Monthly Archives: June 2011

5 Best Harry Potter Magical Items

With the release of the last Harry Potter movie only a couple weeks away, now is the time to look over some of the best Harry Potter magical items. Whether you have been a fan since the first book or own enough Harry Potter costumes to recreate the cast, these are the top six items from the mind of JK Rowlings.


Tom Riddles Diary

Imagine trapping a part of your soul within a diary. For as long as that diary exists, you can communicate with others from the outside world, so long as they decide to write you messages. In an interview, Rowling stated that a diary is a very scary object, saying, The temptation particularly for a young girl, is to pour out her heart to a diary. All of that information, all of those secrets, are forever displayed to whoever cares to read it, or write to you.

Write in your own Tom Riddle’s Diary!


Hermiones Handbag

While not quite as cool as keeping your soul in a diary, Hermiones handbag is one of the sweetest fictional creations. Not only does it have the capability of holding nearly an infinite amount of goods, it never increased in weight. If she ever stuck Harry inside of it, there would be no need for invisibility cloaks.

Bag. Hermione. Dramatic turn toward camera.


Blood Quill

Maybe its the writer in me, but the Blood Quill is a sadistically amazing invention. Used by Umbridge throughout the Order of the Phoenix as a disciplinary tool, the Blood Quill draws blood of out the users hand and uses it as ink. It is a very painful process that actually leaves Harry psychologically scarred in the later books his hand tingles whenever he hears Umbridges name.


Cloak of Invisibility

Sure, Hermiones handbag is capable of hiding nearly everything, but only the Cloak of Invisibility can actually hide the wearer from everything, even the effects of death. While other invisibility cloaks will actually lose their power overtime, the Cloak of Invisibility never ceases to hide the wearer. It is the absolute perfection of invisibility and only Harry Potter could be so responsible while wearing it.

“Y’all seen my movies?”


Resurrection Stone

The Resurrection Stone, the infamous object sought after for so many books, gives the wielder a power that could drive a man insane communication with the dead. At first glance, this power may seem to be astonishing. Any person who has ever died can be talked to while wielding the Resurrection Stone, but it can be more of a curse then a benefit. Imagine talking to your deceased lover, never able to hold them again. Ask Cadmus Peverell how that ended for him.

“One ring to rule them all!”

Edward Mordrake and Pasqual Pinon: The Original Two-Faces

Born in the 19th century, Edward Mordrake was a man of many faces, literally. According to pictures and various accounts, Edward Mordrake had an extra face on the back of his head. The face could not talk or speak, but it could cry and laugh. Edward went to doctors, begging for them to remove his second face what he called his demon head – because it would whisper horrible things to him as he tried to sleep. Unfortunately, no doctor helped Edward Mordrake, who committed suicide at the age of 23.

edward mordrake

Edward Mordrake.


Pasqual Pinon, known as The Two-Headed Mexican, worked in a freak show circus in the early 1900s. Before his work in the circus, he was a railroad worker in Texas. A sideshow promoter noticed that Pasqual suffered from a large benign tumor on the top of his head. The promoter convinced Pasqual to join the freak show circus and had a fake face made of wax placed on Pasqual’s tumor. (There are some reports that the fake face was made of silver, which was surgically placed under the skin of the tumor.) Year later, the manager of the circus paid for the operation to have the tumor removed, and Pasqual moved back to Texas.

pasqual pinon

Pasqual Pinon.


While Edward Mordrake’s story is horrifying and depressing, I cannot help but love Pasqual Pinon. Someone comes along, gawks at his enlarged cranium, then, basically, asks to stick Halloween prosthetics on it possibly in it, depending on which account is true. What does Pasqual do? Leaves his life behind to become the focal point of a freak show. That’s looking on the bright side of things.

Woman Dies At Own Funeral

I wish I was making this up, but I’m not: Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov, 49, died at her own funeral today in Kazan, Russia. But Dale, that doesn’t make much sense! I know, I know, it really doesn’t make much sense and I’m still trying to piece it together myself, but here’s what happened:

Yesterday, Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov was happily bumbling about her house when she experienced a heart attack and collapsed. Doctors announced that she was dead and Fagilyu’s husband, Fagili, planned for the funeral to happen today.

Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov

Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov and her husband, Fagili Mukhametzyanov.

However, in a twist that only Edgar Allen Poe could have pulled off, Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov woke up during her own funeral. Somehow the doctors had wrongly announced her dead must have been the C-minus med student and Fagilyu regained consciousness while people were praying for her soul to be taken to heaven. The utter shock and disbelief of the whole scene overwhelmed her so much that she had another heart attack. This time she actually died.

