Gaia EverWorld Receives Polygon Grant And Partners With Binance For NFT. Land Pre-sale

Tortola, BVI, 6th December, 2021,

Following a successful seed round, the Gaia EverWorld team has announced an NFT sale through a collaboration with the Binance NFT marketplace, secured a grant from the Polygon Foundation, and completed a successful IDO. The land sale will allow Gaia EverWorld to claim its position in the Metaverse. 

Blockchain gaming is one of the hottest industries today, and Gaia EverWorld aims to claim its position in this segment. The project leverages NFT technology to embrace the play-to-earn model and explore opportunities in the Metaverse. It is built on the Polygon technology stack, allowing for better scaling and more efficient transactions. Players can build kingdoms, explore the lands, collect, breed, and battle. 

The fully-immersive blockchain game lets players own in-game characters, dubbed Gaias, and other items in the game world. Players can explore a multi-realm world with numerous game modes. Gaias will level up throughout the game, allowing them to become more powerful and potentially gain value. Additionally, players can breed Gaias using $Gaia and the Gaia Gold, or $GG tokens. Both tokens will be freely tradeable across centralized and decentralized exchanges.

The Gaia EverWorld team made a snapshot of users with an Unilayer token balance to airdrop GAIA tokens. That process entices players to explore this multi-chain blockchain game and offers support to early adopters. Coinciding with the airdrop snapshot, the team launched the Gaia Elite Club. Entry into the Club requires a Gaia NFT and provides access to exclusive merchandise. 

As the Gaia Everworld ecosystem continues to evolve, it attracts attention. That attention became apparent during the team’s various IDOs across BSC Station, Seedify, Bullperks, Enjinstarter, and Unilayer. All sales sold out quickly, with GAIA tokens priced at $0.16 each. The tokenś value hit $4.5 on the MEXC exchange, providing a 28x ROI for early investors. 

Furthermore, Gaia EverWorld attracted a grant from the Polygon Foundation, further confirming the anticipation surrounding this play-to-earn blockchain game. 

The recent collaboration announcement between Gaia EverWorld and the Binance NFT platform adds more excitement to the mix. Binance NFT will exclusively support the upcoming Gaia Elite Club NFT collection. Additionally, the collaboration paves the way for bringing the GAIA token to the Binance Smart Chain and enhancing the utility of these NFTs. The land sale for this blockchain game is its entry into the Metaverse.

Earlier this year, Gaia EverWorld completed a seed funding round to the tune of $3.7 million from prominent blockchain investors. That list of investors includes AU21, BSCStation, Aussie Capital, Basics Capital, Panda Capital, Exnetwork, etc. 

About Gaia EverWorld

Gaia Everworld is part of the next-gen of gaming being built on the blockchain. It gives players full ownership of their in-game characters, and rewards them for engaging in ‘play-to-earn’ models of gamingGaia Everworld is truly an immersive, multi-region fantasy world in which players can create their own kingdoms, explore different lands, while collecting, breeding, and battling other players, referred to as the Gaia Legionnaires.

Website: https://gaiaworld.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GaiaEverWorld

Telegram: https://t.me/GaiaEverworld

Discord: https://discord.gg/EGT7c4RVfs

Medium: https://medium.com/@gaia-world
 

Contacts

Josh bull
contact@gaiaworld.com

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Mafia Metaverse SYN CITY Unveils Initial Game Offering on Binance NFT

Singapore, Singapore, 6th December, 2021,

Play-to-earn blockchain game SYN CITY will be launching its Binance mafia metaverse via the Binance Initial Game Offering (IGO) on December 9th at 4 pm UTC. As part of this launch, the SYN CITY team will offer a list of limited-edition NFTs and other in-game assets specifically designed exclusively for Binance.

The concept of Initial Game Offerings (IGO) has been gaining significant traction in recent months. All IGOs are exclusive to Binance, where top-tier blockchain games drop their NFT collections on the Binance NFT platform. These collections may list via auctions, fixed-price sales, mystery boxes, and more. Binance allows game developers to install several rounds of IGOs for their upcoming games. This helps creators offer unlimited assets in each round via flexible pricing structures.

IGOs are limited to gaming so all dropped content on the Binance NFT platform must only include in-game assets. These may include assets such as experience points, access passes, legendary weapons, skins, and exclusive in-game items for the Binance community.

SYN CITY, a free-to-play game founded by Tron’s former Head of Business Roy Liu, is the first-of-its-kind syndicate and mafia-themed blockchain game. The proposed “mafia metaverse” will introduce a unique governance system called Mafia-as-a-DAO (MaaD). MaaD incentivizes every player and allows them to join or create their own syndicates. SYN CITY’s developers are gaming veterans from Disney, Ubisoft, Roblox, EA, and Gameloft.

SYN CITY is historic and unique with its approach as a completely free-to-play and play-to-earn game. Thus, SYN CITY has received the backing of several prominent investors and VC firms. Days before SYN CITY’s genesis launch, Twitch co-founder Justin Kan and Robin Chan’s Goat Capital led an $8 million funding round, with additional financial backing from Spartan Group, Hack VC, A&T Capital, Animoca Brands, and more.

About SYN CITY

SYN CITY is the first-of-its-kind “mafia metaverse” game built for the blockchain. Constructed by a team of experienced game developers, SYN CITY brings the mafia and syndicate-style gameplay on-chain while introducing a unique in-game governance feature called Mafia-as-a-DAO (MaaD). The platform’s native token, SYN, offers players access to several earning opportunities like events and governance rewards. Gamers can take part in daily events, including PvP, PvE, and Syndicate-based contests like cross-chain tournaments. 

Contacts

Ryan Dennis
marketing@syn.city

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A FINE-FEATHERED FINALE: Hitchcock’s The Birds

This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a – caw caw!” 

                                                            (T.S. Eliot, via Woody Woodpecker)

All good things must come to an end, and the end of my ten-week course on the best of Alfred Hitchcock has been . . . apocalyptic. In our final class last night the questions came raining down on our teacher Elliot like finches down a fireplace flue: why did the birds attack? What happened at the end? Why did Hitchcock cast Tippi Hedren and then cast her again? Marnie . . . what the heck?!?

