Sunday, July 31, 2011

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10 Monsters That Inspire Dread

Screen Shot 2011-07-21 At 1.32.53 Pm
The Cockatrice can cause death with a single glance. Reports indicate that anything catching sight of the lethal bird’s eyes is turned instantly to stone. Just as deadly is their poisonous saliva, which can fell even an elephant. Also known as a Basilisk, a Cockatrice has the head and feet of a cockerel and the tail of a serpent. The Cockatrice is believed to be the product of a seven-year-old cockerel’s egg, laid during a full moon, and then hatched for nine years by a serpent or toad. There are a few ways to protect oneself from a Cockatrice. One is to carry something reflective – like a mirror – and turn the creature’s gaze back on it. Another is to keep either a weasel or a cockerel nearby. The weasel is said to be the mortal enemy of the Cockatrice, While the crowing of the cockerel is even more effective as it causes the Cockatrice to have fatal fits and ultimately thrash itself to death.

10 Bizarre Human Mysteries

Entrancing Healers
Shamanistic practices were once much more prevalent in the world, and considered a profound foundation of the tribes that believed in them. These spiritually based rituals are still found today and are revered as legitimate procedures. In the Philippines, an entrancing healer, allegedly, has the ability to materialize and dematerialize matter. The shaman will enter a mild trance, where they gain the supernatural ability to perform surgeries with little to no contact with the patient. They would then be able to remove foreign objects within the body such as glass and metal and provide alleviation from similar pains.

Many of these shamans have been discovered as fraudulent, proving the use of slight of hand tricks and passing them off as legitimate procedures, but that isn’t the case for all of them. Some entrancing healers can pull out molars with their bare hands, while others can remove and replace eyeballs. There is still not enough evidence to dismiss what these shamans have been apparently able to achieve for decades.

Top 10 Most Disgusting Parasites

Imprint Bedbugs
Some of you may not know that bedbugs are actually more than just a cute little good night rhyme that your parents said to you before you went to sleep. They are as real as the other 9 entries. While they are not the worst or deadliest on the list they certainly have their share of difficulties.

Bedbugs have been on the rise lately and there are several theories as to why. Some point to increased international travel while others blame the lack of bedbug killing insecticides, most popularly DDT as well as the increasing use of gel-based insecticides. These gel-based insecticides are completely ineffective against bedbugs since bedbugs do not feed on anything other than blood. Control and elimination can only be achieved through repeated sprayings with an appropriate bug killer by a professional exterminator.

The bedbug is like a small tick that typically lives in and around the area of the mattress. They feed mostly during the night although they have been known to feed during any hour of the day. Due to their small size the bedbug can hide in mattresses, mattress seams, baseboards, headboards, screw holes, carpets, cracks in walls, bedroom clutter; practically anywhere in or around the bedroom. Bedbugs have been known to nest and walk as far as 100 feet in order to feed on their host.

The bites they leave are usually mistaken as mosquito or spider bite since the irritation and redness is very much the same. There is no scientific evidence that they spread disease although the bite sites may become infected due to scratching the bites. The misdiagnosis of the bites can also lead to a dramatic increase in infestation numbers before detection. The worst problems with bedbug infestations are not physical, but psychological. Once bedbugs are detected the host usually has heightened levels of anxiety, paranoia and fear.
Bedbugs are very difficult to detect and all too often a major infestation has occurred before detection. Their small size and elusive behavior only add to their difficult detection. Bedbugs are usually associated with lack of cleanliness and squalor, but this is not the case. Even the most posh and lavish hotels, apartments and homes have been infested with bedbugs. The bedbug can “hitch” a ride in clothes, luggage, purses, back packs and essentially anything that a small apple seed sized insect can work its way into. They are flat like a tick and can go over a year without feeding and still remain alive.

Another reason why bedbugs are a huge problem, aside from their detection difficulty and ability to live without sustenance for long periods of time, is their ability to breed rapidly. The female can lay over 500 eggs during a lifetime. Once the eggs hatch the bedbugs will immediately begin to feed. They usually feed once every several days and will pass through 5 molting stages, lasting 5 weeks before becoming a mature adult capable of breeding.

Top 10 Amazing Execution Survival Stories

Elizabeth Proctor
circa 1652
In 1692 Elizabeth Proctor and her husband John were accused of witchcraft in the Salem Witch Trials. After their arrest the court met in Salem to discuss the fate of John and Elizabeth and several others. In spite of the petitions and testimonies from friends, both John and Elizabeth were found guilty, and were sentenced to death. Elizabeth, who was pregnant at the time, was granted a stay of execution until after the birth of the baby. John tried to postpone his execution, but failed. On August 19, 1692, her husband was executed. In January 1693 while still in prison, Elizabeth gave birth to a son whom she named John after his father. For some reason, Elizabeth was not executed as the court had ordered and then in 1693 the Governor, believing that people were being wrongly convicted without hard evidence, ordered 153 people set free. Elizabeth was among this general release of prisoners.

