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Irukandji jellyfish are tiny and extremely venomous jellyfish that are found mostly near Australia, and which cause symptoms collectively known as Irukandji syndrome. Its size is roughly no larger than a centimeter cubed. There are two known species, Carukia barnesi and the recently discovered Malo kingi. The symptoms of Irukandji syndrome were first documented by Hugo Flecker in 1952 and named after the Irukandji people whose country stretches along the coastal strip north of Cairns, Queensland. The first-known of these jellyfish, Carukia barnesi, was identified in 1964 by Dr. Jack Barnes; in order to prove it was the cause of Irukandji syndrome, he captured the tiny jelly and stung himself, his son, and a life guard. The jellyfish is very small, with a bell about one centimeter wide and four tentacles, which range in length from just a few centimeters to up to 35 cm in length. The stingers (nematocysts) are in clumps, appearing as rings of small red dots around the bell and along the tentacles. Very little is known about the life cycle and venom of Irukandji jellyfish. This is partly because they are small and sufficiently fragile to require special handling and containment. Researchers conjecture that its venom possesses such potency to enable it to quickly stun its prey, which consists of small and fast fish. Judging from statistics, it is believed that the Irukandji syndrome may be produced by several species of jellyfish, but only Carukia barnesi and Malo kingi have so far been proven to cause the syndrome. Irukandji syndrome is produced by a very small amount of venom and includes severe pains at various parts of the body (typically excruciating muscle cramps in the arms and legs, severe pain in the back and kidneys, a burning sensation of the skin and face), headaches, nausea, restlessness, sweating, vomiting, high heart rate and blood pressure, and psychological phenomena (such as the feeling of impending death). The syndrome is in part caused by release of catecholamines. The venom contains a sodium channel modulator. The sting itself is only moderately irritating; the severe syndrome is delayed for 5120 minutes (30 minutes on average). The symptoms may last from hours to several days, and victims usually require hospitalization. As with box jellyfish, vinegar will deactivate unfired nematocysts on the skin, but has no effect on the venom already in the body. Treatment is symptomatic, with antihistamines and anti-hypertensive drugs used to control inflammation and hypertension and intravenous opiates, such as morphine and fentanyl, to control the pain. Magnesium sulfate has been used to reduce pain and hypertension in Irukandji syndrome, although it has had no effect in other cases. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The Boeing 747-8 is a wide-body commercial jet airliner being developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Officially announced in 2005, the 747-8 is the fourth-generation Boeing 747 version, with lengthened fuselage, redesigned wings and improved efficiency. The 747-8 is the largest 747 version, the largest commercial aircraft built in the United States, and the longest passenger aircraft in the world. Boeing had considered larger-capacity versions of the 747 several times during the 1990s and 2000s. The 747-500X and -600X, proposed at the 1996 Farnborough Airshow, would have stretched the 747 and used a 777-derived wing, but did not attract enough interest to enter development. In 2000, Boeing offered the 747X and 747X Stretch derivatives as alternatives to the Airbus A3XX. This was a more modest proposal than the previous -500X and -600X. The 747-8 is offered in two main variants: the 747-8 Intercontinental (747-8I) for passengers and the 747-8 Freighter (747-8F) for cargo. The first 747-8F performed the model's maiden flight on February 8, 2010. Delivery of the first freighter aircraft has been postponed multiple times and is now expected in mid-2011; passenger model deliveries are to begin in late 2011 or early 2012. In December 2010, orders for the 747-8 totaled 107, including 74 of the freighter version, and 33 of the passenger version. The 747-8's first engine runs were completed in December 2009. Boeing announced the new model had successfully completed high-speed taxi tests on February 7, 2010. On February 8, 2010, after a 2.5-hour weather delay, the 747-8 Freighter made its maiden flight, taking off from Paine Field, Washington at 12:39 PST. The aircraft landed at 4:18 pm PST. Boeing estimates that more than 1,600 flight hours will be needed in order to certify the 747-8. The second test flight in late February, a ferry flight to Moses Lake, Washington, tested new navigation equipment. Further flight testing will take