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韩国人的“电扇杀人”恐惧

更新时间:2016-5-29 9:43:00 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

A Uniquely Korean Household Worry
韩国人的“电扇杀人”恐惧

Which household gadget do people in South Korea believe can kill you?

在韩国,人们认为哪种小家电可以致人死亡?

(A) Microwave.

(A)微波炉

(B) Blender.

(B)搅拌器

(C) Electric fan.

(C)电风扇

(D) Portable CD player.

(D)便携式CD播放器

The correct answer is C.

正确答案是C。

It sounds like the plot of an “X-Files” episode: People are said to have died merely from leaving their electric fans blowing overnight. But across South Korea, many people believe the whirring blades can cause death — and to address those fears, manufacturers equip fans with sleep timers.

这听起来像是《X档案》里的剧情:据说人们就因为开着电扇吹了一整夜,然后死掉了。不过在韩国各地,许多人都认为呼呼旋转的叶片可以致人死亡——因应人们的这种恐惧,制造商给电扇配备了睡眠定时器。

How, exactly, might the electric breeze kill? Theories abound in South Korea, among them that the cold air circulating in a sealed room could cause hypothermia, leading to organ failure. Or maybe they suck out the oxygen, causing suffocation. Some fear that the fan itself converts oxygen molecules into carbon dioxide.

电扇到底如何杀人的呢?这种理论在韩国不一而足。有一种是说在封闭的房间里流动的冷空气会导致体温过低,进而导致器官衰竭。还有的说,风扇可能会抽掉氧气,引发窒息。有些人则担心风扇本身将氧气分子转化成了二氧化碳。

For the record, none of these theories are true. But that has not stopped the Korean news media from reporting on supposed fan deaths. Even the government has endorsed the lethal-breeze idea. In 2006, the state-funded Korean Consumer Protection Board listed “asphyxiation from electric fans and air-conditioners” as one of the top five recurring summer accidents.

在此声明,这些理论没有一个是真的。不过,这不妨碍韩国新闻媒体持续报道所谓的风扇致死事件。就连政府也为这种风扇致死理论背书。2006年,由政府资助的韩国消费者保护委员会(Korean Consumer Protection Board)将“电扇和空调引发的窒息”列为夏季最常见的五类事故之一。

The agency warned:

该委员会警告:

If bodies are exposed to electric fans or air-conditioners for too long, it causes bodies to lose water and hypothermia. If directly in contact with a fan, this could lead to death from increase of carbon dioxide saturation concentration and decrease of oxygen concentration. The risks are higher for the elderly and patients with respiratory problems.

过久暴露在风扇和空调吹拂之下,会引起身体脱水和体温过低。如果身体直接与风扇接触,则可能因二氧化碳饱和浓度上升、氧气含量减少而致死亡。对于老年人和患有呼吸疾病的人而言,这种风险更高。

According to the advisory, there were 20 cases of fan asphyxiation between 2003 and 2005. “To prevent asphyxiation,” it said, “timers should be set, wind direction should be rotated and doors should be left open.”

据该机构统计,2003年至2005年共有20起风扇引发窒息死亡事件发生。“为防止窒息,”它表示,“应该打开计时器定时,选择旋转风向模式,并将房门打开。”

Among dubious Koreans and, well, everyone outside Samsung’s homeland, it is widely suspected that “fan death” was a ruse hatched by the country’s former authoritarian government in the 1970s to discourage citizens from using too much electricity. The country has since been transformed into a thriving democracy, but the myth proved to be a match for electric fans: It survived.

对这种理论持怀疑态度的韩国人,当然还有三星公司的祖国之外的所有人普遍猜测,“风扇致死”是韩国前威权政府在1970年代想出来的诡计,目的是防止市民过度用电。之后韩国转变为繁荣的民主国家,但结果表明,这种错误观念与电扇是绝配:它也流传至今。

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