21st Century College English: Book 2 Unit 6 : Text A A Brief History of Stephen Hawking
Unit 6: Text A • Lead-in Activities • Text Organization • Reading and Writing Skills • Language Points • Guided Practice • Assignment
Lead-in Activities Questions for Discussion 1. What do you know about Stephen Hawking? Share with your classmates. 2. Why is he called “the smartest man in the world”?
Known to millions, far and wide, for one of his science book How did he gain great success in spite of his disability? Introduction of his birth, his family and Galileo’s influence on him Hawking showed his intelligence and gift at school. Hawking gained success in science in spite of his disability. Text Organization —— para. 1 para. 2 para. 3-5 para. 6-10 para. 11-14
Reading & Writing Skills 1. Writing Skill Coming up with examples to support the general statement. 2. Reading Skill Understanding figurative language.
Intensive Study • Intensive Study • Difficult sentences • Key words, phrases & usages • Comprehension exercises
Intensive Study A Brief History of Stephen Hawking By Michael White & John Gribbin
Intensive Study 1 He has been proclaimed “the finest mind alive”, “the greatest genius of the late 20th century”, and “Einstein’s heir”. Known to millions, far and wide, for his book A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking is a star scientist in more ways than one. His gift for revealing the mysteries of the universe in a style that non-scientists can enjoy made Hawking an instant celebrity and his book a bestseller in both Britain and America. It has earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records for spending 184 weeks in The Sunday Times“top-ten” lists, and has sold more than five million copies worldwide — virtually unheard-of success for a science book.
Intensive Study 2 How did all this happen? How has a man who is almost completely paralysed and unable to speak except through a computer overcome these incredible obstacles and achieved far more than most people ever dream of? 3 Stephen William Hawking was a healthy baby, born to intellectual, eccentric parents. His father Frank, a doctor specializing in tropical diseases, and his mother Isobel, a doctor’s daughter, lived in a big old house full of books. Carpets and furniture stayed in use until they fell apart; the wallpaper hung peeling from old age. The family car was a London taxi, bought for £50.
Intensive Study 4 Hawking has always been fascinated by his birth date: January 8, 1942. It was the 300th anniversary of the death of Galileo, the Italian mathematician and astronomer who revolutionised astronomy by maintaining that the Sun is the centre of the Solar System — not the Earth, as ancient astronomers believed. 5 “Galileo”, says Hawking, “was the first scientist to start using his eyes, both figuratively and literally. In a sense, he was responsible for the age of science we now enjoy.”
Intensive Study 6 Hawking attended St. Albans School, a private school noted for its high academic standards. He was part of a small elite group, the brightest of the bright students. They hung around together, listened to classical music and read only such “smart” authors as Aldous Huxley and Hawking’s hero, Bertrand Russell, at once an intellectual giant and liberal activist. 7 Hawking spent very little time on maths homework, yet got full marks. A friend recalls: “While I would be struggling away with a complicated problem, he just knew the answer. He didn’t have to think about it.”
Intensive Study 8 This instinctive insight also impressed his teachers. One of Hawking’s science teachers, for example, recalls the time he posed the question: “Does a cup of hot tea reach a drinkable temperature more quickly if you put the milk in first, or add the milk after pouring?” While the rest of the class struggled over how to even begin approaching the problem, Hawking almost instantly announced the correct answer: “Add the milk after pouring, of course.” (The hotter the tea initially, the faster it will cool.) Another teacher relates how Hawking and his friends built a simple computer – and this was in 1958, a time when only large research centres had any computers at all.
Intensive Study 9 Hawking the schoolboy was a typical grind, underweight and awkward and peering through eyeglasses. His grey uniform always looked a mess and he spoke rather unclearly, having inherited a slight lisp from his father. This had nothing to do with early signs of illness; he was just that sort of kid – a figure of classroom fun, respected by his friends, avoided by most.
