; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Friday, March 09, 2012

Just the Facts?: Phoenix Flash Mystery -- Girls Commit Suicide to Become Time Travelers -- Pope St. John Paul II

Mysterious Light Flashes During Traffic Report

At 8:31 AM, on Thursday morning March 8, 2012, during live traffic report on Phoenix FOX 10 KSAZ, a large, bright flash of light appeared behind traffic reporter for a fraction of a second in the general direction of the Phoenix South Valley. Fox 10 contacted the Arizona power utility, APS, and the Salt River Project
“to see if a transformer had blown, but that was not the case.”

Click for video


How this strange new material repairs itself – and your internal organs

Self-healing materials are substances that can knit themselves back together after being torn or broken. Here you can see a new self-healing hydrogel that could revolutionize how we treat internal wounds to the stomach.

Hydrogels are squishy polymer chains that look something like gummi bears. They are very useful in medicine, because they contain so much water they're as flexible as biological tissues. Now, new research out of UCSD offers a way to make these gels stick together with incredible strength. Researchers pulled off this trick by adding dangling hydrocarbon side chains to the polymer network that makes up the gel. With these in place, exposure to an acidic environment causes the self-healing hydrogel to knit together (exposure to a basic one makes it separate again).

That means that two pieces of the hydrogel can be stitched together, or damaged areas can knit together, simply by exposing it to environments of pH 3 or lower for just two seconds. High pH environments split it apart again, but the process can be repeated many times without ill effect. Not only that, but the strength of the bond is impressive. After just 10 seconds of bonding the join can take 2 kPa of stress - and when it breaks, it breaks in the middle of the gel, not at the join. The material continues to strengthen for up to 24 hours of exposure to the acid, eventually being able to handle 35±3 kPa of stress.

The potential applications of this are just freaking incredible — but some of the most interesting possibilities lie in medicine, especially for treating stomach wounds. After all, the gut is an acidic environment. You could hold closed stomach perforations until they heal, knowing that the hydrogel would heal itself from any damage due to the constant low pH exposure. - io9


Pope John Paul II could soon be canonized

A second miracle attributed to late Pope John Paul II has been reported, and he could be made a saint soon.

The miraculous healing occurred just weeks after John Paul II's beatification last May 1, which put him on the path to sainthood just six years after his death, Italy's Panorama newspaper said overnight, citing documents sent to the Vatican.

It was attended by over a million people.

The first miracle attributed to the late pope was the healing of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who recovered from Parkinson's disease.

To be officially certified as a miracle by the Catholic Church, healings have to be instantaneous, irreversible and without scientific explanation.

The second miracle, about which no details were released, was chosen from among four reported and documented by the promoter of Karol Wojtyla's canonisation, Bishop Slowomir Oder, Panorama said.

The magazine said the case was being studied by experts from the Congregation for the Cause of Saints and could lead to the canonisation of the late pope within the next 12 months.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi declined to comment on the report, stressing that only a decree from the Congregation could confirm it.

Many Catholic faithful want John Paul II to be made a saint as soon as possible. - couriermail


Chinese girls commit suicide thinking death will make them time travelers

Two 12-year-old Chinese girls have killed themselves in bizarre circumstances after leaving suicide notes saying they believed their deaths would enable them to travel back in time.

The tragic chain of events began when one of the girls decided to take her own life because she was so distraught at losing a house key.

Her best friend, not wishing to live without her fifth-grade classmate, vowed they should die together.

They each wrote suicide notes and hid them in a cupboard before jumping into a pond to drown themselves.

In a message left by one of the girls, Xiao Mei, she said her friend, Xiao Hua, was terrified of being punished for misplacing the remote control to the rolling door of her house in Zhangzhou.

Xiao Mei penned that she dreamt of travelling back to the Qing Dynasty, which ruled between 1644 and 1911, it was reported on People's Daily Online.

Their deaths have reignited a fierce debate in China about time travel TV programmes, which were banned by the government last year in a move heavily criticised as a gross over-reaction.

Some shows feature storylines in which women travel back in time and fall in love in the Qing Dynasty after a car crash or being struck by lightning.

Sun Yunxiao, deputy director of China Youth and Children Research Center, told People's Daily Online: 'Schoolchildren are rich in curiosity, but poor in judgment.

'I have heard of children jumping from high buildings after watching an actor flying in a magic show.

'This kind of imitative behavior is in the nature of young children, but it's very dangerous. So we should give some sort of warning for children on TV programs.' - dailymail



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