Wednesday, September 30, 2009
A mysterious creature found in Africa was part-man, part-goat, according to local officials. An investigation by a government commission saw representatives visit the village of Maboleni in Zimbabwe, where the bizarre-looking creature – which has since been cremated - was found. Governor Jason Machaya (56) and officials from the police took a look at photos of the 'hybrid' and spoke to witnesses. Their verdict: “The head belonged to a human but the body belonged to a goat!” Different theories have been circulating throughout the village.Elders suspect that the baby was transformed into a goat through witchcraft, whereas younger people in the village have not ruled out the possibility that the bizarre animal was actually a secret genetic experiment created by the government. Nyoni (46), the owner of the mother goat which gave birth to the creature, is baffled. He has 15 goats in all, most of which are offspring of the same mother goat, but he insisted that “this is the first time that my goat gave birth to something like that”. Villagers reported that even the local dogs were scared of the creature and wouldn’t go near it, whereas “they would otherwise always play with the young goats”.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Mechanical Tumour Expands As Computer Crunches Numbers
Growing human body parts in a lab is a relatively new procedure, but one Japanese artist has already taken the process further by growing a 'lifeform' beside his PC. Mechanical Tumour – designed by Mio Lizawa – communicates with a PC’s CPU and responds to peaks and troughs in processing demand by either expanding slightly or shrinking. The artificial excrescence - which looks like a cross between a human brain, a Yorkshire Pudding and something out of Blake's 7 - isn’t real, of course, but its movements mean it looks the part.
Inside Mechanical Tumour is an actuator motor and air compressor, the artist said. Open lots of files and run a video, and the PC’s CPU will start working harder. This forces the air compressor to push more air into the tumour, which expands. Shut all the applications down and the tumour will shrink back down again, the artist added. The Mechanical Tumour hasn’t been designed for mass production, but wire in a USB connection and we’re sure plenty of online gizmo retailers would be interested.
Monday, September 28, 2009
For The Vampire On The Go, Blood Energy Drink Hits!
Has this vampire trend gone a little overboard or is this the normalcy now? Not only do we have True Blood to drink, there is now a new energy drink called Blood Energy Potion. True Blood is a carbonated slightly tart, lightly sweet, blood-orange drink that is sold by four packs for $16. And it's also a preferred drink of Bill Compton. This item will be available to ship on October 7th.From the makers of Mana and Health Energy Potion, the new Blood Energy Potion is described as a sweet fruit punch drink that has a similar nutritional make up as real blood with the same blood consistency but not the same blood taste and also claims to give you 4 hours of enery. Oh, and you get to drink it from your own re-sealable IV transfusion bag! Individually these little bags will cost you $5.99 each, but you can buy a 48 pack for $191.92. Unfortunately, you can't get these yet. They won't be available until January 2010. True Blood 4 packBoth of these items would be great for Halloween parties, but do you think there will be a big demand for them otherwise?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Witch Killings On The Rise
Murder and persecution of women and children accused of being witches is spreading around the world and destroying the lives of millions of people, experts said on Wednesday. The experts - United Nations officials, civil society representatives from affected countries and non-governmental organisation (NGO) specialists working on the issue - urged governments to acknowledge the extent of the persecution. This is becoming an international problem -- it is a form of persecution and violence that is spreading around the globe," Jeff Crisp of the UN's refugee agency UNHCR told a seminar organised by human rights officials of the world body. Aides to UN special investigators on women's rights and on summary executions said killings and violence against alleged witch women - often elderly people - were becoming common events in countries ranging from South Africa to India. And community workers from Nepal and Papua New Guinea told the seminar, on the fringes of a session of the UN's 47-member Human Rights Council, that "witch-hunting" was now common, both in rural communities and larger population centres.Gary Foxcroft of the British-based charity Stepping Stones- Nigeria said children living homeless on the streets in many countries had been driven out by families or communities because they were suspected of being witches. But increasingly children suspected of witchcraft - usually on the basis of vague accusations - were being killed because their parents feared they would have to take them back if the authorities identified them. Ulrich Garms from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights told the seminar that there were no reliable statistics on how many women and child "witches" were killed annually around the globe. Other UN officials tracking the problem said deaths ran into at least tens of thousands, and beatings, deprivation of property and banishment and isolation from community life meant victims of "witch frenzy" ran into millions. Speakers at the seminar agreed that poverty, exacerbated by the current world economic crisis, often lay behind the phenomenon as people sought to find scapegoats for their misfortunes and the illnesses they suffered. But some preachers of major religions and governments were also responsible, they said.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The Hunt For Extraterrestrial Life Expands
