Just the Facts?: Soviets Found Lunar Life? -- Origins of Vampires and Monsters - Three Day Encounter With Shapeshifter
Did the Soviets find life on the Moon?
On 24 September 1970, for the first time, an unmanned spacecraft delivered a lunar "soil" sample to Earth. The Soviet Union's Luna 16 spacecraft returned from the moon's Sea of Fertility with 101 grams of lunar regolith in a hermetically sealed container. In February 1972, only 120 kilometers from the Luna 16 site, Luna 20 used a drill with a ten-inch, hollow-core bit to collect another regolith sample that was also hermetically sealed on the moon. Back in the USSR, the sealed containers from the Luna missions would be promptly delivered to the laboratory for the contents to be examined and photographed. But even after hundreds of the pictures were published in an atlas in 1979, the biological nature of some of the particles was not noticed.
Further study of the photographs was later undertaken by two biologists at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Stanislav I. Zhmur, Institute of the Lithosphere of Marginal Seas, and Lyudmila M. Gerasimenko, Institute of Biology. They noticed that a few of the particles in the photographs were virtually identical to fossils of known biological species. Specifically, some spherical particles from the Luna 20 regolith plainly resemble fossils of modern coccoidal bacteria like Siderococcus or Sulfolobus in their scale, distribution, form, and the distortion of the spheres that occurs during fossilization. Continue reading at Panspermia
Soviet and Russian Lunar Exploration (Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration)
The Making of a Soviet Scientist: My Adventures in Nuclear Fusion and Space From Stalin to Star Wars
The Origins of Vampires and Monsters
The suave and sensitive Edward Cullen of "Twilight" may be the norm for vampires these days, but fictional monsters such as Dracula originally sprang from the fear of inexplicable diseases and the mysteries of death in the natural world.
So argues science journalist Matt Kaplan in Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite: The Science of Monsters an examination of monsters around the world and throughout history - the science behind their origins, and why they matter to us even now.
"When our kids ask for monster stories around the campfire, they are behaving in a way that is not dissimilar to lion cubs," Kaplan said in an email.
"Lion cubs play fight so they can test out their skills in a safe place where nobody is going to get maimed or killed. Monster stories serve a similar purpose, they allow us to face our worst fears without the risks that are normally associated with them."
Some are simple. The Kraken tales of mammoth monster squid, along with the Leviathan of the Bible, are most likely based upon the existence of real creatures such as whales.
The terrifying Medusa of Greek myths, with her hair made of snakes and a gaze that could turn things to stone, may have been distantly connected to the idea of fossils for ancient people, with the snakes in her hair an example of pure fear.
Though mentions of vampire-like creatures exist as early as ancient Greece, it took hundreds of years for tales of the creatures to gradually evolve into the haunting undead of more recent history.
Accounts of people found in their graves with blood on their lips and their stomachs seemingly full, as if they had just eaten, may be explained by simple decay, with gas buildup throughout the body sometimes pushing blood up from the lungs. Elongated canine teeth and fingernails was due to skin shrinking after death and pulling away, making both more prominent.
Later, greater awareness of contagious diseases such as influenza and tuberculosis - which could cause people who came in contact with the ill person to also sicken and die - further contributed to the myth. This was especially true due to incubation periods that weren't understood at the time, making it unclear how the diseases were being spread.
"One death would follow another in a dominolike progression," writes Kaplan. "In a morbid sense, these patients were literally killing their friends and relatives, but from their deathbeds rather than the hereafter."
But vampires have now undergone a radical transformation, a process that began with the publication of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" but has speeded up in recent years.
"If tuberculosis, influenza, rabies and bloated bodies are the human experiences from which Dracula came, how have we now ended up with the kind, honorable and handsome Edward Cullen?" Kaplan said.
For one thing, modern science has uncovered the mechanism of various diseases, which remain a fear but now appear as their true selves, as in stories such as "The Andromeda Strain."
Vampires have also become increasingly charming, transforming their original monster nature into something else.
"In a world where the seemingly most virtuous individuals all too often fall prey to vice, public interest in good souls battling their own bestial natures is higher than ever, and vampires provide exploration of this," Kaplan added.
