subway desert

(名詞) 捷運沙漠 - 城市中捷運系統服務不足的地區。亦叫做 transit desert

Lots of the “subway deserts” shown here aren’t actually transit deserts once you take bus service into account.
—Eric Jaffe, “Where the New York City Subway Doesn’t Go,” CityLab, August 5, 2015

What is telling is how much of the city outside of Manhattan is not covered by more than one line — which means when that line fails or is out of service, that much more of the city is in a subway desert.
—Ivel Liverworst, “Interactive Map Exposes NYC’s Sprawling Subway Deserts” (comment), Gothamist, July 12, 2016


zombie statistic

(名詞) 殭屍統計數字 - 儘管經常遭到駁斥但仍繼續重複的假統計數字、錯誤或誤導的統計數字。亦寫成或叫做 zombie statzombie fact

“This is a zombie fact, and it never dies,” said Agnes Quisumbing, senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute.
—Glenn Kessler, “The zombie statistic about women’s share of income and property,” The Washington Post, March 3, 2015

A statistic commonly used when referring to the brain drain is that 350,000 Canadians live in Silicon Valley. However, Dan Munro, a principal research associate in public policy at the Conference Board of Canada, recently researched the number and found through U.S. community surveys and the census that there are no more than 25,000 Canadians living there.

Mr. Munro called the 350,000 figure a “zombie statistic. … It just won’t die,” he said.
—Jane Taber, “There should be consequences for Ontario grads leaving Canada: CEOs,” The Globe and Mail, June 23, 2016



(名詞) 提供隨叫隨到、挨家挨戶載客服務的大眾運輸系統。亦寫成 micro-transitmicro transit

Transportation has a Goldilocks problem. At one end, there is “this mode is too solo:” the single traveler in a space-gobbling automobile. At the other, high dollar, we have “this mode is too big:” either high dollar, fixed guide-way public transit or high dollar road expansions. As a country, we’ve institutionalized these two ends, with less interest for the in-between. But thanks to technology, this is changing. We are on the cusp of widespread microtransit.
—Lisa Nisenson, “Transportation’s Missing Middle,” Strong Towns, March 13, 2015

The first [stream is] on demand public transport initiatives, such as Bridj, a Boston startup facilitating bus rides for commuters, solely based on reservations. A well-known example of the second stream might be Uber, which is using private transportation as a basis for on demand transportation. These two streams together are referred as ‘Microtransit’ and could be seen as a new form of modality, in between private individual and collective public transportation.
—Ron Bos, “The rise of the Microtransit movement,” Smart Circle, September 11, 2015


cobra effect

(名詞) 字面意思為「眼鏡蛇效應」,比喻為「治絲益棼」。

Opponents of our chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, should bear the cobra effect in mind.
—Mike Rowse, “Politicians in China, and elsewhere, should beware the cobra effect,” South China Morning Post, March 30, 2015

The cobra effect is a well known term in behavioral economics, referring to an anecdote from British colonial rule in India. The story says that a British governor, wanting to eliminate the cobra population in Dehli [sic], declared a bounty for each dead snake. To his horror, illegal cobra breeders began popping up all over the city — raising the snakes, then killing them and collecting the money. Realizing his mistake, the governor ended the bounty in order to stop the breeders, which caused them to release their now worthless animals into the city, exponentially increasing Delhi’s cobra problem.
—Ian Evans, “Missouri Struggles With Feral Hogs — And Hog Hunters,” Undark, July 1, 2016


dumpster fire

(名詞) 極度失控的人、組織或情況。

In one of his regular appearances on the sports network, Finebaum claimed that while Miami used to be a college football dynasty, it is now a “dumpster fire.”
—“Analyst calls UM football program ‘dumpster fire’,” ABC News Local 10, October 27, 2015

“Whenever someone was having a really bad day, or someone was completely out of sorts, she’d just go, ‘Oh man, guy’s a dumpster fire.’ Or she’d go, ‘Oh, that whole organization is a dumpster fire,’” Wise recalled in a phone conversation recently.
—Claire Fallon, “Where Did ‘Dumpster Fire’ Come From? Where Is It Rolling?,” The Huffington Post, June 24, 2016



