泛读3--Handout of Unit 3

2006/09/24 分类:资源分享

Handout of Unit Three: Bursting the Magic Bubble

Part One: Appendix to Text I

1. Harry Houdini, Magician
Born: 24 March 1874
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: 31 October 1926 (peritonitis)
Best Known As: World's greatest escape artist

Houdini was the most influential magician of the 20th century. His specialty was escapes: slipping out of ropes, chains and handcuffs while locked in trunks and milk cans or submerged underwater. (He once jumped into San Francisco Bay while handcuffed and shackled to a ball and chain.) He is often credited with influencing later magicians from David Copperfield to David Blaine.

2. Derren Brown (born 27 February 1971) is an English psychological illusionist and sceptic of paranormal phenomena. He was born in Croydon, Surrey, and while studying Law and German at the University of Bristol he attended a show by the hypnotist Martin S. Taylor that inspired him to turn to illusion and hypnosis as a career. From the mid-1990s he worked as a conjurer, practising the traditional skills of close-up 'magic'. Other than his main work, Derren is also an artist who paints caricatures of famous people. His work has also been exhibited. His paintings can be viewed via his website. http://www.derrenbrown.co.uk/

3. Richard Wiseman is Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology, University of Hertfordshire, UK. Wiseman started his professional life as an award-winning magician. Later he graduated in Psychology from the University College, London and obtained a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh. Professor Wiseman is known for his scientific examination of unusual phenomena, including paranormal phenomena claims. His research has been published in numerous academic journals, reported at various conferences, and featured on TV. In 2004, he took part in a preliminary scientific test of Natasha Demkina, a young Russian woman who claims to have a special vision that allows her to see inside of people's bodies and diagnose illnesses. The test was featured in the Discovery Channel documentary, The Girl with X-Ray Eyes. (http://discoverychannel.co.in/human_files/girl_with_xray_eyes/index.shtml)

4. The Magic Circle is a British organization dedicated to magic. Its headquarters is in London, and professional magicians who want to join need to first demonstrate their skills to existing members. There are presently approximately 1500 members in 41 countries, including Charles, Prince of Wales. The current president (2006) is Alan Shaxon. The Latin motto of the society is Indocilis Privata Loqui which means "not apt to disclose secrets". Anyone who explains how a trick is done is subject to immediate expulsion from the society.

5. Change blindness (视觉盲点)is a phenomenon in visual perception where apparently large changes within a visual scene are undetected by the viewer. Typically for change blindness to occur, the change in the scene has to coincide with some visual disruption such as an eye movement or a brief obscuration of the observed scene or image. In the real world, change blindness may be responsible for traffic accidents. If drivers fail to notice significant changes around them (e.g., the presence of a pedestrian in their path)

6. Binet, Alfred 1857–1911.
French psychologist. From 1894 he was director of the psychology laboratory at the Sorbonne. He is known for his research and innovation in testing human intelligence. With Théodore Simon he devised (1905–11) a series of tests that, with revisions, came into wide use in schools, industries, and the army. The Stanford, the Herring, and the Kuhlmann are important revisions.

7. Dessoir, Max, 1867–1947, German philosopher. He earned doctorates from the universities of Berlin (philosophy, 1889) and Würtzburg (medicine, 1892). He was a professor at Berlin from 1897 until 1933. He defined five primary forms of aesthetic experience: beauty, ugliness, comedy, tragedy, and the sublime. He saw the role of art as moral an social and regarded “Art for art's sake” as a futile and fatuous maxim. Dessoir was also interested in parapsychology. Among his few works translated into English are Outlines of the History of Psychology (tr. 1912) and Aesthetics and Theory of Art (tr. 1970).

8. Eye tracker 眼球跟踪器
An eye tracker is a device for measuring eye positions and eye movements. The most popular variant uses video images from which the eye position is extracted. Other methods use search coils or are based on the electrooculogram(眼动电图). Eye trackers are used in research on the visual system, in psychology, and in product design.

