Saturday, June 30, 2012

Special Forces Jeep Wrangler

This looks like a good zombie bug-out vehicle (BOV). Defense Tech reports:
The Jeeps feature seats U.S. soldiers should recognize. Jankel’s has installed their blast limiting attenuation seats into vehicles like the Oshkosh Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicle the U.S. Army drives in Afghanistan.

The special forces variant called the Pegasus is the sexiest member of the family. ...

Pegasus was built to load inside a CH-47 Chinook with the ability to unload it in 15 seconds. The Jeep is powered by a direct injection, common rail, turbo charged, intercooled diesel engine. The 24 volt electrical system features one NATO jump socket with two USB sockets.

Pegasus built the frame to fit inside the Chinook. The frame is 201 inches long, 79 inches wide, 72 inches tall with an 11 inch ground clearance. It has a curb weight of 6,610 pounds and a potential payload of 3,310 pounds.

The off road capabilities of the Pegasus have been beefed up to take on the stress of a special operations capability set. It can scale a 60% gradient and a 40% side slope with the driver only.

Pegasus can carry four special operators and maybe a fifth in a pinch. Unit commanders can add an extended range fuel tank as well as underslung airlift solutions.

Baltic Sea "UFO" Cuts of Electrical Equipment

I've previously posted about the mysterious saucer shaped object found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea (See here and here). The latest news is that it appears to produce an electric disturbance or interference. From the Daily Mail:
The divers exploring a 'UFO-shaped' object at the bottom of the Baltic Sea say their equipment stops working when they approach within 200m.

Professional diver Stefan Hogerborn, part of the Ocean X team which is exploring the anomaly, said some of the team's cameras and the team's satellite phone would refuse to work when directly above the object, and would only work once they had sailed away.

He is quoted as saying: 'Anything electric out there - and the satellite phone as well - stopped working when we were above the object.

'And then we got away about 200 meters and it turned on again, and when we got back over the object it didn’t work.'

Diver Peter Lindberg said: 'We have experienced things that I really couldn’t imagine and I have been the team's biggest skeptic regarding these different kind of theories.

'I was kind of prepared just to find a stone or cliff or outcrop or pile of mud but it was nothing like that, so for me it has been a missing experience I must say.'

Member Dennis Åsberg said: 'I am one hundred percent convinced and confident that we have found something that is very, very, very unique.

'Then if it is a meteorite or an asteroid, or a volcano, or a base from, say, a U-boat from the Cold War which has manufactured and placed there - or if it is a UFO...

'Well honestly it has to be something.'
The story indicates that a further dive will be attempted in a few weeks.

"Zombie Blood" Gun OIl

For sale on Ebay. The manufacturer also has a Facebook page. (H/t The Firearms Blog).

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bangor, Maine, Holds Zombie Apocalypse Day

Well, it is more interesting than "prepare for swine flu" day.
With a recent spate of bizarre 'flesh-eating' criminals being arrested across the U.S., there have been rumours of a pending 'zombie apocalypse'.

And one New England town is taking no chances - it has just held a Zombie Apocalypse Day to train emergency services how to respond to an attack of the undead.

Perhaps not coincidentally, that town was Bangor, Maine, where legendary horror author Stephen King lives - so it should be well prepared for a supernatural outbreak.

The Zombie Apocalypse Day was attended by dozens of emergency workers from hospitals, public safety bodies and the National Guard, according to the Bangor Daily News.

And while the event had a light-hearted tone, it was at heart a serious attempt to train first responders in how to deal with an outbreak of a serious infectious disease.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How Long Would a Zombie Outbreak Last?

How long would a zombie outbreak last? By that, I mean, how long would the zombies be around?

Absent some supernatural explanation for a zombie outbreak, zombies (whether the "traditional" dead, but infected human; or the alive, "rage" type virus) must intake and use fuel or energy (i.e., food) and transport that to the body tissues in order to move and function. How they do this may have a significant impact on how long zombies are around.

