A ekranoplan, or ground effect vehicle (GEV), is a craft that attains level flight near the surface of the Earth, made possible by a cushion of high-pressure air created by the aerodynamic interaction between the wings and the surface known as ground effect. Also known as a wing-in-ground-effect (WIG) vehicle, flarecraft, sea skimmer, SkimMachine, or wing-in-surface-effect ship, a GEV can be seen as a transition between a hovercraft and an aircraft. However, the International Maritime Organization has classified the GEV as a ship.
A fractal is any equation or pattern, that when seen as an image, produces a picture, which can be zoomed into infinity and will still produce the same picture. The word fractal was made by Benoît Mandelbrot in 1975 from the Latin word fractus, which means ‘broken’ or ‘fractured.’ Some fractals exist only for artistic reasons, but others are very useful. Fractals are very efficient shapes for radio antennas and are used in computer chips to efficiently connect all the components.
A disco ball, mirror ball, glitter ball, ball mirror, or specular sphere is a roughly spherical object that reflects light directed at it in many directions, producing a complex display. Its surface consists of hundreds or thousands of facets, nearly all of approximately the same shape and size, and each having a mirrored surface. Usually it is mounted well above the heads of the people present, suspended from a device that causes it to rotate steadily on a vertical axis, and illuminated by spotlights, so that stationary viewers experience beams of light flashing over them, and see myriad spots of light spinning around the walls of the room. What are now sometimes called ‘disco balls’ were first widely used in nightclubs in the 1920s. They were already in existence and use before then, appearing in a description of a ballroom dance in 1897 in Boston. An early example can be seen in the nightclub sequence of Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt, a German silent film from 1927.
With the appearance of infrared networks, glitter balls have found a new application, as a method of dispersing the infrared signals. Pink Floyd used a glitter ball on their 1987 and 1994 world tours. The glitter ball used on the 1987 tour was somewhat larger than normal but nowhere near as large as the glitter ball used on the 1994 tour. This particular glitter ball is one of the largest in the world at 16 feet in diameter. Madonna used a 2-ton glitter ball that was embellished by 2 million dollars’ worth of Swarovski crystals for her Confessions Tour in 2006. The world’s largest disco ball can be found on the promenade in Blackpool, United Kingdom; it weighs 4.5 tons and is 20 feet in diameter.
A snow roller is a rare meteorological phenomenon in which large snowballs are formed naturally as chunks of snow are blown along the ground by wind, picking up material along the way, in much the same way that the large snowballs used in snowmen are made. Unlike snowballs made by people, snow rollers are typically cylindrical in shape, and are often hollow since the inner layers, which are the first layers to form, are weak and thin compared to the outer layers and can easily be blown away, leaving what looks like a doughnut or Swiss roll. Snow rollers have been seen to grow as large as two feet in diameter, but the following conditions are needed for snow rollers to form: The ground must be covered by a layer of ice to which snow will not stick. The layer of ice must be covered by wet, loose snow with a temperature near the melting point of ice. The wind must be strong enough to move the snow rollers, but not strong enough to blow them too fast.
Alternatively, gravity can move the snow rollers as when a snowball, such as those that will fall from a tree or cliff, lands on steep hill and begins to roll down the hill. Because of this last condition, snow rollers are more common in hilly areas. However, the precise nature of the conditions required makes them a very rare phenomenon.
Chickens are kept as pets for entertainment and educational reasons along with homegrown eggs and meat. Hens can be tamed by hand feeding but roosters often become aggressive and noisy. Breeds such as silkies and many bantams are generally docile and are sometimes recommended as pets which can be kept near children. In many countries chicks (and other pet animals like rabbits) are often dyed unnatural colors before sale as pets.
The Technics SL-1200 are a series of turntables manufactured since October 1972 by Matsushita under the brand name of Technics. Originally released as a high fidelity consumer record player, it quickly became adopted among radio and club disc jockeys. Since its release in 1978, SL-1200MK2 and its successors have been the most common turntable for DJing and scratching.
David Elsewhere (b. 1979) is an illusionary dancer from Santa Ana, California. He became known through a viral video clip —often titled Kolla2001— of his participation in the 2001 edition of the Korean American talent show Kollaboration, dancing to Kraftwerk’s song Expo 2000. The clip showcased Bernal’s characteristic take on the contemporary dance styles of popping and abstract waving. Performances of these dances were rare at the time, and the clip became very popular when it circulated on the internet.
The Book of Mormon is a musical written by South Park creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Avenue Q writer, Robert Lopez. The show tells the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent off to spread their faith in a dangerous part of Uganda. Scott Rudin and Anne Garafino are listed as the producers. The show is expected to debut on Broadway at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre on March 24, 2011.