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Archive for July, 2012

WHO’S UP TO VISIT “THE DOOR TO HELL”?

'The Door to Hell' has been burning for over 40 years!

When I think of taking a vacation, I think of beautiful sandy beaches and crystal clear waters in a country far, far away. There’s one place that’s just a little hotter than your usual vacation spot and there’s a bit less water too!

Daily Mail writes:

At first glance, it could be a dramatic scene from a science-fiction movie.

But this giant hole of fire in the heart of the Karakum Desert is not the aftermath of an attack on Earth, launched from outer space.

It is a crater made by geologists more than 40 years ago, and the flames within have been burning ever since.

Welcome to Derweze in Turkmenistan – or, as the locals have called it, ‘The Door to Hell’.

Soviet geologists were drilling at the site in 1971 and tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas.

But the ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a hole with a diameter of 70 metres.

Fearing that the hole would lead to the release of poisonous gases, the team decided to burn it off.

It was hoped that the fire would use all the fuel within days, but the gas is still burning today.

The flames generate a golden glow which can be seen for miles around Derweze, a village with a population of about 350.

The site is about 260 kilometres north of Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan.

In April 2010 the country’s president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, visited the site and ordered that the hole should be closed but this is yet to happen.

Read more at dailymail.co.uk


CHICKEN NUGGETS COST AUSTRALIAN MAN $15,000

One man lost $15,000 when his wife wanted to make some chicken nuggets in the oven.

Here’s some rather unfortunate news coming out of Sydney, Australia that gives new meaning to the phrase “burning through your money”.

Yahoo News writes:

One man probably has learned a costly lesson about where he hides his cash.

The unidentified father from Sydney, Australia, sold his car last weekend. The $15,000 (approximately $15,652 in U.S. dollars) in proceeds was earmarked for his mortgage payment and other bills, according to Australian media. Opting not to squirrel away the loot in a mattress or bury it in his backyard, he decided to hide it his oven, which rarely gets used.

Bad move: Turns out, his wife decided to use the oven that day, preheating it for chicken nuggets for their two children and, yes, cooked the cash.

“It was everything I had,” he told the news station. “I’ve got nothing to my name. That money was supposed to go towards my mortgage.”

His wife was equally distraught and, reportedly, could not stop crying when telling her husband after she discovered what happened: The cash was baked into a colorful burnt mess.

The man reached out to his lender and the Reserve Bank of Australia for help.

The Reserve Bank advises people to take damaged currency to a bank. According to the Reserve Bank policy, “if several pieces of the same banknote are presented, the Reserve Bank’s policy is for each piece to be worth a share of the value in proportion to its size… The combined value paid should be the face value of the original banknote.”

Read more at news.yahoo.com


MEET AFFETO, THE WORLD’S CREEPIEST ROBO-BABY

This little robotic infant will be used to study how human cognitive functions develop.

Great strides are being made in the scientific world of robotics everyday but, you could say the researchers at the Osaka University in Japan are making baby-steps.

Meet “Affeto”, arguably the world’s creepiest baby robot and despite being so “young”, this little guy is quite advanced for his age.

Watch the creepy little guy in action here:

And here:

Future of tech on NBCNews.com writes:

A robot baby being built as part of a neuroscience research program in Japan has just gotten a torso, including arms that flop around like an infant’s sans swaddle.

Affeto, the robo-baby, is creepy in its realism, which is what the team from Osaka University aims to accomplish as they use robotics to study “how humans’ higher cognitive functions develop,” according to a project description.

Ultimately, the robot will be used in behavioral experiments. For now, the researchers are trying to “build a realistic child robot with a muscle-skeletal system.”

The torso’s flexibility comes from 22 pneumatic actuators in its body.

In the video below you can see that Affeto’s torso is approaching the realistic stage.The robot’s face has the thousand-mile stare of a well satiated or exhausted infant, but that may be because the team has yet to pair the torso with the robotic head, which was demonstrated in Feb. 2011.

Read more at futureoftech.msnbc.com


WHAT WASHED UP UNDERNEATH THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE?

This scary looking guy was found washed ashore underneath the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. *Photo credit to Denise Ginley

Well, if New York wasn’t a scary enough place as it is, with having to worry about giant rats, gators in the sewers, the teenage mutant ninja turtles and not to mention the creepy “Montauk Monster“, now we have this thing, whatever it may be, to worry about as well. Awesome.

Here are some images captured the day it washed ashore:

Now, that's a face only a mother could love. *Photo credit to Denise Ginley

Some cried pig, until they say its claws. *Photo credit to Denise Ginley

9 News writes:

Photos of a bloated, hairless animal washed up on by a New York river have sparked debate over what the creature could be and whether it is related to the “Montauk Monster”.

The creature was spotted under the Brooklyn Bridge by Denise Ginley, who sent photos of it to New York-based news website Gothamist on July 22.

Ms Ginley said the animal was about 60cm long from head to tail and asked: “Is this another incarnation of the Montauk Monster, or just the biggest rat in the city?”

Photos of the carcass, which Ms Ginley dubbed the “East River Monster”, quickly spread throughout US media, with people suggesting it was a washed up rat until the New York City Parks Department claimed it was a pig.

But this was quickly disputed, with people pointing out the photos showed the creature had claws and not trotters like a pig.

Ms Ginley told ninemsn she was walking to a farmers’ market with her boyfriend when she first spotted the carcass and she returned later that day with her camera to photograph it.

“Several other people were looking and taking photos, and everyone had a different opinion about what it was (suggestions included giant rat, dog, pig, monster, and seal),” Ms Ginley said.

