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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第90期:敲石头的人们(11)

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Even when conducting serious science his manner was generally singular. Once Mrs. Buckland found herself being shaken awake in the middle of the night, her husband crying in excitement: "My dear, I believe that Cheirotherium's footsteps are undoubtedly testudinal." Together they hurried to the kitchen in their nightclothes. Mrs. Buckland made a flour paste, which she spread across the table, while the Reverend Buckland fetched the family tortoise.
即使在从事严肃的科学活动的时候,他的方式一般来说也是怪怪的。有一次,巴克兰半夜里于兴奋之中把他的太太推醒,大叫一声:"天哪,我认为,化石上的脚印肯定是乌龟的脚印。"夫妻俩穿着睡衣急匆匆地来到厨房。巴克兰太太和了面团,铺在那张桌上,巴克兰牧师拿来家里养的乌龟。
巴克兰.jpgPlunking it onto the paste, they goaded it forward and discovered to their delight that its footprints did indeed match those of the fossil Buckland had been studying. Charles Darwin thought Buckland a buffoon—that was the word he used—but Lyell appeared to find him inspiring and liked him well enough to go touring with him in Scotland in 1824. It was soon after this trip that Lyell decided to abandon a career in law and devote himself to geology full-time.
他们把乌龟往面团上一扔,赶着它往前走。他们高兴地发现,它的脚印果然和巴克兰一直在研究的化石上的脚印完全一致。查尔斯·达尔文认为巴克兰是个小丑--这是他的原话--而莱尔却似乎觉得他对自己很有启发,还很喜欢他,1824年和他一块儿去了苏格兰。就是在那次苏格兰之行以后,莱尔决定放弃律师职业,把全部时间投入了地质学。
Lyell was extremely shortsighted and went through most of his life with a pained squint, which gave him a troubled air. (Eventually he would lose his sight altogether.) His other slight peculiarity was the habit, when distracted by thought, of taking up improbable positions on furniture—lying across two chairs at once or "resting his head on the seat of a chair, while standing up" (to quote his friend Darwin).
莱尔近视得厉害,在一生的大部分时间里痛苦地眯着眼睛,因此露出一副愁眉苦脸的样子。(最后,他完全丧失了视力。)他还有一个有点古怪的地方,当他想得出神的时候,他会在家具上摆出难以想像的姿势--要么横在两张椅子上,要么(用他的朋友达尔文的话来说)"头枕着椅子面,身体伸得笔直"。
Often when lost in thought he would slink so low in a chair that his buttocks would all but touch the floor. Lyell's only real job in life was as professor of geology at King's College in London from 1831 to 1833. It was around this time that he produced The Principles of Geology, published in three volumes between 1830 and 1833, which in many ways consolidated and elaborated upon the thoughts first voiced by Hutton a generation earlier. (Although Lyell never read Hutton in the original, he was a keen student of Playfair's reworked version.)
一旦陷入沉思,他往往会慢慢地从椅子上滑下来,臀部几乎贴着地板。莱尔一生中的惟一工作是在1831-1833年期间当过伦敦大学国王学院的地质学教授。就是在这段时间里,他写出了《地质学原理》,并在1831-1833年期间分3卷出版。这部书在许多方面巩固和阐述了一代人之前由赫顿首先提出的见解。(虽然莱尔从来没有读过赫顿作品的原文,但他怀着浓厚的兴趣研究过普莱费尔的改写本。)
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original [ə'ridʒənl]
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adj. 最初的,原始的,有独创性的,原版的
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slight [slait]
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adj. 轻微的,微小的,纤细的,脆弱的
vt
 
eventually [i'ventjuəli]
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adv. 终于,最后
 
spread [spred]
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v. 伸展,展开,传播,散布,铺开,涂撒
n.
 
extremely [iks'tri:mli]
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adv. 极其,非常
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singular ['siŋgjulə]
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adj. 个人的,单数的,独一的,唯一的,非凡的
 
delight [di'lait]
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n. 高兴,快乐
v. (使)高兴,(使)欣喜
 
peculiarity [pi.kju:li'æriti]
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n. 特质,特性,怪癖,古怪
 
troubled ['trʌbld]
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adj. 动乱的,不安的;混乱的;困惑的
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abandon [ə'bændən]
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v. 放弃,遗弃,沉溺
n. 放纵
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