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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.

Chinese Shenzhou craft launches on key space mission

BBC News
The Shenzhou 8 spacecraft is lifted into orbit by a Long March 2F rocket
China has taken the next step in its quest to become a major space power with the launch of the unmanned Shenzhou 8 vehicle.

The spacecraft rode a Long March 2F rocket into orbit where it will attempt to rendezvous and dock with the Tiangong-1 lab, launched in September.

It would be the first time China has joined two space vehicles together.

The capability is required if the country is to carry through its plan to build a space station by about 2020.

The Long March carrier rocket lifted away from the Jiuquan spaceport in the Gobi Desert at 05:58, Tuesday (21:58 GMT Monday). TV cameras relayed the ascent to orbit.

Artist's impression of docking  
It will be a couple of days before Shenzhou 8 is in a position to attempt the docking
Shenzhou separated from the rocket's upper-stage about nine minutes into the flight. Confirmation that its solar panels had been deployed was received a short while after.

It will be a couple of days before Shenzhou is in a position to attempt the docking, which will occur some 340km above the Earth.

The vehicles will be using radar and optical sensors to compute their proximity to each other and guide their final approach and contact.

The pair will then spend 12 days circling the globe together before moving apart and attempting a re-docking. Finally, Shenzhou 8 will detach and its return capsule will head back to Earth.
This will allow experiments carried into orbit to be recovered for analysis. The German space agency has supplied an experimental box containing fish, plants, worms, bacteria and even human cancer cells for a series of biological studies.

Tiangong graphic
  • Tiangong-1 was launched in September on a Long March 2F rocket
  • The unmanned laboratory unit was put in a 350km-high orbit
  • Shenzhou 8 will will try to rendezvous and dock with Tiangong-1
  • The project will test key technologies such as life-support systems
  • China aims to start building a 60-tonne space station by about 2020
Assuming the venture goes well, two manned missions (Shenzhou 9 and 10) are likely to try to make similar dockings in 2012.
Shenzhou 8 carries experiments developed with the German space agency
Chinese astronauts - yuhangyuans - are expected to live aboard the conjoined vehicles for up to two weeks. There is speculation in the Chinese media that one of these missions could also include the country's first female yuhangyuan.

The 10.5m-long Tiangong-1 module was launched on 29 September and has been operating well, according to Chinese officials.

Its orbit has been lowered slightly and the vehicle turned 180 degrees in preparation for its upcoming union with Shenzhou 8.

Beijing sees the Tiangong and Shenzhou dockings as the next phase in its step-by-step approach to acquiring the skills of human spaceflight operations.

It is a learning curve China hopes will eventually lead to the construction of a space station, starting at the end of the decade.

At about 60 tonnes in mass, this future station would be considerably smaller than the 400-tonne international platform operated by the US, Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan, but its mere presence in the sky would nonetheless represent a remarkable achievement.

Tiangong-1 (AP)  
Tiangong-1 was launched in September
Concept drawings describe a core module weighing some 20-22 tonnes, flanked by two slightly smaller laboratory vessels.

Officials say it would be supplied by freighters in exactly the same way that robotic cargo ships keep the International Space Station (ISS) today stocked with fuel, food, water, air, and spare parts.

China is investing billions of dollars in its space programme. It has a strong space science effort under way, with two orbiting satellites having already been launched to the Moon and a third mission expected to put a rover on the lunar surface.

Next week should see its first Mars orbiter - Yinghuo-1 - begin its journey to the Red Planet.

The Asian country is also deploying its own satellite-navigation system known as BeiDou-Compass.
Bigger rockets are coming, too. The Long March 5 will be capable of putting more than 20 tonnes in a low-Earth orbit. This lifting muscle, again, will be necessary for the construction of a space station.

Let Me GOOGLE That For You - Great Costumes

Phish's Trey Anastasio Talks About His First Musical

'Hands on a Hardbody' to debut in California next year

By Benjy Eisen
Trey Anastasio (composer) and Amanda Green (composer/lyricist) work on La Jolla Playhouse’s world premiere production of HANDS ON A HARDBODY, book by Doug Wright, directed by Neil Pepe and choreographed by Benjamin Millepied
Trey Anastasio (composer) and Amanda Green (composer/lyricist) work on La Jolla Playhouse’s world premiere production of HANDS ON A HARDBODY, book by Doug Wright, directed by Neil Pepe and choreographed by Benjamin Millepied
Photo Credit: Aiden Schultz-Meyer
A prolific songwriter, Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio quietly spent part of the past two years working on a score for a new musical – an adaptation of the documentary Hands on a Hardbody – which will debut this spring in La Jolla, California. With a book written by Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Wright and dance numbers choreographed by Benjamin Millepied (Black Swan), Anastasio certainly isn't the only marquee name involved with the project. But his involvement will, no doubt, be of interest to a rabid audience of Phish-heads who may not necessarily be known as avid theater-goers.