In many ways, The Birds is a direct follow-up to Psycho. Both tap into the horror genre and both utilize a similar structure: a sympathetic woman commits acts of folly in the name of romance and winds up in the middle of a nightmare. And birds are mixed up in the game everywhere! In Psycho, Marion Crane finds herself in a motel surrounded by birds. They’re framed and hung around her room; they’re mounted and stuffed in the office parlor next door. She eats like a bird, and she is “pecked” to death by a woman who is cuckoo, and who has herself suffered the same fate as those stuffed birds. 

Marion’s problem is that she is too desperate for Sam to think straight. Melanie Daniels’ problem in The Birds is that she is not desperate enough. Like so many Hitchcock heroes and villains before her, she has mother issues, and – wouldn’t you know it? – when she finally meets the man of her dreams, he has mother issues, too! And they meet in a birdstore, of all places, where Melanie has gone to buy a mynah bird so that she can pull a nasty little trick on her aunt and Mitch Brenner has gone to look for lovebirds for his little sister’s birthday. Everyone has birds on the brain – a state that is about to become literal!

Poor little rich gull, er, girl

If Psycho begins with a half hour of domestic drama, The Birds is pure romantic comedy all the way up to Bodega Bay. All the nice touches – the casting of Ruth McDevitt as a flustered bird clerk and Richard (The Dick Van Dyke Show) Deacon as a nosy neighbor, the antic hijinks Melanie engages in to show that handsome upstart of a man who’s boss, the image of the lovebirds swaying back and forth in an effort to survive Melanie’s crazy driving – all of this might make you forget the haunting electronics behind the opening credits, the ominous appearance of hundreds of birds over San Francisco’s Union Square, or even the question of why Melanie would go so far, literally and emotionally, for a prank. 

Some people question why it takes so long for the birds to strike, but honestly, I eat up all the stuff before and in-between the bird attacks because The Birds isn’t just an environmental disaster horror movie – it’s a Hitchcock environmental disaster horror movie. And while the bird attacks are terrifically staged, this is a film about the good guys, not the Big Bad, which breaks the rule of most horror films. Like all great Hitchcock movies, this is about the journey a man and/or a woman takes to find maturity and emotional fulfillment. It’s too bad for Melanie and Mitch – and Lydia and Cathy and Annie Heywood – that they find their happy ending in a car heading toward almost certain doom. This is late-50’s/60’s Hitchcock, and he’s gone full dark. 

Even those in my class who were being introduced to the Master of Suspense must come away by now with a familiarity with his bag of tricks: the camera work, the imagery, the thematic elements all reworked like Agatha Christie could reimagine one of her old puzzle plots in ways both comforting and surprising. 

The water that betrayed Marion Crane in Psycho – first as a rainstorm that pushed her toward the Bates Motel, then as a cleansing shower-turned-bloodbath, and finally as a swamp, her final resting place – here becomes a gorgeous California bay, the scene of the first attack. 

The eyeglasses that reflected Miriam’s murder in Strangers on a Train, that were worn by the false witness against Henry Fonda in The Wrong Man, that separated Midge from Madeleine in Vertigo – here, they are used poignantly to illustrate an innocent child in jeopardy. 

The staircase that showed us the success of Alicia’s plan in Notorious, that offered danger to Guy Haines and death to Arbogast (in, respectively, Strangers on a Train and Psycho) and that proved morally consequential to Scottie in Vertigoare here a portal to perhaps the most harrowing and sadistic scene of torment of Hitchcock’s career. He had intended to use fake birds for Melanie’s final attack, but it just wouldn’t work. And so for days on end they threw birds at Tippi Hedren, ripping her flesh, endangering her eyesight, and breaking her down to hysterics. It’s a terrific scene, made all the more astounding when you know what it cost the actress.

The theme of doubles, utilized in most Hitchcock films, is doubly used and in fascinating ways. Both Melanie and Mitch are plagued with mother issues: she has been devastated by her mother’s abandonment, while he has been emasculated by his mother’s refusal to let go. Even more . . . what, Oedipal? – is the fact that Melanie bears a strong resemblance to Lydia Brenner (the brilliant Jessica Tandy), right down to the hairstyle. What needs to happen for this trio to become a family is for the women to accept each other and for Lydia to pass her hold on Mitch over to Melanie. It’s going to take about a million crows, gulls, and pigeons to make that happen. 

Family Dynamic: Mitch (Rod Taylor), Melanie and Lydia

The theme of the innocent man falsely accused is also found here in the accusations leveled against Melanie that she started the attacks. The logic behind these charges is as absurd as thinking Cary Grant could have murdered a U.N. ambassador or Bob Cummings could be a Nazi saboteur. But these are the situations Hitchcock puts his heroes in, the only way to bring about their transformation into whole people. 

In another sense, Melanie is a voyeur in that she is the outsider, the observer in Bodega Bay and in life. Things happen to her, but as she explains to Mitch regarding the incident in the Roman fountain, it’s never her fault. More important, it’s Melanie who sees the birds most clearly, first in San Francisco, then at the birthday party, in the schoolyard, and outside the window of the diner. Hitchcock never films an attack without Melanie being there. She notices and understands the danger of each incident before anyone else can grasp it. And even with the evidence she presents, she is not believed, just like Jeff in Rear Window. They both need a helper/love interest, and it is the getting together with that person that is the true point of both Jeff and Melanie’s story. Even though Jeff does prove that Thorwald killed his wife and Melanie does not save the world from the birds, they end up pretty much in the same place: committed to love with another person.  

Five minutes before recess . . .

The biggest difference between The Birds and all the rest is that, for once, the Maguffin (and the birds are the Maguffin, I swear) steals the show. I said I love the stuff in-between the attacks, but most people remember The Birds for that gull swooping down on Melanie in the boat, the balloons popping at Cathy’s birthday party, the hundreds of finches sliding down the Brenner chimney, the broken cups and damaged corpse at the Fawcett farm, the wholly brilliant sequence at the schoolhouse, the full-out attack on the town square (that bird’s eye angle from the sky as the gas station burns while the gulls, amassing for a fresh attack, seem to laugh!), the assault on Melanie in the phone booth, then on the family nailed into their house, and the final confrontation between Melanie and the birds in the attic . . . there is no stinting on technical marvels. The special effects, for their time, are great. The Maguffin IS the star.

