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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Banksy at Occupy London: See the Street Artist's Monopoly Sculpture Before It Got Vandalized

Banksy Occupy London
Colin Young-Wolff
​Angelenos aren't strangers to the works of British street artist Banksy. His participation in MOCA's street art show was a (predictably secret) given, and the man plastered L.A. during the run-up to the Oscars, inspiring residents of Westwood Village to petition for his works to remain. And don't get us started on the career of Mr. Brainwash, Bansky's special present to our fair city. LA Weekly photographer Colin Young-Wolff just got back from a tour of Europe, and he sent over a photo from Occupy London that is reputed to be a Banksy sculpture and has since been tagged over.
A blogger at ArtLyst explains: "The downside of leaving this amazing work of art in the middle of the grounds of St Paul's unprotected is that other protesters have drawn graffiti all over the sculpture to highlight their own particular brand of causes. Banksy has never been concerned with creating lasting or permanent works of art."
True that. The piece was made to be vandalized. But at least Colin got a great pic before it happened.

Colin Young-Wolff

20 Unusual Uses for Salt

Because salt is for more than just high blood pressure.
Diamonds might be prettier and more durable, but there’s another translucent rock that’s even more valuable to us. We may not devote songs to salt or parade around with big hunks of it on our fingers, but we need it to survive, it makes food a hell of a lot tastier and it’s got hundreds – if not thousands – of practical uses. Here are 20 unusual and surprising household, beauty and health uses for salt, from cleaning the chimney to brightening your skin.

Drip-proof candles
Don’t you hate it when candles drip down as they burn, making a mess that’s practically impossible to clean? Prevent this from happening by soaking new candles in a strong salt solution for 2-3 hours.
Clean smelly food spills
A little cinnamon in a pinch of salt will make dripped-on messes in the oven easier to clean, and prevent them from stinking up the house. Just sprinkle the mixture onto the drip soon after it occurs, while the oven is still hot. Once it has cooled, brush away the salt and the mess will come with it.
Test egg freshness
Got a questionable egg? Add two teaspoons of salt to a cup of water, and drop in the egg. If it’s fresh, it will float; if it’s past its prime it will sink right to the bottom.
Sanitize sponges
Used sponges harbor a shudder-inducing variety of bacteria. To restore them and kill some of those germs, suds them up, rinse them thoroughly and then soak them in cold, heavily salted water for an hour or two.
Kill poison ivy
Nobody likes poison ivy, the irritating vine that has ruined many an otherwise pleasant outdoor experience. Three pounds of salt mixed with a gallon of soapy water, applied to the leaves and stems of poison ivy with a sprayer, will kill this tenacious pest of a plant.

Extend broom life
Natural fiber brooms can last a lot longer if you use this easy trick: soak them in hot, salty water before their first use.
Soothe a bee sting
Remove the stinger, wet the sting and immediately shake on a paste of salt and water. Let it dry, and it will reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Remove soot from chimney
A handful of salt thrown onto the flames in your fireplace will not only produce pretty, vivid yellow flames, it will help loosen soot in the chimney, preventing chimney fires and improving air flow.
Relief for canker sores
A saltwater gargle will take the bite out of a toothache and ease the pain of canker sores and sore throats. Dissolve two teaspoons of salt in 1/4 cup of warm water and swish it around in your mouth for at least 20 seconds, gargling if you have a sore throat. It will likely burn at first, but it works.
Keep clothes from freezing on the line
Add a little salt to the rinse water when washing a load of laundry to keep the clothes from freezing stiff on the clothesline. Soaking the clothesline in salt water will also prevent clothes from sticking to it in cold weather.

Restore artificial flowers
Who has time to clean every individual petal of a bouquet of silk or nylon flowers? There’s an easier way. Just toss the flowers in a gallon-sized zip-lock bag along with about a cup of salt. Shake the bag well, and the salt will whisk away the dust and debris.
Keep milk fresh
Sour milk is the worst, especially if you don’t realize it’s gone bad until you’ve already poured it into your cake batter or coffee mug. Keep it fresh longer by adding a pinch of salt to the carton, pinching the spout closed and gently shaking to mix.
Make coffee less bitter
Over-brewed coffee that has taken on a bitter taste can be much improved with a tiny pinch of salt, which will also enhance the flavor.
Remove blood, wine and perspiration stains
Blot up spilled wine and then pour salt on top to absorb what’s left, pulling as much of it out of the fabric as possible. Blood-stained linens can be restored in cold saltwater followed by a wash in hot, soapy water. To remove perspiration stains from clothing, dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of hot water and sponge it on.
Prevent sliced fruit from turning brown
Dip sliced apples, pears and other fruits susceptible to browning in lightly salted water to preserve their fresh look. If your apple slices have withered, salt water will also perk them up.

