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双语新闻播报(April 7)

chinadaily.com.cn 2023-04-07 14:03


> Toughest job in China? Zoo seeks panda keepers

This photo taken on March 11, 2023 shows giant panda Yi Yi at Zoo Negara near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Giant Panda Conservation Center in Zoo Negara near Kuala Lumpur is currently home to a family of four, including the giant panda father Xing Xing, mother Liang Liang as well as their daughters Yi Yi and Sheng Yi. [Photo/Xinhua]

The difficulties around raising giant pandas in captivity are in the news after a zoo received hundreds of applicants for panda keeper jobs but said it could not find any suitable candidates.

Nanshan Mountain Bamboo Scenery Zone in eastern China’s Jiangsu province told the Modern Express that recruitment had been a “headache” for years and the zoo could not recruit enough panda caretakers due to a lack of qualified people.

A manager at the tour zone said being a panda keeper is more complex than most people realize and involves much more than feeding and playing with them.

He added that the job has high benchmarks for professionalism, personality and observation skills.

“There are many detailed requirements for a keeper during the raising of pandas, such as weighing their feces, observing the pandas’ moods and distributing bamboo by scattering it around and leaving it in a vertical position,” the manager said. “Perhaps due to the high threshold, we found very few applicants meet our requirements. So far, none of them has been recruited.”

The manager said they wanted panda keepers with degrees in livestock rearing or veterinary medicine who are patient and responsible.

“They must love animals. Having experience raising animals in a zoo is a plus,” said the manager.

> Survey: Americans now less patriotic, less religious

People walk on Times Square in New York, the United States, Nov 23, 2021. [PhotoXinhua]

Americans are placing far less importance on patriotism, religion and other values, according to a new survey by the Wall Street Journal and the University of Chicago’s NORC.

The poll surveyed 1,019 adult Americans from March 1 to 13 and compared the results to a 1998 poll.

The poll found 38 percent of respondents said patriotism was very important to them, down from 70 percent in 1998. And 39 percent said religion was very important, down from 62 percent in 1998.

Respondents under 30 placed much lower importance on those values than groups over 65. Money was cited as very important by 43 percent in the new survey, up from 31 percent in 1998, and it was the only priority that grew in importance.

Jennifer Benz, vice-president of public affairs at NORC, said that views in the survey might have been colored by the downbeat economic outlook. “People are just sort of down on everything about the country,” she said.

The Wall Street Journal said major events in the US have “shaken and, in some ways, fractured the nation,” among them the terrorist attack on Sept 11, 2001, the financial crisis of 2008, and the rise of former president Donald Trump.

> Barcode turns 50 but its days might be numbered
条形码诞生50周年 全球每天扫码次数达60亿次

A consumer scans an Alipay QR code to pay for the order at a self-service restaurant in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Barcodes were initially patented by Norman Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver in the United States in 1952.

But it wasn't until nearly two decades later, in 1971, that US engineer George Laurer perfected the technology and moves toward its commercialization began.

On April 3, 1973, the standard to identify products was agreed on by a number of large retailers and food companies.

The following year, on June 26 in the US state of Ohio, the first product was scanned: a pack of chewing gum that is now in the National Museum of American History in Washington.

The patch of irregular vertical lines that revolutionized supermarket checkouts and facilitated the globalization of retail is turning 50.

The trademark beep as a product is scanned is heard about six billion times per day across the world, as around 70,000 items are sold each second.

But its days might be numbered as it faces competition from the younger QR code.

Developed in 1994, QR codes can hold much more information, as they are read both horizontally, like barcodes, and vertically.

But barcodes are likely to remain in place for years to come as the world gradually transitions to QR codes.

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