2019年5月20日 星期一

The Troubling History of Treadmills 跑步機黑歷史大揭密

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The Troubling History of Treadmills  跑步機黑歷史大揭密
by Daniel Howard


  Treadmills are a common piece of exercise equipment in large fitness centers and home gyms alike. They are simple yet effective tools for anyone seeking better health through increased physical activity. __1__
  The first treadmills were very different machines. __2__ People could spin giant wheels to grind grain or move water. Unfortunately, however, they were not voluntary exercise machines but devices used for forced labor. __3__ These inmates would be forced to climb on the treadmill for up to 10 hours a day, which would mean climbing anywhere from 1,500 to over 4,200 meters in a single day. (For your information, Taipei 101 is 509 meters tall.)
  Treadwheels and early treadmills were used in prisons until the late 19th century when they were prohibited for being too brutal. Other versions came into existence for animals to use, again, as a work tool like the earlier prison models, but these never really took off. __4__ At this time, fitness centers were still considered a luxury only for the wealthy, so treadmills were not easily obtainable for most people.
  Then in 1969, William Staub built a treadmill for home use called the PaceMaster 600. __5__ Modern treadmills are all variations on this fairly simple design, perhaps with a few special settings or different mechanical parts. Despite the seeming simplicity of treadmills, their history has been an interesting one. That’s something to think about during your next workout session.

(A) It wasn’t until the 1920s that treadmills became exercise devices.
(B) Yet, for such a simple device, they have an intricate history.
(C) Called treadwheels, the initial treadmills were more like giant wheels with wooden steps.
(D) His book noted that individuals who cycled for eight minutes four to five times a week would be in better physical condition.
(E) This is roughly the version of the machine as we know it today: a soft belt that the user runs on, a comfortable handrail, and some controls.
(F) In 1818, the first treadwheels were introduced to prisons as a punishment and a way to teach prisoners the value of hard work.


1. 第一題空格應選 (B)
a. 本空格在測試對段落結論句的掌握,答題線索為空格前的 simple yet effective tools 及下一段第一句的 The first treadmills。
b. 選項 (B) 表示,不過,這麼簡單的器材卻有著錯綜複雜的歷史,選項中的 such a simple device 指的即是前一句的 simple yet effective tools,且選項中的 an intricate history 與 The first treadmills 互相呼應,可知答案應選 (B)。
intricate a. 錯綜複雜的;繁複的
• We were amazed by the intricate patterns carved on the vase.

2. 第二題空格應選 (C)
a. 本空格在測試對段落語意連貫性的掌握,答題線索為空格後的 spin giant wheels。
b. 選項 (C) 表示,一開始的跑步機被稱為踏車,它們更像是有著木製階梯的巨大輪子,而後一句則補充說明此巨輪的作用為何,語意連貫,可知答案應選 (C)。
a. treadwheel n. 踏車
tread n. & vi. & vt. 踩,踏
三態為:tread, trod, trodden。
• Nancy was so nervous that she kept treading on Paul’s feet while they were dancing.
b. initial a. 最初的,開始的
• We made changes to our initial plan after we got the market study back.

3. 第三題空格應選 (F)
a. 本空格在測試對段落語意發展的掌握。空格前的句子提到踏車是用於強迫勞動的工具,可推測空格應是要說明踏車在當時於何處使用及用途為何。
b. 選項 (F) 表示,1818 年,首批踏車被引進監獄作為懲罰及教育犯人努力工作價值的工具,符合推測,且選項中的懲罰工具與前一句中強迫勞動的工具互相呼應,可知答案應選 (F)。
a. be introduced to...  被引進……
• This particular type of corn was introduced to the region 200 years ago.
b. punishment n. 處罰
• Larry’s punishment for littering was a NT$2,000 fine.

4. 第四題空格應選 (A)
a. 本空格在測試對段落語意發展的掌握。空格前提到供動物使用的跑步機版本問世,且和於監獄中使用的跑步機相似,而空格後提到可在健身中心中使用跑步機,可推測空格應說明跑步機的用途轉變。
b. 選項 (A) 表示,到了 1920 年代,跑步機才成為運動器材,符合推測,且空格後的 At this time 指的即是選項中的 the 1920s,可知答案應選 (A)。

5. 第五題空格應選 (E)
a. 本空格在測試對段落語意發展的掌握。空格前提到威廉•斯陶伯打造了名為 PaceMaster 600 的家用跑步機,可推測空格應會進一步介紹這種家用跑步機。
b. 選項 (E) 表示,這個版本的機器大致上就是今日我們所知的樣子:有一條讓使用者在上頭跑步的柔軟輸送帶、一個舒適的把手和一些控制鈕,符合推測,且選項中的 This 指的即是前一句的 PaceMaster 600,可知答案應選 (E)。
a. roughly adv. 大致地,大約
= approximately adv.
• It has been roughly 10 months since I last saw my mother.
b. comfortable a. 舒適的
• I enjoy the homey, comfortable atmosphere of that restaurant.
*homey a. 像家一樣的
c. handrail n. 扶手
• Please hold onto the handrail when you are going downstairs.