Intensive Study 10 Hawking went on to study at Oxford, winning a scholarship to read Natural Science, a course which combines mathematics, physics and astronomy, at University College. He found much of the work easy and averaged only one hour’s work a day. Once, when his tutor set some physics problems from a textbook, Hawking didn’t even bother to do them. Asked why, he spent 20 minutes pointing out errors in the book. His main enthusiasm was the Boat Club. Many times he returned to shore with bits of the boat knocked off, having tried to guide his crew through an impossibly narrow gap. His rowing trainer suspects, “Half the time, he was sitting in the stern with his head in the stars, working out mathematical formulae.”
Intensive Study 11Oxford has always had its share of eccentric students, so Hawking fit right in. But then, when he was 21, he was told that he had ALS — a progressive and incurable nerve disease. The doctors predicted that he had only a few years to live. 12“Before my condition was diagnosed, I was very bored with life,” Hawking says today, speaking from his wheelchair through a computerized voice synthesizer. The doctors’ grim prognosis made him determined to get the most from a life he had previously taken for granted.
Intensive Study 13 “But I didn’t die,” Hawking notes dryly. Instead, as his physical condition worsened, Hawking’s reputation in scientific circles grew, as if to demonstrate the theory of mind over matter. Hawking himself acknowledges his disease as being a crucial factor in focusing his attention on what turned out to be his real strength: theoretical research. Hawking specializes in theoretical cosmology, a branch of science that seeks ultimate answers to big questions: Why has the universe happened, and what are the laws that govern it? His main work has been on black holes and the origin and expansion of the universe. He currently holds the Cambridge University professorship once held by Sir Isaac Newton.
Intensive Study 14The smartest man in the world is not immune to the depression that can accompany severe disabilities. But Hawking says: “I soon realized that the rest of the world won’t want to know you if you’re bitter or angry. You have to be positive if you’re to get much sympathy or help.” He goes on: “Nowadays, muscle power is obsolete. What we need is mind power — and disabled people are as good at that as anyone else.”
He has been proclaimed “the finest mind alive” ... alive a. — (predicative) having life; living Cf. livinga. (attributive) e.g. • I have no living relatives in my hometown. e.g. • The doctors are trying every possible means to keep him alive. • It is reported that more than forty people were burned alive in yesterday’s fire. More to learn
He has been proclaimed “the finest mind alive” ... Paraphrase ? — He has been declared the most intelligent man who is living today ...
Known to millions, … • Past participial phrases can be used as adverbials. • e.g. • • Stephen Hawking is known to millions, far and wide, for his book “A Brief History of Time”. He is a star scientist in more ways than one. • Known to millions, far and wide, for his book A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking is a star scientist in more ways than one. More to do
Exercises • Structure VIII. Rewrite the following pairs of sentences as single sentences using past participial phrases as adverbials. 《读写教程 II》：Ex. VIII, p. 173 1. The museum was originally located in London. It was moved to Hertfordshire in 1946. 2. The manager was asked what his plan was for the coming year. He promised to further develop the domestic market. • Originally located in London, the museum was moved to Hertfordshire in 1946. • Asked what his plan was for the coming year, the manager promised to further develop the domestic market.
Exercises • Structure VIII. Rewrite the following pairs of sentences as single sentences using past participial phrases as adverbials. 3. This symphony was composed in 1878. It’s based on a classical Chinese love story. 4.Many modern museum exhibits are designed for visitors to touch or play with. They are at once entertaining and educational. • Composed in 1878, this symphony is based on a classical Chinese love story. • Designed for visitors to touch or play with, many modern museum exhibits are at once entertaining and educational.
Exercises • Structure VIII. Rewrite the following pairs of sentences as single sentences using past participial phrases as adverbials. 5. Science is aided by technology. It helps mankind to gain increasing control over the environment. • Aided by technology, science helps mankind to gain increasing control over the environment.
far and wide — everywhere; from or over a large area e.g. • She looked far and wide for the missing diamond ring. • Since he retired, he has traveled far and wide.
