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Pan Am Flight 103 was Pan American World Airways' third daily scheduled transatlantic flight from London's Heathrow Airport to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. On Wednesday 21 December 1988, the aircraft flying this route—a Boeing 747-121 named Clipper Maid of the Seas—was destroyed by a bomb, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members. Eleven people in Lockerbie, southern Scotland, were killed as large sections of the plane fell in and around the town, bringing total fatalities to 270. As a result, the event has been named by the media as the Lockerbie Bombing. The explosion punched a 20-inch (0.51 m)-wide hole on the left side of the fuselage, almost directly under the 'P' in Pan Am. The disintegration of the aircraft was rapid. Investigators from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were lowered into the cockpit in the wreckage before it was moved from the crash site and while the bodies of the flight crew were still in the cockpit. They concluded that no emergency procedures had been started. The pressure control and fuel switches were both set for cruise, and the crew had not used their oxygen masks, which would have been required within five seconds of a rapid depressurisation of the aircraft. All 243 passengers and 16 crew members were killed. Eleven residents of Lockerbie also died. Of the total of 270 fatalities, 190 were American citizens. A Scottish Fatal Accident Inquiry, which opened on 1 October 1990, heard that, when the cockpit broke off, tornado-force winds tore through the fuselage, tearing clothes off passengers and turning insecurely-fixed items like food and drink trolleys into lethal objects. Because of the sudden change in air pressure, the gases inside the passengers' bodies would have expanded to four times their normal volume, causing their lungs to swell and then collapse. People and objects not fixed down would have been blown out of the aircraft into the -46 °C (-50.8 °F) outside air, their 31,000-foot (9,400 m) fall lasting about two minutes. Some passengers remained attached to the fuselage by their seat belts, crashing in Lockerbie strapped to their seats. In 2001, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, a Libyan, was convicted of involvement in the bombing and sentenced to life imprisonment. On 20 August 2009, the Scottish Government released him on compassionate grounds to return to Libya as he was suffering from terminal prostate cancer and had a life expectancy of less than 3 months. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



A leptocephalus is the flat and transparent larva of the eel, marine eels, and other members of the Superorder Elopomorpha. These fishes with a leptocephalus larva stage include the most familiar eels such as the conger, moray eel, and garden eel, and the freshwater eels of the family Anguillidae, plus more than 10 other families of lesser-known types of marine eels. These are all true eels of the order Anguilliformes. The fishes of the other four traditional orders of elopomorph fishes that have this type of larva are more diverse in their body forms and include the tarpon, bonefish, spiny eel, and pelican eel. Leptocephali (more than one leptocephalus) all have laterally compressed bodies that contain transparent jelly-like substances on the inside of the body and a thin layer of muscle on the outside. Their body organs are small, and this combination of features results in them being very transparent when they are alive. They also lack red blood cells until they begin to metamorphose into the juvenile glass eel stage when they start to look like eels. Leptocephali differ from most fish larvae because they grow to much larger sizes (about 60–300 mm and sometimes larger) and have long larval periods of about 3 months to more than a year. They move with typical anguilliform swimming motions and can swim both forwards and backwards. Their food source was difficult to determine because no zooplankton, which are the typical food of fish larvae, were ever seen in their guts. It was recently found though, that they appear to feed on tiny particles floating free in the ocean, which are often referred to as marine snow. Leptocephalus larvae live primarily in the upper 100 meters of the ocean at night, and often a little deeper during the day. Leptocephali are present worldwide in the ocean from southern temperate to tropical latitudes, where adult eels and their close relatives live. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms. Cheese consists of proteins and fat from milk, usually the milk of cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep. It is produced by coagulation of the milk protein casein. Typically, the milk is acidified and addition of the enzyme rennet causes coagulation. The solids are separated and pressed into final form. Some cheeses have molds on the rind or throughout. Most cheeses melt at cooking temperature. Hundreds of types of cheese are produced. Their styles, textures and flavors depend on the origin of the milk (including the animal's diet), whether they have been pasteurized, the butterfat content, the bacteria and mold, the processing, and aging. Herbs, spices, or wood smoke may be used as flavoring agents. The yellow to red color of many cheeses is from adding annatto. For a few cheeses, the milk is curdled by adding acids such as vinegar or lemon juice. Most cheeses are acidified to a lesser degree by bacteria, which turn milk sugars into lactic acid, then the addition of rennet completes the curdling. Vegetarian alternatives to rennet are available; most are produced by fermentation of the fungus Mucor miehei, but others have been extracted from various species of the Cynara thistle family. Cheese is valued for its portability, long life, and high content of fat, protein, calcium, and phosphorus. Cheese is more compact and has a longer shelf life than milk. Cheesemakers near a dairy region may benefit from fresher, lower-priced milk, and lower shipping costs. The long storage life of some cheese, especially if it is encased in a protective rind, allows selling when markets are favorable. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The .357 SIG pistol cartridge is the product of Swiss firearms manufacturer SIG-Sauer, in cooperation with the American ammunition manufacturer Federal Cartridge. While it is based on a .40 S&W case necked down to accept 9 mm bullets, the .357 SIG brass is longer. With a good hollow point bullet, the .357 SIG penetrates well and has sufficient energy transfer to incapacitate living targets through hydrostatic shock. Like the 10 mm Auto, the .357 SIG can be down-loaded to reduce recoil, to the point where recoil is similar to that of a 9x19mm Parabellum. However, since the .357 SIG uses bullets that are generally the same as those used in the 9 mm Para, downloading it to this point would defeat the purpose of having the SIG cartridge in the first place, as recoil and ballistics would be identical to the less-powerful 9 mm cartridge. Because the .357 SIG fires at relatively high pressures, muzzle flash and noise are significant with standard loads, even with longer barrels. Utilizing loads with specialized powders and experimenting with different bullet weights can reduce flash. Like the 7.62x25mm Tokarev, the .357 SIG works well when shooting through barriers. There has been a documented case in Texas where a police officer's .45 round did not penetrate a tractor-trailer's shell, but a .357 SIG round from a backup officer's gun did, killing the suspect inside. The round's ability to penetrate barriers is the main reason for its adoption by law enforcement agencies. However, other documented police shootings have confirmed the round's ability to not overpenetrate the body, even though ballistic gelatin shows 16 inches of penetration through heavy clothing. The Virginia State Police have had several documented officer-related shootings involving the .357 SIG, and in every case, not only were the suspects stopped instantly with one shot (except one who was shot several times while attempting to murder an officer), the bullet either did not exit the suspect, or was stopped in the clothing upon exiting, proving that even at such high velocities, the round when used with adequate expanding hollowpoints will not over penetrate soft tissue. The same department has also reported that attacking dogs have been stopped dead in their tracks by a single shot, whereas the former subsonic 147 grain 9 mm duty rounds would require multiple shots to incapacitate the animals. The energy available in the .357 SIG is sufficient for imparting hydrostatic shock with well designed bullets. Recent publication of human autopsy results has demonstrated brain hemorrhaging from fatal hits to the chest with .357 SIG bullets. The SIG-Sauer P229 in .357 SIG is currently one of the standard issue firearms carried by special agents and Uniformed Division officers of the United States Secret Service, the Bastrop County Texas Sheriff's Office, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Delaware State Police, Rhode Island State Police, Alameda County Sheriff's Office, Virginia State Police, Federal Air Marshals and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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