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Harvestmen are arachnids belonging to the order Opiliones. As of 2006, over 6,400 species of harvestmen have been discovered worldwide, although the real number of extant species may exceed 10,000. The order Opiliones can be divided into four suborders: Cyphophthalmi, Eupnoi, Dyspnoi and Laniatores. Well-preserved fossils have been found in the 400-million year old Rhynie cherts of Scotland, which look surprisingly modern, indicating that the basic structure of the harvestmen has not changed much since then. Phylogenetic position is disputed: their closest relatives may be the mites or the Novogenuata. Although they belong to the class of arachnids, harvestmen are not spiders, which are of the order Araneae rather than the order Opiliones. In some places, harvestmen are known by the name "daddy longlegs" or "granddaddy longlegs", but this name is also used for two other unrelated arthropods: the crane fly and the cellar spider. These arachnids are known for their exceptionally long walking legs, compared to body size, although there are also short-legged species. The difference between harvestmen and spiders is that in harvestmen the two main body sections (the abdomen with ten segments and cephalothorax, or prosoma and opisthosoma) are broadly joined, so that they appear to be one oval structure; they also have no venom or silk glands. The feeding apparatus (stomotheca) differs from other arachnids in that ingestion is not restricted to liquid, but chunks of food can be taken in. The stomotheca is formed by extensions from the pedipalps and the first pair of legs. They have a single pair of eyes in the middle of their heads, oriented sideways. Many species are omnivorous, eating primarily small insects and all kinds of plant material and fungi; some are scavengers, feeding upon dead organisms, bird dung and other fecal material. This broad range is quite unusual in arachnids, which are usually pure predators. Most hunting harvestmen ambush their prey, although active hunting is also found. Because their eyes cannot form images, they use their second pair of legs as antennae to explore their environment. An urban legend claims that the harvestman is the most venomous animal in the world, but possesses fangs too short or a mouth too round and small to bite a human and therefore is not dangerous. This is untrue on several counts. None of the known species have venom glands; their chelicerae are not hollowed fangs but grasping claws that are typically very small and definitely not strong enough to break human skin. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Hurricane Andrew is the second most powerful, and the last of three Category 5 hurricanes that made U.S. landfall during the 20th century, after the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 and Hurricane Camille in 1969. Andrew caused 65 deaths. The first named storm of the 1992 Atlantic hurricane season, Andrew struck the northwestern Bahamas, southern Florida at Homestead (south of Miami), and southwest Louisiana around Morgan City in August. Andrew caused $26.5 billion in damage ($38.1 billion in 2006 US dollars), with most of that damage cost in south Florida, although other sources put damage between $27 billion to $34 billion in total costs. Its central pressure ranks as fourth-lowest in U.S. landfall records and Andrew was the costliest Atlantic hurricane in U.S. history until surpassed by Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 season. It was also the first of two Category 4 or higher storms to strike the United States that year (Hurricane Iniki in the Central Pacific struck Hawaii a couple of weeks later). Because of the exceptional and widespread damage in Florida and Louisiana, the name Andrew was retired in the Spring of 1993, and will never again be used for an Atlantic hurricane. The name was replaced by Alex for the 1998 season. Ironically, the name Andrew had replaced Allen from 1980, when that hurricane name was retired. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Snake venom is highly modified saliva. The venom is part of a whole: the apparatus, which is made up of venom glands that synthesize venom; and an injection system, consisting of modified fangs with which to make the venom penetrate into a prey item or a possible threat or predator. The glands which secrete the zootoxins are a modification of the parotid salivary gland of other vertebrates, and are usually situated on each side of the head below and behind the eye, encapsulated in a muscular sheath. The glands have large alveoli in which the synthesized venom is stored before being conveyed by a duct to the base of channeled or tubular fangs, through which it is ejected. Venoms contain more than 20 different compounds, mostly proteins and polypeptides. Snake venom has two main functions: first, the immobilization of prey and second, the digestion of prey. It is a complex mixture of proteins, enzymes, and various other substances. The proteins are responsible for the toxic and lethal effect of the venom and its function is to immobilize prey, enzymes play an important role in the digestion of prey, and various other substances are responsible for important but non-lethal biological effects. Some of the proteins in snake venom are very particular in their effects on various biological functions including blood coagulation, blood pressure regulation, transmission of the nervous or muscular impulse and have turned out to be pharmacological or diagnostic tools or even useful drugs. Viper venom acts more on the vascular system, bringing about coagulation of the blood and clotting of the pulmonary arteries; its action on the nervous system is not great, no individual group of nerve-cells appears to be picked out, and the effect upon respiration is not so direct; the influence upon the circulation explains the great depression which is a symptom of viperine envenomation. The pain of the wound is severe, and is speedily followed by swelling and discoloration. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

Power Balance Pavilion (originally ARCO Arena) is an indoor arena, located in the Natomas area of Sacramento, California. It is the home of the NBA's Sacramento Kings. Power Balance Pavilion hosts nearly 200 spectator events each year. The current configuration seats up to 17,317 and can host such varied events as concerts, ice shows, rodeos and monster truck rallies. Nearly two million spectators from throughout Northern California visited what was then called ARCO Arena last year. Owned and operated by Maloof Sports & Entertainment, Power Balance Pavilion is the home of the NBA's Sacramento Kings. Power Balance Pavilion has played host to the Ultimate Fighting Championship 65 and 73, NCAA Men's Basketball Tournaments multiple times and was the host site for the 2007 NCAA Volleyball Championships. Power Balance Pavilion is located in a once isolated area on the expanding northern outskirts of the city. It was constructed at a cost of just $40 million, the lowest of any venue in the NBA. It is the smallest arena in the NBA with a seating capacity of 17,317. In 2006, there was a campaign to build a new $600 million facility in downtown Sacramento, which was to be funded by a quarter cent sales tax increase over 15 years; voters overwhelmingly rejected ballot measures Q and R, leading to the NBA publicly calling for a new arena to be built at another well-known Sacramento facility, Cal Expo, the site of California's state fair. The naming rights for the arena, ARCO, expired in February 2011. The arena was renamed Power Balance Pavilion on March 1, 2011 for its new sponsor, Power Balance, a manufacturer of sports wristbands. he arena seats 17,317 for basketball, and has 30 luxury suites and 412 club seats. The configuration for ice shows and ice hockey actually runs perpendicular to the basketball court with the normal sideline seating being retractable to allow for an international standard ice rink. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



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