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Unit 1 Growing UP

Part Text A Writing for MyselfⅡ

When we are writing we are often told to keep our readers in mind, to shape what we say to fit their tastes and interests. But there is one reader in particular who should not be forgotten. Can you guess who Russell Baker surprised himself and everyone else when he discovered the answer.


Writing for Myself

Russell Baker 1The idea of becoming a writer had come to me off and on since my childhood in Belleville, but it wasn't until my third year in high school that the possibility took hold. Until then I've been bored by everything associated with English courses. I found English grammar dull and difficult.

I hated the assignments to turn out long, lifeless paragraphs that were agony for teachers to

read and for me to write.



2When our class was assigned to Mr. Fleagle for third-year English I anticipated another cheerless year in that most tedious of subjects. Mr. Fleagle had a reputation among students for dullness and inability to inspire. He was said to be very formal, rigid and hopelessly out of date. To me he looked to be sixty or seventy and excessively prim. He wore primly severe eyeglasses, his wavy hair was primly cut and primly combed. He wore prim suits with neckties set primly against the collar buttons of his white shirts.He had a primly pointed jaw, a primly straight nose, and a prim manner of speaking that was so correct, so gentlemanly, that he seemed

a comic antique.


3I prepared for an unfruitful year with Mr. Fleagle and for a long time was not disappointed.

Late in the year we tackled the informal essay. Mr. Fleagle distributed a homework sheet

offering us a choice of topics. None was quite so simple-minded as "What I Did on My Summer Vacation," but most seemed to be almost as dull. I took the list home and did nothing until the night before the essay was due. Lying on the sofa, I finally faced up to the unwelcome task, took the list out of my notebook, and scanned it. The topic on which my eye stopped was "The Art of Eating Spaghetti."


4This title produced an extraordinary sequence of mental images. Vivid memories came flooding back of a night in Belleville when all of us were seated around the supper table ─ Uncle Allen, my mother, Uncle Charlie, Doris, Uncle Hal ─ and Aunt Pat served spaghetti for supper.

Spaghetti was still a little known foreign dish in those days.Neither Doris nor I had ever eaten spaghetti, and none of the adults had enough experience to be good at it. All the good humor of Uncle Allen's house reawoke in my mind as I recalled the laughing arguments we had that night about the socially respectable method for moving spaghetti from plate to mouth.

这个题目在我脑海里唤起了一连串不同寻常的图像。贝尔维尔之夜的清晰的回忆如潮水一般涌来,当时,我们大家一起围坐在晚餐桌旁── 艾伦舅舅、我母亲、查理舅舅、多丽丝、哈尔舅舅── 帕特舅妈晚饭做的是意大利细面条。那时意大利细面条还是很少听说的异国食品。多丽丝和我都还从来没吃过,在座的大人也是经验不足,没有一个吃起来得心应手的。艾伦舅舅家诙谐有趣的场景全都重现在我的脑海中,我回想起来,当晚我们笑作一团,争论着该如何地把面条从盘子上送到嘴里才算合乎礼仪。

5Suddenly I wanted to write about that, about the warmth and good feeling of it, but I wanted to put it down simply for my own joy, not for Mr. Fleagle. It was a moment I wanted to recapture and hold for myself. I wanted to relive the pleasure of that evening. To write it as I wanted, however, would violate all the rules of formal composition I'd learned in school, and Mr.

Fleagle would surely give it a failing grade. Never mind. I would write something else for Mr.

Fleagle after I had written this thing for myself.


6When I finished it the night was half gone and there was no time left to compose a proper, respectable essay for Mr. Fleagle. There was no choice next morning but to turn in my tale of the Belleville supper. Two days passed before Mr. Fleagle returned the graded papers, and he returned everyone's but mine. I was preparing myself for a command to report to Mr. Fleagle immediately after school for discipline when I saw him lift my paper from his desk and knock for the class's attention.


7"Now, boys," he said. "I want to read you an essay. This is titled, 'The Art of Eating Spaghetti.'"


8And he started to read. My words! He was reading my words out loud to the entire class. What's more, the entire class was listening. Listening attentively. Then somebody laughed, then the entire class was laughing, and not in contempt and ridicule, but with open-hearted enjoyment.

Even Mr. Fleagle stopped two or three times to hold back a small prim smile.


