Sunday, March 28, 2010
Theories about what caused berserker behaviour include ingestion of materials with psychoactive properties, psychological processes, and medical conditions. Modern scholars believe certain examples of berserker rage to have been induced voluntarily by the consumption of drugs such as the hallucinogenic mushroom Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly Amanita, or massive quantities of alcohol.
The animal was described by Pliny in his Naturalis Historia: "There are reports of a wild animal in Paionia called the bonasus, which has the mane of a horse, but in all other respects resembles a bull; its horns are curved back in such a manner as to be of no use for fighting, and it is said that because of this it saves itself by running away, meanwhile emitting a trail of dung that sometimes covers a distance of as much as three furlongs [604 m], contact with which scorches pursuers like a sort of fire."
To reinforce the execution, Topsy was fed carrots laced with 460 grams of potassium cyanide before the deadly current from a 6,600-volt AC source was sent coursing through her body. She was dead in seconds. The event was witnessed by an estimated 1,500 people.
Video (not graphic): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkBU3aYsf0Q
Joseph Pujol was born in Marseille. Soon after he left school he had a strange experience while swimming in the sea. He put his head under the water and held his breath, whereupon he felt an icy cold penetrating his rear. He ran ashore in fright and was amazed to see water pouring from his anus. A doctor assured him that there was nothing to worry about.
When he joined the army he told his fellow soldiers about his special ability, and repeated it for their amusement, sucking up water from a pan into his rectum and then projecting it through his anus up to several yards. He then found that he could suck in air as well. Although a baker by profession, Pujol would entertain his customers by imitating musical instruments, and claim to be playing them behind the counter. Pujol decided to try his talent on the stage, and debuted in Marseille in 1887. After his act proved successful, he proceeded to Paris, where he took the act to the Moulin Rouge in 1892.
Some of the highlights of his stage act involved sound effects of cannon fire and thunderstorms, as well as playing "'O Sole Mio" and "La Marseillaise" on an ocarina through a rubber tube in his anus. He could also blow out a candle from several yards away. Pujol tried to 'refine' and make his acts 'gentler'; one of his favourite numbers became a rhyme about a farm which he himself composed, and which he punctuated with the usual anal renditions of the animals' sounds. The climax of his act however involved him farting his impression of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
There have also been spontaneous explosions. The most widely reported example was in Taiwan in 2004, when the buildup of gas inside a decomposing sperm whale caused it to explode in a crowded urban area, while being transported for a post-mortem examination. Other exploding whales have been written about and documented by several well-known authors.
Oregon Video: http://tinyurl.com/yn27jg
Taiwan Video: http://tinyurl.com/742jr5
The sport is said to involve very little "native skill", simply an ability to "have your tool bitten and not care". The current world champion, Reg Mellor, is credited with instituting the practice of wearing white trousers in ferret legging matches, to better display the blood from the wounds caused by the animals. Competitors can attempt, from outside their trousers, to dislodge the ferrets, but as the animals can maintain a strong hold for long periods, their removal can be difficult.
The ship's name may have originally meant "Wraith ferry," but Snorri Sturluson in the Prose Edda provides a folk etymology of "Nail ferry" (nagel, "nail"), urging that no dead be buried with uncut fingernails, lest any more material be added to it. This lore could not have assumed this form had it not been for a funeral custom of paring the nails of corpses and the desire to make this a pious duty. It has also been suggested that Snorri's "nail ferry" or "nail-farer" is an metonym for a ship which is constructed with nails.
The grounds of Coral Castle consist of 1,100 short tons (1,000 t) of stones found in the forms of walls, carvings, furniture and a castle tower. The stones are fastened together without any mortar. They are simply set on top of each other using their immense weight to keep them together. However, the craftsmanship detail is so skillful that the stones are connected with such precision that no light passes through the joints. The 8-foot (2.4 m) tall vertical stones that make up the perimeter wall have a uniform height. Even with the passage of decades and a direct hit on August 24, 1992 by the Category 5 Hurricane Andrew, which leveled everything in the area, the stones have not shifted.