His gift for … and his book a bestseller in both Britain and America. bestseller n. — anything, especially a book, that has a large sale. Translate 《星际大战之三》成了2002的畅销书之一。 e.g. • The writer’s first novel was a best-seller. • John read a best-seller while riding the bus. Key “Star War III” turned out to be one of the bestsellers in the year 2002. More to learn
His gift for … and his book a bestseller in both Britain and America. — His ability to explain the complexities of the universe in a way that the average non-professional readers can understand and appreciate soon made him well known and his book best-selling in both Britain and America.
earnvt. — get (sth. that one deserves) because of one’s qualities; deserve e.g. • She earned the promotion from a salesgirl to a sales manager. • After that, Sharon earned a reputation for honesty. Translate 他已在历史上赢得了一席之地。 Key He has earned his place in history.
Guinness Book of Records《吉尼斯世界纪录大全》 In 1955, Norris and his twin brother Ross edited the first Guinness Book of World Records. The book was first designed to record the then extremes in, on and beyond the Earth — notably in human performance and of the natural world. The name “Guinness” derives from the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, which was Ireland’s largest company. It is in London now. The book is now published worldwide in 23 different languages. Text-related information
The Sunday Times《星期日泰晤士报》 The Sunday Times is an influential Sunday newspaper published in London, England. It is known around the world for the quality of its reporting and editing and for its coverage of British politics and the arts. Founded in 1822 as a nationally circulated paper with an independent editorial policy, The Sunday Times reflects the dignified, carefully written, and well-edited character of its daily counterpart The Times. Text-related information
virtually ad. — almost; very nearly Notice: You can use virtually to refer to something that is almost or nearly true and that can be regarded as true for most purposes. e.g. • It’s virtually impossible to tell the imitation from the real thing. • The job was virtually completed by the end of the week. More to learn
virtually ad. — almost; very nearly Cf. virtual a. —almost what is stated; in fact though not officially Virtualreality is a set of images and sounds produced by a computer which seem to represent a place or situation in which a person experiencing it can take part, and avirtualbusiness is one that exists in cyberspace.
paralyse/paralyzevt. —make (sb. ) lose the ability to move part or all of his body, or to feel anything in it Notice: You can say that people, places or organizations are paralysed by something when it makes them unable to act or function properly. e.g. • The strike paralysed the transport network. • The whole system was paralysed when the main computer broke down. e.g. •He was paralysed from the neck down in a road accident. • A stroke paralyzed half his face. Translate 电力故障使整个城市陷于瘫痪。 Key Electricity failure paralyzed the whole city.
dream of — wish, fantasize, imagine You dream of doing something or of something happening, when you very much want it to come about. e.g. • He dreamed of winning the world tennis championship one day. • Stephanie often dreams of long sea journeys.
specialize in — concentrate one’s studies, interests, etc. on (a particular field, etc.) e.g. • Prof. White specializes in oriental history. • He specialized first in painting birds and later in writing about them. Fill in the blank They went to a _____ (意大利风味餐馆). Key restaurant that specializes in Italian food
Carpets and furniture stayed in use until they fell apart; the wallpaper hung peeling from old age. fall apart — break into pieces; break up e.g. • My bicycle isfalling apart. • Their marriage finallyfell apart. More to learn
Carpets and furniture stayed in use until they fell apart; the wallpaper hung peeling from old age. peel vi. — (of a covering) come off in strips or small pieces e.g. • After the sunburn, my husband’s skin peeled. Cf. peel vt. — (off) remove the outer covering from (a fruit, vegetable, etc.) e.g. • Mother wanted you to peel some potatoes for salad. Cf. peel n. — the outer covering of fruits and vegetables e.g. • orange peel • onion peel
Carpets and furniture stayed in use until they fell apart; the wallpaper hung peeling from old age. The family car was a London taxi, bought for £50. — Carpets and furniture would not be replaced by new ones until they broke; the wallpaper came off and hung for old age. The family car was a second-hand car bought for £50 from a London taxi company. The description of Hawking’s parents’ house suggests their “eccentric” behaviors in other people’s eyes and, on the other hand, their thrift in life: they would rather bury themselves in a roomful of books than have any comforts in their house.