(名詞) 公共和私有空曠地帶 (open spaces) 的長期維護與管理。亦寫成 place-keeping。請注意 (wide) open spaces (開闊的空曠地帶) 與 open ground (空地) 的不同。

For Tom DeCaigny, the SFAC’s director of cultural affairs, the Treasure Island development project isn’t just about “placemaking” — a buzzword in the world of urban planning — but, rather, “placekeeping.” That is, honoring Treasure Island’s past and the communities that have shaped it, while recognizing the incredible alterations it will undergo in the years ahead.
—Sarah Hotchkiss, “City Plans to Transform Treasure Island with $50 Million for Public Art,” KQED, July 21, 2015

Three presenters summarized their perceptions and experience. Roberto Bedoya began by talking about how he’d conceived the alternative frame of placekeeping in terms of “spatial justice.”
—“Human Rights and Property Rights: Placemaking and Placekeeping,” U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, March 21, 2016


black elephant

(名詞) 目前不太可能發生,但每個人都知道確實存在卻又不願提及或討論,或者故意裝作不知道、視若無睹的重大風險。這個片語是由 black swan (極度罕見但會造成重大影響的事件) + elephant in the room (目前存在或顯而易見、但不被承認或被忽視的棘手問題) 拼綴而成。

“Currently,” said Sweidan, “there are a herd of environmental black elephants gathering out there” — global warming, deforestation, ocean acidification, mass extinction and massive fresh water pollution. “When they hit, we’ll claim they were black swans no one could have predicted, but, in fact, they are black elephants, very visible right now.”
—Thomas L. Friedman, “Stampeding Black Elephants,” The New York Times, November 22, 2014

Cybersecurity is like a “black elephant” — a dangerous crossbreed between the “black swan” risk (capable of producing unexpected outcomes with enormous consequences) and the “elephant in the room” (a large problem that is in plain sight).
—David N. Lawrence, “We Don’t Need a Crisis to Act Unitedly Against Cyber Threats,” Knowledge@Wharton, June 1, 2015


bully wallet

(名詞) 霸凌錢包 - 利用金錢來發揮或行使不公平或不道德的影響力。

Beyond the specially designed signs that bear his name over the new tollway plazas, Blagojevich over the last two months has dispensed more than $100 million in grants for various purposes, ranging from bicycle paths and snowmobile trails to park improvements and new ethanol-processing facilities.
—John Chase & David Mendell, “Wielding a bully wallet,” Chicago Tribune, October 30, 2006

The battle between Gawker and the tech titan Peter Thiel has made him look like a spiteful manipulator with a bully wallet.
—Tom Clynes, “Peter Thiel’s Dropout Army,” The New York Times, June 4, 2016



(名詞) 土壤和積雪之間的夾層 - 是許多物種冬天的庇護所。這個字是由 subnivean (積雪的下方) + refugium (庇護的地方) 拼綴而成。


With the heavy snow starting in mid-January, I predicted the critters of the subnivium would have an easy time of munching on the garden shrubbery, and that certainly came true, at least in our area.
—Fred Gralenski, “Quoddy Nature Notes (4/20/15),” The Middleton Stream Team, April 20, 2015

The small area between the snowpack and the ground, called the subnivium (from the Latin nivis for snow, and sub for below), might be the most important ecosystem that you have never heard of.
— Kimberly Thompson, “Beneath the snowpack lies a secret ecosystem: the subnivium,” Aeon, May 31, 2016


vertical forest

(名詞) 垂直叢林 - 設計方式可使所有陽台或大多數陽台都能種樹的高樓大廈。

Today, the development has 360,000 square meters, or 3.9 million square feet, of residential, office, retail and cultural space. Among them are the two towers of Bosco Verticale, or Vertical Forest, named for the hundreds of full-size trees to be planted on the buildings’ balconies.
—Eric Sylvers, “For Evidence of a Rebound in Milan, Just Look Up,” The New York Times, March 13, 2014

Modern architects have long dreamed of building vertical forests. Now, growing urban density and the strain it puts on green space are pushing their vision forward, here and abroad.
—Alex Bozikovic, “Green mile,” The Globe and Mail, May 11, 2016

vertical forest

義大利米蘭的 Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest)。圖片來源:Wikimedia