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Science News Archive - May 28, 2006

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The ground heaves, an earthquake is born. Underground sensors along fault lines detect rumblings humans can't and relay signals to a central computer. Precious seconds before anything is felt, wailing sirens blare that a big one is on its way.

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With the six-month hurricane season starting June 1 and more severe storms predicted to come more often, nature is in for a series of debilitating blows the likes of which it hasn't endured in generations. Its ability to recover will be put to the test.

Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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