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Krakatoa (Indonesian: Krakatau), also known as Krakatau, is a volcanic island made of a'a lava in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. Indonesia has over 130 active volcanoes, the most of any nation. They make up the axis of the Indonesian island arc system, which was produced by northeastward subduction of the Indo-Australian Plate. A majority of these volcanoes lie along Indonesia's two largest islands, Java and Sumatra. These two islands are separated by the Sunda Strait, which is located at a bend in the axis of the island arc. Krakatoa is directly above the subduction zone of the Eurasian Plate and the Indo-Australian Plate where the plate boundaries make a sharp change of direction, possibly resulting in an unusually weak crust in the region. The name is used for the island group, the main island, and the volcano as a whole. The island exploded in 1883, killing approximately 40,000 people, although some estimates put the death toll much higher. The explosion is still considered to be the loudest sound ever heard in modern history, with reports of it being heard nearly 3,000 miles from its point of origin. The shock wave from the explosion was recorded on barographs around the globe. With a Volcanic Explosivity Index of 6, the eruption was equivalent to 200 megatons of TNT (840 PJ) — about 13,000 times the nuclear yield of the Little Boy bomb (13 to 16 kt) that devastated Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II and four times the yield of the Tsar Bomba (50 Mt), the largest nuclear device ever detonated. Eruptions at the volcano since 1927 have built a new island in the same location, named Anak Krakatau. This island currently has a radius of roughly 2 kilometres and a high point around 300 metres above sea level, growing 5 metres each year. The most recent eruption began in April 2008, when hot gases, rocks, and lava were released. Scientists monitoring the volcano have warned people to stay out of a 3 km zone around the island. There are several videos of Krakatoa uploaded onto YouTube showing recent footage of it erupting, and inside its crater filmed at the edge of the volcano rim. On 6 May 2009 the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia raised the eruption alert status of Anak Krakatau to Level Orange. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]


A Rube Goldberg machine, device, or apparatus is a deliberately over-engineered machine that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion, usually including a chain reaction. The expression is named after American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg. Since then, the expression has expanded to denote any form of overly confusing or complicated system. For example, news headlines include "Is Rep. Bill Thomas the Rube Goldberg of Legislative Reform?" and "Retirement 'insurance' as a Rube Goldberg machine". Rube Goldberg's cartoons became well known for depicting complex devices that performed simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways. An example on the right is Goldberg's "Professor Butts and the Self-Operating Napkin", which was later reprinted in the postcard book, Rube Goldberg's Inventions!, compiled by Maynard Frank Wolfe from the Rube Goldberg Archives. The "Self-Operating Napkin" is activated when the soup spoon (A) is raised to mouth, pulling string (B) and thereby jerking ladle (C) which throws cracker (D) past parrot (E). Parrot jumps after cracker and perch (F) tilts, upsetting seeds (G) into pail (H). Extra weight in pail pulls cord (I), which opens and lights automatic cigar lighter (J), setting off skyrocket (K) which causes sickle (L) to cut string (M) and allow pendulum with attached napkin to swing back and forth, thereby wiping chin. In 1931, the Merriam–Webster dictionary adopted the word "Rube Goldberg" as an adjective defined as accomplishing something simple through complex means. In early 1987, Purdue University in Indiana started the annual National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, organized by the Phi Chapter of Theta Tau, a national engineering fraternity. In 2009, the Epsilon Chapter of Theta Tau established a similar annual contest at the University of California, Berkeley. Since around 1997, the kinetic artist Arthur Ganson has been the emcee of the annual "Friday After Thanksgiving" (FAT) competition sponsored by the MIT Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Teams of contestants construct elaborate Rube Goldberg style chain-reaction machines on tables arranged around a large gymnasium. Each apparatus is linked by a string to its predecessor and successor machine. The initial string is ceremonially pulled, and the ensuing events are videotaped in closeup, and simultaneously projected on large screens for viewing by the live audience. After the entire cascade of events has finished, prizes are then awarded in various categories and age levels. Videos from several previous years' contests are viewable on the MIT Museum website. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

The Grumman HU-16 Albatross is a large twin-radial engine amphibious flying boat. Originally designated SA-16, it was renamed HU-16 in 1962. An improvement of the design of the Grumman Mallard, the Albatross was developed to land in open ocean situations to rescue downed pilots. Its deep-V cross-section and substantial length enable it to land in the open sea. The Albatross was designed for optimal 4 ft seas, and could land in more severe conditions, but required JATO for takeoff in 8-10 ft seas or greater. Since the aircraft weighs over 12,500 pounds, pilots of US-registered Albatross aircraft must have a type rating. There is a yearly Albatross fly-in at Boulder City, Nevada where Albatross pilots can become type rated. The HU-16 was also operated by the U.S. Coast Guard as both a coastal and long-range open ocean SAR aircraft for many years until it was supplanted by the HU-25 Guardian and HC-130 Hercules. Many surplus Albatrosses were sold to civilian operators, mostly to private owners. These aircraft are operated under either Experimental - Exhibition or Restricted category and cannot be used for commercial operations, except under very limited conditions. Hemisphere Dancer is the name of singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett's personal seaplane. A Grumman HU-16 Albatross flying boat, serial number 137928 and civil registration number N928J, the aircraft is central to the action in Buffett's best-selling autobiography A Pirate Looks at 50. In 2003, Jimmy retired the aircraft from active flying service. Currently, it resides at Buffett's Margaritaville in Orlando, Florida. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

A SnorriCam (also chestcam, bodymount camera, bodycam or bodymount) is a camera device used in filmmaking that is rigged to the body of the actor, facing the actor directly, so when they walk, they do not appear to move, but everything around them does. A SnorriCam presents a dynamic point of view from the actor's perspective, providing an unusual sense of vertigo for the viewer. he SnorriCam is named after two Icelandic photographers and directors, Einar Snorri and Eiđur Snorri, who –although they are not related– worked together under the name Snorri Bros. The concept of the SnorriCam has been around for decades. Various ad hoc versions of the device were implemented in films going as far back as Seconds, in 1966. However, the practicality of such a point-of-view device was limited by the weight of the camera. Since most 35mm motion picture cameras were simply too heavy to easily carry, there was no real point in developing such a device. However, with the emergence of the Steadicam and the manufacture of small, lightweight, soundproof cameras that could fit on the Steadicam platform, an added bonus of these newer, lighter cameras was the possibility of a point-of-view device such as the SnorriCam. In the Discovery Channel show Survivorman, Les Stroud will often employ this technique when walking, due to the limitations of not having a film crew. The technique has also been used in episodes of the hit television series Lost. Season 1 of Dexter also features a SnorriCam shot at the start of episode 11 used on the main character, Dexter Morgan. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE] is not affiliated with or endorsed by wikipedia. wikipedia and the wikipedia globe are registered trademarks of
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