Monday, August 22, 2011

Just the Facts? - Loch Ness UFO, Grease Devils and BioArt Horse Plasma Injections


Falling Loch Ness UFO


The emergency services undertook a night-time search of Loch Ness after reports a balloon-like object had fallen from the sky.

The police, coastguard, lifeboat and an RAF search and rescue helicopter scoured the area but found nothing.

The alarm was raised at 20:00 on Saturday after members of the public said they saw a blue object fall on the south of the Loch, near Dores.

Police thought it might have been a hang glider or microlight.

However, following a three-hour search the emergency services could find "nothing untoward".

Loch Ness RNLI crew member, Vivian Bailey, said: "Speed of arrival on scene was essential and we were able to link our search efforts with those of the Coastguard and RAF, something we practise regularly.

"We believe the reports were based on sightings causing genuine concern and we commend the actions of the members of the public that contacted the emergency services." - BBC

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'Grease Devil' riots in Sri Lanka

Angry Sri Lankans killed a police officer in the latest outbreak of violence sparked by a fear of nocturnal prowlers known popularly as "grease devils" that has gripped rural areas in the island nation over the past two weeks.

Another officer and five other people were hurt in two separate incidents in the north-western town of Puttalam after residents gave chase to a suspected grease devil, police and witnesses said.

Traditionally, a grease devil was a thief who wore only underwear and covered his body in grease to make himself hard to grab, but the modern iteration has a far more sinister reputation as a prowling attacker of women.

Five people have died in outbreaks of violence related to the grease devil panic so far, including Sunday's incident.

More than 30 incidents of violence and vigilantism have been reported in eight districts of the country, primarily in areas inhabited by minority Muslim or Tamil people as the government and opposition trade blame over the phenomenon.

"Some people had attacked a policeman on traffic duty in Puttalam town and he died after being admitted to the hospital," police spokesman Prashantha Jayakody said.

Mr Jayakody said that in a separate incident in Puttalam, people assaulted a police constable who went to the village. He declined to say what prompted the attacks.

Residents said people had spotted an unidentified man and given chase, but policemen on duty fired in the air and later toward the crowd.

"At least five people were injured including a 13-year-old child," said an area resident by phone, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of angering the authorities.

The government has said grease devils are merely criminals taking advantage of traditional beliefs in spirits and devils in Sri Lanka's rural areas, and have vowed to punish those responsible for spreading panic about them.

On Saturday, in the nearby town of Kalpitiya, a government hospital refused treatment to a suspected grease devil who was brought by the navy after area residents attacked him.

Hospital officials were angry at damage caused to the building after residents and navy sailors who kept the man from being lynched got into a fight, local media reported. - abc.net.au

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Woman injects herself with horse blood, wears hooves

Marion Laval-Jeantet has injected herself with horse blood plasma as part of an artistic project exploring trans-species relationships.

Laval-Jeantet and her creative partner Benoit Mangin (working as collective Art Orienté Objet) were keen to explore the blurring of boundaries between species in the piece, entitled May the Horse Live in Me. Laval-Jeantet prepared her body to accept the horse blood plasma by getting injected with different horse immuniglobulins over the course of several months.

These foreign animal antibodies were injected in progressively larger amounts to allow her to build up tolerance in a process that she referred to as "mithridatisation", after the Persian king of Pontus, Mithridates VI, who supposedly built up an immunity to poison by regularly consuming small doses of it.

Earlier this year, after months of preparation, she was injected with horse blood plasma, which contained the full spectrum of immunoglobulins without provoking an allergic reaction.

As part of the performance piece she also wore a set of stilts with hooves on the end to feel at one with the horse. She also walked around with donor horse in a "communication ritual" before having her hybrid blood extracted and freeze-dried.

She explained to Centre Press that whole process made her feel "hyper-powerful, hyper-sensitive and hyper-nervous". She added: "I had a feeling of being superhuman. I was not normal in my body. I had all of the emotions of a herbivore. I couldn't sleep and I felt a little bit like a horse."

Art Orienté Objet have a long history of working in the bioart space, having created other pieces including Skin Culture, which uses bioengineered skin as a canvas for animal-shaped tattoos. - wired

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Eastern Russia declares war on sharks

Following two recent incidents of shark attacks in the Russian Far East, the authorities in Primorye have come up with a straightforward solution and announced that local sharks will be dealt with by professional fishermen.

­“We are planning to take out a number of fishing boats to catch sharks in the near future,” governor Sergey Darkin said today in a video address, Itar-Tass reports.

He also called upon locals and visitors to refrain from swimming in the sea along the entire coastline of the region, particularly stressing the danger of deeper waters.

According to the governor, a special operation group has been made up of local authorities, scientists, emergency response specialists and members of law-enforcement services.

Police boats and teams of the Emergencies Ministry are currently patrolling the coastline. No new cases of shark attacks have been reported so far.

The beaches along Russia’s Pacific coast are full of people this August, but those willing to go into water are few, despite the heat. Those who dare, remain in shallow waters.

Patrol boats are cruising along the coastline outside Vladivostok – Russia’s main city in the region – to warn people of potential danger. To add to the mood of anxiety, local authorities have reported a shoal of large sharks near the island of Russky, just a few kilometers from Vladivostok.

The first attack occurred on Wednesday about 50 meters off the coast in Telyakovsky Bay in southern Primorye, when a 25-year-old man lost both his forearms after being mauled by what is thought to be a four-meter-long Great White shark.

He was immediately taken to a hospital in the village of Slavyanka in a serious condition and underwent surgery. According to his doctors, the man’s life is not in danger and he will soon be transferred to Vladivostok for further treatment.

The second attack took place less than 24 hours after the first one. This time, a 16-year-old sustained serious injuries to his leg while diving for scallops. His wetsuit is thought to have saved him from more serious injuries.

The boy was hospitalized in Vladivostok and his life in not in danger. The medical staff say they will probably be able to save his leg. - RT

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