at some of the publication’s events. At a party in London last October, the fruit, he said, “had people testifying like some baptismal thing.”

    The berries were passed out last week at a reading of “The Fruit Hunters,” a new book by Adam Leith Gollner with a chapter about miracle fruit.

    Bartenders have been experimenting with the fruit as well. Don Lee, a beverage director at the East Village bar Please Don’t Tell, has been making miracle fruit cocktails on his own time, but the bar probably won’t offer them anytime soon. The fruit is highly perishable and expensive — a single berry goes for $2 or more.


    nce J. Mayhew developed a series of drink recipes with miracle fruit foams and extracts for a recent issue of the cocktail magazine Imbibe and may create others for Beaker & Flask, a restaurant opening later this year in Portland, Ore. 


    He cautioned that not everyone enjoys the berry’s long-lasting effects. Despite warnings, he said, one woman became irate after drinking one of his cocktails. He said, “She was, like, ‘What did you do to my mouth?’ ”


    Mr. Aliquo issues his own warnings. “It will make all wine taste like Manischewitz,” he said. And already sweet foods like candy can become cloying.

    He said that he had learned about miracle fruit while searching ethnobotany Web sites for foods he could make for a diabetic friend.

    The party last week was his sixth “flavor tripping” event. He hopes to put on a much larger, more expensive affair in June. Although he does sell the berries on his blog, www.flavortripping.wordpress.com, Mr. Aliquo maintains that he isn’t in it for the money. (He said he made about $100 on Friday.) Rather, he said, he does it to “turn on a bunch of people’s taste buds.”

    He believes that the best way to encounter the fruit is in a group. “You need other people to benchmark the experience,” he said. At his first party, a small gathering at his apartment in January, guests murmured with delight as they tasted citrus wedges and goat cheese. Then things got trippy.

    “You kept hearing ‘oh, oh, oh,’ ” he said, and then the guests became “literally like wild animals, tearing apart everything on the table.”

    “It was like no holds barred in terms of what people would try to eat, so they opened my fridge and started downing Tabasco and maple syrup,” he said.

    Many of the guests last week found the party through a posting at www.tThrillist.com. Mr. Aliquo sent invitations to a list of contacts he has been gathering since he and a friend began organizing StreetWars, a popular urban assassination game using water guns.

    One woman wanted to see Mr. Aliquo eat a berry before she tried one. “What, you don’t trust me?” he said.

    She replied, “Well, I just met you.”

    Another guest said, “But you met him on the Internet, so it’s safe.”

    The fruits are available by special order from specialty suppliers in New York, including Baldor Specialty Foods and S. Katzman Produce. Katzman sells the berries for about $2.50 a piece, and has been offering them to chefs.

    Mr. Aliquo gets his miracle fruit from Curtis Mozie, 64, a Florida grower who sells thousands of the berries each year through his Web site, www.miraclefruitman.com. (A freezer pack of 30 berries costs about $90 with overnight shipping.) Mr. Mozie, who was in New York for Mr. Gollner’s reading, stopped by the flavor-tripping party.

    Mr. Mozie listed his favorite miracle fruit pairings, which included green mangoes and raw aloe. “I like oysters with some lemon juice,” he said. “Usually you just swallow them, but I just chew like it was chewing gum.”

    A large group of guests reached its own consensus: limes were candied, vinegar resembled apple juice, goat cheese tasted like cheesecake on the tongue and goat cheese on the throat. Bananas were just bananas.

    For all the excitement it inspires, the miracle fruit does not make much of an impression on its own. It has a mildly sweet tang, with firm pulp surrounding an edible, but bitter, seed. Mr. Aliquo said it reminded him of a less flavorful cranberry. “It’s not something I’d just want to eat,” he said.

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    Everyone’s a Critic
    Kelly Shimoda for The New York Times

    BREATHE DEEPLY Hundreds of customers poked their noses into bottles, sniffed scent strips, and inhaled deep draughts at a Sniffapalooza event at several New York retailers last weekend.

    Correction Appended

    IN the realm of perfume, one man’s pudding is the next man’s tar. 

    That the reaction to a fragrance can be visceral, and personal, is not news to Luca Turin, 
    who over the years has inhaled and critiqued hundreds of scents. In assessing them, Mr. Turin, a scientist and fragrance expert, makes no attempt to hide his partisanship.



    He describes Attrape-Coeurs, an amber violet perfume from Guerlain, as “an intense radiant Wurlitzer organ blast of rose violet and iris notes,” but paints a bleaker picture of Creed’s Love in White: “If this were a shampoo offered with your first shower after sleeping rough for two months in Nouakchott, you’d opt to keep the lice.”

    Readers react to such colorful snippets from his new book, “Perfumes: The Guide” (Viking), written with his wife, Tania Sanchez, with varying degrees of admiration and respect. Mr. Turin is, after all, a dominant voice in a chorus of critics airing their views in books and magazines and, increasingly, on the Web. 

    In the last half-dozen years, their opinionated chatter has become catnip to consumers, some of whom stay up until the wee hours, reading about new scents on sites like makeupalley.com, which Mr. Turin characterized as “a 24-hour pajama party.”

    That chatter, however, is also the bane of the fragrance industry, 
    which, when it comes to romancing products, has traditionally claimed the last word.

    “Perfume is the only art in which there’s never been a true word spoken,” Mr. Turin said in an interview, with a directness that has made him a thorn in the side of the industry. In his book, he recalled that as little as a year ago, Le Labo, a small New York perfumer, refused to send him samples, its makers sneering that “writing about perfume is like dancing about architecture.”

    Today reviewers on Web sites and blogs like aromascope.com, scentzilla.com, boisdejasmin.com and perfumeposse.com have rendered that argument moot. Increasingly, critics like Robin Krug of Now Smell This, who said she has around 10,000 hits a day, and Chandler Burr, who reviews fragrance for T: The New York Times Style Magazine, cultivate a following by speaking directly to consumers, many of whom are aspiring connoisseurs themselves. 

    Today reviewers on Web sites and blogs like aromascope.com, scentzilla.com, boisdejasmin.com and perfumeposse.com are fierce, responding to certain fragrances with rapture or, as often, with venomous contempt.


    Often those shoppers collect, amassing as many as 200 bottles and vials in their homes. And many have learned to distinguish among olfactory families like fougère (fern) and gourmand (edible smells), and even to pronounce chypre (SHEE-pr, roughly), a classification based on citrus and woody notes.

    As critics, they are fierce, responding to certain fragrances with rapture or, as often, with venomous contempt. A perfume like Poison, from Dior, is especially polarizing to bloggers, many of whom are stay-at-home moms or professionals in other fields.

     An enthusiast on Now Smell This described Poison as “a warm, luxurious velvet blanket draped across a satin settee. On the same site, the perfume was assailed as “a railroad spike through the brain.” 

    Black Orchid from Tom Ford was praised as “melting cupcakes on hot skin.” But a detractor called it “aged Romano in a carnivorous orchid hothouse.”

    When they wish to be especially withering, bloggers designate a scent as a “scrubber,” the kind of smell you can’t wash off fast enough. 

    Their enthusiasm, though, can be infectious. Online scent aficionados have become a force to be reckoned with in the $2.9 billion high-end fragrance industry, which has had a slight decline in sales since 2007. Their interest in mostly unadvertised, limited-distribution brands has helped drive niche sales in 2007 to $253 million, a rise of 19 percent, said Karen Grant, the senior beauty analyst of the market research firm NPD. Niche brands have doubled in volume since 2005, accounting for 9 percent of sales, Ms. Grant said.

    Not surprisingly, these critics’ uncensored comments have been anathema to the Estée Lauders and Cotys of the world, industry giants that have relied almost exclusively on advertising and glowing magazine commentary to spread their message and spur sales. 

    “No question, the industry people are unnerved,” said Rochelle R. Bloom, the president of the Fragrance Foundation, a trade group. “I often get calls from executives pleading, ‘Can’t you do something about all this chatter.’ ”

    Yet traditional marketing does not address consumer desire to learn about the dizzying number of annual fragrance introductions — up from 300 ten years ago to more than 1,000 last year, according to NPD.

    Kelly Shimoda for The New York Times


    Kelly Shimoda for The New York Times



    “In their marketing, mainstream perfumers have lost control, and that puts a lot of pressure on them,” said Allan Mottus, the editor of The Informationist, a cosmetics and fragrance trade magazine. He added that mass and high-end brands, as well as fragrance producers and suppliers like Givaudan and Symrise, are “just waking up to the news that they can’t own the customer.”

    The explicit advertising for Tom Ford’s new men’s fragrance, which shows an amber-colored bottle wedged between a woman’s naked thighs, will likely have no impact on Richard Saja, an artist and embroiderer who stood inhaling fragrances at Bergdorf Goodman on Saturday morning. “I don’t care about perfume advertising or the bottle it comes in,” Mr. Saja said. “For me perfume is a visceral experience,” one that is deepened, he added, by scanning sites like sniffapalooza.com, an organizer, with several New York retailers, of a weekend of sniffing and sampling.

    “Three years ago, this was a world I hadn’t explored,” he said. “But now the Web has demystified so much of the world of fragrances for me.”

    Mr. Saja was among some 200 customers swarming the Bergdorf fragrance floor that day. Shoppers from London, Berlin and Piscataway, N.J., poked their noses into bottles, sniffed scent strips and inhaled deep draughts from decanters. Some parted with as much as $200 for a flacon of Sycomore, a new offering from Chanel.

    Enthusiasts included Christine Jelley, the chief executive of a surge-protection gear maker. Swayed by blogs, she was intent on exploring new violet-scented offerings from Serge Lutens and Annick Goutal. “When someone becomes rhapsodic about a scent,” she said, “I want to see what they’re seeing in it.”

    Kevin Saunders, an art therapist circling the Lutens and Jo Malone counter, is an occasional reader of basenotes.net and Now Smell This. Mr. Saunders carries with him on an iPod a list of scents he has read about, some to be sampled, others to buy. “At the least,” he said, “those blogs may prompt me into trying something.”

    And there are signs that the industry is responding to Mr. Saunders and his online cohort. “Today you see more bloggers being invited to traditional press events, and a greater awareness among executives of emerging forms of media,” Jenny B. Fine, the editor of the trade journal WWD Beauty Biz, noted.

    Marianne Diorio, a spokeswoman for Estée Lauder, acknowledged as much: “In the beginning we were nervous about the blogs. As with any new media, there were mixed emotions.” Pointedly, she added, “Now we could never think of launching a fragrance without contacting the bloggers.” The company engages in dialogues with critics, she said, and advertises some of its fragrances on sites like Now Smell This.

    Firmenich, a producer and supplier of fragrances, operates osMoz.com, which made its debut in 2001 and claims 300,000 members. In recent months, the company has encouraged readers to share information and to rate fragrances, its own and others, Julien Levy, the site’s marketing director, said.

    Commentators on coty.com prompted Coty, which makes fragrances by David Beckham and Jennifer Lopez, among others, to think of reissuing its greatest hits, scents like Emeraude and L’Origan, said Stephen C. Mormoris, a senior vice president of global marketing. 

    Such developments cannot come soon enough for Tania Sanchez. In “Perfumes: The Guide,” she chided that the perfume industry “hasn’t yet figured out the benefits or relaxing control.” She told of a prominent blogger threatened with a lawsuit by a perfume company because she had deemed its product only “O.K.,” and “a little disappointing.” 

    “When a sleek luxury goods company unleashes its lawyers on a suburban mom for not liking their new fragrance,” Ms. Sanchez wrote, “we know the world is changing.”

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    Pu’er Journal

    A Tea From the Jungle Enriches a Placid Village

    Justin Mott for The New York Times

    Workers pick leaves from domesticated tea plants in Pu’er, China, where leaves grown in the wild are preferred by local people.


    Published: April 21, 2008

    PU’ER, China — The sky is nearly cloudless, the breeze is bracing, and the tea plantation where Yao Kunxue works resembles a giant green amphitheater absorbing the last rays of a setting sun. 