“Obviously I thought it was gross, but it was just so strange looking I wanted to get closer … strangely enough, it did not smell, maybe because it had been in the water so long.”

The carcass has still not been identified, and Gawker jokingly reported that the New York City Parks Department was “still being cagey” about the animal.

Another unidentifiable animal, the Montauk Monster made headlines in July 2008 when it washed up on a beach in Montauk, northeast of New York.

At the time people suggested the creature was a raccoon, a small dog, a rat and even a bloated turtle without its shell.

Read more at news.ninemsn.com.au


CAN YOU SURVIVE 30 MINUTES IN THE WORLD’S QUIETEST ROOM?

No one has lasted more than 45 minutes alone in the anechoic chamber, ever.

Ever have that moment after you’ve woken up in the middle of the night, where you try to lay back down for a peaceful nights sleep but start to hear all the little sounds of the room come to life? So much so that it gets to the point where the silence of the room is just too loud and you have to turn on a fan, or maybe the tv? Well, what if I told you there is a room so intensely quiet you can hear your own inner organs moving and pulsating? A room where the movement of your own ears and eyeballs are so loud its deafening?A place where you’ll even begin to hallucinate after just 30 minutes alone? Seems pretty creepy right?

It sounds like a some kind of weird torture room in a futuristic horror movie set on a spaceship, but it’s actually just a room that is able to completely eliminate background noise to allow researchers to test and accurately measure the true amount of sound electronic devices give off, used by film makers to record voice overs, and even used for vocals and musical instrumentation on songs. Just don’t go in alone…’cause then it gets weird.

Oddity Central writes:

The mad and hectic pace of life, sometimes makes us all crave some peace and quiet. But then, as they say, too much of a good thing can actually be bad for you. That applies to silence, as it turns out people can’t stand to be in the world’s quietest place for too long. The longest a person has lasted in there is 45 minutes.

The place I’m talking about is a room at Orfield Laboratories in South Minneapolis. The room, also known as the ‘anechoic chamber’, is 99.99% sound absorbent. The double-insulated walls are made of steel and foot-thick concrete. Along the walls are also 3.3-foot thick fiberglass acoustic wedges that contribute to the ultra-quietness. The room holds the current Guinness World Record for being the quietest place on Earth. While it does seem like a dream come true, especially for those who live with kids or have stressful jobs, it’s actually not all that great. The room gets so silent that you can actually hear your internal organs at work. And after a while, the hallucinations begin.

The founder and president of Orfield Labs, Steven Orfield says that people are challenged to sit in the chamber with all the lights out. There was this one reporter who managed to stay in there for 45 minutes. Mr. Orfield himself can do it for 30 minutes, in spite of his mechanical heart valve that becomes very loud inside the room. “When it’s quiet, ears will adapt,” he says. “The quieter the room, the more things you hear. You’ll hear your heart beating; sometimes you can hear your lungs, hear your stomach gurgling loudly. In the anechoic chamber, you become the sound.”

Read more at odditycentral.com/news


MAN CLAIMS TO HAVE AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO TECHNOLOGY

A man in England has diagnosed himself with a rather rare allergy, technology.

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity, apparently, is a real thing. This disorder has even plagued some rather notable people in the past but, whether or not this man, Phil Inkly, truely has the extreme reactions of nosebleeds and migraines to wifi signals and cell phone use that he claims to have, is still up for debate.

CNET News writes:

Imagine if you were a food critic and suddenly developed a wheat/dairy/corn/carb/fat allergy.

Or what if you were a car mechanic and the smell of gas brought you out in itchy purple hives and then made you have convulsions?

This is the fate of computer technician Phil Inkly. Or, rather, former computer technician.

Inkly, you see, claims to be allergic to pretty much everything to do with, well, technology.

You name it and it affects him. If it’s some kind of gadget, if it’s even a battery, it might give him nosebleeds, burning headaches, sleep problems, or even blackouts.

These symptoms have caused him to move into the woods, as far away from technology as he can be.

And yet, as the Daily Mail reports, no doctor has diagnosed his condition. Instead, Inkly himself diagnosed it as Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity.

He lives in a small caravan in rural England and says his life has been completely destroyed. He has no friends, no love, and he doesn’t even know how seriously ill he might be.

“I’m always ill and can only handle being in remote areas with little radiation so because of this, money is tight,” he told the Mail.

Inkly was not some reluctant techie.

He told the Mail: “I’ve been passionate about technology from childhood, previously working as a sound engineer and tutor of music technology. I frequently repaired computers for family and friends — all was fine until things started going wireless.”

He says he began to notice that things weren’t quite right when he was around computers and cell phones.

Then he moved near to a former Army base. Since then, the symptoms have become only controllable by fleeing to the wilderness.

“Now I suffer from extreme pain on the side of my brain that I used to hold my phone to, and when I get nosebleeds it comes from the nostril on that side of my head too so I believe it’s linked,” he told the Mail.

Even when he moved into the woods, he felt pain that he says was caused by a nearby office that used phones. So he bought them phones that turn off the radiation when they’re not being used.

It’s not as if he’s avoided doctors. The problem is that the doctors can’t use modern technology to examine him.

Read more at news.cnet.com


SMART YOUNG GORILLAS DESTROY TRAPS LEFT BY POACHERS

Wild gorillas under surveillance are seen disarming a snare.

Here’s some fascinating news from the animal kingdom, young gorillas in a remote part of Rwanda are going through the jungle and dismantling traps left behind by poachers aiming for antelope, not the gorillas that happen to get caught in them though, those are just left to die.

