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Lean Odds for Pisa’s Tower

时间:2006-11-13 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:linquans   字体: [ ]

Lean Odds1 for Pisa’s Tower

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the most intensely observed building in the world.

Prof. John Burland (Imperial College of Science and Technology): When you come in through the west gate, and see this 1)glistening2 white structure 2)looming over the 3)Cathedral, with its lovely 4)symmetry, it is, it is beautiful. But it’s breathtaking, the fact that it hasn’t fallen over, that
 it’s just 5)shimmering on the edge.

Amongest the impressive buildings of Medieval Italy, the Leaning Tower of Pisa stands out as 6)strikingly original. But what makes this building so special may now destroy it. The tower isfalling over. Already the top bends four and a half meters south of the base. Some engineerscalculate that this collapse5 should have happened years ago. In fact, why it’s still standing6 is one of the mysteries surrounding the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The Structure of the tower

The tower is a hollow 7)cylinder7, twelve meters wide. In most places, the walls are almost threemeters thick. But 8)corkscrewing through the walls is a staircase wide enough for two Pisans toclimb side by side. An 9)extravagant8 design, which means that in some places the walls are underone meter thick. This would be just 10)adequate if the walls were solid marble. The 11)infill of stones and lime is not consistent. There are several large holes in this 12)conglomerate9, created
by the medieval builder’s wooden 13)scaffold. The marble is more than a facade10. It provides most of the support for the fourteen thousand ton tower and bears the stress created by the lean. That’s why many of these bricks are breaking up. Although some of these cracks are 14)superficial, one may be the start of total collapse. Because of the tower’s immense importance to Pisa, it has always been well maintained. For centuries, whenever a marble block has become damaged, a new one has been 15)chiseled out and fitted into the tower. So far, this has prevented collapse. But traditional 16)maintenance will no longer contain the extreme stress on the second storey.

The building of the tower

Medieval Italy was tower-mad. Skylines, like this one at San Gimignano, just south of Pisa, were commonplace. For the princes and merchants, the bigger your tower, the more wealth and power you 17)projected. Today Pisa is a quiet university town. But Medieval Pisa was an aggressive trading power and one of the richest cities in the world. Work began in 1172, and after about six years, the 18)masons had reached the fourth level. Then they stopped. The tower was abandoned for almost a century. This was probably due to political and economic 19)strife12. But perhaps the delay was a brilliant building strategy. Thanks to the delays and corrections over generations of masons, the tower is shaped like a question mark. By the early nineties, years of scientific research have produced a painful conclusion. The more the leaning tower is studied, the more questions it poses. But, 20)infused by the determination of the Medieval masons, the engineers do not give up. They’re 21)on the verge13 of  22)startling discoveries.

1) glistening [5^li:sniN] a. 闪耀的,反光的
2) loom3 [lu:m] v. 隐约地出现;赫然耸现
3) cathedral [kE5Wi:drEl] n. 大教堂
4) symmetry [5simitri] n. 对称,匀称
5) shimmer4 [5FimE] v. 微微发光或闪光,发光
6) strikingly [5straikiNli] ad. 醒目地,引人侧目地
7) cylinder [5silindE] n. 圆筒,汽缸
8) corkscrew [5kC:kskru:] v. 作螺旋状前进
9) extravagant [iks5trAvE^Ent] a. 奢侈的,过度的
10) adequate [5Adikwit] a. 适当的,足够的
11) infill [5infil] n. 填实(空隙等)
12) conglomerate [kCn5^lCmErit] n. 聚集物,混合体
13) scaffold [5skAfEld] n. 绞刑台,脚手架
14) superficial [sju:pE5fiFEl] a. 表面的,肤浅的
15) chisel11 [5tFizl]  v. 砍凿
16) maintenance [5meintinEns] n. 维护
17) project [prE5dVekt] v. 使突出、显现出
18) mason [5meisn] n. 泥瓦匠
19) strife [straif] n. 斗争,冲突
20) infuse [in5fju:z] v. 使充满;鼓舞
21) on the verge of 接近于,濒临于
22) startling [5stB:tliN] a. 令人吃惊的







1 odds n5czT     
  • The odds are 5 to 1 that she will win.她获胜的机会是五比一。
  • Do you know the odds of winning the lottery once?你知道赢得一次彩票的几率多大吗?
2 glistening glistening     
adj.闪耀的,反光的v.湿物闪耀,闪亮( glisten的现在分词 )
  • Her eyes were glistening with tears. 她眼里闪着晶莹的泪花。
  • Her eyes were glistening with tears. 她眼睛中的泪水闪着柔和的光。 来自《用法词典》
3 loom T8pzd     
  • The old woman was weaving on her loom.那位老太太正在织布机上织布。
  • The shuttle flies back and forth on the loom.织布机上梭子来回飞动。
4 shimmer 7T8z7     
  • The room was dark,but there was a shimmer of moonlight at the window.屋子里很黑,但靠近窗户的地方有点微光。
  • Nor is there anything more virginal than the shimmer of young foliage.没有什么比新叶的微光更纯洁无瑕了。
5 collapse aWvyE     
  • The country's economy is on the verge of collapse.国家的经济已到了崩溃的边缘。
  • The engineer made a complete diagnosis of the bridge's collapse.工程师对桥的倒塌做了一次彻底的调查分析。
6 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
7 cylinder rngza     
  • What's the volume of this cylinder?这个圆筒的体积有多少?
  • The cylinder is getting too much gas and not enough air.汽缸里汽油太多而空气不足。
8 extravagant M7zya     
  • They tried to please him with fulsome compliments and extravagant gifts.他们想用溢美之词和奢华的礼品来取悦他。
  • He is extravagant in behaviour.他行为放肆。
9 conglomerate spBz6     
  • The firm has been taken over by an American conglomerate.该公司已被美国一企业集团接管。
  • An American conglomerate holds a major share in the company.一家美国的大联合企业持有该公司的大部分股份。
10 facade El5xh     
  • The entrance facade consists of a large full height glass door.入口正面有一大型全高度玻璃门。
  • If you look carefully,you can see through Bob's facade.如果你仔细观察,你就能看穿鲍勃的外表。
11 chisel mr8zU     
  • This chisel is useful for getting into awkward spaces.这凿子在要伸入到犄角儿里时十分有用。
  • Camille used a hammer and chisel to carve out a figure from the marble.卡米尔用锤子和凿子将大理石雕刻出一个人像。
12 strife NrdyZ     
  • We do not intend to be drawn into the internal strife.我们不想卷入内乱之中。
  • Money is a major cause of strife in many marriages.金钱是造成很多婚姻不和的一个主要原因。
13 verge gUtzQ     
  • The country's economy is on the verge of collapse.国家的经济已到了崩溃的边缘。
  • She was on the verge of bursting into tears.她快要哭出来了。
TAG标签:   疯狂英语  lean  tower
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