In the search for extraterrestrial life, some scientists say we’re focusing too much on finding signs of existence as we know it, and in the process, we may be missing more strange forms of life that don’t rely on water or carbon metabolism. Now researchers from Austria have started a systematic study of solvents other than water that might be able to support life outside our planet. They’re hoping their research will lead to a shift in what they call the “geocentric mindset” of our attempts to detect extraterrestrial life. “With our current measurement strategy for life on other planets, we will only be able to detect life which shares most of its parameters with terrestrial life,” astrobiologist Johannes Leitner of the University of Vienna, who presented his research Friday at the European Planetary Science Congress in Germany, wrote in an e-mail. “Presently we will not be able to detect exotic life, because we have no idea of its potential properties and by this, our probes to planetary surfaces do not carry instruments which can look for something exotic.” For instance, Leitner said, we can send rovers to Mars carrying antibodies that detect traces of chemicals and bacteria that would indicate life. But because we can only make antibodies to known substances, this method will be limited to finding Earth-like life. “When we try to find a definition for life, in most cases, such a definition is more a summary of the specific properties of terrestrial life,” Leitner said. Because life on Earth requires water, most of the search for extraterrestrial life thus far has focused on the “habitable zone,” or the relatively narrow region around a star where liquid water could exist. But while water is liquid only between zero and 100 degrees Celsius, other solvents are liquid over a much larger temperature range.For instance, because ammonia stays liquid at a lower temperature, an ocean of ammonia could exist on a planet much further from its host star. By exploring the properties of more potential solvents, such as sulfuric acid and formamide, the researchers hope to expand the potential life-supporting zone. The Austrian researchers are certainly not the first to consider the possibility of exotic life supported by a solvent other than water. According to Ariel Anbar, head of the astrobiology program at Arizona State University, the idea dates back to at least 1954, when J.B.S. Haldane speculated that ammonia might be able to sustain life at a symposium on the origin of life. “The notion of alternative solvents is certainly plausible, though entirely unproven,” Anbar wrote in an e-mail. But because life as we don’t know it is so hard to study, he said the topic has received less attention than it deserves. Leitner’s team is starting its search for exotic life by investigating the thermal and biochemical properties of potential solvents, especially focusing on each substance’s ability to support a non-carbon-based metabolism. “We know, for instance, that a carbon-oxygen-based metabolism simply won’t work in an ammonia or sulfuric acid solvent,” Leitner said in a press release. “If life exists in the Venusian atmosphere, it probably won’t work in the same way as life on Earth.” For now, Anbar says our search for extraterrestrial life is limited more by our access to extraterrestrial environments than by our conception of what life might look like. “However, as we plan future missions to Mars and elsewhere, especially Titan,” he said, “and as we begin to consider the prospects for life in the solar systems other than our own that are being discovered at a rapid pace, it’s important to begin thinking about ‘weird life’ so that we don’t miss something under our noses.”
Monday, September 21, 2009
Search For The Cameron Lake Serpent
Brigette Horvath knew she saw something strange in Cameron Lake on Vancouver Island two years ago, and a team of researchers say she might be right. Was it a fish, an eel or some kind of serpent-like creature? She didn't know. But Horvath grabbed her camera and managed to fire off one shot before the batteries failed. The researchers who specialize in looking for so-called crytozoological creatures -- in other words, monsters -- spent yesterday on the lake probing the depths with a sonar-like fish finder. At first, they picked up a couple of large contacts at the bottom of the lake, about 45 metres deep, then something more pronounced on a second pass. "Something just went 'ping' on the alarm on the fish finder and we saw this absolutely massive object in the midst of various fish," said John Kirk, president of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club.They made four more passes and the contact held stable, making it unlikely that it was a school of fish, which tend to scatter eventually, Kirk said. "We were quite stunned that there was something that big in the lake and it was in about 60 feet of water, less than 30 yards from shore. It was quite amazing," he said. Horvath, who lives in Nanaimo, said she was driving along Highway 4 on July 30, 2007 when she saw a strange semi-circle in the lake. "You could see like a serpent shape," said Horvath, who isn't the only person to report something strange in Cameron Lake. "It wasn't logs," she said. "It wasn't waves. There were no boats in the area. It was, like, right there. You could actually see a large fish, (an) object, no, not an object, something alive."
