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A spitting cobra is one of several species of cobras that have the ability to eject venom from their fangs when defending themselves against predators. The sprayed venom is harmless to intact skin. However, it can cause permanent blindness if introduced to the eye and left untreated (causing chemosis and corneal swelling). Despite their name, these snakes do not actually spit their venom. The venom sprays out in distinctive geometric patterns, using muscular contractions upon the venom glands. These muscles squeeze the glands and force the venom out through forward facing holes at the tips of the fangs. The explanation that a large gust of air is expelled from the lung to propel the venom forward has been proven wrong. When cornered, some species can "spit" their venom a distance as great as two meters. While spitting is typically their primary form of defense, all spitting cobras are capable of delivering venom through a bite as well. Most species' venom exhibit significant hemotoxic effects, along with more typical neurotoxic effects of other cobra species. Some non-spitting cobras and vipers have been noted to spit occasionally. Certain, predominantly non-spitting, Asian cobras have the spitting tendency. The Rinkhals cobra (Hemachatus haemachatus) is another elapid species, which while not belonging to the Cobra genus Naja, is closely related, and is capable of spitting venom. It has been reported that several viper species (notably the Mangshan Pitviper) may "fling" or even spit venom forward in a spray when threatened. These sprays are often very consistent. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The FN P90 is a selective fire personal defense weapon (PDW) designed and manufactured by FN Herstal in Belgium. The P90's name is taken from 1990, the year it was introduced. The P90 was created in response to NATO requests for a replacement for 919mm Parabellum firearms; it was designed as a compact but powerful firearm for vehicle crews, operators of crew-served weapons, support personnel, special forces and counter-terrorist groups. The P90 was designed by FN in conjunction with the FN Five-seven pistol and FN 5.728mm ammunition. Development of the P90 began in 1986, and production commenced in 1990, whereupon the 5.728mm ammunition was redesigned and shortened. A modified version of the P90 with a magazine adapted to use the new ammunition was introduced in 1993, and the Five-seven pistol was subsequently introduced as a companion weapon using the same 5.728mm ammunition. The P90 was developed and initially marketed as a personal defense weapon, but it could also be considered a submachine gun or compact assault rifle. Featuring a compact bullpup design with an integrated reflex sight and fully ambidextrous controls, the P90 is an unconventional weapon with a futuristic appearance. Its design incorporates several innovations such as a unique top-mounted magazine and FN's small-caliber, high-velocity 5.728mm ammunition. The P90 is currently in service with military and police forces in over 40 nations, such as Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Malaysia, Poland, and the United States. In the United States, the P90 is in use with over 200 law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service. The standard selective fire P90 is restricted to military and law enforcement customers, but since 2005, a semi-automatic carbine version has been offered to civilian shooters as the PS90. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]







The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from 5,235 to 9,380 nautical miles, depending on model. Its distinguishing features include the largest-diameter turbofan engines of any aircraft, six wheels on each main landing gear, a circular fuselage cross-section, and blade-shaped tail cone. Developed in consultation with eight major airlines, the 777 was designed to replace older wide-body airliners and bridge the capacity difference between the 767 and 747. As Boeing's first fly-by-wire airliner, it has computer mediated controls; it is also the first entirely computer-designed commercial aircraft. The 777 is produced in two fuselage lengths. The original 777-200 model first entered service in 1995, followed by the extended-range 777-200ER in 1997; the stretched 777-300, which is 33.3 ft (10.1 m) longer, began service in 1998. The longer-range 777-300ER and 777-200LR variants entered service in 2004 and 2006, respectively, while a freighter version, the 777F, debuted in 2009. Both longer-range versions and the freighter feature General Electric GE90 engines, as well as extended and raked wingtips. Other models are equipped with either the GE90, Pratt & Whitney PW4000, or Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines. The 777-200LR is the world's longest-range airliner and holds the record for longest distance flown by an unrefueled commercial aircraft, with the demonstrated capability to fly more than halfway around the world. United Airlines first placed the 777 into commercial airline service in 1995. As of March 2011, 60 customers have placed orders for 1,209 aircraft of all variants, with 923 delivered. The most common variant used worldwide is the 777-200ER, with 415 aircraft delivered, and Emirates operates the largest 777 fleet, with 86 aircraft. The airliner has had one hull-loss accident, attributed to a Trent 800 engine fuel component, with no passenger fatalities as of 2011. Through the 2000s, the 777 has emerged as one of its manufacturer's best-selling models. Because of rising fuel costs, airlines have acquired the type as a comparatively fuel-efficient alternative to other wide-body jets and have increasingly used the aircraft on long-haul, transoceanic routes. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





Nora Louise Kuzma was born in Steubenville, Ohio to Louis and Patricia Kuzma. Her stage name is said to be in tribute to Katharine Hepburn's character Tracy Lord from The Philadelphia Story (the same character played by Grace Kelly in High Society), or from the first name of her high school best friend Traci and the last name of her favorite actor from Hawaii Five-O, Jack Lord. She was raped at the age of ten. At twelve, she fled from her abusive alcoholic father to Lawndale, California, with her mother and three sisters. Her mother's new boyfriend, Roger, was a cocaine dealer who molested her. In 1983, she began attending Redondo Union High School. At age 15, she was living with her mother's ex-boyfriend, Roger. Posing as her stepfather, he helped her respond to classified ads requesting models. Using a fake ID provided by Roger that stated she was 20 rather than 15, she started in the porn industry with Jim South at the World Modeling Agency in Sherman Oaks, under the name Kristie Elizabeth Nussman. In May 1986, authorities discovered she had been underage while making pornographic movies and arrested her, as well as the owners of her movie agency and X-Citement Video, Inc. The ensuing prosecution against the agencies cost the pornographic film and distribution industry millions of dollars, as they were obliged by law to remove hundreds of thousands of her videotapes, films and magazines from store shelves to avoid the risk of prosecution for trafficking in child pornography (the legality varies with countries: while it is illegal in France to produce a pornographic film involving an actor under 18, the film remains legal). In her book, Lords suggested hypocrisy on the part of the movie producers and the news media, arguing the porn industry actually got richer from the publicity of the scandal, even as they complained of losing money after destroying her illegal movies. Lords felt she was also exploited by the reporters, who used censored stills from her unlawful films. Lords herself was never charged with a crime, since as a minor she was unable to give informed consent to perform sex acts on film for money. Instead, the agents and producers who accepted her fake IDs were charged and people affiliated with the films in question experienced legal troubles for years. While Lords decries the pornographic film industry, she continues to use the stage name she gave herself as a minor, and ultimately made it her legal name. She wrote, "I chose to stop running from it. Instead, I won it, legally changing my name to Traci Elizabeth Lords. That's who I was, and that's who I was going to be." Lords stated she is not trying to deny her past, telling Oprah Winfrey: "I found you can run but you cannot hide". [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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