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[阅读小分队] 【Native Speaker每日训练计划】No.2781文史哲

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发表于 2020-5-18 10:15:31 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
内容:Inge Zhou 编辑: Vera Pan

Wechat ID: NativeStudy  / Weibo: http://weibo.com/u/3476904471


Part I: Speaker

The Restaurant From The Future
Plant Money, May 13rd 2020

Yong Zhao's restaurant is in one of the hardest hit industries, in the hardest hit city, in the hardest hit country. More than any other, the restaurant industry has been devastated by the pandemic — 5.5 million unemployed or furloughed. Yet, amongst all the shuttered doors, Yong is hoping to buck the trend.

In this episode — we take you into the future as one restaurant chain looks to China for answers, not only on how to survive, but maybe even thrive.

Source: NPR
https://www.npr.org/2020/05/13/855791740/episode-999-the-restaurant-from-the-future
[Rephrase 22:10]



Part II: Speed



On the Blink: The European Union is having a bad crisis
- By failing to face up to its difficulties, the EU only makes them worse
Leaders, May 14th 2020

[Time 2]
Seventy years ago this month Robert Schuman, the French foreign minister, proposed a European “coal and steel community”. With that humble agreement governing two commodities, six war-ravaged countries created a common market that evolved into the European Union.

The journey towards integration since then has been bumpy, but it has had a sense of direction. National leaders came and went, the Berlin Wall rose and fell, economic hurricanes struck and blew themselves out. Somehow, the eu muddled through. It deepened, building the world’s largest single market, letting its people move freely across borders and creating a common currency. It broadened, as 22 states joined the original six, including 11 that had suffered for decades under communism. It cemented peace and spread prosperity. Today, Europe is a beacon of liberal values and an exemplar of a gentler type of capitalism.
[139 words]

[Time 3]
Yet the eu has also lost its way. The pandemic in Europe is not just an economic crisis, as elsewhere in the world, but is fast becoming a political and constitutional crisis, too. This is solvable in principle, but the eu’s members cannot agree on what is needed to make their union more resilient, nor on how to bring about reform. Now of all times, when America and China are at loggerheads, that is a tragic missed opportunity.

Belonging to the eu is supposed to bring countries safety in a dangerous world. Instead the pandemic is testing the bonds of membership, just as the financial crisis of 2007-09 did (see Briefing). One example is the single market. This is governed by strict rules limiting subsidies, but they have been suspended as governments pour €2trn ($2.2trn) into saving businesses from collapse. Half of this was in Germany: a problem if you are a producer based in a country that cannot afford to be so generous, but which must accept German-made goods.
[170 words]

[Time 4]
Another example is the single currency. As countries cushion the effects of lockdowns, their debts are rising sharply. Because governments in the euro zone borrow in a common currency but must finance themselves, these debts could rise to unsustainable levels. The problem is severe in Italy, which was in trouble even before covid-19 struck and had gross public debts of €2.4trn, or 135% of gdp. Italy’s Eurosceptic firebrand, Matteo Salvini, is hammering the eu for doing too little to help; his party may yet ride this crisis to power, where it would thrive on creating outrage and exploiting divisions with far-off Brussels.

A third example is the status of eu law. Earlier this month Germany’s constitutional court questioned whether the European Court of Justice (ecj) should have ruled that the European Central Bank could, in effect, backstop the euro by buying debt. Separately, Poland has disputed the ecj’s precedence over its own supreme court. The eu is built on law. If the stresses of the pandemic weaken the ecj’s foundations, the entire union will shake.
[175 words]

[Time 5]
All these problems can be solved with vision, compromise and reform. Indeed, before the pandemic France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, warned that the eu needed to fortify itself against a less forgiving world. But such sentiments crumble before countries’ different views of what the eu should be for. The prosperous north hates the idea of a “transfer union” that subsidises the needy south—and it hates even more the prospect of mutualising any of the poorer members’ debt. Members cannot agree on what to do about the erosion of democracy and the rule of law in Hungary and Poland. Even before the first death from covid-19, they struggled to forge common policies on defence, Russia, migration and much more besides.