Playwright Wright tells Rolling Stone that he was "surprised" when Anastasio expressed interest in getting involved, but was nonetheless "stunned" when the guitarist quoted musical riffs from Gypsy at their very first meeting.

"A lot of rock & roll artists have tried their hand at writing for the musical stage and failed," says Wright. "It's a very tricky medium. Songs play a very specific role in the theater; they have to reveal character, forward the show's narrative, and amplify its key themes. Music can't exist onstage merely for its own sake. But Trey intuitively understands this; he's not just a musician, but a born storyteller. He knows how to employ music to achieve dramatic ends."

For his part, Anastasio has always put himself in new situations, from assembling acid-jazz ensembles (Surrender to the Air) to composing symphonic scores and performing with orchestras including the New York Philharmonic. He once toured as a member of Dave Matthews and Friends, and his own solo band continues to explore the possibilities of big band jazz rock.

With Phish, Anastasio has always incorporated diverse elements of barbershop, bluegrass, jazz fusion, funk, folk...and, yes, even Broadway. In this exclusive interview, he tells Rolling Stone why working with composer Amanda Green on the score for Hands on a Hardbody has still been an entirely different experience.

What made you decide to want to do this project?
I've always loved musical theater. It's a bit of a family tradition. My grandmother was a single mother of two, living in New York City in the Forties and Fifties, and she took my mother to see many Broadway plays. They saw Mary Martin, John Raitt, Gypsy, South Pacific, Oklahoma, everything. When I was growing up in New Jersey, my mom would regularly take my sister and I into the city to see shows. I have many fond memories of standing in the half-price ticket line in Times Square and going to matinees. At home, there were always soundtrack albums playing. Lots of Stephen Sondheim, West Side Story, Hair and other shows.

Even before moving to the city from Vermont permanently seven years ago, my wife Sue and I made a point to continue the tradition. We take our daughters and my nephew to Broadway shows regularly. It makes me so happy that they love the theater today.

I was introduced to Amanda Green a few years ago by a mutual friend who thought that we would enjoy writing together, and he was absolutely right. Everything clicked from the very first day. We wrote three or four songs over the course of a month or two, at which point Amanda explained to me that she and her friend Doug Wright had been working on a musical – Hands on a Hardbody. Apparently, they were looking for a third collaborator and had been exploring various options for the music. She invited me to join them on the creative team. I was honored and thrilled. They are both phenomenally talented artists and I was particularly attracted to the idea of a play about a group of hardworking people from an economically depressed region, struggling together over many days without sleep, to win a truck. Considering the problems in our country today,  it seemed like a relevant and very American story.

What was the most unexpected challenge of writing your first real score?
It's been a steep learning curve. I've learned that in the theater the story is everything. Every lyric, every line and every musical gesture has to propel the journey of a given character or the overall plot. We've had workshops that take place over two or three week periods. In the workshops, actors run thru each number with minimal props and blocking. Sometimes a song doesn't land the way we expected it to. The solution is often not what I would have anticipated.

In one case, there was a song that Amanda and I had written that we were particularly excited about. When the actor sang it in the workshop, it didn't have the same emotional impact as it did on the demo. Amanda, Doug and I huddled up in the hallway to talk about it. I suggested re-writing the song, but Doug disagreed. He explained that in this case, he didn't think that the issue was the song. He felt that the character needed a few more lines of dialogue to set the song up, so that the audience understood the intent behind the song before they heard it. He changed the actor's lines, we ran it again and it was stunning. This was a complete revelation to me. In the past, I've habitually led with the music. I've learned so much from this experience.

Did writing theatrically minded music throughout your career – including Gamehenge (a sort of rock opera that Phish has performed) – prepare you to write for the stage, or was it a whole different experience?
I've certainly dreamed of doing this for my whole life, but I would have to say that it was a whole different experience. The actors are so creative and talented and fun to be around. Everyday, during the workshops, we would go downtown to a little room near Union Square, six days a week, from 10:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m., and listen to twelve phenomenal singers pouring their hearts and souls into our songs in glorious harmony – two feet in front of our heads. It's indescribable.

