Archive for July, 2015

Photos of the Incorrupt Saints…

Oddly beautiful, beautifully odd, and just plain ODD.


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Photographing the Real Bodies of Incorrupt Saints

(from Atlas Obscura)


“The Italian nun grimaced at my camera, reviewing the photo that she had just snapped of me. We had to take another, she explained. The shriveled corpse to my left was beautiful. My face had room for improvement.


So it goes in the world of the incorrupt, a group of saints whose bodies supposedly won’t decompose. This particular corpse belonged to St. Paula Frassinetti, displayed at the Convent of St. Dorotea in Rome. In the popular imagination, they’re like sleeping beauties, but Paula, who’s been dead for 133 years, is shriveled and brown inside her crystal casket. This paradox is what makes the incorrupt fascinating…”


For much more, click here. Lots of photos.


The Terror of the South China Sea Was a Woman

Here’s the irresistible story of the most mysterious pirate to ever sail the seven seas, “The Terror of the South China Sea” — a female pirate named Chang Shih, plucked from a brothel…


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The Incredible Story of the Baddest Female Pirate to Ever Sail the Seas

by Ben Roffee for RYOT


“When people talk about the most successful pirate that ever lived, it better be about one particular badass that commanded a fleet of as many as 80,000 sailors aboard 1,500 ships during the early 1800s.


This pirate’s name was Chang Shih, who didn’t exactly look the part by our Disneyfied standards for one fairly obvious reason: she was a lady.


Plucked from a brothel in Canton by invading pirates, she was married off to a notorious pirate named Zheng Yi in 1801. But she didn’t resign to the idle life of a house ship wife, opting instead to help her husband be even better at piracy than he already was.


Together, they patched together a coalition of competing pirates groups into the the Red Flag Fleet, which became an incontestable naval force in the South China Sea at its height. When Zheng Yi died in 1807, there was no other choice but for Chang Shih to take the reins…”


Click here for the rest from RYOT.





A Second Earth?

New discovery – a very earth-like planet found orbiting almost an exact clone of the Sun…


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Say Hello To Earth 2.0! Historic Kepler Discovery Suggests We Are Not Alone
July 22, 2015 | by Jonathan O’Callaghan


Remember the name Kepler 452b. Because in our search to discover if we are alone in this vast and fascinating universe, a sole life-harboring world among countless dead and uninhabitable planets, we may finally have a true candidate for Earth 2.0.


For the first time, scientists have found what appears to be a rocky world orbiting a Sun-like star at almost exactly the same distance that Earth orbits our own Sun. While other potentially habitable planets have been found before, this is the first that could plausibly be another Earth. This might be the real deal, people.


Kepler 452b, found by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, is located 1,400 light-years from us. It orbits a star that is 4% more massive and 10% brighter than our Sun. The planet itself is 1.6 times the size of Earth – making it a super-Earth – but the scientists are fairly sure that it is a rocky world, owing to its size and the type of star it orbits.


Its orbit, 384.84 Earth days and 5% more distant than our planet is from the Sun, places it right in its star’s habitable zone, where it is not too hot or cold for liquid water to form: the same region Earth is in around the Sun. This is not the first Earth-sized planet found in a habitable zone; last year, the world was abuzz with the discovery of Kepler 186f, more similar in size to Earth. But that planet orbited a red dwarf star, smaller and cooler than the Sun. Kepler 452b, excitingly, orbits almost an exact clone of the Sun…”


For the rest click here to go to IFLS.


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