Re-Blog: 5 Creepiest Of All Things Creepy


(Originally posted 10/10/2017 on Read With The Gringa)

October is the perfect month for all things creepy. If you want to channel your inner historian for a clever costume idea for upcoming festivities, how about these 5 little known creepy historical facts:


1. Hotelier H.H. Holmes who designed his delightful little inn for the express purpose of committing murder and mayhem among guests. He was responsible for murdering as many as 200 people (that we know of) through various dark arts, like chopping them up, toxic gas, and starvation.

 

2. Victorian era folks liked to take photos of loved ones. Um, after they were dead. With poses and props and all. Just like they were still alive. And memorializing babies and children were favorite subjects of this macabre practice. Weird.

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3. In 19th Century Canada, ladies drank a birth control tea, a beverage made from steeped beaver’s testicles. Yum.

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4. 14 years BEFORE the Titanic sank a book entitled The Wreck Of The Titan was written and published by Morgan Robertson. Guess what it was about? An unsinkable ship that hit an iceberg and…. sank. And most of the passengers died because… there weren’t enough lifeboats. Freaky.

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5. Every lover of art, history, etc. dreams of a pilgrimage to the Smithsonian Institute. But a visitor may get more than they bargain for. They might also experience the ghost of the founder of the Smithsonian, James Smithson, who is buried on the grounds and reported to haunt the museum. So intense are reports of hauntings by Smithson that in 1973 his remains and casket were inspected just to see if he was still in there.

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Image Credits:

Crime Viral

Daily Mail

Neatorama

Fantastic Fiction

Cotilleando

TripAdvisor

Find A Grave

Video Credit:

Forbidden Knowledge

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Re-Blog: Are Zombies Real?


(Originally posted 10/3/2017 on Read With The Gringa)

Lovers of horror and science-fiction are most likely big fans of the Walking Dead series as well as any movie or book that is zombie-related. A visit to New Orleans will result in any number of Voodoo and zombie trinkets being purchased and brought back home. 


The first famous literary mention of zombies occurred in 1810. Robert Southey wrote of brain-eating monsters in his book History of Brazil. As the word morphed throughout the English reading world, zombies became known as once-dead humans that re-animate without intelligence or self-awareness. Their only purpose was to serve a master and survive upon human brains.


Are zombies real? Should a person have an after-death back-up plan? Should the dead be buried with emergency beacons to activate in case they inadvertently awaken? Should a trusted loved one be appointed to deliver a coup-de-grace if it turns out our brainless body recycles itself?  Before venturing into any such plans, let’s see what science has to say. Zombie believers might be surprised. The gringa certainly was.


Voodoo and santeria cultures believe that zombies are real. These religions, with origins in Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, take zombies seriously. Although details vary among different sects, the basics are the same. A practitioner of experience and power can re-animate the dead and sometimes control them. The purpose of creating a zombie was sometimes considered a means of punishment for the person that died. Another purpose was enslavement. 


For the most part, the subject of zombies has not been taken seriously by outsiders of Voodoo or santeria. In the 1980s, this outsider perspective changed when western scientist, Wade Davis, discovered a substance that could turn a living human into a zombie. 


Tetrodotoxin is a neurotoxin found in pufferfish. The good scientist found this toxin in a powder form being used by influential religious leaders in Voodoo sects throughout Haiti. This was the inspiration behind his own book that became a film, The Serpent and the Rainbow.


More recently, however, is something even more titillating. Although Davis’ zombie explanation does not actually involve re-animated corpses, only doped-up folks who were still among the living, this new discovery does, indeed, support more traditional zombie theory. And it may challenge many of today’s most popular religious beliefs about what happens after death.


Canadian medical professionals have released the findings of a recent study of the brains of critically ill patients and what happened within the brain right after death. The gringa says, “Hold on to your hats, folks.” Ya know that straight line across the machine followed by a steady whine instead of a series of rhythmic beeps that you see in movies when a patient dies? Yeah, that’s the movies. Not exactly what really happens.


Once the heart stopped beating and any sign of a pulse ceased, the Canadian doctors continued to see activity in the brain. The cerebral organ continued to produce the same kind of brain waves that occur when you sleep. So, for as long as 10 minutes after being declared dead, the dead were, evidently, still dreaming.


