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A slipway, boat slip or just a slip, is a ramp on the shore by which ships or boats can be moved to and from the water. They are used for building and repairing ships and boats. They are also used for launching and retrieving small boats on trailers and flying boats on their undercarriage. The nautical term ways is an alternative name for slipway. A ship undergoing construction in a shipyard is said to be on the ways. If a ship were scrapped there, she is said to be broken up in the ways. As the word "slip" implies, in theory the ships or boats are moved over the ramp, standing on a sledge, with help of grease. Slipways are used to launch (newly built) large ships, but can only dry-dock or repair smaller ships. Pulling large ships against the greased ramp would require too much force. For dry-docking large ships, one must use carriages supported by wheels or by roller-pallets. These types of dry-docking installations are called "marine railways". Nevertheless the words "slip" and "slipway" are also used for all dry-docking installations that use a ramp. To achieve a safe launch of some types of land-based lifeboats in bad weather and difficult sea conditions, the lifeboat and slipway are designed so that the lifeboat slides down a relatively steep steel slip under gravity. It is winched back up afterwards. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution in the United Kingdom currently operates three different classes of lifeboat from its slipways: the Tyne, Mersey and, most recently, the Tamar. For large ships, slipways are only used in construction of the vessel. Normally they are arranged perpendicular to the shore line (or as nearly so as the water and maximum length of vessel allows) and the ship is built with its stern facing the water. Modern slipways take the form of a reiforced concrete mat of sufficient strength to support the vessel, with two "barricades" that extend to well below the water level taking into account tidal variations. The barricades support the two launch ways. The vessel is built upon temporary cribbing that is arranged to give access to the hull's outer bottom, and to allow the launchways to be erected under the complete hull. When it is time to prepare for launching a pair of standing ways are erected under the hull and out onto the barricades. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





ULTra (Urban Light Transit) is a personal rapid transit system developed by ULTra PRT, (formerly known as Advanced Transport Systems). The first public system using ULTra has been constructed at London's Heathrow Airport, and has now opened to the public. To reduce fabrication costs, the ULTra uses largely off-the-shelf technologies, such as rubber tyres running on an open guideway. This approach has resulted in a system that ULTra believes to be more economical; the company reports that the total cost of the system (vehicles, infrastructure and control systems) is between 3 million and 5 million per kilometre of guideway. In the case of ULTra, the guideway can consist of as little as two parallel rows of concrete barriers, similar to the bumpers found in a parking lot. The vehicle uses these for fine guidance only; it is able to steer itself around curves by following the barriers passively. No "switching" is required on the track either, as the vehicles can make their own turns between routes based on an internal map. Since the vehicles are battery powered, there's no need for electrification along the track. Instead the vehicles recharge when parked at the stations. As a result, the trackway is similar in complexity to a conventional road surface - a light-duty one as the vehicles will not vary in weight to the extent of a tractor-trailer. Even the stations are greatly simplified; in the case of ground-level tracks, the lack of any substantial infrastructure means the vehicles can stop at any kerb. Stations at Heathrow resemble a parking lot with diagonal slots, with a rain shield similar to the awnings at a gas station. The electric-powered vehicles have four seats, can carry 500-kilogram payload, and are designed to travel at 40 kilometres per hour (25 mph) at gradients of up to 20-percent, although the company has suggested limiting operating routes to 10-percent gradients to improve passenger comfort. The vehicles can accommodate wheelchairs, shopping trolleys and other luggage in addition to the passengers. Construction of the guideway was completed in October 2008. The line is largely elevated, but includes a ground level section where the route passes under the approach to the airport's northern runway. Following various trials, including some using airport staff as test passengers, the line opened to public usage in May 2011. At that time it was described as a passenger trials. As of September 2011 it is fully operational and bus service between the business parking lot and Terminal 5 has been discontinued. The developers expect that users will wait an average of around twelve seconds with 95-percent of passengers waiting for less than one minute for their private pod which will travel up to 40 kilometres per hour (25 mph). If the pilot project is successful, BAA have indicated that they will extend the service throughout the airport and to nearby hotels using 400 pods. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Robert LaSardo (born September 20, 1963) is an American actor. He was born in Brooklyn, New York. He appears in movies and television shows, with one of his most notable television portrayals being Escobar Gallardo from the first, second and fourth season of the TV series Nip/Tuck. Starting in 2005, LaSardo portrayed the evil Manny Ruiz on the U.S. soap opera General Hospital until July 4, 2006 when his character was apparently killed by being thrown off the roof of General Hospital. LaSardo returned to General Hospital to play Manny's twin brother, Father Mateo Ruiz, a character that is currently dormant on the series. LaSardo began his career studying at the famed High School of Performing Arts in New York City, before going on to the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. Robert also spent four years in the U.S. Navy, spending two of those years handling Navy attack dogs in the Aleutian Islands. LaSardo has extensive chest, neck, and arm tattoos. He is an Italian American, although he is often cast as a Latino or Latin-American character, and usually as a criminal or gang member. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Magnetic levitation, maglev, or magnetic suspension is a method by which an object is suspended with no support other than magnetic fields. Magnetic pressure is used to counteract the effects of the gravitational and any other accelerations. Earnshaw's theorem proves that using only static ferromagnetism it is impossible to stably levitate against gravity, but servomechanisms, the use of diamagnetic materials, superconduction, or systems involving eddy currents permit this to occur. In some cases the lifting force is provided by magnetic levitation, but there is a mechanical support bearing little load that provides stability. This is termed pseudo-levitation. Magnetic levitation is used for maglev trains, magnetic bearings and for product display purposes. Superconductors may be considered perfect diamagnets, as well as the property they have of completely expelling magnetic fields due to the Meissner effect when the superconductivity initially forms. The levitation of the magnet is further stabilized due to flux pinning within the superconductor; this tends to stop the superconductor leaving the magnetic field, even if the levitated system is inverted. Maglev, or magnetic levitation, is a system of transportation that suspends, guides and propels vehicles, predominantly trains, using magnetic levitation from a very large number of magnets for lift and propulsion. This method has the potential to be faster, quieter and smoother than wheeled mass transit systems. The technology has the potential to exceed 6,400 km/h (4,000 mi/h) if deployed in an evacuated tunnel. If not deployed in an evacuated tube the power needed for levitation is usually not a particularly large percentage and most of the power needed is used to overcome air drag, as with any other high speed train. The highest recorded speed of a maglev train is 581 kilometers per hour (361 mph), achieved in Japan in 2003, 6 km/h faster than the conventional TGV speed record. This is slower than many aircraft, since aircraft can fly at far higher altitudes where air drag is lower, thus high speeds are more readily attained. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



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