Watch out Below, it’s ‘Para-poo’!

Researchers in Belgrade have been spending their days throwing faeces out of drones. In a recent release, the team has revealed their preliminary findings pertaining to one’s diet and the aerodynamics of poo.

Says Yuri Asmorov, “You’d be surprised the amount of defecation that is released from flying vehicles every year. Some of the more solid masses can reach a high velocity and may even cause destruction. Others, the more loosely held stools that is, are dispersed readily, which we fear may contribute to the spread of faeces-borne diseases.”

He goes on to cite the recent outbreak of dysentery caused by a particular strain of protozoa that was shown to be only available inside the gut of humans.

“The only way that strain could have covered such a large area is if it (the faeces carrying the protozoa) was blown into a kind of aerosol. Looking at the flight pattern of the aircraft, we can see that it’s very close to the official path of many jetliners.”

The team is now divided into groups, each eating a particular diet known to affect the style, substance and consistency of faeces. Each member’s sample is collected and sent up in a drone to various heights, and the final speed, scattering, area-coverage and ‘splat’ is recorded by high-speed cameras.

“The vertical drop test is already showing promise. We need to step it up and try various combinations of speed, wind, humidity and the like. We are considering using a wind-tunnel to facilitate this, but so far we have not been able to convince an operator to let us use one.”

Yuri and his crew will continue the tests and present their full findings next year.

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Old Habits Die Hard

Paranormal Researchers have teamed up with Behavioural Psychologists to determine whether ghosts retain their prior personalities and habits.

“It’s just something we take for granted, that someone who had tendencies in life would carry them on after they died. But with any science, assumptions must be tested, so that’s what we set out to do,” said Hente Vaumer, Project Lead of Spiritual Investigations of North Carolina (SINC).

Using a mixture of techniques, such as psychological profiling, environmental analysis and sifting through historical records, the team compiled a set of characteristics to examine on a host of ghosts.

“While most investigators look at hard evidence, like photographs of apparitions or listening to EVPs, we go one step further an apply what we’ve found back to the personality of the entity we’re after. It is challenging, especially since, just like common folk, we have good days and bad days. Another time we had to throw out a whole month worth of compiled data because it turned out that we were dealing with two separate entities,” he says, “Still, it’s proving to be very insightful.”

Some of the key findings to come from the research include:

  • Most ghosts (86% of the sample collected) are not malevolent in nature.
  • Habits formed during a lifetime have a higher tendency to carry on after death.
  • Speech and behavioural habits have the highest tendency, whereas physical habits, like a limp or finger strumming, are less evident.
  • Of the entities marked as malevolent, 70% resorted to physical interaction when provoked, compared to 25% of non-malevolent.
  • Intelligence does not appear to have a correlation to the entity’s previous apparent level.
  • Criminal entities, those that have been identified by historical records as having served time for serious crime, represented 65% of the malevolent entities.

Says psychologist Rana Martina, “This is very exciting. It shows that the physical body, the chemicals and makeup, become insignificant after one dies. Without the influence of hormones and bodily constraints, the mind is free to develop on a different plane altogether. One can imagine that it would be like living in a sensory deprivation chamber, only even sensations of thirst, hunger and other desires would be quashed. So this raises a very important question: If there are no physical demands to motivate the mind, all that is left, the core motivator we can call it, must be of a pure essence.”

The team are cautious about drawing conclusions, conscious that others in the field do not appreciate their approach.

“Some say Paranormology is a quack-science. Others say the same thing about Psychology. Be that as it may, we’ve kept to scientific methodology and our papers can be scrutinised by peer review. We’re also using statistical analysis rather than pure empirical methodologies, and I think this makes all the difference.”ChesterLogoSmall

Hairy Men Even-Keeled

Beards are making a come-back these days, but did you know that they also serve to bolster the agility of the grower?

New research from the Follicle Analysis Collective of Tasmania (FACT), a collective of like minded scientists that collate and analyse scientific data pertaining to hair, shows that sporting a beard, moustache, goatee or side-burns actively improves a man’s balance.

