Europe’s Strangest Theme Park

November 20, 2008 at 6:10 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

gas masks
All images: Azillphotos

When confronted with the issue of what to do with an ex-Soviet bunker in the countryside, an enterprising Lithuanian decided that some things should be left the way they are…

Welcome to 1984: Išgyvenimo Drama, otherwise known as Survival Drama in a Soviet Bunker.

Built near Vilnius in 1980, when Lithuania was still a part of the USSR, the bunker’s past life includes protecting a television transmitter and acting as a secure outpost for Soviet troops. Encompassing 4,000 cubic meters and buried 5 meters deep, the bunker is a remnant of Soviet occupation, which the Lithuanians have found more difficult to get rid of than the army.

ration shop

Instead of letting the building fall into complete disrepair, some lucrative Lithuanians decided to put the bunker to some use, so, concerned about young Lithuanians lack of understanding about their country’s past, producer Ruta Vanagaite was prompted to create a re-enactment project, demonstrating the experiences of the previous generation.

alsation and guard

Išgyvenimo drama opened in early 2008 to some controversy. Tourists pay 120 LTL ($US 220) each to step back into 1984 as a temporary USSR citizen for 2.5 hours. On entry, all belongings, including money, cameras and phones, are handed over and under the watchful eye of guards and alsatians, tourists change into threadbare Soviet coats and are herded through the bunker.

Experiences include watching TV programs from 1984, wearing gas masks, learning the Soviet anthem under duress, eating typical Soviet food (with genuine Soviet tableware) and even undergoing a concentration-camp-style interrogation and medical check.

vodka shots

The Soviet Bunker is not a theme park for the faint-hearted; all of the actors involved in the project were originally in the Soviet army and some were authentic interrogators, however there are performances tailored specifically for school groups so they know when to cool it, too.

Before heading back into the real world, participants are treated to a shot of vodka. They leave with a better understanding of life under Soviet occupation and, no doubt, a new respect for their elders past.


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What would Jesus brew?

October 27, 2008 at 10:07 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

DENVER, Colorado (AP) — In the beginning, there was a long line for Judgment Day ale.

What Would Jesus Brew?"

An entrepreneur peddles T-shirts emblazoned with, “WWJB: What Would Jesus Brew?”

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Shortly after
the doors opened on the 27th Great American Beer Festival, a crowd
congregated at the booth offering that and other pours from The Lost
Abbey of San Marcos, California, where the tap handle is a Celtic cross
and the legacy of beer-brewing monks endures.

Standing under a
banner promising “Inspired beers for Saints and Sinners Alike,”
proprietor and former altar boy Tomme Arthur had a confession: He’s
using God to sell some beer.

“It’s the oldest story ever told —
the struggle between good and evil,” said Arthur, 35, a product of
Catholic schools in his native San Diego. “There is a battle being
waged between those who make good beer and those who make evil beer.”

Without question, unholy excess is in evidence anytime 18,000 gallons
of alcohol is served to 46,000 people over three days. See: women in
Bavarian maid outfits and “Beer Pong” tables.

Yet perhaps
surprisingly, God could be found at last week’s Great American Beer
Festival — in the crassly commercial, in homage to religion’s long
history in brewing, in needling faiths that turn a suspect eye on
drinking, and (if the prophet of home-brewing is to be believed) at the
bottom of every glass.

While alcohol and religion don’t always
mix, no less a figure than Benjamin Franklin once said: “Beer is living
proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

Papazian, author of “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing,” the undisputed
bible of the craft, can cite many intersections of beer and the divine.
Mayan and Aztec priests controlled the brewing of beer in pre-Columbian
days, monks in Bavaria brewed strong bocks for sustenance during Lent
and the first brewery in the Americas was founded by Belgium monks in
Ecuador in 1534.

Before Louis Pasteur pinpointed yeast as the culprit in the 1850s,
brewers didn’t know what caused fermentation, said Papazian, president
of the Boulder, Colorado-based Brewers Association. So they invented
one run-on word to describe the mysterious stuff at the bottom of the
bottle: “Godisgood.”

“As you drain a glass of beer, look at the
yeast at the bottom and be reminded that God is good, because that’s
the way it feels,” Papazian said.

