SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Golden eagle

The golden eagle is one of the best-known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the most distributed species of eagle. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae; these birds are dark brown, with lighter golden-brown plumage on their napes. Immature eagles of this species have white on the tail and have white markings on the wings. Golden eagles use their agility and speed combined with powerful feet and massive, sharp talons to snatch up a variety of prey hares and marmots and other ground squirrels. Golden eagles maintain home ranges or territories that may be as large as 200 km2, they build large nests in cliffs and other high places to which they may return for several breeding years. Most breeding activities take place in the spring. Females lay up to four eggs, incubate them for six weeks. One or two young survive to fledge in about three months; these juvenile golden eagles attain full independence in the fall, after which they wander until establishing a territory for themselves in four to five years.

Once widespread across the Holarctic, it has disappeared from many areas which are now more populated by humans. Despite being extirpated from or uncommon in some of its former range, the species is still widespread, being present in sizeable stretches of Eurasia, North America, parts of North Africa, it is the largest and least populous of the five species of true accipitrid to occur as a breeding species in both the Palearctic and the Nearctic. For centuries, this species has been one of the most regarded birds used in falconry. Due to its hunting prowess, the golden eagle is regarded with great mystic reverence in some ancient, tribal cultures, it is one of the most extensively studied species of raptor in the world in some parts of its range, such as the Western United States and the Western Palearctic. The golden eagle is a large raptor, 66 to 102 centimetres in length, its wings are broad and the wingspan is 1.8 to 2.34 metres. Golden eagles' wingspan is the fifth largest among living eagle species.

Females are larger with a bigger difference in larger subspecies. Females of the large Himalayan golden eagles are about 37% heavier than males and have nearly 9% longer wings, whereas in the smaller Japanese golden eagles, females are only 26% heavier with around 6% longer wings. In the largest subspecies and females weigh 4.05 kilograms and 6.35 kg, respectively. In the smallest subspecies, A. c. japonica, males weigh females 3.25 kg. In the species overall, males average around females around 5.1 kg. The maximum size of golden eagles is debated. Large subspecies are the heaviest representatives of the genus Aquila and this species is on average the seventh-heaviest living eagle species; the golden eagle is the second heaviest breeding eagle in North America and Africa and the fourth heaviest in Asia. For some time, the largest known mass authenticated for a wild female was the specimen from the A. c. chrysaetos subspecies which weighed around 6.7 kg and spanned 2.55 m across the wings. American golden eagles are somewhat smaller than the large Eurasian species, but a massive female, banded and released in 2006 around Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest became the heaviest wild golden eagle on record, at 7.7 kg.

Captive birds have been measured with a wingspan of 2.81 m and a mass of 12.1 kg, though this mass was for an eagle bred for falconry, which tend to be unnaturally heavy. The standard measurements of the species include a wing chord length of 52–72 cm, a tail length of 26.5–38 cm and a tarsus length of 9.4–12.2 cm. The culmen averages around 4.5 cm, with a range of 3.6 to 5 cm. The bill length from the gape measures around 6 cm; the long and powerful hallux-claw can range from 4.5 to 6.34 cm, about one centimetre longer than in a bald eagle and a little more than one centimetre less than a harpy eagle. Adults of both sexes have similar plumage and are dark brown, with some grey on the inner wing and tail, a paler golden colour on the back of the crown and nape that gives the species its common name. Unlike other Aquila species, where the tarsal feathers are similar in colour to the rest of the plumage, the tarsal feathers of golden eagles tend to be paler, ranging from light golden to white.

In addition, some full-grown birds have white "epaulettes" on the upper part of each scapular feather tract. The bill is dark at the tip, fading to a lighter horn colour, with a yellow cere. Like many accipitrids, the bare portion of the feet is yellow. There are subtle differences in colouration among subspecies, described below. Juvenile golden eagles are similar to adults but tend to be darker, appearing black on the back in East Asia, they have a less faded colour. Young birds are white for about two-thirds of their tail length, ending with a black band. Juvenile eagles have white patches on the remiges at the bases of the inner primaries and the outer secondaries, forming a crescent marking on the wings which tends to be divided by darker feathers. Juvenile birds may have only traces of white on the tail. Compared to the consistently white tail, the white patches on the wing are variable. Juveniles o

Harold H. Moon Jr.

