Monday, June 30, 2008

Link Latte 67


#67 - Week of June 29, 2008

Letters that led to WWI, Revolution, etc.
- Kaiser Wilhelm to Russian Tzar
- [fascinating]
Millimeters Matter! - [awesome video ad]
Impressive Recycled Architecture - [urban]
She stays in her house, no matter what! - [weird]
Image Fulgurator, more - [super gadget]
LEGO Cathedral Storage - [wow place]
Awesome Restored Mountain Tower in Russia - [pictures, scroll]
Walking with Dinosaurs in NYC - [cool video]
Stunning graph of China's cement production - [interesting]
Cardboard Musical Instruments - [cool video]
The Weirdest Same-Day Deliveries - [slightly nsfw]
Two of the geekiest watches ever created - [design]
Deadliest Plants on the Planet - [nature]
Turntablism - [cool word]
Paris: World War II color pictures - [vintage]
LEGO Window Washing - [geek art] - via
Famous Executioners - [history]
Bill Gates Timeline - [cool picture]
Something really strange... from Sony - [gadget]
HowTo: Create Steampunk Inventions - [video]
Italian WW2 Propaganda Posters - [vintage]
Absolutely Awesome Picture - [almost nsfw? lol]
Cool Drifting in Traffic - [car video, loud music]
Lady spins on an escalator - [fun video]
Snowbarder hit by an avalanche, and keeps on going - [wow video]
Most Amazing Bicycle Stunt Rider - [wow video]
Warehouse Sprinkilng incident - [fun video]
Great montage of 100 movies together - [wow video]

SEE ALL OTHER LINK LATTE ISSUES HERE

Link Latte 67


#67 - Week of June 29, 2008

Letters that led to WWI, Revolution, etc.
- Kaiser Wilhelm to Russian Tzar
- [fascinating]
Millimeters Matter! - [awesome video ad]
Impressive Recycled Architecture - [urban]
She stays in her house, no matter what! - [weird]
Image Fulgurator, more - [super gadget]
LEGO Cathedral Storage - [wow place]
Awesome Restored Mountain Tower in Russia - [pictures, scroll]
Walking with Dinosaurs in NYC - [cool video]
Stunning graph of China's cement production - [interesting]
Cardboard Musical Instruments - [cool video]
The Weirdest Same-Day Deliveries - [slightly nsfw]
Two of the geekiest watches ever created - [design]
Deadliest Plants on the Planet - [nature]
Turntablism - [cool word]
Paris: World War II color pictures - [vintage]
LEGO Window Washing - [geek art] - via
Famous Executioners - [history]
Bill Gates Timeline - [cool picture]
Something really strange... from Sony - [gadget]
HowTo: Create Steampunk Inventions - [video]
Italian WW2 Propaganda Posters - [vintage]
Absolutely Awesome Picture - [almost nsfw? lol]
Cool Drifting in Traffic - [car video, loud music]
Lady spins on an escalator - [fun video]
Snowbarder hit by an avalanche, and keeps on going - [wow video]
Most Amazing Bicycle Stunt Rider - [wow video]
Warehouse Sprinkilng incident - [fun video]
Great montage of 100 movies together - [wow video]

SEE ALL OTHER LINK LATTE ISSUES HERE

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Weirdest Examples of Mass Hysteria

"QUANTUM SHOT" #441



Article by our guest writer M. Christian (from "Meine kleine fabrik"). M. Christian writes about odd, weird, and wonderful things - most of them are, just like life itself, as unexpected as possible. Illustrated with art by Mario Sanchez Nevado)

It was all in their minds
Have You Heard The One About … ?

For a topic involving laughter, what you're about to read is not amusing. Creepy and disturbing, yes. Funny, no.


(image source)


1. The Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic

Things supposedly started innocently enough. Kashasha, near Lake Victoria in Tanzania in 1962: One girl in a boarding school there told another girl a joke. Maybe, "Have you heard the one about?" or "A Jew, an Indian, and Herbert Hoover walk into a bar …" or "Take my wife, please … " Whatever the setup, the delivery, or punch line, the result was laughter. Whether it was a giggle, a guffaw, a chortle, a snort is irrelevant. The listener found it funny.

But then things went dark, weird, and creepy: one girl laughed, but then so did another, and then another, and then another, and then another.

After exposure, the incubation period from nothing to hysteria was short, from a few hours to a couple of days. There was no fever, no physical symptoms, just laughter and occasional crying between short moments of exhausted recuperation. When victims were restrained they sometimes became violent.


(image credit: Mario Sanchez Nevado)

No one knew what to do. The school administrators were puzzled, local
doctors were confused. Trying to put a lid on the phenomena, the administrators shut the school down.