Did you learn anything new about songwriting that you expect you’ll take with you?
The experience will certainly affect future songwriting. These songs are, by their very nature, far more direct emotionally than many songs that I've written or co-written in the past. Writing for singers other than myself, or another band member, has been incredibly liberating. And on top of all that, working with Amanda and Doug has been like attending a master class. Even the concept of writing in the best range for a given singer was something that I didn't give much thought to before. Now I understand that transposing a song a half step can effect the believability of a lyric. Who knew?

How was working with Amanda Green different than working with your longtime collaborators and songwriting partners?
Meeting Amanda has been an absolute gift, as has meeting and working with Doug; I've learned so much from both of them. I'm not sure how it's different. I consider myself extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to work with so many great collaborators in my lifetime. I've always loved the experience of working together with other people toward an artistic goal.

Of course, anyone who writes knows that ultimately the majority of your time is spent alone in a room with a piano or a guitar, no matter what the project is. Ernie Stires, my mentor and composition teacher, used to say to me, "Composition is a lonely business..." Maybe that's what's different and so exciting about this. Working on a play is a vibrant and collaborative business. Everyone from the choreographer to the music director to the director to the writers work together toward the same goal, and everyone chimes in on everything.

It's so refreshing. People are constantly huddling in little circles, asking questions. It's satisfying and challenging on so many levels. I'm very grateful to be a part of this team.

'Hands on a Hardbody' will premiere at the Mandell Weiss Theatre in La Jolla, Calif. on April 27th.

Boeing to Build Spacecraft at Shuttle Hangar

Associated Press
Boeing Space Capsule Design

Boeing is taking over one of NASA's old space shuttle hangars to build a new capsule that the company hopes will lift astronauts to orbit in four or five years.

More than 100 Boeing, NASA and state and federal officials gathered in the massive empty hangar -- Orbiting Processing Facility No. 3 -- for the announcement of the first-of-its-kind agreement allowing a private company to take over the government property.

The aerospace company expects to create 550 high-tech jobs at Kennedy Space Center over the next four years, 140 of them by the end of next year. That's less than 10 percent of the approximately 6,000 shuttle jobs lost in Florida over the past several years, but Gov. Rick Scott and other lawmakers at the ceremony said they expect additional hirings by the commercial space industry.

NASA is counting on companies like Boeing, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and others to ferry cargo and astronauts to and from the International Space Station in three to five years. Until then, the space agency will continue to shell out tens of millions of dollars per seat on Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

The Soyuz is the only way to get astronauts to and from the space station, ever since Atlantis returned from the final shuttle flight in July. A Soyuz rocket failure in August highlighted the risk of relying on just one type of craft.
During Monday's hourlong ceremony, lawmakers said the commercial industry is America's last hope, anytime soon, for U.S. astronauts to fly on U.S. spaceships from U.S. soil.

The Obama Administration requested $850 million in NASA's 2012 budget for the commercial space effort. The House slashed that to $312 million, but the Senate got it to $500 million, a reasonable figure given the nation's current economic situation, said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., a one-time space shuttle flier.

Boeing expects to start removing shuttle platforms and modifying the hangar to suit its own purposes in the next few months.

John Mulholland, vice president and program manager of commercial programs for Boeing, said it will be sad to see all the shuttle equipment go.

"The shuttle's such an iconic vehicle. These marvelous buildings have a lot of memory," said Mulholland, a former shuttle manager. "But you've always got to be looking forward. So while the shuttle is remarkable, we're looking forward to the next phase of space exploration."

Boeing wants to ferry astronauts not only to the International Space Station, but to a commercial scientific outpost planned for orbit by Bigelow Aerospace. Each capsule will hold seven people. A test flight is planned by 2015.

The agreement calls for Boeing to use the hangar for 15 years, with an option to renew for another five. Then it will be up to Boeing to demolish the building, on NASA's get-rid-of list. Boeing is not paying NASA any rent, officials stressed, but rather will cover all operation costs and utilities.

The hangar is 197 feet long, 1,650 feet wide and 95 feet high. It was last used to ready the shuttle Discovery for its final launch earlier this year.

NASA wants to turn the space center -- long a government-only local -- into a multi-user spaceport. Other buildings are also up for grabs. Space Florida, a state agency, is working on more deals.

Tourists, meanwhile, are about to gain entree into areas that were once strictly off limits.

On Tuesday, the Vehicle Assembly Building -- where fuel tanks and booster rockets were attached to space shuttles -- will open its doors to public bus tours for the first time since 1978.

Throughout the ceremony, NASA officials and others stressed that Kennedy Space Center is not going out of business.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the dream is alive," Nelson told the crowd.

NASA relinquished its shuttle fleet to concentrate on new rockets and spacecraft that will be able to carry astronauts beyond low Earth orbit. An asteroid is the first stop. Mars is the prize.

Is this $1million human slinky the most expensive Halloween costume on earth?

By John Stevens

This costume may not be the scariest thing to wear to a Halloween party on Monday, but the price tag will certainly give you a fright.
Priced at $1 million, this human slinky could be the most expensive fancy dress costume on earth.
The item is currently listed on eBay with the seven-figure 'Buy it Now' price tag, with 10 per cent going to the American Cancer Society.
Scroll down for video

Dressed up: Priced at $1 million, this human slinky could be the most expensive fancy dress costume on earth
Dressed up: Priced at $1 million, this human slinky could be the most expensive fancy dress costume on earth

The 'one size fits most adults' costume thankfully comes with free shipping.

The buyer gets five years permission to perform on stages across the world in the costume, which has previously been seen on 'America's Got Talent' and The Late Show with David Letterman.

You can also wear the costume for a lifetime at Halloween and private parties.

The costume, which is listed as being located in Florida, rainbow coloured in the same style as the classic eighties toy.

It is not clear if the outfit comes with any instructions or training so that the new owner can master the tricks showed off by the seller.

Uploaded by on Jul 24, 2010 Romanian profesional entertainer Ioan Veniamin Oprea A.K.A. Human Slinky® as seen on David Letterman in 1997 New York, America's Got Talent 2007-2009, The View, Viva Variety - Comedy Central, Britain's Got Talent audition, Paul O'Grady, Fuji and NTV Japan, most important Broadcast Televisions, in Italy, Germany, Austria, Chile, France, Sweden, UK, Spain, Portugal, Romania, South Korea, China, India ...

Veniamin's Home are in Orlando where establish his business Veniamin Shows Inc, Florida Corporation specialized on Unusual Variety Acts. 

© All Rights Reserved, Ioan Veniamin Oprea Life+Fifty Years
Veniamin Shows®
Human Slinky® 2011

Free Horror Movies To Download Legally This Halloween

Thanks to the public domain, Creative Commons and free distribution, there are lots of horror movies that can be downloaded and watched legally this Halloween.

Here is a short collection, all either obtainable from services like VODO, The Pirate Bay or Public Domain Torrents.

For those who prefer to watch via their web browser, YouTube has a selection of free horror movies here.

Night of the Living Dead

The plot of the film follows Ben Huss (Duane Jones), Barbra (Judith O’Dea), and five others trapped in a rural farmhouse in Pennsylvania while the house is attacked by reanimated corpses, commonly known as ‘ghouls’ or ‘zombies’. Night of the Living Dead is the origin of six other Living Dead films directed by George A. Romero. (IMDb)
Living Dead
Download from Public Domain Torrents here.

The Tunnel

In 2007 the New South Wales government suddenly scrapped a plan to utilise the water in the disused underground train tunnels beneath Sydney. In 2008, chasing rumours of a government cover-up and urban legends surrounding the sudden backflip, investigative journalist Natasha Warner led a crew of four into the underground labyrinth. They went down into the tunnels looking for a story – until the story found them. (IMDb)
The Tunnel
Download from VODO here.

The Little Shop of Horrors

Classic black comedy about young schnook who develops a bloodthirsty plant and is forced to kill in order to feed it. Directed by Roger Corman, the film was the basis for the later hit stage musical.
Download from Public Domain Torrents here.

Driller Killer

An artist slowly goes insane while struggling to pay his bills, work on his paintings, and care for his two female roommates, which leads him taking to the streets of New York after dark and randomly killing derelicts with a power drill. (IMDb)
Download from The Pirate Bay here, or Public Domain Torrents here

The Phantom of the Opera

A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer. (IMDb)
Download from The Pirate Bay here, or Public Domain Torrents here

Other viewing

To see the full range of Public Domain Torrents’ free and legal horror movies, click here.
The Internet Archive also has a horror/sci-fi section, as does Open Culture.