The End . . . of Everything

*     *     *     *     *

I would suggest that Marnie is an even more experimental movie than The Birds, and while I risk alienating its fans, I have to say I wish that a flock of birds had attacked Marnie and sent her flying down the stairs and into the water. I would also have been willing to chip in some dough for Hitchcock to have therapy and just maybe spare us yet another Monster Mother who did terrible things to her child. The problem for me is that the path to learning what Mother did is so convoluted and is peopled with such unpleasant people that, by the end, I . . . don’t . . . care . . . 

I think even Hitchcock wondered about this movie . . .

I’ll leave it to smarter and more sympathetic people than me to discuss Marnie at length, but I list here a number of impressions I got this time around: 

The matte work, equally fake in The Birds, did not bother me a jot there but riled me up fiercely here.The overwrought score by Bernard Herrmann, the one that broke him and Hitchcock up, is really beautiful. I forgot Mariette Hartley is in this, playing Patricia Hitchcock in Psycho. She’s great!I’m no fan of Tippi Hedren’s acting, but I think it’s better here. And if she suffered even half as much under Hitchcock’s obsessive tyranny as she claims, she deserves an award for what she was able to put onscreen. That said, I still root for the brunette, always the “other woman” in Hitchcock  (except in Strangers on a Train where she should have been). I loved Suzanne Pleshette in The Birds, and I love Diane Baker here as the awful Lil. Is Sean Connery wearing lots and LOTS of eye make-up? No matter, especially when he arises half-dressed from his bed. I don’t believe he raped Marnie, but I think his whole purpose in marrying her is one of the most ponderous plot devices in Hitchcock. There’s a cool wide angle long shot at the Rutland’s party where the camera closes in on the front door to reveal Mr. Strutt (Martin Gabel) enter the house. It’s a reminder of a similar, but much more effective use of the camera in Young and Innocent. Other links to The Birds: Hedren in a green suit, children sing-songing something creepy, Hedren and her man driving off at the end toward . . . happiness? Probably not a lot of that wherever they’re going.The scene where Marnie robs Mark’s office and the cleaning lady comes in – for a moment, that’s pure Hitchcock. The principality of Monaco probably did Princess Grace a favor by frowning on her wish to play Marnie. That doesn’t mean I blame Tippi Hedren for my dislike of the picture, although the New York Times review did, saying that the whole affair would have been more enjoyable if Hedren and Connery had been replaced with Kelly and Cary Grant. 

Lil (Diane Baker): She’s a schemer, but I’m on her side

Marnie was followed by two more bad movies: Torn Curtain and Topaz, then by a sordid but effective return to form with Frenzy and an amiable odd duck of a finale in Family Plot. That is often what longevity and a storied career brings: a little crumbling at the end. But I hope that this exploration into my favorite director has brought you even part of the joy it gave me and my classmates. We hated to say goodbye to each other, to Elliot, and to Alfred Hitchcock. I’m already looking forward to the next round of rewatching!

We’ll close out the year with more books. In January, I start the next class: Film Noir of the 1950’s! Elliot has put together over two dozen titles that we will be watching and examining, including a few personal favorites as well as whole boatload of films I have never seen!!! I hope you’ll join me for that new series of posts, an examination of the work of Christianna Brand, a continuation into my Carter Dickson celebration, some great newly translated honkaku, and more Kiddie Krimes. 

And if none of that appeals to you, there’s always Book Club.

You can find me on Twitter now (Brad@ahsweetmystery). 

A Birthday Documentary on St. Columba — the Original Finder of the Loch Ness Monster

The Loch Ness Monster gets all of the media attention and tourist love but December 7, 2021, is the 1500th anniversary of the man without whom there might not be a Nessie – St Colmcille, better known known as St Columba. Most histories of the Loch Ness Monster attribute then Bishop Columba of Ireland with facing down an alleged “water beast” in the River Ness after it had killed a local man and threatened one of Columba’s followers, thus convincing the Picts to convert to Catholicism. That would be enough fame for most people, but a new documentary wants us to know there was more to Columba — the “Dove of Peace” who was actually a fierce warrior before becoming a fixture in both Irish and Scottish history.

St. Columba (public domain)

“The brute lay asleep in the river bed, waiting in his lair. He ascended to the surface and with a loud roar from his open heart, he lunged at the man. The Holy Man raised his hand and made a sign of the cross. At the sound of the saint’s voice, the brute retreated so quickly, it seems as if were pulled by a rope.”

The best-known account of Columba’s encounter with the River Ness monster in Iona, Scotland, around 565 CE comes from the Vita Columbae (Life of Columba) written by Adomnán, abbot of Iona, a century later. Many of the book’s tales don’t match up with history and some theorize it was written to give Columba the kind of fame St. Patrick had before him. It’s those tales that the BBC documentary “Calum Cille: An Naomh Dàna/Columba: The Bold Saint” address.

“Iona of course was his primary foundation, the one he’s most rightly famous for. However he also founded other major ecclesiastical institutions – Kells and Durrow. These primary foundations of Colmcille produced some of our most precious and famous historical artefacts – the Book of Kells, the Book of Durrow, early collections of the Irish Annals. These are incredibly important texts in their own right, but also physical objects.”

Dr. Niamh Wycherley of Maynooth University says there are much more reliable historical and religious accounts of the impact Columba had on Ireland and Scotland. While some record his contributions to the spread of early Christianity in Ireland and his poetic writings, others look at his involvement in what may have been the first fight over copyright. Columba had copied a manuscript containing the Book of Psalms and intended to keep it, but the owner wanted both and the fight became the Battle of Cúl Dreimhne – Columba took up arms in the battle which killed over 3,000. Being a monk who was supposed to promote peace, Columba was sent to Scotland to convert as many people as had been killed.

That journey to Scotland led him to establish and influence the many monasteries and churches honoring his birth as well as the alleged encounter with the monster that made him famous … or vice versa. Nessie experts point out that the sighting was in the River Ness, not Loch Ness, and the description of it being a “water beast” has a Celtic flavor that makes them think this was more a symbolic tale of St. Columba driving the ‘pagan’ religion (the beast) like St. Patrick chased the symbolic snake ‘pagans’ out of Ireland.

