Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Odds & Ends: Villagers Find Rare Creature -- I Woke Up In Outer Space -- Escaped Python Strangles Sleeping Boys


Villagers Find Rare Creature

A villager was shocked when he saw a creature that looked like a tiger prawn, crab and scorpion combined when he was in the jungle to collect palm leaves.

Ismail Jusoh, 49, from Kampung Alor Tuman in Marang said he found the creature on the palm leaves and was shocked to see its unique shape.

“It has eight legs and the front portion looks like crab while the back like prawn. It also looks like a scorpion,” he said.

Ismail said he brought the crustacean back and kept it in a tank of water. The creature is known as ngoang in Sarawak or jabot in Johor. It is seldom found and is said to be near extinction.

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I Woke Up In Outer Space

Pasadena, TX - 2/18/2011: I was sleeping I dont know if this happen at night are morning. Anyway all of a sudden I awoke. I was in outer space I did not have a body are I did not see a body. But there I was. I done know what was holding me up but felt like I was being held up by something. In my head I was being told not to look to my left. It felt like a being are something was beside me but kept telling me not to look. Anyway straight ahead there was earth I was being shown South America for some reason. Beyond earth there was the moon. I looked up there were a billion stars as far as I could see. I have seen stars in the sky but not like this. I remember a slight breeze blowing my bangs I dont know where the wind was coming from but it was a slight breeze. When I woke up I was back in my bed and remembered all of the above. Everybody I have told has laughed at me. Every thing I saw was in color. I dont think you dream in color. If it was a dream it was so vivid that was a year ago. I remembered it as if it was yesterday. I know I felt happy and in awe of the heavens and the earth and moon. Beautiful is an understatement. I bet there was more to this but what ever entity wipe out some of my memory and only let me remember this. Please dont laugh this is a true story. I will take a polygraph test or be hypnotized. I want to know more myself. - MUFON CMS

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Escaped Python Strangles Sleeping Boys

The sleepover went horribly wrong.

Two boys, aged 5 and 7, were found dead Monday morning in an apartment above a pet store in a small Canadian town.

Their suspected killer is a python that reportedly weighs about 100 pounds.

Early indications suggest that a snake escaped its enclosure in the store, got into the ventilation system, then the apartment, and strangled the two boys, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.

The owner of the pet store in Campbellton, New Brunswick, says he came upon an awful sight when he entered the living room where the boys were staying.

"I thought they were sleeping until I seen the hole in the ceiling. Everything had fallen. And I turned the lights on and I seen this horrific scene," Jean-Claude Savoie said in a phone interview with the Canadian website Global News.

Savoie said he believed the snake had fallen through the ceiling as it slithered through the ventilation system.

He said he located the reptile in a hole.

"I pinned him down and put him in a cage," he said.

Police say they now have the python in their possession. Autopsies on the boys' bodies will be performed Tuesday.

Canadian broadcaster CBC reported that the python is between 11 and nearly 15 feet long and weighs more than 99 pounds.

A neighbor, Diane Fournier, has lived on the same street as the pet store for 12 years. She described the deaths as "shocking."

"I knew the kids. They were brothers," she said. "They played in my yard with my dogs all of the time."

Fournier sent CNN a photograph her husband took of the pet store. It showed police cars, cones and yellow tape blocking off the area.

The store, Reptile Ocean Inc., offered condolences on its Facebook page Monday before the page was shut down.

A 1996 report by the animal protection charity Zoocheck and the World Society for the Protection of Animals listed Savoie as the owner of Reptile Ocean.

It described him then as "a young enthusiastic amateur collector who has only recently embarked on this commercial venture."

According to Global News, Savoie said that the two boys were the children of his best friend and that they often slept over at his apartment.
"I have so many mixed emotions right now it's ridiculous," he said. "I can't believe this is real."

Deaths caused by large constrictor snakes like pythons are fairly rare.

The Humane Society documents 17 people who have died in incidents in the United States related to the snakes since 1978, 12 of them since 1990.
But scores of adults and children have been hurt in attacks by the reptiles, the society said in a report this year.

"Children, parents, and authorities are finding released or escaped pet pythons, boa constrictors, and anacondas all over the country, where they endanger communities, threaten ecosystems, and in many cases suffer tragic deaths," the report says.

