Cat summoned for jury duty at court/貓被傳喚擔任法院陪審團員

A cat has been summoned to do jury service, even after his owners told the court he was "unable to speak and understand English".

Anna Esposito, wrote to Suffolk Superior Crown Court in Boston, US, to explain that a mistake had been made, but a jury commissioner replied saying the cat, named Tabby Sal, "must attend" on March 23.

Mrs Esposito had included a letter from her vet confirming that the cat was "a domestic short-haired neutered feline".

Tabby Sal had been entered by Mrs Esposito under the 'pets' section of the last census. "When they ask him guilty or not guilty? What's he supposed to say - miaow?" She said.

"Sal is a member of the family so I listed him on the last Census form under pets but there has clearly been a mix-up."

A website for the US judicial system states that jurors are "not expected to speak perfect English". (wrapup)


jury duty -- (n.) 陪審團任務,亦即到法院擔任陪審團員 (juror)。這是美國公民的義務之一。

summon -- (v.) 傳喚。

jury service -- (n.) 與 jury duty 同義。

jury commissioner -- (n.) 陪審團審選官。

neutered -- (adj.) 被閹割的;被去勢的。

census -- (n.) 人口普查。

guilty or not guilty -- (adj.) 認罪還是不認罪。

miaow -- (n.) 貓叫聲;喵喵聲。

mix-up -- (n.) 搞錯;弄錯。

judicial system -- (n.) 司法制度。

juror -- (n.) 陪審團員。


World’s longest-serving den mother/世界服務最久的幼童軍女訓導

When Adele Trapp first volunteered as a den mother for one of Brooklyn's Cub Scout groups, Dwight Eisenhower was President and a first-class stamp cost three cents.

That was 53 years ago. The mild-mannered great-grandmother has been opening her heart to kids ever since.

Trapp, 96, has attended weekly scout meetings of Bedford-Stuyvesant's Pack 263 for more than half her life and has taught kids arts and crafts while offering pearls of wisdom.

In honor of her decades-long commitment, she has just been honored as the world's longest-serving den mother by Guinness World Records.

She overtook Marion Rohner of the Hudson Valley Council Boy Scouts, who served 43 years.

"It's beautiful; it's very nice," Trapp said as she was presented with a certificate of her achievements at St. Phillips Church on Decatur St. this week.

"I'm not out for an award."

This is not the first time Trapp has been a record breaker.

In 2005, when she was 90, she was celebrated as the oldest employee in New York's public school system for her work as a full-time school aide at Junior High School 258 in Brooklyn. (New York Daily News)


volunteer -- (v.) 自願服務;擔任志工。

den mother -- (n.) (美國幼年童子軍小隊之) 女訓導。

cub scout -- (n.) 幼童軍 (8 至 11 歲的童子軍)。

mild-mannered -- (adj.) 溫文爾雅的,溫良恭謹的。

pearls of wisdom -- (n.) 妙語如珠;至理名言。例如:The words from my grandmother's mouth are pearls of wisdom. (從我祖母嘴中說出來的話都是至理名言)。

in honor of -- (phr.) 向…致敬;向…表示敬意。

honor -- (v.) 致敬;給予…的榮耀。

Guinness World Records -- (n.) 金氏世界紀錄大全。

overtake -- (v.) 追上;趕上;超越。

record breaker -- (n.) 破紀錄的人。

public school -- (n.) 公立學校。注意:這是美國的用法 (美國的私立學校叫做 private school);public school 在英國指的是「私立學校」(英國的公立學校叫做 state school)。


The shopping dog/會購物的狗

What to do when you can’t face going to the shops? Send someone else? For a dog owner in China, the solution was to train his pooch to go shopping for him.

Meet Deng Deng: The one-year-old sheepdog which lives with his owner, Zhang Tiegang in Changsha, southern China.

Despite Tiegang being a sprightly 32-years-of-age, he has trained Deng Deng to go to the shop, pick out his food and carry it all the way home for him.