    The tea itself? No thanks, he says. He grows it — what he calls industrial tea — but he does not drink it. 

    The rolling hills of China’s southern Yunnan Province are the birthplace of tea, anthropologists say, the first area where humans figured out that eating tea leaves or brewing a cup could be pleasant. Today tea farmers preside over large plantations, but they want their tea the way their forebears consumed it: brewed from wild leaves, and preferably from ancient trees in the jungle. 

    “It has a fragrant smell,” Mr. Yao said of his favorite, harvested from trees at least a century old. “And when you swallow there’s a sweet aftertaste.” 

    From relative obscurity a few decades ago, tea from Yunnan, especially Pu’er, has become a fashionable, must-have variety in the tea shops of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. Surging demand for Pu’er — often advertised as wild tea even if it is from the plantations — has made farmers here rich and encouraged entrepreneurs to carve out more plantations from jungle-covered hillsides. 

    Ninety percent of the 23,000 tons of Pu’er tea produced last year was grown on plantations, officials say. Local residents seem more than happy to send it to distant locales. They complain about its hard edges — too bitter — and the chemicals that are regularly sprayed on the plants to repel bugs, viruses and fungus. 

    “The pesticides come through in the taste,” Mr. Yao said. 

    Here, tea has never been something bought at the market; it grows in the backyard, like blueberries in the woods of Maine. 

    Domesticated tea plants are trimmed into hedges to make harvesting easier. In the wild, they grow to resemble the old and gnarled olive trees of the Mediterranean but with bigger and more abundant leaves.

    Peng Zhe, deputy secretary general of the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, a tea-growing district here, compares the wild tea to fine vintages of Bordeaux or Burgundy.

    “To appreciate Pu’er tea is similar to enjoying wine,” said Mr. Peng, who also leads the local tea promotion board. “You need to understand the different areas where tea grows. The fragrance is different from one mountain to the next.”

    Jungle tea, as some here call the harvest from wild tea trees in more remote areas, has been picked by villagers for centuries, and in imperial times it was sent to the emperor. But only recently have the profits started rolling in for the wild-tea pickers, who have divided forests of tea trees along ancestral lines and are increasingly selling to larger concerns. 

    “Twenty years ago no one had the idea that tea could become so valuable,” said Chen Jinqiang, an official in Xishuangbanna. 

    A compressed disc of Pu’er tea that sold for 3 yuan, or about 40 cents, two decades ago now can easily go for 200 yuan, about $25, today, Mr. Chen said.

    “People here always had enough to eat,” he said. “Now they have a lot of cash.” 

    In Manmai, a hilltop village a few dozen miles from China’s border with Myanmar, the wealth from the Pu’er tea boom is trickling down. The village headman, Zha Pagu, has never traveled more than 30 miles from his house during his 60-plus years (he said he could not remember his exact age), but his home now has a solar water heater, and his neighbors are upgrading their wood and thatch homes with modern building materials like tiles and concrete. 

    Until recently the village was accessible only by foot. A dirt road that winds up the mountain is now under construction, but the village remains relatively isolated.

    Zha Ge, 19, a tea picker who like the other villagers is Lahu, a small ethnic minority here, said he had never met a foreigner before. But he understands the value of outsiders’ keen interest in his tea trees. Picking tea has generated enough cash to buy a 20-inch television, a motorcycle and a copy of his favorite foreign film, “First Blood,” the first in the Rambo series. 

    In March and April, the peak tea-plucking season, Mr. Zha Ge can make up to $1,000 a month, far more than what the factory workers in eastern Chinese cities make stitching blue jeans and assembling iPods. 

    Unlike those workers, who live in smog-choked cities with blackened, polluted waterways, the tea pickers here work among trees that overlook a pristine mountain range that would not look out of place in a Chinese scroll painting. In October, when the tea trees flower, the air is filled with the sweet aroma of tea blossoms. “It smells just like honey,” Mr. Zha Ge said. 

    Teenage girls are the most sought-after tea pickers — their fingers move more quickly, local residents say — and they can harvest as much as 110 pounds of tea leaves a day.

    Yet for many families in the remote reaches of Yunnan, tea-picking remains outside the realm of commerce. It is so tightly intertwined with their daily lives that it is a routine household chore, like putting the laundry out to dry.

    Yue Ye, 38, the mother of two teenagers in Chui Hao, a village inhabited by members of the Dai ethnic group, says children begin drinking tea when they are 3 to 5 years old. Families consume it first thing in the morning, after lunch, after dinner and late in the evening.

    They pick the tea from ancient trees atop a hill near the village. “The people who planted them are long dead,” Ms. Yue said.

    She cooks the leaves in a wok, “massages” them by hand and leaves them in the sun for a day.

    Tea from Pu’er was popular around the region in ancient times: historians describe “horse tea trails” that radiated from Pu’er, the main trading center for the tea, into northern and eastern China, Tibet and beyond.

    The recent surge in popularity is attributed to newly affluent, health-conscious Chinese who believe that Pu’er tea lowers cholesterol, cures hangovers, helps fortify teeth and trims away fat. 

    Shops in Beijing or Shanghai advertise that their Pu’er tea has been aged for several decades, which is said to give the tea a more mellow taste. But as with many things in China it is hard to tell the real from the counterfeit. 

    Mr. Chen, the government official, said he would be very wary of claims that tea has been aged more than 10 years. “Most of it is fake, I think,” he said.

    Nopporn Phasaphong, a tea trader in Bangkok whose family has been in the business for three generations and who travels regularly to Pu’er, says she, too, is skeptical about the authenticity of much of what is labeled jungle tea from Pu’er. Very little genuine jungle tea is on the market, she says. “Everyone who sells it will tell you it comes from old trees,” she said. “But it’s like buying rubies. You have to know something about it.”

    Mr. Yao says he can taste the difference between teas grown on plantations and those from wild trees. But in what may be a metaphor for freewheeling China today, he acknowledges that nonconnoisseurs often get hoodwinked.

    “If you don’t know Pu’er tea,” he said, “people will cheat you.”

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    Is Cuisine Still Italian Even if the Chef Isn’t?
    Published: April 7, 2008

    Correction Appended

    ROME — Last month, Gambero Rosso, the prestigious reviewer of restaurants and wine, sought out Rome’s best carbonara, a dish of pasta, eggs, pecorino cheese and guanciale (cured pig cheek; for the aficionados, pancetta is not done) that defines tradition here. 

    Skip to next paragraph
    Marco Di Lauro for The New York Times

    Chef Nabil Haj-Hassan shows his award-winning carbonara pasta in the kitchen of the Roscioli Restaurant in Rome.

    Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

    A night in Trastevere, the ancient artisans quarter of Rome, now a center for bars and restaurants.

    In second place was L’Arcangelo, a restaurant with a head chef from India. The winner: Antico Forno Roscioli, a bakery and innovative restaurant whose chef, Nabil Hadj Hassen, arrived from Tunisia at 17 and washed dishes for a year and a half before he cooked his first pot of pasta. 
    亞軍是L’Arcangelo餐廳,主廚來自印度。獲得冠軍的Antico Forno Roscioli是一家烘焙坊和創意十足的餐廳,主廚納比爾‧哈山17歲時來自突尼西亞,在下廚烹煮生平第一鍋義大利麵之前,洗了一年半碗盤。

    “To cook is a passion,” said Mr. Hassen, now 43, who went on to train with some of Italy’s top chefs. “Food is a beautiful thing.”

    Spoken like an Italian. But while much of the rest of the world learned about pasta and pizza from poor Italian immigrants, now it is foreigners, many of them also poor, who make some of the best Italian food in Italy (as well as some of the worst and everything between). 

    With Italians increasingly shunning sweaty and underpaid kitchen work, it can be hard now to find a restaurant where at least one foreigner does not wash dishes, help in the kitchen or, as is often the case, cook. Egyptians have done well as pizza makers, but restaurant kitchens are now a snapshot of Italy’s relatively recent immigrant experience, with Moroccans, Tunisians, Romanians and Bangladeshis at work. 

    That fact itself may not be surprising: On one level, restaurants in Italy, a country that even into the 1970s exported more workers than it brought in, now more closely mirror immigrant-staffed kitchens in much of Europe.

    But Italians take their food very seriously, not just as nourishment and pleasure but also as the chief component of national and regional identity. Change is not taken lightly here, especially when the questions it raises are uncomfortable: Will Italy’s food change — and if so, for the worse or, even more disconcertingly, for the better? Most Italian food is defined by its good ingredients and simple preparation, but does it become less distinct — or less Italian — if anyone can prepare it to restaurant standards? Does that come at some cost to national pride?

    “If he is an Egyptian cook, nothing changes — nothing,” said Francesco Sabatini, 75, co-owner of Sabatini in Trastevere, one of Rome’s oldest neighborhoods. His restaurant is considered one of the city’s most conservative, serving classic Roman dishes like oxtail, yet 7 of his 10 cooks are not Italian. 

    For Mr. Sabatini, the issue is not the origin of the cook but the training — his chefs apprentice for five years — and keeping alive Italy’s culinary traditions, which he defines as “the flavors of your mother’s kitchen.”

    “That’s why I’m here,” he said. “If not, I’d just go to the beach.”

    But in a debate likely to grow in the coming years, others argue that foreign chefs can mimic Italian food but not really understand it.

    “Tradition is needed to go forward with Italian youngsters, not foreigners,” said Loriana Bianchi, co-owner of La Canonica, a restaurant also in Trastevere, which hires several Bangladeshis, though she does the cooking. “It’s not racism, but culture.”

    While much of Italy’s best food is prepared at home, Ms. Bianchi despairs at the difficulty of finding people to do the same in restaurants. (There is even a greater shortage, experts say, of Italian waiters.) “It’s tiring and the hours are very long,” she said.

    But it has been an undeniable boon to Italy’s new immigrants. Twelve years ago, Abu Markhyyeh, a young Jordanian, finished an apprenticeship with a Neapolitan pizza maker, borrowed money from his Italian mother-in-law, then opened his own pizzeria in Milan, Da Willy, after his nickname here.

    He did well, in part because he made the pizzas bigger but kept the prices low. Now Mr. Markhyyeh, 41, presides over an untraditional pizza empire. He has 11 restaurants in Milan, 4 in Jordan, 2 in Cyprus and franchises in Dubai, Beirut, Sharm el Sheik in Egypt and now in Shanghai. 

    Despite this success — and thousands of loyal Italian customers — he said he has never felt fully accepted. “Italians say they aren’t racist, but then they say to me that in Milan, I have found America,” he said, referring to a slightly insulting expression for finding success without really working for it. “It makes me feel lousy.”

    Skip to next paragraph
    Dave Yoder for The New York Times

    Abu Markhyyeh, 41, a Jordanian, the owner of the pizzeria Da Willy, has 11 restaurants in Milan, 4 in Jordan, 2 in Cyprus and franchises in Dubai, Beirut, Sharm el Sheik in Egypt and in Shanghai. Despite his success, he says he has never felt fully accepted.


    Qunfeng Zhu, 30, a Chinese immigrant who opened a coffee bar in Rome’s center, has had a similar experience even though he makes an authentic espresso in a classic Italian atmosphere (overlooking a few bottles of Chinese liquor). 

    “Some people come in, see we are Chinese and go away,” he said.

    But in the last few years, he said, that happens less frequently, one sign that Italy is opening up — if slowly — to other kinds of food. Twenty years ago it was hard to find much beyond the occasional Chinese restaurant. Now the choices are broader, especially for Asian food like Japanese or Indian.

    “We live in a globalized society — there are so many people represented in our city,” said Maria Coscia, the commissioner of Rome’s public schools. So much so that last year the city began a program of serving a meal from different countries once a month. But many parents complained loudly.

    “The first time we did it, the menu was Bangladeshi,” she said. “That was a problem.”

    As a result of the complaints, the program was tweaked slightly and now at least one dish in four on those days — even grade-school students eat well here — will remain Italian. Now it is largely accepted, though the program’s Web site includes this reminder for the still wary: “In the total of the 210 school days, when lunches are served, only eight days are dedicated to the menus from other countries.”

