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A castell is a human tower built traditionally in festivals at many locations within Catalonia. At these festivals, several colles castelleres or teams often succeed in building and dismantling a tower's structure. On November 16, 2010, castells were declared by UNESCO to be amongst the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The tradition of building castells originated in Valls, near the city of Tarragona, in the southern part of Catalonia towards the end of the 18th century. Later it developed a following in other regions of Catalonia and, since 1981, when the first castell of 9 levels of the 20th century was built, it has become very popular in most of Catalonia and even Majorca. The only 5 teams that have built complex gamma extra castells are from Valls, Vilafranca del Penedès, Terrassa and Mataró. A castell is considered a success when stages of its assembling and disassembling, can be done in complete succession. The assembly is complete once all castellers have climbed into their designated places, and the enxaneta climbs into place at the top and raises one hand with four fingers erect, in a gesture said to symbolize the stripes of the Catalan flag. The enxaneta then climbs down the other side of the castell, after which the remaining levels of castellers descend in highest-to-lowest order until all have reached safety. Aside from the people who climb to form the upper parts of the tower, others are needed to form the pinya, or bottom base of the castell, to sustain its weight. Members of the pinya (most often men) also act as a 'safety net' if the tower structure collapses, cushioning the fall of people from the upper levels. The castell is built in two phases. First, the pinya the base of the tower is formed. People forming higher levels of the tower move to a position from which they can easily get to their place in the tower. This is done slowly and carefully, and as subsequent base levels are completed the castellers in the pinya determine if their base is solid enough for construction to continue. Then, when the signal to proceed is given, bands begin to play the traditional Toc de Castells music as a hush comes over spectators of the event. The upper layers of the tower are built as quickly as possible in order to put minimal strain on the lower castellers, who bear most of the weight of the castell. The disassembly of the castell, done amidst the cheering of the crowd, is often the most treacherous stage of the event. There is a form of the Castell, generally referred to as 'rising', in which each successive layer is added from the bottom by lifting the castell into the air, stage by stage. It is held that this form takes even more skill and strength and a great deal of practice. Four levels complete have been observed and five attempted, but it is said that the record is six or perhaps seven. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





