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Flirty Fishing: Evangelical Prostitution April 19, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
Flirty Fishing: Evangelical Prostitution

The Children of God were a rather silly American Christian group, born in 1968, that went, however, almost immediately off the rails, rode down the sidings and ended up chugging along in the blackest, grimiest ditches known to human experience. They specialized, for one, in unusual sexual practices. Some of these are too sordid to […]

The Rossendale Fairies Photographed? April 6, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
The Rossendale Fairies Photographed?

This week has been big in fairy land. Not only did an interesting piece appear concerning a diabolical gnome from Argentina, there were also some photographs published by the Manchester Evening News purporting to show fairies. As this blog has always taken very great pleasure in giving fairies and more importantly fairy belief space we […]

Forgotten Kingdom: Inbetween Saddleworth March 22, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
Forgotten Kingdom: Inbetween Saddleworth

Saddleworth is a late entrant in the Forgotten Kingdoms series. A stupendously beautiful patch of Pennine land in the north of England, it sits uneasily on the border between the White Rose County, Yorkshire and the Red Rose County, Lancashire. Saddleworth is, in fact, a reminder of how differences between communities are messy not clean-cut: […]

Review: Return of the Ancestral Gods February 12, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Medieval, Modern
Review: Return of the Ancestral Gods

When this blogger thinks ‘neo-paganism’: he conjures up images of well-meaning Wiccans dancing nude in the New Forest or Californian ‘fairies’ sitting earnestly in a circle around a lonely pine and talking gnomes. But neo-paganism is not a uniform phenomenon as Mariya Lesiv’s wonderful new book, The Return of the [Ukrainian] Ancestral Gods, shows all […]

How To Be Cool at an Academic Conference January 30, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
How To Be Cool at an Academic Conference

It should be a recipe for joy and for the diffusion of knowledge. Twenty, two hundred or perhaps even two thousand intelligent men and women, with a shared interest, who find themselves closed into a ‘venue’ for two, three or five days with nothing to do except talk shop. Yet how many academic conferences really […]

Horror and Scarcity: Reading Supernatural Fiction January 20, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary, Modern
Horror and Scarcity: Reading Supernatural Fiction

Yesterday the postman brought three beautiful volumes of Sheridan Le Fanus’ short stories (Ash Tree Press). They are exquisitely made, not so much books as orgasms between covers, and they have exceptionally good introductions by Jim Rockhill. They were also expensive, particularly once you factor postage to another continent and the Italian’s government’s banditry in […]

ROLFUDRETUS and Last Country Standing January 11, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
ROLFUDRETUS and Last Country Standing

This is a bad period in Italy. The self-employed, a quarter of the population, are presently being taxed at about 50%. The public sector is inefficient and weighs the country down. The law – always a relative concept in Italy – has become a simultaneously braying and defecating ass. And the Euro is crushing Italian manufacturing. […]

The Wood County Creature!!! November 23, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
The Wood County Creature!!!

Some very sad news from the US: the death of Nick Reiter. Nick was a paranormal investigator based in Ohio and his website contains a series of investigations of mysterious cases, particularly hauntings. Beach hasn’t got much time for all this ghost-busters stuff, but Nick’s writing gives the phantoms a rare edge and more particularly […]

Baby Eating Eagles #2: Video Evidence? November 11, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
Baby Eating Eagles #2: Video Evidence?

A couple of years Beach wrote a blog on birds of prey ‘stealing’ babies: the following post serves as an update of a subject that greatly interests both this blogger and those who arrive here by google. Since the original post two important events have taken place. First, a video was put up December 2012 […]

Death’s Fluttering Wings: Photos November 9, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
Death's Fluttering Wings: Photos

A bit of a melancholy day and so Strange History offers a post on death: a series of pictures of people about to die. The only condition is that the photographs must not be excessively upsetting or morbid. This means that most of the people here, in fact, do not know that they are about […]

The Index Biography #1: Prize = The Ghost Wore Black October 31, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
The Index Biography #1: Prize = The Ghost Wore Black

***It took just three hours for Hapax to write in with the correct solution and there is no second prize, for the answer see tomorrow’s Beachcombed** The Index Biography is a new form of biography pioneered by this blog and introduced in a previous post. The writer must find a biography of a famous individual […]

Paranormal Smells October 10, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Modern
Paranormal Smells

Maybe it was the recent review of Thomas’ essay on farts but Beach has been obsessed with smells and paranormal experiences: perhaps in part because some neurological malfunctioning can lead to strong and unexpected smells; there is a pungent field for research there. Long, long ago we looked at a fairy bad smell story and since […]

Cycling and Florence: To Whom Do Cities Belong? September 19, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
Cycling and Florence: To Whom Do Cities Belong?

Beach has associations with several cities in central Italy. However, his favourite city, unfortunately at the very outer limits of his migration route, is Florence: once a term, oh happy day, he goes to the ‘Flowering Place’ to give a lesson for a course. There is a lot to like about Florence, but its local […]

The Maps of Michael Izady September 15, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
The Maps of Michael Izady

***Thanks to Stephen D for this one!!!*** Beach loves maps, who doesn’t? But he was sceptical about Michael Izady’s efforts until he actually went to take a look at the host site. Basically MI has set himself the task of charting ethnic, linguistic and religious groups in the Middle East. For most of us that […]

Unlucky Days: Rufus Fears Speaks September 13, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Ancient
Unlucky Days: Rufus Fears Speaks

It’s always fun when academics go off message in the middle of talks. Here is a particularly crazy example from a lecture by Rufus Fears, the celebrated classics professor and editor of Lord Acton, recorded for the Teaching Company, Famous Romans, 3. (The TC, btw, puts some great stuff out there and this series of […]

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