Sickle

A sickle, bagging hook or reaping-hook, is a hand-held agricultural tool designed with variously curved blades and typically used for harvesting, or reaping, grain crops or cutting succulent forage chiefly for feeding livestock, either freshly cut or dried as hay. Falx was a synonym but was later used to mean any of a number of tools that had a curved blade that was sharp on the inside edge such as a scythe.

Since the beginning of the Iron Age hundreds of region-specific variants of the sickle have evolved, initially of iron and later steel. This great diversity of sickle types across many cultures can be divided into smooth or serrated blades, both of which can be used for cutting either green grass or mature cereals using slightly different techniques. The serrated blade that originated in prehistoric sickles still dominates in the reaping of grain and is even found in modern grain-harvesting machines and in some kitchen knives.

Sickle
Hasiya krish
Nepalese sickle from Panchkhal
ClassificationCutting
BLW Stained Glass Panel (August)
One of 12 roundels depicting the "Labours of the Months" (1450-1475)

History

Pre-Neolithic

The Oldest Sickle, Flint & Resin, Tahunian Culture, c. 7000 BC
A very early sickle, c. 7000 BC, flint and resin, Tahunian culture, Nahal Hemar cave, now in the Israel Museum.

The development of the sickle in Mesopotamia can be traced back to times that pre-date the Neolithic Era. Large quantities of sickle blades have been excavated in sites surrounding Israel that have been dated to the Epipaleolithic era (18000-8000 BC).[1] Formal digs in Wadi Ziqlab, Jordan have unearthed various forms of early sickle blades. The artifacts recovered ranged from 10 to 20 cm in length and possessed a jagged edge. This intricate ‘tooth-like’ design showed a greater degree of design and manufacturing credence than most of the other artifacts that were discovered. Sickle blades found during this time were made of flint, straight and used in more of a sawing motion than with the more modern curved design. Flints from these sickles have been discovered near Mt. Carmel, which suggest the harvesting of grains from the area about 10,000 years ago.[2]

Neolithic

Museum Quintana - Neolithische Sichel
Neolithic sickle

The sickle had a profound impact on the Agricultural Revolution by assisting in the transition to farming and crop based lifestyle. It is now accepted that the use of sickles led directly to the domestication of Near Eastern Wild grasses.[1] Research on domestication rates of wild cereals under primitive cultivation found that the use of the sickle in harvesting was critical to the people of early Mesopotamia. The relatively narrow growing season in the area and the critical role of grain in the late Neolithic Era promoted a larger investment in the design and manufacture of sickle over other tools. Standardization to an extent was done on the measurements of the sickle so that replacement or repair could be more immediate. It was important that the grain be harvested at the appropriate time at one elevation so that the next elevation could be reaped at the proper time.[2] The sickle provided a more efficient option in collecting the grain and significantly sped up the developments of early agriculture.[3]

Bronze Age

The sickle remained common in the Bronze Age, both in the Ancient Near East and in Europe. Numerous sickles have been found deposited in hoards in the context of the European Urnfield culture (e.g. Frankleben hoard), suggesting a symbolic or religious significance attached to the artifact.

In archaeological terminology, Bronze Age sickles are classified by the method of attaching the handle. E.g. the knob-sickle (German Knopfsichel) is so called because of a protruding knob at the base of the blade which apparently served to stabilize the attachment of the blade to the handle.[4]

Iron Age

1255 - Keramikos Museum, Athens - Iron tool - Photo by Giovanni Dall'Orto, Nov 12 2009
Ancient Greek iron sickle, Kerameikos Archaeological Museum, Athens.

The sickle played a prominent role in the Druids' Ritual of oak and mistletoe as described from a single passage in Pliny the Elder's Natural History:

A priest arrayed in white vestments climbs the tree and, with a golden sickle, cuts down the mistletoe, which is caught in a white cloak. Then finally they kill the victims, praying to a god to render his gift propitious to those on whom he has bestowed it. They believe that mistletoe given in drink will impart fertility to any animal that is barren and that it is an antidote to all poisons.[5]

Due to this passage, despite the fact that Pliny does not indicate the source on which he based this account, some branches of modern Druidry (Neodruids) have adopted the sickle as a ritual tool.

