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  • …You are, he is, she is, they are… But you knew that already, didn’t you? Or have you really stopped to think about it recently — or ever for that matter?

    Huh? I guess we need a little clarification on this. So…do this. Touch yourself. That’s right, go ahead and touch yourself.

    So, what did you feel? Skin? Of course. Maybe some hair? OK. How about warmth? Sure, unless you’re standing1 naked in your back yard in Minnesota in the middle of January. (You really need to get back inside as quickly as possible — and try to cut back on the quantity of hot toddies…

    Unless you’re numbed2 out of your gourd3 or weren’t really paying attention, you felt YOU! So what’s so special about that? YOU’RE ALIVE! Honest-to-goodness, really alive! Think about it. For about a zillion years you weren’t — alive that is. You did not exist. You were only scattered4 molecular5 stardust. You could have been a little part of just about anything you can think of — oak tree, beach, chicken feathers — you name it. (Don’t dwell too long on this thought. It can get pretty gross real quick if you let it.)

    From the beginning of time, we have been nothing more than a potential biological jigsaw6 puzzle waiting for assembly. And now — son-of-a-gun, here we are. From two microscopic7 half-cells merged8 in a surge of passion, the miracle of genetics has transformed that single cell into a zillion-celled, complex, functioning animal organism.

    Tain’t no big deal, you say? It happens every day?

    Oh, c’mon, now. It is a mega-deal that happens thousands and thousands of times a day. And — it happens with a terrifically small percentage of errors. As a general rule, our noses, eyes and ears wind up in pretty much the right place on our heads. We have the correct numbers of arms, legs, fingers and toes. And our innards are all positioned normally and function as they were intended. All this from microscopic cell latched9 onto the lining10 of Mom’s womb!

    Let’s take a quick inventory11 of “us”.

    We all have a really cool, flexible, articulating framework as a foundation for the rest of the stuff we’re made of. Over 200 bones, all connected together and hinged so we can walk, talk, stand, sit, run, bend, stoop, squat12, jump, reach, grasp, point, scratch, eat, push, pull, lift, swim, lie down and perform any other maneuver13 or contortion14 you can think of. Cool, huh? In addition of course, some of this framework also does a great job of protecting our insides — brain, lungs, heart, and digestive system — from damage from excessive outside forces.

    All of these fairly solid hunks of material are connected and maneuvered15 by our tendons, ligaments and muscles. The assemblies of interconnected, expandable, contractible, cells that work harmoniously16 as directed to allow us to accomplish all of the things we’ve already mentioned.

    Think about it! Just the fact that we have a solid supporting framework that we can manipulate and move pretty much as we desire is amazing in and of itself!

    Our basic building blocks — our cells — are all individually, live little bits of protein and goo that use the oxygen and nutrients17 they are supplied to multiply and, do the jobs required of the organ that they are a part of.

    Our digestive system takes the raw materials we provide it in the way of food (and occasionally assorted18 garbage), processes it into a form usable by the cells and ships it out through our internal distribution system. The unusable excess is dumped (excuse the term) externally.

    Our circulatory system — heart, arteries19, capillaries20, veins21 — transport nourishment22, oxygen, and an assortment23 of other chemicals and substances (hormones, biological warriors24, waste materials and occasional invading buggies) to and from all of our body parts (individual cells).

    Our respiratory system — lungs and associated passageways — snags the oxygen from the air, passes it along to the transporters in our bloodstream, drags the carbon dioxide (one of the byproducts of cell life) back out of the blood and expels it out into the air.

    Our nervous system receives outside stimuli25 from sights, sounds, smells, tastes and “feels”, translates it into generally comprehensible information and either uses it immediately to produce a response or stores it for future reference. At the same time, it keeps all of our internal processes functioning in a fairly efficient manner.Add to all of this, our systems and sub-systems for gathering26 the outside stimuli in the first place (eyes, ears, nose, etc.), fighting off disease, healing injuries, maintaining body temperature, maintaining chemical balance, growing hair, producing freckles27, passing gas, reproducing, etc. and suddenly we are introduced to ourselves as an extremely complex biological organism!

    Holy Smokes, folks! We are one of the most complicated assemblies of parts and pieces on the face of this earth! We are so complicated in fact, that even after studying our body parts for all these years to try to figure out exactly how all our stuff works, we still don’t know everything! Maybe we never will. Who knows?

