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Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is the application of the field of computer graphics (CG) or, more specifically, 3D computer graphics to special effects in films, television programs, commercials, simulators and simulation generally, and printed media. Video games usually use real-time computer graphics, but may also include pre-rendered "cut scenes" and intro movies and full motion videos that would be typical CGI applications. CGI is used for visual effects because computer generated effects are more controllable than other more physically based processes, such as constructing miniatures for effects shots or hiring extras for crowd scenes, and because it allows the creation of images that would not be feasible using any other technology. It can also allow a single graphic artist to produce such content without the use of actors, expensive set pieces, or props. 3D computer graphics software is used to make computer-generated imagery for movies, etc. Recent availability of CGI software and increased computer speeds have allowed individual artists and small companies to produce professional grade films, games, and fine art from their home computers. This has brought about an Internet subculture with its own set of global celebrities, clichés, and technical vocabulary. Simulators, particularly flight simulators, and simulation generally, make extensive use of CGI techniques for representing the outside world. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The MG 42 (shortened from German: Maschinengewehr 42, or "machine gun 42") is a 7.92mm universal machine gun that was developed in Nazi Germany and entered service with the Wehrmacht in 1942. It supplemented and in some instances, replaced the MG 34 general purpose machine gun in all branches of the German Armed Forces, though both weapons were manufactured and used until the end of the war. The MG 42 has a proven record of reliability, durability, simplicity, and ease of operation, but is most notable for being able to produce a stunning volume of suppressive fire. One of the weapon's most notable features was its comparatively high rate of fire of about 1,200 rounds per minute, twice the rate of the British Vickers machine gun and American Browning at 600 round/min. So distinct and terrifying was the weapon that the United States Army created training films to aid its soldiers in dealing with the psychological trauma of facing the weapon in battle. At such a high rate the human ear cannot easily discern the sound of individual bullets being fired, and in use the gun makes a sound described as like "ripping cloth" and giving rise to the nickname "Hitler's buzzsaw", or, more coarsely, "Hitler's zipper" (Soviet soldiers called it the "linoleum ripper"). German soldiers called it Hitlersäge ("Hitler's saw") or "Bonesaw". The gun was sometimes called "Spandau" by British troops from the manufacturer's plates noting the district of Berlin where some were produced, much like the Germans' own World War I MG 08 had been nicknamed. Notwithstanding the MG 42's high rate of fire, the Handbook of the German Army (1940) forbade the firing of more than 250 rounds in a single burst and indicated a sustained rate of no more than 300–350 rounds per minute to minimize barrel wear and over-heating. The MG 42's belt-feed and quick-change barrel system allowed for more prolonged firing in comparison to these weapons. The MG 42's lineage continued past Nazi Germany's defeat, forming the basis for the nearly identical MG1 (MG 42/59), and subsequently evolved into the MG1A3, which was in turn followed by the MG 3. It also spawned the Swiss MG 51, SIG MG 710-3, Austrian MG 74, and the Spanish 5.56mm Ameli light machine gun, and lent many design elements to the American M60 and Belgian MAG. The MG 42 was adopted by a number of armed organizations after the war, and was copied or license-built as well. The MG 3 served with many armies during the Cold War and remains in use to this day. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



A tonsillolith, also known as a tonsil stone or a zot, is a piece or, more commonly, a cluster of calcareous matter that forms in the rear of the mouth, in the crevasses (called tonsillar crypts) of the palatine tonsils (commonly known as tonsils). Protruding tonsilloliths may feel like foreign objects lodged in the tonsil crypt. Tonsilloliths occur more frequently in adults than in children. Many small tonsil stones do not cause any noticeable symptoms. Even when they are large, some tonsil stones are only discovered accidentally on X-rays or CT scans. Other symptoms include a metallic taste, throat closing or tightening, coughing fits, and choking. Larger tonsilloliths may have multiple symptoms, including recurrent halitosis, which frequently accompanies a tonsil infection, sore throat, white debris, a bad taste in the back of the throat, difficulty swallowing, otalgia, and tonsil swelling. A medical study conducted in 2007 found an association between tonsilloliths and bad breath. Among those with bad breath, 75% of the subjects had tonsilloliths while only 6% of subjects with normal halitometry values (normal breath) had tonsilloliths. A foreign body sensation may also exist in the back of throat. A common method of removal is with use of the tongue. Unlike other methods, this does not provoke the gag reflex. Various other methods also exist. While difficult to perform due to the gag reflex, a quick brushing with a toothbrush may remove surfaced tonsilloliths. Another effective way to remove tonsil stones is by pressing a finger or cotton swab against the bottom of the tonsil and pushing upward. The pressure acts to squeeze out stones. Using an oral analgesic like Chloraseptic can help suppress the gag reflex while cleaning the tonsils or crypts. Embedded tonsilloliths (which develop inside tonsils) are not easily removed, but will naturally erupt from the tonsils over time. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Burj Dubai, a supertall skyscraper under construction in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is the tallest man-made structure ever built, at 818 m. Construction began on 21 September 2004, and the tower is expected to be completed and ready for occupancy on 4 January 2010. The building is part of the 2 km2 (0.8 sq mi) flagship development called "Downtown Burj Dubai" at the "First Interchange" along Sheikh Zayed Road, near Dubai's main business district. The total budget for the Burj Dubai project is about US$4.1 billion, and for the entire new "Downtown Dubai", US$20 billion. Mohamed Ali Alabbar, the CEO of Emaar Properties, speaking at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat 8th World Congress, said that the price of office space at Burj Dubai had reached over US$43,000 per m2 and that the Armani Residences, also in Burj Dubai, were selling for over US$37,500 per m2. Though unconfirmed, Burj Dubai has been rumoured to have undergone several planned height increases since its inception. The design architect, Adrian Smith, felt that the uppermost section of the building did not culminate elegantly with the rest of the structure, so he sought and received approval to increase it to the currently planned height. It has been explicitly stated that this change did not include any added floors, which is fitting with Smith's attempts to make the crown more slender. However, the top of the tower has a steel frame structure, unlike the lower portion's reinforced concrete. The developer, Emaar, has stated this steel section may be extended to beat any other tower to the title of tallest. As construction of the tower progressed, it became increasingly difficult to vertically pump the thousands of cubic metres of concrete that were required. The previous record for pumping concrete on any project was set during the extension of the Riva del Garda Hydroelectric Power Plant in Italy in 1994, when concrete was pumped to a height of 532 m. Burj Dubai exceeded this height on 19 August 2007, and as of 8 November 2007 concrete was pumped to a delivery height of 601 m. In Burj Dubai, concrete was pumped to the 156th floor, while the remaining structure was built of lighter steel. Burj Dubai is highly compartmentalised, with refuge floors built every 30 floors, where people can shelter on their long walk down to safety in case of an emergency. The consistency of the concrete used in the project was essential. It was difficult to create a concrete that could withstand both the thousands of tons bearing down on it and Persian Gulf temperatures that can reach 50 °C (122 °F). To combat this problem, the concrete was not poured during the day. Instead, ice was added to the mixture and it was poured at night when the air is cooler and the humidity is higher. A cooler concrete mixture cures evenly throughout and is therefore less likely to set too quickly and crack. Any significant cracks could have put the entire project in jeopardy. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



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