4/17/2005:

Intermediate Word:  penury (a) state of atonement  (b) penmanship  (c) mingy-ness  (d) extreme poverty
Difficult Word:
  Lucina-  (a) founder of "Our Lady of Sorrows" religious order  (b) Heathcliffe's ill-fated wife in "Wuthering Heights"  (c) heroine's best friend in "The Mill on the Rover Floss"  (d) goddess of childbirth

Regional competition Green light: 'Make saving energy a source of regional pride in a competition'  - BBC  There must be a national effort to bring about a "green revolution", says the government. But what simple things can we all do to save the Earth?  Peter Brown of London proposes this innovation: "I was in New Zealand in 2001 when they had a highly effective energy saving drive. Their strategy was simple - they put on regular adverts giving advice on how to save energy and then, twice a week, the news would report on how each region had done. This effectively turned energy-saving into a competition between the different regions - if one region fell behind, it was shamed into doing better. In addition, everyone was able to see the positive effect that their efforts were having. People were happy to put in the effort to both help the environment and the country as a whole to save energy."
Australopithecus anamensis fossils from Asa Issie  Photo  2005 Tim D. White\Brill Atlanta Fossils fill gap in human lineage  - BBC  Fossil hunters have found remains of a probable direct ancestor of humans that lived more than four million years ago. The specimens of this ancient creature are helping bridge a long gap during a crucial phase of human evolution. The specimens of this ancient creature are helping bridge a long gap during a crucial phase of human evolution. Professor Tim White of the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues unearthed the cache of fossils in the Middle Awash region of Ethiopia. They describe the finds, which belong to the species Australopithecus anamensis, in the journal Nature. Australopithecus is an important ancient genus of humanlike creatures, or hominids. When placed together with other fossils from the same general area of Ethiopia, the 4.1-million-year-old anamensis specimens appear to establish an evolutionary succession between earlier and later species. "The fact anamensis is sandwiched between earlier and later hominids is what is really significant about this Ethiopian sequence," Tim White told the BBC News website.

Light bulb in front of a clock

Natural light 'to reinvent bulbs'  - BBC  A light source that could put the traditional light bulb in the shade has been invented by US scientists. The organic light-emitting diode (OLED) emits a brilliant white light when attached to an electricity supply. The material, described in the journal Nature, can be printed in wafer thin sheets that could transform walls, ceilings or even furniture into lights.  The OLEDs do not heat up like today's light bulbs and so are far more energy efficient and should last longer. They also produce a light that is more akin to natural daylight than traditional bulbs. Previous attempts to make OLEDs like this have largely failed to make an impact because traditional phosphorescent blue dyes are very short lived. The new polymer uses a fluorescent blue material instead which lasts much longer and uses less energy. The researchers believe that eventually this material could be 100% efficient, meaning it could be capable of converting all of the electricity to light, without the heat loss associated with traditional bulbs. The new material can also be printed onto glass or plastic Before this becomes a reality, the scientists need to work out a way to seal the OLEDs from moisture which can contaminate the sensitive material, causing it to no longer work. 



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