Saturday, August 25, 2012

New Spontaneous Human Combustion Theory

As is true of a few of you, I have long been fascinated with spontaneous human combustion.Saw this recently...
 "A Cambridge professor has tackled the issue of spontaneous combustion – using belly pork.
Prof Brian J Ford is a research biologist and author of more than 30 books, most about cell biology and microscopy but he has turned his attention to the mechanisms behind why people ‘explode’.

He said in an article in New Scientist: “One minute they may be relaxing in a chair, the next they erupt into a fireball.

“Jets of blue fire shoot from their bodies like flames from a blowtorch, and within half an hour they are reduced to a pile of ash.

“Typically, the legs remain unscathed sticking out grotesquely from the smoking cinders. Nearby objects – a pile of newspapers on the armrest, for example – are untouched.”

The first record of spontaneous combustion dates back to 1641 when Danish doctor and mathematician Thomas Bartholin described the death of Polonus Vorstius – who drank wine at home in Milan, Italy, one evening in 1470 before bursting into flames.

Since then more reports of spontaneous combustion have been filed and linked to alcoholism – though the link was later disproved.
The most recent case was 76-year-old Michael Faherty who died on December 22, 2010. West Galway coroner Ciaran McLoughlin recorded the cause of death as spontaneous human combustion.

Prof Ford wanted to disprove the alcoholism theory and also something called the ‘wick effect’ suggested by London coroner Gavin Thurston in 1961.

Thurston had described how human fat burns at about 250c, but if melted it will combust on a wick – such as clothes or other material – at room temperatures.

He wrote: “I felt it was time to test the realities, so we marinated pork abdominal tissue in ethanol for a week.
“Even when cloaked in gauze moistened with alcohol, it would not burn.

“Alcohol is not normally present in our tissues, but there is one flammable constituent in the body that can greatly increase in concentration.”

The body creates acetone, which is highly flammable.

He added: “A range of conditions can produce ketosis, in which acetone is formed, including alcoholism, fat-free dieting, diabetes and even teething.

“So we marinated pork tissue in acetone, rather than ethanol.

“This was used to make scale models of humans, which we clothed and set alight.

“They burned to ash within half an hour.

“For the first time a feasible cause of human combustion has been experimentally demonstrated.” - cambridge-news

Monday, August 13, 2012

Demon Cat In DC?

Interesting story.Have you heard it?
"The US government has been keeping a secret for the last few hundred years...a demon lives in the sublevels of the US Capitol Building and in the basement of the White House. This demon has spooked security, baffled witnesses, and said to be an omen of terrible tragedy for the United States or a change in office.

The demon comes in the form of a black cat. When sighted, the animal appears to be a normal stray cat but when it approaches, it's said to have glowing eyes and grows larger to the size of a lion or bear. The caterwauling of the demon cat, said to walk the hallways in the basement near the Catafalque Storage Room, can sometimes be hear echoing through the damp corridors. In 1862 and again in 1898, guards shot a black cat that had swollen to the size of an elephant.

The story of the demon cat, nicknamed "DC" by Capitol employees, begins shortly after the capitol building was completed. Washington DC had something of a rat problem and cats were brought into the building to get rid of them. As the rat problem was taken care of, the cats either wandered off or were adopted by people who worked there. It seems that one cat was left behind in order to roam the recesses of the capitol building for a longer period.

“One guard who saw it wants to remain anonymous. It happened on a January night in the 1970s. As he was walking through a passage way, he saw the black cat approach. The phantom appeared to get larger as it walked toward him. Its eyes had a reddish glow. The guard was afraid to move. Finally, the phantom reached the size of a tiger and its meowings changed to roars. It crouched and sprang and all the guard could do was to pray and close his eyes. Nothing happened. When the guard opened his eyes, the cat had vanished.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune of 11/1/1992 stated: "The demon cat would usually meet someone alone in a dark corridor. It had large yellow eyes that seemed to hypnotize, and it would snarl. It would seem to grow larger and larger until it would make a final lunge toward its victim and then either explode or disappear over the victim's head. Historians recorded stories of guards firing guns toward the hissing cat as it disappeared only to find they were shooting into an empty hall. It was said to appear only on the eve of a national tragedy or the change of

DC has been seen periodically throughout the last 200 years. Reportedly, he was spotted before the assassination of Lincoln and Garfield, before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the death of Roosevelt, the assassination of Kennedy, the attempted assassination of Reagan, and there was even an account of the cat being spotted the night of September 10th, 2001. At the White House, it is usually seen during times when the presidency is moving to a new person.

DC's predicting ability isn't the only thing it is known for. It's said to live in a room originally intended to house the body of George Washington after death, a place that would remain empty as Washington was buried at his estate in Mount Vernon, Virginia. This empty room is one of the many places witnesses have spotted the mysterious creature.

When the subject of ghosts and the paranormal on Capitol Hill is approached, a few incidents are brought to light. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is a firm believer. “In my old hideaway we had ghosts,” Leahy said. “We had a 300-pound table that we’d come in and find in different parts of the room that we hadn’t left it had moved around by itself about every two or three months.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she hadn’t seen any ghosts in her more than 20 years in Congress, but added that “sometimes it feels haunted.”

Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.) agreed, saying that when he presided over the House floor, he sometimes felt another presence in the room. “When I sat in the [House] chair at times, I knew that there were members around me that were not just not in the chamber to vote on something,” he said.

Anthony Wallis, a research analyst with the House historian’s office states, “One soldier is known to have undergone excruciating pain one night during surgery and he died on the operating table. So Capitol Police swear that they hear moaning and see figures walking across the Capitol Rotunda, because it was used as a makeshift hospital during the Civil War.”

Whether real or the result of years of paranoia I cannot say, but if you ever find yourself in the Capitol Rotunda during a tour, take a look at the floor near the old entrance to the Senate Hall. One thing that you cannot deny is the set of cat printsacross the stone floor said to be made by the US Capitol's demon cat."

Monday, August 6, 2012

Crop circles appear in E. Washington

"Mysterious crop circles have appeared in an eastern Washington wheat field — not far from the nation's largest hydropower producer — but area farmers preparing for the summer's harvest find the distraction more amusing than alarming.

"You can't do anything other than laugh about it," said Cindy Geib, who owns the field along with her husband, Greg. "You just kind of roll with the theory it's aliens and you're special because aliens chose your spot."

Friends called the Geibs on July 24 when the pattern of flattened wheat was spotted off Highway 174about five miles north of the town of Wilbur. The field is about 10 miles south of the Grand Coulee dam, which the Bureau of Reclamation says is the largest hydropower producer in the United States.
The circles resemble a four-leaf clover and remind Cindy Geib of Mickey Mouse ears. The design knocked down about an acre of their wheat. Some of it could be salvaged by combines when the harvest starts in a week or two, she said, but some will be lost.

"Of course, we don't have alien insurance," she said.

Crop circles have been a worldwide phenomenon for decades, and this is not the first one in Lincoln County. Similar circular patterns were left in crops in the Wilbur area in 2010 and in 2008 or 2009, Geib said.