Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for September 27th, 2010

Man removes knife from head after 3 years

Posted by Anonymous on September 27, 2010

   Edeilson Manoel do Nascimento holds an X-ray showing a knife that was inside his head at the Hospital das Clinicas in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010. Nascimento is recovering nicely after a team of surgeons removed the 4-inch knife that had remained stuck in his head for three years after a bar fight.  A 29-year-old tire repairman from northeastern Brazil is recovering after doctors removed a 10-centimetre blade that has been stuck in the front of his head for three years after a bar fight.

Edeilson Nascimento told the local Terra news agency that doctors previously told him not to take the knife out because it could cause further damage including lesions in the brain stem which could result in death. “In three years I felt bad headaches every day of my life from the time I woke up until bedtime,” he told Terra news. “So I stopped working.”

A team of seven people, including three neurosurgeons, from the hospital at the Federal University of Pernambuco removed the knife without causing further harm over the course o

via Man removes knife from head after 3 years | Weird | News | Toronto Sun.

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Australia faces worst plague of locusts in 75 years

Posted by Anonymous on September 27, 2010

It's a bug's life: an Australian plague locust Australia’s Darling river is running with water again after a drought in the middle of the decade reduced it to a trickle. But the rains feeding the continent’s fourth-longest river are not the undiluted good news you might expect. For the cloudbursts also create ideal conditions for an unwelcome pest – the Australian plague locust.

The warm, wet weather that prevailed last summer meant that three generations of locusts were born, each one up to 150 times larger than the previous generation. After over-wintering beneath the ground, the first generation of 2010 is already hatching. And following the wettest August in seven years, the climate is again perfect. The juveniles will spend 20 to 25 days eating and growing, shedding their exoskeletons five times before emerging as adults, when population pressure will force them to swarm.

It is impossible to say how many billions of bugs will take wing, but many experts fear this year’s infestation could be the worst since records began – 75 years ago. All that one locust expert, Greg Sword, an associate professor at the University of Sydney, would say was: “South Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria are all going to get hammered.”

via Australia faces worst plague of locusts in 75 years – Nature, Environment – The Independent.

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Aliens ‘hit our nukes': They even landed at a Suffolk base, claim airmen

Posted by Anonymous on September 27, 2010

Robert HastingsIt may sound like a Spielberg movie plot, but if senior U.S. airmen are to be believed, this scenario is not science fiction.

They claim that since 1948, aliens have been hovering over UK and U.S. nuclear missile sites and deactivating the weapons– once even landing in a British base.

Furthermore, they warn, our governments are hushing the activity up.

Captain Robert Salas, who, along with six others is to break his silence on the subject, said: ‘We’re talking about unidentified flying objects, as simple as that.

‘They’re often known as UFOs, you could call them that.

‘The U.S. Air Force is lying about the national security implications of unidentified aerial objects at nuclear bases and we can prove it,’ he said.

The former officer said he witnessed such an event first-hand on March 16, 1967, at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana.

‘I was on duty when an object came over and hovered directly over the site.

‘The missiles shut down – ten Minuteman [nuclear] missiles. And the same thing happened at another site a week later. There’s a strong interest in our missiles by these objects, wherever they come from. I personally think they’re not from planet Earth.’

Colonel Charles Halt claims to have seen a UFO at RAF Bentwaters, near Ipswich, one of the few bases in the UK to hold nuclear weapons.

The sighting is said to have taken place 30 years ago. First he saw the object firing beams of light into the base then heard on the military radio that aliens had landed inside the nuclear storage area, he said.

‘I believe that the security services of both the United States and the United Kingdom have attempted – both then and now – to subvert the significance of what occurred at RAF Bentwaters by the use of well-practised methods of disinformation.’

The six former U.S. Air Force officers and one former enlisted man, are to present declassified information which they claim backs up their findings. They have witness testimony from 120 former or retired military personnel which points to alien intervention at nuclear sites in the U.S. as recently as 2003.

They will urge the authorities to confirm that alien beings have long been visiting Earth.

