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NEW YORK CITY IS SET FOR A CREEPY DELUGE OF RATS

Posted on
  • 2012-11-02
  • 「科學怪風」Sandy挾豐沛雨量肆虐美東,重創交通運輸系統。連紐約營運逾108年的地鐵也難逃一劫,瞬間變成了水鄉澤國。氾濫的洪水同時也逼出棲息於地鐵及下水道管線中的數百萬老鼠大軍。災後的紐約真有可能爆發鼠疫疫情或上演「老鼠啟示錄」嗎?請跟著大學堂一起看下去。
    《 料理鼠王 》

    字彙 Flashcards :使用說明
    • 精選多益 / 全民英檢中高級 / 托福單字片語
    tunnel (n) 地道
    flood (v) 淹水 (n) 洪水
    ratpocalypse (n) 老鼠肆虐的末日
    rife (adj) (壞事) 猖獗;盛行
    cringe (v) 對…感到厭惡;退縮
    notorious (adj) 惡名昭彰的
    resident (n) 居民
    crawl (v) 爬
    lair (n) 巢穴;藏身處
    scamper (v) 驚荒地四處逃竄
    ponder (v) 思索
    grim (adj) 可怕的;嚴峻的
    drown (v) 淹死;淹沒
    rodent (n) 老鼠 = rat (n)
    float (v) 漂浮
    ecologist (n) 生態學家
    low-lying (adj) 低(窪)的
    subject (adj) 易遭受…的
    intense (adj) 強烈的
    legendary (adj) 傳奇/極其有名的
    swiftly (adv) 敏捷迅速地
    get out of harm’s way:脫離險境
    burrow (n) 洞穴
    trap (v) 困住
    hunker down (v) 保持低調
    in this perspective:從這角度看來
    resilient (adj) 有韌性/ 適應力強的
    displace (v) 迫使…遷徙
    predict (v) 預測
    survivor (n) 倖存者
    treat (v) 請客;款待
    surge (n) 急遽上升
    feast (v) 大吃大喝
    temporarily (adv) 暫時地
    erratic (adj) 不穩的;難預測的
    widespread (adj) 廣佈的
    blackout (n) 停電
    forage (v) 覓食
    cloak (n) 掩飾
    despite (prep.) 儘管
    abundant (adj) 充足大量的
    available (adj) 可取得的
    a bed of roses:稱心如意;順利
    arrival (n) 新來的人
    interact (v) 互動
    aggressive (adj) 好動挑釁的
    encounter (n) 偶遇;遭遇戰
    compete (v) 競爭
    territory (n) 領域
    resource (n) 資源
    terrify (v) 驚嚇
    prospect (n) 預期
    overrun (v) 迅速占領
    loyal (adj) 忠誠的
    habitat (n) 棲息地
    subside (v) 退去;平息
    previous (adj) 先前的
    massive (adj) 大規模的
    outbreak (n) 突然爆發
    occur (v) 發生
    optimistic (adj) 樂觀的
    note (n) 語調
    hygiene (n) 衛生
    guard (n) 警戒
    infestation (n) 大批出沒侵擾
    result in N:導致;引發
    plague (n) 瘟疫
    dominant (adj) 占統治地位的
    explosion (n) 爆炸;劇增
    recede (v) 消退
    dispersal (n) 散佈
    transmission (n) 傳染 (播)


    NYC survived Frankenstorm Sandy. With four of seven subway tunnels flooded, fears of a “ratpocalypse” are rife. Some  __  1 __   at the thought of the city’s most notorious residents crawling in the thousands out of their underground lair and scampering onto the Big Apple’s streets. __   2 __    ponder the possibility of a grim “rat soup,” imagining plenty of drowned rodents floating along on the tide of water.

    According to Rick Ostfeld, a disease ecologist, rats tend to live in low-lying areas that are most  __  3 __   to intense flooding. However, this poses no threat to the rodent population   __ 4 __    rats are legendary swimmers. They’re not Michael Phelps “ the Flying Fish,” but they can always swiftly get out of harm’s way. While floodwaters rushing into subway and sewer tunnels might drown the sick, the elderly and new mothers with their young in the burrows, many thousands made it out alive. Trapped aboveground, they hunkered down behind trash bins and under cars until nightfall. In this perspective, Sandy is unlikely to eradicate the resilient rodents but  __  5 __  displace them.

