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2016/10/28 第149期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 How the Sitcom ‘Speechless’ Understands Families Like Mine美情境喜劇「無言有愛」 抓住我的心
Offshore Wind Farms See Promise in Platforms That Float浮動平台來了 離岸風電勇闖深水區
How the Sitcom ‘Speechless’ Understands Families Like Mine美情境喜劇「無言有愛」 抓住我的心
文/Neil Genzlinger

If you live in a household like mine — one with a nonverbal child — you’re anticipating one television show above all others this fall: “Speechless,” which begins Sept. 21 on ABC. A prime-time series on a major network about “us”? It’s occasion for excitement, and for reflection. What, exactly, do we who live in the “Speechless” universe hope this series will accomplish?

“Speechless” is a classic domestic comedy — yes, a comedy — centered on a 16-year-old named JJ DiMeo who has cerebral palsy, can’t speak and uses an alternative-communication device to express himself. He’s the eldest of three children, and he’s played by Micah Fowler, who has cerebral palsy, a casting decision that alone makes this series stand out.



Minnie Driver portrays his mother, Maya, who like a lot of parents of children with disabilities sometimes turns into a wild-eyed, not-always-rational warrior for her son. JJ has two siblings (Mason Cook and Kyla Kenedy) whose own needs tend to get overlooked, a common thing in such households. John Ross Bowie plays the father, Jimmy, who struggles to keep Maya from sailing off the edge.

When ABC picked up this show last spring, word spread quickly through the chat rooms and Facebook pages where nonverbal people and their parents hang out. The YouTube trailer has had about 1.5 million views. I watched the pilot episode over the summer at Camp Communicate in Maine, which is for children who use alternative-communication devices. Staff members and campers watching with me agreed: Whoever’s behind this show “gets it.”

There’s a reason for that: The show’s creator, Scott Silveri, grew up in a home much like the one in “Speechless,” with a nonverbal brother with cerebral palsy and other health issues.




“It’s a story that I’ve been wanting to tell as long as I’ve been writing,” said Silveri, who has written and been a producer for “Friends” and other shows. “Not so much focused on doing a story about disability; I was really interested in doing a family show and exploring how one family member with a disability affects everybody else and turns them into the specific kind of weirdos that they become.”

It is largely unexplored territory. For decades, enduring TV characters with a disability were rare. Name one from the medium’s first 50 years. “Ironside,” says practically everyone. Name five more? Not so easy.

席維里也是 「六人行」等節目劇本作者兼製作人。他說:「這是個打從我開始寫作以來,就一直想要寫的故事。不完全聚焦在敘述一個關乎殘疾的故事;我對製作家庭劇,以及探討家裡一個殘障成員如何影響所有其他人,最後還把他們變成某種怪物真的很感興趣。」





美國廣播公司(ABC)的新電視連續劇(TV series)「Speechless」(無言有愛,暫譯)是部情境喜劇(sitcom),sitcom是situation comedy的結合字,指的是由數個主角,演出有趣、幽默的情境,且通常是發生於日常生活(day-to-day life)的境遇。

「Speechless」和以往情境喜劇的不同,在於主角是個身心障礙的小孩,這在電視劇中極其少見。現今英文已少用handicapped(殘障的)和crippled(跛腳的),因為有歧視之嫌,而多使用disabled或disability(身心障礙)。本文也以children with disabilities(身心障礙兒童)和 TV characters with a disability(身心障礙的電視角色)介紹,以示尊重。

Offshore Wind Farms See Promise in Platforms That Float浮動平台來了 離岸風電勇闖深水區
文/Diane Cardwell

Offshore Wind Farms See Promise in Platforms That Float

The sun was beating down on the leafy campus of the University of Maine one afternoon last month. But inside a hangarlike laboratory, a miniature hurricane was raging.

Storm-force gales swept over a deep pool of water, churning waves that, at full scale on the ocean, would have been twice the size of those recorded during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Happily for the researchers, the equipment they were testing, a novel type of floating platform meant to support a wind turbine in open water, remained upright through the maelstrom.




True, it was only one fifty-second of the real-world scale. But it was a success as one of many experiments and projects underway worldwide in a similar quest. As clean-energy engineers seek to make offshore wind farms more financially, aesthetically and environmentally viable, they are turning to floating supports to enable wind turbines to move into deeper waters farther from the coast.

Right now, almost all offshore wind turbines require fixed platforms built into the seafloor. Floating turbines, with anchors, would mean new flexibility in where wind farms could be placed, with potentially less impact on marine life — and less opposition from the human neighbors on shore.



“Look,” exclaimed Habib Joseph Dagher, executive director of the university’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center here, pointing to a minuscule figure perched on the bobbing deck. “The water is just reaching his feet.” The Lilliputian plastic platform worker had weathered the storm.

The University of Maine testing is part of an elaborate physics experiment meant to simulate conditions that full-scale floating wind turbines could face at an installation being planned about 10 miles off the Maine coast in up to 360 feet of water near tiny Monhegan Island.



For nearly 18 months in 2013 and 2014, an operating version of the apparatus — one-eighth of scale — sat in the waters off Castine, Maine, sending electricity to the grid. That proved the technology fundamentally worked and guided refinements to the design. Now, Dagher’s team is using the data collected at the lab to confirm the final form, a crucial next step in bringing the technology to market.





本文介紹離岸(又稱海上)風力發電(offshore wind farms)的最新發展。作者用了三個形容「微小」的字,值得一談。

第一個是導言中的miniature,只能放在名詞前面,通常形容某物的迷你版。例:It looks like a miniature version of James Bond's car.或They expect their children to behave like miniature adults.(小大人)。

第二個是minuscule,形容極小(例:minuscule sculptures)或微不足道。例:The risk to public health is minuscule.這個字還有字母書寫體小寫的意思。

同樣形容微小,Lilliputian源自史威夫特(Jonathan Swift)的諷刺小說《格列佛遊記》(Gulliver’s Travels),第一卷介紹的小人國厘厘普特(Lilliput),國民就是Lilliputian,只有15公分高,也可以當形容詞。

與miniature和minuscule不同,Lilliputian還可以指胸襟狹隘(lilliputian minds)的人,真的是「小人」了!狄更斯、夏綠蒂.勃朗特、巴爾札克都用過這個字,向前輩致敬。


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