Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just the Facts?: 'Alien Abduction' Leave of Absence -- Japan Tsunami Debris to Hit Alaska


University in China grants ‘alien abduction’ leave of absence

A student at the National University of Tainan (a city in southern Taiwan) recently missed class for two hours. And while a student missing class isn’t that strange, the excuse he offered is.

The student filed an application with the school’s administration to be excused from his December 15 absence. According to the China Post, the student listed on his application the reason for his absence as “being snatched away by aliens.” He alleged that he was “held hostage and taken away by aliens from an unnamed planet.” Surprisingly, the university approved the application the following day.

Word spread quickly, drawing the attention of local media. Following media inquiries, the student reportedly filed an amended application, citing “discomfort” as the reason for his absence. This new application was approved by the school immediately “in order to put the whole event aside as early as possible.”

The student has since stated that his original claim of an alien abduction was done simply for fun.

What do you think? Did the student change his story to avoid media attention? Did someone force him to change his story? Or do you believe the student was simply goofing around, as he claims? - openminds

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MIT report: Earth has multiple moons at any given time

Scientists studying satellites orbiting the planet have come to an astounding conclusion: Earth has multiple moons at any given time, the MIT Technology Review reported.

Mikael Granvik, along with colleagues at the University of Hawaii, first discovered a mysterious body orbiting the Earth in 2006. The object -- or RH120 as it was known -- turned out to be a tiny asteroid just a few meters across. Moreover, it was a natural satellite just like our moon.

Since then, the researchers have been studying how this "Earth-Moon" gravitational system captures bodies into its orbit while also modelling their frequency and duration. The asteroid RH120 for instance was captured in September 2006 and orbited the planet until June 2007.

But how often do these "temporary moons" actually occur? Quite often, the astronomers found.

"At any given time, there should be at least one natural Earth satellite of one-meter diameter orbiting the Earth," Granvik, Jeremie Vaubaillon and Robert Jedicke wrote in "The Population of Natural Earth Satellites," a paper published in online physics journal ArXiv.org.

In other words, at this very moment, our planet likely has a secret moon orbiting us (no word as to whether it's a blue moon). Such objects typically stay for about 10 months, making three revolutions around the planet.

Given that these tiny captured orbitals are only a meter or two in diameter, it may seem a stretch to officially call them "moons" -- but the scientific implications of the discovery are vast. Outside of assisting private spaceflight and exploring deep space, the other major thing on NASA's list of things to do is send astronauts to an asteroid.

"The scientific potential of being able to first remotely characterize a meteoroid and then visit and bring it back to Earth would be unprecedented," the research team concluded. - discovery

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Baby's death may be paranormal related

The death of a ten-day-old baby in Sitio Magay, Barangay Tangke, Talisay City yesterday dawn baffled authorities, including a church official.

But the family of John Edison Malacay believed a paranormal creature was responsible for their loved one’s death.

The newborn was seen by his parents with blood oozing from his mouth and nose. His navel also swelled up with marks that looked like it had been drained.

Visit

The discovery of John Edison’s condition came after his grandfather, Virgil Abarquez, visited their house past 5 a.m.

To his surprise, Virgil saw bloodstains in the kitchen area and immediately called Kimberly, the baby’s 18-year-old mother.

“Naa lage’y lama sa dugo diri sa lamesa?” he asked.

Virgil only made a stopover at his daughter’s house on his way to go fishing.

Kimberly woke up to hear her father’s voice and went into the kitchen.

She also noticed the red marks scattered on the floor, which she suspected was done by rats.

“Basin mga ilaga rana nga nag-away,” she answered.

When Kimberly went back to the bed to check her son, she saw blood marks on John Edison’s face.

The baby was placed at the center of the bed where his parents slept by his side.

John Edison was rushed to the Talisay City District Hospital, but was declared dead on arrival.

John Edison was described to be a healthy baby and had a fair complexion. He was supposed to be baptized in January during the celebration of a fiesta in their area.

Kimberly, in an interview, said she and her husband didn’t notice any noise or movement in their house or at the rooftop at that time.

Stains

However, one of Kimberly’s aunts who lived nearby saw bloodstains on their rooftop.

Neighbors reportedly noticed sounds from a bird locally known as “kikik.”

The baby’s family and neighbors suspected someone that transforms into a supernatural form was responsible for John Edison’s death.

‘Not paranormal’

Meanwhile, SPO4 Daniel Tarucan of Talisay City Police Station refused to believe the death of the baby involved a paranormal creature.

“Nag-lisud ug nag-libug gyud mi. We will at least try our best to come up with a conclusion,” he said.

Msgr. Esteban Binghay, on the other hand, urged the police to conduct a thorough investigation to establish the baby’s cause of death.

Binghay, episcopal vicar of the Cebu South District, called on the public not to easily believe the baby was bewitched.

“Wa ko kadungog nga naay ungo sa Christmas. Naa na sa Holy Week hinuon (I haven’t heard of a ghoul on Christmas. But there is on the Holy Week),” he said. - sunstar

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Japan tsunami debris to hit Alaska

Alaskans are on the lookout for tons of debris from the Japanese tsunami expected to wash up on their shores.

While it's highly unlikely that larger items like cars and domestic appliances will cross the northern Pacific ocean, beachcombers can expect to find a treasure trove of smaller items.

Debris has been reported in Washington state and British Columbia, Canada — and Alaskans should be seeing it soon, the Anchorage Daily News reports.
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The Alaska Panhandle has been hit hard by storms but the area around Craig on Prince of Wales Island could be the first place where debris from the March tsunami lands, Dave Gaudet of the Marine Conservation Alliance said.

Bad weather had prevented people in Craig from scouting around the sparsely inhabited island, he said.

Last week Canadian television showed photos of bottles and metal containers that had washed up on Tofino's shores.

A Russian ship in September reported encountering a large stretch of debris 3200 kilometres from Japan.

By some estimates, the area of the debris field is twice the size of Texas.

Experts warn that debris should be approached cautiously because the earthquake and tsunami damaged nuclear facilities and water contained in items that float across the Pacific Ocean may be radioactive. -

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