So, the mountain gorillas, after having one of their very own die from said traps and not wanting that to happen again, have seemed to wise-up to the dangerous snares hidden all over and are actively disarming and destroying them! Now, we know gorillas are quite smart but, that takes a bit more intelligence than I think we’ve given the gorillas up to this point, for this type of behavior has never been seen before and isn’t just a random act, they’re systematically going through and clearing these snares out!

National Geographic News writes:

Just days after a poacher’s snare had killed one of their own, two young mountain gorillas worked together Tuesday to find and destroy traps in theirRwandan forest home, according to conservationists on the scene.

“This is absolutely the first time that we’ve seen juveniles doing that … I don’t know of any other reports in the world of juveniles destroying snares,” said Veronica Vecellio, gorilla program coordinator at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund‘s Karisoke Research Center, located in the reserve where the event took place.

“We are the largest database and observer of wild gorillas … so I would be very surprised if somebody else has seen that,” Vecellio added. Bush-meat hunters set thousands of rope-and-branch snares in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, where the mountain gorillas live. The traps are intended for antelope and other species but sometimes capture the apes. Adults are generally strong enough to free themselves. Youngsters aren’t always so lucky.

Just last week an ensnared infant named Ngwino, found too late by workers from Karisoke, died of snare-related wounds. Her shoulder had been dislocated during escape attempts, and gangrene had set in after the ropes cut deep into her leg. The hunters, Vecellio said, seem to have no interest in the gorillas. Even small apes, which would be relatively easy to carry away for sale, are left to die.

On Tuesday tracker John Ndayambaje spotted a trap very close to the Kuryama gorilla clan. He moved in to deactivate the snare, but a silverback named Vubu grunted, cautioning Ndayambaje to stay away, Vecellio said. Suddenly two juveniles—Rwema, a male; and Dukore, a female; both about four years old—ran toward the trap. As Ndayambaje and a few tourists watched, Rwema jumped on the bent tree branch and broke it, while Dukore freed the noose.

The pair then spied another snare nearby—one the tracker himself had missed—and raced for it. Joined by a third gorilla, a teenager named Tetero, Rwema and Dukore destroyed that trap as well. The speed with which everything happened makes Vecellio, the gorilla program coordinator, think this wasn’t the first time the young gorillas had outsmarted trappers. “They were very confident,” she said. “They saw what they had to do, they did it, and then they left.”

Silverbacks in the Kuryama group have occasionally been caught in the snares, so Vecellio thinks the juveniles would have known the traps are dangerous.

“That’s why they destroyed them,” Vecellio said.

Read more at news.nationalgeographic.com


‘FRANKEN-JELLY’ THE JELLYFISH MADE FROM THE HEART CELLS OF A RAT

This 'jellyfish' was created using the heart cells of a rat.

This is just incredible.

Scientists and researchers are creating new things all the time to help us better understand the way our world works but two guys in-particular, bioengineers John Dabiri and Kevin Kit Parker, have made something pretty unique using only the heart cells from a rat, some silicon and, with just a dash of electricity, have birthed a creation they’ve dubbed “Franken-jelly”.

Watch it in action below:

Wired Science writes:

Now Frankenstein can have a pet jellyfish. A team of scientists has taken the heart cells of a rat, arranged them on a piece of rubbery silicon, added a jolt of electricity, and created a “Franken-jelly.” Just like a real jellyfish, the artificial jelly swims around by pumping water in and out of its bell-shaped body. Researchers hope the advance can someday help engineers design better artificial hearts and other muscular organs.

Young moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita), which are usually between 10 and 12 cm wide, swim rhythmically. First, they flex their muscles quickly and all at once, expelling water as they take on a dome shape. Then, slowly, their body relaxes and flattens, triggering another round of muscle contractions. Researchers knew which cells helped jellyfish move, and how they work together to push and pull water. What they wanted to find out was how best to recreate this behavior using materials available in the lab.

Bioengineers John Dabiri from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, and Kevin Kit Parker from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University adopted a motto: Copy nature, but not too much. “Some engineers build things out of concrete, copper and steel—we build things out of cells,” says Parker.

The duo and their colleagues stenciled out the ideal jellyfish shape on silicon, a material that would be sturdy but flexible, much like the jellyfish itself. They then coached rat muscle cells to grow in parallel bands on the silicon and encased the cells with a stretchy material called elastomer. To get their artificial jellyfish, or medusoid, swimming, the researchers submerged it in a salty solution and ran an electric current through the water, jump-starting the rat cells. The mimic propelled itself rapidly in the water,swimming as effectively as a real jellyfish, the researchers report online today in Nature Biotechnology.

Read more at wired.com/wiredscience


WHAT IS THIS ‘GOAT MAN’ DOING?

Why is this man dressed as a goat hanging out on the side of a mountain?

If this doesn’t qualify as weird news, then I don’t know what does.

A man was seen on the side of Ben Lomond peak in the northern mountains of Utah hanging out with a grazing heard of mountain goats, while dressed as one.

Photographer Coty Creighton thought he was just getting some great shots of the natural wildlife above Ogden, Utah, just north of Salt Lake City, until he realized one of the goats wasn’t so natural.

Yahoo News writes:

A man spotted dressed in a goat suit among a herd of wild goats in the mountains of northern Utah haswildlife officials worried he could be in danger as hunting season approaches.

Phil Douglass of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said Friday the person is doing nothing illegal, but he worries the so-called “goat man” is unaware of the dangers.

