திருக்குறள் (Thirukural)

Tuesday, 31 May, 2011

Most Expense Vehicles @ U.S.Military

The 10 Most Expensive Vehicles of U.S. Military

01. Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, better known as the Stealth Bomber, can launch conventional and nuclear weapons against the most heavily protected enemy lines on earth thanks to its ability to evade radar detection. Originally, it was supposed to be manufactured in a run of 132, but it was so expensive that the initial 1987 order was slashed to 21. The cost of the B-2 program in 1997 was $737 million, or just over $1 billion today. Combined with procurement costs, the B-2 Spirit costs over $2 billion. The craft was first used during the Kosovo War in 1999, and it has been used successfully in Iraq and Afghanistan as well. They have also been used during the 2011 Libyan uprising, according to the BBC.No other country on earth has a larger defense budget than the United States. According to the Department of Defense, its base budget for fiscal year 2010 is over $500 billion, with another $130 billion to bolster the War on Terrorism and another $33 billion in supplemental spending on top of that. And that’s not to mention Homeland Security or nuclear arsenal maintenance.A lot of this money is spent on aircraft, tanks and ships, all of which are top – of – line and represent the furthest advances in military technology. In other words, they cost a lot of money. 09 more after the break...

 02. Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey
 The Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey is a versatile aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing capabilities similar to those of a helicopter. However, it’s much faster than any existing chopper and it can fly at speeds as high as those of conventional turboprop airplanes. It was first used for combat in 2007 in Iraq, and the Marine Corps intends to use them in Afghanistan by late 2011. Unfortunately, the Osprey was plagued by a series of accidents during its design and testing phase between 1991 and 2000, and during that period the aircraft was involved in multiple accidents that caused thirty fatalities. Since 2008, the Osprey program has cost $27 billion, and as of 2010, each unit has cost $67 million.

03. USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77)
 Named for World War II veteran and former President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) is the final Nimitz supercarrier to be produced for the US Navy. It was commissioned in 2001 and built by Northrop Grumman for a cost of $6.2 billion.

The carrier was completed in 2009, and is docked in Virginia. At almost 1,100 feet in length, it’s one of the longest warships in the world. Its top speed is over 30 knots, which it reaches with the help of two onboard nuclear reactors. This power source is capable of keeping the ship running for more than twenty years without once having to refuel.

04. Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

The F-35 Lightning II was developed as part of a joint program between the US, the UK and other allies known as the Joint Strike Fighter program. It was developed for use in air, ground and reconnaissance missions, it has a wingspan of 35 feet and a length of over 51 feet. Its internal fuel capacity is over 18,000 pounds and it can reach speeds of 1,200 miles per hour.

The F-35 Lightning II is armed with a 4-barreled Gatling cannon and eight types of missiles, and if all else fails, it also has a B61 nuclear bomb. The cost for one aircraft is $122 million. The US plans to purchase over 2,000 units, at a cost of $323 billion. When this deal was cut in 2001, it made Lockheed Martin the recipient of the largest military contract in history.

05. McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet
The F/A-18 Hornet was introduced by McDonnell Douglas and is manufactured by Boeing, who acquired the company in 1997. After making it maiden voyage in 1978, it was introduced in 1983 and since then, it has been used in a variety of capacities. It was used in Operation Desert Storm, and it’s the featured aircraft of the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron. However, its primary functions are reconnaissance and air support.

The Hornet can reach a maximum speed of 1190 miles per hour, and it can climb up to 50,000 feet in a minute. Outside of the US, the fighter is used by the armed forces of such countries as Australia, Canada and Switzerland, and it has appeared in the 1996 science fiction film Independence Day as the aircraft used to defeat the alien menace. A 2006 report by the US Navy estimated that the cost of one unit is $57 million.

06. Boeing EA-18G Growler
The Boeing EA-18G Growler is a carrier-based fighter used for electronic warfare. It can disrupt radar and jam an enemy communication system with electromagnetic radiation and directed-energy weapons. Because of its use as an electronic warfare fighter, it carries no guns, although it carries missiles for self-defense.

The Growler is a modified version of the F/A-18F Super Hornet, and it’s relatively new; it went into production in 2007 and only began operating in September 2009. The aircraft has a wingspan of over 44 feet and a length of over 60 feet. According to the US Navy, it costs $67 million to manufacture a single unit.

07. Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle
 The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle had its fifteen minutes of fame when 2008 presidential candidate John McCain cited the amphibious assault vehicle as the basis for a costly program that was wasting billions of taxpayer dollars. Developed for the US Marine Corps, it is deployed at sea and transports a full marine rifle squad to shore, then operates on land with the full capabilities of a tank.