9I did my best to avoid showing pleasure, but what I was feeling was pure delight at this demonstration that my words had the power to make people laugh. In the eleventh grade, at the eleventh hour as it were, I had discovered a calling. It was the happiest moment of my entire school career. When Mr. Fleagle finished he put the final seal on my happiness by saying, "Now that, boys, is an essay, don't you see. It's ─ don't you see ─ it's of the very essence of the essay, don't you see. Congratulations, Mr. Baker."

我尽力不流露出得意的心情,但是看到我写的文章竟然能使别人大笑,我真是心花怒放。就在十一年级,可谓是最后的时刻,我找到了一个今生想做的事。这是我整个求学生涯中最幸福的一刻。弗利格尔先生念完后说道:"瞧,孩子们,这就是小品文,懂了没有。这才是── 知道吗── 这才是小品文的精髓,知道了没有。祝贺你,贝克先生。"他这番话使我沉浸在十全十美的幸福之中。

Part Text B Summer ReadingⅢ

As a summer job the author used to cut Mr. Ballou's lawn. The only problem was that Mr. Ballou never seemed to have any money to pay for it. But what he did have to give was something that turned out to be far more valuable.


Summer Reading

Michael Dorris

1When I was fourteen, I earned money in the summer by cutting lawns, and within a few weeks I had built up a body of customers. I got to know people by the flowers they planted that I had to remember not to cut down, by the things they lost in the grass or stuck in the ground on purpose. I reached the point with most of them when I knew in advance what complaint was about to be spoken, which particular request was most important. (1) And I learned something about the measure of my n eighbors by their preferred method of payment: by the job, by the month ─ or not at all.



深,事先就能知道他们会抱怨些什么,哪些特别的要求不能掉以轻心。(1)而且,我从邻居偏爱的付款方式中了解到了一点他们的情况:有的按干的活儿给钱,有的按月支付─ 或者有的压根儿不付钱。

2Mr. Ballou fell into the last category, and he always had a reason why. On one day he had no change for a fifty, on another he was flat out of checks, on another, he was simply out when I knocked on his door. Still, except for the money part, he was a nice enough old guy, always waving or tipping his hat when he'd see me from a distance. I figured him for a thin retirement check, maybe a work-related injury that kept him from doing his own yard work. Sure,

I kept track of the total, but I didn't worry about the amount too much. (2) Grass was grass,

and the little that Mr. Ballou's property comprised didn't take long to trim.



3Then, one late afternoon in mid-July, the hottest time of the year, I was walking by his house and he opened the door, motioned me to come inside. The hall was cool, shaded, and it took my eyes a minute to adjust to the dim light.


4"I owe you," Mr. Ballou began, "but…"


5I thought I'd save him the trouble of thinking up a new excuse. "No problem. Don't worry about it."

我想省得他费神找新的借口了,就说: "没事。别放在心上。"

6"The bank made a mistake in my account," he continued, ignoring my words. "It will be cleared up in a day or two. But in the meantime I thought perhaps you could choose one or two volumes for

a down payment."


7He gestured toward the walls and I saw that books were stacked everywhere. It was like a library, except with no order to the arrangement.


8"Take your time," Mr. Ballou encouraged. "Read, borrow, keep. Find something you like. What do you read"


9"I don't know." And I didn't. I generally read what was in front of me, what I could get from the paperback stack at the drugstore, what I found at the library, magazines, the back of cereal boxes, comics. The idea of consciously seeking out a special title was new to me, but,

I realized, not without appeal─ so I started to look through the piles of books.


我觉得这主意挺不错── 于是我开始在书堆中翻找起来。

10"You actually read all of these"


11"This isn't much," Mr. Ballou said. "This is nothing, just what I've kept, the ones worth looking at a second time."


12"Pick for me, then."


13He raised his eyebrows, cocked his head, and regarded me as though measuring me for a suit.

After a moment, he nodded, searched through a stack, and handed me a dark red hardbound book, fairly thick.


14"The Last of the Just," I read. "By Andre Schwarz-Bart. What's it about"


15"You tell me," he said. "Next week."


16I started after supper, sitting outdoors on an uncomfortable kitchen chair. (3) Within a few pages, the yard, the summer, disappeared, and I was plunged into the aching tragedy of the Holocaust, the extraordinary clash of good, represented by one decent man, and evil.

