Bugarach – the only place that will survive the 12-21-12 Mayan apocalypse

b2The village of Bugarach attracts many  who believe that it will survive the  end of the World 21 December 2012article-2242176-161D29A6000005DC-874_634x424


  • Bugarach – population: 176 – has been earmarked by doomsday cults as the only place in the world which is going to survive Armageddon
  • It is based on an interpretation of the Mayan calendar which claims a planet is on a crash course with Earth and will impact on December 21 2012
  • According to prophecy aliens will emerge from their ‘spaceship garage’ in the town’s Pic de Bugarach mountain and pluck believers to safety
  • ‘Authentic Bugarach stones’ are on sale for €1.50 a gram while a bottle of water from the local spring will cost an eye-watering €15
  • One landowner is offering up his four-bedroom home for £1,200 a night and can offer a camping space in his field for £324
  • ‘Apocalypse pizza’ and ‘End of the World vintage’ wine also available

Nestled in the rolling foothills of the French Pyrenees, market day in the tiny farming community of Bugarach has never been busier.

But shoppers aren’t there to sample the fresh meat, wine and dairy for which the town is locally famed, they are there to pick up their own piece of end-of-the-world memorabilia.

It is because Bugarach – population 176 – has been earmarked by doomsday cults as the only place in the world which is going to survive Armageddon, scheduled for December 21 this year by an ancient Mayan prophecy.

Modern interpretations of the forecast, heavily stoked by internet rumour, predict that aliens will emerge from their ‘spaceship garage’ hidden deep within the town’s imposing Pic de Bugarach mountain and pluck anyone in the vicinity to safety.

Now, Armageddon tourists and UFO spotters hoping for salvation are swarming to the two-street hamlet to collect a slice of Last Day history.

And it is an opportunity the village’s shrewd inhabitants are eager not to pass up.

Souvenirs include ‘authentic Bugarach stones’ from Pic de Bugarach’s rock-face itself, on sale for €1.50 (£1.20) a gram, and ‘natural pyramids of pyrite iron’ from underground.

Meanwhile, a bottle of water from the local spring, which can apparently cure a range of ailments, costs an eye-watering €15 (£12).

One landowner is even offering up his four-bedroom home with close up views of the mysterious peak for £1,200 a night.

But for those on a budget, he can offer camping space in his field (tent not included) for 400 euros a night.

‘I possess a rare asset, the land of immortality,’ he told La Depeche du Midi, the area’s local daily.

On the evening in question, tourists can pop to the local Italian restaurant for an ‘Apocalypse pizza’, washed down with a local vintner’s ‘End Of The World’ vintage.

If the predictions turn out to be wrong, they can celebrate with the same wine-seller’s ‘Survival Vintage’, on sale a day later.

But Bugarach’s mayor, Jean Pierre Delord, is worried about the numbers of New Agers arriving in the town.

Police and troops have been drafted in to deal with the sudden influx and stop believers from scaling the mountain. Although many believe this is merely a cover for the investigation of dozens of recent UFO sightings.

David, who quit his telecoms job in Tours to move to Bugarach, told The Sun: ‘There are serious things going on here – I want to know what these objects are.

‘Things exist and people have a right to know.’

While David, who would not reveal his surname, said he wasn’t sure the world would actually end in three weeks, added: ‘I do think the capitalist system is going to collapse then.’

But others have expressed anger at the town, blaming it for taking advantage of ‘gullible’ New Agers.

Eric Freysselinard, the prefect of the Aude county which includes Bugarach, said this week: ‘I find it really outrageous to abuse the naivety of people and rush into commerce that defies common sense.’

The prophesy is based on an interpretation of the ancient Mayan calendar which claims an intergalactic planet is on a crash course with Earth and will impact on December 21 2012.

The French government has even warned of the risk of mass suicides in the country by people who believe the world will self-destruct next year.

Recent disasters – including the earthquake in Japan – as well as anxiety over pandemics and economic concerns – are creating a global climate of fear, which for some are omens of impending doom.

