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A suspension is the act of suspending a human body from hooks that have been put through body piercings. These piercings are temporary and are performed just prior to the actual suspension. The process is very delicate and is typically done carefully by an experienced individual or professional of the field in order to avoid serious injury. Suspension may require and often has a small group who handle preparations and the process itself. The actual act of being suspended may take up a tiny portion of time compared to the time involved in preparation, though some people remain suspended for hours. If carried out properly, the suspendee's body will be studied to decide the proper placement, number, and size of metal hooks which are pierced into the skin to lift the person off the ground. Multiple hooks are usually located around the shoulders, upper arm, and back, as well as around the knees (this depends on the position in which the body is to be suspended). Finding the proper hook placement and number involves a great deal of skill in mathematics and an acute understanding of human anatomy and physiology, as well as the durability of the individual's skin. If the number of hooks are too few, the suspended individual's skin will be unable to withstand the body's weight and will rip. When using body areas with fairly strong skin, approximately 12 piercings may be sufficient for some people. Also, the amount of weight each hook supports must be distributed evenly throughout the entire body any imbalance risks injury. A block and tackle-like machine made for suspension is used and powerful rope that attaches to the hooks is used to slowly and carefully lift an individual a foot or two off the ground where they may remain relatively motionless for a predetermined period of time. However, depending on the type of suspension, there may be a considerable degree of freedom of movement. Suspensions are sometimes used for meditation supposedly to gain a higher level of spiritual fulfillment or awareness. It can also be used as entertainment or as performance art. Acrobatic actions may be performed, most commonly during a 'suicide' suspension. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





The orb-weaver spiders (family Araneidae) are the builders of spiral wheel-shaped webs often found in gardens, fields and forests. Their common name is taken from the round shape of this typical web. Orb-weavers have eight similar eyes, legs hairy or spiny and no stridulating organs. The family is cosmopolitan, including many well-known large or brightly colored garden spiders. There are more than 2,800 species in over 160 genera worldwide, making this the third largest family of spiders known (behind Salticidae and Linyphiidae). Generally, orb-weaving spiders are three-clawed builders of flat webs with sticky spiral capture silk. The building of a web is an engineering feat, begun when the spider floats a line on the wind to another surface. The spider secures the line and then drops another line from the center, making a "Y". The rest of the scaffolding follows with many radii of non-sticky silk being constructed before a final spiral of sticky capture silk. The third claw is used to walk on the non-sticky part of the web. Characteristically, the prey insect that blunders into the sticky lines is stunned by a quick bite and then wrapped in silk. If the prey is a venomous insect, such as a wasp, wrapping may precede biting. Many "orb-weavers" build a new web each day. Generally, towards evening, the spider will consume the old web, rest for approximately an hour, then spin a new web in the same general location. Thus, the webs of "orb-weavers" are generally free of trash accumulation common to other species such as black widow spiders. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



A balut is a fertilized duck (or chicken) egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. It is commonly sold as streetfood in the Philippines. They are common, everyday food in some other countries in Southeast Asia, such as in Laos (where it is called Khai Luk), Cambodia (Pong tea khon in Cambodian), and Vietnam. Popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac and considered a high-protein, hearty snack, balut are mostly sold by street vendors in the regions where they are available. They are often served with beer. The Filipino and Malay word balut (balot) means "wrapped" depending on pronunciation. The age of the egg before it can be cooked is a matter of local preference. In the Philippines, the ideal balut is 17 days old, at which point it is said to be balut sa puti ("wrapped in white"). The chick inside is not old enough to show its beak, feathers or claws and the bones are undeveloped. The Vietnamese prefer their balut matured from 19 days up to 21 days, when the chick is old enough to be recognizable as a baby duck and has bones that will be firm but tender when cooked. In Cambodia, it is eaten while it is still warm in its shell. It is served with nothing more than a little garnish, which is usually a mixture of lime juice and ground pepper. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The nurse shark is a common inshore bottom-dwelling shark, found in tropical and subtropical waters on the continental and insular shelves. It is frequently found at depths of one meter or less but may occur down to 12 m. Its common habitats are reefs, channels between mangrove islands and sand flats. It occurs in the Western Atlantic from Rhode Island down to southern Brazil; in the Eastern Atlantic from Cameroon to Gabon; in the Eastern Pacific from the southern Baja California to Peru; and around the islands of the Caribbean. Behavior and diet Nurse sharks are nocturnal animals, spending the day in large inactive groups of up to 40 individuals. Hidden under submerged ledges or in crevices within the reef, the nurse sharks seem to prefer specific resting sites and will return to them each day after the night's hunting. By night, the sharks are largely solitary; they spend most of their time rifling through the bottom sediments in search of food. Their diet consists primarily of crustaceans, mollusks, tunicates, sea snakes, and other fish, particularly stingrays. Their diet consists of a large number of marine invertebrates - spiny lobsters, crabs, shrimp, sea urchins, octopuses, squid, and marine snails and bivalves. They are thought to take advantage of dormant fish which would otherwise be too fast for the sharks to catch; although their small mouths limit the size of prey items, the sharks have large throat cavities which are used as a sort of bellows valve. In this way nurse sharks are able to suck in their prey. Nurse sharks are also known to graze algae and coral. Nurse sharks have been observed resting on the bottom with their bodies supported on their fins, possibly providing a false shelter for crustaceans which they then ambush and eat. The nurse shark is not widely commercially fished, but because of its sluggish behaviour it is an easy target for local fisheries. Its skin is exceptionally tough and is prized for leather; its flesh is consumed fresh and salted and its liver is utilised for oil. It is not taken as a game fish. It has been reported in some unprovoked attacks on humans but is not generally perceived as a threat. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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