Monday, September 26, 2016
People who talked of a thoughts as influencing a person’s health were once ridiculed. But the placebo effect helped change that. Now it’s commonly accepted that some such connection and impact exists.
When Guglielmo Marconi developed long-distance radio communication at the turn of the 20th century, he had to go to great lengths to prove that it worked. When he said he could transmit his voice many miles, through the air, people thought he was lying. When he demonstrated it, they even accused him of trickery, of hiding the wires.
These are two examples of advances in science—initially viewed as woo woo—that Jason Yotopoulos brought up in setting the background for a study his Merraki Institute is currently helping sponsor.
The study combines the power of the mind to influence health and communication at a distance: advanced meditators are directing positive intentions at people from a distance and the impacts on those people are being observed, measured, and studied.
|Photo credit: SWI|
There are archaeologists who dedicate their lives to trying to uncover little pieces of history. Sometimes, though, the greatest archaeological discoveries are made by ordinary people who stumble upon them by chance. Ironically, they find things that reveal more about the past than most professionals find in a lifetime of work.
10. The Rosetta Stone Was Used As A Building Slab
In 1799, the French army was marching through Egypt. This was a military invasion, but Napoleon had his eyes on more than just land. With the army were 167 scientists and artists, who were sent to explore and examine relics of an ancient culture.
Their greatest discovery came by chance. A troop had made its way to the town of Rosetta, where they prepared to build a fort. One soldier dug up an old stone slab and was using it to build a wall when his lieutenant noticed some strange writing in three languages on the stone.
The lieutenant had the stone sent to the Institut d’Egypte, Napoleon’s scientific base. They identified the languages as Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphic, and demotic. Using their knowledge of Greek, teams worked for years translating the Rosetta stone—and uncovered the key to translating Egyptian hieroglyphics.
9. Hikers Stumbled Upon The Oldest Frozen Caveman
In 1991, two hikers made an incredible discovery while taking a shortcut down the Otztal Alps. Wandering off the beaten path, they soon found themselves in a gully looking at the naked body of a dead man who was over 5,000 years old.
Facedown in the snow, the man’s skin was tight and red and his flesh was eroded. The hikers, sure they’d stumbled upon the scene of a murder, took a photo and rushed back into town to notify the police.
It took a team four days to get the man out. But when they did, they found the mummified remains of a hunter who had died in 3300 BC. The caveman, whose body had been preserved by the cold, is the oldest natural human mummy we’ve discovered. It has given researchers incredible insights into how humanity once lived.
Some of the strangest and most puzzling mysteries are all around us right now, buzzing through the air right past us without us ever even being aware of them. For years the airwaves have been the haunt of bizarre signals, transmissions, and broadcasts that have called out into the atmosphere and pervaded the space all around us unbeknownst to all but the most intrepid radio enthusiasts equipped and willing to hunt them down. These transmissions carry with them enigmatic messages that defy all attempts to understand them, and which have origins shrouded in secrecy and shadows. We don’t know where they come from, who they are meant for, or what they are saying, but they continue to taunt us and whirl about us on their inscrutable agendas. Here we will look at some of the more infamous and bizarre of these weird broadcasts from nowhere.
Perhaps the most well-known mysterious radio transmission is an enigmatic and very persistent broadcast from Russia that has come to be known as station UVB-76. The station was first recorded in 1982, although it is surmised to have been around since the perhaps the mid-1970s, and has continuously produced a wide range of odd and perplexing transmissions that continue to baffle to this day. For years this elusive station transmitted a series of strange beeps that repeated unabated, after which in 1992 it graduated to a signal consisting of an incessant, nasal buzzing noise, at times accompanied by inexplicable tones, beeping, and other unidentifiable noises repeated approximately 21 to 34 times per minute minute on the frequency 4625kHz, and continuing for around a second each time, with the pitch and intensity sometimes fluctuating. Indeed, it is this dominant and mysterious, nonstop buzzing drone overlaid across everything which has earned the broadcast the nickname “The Buzzer,” and it is thought to be manually generated for some inscrutable reason we have yet to understand.
Sunday, September 25, 2016
She was a mere fourteen years of age when she joined the Red Army. The Nazi regime was making its deadly presence in the siege of Leningrad, and along with her father and two siblings, Nina Kulagina was thrust into defending her town in freezing winter temperatures, meager rations of food, and very little electricity or heat keeping her and her fellow soldiers alive.
It was more than any young teenager should ever endure, but for Nina, she not only suffered through the nine hundred day siege but excelled in her regiment. She bravely served on the front line as the radio operator of a battle tank. Her endurance led her to climb the ranks, and she eventually became a senior sergeant. But the risk of her bravery and dedication to Russia would catch up to her when she would be seriously injured by artillery fire at the tail end of WWII.