Deng Deng is kitted out with a specially made harness, which comes equipped with two bags where the pup can carry his owner’s shopping.

Although the arrangement would seem to be beneficial for one side only, Tiegang claims that his dog is happy too.

Tiegang said: ‘He just loves to carry things. He started by begging to carry things home in his mouth so I built a little saddle for him and attached some shopping bags.

‘He’s so good at it now that I can just send him to the shop with some money and a list in one of his bags and he comes home with the food and the change.’

Of course, Tiegang did not divulge how Deng Deng communicates what he wants with the shopkeeper, and his lack of opposable thumbs surely makes it tough to handle money, but it sounds like a decent arrangement for both parties. (Metro)


can't face sth/doing sth -- (v. phr.) 不想做某事。can't face going to the shop = can't face going shopping (不想購物)。

pooch -- (n.) (俚) 狗。

sprightly -- (adj.) 精力充沛的;生氣勃勃的。

years-of-age -- (n.) ...歲的人。按照文法,用連字號構成的數量詞,單位須用單數 (在此為 year),即 32-year-of-age,但這種寫法不若 32-year-old (32 歲的人) 來得常見,它們的複數是直接在 age 或 old 後面加 s,如 two 32-year-of-ages = two 32-year-olds (兩個 32 歲的人)。若當形容詞用,則 year 同樣只能用單數,如 a 32-year-of-age man = a 32-year-old man。

pick out -- (phr. v.) 挑選。

kit out (with) -- (phr. v.) (主英) 配備 (常用被動態)。

harness -- (n.) 挽具。

equipped with -- (phr.) 配備。

pup -- (n.) 小狗,幼犬。

shopping -- (n.) 所購買的物品。

shopping bag -- (n.) 購物袋。

good at -- (phr.) 善於。

divulge -- (v.) 洩露;透露。

opposable thumbs -- (n.) 可相對的拇指。

decent - (adj.) 像樣的; 還不錯的。decent arrangement:還不錯的安排。


World's biggest potato/世界最大的馬鈴薯

An amateur gardener has grown the world’s biggest potato.

The prize potato, grown by Peter Glazebrook, tips the scales at a whopping 8lbs 4oz (3.76kg), smashing the previous world record by 9oz.

The vegetable, Peter’s Kondor variety, was put on show at the National Gardening Show in Shepton Mallet, Somerset.

It is not the first time Mr Glazebrook, 66, from Northampton, has hit the headlines.

The retired chartered surveyor has previously held the world record for the longest carrot, after producing a 17-foot long specimen.

He has also been the double Guinness World Record holder for the heaviest parsnip, at 13lb, and the longest beetroot at 21ft.

Speaking before his latest triumph, he said: "The secret to success is starting with the right seed."

"It’s learning how to grow them and putting a lot of effort in and picking up tips from other growers and reading what you can about it."

The potato was weighed at the show’s Giant Vegetable Competition and Mr Glazebrook is now awaiting verification from Guinness World Records. (Telegraph)


amateur -- (adj.) 業餘的。

gardener -- (n.) 園丁。

prize -- (adj.) 第一流的;頭號的。例如:She always does something silly; she's a prize fool. (她老是做蠢事,她真是天下第一號大傻瓜)。

tip the scale(s) -- (phr.) 稱起來重為 (多少),重 (多少),有 (多少) 重;與 at 連用,後接多少重量。

whopping -- (adj.) 巨大的。

smash -- (v.) 打破;粉碎;打碎。

put on show -- (phr.) 展覽中;展示中。

hit the headlines -- (phr.) 成了 (報紙或其他新聞媒體的) 頭條新聞。

surveyor -- (n.) 測量員;勘測員。

specimen -- (n.) 樣品,樣本。

verification -- (n.) 確認。


Boy with 24 fingers and toes/手指頭和腳指頭各有12根的男孩

A 12-year-old boy with 12 fingers and 12 toes won't be having surgery to remove his extra digits - because they are not affecting the functions of his hands and feet.

