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BBC: 五件由女性发明的东西

zlxxm 于2019-12-09发布 l 已有人浏览
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计算机程序设计应该是个男性工作的领域,对吗?目前男性程序员的人数超过女性从业人数,但曾经一度可不是这样的。本集《随身英语》带你认识五件由女性发明的东西。
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Five things invented by women

五件由女性发明的东西

Here's a simple challenge: name a famous inventor. Perhaps Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci springs to mind. Or the pioneer of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell. But you might be hard-pressed to name many female inventors, even though women are behind some of the most widely used technologies in the modern world.

有一个简单的挑战:说出几个著名的发明家。或许浮现在脑海中的是文艺复兴时期的博学者达芬奇,也可能是发明电话的亚历山大·格雷厄姆·贝尔。但你可能很难说出女性发明家的名字,虽然当今社会广泛应用的某些科技是由女性发明的。

For example, where would we be without the windscreen wiper? Back on a freezing winter's day in 1902, Mary Anderson was travelling by tram through New York city. Snow was falling, forcing the driver to stop repeatedly and get out to clear it. Each time the door opened, Mary suffered a gust of sub-zero air. She had a brainwave: why not make some kind of a rubber blade that could be operated from inside the vehicle? And that's exactly what she did.

比如,假使没有雨刷器会怎么样呢?追溯到1902年的一个寒冷的冬天,玛丽·安德森乘着电车游览纽约市。车外大雪纷飞,司机不得不时常停下车清理车前玻璃的积雪。每次打开车门,玛丽都被冰冷的空气冻得够呛。她产生了一个想法:为什么不发明一种待在车内就能操作的橡胶刮片呢?也就是她后来发明出来的东西。

Let's step in from freezing New York for our next invention. The dishwasher dates back even earlier to the 19th Century, and to the dinner parties thrown by a lady called Josephine Cochrane. As a frequent host, she wanted a machine that could wash dishes faster than people. Her response was to develop what was to become the first commercially successful dishwasher. Interestingly, innovation was in her blood: her grandfather had invented the steamboat.

说过了寒冷的纽约,我们接下来讲另一个发明。洗碗机的诞生甚至可以追溯到19世纪。这是由一位名叫约瑟芬·科克伦的女士发明的。因为家里经常来客人,所以她想要一台比人更高效的洗碗机。她把想法付诸行动,发明了第一台商业上成功的洗碗机。有趣的是,她的发明才能来自基因遗传:她祖父曾发明了汽船。

Need something to do while the dishwasher is whirring away? How about a round of Monopoly? One of the most popular board games around, the rules were first drawn up by a lady called Elizabeth Magie, and patented in 1904. Her intention was to create a game to highlight what she saw as the pitfalls of capitalism. It was originally called The Landlord's Game.

洗碗有洗碗机了,那自己总得找点事情做吧?玩一轮大富翁怎么样?作为最流行的纸牌游戏的一种,它的规则最早是由一位名叫伊丽莎白·麦吉制定的,并且在1904年获得了这项游戏的专利。她发明这款游戏是为了揭露她所看到的资本主义陷阱。这款游戏一开始的名字叫做地主游戏。

To an altogether different kind of innovation: Kevlar is the lightweight fibre used in bulletproof vests. The material is used by millions every day and has saved countless lives. The super tough fabric is also used in objects ranging from gloves to aeroplanes to wind turbines. Incredibly, its strength-to-weight ratio is five times higher than steel. Again, it was invented by a woman, the American chemist Stephanie Kwolek, in 1964.

再讲一个完全不同的发明:凯夫拉是防弹背心所用的轻量级纤维,每天都有上百万的人在用这种材料,很多人也因它而活了下来。这种超强韧的纤维也用于其它产品,比如手套,飞机,以及风力涡旋机。难以置信的是,它的强度重量比是钢铁的5倍。这种材料一名女性在1964年发明的,她就是美国化学家斯蒂芬妮·克劳莱克。

Finally, one of the most important inventions of the 20th Century must surely be the computer programme. The world of programming is notoriously unbalanced in terms of gender. Men vastly outnumber women, and take home around 30% more pay than their female counterparts on average. But back in the 1940s and 50s, women were at the forefront of this new field. Grace Hopper is credited with inventing the first compiler in 1952, which serves as the bridge between code and the binary ones and zeros understood by computers.

最后,20世纪最重要的发明之一肯定非计算机程序莫属了。编程领域是出了名的男女占比不平衡,男性职员远远多于女性,而且他们的报酬也比女性工作者平均高出约30%。但追溯到20世纪四五十年代,女性是这个新兴领域的中坚力量。葛丽丝·霍普在1952年发明了第一个编译器,充当了代码和计算机能读懂的二进制1和0之间的桥梁。

 

词汇表

polymath

博学者,博学的人

spring to mind

突然呈现在脑海中

pioneer

先锋

hard-pressed

(由于缺少时间)面临困难的

where would we be without…

假如没有…我们将会是怎样的?

windscreen wiper

雨刷器

sub-zero

温度在零度以下的

brainwave

(突发的)灵感,妙计

dishwasher

洗碗机

throw (a party)

举办(聚会)

in someone's blood

在某人的血液中,在骨子里

whirr

(洗衣机)发出嗡嗡声

patent

注册专利权

pitfall

陷阱

bulletproof vest

防弹背心

wind turbine

风力发电机

notoriously

出了名地(负面),声名狼藉地

gender

性别

outnumber

在数量上压倒

binary

二进位制

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