12/24/2004:

Intermediate Word:  parterre -  (a) amusing imitation  (b) room-service order  (c) something sent on to higher authority  (d) uproar
Difficult Word: - ecru   (a)
soil water not available for plants   (b) corner clamp  (c) light yellow-brown  (d) flightless bird in New Guinea

A Chance To Imagine The Future - SpaceDaily  Budding writers and artists have another opportunity to describe their vision of the future in space in the 2005 Clarke-Bradbury International Science Fiction competition. In 2003 the first competition received 104 entries from 36 countries. Organised by the Swiss Maison d'Ailleurs (House of Elsewhere) and the OURS Foundation, under the auspices of ESA's Technology Transfer and Promotion Office, the competition is designed to promote innovative ideas for future space technologies and to encourage young people's interest in science and technology. This year a specific theme has been selected: the space elevator. Writers and artists of all ages are invited to submit a short story of no more than 2500 words, a piece of artwork, or both, describing or depicting a space elevator and its technology.    
Permafrost Warming A Challenge To Tibetian Train Route - SpaceDaily  Left:  One example is the Tibetan plateau, where the 695-mile Qinghai-Xizang railroad is due to be completed in 2007. More than 600 miles of track will be at altitudes of at least 13,000 feet above sea level, and 340 miles of track will lie across permafrost.  "The Qinghai-Xizang railroad is the most ambitious construction project in a permafrost region since the Trans-Alaska Pipeline," said CU-Boulder and National Snow and Ice Data Center researcher Tingjun Zhang. "This is the first time engineers are primarily using crushed rock to insulate and fortify a structure against permafrost," he said. "Crushed rock is the most cost-effective method."

Space Race 2: Selling Space  - SpaceDaily  In 2005, a late but most welcome addition to the X Prize partnership plans to up the stakes in its space campaign. 7 UP stepped up in the waning days of the competition to supply much-needed operating funds for the X Prize Foundation to host its space race. Upon conclusion of the winning ship's successful flights, 7 UP was poised to make an even bigger plunge. 7 UP announced a promotion that would send consumers to space. Details of the sweepstakes are under development, but the gist of the pitch is this: 7 UP plans to acquire seats aboard one of the first passenger-carrying suborbital ships to space. 





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