; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Just the Facts?: 'Circular surgical mark on my hand...' -- Dingo Pets -- Myanmar's Elite Mystic

'Circular surgical mark on my hand...'

Tinley Park, IL - 10/15/2011 - (unedited): I was sleeping, something woke me up for a second. I tried to go right back to sleep but my right hand was hurting. It started to hurt more and more, until it hurt severely. I sat up and looked at my hand under my phone light. What I saw Made me say no no no, there was A pencil eraser sized incision in the middle of my palm The skin wasnt removed there was still a small like the point of a pencil sized piece of skin still attached to my hand. It had an Orange liquid around the incision and a like liquid band aid shiny like glass, ultra transparent and clear liquid over it all the size of a dime.
I couldnt believe what I saw. I had an overwhelming urge to go back to sleep I couldnt it hurt, I had to look at it again. I didnt want to look at it again. I looked at it again, I knew it was not normal. I knew this was serious and real. I tried to wake up my boy friend, I told him "Get up!, theres a hole in my hand!" I was smacking his shoulder, He said "Go back to sleep there is nothing wrong with you." He would not look at my hand. All I wanted to do was go back to sleep. I looked at it for the third time and just shook my head and said "This is nuts!, This is crazy! The cat mustve did that." I laid back down and just would not believe what I was seeing. The overwhelming urge to go back to sleep prevailed. Why I didnt take a picture, Why didnt I wake anyone else up, Why I didnt touch it. I dont know. It was unbelievable. I woke up the next morning not thinking of it at all, not remembering anything. Until my boyfriend woke up, And said "Oh yeah, (Sarcastically) What happened to the hole in your hand?" All of a sudden I remembered it all, I looked at my hand immediately. Not a trace of it was there. I know what I saw, and I dont think there has been a day since then that I dont think about it, worry about it, and am freaked out about it. Ive tried telling a few close friends and family. They dont even want to hear it. They tell me it didnt happen. I know what happened, I know what I saw, I know it was real. It was a surgical perfect incision with strange liquid. I want to know what happened to me, If this has happened to anyone else. In finishing I wasnt not supposed to see that. - MUFON CMS

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Dingo pets

In a country where dingoes are synonymous with the words "got my baby", Desiree Hemberger has a lot of explaining to do. The owner of three purebred dingoes in Newtown, Sydney, Australia - urbane, crowded and in the midst of a baby boom - she insists they are not savages but shy, even huggable, companions. "Every time I take them for a walk, I will always bump into someone who will ask, 'they aren't dingoes, are they?' " Ms Hemberger said.

"It's part of owning them. You get to talk to a lot of people and explain they can make really good pets. They are really affectionate, always wanting to sit on your lap, sleep near you and just stay close." Despite their fierce reputations, the number of dingoes kept in backyards in New South Wales has risen steadily since 1999 when they became legal as pets. More than 580 purebred and 500 cross-breeds were registered last year.

NSW is one of only three states where dingo ownership is allowed in urban areas. The RSPCA NSW, which once deemed dingoes "too big a risk" to keep as pets, now rehouses them. This year the government published guidelines for dingo owners. It pointed out that while dingoes and hybrids had been successfully kept as pets, most people who bought the animals did ''not fully appreciate [their] 'hard-wired' behaviours".

The guidelines warned of destructive, aggressive and escape behaviour, and a limited ability to be trained or rehoused. Ms Hemberger agreed dingoes were headstrong but also "loving, generous and beautiful companions", even around children. "A girlfriend of mine has a little baby that we look after from time to time. One dingo in particular loves to come up and see him … they are not a threat to anyone." - SMH

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Chinese supercomputer twice as fast as nearest rival

China is easily dismissed as a laggard when it comes to innovation, but now a university in central China has come up with the world’s fastest supercomputer, which is more than twice as fast as its nearest rival.

In the world of the supercomputer, it’s all about the petaflops, and the Tianhe-2 is capable of sustained computing of 33.86 petaflops per second, which is the same as 33,860 trillion calculations per second, according to the semi-annual TOP500 listing of the world’s fastest supercomputers by a group of 500 experts.

Mainly Chinese

The Tianhe-2, which means Milky Way-2, was developed by the National University of Defence Technology in Changsha, in Hunan province. The TOP500 list is compiled curated by three computer scientists at universities in the US and Germany.

TOP500 editor Jack Dongarra, who toured the Tianhe-2 development facility in May, said the system was noteworthy in a number of aspects.

“Most of the features of the system were developed in China, and they are only using Intel for the main computer part,” he said.

“That is, the interconnect, operating system, front-end processors and software are mainly Chinese.”

The list was announced June 17th during the opening session of the 2013 International Supercomputing Conference in Leipzig.

The Tianhe-2 knocks the US Energy Department’s Titan machine off the No 1 spot. It achieved 17.59 petaflops per second.

Supercomputers look like old mainframe computers used to look – large banks of data processing power with lights and buttons, and they are used for extremely complex tasks such as quantum mechanics, modelling weather systems, simulating nuclear explosions, simulations of the early moments of the universe and designing jetliners.

