5/10/2005:

Intermediate Word:  binnacle (a) binding post for ship's ropes  (b) tumor-like excrescence  (c) mounting stand for ship's compass  (d) surplice
Difficult Word:
  Zend-Avesta  (b) Assyrian fertility goddess  (b) spring bearing the waters of immortality  (c) ancient Indus-valley city-state  (d) Zoroastrian sacred book

Vitamin Mania: The Truth about Antioxidants - Space.com  Studies showing the negative or null effects of vitamins supplements are so common that it is surprising doctors still find these studies to be surprising. Vitamins are not as simple as A-B-C. Americans spend about $2 billion a year on vitamins C and E, along with beta carotene (a precursor of vitamin A) and selenium. But the body, it seems, is not governed by a Hollywood "B" script. Free radicals are as good as they are bad, and too many antioxidants may do the body harm.    
Walk a Quarter-Mile or Die - Space.com  If you can walk a quarter-mile, odds are you have at least six years of life left in you, scientists announced today. And the faster you can do it, the longer you might live. All the participants were screened and determined to be in relatively good health, and they had all said they had previously walked that far with no problem. However, only 86 percent of them finished. Those who completed the walk but were among the slowest 25 percent faced three times greater risk of death than the speedier folks.   

Hurricane Alley Heats Up - Space.com   To develop into a hurricane, a tropical storm needs its primary fuel—water—to be at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.5 Celsius). Long-term trends show that global ocean surface temperatures have warmed up in the past century, and that this is helping to create stronger hurricanes. A hurricane spawning region in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa has experienced more extreme temperature variation than other areas, according to new computer simulations that tease out the long-term change from other known variations that can last decades. The water temperature in this "hurricane alley" has risen several tenths of a degree Celsius over the 20th century. "This very long-term increase in temperature may seem small but is comparable in magnitude to shorter time-scale, multi-decadal changes that many scientists now believe contribute strongly to an increase in hurricane activity in the Atlantic," said study team member Thomas Knutson, a meteorologist at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton.   




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