; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Friday, September 26, 2014

Daily 2 Cents: Nicolas Cage Once Slept in Dracula's Castle -- 8 Lives Left -- Preparing For ET

Nicolas Cage once slept in Dracula's castle

Nicolas Cage has done some spooky things for his movie roles, including taking on the role of Johnny Blaze in the Ghost Rider films. The most unusual, even for Cage, was when he stayed not only in a haunted house in Louisiana, but also Dracula’s Castle.

The nephew of the renowned director Francis Ford Coppola, Nicolas had decided to change his last name to make it on his own merits. Taking on the last name of not-so-well-known Marvel Comics character Luke Cage (one of his favorites), he certainly distanced himself from his already famous relative. The way he became famous was apparently by taking odd roles and putting his own brand of strangeness into them.

To prepare for one of his least successful films, Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance, Cage had spent a night in Dracula’s Castle in Romania to “channel the energy,” said costar Idris Elba. Elba had seen him come on the set and noticed he had that “up all night” look about him.

That was when Nicolas Cage confessed he’d spent the night in the fabled ruins, and Elba could only ask why he did that.

Idris Elba explained Cage’s actions as well as he could.

“We were shooting in Romania, Transylvania, and he just went up there to spend the night, as you do. And then he walked away. True story.”

Cage also owned a haunted house in Louisiana from 2007 to 2009. He had been writing a horror novel and wanted some inspiration, so it only made sense to him that said inspiration should come from the home of a notorious serial killer.

The home had once belonged to Madame Lalaurie, a nineteenth century socialite known for torturing and murdering her slaves. Apparently a history of violence and suffering was all the house had to offer, because Nicolas Cage admitted he didn’t get very far with the novel despite it having been called the “most haunted house in America.”

Cage’s attraction to all things spooky seems to have no end, since he once starred as a man who thought he had become a vampire after getting involved with an allegedly undead lover.

The Left Behind actor may have gotten his start in spooky dealings when someone had allegedly told him his son Weston would be dead by the age of 15. That person was wrong, but the message may have played with Cage’s mind a bit much and created a curiosity about the things that go bump in the night.

Would you do what Nicolas Cage had done, and slept in a haunted house or even Dracula’s Castle to gain inspiration? - Inquisitr


Chinese restaurant sold 'opium-laced noodles' so addicted patrons would come back for more

A noodle shop owner in northern Shaanxi province was detained after he was discovered to have been adding parts of a poppy plant, from which opium is made, to food so that customers would keep coming back. The noodle shop’s owner was held for questioning and confessed that he purchased 2kg of poppy shells (the bud of the plant in which poppy seeds are found) for 600 yuan(£60, $100) in August.

He secretly added it to the food to lure in more customers. The owner was detained for 10 days. Poppy shells used to be an ingredient in a popular hot pot sauce until the product was banned. The restaurant's activities came to light after one customer, Liu Juyou, 26, tested positive during a routine urine test under an anti-drink-driving programme. He said he never touched illegal substances, so was shocked by the test result.

Liu was detained for 15 days from September 3, unable to convince police that the drug, he suspected, might have come from the food from a noodle shop he frequented. Liu asked his family to help him test the theory, eating noodles at the restaurant and going home to take urine tests. When the relatives also tested positive for drugs, they alerted the police, who launched an investigation.

An anti-narcotics police agent said that chemicals from poppy, even poppy seed pods, could build up in the body – enough to get a positive for opiates on a drug test. If the food is ingested over a long period of time, it would have an addictive effect, he said. However, despite finding the restaurant culpable, Liu’s appeal against his detention was dismissed by police, who said their priority was to detect drugs and punish drug users. The mainland’s anti-drug law bans opium, heroin, morphine, marijuana and any other anaesthetic and psychotropic drugs which can be addictive. - SCMP


Preparing For ET

Looking for extraterrestrial life is akin to a search for a cosmic needle-in-a-haystack, as evidenced by the above incredible Hubble Space Telescope image showing approximately 10,000 galaxies.

In large part, thanks to NASA's Kepler spacecraft, more than 1,400 planets have been identified beyond Earth.

A few days ago, NASA tried closing the gap between life on Earth and the possibilities of life elsewhere. The space agency and the Library of Congress (image below left) brought together scientists, historians, philosophers and theologians from around the world for a two-day symposium, "Preparing For Discovery." Their agenda: To explore how we prepare for the inevitable discovery of extraterrestrial life, be it simple microbial organisms or intelligent beings.

"We're looking at all scenarios about finding life. If you find microbes, that's one thing. If you find intelligence, it's another. And if they communicate, it's something else, and depending on what they say, it's something else!" said astronomer, symposium organizer and former chief NASA historian, Steven J. Dick.

"The idea is not to wait until we make a discovery, but to try and prepare the public for what the implications might be when such a discovery is made," Dick told The Huffington Post. "I think the reason that NASA is backing this is because of all the recent activity in the discovery of exoplanets and the advances in astrobiology in general.

"People just consider it much more likely now that we're going to find something -- probably microbes first and maybe intelligence later," he added. "The driving force behind this is from a scientific point of view that it seems much more likely now that we are going to find life at some point in the future."

