Peculiar Perspectives: “The Canals of Venice”

In the same vein as Peculiar Perspectives: “The Streets of London from a couple of weeks ago, same European trip as well, let’s take a walk along the canals of Venice.

Rialto Bridge, Venice, photo by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Most famous of the four bridges that span the Grand Canal in Venice, the Rialto Bridge even has its own Wikipedia entry

Even though it’s in Italy, and Italy is notorious for its (pretend?) piety, howsoever genuine(!), I can’t say walk on the canals of Venice due to fact the canals get quite deep and I lack the requisite omnipotence.

Sign that reads 'Rio de la Toletta' taken next to a canal presumably of the same name, photo taken by Jim McPherson, 2017

Even though I have no idea if this sign refers to a person or what it looks like it refers to, the canals of Venice are not the most inviting of waterways. No swimmers in sight, this despite shot was taken in mid September

They’re also not the most of inviting of waterways, which may be referred to locally as ‘rios’ or rivers. Note the name of this one ==>

Even though I have no idea if this sign refers to a person or what it looks like it refers to, the canals of Venice are not the most inviting of waterways. No swimmers in sight, this despite shot was taken in mid September

As a public service I googled up the word ‘Toletta’ and, yep, the word does mean ‘toilet’ in Italian. As to whether Venetians regard their canals as toilets I wouldn’t want to speculate.

Also wouldn’t want to fall into one either. Might explain why I’ve never  seen anyone swimming in them. Have seen dragon boaters racing up the Grand Canal but they’re pretty well covered.

Gondola on canal ith sun in background, photo by Jim McPherson, 2017

Pretty shot with sun beneath bridge in distance at end of canal

Have swum in the Adriatic off its Lido (civic beach — off of map below to the south and west) on a small island beyond Venice, too. Very nice, warm, clear, but not in port area and certainly not in canals.

<== Don’t have to swim or paddle to enjoy canals. There are vaporetti aplenty using the Grand Canal as the city’s only viable water-bus-line and of course everyone knows of the gondolas.

Unless you really must, the cost is for the latter is prohibitive whereas the former aren’t cheap either. Unless you consider 40 Euros for a three day pass cheap, that is.

Venice Island, taken from Google

Screen shot of a Google map of Venice Proper. Most visitors stay in Mestre at the north end of causeway

Fortunately Venice is not a big place for a city. Not even as big as downtown Vancouver, if I’m any judge.

So I walked a great deal, even on the days when I did have a pass. And, yes, I do carry an umbrella in my backpack. Have done for decades of travel. Perhaps because I’m from aforementioned Vancouver and attract rain even in deserts.

And rain it did, daily, if not all day. Which is most of the reason I didn’t make a return visit to the Lido. Besides, I was only there for five days this time so didn’t really have the time. (Nine years earlier I was there for a week.)

Two huge helping hands propping up building in Venice, photo by Jim McPherson, 2017

Sometimes buildings in Venice are so old they need helping hands to keep from crumbling into Grand Canal.

Rain actually started on the day I landed in Split, Croatia, a couple of weeks prior to Venice. First rain there in something like four months. Sometimes I figure parched countries should pay me to visit them.

Are you listening South Africa?

Close up of one the helping hand propping up buiding, taken by Jim McPherson from underneath it in 2017

Appearances deceiving, this is not the Hand of God. Which isn’t to say it isn’t supposed to represent the Hand of God

<==> Buildings, as one expect, are often old. At least one of them must be so old it needs helping hands to prevent it from crumbling into the Grand Canal.

These two aren’t the Hands of God. I know I checked. Got close enough beneath them to take confirmatory snaps. Then again I knew that already.

Another shot of the two Venetian hands helping to prop up building on Grand Canal, taken by Jim McPherson, 2017

Different angle of the Helping Hands probably taken from a different vaporetto

As per Stellar Serendipity, have had a shot of the Hand on God on pH-Webworld for years.

Equally unsurprisingly, given its Italy Venice is packed with churches. Some of them might even be well-known, albeit not to me.

Considering I write about little gods using the correct terms for them, namely devils, that’s not surprising either.

Dr Peste, the Plague Doctor, standing outside Ca'Macana in mid September 2017, photo by Jim McPherson

Dr Peste, the Plague Doctor, standing outside the Ca’Macana. He was in the same place in 2008, the first time I visited Venice

Which brings me  to one of the reasons I so often go walkabout in places I visit. I’m looking for Phantacea Mythos character likenesses or else character suggestiveness.

