Intermediate Word:  ragout -  (a)  remnant sale  (b) meat and vegetable stew  (c) patchwork quilt  (d) informal disccussion
Difficult Word: - antrum   (a)
entrance to a cave  (b) vestibule  (c) opening brief in a trial  (d) sinus cavity

Major Climate Change Occurred 5,200 Years Ago- History Could Repeat Itself - SpaceDaily  From the mountains of data drawn by analyzing countless ice cores, and a meticulous review of sometimes obscure historic records, Thompson and his research team at Ohio State University are convinced that the global climate has changed dramatically. But more importantly, they believe it has happened at least once before, and the results were nearly catastrophic to emerging cultures at the time. Evidence shows that around 5,200 years ago, solar output first dropped precipitously and then surged over a short period. It is this huge solar energy oscillation that Thompson believes may have triggered the climate change he sees in all those records. "The climate system is remarkably sensitive to natural variability," he said. "Itís likely that it is equally sensitive to effects brought on by human activity   
The Secret Life Of Acid Dust - SpaceDaily   "Calcite-containing dust particles blow into the air and encounter gaseous nitric acid in polluted air from factories to form an entirely new particle of calcium nitrate. These nitrates have optical and chemical properties that are absolutely different from those of originally dry dust particles, and climate models need to be updated to reflect this chemistry. A key change in the properties of the newly formed nitrate particles is that they begin to absorb water and retain the moisture. These wet particles can scatter and absorb sunlight - presenting climate modelers, who need to know where the energy is going, a new wild card to deal with."     

Research Demystifies Quantum Properties Of Exotic Materials - SpaceDaily  The push to create materials with radically new electronic properties has also produced a host of experimental results that textbook theories simply cannot explain. In the Dec. 16 issue of Nature magazine, a team of physicists from Rice University, Rutgers University and the Max-Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids in Dresden, Germany, offers a new explanation of the way quantum effects could create some of the strange electronic properties that have been observed in the important class of "heavy fermion" materials. ""The work could be important to the physics of a broad range of materials."  

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