Despite what so many people would love to believe, NASA hasn't discovered any evidence of past or present intelligent life on Mars. Therefore, when the Curiosity rover (好奇号探测器) found something suspicious on the Red Planet's surface, they were not only surprised but also a little bit worried.
The thin fragment(碎片) was suspicious enough to guarantee its own name, with NASA's Curiosity rover team calling it the "Pettegrove Point Foreign Object Debris", named for where it was discovered. With no idea what it was or where it came from, the rover's handlers began to worry that it might actually be a piece of the rover itself, suggesting some unseen damage or other issue with the robot. Thankfully, those concerns seem to have been unfound.
In a new update from NASA the object has now been identified as a natural piece of rock rather than a piece of any man-made craft or vehicle. The team analyzed the unusual object with a tool called the Chem Cam RMI. The instrument uses a laser (激光器)to sniff out the makeup of anything that is pointed at, and the results for this particular piece of debris revealed that it's actually just a very thin piece of rock.
NASA describes the inspection: The planning day began with an interesting result from the previous plan's Chem Cam RMI analysis of a target that was referred to as "Pettegrove Point Foreign Object Debris"(PPFOD)，and supposed to be a piece of spacecraft debris fact. In fact it was found to be a very thin slice of rock, so we can all rest easy tonight. Curiosity has not begun to shed its skin!
How this particularly thin sliver of rock got to where it is—and why it seems to be a different colour than the surrounding sand and debris—remains unexplained, but at least the rover isn't falling apart.
You're only three years old, and at this point in your life you can't read, much less understand what I'm going to try to tell you in this letter. But I've been thinking a lot about the life that you have ahead of you, about my life so far as I reflect on what I've learned, and about my role as a dad in trying to prepare you for the trials that you will face in the coming years.
You won't be able to understand this letter today, but someday, when you're ready, I hope you will find some wisdom and value in what I share with you.
You are young, and life has yet to take its toll on you, to throw disappointments and heartaches and loneliness and struggles and pain into your path. You have not been worn down yet by long hours of thankless work, by the slings and arrows of everyday life.
For this, be thankful. You are at a wonderful stage of life. You have many wonderful stages of life still to come, but they are not without their costs and perils.
I hope to help you along your path by sharing some of the best of what I've learned. As with any advice, take it with a grain of salt. What works for me might not work for you.
Life Can Be Cruel
There will be people in your life who won't be very nice. They'll tease you because you're different, or for no good reason. They might try to bully you or hurt you.
There's not much you can do about these people except to learn to deal with them, and learn to choose friends who are kind to you, who actually care about you, who make you feel good about yourself. When you find friends like this, hold on to them, treasure them, spend time with them, be kind to them, love them.
There will be times when you are met with disappointment instead of success. Life won't always turn out the way you want. This is just another thing you'll have to learn to deal with. But instead of letting these things get you down, push on. Accept disappointment and learn to persevere, to pursue your dreams despite pitfalls. Learn to turn negatives into positives, and you'll do much better in life.
You will also face heartbreak and abandonment by those you love. I hope you don't have to face this too much, but it happens. Again, not much you can do but to heal, and to move on with your life. Let these pains become stepping stones to better things in life, and learn to use them to make you stronger.
But Be Open to life Anyway
Yes, you'll find cruelty and suffering in your journey through life … but don't let that close you to new things. Don't retreat from life, don't hide or wall yourself off. Be open to new things, new experiences, new people.
You might get your heart broken 10 times, but find the most wonderful woman the 11th time. If you shut yourself off from love, you'll miss out on that woman, and the happiest times of your life.
You might get teased and bullied and hurt by people you meet … and then after meeting dozens of jerks, find a true friend. If you close yourself off to new people, and don't open your heart to them, you'll avoid pain … but also lose out on meeting some incredible people, who will be there during the toughest times of your life and create some of the best times of your life.
You will fail many times but if you allow that to stop you from trying, you will miss out on the amazing feeling of success once you reach new heights with your accomplishments. Failure is a stepping stone to success.