9. Uri Geller (born December 20, 1946 in Tel Aviv, Israel) is a famous but controversial television personality and alleged psychic.
Originally an Israeli nightclub performer, he then became well known for a number of years for performances featuring claimed paranormal abilities such as telekinesis, dowsing and telepathy; metal objects were bent and watches were apparently stopped or made to run faster without any apparent physical force being applied to them. Although many people believe he is a psychic, he also has numerous critics, especially in the scientific community, who claim he is both a charlatan and a con-man.

Part Two: Language Notes of Text I

1. tinged adj.
showing a small amount of a colour, emotion or quality
tinged with
e.g. His voice was tinged with sadness and regret. white blossom tinged with pink
2. scramble v.
[transitive] to try to do something difficult very quickly
scramble to do something
e.g. They were scrambling to give the impression that the situation was in control.

3. rack v.
1) [transitive usually passive] to make someone suffer great mental or physical pain
e.g. Great sobs racked her body .
be racked by/with something
e.g. Her face was racked with pain. Liza was racked by guilt.
2) rack your brains
to try very hard to remember or think of something
e.g. I racked my brains, trying to remember his name.
rack something ↔ up phrasal verb
to get a number or amount of something, especially a number of points in a competition
e.g. He racked up 41 points.

4. surreal adj. (also surrealistic literary)
a situation or experience that is surreal is very strange and difficult to understand, like something from a dream:

5. conjurer, conjuror [countable]
someone who entertains people by performing clever tricks in which things seem to appear, disappear, or change by magic [= magician]
6. expertise [uncountable]
special skills or knowledge in a particular subject, that you learn by experience or training
technical/financial/medical etc expertise
e.g. What he's bringing to the company is financial expertise.
expertise in
e.g. expertise in the management of hotels

7. deception [uncountable and countable]
the act of deliberately making someone believe something that is not true [↪ deceive]:
e.g. She didn't have the courage to admit to her deception.
self-deception [uncountable]
e.g. when you make yourself believe that something is true when it is not

8. dexterity [uncountable]
1) Skill and speed in doing something with your hands:
e.g. Computer games can improve children's manual dexterity.
2 ) skill in using words or your mind:
e.g. his charm and verbal dexterity

9. manipulate [transitive]
1) to make someone think and behave exactly as you want them to, by skilfully deceiving or influencing them:
e.g. He was one of those men who manipulated people.
You have the constant feeling you are being manipulated.
manipulate somebody into (doing) something
2) to work skillfully with information, systems etc to achieve the result that you want:
e.g. software designed to store and manipulate data
You can integrate text with graphics and manipulate graphic images.
3) [medical] to move and press bones or muscles to remove pain in them
4) to use skill in moving or handling something:
e.g. The workmen manipulated some knobs and levers

10. impoverish [transitive]
1) to make someone very poor:
e.g. Falling coffee prices have impoverished many Third World economies.
families impoverished by debt
2) to make something worse in quality:
e.g. Fast-growing trees remove nutrients and impoverish the soil.
—impoverished adjective:
an impoverished student
—impoverishment noun [uncountable]
spiritual impoverishment

11. sleight of hand [uncountable]
1) the use of quick and skilful movements with your hands when doing a magic trick, so that people cannot understand how you did the trick
2) the use of skilful tricks and lies in order to deceive someone

12. psych‧kinesis [uncountable]
the moving of solid objects using only the power of the mind, which some people believe is possible
13. immune
1) [not before noun] someone who is immune to a particular disease cannot catch it:
e.g. Once we've had the disease, we're immune for life
2) [not before noun] not affected by something that happens or is done
immune to
e.g. The Labour Party is not immune to new ideas.

14. autism [uncountable]
a mental disorder (=problem) that makes people unable to communicate properly, or to form relationships
—autistic adjective:
an autistic child
15. incongruous adj. strange, unexpected, or unsuitable in a particular situation:
e.g. The new theatre looks utterly incongruous in its setting.

16. fallible formal
able to make mistakes or be wrong [≠ infallible]:
e.g. These surveys are often a rather fallible guide to public opinion.

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