Interesting Fact: Over 150 people were arrested and imprisoned during the Salam Witch Trials. The two courts convicted twenty-nine people of the capital felony of witchcraft. Nineteen of the accused (fourteen women and five men) were hanged. One man who refused to enter a plea was crushed to death under heavy stones in an attempt to force him to do so. At least five more of the accused died in prison.

10 Truly Successful Thieves

French “Vacuum Gang”
Since 2006, in France, an unknown gang of thieves have been emptying supermarket safes, using nothing more than a drill and a modified vacuum cleaner. The innovative group of bandits found a weakness in French supermarket Monoprix’s system of storing cash, and have been exploiting it ever since. Envelopes of cash are funneled into the safe via pneumatic suction tubes. Whereas breaching the safe itself might be considerably difficult, requiring explosives or safecracking, the thieves realized that if they just drilled into the delivery tubes near the safe and hooked up a powerful vacuum, they could suck the money out and get at it much more easily.

This mode of robbery is very unique as most thieves would resort to safecracking methods, which leave more evidence. Techniques such as using explosives, or tools like a thermal lance or plasma cutter, are the common choice of career burglars. As of 2011, the vacuum gang have successfully stolen almost $800,000, in fifteen night-time heists, leaving only a few CCTV tapes of masked men for evidence.

Top 10 Colorful Animals

Panther Chameleon
Red, white, green and blue – and that’s just some of the time. The Panther Chameleon has an amazing ability to change color to hide itself. But, unlike us, it can’t pick what color coat it wears – that’s affected by temperature, light and even its mood! [More Images]

10 More Ancient Alien Mysteries

The Nazca Lines
Nazca Lines
Drawn into a high plateau in Peru’s Nazca Desert, a group of ancient designs stretching more than 50 miles has astounded archaeologists for decades. Along with simple lines and geometric shapes, drawings of animals, birds and humans have also been made, some measuring 600 feet across. From their colossal size, the drawings can only be viewed and appreciated from way up in the air – and there is no evidence that the Nazca people invented flying machines. According to ancient astronaut theorists, the figures were used as guidelines for spaceships as they came in for landing, and the lines served as runways.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Top 10 Evil Women [Infographic]

Click to enlarge.

Source: listverse

Top 10 Most Overlooked Mysteries in History

10. Rongorongo
While many people know of the Moai of Easter Island, not that many people know of the other mystery associated with Easter Island. ‘Rongorongo’ is the hieroglyphic written language of the region’s earlier inhabitants. Rongorongo is strange in that no other neighbouring oceanic people used a written language. It appeared around the 1700s, though was unfortunately lost after the early European colonizers banned it because of its ties to the native islanders’ pagan roots.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

10 Incredibly Bizarre Sexual Practices

Agalmatophilia is a paraphilia concerned with the sexual attraction to a statue, doll, mannequin or other similar figurative object. The attraction may include the desire for actual sexual contact with the objects, a fantasy of having sexual (or non-sexual) encounters with the animate or inanimate instances of the preferred objects, the act of watching encounters between the objects themselves, or sexual pleasure gained from thoughts of being transformed or transforming another into the preferred object. Agalmatophilia may also encompass Pygmalionism which describes a state of love for an object of one’s own creation.

Top 10 Bizarre or Frivolous Lawsuits

Man Vs Himself
Robert Lee Brock, a prisoner in Virginia in 1995 wished to be removed from prison and placed in a mental institution. In order to achieve his goal, he decided to sue himself. He claimed that his crime was committed whilst he was drunk, which was a violation of his religious beliefs. He claimed that he had violated his own civil liberties. He sued himself for $5 million but to make matters worse, he claimed that the state should pay as he was behind bars and without an income. Thankfully the case was dismissed and Brock didn’t get his transfer.

10 More Amazing Coincidences

The Golden Matchbox
Picture 1-107
In the 1890s, the Prince of Wales gave a gift of a golden matchbox to a friend and fellow fox hunter Edward Southern. On a hunt one day, Southern fell from his horse and the matchbox broke from the chain and was lost. Southern had a duplicate made which he left to his son, Sam, upon his death. While traveling in Australia, Sam gave the matchbox to a friend: Mr Labertouche. When he returned to England, Sam discovered that a farmer had found the original matchbox (twenty years after it was lost) when he was ploughing in his field.

Sam wrote to his brother who was traveling in America to tell him the good news. His brother read the letter aloud to his traveling companion on the train. By a stroke of bizarre luck, his friend was carrying the duplicate matchbox which had been given to him by Mr Labertouche.

