I’ll Have a Wee Bit of Whisky

I read something today that make me sit back in my chair and actually say out loud “what the f***!” 

A British art student, James Gilpin, who is studying at the London Royal College of Art has a very interesting hobby, he makes whisky.  What’s so interesting about that?  You may know many people into home brewing (I do a bit myself), well Mr. Gilpin has a method of brewing that uses elderly diabetic, rich in sugar, urine.  That’s right folks, pee.

The project is called “Gilpin Family Whisky” and the main source of material is acquired from elderly volunteers, including James very own grandmother.  The urine is than purified in which the sugars are removed and added to the mash to speed up the fermentation process. 

Once this process is finished it will turn into a clear alcohol where whiskey blends are added to give it color.  Then the product is bottled and labeled with the donor’s name and date. 

Although this is actually a very clever way to produce whisky, Gilpin, claims he has not intentions on selling this product, it is more of an art form.

References:

http://entertainment.stv.tv/showbiz/194132-wee-whisky/

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2010-08/24/pissky

UFO Spotted on Google Earth?

So as I was doing a quick search for some woo news, I stumbled across this photo. 

This was part of a collection by Google called ‘the most mysterious sightings ever.’  The most mysterious sightings ever, are you serious?  This picture isn’t that puzzling at all, when I first glanced at it, I was looking for the UFO.  I had no idea they were talking about the top of a man made structure, most likely a water tower.

It seems people just label anything that is spherical or circular a UFO.  No sightings of this gargantuan craft were ever reported, not even by the person driving the red truck in the photograph.  My favorite thing about this photo is the lonely road which travels right up to “UFO.” 

I laugh because I wouldn’t have even written this article if I didn’t see so many comments that “this is proof alien space craft’s have visited earth.”  “This is proof of a UFO, because Google earth doesn’t photoshop images,” well I guess I partially agree with that last statement, Google earth didn’t photoshop the picture but it’s not proof of a UFO, it’s proof of manmade structures.   Sadly it is also proof that some people are so blinded by a belief that they will subscribe to any possible piece of “evidence” as hard fact.

“Ectoplasmic residue…It’s the real thing.”

I was sent a picture last night of what some people are claiming to be “ectoplasmic” mist surrounding a females head. 

If you notice in the photo, the individual is wearing a coat and the “ghost” like mist appears to be right by her head.  It doesn’t take much to realize, that this apparition in mid manifestation is actually the woman’s breath.

Being a skeptic and paranormal researcher there are certain things I can’t stand in the field of paranormal research; one of those things is the claim of ectoplasm.  Ectoplasm (from the Greek ektos which means “outside” and plasma which means “something formed”) which was previously called teleplasm, is a term that was coined by French physiologist and noble prize winner Charles Robert Richet. 

Charles Richet

Richet a man with a passion for science and medicine also had a high interest in psychical research; he even served as president of the Society of Psychical Research located in London in 1905.  Initially Richet was close minded and shrugged off claims of psychic phenomena.  But in his book, Thirty Years of Psychical Research, published in 1923 Richet wrote that he was shameful he was one of the many that was among the willfully blind. 

Richet studied the claims of an Italian peasant named Eusapia Palladino, who was producing some very weird phenomena.  This is when Richet coined the term ectoplasm, explaining that is was some type of jellylike protoplasm that emanates from the medium. 

It is important to note that many researchers of the time felt Palladino was nothing more than a charlatan.  But the typical mindset of a scientist, Richet felt he couldn’t be duped, and defend Palladino.  Richet wrote “Even if there were no other medium than Eusapia in the world, her manifestations would suffice to establish scientifically the reality of telekinesis and ectoplasmic forms.”   Sadly for Richet, this wouldn’t be the case, ectoplasm was never proven authentic, in fact just the opposite.

Lots of ectoplasm cases had been proven to be nothing more than fraud. People using items such as cheese cloth, gauze, chewed paper, egg whites, muslin and even pieces of meat from chicken or cows. 

The way lots of mediums produced this feat was the real work of art, hiding these objects anywhere within reach, even in their own vaginas or rectums.  Some mediums even swallowed these objects and regurgitated them during the séance when the lights were out.

But the thing I find so fascinating is the evolution of this phenomena, how it went from a solid form to a mist.  How it went from protruding out of the orifices of mediums, to a lingering fog floating around alleged haunted locations.

I don’t mean to sound rude but it’s absolutely embarrassing, almost eye rolling to look at some photos that people think is authentic ectoplasmic evidence.  Of course now days ectoplasm only exist in photographs.  Personally, I liked it more when it was cheese cloth. 

Me and ectoplasm

Saudi Arabia May Purposely Paralyze Convict

Today as I was seeking out some woo news, I found something that was absolutely repulsive. Although not woo, it definitely made me stop and go what the…?

In Saudi Arabia there are talks that the courts may indeed purposely paralyze a man as punishment for a crime. Hospitals have been contacted to see if the operation on severing the spinal cord could be done, and sure enough one of the hospitals has answered and said that their facility would be able to perform such an operation.

