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Nudity is the state of wearing no clothing. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic. The amount of clothing worn depends on functional considerations such as a need for warmth or protection from the elements, and social considerations. In some situations the minimum amount of clothing may be socially acceptable, while in others much more clothing is expected. People, as individuals and in groups, have varying attitudes towards their own nudity. Some people are relaxed about appearing less than fully clothed in front of others, while others are uncomfortable or inhibited in that regard. People are nude in a variety of situations, and whether they are prepared to disrobe in front of others depends on the social context in which the issue arises. For example, people need to bathe without clothing, some people also sleep in the nude, some prefer to sunbathe in the nude or at least topless. Many people are prepared to disrobe for a medical examination, while others are nude in other situations. Some people adopt nudism as a lifestyle. Though the wearing of clothes is the social norm in most cultures, some cultures, groups and individuals are more relaxed about nudity, though attitudes often depend on context. On the other hand, some people feel uncomfortable in the presence of any nudity, and the presence of a nude person in a public place can give rise to controversy, irrespective of the attitude of the person who is nude. Besides meeting social disapproval, in some places public nudity may constitute a crime of indecent exposure. Many people have strong views on nudity, which to them can involve issues and standards of modesty, decency and morality. Some people have a psychological aversion to nudity, called gymnophobia. Many people regard nudity to be inherently sexual and erotic. Nudity -- sex-related or not -- is also to be found in visual arts, also on the Internet, and in performing arts. It is a factor in adult entertainment of various types. In some locations, most particularly within western societies, a woman breastfeeding in public can generate controversy. For example, in June 2007, Brooke Ryan was dining in a booth at the rear of an Applebee's restaurant when she found it necessary to breastfeed her 7-month-old son. While she said she attempted to be discreet, another patron complained to the manager about indecent exposure. Both a waitress and the manager asked her to cover up. She handed him a copy of the Kentucky law that permitted public breastfeeding, but he would not relent. She ended up feeding her son in her car and later organized "nurse-out" protests in front of the restaurant and other public locations. Most U.S. states (40 as of January 2009) have laws clarifying a woman's right to breastfeed in public. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]


A run-flat tire is a pneumatic vehicle tire that is designed to resist the effects of deflation when punctured, and to enable the vehicle to continue to be driven at reduced speeds (up to 55 mph (90 km/h)), and for limited distances of up to 100 mi (160 km), or even 200 mi (320 km) depending on the type of tire. The origins of the commercial self-supporting run-flat tire started in 1935 with a tire that had a fabric inner tire. The tire was advertised as a protection against blow outs, a common and dangerous occurrence in the 1930s. In 1934, Michelin introduced a tire that was based on technology developed for local commuter trains and trolleys. It had a safety rim inside the tire which if punctured would run on a special foam lining. The tire was sold for military use and for specialized vehicles like bank armoured cars. It was advertised as "semi-bullet proof". While the tire performed as advertised it was far too expensive to be a feasible option for private automobile users. In 1958, Chrysler teamed with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company to offer Captive Air run-flat tires using an interlining to carry the weight. In 1972 Dunlop launched the Denovo "fail-safe" wheel and tyre system that became optional equipment on the Rover P6 3500 in 1973, and by 1983 evolved into the TD/Denloc which became standard equipment across the whole Austin Metro range. Most recently, Bridgestone run-flat tires are supplied on some new model BMW cars. The automaker promoted these as a safety feature and as an alternative to carrying a spare tire. Self-supporting run-flat tires are now common on light trucks and passenger cars and typically provide for the vehicle to drive for 50 miles (80 km) at around 50 miles per hour (80 km/h). However, if the tires are subject to this kind of misuse, they may become irreparably damaged in the process. In addition, if the tire is punctured in the sidewall or at the edge of the tread, repair may be impossible or unsafe. These tires carry a 20 to 40 percent weight penalty over similar standard tires. Some run-flat tires have a 20% higher rolling resistance, in part due to their added structural material and mass. On the other hand, internal bracing in some run-flat tires reduces deformation, with the opposite effects of reducing rolling resistance and improving fuel efficiency. Run-flat tires accounted for less than 1% of replacement tire sales in the U.S. in 2005. In 2006, it was expected that such tires would gain popularity with armored vehicle manufacturers, but growth figures were slow with one major model, the Michelin PAX System, no longer being developed by the manufacturer (though replacements will be produced for the foreseeable future). A Michelin study released in 2008 found that only 3 percent of drivers worldwide want run-flat tires. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

