John Snow was a famous doctor in London - so expert, indeed, that he attended Queen Victoria as her personal physician.约翰·斯诺是伦敦一位著名的医生——他的确医术精湛,因而成为照料维多利亚女王的私人医生。But he became inspired when he thought about helping ordinary people exposed to cholera.但他一想到要帮助那些得了霍乱的普通百姓时,他就感到很振奋。This was the deadly disease of its day.霍乱在当时是最致命的疾病,Neither its cause nor its cure was understood.人们既不知道它的病源,也不了解它的治疗方法。So many thousands of terrified people died every time there was an outbreak.每次霍乱暴发时,就有大批惊恐的老百姓死去。John Snow wanted to face the challenge and solve this problem.约翰·斯诺想面对这个挑战,解决这个问题。He knew that cholera would never be controlled until its cause was found.他知道,在找到病源之前,霍乱疫情是无法控制的。

  He became interested in two theories that possibly explained how cholera killed people.斯诺对霍乱致人死地的两种推测都很感兴趣。The first suggested that cholera multiplied in the air. A cloud of dangerous gas floated around until it found its victims.一种看法是霍乱病毒在空气中繁殖着,像一股危险的气体到处漂浮,直到找到病毒的受害者为止。The second suggested that people absorbed this disease into their bodies with their meals.第二种看法是人们在吃饭的时候把这种病毒引入体内的。From the stomach the disease quickly attacked the body and soon the affected person died.病从胃里发作而迅速殃及全身,患者就会很快地死去。

  John Snow suspected that the second theory was correct but he needed evidence.斯诺推测第二种说法是正确的,但他需要证据。So when another outbreak hit London in 1854, he was ready to begin his enquiry.因此,在1854年伦敦再次暴发霍乱的时候,约翰·斯诺着手准备对此进行调研。As the disease spread quickly through poor neighbourhoods, he began to gather information.当霍乱在贫民区迅速蔓延的时候,约翰·斯诺就开始收集资料。In two particular streets, the cholera outbreak was so severe that more than 500 people died in ten days.他发现特别在两条街道上霍乱流行的很严重,在10天之内就死去了500多人。He was determined to find out why.他决心要查明其原因。

  First he marked on a map the exact places where all the dead people had lived.首先,他在一张地图上标明了所有死者住过的地方。This gave him a valuable clue about the cause of the disease.这提供了一条说明霍乱起因的很有价值的线索。Many of the deaths were near the water pump

  in Broad Street (especially numbers 16, 37, 38 and 40).许多死者是住在宽街的水泵附近(特别是这条街上16、37、38、40号)。He also noticed that some houses (such as 20 and 21 Broad Street and 8 and 9 Cambridge Street) had had no deaths.他发现有些住宅(如宽街上20号和21号以及剑桥街上的8号和9号)却无人死亡。He had not foreseen this, so he made further investigations.他以前没预料到这种情况,所以他决定深入调查。He discovered that these people worked in the pub at 7 Cambridge Street.他发现,这些人都在剑桥街7号的酒馆里打工,They had been given free beer and so had not drunk the water from the pump.而酒馆为他们免费提供啤酒喝,因此他们没有喝从宽街水泵抽上来的水。It seemed that the water was to blame.看来水是罪魁祸首。 Next, John Snow looked into the source of the water for these two streets.接下来,约翰·斯诺调查了这两条街的水源情况。He found that it came from the river polluted by the dirty water from London.他发现,水是从河里来的,而河水被伦敦排出的脏水污染了。He immediately told the astonished people in Broad Street to remove the handle from the pump so that it could not be used.他马上叫宽街上惊慌失措的老百姓拆掉水泵的把手。这样,水泵就用不成了。Soon afterwards the disease slowed down.不久,疫情就开始得到缓解。He had shown that cholera was spread by germs and not in a cloud of gas.他证明了霍乱是由病菌而不是由气体传播的。

