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Although holiday decorations can be beautiful they can also present health and safety hazards. Angel hair is finely spun glass, which can be irritating to the skin, eyes, and the throat if swallowed. Wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation while decorating. Bubble lights contain a small amount of methylene chloride, which is also […]

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Adjective: Salient (SAIL-yunt) Definition: 1. Jutting forward beyond a line. 2. Standing out conspicuously: prominent; especially of notable significance. Sample sentence: The speech was filled with so much twisted rhetoric that it was hard to identify any salient points.

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Some of the common holiday plants, such as the poinsettia and mistletoe have often been considered very poisonous, even life-threatening. Although caution should be exercised, ingestion of these plants is not fatal. The Amaryllis, an exotic plant from tropical America and Africa has brilliant-colored flowers and green strap-shaped leaves. A stomach-ache can occur if the […]

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Macular degeneration is a debilitating eye disorder generally considered to be irreversible, and it remains the leading cause of blindness in individuals over the age of 55. Risks for the disorder commonly run in families, but a new study suggests that the risk can be reduced by not smoking and by a diet high in […]

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Noun: Stratagem (STRAT-uh-jum) Definition: 1. a: An artifice or trick in war for deceiving and outwitting the enemy. b: A cleverly contrived trick or scheme for gaining an end. 2. Skill in ruses or trickery. Sample sentence: As a stratagem to get the kids to do their chores, Melissa persuaded them to have a race […]

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Verb: Genuflect ( JEN-yuh- flekt) Definition: 1. To bend the knee. 2. To touch the knee to the floor or ground, especially in worship. 3. To be servilely obedient or respectful. Sample sentence: As part of the ceremony, the couple took a moment to genuflect before the altar.

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Even if you exercise a little every day, spending the rest of your time sitting may sabotage the positive effects of your morning run or evening walk. Findings from the emerging field of “sedentary behavior research” suggest that the recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise may not be enough physical activity for continued good health. […]

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When young men who don’t normally play a lot of video games are exposed to violent video games, changes occur in the way their brains function, new research shows. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), scientists were able to document altered brain responses after video game play. What’s more, some of those changes were still […]

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Noun: Fascicle (FASS-ih-kul) Definition: 1. A small or slender bundle (as of pine needles or nerve fibers) 2. One of the divisions of a book published in parts. Sample sentence: The first fascicle of the book was released in March, but readers had to wait until August for the second.

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Adverb: Regardless (rih-GAHRD-lus) Definition: Despite everything. Sample sentence: The weather forecast called for wind and rain, but Susan decided to continue with her plans regardless. Footnote: Poor “regardless” became embroiled in a usage scandal through no fault of its own when people began using “irregardless” as its synonym (probably blending “irrespective” and “regardless”). “Irregardless” originated […]

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