A press conference today in Washington will also highlight testimony from retired U.S. Air Force Captain Bruce Fenstermacher, whose security team saw a cigar-shaped UFO hovering above FE Warren nuclear base in Wyoming in 1976.

Researcher Robert Hastings, who has written on the subject, explained that so far the aliens appeared interested in ‘mere surveillance’ but warned they seemed to have gone further in some instances.

‘At long last, all of these witnesses are coming forward to say that, as unbelievable as it may seem to some, UFOs have long monitored and sometimes tampered with our nukes,’ he added.

via Aliens ‘hit our nukes': They even landed at a Suffolk base, claim airmen | Mail Online.

Posted in Aliens, UFOs, War | 2 Comments »

The future of air travel is … well, weird

Posted by Anonymous on September 27, 2010

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0133f485ea81970b-piCan you imagine a plane that at a touch of a button becomes entirely transparent so passengers can have unobstructed views through the fuselage and the cabin floor at the city that lies about 40,000 feet below their feet?

Well, the engineers at European aircraft maker Airbus can.

The company released “The Future, by Airbus” a few months back, and even though it’s only about 14 pages long, there are some wild ideas about the future of air travel.

By 2050, engineers envision self-cleaning headrests that can never be soiled, pliable seats that will modify around a passenger’s body, and holographic projections that will make a private cabin into a Japanese Zen garden.

“So imagine, if you will, stepping in to your pre-selected themed cabin, relaxing into a perfectly clean, ecologically grown seat that changes shape to suit you and looking up through the transparent ceiling at the Milky Way in all its glory,” at an altitude of more than 32,000 feet, the company writes.

Airbus says materials of the future will have functionality that provides transparency on command, negating the need for windows. So we’re guessing that the pilot will be able to put the plane in invisible mode.

But whether or not people are going to want to see through a plane as it travels 600 miles per hour is still up in the air.

via The future of air travel is … well, weird | Technology | Los Angeles Times.

Posted in Technology, Travel | 1 Comment »

Fish with ‘human teeth’ bit angler

Posted by Anonymous on September 27, 2010

Mystery catch /WennAn angler had a shock in the US – when a mystery fish bit him back with distinctly human-looking teeth.

Frank Yarborough was fishing in Lake Wylie, South Carolina, when he hooked the fish which was 5lb and nearly 1ft 8ins long.

Assuming it was a catfish, he scooped his hand in the water to pull it out, only to find his fingers clamped between what appeared to be a set of dentures.

Robert Stroud, a freshwater fisheries biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, has confirmed that samples from the fish have been sent off to determine the fish’s species.

Stroud told WBTV: “This fish is more than likely a common species of Pacu, Colossama macropomum, originating from the Amazon River basin of South America and is quite common in the aquarium trade.”

Pacus, a distant relative of the piranha, is a warm water fish, and not native to Lake Wylie. Biologists believe it was probably raised in an exotic fish tank and released when it got too large for the tank.

The fish is currently in a freezer in Mr Yarborough’s Clover home, but unsurprisingly he has no plans to cook his catch.

via Fish with ‘human teeth’ bit angler | Orange UK.

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No Joke: Comedian Bob Marley Breaks Record for World’s Longest Stand-Up Routine

Posted by Anonymous on September 27, 2010

Comedian Bob Marley spent exactly 40 hours onstage at a comedy club in Portland, Maine.One of the basic rules of comedy is that shorter is better than long. However, comedian Bob Marley is throwing that notion on its head.

On Thursday night at 11:02 p.m. EST, Marley set a new world record for the longest continuous stand-up routine.

The comedian, who has been performing all over the United States for the past two decades, started his laughable world record attempt at a comedy club in Portland, Maine, early Wednesday morning and didn’t stop until late Thursday — exactly 40 hours later.

Basically, Marley did a 40-hour work week in a day and a half, breaking the previous record of 38 hours and 16 minutes, set by Australian comedian Lindsay Webb in October.According to Oliver Keithly, who owns the Maine Comedy Connection where Marley performed and serves as the comic’s tour manager, the idea for the attempt has been 18 months in the making.

