Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for November 10th, 2009

Great Pyramid: What is really behind the door found by Gantenbrink’s robot?

Posted by Anonymous on November 10, 2009

.. at the same time that Gantenbrink’s robot uncovered the hidden door inside the Great Pyramid on 22 March 1993, Hawass was suspended from his then position as Chief Inspector of the Giza Pyramid Plateau. Synchronicity, or did Gantenbrink make use of the power vacuum to announce his finding in April 1993, knowing that otherwise it might be suppressed?
What happened next is also interesting, and revealing. Upon the announcement, Gantenbrink was banned from resuming his work. The Egyptian Antiquities Organization (EAO), the predecessor of the SCA, claimed that Gantenbrink had broken a “rule” of archaeology by speaking for himself rather than through the “proper channels”—which are obviously there, by its own admission, to control what gets out and what doesn’t. What happened next is also interesting, and revealing.

Graham Hancock writes: “The [then] Director of the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, Dr Rainer Stadelmann, sided with the Egyptians and condemned Gantenbrink for his press action. Dr Stadelmann was adamant about the nonimportance of the find. ‘This is not a door; there is nothing behind it. The President of the EAO, Dr Muhamad Bakr, went so far as to claim the announcement a “hoax”. He stated: “The orifice of the shaft is too small for the robot to go through.

History has shown Bakr to be wrong on both counts. It was Bakr who removed Hawass from his position, claiming that a valuable ancient statue had been stolen from Giza under Hawass’s watch.

To quote again from Hancock: “Three months later, in June 1993, Dr Bakr himself was fired and replaced by Dr Nur El Din. Amid accusations of malpractice and fraud, Dr Bakr spoke of a ‘mafia’ which had been involved with the Pyramids for ‘the last twenty years’. Refusing to give names, Dr Bakr said, ‘I wanted the whole matter investigated by the prosecution authorities, but my request was refused.'”16

In early 1994, Hawass was reinstated to his position. Though Bakr is clearly not the most credible source, there are nevertheless clear echoes of the ARCE. Hawass’s reinstatement was “said to have been brought about by American intervention”, according to Chris Ogilvie-Herald, writing in the British magazine Quest for Knowledge. At the very least, Hawass seems to be quite fortunate in that no matter what, whether it involve stolen statues or his technical department head being fined and imprisoned, he remains immune to it all.

Gantenbrink never returned to work inside the Great Pyramid. He even offered the Egyptian authorities the use of his robot—because only a robot can penetrate the air shaft—and volunteered to train an Egyptian technician to operate it, but his suggestions were not taken up.

However, Hawass eventually argued that the discovery of the door was extremely interesting and would be further explored. In March 1996, he stated that the door would be opened in September that year. The month was right, but it was on 17 September 2002 that the door was finally opened. The event was broadcast “live” on Fox TV in America and transmitted to 140 countries via the National Geographic Channel. The end result was the discovery of… another door, which Hawass claimed would be opened soon. Seven years later, the world still waits… – pcoppins

Seven years may be enough time to extract all the alien artifacts and put some old Egyptian artifacts in there. ;-) But seriously, has anyone asked Dr. Hawass about the second door lately? What do you wish we would find? A great library? Lost technology?

Posted in Archaeology | 3 Comments »

Frigid Antarctica Loaded with Viruses

Posted by Anonymous on November 10, 2009

http://concierge.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2009/04/27/antarctica.jpgAntarctica’s icy lakes are home to a surprisingly diverse community of viruses, including some that were previously unidentified, a new study finds.

At first glance, Antarctica’s freshwater lakes don’t seem very hospitable to life. They remain frozen for a good nine months out of the year, and they contain very few nutrients. Some of these lakes have little animal life and are dominated by microorganisms, including algae, bacteria, protozoans and viruses.

With few animal and microbial predators around, viruses likely play an important role in controlling the abundance of other microorganisms, the researcher say. However, these viruses have been historically hard to study since many cannot be grown in a laboratory. But thanks to new genome sequencing technology, scientists can identify viruses without needing to grow them.

“We are just starting to uncover the world of viruses, and this is changing the way we think about viruses and the role they play in microbial ecosystems,” said Antonio Alcami, a researcher from the Spanish Research Council.