Columba seems to have been involved in more conflicts – with the book owner, the church leaders, the religious leaders of Scotland, the ‘monster’ – than one would expect of a saint, yet his 1500th birth anniversary is being celebrated by churches in two countries and a BBC special. It may not be an annual parade with green beer drinking  … but it’s a nice tribute for St. Columba, finder of the Loch Ness Monster.

The post A Birthday Documentary on St. Columba — the Original Finder of the Loch Ness Monster first appeared on Mysterious Universe.

A Quack Radio Doctor, a Miracle Cure for Cancer, and a Haunted Hotel

Born into wealth in 1882 near the small Mississippi river town of Muscatine, Iowa, Norman G. Baker. Baker was born the 10th child to the prominent John Baker, who owned the Baker Manufacturing Company in Muscatine and was an avid inventor with well over a hundred patents to his name. It would seem that the apple did not fall far from the tree in this case, because Norman showed an affinity and talent for tinkering with machines, fixing things and inventing things from an early age, eventually so good at it that he dropped out of school at the age of sixteen to begin working as a machinist. He would travel around for his work, at one point becoming sidetracked to start up a show featuring mentalists, hypnotists, and mind readers on the vaudeville circuit, even marrying a mind-reader named Theresa Pinder, before getting back to inventing things, creating a machine called the Automatic Air Calliope or calliaphone, a sort of organ which used air instead of steam to operate. The Air Calliope would become a major hit, and the next chapter of Baker’s strange life would begin. This would turn into a journey that would led him to a legacy of being one of the greatest hucksters and charlatans that has ever been, and there is also the issue of his haunted hotel.

In 1915, his invention was selling so well that he decided to start a company devoted to selling the Air Calliope, called the Tangley Company. He was a very skilled at promotion and sales, the company thriving and making him a rich man, and Baker would branch out into other entrepreneurial efforts. In 1920 he started an art correspondence school, despite the fact that he had no art experience, and then in 1925 he started a radio station with the intention of promoting Muscatine as a premium business and investment destination and make the town famous across the Midwest. With the call sign KTNT, which he called “”Know The Naked Truth,” Baker put his self-promotion skills, flamboyant personality, and gift of gab to good use, quickly amassing a legion of loyal listeners and a reputation as a staunch supporter of small businesses and vocal critic of urban big businesses. He became a sort of small town, working class hero, and his reach would only grow from there.

Norman G. Baker (credit: public domain)

By 1928, Baler’s radio program was reaching over a million households, making him extremely influential and a major thorn in the side for the businesses and organizations that he often railed against. In the meantime, he started his own publication called The Naked Truth, a sort of pseudo-tabloid, and eventually expanded his publishing reach through another magazine called TNT Magazine, and he later was the president of the Progressive Publishing Co., publisher of the daily Midwest Free Press, all of which only increased his reach even more. Baker often used his considerable media clout to take aim at his enemies, both real and perceived, often doling out slanderous rants and carrying out character assassination and smear campaigns, as well as attacking other news publications and various commercial, media, and political groups, both locally and nationwide. He began to spiral into paranoia, believing that big businesses, the government, and the media were all conspiring against him, becoming further unhinged and spouting all sorts of conspiracy theories. Baker believed that there were conspiracies tied to cattle TB tests, water fluoridation, agricultural chemicals, vaccinations, and even aluminum cookware, which he insisted caused cancer, which would lead him to his next strange turn.

Baker was very against aluminum. Pots, pans, utensils, you name it, if it was made of aluminum it was giving you cancer, according to him. To listen to Baker you’d think that aluminum was one of the most poisonous, carcinogenic substances known to mankind. Of course there was absolutely no evidence of this and Baker had no medical training whatsoever, but for his millions of listeners many of them took it to be gospel. Baker thought aluminum and its potent cancer-causing qualities were a scourge and a major health panic, but he thought he had the answer. In 1929, Baker became convinced that a Dr. Charles Ozias had found a cure for cancer. He was so sure of it that Baker, who had no medical training whatsoever, arranged a trial with volunteers at his own expense in order to prove it worked, as well as publishing the study in his magazine The Naked Truth. In 1930, he acquired the formula and immediately began singing its praises to his considerable fan base.

The treatment was claimed to require no surgery at all, and could supposedly cure even the most aggressive incurable cancer with nothing but a series of simple injections. He continued to shamelessly plug his cancer cure and announce success even as his test subjects died one by one, very much not cured of their cancer. Baker actively promoted it in his magazines, went on speaking tours, and even opened a cancer clinic called the Baker Institute, hiring another conman “doctor” with the appropriate name of Harry Hoxsey to help him, all while denouncing the medical field in general and calling surgeons “cutters,” all of this from a guy who had absolutely no medical knowledge or experience at all. Cancer patients flocked to the clinic in droves seeking this miracle cure, and Baker was happy to sell it to them and take their money. Unfortunately for these patients, Baker’s cancer cure, called “Formula 5,” was nothing more than a concoction made of alcohol, glycerol, carbolic acid, ground watermelon seed, corn silk and clover leaves, and had absolutely no effect on anything at all.

All of this was soon coming to the attention of the American Medical Association (AMA), which very publicly accused him of quackery in their journal. Baker, who called the AMA the “Amateur Meat-cutters Association,” didn’t flinch, instead telling his devoted patients and followers that it was all a conspiracy to hide the truth of his cure and smear his good name, even suing the AMA for libel and defamation. During all of this he also spun a story that he had been offered $1 million by the AMA to suppress his cancer cure so that they could continue to rake in money on their own ineffective treatments and pointless surgeries. Even when the state of Iowa filed for an injunction against Baker, Hoxsey, and three others for practicing medicine without a license, this did little to phase them, and they just held huge events that drew thousands of followers and where the cure and other products from Baker’s company were on full display. The State of Iowa relentlessly went after Baker, and after a long, tangled legal battle, the injunction filed against his practice was sustained in 1931, and he also lost his radio license for what the Federal Radio Commission called “venomous, obscene broadcasts against the public interest.”