In Canada, a man in Ontario was killed in 1992 by his pet python, the Globe and Mail reported, citing Melissa Matlow, a spokeswoman for the World Society for the Protection of Animals in Canada. - CNN

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Inside Japan's Invisible Army

The country's constitution bans it from having a traditional standing army. But its so-called Self Defense Force is one of the world's most sophisticated armed bodies.

On paper, Japan is a pacifist nation. It ranks 6th on the Global Peace Index, a list tabulated by peace activists at Vision of Humanity. Japan's constitution makes illegal a traditional standing army. But a recently published defense white paper shows the extent to which the country has one of the most well-equipped "invisible" armies in the world.

Japan's armed forces are euphemistically dubbed the "Self Defense Force" (SDF) -- officially it's an extension of the police.

But with the world's 6th best-equipped troops and a nearly $60 billion defense budget last year, the SDF is not composed of your average beat cops. "Japan enjoyed an isolationist status until now," says Narushige Michishita, a past adviser to Tokyo on defense and now director of the security and international program at Tokyo's National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies. "It was very convenient; we didn't have to get involved in conflicts. But now the U.S. wants Japan to be more proactive," he says.

Japan's ruling party, the LDP, acknowledge this. "They know we have to be commensurate with our stature as an economic superpower," he adds. "The U.S. is asking us to be more proactive in, not rearming, but making use of those arms."

Now that the LDP's conservatives are returned to power, including their hawkish prime minister Shinzo Abe, they are demanding a change in the pacifist constitution which would chime in nicely with the U.S.'s desires in the region. Not that Japan is truly pacifist, or ever has been -- not with one of the best-trained forces in the word says Michishita. "We are not pacifist in that sense. We supported all the U.S. wars, contributing $13 billion to the Gulf war. Japan isn't remilitarizing -- we are already there."

What the U.S. and the new rulers in Tokyo want is a Japan willing to fight as part of a pivot away from Europe toward Asia, by which they mean China.

Prime minister Abe will have little trouble with such a containment policy, promising a "stronger" Japan in the face of "harassment" from China over a territorial dispute near Chinese waters. He also wants Japan's military to be able to fight alongside its allies. Something the current constitution, written by the US after WWII, prohibits.

The U.S.'s posture rebalancing, or "pivot" toward the Asia-Pacific region, was flagged up by President Obama's extraordinarily lengthy tete-a-tete with the Chinese premiere recently. Behind the smiles are deep anxieties over China's rising economic and military strength that challenge U.S. power in the Pacific. Obama had also personally urged Xi Jinping to "de-escalate, not escalate" tensions over territorial disputes with Japan.

The U.S. is content to have Japan, with an active military larger than the U.K.'s, prepared more readily to fight in its corner should Xi not heed the President. "Japan is truly essential, as both a strategic outpost for the U.S. military and customer for the U.S., as well as a strategic actor in its own right," says Corey Wallace, lecturer at the University of Auckland on Asia-Pacific international relations and a Japanese military technology expert.

A properly remilitarized Japan might also help the nation out of its current economic hole. Japan last year eased its self-imposed ban on arms exports. This end of pacifist foreign policy opens up new markets for its defense contractors -- good news for struggling military tech sector giants such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Ishikawajima-Harima. For decades they had allegedly relied on bill‑padding and overcharging. Exports could be a new lifeline.

Already Australia and Vietnam have voiced an interest in purchasing some of Japan's more advanced military technology. The country's submarines are especially admired, says Wallace, and will be particularly appropriate for the types of contingencies we are likely to see in the Western Pacific. Small skirmishes, not nuclear war. "Japan's most recent diesel-electric E submarine, the Soryu, is considered one of the best non-nuclear submarine systems around," he says.

Japan has a taste for pricey defense hardware which shows in its high-spec armaments. Typical are the Japanese first-class destroyers, with the latest advanced technology developed combat system (ATECS) that spent 20 years in domestic development. Add to this the knowledge that Japan could be nuclear capable given six months (something a few believe it has secretly achieved already) should its rulers wish it. Japan could quickly become one of the top military powers in the world. All it would take for the planet's third-richest nation is to stick its collective head above the parapet and cease being, well, invisible. - CNN

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