Life Isn't a Competition .You will meet many people who will try to outdo you, in school, in college, at work. They'll try to have nicer cars, bigger houses, nicer clothes, cooler gadgets. To them, life is a competition — they have to do better than their peers to be happy.
Here's a secret: Life isn't a competition. It's a journey. If you spend that journey always trying to impress others, to outdo others, you're wasting your journey. Instead, learn to enjoy the journey. Make it a journey of happiness, of constant learning, of continual improvement, of love.
Don't worry about having a nicer car or house or anything material, or even a better-paying job. None of that matters a whit, and none of it will make you happier. You'll acquire these things and then only want more. Instead, learn to be satisfied with having enough — and then use the time you would have wasted trying to earn money to buy those things … use that time doing things you love.
Finally, know that I love you and always will. You are starting out on a weird, scary, daunting, but ultimately incredibly wonderful journey, and I will be there for you when I can. Godspeed.
As a Chinese saying goes, "Taste is actually a memory of childhood". Local specialty food may not be popular among all people, but it offers outsiders a glimpse of local culture and history.
Gongcheng "oil tea" is such a kind of food that would be considered "weird" by many first-time visitors to the remote county in the north of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Many people dislike its bitter and astringent(涩的) flavor when they take a sip.
"It felt like drinking Chinese herbal medicine. I never expected that I would gradually accept it afterwards, and even become addicted to it," said a traveler surnamed Zhang who comes from Shijiazhuang in northern China's Hebei province.
Langshan village is said to be the birthplace of Gongcheng "oil tea" whose ideal ingredients are green tea and fermented tea. The village has preserved well its buildings and roads dating back to late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), as well as its traditional way of making the special tea.
Lin Fengyou, 60, introduced the cooking process. She looks younger than her age, and attributes this to the benefits of drinking "oil tea" throughout the year.
The first procedure is to use a wooden hammer to pound the tea while heating it in an iron pot, and then add edible oil and boiled water afterwards. She filters off the solid residues(余渣), and pours the glue-like green tea soup into bowls. Then, she adds salt, caraway seed, green onion, dried rice, fried groundnuts, sliced taro and fried beans.
The taste of the "oil tea" is a mixture of the distinctive flavors of all its ingredients. Local people usually eat it together with glutinous rice(糯米) balls, rice dumplings and glutinous rice cake.
The villagers consume "oil tea" three times a day. The tea soup is a healthy and refreshing food. "The tea soup to us is coffee to Westerners", said Lin. "But it is tastier."
a. pour the glue-like green tea soup into bowls
b. heat the tea in an iron pot and pound the tea
c. add salt, caraway seed, green onion, dried rice, etc
d. add edible oil and boiled water
e. filter off the solid residues
Humans have launched themselves into the outer space. They've landed on the moon. They've built habitable space stations that orbit the Earth. The next giant leap for mankind is to reach another planet – specifically, Mars.
The problem is that it's no easy task. The planet is 586 times further away from the Earth than the moon, and it'll take around 180 to 220 days to reach Mars, depending on where each planet is in its orbit. Such long periods in space have suggested many potential health problems, including hormonal changes, skin conditions, and muscle and bone deterioration (损耗).
Here's where some furry friends come in. A wide range of animals have been in space, from fruit flies and spiders to cats, and dogs. Such experiments began as far back as the late 1940s in first tests to see if living things could withstand the extreme g-force (重力) of a rocket launch.
Mice continue to play a very important part in space experiments, mainly because the animals make excellent test subjects. They're small, which makes them inexpensive and easy to care for. In addition, their size and short life span make it possible to do the equivalent of several human years of tests in a much shorter time. Finally, because mice are mammals, they share many common characteristics with humans in terms of genetics, biology and behavior.
Astromice have hit the headlines recently, as a team of scientists led by Betty Nusgens, professor of biology at the University of Liege in Belgium, found that the mice suffered a 15 percent thinning of their skin after 91 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
This experiment was part of a wider NASA mission (任务) called the Mice Drawer System (MDS). The Italian Space Agency developed the facility, which allows six mice to be housed, monitored, and automatically fed and watered aboard the ISS, among which three survived during the mission.