Many of the features and carvings of the castle are notable. Among them are a two-story castle tower that served as Leedskalnin's living quarters, walls consisting entirely of 8-foot high pieces of stone, an accurate sundial, a Polaris telescope, an obelisk, a barbecue, a water well, a fountain, celestial stars and planets, and numerous pieces of furniture. The furniture pieces included are a heart-shaped table, a table in the shape of Florida, twenty-five rocking chairs, chairs resembling crescent moons, a bathtub, beds and a royal throne.
What is most remarkable about the contents of the Coral Castle is the massive size of the stones used throughout the construction, all the more remarkable when one considers that a single man assembled the entire site using only primitive tools. With few exceptions, the objects are made from single pieces of stone that weigh on average 15 short tons (14 t) each. The largest stone weighs 30 short tons (27 t) and the tallest stones are two monolithic stones standing 25 ft (7.6 m) high each.
A 9-short-ton (8.2 t) revolving gate is the most famous structure of the castle and was documented on the television programs In Search of..., and That's Incredible! The gate is carved so precisely that it fits within a quarter of an inch of the walls on both sides. It was so well-balanced that a child could open it with the push of a single finger. The mystery of the gate's perfectly balanced axis and the amazing ease with which it revolved lasted for decades until the gate suddenly stopped working in 1986. At that time, a team of engineers was brought in for consultation. In order to remove the gate, six men and a 50-short-ton (45 t) crane were utilized. Once the gate was removed, the engineers discovered how Leedskalnin had centered and balanced the 9-short-ton piece of rock. Leedskalnin had drilled a hole from top to bottom of the 8-foot-tall gate with no electric tools and inserted a metal shaft. The rock rested on an old truck bearing. It was the rusting out of this bearing that resulted in the gate's failure to revolve. The 9-short-ton gate, complete with new bearings, and a replaced shaft was lifted and set back into place on July 23, 1986. The gate failed again in 2005 and was subsequently repaired, however it does not rotate with the same ease it once did.
Edward Leedskalnin was jilted by his 16-year-old fiancée Agnes Scuffs in Latvia, just one day before the wedding and traveled to America. Edward spent over 28 years building the Coral Castle, refusing to allow anyone to view him while he worked. The only tool that Leedskalnin spoke of using was a "perpetual motion holder." Leedskalnin never told anyone that asked him how he made the castle. He would simply answer "It's not difficult if you know how." If asked why he had made this castle, Leedskalnin would vaguely answer it was for his "Sweet Sixteen."
One technical problem was that buried objects—especially during winter—can get very cold, and it was possible the mine would not have worked after some days underground, due to the electronics being too cold to operate properly. One particularly remarkable proposal suggested that live chickens should be included in the mechanism. The chickens would be sealed inside the casing, with a supply of food and water; they would remain alive for a week or so. The body heat given off by the chickens would, it seems, have been sufficient to keep all the relevant components at a working temperature. This proposal was sufficiently outlandish that it was taken as an April Fool's Day joke when the Blue Peacock file was declassified on April 1, 2004. Tom O'Leary, head of education and interpretation at the National Archives, replied to the media that, "It does seem like an April Fool but it most certainly is not. The Civil Service does not do jokes."
In the early years of Henry VIII's reign, the title was awarded to minions of the King, court companions who spent time with him in the Privy chamber. These were the sons of noblemen or important members of the gentry. In time they came to act as virtual personal secretaries to the King, carrying out a variety of administrative tasks within his private rooms. The position was an especially prized one, as it allowed one unobstructed access to the King's attention. David Starkey writes: "The Groom of the Stool had (to our eyes) the most menial tasks; his standing, though, was the highest ... Clearly then, the royal body service must have been seen as entirely honorable, without a trace of the demeaning or the humiliating." Further, "the mere word of the Gentleman of the Privy Chamber was sufficient evidence in itself of the king's will," and the Groom of the Stool bore "the indefinable charisma of the monarchy."