Keep windows frost-free
To keep frost from accumulating on the windows in your home and your vehicle, dip a sponge in salty water and run it over the inside and outside of the glass, then rub dry with a soft cloth.
Deodorize shoes
Suck the stink-worsening moisture out of canvas shoes by sprinkling a little salt inside them and then wiping it out. Don’t use this trick on leather or synthetic shoes, as it could dry them out too much and cause them to deteriorate.
Reduce eye puffiness
So you caught a late-night airing of The Notebook on cable and went through a box of tissues – nobody needs to know. Obliterate the evidence by mixing a pinch of salt in a little hot water and applying it to puffy, swollen areas around your eyes with a cotton pad. The salt will help draw out the moisture and tighten the skin.
Give your skin a glow
Massage a mixture of salt and olive oil into your skin in circular motions, leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off. The massage increases circulation to your skin, the olive oil moisturizes and the salt buffs away dead skin cells.
Brighten yellowed linens
Dingy whites can be brought back to their crisp, white best without the use of bleach. Boil cotton or linen items in a big pot of water with a few tablespoons of salt plus a few tablespoons of baking soda.

5 Free iPhone Apps You Need for Family Travel


Photo: Britt Reints
With iPad apps to keep kids entertained and GPS systems to keep Mom and Dad from getting lost, today's family vacation has gone high-tech. We're not complaining. In fact, we're recommending a few more ways to let technology improve your next trip. The good news is all of these iPhone apps are free!

1. Sit or Squat

sit or squat travel iphone app
A long day of sightseeing is guaranteed to be interrupted at least once by a bathroom break. Sit or Squat helps you find the nearest public restroom, including ones that don't require a purchase to use them. Make your own contribution to the community by rating the bathrooms your family frequents.

2. TripIt

The free TripIt app syncs with your free TripIt account, where you can keep track of all of your travel plans and reservations. Long gone are the days of digging through your purse for print outs and confirmation numbers; the TripIt app keeps everything a finger click away. You can also check in to your flight, call your hotel, and get directions to the restaurant where you've made reservations -- all without leaving the app.

3. HopStop

hopstop app
Whether you're in your favorite American city or heading to Europe for the first time, chances are you'll find the directions you need to get around town in HopStop. This free app makes navigating public transit a breeze and can also provide directions by taxi or by foot. Do not leave home without it.

4. SnapShot Postcard

snapshot app
Choose a picture from your phone's photo album, type a message, and choose a mailing address from your contact list. BAM! Personalized postcards from your family vacation are printed and mailed for you by SnapShot Postcard. Each card costs as little as $0.80 per piece to print and mail (or as much as $1.99, depending on how many credits you buy at once.) Before you hit the road, set up a SnapShot account and purchase your credits so you're ready to send you favorite memories back home.

5. RoadAhead

road ahead app
Planning an epic family road trip? Plan to download RoadAhead before you go and you'll be able to see into the future. OK, not the future, but down the road and off the exit ramp. This app helps you plan where to pullover for gas and food, showing you which merchants are available at each exit, how far off the exit they're located, and which gas stations have the best price.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

First GTA 5 Trailer Is Here And It is Amazing

Guess what the date is? 11-02-11. What’s the significance of that date? Apart from Uncharted 3 being released in the EU? That’s right! Gran Theft Auto V. The king of all videogames is here. Rockstar revealed the game on their official website last week and teased the trailer, and the trailer is finally here.

There is no release date announced for the game yet, but oh boy, it looks fantastic. Rockstar truly knows how to captivate all the gamers out there.

Are you ready? You better be because it is amazing. Check out the fantastic trailer below.

Power Your Macbook, iPad and iPhone with One Charger


The gang at Twelve South, the company responsible for iPhone cases like the BookBook and stands for the iPad and MacBook Pro, has just unveiled their newest creation, an ingenious iPad/iPhone charger that seamlessly connects to a standard MacBook Air or MacBook Pro AC adapter.
Twelve South sent us a sample unit, dubbed the PlugBug and we’re in love.