    With this mixing of cultures only in its early days, there seems to be no major shift in Italian cuisine, even if foreigners are doing the cooking more and more. Unlike in France, where foreign flavors have blended well over time with native ones, attempts here at some fusion of Italian and other cuisines have not caught on. There is, as yet, no equivalent to curry in Britain.

    Still, there seems some leakage. Food experts say that foreign chefs, here and there, add spices not often used in Italy, like coriander and cumin. Couscous and vanilla are no longer novelties.

    But there is a question whether those changes, so far subtle, are happening as a conscious effort to be creative, or simply foreign chefs reverting to the flavors they know from home.

    Pierluigi Roscioli, a member of the family that runs the restaurant that won the best carbonara award, said there was a risk that tradition would slowly erode if Italian chefs did note oversee those foreign ones who had less training. 

    “Without supervision, they tend to drift toward what is in their DNA,” he said. “When it’s by choice, it’s great, but not when it happens because someone isn’t paying attention.”

    Given the current pace of change, he and other experts estimate that cooks in low- to middle-level restaurants in Italy may be almost entirely non-Italian within a decade. But that trend coincides with another, in which Italians are showing a rejuvenated interest in the best of their own food, as shown by the popularity of groups like Gambero Rosso, which publishes a magazine and books reviewing wine and restaurants, and the Slow Food movement, which emphasizes fresh and local products.

    Four years ago, the International School of Italian Cooking opened in Parma, arguably Italy’s best food city, and is attracting a new generation of Italian chefs interested more in high-end cooking than the home-style cooking in local restaurants that has made Italian food popular around the world.

    Its executive manager, Andrea Sinigaglia, said it was possible that Italian restaurants would soon divide into two camps, with elite restaurants staffed by Italian chefs, and trattorias and restaurants aimed more at tourists run by foreign chefs.

    But with Italy changing, he said, its food will inevitably change, too, though his school is partly aimed at keeping the basics — local products, fresh ingredients, simplicity in preparation — intact.

    “We cannot defend a recipe,” he said. “We cannot stop progress. We can indicate, pinpoint, what are the real important things. And the rest is creativity.”

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    In Berlin, One Wall Down and Thousands to Paint

    柏林一牆倒塌 滿城塗鴉

    Kreuzberg, a bohemian neighborhood where Berlin’s Strassenkultur thrives, is home to projects by well-known street artists like GFA-Crew.

    Published: March 2, 2008

    Spray cans clink in Ali’s bag as he walks down a cobblestone street in Berlin’s post-hip neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg. He stops in front of a grocery truck and pulls out a can. He strokes his name in bubbly, bright red letters, before leaving his mark on a telephone booth, a dozen doors and a concrete wall next to the train tracks.

    “It’s a great feeling doing a piece at night and coming back the day after to look at it,” said Ali, 31, an industrial designer who didn’t want his surname used to avoid prosecution. “I also see it as reclaiming the city and shaping my urban environment.”

    Apparently, many Berliners feel the same. The city’s skyline might be defined by a Sputnik-era TV tower, bombed-out churches and the ghost of a certain wall that once split the German capital. But its streetscape is largely molded by graffiti-covered,–city in Europe.

    Among the graffiti “writers” who have left their mark are Banksy, the art world mystery, whose stenciled rat in a police uniform decorates a curb in Mitte. Os Gemeos, the Brazilian twins whose cartoonish works have commanded $20,000 at the Deitch Projects in New York City, have spray painted a five-story-high mural of a yellow man in an orange shirt on a building on Oppelner Strasse. And the shaking fist of the Berlin artist Kripoe swings from traffic signs, elevated train tracks and, perhaps most spectacularly, a piling in the middle of the Spree River.

    “It’s like everyone grabbed a can of paint at one point and just went for it,” said the New York-based photographer Peter Sutherland. “It’s become a real paradise for writers.”

    The roots of graffiti culture can be traced back to West Berlin in the early 1980s, when the American-occupied sector was the reluctant melting pot of anarchist punks, Turkish immigrants and West German draft resisters.

    While the west face of the Berlin Wall was blanketed with graffiti, the east face was orderly and gray. All that changed, with the fall of the wall in 1989, which opened up vast new blank walls virtually overnight.

    “It was kind of like New York,” said Thomas Peiser, owner of a graffiti supply store in the gritty Kreuzberg neighborhood. “It was paradise to us.”

    Galleries like Circleculture, a stark storefront in Mitte, regularly exhibit internationally known street artists like Anton Unai, who often works with objects he finds on the street, and Shepard Fairey, the creator of “Obey, Giant” and, most recently, a popular poster of Barack Obama.

    Last summer, Adrian Nabi, a former publisher of the pioneering Berlin graffiti magazine Backjumps, organized a “live issue,” a two-month-long graffiti festival which attracted more than 15,000 people. He still admires the audacity of the West Berlin graffiti writers of his youth.

    “A writer is far more brash,” Mr. Nabi said. “They take the entire city for themselves.”

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    A Speck of Sunlight Is a Town’s Annual Alarm Clock

    陽光是小鎮鬧鐘 一年一鬧

    Longyearbyen, Norway, which calls itself the world’s northernmost town, is in total darkness from mid-November through January.

    Published: March 3, 2008

    LONGYEARBYEN, Norway – Early this month, this remote Arctic settlement – which calls itself as the northernmost town in the world – was buzzing with excitement and expectation.

    Longyearbyen is about 600 miles from the North Pole.

    The 2,000 inhabitants of Longyearbyen were eagerly awaiting a visitor, a guest to warm the air and make the town’s colors come alive; the white of the snow; the deep blue of the water; the red, yellow and green of the wooden homes, banks, restaurants, schools and the post office.

    On March 8, the sun rose again in Longyearbyen, on an island 965 kilometers from the North Pole, for the first time since October. While most of the world takes light and shadows for granted, for residents here, after months of perpetual darkness, the return of sunlight is a very big event.

    Now, the wheels are turning again. Inger Marie Hegvik, who has worked at the airport for 15 years, said that she sleeps two to three hours more in the dark months, and that her energy has rose dramatically in the days leading up to March 8.

    “It is excellent,” she said, shopping for wine at the Coop, a local store. “Everything becomes easier.” To celebrate the sun’s arrival, her office has planned a party at a mountain cabin.

    Longyearbyen, originally a coal-mining town named for the American who founded it a century ago, is in total darkness from mid-November through January. During the first part of November and in February, when the sun is well below the horizon, daytime is only indirect light, a brief period of bluish twilight.

    But now, each day is 20 minutes longer than the day before, and noticeably brighter. For the few weeks, residents will enjoy the diurnal alternation of light and darkness that is usual elsewhere.

    By the end of March, the transformation will be complete: from April through September, there will be perpetual day in this town, now home to the university and a thriving tourist industry, as well as miners.

    The arrival of daylight is like a yearly rebirth, transforming lives and routines. While people do not actually hibernate, residents say they tire easily in the dark winter. Graduate students take naps at their desks.

    Suddenly, people will be driving their cars and scooters in light rather than darkness. They can see their kids when they run on ahead. They can hike up the glacier.

    The return of the sun also means the return of warmth to this frigid land, although that concept is relative. Summer temperatures average only 6 degrees Celsius. The record high is 18.

    But for many longtime inhabitants there is a sense of regret this time of year, as well. The perpetual night in Longyearbyen’s winter can be a time of contemplation. “Winter is so nice, you have all these things you want to do,” said Birgit Brekken, who moved here as a nurse 30 years ago and now works in a boutique that is getting its first trickle of tourists. “You write long letters instead of making a phone call. It’s a time when you can slow down and read.”

    Now, she said, “the sun is coming back, and you have to get busy again.”

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    Icy Preserve for Protecting Plants in Peril


    The entrance to the Global Seed Vault, on a Norwegian Island near the North Pole. This week it received its first seeds, under a project to store every type of seed from every seed collection in the world. More Photos >

    Published: February 29, 2008

    LONGYEARBYEN, Norway – With plant species disappearing at an alarming rate, scientists and governments are creating a global network of plant banks to store seeds and sprouts, precious genetic resources that may be needed for man to adapt the world’s food supply to climate change.

    The leader of that effort, the Global Seed Vault near here, received its first seeds, millions of them. Bored into the middle of a frozen Arctic mountain topped with snow, the vault’s goal is to store and protect samples of every type of seed from every seed collection in the world.

    Global Seed Vault

    Thousands of neatly stacked and labeled gray boxes of seeds – peas from Nigeria, corn from Mexico – reside in this glazed cavelike structure, forming a sort of backup hard drive, in case natural disasters or human errors erase the seeds from the outside world.

    Descending almost 150 meters under the permafrost, the entrance tunnel to the seed vault is designed to withstand bomb blasts and earthquakes. An automated digital monitoring system controls temperature and provides security akin to a missile silo. No one person has all the codes for entrance.

    Longyearbyen is in Norway, 600 miles from the North Pole.

    The Global Vault is part of a broader effort to gather and systematize information about plants and their genes, which climate change experts say may indeed prove more valuable than gold. In Leuven, Belgium, scientists are scouring the world for banana samples and preserving their shoots in liquid nitrogen before they become extinct. A similar effort is under way in France on coffee plants. A number of plants, most from the tropics, do not produce seeds that can be stored.

    For years, a mixed network of seed banks has been amassing seed and shoot collections in a haphazard manner. Labs in Mexico banked corn species. Those in Nigeria banked cassava. Now these efforts are being urgently consolidated and systematized, in part because of better technology to preserve plant genes and in part because of the rising alarm about climate change and its impact on world food production.

    “We started thinking about this post-9/11 and on the heels of Hurricane Katrina,” said Cary Fowler, president of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, a nonprofit group that runs the vault. “Everyone was saying, why didn’t anyone prepare for a hurricane before? We knew it was going to happen.”

    The urgency of the problem was underscored as wheat prices rose to record highs and wheat stores dropped to the lowest level in 35 years. A series of droughts and new diseases cut wheat production in many parts of the world. “The erosion of plants’ genetic resources is really going fast,” said Dr. Rony Swennen, head of the division of crop biotechnology at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, who has preserved half of the world’s 1,200 banana types. “We’re at a critical moment and if we don’t act fast, we’re going to lose a lot of plants that we may need.”

    The United Nations International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources, ratified in 2004, created a formal global network for banking and sharing seeds, as well as for studying their genetic traits.

    A system of plant banks could be crucial in responding to climate crises since it could identify genetic material and plant strains better able to cope with a changed environment.

    Here at the Global Vault, hundreds of boxes containing seeds from Syria to Mexico were recently moved into a freezing vault to be placed in suspended animation. They harbor a vast range of qualities, like the ability to withstand drier, warmer climate.

    Climate change is expected to bring new weather stresses, as well as new plant pests into agricultural regions. Heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions will produce not just global warming but an increase in extreme weather events, like floods and droughts, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded.

    The importance and vulnerability of seed banks have become apparent in recent years. Seed banks in Afghanistan and Iraq were destroyed during conflicts in those nations, by looters who were after the plastic containers that held the seeds. In the Philippines, a typhoon bore through the wall of a seed bank, destroying numerous samples.

    On Wednesday, workers moved boxes of hundreds of seeds in the Global Seed Vault near Longyearbyen, on a Norwegian island.

    In reviewing seed banks a few years ago, Dr. Fowler said: “We said, we may have some of the best seed banks in the world, but look at where they are: Peru, Colombia, Syria, India, Ethiopia, the Philippines. So a lot of us were asking, what’s plan B?”

    The goal of the new global plant banking system is to protect the precious stored plant genes from the vagaries of climate, politics and human error. Many banks are now “in countries where the political situation is not stable, and it is difficult to rely on refrigeration,” Dr. Swennen said. Seeds must be stored at minus 20 degrees Celsius, that is, well below freezing, and plants that rely on cryopreservation must be far colder.

