Looking at the profile of someone who has just connected with me on LinkedIn... so 15 years working in journalism makes you a "media veteran" and what are the qualifications for calling yourself a "visionary leader" – I have visions but I credit that to eating cheese late at night!
As you know – of course you know – along with our weekly 30-minute long Weird Tales Radio Show podcast, we also produce an hour-long omnibus edition that goes out fortnightly on the Paranormal UK Radio Network before being made available as a podcast on PodBean – and here it is – just click on the player.
The next episode of the one-hour long fortnightly edition of the Weird Tales Radio show airs tonight on the Paranormal UK Radio Network at 9pm (UK) & 9pm (EST). AND you can now also access this on TalkStream Live + Radio.net + the Paranormal Radio app.
We start with a story (via The Register) that definitely qualifies as #WTF news as it is reported a trader on eBay was claiming to sell debris leftover from the recent Prince Philip car crash at Sandringham. Bids had supposedly reached as high as £66k before eBay deleted the auction on policy grounds. It items were being sold along with the claim that "they may even have Phil's DNA on it, if you wanted to clone him".
Next up... And then there were three. Our friends at Ancient Origins have a report suggesting that along with Neanderthals and Denisovans, there may have been a third, now extinct, species of hominid co-existing with early man (ie us lot, Homo Sapiens) some 40,000 years ago. Yup, more relatives to invite to my birthday party!
And finally a big thank you to Greg Bufithis for sending us a link to this story on the power of science fiction where a product named after a trope in a science fiction story that predicted a future where people live in poverty on a single food source is now the single food source for people living in poverty in the present. Yes, welcome to the 21st century where your dystopian nightmares can come through. We should point out that unlike the 1973 movie, Soylent Green is not made out of people!
We start with a story that sounds like a plot for a Mission Impossible movie, with a gangland hitman being caught out by data recorded on his smartwatch but it's a true story that was exposed last week at a murder trial at Liverpool Crown Court in the UK. Story via The Register.
Next up... good news for all fans of Wicca and witchcraft (aren't we all?) as Witchfest International announces it is returning to it's traditional home at Fairfield Halls in Croydon on the 9th November 2019. The announcement goes on to say "With a freshly refurnished building and additional space available it will be bigger and better than before. Witchfest and Fairfield have a long history so we hope you are as pleased with the move as we are. We will miss Brighton it will always be our second home, but we are looking forward to being back in Croydon. We have already started booking speakers and entertainers."
Speakers include Professor Ronald Hutton, Maxine Sanders, Pete Jennings and Rachel Patterson, while bands include The Dolmen, Damh the Bard, and the Mediaeval Baebes. For more details check https://witchfest.net/events/witchfest-international
Finally... something for gamers. There's a new version – v.11 – of Mortal Kombat being released on the 23rd April and the developers NetherRealm Studios have just released the official story prologue and gameplay reveal trailers. Mortal Kombat 11 will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on April 23, 2019. Premium and standard editions of the game are available for preorder. Enjoy...
In Episode 48 of the Weird Tales Radio Show podcast (available on iTunes, Spotify etc) we sing the sad song of the Mistletoe Bride trapped in her living tomb - we review the legend and have a new version of the song for you from Andy Brown. We also look at the tradition of Old Twelfth Night + Take a quiz on some little known legendary facts - seriously King Arthur, your spear is called Ron? + We discover a churchyard in Northern Ireland where the graveyard dirt really does deliver a miracle cure.
It's the Freaky Folklore Friday edition of the Inside Skinny with St Anthony, Treadwells & Ancient Origins
And we're off with three more stories starting with this one (via Reuters) about a special church ceremony in Madrid to bless pets. Yes, yesterday (17th January) was the Feast of St Anthony – that's St Anthony the Great, one of the early Christian "Desert Fathers" (died AD 356) who started as a hermit in the Egyptian desert and ended up laying the foundations for Christian monasticism. Along the way he was kind to animals and cured a pig, which subsequently became devoted to him. There's cute pet footage in the accompanying video.
Next up... a sign of the times from the Treadwells esoteric book shop in London, as they continue to host and curate sell out events...
Finally... our very good friends at Ancient Origins have just published the latest edition of their new monthly magazine, containing among many other the things, the first of a new regular column by me on the Ritual Year...
The Inside Skinny: Folklore + Life on the Moon + Throwback Thursday + come back Elizabeth Bathory all is forgiven
And we kick off today's stories with a reminder that the 17th of January is "Old Twelvey" or Old 12th Night because here in the UK some people still haven't got over the Julian-to-Gregorian calendar change in 1752! Still, it provides an another excuse to go wassailing!
It seems like it was only the other day we were all stunned by the news the Chinese had succeeded in growing cotton seed on their new Moon lander spacecraft. Hang in, it was only the other day. Well it's gone to join the choir eternal – it's now dead – it couldn't survive the lunar night. Story by The Register.
Finally... Throwback Thursday – Austrian actors Senta Berger + Marissa Mell + Maria Perschy circa 1963.
Next up a picture (taken by Scott Mahaskey of Politico) which neatly sums-up the whole out-of-control #socialmedia and #fakenews scene in 2018. It shows Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey leaving a congressional hearing in Washington while being heckled by InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. But why is the congressional aide behind Dorsey wearing Google Glasses? Who is the journalist stilling wearing a 1980s-style Casio watch? And is that cop sporting a Rolex?
Starting THIS Wednesday (16th January) on the Urban Fantasist... a daily inside skinny news section covering geek – tech – urban myths – folklore – media – the weird – and anything else that takes my fancy!
Here to inform and entertain you with tales of weirdness, folklore, urban myths, arcane history, geek culture and the occult. "Fun and high strangeness" is how one reader describes it. May contain sarcasm.
Curated by Reuters correspondent and barrister turned writer, podcaster, editor, award-winning tech journalist and sometime werewolf hunter Charles Christian. The site also has links to Charles' books and the Weird Tales radio and video shows.
Charles was born a 'chime child' with a caul – according to legend a caul-shrouded chime-child can't drown at sea but can see and talk to ghosts and fairy folk without fear of coming to harm – allegedly!
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