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没有什么是一成不变的,就连我们一直以来都坚信不疑的事实也会改变。比如,过去的人认为医生在进行外科手术前不用洗手。现在呢?医生手术前不洗手简直难以想象。以下六个“事实”是你在学校里学到的,但是随着时间流逝已经不再准确,或者,老师从一开始就教错了。是时候把这些错误的旧观念从脑子中清洗出去啦。

THEN: America won its independence on July 4, 1776

过去认为:美国于1776年7月4日赢得独立。

NOW: America was not officially independent until seven years later, in 1783.

现在认为:美国一直到七年之后,也就是1783年才正式独立。

Every year on July 4, Americans celebrate Independence Day with parades, barbecues, and fireworks.

每年的7月4日,美国人都会用游行、烧烤、烟花来庆祝独立纪念日。

But while the Declaration of Independence was adopted by 12 colonies on July 4, 1776 and signed by 13 colonies in August, America was not yet free from Great Britain's rule.

事实上,尽管1776年7月4日美国12个英属殖民地联合签署了《独立宣言》,并在同年8月扩展到13个,但是当时的美国并没有脱离英国的统治。

The American Revolution waged on for years. Finally, the Treaty of Paris was signed on September 3, 1783, and America became free.

美国独立战争打了很多年。最后,在1783年9月3日签署了《巴黎条约》,美国才终获自由。

THEN: George Washington's teeth were made of wood

过去认为:乔治•华盛顿的假牙是木头做成的。

NOW: Washington's teeth were human teeth from his slaves and also made from ivory.

现在认为:华盛顿的假牙有一部分是他的奴隶的牙齿,还有一部分是象牙做成的。

A set of dentures that George Washington wore are kept at the Mount Vernon plantation house museum. The dentures are fashioned out of ivory and human teeth.

乔治•华盛顿戴过的一套假牙被保存在弗农庄园博物馆。这些假牙是用象牙和人牙制成的。

While historians note the "limitations of history" when sourcing Washington's human teeth back to the individuals they were taken from, written evidence shows Washington purchased teeth from slaves and made note of it in one of his ledgers.

在追溯这些人牙的主人时,历史学家指出这是“历史的局限性”,而书面证据显示,这些人牙是华盛顿从奴隶那里买来的,并在他的一本账簿上有所记载。

Slaves during the 18th century sometimes sold their teeth to dentists to make money. In 1784, Washington "paid several unnamed 'Negroes' ... 122 shillings for nine teeth, slightly less than one-third the going rate advertised in the papers," according to PBS.

在十八世纪,奴隶会将自己的牙齿卖给牙医来换钱。据美国公共广播公司报道,1784年,华盛顿“付给几个不知名的黑人122先令,换取了9颗牙齿,略低于报纸上刊登的人牙市场价格的三分之一”。

Washington likely then had the teeth implanted into his jaw in a surgical procedure common at the time.

之后华盛顿很可能将这些牙齿通过外科手术植入牙床,这在当时很普遍。

THEN: Pluto is a planet

过去认为:冥王星是一颗行星。

NOW: Pluto isn't a planet

现在认为:冥王星不是行星。

We've known since the late 1800s that a ninth planet, after Uranus, potentially existed. In 1906, Percival Lowell, the founder of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, even began a research project intended to locate the mysterious "Planet X."

自从19世纪末以来,人类就知道,自天王星之后可能存在第九颗行星。1906年,美国亚利桑那州弗拉格斯塔夫的罗威尔天文台的创立者帕西瓦尔•罗威尔甚至发起了一个研究项目,试图定位这个神秘的X行星。

Then in 1930, a 23-year-old newbie at the facility found it. The discoverer, Clyde Tombaugh, had been tasked with systematically comparing photographs of the sky taken weeks apart to search for any moving objects. He eventually saw one and submitted his finding to the Harvard College Observatory. After an 11-year-old English girl named the new planet (for the Roman god of the underworld), we started including Pluto as a planet in our solar system.

1930年,该天文台一名23岁的新人发现了这颗行星的位置。发现者克莱德•汤博接到的任务是,通过比照拍摄时间相隔数周的星空照片来搜寻任何移动的天体。最终汤博发现了一个新天体,并将这一发现呈交给哈佛大学天文台。一个11岁的英国小女孩用罗马神话中的冥神为这颗新行星命名后,人类就开始将冥王星纳入我们的太阳系。

But in 2003, an astronomer found a larger object beyond Pluto — which he named Eris, according to NASA. The new information caused a bunch of other astronomers to question what really makes a planet a planet, and they decided, based on size and location, that Pluto just didn't make the cut. Neither did Eris, actually. Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet.

但是,根据美国宇航局的消息,2003年,一位天文学家发现了冥王星之外的一个更大的天体,并将其命名为阋神星。这一新发现促使一大批天文学家开始质疑,成为一个行星的条件到底是什么,并且基于冥王星的体积和位置决定冥王星不够资格成为行星。阋神星也没能跻身行星的行列。冥王星自此被降级为矮行星。

Needless to say, elementary schools kids were pretty bummed.

不用说,这么一来让小学生们挺郁闷的。

But there may be hope. Researchers have recently been debating whether to make Pluto a planet again.