A virus is little more than a package of DNA surrounded by a capsule structure. To survive, viruses must hijack, or infect, living cells and use the host’s equipment to replicate.

Alcami and his colleagues analyzed DNA from viruses found in water samples collected from Antarctica’s Lake Limnopolar, a surface lake on Livingston Island. They found nearly 10,000 species, including some small DNA viruses that had never before been identified. In total, the viruses were from 12 different families, some of which may be completely new to science, the researchers suggest.

The results reveal this Antarctic lake supports a virus community that’s more diverse than most aquatic environments studied in the world so far — a surprising find considering that the polar region is generally thought to have low biological diversity due to the extreme environmental conditions. The scientists speculate the newly discovered viruses may have adapted specifically to thrive in such harsh conditions.

via Frigid Antarctica Loaded with Viruses | LiveScience.

Perhaps they survived from a previous civilization that was wiped out by an ice age.

Posted in Biology, Earth | Leave a Comment »

Dawn Approaches the Asteroid Belt

Posted by Anonymous on November 10, 2009

http://files.myopera.com/discoverynasa/albums/709821/ceres.jpgA new mission to explore the largest asteroids in the Solar System.

On September 27, 2007, NASA launched the Dawn spacecraft on a mission that will take it into the asteroid belt, where it will study two of the largest planetesimals in orbit between Mars and Jupiter, Ceres and Vesta. Dawn is so named because it will be observing objects thought to have existed since the dawn of the Solar System.

“Asteroid” was first coined by William Herschel and means “star-like.” Ceres was the first asteroid discovered in 1801 by Guiseppe Piazzi and the largest known, with a diameter of approximately 950 kilometers. Since no spacecraft has visited Ceres, its size estimate is determined by combining data from various telescope observations. Ceres compares in size to Saturn’s moons Tethys and Dione and might look similar to Dione, with craters and ridges, although Ceres is about 15% smaller.

Ceres has recently been added to the roster of “dwarf planets” along with Pluto—Ceres being the only one within the asteroid belt. Vesta, the first one of the Dawn mission’s targets, could also be added, something that data from the space probe will help to determine.

Vesta is the second largest asteroid, with a diameter of approximately 530 kilometers. It was found in 1807 by Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers. Using Saturn’s moons for scale again, Vesta compares to Enceladus or Mimas in size. …

via Dawn Approaches the Asteroid Belt.

Posted in Space | Leave a Comment »

The Martian Torture Chamber

Posted by Anonymous on November 10, 2009

In a Berlin basement sits a small torture chamber. The air inside the hermetically sealed steel chest consists of a choking 95 percent carbon dioxide, some nitrogen, and traces of oxygen and argon. The pressure within is 1/170 that on Earth, and the thermostat is set to –50˚F—in other words, a nice afternoon on Mars. Experiments at the facility regularly subject some of Earth’s hardiest creatures to this hell, and they do just fine.This August, several dozen scientific institutes combined forces to test a variety of Earth species in Mars-like conditions.

Identifying life-forms that can survive on another planet, what mechanisms they use to do so, and what by-products they leave behind will give scientists a more specific idea of what to look for when searching for E.T., says Jean-Pierre de Vera, a biologist at the German Center for Aeronautics and Space Research (DLR), where most of the experiments are carried out.

At press time, the scientists had tested Deinococcus radiodurans, a bacterium known for its radiation tolerance, Xanthoria elegans, a lichen that thrives in Antarctica and low-oxygen conditions, and Bacillus subtilis, a comparatively ordinary bacteria found in soil around the planet. “I was astonished that organized, symbiotic communities such as lichens [which consist of fungi and photosynthetic algae or bacteria] can survive,” de Vera says. After 22 days, 80 to 90 percent of the lichens were not only alive but active—it seems that complex life-giving processes can happen off-planet. For one thing, de Vera says, “this is the first evidence that organisms might conduct photosynthesis on Mars.” Next he plans to investigate whether methane-producing bacteria, which could account for Mars’s methane clouds, can make it on the planet.

via The Martian Torture Chamber | Popular Science.