Americas

Sickle and throwing knife at Manchester Museum
Congolese sickle, or Trumbash, (left) and replica throwing knife (right) at Manchester Museum

The sickle has been discovered in southwest North America with a unique structure. These sickles are said to possibly have originated from the Far East. There is evidence that Kodiak islanders had for cutting grass “sickles made of a sharpened animal shoulder blade”.[6] The artifacts found in present-day Arizona and New Mexico resemble curved tools that were made from the horns of mountain sheep. A similar site discovered sickles made from other material such as the Caddo Sickle, which was made from a deer mandible. Scripture from early natives document the use of these sickles in the cutting of grass. The instruments ranged from 13 to 16 inches tip to tip. Several other digs in eastern Arizona uncovered wooden sickles that were shaped in a similar fashion. The handles of the tools help describe how the tool was held in such a way so that the inner portion that contained the cutting surface could also serve as a gathering surface for the grain. Sickles were sharpened by scraping a shape beveled edge with a coarse tool. This action has left marks on artifacts that have been found. The sharpening process was necessary to keep the cutting edge from being dulled after extended use. The edge is seen to be quite highly polished, which in part proves that the instrument was used to cut grass. After collection, the grass was used as material to create matting and bedding.[6] The sickle in general provided the convenience of cutting the grass as well as gathering in one step. In South America, the sickle is used as a tool to harvest rice. Rice clusters are harvested using the instrument and left to dry in the sun.[7]

ClaySumerianSickle
Sumerian harvesting sickle, circa 3000BC

Serrated or "toothed" sickles

The genealogy of sickles with serrated edge reaches back to the Stone Age, when individual pieces of flint were first attached to a “blade body” of wood or bone. (The majority among the well-documented specimens made later of bronze are smooth-edged.) Nevertheless, teeth have been cut with hand-held chisels into iron, and later steel-bladed sickles for a long time. In many countries on the African continent, Central and South America as well as the Near, Middle and Far East this is still the case in the regions within these large geographies where the traditional village blacksmith remains alive and well.

England appears to have been the first to develop the industrial process of serration-making. Then, by 1897, the Redtenbacher Company of Scharnstein, in Austria—at that time the largest scythe maker in the world—designed its own machine for the job, becoming the only Austrian source of serrated sickles. In 1942, its recently acquired sister company Krenhof also began to produce these. In 1970, a year before the sickle production branch of Redtenbacher was sold to Ethiopia, they were still making 1.5 million of the serrated sickles per year, predominately for market in Africa and Latin America. There were other enterprises in Austria, of course, who produced the smoothed-edged sickles for centuries. The last of the classical "round" versions were forged until the mid- eighties and machined until 2002.

While in Central Europe the smooth-edged sickle—either forged or machined (alternately referred to as "stamped") - has been the only one used (and in many regions the only one known), the Iberian Peninsula, Sicily and Greece long had fans of both camps. The many small family-owned enterprises in what is now Italy, Portugal and Spain produced sickles in both versions, with the teeth on the serrated models being hand-cut, one at a time, until the mid-20th century. The Falci Co. of Italy (established in 1921 as a union of several formerly independent forges) developed its own unique method of industrial scale serrated sickle production in 1965. Their innovations, which included tapered blade cross section (thicker at the back - for strength - gradually thinning towards the edge - for ease of penetration) were later adopted by Europe’s largest sickle producer in Spain as well as, more recently, a company in India.

Today, Italy remains the world’s first regarding sickle quality, and China regarding numbers produced per year. The present global demand is about 75% serrated to 25% smooth-edged, and the majority (of both types of sickles combined) is used in cereal harvesting. Progressive developments in agricultural technology notwithstanding, a significant portion of 21st century Earth's dwellers would perish if millions of sickles were still not swung each season in an effort to procure "the daily bread".

Use

Sickle33
Modern harvesting sickle

The inside of the blade's curve is sharp, so that the user can either draw or swing it against the base of the crop, catching the stems in the curve and slicing them at the same time. The material to be cut may be held in a bunch in the other hand (for example when reaping), held in place by a wooden stick, or left free. When held in a bunch, the sickle action is typically towards the user (left to right for a right-handed user), but when used free the sickle is usually swung the opposite way. Other colloquial/regional names for principally the same tool are: grasshook, swap hook, rip-hook, slash-hook, reaping hook, brishing hook or bagging hook.