Galileo(1564 - 1642) Italian astronomer and physicist. The first to use a telescope to study the stars (1610), he was an outspoken advocate of Copernicus’s theory that the sun forms the center of the universe, which led to his persecution and imprisonment by the Inquisition (1633). Text-related information
… start using his eyes, both figuratively and literally figurativelyad. — 比喻地；借喻地 When someone is speaking figuratively, he is using a word or expression with a more abstract or imaginative meaning than its usual one. e.g. • Figurativelyspeaking, a number of people still live in the eighteenth century. • When I said I killed him, I was using the word “kill” figuratively. More to learn
… start using his eyes, both figuratively and literally • literallyad. • exactly, really • e.g. • • There are literally thousands of “interest groups” on the Internet. • • I literally begged him for help. • literallyad. • according to the most basic and simple meaning of a word • e.g. • • The book is translated too literally. • • Don’t take everything he says literally; he likes to exaggerate. More to learn
… start using his eyes, both figuratively and literally “Figuratively”and “literally”are often used to describe the meanings of words. In the case of “eye”, literally it means an organ of sight, as in “He closed his left eye and opened his right eye”, while figuratively it means the mind’s eye or observation, as in “To her expert eye, the painting was terrible.”
In a sense, he was responsible for the age of science we now enjoy. in a sense — to a certain extent but not entirely e.g. • You are right in a sense, but you don’t know all the facts. • We are, in a sense, being deceitful if we tell them so. More to learn
In a sense, he was responsible for the age of science we now enjoy. be responsible for — be the cause of e.g. • The bad weather was responsible for the crop failure. • Who is responsible for the damage?
Aldous Huxley (1894 - 1963) Aldous Huxley was an English novelist, essayist, critic and poet.During the 1920s and 1930s he lived in Italy and France, and there wrote many of his best fictions, notably Brave New World (1932) and Eyeless in Gaza (1936). Disillusioned with Europe he left for California in 1937, in search of new spiritual direction. He also wrote on science, philosophy, and social criticism. His works, often pessimistic, combine satire and earnestness, brutality and humanity,and shed light on unexplored territory. Text-related information
Bertrand Russell(1872 - 1970) Bertrand Russellwas a British philosopher, mathematician, and reformer, whose emphasis on logical analysis influenced the course of 20th-century philosophy. He remained constant in his admiration of physics and his belief that science provides the best understanding of all that exists. He was widely known to the general public through campaigns and writings in favor of progressive views in politics, morals, education, and religion. Among his many books are Principles of Mathematics (1903), The Analysis of Matter (1927), Education and The Social Order (1930). He was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature in 1950. Text-related information
at once an intellectual giant and liberal activist at once — at the same time • e.g. • All three boys spoke at once. • The book is at once instructive and amusing. • When there’s more than one conversation going on at once, you can’t hear anything. More to learn
at once an intellectual giant and liberal activist intellectual a. — having or showing power of the mind; needing or using power of the mind An intellectual person is one who has developed his brain and is highly educated, and is interested in subjects that exercise the mind, while an intelligent person has the power of learning or understanding but may not know much. Cf.intelligent a. — having or showing understanding; able to learn and know e.g. • Dolphins are intelligent animals. • Scientists believe that there are intelligent life existingbeyond our solar system. e.g. • He’s quite bright but he’s not what you should describe as intellectual. • Thinking is an intellectual process.
struggle away with — try very hard to do (sth., though it is very hard) • e.g. • He struggled away with calculus but eventually understood it. • For years, the scientist struggled away with the establishmentto get his theories accepted. More to learn
away ad. — all the time; continuously e.g. • She worked away at her job. • The young people chatted away like old friends.
Hawking the schoolboy was ... — As a schoolboy Hawking was ... “Hawking the schoolboy”, the reverse of the more common form, the schoolboy Hawking, is a case of restrictive apposition of noun phrases. The appositive preceded by “the” is a general word restricted in meaning by the proper name. e.g. • Robinson the singer (= the singer Robinson) • Paul Jones the critic (= the critic Paul Jones) More to learn