If we look at the "rage" virus zombie, we have a human that is not dead, technically, but overcome with a virus that drives them insane, and perhaps makes some other physical changes or mutations (bigger, stronger, faster, for instance). But, in the end, you still have a living creature that needs food. In the initial stage of an outbreak, the "food" is plentiful, so lots of zombies moving around. But eventually, the "food" is gone. The "rage" type zombies are going to starve just like any other creature. They will rapidly decline and disappear. Will they mostly be gone with 28 days, just to pull a figure from the air? Don't know, but they would certainly be mostly dead from starvation within a few months.

Turning to the "traditional" zombie--the infected dead--how the zombie consumes and transports energy to the areas of the body is important because it places different constraints on the system. Because the traditional zombie can only be killed by destroying the brain (rather than the heart or massive wounds that would kill a human) is clear that the zombie virus is a hive-type creature that uses the human neural network (i.e., brain) to control or animate the body, but doesn't not make use of the heart and circulatory system. So how does it get energy to the muscle tissue to move the body around?

One possibility is that it doesn't. Biting and munching on people is a means of spreading the virus, but does not actually feed the zombie because the food is not digested and distributed to the tissue. In this case, the energy would necessarily have to come from the muscle tissue itself or surrounding tissue. In this case, the zombie body is actually cannibalizing itself over time in order to move. As the zombie moves, the amount of tissue will decrease--the zombie will take on an emaciated and, finally, almost skeletal appearance, slowing all the while because it has less and less energy reserves. In order to conserve energy, the zombie will need to keep from moving. This actually matches with the idea of the zombie being an ambush predator. It will go into a hibernation state until motivated to move and attack. However, this only delays the inevitable--eventually, the zombie starves. A zombie outbreak like this would be like a match flaring--very large aggressive outbreak for a very short period of time, but with the zombie starving to death in just a few weeks, if even that long.

Another possibility is that the zombie virus actually grows a different circulatory system within the body. Essentially, shifting from merely a virus, to an actual parasite within the human host. This type of zombie would be able to digest food, but is perhaps more vulnerable to massive body damage than the virus-only zombie. However, the advantage is short lived. Deprived of its food stock, the zombie will still starve over time.

Is there any historical support to zombie outbreaks spreading fairly quickly and then dying out. One possibility is the collapse of the Minoan and Hittite civilizations. Although the eruption of the volcano at Thera probably contributed to the decline of these great civilizations, it is also apparent that these civilizations ended quite abruptly, with evidence of burned cities and sudden collapse of the population.  Certainly a hallmark of a zombie apocalypse.

So, to sum up, food constraints will decimate the zombie horde quite quickly--perhaps in as little as few weeks, but certainly within a year, the zombies will have disappeared.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

3 Sites to Prepare You for the Apocalypse

(Link here). The 3 sites are:

1.  Class 3 Outbreak (a zombie outbreak simulator).

2.  Romantically Apocalyptic (a web-comic of survivors of a nuclear war, that also encounter some of our other favorite apocalyptic minions).

3.  Urban Explorers (a site about urban exploration--abandoned buildings, drain tunnels, etc.).

Scientists Visit Underwater UFO

Earlier this month, I had posted about how scientists were planning on visiting the site of an undersea object that some have dubbed a UFO. The Daily Mail has posted the results:
Skeptics expected that a deep-water dive would debunk the a slew of extra-terrestrial theories surrounding an unidentified object sitting at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

But the Swedish expedition team that took the plunge surfaced with more questions than answers - and certainly no solution to its origins.

The divers found that the object, which some have likened to the Millennium Falcon because of its unusual round outline, was raised about 10-13 feet above the seabed and curved in at the sides, giving it a mushroom shape.

They added that the object has 'rounded sides and rugged edges'

'First we thought this was only stone, but this is something else,' diver Peter Lindberg said in a press release.

At the center of the object, which has a 60-meter diameter, has an 'egg shaped hole leading into it from the top'.

Surrounding the hole, they found a strange, unexplained rock formation. Adding fuel to the speculative fire, they said that the rocks looked 'like small fireplaces' and the 'stones were covered in something resembling soot'.

'Since no volcanic activity has ever been reported in the Baltic Sea the find becomes even stranger,' Mr Lindberg continued.

A brief video clip of the dive was released to Swedish-language paper Expressen and can be viewed on Gizmodo.