“In a way similar to cat’s whiskers, having facial hair allows the Grower – we use the term Grower because it could be male or female – to receive extra-sensory data from the surroundings. Small deviations in air currents move the hairs which, in turn, trigger signals to the brain that are interpreted as a shift in the attitude of the head,” says Dr. Grace Potenza, “In layman’s terms, the hairs of a beard act as thousands of tiny fingers that ‘feel’ the air for movement. If the Grower moves to the left or right, for example, the sensation of that movement is more fine-tuned than a clean shaven person, or non-Grower.”

The find is of particular interest to the field of sports. A loose correlation between hair and sporting ability has already been established, with grants applied in a bid to formalise that finding. From the outset, it appears that those who sport a solid crop can expect an average of 15% better agility.

All manner of chin, lip and cheek hair will do but a light facial fuzz isn’t going to help much.

“We can see that any kind of solid facial hair, like a beard or a moustache or even sideburns or mutton chops, will help however the length of the hair must be sufficiently long, at least a centimeter exposure before we start to see any effects,” she says.

Dr. Potenza wishes to expand her studies to see if the Grower’s extra-sensory perception can aid in altered environments. Of particular interest is the apparent tolerance to alcohol, exhaustion and sleep deprivation. Another field is in low visibility environments like darkened rooms, fog and smoke.

“Who knows? We might find that as a recommendation all Fire-fighters be required to have a minimum beard length.”ChesterLogoSmall

Talk like a Neanderthal

Ronald Treharn, of the Society of Ancestors, has released his latest breakthrough detailing the language, complete with grammar and pronunciation, of Neanderthals.

“We know that they have lips and tongues, and we know the shape of their mouths, their brains and their ears. Based on this, and cultures throughout the world, I have developed a form of linguistics that I believe accurately depicts their speech,” he says, “Don’t think of the speech as perfect sentences, rather an expression of abstract ideas.”

When asked for a sample, Ronald obliges, “The shortest and most common terms would be for shouting. Ba! – which means food – and Mek! – which means bad, or watch out – are short and unambiguous . Thus, Ger, a noise made at the back of the throat meaning sex, is for personal, quiet use.”

He goes on to explain that the meanings behind words would certainly be phonetically based. Words formed at the front of the mouth were more imperative than those formed at the back, for example, while guttural sounds contained an emphasis on the self.

“They would not have used the voiceless sibilant (s – sound). It was reserved for hushing a child or indicating surprise, rather than acting as part of a word. This leads to a further theory of mine that words were pronounced in a staccato fashion, each syllable enunciated with care. We can see that, because of the way the jaw is formed, and the apparent length of the tongue, lip-attitude is more important to the formation of words,” he says, “Thus Der-der would be an idiot or a dullard, while Wow means something wonderful.”

When pressed, he admitted, “I do think that there is a crossover from Neanderthal language to ancient languages, and these have carried through from the basic, grunts and utterances, all the way through the thousands of generations to today.”

Treharn is currently working on a book, detailing the language and its grammar.ChesterLogoSmall

Ghost Hunting a Science

Following on from television shows like ‘Ghost Hunters‘ and books like ‘Paranormology‘, the hunt for ghosts and research into the spiritual realm is set to lose its pseudoscience badge in favour of a degree.

Students at the University of Mount Gambier in South Australia can now choose to become official Paranormologists. With the aim to make Paranormology as commonplace as geography or astronomy, the University is trialing the course over the next few years.

“The first few subjects deal with scientific methodology, the importance of thoroughly recording observations and peer review. Once the students have a grounding in the accepted practices, they then move on to equipment, practical training and observation techniques,” says Doctor Sue Rochester, “The word ‘ghost’ doesn’t even appear in any recommended text books until the third year.”

Unproven methodologies such as clairvoyance and seances are not part of the curriculum, says Sue, although they are addressed in the subjects of hoaxes.

“As a scientist working in a field that naturally attracts charlatanism, it’s important to know how to remain objective, how to spot human interference, how to use scientific analysis to rule out trickery.”

The Paranormology course is being piloted with a view for expanding into other fields, such as Cryptozoology and Ufology.