Archive for May, 2010

Tropical Storm Ravages Central Amer… HOLY SMOKES LOOK AT THAT SINKHOLE!

Monday, May 31st, 2010

There are over 115 reported dead in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador after a tropical storm ravaged the region. But this photo of a sinkhole that opened up in Guatemala City has to be among the most insane things we’ve ever seen.


Science Proves Armageddon Correct! [WeirdThingsTV]

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Scientists Solve 40-Year Old Martian Ice Cap Mystery

Thursday, May 27th, 2010


If you had “strange but undeniable resulting pattern caused by a million years of whipping from Martian wind” in the What With The Bizarre Shape Of The Mars Ice Cap pool, please collect your winnings.

According to a new NASA study, the deep grooves in the ice cap, once considered to be proof of a horrific volcanic eruption which left chasms that could easily hold the Grand Canyon, now look the the results of eons of work done by natural forces.

It points to an ancient process, over millions of years, by which the ice and dust accreted while at they same time were sculpted by a powerful, persistent force: the Martian wind.

“Nobody realised that there would be such complex structures in the layers,” Holt said.

“The layers record a history of ice accumulation, erosion and wind transport. From that we can recover a history of climate that’s much more detailed than anybody expected.”

So, there we go.


Were The Earliest Human Species Cannibals?

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

A new finding suggests the earliest known human species swung from trees had the tools to make fire and was likely fond of eating other hominins.


The H. gautengensis fossils were found alongside basic stone tools and evidence of the use of fire. The most complete human ancestor skull from the sediments associated with H. gautengensis is a widely studied mid-1970s discovery labeled Stw 53.

The stone tools would have been used for “‘de-fleshing’ and cutting open bones to access marrow, and probably also for digging and [preparing] plant foods,” he said. “They might also have been used for processing animal hides.”

Cut marks on the Stw 53 skull hint at darker practices—”that it was de-fleshed, either for ritual burial or cannibalistic consumption.”

There is some really fascinating stuff (including more detail on how primitive tools were used to de-flesh things) in the this article so please read it.

[National Geographic]

When Science Met Awesome: Our Last Defense Against Asteroids? Nuclear Weapons!

Thursday, May 27th, 2010


The brilliant Phil Plait once penned an epic disemboweling of the film Armageddon which in turn morphed into a hilarious live talk that I was lucky enough to see in person. But it looks like at least one epic of the Michael Bay tour de force would be more of an omen than originally suspected.

Yes folks, Owen Wilson has offered his services to NASA just in case.

Just kidding, but it does look like our best defense from asteroids might be nuclear weaponry.

That’s the opinion of David Dearborn, anyway, who says we may need to tap our nuclear arsenal if a life-threatening asteroid suddenly comes into view. Dearborn, a research physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, laid out the nuclear case in a talk here Tuesday at the semiannual meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Dearborn’s research on nuking asteroids is a fairly natural outgrowth of his other work, which has involved weapons development and testing, as well as three-dimensional modeling of astrophysical processes. He has run numerical simulations of how a nuclear detonation either near or on the surface of a threatening near-Earth object could divert or fragment it, and has found that with a little bit of lead time the weapons could do the job rather well.

And cue the music.

[Scientific American]

Do You Want To Buy The Amityville Horror House? [WeirdThingsTV]

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Eat Raw Crayfish, Get Incredibly Rare Parasitic Worm

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010


First the never ending oil slick and now a rare parasitic lung worm has been linked to raw crayfish. Will America ever regain trust in cajon cuisine?

These particular infections were all linked to folks consuming the shellfish from the river of Missouri which scientists now believe is a symptom of living in Missouri and being really bored.

“The infection, called paragonimiasis, is very rare, so it’s extremely unusual to see this many cases in one medical center in a relatively short period of time,” says Washington University infectious diseases specialist Gary Weil, MD, professor of medicine and of molecular microbiology, who treated some of the patients. “We are almost certain there are other people out there with the infection who haven’t been diagnosed. That’s why we want to get the word out.”

Just os everyone knows, if you don’t eat raw crayfish, you should be fine. The more you know.

[Science Daily]

Video Gamers Can Control Their Dreams

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010


Video games, they are not just for recruiting The Last Starfighter anymore. They can also aide in controlling your dreams, according to science!

That ability to shape the alternate reality of dream worlds might not match mind-bending Hollywood films such as “The Matrix,” but it could provide an edge when fighting nightmares or even mental trauma.

Dreams and video games both represent alternate realities, according to Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada. But she pointed out that dreams arise biologically from the human mind, while video games are technologically driven by computers and gaming consoles.

“If you’re spending hours a day in a virtual reality, if nothing else it’s practice,” said Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada. “Gamers are used to controlling their game environments, so that can translate into dreams.”

Get to it.

[Live Science]

Haunted Real Estate: The Amityville Horror House

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010


Arguably the most famous haunted house in America. This Long Island Dutch Colonial was ground zero for a horrific haunting in the late 70s when George and Kathy Lutz moved in with their three children.


– Ghost ripping doors from hinges
– Ghost slamming doors

– Noxious slime oozing from ceilings

– Demonic faces
– Swarms of insects threatening your family


Lutz family made tens of thousands of dollars in book and film rights. Which in today’s economy, adjusting for inflation, could be tens of hundreds of dollars.