She was left emotionally and physically scarred. Disabled, Nina lived a rather secluded life until she married and had children in the mid-1960s. But what exactly was Nina doing in the time between leaving the war and starting a family? Information is scant, but when she resurfaced, it was certainly in full force. And while her past was full of valor and intrigue, her future brought an entirely new reputation of the most mysterious kind.
Everyone is familiar with the Salem Witch Trials, but unbeknownst to many, some witches are still being put on trial in the modern era. Carole Compton was one of these alleged witches who found herself at the center of a series of strange series of paranormal events during the winter of 1983. Locked up and labeled a sorceress, Compton’s bizarre case has long left supernatural sleuths scratching their heads.
In the Summer of 1982, Ayrshire, Scotland native Carole Compton met her dream man, an Italian military soldier who swept her off her feet. She’d fallen so hard for him that just a few short weeks after they met, Carole decided to pack up her entire life in order relocate closer to him. That decision would be the turning point that spun her entire life in a very strange direction.
Once she’d settled in nicely in Italy, Carol began looking for a job and landed a position as a live-in nanny for the Ricci family. While the work was mundane, it wasn’t long before strange occurrences began happening around the home. One afternoon, the family maid happened to notice that one of the Ricci family’s many religious paintings had fallen off the wall, coincidentally (or not) just as Carole had passed by. The maid, who was herself a very religious woman, had suspected there was something “off” about about Carole, and secretly confessed her fears to the Ricci family. With a busy family vacation just days away, the family decided to reassess Carole’s position when they returned, but in the meantime, the young woman would accompany them on their trip to the Italian Alps.
During the trip, no more than three mysterious fires broke out in the rented vacation home. Authorities confirmed that the bizarre fires were the cause of some faulty electrical wiring in the home, but even though there had been a perfectly believable explanation, the Ricci family were convinced that Carole had been the cause behind the fires. She was immediately fired from her Nanny position.
More than a few of us have probably combed the Internet for information about how quickly and efficiently a zombie plague could be dealt with. However, these response teams and methods would never be necessary. Forensically speaking, zombies could never function properly even if they were created. Here are 10 reasons why zombie creation is impossible.
10. Wave Of Death
Despite the confused appearance of zombies, most are portrayed as having a kind of sentience. It’s why you have to keep the lights off at night and keep as quiet as possible. The slightest sound or glimpse of a human is enough to prompt an attack. However, this awareness would be impossible because brain function is one of the first functions to deactivate after death.
In a 2011 study performed by Anton Coenen, several rats were beheaded to test how long consciousness lingers. Brain activity was measured with an EEG. After 17 seconds, the readings went to zero, indicating lack of brain function.
Approximately one minute later, there was a spike in the EEG, a last “wave of death” through the brain before the readings stayed permanently at zero. Without this brain power, such relatively high sentience cannot be found in the average zombie.
9. Locked Limbs
With the exception of a few films that depict zombies as freakishly quick sprinters, zombies are often portrayed as shambling, slow things that can be outrun with a pace slightly quicker than a jog. But neither fast nor slow motions are medically conceivable with zombies.
Somewhere close to two hours after death, the body begins to experience rigor mortis. This is caused by a lack of ATP, the chemical that gives muscles the needed energy for motion. After death, rigidity slowly takes over the entire body.
Rigor mortis also restricts the joints from moving. As a result, this condition prevents the dead from having any mobility in the first place.
There are numerous tales of people who have seemingly vanished off the face of the earth to leave behind mysteries and speculation of what has become of them. Rarely are there any real clues or even a trace of what has become of these people, and these cases can be orbited by profound puzzles that persistently baffle to this day. Yet on some rare occasions the vanished are found, alive and intact, but with decidedly bizarre stories to tell, accounts which serve not so much as clues but as instruments with which to bury the case further into the territory of the bizarre. Here we get a peek into just what has transpired between when a person has stepped off the face of the earth and when they turn up just as mysteriously, in some cases bringing with them tales from the other side of strangeness and posing more questions than they do answers. These are some of the more bizarre cases of the almost vanished, people who escaped whatever was pulling them away and returned to pose even greater puzzles than their own vanishings.
The stories of those who have mysteriously disappeared and come back take many forms. In some cases, these vanished people seemed to have been kidnapped or otherwise taken away by some sort of animal or entity. One such early bizarre report was related by the prominent author on vanished people, David Paulides, author of The Missing 411 series of books, in an interview for Paranormal Central, and is a case that comes from the year 1868, when 3-year-old girl suddenly went missing in Northern Michigan as she was at a lumber camp run by her father. According to the father, she had been there one second and then gone the next, as if she had simply blinked from existence. A search was launched, during which the panicked father enlisted the help of two hunters to try and find his young daughter lost out alone in the woods. The girl’s name was called over and over again into the thick forest as night slowly crept up on them, yet no answer came back. It was as she had vanished into thin air. With the onset of darkness, the search was called off until the next morning, with no trace of where the young girl had gone off to.