* * *

Another find that they saw in person for the first time was the 985-foot trail that they described 'as a runway or a downhill path that is flattened at the seabed with the object at the end of it'.

Equipment for Urban Exploration

... and which may come in handy when scrounging after the zombie apocalypse. From Urban Explorers:

Rope Depending on the type of outing, this is sometimes a necessity. Many people always carry at least one short (20-30ft) climbing rope/handline. If you have confidence in your upper body strength, you can fashion a simple climbing rope in a few minutes; the kind you remember from your old phys ed. days. Just tie a big half knot every foot or so. Alternatively, tie short loops at slightly shorter intervals, and use them as holds. A longer length of weight-bearing rope for use as a safety line is sometimes useful.
Duct Tape I recommend a small roll in your sack, but don't worry about it for a simple trip. It's become kind of a joke, but people in the know don't laugh -- duct tape can do everything. It'll even work for shoe patches in a pinch.
Respirator One which is rated for asbestos is what you're looking for. You can find them at Home Depot or similar hardware outlets for about $40. It's kind of cumbersome, but if you're going to spend a lot of time in steam tunnels you should have one. Unless, you're sure that there is no asbestos, which is unlikely in steam tunnels -- don't count on word of mouth or what you think asbestos "looks like" for this question. Find official documents.
Radios Small handheld radios can be useful, especially in high-traffic areas requiring lookouts. Lapel mics and earpieces are good, as they are hands-free and inconspicuous. Remember that no radios travel very far through earth.
Hammer/small crowbar A lot of those pesky manhole covers can be popped with just a hammer. Those which can't will usually succumb to a small crowbar (aka prybar). A hammer is slightly more versatile, and doesn't raise as much suspicion as a crowbar. The crowbar can be useful at disused sites for crusty old hatches and doors. Be careful -- getting caught with a crowbar, especially if you also have things like rope or walkie-talkies on you (or god forbid, lockpicks) can get you a quick trip to city lodgings. "Burglarious instruments."
Water A water bottle is always a good idea, especially in steam tunnels. Tuck it into your ever-ready pack. A person can quickly get dehydrated when you're walking and crouching and crawling through 120 degree unventilated spaces. While you won't likely get into any real danger because of it, your endurance and enjoyment will suffer.
Maps/Blueprints/Etc. Many tunnel explorers prefer not to have maps beforehand, as it heightens the sense of adventure. Others like to have an idea of where to go to see things that are out of the ordinary. In drains, don't ever head downstream in an unknown drain. Maps are often inaccurate (yes, even if they come straight from the sewer department) and nothing will ruin your day like getting swept over a waterfall.
Camera/Film Or, a digital camera or video camera. Again, this is widely variable; some adventurers rarely leave the house without one, some just don't care that much. Keep your settings in mind and consider a beater.
Lighting rig If you're doing lots of photo or video work, or just want a really good look at where you're going, consider a car battery-based light rig. Labor-intensive to truck around, but sometimes useful.
Head Light When you are in the dark and you need both hands to get around, having a head light will be quite "handy." Get something like the Energizer Trail Finder 7 LED Head Light which is easy to pack to have ready when you need it.
Pen and Paper Take notes and make maps. It makes the trip much more interesting, and it will help your recollection when you set up that fancy website about your exploits!
Plastic baggies This is a must if you're draining, probably ignorable otherwise. A way to keep cameras, spare batteries, and anything else dry.

How to Survive a Zombie Attack--Inquiring Minds Want to Know

The Inquirer's article on prepping for and surviving a zombie attack.

Zombie Run Fitness Game Finally Available for the Android

(Link here).

Hyandai Elantra Receives Zombie-Proofing

Hyundai is collaborating with The Walking Dead to celebrates the 100th issue of the wildly popular comic series. To be featured at San Diego's Comic-Con International from July 12, to 15th, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman will be working with Hyundai to create a unique Hyundai Elantra coupe and Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback.

The Elantra GT hatchback (above) receives a unique vinyl wrap featuring the cover of the 100th issue of the series. Illustrated by the talented artist Charlie Adlard, this GT hatchback will be given away to a lucky winner via the "Hyundai Elantra Undead" sweepstakes.

