; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fortean / Alternative News: British Northern Lights, NYC Apocalypse Manual and Dwarf Village Mystery

Storm to bring Northern Lights to Britain

news.yahoo - Britain should experience spectacular Northern Lights displays from Thursday due to a large solar storm which could disrupt communication networks, the British Geological Survey (BGS) said.

"Since February 13 three energetic solar flares have erupted on the sun and spewed clouds of charged plasma called coronal mass ejections (CMEs) out towards the earth," a BGS geomagnetic storm warning said.

"Already one CME arrived on the 14th sparking Valentine's Day displays of the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) further south than usual.

"Two CMEs are expected to arrive in the next 24-48 hours and further...displays are possible some time over the next two nights if skies are clear."

The strongest storm in four years is expected to interfere with satellites and electrical networks, with astronomers in southern China already reporting disturbances to radio communications.

The BGS Wednesday published geomagnetic records dating back to the Victorian era which it hopes will help in planning for future storms.

"Life increasingly depends on technologies that didn't exist when the magnetic recordings began," Alan Thomson, BGS head of geomagnetism said.

"Studying the records will tell us what we have to plan and prepare for to make sure systems can resist solar storms," he added.


New York City's Official Apocalypse Manual (Download)

villagevoice - Should New York City face a "very grim" situation, the government has the right to "establish curfews, quarantine wide areas, close businesses, restrict public assemblies and, under certain circumstances, suspend local ordinances," the New York Times explains in a feature this morning about the legal rulebook that governs potentially apocalyptic times. It's terrifying in theory, but also very boring because it's written by lawyers. The "New York State Public Health Legal Manual," a/k/a The Oh My God We're All Goin' to Die book, "provides a catalog of potential terrorism nightmares, like smallpox, anthrax or botulism episodes." But don't worry, they have a plan.

The rules oscillate between chaos and order, using dry language and "We're in charge here"-style optimism to describe situations where people would likely be screaming in the streets. Basically, you can loot someone's house, but expect to face the consequences after things get sorted out with the ravenous disease because "violations of individual property rights, if actionable, would generally be sorted out after the need for such actions has ended." That sort of thing.

And it provides chilling instructions on how to proceed with cases in the midst of outbreaks of contagious disease. The stockpiled gloves and respirators "already available at many courthouses," it says, may be necessary.

But the image of an infected New Yorker surrounded by a masked judge, lawyers, and court officers was a miserable one even for this gruesome guide. "The wearing of respirators by the multiple participants in a courtroom setting, would no doubt be disruptive," the manual notes.

Download the whole manual here, share it with your family and decide now which Dean and Deluca you're going to pillage first.


Burglar killed goldfish because he didn’t want any witnesses

Three goldfish were killed by a 16-year-old burglar because he “didn’t want to leave any witnesses”, police have revealed. The teenager was arrested and charged by police with residential burglary and cruelty to animals following the incident in January.

According to Arlington Heights Police, Illinois, the youth – along with a 15- and 17-year-old – broke into a house and stole a games console and 30 games, CD player, 30 DVDs,a BB gun, jewellery and a safe.

The 16-year-old is then alleged to have poured mustard, ketchup and spices into a tank, killing the fish. The police report says the boy looked at the first tank and said “we can’t leave any witnesses,” before carrying out the pointless act of cruelty.

Sgt. Mike Hernandez of the Arlington Heights Police Department, Illinois, said: “As a matter of fact, it’s a little disturbing.”


Dwarf Village in Ecuador: Unlocking the Cancer Mystery?

news.gather - A dwarf village in Ecuador has been the subject of a study to determine why cancer and diabetes is extremely rare among its 100 inhabitants. Researchers from the University of California wonder if blocking growth hormones in full grown adults might unlock the cancer mystery.

An article published in the Science Translational Medicine suggests that blocking growth hormones through prescription drugs or diet may enable future societies to live without "major illness."

Valter Longo, who led the team of researchers, said the potential side effects would be a fair trade for the devastation of cancer and other serious diseases. "It's the dream of every administration, anywhere in the world....You live a long healthy life, and then you drop dead."

Fox News reports that the 23 year study included the dwarfs and about 1600 relatives of normal stature. They found no documented cases of diabetes, and one "non-lethal" cancer case. Growth hormone deficient dwarfs lead normal lives, says Longo, but they also appear to die for "strange reasons", including those related to alcohol.

It seems logical that a growth inhibitor might slow cancer cells along with others, and Longo and his team are hoping for approval to begin clinical trials. Will this dwarf village finally reveal a cure for cancer? One can only hope.