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Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Top10 Unsolved Mysteries

This list comprises the most famous unsolved mysteries known to man that really defy rational explanation or are just outright strange.

1. Shroud of Turin [Wikipedia]

The shroud of Turin is a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who had apparently died of crucifixion. Most Catholics consider it to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. It is currently held in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. Despite many scientific investigations, no one has yet been able to explain how the image has been imprinted on the shroud and despite many attempts, no one has managed to replicate it. Radiocarbon tests date it to the middle ages, however apologists for the shroud believe it is incorrupt - and carbon dating can only date things which decay.

Prior to the middle ages, reports of the shroud exist as the Image of Edessa - reliably reported since at least the 4th century. In addition, another cloth (the Sudarium) known even from biblical times (John 20:7) exists which is said to have covered Christ’s head in the tomb. A 1999 study by Mark Guscin, a member of the multidisciplinary investigation team of the Spanish Center for Sindonology, investigated the relationship between the two cloths. Based on history, forensic pathology, blood chemistry (the Sudarium also is reported to have type AB blood stains), and stain patterns, he concluded that the two cloths covered the same head at two distinct, but close moments of time. Avinoam Danin (a researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) concurred with this analysis, adding that the pollen grains in the Sudarium match those of the shroud.

2. Mary Celeste [Wikipedia]

Mary Celeste 250203
Mary Celeste was launched in Nova Scotia in 1860. Her original name was “Amazon”. She was 103 ft overall displacing 280 tons and listed as a half-brig. Over the next 10 years she was involved in several accidents at sea and passed through a number of owners. Eventually she turned up at a New York salvage auction where she was purchased for $3,000. After extensive repairs she was put under American registry and renamed “Mary Celeste”.

The new captain of Mary Celeste was Benjamin Briggs, 37, a master with three previous commands. On November 7, 1872 the ship departed New York with Captain Briggs, his wife, young daughter and a crew of eight. The ship was loaded with 1700 barrels of raw American alcohol bound for Genoa, Italy. The captain, his family and crew were never seen again. The ship was found floating in the middle of the Strait of Gibraltar. There were no signs of struggle on board and all documents except the captain’s log were missing.

In early 1873, it was reported that two lifeboats grounded in Spain, one with a body and an American flag, the other containing five bodies. It has been alleged that these could have been the remains of the crew of the Mary Celeste. However, the bodies were apparently never identified.

3. The taos hum [Wikipedia]

The ‘Taos Hum’ is a low-pitched sound heard in numerous places worldwide, especially in the USA, UK, and northern europe. It is usually heard only in quiet environments, and is often described as sounding like a distant diesel engine. Since it has proven indetectable by microphones or VLF antennae, its source and nature is still a mystery.

In 1997 Congress directed scientists and observers from some of the most prestigious research institutes in the nation to look into a strange low frequency noise heard by residents in and around the small town of Taos, New Mexico. For years those who had heard the noise, often described by them as a “hum”, had been looking for answers. To this day no one knows the cause of the hum.

4. Black Dahlia [Wikipedia]

In 1947 the body of 22 year old Elizabeth Short was found in two pieces in a parking lot in Los Angeles. According to newspaper reports shortly after the murder, Short received the nickname “Black Dahlia” at a Long Beach drugstore in the summer of 1946, as a play on the then-current movie The Blue Dahlia. However, Los Angeles County district attorney investigators’ reports state the nickname was invented by newspaper reporters covering the murder. In either case, Short was not generally known as the “Black Dahlia” during her lifetime.

Many rumours and tales have spread about the Black Dahlia, and the investigation (one of the largest in LA history) never found the killer.

5. Comte de Saint Germain [Wikipedia]

The Count of St. Germain (allegedly died February 27, 1784) was a courtier, adventurer, inventor, amateur scientist, violinist, amateur composer, and a mysterious gentleman; he also displayed some skills with the practice of alchemy. He was known as ‘Der Wundermann’ — ‘The Wonderman’. He was a man whose origin was unknown and who disappeared without leaving a trace.

