12/17/2005:

Intermediate Word:  revanche (a) retreat  (b) collar limiting the travel of a rod (c) small, short-tailed lizard found in Madagascar  (d) policy aimed at regaining lost territory
Difficult Word: -nosh - (a)
a snack  (b)  the head  (c) a fool  (d) unfashionable

Harnessing The Heating And Cooling Powers Of The Sun - SpaceDaily  Left:  Schematic representation of the miniaturization of the ABE (Active Building Envelope) system. See whole image Credits: RPI/Van Dessel.  Developed by Steven Van Dessel, assistant professor of architecture at Rensselaer, the patented Active Building Envelope (ABE) system uses a photovoltaic (PV) system to collect and convert sunlight into electricity. That power is then delivered to a series of thermoelectric (TE) heat-pumps that are integrated into a building envelope (the walls, windows, and roof). The miniaturized system would function in a similar fashion to the original, but would use thin-film photovoltaic and thin-film thermoelectric materials instead of bulk components. The use of thin-film technologies could potentially result in extremely thin (less than ½-millimeter) ABE-surfaces. The thin-film ABE technologies are completely silent and virtually maintenance free."  
New Maps Reveal True Extent Of Human Footprint On Earth - Science Daily  Left:  Swelling global populations have made pastures and croplands an increasingly evident feature of the human landscape. Today, agricultural activity is rapidly expanding in countries in Latin America, even as practices intensify further in heavily cultivated nations such as the United States, India and China. These computer-generated maps were created by scientists at the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  In a desperate bid to feed the world's growing population, agricultural activity now dominates more than a third of the Earth's landscape.    

Breakthrough Chip Delivers Better Digital Pictures For Less Power - Science Daily  The new designs use as few as three transistors per pixel, reserving nearly half of the pixel area for light collection. First tests on the chip show that at video rates of 30 frames per second it uses just 0.88 nanowatts per pixel—50 times less than the industry's previous best. It also trounces conventional chips in dynamic range. Existing CMOS sensors can record light 1,000 times brighter than their dimmest detectable light, a dynamic range of 1:1,000, while the Rochester technology already demonstrates a dynamic range of 1:100,000.    




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