A solar flare is a sudden brightening observed over the Sun surface or the solar limb, which is interpreted as a large energy release of up to 6 × 1025 joules of energy -- about a sixth of the total energy output of the Sun each second. The flare ejects clouds of electrons, ions, and atoms through the corona into space. These clouds typically reach Earth a day or two after the event. The term is also used to refer to similar phenomena in other stars, where the term stellar flare applies. Solar flares affect all layers of the solar atmosphere (photosphere, chromosphere, and corona), when the medium plasma is heated to tens of millions of kelvins and electrons, protons, and heavier ions are accelerated to near the speed of light. They produce radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum at all wavelengths, from radio waves to gamma rays, although most of the energy goes to frequencies outside the visual range and for this reason the majority of the flares are not visible to the naked eye and must be observed with special instruments. Flares occur in active regions around sunspots, where intense magnetic fields penetrate the photosphere to link the corona to the solar interior. Flares are powered by the sudden (timescales of minutes to tens of minutes) release of magnetic energy stored in the corona. The same energy releases may produce coronal mass ejections (CME), although the relation between CMEs and flares is still not well established. X-rays and UV radiation emitted by solar flares can affect Earth's ionosphere and disrupt long-range radio communications. Direct radio emission at decimetric wavelengths may disturb operation of radars and other devices operating at these frequencies. Solar flares were first observed on the Sun by Richard Christopher Carrington and independently by Richard Hodgson in 1859 as localized visible brightenings of small areas within a sunspot group. Stellar flares have also been observed on a variety of other stars. The frequency of occurrence of solar flares varies, from several per day when the Sun is particularly "active" to less than one every week when the Sun is "quiet", following the 11-year cycle (the solar cycle). Large flares are less frequent than smaller ones. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The Samuel Adams brand began with Samuel Adams Boston Lager. The original recipe was developed in 1860 in St. Louis, Missouri by Louis Koch, who sold under the name Louis Koch Lager until Prohibition, and again until the early 1950s. In 1984, Jim Koch, the fifth-generation, first born son to follow in his family’s brewing footsteps, brewed his first batch of Samuel Adams Boston Lager in his kitchen, using the original family recipe for Louis Koch Lager. At the time, Koch was working at Boston Consulting Group after receiving BA, MBA and JD degrees from Harvard University. In December 1984, Koch left his career at Boston Consulting Group to focus full-time on brewing craft beer. Shortly thereafter, he optimized the recipe with the help of Joseph Owades, the man credited with the invention of light beer in the 1970s. Jim chose the name Samuel Adams after the Boston patriot, who fought for American independence, and who also had inherited a brewing tradition from his father. In April 1985, the beer was re-introduced as Samuel Adams Boston Lager, at the re-creation of the first battle of the American Revolution on Patriot's Day. Three months later, it was voted “Best Beer in America” at the Great American Beer Festival, in which 93 national and regional beers competed. The publicity that followed helped the Boston Beer Company's sales grow to 7,393,000 liters (63,000 barrels) in 1989. The beer was first put on tap at Doyle's Cafe in Jamaica Plain. The company's success occurred as the U.S. craft brewery movement was exploding. By 1995, some 600 craft breweries were producing specialty beers in the United States. That year The Boston Beer Company went public, selling shares of Class A Common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under SAM. Despite the appearance of competitors, the company remained the largest craft brewer in the United States with nearly 141 million liters (1.2 million barrels) sold in 1996. As of 2007, the company produces twelve varieties of beer year-round: Boston Lager, Sam Adams Light, Boston Ale, Pale Ale, Cherry Wheat, Cream Stout, Brown Ale, Hefeweizen, Scotch Ale, Black Lager, Honey Porter, and Irish Red. The Sam Adams Boston Lager contains 4.75% abv, roughly average for its style. Other styles have pushed the physical limits of alcohol content for the brewing process - in 2003 one batch of Utopias contained 25.6% abv, beating the records that Samuel Adams Triple Bock and Samuel Adams Millennium had set before it. Announced in October 2009, the Boston Beer Company has teamed up with German brewery Weihenstephan to jointly produce a new craft beer to be marketed in Germany and the U.S. next spring. The companies have been working on the project for nearly two years. The beer has yet to be named, but will be sold in cork-finished bottles, and will contain more than 10 percent alcohol. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





The X-18 was an experimental cargo transport aircraft designed to be the first testbed for tiltwing and VSTOL (vertical/short takeoff and landing) technology. Design work started in 1955 by Stanley Hiller Jr and Hiller Aircraft Corporation received a manufacturing contract and funding from the U.S. Air Force to build the only X-18 ever produced. To speed up construction and conserve money the plane was constructed from scavenged parts including a Chase C-122 Avitruc fuselage and the turboprops came from the Lockheed XFV-1 and Convair XFY-1 Pogo experimental airplanes program. The tri-bladed contra-rotating propellers were a giant 16 ft (4.8 m) across. The Westinghouse turbojet engine had its exhaust diverted upwards and downwards at the tail to give the plane pitch control at low speeds. The first test flight was on November 24, 1959, ultimately recording 20 flights out of Edwards AFB. A number of problems plagued the X-18 including being susceptible to wind gusts when the wing rotated, acting like a sail. In addition the turboprop engines were not cross-linked, so the failure of one engine meant the airplane would crash. Thrust control was through throttle changes, which were too slow for acceptable height and roll control. On the 20th and final flight in July 1961, the X-18 had a propeller pitch control problem when attempting to convert to a hover at 10,000 ft and went into a spin. The crew regained control and landed, but the X-18 never flew again. However ground testing of the tiltwing concepts continued. Eventually a VTOL Test Stand was built on which the X-18's vertical takeoff and landing and hover control was to be tested. One engine run was successfully conducted to the full 15-foot wheel height on the VTOL Test Stand. The program was cancelled on January 18, 1964 before further VTOL Test Stand testing could be conducted, and the X-18 was cut up for scrap. The program proved several things that contributed to further tilt-wing VSTOL technology programs: (1) cross-shafting between the engines was mandatory in order to avoid loss of control in the event of an engine failure; and (2) direct propeller pitch control was mandatory for precise height and lateral control during VTOL and hover. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



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