Ouyang Guangchun, from Songpo village in southern China's Hunan province, is the only member of his family with the condition known as polydactylism.

It is not unusual for children to be born with additional digits, but it is rare for the extra digits to look and function normally.

Guangchun's mother said: "If people don't look at his hands or feet carefully, they can hardly tell any unusualness, as the extra digits are growing so naturally with the others."

Strangely, three months before the birth of Guangchun, his family's sow also labored a weird shaped piglet, which had eight legs, two mouths and four ears.

"The pig died two days later. It possibly was a bad omen to the family, leading to the birth of my son with extra fingers and toes," the mother added. (Orange News)


digit -- (n.) 手指 (finger);腳指 (toe)。這個字平常大多作「數字」解。

polydactylism -- (n.) 多指症。

unusualness -- (n.) 稀奇;不尋常;與眾不同。為 unusual 的名詞。

sow -- (n.) 母豬。這個字亦可當動詞用,意為「播 (種)」,但發音與母豬的 sow 不同。

labor -- (v.) 分娩。

weird -- (adj.) 古怪的;離奇的。與 strange, eerie 等同義。

piglet -- (n.) 小豬。

omen -- (n.) 預兆;兆頭。(a) good/bad omen:好/壞預兆。


Robot conducts wedding/機器人主持婚禮

Robot wedding conductor

Almost everyone stood when the bride walked down the aisle in her white gown, but not the wedding conductor, because she was bolted to her chair.

The nuptials at this ceremony were led by “I-Fairy,” a 4-foot (1.5-meter) tall seated robot with flashing eyes and plastic pigtails. Sunday’s wedding was the first time a marriage had been led by a robot, according to manufacturer Kokoro Co.

“Please lift the bride’s veil,” the robot said in a tinny voice, waving its arms in the air as the newlyweds kissed in front of about 50 guests.

The wedding took place at a restaurant in Hibiya Park in central Tokyo, where the I-Fairy wore a wreath of flowers and directed a rooftop ceremony. Wires led out from beneath it to a black curtain a few feet (meters) away, where a man crouched and clicked commands into a computer.

Japan has one of the most advanced robotics industries in the world, with the government actively supporting the field for future growth. Industrial models in factories are now standard, but recently Japanese companies are making a push to inject robots into everyday life.

The I-Fairy sells for about 6.3 million yen ($68,000) and three are in use in Singapore, the U.S. and Japan, according to company spokeswoman Kayako Kido. It has 18 degrees of motion in its arms, and mainly repeats preprogrammed movements and sounds. (AP)


walk down the aisle -- (v.) 結婚。本成語在此語帶雙關 (punning)。英文的結婚有好幾種說法,除本成語外,其他的說法請參閱「英文資訊交流網」的《結婚的不同說法》。

white gown -- (n.) 白色婚紗。in her white gown:穿著白紗。

wedding conductor -- (n.) 主婚人。conduct wedding:主持婚禮。

bolt -- (v.) 拴。

nuptial -- (n.) 婚禮。nuptial 當名詞用時須用複數型,即 nuptials,後接複數動詞,相當於 a wedding (ceremony)。

seated -- (adj.) 就座的;坐著的。

pigtail -- (n.) 辮子。

veil -- (n.) 頭紗。

tinny -- (adj.) (聲音,尤指金屬聲) 細小的,微弱的。

newlywed -- (n.) (通常用複數) 新人;新婚夫婦。

wreath of flowers -- (n.) 花環;花圈。

crouch -- (v.) 低著頭;蹲伏。

click -- (v.) 點按 (滑鼠)。

command -- (n.) 指令。click commands into a computer:將指令輸入電腦。

robotics -- (n.) (用作單數) 機器人學。

make a push to -- (v.) 致力於;力促。

inject…into -- (v.) 把…注入。

preprogrammed -- (adj.) 預編程式的;預先計畫的。


Solid gold and gem-encrusted £140,000 mobile phone/售價680萬台幣的純金寶石外殼手機

The mobile phone is £140,000
A solid gold and gem-encrusted mobile phone that is worth tens of thousands of pounds has been unveiled.

