University Studies Conjuring Demons, ‘Fairies’

Researchers at the University of Exeter in the U.K. are studying the casting of spells from collections of literature from the 15th to 17th centuries to summon demons and “fairies” to uncover their secrets.

This period, starting in the late medieval times, saw the writing of many books giving instructions on how to perform sorcery and necromancy, and fairies played an important role.

Ph.D. candidate Samuel Gillis Hogan, 26, will begin trawling through ancient manuscripts in many of England’s libraries to find evidence and records of how people thought they could harness the power of “fairies” over the 300-year period, and what influence this had on people’s lives and culture. . .

“It shows much about beliefs at the time,” Hogan added. “By fully understanding these practices, we can often reconstruct how it was perfectly rational given contemporary beliefs. It’s easy to look down our noses at past or present cultures and dismiss them as ‘backwards’ or ‘primitive’, but intimately understanding these very different worldviews emphasizes that our own is simply one among many.”

Among the common theories about “fairies,” says Hogan, are that they were demoted angels, spirits of the dead, prehistoric human precursors and minor deities in pagan beliefs. He emphasizes that they were not always considered as virtuous, particularly as Puritanism grew after the Reformation in the 16th century. The spell books that will be studied to conjure fairies, demons and other spirits were used, he says, for both for noble and nefarious purposes. (Read more from “University Studies Conjuring Demons, ‘Fairies'” HERE)

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Chinese Man Tests His Crazy Homemade Roller Suit in Rush-Hour Traffic

The internet is a strange and wonderful place sometimes because without it, how would we ever find out about people like this guy who built a remote-controllable wheel suit and took it out in Chinese rush-hour traffic?

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As you can see in the video, there are plenty of opportunities for this guy to get turned into roadkill by a truck or an absent-minded driver, but somehow the fun only ends when the cops show up and arrest him. (Read more from “Chinese Man Tests His Crazy Homemade Roller Suit in Rush-Hour Traffic” HERE)

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Evolutionists Confounded Again: Snakes Unchanged for 100,000,000 Years

Snakes are muscle-noodles that have been biting and thriving for at least 140 million years. And while they’ve gone from squirming alongside dinosaurs to living alongside humans on every continent besides Antartica, one thing has essentially remained the same: the snakes themselves. This seemingly time-resistant state of homeostasis is underscored by the recent discovery of ancient snakes preserved in Late Cretaceous amber.

An international team announced Wednesday in the journal Science Advances that they discovered two snakes trapped within the golden fossilized resin — one of which is considered the oldest known fossilized baby snake. This unique and very tiny snake hatchling, the Xiaophis myanmarensis, has anatomy comparable to living snakes despite its estimated 99 million years of age. With 97 vertebrae and rib bones, it’s most similar to the modern-day Asian Pipe snake, a smooth and glossy invertebrate that boasts a powerful jaw.

The snake’s anatomy is evidence that its general body shape has been conserved for a very long time, study co-author and University of Alberta professor Michael Caldwell, Ph.D. explains to Inverse. . .

These fossilized snakes were found in the Southeast nation of Myanmar; but when they were alive and slithering, their home existed within Laurasia, one of the two mega-continents that emerged when Pangea split. The scientists were able to pinpoint the snake’s ancient origins through the use of uranium-lead dating, which revealed that the amber that encased both snakes is around 99 million-years-old.

The amber itself is novel because of its ability to serve as a spyglass into the past. Encapsulated within it are fragments of the insects and plants that lived alongside the snakes, making it a mini time-capsule of the Mesozoic era. (Read more from “Evolutionists Confounded Again: Snakes Unchanged for 100,000,000 Years” HERE)

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Scientists Just Found One Quadrillion Tons of Diamonds Buried in the Ground

Don’t tell the Hatton Garden gang: scientists just unearthed an eye-watering hoard of diamonds, so valuable it would completely destroy the world’s economy.

The scientists reckon there’s a quadrillion tonnes of diamond buried in the ‘cratonic roots’ in continents.

There’s just one, tiny, catch: the treasure trove is buried 100 miles down, deeper than any drill has ever penetrated, according to MIT researchers. . .

Given that a ton of diamond is 50,000,000 carats, worth at least £3,000 each, that comes out at a tasty £150,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 by our relatively unscientific calculations.

‘This shows that diamond is not perhaps this exotic mineral, but on the [geological] scale of things, it’s relatively common,’ says Ulrich Faul, a research scientist in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. (Read more from “Scientists Just Found One Quadrillion Tons of Diamonds Buried in the Ground” HERE)

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Scientists Find Creepy ‘Lizardfish’ Lurking off Coast of Carolinas

After seeing what a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Exploration and Research team has found off the coast of the Carolinas, I can understand that fear. Scaly horrors swim beneath us — and we hardly know anything about them. . .