Translated from French, the language was elegant, simple, impossible to resist. When the evening light finally failed I moved inside, read all through the night.




17To this day, thirty years later, I vividly remember the experience. It was my first voluntary encounter with world literature, and I was stunned by the concentrated power a novel could contain.

I lacked the vocabulary, however, to translate my feelings into words, so the next week, when Mr. Ballou asked, "Well" I only replied, "It was good."



18"Keep it, then," he said. "Shall I suggest another"


19I nodded, and was presented with the paperback edition of Margaret Mead's Coming of Age in Samoa.


20To make two long stories short, Mr. Ballou never paid me a cent for cutting his grass that year or the next, but for fifteen years I taught anthropology at Dartmouth College. (4) Summer reading was not the innocent entertainment I had assumed it to be, not a light-hearted, instantly forgettable escape in a hammock (though I have since enjoyed many of those, too). A book, if it arrives before you at the right moment, in the proper season, at an interval in the daily business of things, will change the course of all that follows.

长话短说,无论当年还是次年,巴卢先生分文未付我替他割草的工钱,但我在达特默思大学教了十五年的人类学。(4) 盛夏阅读不是我原先认为的仅仅借以消磨时光的娱乐,不是躺在吊床上无忧无虑、打开书本就什么都忘掉



Unit 2 Friendship

Part Text A A all The Cabbie Had Was A Letter Ⅱ

How do you feel when old friends are far away Do you make an effort to keep in touch Sometimes it is easy to put off writing a letter, thinking that there will be plenty of time tomorrow. But then sometimes, as this story shows, we leave it too late. Perhaps reading it will make you want to reach for your pen.


All the Cabbie Had Was a Letter

Foster Furcolo

1He must have been completely lost in something he was reading because I had to tap on the windshield to get his attention.



2"Is your cab available" I asked when he finally looked up at me. He nodded, then said apologetically as I settled into the back seat, "I'm sorry, but I was reading a letter." He sounded as if he had a cold or something.

他总算抬头看我了。“你出车吗”我问道。他点点头,当我坐进后座时,他抱歉地说:“对不起,我在读一封信。” 听上去他像是得

3"I'm in no hurry," I told him. "Go ahead and finish your letter."


4He shook his head. "I've read it several times already. I guess I almost know it by heart."


5"Letters from home always mean a lot," I said. "At least they do with me because I'm on the road so much." Then, estimating that he was 60 or 70 years old, I guessed: "From a child or maybe a grandchild"


6"This isn't family," he replied. "Although," he went on, "come to think of it, it might just as well have been family. Old Ed was my oldest friend. In fact, we used to call each other 'Old Friend' ─ when we'd meet, that is. I'm not much of a hand at writing."


7"I don't think any of us keep up our correspondence too well," I said. "I know I don't. But I take it he's someone you've known quite a while"


8"All my life, practically. We were kids together, so we go way back."


9"Went to school together"


10"All the way through high school. We were in the same class, in fact, through both grade and high school."


11"There are not too many people who've had such a long friendship," I said.


12"Actually," the driver went on, "I hadn't seen him more than once or twice a year over the past

25 or 30 years because I moved away from the old neighborhood and you kind of lose touch even

though you never forget. He was a great guy."


13"You said 'was'. Does that mean ─"


14He nodded. "Died a couple of weeks ago."


15"I'm sorry," I said. "It's no fun to lose any friend ─ and losing a real old one is even tougher."


16He didn't reply to that, and we rode on in silence for a few minutes. But I realized that Old Ed was still on his mind when he spoke again, almost more to himself than to me: "I should have kept in touch. Yes," he repeated, "I should have kept in touch."


17"well," I agreed, "We should all keep in touch with old friends more than we do. But things come up and we just don't seem to find the time."


18He shrugged. "We used to find the time," he said. "That's even mentioned in the letter." He handed it over to me. "Take a look."


19"Thanks," I said, "but I don't want to read your mail. That's pretty personal."


20The driver shrugged. "Old Ed's dead. There's nothing personal now. Go ahead," he urged me.


21The letter was written in pencil. It began with the greeting "Old Friend,"and the first sentence reminded me of myself. I've been meaning to write for some time, but I've always postponed it.