Like most business owners,
brewers tend to avoid politics and religion out of fear of alienating
customers. At the same time, microbrewing has become an intensely
competitive industry, so putting a saint on a bottle can help a guy
stand out.

When Brock Wagner was looking to name his new brewery
in Houston 14 years ago, his search took him to the library of a local
Catholic seminary. There, he found the story of St. Arnold of Metz, the
French saint of brewers and one of many patron saints of the brewing

As the tale goes, Arnold (580-640) urged his people,
“Don’t drink the water, drink beer” because he believed water boiled in
beer was safer than tainted water sources.

Centuries later, St.
Arnold Brewing Co. became Texas’ first craft brewery, with a “divine
reserve” single-batch beer and 21 fermenters named for different saints.

“One purpose of religion is the formation of communities, and our
brewery kind of has that effect, of bringing people together,” said
Wagner, who describes himself as spiritual but wary of organized
religion. “Some of our regulars say going on our brewery tour is going
to church.”

Jeremy Cowan, the marketing mind behind He’Brew (the
chosen beer), was absent from his company’s booth on the festival’s
first day; it was Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement.

Established in 1996 (or 5757), Cowan’s Schmaltz Brewing Co. uses Jewish
humor, scripture and imagery in packaging its beers, all of them
kosher. There’s Genesis Ale (“our first creation”) Messiah Bold (“the
one you’ve been waiting for”) and Jewbelation (“L’Chaim!”).

am passionately Jewish,” Cowan said. “I don’t get as caught up in the
legal minutiae. I’m more fascinated in the project of Judaism as a
civilization. This is the way I participate.”

Some faith
traditions reject alcohol as an intoxicant that invites bad behavior
and abuse. Observant Muslims and Mormons, among others, abstain from
drinking on religious grounds.

Last year, an evangelical church
targeting young adults in the St. Louis area got in trouble with the
Missouri Baptist Convention for holding a church ministry at a
microbrewery. (The Southern Baptist Convention opposes making,
advertising, distributing and consuming alcohol).

At Denver’s
Great American Beer Festival, four ex-Mormons who met at Utah State
University ran a booth selling “X-Communicated Mormon Drinking Team”
T-shirts, sweatshirts and other products.

“Our business model is
to sell enough T-shirts to pay the cost of a group of our friends
getting together and having fun for the weekend,” said Mike Hansen, 36,
of Whitefish, Montana.

Another entrepreneur peddled “WWJB: What
Would Jesus Brew?” T-shirts, with an image of a smiling Jesus with a
mash paddle in one hand and a pint glass in the other.

Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa, California, brews a
series of religion-themed beers that began with “Damnation.” A strong
golden ale, the beer’s name is a nod to the great Belgian beer Duval,
which comes from the Flemish word for devil.

A restaurant around the corner from Cilurzo’s brewery refused to stock it.

“It all started with ‘Damnation,”‘ said Cilurzo, who has no religious
affiliation. “I felt like if we started with ‘Damnation,’ we needed to
be redeemed. We needed ‘Salvation.”‘

Cilurzo’s latest creation,
Consecration, was a festival hit and an answered prayer — a richly
textured sour ale aged for nine months in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels
with black currants.

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New Beginnings.

October 16, 2008 at 9:13 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

It’s been along time since I actually ‘wrote’ a blog so here fucken goes.  I guess I was put off a bit when I wrote a blog that was like 2000 or so words and no one read it, it was a bout Metal.  Hell I liked it so I was hopin a few other peoples would as well, but it was an early one so I guess I shouldn’t have expected much.  So then I’ve been posting up stuff that I find interesting, but that got a little tiresome after awhile too, especially since I’ve been so busy.

Anyways, long story short, I’m writing a new blog, and it’s gonna be more or a diary, what blogs were originally intended for right?  Prob won’t be a daily thing but at least I’m doing it right?

I’m gonna start with my new album, for my ‘band’, Azumuth.  The albums called ‘Illuminus’, and so far it’s sounding pretty fucken kickass!  I started off with 14 tracks, and that was cool.  THen I thought some of the tracks might not make it to the album, not cause they weren’t good songs, and certainly not because they deserved to be B sides, which in my opinion are a waste of money.  No the reason I was thinking that was because they were kinda happier, more uplifting, in musical terms more majorie, and in music journo terms, more poppy.  So I was gonna release ‘Illuminus’ as this dark, heavy album with a seperate EP of poppier songs on it.

Then I decided to record some more tracks, just cause I got alot of songs lying around in my head.  So then the list went up to 18 tracks.  Then I thought, ’18, shit that’s almost enough for two albums’.  So now I’m recording 3 more tracks, the last 3 and that’s it. Thinking of putting it out as a double album, one heavy and dark, one not so heavy and a little lighter.  Or maybe two seperate albums, who knows. But that’s where we are at the moment.  Recording starts next week, and it’s gonna be fun!  More to come!


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Electronic cigarettes beat the smoking ban

September 25, 2008 at 6:59 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Pubs around the country have reported a decline in custom since the rules came in July last year, but landlord, Chris Giles of the Butler’s Arms in Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham believes he has found the solution.

The new E.cig smokes like a real cigarette and users get a shot of nicotine every time they inhale. The device even produces a cloud of water vapour with every puff, though causes no harm to smokers.

Mr Giles said: “When it’s freezing outside and chucking it down with rain it’s a good alternative to going outside for a cigarette

Mr Giles’ daughter, Becky, Assistant Manager at the pub, added: “It’s been really successful already, we have had lots of people ringing up and asking about it. “They are not only healthier than normal cigarettes but really good value for money.”

The device, which retails at £39.99 for a starter pack, uses a small replaceable cartridge filled with a dose of nicotine. Users can choose between No nicotine, Low, medium or high nicotine, menthol, strawberry or cherry.

The makers of the product at The Electronic Cigarette Company say the vapour produced is odourless and contains no tar or carbon monoxide, resulting in no risk of passive smoking.

However the company say the E.cigs are just as addictive as the real thing.

How Does Electronic Cigarette Work?

Electronic Cigarette performs similarly to traditional smoking. It looks, feels and tastes like a cigarette or cigar, and delivers all the pleasures of smoking, without all the problems. The secret to what makes the Electronic Cigarette better than traditional smoking is what is inside this revolutionary new product.

The non-flammable Electronic Cigarette is driven by modern microelectronic technology, a small rechargeable battery and a unique, safe replaceable cartridge containing water, propylene glycol, nicotine, a scent that emulates a tobacco flavor and a membrane to suspend the ingredients.

When using the Electronic Cigarette, the act of inhaling or smoking it produces the tactile and craving satisfactions traditional smokers seek, and triggers a vaporizing process that releases a simulated smoke that is actually a vapor mist that harmlessly evaporates into the air within a few seconds.

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Postcards from heaven: scientists to study near-death experiences

September 23, 2008 at 9:28 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Scientists from University of Southampton design experiment to investigate out-of-body experiences in heart attack survivors

What happens when we die? It has to be one of life’s biggest questions, if not the biggest.

Many of those who have come close to death report surprisingly similar experiences – being in a tunnel of lights, or soaring out of their bodies and looking down on the medical staff trying to keep them attached to the mortal coil.

In an effort to get to the bottom of this mysterious phenomenon, scientists have designed a new experiment to examine near-death experiences in heart attack survivors. Launched by the University of Southampton, it will be the largest ever international study into near-death experiences, involving 1,500 heart attack patients.

And how are they going to prove whether humans really do have souls that break away from their bodies as they die and shuffle off towards eternity?

With a bit of DIY and some postcards, it would seem. Researchers are setting up shelves above patients’ beds on which a number of pictures will be put that can only be seen from above the ground.

Patients will then be asked to recall any memories from the time of their cardiac arrest. If they can describe the pictures on the shelves, the scientists will have some proof of whether or not these out-of-body experiences are real, or just illusionary dreams.

The project is being led by Dr Sam Parnia, an intensive care specialist.

“Contrary to popular perception, death is not a specific moment. It is a process that begins when the heart stops beating, the lungs stop working and the brain ceases functioning – a medical condition termed cardiac arrest.

What people experience during this period of cardiac arrest provides a unique window of understanding into what we are all likely to experience during the dying process.”

