12/5/2004:

Intermediate Word:  morula - (a) African eel with sharp teeth  (b) sucker on octopus arm  (c) clump of fewer than 200 embryonic cells  (d) Indian Ocean eel with poisonous bite
Difficult Word: -leveret   (a) short lever  (b) leavening agent  (c)   (d) young hare

First look at PlayStation 3 chip  - BBC   The chip will be made of several different processing cores that work on tasks together. The PlayStation 3 is expected in 2006 but developers are expecting to get prototypes early next year to tune games that will appear on it at launch. The three firms claim that the Cell chip will be up to 10 times more powerful than existing processors. When put inside powerful computer servers, the Cell consortium expects it to be capable of handling 16 trillion floating point operations, or calculations, every second. The first machines will be computer workstations and servers. 
Device to probe limits of physics  - BBC   The finished element is the first of the four barrels that will form the central part of the SemiConductor Tracker (SCT). The SCT will track the movement of particles as they pass through the thousands of silicon wafers with which the barrels are populated. It will be housed at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator, due to begin operating in 2007. The LHC could create mini-black holes as particles collide at high energies. And researchers are confident they will be able to detect the most sought after particle in physics: the Higgs boson, which explains why all other particles have mass.

Burden on society: We live longer and do more so why the gloom about ageing?  - BBC  In the UK, a man who turned 60 in 1981 could expect to live another 16 years and a woman almost 21 years. By 2003 this had increased to 20 years for men and 23 for women; and according to official UK projections, by 2026 this will rise to almost 24 years for men and almost 27 for women. Even this could be an underestimate. Economists and actuaries worry about the dependency ratio - the ratio of children and people over 65 compared with the sector of the population that is of working age. As the ratio rises, so it becomes harder to maintain living standards for the dependent population because the relatively shrinking workforce is put under strain. So welcome to the UK's ageing future, the revolution has already begun.




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