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The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) is a supermax prison for men in unincorporated Fremont County, Colorado, United States, south of Florence. It is unofficially known as ADX Florence, Florence ADMAX, Supermax, or The Alcatraz of the Rockies. It is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the federal government. ADX, a part of the Florence Federal Correctional Complex (FCC), houses the prisoners who are deemed the most dangerous and in need of the tightest control. ADX Florence was constructed as a response to two incidents that occurred on October 22, 1983, in which inmates murdered their escorting corrections officers at the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois. Relatively lax security procedures allowed each prisoner, while walking down a hall, to turn to the side and approach a particular cell so an accomplice could unlock his handcuffs with a stolen key and provide him with a knife. Two officers were killed in two separate incidents by this tactic. As a response, the prison in Marion went into "permanent lockdown" and transformed itself into a "control unit" prison. This penal construction and operation theory dictates that inmates remain in solitary confinement for 22–23 hours each day. They do not allow communal dining, exercising, or religious services. Most cells' furniture is made almost entirely out of poured concrete, including the desk, stool, and bed. Each chamber contains a toilet that shuts off if plugged, a shower that runs on a timer to prevent flooding, and a sink missing a potentially dangerous trap. Rooms may also be fitted with polished steel mirrors bolted to the wall, an electric light, a radio, and a television that shows recreational, educational and religious programming. These are considered privileges that may be taken away as punishment, so they are placed and remotely controlled such that the inmate does not actually come into contact with them. The 4 in (10 cm) by 4 ft (1.2 m) windows are designed to prevent the prisoner from knowing his specific location within the complex because he can see only the sky and roof through them. Additionally, inmates exercise in what has been described as an "empty swimming pool," so they do not know their location for possible escape. Telecommunication with the outside world is forbidden, and food is hand-delivered by correctional officers. The prison as a whole contains a multitude of motion detectors and cameras, 1,400 remote-controlled steel doors, and 12 ft (3.66 m) high razor wire fences, laser beams, pressure pads, and attack dogs guard the area between the prison walls and razor wire. Eric Rudolph, the Olympic Park bomber, lamented in a series of 2006 letters to a Colorado Springs newspaper that the ADX is meant to "inflict misery and pain." Charles Harrelson, who was sent to ADX after a failed attempt to escape from a Georgia prison, said "Part of the plan here is sensory deprivation," and "It could be infinitely worse." A former ADX warden described the place as "a cleaner version of Hell." There have been hundreds of "involuntary feedings" and four suicides. Most recently, in June 2009 Richard Reid, commonly known as the "shoe bomber", went on a hunger strike and was force-fed. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