Posted in Space | Leave a Comment »

Review: The Men Who Stare at Goats

Posted by Anonymous on November 10, 2009

Movie Review: I recommend seeing this movie.  It was funny, unexpected and did have a few connections to some strange things that really happened.

Here is an interesting report from TDG on the topic:

With the new public attention on the story, a number of the individuals involved have thrown some doubts on the veracity of Ronson’s account.

John Alexander has long disputed a number of the claims in The Men Who Stare at Goats, and in a recent article (“They Stared at Goats Because…“) states that even the title is incorrect, as the goat in question actually died after being struck using a martial arts move. Meanwhile, Stargate remote viewer Paul Smith, in an Amazon review of the book, says that while Goats is an entertaining read, it is not an accurate summation of the actual history – and at times, uses plenty of ‘artistic license’ in presenting material. And Jim Channon, whose ‘First Earth Battalion’ idea is central to much of Goats (and who has been very sporting and good-humoured about his treatment in the book), has a press release on his website which says that “Ronson’s tongue-in-cheek account is classified as a work of ‘non-fiction,’ but it is so loaded with speculation and inaccuracy, it sets the stage for much of the confusion.”

Posted in Humor, Mind, Paranormal, War | Leave a Comment »

Hindenburg airship beer auctioned

Posted by Anonymous on November 10, 2009

Hindenburg beerA blackened bottle of beer found in the wreck of the Hindenburg zeppelin is expected to fetch thousands of pounds at auction.

The bottle was found by a fire-fighter cleaning up the American airfield where the German airship exploded in 1937.

The bottle will be the most expensive ever bought if it meets its estimated price of £5,000 ($8,337) on Saturday.

The airship was engulfed by flames as it landed in New Jersey, killing 38 people and injuring 60.

Secret find

New Jersey firefighter Leroy Smith found six bottles of Lowenbrau beer and a pitcher intact on the scene of the crash.

He buried his secret find so he could collect them later, as the area had been sealed off by the authorities.

Mr Smith gave the other five bottles to his colleagues.

Most of the others are now lost, although one was given to the Lowenbrau company after the death of Mr Smith’s friend.

The silver-plated pitcher, which bears the logo of the Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei, the zeppelin airline company, is expected to reach £12,000 ($20,000). …

via BBC NEWS | Europe | Hindenburg airship beer auctioned.

Posted in Archaeology, History | Leave a Comment »

Noisy sex woman loses appeal bid

Posted by Anonymous on November 10, 2009

Caroline Cartwright and her husband Steve A woman who was banned from making loud noises during sex has lost an appeal against her conviction.

Caroline and Steve Cartwright’s love-making was described as “murder” and “unnatural” at Newcastle Crown Court.

Neighbours, the local postman and a woman taking her child to school complained about the noise.

Mrs Cartwright, 48, from Washington on Wearside, lost the appeal against a conviction for breaching a noise abatement notice.

She argued she had a right to “respect for her private and family life” under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act. …

Next door neighbour Rachel O’Connor told the court she was frequently late for work because she overslept having been awake most of the night because of the noise.

She said: “The noise sounds like they are both in considerable pain. I cannot describe the noise. I have never ever heard anything like it.”

The court heard Sunderland City Council recorded levels of up 47 decibels.

Mrs Cartwright was appealing against the abatement notice, which was imposed in November 2007, and a subsequent Asbo, banning the couple from “shouting, screaming or vocalisation at such a level as to be a statutory nuisance”.

via BBC NEWS | UK | England | Wear | Noisy sex woman loses appeal bid.

Sound proof the house?

Posted in Strange | Leave a Comment »

Vanished Persian army said found in desert

Posted by Anonymous on November 10, 2009

Image: Mass graveHundreds of bleached bones and skulls found in the desolate wilderness of the Sahara desert may be the remains of the long lost Cambyses’ army, according to Italian researchers.

The remains of a mighty Persian army said to have drowned in the sands of the western Egyptian desert 2,500 years ago might have been finally located, solving one of archaeology’s biggest outstanding mysteries, according to Italian researchers.

Bronze weapons, a silver bracelet, an earring and hundreds of human bones found in the vast desolate wilderness of the Sahara desert have raised hopes of finally finding the lost army of Persian King Cambyses II. The 50,000 warriors were said to be buried by a cataclysmic sandstorm in 525 B.C.

