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Unit408

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Unit Eight Text Would yau choose to live underground if ynu could

     Unit Eight  sound.gif (2200 字节)
      Text
                Would  yau choose  to live  underground  if   ynu 

          could  gain many  advantages  from doing  so? Weather 

          would  no longer  trouble  you. Temperature  would  re-

          main the  same  all  the  year  round.  Artificial  lighting 

          could  make   the  rhythm  of  our  life   uniform   every-

          where.   And  the  ecology  of the  natural  world  above 

          ground would be greatly improved.  Still,  the  prospect 

          of moving  underground may not be appealing to many 

          people.
                            THE NEW CAVES
                                                                                     Isaac Asimov

          During  the  ice  ages,  human  beings  exposed  to  the colder temperatures 

     of  the  time   would  often   make  their  homes  in  caves.  There   they  found 

     greater comfort and security than they would have in the open.

         We  still  live   in  caves  called  houses,  again   for  comfort   and  security. 

5   Virtually  no one  would  willingly  sleep  on  the  ground  under  the  stars. Is it 

     possible  that someday we may seek  to add further to our comfort and securi-

     ty by building our houses underground -- in new, manmade caves?

         It  may  not  seem  a  palatable  suggestion,   at  first  thought.  We  have  so 

     many  evil  associations  with   the  underground.  In  our  myths  and  legends, 

10 the  underground  is  the  realm  of  evil  spirits and of  the dead,  and  is  often

     the  location  of  an  afterlife  of  torment. (This  may be  because dead  bodies 

     are buried underground,and because volcanic eruptions make the underground

     appear to be a hellish place of fire and noxious gases. )

         Yet   there  are   advantages  to  underground   life,  too,  and  something  to 

15 be said for imagining whole cities, even mankind generally,  moving downward; 

     of  having   the   outermost  mile  of   the   Earth's   crust  honeycombed   with 

     passages and structures, like a gigantic ant hill.

         First,  weather   would   no   longer  be   important,  since  it  is  primarily  a 

     phenomenon  of  the atmosphere. Rain,  snow,  sleet,  fog  would  not  trouble 

20 the underground world. Even temperature  variations  are  limited  to  the  open

     surface  and  would  not  exist  underground. Whether  day  or  night,  summer 

     or  winter,  temperatures  in  the  underground.  world  would   remain  equable 

     and  nearly  constant.  The vast  amounts of  energy now expended in warming 

     our  surface  surroundings  when  they  are  too cold,  and cooling  them when

25 they are too warm, could  be saved. The damage  done to manmade structures 

     and to  human beings  by  weather  would be gone.  Transportation  over local 

     distances  would   be   simplified.  (Earthquakes  would   remain  a  danger, of

     course. )

         Second,  local  time  would  no  longer  be  important.  On  the  surface, the 

30 tyranny of day and night cannot  be avoided,  and when  it  is  morning  in  one 

     place,  it  is  noon  in  another,  evening  in  still  another  and   midnight  in  yet

     another. The rhythm of human life therefore varies  from  place  to  place.  Un-

     derground,  where  there  is  no  externally  produced  day,  but  only perpetual 

     darkness,  it  would  be   arificial   lighting   that   produces  the   day  and  this 

35 could be adjusted to suit man's convenience.

         The  whole  world  could  be  on  eight--hour  shifts,  starting and ending on 

     the  stroke  everywhere,  at  least  as far as business and community endeavors 

     were   concerned.  This  could   be  important  in  a  freely  mobile  world.  Air 

     transportation over long  distances  would  no  longer  have  to entail  "jet lag."

40 Individuals  landing  on  another  coast  or  another  continent  would  find  the 

     society they reached geared to the same time of day as at home.

         Third,  the   ecological   structure   could   be  stabilized.  To  a  certain  ex-

     tent,  mankind  encumbers  the  Earth.  It  is  not  only  his  enormous nurnbers 

     that  take  up  room;  more  so,  it  is  all the structures he builds to house him-

45 self  and  his  machines,  to make possible his transportation  and  communica-

     tion,  to  offer  him   rest  and  recreation.   All  these  things  distort   the  wild,

     depriving  many  species  of  plants  and  animals  of  their  natural habitat--and

     sometimes, involuntarily, favoring a few, such as rats and roaches.

         If  the   works  of  man  were   removed   below  ground -- and,  mind  you, 

50 below  the  level  of  the  natural  world  of the burrowing animals -- man would 

     still  occupy  the   surface   with   his  farms,   his   forestry,   his   observation 

     towers,  his  air  terminals  and so on,  but  the extent of that occupation would 

     be enormously decreased. Indeed,  as  one imagines the underground world to 

     become  increasingly  elaborate,  one  can  visualize much  of  the food supply 

55 eventually   deriving   from   hydroponic   growth    in    artificially   illuminated 

     areas  underground.  The  Earth's  surface  might  be  increasingly  turned over 

     to park and to wilderness, maintained at ecological stability.