With an arrest warrant out for him for practicing medicine without a license, Baker would flee to hide out in Mexico, where he promptly set up a new radio station called XENT-AM in Nuevo Laredo on the Rio Grande and close enough to the border to be heard in the States. There he got back to his old antics even having a biography written about himself in 1934, Doctors, Dynamiters, and Gunmen, which he called “the most important book ever written,” before returning to the States in 1937 to face one day in jail and a $50 fine. He then unsuccessfully ran for governor of Iowa and later the Senate, before going off to the spa resort town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas to open a spa and hotel called the Baker Hotel and Health Resort, located high up in the Arkansas Ozarks. Here Baker was back in his element, setting the resort up as a spa and hospital for, you guessed it, gullible cancer patients. Here he was more successful than ever, with the controversy surrounding him doing nothing to stop the true believers who that they could be cured of cancer by Baker’s miracle medicine. Sadly, many of these patients would die shortly after, the “cure” worthless and their chances to seek real treatment by real doctors gone.

It all worked out well for Baker, though. In the two years the hospital resort was open, it would rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars, with one estimate saying he made around $500,000 a year off of the enterprise, but Baker’s days were running out, the federal authorities pursuing him even as he lashed out against and sued anyone who suggested that he was a quack, and evade all attempts to make anything stick to him. The federal authorities were finally able to nail the elusive Baker with mail fraud charges for the brochures he was sending out, and have him sent away to serve four years at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in 1941. Even this didn’t stop him. After getting out of prison, Baker unbelievably went back to Muscatine in 1946 and tried to reopen his Baker Institute without success. He would end up retiring to a life of luxury in Miami, Florida, living aboard a large yacht up to his death in 1958, having not learned a thing and never facing any serious repercussions for being indirectly responsible for the deaths of thousands of gullible cancer patients. However, even at the end there were plenty of people who still believed in Baker’s cancer cure.

The Crescent Hotel (credit: public domain)

The Baker Hotel and Health Resort would be renovated and turned into the Crescent Hotel and Spa, and it is still in operation today. Within the hotel resort there are still plenty of exhibits and artifacts from the Baker days, including Baker’s autopsy table, a walk-in cooler where cadavers were kept, specimen jars, a morgue, and many of the medical vials and instruments that were used in those days. Rather eerily, there have also been unearthed buried vials and jars containing human body parts and some unidentified liquid on the hotel property. It is a beautiful historic place, but also undeniably eerie, and this could be one reason the Crescent Hotel is also often billed as one of the most haunted hotels in America.

A lot of the supposed hauntings here come from the Baker era, with the apparitions of the cancer patients said to roam the halls, a nurse who can be seen pushing a gurney down the hall on the third floor, and even the ghost of Baker himself. The artifacts left behind from those days are also often seen to move or fall over, and the morgue room is supposedly especially haunted. In addition to these spirits there are also other ghosts allegedly here keeping them company Among this cast of characters are a 4-year-old boy who runs through the hallways, a stonemason called Michael, who died in an accident during the hotel’s construction, an elderly lady who appears to be trying to get the door open to Room 418, and a young woman who appears on misty nights one of the east side balconies of the building and jumps to the ground below, only to vanish. There are so many ghosts that supposedly lurk here that the Crescent Hotel hold regular ghost tours. It’s hard to know how much of this is really ghosts and how much is just the ambiance of the place, and an article in Smithsonian Magazine by Jeff MacGregor has beautifully said of the hotel:

The eroded Ozarks Plateau upon which all this rests is hundreds of millions of years old. Walk ten feet into the trees and you’re a part of prehistory. The woods resonate with that ancient animism. The forests hum with it. You can hear them breathe. There’s something heavy in the quiet here, though, some weight to the air. Especially at sundown, or right before dawn when the mist hangs in the cuts and hollows. There’s something eerie in it, dreamlike, something deep and uneasy.

 

In the hotel, it’s the same. Every stairwell and landing is fraught, every empty hallway feels crowded, and every room you enter feels as if someone just left. You are alone but never alone here. And to the suggestible, to the willing, that’s the point of the place. To be a little frightened by the supernatural. To feel alive in the company of the dead. In the dark, everything is a ghost story. But even the skeptical are moved here—if not to fear then to sadness. The sharp historical sense of dread and of pain and of loss can be overwhelming if you open yourself to it. Because worse than any monster is a man like you or me. Weak. Greedy. Unaccountable. Selling hope to the hopeless. If you checked in to the Baker Hospital, your room holds everything you ever lost.

 

So maybe in the middle of that first long night you wake. You fumble for the light and walk to the window. Behind you the old hotel creaks and groans. Outside, the invisible valley is all silence and darkness. What you see on the glass is your own reflection. The only ghost in this room is you.

Whether the hotel is really haunted or not, it is all intrinsically linked to the strange legacy of this very eccentric and weird man. It all just makes an odd historical oddity even odder, and we are left with quite the tale of a very mysterious man. We may never know if he really believed all of his talk or if he was just out to fool the gullible, but he has gone down as one of the most prolific and dangerous quacks there has ever been, and if you go to his haunted hotel, maybe you just might be able to meet up with his restless spirit and ask him yourself.

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Eerie Creatures, Ancient Castles, and Creepy, Monstrous Incidents

My two previous articles were on (a) the connection between strange creatures and bridges, and (b) the link between monsters and railroads. With that said, I thought I would turn this into a “trilogy” of sorts. The final article will focus on the admittedly weird link between monsters and castles. With that said, let’s get started. Jon Downes, Director of the U.K.-based Center for Fortean Zoology, says: “A story, which, I am sure, was told me in good faith, and which even now I do not know whether to believe, apparently took place during the Second World War. There had, apparently, been a number of occasions when captured German aircrew and pilots who had been shot down over South Devon or the English Channel were kept, temporarily, in a remote wing of Starcross Hospital – which is roughly ten miles from the city of Exeter – until they could be transferred to the prisoner-of-war camp high above Starcross on the Haldon Hills.” On one particular occasion, says Jon, troops had been searching for a fugitive German airman in the woods surrounding Powderham Castle, which is about half a mile away from the old hospital, and which was constructed between 1390 and 1420 by Sir Philip Courtenay. They had ventured into the deepest parts of the woods in search of their quarry when, suddenly, the small band of elderly men and boys who were too young to join the Army, saw what they believed was the fugitive airmen running through the woods in front of them. It was not. Rather, it was nothing less than a hair-covered “Wild Man.” Perhaps not surprisingly, the military hid the story – and the wild-man, too. It was a definitive cover-up mixed up with a conspiracy. Moving on…

