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    大學英語精讀第四冊 Unit Eight:The New Caves

    時間:2005-04-20 16:00來源:互聯網 提供網友:魚尾巴 ? 字體: [ ]
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    Text
    Would you choose to live underground if you could gain many advantages from doing so? Weather would no longer trouble you. Temperature would remain the same all the year round. Artificial lighting1 could make the rhythm of our life uniform everywhere. And the ecology of the natural world above ground would be greatly improved. Still, the prospect2 of moving underground may not be appealing to many people.

    THE NEW CAVES

    Isaac Asimov
    During the ice ages, human beings exposed to the colder temperatures of the time would often make their homes in caves. There they found greater comfort and security than they would have in the open.
    We still live in caves called houses, again for comfort and security. Virtually no one would willingly sleep on the ground under the stars. Is it possible that someday we may seek to add further to our comfort and security by building our houses underground -- in new, manmade caves?
    It may not seem a palatable3 suggestion, at first though. We have so many evil associations with the underground. In our myths and legends, the underground is the realm of evil spirits and of the dead, and is often the location of an afterlife of torment4. (This may be because dead bodies are buried underground, and because volcanic5 eruptions6 make the underground appear to be a hellish place of fire and noxious7 gases.)
    Yet there are advantages to underground life, too, and something to be said for imagining whole cities, even mankind generally, moving downward; of having the outermost8 mile of the Earth's crust honeycombed with passages and structures, like a gigantic ant hill.
    First, weather would no longer be important, since, it is primarily a phenomenon of the atmosphere. Rain, snow, sleet9, fog would not trouble the underground world. Even temperature variations are limited to the open surface and would not exist underground. Whether day or night, summer or winter, temperatures in the underground world remain equable and nearly constant. The vast amounts of energy now expended10 in warming our surface surroundings when they are too cold, and cooling them when they are too warm, could be saved. The damage done to manmade structures and to human beings by weather would be gone. Transportation over local distances would be simplified. (Earthquakes would remain a danger, of course.)
    Second, local time would no longer be important. On the surface, the tyranny of day and night cannot be avoided, and when it is morning in one place, it is noon in another, evening in still another and midnight in yet another. The rhythm of human life therefore varies from place to place. Underground, where there is no externally produced day, but only perpetual darkness, it would be arificial lighting that produces the day and this could be adjusted to suit man's convenience.
    The whole world could be on eight-hour shifts, starting and ending on the stroke everywhere, at least as far as business and community endeavors were concerned. This could be important in a freely mobile world. Air transportation over long distances would no longer have entail11 "jet lag." Individuals landing on another coast or another continent would find the society they reached geared to the same time of day as at home.
    Third, the ecological12 structure could be stabilized13. To a certain extent, mankind encumbers15 the Earth. It is not only his enormous numbers that take up room; more so, it is all the structures he builds to house himself and his machines, to make possible his transportation and communication, to offer him rest and recreation. All these things distort the wild, depriving many species of plants and animals of their natural habitat -- and sometimes, involuntarily, favoring a few, such as rats and roaches.
    If the works of man were removed below ground -- and, mind you, below the level of the natural world of the burrowing16 animals —— man would still occupy the surface with his farms, his forestry17, his observation towers, his air terminals and so on, but the extent of that occupation would be enormously decreased. Indeed, as one imagines the underground world to become increasingly elaborate, one can visualize18 much of the food supply eventually deriving19 from hydroponic growth in artificially illuminated20 areas underground. The Earth's surface might be increasingly turned over to park and to wilderness21, maintained at ecological stability.
    Fourth, nature would be closer. It might seem that to withdraw underground is to withdraw from the natural world, but would that be so? Would the withdrawal22 be more complete than it is now, when so many people work in city buildings that are often windowless and artificially conditioned? Even where there are windows, what is the prospect one views (if one bothers to) but sun, sky, and buildings to the horizon -- plus some limited greenery?
    And to get away from the city now? To reach the real countryside? One must travel horizontally for miles, first across city pavements and then across suburban23 sprawls24.
    In an underworld culture, the countryside would be right there, a few hundred yards above the upper level of the cities -- wherever you are. The surface would have to be protected from too frequent, or too intense, or too careless visiting, but however carefully restricted the upward trips might be, the chances are that the dwellers25 of the new caves would see more greenery, under ecologically healthier conditions, than dwellers of surface cities to today.
    However odd and repulsive26 underground living may seem at first thought, there are tings to be said for it -- and I haven't even said them all.

