pupupu Science and Technology | Weird News

Big Serbia Discovery from past

In the area near the village “Lucica” in river “Velika Morava” residents have found the remains of a long wooden boat, about 14.5 meters of old probably about a thousand years. The boat is made of oak logs about 150 years old, a rough way of wood indicates the period from about a thousand years of Slavic settlement in the area, “said historian Miroljub Manojlovic.

1000 year old boat 1 Big Serbia Discovery from past

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According to him, by their size and shape of the case was unique in Serbia.”We already have a boat in one piece from oak, but is much smaller in size, the length of six or seven meters. The subject of such size and shape is not so far found in Serbia, as far as I know,” said Manojlovic.

In the coming period will be taken measures to protect the boat from physical and atmospheric influences. “If it is determined that is unique, it can get the status of cultural goods,” he said Manojlovic.

It’s Nothing a Camouflage Can’t Hide

What you see in the pictures is probably one of the best large scale camouflages ever attempted. In order to protect the Lockheed Burbank Aircraft Plant from air attacks, there was a nee to hide it which is no easy job. So it was covered in netting which made it look like a rural setting when seen from air. Even though this was done a long time ago, the ingenuity and imagination required for the project is still talked about.

These pictures you see were taken in 1940s by the Army Corps of Engineers from US. The netting went over most buildings and had tree like structures on top too, under which there was normal activity all hidden from the outside eyes. As Lockheed was a large center of military aircraft manufacture. It was also an active base for P-38 fighters. They could not afford to lose it to an air attack for which Japan was feared for.


Aircraft factory camouflage 1 It’s Nothing a Camouflage Can’t Hide

And After:

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Aircraft factory camouflage 9 It’s Nothing a Camouflage Can’t Hide

Deadly Poisons, Ingested or Inhaled

1. Botulinum (ingested)
It’s hard to rank the lethality of toxins, but experts agree that botulinum – several orders of magnitude deadlier than sarin – is the gold standard. Your nervous system fails and you die in extreme pain. Works miracles on wrinkles, though.

poison Deadly Poisons, Ingested or Inhaled

2. Ricin (ingested or inhaled)
Made from the lowly castor bean, ricin causes respiratory and organ failure, followed by death within hours. Even chewing a few beans can kill you.

3. Anthrax (inhaled)
Cutaneous exposure can kill, but the most deadly, panic-inspiring form of anthrax is inhaled. It starts with flu that doesn’t get better – then your respiratory system collapses.

4. Sarin (inhaled)
Sarin is one of the deadliest nerve gases, hundreds of times more toxic than cyanide. Just one whiff and you’ll foam at the mouth, fall into a coma, and die. Originally synthesized for use as a pesticide, it was outlawed as a warfare agent in 1997.

5. Tetrodotoxin (ingested)
Found in the organs of puffer fish (the famous Japanese delicacy fugu), tetrodotoxin persists even after the fish is cooked. If the toxin is consumed, paralysis and death can strike within six hours. Up to five Japanese die from badly prepared fugu every year.

6. Cyanide (ingested or inhaled)
Cyanide exists in a number of lethal forms that are present in nature or easily manufactured. Exposure leads to seizures, cardiac arrest, and death within minutes.

7. Mercury (inhaled)
Low levels of mercury are not especially toxic to adults. However, inhaled mercury vapor (the metal starts turning to a gas at room temp) attacks the brain and lungs, shutting down the central nervous system.

8. Strychnine (ingested or inhaled)
A common pesticide, strychnine isn’t as toxic as other poisons on our list, but it gets style points for causing one of the most horrific deaths of all: Every muscle in your body spasms violently until you die from exhaustion.

9. Amatoxin (ingested)
Derived from the death cap family of mushrooms, amatoxin destroys your liver and kidneys over several days. You remain conscious – and in excruciating pain – until you slip into a coma and expire.

10. Compound 1080 (ingested or inhaled)
As an animal poison, compound 1080 proved a little too effective: The bodies of creatures killed with 1080 remain poisonous for up to a year. Odorless, tasteless, water soluble, and without antidote, 1080 blocks cellular metabolism, leading to a quick yet painful death.

The 10 Biggest Intellectual Fights Of All time

In our modern, scientific world it is sometimes easy to forget that human progress often comes attached to some spectacular intellectual clashes between different ways of looking at things and differing interpretations of what is seen. There have been some notable intellectual mind-fights over the millennia, the following are ten such fights, the outcome of which changed the world into what we know of it today.

dna The 10 Biggest Intellectual Fights Of All time 10. Intellectual Property Rights vs. Nature: Can Anyone “Own” Life?

A controversy is ongoing today between biological researchers and broader society on the issue of patenting the genes and genomes of living organisms. In 1980 the first patent on a genetically engineered bacteria was granted by the U.S. Supreme Court and the rush was on to patent the “products of nature.” Soon patents were being issued on discovered ‘new’ species of plants and animals even when they weren’t genetically engineered. Isolated and cloned DNA sequences encoding useful proteins are also patentable at present, despite the fact that they are ubiquitous in nature.

This legal and commercial situation has led to giant pharmaceutical companies obtaining patents on genes, gene products and even things like vitamins. Some indigenous people have discovered that the stranger who took that blood test now owns their entire genome! The National Institutes of Health tried in the early 1990s to patent more than 2,000 gene segments sequenced by Craig Venter during the Human Genome Project, even though neither NIH nor Venter knew what their function was. This controversy will not be going away soon, and the biotech industry risks losing public support due to its dismissal of important ethical concerns.

bigbang The 10 Biggest Intellectual Fights Of All time 9. Steady State vs. Big Bang: Hoyle’s Derogatory Terms

In 1912, just three years before Albert Einstein published his theory of General Relativity [GR], Vesto Slipher measured the Doppler shift of a spiral galaxy and determined that almost all of these celestial ‘nebulae’ were receding from the earth at great speed. A decade later Alexander Friedmann derived equations from GR that showed the universe might be expanding. Two years after that Georges Lemaitre put these findings together and predicted that the recession of distant nebulae was due to the expansion of the universe.

