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2020/04/24 第300期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 No Cell Service. No Wi-Fi. Just Childhood 手機不通、沒無線網路的童年 不在社群媒體訊息轟炸下長大
Why Is the Monarch Butterfly Population Declining? 為何帝王斑蝶愈來愈少?
No Cell Service. No Wi-Fi. Just Childhood 手機不通、沒無線網路的童年 不在社群媒體訊息轟炸下長大
文/Dan Levin
譯/李京倫 核稿/樂慧生


Viral dance memes and dance challenges on TikTok largely bypass Green Bank, West Virginia. So do viral sensations like augmented reality filters on Snapchat and Instagram.


And when a Facebook fad had people all over the globe dumping ice water on their heads a few summers ago, Charity Warder, now a senior at Pocahontas County High School, was late to the game.


Sure, Charity has an iPhone, but she uses it mostly as a clock and a calculator. She makes phone calls from a landline, and she rarely texts her friends. Texting and driving? “It’s not a thing here,” she said.


When Charity wants to get online at home, she sits at her family’s desktop computer, which has a broadband connection that is so sluggish, it takes minutes to load a YouTube video.


Welcome to Green Bank, population 143, where Wi-Fi is both unavailable and banned and where cellphone signals are nonexistent.


The near radio silence is a requirement for those living close to the town’s most prominent and demanding resident, the Green Bank Observatory, home to the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope. To protect the sensitive equipment from interference, the federal government in 1958 established the National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000-square-mile area near the state’s border with Virginia.


The observatory’s telescope “could detect your phone on Saturn in airplane mode,” states a sign outside its science center building, but is rendered much weaker if anyone uses electronics that emit radio waves. For those who live within 10 miles of the observatory, the limitations also include a ban on Bluetooth devices and microwaves, unless they are contained in a metal box, known as a Faraday cage, which blocks electromagnetic fields.


Nearly 15 million Americans live in sparsely populated communities where there is no broadband internet service at all, a stark digital divide across America between those with access to uber-fast connections and those with none.


But in Green Bank, where the restrictions are mandatory, the quiet zone has in many ways created a time warp in the mountainous region. Phone booths loom near barns and stand guard on rural roads. Paper maps are still common. Here, people are less distracted by the technologies that have come to dominate 21st-century American life.


At a time when nearly 60% of American teens say they have been bullied or harassed online, and studies have found links between social media use and teen mental health problems, the digital limitations around Green Bank have created a unique kind of modern childhood, providing a glimpse into what it means to grow up without the constant buzz of texting and social media.


Why Is the Monarch Butterfly Population Declining? 為何帝王斑蝶愈來愈少?
文/Karen Weintraub
譯/李京倫 核稿/樂慧生


Western monarch butterflies spend their winters in Pismo Beach and other sites on the central California coast. A few months later, they breed in the Central Valley and as far north and east as Idaho.


But where they go in between remains an open question.


Now, a group of researchers wants the public’s help to solve that mystery.


They would like anyone who spots a monarch north of Santa Barbara this spring to snap a quick picture. The researchers — from Washington State University, Tufts University, the nonprofit Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, and the University of California, Santa Cruz — need photographic evidence, a date and a location to confirm where the monarchs might be living. (Photos and information can be emailed to monarchmystery@wsu.edu or uploaded on the iNaturalist app.)

他們希望,今年春天凡是在加州聖塔芭芭拉市以北發現帝王斑蝶的人,都拍下快照。這群研究人員來自華盛頓州立大學、塔夫茨大學、非營利組織澤西斯無脊椎動物保育協會和聖塔克魯茲加州大學,他們需要照片、拍攝日期和地點,用以確定帝王斑蝶的棲地。(照片和資訊可以用電郵寄到monarchmystery@wsu.edu,或用iNaturalist app上傳。)

“Something’s going on in early spring,” said Cheryl Schultz, a professor at Washington State University, in Vancouver.


Researchers know that winter survival isn’t the issue in the short term, she said. But they don’t know whether the monarchs are not making it to breeding sites, not finding plants to nourish them along the way, or not able to find mates.


The Western monarch population, which lives west of the Rocky Mountains, stood in the millions in the 1980s. In 2017, an annual count found 200,000 butterflies. In 2018, the tally fell to about 30,000 — a figure that held steady last year, said Elizabeth Crone, a biology professor at Tufts University, in Medford, Massachusetts.


The monarch’s decline is part of a larger trend among dozens of butterfly species in the West,said Matt Forister, an insect ecologist at the University of Nevada.


Research pins the loss of Western butterflies on a variety of factors, including development, climate change, farming practices, and the widespread use of pesticides by farmers and on home and business lawns, Forister said.


For example, Schultz said farms used to have rough, weedy borders that were great breeding grounds for the types of plants that monarchs love. Newer farming practices have pushed crops to the edge of the fields, leaving no room for these weedy margins, she said.


Another factor, she said: Some homeowners, eager to attract monarchs, have planted tropical milkweed. Although the butterflies will feed on them, these plants tend to spread disease because they don’t drop their leaves, Schultz said, which may be contributing to the declining monarch population. Native milkweed supports the population without this risk, she said.


※說文解字看新聞 李京倫


population在本文中指某個範圍內某個物種的總數,急遽減少可以說rapid/sharp/steep/dramatic decline,逐漸減少則可以說steady/gradual/long-term decline。要阻止總數減少,可以說stop/halt a decline,復育有成則可說reverse a decline。

pin原意是別針、大頭針,尤其是固定布料用的,或釘、楔、銷、栓等用於固定的細長木頭或金屬。本文的pin something on為非正式用語,是「把某事歸咎於…」。最近常出現在新聞中的pull the pin,則是停止做某事的意思,如:Canada became the first country to pull the pin on Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic.

張曼娟╳周慕姿:鼓起勇氣 朝向無邊孤寂的練習
我們邀請《小王子》的資深讀者張曼娟,以及諮商心理師周慕姿,帶領我們逐一檢視並解讀,那些親密關係屢屢相仿的傷痕、始終無法甩脫的 #孤寂感,教導我們如何在荒漠之中站穩腳步,不再失足、輕易陷落到幽深的情感深淵。

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