Monday, January 24, 2011

Horrific Medival tortures

The Web seems obsessed by all things Russian at the moment, so what could kindle our curiosity more than a selection of torture devices from that colossal country, preserved for our pleasure? OK, so they're more Spanish Inquisition than KGB interrogation, but that makes little difference when all we care about is how sadistically sick they are. Enjoy.
1. The Mask of Infamy: who’s been a dirty devil?
More a form of public humiliation than a torture device, the Mask of Infamy nevertheless made the culprit pay their sins. Locked onto the head for a time decided by the accuser, the Mask itself kept physical torment to a minimum – though sadists will be pleased to know wearers were often chained to a post, where people in the vicinity could torture them.
  Sometimes the Mask contained a ball or some other device to stop the wearer’s wailing. The design of the Mask is said to have been left up to the fantasies of local craftsmen, though it may also have been linked to the type of offense – a case of the punishment fitting the crime.
2. The Street Sweeper’s Daughter: wrapped up in her lovely arms
This contraption may have got its name from the Scavenger’s Daughter, an identical model of cruel ingenuity kept in the Tower of London. Born in the 1500s, it’s a charming example of the constraint devices that were all the rage in the Inquisition. Like the Rack in reverse, it worked by compressing rather than stretching the body: the victim’s head was locked into the top point of the A-frame, with their hands at the mid-point and legs at the lower end.
Through carefully studied design, the head was pushed down and knees forced up into a crouching position so squashed it quickly caused acute muscular cramps in the guts and forced blood from the nose and ears. In time the person went from a state of suffering to one of utter madness. Lovely.
3. The Jerking: caught in an uncompromising position
Image via: Rapid Library
Although far from a form of self-stimulation, the Jerking was believed to be a light type of torture, and was widely used in the trials of yesteryear. The arms of the accused were bound behind their back, and a rope around their wrists was tied to a winch. Victims were left hanging by their arms in this less than compromising position or – you guessed it – violently jerked in what appears to have been a form of Strappado or reverse hanging.
If all this sounds too timid, weights were often tied to the ill-fated person’s feet and their flesh ripped with pliers. Apparently jurists of the time thought witchcraft enabled the guilty to endure torture without confessing. It must have been some witchcraft.
4. Water Torture: beyond the pale
To, erm, execute this form of torture, the accused was placed on a kind of rack that consisted of a long wooden frame with a raised central part, as well as a pillory-like design at one end. Once the victim’s hands and feet were locked, the torturer went about his dirty work in one of several ways.
One method involved forcing the none-too thirsty individual to swallow large amounts of water via a funnel, with the bloated body then beaten repeatedly with heavy blows. Another technique saw a cloth tube inserted as deeply – and roughly – as possible down the victim’s throat before being slowly filled with water, thus choking them. Thanks but no thanks.
5. The Witch’s Chair: definitely no armchair ride
Image via: Rapid Library
This “remedy” must have extracted a confession or two in its time with the pain it was capable of inflicting. Under suspicion of being a witch or in some other way in union with the devil, the accused was undressed and made to sit in the chair against those tasty spikes in the back- and arm-rests, while the wrists and ankles were shackled. The procedure sometimes dragged on well beyond 24 hours, and even surviving the torture without confessing was deemed proof of guilt of witchery, punishable by death. A no-win situation if there ever was one.
In later, more sophisticated versions – described below – the iron points could be heated up for an added dose of searing agony.
6. The Head Crusher: what it says on the tin – forget the aspirin
This grisly product of the Dark Ages didn’t need a fancy name. With the chin placed over the bottom bar and the skull snugly beneath the domed cap, the torturer would begin turning the screw that must have been anything but music to the ears of the accused. The screw pressed against the cap, slowly compacting the head. Thus in awful sequence, first the teeth were crushed, shattering the jaw; then the eyes were squeezed from their sockets; and lastly the brain matter was forced from the ears.
  The other sure-fire method of wringing out a confession, this method of torture could be drawn out for hours if the torturer was a particularly sadistic specimen. Shockingly, versions of the Head Crusher may still be used in parts of the world today.
7. The Rack: torn limb from limb
A classic. One of the most feared and agonising of all torture devices, The Rack was also mechanically precise and so perfect for the incremental pain of interrogation. It consisted of a rectangular frame, to which the wrists and ankles of the accused were tied or chained at either end.
Rollers, a handle and ratchet were used to gradually increase the tension on the victim’s arms and legs, inducing unspeakable pain. The bones were slowly dislocated with a horrendously loud crack before the limbs were plucked from their joints and eventually torn apart with similarly sickening popping sounds. Models that appeared in the late Middle Ages often had spikes to pierce the victim’s back, increasing the torment and the chance of crippling injury if they were spared.
8. The Guided Cradle: intruding where it really hurts
OK, let’s get this over with: an excruciating looking instrument sometimes referred to as the Judas Cradle or Chair. The accused was sat on top of a pyramid-shaped seat, with the point implanted rudely in their naked nether regions.
Image via: Lucifer's Hell
Some theories suggest the idea was to stretch and slowly impale the victim, with weights perhaps added to their legs. Others reckon the emphasis lay on hoisting and repeatedly lowering the victim onto the tip, varying the pressure while keeping them awake – hence its other name: the Vigil. Either way, it was pretty near unbearable. Apparently originally designed to get people to talk without causing undue injury and breakage of bones, it could still easily break the skin – while also leaving a few mental scars – and was potentially fatal. Heard enough?
9. The Hand Saw: straight down the line brutality

