bet dieting

(名詞/動名詞) 打賭減肥;打賭減重。
bet dieter (n.):打賭減肥者;打賭減重者。

這是美國和英國新興的減重方法,而且越來越流行。其作法是:想要減肥的人加入某個打賭減肥網站 (如 StickK) 並打賭如果減肥不成功就將一筆錢捐給他或她不喜歡或不認同的某個慈善機構或其他組織。相似的片語還有 diet betting 和 diet bet,但它們早在一、二十年前就已出現,其中 diet bet 更可追溯到 1986 年。

Bet dieting is the newest rage and there are a few websites that enable it, but stickK has an extra ploy: the "anti-charity." Choosing the most politically controversial non-profit charities to motivate someone to achieve their goals is a great idea. Science and the stock market know that risk is a much more powerful motivator than reward.
—Boomer Babe, "Bet dieting: If You Lose You Pay Guns, God, & Gays!," InventorSpot, May 23, 2009

Most of the seasonal customs Drake-Carnell records appear, like my Bank Holidays, to involve cakes and ale in some combination. Some of them in bizarre conjunction with penny-throwing or ancient religious, possibly even pagan, observance. But none of them combine food, money and cultish devotion like the contemporary craze that is bet dieting.

It was reported this weekend that slimmers are signing up for a website called StickK, on which they post their target weight and pledge to donate money to a cause they hate if they fail to meet their target. Apparently this provides dieters with the extra incentive necessary to shift the last stubborn pounds.
—Michael Gove, "Ye olde custom: cursing of the SatNav," The Times (London), May 25, 2009



(名詞) 煮飯做菜時所使用或消耗的能源及其他資源。這個字是由 cooking 和 footprint (足跡;腳印) 拼綴而成。

使用 footprint 來表示人類活動對自然環境的影響大概已有30年的時間。吾人最熟悉的可能是它被用來構成 carbon footprint (碳足跡 -- 首次出現在1999年) 這個片語,但更早之前已有兩個意思相同、但講法不同的片語存在,它們是 ecological footprint (生態足跡 -- 1992年) 和 environmental footprint (環境足跡 -- 1979年)。

Need help reducing your carbon "cookprint"?

A new crop of climate-conscious cookbooks is turning 2009 into the year of the ecovore.
—"Here's a new crop of climate-conscious cookbooks," The Kansas City Star, April 22, 2009

Well now the bloody greenies have come up with a new bogeyman to bother you with — "The Cookprint". Yes, I know you thought it was all about carbon footprints but that's so last year, now we worry about the cookprint. Are you cooking green ? Are you sure? What about your favourite recipe books from Jamie, Gordo inter alia.?
—Brian McCune, "Careful, your cookprint is showing," Kitsch 'n' Zinc, April 15, 2009


World's first amphibious coach/世界首輛水路兩用巴士

AmphicoachThe world's first amphibious coach has been launched, allowing bus passengers to take to the waves.

The Amphicoach, which carries up to 50 passengers, is the brainchild of Scotsman George Smith.

The vehicle drives like a traditional coach until it reaches water, where its makers say it exhibits 'astonishing' sailing abilities.

The coach's wheels retract into a hull, made from marine-grade aluminium, allowing it to reach speeds of up to eight knots, powered by a jet-drive unit.

According to its makers, the Amphicoach can compete with any luxury standard road coach for performance, safety and comfort.

"On the other hand its sailing capabilities are accepted by marine experts involved in the project as being astonishing," said a spokesman.

"This feature consequently makes the vehicle suitable for extended water tours. The Amphicoach is able to operate day and night, in both fresh and salt water, which is highly unusual."

Twelve vehicles are to be built each year, under the supervision of Lloyd's Register, with Australian, Dutch and German companies said to be interested.

The spokesman added: "Due to the vehicle's superior stability and safety features the Amphicoach is a Modern Technological Wonder.

"Soon people will no longer be satisfied with just a city coach tour, they will want the complete package, a city coach tour with a water cruise built in." (


amphibious -- (adj.) 兩棲(類)的;水陸兩用的;兩棲作戰的;海陸空協同作戰的。

coach -- (n.) (美) 巴士,公車;(英) 長途巴士。

launch -- (v.) (產品) 推出,問世。

take to the waves -- (v.) 坐車到水面上。英文中 -- 尤其是新聞英語中 -- 還有一個結構相似但相當常用的片語,那就是 take to the streets -- (v) 走上街頭 (示威、抗議):We must take to the streets in protest against the incompetence and corruption of the government. (我們必須走上街頭示威,抗議政府無能、腐敗)。