“My very first concern is the person doesn’t understand the risks,”Douglass said. “Who’s to say what could happen.”

Douglass said a man hiking Sunday along Ben Lomond peak in the mountains above Ogden, about 40 miles north of Salt Lake City, spotted the person dressed like a goat among a herd of real goats. The person provided some blurry photographs to Douglass, who said they did not appear to have been altered.

Wildlife officials now just want to talk to the man so that he is aware of the dangers. There’s no telling what his intentions are, Douglass said, but it is believed he could just be an extreme wildlife enthusiast.

“People do some pretty out there things in the name of enjoying wildlife. But I’ve never had a report like this,” Douglass said. “There’s a saying we have among biologists — You don’t go far enough, you don’t get the data. You go too far, you don’t go home. The same is true with some wildlife enthusiasts.”

Douglass said 60 permits will be issued for goat hunting season in that area, which begins in September. He worries the goat man might be accidentally shot or could be attacked by a real goat.

“They may get agitated. They’re territorial. They are, after all, wild animals,” he said. “This person puts on a goat suit, he changes the game. But as long as he accepts responsibility, it’s not illegal.”

Read more at news.yahoo.com


UNIVERSITY IN SCOTLAND OFFERS AN ONLINE DEGREE IN ALIENS!

Getting another degree never hurts, so why NOT get one in aliens?

In today’s tough job market, it always helps to have a solid education to rely upon, some people even spend quite a bit of time in school to have an extra few degrees to help them land that perfect job. The Edinburgh University of Scotland is looking to help you out with finding that great way to spend your day that you’ve always wanted by offering a few free classes online… in aliens!

The Huffington Post writes

Now you can be a professional alien hunter too.

Edinburgh University is about to make it possible for the average Joe to search for extraterrestrials.

The university, one of the most prestigious in the world and located in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh, is offering a series of free online courses, including “Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life,” reportsnews.scotsman.com.

The course will explore the possible ways to discover life on Earth-like planets and the implications if and when ultimate contact with another civilization occurs.

The whole concept of Earth-like planets in orbit around other suns — planets that may have all the important conditions to harbor life as we know it — has skyrocketed with the amazing success of NASA’s Kepler space observatory, launched in 2009 to search for them. According to the Kepler website, 1,790 host stars with a total of 2,321 planet candidates have been detected by the telescope, with 74 planets confirmed.

Starting in the fall, Edinburgh University’s five-week course that will include:

Week 1: The definitions of life and how it originated on Earth.

Week 2: Early Earth environments when life first emerged and the various evolutionary transitions of life on Earth.

Week 3: The prospects for life elsewhere in our solar system and the required conditions for a planet to be habitable.

Week 4: How to search for Earth-like planets orbiting distant suns and how to detect possible life there.

Week 5: How earthlings would be impacted by the discovery of an extraterrestrial intelligence.

This very special ET course will be led by Edinburgh astrobiology professor Charles Cockell and director of the UK Centre for Astrobiology.

“This course is an introduction to astrobiology,” Cockell explains on the university’s information page. “It explores the origin and evolution of life on the Earth and its potential to exist elsewhere.

“Astrobiology addresses compelling questions of wide interest, such as: How did life originate on Earth? Is this an inevitable process and is life common across the universe?”

Read more at huffingtonpost.com


IS IMMORTALITY RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER?

Is immortality within our reach?

When one speaks of immortality, nothing but evil villains with a horrible master plan come to mind but, what if it were possilble for the people of today to begin living forever?

Many questions come to mind. Are we ready? Can we handle it? How would we react? What would people do if they knew they could indeed live forever? Would we come together to create a peaceful world with no need to fight over resources and control of land or, would we fight and turn the Earth into a world of chaos and misery? The hollywood movies we watch certainly don’t paint a pretty picture, and if you watch the news, things aren’t looking much better now.

Looks like we may have our chance to find out with researchers all over the world rushing to use the latest sciences to bring us into an entire new world with immortality being the norm.

Daily mail writes:

A Russian entrepreneur who heads a hi-tech research project called ‘Avatar’ has contacted billionaires to offer them immortality.

Itskov claims he will personally oversee their immortality process, in exchange for an undisclosed fee.

Itskov, a media entrepreneur, claims to have hired 30 scientists to reach this goal – and aims to transplant a human brain into a robot body within 10 years.

You have the ability to finance the extension of your own life up to immortality. Our civilization has come very close to the creation of such technologies: it’s not a science fiction fantasy. It is in your power to make sure that this goal will be achieved in your lifetime,’ says Itskov in a letter delivered to billionaires listed in Forbes magazine.

You can read more of that story over at dailymail.com but also, check out this story at SFGate.com featuring Ray Kurzweil, famous for his theories of the ‘Singularity’ or, the act of humans merging with technology to form one super intelligent, strong, disease resistant being that can live forever.

SFGate writes:

Ray Kurzweil, a world-renowned scientist and author of The Singularity is Near, thinks the world as we know it will be unrecognizable in 20 years.

One of the changes he thinks are possible: Scientists may finally crack immortality.

“I and many other scientists now believe that in around 20 years we will have the means to reprogramme our bodies’ stone-age software so we can halt, then reverse, aging,” hewrites in The Sun. “Then nanotechnology will let us live for ever. Ultimately, nanobots will replace blood cells and do their work thousands of times more effectively.”

Kurzweil, whose fans include Bill Gates adn Bill Clinton, makes a number of other substantial claims, such as humans being able to replace all failing organs with artificial ones. He says we’ll be able to scuba dive for hours without oxygen, and write entire books within minutes thanks to advanced nanotechnology.

