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Pykrete is a composite material made of approximately 14 percent sawdust or some other form of wood pulp and 86 percent ice by weight. Its use was proposed during World War II by Geoffrey Pyke to the British Royal Navy as a candidate material for making a huge, unsinkable aircraft carrier. Pykrete has some interesting properties, notably its relatively slow melting rate , and its vastly improved strength and toughness over unmodified crystalline ice, actually closer to concrete. Pykrete is slightly more difficult to form than concrete, as it expands during the freezing process, but can be repaired and maintained from the sea's most abundant raw material: water. The mixture can be moulded into any shape and frozen, and it will be extremely tough and durable, as long as it is kept at or below freezing. Pyke managed to convince Lord Mountbatten of the worth of his project (actually prior to the invention of pykrete) some time around 1942, and trials were made in two locations in Alberta in Canada. The idea for a ship made of ice impressed the United States and Canada enough that a 60-foot, 1,000-ton ship was built in one month on Patricia Lake in the Canadian Rockies. It was, however, constructed using plain ice from the lake, before pykrete was considered. It took slightly more than an entire summer to melt. Perutz would later learn that Project Habakkuk was the plan to build an enormous aircraft carrier, actually more of a floating island than a ship in the traditional sense. The experiments of Perutz and his collaborators in Smithfield Meat Market in the City of London took place in great secrecy behind a screen of animal carcasses. The tests confirmed that pykrete is much stronger than pure ice and does not shatter, but also that it sags under its own weight at temperatures higher than -15 C. In 2009, the Discovery Channel program MythBusters tested the properties of Pykrete and the myths behind it. First, the program's hosts, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman compared the mechanical properties of common ice, Pykrete and a new material specially created for the show dubbed "Super Pykrete" using newspapers instead of woodpulp. Both versions of Pykrete proved to be indeed much stronger than the chunk of ice, withstanding hundreds of pounds of weight. The Super Pykrete was much stronger than the original version. The MythBusters then built a full-size boat out of the super pykrete, dubbing it Yesterday's News, and subjected it to real world conditions. Though the boat managed to float and stay intact at speeds of up to 23 miles per hour, it quickly began to spring leaks as the boat slowly melted. At twenty minutes in with the boat deteriorating, the experiment was pulled, and the boat lasted another ten minutes while being piloted back to shore. Though the boat worked, it was noted that it would be highly impractical for the original myth, which predicted that an entire aircraft carrier could be built out of pykrete. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The Ford Model T (colloquially known as the Tin Lizzie, Flivver, T-Model Ford, or T) is an automobile that was produced by Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company from 1908 through 1927. The Model T set 1908 as the historic year that the automobile became popular. It is generally regarded as the first affordable automobile, the car that opened travel to the common middle-class American; some of this was because of Ford's innovations, including assembly line production instead of individual hand crafting. The first production Model T was produced on August 12, 1908 and left the factory on September 27, 1908, at the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan. On May 26, 1927, Henry Ford watched the 15 millionth Model T Ford roll off the assembly line at his factory in Highland Park, Michigan. The Model T was the first automobile mass produced on assembly lines with completely interchangeable parts, marketed to the middle class. There were several cars produced or prototyped by Henry Ford from the founding of the company in 1903 until the Model T came along. Although he started with the Model A, there were not 19 production models (A through T); some were only prototypes. The production model immediately before the Model T was the Model S, an upgraded version of the company's largest success to that point, the Model N. The follow-up was the Ford Model A and not the Model U. Company publicity said this was because the new car was such a departure from the old that Henry wanted to start all over again with the letter A. As it happens, the first Plymouth car (1928), built by competitor Chrysler Corporation, was named Model U. The Ford Model T was named the world's most influential car of the 20th century in an international poll. Henry Ford said of the vehicle: "I will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one - and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces." Sales passed 250,000 in 1914. By 1916, as the price dropped to $360 for the basic touring car, sales reached 472,000. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The megalodon is an extinct species of shark that lived roughly about 25 to 1.5 million years ago, during the Cenozoic Era. The taxonomic assignment of C. megalodon has been debated for nearly a century, and is still under dispute with two major interpretations; Carcharodon megalodon or Carcharocles megalodon. Consequently, scientific name of this species has been commonly abbreviated to C. megalodon in literature. C. megalodon is regarded as one of the largest and most powerful predators in vertebrate history. According to Renaissance accounts, gigantic, triangular fossil teeth often found embedded in rocky formations were once believed to be petrified tongues, or glossopetrae, of the dragons and snakes. This interpretation was corrected in 1667 by a Danish naturalist, Nicolaus Steno, who recognized them as ancient shark teeth. The fossils of C. megalodon have been excavated from many parts of the world, including Europe, North America, South America, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Africa, Malta, Grenadines, and India. Among extant species, the great white shark is regarded as the best analogue to C. megalodon. The lack of well preserved fossil skeletons of C. megalodon have forced scientists to rely on the morphology of the great white shark for the basis of its reconstruction and size estimation. the 1990s, some marine biologists claimed that C. megalodon may have approached a maximum of around 79-82 ft in total length. The early total length estimation of C. megalodon is perhaps not far fetched. At present, general consensus among scientists regarding maximum size of C. megalodon, on the basis of largest available fossils, is that the largest specimens were around 56-67 ft in total length. Consequently, C. megalodon is regarded as the largest shark to have ever lived, and is among the largest fish known to have existed. In 2008, a team of scientists led by Stephen Wroe conducted an experiment to determine the bite force of C. megalodon; results indicate that it had one of the most powerful bites in history. At 52 ft long, C. megalodon was capable of exerting a bite force estimated at 108,514 newtons (N) or 24,000 pound-force, and at 67 ft long, C. megalodon was capable of exerting a bite force estimated at 182,201 newtons (N) or 41,000 pound-force. Through thorough scrutiny of the partially preserved vertebral C. megalodon specimen from Belgium, it became apparent that C. megalodon had a higher vertebral count than found in large specimens of any known shark. Only the vertebral count in great white shark came close in quantity, symbolizing close anatomical ties between the two species. On the basis of the characteristics mentioned above, Gottfried and his colleagues eventually managed to reconstruct the entire skeleton of C. megalodon, which has been put on display in Calvert Marine Museum at Solomons island, Maryland in USA. This C. megalodon skeletal reconstruction is 38 ft long and represents a young individual. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), also known as the Peregrine, and historically as the "Duck Hawk" in North America, is a widespread bird of prey in the family Falconidae. A large, crow-sized falcon, it has a blue-gray back, barred white underparts, and a black head and "moustache". Typical of bird-eating raptors, Peregrine Falcons are sexually dimorphic, with females being considerably larger than males, one of the few vertebrate animal species with larger females. The Peregrine is renowned for its speed, reaching speeds of over 325 km/h (202 mph) during its characteristic hunting stoop, making it the fastest member of the animal kingdom. The Peregrine's breeding range includes land regions from the Arctic tundra to the tropics. It can be found nearly everywhere on Earth, except extreme polar regions, very high mountains, and most tropical rainforests; the only major ice-free landmass from which it is entirely absent is New Zealand. This makes it the world's most widespread bird of prey. Both the English and scientific names of this species mean "wandering falcon", referring to the migratory habits of many northern populations. Experts recognize 17 to 19 subspecies which vary in appearance and range; there is disagreement over whether the distinctive Barbary Falcon is represented by two subspecies of Falco peregrinus, or is a separate species, F. pelegrinoides. While its diet consists almost exclusively of medium-sized birds, the Peregrine will occasionally hunt small mammals, small reptiles, or even insects. Reaching sexual maturity at one year, it mates for life and nests in a scrape, normally on cliff edges or, in recent times, on tall human-made structures. The Peregrine Falcon became an endangered species in many areas because of pesticides, especially DDT. Since the ban on DDT from the early 1970s, populations have recovered, supported by large-scale protection of nesting places and releases to the wild. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



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