User Comments - frances

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Posted on: Water
December 13, 2011, 04:54 PM

The original purpose of this lesson was to look at water changing state, but you missed an important one: condensation of steam back into water. A dictionary suggests that the verb form would be: 凝聚 (níng jù). Is this right? What's the term for the condensed water? Is there one? How would I say that there is condensation on my glass of water?

Posted on: Stealing a Nose
March 09, 2011, 08:01 PM

This lesson reminds me of the Newbie: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes episode:

... both for it's Western viewpoint, and it's introduction of words for body parts. Actually the newbie lesson has more body parts than this one.

Posted on: Cats Are Cool
October 12, 2010, 05:19 PM

I know that in the United States, feral cats are generally considered to be a civil nuisance, and there have been campaigns for generations to reduce the numbers of feral cats through capture, adoption, sterilization, and euthanasia. Pet owners are made to feel that failing to sterilize their animals is a moral failing. My veterinarian makes no bones about his feeling that owners should not allow their cats out of doors at all. As a result, feral cats are still not rare, but outside of very rural areas they aren't very numerous, either.

(I'm not enough of an expert to explain why feral cats tend to be a larger issue in the north, while feral dogs are an issue in the south.)

Posted on: Cats Are Cool
October 12, 2010, 05:07 PM

I hate saying that I am "raising" my cats when they are all adults, all fixed, and one of them is an ancient lady with a bad heart. People who "raise cats" are in the cat business, like that company that's breeding expensive hypo-allergenic kitties for the world's allergic cat lovers.

Posted on: Cats Are Cool
October 12, 2010, 04:55 PM

Really? In what nation? China?

Posted on: Cats Are Cool
October 12, 2010, 04:52 PM

我有三只猫。 I have three cats. 最老的就是十九岁半。 The oldest is nineteen and a half years old. 猫的眼睛看起来很有知识的。Cat's eyes look very wise. 但是我的猫从来没偷过人的灵魂。 But my cats have never stolen anyone's soul. 猫真不太聪明。Cats are really not that smart. 我觉得猫有三岁孩子的聪明。I think cats are about as smart as three-year-old children.

Posted on: Organic Food
July 08, 2010, 08:04 AM

Three points:

1. Organic agriculture can have very high land-use efficiency. Organic protocols limit the choices of pesticides and fertilizers, but it doesn't mean that organic fields must be allowed to be ruled by the beetles. We would not see organic produce in places like Walmart if organic farms were not able to meet a very strict level of reliability, uniformity of product, etc... My local food co-op might be willing to sell small farmers' inconsistent deliveries of imperfect produce, but the large retailers are not.

2. Globally, we have more than enough food right now. Wide-spread starvation is the result of failing to deliver that food to the people who need it. Obviously, a great decrease in land-use efficiency might get us into a situation where we are genuinely not growing enough food for everyone, but that has yet to be the case.

3. In developed countries, a huge increase in land-use efficiency (and in health) could result from a fairly minor decrease in meat consumption. Animal husbandry represents land-use inefficiency on a scale far beyond anything dreamt by granola-eating hippie organic farmers.

Posted on: Organic Food
July 07, 2010, 09:59 AM

Yes, most modern farms use gas powered tractors and farm equipment. Organic facilities are not excluded. The whole process will create far less environmental damage than a conventional farm, and far more than if the whole farm were converted to forest.

Posted on: Organic Food
July 06, 2010, 08:21 AM

A lot of studies have shown the organic food has many more nutrients, and quite a few have shown that they don't. It seems to me that the studies tend to show what the researchers want them to show. In truth, I think the nutrient levels of the vegetables depend most on the health of the soil. Organic agriculture doesn't necessarily mean that the soil is rich in nutrients, so technically the organic produce doesn't have to have more nutrients. In practice, organic farming practices are more likely to produce healthier soil and therefore healthier vegetables.

Posted on: Fun at the Beach
June 29, 2010, 12:40 AM

So no one ever explained how 讨厌 (taoyan) can mean "You're so annoying" in the dialogue but "to hate" (as opposed to "to annoy") in the vocab list. There's a big gap between hate and annoyance. Can anyone explain the nuances behind this word?