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Christians May Believe In Alien Life Forms, Says Vatican Observatory Head
The director of the Vatican Observatory, in an interview with L'Osservatore Romano, has argued that someone who believes in God might also believe in the existence of extraterrestrial beings; the two positions are not incompatible. Father José Gabriel Funes noted that the Church has never made any formal statement on the question. Father Funes said that as a scientist he withholds judgment on issues on which the evidence is unclear, and "I am always willing to update my ideas in response to the latest research."
Friday, September 18, 2009
The Curse Of Usher Hall
Funny-man Billy Connolly has become the latest big-name performer to fall victim to the curse of Edinburgh's new-look Usher Hall. The comedian performed the first few minutes of his sell-out show last night without sound after his microphone failed. But, as 2,500 fans waited for the show to get under way, the "Big Yin" made light of his plight by swearing at his microphone. Connolly, who was kicking off his first Scottish tour for years, suffered two more false starts after staff attempted to fix his microphone.But there were loud cheers when the show, which went on for another two hours, finally got under way. The Usher Hall reopened only last month for the Festival after a £25 million refurbishment, which was more than a year late and over double the budget. However, a Festival concert featuring soprano Joyce DiDonato had to be halted mid-performance when the lights failed. The venue was dogged by technical problems when tickets for Connolly's concerts went on sale, and a series of planned shows last spring had to be relocated due to the revamp delays.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Youngsters Claim To Have Killed An Alien In Panama
The discovery of a strange creature in Cerro Azul, Panama, sparked controversy among the people, for what some say might be a creature from another planet, others simply believe that it si just an animal. Two young men were having fun on the hill when they saw at the entrance of a cave a creature that was approaching them. They were frightened and stoned it to death.Panama’s Channel 13 showed images of a strange creature that appeared last weekend in Cerro Azul, east of Panama City, and that alarmed local residents. According to Telemetro, polemic unleashed between those who believe it is an animal and those who think it’s an extraterrestrial creature. No authority said anything about the find. Telemetro said four children, aged between 15 and 16 , saw the “thing” out of the water fall of Cerro Azul and stoned it to death, afraid of being attacked.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Snake With Foot Found In China
Dean Qiongxiu, 66, said she discovered the reptile clinging to the wall of her bedroom with its talons in the middle of the night. "I woke up and heard a strange scratching sound. I turned on the light and saw this monster working its way along the wall using his claw," said Mrs Duan of Suining, southwest China. Mrs Duan said she was so scared she grabbed a shoe and beat the snake to death before preserving its body in a bottle of alcohol.The snake – 16 inches long and the thickness of a little finger – is now being studied at the Life Sciences Department at China's West Normal University in Nanchang. Snake expert Long Shuai said: "It is truly shocking but we won't know the cause until we've conducted an autopsy." A more common mutation among snakes is the growth of a second head, which occurs in a similar way to the formation of Siamese twins in humans. Such animals are often caught and preserved as lucky tokens but have very little chance of surviving in the wild anyway, especially as the heads have a tendency to attack each other.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
EVP Captured On Haunted Road
Friday, September 11, 2009
Ghost Hunter Falls To Her Death In Toronto
A 29-year-old woman is dead after falling three storeys while exploring a building in downtown Toronto. Toronto Police initially said the man and woman were looking for ghosts because they thought the building was haunted but by Thursday afternoon would only say the pair were exploring the historic, gothic-style, building on the University of Toronto campus. Police — who have now labelled the incident "death by misadventure" — said the man and the woman entered the building around two a.m. The pair, who were on a first date after meeting on the Internet, made it to a third floor roof and were trying to cross to another section of the building. The man successfully made the leap but as the woman tried to crawl across she fell, according to police. "It has no support," said Toronto Police Constable Tony Vella. "So as soon as she put her body weight on the wiring system it collapses." Constructed in 1875, the building was originally the home of Knox College before becoming the Spadina Military Hospital during the First World War and then a laboratory. It currently houses offices, art studios and parking services.In January, 2001, fifty-year-old David Buller, an artist and visual arts professor was found stabbed to death in his office in the building. The case remains unsolved. Richard Fiennes-Clinton, a guide with Muddy York Walking tours said ghost tours are popular on the U of T campus. Stops include Trinity College, Massey College and University College. "We don't go to 1 Spadina Crescent," Fiennes-Clinton said, in reference to the building the pair entered. "There's really no ghost stories there." Matthew Didier, who runs the website Torontoghosts.org said he has not received any reports the building is haunted. "I honestly believe that this was a sad case of thrill seekers," Didier said noting his group does not condone late night investigations that involve trespassing. Mariyah Rahman, a second-year exchange student who has a class in the building said she understands the appeal of exploring it but has never heard the building was haunted. "It's an attraction because it looks like a castle," Rahman said. "It looks creepy." An autopsy is scheduled for Friday and police are trying to contact the woman's family in the United States. The pair were not students at the U of T and the building was locked, a spokeswoman for the university said. No criminal charges are expected to be laid.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Backyard Bigfoot: Gorilla-Like Creature Photographed In Kentucky Garden
A gorilla-like creature that resembles the mythical creature Bigfoot is causing excitement on the web after being photographed in the back garden of a home in Kentucky. The large, hairy beast can be seen in a blurry picture taken on an automatic camera set up by an amateur hunter. While flicking through images of rabbits and deer, Kenny Mahoney noticed a dark, humanoid creature that does not look like any of the southern US state's known native species. The mystery animal's head appears too small for it to be a bear, leaving Mr Mahoney wondering whether he had accidentally captured one of the clearest ever photos of Bigfoot. "It looked like it had the outline of a head, and like gorilla type shoulders, and then the arms crossed is what it looks like to me," he told a local news station.