Since his death, various occult organizations have adopted him as a model figure or even as a powerful deity. In recent years several people have claimed to be the Count of St. Germain. (Note that St Germain was never regarded as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church - the “st.” before his name refers to his alleged home).

6. Voynich manuscript [Wikipedia]

The Voynich Manuscript is a medieval document written in an unknown script and in an unknown language. For over one hundred years people have tried to break the code to not avail. The overall impression given by the surviving leaves of the manuscript suggests that it was meant to serve as a pharmacopoeia or to address topics in medieval or early modern medicine. However, the puzzling details of illustrations have fueled many theories about the book’s origins, the contents of its text, and the purpose for which it was intended.

The document contains illustrations that suggest the book is in six parts: Herbal, Astronomical, Biological, Cosmological, Pharmaceutical, and recipes.

7. Jack the Ripper [Wikipedia]

In the later half of 1888, London was terrorrised by a series of murders in the east end (largely in the Whitechapel area). The name Jack the Ripper was taken from a letter sent to a newspaper at the time by someone claiming to be the killer. The victims were typically prostitutes who had their throats cut and bodies mutilated. In some cases the bodies were discovered just minutes after the ripper had left the scene.

The police at the time had many suspects but could never find sufficient evidence to convict anyone. In modern times there has even been some speculation that Prince Albert Victor was the murderer. Even with modern police methods, no further light has been shed on the murders in recent times. To this day no one knows who the ripper was.

8. Bermuda Triangle [Wikipedia]

The Bermuda triangle is an area of water in the North Atlantic Ocean in which a large number of planes and boats have gone missing in mysterious circumstances. Over the years many explanations have been put forward for the disappearances, including bad weather, alien abductions, time warps, and suspension of the laws of physics.

Although substantial documentation exists to show that many of the reports have been exaggerated, there is still no explanation for the unusually large number of disappearances in the area.

9. The Zodiac Killer [Wikipedia]

The Zodiac killer was active in Northern California for ten months in the late 1960s. He killed at least five people, and injured two. He comitted the first two murders with a pistol, just inside the Benecia border. In his second shooting in Vallejo, he attempted to kill two people, but one survived despite gunshots to the head and neck. 40 minutes later the police recieved an anonymous phone call from a man claiming to be their killer and admitting to the murders of the previous two victims. One month three letters were sent to Newspapers in California containing a cypher that the killer claimed would give them his name. They cypher was decrypted to read:


While Arthur Leigh Allen was the prime suspect, all of the evidence was against him being the killer. To this day the Zodiac murders have not been solved.

10. The Babushka Lady [Wikipedia]

During the analysis of the film footage of the assasination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, a mysterious woman was spotted. She was wearing a brown overcoat and a scarf on her head (the scarf is the reason for her name as she wore it in a similar style to Russian grandmothers - also called babushkas). The woman appeared to be holding something in front of her face which is believed to be a camera. She appears in many photos of the scene. Even after the shooting when most people had fled the area, she remained in place and continued to film. Shortly after she is seen moving away to the East up Elm Street. The FBI publically requested that the woman come forward and give them the footage she shot but she never did.

In 1970 a woman called Beverly Oliver came forward and claimed to be the Babushka Woman, though her story contains many inconsistencies. She is generally regarded as a fraud. To this day, no one knows who the Babushka Woman is or what she was doing there. More unusual is her refusal to come forward to offer her evidence.

Posted by Ajay :: 5:33 PM :: 0 comments

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Ants Uses Manners To Cut Through Crowds

A panicking crowd can be evacuated faster by placing certain types of obstacles in its path, according to Australian researchers who say we can learn from the masters of crowd control: ants.

Associate Professor Martin Burd from Monash University is using Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) to model the behaviour of panicking crowds.

And he is working with traffic engineering experts to develop better crowd-flow control systems.

Burd, an evolutionary ecologist, says preliminary research into this introduced species of ant backs the 'slower is faster' paradox of crowd behaviour.

"If the average speed of each individual moving is slower, the whole crowd is evacuated faster, and ants are actually doing this," he says.

