9/7/2005:

Intermediate Word:  topiary (a) the art of tying knots  (b) master of ceremonies  (c) "sculptured" bushes  (d) hat decorations
Difficult Word: - gallipot  (a) druggists' earthenware pot  (b) turpentine  (c) large, biting insect  (d) shaving mug

Lasers trigger cleaner fusion - MSNBC  Russian scientists have managed to use lasers to create a billion-degree nuclear fireball. The resulting fusion reaction is far cleaner than the kind currently being investigated to generate nuclear power. Sadly, the team's efforts are no good for power generation at the moment as the laser takes so much energy to run. But achieving this kind of laser-driven fusion in the lab will give scientists a better way to investigate the phenomenon, which could one day be used to create cleaner energy. some physicists have suggested using a different fusion process instead, which forces protons and boron nuclei together in a reaction that generates virtually no neutrons, but it requires a billion degrees. Now a team of Russian scientists have topped the billion-degree mark, achieving a proton-boron reaction for the first time.
Talking robot to go on sale in Japan as domestic helper  - BBC  A robot that recognises up to 10 faces and understands 10,000 words is to be offered to Japanese consumers looking for a high-tech helper in the house. The one-metre tall humanoid Wakamaru robot is being marketed as a mechanical house-sitter and secretary. Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries expects the first robots to go on sale in September. "This is the opening of an era in which human beings and robots can co-exist," the company said. The company says the robot can watch over homes while the owners are away, alerting them to possible burglaries. It can also apparently help monitor the condition of a sick person. And according to Mitsubishi, the robot can act as a secretary, recording notes and appointments and reminding owners of them with well-timed announcement. The Wakamaru weighs 30kg (66lb) and is expected to cost 1.58m yen (US$14,300). It is powered by rechargeable batteries and moves around on wheels, Japan's Kyodo news agency reports.

Australian Researchers Developing Societies Of Robots For Use In Space - SpaceDaily  Groups of cooperating robotics working in hazardous environments will require a networked approach to systems design. One Australian research laboratory is leading the way. Any human mission to Mars will require a high degree of robotic support to accomplish a wide variety and difficult tasks prior to human arrival. Tasks may require a large number of robots, cooperating with each other to handle multiple scientific and engineering objectives. The system must understand itself in a highly intelligent way, by self definition based on the group's capable behaviour.    




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