Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for February 17th, 2011

Detroit Will PAY You To Take One Of These 100 Abandoned Homes

Posted by Anonymous on February 17, 2011

abandoned houses, detroitMayor Dave Bing is trying to save Detroit by offering incentives to lure residents back to abandoned neighborhoods.

One program offers $150,000 in housing renovation money and requiring only $1,000 down to police officers who are willing to relocate to the city. Another offers college graduates $2,500 to rent and $20,000 forgivable loan to buy properties.

Potential home buyers can choose from plenty of cheap or free homes, especially in the blighted neighborhoods of Woodward Ave. and Brush Park.

Photographer Kevin Bauman has collected beautiful photos of 100 abandoned Detroit homes.

via Detroit Will PAY You To Take One Of These 100 Abandoned Homes.

Posted in Strange | Leave a Comment »

Ancient Britons ‘drank from skulls’

Posted by Anonymous on February 17, 2011

Skull bowl (Natural History Museum)Ancient Britons were not averse to using human skulls as drinking cups, skeletal remains unearthed in southwest England suggest.

The braincases from three individuals were fashioned in such a meticulous way that their use as bowls to hold liquid seems the only reasonable explanation.

The 14,700-year-old objects were discovered in Gough’s Cave, Somerset.

Scientists from London’s Natural History Museum say the skull-cups were probably used in some kind of ritual.

“If you look around the world there are examples of skull-cups in more recent times – in Tibetan culture, in Fiji in Oceania, and in India,” said Dr Silvia Bello, a palaeontologist and lead author of a scientific paper on the subject in the journal PLoS One.

“So, skulls have been used as drinking bowls, and because of the similarity of the Gough’s Cave skulls to these other examples, we imagine that that’s what these ancient people were using them for also,” she told BBC News.

Gough’s Cave is situated in the Cheddar Gorge, a deep limestone canyon on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills. …

via BBC News – Ancient Britons ‘drank from skulls’.

Posted in Archaeology, Strange | 1 Comment »

Burmese Girl With 12 Fingers, 14 Toes Grasps for Guinness Record

Posted by Anonymous on February 17, 2011

A mother in Myanmar says her baby girl’s 12 fingers and 14 toes have been no disadvantage — her grip may even be stronger than normal — and now she’s grasping for a Guinness record.

Phyo Min Min Soe, 26, knew her girl Le Yati Min had a little something extra since nearly the moment she was born.

“I asked the nurses whether my kid was born complete with hands and legs,” said her mother. “They replied that the baby even has more than she needs.”

via Digitally Enhanced: Burmese Girl With 12 Fingers, 14 Toes Grasps for Guinness Record.


Please remember to keep cell phones away from your kids heads. Their skulls aren’t as thick as ours and you may be causing them permanent brain damage or cancer later in life. Speaker phone is okay.

Posted in Biology, Strange | Leave a Comment »

Has ‘Bownessie’ been caught on camera after couple’s close encounter with three-car long beast on Lake Windermere

Posted by Anonymous on February 17, 2011

Hump-backed: The image of 'Bownessie' taken by IT worker Tom Pickles on Lake Windermere The legend of ‘Bownessie’ is echoing across the waters of Lake Windermere once again after what is being called the best ever sighting of the mythical sea creature.

Emerging from the mist with oily black skin and three eerie humps, this picture reveals a mystical looking beast gliding through the lake.

The snap was taken on a camera-phone by terrified IT graduate Tom Pickles, 24, who said an animal the size of three cars sped across the lake in front him last Friday.

‘It was petrifying and we paddled back to the shore straight away,’ he said.

‘At first I thought it was a dog and then saw it was much bigger and moving really quickly at about 10 mph. Each hump was moving in a rippling motion and it was swimming fast.’

This is believed to be the eighth sighting of a long hump-backed creature – affectionately known by locals as Bownessie – in the past last five years.

Mr Pickles, who said he watched the creature for 20 seconds, added: ‘I could tell it was much bigger underneath from the huge shadow around it.

‘Its skin was like a seal’s but its shape was completely abnormal – it’s not like any animal I’ve ever seen before.’

Mr Pickles’s companion Sarah Harrington, 23, said: ‘It was like an enormous snake.

‘It freaked us all out but it wasn’t until we saw the picture that we thought we’d seen something out of this world.

‘I only saw it for a few seconds but all I could think about was that I had to get off the lake.’

The pair – who both work for Shrewsbery based IT company CapGemini – were on the last day of a team building residential training course at Fallbarrow Hall, Bowness, Cumbria. …

via Has ‘Bownessie’ been caught on camera after couple’s close encounter with three-car long beast on Lake Windermere | Mail Online.