But that was too little, too late: Whatever it was began to spread. It infected other schools and worked its way into the village, seemingly carried by infected students. It traveled to another village 20 miles away, and another 55 miles from Kashasha.

Even weirder, it wasn't a constant thing. Like little hysterical explosions, the laughter would pop up, disable small groups for days at a time, then vanish.

Want to know what it was like? Well, it wasn't funny, I can tell you that: one victim in Tanganyik reported watching it spread around him, hitting one neighbor after another: giggles, guffaws, chortles, snorts – horrible, nightmarish laughter. Terrified, he retreated into his home. But then he began to feel it too, a compulsion to join in with the hideous joke. He shouted and cried and – naturally -- laughed throughout the night.

The phenomena is called Mass Psychogenic Illness, more commonly known as mass hysteria, and although the Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic is an extreme version, it's more common than you think. In fact what's really scary about the giggling madness that sprung from one girl's joke in Kashasha isn't that it occurred but that many researchers believe it happens so often, and is so powerful, that we simply aren't
aware of it. Or rather we aren't aware how much the phenomena controls us.



(original unknown)


2. The Mad Gasser of Mattoon

Ever hear the one about the Mad Gasser of Mattoon? In the 1930s -- all the way through to the mid 40s -- the residents of Botetourt County, Virginia, and Mattoon, Illinois, were terrorized by a surreal specter. Also called the "Anesthetic Prowler" or "The Phantom Anesthetist," he was supposedly a dark, mysterious figure responsible for dozens of victims falling ill from mysterious gasses flooding their homes. Whole families reported sudden attacks of choking, dizziness, headaches and various respiratory ailments.

The cops couldn't catch him and doctors were baffled by the mysterious ailments of his victims. The FBI was called in but they couldn't catch him either. Bulletins were circulated, newspapers warned residents to be on the lookout, vigilante groups roamed the streets trying to catch him -- in short, everyone went more than a little nuts trying to catch this gassy assailant.

But evidence suggests that he never existed. Sure, lots of people got sick, dozen and dozens and dozens more reported seeing dark and mysterious figures up to hideous no good stalking the night, and the authorities were run ragged with reports but there were no leads, nothing solid; nothing but suggestion, victims suffering from anxiety and fear, and the bizarre power of mass hysteria.

Here are couple of creative examples, that play on some of the similar phobias:



3. The Monkey Man of New Delhi

Ever hear the one about the Monkey Man of New Delhi? About four feet tall, sporting a metal cap and steel claws, he terrorized many a New Delhi night in 2001. Victims reported being savagely scratched and bitten by the odd ape. What's worse is what happened to people scared of the ape: an unlucky short man was beaten by a mod who suspected him of being the ape, a pregnant woman fell down some stairs because neighbors had shouted that the ape had been seen, and others were said to have seriously injured themselves running away from what they thought was the ape.

The punch line for the Monkey Man is the same as for the laughing girls of Kashasha and the Mad Gasser of Mattoon: it was all in their minds

------------

You might guffaw and giggle about how silly those girls behaved, or how naive the folks of Mattoon were, or how ridiculous the Monkey Man sounds, but before you do too much laughing think about what some researches are hypothesizing: that much of what we believe about the world, about its horrors and mysteries -- including witch trials of every sort, UFOs, some cases of communist conspiracies and so much more -- are nothing but signs of the tremendous power of the human mind, coupled with the drive to become one with the crowd in order to deceive itself.

Now ain't that funny?


(original unknown)

Permanent Link......+StumbleUpon ...+Facebook
Category: Weird

Dark Roasted Blend's Photography Gear Picks:

The Weirdest Examples of Mass Hysteria

"QUANTUM SHOT" #441



Article by our guest writer M. Christian (from "Meine kleine fabrik"). M. Christian writes about odd, weird, and wonderful things - most of them are, just like life itself, as unexpected as possible. Illustrated with art by Mario Sanchez Nevado)

It was all in their minds
Have You Heard The One About … ?

For a topic involving laughter, what you're about to read is not amusing. Creepy and disturbing, yes. Funny, no.


(image source)


1. The Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic

Things supposedly started innocently enough. Kashasha, near Lake Victoria in Tanzania in 1962: One girl in a boarding school there told another girl a joke. Maybe, "Have you heard the one about?" or "A Jew, an Indian, and Herbert Hoover walk into a bar …" or "Take my wife, please … " Whatever the setup, the delivery, or punch line, the result was laughter. Whether it was a giggle, a guffaw, a chortle, a snort is irrelevant. The listener found it funny.

But then things went dark, weird, and creepy: one girl laughed, but then so did another, and then another, and then another, and then another.

After exposure, the incubation period from nothing to hysteria was short, from a few hours to a couple of days. There was no fever, no physical symptoms, just laughter and occasional crying between short moments of exhausted recuperation. When victims were restrained they sometimes became violent.


