Archaeology is a source of history, not just a bumble auxiliary discipline. Archaeological data are historical documents in their own right, not mere illustrations to written texts, Just as much as any other historian, an archaeologist studies and tries to reconstitute the process that has created the human world in which we live - and us ourselves in so far as we are each creatures of our age and social environment. Archaeological data are all changes in the material world resulting from human action or, more succinctly, the fossilized results of human behavior. The sum total of these constitutes what may be called the archaeological record. This record exhibits certain peculiarities and deficiencies the consequences of which produce a rather superficial contrast between archaeological history and the more familiar kind based upon written records.
Not all human behavior fossilizes. The words I utter and you hear as vibrations in the air are certainly human changes in the material world and may be of GRE
at historical significance. Yet they leave no sort of trace in the archaeological records unless they are captured by a dictaphone or written down by a clerk. The movement of troops on the battlefield may "change the course of history," but this is equally ephemeral from the archaeologist's standpoint. What is perhaps worse, most organic materials are perishable. Everything made of wood, hide, wool, linen, grass, hair, and similar materials will decay and vanish in dust in a few years or centuries, save under very exceptional conditions. In a relatively brief period the archaeological record is reduce to mere scraps of stone, bone, glass, metal, and earthenware. Still modern archaeology, by applying appropriate techniques and comparative methods, aided by a few lucky finds from peat-bogs, deserts, and frozen soils, is able to fill up a good
deal of the gap.
From Boston to Los Angeles, from New York City to Chicago to Dallas, museums are either planning, building, or wrapping up wholesale expansion programs. These programs already have radically altered facades and floor plans or are expected to do so in the not-too-distant future.
In New York City alone, six major institutions have spread up and out into the air space and neighborhoods around them or are preparing to do so.
The reasons for this confluence of activity are complex, but one factor is a consideration everywhere - space. With collections expanding, with the needs and functions of museums changing, empty space has become a very precious commodity.
Probably nowhere in the country is this more true than at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which has needed additional space for decades and which received its last significant facelift ten years ago. Because of the space crunch, the Art Museum has become increasingly cautious in considering acquisitions and donations of art, in some cases passing up opportunities to strengthen its collections.
Deaccessing - or selling off - works of art has taken on new importance because of the museum's space problems. And increasingly, curators have been forced to juggle gallery space, rotating one masterpiece into public view while another is sent to storage.
Despite the clear need for additional gallery and storage space, however," the museum has no plan, no plan to break out of its envelope in the next fifteen years," according to Philadelphia Museum of Art's president.
13 Skyscrapers and Environment
In the late 1960's, many people in North America turned their attention to environmental problems, and new steel-and-glass skyscrapers were widely criticized. Ecologists pointed out that a cluster of tall buildings in a city often overburdens public transportation and parking lot capacities.
Skyscrapers are also lavish consumers, and wasters, of electric power. In one recent year, the addition of 17 million square feet of skyscraper office space in New York City raised the peak daily demand for electricity by 120, 000 kilowatts-enough to supply the entire city of Albany, New York, for a day.
Glass-walled skyscrapers can be especially wasteful. The heat loss (or gain)through a wall of half-inch plate glass is more than ten times that through a typical masonry wall filled with insulation board. To lessen the strain on heating and air-conditioning equipment, builders of skyscrapers have begun to use double-glazed panels of glass, and reflective glasses coated with silver or gold mirror films that reduce glare as well as heat gain. However, mirror-walled skyscrapers raise the temperature of the surrounding air and affect neighboring buildings.
Skyscrapers put a severe strain on a city's sanitation facilities, too. If fully occupied, the two World Trade Center towers in New York City would alone generate 2.25 million gallons of raw sewage each year-as much as a city the size of Stanford, Connecticut , which has a population of more than 109, 000.
14 A Rare Fossil Record
The preservation of embryos and juveniles is a rate occurrence in the fossil record. The tiny, delicate skeletons are usually scattered by scavengers or destroyed by weathering before they can be fossilized. Ichthyosaurs had a higher chance of being preserved than did terrestrial creatures because, as marine animals, they tended to live in environments less subject to erosion. Still, their fossilization required a suite of factors: a slow rate of decay of soft tissues, little scavenging by other animals, a lack of swift currents and waves to jumble and carry away small bones, and fairly rapid burial. Given these factors, some areas have become a treasury of well-preserved ichthyosaur fossils.
