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The United States Bullion Depository, commonly called Fort Knox, is a fortified vault building located near Fort Knox, Kentucky, which is used to store a large portion of United States official gold reserves and, occasionally, other precious items belonging or entrusted to the federal government. The United States Bullion Depository holds about 4,603 tons of gold bullion (147.4 million troy ounces). It is second in the United States only to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's underground vault in Manhattan, which holds about 5,000 metric tonnes of gold in trust for many foreign nations, central banks and official international organizations. In 1936, the U.S. Treasury Department began construction of the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky, on land transferred from the military. The Gold Vault was completed in December 1936 at a cost of $560,000, or about $7.5 million in 2007 dollars. The site is located on what is now Bullion Boulevard at the intersection of Gold Vault Road. The first gold shipments were made from January to July 1937. The majority of the United States' gold reserves were gradually shipped to the site, including old bullion and more newly made bars made from melted gold coins. Some intact coins were stored, as well. The transfer needed 500 rail cars and was sent by registered mail, protected by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. During World War II, the repository held the original U.S. Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. It also held the reserves of several European countries and several key documents from Western history; for example, it held the Crown of St. Stephen, part of the Hungarian crown jewels, given to American soldiers to prevent them from falling into Soviet hands. The repository also held one of four known copies of Magna Carta, which had been sent for display at the 1939 New York World Fair, and which, when war broke out, was kept in America for the duration. Below the fortress-like structure lies the gold vault, which is lined with granite walls and which is protected by a blast-proof door that weighs 22 tons. No single person is entrusted with the entire combination to the vault. Various members of the Depository staff must dial separate combinations known only to them. Beyond the main vault door, smaller internal cells provide further protection. The facility is ringed with several fences and is under armed guard by officers of the United States Mint Police. The Depository premises are within the site of Fort Knox, a United States Army post, allowing the Army to provide additional protection. The Depository is protected by numerous layers of physical security, alarms, video cameras, armed guards, and the Army units based at Fort Knox, including Apache helicopter gunships of 8/229 Aviation based at Godman Army Airfield, the 16th Cavalry Regiment, training battalions of the United States Army Armor School, and the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Infantry Division, totaling over 30,000 soldiers, with associated tanks, armored personnel carriers, attack helicopters, and artillery. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Battleship Cove, located in Fall River, Massachusetts, is a nonprofit maritime museum and war memorial that traces its origins to the wartime crew of the World War II battleship USS Massachusetts. This dedicated veterans group was responsible for the donation of the decommissioned vessel from the Navy and its subsequent public display in Fall River, Massachusetts. Formally registered as the U.S.S. Massachusetts Memorial Committee, Inc., Battleship Cove was incorporated as a nonprofit educational organization and granted 501 c(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service in 1964. The site is located at the confluence of the Taunton River and Mount Hope Bay, an arm of Narragansett Bay. Battleship Cove lies partially beneath the Braga Bridge and adjacent to Fall River Heritage State Park, at the heart of Fall River's waterfront. The battleship forms a small cove which serves as a protected harbor for pleasure craft during the summer months. In its first year open to the public, more than 250,000 visitors explored the historic vessel, USS Massachusetts. USS Massachusetts (BB-59), known as "Big Mamie" to her crewmembers during WWII, a battleship of the second South Dakota-class, was the seventh ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the sixth state. Her keel was laid down 20 July 1939 at the Fore River Shipyard of Quincy, Massachusetts. She was launched on 23 September 1941 sponsored by Mrs. Charles Francis Adams III, and commissioned on 12 May 1942 at Boston, Massachusetts, with Captain Francis E.M. Whiting in command. Soon after, the battleship was recognized as the official memorial to Massachusetts citizens who gave their lives in World War II (and later, the Persian Gulf War), and her interior spaces were reconfigured to accommodate exhibits. In 1972, the USS Lionfish, a Second World War-era attack submarine, joined the battleship for public display. Also that year, the