brainchild -- (n.) 智慧結晶;(某人的) 創作,獨創的構想。

astonishing -- (adj.) 令人驚訝的;驚人的。

retract -- (v.) 縮回,縮進。

hull -- (n.) 車殼;船殼。

marine-grade aluminum -- (n.) 船舶級鋁,即製造船舶用的鋁。新聞英語中還有一個結構相似但常見許多的片語,那就是 weapon-grade uranium -- (n.) 武器級鈾,即製造武器用的鈾。marine -- (adj.) 船舶的,航海的;海運的,海事的;海洋的。

knot -- (n.) 節 (航速單位。1 節等於 1 海里/小時)。

jet-drive -- (adj.) 噴射驅動的。jet-drive unit:噴射驅動裝置。

compete with -- (v.) 比得上。

luxury -- (adj.) (僅用在名詞之前) 昂貴的;豪華的;高檔的。

Lloyd's Register (of Shipping) – (n.) 勞埃船級社 --世界第一個也是最大的船舶分級學會,成立於1760年,主要從事建立商船的製造和維修標準,並提供技術服務。

with Australian, Dutch and German companies said to be interested -- (prep.) 據說澳洲、荷蘭和德國的公司都有 (採購的) 興趣。在 "with + 名詞 + 現在分詞/過去分詞" 這種 with 的複合結構中,若名詞為主動,則其後接現在分詞,若為被動,則接過去分詞。由於這些公司是被說的,不是他們自己說的,所以其後用 said,而不是 saying。

modern technological wonder -- (n.) 現代科技奇蹟。

complete package -- (n.) 完整的套裝旅遊。

water cruise -- (n.) 水上巡行;水上巡遊。這裡又用到 with 的複合結構,其理解方式與上述相同。


Indian boy weds dog to ward off tiger attack/印幼童娶狗為妻以防老虎攻擊

A dogAround 150 Indian tribespeople have married off a toddler to a female dog in eastern India in a bid to prevent his predicted death at the hands of a tiger.

The ceremony at a Hindu temple in Orissa state's Jajpur district was conducted with all the rituals observed at traditional weddings, including a dowry for the bride -- the village bitch.

The dog sported two silver rings and a silver chain, the UNI news agency reported.

Parents of the groom, one-and-a-half year old Sangula, were advised to arrange the marriage when they noticed a tooth growing from their infant son's upper gum -- considered a bad omen.

Community elders believed the growth would lead to the boy being killed in a tiger attack -- a fate preventable, according to tribal tradition, by marrying a dog.

Sanrumula Munda, Sangula's father, said the ceremony would not prevent him from marrying properly when he comes of age.

The dog belongs to the groom's neighbors and was set free to roam around the area after the ceremony. The boy will still be able to marry a human bride in the future without filing for divorce.

Indian law does not recognize weddings between people and animals, but the ritual survives in rural and tribal areas of the country. (Reuters/AFP)


ward off – (phr. v.) 避開,擋開。

tribespeople – (n.) 種族、部落 (tribe) 的成員、族人。注意這個字當中有個 s;同樣地,tribesman (部落的男子) 和 tribeswoman (部落的女子) 這兩個字當中也都有字母 s。

marry off – (phr. v.) 為某人尋得配偶。marry sb1 off to sb2:把 sb1 嫁給 sb2 或使sb1 娶 sb2。

toddler – (n.) 幼童。

at the hands of – (prep.) 在…手中。注意這個片語中的 hand 須用複數。

Hindu temple – (n.) 印度教寺廟。

ritual – (n.) 儀式,典禮。

observe – (v.) 遵守,奉行。

dowry – (n.) 嫁妝。但這裡指的應是聘禮。

sport – (v.) 炫耀。

gum – (n.) 牙齦。upper gum:上牙齦。

omen – (n.) 預兆,兆頭。good/bad omen:好預兆/壞預兆。

come of age – (v.) 到達法定成年年齡。

file for – (phr. v.) 提出申請;提起訴訟。file for divorce:訴請離婚。


grandparent scam

(名詞) 詐騙老人金錢的騙局 -- 詐騙集團打電話給老年人,假裝是他們的孫子或孫女來向這些老人騙錢的伎倆。這種與國內詐騙集團詐騙手法之一極為相似的騙局亦寫成 grandparents scam。grandparent scam 有一相關的片語叫做 granny scam,同樣意為「詐騙老人金錢的騙局」-- 在此一早在1992年或甚至更早就已出現的片語中,granny 雖是「祖母」,但一般也都用來泛指老年人。

Nicknamed the "emergency scam" or "grandparent scam," the fraud involves crooks phoning elderly people under the guise of one of their grandchildren. The crook persuades grandparent to send money but not tell other relatives.
—Jon Willing, "My dearest one, you've been scammed," The Ottawa Sun. January 27, 2009