Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Video of Blue UFO Over Utah

From the Daily Mail:

Anthony Piceno, of American Fork, Utah, said he was drawn to the sight in the air because it was like nothing he had ever seen before.

His footage of the object later appeared on The Weather Channel.

The video shows the blue craft resembling a spinning top floating in the sky and moving very slowly.

Mr Piceno said: ‘I looked up in the sky and, you know, it was just a different object, it was neon blue, red flashing lights’.

He watched the object floating in the sky for a few minutes, observing how it was 'just cruising slow' in the sky.
There is a link to the actual video in the news story. Interestingly, the article also mentions this:
Last year, a top secret FBI memo detailing how police and army officers witnessed a UFO exploding over Utah was unearthed.

The cable, marked ‘URGENT’ and sent to then-FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, details how an army guard, a policeman and a highway patrol, who were all miles apart, each saw a UFO, which they said exploded over mountains near Logan, north of Salt Lake City.

Proof of (alien) life? A copy of the 1950 memo that recounts the discovery of flying saucers and aliens in New Mexico. The memo has been published on the FBI website

The memo is one of thousands of previously unreleased classified files that the bureau has made public in an online resource called The Vault.

Under the title ‘Flying Discs’, the document about the sightings in Utah said the three men each ‘saw a silver coloured object high up approaching the mountains at Sardine Canyon’ that ‘appeared to explode in a rash of fire.’

It added: ‘Several residents [reported] seeing what appeared to be two aerial explosions, followed by falling object.’

Documents show that an earlier UFO sighting had been investigated in Logan in September 1947.

It said numerous witnesses told the FBI they saw ‘flying discs’ in formation that were ‘circling the city at a high rate of speed’.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Treasure Hunters Find Strange Object on Baltic Floor

"Their sonar pictures show that the object is a massive cylinder with a 60 metre diameter and a 400 metre-long tail." A similar disk-shaped object was found 200 meters away.

Zombie George Washington?

From the Daily Mail:
When George Washington died in December 14, 1799, the nation mourned the loss of the war hero who led the United States to independence.

But architect William Thornton believed America's first president was too important to leave the country so soon. He concocted a mad scheme to reanimate Washington's body and bring him back from the dead.

The tale of zombie George Washington, revealed by the science fiction blog io9, is reminiscent of the best selling book 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,' which recast the 16th president as a combat-hardened vampire slayer. Except Washington's story is true.
Thornton was also a trained doctor who had a medical degree from the University of Edinburgh. He had become entranced by the workings of the human body and the new concept of blood transfusion.

He wanted to thaw George Washington's body by the fire and rub it with blankets to warm him back up.

Then, Thornton would insert a fire bellows into his trachea to pump air back into his lungs.

The final, and most important step, would be giving him a transfusion of lamb's blood.

Scientists and doctors of the day believed lamb's blood has special properties.

According to io9, Thornton thought the blood transfusion would give Washington's circulatory system 'a spark of vitality' that would bring him back to life.

Ultimately, Martha Washington declined Thornton's offer to reanimate her husband, but not because it seemed too crazy to her.

Instead, she believed that after leading the Continental Army to victory over the British Empire and shepherding the nation through it's nascent years, he deserved a rest, io9 says.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

After the Zombie Apocalypse, We Will All Be Foragers

Melany Vorass is a 49-year-old college-educated woman living in a middle-class neighborhood of Seattle, Washington.

And in the backyard of her quiet neighborhood home, she traps, drowns and butchers squirrels for her dinner table -- one of her family's principle sources of meat.

Ms Vorass is part of a growing crowd of city-dwellers who are 'foragers' -- living off of greens picked from public parks, fish caught from local streams and mushrooms plucked from nearby forests.

Ms Vorass believes commercial meat is unethical. Cows are raised on inhumane feedlots, butchered in inhumane ways and fed rations of unhealthy and environmentally-damaging antibiotics and feed, she says on her blog Essential Bread.


Her urban foraging isn't just limited to squirrels. In her backyard, she plants a garden every year and raises chickens and goats.

