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Lethal injection is the practice of injecting a person with a fatal dose of drugs (typically a barbiturate) for the express purpose of causing the immediate death of the subject. The main application for this procedure is capital punishment, but the term may also be applied in a broad sense to euthanasia and suicide. Lethal injection gained popularity in the twentieth century as a form of execution intended to supplant other methods, notably electrocution, hanging, firing squad, gas chamber, and beheading, that were considered to be more painful. It is now the most common form of execution in the United States: every American execution in 2005 was conducted by lethal injection. The condemned criminal offender is strapped onto a gurney; two intravenous cannulae ("IVs") are inserted, one in each arm. Only one is necessary to carry out the execution; the other is reserved as a backup in the event the primary line fails. A line leading from the IV Line in an adjacent room is attached and secured to the prisoner's IV, and secured so the line does not snap during the injections. The arm of the offender is swabbed with alcohol before the cannula is inserted. The needles and equipment used are also sterilized. There have been questions about why these precautions against infection are performed despite the purpose of the injection being death. There are several explanations: cannulae are sterilized during manufacture, so using sterile ones is routine medical procedure. Secondly, there is a chance that the prisoner could receive a stay of execution after the cannulae have been inserted, as happened in the case of James Autry in October 1983. Finally, it would be a hazard to prison personnel to use unsterilized equipment. Following connection of the lines, saline drips are started in both arms. This too is standard medical procedure: it must be ascertained that the connections are clear, ensuring that the chemicals do not mix in the IV lines and occlude the needle, preventing the drugs from reaching the inmate. A heart monitor is attached so that prison officials can monitor when death has occurred. Two other staff members take each of the three syringes and secure them into the IVs. After the curtain is opened to allow the witnesses to see inside the chamber, the condemned offender is then permitted to make a final statement. Following this, the warden will signal that the execution may commence, and the executioner(s) will then manually inject the three drugs in sequence. During the execution, the condemned's cardiac rhythm is monitored. Death is pronounced after cardiac activity stops. Death usually occurs within seven minutes, although the whole procedure can take up to two hours, as was the case with the execution of Christopher Newton on May 24, 2007. According to state law, if a physician's participation in the execution is prohibited for reasons of medical ethics, then the death ruling can be made by the state Medical Examiner's Office. After confirmation that death has occurred, a coroner signs the condemned’s death certificate. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





Schwerer Gustav (English: Heavy Gustaf, or Great Gustaf) and Dora were the names of two massive World War 2 German 80 cm K (E) railway siege guns. They were developed in the late 1930s by Krupp for the express purpose of destroying heavy fortifications, specifically those in the French Maginot Line. They weighed nearly 1,350 tonnes, and could fire shells weighing seven tonnes to a range of 37 kilometers (23 miles). Designed in preparation for World War II, and intended for use against the deep forts of the Maginot Line, they were not ready for action when the Wehrmacht outflanked the line during the Battle of France. Gustav was used in the Soviet Union at the siege of Sevastopol during Operation Barbarossa. By the end of the siege on 4 July the city of Sevastopol lay in ruins, and 30,000 tons of artillery ammunition had been fired. Gustav had fired 48 rounds and worn out its original barrel, which had already fired around 250 rounds during testing and development. The gun was fitted with the spare barrel and the original was sent back to Krupp's factory in Essen for relining. The gun was then dismantled and moved to the northern part of the eastern front, where an attack was planned on Leningrad. The gun was placed some 30 km from the city near the railway station of Taizy. The gun was fully operational when the attack was cancelled. The gun then spent the winter of 1942/43 near Leningrad. Then it was moved back to Germany for refurbishment. Despite some claims, it was never used in Warsaw during the 1944 uprising, though one of its shells is on display at the Polish Army museum there. It was the largest calibre rifled weapon in the history of artillery to see actual combat, and fired the heaviest shells of any artillery piece.[1] It is only surpassed in calibre by the American 36-inch Little David mortar and a handful of earlier siege mortars that all fired smaller shells. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The Green Anaconda is one of the world's longest snakes, reaching 5–7 m (18-23ft) long (known to be exceeded only by the reticulated python Python reticulatus). Reports of anacondas 35-40 feet also exist but such claims need to be regarded with caution as no specimens of such lengths have ever been deposited in a museum and hard evidence is required. There is a $50,000 cash reward for anyone that can catch an anaconda 30 feet or longer, but the prize has not been claimed yet. Although the reticulated python is longer, the anaconda is the heaviest snake. The longest (and heaviest) scientifically recorded specimen was a female measuring 521 cm in length and weighing 97.5 kg. The color pattern consists of olive green background overlaid with black blotches along the length of the body. The head is narrow compared to the body, usually with distinctive orange-yellow striping on either side. The eyes are set high on the head, allowing the snake to see out of the water while swimming without exposing its body. Primarily aquatic, they eat a wide variety of prey, almost anything they can manage to overpower, including fish, birds, a variety of mammals, and other reptiles. Particularly large anacondas may even consume large prey such as tapir, deer, capybara, jaguars, black caiman, and crocodiles, but such large meals are not regularly consumed. There are many local stories and legends regarding the anaconda as a man-eater, but there is very little evidence to support any such activity. They employ constriction to subdue their prey. Cannibalism among green anacondas is also known, most recorded cases involving a larger female consuming a smaller male. Scientists cite several possible reasons for this, including the dramatic sexual dimorphism in the species and the possibility that female anacondas require additional food intake after breeding to sustain their long gestation period and the male simply being an opportunistic carnivore item, but the exact reason is not understood. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





Nasal irrigation or nasal lavage is the personal hygiene practice in which the nasal cavity is washed to flush out excess mucus and debris from the nose and sinuses. It has been practised in India for centuries as one of the disciplines of yoga. Some clinical tests have shown that this practice is safe and beneficial with no significant side effects. A simple yet effective technique is to pour salt water solution into one nostril and let it run out through the other while the mouth is kept open to breathe, using gravity as an aid. This is an old Ayurvedic technique known as jala neti, and the container used to administer the saline is called a neti pot. (Neti is Sanskrit for "nasal cleansing". Nasal irrigation in a wider sense can also refer to the use of saline nasal spray or nebulizers to moisten the mucus membranes. he saline solution irrigation promotes good nasal health, and patients with chronic sinusitis including symptoms of facial pain, headache, halitosis, cough, anterior rhinorrhea (watery discharge) and nasal congestion often find nasal irrigation to be provide effective relief. In published studies, “daily hypertonic saline nasal irrigation improves sinus-related quality of life, decreases symptoms, and decreases medication use in patients with frequent sinusitis, and irrigation is recommended as an “effective adjunctive treatment of chronic sinonasal symptoms. The simplest technique is to snort water from cupped hands. Spraying the solution into the nostrils is more convenient, but also less effective. The most effective methods ensure that the liquid enters through one nostril and then either runs out of the other nostril or goes through the nasal cavity to the back of the throat from where it may be spat out. The necessary pressure comes from gravity, from squeezing a plastic bottle or a syringe, or from an electrical pump. Warm salt water solution is commonly used, often with sodium bicarbonate as a buffering agent. Optional additives include xylitol which is claimed to draw water into the sinus regions and helps displace bacteria. The use of xylitol in products such as chewing gum is there to reduce bacterias' ability to cling to surfaces, this is a supposed benefit in its use in nasal irrigation [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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