Hahn, nicknamed the "Radioactive Boy Scout", is an Eagle Scout who received a merit badge in Atomic Energy and spent years tinkering with basement chemistry which sometimes resulted in small explosions and other mishaps. He was inspired in part by reading The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments, and tried to collect samples of every element in the periodic table, including the radioactive ones. Hahn diligently amassed this radioactive material by collecting small amounts from household products, such as americium from smoke detectors, thorium from camping lantern mantles, radium from clocks and tritium (as neutron moderator) from gunsights. His "reactor" was a large, bored-out block of lead, and he used lithium from $1,000 worth of purchased batteries to purify the thorium ash using a Bunsen burner.
Although his homemade reactor never achieved critical mass, it ended up emitting dangerous levels of radioactivity, likely well over 1,000 times normal background radiation. Alarmed, Hahn began to dismantle his experiments, but a chance encounter with police led to the discovery of his activities, which triggered a Federal Radiological Emergency Response involving the FBI and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. On June 26, 1995 the United States Environmental Protection Agency, having designated Hahn's mother's property as a Superfund hazardous materials cleanup site, dismantled the shed and its contents and buried them as low-level radioactive waste in Utah. Hahn refused medical evaluation for radiation exposure
Saturday, March 27, 2010
The long leap from the bridge onto the waterfalls of the Overtoun Estate almost always results in immediate death. Inexplicably, some dogs have actually survived, recuperated, and then returned to the site to jump again. These dogs are known to the locals of Dumbarton as "second timers." The dogs have mostly jumped from one side of the bridge, during clear weather, and have mostly been breeds with long noses.
The phenomenon has received international attention, and the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has sent representatives to investigate. No abnormality or explanation has yet been found.
The bear was fed with fruits, marmalade, honey and syrup, and was often rewarded with beer, which became his favourite drink. He also enjoyed eating cigarettes. As one of the officially enlisted "soldiers" of the company, he lived with the other men in their tents or in a special wooden crate transported on lorries. According to numerous accounts, during the Battle of Monte Cassino Wojtek helped his patrons by transporting ammunition - and never dropped a single crate. In recognition of the bear's popularity the HQ approved an effigy of a bear holding an artillery shell as the official emblem of the 22nd Company.
Following the demobilization, on November 15, 1947, Wojtek was given to the Edinburgh Zoo. There Wojtek spent the rest of his days, often visited by journalists and former Polish soldiers, some of whom would toss him cigarettes
Osborne began hiccuping in 1922, while weighing a hog for slaughter. Despite his condition, Osborne was able to lead a normal life, marrying and having eight children.
An outside source estimated that Osborne hiccuped 430 million times over the 69-year period. Osborne's hiccup attack ended mysteriously on June 5, 1990.
Around 1400 a Gothic church was built in the center of the cemetery with a vaulted upper level and a lower chapel to be used as an ossuary for the mass graves unearthed during construction, or simply slated for demolition to make room for new burials. After 1511 the task of exhuming skeletons and stacking their bones in the chapel was, according to legend, given to a half-blind monk of the order.
In 1870, František Rint, a woodcarver, was employed by the Schwarzenberg family to put the bone heaps into order. The macabre result of his effort speaks for itself. Four enormous bell-shaped mounds occupy the corners of the chapel. An enormous chandelier of bones, which contains at least one of every bone in the human body, hangs from the center of the nave with garlands of skulls draping the vault. Other works include piers and monstrances flanking the altar, a large Schwarzenberg coat-of-arms, and the signature of Rint, also executed in bone, on the wall near the entrance.
(A note from Josh – They still hold services here every week.)
The first cat mission was eavesdropping on two men in a park outside the Soviet compound on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C.. The cat was released nearby, but was hit and killed by a taxi almost immediately. Shortly thereafter the project was considered a failure and declared to be a total loss.
The snap can also produce sonoluminescence from the collapsing cavitation bubble. As it collapses, the cavitation bubble reaches temperatures of over 5,000 K (4,726.85 degrees Celsius). In comparison, the surface temperature of the sun is estimated to be around 5,778 K. The light is of lower intensity than the light produced by typical sonoluminescence and is not visible to the naked eye. It is most likely a by-product of the shock wave with no biological significance. However, it was the first known instance of an animal producing light by this effect. It has subsequently been discovered that another group of crustaceans, the mantis shrimp, contains species whose club-like forelimbs can strike so quickly and with such force as to induce sonoluminescent cavitation bubbles upon impact.
