click links in text for more info
SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Penstemon penlandii

Penstemon penlandii is a rare species of flowering plant in the plantain family known by the common names Penland penstemon and Penland's beardtongue. It is endemic to Colorado in the United States, where it is known only from a strip of land about five miles long in central Grand County. There are two occurrences totalling about 8600 individuals; this is a federally listed endangered species of the United States. This plant was discovered in the 1980s during surveys for Osterhout's milkvetch, another rare local endemic; the two plants are found only in Middle Park, a valley with seleniferous badlands that host a unique flora. The penstemon grows in clay, rich in selenium, an element toxic to most other plants in high concentrations. In adjacent stretches of land that have a lower selenium content the penstemon population becomes thinner and it is replaced by sagebrush; the penstemon grows in the shade of the banks of runoff channels. This perennial herb arises from a woody caudex attached to the thick root system.

The flowering stems are up to 25 centimeters tall with linear leaves. The inflorescence contains up to 15 purple-blue flowers each measuring 1.5 centimeters long. They are tubular opening into wide mouths containing staminodes tipped with orange hairs; the plants are self-compatible, but for more efficient fruit production the flowers must be visited by pollinators. Many species of bees of genus Osmia, pollinate the flowers, as does the beardtongue-specialist pollen wasp Pseudomasaris vespoides. Blooming occurs in July; the plant occurs in a section of land in northern Middle Park measuring about 5 miles or 2.4 kilometers long and under a kilometer wide. It was added to the US Endangered Species List the same day as its fellow local endemic Osterhout's milkvetch, they are both rare and are threatened by off-road vehicle use in their barren, dry habitat. The penstemon is threatened by the maintenance of a nearby road. Mineral exploration may be a threat in the area

Abhirami (film)

Abhirami is a 1992 Tamil language drama film, directed by Dilip Kumar, making his directorial debut. The film features Saravanan and Kasthuri in lead roles, with an ensemble supporting cast including Anju, Rohini and Senthil; the film, produced by R. B. Choudary, had musical score by debutant Mano Ranjan and was released on 27 November 1992. Abhirami has five daughters including Dhanam, Maheshwari; the eldest Dhanam is a soft-spoken woman who worked as typist, while Rajeshwari is a short-tempered woman, Maheshwari is a carefree teenager and the last two are little girls. Saravanan is an orphan and jobless youth, in love with Dhanam, he lives in a small hotel with his new friend Ramkanth. Saravanan finds a decent job in a clothes shop, he moves with his friend Ramkanth near Dhanam's house. Saravanan becomes one of their well-wishers but Saravanan comes to know that Dhanam will get married soon to someone else; the heartbroken Saravanan vacates the house. On the wedding day, Abhirami has an accident and their jewels have been stolen.

Saravanan rushes Abhirami to the hospital, he takes jewels from his boss' daughter Vasanthi, a widow. Afterwards, the wedding takes place. After the wedding, Saravanan reveals. Saravanan doesn't tell the truth for fear. Now, the remaining four girls accept Saravanan as their brother and he decides to live with them. Saravanan and Vasanthi will get married soon; the film score and the soundtrack were composed by film composer Deva. The soundtrack, released in 1992, features 7 tracks with lyrics written by Kalidasan and Dilip Kumar. Ayyappa Prasad of The New Indian Express gave the film a positive review: "Dilip Kumar has handled the story with finesse" and praised the lead actors

Alexei Parshchikov

Alexei Maximovich Parshchikov was a Russian poet and translator. Born in Olga, Primorsky Krai, Russian SFSR to the family of a famous physician, Maxim Reiderman, a surgeon, L. S. Parschikova, Parshchikov was raised in the Ukrainian SSR and attended the Kiev Academy of Agriculture, he spent two years as an agricultural scientist before entering Maxim Gorky Literature Institute. In 1993, he received an MA from Stanford University, his dissertation was devoted to the works of Dmitri Prigov. Parshchikov was regarded as the major figure of the Meta-metaphorist movement, which Parshchikov founded along with Aleksandr Eremenko, Ivan Zhdanov and Ilya Kutik. In the last two decades, his works have been translated into fifteen languages, his publications in English include Blue Vitriol, translated by Michael Palmer, Michael Molnar, John High and with an Introduction by Marjorie Perloff. He resided in Cologne and died there. PennSound page Bard Without Borders: for a Russian poet, freedom poses challenges Oil, This poem by Alexei Parshchikov is translated here as a collaboration between Sergey Levchin, Richard Wayne Chambliss, Jr. and what is described as "Parshchikov's interlinear, editorial feedback from the poet Eugene Ostashevsky".