Posted in Cryptozoology | 1 Comment »

Storm to bring Northern Lights to Britain

Posted by Anonymous on February 17, 2011

A display of Aurora Borealis, northern lights, ...Britain should experience spectacular Northern Lights displays from Thursday due to a large solar storm which could disrupt communication networks, the British Geological Survey (BGS) said.

“Since February 13 three energetic solar flares have erupted on the sun and spewed clouds of charged plasma called coronal mass ejections (CMEs) out towards the earth,” a BGS geomagnetic storm warning said.

“Already one CME arrived on the 14th sparking Valentine’s Day displays of the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) further south than usual.

“Two CMEs are expected to arrive in the next 24-48 hours and further…displays are possible some time over the next two nights if skies are clear.”

The strongest storm in four years is expected to interfere with satellites and electrical networks, with astronomers in southern China already reporting disturbances to radio communications.

The BGS Wednesday published geomagnetic records dating back to the Victorian era which it hopes will help in planning for future storms.

“Life increasingly depends on technologies that didn’t exist when the magnetic recordings began,” Alan Thomson, BGS head of geomagnetism said.

“Studying the records will tell us what we have to plan and prepare for to make sure systems can resist solar storms,” he added.

via Storm to bring Northern Lights to Britain – Yahoo! News UK.

Posted in Earth, Space, Technology | Leave a Comment »

German Bill Would Protect Kids’ Right to Make Noise

Posted by Anonymous on February 17, 2011

Children of Germany take heart — it may soon be perfectly legal to make noise.

Germany is so desperate to encourage people to have more children that the government is proposing a bill allowing citizens under 6 to laugh, shout and play at any volume.Germany is a land of many rules, especially about noise. The government’s move comes after a series of lawsuits about children and noise, and a recent call from a senior citizens’ chapter of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, who sought to ban kindergartens from residential areas because they are too loud.

The government said Wednesday the proposed law would exempt children from strict regulations on noise limits, which force construction sites to stand idle for hours at midday and prohibit mowing lawns on Sunday.

via Don’t Tell That Kid to Keep Quiet! German Bill Would Protect Kids’ Right to Make Noise.

Posted in Strange | 1 Comment »

Computer ‘Watson’ wins at Jeopardy

Posted by Anonymous on February 17, 2011


Posted in - Video, Technology | 2 Comments »

People are being given too many recycling bins

Posted by Anonymous on February 17, 2011

Household bins in Newcastle under LymeCouncils are asking householders to sort their rubbish into as many as nine bins to boost recycling, a survey suggests.

On average, the Taxpayers’ Alliance pressure group found councils expected residents to sort their household waste into four bins, bags and caddies.

Newcastle-under-Lyme had the largest number of bins, with nine containers.

The government said this number of bins “seemed a little over the top” and it was reviewing waste collection.

The research was compiled through a combination of freedom of information requests and checking council websites.

Newcastle-under-Lyme uses separate bins for refuse, cardboard, plastics, paper, glass and cans, textiles and garden waste. It also hands out two food waste caddies – one for putting food scraps in for the kitchen and another for kerbside collection.

The survey also found 20 other local authorities including Chelmsford, Aberdeenshire, Guildford and Middlesbrough give residents seven or more containers….

Two councils, Dumfries and Galloway and the Isles of Scilly collect just one bin.

Across England, around 40% of household waste is now being recycled, composted or reused.

Councils face taxes for using landfill to deal with waste and fines if European Union targets to reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill are not met. …

via BBC News – ‘People are being given too many recycling bins’.

Posted in Control Freaks, Earth, Survival | 1 Comment »

‘Johannes Kepler’ space freighter heads to station

Posted by Anonymous on February 17, 2011

ATV-CC Toulouse (Esa)Europe’s space freighter, Johannes Kepler, has been blasted into orbit by an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana.


The robotic truck is heading to the space station with new supplies of food, air, fuel, and experiments, as well as other equipment.

Kepler weighed just over 20 tonnes at launch, making it the biggest payload ever lifted into the sky by an Ariane.

What is more, it was the 200th Ariane flight since the vehicle series was initiated in 1979.

Lift-off from the Kourou spaceport occurred at 18 hours, 50 minutes and 55 seconds local time (2150.55 GMT) – the instant needed to put the truck on the right path to catch the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday next week.

ATV (BBC)“It was enormous; the mission was absolutely flawless,” said an ecstatic Nico Dettmann, who heads up the freighter programme at the European Space Agency (Esa).

“It’s like you’ve written a story and it turns out exactly the way you wanted. All the data we’re getting from Kepler is positive. All the events have occurred that should’ve occurred, like solar panel deployment. The team has done a wonderful job and I’m really proud of them,” he told BBC News.

When it gets to the station, Kepler will dock with the Russian Zvezda module on the rear of the orbiting platform. …

via BBC News – ‘Johannes Kepler’ space freighter heads to station.

Posted in Space | Leave a Comment »


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