Torture devices don’t come more downright extreme than the Hand Saw, and the diagram leaves little to the imagination. The victim was hung upside down to supply the brain with oxygen and slow down the blood loss so that they didn’t lose consciousness and died a suitably slow and excruciating death.
Image via: Corkscrew Balloon
This cheap but effective two-man torture method was used to cut people in half throughout the Middle Ages, with those accused of adultery and blasphemy among the many who felt the Saw’s teeth bite. In Russia it seems to have been a favourite with judges for witches impregnated by “nightmare devils” or even by Satan himself. Now there’s an argument in favour of contraception.
10. The Chair of Torture: are you sitting comfortably?

The Chair of Torture dates back to the Middle Ages but may have been used till the late 19th Century. Not quite Russian Revolution territory, then, though fear of those myriad spikes might have kept a few of the masses in line. This ultimate interrogation chair had spikes covering the seat, back, and arm-, leg- and footrests – but there was no rest, for the wicked or anyone else who sat in this thing.

The victim’s wrists were strapped in to prevent movement, while bars and other movable parts pressed against the limbs ensuring the tips penetrated the flesh deeper. A quick death was far from guaranteed. No vital organs were pierced and the pressure of the spikes themselves plugged wounds, slowing blood loss and often keeping victims alive for a day or more.
The psychological fear these torture devices aroused was often enough to extract a confession, and victims were frequently forced to watch others subjected to the treatment and witness the pain they too could soon be facing.

Keyboard tips and tricks

Vista Shortcuts using the Windows key:
Window key+B Sets focus to first icon in the notification area. You can use arrow keys to move among the icons in the notification area or press Tab to move around
on the taskbar.

Window key+D Show Desktop (without the Sidebar).
Window key+E Windows Explorer (opens to Computer).
Window key+F Find Files or Folders (aka Search).
Window key+M Minimize All windows (Sidebar not included).
Window key+Shift+M Undo Minimize All Windows.
Window key+R Open the Run dialog box.
Window key+Tab 3-D Flip (flips you through your applications but with a cool graphic instead of the standard Alt+Tab). Requires the use of the Aero user interface.
Window key+Pause/Break System Properties.
Window key+F1 Windows Help.
Window key+L Locks workstation. If the user account has a password, it must be reentered to unlock the system again.
Window key+U Ease of Access Settings.
Window key+Spacebar This shows the Sidebar (the Sidebar must be open, but minimized).
Ctrl+Window key+Tab Brings up Flip-3D, but it will stay on the desktop so you can scroll up, down, left and right.

