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Friday, September 28, 2012

Ancient statue discovered by Nazis is made from meteorite

An ancient Buddhist statue that was recovered by a Nazi expedition in the 1930s was originally carved from a highly valuable meteorite.

Researchers say the 1,000-year-old object with a swastika on its stomach is made from a rare form of iron with a high content of nickel.

They believe it is part of the Chinga meteorite, which crashed about 15,000 years ago.

The 24cm (9-inch) tall statue is 10kg (22lb) and is called the Iron Man.
Origins unknown

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Scientists say that life was brought to Earth by space microbes

Extraterrestrial microbes might have brought life to Earth after travelling through space for millions of years, say scientists.

The theory is based on calculations showing a high likelihood of rock fragments from planets in other star systems landing on Earth long ago.

Some of them could have carried embedded micro-organisms, according to experts writing in the journal Astrobiology.

Extraterrestrial microbes might have brought life to Earth after traveling through space for millions of years, say scientists.

The theory is based on calculations showing a high likelihood of rock fragments from planets in other star systems landing on Earth long ago.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Man cuts off hands to stop himself from stealing

An Egyptian man who could not stop stealing despite his strong feeling of guilt finally resorted to a macabre solution to win what he described as a “pitched battle” against the devil — by cutting off both hands.

Ali Afifi, 27, went to the main train station in the western Egyptian town of Tanta four years ago and waited for the train to come his way before putting his hand under its wheels as hundreds of passengers watched in horror.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The 80-Year-Old Child

Progeria is caused by a single tiny defect in a child's genetic code, but it has devastating and life-changing consequences. On average, a child born with this disease will be dead by the age of 13. Progeria is extremely rare, there are only around 48 people living with it in the whole world. However, there is a family that has five children with the disease.As they see their bodies fast forward through the normal process of ageing they develop striking physical symptoms, often including premature baldness, heart disease, thinning bones and arthritis.As newborns, children with progeria usually appear normal. However, within a year, their growth rate slows and they soon are much shorter and weigh much less than others their age.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Is Higher Education Making You Fat?

A new study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism (APNM) looks beyond the much-feared weight gain common to first-year students and reports on the full 4-year impact of higher education on weight, BMI, and body composition.

"Gropper et al. present a unique study that follows students through their undergraduate years. It documents the nature of the weight gain and shows the differences between males and females," says Susan Whiting, a professor of nutrition and dietetics at the University of Saskatchewan.

Is Death An Illusion? Evidence Suggests Death Isn’t the End

After the death of his old friend, Albert Einstein said “Now Besso has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us … know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

New evidence continues to suggest that Einstein was right – death is an illusion.

Our classical way of thinking is based on the belief that the world has an objective observer-independent existence. But a long list of experiments shows just the opposite. We think life is just the activity of carbon and an admixture of molecules – we live awhile and then rot into the ground.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Here's looking at dew: Dragonflies captured in stunning detail

 The tiny droplets of water magnify the dragonflies' beauty and reveal the details and bright red, orange, green and blue colours of the flying insects.

Macro photography, as demonstrated here by David Chambon, a photographer working in Doubs in eastern France, requires a decent light-source - and in this case it is the jewel-like droplets which capture the light so essential for these works of art.
The countless bubbles seem suspended like ornaments on top of the creatures, the moisture turning them into natural diamonds.

Photographer David Chambon, 31, said: 'I love capturing sleepy dragonflies in the morning dew with my camera.

New species of 'owl faced' monkey discovered

 A new species of monkey with a distinctive blue rear end has been identified in Africa, researchers have said.

The species, known locally as the lesula, was discovered after a young female was seen kept captive at the home of a primary school director in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007.

The young animal resembled an owl faced monkey (Cercopithecus hamlyni) but the colour of its rear end was different to that of any known species, the researchers writing in the journal PLoS ONE said.

In fact, they say, its blue rear end is unique.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

'Dead' boy wakes up and asks for water at funeral in Brazil

A two year old boy sat up in his coffin and asked for water before laying back down again lifeless, according to a Brazilian news website.

