Monday, October 30, 2006

Political corruption

In broad terms, political corruption is the misuse by government officials of their governmental powers for illegitimate, usually secret, private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, like repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption.
All forms of government are susceptible to political corruption. Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement. While corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and trafficking, it is not restricted to these organized crime activities. In some nations corruption is so common that it is expected when ordinary businesses or citizens interact with government officials. The end-point of political corruption is a kleptocracy, literally "rule by thieves".
What constitutes illegal corruption differs depending on the country or jurisdiction. Certain political funding practices that are legal in one place may be illegal in another. In some countries, government officials have broad or not well defined powers, and the line between what is legal and illegal can be difficult to draw.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Sandwich is a food item naturally consisting of two pieces of bread between which are laid one or more layers of meat, vegetable, cheese or other fillings, together with optional or traditionally provided condiments, sauces, and other accompaniments. The bread is used as is, lightly buttered, or covered in a flavoured oil to enhance flavour and texture.
Sandwiches are normally carried to work or school in lunchboxes or brown paper bags to be eaten as the midday meal, taken on picnics, hiking trips, or other outings. They are also served in many restaurants as entrées, and are sometimes eaten at home, either as a quick meal or as part of a larger meal. As part of a full meal sandwiches are usually accompanied with such side dishes as a serving of soup, a salad, or potato chips or french fries and a pickle or coleslaw.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Structural failure

Structural failure refers to loss of the load-carrying capacity of a component or member within the structure or of the structure itself. Structural failure is initiated when the material is stressed to its strength limit, thus causing fracture or excessive deformations. The ultimate failure strength of the material, component or system is its maximum load-bearing capacity. When this limit is reached, damage to the material has been done, and its load-bearing capacity is reduced significantly and quickly. In a well-designed system, a localized failure should not cause immediate or even progressive collapse of the entire structure. Ultimate failure strength is one of the limit states that must be accounted for in civil engineering.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Desalination refers to any of several processes that remove the excess salt and other minerals from water in order to obtain fresh water suitable for animal consumption or irrigation, and if almost all of the salt is removed, for human consumption, sometimes producing table salt as a by-product. Desalination of brackish water is already commonplace in the U.S., where it is used to meet treaty obligations for river water
entering Mexico. Indeed, desalination has spread into use in over a hundred countries, with Saudi Arabia accounting for about 24% of total world capacity. Kuwait built the world's first large-scale desalination plant in the 1960s. Kuwait's energy reserves are so great that Kuwait is unique in using desalinated water for agriculture. The world's largest desalination plant is in Ashkelon, Israel. It began operating on August 4, 2005, and it is capable of producing 100 million cubic meters of water per year.