(image credit: Mario Sanchez Nevado)

No one knew what to do. The school administrators were puzzled, local
doctors were confused. Trying to put a lid on the phenomena, the administrators shut the school down.

But that was too little, too late: Whatever it was began to spread. It infected other schools and worked its way into the village, seemingly carried by infected students. It traveled to another village 20 miles away, and another 55 miles from Kashasha.

Even weirder, it wasn't a constant thing. Like little hysterical explosions, the laughter would pop up, disable small groups for days at a time, then vanish.

Want to know what it was like? Well, it wasn't funny, I can tell you that: one victim in Tanganyik reported watching it spread around him, hitting one neighbor after another: giggles, guffaws, chortles, snorts – horrible, nightmarish laughter. Terrified, he retreated into his home. But then he began to feel it too, a compulsion to join in with the hideous joke. He shouted and cried and – naturally -- laughed throughout the night.

The phenomena is called Mass Psychogenic Illness, more commonly known as mass hysteria, and although the Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic is an extreme version, it's more common than you think. In fact what's really scary about the giggling madness that sprung from one girl's joke in Kashasha isn't that it occurred but that many researchers believe it happens so often, and is so powerful, that we simply aren't
aware of it. Or rather we aren't aware how much the phenomena controls us.



(original unknown)


2. The Mad Gasser of Mattoon

Ever hear the one about the Mad Gasser of Mattoon? In the 1930s -- all the way through to the mid 40s -- the residents of Botetourt County, Virginia, and Mattoon, Illinois, were terrorized by a surreal specter. Also called the "Anesthetic Prowler" or "The Phantom Anesthetist," he was supposedly a dark, mysterious figure responsible for dozens of victims falling ill from mysterious gasses flooding their homes. Whole families reported sudden attacks of choking, dizziness, headaches and various respiratory ailments.

The cops couldn't catch him and doctors were baffled by the mysterious ailments of his victims. The FBI was called in but they couldn't catch him either. Bulletins were circulated, newspapers warned residents to be on the lookout, vigilante groups roamed the streets trying to catch him -- in short, everyone went more than a little nuts trying to catch this gassy assailant.

But evidence suggests that he never existed. Sure, lots of people got sick, dozen and dozens and dozens more reported seeing dark and mysterious figures up to hideous no good stalking the night, and the authorities were run ragged with reports but there were no leads, nothing solid; nothing but suggestion, victims suffering from anxiety and fear, and the bizarre power of mass hysteria.

Here are couple of creative examples, that play on some of the similar phobias:



3. The Monkey Man of New Delhi

Ever hear the one about the Monkey Man of New Delhi? About four feet tall, sporting a metal cap and steel claws, he terrorized many a New Delhi night in 2001. Victims reported being savagely scratched and bitten by the odd ape. What's worse is what happened to people scared of the ape: an unlucky short man was beaten by a mod who suspected him of being the ape, a pregnant woman fell down some stairs because neighbors had shouted that the ape had been seen, and others were said to have seriously injured themselves running away from what they thought was the ape.

The punch line for the Monkey Man is the same as for the laughing girls of Kashasha and the Mad Gasser of Mattoon: it was all in their minds

------------

You might guffaw and giggle about how silly those girls behaved, or how naive the folks of Mattoon were, or how ridiculous the Monkey Man sounds, but before you do too much laughing think about what some researches are hypothesizing: that much of what we believe about the world, about its horrors and mysteries -- including witch trials of every sort, UFOs, some cases of communist conspiracies and so much more -- are nothing but signs of the tremendous power of the human mind, coupled with the drive to become one with the crowd in order to deceive itself.

Now ain't that funny?


(original unknown)

Permanent Link......+StumbleUpon ...+Facebook
Category: Weird

Dark Roasted Blend's Photography Gear Picks:

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Synchronized Office Swimming


Link
Scroll down for today's pictures & links.

Synchronized Office Swimming

Complete with nose clips... great fun and exercise.
(maybe slightly nsfw - depending on who your boss is)



url

Today's pictures & links:
Click to enlarge images.

Cassette Tape Lamp

Reuse... recycle... (more info)



------------

Lampreys! Yikes!

Lamprey, or jawless eel - is truly bizarre, especially its "river" variety:






"The adult feeds by attaching its mouth to a fish, secreting an anticoagulant to the host, and feeding on the blood and tissues of the host."
Yikes!

These are mechanical lampreys? Sort of.



------------

Geek Graffiti

"Paul the Wine Guy" (a lady blogger from Italy) has the most hilarious (fake) geek graffiti set on Flickr "IT Everywhere". Check out the whole collection, here are some examples:



------------

Love & Romance: everybody needs it



------------

Cool Cloud "Angel"

Yet another cool cloud formation... keep watching the skies.