A report published yesterday by watchdog Miviludes said the picturesque village near Carcassonne should be monitored in the lead-up to the end of 2012.

Miviludes president Georges Fenech said: ‘I think we need to be careful. We shouldn’t get paranoid, but when you see what happened at Waco in the United States, we know this kind of thinking can influence vulnerable people.’

The internet is awash with myths about the hamlet.

These include beliefs that the mountain is surrounded by a magnetic force, that it is the site of a concealed alien base, or even that it contains an underground access to another world.

Patrice Etienne, who runs an organic cafe in the village, said there have been an increased number of reports by walkers in the area of cameras jamming when they tried to take pictures and strange noises rumbling underground.

‘We have seen military aircraft, police and soldiers,’ he added. ‘It’s like a Spielberg movie. They are looking for something. There is something in this mountain, definitely.’

Meanwhile, panic is spreading throughout Russia at such a rate over the Earth’s pending doom, that Moscow’s minister of emergency situations has told its citizens that the world will not end on December 21.

Ancient Mayans claimed that is the day a 5,125-year cycle known as the Long Count in the Mayan calendar supposedly comes to a close. Many in Russia, where mystical thinking is popular, have taken notice.

Some are hoarding everyday items such as sugar, matches and candles, while inmates in a jail are said to have experienced a ‘collective mass psychosis’.

The ministry said it had access to ‘methods of monitoring what is occurring on Earth’, and could say with confidence all will be well.

However Russians were warned they still face the threats of ‘blizzards, ice storms, breakdowns in heat, electricity and water supply’.

An official from the Russian State Church has also spoken out to reassure frightened people.


Watching a horror film can burn over 100 calories


Viewers who put themselves through 90 minutes of adrenaline-pumping terror can use up as much as 113 calories, close to the amount burned during a half-hour walk and the equivalent to a chocolate bar.

The movie top of the list of calorie-burners was found to be the 1980 psychological thriller The Shining, with the average viewer using up a whopping 184 calories.

Jaws took the runner-up spot, with viewers burning on average 161 calories, and The Exorcist came third, with 158 calories.

The University of Westminster study measured the total energy expenditure of ten different people as they watched a selection of frightening movies.

Scientists recorded their heart rate, oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output – and discovered the number of calories used increased by on average a third during the films.

The research also revealed films featuring moments designed to make viewers jump in terror are the best calorie-burners, as they cause heart rates to soar.

Dr Richard Mackenzie, senior lecturer and specialist in cell metabolism and physiology at the University of Westminster, said: “Each of the ten films tested set pulses racing, sparking an increase in the heart rate of the case studies.

“As the pulse quickens and blood pumps around the body faster, the body experiences a surge in adrenaline.

“It is this release of fast acting adrenaline, produced during short bursts of intense stress (or in this case, brought on by fear), which is known to lower the appetite, increase the Basal Metabolic Rate and ultimately burn a higher level of calories.”

Helen Cowley, editor of the movie rental company LOVEFiLM – which commissioned the University of Westminster study – said: “We all know the feeling of wanting to hide behind the sofa or grab a pillow when watching scary or hair raising scenes, but this research suggests that maybe those seeking to burn some calories should keep their eyes on the screen.”

The top calorie-burning frightening films were:

1. The Shining: 184 calories

2. Jaws: 161 calories

3. The Exorcist: 158 calories

4. Alien: 152 calories

5. Saw: 133 calories

6. A Nightmare on Elm Street: 118 calories

7. Paranormal Activity: 111 calories

8. The Blair Witch Project: 105 calories

9. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 107 calories


HBO’s Game of Thrones apologized for putting Bush-head on a stake

The creators of “Game of Thrones” say they meant no offense when they placed on a stake what looks like the head of former U.S. President George W. Bush.

The popular fantasy series is set in medieval times on another planet and follows several clans through a bloody struggle for ultimate power.

Season 1 of the show ended last year with numerous beheadings and a new king.

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss confirmed on the commentary for the DVD release of Season 1 that a prosthetic head bearing the likeness of Bush was among the noggins stuck on stakes and lining a castle wall.