Not too thrilled with the whole ghost tourist industry, so much so that the house number has been changed. Consider your new paranormal experience totally secluded!


$1.15 million OBO


House is not actually haunted. Lutz’ and lawyer admitted to making up the whole story.

[Live Science]

Just In Time For The Stanley Cup Finals, Grow A New Tooth In Your Mouth In Only 9 Weeks!

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

A new breakthrough in dental technology could revolutionize tooth implants for those who happen to take a puck to the mouth in game 4 of the Western Conference final and sprinkle the ice with seven adult teeth.

Dr. Jeremy Mao, the Edward V. Zegarelli Professor of Dental Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, has unveiled a growth factor-infused, three-dimensional scaffold with the potential to regenerate an anatomically correct tooth in just nine weeks from implantation. By using a procedure developed in the university’s Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory, Dr. Mao can direct the body’s own stem cells toward the scaffold, which is made of natural materials. Once the stem cells have colonized the scaffold, a tooth can grow in the socket and then merge with the surrounding tissue.

It’s the first implant to utilize the body’s own resources in reconstructing a tooth. Paging Mr. Keith.

[Pop Sci]

Sharks Harness Power Of Invisibility, Plot Final Takeover

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010


What’s worse than a brutal killing machine with no remorse? An invisible brutal killing machine with no remorse.

A new study claims that ten percent off all sharks are “luminous,” meaning they produce a light which combined with normal water refraction allows them to appear invisible. Now the inevitable death suffered by loopy drunk hoes in the first five minutes of Jaws can be achieved with heretofore unknowable stealth.

This shark’s shimmer originates from light emitting organs called photophores from underneath its body, “effectively creating a glow from that region,” said Claes, a researcher in the Laboratory of Marine Biology, Earth and Life Institute at the Catholic University of Louvain.

“Since many predators have upward-looking eyes, it is a common method of camouflage in the mesopelagic zone (from 656 to 3,281 feet below the surface), although it is the first time it is demonstrated in sharks,” he added.

Curious to know what folks in regions where these sharks prey thought has happening to hapless halved swimmers who would wash ashore.

“We can’t see any sharks. Maybe the dreaded sea-faring Kevin James has returned!”

[Discovery by way of Gizmodo]

Did An Evil Lake Beast Curse A Canadian Town?

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Omajinaakoos Identified As American Mink

Monday, May 24th, 2010


It looks like our Ugly One is really a decaying American Mink.

[Live Science]

Ribbon In The Sky = Million Degree Cloud Of Interstellar Gas

Monday, May 24th, 2010

In case anyone was worried.

Scientists from the Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Southwest Research Institute, and Boston University suggest that the ribbon of enhanced emissions of energetic neutral atoms, discovered last year by the NASA Small Explorer satellite IBEX, could be explained by a geometric effect coming up because of the approach of the Sun to the boundary between the Local Cloud of interstellar gas and another cloud of a very hot gas called the Local Bubble. If this hypothesis is correct, IBEX is catching matter from a hot neighboring interstellar cloud, which the Sun might enter in a hundred years.

We are unclear on what might happen when the sun passes into the cloud, but if it means this song is relevant again we are willing to deal with the side effects.

[Science Daily]

Construction Worker Beats Up Komodo Dragon

Monday, May 24th, 2010


Welcome to Indonesia, where safety is job one on our construction sites. Make sure you wear your hard hat and goggles at all times and stiffen up that right cross for the occasional lizard attack.

JAKARTA, Indonesia – An Indonesian worker freed himself from an attacking Komodo dragon by punching the reptile’s snout until it released him and ran away, a national park official said Monday.

Agustinus Jenaru, 20, was working inside an unfinished wooden bungalow on Rinca island when the 6.5-foot (two meter) lizard entered and bit onto his left hand on Saturday, said Komodo National Park official Daniel Bolu Ngongo.

Jenaru hit the jaws of the giant lizard for several seconds until it freed him. Jenaru was taken to a clinic for treatment of lacerations and a puncture wound.

…and beyond that, no one is sure if that lizard was even union.


Is “The Ugly One” An Evil Omen For Northern Canadian Community

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010


A horrific looking animal has been discovered in a Northern Ontario lake. But some locals believe it can only bring bad news…

Some residents of Big Trout Lake, an Oji-Cree community of 1,200 south of Hudson Bay, believe the animal is a rare local creature known as an omajinaakoos, which roughly translates to “ugly one”. Band councillor Darryl Sainnawap said his great uncle spotted one about 50 years ago.

“He says in his younger days he was with his grandfather … and he did see this same creature and that’s the last time he saw it,” he said. “His grandfather called him omajinaakoos.”

Some local elders in the community, which is also known as Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, believe the animal is a messenger of bad news.

“No one knows what it is but our ancestors used to call it the Ugly One. Rarely seen but when seen, it’s a bad omen. Something bad will happen according to our ancestors,” the community’s website says.

Mr. Sainnawap, 25, said the animal lives in swamps and feeds on beavers. Asked how the small critter could eat a beaver, he said: “That’s a good question. How could a wolverine take down a moose?”

Since the photos were posted on the community’s website, they have spread around the Internet, sparking intense speculation about the creature’s origins, ranging from the conceivable to the far-fetched.

Let us know your theories in the comments.

[Globe and Mail]