It was Fred Hoyle who coined the term “Big Bang” in 1949 to describe the idea that the universe had a beginning, a derogatory term that stuck better than his own cosmological model, which he called “Steady State.” Hoyle postulated that new matter was being created as the universe expanded, so that it always remained roughly the same at any point in time. With confirmation of the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation in 1964 the Big Bang became the ’standard cosmological model’ after half a century of scientific argumentation and theoretical turf-wars.

bohreinstein The 10 Biggest Intellectual Fights Of All time 8. Einstein vs. QT: The Gambling God

“God does not play dice with the universe,” said the man who became an icon of physics with his theories of special and general relativity, Albert Einstein. In 1927 Einstein began a series of debates with quantum explorer Niels Bohr about quantum indeterminism, its epistemological basis and interpretation.

The arguments revolved around what is known as the measurement problem and whether or not particles in the quantum state were really both wave and particle at the same time until measurements were made. Einstein wanted to insist that the apparent indeterminacy at the quantum level was just a (temporary) inability to measure certain properties, while Bohr maintained the impossibility of determining precise values of certain properties because at the quantum level the values were by nature uncertain. Bohr eventually won on the striking results of the Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen [EPR] experiment which arose from these debates and established the phenomenon of quantum non-locality.

teslaedison The 10 Biggest Intellectual Fights Of All time 7. Tesla vs. Edison: AC-DC’s Greatest Hits

In 1856 a boy was born in Croatia who became both a genius and an enigma during a time of great scientific, technological and social change. His name was Nikola Tesla and his passion was electricity and electromagnetism. The rivalry between Tesla and native born genius Thomas Edison at the turn of the 20th century became the stuff of scientific legend.

Tesla worked as an assistant to Edison when he first came to America. He designed a DC (direct current) system for Edison, who then refused to pay him the bonuses he’d promised. So Tesla struck out on his own to develop AC (alternating current) transmission. By 1915 the New York Times reported that the Nobel Prize in Physics was to be jointly shared by Tesla and Edison, though so strong was their personal animosity toward each other that both refused to accept it if the other was named. The prize went instead to two other researchers for work on X-ray crystallography. Six months after Tesla died penniless in 1943 the US Supreme Court invalidated 1909 Nobel winner Marconi’s most important patent for radio transmission and recognized Tesla as the inventor.

trilobite The 10 Biggest Intellectual Fights Of All time 6. The Great Devonian Controversy: Plowing Darwin’s Road

The nineteenth century heralded many important advancements in scientific theory, including the publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species in 1859. The idea of evolution had been floating around in the scientific community for some time, with camps arguing for traditional creationism and the inheritance of acquired traits versus an ancient earth timeline and the transmutation of life forms over deep time. Darwin’s theory of natural selection enjoyed the increasing support of science as the debate over geological data developed during the 1830s to establish various ages of rock strata according to the type of fossils that could be found embedded in those layers.

Darwin had worked with geologist Adam Sedgwick before his journey to the Galapagos Islands, and found his theory dependent on stratigraphy as it steadily developed a scientific consensus in the intervening years. The controversy and Darwin’s theory initiated search for what became known as “transitional fossils,” a search that continues to this day.

newton The 10 Biggest Intellectual Fights Of All time 5. Newton vs. Leibniz: Fluxions and Fluents

Sir Isaac Newton was an intellectual scrapper of considerable repute who was never shy of throwing power around or taking ideas and data from others without attribution. The long fight between Newton and Gottfried Leibniz over who discovered calculus is the most famous. Leibniz was unarguably the first to publish on the subjects of differential and integral calculus, 20 years before Newton. Yet letters from Newton expounding his theories of “fluxional” calculus exactly coincide with Leibniz’s work.

A major scientific bruhaha ensued, with defenders in both camps. Leibniz appealed to the Royal Society, allowing Newton as its president to appoint the investigating committee from among his friends, and even to write the committee’s report accusing Leibniz of plagiarism. Historians of science now credit both Leibniz and Newton with the discovery of calculus, probably because neither Newton nor Leibniz are around to argue about it any more.

galileo The 10 Biggest Intellectual Fights Of All time 4. Galileo vs. The Church: Our Sunny Neighborhood

Galileo Galilei published in 1610 his observations through his telescope to argue in favor of the Copernican sun-centered cosmological model against the then-predominant Ptolemaic view. He demonstrated his telescope to the Jesuit College and encountered little resistance. Then, in 1632 he published Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems and quickly found himself summoned to appear before the Inquisition on charges of heresy.

Galileo was forced to recant his support for the Copernican model and spent the rest of his life under house arrest, though with rather lenient travel and visitation allowances. His works were finally dropped from the Index of prohibited books in 1835. In 1992 Pope John Paul II expressed regret for how the “Galileo Affair” was handled, officially conceding on the part of the church that the earth is not stationary and that the planets orbit the sun.

95theses The 10 Biggest Intellectual Fights Of All time 3. Martin Luther vs. The Church: Reformation

In the year 1517 the Catholic monk Martin Luther nailed a copy of his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany to argue against the doctrine and practice of selling indulgences. These arguments were quickly translated from Latin into German and widely disseminated with the help of the newly-invented printing press, and led to Luther’s excommunication in 1520. The great Reformation quickly ensued.

Pope Leo X issued a lengthy rebuttal to Luther’s charges in an encyclical reiterating Church doctrine, which didn’t sway public sentiment in Germany and other parts of Northern Europe. Protestantism became firmly rooted as a sort of declaration of independence from the control of Rome. This in turn led to tremendous social changes along with the decline of feudalism and the rise of commercialism as well as conflicts between Catholic and Protestant claims to territories in the New World.

elgrecopaul The 10 Biggest Intellectual Fights Of All time 2. Paul vs. James: Universalizing The Faith

Surely the Council of Jerusalem [circa 50 c.e.] has to be counted among the most important of intellectual arguments, for the philosophical sub-discipline of theology. It was a clash between James the Just and the great evangelist Paul within two decades of the crucifixion of Jesus. It was about whether or not Christians would be held to the strictures of Judaic Law.

