Tag Archives | Bizarre

The epigenetics of The X-Files

X chromosome inactivation can definitely be explained by epigenetics. X-Files? Less certain. Image from Reinius et al., BMC Genomics 2010, 11, 614.

X chromosome inactivation can definitely be explained by epigenetics. X-Files? Less certain. Image from Reinius et al., BMC Genomics 2010, 11, 614.

via The Guardian:

The X-Files was my absolute favourite television show in the 1990s. My flatmates and I would tune in every week to watch intrepid FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully track down assorted aliens, psychics, vampires, ghosts, and government conspiracies. We bought the soundtrack CD; we even had a poster on our living room wall. It was A Big Deal, for all seven seasons (some people think there were nine seasons, but I refuse to admit that seasons eight and nine – or the second movie – ever happened).

Dana Scully was a scientist, always looking for a perfectly rational explanation for the strange phenomena encountered each week. Many of these explanations were based on genetics, especially in the “monster-of-the-week” episodes featuring assorted freaks and other abominations not part of the main alien conspiracy storyline.

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The Real Planet of the Apes – The Liberian Island Inhabited by Chimpanzees Formerly Used in Animal Testing

via Oddity Central:

Believe it or not, a real-life Planet of the Apes does exist in an isolated area located deep in the jungles of West Africa. It’s home to dozens of retired laboratory chimpanzees who were at one point used for medical research. These chimps are practically heroes – they’ve managed to survive disease, two civil wars and numerous medical tests and experiments.

The apes are former residents of The Liberian Institute of Biomedical Research (Vilab II) which played a pivotal role in developing treatments for ailments such as Hepatitis during the 1970s. It was shut down in the mid-2000s due to growing pressure from animal rights activists, and the apes were transferred to a remote Liberian island in the middle of Farmington River, to live a life of quiet retirement.

The island – known to locals as ‘Monkey Island’ – is home to over 60 chimps who only allow familiar caretakers to approach its shores.… Read the rest

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Tweets from the afterlife: social networking with the dead

The possibility of a posthumous digital social life seriously challenges our notions of death. Shimal Ahmed (Fulhi), CC BY-SA

The possibility of a posthumous digital social life seriously challenges our notions of death. Shimal Ahmed (Fulhi), CC BY-SA

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

By Bjorn Nansen, University of Melbourne; James Meese, University of Melbourne; Martin Gibbs, University of Melbourne; Michael Arnold, University of Melbourne, and Tamara Kohn, University of Melbourne

Media technologies have operated as both a means of communicating news of a death and memorialising the deceased for a significant period of time, moving from traditional epitaphs, eulogies, wakes and inscription in stone to centuries-old obituaries printed and circulated in newspapers. So where are we now?

Digital commemoration emerged as the internet became readily accessible and an integral part of people’s communicative practices. Initially, during the 90s, it took the form of memorial websites hosted by the families and friends of the deceased.… Read the rest

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Memories of a past life can trigger PTSD

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

via Unexplained Mysteries:

Children with vivid memories of a past life may be vulnerable to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson, a psychologist at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik who has been researching cases of children with memories of a past life, has documented multiple cases in which the actual recollection of dying has led the child to experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

This phenomenon is thought to be most prevalent in cases where the death being recalled was traumatic, such as in the case of a soldier being killed on the battlefield or the victim of a plane crash.

Haraldsson found that children with the most vivid past-life memories frequently exhibited behavioral problems including difficulty concentrating, outbursts of anger and an intense fear of the particular situation in which they had allegedly perished during their previous existence.

The results of these studies, as always, remain both controversial and inconclusive.

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The Time Traveler: George Church Plans to Bring Back a Creature That Went Extinct 4,000 Years Ago


via Recode:

The engineers and scientists spilling out of Greater Boston’s world-class universities built the foundations of the modern computing era and amassed the densest cluster of life sciences companies in the world. The region lost some of its most promising startups to Silicon Valley, famously including Facebook. But business is booming — and researchers and entrepreneurs there are aiming far higher than the next social network. This Re/code special series takes a closer look at past, present and future innovation in the region.

On March 15, 2013, genetic engineer George Church stood in the middle of a circular red rug onstage at the Gilbert H. Grosvenor Auditorium in Washington, D.C., describing a detailed plan for bringing a six-ton, 10-foot, fur-covered creature back from the dead.

By splicing genes responsible for traits like thicker hair, subcutaneous fat and curving tusks into the DNA of an Asian elephant, Church hopes to revive the long-extinct woolly mammoth, or at least create a version of the modern elephant that really likes the cold.