The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle is manufactured by General Dynamics, and the cost for each unit is over $22 million. To date, the program, which is expected to be complete in 2015, has a project cost of $15 billion, $3 billion of which has already been spent. The Bowles-Simpson Commission has recommended that the program be cancelled, and Secretary of Defense Gates said in January 2011 that he believes the program should end.

08. Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye
 The E-2 Hawkeye is an airborne early warning aircraft that dates back to the 1960s. It has been upgraded to the E-2B and E-2C models when advances were made to its radar and communications capabilities, but the most recent model, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, is the most sophisticated yet. It features a new radar system that triples the craft’s ability to monitor territory.

The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, which took its first flight in 2007, costs $232 million to produce. It features a brand new avionics suite, complete with satellite communications capability, and the capability for midair refueling. According to Northrup Grumman, the aircraft began delivery to the US Navy in 2010.

09. Boeing C-17 Globemaster III
 The C17A Globemaster III is a military transport aircraft in operation since 1993. The plane, which can drop over 100 paratroopers into a war zone at one time, has been used to move troops into Iraq and Afghanistan, and has also been used to deliver humanitarian aid and perform medical evacuations.

The price for one unit is $191 million. McDonnell Douglas developed it during the 1980s for strategic and tactical airlift, and it’s used by the militaries of the U . K . and Canada, as well as by NATO. Both the United Arab Emirates and India are planning to use the aircraft as well.

10. Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
 According to its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, the F-22 Raptor is the best combat aircraft on earth. While this might seem tantamount to saying your son is brilliant, one look at the aircraft’s capabilities actually bears out the manufacturer’s statement. It can break the sound barrier, it can avoid detection by radar and it can shoot down cruise missiles.

Unfortunately, an Air Force budget document estimated that one unit costs $150 million, with an overall program cost of $65 billion. The high price inspired the Defense Department to call for the program’s end in 2009. The Senate voted to end it in July of that year, and when the military policy bill was signed into law three months later, funding for further production of the F-22 had been cut.
Thanks to source: http://ritemail.blogspot.com/2011/05/10-most-expensive-vehicles-of-us.html

Fighting Fatigue

Fighting Fatigue with Diet

Everyone from time to time experiences fatigue; for some it is an almost daily struggle. It can be a serious drag on your mood. Broadly speaking, fatigue is simply mental or physical exhaustion. In many ways it is a normal phenomenon, a process that slows the body down at the end of the day and prepares us for sleep, or protects overworked muscles from possible injury. Too often however, fatigue is a negative force in our lives: at best an inconvenience, at worst completely debilitating. Though fatigue is poorly understood, some simple dietary changes can help us keep fatigue from getting us down.
Drink plenty of water. We've all been told a thousand times, but a lot of us still don't get enough. Mild dehydration is a common and often overlooked cause of fatigue. Dehydration can reduce blood flow to organs, slowing down your brain—and you along with it. Drink about eight glasses of water a day, and don't wait until you're thirsty.
Eat breakfast. The brain is fuel-hungry, using up to 30 percent of calories. A good breakfast refills our energy stores, keeping lethargy at bay during the morning hours. This is especially true for children, who have a higher metabolism and smaller energy reserves. Include carbohydrates at breakfast—a whole grain muffin with peanut butter, a piece of fruit and a glass of skim milk.
 Eat protein and carbs in combination, especially at lunch. It's not your imagination: that drowsy, dopey feeling you get around 4pm is part of your brain's natural daily rhythms. Dr. Judith Wurtman, a pioneering food researcher at MIT, recommends eating carbohydrates and protein in tandem at lunchtime to fight the afternoon doldrums. Protein contains the amino acid tryptophan, precursor of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes a calm, relaxed feeling, which helps to fight emotional fatigue. Eaten with protein, carbohydrates may boost the brain's intake of tryptophan. Protein-rich foods also contain tyrosine, a precursor to neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, promoters of alertness, attention, and motivation.
"There's one group of people who are especially susceptible to afternoon fatigue," says Wurtman. "They're called 'women.'" Women often choose skimpy salads for lunch, leaving them at a loss for the nutrients they need. Opt instead for lean protein and unrefined carbohydrates to elevate energy and mood.
Use caffeine judiciously. Caffeinated beverages fight fatigue. Caffeine not only makes you feel more energized, it also increases alertness, reaction speed and ability to think clearly for up to three hours. Harris Lieberman, Ph.D., research psychologist for the U.S. Army, reports that even if you're already rested, a single can of cola can improve vigilance—the ability to pay attention to a boring task. But five or six cups of coffee a day can make you irritable and jittery, actually decreasing performance on some tasks; caffeine late in the day can cause insomnia. If caffeine's your thing, try one cup in the morning and a Diet Coke with lunch.
Get enough calories, but avoid big meals. While overeating is a serious problem for many folks (and can itself lead to fatigue), if you're an intensely active person or you're on a stringent diet, you may not be getting enough calories. Needs vary: take care to consume enough calories for your gender, body type and activity level. High-intensity exercisers need to get enough protein.
Don't, however, take all your calories in one or two daily feasts. Instead, eat five or six smaller meals. A full stomach draws blood to the belly and away from the brain, leaving you listless and dull. Smaller meals also help to keep insulin levels constant, avoiding fluctuations of energy and mood.
Eat iron-rich foods. Iron enables blood to carry oxygen to the organs of the body. Deprived of adequate oxygen, the brain cannot function optimally, leading to lack of mental acuity and feelings of fatigue. Iron intake is not in general a problem for men, but many women have mild iron deficiency. If you suspect you're not getting enough iron, boost your intake with foods like lean red meat, liver, spinach, and apricots.