"Ants in a panic don't behave the same way as humans. They stay calm and are polite to each other. They are not trying to save their own lives, but are behaving for the good of the group."

Although humans are unlikely to follow the sacrificial example lead of the Argentine ant, Burd says panicking crowds can be made to move more orderly through clever building design.

"Perversely if you simply put a pillar in front of the doorway you increase the evacuation speed," he says.

"Having that obstruction stops people jamming against other people in the doorway."


Another suggestion is to insert a divider rail down a corridor to create lanes that slow down movement and make traffic flow more orderly.

While the study may potentially help evacuations during a terrorist act, Burd says the real benefit of the research would be in more ordinary disasters such as a fire.

He says it can also be used in major outdoor events to better manage crowd movements.

The idea for Burd's study came while trying to navigate the crowd at Melbourne's Flinders Street Station on New Year's Eve.

Dense crowds

"I just thought there's got to be a better way to handle these dense crowds," he says.

Burd says ants are used to model traffic behaviour because they naturally form lines and follow physical pathways.

"The point of ants is that they have natural traffic behaviour and that closely relates to crowd movement."

Monash University's Graham Currie, a professor of public transport, is working with Burd on modelling the ant movements.

He says he was originally sceptical about the research. But after two years studying ant traffic behaviour he says his mind has been "opened up".

"The fact is we have been dealing with traffic congestion and individual people flow for about 2000 years, while ants have been dealing with it for millions of years," he says.

"Ants work together with a communal instinct. These behaviours can be learned and we can learn from them."

Posted by Ajay :: 5:25 PM :: 1 comments

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8 Strangest Communities On Web

Every once in a while you'll stumble upon a forum or an online community that is so specific, so insane, so completely ridiculous that you are forced to conclude that you have reached the end of the Internet. Sure, you may continue on your merry clicking way, but you do so with the deep-seated feeling that there is nowhere else to look; you have seen everything the Internet could possibly hope to provide. Here are the eight online communities that killed our adventurous spirit, made us sure that we'd seen everything the online world has to offer, and even more certain that we didn't want to try to find anything more depressingly fascinating.

What it is
A place for people who really, really like to chew ice.

Excerpt that Sums Up the Community In A Nutshell

Subject: Newbie - A Chewer for Almost 10 Years

Hey all,

I randomly found this forum and I think it's comforting, in a way, to see so many people who eat ice as much as I do. I started when I was 14, just crunching on huge cubes straight from the tray. People commented on my strong teeth & jaws. Razz From there I downsized to more manageable-sized cubes, and softer ones, too (like crushed ice). I found ice would/can be a good replacement for crunchy food like chips and pretzels, and I tend to resort to a tall glass of ice after a big meal. My teeth have taken a battering from it (I don't tell my dentist I chomp cubes) but I plan on getting crowns on a few fillings that have chipped away...and then abstaining from ice. It's my only bad habit (don't smoke, don't do drugs, etc)'s hard to quit!

Why It Makes Us Uncomfortable
We like ice as much as anyone else, but c'mon. It's ice. Going by Bob Saget's standard for addiction in Half Baked—which states that you must have sucked dick for your coveted good—ice is probably the least addictive thing out there. If you've ever sucked dick for ice, we're pretty sure that means you just really wanted to suck that dick. Just go order a soda. We can almost guarantee you there'll be some ice in there.

It doesn't even really taste like anything, anyway—but don't tell them that.

#7.Men's Long Hair Hyperboard (

What it is
A "hyperboard" (how old is this site, anyway?) for men to discuss growing, washing, brushing, and wearing long, luxurious locks. Many of the posts take on a defiant tone and mention things like "fighting the good fight," which, we assume, means not getting a haircut.

Excerpt that Sums Up the Community In A Nutshell

Subject: Dry hair - I need your help!

Hello all,

i have a big problem. My hair look shiny and pretty healthy but... when I touch it , it feel darmaticaly DRY ! especialy on the end.

i have tried many things but didn't worked...

here is my routine:

gently brushing my hair before washing it -> baby shampoo (that must'nt be hard wuth hair right ?) -> a lot of conditioner -> cold rinse -> towel dry a bit -> hair dry.

once dry i put a small amount of olive oil in my hair and i gently finger comb and brush my hair gently.