The blades of sickle models intended primarily for the cutting of grass are sometimes "cranked", meaning they are off-set downwards from the handle, which makes it easier to keep the blade closer to the ground. Sickles used for reaping do not benefit by this feature because cereals are usually not cut as close to the ground surface. Instead, what distinguishes this latter group is their often (though not always) serrated edges.

A blade which is used regularly to cut the silica-rich stems of cereal crops acquires a characteristic sickle-gloss, or wear pattern.

As a weapon

Like other farming tools, the sickle can be used as an improvised bladed weapon. Examples include the Japanese kusarigama and kama, the Chinese chicken sickles, and the makraka of the Zande people of north central Africa. Paulus Hector Mair, the author of a German Renaissance combat manual also has a chapter about fighting with sickles. It is particularly prevalent in the martial arts of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. In Indonesia, the native sickle known as celurit or clurit is commonly associated with the Madurese people, used for both fighting and as a domestic tool.

Other uses

Bagging hook

A bagging hook, badging hook, fagging hook, reap hook or rip hook, is a large sickle usually with an offset handle so that the user's knuckles do not make contact with the ground. The Oxford dictionary gives the definition of the word to bag, or badge, as the cutting of grain by hand. The blade is heavier than that of a normal sickle and always without serrated blades. It is usually about 1.5" (40 mm) wide with an open crescent shaped blade approx 18" (450mm) across. It developed from the sickle in most parts of Britain during the mid to late 19th century, and was in turn replaced by the scythe, later by the reaping machine and subsequently the swather. It was still used when the corn was bent over or flattened and the mechanical reaper was unable to cut without causing the grain to fall from the ears and wasting the crop.

It was also used in lieu of the bean hook or pea hook for cutting field beans and other leguminous crops that were used for fodder and bedding for livestock.

Sometimes confused with the heavier and straighter billhook used for cutting wood or laying hedges. While the scythe or bagging hook blade was heavy enough to remove young growth instead of, say, shears for clipping a hedge, it was not strong enough to cut woody material for which the stronger, similarly shaped, but longer handled, staff hook was used. Many variations in blade shape were used in different parts of England and known under a variety of names. Its close relations in shape and usage are the grass hook and the reap hook.

See also

  • Scythe
  • Billhook, a version of the sickle used for cutting woody stems
  • Grain cradle, for aligning grain stems
  • Harpe, a Greek or Roman long sickle or scythe
  • Khopesh, an Egyptian long sickle or scythe as a weapon
  • Aruval, an Indian instrument similar to the billhook
  • Kaiser blade or sling blade

References

  1. ^ a b Unger-Hamilton, Romana (July 1985). "Microscopic Striations on Flint Sickle-Blades as an Indication of Plant Cultivation: Preliminary Results". World Archaeology. 17 (1): 121–6. doi:10.1080/00438243.1985.9979955.
  2. ^ a b Banning, E.B. (1998). "The Neolithic Period: Triumphs of Architecture, Agriculture, and Art". Near Eastern Archaeology. 61 (4): 188–237. doi:10.2307/3210656. JSTOR 3210656.
  3. ^ Unger-Hamilton, Romana (1989). "The Epi-Palaeolithic Southern Levant and the Origins of Cultivation". Current Anthropology. 30 (1): 88–103. doi:10.1086/203718.
  4. ^ Christoph Sommerfeld: Gerätegeld Sichel. Studien zur monetären Struktur bronzezeitlicher Horte im nördlichen Mitteleuropa (Vorgeschichtliche Forschungen Bd. 19), Berlin/New York 1994 ISBN 3-11-012928-0, p. 157.
  5. ^ Pliny the Elder. Natural History XVI, 95.
  6. ^ a b Heizer, Robert F. (1951). "The Sickle in Aboriginal Western North America". American Antiquity. 16 (3): 247–252. doi:10.2307/276785. JSTOR 276785.
  7. ^ Works, Martha A. (1987). "Aguaruna Agriculture in Eastern Peru". Geographical Review. 77 (3): 343–358. doi:10.2307/214125. JSTOR 214125.
Boy Cutting Grass with a Sickle

Boy Cutting Grass with a Sickle is a watercolor painting created in 1881 by Vincent van Gogh. It is owned by the Kröller-Müller Museum.