(sent in by Dave)

------------

Mixed fresh links for today:

Russian Politicians Today (some faces are pretty scary) - [weird]
Funniest wedding last names combinations - [funny]
More Stunning Bridges Around the World - [architecture]
Great-looking (and crazy) concept bikes - [geek tech]
Jeff VanderMeer issues a book with unusual features - [books]
How Russians kept the severed dog's head alive - [weird]
This is just nuts... car vs. train - [wow video]
Freaky... Mom shows kids how to throw knives - [crazy video]
How to hack a parking gate - [cool video]

------------

Another "Damnation Alley"-like vehicle

It seems that it has "storm chasing" capabilities - and can provide pretty good "zombie protection" if the world suddenly comes to an end:



------------

Bruno's Sculpture Garden

Unique and sometimes unexpected wooden creations in the middle of a forest - 25 years of work by sculptor Bruno Torfs:


(art by Bruno Torfs - image credit: Ben Roberts)

See the full set here

------------

Geek Ads on Flickr

An interesting Flickr set, which shows some potential, even though it's only starting now. The description on the site says: "A celebration of evil fictional corporations, strange geekerific references and mash-ups and mayhem!"

Example: "Viggo Mortensen is... Edgar Allan Poe, the Greatest American Writer" (directed by Silvester Stallone...?)


(image credit: Giant Ideas)

------------

Slightly Stressed



------------

Ancient Walls are fixed with LEGOs

Jan Vormann urban art project is truly original: a combination of historic wall stones and modern plastic LEGO pieces.



(image credit: Jan Vormann)

------------

This is the weirdest sculpture we've seen so far.



A testimony to heroic motherhood?

-----------

What exactly are these things??



READ THE PREVIOUS ISSUE

Permanent Link......+StumbleUpon ...+Facebook

Dark Roasted Blend's Photography Gear Picks:

Synchronized Office Swimming


Link
Scroll down for today's pictures & links.

Synchronized Office Swimming

Complete with nose clips... great fun and exercise.
(maybe slightly nsfw - depending on who your boss is)



url

Today's pictures & links:
Click to enlarge images.

Cassette Tape Lamp

Reuse... recycle... (more info)



------------

Lampreys! Yikes!

Lamprey, or jawless eel - is truly bizarre, especially its "river" variety:






"The adult feeds by attaching its mouth to a fish, secreting an anticoagulant to the host, and feeding on the blood and tissues of the host."
Yikes!

These are mechanical lampreys? Sort of.



------------

Geek Graffiti

"Paul the Wine Guy" (a lady blogger from Italy) has the most hilarious (fake) geek graffiti set on Flickr "IT Everywhere". Check out the whole collection, here are some examples:



------------

Love & Romance: everybody needs it



------------

Cool Cloud "Angel"

Yet another cool cloud formation... keep watching the skies.


(sent in by Dave)

------------

Mixed fresh links for today:

Russian Politicians Today (some faces are pretty scary) - [weird]
Funniest wedding last names combinations - [funny]
More Stunning Bridges Around the World - [architecture]
Great-looking (and crazy) concept bikes - [geek tech]
Jeff VanderMeer issues a book with unusual features - [books]
How Russians kept the severed dog's head alive - [weird]
This is just nuts... car vs. train - [wow video]
Freaky... Mom shows kids how to throw knives - [crazy video]
How to hack a parking gate - [cool video]

------------

Another "Damnation Alley"-like vehicle

It seems that it has "storm chasing" capabilities - and can provide pretty good "zombie protection" if the world suddenly comes to an end:



------------

Bruno's Sculpture Garden

Unique and sometimes unexpected wooden creations in the middle of a forest - 25 years of work by sculptor Bruno Torfs:


(art by Bruno Torfs - image credit: Ben Roberts)

See the full set here

------------

Geek Ads on Flickr

An interesting Flickr set, which shows some potential, even though it's only starting now. The description on the site says: "A celebration of evil fictional corporations, strange geekerific references and mash-ups and mayhem!"

Example: "Viggo Mortensen is... Edgar Allan Poe, the Greatest American Writer" (directed by Silvester Stallone...?)


(image credit: Giant Ideas)

------------

Slightly Stressed



------------

Ancient Walls are fixed with LEGOs

Jan Vormann urban art project is truly original: a combination of historic wall stones and modern plastic LEGO pieces.



(image credit: Jan Vormann)

------------

This is the weirdest sculpture we've seen so far.



A testimony to heroic motherhood?

-----------

What exactly are these things??



READ THE PREVIOUS ISSUE

Permanent Link......+StumbleUpon ...+Facebook

Dark Roasted Blend's Photography Gear Picks: