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Blepharoplasty is surgical modification of the eyelid. Excess tissue such as skin and fat are removed or repositioned, and surrounding muscles and tendons may be reinforced. It can be both a functional and cosmetic surgery. Blepharoplasty is often done as an elective surgery for cosmetic reasons. Lower eyelid blepharoplasty is almost always done for cosmetic reasons, to improve puffy lower eyelid "bags" and reduce the wrinkling of skin. Asian blepharoplasty or double eyelid surgery is a special type of blepharoplasty that creates a crease in the upper eyelid. This "supratarsal fold" is common in many races but absent in about half of Asians. Surgery can artificially create this crease and make a 'single-lidded' patient appear 'double-lidded'. It is the most popular form of cosmetic surgery among those of east and southeast Asian background. Blepharoplasty is sometimes needed for functional reasons. When an advanced amount of upper eyelid skin is present, the skin may protrude over the eyelashes and causes a loss of peripheral vision. The outer and upper parts of the visual field are most commonly affected and the condition may cause difficulty with activities such as driving or reading. In this circumstance, upper eyelid blepharoplasty is performed to improve peripheral vision. Blepharoplasty is usually performed through external incisions made along the natural skin lines of the eyelids, such as the creases of the upper lids and below the lashes of the lower lids. Incisions may be made from the inside surface of the lower eyelid (transconjunctival blepharoplasty); this allows removal of lower eyelid fat without an externally-visible scar, but does not allow excess skin to be removed. External skin resurfacing with a chemical peel or carbon dioxide laser may be performed simultaneously. This allows for a faster recovery process. The recovery process after a blepharoplasty may take up to few weeks. Patients will receive instruction for during the home care and most of the time they receive painkillers that ease the pain caused by the incisions. The first two days after the operation has been performed, the patient receives an ointment treatment to keep the incisions lubricated. Doctors recommend keeping iced eye pads on the eyes to reduce bruising and swelling. Eye drops may also be prescribed as they may help in pain management and in preventing infections. Patients are recommended to keep their heads higher than the body while sleeping as this will accelerate the recovery process. The cost is determined in part by a patient's geographical location and the actual surgeon who is performing the surgery but also by the related fees. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in the United States, the national average cost of blepharoplasty surgeon fees in 2007 was $3,134. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Cordyceps is a genus of ascomycete fungi that includes about 400 described species. All Cordyceps species are endoparasitoids, mainly on insects and other arthropods; a few are parasitic on other fungi. The Latin etymology describes cord as "club", ceps as "head", and sinensis as "chinese". Cordyceps sinensis, known in English commonly as caterpillar fungus is considered a medicinal mushroom in oriental medicines, such as Traditional Chinese Medicines and Traditional Tibetan medicine. When a Cordyceps fungus attacks a host, the mycelium invades and eventually replaces the host tissue, while the elongated fruiting body (stroma) may be cylindrical, branched, or of complex shape. Some Cordyceps species are able to affect the behavior of their insect host; Cordyceps unilateralis causes ants to climb a plant and attach there before they die. This ensures the parasite's environment is of the optimal temperature and humidity, and maximal distribution of the spores from the fruiting body that sprouts out of the dead insect is achieved. The genus has a worldwide distribution and most of the approximately 400 species have been described from Asia (notably China, Japan, Korea and Thailand). Cordyceps species are particularly abundant and diverse in humid temperate and tropical forests. Some Cordyceps species are sources of biochemicals with interesting biological and pharmacological properties, like cordycepin; the source of ciclosporin a drug helpful in human organ transplants, as it suppresses the immune system. According to Modern Marvels, a show on the History Channel, mushroom hunters in Tibet can earn $900 dollars for an ounce of cordyceps. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





Balls 8 was a NASA Boeing NB-52B mothership. It derives its nickname from its NASA tail number 52-008: leading zeroes plus the number 8. Among USAF personnel it is common practice to refer to aircraft whose tail number is a single number preceded by multiple zeros as "Balls" and the last number of its tail number. It was retired from active service with NASA on December 17, 2004 after almost 50 years flying service. Balls 8 was famous for dropping aerospace research vehicles for 106 flights of the X-15. Like its NB-52A predecessor, a pylon was fitted under the right wing between the fuselage and the inboard engines with a 6-by-8-foot (1.8 m 2.4 m) section removed from the right wing flap in order to accommodate the X-15's tail. It flew a total of 159 captive-carry and launch missions in support of the X-15 program, from June 1959 until October 1968. It also flew missions supporting the X-24, HiMAT, Lifting Body vehicles, X-43, early launches of the OSC Pegasus rocket and numerous others. Balls 8 was originally an RB-52B that was first flown on June 11, 1955; and entering service with NASA on June 8, 1959. It was the oldest active B-52 still in service at the time of its retirement. It was modified at North American Aviation's Palmdale facility in order to allow it to carry the X-15. The modified bomber first was used to launch the X-15 on its fifth flight, on January 23, 1960. Balls 8 was the last B-52 in service of any type other than the H model. It also had the lowest total air time of any operational B-52. It is now on permanent public display near the north gate of Edwards Air Force Base. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





Memphis Belle was the nickname of a B-17F Flying Fortress during the Second World War that inspired the making of two motion pictures: a 1944 documentary film: Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress and a 1990 Hollywood feature film: Memphis Belle. The plane was named for pilot Robert K. Morgan's sweetheart, Margaret Polk, a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. Morgan originally intended to call the plane Little One, after his pet name for her, but after Morgan and his copilot, Jim Verinis, saw the movie Lady for a Night, in which the leading character owns a riverboat named the Memphis Belle, he proposed that name to his crew. In May 1943 it became the first U.S. Army Air Forces heavy bomber to complete 25 combat missions. The plane and crew then returned to the United States to sell war bonds. The original airplane is undergoing extensive restoration at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, OH. The Museum has placed restoration of Memphis Belle near the top of its priorities. In the magazine Friends Journal of the museum's foundation, Major General Charles D. Metcalf (USAF-Ret.), the director of the museum, stated that it might take 810 years to fully restore the aircraft. Memphis Belle during refurbishment in 2003.By the Spring of 2009, considerable preparatory work had been accomplished, but the fuselage and wings were still disassembled. After stripping the paint from the aft fuselage of the aircraft, hundreds of names and personal messages were found scratched in the aluminum skin. During the plane's war bond tour, people were allowed to leave their mark on this war-time hero. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



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