Tattoos are used among criminals to show gang membership and record the wearer's personal history—such as his or her skills, specialties, accomplishments and convictions. They are also used as a means of personal expression. Certain designs have developed recognized coded meanings. The code systems can be quite complex and because of the nature of what they encode, the tattoos are not widely recognized. Tattooing is forbidden in most prisons. It is therefore done in secret, with makeshift equipment. Russian criminal tattoos have a complex system of symbols which can give quite detailed information about the wearer. Not only do the symbols carry meaning but the area of the body on which they are placed may be meaningful too. The initiation tattoo of a new gang member is usually placed on the chest and may incorporate a rose. A rose on the chest is also used within the Russian Mafia. Wearing false or unearned tattoos is punishable in the criminal underworld. Tattoos can be voluntarily removed (for loss of rank, new affiliation, "life style" change, etc.) by bandaging magnesium powder onto the surface of the skin, which dissolves the skin bearing the marks with painful caustic burns. This powder is gained by filing "light alloy" e.g. lawnmower casing, and is a jailhouse commodity. Tattoos done in a Russian prison have a distinct bluish color and usually appear somewhat blurred because of the lack of instruments to draw fine lines. The ink is often created from burning the heel of a shoe and mixing the soot with urine, and injected into the skin utilizing a sharpened guitar string attached to an electric shaver. In addition to voluntary tattooing, tattoos are used to stigmatize and punish individuals within the criminal society. They may be placed on an individual who fails to pay debts in card games, or otherwise breaks the criminal code, and often have very blatant sexual images, embarrassing the wearer. Tattoos on the forehead are usually forcibly applied, and designed both to humiliate the bearer and warn others about him or her. They frequently consist of slurs about the bearer's ethnicity, sexual orientation, or perceived collusion with the prison authorities. They can indicate that the bearer is a member of a political group considered offensive by other prisoners (e.g. Vlasovite), or has been convicted of a crime (such as child rape) which is disapproved of by other criminals. Tattoos that consist of political or anti-authoritarian statements are known as "grins". They are often tattooed on the stomach of a thief in law, as a means of acquiring status in the criminal community. A Russian criminologist, Yuri Dubyagin, has claimed that, during the Soviet era, there existed "secret orders" that an anti-government tattoo must be "destroyed surgically", and that this procedure was usually fatal. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

An air ambulance is an aircraft used for emergency medical assistance in situations where either a traditional ambulance cannot reach the scene easily or quickly enough, or the patient needs to be transported over a distance or terrain that makes air transportation the most practical transport. Air ambulance crews are supplied with equipment that enables them to provide medical treatment to a critically injured or ill patient. Common equipment for air ambulances includes ventilators, medication, an ECG and monitoring unit, CPR equipment, and stretchers. As with many innovations in Emergency Medical Service (EMS), the concept of transporting the injured by aircraft has its origins in the military, and the concept of using aircraft as ambulances is almost as old as powered flight itself. Air medical transport likely first occurred in 1870 during the Siege of Paris when 160 wounded French soldiers were transported by hot-air balloon to France. During the First World War air ambulances were tested by various military organizations. Aircraft were still primitive at the time, with limited capabilities, and the effort received mixed reviews. The exploration of the idea continued, however, and by 1936, an organized military air ambulance service was evacuating wounded from the Spanish Civil War for medical treatment in Nazi Germany. The first dedicated use of helicopters by U.S. forces occurred during the Korean War, during the period from 1950-1953. The US military has recently employed UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to provide air ambulance service during the Iraq War to both civilians and military personnel. The use of military aircraft as battlefield ambulances continues to grow and develop today in a variety of countries, as does the use of fixed wing aircraft for long distance travel, including repatriation of the wounded. Air ambulances were useful in remote areas, but their usefulness in the developed world was still uncertain. Following the end of the Second World War, the first civilian air ambulance in North America was established by the Saskatchewan government in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, which had both remote communities and great distances to consider in the provision of health care to its citizens. The Saskatchewan air ambulance service continues to be active as of 2009. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE] is not affiliated with or endorsed by wikipedia. wikipedia and the wikipedia globe are registered trademarks of
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