    Are you tracking with me here? We — you and I — are ALIVE! We’re functioning and doing all the stuff that we human-type animals do. If that’s not absolutely mind-boggling, I don’t know what is!

     11级    美文 


    1 standing [ˈstændɪŋ] 2hCzgo   第8级
    • 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。
    2 numbed [nʌmd] f49681fad452b31c559c5f54ee8220f4   第7级
    v.使麻木,使麻痹( numb的过去式和过去分词 )
    • His mind has been numbed. 他已麻木不仁。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    • He was numbed with grief. 他因悲伤而昏迷了。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
    3 gourd [gʊəd] mfWxh   第12级
    • Are you going with him? You must be out of your gourd. 你和他一块去?你一定是疯了。
    • Give me a gourd so I can bail. 把葫芦瓢给我,我好把水舀出去。
    4 scattered ['skætəd] 7jgzKF   第7级
    • Gathering up his scattered papers,he pushed them into his case.他把散乱的文件收拾起来,塞进文件夹里。
    5 molecular [mə'lekjələ(r)] mE9xh   第9级
    • The research will provide direct insight into molecular mechanisms. 这项研究将使人能够直接地了解分子的机理。
    • For the pressure to become zero, molecular bombardment must cease. 当压强趋近于零时,分子的碰撞就停止了。
    6 jigsaw [ˈdʒɪgsɔ:] q3Gxa   第10级
    • A jigsaw puzzle can keep me absorbed for hours. 一副拼图就能让我沉醉几个小时。
    • Tom likes to work on jigsaw puzzles,too. 汤姆也喜欢玩拼图游戏。
    7 microscopic [ˌmaɪkrəˈskɒpɪk] nDrxq   第8级
    • It's impossible to read his microscopic handwriting. 不可能看清他那极小的书写字迹。
    • A plant's lungs are the microscopic pores in its leaves. 植物的肺就是其叶片上微细的气孔。
    8 merged ['mɜ:dʒd] d33b2d33223e1272c8bbe02180876e6f   第7级
    (使)混合( merge的过去式和过去分词 ); 相融; 融入; 渐渐消失在某物中
    • Turf wars are inevitable when two departments are merged. 两个部门合并时总免不了争争权限。
    • The small shops were merged into a large market. 那些小商店合并成为一个大商场。
    9 latched [lætʃt] f08cf783d4edd3b2cede706f293a3d7f   第10级
    v.理解( latch的过去式和过去分词 );纠缠;用碰锁锁上(门等);附着(在某物上)
    • The government have latched onto environmental issues to win votes. 政府已开始大谈环境问题以争取选票。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    • He latched onto us and we couldn't get rid of him. 他缠着我们,甩也甩不掉。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    10 lining [ˈlaɪnɪŋ] kpgzTO   第8级
    • The lining of my coat is torn. 我的外套衬里破了。
    • Moss makes an attractive lining to wire baskets. 用苔藓垫在铁丝篮里很漂亮。
    11 inventory [ˈɪnvəntri] 04xx7   第7级
    • Some stores inventory their stock once a week. 有些商店每周清点存货一次。
    • We will need to call on our supplier to get more inventory. 我们必须请供应商送来更多存货。
    12 squat [skwɒt] 2GRzp   第8级
    vi. 蹲,蹲下;蹲坐;蹲伏 vt. 使蹲坐,使蹲下 n. 蹲坐,蜷伏
    • For this exercise you need to get into a squat. 在这次练习中你需要蹲下来。
    • He is a squat man. 他是一个矮胖的男人。
    13 maneuver [mə'nu:və] Q7szu   第9级
    • All the fighters landed safely on the airport after the military maneuver. 在军事演习后,所有战斗机都安全降落在机场上。
    • I did get her attention with this maneuver. 我用这个策略确实引起了她的注意。
    14 contortion [kənˈtɔ:ʃn] nZjy9   第12级
    • I had to admire the contortions of the gymnasts. 我不得不为这些体操运动员们高难度的扭体动作而赞叹。
    • This sentence was spoken with the bitterness of self-upbraiding, and a contortion of visage absolutely demoniacal. 这话是用辛辣的自我谴责的口吻说出来的,说话时他的面孔也歪扭得象个地道的魔鬼。
    15 maneuvered [məˈnu:vəd] 7d19f91478ac481ffdfcbdf37b4eb25d   第9级
    v.移动,用策略( maneuver的过去式和过去分词 );操纵
    • I maneuvered my way among the tables to the back corner of the place. 我在那些桌子间穿行,来到那地方后面的角落。 来自辞典例句
