Saturday, 17 May 2008

The Googolplex

Impossible Numbers

You've heard of a million. You've heard of a billion. Hell, you've probably even heard of a septillion. But have you heard of a Googol? You might have done, and for those of you who haven't, a googol is 1 followed by a hundred zeros.

So you've heard of a googol but have you heard of a googolplex?

A googolplex it 1 followed by a googol zeros, which is a hell of a lot of digits. A google and one digits in fact. I would love to be able to write the numbers instead of the words, but i can't. In fact no one can, it's impossible. There isn't enough matter in the universe to write down a googolplex, even if every single atom was converted into ink and paper or even a computer hard-drive.

That's right, this number would even baffle computers, and I have the proof.

The Googolplex inspired me to try and see how high i could count using a computer. I opened up word and started entering numbers. I managed to make a 290 page word document containing 1,000,001 digits before the program completely crashed.

And I have a feeling the crash was something to do with me trying to paste 9,000,000 digits into word. If it'd managed that I would've had a 2900 page document containing 10,000,001 digits. And that's around 6% the size of a googolplex, so you do the math.

On the bright side though, it is possible to write a googol!

And for those of you wondering, yes Google the search engine is named after this number, only spelled differently. In fact, the Google headquaters in LA are called the Googleplex, which is short for Google Complex.

~Bee(to the power of googol)

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Mind Games

Do You Think Like A Psychopath?

A woman is at her mother's funeral and she meets a man there. He is so perfect that the woman falls in love with him right then and there, but she doesn't get a phone number or anything and has no way to find him. He's gone forever. So, she kills her sister.


Scroll down for the answer, but be aware, if you guessed it correctly then you think like a psychopath!

Because if there was another funeral the man might show up again.

Actually, to be honest, answering correctly doesn't mean you think like a psychopath. It just means you're good at mind games.

This legend has been floating around for a while. It seems pretty convincing and most of the time it even has the name of some American psychologist attached to it to make it seem more authentic, but no such psychologist ever existed and asking someone this question won't reveal the inner workings of their mind.

But hey, believe what ya wanna believe.

~Psycho Bee

Saturday, 19 April 2008

A Buck Fifty

Gang Initiations: Slash and Slice

Gangs have recently been trying out a new initiation process, supposedly. This urban legend suggests that new gang members have been stopping people in the street and asking them to wind down their car windows before slashing them with a blad, from ear to mouth, which is known as 'giving a buck fifty', possibly because the wound takes 150 stitches to fix or because a typical slice of pizza costs $1.50.

This is spreading around as a warning, as these often do (see our first blog post, the Car Bumpers) but again, this legend isn't true. The closest to it being true is the fact that this has happened at least once, but it's uncommon and has nothing to do with Gangs.

So you have nothing to worry about... for now.

~Bucked Bee

Friday, 18 April 2008

Hot Down Here

Letters from Hell: Wish You Were Here!

A couple had been married for twenty years, and so they decided that for their next vacation it would be romantic to go back to Florida and stay in the hotel where they stayed twenty years earlier on their honeymoon. Of course, things never work out perfect and the schedules didn't match, so the husband left for Florida and the wife intended to arrive a few days later.

The husband then discovered that the hotel had got computers now and so he decided to send an email to his wife. Unfortunately, he made a little typo and the email got sent to the wrong address.

Meanwhile, across the country a woman was greiving the death of her own husband, who just happened to be a minister. After getting back from the funeral, she decised to check her email for messages from family and friends. But she soons collapses when she reads the first email:

To My Loving Wife,
I know you'll be surprised to hear from me, but they have computers here now so we can send messages to our loved ones. I've just arrived and i've just been check in. I see everything is in order for your arrival tomorrow, I hope your journey is as eventful as mine! Look forward to seeing you!
Love, Your Loving Husband.

PS. Sure is hot down here!

Another similary and equally as entertaining story is about a minister who holds bake sale and takes a photo of some teenagers with the treats they baked. He sends an email to his sister and puts the picture in it too.

