1/18/2005:

Intermediate Word:  petrel (a) isolated petroleum pocket  (b pet cage  (c) South American fish native to the Amazon  (d) sea bird
Difficult Word: -cosh - (a)
economy accommodations  (b) a blackjack  (c) a soft-centered weed related to mallow  (d) a comfortable, favorite spot 

Merkel Bashes Guantanamo Ahead Of US Trip - SpaceDaily  Angela Merkel kicked up political dust by saying the U.S. should close down their military prisons in Guantanamo Bay, just days before her first official trip to Washington as Germany's new chancellor. "An institution like Guantanamo can and should not exist in the longer term. Different ways and means must be found for dealing with these prisoners," Merkel told German news magazine Der Spiegel in its latest issue, published on Monday. Merkel, 51, goes to Washington Thursday for a three-day visit to the United States -- it is her first trip to the U.S. since she was elected Germany's first female chancellor last November.    
Mystery Solved: High-Energy Fireworks Linked To Massive Star Cluster - Science Daily  Left:  Supporting evidence for the hefty weight of this cluster is the presence of 14 red supergiants, hefty stars that have reached the end of their lives. They bloat up to about 100 times their normal size before exploding as supernovae. This image shows the star-studded region surrounding the massive star cluster. The bluish cluster is inside the white box. A close-up of the cluster can be seen in the inset photo. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech, D. Figer (Space Telescope Science Institute/Rochester Institute of Technology), E. Churchwell (University of Wisconsin, Madison) and the GLIMPSE Legacy Team)  Call it the Bermuda Triangle of our Milky Way Galaxy: a tiny patch of sky that has been known for years to be the source of the mysterious blasts of X-rays and gamma rays. Now, a team of astronomers has solved the mystery

Image: NGC1097 black hole

Black holes aren't speedy eaters ... - MSNBC  The one-way journey from the heart of a galaxy into the oblivion of a black hole probably takes about 200,000 years, astronomers said Monday. By tracking the death spiral of cosmic gas at the center of a galaxy called NGC1097, scientists figured that material moving at 110,000 miles (176,000 kilometers) an hour would still take eons to cross into a black hole. The team managed to observe behavior 10 times closer to the black hole than ever before, Fathi said, seeing clouds of material within 10 light-years of the galactic core, where the black hole is believed to reside.   




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