“Bob was with some other comics having steaks and beers doing what comedians usually do when they get together: talk about comedy,” Keithly told AOL News. “They started talking about the longest stand-up routine and, after Googling it, discovered it was 36 hours and 15 minutes, set by Irish comic Tommy Tiernan.

“Since then, Lindsay Webb set a new record, and Bob decided he wanted to do 40 hours.”

Finding the date to do this was a difficult task.

“Basically, it took so long to set up because this was the only weekend Bob had free,” Keithly said. “A friend of his is getting married on Saturday, so he’d knew he’d be in town.”

Besides finding the time, the other big challenge was finding the material.

“Bob has 19 CDs of material out — and only one is a greatest hits package,” he said. “He had to go back and listen to material he did 15 to 18 years ago. It took him two weeks, and when he showed up at the club, the set list was like an NFL playbook.”

He did his homework well. Marley was able to go 17 hours and 14 minutes before he repeated himself.

In order for the record to count, there has to be at least 10 paying customers watching him at all times. Keithly says that wasn’t a problem.

“We’re doing this event for the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center, so there were a lot of people supporting the charity,” Keithly said. “Plus, Bob donates a lot of his time to charities, so there were a lot of people there just to support him. The club holds about 140 people and at 4 a.m., we still had 100 people in the club — this from an area with around 80,000 people.” …

via No Joke: Comedian Bob Marley Breaks Record for World’s Longest Stand-Up Routine.

Posted in Humor | 1 Comment »

Superaccurate Clocks Confirm Time is Slower for Your Feet

Posted by Anonymous on September 27, 2010

sn-relativity.jpgOut of sync. Because of the effects of gravity, a clock high on a wall should run ever so slightly faster than a watch just below it.

According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, a clock on the floor ought to run very slightly slower than an identical one on top of a step stool because the lower clock nestles deeper into Earth’s gravitational field. Now, physicists have demonstrated this effect using two super-accurate clocks and hoisting one several centimeters above the other. It’s the first time scientists have used clocks to show that time flies faster for your nose than for your navel.

“The demonstration of the gravitational shift by elevating a clock about one foot is quite stunning,” says Daniel Kleppner, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, who was not involved in the work. He adds, however, that the demonstration “does not change anyone’s view on relativity.”

Einstein realized that time passes at different rates depending on the circumstances. For example, suppose you stand on a train platform with a Rolex on your wrist while a friend wearing an identical watch zooms by in a train. Your friend’s watch runs slower than yours simply because he is moving relative to you, Einstein predicted in his theory of special relativity. And according to his theory of general relativity, gravity comes about because massive things like Earth stretch the fabric of space and time. As a result, a clock at lower altitude and, hence, lower gravitational energy, should run slower than one at higher altitude—by about 3 microseconds per year per kilometer of elevation.

Such seemingly nonsensical predictions have long since been confirmed by comparing ultra-accurate atomic clocks on the ground with those in high-flying jets. And the satellite-based global position system takes them into account. Now Chin-wen Chou, Till Rosenband, and colleagues at the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colorado, have detected changes in the passage of time caused by speeds of less than 10 meters per second and height changes of less than a meter, using a new type of atomic clock called an optical clock.

An atomic clock exploits the fact that the electrons in at atom occupy “states” with distinct energies and can hop between two states by emitting or absorbing electromagnetic waves of a set frequency. Researchers shine such waves on the atoms, and a feedback loop keeps their frequency tuned so that the atoms continually jump back and fourth between the two states. The oscillating waves then mark time just as a pendulum does, only very much faster and more evenly. The atomic clocks that now set the international time standard use microwaves with a frequency of 9.2 billion cycles per second to make cesium atoms flip between two states of nearly the same energy.

