12/26/2005:

Intermediate Word:  nuncio (a) greeting card  (b) immediately  (c) a papal ambassador  (d) 
Difficult Word: - ilex - (a)
holly oak  (b) African antelope with long spiral horns  (c) mollusk  (d) encyclopedia concordance

DARPA Team Fly Liquid Hydrocarbon Fueled Scramjet - SpaceDaily  Alliant Techsystems, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) successfully ground-launched and flew a hypersonic scramjet-powered veficle rom the Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, VA in a pre-dawn launch on Saturday Dec. 10th. ATK previously built the hydrogen-fueled X-43A Scramjet, the world-record holder for powered flight which obtained a top speed of nearly Mach 10 in a November 2004 flight test. After separating from its booster at more than 60,000 feet, the Scramjet engine ignited and propelled the vehicle at approximately Mach 5.5.    
'Pleistocene Park' experiment  - BBC  Efforts are under way to restore part of Siberia to the way it was more than 10,000 years ago, before the end of the last ice age. The "Pleistocene Park" experiment will try to turn the wet, boggy tundra back to the dry grasslands that once were home to large herds of stampeding mammals. These creatures included bison, horses, reindeer, musk-oxen, elk, saiga, and yaks and even woolly rhinos and mammoths. There were top predators, too, such as cave lions and wolves. It is hoped that by re-introducing some of the still-surviving species, grazing will begin again and restore the landscape.   

QRIO Robot Ready To Box It Out In The Warehouse - SpaceDaily  Sony Friday unveiled an upgrade of its humanoid robot QRIO, which can now recognize boxes and play with them like building blocks. The robot, which stands 60 centimeters (23.5 inches) and weighs 7.5 kilograms (16.5 pounds), can maintain its balance while using both arms to hold small boxes. It can carry them and place them on top of one another. If it drops a box while carrying it, the robot can find the box, pick it up by recognizing the edges and corners, and deliver it again to a pre-registered location. The updated robot can also recognize colors, human faces and movements of objects and register whether a face is turning.   




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