12/9/2004:

Intermediate Word:  passerine - (a) at par with  (b) sleek  (c) superior to  (d) perching
Difficult Word: - gallipot   (a) teakettle  (b) teakettle  (c) druggists' earthenware jar  (d) barber's shaving mug

Budget Analysts Call For NASA Cuts - SpaceDaily  Left: "I think we can learn much more about the universe much cheaper from unmanned vehicles", said Rivlin, now a Brookings' analyst, adding that unmanned exploration would also improve safety  U.S. analysts Monday said Bush administration proposals to send astronauts back to the moon and on to Mars should be put on the budget chopping block. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's fiscal 2005 budget gives it wide latitude to direct money toward Bush's new space vision but Alice Rivlin, former White House budget director under President Clinton, and Bill Niskanen, chairman of the Cato Institute, both told a Brookings Institute forum on domestic policy in the second Bush term the plans are a waste of money. Both analysts said it was unlikely Bush will reach his stated goal of reducing the federal deficit by 50 percent by fiscal 2009 but added NASA is one place where cuts could be made easily.   
The Origin Of Life On Earth - SpaceDaily  Left: Dynamic Neil deGrasse Tyson, on the move with a big idea in mind: how did life originate on Earth? Credit: PBS. The search for life in the universe begins with a deep question: what is life? Astrobiologists will tell you honestly that this question has no simple or generally accepted answer. Does life reproduce itself? So does fire. Does life evolve to produce new forms? So do certain crystals that grow in watery solutions. The four elements that form the bulk of life on Earth all appear on the short list of the universe's six most abundant elements. Since the other two elements on the list, helium and neon, almost never combine with anything else, life on Earth consists of the most abundant and chemically active ingredients in the cosmos.    

Stress 'may speed up cell ageing'  - BBC  The stress of caring for a sick child can add 10 or more years to the biological age of a woman's cells, researchers have found. The researchers found that women who had reported higher levels of psychological stress - those who were caring for sick children - had shorter telomeres. They said that, on average, the difference was equivalent to over a decade of additional ageing compared with women who classed themselves as having low levels of stress. It was also found that the high-stress women also had higher oxidative stress levels - cumulative damage caused by "free radicals" - which has been shown to speed up the shortening of telomeres in lab studies. 





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