Ominously, the mechanism of reform is also broken. Ever since Schuman’s day, the eu has grown by repeatedly amending the treaties that govern it. But eu leaders have shied away from treaty change since the plan for a new constitution was thrown out by French and Dutch voters in 2005. Leaders have not dared to put through a significant amendment since 2007.

Some northern European leaders recognise that they have a problem. In the coming months they are likely to agree to a one-off increase in the eu’s seven-year budget, but the terms are in dispute—the southerners are calling for as much as €1trn-1.5trn and they want grants, not loans. There is also a proposal to issue common debt as a token gesture, but that is disputed, too.
[248 words]

[Time 6]
If the eu is to thrive, it will have to be a lot more ambitious than the northerners admit. For a start, if it is not to stagnate it will need to adapt, and this means overcoming the taboo against treaty change. Successful treaty change entails a broader acknowledgment that different countries want different things from the union and that such a “multi-speed Europe” can be more resilient than today’s unmet aspirations. That, in turn, requires the eu to complete projects like the euro that are vulnerable to shocks because they are only half-done.

Doomsters have often predicted the break-up of the eu or the euro, only to be proved wrong. Muddling through can go on for a long time—especially now that Britain has shown how painful and expensive divorce would be. In the end, though, political systems are judged by their outcomes. The failure to reform treaties puts a burden on the ecj and the rule of law; German subsidies risk undermining the single market; and economic stagnation will poison the euro.

The Zoom where it happens
So long as the eu remains a conduit for spreading crises, the risk of collapse will be high. To stiffen their resolve, its leaders should reflect on a more remote anniversary. In June it will be 230 years since the Compromise of 1790, when Alexander Hamilton persuaded Thomas Jefferson and James Madison to allow the new United States government to assume the debt of the 13 individual states. Europe does not need to go so far, and a latter-day Hamilton has no obvious carrot to offer the rich states (in 1790 the deal put America’s new capital city in the South). But there is a stick: if Europe’s wobbly members do not get help, the euro and the single market could eventually implode. European leaders currently negotiating by videoconference must therefore be bold. Bigger transfers and significant debt mutualisation would be hard, but as a down payment to avert catastrophe and to set the eu on the path to stability, they would be worth it.
[344 words]

Source: the Economist
https://www.economist.com/leaders/2020/05/14/the-european-union-is-having-a-bad-crisis


Part III: Obstacle


A Jazz Pianist Flips Bach Upside-Down
- Dan Tepfer has programmed a computer to invert the “Goldberg” Variations. Take a listen.
Anthony Tommasini, May 15th 2020

[Paraphrase 7]
In March, the jazz pianist and composer Dan Tepfer found himself confined to his apartment in Brooklyn with all his bookings canceled for the foreseeable future, like musicians everywhere. So he decided to work seriously on an idea he had long been toying with.

Mr. Tepfer, 38, who also excels in classical music and has an undergraduate degree in astrophysics as well as sophisticated technology skills, wrote a computer program. He recorded himself playing Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations, beautifully, on a Yamaha Disklavier, a full grand piano with a high-tech player piano function; his program then played back each variation, but flipped.

Let me explain. The plucky title Mr. Tepfer chose for his bold experiment, “#BachUpsideDown,” suggests that this project is some kind of gimmick. Not at all. The process of turning music “upside-down” has a long historical precedent: It’s the technique of inversion in counterpoint.

Without getting too theoretical, counterpoint refers to music written in multiple parts, or lines, that overlap and intertwine. Sometimes Bach — as well as other counterpoint masters — played around with inversions of lines. For example, a melodic strand where the notes basically ascend in a specific pattern would be turned upside-down, so that the altered line basically descends — a mirror-like reflection.