It then went on to say that he often thought about the good times they had had together when they both lived in the same neighborhood. It had references to things that probably meant something to the driver, such as the time Tim Shea broke the window, the Halloween that we tied Old Mr. Parker's gate, and when Mrs. Culver used to keep us after school.

信是用铅笔写的。称呼写着“老朋友”,而开头第一句话让我想到自己。“早就想写信了,可就是一拖再拖。” 信里接着写道,他常常回想从前两人住在一个街坊时的快乐时光。信里提到些事,可能对司机很重要,比如“那次蒂姆·谢打破窗子,那年万圣节前夕,我们把老帕克先生的大门拴了起来,还有卡尔弗太太老是在放学后把咱俩留下训斥的那阵子”。

22"You must have spent a lot of time together," I said to him.


23"Like it says there," he answered, "about all we had to spend in those days was time." He shook his head: "Time."


24I thought the next paragraph of the letter was a little sad: I began the letter with "Old Friend" because that's what we've become over the years ─ old friends. And there aren't many of us left.


25"You know," I said to him, "When it says here that there aren't many of us left, that's absolutely right. Every time I go to a class reunion, for example, there are fewer and fewer still around."


26"Time goes by," the driver said.


27"Did you two work at the same place" I asked him.


28"No, but we hung out on the same corner when we were single. And then, when we were married, we used to go to each other's house every now and then. But for the last 20 or 30 years it's been mostly just Christmas cards. Of course there'd be always a note we'd ea ch add to the cards ─ usually some news about our families, you know, what the kids were doing, who moved where, a new grandchild, things like that ─ but never a real letter or anything like that."


29"This is a good part here," I said. "Where it says Your friendship over the years has meant an awful lot to me, more than I can say because I'm not good at saying things like that."I found myself nodding in agreement. "That must have made you feel good, didn't it" “这一处写得好,”我说,“这里写道:‘你多年的友谊对我非常重要,远比我能说出来的重要得多,因为我不擅长说这样的话。’”我颔首称是。“这话准让你听着开心,是吧”

30The driver said something that I couldn't understand because he seemed to be all choked up, so I continued: "I know I'd like to receive a letter like that from my oldest friend."


31We were getting close to our destination so I skipped to the last paragraph. So I thought you'd like to know that I was thinking of you. And it was signed, Your Old Friend, Tom.


32I handed back the letter as we stopped at my hotel. "Enjoyed talking with you,"I said as I took my suitcase out of the cab. Tom The letter was signed Tom


33"I thought your friend's name was Ed," I said. "Why did he sign it Tom"


34"The letter was not from Ed to me," he explained. "I'm Tom. It's a letter I wrote to him before

I knew he'd died. So I never mailed it."


35He looked sort of sorrowful, or as if he were trying to see something in the distance. "I guess

I should have written it sooner."


36When I got to my hotel room I didn't unpack right away. First I had to write a letter ─ and mail it.


Part Text B Never Let A friend Down Ⅲ

If I don't make it, my friend will die out there, Bill McIntosh, the old hunter, told himself over and over.


Never Let a Friend Down

Jim Hutchison 1"Coming to the football match this afternoon" Bill McIntosh asked 59-year-old Royce Wedding as they drank beer at the Eureka Hotel in the Australian town of Rainbow. Royce shook his head. "I promised Mom I'd burn off the weeds on one of our fields."



2Bill, who was thin but strong, looking far less than his 79 years, peered outside at the heat. A light breeze was blowing from the north, making conditions perfect for the burn. But Bill felt uneasy about Royce doing the job alone. The farmer had a bad leg and walked with great difficulty.


3The pair had been best of friends for 30 years, ever since the days when they traveled together from farm to farm in search of work. Now, living alone 12 miles east of town, Bill scraped a living hunting foxes and rabbits. Once a fortnight he went to town to buy supplies and catch up with Royce, who helped run the Wedding family's farm. "I'll give you a hand," Bill said.


东 12英里处,靠打狐狸和野兔勉强过活。他两个星期一次前来小镇购物,会会帮着经管自家的农场的罗伊斯。“我帮你一把,”比尔说。

4The pair set off in Royce's car. Soon they were bumping over a sandy track to the weed-choked 120-acre field. "Fire's the only way to get rid of this stuff," said Bill as they tied an old tire to the tow bar with a 50-foot chain. Soaking the tire with gasoline, Bill put a match to it and jumped in the car.