Communist symbolism

Communist symbolism represents a variety of themes, including revolution, the proletariat, peasantry, agriculture, or international solidarity.

Communist states, parties and movements use these symbols to advance and create solidarity within their cause. These symbols often appear in yellow and red. The flag of the Soviet Union incorporated a yellow-outlined red star and a yellow hammer and sickle on red. The flags of Vietnam, China, North Korea, Angola and Mozambique would all incorporate similar symbolism under communist rule.

The hammer and sickle have become the pan-communist symbol, appearing on the flags of most communist parties around the world. However, the flag of the Workers' Party of Korea includes a hammer representing industrial workers, a hoe representing agricultural workers and a brush (traditional writing-implement) representing the intelligentsia.

In Hungary, Latvia, Indonesia, Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania, communist symbols are banned and displays in public for non-educational use are considered a criminal offense.

Flag of the Soviet Union

The State Flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russian: Госуда́рственный флаг Сою́за Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик, tr. Gosudárstvenny flag Soyúza Sovétskikh Sotsialistícheskikh Respúblik); commonly known as the Soviet flag (Russian: Сове́тский флаг, tr. Sovétsky flag) was the official national flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) from 1922 to 1991. The flag's design and symbolism are derived from several sources, but emerged during the Russian Revolution. The flag is also an international symbol of the communist movement as a whole. The nicknames for the flag were The Hammer and Sickle and The Red Banner.

The design is a solid field of red adorned with a unique gold emblem in the upper hoist quarter. The red flag was a traditional revolutionary symbol long before 1917, and its incorporation into the flag paid tribute to the international aspect of workers' revolution. The iconic hammer and sickle design was a modern industrial touch adopted from the Russian Revolution. The union of the hammer (workers) and the sickle (peasants) represents the victorious and enduring revolutionary alliance. The famous emblem is topped by a gold-bordered red star representing the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

The first flag was adopted in December 1922. In 1955, a statute on the flag was adopted which resulted in a change of the hammer's handle length and the shape of the sickle. This was the final modification to the flag and it continued to be the official national flag until the dissolution of the Soviet Union.Its imagery is now the basis for the flags of many communist parties: a yellow hammer and sickle on a red background.

Flags of the Soviet Republics

The Flags of the Soviet Socialist Republics were all defaced versions of the flag of the Soviet Union, which featured a golden hammer and sickle, (the only exception being the Georgian SSR, which used a red hammer and sickle), and a gold-bordered red star on a red field.

HMS Sickle

HMS Sickle was a third-batch S-class submarine built for the Royal Navy during World War II. Completed in 1942, she made her initial war patrol off the Norwegian coast. Sickle then sailed to Gibraltar, from where she conducted one patrol, then to Algiers, French North Africa. From 10 May to 10 October, the boat patrolled the Gulf of Genoa five times and sank a German submarine as well as three minesweepers and an escort ship. She then moved to Beirut, French Lebanon, and conducted two patrols in the Aegean Sea, sinking three caïques and a merchant ship, in addition to landing resistance operatives in Greece.

On her second patrol from Beirut, Sickle's electric motors were damaged during an attack by two destroyers, so she sailed to Gibraltar for repairs. Several months later, the boat returned to service and conducted two patrols in the Aegean, sinking another three caïques, a sailing vessel, and a merchant ship. On 31 May 1944, Sickle departed Malta for a patrol in the Aegean and did not return. It is considered probable that she hit mines on her way back to Malta around 16–18 June 1944.

Hammer and sickle

The hammer and sickle (Unicode: "☭") is a symbol meant to represent proletarian solidarity – a union between the peasantry and working-class, that was first adopted – as Russian: серп и мо́лот, romanized: serp i mólot: "sickle and hammer" – during the Russian Revolution. At the time of its creation, the hammer stood for the proletariat and the sickle for the peasantry—combined they stood for the worker-peasant alliance for socialism. The sickle symbol resembles a sickle used to harvest grain crops and the hammer is one that would be used to make a razor sharp edge on a sickle or scythe.

