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The North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie was the prototype version of the proposed B-70 nuclear-armed deep penetration bomber for the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command. Designed in the late 1950s, the Valkyrie was a large six-engined aircraft able to fly at beyond Mach 3 at an altitude of 70,000 ft (21,000 m), which would have allowed it to avoid interceptors, the only effective anti-bomber weapon at the time. Two XB-70 prototypes were built for the U.S. Air Force. The aircraft program's high development costs, and changes in the technological environment with the introduction of effective high-altitude anti-aircraft missiles, led to the cancellation of the B-70 program in 1961. Although the proposed fleet of operational B-70 bombers was never built, the XB-70A aircraft were used in supersonic test flights from 1964 to 1969, performing research for the design of large supersonic aircraft. On 8 June 1966, XB-70A No. 2 was in close formation with four other aircraft (an F-4, F-5, T-38, and F-104) for a photoshoot at the behest of General Electric, manufacturer of the engines of all five aircraft. After the completion of the photoshoot, the F-104 drifted into contact with the XB-70's right wing, flipped over and rolled inverted over the top of the Valkyrie, striking the vertical stabilizers and left wing of the bomber. The F-104 exploded, destroying the Valkyrie's rudders and damaging its left wing. With the loss of both rudders and damage to the wings, the Valkyrie entered an uncontrollable spin and crashed into the ground north of Barstow, California. NASA Chief Test Pilot Joe Walker (F-104 pilot) and Carl Cross (XB-70 co-pilot) were killed. Al White (XB-70 pilot) ejected, sustaining serious injuries, including one arm crushed by the closing clamshell-like escape capsule moments prior to ejection. In addition to the one prototype crashed following a midair collision in 1966; the other is on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Ohio. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





A Swiss Army knife is a type of multi-function pocket knife or multi-tool. It originated in Ibach Schwyz, Switzerland in 1897. The term "Swiss Army knife" is a registered trademark owned by Wenger S.A. and Victorinox A.G., longtime suppliers of knives to the Swiss Armed Forces. Generally speaking, a Swiss Army knife has a blade as well as various tools, such as screwdrivers and can openers. These attachments are stowed inside the handle of the knife through a pivot point mechanism. The handle is usually red, and features a Victorinox or Wenger "cross" logo or for military issue knives the coat of arms of Switzerland. The term "Swiss Army knife" was coined by US soldiers after World War II, presumably because they had trouble pronouncing its original name, "Offiziersmesser". Sometimes, the term "Swiss Army knife" is also used metaphorically to describe usefulness, such as a software tool that is a collection of special-purpose tools. The "Swiss Army knife" has been added to the collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Munich's State Museum of Applied Art for its design. Various models of Swiss Army knives exist, with different tool combinations for specific tasks designed for everyday carry. The simplest model sold includes only a single blade. The most common tools featured are, in addition to the main blade, a smaller second blade, tweezers, toothpick, corkscrew, can opener, bottle opener, slotted/flat-head screwdriver(s), phillips-head screwdriver, nail file, scissors, saw (regular, wood), file, hook (parcel carrier, tightening aid for shoelace. The martensitic stainless steel alloy used for the cutting blades is optimized for high toughness and corrosion resistance and has a composition of 15% chromium, 0.60% silicon, 0.52% carbon, 0.50% molybdenum, and 0.45% manganese and is designated X55CrMo14 or 1.4110 according to Victorinox. After a hardening process at 1040 °C and annealing at 160 °C the blades achieve an average blade steel hardness of 55-56 HRC. This steel hardness is suitable for practical use and easy resharpening, but less than achieved in stainless steel alloys used for blades optimized for high wear resistance. Elsener, through his company Victorinox, managed to corner the market until 1893, when the second industrial cutler of Switzerland, Paul Boéchat & Cie, headquartered in Delémont in the French-speaking region of Jura, started selling a similar product. This company was later acquired by its then General Manager, Theodore Wenger, and renamed the Wenger Company. In 1908 the Swiss government, wanting to prevent an issue over regional favouritism, but perhaps wanting a bit of competition in hopes of lowering prices, split the contract with Victorinox and Wenger, each getting half of the orders placed. By mutual agreement, Wenger advertises as the Genuine Swiss Army Knife and Victorinox uses the slogan the Original Swiss Army Knife. On April 26, 2005 Victorinox acquired Wenger, becoming once again the sole supplier of knives to the Swiss Army. Victorinox has stated that it intends to keep both consumer brands intact. The Swiss Army knife is a signature of the American TV show MacGyver, wherein MacGyver often improvises tools that are needed to solve problems. He often used his knife to help build mechanisms out of common items, which led to sayings such as "making a cake out of a stick of chewing gum." [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



