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Enid Blyton

2013年04月01日11:53BBC英伦网我要评论(0)
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Hong Kong at night

本周发表的一份学术报告调查显示,香港是全世界最严重的照明污染城市之一。香港某些地区的照明度检测结果为普通黑夜天空光亮程度的1,200倍。有关调研专家表示,照明污染危害健康。BBC记者 Jennifer Pak 报道:

This is the Central District and it's 11 o'clock at night time but if I put on my sunglasses it wouldn't be too dark at all and that's because there are lights everywhere. There's a neon sign across the street at an old antique shop. It's closed but there are one, two, three signs lit up and it's the same thing all down the street.

Now, researchers say that the signs are contributing to what is known as light pollution - you can tell by looking up into the sky. Not a single star in sight. In fact the sky is a light shade of grey because of the amount of light in this area and this is affecting people's lives because above these businesses and signs are apartment blocks. So these neon lights are reflecting off of the windows and bouncing into people's homes. Christine Siu lives near the area. She says sometimes the lights are so bright it makes it hard to fall asleep.

Well, researchers are asking businesses to dim their lights and to turn them off earlier in the evening. Except it's not going to be an easy thing to do. Hong Kong is a place where businesses can offer the same services or sell the same products side-by-side.

The only way they can distinguish themselves from their competitors are through these neon signs to grab customers' attention. The bigger, the brighter, the better. Hong Kong is known to be a place that never sleeps. Well now it seems that's because they never allow the sky to go dark.

Glossary 词汇表 (点击单词收听发音)


Vocabulary: social attitudes 词汇:社会态度

A child reading a book

English writer Enid Blyton is one of the most popular authors in the world. More than 400 million copies of her children's books have been sold worldwide and generations of British children have grown up hooked on her stories of adventure and magic.

But not everyone likes Enid Blyton.

Some people are objecting to plans to put up a plaque where her house once stood in the town of Beaconsfield, as part of a festival to celebrate her life and work. They complain that her books are racist, sexist and snobbish.

One of the problems is that Blyton wrote between the 1920s and 1960s. Since that time British society has changed enormously, especially with regards to how we should speak about race, gender, class and how to bring up children.

Many of her stories are enthusiastic about physical punishment, like smacking, which is now considered wrong by many in the UK. Girls also tend to play a very passive role in her popular detective series, like The Famous Five and the Five Find-Outers.

Working class characters don't do well either. They are often mocked for the way they speak or portrayed as lacking intelligence and social graces.

Blyton is also notorious for her attitudes to race. The baddies are often foreign or gypsies and she wrote about toys called golliwogs. Golliwogs are caricatured images of black people, which are still seen in shops today. But many companies now refuse to sell golliwogs because they are felt to be racist.

Generations of children have been willing to overlook the punishments and prejudice and have avidly read her 5,000 short stories and 150 novels. Children's writer Michael Rosen says this is because she knew what children wanted in a story.

Adults are usually absent in Blyton books, allowing children to be powerful: travelling and cooking for themselves, visiting magic lands or solving mysteries. But in modern British life, children are more than ever being constantly watched and controlled, as people become more security conscious.

Blyton's books are now published with changes, to make them more acceptable to modern sensibilities, and sales are increasing. Regardless of criticisms, Enid Blyton stories are as much a part of childhood for this generation of British children, as they were for their parents and grandparents.

Glossary 词汇表 (点击单词收听发音)

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