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Nasal irrigation or nasal lavage is the personal hygiene practice in which the nasal cavity is washed to flush out excess mucus and debris from the nose and sinuses. It has been practised in India for centuries as one of the disciplines of yoga. Some clinical tests have shown that this practice is safe and beneficial with no significant side effects. A simple yet effective technique is to pour salt water solution into one nostril and let it run out through the other while the mouth is kept open to breathe, using gravity as an aid. This is an old Ayurvedic technique known as jala neti, and the container used to administer the saline is called a neti pot. (Neti is Sanskrit for "nasal cleansing". Nasal irrigation in a wider sense can also refer to the use of saline nasal spray or nebulizers to moisten the mucus membranes. he saline solution irrigation promotes good nasal health, and patients with chronic sinusitis including symptoms of facial pain, headache, halitosis, cough, anterior rhinorrhea (watery discharge) and nasal congestion often find nasal irrigation to be provide effective relief. In published studies, “daily hypertonic saline nasal irrigation improves sinus-related quality of life, decreases symptoms, and decreases medication use in patients with frequent sinusitis, and irrigation is recommended as an “effective adjunctive treatment of chronic sinonasal symptoms. The simplest technique is to snort water from cupped hands. Spraying the solution into the nostrils is more convenient, but also less effective. The most effective methods ensure that the liquid enters through one nostril and then either runs out of the other nostril or goes through the nasal cavity to the back of the throat from where it may be spat out. The necessary pressure comes from gravity, from squeezing a plastic bottle or a syringe, or from an electrical pump. Warm salt water solution is commonly used, often with sodium bicarbonate as a buffering agent. Optional additives include xylitol which is claimed to draw water into the sinus regions and helps displace bacteria. The use of xylitol in products such as chewing gum is there to reduce bacterias' ability to cling to surfaces, this is a supposed benefit in its use in nasal irrigation [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





The crawler-transporters are a pair of tracked vehicles used to transport spacecraft from NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) along the Crawlerway to Launch Complex 39. They were originally used to transport the Saturn IB and Saturn V rockets during the Apollo, Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz programs. They are currently used to transport the Space Shuttle. It is planned for them to carry the upcoming Ares I and Ares V rockets for the Constellation program as well. The crawler-transporters carry vehicles on the Mobile Launcher Platform, and after each launch return to the pad to take the platform back to the VAB. The two crawler-transporters were designed by Bucyrus International and built by Marion Power Shovel using components designed and built by Rockwell International at a cost of US$14 million each. When they were built, they were the largest tracked vehicles in the world. The crawler-transporter weighs 2400 tons 2,700 short tons and has eight tracks, two on each corner. Each track has 57 shoes, and each shoe weighs 1,984 pounds. The vehicle measures 131 feet by 114 feet. The height from ground level to the platform is adjustable from 20 ft to 26 ft, and each side can be raised and lowered independently of the other. The crawler uses a laser guidance system and a leveling system to keep the Mobile Launcher Platform level within 10 minutes of arc, while moving up the 5% grade to the launch site. A separate laser docking system provides pinpoint accuracy when the crawler-transporter and Mobile Launch Platform are positioned in the VAB or at the launch pad. The crawler has 16 traction motors, powered by four 1,341 horsepower generators, in turn driven by two 2,750 horsepower Alco diesel engines. The crawler is controlled from two control cabs located at either end of the vehicle, and travels along the 3.5 miles Crawlerway at a maximum speed of 1 mile per hour loaded, or 2 miles per hour unloaded. The average trip time from the VAB along the Crawlerway to Launch Complex 39 is about five hours. In 2000, NASA unearthed and restored an Apollo-era segment of the crawlerway to provide access to a high-bay building in order to provide protection from a hurricane. Kennedy Space Center has been using the same two crawlers since their initial delivery in 1965. In their lifetime, they have traveled more than 2,500 miles. NASA will continue to use crawlers when the Space Shuttle is retired in 2010 and the Ares I and Ares V take its place. Due to their age and need to support the heavier Ares V, NASA will modify the crawler's engines in order to have the ability to carry the heavier loads envisioned for the Ares V for both its lunar and, later, planetary roles. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



