3/12/2005:

Intermediate Word:  linchpin (a) lead pin in a bowling alley  (b) shaft-end locking pin  (c) tiny sparrow-like songbird  (d) cameo pin
Difficult Word:
  ascarid -  (a) burrowing mite  (b) raised birthmark  (c) nematode  (d) gouge mark left by a glacier

The dead Thames whale.  Image: ZSL/PA Green Gods: Is environmentalism becoming a new hair-shirted religion?  - BBC   Environmentalism has become a religion, writes Martin Livermore in this week's Green Room; humans should take off their hair shirts, and enjoy the lifestyles which progress has created. Our very intelligence sometimes makes us realise how little of the natural world we truly understand, and puts us in awe of the forces of Nature. This feeling of powerlessness before the forces of Nature led to early forms of religion. Although they were replaced in time by the current great world religions, in a strange way we are returning to our earlier beliefs.   
Artist's impression of space shade.  Image: Science Picture Library Shading Earth: Could sunshades in space and giant guns curb global warming?  - BBC  he US National Academy of Sciences found that 55,000 orbiting mirrors would reflect enough sunlight to counter about half the doubling of carbon dioxide. But each mirror must be 100 sq km; any larger and you would need a manufacturing plant on the Moon, says Dr MacCracken. By contrast, the "human-volcano" approach is on terra firma and less costly. Inspired by studies of the Mt Pinatubo eruption of 1991 and the cooling effect of its sulphur plume, one proposal suggests that naval guns shoot sulphur pellets into the air to increase Earth's albedo, or reflectivity. "One of the problems of putting sulphate particles in the stratosphere is that it would destroy the ozone layer; so you might solve the global warming problem, but then we'd all die of that." A few years ago, Dr Caldeira set out to disprove an idea to cool the Earth with a sheet of superfine reflective mesh. "We were originally trying to show that this is a bad idea. Much to our chagrin, it worked really well."

Image: Boat and sperm whale

How whales outsmart fishing fleets - MSNBC  Left:  A sperm whale swims near a fishing boat in Alaska. Sperm whales are likely using the sounds of fishing boat engines as underwater "dinner bells" to hone in on sablefish hooked by longlines in the Gulf of Alaska, scientists say.  View related photos  Sperm whales donít tune in to just any engine noise to track what are essentially miles of sablefish shish kebabs. The endangered whales key in on the enginesí sporadic bubbling, the continuing study said. The work has led researchers to recommend some low-cost ways for fishermen to hoodwink the highly intelligent cetaceans  




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