(Nick Redfern) Wildman! by Nick Redfern

Late one evening in September 1986, Mick Dodds and his wife were driving his mother-in-law back to her place of abode, which was a small but picturesque cottage in the Staffordshire village of Stowe-by-Chartley, England. All was completely and utterly normal until Dodds passed by the ancient and ruined Chartley Castle that overlooks the A518 road. Constructed on land that came into the possession of the Earls of Chester as far back as the 11th Century, Chartley Castle is a stone motte-and-bailey fortress founded in the thirteenth century by Ranulph Blundeville, the then Earl of Chester. Mick Dodds says that after dropping his mother-in-law off at her home, he and his wife began the journey back to their own abode, and what they assumed would be a stress-free, night-time drive through Staffordshire’s engaging countryside. How completely and devastatingly wrong the pair was. According to Dodds, as they drove along the road, and with Chartley Castle rapidly closing in, he was forced to violently and suddenly slam on the brakes as a huge stag ambled slowly – yet majestically, too – across the road directly in front of them. The sight of the massive beast was enough to both amaze and gob-smack Dodds and his wife in equal amounts. But that was nothing at all compared to what supposedly happened immediately thereafter.

(Nick Redfern) The ancient Chartley Castle, England

Dodds, realizing how bizarre the next aspect of his story was surely going to sound to me, apologized profusely before he even began relating the complex details. In return, I told him that no apology was necessary. Instead, I explained to him, I would much prefer to merely hear the facts, and then try and firmly evaluate them for myself. And so, with that out of the way, Mick Dodds duly began. As the huge stag made its slow yet deliberate way across the road, his wife suddenly screamed at the sight of what looked like a large chimpanzee that bounded after the stag from the darkness of the field that sat to the right of their car. Halfway across the road, the chimpanzee stopped suddenly, looked directly at the terrified husband and wife and, to their utter horror and consternation, charged their vehicle – but, at the very last moment, backed away from actually causing any structural damage to the car, or physical harm to the fear-stricken pair. Dodds said that in his overwhelming panic to quickly put the vehicle into reverse gear, he stalled its engine, and then, even worse still, ended up completely flooding it as he raced to try and re-start the car. As an inevitable result, the Dodds were briefly stranded in the road with a hairy monstrosity looming wildly in front of them. For about twenty seconds the beast stared at both husband and wife, and on two other occasions again headed for their vehicle at full speed, ‘like it was going to attack’, before finally bounding off to the left, and, so it appeared at least, in a direction that specifically followed that of the huge stag – which, by now, was seemingly long gone. Now, onto another case.

Reports of hairy wild men absolutely abound throughout the English county of Staffordshire, U.K., but there is one area of the county that seems to attract a great deal more than its fair share of such activity. Its name is deeply familiar to one and all throughout the area as Castle Ring. Located near to the village of Cannock Wood, Castle Ring is an Iron Age structure commonly known as a Hill Fort. It is 801 feet above sea level, and its main ditch and bank enclosure is fourteen feet high and, at its widest point, 853 feet across. It has to be admitted that very little is known about the mysterious and long-forgotten people who built Castle Ring, except to say that they were already in residence at the time of the Roman invasion of A.D. 43 and remained there until approximately A.D. 50. Some suggest that the initial foundations of Castle Ring may even have been laid as early as 500 B.C. Moreover, historians suggest that the creators of Castle Ring might have represented a powerful body of people that held firm sway over certain other parts of Staffordshire, as well as significant portions of both Shropshire and Cheshire at the time in question.

While its enigmatic builders exited our world millennia ago, and left us with very little solid knowledge of who they were or what they actually represented, Castle Ring can claim to play host to far stranger entities, including…well, by now, do I really have to tell you? Really?  I strongly suspect that, at this stage, I probably don’t. On May 1, 2004, Alec Williams was driving passed the car-park that sits at the base of Castle Ring when he witnessed a hair-covered, man-like entity lumber across the road and into the trees. A shocked Williams stated that the sighting lasted barely a few seconds, but that he was able to make out its amazing form: “It was about seven feet tall, with short, shiny, dark brown hair, a large head and had eyes that glowed bright red.” Interestingly, Williams stated that as he slowed his vehicle down, he witnessed something akin to a camera flash coming from the depths of the woods and heard a cry that he described as “someone going ‘Hoo.’”

(Nick Redfern) Castle Ring: A fort tied to monsters

Good friend and anomalies expert, Neil Arnold, says: “There is nothing like a chilling ghost story,’ adding that ‘one of my favorite ghoulish tales comes via Reverend Archdeacon St. John D. Seymour, and concerns a bizarre entity once said to have haunted an Irish castle.’ The story, Neil notes, “…is mentioned in True Ghost Stories by Marchioness Townshend and Maude Ffoulkes, who comment that ‘the truth of this story was vouched for to Mr. Reginald Span by the Vicar of the Anglican Church, Arizona, as it happened to some friends of his when they once rented a picturesque castle in the South of Ireland.’” So the very weird saga goes, late one particular night, many years ago, a certain ‘Mrs. A’ was sitting alone in one of the castle’s bedrooms, awaiting the return of her husband. Suddenly, there was the distinct and unmistakeable sound of one of the doors banging in the corridor outside the room. More disturbingly, footsteps could be heard, too. Someone or something was creeping around the old castle. Grabbing a lit candle, Mrs. A carefully and slowly opened the door and, to her eternal horror, saw a darkened, shadowy form heading towards the staircase. Evidently, the entity realized its presence had been noticed, and it turned to face the by now fear-stricken Mrs. A. It was at this point that her terror was elevated to stratospheric proportions: the thing was apparitional in nature, and possessed the head of a man, but the body of a mighty, hair-covered ape. For a moment or several, it glared malevolently at Mrs. A, before vanishing into nothingness.