    Underground near Longyearbyen, just 965 kilometers from the North Pole, the seeds will stay frozen despite power failures. The Global Crop Diversity trust is also financing research into methods for storing genetic material from plants like bananas and coconuts that cannot be stored as seed.

    “You need a system to conserve the variety so it doesn’t go extinct,” Dr. Fowler said. “A farmer may make a bowl of porridge with the last seeds of a strain that is of no use to him, and then it’s gone. And potentially those are exactly the genes we will need a decade later.”

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    Even Flowers Seek to Be Eco-Friendly


    OF AND FOR THE EARTH At California Pajarosa Floral, the owners invested about $100,000 to gain a “sustainability” label.

    Published: February 3, 2008

    Hannah Ling sells organic and sustainable flowers in her West Village shop.

    SANTA CRUZ, California–The Bonny Doon Garden Company, a downtown flower kiosk here, was recently selling a bucket of red and fuchsia anemones that were “organic.” Ecuadorean roses the size of an orange were “certified.” Roses from a nearby farm were “locally grown.” Was the kiosk selling flowers, or lettuce?

    Pesticide contamination doesn’t usually come to mind when buying long-stemmed roses. But that is precisely what florists like Bonny Doon are asking their customers to think about. Teresa Sabankaya, the shop’s owner, said that when she opened in 2003, “some people would look at me like, ‘Are you nuts?’ ”

    Now, at least, “people become engaged,” she said. “Forty percent of people will say: ‘That’s nice. Why would it matter? We’re not eating them.’ ”

    True, flowers are rarely eaten. They aren’t worn against the skin like organic cotton, or rubbed on the body like soap. Perhaps that’s why organic flowers have not been a big business, especially compared with organic fruits and vegetables. The Organic Trade Association says organic food and beverages had $17 billion in sales in 2006. Flowers – a $21-billion-a-year industry – brought in $19 million in organic sales.

    That may be changing. The environmentally friendly flower is now sold on Web sites like organicbouquet.com, by small florists like Ms. Sabankaya and by big retailers like Sam’s Club and FTD, the floral delivery network, which last year introduced a line of sustainably grown irises and lilies from California and roses from Ecuador.

    And as in other industries with increasing demand for green products, the floral industry is debating what is environmentally correct. Should flowers be organic – that is, grown without synthetic or toxic pesticides? Or should the emphasis be on fair trade, meaning that the workers who grow and cut them are safe and well paid? Or should consumers favor flowers grown locally, not flown or trucked over long distances?

    A majority of cut flowers sold in the United States, 79 percent, are imported, mostly from countries with mild climates, like Colombia and Ecuador. Orchid plants are supplied by Taiwan, the Netherlands and Thailand. Flower bulbs, such as tulips and lilies, are supplied by the Netherlands.

    But only a small minority of flower farms have adopted environmentally friendly methods or bother with occupational health and safety measures for workers, who can suffer pesticide-related illnesses like headaches, rashes and birth abnormalities among their children.

    Big environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council have added flowers to their agenda and are encouraging the public to look for floral eco-labels that can now be found in flower shops, grocery stores and other flower retailers.

    The labels emphasize different aspects of sustainability. Fair Trade and VeriFlora, two big organizations whose labels appear on flowers sold in the United States, impose strict environmental and labor standards on farms they audit, though they do not require them to be fully organic.

    PRETTY IN GREEN? A move is on to make flowers more eco-friendly.

    In California, where most American flower production is based, California Pajarosa Floral in Watsonville invested about $100,000 to comply with all regulations necessary to be certified by VeriFlora, said Paul Furman, the manager. He said his company, which grows roses hydroponically in seven hectares of greenhouses and is one of the nation’s largest flower growers, would have had to spend more if it hadn’t already been using some green practices, like using predatory mites to kill thrips and spider mites that discolor petals and damage foliage.

    But Mr. Furman sees a payoff. “We want to be part of pioneering something that’s good for the industry,” he said. “We’re in the infancy stage of this, so we don’t know what to expect, but we do know that the whole world is going green.”

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    Starship Kimchi: Korea’s National Dish Is Ready for Space Flight


    The first Korean astronaut will carry a special version of his national dish into space.

    Published: February 24, 2008

    SEOUL, South Korea – After South Korea began sending soldiers to fight beside American forces in Vietnam, President Park Chung-hee made an unusual plea. He wrote to President Lyndon Johnson to say that his troops were miserable, desperate for kimchi, the fermented cabbage dish that Koreans savor with almost every meal.

    Chung Il-kwon, then the prime minister, delivered the letter to Washington. When he traveled overseas, he told Johnson, he longed for kimchi more than for his wife. The president acquiesced, financing the delivery of canned kimchi to the battlefield.

    Now kimchi is set to conquer the final frontier: space.

    When South Korea’s first astronaut, Ko San, blasts off April 8 aboard a Russian spaceship bound for the International Space Station, kimchi will be on board.

    Three top government research institutes spent millions of dollars and several years perfecting a version of kimchi that would not turn dangerous when exposed to cosmic rays or other forms of radiation and would not put off non-Korean astronauts with its pungent smell.

    Their so-called space kimchi won approval this month from Russian authorities.

    “This will greatly help my mission,” Mr. Ko, a 30-year-old computer science engineer who is training in Russia, said in a statement transmitted through the Korea Aerospace Research Institute. “When you’re working in space-like conditions and aren’t feeling too well, you miss Korean food.”

    Kimchi has been a staple of Koreans’ diets for centuries. These days, South Koreans consume 1.5 metric tons a year. Until recently, homemakers would prepare the dish by early winter, then bury the ingredients underground in huge clay pots. Now, many buy their kimchi at the store and keep it in special kimchi refrigerators, which help regulate the fermentation process.

    It is hard to overstate kimchi’s importance to South Koreans, not just as a mainstay of their diet, but as a cultural touchstone. As with other peoples attached to their own national foods, South Koreans define themselves somewhat by the dish, which is most commonly made with cabbage and other vegetables and a variety of seasonings, including red chili peppers.

    Many of them say their fast-paced lives, which helped build their country’s economy into one of the biggest in the world in a matter of decades, owe much to the invigorating qualities of kimchi. Some take a kind of macho pleasure watching novices’ eyes water when the red chili makes contact with their throats the first time. And when Korean photographers try to organize the people they wish to take pictures of, they yell, “Kimchiiii.”

    The developers of the “space kimchi,” meanwhile, say their research will continue to benefit South Korea in a practical way even after the country’s national pride is burnished by Mr. Ko’s historic mission.

    “During our research, we found a way to slow down the fermentation of kimchi for a month so that it can be shipped around the world at less cost,” Mr. Lee said. “This will help globalize kimchi.”

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    The 3-Kilometer-Wide Art Project That Few Have Seen

    三公里寬藝術計畫 得幸目睹者不多

    By Jori Finkel

    LOS ANGELES–Two years ago, not long after he turned 45, Ed Sweeney made a list of things to do before he died. Take his wife to Machu Picchu. Take his young son to see the space shuttle launch. And, what is proving to be most challenging, visit the Roden Crater, an extinct volcano northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona, that James Turrell has been transforming into a work of perceptual and celestial art since the late 1970s.
    兩年前,艾德‧史威尼剛滿45歲後不久- ,他開了一張生前必做事情的清單。- 老婆到馬丘比丘。帶小兒子參觀太空- 發射。還有,現在證明最難辦到的事- :參觀「羅登火山口」,那是亞利桑- 州佛拉格史塔福東北部的一座死火山- 從1970年代末期起,詹姆斯‧特瑞爾- 一直在將它轉變成感性與天體藝術作- 。

    A corporate pilot who lives near Los Angeles, Mr. Sweeney often flies over the volcano field near Flagstaff en route to Florida or Texas. He believes he has seen the Roden Crater from the air. So he visited the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, which gave him the number of the Skystone Foundation, which administers Mr. Turrell’s crater project.
    住在洛杉磯附近,擔任企業專機駕駛- 的史威尼,在前往佛羅里達或德州途- ,經常飛越位在佛拉格史塔福附近的- 這片火山區。他自認曾經在空中看過- 登火山口。於是他拜訪佛拉格史塔福- 會,商會給他「天石基金會」的電話- ,這個基金會主管特瑞爾的火山口計- 。

    A woman answered the phone. Mr. Sweeney received the official line: The crater would not be open to the public until 2011.
    接電話的是一名女士。史威尼得到一- 官方答覆:火山口2011年才對大眾開放- 。

    This makes the crater, in the logic of the art world, one of the hottest tickets around. Since Mr. Turrell bought the 400,000-year-old, 3-kilometer-wide crater in 1979 and began moving tons of earth to carve out different kinds of viewing chambers and tunnels – making his art of light, sky and astronomical events instead of, say, paint and canvas – anticipation has been building. Writers have compared it to Stonehenge and the Mexican pyramids.
    根據藝術界的邏輯,這使火山口變得- 加吊人胃口。特瑞爾1979年買下這個已- 有40萬年歷史、3公里寬的火山口後,- 開始搬動一噸噸的泥土,鑿成種種不- 的觀景室與隧道,使得他以光線、蒼- 穹與天文大事構成的藝術(而不是,- 例說,用油彩與畫布完成的藝術)備- 外界期待。作家將它與英國的巨石群- 以及墨西哥的金字塔相提並論。

    The question is when it will open to the public. After early reports that it would be completed in the late 1980s, that date has been pushed back several times for financial and artistic reasons. Mr. Turrell said in a statement issued by e-mail: “Visits are now restricted to those who already have supported my work or the work on the Crater. This is how it gets done. It will open to the public when finished. Your patience is no greater than mine.” He signed the message with a tag line he has used on T-shirts: “Sooner or later … Roden Crater.”
    問題是火山口何時才對大眾開放。早- 的報導說,火山口將於1980 年代末期完成,但是因為財務與藝術- 由,日期已數度推遲。特瑞爾透過電- 郵件發表聲明說:「目前僅限贊助過- 我的作品或是贊助火山口這項作品的- 參觀。情況就是這樣。作品完成才會- 外開放。請耐心等待。」在電郵訊息- 的簽名位置上,特瑞爾留下他在T恤上- 過的標語:「遲早…羅登火山口見」- 。

    It appears that Mr. Turrell’s dedication has been inspiring something similar from his fans. Eric Lindeman, an environmental designer from Los Angeles, visited the crater a few years ago when he was a student at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He toured the area with two friends and his sister in his Chevy Suburban. After stopping at the Grand Canyon he persuaded them to try to find the Roden Crater.
    情況似乎是,特瑞爾的專心致志也感- 了他的粉絲。洛杉磯環境設計師艾里- ‧林德曼幾年前參觀過火山口,當時- 他還是加州巴沙迪那「藝術中心設計- 院」學生。他與兩名友人及姊姊共乘- 的雪佛蘭Suburban遊覽那個地區。在大- 谷停留後,他說服他們試著找尋羅登- 火山口。

    Given the lack of detailed maps it was not easy. They had to do some sleuthing, matching topographical maps in the Flagstaff library to an image once published in a magazine. They started driving, until it got dark and they decided to camp out. When they woke, they realized they were closer than they thought.
    因為沒有詳圖,所以事情並不容易。- 們得做些偵查的工作,將佛拉格史塔- 圖書館中的地形圖和曾在一本雜誌上- 刊登的圖像相互比對。他們開始開車- 直到天黑,並決定紮營。醒來時,發- 他們比想像中更靠近火山口。

    “It was the most surreal, magical moment,” Mr. Lindeman said. “As the sun was coming up, we realized we were on the south side of the crater looking north at it.”
    林德曼說:「那真是最超現實、最幻- 般的一刻。太陽升起時,我們發現自- 在火山口的南端,面北就看見它。」-

    From there, he said, luck was on his side; every path led to the lip of the crater, and every gate was open. It was only when they stopped the car that a construction manager started questioning them. Evidently he liked their answers and enthusiasm enough to give them a tour on the spot.
    他說,之後,幸運之神一直眷顧他;- 條路通往火山口邊緣,且每道門通行- 阻。一直到他們停車,才有一位建築- 經理來問話。顯然,他很喜歡他們的- 覆與熱忱,竟准他們參觀整個地方。