It’s a simple idea with a winning premise of helping frequent travelers or those cramped for outlet space eliminate the need to carry a MacBook charger and a separate charger for a phone or iPad.

Here’s how it works: Attach the PlugBug to the normal duck cover on any MagSafe power brick (which includes the MacBook, MacBook Pro and Macbook Air). The PlugBug contains a two prong outlet and its own powered 10w USB port. What this means is that you can charge your iPhone or iPad without having to plug it into your laptop, all while also charging your laptop battery.

Why is this better than just using the USB port on your Mac to charge your device? Well, the reason is twofold:

First: That takes up an extra USB port. If you are using a MacBook Air, that might mean the device has to vie for space with other components.

Second: It can take a lot more time to charge an iPad via your MacBook or MacBook Pro than through a wall connection. In fact, if your USB port isn’t powered, charging the iPad can take a ton of time.

Third: For business travelers, this eliminates the need to pack the external phone or iPad charger alongside the laptop charger.

At $34.95, this is a slick and relatively cheap device. It also doubles as a standard iPad charger — and considering Apple sells those for $29.99 (granted, the Apple model also includes a 6′ extension cord), we think this is a good deal.

What I really like about this device is that it is styled to match the look and feel of the regular Apple adapter. Aside from its red cover, you would think this was a regular Apple dongle. It fits on the power port without adding much bulk, and the extra functionality of a powered USB port is great.

16-foot Python Swallows Entire Adult Deer

python swallows deer whole

Eyes Clearly Not Bigger Than Stomach

A huge 16-foot Burmese python slithering through the Florida Everglades proved that her eyes weren't actually bigger than her stomach, by swallowing an intact 76-pound deer. The Everglades National Park wildlife biologists indicate that the python had a girth of 44.1 inches after devouring the adult female deer!

Screen shot 2011-11-01 at 7.51.08 PMAt 15.65 feet, the python isn't the largest on record, according to CNN, but the size of her prey both impresses and concerns state and federal wildlife scientists and land managers trying to control the non-native species.

As a large exotic animal that is not naturally from that area, experts assert that the python has the potential to wreak havoc on the natural Florida wildlife. Discovered by contractors who were spraying exotic vegetation on an island about 20 miles from Everglades National Park, the snake was dispatched with a single shotgun blast to the head, which is apparently protocol for non-native, predatory species.

Another Possible Example of Exotic Pets & Irresponsible Owners?
Officials indicate that they do see pythons on a regular basis and that they've dispatched hundreds of them in the past few years. While some of the snakes may have escaped enclosures after Hurricane Andrew's widespread destruction in 1992, experts assert a more likely cause for the problem is....
that some of these pythons were actually pets who grew bigger than the owner "planned" and they were released into the wild, which according to wildlife officials is the worst thing you can do.
Photo Source: South Florida Water Management District

19 Hilarious Toddlers & Tiaras Screenshots

by: Drew V

Toddlers & Tiaras, better known as ‘the atrocious reality show on legal child abuse’, has become wildly popular. Whether it’s because you’re a shallow psycho who pimps out her own children like prostitutes, or a rubbernecking bystander who can’t help watching the train wreck, Toddlers & Tiaras has something for everyone. The one thing that reality TV has found to be successful is misery, and Toddlers & TIaras is full of that.

First gaining popularity over the controversy of an 8 year old girl crying on camera, begging not to undergo a painful eyebrow waxing procedure, this show is full of moments that will make you cringe. Besides the borderline child abuse, there are plenty of WTF one-liners (spoken by children and parents alike) and ridiculous imagery. Here are some of the funniest screenshots from this terrible show.

Don’t Mess With Bollywood – The Best Fight Scene Of All Time [Video]


What do you get when you shove Jean Claude Van Damme, Keanu Reeves, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Chuck Norris into a blender with with a dozen raw eggs and a fifth of jack… You get Singham – The best friggin action movie of all time!  Screw The Expendables, that ain’t got anything on Singham.

Now all you gotta do is take a shot of that ass kicking drink you just mixed and get ready to get your mind blown!  Bollywood brings you Singham – a story of… well, I don’t know the language they are speaking.  So, I have no clue what the movie is about.

If that clip made you crap your pants in excitement, be sure to watch the whole film here.
*If you do watch the full thing, be sure to check out 13:40 for a wicked tiger slap and 1:47:50 for a rocking duet with our hero and his lady.