Finally, there is the following account of one Ralph, a monk and an abbot at Coggeshall, Essex, England. Recorded in the year 1200 in Chronicon Anglicanum, it describes the remarkable capture in the area of a wild man of the woods-style creature: “In the time of King Henry II, when Bartholomew de Glanville was in charge of the castle at Orford, it happened that some fishermen fishing in the sea there caught in their nets a Wildman. He was naked and was like a man in all his members, covered with hair and with a long shaggy beard. He eagerly ate whatever was brought to him, but if it was raw he pressed it between his hands until all the juice was expelled. He would not talk, even when tortured and hung up by his feet, Brought into church, he showed no sign of reverence or belief. He sought his bed at sunset and always remained there until sunrise. He was allowed to go into the sea, strongly guarded with three lines of nets, but he dived under the nets and came up again and again. Eventually he came back of his own free will. But later on he escaped and was never seen again.”

That’s quite a connection between castles and monsters!

The post Eerie Creatures, Ancient Castles, and Creepy, Monstrous Incidents first appeared on Mysterious Universe.

Hackers steal $196 million from Bitmart exchange exploiting hot wallets on Ethereum and BSC

Following the hack, Bitmart has suspended all the withdrawals from the platform.
Bitmart said that the compromised hot wallets on Ethereum and BSC constitute a small percentage of funds on the exchange.

In yet another major security breach, hackers managed to steal a staggering $196 million in investors’ funds on the crypto exchange Bitmart. The crypto trading platform confirmed the same last Saturday, December 4, calling it “a large-scale security breach”. The crypto exchange noted:

We have identified a large-scale security breach related to one of our ETH hot wallets and one of our BSC hot wallets today. At this moment we are still concluding the possible methods used. Hackers were able to withdraw assets of the value of approximately 150 million USD.

Although Bitmart estimates the losses at $150 million, blockchain security and data analytics firm Peckshield thinks that it’s closer to somewhere around $200 million. As per Peckshiled, nearly $100 million have been transferred from hot wallets hosted on Ethereum. Another $96 million have moved from hot wallets hosted on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC).

Total estimated loss: ~200M (~100M on @ethereum and ~96M on @BinanceChain ). (Previously we only counted the loss on @ethereum). And here is the list of affected assets/amounts on @BinanceChain pic.twitter.com/cXXApDFtd7

— PeckShield Inc. (@peckshield) December 5, 2021

Bitmart also mentioned that the affected hot wallets constitute only a small percentage of funds on the exchange. All of its other wallets are secure and unharmed. The exchange further added that it will be temporarily suspending withdrawals.

Bitmart said that it is still clueless regarding the methods used by the hackers for siphoning funds. However, Peckshield calls the breach pretty straightforward. As per the security firm, it was a classic case of “transfer-out, swap, and wash”.

After moving the funds out of Bitmart, hackers reportedly used decentralized exchange aggregator ‘1inch’ to exchange the stolen funds for Ether (ETH). Later, the hackers deposited these Ether (ETH) coins to a privacy mixer Tornado Cash thus making it even more difficult to trace the money.

Hackers Stole 20 Tokens from Bitmart, Safemoon Crashes

As per reports, the hackers managed to steal these funds across multiple altcoins such as Safe Moon, binance Coin (BNB), BSC-USD and BNBBPay (BPay). Besides, a sizeable quantity of mem coins like Floki, Moonshot, BabyDoge also vanished from the hot wallets.

Of all these cryptocurrencies, Safemoon faced one of the most brutal crashes post the hack. Safemoon has been one of the most popular success stories during the crypto market bull run of 2021. Earlier in September, Safemoon touched an all-time low of $0.000001 and gained a staggering 600 percent over the next month.

However, since its highs, Safemoon has capitulated nearly 90 percent and is currently trading at fresh all-time lows. the recent hack taking place on Bitmart has added further downside pressure.

The recent case of Bitmart hack has been one among the many that we have been recently hearing. Last week, decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) BadgerDAO faced a major security breach with cybercriminals stealing more than $120 million worth of funds.

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Is Ethereum on its way to $20K? Here’s why this could happen in 2022

Popular crypto influencer Lark Davis has highlighted some of the reasons why Ethereum could be on the road to $20K.
Among these are massive developments associated with DeFi and NFTs, the upcoming ETH 2.0, and institutional interest in ETH.

Popular crypto influencer and YouTuber Lark Davis has highlighted some of the reasons why Ethereum could be on its way to $20K. For one, Ethereum reserves on central exchanges have recorded a three-year low of 14 million ETH, according to blockchain analysis platform Glassnode. The downward trend began in January this year and has coincided with the rise of ETH above $4,000. This suggests an inverse relationship between Ethereum’s price and the balance stored on central exchanges.

Moreover, the trend suggests that Ethereum users prefer having their holdings in crypto wallets to exchanges. Many exchanges have fallen victim to cyberattacks, with Bitmart being the latest to lose almost $200 million last week.

Read More: Hackers steal $196 million from Bitmart exchange exploiting hot wallets on Ethereum and BSC

Another factor contributing to the downtrend is this year’s rise of decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Users are using their Ethereum tokens to facilitate staking and yield farming on DeFi protocols for passive income. Davis notes that Ethereum has about 9.7 million ETH (8/9 percent of total ETH supply) locked in DeFi. Additionally, about 8.5M ETH has been staked in ETH2.0, which is a relatively low-risk kind of investment, Davis notes. ETH 2.0 is expected to bring a 90 percent reduction in annual ETH emissions. Davis compares this to having “3 Bitcoin halvings at once.”

Additionally, NFT-based games such as Axie Infinity have also taken flight generating billion-dollar yearly revenues. These funds have contributed a notable chunk to the Philippines’ GDP.

Ethereum bullish indicators

Notably, layer-two solutions such as Arbitrum and Polygon have encouraged those put off by high Mainnet gas fees. Polygon once flipped Ethereum mainnet in terms of the number of active users, while Arbitrum recorded $2.7 billion TVL, the highest, in DeFi. Despite the still high fees, Davis says EIP 4488 could see gas prices reduced by a factor of 5.

The weekly chart shows a possible breakout for Ethereum in the near future, something Davis says could narrow the gap between it and Bitcoin in terms of total valuation. Moreover, Ethereum recently surpassed the 1 million token burn threshold. The crypto asset has also been registering “consistent days of negative issuance” owing to EIP-1559.

There are chances of soon increasing the network’s throughput by “a few hundred percent.” This follows an announcement by lead Ethereum developer Vitalik Buterin about sharding coming sooner than anticipated, though in limited proportionality.

