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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第303期:地下的烈火(11)

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The most notorious such quakes ever to hit the United States were a series of three in New Madrid, Missouri, in the winter of 1811-12. The adventure started just after midnight on December 16 when people were awakened first by the noise of panicking farm animals (the restiveness of animals before quakes is not an old wives' tale, but is in fact well established, though not at all understood) and then by an almighty rupturing noise from deep within the Earth. Emerging from their houses, locals found the land rolling in waves up to three feet high and opening up in fissures several feet deep. A strong smell of sulfur filled the air. The shaking lasted for four minutes with the usual devastating effects to property.
在美国经历过的这类地震当中,最著名的要算是1811-1812年冬发生在密苏里州新马德里的一连串三次地震。事情始于12月16日午夜刚过,人们先是被家畜的惊慌声所惊醒(地震之前家畜会焦躁不安,这不是无稽之谈,而实际上是大家公认的,虽然原因还搞不清楚),接着听到地球深处传出破裂般的巨大声音。当地人连忙走到户外,只见大地翻起一米高波浪,张开的裂口有几米深。空气里弥漫着一股浓烈的硫磺味。地震持续了四分钟,一如既往地对财产造成了极大的破坏。
EarthAmong the witnesses was the artist John James Audubon, who happened to be in the area. The quake radiated outward with such force that it knocked down chimneys in Cincinnati four hundred miles away and, according to at least one account, "wrecked boats in East Coast harbors and ... even collapsed scaffolding erected around the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C." On January 23 and February 4 further quakes of similar magnitude followed. New Madrid has been silent ever since—but not surprisingly, since such episodes have never been known to happen in the same place twice. As far as we know, they are as random as lightning. The next one could be under Chicago or Paris or Kinshasa. No one can even begin to guess.
目击者当中有画家约翰·詹姆斯·奥杜邦,他当时恰好在这个地区。地震以强大的力量向外辐射,震塌了600多公里以外辛辛那提的烟囱。据至少有一篇报道说,它“毁坏了东海岸港口里的船只……甚至震倒了竖立在华盛顿国会大厦四周的脚手架”。1月23日和2月4日,又连续发生两次震级相当的地震。从那以后,新马德里一直平安无事──这也不足为怪,据悉这类地震从不在同一地点发生两次。就我们所知,它们就像闪电那样毫无规律。下一次这类地震可能会发生在芝加哥下面,或巴黎下面,或金沙萨下面。大家连猜都懒得去猜。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
magnitude ['mægnitju:d]
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n. 大小,重要,光度,(地震)级数,(星星)等级
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emerging [i'mə:dʒ]
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vi. 浮现,(由某种状态)脱出,(事实)显现出来
 
scaffolding ['skæfəldiŋ]
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n. 脚手架 动词scaffold的现在分词
 
established [is'tæbliʃt]
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adj. 已被确认的,确定的,建立的,制定的 动词est
 
minutes ['minits]
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n. 会议记录,(复数)分钟
 
adventure [əd'ventʃə]
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n. 冒险,奇遇
vt. 冒险,尝试
联想记忆
random ['rændəm]
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adj. 随机的,随意的,任意的
adv. 随
 
devastating ['devəsteitiŋ]
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adj. 毁灭性的,令人震惊的,强有力的
 
property ['prɔpəti]
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n. 财产,所有物,性质,地产,道具
联想记忆
restiveness ['restivnis]
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n. 难以驾御;倔强
 
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