As for the Elantra coupe, Robert Kirkman will work closely with the special fabricators of Design Craft and create a bonkers "Hyundai Zombie Survival Machine."
More info, photos, a concept drawing, and an interview with Kirkman at the link.

Man Builds Motorcycle from Car, While Stranded in Desert

Although this is from a recent post at the Auto Blog, it apparently refers to an incident in 2003. From the post:
... a Frenchman named Emile who reportedly found himself stranded in the deserts of Northwest Africa after breaking a frame rail and a suspension swingarm underneath his Citroën 2CV.

What to do? Why, disassemble the broken hulk and build yourself a motorcycle from its pile of parts, of course! As the story goes, Emile was able to use the inventive machine to escape the desert, though not before convincing the local authorities that he wasn't an insurgent and paying a fine for importing a non-conforming vehicle...

Since Emile was the only soul in the area, nobody has been able to confirm the veracity of the events that led to the little French runabout's conversion into a makeshift motorcycle. That said, judging by the images you can see here (apparently from the March 2003 issue of 2CV Magazine), this Citroën-bred two-wheeler does indeed exist, and it was definitely fashioned from parts scavenged from an old 2CV.

Now that is a true "Mad Max" machine.

Off Grid Survival Has A List of Survival Websites

(Link here). It is split into some general categories, so its a little better than just a long list.

No zombie blogs on it that I could see. Here is a list, though, of what are supposed to be the best zombie sites on the web.

Online Military Medical Textbooks

I came across a website for the Borden Institute that has on-line and/or PDF copies of military medical textbooks. If you go to the "other publications" section, you can download electronic copies of Emergency War Surgery. They have a zipped copy for easy download.

"UFO" Mystery Cleared Up

This past Wednesday, some commuters in the D.C. area saw the craft pictured above. However, it was merely a top-secret "stealth" drone. MSNBC reports:
On Wednesday night, Facebook and Twitter users went wild over sightings of a saucer-shaped vessel being towed on local highways. The buzz called to mind the frenzy in 1947 Roswell, albeit in a much more modern way.

Drivers spotted the craft on I-270 and on the Beltway as it was pulled behind a tractor trailer.

But we can take the "unidentified" out of "unidentified flying object." (And yes, we realize that it wasn't actually flying, either.) The military has confirmed to NBC News affiliate News4 that the 82-foot-long craft is an unmanned military aircraft, known as an X-47B.

Maryland State Police towed it on a flatbed trailer from Garrett County, Md., to Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

The drone had come all the way from California -- and yes, it "always attracts attention," a military spokesperson told NBC4's Melissa Mollet.

The craft is the second of its kind to come to the area. An X-47B arrived in late 2011 -- although if they towed that one on the Beltway, no one must have noticed.

"In the coming months, you can expect to see the X-47B flying over the base and surrounding area along the Chesapeake Bay," said Matt Funk, lead test engineer.

The Flash Bang Holster

 Women have different options (or perhaps, more correctly, additional options) for concealed carry than men. I suppose that I could try an inside the thigh holster, but dropping my pants to draw my gun weapon might not really work well in the real world.

Anyway, here is a link to a Fox News video on a new concealed carry rig for women--a holster that hooks onto a woman's bra, so that the gun is essentially hidden under the breasts. All she has to do is reach up under her shirt and draw the weapon. The holster is, appropriately, called the "Flash Bang."

Here is the link to the manufacturer's web site. And a review by the Survival Mom.

Vampire Attack in San Diego

When San Diego police sent out an alert for a beating suspect early Monday, they included a witness description: the suspect was said to have “vampire teeth.”

A homeless man was attacked and threatened outside a pharmacy in the 8800-block of Villa La Jolla Drive just before 6 a.m. Monday according to officials.

Police say the victim, a 55-year-old man, was kicked in the head and the ribs and left bleeding.

When officers arrived, the victim told them that his attacker also threatened to kill him.

Officers arrested the suspect a short time later and booked him on felony assault charges.

They say the suspect also appears to be a transient.
We don't care if the suspect was a transient. We want to know if he actually had vampire teeth!!!

Why Aliens May Look Similar to Us

To anyone who has seen the film 'Prometheus', it will be a very familiar story.