In contrast, the NIST researchers’ clock uses laser light with a frequency of 1,120,000 billion cycles per second to drive a higher-energy jump called an optical transition in a single aluminum ion held in an elaborate trap. The cesium standard is accurate to three parts in 10 million billion; the new aluminum clock has an accuracy nearly 40 times better. That extra accuracy makes it possible to demonstrate the effect of relativity on a more human scale. The researchers built two aluminum clocks, and to test the velocity effect they set the ion in one jiggling back and forth in its trap with a speed as low as 4 meters per second. They were able to resolve the 2-parts-in-10-million-billion slowing that motion caused in the clock with the moving ion. To test the gravity effect, the physicists started with one clock 17 centimeters below the other and then raised the first clock by 33 centimeters. This time they detected a 4-parts-in-100-million-billion shift in the frequency of the raised clock, as predicted by the theory of general relativity, the researchers report in the 24 September issue of Science.

“What amazes me is the advancement of the optical clocks—10 or 20 years ago they were only a dream,” say Nan Yu, a quantum physicist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Only recent advances in laser techniques have made that dream a reality, says Yu, who expects that within a few years some type of optical clock may replace the cesium microwave standard. …

via Superaccurate Clocks Confirm Your Hair Is Aging Faster Than Your Toenails – ScienceNOW.

Posted in Physics | 1 Comment »

Gordon Bennett balloon race competitors cross France

Posted by Anonymous on September 27, 2010

Picture of gas balloonsTwenty teams of gas balloonists, including the Wiltshire adventurer David Hempleman-Adams, are crossing France in the Gordon Bennett race.

The teams launched from East Compton, near Bristol, late on Saturday night. To win they must travel the furthest.

By 1600 BST Hempleman-Adams and his co-pilot Simon Carey had travelled more than 450km (280m).

Writing earlier on Sunday, Hempleman-Adams said it had got chilly in the night, but not as bad as in the Arctic.

Leading the pack near Bordeaux is the Japanese balloon piloted by Saburo Ichiyoshi and Akio Hachinohe, closely followed by the French and Swiss balloons.

The competitors from 10 countries are travelling in hydrogen-filled balloons and their progress can be followed online.

The balloons are controlled by releasing gas to go down and throwing out sand to go up.

Good spirits

It is the first time in its 104-year history that the Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett race has taken off from the UK.

Race director Clive Bailey said Hempleman-Adams sounded in good spirits and was in regular contact on the weather and the balloon’s track.

Weather forecasts suggest the craft could be heading towards Italy, but crews are only allowed in Italian airspace during daylight hours.

The Duke of Edinburgh and Sir Richard Branson are patrons of the 54th Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett race.

Hempleman-Adams won the race in 2008 with co-pilot Jon Mason, giving them the honour of hosting it in their home country.

Mr Hempleman-Adams and Mr Mason were the first UK team to win, flying 1,098 miles (1,767km) from Albuquerque in New Mexico to Lake Michigan in just over three days.

via BBC News – Gordon Bennett balloon race competitors cross France.

France is currently in the lead. Japan and Finland have have touched down.

The winner of the Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett is the pilot who flies the furthest from the starting point, measured in a straight line around the earth’s surface. However, there are only a limited number of countries over which competitors may fly. Flying over or landing in a country outside the competition area results in disqualification.

In 2009’s race, three teams flew to the African continent, which was outside the competition area for that year’s race. It took long negotiations and several months for the balloons to be returned to the teams.

Some countries are out of bounds because of diplomatic reasons. Others are out because the safety of the teams cannot be guaranteed. Some others are out of bounds to prevent the teams from taking great risks to fly to them.

2010’s race competition area has almost been finalised, and is shown on the map. Countries in white (unshaded) are outside the competition area; coloured countries are inside the area. Competitors may cross over any body of water but must not fly over or land in countries outside of the area.

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Stuxnet worm hits Iran nuclear plant staff computers

Posted by Anonymous on September 27, 2010

Guard at Bushehr nuclear power plant, Iran - 21 August 2010A complex computer worm has infected the personal computers of staff at Iran’s first nuclear power station, the official IRNA news agency reported.

However, the operating system at the Bushehr plant – due to go online in a few weeks – has not been harmed, project manager Mahmoud Jafari said.

The Stuxnet worm is capable of seizing control of industrial plants.