    New Words
    virtually
    ad. almost

    someday
    ad. at some uncertain future time 有朝一日

    underground
    a. below the surface of the earth; secret 地下的;秘密的
    ad. under the earth's surface; secretly

    manmade
    a. produced by people; not existing in nature

    palatable
    a. agreeable to the taster or (fig.) to the mind; acceptable 可口的;受歡迎的

    association
    n. an idea or object connected with another idea in thought 聯想

    legend
    n. an old story handed down from the past, esp. one of doubtful truth 傳說;傳奇

    spirit
    jn. 神靈;鬼怪

    location
    n. a place or position 場所,位置

    afterlife
    n. the life after death as is believed by some people 來世

    torment
    n. sever27 pain or suffering in mind or body 痛苦;折磨

    volcanic
    a. of, like, produced or caused by a volcano

    eruption
    n. outbreak of a volcano; (an example of) the action of erupting (火山)爆發

    hellish
    a. like hell, horrible, devilish

    noxious
    harmful to people, plants, or animals 有害的,有毒的

    mankind
    n. the human race 人類

    downward
    ad. towards a lower level or position

    outermost
    a. farthest from the inside or center

    crust
    n. 地殼

    honeycomb
    vt. fill with holes, tunnels, etc. 使成蜂窩狀

    gigantic
    a. huge, enormous; of or like a giant 巨大的,龐大的

    ant
    n. 螞蟻

    fog
    n. very thick mist

    variation
    n. the action of varying; an example or degree of varying 變化

    equable
    a. steady; not changing much 穩定的

    constant
    a. unchanging; fixed28 永桓的

    simplify
    vt. make simple; make easy to do or understand

    earthquake
    n. sudden and violent movements of the earth's surface 地震

    tyranny
    n. the cruel or unjust use of power to rule a person or country 專制

    vary
    v. (cause to) the different 變化

    variable
    a. likely to vary; not steady 易變的
    n. sth. which can vary in quantity or size 變量

    externally
    ad. outside

    external a.

    artifical
    a. not natural or real; manmade

    adjust
    vt. set right; change slightly, esp. in order to make suitable for a particular job or new conditions 調整;調節

    convenience
    n. personal comfort or advantage; the quality of being convenient 便利,方便

    convenient a.

    stoke
    n. sound made by a bell striking the hours 鐘鳴聲

    community
    n. the people living in a particular area considered as a whole; the area itself 社區(居民)

    endeavo(u)r
    n. effort, attempt 努力
    vt. 試圖

    mobile
    a. movable; able to move, or be moved, quickly and easily 活動的

    entail
    vt. make (an event or action) necessary 使成為必需

    jet
    n. a narrow stream or streams of liquid, gas, etc. coming forcefully out of a small hole; any aircraft that is pushed through the air by a jet engine 噴射;噴氣式飛機

    lag
    n. falling behind; interval29 between two related events, processes, etc. 滯后;(事件等的)間隔

    jet lag
    (長時間乘飛機旅行后產生的)時差反應

    coast
    n. the land on or close to the edge of the sea 海岸;海濱

    gear
    vt. adjust, adapt,; connect by gears
    n. 齒輪;(汽車等的)排檔

    stabilize
    v. (cause to) become firm, steady, or unchanging; (cause to) keep in balance 使穩定;使平衡

    extent
    n. degree; length; area; range 程度,范圍

    encumber14
    vt. crowd, fill up; hinder, hamper30 the function of 塞滿,妨礙

    recreation
    n. play or amusement 娛樂

    deprive
    vt. take away from; prevent from using or enjoying 剝奪

    species
    n. 物種

    habitat
    n. natural home of a plant or an animal 產地;棲息

    involuntarily
    ad. carried out without one's conscious wishes, unintentionally 不自覺地;無意識地

    rat
    n. 鼠

    roach
    n. 蟑螂

    burrow
    v. dig a hole in the ground 打(地洞)
    n. a hole made in the ground (by foxes, rabbits, etc.)

