Weekly Weird News

Published on October 20th, 2008


Each week we send our Queen of the Weird, Claire Lumiere, into the wilderness of the Internets to find the weirdest reports from the Underground, CounterCulture and the Paranormal mileau! If you have news that you feel demands the attention of the SittingNow community then drop us an email at wwn@sittingnow.co.uk 

 

The BBC reports that a large study on near-death experiences is soon to be carried out on cardiac arrest survivors. The study, coordinated by Southampton University will take about three years and is going to investigate whether people without brain activity or heartbeat can have ìout of body experiences.î Head of the study, Doctor Sam Parnia, says, “If you can demonstrate that consciousness continues after the brain switches off, it allows for the possibility that the consciousness is a separate entity.

 

Within just ten years, Australia’s other favorite marsupial might be extinct. Researchers say that Tasmanian devils are plagued with a facial cancer that their bodies simply don’t recognize. Zoos are being turned to for breeding while scientists are working on a vaccine to prevent the cancer. If interested, on the zoo’s website is a link to donate to the conservation of the species.

 

On a similar note as the recent mass condom theft in Mexico City, some men were involved this week in stealing over 11,000 dollars worth of bras from Victoria’s Secret. Three men were involved in the caper, two of them shoveling bras from the drawers beneath the displays into a bag, while the third man tripped the alarm as a distraction and apologized to employees for wandering too far with the merchandise. Police speculate that they are being sold at a black lingerie market.

 

LiveScience.com says researchers hold that stress doesn’t only affect humans; animals feel it too. Animals are said to become stressed by rapid change to a new environment, unfriendly relationships with other animals, and even by picking up stress from their caretakers. The effects of stress are interestingly quite similar to humans- such as a release of adrenaline and cortisol hormones that increase heart rate and respiration and suppress the immune system. Research has also found that it works against the reproductive system and creates risk for cardiovascular disease. And, like humans, animals are said to seek out comfort food’s while stressed, in other words, when depressive behavior is present.

 

Next up, The Guardian reports that ministers are saying criminals and terrorists use free social networking websites such as facebook and bebo to hide their communications. The police say that these social communication sites and new wireless gaming consoles are huge impediments to safety. The English government is now creating plans to intercept and gather personal data within the confines of these services. New legislation is to be proposed as is a plan for international cooperation, since many of these sites are based abroad.

 

A 19-year old girl graduate from Asheville High School in Virginia has changed her name to Cutoutdissection.com to protest the act. Former Jennifer Thornburg interns with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or Peta and says that while she has to repeat herself in introductions, her name generally grabs immediate attention and people are curious for more information about the site or cause.

 

In Ferndale, Michigan, a 20 year old student threw water on his teacher because he had suspicions about her being a witch. Threats came in when he was dissatisfied Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Detective Denmark said the student also had a lighter and wished to “burn the witch”.

 

Snow has been detected falling from Martian clouds by NASA’s Phoenix lander! The finding suggests that liquid water may have been present in the past, but unfortunately, not only did the snow not turn to rain, but vaporized before reaching the ground. The good news for hopeful scientists, though, is that the interplanetary Earthling probe-droid has found signs of calcium carbonate and clay near the poles- which both, on Earth at least, form with the presence of water.

 

In more news regarding Mars, scientists have found that there is a new possibility that a massive asteroid might have killed Mar’s chances of evolving into an Earth-like planet by “punching a hole in its crust so large that it damaged the red planet’s magnetic field.”

 

And, according to scientists, just in case you’re curious, “outer space smells like fried steak, hot metal and welding a motorbike.”

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