Nautical Nights overnight camping program commenced as a model program, enrolling more than 500,000 youths to date. The following year, the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., a Gearing-class destroyer, was added to the fleet and immediately designated as the Commonwealth’s official memorial to the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Since 1964, Battleship Cove has hosted more than 5 million youth, veterans, and tourists. It remains one of the region’s most valuable cultural assets and one of the most appreciated by youth. As goals for continued success as an educational, historical museum, the Cove is dedicated to expanding and sustaining its outreach with programs like the Battleship Cove Community Boating Program, the Raytheon Inspiring Technological Exploration (RITE) Program, and the Veterans’ Voices Oral History Program. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Arachnoid cysts are cerebrospinal fluid covered by arachnoidal cells and collagen that may develop between the surface of the brain and the cranial base or on the arachnoid membrane, one of the three membranes that cover the brain and the spinal cord. Arachnoid cysts are a congenital disorder, and most cases begin during infancy; however, onset may be delayed until adolescence. Symptoms vary by the size and location of the cyst(s), though small cysts usually have no symptoms and are discovered only incidentally. Diagnosis is principally by MRI. Frequently, arachnoid cysts are incidental findings on MRI scans performed for other clinical reasons. In practice, diagnosis of symptomatic arachnoid cysts requires symptoms to be present, and many with the disorder never develop symptoms. The exact cause of arachnoid cysts is not known. Researchers believe that most cases of arachnoid cysts are developmental malformations that arise from the unexplained splitting or tearing of the arachnoid membrane. In some cases, arachnoid cysts occurring in the middle fossa are accompanied by underdevelopment (hypoplasia) or compression of the temporal lobe. The exact role that temporal lobe abnormalities play in the development of middle fossa arachnoid cysts is unknown. There are some cases where hereditary disorders have been connected with arachnoid cysts. Some complications of arachnoid cysts can occur when a cyst is damaged because of minor head trauma. Trauma can cause the fluid within a cyst to leak into other areas (e.g., subarachnoid space). Blood vessels on the surface of a cyst may tear and bleed into the cyst (intracystic hemorrhage), increasing its size. If a blood vessel bleeds on the outside of a cyst, a collection of blood (hematoma) may result. In the cases of intracystic hemorrhage and hematoma, the individual may have symptoms of increased pressure within the cranium and signs of compression of nearby nerve (neural) tissue. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





Meningitis is inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges. The inflammation may be caused by infection with viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms, and less commonly by certain drugs. Meningitis can be life-threatening because of the inflammation's proximity to the brain and spinal cord; therefore the condition is classified as a medical emergency. The most common symptoms of meningitis are headache and neck stiffness associated with fever, confusion or altered consciousness, vomiting, and an inability to tolerate light (photophobia) or loud noises (phonophobia). Sometimes, especially in small children, only nonspecific symptoms may be present, such as irritability and drowsiness. If a rash is present, it may indicate a particular cause of meningitis; for instance, meningitis caused by meningococcal bacteria may be accompanied by a characteristic rash. A lumbar puncture may be used to diagnose or exclude meningitis. This involves inserting a needle into the spinal canal to extract a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the fluid that envelops the brain and spinal cord. The CSF is then examined in a medical laboratory. The usual treatment for meningitis is the prompt application of antibiotics and sometimes antiviral drugs. In some situations, corticosteroid drugs can also be used to prevent complications from overactive inflammation. Meningitis can lead to serious long-term consequences such as deafness, epilepsy, hydrocephalus and cognitive deficits, especially if not treated quickly. Some forms of meningitis (such as those associated with meningococci, Haemophilus influenzae type B, pneumococci or mumps virus infections) may be prevented by immunization. Meningitis can be diagnosed after death has occurred. The findings from a post mortem are usually a widespread inflammation of the pia mater and arachnoid layers of the meninges covering the brain and spinal cord. Neutrophil granulocytes tend to have migrated to the cerebrospinal fluid and the base of the brain, along with cranial nerves and the spinal cord, may be surrounded with pus—as may the meningeal vessels. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

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