Human Environment

military intelligence

The discipline of collecting, analyzing, and utilizing information, or intelligence, gathered from an enemy state or region. This kind of information gathering and analysis has existed since antiquity, but it was not until the advent of computers, unmanned planes, radar, and satellite imagery that intelligence gathering became the huge undertaking it is today. In the United States there are 17 intelligence gathering agencies, most notably the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Administration (NSA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). These agencies are all members of the United States Intelligence Community, founded in 1981.


An imprint made by the ridges, crests, and arches that adorn the soft pads aon our fingertips. These imprints are created by ridges that are present on the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) on the palm side at the tips of every person's fingers. When a person touches something, the naturally-occurring oils produced by the skin leave traces in the shape of the ridges of their skin. These imprints are unique to each person, which allows fingerprints to be used as identification during criminal investigations. Some consistent fingerprint patterns have been identified, including double loops, central pocket loops, loops, plain whorls, plain arches, and tented arches.


The portion of a missile, torpedo, or similar weapon that contains the material, explosive, biological, or nuclear, that hits the target first, detonating upon impact.

medical examiner

An officer of the law who is in charge of post-mortem investigations when cause of death is under suspicion or during homicide cases. Medical examiners are responsible for determining cause of death, and their opinion, expertise, and any information they collect during the course of an investigaton can be called upon in court as evidence. In some cases, no medical training is required to fill the position; in other cases, medical examiners are required to hold medical degrees, in addition to having pursued advanced training in forensics and pathology.


A catapult is a relatively simple machine that uses non-explosive force to hurl objects far distances. Subjecting the throwing arm to extreme tension and releasing it like a giant spring is often complemented with the use of a counterweight to increase the momentum of the projectile as it is released.

The force and distance achieved by catapults lend themselves to descriptive language. When someone or something hurls through space at great speed, one can describe the motion as "catapulting through space."

two-cycle engine [two-stroke engine]

Also referred to as a two-stroke engine, a two cycle engine is an internal combustion engine that requires two rotations or strokes of the piston to complete a revolution. Gasoline is fired by a spark plug, and this forces the piston downward. While the piston completes its first stroke, air and fuel are forced into the crankcase, forcing the piston back up, thus completing the second stroke and the engine revolution. Each revolution of the engine creates a single boost of power. Two-cycle engines are used in small, low-powered tools and vehicles with smaller engines, such as motorbikes or boat engines.


Also spelled "machine pistol," the machine-pistol is a relatively small, concealable handgun with a high rate of fire. Machine pistols are self-loading automatic handguns that can fire in intermittent or sustained bursts. Fed by a replaceable magazine that can hold up to 20 cartridges, machine pistols have been criticized for their inaccuracy (too much power and too little control against the weapon's kickback) and have come to be replaced by personal defense weapons, a compact version of a submachine gun.


The muscle surrounding the pupil of the eye, which gives the eye its color.


In this context, knot is a measurement of airspeed and comparable to the time it takes to accelerate over the distance of one nautical mile. To express this unit as acceleration over solid ground, one knot of distance through water or air would be approximately 1.51 mile per hour.


Newsmaking. Originally associated with reporting on current events via the printed page, currently journalism is understood as a richly complex negotiation of personal judgement, access to information, language and narrative choices, a range of analytical lenses, and the subsequent dissemination of information. These elements combine to produce "news" in the belief, or hope, that if one can observe the world, then one can know it. However, because of the range of elements listed above, the "truth" and "objectivity" of journalistic practices themselves can and should be understood as always under scrutiny.


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