Thursday, August 18, 2016

August 18th, 2016, Stranger News

Stranger News
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* "German student creates electromagnetic harvester that gathers free electricity from thin air" (2013-02-12, []

* "A Literal Window into our Second Brain in our stomachs" (2016-06-12, []

* "Brain-linked prosthetic arm scheduled to hit markets by year’s end" (2016-07-12, []

* "Bio-cyborg made of rat heart and gold swims obstacle course" (2016-07-10, []
* "Synthetic Stingray May Lead To A Better Artificial Heart" (2016-07-07, []


Space News
* "Venus may have once been habitable, possessed atmosphere similar to Earth - NASA" (2016-08-11, []

* "There's an unidentified object in a strange orbit past Neptune, and no one can explain it The outer Solar System just got even weirder" (2016-08-11, []
* " ‘Our solar system just got weirder’: Bizarre new planet with offbeat orbit stumps scientists" (2016-08-11, []: A tiny, mystery planet located on the far side of Neptune is breaking all the rules and leaving scientists baffled.
Niku, named after Chinese word for ‘Rebel’, has a diameter of just 200km (120 miles), is 160,000-times smaller than Neptune and behaves like no other similarly-sized planet in the Solar System.
This trans-Neptunian object orbits the Sun in a retrograde direction, meaning it rotates in the opposite direction to the Sun’s rotation. The angle it takes for this unusual orbit is at 110 degrees to the flat plane of the Solar System, on which other planets move around the Sun.
And that means it’s currently above the plane and rising higher but will eventually cross over, dropping below the plane as it continues its orbit. The fact that its orbit is retrograde was likely caused by a collision with an unknown mass or a gravitational pull by a mystery force.
“Angular momentum forces everything to have that one spin direction all the same way,” said Michele Bannister, an astronomer from Queen’s University, Belfast in Northern Ireland. “It’s the same thing with a spinning top, every particle is spinning the same direction.”
Matthew Holman of Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics was among the team of scientists who discovered Niku and admits this phenomenon throws up many questions.
He said: “It suggests there's more going on in the outer Solar System than we're fully aware of.”
It's quite possible Niku is part of a group of highly-inclined objects all moving in a strange orbital pattern around the Solar System.
The discovery of another group of strangely-related objects in the Kuiper belt led to the claim earlier this year by Caltech scientists Konstantin Batygin and Michael E. Brown that there was a massive ninth planet in the far reaches of our Solar System.
The appropriately-named Planet Nine is said to be 10-times as big as Earth and orbits the Sun once every 10,000 to 20,000 years.
“Whenever you have some feature that you can’t explain in the outer solar system, it’s immensely exciting because it’s in some sense foreshadowing a new development,” Batygin told New Scientist.
* "Mystery object in weird orbit beyond Neptune cannot be explained" (2016-08-10, []


Ancient News
* "Yahweh’s Divorce from the Goddess Asherah in the Garden of Eden" (2014-10-06, []

* "Do these images prove that early Christianity had FEMALE priests? Vatican unveils frescoes hinting that women held power in the early Church; The 230-240 AD frescoes were found in the Catacombs of Priscilla of Rome; One fresco shows a group of women celebrating banquet of the Eucharist; Another shows woman with outstretched arms like those of a priest; Vatican says assertions that these women were priests are 'fairy tales' " (2013-11-20, [], photo caption: Newly restored Italian frescoes have revealed what could have been women priests in the early Christian church. The female pictured in this fresco has her arms outstretched as if holding Mass.