Oh, virtual sex will also be commonplace in the not-so-distant future.

Kurzweil’s absurd-sounding proclamations stem from the fact that technological progress is growing at an exponential rate.

“Computer technology and our understanding of genes — our body’s software programs — are accelerating at an incredible rate,” he writes. His theory of the Law of Accelerating Returns, suggests there will be another “billion-fold” increase in technology over the next quarter century.

You can read more of that story at sfgate.com/technology


GIGANTIC OWL FOUND IN TEXAS REBIRTHS LEGEND OF LECHUZA

A giant owl found in Carrizo Springs, Tx

This thing is HUGE!

So huge in fact, many people doubt the authenticity of this photo but, for the believers, this confirms the Legend of Lechuza, a story that has been told in the Carrizo Springs area of South-West Texas for centuries.

Pro *8 News writes:

The legend of the “Lechuza” has been told in this area for years.
Now, a recent picture has sparked a discussion about whether the picture is real.
The picture believed to have been taken in Carrizo Springs shows two men holding a white owl with a very large wing span.
Our Lauren Kendrick has more in our top story.
The picture has definitely got people interested whether or not they believe in the myth.
We spoke to one of the owners of Petland who tells us this picture has her baffled when it comes to classifying the type of owl.
“I think people would like to believe it’s real just like they’d like to believe big foot’s real and the loch ness monster and all the other creatures.”
Owner of Petland Laredo, Laura Hatton, gives us her take on the picture that’s been circulating social networking sites for the past few days.
The picture was taken in Carrizo Springs.
Many people are calling the big white bird “Lechuza” from the urban legend commonly told in the Mexican heritage where the spirit of a woman or a witch turns into an owl.
“Those wives tales are there for a reason. They are a legend. Perhaps there at one time was a much larger species of an owl that was here.”
Hatton says it looks like a barn owl but is way too large. She says it’s really hard to determine the exact species by the undercarriage. By looking at the picture, she says it’s hard to tell if it is indeed real or fake.

Read more at pro8news.com/news


WANT TO GO SKYDIVING? WATCH THIS ‘SKYDIVING TRIP FROM HELL’ FIRST

Skydiving can be one of life's most exhilarating experiences, sometimes.

Just when you think jumping out of a plane at thousands of feet above the Earth was just about the safest thing you could do, a video comes out that may make you think twice about ever letting your feet leave the ground.

Watch below to see this woman’s excitement turn to terror, as she just about slips out of her harness as soon as she is forced out of the plane by the instructor.

ABC News writes:

A video of an elderly woman’s skydiving adventure gone horribly awry has gone viral, perhaps serving as a warning literally to look before you leap — or at least to mind your elders when it looks like they actually don’t want to jump out of the plane.

The video was created by The Parachute Center, a skydiving company in Acampo, Calif., as a memento for jumpers to take home after their airborne adventures.

But someone posted it on The Chive, a video site on which a counter said it has been viewed more than 170,000 times. It shows Laverne, an energetic woman who has just turned 80 and has rounded up a crew of female relatives to go skydiving with her. She tells the camera that she’s “real excited,” and that she has wanted to do this for “at least 10 years.”

Cut to the plane taking off to an upbeat rock tune by The Offspring. We see Laverne smiling, looking out the window, and putting on her safety goggles. A few jumpers dive from the open plane window and whoosh down toward the earth below. Looks like they’re all having fun.

But wait a second — something’s wrong. The Offspring song has been cranked up and it’s Laverne’s turn to jump with her towheaded tandem instructor, but it looks as if she’s having second thoughts. She’s no longer smiling and is instead clinging to the side of the open door. Then her legs buckle and she’s sitting down, refusing to move, and appears to mouth the word “No!”

Instead of letting the poor woman just sit it out — it’s not like they’re on an episode of “Fear Factor,” right? — the instructor scoops her up and they fall forward out of the plane.

The camera person has also jumped, so from his vantage point, we see that Laverne has evidently slipped out of her harness so that the straps are attaching her to her instructor from behind her knees. She’s also clinging to him with her arms. And her shirt has flown up, so we see part of Laverne’s torso. The instructor starts trying to pull her shirt down, which is the last thing we see before the camera cuts to the scenery thousands of feet below them.

Read more at abcnews.go.com


SKELETON FOUND FROM ALMOST 2 MILLION YEARS AGO

The skeleton of an as-of-yet unknown hominid species. (Related to but, not quite, Human)

This skeleton found in South Africa is believed to be the most complete of an ancient ancestor of present-day humans and is almost 2 MILLION years old!

The scientists and researchers leading the investigation at the University of Witwatersrand in Southern Africa haven’t been able to decide whether it’s a direct ancestor of us modern humans or a close relative. But, with this new find of additional bones that belong to the same skeleton, they hope to narrow it down and see how far we’ve really come.

Discovery News writes:

South African scientists said Thursday they had uncovered the most complete skeleton yet of an ancient relative of man, hidden in a rock excavated from an archaeological site three years ago.

The remains of a juvenile hominid skeleton, of the Australopithecus (southern ape) sediba species, constitute the “most complete early human ancestor skeleton ever discovered,” according to University of Witwatersrand palaeontologist Lee Berger.

“We have discovered parts of a jaw and critical aspects of the body including what appear to be a complete femur (thigh bone), ribs, vertebrae and other important limb elements, some never before seen in such completeness in the human fossil record,” said Berger, a lead professor in the finding.