Humans and aliens may share the same DNA which could be part of a 'universal structure', according to researchers.

The building blocks of life exist in low temperatures and low pressure meaning they are far more likely to flourish than if they were more complex.

Whilst no concrete proof has been found yet, the finding makes it more likely they would develop on strange planets than had previously been thought.

The theory was put forward by Ralph Pudritz of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario who built on existing research into amino acids.

In total there are 20 standard such chemicals, which contain the DNA from which human life developed.

Researchers have already synthesized the 10 which are thought to have existed millions of years ago - and also discovered these are most likely to be found on meteorites too.

Purditz has concluded that these 10 are simpler, need less heat and lower pressure than more complex acids, meaning they are more likely to survive in hostile environments.

And whilst the exact conditions of meteorites are not known, they are thought to be warm and hydrated which would make comparable conditions to a young Earth.

Purditz said: 'This may implicate a universal structure of the first genetic codes anywhere...

'There's a theory that they could be made in the warm interiors of large-enough meteorite'.

He added: 'Thermodynamics is fundamental.

'It must hold through all points of the universe. If you can show there are certain frequencies that fall in a natural way like this, there is an implied universality.

'It has to be tested, but it seems to make a lot of sense.'

I understand the theory of panspermia. The question is whether the aliens will have eyes the same distance apart as humans? Star Trek anyone?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

"Vampire" Skeletons Unearthed in Bulgaria

Archaeologists in Bulgaria have unearthed two skeletons from the Middle Ages pierced through the chest with iron rods to keep them from turning into the undead.

They are the latest in a succession of finds across western and central Europe which shed new light on just how seriously people took the threat of vampires and how those beliefs transformed into the modern myth. The two skeletons, believed to be around 800 years old, were discovered during an archaeological dig near a monastery in the Bulgarian Black Sea town of Sozopol.Bulgaria's national history museum chief Bozhidar Dimitrov said: 'These two skeletons stabbed with rods illustrate a practice which was common in some Bulgarian villages up until the first decade of the 20th century.'

According to pagan beliefs, people who were considered bad during their lifetimes might turn into vampires after death unless stabbed in the chest with an iron or wooden rod before being buried.

People believed the rod would also pin them down in their graves to prevent them from leaving at midnight and terrorising the living, the historian explained.

According to Mr Dimitrov over 100 buried people whose corpses were stabbed to prevent them from becoming vampires have been discovered across Bulgaria over the years.

He added: 'I do not know why an ordinary discovery like that became so popular. Perhaps because of the mysteriousness of the word "vampire".

'These people were believed to be evil while they were alive, and it was believed that they would become vampires once they are dead, continuing to torment people.'

According to Dimitrov, 'vampires' were often aristocrats and clerics.

He added: 'The curious thing is that there are no women among them. They were not afraid of witches.'

* * *

The succession of plagues which ravaged Europe between 1300 and 1700 fostered the belief in vampires, mainly because the decomposition of corpses was not well understood, Borrini said.

Gravediggers reopening mass graves would sometimes come across bodies bloated by gas, with hair still growing, and blood seeping from their mouths and believe them to be still alive.

The shrouds used to cover the faces of the dead were often decayed by bacteria in the mouth, revealing the corpse's teeth, and vampires became known as 'shroud-eaters.'

According to medieval medical and religious texts, the 'undead' were believed to spread pestilence in order to suck the remaining life from corpses until they acquired the strength to return to the streets again.

"Mrs. Doubtfire" Recut as Horror Film

(H/t Business Insider)

Tracking the Zombie Apocalypse

Now here is news (and a web-site) we can use. From the description:
Newsweek & The Daily Beast is tracking news of instances that may be the precursor to a zombie apocalypse. Blue pins represent suspicious incidences or infections, while red pins represent acts of strange violence.
Besides the map showing the incidents, it also has a short description of each incident. From the looks, it appears to be spreading along the East Coast and westward (except for the anomaly in San Diego).

(H/t The Truth About Guns).

Kmanator AK "Zombie Axe" Buttstock

Zombie Chop Biohazard Battle Axe Novelty Item 7.62x39 5.45x39 Draco Izhmash

Available on Ebay. They have other designs as well, including a couple skull cutouts. (H/t The Truth About Guns).