She picks also dandelion greens and other 'weeds' for salads and occasionally she and her husband catch trout in a local lake.

Ms Vorass began trapping squirrels as a way to get the pesty critters out of her backyard and away from her garden -- which they were terrorizing.

Her husband set up a metal 'Have-A-Heart' live trap and started releasing them in a nearby park.

But then an irate neighbor complained that the was just dumping their problems somewhere else.

About that time, Ms Vorass discovered a recipe for squirrel and instructions on how to skin the rodents in an old Joy of Cooking cookbook.

The classic American cooking was first published in the height of the Great Depression and for many years contained recipes for all manner of wild animals -- from rabbits to opossums.


Squirrel is tougher and darker than rabbit and somewhat greasy.

It does not taste like chicken.

Squirrel is actually richer than beef in some ways -- higher in fat and cholesterol. However, it's dramatically lower in saturated fats and higher in polyunsaturated, so-called 'good' fats.
 (Link to Ms. Vorass' blog).

Whoa, Buddy! You're Not Even A Zombie Yet!

A few days ago I posted about an article discussing the similarities between criminals and zombies. The similarity is a little too close in this case:
A Florida man has been arrested for allegedly hacking to death a Connecticut man and eating the victim’s eye and part of his brain, police said Wednesday.

Tyree Lincoln Smith, 35, was arrested Tuesday night on a Connecticut warrant for murder, according to police in Lynn Haven, Fla.

A property inspector discovered the body of Angel L. Gonzalez on Friday on the third floor of an abandoned home in Bridgeport, Conn., according to that city’s police department. A medical examiner determined that the cause of death was blunt head trauma and ruled Gonzalez’s death a homicide.

On Monday a cousin of Smith’s in Connecticut contacted the Bridgeport police about Gonzalez’s death. She told detectives that Smith had arrived at her house Dec. 15 and said he wanted to “get blood on his hands” before going to a park and then to the abandoned home, where he used to live, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

The next day, Smith returned to the cousin’s house with blood on his pants, hands and an axe, the affidavit said. Smith’s cousin said he told her that he was sleeping on a porch at the abandoned home when we was awakened by a Hispanic man and invited inside. Then Smith described beating the man’s face and head with the axe and collecting one of his eyes, a piece of his skull some of his brain matter, which he consumed in a nearby cemetery, the affidavit said.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Best Zombie Hide-Out is the Mall

So, you're in the midst of a zombie outbreak. Do you head for the hills, or take refuge in a mall? A new physics paper says that hunkering down in a sprawling shopping center will increase your odds of survival.


The paper examines the likelihood of the targets surviving — that is, never coming into contact with these "random walkers" — if they remain immobile within various types of structures. One of Cassi's findings is that the more complex the hideout, the less likely a random walker is to encounter a target. This means that hiding out in a building filled with twisting corridors, such as a mall or a school, offers a better chance of survival than hiding out in the open or in more open structures.
This person has something a little more defensible in mind. And here is an article on the Top 5 Zombie Hideouts.

On the last article, I do want to comment on the idea of using a prison as a retreat. Don't. Prisons are not designed to defend from an outside attack, but to defend from someone already inside. Doors are locked, and generally can only be opened from a control room. The accommodations suck. In a zombie apocalypse, prisons will already be full of zombies. Better to stick to the mall.

Comparing Zombies to Criminals

What is true of our interactions with Zombies is true of our interactions with criminals. The first and best defense is just to avoid them. Stay away from places where there are zombies. If you run into them, and you have time and ability, run away from them.

If you are forced into an interaction and a criminal has the drop on you, give them what they want, and do it quickly. Don’t try to reason with a criminal. ...Zombies and some sociopathic criminals just want to kill you, in which case you better be ready to resist.

If it comes to armed resistance, be prepared to act with sudden, unexpected and extreme violence and to continue until the threat is neturalized. The violence required must do bodily harm to the extent that the attacker either runs away, or is unable to act against you, giving you time to escape (note: actual Zombies will not run away, and must be destroyed).