“It’s not a choice, not a political statement!” EW.com reported one of the writer-producers said during the commentary. “We just had to use what heads we had around.”

HBO issued an apology in response to criticism from fans who said they felt the move was disrespectful.

“We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste. We made this clear to the executive producers of the series who apologized immediately for this inadvertent careless mistake. We are sorry this happened and will have it removed from any future DVD production,” the cable network said.

EW.com said Benioff and Weiss released a separate statement, saying: “We use a lot of prosthetic body parts on the show: heads, arms, etc. We can’t afford to have these all made from scratch, especially in scenes where we need a lot of them, so we rent them in bulk. After the scene was already shot, someone pointed out that one of the heads looked like George W. Bush. In the DVD commentary, we mentioned this, though we should not have. We meant no disrespect to the former president and apologize if anything we said or did suggested otherwise.”



Japanese Calorie-Burning Underwear

A new craze is sweeping Japan that involves underwear, a promise to burn calories and a mesmerizing infomercial to back it all up.

Introducing MXP Calorie Shaper Pants, the shiny boxer briefs that hold claim to a revolutionary technology that purportedly enables users to burn extra calories by simply wearing them around.

The makers of these “Calorie Shapers” say their product is built with “honeycomb spring,” a special resin coating, that adds resistance while you walk, thus allegedly increasing the number of calories you burn.

Priced at $32 per pair and holding out the promise to lose weight with no effort, it seems the spandex biker short-like product would sell itself.

The “Calorie Shaper” is being pitched across Japan with an infomercial that looks like a 1980s flashback, complete with choreographed dance routines – in the park, on the street and in the office – and all.

In Japan, where the obesity rate is just 5 percent but alarm-raising headlines have spurred citizens’ concerns, the infomercial has worked and the product is a best-seller.



Beyonce Fly

A newly discovered horse fly in Australia was so “bootylicious” with its golden-haired bum, there was only one name worthy of its beauty: Beyonce.

Previously published results from Bryan Lessard, a 24-year-old researcher at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, were recently announced on the species that had been sitting in a fly collection since it was captured in 1981 — the same year pop diva Beyonce was born.

He says he wanted to pay respect to the insect’s beauty by naming it Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae.

Lessard said Beyonce would be “in the nature history books forever” and that the fly now bearing her name is “pretty bootylicious” with its golden backside.

“Bootylicious” was the title of a song by Beyonce’s previous group, Destiny’s Child.

It’s unknown if the rare species is a bloodsucker like many female horse flies. Lessard says he was unable to find any live specimens when he went looking in 2010 in northeast Queensland’s Atherton Tablelands, where it was captured three decades ago. However, at least one member of the public has alerted him that he was recently bitten by what’s locally called the “gold bum fly.”

The description of the fly was earlier published in the Australian Journal of Entomology, but the results were announced last week.

Lessard says he hasn’t heard from Beyonce, who recently gave birth to her first child, but he is a fan and hopes she will take his scientific gesture as a compliment. He also said the name was picked to help draw attention to the importance of his field and the need for more researchers to catalog and study insects.

Horse flies are “vital pollinators of native plants, not just in Australia, but all over the world,” Lessard said. “It’s extremely important to name all the undescribed species so we can measure our human impact on the environment and hopefully protect it for future generations to enjoy.”

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/01/16/international/i010548S37.DTL#ixzz1mDfuvlej

Superman Loses His Pants


For more than 70 years he has flown to the world’s rescue dressed in a trademark red cape, blue suit and startling tight red trunks worn outside his trousers. Superman, however, is about to lose his pants.

DC Comics, creators of the iconic superhero, are rebooting the Man of Steel franchise as part of an overhaul of their comic book empire, which will see all their titles starting again at issue No 1.

The move promises significant changes for DC’s superhero family – which includes Batman, Wonder Woman and the Green Lantern – with new characters, stories and, crucially, costumes in 52 new first editions, due out in September.

The most controversial style adjustment revealed on the cover of the “first edition”, due out in August, is the surprise scrapping of the red trunks that Superman has worn since he first appeared in June 1938.