  In another part of London, he found supporting evidence from two other deaths that were linked to the Broad Street outbreak.在伦敦的另一个地区,他从两个与宽街暴发的霍乱有关联的死亡病例中发现了有力的证据。A woman, who had moved away from Broad Street, liked the water from the pump so much that she had it delivered to her house every day.有一位妇女是从宽街搬过来的,她特别喜欢那里的水,每天都要派人从水泵打水运到家里来。Both she and her daughter died of cholera after drinking the water.她和她的女儿喝了这种水,都得了霍乱而死去。With this extra evidence John Snow was able to announce with certainty that polluted water carried the virus.有了这个特别的证据,约翰·斯诺就能够肯定地宣布,这种被污染了的水携带着病菌。

  To prevent this from happening again, John Snow suggested that the source of all the water supplies be examined.为了防止这种情况的再度发生,约翰·斯诺建议所有水源都要经过检测。The water companies were instructed not to expose people to polluted water any more.自来水公司也接到指令,不能再让人们接触被污染的水了。Finally "King Cholera" was defeated.最终,“霍乱王”被击败了。





  Nicolaus Copernicus was frightened and his mind was confused.尼古拉·哥白尼被吓得心烦意乱的。Although he had tried to ignore them, all his mathematical calculations led to the same conclusion: that the earth was not the centre of the solar system.虽然他曾经试着不去理睬那些数字,然而他所有的数学计算都得出了一个相同的结论:地球不是太阳系的中心。Only if you put the sun there did the movements of the other planets in the sky make sense.只有当你把太阳放在中心位置上,天空中其他行星的运动才能说得清楚。Yet he could not tell anyone about his theory as the powerful Christian Church would have punished him for even suggesting such an idea.他的这个理论可不能告诉任何人,因为即使他只暗示有这种想法,他都会受到强大的基督教会势力的惩罚。They believed God had made the world and for that reason the earth was special and must be the centre of the solar system.教会认为世界是上帝创造的,正因为如此,地球就具有特殊的意义,它必定要成为太阳系的中心。

  The problem arose because astronomers had noticed that some planets in the sky seemed to stop, move backward and then go forward in a loop.这样,问题就来了,因为天文学家以前发现过,天上有些行星停顿下来,往后移动,然后再成环状向前移动,Others appeared brighter at times and less bright at others.而其他行星看上去有时亮些,有时又不怎么亮。This was very strange if the earth was the centre of the solar system and all planets went round it.如果地球是太阳系的中心,而所有行星环绕着地球转的话,那么这种现象就很奇怪了。

  Copernicus had thought long and hard about these problems and tried to find an answer.哥白尼对这些问题曾经苦苦思索过很久,试图找出问题的答案。He had collected observations of the stars and used all his mathematical knowledge to explain them.他曾经收集过观察星球的数据,并且利用他的全部数学知识来解释这些数据。But only his new theory could do that.但是只有他的新理论才能作出解释。So between 1510 and 1514 he worked on it, gradually improving his theory until he felt it was complete.于是,他在1510至1514年期间从事这项研究,逐步修改他的理论,直到他感到完善时为止。

  In 1514 he showed it privately to his friends.1514年,他把他的新理论私下里给他的朋友们看。The changes he made to the old theory were revolutionary.他对旧理论的修改是具有革命性的。He placed a fixed sun at the centre of the solar system with the planets going round it and only the moon still going round the earth.他把太阳固定在太阳系的中心位置上,而行星则围绕着太阳。

  转,只有月球仍然绕着地球转。He also suggested that the earth was spinning as it went round the sun and this explained changes in the movement of the planets and in the brightness of the stars.他还提出地球在围绕太阳转的同时,它本身还自转,这样就说明了行星运动的变化情况以及星球亮度问题。His friends were enthusiastic and encouraged him to publish his ideas, but Copernicus was cautious.他的朋友都热情地鼓励他把他的想法公之于世,而他却小心谨慎,He did not want to be attacked by the Christian Church, so he only published it as he lay dying in 1543.他不想遭到基督教会的攻击,所以他直到1543年临终之前才公布了这一观点。

