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Iodine, a non-metallic mineral, is required by humans in trace amounts for proper development and growth. An iodine deficiency leads to an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), slowed metabolism and weight gain, as well as other symptoms of hypothyroidism such as fatigue and intolerance of cold. It can also cause neurological, gastrointestinal and skin abnormalities. Humans […]

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Adjective: Cerulean (suh-ROO-lee-un) Definition: Resembling the blue of the sky Sample sentence: The painting depicted a series of tall, verdant trees surrounding a cerulean lake.

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Consuming too much black licorice may cause abnormal heartbeats, or arrhythmias, particularly in older adults, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Black licorice contains the compound glycyrrhizin, which can cause the body’s potassium levels to fall. In some people, this can lead to, besides arrhythmias, edema (swelling), lethargy or congestive heart failure, the FDA […]

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Noun: Virga (VER-guh) Definition: Wisps of precipitation evaporating before reaching the ground. Sample sentence: The virga trailing the evening clouds created an eerie backdrop for our Halloween expedition.

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Calls to poison control centers reporting glow stick “poisoning” appear to increase during Halloween. Glow sticks are minimally toxic, but do pose a slight health risk. Contact with the liquid, such as through digestion, can cause irritation or vomiting. Kids who ingest glow stick liquid shouldn’t need to visit the hospital, but their parents should […]

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Adjective: Precipitate (prih-SIP-uh-tut) Definition: 1. Falling, flowing, or rushing with steep descent: also precipitous, steep. 2. Exhibiting violent or unwise speed. Sample sentence: Our precipitate decision to invest in the company proved unwise.

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Men who drink plenty of low-sugar fluids may reduce their risk for bladder cancer, new research suggests. Although the reason for the association between fluid intake and protection against cancer remains unknown, researchers theorize the fluids may flush out potential cancer-causing agents before they have a chance to cause any damage. Researchers evaluated the fluid […]

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Noun: Catachresis (kat-uh-KREE-sis) Definition: 1. Use of the wrong word for the context. 2. Use of a forced and especially paradoxical figure of speech. Sample sentence: Thanks to the many online dictionaries, I can avoid catachresis in my writings by looking up unfamiliar words with just a few clicks.

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Drowsiness may actually impair the part of your brain that helps you say no to junk food, according to new research from Harvard. Folks who reported feeling sleepier during the day had less activity in their brain’s prefrontal cortex (HQ of decsion making) when shown images of high calorie foods such as cheesecake and ice […]

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Noun: Jitney (JIT-nee) Definition: 1. A small bus that carries passengers over a regular route on a flexible schedule. 2. An unlicensed taxicab. Sample sentence: After doing some shopping along the boardwalk, we took a jitney back to our hotel.

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