British designer Stuart Hughes, 38, is to make only 10 sets of the exclusive Privé Phones, which cost £140,000 each.

The phones each weigh 900 grams but are cast with solid 22-carat gold.

Each handset will feature modern phone technology, including internet access, text messaging and colour screens and the ability to watch mp4 videos.

But extra features include an adornment of 76 flawless diamonds and original granite packaging, marked with the number on the limited edition phone.

The phones are eight inches long and three inches wide with an aerial measuring almost four inches.

They weigh a hefty 1,380 grams and include an ion battery that lasts for up to a week. (Daily Telegraph)


solid -- (adj.) 純的。solid gold:純金;solid silver:純銀。

encrusted -- (adj.) 有…硬殼的。solid gold and gem-encrusted mobile phone:有純金和寶石外殼的手機;a jewel-encrusted box:有珠寶外殼的盒子。

mobile phone -- (n.) 手機。亦叫做 cell phone, cellphone。

unveil -- (v.) (新聞用語) 將…公諸於眾;公布。

exclusive -- (adj.) 高檔的;高級的。

handset -- (n.) 手機。與 mobile phone 和 cellphone 同義。

internet access -- (n.) 上網。

text messaging -- (n.) 傳簡訊。

mp4 video -- (n.) mp4 影片。

adornment -- (n.) 裝飾;裝飾品。

flawless -- (adj.) 無瑕疵的,完美的。

original granite packaging -- (n.) 原廠花崗石包裝。

limited edition -- (n.) 限量;限量版。

aerial -- (n.) 天線。aerial 是英式英語,美式英語的天線叫做 antenna。

hefty -- (adj.) 重的;壯的。

ion battery-- (n.) 鋰電池。這款鋰電池待機可達一個禮拜 (lasts for up to a week)。


World's oldest canine/世界最老的狗

World's oldest canine
A Beagle cross named Lulu is the world’s oldest dog after reaching the age of 147 – in dog years.

Her owner, Travis Buckly, 60, has credited the dog's longevity to it's diet of freshly cooked fillet steak, veal and sausages.

Lulu, from Coventry, is now believed to be the world’s oldest canine after the previous record-holder died last summer and Britain’s most senior dog Otto, 20, passed away in January.

Mr Buckly said: "If there’s a steak and a sausage in the fridge you can guarantee she'll be having steak and sausage for tea. That's her favourite meal."

"Lulu always has the finest meats in the house. Sometimes it’s gammon or on the rare occasion it’s been veal. I’m sure that’s why she's lived this long – a really strong diet."

Dog years are calculated as one human year being equivalent to seven canine years.

The world’s previous oldest dog, Chanel, from New York, died last summer aged 21.

The title was then inherited by Britain’s oldest dog Otto, a Dachshund terrier cross, who passed away in January aged 20.

Mr Buckly has now applied to Guinness World Records and is awaiting their response.

A Guinness World Records spokesman said: “The world’s oldest dog category is currently vacant following Otto’s death earlier this year.

"We’re looking for a new oldest dog so what we need now is for the owners to make an application."