He puts the subject as 'Teenagers baked brownies' but makes a terrible typo, substituting B for N, the key right next to it. And so the email entitled 'Teenagers Naked Brownies', with a picture attached, goes flying through the FBI computers.

Of course, the minister was soon arrested - turns out there was a problem and the FBI couldn't open the file to check it. So they decided to arrest him anyway and be on the safe side. Typical.


Friday, 11 April 2008

Flat Tires

Hitchhikers and Helpful Strangers

This story was going around, about a guy that asks a lady for a ride to his car in a mall parking lot.

"A lady was leaving a store and went to her car and notices that she had a flat tire. A good samaritan says he'll change the tire for her which he does. He then asks her for a lift to his car on the other side of the lot. She asked him why his car was on the other side of the lot and he said he met a friend for lunch and drove him here. When he puts the flat tire in the trunk she notices that he also puts a bag in the trunk. She gets suspicious and tells him that she forgot her credit card in the store and would he mind waiting a minute. She calls the police. When they got to her car he was gone; but in the bag in the trunk was duct tape and a butcher knife. It turns out that he let the air out of the tire.

This is a great urban legend because it has all the typical qualities of an urban legend. It has a horror theme that has a warning to helpless female victims and it has a surprise ending. There is another variation of the legend in which the killer takes on a clever disguise to trick his victim, but once again, for once, unlike in most legends, the victim doesn't become the victim after all.

A woman was driving along one night, on her way home, when she saw an elderly woman by the side of the road. She decides to pick the old woman up, despite her decision to never pick up hitchhikers when she is driving alone. Halfway through the journey, she glances at the old woman and notices that she has unusually hairy arms. Getting suspicious, the woman stops and asks the old lady to get out and check the back of the car because something may be wrong. The old woman gets out and goes to check and the woman drives away, feeling comforted and safe, but soon feeling guilty knowing that she was probably just a poor old woman. Then she feels even more guilty when she realizes she has took the old woman's bag with her. She gets home and takes the bag to the police so it can be returned, but upon investigation they discover a huge butcher knife stained with blood, hidden inside the bag.

I have also heard this story spoken by mouth, I cannot verify whether it is true or not, but it was told to me by my father and is about a woman near where he used to work.

The woman was helped out by an old man and he asks for a ride to thank him. She agrees, but then suddenly regrets her decision, knowing it was a stupid move. But he's expecting a ride now, so she tells him she only just passed her driving test, and asks him to guide her out. So he stands and watches as she backs out of her parking space, but of course, she doesn't stop, she just drives away. But feeling guilty, she takes the suitcase he left to the police to be returned, only for the police to discover a knife hidden within it.

A very popular tale, you can tell, by the fact that it has mutated into various strains as it has been spread by word of mouth.

~Butchered Bee

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Night Kingdom

Disney World: Launching New Park for Adults?

Will Walt Disney World in Florida soon be launching a new park aimed at adults, entitled the 'Night Kingdom'? There have been rumours of this and cast and crew members have claimed that they are in on the project and released some details which may or may not be true, such as the inclusion of villain-themed rides and attractions, and the inclusion of nocturnal animals. Disney have refused to comment on the rumours, but the park is rumour to be completed by 2011.

Park Employees say that it is being worked on in secret near the Animal Kingdom, where food is grown for the animals, but rumours claim that it will be built on or near Pleasure Island. It is said to be a smaller park geared at a smaller audience, and it will be a night-time attraction and have a more intimate setting. It is rumoured to be able to hold 2,000 people.

An inside source leaked the information that the original plans had been put on hold and designers and started from scratch. Another source claimed that the park would be based on villains, as oppose to the main parks for children being based on heroes, and that it would include more 'mean' rides and attractions.

~Night Bee

The Manhattan Project

Shadows of the Past: Hiroshima and Nagasaki

This is an interesting legend regarding the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. From the unexplained-mysteries forum:

"When I was in the 5th or 6th grade we had a substitute teacher. A very animate man with long hair, very effeminate. But we all loved him and enjoyed having him as our sub! Anyhow, he told us a story once during our history lesson. He said he had visited the city of Hiroshima (or what was Hiroshima?) and that the shadows of the people remained as they were at the very moment the bomb hit. The shadows still existed, and hadnt moved."