The latest discovery of what is thought to be around two million years old, was made in a three-foot (one meter) wide rock that lay unnoticed for years in a laboratory until a technician noticed a tooth sticking out of the black stone last month.

The technician, Justin Mukanka, said: “I was lifting the block up, I just realized that there is a tooth.”

It was then scanned to reveal significant parts of an A. sediba skeleton, dubbed Karabo, whose other other parts were first discovered in 2009. Parts of three other skeletons were discovered in 2008 in the world-famous Cradle of Humankind site north of Johannesburg.

Read more at news.discovery.com/history


IS TIME TRAVEL CLOSE TO A REALITY?

Have we discovered the key to time travel?

I mention all the time how the scientists of Earth are making major breakthroughs and discoveries daily, well today is no exception!

A NASA-funded researcher at the University of Iowa has found in the Earth’s atmosphere what can only be described as ‘portals’, and they may actually have the ability to allow humans to travel through space AND time!

NASA writes:

A favorite theme of science fiction is “the portal”–an extraordinary opening in space or time that connects travelers to distant realms. A good portal is a shortcut, a guide, a door into the unknown. If only they actually existed….

It turns out that they do, sort of, and a NASA-funded researcher at the University of Iowa has figured out how to find them.

“We call them X-points or electron diffusion regions,” explains plasma physicist Jack Scudder of the University of Iowa. “They’re places where the magnetic field of Earth connects to the magnetic field of the Sun, creating an uninterrupted path leading from our own planet to the sun’s atmosphere 93 million miles away.”

Observations by NASA’s THEMIS spacecraft and Europe’s Cluster probes suggest that these magnetic portals open and close dozens of times each day. They’re typically located a few tens of thousands of kilometers from Earth where the geomagnetic field meets the onrushing solar wind. Most portals are small and short-lived; others are yawning, vast, and sustained. Tons of energetic particles can flow through the openings, heating Earth’s upper atmosphere, sparking geomagnetic storms, and igniting bright polar auroras.

NASA is planning a mission called “MMS,” short for Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, due to launch in 2014, to study the phenomenon. Bristling with energetic particle detectors and magnetic sensors, the four spacecraft of MMS will spread out in Earth’s magnetosphere and surround the portals to observe how they work.

Just one problem: Finding them. Magnetic portals are invisible, unstable, and elusive. They open and close without warning “and there are no signposts to guide us in,” notes Scudder.

Actually, there are signposts, and Scudder has found them.

Read more and watch a video explanation at NASA.gov


NEW UPDATE ON THE ‘BALTIC ANOMALY’, COULD BE NAZI SECRET WEAPON

Turns out the anomaly might not be from out-of-this world but, from the first World War.

More and more progress is being made daily on researching this ‘Baltic Anomaly’ that was discovered some months ago while treasure hunters looked for sunken ships with sonar along the bottom of the Baltic Sea. The newest info from the team reports that this may, in fact, not be a crashed UFO or even the Millenium Falcon as the sonar read-out suggests, but may actually be a secret weapon from the Nazi’s during the first of Earth’s World Wars.

Daily Mail Online writes:

Sonar scans have shown that the device, raised 10ft above the seabed and measuring 200ft by 25ft, could be the base of an anti-submarine weapon.

The weapon was built with wire mesh which could have baffled submarine radar, leading enemy craft to crash – much in the same way as turning out a lighthouse could be used as a weapon against shipping.

But now former Swedish naval officer and WWII expert Anders Autellus has revealed that the structure – measuring 200ft by 25ft – could be the base of a device designed to block British and Russian submarine movements in the area.

The huge steel-and-concrete structure could be one of the most important historical finds in years.

Autellus claims it would have been built of double-skinned concrete and reinforced with wire mesh to baffle radar – which could explain why the dive team’s equipment repeatedly failed near the mystery object.

‘The area was vital to the German war machine because most of the ball bearings for its tanks and trucks came from here. Without them the German army would have ground to a halt,’ explained one expert.

‘This device dwarfs anything ever found before and is an important weapons discovery,’ they added.

Explorer Stefan Hogeborn – who is studying the images for the Ocean X diving team – agreed: ‘It is a good candidate for the answer to this mystery. The object lies directly underneath a shipping route.’

‘It would be of enormous weight in steel and concrete. Other Nazi anti-sub anchoring devices were nowhere near as large,’ he added.

While the Ocean Explorer team is understandably excited about their potentially earth-shattering find, others are slightly more sceptical and are questioning the accuracy of the sonar technology.

Read more at dailymail.co.uk


IS THIS REALLY ‘THE BEST EVIDENCE OF THE PARANORMAL IN THE PAST 10 YEARS’

Dubbed 'The Ghost In The Tearoom' the apparition is shown circled in red.

Some pretty bold claims are being made about recent cctv footage released from a local teamroom, Curiositeaz Vintage,
in Perth. He’s called in some specialists of the Paranormal Investigation Scotland team to take a look at it and they are very excited by what they’ve seen. So excited that they’re saying that this mans footage may, in fact, be the best evidence of paranormal activity that we’ve seen in the past 10 years.

How incredible!

But, we’ve looked long and hard but can’t seem to find the footage anywhere online. Well, we look forward to the day he releases the video to the public, since… you know, that is the evidence.

Daily Record of Scotland writes:

A CAFE owner has called in the ghost-hunters after claiming to have seen a spirit on his security camera.

Chills went down Dan Clifford’s spine when he checked his CCTV and saw what he’s convinced was a ghostly apparition hovering over a table set for two.

