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Horse Racing is an equestrian sport that has been practiced for millennia. It is inextricably associated with gambling. The common sobriquet for Thoroughbred horse racing is The Sport of Kings. Horse racing is an equestrian sport and major international industry, watched in almost every nation of the world. There are three types: "flat" racing; steeplechasing, i.e. racing over jumps; and harness racing, where horses trot or pace while pulling a driver in a small, light cart known as a sulky. A major part of horse racing's economic importance lies in the gambling associated with it, an activity that in 2008 generated a world-wide market worth around US$115 billion. Historically, equestrians honed their skills through games and races. Equestrian sports provided entertainment for crowds and honed the excellent horsemanship that was needed in battle. Horse racing of all types evolved from impromptu competitions between riders or drivers. All forms of competition, requiring demanding and specialized skills from both horse and rider, resulted in the systematic development of specialized breeds and equipment for each sport. Chariot racing was one of the most popular ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine sports. Chariot racing was often dangerous to both driver and horse as they frequently suffered serious injury and even death, but generated strong spectator enthusiasm. In the ancient Olympic Games, as well as the other Panhellenic Games, the sport was one of the most important equestrian events. In mythology, horse racing was also a part of myth and legend, such as the contest between the steeds of the god Odin and the giant Hrungnir in Norse mythology. The popularity of equestrian sports through the centuries has resulted in the preservation of skills that would otherwise have disappeared after horses stopped being used in combat. The traditional high point of US horse racing is the Kentucky Derby. Together, the Derby, the Preakness Stakes run at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Belmont Stakes held at Belmont Park on Long Island, form the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing for three-year-olds. They are all held early in the year, throughout May and the beginning of June. In recent years the Breeders' Cup races, run at the end of the year, have challenged the Triple Crown events as determiners of the three-year-old Champion. The Breeders' Cup is held at a different track every year; the 2008 edition was held at Santa Anita. It also has an important effect on the selection of other annual Champions. The corresponding Standardbred event is the Breeders' Crown. There are also a Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers and a Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Trotters, as well as an Arabian Triple Crown consisting of Drinkers of the Wind Derby in California, the Texas Six Shooter Stakes, and the Bob Magness Derby in Delaware. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Brain coral is a common name given to corals in the family Faviidae so called due to their generally spheroid shape and grooved surface which resembles an animal brain. Each head of coral is formed by a colony of genetically identical polyps which secrete a hard skeleton of calcium carbonate; this makes them important coral reef builders like other stony corals in the order Scleractinia. Brain corals are found in shallow warm-water coral reefs in all the world's oceans. They are part of the phylum Cnidaria, in a class called Anthozoa or "sea flowers." The life span of the largest brain corals is 200 years. Colonies can grow as large as 6 or more feet (1.8 m) high. Brain corals extend their tentacles to catch food at night. During the day, the brain corals use their tentacles for protection by wrapping them over the grooves on their surface. The surface is hard and offers good protection against fish or hurricanes. Branching corals, such as staghorn corals, grow more rapidly, but those are more vulnerable to storm damage. Like other genera of corals, brain corals feed on small drifting animals and also receive nutrients provided by the algae which live within their tissues. The behavior of one of the most common genera, Favia, is semi-aggressive; it will sting other corals with its extended sweeper tentacles during the night. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Nitroglycerin (NG), (United States spelling) also known as nitroglycerine, (UK spelling), trinitroglycerin, trinitroglycerine, 1,2,3-trinitroxypropane and glyceryl trinitrate, is a heavy, colorless, oily, explosive liquid obtained by nitrating glycerol. Since the 1860s, it has been used as an active ingredient in the manufacture of explosives, specifically dynamite, and as such is employed in the construction and demolition industries. Similarly, since the 1880s, it has been used by the military as an active ingredient, and a gelatinizer for nitrocellulose, in some solid propellants, such as Cordite and Ballistite. In its pure form, it is a primary contact explosive (physical shock can cause it to explode) and degrades over time to even more unstable forms. This makes it highly dangerous to transport or use. In this undiluted form, it is one of the more powerful explosives, comparable to the more recent RDX and PETN, as well as the plastic explosive C-4—which contains 90-92% RDX as its active ingredient. A serious problem in the use of nitroglycerin results from its high freezing point 13 °C (55 °F). Solid nitroglycerin is much less sensitive to shock than the liquid, a feature common in explosives; in the past it was often shipped in the frozen state, but this resulted in a high number of accidents during the thawing process by the end user just prior to use. This disadvantage is overcome by using mixtures of nitroglycerin with other polynitrates; for example, a mixture of nitroglycerin and ethylene glycol dinitrate freezes at -29 °C (-20 °F). In April 1866, three crates of nitroglycerin were shipped to California for the Central Pacific Railroad, who wished to experiment with its blasting capability to speed the construction of the 1,659-foot (506 m) Summit Tunnel through the Sierra Nevada. One of the crates exploded, destroying a Wells Fargo office in San Francisco and killing 15 people, leading to a complete ban on the transport of liquid nitroglycerin in California. The on-site manufacture of nitroglycerin was thus required for the remaining hard-rock drilling and blasting required for the completion of America's First Transcontinental Railroad. Nitroglycerin is also used medically as a vasodilator to treat heart conditions, such as angina and chronic heart failure. It is one of the oldest and most useful drugs for treating heart disease by shortening or even preventing attacks of angina pectoris. Nitroglycerin comes in forms of tablets, sprays or patches. Nitroglycerin can be used to help destroy prostate cancer as well as being used as a heart medication. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Christopher George Latore Wallace (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997), popularly known as Biggie Smalls (after a fictional gangster in the 1975 film Let's Do It Again), Frank White (from the 1990 film King of New York), and by his primary stage name The Notorious B.I.G., was an American rapper. Raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, Wallace grew up during the peak years of the 1980s crack epidemic and started dealing drugs at an early age. When Wallace released his debut album with the 1994 record Ready to Die, he was a central figure in the East Coast hip hop scene and increased New York's visibility at a time when West Coast artists were more common in the mainstream. The following year, Wallace led his childhood friends to chart success through his protégé group, Junior M.A.F.I.A.. While recording his second album, Wallace was heavily involved in the East Coast-West Coast hip hop feud, dominating the scene at the time. On March 9, 1997, at around 12:30 a.m., Wallace left with his entourage in two GMC Suburbans to return to his hotel after the Fire Department closed the party early due to overcrowding. Wallace traveled in the front passenger seat alongside his associates, Damion "D-Roc" Butler, Junior M.A.F.I.A. member Lil' Cease and driver, Gregory "G-Money" Young. Combs traveled in the other vehicle with three bodyguards. The two trucks were trailed by a Chevrolet Blazer carrying Bad Boy's director of security. By 12:45 a.m. the streets were crowded with people leaving the event. Wallace's truck stopped at a red light 50 yards (46 m) from the museum. A black Chevy Impala pulled up alongside Wallace's truck. The driver of the Impala, an African American male dressed in a blue suit and bow tie, rolled down his window, drew a 9 mm blue-steel pistol and fired at the GMC Suburban; four bullets hit Wallace in the chest. Wallace was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center by his entourage but was pronounced dead at 1:15 a.m. His double-disc set Life After Death, released fifteen days later, hit #1 on the U.S. album charts and was certified Diamond in 2000. Wallace was noted for his "loose, easy flow", dark semi-autobiographical lyrics and storytelling abilities. Since his death, a further two albums have been released. MTV ranked him at #3 on their list of The Greatest MCs of All Time. Wallace's murder remains unsolved and there are a plethora of theories as to the identities and motives of the murderers. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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