5/13/2004:

Intermediate Word: 
flechette
  (a) mini-handbag  (b) steel dart dropped from airplane   (c) feathered crossbow quarrel  (d) insulated cooler bag
Difficult Word: - picaroon  (a) Spanish gold coin  (b) musical wind instrument  (c) type of cookie  (d) rogue

Close-up of computer-generated face Skin secrets: How computer-generated faces are looking more realistic  - BBC  It you get a close look at some of the creatures of the night in the Van Helsing movie, you might notice how realistic their skin looks. The secret in making virtual skin seem real is all to do with light. Dr Jensen found that light did not just bounce from surfaces such as marble and skin. Instead light beams penetrate below the surface and scatter at different points. Dr Jensen managed to come up with a mathematical formula that calculates how light is absorbed and dispersed beneath materials like marble or skin. "The development of the mathematical model was the most difficult aspect of the project," he told BBC News Online. "It required a number of new algorithms and techniques not previously seen in computer graphics." He also hopes that in the future it will be more widely used in architectural design and art restoration to make virtual buildings leap out of the computer screen.
Web Ferret logo Search me: Handy tools to help you find what you want online  - BBC  What I like about Web Ferret is its comprehensive toolset, which allows you to easily select which search engines and directories you want it to query, and how. But if you're looking for a very specific piece of information, less is definitely more. One search facility that offers this kind of narrow-band search is The Scannery, an investor-focused web search platform that indexes and searches the websites of public companies from around the world. It currently covers over 13,000 companies in more than 55 countries and is growing all the time.

DNA walker, Nano Letters

Tiny robot walker made from DNA  - BBC  Scientists have created a microscopic walking robot using only the building blocks of life: DNA. The tiny walker is only 10 nanometres long and has been described as a major step forward in nanotechnology. A New York University team created the robot using DNA legs that move along a footpath, which is also based on DNA. The legs move by detaching themselves from the footpath, moving along it and then reattaching themselves, New Scientist reports. "What we've done is to build a sidewalk to accommodate one step and we've demonstrated quantitatively that [the robot] can take a second step."





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