8/25/2004:

Intermediate Word: 
boule
  (a) pear-shaped synthetic sapphire  (b) side street   (c) bolt of unsized cloth  (d) French word for bowl
Difficult Word: - vagillity   (a) capillary fragility  (b) tendency to wander aimlessly  (c) unusual courtesy and empathy   (d) tendency for an organism to become widely dispersed

The Sun Wonder-fuel: How nanotech could realistically give us clean hydrogen power - BBC  Left: Turning sunlight into energy: the future?  Hydrogen Solar says it has managed to convert more than 8% of sunlight directly into hydrogen with fuel cell technology it has specially developed. For an energy source to be commercially viable, it must reach an efficiency of 10%, which is an industry standard. "Over the last couple of years we have doubled efficiency." The Tandem Cell technology developed by Hydrogen Solar uses two photocatalytic cells in series which are coated with a nano-crystalline - extremely thin - metal oxide film. The cells capture the full spectrum of ultraviolet light.
The Sun, Nasa Heat waves set to become 'brutal' - BBC  Left:  Heat waves are set to intensify with increasing greenhouse emissions.   Heat waves in the 21st Century will be more intense, more frequent and longer lasting, US experts report in the journal Science. Scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) used climate modelling to predict geographic patterns of future heat waves. As the pattern becomes more pronounced, severe heat waves will hit the Mediterranean and southern and western US. An estimated 15,000 people died as a result of the heatwave in France last August. Chicago's heatwave of July 1995 killed about 739. Over the coming century, the number of heat waves in Paris was expected to increase by 31% and in Chicago by 25%. In both cities, they would also become more intense.

Argentine ant, AFP

Super ant colony hits Australia - BBC  Left:  Natural aggression kept numbers under control in the ants' native Argentina. A giant colony of ants stretching 100km (62 miles) has been discovered in the Australian city of Melbourne, threatening local insect species. The ants, which were imported from Argentina, are ranked among the world's 100 worst animal invaders. "In Argentina, their native homeland, ant colonies span tens of metres, are genetically diverse and highly aggressive towards one another," Dr Suhr said. "So population numbers never explode and they are no threat to other plants and animals. But the lack of genetic diversity in the ants found in Australia has allowed them to build a super colony. When they arrived in Australia, in 1939, a change in their structure occurred, changing their behaviour so that they are not aggressive towards one another. This has resulted in the colonies becoming one super colony." Dr Suhr said the Argentine ants have killed native ants, and consumed many other insects, posing a major threat to biodiversity. Australia is not the only country to be invaded by Argentine ants, according to Dr Suhr. "In California, they have displaced native ants, decreased the diversity of other native insects, affected the dispersal of seeds and even decreased lizard numbers," she said.





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