The results, Mr. Tepfer writes on his website, are like looking at Bach “through a prism”; the music “feels like a new piece.”

Yet at the same time, it sounds eerily familiar, starting with the upside-down Aria — the theme developed over Bach’s 30 variations. The slowly ascending notes in the lower staff of Bach’s original, which outline a G major triad, become, in the upside-down version, a graceful falling figure in the top line. The gently embellished original melody, with its turns and trills, becomes an animated lower line. And the crucial bass pattern, which begins with four descending notes and provides the foundation for the entire piece, now becomes the topmost voice, starting with four rising notes. The music, which Bach wrote in G major, now sounds vaguely like it’s in G minor, though the harmonies are elusive and disorienting.

Bach’s first variation is defined by its jocular rhythmic swing: Hearty strands of 16th notes unfold atop a dancing bass line, until the parts switch roles — and keep on switching. In Mr. Tepfer’s upside-down version, the sway, contours and character still come through.

Mr. Tepfer has been involved with the “Goldberg” Variations for years, as in his imaginative “Goldberg Variations/Variations” program, in which he plays Bach’s work complete, following each variation with his own improvised reaction to the music. (He made an impressive recording in 2011.)

In that case, Mr. Tepfer indulged in “complete messing around” with Bach, as he put it in a recent phone interview. But with #BachUpsideDown he is, he said, “leaving the info pristine,” and just creating its mirror. To do so, however, while leaving the spacing between the notes — the intervals — the same, involved an arcane process that has been called negative harmony.

This gets very complicated. But the theoretical manipulations the conversion entailed are not likely to matter to most listeners, who will instinctively hear the upside-down versions as having an unorthodox yet weirdly familiar allure. And somehow, the rigor of Bach’s writing — its rhythmic and contrapuntal intricacies — comes through vividly. The new minor-mode cast to the overall sound is disorienting. I’d say wonderfully so.

Take the breathless Variation No. 5, which in Bach’s original is, Mr. Tepfer said, a “stunning combination of virtuosity, keyboard gymnastics and drama.” Turned upside-down, it sounds like a demonic pianist is playing some wild-eyed, impish piece written by Prokofiev in a fit of Neo-Baroque madness.

In Variation No. 7, the Baroque dance character of Bach’s music, with its clipped ornaments and jagged dotted-note rhythms, is almost more pronounced in the upside-down version, though the harmonic realm of the piece now seems curiously spacey. In its new version, Bach’s Variation No. 10, a short fugue, may be the strongest example of the “prism” effect Mr. Tepfer described. You feel you’ve heard this music before. Yet the counterpoint seems to roam all over the place and the harmonic language is vaguely like Hindemith in his Neo-Classical vein.

Variation No. 13 is Mr. Tepfer’s favorite of the 15 he has completed so far. Bach’s original is the first contemplative variation in the series, at once sad and innocent. The inversion works “shockingly well,” Mr. Tepfer writes in his notes, with the melody now in the bass and the two supporting voices in the treble. It sounds like a “more ominous” version of the original, he writes — but “just as poignant.”

This isn’t the first time Mr. Tepfer has combined his music-making with his programming expertise. On his latest jazz album, “Natural Machines,” he improvises on standards like “All the Things You Are” while a computer hooked up to the Disklavier he’s playing reacts in the moment and supplies contrapuntal additions.

#BachUpsideDown involved intense work of a new kind, he said, which is why he only finished half of Bach’s 30 variations: “I needed a break,” he added. “I’m about to start again.”

The videos he has created include manuscript pages for the inverted variations that can be printed out easily. Some pianist colleagues have been learning them and sending him videos of their own. Mr. Tepfer has only just begun reading through the upside-down versions himself.

“They’re not harder to play than the originals,” he said — though, he added, “the originals are hard!”
[908 words]

Source: the New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/15/arts/music/dan-tepfer-bach.html

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发表于 2020-5-18 11:30:47 | 显示全部楼层
New words: muddled  cushion the effects  firebrand,  Ominously,  conduit  implode
00:00
The integration of the Europe has been always bumpy, but it has had a sense of direction.
The value of regional integration cannot be underestimated.