I don't think this would be very practical for dispatching zombies. If you are to the point where you have to reverse your rifle and use it as an ax, it is probably time to reach for something better like a hand-mace or kukri. The stock does look bad-a**, though.

Why Do Zombies Like to Eat Us?

So why do zombies like to chomp into people? It might be because of the flavor. According to this Daily Mail article, people taste like veal:
They are the gruesome crimes that have appalled - and intrigued - the world.

First came so-called Miami 'zombie', Rudy Eugene, who stripped his victim before savaging his face by the side of the road.

Then, gay porn star Luka Magnotta allegedly murdered his former lover with an ice pick before dismembering him and devouring some of his flesh. As if this was not horrifying enough, he then apparently posted footage of the killing online.

The pair are just the latest in a long and infamous line of cannibals whose exploits have broken one of the last taboos.But back in the 1920s, one man set out to provide a detailed record of the societies that devour human flesh - and went so far as to taste it himself.

American adventurer William Buehler Seabrook wrote of his experiences in his book Jungle Ways, published in 1931. He noted that human flesh actually tastes 'just like veal'.

The account follows his travels in West Africa, where he spent time with the Guero people, and joined them as they feasted on human meat.

The author observed that the raw flesh looked like beef but less red and with pale yellow fat.

Once cooked it turned grey and smelled like beef.

As for the taste, he wrote: 'It was so nearly like good, fully developed veal that I think no person with a palate of ordinary, normal sensitiveness could distinguish it from veal.'

Seabrook's account is regarded as unreliable by many, because he later confessed Guero tribesmen refused to let him take part in their tradition - bizarrely claiming he made up for the disappointment by obtaining the body of a dead hospital patient in France and cooking it on a spit.

But experts regard his description as the most useful - because most commentaries on cannibalism come from the criminally insane and are often contradictory.

German killer Armin Meiwes,insisted human flesh tastes like pork, 'but a little bit more bitter, stronger.'

While Japanese cannibal Issei Sagawa described it as 'tender and soft' like tuna.

The survivors of the 1970 Andes plane crash, portrayed in the movie Alive, were forced to eat their fellow passengers to survive - but insist in their accounts the frozen flesh was flavourless.
In the book Hunter, by J.A. Hunter, the author--a big game hunter and guide in pre-WWII Africa--inadvertently partook of human flesh while in the Congo. He described the flavor as similar to pork, only saltier.  There is probably a reason that human meat has long been referred to as "long pork."

This topic is getting macabre, so on to something else....

Last Family on Earth

The Daily Mail reports:

The Spike television network is airing a competition this fall to award a fortified bunker to a family that believes the end of the world is near.

The network said Tuesday that its six-episode series called Last Family on Earth will feature survivalists competing to show how tough and resourceful they are.

The winner gets an underground bunker in an undisclosed location, just in time for the apocalypse predicted by the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012.

* * *

Viewers will also learn useful information about survival skills, she said.

Contestants will be primed for a wide range of annihilation scenarios, including a pandemic, global government or economic collapse, nuclear war, reactor meltdowns, solar flares, massive asteroids, lethal climactic change, a pole shift, calamitous earthquakes, and even widespread anarchy.

Winners will be selected by a panel of survival experts, with viewers given a say through social media.

The families involved and the judges haven't been selected for the series, produced by reality TV maven Craig Piligian and Pilgrim Studios.
I didn't see anything in the article about surviving the zombie apocalypse, which is too bad, because if you are ready to survive the zombie apocalypse, you're ready to survive anything.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Idaho Students Claim to Have Captured Bigfoot on Video

I can always rely on the Daily News for interesting articles, and they have produced once again:
A group of high school students believe they may have stumbled upon Bigfoot while in the Idaho wilderness for a class project.

The teenagers were in the woods near Mink Creek in Franklin County when they said they noticed a dark creature watching them from a ridge.

One of the students managed to grab his camera to film the large figure retreating between the trees.

The group then raced to the point they had seen the creature, and said they found a large foot imprint in the dirt and took a photograph of it.