The mystery creature is about the size of a bear, but with a smaller head"One of the explanations my brother-in-law said it may be a garbage bag blowed up in there, but all the smashed over vegetation in there-I really don't know. I have no idea what it is." Mr Mahoney, or Jefferson County, said he is very doubtful that the creature in the photo is Bigfoot. His wife Margaret has sent the image to a wildlife expert in the hope of getting it identified. The mythical ape-like creature Bigfoot is most regularly sighted in the forests in the northwestern states and provinces of North America, although last month a teenage girl in Poland reported seeing a similar beast. Last year two men in the US state of Georgia claimed to have discovered a body of Bigfoot but subsequently confessed that photos they produced as "proof" of their find actually showed a rubber ape costume.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Chupacabra Caught By Taxidermist
A taxidermist has found Mexico's answer to 'bigfoot' — and STUFFED the legendary blood-sucking beast. Rumours of a mythical hairless creature named chupacabra — or "the goatsucker" — have been circulating throughout America since its first appearance in Puerto Rico in the 1990s. And in recent years the creepy wolf-dog has been spotted repeatedly in the US. Now, a former student at the Blanco Taxidermy School in Texas, Lynn Butler, has caught a coyote-like creature some say is the fabled animal. The school's chief instructor, Robert McDaniel, said Mr Butler had heard something in his cousin's barn "tearing up the chickens pretty bad". "He left poison out thinking it was a raccoon or other vermin," Mr McDaniel said. The next day Butler discovered the dead animal, stuffed it and took it to the school to be identified. Mr McDaniel said since the discovery the phone has been "ringing off the hook" with chupacabra enthusiasts eager to hear about the beast. He said: "We've had about 100 calls a day." Jerry Ayer, owner of the Blanco Taxidermy School, said: "To be honest, I don't know what it is."I'd probably say it's a freak-of-nature coyote, or a hybrid breed with a genetic mutation." Mr Ayer said he stuffs about 15 to 20 coyotes a year — but this is no normal coyote. He revealed: "The footpads are different. They're rather bulbous. And this has longer legs by a few inches. "It has a little fuzz around the feet. Almost like little socks of fur. And there's a little hair up the backbone. Very odd-looking. "The hairlessness is sinister because you can see the bones protruding at the hips." He added: "These types [of animals] will zip in and out of people's backyards and eat anything live or dead. They have two big canine teeth in the front and they go for the neck." Two universities are now carrying out tests to try to identify the creature.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Mysterious Feet Are Washing Ashore In Maryland.
Maryland State Police say they the remains found Saturday in a river in Ann Arundel County were bear paws. State police spokesman Greg Shipley said Sunday that the state medical examiner determined that remains that initially looked like two human feet were the skinned and declawed paws of a bear. Authorities went to the 400 block of Riverside Drive in Pasadena after a resident called early Saturday.They found a severed foot that had washed up on the beach from Cockey Creek, which runs into the Magothy River A few hours later and about five houses north of the first home, officers found a second foot floating in the water. More remains were later found in the waterway.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Polish Couple Claim To Have Footage Of A Spying Yeti
The existence of Sasquatch, aka Yeti, is one that has divided people for decades and every once in a while new footage comes out that seems to claim they are real creatures, only for it to be debunked later on. But now a teenager girl and her boyfriend claim to have filmed a Yeti watching them intently while they were swimming in the Tatra mountains. Speaking to reporters, Justyna Folger said: "At first I thought it was a bear but it appeared to be stooping, and then it raised itself on to two legs and ran off. "I couldn't believe it." Her boyfriend, who had been filming Justyna paddling in the water, managed to point his camera at the Yeti before it disappeared from view. However, the Yeti was watching them so intently, the couple claim, that it could actually have been an elaborate disguise for a peeping Tom.