You who have soft hair please help me :(

Why It Makes Us Uncomfortable
There is something just a little off about these guys and their fixation on growing their hair out. To make things worse, they seem to see themselves as waging some sort of imaginary war against a sea of "squares" (read: people who don't rock long hair) who, in all honesty, couldn't care less about these dudes or their immaculately-maintained manes. Plus, does anyone really associate long hair on guys with rebellion anymore? Usually it just means they work at Guitar Center.

#6.4chan's "Random Image Board" (

What it is
We honestly have no fucking clue. All we know is that it has a lot of weird anime porn on it and everyone who posts on it types in all caps and makes absolutely no sense.

Excerpt that Sums Up the Community In A Nutshell



Why It Makes Us Uncomfortable
Apparently pretty much every internet meme ever was started on 4chan, including such gems as the "O RLY?" owl and LOLCats of various shapes and sizes. And that makes us uncomfortable. Why? Because we're pretty sure that being exposed to stuff that was spawned from the incomprehensible gibberish that is 4chan is part of an internet wide conspiracy to make us all stupider.

#5.Second Life (

What it is
A free MMORPG that has no point whatsoever.

Excerpt that Sums Up the Community In A Nutshell

Second Life promotes creativity in its users by encouraging them to build their own items using an in-game programming language, to start businesses by buying land and developing properties on it, to work collaboratively with other players to thrive.

Sounds good in theory, but for some reason the reality of it usually involves a lot more virtual strip clubs, S&M parlors, and casinos. Oh - and a lot more furries.

Why It Makes Us Uncomfortable
Linden Labs, the company that makes Second Life, likes to brag about its membership numbers. In reality, the actual number of active players is always much, much lower than the sum total of all registered users. That means that people create an account, build a house for their in-game avatar to masturbate in, and then they stop playing and never come back. What does that mean for you, the curious, newbie player? It means that walking around Second Life is like walking around in some weird, virtual post-apocalyptic zombie movie, only instead of encountering zombies, you occasionally stumble across some dude dressed up like a mechanical teddy bear having sex with a giant cat.

Posted by Ajay :: 10:02 AM :: 0 comments

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Why The Internet Is Evil

Why The Internet Is Evil
No, I’m not talking about the porn, the graphic violence, or any other immoral reason bigots like to throw out there. I’m talking about the real threat, the real menace of the internet. I’m talking what actually makes every internet user around the globe cringe whenever they hit the web.