It sounds like a fairly straightforward exercise. But what if, while you were having your out-of-body experience, you didn’t notice the pictures? You might, quite understandably, be otherwise engrossed in looking at your expiring self or wondering why your loved ones hadn’t bothered to turn up at your deathbed.

So can this experiment prove anything? And should science even be attempting to investigate this – shouldn’t doctors be concentrating on how to save lives rather than researching what happens if they fail?

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The Army’s Totally Serious Mind-Control Project

September 18, 2008 at 9:53 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )


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50 Incredible Film Posters From Poland

September 14, 2008 at 11:54 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

When I’m not geeking out over design you can probably find me geeking out over film.  I spent a good 7 years of my life working behind the counters of various video stores across Western Canada and consider myself an avid film nerd.

So it’s not surprisingly that my jaw nearly hit the floor when a coworker introduced me to the wonderful world of Polish film posters a couple of years ago.  These conceptual masterpieces put the original American posters to shame every time; they are truly beautiful works of art.  Trimming this list down to a mere 50 posters that I absolutely love was surprisingly difficult.

Apocalypse Now

Rosemary’s Baby


Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back

Return Of The Pink Panther

Raging Bull

The Last Detail


The Fly

The Fly

Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Harry And The Hendersons

The Getaway


Crocodile Dundee 2

Being There

Old Yeller

Terms Of Endearment

Terms Of Endearment

War Games

War Games

The China Syndrome

Weekend At Bernie’s

Weekend At Bernies


Eyes Wide Shut

The Shaggy Dog

Under The Volcano

Under The Volcano

The Late Show

Short Circuit 2


Don’t Look Now


Fanny And Alexander


Straight Time

Son Of Godzilla


Breakfast At Tiffany’s

Days Of Heaven

Smokey And The Bandit

Permanent Vacation

Fatal Attraction

Airplane 2: The Sequel

The Hospital

The Hospital



The NeverEnding Story

Lord Of The Flies

Draughtsman’s Contract

The Changeling


Enter The Dragon

After Hours


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Huge ice shelf breaks into the Arctic Ocean

September 11, 2008 at 9:34 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

The Associated Press

TORONTO — A chunk of ice shelf nearly the size of Manhattan has broken away from Ellesmere Island in Canada’s northern Arctic, another dramatic indication of how warmer temperatures are changing the polar frontier, scientists said last week.

Derek Mueller, an Arctic ice shelf specialist at Trent University in Ontario, said the 4,500-year-old Markham Ice Shelf separated in early August and the 19-square-mile shelf is now adrift in the Arctic Ocean.

“The Markham Ice Shelf was a big surprise because it suddenly disappeared. We went under cloud for a bit during our research and when the weather cleared up, all of a sudden there was no more ice shelf. It was a shocking event that underscores the rapidity of changes taking place in the Arctic,” said Mueller.

Mueller also said that two large sections of ice detached from the Serson Ice Shelf, shrinking that ice feature by 47 square miles — or 60 percent — and that the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf has also continued to break up, losing an additional eight square miles.

Mueller reported last month that seven square miles of the 170-square-mile and 130-feet-thick Ward Hunt shelf had broken off.

This comes on the heels of unusual cracks in a northern Greenland glacier, rapid melting of a southern Greenland glacier, and a near record loss for Arctic sea ice this summer. And earlier this year a 160-square mile chunk of an Antarctic ice shelf disintegrated.

“Reduced sea ice conditions and unusually high air temperatures have facilitated the ice shelf losses this summer,” said Luke Copland, director of the Laboratory for Cryospheric Research at the University of Ottawa. “And extensive new cracks across remaining parts of the largest remaining ice shelf, the Ward Hunt, mean that it will continue to disintegrate in the coming years.”

Formed by accumulating snow and freezing meltwater, ice shelves are large platforms of thick, ancient sea ice that float on the ocean’s surface but are connected to land.

Ellesmere Island was once entirely ringed by a single enormous ice shelf that broke up in the early 1900s. All that is left today are the four much smaller shelves that together cover little more than 299 square miles.

Martin Jeffries of the U.S. National Science Foundation and University of Alaska Fairbanks said in a statement that the summer’s ice shelf loss is equivalent to over three times the area of Manhattan, totaling 82 square miles — losses that have reduced Arctic Ocean ice cover to its second-biggest retreat since satellite measurements began 30 years ago.

