I. Cultural Notes
? 1. Stephen Hawking (1942 -): a British scientist who has greatly influenced people's ideas on the origins of the universe. He has devoted much of his life to probing the space-time described by general relativity and the singularities where it breaks down. And he's done most of his work while confined to a wheelchair, brought on by the progressive neurological disease. Hawking is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, a post once held by Isaac Newton. ? In the late 1960s, Hawking proved that if general relativity is true and the universe is expanding, a singularity must have occurred at the birth of the universe. In 1974 he first recognized a truly remarkable property of black holes, objects from which nothing was supposed to be able to escape. He has written the international bestseller A Brief History of Time. The book spent more than four years on the London Sunday Times bestseller list — the longest run for any book in history.
2. Frankenstein: a novel (1818) by an English writer Mary
Shellgy (1797-1851). It is the story of a Swiss scientist, Dr. Frankenstein, who makes a living creature from pieces of dead bodies. The creature is like a man, but stronger, and although it is gentle at first, it later attacks and kills several people close to Frankenstein. There have been many films based on the story and variations of it: Everybody was dressed up as a ghost, a vampire or Frankenstein's monster. 3. The Sky at Night: a popular British television program about the stars and planets, broadcast every month by the BBC since 1957. It is well known for the way in which its presenter, Patrick Moore, gives scientific information in an entertaining way.
? II. Language Study
? 1. attitude: manner or way one thinks about, behaves toward, or feels toward sb. or sth. (usu. followed by to/ towards) ? Examples: 1) The boy has a bad attitude towards his schoolwork. ? 2) His son's attitude to work made him angry. ? 2. likely: 1) probable (When functioning as an a., the word is often used in the following patterns: ? it is likely that..., be likely to do sth.) ? Examples: a) It is likely that my roommate will win the first-class scholarship. ? b) An earthquake is likely to strike the area in a year or two. ? c) Economists say that the quick economic growth is likely to continue throughout the 2010s.
2) probably (When used as an ad., the word is often preceded by "most", "more than", or "very". You don't use it as an ad. on its own.) ? Examples: a) It is reported that another sandstorm will very likely come in the next 24 hours. ? b) We will most likely stay home during the Spring Festival.
? 3. do without: manage to survive, continue, or succeed although you do not have sth. you need. want, or usu. have ? Examples: 1) You'll have to do without your dinner if you don't get back in time. ? 2) I can't afford a car, so I guess I'll have to do without.
? 4. highly: 1) very ? Examples: a) Mr. Smith was a highly successful salesman. ? b) It seems highly likely that she will take the job. ? 2) to a high level or standard ? Examples: a) Most of the people present at the meeting are highly educated women. ? b) The chairman of the department was the most highly paid member of faculty. ? 5. anyway: (used to change the subject of a conversation or to support an idea or argument) anyhow ? Examples: --"I've got a terrible cold.” ? -- "Have you? Oh, dear. Anyway, so you're not going to go away this weekend?"
? 6. put/turn the clock back: return to a situation that used to exist, usually because the present situation is unpleasant ? Examples: 1) The employment bill in which women are not allowed to take jobs will put the clock back fifty years. ? 2) Forget all about it and look to the future; you can't turn the clock back. ? 7. cut off: stop providing (sth.) ? Examples: 1) Water and electricity supplies in the city have been cut off because of the American air attacks. ? 2) Their phone has been cut off because they haven't paid the bill.
? 8. bring about: make (sth.) happen ? Examples: 1) Some educators are hoping to bring about major changes in the educational system. ? 2) Jealousy in a relationship is often brought about by a lack of trust. ? 9. moreover: in addition to what has been said; further; besides ? Examples: 1) Local people would like a new road. Moreover, there are good economic reasons for building one. ? 2) She saw that there was a man immediately behind her. Moreover he was observing her strangely.
? 10. inquire: seek information by questioning; ask (also spelled "enquire"; sometimes followed by about or whclause) ? Examples: 1) "Is something wrong?" he inquired. ? 2) I rang up to inquire about train times. ? 3) He asked for his key and inquired whether there had been any messages for him.
