Day: May 26, 2014

Suspended Animation Human Trials About to Begin

‘With traumatic injuries, timing in treatment can be the difference between life and death. What if surgeons could hit the pause button, giving them precious additional time to treat the wounds? Suspended animation has been featured in a wide array of fictional films, but could it actually work on humans? The FDA has approved a small study that will allow surgeons at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh to try to suspend human life later this month.’ (I Fucking Love Science).

The Gates of Hell

Xeni Jardin: “The Darvaza gas crater, known to locals as “Door to Hell” or “Gates of Hell” is located in the Karakum Desert of central Turkmenistan (about 150 miles from the nation’s capital).

Also known as Derweze, the pit lures tourists and unsuspecting desert critters: “reportedly, from time to time local spiders are seen plunging into the pit by the thousands, lured to their deaths by the glowing flames.” Smithsonian Magazine has an awesome photo gallery.

As with much on our planet, turns out this site is a man-made hell, as Wikipedia explains:

‘The Derweze area is rich in natural gas. While drilling in 1971, Soviet geologists tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas. The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of 70 metres (230 ft) at 40°15′10″N 58°26′22″E. To avoid poisonous gas discharge, it was decided the best solution was to burn it off. Geologists had hoped the fire would use all the fuel in a matter of days, but the gas is still burning today.’  ” (Boing Boing).

More in US die from prescription narcotics than car crashes, guns, suicide

Xeni Jardin: ‘More than 100 Americans die each day from prescription drug overdoses, mostly painkillers. That’s more daily deaths than from car accidents, gunshot wounds, or suicides. In California, two county District Attorneys are suing five of the biggest drug companies in the world, and the lawsuits include the same kind of arguments once used against big tobacco industry, demanding “public protection.”  ‘ (Boing Boing).