    In the short term, experts predict that survivor rats will be treated to a surge of food to feast on because trash pickup is temporarily erratic. Also,  __  6   __ the city suffering widespread blackouts, the braver survivors are free to forage under the cloak of darkness.   __ 7__    the abundant food available, life won’t be just a bed of roses for these new overground arrivals. They will interact with local rat groups, probably in quite   __ 8 __   encounters, and compete for territories and resources. For those terrified by the prospect of street corners overrun by rodents, Zivkovic, a behavioral biologist, has calming words. He states that most rats,   __ 9 __   to their social groups and habitats, will try going back home once water subsides.

    In previous major storms such as Hurricane Katrina of 2005, massive disease outbreaks did not occur;    __10 __  , city health officials are sounding an optimistic note, claiming there’s no reason to assume that epidemics will break out with Sandy. Still, this doesn’t mean the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as well as health-care providers can let their guard down. New infestations of rats are likely to result in a rise in infectious diseases, including hantavirus, typhus, salmonella, and even the plague.

    A. with B. aggressive C. others D. since E. loyal
    F. rather G. cringe H. therefore I. subject J. despite
    聽力請先下載擴充軟體:安裝方式說明

    NYC survived Frankenstorm Sandy. With four of seven subway tunnels flooded, fears of a "ratpocalypse" are rife. Some cringe at the thought of the city's most notorious residents crawling in the thousands out of their underground lair and scampering onto the Big Apple's streets. Others ponder the possibility of a grim "rat soup," imagining plenty of drowned rodents floating along on the tide of water.

    According to Rick Ostfeld, a disease ecologist, rats tend to live in low-lying areas that are most subject to intense flooding. However, this poses no threat to the rodent population since rats are legendary swimmers. They're not Michael Phelps "the Flying Fish," but they can always swiftly get out of harm's way. While floodwaters rushing into subway and sewer tunnels might drown the sick, the elderly and new mothers with their young in the burrows, many thousands made it out alive. Trapped aboveground, they hunkered down behind trash bins and under cars until nightfall. In this perspective, Sandy is unlikely to eradicate the resilient rodents but rather displace them.

    In the short term, experts predict that survivor rats will be treated to a surge of food to feast on since trash pickup is temporarily erratic. Also, with the city suffering widespread blackouts, the braver survivors are free to forage under the cloak of darkness. Despite the abundant food available, life won’t be just a bed of roses for these new overground arrivals. They will interact with local rat groups, probably in quite aggressive encounters, and compete for territories and resources. For those terrified by the prospect of street corners overrun by rodents, Zivkovic, a behavioral biologist, has calming words. He states that most rats, loyal to their social groups and habitats, will try going back home once water subsides.

    In previous major storms such as Hurricane Katrina of 2005, massive disease outbreaks did not occur; therefore, city health officials are sounding an optimistic note, claiming there’s no reason to assume that epidemics will break out with Sandy. Still, this doesn’t mean the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as well as health-care providers can let their guard down. New infestations of rats are likely to result in a rise in infectious diseases, including hantavirus, typhus, salmonella, and even the plague.

    Q:The author implies that all of the following statements about the rats are false EXCEPT _______.
    A. the surge of water could have done the most damage to the dominant rats that live deeper underground.
    B. New York could face a rat population explosion as Hurricane Sandy has brought a feast to the rats’ feet.
    C. the displaced rats will establish new homes beneath buildings and a social order after the floodwaters recede.
    D. the mass dispersal of underground rats is a recipe for lots of disease transmission.


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    文意選填解答:
    1. G 2. C 3. I 4. D 5. A
    6. F 7. J 8. B 9. E 10. H

