; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Monday, December 05, 2011

Just the Facts?: Return of the Woolly Mammoth -- Ark of the Covenant Revealed? -- Odd Fire Crew Calls

Woolly mammoth to be brought back to life?

Scientists have claimed that within five years the extinct woolly mammoth could be brought back to life from the bone marrow of the species.

A team from Russia's Sakha Republic's mammoth museum and Kinki University in Japan says that the recent discovery of well-preserved marrow inside the thigh bone of a woolly mammoth in Siberia has raised its hope that the species could be cloned.

The scientists are now gear up to launch a full-fledged joint research next year aiming to recreate the giant mammal, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

By replacing the nuclei of egg cells from an elephant with those taken from the mammoth's marrow cells, embryos with mammoth DNA can be produced, say the scientists.

They will then plant the embryos into elephant wombs for delivery as the two species are close relatives. Securing nuclei with an undamaged gene is essential for the nucleus transplantation technique, the British daily quoted Japan's 'Kyodo News' as saying.

Mammoths became extinct about 10,000 years ago. But the discovery in August in Siberia has increased the chances of a successful cloning.

Global warming has thawed ground in eastern Russia that is usually almost permanently frozen, leading to the discoveries of a number of frozen mammoths. - PTI

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Larry King reveals he wants to be Cryogenically Frozen: ‘I fear death’

Larry King overshadowed his guests on Sunday night for one of his specials, CNN Presents: A Larry King Special: Dinner with the Kings. The entertainer invited Conan O'Brien, Tyra Banks, Shaquille O'Neal, Seth MacFarlane, Jack Dorsey, Quincy Jones and Russell Brand to his dinner table to talk life, entertainment and all parts in-between.

While the news broadcaster was hoping to make headlines with his guests, the headings he made were more about himself and the idea that he wasn’t to be Cryogenically Frozen.

"Oh, I fear death," said Larry King. "My biggest fear is death, because I don't think I'm going anywhere. And since I don't think that, and I don't have a belief… I'm married to someone who has the belief, so she knows she's going somewhere.”

The entertainer seemed to shock his guests talking about being frozen and what happens after he is frozen after death.

"I want to be frozen on the hope that they'll find whatever I died of and bring me back," said Larry King.


Will this be the first time the world sees the Ark of the Covenant?

A very British problem of a leaky church roof could be about to give the world the chance to glimpse the legendary Ark of the Covenant.

That's because the claimed home of the iconic relic - a small chapel in Ethiopia - has sprung a leak and so the Ark could now be on the move.

The Ark - which The Bible says holds God's Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai - is said to have been kept in Aksum, in the Chapel of the Tablet, adjacent to St Mary of Zion Church, since the 1960s.

Since then it's been the goal of many adventurers and archaeologists to find it. Most-famously, but also fictitiously, Indiana Jones was shown in the 1981 Steven Spielberg film Raiders of the Lost Ark.

There has also been a long-running claim from the Orthodox Christians of Ethiopia that they have had the Ark for centuries, and since the 1960s it has apparently been kept in the chapel.

This small and curiously-styled building is surrounded by spiked iron railings, and situated between two churches, the old and new, of St Mary of Zion in central Aksum.

No one has been allowed to see the holy object, described in scripture as being made from acacia wood, plated with gold and topped with two golden angels, except one solitary elderly monk, who must watch over the Ark for the remainder of his life, and is never allowed to leave the chapel grounds.

But now the chapel - which was designed by the Ethiopian leader Emperor Hailie Selassie - has had to be covered in a tarpaulin to stop rain getting in.

The water damage could mean the Ark will be moved for the first time in decades giving religious worshippers and adventurers alike a chance to see it.

British photographer Tim Makins, 54, who is a travel photographer for publications like Lonely Planet, discovered the church had sprung a leak whilst travelling through Ethiopia last September.

He believes the moving of the Ark could be one of the best ways to discover if there's any truth in the claims of the East African state.

Tim said: 'During my most recent visit to the church, I was surprised to see some ground adjacent to the ''Chapel of the Tablet'' being cleared and levelled by workmen, and some quantities of building stone being assembled nearby.

'Asking around, I managed to discover that a new temporary chapel is due to be built, and the Ark is to be moved into it while the original chapel is repaired.

'It seems that the builders of the 1960s were not as careful as the builders of centuries past, and the roof of the chapel has developed some serious leaks that now need comprehensive repair work.

'To protect the Ark, a tarpaulin now covers the roof of the chapel but this is just a temporary measure.

'To renovate the building thoroughly, the roof must be stripped back to the bare bones and so a replacement chapel is to be built next door providing a temporary home for it.'

