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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第213期:把铅撵出去(2)

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Lead is a neurotoxin. Get too much of it and you can irreparably damage the brain and central nervous system. Among the many symptoms associated with overexposure are blindness, insomnia, kidney failure, hearing loss, cancer, palsies, and convulsions. In its most acute form it produces abrupt and terrifying hallucinations, disturbing to victims and onlookers alike, which generally then give way to coma and death. You really don't want to get too much lead into your system.
铅是一种神经毒素。体内铅的含量过高,就会无可挽回地损害大脑和中枢神经系统。与铅过分接触会引起很多病症,其中有丧失视力、失眠、肾功能衰竭、失聪、癌症、瘫痪和抽搐。急性发作的时候,人可以突然产生恐怖的幻觉,令患者和旁人措手不及。一般来说,这种症状接着会导致昏迷或死亡。谁也不愿意让自己的身体摄入过量的铅。
铅丸On the other hand, lead was easy to extract and work, and almost embarrassingly profitable to produce industrially—and tetraethyl lead did indubitably stop engines from knocking. So in 1923 three of America's largest corporations, General Motors, Du Pont, and Standard Oil of New Jersey, formed a joint enterprise called the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation (later shortened to simply Ethyl Corporation) with a view to making as much tetraethyl lead as the world was willing to buy, and that proved to be a very great deal. They called their additive "ethyl" because it sounded friendlier and less toxic than "lead" and introduced it for public consumption (in more ways than most people realized) on February 1, 1923.
另一方面,铅很容易提炼和开采,大规模生产极其有利可图──四乙铅确实可以防止发动机爆震。所以,在1923年,美国三家最大的公司──通用汽车公司、杜邦公司和新泽西美孚石油公司──成立了一家合资企业,名叫四乙铅汽油公司(后来又简称为四乙公司),世界愿买多少四乙铅,它就生产多少四乙铅。结果证明,世界的需要量很大。他们之所以把公司称做“四乙公司”,是因为“四乙”听上去比较悦耳,不像“铅”那样含有毒物的意味。1923年2月1日,他们把这个名字(以比大多数人知道的更多方式)推向市场,让公众接受。
Almost at once production workers began to exhibit the staggered gait and confused faculties that mark the recently poisoned. Also almost at once, the Ethyl Corporation embarked on a policy of calm but unyielding denial that would serve it well for decades.
第一线的工人几乎马上出现走路不稳、官能混乱等症状,这是中毒不久后的标志。四乙公司也几乎马上执行一条行若无事、坚决否认的方针,而且在几十年里行之有效。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
produce [prə'dju:s]
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n. 产品,农作物
vt. 生产,提出,引起,
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acute [ə'kju:t]
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adj. 敏锐的,剧烈的
 
unyielding
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adj. 不屈的;坚强的;不易弯曲的
 
blindness ['blaidnis]
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n. 失明;无知;[军]盲区
 
exhibit [ig'zibit]
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v. 陈列,展览,展示
n. 展品,展览
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toxic ['tɔksik]
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adj. 有毒的
n. 有毒物质
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disturbing [di'stə:biŋ]
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adj. 烦扰的;令人不安的 v. 干扰;打断(dist
 
coma ['kəumə]
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n. 昏迷
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joint [dʒɔint]
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adj. 联合的,共同的,合资的,连带的
n.
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extract ['ekstrækt,iks'trækt]
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n. 榨出物,精华,摘录
vt. 拔出,榨出,
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