In this regard one of the most frequent I came across was Carcinogen the Leper, aka Plague, from “The War of the Apocalyptics” and, albeit to a much lesser degree, both “Feeling Theocidal” and “Goddess Gambit“.

Ca'Macana's Plague Doctor in 2017, shot taken by Jim McPherson in mid-Septembr of 2017

Dr Peste, the Plague Doctor, standing outside the Ca’Macana. He was in the same place in 2008, the first time I visited Venice

(He also might have shown up in “Contagion Collectors“, howsoever briefly. The four Horsemen in that mini-novel were Thrygragos Lazareme and his three firstborn, the Unities of Chaos, Order and Harmony.)

Venetians call him Dr Peste, the Plague Doctor. He’s so well known his costume has its own Wikipedia page. From it have a quote:

The mask had glass openings in the eyes and a curved beak shaped like that of a bird with straps that held the beak in front of the doctor’s nose.[3] The mask had two small nose holes and was a type of respirator which contained aromatic items.[4]

Dr Peste, the Plague Doctor, shot in Venice by Jim McPherson, 2017

A different Dr Peste. The Plague Doctor shows up outside a number of mask shops in Venice. Both his black hat and beaked mask are available in just about every mask shop there

The beak could hold dried flowers (including roses and carnations), herbs (including mint), spices, camphor, or a vinegar sponge.[5][6] The purpose of the mask was to keep away bad smells, which were thought to be the principal cause of the disease in the miasma theory of infection, before it was disproved by germ theory.[2][3]

Doctors believed the herbs would counter the “evil” smells of the plague and prevent them from becoming infected.[3]

Then there’s Pyrame Silverstar. Rather, there’s the All-Seeing Eye of Providence, which is one of the nicknames Pyrame uses in the Phantacea Mythos.

This one looks to have something something to do with the Freemasons. Note the square and the circle. It’s on a huge building that I first took be a church. Don’t think it is … but can’t say for sure as I got no closer.

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Tethys Talks Tura … 500 years ago

Could have as easily been talking turkey in the sense of ‘To speak frankly about the basic facts of a matter’.

Black and white covers of the various Phantacea comics and graphic novels

Black and white covers of the various Phantacea comics and graphic novels published in 2013

Plus, it is apple-approaching Zmas Day hereabouts, or would be if the Weirdom of Cabalarkon is still around; if indeed the Hidden Continent of Sedon’s Head still is … In which case the title could read “Tethys Talks Turkey all sorts of centuries ago”.

(Double-click for enlargements.)

Jordan Tethys, aka the legendary 30-Year Man, was (is?) the self-described hero of “The Thousand Days of Disbelief”.

Cosimo Tura (c. 1430 – 1495) was an Italian early-Renaissance painter. London’s National Gallery has a bunch of his artwork. Now, so does pHantaBlog.

"The Thousand Days of Disbelief", 2010 cover collage prepared by Jim McPherson

Unpublished cover, black and white version, for “The Thousand Days of Disbelief“, 2010 collage prepared by Jim McPherson

In this excerpt, taken from “Contagion Collectors”, the Legendarian‘s talking to APM All-Eyes, a Byronic Master Deva, about Morgan Abyss, the Melusine Master of Weir, who was  occupied by Pyrame Silverstar circa 4824/5 Years of the Dome.

It kind of belies his claim to be 1000-Daze’s hero since he doesn’t make it beyond his fatal encounter with Pyrame-Morgan’s other visitor in the first chapter of “The Death’s Head Hellion”.

Tura's Caliope, painted ca 1470, shot at the National Gallery in London by Jim McPherson, August 2017

Once known as “An Allegory of Spring”, this painting appeared on the cover of “The Death’s Head Hellion

No matter, he’d obviously been around long enough prior to said encounter to have painted her:

(BTW, the worms APM is referring to are tee-tee tails.)

“I can see I opened a can of worms. And I don’t mean the ones sticking out from under your cap. What do you think she’s up to?”

“Morgan Abyss? Funnily enough I saw a picture of her the last time I was on the Outer Earth. I’ve heard it called ‘An Allegory of Spring’ but I spoke to the artist, an Italian fellow by the name of Cosimo Tura, and he said it was of Calliope, the Muse of Epic Poetry. He’d been commissioned to do a bunch of paintings of the Nine Muses and said Calliope’s quill was standard for images of her.”