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“Riddles” Surround 36th Dead Banker Of The Year

via Global Research:

52-year-old Belgian Geert Tack – a private banker for ING who managed portfolios for wealthy individuals – was described as ‘impeccable’, ‘sporty’, ‘cared-for’, and ‘successful’ and so as Vermist reports, after disappearing a month ago, the appearance of his body off the coast of Ostend is surrounded by riddles…

Tack disappeared on November 5th…

 Impeccable. Sporty. Cared for. Successful. Just some qualifications that are attributed to the 52-year-old from the Belgian Geert Tack Haaltert.

Geert Tack worked as a private banker for ING and managed portfolios of wealthy clients. The Belgian was much respected in the financial world and was known as an up and top professional. His sudden disappearance had the effect of a bombshell. “If Tack himself was having trouble he has managed to keep it well hidden”, colleagues say.

Nobody then could have guessed that the man would not return on Wednesday, November 5th to his wife in their villa Vondelen.

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The Weirdest Cemeteries In The World

via All That Is Interesting:

By default, cemeteries are unnerving places that tend to attract few tourists. However, for every plain Jane who prefers to go out with a slab of granite, an eccentric leaves her mark as part of a manmade barrier reef. For those types—and for tourists who want a slice of the zany macabre while traveling—they should consider any of the following cemeteries.

The Merry Cemetery

Friendliest cemetery in the world Source: Wikipedia

Friendliest cemetery in the world
Source: Wikipedia

Someone liked to have a drink Source: WIkimedia

Someone liked to have a drink
Source: WIkimedia

Read More: http://all-that-is-interesting.com/weirdest-cemeteries

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A Roller Coaster Designed to Kill People


via Vice.com:

According to artist Julijonas Urbonas’s ​​website, his work Euthanasia Coaster is “a hypothetic roller coaster, engineered to humanely—with elegance and euphoria—take the life of a human being.” In simpler terms, it’s a carnival ride that kills you, though not before you have a spiritual experience along the way. The Euthanasia Coaster starts with a long, slow incline before a quarter-mile fall, which leads into a series of loops that are designed to create so much centrifugal force that you won’t be able to breathe, finally dying from lack of oxygen to your brain.

The coaster may seem like a gimmick, but it turns out to be an art piece as humane as it is shocking and terrifying. Urbonas mentions that his roller coaster could be used in a theoretical future to curb overpopulation, or to help people who feel their life has gone on “too long.” Sure, the whole idea sounds like a black metal concept album, but Urbonas’s death device was created to serve a sympathetic purpose—to give someone the ability to bow out of life with one final, lethal thrill.

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The Surprising Power of an Electric Eel’s Shock

Doug Letterman (CC BY 2.0)

Doug Letterman (CC BY 2.0)

via The New York Times:

For thousands of years, fishermen knew that certain fish could deliver a painful shock, even though they had no idea how it happened. Only in the late 1700s did naturalists contemplate a bizarre possibility: These fish might release jolts of electricity — the same mysterious substance as in lightning.

That possibility led an Italian physicist named Alessandro Volta in 1800 to build an artificial electric fish. He observed that electric stingrays had dense stacks of muscles, and he wondered if they allowed the animals to store electric charges. To mimic the muscles, he built a stack of metal disks, alternating between copper and zinc.

Volta found that his model could store a huge amount of electricity, which he could unleash as shocks and sparks. Today, much of society runs on updated versions of Volta’s artificial electric fish. We call them batteries.

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Ouija Boards Become A Christmas ‘Must Buy’: Church Warns ‘Don’t Let This Darkness Into Your Lives’

Dave Winer (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Dave Winer (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via The Inquistr:

It would appear that Ouija boards are fast becoming one of the “coolest” and “must-have” Christmas gifts of 2014, but the church has fiercely criticized the trend calling it “absolutely appalling,” and strongly warned people to “not let this darkness” into their lives.

Google reports that sales of Ouija boards are up to 300 percent, and are flying off the shelves quicker than you can say, “Oh no, it looks like poltergeist activity’.

The reason for the resurgence in sales is a new low-budget horror film called Ouija.

The film, which tells the time-honored story of kids meddling with powers they do not comprehend and then wondering why all of a sudden everything’s gone to hell, was slated by the critics, but cinema-going teens adored it.

Cue the current demand for Ouija boards. Interestingly, toy manufacturer Hasbro, who are one of the companies currently selling Ouija boards to ghost-seeking teens, helped finance the making of Ouija.

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