The expedition encountered one of the ocean’s simultaneously most bizarre and terrifying creatures on July 1. At a depth of 5,810 feet, the camera’s light casting an eerie, blue fluorescence.

The picture shows a small fish with delicately feathered fins, scales that resemble those of an iguana and a nightmare-inducing visage. Flat, button-like eyes punctuate a spiny maw that looks as though it could strip skin away with the barest twitch of its jaws.

What’s more, the animal gets even odder the more you learn about it. For instance, every member of the species possesses a set of genitals for both sexes, meaning its always able to reproduce with another lizardfish. . .

A dive on June 29 revealed “an unidentified fish … seen in a burrow,” its protruding jaw set in a seeming grimace. Think back to some of the aliens that appeared in Jabba the Hutt’s palace in the 1983 movie “Return of the Jedi,” and you have a pretty good idea of what this one looks like. (Read more from “Scientists Find Creepy ‘Lizardfish’ Lurking off Coast of Carolinas” HERE)

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Woman Calls New York a ‘Literal Nightmare’ After What She Saw Crawling out of Her Drain

. . .Bari Finkel and Alex Goulet said they noticed a baby rat crawling out of their drain in their bathroom Friday. While they were shocked and disgusted, they took some photos and posted them on social media. . .

“You see something like that in the comfort of your own home and it takes you back quite a bit,” added Goulet.

“I don’t love the idea that it went back down there,” Finkel said about the rat crawling back into the sink drain.

“It’s a tradeoff for living in the city,” said Goulet. “Occasionally you see a rat, and for us it just happened to be in our bathroom.” (Read more from “Woman Calls New York a ‘Literal Nightmare’ After What She Saw Crawling out of Her Drain” HERE)

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Parasite Linked to Salad From This Fast Food Chain

The Illinois and Iowa health departments are investigating outbreaks of a parasite that causes intestinal illness and might be linked to McDonald’s salads, both states said Thursday. . .

The cyclospora parasite causes intestinal illness as a result of consuming contaminated food or water. Symptoms can begin a week or more after consuming the parasite. They include diarrhea and frequent, sometimes explosive bowel movements, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those who are infected might also experience loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps or pain, nausea, gas and fatigue. Vomiting, headache, fever, body aches and flu-like symptoms can also occur. . .

“The initial investigation indicates a link to consumption of McDonald’s salads produced for McDonald’s restaurants. Approximately one-fourth of Illinois cases reported eating salads from McDonald’s in the days before they became ill,” the health department said in a statement. The agency is asking that anyone who has eaten a McDonald’s salad since mid-May and experienced diarrhea and fatigue to contact a health care provider to be tested and receive treatment.

Iowa health officials are asking the same of anyone who has developed symptoms after consuming one of these salads since the middle of June. “This summer there have been several clusters of Cyclospora illness associated with various foods that are commercially available,” a statement from the Iowa Department of Public Health said. (Read more from “Parasite Linked to Salad From This Fast Food Chain” HERE)

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New Brain Study Reveals What Really Happens When Temps Rise

By The Blaze. You’ve probably heard people complain how it seems like people get dumber when the temperatures get hotter. Well, as it turns out, there appears to be some truth in that belief, according to a study published Tuesday on the PLOS Medicine website.

Researchers from Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that the human brain functions 13 percent slower when it has to work in extreme heat.

Scientists studied 44 college students over a 12-day period in Boston in July 2016, one of the city’s worst heat waves on record, according to KDKA-TV. . .

Those living in the buildings without air conditioning performed more than 13 percent worse on math and memory tests than their cohorts who lived in air-conditioned dorms. . .

“Most of the research on the health effects of heat has been done in vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, creating the perception that the general population is not at risk from heat waves,” Jose Guillermo Cedeño-Laurent, the study’s lead author said in the release. (Read more from “New Brain Study Reveals What Really Happens When Temps Rise” HERE)

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Study Finds People Become Less Intelligent When It’s Hot Out

By CBS. Researchers at Harvard University have discovered that a person’s brain works 13 percent slower when it has to operate in extreme heat. According to their report in PLOS Medicine, scientists studied 44 college students living in Boston during a 2016 heat wave.

That July heat wave was reportedly one of the hottest in the city’s history. 22 of the students lived in a brick-based buildings with no air-conditioning. The other 22 undergrads were living in air-conditioned dorms during the 12-day experiment.

