The Conspiracy Theory Flowchart

The Conspiracy Theory Flowchart by Crispian Jago.

It is a ‘must have’ for Those Who Know!

It’s also a handy guide to The Hopelessly Uninformed.

Crispian's Conspiracy Flowchart(Click on image, then click again to get the full-blown tangle of theories!) 

The Truth is Out There! I Want to Believe.

Hats off to the amazing Crispian Jago. He’s my new hero!

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Personal sidenote: I was recently invited to the home of some very dear friends. I love going there. Their generosity and hospitality to me over the years is truly overwhelming. During the evening, I had the rare opportunity (i.e. profound misfortune) of running into someone I’d met there once or twice before. This person holds a black belt in Conspiracy Theories. This person is convinced of their intellectual and moral superiority. This person is also an insufferable Know-It-All. This person is, in short, an colossal bore. I smiled. I nodded. I tried not to stick a fork into the person’s neck.

SOOOO… imagine by delight when I came across Crispian Jago’s invaluable chart this morning! I hope, my little geeks and nerdlings, that you have as much fun with it as I did!

The 100 Scariest Movie Moments (Part I)

THE 100 SCARIEST MOVIE MOMENTS (PART I)!

It’s about 45 minutes long but WORTH IT!

If you love horror, you MUST see this!

100-scariest-movie-moments

Thanks to Eva Halloween. You’re the best, sweetie!

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Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments Part I

In 2004, Bravo premiered their four-part countdown of the 100 Scariest Movie Moments. It’s like all the best parts of one hundred scary movies all rolled up into one and has become something of a tradition to watch every year in the run-up to Halloween.  Since tomorrow is the first day of October, I thought we could get in the mood for Halloween with scary moments 100 – 76. I’ve included the list below – let me know in the comments how many you’ve seen, and stay tuned for Part IInext week!

100. 28 Days Later
99. Creepshow
98. Zombi
97. Cat People
96. The Birds
95. Jurassic Park
94. Pacific Heights
93. Child’s Play
92. Village of the Damned
91. Shallow Grave
90. The Night of the Hunter
89. Alice, Sweet Alice
88. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
87. Black Christmas 1974
86. The Wizard of Oz
85. Blood…

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Why I Hate Almost Everyone (Part 18): Clowns

Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns.

Please note that I did not say it was the irrational fear of clowns.

Nothing could be more rational than being afraid of a guy in floppy shoes, fright wig, garish make-up and a red nose.

It is not unlike my fear of bad Irish drag queens. Perfectly reasonable.

I don’t know who first came up with the idea of clowns. I’m sure it was the result of some drunken Graeco-Roman stage gag gone horribly out of control.

It is interesting to note that I don’t have a fear of mimes. I harbour a deep-seated loathing for them, of course. Who doesn’t? But not fear.

I’m also not afraid of the old commedia dell’arte clowns. I do not lie awake at night knowing that Pulchinello or Arlecchino is hiding under my bed just waiting to get up to no good.

Nor am I afraid of Shakespearean clowns… other than the not-unreasonable fear that they might bore me to death.

(Bring on the waterworks!)

Nor do I fear the heart-broken clown in Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, although I am embarrassed at the fact that I cry every effen time I hear him sing “Vesti la Giubba.”

Truly, I do. It’s sad yet pathetic. Can’t stop the waterworks. Really.

(Hello, kids!)

Nope… the source of my greatest nightmare is the 19th and early 20th century Barnum & Bailey style ‘modern’ circus clown.

(The Circus Clown, movie poster – 1934)

Scares the crap out of me.

(Is that a coffin on that chair??)

I get the sinking feeling that the moment I turn my back, the psychotic sociopath who is masquerading (literally) as a clown reveals his true self, thrusting a knife into my neck.

So parents, for the love of all that is good and decent, don’t inflict clowns on your kids. Don’t take them to the circus thinking they’ll have a blast as they watch an ever increasing hoard of serial killers come out of a tiny clown car.

All you are doing is guaranteeing them years on some psychiatrist’s couch, blaming you for why they break into a cold sweat whenever they see Ronald McDonald.

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Creepy Girls (3): The ‘Cousin It’ Effect

It is a not-uncommon effect used in horror movies and photos of a macabre nature.

A girl with her face completely covered by her hair.