John Wayne Gacy, Jr. (March 17, 1942 – May 10, 1994) was an American serial killer. He was convicted and later executed for the rape and murder of 33 boys and young men between 1972 and his arrest in 1978, 27 of whom he buried in a crawl space under the floor of his house, while others were found in nearby rivers. He became notorious as the "Killer Clown" because of the many block parties he threw for his friends and neighbors, entertaining children in a clown suit and makeup, under the name of "Pogo the Clown". In July 1975, one of Gacy's employees, John Butkovich, disappeared. Butkovich had recently left Gacy's employ after an argument over back pay Butkovich was owed. Butkovich's parents urged police to check out Gacy, but nothing came of it and the young man's disappearance went unsolved. After Gacy's divorce from his second wife, the killings began in earnest. In December 1976, another Gacy employee, Gregory Godzik, disappeared, and his parents asked police to investigate Gacy, one of the last people known to have spoken to the boy. In neither case did the police pursue Gacy nor did they discover his criminal record. In January 1977, John Szyc, an acquaintance of Butkovich, Godzik and Gacy, disappeared. Later that year, another of Gacy's employees was arrested for stealing gasoline from a station; the car he was driving had belonged to Szyc. Gacy said that Szyc had sold the car to him before leaving town, and the police failed to pursue the matter further. According to reports, Gacy did not express remorse. His last words to his lawyer in his cell were to the effect that killing him would not bring anyone back, and it is reported his last words were "kiss my ass," which he said to a correctional officer while he was being sent to the execution chamber. After his execution, Gacy's brain was removed. It is currently in the possession of Dr. Helen Morrison, who interviewed Gacy and other serial killers in an attempt to isolate common personality traits of violent sociopaths; however, an examination of Gacy's brain after his execution by the forensic psychiatrist hired by his lawyers revealed no abnormalities. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





Surgical suture is a medical device used to hold body tissues together after an injury or surgery. It generally consists of a needle with an attached length of thread. A number of different shapes, sizes, and thread materials have been developed over its millennia of history. The earliest reports of surgical suture date back to 3000 BC in ancient Egypt, and the oldest known suture is in a mummy from 1100 BC. The first detailed description of a wound suture and the suture materials used in it is by the Indian sage and physician Sushruta, written in 500 BCE. The Greek "father of medicine" Hippocrates described rudimentary suture techniques, as did the later Roman Aulus Cornelius Celsus. Traumatic needles are needles with holes or eyes which are supplied to the hospital separate from their suture thread. The suture must be threaded on site, as is done when sewing at home. Atraumatic needles with sutures comprise an eyeless needle attached to a specific length of suture thread. The suture manufacturer swages the suture thread to the eyeless atraumatic needle at the factory. There are several advantages to having the needle pre-mounted on the suture. The doctor or the nurse or odp does not have to spend time threading the suture on the needle. More importantly, the suture end of a swaged needle is smaller than the needle body. In traumatic needles with eyes, the thread comes out of the needle's hole on both sides. When passing through the tissues, this type of suture rips the tissue to a certain extent, thus the name traumatic. Nearly all modern sutures feature swaged atraumatic needles. Suture thread is made from numerous materials. The original sutures were made from biological materials, such as catgut suture and silk. Most modern sutures are synthetic, including the absorbables polyglycolic acid, polylactic acid, and polydioxanone as well as the non-absorbables nylon and polypropylene. Newer still is the idea of coating sutures with antimicrobial substances to reduce the chances of wound infection. Sutures come in very specific sizes and may be either absorbable (naturally biodegradable in the body) or non-absorbable. Sutures must be strong enough to hold tissue securely but flexible enough to be knotted. They must be hypoallergenic and avoid the "wick effect" that would allow fluids and thus infection to penetrate the body along the suture tract. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



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