    Mr. Lindeman called the experience unforgettable. “To me it’s a great example of art and architecture becoming one,” he said. “I would not hesitate to call it one of the natural wonders of the world.”
    林德曼說,那是一次畢生難忘的經驗- 他說:「對我來說,那是藝術與建築- 而為一的一個偉大例子。我會毫不遲- 疑的說,那是世界自然奇觀之一。」

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    Work to Do, But Sights To See, Too

    工作休閒同步 出差兼顧觀光

    By Sharon McDonnell

    As work is increasingly intruding on leisure time, many business travelers are finding ways to turn that equation around – combining their travel for work with time for cultural and historical sightseeing.
    工作愈來愈侵犯休閒時間,很多商務- 客逐漸找出扭轉那種關係的方法:整- 因公出差的行程和文化歷史觀光的時- 間。

    “Cultural tourism can be an extension of business, it’s not just fluff,” said Patricia Martin, a marketing consultant and author of “Ren Gen: Renaissance Generation” (Platinum Press, 2007). “Today, a person’s knowledge is the new currency, and travel and cultural experiences are two of the most enlightening things they can do, enabling them to bring new information and insights into the workplace.”
    「文化觀光可以是商務的延伸,並非- 無意義的消遣,」行銷顧問兼《文藝- 興的一代》(白金出版社,2007年)- 者派翠西亞‧馬丁說:「今天,一個- 的知識就是新通貨,他們所能做的事- 情中,旅行和文化體驗最有啟發性,- 使他們把新資訊和深刻的見解帶進職- 。」

    Her book describes the rise of what she calls the “cultural consumer,” who joins book clubs, attends concerts and shows a renewed enthusiasm for learning, largely fueled by the Internet and a convergence of business with the arts, education and entertainment.
    她的書描述她所謂「文化消費者」的- 起,這類人士加入讀書會、去聽音樂- ,對學習展現新的熱情,而激起這股- 熱情的主要是網路及商業和藝術、教- 、娛樂的合流。

    Joyce Sensmeier, a vice president at Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, a trade organization, is one of those cultural consumers. When she traveled to Brisbane, Australia, in late August to attend the World Congress on Health Informatics, it was her first visit to the country. So she tacked on five extra days before the five-day conference to squeeze in a symphony concert of “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff at the Sydney Opera House and a behind-the-scenes tour of the opera house, as well as visits to museums, art galleries and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Ms. Sensmeier also said she took her husband along on the trip.
    業界組織「健康照護資訊及管理系統- 會」副總裁喬伊絲‧桑斯梅爾就是那- 文化消費者。她八月下旬前往澳洲布- 里斯班參加世界衛生資訊學大會,那- 她首次訪問澳洲,所以她在五天會期- 前多加五天行程,擠進雪梨歌劇院聆- 賞交響樂團演奏卡爾.奧福的「布蘭- 歌」,並參加歌劇院幕後之旅,還參- 許多博物館、美術館和皇家植物園。- 桑斯梅爾還說,她這次旅行和老公結- 而行。

    If Ms. Sensmeier’s business trips resemble vacations, the reverse is true as well. She always brings her laptop, cellphone and BlackBerry on vacation. “It’s really helped me to stay connected without having to be totally immersed in work,” she said about her BlackBerry.
    如果桑斯梅爾的商務旅行類似度假,- 過來說也成立。她每次度假總是帶著- 記型電腦、手機和黑莓機。她談到自- 己的黑莓機時說:「它真的幫我和外- 保持連絡,不會完全埋在工作裡。」

    Tom Ingrassia, the owner of a talent agency in Holden, Massachusetts, said he and his wife accompanied a client who is a classical organist on a three-day concert tour in Denmark and Sweden, and extended their stay for a three-week tour of both countries. Mr. Ingrassia said they toured the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, Tivoli Gardens Fredericksburg Palace and Viking burial grounds on an island in the Stockholm archipelago.
    麻州荷登人力仲介公司老闆湯姆‧英- 拉西亞說,他和太太陪同一個古典風- 演奏家客戶到丹麥和瑞典進行三天音- 樂會行程,順便把停留時間延長為三- 的兩國之旅。英格拉西亞說,他們參- 了安徒生紀念館、堤弗利花園、菲德- 利克斯堡宮,及位於斯德哥爾摩群島- 個小島上的維京墳場。

    “It’s soul-satisfying for me, especially because my background is in history,” Mr. Ingrassia said. “Even if you’re on a very focused business trip, I feel you need to see a little bit of the places you’re visiting. It keeps me fresh and alive.”
    「那使我的心靈十分滿足,尤其因為- 是學歷史的,」英格拉西亞說:「就- 是進行任務非常明確的商務旅行,我- 也覺得需要稍微看看自己訪問的地方- 那使我神清氣爽,充滿活力。」

    As a business owner, he said he had control over his time and schedule, but even during his 25 years as a college administrator, he always tried to reserve personal time. “After umpteen hours a day sitting at student recruitment fairs and conferences, I knew I could look forward to seeing a museum afterward.”
    身為公司老闆,他說,他對自己的時- 和行事曆有控制權,但擔任大學行政- 員25年期間,他也總是努力保留個人- 間。「一天花很長的時間坐在招生博- 覽會會場和會議室後,我知道自己可- 滿心期盼之後能去參觀博物館。」

    Mary McDonald, a management consultant with her own practice based in Austin, Texas, has managed to combine Oktoberfest festivities in Munich with a business meeting in Stuttgart, three hours away, and a visit to the Louvre in Paris with a meeting in Montpellier, a five-hour drive away. She once added a week of sightseeing to a three-day business trip to Hong Kong for a telecommunications client.
    在德州奧斯丁開管理顧問公司的瑪麗- 麥唐納,曾設法把自己參加慕尼黑德- 啤酒節的活動與三小時車程外的司徒- 加商務會議結合,還把參觀巴黎羅浮- 搭上五小時車程外蒙特佩利爾市的會- 行程。她有一次到香港商務旅行三天- ,與一位電信客戶會談,順便加入一- 期的觀光行程。

    When about to travel to a destination for the first time, Ms. McDonald said, “I try to make it more interesting, and consider what will appeal to me intellectually and emotionally.”
    麥唐納說,去初次造訪的地方時,「- 努力使旅行更有趣,並思考哪些事在- 智和情感上對我有吸引力」。

    When Joachim de Posada, a motivational speaker and consultant with offices in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Miami, was invited to Taiwan by the International Trade Institute to discuss his book, “Don’t Eat the Marshmallow ... Yet! The Secret to Sweet Success in Work and Life,” he asked that a guide meet him on his 6 a.m. arrival. After breakfast, he was then given an early tour of Taipei, including a museum as it opened for the day.
    激勵大師、在波多黎各首府聖胡安及- 國邁阿密都有辦公室的顧問喬辛‧迪- 波沙達獲得台灣對外貿易發展協會國- 際企業人才培訓中心邀請,在台灣討- 他的書《先別急著吃棉花糖!工作與- 生得以成功的祕訣》,他要求導遊在- 上午六點他飛抵台灣時與他會合。吃- 早餐後,一早就在台北觀光,包括參- 當天開放的一座博物館。

    A diligent student of delayed gratification, Mr. de Posada postponed the nap he ordinarily would have taken after he arrived early in the morning. “Instead of going to my hotel to rest for my speech at 4 p.m., I wanted to see the sights,” he said.
    孜孜追尋「延後滿足」的波沙達,推- 他一大早到達一個地方通常會小睡的- 慣,「我沒有到旅館休息,準備下午- 四點的演講,反而跑去觀光,」他說-

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    The Search for Sleep On Lengthy Flights


    By Joe Sharkey

    After the subject of poor airline service is exhausted, sleep, or the difficulty of getting enough of it, is what frequent business travelers talk about most.
    將差勁的航空公司服務嫌到沒力之後- 經常出差的人聊最多的話題是在飛機- 睡覺,或在飛機上要睡到飽有多難。-

    Once in an airport bar, a senior oil field worker, who traveled constantly, described to me his predicament on an 18-hour nonstop trip to Asia.
    有次在一個機場吧台,經常旅行的一- 油田高級職員,向我大吐有次花18小- 直飛亞洲的苦水。

    “I watched two movies, slept for five hours, ate three meals, got drunk twice, and I still wasn’t there, plus I had a hangover when I did get there,” he said wearily.
    他不勝疲累地說:「我看了兩部電影- 睡了五個鐘頭、吃了三頓、醉了兩次- 結果還沒到目的地,真的抵達時,還- 外帶宿醉。」

    That can’t be the right way to handle those increasingly long flights many people are taking. So I sought out some experts.
    許多人搭機的時間越來越長,這絕非- 確的因應之道。所以我請教了專家。

    “Your reaction time, your mood, your vigilance, your memory, your executive functioning are all affected adversely by not sleeping enough or having sleep that’s fragmented by having to wake up and start breathing again,” said Dr. Barbara Phillips, a professor of medicine at the University of Kentucky and medical director of the university’s Good Samaritan Health Care Sleep Laboratory.
    肯塔基大學醫學教授與該校「好撒馬- 亞人醫療睡眠實驗室」醫學主任芭芭- ‧菲利普說:「睡眠不足,或是必須- 醒來換氣而導致睡眠斷斷續續時,對- 的反應時間、情緒、警覺性、記憶、- 行能力都有負面影響。」

    Apnea, an ailment in which sleep is interrupted when the breathing passage constricts, is one of the major problems turning up in sleep medicine, said Dr. Phillips.
    菲利普說,睡眠呼吸中止症,一種呼- 道阻塞造成睡眠中斷的疾病,是睡眠- 學一大明顯問題。

    Another is jet lag, when the body’s biological clock does not correspond with local time – though travelers are far less likely to seek medical attention for that.
    另一個問題是時差,身體的生理時鐘- 當地的時間不合。不過,很少旅客因- 時差就醫。

    Many business travelers try to deal with jet lag and the difficulty of sleeping on planes by taking prescription medications like Ambien, whose generic name is zolpidem.
    許多商務旅客會試圖使用處方藥,如- 名為佐沛眠的安眠藥Ambien,解決時差- 飛機上睡不好的問題。

    Dr. Phillips cautions that its effects can last seven hours, creating a potential problem “when you’re on a five-hour flight to Atlanta.”
    菲利普警告說,Ambien的藥效可持續七- 時,飛亞特蘭大只要五小時,服用可- 就會出問題。

    Greg Belenky, director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center at the University of Washington, approves of the judicious use of medications like Ambien. He disapproves of alcohol as a sleep inducer on long flights.
    華盛頓大學睡眠與表現研究中心主任- 雷格‧貝蘭奇贊成審慎服用Ambien這類- 藥物。他不主張長途飛行時藉由飲酒- 入眠。

    “It’s more trouble than it’s worth,” he said. “Any alcohol will tend to disrupt sleep later in the evening.”
    他說:「這樣做得不償失。任何酒精- 更晚時都可能打斷睡眠。」

    One option, he said, is melatonin, a supplement available in health food stores, to mimic “a hormone that’s normally secreted in phase with the circadian rhythm when you’re in the dark and sleeping.”
    他說,在健康食品店買得到的營養補- 品褪黑激素是選擇之一,它會模仿「- 種按照晝夜律動,正常時在黑暗與睡- 眠時才會分泌的荷爾蒙。」

    Air travelers who suffer from sleep apnea can carry CPAP (for continuous positive airway pressure) machines, which have become more portable.
    患有睡眠呼吸中止症的飛機旅客,可- 攜帶已變得更方便攜帶的正壓呼吸輔- 器CPAP(連續式正壓呼吸輔助)。