Website ORM claimed that Kelvin Santos stopped breathing during treatment for pneumonia at a hospital in Belem, northern Brazil.

He was declared dead at 7.40pm on Friday and his body was handed over to his family in a plastic bag.

The child's devastated family took him home where grieving relatives held a wake throughout the night, with the boy's body laid in an open coffin.

But an hour before his funeral was due to take place on Saturday the boy apparently sat up in his coffin and said: "Daddy, can I have some water?".

The boy's father, Antonio Santos, said: "Everybody started to scream, we couldn't believe our eyes. Then we thought a miracle had taken place and our boy had come back to life.

"Then Kelvin just laid back down, the way he was. We couldn't wake him. He was dead again."

Mr Santos rushed his son back to the Aberlardo Santos hospital in Belem,where the doctors reexamined the boy and confirmed that he had no signs of life.

She is pregnant... also and her boyfriend

 Man's rare syndrome leaves him with bloated tum, weight gain, hot flushes, exhaustion, cravings and morning sickness

Mike Dowdall is enduring morning sickness, hot flushes, cravings and a swollen belly — all because girlfriend Amanda Bennett is pregnant.

Mike, 25, has the rare phantom pregnancy Couvade syndrome. Amanda, of Manchester, said: “People pay more attention to his bump than mine.”

Mike initially got the brush off from disbelieving Amanda — until he started suffering morning sickness just like her.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A real-life chinese anime girl

 Meet Tina Leopard, a Chinese blogger and model who earlier this year sparked controversy among Internet users after photos showing her extremely sharp chin and large anime-like eyes went viral on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

Apparently, there’s a new fashion trend sweeping across China – the anime look. The country’s most popular social media sites are practically flooded with tons of photos of young people clearly going out of their way to look as much like an anime character as possible. The trend took off last summer, when a girl going by the name of KOKO uploaded photos and videos showing her thin body, pointy chin and disproportionately large eyes. It turned out she used all kinds of makeup tricks to achieve her anime look, and her photos were apparently also altered in Photoshop, but that didn’t seem to matter much to people who wanted to look like the characters in popular Japanese cartoons. And while some of them actually look pretty cool, others are just plain freaky. Case in point, Tina Leopard, a young Chinese model whose extreme facial features have often been compared to those of an alien.

Snow on Mars? Nasa discovers 'dry ice' weather phenomenon on the red planet

 NASA has 'clear evidence' of carbon dioxide snowfalls on Mars, the space agency revealed today  - making this the only known example of carbon dioxide snow falling anywhere in our solar system.

Frozen carbon dioxide, better known as 'dry ice', requires temperatures of about -125C (-193F) which is much colder than needed for freezing water.

NASA said the carbon dioxide snow reminds scientists that although some parts of Mars may look quite Earth-like, the Red Planet is very different.

'These are the first definitive detections of carbon dioxide snow clouds," said the report's lead author Paul Hayne of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Meet the lifeguard of the future

 The days of human lifeguards watching over us on the beach are numbered.

Or at least they will be if the Japanese have got anything to do with it.

Researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have unveiled a new robot modelled on Olympic athletes that could be the lifeguard of the future.

They are currently working on a prototype that can mimic a human swimmer’s whole body motion.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A difficult start: Astronomers reveal how planets can form in the centre of the Milky Way

 At first glance, the center of the Milky Way seems like a very inhospitable place to try to form a planet.

Stars crowd each other, supernova explosions blast out shock waves, and powerful gravitational forces from a supermassive black hole twist and warp the fabric of space itself.

However, US researchers now believe they have found proof that in this most difficult of environments, planets can form.

 Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics found a cloud of hydrogen and helium plunging toward the galactic centre.

Monday, September 10, 2012

'Our little miracle': Premature baby born with head the size of a satsuma

 A mother who gave birth when she was just 24 weeks pregnant had to wait five weeks to cuddle her daughter because the baby was so small her head was the size of a satsuma.

Chloe Dolby, 26, went into labour on New Years’ Eve last year when she was only just over halfway through her pregnancy term.