    forestry
    n. forest land; science of planting and caring for forests 林地;林學

    terminal
    n. a place or set of buildings for the use of passengers 終點站

    air terminal
    n. a building at an airport for boarding and discharging passengers from aircraft; a bus station in center of a town for passengers going to or arriving from an airport 航空終點站;航空集散站

    occupation
    n. the act of occupying or the state or period of being occupied

    elaborate
    a. worked out with great care; complicated 精心制作的;復雜的

    visualize
    vt. form a picture of (sb. or sth.) in the mind; imagine 想像

    visual
    a. of or gained by seeing 視覺的

    derive31
    vi. come (from); originate 來(自),起源(于)
    vt. get

    hydroponic
    a. 溶液培養(學)的;水栽法的

    illuminate
    vt. give light to; throw light on 照亮,照明

    wilderness
    n. wild uncultivated waste land 荒野

    stability
    n. the quality or state of being stable 穩定(性)

    withdraw (withdrew, withdrawn32)
    v. move back or away; take out or away 撤退,撤回
    withdrawal
    n. withdrawing or being withdrawn

    condition
    vt. bring into a desired state or condition 使處于良好狀態

    greenery
    n. green leaves or plants 草木

    countryside
    n. land outside the cities and towns; country area 農村

    horizontally
    ad. 水平地

    horizontal a.

    pavement
    n. (BrE) a paved surface or path a street for people to walk on, (AmE) the paved surface of a street (英)人行道, (美)鋪過的道路

    suburban
    a. of or in a suburb 郊區的

    sprawl
    n. a widespread untidy area, esp. of buildings 散亂的街區

    underworld
    n. a region underground

    culture
    n. ideas, customs and art shared by a particular society; a particular society or civilization 文化;文明

    intense
    a. (of qualities) high in degree 強烈的
    restrict
    vt. keep within limits 限制

    dweller
    n. a person or animal that lives (in the stated place); inhabitant 居住者

    repulsive
    a. very unpleasant; causing strong dislike and fear 令人厭惡的

    Phrases & Expressions
    expose to
    leave no longer covered or protected 使暴露在

    in the open
    在戶外,在野外

    add to
    increase 增加

    on the stoke
    at exactly the time stated or agree upon 準點地

    at first thought
    when considered for the first 乍一想

    to a certain extent
    partly, to a certain degree 在一定程度上

    take up
    occupy (space, time, etc.) 占據

    deprive of
    take away from; prevent from using or having 剝奪

    mind you
    (used as an interj.) please note, take this fact into account 聽著;請注意

    derive from
    come from; obtain from 來自,起源于;從……得到
    turn over
    give (to sb.) for use or care 移交;交給