Boost innovation

It’s the second time a Chinese computer has been named the world’s fastest. In November 2010, the Tianhe-2’s predecessor, Tianhe-1A, was the fastest but it was ousted by Fujitsu of Japan’s “K computer” overtook it a few months later.

It highlights China’s efforts to boost innovation in high-tech areas, and shows how the country is translating fast economic growth into higher research spending. - Irish Times


Myanmar Mystic

Tiny, frail and barely able to speak, Myanmar's most famous fortune teller -- known as ET -- has for years whispered predictions to Asia's rich and powerful, from generals to foreign politicians.

The soothsayer, whose popularity has inspired a recent Thai biopic, is one of a plethora of mystics in Myanmar, where generations of rulers have sought ethereal advice.

Sprightly despite a range of disabilities -- including, her family say, that her internal organs are all on the wrong side of her body -- ET looks every bit the mystic when accompanied by her sister Thi Thi, whose penchant for shawls and elaborately embroidered frocks enhances the spiritualist image.

"My sister (is a) very, very grand and special one," Thi Thi told AFP in a recent interview in Bangkok, adding that her guidance has been sought across the region.

"Some is politician, some is business people... Everybody happy, became very famous," said Thi Thi, who acts as an interpreter for her sister.

Myanmar's fortune tellers are thought to be behind several unexplained occurrences in the country, from the abrupt decision by the former junta to relocate the capital in 2005, to bizarre episodes when the generals appeared wearing women's longyi -- a sarong-like skirt.

Normally sartorially conservative, the top brass resorted to cross-dressing "so that a woman would not become president in the country," said Aung Zaw, editor of the Irrawaddy, a news magazine started by Myanmar exiles, referring to the junta's fear of democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi.
"They are very superstitious," he said.

Mystics have been ascribed great influence in a country where the workings of the secretive junta were kept hidden from the public for decades.

Aung Zaw said that amid the wilder speculation were strong indications that the army chiefs did dabble in the dark arts to try to reinforce their power.

"There is a lot of interpretation... but they do these things quite often," he said, adding that the practice of consulting astrologers dated back hundreds of years, with Myanmar's former kings regularly consulting fortune tellers.

Ne Win, the strongman who ruled Myanmar for around three decades, was notorious for his reliance on fortune tellers and their "yadaya" -- an occult practice where a symbolic act is performed to influence the future.

Rumours about the former junta chief's use of yadaya to ward off adversity include that he stood in front of a mirror and shot a gun at his own reflection, according to one foreign observer who has long studied the old regime.

Even Myanmar's new reformist President Thein Sein has indicated his openness to heed the predictions of mystics.

"I don't know a lot about astrology, but there are many people who know astrology very well in Myanmar," he said in a recent documentary "Un oeil sur la plan??te" (An Eye on the World) by French broadcaster France 2.

"Sometimes they give me advice on how the situation of the country could be affected from the astrological point of view. I willingly take this advice into account."

Thi Thi said her sister, who is in her 40s, had also met former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and predicted his rise to power.

"He come and see my sister, before politics. At that time he is (in the) telephone business," she said.

Thaksin reportedly visited ET just days before he was ousted in a 2006 coup, but Thi Thi declined to give details of the relationship, saying only that her sister's predictions over the years were "80 percent correct".

In three decades on the road, she said ET has travelled to "many many countries", including Japan, China, Singapore and Thailand, and now ploughs a portion of her income into a hospital foundation at home.

While her clients include the occasional Westerner, most are local businessmen and wealthy Asians.

"It's definitely hard to get an appointment," said one Western diplomat, who said prices have now risen to a hundred dollars a session.

ET begins her consultations with theatrical flair by writing out the serial number of an apparently unseen banknote in the client's wallet -- a "convincing" start, the diplomat said.

Soon after Suu Kyi was released from her last bout of house arrest in 2010, amid uncertainty about how much freedom the Nobel peace laureate would be allowed, the diplomat asked ET for a prediction of the veteran activist's future.

"In spite of a warning that she doesn't predict politics or the lottery, she did say that 'Aung San Suu Kyi would be more free, very free'," the diplomat said.

Suu Kyi has since been elected to parliament and is eyeing a bid for the presidency.

ET -- whose name is also written E Thi -- has predicted her own early death from heart failure, but her sister says it does not worry the soothsayer because she will be "very pretty" in her next life.

Her family say her powers, including visions of ghosts and future events, were discovered after she was struck by fever while praying at a pagoda as a small child.

Others took a more prosaic route to otherworldly insight and international popularity.

Hein Tint Zaw says he studied for five years under a famous Myanmar soothsayer, learning astrology, tarot and numerology with around 100 other pupils before graduating in the mystic arts and moving to Thailand to set up shop among the many migrants from Myanmar.

His little studio in the industrial town of Mahachai mainly attracts workers from his homeland, who staff local factories in their thousands, but Thais also seek his services and bring along their own interpreters.

"I have never had to advertise," he said. -