Your Band Sucks


Must be the same kid:

Dubstep Is Now Officially Soundtracking a Southern Comfort TV Commercial


You're a wild type. A rebel. The kind of person who likes life a little spicier. The kind of person who wants a flash of Tabasco™ lighting up your shot of Southern Comfort™. Like a fling between liquor and pepper sauce, you're a radical -- you probably even listen to that dubstep music.


Er, sorry, fans of bowel-shuddering wobble, but your favorite sound has just become a hipness signifier for the desperately uncool. Showing up in songs by Britney Spears and Maroon 5 probably told us dubstep was on its way here (along with brostep's ubiquity and Skrillex on the cover of SPIN, among many other signposts). But at least Skrillex looks a little scary, and -- real talk -- "Hold It Against Me" isn't so bad. Much worse, at least if you're dismayed by the distance dubstep has come from its gritty south London roots, is the gutbomb of subterranean rumble now bringing a Southern Comfort TV spot to its climax. Witness:

The track is an instrumental version of Crush Effect's "Burn it Down," featuring Vokab Company (here's the original), but does it really matter? Capitalist America found one of the darkest, most uncompromising movements in recent music, got it drunk on sweetened booze and watery hot sauce in a New Orleans bar, and is now fucking it senselessly for as much cool juice as possible. The worst part is that it's brilliant -- SoCo was a preferred slurp of the rubgy-shirt-and-golf-visor set where we went to school, and aren't those same dudes right now torturing their dorm-mates with Rusko?

Dubstep purists, we know you are dismayed, but deal with it. The best underground movements are only hot stars being inevitably pulled into the black hole of commercial usefulness at the center of the musical galaxy. But it probably didn't help that Burial titled one of his tracks "Southern Comfort."

Glowing brain tumour trial begins

Glowing tumour  
The tumour glows under UV light

The idea of making brain cancers glow to help surgeons operate is being tested in the UK.
Patients will be given a drug, 5-amino-levulinic acid (5-ALA), which causes a build-up of fluorescent chemicals in the tumour.

The theory is that the pink glow will clearly mark the edges of the tumour, making it easier to ensure all of it is removed.

More than 60 patients with glioblastoma will take part in the trial.

They have cancerous glial cells, which normally hold the brain's nerves cells in place. On average patients survive 15 months after being diagnosed.

No room for error
In some cancers, such as those of the colon, some of the surrounding tissue can be removed as well as the tumour. Removing a brain tumour needs to be more precise.

Treating brain tumours is a real challenge facing clinicians and we urgently need new treatments”

Kate Law Cancer Research UK
Dr Colin Watts, who is leading the trial at the University of Cambridge, told the BBC that surgeons "don't want to take too much functional tissue away".

The trial will then test whether applying drugs directly to the tumour improves survival rates.

After the tumour has been removed under UV light, a thin drug-soaked wafer will be placed in the space left behind. This should slowly release chemotherapy drugs over four to six weeks to kill any remaining cancerous cells.

This could overcome one of the challenges with chemotherapy for brain tumours.

Dr Watts said: "One of the problems with chemotherapy is we don't actually know the extent a drug penetrates a tumour because of the blood brain barrier."

By applying the drug directly to the tumour it should be at a higher dose.

Charles Meacock, 56, from Norfolk, who has already taken part in the trial, said: "Hopefully it will benefit me, but will also help people in my situation in the future.

"It's four weeks since my surgery and my recovery seems to be going as it should. I just have to wait and see now."

The study has been funded by the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust and Cancer Research UK.

The founder of the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust, Neil Dickson, said he was proud to be funding the trial.

"Brain tumour research receives a fraction of the funding of that of higher profile cancers and it is our priority to redress the balance," he added.

Kate Law, Cancer Research UK's director of clinical research, said: "Treating brain tumours is a real challenge facing clinicians and we urgently need new treatments to help more people diagnosed with the disease."

Trials involving more patients will take place if this one is successful.

The Archipod Comes To America. But Will It Catch On?

