Since the dawn of time priests have used showmanship and deception to maintain their power. Sleight of hand tricks, monumental architecture, mechanical gadgets and psychotropic drugs were all used. Primitive shamans in the Amazon today use various forms of trickery to “show” disease being…
"Back in August, I blogged the announcement of the forthcoming Discovering Scarfolk, a book-length adaptation of the brilliantly creepy Scarfolk Council blog, which chronicles the government publications of a English town that is forever trapped in a loop from 1969-1979, a town that’s like Nightvale crossed with Liartown USA, written by John Wyndham. Today, it’s out!
Richard Littler, the creator of Scarfolk, has a mad, grotesque genius for the creation of manufactured antiques from his alternate reality, a blend of design fiction and wry commentary I haven’t seen since the heyday of Futurefeedforward. The book looks to be absolutely genius, and it comes out on Oct 16.”
HOW HAVE I NOT HEARD ABOUT SCARFOLK BEFORE?
“Yet if Thiong’o sees in storytelling an allegory for the mechanisms of power that have held down his nation for so long, he also sees in it a potent engine for renewal.”
Conjuring up a strange-looking girl
Bombay, Our City (Anand Patwardhan, 1985)
Don’t worry, Cthulhu is still fast asleep and no one has heard from the Kraken for centuries. This nightmarish maw is the beak of a female colossal squid, one that weighed 770 lbs (350 kg), measured nearly 11.5 feet long ( 3.5 m) and was recently dissected by scientists during a live webcast from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, New Zealand. The squid was found by Captain John Bennett and his crew in Antarctic waters back in December 2013. She’s only the second intact colossal squid specimen ever recovered, providing an extraordinary opportunity for scientists to learn more about this mysterious species.
The squid’s eyes measured nearly 14 inches in diameter. The better to see you with, my dear. She also had three hearts, all the better to love you to tiny, bite-size pieces.
"What did Shakespeare’s English sound like to Shakespeare? To his audience? And how can we know such a thing as the phonetic character of the language spoken 400 years ago? These questions and more are addressed in the video above, which profiles a very popular experiment at London’s Globe Theatre, the 1994 reconstruction of Shakespeare’s theatrical home. As linguist David Crystal explains, the theater’s purpose has always been to recapture as much as possible the original look and feel of a Shakespearean production—costuming, music, movement, etc. But until recently, the Globe felt that attempting a play in the original pronunciation would alienate audiences. The opposite proved to be true, and people clamored for more. Above, Crystal and his son, actor Ben Crystal, demonstrate to us what certain Shakespearean passages would have sounded like to their first audiences, and in so doing draw out some subtle wordplay that gets lost on modern tongues.”
"We live in a world ruled by fictions of every kind — mass merchandising, advertising, politics conducted as a branch of advertising, the instant translation of science and technology into popular imagery, the increasing blurring and intermingling of identities within the realm of consumer goods, the preempting of any free or original imaginative response to experience by the television screen. We live inside an enormous novel. For the writer in particular it is less and less necessary for him to invent the fictional content of his novel. The fiction is already there. The writer’s task is to invent the reality."