Toothy fish to Calliope's right atop throne

Toothy fish to Calliope’s right on throne

“As well as images of you.”

“Too true. Anyhow, what wasn’t standard was Master Morgan’s throne, all those toothy dolphins, or whatever they are. Morg had a throne just like that; one she’d had handmade by her own fish-folks, Melusine craftsmen the lot.” She gave him one of those looks of hers – a very unsettling look given how many eyes she could manifest. “Or craftswomen of course.” This seemed to satisfy her so he felt free to carry on.

Toothy fish to Calliope's left atop throne

Toothy fish to Calliope’s left on throne

“Even weirder, it looks to me like he copied his Calliope from one of my own paintings, one that still hangs in Cabalarkon. Don’t ask me how he learned of it. He claimed it came to him in a dream, which might be the weirdest thing yet. And you don’t have to take my word for it either. Unless he bit the big one in the last few months, he’s still alive. Maybe you could get more out of him. I’m no devil.”

“So you keep insisting. But what’re the chances of any of us even bothering? We don’t visit Italy when we’re out there; isn’t in our bailiwick. Besides, that isn’t what I asked.”

“No, you asked me to what I think Morg’s up to in that painting. Except it isn’t a matter of thinking, is it? It’s a matter of historical record …

Cosimo Tura's St Jerome as shot in London's National Gallery in August 2017 by Jim McPherson

Cosimo Tura’s St Jerome as shot in London’s National Gallery in August 2017

Well, it is and isn’t.

Certainly would be if you’d read “The Death Head Hellion”, which of course you still can; purchase it, too. And “Contagion Contagion”, the second mini-novel extracted from “The 1000 Days of Disbelief”, Book Two of the epic “Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories” fantasy trilogy.

Tura's Virgin with Child as shot in London's National Gallery in August 2017 by Jim McPherson

Tura’s Virgin with Child; apparently the angels are playing a celestial organ, not a tower of power

But what’s with Tura’s toothy throne fish? Decided to have a closer look when visiting London’s National Gallery in August 2017. Now that the Nat allows pictures I decided move on up to the front of the queue and zoom right in on some of them.

Close up of throne fish near Calliope's left leg with cave behind it, shot by Jim McPherson in London's National Gallery in August 2017

One of Tura’s throne-fish; behind it is a cave with someone (Jordan Tethys?) scribbling on a slate

What did I spot behind bottom most throne fish by Calliope’s left foot but a cave or entrance way of some sort (to the Hidden Headworld?) and a man scribbling on a tablet or pad of paper.

The placard says it’s a blacksmith in a cave but surely to PHANTACEA it’s got to be Jordan Tethys scribbling away on his getaway slate.

Close up of Tura's angels playing a celestial organ, taken in London's National Gallery by Jim McPherson, 2017

Close up of Tura’s angels playing a celestial organ

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While we’re here. Rather, while I was there, I took a few more Turas.  Might as well leave them here until I figure out what else to do with them.

Thumb Up on Trafalgar Square plinth,photo taken by Jim McPherson, August 2017

2017’s occupant on the changeling plinth in front of London’s National Gallery

Finally, for now, am forced to say  ‘thumb up’ for London’s National Gallery for allowing pictures inside and having a solitary thumb up statue on a massive plinth outside it in Trafalgar Square.

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Golden Fish Lightpost spotted and shot in London near Thames embankment by Jim McPherson, August 2017

A threesome of not so toothy fish (dolphins?) on a light stand near the Thames embankment a few blocks away from Trafalgar Square; spotted and shot in late August 2017

Should mention that Tura’s throne fishes seem to be contagious.

Have a couple of more shots: the first of a light stand down from Trafalgar Square near the Thames embankment and the second of a flower container in Hyde Park across the street from  Lancaster Gate.

Dolphin-type grinned out of a concrete flow contained spotted and shot in Hyde Park near Lancaster Gate in late August 2017 by Jim McPherson

Dolphin-type grinning out of a concrete flower container spotted and shot in Hyde Park near Lancaster Gate in late August 2017

They don’t have Tura’s toothiness, true, but it’s hard not to argue that they were inspired by Calliope in the National Gallery a few blocks away one way or the other.

