5/27/2005:

Intermediate Word:  hegira (a) fruit stand in a bazaar  (b) chaladoor  (c) flight to escape danger  (d) small Southeast-Asian mammal
Difficult Word:
  table d'hôte  (b) fixed-price, full-course meal  (b) head table  (c) table of prices plus sales tax  (d) High, grassy plateau

Artificial happiness: Scientists begin to manipulate happiness levels in the brain  - BBC  Science is beginning to find ways to control happiness in the brain artificially. Since the dawn of time we have sought short-cuts to happiness. Early man got high on psychotropic drugs. Alcohol has been around since the stone age. The designer drugs of today promise ecstasy in a pill. Now neuroscientists are beginning to manipulate happiness in the brain. In a series of experiments in the 1950s and 1960s psychologists pinpointed the pleasure zones in the brains of rats and eventually in human patients. But the pleasure stopped when the current was stopped and Heath eventually abandoned his work.   
A roadside livestock vendor waits for customers sitting among his chickens in Jakarta, 04 April 2006. Alarm at human bird flu cluster  - BBC  Left:  Indonesia's bird flu death toll is second only to that of Vietnam. The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is extremely worried about a cluster of recent human deaths from the virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu. Seven people from the same family in northern Sumatra, Indonesia, died from the disease earlier this month. WHO spokesman Peter Cordingley said there was no sign of diseased poultry in the immediate area. Investigators are looking into the possibility that the virus spread from human to human, Mr Cordingley said. But he emphasised that there was no indication the virus had mutated. 

Planet shine 'to aid life search'  - BBC  Left:  NASA would have to find hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the Terrestrial Planet Finder mission.  Earth-like planets around distant stars may be too far away to be reached by spacecraft but scientists could still investigate whether they harbour life. Telescope technologies are being developed that will probe the very faint light from these objects for tell-tale signs of biology. These are the same "life markers" known to be present in light reflected off the Earth - so-called "earthshine". They include signatures for water, and gases such as oxygen and methane. "These are only signs of life; they are only indicators." 




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