Five Most Fascinating Cemeteries of the World

Death is no laughable matter. Although it is a natural part of life, it can sometimes be dramatic and difficult to handle. However, while a funeral is surely a reason for tears, the place of rest must not be dull and sad. Cemeteries are places where family and friends can visit their lost ones, but they must not be considered simple places of remembrance. Think about it this way: wouldn’t your loved one like to rest in a place full of flowers, sunlight and other happy things? The answer is probably yes. Other people thought so to, and this is why they have created “Merry Cemeteries”. Let’s take a look at the five most beautiful and fascinating cemeteries in the world:

1. “The Merry Cemetery”, Romania

The Merry Cemetery from Sapanta, Romania, is infamous for its vividly colored graves and happy paintings that depict scenes from the life and occupation of the deceased. It was designed by a local artist known as Stan  Ioan Patras. Some of the colored crosses also have funny poems which are relevant to the people buried there. Here is an example:

aa

Under this heavy cross
Lies my poor mother in-law
Three more days she would have lived
I would die, and she would read (this cross).
You, who here are passing by
Not to wake her up please try
Cause’ if she comes back home
She’ll criticize me more.
But I’ll behave so well
That she’ll not return from hell.
Stay here, my dear mother in-law!
 

a

The unique thing about the Merry Cemetery is the fact that it does not consider death as a solemn and sad event, but rather a reason to smile. This may be connected to the Dacian culture. The Dacians did not fear death, they embraced it. Whenever a child was born they would cry, and when they died, they would do so with a smile on their face.

2. Waverley Cemetery, Sydney 

20080727120120!WaverleyCemetery

Talk about scenery! The Waverley Cemetery is situated o nthe top of a cliff, and it is extremely famous for its preserved Victorian and Edwardian monuments. Interestingly enough it was self-funded, and it represents the final resting place for names such as Henry Lawson (poet) and Australia’s first Prime Minister: Sir Edmund Barton.

3. Islo di San Michele, Venice

071121venice_oddball

Isola di San Michele

Next on our most fascinating cemeteries list is the Islo di San Michele which is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. It is located on an island because in that time, the French decreed that burials on the mainland are not sanitary. For the purpose of moving the deceased, it has special funeral gondolas. It is also the final resting place for Igor Stravinsky, and English author Frederick Rolfe.

4. Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia

5959052612_e96a65f24b_z

APTOPIX-Arlington-Wreaths-600x399

Hundreds of thousands of heroes have laid down their lives in order to protect ours, and for this we must thank them. The Arlington National Cemetery, established at the Arlington House is home to 400.000 souls, and it is the only cemetery of its kind in the world. Every year, on Memorial Day, American flags are planted on the graves as a sign of gratitude.

5.  Hanging Coffins, Sagada Mountain Province, Philippines

tumblr_mf9gpxcc5e1qcn6uio1_1280

Now this is indeed a sight to behold. For centuries, the indigenous Igorot people of Sagada have practiced an extremely unique burial process: they hang their coffins from cliffs and caves. It is still not known why they do so, but many have speculated that it is a way to bring the deceased closer to heaven. All coffins are hand-carved, and are carried through the dense jungle with the help of ropes and wires. In case you were thinking a more dramatic burial place, you should know that there are special criteria that one must meet before being considered. This includes being married and having grandchildren.

Photo Credits: 

http://www.panoramio.com/user/1280586

www.baiamareteam2013.ro

wikimedia.org

http://nymag.com

tumblr com

Scientology, Occult Sorcery and the Jet Propulsion Lab

Whoever thought that Pasadena, California is a place where nothing out of the ordinary ever happens has most certainly never heard of Jack Parsons, a darkly handsome young man and chemistry autodidact. Parsons was also a member of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a group of explosion experts. You might think that being a man of science, he would not believe in the occult, but as it turns out, he was actually a goddess-obsessed acolyte and the financial supporter for a Pagan leader known as Aleister Crowley. Jack Parsons converted an old mansion into a house here artists, writers and other researchers who believed in Pagan culture were welcome.

For those who are not interested in attending college, you will be pleasantly surprised to hear that Parsons forfeited years of teachings in favor of his garage and on his backyard experiments. He became a researcher for CalTech in the year 1930, and by the late 30s he had already helped found the JPL, an international superstar that is responsible for the invention of rocket fuel. In the mean-time he was working on his pagan “hobby”: obtaining the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) status within Crowleys pagan organization.

jackparsons1

John Carter retells the story of Jack Parson in a fascinating book called: Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons. You’d think that invoking Satan at the age of 13 would probably result in an incredible fear towards the occult, but for Parsons it meant the birth of a life-long passion for all that has to do with this field. Nevertheless, although both Crowley and Parsons talk about Satan in their works, they have never considered themselves “Satan worshipers”. Before free-spirited-souls could ever come up with open-relationships, Parsons had already discovered it. Another thing that he had discovered was hallucinogenic drugs. In his fiery passion, he discovered many things, created many fans, and received lots of money in exchange for spiritual guidance. By day he was a genius and respectable scientists, and by night he would dance naked in his backyard. Talk about being controversial. But the surprises don’t stop here.

