Sunday, October 25, 2009

5 People That Sold Their Souls To The Devil

Niccolo Paganini

Niccolo Paganini was a musician in the late 1700s. He was handed the mandolin at an early age and at the tender age of seven, he was learning the violin. By the age of eleven, he was performing solos and by the age of thirteen, he was known as a violin virtuoso. At the age of nineteen, he was beginning to compose his own music and learning how to play the guitar. At the age of 23, he composed the hardest work for a violinist to play and at the age of 27, he was touring and mesmerizing audiences. He had lost is bottom teeth, looked pale and began dressing in black. It was rumored that he had sold his soul to the devil. Although he didn’t start the rumor, he did nothing to thwart the rumor and in fact encouraged people to believe it. When he was asked about it, he asked them how else would it be possible for him to play the way he does?

Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson was a blues musician that had a short lived life. He passed away at the age of 27 and not much is really known about his life. His music influenced some of the musicians of the 50s and 60s. He was one of the first musicians inducted into the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame. He was living on the plantation when his desire to become a great blues musician came about. Someone told him to take his guitar to the Crossroads at midnight near Dockery Plantation. When he arrived, the devil was waiting and took his guitar from him. The devil tuned the guitar and played a few songs on it. Once he handed it back to Robert, the pact was made and he was able to sing, play and create the blues.

Johann Georg Faust

Johann Georg Faust was a German alchemist. In 1507, it was said that he was a con man and a drifter that would prey on the gullible. He was said to have molested several boys in Kreuznach. In 1509, he obtained a degree in divinity. At the University of Krakow, he studied magic and befriended Martin Luther and Philip Melachton. These two men were said to have witnessed Johann’s pact with the devil. He worked at the University of Ehrfut, where it was said that he was lecturing on Homer and conjured up his heroes for the students. He was soon asked to resign and offered repentance. It was then that he admitted to having the pact with the devil. He told Dr. Klinge, a Franciscan monk, that he trusted the devil more than he did God.

Urbain Grandier

Urbain Grandier was a French Catholic priest. He was burned at the stake for committing the crime of witchcraft. He was known for breaking his vow of celibacy and becoming a philanderer. In 1603, a few nuns accused him of bewitching them and sending a demon to commit unspeakable acts with them. According to the legend, his pact stated his allegiance to the devil and is renunciation of the Christian faith. In turn, it was promise to Grandier that he would have the love of women, wealth, and worldly honor. This pact was written backwards and in Latin and it is still available to be seen at Bibliotheque Nationale in France.

Jonathan Moulton

Jonathan Moulton was a cabinet maker that became a captain in the New Hampshire Militia in 1745. He played an important role in the claiming of the land from the Ossipee Native Americans. When the war ended in 1749, he got married to Abigail Smith and they had eleven children. He opened a store that imported goods from Europe and East India. As legend has it, the young couple struggled for quite sometime and Jonathan told his wife that he would sell his soul to the devil in order for them to have the wealth that he wanted. The neighbors reported seeing a stranger pay a visit to the couple at the first of every month. The couple was suddenly rich and the rumor was that the devil would fill Jonathan’s boots with gold coins each month. He was never satisfied with what he had, so he tried to trick the devil. He bought bigger boots and still wasn’t satisfied with how much money he was acquiring. So, then he drilled a hole in the floor to have an endless supply of money. Supposedly, the devil caught on after the second month and burned the house down. Jonathan rebuilt a house on the same spot and it is still standing today.

There have been rumors of possible instances that someone has sold their soul to the devil. Musicians and writers, alike, are often accused of making a pact with the devil in order to become successful. There are some well known instances out there that indicate that someone has made a pact with the devil.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Paper Festival in Portugal

Half man-Half tree - Courtesy DISCOVERY CHANNEL

An Indonesian fisherman who feared that he would be killed by tree-like growths covering his body has been given hope of recovery by an American doctor - and Vitamin A.

Dede, now 35, baffled medical experts when warty "roots" began growing out of his arms and feet after he cut his knee in a teenage accident.

The welts spread across his body unchecked and soon he was left unable to carry out everyday household tasks.

Sacked from his job and deserted by his wife, Dede has been raising his two children - now in their late teens - in poverty, resigned to the fact that local doctors had no cure for his condition.

To make ends meet he even joined a local "freak show", parading in front of a paying audience alongside victims of other peculiar diseases.

Although supported by his extended family, he was often a target of abuse and ridicule in his rural fishing village.

But now an American dermatology expert who flew out to Dede's home village south of the capital Jakarta claims to have identified his condition, and proposed a treatment that could transform his life.

After testing samples of the lesions and Dede's blood, Dr Anthony Gaspari of the University of Maryland concluded that his affliction is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a fairly common infection that usually causes small warts to develop on sufferers.

Dede's problem is that he has a rare genetic fault that impedes his immune system, meaning his body is unable to contain the warts.

The virus was therefore able to "hijack the cellular machinery of his skin cells", ordering them to produce massive amounts of the substance that caused the tree-like growths known as "cutaneous horns" on his hands and feet.

Dede's counts of a key type of white blood cell are so low that Dr Gaspari initially suspected he may have the Aids virus.

But tests showed he did not, and it became clear that Dede's immune condition was something far rarer and more mysterious.

Warts aside, he had enjoyed remarkable good health throughout his life - which would not be expected of someone with a suppressed immune system - and neither his parents nor his siblings have shown signs of developing lesions.

"The likelihood of having his deficiency is less than one in a million," Dr Gaspari told the Telegraph.

Dr Gaspari, who became involved in the case through a Discovery Channel documentary, believes that Dede's condition can be largely cleared up by a daily doses of a synthetic form of Vitamin A, which has been shown to arrest the growth of warts in severe cases of HPV.

"He won't have a perfectly normal body but the warts should reduce in size to the point where he could use his hands," Dr Gaspari said.

"Over the course of three to six months the warts should be come smaller and fewer in number. He will be living a more normal life."

The most resilient warts could then be frozen off and the growths on his hands and feet surgically removed.

Dr Gaspari hopes to get the necessary drugs free of charge from pharmaceutical firms. They would then be administered by Indonesian doctors under his supervision.

Still intrigued by the origins of Dede's peculiar immune condition, the doctor would like to fly him to the United States for further examination, but fears the financial and bureaucratic barriers would prove too difficult to overcome.

"I would like to bring him to the US to run tests on where his immune condition has come from, but I would need funding and to get him a visa as well as someone to cover the costs of the tests," he said.

"I've never seen anything like this in my entire career."

* "Half Man Half Tree", part of the "My Shocking Story" series, will be shown on the Discovery Channel at 9pm on Nov 15.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dirty fun at mud festival

The Paleo is the largest Switzerland open-air music festival.Students and festival volunteers paid tribute to the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival by spreading the fun of mud as it was done in 1969 in Upstate New York.According to the festival organization, the project is a “back to the earth” psychedelic inspiration and 100% recyclable