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Science News Archive - April 16, 2006

By Sammy Fretwell, The State, Columbia, S.C. Apr. 16--Swarming flies disrupted a funeral service Minnie Owens attended one day at her community church near Westminster. She thinks the nasty bugs came from a mega-chicken farm that opened down the road several years ago.

The Danube threatened to spill over soaked anti-flood defenses in Serbia's capital and wash through towns across southeastern Europe on Sunday after heavy rains helped push it to its highest levels in a century.

By Virginia De Leon, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash. Apr. 16--In the silence of the sanctuary, four nuns fall to their knees in prayer. "Dear Jesus, help us to spread your fragrance everywhere we go," they beseech before a simple altar.

Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'