f768d6f3-042b-4815-9b81-47b95bdef6a8

Parsons had always shared his life with Betty, his girlfriend (with which he had an open relationship). At a moment in time, a pagan writer, L. Ron Hubbard moved in with them. He was a war veteran with a talent for story-telling, and he quickly became Parson’s best friend when it came to the quest of incarnating the goddess Babalon on Earth. These two men thought that Babalon would be a bewitching redhead, who will, at some point, give birth to the Antichrist. How did they try to achieve them? Well, Hubbard and Parsons held joint rituals inspired by Babalon’s sexuality: Parsons would masturbate repeatedly and Hubbard would chant rituals while taking notes. The notes referred to “invoking” with the help of a “wand”. How adorable.

jack_parsons_533

Interestingly enough, Hubbard soon became bored with Parson’s lame excuse of invoking so he began sleeping with Betty (not that it was a problem). Soon after, the incarnation of Babalon (or at least this is what the two men thought) came knocking on their door: an adventurous redheaded artists called Marjorie Cameron. Because Parsons was handsome, she accepted to sleep with him and led Hubbard participate. The men believed that they were invoking spirits with their astonishing potency and sorcery, but no Antichrist was ever born. The redheaded beauty left, and this lead to a deeper relationship between Hubbard and Betty. Hubbard also became interested in the OTO status. For those familiar with Scientology, you probably already know that the only way to achieve enlightenment is to ascend through several numerical steps, and gain access to well-kept secrets.

 You might say that Scientology is the science fiction version of the supernatural horror that was the OTO. So the religions may be different genres, but they have a lot in common. (Source: io9.com

In the end, Hubbard and Parsons split up: Hubbard published his work Dianetics, and Parsons died in an idiotic accident on his front porch, but he will always be remembered for his contributions in rocket fuel technology, and his fascination with the occult may be explained by the fact that the major discoveries he made in the field of science emerged from fantasy and became reality. The lines were still blurred, so it is no wonder that magic was involved.

The Five Most Interesting Medical Conditions

Medicine has always been fascinating for most people and although some types of cases are fairly frequent, there are those conditions that only seem to occur once in a blue moon. Startling both doctors and patients, such ailments are by no means easily treated (if they have a treatment at all) and leave those confronted with them bot baffled and at an impossibility to manage. Here are some interesting medical cases that you may find worth reading:

1. Fibrodysplasia osificans progresiva(Stone Man’s Disease)

With only eight hundred cases confirmed worldwide, this disease belongs to the rarest and most incapacitating conditions out there. Patients experience bone growth in place of tendons and muscle (and generally, where connective tissue is found) so that movement is restricted progressively. This ailment can go as far as to turn patients into living statues (they can grow a second skeleton) although their inner organs remain perfectly healthy since they are composed of other types of muscle fibers.

1

2. Cotard’s Syndrome

This mental disorder also called “Walking Corpse Syndrome” represents and ailment where patients hold the delusional belief that they are dead (nihilistic delusions that are either literal or figurative but that have the sufferer convinced that he or she is putrefying, has lost his organs or blood and is no longer among the living). There are also rare described instances where patients suffer delusions of immortality. Although the DSM-IV and the ICD 10 (international classifications of mental disease guides) do not recognize Cotard’s Syndrome, there are several treatment options, where electroconvulsive therapy seems to work best.

2

3. Neonatal Progeroid Syndrome

Progeroid syndromes represent a class of ailments that go hand in hand with premature aging, and believe it or not, there are forms of this disease that can cause accelerated fat loss as well as tissue degeneration. There are patients who are still being investigated but are believed to belong to a class of this disease and who need to eat every fifteen minutes so as to stay alive . In spite of 60 meals a day, there are women suffering from this disease who absolutely can’t gain weight regardless of the quantities of food they take in (sometimes more tan 8000 calories).

3

4. Progeria (Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome)

Another extremely rare genetic disease, progeria represents one of the ailments whose marking symptoms are aging at very early ages and occurs once every 8 million births. Patients rarely live past their teen years, although there have been reported cases of sufferers living past the normal expected age. Sufferers age at eight times the normal rate so that, by the time they are 12-13 patients have already died from heart attacks, strokes or other age related illnesses.