Saturday, September 24, 2016
“Death is the last enemy: once we’ve got past that I think everything will be alright” – Alice Thomas Ellis
Most people want to feel smart. Or at least, not dumb. This is a problem as stupidity, like most human characteristics, is no doubt normally distributed in the population. I checked on this. As it turns out, human intelligence more or less follows the infamous “Bell Curve”, but tends to be a little fatter on the ends i.e. concentrations at the extreme ends of curious aggregates of monumental geniuses and drooling idiots. Feel free to interject here about the different kinds of intelligence if that’s how you roll. I’ll cover my ears. It’s not that you don’t have a point, it’s just that it sounds an awful lot like an excuse for poor test performance. Not that modern testing has all that much significance – not when we have object practical tests like understanding traffic laws, managing not to starve without resorting to cannibalism, or walking and chewing gum at the same time. Adequate skill at flint knapping or starting fires were version 1.0. Of course, the question arises whether it all matters. In the event of something that threatens species survival like a zombie apocalypse, it’s probably more important that you swing a bat really hard than you can do Calculus. Now ask yourself which is more likely, having to fight off hordes of the undead or finding the area under the curve. O.K., fine, it’s a toss up. Let’s just stick with the whole normal distribution idea. In non-statistical terms, it simply means there are roughly the same number of people who are smarter than average as there are people who are dumber than average, and the bulk of humanity falls somewhere in the middle. Unless you listen to the skeptics who on average (I’m sure the nature of their skepticism is normally distributed as well) reject religion in general and belief in paranormal in the specific.
London’s Haunted Highgate Cemetery isn’t Just a Haven for Ghosts, it has a Vampire Lurking in its Shadows
There are very few graveyards around the world that could compete with the level of paranormal activity happening behind the gothic walls of London’s Highgate Cemetery. The 177 year old resting place has been at the center of some of the world’s most spine-tingling legends, but some of them are even stranger than tales of ghosts. Some of them involve real vampires.
During Victorian-era London, if you were of high-society, there was a no more sought-after final resting place than Highgate Cemetery. The graveyard became so popular that by the 20th century, tens of thousands of London’s richest and most well-to-do had been buried behind the ornate walls of the graveyard, each family attempting to out-do the other with their beautiful headstones. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t always be that way.
By WWII, the 20-acre cemetery had fallen into a period of neglect. Ruin and decay had started taking its toll on the once-beautiful mausoleums, headstones, and crypts, leaving them in a state of disrepair. In fact, by the early 1960s, the entire cemetery had become completely abandoned, and stories of the strange goings-on happening behind Highgate’s vine-covered walls began to spread.
|Photo credit: thecultureconcept.com|
Many of the greatest archaeological discoveries have been made at ancient burial grounds but, occasionally, the tombs themselves are the most interesting parts of an excavation. In many cases, ancestors from the past are buried then forgotten over time until circumstances lead to their rediscovery.
10. The Presbyterians Beneath New York
In 2015, workers in New York City were digging up Washington Square East so they could install a water main. While digging up the foundations, they discovered a large empty space filled with human remains.
In the 1800s, two-thirds of Washington Square Park was a potters’ field, and the remainder was a cemetery for a small Presbyterian church. After another vault was discovered, archaeologists came in to excavate the sensitive area. While the area is now in the middle of Manhattan, at the time of many of the burials, it was in the outskirts of the city, and they were soon forgotten as the city began to expand. The tombs were encountered once before around 50 years ago by workers but they were again forgotten.
9. Pyramid-Era Egyptian Romance
In 2013, a 4,000-year-old tomb was discovered in Saqqara, and inside, the beautiful story of an Egyptian romance was found illustrated on the walls. The depictions seemed to be of Meretitis, a priestess, and Kahai, a singer. The tomb is one of the few ever found from the Pyramid Age that shows romantic affection (such as one scene where the couple is gazing into each other’s eyes) rather than standard images of married couples most often found from the time period.
Inside the tomb, not only were the remains of the lovers found but their children and possibly their grandchildren, showing that they were an especially close family.
Nessie gets all of the attention due to the massive public relations and tourism machine that drives the Loch Ness Monster to great heights of fame despite there being no clear photos, skeletons, half-eaten leftover dinners or even any agreement on what it exactly is or was. That’s not the case with the Storr Lochs Monster, which had a proven identity and a complete set of fossilized remains. Unfortunately, they’ve been completely encased in stone for millions of years, including the last 50 since it was discovered.
That’s no longer the case. The National Museums Scotland, the University of Edinburg and the energy company SSE successfully released a Jurassic-era sea monster known as an ichthyosaur from the stone prison it was found in near SSE’s Storr Lochs power station on the Isle of Skye in 1966 by then station manager Norrie Gillies. Gillies contacted the Royal Scottish Museum, which sent a team to remove the entire rock the 170-million-year-old fossil was in. They determined it was sedimentary stone from lava flows on the Isle of Skye during the Paleocene Era, about 60 million years ago.