(The ghost of Samara Morgan – The Ring)

The most famous example is probably Samara’s ghost in the 2002 movie The Ring (based on the 1998 Japanese horror movie, Ringu).

(The ghost of Sadako Yamamura – Ringu)

It isn’t complicated. It requires no special effects or computer graphics.

A girl standing still, arms down at her sides, head slightly bowed forward, her face completely covered by long hair.

And yet each time I see that image, I get the chills.

Even when I remind myself of silly Cousin It from The Addams Family, it doesn’t help dispel that deeply disquieting sensation I experience each time I see it.

So here’s to you, creepy ‘Cousin It’ girls!

Long may you continue to inspire goosebumps in all of us!

How Thinking About Death Can Lead to a Good Life

I knew it!

The Geek Gang over at ScienceDaily.com have confirmed what I have long suspected!

As a recent article states, “Thinking about death can actually be a good thing. An awareness of mortality can improve physical health and help us re-prioritize our goals and values, according to a new analysis of recent scientific studies. Even non-conscious thinking about death — say walking by a cemetery — could prompt positive changes and promote helping others.”

Past research suggests that thinking about death is destructive and dangerous, fueling everything from prejudice and greed to violence. Such studies related to terror management theory (TMT), which posits that we uphold certain cultural beliefs to manage our feelings of mortality, have rarely explored the potential benefits of death awareness.

“This tendency for TMT research to primarily deal with negative attitudes and harmful behaviors has become so deeply entrenched in our field that some have recently suggested that death awareness is simply a bleak force of social destruction,” says Kenneth Vail of the University of Missouri, lead author of the new study in the online edition of Personality and Social Psychology Review this month. “There has been very little integrative understanding of how subtle, day-to-day, death awareness might be capable of motivating attitudes and behaviors that can minimize harm to oneself and others, and can promote well-being.”

Thinking about death can also promote better health. Recent studies have shown that when reminded of death people may opt for better health choices, such as using more sunscreen, smoking less, or increasing levels of exercise.

One major implication of this body of work, Vail says, is that we should “turn attention and research efforts toward better understanding of how the motivations triggered by death awareness can actually improve people’s lives, rather than how it can cause malady and social strife.”

Write the authors: “The dance with death can be a delicate but potentially elegant stride toward living the good life.”

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Supernatural: Season Six

A while ago, I picked up the DVD box set of Season Six of the Warner Bros television program Supernatural.

I like Supernatural a lot. I remember really liking it the moment I saw the pilot in September, 2005.

(Supernatural title card)

The series premise is quite simple. 

After their mother’s death in a suspicious fire that burns down their house, Dean and Sam Winchester live a life on the road with their father as they grow up. Years pass and the boys team up to find their father, John, who goes missing on a hunting trip. However, their father is not a typical hunter: he hunts supernatural creatures like ghostsvampires, and spirits and he’s trained his sons to do the same. Along the way, Sam and Dean save innocent people, fight creatures and ghosts, and collect clues to their father’s whereabouts. Sam begins to mysteriously develop psychic abilities and visions as they travel. They eventually find and reunite with their father, who reveals that the creature that killed Sam and Dean’s mother years earlier is Yellow-eyes (Azazel) and the only thing that can kill him is a legendary gun created by Samuel Colt. (as per Wikipedia)

(1836 Colt Paterson – aka ‘The Colt’)

A lot of the show’s charm and success has to do with the chemistry between the two brothers, Sam (Jared Padelecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles).

As creator Eric Kripke said, “It’s always been a show about family, much more than it is about anything else. The mythology is only an engine to raise issues about family. A big brother watching out for a little brother, wondering if you have to kill the person you love most, family, loyalty versus the greater good, family obligation versus personal happiness.”

(Sam and Dean and the amazing 1967 Chevy Impala)

The ‘mythology’ Kripke refers to is how the Winchester family investigates supernatural phenomenon, usually (but not always) involving American urban legends. Kripke feels that America’s urban legends are every bit as fleshed out as any world mythologies.

(Supernatural Season Six poster)

The series was only supposed to go for three seasons. Last year, saw the beginning of Season Seven.

On January 12, 2012, the series won Best Sci/Fi TV Series and Best Drama TV Series at the People’s Choice Awards.