1. Pop-ups and Noisy Banner Ads
I understand website owners get their money from advertising. I understand that to advertise, they must put some form of ad on their website, and I’m willing to forgive them for the unobtrusive ads, the kind that just sit there quietly on the side or top of the page. What I do not forgive are pop-ups, and those flashy, noisy ads. The pop-ups I can bear, I just have to close them every time I click a link. But, what drives me to the brink of insanity are noisy banner ads. One second you’re quietly reading an article, or watching a video; then, a second later, you have the electronic equivalent of an annoying telemarketer screaming at you. Definitely not cool.
2. Bloggers
Don’t get me wrong here, I love reading funny articles. I have no problem whatsoever with a well written article, that happens to be displayed in blog format. But, what I do have a problem with is the “personal blogger”. These are the kind of blogs that are updated three times a day, just to let us know exactly what is going on in the blogger’s life. I don’t even want that much information about my own family, why would I want it about some stranger on the internet? This needs to stop now. A message needs to be sent to all these personal bloggers, letting them know we won’t stand for it any longer. No, we don’t care what you had for lunch. No, we don’t care that your cat is cute (of course it is, they all are). And, we definitely don’t want to read your haiku on life. Get over yourself bloggers, you’re not that important, and you’re not special like your mother told you.
3. YouTube
Now, I love watching funny videos just as much as the next guy, but the users of YouTube have gone too far. Suddenly, for the first time in history, anybody can produce, direct, and star in their own movie, and make it available to the public. This would be similar to network television deciding to give everyone their own TV show, the idea is just ridiculous. Most people just aren’t that interesting. It’s a sad world when thousands of people not only have the time, but the inclination to post a video highlighting their trip to the dentist’s office. I’m not making this up, go to YouTube, type “dentist” in the search box; at the time this was written, it returned 5,420 results. Enough Said.
4. Grammar
Somehow the internet gained the power to single-handedly destroy the English language. Somewhere along the line it became unnecessary to use punctuation. Then, it was okay to shorten words to type faster. Then, it was okay to start to substitute numbers for letters, the classic “1337 5P33K.” And, now, you don’t even need to be coherent. Go to any forum on the web, or read the comments for any post, and you’ll undoubtedly run across someone saying something like this: “if these mofo's actually doin stuff physically y dey movin in slow mo?dere a fisical law sez u gotta move so slow mo on the moon?wtf in those suits of theres,friggin lead?which even if it wuz wud b one six the wgt on the surface of the moon right?wtf.” You can thank Xylofish1 over at YouTube for that one; it’s his comment on the “fake” moon landing.
5. StumbleUpon
I have a kind of love/hate relationship with StumbleUpon. While I believe it’s the best web application ever made, allowing me to find websites I never would have found otherwise, I also know it is inherently evil. Why? Well, if you came to this article while “Stumbling,” then you know why. StumbleUpon has the unique ability to instantly give its users horrible, horrible insomnia. You will, undoubtedly, spend an entire night stumbling at some point in the near future, if you haven’t already.

Well there it is. If you were not nodding your head the entire you were reading this, then you’re either: one of those people who can’t use proper grammar, one of those people who post a YouTube video everyday, one of those people who post in their blog three times a day, or you’re a pop-up ad.

Posted by Ajay :: 9:58 AM :: 0 comments

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God Does Not Want 16 Kids

Who are you to judge? Who are you to say that the more than slightly creepy 39-year-old woman from Arkansas who just gave birth to her 16th child yes that's right 16 kids and try not to cringe in phantom vaginal pain when you say it, who are you to say Michelle Duggar is not more than a little unhinged and sad and lost?

And furthermore, who are you to suggest that her equally troubling husband -- whose name is, of course, Jim Bob and he's hankerin' to be a Republican senator and try not to wince in sociopolitical pain when you say that -- isn't more than a little numb to the real world, and that bringing 16 hungry mewling attention-deprived kids (and she wants more! Yay!) into this exhausted world zips right by "touching" and races right past "disturbing" and lurches its way, heaving and gasping and sweating from the karmic armpits, straight into "Oh my God, what the hell is wrong with you people?"

But that would be, you know, mean. Mean and callous to suggest that this might be the most disquieting photo you see all year, this bizarre Duggar family of 18 spotless white hyperreligious interchangeable people with alarmingly bad hair, the kids ranging in ages from 1 to 17, worse than those nuked Smurfs in that UNICEF commercial and worse than all the horrific rubble in Pakistan and worse than the cluster-bomb nightmare that is Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise having a child as they suck the skin from each other's Scientological faces and even worse than that huge 13-foot python which ate that six-foot alligator and then exploded.

It's wrong to be this judgmental. Wrong to suggest that it is exactly this kind of weird pathological protofamily breeding-happy gluttony that's making the world groan and cry and recoil, contributing to vicious overpopulation rates and unrepentant economic strain and a bitter moral warpage resulting from a massive viral outbreak of homophobic neo-Christians across our troubled and Bush-ravaged land. Or is it?

Is it wrong to notice how all the Duggar kids' names start with the letter J (Jeremiah and Josiah and Jedediah and Jesus, someone please stop them), and that if you study the above photo (or the even more disturbing family Web site) too closely you will become rashy and depressed and you will crave large quantities of alcohol and loud aggressive music to deflect the creeping feeling that this planet is devolving faster than you can suck the contents from a large bong? But I'm not judging.