00:56
However, the loss of EU came along the way, especially when pandemic caused unprecedented crises on the continent.
eg1: crisis of  single market
01:52
eg2: problems of single currency: debts are rising, which are detrimental to governments in EU.
eg3: status of EU law ( ecj- European Central Bank):
pandemic weaken the ecj’s foundations.
01:52
Optimistically, issues of EU could be solved with vision, compromise, and reform. However, the  divergence of views held by members and
the broken mechanism of reform may make cooperation within EU more challenging。
02:33
Bigger transfers and significant debt mutualization would be hard, but as a down payment to avert catastrophe and to set the eu on the path to stability, they would be worth it.
发表于 2020-5-18 11:37:10 | 显示全部楼层
T2: 1'17
T3: 1'01
T4: 1'04
T5: 1'48
T6: 2'30
OBSTACLE: 5'52
发表于 2020-5-18 12:19:19 | 显示全部楼层
buck the trend: to be noticeably different from the way that a situation is developing generally , especially in connection with financial matters

[Time2]2’30
[Time3]1‘39
[Time4]1’30
[Time5]2’02
[Time6]3’20

European union has been established for around 70 years and it have proved its significant value both in politics and economics. It foster peace and cooperation among countries and spread prosperity. But it started to lost its way. The unprecedented health crisis now is testing the bonds of membership in different aspects. The author provides three examples. First is the single market. Second is the single currency. The debts of some countries rises because they have to borrow capital in a common currency but must finance themselves. The third is the status of eu law. The law has been questioned by members. The author argues that although these problems could all be solved with vision, compromise and reform, the opinion gap among the member countries are so huge that it is hard to resolve easily. However, if the eu wants to thrive, it need to adapt and do more things like complete projects like the euro.

Blink:闪烁
Bumpy: not smooth
War-ravaged 饱受战争
A beacon of liberal values 自由价值的信号灯
Exemplar :样本
Far-off 遥远的
Bolster: to support or improve sth or make it stronger
Eg. They need to do something to bolster their image
Stagnate: to stay the same and not grow or develop
Eg. The electronics industry is showing signs of stagnating after 15 years of tremendous growth
Taboo: (an action or word) avoided for religious or social reasons
Unmet: 未满足的
conduit: 管道
cushion the effects of lockdowns

[Obstacle] 3’48

Gimmick 花招
发表于 2020-5-18 16:09:06 | 显示全部楼层
T2: 1'37
T3: 1'31
T4: 1'44
T5: 1'45
T6: 2'45
发表于 2020-5-18 17:03:11 | 显示全部楼层
大家好,GMAT新人一枚。想跟着阅读小分队练习,苦恼于不知道应该怎么操作。能否有前辈指点一下如何跟练?非常感激!
发表于 2020-5-18 21:52:04 | 显示全部楼层
T2: 00:56.50
T3: 00:52.41
T4:01:01.97
T5:01:32.35
T6:01:36.16
发表于 2020-5-18 22:19:08 | 显示全部楼层
time 2: 43“
time 3: 35”
time 4: 54“
time 5: 1‘01”
time 6:1’36“
OB:6‘25“
发表于 2020-5-18 22:55:07 | 显示全部楼层
Time2 38''
The establishment of European Union and the effort towards integration

Time3 43''
some problems of EU--trade

Time4 1'06
--currency and debt

Time5 1'09
The union has come up with some solutions, but they were all somehow disrupted.

Time6 1'47
the prediction of the development of EU


Obstacle 4'13
The passage talks about the new music form through the flip of classical music.
发表于 2020-5-19 02:51:52 | 显示全部楼层

No.2781
T2 1:09
T3 1:46
T4 2:33
T5 2:12
T6 1:02
R7 4:07
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