James was titular head of the Church in Jerusalem, while Paul was busy establishing congregations across the Mediterranean portion of the Roman empire among gentiles. The primary issue appears to have been a requirement for circumcision, but others related to dietary provisions, etc. were also present. While some of these issues are still debated today, the consensus is that Paul ‘won’ the debate so that Christians are not held to Judaic Law which was “fulfilled” by the figure of Christ. The rest, as they say, is history.

socrates The 10 Biggest Intellectual Fights Of All time 1. Socrates vs. The Gods: Triumph of Reason

Greek philosophy helped to shape the metaphysics of the civilized world in the last half of the first millennium b.c.e. There were many divergent schools of philosophy competing with one another by the time the Sophists came along maintaining that truth was entirely a matter of persuasion by argument rather than something absolute. Socrates rose from among Sophist ranks and became famous for walking the talk so well that he made some enemies in high places.

Socrates taught that ethics were not a matter of divine decree, but are best the result of human reason and individual conscience. Socrates was charged with impiety (disbelief in the state’s gods, corrupting the morals of the youth), convicted by a margin of 6 out of 50 votes, and committed suicide by drinking poison. Through his student Plato and Plato’s student Aristotle, the intellectual tools of reason and logic lived on to become part of the guiding philosophy of the Enlightenment and science.

13 Unsolved scientific puzzles

We investigated some of the most puzzling anomalies of modern science, those intractable problems that refuse to conform to the theories. Here he counts down the 13 strangest.

eclipse 13 Unsolved scientific puzzles


We can only account for 4 per cent of the cosmos

If you’re wondering what the LHC might do for you, how’s this: it might just find a whole quarter of the universe. The collider is hoping to create some particles of what physicists call “dark matter”, an enigma that is thought to make up roughly 25 per cent of the universe. Then there is the “dark energy”, a mysterious force that seems to be ripping space and time apart. In total, a whopping 96 per cent of the universe has gone AWOL. Unless, that is, we’ve got our maths all wrong. Watch this space.


Two spacecraft are flouting the laws of physics

In the 1970s NASA launched two space probes that have caused no end of headaches. About 10 years into the missions of Pioneer 10 and 11, the mission head admitted that they had drifted off course. In every year of travel, the probes veer 8000 miles further away from their intended trajectory. It is not much when you consider that they cover 219 million miles a year; the drift is around 10 billion times weaker than the Earth’s pull on your feet. Nonetheless, it is there, and decades of analysis have failed to find a straightforward reason for it. Times Archive: Pioneer 11 arrival at Saturn, 1974


Destabilising our view of the universe

A decade ago, we discovered that the fundamental constants of physics might not be so constant after all. These are the numbers that describe just how strong the forces of nature are, and make the laws of physics work when we use them to describe the processes of nature. Light that has travelled across the universe from distant stars tells us those laws might have been different in the past. Though the physical laws and constants have helped us define and tame the natural world, they might be an illusion.


Nuclear energy without the drama

In 1989, the world was rocked by claims that you could release nuclear energy without a catastrophic explosion. Various failures to replicate or explain these results soon ended the careers of the scientists involved. But, despite what you might have heard, “cold fusion” never really went away. Over a 10-year period from 1989, US navy labs ran more than 200 experiments to investigate whether nuclear reactions generating more energy than they consume – supposedly only possible inside stars – can occur at room temperature. Numerous researchers have since pronounced themselves believers. With controllable cold fusion, many of the world’s energy problems would melt away: no wonder the US Department of Energy is interested again.


Are you more than just a bag of chemicals?

Are you more than the sum of the inanimate chemicals that make up your body? What turns a living tree into a lifeless piece of wood? No one knows. Researchers have even given up trying to define what life is. But they are still trying to understand it – by making it from scratch. In labs across the world, people are taking the raw materials of living things and trying to put them together in a way that makes them come alive. In an effort to resolve the anomalous nature of life, the idea of scientists playing God has taken a whole new turn. Times Archive: Dr Edmund Leach on when scientists play God, 1968


NASA scientists found evidence for life on Mars. Then they changed their minds

On July 20, 1976, the Viking landers scooped up some Martian soil and mixed it with radioactive nutrients. The mission’s scientists all agreed that if radioactive methane was released from the soil, something must be eating the nutrients – and there must be life on Mars. The experiment gave a positive result, but NASA denied an official detection of Martian life. Today, there is even more evidence that something is creating methane on Mars. Is it life? The Viking experiment suggests it was. Martin Rees, England’s astronomer royal, calls the search for extraterrestrial life the most important scientific endeavour of our time. But have we already found it? Times Archive: Spacecraft evidence suggests life on Mars was possible, 1976


Has ET already been in touch?

It was an electromagnetic pulse that came from the direction of the Sagittarius constellation. It lasted 37 seconds and had exactly the characteristics predicted for an alien signal. Maybe that’s why, on 15 August 1977 it caused astronomer Jerry Ehman to scrawl “Wow!” on the printout from Big Ear, Ohio State University’s radio telescope in Delaware. The nearest star in that direction is 220 light years away. If that really is where is came from, it would have had to be a pretty powerful astronomical event – or an advanced alien civilisation using an astonishingly large and powerful transmitter. More than 30 years later, its origin remains a mystery. Times Archive: ET, The Extra Terrestrial, The Times review 1982


It’s a freak that could rewrite the story of life

Mimivirus is sitting in a freezer in Marseille. Around thirty times bigger than the rhinovirus that gives you a common cold, it is by far the biggest virus known to science. But this virus’s biggest impact won’t be on the healthcare systems of the globe. It will be, most likely, on the history of life on Earth. Mimivirus doesn’t fit with the established story of how life on Earth got going. Mimi has a genome that, in parts, looks like yours. Mimivirus seems to be part of the story of life on Earth. It may even make us rewrite it.