In 1943, during World War II, HM Fort Roughs was constructed by the United Kingdom as one of the Maunsell Forts, primarily for defence against German mine-laying aircraft that might be targeting the estuaries that were part of vital shipping lanes. It comprised a floating pontoon base with a superstructure of two hollow towers joined by a deck upon which other structures could be added. The fort was towed to a position above the Rough Sands sandbar, where its base was intentionally flooded to allow it to sink to its final resting place on the sandbar. The location chosen was in international waters, approximately six miles from the coast of Suffolk, outside the then three-mile territorial water claim of the United Kingdom. The facility (called Roughs Tower or HM Fort Roughs) was occupied by 150–300 Royal Navy personnel throughout World War II; not until well after the war, in 1956, were the last full-time personnel taken off HM Fort Roughs. On 2 September 1967, the fort was occupied by Major Paddy Roy Bates, a British subject and pirate radio broadcaster, who ejected a competing group of pirate broadcasters. Bates intended to broadcast his pirate radio station Radio Essex from the platform. In 1978, while Bates was away, Alexander Achenbach, who describes himself as the Prime Minister of Sealand, and several German and Dutch citizens staged a forcible takeover of Roughs Tower, holding Bates' son Michael captive, before releasing him several days later in the Netherlands. Bates thereupon enlisted armed assistance and, in a helicopter assault, retook the fort. He then held the invaders captive, claiming them as prisoners of war. Most participants in the invasion were repatriated at the cessation of the conflict, but Achenbach, a German lawyer who held a Sealand passport, was charged with treason against Sealand and was held unless he paid DM 75,000 (more than US$ 35,000). The governments of the Netherlands and Germany petitioned the British government for his release, but the United Kingdom disavowed his imprisonment, citing the 1968 court decision. The Principality of Sealand is a micronation located on HM Fort Roughs, a former World War II Maunsell Sea Fort in the North Sea 10 km (six miles) off the coast of Suffolk, England. Since 1967, the facility has been occupied by former Major HRH Prince Roy of Sealand; his associates and family claim that it is an independent sovereign state. External commentators generally classify Sealand as a micronation. While it has been described as the world's smallest nation, Sealand is not currently officially recognised as a sovereign state by any sovereign state, although Roy Bates claims it is de facto recognised by Germany as they have sent a diplomat to the nation, and by the United Kingdom after an English court ruled it did not have jurisdiction over Sealand, although neither action constitutes de jure recognition as far as the respective countries are concerned. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





HMS Hood was a battlecruiser of the Royal Navy, and considered the pride of the Royal Navy in the interwar period and during the early period of World War II. She was one of four Admiral class battlecruisers ordered in mid-1916 under the Emergency War Programme. Although the design was drastically revised after the Battle of Jutland, it was realised that there were serious limitations even to the revised design; for this reason, and because of evidence that the German battlecruisers that they were designed to counter were unlikely to be completed, work on her sister ships was suspended in 1917. As a result, Hood was Britain's last completed battlecruiser. She was named after the 18th-century Admiral Samuel Hood. When the German battleship Bismarck sailed for the Atlantic in May 1941, Hood was sent out in pursuit commanded by flag captain Ralph Kerr, C.B.E. and flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Lancelot Holland, together with the newly-commissioned Prince of Wales, to intercept the German ships before they could break into the Atlantic and attack Allied convoys. Holland’s ships caught up with Bismarck and her consort, the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, in the Denmark Strait between Greenland and Iceland on 24 May. Due to the loss of contact the previous night Hood and Prince of Wales were now approaching from such an angle that only their two forward gun turrets could engage the enemy, as their own superstructure masked their aft-turrets. Bismarck and Prinz Eugen were able to bring all of their guns to bear when the engagement began. At about 06:00, as Hood was turning, she was struck by one or more shells from Bismarck's fifth salvo, fired from a range of 15 to 18 km (about 8 to 9.5 nautical miles). Almost immediately, a huge jet of flame burst out of Hood from the vicinity of the mainmast. This was followed by a devastating explosion that destroyed the after part of the ship. Hood's stern rose and sank rapidly, then her bow section reared up in the sea and sank. Its forward turret fired one last salvo, possibly from the doomed gun crew, just before the bow section sank. Hood, the pride of the Royal Navy, had sunk in 3 minutes. From Hood's first salvo to her disappearance beneath the waves, only eleven minutes had passed. Of the 1,418 crew, only three men (Ted Briggs (1923–2008), Robert Ernest Tilburn (1921–1995) and William John Dundas (1921–1965))survived; they were rescued about two and a half hours after the sinking by the destroyer HMS Electra. The dramatic loss of such a well-known symbol of British naval power had a great effect on many people; some later remembered the news as the most shocking of World War II. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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