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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Just the Facts?: Infected by 'ET Life Form' -- Farm House Experience -- Cliff Barackman BTE Interview

Yukon miner claims infection by an ‘extraterrestrial life form’

A miner of precious metals in Canada’s Yukon territory claims he was infected by an extraterrestrial life form.

The miner, Daniel Sabo, discovered a meteorite in 1986. The National Post explains that, over the next decade, Sabo stored the meteorite in a variety of locations: In a drawer, on a ledge, and even in a felt Crown Royal drawstring bag. He took the meteorite to his parents’ home in Arizona with plans to sell it. But those plans were quelled because he had not obtained a permit, as required by the Canadian Cultural Property Export and Import Act, to legally export the meteorite from Canada.

Sabo believes Arizona’s warm, arid climate induced a change in the meteorite because a “green crust” started growing along the rock’s natural seam. Unable to legally sell the meteorite, Sabo decided to return to Canada. The National Post explains, “As he drove home with it, sometimes balancing it in the crook of his elbow, he developed a terrible rash up and down his arm. He believed he had been infected by some extraterrestrial life form, and was mightily scared.”

Back in Canada, Sabo gave the meteorite to geologists at the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) for testing in 1999–a decision he soon regretted. For some reason, Sabo became unhappy, and requested the meteorite be returned. And he claims what he got back from the GSC was not only missing the piece containing the green crust, but that the entire meteorite was a replica of the one he had given the GSC. The National Post reports that this resulted in “an epic court battle that featured dramatic claims about a devious geologist, extraterrestrial life, government conspiracy and the black market in space rocks.”

A lower court judge found that the GSC did not switch out Sabo’s meteorite with a replica, and that the green crust was of terrestrial origin. These findings have since been upheld by the Court of Appeal for Yukon. The GSC has been ordered to pay Sabo $1,000 for “failing to return a piece it cut off his meteorite for testing.” But Sabo is not done fighting. He reportedly plans to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. - Open Minds


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Farm House Experience

I moved into a farm house with my best friend. Her grandparents had owned farmland (in the family for 150 years) and there were three houses on the property. Rent was inexpensive and we had a whole house to ourselves! The layout of the house is there are two bedrooms across from each other, connected by a living room. The living room is connected to the kitchen, and there is a bathroom off of the kitchen. There is a wall that is between the kitchen and living room that a piano is located. It is a relatively small house but perfect for two people. When I moved in little things were occurring. We would hear rattling of dishes in the kitchen when no one was in there, see shadows go across the kitchen and my friend even saw an actual man's figure walk between her bedroom and mine. The scariest occurrence that happened was when I was home alone. It was late at night and my friend was staying with her boyfriend so I was alone, her dog being my only company. I went into the bathroom to get ready for bed, and a couple of minutes after being in there, I heard the piano located outside of the bathroom begin playing. I thought that maybe my friend had come home without me hearing, and when i opened the door the playing stopped. There was no one at the piano. I then was freaked out, so I thought I would get my friend's dog to stay with me so I would at least have something else there with me for comfort. When I went to get her out of my friends room, she was growling at the door and refused to come out of the bedroom. She was looking at the door to the bathroom and backed up as far as she could into my friends bedroom. At this point I was very scared, and went into my bedroom to call my friend. As I did, the lights in the living room only started flickering. I was freaked out, so I just grabbed my keys and bolted to the front door. I looked back to see if her dog had come out into the living room at all. As I turned around, instead of seeing her dog I saw a notebook that was placed on the table in the living room fly across the room and hit the wall, then sitting on the floor. After this incident I felt very uneasy in the house although nothing like this has happened to me again. - Reddit

Extreme Paranormal Investigations: The Blood Farm Horror, the Legend of Primrose Road, and Other Disturbing Hauntings

The Dark Sacrament: True Stories of Modern-Day Demon Possession and Exorcism

America's Haunted Universities: Ghosts that Roam Hallowed Halls


Would you eat artificial meat?

The next time you’re about to bite into a hamburger, take a moment to consider the resources that went into making it. In a recent Solve for X talk, Andras Forgacs laid out all the statistics, and explained how tantalizingly close we are to a more sustainable method of meat production. Basically, humanity may soon be 3D printing meat instead of growing it in an animal.

Forgacs starts by explaining just how costly a single quarter-pound beef patty is to produce. For that one serving, 6.7lbs of grains, 600 gallons of water, and 75 square feet of grazing land were used. Now multiply that by 1000 to find your (approximate) impact — the average American eats over 220lbs of meat each year. Additionally, at least 18% of greenhouse gas emissions are due to meat production. All this for one burger?

As economic opportunities continue to lift populations around the world into the middle class, demand for meat is rising. With 7 billion people on the planet, we are sustained by 60 billion land animals. When the population hits 9 billion somewhere around 2050 we would need 100 billion land animals. That would be ecologically devastating, so something has to change.

Advances in bioengineering have been able to produce meat analogs, but the process has always been stupendously expensive, and the results were only passable. It turns out that it’s actually very difficult to match the taste and texture of animal muscle tissue by growing cells in the lab. The marbling of fats and connective tissue is integral to the experience of eating a burger.

Applying 3D printing to artificial meats could be the answer, according to Forgacs. If you take tissue engineering and add in some 3D printing, you get the burgeoning field of bioprinting. Researchers are working with cell aggregates as the medium in bioprinting (as opposed to plastics in regular 3D printing). Layer after layer of cells can be laid down to more closely resemble the genuine article. Researchers can basically build a block of muscle that never lived.

