June 25, 2013

Chopper Down Facts

  • It's advisable not to rewarm or thaw frostbitten areas without the oversight of a medical professional. If not done properly, thawing can have serious consequences, such as loss of the affected area.

  • Trying to thaw a frostbitten area by holding it close to a campfire or in front of an open oven door can burn already-damaged tissues.

  • 2011 estimates put the population of Beluga, Alaska at just 19.

  • Beluga means "white whale" in Russian. The village's name refers to the beluga whales that feed in nearby Cook Inlet.

  • Alaska's cold and wet environment is ideal for the onset of hypothermia, a medical emergency that occurs when the body's temperature drops to a level that inhibits proper function.

  • Initial signs of hypothermia are slurred speech, shivering, a lack of fine motor skills, and unclear or inconsistent thoughts and conversation.

  • Frostbite can occur in just seconds in extremely cold or windy conditions. There are two stages of frostbite: superficial and deep. Superficial frostbite is the freezing of all the layers of skin, while deep frostbite includes the freezing of muscle and sometimes even bone.

  • Superficial frostbite looks white. The skin has no sensation, and it feels soft and slushy to the touch. Deep frostbite also appears white and is without sensation, but the skin feels hard and waxy to the touch.

  • Moose-vehicle accidents can result in considerable damage to vehicles and sometimes injury to the motorist. The impacting animal can weigh as much as 1800 pounds.

  • With around 500 collisions per year, the State of Alaska has the highest number of moose-vehicle collisions on its highways of anywhere in North America. On rural roadways, it's estimated these collisions represent over twenty percent of all motor vehicle accidents. During winters of heavy snowfall, this amount can double.

  • When rated against vehicular miles of travel, Alaska has been called the area with the highest rate of moose-vehicle collisions in the world.

  • Female moose give birth to one or two calves in the spring. Each calf weighs around 30 pounds. They grow quickly and can outrun a person by the time they are just five days old.

  • "Spice" is a name referring to a wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana. These substances, though, are typically labeled "not for human consumption" and contain dried, shredded plant material and chemical additives that are responsible for their mind-altering effects.

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