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A bunion is an enlargement of bone or tissue around the joint at the head of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint).The big toe (hallux) may turn in toward the second toe (angulation), and the tissues surrounding the joint may be swollen and tender. The term is used to refer to the pathological bump on the side of the great toe joint. The bump is partly due to the swollen bursal sac and/or an osseous (bony) anomaly on the mesophalangeal joint (where the first metatarsal bone and hallux meet). The larger part of the bump is a normal part of the head of first metatarsal bone that has tilted sideways to stick out at its top. The symptoms of bunions include irritated skin around the bunion, pain when walking, joint redness and pain, and possible shift of the big toe toward the other toes. Blisters may form more easily around the site of the bunion as well. Having bunions can also make it harder to find shoes that fit properly; bunions may force a person to have to buy a larger size shoe to accommodate the width the bunion creates. When bunion deformity becomes severe enough, the foot can hurt in different places even without the constriction of shoes because it then becomes a mechanical function problem of the forefoot. Bunions may be treated conservatively with changes in shoe gear, different orthotics (accommodative padding and shielding), rest, ice, and medications. These sorts of treatments address symptoms more than they correct the actual deformity. Surgery, by an orthopedic surgeon or a podiatrist, may be necessary if discomfort is severe enough or when correction of the deformity is desired. Procedures are designed and chosen to correct a variety of pathologies that may be associated with the bunion. At present there are many different bunion surgeries for different effects. The age, health, lifestyle, and activity level of the patient may also play a role in the choice of procedure. Bunion surgery can be performed under local, spinal, or general anesthetic. The trend has moved strongly toward using the less invasive local anesthesia over the years. A patient can expect a 6- to 8-week recovery period during which crutches are usually required for aid in mobility. An orthopedic cast is much less common today as newer, more stable procedures and better forms of fixation (stabilizing the bone with screws and other hardware) are used. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





A drydock (also commonly dry dock) is a narrow basin or vessel that can be flooded to allow a load to be floated in, then drained to allow that load to come to rest on a dry platform. Drydocks are used for the construction, maintenance, and repair of ships, boats, and other watercraft. Drydocks appeared in China by 1070 A.D. In 1088, Song Dynasty scientist and statesman Shen Kuo (10311095) wrote in his Dream Pool Essays: At the beginning of the dynasty (c. +965) the two Che provinces (now Chekiang and southern Chiangsu) presented (to the throne) two dragon ships each more than 200 ft. in length. The upper works included several decks with palatial cabins and saloons, containing thrones and couches all ready for imperial tours of inspection. After many years, their hulls decayed and needed repairs, but the work was impossible as long as they were afloat. So in the Hsi-Ning reign period (+1068 to +1077) a palace official Huang Huai-Hsin suggested a plan. A large basin was excavated at the north end of the Chin-ming Lake capable of containing the dragon ships, and in it heavy crosswise beams were laid down upon a foundation of pillars. Then (a breach was made) so that the basin quickly filled with water, after which the ships were towed in above the beams. The (breach now being closed) the water was pumped out by wheels so that the ships rested quite in the air. When the repairs were complete, the water was let in again, so that the ships were afloat once more (and could leave the dock). Finally the beams and pillars were taken away, and the whole basin covered over with a great roof so as to form a hangar in which the ships could be protected from the elements and avoid the damage caused by undue exposure. A floating drydock is a type of pontoon for dry docking ships, possessing floodable buoyancy chambers and a "U" shaped cross-section. The walls are used to give the drydock stability when the floor is below the water level. When valves are opened the chambers are filled with water, the dry dock floats lower in the water, allowing a ship to be moved into position inside. When the water is pumped out of the chambers, the drydock rises and the deck is cleared of water, allowing work to proceed on the ship's hull. Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is currently the largest in the world. The massive cranes are named after the Biblical figures Samson and Goliath. Goliath stands 96m tall, while Samson is taller at 106m. Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding's Dry Dock 12 is the largest drydock in the USA. The Saint-Nazaire's Chantiers de l'Atlantique owns one of the biggest in the world: 1,200 by 60 metres (3,900 200 ft). The largest graving dock of the Mediterranean as of 2009 is at the Hellenic Shipyards S.A. (HSY S.A., Athens, Greece). The by far largest roofed dry dock is at the German Meyer Werft Shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, it is 504m long, 125m wide and stands 75m tall. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The Greatest American Hero is an American TV series which aired for three seasons from 1981 to 1983 on ABC. It premiered as a two hour movie pilot on March 18, 1981. It starred William Katt as teacher Ralph Hinkley ("Hanley" for the latter part of the first season), Robert Culp as FBI Agent Bill Maxwell, and Connie Sellecca as lawyer Pam Davidson. The show chronicles Ralph's adventures after he is given a red suit from a group of aliens, which gives him superhuman abilities. The series is a superhero drama-comedy. Hinkley is a schoolteacher for "special students". Determined to get through to them, Ralph took them on a "geological survey" field trip to the desert. Coming back from the field trip later that night, the school bus breaks down. Ralph starts to walk back through the desert to get help and he encounters a swerving car driven by FBI Special Agent Bill Maxwell (Culp) that stops just in time to avoid hitting Hinkley. Maxwell insists that he could not control the car. Then two bright purple lights appear in the sky and they both jump in the car and try to get away, but the car will not start and the doors lock by themselves trapping them inside. They are surprised to find that the lights come from an alien spacecraft. The alien tells Ralph and Bill (by way of the car radio) that they are to work together to save the world and Ralph will be given the power to change it. They are given a black case. Later Ralph opens it and finds a red suit (with cape) which endows him with superhuman abilities. Bill runs off from fear, but later contacts Ralph, leading to an awkward partnership as the two try to use the powers of the suit (which Bill calls the "magic jammies") to fight crime. The novelty of the show is based on Ralph's inability to learn to use the suit properly, and even learn the use of its various capabilities, other than by trial and error, because he lost the instruction manual in the desert. A recurring gag involves Ralph clumsily trying to strip off his outer clothes to activate the suit before the enemies can get away. In addition the show spends quite a bit of time developing the friendship between Ralph and Bill Maxwell as well showcased in "Lilacs; Mr. Maxwell". This episode delves deeply into the personal feelings between the two, as Ralph is painfully forced to get Bill to realize his love interest is actually a KGB spy who was specifically recruited to romance Bill and find out the secrets of his sucessful investigations. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Nora Louise Kuzma was born in Steubenville, Ohio to Louis and Patricia Kuzma. Her stage name is said to be in tribute to Katharine Hepburn's character Tracy Lord from The Philadelphia Story (the same character played by Grace Kelly in High Society), or from the first name of her high school best friend Traci and the last name of her favorite actor from Hawaii Five-O, Jack Lord. She was raped at the age of ten. At twelve, she fled from her abusive alcoholic father to Lawndale, California, with her mother and three sisters. Her mother's new boyfriend, Roger, was a cocaine dealer who molested her. In 1983, she began attending Redondo Union High School. At age 15, she was living with her mother's ex-boyfriend, Roger. Posing as her stepfather, he helped her respond to classified ads requesting models. Using a fake ID provided by Roger that stated she was 20 rather than 15, she started in the porn industry with Jim South at the World Modeling Agency in Sherman Oaks, under the name Kristie Elizabeth Nussman. In May 1986, authorities discovered she had been underage while making pornographic movies and arrested her, as well as the owners of her movie agency and X-Citement Video, Inc. The ensuing prosecution against the agencies cost the pornographic film and distribution industry millions of dollars, as they were obliged by law to remove hundreds of thousands of her videotapes, films and magazines from store shelves to avoid the risk of prosecution for trafficking in child pornography (the legality varies with countries: while it is illegal in France to produce a pornographic film involving an actor under 18, the film remains legal). In her book, Lords suggested hypocrisy on the part of the movie producers and the news media, arguing the porn industry actually got richer from the publicity of the scandal, even as they complained of losing money after destroying her illegal movies. Lords felt she was also exploited by the reporters, who used censored stills from her unlawful films. Lords herself was never charged with a crime, since as a minor she was unable to give informed consent to perform sex acts on film for money. Instead, the agents and producers who accepted her fake IDs were charged and people affiliated with the films in question experienced legal troubles for years. While Lords decries the pornographic film industry, she continues to use the stage name she gave herself as a minor, and ultimately made it her legal name. She wrote, "I chose to stop running from it. Instead, I won it, legally changing my name to Traci Elizabeth Lords. That's who I was, and that's who I was going to be." Lords stated she is not trying to deny her past, telling Oprah Winfrey: "I found you can run but you cannot hide". [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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