1/28/2005:

Intermediate Word:  aver -  (a) to affirm  (b) overweight  (c) to take possession  (d) given to vacillating
Difficult Word: - acanthoid  (a) chitinous  (b) sessile  (c) thorny  (d) pertaining to the gum acacia family
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Black holes, but not as we know them Black holes, but not as we know them - New Scientist  Everyone knows that falling into a black hole spells doom. Or does it? In the past few years, cracks have started to appear in the conventional picture. Researchers on the quest for a more complete understanding of our universe are finding that black holes are not so black, and perhaps not holes either. This picture always contained the seeds of its own destruction. Furious debates are raging over what black holes contain and even whether they deserve the name. Hawking showed that the gravitational energy of the black hole could be lent to virtual particles near the event horizon. These could then become real, and escape. Over time, the black hole will bleed away into outer space. This led to a problem dubbed the information paradox.  
Amateurs beat space agencies to Titan pictures  - Nature  Left:  A seaside vista on Titan. Click here for larger version of image.  A group of enthusiastic amateurs managed to process raw images of Titan from the Huygens probe faster that any of the giant space agencies in charge of the mission. "When we started looking at the raw images, there were marvellous things there that we wanted to share," says Anthony Liekens, a chatroom enthusiast from Borsbeek, Belgium. So he decided to host amateur compositions on his website. The site has quickly turned into a virtual gallery.  

Huygens Landed with a 'Splat' - Google   After Huygens' main parachute unfurled in the upper atmosphere, the probe slowed to a little over 50 meters per second, or about the speed you might drive on a highway.In the lower atmosphere, the probe decelerated to approximately 5.4 meters per second, and drifted sideways at about 1.5 meters per second, a leisurely walking pace. When the probe landed, it was not with a thud, or a splash, but a 'splat'. It landed in Titanian 'mud'. DISR's downward-looking High Resolution Imager camera lens apparently accumulated some material, which suggests the probe may have settled into the surface.




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