After World War I (from which Russia withdrew in the year 1917) and the Russian Civil War, the hammer and sickle became more widely used as a symbol for peaceful labor within the Soviet Union and for international proletarian unity. It was taken up by many communist movements around the world, some with local variations. Today, even after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the hammer and sickle remains commonplace in Russia and other former union republics, but its display is prohibited in some other former communist countries as well as in countries where communism is banned by law.

Harpe

The harpē (ἅρπη) was a type of sword or sickle; a sword with a sickle protrusion along one edge near the tip of the blade. The harpe is mentioned in Greek and Roman sources, and almost always in mythological contexts.

The harpe sword is most notably identified as the weapon used by Cronus to castrate and depose his father, Uranus. Alternately, that weapon is identified as a more traditional sickle or scythe. The harpe, scythe or sickle was either a flint or adamantine (diamond) blade, and was provided to Cronus by his mother, Gaia. According to an ancient myth recorded in Hesiod's Theogony, Uranus had cast his and Gaia's children, the Cyclopes and Hecatonchires, down into Tartarus. The enraged Gaia plotted Uranus' downfall. She beseeched each of her sons to rise up against Uranus but was refused by all but the youngest, Cronus. So, Gaia provided him with the weapon, and when Uranus next came to lay with Gaia, Cronus leapt up into action and castrated his father, overthrowing him and driving him away forever. Thus the blade (whether harpe, sickle or scythe) became a symbol of Cronus's power.

Perseus, a grandson of Cronus, is also regularly depicted in statues and sculpture armed with a harpe sword in his quest to slay the Gorgon, Medusa, and recover her head to use against Ceto. Perseus was provided with such a sword by his father, Zeus (Cronus' youngest son and later overthrower).

In Greek and Roman art it is variously depicted, but it seems that originally it was a khopesh-like sickle-sword. Later depictions often show it as a combination of a sword and sickle, and this odd interpretation is explicitly described in the 2nd century Leucippe and Clitophon .

Hydroxycarbamide

Hydroxycarbamide, also known as hydroxyurea, is a medication used in sickle-cell disease, chronic myelogenous leukemia, cervical cancer, and polycythemia vera. In sickle-cell disease it increases hemoglobin and decreases the number of attacks. It is taken by mouth.Common side effects include bone marrow suppression, fevers, loss of appetite, psychiatric problems, shortness of breath, and headaches. There is also concern that it increases the risk of later cancers. Use during pregnancy is typically harmful to the baby. Hydroxycarbamide is in the antineoplastic family of medications. It is believed to work by blocking the making of DNA.Hydroxycarbamide was approved for medical use in the United States in 1967. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Hydroxycarbamide is available as a generic medication. The wholesale cost in the developing world is about US$0.35–0.47 per day. In the United States it costs less than $25 a month.

Khopesh

Khopesh (ḫpš; also vocalized khepesh) is an Egyptian sickle-sword that evolved from battle axes.A typical khopesh is 50–60 cm (20–24 inches) in length, though smaller examples do also exist. The blunted edge of the weapon's tip also served as an effective bludgeon, as well as a hook. These weapons changed from bronze to iron in the New Kingdom period. The earliest known depiction of a khopesh is from the Stele of Vultures, depicting King Eannatum of Lagash wielding the weapon; this would date the khopesh to at least 2500 BC.The word 'khopesh' may have derived from 'leg', as in 'leg of beef', because of their similarity in shape. The hieroglyph for ḫpš ('leg') is found as early as during the time of the Coffin Texts (the First Intermediate Period).The blade is only sharpened on the outside portion of the curved end. The khopesh evolved from the epsilon or similar crescent-shaped axes that were used in warfare. The khopesh went out of use around 1300 BC. However, in the 196 BC Rosetta Stone it is referenced as the "sword" determinative in a hieroglyphic block, with the spelled letters of kh, p, and sh to say:

Shall be set up a statue..., the Avenger of Baq-t-(Egypt), the interpretation whereof is 'Ptolemy, the strong one of Kam-t'-(Egypt), and a statue of the god of the city, giving to him a sword royal of victory, ...