In the future, fears are likely to focus on things like genetic manipulation - think Jurassic Park - and also from technology, with worries about what computers might do with true artificial intelligence looming large.
"What I find most interesting here is that these monsters really require human participation in their creation," he said, noting the popularity of films like "Avatar" and "Planet of the Apes," where monsters are the heroes and the humans, monsters.
Why are we so comfortable with feeling elated as inhuman beasts rip apart people? I think a long, hard look in the mirror can provide a lot of answers," he said. - Reuters
Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite: The Science of Monsters - I'm definitely getting this. Sounds like a great guest for 'Beyond the Edge Radio'
Herd of Drunk Elephants Goes on Rampage
When human beings get tipsy, they either speak gibberish or land up in a brawl. But when elephants get high on liquor, they end up wreaking havoc.
Such was the sight at Dumurkota village where a herd of 50-odd inebriated jumbos ransacked three houses and damaged paddy crops on Sunday. The strong smell of Mahua drink drew the elephants out of the forest and they raided the shop selling the drink. The herd wasn't happy even after guzzling down 18 containers of Mahua and ransacked the adjoining huts in search of more.
But the villagers had gathered by then and they managed to drive away the jumbos. "We are trying to push the herd back and get it to cross the Kangsabati river," said Midnapore DFO Asish Samanat. TNN
High on country liquor, an elephant herd created havoc in Dumurkota village under Kotwali police station in the wee hours of Sunday. The strong smell of the Mahua drink drew about 50 elephants from the nearby jungle. They first raided a shop that sells the drink. After finishing the stock of about 18 containers of the liquor, they wanted more.
The herd then raided three houses near the shop hoping to find more drink. By this time villagers had gathered and they managed to drive away the elephants to the jungle. Till late evening forest officials were trying to get the elephants cross the Kangsabati river.
"The herd also destroyed paddy fields. We are trying to push them back and get them cross the Knagsbati river," said Asish Samanat, divisional forest officer (DFO) (Midnapore)
According to forest officials, the 50 elephants were part of a 120 strong herd that has come from Damla on Friday night.
"We are asking the villagers to co-operate with us in sending the elephants back to Dalma," said assistant DFO (Rupnarayan) Bikash Chakraborty. - Times of India
Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived
When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals
Talked and ate with shapeshifting being
Nashville, TN - 5/15/2008 - unedited: This was not an object. i sat walked talked and ate with a being that was able to transform itself from old to young and looks. This was real. It was a walking book on everything and new things about me that no one should have known. I DONT KNOW WHY BUT IN SOME WAYS IT SEEMED AS THOUGH IT WAS TRYING TO GET ME TO HELP IT DO SOMETHING. THIS WENT ON FOR 3 OR 4 DAYS.THE BEING TALKED ABOUT MILITARY THINGS AND SPACE AS WELL AS PEOPLE.I WISH TO STATE THAT I AM X MILITARY AND HAVE HELD HIGH CLEARANCE . NEVER HAVE I EVER COME ACROSS ANYTHING LIKE THIS.MY FRIEND WHO SAW AND TALKED WITH IT DIED AFTER THAT.THERE WAS ALOT OF PEOPLE WHO TALKED WITH IT.THEY NEVER SAW IT CHANGE JUST TWO OF US. I CONTACTED THE DEPT OF DEFENSE THINKING I MIGHT HAVE RAN ACROSS SOME KIND OF A HOLOGRAM THAT WAS BEING TESTED.I SPOKE WITH SOMEONE WITH A HIGH CLEARANCE AND WAS TOLD THAT I COULD NOT TALK TO ANYONE THERE ABOUT IT AND THAT I ALL READY KNEW WHY. I do not believe it was a hologram as it was just to real and i do know the difference. All i am sure of is that i know i will talk to this being again and there are more than one. I know now when i am in the presence of whatever it was or one just like it. Not often ,but it has happened. I kind of think im gonna be a part of something that is going to happen and that i might be one who can help explain them. As god as my witness these things are real,super smart,and are in our daily lives.
Divine Encounters: A Guide to Visions, Angels, and Other Emissaries
Enochian Magic & The Kabbalah: Summoning Angels, Aliens, UFOs & Other Divine Encounters