5Driving slowly from the southern edge of the field, they worked their way upwind, leaving a line of burning weeds in their wake. Half way up the field, and without warning, the car pitched violently forward, plowing into a hidden bank of sand.


6The breeze suddenly swung around to their backs and began to gather strength. Fanned to white heat, the fire line suddenly burst into a wall of flame, heading directly toward them. "Let's get out of here!" Royce said.


7Desperately he tried to back the car out of the sand bank. But the wheels only spun deeper in the soft sand.


8Suddenly the fire was on them. Bill pushed open his door only to find himself flung through the air as, with a roar, the gasoline tank exploded and the car leapt three feet off the ground.

When it crashed back down Royce found himself pinned against the steering wheel, unable to move.

The car's seats and roof were now on fire.


9Bill lay where he fell, all the breath knocked out of him. The front of his shirt, shorts, bare arms and legs were soaked in burning gasoline. Then the sight of the car in flames brought him upright with a start. "Royce!" he cried, struggling to his feet and heading for the car.


10Pulling open the door, he seized Royce's arms through the smoke. "I'm stuck," Royce said. "Get yourself away!"


11(1) The fire bit at Bill's arms, face and legs, but he tightened his grip on Royce. "I'm not leaving you here," he said.


12Now Bill dug his heels into the sand and pulled as hard as he could. Suddenly he fell backward.

Royce was free and out of the car. As soon as he had dragged him away he patted out the flames on Royce's body and on his own legs and arms with his bare hands.


13Royce saw a second explosion rock the car, as it was eaten up by flames. I'd be ashes now if Bill hadn't gotten me out, he thought. Looking down, Royce was shocked by the extent of his injuries. His stomach and left hip were covered in deep burns. Worse still, his fingers were burned completely out of shape.

罗伊斯看着又一次爆炸把汽车震得直晃,车一下子被火苗吞噬。“要不是比尔把我拉出来,我这会儿就烧成灰了,” 他暗想。他低头一看,身上伤势之严重令他大为惊讶。他腹部及左臀严重烧伤。更糟糕的是,手指被烧得完全变了形。

14Lying on his back, Bill was in equally bad shape. Pieces of blackened flesh and skin hung from his forearms, hands and legs.


15Bill looked across at his friend. Reading the despair clouding Royce's face, Bill said, "I'll get help. You hang on." Royce nodded, but as he watched Bill set off slowly across the blackened field, he wondered how his friend was going to walk almost two miles and get over three fences.


16(2) A lifetime spent around the tough people who make their home in the Australian bush had permanently fixed into Bill's soul two principles: never give up no matter how bad the odds and never let a friend down. Now, with every step sending pain piercing through every part of his body, he drew on those twin pillars of character.(3) If I don't make it, Royce will die out there, he told himself over and over.

(2) 一辈子与居住在澳大利亚灌木地带的那些刚强的硬汉一起生活的人生经历,将两条准则永久地铭刻在比尔心头:无论多么艰难,决不泄气,决不抛弃朋友。此时此刻,他每迈出一步,浑身上下便针扎似地疼,他完全是靠

这两种品质支撑着。(3) 如果我不能挺住的话,罗伊斯就会死在那里,比尔一次又一次地告诫自己。

17"What's the matter with that dog" said Vicky Wedding, Royce's mom, peering out her window.

Startled by a noise behind her, she turned to see Bill leaning against the door.


18"Dear God, what happened" she exclaimed, grabbing Bill as he slid down the doorframe.


19"We got caught in the fire," he whispered, barely able to speak. "Get help." Vicky sat Bill down, covered him in wet towels to ease the pain of his burns, and then picked up the phone.


20Throughout the bumpy, hour-and-a-half ride to the hospital in Horsham, neither of the two injured men spoke of their pain. "We should've gone to the football match," Royce said, trying to keep their spirits up. Bill grinned weakly.


21Not long after Bill found himself at Government House being presented with the Bravery Medal for his courageous rescue. (4) But the real highlight for Bill came six months after the fire, when Royce, just out of hospital, walked into the Eureka Hotel and bought him a beer.

不久,比尔在镇公所被授予勇敢奖章,以表彰其勇救他人的壮举。(4) 但真正最令比尔激动的时刻是火灾发生六个月之后,刚刚出院的罗伊斯走进尤里卡饭店,请他喝啤酒。

22"We made it," said Royce as they raised their glasses. "Here's to the best friend a man could have."