Effectively dealing with the zombie hordes will by necessity be nasty, messy business. The unfortunate truth is that same messiness can be a real unstated dark side of self defense with a firearm. One must come to terms with the reality of that violence, especially when all options are removed by the criminal other than a choice between violent resistance or violent victimization.
Zombies are metaphors. It is more comfortable to think about gunning down mindless, brain-eating, undead monsters than a hungry, violent mob or a gang of psychopaths.

The New AK74 Rifle

Details, photographs, and a video, at the Firearms Blog. From the article:
The rifle's major new features are ...
  • Ambidextrous forward charging handle.
  • Smaller ejection port.
  • New safety switch.
  • New fire control switch with three modes of fire (single shot, 3 round burst and full auto).
  • New hinged top cover. The cover is a lot more rigid that the previous AK rifles.
  • Quad picatinny rails.
  • Folding and length adjustable stock.
  • Ergonomic pistol grip (with a decent radius between trigger guard and grip).
  • New muzzle brake that attaches to standard NATO 22mm threading.
  • Improved barrel rifling.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Speaking of Blades for Dispatching Zombies...

Here is a site called Zombie Tools that carries various swords, fighting spears, machetes, and other bladed weapons for dispatching the undead.

How to Make An Assassin Arm Blade from "Assassin's Creed"

I came across this at MSNBC originally (story here). That in turn linked to a video:

By following another link, I found a site with instructions on how to make the mechanism. (Link here). As noted in the MSNBC story, this might not be legal to carry around, but it sure looks cool.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Zombie Plush Doll You Can Dismember

For your niece or nephew, of course. (Amazon link here).

Bleeding Zombie Targets

I've blogged about these before, but the bleeding zombie targets have made it to the Shot Show. From the Firearms Blog:

Inside a $1.5 Million Cave House

In the mountains of Arizona. (Link with pictures here).
Locals refer to it as the Cave House and the nickname is apt. Sitting on 37 acres just outside of Bisbee, AZ, a mining town-turned-Baby Boomer retirement haven about 80 miles from Tucson, the Chulo Canyon Cave House is carved into an outcropping of granite boulder, extending more than 2,000-square feet into a desert grotto.

The strange and unusual dwelling is up for grabs and could be yours for $1.5 million. It occupies 2,890-square feet of living space and comes with a 890-square foot guest house, a subterranean game room underneath the guest house, a library building, a stand-alone workshop space, a separate home office, and a carport. The main house features rough petrous walls, rock and cement ceilings, and potable wall water seep that is collected from a natural spring. There’s a glass-walled sunroom, a commercial-grade kitchen with stained glass cabinets and mosaic tiling, an-eight person dining room, a sunken living room, two full bathrooms, a sleep loft with walk-in closet tucked below underneath the loft stairs, and a back room that is currently used as an exercise and yoga room.
It would actually be a pretty good setup. The terrain is fairly open, so it less likely that zombies could slip up on you. There is water, and the cave stays a constant temperature. The problems I see is that the entrance is the glass-walled sunroom--i.e., not much physical security. And, there probably is not a back entrance or exit. So if you get caught in it, there is no other way out.

Pictures of Chernobyl

Okay, I'm also a sucker for pictures of old, decaying buildings. So, here are some of Chernobyl at this site.

You can just imagine the zombies lurking in the abandoned building in this picture:

Monday, January 16, 2012

5 Creepy Unsolved Mysteries (Updated)

Okay, I'm a sucker for strange mysteries. From Cracked.com: "There are unsolved crimes, and then there are the kind of creepy, 'What the hell could possibly be going on here' capers that keep the cops, and anyone who hears about them, up at night."

Update: Found another short article on the Lead Mask Mystery.

Singing the Gun Show Blues

I went to a gun show this weekend, and I have to say that they have really lost their luster. There are basically two reasons to go to a gun show: (i) have the opportunity to look at a broad selection of guns, and (ii) pick up a good deal on a firearm (especially with used firearms), books, gear, ammo, and so on. There is still generally a good selection of firearms, although less of the latest and greatest than there used to be. My complaint is the lack of any good deals. And I mean any.