“These changes are irreversible under the present climate and indicate that the environmental conditions that have kept these ice shelves in balance for thousands of years are no longer present,” said Mueller.

During the last century, when ice shelves would break off, thick sea ice would eventually reform in their place.

“But today, warmer temperatures and a changing climate mean there’s no hope for regrowth. A scary scenario,” said Mueller.

The loss of these ice shelves means that rare ecosystems that depend on them are on the brink of extinction, said Warwick Vincent, director of Laval University’s Centre for Northern Studies and a researcher in the program ArcticNet.

“The Markham Ice Shelf had half the biomass for the entire Canadian Arctic Ice Shelf ecosystem as a habitat for cold, tolerant microbial life; algae that sit on top of the ice shelf and photosynthesis like plants would. Now that it’s disappeared, we’re looking at ecosystems on the verge of extinction,’ said Mueller.

Along with decimating ecosystems, drifting ice shelves and warmer temperatures that will cause further melting ice pose a hazard to populated shipping routes in the Arctic region — a phenomenon that Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper seems to welcome.

Harper announced recently that he plans to expand exploration of the region’s known oil and mineral deposits, a possibility that has become more evident as a result of melting sea ice. Harper also said Canada would toughen reporting requirements for ships entering its waters in the Far North, where some territorial claims are disputed by the United States and other countries.

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New single ‘Degenerator’

September 9, 2008 at 9:48 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

The first single off our upcoming new album ‘Illuminus’ is available for FREE download at!

Check out a review of it from Radioindy:

“Degenerator – EP” by Azumuth (Hard Rock/Metal/Punk Artist from Victoria, Australia)

The “Degenerator – EP” by Azumuth is an excellent hard rock album which features multiple creative takes on their song “Degenerator.” This compilation is recommended for fans of Faith No More, Evanescence, and early System of a Down. Azumuth’s powerful hard rock vocals are belted out to the heavens on this album. “Degenerator (Voodoo Doll Mix)” is an interesting electronic/techno remix of the single which is similar to some of the heavier tracks by New World Order, Chemical Brothers, and at times even a little like Linkin Park. The EP is an interesting experiment in production and its effect on the overall sound, mood and genre of a song. Furthermore, the EP shows that a well-written song, with a nice build to a powerful and memorable chorus, can work well in many different subgenres. Be sure to check this one out if you are a fan of hard rock songs with a catchy chorus.

-Heidi & the Review Team

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Dark Figure Haunts Visitors To Oxford Castle

September 4, 2008 at 12:12 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

A photograph, which has captured a dark figure taken in the foreboding underground Crypt at Oxford Castle Unlocked, has revealed the paranormal does exist and confirms beliefs that the Castle is haunted. The photograph was taken on Friday 16 May by a member of the public at a ghost hunt organised by Fright Nights, the UK’s leading ghost hunt specialist.
The brave ghost hunter, who was alone in the Crypt at the time, took the photograph with his digital camera. Keiron Brown from Alton in Hampshire was astonished to see the dark shadow of a figure at the end of the corridor leading into the Crypt when he looked at the images on his computer after the event.
The astounding photograph has since been analysed by experts at Fright Nights and at Oxford Castle Unlocked. Martin Jeffrey, Director of Fright Nights stated. We were amazed by this photograph. Our analysts have shown that the figure is jet black and unusually not lit up by the flash, whereas the side walls and the wall behind it have visible lighting caused by the flash.
We can also confirm that the figure is facing the camera and seems to have some form of hood, head dress or blindfold. We know that the Crypt was used for the storing of criminals especially those waiting execution, so the figure fits perfectly within the history of the Castle. Fright Nights were granted exclusive use of Oxford Castle Unlocked in which to hold overnight paranormal investigations for the public since early 2007. The visitor attraction is thought to be one of the most haunted buildings in the country.
Throughout its dark history, the Castle has served time as a royal residence, a centre of justice and as the county Gaol, hidden from public view behind impenetrable 5 metre high stones walls until its closure in 1996. Martin continued, “This photograph tops off a fantastic eighteen months of ghost hunting events at Oxford Castle Unlocked. We have had continual paranormal activity throughout the Castle that has inspired attendees to return over and over again.

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