Murphy's Law

By Florence Harper,2014-09-08 10:23
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Murphy's Law Murphy's Law Murphy's Law

    Murphy's Law

    no-nonsense正经的;严肃的;直截了当mush 软而稠的混合物或块;糊状物


    high-performance高性能的 malfuction发生故障;机能失常

    rockets sled火箭滑道 chewed out严厉责备

    strap用带捆绑(或束住) morph变体


    AA: I'm Avi Arditti with Rosanne Skirble, and this week on Wordmaster -- the story of one of life's little truths.

     RS: It's a law we all live under, and it goes this way: "If anything can go wrong, it

    will." It's known as Murphy's Law.

    AA: Murphy was Edward Murphy. He was a military officer, a

    captain. But he was also an engineer, an aircraft laboratory in Ohio.

    This was in the early days of the space program and flight.

    RS: We learned all this from Bill Sloat, a reporter at the Plain Dealer newspaper in Ohio. We saw a story he recently did on the history of Murphy's Law. RS: So we called Bill up and had just started asking him questions, when, wouldn't you know it ...

    SLOAT: "Can I start over for a minute? I've got to sneeze."

    AA: "Go ahead, sneeze."

    SLOAT: "I don't know why I had to sneeze."

     RS: "Feel free."

    AA: "If anything can go wrong, it will. [laughter]"

    SLOAT: "Yeah, that's Murphy's Law."

RS: "And we'll the story in the late 1940s."

    SLOAT: "OK. So he's working at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in a laboratory. And so he was those machines that would people round and

    round and round, to test G-forces. Meanwhile, out at Edwards Air Force Base in California, there were engineers and they were building these rockets sleds and they

    would strap guys and dummies into them and then fire them down like a railroad track. I think sometimes they went faster than the speed of sound." RS: "And what was the purpose of that?"

    SLOAT: "They wanted to see how fast human beings could go before they turned into . But they also needed a way to measure how much they were

    receiving. So Murphy built some gauges. And they them this rocket sled and

    fired the sled, and then when they checked them, they registered zero. The sled worked and the guy who was riding it . But nobody knew how many G-forces

    he pulled, because the gauges malfunctioned."

    RS: "So then what happened?"

    SLOAT: "Murphy chewed out the guys who the gauges and said 'if those

guys can do something wrong, they will.' And then a guy named George Nichols

     this. Now this is in 1949, thereabouts. The aerospace engineers had their own lingo and they were always laws and things. So they 'Murphy's Law.'

    And the guy said 'Oh we got us a new law,' Nichols said that.

    A few weeks later, John Paul Stapp, the rocket sled pilot, was doing a out at

    Edwards Air Force Base, and one of the reporters asked him -- this is the story. Well, the reporter says, 'Are you worried about this?' And Stapp says, 'No, we're careful not

    to Murphy's Law.' Well, nobody knew what Murphy's Law was, except the aerospace engineers. And it became sort of along the lines of 'if it can happen, it will

    happen.' That's how it -- the metaphor morphed into that out at Edwards."

RS: "So, was the gauge ever ? [laughter]"

    SLOAT: "Murphy went back to Ohio, and the engineers out there got the gauges installed and they did work, yes."

    RS: "So it was the technician's fault?"

    SLOAT: "Well, no, it was Murphy's fault -- or some of the , or some of the

    checked technical people that were there thought it was Murphy's fault, because he the gauges to make sure they worked."

    RS: "And if he had stayed, we might not have had this law."

    SLOAT: "That's exactly right."

    AA: "And this law has found its way around the world. You were telling me that you

    talked to someone in Russia about this?"

    SLOAT: "Right, I sent an e-mail to a friend of mine, an electrical engineer and said 'do you know about Murphy's law?' And he sent me an e-mail back a couple of days later and said 'yes, we know that as the Law of Toast,' meaning that toast, the

    buttered side always falls down, or hits the ground. [laughter]"

RS: "So what do you think is the of Ed Murphy?"

    SLOAT: "That's a great question. You know, when I was working on this story, I

    started looking up Murphy's Law. And there's, if you get on the Internet or you go to the library, and I did both, and there's like all kinds of, you know, Murphys laws.

    There's a guy in California named Arthur Block who even them and them,

    and he had some great examples. Here's my favorite, Hyman's Highway Hypothesis:

    The shortest distance between two points is usually under construction. [laughter]"

    RS: "Should we leave it at that?"

    SLOAT: "Yeah, I don't think you could top it."

    AA: Bill Sloat is a newspaper reporter at the Plain Dealer in Ohio. Ed Murphy died in 1990 but he was honored this month with an Ig Nobel Prize. These are given at Harvard University for achievements that first make people laugh, then make them think.

    Office Laws When you don't have much work... all your colleagues will be busy. Music Laws At least one mobile phone will ring during a rehearsal or concert. Issawi's Law of the Path of Progress - A shortcut is the longest distance between two points.

    Mencken's Law - Those who can, do. Those who cannot, teach.

    Patton's Law - A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. You will always find something in the last place you look.

    No matter how long or how hard you shop for an item, after you've bought it, it will be on sale somewhere cheaper.

    The other line always moves faster.

    Anything you try to fix will take longer and cost you more than you thought. Never argue with a fool, people might not know the difference.

    The other line moves faster.

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