It is no longer "used" firearms--they are "vintage" or "collectors." Meaning, extravagant sums for even guns that are beat up and probably not serviceable. For instance, I saw an old lever-action Winchester that literally was covered by a patina of rust all over the action and outside of the barrel (and I don't doubt, the inside of the barrel and the chamber)--$600. I have a friend that collects WWII rifles, so I look for those. Found three (3) Arisaka rifles in bad, bad shape, and even with the stocks cut down, for which they wanted between $400 and $500. Even on firearms that weren't in bad shape, but still obviously used, the dealers wanted premium prices. And, of course, there are always those handful of dealers that get stuff from Century Arms and then double the price.

I noticed the same for books. Used books--nothing special--at $50 or $100 dollars each. Gimme a break!  Even new books were being sold for more than the suggested retail, even if it was just 50 cents or a dollar.

Anyway, the lesson is that if you plan on going to a gun show to look at a particular firearm or other product, do some research first on prices. No sense paying for admission and then having to pay premium (or above-premium) prices for everything.

I would note that this might just be where I live. But I really question even the "entertainment" value anymore.

British Scientist to Drill Into Antarctic Lake

I think I had posted before about Russian scientists drilling into a "subterranean" lake in Antarctica, and now a group of British scientists proposes to do the same at a different lake.
A team of four British engineers recently returned from a 10-day trip to a desolate, windswept plain in Antarctica, setting the stage for a project that could uncover previously unknown life that has been cut off from the world for millennia.

Scientists with the British Antarctic Survey are seeking to drill through the continent's thick covering of ice to a giant, hidden lake, cut off since before modern humans first evolved, which may house life forms invisible to human eyes. They could be unlike anything scientists have seen before.

"We expect to find microorganisms," said Martin Siegert, the principal investigator on the project, "because there's water and where there's water on planet Earth, there's life."

The lake, Lake Ellsworth, is 7 miles (12 kilometers) long, a mile (3 km) wide, and 500 feet (150 meters) deep. Buried beneath nearly 2 miles (3 km) of ice, the lake has likely been cut off from any outside influence for several hundred thousand years, said Siegert, a glaciologist and professor at the University of Edinburgh.

Any microbes living in the lake may have evolved and adapted in strange ways, since they live in total darkness, and have likely been left to their own evolutionary devices for thousands of years. If they are anything like Antarctica's only native wildlife, they could be strange indeed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Zombie Shelter with a Really Big Satellite Dish

The Jamesburg Earth Station in central California is for sale:
The Jamesburg Earth Station was built by NASA in 1968 for receiving transmissions from the Apollo moon landings, then it was used by AT&T for satellite telecommunications.

It even played a key role relaying pictures of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Now it can be yours for $2.9million.

The fully steerable dish is about 11 storeys high and 98 feet across, which should enable you to suck in just about any TV station on Earth.

Your purchase includes more than just the dish, as you also get the 20,000 square foot operations building with an indoor basketball court, a helicopter landing pad, a three bedroom house, a barn, and 160 acres of land.

The whole thing sits in central California about 20 miles southeast of Monterey,.... [T]he main building was constructed to withstand a 5 Megaton nuclear blast.

* * *

And one more great thing .. the new owner can have his or her own worldwide television station, because you can broadcast directly to Asia, South America, the South Pacific, and the entire United States.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Obama Announces Daley Resignation

President Obama today announced that White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley is resigning after a year on the job to return to his family in their hometown of Chicago. ... “Bill told me that he wanted to spend more time with his family, especially his grandchildren, and he felt it was the right decision.”
(Story here).

No, I'm not going all political on you. That last line quoted above just struck me strangely today, because it reminded me of the reason given by the Treasury Secretary for his resignation in the movie, Deep Impact.