    “The machines have shrunk by a third in size in the last few years,” said Johnny Goodman, co-founder (with his father, John Goodman) of CPAP.com, a retailer of portable medical devices to treat sleep apnea.
    販售治療睡眠呼吸中止症攜帶型醫療- 置的零售商CPAP.com 的共同創辦人強尼‧古德曼說:「這- 機器這幾年來縮小了三分之一。」他- 父親約翰‧古德曼共同創辦公司。

    The devices work like a reverse vacuum cleaner, pumping air through a hose and mask to keep breathing passages open during sleep.
    這部機器就像是依反向原理運作的吸- 器,靠一根管子與面罩將空氣唧入,- 使用者在睡眠時,保持呼吸道暢通。-

    I used to associate the symptoms of sleep apnea with comedy movies from the 1930s and ’40s. You know, the rumbling snore followed by comic blubbering and sudden cessation of breath.
    睡眠呼吸中止症的症狀,總讓我聯想- 一九三○與四○年代的喜劇電影。你- 道的,就是鼾聲雷動後,接下來是滑- 稽的嗚咽聲,然後突然呼吸中斷。

    “It’s actually not funny,” Dr. Phillips said. Sleep apnea, often the consequence of obesity but many times not, can have a long-term effect on the heart, but also creates short-term problems, including those facing business travelers.
    菲利普說:「其實這件事並不好笑。- 通常由肥胖引起,但許多時候不是睡- 呼吸中止症,不僅對心臟有長期影響- ,還會製造短期問題,包括商務旅客- 現的問題。

    As international air travel expands and nonstop routes become longer – some are 18 hours and more – sleep scientists are working with the airlines and regulatory authorities on fatigue management for airplane crews.
    隨著國際空中旅行擴大,直飛航線越- 越長,有些甚至達到18個小時或更長- 睡眠學家正與航空公司與管理當局合- ,協助解決航空公司機組人員的疲勞- 管理問題。

    As for passengers, all the prescriptions and proscriptions aside, one bit of advice here still holds. Business travelers dispatched by their companies on long airplane trips ought to fly in a degree of comfort.
    至於乘客方面,除了規定及禁止事項- 外,有一項建議仍然適用。奉公司之- 出差的商務旅客,在飛長途時,應該- 享有某種程度的舒適。

    Coach seats make sleep difficult. “It’s a problem sleeping upright,” Dr. Belenky said. “The flatter you can get, the better you’ll sleep. When sleeping upright in a tight seat,” he said, “the body has to push out adrenaline-like compounds to keep the blood flow to the brain adequate.”
    飛機座椅並不好睡。貝蘭奇說:「直- 睡覺是個問題。躺得愈平,睡得愈好- 在硬梆梆的座椅上直立著睡,身體必- 須分泌更多的類腎上腺素化合物,才- 維持血液正常流向腦部。」

    Dr. Phillips added: “My God, when I went to Australia, I took Ambien, melatonin and red wine. And I kind of did have a hangover when I got there. It’s hard to sleep on airplanes. The best treatment is to fly business class – and you can quote me on that.”
    菲利普說:「我的天。我飛澳洲時,- 了安眠藥、褪黑激素,又喝了紅酒。- 達那裡時,還真有點宿醉的感覺。飛- 機上很難睡著。最好的方法是坐商務- 。沒錯,這是我說的。」

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    A Deep Voice May Impart A Genetic Edge

    嗓音低沈男人 基因優良子孫旺

    By Nicholas Bakalar

    A man with a deep voice may have a survival advantage, a better chance of passing on his genes.
    嗓音低沉的人可能擁有生存優勢,繁- 其基因的機率較高。

    Researchers have found that men with deeper voices have more children – at least among the Hadza, a group of hunter-gatherers in Tanzania.
    研究人員已經發現,嗓音低沉的男性- 較多子女,至少坦尚尼亞的哈德薩族- 一個以狩獵採集維生的部落是如此。-

    According to background information in an article published online for the Dec. 22 edition of Biology Letters, most women in Western societies find lower-pitched male voices more attractive, judging them healthier and more masculine. Meanwhile, men find higher-pitched voices more appealing.
    根據12月22日《生物學通訊》網路版刊- 的一篇論文的背景資料,大多數西方- 社會的女性認為,聲音較低沉的男性- 迷人,認定他們更健康,也更有男子- 概。同時,男性認為比較高尖的嗓音- 更有吸引力。

    The evolutionary reasons for reproductive success are difficult to discover in a society that uses modern birth control methods. The Hadza use no birth control and choose their own spouses; this makes them what the researchers call a “natural fertility population” where hypotheses about human reproductive success can be tested.
    在使用現代避孕法的社會,難以發現- 做人」成功在演化層面的理由。哈德- 族不避孕且自己選擇配偶,使他們成- 為研究人員說的「自然生育人口」,- 以檢定有關人類「做人」成功的假設-

    Researchers collected voice recordings and reproductive histories from 49 men and 52 women to determine if voice pitch might affect the number of children.
    研究人員收錄49名男性和52名女性的聲- ,並採集個人生育資料,藉以判斷音- 調高低是否影響子女數量。

    After controlling for age, voice pitch was a highly accurate predictor of the number of children a man fathered, and those with deeper voices fathered significantly more. The researchers estimated that voice quality alone could account for 42 percent of the variance in men’s reproductive success. The quality of women’s voices was unrelated to how many children they had.
    控制年齡因素後,根據音調,可以非- 準確預測一名男子的子女數目,嗓音- 低沉的男性明顯有較多子女。研究人- 員估計,單是音質就能解釋男性「做- 」成功中42%的差異。女性的音質則與- 女數量無關。

    The reasons that a lower-pitched voice gives a man a greater chance of producing many offspring are not clear, but the researchers make several suggestions. Deep-voiced men might have more mates, healthier mates or shorter intervals between births; perhaps they start reproducing at an earlier age.
    嗓音較為低沉,使男性更能有許多子- 的原因不明,但研究人員有幾項聯想- 嗓音低沉的男性或許擁有較多性伴侶- 、比較健康的性伴侶或較短的生育間- ;也許他們在更年輕時就開始生育。

    Coren Apicella, the lead author of the study and a doctoral candidate in biological anthropology at Harvard, said the findings “might not actually translate to anything in our society about reproductive benefit.” We look at many traits when choosing mates, she noted.
    研究主要作者、哈佛大學體質人類學- 士候選人柯倫‧艾比切拉表示,研究- 發現「恐怕無法確實轉化成人類社會- 裡任何繁殖優勢。」她指出,我們選- 配偶時會考慮很多特質。

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    The Dance of Evolution, or How Art Got Its Start


    By Natalie Angier

    What is the evolutionary value of art and why do we humans spend so much time at it? At a symposium at the University of Michigan in October, Ellen Dissanayake, an independent scholar affiliated with the University of Washington, Seattle, offered her sweeping thesis, nimbly blending familiar themes with the radically new. By her reckoning impulse is a human birthright, a trait so ancient, universal and persistent that it is almost surely innate.
    藝術在進化上有何價值,人類又為何- 費這麼多時間在藝術上?10 月在密西根大學一場座談會上,西雅- 華盛頓大學特任教授、獨立學者艾倫- 狄桑艾亞卡靈巧融合熟悉的主題和激- 進的新觀念,提出令人折服的論文。- 照她的估計,藝術衝動是人類與生俱- 的權利,是一項非常古早、普遍且持- 續的特質,幾乎可以斷定是天生的。

    But while some researchers have suggested that our artiness arose accidentally, as a byproduct of large brains that evolved to solve problems and were easily bored, Ms. Dissanayake argues that the creative drive has all the earmarks of being an adaptation on its own. The making of art consumes enormous amounts of time and resources, she observed, an extravagance you wouldn’t expect of an evolutionary afterthought.
    某些研究者指出,人類產生藝術特質- 個意外,是大腦進化解決問題後容易- 得無聊的附帶產物,狄桑艾亞卡則主- 張,創作驅動力本身就具有自我調適- 所有特徵。她說,藝術創作耗費龐大- 時間和資源,人類在演化過程中不可- 能有此大手筆的餘裕。

    What might that deep-seated purpose of art-making be? Geoffrey Miller and other theorists have proposed that art serves as a sexual display, a means of flaunting one’s talented palette of genes. Again, Ms. Dissanayake has other ideas. To contemporary Westerners, she said, art may seem detached from the real world. But among traditional cultures and throughout most of human history, she said, art has also been a profoundly communal affair, of harvest dances, religious pageants, quilting bees, the passionate town rivalries that gave us the spires of Chartres, Reims and Amiens.
    根深柢固的藝術創作意圖會是什麼?- 弗瑞‧米勒和其他理論家曾提一說,- 為藝術是性的誇示,是炫耀某人創作- 基因的一種方式。狄桑艾亞卡再度提- 不同見解。她說,對當代西方人而言- 藝術看起來可能抽離現實世界。但她- 說,在傳統文化之間,以及在人類大- 分歷史裡,藝術也一直是一種深入社- 的活動,豐收舞,宗教慶典,拼布聚- 會,充滿激情的城鎮對抗甚至給了我- 夏特勒、蘭斯和亞眠的尖塔。

    Art, she and others have proposed, did not arise to spotlight the few, but rather to summon the many to come join the parade. Through singing, dancing, painting, telling fables and otherwise engaging in what Ms. Dissanayake calls “artifying,” people can be quickly and ebulliently drawn together, and even strangers persuaded to treat one another as kin. Through the harmonic magic of art, the relative weakness of the individual can be traded up for the strength of the hive, cohered into a social unit ready to take on the world.
    她和另外幾位學者說,藝術的興起並- 是為了凸顯少數個人,而是號召多數- 加入活動行列。經由歌唱、舞蹈、繪- 畫、講古和狄桑艾亞卡稱為「藝術化- 的其他活動,人們興高采烈地快速聚- 一起,甚至陌生人都受感召而像家人- 般彼此相待。透過藝術那種不可思議- 和諧力量,個人相對的脆弱可以換成- 體的力量,凝聚成一個準備對抗世界- 的社會單位。

    As David Sloan Wilson, an evolutionary theorist at Binghamton University, said, the only social elixir of comparable strength is religion, another impulse that spans cultures and time.
    如同賓漢頓大學演化理論學家大衛‧- 隆‧威爾森所說,唯一具有與此相同- 量的社會萬靈丹是宗教,宗教是另一- 個跨越文化和時代的驅動力。

    Perhaps the most radical element of Ms. Dissanayake’s evolutionary framework is her idea about how art got its start. She suggests that many of the basic phonemes of art, the stylistic conventions and tonal patterns, can be traced back to the most primal of collusions – the intimate interplay between mother and child.
    狄桑艾亞卡所提演化架構中最激進的- 素,或許是她對藝術如何開始的見解- 依她設想,藝術的許多基本元素、風- 格傳統和調性模式,都可追溯至最原- 的親密關係:母子間的親密互動。

    After studying hundreds of hours of interactions between infants and mothers from many different cultures, Ms. Dissanayake and her collaborators have identified universal operations that characterize the mother-infant bond. They are visual, gestural and vocal cues that arise spontaneously and unconsciously between mothers and infants: the calls and responses, the widening of the eyes, the exaggerated smile, the repetitions and variations
    研究過許多不同文化的數百個小時親- 互動後,狄桑艾亞卡和共同研究者辨- 出母子連心的普遍運作模式,就是母- 親和幼兒之間下意識的自發眼神、手- 和聲音暗示:呼喚與回應,睜大眼睛- 誇張的微笑,以及這些因素的重複和- 變化。

    To Ms. Dissanayake, the tightly choreographed rituals that bond mother and child look a lot like the techniques and constructs at the heart of much of our art. “These operations of ritualization, these affiliative signals between mother and infant, are aesthetic operations, too,” she said in an interview. “And aesthetic operations are what artists do. Knowingly or not, when you are choreographing a dance or composing a piece of music, you are formalizing, exaggerating, repeating, manipulating expectation and dynamically varying your theme.”
    對狄桑艾亞卡來說,母子相連密切配- 的行為模式,看起來很像人類許多藝- 創作核心的技法和結構。「這些模式- 化的活動,母親與幼兒間親密聯繫的- 號,也是一種藝術的活動。」她接受- 談時表示:「藝術家做的事,正是藝- 術活動。有意或無意,你編排一支舞- 或創作一首曲子時,就是在為你的期- 賦予形式,加以誇飾、重複、操縱,- 並生生不息變化你的主題。」

    In art and dance, as in love, if you don’t know the moves, you really can’t fake them.
    在藝術和舞蹈,如同愛情,如果你不- 得如何行動,真的連想裝都裝不了。

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    In a World of Carnivores, Meat Exacts a Costly Toll

    世人皆吃肉 養肉代價高

    HERE’S THE BEEF This feed lot in in California can accommodate up to 100,000 head of cattle.