'It just didn't look human-like,' the student who recorded the footage and who does not wish to be identified told Local News 8.'I don’t know what that is, it’s not a bear, it’s not a moose or anything. It was big and bulky and black.'

He went on: 'I'm not going to say yes it was a Bigfoot or no it wasn’t, because I don’t know, and nobody knows.'
Video at the link.

Left High and Dry

Sort of a different take on the "ruins" I try to post about. This one involves fishing boats left high and dry by the draining of the Aral Sea by the Soviet Union. The Daily Mail reports:
In the middle of the desert, you may stumble across a strange sight - a panorama of ghostly ships basking in the sun.

The ships are a relic from a bygone age, when the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan was a rich area teeming with fish and providing a bustling trade for the surrounding communities.

Then, in the space of a few years, much of the sea dried up, the fish died, and nothing was left but the rusting hulls.

The Aral Sea used to one of the largest lakes in the world, covering 26,300 square miles. Now, it exists only as about 2,000 square miles of water, split into four smaller lakes.

The vanishing sea - actually a lake, but dubbed the 'sea' as it was one of the largest lakes in the world - was a planned act by the Soviet Government.

The government wanted to use the water to irrigate other parts of the desert for the production of cotton and other goods and was well aware this would destroy large swathes of the Aral Sea.

Irrigation began in the 1940s, with the Soviets building large - but poorly-waterproofed - canals to divert water from the rivers that filled the lakes.

Estimates suggest that 50 to 75 per cent of the drained water ended up going to waste,

During each year of the 1960s, water levels dropped around eight inches a year - and then, in the 1970s, 24inches a year vanished.

In the 1980s, as more water got sent off for irrigation purposes, the water level dropped at the highest rate yet - an average of 35 inches a year - and by this point, the lakes had almost nothing left to give.

The locals faced a barrage of problems, as the thriving fishing industry died away, due to the salt-levels and pollution - previously diluted over the vast mass of water - increasing rapidly.
More photos at the link.

Scientists Plan to Visit Underwater UFO

Fox News reported earlier this week that scientists that had earlier discoverd an unusual underwater formation were planning on further investigation of the site. As to what it is:
At this point, Lindberg said, he and his colleagues “don’t know more than anyone else what it is” down there for certain.

But he’s willing to speculate as to the possibilities. The crash debris could be from a meteor, he told It could a naturally occurring gas well discovery -- located interestingly enough in international waters, he added. Or, he muses, it could be the remains of a Russian warship from the late 19th century.

“I don’t think it’s an ordinary stone formation, or cargo dropped from a ship,” Lindberg said. “But it can be a lot of things. If it’s not manmade, and was made by another form of intelligent life, it would be very lucky. I’ve never won the lottery before!”

His colleague, Dennis Asberg, agreed. “If this were a UFO, that would indeed be a strange thing.” He too speculates that it could be a gas well finding, or the remains of a meteor. “I’m just not sure,” he said. “But we’ll see soon.”

Others claim that the object, located 300 feet beneath the surface of the Baltic Sea, may be a natural formation, or even an emerging volcano.

Earlier this year, Lindberg told the media he thought this discovery might be a “new Stonehenge.”
The Daily News writes today:
Since June last year, the strange shape at the bottom of the Baltic Sea has caused so much speculation.

Sonar pictures showed a massive, metallic cylinder with a 60 metre diameter and a 400 metre-long tail resting about 300 feet below the Baltic Sea - and no-one knows what it is.

It must be man-made, or a sonar anomaly - the alternative, perhaps, is that it comes from a universe far, far, away, as its startling likeness to the Millennium Falcon ship from the Star Wars saga implies.

Hopefully an answer is forthcoming, with deep sea divers heading to the shape today to get to the bottom of the matter - and surely it will be an eerie descent as they await to discover the secrets of the deep.

Deep sea divers, using remote-controlled cameras, are now on their way to the side, ready to find out once and for all what is down there.

A Swedish company named Ocean Explorer discovered the unidentified sunken object using their sonar technology in a secret location in the Baltic Sea, between Sweden and Finland.

Because of a lack of funding and bad timing, they have were not able to pull a team together to see for themselves - just the strange, metallic outline, and a similar disk-shaped object about 200 metres away.