Evolution’s problem with self-destruction

Why must we die? It is a question that splits biologists, and over the years, theories have been batted back and forth as new evidence comes to light. One answer is that death is simply necessary – to avoid overcrowding, for instance. But evolution doesn’t – can’t – select for a “death switch” because evolution is supposed to be all about the individual. And yet there does seem to be a death switch: researchers have managed to locate genetic switches that massively extend the lifespan of some nematode worms. Can we solve the riddle of death? Times Archive: Why die? Experiments in immortality, 1921

10. SEX

There are better ways to reproduce

Sex is everywhere, but no one knows why. It is a question that “better scientists than I have spent book after book failing to answer,” says Richard Dawkins. To Charles Darwin, the reason for the prevalence of sexual reproduction was “hidden in darkness”. All the arguments in favour of sexual reproduction are countered by stronger arguments in favour of self-cloning: asexual reproduction, where an organism produces a copy of itself, is a much more efficient way to pass your genes down to the next generation. There’s no proof that sex makes a species more resilient, or better placed to cope with change. Why is it still around? Times Archive: Darwin on the Descent of Man, 1871 Part 1 Part 2


Your decisions are not your own

Our gut instinct, our experience, is that we make the decisions to move, to think, to eat, to steal, to lie, to punch and kick. We have constructed the entire edifice of our civilisation on this idea. But science says this free will is a delusion. According to the world’s best neuroscientists, we are brain-machines. Our brains create the sense that somewhere within them is the “you” that makes decisions. But it is an illusion; there is no ghost in the machine. What does this mean for our sense of self? And for our morality – can we prosecute people for acts over which they had no conscious control? Times Archive: Necessity and free will, 1877


Who’s being deceived?

The placebo effect used to be thought of as just a manipulation, a mind-trick. Doctors wore white coats, spoke in soothing tones, exuding confidence and medical know-how, and if they told you a pill would make you better, it would. By the time you found out it was just a sugar pill, you were feeling great, so who cares? Well, lots of people, actually, because our new understanding of placebo is messing up medicine. Some prescription drugs that were judged to perform “better than placebo” in clinical trials don’t work unless you know you’re taking them. All in all, the gold standard of medicine, the placebo-controlled clinical trial, is looking a little peaky. Times Archive: Science report: Endorphins and the placebo effect, 1978


It’s patently absurd, so why won’t it go away?

Homeopathy’s claim is that you can take a substance of dubious properties, dilute it to the point where there are no molecules of the original substance left in the sample you have, and still use it to heal sickness. Sir John Forbes, the physician to Queen Victoria’s household, called it “an outrage to human reason.” There is no justification in all of science for this idea — and yet there remains some slim evidence that homeopathy works. How can this be? Times Archive: Advertisement: The New Homoeopathy, 1914

13 Things That Don’t Make Sense – The Most Intriguing Scientific Mysteries of Our Time by Michael Brooks is published by Profile Books, £12.99 More information at Michael’s website.

5 Super Powers You Can Have Today

Everybody wants superpowers, from the simple innocence of a child yearning for flight to the sad perversion of the Amish man praying for x-ray vision powerful enough to peep a lady’s calves. We all want to be superhuman, and you can start right now! This is but a sample of some of the currently existing (or soon to be developed) devices that can lend the average man abilities previously relegated to world of comic books.

Super Speed

super speed 5 Super Powers You Can Have TodayLeg amputees, if not wheelchair-bound, are often left struggling with awkward prosthetics, canes, and crutches. But now, with the aid of newly developed super-legs, even double amputees can run every bit as well as some of the world’s fastest sprinters. This all began in the 2000 paralympics (which I promise is a real thing and not just me being a bastard about wordplay) with a South African man named Oscar Pistorius who became the first amputee to complete the 200-meter dash in under 22 seconds, beating the previous world record, held by one Brian Frasure.

But there is some controversy over the legs’ use. While they only put out a 95% return of force as compared to the normal human legs’ 200% return, the running prosthetics also give the user a springing gait and increased stride distance, which could lend them an unfair advantage as well as a jaunty disposition. Considering that this story took place in the ancient days of the year of our lord, 2000, and the fact that the legs have since gone through countless permutations by a myriad of companies, many designs endow abilities well beyond typical human capacity. But there is a great tragedy being overlooked in this story: Brian Frasure, the previous world record holder, actually helped design these prosthetic carbon-fiber feet, and he was the one who gave them to Pistorius…who promptly proceeded to wipe Frasure from the record books with them.
The poor bastard. He’s probably working on a time machine right now, to prevent himself from ever building these legs. If so, knowing his track record, he will most likely be thwarted when somebody inevitably uses that time machine to steal his plans and then invent it before him. He will die as he lived, crippled (by irony.)
Bullet Proff

bullet proff 5 Super Powers You Can Have Today

D3O (d-3-o) is an exciting new development in bulletproofing material and not, as it sounds, a generic brand version of a Star Wars robot. Or rather, it’s an impact proof material which, in conjunction with already existing bulletproof materials, could provide true invulnerability to most gunshot wounds. As it stands now, you can survive many gunshot wounds with traditional Kevlar, but are likely to feel pretty poor afterwords, as the distributed force causes fleshwounds, broken bones and large concentric bruises – like getting your ass beat by the atmosphere. Oftentimes the impact from surviving a gunshot will temporarily knock the victim unconscious as well, leaving them vulnerable with a guy that has already made his feelings clear through the administration of bullets.
But D3O is set to stop that: It works kind of like cornstarch -iIt starts off as gel, but gets proportionally harder when more force is exerted on it (the dick joke here is just too easy, I have my standards.) When soft, the substance allows for greater flexure, but when rigid can reduce the strength of a bullet impact by more than half. And that’s what she said (I hate myself.)

The UK Ministry of Defense has already commissioned body and head armor using the new substance, obviously seeing the potential for better protection… or just because it looks really, really fun to grab. We’re talking bubble-wrap levels of tactile stimulation here, people.

invisibility 5 Super Powers You Can Have Today

Scientists are getting damn close to inventing a true invisibility cloak. Previous efforts, like the one pictured before – while still scarily advanced – are nonetheless always slightly inaccurate, because they rely on a camera/projector technique. Recently, a paper published in the March 2009 issue of SIAM Review collected all that we currently know about the method of invisibility, and it turns out it’s a lot.

