Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Daily 2 Cents: Large Fireball Crashes Into Atlantic -- Florida's Monkey River -- Corpse Thefts Rising in Chinese Villages


Large Fireball Crashes Into Atlantic

The event, which released the energy equivalent to 13,000 tons of TNT, went practically unnoticed.

Taking place roughly 620 miles off the coast of Brazil, the spectacular explosion hit with the same amount of energy as the atomic bomb that was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

The object was thought to have measured seven meters across and entered the planet's atmosphere at 41,600mph.

"Had it happened over a populated area it would’ve rattled some windows and probably terrified a lot of people, but I don’t think it would’ve done any real damage," said researcher Phil Platt.

"Impacts like this happen several times per year on average, with most going unseen."

The last time a meteorological incident of this scale occurred was back in 2013 when an object exploded with considerable force over Chelyabinsk, Russia and injured 1,600 people. Read more at Large Fireball From Space Crashes Into Atlantic

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Strange Lights Over Mojave Desert

Spring 2012 - Kelso, California

Anthony in Oklahoma called in to tell of some UFOs he saw while camping at Mid Hills Campground:

“I have camped in the Mojave reserve three different times since 2006 and also up in Death Valley but the preserve, I will not go back and camp in again after what happened in the spring of 2012. Well, I didn't have any contact with anything but what happened was, I was actually at the Mid Hills campground where they were going to stay (the caller is referring to the place that guests, Steve and Dawn Hess, subjects of the alien abduction book 'Searchers', were going to camp) and there were probably about 5 or 6 other campers there. And we all saw this but what happened was over in the direction of the Granite Mountain in the southern portion of the park... so we would have been looking to the southwest, there were about 9 lights in the sky at one point and when they were talking about the lights getting into those positions, those shapes, it wasn't as well defined, but at one point they were in a circle, at one point they were in a line. At one point they were going almost diagonal. I didn't sleep anymore that night. Neither did any of the other campers, I don't think, and I have not camped there since. I have been back but I will not spend the night in that Mojave preserve area again because it was just too freaky. And it went on for about two or three hours.”

Source: Coast to Coast Radio - February 13, 2016

Transcribed by Jamie Brian


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Florida's Monkey River

A colony of feral rhesus macaques calls the banks of the Silver River in Silver Springs State Park in central Florida its home. The monkeys are part of a larger feral population living throughout the Cross Florida Greenway. Many locals enjoy having the monkeys in the park, but wildlife officials are concerned about overpopulation caused by human feeding, the nonnative animals' ecological impact and the potential for interspecies disease transmission. A study released this week in the journal Primates by anthropologists at San Diego State University has found that the park's macaque population is smaller than many previous estimates and that the vast majority of the monkeys' diets come from environmental--not human-given--food. No one knows exactly how or when the monkeys, which are native to southern and southeast Asia, were introduced to the central Florida wetlands, but they have lived in the region's wetland parks for decades and have adapted to the environment. Over the years, population numbers have waxed and waned due largely to intermittent trapping efforts. Their presence has been contentious.

"The local authorities, like the Fish and Wildlife Service, have been less thrilled with the monkeys," said SDSU anthropologist Erin Riley, one of the paper's authors. "Their purview is to maintain a natural environment, and these animals are not natural to this area. They have concerns about the local ecological impact of these animals, and then there are also health issues if people interface and get close to them."

With funding from the National Geographic Society/Waitt Grants Program, Riley and SDSU graduate student Tiffany Wade spent several months in 2013 taking a census of the monkey population along the Silver River and documenting human-monkey interactions. Over the years, some alarming estimates have suggested upwards of a thousand or more individuals, but the researchers' census came to a much more sober figure: 118 individuals living in four separate social groups.

How many monkeys live in other parts of the Florida greenway remains unclear, Riley said. There are likely a number of groups living beyond the Silver River that would raise the overall Florida population into the hundreds, if not more. Read more at

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Theft of corpses on the rise in Chinese villages

Beijing, Feb 23: Theft of corpses is on the rise in rural Shanxi as the old custom of “ghost marriage” has resurfaced in the northern Chinese province. Shanxi’s Hongtong County has reported at least three dozen thefts of female corpses in the last three years, Xinhua news agency quoted police officer Lin Xu as saying. In ghost marriage rituals, female skeletons are reinforced with steel wires and clothed before they are buried alongside dead bachelors as “ghost brides.”

Failure to find a burial partner for unmarried male relatives is thought to bring bad luck, according to rural folk belief. Ghost marriage rituals were practiced throughout China’s feudal dynasties and were especially popular in the 10th century during the Song Dynasty. The government ordered people to cease the practice after the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949. However, rural Chinese people, who tend to uphold old customs and rituals, have continued the practice using pictures or dummies made of paper or dough. As wealth has increased, the practice of using real corpses has returned to some rural areas of Shanxi, Henan and Shaanxi provinces.

Chang Sixin, deputy director of the China Folk Literature and Art Association, said there were even matchmaking agents and companies to pair dead bachelors with the corpses of women. In Quting Village, Jing Gouzi bought a corpse to accompany his older brother, who had remained single until death, in burial. ”I thought of using a woman made of dough, but the old men in our village insisted only real bodies could prevent misfortune,” said the villager.

According to Chinese criminal law, those who steal or defile a corpse are subject to up to three years in prison. The light punishment has failed to deter corpse traffickers seeking profit. A fresh female corpse can fetch up to 100,000 yuan (about $15,600), and even a body that has been buried for decades can be sold for around 5,000 yuan. Corpse theft is difficult to investigate as it is hard to find evidence, police said. - Theft of corpses on the rise in Chinese villages

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