Various pharaohs are depicted with a khopesh, and some have been found in royal graves, such as the two examples found with Tutankhamun.Although some examples are clearly sharpened, many examples have dull edges that apparently were never intended to be sharp. It may therefore be possible that some khopeshes found in high status graves were ceremonial variants.

Kusarigama

The kusarigama (鎖鎌, lit. "chain-sickle") is a traditional Japanese weapon that consists of a kama (the Japanese equivalent of a sickle) on a kusari-fundo – a type of metal chain (kusari) with a heavy iron weight (fundo) at the end. The kusarigama is said to have developed during the Muromachi period.

The art of handling the kusarigama is called kusarigamajutsu.

Leo (constellation)

Leo is one of the constellations of the zodiac, lying between Cancer the crab to the west and Virgo the maiden to the east. Its name is Latin for lion, and to the ancient Greeks represented the Nemean Lion killed by the mythical Greek hero Heracles meaning 'Glory of Hera' (known to the ancient Romans as Hercules) as one of his twelve labors. Its symbol is (Unicode ♌). One of the 48 constellations described by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, Leo remains one of the 88 modern constellations today, and one of the most easily recognizable due to its many bright stars and a distinctive shape that is reminiscent of the crouching lion it depicts. The lion's mane and shoulders also form an asterism known as "The Sickle," which to modern observers may resemble a backwards "question mark."

Mower

A mower is a person or machine that cuts (mows) grass or other plants that grow on the ground. Usually mowing is distinguished from reaping, which uses similar implements, but is the traditional term for harvesting grain crops, e.g. with reapers and combines.

A smaller mower used for lawns and sports grounds (playing fields) is called a lawn mower or grounds mower, which is often self-powered, or may also be small enough to be pushed by the operator. Grounds mowers have reel or rotary cutters.

Larger mowers or mower-conditioners are mainly used to cut grass (or other crops) for hay or silage and often place the cut material into rows, which are referred to as windrows. Swathers (or windrowers) are also used to cut grass (and grain crops). Prior to the invention and adoption of mechanized mowers, (and today in places where use a mower is impractical or uneconomical), grass and grain crops were cut by hand using scythes or sickles.

Priapism

Priapism is a condition in which a penis remains erect for hours in the absence of stimulation or after stimulation has ended. There are three types: ischemic (low-flow), nonischemic (high-flow), and recurrent ischemic (intermittent). Most cases are ischemic. Ischemic priapism is generally painful while nonischemic priapism is not. In ischemic priapism, most of the penis is hard; however, the glans penis is not. In nonischemic priapism, the entire penis is only somewhat hard. Very rarely, clitoral priapism occurs in women.Sickle cell disease is the most common cause of ischemic priapism. Other causes include medications such as antipsychotics, SSRIs, and blood thinners, as well as drugs such as cocaine and cannabis. Ischemic priapism occurs when blood does not adequately drain from the penis. Nonischemic priapism is typically due to a connection forming between an artery and the corpus cavernosum or disruption of the parasympathetic nervous system resulting in increased arterial flow. Nonischemic priapism may occur following trauma to the penis or a spinal cord injury. Diagnosis may be supported by blood gas analysis of blood aspirated from the penis or an ultrasound.Treatment depends on the type. Ischemic priapism is typically treated with a nerve block of the penis followed by aspiration of blood from the corpora cavernosa. If this is not sufficient, the corpus cavernosum may be irrigated with cold, normal saline or injected with phenylephrine. Nonischemic priapism is often treated with cold packs and compression. Surgery may be done if usual measures are not effective. In ischemic priapism, the risk of permanent scarring of the penis begins to increase after four hours and definitely occurs after 48 hours. Priapism occurs in about 1 in 20,000 to 1 in 100,000 males per year.

RT-2PM2 Topol-M

The RT-2PM2 «Topol-M» (Russian: РТ-2ПМ2 «Тополь-М», NATO reporting name: SS-27 "Sickle B", other designations: SS-27 Mod 1, RS-12M1, RS-12M2, formerly incorrectly RT-2UTTKh) is one of the most recent intercontinental ballistic missiles to be deployed by Russia (see RS-24), and the first to be developed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It was developed from the RT-2PM Topol mobile intercontinental ballistic missile.