Some Western experts say its complexity suggests it could only have been created by a “nation state”.

It is the first sign that Stuxnet, which targets systems made by the German company Siemens, has reached equipment linked to Iran’s nuclear programme.

The West fears Iran’s ultimate goal is to build nuclear weapons. Iran says its programme is aimed solely at peaceful energy use.

Stuxnet is tailored to target weaknesses in Siemens systems used to manage water supplies, oil rigs, power plants and other utilities.

‘Electronic war’

The fact that Stuxnet has now been detected on the personal computers of staff will have no impact on plans to make the Bushehr plant operational next month, Mr Jafari said.

A team is now trying to remove the malicious software, or malware, from several affected computers, he told IRNA.

It is believed to be the first-known worm designed to target major infrastructure facilities.

“An electronic war has been launched against Iran”, Mahmoud Liayi, head of the information technology council at the ministry of industries, told the state-run Iran Daily newspaper.

A working group of experts met last week to discuss ways of fighting the worm, which Mr Liayi said has now infected about 30,000 IP addresses in Iran. …

via BBC News – Stuxnet worm hits Iran nuclear plant staff computers.

Once within a network-initially delivered via an infected USB device-Stuxnet used the EoP vulnerabilities to gain administrative access to other PC’s, sought out the system running the WinCC and PCS 7 SCADA management programs, hijacked them by exploiting either the print-spooler or MS08-067 bugs, then tried the default Siemens passwords to commandeer the SCADA software.

They could then program the so-called PLC (programmable logic control) software to give the machinery new instructions.

On top of all that, the attack code seemed legitimate because the people behind Stuxnet had stolen at least two signed digital certificates….

So scary, so thorough was the reconnaissance, so complex the job, so sneaky the attack, that (all the experts consulted) believe it couldn’t be the work of even an advanced cybercrime gang.

via American Thinker

Israel whistles and shuffles its feet innocently.

Posted in Technology | Leave a Comment »

Flatwoods Monster a 1950’s Military Psyop?

Posted by Anonymous on September 27, 2010

There can be few very people within the realms of cryptozoology and ufology that have never heard of the so-called Flatwoods Monster, or Braxton County Monster, of 1952 – a story that is told in-depth in Frank Feschino’s 2004 book, The Braxton County Monster: the Cover-Up of the Flatwoods Monster Revealed.

And as Feschino notes in his book: “On the night of September 12, 1952, a shocked American public sought answers when strange unidentified objects were seen flying through the sky over Washington, DC, and the eastern United States…”

… There are a number of issues worth noting here. First, the height of the Flatwoods Monster and the British Army’s devilish scarecrow were the same: 12-feet. In addition, the cover of Frank Feschino’s book shows the Flatwoods Monster emitting lights. And the 12-foot scarecrow in Italy gave off “frightful flashes and bangs” and had “great electric blue sparks jumping from it.”

Second, the RAND report that specifically refers to this Italian escapade – that Jasper Maskelyne described in his Magic: Top Secret book – was prepared for psychological warfare planners in the U.S. Air Force. And, in his book on the beast of Flatwoods, Feschino notes that the Air Force took careful interest in the Flatwoods affair and what was being reported on the affair by the media.

The RAND report was submitted to the Air Force in April 1950, and Flatwoods occurred in September 1952. Is it possible that in this two-year period USAF psychological warfare planners created their very own – albeit updated and modified – version of the British Army’s 12-foot-tall flashing monster to try and gauge what its reaction might be when unleashed upon an unsuspecting populace?

There’s also the settings, too: the British Army’s operation was focused on little, isolated villages in Italy. And Flatwoods is a little, rural town in Braxton County, West Virginia that, even as late as 2000, had a population of less than 350.

via Nick Redfern’s “There’s Something in the Woods…”: Is This The Flatwoods Monster?.

Could this be what happened in 1966 in Point Pleasant, West Virginia?  Did RAND create the Mothman for the US Government who wanted to see if we were prepared to find life on the moon?

Posted in Aliens, Strange, UFOs, War | 1 Comment »

 
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