Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Parachuting is performed as a recreational activity and a competitive sport, as well as for the deployment of military personnel Airborne forces and occasionally forest firefighters.
A typical jump involves individuals exiting an aircraft (usually an airplane, but sometimes a helicopter or even the gondola of a balloon), at anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 meters (3,000 to 13,000 feet) altitude. If jumping from a low altitude, the parachute is deployed immediately; however, at higher altitudes, the skydiver may free-fall for a short period of time (about a minute) before activating a parachute to slow the landing down to safe speeds (about 5 to 7 minutes).
When the parachute opens (usually the parachute will be fully inflated by 800 meters or 2,600 feet) the jumper can control the direction and speed with toggles on the end of steering lines attached to the trailing edge of the parachute, and can aim for the landing site and come to a relatively gentle stop. All modern sport parachutes are self-inflating "ram-air" wings that provide control of speed and direction similar to the related paragliders. Purists in either sport would note that paragliders have much greater lift and range, but that parachutes are designed to absorb the stresses of deployment at terminal velocity.
By manipulating the shape of the body in freefall, a skydiver can generate turns, forward motion, backwards motion, and even lift (relative to other jumpers, not the ground).
When leaving an aircraft, for a few seconds a skydiver continues to travel forward as well as down, due to the momentum created by the aircraft's speed (known as "forward throw"). The perception of a change from horizontal to vertical flight is known as the "relative wind", or informally as "being on the hill". In freefall, skydivers generally do not experience a "falling" sensation because the resistance of the air to their body at speeds above about 50 mph (80 km/h) provides some feeling of weight and direction. At normal exit speeds for aircraft (approx 90 mph (140 km/h)) there is little feeling of falling just after exit, but jumping from a balloon or helicopter can create this sensation. Skydivers reach terminal velocity (around 120 mph (190 km/h) for belly to Earth orientations, 150–200 mph (240–320 km/h) for head down orientations) and are no longer accelerating towards the ground. At this point the sensation is as of a forceful wind.
Many people make their first jump with an experienced and trained instructor – this type of skydive may be in the form of a tandem skydive. During the tandem jump the instructor is responsible for emergency procedures in the unlikely event that they will be needed, therefore freeing the student to concentrate on learning to skydive.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Monday, June 10, 2013
When the 25 m (82 ft) pedestal/building it is placed upon is taken into account, the monument has a total height of 153 m (502 ft). As of October 2008, the hill on which the statue stands is being reshaped to form two further pedestals, the upper one being 15 m tall. The total height of the monument is now said to be 208 m (682 ft).
The project as a whole was estimated to cost around $55 million, $18 million of which being spent on the statue. It was originally estimated to consist of 1,100 pieces of copper cast, with a total weight of 1,000 tonnes. Beneath the statue is a Buddhist monastery.
Plans for the construction of the Spring Temple Buddha were announced soon after the 2001 demolition of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Taliban in Afghanistan. China has condemned the systematic destruction of the Buddhist heritage of Afghanistan.
The Spring Temple Buddha derives its name from the nearby Tianrui hot spring, which spews water at 60°C and is renowned in the area for its curative properties. The Foquan Temple, built during the Tang dynasty, houses the "Bell of Good Luck", placed on top of Dragon Head peak. This bronze bell weighs 116 tons.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Popular practices include wearing masks and costumes, overturning social conventions, dancing, sports competitions, parades, etc. Similar expressions to Mardi Gras appear in other European languages sharing the Christian tradition, as it is associated with the religious requirement for confession before Lent begins.
In many areas, the term "Mardi Gras" has come to mean the whole period of activity related to the celebratory events, beyond just the single day. In some US cities, it is now called "Mardi Gras Day" or "Fat Tuesday". The festival season varies from city to city, as some traditions consider Mardi Gras the entire period between Epiphany or Twelfth Night and Ash Wednesday. Others treat the final three-day period before Ash Wednesday as the Mardi Gras.
Carnival is an important celebration in Anglican and Catholic European nations. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the week before Ash Wednesday is called "shrovetide", ending on Shrove Tuesday. It has its popular celebratory aspects as well. Pancakes are a traditional food. Pancakes and related fried breads or pastries made with sugar, fat and eggs are also traditionally consumed at this time in many parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.
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