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Iran Air Flight 655, also known as IR655, was a civilian airliner shot down by the United States Navy on Sunday 3 July 1988, over the Strait of Hormuz. Starting in September 1980 the war between Iraq and Iran had begun to witness attacks against oil tankers and merchant shipping of neighboring countries. On 29 April 1988 the U.S. expanded the scope of the U.S. Navy's protection to all friendly neutral shipping in the Persian Gulf outside of declared exclusion zones, which set the military scene of the shootdown incident. At about the same time, Vincennes was rushed to the area on a short-notice deployment, as a result of high-level decisions, to compensate for the lack of AWACS coverage which hampered U.S. monitoring of the southern Persian Gulf. Vincennes departed San Diego on 25 April and arrived in Bahrain on 29 May, under the command of Captain William C. Rogers III and fitted with the then-new Aegis combat system The aircraft, an Airbus A300B2 operated by Iran Air as IR655, was flying from Bandar Abbas, Iran, to Dubai, UAE, when it was destroyed by the U.S. Navy's guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes, killing all 290 passengers and crew aboard, including 66 children, ranking it the seventh among the deadliest airliner fatalities.[2] It was the highest death toll of any aviation incident in the Indian Ocean and the highest death toll of any incident involving an Airbus A300 anywhere in the world. The Vincennes was traversing the Straits of Hormuz inside Iranian territorial waters and at the time of the attack, IR655 was within Iranian airspace. According to the US government, the crew mistakenly identified the Iranian Airbus A300 as an attacking F-14 Tomcat fighter. The Iranian government maintained that the Vincennes knowingly shot down the civilian aircraft. The event generated a great deal of controversy and criticism of the US. Some analysts have blamed US military commanders and the captain of the Vincennes for reckless and aggressive behavior in a tense and dangerous environment. In 1996, the United States and Iran reached "an agreement in full and final settlement of all disputes, differences, claims, counterclaims" relating to the incident at the International Court of Justice. As part of the settlement, the United States agreed to pay $61.8 million in compensation for the Iranians killed. The incident overshadowed U.S.-Iran relations for many years. Following the explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 six months later, the British and American governments initially blamed the PFLP-GC, a Palestinian militant group backed by Syria, with assumptions of assistance from Iran in retaliation for Iran Air Flight 655. The cause of the crash was later determined to be a bomb associated with the Libyan intelligence service. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay onto the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1, it connects the city of San Francisco on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County. The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed during the year 1937, and has become an internationally recognized symbol of San Francisco and California. Since its completion, the span length has been surpassed by eight other bridges. It still has the second longest suspension bridge main span in the United States, after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City. In 2007, it was ranked fifth on the List of America's Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects. Despite its red appearance, the color of the bridge is officially an orange vermilion called international orange. The color was selected by consulting architect Irving Morrow because it blends well with the natural surroundings yet enhances the bridge's visibility in fog. The Golden Gate Bridge is the most popular place to commit suicide in the United States and is one of the most popular in the world. The deck is approximately 245 feet (75 m) above the water. After a fall of approximately four seconds, jumpers hit the water at some 86 miles per hour (138 km/h), which is often fatal in and by itself. Some of those who survive the initial impact, drown or die of hypothermia in the cold water. The weight of the roadway is hung from two cables that pass through the two main towers and are fixed in concrete at each end. Each cable is made of 27,572 strands of wire. There are 80,000 miles (129,000 km) of wire in the main cables. The bridge has approximately 1,200,000 total rivets. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