    1. 主詞 some 後方應搭配「動詞」,故第一格為「動詞」。從文意可知,光想到 「老鼠橫行的末日」( ratpocalyse ) 就令人感到「厭惡退縮」( cringe )。
    2. 將一個團體分兩部份來敘述時,可用「有些人…」( some ) 和「其他人…」( others )。
    3. be 動詞後常搭配「形容詞」,故第3格為「形容詞」。從文意可知,「低窪地區」( low-lying areas )「容易」淹水。片語「易受…侵襲」be subject to N。
    4. 句型結構分析如下:
    this      poses …     4     rats      are
    [主詞1]  [動詞1]  [連接詞]  [主詞2]  [動詞2]
    兩個主詞,兩個動詞,代表有兩個句子。連接兩個句子需用第 4 格「連接詞」。從文意可知,老鼠不怎怕淹水,「因為」( since ) 他們是游泳高手。 
    5. 從第二段 4 到 7 行可知,洪水殺死了鼠群中的老弱婦孺,但仍有許多老鼠從淹水的地鐵站逃了出來。所以 Sandy 無法全面撲滅老鼠,「而是」( rather ) 促成老鼠大遷徙。
    6. 本題考點為「隨著…」結構:with + N + adj。
    7. 第 7 格後方搭配「名詞」food,可見第 7 格為「介係詞」。從文意可知,「儘管」食物充足,不愁吃,老鼠的日子也非一帆風順。和「雖然;儘管」despite 相關的詳細解說請見 大學堂文法講座 15
    8. 名詞「偶遇」( encounter ) 前方應搭配「形容詞」,故第8格為「形容詞」。從「爭地盤」( compete for territories ) 可知兩方碰面時應是「劍拔弩張」( aggressive ) 。
    9. 從文意可知,水退後,老鼠重回棲地主要是因他們「忠於」( loyal ) 自己的地盤和團體。
    10. 從文意可知,前幾次颶風來襲後都沒傳出疫情,「因此」( therefore ) 官員們對這次 Sandy 過後的疾病管控也很樂觀。

    閱讀解答:D
    紐約準備迎接如洪水般湧現的恐怖老鼠大軍

    紐約市渡過了「科學怪風」Sandy 的侵襲。7 條地鐵隧道中,仍有 4 條還泡在水裡。民眾普遍擔憂「鼠輩四竄的末日」將成真。有些人一想到紐約市成千上萬隻臭名遠播的老鼠,爭先恐後地爬出地底巢穴,倉皇地在街道上東奔西跑,就感到一陣嫌惡。其他人邊想像一大堆溺死的老鼠隨著流水載浮載沉的景像,邊思索恐怖「老鼠湯」應驗的可能性。

    據疾病生態學家 Rick Ostfeld 表示,老鼠往往住在易受大洪水侵襲的低窪地區。然而,這對鼠群絲毫不構成威脅,因老鼠是出了名的游泳健將。雖然它們不是「飛魚」 Michael Phelps ( 摘下18面奧運金牌的美國泳將),但他們總能迅速脫離險境。儘管洪水沖入地鐵和下水道,淹死了老鼠巢穴中的老弱婦孺,但還是有成千上萬的老鼠活著逃了出來。受困地上的它們,低調地躲在垃圾桶後面和車底下,直到夜幕低垂。從這角度看來,Sandy 不可能造成生命力強韌的老鼠的滅絕,而是引發它們大遷徙。

    短期間,專家預測,由於收垃圾時間不定,倖存的老鼠因而有了堆積如山的食物可盡情享用。同時,伴隨紐約市大停電,有膽識的老鼠在黑暗掩護下,更可肆無忌憚地四處覓食。儘管食物源源不絕,這些剛遷移到地面上的鼠群的生活並非從此一帆風順。它們將和在地鼠群交手,極可能雙方狹路相逢,為争奪領土和資源而劍拔弩張。對於那些害怕未來街角鼠害猖獗的人,生物行為學家 Zivkovic 提出安撫人心的見解。他指出,由於大多數老鼠都很忠於自己的群體和棲息地,所以水退後,它們也將設法返回老巢。

    先前如 2005 Katrina 颶風等幾大暴風雨都未引爆大規模疫情;因此,市衛生官員語帶樂觀,宣稱大家沒理由假定 Sandy 過後將爆發傳染病疫情。不過,這並不意味著健康衛生部門及健康照護相關人員可以卸下警戒。一波波老鼠大批出沒街頭還是可能讓包括漢他病毒、斑疹傷寒、沙門氏菌,甚至瘟疫等傳染病病例增多。

    問題:作者暗示以下敘述都是錯誤的,除了_______。
    A. 洶湧大水可能對住在地下較深處的鼠王造成最多傷害。
    B. 由於颶風Sandy將美食盛宴帶到老鼠們跟前,紐約可能面臨老鼠數量暴增的危機。
    C. 洪水退去後,遷徙的老鼠將在建築物底下打造新家和新團體秩序。
    D. 到處四竄的地下老鼠是散播疾病的最佳媒介。


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