As for what else was outside the National Gallery that day in late August 2017, how about a Golden Golem and, yes, the Grim Reaper?

One of a number of 'street performers' spotted and shot outside the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, London, in late August 2017 by Jim McPherson

One of a number of ‘street performers’ spotted and shot outside the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, London, in late August 2017

(Perhaps not the best fellow to be visiting given what had happened to the famous fellow represented atop the big tower in the centre of Trafalgar Square in 1805.

One of a number of 'street performers' spotted and shot outside the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, London, in late August 2017 by Jim McPherson

One of a number of ‘street performers’ spotted and shot outside the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, London, in late August 2017

(Or what happened not all that far away thanks to an intentionally wayward lorry driven up onto a sidewalk on London Bridge a couple of months earlier in June.)

In theory if you can’t get them to move then you have to toss them a coin, minimum of a pound Sterling. Wasn’t a game I played.

Besides there were plenty of worthies outside the Nat and I wasn’t about to toss all of them a pound.

Had already donated a fiver to the gallery in order to keep it otherwise free.

A pair of not so toothy fish (dolphins?) spotted and shot on a light stand near the Thames embankment a few blocks away from Trafalgar Square as spotted and shot in late August 2017 by Jim McPherson

A pair of not so toothy fish (dolphins?) spotted and shot on a light stand near the Thames embankment a few blocks away from Trafalgar Square in late August 2017

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Even Hirst at his Excessive Worst is better than …

Reviews were all but universally terrible but, being in Venice while the exhibit was running, at two locales simultaneously, proved too much for Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, to resist in September 2017.

Have three posts that first appeared on pHantacea on pHacebook, plus a couple of bonus shots. Commentary mostly taken from Phantacea Publications Facebook Page.

Scroll down for reiteration of images and comments …

Banner outside the entrance to the gallery, shot by Jim McPherson in Venice, September 2017

Shot in Venice, September 2017, the plaza is called the same as the gallery, Palazzo Grassi

Colossus somewhat unimaginatively called 'Demon with a Bowl (Exhibition Enlargement); shot in Venice Italy by Jim McPherson in September 2017

Damien Hirst’s colossal conceit is somewhat unimaginatively called ‘Demon with a Bowl (Exhibition Enlargement). Henceforth shall be referred to as Colossus

<== To the left is a shot of the banner for “Treasures from the WRECK of the Unbelievable. Damien Hirst” exhibit running in September 2017. Spotted and shot by Jim McPherson outside the Palazzo Grassi in Venice Italy.

It’s the second venue for the show but the first visited. Exhibit ran from 09/04/2017-03/12/2017

==> According to the brochure that came with admission, the image to the right (which needs a good clicking to fully appreciate its sheer, laugh-out-loud immensity) is somewhat unimaginatively called ‘Demon with a Bowl (Exhibition Enlargement).

Hirst Colossus, taken from second level of Palazzo Grassi gallery by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Colossus adjusted to bring out contours better, taken from the second level of the gallery inside the Palazzo Grassi

Sooth further said, enlargement is something of an understatement. For one thing, even in the narrative it’s just (?) an outlandish copy of a much more sensibly sized golem: “It seems … the figure served as a guardian to the home of an elite person.” In ancient Mesopotamia, also according to accompanying brochure.

<== To the left is a frontal view of the supposedly Mesopotamian Colossus as taken from the second level of the Palazzo Grassi. Some tinkering with the levels on Photoshop has brought out, for the better, the demon’s contours.

Hirst's demon taken from the gallery's third level

Back shot of Hirst’s Colossus taken from the third level of the gallery and looking downward

The squiggles and encrustations are artistic conceits perhaps left in to indicate the original lay “… submerged in the Indian Ocean for some two thousand years before the site was discovered in 2008.”

==> To the immediate right is a back shot of the colossus looking down, down, down from the 3rd level of the Palazzo Grassi. Once again the conceit of the artist, not to mention the demon’s forgers, is that the original was found underwater, hence the coral and other encrustations.

Hirst's sea monster seen through window and shot by Jim McPherson in Venice, September 2017

Sea Monster seen through the window on an upper floor of the Palazzo Grassi. It appears to be rising out of the Grand Canal

<== Looking through window on an upper floor of the Palazzo Grassi in September 2017 and what does one see but a sea monster rising out of Grand Canal. Note the Ca Rezzonico palazzo on the other side. It comes highly recommended for its massive gallery of Eighteenth Century Italian artwork.

