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Science News Archive - July 08, 2007

Wildfires erupted throughout the western United States as temperatures spiked and lightning struck, it was reported Sunday. In northern Nevada, lightning sparked nearly a dozen fires, burning about 55 square miles as temperatures hovered near 100 degrees Saturday, reported KTVN TV in Reno, Nev.

Elevated E. coli levels has caused a four-fold increase in Lake Michigan beach closings this year, it was reported Sunday. High temperatures, a few rainy downpours and sea gull feces may have contributed to the closings and a dozen additional advisory alerts, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Word of the Day
callithump
  • A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises; also, a burlesque serenade; a charivari.
'Callithump' is a back-formation of 'callithumpian,' a 'fanciful formation' according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However, the English Dialect Dictionary, says 'Gallithumpians' is a Dorset and Devon word from the 1790s that refers to 'a society of radical social reformers' or 'noisy disturbers of elections and meetings.'
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