Another crucial development is the heightened institutional investor interest, Davis notes. For instance, Cathy Wood-led Arc Invest has 40 percent of its portfolio in Ethereum. An Ethereum futures ETF has also been filed and Coinbase trading volume shows that ETH has been the preferred purchase of big-money players.

Presently, crypto assets, including Ethereum, function better as investments than currencies since they are much more reflexive to demand. However, the more their economies grow, the better the chances of them holding up as currencies. Currently, though, onlookers outnumber actual crypto holders.

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Jelurida & Accenture To Collaboratively Develop Mainstream Business Models Using Blockchain Technology

The mainstream use and acceptance of cryptocurrencies have grown manifold this year. Besides Bitcoin gaining acceptance as a legal tender in El Salvador, several prominent businesses have started accepting crypto payments. 

While this is just the beginning of a long journey, it undoubtedly highlights that traditional businesses are gradually warming up to the idea of merging blockchain technology with their existing business models. 

Among several initiatives organized worldwide to raise awareness about blockchain technology and brainstorm new ways of integrating this technology into real-world applications, the recent El Confidencial event, the fourth edition of the blockchain forum, has turned out to be a huge success.

This year, El Confidencial is focusing on its upcoming blockchain project titled Senator. Funded by the EU, Senator aims to optimally develop and manage urban planning policies for the government by covering multiple areas, including user demand planning, transport planning, freight and logistics planning, and city infrastructures, among others. As part of this initiative, two technology heavyweights, one from the real world and one from the blockchain ecosystem, will collaborate to cover a broad spectrum of use cases.

Accenture, which has already won itself the public tender from Correos for the Senator project, will be collaborating with next-gen blockchain company Jelurida to work upon a multi-collaborative framework that will bring together stakeholders in urban freight logistics. Jelurida, together with its Ardor, Ignis, and NXT chains, will provide the required on-chain infrastructure to help bring this idea into reality.

As a blockchain company, Jelurida is one of the leading names for building blockchain solutions for real-world use. The platform has already worked with the Austrian government to launch several initiatives, like HotCity and Cycle4Value. Jelurida’s infrastructure also supports another eco-friendly project, TreeCycle, to implement sustainable and profitable reforestation in Paraguay.

The Quest For New Use Cases Using Ardor Blockchain

Per the mutual consensus from the recently concluded El Confidencial, Accenture and Jelurida will collaborate to accomplish two use cases for the time being. 

The Jelurida ecosystem offers public, private, and hybrid blockchain solutions that address real-world issues. Owing to its experience in developing real-world applications and the underlying technical capabilities, Jelurida’s Ardor blockchain fits all the requirements for the Senator project. 

Ardor is a multichain platform that follows a unique parent-child chain architecture, where the Ardor chain is responsible for the security, and interoperable child chains offer all other functionalities. The EU required a public platform with more than 1000 nodes, multichain features, the possibility to have permissions and operate in a hybrid way, proof-of-stake, and low power consumption – all of which are offered by Ardor.

The first use case that Accenture and Jelurida will work together on is to build a solution for supply chain traceability while ensuring that the last mile freight exchange is aligned with the European Security Framework for Postal Supply Chains. It will enable transport operators and other key players to securely exchange information related to security and optimizing item flows, thus leveraging blockchain technology.

The second use case relates to the Internet of Things (IoT). Services based on IoT devices generate a lot of information at any stage of the service process. Integrating that data generated by an IoT device within the Ardor network will enable Senator and its participants to optimize the decision-making process based on the data recorded. Ardor child chains are separate customizable “blockchains” within the Ardor ecosystem, each featuring their native tokens and all the built-in features necessary for specific use cases. Accordingly, Accenture can build the custom parameters necessary for the seamless flow of data.

With Jelurida’s infrastructure and Accenture’s extensive experience, the Senator project for Correos is poised to be a major case study for how collaboration between different entities with specific knowledge can be harnessed for the greater good of citizens, service providers, and governments alike.

Der Beitrag Jelurida & Accenture To Collaboratively Develop Mainstream Business Models Using Blockchain Technology erschien zuerst auf Crypto News Flash.

Solana-powered Play-and-Earn Game MonkeyBall Lands Investments from Alameda Research, YGG and Drive-by-Draftkings’ VC

Tel Aviv, Israel, 6th December, 2021,

The team at Play-and-Earn game MonkeyBall are pleased to confirm that they have managed to beef up their list of backers. 

MonkeyBall, a Solana-powered gaming platform, says it’s humbled that their partners wanted to join the MonkeyBall journey and are fortunate enough to be able to hand-pick backers with a solid reputation and considerable value-add. 

MonkeyBall’s latest backers include Alameda Research, DRIVE by Draftkings in their first-ever token round, Rainfall Ventures with their extensive gaming experience, the world’s largest guild: YGG, as well as the Gate.io exchange.

DRIVE by Draftkings serves as a multi-stage company that invests in SportsTech and Entertainment. It’s on a mission to push forward the next frontier by supporting founders and teams with innovative products and technologies.  

A highly-experienced team and vast network across the sports and media industry has made DRIVE the leading strategic source for venture capital in SportsTech and Sports entertainment. 

MonkeyBall’s management explains that they will offer the first token that’s based round for Drive by Draftkings and they’re pleased to be selected for that. Aside from MonkeyBall, a few of DRIVE’s notable investments include Cardless, Papaya Gaming, Whoop, and Evaluate.  With their industry expertise, DRIVE will aim to support MonkeyBall in becoming the next-gen esports Metaverse.

About MonkeyBall 

MonkeyBall is a Solana-based, play-to-earn, turn-based soccer game, a kind of FIFA Street and Final Fantasy rolled into one fun monkey-themed game. Gamers can earn tokens by winning or simply enjoying other people’s matches.

The game offers a high production value gaming experience and is being developed on Unity, making it cross-platform with Desktop and Mobile.
 

Contacts

Oren M
oren@monkeyball.com

Der Beitrag Solana-powered Play-and-Earn Game MonkeyBall Lands Investments from Alameda Research, YGG and Drive-by-Draftkings’ VC erschien zuerst auf Crypto News Flash.