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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]



Pan Am Flight 103 was Pan American World Airways' third daily scheduled transatlantic flight from London's Heathrow Airport to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. On Wednesday 21 December 1988, the aircraft flying this route—a Boeing 747-121 named Clipper Maid of the Seas—was destroyed by a bomb, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members. Eleven people in Lockerbie, southern Scotland, were killed as large sections of the plane fell in and around the town, bringing total fatalities to 270. As a result, the event has been named by the media as the Lockerbie Bombing. The explosion punched a 20-inch (0.51 m)-wide hole on the left side of the fuselage, almost directly under the 'P' in Pan Am. The disintegration of the aircraft was rapid. Investigators from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were lowered into the cockpit in the wreckage before it was moved from the crash site and while the bodies of the flight crew were still in the cockpit. They concluded that no emergency procedures had been started. The pressure control and fuel switches were both set for cruise, and the crew had not used their oxygen masks, which would have been required within five seconds of a rapid depressurisation of the aircraft. All 243 passengers and 16 crew members were killed. Eleven residents of Lockerbie also died. Of the total of 270 fatalities, 190 were American citizens. A Scottish Fatal Accident Inquiry, which opened on 1 October 1990, heard that, when the cockpit broke off, tornado-force winds tore through the fuselage, tearing clothes off passengers and turning insecurely-fixed items like food and drink trolleys into lethal objects. Because of the sudden change in air pressure, the gases inside the passengers' bodies would have expanded to four times their normal volume, causing their lungs to swell and then collapse. People and objects not fixed down would have been blown out of the aircraft into the -46 °C (-50.8 °F) outside air, their 31,000-foot (9,400 m) fall lasting about two minutes. Some passengers remained attached to the fuselage by their seat belts, crashing in Lockerbie strapped to their seats. In 2001, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, a Libyan, was convicted of involvement in the bombing and sentenced to life imprisonment. On 20 August 2009, the Scottish Government released him on compassionate grounds to return to Libya as he was suffering from terminal prostate cancer and had a life expectancy of less than 3 months. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Richard Leonard "The Iceman" Kuklinski was a Polish American convicted murderer and notorious contract killer who was of Polish and Irish ancestry. He worked for several Italian-American crime families, and claimed to have murdered over 200 men over a career that lasted 30 years; he killed his first victim at age 13. He was the older brother of the convicted rapist and murderer Joseph Kuklinski. By the age of 10, Richard Kuklinski was filled with rage and began acting out. For fun he would torture animals and by the age of 13, he claims to have committed his first murder. Taking a pool cue while at a bar, he ambushed Charlie Lane, a local bully and leader of a small gang who had picked on him. Unintentionally he beat Lane to death. Kuklinski felt remorse for Lane's death for a brief period, but then saw it as a way to feel powerful and in control. He then went on and nearly beat to death the remaining six gang members. Richard then believed that "giving is better then receiving." Association with the Gambino crime family came through his relationship with the mobster Roy DeMeo. This relationship started because Kuklinski owed an associate of DeMeo's a lot of money, so DeMeo was sent to 'talk' with him. He and his gang pistol whipped Kuklinski. After he paid back the money he owed, he began staging robberies and other assignments for the family, one of which was pirating pornographic tapes. According to Kuklinski, one day, DeMeo took Kuklinski out in his car and they parked on a city street. DeMeo then selected an apparently random target, a man out walking his dog. He then told Kuklinski to kill him. Without questioning the order, Kuklinski got out, walked towards the man and shot him in the back of the head as he passed by. From then on, Kuklinski was DeMeo's favorite enforcer. Over the next 30 years, according to Kuklinski, he killed numerous people, either by gun, strangulation, knife, or poison. The exact number has never been settled upon by authorities, and Kuklinski himself at various times claimed to have killed over 200 individuals. He favored the use of cyanide since it killed quickly and was hard to detect in a toxicology test. He would variously administer it by injection, putting it on a person's food, by aerosol spray, or by simply spilling it on the victim's skin. Initially nicknamed "The Polack" by his Italian associates because of his Polish heritage, Kuklinski earned the nickname "Iceman" following his experiments with disguising the time of death of his victims by freezing their corpses in an industrial freezer. One of his favorite methods of disposing of a body was to place it in a 55-gallon oil drum. His other disposal methods included dismemberment, burial, or placing the body in the trunk of a car and having it crushed in a junkyard. He also claimed to have left bodies sitting on park benches, thrown bodies down "bottomless pits" and fed still-alive victims to giant rats in Pennsylvania. Kuklinski died at the age of 70 at 1:15 a.m. on March 5, 2006. He was in a secure wing at St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, New Jersey at the time, although the timing of his death has been labeled suspicious; It is said that one Jamie R may have been tied to this untimely death, Kuklinski was scheduled to testify that former Gambino crime family underboss Sammy Gravano had ordered him to murder New York Police Department Detective Peter Calabro. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





Top Fuel racing is a class of drag racing in which the cars are run on a mix of approximately 90% nitromethane and 10% methanol (also known as racing alcohol) rather than gasoline or simply methanol. The cars are purpose-built for drag racing, with an exaggerated layout that in some ways resembles open-wheel circuit racing vehicles. However, top fuel dragsters are much longer, much narrower, and are equipped with large tires in back and small tires in front, all in order to maximize their straight-line acceleration and speed. Top fuel dragsters are the fastest category of drag racers, with the fastest competitors reaching speeds of 333 mph and finishing quarter mile (402 m) runs in less than 4.5 seconds. The raw speed and power of these cars is such that, at some events, races are run over 1000-foot (304m) distances rather than the traditional 1320 foot quarter mile, particularly when races are held at locations with insufficient room for cars to slow down after having completed the race. A top fuel dragster accelerates from a standstill to 100 mph (160 km/h) in as little as 0.7 seconds (less than one fifth the time required by a production Porsche 911 Turbo to reach 60 mph) and can exceed 280 mph (450 km/h) in just 660 feet (0.2 km). This acceleration subjects the driver to a maximum force of about 5.7 G. Before their run, racers often perform a burnout in order to clean and heat tires. Additionally, the burnout applies a layer of fresh rubber to the track surface, which greatly improves traction during launch. A burnout may cover up to one quarter of the track's distance. At maximum throttle and RPM, the exhaust gases escaping from a dragster's open headers produce about 800-1000 pounds (3.6 kilonewtons) of downforce. The massive foil over and behind the rear wheels produces much more, peaking at around 12,000 lbf (53 kN) when the car reaches a speed of about 324 mph (521 km/h). The engine of a Top Fuel dragster generates 120 dB of sound at full throttle, enough to cause physical pain in some individuals. A sound that intense is not just heard, but also felt as pounding vibrations all over one's body, leading many to compare the experience of watching a Top Fuel dragster make a pass to 'feeling as though the entire drag strip is being bombed'. Prior to a run, race announcers usually advise spectators to cover or plug their ears. Ear plugs and even earmuffs are often handed out to fans at the entrance of a Top Fuel event. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



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