    get away from
    succeed in leaving; escape 離開;逃脫


    點擊收聽單詞發音收聽單詞發音  

    1 lighting CpszPL     
    n.照明,光線的明暗,舞臺燈光
    參考例句:
    • The gas lamp gradually lost ground to electric lighting.煤氣燈逐漸為電燈所代替。
    • The lighting in that restaurant is soft and romantic.那個餐館照明柔和而且浪漫。
    2 prospect P01zn     
    n.前景,前途;景色,視野
    參考例句:
    • This state of things holds out a cheerful prospect.事態呈現出可喜的前景。
    • The prospect became more evident.前景變得更加明朗了。
    3 palatable 7KNx1     
    adj.可口的,美味的;愜意的
    參考例句:
    • The truth is not always very palatable.事實真相并非盡如人意。
    • This wine is palatable and not very expensive.這種酒味道不錯,價錢也不算貴。
    4 torment gJXzd     
    n.折磨;令人痛苦的東西(人);vt.折磨;糾纏
    參考例句:
    • He has never suffered the torment of rejection.他從未經受過遭人拒絕的痛苦。
    • Now nothing aggravates me more than when people torment each other.沒有什么東西比人們的互相折磨更使我憤怒。
    5 volcanic BLgzQ     
    adj.火山的;象火山的;由火山引起的
    參考例句:
    • There have been several volcanic eruptions this year.今年火山爆發了好幾次。
    • Volcanic activity has created thermal springs and boiling mud pools.火山活動產生了溫泉和沸騰的泥漿池。
    6 eruptions ca60b8eba3620efa5cdd7044f6dd0b66     
    n.噴發,爆發( eruption的名詞復數 )
    參考例句:
    • There have been several volcanic eruptions this year. 今年火山爆發了好幾次。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
    • Over 200 people have been killed by volcanic eruptions. 火山噴發已導致200多人喪生。 來自辭典例句
    7 noxious zHOxB     
    adj.有害的,有毒的;使道德敗壞的,討厭的
    參考例句:
    • Heavy industry pollutes our rivers with noxious chemicals.重工業產生的有毒化學品會污染我們的河流。
    • Many household products give off noxious fumes.很多家用產品散發有害氣體。
    8 outermost w4fzc     
    adj.最外面的,遠離中心的
    參考例句:
    • He fired and hit the outermost ring of the target.他開槍射中了靶子的最外一環。
    • The outermost electron is shielded from the nucleus.原子核對最外層電子的作用受到屏蔽。
    9 sleet wxlw6     
    n.雨雪;v.下雨雪,下冰雹
    參考例句:
    • There was a great deal of sleet last night.昨夜雨夾雪下得真大。
    • When winter comes,we get sleet and frost.冬天來到時我們這兒會有雨夾雪和霜凍。
    10 expended 39b2ea06557590ef53e0148a487bc107     
    v.花費( expend的過去式和過去分詞 );使用(錢等)做某事;用光;耗盡
    參考例句:
    • She expended all her efforts on the care of home and children. 她把所有精力都花在料理家務和照顧孩子上。
    • The enemy had expended all their ammunition. 敵人已耗盡所有的彈藥。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
    11 entail ujdzO     
    vt.使承擔,使成為必要,需要
    參考例句:
    • Such a decision would entail a huge political risk.這樣的決定勢必帶來巨大的政治風險。
    • This job would entail your learning how to use a computer.這工作將需要你學會怎樣用計算機。
    12 ecological IrRxX     
    adj.生態的,生態學的
    參考例句:
    • The region has been declared an ecological disaster zone.這個地區已經宣布為生態災難區。
    • Each animal has its ecological niche.每種動物都有自己的生態位.
    13 stabilized 02f3efdac3635abcf70576f3b5d20e56     
    v.(使)穩定, (使)穩固( stabilize的過去式和過去分詞 )
    參考例句:
    • The patient's condition stabilized. 患者的病情穩定下來。
    • His blood pressure has stabilized. 他的血壓已經穩定下來了。 來自《現代英漢綜合大詞典》
    14 encumber 3jGzD     
    v.阻礙行動,妨礙,堆滿
    參考例句:
    • He never let a woman encumber him for any length of time.他從來不讓一個女人妨礙他太久的時間。
    • They can't encumber us on the road.他們不會在路上拖累大家。
    15 encumbers ecc1f5ac56a905b548e96687b9de0d1e     
    v.妨礙,阻礙,拖累( encumber的第三人稱單數 )
    參考例句:
    16 burrowing 703e0bb726fc82be49c5feac787c7ae5     
    v.挖掘(洞穴),挖洞( burrow的現在分詞 );翻尋
    參考例句:
    • What are you burrowing around in my drawer for? 你在我抽屜里亂翻什么? 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
    • The forepaws are also used for burrowing and for dragging heavier logs. 它們的前爪還可以用來打洞和拖拽較重的樹干。 來自辭典例句
    17 forestry 8iBxk     
    n.森林學;林業
    參考例句:
    • At present, the Chinese forestry is being at a significant transforming period. 當前, 我國的林業正處于一個重大的轉折時期。
