Thursday, June 7, 2012

'Vampire' bones dug up in Bulgaria

Bulgarian archaeologists are showing off two centuries-old skeletons that they say were pinned down through their chests with iron rods to keep them from turning into vampires — a trend that was all the rage in medieval Europe.
The "vampire" skeletons were excavated recently near the Black Sea town of Sozopol, according to reports from The Associated Press and AFP. Bozhidar Dimitrov, head of Bulgaria's National History Museum, was quoted as saying that corpses were regularly treated this way in some parts of the country until the beginning of the 20th century.
About 100 similar burials have been found in Bulgaria over the years. "I do not know why an ordinary discovery like that became so popular," AP quoted Dimitrov as saying on Tuesday. "Perhaps because of the mysteriousness of the word 'vampire.'"
Bulgarian archaeologist Petar Balabanov has found a number of nailed-down skeletons near the eastern town of Debelt, at gravesites dating as far back as the 1st century. According to custom, the bodies had to be pinned down just in case they tried to rise from the grave. AFP quoted Balabanov as saying that the rite was practiced in Bulgaria as well as other Balkan countries.
Of course, the world's most famous vampire legend is associated with the 15th-century Balkan strongman known as Dracula, or Vlad the Impaler. That's mainly due to Irish novelist Bram Stoker, who borrowed the Dracula name for his 1897 novel about a blood-sucking bad guy from Transylvania. The idea that vampires drank blood may be of relatively recent vintage, but the idea that the dead had to be stopped from rising again was widespread in medieval times — in part due to the plague.
Several years ago, Italian archaeologists made a splash when they dug into a mass grave for 16th-century plague victims on the Venetian island of Nuovo Lazzaretto and found the remains of a woman who had a brick stuck between her jaws. To explain the brick, they cited some of the anti-vampire strategies practiced at the time.
For example, in one region of Germany, gravediggers would occasionally return to a plague grave and find that the shroud surrounding the corpse had been eaten away, with blood or other fluids coming out of the mouth. The hair and fingernails also appeared to grow longer, even after burial. Today, researchers say such phenomena are due to the natural stages of decomposition — but in the Middle Ages, people feared that these were the signs of vampirism.
The Italian researchers claimed that the brick was jammed in to keep the "Vampire of Venice" from causing trouble. But other archaeologists have disputed that claim. They suggest instead that the brick merely fell into the mouth of the woman's skull. That has sparked a scientific tiff, as LiveScience reported last month.

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Copy Cat "Zombie Attack": Miami Homless Growls & Attempts To Bite...

A homeless man was busted hassling customers in a Boston Market in North Miami Beach Saturday. The man told police he wanted to "eat" them and tried to bite a police officer, police said.
After cops yanked him from the chicken joint and put him in a police cruiser, Brandon De Leon, 21, slammed his head against the plexiglass divider and shouted at officers, "I'm going to eat you," NBC Miami reported. He then growled, gnashed his teeth and tried to bite the hand of an officer attempting to treat his head wounds. "Brandon growled and opened and closed his jaw, slamming his teeth like an animal would," the report said. Cops placed restraints on De Leon and fit him with a Hannibal Lecter-style bite mask, the report said. Hospital blood tests showed that De Leon was also high on marijuana, Xanax and a designer drug called "Cloud 9" — known as synthetic pot or herbal incense — which can produce hallucinogenic effects similar to “bath salts,” the drug thought to be connected to last month's face-eating attack on Miami's MacArthur Causeway.

Interest in Doomsday Shelters Increases

 Recent Article posted on website USA News said the following....

"First it was the naked man in Miami who was shot while gnawing on another man's face. Then a Maryland college student admitted to killing a man and eating parts of his heart and brain.
Now, after a slew of gory news reports detailing what some have characterized as "zombie-like" behavior, internet searches and postings—often laced with humor and sarcasm—are blooming across the Internet, advising Americans on how to stay safe in case of a zombie apocalypse.
That includes "doomsday shelters," says Matt Mogk, head of the Zombie Research Society, structures built to withstand various natural—and supernatural—disasters.
"These things are totally selling like hotcakes," he says. "Zombies are synonymous with the end of the world. That's why they're so popular right now, because we're all worried about them. We're seeing them in the news every day."
[Read: Miami 'Zombie Apocalypse' Puts Bath Salts Ban in Congressional Spotlight.]
One Kansas-based luxury doomsday condo complex has completely sold out its units, the cheapest of which go for $1,000,000, according to several sources. Equipped with walls as much as 9 feet thick, military grade security, as well as an indoor pool and spa and a movie theater, these so-called "long-term survival facilities" promise protection from any number of disasters including hurricanes, the effects of global warming, and volcanoes.
A zombie apocalypse isn't specifically listed on the company's website, but "civil unrest" is—close enough, right?
If a multimillion-dollar price tag is a turn off, don't worry. You can buy a bare-bones shelter at a steal of deal for around $38,000, according to MSN, installation not included. But it's hard to tell how big the broader bunker market is, the article reports. Industry groups remain secretive and don't often divulge details about the business.
[Read: Company Discounts Bath Salts Days After Miami Cannibal Attack.]
Nevertheless, one bunker business owner isn't shy speaking about his success. Radius Engineering International has built 1,400 shelters around the world in its 32-year existence, owner Walton McCarthy told a local news source and he has plans to expand his workforce according to MSN.
Still, not all doomsday researchers are keen on zombie-proof bunkers.
"It's overkill and just not practical for the common person," Mogk says, noting that in the event of a zombie apocalypse, the last place one would want to be is in the company of 100 other potential zombies.
"That's basically the worst idea ever," he adds. "In an extreme disaster situation why would you want to be with a bunch of strangers?"
[Read: Miami's 'Naked Zombie' Proves Need to Ban Bath Salts, Experts Say.]
The most important thing is to be prepared, he says.
"Rather than thinking, 'Oh I'm just going to grab a shotgun and blow off a bunch of zombie heads and it's going to be just like a video game,' people should be truly prepared meaning stocking water and worrying about the security of their shelter," Mogk says.
The plus side of investing in your very own zombie-proof shelter? Even if a mysterious virus doesn't transform most of the world's population into soul-less zombies, you still have a pretty sweet escape from any number of other disasters, possibly even the (potentially more-likely) explosion of the sun.
Meg Handley is a business reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can reach her at and follow her on Twitter."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Transit of Venus Tuesday June 5, 2012

About every 105 or 121 years Venus passes through the Earth and the Sun. The last transit was in June 2004 and will not happen again untill December 2117, astrologers note only occurs in June and December, or during the signs Gemini and Sagittarius.
If the transit of Venus has historically affected individuals and mankind as a whole, this one could end up being the biggest one of all. Many astrologers note that it will occur just months before the end of the Mayan calendar, on Dec. 21, 2012.
“The Mayans watched Venus obsessively, and had to have known that the end of their calendar would occur at the perfect time, in the same year as the transit of Venus,” Miller said, noting the Mayans were "terrified" of Venus.
But Ackerman figures Tuesday night's event might hark back to Thomas Edison, and not the apocalypse.