Abdul-Aziz al-Mutairi is the man who has requested this punishment be done. And Abdul-Aziz al-Mutairi is able to make this request under Sharia law, since he himself was left paralyzed by the convict after being stabbed in the back with a large knife.

This seems a bit inhumane from an American stand point, but this isn’t actually all the uncommon in Saudi Arabia. Other sentences that have been carried out in the past include the gouging of eye balls out, teeth extraction and even death.

Thankfully I am not the only one who feels that this is nothing less than torture, in a comment on the article someone stated “Intentionally paralyzing a man in this way would constitute torture, and be a breach of its international human rights obligations.”

Another comment was made by the human rights group “Under international human rights law, the use of this sentence would constitute a violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”

The court has not officially decided if the procedure will be carried out. It may issue a form of compensation, flogging or imprisonment.

References:
http://www.aolnews.com/world/article/saudi-arabia-urged-not-to-paralyze-man-as-punishment-for-a-fight/19602954

Brazil’s Government Orders UFO Sightings be Documented

Brazil’s government has recently ordered that it’s air force is to record any UFO sightings. The order also extends to civilian pilots and air traffic controllers, all of which will have to register with the National Aerospace Defense Command. All of the records, which will be maintained at the Brazil national archives in Rio de Janeiro, will be available to those researching UFO phenomena. These records will contain testimonials and even picture and video data if it is available.

The Brazilian Air Force has gone on record as stating they would limit themselves in the reporting process. They want to make it known that they are not UFO chasers. “Air Force Command does not have a specialized structure to carry out scientific experiments on these phenomena and will limit itself to recording any events,” the Air Force said in a released statement.

I must admit, I feel like this is a semi-waste of time. There are so many questions running through my head right now. Are they making the assumption that since people are pilots and air traffic controllers that their reports are in some way more reliable than a pedestrian? Who is going to be in charge of “validating” these claims? How are they going to prevent hoaxers? If they are not going out to chase the UFO sighting how will we determine whether or not it’s an “authentic” UFO and not a sky lantern caught in an air current? This seriously seems like a huge waste of time in my opinion. I stand on the side of those who say if the aliens are coming to Earth, they will make themselves known. And no, I don’t consider UFO sightings proof they are making themselves known.

References:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-10947856

Oxygen Causing Cancer to Spread

Have you ever heard that when someone who has cancer and goes in for surgery that as soon as the oxygen hits the tumor, the cancer spreads like a wildfire? For years I thought this was true. I have heard my parents, teachers and people I thought of as authority figures spew this claim out throughout the years. Well, today at work I was talking to my boss about her mother who has recently died from lung cancer when she said “I wonder if the cancer spread when they opened her up?” I instantly questioned if this is true, because if you think about it, it doesn’t really make sense. I mean if oxygen cause cancer to metastasize wouldn’t something like simple breathing do the same thing?

So, after some research I am happy to report that this is just a common cancer myth. The real reason cancer spreads is because the cancer cells get into the blood stream and travel to other parts of the body where they lodge and start growing. Although the origins of this myth are unknown, it may stem from when a patient undergoes surgery for cancer and later dies because the cancer has spread. Because an individual has had surgery friends and family usually become optimistic. When they find out the cancer spread, people tend to grasp for meaning and causality. They come to the conclusion that the surgery was the cause of the cancer spreading. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is plenty of published scientific data that supports surgery as the treatment with the best cure rate. Also surgeons may leave microscopic cancer cells which can cause cancerous tumors to grow rapidly, which could also lead one to believe that when the cancer hit the air, it spread.

So cancer can/does spread in some instances, before surgeries and after surgeries. But it has nothing to do with the cancer being exposed to oxygen when surgery is being performed.

References:

http://www.caring.com/questions/does-surgery-make-cancer-spread-faster

http://www.oncolink.org/experts/article.cfm?c=3&s=19&ss=50&id=1916

http://www.healthexpertadvice.org/forum/Cancer/Does-cancer-really-spread-after-a-surgery-51868.htm

Orange Light Linked To UFO Sighting

In the Newbrough area, it seems mysterious lights are causing quite a UFO craze.

One caller, who refused to give his name, claimed that he was driving around 11:30pm when he noticed a very bright orange light in sky. According to his report this light was traveling quite slowly when it stopped, turned around and darted off at a very high speed to the north. The man who reported the claim said “I’m normally very skeptical about these things, but you have to accept the evidence of your own eyes.”

This statement is completely wrong. Although it is highly difficult for humans to admit when they are wrong or that their perceptions have been duped, senses like sight and sound mixed with recollection can easily be distorted over time or during times of excitement.

Another report that was called in said a pretty similar claim as the first individual.

“It was a bright orange saucer shape like a frisbee,” said the man. He also claimed that it switched directions and shot away, again, at a very high speed.

Now this article states that these sightings may be related to the popularity of sky lanterns. I actually would agree with this, because I use sky lanterns frequently. Though one of the individuals said it moved to fast to be one of these lanterns. I have observed that these lanterns can fly amazing distances and they can get caught in air currents which move them at quick speeds, when they were flying slowly seconds before.

References:

http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk/news/news-at-a-glance/in-the-dark-over-mystery-ufo-light-1.743375