We can not only render things invisible in theory by bending light waves around an object, but have even progressed so far as to be developing the metamaterials needed to bring the theory to life.
So, while it’s incredibly close but currently theoretical in the private sector, who’s to say that better-funded government scientists don’t already have a secret working prototype? How would you know, after all? They could be there right now…they could be….right…BEHIND YOU! Nah, I’m just kidding. Why would they be behind you? They’re invisible, after all. They’re probably right in front of you. Or in your bathroom, depending on their inherent creepiness and the severity of their pervert-mustache.
Spiderman Webs
spider webs 5 Super Powers You Can Have Today

Some of us, as children, saw Spider-man’s amazing agility and web-swinging prowess and were immediately struck with jealous awe. The desperation even had some of us – who shall remain unnamed and are in no way me – microwaving spiders in an attempt to harness their radioactive bite (all right, so some of us were a little more retarded than others.) Not like Liming Dai, and Zhong Lin Wing, two professors at the universities of Dayton and Georgia Tech, respectively, who invented a material with ten times better proportional sticktion (I swear to god that’s also a word) than a Gecko’s foot.

The true awesomeness of the material, however, is that the nanotube spatulae (basically microscopic hairs) design also allows the material to pull free with a well-placed tug, letting you adhere to virtually any surface as well as quickly remove from that surface for redeployment. Or, as your childhood selves would understand it: Holy Shit! We get to swing on webs now!
So on the upside: Childhood dreams realized! Let’s get to work on making Transformer Best Friends a reality and we’re all set. On the downside? Prepare for a massive Darwinian strike aimed solely at the ADD infested nerd-children of America. Their awkward, flailing flips and mid-air somersaults shall bring a reaping as terrible to endure as it is hilarious to see.

Super Sight

super sight 5 Super Powers You Can Have Today

Rob Spence, a filmmaker from Canada, had his eye wounded in a shooting accident as a child. Presumably furious at its weak character and lazy work ethic, Spence asked doctors to just completely remove it a few years ago, and now he’s getting it replaced with a small camera (of the type normally used for colonoscopies,) a battery, and a wireless transmitter – effectively turning him into a human documentarian capable of recording, broadcasting, and relaying literally everything he sees, as he sees it.
Clearly this is an advantage over other, larger, more expensive filmmaking crews, as it not only gives Scott a completely secret way to record, but makes him basically the world’s smallest, cheapest studio. But god, consider what he’s sacrificed to get here! Not only has he been shot in the eye, but he’s demanded that said eye be removed, years later, and then replaced with something that normally goes up your butt. The man’s got a butt-eye for christ’s sake! Van Gogh may have cut off his ear, but until he replaces it with a dick, Rob Spence wins for craziest gesture in the name of art, hands down.

Monster mummies of Japan

Lurking the halls of Buddhist temples and museums across Japan are a host of monster mummies — the preserved remains of demons, mermaids, kappa, tengu, raijū, and even human monks. Here are a few remarkable specimens for the adventurous and brave at heart.

- Demon mummies

It might seem odd that Buddhist temples in Japan house the occasional stray mummified demon (oni), but then again it probably makes sense to keep them off the streets and under the watchful eye of a priest.

Zengyōji (善行寺) temple in the city of Kanazawa (Ishikawa prefecture) is home to the mummified head of a three-faced demon. Legend has it that a resident priest discovered the mummy in a temple storage chamber in the early 18th century. Imagine his surprise.

monster mummy 8 Monster mummies of Japan

Three-faced demon head at Zengyōji temple [Photos]

Nobody knows where the demon head came from, nor how or why it ended up in storage.

The mummified head has two overlapping faces up front, with another one (resembling that of a kappa) situated in back. The temple puts the head on public display each year around the spring equinox.

monster mummy 10 Monster mummies of Japan

Another mysterious demon mummy can be found at Daijōin temple in the town of Usa (Oita prefecture).

The mummy is said to have once been the treasured heirloom of a noble family. But after suffering some sort of misfortune, the family was forced to get rid of it.

The demon mummy changed owners several times before ending up in the hands of a Daijōin temple parishioner in 1925. After the parishioner fell extremely ill, the mummy was suspected of being cursed.

The parishioner quickly recovered from his illness after the mummy was placed in the care of the temple. It has remained there ever since. Today the enshrined demon mummy of Daijōin temple is revered as a sacred object.

A much smaller mummy — said to be that of a baby demon — was once in the possession of Rakanji Temple at Yabakei (Oita prefecture).

monster mummy 2 Monster mummies of Japan
Baby demon mummy at Rakanji temple

Unfortunately, the treasured mummy was destroyed in a fire in 1943.

* * * * *

- Mermaid mummies

In Edo-period Japan — particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries — mermaid mummies were a common sight at popular sideshow carnivals called misemono. Over time, the practice of mermaid mummification blossomed into an art form as fishermen perfected techniques for stitching the heads and upper bodies of monkeys onto the bodies of fish.

The mummy pictured below is a prime example of a carnival mermaid. It appears to consists of fish and other animal parts held together with string and paper.

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Mermaid mummy at the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden

The mummified creature was obtained by Jan Cock Blomhoff while serving as director of Dejima, the Dutch trading colony at Nagasaki harbor from 1817 to 1824. It now resides at the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden.

Another old mermaid mummy exhibited at a museum in Tokyo several years ago appears to belong to the founder of the Harano Agricultural Museum.

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Mysterious mermaid mummy

The mummy’s origin is unknown, but the collector says it was found in a wooden box that contained passages from a Buddhist sutra written in Sanskrit. Also in the box was a photograph of the mermaid and a note claiming it belonged to a man from Wakayama prefecture.

>>> More mermaid mummies

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- Kappa mummies

Like the mermaid mummies, many kappa (river imp) mummies are thought to have been crafted by Edo-period artists using parts of animals ranging from monkeys and owls to stingrays.

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Kappa mummy at the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden (Netherlands)

This mummified kappa, which now resides in a Dutch museum, appears to consist of various animal parts put together in a seamless whole. It is believed to have been created for the purpose of carnival entertainment in the Edo period.

Another mummified kappa can be found at Zuiryūji temple in Osaka.

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Kappa mummy at Zuiryūji Temple, Osaka [Photo]

The 70-centimeter long humanoid purportedly dates back to 1682.

Another notable kappa mummy can be seen in a seemingly unlikely place — at a sake brewery in the town of Imari (Saga prefecture).

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Kappa mummy at Matsuura Brewery

According to a company brochure, the mummified kappa was discovered inside a wooden box that carpenters found hidden in the ceiling when replacing the roof over 50 years ago.

Reckoning the creature was an old curiosity their ancestors had passed down for generations, the company owners built a small altar and enshrined the kappa mummy as a river god.

>>> Read more about the kappa.

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- Raijū

With a limited scientific understanding of the sky above, the common person in Edo-period Japan looked upward with great awe and mystery. Supernatural creatures called raijū (雷獣) — lit. “thunder beast” — were believed to inhabit rain clouds and occasionally fall to earth during lightning strikes.

The earliest known written records of the raijū date as far back as the late 18th century, though the creature appears to borrow characteristics from the nue — a cloud-dwelling, illness-inducing chimera first described in The Tale of the Heike, a 12th-century historical epic.

Details about the raijū’s appearance vary. Some Edo-period documents claim the raijū resembled a squirrel, cat or weasel, while others describe it as being shaped more like a crab or seahorse.

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Raijū depicted in the Kanda-Jihitsu (ca. 1800) // Raijū seen in Tottori, 1791

However, most descriptions agree that the raijū had webbed fingers, sharp claws, and long fangs that, by some accounts, could shoot lightning. The beast also sometimes appeared with six legs and/or three tails, suggesting the ability to shape-shift.

One illustrated document tells of a raijū that fell from the sky during a violent storm on the night of June 15, 1796 in Higo-kuni (present-day Kumamoto prefecture).

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Illustration of raijū encountered on June 15, 1796

Here, the raijū is described as a crab-like creature with a coat of black fur measuring about 11 centimeters (4 inches) thick.

Another notorious encounter took place in the Tsukiji area of Edo on August 17, 1823. Two versions of the incident offer different descriptions of the beast.

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Raijū encounter, August 17, 1823 – Version 1

One document depicts the raijū as being the size of a cat or weasel, with one big bulging eye and a single long horn, like that of a bull or rhino, projecting forward from the top of its head.

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Raijū encounter, August 17, 1823 – Version 2

In the other account, the raijū has a more roundish look and lacks the pointy horn.

In Volume 2 of Kasshi Yawa (”Tales of the Night of the Rat”), a series of essays depicting ordinary life in Edo, author Matsuura Seizan writes that it was not uncommon for cat-like creatures to fall from the sky during thunderstorms. The volume includes the story of a family who boiled and ate one such creature after it crashed down onto their roof.

Given the frequency of raijū sightings, it should come as no surprise that a few mummies have turned up.

In the 1960s, Yūzanji temple in Iwate prefecture received a raijū mummy as a gift from a parishioner. The origin of the mummy, as well as how the parishioner obtained it, is a mystery.

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Raijū mummy at Yūzanji temple

The mummy looks like that of a cat at first glance, but the legs are rather long and the skull has no visible eye sockets.

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Raijū mummy at Saishōji temple [Photo]

A similar raijū mummy is on display at Saishōji temple in Niigata prefecture.

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- Tengu mummy

Another legendary supernatural sky creature is the tengu, a dangerous demon often depicted in art as being part human and part bird. The Hachinohe Museum (Aomori prefecture) in northern Japan is home to a tengu mummy, which is said to have once belonged to Nambu Nobuyori, a Nambu clan leader who ruled the Hachinohe domain in the mid-18th century.

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Tengu mummy at Hachinohe Museum

The mummy, which appears to have a humanoid head and the feathers and feet of a bird, is believed to have originated in the town of Nobeoka (Miyazaki prefecture) in southern Japan. Theories suggest the tengu mummy made its way north after being passed around between members of Japan’s ruling samurai families, some of whom were deeply interested in collecting and trading these curiosities.

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- Self-mummified monks

A few Buddhist temples in northern Japan are home to “living mummies” known as sokushinbutsu (即身仏). The preserved bodies are purportedly those of ascetic monks who willingly mummified themselves in the quest for nirvana.

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Shinnyokai-Shonin “living mummy” at Dainichibo Temple (Yamagata prefecture)

To become a living mummy, monks had to undergo a long and grueling three-step process.

Step 1: For 1,000 days, the monks would eat a special diet of nuts and seeds, and engage in rigorous physical training to strip the body of fat.

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Tetsumonkai-Shonin “living mummy” at Churenji temple (Yamagata prefecture)

Step 2: For another 1,000 days, they would eat only bark and roots in gradually diminishing amounts. Toward the end, they would start drinking tea made from the sap of the urushi tree, a poisonous substance normally used to make Japanese lacquer bowls, which caused further loss of bodily fluid. The tea was brewed with water from a sacred spring at Mt. Yudono, which is now known to contain a high level of arsenic. The concoction created a germ-free environment within the body and helped preserve whatever meat was left on the bone.

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Arisada Hōin, 300-yr-old “living mummy” at Kanshūji temple (Fukushima)

Step 3: Finally, the monks would retreat to a cramped underground chamber connected to the surface by a tiny bamboo air pipe. There, they would meditate until dying, at which point they were sealed in their tomb. After 1,000 days, they were dug up and cleaned. If the body remained well-preserved, the monk was deemed a living mummy.

Unfortunately, most who attempted self-mummification were unsuccessful, but the few who succeeded achieved Buddha status and were enshrined at temples. As many as two dozen of these living mummies are in the care of temples in northern Honshu.

The Japanese government outlawed the practice of self-mummification in the late 19th century.

Top 10 Inventions of the Middle Ages

The middle ages (5th – 15th Centuries AD), often termed The Dark Ages, were actually a time of great discovery and invention. The Middle ages also saw major advances in technologies that already existed, and the adoption of many Eastern technologies in the West. This is a list of the ten greatest inventions of the Middle Ages (excluding military inventions).

1. The Heavy Plough 5th Century AD

2. Tidal Mills 7th Century AD

3. The Hourglass 9th Century AD

4. Blast Furnace 12th Century AD

5. Liquor 12th Century AD

6. Eyeglasses 13th Century

7. The Mechanical Clock 13th Century AD

8. Spinning Wheel 13th Century AD

9. Quarantine 14th Century AD

10. The Printing Press of Gutenberg 15th Century AD

Sources: Wikipedia, Britannica


4 Huge Explosions Nobody Could Explain

Tunguska – Thousands of square kilometres of trees were burned

In the early morning of 30 June, 1908, witnesses told of a gigantic explosion and blinding flash. Thousands of square kilometres of trees were burned and flattened.
Scientists have always suspected that an incoming comet or asteroid lay behind the event – but no impact crater was ever discovered and no expedition to the area has ever found any large fragments of an extraterrestrial object.

The explosion, equivalent to 10-15 million tonnes of TNT, occurred over the Siberian forest, near a place known as Tunguska.

A flash fire burned thousands of trees near the impact site. An atmospheric shock wave circled the Earth twice. And, for two days afterwards, there was so much fine dust in the atmosphere that newspapers could be read at night by scattered light in the streets of London, 10,000 km (6,213 miles) away.

Nearly a century later, scientists are still debating what happened at that remote spot. Was it a comet or an asteroid? Some have even speculated that it was a mini-black hole, though there is no evidence of it emerging from the other side of the Earth, as it would have done.

Rad full story at Uphaa

Strange and mysterious sounds from the earth

If you listen closely, you’ll find that the earth is full of sounds.  Some are things that you hear every day, some are truly remarkable and some sounds hail from origins completely unknown.  What follows here is a list of “sonic mysteries” for your pleasure – many of them include audio.

1. The Bloop

250px bloop Strange and mysterious sounds from the earth At various times during the summer of 1997, an ultra-low frequency sound that rose rapidly in frequency over about one minute was detected at 50 degrees S, 100 degrees W.   The sound was detected by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with the Equatorial Pacific Ocean autonomous hydrophone array (which was U.S. Navy equipment originally designed to detect Soviet submarines), and was loud enough to be heard on multiple sensors, up to 5000km apart.  Scientists dubbed it the “Bloop” (not to be confused with the “Boing “.)

Although the sound matches the profile of a living animal, it is much louder than any known creature can produce.  Any creature that could produce such a sound would have to be many times larger than the largest whale.

You can hear a very short recording of the sound here .  The recording is short because it’s been sped up 16x to make it audible to you and I.

Some people link the Bloop to Cthulhu , a mythical creature from an H.P. Lovecraft story as the noise originated from an area near the mythical sunken city of R’lyeh from the same story.

The Bloop also makes an appearance in the game promoting the movie Cloverfield, and was also seen in the movie “The Loch”, coming from a giant eel.

A 2001 album by Dntel (”Life is full of possibilities “) uses the bloop as a repeating sample through the piece.

The actual origination of the sound is not known and remains a mystery to this day although it is suspected to be biological in origin.

2. The Hum

The hum is the name of a phenomenon that is generally given to mysterious low frequency humming or rumbling.  It is typically heard by many people at a time (but not others), and can come and go or it can be constant.  There are many famous Hums, most notably the Taos Hum and the Bristol Hum.

The Hum is usually difficult to record, and it’s often difficult to localize the source of the hum (perhaps due to the low frequency, as low frequency sounds are harder to localize).

Hums have been detected (or reported) all over the world, but most appear in Europe and South America.  The Hum is more often heard indoors, and some people hear it more faintly than others.  Here is a recording of the Auckland Hum.

The Taos Hum has been featured on the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.  The source of some Hums have been identified – for example, a pair of fans in a cooling tower at a DaimlerChrysler casting plant was emitting a 36 Hz tone that caused a Hum over the entire city of Kokomo, Indiana.  Other Hums remain a mystery.  Some possible explanations Include geological events, pulsed microwaves and electromagnetic waves from meteors.  Tinnitus might explain some cases as well.

A creditable scientific hypothesis from 2005 suggests the Hum is caused by the tensor tympani muscle (a muscle in the inner ear) trembling in the eardrums of individuals. on the eardrums of affected individuals by the tensor tympani muscle trembling.  There is a website by the “Interest Group for Research of the Hum Nuisance” (unfortunately in German) describing this theory.

3.The Hell Hole

(You can decide for yourself on this one…) More than forty years ago, researchers in the Soviet Union began an ambitious drilling project whose goal was to penetrate the Earth’s upper crust and sample the warm, mysterious area where the crust and mantle intermingle– the Mohorovičić discontinuity, or “Moho.”

hellhole Strange and mysterious sounds from the earthThis type of drilling was completely new and the technology didn’t exist to go that deep, so the Russians had to invent a completely new way of drilling to be able to do it. Unfortunately, the Russians never reached their goal, and many of the Earth’s secrets were left undiscovered, however The Kola Superdeep Borehole is still a scientifically useful site, and research there is ongoing.

When drilling stopped in 1994, the hole was over seven miles deep, making it by far the deepest hole ever drilled by humans. The last of the cores to be plucked from from the borehole was dated to be about 2.7 billion years old.  Although the Kona hole was the deepest hole ever drilled (until this one) , seven miles was still very short of the 20-80km required to penetrate  the earth’s crust.

Like all newfangled science stories, some Genesis freaks have decided that the intent of the project was not real scientific research as they were told – rather this simple experiment was actually an attempt to drill to hell… and that they were successful! The story has (and still does) made its rounds on Christian circles via tracts, preaching and radio broadcasts.

The story varies, but here are the basics:

1.  After going only a few miles down, the drill began to spin wildly.

2.  A ‘Doctor Azzakov’ is quoted as stating authoritatively that it has been shown that the earth is hollow.

3.  Immensely high temperatures were experienced, much higher than expected at that depth. Usually 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit or 1,100 degrees Celsius is quoted.

4.  Microphones were lowered into the hole (to ‘listen to the earth’s movement’). Human screams were heard—hordes of ‘tortured souls’.

