12/31/2005:

Intermediate Word:  hapless (a) unfortunate  (b) lacking the feeling of touch  (c) monotonous  (d) occurring at random
Difficult Word: - transept - (a)
moving beyond one's family circle  (b) cross-check of a (surveying) transverse  (c) lateral arms of a cruciform church  (d) principal transverse load-bearing beam

The Solar Powered Purse - Space.com  Joe Hynek may get some guff for carrying a purse, but he says it's all in the name of science: He has designed a solar handbag that can power small electronic devices like cell phones. The purse is designed to power any small device that uses an USB port, including cell phones, personal digital assistants, iPods, global positioning devices, voice recorders and small cameras. Although materials can be costly, Hynek hopes to keep the retail price under $300.   
Life's ingredients circle Sun-like star - New Scientist  The first evidence that some of the basic organic building blocks of life can exist in an Earth-like orbit around a young Sun-like star has been provided by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Spitzer took infrared spectrograms of 100 very young stars in a nearby stellar nursery, a huge cloud of dust and gas 375 light years away in the constellation Ophiuchus. And one of those stars showed signs of the organic molecules, acetylene and hydrogen cyanide. These gases, when combined with water, can form several different amino acids.    

Japan Says China Considerable Threat - SpaceDaily  China is becoming a "considerable threat" because of its rising military spending and nuclear weapons, the Japanese foreign minister said Thursday in the latest rift between the neighbors. "It is a neighboring country that has nuclear bombs. Its military spending is posting two-digit growth and the content of that is not transparent," Foreign Minister Taro Aso told reporters, as quoted by Jiji Press. Aso, an outspoken hawk appointed in late October, sided with Seiji Maehara, head of the main opposition Democratic Party  who recently called China a "realistic threat". Relations between China and Japan have been badly strained of late,    




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