4/21/2004:

Intermediate Word:  tintinabulation  (a) ithe process of tinting  (b) reapplying a coat of tin  (c) ringing of bells  (d) chaotic noise
Difficult Word: - lordosis  (a) spine curved forward  (b) affecting a haughty manner  (c) kyphosis  (d) a bad taste in one's mouth


The Dimming of the Universe - Space.com  Star formation across the cosmos peaked more recently than astronomers had thought, according to a new study, but the universe continues to gradually grow dimmer. According to previous estimates, the activity topped out about 8 billion years ago. The new study shows the peak in star birth was roughly 5 billion years ago, or just prior to the formation of our own Sun, which is now middle-aged at 4.6 billion years. The overall stellar birth rate has declined drastically since. 
BBC graphic - difference between US and Europe Americans lose their height advantage over Europeans  - BBC  Europeans are getting increasingly taller, Americans have "stopped growing." In the 1800s, the Dutch were, on average, three inches shorter than Americans - now they are around three inches taller. The British are around half an inch taller than the Americans, who have now reached an average height of 5ft 10. Dutch men have an even bigger height advantage over the Americans - they reach an average of 6ft 1. Immigrants, and people of either Hispanic or Asian ancestry were not included in the study. He said the Dutch advantage was probably due to providing the "world's best" pre and post-natal care. In contrast, around 40 million Americans have no health insurance.

Turning Robots Into A Well-Oiled Machine - SpaceDaily  Humans are social creatures, but robots, for the most part, are not. To help emergency response personnel in the trenches, a team of researchers is writing the playbook to turn a group of robots into a single well-oiled machine. Researchers are devising software that will allow small robots to coordinate their actions and carry out complex commands from a human operator. The latest Scouts incorporate a video camera, three infrared range finders, two light sensors and a pyroelectric sensor (for sensing body heat)—plus a two-way remote-control system that supports frequency hopping and signal encryption.





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