place in Moses Lake, conducting initial airworthiness and flutter tests, before moving to Palmdale, California for the majority of flight tests, so as to not interfere with 787 flight tests based out of Boeing Field in Seattle. Assembly of the first 747-8I was completed in February 2011. It was unveiled during a rollout ceremony in Everett, Washington on February 13, 2011. Deliveries are to begin in late 2011 or early 2012. On March 7, 2011, it was announced that Air China had agreed to purchase five 747-8Is, subject to government approval, at a price of $1.54 billion. Air China said it would use the aircraft to increase international service. The U.S. Air Force is seeking to upgrade Air Force One by replacing the Boeing VC-25 (two heavily modified 747-200Bs). Boeing is reported to be exploring a 747-8 proposal, along with a Boeing 787 variant. In 2010, South Korea government sources indicated that the country was considering purchasing the 747-8 to serve as the country's presidential aircraft. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Star of India was built in 1863 as Euterpe, a full-rigged iron windjammer ship in Ramsey, Isle of Man. After a full career sailing from Great Britain to India then to New Zealand, she became a salmon hauler on the Alaska then to California route. After retirement in 1926, she was restored between 1962 and 1963 and is now a seaworthy museum ship ported at the San Diego Maritime Museum in San Diego, United States. She is the oldest ship that still sails regularly and the oldest iron hulled merchant ship still floating. The ship is both a California and United States National Historic Landmark. The Star of India is currently home-ported at the San Diego Maritime Museum, just south of Lindbergh Field (San Diego International Airport), on the west side of North Harbor Drive at approximately Ash Street - all within the Port of San Diego tidelands. This location is slightly west of downtown San Diego, California. The other ships belonging to the Maritime Museum are always docked to the north of the Star of India. When she sails, the Star of India often remains within sight of the coast of San Diego County, and usually returns to her dock within a day. She is sailed by a skilled volunteer crew of Maritime Museum members, who train all year for the honor of taking her to sea. She has become one of the landmark ships in San Diego's Harbor. In August - September 2009, the Star of India was removed from display to a local drydock facility for a required Coast Guard inspection and various maintenance below the waterline, at a cost of approximately $225,000, and 34 weeks off display. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The M4 Super 90 is an Italian semi-automatic shotgun manufactured by Benelli Armi S.P.A. On May 4, 1998, the U.S. Army Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, requested submissions for a new 12 gauge, semi-automatic combat shotgun for the US Armed Services. In response to the request, Benelli Armi SpA of Urbino, Italy designed and built the Benelli M4 Super 90 Combat Shotgun. On August 4, 1998, five samples of the M4 were delivered to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and after intense testing, the M4 had beaten the competition. In early 1999, ARDEC awarded the M1014 Joint Service Combat Shotgun contract to Heckler & Koch, USA subsidiary for importation of the Benelli M4 Combat Shotgun. The first units (count of 20,000) were delivered to the United States Marine Corps in 1999. During testing, the prototype was called the XM1014, but after adoption, the 'X' was dropped, and the weapon was officially designated the M1014. It is also self-regulating for cartridges of varying length and power levels. It can fire 2.75 and 3-inch (76 mm) shells of differing power-levels without any operator adjustments and in any combination. Low-power rounds, such as less-lethal rubber pellets, must be cycled manually. The sights are military-style ghost ring and are adjustable in the field using only a cartridge rim. The MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny sight rail on top allows use of both conventional and night-vision sights, while retaining use of the original sights. Preliminary testing of the M4 puts its reliability at the top of the scale. It can reliably function for at least 25,000 rounds without replacement of any major parts. The steel components of the weapon feature a matte black phosphated corrosion resistant finish while the aluminum parts are matte hard-anodized. These finishes reduce the weapon's visibility during night operations. The weapon requires little maintenance and operates in all climates and weather conditions. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



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