Now, this didn’t happen in every single individual the doctors studied. It occurred in about 25% of those who died. And the good docs don’t have a clue how to explain this. While most of their patients, 75%, had zero brain activity before their hearts even stopped beating, this 25% defies explanation according to medicine as the doctors know it.


Even after auditing the equipment, in the hopes they could attribute it to a mechanical mistake, the doctors were still left scratching their heads. Their equipment was operating perfectly.


And the mystery is heightened when it was discovered that in the first minute after the cessation of a heart beat (official death), for the 25%, there was actually a SURGE of brain activity. The gringa supposes those individuals were experiencing something like this, “Holy cow! Check this out! I’m floating! No more pain! This is amazing! Hey! Doc! Get in here! I’m cured! I’m flying! Oh, wait! I’m dead! Am I dead? Then how am I talking to myself? Do dead people still think? Maybe I’m not dead. I could just be dreaming.”


And the gringa thinks that maybe a zombie is just the pre-cursor for a ghost. And a ghost would be the consciousness of that 25% who seem to be very confused about what they are supposed to do when their heart stops beating. So, maybe the 25% are those considered rebels, those folks who never follow the rules. Maybe they are those with unfinished business. They could just be mean people who refuse to relieve the world of the pain and grief they cause. Who knows.


And, these 25%’ers are not the only ones confused. The Canadian doctors were further confused by other activity that continued after “official” death. Not only were delta brain waves active (the dream wave), but the genes of the 25%’ers were also active, doing whatever it is that genes do. Which means, while the heart is telling the body, “It’s all over”, the genes were still going about their business making the proteins necessary to regulate bodily functions. Seems like stubbornness may not be a learned trait but “in the genes”.


And, so far, no one knows why any of this is happening. So, for at least 25% of the world’s population, zombies and ghosts might be the real deal!


Happy Halloween Season!

To view a video on this discover, click the Independent’s video link here.

Sources:

Image Credit: Top Form Fitness

Video Credit: Independent

A Halloween Fly-By


Halloween is fast approaching and NASA has been working on a suitable treat for all of its fans. On October 31 at 10:05 am, space enthusiasts should be prepared for an asteroid flyby, at a safe distance of course. If you have access to an observatory you could get a close up of this baby or glimpse it at home with a telescope. Scientists will be actively scanning asteroid 2015 TB145 from “spacecraft Earth” during what they consider a “close pass”.

This hunk of rock is new to the asteroid catalog. It was only discovered this past October 10 by the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS-1 telescope that is part of a NASA funded program. The Minor Planet Center keeps a catalog of near-Earth objects (NEOs) and they consider this fly-by to be the closest pass by such an object until August 2027 when asteroid 1999 AN10, a 2,600 feet wide asteroid, is expected to approach from a distance of 238,000 miles. TB145, estimated to be about 1,300 feet wide, should keep its distance at about 300,000 miles, zipping around at a steady velocity of about twenty-two miles per hour. It will be close enough that Earthlings can view it in the night sky with the aid of a telescope.

The unusual oblong orbit and high velocity has caused some to speculate it may actually be a comet. NASA’s asteroid radar research program will be taking advantage of this opportunity to test new radar imaging technology. As scientists track the asteroid, they expect to capture detailed images that will produce about seven feet per pixel depicting fine details of the asteroid’s surface, shape and other physical properties.

Now, just to put to rest all the excitement the doom and gloomers may want to attempt to raise, “Spaceguard” has officially declared that there are “no known credible impact threats”. Spaceguard is the nickname for NASA’s Near-Earth Object Observations Program (NEOO). Scientists involved with this program track asteroids and comets with ground and space telescopes. They discover these objects, catalog their characteristics and study them in order to predict their future paths. Their work helps to determine whether any of these NEOs pose any potential hazard to Earthlings, astronauts deployed to the ISS or to any of the many satellites and bits of technology floating about the cosmos. So, no need to begin the prepping unless that means running out and buying a telescope so you can get a peek at our other-worldly trick-or-treater that will be flying by.

Source & Photo: http://www.nasa.gov