Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for February 3rd, 2012

Choral work seeks record-breaking bass singer

Posted by Anonymous on February 3, 2012

Musical notation for the low EA record company has begun a worldwide search for the singer who can sing a note so low that it is thought never to have been sung before.

Written by Military Wives composer Paul Mealor, the choral work De Profundis includes a low E, which lies more than two octaves below middle C.

It is six semitones below the lowest note found in a mainstream choral work – a B flat in Rachmaninov’s Vespers.

The search for the bass voice will take place via trade magazines and online.

“My setting of De Profundis calls for a rich and powerful voice; a voice that can not only touch the heart with its sincerity and truth, but also make every fabric of the human body resonate as it plunges into the very lowest parts of the vocal spectrum,” said Mealor.

The deepest note ever produced by a human voice is an extremely low F sharp, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

George Menees, a coach driver from America, achieved the feat in 2010 – but it would not be possible to hit the note as part of a normal singing performance.

Mealor was handpicked by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to write the music for last year’s Royal Wedding.

His Christmas hit, Wherever You Are, sung by the Military Wives Choir, became the fastest-selling single in six years. ..

via BBC News – Choral work seeks record-breaking bass singer.

I don’t think this article is correct about the lowest note. Not a single mention of Tim Storms. He sang 8Hz.  The lowest note on standard 88 key tuned to A440 is an A0 = 27.5 HZ.   Tim Storm’s “… record was certified in January 2002[2]. This note is below the range of a human’s hearing ability, two octaves below the lowest B on a piano.”




Posted in Music | 8 Comments »

LOCH NESS MONSTER photograph explained

Posted by Anonymous on February 3, 2012

… model monster made for the film “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes” released in 1970. …

The photograph at the bottom of this blog shows Holmes and Watson encountering the “monster” as the film reaches its climax. However, the “beast” in our photograph is not the “beast” in the film for it sank without trace in Loch Ness and lies somewhere at the bottom of the loch to this day (well I suspect after forty years it is now a very ragged wireframe). Two accounts here sum up the loss of the prop.

From TCM:
The production was a troubled one, full of technical snafus like having to reshoot the entire Loch Ness sequence (the real location was too difficult to properly light among other problems). Leading lady Genevieve Page recalled in Charlotte Chandler’s biography, Nobody’s Perfect: Billy Wilder, “When we lost our Loch Ness monster, he wasn’t too concerned, even though he was also the producer. He was more concerned about how the man who made it felt when all his work sank to the bottom of the Loch Ness. He went over and comforted him.” She was referring to special effects man Wally Veevers’s elaborate “monster,” which worked beautifully until they gave it a test run in the Loch Ness. After its failure, Wilder decided to shoot it in miniature in the studio.”
From IMBD:

Originally, the scenes featuring the Loch Ness Monster were intended to be filmed in the actual Loch. A life-size prop was built which had several Nessie-like humps used to disguise floatation devices. The humps were removed, however, at Billy Wilder’s request. Unfortunately, during a test run in Loch Ness, the Monster-prop sank and was never recovered. A second prop (just the head and neck) was built, but was only filmed inside a studio tank.read more: LOCH NESS MONSTER: An Interesting Photograph.

Posted in Cryptozoology | Leave a Comment »

Hitler wine sales deemed legal in Austria

Posted by Anonymous on February 3, 2012

Officials say they have stopped investigating a man after finding no evidence that his sales of wine and schnapps with Adolf Hitler on the label were breaking a law against glorifying the Nazi era.

State prosecution official Heinz Rusch says the investigation has ended because of lack of proof the man broke that law.

The probe was launched last year after complaints that a website posting showed bottles with portraits of Hitler and the swastika. The site offered sales of spirits in “nostalgic bottles of former historical greats.”

The man was identified only as Roland M., in keeping with Austrian privacy laws. Legal officials say he was motivated by profit, not ideology.

The prosecutor’s office said Thursday the man stopped sales when legal action against him started.

via Hitler wine sales deemed legal in Austria – CBS News.

Posted in Crime, Food, History, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Man arrested for having spiders in his pants, someone else’s spiders

Posted by Anonymous on February 3, 2012

A store security camera captures a robber pulling a “spider swipe”, putting expensive spiders in his pants pockets.

“Everyone is interested that he put the spiders in his pants, but to me it’s just stealing” said store owner Jared Ohsman.

The crime was caught on tape this weekend at Reptiles and Reefs on University Avenue in Tempe.

Ohsman says Hartmann is a regular customer but he believes every few times he comes in the store he steals something, from spiders to lights.

Ohsman says he believes at least a half dozen spiders have been swiped worth a total of $1,000.