  Certainly he was right to be careful.当然,他小心谨慎是对的。The Christian Church rejected his theory, saying it was against God's idea and people who supported it would be attacked.基督教会拒绝接受他的理论,说这种理论违背了上帝的旨意,而支持这种理论的人都会受到打击。Yet Copernicus' theory is now the basis on which all our ideas of the universe are built.然而哥白尼的理论却是我们宇宙观赖以建立的基础。His theory replaced the Christian idea of gravity, which said things fell to earth because God created the earth as the centre of the universe.他的理论还改变了基督教对地心引力的看法,他们认为物体往地球上掉落是因为上帝创造了地球,而地球正是宇宙的中心。Copernicus showed this was obviously wrong.哥白尼表明这是明显错误的。Now people can see that there is a direct link between his theory and the work of Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.如今人们可以看到,他的这些想法与艾萨克·牛顿、阿尔伯特·爱因斯坦以及斯蒂芬·霍金等人的研究都有着直接的联系。



  People may wonder why different words are used to describe these four countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.人们也许觉得奇怪,为什么用来描述英格兰、威尔士、苏格兰和北爱尔兰这四个国家的词语不太一样。You can clarify this question if you study British history.但如果你学过英国历史,就能弄清楚这个问题。

  First there was England. Wales was linked to it in the thirteenth century.首先是英格兰。威尔士于13世纪同英格兰联合了起来。Now when people refer to England you find Wales included as well.如今只要有人提起英格兰,你就会发现威尔士总是包括在内的。Next England and Wales were joined to Scotland in the seventeenth century and the name was changed to "Great Britain".接着,英格兰、威尔士同苏格兰于17世纪联合了起来,名字就改成了“大不列颠”。Happily this was accomplished without conflict when King James of Scotland became King of England and Wales

  as well.令人庆幸的是,当苏格兰的詹姆斯国王成为英格兰和威尔士的国王时,这三个国家和平地实现了联合。Finally the English government tried in the early twentieth century to form the United Kingdom by getting Ireland connected in the same peaceful way.最后,英国政府打算于20世纪初把爱尔兰也同另外三个国家和平联合起来以形成联合王国。However, the southern part of Ireland was unwilling and broke away to form its own government.然而,爱尔兰的南部却不愿意而分离出去了,并建立了自己的政府。So only Northern Ireland joined with England, Wales and Scotland to become the United Kingdom and this was shown to the world in a new flag called the Union Jack.因此只有北爱尔兰同英格兰、威尔士、苏格兰联合起来,而组成了联合王国,这一点从新的联合王国国旗上就可以看得出来。

  To their credit the four countries do work together in some areas (eg, the currency and international relations), but they still have very different institutions.值得赞扬的是,虽然这四个国家的确在一些方面共同合作,例如在货币和国际关系方面;但是它们在制度上仍然存在很大的区别。For example, Northern Ireland, England and Scotland have different educational and legal systems as well as different football teams for competitions like the World Cup!例如,北爱尔兰、英格兰和苏格兰在教育体制和立法体制上都存在着差异。在参加像世界杯之类的比赛时,它们有着各自的足球队。

  England is the largest of the four countries, and for convenience it is divided roughly into three zones.在这四个国家中,英格兰是最大的。为了方便起见,它大致可以划分为三个地区。The zone nearest France is called the South of England, the middle zone is called the Midlands and the one nearest to Scotland is known as the North.最靠近法国的那个地区叫做英格兰南部,中部地区叫做英格兰中部,最靠近苏格兰的那个地区叫做英格兰北部。You find most of the population settled in the south, but most of the industrial cities in the Midlands and the North of England.你可以看到英国的大部分人口聚居在南部,而多数大工业城市都位于中部和北部。Although, nationwide, these cities are not as large as those in China, they have world-famous football teams and some of them even have two!尽管,英国任何一个城市都不像中国的城市那样大,但是他们都有着自己的享有威名的足球队,有的城市甚至还有两个队。It is a pity that the industrial cities built in the nineteenth century do not attract visitors.很遗憾,这些建于19世纪的工业城市对游客并没有吸引力。For historical architecture you have to go to older but smaller towns built by the Romans.要找历史性建筑你得去更古老的、比较小些的由古罗马人建造的城镇。There you will find out more about British history and culture.在那儿你才可能找到更多的有