The couple's claim comes a week after another Polish man claimed to have seen a mysterious creature in the same area. Piotr Kowalksi, who also claims to have footage of the Sasquatch, said at the time: "I saw this huge ape-like form hiding behind the rocks. When I saw it, it was like being struck by a thunderbolt. "I never really believed the local stories of a wild mountain ape-man. But now I do."
I Rode UFO to Venus Says Japan's New First Lady
Japan's next prime minister might be nicknamed "the alien," but it's his wife who claims to have had a close encounter with another world. "While my body was asleep, I think my soul rode on a triangular-shaped UFO and went to Venus," Miyuki Hatoyama, the wife of premier-in-waiting Yukio Hatoyama, wrote in a book published last year. "It was a very beautiful place and it was really green." Yukio Hatoyama is due to be voted in as premier on September 16 following his party's crushing election victory over the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Sunday. Miyuki, 66, described the extraterrestrial experience, which she said took place some 20 years ago, in a book entitled "Very Strange Things I've Encountered."When she awoke, Japan's next first lady wrote, she told her now ex-husband that she had just been to Venus. He advised her that it was probably just a dream. "My current husband has a different way of thinking," she wrote. "He would surely say 'Oh, that's great'." Yukio Hatoyama, 62, the rich grandson of a former prime minister, was once nicknamed "the alien" for his prominent eyes. Miyuki, also known for her culinary skills, spent six years acting in the Takarazuka Revue, an all-female musical theater group. She met the U.S.-educated Yukio while living in America.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Japanese Create Teddy Bear Robot Nurse
Japanese researchers have created a robot nurse that can lift elderly patients from wheelchairs and beds. Naturally, it looks like a giant teddy bear. Riba, short for Robot for Interactive Body Assistance, was developed by the state-run Riken research center. Promoters are calling it the world's first robot to lift people in its arms. Riba can move patients weighing up to 134 pounds in its foam-padded paws and transfer them from beds to wheelchairs. Its cute face is designed to make the 400-pound robot less imposing. Very kawaii.Riba can also recognize faces and voices and respond to voice commands. There are no plans for immediate commercialization, according to Riken, but it will be deployed to hospitals over the next five years. The big bear is an upgrade to Riken's Ri-Man robot developed in 2006 that could only lift about 40 pounds. Riba also moves quicker than Ri-Man, thanks to better processors. Japan has one of the world's most rapidly aging populations, a driving factor in the development of sophisticated robots. The more robots there are, the less pressure there will be on the shrinking human workforce to care for elderly citizens. Fewer people, more robot teddy bears. Only in Japan!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Ghost Hunters Flock To Haunted Fort
Budding ghost-hunters and paranormal detectives are being dared to see what goes bump in the night at what is claimed to be one of Britain's most haunted forts. A team of spectre seekers recently had their “best ever” all-night session at Landguard Fort - with spooky goings on aplenty. Several people witnessed blurred lights “like a bolt of lightning”, scraping at doors, and sounds from above one room where there was only a locked store cupboard. Managers of the monument at Felixstowe are thrilled with its popularity for the events and have several more lined up for the next few months. On Saturday, September 12, Haunted Ghost Tours will be holding an event for people to sample the building's eerie atmosphere. “There have been many paranormal sightings at the fort, the ghost of a soldier has been witnessed on many occasions as has the spirit of a sailor,” said Tricia Danson, events and marketing manager for North West Spirit Seekers, sister company to Haunted Ghost Tours. “Many people have run in terror after hearing unknown footsteps and the sounds of voices. “The fort is certainly not for the faint hearted.” The ghost hunt will run from 9pm until 3am. Tickets are at £59, available by calling 0800 9171067. FAST FACTS: Spine-tingling Landguard The ghost of the first ever soldier to be killed in action at the fort during the Second World War was witnessed immediately after his death, terrifying his fellow colleagues. The image of a sailor has also been seen looking out of a window - even seen from the road outside. A Musketeer who was said to be the only soldier killed in the battle when the Dutch attacked the fort in 1667 during the last invasion of England by a foreign force. He only seems to appear when the country is in danger. The victim of an infectious plague who was locked in the bastion in 1770 and left to die a slow, horrible death.