Fagili Mukhametzyanov said: Her eyes fluttered and we immediately rushed her back to the hospital but she only lived for another 12 minutes in intensive care before she died again, this time for good.

I am very angry and want answers. She wasn’t dead when they said she was and they could have saved her.

Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov

In Russia, funeral kill you.

Peter Stumpp: The Werewolf of Bedburg

In 1589, known as one of the most brutal executions ever to be recorded, Peter Stumpp, also known as the “Werewolf of Bedburg,” was killed for publicly stating that he was a werewolf, with the power to transform whenever he pleased.

Peter Stumpp

A traditional torture rack.

Peter Stumpp was born in the village of Epprath near Bedburg. He was a wealthy German farmer who had great influence in the surrounding area’s politics. He had a son, a daughter, and an intimate relationship with one of his distant relatives known as Katharina Trump.

Sometime during the year of 1589, Peter Stumpp was accused of being a werewolf. After being stretched on the rack, he confessed to practicing black magic since the age of twelve. He claimed that the Devil gave him a magic girdle, which would allow him to transform into the likeness of a greedy, devouring wolf, strong and mighty, with eyes great and large, which in the night sparkled like fire, a mouth great and wide, with most sharp and cruel teeth, a huge body, and mighty paws. Stumpp claimed that removing the girdle would reverse the effects. (That sounds like the coolest of werewolf costumes!)

In addition, while being tortured, Stumpp admitted that he had been an insatiable bloodsucker for the last twenty-five years of his life. He would feast and gorge himself on the blood and flesh of goats, lambs, and sheep. He also admitted to killing and eating fourteen children, two pregnant women, and their fetuses.


But the accusations continue:

Not only was Stumpp accused of being a serial murderer and cannibal, but he was also accused of having an incestuous relationship with his daughter. (For her incestuous actions, Stumpp’s daughter was sentenced to die with him.) Stumpp’s relationship with his distant relative, Katharina Trump, did not help the whole incestuous thing, nor did Stumpp’s admittance to having had sexual relations with a succubus that was offered to him by the Devil.


The execution:

Peter Stumpp

Composite woodcut print by Lukas Mayer of the execution of Peter Stumpp in 1589 at Bedburg near Cologne.


On October 31st, 1589, Stumpp was put on the wheel. Using red-hot pincers, flesh was torn from his body in ten different places. To prevent his undead self from climbing out of the grave and returning to life, his limbs were broken using the blunt side of an axehead. He was then beheaded and burned on a pyre. Both his daughter and mistress were flayed, raped, and strangled, then burned along with Stumpp’s body. As a warning to others, the local authorities erected a sign depicting a picture of a wolf and a wheel, with Stumpp’s head mounted on top.

Paul Karason: The Blue Man

At the age of 43, Paul Karason looked as normal as normal can be. However, he suffered from various negative health conditions, such as sinus problems, dermatitis, acid reflux, and so on. Did he go to the doctor for help though? Hell no that would be too easy. Paul Karason started brewing his own tonic made of colloidal silver, distilled water, and salt. But he didn’t drink this tonic once or twice per day. He drank gallons of this stuff per week for years.

paul karason

After 14 years of constantly drinking his special tonic, along with rubbing a silver salve on his skin, Paul Karason’s skin complexion had gone through an intensely gradual change. Paul said the change was so slow that neither him or his friends noticed it. I would love to try and explain what happened give scientific information and details and all that jazz but it’s easier to just show you. So here’s Karason as he looks now:

Paul Karason


I know what you’re thinking: Nope, not true. That’s a photoshopped photo, or he’s wearing Halloween makeup, or something. But it’s not true. Well, Naysayers, I thought the exact same thing, so I dug deeper. Here’s a CNN report on Karason’s self-inflicted condition:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sa2OpNTX9Ck&feature=player_embedded#at=35

So what!? One video doesn’t prove anything. The media lies all the time! Whoa, whoa, whoa, calm down, Naysayers. There isn’t just one video and a creepy photo. Here’s a followup video of Paul Karason on MSNBC’s TODAY:

When Matt Lauer asked whether or not Paul is still drinking the colloidal silver tonic, Paul says very, very seldomly. (Seldomly is not a word, but I wouldn’t argue with a blue man.) If you want to see a side-by-side comparison of Paul before his use of colloidal silver and after, skip the video to 4:50.