The deposits at Holzmaden, Germany, present an interesting case for analysis. The ichthyosaur remains are found in black, bituminous marine shales deposited about 190 million years ago. Over the years, thousands of specimens of marine reptiles, fish and invertebrates have been recovered from these rocks. The quality of preservation is outstanding, but what is even more impressive is the number of ichthyosaur fossils containing preserved embryos. Ichthyosaurs with embryos have been reported from 6 different levels of the shale in a small area around Holzmaden, suggesting that a specific site was used by large numbers of ichthyosaurs repeatedly over time. The embryos are quite advanced in their physical development; their paddles, for example, are already well formed. One specimen is even preserved in the birth canal. In addition, the shale contains the remains of many newborns that are between 20 and 30 inches long.
Why are there so many pregnant females and young at Holzmaden when they are so rare elsewhere? The quality of preservation is almost unmatched and quarry operations have been carried out carefully with an awareness of the value of the fossils. But these factors do not account for the interesting question of how there came to be such a concentration of pregnant ichthyosaurs in a particular place very close to their time of giving birth.
15 The Nobel Academy
For the last 82years, Sweden's Nobel Academy has decided who will receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, thereby determining who will be elevated from the GRE
at and the near GRE
at to the immortal. But today the Academy is coming under heavy criticism both from the without and from within. Critics contend that the selection of the winners often has less to do with true writing ability than with the peculiar internal politics of the Academy and of Sweden itself. According to Ingmar Bjorksten , the cultural editor for one of the country's two major newspapers, the prize continues to represent "what people call a very Swedish exercise: reflecting Swedish tastes."
The Academy has defended itself against such charges of provincialism in its selection by asserting that its physical distance from the GRE
at literary capitals of the world actually serves to protect the Academy from outside influences. This may well be true, but critics respond that this very distance may also be responsible for the Academy's inability to perceive accurately authentic trends in the literary world.
Regardless of concerns over the selection process, however, it seems that the prize will continue to survive both as an indicator of the literature that we most highly praise, and as an elusive goal that writers seek. If for no other reason, the prize will continue to be desirable for the financial rewards that accompany it; not only is the cash prize itself considerable, but it also dramatically increases sales of an author's books.
16. the war between Britain and France
In the late eighteenth century, battles raged in almost every corner of Europe, as well as in the Middle East, south Africa ,the west
Indies, and Latin America. In reality, however, there was only one major war during this time, the war between Britain and France. All other battles were ancillary to this larger conflict, and were often at least partially related to its antagonist' goals and strategies. France sought total domination of Europe . this goal was obstructed by British independence and Britain's efforts throughout the continent to thwart Napoleon; through treaties. Britain built coalitions (not dissimilar in concept to today's NATO) guaranteeing British participation in all major European conflicts. These two antagonists were poorly matched, insofar as they had very unequal strengths; France was predominant on land, Britain at sea. The French knew that, short of defeating the British navy, their only hope of victory was to close all the ports of Europe to British ships. Accordingly, France set out to overcome Britain by extending its military domination from Moscow t Lisbon, from Jutland to Calabria. All of this entailed tremendous risk, because France did not have the military resources to control this much territory and still protect itself and maintain order at home.
French strategists calculated that a navy of 150 ships would provide the force necessary to defeat the British navy. Such a force would give France a three-to-two advantage over Britain. This advantage was deemed necessary because of Britain's superior sea skills and technology because of Britain's superior sea skills and technology, and also because Britain would be fighting a defensive war, allowing it to win with fewer forces. Napoleon never lost substantial impediment to his control of Europe. As his force neared that goal, Napoleon GRE
w increasingly impatient and began planning an immediate attack.
17.Evolution of sleep
Sleep is very ancient. In the electroencephalographic sense we share it with all the primates and almost all the other mammals and birds: it may extend back as far as the reptiles.
There is some evidence that the two types of sleep, dreaming and dreamless, depend on the life-style of the animal, and that predators are statistically much more likely to dream than prey, which are in turn much more likely to experience dreamless sleep. In dream sleep, the animal is powerfully immobilized and remarkably unresponsive to external stimuli. Dreamless sleep is much shallower, and we have all witnessed cats or dogs cocking their ears to a sound when apparently fast asleep. The fact that deep dream sleep is rare among pray today seems clearly to be a product of natural selection, and it makes sense that today, when sleep is highly evolved, the stupid animals are less frequently immobilized by deep sleep than the smart ones. But why should they sleep deeply at all? Why should a state of such deep immobilization ever have evolved?