Window key+T Allows you to tab between application buttons on the taskbar.
Ctrl+Shift+Esc Opens Task Manager more faster than alt+ctrl+del.
Alt+Tab Windows Flip. Allows you to choose an open application to switch to by
repeatedly pressing the Tab key.
Window key+5 opens the snipping tool.
Some User Logging Shortcuts:
Window key (and then) three right arrows and Enter To Shut down
Window key (and then) three right arrows and U To Shut down
Window key (and then) three right arrows and R To Restart
Window key (and then) three right arrows and W To Switch Users
Window key (and then) one right arrow and Enter To Sleep
There has always been a market for tools that can help you make your working experience more customizable with Windows.In the world of shortcut keys, a great tool we used to work with was WinKey
What is Winkey ?
This application to set a shorcut for any action or application you want to launch from your keyboard quickly.Once you’ve made a shortcut, simply press your desired key combination to launch your program. This tool supports up to 200 key assignments, giving you lots of choices and room to grow.
Similar application but yeta gain more powerful than winkey is autohotkey.

For more tips and tricks please follow The Little Ganesha frequently

Bermuda Triangle mystery solved

Computer studies of ocean floors around the world, particularly the area known as The Bermuda Triangle, reveal evidence of massive methane explosions in the past. For years, believers in the paranormal, aliens, and other outlandish theories pointed to the the disappearance of ships and aircraft as an indicator of mysterious forces at work in the “Devil’s triangle.” Scientists have finally pointed the rest of us to a more plausible cause.
The presence of methane hydrates indicates enormous eruptions of methane bubbles that would swamp a ship, and projected high into the air- take out flying airplanes, as well.
Any ships caught within the methane mega-bubble immediately lose all buoyancy and sink to the bottom of the ocean. If the bubbles are big enough and possess a high enough density they can also knock aircraft out of the sky with little or no warning. Aircraft falling victim to these methane bubbles will lose their engines-perhaps igniting the methane surrounding them-and immediately lose their lift as well, ending their flights by diving into the ocean and swiftly plummeting.

The deepest swimming pool in the world

Nemo 33 is a Recreational Diving Center in Brussels, Belgium. In here you would find the deepest swimming pool in the world, cause the pool consists of a submerged structure with flat platforms at various depth levels. The pool has two large flat-bottomed areas at depth levels of 5m (16 ft) and 10m (32 ft), and a large circular pit descending to a depth of 33m (108 ft). It is filled with 2,500,000 litres of non-chlorinated, highly filtered spring water maintained at 30 degree Celcius (86 degree Fahrenheit) and contains several simulated underwater caves at the 10m depth level.
There are numerous underwater windows that allow outside visitors to look into the pools at various depths. The complex was designed by Belgian diving expert John Beernaerts as a multi-purpose diving instruction, recreational, and film production facility, and opened in 2004.
You can only take a few items of your own dive kit (computer, mask, pool fins) but no BCD, fins that require booties, regulators (unless they have an integrated air linked to your computer, but no DIN fittings at all), torches, etc. You are not allowed to practice any skills unless you have an instructor in your group.

In this short tutorial, let us learn how to turn Windows Vista Defender on. Follow the steps as shown below: 
1) Click Start Menu and select "Control Panel" as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1.
2) When "Control Panel" opens up select "Security" as shown in Figure 2.

3) When "Security" opens up click "Windows Defender" as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3.  Click here to view larger image.
4) Now "Windows Defender" appears. Click "Options" under "Tools and Settings" as shown in Figure 4.

5) Now scroll down and in Administrator options check "Use Windows Defender" and click save button as shown in Figure 5.