In its Russian designation РТ stands for "ракета твердотопливная", raketa tverdotoplivnaya ("solid fuel rocket"), while УТТХ – for "улучшенные тактико-технические характеристики," uluchshenniye taktiko-tekhnicheskie kharakteristiki ("improved tactical and technical characteristics"). "Topol" (тополь) in Russian means "white poplar". It is designed and produced exclusively by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology, and built at the Votkinsk Machine Building Plant.

RT-2PM Topol

The RT-2PM Topol (Russian: РТ-2ПМ Тополь ("Poplar"); NATO reporting name SS-25 Sickle; GRAU designation: 15Ж58 ("15Zh58"); START I designation: RS-12M Topol) is a mobile intercontinental ballistic missile designed in the Soviet Union and in service with Russia's Strategic Missile Troops. By the early 2020s, all SS-25 ICBMs will be replaced by versions of Topol-M.

Sickle cell disease

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of blood disorders typically inherited from a person's parents. The most common type is known as sickle cell anaemia (SCA). It results in an abnormality in the oxygen-carrying protein haemoglobin found in red blood cells. This leads to a rigid, sickle-like shape under certain circumstances. Problems in sickle cell disease typically begin around 5 to 6 months of age. A number of health problems may develop, such as attacks of pain ("sickle cell crisis"), anemia, swelling in the hands and feet, bacterial infections and stroke. Long-term pain may develop as people get older. The average life expectancy in the developed world is 40 to 60 years.Sickle cell disease occurs when a person inherits two abnormal copies of the haemoglobin gene, one from each parent. This gene occurs in chromosome 11. Several subtypes exist, depending on the exact mutation in each haemoglobin gene. An attack can be set off by temperature changes, stress, dehydration and high altitude. A person with a single abnormal copy does not usually have symptoms and is said to have sickle cell trait. Such people are also referred to as carriers. Diagnosis is by a blood test, and some countries test all babies at birth for the disease. Diagnosis is also possible during pregnancy.The care of people with sickle cell disease may include infection prevention with vaccination and antibiotics, high fluid intake, folic acid supplementation and pain medication. Other measures may include blood transfusion and the medication hydroxycarbamide (hydroxyurea). A small percentage of people can be cured by a transplant of bone marrow cells.As of 2015, about 4.4 million people have sickle cell disease, while an additional 43 million have sickle cell trait. About 80% of sickle cell disease cases are believed to occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. It also occurs relatively frequently in parts of India, the Arabian Peninsula and among people of African origin living in other parts of the world. In 2015, it resulted in about 114,800 deaths. The condition was first described in the medical literature by the American physician James B. Herrick in 1910. In 1949, the genetic transmission was determined by E. A. Beet and J. V. Neel. In 1954, the protective effect against malaria of sickle cell trait was described.

Sickle cell trait

Sickle cell trait describes a condition in which a person has one abnormal allele of the hemoglobin beta gene (is heterozygous), but does not display the severe symptoms of sickle-cell disease that occur in a person who has two copies of that allele (is homozygous). Those who are heterozygous for the sickle cell allele produce both normal and abnormal hemoglobin (the two alleles are codominant with respect to the actual concentration of hemoglobin in the circulating cells).

Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder wherein there is a single amino acid substitution in the hemoglobin protein of the red blood cells, which causes these cells to assume a sickle shape, especially when under low oxygen tension. Sickling and sickle cell disease also confer some resistance to malaria parasitization of red blood cells, so that individuals with sickle-cell trait (heterozygotes) have a selective advantage in environments where malaria is present.

The Sickle or the Cross

The Sickle or the Cross is a 1949 American drama film directed by Frank Strayer, which stars Kent Taylor, Gloria Holden, and Gene Lockhart. The screenplay was written by Jesse L. Lasky Jr. from an original story by T. G. Eggers. Produced and distributed by the Lutheran Laymen's League, it had its world premiere in Burbank, California on July 1, 1949.

Tionne Watkins

Tionne Tenese Watkins (born April 26, 1970), better known by her stage name T-Boz, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, author, and executive producer. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Watkins rose to fame in the early 1990s as a member of the girl-group TLC. She has won four Grammy Awards for her work with TLC.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.