Perhaps one useful hint about the original function of sleep is to be found in the fact that dolphins and whales and aquatic mammals in genera seem to sleep very little. There is, by and large, no place to hide in the ocean. Could it be that, rather than increasing an animal's vulnerability, the University of Florida and Ray Meddis of London University have suggested this to be the case. It is conceivable that animals who are too stupid to be quite on their own initiative are, during periods of high risk, immobilized by the implacable arm of sleep. The point seems particularly clear for the young of predatory animals. This is an interesting notion and probably at least partly true.
18.Modern American Universities
Before the 1850's, the United States had a number of small colleges, most of them dating from colonial days. They were small, church connected institutions whose primary concern was to shape the moral character of their students.
Throughout Europe, institutions of higher learning had developed, bearing the ancient name of university. In German university was concerned primarily with creating and spreading knowledge, not morals. Between mid-century and the end of the 1800's, more than nine thousand young Americans, dissatisfied with their training at home, went to Germany for advanced study. Some of them return to become presidents of venerable colleges-----Harvard, Yale, Columbia---and transform them into modern universities. The new presidents broke all ties with the churches and brought in a new kind of faculty. Professors were hired for their knowledge of a subject, not because they were of the proper faith and had a strong arm for disciplining students. The new principle was that a university was to create knowledge as well as pass it on, and this called for a faculty composed of teacher-scholars. Drilling and learning by rote were replaced by the German method of lecturing, in which the professor's own research was presented in class. Graduate training leading to the Ph.D., an ancient German deGRE
e signifying the highest level of advanced scholarly attainment, was introduced. With the establishment of the seminar system, graduate student learned to question, analyze, and conduct their own research.
At the same time, the new university GRE
atly expanded in size and course offerings, breaking completely out of the old, constricted curriculum of mathematics, classics, rhetoric, and music. The president of Harvard pioneered the elective system, by which students were able to choose their own course of study. The notion of major fields of study emerged. The new goal was to make the university relevant to the real pursuits of the world. Paying close heed to the practical needs of society, the new universities trained men and women to work at its tasks, with engineering students being the most characteristic of the new regime. Students were also trained as economists, architects, agriculturalists, social welfare workers, and teachers.
19.children's numerical skills
people appear to born to compute. The numerical skills of children develop so early and so inexorably that it is easy to imagine an internal clock of mathematical maturity guiding their growth. Not long after learning to walk and talk, they can set the table with impress accuracy---one knife, one spoon, one fork, for each of the five chairs. Soon they are capable of nothing that they have placed five knives, spoons and forks on the table and, a bit later, that this amounts to fifteen pieces of silverware. Having thus mastered addition, they move on to subtraction. It seems almost reasonable to expect that if a child were secluded on a desert island at birth and retrieved seven years later, he or she could enter a second enter a second-grade mathematics class without any serious problems of intellectual adjustment.
Of course, the truth is not so simple. This century, the work of cognitive psychologists has illuminated the subtle forms of daily learning on which intellectual proGRE
ss depends. Children were observed as they slowly grasped-----or, as the case might be, bumped into-----concepts that adults take for quantity is unchanged as water pours from a short glass into a tall thin one. Psychologists have since demonstrated that young children, asked to count the pencils in a pile, readily report the number of blue or red pencils, but must be coaxed into finding the total. Such studies have suggested that the rudiments of mathematics are mastered gradually, and with effort. They have also suggested that the very concept of abstract numbers------the idea of a oneness,
a twoness, a threeness that applies to any class of objects and is a prerequisite for doing anything more mathematically demanding than setting a table-----is itself far from innate
20 The Historical Significance of American Revolution
The ways of history are so intricate and the motivations of human actions so complex that it is always hazardous to attempt to represent events covering a number of years, a multiplicity of persons, and distant localities as the expression of one intellectual or social movement; yet the historical process which culminated in the ascent of Thomas Jefferson to the presidency can be regarded as the outstanding example not only of the birth of a new way of life but of nationalism as a new way of life. The American Revolution represents the link between the seventeenth century, in which modern England became conscious of itself, and the awakening of modern Europe at the end of the eighteenth century. It may seem strange that the march of history should have had to cross the Atlantic Ocean, but only in the North American colonies could a struggle for civic liberty lead also to the foundation of a new nation. Here, in the popular rising against a "tyrannical" government, the fruits were more than the securing of a freer constitution. They included the growth of a nation born in liberty by the will of the people, not from the roots of common descent, a geographic entity, or the ambitions of king or dynasty. With the American nation, for the first time, a nation was born, not in the dim past of history but before the eyes of the whole world. 精品写作素材(二)