When little Maya was born, she weighed just 1Ib 3ozs, and was kept in hospital for almost five months.

Maya’s head was the size of a satsuma and her hand barely covered the surface of her father David’s fingernail.

Man lives without a heart

A 37-year-old Czech fireman says he is "functioning like a healthy man", after having his heart removed and replaced by mechanical pumps four month ago. At his first public

appearance since the surgery, Jakub Halik described his life as only the second human to have undergone the procedure. The first died a month after surgery in Texas last year.

Jakub Halik is confined for much of the day to a wheelchair, but says he's lucky to be alive at all.
Just four months ago, Halik became only the second human ever to have his heart removed and replaced by mechanical pumps. He had been suffering from an aggressive

form of cancer. A tumour was growing rapidly in is heart. The tumour had to be removed before it killed him but Halik could not undergo a standard heart transplant because the drugs he would require afterwards cannot be taken by cancer patients.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Continents can be rearranged to T-Rex with fire

Shakira, Pique sex tape being shopped

 Spanish and Latin American outlets are reporting that a sex tape involving singer Shakira and Barcelona star defender Gerard Pique is being shopped.

Rumors about the tape have swirled for weeks — and representatives for Shakira have repeatedly denied its existence, but Spanish magazine Intervieu reports that a Barcelona talent agent was offered the tape for sale.

According to the magazine, the talent agent claims: “The video lasts about 15 minutes….it’s filmed with a cell phone, which I guess, belonged to Shakira’s employee who was at the helm of the boat that night. The images are not steady and it’s out of focus.”

Continents can be rearranged in a form of chicken

If you rearrange the continents, you will get the following picture:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Voyager chasing solar system's edge

NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched 35 years ago on September 5, 1977, is bracing for a controlled plunge into interstellar space. Soon the craft will leave the solar system behind, bursting through the windy bubble blown by sun.

The question is: How soon? That boundary may be a bit farther away than expected, a team from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory reports in the Sept. 6 Nature.

Now 18 billion kilometers away, Voyager 1 is the most distant spacecraft flung from Earth. Voyager 2, launched two weeks earlier, is trailing its twin by about 3.4 billion kilometers.

Bits of Mystery DNA, Far From ‘Junk,’ Play Crucial Role

Among the many mysteries of human biology is why complex diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and psychiatric disorders are so difficult to predict and, often, to treat. An equally perplexing puzzle is why one individual gets a disease like cancer or depression, while an identical twin remains perfectly healthy.

 Now scientists have discovered a vital clue to unraveling these riddles. The human genome is packed with at least four million gene switches that reside in bits of DNA that once were dismissed as “junk” but that turn out to play critical roles in controlling how cells, organs and other tissues behave. The discovery, considered a major medical and scientific breakthrough, has enormous implications for human health because many complex diseases appear to be caused by tiny changes in hundreds of gene switches.

The findings, which are the fruit of an immense federal project involving 440 scientists from 32 laboratories around the world, will have immediate applications for understanding how alterations in the non-gene parts of DNA contribute to human diseases, which may in turn lead to new drugs. They can also help explain how the environment can affect disease risk. In the case of identical twins, small changes in environmental exposure can slightly alter gene switches, with the result that one twin gets a disease and the other does not.

Violent computer games can be good for you

 Violent video games in which players have to shoot enemies can actually be good for people, a university has claimed - after discovering the games give people a higher pain threshold.

A study at Keele University found that 40 volunteers were able to stomach pain for 65 per cent longer after playing violent 'first person shooter' games, than those who had played a non-violent golf game.

Participants played both the violent and non-violent game on separate occasions for 10 minutes and then placed one of their hands in ice-cold water to test their reaction to pain.

On average, participants kept their hands in the icy water for 65 per cent longer after playing the violent game, indicating that playing the game increased the participants’ pain tolerance. Heart rate was also shown to increase.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New super-earth discovered around the red dwarf star Gliese 163

 A new super-earth has been discovered in the habitable zone around the red dwarf star Gliese 163.