Harold Herman Moon Jr. was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions during the Battle of Leyte in World War II. Moon joined the Army from Gardena, California in August 1942, served as a private in Company G, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. Before the landing on Leyte, Moon was a persistent troublemaker and known as the "G Company screw-up." He had been confined to the stockade yet was released back to his unit, amidst strong objection, just before the battle. On the night of October 21, 1944, during a Japanese counterattack at Pawing, Leyte in the Philippines, Moon held his position manning a submachine gun despite intense enemy fire and overwhelming odds, he was killed during the battle and, on November 15, 1945, posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. Moon, aged 23 at his death, was buried at Sunset Memorial Park in his birth city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Private Moon's official Medal of Honor citation reads: He fought with conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity when powerful Japanese counterblows were being struck in a desperate effort to annihilate a newly won beachhead.

In a forward position, armed with a submachinegun, he met the brunt of a strong, well-supported night attack which enveloped his platoon's flanks. Many men in nearby positions were killed or injured, Pvt. Moon was wounded as his foxhole became the immediate object of a concentration of mortar and machinegun fire, he maintained his stand, poured deadly fire into the enemy, daringly exposed himself to hostile fire time after time to exhort and inspire what American troops were left in the immediate area. A Japanese officer, covered by machinegun fire and hidden by an embankment, attempted to knock out his position with grenades, but Pvt. Moon, after skillful maneuvering, killed him; when the enemy advanced a light machinegun to within 20 yards of the shattered perimeter and fired with telling effects on the remnants of the platoon, he stood up to locate the gun and remained exposed while calling back range corrections to friendly mortars which knocked out the weapon. A little he killed 2 Japanese as they charged an aid man.

By dawn his position, the focal point of the attack for more than 4 hours, was surrounded. In a fanatical effort to reduce it and kill its defender, an entire platoon charged with fixed bayonets. Firing from a sitting position, Pvt. Moon calmly emptied his magazine into the advancing horde, killing 18 and repulsing the attack. In a final display of bravery, he stood up to throw a grenade at a machinegun which had opened fire on the right flank, he was hit and killed, falling in the position from which he had not been driven by the fiercest enemy action. Nearly 200 dead Japanese were found within 100 yards of his foxhole; the continued tenacity, combat sagacity, magnificent heroism with which Pvt. Moon fought on against overwhelming odds contributed in a large measure to breaking up a powerful enemy threat and did much to insure our initial successes during a most important operation. List of Medal of Honor recipients Bibliography Web

Silas D. Alben

Silas D. Alben is an American mathematician and an Assistant Professor in the School of Mathematics at the University of Michigan. Alben works in the area of biologically inspired systems. Silas Alben attended Harvard College where he received in 1999 A. B. degrees in Mathematics and Physics, magna cum laude. In 2000, he joined the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, where he received a Ph. D. in Mathematics in 2004. His thesis Drag Reduction by Self-Similar Bending and a Transition to Forward Flight by a Symmetry-Breaking Instability was advised by Michael Shelley. Alben's research focuses on problems arising in biomechanics and material science; as a graduate student at NYU, Alben worked with Jun Zhang and Michael Shelley in investigating the dynamics of flexible structures and how such structures can become more aerodynamic by altering their shape. In this study, experiments visualized a short glass fiber deforming in fluid flow, analysis showed how the fiber can reduce the drag force exerted by the fluid by changing its shape.

This work was published 2002 in Nature under the title Drag Reduction Through Self-Similar Bending of a Flexible Body, was the subject of various news articles in periodicals including The New York Times and others. As a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard, Alben collaborated with Ernst A. van Nierop and Michael P. Brenner in a paper titled "How Bumps on Whale Flippers Delay Stall: An Aerodynamic Model"; the paper gave a mathematical model for this hydrodynamic phenomenon. This result, featured in MIT's Technology Review and Nature, provides a theoretical basis for potential improvements in using bumps for more stable airplanes, more agile submarines, more efficient turbine blades. In 2007, Alben investigated the self-assembly of a 3D structures from elastic sheets; this experiment, featured on New Scientist, presented a new technique in nano construction. Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow Homepage Georgia Tech faculty profile Mathematics Genealogy Project profile