Also known as a cruise liner, not an ocean liner.
- The largest cruise ship, Allure of the Seas, is 361.8 m (1,187 feet) in length, 65 meters (208 feet) in width, and approximately 20 storeys high.
- The first cruise was believed to be performed by the Augusta Victoria on the 22nd January 1891, for two months and 241 passengers.
- The first cruise liner built especially as a cruise ship was the Prinzessin Victoria Luise, from Germany which was finished in 1900.
- Many cruise ships have guns to protect the ship and passengers from modern day pirates.
- Between 2005 and the 2012 Costa Concordia disaster (not inclusive) only 16 fatalities have occurred amongst 100 million people who have cruised during that time.
Cruise Ship 5 January 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruise_ship>
- An aeroplane is a winged aircraft capable of flight by being propelled by jet engine or propellers.
- An aeroplane is also known as a plane or an airplane.
- The wings of an aeroplane are designed to give lift to the plane when taking off.
- In most aeroplanes, engines are typically light piston engines or gas turbines.
- Aeroplanes are made for different purposes, including military, service (emergency, cargo, mail, etc), carrying public passengers, or for fun.
- The first aeroplane was invented by the Wright Brothers and was officially manned and flown successfully in December 17, 1903.
- The heaviest aeroplane is the ‘Antonov An-225 Mriya’ and weighs 640 tonnes .
- Aeroplanes lift off the ground and move through the air by letting off enough air to push air and gas downwards.
- The largest aeroplane is the ‘Antonov An-225 Mriya’ and seats 900 passengers.
- An aeroplane’s fuel tank capacity ranges from 45 litres to 227 124 litres (12 gallons to 60,000 gallons).
Aircraft 18 November 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft>
Supercross. No crosses aren’t super…
- Supercross is motorcycle racing that uses off-road motorcycles on a track.
- Another name for supercross is SX.
- Supercross tracks are normally made out of artificial dirt, with steep jumps and obstacles.
- Supercross comes from the sport motocross, another motorcycling organisation. Both ‘crosses’ are similar in many ways and are different as well – supercross is for more experienced riders due to a more difficult track involving higher risks and the potential of greater injury.
- The first supercross race commenced in 1972, California and was named ‘Super Bowl of Motocross’.
- AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) supercross competitions are held from late December – mid May and consists of 17 rounds.
- The winners of world Supercross competitions from 2003-2012 were Chad Reed; Heath Voss; Ricky Charmichael; James Stewart Jr; Ryan Dungey; and Ryan Villopoto. All are Americans, except Chad Reed who is an Australian.
- There are three supercross classes: Supercross Class, Supercross Lite East and Supercross Lite West.
- The popular supercross teams are Hart & Huntington, Honda Muscle Milk, Jeff Ward Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Monster Energy Kawasaki, Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki, Motor Concepts, Red Bull KTM, Rockstar Valli Yamaha, Troy Lee Designs, Two Two Motor Sports, Yoshimura Suzuki and Legends.
- According to Chad Reed, most supercross riders spend about one and half hours training on their motorcycle every day. Other training includes keeping fit.
AMA Supercross Championship 16 November 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supercross>
4×4 – Are you ready for a rocky ride!
- A four wheel drive is commonly known as a 4×4 (four by four) or a 4WD and the first use of the term ‘4×4’ was used for North american military vehicles in the 1940’s.
- A four wheel drive is a vehicle that has power from the engine transferred to all four wheels, rather than the common vehicle, where it is transferred only to two wheels.
- The first four wheel drive car was made in 1903 by Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker.
- Four wheel drive vehicles are designed to travel on soft and muddy terrain as well as on normal road surfaces.
- 4×4 vehicles have different suspension to normal cars, which means there is more wheel travel and space between the bottom of the car and the terrain.
- 4x4s and SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles) have the fastest growing vehicle production rate in the world.
- 4x4s usually have a high and low gearbox allowing the vehicle to drive at slow or fast speeds depending on the terrain.
- Some four wheel drive vehicles are developed to always be in 4WD mode. Older 4x4s have a 2WD and 4WD mode, meaning you have to switch to 2WD mode whenever on hard surfaces.
- Jeeps and Land Rovers are the most famous four wheel drive vehicles.
- Often four wheel drive owners spend lots of money on their vehicle, which sometimes exceeds the value of the vehicle.
Four-wheel Drive19 November 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-wheel_drive>
Graham, I 2006, Cars and Bikes, QED Publishing, United Kingdom
Big, no huge, no enormous, no GIGANTIC!
- The first monster trucks were pickup trucks with large wheels and suspension.
- Lots of monster truck competitions and shows contain doughnut, jumping, and crushing cars performances.
- The first monster trucks were invented around the late 1970s.
- The modern monster truck looks like and literally is a four wheel drive dune buggy.
- The first trucks were made to claim the title of the ‘Worlds Biggest Truck’ competition.
- At the competition, the monster trucks ‘Bearfoot’, ‘King Kong’ and ‘Bigfoot’ gained the most attention.
- Monster trucks have steering mechanisms at the front and the rear so they can turn sharper corners.
- Drivers must wear fire suits, safety harnesses and helmets, as well as head and neck restraints.
- Monster trucks have three switches which can cut off its electricity and engine if anything goes bad.
- The most famous and most popular monster trucks are ‘Bigfoot’ and ‘Grave Digger’.
Monster Truck 20 October 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monster_truck>
Sirens sound, the ambulance is on the way!
- Ambulances are transportation for sick or hurt people, and are often used as an emergency vehicle.
- Most ambulances are specially modified and fitted out vans packed with medical equipment, and have prominent colours and designs on the exterior to gain maximum attention.
- In an emergency, ambulances use loud sirens and coloured, flashing lights to warn people to get out of the way.
- Ambulances can be in the form of a car, train, truck, van, bicycle, trailer, motorbike, cart, bus, helicopter, wing aircraft, boat, and hospital ships.
- The word ‘ambulance’ comes from the Latin word ‘ambulare’, which means walk or move about.
- The first ambulances were carts and used in 1487, by the Spanish.
- There are normally two ambulance officers, paramedics, that travel in an ambulance. One drives the vehicle and the other attends to the sick person whilst in transit.
- Ambulances are more likely to be involved in a car crash than fire trucks and police cars.
- As well as containing equipment to treat patients, ambulances are also normally equipped with two-way radios, mobile data terminals, video cameras, tail lifts or ramps, trauma lighting, air conditioning and data recorders.
- In an emergency, ambulances may be allowed to use a red traffic light or stop sign as a ‘give way’ sign and/or be allowed to break the speed limit.
Ambulance 26 October 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambulance>
Graham, I 2006, Emergency!, QED Publishing, United Kingdom