11/15/2005:

Intermediate Word:  Kafkaesque (a) drawn in true perspective from a fixed point in the background  (b) surreal distortion, with a sense of danger  (c) light-heatedly humorous  (d) gigantic
Difficult Word: - Hudbrastic 
(a) mock-heroic style  (b) given to procrastination  (c) arbitrary and unyielding  (d) pathological liar

Mission unthinkable: Disbanding NASA - New Scientist  LESS than two years after it was announced with great fanfare, President Bush's plan to return people to the moon is in trouble. The signs are everywhere. Take Operation Offset, a proposal devised by a group of Republican legislators to cut government programmes and free up funds to pay for damage done by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Conspicuous on the chopping block is NASA's moon and Mars initiative. Another austerity proposal recommended much the same thing: cancel NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle.   
China To Spend 180 Billion Dollars To Boost Renewable Energy Use - SpaceDaily  China said Monday it would spend about 180 billion dollars over the next 15 years to increase its use of renewable energy to 15 percent of the total generated, from the current seven percent. In the coming 15 years China will develop biomass energy, which stems from plant and animal matter, and hopes to replace ten million tons of petroleum with renewable energy annually, Zhang said. China also plans to expand the heat collection area of solar heaters to 300 million cubic meters (390 million cubic yards) by 2020, replacing the use of about 40 million tons of standard coal each year. China aims to provide electricity to many homes still living without it by developing renewable energies, especially solar energy, Zhang said.   

Maureen Dowd on "When Sexes Collide"  - NY Times  When I entered college in 1969, women were bursting out of their 50's chrysalis, shedding girdles, padded bras and conventions. The Jazz Age spirit flared in the Age of Aquarius. Women were once again imitating men and acting all independent: smoking, drinking, wanting to earn money and thinking they had the right to be sexual, this time protected by the pill. I didn't fit in with the brazen new world of hard-charging feminists. I was more of a fun-loving (if chaste) type who would decades later come to life in Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie Bradshaw. I hated the grubby, unisex jeans and no-makeup look and drugs that zoned you out, and I couldn't understand the appeal of dances that didn't involve touching your partner. In the universe of Eros, I longed for style and wit. I loved the Art Deco glamour of 30's movies. I wanted to dance the Continental like Fred and Ginger in white hotel suites; drink martinis like Myrna Loy and William Powell; live the life of a screwball heroine like Katharine Hepburn, wearing a gold lamé gown cut on the bias, cavorting with Cary Grant, strolling along Fifth Avenue with my pet leopard. My mom would just shake her head and tell me that my idea of the 30's was wildly romanticized. "We were poor," she'd say.     




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