Alexei Parschikov 1954–2009 This "cyber-tombeau" at Silliman's Blog by poet Ron Silliman includes comments and links

VR (nerve agent)

VR is a "V-series" unitary nerve agent related to the better-known VX nerve agent. It became a prototype for the series of Novichok agents. According to chemical weapons expert Jonathan Tucker, the first binary formulation developed under the Soviet Foliant program was used to make Substance 33, differing from VX only in the alkyl substituents on its nitrogen and oxygen atoms. "This weapon was given the code name Novichok." The development of VR started in 1957, after the Soviet Union obtained information about detection of high level of toxicity in phosphorylthiocholines by a team from the Soviet Union's Scientific Research Institute No. 42. Sergei Zotovich Ivin, Leonid Soborovsky, Iya Danilovna Shilakova jointly developed this analogue of VX, they completed their work in 1963 and were awarded the Lenin Prize for their achievement. A binary weapon comprising two less toxic precursors which mixed during flight to form Substance 33 was developed by a team led by Nikolai Kuznetsov, for which they were awarded the 1990 Lenin Prize.

In 1972 the Soviets opened a manufacturing plant for VR in Novocheboksarsk. All facilities in USSR produced 15,557 tons of VR according to their declaration to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, although most if not all of this has now been destroyed under disarmament treaties. VR has similar lethal dose levels to VX, as well as being similar in appearance. However, due to usage of diethylamino radicals instead of diisopropylamino it is more prone to decomposition; the former are worse at sterically protecting the nitrogen atom from attacking either phosphorus or the α-carbon atom adjacent to sulfur than the latter. According to UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Detection Department scientists Robin M. Black and John M. Harrison, chemical stability was an important factor why of all the toxic phosphorylthiocholines, ethyl N-2-diisopropylaminoethyl methylphosphonothiolate in particular, was weaponized in the West. According to Russian CW developer Vil Mirzayanov, in the late 1980s a group of GosNIIOKhT chemists led by Georgiy Drozd prepared a scientific report that Substance 33 had much lower shelf life than VX.

The report, writes Mirzayanov, caused'panic' in the institute top management and the military representative office, was met with administrative resistance. This finding was independently verified by another chemist Igor Revelskiy but his report wasn't approved either. Following the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, former head of the GosNIIOKhT security department Nikolay Volodin said in an interview to Novaya Gazeta that Substance 33 was decomposing too in combat conditions, implied that this fact may have influenced the decision to continue research on the Novichok program. Both agents have similar symptoms and method of action to other nerve agents that act on cholinesterase, treatment remains the same. However, the window for treating second generation V series seizures is shorter, as they denature the acetylcholinesterase protein in a similar manner to soman, making treatment with the standard nerve gas antidote pralidoxime ineffective unless it is given soon after exposure. Pre-treatment with pyridostigmine prior to exposure, treatment with other drugs such as atropine and diazepam after exposure, will reduce symptoms of nerve agent toxicity but may not be sufficient to prevent death if a large dose of nerve agent has been absorbed.

In addition to the standard seizures, some of the second generation V series agents are known to cause comas. A-234 Novichok agent

Watford City Air Force Station

Watford City Air Force Station is a joint United States Air Force and Federal Aviation Administration installation located about 40 km southwest of Watford City, North Dakota. It is the site of an ARSR-4 radar system, which provides air traffic surveillance along the US-Canada border, as well as limited weather radar data. Established as United States Air Force gap-filler station TM-177B with an unmanned Bendix AN/FPS-18 Radar providing data through Dickinson Air Force Station/706th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, the current facility was activated c. 1979 as a Joint Surveillance System facility with an Air Route Surveillance Radar. Winkler, David F. Searching the Skies: The Legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program. U. S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories. LCCN 97020912. Retrieved 2012-03-26. National Weather Service - Watford City ARSR-4 Radar 786th AC&W Squadron at Minot Air Force Station