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Zombies: Not So Far From Reality

Zombies: Not So Far From Reality 86

The subject of zombies is nothing new, but it has continued to increase in popularity as the decades have rolled by. These peculiar undead creatures have been the topic of countless movies, books, comics, video games and other bastions of pop culture for well over 80 years, but in more recent times, the advent of the Internet has brought with it an almost rabid obsession with zombie-related themes and memes.

There are groups of people who are literally training for an unsettling forthcoming event known as the “Zombie Apocalypse”, and others are becoming more convinced that the undead are actually among us in our everyday lives, lying in wait to attack us at any moment.

So what’s with all of this hype surrounding these ghoulish monsters? It’s a long story, but let’s start by defining what a zombie actually is.

The most popular working definition of a zombie is a half-dead (or, for the optimists, a “reanimated”) corpse that has an insatiable craving for human flesh, and human brains in particular. They are somehow suspended between the world of the dead and the world of the living, essentially unable to complete their passage into the unknown afterlife.

This would definitely be a frustrating prospect, so naturally zombies are not known to be friendly creatures. They are antagonistic to humans, and will cannibalize any living person on sight, presumably in an attempt to siphon whatever “life” they can get from them.

The concept of zombies has existed in one form or another for countless decades, but to really get to the root of the zombie phenomenon, we have to take a trip back to the voodoo-infused culture of 17th Century Haiti.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Haiti was under French rule, and slaves were imported from West Africa to power the rapidly growing sugar trade in Haiti (then called Saint-Domingue) and other key locations in the New World.

Voodoo was heavily practiced by slaves as well as slave drivers during this time, and the mixture of superstition, mythology and occultism that accompanied the practice of voodoo gave rise to the idea of the zombie as a way to keep recalcitrant slaves from trying to escape or act out in rebellion against their masters.

In a recent New York Times op-ed piece, expert voodoo researcher Amy Wilentz provides further insight into this phenomenon:

“The only escape from the sugar plantations was death, which was seen as a return to Africa, or lan guinee (literally Guinea, or West Africa). This is a phrase in Haitian Creole that even now means heaven…The zombie is a dead person who cannot get across to lan guinee. This final rest–in green, leafy, heavenly Africa, with no sugarcane to cut and no master to appease or serve–is unavailable to the zombie. To become a zombie was the slave’s worst nightmare: to be dead and still a slave, an eternal field hand.”

Many of the slave drivers on the plantations were voodoo priests themselves, and they would threaten to “hex” or “curse” a slave with zombie-hood if they tried to escape or commit suicide. The prospect of dying but never escaping their oppressive conditions was a very real phenomenon that created somewhat of a mental prison for slaves, essentially coercing them to continue to endure their brutal existence.

During this time, the word “zombie” suggested an entity that had a body, but little else; a zombie was basically thought to be a shell of a person, a creature who could no longer be autonomous or self-aware, but was banished to live a primal, unthinking existence.

In the 1980s, an anthropologist named Wade Davis claimed to have discovered a powder that could essentially “zombify” a person, asserting that his discovery provided a scientific explanation for the various zombie legends that existed in various cultures that practiced voodoo.

This mysterious “zombie powder” was a highly potent neurotoxin known as tetrodotoxin, found in various species of animals including the highly poisonous pufferfish. Although Davis did not believe in voodoo or magic, he claimed to have infiltrated the secretive ranks of various voodoo priests (known as “bokors” or “houngan”), obtaining samples of various “zombie powders” for chemical analysis.

Davis later wrote a book about his experiences entitled “The Serpent and the Rainbow”, which recounted his investigation of the story of Clairvius Narcisse, a Haitian man who was allegedly poisoned with a combination of chemical substances that turned him into a zombie. Davis’s book was later adapted into a Wes Craven-directed horror film by the same name.

Cinema historians largely agree that the first full-length zombie movie ever created was a 1932 film entitled “White Zombie”, which was directed by brothers Edward and Victor Halperin and starred famed horror actor Bela Lugosi.

The movie depicts the experience of a young woman who was transformed into a zombie at the hands of a nefarious voodoo priest. While “White Zombie” received largely negative or lukewarm critical reviews upon its release, zombie enthusiasts now view the movie as an important model or archetype for all zombie movies that were to follow.

Of all the zombie-themed horror films that have been produced over the years, the release of George Romero’s classic 1968 film “Night of the Living Dead” was widely considered to be a watershed moment in the rise of the zombie phenomenon. Interestingly enough, the movie referred to the undead villains only as “ghouls”, but the word “zombies” caught on with the public, so the name stuck.

In popular culture, much attention is given to the ways in which zombies can be destroyed (e.g., gunshots, decapitation, fire, etc.), but in traditional Haitian folklore, the objective was actually to free a person from their zombified state if at all possible.

According to the tradition, one of the ways this could be done was to feed the zombie salt, which would then cause the will and soul of the zombie to return. The Haitian roots of zombie folklore have largely disappeared over time, and as big-budget zombie-themed Hollywood films and television shows have proliferated (and subsequently exploded in popularity), zombie invasions are now commonly set against dystopian or post-apocalyptic backdrops, and zombies are primarily depicted as imminent threats that cannot escape their undead state.

Several new variables that are present in our modern world (e.g., genetic modification, biological experiments, advanced chemical and nuclear weapons, etc.) have served as excellent fodder for zombie enthusiasts who are looking for the next big catalyst that could spark a large-scale zombie invasion.