Ubasute has left its mark on Japanese folklore, where it forms the basis of many legends, poems, and koans. In one Buddhist allegory, a son carries his mother up a mountain on his back. During the journey, she stretches out her arms, catching the twigs and scattering them in their wake, so that her son will be able to find the way home.
On September 10, 1945, farmer Lloyd Olsen of Fruita, Colorado, had his mother-in-law around for supper and was sent out to the yard by his wife to bring back a chicken. Olsen chose a five-and-a-half month old cockerel named Mike, but failed to completely decapitate the bird. The axe missed the jugular vein, leaving one ear and most of the brain stem intact.
Despite Olsen's botched handiwork, Mike was still able to balance on a perch and walk clumsily; it even attempted to preen and crow, although it could do neither. After the bird did not die, a surprised Mr. Olsen decided to continue to care permanently for Mike, feeding it a mixture of milk and water via an eyedropper; it was also fed small grains of corn. Mike occasionally choked on its own mucus, which the Olsen family would clear using a syringe.
When used to its new and unusual center of mass, Mike could easily get itself to the highest perches without falling. Its crowing, though, was less impressive and consisted of a gurgling sound made in its throat, leaving it unable to crow at dawn. Mike also spent its time preening and attempting to peck for food with its neck.
Being semi-headless did not keep Mike from putting on weight; at the time of its partial beheading it weighed two and a half pounds, but at the time of its death this had increased to nearly eight pounds.
Operation Midnight Climax was an operation initially established by Sidney Gottlieb and placed under the direction of Narcotics Bureau officer George Hunter White under the alias of Morgan Hall for the CIA as a sub-project of Project MKULTRA, the CIA mind-control research program that began in the 1950s.
The project consisted of a web of CIA-run safehouses in San Francisco, Marin, and New York. It was established in order to study the effects of LSD on unconsenting individuals. Prostitutes on the CIA payroll were instructed to lure clients back to the safehouses, where they were surreptitiously plied with a wide range of substances, including LSD, and monitored behind one-way glass. Several significant operational techniques were developed in this theater, including extensive research into sexual blackmail, surveillance technology, and the possible use of mind-altering drugs in field operations.
The Dyatlov Pass incident refers to an event that resulted in the deaths of nine ski hikers in the northern Ural mountains. The incident happened on the night of February 2, 1959 on the east shoulder of the mountain Kholat Syakhl (Холат Сяхл) (a Mansi name, meaning Mountain of the Dead). The mountain pass where the incident occurred has been named Dyatlov Pass (Перевал Дятлова) after the group's leader, Igor Dyatlov (Игорь Дятлов).
The lack of eye witnesses to the circumstances of the accident, and subsequent journalistic investigations of the hikers' deaths have inspired much speculation. Investigations of the deaths suggest that the hikers tore open their tent from within, departing barefoot in heavy snow; while the corpses show no signs of struggle, two victims had fractured skulls, two had broken ribs, and one was missing her tongue.  According to sources, the victims' clothing contained high levels of radiation — though this was likely added at a later date, since no reference is made to it in contemporary documentation and only in later documents. Soviet investigators determined only that "a compelling unknown force" had caused the deaths. Entrance to the area after the incident was barred for three years. The chronology of the accident remains unclear due to the lack of survivors to the accident.
Anti-tank dogs (Russian: Собаки-истребители танков or Противотанковые собаки; German: Panzerabwehrhunde or Hundeminen, "dog-mines"), were dogs taught to carry explosives to tanks, armored vehicles and other military targets. They were actively trained by the Soviet and Russian military forces in 1930–1996 and used in 1941–1942 against German tanks in World War II. Although the original dog training routine was to leave the bomb and retreat so that the bomb would be detonated by the timer, this routine failed and was replaced by the impact detonation procedure which killed the dog in the process. The US military trained anti-tank dogs in 1943 for use against fortifications, but never deployed them. Dogs strapped with explosives were unsuccessfully used by terrorists in 2005 in Iraq.