? 11. ... and human initiative and inventiveness are such that even this wouldn't succeed.: As human initiative and inventiveness
? ? ? ? ? ? ? do exist, even this way to suppress anything new worldwide would fail. such ... that: (formal or literary) used to give a reason or explanation for sth. Examples: 1) The nature of the job was such that he felt obliged to tell no one about it. 2) His manner was such that he would offend everyone he met. initiative: 1) the ability to make decisions and take action without waiting for sb. to tell you what to do Examples: a) I wish my son would show a bit more initiative. b) The workers are able to solve the problems on their own initiative. 2) used in the phrase "take the initiative" : be the first person to take action to improve a situation or relationship, esp. when other people are waiting for sb. else to do sth. Examples: a) Why don't you take the initiative and arrange a meeting? b) Don't stand around waiting for someone else to take the initiative.
? 12. slow down: become slower, or make sb. or sth. slower ? Examples: 1) It seems likely that the economy will slow down over the next twelve months. ? 2) There is no cure for the disease, although drugs can slow down its rate of development. ? 3) The driver slowed the bus down when he saw a boy standing in the road.
? 13. rate: 1) the speed at which sth. happens over a period of time ? Examples: a) The rate at which hair grows can be very slow. b) The world's forests are disappearing at an even faster rate than experts had thought. ? 2) a certain amount of one thing considered in relation to a unit of another thing ? Exomples: a) Britain held the record of having the highest divorce rate in Europe. ? b) Businesses are closing all over that country at a rate of fifty a week.
? 14. ensure: make sure (followed by a n. or that-clause) ? Examples: a) This new treaty will ensure peace . ? b) Come early to ensure that you get a seat. ? 15. informed: having or showing knowledge ? Examples: 1) Science is now enabling us to make more informed choices about how we use common drugs. ? 2) According to informed sources, he has been enrolled by Harvard University. ? inform: tell (used in the patterns: inform sb. of/about sth., inform sb. + that-clause, inform sb. It is a fairly formal word. In conversation you usually use tell.) ? Examples: 1) They informed us of their arrival at Pudong Airport. 2) Have you informed the police that there's been an accident?
? 16. At the moment, the public is in two minds about science. Now the public can't decide whether they need science or not. ? at the moment: now, at the present moment ? Examples: 1) I'm rather busy at the moment; could I call you back? ? 2) At the moment, no one is talking to me. ? in two minds (about sth.): unable to decide whether or not you want sth. or want to do sth. ? Example: I think she's in two minds about whether to accept his present or not.
? 17. steady: 1) constant ? Examples: a) The government's policies have brought a period of steady economic growth with falling unemployment. ? b) There has been a steady improvement in her condition. ? 2) firm ? Examples: 1) -- "That ladder doesn't look very safe." ? -- "Oh well, it is steady as a rock." ? 2) Keep the camera steady while you take a picture. ? 18. It is also an important element behind support for the Green parties.: The public's distrust of science is also an important factor leading to support for the political parties whose main concern is to protect the environment.
? 19. audience: 1) a group of people who watch and listen to sb. speaking or performing in public (used as a collective countable noun) ? Examples: a) The audience began clapping and cheering as soon as the film star appeared on the stage. b) The singer called for a member of the audience to join him on stage. ? 2) the people who read a writer's books (used as a collective countable noun, usu. singular) ? Examples: a) His second book will attract a narrower audience, mainly teachers and college students. ? b) His book reached an even wider audience when it was filmed for television.
? 20. basis: (pl. bases) 1) the facts or ideas from which sth. can be developed; foundation (usu. Used as a singular noun, followed by/or or of) ? Examples: The research will form the basis of a book. ? 2) the circumstance that provides a reason for some action or opinion (usu. followed by of or that-clause) ? Examples: a) You must stay at home, on the basis of the medical reports we have received. ? b) On the basis that recognizing the problem is halfway to a solution, we should pay much attention to his comments.
? 21. lie in: exist or be found in sth. ? Examples: 1) His skill lies in his ability to communicate quite complicated ideas. ? 2) The cure lies in education. 挽救之道在于教育。 ? 22. But in schools science is often presented in a dry and uninteresting manner.: But in schools science is often taught in a dull and uninteresting way. ? 23. in terms of: as regards (sth.); expressed as (sth.) ? Examples: 1) In terms of salary, the job is terrible. ? 2) The figures are expressed in terms of a percentage.