Unit 3 Understanding Science

Part Text A A Public Attitudes Toward Science Ⅱ

Professor Hawking thinks it important to keep everybody in touch with what science is about. In this article he explains why.


Public Attitudes Toward Science

Stephen Hawking 1Whether we like it or not, the world we live in has changed a great deal in the last hundred years, and it is likely to change even more in the next hundred. Some people would like to stop these changes and go back to what they see as a purer and simpler age. But as history shows, the past was not that wonderful. It was not so bad for a privileged minority, though even they had to do without modern medicine, and childbirth was highly risky for women. But for the vast majority of the population, life was nasty, brutish, and short.



2Anyway, even if one wanted to, one couldn't put the clock back to an earlier age. Knowledge and techniques can't just be forgotten. Nor can one prevent further advances in the future. Even if all government money for research were cut off (and the present government is doing its best), the force of competition would still bring about advances in technology. Moreover, one cannot stop inquiring minds from thinking about basic science, whether or not they are paid for it. The only way to prevent further developments would be a global state that suppressed anything new, and human initiative and inventiveness are such that even this wouldn't succeed. All it would do is slow down the rate of change.


3If we accept that we cannot prevent science and technology from changing our world, we can at least try to ensure that the changes they make are in the right directions. In a democratic society, this means that the public needs to have a basic understanding of science, so that it can make informed decisions and not leave them in the hands of experts. At the moment, the public is in two minds about science. It has come to expect the steady increase in the standard of living that new developments in science and technology have brought to continue, but it also distrusts science because it doesn't understand it. This distrust is evident in the cartoon figure of the mad scientist working in his laboratory to produce a Frankenstein. It is also an important element behind support for the Green parties. But the public also has a great interest in science,

particularly astronomy, as is shown by the large audiences for television series such as The Sky at Night and for science fiction.




4What can be done to harness this interest and give the public the scientific background it needs to make informed decisions on subjects like acid rain, the greenhouse effect, nuclear weapons, and genetic engineering Clearly, the basis must lie in what is taught in schools. But in schools science

is often presented in a dry and uninteresting manner. Children learn it by rote to pass examinations, and they don't see its relevance to the world around them. Moreover, science is often taught in terms of equations. Although equations are a brief and accurate way of describing mathematical ideas, they frighten most people. When I wrote a popular book recently, I was advised that each equation I included would halve the sales. I included one equation, Einstein's famous equation, E=mc2. Maybe I would have sold twice as many copies without it.





5Scientists and engineers tend to express their ideas in the form of equations because they need to know the precise values of quantities. But for the rest of us, a qualitative grasp of scientific concepts is sufficient, and this can be conveyed by words and diagrams, without the use of equations.


6The science people learn in school can provide the basic framework. But the rate of scientific progress is now so rapid that there are always new developments that have occurred since one was at school or university. I never learned about molecular biology or transistors at school, but genetic engineering and computers are two of the developments most likely to change the way we live in the future. Popular books and magazine articles about science can help to put across new developments, but even the most successful popular book is read by only a small proportion of the population. Only television can reach a truly mass audience. There are some very good science programmes on TV, but others present scientific wonders simply as magic, without explaining them or showing how they fit into the framework of scientific ideas. Producers of television science programmes should realize that they have a responsibility to educate the public, not just entertain it.


7The world today is filled with dangers, hence the sick joke that the reason we have not been contacted by an alien civilization is that civilizations tend to destroy themselves when they reach our stage. But I have sufficient faith in the good sense of the public to believe that we might prove this wrong.


Part Text B How To Make Sense Out of ScienceⅢ

When scientific discoveries hit the news they are rarely as simple as the headlines suggest. They usually do not mention the years of work that lie behind the discoveries. The reports also do little to help us realize that science seldom provides answers that are final and beyond challenge.