This is because the bomb sent out massive amounts of radiation, which burnt anything in its path, but where something blocked it, it wasn't burned, so there are shadows permanently burn into objects which were shielded from the radiation.

Similarly, some people had the patterns on their clothes permanetly burned into the flesh because the dark parts of their clothing absorbed radiation and burnt their skin whereas the light parts of clothing reflected radiation and so protected the skin. So someone wearing a shirt with zebra stripes printed on it would have zebra stripes permanently burned into their skin.

In the picure above you can see the shadows cast by a fence at the side of a bridge. The white lines are where the fence protected the ground from radiation from the bomb.

~Bombed Bee

Monday, 31 March 2008

The Chase Vault

The Mystery of the Chase Vault: Coffins that move?

The Chase Vault has become famous for a series of incidents regarding the movement of coffins interred into the tomb. It's an interesting story, take a look for yourself...

The Chase Vault was constructed for James Elliot around 1724. The vault was built such that it was partially underground. It was approximately 12 feet in depth (front to back) and 6 1/2 feet wide. However, Elliot was never interred there, and the vault remained empty until Thomasina Goddard was interred on 31 July 1807. Sometime in 1808, the vault was acquired by the Chase family, a fairly wealthy and important clan in Barbados. Some writers state that the patriarch of the family, Thomas Chase, was one of the most hated men on the island. One example is the account in The People's Almanac: "The head of the family, a man with a vicious temper, was so cruel to his slaves that they had threatened his life."

On 22 February 1808 the body of Thomas Chase's infant daughter, Mary Ann Maria Chase, was taken to the vault for burial. When the vault was opened, Goddard's wooden casket was found to be undisturbed. The vault was then opened on 6 July 1812 to bury Thomas Chase's other daughter, Dorcas Chase. Both Goddard's and Mary Chase's caskets were found to be undisturbed at this time. Both of the Chase girls were interred in heavy lead caskets.

One month later, on
9 August 1812, the vault was opened again to accept the body of Thomas Chase himself. It was at this time that the caskets of the Chase girls were found to be displaced; however the account in the People's Almanac states that Mary's coffin was discovered to have been displaced when the vault was opened to intern Dorcas. According to reports, Mary Chase's casket was thrown from the north-east corner of the vault to the opposite corner such that it was standing on end, head downward. It was assumed the disturbance was the result of vandals or thieves. As such, the caskets were reordered and the large marble slab covering the entrance put back in place.

The vault was opened again on
25 September 1816 to accept the body of another infant, Samuel Brewster Ames. The coffins, with the exception of Thomasina Goddard's, were again found to have been disturbed. Thomas Chase's coffin was supposedly so heavy, it took eight men to move it. Once again, the coffins were reordered, some of them stacked on others in the small vault, and the entrance sealed.

17 November 1816, the vault was opened again to accept the body of Samuel Brewster. Once again, the coffins were found to be in disarray throughout the vault. For the third time, the coffins were moved back to their original positions and the vault sealed.

The vault was opened again on
17 July 1819, to accept the body of Thomasina Clark. Again, the coffins were found scattered. By this time, the mysterious incidents attracted the attention of local officials. Lord Combermere, Governor of Barbados, was reported to have attended Clark's burial. The Chase Vault was carefully examined by the Governor and his staff. No secret entrance into the vault was detected, and sand was scattered across the floor to detect any footprints. The coffins were reordered and Clark's wooden casket placed in the vault. It was reported that Goddard's wooden casket was falling to pieces, either through decay or because of the activity in the vault. The remains of her casket were tied together and placed against a wall. Finally, the vault was closed and the marble slab cemented in place. The Governor and his staff reportedly placed their official seals in the cement to ensure the integrity of the seal.