不过,也许还有希望。研究人员最近正在讨论是否重新让冥王星成为一颗行星。

THEN: Witches in Salem were burned at the stake

过去认为:萨勒姆的女巫们是绑在柱子上烧死的。

NOW: They were actually hanged

现在认为:那些女巫们其实是被绞死的。

Even if you didn't read Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" in high school, you probably learned somewhere that the townspeople of Salem burned witches at the stake.

就算你上高中时没读过阿瑟•米勒的《萨勒姆的女巫》,你也很可能从别处了解到萨勒姆的镇民将女巫们绑在柱子上烧死。

But that never happened, according to Richard Trask, a town archivist for Danvers (formerly known as Salem Village.) He also chaired the Salem Village Witchcraft Tercentennial Committee from 1990 to 1992 and wrote a book detailing the time period called "Salem Village Witch Hysteria."

但是据丹弗斯(过去被称为萨勒姆村)镇的档案保管员理查德•特拉斯克说,这件事从未发生过。特拉斯克还曾在1990年至1992年期间担任萨勒姆村巫术三百年委员会主席,并写过一本书,详细描述了这段名为“萨勒姆村女巫疯癫”时期。

At the time of the trials, New England still followed English law, which listed witchcraft as a felony punishable by hanging — not burning at the stake, Trask said. In Europe, however, the church labeled witchcraft heresy and did tie up suspected practitioners and light them on fire. You can see where the confusion started.

特拉斯克说,在审判时,新英格兰地区仍遵循英国法律,而英国法律规定巫术是重罪,应该被绞死,而不是绑在柱子上烧死。不过,在欧洲,教堂会把巫术定为异端,也确实曾将疑似巫师人员绑起来烧死。现在你知道为什么会搞错了吧。

THEN: Israelite slaves built the pyramids

过去认为:以色列奴隶建造了金字塔。

NOW: Egyptians workers built the pyramids themselves

现在认为:埃及工人自己建造了金字塔。

Even movies like "The Prince Of Egypt" perpetuate the idea that slaves built the pyramids. Although many think the Bible tells us they did, the book doesn't mention the story specifically.

《埃及王子》等电影让奴隶建造金字塔的想法深入人心。尽管许多人认为《圣经》里是这么写的,但是《圣经》并没有特别提到这段故事。

This popular myth reportedly stems from comments made by former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin when visiting Egypt in 1977, according to Amihai Mazar, professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

耶路撒冷希伯来大学的阿米哈伊•玛扎尔教授说,据说,这一流行的传言源于以色列前总理梅纳赫姆•贝京1977年访问埃及时发表的评论。

"No Jews built the pyramids because Jews didn't exist at the period when the pyramids were built," Mazar told the AP.

玛扎尔告诉美联社说:“建造金字塔的没有犹太人,因为造金字塔的时候,犹太人还不存在呢。”

Recent archaeological finds actually show that Egyptians built the pyramids themselves. Workers were recruited from poor families in the north and south but were highly respected, earning crypts near the pyramids and even proper preparation for burial.

最近的考古学发现显示,是埃及人自己建造了金字塔。工人是从北部和南部的贫苦家庭招募的,但是这些工人都备受尊敬,死后被葬在金字塔附近的地下墓室里,甚至还有体面的安葬仪式。

Slaves wouldn't have been treated so honorably.

奴隶是不可能有这样尊贵的待遇的。

THEN: The Great Wall Of China is the only man-made structure visible from space.

过去认为:中国的长城是从太空唯一可见的人造建筑。

NOW: Many man-made places are visible from space.

现在认为:从太空可以看见很多人造场所。

Technically, this wasn't ever a solid "truth" — just a fact third-graders ubiquitously included in their class reports. In fact, rumors that you can see the landmark, not only from a spaceship, but all the way from the moon, date back as far as 1938.

从技术层面上来说,并不存在确凿的“真相”——这只是三年级学生们普遍写进课堂报告的一个“事实”。其实,早在1938年,就有传言说,你不但可以从宇宙飞船上,还能从月球上看到长城。

In 2003 though, the first Chinese astronaut finally shattered the myth.

不过,在2003年,中国第一名航天员粉碎了这个传言。

The party responsible, a man named Yang Liwei, admitted he couldn't see the Great Wall from space.

中国航天员杨利伟承认,他从太空中看不到长城。

Other photos surfaced here and there. The consensus became that you can, indeed, catch glimpses of the Great Wall but only under the right conditions (snow on the structure) or with a zoom-capable camera. You can also see the lights of large cities — and major roadways and bridges and airports and dams and reservoirs.

但是其他照片显示,你确实可以从太空瞥见长城,但必须有良好的前提条件(比如长城上盖了雪)或使用可变焦的摄像头。你还可以看到大城市的灯光、主要公路、大桥、机场、水坝和水库。

"The only thing you can see from the Moon is a beautiful sphere, mostly white, some blue and patches of yellow, and every once in a while some green vegetation," Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean told NASA. "No man-made object is visible at this scale."

阿波罗12号的宇航员艾伦•宾告诉美国宇航局说:“从月球上你唯一能看到的是一个美丽的球体,大部分是白色,小部分是蓝色,还有几片黄色,偶尔可以看到一些绿色植被。从月球上看不到任何人造物体。”

To further clarify, people probably mean these structures are visible from satellites orbiting Earth — but that's not actual space.

为了进一步澄清,人们指的是,这些建筑可以从绕地球飞行的人造卫星上看到——但那并不是实际意义上的太空。


文章来源:中国日报英语点津

图片来源:高品图像

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