How To Make Sense Out Of Science

David H. Levy 1New Drugs Kill Cancer



2Devastation by El Ni?o ─ a Warning

厄尔·尼诺现象将带来毁灭── 一则警告

36:30 . October 26, 2028: Could This Be the Deadline for the Apocalypse


4When these headlines appeared this year, their stories became the subjects of conversations around the world ─ talks spiced with optimism and confusion. Imagine the hopes raised in the

millions battling cancer. Did the news mean these people never had to worry about cancer again Or that we all had to worry about a catastrophe from outer space or, more immediately, from El Ni?o


5Unfortunately, science doesn't work that way. It rarely arrives at final answers. People battling cancer or victims of El Ni?o may find this frustrating, but the truth is that Nature does not yield her secrets easily. Science is done step by step. First an idea is formed. Then this is tested by an experiment. The outcome, one hopes, results in an increase in knowledge.


6Science is not a set of unquestionable results but a way of understanding the world around us.

Its real work is slow. (1) The scientific method, as many of us learned in school, is a gradual process that begins with a purpose or a problem or question to be answered. It includes a list of materials, a procedure to follow, a set of observations to make and, finally, conclusions to reach. In medicine, when a new drug is proposed that might cure or control a disease, it is first tested on a large random group of people, and their reactions are then compared with those of another random group not given the drug. All reactions in both groups are carefully recorded and compared, and the drug is evaluated. All of this takes time ─ and patience.

科学并非一组无可置疑的结果,而是认识我们周围世界的一种方法。其实际进程是缓慢的。(1) 正如我们很多人在学校里所学的那样,科学方法是一个渐进的过程,这个过程始于某个目的,或某个有待解决或回答的问题。这包括一组材料,一套必须遵循的操作步骤,一系列有待进行的观察,最后是有待得出的结论。医学上,有人提出一种新药可能医治或控制某种疾病时,先是在随意挑选的大量人群中进行试验,然后将这部分人群的用药反应与另一组随意挑选的未用此药的人群的情况进行比较。两组人群的种种反应被一一记录,仔细比较,从而对新药的疗效作出鉴定。所有这些过程需要时间——以及耐心。

7It's the result of course, that makes the best news ─ not the years of quiet work that characterize the bulk of scientific inquiry. After an experiment is concluded or an observation is made, the result continues to be examined critically. When it is submitted for publication, it goes to a group of the scientist's colleagues, who review the work. If the work is important enough, just before the report is published in a professional journal or read at a conference,

a press release is issued and an announcement is made to the world.


8The world may think that the announcement signifies the end of the process, but it doesn't. A publication is really a challenge: "Here is my result. Prove me wrong!" (2) Other researchers

will try to repeat the experiment, and the more often it works, the better the chances that the result is sound. Einstein was right when he said: "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can at any time prove me wrong."

世人也许会认为宣布结果标志整个过程的结束,其实不然。发表成果实际上是种挑战:“本人所作结论在此。请证其谬!”(2) 别的研究人员会试图重复这一实验,实验成功的次数越多,其结果就越有可能是可靠的。爱因斯坦说得对:“再多的实验也永远不能证明我正确,而一项实验随时就能证明我错误。”

9In August 1996, NASA announced the discovery in Antarctica of a meteorite from Mars that might contain evidence of ancient life on another world. (3)As President Clinton said that day, the possibility that life existed on Mars billions of years ago was potentially one of the great discoveries of our time.

1996年8月,美国国家航天和航空局宣布在南极洲发现了一颗来自火星的陨石,其中可能包含着其他星球存在古老生命的证据。(3) 正如克林顿总统那天所说,发现亿万年前火星上可能存在生命这件事, 有可能是我们时代最伟大的发现之一。

10After the excitement wore down and initial papers were published, other researchers began looking at samples from the same meteorite. (4) Some concluded that the "evidence of life" was mostly contamination from Antarctic ice or that there was nothing organic at all in the rock.

当兴奋和激动慢慢平息,首批论文发表之后,其他研究人员开始研究取自同一颗陨石的样本。(4) 有些人得出结论说,这些“生命的证据”大多来自南极冰的污染,或者说那块石头里根本就没有有机物。

11Was this a failure of science, as some news reports trumpeted


12No! It was a good example of the scientific method working the way it is supposed to. Scientists spend years on research, announce their findings, and these findings are examined by other scientists. That's how we learn. Like climbing a mountain, we struggle up three feet and fall back two. It's a process filled with disappointments and reverses, but somehow we keep moving ahead.


Unit 4 American Dream

Part Text A A Tonh Trivisonno's American DreamⅡ

The American Dream means different things to different people. But for many, particularly immigrants, it means the opportunity to make a better life for themselves. For them the dream is that

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