学习啦【英语文摘】 编辑：韦彦 发布时间：2016-08-27
Telecommuting - substituting the computer for the trip to the job - has been hailed as a solution to all kinds of problems related to office work.
For workers it promises freedom from the office, less time wasted in traffic, and help with child-care conflicts. For management, telecommuting helps keep high performers on board, minimizes tardiness and absenteeism by eliminating commutes, allows periods of solitude for high-concentration tasks, and provides scheduling flexibility. In some areas, such as Southern California and Seattle, Washington, local governments are encouraging companies to start telecommuting programs in order to reduce rush-hour congestion and improve air quality.
But these benefits do not come easily. Making a telecommuting program work requires careful planning and an understanding of the differences between telecommuting realities and popular images.
Many workers are seduced by rosy illusions of life as a telecommuter. A computer programmer from New York City moves to the tranquil Adirondack Mountains and stays in contact with her office via computer. A manager comes in to his office three days a week and works at home the other two. An accountant stays home to care for her sick child; she hooks up her telephone modern connections and does office work between calls to the doctor.
These are powerful images, but they are a limited reflection of reality. Telecommuting workers soon learn that it is almost impossible to concentrate on work and care for a young child at the same time. Before a certain age, young children cannot recognize, much less respect, the necessary boundaries between work and family. Additional child support is necessary if the parent is to get any work done. Management too must separate the myth from the reality. Although the media has paid a great deal of attention to telecommuting in most cases it is the employee’s situation, not the availability of technology that precipitates a telecommuting arrangement.
That is partly why, despite the widespread press coverage, the number of companies with work-at-home programs or policy guidelines remains small.
The Origin of Refrigerators
By the mid-nineteenth century, the term “icebox” had entered the American language, but ice was still only beginning to affect the diet of ordinary citizens in the United States. The ice trade grew with the growth of cities. Ice was used in hotels, taverns, and hospitals, and by some forward-looking city dealers in fresh meat, fresh fish, and butter. After the Civil War(1861-1865),as ice was used to refrigerate freight cars, it also came into household use. Even before 1880,half of the ice sold in New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, and one-third of that sold in Boston and Chicago, went to families for their own use. This had become possible because a new household convenience, the icebox, a precursor of the modern refrigerator, had been invented.
Making an efficient icebox was not as easy as we might now suppose. In the early nineteenth century, the knowledge of the physics of heat, which was essential to a science of refrigeration, was rudimentary. The commonsense notion that the best icebox was one that prevented the ice from melting was of course mistaken, for it was the melting of the ice that performed the cooling. Nevertheless, early efforts to economize ice included wrapping up the ice in blankets, which kept the ice from doing its job. Not until near the end of the nineteenth century did inventors achieve the delicate balance of insulation and circulation needed for an efficient icebox.
But as early as 1803, and ingenious Maryland farmer, Thomas Moore, had been on the right track. He owned a farm about twenty miles outside the city of Washington, for which the village of Georgetown was the market center. When he used an icebox of his own design to transport his butter to market, he found that customers would pass up the rapidly melting stuff in the tubs of his competitors to pay a premium price for his butter, still fresh and hard in neat, one-pound bricks. One advantage of his icebox, Moore explained, was that farmers would no longer have to travel to market at night in order to keep their produce cool.
British Columbia is the third largest Canadian province, both in area and population. It is nearly 1.5 times as large as Texas, and extends 800 miles (1,280km) north from the United States border. It includes Canada’s entire west coast and the islands just off the coast.
Most of British Columbia is mountainous, with long rugged ranges running north and south. Even the coastal islands are the remains of a mountain range that existed thousands of years ago. During the last Ice Age, this range was scoured by glaciers until most of it was beneath the sea. Its peaks now show as islands scatteredalong the coast.
The southwestern coastal region has a humid mild marine climate. Sea winds that blow inland from the west are warmed by a current of warm water that flows through the Pacific Ocean. As a result, winter temperatures average above freezing and summers are mild. These warm western winds also carry moisture from the ocean.
Inland from the coast, the winds from the Pacific meet the mountain barriers of the coastal ranges and the Rocky Mountains. As they rise to cross the mountains, the winds are cooled, and their moisture begins to fall as rain. On some of the western slopes almost 200 inches (500cm) of rain fall each year.
More than half of British Columbia is heavily forested. On mountain slopes that receive plentiful rainfall, huge Douglas firs rise in towering columns. These forest giants often grow to be as much as 300 feet (90m) tall, with diameters up to 10 feet (3m). More lumber is produced from these trees than from any other kind of tree in North America. Hemlock, red cedar, and balsam fir are among the other trees found in British Columbia.