Lloyd Alter
Green Architecture

archipod/Promo image
I have had an ongoing debate with Alex Johnson of Shedworking, a british website devoted to the subject of working from garden sheds, about whether shedworking would actually catch on in North America. Our own Sami Grover does it in North Carolina, but he is a British expat so probably doesn't count; I thought that it wouldn't fly in North America. My reasons, stated in an earlier post:

  • The climate is more extreme in much of America;
  • People have greater expectations of the temperature and humidity of their workplace being stable and within a couple of degrees of ideal;
  • People have bigger houses, often with basements, so that they can find space within the home to have an office;
  • People are more security conscious and would not leave expensive hardware in a backyard shed;
  • People are obsessed with the price per square foot of everything and find them too expensive.
  • Where's the fridge?

archipod/Promo image
Now we are about to find out if it will work in North America, as the Archipod lands on these shores. (Bonnie saw it in London here) This one is more of a land yacht than a shed, made from curved plywood, mineral fiber and foil insulation, and western red cedar shingles. It has air conditioning and heating and is not meant to be the cheapest shed on the block:
Our 'Pod' has been specifically designed to meet a high standard rather than a low budget. This includes it's unusual and contemporary look, its ergonomic interior placing the user at the centre of the curved desk, and the quality of the fixtures and fittings. There are cheaper garden offices on the market, but our intention is to provide a more interesting and better quality alternative.
And indeed they are not cheap; Hammacher Schlemmer sells the larger 12' diameter unit for $ 40,000. That is $ 666 per square foot.
According to the Business Desk, managing director Darren Buttle says
It’s going extremely well in New York. It’s such an important city for us when you consider the size and scale of the business community... Orders are already coming through, and we’re confident we can build on our success to date in the US and continue our upwards trajectory.

archipod/Promo image
The Archipod addresses quite a few of my concerns about sheds in America; it is well insulated and secure. It will be interesting to see if it catches on. Check it out at Archipod.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The 7 Creepiest Places on Earth (Part 3)

Even the best Hollywood set dressers in the biggest budget horror movie can't outdo real life. As part of our continuing effort to find real-world locations that you wouldn't want to spend a night in regardless of the number of shotguns and Bibles you were allowed to bring, here are some of the creepiest places on Earth. In case you missed them, here are Part 1 and Part 2.

#7. The Abandoned Takakonuma Greenland Park, Japan

Takakonuma Greenland Park in Japan today stands abandoned not only by people, but also by joy, hope and the foolish belief that life ends in anything but lightless hollow death.
The amusement park first opened in Hobara in 1973 but abruptly closed only two years later. Some say it was because of poor ticket sales, but local lore insists the park was forced to shut down after its rides were responsible for a number of accidental deaths.
We don't know for certain because there's virtually no official information available on Takakonuma, a fact which, when paired with the images below, arouses no suspicion of any kind.
We're sure the final wail of a fading life never echoed against this twisted metal skeleton.
What we know for certain is that the park opened again in 1986 and remained operational for 13 years, at which point it closed down for good. Nowadays the derelict attractions stand there alone in the middle of nowhere, gathering rust and being slowly consumed by the encroaching forest.
Jens of Japan
The trees here are nourished by souls.
By the way, we mean that "middle of nowhere" part literally, as Takakonuma can no longer be found on any official maps. It just isn't there.
In addition to willing itself off of charted Japanese territory, Takakonuma seems to occasionally will itself out of existence entirely with a thick fog that periodically rolls in and completely swallows up the park, providing excellent cover for anyone with a monster mask to Scooby-Doo the living shit out of hapless wanderers. This is provided they can stomach the radiation, seeing as Takakonuma is located just a few dozen miles north from Fukushima, whose nuclear power plant had a spectacular meltdown earlier this year in the wake of the tsunami.

Really, it would be insulting if you came here and weren't eviscerated by ghosts.

#6. The Ghost City of Fengdu, China

The Bridge to Hell is shorter than we expected.
So you're taking a boat ride along the Yangtze River in China, for some reason, and you come across this, sticking out of the water:
Well, that's clearly going to come alive at Ragnarok and fight the gods.
You've stumbled across Fengdu. It's a famous Chinese ghost town (allegedly the only ghost town in the entire country) with a creepy, nearly 2,000-year-old history. So, you climb the hill and come across a series of ancient temples. Oh, look, it's some old statues ...
That's not how you use a saw. That's not how you use a saw!
You see, Fengdu is believed to be a link between this life and the afterlife, and where demons live. This is real-world Chinese hell. So, you've got your souls being tortured:
No one ever says the ancient Chinese had no imagination.
And your massive stone demons:
Rafael Gomez
"OK, OK, I look ridiculous. I'll go change."
Fengdu is also full of tourist attractions like Nothing-To-Be-Done Bridge, Ghost Torturing Pass and Tianzi Palace. Another attraction is the Last Glance at Home Tower, where spirits consigned to hell could take one last look at their families.
If none of that seems quite haunted enough for you, the locals will let you know that the area used to be a Taoist graveyard ... but most of the site got sunken under water due to the building of the Three Gorges Dam. So the hill with its sacred temples and nests of demons is now an island, surrounded by water and presumably the drowning cries of the outraged dead.
Who have kind of a man-boob problem.