Sokushinbutsu: Self-Mummification

To prove once again that Buddhist monks are hardcore to the bone, Sokushinbutsu were Buddhist monks who caused their own deaths through self-mummification. To date, only between 16 and 24 of these self-mummifications have been discovered, but it is believed that hundreds more have tried. No Buddhist sect currently practices or promotes Sokushinbutsu. Below is an image of a Sokushinbutsu, which looks so much more horrifying than any mummy costume I have ever seen.


Sokushinbutsu

A successful Sokushinbutsu.


How Sokushinbutsu works:

Step 1: For 1,000 days the Buddhist monk would eat a special diet of only nuts and seeds. During this time they performed an intense regimen of physical activity. The combination of diet and exercise stripped their body of all fat.

Step 2: For another 1,000 days the Buddhist monk would eat only bark and roots, along with drinking a poisonous tea made from the sap of the Urushi tree. The poisonous tea caused the monk to vomit and rapidly lose bodily fluids. Most importantly, however, it made their flesh too poisonous to be consumed by maggots.

Step 3: The Buddhist monk locked himself into a stone tomb barely large enough for his body. Inside that stone tomb, locked away in pure darkness, he remained in the lotus position. The only connection he had with the outside world was an air tube and a bell. The bell was rung every day to let the outside world know that he was still alive.

Step 4: Once the bell ceased to be rung, individuals outside the stone tomb would remove the air tube and finalize the tomb’s sealing. The tomb was left alone for another 1,000 days, then opened to see if the mummification process had worked.

Step 5: If the monk was found successfully mummified, he was viewed as a true Buddha. The body was removed from the tomb and displayed in a Buddhist temple for all to view. If the mummification process failed, resulting in a decomposed body, then the individual was still removed and displayed in a temple. However, they were not viewed as a true Buddha, since they failed self-mummification, but they were revered for their dedication and spirit.

The Kim Kardashian Halloween Wedding

 

kim kardashian

“I prove that people pay attention to beauty.”

Kim Kardashian, the annoying gnat known only for her curves and a sex tape, is getting married. Why does the world care? Why is this listed on this blog? Here’s why: Kim Kardashian is getting married on Halloween of this year October 31st, 2011. Big deal, right? Who the flying flip should care?

Here’s why:

As evident by her love for being in the tabloids, Kim Kardashian is an attention-whore. She sucks it up through a gem-encrusted straw and savors being the constant flavor of the month. So how does she steal back the eyes of the world, other than getting married on Halloween? She creates a registry of gifts that totals over $65,000. Go ahead, open it, if you dare. Be warned though: it is stupidly lavish. You may suddenly find yourself crushed by economic despair, or overwhelmed by bouts of nausea.


Here’s some of the gifts:

  • An astray – $1,100.
  • A Baccarat vase – $7,850
  • Some stupid statue – $325
  • A napkin ring – $32.
  • A 1925 Tea Set – $1,000

And on and on and on.

You know what the worst part of it is? She’s going to get this stuff. People are going to happily skip and frolic their rich selves into Kardashian’s wedding with armfuls of this stuff. Bagfuls upon bagfuls of rich junk, which will sit and collect dust in her gorgeous mansion built of sex and scandals.

kim kardashian

“Y’all seen my movie? It was nominated for Best Acting in a Sex Tape.”

My only hope the only thing keeping me somewhat neutral on this topic is that she’s holding it on Halloween. Everyone had better be dressed in Halloween costumes. I want to see zombies, werewolves, mummies, and an undead Kanye West watching this wedding take place. Otherwise, she’s a nobody who found a means of getting rich and ruining Halloween this year.

I’m done with this rant. Let’s hope that Ms. Kardashian can at least blow some of her sex-tape money on some sweet Halloween costumes.

Roopkund, the 500 Skeleton Lake

Located in Uttarakhand, India, lies a glacial lake known as Roopkund, at an altitude of roughly 16,499 feet. While the placement of the lake makes it quite spectacular, it is actually what was found in the lake that makes it so peculiar. Some time during the late 19th century, explorers began to discover human skeletons around the edge of the lake. It was believed that these individuals perished from an epidemic, landslide, or blizzard. Carbon dating showed that the remains were from sometime between the 12th century and the 15th century.

