3/14/2004:

Intermediate Word:  epithalamium  (a) lyric wedding ode  (b) outermost layer of an internal organ  (c) to certify  (d) lining of the gut
Difficult Word: - tantra  (a) a prayer wheel  (b) a koan  (c) the doctrine that we are all part of a single soul  (d) Buddhist/Hindu religious writings concerning magic


Mount Everest Into Thin Air - ABC  Cynthia Beall of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, recently examined inhabitants of plateaus in Tibet, Ethiopia and the Andes and found that each group of people have developed their own ways of boosting their bodies' oxygen levels. Indigenous people of the Andes, she found, carry more hemoglobin a carrier of oxygen in their blood. Tibetans, who have the longest history of living in highlands, have evolved a completely different, and some argue, superior strategy they breathe more. Meanwhile, Ethiopians living in the highlands of East Africa have adapted in ways that scientists don't yet understand.
Infinity Infinity and Beyond - ABC  A Compact History of Infinity sketches the history of humanity's attempts to understand infinity. It begins with the Greeks and ends with modern logicians, Georg Cantor in particular. In between are accounts of the attempts by many mathematicians to get a handle on the discombobulating notions of the infinitely big and the infinitesimally small. The other work on the topic is a play entitled Infinities by English physicist and cosmologist John Barrow. So far performed only in Europe, the play dramatically explores various counterintuitive aspects of infinity, from a scenario devoted to Jose Luis Borges' parable of the Library of Babel to one about the implications of mathematician David Hilbert's Hotel Infinity.

Metamaterial, UCSD

Science closes in on perfect lens  - BBC  Left:  The "split rings" are about 50 microns wide, less than the thickness of a human hair.   New designer materials could eventually lead to "perfect lenses" for optical devices, able to focus on features smaller than the wavelength of light. These "metamaterials" are composites that can tap into a range of magnetism scientists cannot harness using known naturally occurring materials. The new composites are constructed using nanotechnology to build tiny circuits on a plate made of quartz. The newest metamaterials respond in the terahertz frequency range which lies between infrared rays and microwave rays and can be made from elements, such as copper, or compounds which are not in themselves magnetic. 






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