#5. Matsuo Ghost Mine

This is exactly the type of place where we'd go looking for our supposedly dead wife.
Matsuo Kouzan in northern Japan used to be the biggest sulfur mine in the Far East, but it closed in 1972. Today, the only things that remain of it are the abandoned apartment complexes that were used by the mine's workers, cut off from the rest of the world high in the mountains. Those abandoned buildings, however, are not what make the Matsuo mine truly creepy -- it's the fact that you can't even see them through the ghostly mist that envelops the place like an ethereal death shroud.
Legends say that if you wander into the mist, you'll stub your toe something wicked.
At one time 15,000 people lived here. Now it's deserted. It seems that despite having been closed down, the Matsuo mine is still pretty operational, though instead of sulfur it now produces a tingling feeling of dread clawing out from deep within your immortal soul.
They package that up and release it on people who accidentally tune in to The Big Bang Theory.
It has become famous among urban explorers for the ebb and flow of the mist, which is thick enough to completely conceal the entire makeshift town where the mine's workforce once lived. We're talking about a giant complex of 11 four-story buildings just totally disappearing from sight, which is pretty disconcerting when David Copperfield isn't involved.
And also ripe for the filming of at least one movie where Jean-Claude Van Damme is hunted for sport.
Some people have spent up to an hour simply trying to locate the town while wandering through the mist, and towns are generally things that stand out in the middle of an empty goddamn mountaintop. Once you finally find the place, though, it's just a typical abandoned town in a secluded region surrounded by inexplicable terror mist.
"Ventured into village, was ripped apart by otherworldly creatures. Pretty standard small town experience."
The fact that the Matsuo mineworker town used to have an acid river nearby just ratchets up the horror level, considering that means the only other available liquid for bathing and drinking would've been the blood of the fallen. And blood won't eat through your clothes, so ...

#4. The Bird Suicide Grounds of Jatinga

Don't do it! Arrested Development is coming back!
In Assam in northeastern India sits the quiet little village of Jatinga, population 2,500. At first glance, it might not seem like much, but the village has become a real hit with visitors who fly in to Jatinga all the time during the monsoon season. Many of them just drop in and never leave, completely falling for the place. What we're getting at here is that birds smash themselves to death in the streets of Jatinga.
This is an extraordinarily tactless sign.
For reasons that are still not fully understood (though almost certainly involve the Thuggee cult and the theft of a sacred stone), around September and October a whole bunch of birds just come plunging down from the sky to their deaths.
The most bizarre part of it all, however, is how precise the whole thing is. The "suicides" always occur between 7 and 10 p.m. and only around a specific mile-long, 200-yard-wide strip of land. The process has gone on like clockwork for roughly the past 100 years.
"You wanted full custody of the eggs, Martha? YOU GOT IT!"
So far, 44 species of migratory birds have been identified as part of the phenomenon, which we reiterate is something scientists still can't fully explain. Some have blamed it on the village's lights, claiming that they confuse the birds and cause them to crash (which would make sense if Jatinga were the only place in the world that had lights, but research indicates this is not actually the case). Other, more sense-making theories suggest the presence of weird magnetic fields and very specific weather conditions, but there's still nothing that the science community fully agrees on.
They do all agree that picking up the birds and using them as feathery missiles is super fun.
While that debate continues, the government of Assam is planning to cash in on the suicides by setting up viewing platforms where tourists can enjoy watching a bunch of wild animals brutally killing themselves for no conceivable reason.