Source: http://www.psychologytoday.com/collections/201012/feed-your-brain/fatigue-fighting-foods

World No Tobacco Day

World No Tobacco Day is one of many other world health awareness days throughout the year organized by the WHO, including World Mental Health Day, World AIDS Day, and World Blood Donor Day, among others.

              World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed around the world every year on May 31. It is meant to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the globe. The day is further intended to draw global attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects, which currently lead to 5.4 million deaths worldwide annually. The member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day in 1987. In the past twenty years, the day has been met with both enthusiasm and resistance across the globe from governments, public health organizations, smokers, growers, and the tobacco industry.  

Monday, 30 May, 2011

The Flavor Cleverness

Keen Cuisine: The Flavor of Cleverness

Sweet reasons to savor the cocoa bean. Chocolate enriches our power to meet mental challenges.

Food of the gods—and that's merely the formal name of the plant that yields the seductive lusciousness of theobroma cacao, otherwise known as chocolate. Its cocoa-bearing seeds were so prized that the Aztecs of Mexico used them as currency.
In the modern world, chocolate is more often a currency of love and affection. Yet, as science sinks its teeth into the links between what we eat and the state of our health, it is serving up some particularly sweet reasons to savor the confection.
Cocoa turns out to be rich in a specific class of antioxidants that boost blood flow to both the heart and the brain. Researchers have found that chocolate processed to retain high levels of these antioxidants known as flavanols helps even healthy adults shift their mental resources to quickly and accurately meet the demands of complex cognitive tasks.
"Our study showed that acute consumption of  flavanol-rich cocoa beverage was associated with increased blood flow to gray matter for two to three hours," reports Ian A. Macdonald of the University of Nottingham Medical School. "This raises the possibility that certain food components like cocoa flavanols may be beneficial in increasing brain blood flow and enhancing brain function among older adults or for others in situations where they may be cognitively impaired, such as fatigue or sleep deprivation." 
In earlier studies, Macdonald found that the improvement in blood flow seen in people given a flavanol-rich cocoa beverage stimulates the production of nitric oxide, a critical biological messenger prompting even the tiniest blood vessels to relax and deliver a bounty of blood. That may explain why cocoa has particular benefits to the brain.
A number of vegetable-based foods—among them tea, purple grapes, cranberries, as well as cocoa—are rich in antioxidants. But chocolate has its own unique profile of flavanols. German scientists recently found that cocoa—but not green or black tea—lowers blood pressure in people being treated for hypertension. Even moderate degrees of high blood pressure, researchers believe, are at the root of the cognitive decline seen in aging.
Not all chocolate is created equal. The key ingredient is cocoa, which is naturally low in fat and which varies dramatically in antioxidant content depending on processing methods. Macdonald relied on cocoa specially processed to enhance flavanol content. Dark chocolate has the highest cocoa content, and candy manufacturers are engaged in a virtual arms race to turn it into a health food by boosting its flavanol power even beyond nature's largesse. Not only does milk dilute the overall cocoa content of chocolate, it increases saturated fat levels too, countering cocoa's blood-borne benefits. Still, studies have found that even the fats in dark chocolate may help lower cholesterol levels—and preliminary studies suggest that they may even aid diabetics by boosting insulin sensitivity.

Source: http://www.psychologytoday.com/collections/201012/feed-your-brain/the-flavor-cleverness

A new look at the wall

Thinking about unusual and interesting wallpaper to decorate your walls. Site EazyWalls a wide selection of great works of art - photographs and illustrations that can be used as photo-wallpaper. Prices start at $ 230, depending on size. To choose from different styles of photos to your tastes - historical ruins, breathtaking ocean views, funny little creatures, space themes, urban landscapes, flowers and even the American flag. Moreover, you can order the wallpaper of your favorite photos or illustrations. 35 more images after the break...

Thanks to Source: ritemail.blogspot - FEB2011