An optical fiber is a flexible, transparent fiber made of very pure glass (silica) not much bigger than a human hair that acts as a waveguide, or "light pipe", to transmit light between the two ends of the fiber. The field of applied science and engineering concerned with the design and application of optical fibers is known as fiber optics. Optical fibers are widely used in fiber-optic communications, which permits transmission over longer distances and at higher bandwidths (data rates) than other forms of communication. Fibers are used instead of metal wires because signals travel along them with less loss and are also immune to electromagnetic interference. Fibers are also used for illumination, and are wrapped in bundles so they can be used to carry images, thus allowing viewing in tight spaces. Specially designed fibers are used for a variety of other applications, including sensors and fiber lasers. Optical fiber typically consists of a transparent core surrounded by a transparent cladding material with a lower index of refraction. Light is kept in the core by total internal reflection. This causes the fiber to act as a waveguide. Fibers that support many propagation paths or transverse modes are called multi-mode fibers (MMF), while those that only support a single mode are called single-mode fibers (SMF). Multi-mode fibers generally have a larger core diameter, and are used for short-distance communication links and for applications where high power must be transmitted. Single-mode fibers are used for most communication links longer than 1,050 meters (3,440 ft). Joining lengths of optical fiber is more complex than joining electrical wire or cable. The ends of the fibers must be carefully cleaved, and then spliced together either mechanically or by fusing them together with heat. Special optical fiber connectors for removable connections are also available. In the 1990s, terminating fiber optic cables was labor intensive. The number of parts per connector, polishing of the fibers, and the need to oven-bake the epoxy in each connector made terminating fiber optic cables difficult. Today, many connectors types are on the market that offer easier, less labor intensive ways of terminating cables. Some of the most popular connectors are pre-polished at the factory, and include a gel inside the connector. Those two steps help save money on labor, especially on large projects. A cleave is made at a required length, to get as close to the polished piece already inside the connector. The gel surrounds the point where the two piece meet inside the connector for very little light loss. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Nu'uanu Pali is a section of the windward cliff of the Ko'olau mountain located at the head of Nu'uanu Valley on the island of O'ahu. It has a panoramic view of the windward coast of O'ahu. The Pali Highway connecting Kailua/Kane'ohe with downtown Honolulu runs through the Nu'uanu Pali Tunnels bored into the cliffside. The area is also the home of the Nu'uanu Freshwater Fish Refuge and the Nu'uanu Reservoir in the jurisdiction of the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources. The Nu'uanu Pali State Wayside is a lookout above the tunnels where visitors are treated to a panoramic view of the O'ahu's windward side with sweeping views of Kane'ohe, Kane'ohe Bay, and Kailua. It is also well-known for strong Trade winds that blow through the pass, forming a sort of natural wind tunnel. The Nu'uanu Pali has been a vital pass from ancient times to the present because it is a low, traversable section of the Ko'olau mountain range that connects the leeward side of the mountains, Honolulu to the windward side, Kailua and Kane'ohe. The route drew settlers who formed villages in the area and populated Nu'uanu Valley for a thousand years. The Nu'uanu Pali was the site of the Battle of Nu'uanu, one of the bloodiest battles in Hawaiian history, in which Kamehameha I conquered the island of O'ahu, bringing it under his rule. In 1795 Kamehameha I sailed from his home island of Hawai'i with an army of 10,000 warriors, including a handful of non-Hawaiian foreigners. After conquering the islands of Maui and Moloka'i, he moved on to O'ahu. The pivotal battle for the island occurred in Nu'uanu Valley, where the defenders of O'ahu, led by Kalanikupule, were driven back up into the valley where they were trapped above the cliff. More than 400 of Kalanikupule's soldiers were driven off the edge of the cliff to their deaths 1,000 feet below. Two large stones near the back of Nu'uanu Valley, Hapu'u and Ka-lae-hau-ola, were said to represent a pair of goddesses who were guardians of the passage down the pali. Travellers would leave offerings of flowers or kapa (bark cloth) to ensure a safe trip, and parents buried the umbilical cords of newborns under the stones as a protection against evil. It is said there is a mo'o wahine (lizard woman) who lingers around the pass. A mo'o wahine is mythical creature who takes the form of a beautiful woman and leads male travelers to their deaths off the cliff. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



El Caminito del Rey (English: The King's little pathway) is a walkway or via ferrata, now fallen into disrepair, pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro, near Álora in the district of Málaga, Spain. The name is often shortened to Camino del Rey. In 1901 it became obvious that workers at the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls needed a walkway to cross between the falls, to provide for transport of materials, and for the inspection and maintenance of the channel. Construction of the walkway took four years and it was finished in 1905. In 1921 King Alfonso XIII crossed the walkway for the inauguration of the dam Conde del Guadalhorce and it became known by its present name. The walkway has now gone many years without maintenance, and is in a highly deteriorated and dangerous state. It is one meter (3 feet and 3 inches) in width, and is over 100 meters (350 feet) above the river. Nearly all of the path has no handrail. Some parts of the concrete walkway have completely collapsed and all that is remaining is the steel beam originally in place to hold it up. One can latch onto a modern steel safety-wire to keep from falling, though it can't hold much weight. Several people have lost their lives on the walkway in recent years; after four people died in two accidents in 1999 and 2000, the local government closed the entrances. To this day it remains illegal to cross. However policing is extremely minimal and many adventurous tourists still find their way onto the walkway to explore it. Some travelers choose to begin by walking through the train tunnel to the dam, and then walking back towards El Chorro. Most climb across a series of dilapidated stanchions and then up a well-protected chimney on the cliff face to reach the Caminito del Rey. A cable runs the length of the path, giving people a method of securing themselves throughout the duration of the path. However, the stability of the cable is unknown. It would be wise to have space (more than 10 meters) between travelers. That way, if a section breaks, the cable will only be holding the weight of one person. The regional government of Andalusia budgeted in 2006 for a restoration plan estimated at € 7 million. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



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