4/20/2005:

Intermediate Word:  polder (a) flaming brandy-laced dessert  (b) land reclaimed from the sea  (c) lwarm chemical compress  (d) earthen dam
Difficult Word:
  peeler-  (a) policeman (after Sir John Peel)  (b) one who separates from a group  (c) flensing tool  (d) someone who "peels rubber"

Exploding Star Within A Star Surprises Astronomers - SpaceDaily  Left: White-dwarf star RS Ophiuchi explodes within the atmosphere of its red-giant companion in this artist's impression. Image credit: David A. Hardy/PPARC.  Last Feb. 12, amateur astronomers around the world began reporting something that teams of their professional counterparts had been eagerly awaiting: A faint star in the constellation Ophiuchus suddenly became clearly visible to the naked eye in the night sky. With that news, an international team trained dozens of instruments both ground-based and orbiting on RS Ophiuchi, a star known to have exhibited five such brightenings over the past 108 years.     
Fields of gold: Can non-food crops help break our dependency on oil?  - BBC  Left: Fuel of the future? Barley is used to produce ethanol  In the 19th Century, the only "biofuel" that powered farm machinery was the hay and grain that fed the horses that pulled the plough to turn the soil. But the arrival of the industrial revolution, the advances in our knowledge of chemistry, and the utilisation of oil, revolutionised our lives. Since then, societies around the globe have not looked back. Coal and oil have fuelled economic growth for more than 200 years. But today, political leaders of all persuasions are having to think the unthinkable and look beyond the age of oil. The upward trend in the cost of oil, fears over security of supplies, and the environmental consequences of burning fossil fuels are forcing the rethink. President Bush used his State of the Union address in January to pledge that plant-derived ethanol would be cost-competitive by 2012. In Brazil, 60% of all new cars can run on a fuel mix made up of 85% bioethanol. And in the UK, the government announced last November that 5% of all fuel sold on the nation's forecourts had to be from renewable sources by 2010. British Sugar is in the process of building a 55,000-tonne bioethanol plant

Snake robots could aid in rescues  - CNN  Left: Chris Borer shows off a snake robot's pipe climbing ability at the Carnegie Mellon robotics lab.  "Right now, the way to get to these trapped survivors is to pull the rubble out one rock at a time," Choset said. "So our dream is to have the snake robot thread through this collapsed rubble and get to victims more quickly." The Carnegie Mellon machines are designed to carry cameras and electronic sensors and can be controlled with a joystick. They wriggle with the help of small electric motors, or servos, commonly used by hobbyists in model airplanes. Built from lightweight aluminum or plastic, the robots are about the size of a human arm or smaller. They are only as good as their human operators.    



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