However, in 2004, a team of Indian and European scientists visited Roopkund to further investigate the skeletal remains. As the team dug and excavated the area, they began to find jewelry, skulls, skeleton hands, and hundreds of bodies. Once the excavation was complete, the team had found more than 500 skeletal remains, most of which were well preserved in the glacial surroundings. The excavators believed them all to be from the same traveling group, or tribe.

roopkund

Roopkund, also known as Skeleton Lake.

Further investigation determined that the individuals had not perished from disease. A hailstorm, with hailstones the size of cricket balls, was the cause for all the deaths. The storm must have appeared suddenly and rained down shards of ice large enough to kill someone on impact. Since there is no shelter around Roopkund, it is evident that everyone, or nearly everyone, located around Roopkund during the time of the hailstorm perished.

There is no clear evidence pointing toward where the group was heading or why they were going there. Historical evidence shows that there were no trade routes around Roopkund. Some believe that the individuals were from the Nanda Devi cult, who were traveling to attend the Nanda Devi Raj Jat festivities. However, there currently is no historical information to back the belief.

Roopkund

The name is horrifying, but the views are amazing. Watch out for those hailstorms though. I hear they’re a killer.

These days, Roopkund is a popular tourist attraction, with its picturesque surroundings and beautiful views. Festivals are often held near the lake by the nearby villages. The largest festivity, the Nanda Devi Raj Jat, takes place once every twelve years. If you happen to be in need of a vacation, or simply wish to see the lake where 500 people died from monstrous hailstones, Roopkund is the place to go.

Let’s Talk About Ermine Moths

You know, I’ve seen and read a lot of horrifying things in my life. The story about the man consumed by bugs and other creepy crawlies, for example, had me skeeved out for a bit, but I quickly bounced back. The story was in one ear and out the other; I kept my stride and kept walking. But sometimes just sometimes I see or read something that stays with me for days, gnawing at my psyche like a maggot on dead flesh.

When I see these kind of things, these eye-staining, mind-draining things, something strange happens inside of me: I want others to see it, too. I want someone to acknowledge that the shivers running up my spine are not mine alone. Someone else must feel the same reaction. And so, it falls upon this blog to birth my social need for spine-shivering acknowledgment.

Today’s post is about bugs, creepy things that sneak into your shoes and disappear when they hit the carpet. More specifically, though, this post is about ermine moths winged bugs. For you see, bugs, no matter the kind, cause me to stare, wide-eyed, watching them like a scientist with a microscope. I know that the second I turn away they will disappear, reappearing moments later on my pants, shoes, or shirt.

The ermine moths have something unique about their species: their larvae often produce massive interconnected webs, which they use to catch prey. The web has been known to stretch for quite some distance, even covering a row of tombstones in a graveyard. Don’t believe me? Here are the pictures to prove it:

ermine moths

And now begins the slow descent into ermine moth hell.

ermine moths

The larvae, as seen up close.

ermine moths

These are not Halloween decorations.

ermine moths

Are you still with me?

ermine moths

Hypertrichosis: The Werewolf Syndrome

While ghouls, zombies, and vampires are among the greatest of Halloween’s monsters, werewolves will always hold a special place in my heart. Something about their fangs and love of the moon has caused me to wish and hope to one day become one of them. My love for these vicious creatures, however, has recently dwindled into a sense of pity and fear, because I have learned of hypertrichosis, a disease that causes an individual look strikingly similar to a werewolf.

Hypertrichosis

Stephen Bibrowski, also known as Lionel the Lion-Faced Man.

To put it simply, hypertrichosis, known informally as the werewolf syndrome, is an abnormal amount of hair growth on the body. Some individuals experience localized hypertrichosis, meaning that only parts of their body experience this intense growth of hair. Others experience generalized hypertrichosis, where their whole body is covered in a thick, bushy amount of hair.

The only real sign or symptom of hypertrichosis is excessive hair growth. It often starts at the birth, but some cases have been known to pop up later in an individual’s life. Since this is the only negative effect, hair removal remains one of the top treatments. There is no cure for hypertrichosis.

Historically, individuals with hypertrichosis often received work as circus performers. Fedor Jeftichew was known as Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Man.” Stephan Bibrowski was Lionel the Lion-Faced Man.” Jesus Chuy Aceves received work as the Wolfman. Annie Jones worked as the bearded woman, and the list goes on and on.

In 2011, Supatra Sasuphan, an 11-year-old girl from Thailand, was named the world’s hairiest girl by the Guinness Book of World Records. Hypertrichosis has been with her since birth, and not even our werewolf masks can recreate this kind of intense hair growth.

Hypertrichosis

Supatra Sasuphan.