Monday, March 31, 2014

Hanging Coffins of China

Hanging coffins is an ancient funeral custom found only in Asia: there are hanging coffins in China, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Some coffins are cantilevered out on wooden stakes, while some lay on rock projections. Other coffins are simply placed in caves.

The hanging coffins of the Bo people in Gongxian, Sichuan Province, the Guyue people of Dragon Tiger Mountain and the Guyue people of Wuyi Mountain are the most famous. The Wuyi Mountain coffins are the oldest; some are more than 3,750 years old.

As bizarre as it may seem, it makes sense. Why bury a coffin three meters under the ground, if you want to go to heaven?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Deepwater Horizon, Gulf of Mexico, 2010 – 172 million gallons oil spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill located in the Gulf of Mexico occurred on April 20, 2010 after methane gas was somehow put under extremely high pressure, which then caused it to travel up the drill column and eventually ignite. The ignition then prompted an explosion that killed 11 workers (presumed dead as bodies were never found) and injured 17. The ship burned for about 36 hours, after efforts to calm the fire failed, and sank on April 22, 2010. The well continued to leak for over 100 days after various efforts and plans to stop the leak failed. Oil dispersants were widely spread throughout the waters, which helped some. A final fix came about on August 3, 2010 when mud was pumped into the well to stop the flow of oil.

The disturbing part of this spill is that it could have been avoided. Several workers on the platform spoke of their concerns regarding the well months before, but no action was ever really taken. The effects of this oil spill have been truly horrible. Animals have suffered, including pelicans, turtles, birds, and various others

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dead Sea Ultra Marathon

If you’ve ever wanted to participate in a marathon that takes you to the lowest place on earth, than you most definitely want to try the Dead Sea Ultra Marathon. The marathon takes place each year on the first or second Friday in April starting in Amman and ending at the Dead Sea. During the run, those participating experience a 1,300m drop- from 900m above sea level to 400m below sea level. Unlike most on the list, those who run the marathon are running to raise money for neurological patients who can’t afford the costs of surgery. Since the event’s start in 1993, they have been able to help about 1150 cases. The race winners are also awarded cash prizes. The marathon is home to five different races, each suitable for a specific type of runner.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Semion Yudkovich Mogilevich

Born in the Ukraine, Mogilevich is believed by European and United States federal law enforcement agencies to be the “boss of bosses” of most Russian Mafia syndicates in the world. Mogilevich’s nicknames include “The Brainy Don” because of his business acumen, and he has been called “the most dangerous mobster in the world”. Mogilevich was arrested in Moscow in 2008, for suspected tax evasion but was released less than a year later. The Russian interior ministry stated that the charges against him “are not of a particularly grave nature”. He is on the FBI ‘Ten Most Wanted list’.

Amount Laundered: Estimated more than US$1 billion.

Punishment: None.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Eternity, The Coffin Bar

Are you superstitious? Superstitious enough to refuse having a drink at this bizarre bar? The Coffin Bar is one of the newest tourist attractions of Truskavets, Ukraine. The entire bar is a giant coffin, 20m long, 6m wide and 6m tall. Real coffins and funeral flower arrangements provide the d├ęcor.