I have a friend who used to co-babysit (yes, it required two sitters) for a family of 10 kids, and she reports that they were, almost without fail, manic and hyper and bewildered and attention deprived in the worst way, half of them addicted to prescription meds to calm their neglected nerves and the other half bound for years of therapy due to complete loss of having the slightest clue as to who they actually were, lost in the family crowd, just another blank, needy face at the table. Is this the guaranteed affliction for every child of very large families? Of course not. But I'm guessing it's more common than you imagine.

What's more, after the 10th kid popped out, the family doctor essentially prohibited the baby-addicted mother from having any more offspring, considering the pummeling endured by her various matronly systems, and it's actually painful to imagine the logistics, the toll on Michelle Duggar's body, the ravages it has endured to give birth to roughly one child per year for nearly two decades, and you cannot help but wonder about her body and its various biological and sexual ... no, no, it is not for this space to visualize frighteningly capacious vaginal dimensions. It is not for this space to imagine this couple's soggy sexual mutations. We do not have enough wine on hand for that.

Perhaps the point is this: Why does this sort of bizarre hyperbreeding only seem to afflict antiseptic megareligious families from the Midwest? In other words -- assuming Michelle and Jim Bob and their massive brood of cookie-cutter Christian kidbots will all be, as the charming photo suggests, never allowed near a decent pair of designer jeans or a tolerable haircut from a recent decade, and assuming that they will all be tragically encoded with the values of the homophobic asexual Christian right -- where are the forces that shall help neutralize their effect on the culture? Where is the counterbalance, to offset the damage?

Where is, in other words, the funky tattooed intellectual poetess who, along with her genius anarchist husband, is popping out 16 funky progressive intellectually curious fashion-forward pagan offspring to answer the Duggar's squad of über-white future Wal-Mart shoppers? Where is the liberal, spiritualized, pro-sex flip side? Verily I say unto thee, it ain't lookin' good.

Perhaps this the scariest aspect of our squishy birthin' tale: Maybe the scales are tipping to the neoconservative, homogenous right in our culture simply because they tend not to give much of a damn for the ramifications of wanton breeding and environmental destruction and pious sanctimony, whereas those on the left actually seem to give a whit for the health of the planet and the dire effects of overpopulation. Is that an oversimplification?

Why does this sort of thoughtfulness seem so far from the norm? Why is having a stadiumful of offspring still seen as some sort of happy joyous thing?

You already know why. It is the Biggest Reason of All. Children are, after all, God's little gifts. Kids are little blessings from the Lord, the Almighty's own screaming spitballs of joy. Hell, Jim Bob said so himself, when asked if the couple would soon be going for a 17th rug rat: "We both just love children and we consider each a blessing from the Lord. I have asked Michelle if she wants more and she said yes, if the Lord wants to give us some she will accept them." This is what he actually said. And God did not strike him dead on the spot.

Let us be clear: I don't care what sort of God you believe in, it's a safe bet that hysterical breeding does not top her list of desirables. God does not want more children per acre than there are ants or mice or garter snakes or repressed pedophilic priests. We already have three billion humans on the planet who subsist on less than two dollars a day. Every other child in the world (one billion of them) lives in abject poverty. We are burning through the planet's resources faster than a Republican can eat an endangered caribou stew. Note to Michelle Duggar: If God wanted you to have a massive pile of children, she'd have given your uterus a hydraulic pump and a revolving door. Stop it now.

Ah, but this is America, yes? People should be allowed to do whatever the hell they want with their families if they can afford it and if it's within the law and so long as they aren't gay or deviant or happily flouting Good Christian Values, right? Shouldn't they? Hell, gay couples still can't openly adopt a baby in most states (they either lie, or one adopts and the other must apply as "co-parent"), but Michelle Duggar can pop out 16 kids and no one says, oh my freaking God, stop it, stop it now, you thoughtless, selfish, baby-drunk people.

No, no one says that. That would be mean.

Posted by Ajay :: 9:52 AM :: 0 comments

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Posted by Ajay :: 9:47 AM :: 0 comments

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