Intermediate Word:  cynosure  (a) died-in-the-wool cynic  (b) written safe-conduct  (c) center of attention  (d) wise-cracker
Difficult Word: - boscage  (a) trash  (b) trimmed wallpaper pieces  (c) idle chatter  (d) mass of trees and shrubs

Capitol Hill Panel Backs Global Warming Research - SpaceDaily  The Senate Commerce Committee unanimously approved a bill Tuesday establishing a $60 million research program to study climate change. Prospects for the legislation remain uncertain as it faces expected opposition from some Republicans, including Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe of Oklahoma and certain amendment on the Senate floor. It is also unclear if the measure will even be brought up for a vote by Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. Even if it the Senate approves the bill, it would face tougher hurdles in the House, where conservative Republicans could be expected to mount strong opposition.

Toyota's trumpet-playing robot

Robot trumpets Toyota's know-how  - BBC  A trumpet-playing robot has been developed by Japanese car maker Toyota. The Toyota robot stands 120 cm (48 inches) tall and does not yet have a cute name yet, unlike some of its rivals. For now, it has no plans to sell or rent it. Instead it hopes to form a robot band to play at the 2005 World Exposition, being held in Aichi in central Japan. The robot development race is highly competitive in Japan, with the market for bots estimated to be worth around $4.5bn. Companies often use the humanoid models to generate publicity and highlight a company's technical abilities.

Can Mars Be Made Into An Oasis? - SpaceDaily  With an average global temperature of -55 C, Mars is a very cold planet. The standard models for warming Mars raise this average temperature with greenhouse gases first, then plant cold-adapted crops and photosynthetic microbes. This terraforming model includes various refinements such as orbital mirrors and chemical factories which pour out fluorocarbons. Eventually with the help of biology, industrialization, and time, the atmosphere would begin to get thicker (the current martian atmosphere is 99% thinner than the Earth's). Another version to these global changes is a local one familiar to those who have trekked the Sahara. 

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