Tag Archives | Kazakhstan

“Epidemic Of Sleep” Reported In Village In Kazakhstan

sleepingIs it mass hysteria? A mysterious epidemic that could grind society to a halt? Or perhaps a logical response to the complexities of modern life? Via Brazil Weird News:

An “Epidemic of Sleep” is how doctors are calling a strange disease that spread among the villagers of Kalachi, Akmola region, Kazakhstan.

Local TV channel KTK reported that, even now, nothing is known about the cause of the disorder. It was found that the affected people are not close nor had any fortuitous contact with each other.

The complaints relate symptoms such as weakness, fainting, even hallucinations. All victims begin to feel an irresistible desire to sleep. Village resident Hope Yakimova said: “People are falling sleeping suddenly, anywhere, standing or sitting.”

Radiation levels and samples of air, water, and soil were measured across town. The blood of the victims was also analyzed seeking traces of heavy metals and other toxic substances.

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Giant Pentagram Visible From Above In Wilderness Of Kazakhstan

pentagramVisible from above, but a message from below? Via Live Science:

On the wind-blown steppes of central Asia, in an isolated corner of Kazakhstan, there’s a large pentagram etched into the Earth’s surface.

Located on the southern shore of the Upper Tobol Reservoir, it shows up vividly on Google Maps. There are almost no other signs of human habitation in the area; the closest settlement is the city of Lisakovsk, about 12 miles to the east.

What is this bizarre symbol, measuring roughly 1,200 feetin diameter, doing on the side of a desolate lake in northern Kazakhstan? Though it’s difficult to discern exactly what the Kazakh pentagram is, or was, used for, several online comments indicate that it’s the abandoned site of a Soviet-era lakeside campground.

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Kazakhstan To Rebury Ancient Warlord, Fearing Curse

ancient warlord

Call the reburial a case of superstition triumphing over rationality, but, frankly, the Golden Man gives me the creeps too. RIA Novosti reports:

Ever heard about the curse of the pharaohs? Well, how about the curse of a 2,500-year-old chief of a nomadic Scythian tribe that brings about floods, droughts, and livestock decimation?

The Scythian curse is real, say locals in a remote area of eastern Kazakhstan where the chieftain’s remains were discovered – and where they will be reinterred this weekend to appease his spirit, to the chagrin of archeologists.

In 2003, an archeological expedition dug up a burial mound in the Shiliktinskaya Valley to find a Golden Man – a presumed leader of the Saka tribe, a branch of the Scythian nomads that populated Central Asia and southern Siberia in the 1st millennium BC.

Since the mound was excavated, the area around it has been hit by several floods, a drought, a mass loss of livestock and an increase in births of children with learning disabilities, locals said, Kazakh television KTK reported.

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Debating The Global Media—in Kazakhstan

Sun and EagleAstana, Kazakhstan: Most people wouldn’t bother going half way around the world for their fifteen seconds of fame.  Ok, so maybe there was little fame to be found but, it was still worthwhile to spend two days flying back and forth to attend the two-day annual Eurasian Media Forum in Kazakhstan, a Central Asian nation that is actually the 9th largest country in the world, with ultra wealthy oil and gas fields.

It was also one of the few countries in the world that gave up its nuclear weapons. South Africa is another one.

Kazakhstan flickered briefly in our popular culture when the film Borat made fun of the place—it was shot in Romania, not there—and more recently, figured in the investigation into the terrifying actions of the Tsarnaev ‘Bomb Brothers’ in Boston responsible for doing so much vicious damage at the Marathon. It was reported that they had also lived here although local media disputes it.  (Two Kazakh kids are said to be in jail now in the US for visa violations although it’s not clear how or if they are linked.)

The forum here deals with political and media issues and attracts top journalists and policymakers to hold forth on panels.  I was on one with none other than Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor.… Read the rest

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Wikipedia’s First Wikipedian of the Year is Propagandist for Kazakh Dictatorship

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has some explaining to do.

Via Daily Dot:

Some of Wikipedia’s harshest critics have dug up an embarrassing bit of Wikipedia history in recent days. Most notable: The site’s first-ever Wikipedian of the Year is a former paid propaganda flack for the authoritarian Kazakh government, known for its iron control over free media and awful human-rights record.

Rauan Kenzhekhanuly is a Kazakh government man through and through. The former first secretary at the country’s Russian embassy also served as Moscow Bureau chief for the National TV Agency, a government propaganda arm launched by the daughter of Kazakh’s all-powerful president-cum-dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Now Kenzhekhanuly runs WikiBilim, an organization devoted to ballooning the size of the Kazakh language Wikipedia. But while WikiBlim may be a non-profit, it’s also backed financially by the state’s sovereign oil wealth fund, which is run by none other than the President Nazarbayev’s son-in-law.

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Kazakhstan Presidential Candidate Vows To Legalize Polygamy

Absattar Derbisali

Sheikh Absattar Derbisali, the Grand Mufti of Kazakhstan.

The Telegraph reports:

Amantay Asilbek is bringing a little colour to the Central Asian republic’s depressingly predictable poll with his traditional Kazakh dress, eccentric antics and colourful views.

“In Kazakhstan, there are a lot of single women, and it is a national tragedy, because we lose potential mothers,” Mr Asilbek said in an interview with Adam, a local magazine. “I think polygamy would solve this problem.”

Mr Asilbek, 70, went on to say that he, himself, had considered a second wife. “Young girls often come to my home, dreaming of becoming my wives. But none of them could so far pass the ‘quality test’ of my current wife.”

The Kazakh air, he claimed, made men remain virile into old age.

“From the earliest times in the Kazakh steppe, elder men were able to father children up until their eighties and nineties,” he said.

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