         Fourth,   nature   would  be  closer.   It  might  seem  that  to  withdraw  un-

     derground  is  to  withdraw  from  the  natural  world,  but would  that  be  so? 

60 Would the withdrawal be more complete than it is now,  when  so many people 

     work  in   city   buildings  that   are  often  windowless   and  artificially  condi-

     tioned?  Even  where  there  are  windows,  what  is the prospect one views ( if 

     one  bothers  to)  but  sun,  sky,  and  buildings   to  the  horizon -- plus  some 

     limited greenery?

65      And  to  get  away  from  the  city now? To reach the real countryside? One 

     must   travel   horizontally  for  miles,  first  across  city  pavements  and   then 

     across suburban sprawls.

          In  an  underworld  culture,  the  countryside  would  be  right  there,  a few 

     hundred  yards  above  the  upper  level  of  the cities -- wherever you are. The

70 surface  would  have  to be protected from too frequent, or too intense,  or too 

     careless  visiting,  but  however  carefully  restricted  the  upward   trips  might

     be,  the  chances are  that  the  dwellers  of . the  new  caves  would  see  more 

     greenery,  under  ecologically  healthier  conditions,  than  dwellers  of  surface

     cities do today.

75      However  odd  and repulsive underground living may seem at  first thought,

     there are things to be said for it - and I haven't even said them all. 
        
                                New Words
    virtually / ad.                         almost at

    someday / ad.                       some uncertain future time 

    underground / a.                    below the surface of the earth;secret 地下的,

                                                     秘密的

            ad.                         under the earth's surface; secretly 

    manmade / a.                         produced by people; not existing in nature 

    palatable / a.                          agreeable to the taste or ( fig. ) to the 

                                                          mind; acceptable 可口的; 受欢迎的

  association / n.                      an idea or object connected with another 

                                                          idea in thought 联想

   legend / n.                             an old story handed down from the past, esp.

                                                         one of doubtful truth 传说 ;传奇

   spirit / n.                           神灵;鬼怪

   location / n .                         a place or position 场所, 位置

   afterlife / n.                           the life after death as is believed by some 

                                                       people 来世

   torment / n.                          severe pain or suffering in mind or body 痛

                                  苦; 折磨

   volcanic / a.                          of, like, produced or caused by a volcano 

    eruption / n.                          outbreak of a volcano; ( an example of ) the

                                                action of erupting ( 火山 ) 爆发

   hellish / a.                             like hell; horrible, devilish 

    noxious / a.                           harmful to people, plants,or animals 有害的,

                                                         有度的

  mankind / n.                           the human race 人类

  downward / ad.                      towards a lower level or position 

   outermost / a.                         farthest from the inside or center 

   crust / n.                                 地壳

  honeycomb / vt.                     fill with holes, tunnels, etc. 使成蜂窝状 

  gigantic / a.                            huge, enormous; of or like a giant 巨大的, 

                                                       庞大的

  ant / n.                                   蚂蚁

  fog / n.                                  very thick mist 

   variation / n.                           the action of varying; an example or degree

                                                        of varying 变化

  equable / a.                            steady; not changing much 稳定的 

  constant a.                             unchanging; fixed 永恒的

  simplify /vt.                           make simple; make easy to do or understand 

   earthqnake / n.                       sudden and violent movements of the earth's 

                                                       surface 地震

  tyranny / n.                            the cruel or unjust use of power to rule a 

                                                       person or country 传制

  vary / v.                                (cause to) be different 变化

     variable / a.                       likely to vary; not steady 易变的 

             n.	                        sth. which can vary in quantity or size 变量

  externally / ad.                       outside 

       external / a. 

   artificial /a.                             not natural or real; manmade 

   adjust / vt.                             set right; change slightly, esp. in order to 

                                                      make suitable for a particular job or new 

                                                      conditions 调整;调节

  convenience / n.                     personal comfort or advantage; the quality of

                                                      being convenient 便利, 方便

  convenient / a. 

   stroke / n.                              sound made by a bell striking the hours 钟鸣

                                  声

  community / n.                      the people living in a particular area 

                                                        considered as a whole; the area itself 

                                             社区( 居民 ) 

   endeavo(u)r / n.                     effort, attempt 努力	

               vt.                    试图 

  mobile / a.	                        movable; able to move, or be moved, quickly 	

                                                and easily 活动的

  entail / vt.                               make (an event or action)necessary 使成为必须

  jet / n.                                    a narrow stream or streams of liquid,gas,etc.

