2/23/2005:

Intermediate Word:  to twig to -  (a) to push (an idea)  (b) to "catch on"  (c) to leak information  (d) to exaggerate
Difficult Word: - dryopithecine  (a) saurian forerunner of dinosaurs  (b) extinct human precursor  (c) family that includes tropical monkeys  (d) desert marsupials 
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Exclusive: NASA Researchers Claim Evidence of Present Life on Mars - Space.com  A pair of NASA scientists told a group of space officials at a private meeting here Sunday that they have found strong evidence that life may exist today on Mars, hidden away in caves and sustained by pockets of water.  The scientists, Carol Stoker and Larry Lemke of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, told the group that they have submitted their findings to the journal Nature for publication in May, and their paper currently is being peer reviewed.     
The Ascent of the Robotic Attack Jet  - Technology Review   Last April, a low-slung aircraft, about the size of a sport utility vehicle but with batlike wings similar to those of the B-2 stealth bomber, took off, flew at 10,500 meters and then dropped a 110-kilogram inert precision bomb while zipping along at 700 kilometers per hour. Four months later, a pair of the aircraft took off and flew together. These were modest stunts, to be sure, except for this fact: the jets have no pilots. They are the future of warfare, the first working models of networked autonomous attack jets, and the U.S. Department of Defense would like to start building them by 2010. Eventually such planes will be military mainstays. Of this, most observers are sure; it is simply a lot less expensive—and safer—to send machines into battle than to send people, who require food, sleep, training, and pay.    

Image: Ray Kurzweil

Inventor sets his sights on immortality - MSNBC  As part of his daily routine, Kurzweil ingests 250 supplements, eight to 10 glasses of alkaline water and 10 cups of green tea. He also periodically tracks 40 to 50 fitness indicators, down to his “tactile sensitivity.” Adjustments are made as needed. The inventor and computer scientist is serious about his health because if it fails him he might not live long enough to see humanity achieve immortality, a seismic development he predicts in his new book is no more than 20 years away. He urges others to do the same in “Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever.”  Kurzweil writes of millions of blood cell-sized robots, which he calls “nanobots".




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