Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Sunday Review

Mostly concerned with the Olympics again, but there's a little TV this week:

  • Ghost Hunters International: "The Legend of Rose Hall" - The adventure starts in Costa Rica, at a TB Hospital. Many of these haunted places are sanitoriums for TB sufferers. This one isn't completely abandoned, though, like a lot of them. As for what they found... lens flare, static, and bugs. I'm not really impressed. Even that last picture just wasn't enough. Next up is Jamaica. Fun! The legend of the White Witch of Rose Hall. I love the amount of debunking they did. The photo debunking was particularly nice. Why are they so good at debunking in the second half, but so willing to see pattern in nothing in the first?

Fortean Times #257, February 2010. This issue came on time, and sure enough, I've already got issue #258. I haven't opened it yet. I want to finish the review of this one before I read another one. Oddly, I checked the website of the distributor, and they claim the current issue is #260. If that's the case, I'm two issues behind. But if I go to the Fortean Times Website, they are still on #259... making the distributor ahead - and me about right on target for someone getting a subscription overseas. Um, I think I've managed to confuse myself.

Right, the issue itself! The cover story is on Dracula. Joy. Like I need more vampires sucking away. The article itself isn't bad. It's about the evolution of the vampire story from undead peasants to the suave and sophisticated charmer through the processes in pop culture, starting with Bram Stoker's Dracula. It's a good solid look at the history of Dracula, but limited by being an article in a magazine. I get the feeling that this information could easily fill out a book or two.

Moving back to the start of the book, we get a chilling tale out of Peru about gangs that killed people to gather human fat. I really hope that one isn't true. More Strangedays include objects falling from the sky and medical mysteries. The Science article looks at the real history behind The Men Who Stare At Goats, and in particular the way people truly die because of curses. The Archaeology section shows off a bone flute found in Germany that is the world's oldest musical instrument.

The UFO files has an A-Z of UFO Theories, part one, that gets up to M in this issue. I like the theories... most of them. I always figure most of the mysterious that we see out in the world has a mix of causes and that trying to constantly pigeonhole things into a single meaning is one reason we don't understand the world around us.

There are a few more articles that are good but too much to mention at the moment. The reviews again got me to put books on my lists. The letters pages include a picture of the Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaids, which I'm very familiar with thanks to a commenter on my Aquaman page. There is a disgusting letter from a climate-change denier who clearly needs someone to fact-check him before he sends letters. Ah well, it's still a good magazine, even if I had trouble reading through one single letter to the editor. Overall, great stuff.