4

5. Bark Skin Disorder

Most of us are absolutely appalled by a single wart that might make his way on or skin, but there are some cases of warts appearing across entire limbs, across faces and turning people into what seems to be a treant. As weird as it may seem, epidermodysplasia verruciformis is as real as it gets and represent a disease where the Human Papiloma Virus spreads uncontrolled across the skin of patients. There is also an immune system defect that is being considered in the parthenogenesis of this illness, but there are patients who require more than 2 surgeries per year if they are to remove these growths that keep on growing back.

tree-man-2 tree-man-warts_1210514atree-man-2tree-man-2

There are countless more diseases that can seem both horrific and interesting to the beholder, but the truth is that we will never comprehend the level of stress and pain that patients suffering such illnesses feel, although we can become more understanding by getting acquainted with the illness itself.

Not a Laughing Matter: 10 Strangest Phobias in the World

Except perhaps for Chuck Norris, every person in the world has at least one phobia. It is that moment when we feel extreme (and sometimes irrational) fear, often morbid fear, due to various reasons. People suffering from phobias are usually afraid of things that do not actually pose any threat to their physical integrity. Nevertheless, as hilarious as the following phobias may sound, they are certainly not a laughing matter, especially considering that certain people are actually suffering from them.

Phobias are horrible and debilitating and they could severely damage one’s mental health. Imagine that you cannot descend the stairs each morning because you are too afraid, or that you cannot take telephones because your mind is too terrified to react. Still, they exist, and although some of them seem plain crazy and mind-boggling, they are a reality. Here are ten of the weirdest phobias in the world.

10. Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia 

We have started the list with one of the weirdest phobia name: hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. It’s not a joke. This word describes the fear of the number 666, a number which is usually associated with bad luck and negativity, but it is not only this. According to the Book of Revelations, it is the number of the Devil. Also, if you have seen horror movies like “The Omen” you probably are already aware that Hollywood tried to perpetuate the fear of it.

1

9. Caligynephobia

Most men I know desire young, beautiful, attractive ladies. But this rule does not apply to people suffering from Caligynephobia. This phobia refers to an illogical fear of beautiful women, and it is common among adolescents and gay men. Symptoms include panic attacks, anxiety and damages social interactions.

2222

8. Cathisophobia

Joining our list of bizarre phobias, is Cathisophobia, or the fear of sitting down. If you experience heavy breathing, sweating and sudden panic attacks when sitting down, it means you are suffering from it. This phobia is usually associated with a traumatic event where you have been inflicted torture or punishment while sitting. It is more frequent among people who have been kid-napped or treated as hostages.

3

7. Decidophobia

I think I’ve just found my phobia: the fear of making decisions. (joking). While some people are afraid when it comes to decision making, others simply can’t handle reality. They are terrified of it. This reminds me of the movie “Mr. Nobody”: the story of a boy faced with an impossible decision. Granted, he may not have been suffering from decidophobia, but at least it puts this fear in perspective.

4

6. Phagophobia

This is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous phobias of all. It refers to the fear of swallowing, and its detrimental effects are quite obvious: malnutrition, weight-loss and health problems. People suffering from it should definitely look for ways of solving it before severe problems occur.

5

5. Spectrophobia

Spectrophobia is the fear of mirrors or one’s own reflection. Girls, try to imagine this one: not being able to look in the mirror when you want to put on make-up or check your hair. Terrifying indeed. This phobia is usually related to one’s refusal to accept imperfections of the face or body. It also means that people suffering from it will try to avoid any type of things that reflect; shiny cars, puddles of water, mirrors, glasses etc.

6

4. Chorophobia

Chorophobia is actually a very common phobia, and it is usually encountered among men. Dancing is a popular form of exercise and a display of social skills, and people have universally embraced it as a means of expressing culture and affection. Nevertheless, there are some who are mortified when it comes to dancing, either because they are too uncomfortable or simply embarrassed. Individuals suffering from it will probably avoid dancing and social events at all costs.

7

3. Anthophobia

For most, Spring is a reason for joy, colors, and beautiful flowers. For others, it is the perfect excuse to remain behind locked doors. Anthophobia, refers to the fear of flowers. People are actually afraid of flowers. Of course, they pose no threat to their physical health, but they would probably not understand this.

8

2. Chrometophobia

We live in a world that is obsessed with money. Everywhere you look, you see money, and it seems that all the good things in life can only be obtained with the help of money. While others desperately try to earn as much as possible, others want to have nothing to do with it. Chrometophobia represents the inexplicable fear of money, and it is suggested that it comes from an obsessive-compulsive disorder generated by the fear of germs. People who suffer from it usually prefer to use credit cards for their daily purchases.

9

1. Genophobia 

Probably the most common topic of discussion nowadays is sex, and Justin Bieber. Let’s face it, sex is among the most exhilarating human experiences. It’s the best. Everything else comes second. Still, as incredible as it may seem, there are people who are terrified of intimacy or sexual relations. This is not a laughing matter. People suffering from it have probably been abused in their childhood, they are victims of molestation, or they are ashamed of their body. In the end, it can lead to loneliness and depression.

2980492