    • The admiral maneuvered his ships in the battle plan. 舰队司令按作战计划进行舰队演习。 来自辞典例句
    16 harmoniously [hɑ:'məʊnɪəslɪ] 6d3506f359ad591f490ad1ca8a719241   第9级
    • The president and Stevenson had worked harmoniously over the last eighteen months. 在过去一年半里,总统和史蒂文森一起工作是融洽的。
    • China and India cannot really deal with each other harmoniously. 中国和印度这两只猛兽不可能真心实意地和谐相处。
    17 nutrients ['nju:trɪənts] 6a1e1ed248a3ac49744c39cc962fb607   第8级
    n.(食品或化学品)营养物,营养品( nutrient的名词复数 )
    • a lack of essential nutrients 基本营养的缺乏
    • Nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream. 营养素被吸收进血液。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    18 assorted [əˈsɔ:tɪd] TyGzop   第8级
    • There's a bag of assorted sweets on the table. 桌子上有一袋什锦糖果。
    • He has always assorted with men of his age. 他总是与和他年令相仿的人交往。
    19 arteries ['ɑ:tərɪz] 821b60db0d5e4edc87fdf5fc263ba3f5   第7级
    n.动脉( artery的名词复数 );干线,要道
    • Even grafting new blood vessels in place of the diseased coronary arteries has been tried. 甚至移植新血管代替不健康的冠状动脉的方法都已经试过。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    • This is the place where the three main arteries of West London traffic met. 这就是伦敦西部三条主要交通干线的交汇处。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    20 capillaries ['kəpɪlərɪz] d0d7ccc2f58ea09ec26e13a0d6ffd34a   第10级
    毛细管,毛细血管( capillary的名词复数 )
    • The blood flows from the capillaries back into the veins. 血从毛细血管流回静脉。
    • While Joe sleeps, a large percentage of his capillaries are inactive. 当乔睡觉时,他的毛细血管大部分是不工作的。
    21 veins ['veɪnz] 65827206226d9e2d78ea2bfe697c6329   第7级
    n.纹理;矿脉( vein的名词复数 );静脉;叶脉;纹理
    • The blood flows from the capillaries back into the veins. 血从毛细血管流回静脉。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    • I felt a pleasant glow in all my veins from the wine. 喝过酒后我浑身的血都热烘烘的,感到很舒服。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    22 nourishment [ˈnʌrɪʃmənt] Ovvyi   第9级
    • Lack of proper nourishment reduces their power to resist disease. 营养不良降低了他们抵抗疾病的能力。
    • He ventured that plants draw part of their nourishment from the air. 他大胆提出植物从空气中吸收部分养分的观点。
    23 assortment [əˈsɔ:tmənt] FVDzT   第8级
    • This shop has a good assortment of goods to choose from. 该店各色货物俱全,任君选择。
    • She was wearing an odd assortment of clothes. 她穿着奇装异服。
    24 warriors ['wɒrɪəz] 3116036b00d464eee673b3a18dfe1155   第7级
    武士,勇士,战士( warrior的名词复数 )
    • I like reading the stories ofancient warriors. 我喜欢读有关古代武士的故事。
    • The warriors speared the man to death. 武士们把那个男子戳死了。
    25 stimuli [ˈstɪmjəlaɪ] luBwM   第11级
    • It is necessary to curtail or alter normally coexisting stimuli. 必需消除或改变正常时并存的刺激。
    • My sweat glands also respond to emotional stimuli. 我的汗腺对情绪刺激也能产生反应。
    26 gathering [ˈgæðərɪŋ] ChmxZ   第8级
    • He called on Mr. White to speak at the gathering. 他请怀特先生在集会上讲话。
    • He is on the wing gathering material for his novels. 他正忙于为他的小说收集资料。
    27 freckles [frekəlz] MsNzcN   第10级
    n.雀斑,斑点( freckle的名词复数 )
    • She had a wonderful clear skin with an attractive sprinkling of freckles. 她光滑的皮肤上有几处可爱的小雀斑。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    • When she lies in the sun, her face gets covered in freckles. 她躺在阳光下时,脸上布满了斑点。 来自《简明英汉词典》

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