* "Russian Atlantis: Tomb Raider’s Invisible City of Kitezh was a REAL Place" (2016-06-18, []:
In the action-adventure video game series Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara Croft finds the remnants of a once powerful civilization and searches for the location of an artifact known as the Divine Source, believed to be buried in the lost city of Kitezh. While the story line of the game is a work of fiction, historical texts suggest that Kitezh, known as ‘The Invisible City’, was a real place that is thought to now lie submerged within Lake Svetloyar in Russia.
Accounts of the ancient city of Kitezh are believed to trace back to the earliest days of Rus’, however, the first written reference appeared in the Kitezh Chronicle, written by the Old Believers in the 1780s. (In Russian Orthodox church history, the Old Believers separated from the official Russian Orthodox Church after 1666 as a protest against church reforms.)
According to this Chronicle, the city of Lesser Kitezh was founded by Prince Georgy, Grand Prince of Vladimir in the early 13th century, on the banks of the Volga River in the Voskresensky District of the Nizhny Novgorod Oblast in central Russia. He then discovered a beautiful site further upstream, on the shores of Lake Svetloyar where he decided to build the city of Greater Kitezh.  It was established as a monastic city and considered holy by all who inhabited it.
“The Prince made the city beautiful, built it round with churches, monasteries, boyars’ palaces. Then he encircled it with a trench and raised up walls with embrasures,” write Barker & Grant in ‘The Russia Reader: History, Culture, Politics’.
The Destruction of Kitezh -
In 1238, North Eastern Russia was invaded by Mongols under the leadership of Batu Khan, ruler from 1207 to 1255 AD and founder of the Golden Horde. After besieging the city of Vladimir and surrounding cities in Suzdal, Khan heard of the powerful city of Kitezh and was determined to capture it. The Mongols first arrived at Lesser Kitezh. The Grand Prince Georgy rode out to meet them but was eventually forced to flee back towards Greater Kitezh, whose location was still hidden from the Mongols.
Batu Khan, infuriated, ordered captives to be tortured until they gave up the location of Greater Kitezh.  The captives would not give up the secret of their holy city as they believed that to do so would inflict an eternal curse on them and their descendants. However, one of the captives, Kuter’ma, unable to withstand the torture, revealed the secret paths to Lake Svetloyar.
The Chronicle’s description of what happened next is vague and ambiguous. “All that is known is that the Prince managed to hide the holy vessels and liturgical accoutrements in the lake, and then died in battle. By God’s will the city itself became invisible; in its place was seen water and forest,” report Barker & Grant.
Legends of the Invisible City -
It is not clear exactly what happened to Kitezh, but legends and folklore have surrounded its mysterious disappearance for centuries. According to one popular tale, the entire city was submerged into the lake by the will of God, to protect its treasures getting into the hands of the Mongols. This has led to Lake Svetloyar sometimes being called the “Russian Atlantis”. Legend says that the army of the Golden Horde watched in dismay as the city sunk into the lake, the last thing they saw being the white glistening dome of the cathedral with a cross on top of it. The reality of the city’s disappearance may not have been so remarkable. Some archaeologists have suggested that the city may have suffered a landslide causing it to disappear into the lake.
In folk tales, the city of Kitezh is said to only be visible to those who are pure in their heart and soul. Believers in the legends often report hearing church bells coming from the lake or seeing lights or even the outlines of buildings beneath the water’s surface.  In times past, pilgrims used to visit the lake in the hope of hearing the bells. They went there to pray and left alms for the city’s dwellers. It is also said that women visited the lake during World War Two to pray for their sons.
In Search of the Russian Atlantis -
In 2011, the Vetluzhsky archaeological expedition set out to investigate what archaeological remains could be found around Lake Svetloyar. Excavations revealed traces of an ancient settlement, along with fragments of traditional Russian pottery. The scientific team plans to continue their explorations to see what else they may find from the ancient settlement. According to their assessment, the hill in which the remains were found was always prone to landslides, one of which may well have caused an ancient city to become submerged in the lake, giving rise to the fantastic legends of the invisible city of Kitezh.
- Barker, A.M. and Grant, B. ‘The Russian Reader: History, Culture, Politics’.
- "Lost worlds: The drowned Russian city of Kitezh" ( []
- "The Legend of the City of Kitezh Submerging Itself in Svetloyar Lake: Religious Fables, Folklore, Legends, and Stories" ( []
- "Discovering the Russian Atlantis; At the Svetloyar Lake near Nizhny Novgorod, archaeologists have found traces of an unknown medieval settlement that became a prototype for Kitezh, the 'Russian Atlantis' " (2012-07-04, []
- Illustration caption: Stage-set design for Scene Two, Act Four of the opera the "Tale of the Lost City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia" by Rimsky-Korsakov. 1929


In the collection of the National Archaeological Museum, La Paz, Bolivia [].


WTF? News
* "British Cop witnesses tall White aliens inspecting fresh crop circle" ( []. The Police Officer did not have a history of mental illness, nor is a Police Officer willing to sacrifice their standing by lying about such a preposterous story... These types of eyewitnesses describe similar encounters, though.

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