So maybe it’s going to be possible to make artificial meat that feels and tastes like the real deal, but what about cost? Well, Forgacs concedes that it does still cost a few thousand dollars to make a pound of meat in the lab. Unless you’re seeking the most expensive burger in the world, that’s no good. Still, the cost of real meat is inevitably going up and the printed stuff will become cheaper as economies of scale kick in. The process right now is taking place in a research lab, not a large production facility.

Printed meats will eventually become cost-competitive with the dead animal kind. Until then, we may all have to take a closer look at what we’re eating. - Geek


North Korea...what you may not know

I am fascinated with North Korea, as some of you may know. Mental Floss posted a list of things that you may not know about the hermit nation:

Recently, the world was set on edge when North Korea tested a multi-kiloton nuclear bomb at a facility in P'unggye. It’s always interesting to know who’s on the other side of the Bomb, so here are ten things you might not know about North Korea.


While a real world occurrence of 2012’s Red Dawn is impossible even by the admittedly low standards of 80s action film remakes, North Korea does have a really, really large military. The country has universal conscription in accordance with its constitution, which states: "Defending the fatherland is the supreme duty and honor of citizens. Citizens shall defend the fatherland and serve in the armed forces as prescribed by law." It is estimated that 1.1 million males are on active duty military status, making it the fourth-largest army in the world. Its reserve force of 8 million is the world’s largest.


Sophie Schmidt recently toured North Korea with her father and provided a fascinating written record of her experience. Among items which must be declared at customs include “killing device,” “exciter,” “hand phone,” and “publishings of all kinds.”


Professor Daniel Schwekendiek from Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul studied refugees from North Korea. Compared with those who live in South Korea, there is a difference in height of 1 to 3 inches. He observed that the disparity is most striking among children. "The height gap is approximately 4 cm (1.6 in) among pre-school boys and 3 cm (1.2 in) among pre-school girls, and again the South Koreans would be taller." Martin Bloem, head of nutrition at the World Food Programme, attributed the difference to the poor diet of North Koreans. He says, "Food and what happens in the first two years of life is actually critical for people's height later.”


Everyone knows that Kim Jong-Il was called “Dear Leader” by the state press. But North Korean journalists could get a little more creative than that. Among other titles, the North Korean leader was called: “Brilliant Leader,” “Guiding Sun Ray,” “Ever-Victorious, Iron-Willed Commander,” and “Dear Leader, who is a perfect incarnation of the appearance that a leader should have.”


The incumbent president of North Korea is Kim Il-Sung. He assumed the office of the Eternal Presidency on July 8, 1994, and he has steadfastly held onto power, even though he’s been dead for 18 years. This makes North Korea the world’s only necrocracy.


If you’re an educated North Korean, there’s a good chance you went to Kim Il-Sung University. (You might even have read the Complete Collection of Kim Il Sung's Works, a riveting hundred volume work.) Sports fan? See you at Kim Il-Sung Stadium. We can get there by crossing Kim Il-Sung Bridge. And just to shake things up, let’s meet at the Immortal Statue of Kim Il-Sung (which is one of 34,000 statues of Kim Il-Sung in North Korea, not including the Towers of Eternal Life in each town). But that’s nothing next to his son, who can reportedly control the weather based on his moods.


In 2009, satellite imagery revealed a lot about the high life of the Kims, and the terrifying subjugation of the North Korean people. Photographs revealed details of Hwasong Concentration Camp, generally known as Camp 16, one of the country’s most notorious prisons. According to the Wall Street Journal, it is roughly 300 square miles. There are 20,000 political prisoners at Camp 16, and it is located near a facility for testing nuclear bombs (because the hell of lifelong forced labor isn’t enough). Things you might expect to find in a North Korean prison include torture, executions both public and secret, starvation, disease, and infanticide (in the cases where expecting mothers were incarcerated).


When he wasn’t orchestrating genocide, Kim Jong-Il was building mansions. He had 32 residences ranging from ornate beach houses to frightful massive mountain top palaces. Presumably, they weren’t returned to the people when he died. After all, the late dictator remains in office as Eternal General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea. And what better way to recover from a long day’s work than a few rides down a garish poolside water slide? For what it’s worth, when Kim Jong-Il came to power, the price tag of ceremonies honoring he and his father came to $2.68 billion.


The Supreme Leader of North Korea is Kim Jong-un, who also holds the positions of Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea—look, I’ll save you some time here. He holds all the titles. The state press has called him the “Great Successor.” He’s the youngest head of state in the world, holds a physics degree, and loves long-range rockets and nuclear weapons. Upon his father’s death, Kim Jong-un was declared the "party, military, and country’s supreme leader who inherits great comrade Kim Jong-il’s ideology, leadership, character, virtues, grit and courage." Great.


Kwangmyong is North Korea’s intranet, available for the browsing of Kim fan pages by the North Korean people. It is not connected to the Internet, because—well if you made it this far in the list I don’t really need to explain why. Kwangmyong has email, news, an electronic library, and scrubbed science material from the world media. The official Internet presence of North Korea wants you to know that “The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a genuine workers' state in which all the people are completely liberated from exploitation and oppression. The workers, peasants, soldiers and intellectuals are the true masters of their destiny and are in a unique position to defend their interests.” - Mental Floss

Escaping North Korea: Defiance and Hope in the World's Most Repressive Country

Witness to Transformation: Refugee Insights into North Korea

Nuclear North Korea: A Debate on Engagement Strategies