1. equipment n. 設備(不可數)
a piece of equipment  一件設備
a lot of equipment  很多設備
• The copy machine is a useful piece of equipment.

2. effective a. 有效的
be effective in N/V-ing  在……上是有效的
• This cream is effective in relieving sore and achy muscles.

3. physical a. 身體的
physical education  體育
physical training  體能訓練
• Jogging is the simplest and most effective form of physical training.

4. spin vt. & vi. 旋轉
三態為:spin, spun, spun。
• Our geography teacher spun the globe and pointed to the Hawaiian Islands.
• The breakdancer is good at spinning on his head.

5. grind vt. 研磨,碾碎
三態為:grind, ground, ground。
• The animal has teeth that grind its food into a pulp.
*pulp n. 泥狀物

6. prohibit vt. 禁止
prohibit / ban sb from V-ing  
= forbid sb to V / from V-ing  禁止某人(做)……
• Tina’s father prohibited her from having a boyfriend until after she graduated from high school.

7. brutal a. 殘忍的
• The government employed brutal measures to suppress the rebellion.

8. obtainable a. 可得到的
• Information related to this topic is easily obtainable on the internet.

9. variation n. 變化(的種類)
• Our new plan is actually a slight variation of the original one.

10. fairly adv. 相當地;頗
• John did fairly well in the speech contest and got a good score.

11. session n.(某活動)一段時間;(法庭、議會等)正式會議
• The course is made up of 12 two-hour sessions.


troubling a. 令人煩惱的
treadmill n. 跑步機
a fitness center  健身中心
 fitness n. 健康;強壯
forced labor  強迫勞動
inmate n. 囚犯
luxury n. 奢侈(品)
mechanical a. 機械(性)的
simplicity n. 簡單,簡易

1. be forced to V  被強迫(做)……
• I don’t like being forced to do anything against my will.

2. for your information
提供你參考(常縮寫為 FYI);告知您一聲
• For your information, a service charge has been automatically added on.
*service charge  服務費

3. come into existence  問世;誕生
= come into being
existence n. 存在
• A lot of new fast food restaurants have come into existence in that country.

4. take off  開始成功/發展;(飛機)起飛
take off... / take... off  脫下……(衣物)
• Our business took off after we launched our website.
• The flight to Australia will take off in five minutes.
• I took my shoes off as soon as I got home.

voluntary a. 自願的
• Al did voluntary work as a park ranger soon after he retired.
以下介紹 voluntary 的相關用法及衍生字:
a. on a voluntary basis  建立在自願的基礎上;自願地
• All the teachers in this program work on a voluntary basis.
b. voluntarily adv. 自願地
• We were surprised to see Dave voluntarily helping in the kitchen.
c. volunteer n. 志願者,義工
do volunteer work  做志工
• A lot of the relief work was done by volunteers.
d. volunteer 亦可當動詞,表「自願做」。
volunteer for sth  自願做某事
volunteer to V  自願做……
• Mark volunteered for that job without any hesitation.
• I volunteered to coach a high school baseball team.
e. involuntary a. 非自願的;不由自主的
• Terry gave an involuntary cry when he saw the horrible scene.



  最初的跑步機是個截然不同的機器。一開始的跑步機被稱為踏車,它們更像是有著木製階梯的巨大輪子。人們可以轉動那些巨輪來研磨穀物或打水。然而,不幸的是,它們並不是作為自願使用的運動器材,而是用於強迫勞動的工具。1818 年,首批踏車被引進監獄作為懲罰及教育犯人努力工作價值的工具。這些囚犯一天被迫在跑步機上踏步多達十小時,這意味著單日爬大概一千五百至四千兩百多公尺遠。(供您參考,臺北 101 高五百零九公尺。)
  一直到十九世紀晚期,踏車和早期的跑步機才因為過於殘忍而被禁止於監獄使用。其他供動物使用的版本也問世了,同樣地,這些工具就像先前用於監獄的型號,卻從未真正流行過。到了 1920 年代,跑步機才成為運動器材。當時,健身中心仍被認為是只有有錢人才能使用的奢華享受,因此對大多數人來說,跑步機並不容易取得。
  接著於 1969 年,威廉•斯陶伯打造了名為 PaceMaster 600 的家用跑步機。這個版本的機器大致上就是今日我們所知的樣子:有一條讓使用者在上頭跑步的柔軟輸送帶、一個舒適的把手和一些控制鈕。現代跑步機全都是這種十分簡單設計的變體,或許再加上一些特別的設定或不同的機械零件。儘管跑步機看似簡單,它們的歷史卻相當有趣。下次你在運動的時候就可以想一下這點囉。
1. B 2. C 3.F 4. A 5. E


大部分人國高中所學的英文都是拿來應付考試用的, 遇到外國人,你真的有勇氣開口說英語嗎



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