The Salton Sea is a saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault predominantly in California's Imperial Valley. The lake occupies the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink in the Colorado Desert of Imperial and Riverside Counties in Southern California. Like Death Valley, it is below sea level; currently, its surface is 226 ft (69 m) below sea level. The deepest area of the sea is 5 ft (1.5 m) higher than the lowest point of Death Valley. The sea is fed by the New, Whitewater, and Alamo rivers, as well as agricultural runoff drainage systems and creeks. The creation of the Salton Sea of today started in 1905, when heavy rainfall and snowmelt caused the Colorado River to swell, overrunning a set of headgates for the Alamo Canal. The resulting flood poured down the canal and breached an Imperial Valley dike, eroding two watercourses, the New River in the west, and the Alamo River in the east, each about 60 miles (97 km) long. Over a period of approximately two years these two newly created rivers sporadically carried the entire volume of the Colorado River into the Salton Sink. The Southern Pacific Railroad attempted to stop the flooding by dumping earth into the canal's headgates area, but the effort was not fast enough, and as the river eroded deeper and deeper into the dry desert sand of the Imperial Valley, a massive waterfall was created that started to cut rapidly upstream along the path of the Alamo Canal that now was occupied by the Colorado. This waterfall was initially 15 feet (4.6 m) high but grew to a height of 80 feet (24 m) before the flow through the breach was finally stopped. It was originally feared that the waterfall would recede upstream to the true main path of the Colorado, attaining a height of up to 100 to 300 feet (30 to 91 m), from where it would be practically impossible to fix the problem. As the basin filled, the town of Salton, a Southern Pacific Railroad siding and Torres-Martinez Indian land were submerged. The sudden influx of water and the lack of any drainage from the basin resulted in the formation of the Salton Sea. The continuing intermittent flooding of the Imperial Valley from the Colorado River led to the idea of the need for a dam on the Colorado River for flood control. Eventually, the federal government sponsored survey parties in 1922 that explored the Colorado River for a dam site, ultimately leading to the construction of Hoover Dam in Black Canyon, which was constructed beginning in 1929 and completed in 1935. The dam effectively put an end to the flooding episodes in the Imperial Valley. The lake's salinity, about 44 g/L, is greater than the waters of the Pacific Ocean (35 g/L), but less than that of the Great Salt Lake; the concentration is increasing by about 1 percent annually. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

"I've fallen... and I can't get up!" was a catchphrase of the late 1980s and early 1990s popular culture based upon a line from a United States-based television commercial. This line was spoken in a television commercial for a medical alarm and protection company called LifeCall. The motivation behind the systems is that subscribers, mostly senior citizens, would receive a pendant which, when activated, would allow the user to speak into to an audio receiving device and talk directly with a dispatch service, without the need to reach a telephone. The service was designed to appeal particularly to seniors who lived alone and who might experience a medical emergency, such as a fall, which would leave them alert but immobile and unable to reach the telephone. In 1989, LifeCall began running commercials which contained a scene wherein an elderly woman, identified by a dispatcher as "Mrs. Fletcher", uses the medical alert pendant after having fallen in the bathroom. After falling, Mrs. Fletcher speaks the phrase "I've fallen, and I can't get up!", after which the dispatcher informs her that he is sending help. Taken at its face value, the commercial portrays a dangerous situation for a senior, with perhaps dire consequences: an elderly person suddenly incapacitated at home, unable to get help, perhaps for hours or even days. The "I've fallen and I can't get up" ad had the double misfortune of being unintentionally campy and appearing often on cable and daytime television. The fact that the commercial was a dramatization (as clearly stated in the beginning of the commercial) using bad acting also contributed to the humor. The combination made "I've fallen... and I can't get up!" a recognized, universal punchline that applied to many comedic situations. All of these factors made the ad memorable, ensuring the line's place in pop culture history. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, after first applying in October 1990, LifeCall registered the phrase "I've fallen and I can't get up" as a trademark in September 1992 until its status was cancelled in 1999. In October 2002, the similar phrase "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!" became a registered trademark of Life Alert Emergency Response, Inc. In June 2007, the phrase "I've fallen and I can't get up!" also became a registered trademark of Life Alert. Both phrases are currently used on their website as well as in their commercials. The phrase is made out, however, to be much less campy. It is now usually followed by a narrator that talks about the reason behind why such a situation would be severely serious, giving the impression that the people behind the infamous commercial never intended it to have any humor behind it and didn't want the phrase to be used in any humorous manner. Another catchphrase which was also used by an elderly man named Mr. Miller in the same LifeCall commercial, and also humorously popularized, was "I'm having chest pains!". [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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