Among the many speakers at last week's astrobiology symposium, one has raised a few international eyebrows in recent years.

"I believe [alien life exists], but I have no evidence. I would be really excited and it would make my understanding of my religion deeper and richer in ways that I can't even predict yet, which is why it would be so exciting," Brother Guy Consolmagno, a Jesuit brother, astronomer and Vatican planetary scientist told HuffPost senior science editor David Freeman.

Consolmagno has publicly stated his belief that "any entity -- no matter how many tentacles it has -- has a soul," and he's suggested that he would be happy to baptize any ETs, as long as they requested it.

"There has to be freedom to do science. Being a good scientist means admitting we never have the whole truth -- there's always more to learn." Consolmagno also doesn't think the public would panic when or if it's revealed that alien life has been found.

"I really think it would be a three-day wonder and then we'd go back to worrying about reality TV or the crazy things going on in Washington -- that's the way human beings are. Because I think most people are like me: we expect it's out there. And our reaction would be, 'Wow, thank heavens. It's about time."

Earth is no longer the center of the universe, nor is it flat -- at least that's the currently accepted thinking among most scientists. And we now know, conclusively, that there are a lot more planets than the ones in our own solar system.

"The number of habitable worlds in our galaxy is certainly in the tens of billions, minimum, and we haven't even talked about the moons. And the number of galaxies we can see, other than our own, is about 100 billion," Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at California's SETI Institute told HuffPost.

Watch this video zooming and panning through the night sky to show 10,000 galaxies photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope.

At the NASA/Library of Congress symposium, Shostak gave out some startling numbers about how many stars there are in the part of the universe that we can see. "It's a big number: 10,000 billion, billion. And we know that most of those stars have planets -- 70 or 80 percent. If all of those planets are sterile, and you're the only interesting thing happening in the cosmos, then you are a miracle. That would be exceptional in the extreme. So, the middle-of-the-road approach is to say, 'You're not a miracle, you're just another duck in a row of ducks.'"

"The bottom line of this," Shostak said, "is something like one in five of all stars may have an analog to Earth. That's a lot of habitable worlds, and, indeed, the number of Earths in our own galaxy might be on the order of 50 billion."

Those are big numbers to ponder.

The D.C. conference included a great deal of discussion about the upcoming mission of the Hubble's long-anticipated successor: the James Webb Space Telescope. As large as a tennis court, this deep space observatory is scheduled for a 2018 launch and will orbit beyond our moon. The Webb telescope will focus on new planetary discoveries and collect data from the atmospheres of those planets, looking for certain things that might point to what we would consider possible indicators of life.

HuffPost asked Dick, an astrobiologist, for his opinion on the continuing output of UFO reports around the world.

"I try to keep an open mind on this. Ninety-some percent can be explained by natural phenomena, etc. The question is what to do with the other 3 or 4 percent," Dick said. "My opinion is that they should be studied further, on the one hand. By definition, they're something that we don't know what they are. They could be some physical, psychological or social phenomena that we don't know about. But I think it's jumping to a conclusion that they're extraterrestrial. I don't see that evidence.

"I haven't looked at the evidence close enough to say that there's intelligence behind it. But I've seen enough to know that there are unexplained things that we should look at more, and right now, the U.S. government is not doing that." - THP


Enter Arcane Radio's 'THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE' Contest - The winner receives an X-Files David Duchovny / Gillian Anderson signed photo. Forward your contact information to info@arcaneradio.com - Entries must be submitted by 10/11/2014. Winner will be announced during the 10/13/2014 podcast. Enter Now!


8 Lives Left

I woke up about 2 AM with my cat napping between my ankles. He had curled up and started purring, no way in hell I was going to wake him up. I rolled over and went back to sleep.

At 9 AM, I woke up to my alarm, called a store to see if my application had gone through yet, and reached down to pet Gandalf. He hadn't moved, which I thought was strange because he's still young and doesn't sit still for longer than 20 minutes. I started talking to him, which usually gets a churr in response. He was silent. I nudged him off my foot, when I realized he was stiff.

I put my hand on his chest, not breathing. I panicked and picked him up, absolutely rigid and cool to the touch. His tongue was out slightly, and I started crying. I had just lost a cat a month ago, right before we got Gandalf. I shook my boyfriend awake, telling him, "There's something wrong with Gandalf wake up wake up!"

Then I heard a churr. Gandalf sat up and stretched, then attacked my boyfriends feet for moving under the covers. Boyfriend snapped at me for scaring him awake, and told me to lay back down for a bit before I got up. From waking up, to discovering my dead cat, to waking my boyfriend up couldn't have taken more than two minutes, but I checked my phone and it said 10:30 AM.

All day I keep checking on Gandalf, the only strange thing about him is he hasn't let me out of his sight since this morning. Combine that with the creepy alien kitty outside and I don't think I'll be sleeping tonight.

TL;DR: Woke up, cat was dead. Freaked out and woke up boyfriend, cat was not dead and attacked our feet. Missing an hour and a half. - KayleighAnn - Reddit.com



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