    Published: January 27, 2008

    A big change in the consumption of a resource that Americans take for granted may be in store – something cheap, plentiful, widely enjoyed and a part of daily life. And it isn’t oil.

    It’s meat.

    Livestock’s High Energy Costs

    The two commodities share a great deal: Like oil, meat is subsidized by the federal government. Like oil, meat is subject to accelerating demand as nations become wealthier, and this, in turn, sends prices higher. Finally – like oil – meat is something people are encouraged to consume less of, as the toll exacted by industrial production increases, and becomes increasingly visible.

    The Huge Flow of Animal Waste

    Global demand for meat has multiplied in recent years, encouraged by growing affluence and nourished by the proliferation of huge, confined animal feeding operations. These assembly-line meat factories consume enormous amounts of energy, pollute water supplies, generate significant greenhouse gases and require ever-increasing amounts of corn, soy and other grains, a dependency that has led to the destruction of vast swaths of the world’s tropical rain forests.

    Beef cattle raised for the Harris Ranch Beef Company, Coalinga, Calif.

    Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, recently announced emergency measures to halt the burning and cutting of the country’s rain forests for crop and grazing land. In the last five months alone, the government says, 1,250 square miles were lost.

    The world’s total meat supply was 64 million metric tons in 1961. In 2007, it was estimated to be 258 million metric tons. Per capita consumption has more than doubled over that period. (In the developing world, it rose twice as fast, doubling in the last 20 years.) World meat consumption is expected to double again by 2050, which one expert, Henning Steinfeld of the United Nations, says is resulting in a “relentless growth in livestock production.”

    Americans eat about the same amount of meat as we have for some time, about 227 grams a day, roughly twice the global average. At about 5 percent of the world’s population, we “process” (that is, grow and kill) nearly 10 billion animals a year, more than 15 percent of the world’s total.

    An estimated 30 percent of the earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which also estimates that livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases – more than transportation.

    Grain, meat and even energy are grouped in a way that could have dire results. More meat means an increase in demand for feed, especially corn and soy, which some experts say will contribute to higher prices.

    This will be inconvenient for citizens of wealthier nations, but it could have tragic consequences for those of poorer ones, especially if higher prices for feed divert production away from food crops. The demand for ethanol is already pushing up prices, and explains, in part, the 40 percent rise last year in the food price index calculated by the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization.

    Though some 800 million people on the planet now suffer from hunger or malnutrition, the majority of corn and soy grown in the world feeds cattle, pigs and chickens. This despite the inherent inefficiencies: about two to five times more grain is required to produce the same amount of calories through livestock as through direct grain consumption, according to Rosamond Naylor, a professor of economics at Stanford University in California. It is as much as 10 times more in the case of grain-fed beef in the United States.

    The environmental impact of growing so much grain for animal feed is profound. Agriculture in the United States – much of which now serves the demand for meat – contributes to nearly three-quarters of all water-quality problems in the nation’s rivers and streams.

    Because the stomachs of cattle are meant to digest grass, not grain, cattle raised industrially thrive only in the sense that they gain weight quickly. This diet made it possible to remove cattle from their natural environment and encourage the efficiency of mass confinement and slaughter. But it causes enough health problems that administration of antibiotics is routine, so much so that it can result in antibiotic-resistant bacteria that threaten the usefulness of medicines that treat people. It also leads to tainted meat. A California meat company this month issued the largest beef recall in United States history, about 65 million kilograms.

    Experts say it is unlikely price spikes will change eating habits, but perhaps the combination of deforestation, pollution, climate change, starvation, heart disease and animal cruelty will gradually encourage the simple daily act of eating more plants and fewer animals.

    Mark W. Rosegrant, director of environment and production technology at the nonprofit International Food Policy Research Institute, says he foresees “a stronger public relations campaign in the reduction of meat consumption – one like that around cigarettes – emphasizing personal health, compassion for animals, and doing good for the poor and the planet.”

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    Out of Miami’s Beach Party, a Cultural Oasis Takes Root 邁阿密海灘藝術季 文化綠洲扎根 Reflection of a visitor to the Rubell Family Collection in the Wynwood Art District is seen in an untitled work by Anselm Reyle. By JULIA CHAPLIN Published: February 3, 2008 The art and cocktail bacchanal known as Art Basel Miami Beach was still three months away, but that didn’t stop a hundred artists and their entourages from cramming into a raw and unoccupied restaurant in Miami’s Design District last fall. Red Bull and vodka flowed freely. A noise band jammed so loudly that it seemed to disturb the entire neighborhood. A gang of artists suspended a two-meter-long digital timer from the ceiling that counted down the milliseconds left in the party. 藝術與雞尾酒饗宴「邁阿密海灘巴塞爾藝術博覽會」還要等三個月後才登場,但這無礙一百名藝術家及隨行者去秋到「邁阿密設計專區」,擠進一家看來原始、空蕩蕩的餐廳裡。「紅牛」與伏特加免費暢飲。一個嘈雜的合唱團即興演奏,聲音之大,吵死整個社區。一票藝術家將一個兩公尺長的數位計時器從天花板垂掛而下,讓博覽會的文化派對展開毫秒倒數計時。 A Year-Round Art Party in Miami At the same time, another crowd had gathered at World Class Boxing, an old gym in a strip mall about 20 blocks away that had been delicately transformed by art collectors into a gallery. Guests admired works by international artists like Jim Lambie and Olafur Eliasson as more drinks flowed – this time from the gallery owners’ private wine label. 同一時間,另有一票人聚集在20條街外的「世界級拳擊」。那是個老體育館,在一個迷你商場裡,藝藏家精心改建成畫廊。觥籌交錯中,賓客欣賞著國際級藝術家如吉姆.蘭比與歐拉佛.艾里亞森的作品,這回喝的是畫廊主人的私藏葡萄酒。 Miami, Fla. Since Art Basel Miami Beach touched down on this city’s palm- and condo-strewn shores six years ago, a contemporary art wave has swept across Miami like a tropical storm. Art is everywhere, from the walls of boutique hotels where works by young art stars have replaced the stark minimalism of the 1990s, to what might be the nation’s first contemporary art shopping mall, the Aventura Mall. 邁阿密海灘巴塞爾藝術博覽會六年前在這個城市散布著棕櫚與獨門獨院建築的海岸登陸以來,一股當代藝術浪潮宛如熱帶風暴席捲全邁阿密。從精品飯店牆上,年輕藝術新銳的作品,取代1990年代的純粹極簡風,到可能是全美第一個當代藝術購物商場「冒險商場」,此間可說無處不藝術。 So if you missed all the hullabaloo of Art Basel, with its 43,000 visitors, countless receptions and exhibits crammed into four days in early December, not to worry. A dizzying amount of art and its whimsical after-parties now rages on all season long. 因此,要是你錯過巴塞爾博覽會的熱鬧,未能成為12月初4天內無數酒會、展覽與43,000名參觀者的一員,別擔心,後面還有數不清的藝術與別開生面的會後派對續攤一整季。 “Every gallery and institution plans their best shows during Art Basel,” said Terence Riley, the director of the Miami Art Museum. “But they generally stay up for a few months afterwards. It’s a secret time to see international, museum-quality art.” 「邁阿密藝術博物館」館長泰倫斯‧萊里說:「每家藝廊與中心在巴塞爾博覽會期間端出最好的展覽,但通常會後還會待上幾個月。這是欣賞國際博物館級藝術的私密時間。」 Miami has matured from a fleeting, shallow art showcase into an unlikely cultural oasis. 邁阿密已從一個短暫、淺薄的藝術櫥窗,蛻變成似假還真的文化綠洲。 “The Miami art scene is somewhere between young adulthood and late adolescence,” Mr. Riley said. “It’s no longer a kid, but it’s still happy-go-lucky and trying to figure out what it wants to do with its future.” 萊里說:「邁阿密的藝術景象,有點介於年輕人與17、18歲青少年之間。它不再是個孩子,而且還優哉游哉盤算未來要做什麼。」 Now there are some 70 galleries and counting, from upstarts like the Spinello Gallery and David Castillo Gallery, to internationally regarded galleries like Fredric Snitzer, Kevin Bruk and Emmanuel Perrotin. Tucked between tire shops and clothing wholesalers, their concrete facades are freshly painted in purples, pinks and charcoals – giving the area the feeling of a bohemian frontier, where idiosyncratic experiments in art and commerce are possible because of cheap rents, too much space and plenty of parking. Perhaps not surprisingly, the quality of the work is uneven, ranging from captivating to horribly clichéd. 目前當地約有70家畫廊,從暴富的「史比尼洛畫廊」、「大衛‧卡斯提留畫廊」,到國際知名的「佛雷德里克‧史尼澤」、「凱文‧布魯克」、「艾曼紐‧帕洛汀」畫廊。夾在輪胎店與服飾批發店之間,這些混凝土外牆重新粉刷成紫色、粉紅與木炭色的畫廊,給整個地區一種波希米亞的感覺,因為租金低、空間大、停車位多,特殊的藝術與商業實驗變成可能。這點或許並不意外,作品品質參差,令人驚豔與老套陳腐者雜陳。 Since Art Basel was first held in 2002, Miami artists have been snapped up by galleries in New York, Tokyo and Berlin. Hernan Bas, for example – Miami-born and known for his romantic, vaguely homoerotic paintings – now exhibits at Daniel Reich in New York and Saatchi Gallery in London and is part of MoMA’s permanent collection. And last November three Miami artists – Bert Rodriguez, William Cordova and Adler Guerrier – were chosen for the Whitney Biennial, giving the budding scene a high-profile imprimatur. 巴塞爾博覽會從2002年首展至今,邁阿密藝術家在紐約、東京、柏林畫廊眼中一直很搶手。邁阿密出生,以浪漫、曖昧的同性戀繪畫著稱的赫南‧巴斯是其中一位。他的作品目前在紐約的「丹尼爾‧萊克」與倫敦的「薩奇藝廊」展出,並獲美國紐約現代美術館永久收藏。去年11月,柏特‧羅德里蓋茲、威廉‧柯杜瓦、艾德勒‧葛瑞爾三位邁阿密藝術家獲選在「惠特尼雙年展」展出,給這些才華初露的藝術家高度肯定。 Not insignificantly, the art scene also has the support of Miami developers and real estate brokers, who offer free space to young artists and gallery owners for exhibitions as a way of adding cachet to marginal neighborhoods. 重要的是,這藝術景象同時獲得邁阿密開發商與房地產仲介支持。他們提供免費的空間給年輕藝術家與畫廊辦展,藉此拉抬邊際地區的房價。 “Bank towers, unsold condos, empty office spaces, you name it,” said Nick Lobo, a sculptor in his late 20s. After all, many of the local art collectors are also real estate developers, among them Don and Mera Rubell, Craig Robins and Marty Margulies. 年近30的雕刻家尼克‧羅波說:「銀行大樓、待售的獨門獨院建築、空辦公室,任君挑選。」畢竟,當地的藝藏家不乏房地產開發商,其中包括「唐 & 米拉‧魯貝爾」、「柯雷格‧羅賓斯」、「瑪提‧馬古利斯」。 Even on nights when there are no receptions, the art party rages. At midnight on a recent Friday, a crowd had gathered at Circa 28, a low-key bar that opened in December. 即使沒有招待會的夜晚,藝術派對還是熱熱鬧鬧。最近一個星期五半夜,一群人聚集在去年12月開張的一家低調酒吧「大約28」內。 It happened to be during the Art Basel fair, but there was not a dressed-up socialite or dark-suited corporate sponsor in sight. Abstract paintings hung crookedly on the walls, and young artists sat languidly under a bookshelf – in marked contrast to the hedonistic, nightclubs of South Beach. Outside on the deserted sidewalk, a truck pulled up and opened its flatbed to reveal a portable art exhibit and D.J. booth that began to play lounge music. 當時是巴塞爾博覽會展覽期間,但舉目不見盛裝的社交名媛,或穿深色西裝的企業贊助商。抽象畫歪歪斜斜掛在牆上,年輕藝術家懶洋洋坐在書架下,與南灘夜總會的歡樂氣氛大異其趣。在空無一人的人行道上,一輛卡車靠邊停,打開它的平台,露出移動式藝術展品與D. J.設備,開始播放沙發音樂。 Soon people trickled out of the bar, beers and all. A police car was parked a block away but seemed uninterested. A good clean party is tolerated here, almost protected, in a neighborhood with a history of more serious crime. 很快,三三兩兩有人走出酒吧,還有啤酒等。一輛警車停在一條街外,但顯得無動於衷。在這個重大犯罪時有所聞的社區,乾淨優質派對是容許而且幾乎受到保護的。 關鍵字句 文章主要說明每年12月在邁阿密舉行的巴塞爾藝術博覽會(Art Basel Miami Beach)的歡樂氣氛,說明它是一場藝術與雞尾酒饗宴(the art and cocktail bacchanal),而藝博會六年不間斷舉行,也讓文化綠洲(cultural oasis)開始在當地落地生根(take root)。 當地目前約有70家畫廊林立於商街中,醒目的油漆外觀(facade),予人波希米亞區(bohemian frontier)的感覺。而因為當地房租便宜(cheap rent),空間多,不必擔心停車問題,無論藝術或商業,任何特殊風格與表現手法的實驗(idiosyncratic experiment),在當地可行性均高。 藝博會同時捧紅不少邁阿密藝術家,赫南‧巴斯是其一。他的同性戀繪畫(homoerotic painting)受到紐約、東京、柏林藝廊搶購(snap up)。 