                                                      coming forcefully out of a small hole; any

                                                      aircraft that is pushed through the air by

                                                      a jet engine 喷射; 喷气式飞机

  lag / n.                                   falling behind; interval between two related 

                                                      events, processes, etc. 滞后;(事件等的)间隔

                                  (长时间乘飞机旅行后产生的)时差反映

  coast / n.                               the land on or close to the edge of the sea 

                                            海岸; 海滨

  gear / vt.                               adjust, adapt; connect by gears 

              n.                                      齿轮; (汽车等的)排挡

  stabilize / v.                          (cause to) become firm, steady,or unchanging;

                                                    ( cause to ) keep in balance 使稳定; 使平衡

  extent / n,                             degree; length; area; range 程度, 范围

  encumber / vt.                      crowd, fill up; hinder,hamper the function of

                                                     塞满, 妨碍

  communication / n.               通讯; 交通

  recreation / n.	                       play or amusement 娱乐

  deprive / vt.                          take away from;prevent from using or enjoying

                                                    剥夺 

  species / n.                    物种 

  habitat / n.                            natural home of a plant or an animal 产地; 栖

                                息地

  involuntarily / ad.                  carried out without one's conscious wishes, 

                                                     unintentionally 不自觉地; 无意识地

  rat / n.                                roach / n.                       蟑螂 

  burrow / v.                           dig a hole in the ground ( 地洞 ) 

                  n,                          a hole made in the ground (by foxes, rabbits,

                                                    etc. ) 

   forestry / n.                          forest land; science of planting and caring 

                                               for forests 林地; 林学

  terminal / n.                          a place or set of buildings for the use of 

                                                    passengers 终点站

  air terminal / n.                     a building at an airport for boarding and dis- 	

                                                   charging passengers from aircraft;a bus sta- 	

                                                   tion in the center of a town for passengers 

                                                    going to or arriving from an airport 航空终

                                  点站; 航空集散站

  occupation / n.                     the act of occupying or the state or period of 

                                                    being occupied 

   elaborate / a.	                      worked out with great care; complicated 精心

                                  制作的; 复杂的

  visualize / vt.	                      form a picture of ( sb. or sth.) in the mind;

                                                      imagine 想像 

     visual a.                         of or gained by seeing 视觉的

  derive / vi.                           come ( from); originate (), 起源()

                   vt.                               get 

   hydroponic / a.                   溶液培养(); 水栽法的

  illuminate / vt.                     give light to; throw light on 照亮, 照明

  wilderness / vt.                   wild uncultivated waste land 荒野 

  stability / n.                         the quality or state of being stable 稳定() 

   stable / a. 

   witbdraw / n.                       withdre move back or away; take out or away 撤退, 撤回   	

  withdrawal / n.                     withdrawing or being withdrawn

   condition / vt.                      bring into a desired state or oondition 使处

                                  于良好状态

  greenery / n.                        green leaves or plants 草木

  countryside / n.                    land outside the cities and towns; country 

                                                     area 农村

  horizontally / ad.	         水平地 

      horizontal / a.

   pavement / n.                      (BrE) a paved surface or path at the side of 

                                                      a street for people to walk on, ( AmE ) the

                                                      paved surface of a street ()人行道;()铺

                                  过的道路

  suburban / a.	                      of or in a suburb 郊区的 

  sprawl / n.                           a widespread untidy area,esp. of buildings 散

                                  乱的街区

  underworld / n.	              a region underground 

   culture / n.                            ideas, customs and art shared by a particular

                                                      society;a particular society or civilization

                                            文化; 文明

  intense / a.                           (of qualities) high in degree 强烈的

  restrict / vt.	                      keep within limits 限制

  dweller / n.                          a person or animal that lives ( in the stated

                                                      place) ; inhabitant 居住者 

  repulsive / a.                        very unpleasant; causing strong dislike and 

                                                     fear 令人厌恶的
                         Phrases & Expressions
   expose to                leave no longer covered or protected 使暴露在

  in the open             在户外,在野外

  add to                     increase 增加

  on the stroke	          at exactly the time stated or agreed upon 准点地

  at first thought         when considered for the first time 乍一想

  to a certain extent     partly, to a certain degree 在一定程度上

  take up                    occupy ( space, time, etc. ) 占据

  deprive of                take away from; prevent from using or having 剥夺

  mind you                 (used as an interj.)please note, take this fact into

                                        acoount 听着; 请注意

  derive from             come from; obtain from 来自, 起源于; 从…得到

  turn over                 give ( to sb . ) for use or care 移交; 交给

  get away from         succeed in leaving; escape 离开; 逃脱

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