Astronomers found it using the European Southern Observatory HARPS telescope (or High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher).

It has been billed as Gliese 163c, and has a mass of 6.9 times that of Earth and an orbital period of 26 days.

It orbits a red dwarf star 49 light years away in the Dorado constellation.

Baby born with human's head and cow's body

 Images of this unusual carcass appeared on the internet to show a bizarre bovine-humanoid creature, which some believe may be of extra-terrestrial origin.

Sadly — as is all too often the situation with mysterious photos that appear on the internet — there is a tragic lack of corroborating evidence or background information surrounding this CURIOUS CARCASS. As a general rule we here at American Monsters avoid such open ended stories, but in this case the purported photographic proof was so intriguing that we felt it was worth looking into.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Alien invaders are threatening trees

Trees in Britain are facing a barrage of threats from diseases that are arriving on our shores through imported goods.

Species ranging from the ecologically important oak trees to ornamental varieties are all at risk, from diseases which are now becoming established in Britain, the Forestry commission warned.

Millions of trees are at risk, with oak trees largely suffering from a fungal disease called ash dieback, which was found in a consignment of trees imported from Holland in November last year.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Another potentially habitable world emerges

A potentially habitable planet has been discovered orbiting the star Gliese 163, 50 light-years away. The planet is bigger than Earth — roughly seven times as massive — and resides near the inner edge of the star’s habitable zone, Thierry Forveille of France’s Observatoire de Grenoble reported on August 30 at the International Astronomical Union’s general assembly meeting. Depending on its composition and how insulating its atmosphere is, the planet could be capable of supporting life.

“I’d say that’s a habitable planet,” said Raymond Pierrehumbert of the University of Chicago. It’s unlikely the planet would experience any sort of runaway greenhouse effect that would heat it beyond the point of livability, he says.

Misterious insect: New species are found

 A mysterious new species of stick insect has been discovered living in the Philippines by scientists.

The stick insect is wingless, lives on the ground rather than in trees, and is spectacularly coloured, having a green-blue head and orange body.

The insect also vents a foul-smelling spray to deter predators.

The stick insect is so unique that scientists have given it its own genus and do not yet know its relationship to other stick and leaf insects.

Monday, September 3, 2012

It's coming: 500,000 mile long 'solar whip' set to cause magnetic storms on earth

 It is astonishing reminder of just how powerful the sun is.

Nasa today released a new image showing a 'solar whip' on the surface of the sun.

Captured by from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), it shows a very long, whip-like solar filament extending over half a million miles in a long arc above the sun’s surface.

World's geekiest tattoos

 Whether you're a diehard Apple fan or swear in HTML, only the most committed get their favorite tech company's logo permanently plastered on their bodies.

This collection of serious skin design, compiled by The Chive and Happy Place, puts to shame even the most professed of dorks, dweebs and techies.

Spock, the Pythagorean Theorem, and even Mortal Kombat have all found a spot of flesh to stake their claim, replacing the perennial favorite 'Mom'.

After all, what better way to convince your parents that your serious about your computer, science fiction, or gadget affection and proudly proclaim 'This is not a phase!'

Donald Lawson, Powerball Winner, Claims $337 Million Prize

Donald Lawson decided to have a little bit of fun with his mother two weeks ago.

"I called her and said, `I got a surprise for you. I won $200,000 in the Powerball.' She goes: `Oh my god. Yay!' I said, `All right. Are you ready, Ma? Well, the truth is, I won $337 million and $4 in the Powerball. Ha, ha."

Ha, ha indeed.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Woman wakes up from coma with 70% of her body covered in burns after being doused with 'acid'

 A Canadian woman suffered severe burns across 70 per cent of her body after her boyfriend allegedly threw acid at her face following a row in their apartment.

Tanya St-Arnauld, 29, was placed in a medically-induced coma in a Montreal hospital on Sunday after her 27-year-old boyfriend Nikolas Stefanatos allegedly threw a corrosive acid-like substance on her.

The attack took place early Sunday morning, and police were called to the woman's apartment around 5am.