Monday, March 29, 2010
A large red granite false door from the tomb of an ancient queen's powerful vizier has been discovered in Luxor, Egypt's culture minister said on Monday. The carved stone door -- which ancient Egyptians believed was the threshold to the afterlife -- was unearthed near the Karnak Temple in Luxor and belongs to the tomb of User, a powerful advisor to the 18th dynasty Queen Hatshepsut, Faruk Hosni said in a statement.The door, 1.75 metres (5.7 feet) high and 50 cm (19 inches) thick, is engraved with religious texts and various titles used by User, including mayor of the city, vizier and prince, antiquities chief Zahi Hawass was quoted as saying. "The newly discovered door was reused during the Roman period. It was removed from the tomb of User and used in the wall of a Roman structure," said Mansur Boraik, who headed the excavation mission. Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt between 1479 BC and 1458 BC, was the longest reigning female pharaoh.
Monday, March 15, 2010
This five-story, blood-red waterfall pours very slowly out of the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valleys. When geologists first discovered the frozen waterfall in 1911, they thought the red color came from algae, but its true nature turned out to be much more spectacular.Roughly 2 million years ago, the Taylor Glacier sealed beneath it a small body of water which contained an ancient community of microbes. Trapped below a thick layer of ice, they have remained there ever since, isolated inside a natural time capsule. Evolving independently of the rest of the living world, these microbes exist in a world with no light or free oxygen and little heat, and are essentially the definition of "primordial ooze." The trapped lake has very high salinity and is rich in iron, which gives the waterfall its red color. A fissure in the glacier allows the subglacial lake to flow out, forming the falls without contaminating the ecosystem within.
The existence of the Blood Falls ecosystem shows that life is indeed possible in the most extreme of conditions. Life could perhaps exist on other planets with similar environments and similar bodies of frozen water - notably Mars and Jupiter's moon Europa. But regardless of extraterrestrial life, the earth's Blood Falls are a wonder to behold both visually, and scientifically.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
The Goat Woman: Chinese Grandmother, 101, Grows Mystery Horn On Forehead
An elderly Chinese woman has stunned her family and fellow villagers by growing from her forehead a horn than resembles a goat’s. Grandmother Zhang Ruifang, 101, of Linlou village, Henan province, began developing the mysterious protrusion last year. Since then it has grown 2.4in in length and another now appears to emerging on the other side of the mother of seven’s forehead. The condition has left her family baffled and worried. Her youngest of six sons, Zhang Guozheng, 60, said when a patch of rough skin formed on her forehead last year ‘we didn't pay too much attention to it’. ‘But as time went on a horn grew out of her head and it is now 6cm long,' added Mr Zhang, whose eldest brother and sibling is 82 years old. ‘Now something is also growing on the right side of her forehead. It’s quite possible that it’s another horn.’ Although, it is unknown what the protrusion is on Mrs Zhang’s head, it resembles a cutaneous horn.This is a funnel-shaped growth and although most are only a few millimetres in length, some can extend a number of inches from the skin. Cutaneous horns are made up of compacted keratin, which is the same protein we have in our hair and nails, and forms horns, wool and feathers in animals. They usually develop in fair-skinned elderly adults who have a history of significant sun exposure but it is extremely unusual to see it form protrusions of this size. The growths are most common in elderly people, aged between 60 and the mid-70s. They can sometimes be cancerous but more than half of cases are benign. Common underlying causes of cutaneous horns are common warts, skin cancer and actinic keratoses, patches of scaly skin that develop on skin exposed to the sun, such as your face, scalp or forearms. Cutaneous horns can be removed surgically but this does not treat the underlying cause.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
'Vampire' Man Creates Bomb Scare
A man who is claiming to be an actual vampire threatened to blow up his arm after taping a fake bomb to it. According to reports, he stirred up downtown Seattle this morning. This begs the question, if he was a vampire why is he out in the morning sun? He also claimed he was a 'Space Cowboy'...whatever that means. Police talked the vampire man into taking off the suspicious wired pipe that looked like a bomb and arrested him. He was locked up for making bomb threats on himself in public. He is very likely to have a mental evaluation.
Thankfully, no one was hurt. The story goes that the man walked into a downtown Seattle shelter and told people that he wanted to eat them for breakfast. He was put outside by the staff at the shelter. Even stranger, people apparently witnessed the man using black duct tape on his body and walking in small circles shouting threats. Police and the SWAT team were able to get him down to the station with little problems, but the damage was done. There were two hour of delays created by this interesting character.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Ghost In A Bottle
There was bound to be plenty of commentary about the recent New Zealand sale of two ghosts at auction. Here is a video response from YouTube user qwertyfshag. The man wonders exactly why - if it were even possible to house a ghost in a bottle - someone would want to own one. He speculates. What would you do with it? Maybe take the bottle to an enemy's home and release it?
What would you do with a "pet" ghost? And how much would you pay for one if it were actually possible to do so? Apparently these two ghosts in a bottle raised more than $4,000 in this recent sale. Reminds me of how the Ghostbusters film caught ghosts and contained them. Seems like of cruel, unless of course, the ghosts were acting poorly and causing problems for the living.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Alleged Bigfoot Sightings Draw Crowd In Ohio Valley Park
In the woods of Salt Fork State Park, sightings of a bipedal creature with long flowing hair have been reported more than once. In fact, believers of Bigfoot said that is where the creature dwells. "For a number of years there's been reports of Bigfoot or a big hairy creature type of thing," said Hal Harper, a manager at the park in Guernsey County. Even the History Channel has spotlighted the park by calling it "a place where eyewitnesses have long told stories of a creature that evokes the fear of a boogeyman." The bipedal creature is also known as the Ohio Grassman and alleged sightings date back decades. Today, so-called "Footers" post their own videos to YouTube and other places online.Even Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb from NBC's Today Show went "footing" in the park in search of a Sasquatch or two. Of the 23,000 acres in the park, most people said they've spotted the creature near the Orange Loop and the White Loop. The last alleged Bigfoot sighting happened on a trail just over a hill about five years ago. A couple said they were having a picnic with their dog when Bigfoot showed up. Harper said, "It followed them. It didn't attack. It just kept the same distance and finally they got too nervous and bolted for the car." Park officials said they have never found any real physical evidence of the creature, but the speculation has put the park in the national spotlight. In addition, the talk has helped tourism since people want to try to see the creature for themselves.