5.  Many of the scientists have quit the project in fear and/or have become total nervous wrecks.

Of course, these “facts” are not quite true:

a) If the earth was largely hollow, it would clearly be evident from seismic studies, as well as from orbital/gravitational considerations, but this is not the case.

b) Far from being a ‘fiery inferno’, the temperature increased by one degree Celsius every 100 meters to 3,000 meters, then by 2.5 degrees every 100 meters thereafter. At 10,000 meters, it was only 180 degrees.

The story of course is based on a factual borehole, and creation geologists have had a field day with the shaky “facts” – using the story to prove that yes, hell exists and they’ve been right all along.

hell2 Strange and mysterious sounds from the earthHere’s the “quote” that has been making it’s way through evangelical circles:

“We lowered a microphone, designed to detect the sounds of plate movements down the shaft. But instead of plate movements we heard a human voice screaming in pain! At first we thought the sound was coming from our own equipment.”

“But when we made adjustments our worst suspicions were confirmed. The screams weren’t those of a single human, they were the screams of millions of humans!”

Oh, you wanted to HEAR the screams from hell?  But of course!  Listen to it here (mirror ) .

4. Mistpouffers

In some places in the world, people have reported long successions of enormously loud booming noises.  They are called different things in different areas of the world –  “Guns of the Seneca” (near Seneca Lake in New York), “Barisal guns ” (in Bangladesh), “uminari” (in Japan), “fog guns,” “lake guns,” and many other terms. These terms all describe a sound or sounds that resemble distant cannon fire, and are usually heard near large bodies of water.  Often times they are accompanied by a long rumble that is strong enough to shake plates and pictures.

There have been many proposed theories about where these sounds come from, however most are not very satisfying.  Since these sounds have been reported for centuries means that the most obvious explanation, artillery tests , are pretty much ruled out.  Earthquakes and volcanoes could produce these sounds and rumbles, however the sounds have not been directly connected to any seismic activity, which is fairly well measured.

Some have speculated that undersea activity (perhaps seismic) creates great bubbles of released gas which floats to the surface and creates huge “ocean farts”, however it is a stretch to think that these bubbles could produce a sound strong enough to create the distant-gunfire sound of Mistpouffers.  Meteorite impacts have also been bandied about as a possible explanation (see here for actual meteor sounds) as have tidal waves .

thor Strange and mysterious sounds from the earth It has also been speculated that these noises happen everywhere and that ambient noise from communities simply make them harder to hear.  Sound travels farther over water than over land, and so the sounds are more easily heard in remote, quiet areas close to bodies of water.

Of course the latest theory is rather boring – that the sounds are made by thunder or other explosions very far away, and the sounds simply travels a very, very long way because atmospheric and topographic conditions happen to be “just so”.  This would explain why no storms or other activity are present in the area and yet the sounds are still heard.

Some people still believe that the sounds are made from alien spacecraft, God, or Thor’s hammer banging on nails while trying to fix the roof over the heavens…. however there is another theory:

A Web page describing the many tourist attractions of the Cayuga Lake area mentions the “Guns of the Seneca.” it also says  “At the southern end, you’ll find the booming city of Ithaca…”  Well, that it. What people are hearing is obviously the sound of Ithaca booming.

5. Slow Down

slowdown Strange and mysterious sounds from the earth Slow down was recorded in the Pacific Ocean on May 19,1997.   It was recorded by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration located around 15 degrees S 115, degrees W.

It is called the Slow Down because the sound slowly decreases in frequency over the span of about 7 minutes.  It was detected using the same hydrophone array as the Bloop, and was loud enough to be detected on multiple sensors 2000km apart.

Here is a recording of the sound, sped up by 16 times.

Some people believe that this sound has been made by a giant squid or other large sea creature, however this theory doesn’t stand up to scientific reason, as squids likey  with tdo not have the capability of producing their beaks ese sounds.

The real source of the Slow Down sound remains completely unknown.  This signal and anything like it has not been heard before or since.

6. The WOW!

No discussion of mysterious sounds would be complete without this one, although it’s not a sound from earth – it’s from space.  You can also debate whether or not it’s actually technically a sound at all, but I’m presenting it here just because it’s interesting.

wow Strange and mysterious sounds from the earthOn August 15, 1977 a SETI scientist working at the Big Ear radio telescope of the Ohio State University noticed a very strong signal that lasted for 72 seconds.  The type of signal resembled signals that are non-terrestrial and non-solar system in origin.

Because the signal was so remarkable, The scientists circled the data on the computer printout and wrote the word “WOW!” beside it. Ever since then, it’s been called the “Wow!” signal.

Since the signal was discovered, scientists from all over have tried to locate it again, however it has never been seen since.

It has been theorized by some people that the signal may have come from extraterrestrial life, however others remain skeptical.

More information on the Wow can be found here by the person who discovered it.

Donald Duck Family Tree

Donald Duck Family Tree

donald duck family tree Donald Duck Family Tree

click to enlarge

All appearances:

Huey Duck, Dewey Duck, Louie Duck, ? Duck, Della Duck, Donald Duck, Gladstone Gander, Fethry Duck, Abner “Whitewater” Duck, Gus Goose, Matilda McDuck, Scrooge McDuck, Hortense McDuck, Quackmore Duck, Goostave gander, Daphne Duck, Lullubelle Loon, Eider Duck, Fanny Coot, Luke Goose, Cuthbert Coot, Downy O’Drake, Fergus McDuck, Jake McDuck, Angus “Pothole” McDuck, Humperdink Duck, Elvira “Grandma” Coot, Casey Coot, Gretchen Grebe, Quackmire McDuck, “Dirty” Dingus McDuck, Molly Mallard, Gertrude Gadwall, Clinton Coot, Sir Roast McDuck, Sir Swamphole McDuck, Hugh “Seafoam” McDuck, Malcolm McDuck, Sir Quackly McDuck, Sir Stuft McDuck, Sir Eider McDuck, Pintail Duck, Cornelius Coot.

Sidebar (Friends of the family):
Daisy Duck, April, May, June, Gyro Gearloose.

The signs:
The Clan McDuck, The Duck Family, Coot Kin

pupupu pupupu