The mice have participated in 20 separate experiments, to study such effects as osteoporosis (骨质疏松症), anemia (贫血) and heart health.
Results for the 20 experiments are coming in gradually. But it's clear that mice continue to play an important role in the ongoing quest to conquer the final frontier.
If you thought pilots dimmed（调暗）the lights before takeoff to give you some shuteye, think again. Believe it or not, the dim lighting could actually help save your life in case of a plane emergency.
The dimmed lights before taking off the runway and landing are a flight precaution used to help passengers' eyes adjust quicker during an emergency escape. “Going from a brightly lit environment to one that's completely dark would require some time for our eyes to focus and see the escape slide,” Alice Theriault, service director for Air Canada wrote in a press statement. “Since we need to have all the seconds on our side in the event of an emergency, dimming the lights is one of many steps we take to ensure the safety of our customers.”
The phenomenon that your eyes see those strange speckles (小斑点) as your sight adjusts to a dark place after being in a light place is called dark adaptation. It normally takes our eyes about 20 to 30 minutes to see best in a dark room. The brighter the lights, the longer it takes for our eyes to adjust, which is why dimming the plane lights could shorten your “dark adaptation” time since you haven't been sitting under fluorescent bulbs (荧光灯) all flight.
Not only does dimming lights add valuable time to the escape process, it reduces the tension on your eyes if you need to look outside, or see the emergency lighting along the passage. “It helps keep you in the right direction.” Patrick Smith, an airline pilot and author of Cockpit Confidential told The Telegraph. “It also makes it easier for flight attendants to assess any outside risks, such as fire or debris, that might affect an escape.” So next time a pilot dims the lights, just know it's for your safety, even though it creates a gentle atmosphere for your takeoff into the sky.
Popular music in America is what every student likes. Students carry small radios with earphones and listen to music before class, after class, and at lunch. Students with cars buy large speakers and play the music loudly as they drive on the street.
Adult drivers listen to music on the car radio as they drive to work. They also listen to the news about sports, the weather, and the life of American people. Most of the radio programs are music.
Pop or popular music singers make much money. They make a CD or tape which radio stations use in many places. Once the popular singer is heard all over the country, young people buy his or her tapes. Some of the money from these tapes goes to the singer. Wherever the singer goes, all the young people want to meet him or her. Now the singer has become a national star.
There are other kinds of music that are important to Americans. One is called folk music. It tells stories about the common life of Americans. Another is called western or country music. This is started by cowboys who would sing at night to the cows they were watching.
The number of snow geese arriving in the Arctic each spring to breed has risen over the past few decades. At first, wildlife biologists saw this as an environmental crisis, pointing to marshes（湿地） where plants were eaten by the hungry birds. In response, the federal government loosened restrictions on snow goose hunting.
But how do the Inuit, in whose backyard this is taking place, view the situation? A recent plan is giving Inuit wildlife experts the opportunity to lend their knowledge to managing the species. The snow goose study, which is supported in part by Polar Knowledge Canada and led by the Kivalliq Wildlife Board (an Inuit organization that manages hunting, trapping and fishing in central Nunavut), asked the experts to share their generations of knowledge about snow geese and their views on what should be done.
“The community had concerns about controlling the population,” says Ron, a community officer of the Kivalliq Inuit Association, “and Inuit snow goose knowledge had never been recorded. People wanted to pass on what they knew.” Inuit experts disagreed with that, considering it wasteful and unnecessary. They felt hunting more snow geese in an organized way, such as paying local hunters a minimal amount of money and distributing the birds to disadvantaged families or operating a limited commercial hunt by employing local people, would be appropriate.
Inuit wildlife experts will plan to call on scientists this fall. They say they hope to search for a common way forward and that while there may be too many snow geese in some areas, it's not a crisis. Biologists now generally agree that there seem to be plenty of undamaged marshes available and newer research shows that some damaged areas can recover.
“Now that we have recorded and documented Inuit knowledge of snow geese,” says Ron, “when facing the crisis other people will be able to use the information to help manage the species, which is fundamental to dealing with it effectively.”