“We have found the first archaeological evidence of a story reported by the Greek historian Herodotus,” Dario Del Bufalo, a member of the expedition from the University of Lecce, told Discovery News.

Story continues below ↓advertisement | your ad here

According to Herodotus (484-425 B.C.), Cambyses, the son of Cyrus the Great, sent 50,000 soldiers from Thebes to attack the Oasis of Siwa and destroy the oracle at the Temple of Amun after the priests there refused to legitimize his claim to Egypt.

After walking for seven days in the desert, the army got to an “oasis,” which historians believe was El-Kharga. After they left, they were never seen again.

“A wind arose from the south, strong and deadly, bringing with it vast columns of whirling sand, which entirely covered up the troops and caused them wholly to disappear,” wrote Herodotus.

A century after Herodotus wrote his account, Alexander the Great made his own pilgrimage to the oracle of Amun, and in 332 B.C. he won the oracle’s confirmation that he was the divine son of Zeus, the Greek god equated with Amun.

The tale of Cambyses’ lost army, however, faded into antiquity. As no trace of the hapless warriors was ever found, scholars began to dismiss the story as a fanciful tale. …

via Vanished Persian army said found in desert – Discovery.com- msnbc.com.

Posted in Archaeology | Leave a Comment »

Worm link with epilepsy ‘far higher’ than thought

Posted by Anonymous on November 10, 2009

Almost one-third of the world’s epilepsy cases are caused by an avoidable food-borne parasite, according to unpublished research commissioned by the WHO.

Neurocysticercosis (NCC), an infection of the brain, has long been known to cause epilepsy and seizures, but the size of the link has surprised experts.

Common in areas with poor sanitation, NCC is the result of infection with the eggs of Taenia solium tapeworms. Eating raw or undercooked meat from pigs infected with T. solium larvae allows tapeworms to develop in the gut and shed eggs which are passed in human faeces. The eggs are ingested, either by pigs or humans, through contaminated food. They then mature into larvae which travel to the brain and cause cysts, inducing seizures.

The new review of global data by researchers at the Texas A&M University in the US is the first to investigate the global burden of epilepsy resulting from NCC infection. The researchers reviewed over 500 articles on NCC published between 1990 and 2008.

“Thirty per cent of all people suffering epilepsy in countries where tapeworm is frequent — i.e. in developing countries where pork is consumed — also suffer from NCC,” said epidemiologist Christine Budke, presenting her preliminary findings to a food safety meeting in Geneva last week (29 October).

Arve Lee Willingham, deputy director of the WHO/FAO Collaborating Center for Parasitic Zoonoses, said the 30 per cent figure was “far higher than anyone had ever thought possible”.

Fifty million people worldwide are affected by NCC, resulting in 50,000 deaths in developing countries. Research published in 2004 suggested 2–3 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa alone suffer from NCC-related epilepsy.

via Tapeworm link with epilepsy ‘far higher’ than thought – SciDev.Net.

Neurocysticercosis, is the most common parasitic infection of the brain worldwide. … The main cause of human cysticercosis is the larval form of Taenia solium (pork tapeworm). – stanford

There are some really gross photos of brains with holes in them from this disease. Don’t eat pigs.

Posted in Health | 2 Comments »

BBC: Penis tissue replaced in the lab

Posted by Anonymous on November 10, 2009

RabbitTissue created in a laboratory has been used to completely replace the erectile tissue of the penis in animals.

The advance raises hopes of being able to restore full function to human penises that have been damaged by injury or disease.

Rabbits given the engineered tissue by the scientists from Wake Forest University in North Carolina had normal sexual function and produced offspring.

The study appears online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Professor Anthony Atala said: “Further studies are required, of course, but our results are encouraging and suggest that the technology has considerable potential for patients who need penile reconstruction.

“Our hope is that patients with congenital abnormalities, penile cancer, traumatic injury and some cases of erectile dysfunction will benefit from this technology in the future.”

Reconstructing damaged or diseased penile erectile tissue is a tough challenge because of the tissue’s complex structure and function. …

via BBC NEWS | Health | Penis tissue replaced in the lab.


Posted in Biology | Leave a Comment »


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