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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第282期:砰!(17)

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I'm not mocking this at all—it's vital and enlightened work; it keeps Iowa's water clean—but with the best will in the world it's not exactly dodging lava bombs on Mount Pinatubo or scrabbling over crevasses on the Greenland ice sheet in search of ancient life-bearing quartzes. So we may well imagine the flutter of excitement that swept through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources when in the mid-1980s the world's geological attention focused on Manson and its crater.
我毫无讽刺挖苦的意思──这项工作非常重要,要有丰富的知识,使艾奥瓦的水源保持清洁。但是,即使有世界上最强的意志力,在寻找古代孕育生命的石英的过程中,它也无法完全回避皮纳特博峰上的熔岩炸弹,或者越过格陵兰冰盖上的裂隙。因此,我们完全可以想像,当20世纪80年代中期世界地质学界把注意力集中在曼森和曼森大坑的时候,艾奥瓦州的自然资源部会有多么激动。
craterTrowbridge Hall in Iowa City is a turn-of-the-century pile of red brick that houses the University of Iowa's Earth Sciences department and—way up in a kind of garret—the geologists of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. No one now can remember quite when, still less why, the state geologists were placed in an academic facility, but you get the impression that the space was conceded grudgingly, for the offices are cramped and low-ceilinged and not very accessible. When being shown the way, you half expect to be taken out onto a roof ledge and helped in through a window.
得梅因城的特罗布里奇大楼是在世纪之交建造的一栋红砖建筑物。它是艾奥瓦大学地球科学系的所在地,艾奥瓦自然资源部的地质学家们就在上面阁楼似的地方办公。谁也记不大清是什么时候,更记不大清是什么原因,该州的地质工作者被放在一个学术机构里,但你可以得到这样的印象:空间给得很少,因为办公室很窄小,天花板很低,进出很不方便。当有人带着你往里走的时候,你要有思想准备,你会被领上一个屋脊,被从窗户里扶进一间屋子。
Ray Anderson and Brian Witzke spend their working lives up here amid disordered heaps of papers, journals, furled charts, and hefty specimen stones. (Geologists are never at a loss for paperweights.) It's the kind of space where if you want to find anything—an extra chair, a coffee cup, a ringing telephone—you have to move stacks of documents around.
雷·安德森和布赖恩·威策克就在这里办公,在乱七八糟的报纸、杂志、图表和石头标本堆里度过他们的上班时间。(地质学家们向来善于使用压纸器。)在这样的地方,要是你想找个什么东西──一把备用的椅子,一只咖啡杯,一部铃在响的电话机,你非得先搬开几大堆文件。
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vital ['vaitl]
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adj. 至关重要的,生死攸关的,有活力的,致命的
联想记忆
flutter ['flʌtə]
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n. 摆动,鼓翼,烦扰
v. 摆动,鼓翼,烦扰
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lava ['lɑ:və]
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n. 熔岩,火山岩
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impression [im'preʃən]
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n. 印象,效果
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academic [.ækə'demik]
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adj. 学术的,学院的,理论的
n.
 
enlightened [in'laitnd]
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adj. 被启发的,进步的,文明的 动词enlighte
 
accessible [æk'sesəbl]
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adj. 可得到的,易接近的,可进入的
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cramped ['kræmpt]
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adj. 狭促的,难懂的,难辨的
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