"But 21 years is certainly very old. We would have to investigate. The application takes around six weeks to verify." (Telegraph)


Beagle cross -- (n.) 雜種的米格魯。

dog years -- (n.) 狗年齡。根據第 6 段的敘述,狗年齡的計算方式是,人類 1 歲相當於狗 7 歲。

credit …to -- (v.) 把…歸因於。

longevity -- (n.) 長壽。

freshly cooked -- (adj.) 現煮的。

fillet steak -- (n.) 菲力牛排。

veal -- (n.) 小牛肉。

canine -- (n.) 犬,狗,犬科動物。

pass away -- (phr.) 過世。這個片語動詞是 die 的委婉語。

have -- (v.) 吃。在「have + 食物」中,have = eat。

for -- (prep.) 代替。

gammon -- (n.) 燻火腿。

inherit -- (v.) 繼承。

Dachshund terrier cross -- (n.) 雜種的達克斯獵犬。

apply -- (v.) 申請。apply + for (後接工作、職位、獎學金、簽證等),如 He has applied for a post in England. (他已申請在英國任職);apply + to (後接機關、部門、單位等) (+ for + 工作、職位、獎學金、簽證等),如 You have to apply to the passport office for a visa. (你須向護照局申請簽證)。

Guinness World Records -- (n.) 金氏世界紀錄 (機構)。

vacant -- (adj.) 空缺的。



World's biggest bottle of wine/世界最大瓶的葡萄酒

World's biggest bottle of wine
Anybody want to share a bottle of red? A group of Chinese winemakers have claimed the new world record for the world's biggest ever bottle of wine.

The 15ft (457 cm) high bottle contains an astonishing 1,850 litres of booze, produced by Wang Chen Wines in Liaoning, northern China.

That's over three times the amount held by the previous record-holders, Austrian winemakers Kracher, whose bottle held 490 litres of Grande Cuvee TBA NV No.7 2005.

'We are very proud, and the wine is very good. We have all had a glass from the bottle to celebrate,' said a company spokesman. (Metro)


red -- (n.) 紅葡萄酒 (= red wine)。

winemaker -- (n.) 葡萄酒製造商。

15ft (457 cm) -- (n.) 15 英尺 (457 公分)。測量單位縮寫後可與數值寫在一起或分開,如 heights of 5, 10, and 20 cm, from 1.2m to 1.8m。縮寫後的測量單位,複數也不加 s。

astonishing -- (adj.) 令人驚訝的;驚人的。

booze -- (n.) (口語) 酒 (alcoholic drink)。在此指的是 wine。booze 亦可當動詞用,意為「喝酒」(to drink alcohol)。

over three times the amount -- (phr.) 某數量的三倍多。英文表示倍數的寫法為「倍數詞 + 數量」,而超過幾倍要用「more than 或 over + 倍數詞 + 數量」,如 more than double that amount, over three times the amount。

record-holder -- (n.) 紀錄保持者。

have a glass -- (v.) 喝一杯。


Hi-tech toaster/高科技烤麵包機

Hi-tech toaster
Burned or underdone toast could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a new glass toaster - which lets you see your bread as it browns.

Bread is placed between two sheets of heated glass and cooked in full view so you can eject your slice at the perfect moment.

No longer will you need to put the bread back down and run the risk of burning your breakfast.

Melinda Hart, from product developer Inventables, said: 'This transparent toaster allows you to see bread while it is toasting so you're never surprised by toast that comes out too dark.

This idea is based on a transparent heating glass technology. However, the current design only fits one piece of bread at a time. (Daily Mail)


burned -- (adj.) 烤焦的。

underdone -- (adj.) 未烤熟的。

toast -- (n.) 土司。

thanks to -- (phr.) 由於;拜…之賜。

toaster -- (n.) 烤麵包機;烤爐;烤箱。

brown -- (v.) 變成褐色 (或棕色)。

two sheets of heated glass -- (phr.) 兩塊被加熱的玻璃。glass 為不可數名詞,若要表示數量,須使用 piece, sheet 等量詞,如 a piece of glass, two sheets of glass。

in full view -- (phr.) 大家都看得到。

eject -- (v.) 跳出:退出。

run the risk of (doing sth) -- (phr.) 冒著 (做某事) 的風險。例如:You run the risk of upsetting her if you tell her the truth. (如果你告訴她真相,可能會使她難過)

transparent -- (adj.) 透明的。

toast -- (v.) 烤 (麵包等)。