#3. Prague's Old Jewish Cemetery

We can hardly see the creepy for all the tombstones.
In Prague, there is a cemetery where the gravestones are crammed against each other in a standing-room-only mass of the dead:
Brain eating? Take a ticket and queue.
What's going on there? Well, it's normally considered an instant haunting when you build on top of an old cemetery. But in Prague, they decided to build over a 15th century cemetery with more cemeteries. Prague's Old Jewish Cemetery (this is its actual name) now features 11 cemeteries stacked on top of each other.
As of this day, there are about 12,000 visible headstones around the Old Jewish Cemetery, with an estimated 100,000 bodies buried beneath the ground in up to 12 layers of dead folks like some weird necrotic bean dip.
We hope those bars hold.
The cemetery was in use from around 1439 to 1787, in a time when Jewish people from Prague were not allowed to bury their dead outside the Jewish Quarter of Josefov. The Hebrew faith also forbids the moving of headstones, so given just this one place to bury all of their dead, the graves kept piling up until the whole area went from "sacred place of solemn remembrance" to "corpse minefield."
Catherine Murray
"Seriously, the ground here is like a pinata full of dead people."
Naturally, the bizarre eeriness of the Old Jewish Cemetery has lent itself to a number of stories over the centuries. For example, one of the cemetery's most famous permanent residents is Judah Loew ben Bezalel, a 16th century rabbi who, according to legend, created the magical Golem of Prague, a monster made from clay to destroy the enemies of the Jews.
Judging by the photo, the Golem did not succeed.
The cemetery was also believed to be the secret meeting place of the Elders of Zion, a group of powerful people plotting to take over the world and give rise to the New World Order (although their efforts up to this point seem to have been marginal at best, so maybe they should've met at Showbiz Pizza instead).

#2. Staten Island's Tugboat Graveyard

You can cut the tetanus in the air with a knife.
North of Rossville, Staten Island lurks the Tugboat Graveyard, where the busted, decayed shells of old harbor vessels are kept. From tugboats to barges to ferries, most of the remains there date back to the early 20th century, when the New York harbor was still bustling with life. Now they've all been forgotten and left to rot away in the shallow waters of Arthur Kill, presumably because Scary Boat Bay was already full.
Don't feel sad. When you're not looking they go on adventures and learn the value of friendship.
In 1990, there might have been as many as 200 boats abandoned in the Tugboat Graveyard, but over the years the number dwindled, the ships long ago stripped of any valuable parts by looters, vandals and tentacle phantasms.
Or carried off to a secret treasure cave by a petulant teenage mermaid.
Looking at the pictures, you can almost hear them, creaking and groaning in the lazy currents with the faint skittering of rats and lurking nautical serial killers. Nobody died on these boats, as far as we know, but you can't tell us at least one of these vessels doesn't have a decaying skeleton standing at the wheel.
Pulling the weight of the world behind it.

#1. Actun Tunichil Muknal

Actun Tunichil Muknal ("Cave of the Stone Sepulcher") is an important Mayan archeological site in Belize. It was only discovered in 1989, but in the short time since it has already proven itself invaluable as a window into the ancient Mayan culture. And of course by that, we mean this:
Oh, so the Mayans had bones, too. Neat.
That is, one chamber in the cave is believed to have been used for human sacrifices, a theory suggested by the characteristic markings on some of the pottery found inside it. And by "pottery" we of course mean "murdered skeletons."
If we know our CSI, natural deaths don't cause skull holes.
They've found several skeletons in the cave, and most of them are, uh, small. That is, most of the sacrificed were children.
They were probably sacrifices to Chaac, the Mayan god of rain, during a particularly severe drought. But don't worry -- these kids didn't have their hearts cut out while still alive or anything. No, evidence shows that they were all killed by having their skulls crushed, which is way more genial and to the point. They were dealing with children, after all.
Over hundreds of years, the bones became calcified and fused with the cave floor, which is why modern excavators have just left them there without a proper burial (though seriously guys, maybe like throw a tarp over them or something?). The most famous skeleton in the cave is that of a teenage girl, nicknamed the Crystal Maiden because her bones have partially crystallized and now sparkle in the light.
Joshua Berman
Oh, well that's not scary at all then.
Only a few selected guides have received permission from the Belize Department of Archeology to take tourists into the chamber. And you will need a guide, because to get there you have to trek through a dense jungle, swim through a cavern lake, dodge big-ass cave spiders and navigate a labyrinthine ancient bludgeoning cave.
James Snyder /
After all this, that cave better have leprechaun gold in it or something.
Once you make it inside, though, you have more or less unrestricted access to the cave's ancient remains. You're free to touch them, take pictures with them, even decorate them with novelty top hats and pretend that they're talking in a British accent. Anything you feel is necessary to get your money's worth of entertainment out of the bones of ritualistic murder victims.
Ron Brinkmann
Go wild. After all, you never knew him.