Tim said the construction of the new temporary chapel would take about three months according to workers and religious figures at the site, though he suspects that it will probably take much longer.

He added: 'When the work is finished, the Ark of the Covenant will be carried to its new resting place.'

'That this can be done by the one person allowed to see it is unlikely, as The Bible describes the size of the Ark as 2.5 cubits in length, 1.5 in breadth, and 1.5 in height.

'Cubits in today's measurements translate to about 1.31 metres x 0.79m x 0.79m and it is normally carried on two long wooden poles.

'If it really is this size, and still contains the two stone tablets that list God's Ten Commandments, then the elderly monk will no doubt need some help to transport it.' - dailymail

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Fire crews reveal their most bizarre call-outs

When fire crews say they have seen it all, they really mean it.

From freeing a man's genitals from a titanium chastity belt to rescuing a woman wedged in a vending machine, firefighters in the capital have had some truly bizarre call-outs.

The London Fire Brigade revealed that last year they were called to 417 incidents involving people stuck in objects, machinery or furniture and firefighters warned that these type of calls could divert them from more serious situations.

Their records reveal that one embarrassed man even turned up at hospital with a ring stuck on his penis had to be cut free by 10 firefighter.

London Fire Brigade revealed some of their more bizarre emergencies as they warned such 999 calls could divert rescue services from more serious situations. Many of the preventable incidents involved children getting stuck in playground equipment or household items.

It took them 20 minutes to remove the ring after staff at Queen Elizabeth hospital, Woolwich, were unable to prise it from the man's genitals.

This was just one of three incidents in which firefighters were called to remove a ring stuck on a penis between April 2010 to May 2011.

In October firefighters were called in to rescue a man trapped in a fourth-storey flat window in Kingston, South-West London. He had been trying to get into a bathroom.

However unusual incidents are not just restricted to the London area. Just last week a video emerged of Danielle Morgan, a student at the University of Derby, who had to be freed after getting stuck in a clothes horse.

The undergraduate had been ‘mucking about’ in her flatmate’s bedroom when she fell off the bed.

Last year

-Crews removed handcuffs from 36 people
-Cut 'other’ objects from 74 people, 15 of whom were injured
-Rescued 14 people who had become impaled
-Rescuing 133 people who had become trapped in or under machinery or other objects

Examples from past five years include:

• A woman with her foot glued to the floor in Islington

• A child with its head stuck in a tambourine in Southwark

• A woman with a hedge strimmer stuck on her arm in Greenwich

• Several people with their hands stuck in a letterboxes

• Several people with their hands stuck in shredders

• Several children with toilet seats and potties stuck on their heads or round their necks

• Several children trapped in play equipment like swings and slides on playgrounds

In a bizarre turn of events the 18-year-old, dressed in her pyjamas and dressing gown, then knocked over a nearby clothes horse which landed on her, with the narrow rails trapping her by the head and shoulders.

In desperation she called a friend to explain her predicament and despite the best efforts of her flatmate, Miss Morgan just could not be freed and firefighters had to be called.

Miss Morgan wrote on Facebook shortly after the incident: ‘Having four hunky firemen and two paramedics come to my rescue! What a way to spend a Sunday night. I feel like I’ve been stuck in a clothes horse for an hour!’

London fire crews revealed that many of the preventable incidents involved children getting stuck in playground equipment or household items.

But one adult may have taken playing with his youngsters too far, after he needed the fire service to help extract him from a child's toy car.

Other incidents include a teenager getting wedged in an ironing board and a person getting their fingers stuck in a DVD player.

Several children were helped after getting toilet seats and potties stuck on their heads while 36 people had to be freed from handcuffs.

The removal of rings from fingers accounted for 160 incidents, while 74 people had 'other' objects removed.

Dave Brown, the fire service's assistant commissioner for operations and mobilising, said: 'You would not believe some of the incidents we are called to deal with - people manage to get themselves trapped in some very weird and wonderful places.

'But there is a serious side to this, these incidents are time-consuming, costly and take up the precious time of our crews who are then unavailable to attend other, potentially life-threatening, emergencies.

'We ask the public to take greater care to avoid getting themselves into these often ridiculous situations and to think carefully before dialling 999 and calling us out if there is not an emergency.'

London firefighters attended 417 incidents involving people stuck in objects, machinery and furniture

Three of these were in response to men having a ring stuck on their penis'.

The removal of rings from fingers accounted for 160 incidents, while 74 people had 'other' objects removed.

Some 133 people had become trapped in or under machinery or other objects, and 14 people were impaled. - dailymail