Otis Technology Introduces a Zombie Gun Cleaning Kit

Story and picture here. Hey, even during the zombie apocalypse, you gotta clean your gun sometime.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

"Organ Trial"

A spoof of an old computer game called "Oregon Trail," except instead of pioneers settling the old west, this involves survivors of a zombie apocalypse.
Spoofing Oregon Trail, the seminal educational game for the Apple II, this updated version features campy graphics and game mechanics borrowed from the original. Instead of buying supplies, managing health, fording rivers and hunting deer along the trail, you’ll be scavenging for car parts, deciding whether to kill an infected party member, sneaking through hordes of zombies and picking off the living dead that inhabit the grasslands on your travels. It looks incredibly fun! While an older version of the game can be played for free online, the developers at The Men Who Wear Many Hats are turning to Kickstarter to make an updated version for the iPhone and other devices and platforms.
(Full story here, including a video).

The Movie Version of World War Z May Be Planned As a Trilogy

Story here.

Views from Inside a Russian Missile Factory

A Russian blogger is posting pictures that she took inside a Russian missile factory. The factory is in operation, but apparently security is very lax.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


While checking out today's Daily Mail, I saw these two articles (conveniently juxtapositioned): First, ants that have been genetically modified to have giant heads and jaws; second, "chimeric" monkeys created with genes from 6 different species.

Sure, the monkeys are cute now, but what about when they grow up?

Photos of Hiroshima After the Bomb

Pretty interesting in a macabre sort of way. This is what a lot of cities would look like if a zombie outbreak got out of control.

Survival Library

A friend of mine sent me a link to this site with a bunch of PDFs of survival related books. I'll add it to sites on my side-bar as well under the title "Urban Survival Library." Some pretty useful stuff, although if you are going to put it on a Kindle, Nook, or IPad, you probably will want to get a solar charger to use after the zombie apocalypse.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Update on the 2012 Arkansas Mass Bird Death

Police are saying that it probably was the result of fireworks being set off while the birds were roosting. (Story here).
In a statement, Genny Porter from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said, "We know that there was evidence of fireworks set off in the middle of the roost, and it wasn't a coincidence."

Most scientists eventually agreed the thousands of deaths last New Year were caused when the birds were spooked by fireworks and flew into buildings, trees and each other.

Police in Beebe rushed through an emergency ban on fireworks in a bid to avoid a repeat of those bizarre events, but that did not prevent the first birds beginning to fall to the ground around 7:00pm Saturday night.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Arkansas Town Has Another Incident of Mass Bird Deaths on New Years Eve (Updated)

A small Arkansas town might have shown the first example of that as approximately 5,000 blackbirds dropped dead from the sky last night in the early hours of the new year.

As if the incident was not strange enough, it is the second time in two years that the birds have fallen as the calendar year changes.  
* * *
Initially, last year's deaths were blamed on celebratory fireworks, with people thinking that the birds were startled to death.

A flash hail storm or massive lightning strikes were all discussed as possibilities as well.

All three theories have been debunked, however, as the weather was calm in Arkansas last night and police even imposed an impromptu firework ban in an effort to prevent it from happening again.

Here is a link to a news report from last year blaming the incident last year on fireworks.

Apparently, that wasn't the only mysterious incident of animal deaths last year. This article has a compilation of 26 mass animal deaths between the middle of December 2010 and January 2011. Another article concerning various mass animal deaths in early January 2011. And this article from The Atlantic has a map showing the location of mass bird deaths from January 2011.

Anything else leading up to New Years this year? Well, this town apparently had a mass death of starlings. And a December 15, 2011, incident from Southern Utah. As to the latter incident, the story notes:
Mass death events are typically defined as those in which more than 1,000 birds die, and the National Wildlife Health Center has received more than 175 reports of such events in the past decade. The triggers vary from disease and weather to trauma and starvation, but Griffin says this week's event stands out because it covered such a large area, up to 30 miles across. "I've been here 15 years, and this was the worst downing I've seen," she says.
And what appears to be another mass bird death in Utah this last month, but involving starlings.