Sold Out!!!

In April, I had posted about a developer in Kansas selling luxury doomsday retreats built from an old missile silo. Apparently, he is all sold out.
It has been billed as the most luxurious way to sit out the apocalypse - and now all the $1 million apartments in an abandoned missile silo in Kansas have sold out.

Perhaps the buyers on the waiting list know something we don't.

The luxurious condos come with all the mod-cons, as well as a pool, a movie theater and a library - oh, and a guarantee that it will survive Doomsday if and when that fateful day comes.

For these luxury flats, deep below the Kansas prairie in the shaft of an abandoned missile silo, are meant to withstand everything from economic collapse and solar flares to terrorist attacks and pandemics.

* * *

So far, four buyers have thrown down a total of about $7million (£4.4m) for havens to flee to when disaster happens or the end is nigh. And developer Larry Hall has options to retro-fit three more Cold War-era silos when this one fills up.

* * *

Hall is also installing an indoor farm to grow enough fish and vegetables to feed 70 people for as long as they need to stay inside and also stockpiling enough dry goods to feed them for five years.

The top floor and an outside building above it will be for elaborate security.

Other floors will be for a pool, a movie theater and a library, and when in lockdown mode there will be floors for a medical center and a school.

Complex life support systems provide energy supplies from sources of conventional power, as well as windmill power and generators.

Giant underground water tanks will hold water pre-filtered through carbon and sand. And, of course, an elaborate security system and staff will keep marauding hordes out.

The condo elevator will only operate if a person's fingerprint matches its system, Hall said. Cameras will monitor a barbed-wire topped fence and give plenty of warning of possible intruders. Responses can range from a warning to lethal force.

'If they try to climb the fence we can stun them,' he said. 'If they want to break into the system, we can put an end to that.'

* * *

He is working to finish an 1,800 square-foot (167 square-meter) unit for a wealthy businesswoman with two teen children.

Electronic screens will serve as windows, offering views of Paris, New York, a beach, a forest or whatever she decides to see.

The unit itself will have top-end appliances, walk-in closets in the bedrooms, a kitchen and dining area and two living rooms to avoid arguments about what to watch on TV.

So far he has spent $4 million on the entire silo, including $300,000 he paid for it in 2008, when it was flooded with water and locked by giant steel doors. He expects to have all the seven floors of condos sold by August.

Interested buyers have included an NFL player, a racing car driver, a movie producer and famous politicians, he said, but he now requires all the money up front.

Four people who put down $250,000 deposits could not come up with the rest and he returned the deposits, but the economy is getting better and global warming, strange weather and disasters are stoking fears.

The recent earthquakes in Mexico prompted several calls from potential buyers, he said, predicting more bad things will happen and more silos will be waiting.

About 70 Atlas-F silos were built and he has options on three more of them, he said.

'One is an entire silo for one individual, but I won't know that until his check clears the bank,' Hall said.

More on the Miami "Zombie" Attack

We thought we had our first "patient zero" recently with a very zombie-like attack in Miami. Alas, it wasn't so. However, there is more information on the case.

The perp, Rudy Eugene, apparently had a history of violence and was using a more potent version of LSD.
It remains unclear why the attacker pounced on his victim, who police theorized might have been homeless and laying down when the assault began.

Police believe Eugene had likely overdosed on a new potent form of LSD, WSVN-TV reported. CBS Miami reported that the drug is known on the street as "bath salts."

The drug, which unlike the original LSD is a stimulant, can lead to significant strength and significant violence, Dr. Paul Adams told CBS Miami.

“It’s dangerous for the police,” Adams said. “It’s dangerous for the firefighters. It’s dangerous for the hospital workers taking care of them because they come in, they have to be restrained both chemically and physically and you’re asking for someone to get hurt.”

It has been particularly worrisome to police.

"What's happening is whenever we see that a person has taken all of his clothes off and has become violent, it's indicative of this excited delirium that's caused by an overdose of drugs," said Armando Aguilar, of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police. "What's happening is inside their body their organs are burning up alive."

The victim in this incident remained in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Seventy-five to 80 percent of his face was reportedly missing.