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Brittle stars, or ophiuroids, are echinoderms, closely related to sea stars. They crawl across the seafloor using their flexible arms for locomotion. The ophiuroids generally have five long slender, whip-like arms which may reach up to 60 centimeters (2 feet) in length on the largest specimens. They are also known as serpent stars. There are some 1,500 species of brittle stars living today, and they are largely found in deep waters more than 500 metres (1,650 feet) down. The mouth is rimmed with five jaws, and serves as an anus (egestion) as well as ingestion. Behind the jaws is a short esophagus and a large, blind stomach cavity which occupies much of the dorsal half of the disk. Brittle stars can readily regenerate lost arms or arm segments unless all arms are lost. The disk is used to do this. Ophiuroids use this ability to escape predators, similar to how lizards deliberately shed (autotomize) the distal part of their tails to confuse pursuers. Moreover, the Amphiuridae can regenerate gut and gonad fragments lost along with the arms. Brittle stars use their arms for locomotion. They do not, like sea stars, depend on tube feet, which are mere sensory tentacles without suction. Brittle stars move fairly rapidly by wriggling their arms which are highly flexible and enable the animals to make either snake-like or rowing movements. However, they tend to attach themselves to the seafloor or to sponges or cnidarians, such as coral. Their movement has some similarities with animals with bilateral symmetry. Brittle stars generally sexually mature in 2 years, become full grown in 3 to 4 years, and live up to 5 years. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Dawn of the Dead is a 1978 zombie film, written and directed by George A. Romero. It was the second film made in Romero's Living Dead series, but contains no characters or settings from its predecessor, and shows in larger scale a zombie epidemic's apocalyptic effects on society. In the film, a plague of unknown origin has caused the reanimation of the dead, who prey on human flesh, which subsequently causes mass hysteria. The cast features David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger and Gaylen Ross as survivors of the outbreak who barricade themselves inside a suburban shopping mall. Dawn of the Dead was shot over approximately four months, from late 1977 to early 1978, in the Pennsylvania cities of Pittsburgh and Monroeville. Its primary location is set in the Monroeville Mall. The film was made on a relatively modest budget estimated at $650,000 US, and was a significant box office success for its time, grossing an estimated $55 million worldwide. Since opening in theaters in 1978, reviews for the film have been nearly unanimously positive. In addition to three official sequels, the film has spawned numerous parodies and pop culture references. A remake of the movie premiered in the United States on March 19, 2004. Labeled a "re-imagining" of the original film's concept, several major themes, including the primary setting in a shopping mall, remain essentially the same. Cultural and film historians read significance into the film's plot, linking it to critiques of large corporations and American consumerism and of the social decadence and excess going on in America during the late 1970s. Tom Savini, who had been offered the chance to do special effects and make-up for Romero's first zombie film, Night of the Living Dead, before being drafted to go to Vietnam, made his debut as an effects artist on Dawn of the Dead. He had had a crew of eight to assist in applying a gray makeup to two to three hundred extras each weekend during the shoot. One of his assistants during production was Joseph Pilato, who played a police captain in the film and would go on to play the lead villain in the film's sequel, Day of the Dead. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Kinetic art is art that contains moving parts or depends on motion for its effect. The moving parts are generally powered by wind, a motor or the observer. Kinetic art encompasses a wide variety of overlapping techniques and styles. Kinetic sculptures are examples of kinetic art in the form of sculpture or three dimensions. In common with other types of kinetic art, kinetic sculptures have parts that move or that are in motion. Sound sculpture can also, in some cases, be considered kinetic sculpture. The motion of the work can be provided in many ways: mechanically through electricity, steam or clockwork; by utilizing natural phenomena such as wind or wave power; or by relying on the spectator to provide the motion, by doing something such as cranking a handle. Bicycle Wheel (1913) by Marcel Duchamp, is said to be the first kinetic sculpture. Besides being an example of kinetic art it is also an example of a readymade, a type of art of which Marcel Duchamp made a number of varieties throughout his life. In Moscow in 1920, kinetic art was recorded by the sculptors Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner in their Realist Manifesto, issued as part of a manifesto of constructivism. The 1950s and 1960s are seen as a golden age of kinetic sculpture, during which time Alexander Calder and George Rickey pioneered kinetic sculpture. Other leading exponents include Yaacov Agam, Fletcher Benton, Eduard Bersudsky, Marcel Duchamp, Arthur Ganson, Starr Kempf, Jerome Kirk, Len Lye, Ronald Mallory, Jean Tinguely, and the Zero group (initiated by Otto Piene and Heinz Mack). Some kinetic sculptures are wind-powered as are those of Theo Jansen (including beach 'animals'), and others are motor driven as are those of Sal Maccarone. The kinetic aspect of the Maccarone sculptures are contained within a fine wood cabinet which itself is stationary. These sculptures turn themselves on and off at pre-determined intervals sometimes catching viewers by surprise. A mobile is a type of kinetic sculpture constructed to take advantage of the principle of equilibrium. It consists of a number of rods, from which weighted objects or further rods hang. The objects hanging from the rods balance each other, so that the rods remain more or less horizontal. Each rod hangs from only one string, which gives it freedom to rotate about the string. A popular creator of mobile sculptures was Alexander Calder. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Centralia is a borough and ghost town in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States. Its population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 12 in 2005 and 9 in 2007, as a result of a mine fire burning beneath the borough since 1962. Centralia is now the least-populous municipality in Pennsylvania, with four fewer residents than the borough of S.N.P.J. It is not known for certain how the fire that made Centralia essentially unlivable was ignited. One theory asserts that in May 1962, Centralia Borough Council hired five members of the volunteer fire company to clean up the town landfill, located in an abandoned strip mine pit next to the Odd Fellows Cemetery. This had been done prior to Memorial Day in previous years, when the landfill was in a different location. The firefighters, as they had in the past, set the dump on fire, and let it burn for a time. Unlike in previous years, however, the fire was not extinguished. Other evidence supports this theory, as stated in Joan Quigley's 2007 missive, such as the fact that one of two trash haulers (Curly Stasulevich or Sam Devine) dumped hot ash and/or coal discard from coal burners into the open trash pit. The borough, by law, was responsible for installing a fire-resistant clay barrier between each layer but had fallen behind. This action allowed the hot coals to penetrate the vein of coal underneath the pit and subsequent subterranean fire. Quigley cites "interviews with volunteer firemen, the former fire chief, borough officials, and several eyewitnesses, as well as contemporaneous borough council minutes" as her sources for this explanation of the fire. Very few homes remain standing in Centralia; most of the abandoned buildings have been demolished by humans or nature. At a casual glance the area now appears to be a field with many paved streets running through it. Some areas are being filled with new-growth forest. Most of Centralia's roads and sidewalks are overgrown with brush, although some areas appear to be mowed.[6] The remaining church in the borough, St. Mary's, holds weekly services on Sunday and is unaffected by the fire. The town's four cemeteries are maintained in good condition and now have a far greater population than the town, including one on the hilltop that has smoke rising around and out of it. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



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