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The Saleen S7 is a limited-production, hand-built, high-performance automobile developed jointly by Steve Saleen for the initial concept and direction, Hidden Creek Industries for resources and initial funding, Phil Frank Design for the body and interior CAD design and development, and Ray Mallock Ltd. for the chassis engineering, and produced solely by Saleen in Irvine, California. It is the first car produced by Saleen not based on an existing chassis. The S7 debuted on August 19, 2000 at the Monterey Historic Races. From 2000 until 2004, the S7 featured a naturally aspirated V8 engine with 550 horsepower. In 2005, the S7 was replaced by the S7 Twin Turbo, which featured a more powerful twin-turbo system that boosted engine power to 750 horsepower and the top speed to an estimated 250 mph . The body of the car, made entirely from carbon fiber, incorporates the use of scoops, spoilers, and other aerodynamic features to create split-channel airflow throughout the car, and at 160 miles per hour (257 km/h), the car creates its own weight in downforce. Theoretically, the car produces enough downforce to drive upside down. The interior of the Saleen S7 was designed to be both luxurious and functional. Leather appears throughout the cabin, with aluminum accents, and the S7 comes with a set of custom-fit luggage. Because of the car's mid-engine layout, it has two trunks, front and rear. Other features include an LCD monitor, rear-view camera, quick-release steering-wheel and a 240 mile per hour speedometer. The cabin is of an asymmetrical layout, with the custom-fitted driver's seat positioned toward the center both to improve the driver's visibility and center their weight in the vehicle. In 2006, Saleen offered an optional competition package for the S7 Twin Turbo. The package offers a 33% increase in power, to a total of an approximate 1000 horsepower, as well as changes to the suspension, a revised front and rear diffuser, and an optional aerodynamic package with carbon fiber front and rear spoilers. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Reactive armor is a type of vehicle armor that reacts in some way to the impact of a weapon to reduce the damage done to the vehicle being protected. It is most effective in protecting against shaped charges and specially hardened long rod penetrators. The most common type is explosive reactive armor (ERA), but variants include self-limiting explosive reactive armor (SLERA), non-energetic reactive armor (NERA), non-explosive reactive armor (NxRA), and electric reactive armor. Unlike ERA and SLERA, NERA and NxRA modules can withstand multiple hits, but a second hit in exactly the same location will still penetrate. Essentially all anti-tank munitions (with the exception of HESH) work by piercing the armor and killing the crew inside, disabling vital mechanical systems, or both. Reactive armor can be defeated with multiple hits in the same place, as by tandem-charge weapons, which fire two or more shaped charges in rapid succession. Without tandem charges, hitting the same spot twice is much more difficult. An element of explosive reactive armor consists of a sheet or slab of high explosive sandwiched between two plates, typically metal, called the reactive or dynamic elements. On attack by a penetrating weapon, the explosive detonates, forcibly driving the metal plates apart to damage the penetrator. Against a shaped charge, the projected plates disrupt the metallic jet penetrator, effectively providing a greater path-length of material to be penetrated. Against a long rod penetrator, the projected plates serve to deflect and break up the rod. The disruption is attributed to two mechanisms. First, the moving plates change the effective velocity and angle of impact of the shaped charge jet, reducing the angle of incidence and increasing the effective jet velocity versus the plate element. Second, since the plates are angled compared to the usual impact direction of shaped charge warheads, as the plates move outwards the impact point on the plate moves over time, requiring the jet to cut through fresh plate material. This second effect significantly increases the effective plate thickness during the impact. A further complication to the use of ERA is the inherent danger to anybody near the tank when a plate detonates (disregarding that a HEAT warhead explosion would already present a great danger to anybody near the tank). Although ERA plates are intended only to bulge following detonation, the combined energy of the ERA explosive, coupled with the kinetic or explosive energy of the projectile, will frequently cause explosive fragmentation of the plate. The explosion of an ERA plate creates a significant amount of shrapnel, and bystanders are in grave danger of serious or fatal injury. As a result, infantry needs to operate some distance from vehicles protected by ERA in combined arms operations. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Bladesmithing is the art of making knives, swords, daggers and other blades using a forge, hammer, anvil, and other smithing tools. Bladesmiths employ a variety of metalworking techniques similar to those used by blacksmiths, as well as woodworking for knife and sword handles, and often leatherworking for sheaths. Bladesmithing is an art that is thousands of years old and found in cultures as diverse as China, Japan, India, Germany, Korea, the Middle East, and the British Isles. As with any art shrouded in history, there are myths and misconceptions about the process. While traditionally, bladesmithing referred to the manufacture of any blade by any means, the majority of contemporary craftsmen referred to as bladesmiths are those who primarily manufacture blades by means of using a forge to shape the blade as opposed to knifemakers who form blades by use of the stock removal method, although there is some overlap between both crafts. Historically speaking, bladesmithing is an art that has survived and thrived over thousands of years. Many different parts of the world have different styles of bladesmithing, some more well-known than others. The Proto-Celtic Hallstatt culture (8th century BC) were among the earliest users of iron swords. During the Hallstatt period, they made swords both in bronze as well as iron with rounded tips. Toward the end of the Hallstatt period, around 600-500BC, these swords were replaced with short daggers. The La Tene culture reintroduced the sword, which were very different from the traditional shape and construction of the Bronze Age and early Iron Age, characterized by a more pointed tip. Bladesmithing began declining after the Industrial Revolution. With improvements in steel production, bladesmiths no longer had to forge steel and knives could be machined from flat bars of steel. As cutlery companies moved to mass production of blades and machine tools became more available, the art of forging steel began to disappear as knifemakers could grind blades out of existing stock. By the mid 20th century, bladesmithing had been relegated to a cottage industry carried out by a handful of bladesmiths. One of these bladesmiths was William F. Moran, who forged his knives using a coal forge in the manner of a blacksmith using a hammer and anvil to shape the steel. Moran began trying to revive the ancient process of forging Damascus steel in the late 1960s. However, no living bladesmith knew the exact techniques and without a recipe for the process, it was in danger of being lost; through trial and error he taught himself pattern welding and referred to his end product as "Damascus steel". [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The orb-weaver spiders (family Araneidae) are the builders of spiral wheel-shaped webs often found in gardens, fields and forests. Their common name is taken from the round shape of this typical web. Orb-weavers have eight similar eyes, legs hairy or spiny and no stridulating organs. The family is cosmopolitan, including many well-known large or brightly colored garden spiders. There are more than 2,800 species in over 160 genera worldwide, making this the third largest family of spiders known (behind Salticidae and Linyphiidae). Generally, orb-weaving spiders are three-clawed builders of flat webs with sticky spiral capture silk. The building of a web is an engineering feat, begun when the spider floats a line on the wind to another surface. The spider secures the line and then drops another line from the center, making a "Y". The rest of the scaffolding follows with many radii of non-sticky silk being constructed before a final spiral of sticky capture silk. The third claw is used to walk on the non-sticky part of the web. Characteristically, the prey insect that blunders into the sticky lines is stunned by a quick bite and then wrapped in silk. If the prey is a venomous insect, such as a wasp, wrapping may precede biting. Many "orb-weavers" build a new web each day. Generally, towards evening, the spider will consume the old web, rest for approximately an hour, then spin a new web in the same general location. Thus, the webs of "orb-weavers" are generally free of trash accumulation common to other species such as black widow spiders. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



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