Ohsman says he comes in with family members who try to distract workers while Hartmann takes the spiders from a large, clear carton and slips them into his pockets.

“It’s not like he is stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, we are barely getting by here,” said Ohsman.

Police picked up 20-year-old Adam Hartmann on a probation violation and are still investigating the spider theft.

via Man caught stuffing stolen spiders in his pants.

Posted in Strange | Leave a Comment »

Father shoots his karaoke singing son because he didn’t like his country music song

Posted by Anonymous on February 3, 2012

William Henry Oller Sr., 70, allegedly shot his son William Jr four times in order to make the younger man stop singing country music on his home karaoke machineA 70-year-old man is alleged to have shot his son – because he didn’t like his country music karaoke singing.

William Oller Sr told his son ‘I’m going to shut you up’ before getting a handgun from his truck car and shooting his son four times.

William Oller Jr was shot in shoulder, arm and chest and also sustained a head wound during the fight with his father outside their home in Redding California.

Police said the confrontation had been sparked when Oller Jr, 50, refused to turn off his karaoke singing machine.

Investigators did not reveal what specific song Oller Jr had been singing along with that caused the argument.

An arrest warrant revealed that Oller Sr told his son words to the effect ‘I’m going to shut you up’ before grabbing a semi automatic handgun.

When his son followed his father outside the pair grappled and he was shot multiple times. …

Oller Sr was shot in the leg as the father and son fought over the gun.

He told paramedics: ‘I can’t believe he shot me’ as he waited to be transported to hospital.

Oller Jr was treated for non life threatening injuries at hospital from the .22 calibre bullets and is expected to make a full recovery.

His father appeared in Shasta County Superior Court on attempted murder and other charges and was remanded in custody in lieu of $500,000 bond.

Oller Jr’s lawyer John Kucera said his client does not wish to see his father prosecuted.

via Father shoots his karaoke singing son because he didn’t like his country music song | Mail Online.

Reminds me of that line by Bill Cosby, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out.”

I was also shot once in Redding, California.  I was not singing at the time, however.

Posted in Strange | 1 Comment »

New Flesh-Eating Bug Being Spread by Sneezing!

Posted by Anonymous on February 3, 2012

A flesh-eating bug, which has been known about for years, has gotten so virulent it can now be spread by sneezing and coughing. Doctors suspect new victims caught the virus on buses or trains and enclosed spaces like elevators.

Although the flesh-eating bug has been documented for several decades, most patients suffering from its effects caught the strain in hospitals where treatment contained the spread and was relatively confined and hard to catch.

But the bacteria strain, an MRSA known as USA300, has become so powerful it can now be spread by sneezing. Even worse, the virus is spreading just by shaking hands.

Doctors in the UK made the alarming announcement, but are blaming the evolved bug on a strain originally discovered in the US, where it is still afflicting unsuspecting victims.

In the past, the virus required a biological environment to thrive, but this new strain can lie dormant on metal surfaces, like handrails, and be picked up and transferred hand to hand. Once it is inhaled into the lungs, it can attack the spongy membranes or even afflict the heart.

This is terrible. When the Bird Flu hysteria hit the States a decade ago, people became much more aware, and intolerant of, careless strangers not covering their mouths while coughing or sneezing. Something which was tolerated or even ignored suddenly became a sore point. Many people took to wearing masks while in public.

Still, that virus was usually spread only during flu season and was generally treatable by a vaccination. Fears of its spread turned out to be overblown and never truly got out of control.

This new strain of flesh-eating bug is much harder to control and is spread more easily. Tolerance for the rude people who don’t see sneezing in public as a taboo may be in for a lot of grief from an intolerant public.

via New Flesh-Eating Bug Being Spread by Sneezing! | Gather.

Posted in Health | 1 Comment »

Farm to fork E. coli safety research project

Posted by Anonymous on February 3, 2012

The University of California, Davis, is participating in a large-scale research effort aimed at preventing potentially fatal illnesses linked to E. coli bacteria. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is funding the $25 million, coast-to-coast project, to which UC Davis is providing expertise in livestock health, foodborne disease and consumer food marketing.

The project, announced Jan. 23 by the USDA, aims to reduce the occurrence of and public health risks associated with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. The research effort is led by the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

UC Davis researchers collaborating in the project include James Cullor, a professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine; Christine Bruhn, a food science marketing specialist and director of the Center for Consumer Research; and Terry Lehenbauer, director, and Sharif Aly, assistant professor, both of the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center in Tulare.

