Mathilda’s Weird World Weblog

January 14, 2009

Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval get a telling off.

Filed under: strange but true — Tags: , — mathilda37 @ 6:14 pm

Famous (well relatively well known) author of various books, and who I have a link to on my site…

Someone ripping  a strip off him and Robert Bauval. I came across it while doing some research into Egypt. Apparently Hancock won’t acknowledge he made a mistake. Link 

Worth a read if you like seeing an academic ripping into pseudo science. It gave me a giggle.

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January 13, 2009

How long can a headless chicken live? 18 months.

Filed under: strange but true — Tags: , — mathilda37 @ 4:05 pm

This comes under the  ‘very strange but definitely true ‘ category.

Miracle Mike.

 On September 10th 1945, Lloyd Olsen went out into  his farmyard in Fruita Colorado, and beheaded a chicken for the table. However, events then took a turn for the bizarre, as ‘Mike the miracle chicken’ kept on pecking around in the dust.

This continued for about 18 months, with Mike being taken on tour, and fed by a dropper straight into his throat. Apparently being headless didn’t affect his appetite, as he’d grown to over eight pounds by the time he died

December 13, 2008

Deathbed phenomena

Filed under: Ghosts, strange but true — Tags: , , — mathilda37 @ 1:55 pm

A lot of people (a bit more than half of those conscious near the end) report deathbed visits from relatives or religious figures, or of seeing the afterlife. Quite interestingly, they are lesslikely to have these visions if they are on serious medications or in an altered state of consciousness, which weakens the case for it all being down to hallucinations.

I’ve known quite a few medical staff (nurses and paramedics) and they’ll all tell you one ghost story, or about a patient that’s seen a deathbed vision. It seems that these may now be taken seriously enough to warrant a study. It’s been suggested that sharing their experiences with the medical staff around them helps them to deal with the after effects of the patients death.

Deathbed phenomena and their effect on a palliative care team: a pilot study.

Brayne S, Farnham C, Fenwick P.
Palliative Care Team, Camden Primary Care Trust, London, United Kingdom.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that death may be heralded by deathbed phenomena (DBP) such as visions that comfort the dying and prepare them spiritually for death. Medical practitioners have been slow to recognize DBP, and there has been little research into the spiritual effect that DBP have on caregivers or on how these phenomena influence their work. A pilot study looking into the occurrence of DBP was conducted by the palliative care team at Camden Primary Care Trust. Interviews revealed that patients regularly report these phenomena as an important part of their dying process, and that DBP are far broader than the traditional image of an apparition at the end of the bed. Results of the interviews raise concerns about the lack of education or training to help palliative care teams recognize the wider implications of DBP and deal with difficult questions or situations associated with them. Many DBP may go unreported because of this. Results of this pilot study also suggest that DBP are not drug-induced, and that patients would rather talk to nurses than doctors about their experiences.

October 28, 2008

Could the Gulf stream stop and plunge the Europe into a mini ice age?

Filed under: strange but true — Tags: , — mathilda37 @ 6:40 pm

I was looking up climate predictions and came across this..

Sea change: why global warming could leave Britain feeling the cold.

No new ice age yet, but Gulf Stream is weakening, Friday October 27 2006

Scientists have uncovered more evidence for a dramatic weakening in the vast ocean current that gives Britain its relatively balmy climate by dragging warm water northwards from the tropics. The slowdown, which climate modellers have predicted will follow global warming, has been confirmed by the most detailed study yet of ocean flow in the Atlantic.

Most alarmingly, the data reveal that a part of the current, which is usually 60 times more powerful than the Amazon river, came to a temporary halt during November 2004.

The nightmare scenario of a shutdown in the meridional ocean current which drives the Gulf stream was dramatically portrayed in The Day After Tomorrow. The climate disaster film had Europe and North America plunged into a new ice age practically overnight.

Although no scientist thinks the switch-off could happen that quickly, they do agree that even a weakening of the current over a few decades would have profound consequences.

Warm water brought to Europe’s shores raises the temperature by as much as 10C in some places and without it the continent would be much colder and drier.

Researchers are not sure yet what to make of the 10-day hiatus. “We’d never seen anything like that before and we don’t understand it. We didn’t know it could happen,” said Harry Bryden, at the National Oceanography Centre, in Southampton, who presented the findings to a conference in Birmingham on rapid climate change.

Is it the first sign that the current is stuttering to a halt? “I want to know more before I say that,” Professor Bryden said.

Lloyd Keigwin, a scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, in Massachusetts, in the US, described the temporary shutdown as “the most abrupt change in the whole [climate] record”.

He added: “It only lasted 10 days. But suppose it lasted 30 or 60 days, when do you ring up the prime minister and say let’s start stockpiling fuel? How can we rule out a longer one next year?”

Prof Bryden’s group stunned climate researchers last year with data suggesting that the flow rate of the Atlantic circulation had dropped by about 6m tonnes of water a second from 1957 to 1998. If the current remained that weak, he predicted, it would lead to a 1C drop in the UK in the next decade. A complete shutdown would lead to a 4C-6C cooling over 20 years.

The study prompted the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council to set up an array of 16 submerged stations spread across the Atlantic, from Florida to north Africa, to measure flow rate and other variables at different depths. Data from these stations confirmed the slowdown in 1998 was not a “freak observation”- although the current does seem to have picked up slightly since.

The warm water of the gulf stream shown in orange and yellow.


The idea is that global warming could cause the gulf stream to just stop permanently, significantly lowering the temperature in Europe, possibly making places like Iceland and Finland uninhabitable, and the UK with temperatures more like Moscow, as we are on a similar latitude to them (see link  for a map) and much less rainfall. Could this mean an ice age for Europe, a la ‘the day after tomorrow’? Or just more white Christmases?

Personally, I suspect warmer summers and colder winters are the most likely outcome, a more continental weather system as the gulf stream weakens (warmer summers) and fails to bring as much winter warmth. I’m getting a real fireplace put in.

October 25, 2008

A very British tsunami, 1607

Filed under: Drowned cities, strange but true — Tags: , — mathilda37 @ 3:31 pm

Not well known, is that in January 1607 an 8m high tsunami swept up the Severn estuary on the South West coast of England, killing about 2,000 people. A plaque in a church marks the high water mark, and reads:

“An inundation of the sea water by overflowing and breaking down the Sea banks; happened in this Parish of Kingstone-Seamore, and many others adjoining; by reason whereof many Persons were drown’d and much Cattle and Goods, were lost: the water in the Church was five feet high and the greatest part lay on the ground about ten days. WILLIAM BOWER”

Never assume that these things happen ‘in other places’. Link. All coasts are vulnerable.

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