? 24. brief: 1) using few words; concise ? Examples: a) The teacher of English told the students to write a brief description of a typical problem they had recently met with. ? b) Patrick gave a brief summary of the last night's events. ? 2) lasting or taking a short time ? Examples: a) This time their visit to Beijing is brief. ? b) My brother once made a brief appearance on television. ? 25. accurate: exact ? Examples: 1) On the whole the program provided an accurate picture of the effect of AIDS. ? 2) You were pretty accurate in your calculations.
? 26. Maybe I would have sold twice as many copies without it.: If my popular book had not included Einstein's equation, maybe I would have sold twice as many copies. ? 27. tend: be likely to happen or have a particular characteristic or effect ? Examples: 1) Some people tend to get up later at weekends. ? 2) The school bus tends to be early on Monday mornings.
? 28. in the form of: 1) having the shape of ? Examples: a) The lane was in the form of a big "S". ? b) The trees were laid out in the form of the figure eight. ? 2) existing in a particular form ? Examples: They received a benefit in the form of a tax reduction. ? 29. precise: exact ? Examples: We will never know the precise details of his death.
? 30. grasp: understanding ? Examples: 1) Applied mathematics was beyond the grasp of most of her students. ? 2) She has a good grasp of the English language. ? 31. sufficient: as much as is needed, enough (often followed by for or to +infinitive) ? Examples: 1) -- "Can you lend me some money for the journey?" ? -- "Yes, will $100 be sufficient?” ? 2) There was not sufficient evidence to prove that he was guilty. ? 3) His income is sufficient to keep him comfortable. ? 4) There is sufficient food for everyone.
? 32. convey: make (ideas, feelings, etc.) known to another ? Examples: 1) Their bright eyes and smiling faces conveyed the impression that they were very excited. ? 2) Words cannot convey how delighted I am that you'll come and spend the weekend with us. ? 33. put across: cause to be understood ? Examples: 1) Good teachers are the ones who are able to put things across well. ? 2) I'm not putting my meaning across very well. ? 我未把我的意思解释清楚。
? 34. proportion: 1) a part of a group or an amount (usu. singular) ? Example: A large proportion of the city's population is aged over 50. ? 2) the relationship between the amounts, numbers, or sizes of different things that go together to form a whole (usu. singular) ? Examples: a) The proportion of men to women in the medical profession has changed in recent years. ? b) A large proportion of the dolphins in that area will eventually die because of the water pollution. ? 35. Only television can reach a truly mass audience.: Unlike popular books and magazine articles, television science programs have a really large audience.
? 36. fit into: be part of a situation, system, or plan ? Examples: The new college courses fit into a national education plan. ? 37. educate: teach or train ? Examples: 1) How can our children be educated if schools are not properly funded? ? 2) The organization launched a campaign to educate teenagers about the dangers of smoking. ? well-educated
? 39. ... hence the sick joke that... : ... therefore the sick joke spreads that … sick joke: sick jokes deal with death and suffering in a cruel ? and unpleasant way ? hence: 1) as a result, therefore (a formal use, followed by a clause/noun group/a./ad./prepositional phrase) ? Examples: a) He's an extremely private person; hence his reluctance to give interviews. b) The Democratic Party was divided and hence very weak. C) The trade imbalance is likely to rise again in the 2000s. Hence a new set of policy actions will be required soon. ? 2) from this time ? Examples: a) I don't know where I will be six months hence.
? b) The annual conference of APEC will be held in Shanghai seven months hence.
? 40. contact: get in touch with ? Examples: 1) Feel free to contact me if you need my help. ? 2) I will contact the Tourist Information Bureau for further details.
? II. Translation ? It is hard to imagine how our forefathers could do without so many conveniences that modern technology has brought about. Back then only a small proportion of the population enjoyed some comforts. The majority didn't even have sufficient food, not to speak of/let alone the privilege of being educated. However, many people blame modern technology for the problems it has created. They want to slow down the rate of progress. But no one can put the clock back. The best we can do is to make informed decisions as to the direction in which technology is to develop.