The team from Harvard’s T.H. Chan school of Public Health found that the students in non-air-conditioned buildings performed over 13 percent worse on both math and memory tests than their air-conditioned classmates. . .

Scientists added that the buildings the students lived in made the effect of heat on their brains even worse. “These buildings have a hard time shedding heat during hotter summer days created by the changing climate, giving rise to indoor heat waves,” study co-author Joseph Allen added. (Read more from “Study Finds People Become Less Intelligent When It’s Hot Out” HERE)

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Ranger Hoping to Get Selfie With Captured 35-Foot Python Gets Choked by Snake Instead

(Editor’s note: in viewing the video below, the snake does not appear to be 35 feet long. But it’s big. Certainly too big to drape around your neck!)

By People. . .According to Caters News, ranger Sanjay Dutta and his team caught the massive snake after getting calls about the reptile killing and eating local goats. Dutta and his colleagues were able to track down the python, but instead of putting the snake in a sack to move it elsewhere, Dutta decided to wear the live animal like a feathered boa.

The ranger reportedly flung the python’s head over his shoulder and started taking photos with locals while wearing the snake.

Rock pythons are non-venomous, opting to kill their prey through constriction. It didn’t take long for the agitated snake resting on Dutta’s shoulders and around his neck to give into natural urges and start constricting around the man.

Video of the shocking incident shows Dutta change from smiling, proud ranger to panicked, choking snake victim in a matter of seconds. Footage shows Dutta staggering away from the group gathering to take photos of the reptile. Dutta is eventually helped by another man, who assists in pulling the powerful python off the ranger.

In Dutta’s description of the snake’s capture, he conveniently leaves the choking incident out. (Read more from “Ranger Hoping to Get Selfie With Captured 35-Foot Python Gets Choked by Snake Instead” HERE)

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Python Tries to Kill Forest Officer as He Poses for a Photograph With It Wrapped Around His Neck After Rescuing It in India

By The Daily Mail. A forest ranger had a brush with death when a huge python tried to strangle him after he rescued the snake and posed for a photo with it around his neck.

Sanjoy Dutta was leading a team that saved the 10 metre-long python from a forest in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal, India.

After capturing the serpent, Mr Dutta put it over his shoulder while a crowd of people posed for a photograph with him.

(Read more from “Python Tries to Kill Forest Officer as He Poses for a Photograph With It Wrapped Around His Neck After Rescuing It in India” HERE)

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Python Swallows Villager… Again

By Mandatory. It was just one year ago we read about the pure terror of a full-grown, adult man being swallowed by a giant python in Indonesia. Over the weekend, we learned the real-life horror movie has a sequel. . .

This time the victim was a 54-year-old Indonesian woman named Wa Tiba. Worried about wild boars eating her crops, she ventured out to check her cornfield Thursday night. She never returned.

[via Washington Post]

It was 23 feet long and so bloated it could barely move. A long bulge midway down its body had a foreboding look to it.

The villagers killed the snake and laid it out on the ground. The villagers crowded around it, clamoring and crying, with some making videos as a man knelt and carefully cut across the bulge with a machete.

He parted the snake flesh, and the result was much as it had been on the other island a year earlier. Tiba lay intact inside the snake, clothed just as she had been when she went to check the corn.

(Read more from “Python Swallows Villager… Again” HERE)

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Scientists: Frogs “Millions of Years Old” Found in Amber … but Look Like Modern Frogs

More than a third of the 7,000-odd living species of frogs and toads are found in rain forests around the world. But the fossil record for amphibians from these kinds of wet, tropical environments has been almost nonexistent, leaving paleontologists with few clues to their early evolution.

Now, lumps of amber dating back to the Cretaceous period have revealed a set of four tiny tropical frogs that lived alongside the dinosaurs, making them the oldest frog fossils of their kind. . .

The 99-million-year-old frogs come from the same amber deposits in northern Myanmar that have produced many exquisite fossils, including a dinosaur tail, a couple of baby birds, intact bird wings, and countless insects. Bits of bamboo, velvet worms, and aquatic spiders also found in this amber suggest that the Cretaceous environment was a rain forest, since similar species are commonly found in wet tropical forests today. . .

CT scans revealed much more about the three-dimensional structure and internal anatomy of the fossils, including evidence that Electrorana was similar to modern frogs in many ways. The animal appears to be an ancient member of one of the oldest lineages of living frogs, represented by modern species such as fire-bellied toads and midwife toads. (Read more from “Scientists: Frogs “Millions of Years Old” Found in Amber … but Look Like Modern Frogs” HERE)

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