While the existence of zombies has never been scientifically proven, the mystery and excitement surrounding the zombie phenomenon will provide fans of the undead with plenty of fuel for their imagination. Courtesy of the seemingly endless stream of zombie-related entertainment that has come out in recent years, zombie fans can now enjoy an invasion of the living dead any time they choose.

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Bizzare & Odd

The mystery of the “Mandalorian” with a Jetpack flying behind a plane is revealed

The mystery of the “Mandalorian”    with a Jetpack flying behind a plane is revealed 95

Documents have been released revealing the secret of a man with a rocket pack who flew behind passenger planes, according to The Drive.

The owner of The Black Vault, John Greenewald, took advantage of the US Freedom of Information Act to secure the publication of material relating to the rocket pack incident. From the records of the air traffic controllers’ conversations, which he received, it follows that the man maneuvering at an altitude of about 900 meters was noticed by several pilots. At the same time, the radars did not record a single object that would correspond to their description.

It also turned out that in early September 2020, government officials contacted David Mayman, the chief tester of the California-based company Jetpack Aviation, which develops rocket packs. Meiman said that the company had not flown for several months, and questioned the existence of rocket packs that would allow them to climb and hold at an altitude of 900 meters.

Another letter provided to Greenwald mentions that the FBI interrogated an American Airlines pilot who spoke of a man with a jetpack. During the conversation, he confirmed that the figure he noticed resembled a drone in the form of a man from a video filmed at the German Aircraft Modeling Festival in 2019.

This is a radio-controlled drone that was built by model aircraft designer Ralph Kayser. It resembles a life-size human figure, but weighs less than five kilograms. The Rotor Drone Pro website wrote that the device is made from a paintball suit stuffed with packing film and can stay in the air for up to eight minutes.

The incident leading to the investigation took place on August 30, 2020. According to press reports, an unidentified person with a jetpack flew approximately 270 meters from an American Airlines plane landing at the Los Angeles airport. In October, the man with the rocket pack was reported by several other pilots in southern California.

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An abnormal phenomenon on Earth captured from space: NASA and ESA have never seen such lightning

An abnormal phenomenon on Earth captured from space: NASA and ESA have never seen such lightning 96

The Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM) observatory has recorded five blue jets , an anomalous type of lightning that strikes from the top of a thundercloud into the stratosphere. This is reported in an article published in the journal Nature.

On January 20, a video filmed from the International Space Station was posted on the channel of the European Space Agency, which puzzled all academics who study the atmosphere and build theories about how everything works there:

The 10 microsecond jets were sighted on February 26, 2019, near Nauru Island in the Pacific Ocean. One of the lightning flashes produced a jet that reached the stratopause – the boundary between the stratosphere and the ionosphere at an altitude of about 50 to 55 kilometers. In addition to the jets, “elves” were recorded, which are expanding rings of optical and ultraviolet radiation in the stratosphere, lasting no more than a millisecond.

Electrical phenomena in the upper atmosphere are poorly understood and attract a lot of attention from physicists from around the world. They are short-lived and vary greatly with altitude. 

Blue jets occur during electrical breakdown between the positively charged top of a thundercloud and the negatively charged air layer above it. As a result, a leader is formed – a conducting channel of ionized air, through which the discharge propagates. However, in this case, the radiation from the leader was weak, which indicates that the leader itself was short compared to the conductive channels of conventional lightning.

The blue jets belong to streamers – branched filaments of electrical discharges, similar to those generated by Tesla coils. In addition, blue jets are more likely to occur as a phenomenon than previously thought.

Some of the most mysterious are the “elves”. Their name comes from the abbreviation ELVES , which stands for “Emission of Light and Very Low Frequency perturbations due to Electromagnetic Pulse Sources.”. These phenomena reach four hundred kilometers in diameter and occur at an altitude of about one hundred kilometers. The list of optical phenomena associated with electrical discharges in the upper atmosphere does not end there. There are also TROLL , Pixie , Ghost, and Gnome , but their nature is even less understood. 

There is nothing like this, that is, such strange huge lightning has never been observed before. Something is happening in the Earth’s atmosphere, and it started quite recently. How it will end and what will result in – we do not know, since people living today have no such experience.

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Ancient asteroid sent dinosaur bones into moon

Ancient asteroid sent dinosaur bones into moon 97

The impact of the asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago was so powerful that it sent into space huge volumes of earth’s soil and rocks from the crash site. But together with them, he could send into orbit the remains of living beings, including dinosaurs.

Such a possibility is discussed in the book “The End of the World” by the scientific journalist and winner of several awards Peter Brannen, according to the Daily Mail.

It is known that an asteroid or meteorite about 10 km in size collided with the Earth 66 million years ago, forming the Chikshulub crater on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. About 15 trillion tons of ash and soot were thrown into the air. Because of  this, during the day it was dark on Earth, like a moonlit night.

As a result of the lack of light in plants, photosynthesis slowed down, which could lead to a decrease in the concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere. Temperatures on continents dropped by 28 ° C, in oceans by 11 ° C. The disappearance of phytoplankton has led to the extinction of zooplankton and other marine animals. Other species died after them. 

This is one of the largest mass extinctions in the history of the Earth, which is called the Cretaceous-Paleogene. Brannen, trying to make the numbers more descriptive, points out that the asteroid (or meteorite) was larger than Everest and crashed into the atmosphere 20 times faster than a flying bullet. At the same time, the pressure of the atmosphere was so strong that a crater in the Yucatan began to form even before the asteroid fell.

The “response” release of soil into the atmosphere occurred only within a second or two after the impact and was incredibly powerful.

“So there are probably little pieces of dinosaur bones on the moon,” Brannen suggests.

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