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K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth (after Mount Everest). With a peak elevation of 8,611 metres (28,251 ft), K2 is part of the Karakoram range, and is located on the border between the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China and Gilgit, in Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan. The name K2 is derived from the notation used by the Great Trigonometric Survey. Thomas Montgomerie made the first survey of the Karakoram from Mount Haramukh, some 130 miles (210 km) to the south, and sketched the two most prominent peaks, labelling them K1 and K2. The first serious attempt to climb K2 was undertaken in 1902 by Oscar Eckenstein and Aleister Crowley, via the Northeast Ridge. After five serious and costly attempts, the team could only reach up to 6,525 metres (21,407 ft). The failures are attributed to a combination of questionable physical training, personality conflicts, and poor weather conditions — of 68 days spent on K2 (at the time, the record for the longest time spent at such an altitude) only eight provided clear weather. Charles Houston returned to K2 to lead the 1953 American expedition. The expedition failed due to a storm which pinned the team down for ten days at 7,800 metres (25,591 ft), during which time Art Gilkey became critically ill. A desperate retreat followed, during which Pete Schoening saved almost the entire team during a mass fall, and Gilkey was killed, either in an avalanche or in a deliberate attempt to avoid burdening his companions. In spite of the failure and tragedy, the courage shown by the team has given the expedition iconic status in mountaineering history. The peak has now been climbed by almost all of its ridges. Although the summit of Everest is at a higher altitude, K2 is a much more difficult and dangerous climb, due in part to its terrible weather and comparatively greater height above surrounding terrain. The mountain is believed to be the world's most difficult and dangerous climb, hence its nickname "the Savage Mountain." As of August 2008, only 299 people have completed the ascent, compared with about 2,600 individuals who have ascended the more popular target of Everest. At least 77 people have died attempting the climb. Notably, 13 climbers from several expeditions died in 1986 in the 1986 K2 Disaster, five of these in a severe storm. More recently, on August 1, 2008, a group of climbers went missing after a large piece of ice fell during an avalanche taking out the fixed ropes on part of the route; four climbers were rescued, but 11, including Gerard McDonnell, the first Irish person to reach the summit, were confirmed dead. For every four people who have reached the summit, one has died trying. Unlike Annapurna, the mountain with the highest fatality rate, K2 has never been climbed in winter. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





Chewing gum is a type of gum traditionally made of chicle, a natural latex product, or synthetic rubber known as polyisobutylene, which is a non-vulcanisable form of the butyl rubber (isoprene-isobutylene) used for inner tubes or to line tubeless tires. For reasons of economy and quality, many modern chewing gums use rubber instead of chicle. Chicle is nonetheless still the base of choice for some regional markets, such as in Japan. Chewing gum in various forms has existed since at least the Neolithic period. 5,000 year old chewing gum with tooth imprints, made of birch bark tar, has been found in Kierikki, Yli-Ii, Finland. The bark tar of which the gums were made is believed to have antiseptic properties and other medicinal advantages. The ancient Aztecs used chicle as a base for making a gum-like substance. Women in particular used this gum as a mouth freshener. Forms of chewing gums were also used in Ancient Greece. The Greeks chewed mastic gum, made from the resin of the mastic tree. Many other cultures have chewed gum-like substances made from plants, grasses, and resins. The American Indians chewed resin made from the sap of spruce trees. The New England settlers picked up this practice, and in the early 1880s attempts were made to commercially market spruce gum. Around 1850 a gum made from paraffin wax was developed and soon exceeded the spruce gum in popularity. The United States military have regularly supplied soldiers with chewing gum since World War I because it helped both to improve the soldiers' concentration and to relieve stress. As of 2005, the U.S. military is sponsoring development of a chewing gum formulation with an antibacterial agent that could replace conventional oral hygiene methods in the battlefield. This product is not expected to be available for use for some time to come. Sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol has been shown to reduce cavities and plaque by starving microorganisms in the mouth. The same effect has not been shown for the sweetener sorbitol. The addition of calcium lactate has been shown to increase recalcification. Chewing gum sweetened with sugar can have a negative effect on oral health, because it can degrade the enamel on teeth. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