    No Need to Wait for Art Basel. It's an Art Fair All Year Long.

    Miami’s go-go art scene is no longer confined to the four-day December circus known as Art Basel Miami Beach. Galleries, private collections and alternative spaces are popping up faster than weeds, particularly in the Wynwood Art District and the Design District. Here are a few places to view art-fair caliber works all season long.


    The Rubell Family Collection (95 Northwest 29th Street; 305-573-6090; www.rubellfamilycollection.com) seems to get bigger and more impressive every year. Housed in an austere warehouse formerly owned by the Drug Enforcement Agency, the collection recently added a leafy sculpture garden. Check out the wondrous videos by the Miami-based artist Hernan Bas, alongside works by the European artists Urs Fischer and Anselm Reyle, until May 31.

    For emerging young artists, check out Twenty Twenty (2020 Northwest Miami Court, second floor; 786-217-7683; www.twentytwentyprojects.com), a year-old alternative space on a dodgy industrial stretch. It has generated much buzz for its high-grade talent and festive openings.

    The Parisian gallery Emmanuel Perrotin has a satellite location in a former refrigerator warehouse (194 Northwest 30th Street; 305-573-2130; www.galerieperrotin.com). Works by the sculptor Peter Coffin and the French installation artist Tatiana Trove are on view.

    Anthony Spinello, 25, runs the jewel-box-size Spinello Gallery (2294 Northwest Second Avenue; 786-271-4223; www.spinellogallery.com), with trendy openings that often feature graffiti and graphic artists.

    Andreina Fuentes, owner of Hardcore Art Contemporary Space (3326 North Miami Avenue; 305-576-1645; www.hardcoreartcontemporary.com) fills the space with works centered around social and political issues and pop culture.


    You can see tomorrow’s art stars at the Bas Fisher Invitational (180 Northeast 39th Street, Suite 210), a so-called “no profit” gallery devoted to edgy, non-commercial work, started by the local artists Hernan Bas and Naomi Fisher.

    The low-key Moore Space (4040 Northeast Second Avenue; 305-438-1163; www.themoorespace.org) has exquisitely curated contemporary art shows, thanks to the deep pockets of one of its patrons, Rosa de la Cruz. “French Kissin’,” an exhibit of emerging French artists, is on view until March 8.

    For a mix of art, fashion and music, stop by Nektar De Stagni’s Shop (155 Northeast 38th Street; 786-556-3033; www.nektardestagni.com), a boudoir-esque boutique run by the local fashion designer and D.J. An adjoining studio is used by the artist Martin Oppel, who is also her boyfriend.


    Circa 28 (2826 North Miami Avenue; 305-722-1858; www.circa28.com), a bar in Wynwood, is decorated like a gentlemen’s club and is often the spot for after-parties and impromptu musical performances by visiting bands like the Brazilian Girls and Rapture.

    To dance with Miami’s young art intelligentsia, hop over to Poplife (www.epoplife.com), the Saturday night party held at the White Room (1306 North Miami Avenue; 305-995-5050; www.whiteroommiami.com), a sleek club that opened in December on the edge of Overtown, an up-and-coming night-life district.

    The trendy Japanese bistro Domo Japones (4000 Northeast Second Avenue; 305-573-5474) draws a post-opening crowd with innovative dishes like black edamame, and mirin-glazed short ribs. Dinner, about $75 for two including wine, is served until midnight.

    Lost and Found Saloon (185 Northwest 36th Street; 305-576-1008; www.thelostandfoundsaloon-miami.com) is a popular pit stop for gallery hoppers and paint-splattered artists. The laid-back cafe has a campy, frontiersman décor and serves Southwestern fare like “posse energy burritos” ($6.75) and piñon-and-pepita-crusted tofu ($9.25).

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    Planting the Soul of Lyon in the Dubai Desert


    A scene from Lyon, France, a city which Buti Saeed al-Ghandi, an entrepreneur from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, hopes to replicate in part in his homeland. “I also fell in love again with my wife there,” he explained, “and that’s also why I love Lyon.”

    Published: January 28, 2008

    LYON, France – Strolling the streets of Lyon with his wife last October, Buti Saeed al-Ghandi was suddenly overcome by a double wave of love, for the city and for his spouse.

    So Mr. Ghandi, a 40-year-old entrepreneur, decided to capture the magic of the moment by building a little Lyon – back home in Dubai.

    “I travel all around the world, and Lyon is one of those places that make you feel different,” Mr. Ghandi said in a telephone interview. “The people do not live at a fast pace of life. There is an intimacy with visitors. There is so much history and culture, the small streets, the small shops, the old houses. I also fell in love again with my wife there, and that’s also why I love Lyon.”

    Certainly Lyon – with its two rivers, its Gallic-Roman ruins, its 300 Renaissance merchant houses and its gastronomic reputation – is special, even in France.

    In early January Mr. Ghandi, chairman of Emirates Investment and Development, signed a deal with Lyon’s mayor and several local entities to embark on a grand architectural adventure for Dubai, one of the seven principalities that make up the United Arab Emirates.

    The project, temporarily called Lyon-Dubai City, will include a university; museums; housing, hotel and office space; cafes, restaurants, pedestrian malls, town squares, courtyards, a film center, maybe even a church, all inspired by Lyon, France’s third-largest city with a population of about 450,000. As of now, little Lyon will cover 300 to 400 hectares.

    The Paul Bocuse Institute is hoping to set up a branch to train young chefs and restaurant and hotel managers. The Museum of Textiles is poised to open a silk museum. Research is under way to cool outdoor spaces naturally to make strolling bearable during dust storms and 40-degree heat.

    What the project must not do, its participants insist, is clone Lyon.

    “This will not be Disneyland or Las Vegas,” said Jean-Paul Lebas, the project’s planner, who helped rebuild Beirut after Lebanon’s civil war. “We have to make people feel that they are there without copying the architecture of Lyon – that is the challenge. The social will be more important than the physical. The smiles seen on the faces of others will come first. I know it’s a bit virtual, but if one succeeds. ...” Mayor Gérard Collomb was more direct. “We will give Dubai the soul of Lyon,” he said.

    Then there is the issue of alcohol and pork, both forbidden under Islam. Pork-based charcuterie is a staple of Lyon’s traditional gastronomy, while wine is crucial to French dining.

    For Mr. Ghandi, there should be no gastronomic or alcoholic censure. “It’s not an issue,” he said. “We are an international city in Dubai. You give people the freedom to do what they like to do.”

    Not everyone in Lyon is convinced of the wisdom of the project, though.

    “It’s hard for me to imagine how you can capture the soul of the city,” said Jacques Lasfargues, an archaeologist and the chief curator at the Museum of Gallic-Roman Civilization.

    Mayor Collomb will not be deterred. “Dubai already has built ski slopes and islands,” he said. “And if you can do that, you can make rivers.”

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    Reindeer Herders in Finland On Front Line of Wolf Wars


    By Stephen Castle

    SUOMUSSALMI, Finland – Close to the tiny Finnish village of Saaravaara, bloody tracks lead through the snow to the frozen carcass of an 8-month-old male reindeer lying on its side, its neck torn, its underbelly ripped open.

    Saaravaara, near the Russian border, is reindeer country.

    Within minutes, Ilmari Schepel, a local agriculture official, identified the culprit: a wolf. His evidence was the shape of the bite to the animal’s throat and the belly tear; wolves are particularly fond of reindeer intestines.

    This town, a 20-minute drive from Finland’s border with Russia and more than 605 kilometers northeast of Helsinki, is on the front line of Finland’s wolf wars. The fight is between backers of European Union regulations, which are meant to halt sharp drops in the population of wolves and other endangered predators across Europe, and the roughly 7,000 reindeer herders whose livelihoods are threatened by increased attacks on their animals.

    Finland, which joined the European Union in 1995, came under criticism that its hunting practices did not mesh with European habitat directives. So in 2001, the Finnish government tightened its hunting laws to meet European Union standards. Finnish law now states that every kill must be covered by a permit and restricts the number of permits to about 10 percent of a particular predator’s known numbers.

    Seven years later, the populations of wolves, lynxes, brown bears and wolverines in Finland have grown substantially, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Helsinki. In this area, the number of wolves has roughly tripled since 1996, and attacks on reindeer herds have increased more than threefold in the past 10 years.

    The level of anger about the hunting restrictions is high here. In one telling example, Stavros Dimas, the European environment commissioner who insisted on the hunting crackdown to protect the endangered predators, received a bullet in his mailbox from an irate hunter.

    Asko Moilanen, 40, a third-generation herder, said that because of his losses to predators over the past three years, his income from reindeer has been reduced to almost nothing. “Either we should be allowed to hunt or they should pay compensation for the real losses,” he said. “It affects my whole life and my family.”

    Mr. Moilanen, who is married with four children, depends on his wife’s earnings to make a living. “The people are poor here, but I am a beggar. Last year on my tax return, I declared just 100 dollars earned from herding.”

    Herders complain that state compensation for lost reindeer – each carcass fetches about $439 – is inadequate because it fails to take account the remains of those that are never found. The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry says the herders are fairly compensated.

    In much of Finland, reindeer hold a hallowed place in the collective imagination. Farther north toward the Arctic Circle, Lapland is the supposed home of Santa Claus and his flying reindeer. Less sentimental Finns enjoy eating reindeer: fried, sautéed, smoked or cold.

    Before Finnish law was amended in 2001, there were few restrictions on hunting of predators here.

    For its part, the European Commission insists that, under the European Habitats Directive, wolves have the right to be protected. “Men and wolves have lived together for centuries, and there is no reason why they should not continue to do so,” said Barbara Helfferich, a spokeswoman for Mr. Dimas, the European environment commissioner. “We need to ensure coexistence and protect the species according to the law.”

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