He summoned a team of ghost specialists, who said the sighting – said to be a figure of a woman – was the most striking evidence they had come across in almost 10 years.

Dan, 35, said yesterday: “The first time I saw the shadow moving on the camera my heart went nuts. I thought there was an intruder in the shop.

“But when I looked closer I realised it couldn’t be a live human being – I could see right through it.”

The CCTV image was taken in the dead of night after something set off a motion sensor. And Dan claims it’s not the only evidence of ghostly goings-on at his Curiositeaz Vintage Tea Room in Perth.

He said: “Over the past few months, all the staff have experienced something.

“Some have heard voices. Others have witnessed chairs moving and one was pushed forwards and felt a chill right down their spine.

“We’ve also had a number of mediums stopping in because they felt something when they walked by.

“Some have told of feeling the presence of a woman, which fits with our newest image.

“I have always believed in the spirit world but I’d never experienced anything like this until we opened Curiositeaz less than a year ago. It’s all been very exciting.”

Read more at dailyrecord.co.uk/news


Tonight on JOURNEY INTO TWILIGHT: Hypnosis and Past-Life Regression

 

 

Reviews were admittedly mixed for our premiere, but we hope you’ll give the program a chance to get our legs and our audience as we welcome Hypnotist, James Hazlerig. We’ll talk about some of the weird news, such as the hypnotist in Quebec who had to get his mentor to come in and break his audience out of a trance. James will also talk about the unusual area of using hypnosis to tap into our past lives.

Tune in live to call in with questions or save the podcast for later. Tonight’s episode airs live at 8:30pm Central, Thursday, July 12th, 2012  (if the show has already aired, you can always catch the episode on our Blog Talk Radio widget on the right side of the page).

Tune in for an all new experience, and join us as we Journey Into Twilight together.

 

 

 


MAN BUILDS HIS OWN VIRTUAL REALITY GIRLFRIEND

Using Augmented and Virtual Reality, one man has built his own girlfriend! *Photo courtesy of Alsionesvx

…and i don’t blame!

One, possibly lonely, hacker in Japan has decided that a cat or dog wasn’t quite the companion he was looking for after having so much trouble finding a girlfiend. So, what to do? Just build one of course! Why didn’t I think of that? Well, actually… I did, but didn’t have the know-how or quite the creepiness that this guy does.

Future Of Tech on MSNBC.com writes:

In a slightly creepy but undoubtedly impressive feat of DIY electronics, an evidently lonely Japanese hacker has put together a virtual girlfriend through a combination of motion-tracking hardware, video goggles, and some scavenged 3-D game assets.

A video on YouTube, originally posted at Hack a Day, shows the view through a pair of video goggles that have been augmented with an Asus Xtion motion-tracking tool, essentially an off-brand Microsoft Kinect. This helps track his motion and the environment, and is assisted by some augmented-reality software that places virtual items on the image.

The last ingredient is, of course, a popular Japanese virtual pop idol. Hatsune Miku has starred in many games and concerts, and clearly the builder, known at the moment only by his online handle “Alsionesvx,” is a fan. He collected some 3-D models and animations from a portable game that has some augmented reality functions and merged them with his hacked-together environment.

Now Hatsune Miku not only appears before him at the park and in his apartment, but follows him when beckoned, is blocked properly by things like trees, and even casts a shadow. He interacts with her, as well, flipping her tie and patting her head.

Read more at futureoftech.msnbc.msn.com


MUMMIES MADE OF DIFFERENT BODIES FOUND IN SCOTLAND

This female mummy was found comprised of at least 3 different people.

A little over 10 years ago, archaeologists in Scotland found a set of 4 skeletons that dated back to almost 3,500 years ago but, there was a problem.

Every other bone or so dated back to a different time, some of them 100 of years apart! How could this be?

LA Times writes:

An international team of archaeologists have discovered that two mummies found on an island off the coast of Scotland are, like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster, composed of body parts from several different humans. The mummified remains, as much as 3,500 years old, suggest that the first residents of the island of South Uist in the Hebrides had some previously unsuspected burial practices.

The West Coast of South Uist was densely populated from around 2000 BC until the end of the Viking period around AD 1300. Researchers led by archaeologist Michael Parker-Pearson of the University of Sheffield have been working at a site near the modern graveyard of Cladh Hallan, which gives the site its name.  The team has so far excavated three roundhouses from a village that was apparently occupied from around 2200 BC to 800 BC. A little more than a decade ago, they found the two skeletons under one of the houses, as well as the remains of a teenage girl and a 3-year-old child.

The two primary skeletons were buried in a fetal position and showed evidence of having been preserved. Chemical evidence suggests they were mummified by being placed in nearby peat bogs for a year or longer. The high acidity and low oxygen content of the bog prevents bacteria from breaking down body tissues. After preservation, the skeletons were apparently removed from the bog and buried.

But the skeletons did not “look right” to the researchers. The female’s jaw didn’t fit into the rest of her skull, for example. Closer examination of the male, they reported in the Journal of Archaeological Science, showed that arthritis was present on the vertebrae of the neck, but not on the rest of the spine. The lower jaw had all of its teeth, while the upper jaw had none; but the condition of the lower jaw’s teeth showed that they had been paired with upper teeth. The team concluded that the skeleton has been assembled from parts of at least three bodies, some of which were separated by several hundred years of time.

Read more at latimes.com/news


EX-CIA AGENT FINALLY SPEAKS ABOUT ROSWELL CRASH

The CIA are said to have covered up the Roswell, New Mexico UFO crash of 1947.