A hot dog (also known as a frankfurter, frank, wiener, or weenie) is a moist sausage of soft, even texture and flavor, often made from advanced meat recovery or meat slurry. Most types are fully cooked, cured or smoked. It is often placed hot in a special purpose soft, sliced hot dog bun. It may be garnished with mustard, ketchup, onion, mayonnaise, relish, cheese, chili or sauerkraut. The flavor can be similar to a range of meat products from bland bologna to spicy German bockwurst varieties. Hot dogs made from a range of meats are on the market, but Kosher or Halal hot dogs must be made from beef, chicken or turkey. Vegetarian hot dogs made from meat analogue are available. Unlike other sausages which may be sold uncooked, hot dogs are always precooked before packaging. Hot dogs can be eaten without additional cooking, although they are usually warmed before serving. Since even the unopened packaged hot dog can have bacteria it is safer to reheat them (especially important for pregnant women). Claims about the invention of the hot dog are difficult to assess because various stories assert the creation of the sausage, the placing of the sausage on bread or a bun as finger food, the popularization of the existing dish, or the application of the name "hot dog" to a sausage and bun combination. The word frankfurter comes from Frankfurt, Germany, where pork sausages served a bun similar to hot dogs originated. Common hot dog ingredients: meat and fat; flavorings, such as salt, garlic, and paprika; Preservatives (cure) - typically sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrite. In the US, if variety meats, cereal or soy fillers are used, the product name must be changed to "links" or the presence must be declared as a qualifier. Pork and beef are traditional meats. Less expensive hot dogs are primarily chicken or turkey, due to the low cost of mechanically separated poultry. Hot dogs have high sodium, fat and nitrite content, ingredients linked to health problems. Due to changing dietary preferences, manufacturers have turned to turkey, chicken, or vegetarian meat substitutes, and lowered salt content. If a manufacturer produces two types of hot dogs, "wieners" tend to contain pork and are blander, while "franks" tend to be all beef and more strongly seasoned. An American Institute for Cancer Research report found that consuming one 50-gram serving of processed meat — about one hot dog — every day increases risk of colorectal cancer by 20 percent. The Cancer Project group filed a class-action lawsuit demanding warning labels on packages and at sporting events. Hot dogs are high in fat and salt and have preservatives sodium nitrate and nitrite, believed to cause cancer. According to the AICR, the average risk of colorectal cancer is 5.8 percent, but 7 percent when a hot dog is consumed daily over years. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The McLaren MP4-12C is a sports car designed and manufactured by McLaren Automotive. It is the first production car wholly designed and built by McLaren since the McLaren F1, which for a long time held the record for the fastest production car in the world. The car's final design was unveiled on 8 September 2009, and it is set to be launched in 2011. The MP4-12C will feature a carbon fibre composite chassis, and will be powered by a mid-mounted McLaren M838T 3.8-litre V8 twin-turbo engine developing approximately 592 bhp (441 kW; 600 PS) and around 443 lb·ft (601 N·m) of torque. The car will make use of Formula 1-sourced technologies such as "brake steer", where the inside rear wheel is braked during fast cornering to reduce understeer. Power will be transmitted to the wheels through a 7-speed Seamless Shift dual-clutch gearbox. The MP4-12C will be sold at a price of £168,500 in the United Kingdom., and $229,000 for the US market. To celebrate the launch of the car, McLaren F1 partner Tag Heuer will release the limited edition Carrera MP4-12C watch, available only at McLaren dealers. he car will have a conventional two side-by-side seating arrangement, unlike its predecessor the McLaren F1 which featured an irregular three seat formation (front center, two behind either side). To make up for this however, the car's central console is narrower than in other cars, seating the driver closer to the center. In addition to the hard top, a convertible version of the MP4-12C is under development at McLaren. The convertible is planned to have a retractable hardtop that will be made from either aluminium or carbon fiber. McLaren is working to preserve the coupé's 200mph top speed. Meanwhile, the unique butterfly wing doors of the coupé will be retained. Interior trim and materials can be specified in asymmetric configuration - known as "Driver Zone". McLaren have stated the MP4-12C can accelerate from 0 to 200 km/h (124 mph) in 8.9 seconds. The car will have a top speed in excess of 322 km/h (200 mph) and will be able to brake from 200 km/h (124 mph) to a complete stop in under five seconds. Braking from 100 km/h (62 mph) to zero can be done in under 30 metres (98 ft), around seven car lengths. It is expected the 12C will complete the standard quarter mile in slightly less than 11 seconds. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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