Just the Facts?: Pope Says 'No Doomsday' - Real 'Sleeping Beauty' -- Drunk Man Survives 'Crocodile Ride'
Pope says 'no' to December doomsday
Pope Benedict XVI has called on Christians not to heed doomsday warnings that the world will end on December 21.
During his weekly Angelus address from the window of his Vatican apartments on St Peter’s Square, Benedict spoke of extracts from the Bible that speak of ‘‘the sun and moon going out, the stars falling from the sky’’.
Several films and documentaries have promoted the idea that the ancient Mayan calendar predicts that doomsday is next month, on December 21, 2012.
But Benedict said that Jesus ‘‘does not describe the end of the world, and when he uses apocalyptic images, he is not acting the prophet’’.
‘‘On the contrary, he wants to stop his disciples of every epoch from being curious over dates, forecasts, and wants to give them the key to ... the right road to walk today and tomorrow to enter into the eternal life,’’ he said.
As many as 90,000 people are expected to attend a massive event in Guatemala City on December 21, just in case the world actually does end, while tour groups are promoting doomsday-themed getaways. - SMH
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'Moonshine' business goes mainstream
The backwoods moonshining business birthed one of the nation’s most popular sports in NASCAR, so it fits that the state’s newest legal moonshine distillery is under the same roof as the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.
In fact, the distillery — Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery on Ga. 53 in Dawsonville — can’t make the liquor fast enough to take the checkered flag ahead of its demand.
The distillery, which shares space with the Hall of Fame and Dawsonville’s City Hall, produced its first batch of liquor at the end of October, just in time for the city’s Mountain Moonshine Festival.
That batch sold out very quickly and the second is currently in the distribution phase. Distillers are now working on the third batch of corn whiskey.
Cheryl Wood, the distillery’s owner, was working with a phone company only months ago. Her dream, which took months of planning and permits, along with thousands in borrowed money, is turning into a reality.
“I decided that I would just go for this full time,” she said. “This is my dream, and I didn’t want to be an old lady laying the bed thinking, ‘What if? What if? What if?’ No. I don’t play ‘what if’ very well. So I just went for it, and I’m super excited that it’s gone over so well and that I have the support that I do.”
It makes sense, really. Wood comes from a family of moonshiners. Her granddaddy, Simmie Free, was a famous moonshiner in Tiger.
Wood has also brought Bob Suchke, the “still hand,” and long-time distiller Dwight Bearden, the “backwoods distiller,” on board. The three bring with them generations of experience in the trade.
“It helped feed us, my family, as a kid,” said Bearden, who said he is a fourth-generation moonshiner. “It’s part of history. Some people don’t like it because they’ve had a bad experience with it or with a family member or this, that and the other. Regardless, it’s part of the history, especially right here (in Dawsonville).”
The group, for now, is using a 250-gallon copper still, along with two 415-gallon and one 1,050-gallon stainless steel mash tanks to produce the liquor. They already have plans to add more equipment and help.
“We are hoping to expand,” said Bearden. “This is just a small batch distillery and we do stuff the old-timey way. There’s a lot we have to go through to do it that way, but it’s well worth it.”
The distillery’s product, actually, is 100 percent made from scratch and does not include using sugar in the mash, like many distillers do.
“What sets us apart from the other moonshiners is we’re not using any sugar at all,” said Wood. “This is pure corn whiskey, and it’s a very old-timey recipe, and we make our own corn malt, so everything is handmade and hand-crafted. I kind of compare it to you can get a cake made from cake mix or you can get one made from scratch. So, we’re the real deal.”
The response from those who have tasted it, including other distillers, has been nothing but positive.
“I’ve never heard anybody make anything other than a favorable comment about it,” said Suchke. “So, we’re real pleased and everybody likes it.”
The distillery, contractually named Free Spirits Distillery, LLC in honor of Free, soon will start offering tours and tastings, the first in the state to do so after a bill allowing tastings cleared the General Assembly this year.
Around the holidays Wood said the group will also start making apple pie moonshine, along with apple brandy.
