[178] Automobile-Free Day for Paris


Automobile-Free Day for Paris Residents of Paris enjoyed picnics and yoga on the famed Champs Elysee avenue thanks to a city decision to ban automobiles for one day. Commuters were able to ride bicycles, rollerskates, skateboards and other forms of non-motorized transport, or simply use the subway system. Similar car-free days have also been held in other European cities.

commuters: 通勤者
famed: 謳われる


Maglev system for heart pump A German company which specializes in making “bridge to transplant” heart pumps, which help patients stay alive until transplant organs are available, has made a pump with almost zero friction in its moving parts. The pump uses magnetic levitation technology similar to the new generation of high speed trains. This allows the screw-shaped parts to spin without actually touching the central axle. The system, made by Berlin Heart, has been approved for use in infants in Japan. Due to cultural barriers regarding organ donation, patients in Japan often have to wait years before finding a donor heart.

magnetic levitation/(maglev): 磁気浮上
friction: 摩擦
cultural barrier: 文化障壁



Yoshihiro: I’m thinking I’m thinking of taking a trip to the U.S. but I’m worried about the exchange rate.

Edward: Yes, the greenback has been very strong against the yen over the past few months.

Explanation: The “greenback” means the U.S. dollar. Even though currencies in many countries come in different colors, all of the U.S. currency bills have a strong green color pattern.

exchange rate (noun): 円相場/為替レート


handheld scanner

Patient: Will I have to lie down on an X-ray table to check my teeth for cavities?

Doctor: No, it’s much easier than that. We can now use a handheld scanner that is very safe and easy-to-use.

Explanation: A “handheld” device is a small instrument that we can hold in our hands, instead of using a large machine on a table or a machine that covers the body.

handheld (adjective): 携帯


trivial problem

Hello Kathleen:

Some of the employees have been complaining that the lights in the elevator aren’t working. This has gone on for three days. We can’t spend any more time on such a trivial problem at this company. Please call the elevator maintenance company and tell them to fix the problem immediately. We need to concentrate on more important issues!

Explanation: To “trivial problem” is something that is not important. It could be a very small problem that lacks important meaning.

trivial: 些細/瑣末
maintenance: 維持/整備