    • Anhua is one of the key forestry counties in Hunan province. 安化縣是湖南省重點林區縣之一。
    18 visualize yeJzsZ     
    vt.使看得見,使具體化,想象,設想
    參考例句:
    • I remember meeting the man before but I can't visualize him.我記得以前見過那個人,但他的樣子我想不起來了。
    • She couldn't visualize flying through space.她無法想像在太空中飛行的景象。
    19 deriving 31b45332de157b636df67107c9710247     
    v.得到( derive的現在分詞 );(從…中)得到獲得;源于;(從…中)提取
    參考例句:
    • I anticipate deriving much instruction from the lecture. 我期望從這演講中獲得很多教益。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
    • He anticipated his deriving much instruction from the lecture. 他期望從這次演講中得到很多教益。 來自辭典例句
    20 illuminated 98b351e9bc282af85e83e767e5ec76b8     
    adj.被照明的;受啟迪的
    參考例句:
    • Floodlights illuminated the stadium. 泛光燈照亮了體育場。
    • the illuminated city at night 夜幕中萬家燈火的城市
    21 wilderness SgrwS     
    n.杳無人煙的一片陸地、水等,荒漠
    參考例句:
    • She drove the herd of cattle through the wilderness.她趕著牛群穿過荒野。
    • Education in the wilderness is not a matter of monetary means.荒涼地區的教育不是錢財問題。
    22 withdrawal Cfhwq     
    n.取回,提款;撤退,撤軍;收回,撤銷
    參考例句:
    • The police were forced to make a tactical withdrawal.警方被迫進行戰術撤退。
    • They insisted upon a withdrawal of the statement and a public apology.他們堅持要收回那些話并公開道歉。
    23 suburban Usywk     
    adj.城郊的,在郊區的
    參考例句:
    • Suburban shopping centers were springing up all over America. 效區的商業中心在美國如雨后春筍般地興起。
    • There's a lot of good things about suburban living.郊區生活是有許多優點。
    24 sprawls 2d58b2607b2ff44eb7bda9ff7513d0c6     
    n.(城市)雜亂無序拓展的地區( sprawl的名詞復數 );隨意擴展;蔓延物v.伸開四肢坐[躺]( sprawl的第三人稱單數 );蔓延;雜亂無序地拓展;四肢伸展坐著(或躺著)
    參考例句:
    • The city sprawls out to the west, north and south. 該市向西、北、南方不規則地擴張[延伸]。 來自互聯網
    • Explanation: Our magnificent Milky Way Galaxy sprawls across this ambitious all-sky panorama. 說明:我們宏偉的銀河系蜿蜒穿過這幅高企圖心之全天影像。 來自互聯網
    25 dwellers e3f4717dcbd471afe8dae6a3121a3602     
    n.居民,居住者( dweller的名詞復數 )
    參考例句:
    • City dwellers think country folk have provincial attitudes. 城里人以為鄉下人思想迂腐。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
    • They have transformed themselves into permanent city dwellers. 他們已成為永久的城市居民。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
    26 repulsive RsNyx     
    adj.排斥的,使人反感的
    參考例句:
    • She found the idea deeply repulsive.她發現這個想法很惡心。
    • The repulsive force within the nucleus is enormous.核子內部的斥力是巨大的。
    27 sever wTXzb     
    v.切開,割開;斷絕,中斷
    參考例句:
    • She wanted to sever all her connections with the firm.她想斷絕和那家公司的所有聯系。
    • We must never sever the cultural vein of our nation.我們不能割斷民族的文化血脈。
    28 fixed JsKzzj     
    adj.固定的,不變的,準備好的;(計算機)固定的
    參考例句:
    • Have you two fixed on a date for the wedding yet?你們倆選定婚期了嗎?
    • Once the aim is fixed,we should not change it arbitrarily.目標一旦確定,我們就不應該隨意改變。
    29 interval 85kxY     
    n.間隔,間距;幕間休息,中場休息
    參考例句:
    • The interval between the two trees measures 40 feet.這兩棵樹的間隔是40英尺。
    • There was a long interval before he anwsered the telephone.隔了好久他才回了電話。
    30 hamper oyGyk     
    vt.妨礙,束縛,限制;n.(有蓋的)大籃子
    參考例句:
    • There are some apples in a picnic hamper.在野餐用的大籃子里有許多蘋果。
    • The emergence of such problems seriously hamper the development of enterprises.這些問題的出現嚴重阻礙了企業的發展。
    31 derive hmLzH     
    v.取得;導出;引申;來自;源自;出自
    參考例句:
    • We derive our sustenance from the land.我們從土地獲取食物。
    • We shall derive much benefit from reading good novels.我們將從優秀小說中獲得很大好處。
    32 withdrawn eeczDJ     
    vt.收回;使退出;vi.撤退,退出
    參考例句:
    • Our force has been withdrawn from the danger area.我們的軍隊已從危險地區撤出。
    • All foreign troops should be withdrawn to their own countries.一切外國軍隊都應撤回本國去。
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