“The corn whiskey is our flagship product, but we’ll be coming out with different products as well,” she said.
But don’t expect the distillery to stop there. The hard work and legal tape is worth the effort when the product is something you love.
“It just gets in your blood,” said Bearden. - Gainesville Time
NOTE: As someone who has enjoyed a sip or two of fine corn whiskey, this is interesting news. Lon
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A real 'Sleeping Beauty'
A Pennsylvania teenager slept for 64 days from Thanksgiving into January -- her longest sleeping episode yet.
Nicole Delien, 17, struggles with a rare sleep disorder called Kleine-Levine, or ‘Sleeping Beauty Syndrome’.
During her sleep spells she will wake up in a confused state for small periods of time to eat and go to the bathroom and then fall back to sleep.
Nicole’s mother, Vicki, says her daughter will sleep 18 to 19 hours a day, and when she eventually wakes up to eat she is in a ‘sleepwalking state which she doesn’t remember’, KDKA in Pittsburgh recently reported.
The Delien family also appeared on Jeff Probst’s syndicated talk show this week to make sure other families become aware of the rare disorder.
Vicki Delien told reporters that it was very frustrating trying to get a diagnosis for her daughter. She said it took several hospital trips to figure out what’s been afflicting her.
Finally, a doctor at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was able to pinpoint the disorder and offer some suggestions on how to manage it, including medication.
'Affected individuals may go for a period of weeks, months or even years without experiencing any symptoms, and then they reappear with little warning’ the KLSF website states.
In addition to excessive sleeping, symptoms include disorientation, hallucination, child-like behaviour, binge-eating and periods of hyper-sexuality when awake, according to an Oxford Journals report.
That report says the disorder predominately affects young males.
The cause of Kleine-Levin Syndrome is unknown, both medical sources indicate.
Eric Haller, a young college student with the disorder, told ABC News that he gets sick and falls into a sleeping episode about eight to 10 times a year.
Medication helps spread Nicole’s sleeping episodes further apart, her family says.
Nicole says she has missed out on Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays and the family’s first trip to Disney World.
She also missed out on an opportunity to meet pop singer Katy Perry. But when Perry later learned about Nicole’s disorder she made sure Nicole was able to visit her backstage at a performance in Connecticut.
Nicole’s last sleeping episode was in March. She told KDKA that she’s scared of when it will happen again. - Daily Mail
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Australian drunk survives attempt to ride crocodile
A drunk man who climbed into a crocodile enclosure in Australia and attempted to ride a 5m (16ft) long crocodile has survived his encounter.
The crocodile, called Fatso, bit the 36-year-old man's leg, tearing chunks of flesh from him as he straddled the reptile.
He received surgery to serious wounds to his leg and is recovering in hospital, police say.
He had been chucked out of a pub in the town of Broome for being too drunk.
The man, Michael Newman, climbed over a fence and tried to sit on the 800kg (1,800lb) saltwater crocodile.
"Fatso has taken offence to this and has spun around and bit this man on the right leg," Sgt Roger Haynes of Broome police told journalists.
"The crocodile has let him go and he's been able to scale the fence again and leave the wildlife park."
Malcolm Douglas, the park's owner, said that the crocodile was capable of crushing a man to death with a single bite.
"The man who climbed the fence was fortunate because Fatso was a bit more sluggish than normal, due to the cooler nights we have been experiencing in Broome," said Mr Douglas.
"If it had been warmer and Fatso was more alert, we would have been dealing with a fatality."
"No person in their right mind would try to sit on a 5m crocodile, Saltwater crocodiles, once they get hold of you, are not renowned for letting you go."
The man staggered back to the pub bleeding heavily.
Pub manager Mark Phillips said staff told him that the man reappeared at about 11pm with bits of bark hanging off him and flesh gouged out of his limbs.
"They said he had chunks out of his legs and things like that," Mr Phillips told The West Australian news website.
An average of two people are killed each year in Australia by aggressive saltwater crocodiles, which can grow up to 7m (23 ft) long and weigh more than a tonne. - BBC