Tuesday, June 22, 2010

[Relegatedz Rankings] 10 Most Gruesome Torture Tools

You may have watched gory movies like Saw, The Final Destination or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre without even flinching but what lays ahead will surely redefine your perception of torture....presenting to you the 10 Most Gruesome Torture Devices of Medieval times...

10. The Pear of Anguish
A form of torture reserved for blasphemers, homosexuals, liers, women who had a miscarriage and adulterers.
This pear shaped torture tool was inserted in one of the victim's orifices (mouth, vagina or anus, yikes!) and as the torturer turned the screw the 'leaves of the pear' opened up inside the victim. Although not deadly by itself but the excruciating pain that accompanied its function was enough to make the tortured pass out.

9. The Screw

One of the most effective tools to churn out the required information from a prisoner, the Screw slowly crushed the victim's fingers, toes, elbows or knees.

8. The Boots
A torture devices that made a victim's legs completely useless. It consisted of two curved iron sheets that were screwed around the legs of the unfortunate. The many wedges on the inside were then made use of as the torturer repeatedly struck the sheets with a hammer. The victims often had their legs reduced to minced meat and crushed bones, not to mention the bone marrow that 'sauced' the remain!

7. Guided Cradle
Imagine sitting on top of a a sharp, pyramid-like structure with your arms and legs all chained up. The torturers would yank you up and then let you fall on that penetrating thing! A slow and painful death through impaling occurs. Lucky us! Not living in medieval Spain!

6. Head Crusher
The chin of an unfortunate victim ends up on the lower bar while the cap is slowly screwed on to his/her skull. This purely painful device was one of the torturers' favorite throughout the medieval ages. Imagine when the skull is crushed by that cap!

5. The Spanish Donkey

The name may sound a bit amusing but the torture this device 'bestows' upon its 'riders' is excruciating even to think of. The victim sits astride the sharpened pyramidal knife with weights usually hanging from his/her feet. In a few hours the targeted person is sliced in half from his/her own weight... initiating from a very painful point too! 

4. The Rack
The rack was one of the most painful forms of torture device to be used in medieval Europe. The accused was usually laid across the raised platforms with his/her arms and legs tied firmly, the torturer then turned the rollers and the victim's joints would snap one by one due to extreme stretching!

3. Iron Maiden
Many argue that this tool of torture was never actually used, but there is no concrete fact to support their claim so this tool finds the number three spot on my list. The Iron Maiden is more like a coffin lined on the inside with strategically placed iron nails that would impale the victims in the eyes, the chest and the back but will miss the vital organs, like heart or lungs so that the unfortunate person inside would live for a period of excruciating pain and profuse bleeding.

2. Inquisitional Chair
The Spaniards had a taste for inventing gnarling torture devices but nothing seems to beat their famed Inquisitional Chair. A person unfortunate enough to be strapped tightly to this 'chair' would experience unending pain as hundreds of nails pierced his/her flesh and if this wasn't enough the torturers would push down on the unfortunate soul for added penetration. Moreover there were reports of people also being 'cooked' on this chair as the torturers heated the poor victim until he/she was roasted alive! This is some torture!

1. Catherine Wheel
Without doubt, the most gruesome torture device ever used! The usage of this tool of torture was most frequented in medieval Germany. The victim had his/her major joints first crushed with a specially strengthened hammer. Then the gelatinous remains were twisted around the spokes of the wheel and the unfortunate person was left at the mercy of the outside world, often 'treated' with rotten tomatoes, fecal matter and other 'luxuries' before the crows and vultures took toll and the poor soul died a horrible death.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Science Watch (June 2010)

M back! Starting off with this week's top scientific stories...:-)

Chimp Wars

Researchers have discovered that gang wars and territory take-overs are not limited to us humans. Our closest cousins, the chimpanzees, are also pretty good at it!
Chimp groups were observed to send out patrols in rival's territories and strategically take out their opponents, subsequently increasing their territory in fatal turf wars.

Scientists 'link-up' Artificial Genome

Craig Venter and Co's $40 million investment finally bore fruit as a 'hollowed-out' bacterium cell rose from the dead and multiplied with a synthetically manufactured DNA molecule.
The USA based team of scientists, lead by Venter, used a computer to link-up alternate base pairs to give a artificial DNA molecule similar to that of a Myco. mycoides. This synthetic DNA when transplanted into a 'dead' specimen of Myco. capricolum which then successfully restarted its operation and reproduced.

Largest bone-bed of dinosaurs discovered near Alberta
A dinosaur bone-bed consisting of thousand's of bones from Triceratops' cousin Centrosaurus was discovered by a group of scientists near the Canadian city of Alberta.
The site is spread over an area of 2.5 km. square and the bones discovered exclusively belong to the herbivore Centrosaurus which lived a good 10 million before its famous, movie-star cousin Triceratops. The number of specimens has been estimated to be at at least over a thousand which also indicates that dinosaur herds were much larger than previously thought.

Out Hidden Sense of Touch
Scientists at the University of Liverpool found out that we have some nerve endings that surround our blood vessels and sweat glands!
Upon research on two volunteers who did not feel any pain but could tell hot and cold things apart and detect variations in applied pressure revealed that they do did not posses the normal nerve fibers associated with pain detection but they did have nerve endings surrounding at blood vessels near the skin as well as sweat glands!

Grafting 'New' Livers
A group of investigators from the Massachusetts General Hospital has recently managed to develop a new method for dealing with liver grafts. The researchers say that, in a few years, it may become possible to grow replacement livers using biocompatible tissue scaffolding derived from rat livers, and human-derived cells. Details of the new work will appear in print in an upcoming issue of the esteemed scientific publication Nature Medicine. The research team was based at the MGH Center for Engineering in Medicine.