Another 10 Amazing Coincidences

10. Emergency Landing
In 1979, Das Besteran, a German Magazine, held a writing competition. Readers had to send in unusual stories based on real life occurrences. Walter Kellner from Munich won with his story about flying a Cessna 41 between Sardinia and Sicily. In his story he had engine trouble, landed in the water, and was later rescued. An Austrian man, also named Waltner Kellner, wrote to the paper and told them that the winner of the prize had plagiarized the story because virtually the same thing had happened to him. The magazine checked out both stories and found that they were both true, despite being nearly identical.

Top 15 Amazing Coincidences

15. Childhood Book
While American novelist Anne Parrish was browsing bookstores in Paris in the 1920s, she came upon a book that was one of her childhood favorites – Jack Frost and Other Stories. She picked up the old book and showed it to her husband, telling him of the book she fondly remembered as a child. Her husband took the book, opened it, and on the flyleaf found the inscription: “Anne Parrish, 209 N. Weber Street, Colorado Springs.” It was Anne’s very own book.

Top 10 Important Events in US History

Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
Guelzo Fig01B
In hindsight, this seems the only way America’s worst moment could end. After some 600,000 American men had died of wounds, or grossly unsanitary medical practice, Lincoln gave his second inaugural address, the famous “charity for all” speech, on March 4, 1865, one month before his death. There is a photograph of him giving this speech, which also shows John Wilkes Booth standing above and behind him, on a balcony. Lincoln ended his speech with these words: “With malice toward none; with charity for all;…let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan.”

Regardless of this sentiment, Booth was from Maryland, considered himself a southerner, and considered Lincoln the root cause for the destruction of the South, the deaths of its brave men, and the dishonor done to its institution of slavery. He decided that Lincoln had to die for his crimes, and conspired with David Herold, John Surratt, George Atzerodt, and Lewis Powell not just to kill Lincoln, but for Powell to break into Secretary of State William Seward’s house and stab him to death, and for Atzerodt to shoot ice President Andrew Johnson at the Kirkwood Hotel.
Atzerodt lost his nerve and fled without attacking Johnson. Powell successfully entered Seward’s home, knocked out his son, broke into Seward’s bedroom, shoving aside his wife, and stabbed him wildly in the dark. Seward was severely injured from a fall out of his carriage, and a splint he wore for his broken jaw is all that protected his throat from the knife. Powell then ran out into the night. Seward did not die.

Booth is the only man of the plot who succeeded. The details are well known to every American school kid. He shot Lincoln in the back of the head with a .44 caliber Derringer, percussion-cap pistol, during a performance of “Our American Cousin,” at Ford’s Theater in Washington D. C. He then leaped to the stage, breaking his left fibula, shouted, “Sic semper tyrannis!” and may have shouted, “The South is avenged!”
Most importantly, Lincoln’s assassination reminded humanity that when a war ends, the animosity between sides may not, and usually does not. To win a war, therefore, regardless of whether it should be fought, or which side is the good side does not put an end to the human capacity to hate. Thus, no victory will ever be the last.

Top 10 Extreme Weather Anomalies

1992 Alberta Chinook
The Canadian Province of Alberta has a bout a warm air and weather, known as a chinook, once every several years. However, this was about the most notable and unique one to come to Alberta. On February 27, 1992, Southern Alberta was actually basking in warm, summer-like sunshine, with Calgary reaching a high of 22.6 degrees Celsius (72.7 degrees Fahrenheit). For comparison, the average high temperature for that date and location is 1.3 degrees Celsius (34.3 degrees Fahrenheit) and Calgary has been known to see occasional days in March where the high temperature does not exceed -20 degrees Celsius. In a typical year, Calgary does not see its first 20 Celsius day until sometime in April, some years even May, but this is the only time ever this Albertan city has seen one in February.

10 Tragic Cases of Missing Children

Steven Stayner
Steven Gregory Stayner (April 18, 1965 – September 16, 1989) was an American kidnap victim. Stayner was abducted from the Central California city and county of Merced, at the age of seven and held until he was 14, when he escaped and rescued another victim, Timothy White, in 1980. Stayner died in 1989 in a motorcycle accident while driving home from work. On the afternoon of December 4, 1972, Steven Stayner was approached on his way home from school by a man named Ervin Edward Murphy, an acquaintance of Kenneth Parnell. Murphy, described by those who knew him as a trusting, naïve and simple-minded man, had been enlisted by convicted child rapist Parnell (who had passed himself off as an aspiring minister to Murphy) into helping him abduct a young boy so that Parnell could “raise him in a religious-type deal,” as Murphy later stated. For years Parnell abused Steven and told him that he had legally adopted him. As Steven entered puberty, Parnell began to look for a younger child to kidnap. On February 14, 1980, Parnell and a teenage friend of Steven’s, named Sean Poolman, kidnapped five-year-old Timmy White in Ukiah, California.

Motivated in part by the young boy’s distress, Steven decided to escape with him, intending to return the boy to his parents and then escape himself. The two boys were picked up by the police and Steven told them the whole story. Steven’s life was the basis of the 1989 miniseries “I know my first name is Steven”.

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