Intermediate Word: 
  (a) using arguments marshaled to support one position to buttress another position  (b) transmutation of lead into gold  (c) doctrine that bread and wine are converted into presence of Christ  (d) spontaneous transformation of one chemical compound into another
Difficult Word: - noddy  (a) sleepyhead  (b) fool  (c) the straight man in a swindle  (d) hod-carrier

Space Elevator: Momentum Building   - Space.com  Edwards is quick to run down what’s up on the space elevator challenges, from carbon nanotube technology, power beaming, climber hardware to space debris impacts on the ribbon, health and safety issues, as well as cost, politics and regulations. Different methods of producing carbon nanotubes are moving forward, even to the point of a new process that spins the material in similar fashion to how rope is made, Edwards told SPACE.com.
Robots get sensitive  - Nature  For an electronic skin to have a genuine sense of touch, it needs to be able not just to sense pressure, but to know where it is being applied. So the skin must be covered with a whole bank of individual sensors, each of which sends a signal when pressed. Someya and colleagues have wired up such a skin1. It consists of a sheet of rubbery polymer, impregnated with flakes of electrically conducting graphite.  

Space Age Still Fresh On Kazakh Steppes - SpaceDaily  It is about the least imposing observation point to watch a space rocket launch that you could imagine - just a corrugated iron shack about 25 feet long by 10 feet deep. And the only refreshments available are bottles of water to stave off the shimmering heat of the burning summer Kazakh steppe. But once the rocket engine ignites, you don't think about that, you don't think about anything. Seven kilometers, or 4.2 miles away, black powder gas has been pumped into a concrete-lined subterranean silo. The Dnepr booster, all 210 tons of it, is pushed by the gas out of its launching container with the protection tray beneath it still attached. Then the protection tray and the sealing rings are jettisoned. Only when the huge rocket has been propelled into view above the launch silo does the first stage ignite.

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