Cullor and his colleagues in the veterinary school’s Dairy Food Safety Laboratory — in Davis and Tulare — will conduct research aimed at reducing the microbial counts on cattle hides during processing, looking for ecologically responsible methods for enhancing food safety. They also will test radiofrequency technologies, which use electrical currents oscillating at specific frequencies to inactivate E. coli on beef carcasses during processing.

via UC Davis News & Information :: UC Davis researchers partner in beef E. coli research project.

Posted in Health | Leave a Comment »

Sugar tax needed, say US experts

Posted by Anonymous on February 3, 2012

Sugar is as damaging and addictive as alcohol or tobacco and should be regulated, claim US health experts.

According to a University of California team, new policies such as taxes are needed to control soaring consumption of sugar and sweeteners.

Prof Robert Lustig argues in the journal Nature for major shifts in public policy.

Industry body the Food and Drink Federation said “demonising” food was unhelpful.

Several countries are imposing taxes on unhealthy food; Denmark and Hungary have a tax on saturated fat, while France has approved a tax on soft drinks.

Now, researchers in the US are proposing similar policies for added sugar and sweeteners, amid concern about the amount of sugar in the diet.

The consumption of sugar has tripled worldwide over the past 50 years, with links to obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.

In a comment in the journal Nature, Prof Lustig, a leading child obesity expert, says governments need to consider major shifts in policy, such as taxes, limiting sales of sweet food and drinks during school hours, or even stopping children from buying them below a certain age.

The professor of paediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, told the BBC: “It [sugar] meets all the criteria for societal intervention that alcohol and tobacco meet.”

The researchers acknowledge that they face “an uphill political battle against a powerful sugar lobby”.

But they write in Nature, that “with enough clamour for change, tectonic shifts in policy become possible”.

“Take, for instance bans on smoking in public places and the use of designated drivers, not to mention airbags in cars and condom dispensers in public bathrooms.

“These simple measures – which have all been on the battleground of American politics – are now taken for granted as essential tools for our public health and well-being. It’s time to turn our attention to sugar.” …

via BBC News – Sugar tax needed, say US experts.

Yes! Do it!  Try this experiment: Dream yourself in a new improved world. Just start with that thought as you are falling asleep, “Here we are in the much better world! And what’s this I see over here? …”

Look there, lots of healthy people with more energy who can think clearly … leading to fixing our political system, our foreign policy and the economy. And it all started with a simple idea: Tax the sugar.

Worth a try.

Posted in Food, Health, Money | 2 Comments »

‘Jewish Indiana Jones’ admits Torah fraud

Posted by Anonymous on February 3, 2012

Menachem Youlus leaves federal court in New York after appearing on mail and wire fraud charges 24 August 2011A self-described “Jewish Indiana Jones” who claimed to have travelled the world to rescue holy Torah scrolls has pleaded guilty to fraud.

Rabbi Menachem Youlus, 50, admitted he had simply made up claims that he personally found and restored Torah scrolls in Europe and Israel.

Prosecutors also said he defrauded the charity he founded and its donors of $862,000 (£545,000).

As part of a plea deal, Youlus faces up to five years in prison.

“I know what I did was wrong, and I deeply regret my conduct,” Youlus said in court on Thursday.

According to a criminal complaint, Youlus claimed to have scoured Europe in search of lost or endangered Torah scrolls – the holy Jewish text containing the Hebrew scriptures of the Old Testament.

He distributed the Torahs among American synagogues and communities, sometimes at inflated rates, and put almost one-third of the $1.2m proceeds into his personal accounts.

At a 2004 Torah dedication, Youlus wrote: “I guess you could call me the Jewish Indiana Jones,” the prosecutors alleged.

He spent some of it on private school tuition for his children and on personal expenses, prosecutors said.

Youlus, who owns a Jewish bookstore in Wheaton, Maryland, told one prospective buyer that he had personally retrieved parts of a scroll from a metal box at Auschwitz.

If fact, authorities said Youlus rarely travelled abroad during the years he had claimed to go Torah-hunting.

Lawyer Benjamin Brafman said he would seek leniency at sentencing, describing Youlus as “a good man with the best of intentions who ultimately strayed into fraudulent conduct that he now accepts full responsibility for”.

via BBC News – ‘Jewish Indiana Jones’ admits Torah fraud.

Move plot: A devout researcher discovered all of the world’s religions are built entirely on hundreds and thousands of undetected cases of fraud just like this, each one building on the stories of the next. Then he is visited by God who turns out to be an alien who turns out to be the secret government and he wakes up and its all a dream but it’s not a dream, he’s in an experiment, but he’s really dead but not just dead he’s a brain in a vat but not really that because he’s just a program simulating a brain in a vat but actually he’s just a blog entry by Xeno.

Posted in Crime, Religion | Leave a Comment »


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