18 April 1820, some eight months after the burial of Thomasina Clark, the vault was ordered to be reopened. The seals were found to be intact, but when the entrance slab was moved the coffins, with the exception of Goddard's wooden casket, were again found to be in disarray. The account in The People's Almanac includes the macabre detail that "a bony arm, that of Dorcas Chase, [was] sticking out a hole in the side of the coffin." The sand on the floor did not show any kind of human activity within the vault. There was also no indication of flooding or earthquake.

After this incident, the vault was abandoned, and the coffins were buried elsewhere. The vault still exists today at Christ Church Parish Church, and is still vacant.

No one knows what caused the unusual incidents, and probably no one ever will. But I'm sure there's one way to find out - be buried there yourself. I can almost see the Most Haunted episode for the Chase Vault. So, it's a complete mystery, which means, you'll have to judge this one for yourself...

~Burial Bee

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Albert Einstein

Evil does not exist, it is merely the absense of God.

Here's an interesting story I found when I was browsing Snopes...

A professer was teaching a class when he asked if God created everything, and of course, one of the students declared "He did!" The teacher went onto say that if God created everything, then he created evil because evil exists, and by our understanding of what defines us, this must make God evil. No one had an arguement and the professer felt proud of himself for outsmarting the students.

Then one student asked, "Does cold exist?" and the professer said, "of course it does!"

the student replied, "Cold does not exist. Heat exists, and cold is merely the absense of heat. We can measure heat, but we cannot measure cold, at absolute zero, everythign stops because of an absense of heat. Cold does not exist, cold is merely the word we give to the absense of heat."

"Does darkness exist?" the student asked. The professor replied, "of course it does!"

"Darkness does not exist. Darkness is merely the absense of light. We can measure light. We can use prisms to split it and examine the different wavelengths of light, but darkness does not exist, it is simply the word we give to the absense of light."

"Does evil exist?" The student asked, and the teacher replied, "of course it does, we see it everyday!"

"Evil does not exist, it is simply the absense of God."

And that student - Albert Einstein.

I thought this was an interesting urban legend, but sadly, along with Einstein's quote about bees, this legend is completely false. Einstein never said this.

But here's an interesting fact some of you might not know... After his death, Albert Einstein was cremated, but his brain was preserved! It was photographed, then split into pieces and preserved by a doctor who then lost his job after refusing to give the organs up.

Even more gory, his eyes were possibly taken too, as a gift for someone else. Hospitals just weren't the same in the 1950s.

~Brainy Bee

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Greening Discs

Greening Your Discs: Better Sound Quality?

Here's an interesting one for you. Does coloring in the edge of a CD with a green marker pen reduce distortion and give better sound quality? A lot of people believe this, so much so that special products have been produced for just that reason, but for all those people who've bought these and wasted their good money, I'm sorry to tell you, this legend is completely fabricated. That's right, folks, it's false.

I don't know who started this legend, but it seems to have a believable story. That is that the green marker will reduce light reflecting from the edge of the disc, light which usually distorts the sound slightly. Green isn't just a random color, either, it's believed to be the color that absorbs the most light from the laser.

But, as blindfolded people taking part in tests have revealed, there is no difference between regular discs and greened discs. Yet a lot of people are still gonna believe this legend, but for you lucky urban bees out there, you'll know better when it comes to greening your discs.

~Greened Bee

Friday, 28 March 2008

Car Bumpers

Gang Initiations: Bumping and Shooting

A rumour spread widely by text messages over the past few days have said that a new gang is around, the initiation of which requires that the newcomer bump someone's car with their own car, then when the driver of the bumped car gets out, the newcomer is instructed to shoot the driver dead.

This has spread mainly my text message since March 26 and has not been confirmed by authorities, but no one can say for sure if it is false either. Although it has been spread around as a warning to possible victims, some authorities are labelling it an urban legend and insisting that it is not true.

But the truth is, you can never be too sure. In my own opinion, this is probably not true, it seems too perfect that it would spread so quickly and perfectly. Smells like an urban legend to me. But if my car got bumped, I wouldn't get out. It's always good to stay on the safe side.

~Bumped Bee