The 65 year anniversary of the famous crash in Roswell, New Mexico was July 8th and one man decided it would be the perfect time to give his input on the matter. He might actually know what he’s talking about, after all, he was an agent of the CIA for 35 years and rather high-up as well.

Huffington Post writes:

Happy anniversary, Roswell, N.M. It was 65 years ago today that the Roswell Daily Record blasted an infamous headline claiming local military officials had captured a flying saucer on a nearby ranch. And now, a former CIA agent says it really happened.

“It was not a damn weather balloon — it was what it was billed when people first reported it,” said Chase Brandon, a 35-year CIA veteran. “It was a craft that clearly did not come from this planet, it crashed and I don’t doubt for a second that the use of the word ‘remains’ and ‘cadavers’ was exactly what people were talking about.”

Brandon served as an undercover, covert operations officer in the agency’s Clandestine Service for 25 years, where he was assigned missions in international terrorism, counterinsurgency, global narcotics trafficking and weapons smuggling. He spent his final 10 years of CIA service on the director’s staff as the agency’s first official liaison to the entertainment and publication industries. It was during this time, in the mid-1990s, that he walked into a special section of CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., called the Historical Intelligence Collection.

“It was a vaulted area and not everybody could get in it,” Brandon told The Huffington Post. “One day, I was looking around in there and reading some of the titles that were mostly hand-scribbled summations of what was in the boxes. And there was one box that really caught my eye. It had one word on it: Roswell.

Read more at huffingtonpost.com

“I took the box down, lifted the lid up, rummaged around inside it, put the box back on the shelf and said, ‘My god, it really happened!'”


BIGFOOT HAIR SAMPLES SOLD AT AUCTION TO MUSEUM OF THE WEIRD!

Certified Genuine BIGFOOT Hair? We sure hope so! Only time will tell but, the adventure begins now!

You’ve read that right, folks! We have gotten ourselves a hold of quite the crypto-important find here, a set certified genuine BIGFOOT hair samples all the way from Washington state!

We ran into a story posted over on one of of our favorite Bigfoot related websites, bigfootlunchclub.com, the other day that spoke of  a man that had some hair samples in his possession. When we learned that they’d be up for auction this weekend, we knew immediately we had to have them!

Owner and operator of Museum of the Weird himself, Steve Busti, made sure that would most certainly be the case.

For when a possible answer to the mystery of Bigfoot comes calling, he has got to try and answer!

The folks over at GrindTV.com have written a few words about the auction:

The Nacogdoches Auction in Nacogdoches, Texas, sold a vintage bedroom set, antique dolls, a 1950s Schwinn bicycle, antique furniture and a lock of hair from … Bigfoot.  Wait, what?! Hair from Bigfoot? Uh, yes, hair from Bigfoot, aka Sasquatch.

With a bid of $225, Steve Busti was the lucky winner for what actually appears to be hair from — something.

“I’m excited,” Busti said by phone soon after Saturday night’s auction. “I’m really looking forward to having the hair tested. If they come back with some unusual result, it could really change things. This could really be like the smoking gun, if you will, that will prove the existence of this animal.”

Busti owns the Museum of the Weird in Austin, Texas, and plans to add the hair to an existing Bigfoot exhibit that includes alleged Bigfoot tracks in plaster casts.

We appreciate the mention and you can read the rest of the story over at www.grindtv.com

Obviously, there’s always the chance of not actually being from a bigfoot but, that’s why we’ll be sending it in for DNA testing as soon as possible and you, our readers of the Weekly Weird News, will be the first to hear what the results are.

We couldn’t be more excited to be involved with the Bigfoot community and hope we can contribute our own research, findings, and now, quite possibly, actual evidence of the sasquatch himself, Bigfoot.


Introducing JOURNEY INTO TWILIGHT

 

We would like to announce the premiere of Journey Into Twilight, a brand new weekly podcast available here on museumoftheweird.com!

Join famed Texas mojo-man Doc Ravencraft and Museum of the Weird owner Steve Busti each week for discussions with psychics, UFO hunters, cryptozoologists, paranormal explorers, practitioners of magick, as well as artists from the horror and fantasy genre. And as always, we’ll be taking your phone calls.  It’s a delightful departure into the space between the light and the shadows.

The first episode airs live at 8:30pm Central on Thursday, July 5th, 2012. And don’t worry if the premiere has already aired, you can always catch the episode on our Blog Talk Radio widget on the right side of the page.

Tune in for an all new experience, and join us as we Journey Into Twilight together.


BLOOD-RED RAIN FALLS IN INDIA

Poor residents of Kannur, India… for Thursday must have been one creepy day.

This small Indian village took a page right out of the classic horror movies when the streets literally ran red, not with blood mind you, but with blood-red water from a crimson colored summer shower!

That’s right, it wasn’t some freak accident or farmer taking care of some animals that stained the ground such a sad shade, turns out that with the right combination of pollutants, rain water that collects as clouds in the sky may actually undergo a chemical process and change from the usual clear we are used to, to a deep, deep red.

The Time of India writes:

Though not for first time in the state, red rain in parts of Kannur on Thursday did create some panic and curiosity among the residents in the district. The strange phenomenon happened around 6:50am and lasted for 15 minutes. People in the 1km area in and around Edachery in Puzhati panchayat panicked as their courtyards turned blood red after rain.

Kannur block panchayat president Shaija M, who collected the sample of the rainwater, said the water was as dark as black coffee and had the smell of raw beetroot. “I thought someone killed some animal and its blood got mixed with water on the courtyard,” she said.

Read more at timesofindia.indiatimes.com