Upshot of Colossus taken by Jim McPherson in September 2017 in Venice Italy

Shot looking up at Hurst’s Colossus from the ground level

==> To the right and again looking up, way up, from the ground level is a shot put on Facebook just to see if its censors were watching.

Supposedly the Colossus was and is anatomically correct. Or at least as proportionately correct as a 60-foot bronze behemoth could be.

(Again according to the brochure, it’s a facsimile of the original, which wasn’t at the Palazzo. Might have been at the other venue, Punta della Dogana, across the Grand Canal a few stops south of the San Samuele vaporetto dock.)

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Encrusted Mickey Mouse, photo of a wall slide taken by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Evidently Mickey, Goofy and, yes, even a scene from Jungle Book (?) were hauled out of the depths after spending two thousand or so years submerged

<== Have to ask, if it sank nearly two thousand years ago: What’s Mickey doing on the Unbelievable? Time warp, perhaps? Could be Disney partially funded Hirst’s extravaganza and wanted some of their characters to join in the very expensive fun.

Which sounds like something only a cynical dullard would say. Sorry about that, Damien.

Shot of underwater shot of a unicorn's skull and horn, taken by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Supposedly an underwater shot of a unicorn’s skull and horn

==> As for the shot to the immediate right of his paragraph, is that really what’s become of the skull and horn of a unicorn after two thousand years?

Might it be a Raven’s Head type from the Phantacea Mythos? For comparison have lynx to the covers for Forever & Forty Days – The Genesis of PHANTACEA and Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade, both of which have Raven’s Head on the cover.

Underwater Colossus, shot of a shot, taken by Jim McPherson, 2017

Presumably the original Colossus taken while still submerged

<== Colossus doesn’t look quite so large in this slide. Could there be two of them? Contextually speaking it’s more likely this is the original.

Shot of a shot of an idol taken undersea with diver's bubbles, Jim McPherson, 2017

Goddess idol taken underwater complete with diver’s bubbles; suggestive of D-Brig’s Sea Goddess

In terms of the Phantacea Mythos, can’t be Catastrophe (Headless Ramazar, the Apocalyptic of Sudden Destruction, a head shot of whom shows up a cpuple of paragraphs down), from the comics and novels, notably “The War of the Apocalyptics“. Too underdressed.

==> Tempted to say the shot of a shot to the upper right represents Thalassa D’Angelo, unless it’s Thalassa Thanatos, D-Brig’s Sea Goddess, notably from the obverse cover of pH-3, artwork by Ian Bateson​ 1978.

Too bad there’s only a hint of a third eye on the sunken idol. Like the bubbles, though.

Andromeda screams as Jaws leaps out of rock to eat her, taken by Jim McPherson, 2017

Andromeda’s chained to a rock screams while Jaws leaps out of ground intent upon eating her

<== Jaws butts in on the Kraken. Andromeda doesn’t look too pleased either way.

Five covers from Phantacea comics or graphic novels, artwork by Ian Bateson except for pH-5 which Ian finished over Verne Andru's original black and white cover

Plenty more on the Phantacea Comic Book series and graphic novels can be found here

Wasn’t the best shot taken so darkened the background and greyed up some of the sides in hopes of bringing out characters better.

==> Something of Sea Goddess’s skinniness in Hirst’s Andromeda, too. Except D-Brig’s Sea Goddess would just state-shift into her watery element and get away instead of wasting time screaming.
As for what she could then do to either Jaws or the Kraken should she decide to come back … well, best leave that to your imagination.
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Close up of Hirst's Andromeda Screaming, part of the blue diorama based on myth of Perseus, shot by Jim McPherson, 2017

Andomeda is (silently) screaming so hard she turned the whole oversized diorama blue.

Diorama entitled Andromeda and the Sea Monster, shot taken by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Background darkened to bring out the three main characters of Andromeda, Jaws and the Kraken; the whole diorama really is blue for whatever reason

<== The elaborate diorama is not only huge it really is blue. As per shots later, and one put up last week, Andromeda really isn’t headless. She is chained, however, and does seem to have an extra hand in this shot.

==> Needs to do a Nihila and break loose pretty damn soon. Jaws and the Kraken look ravenous and could care less about social media.

Datong Harmonia, the Unity of Panharmonium, superimposed over Siqueiros's New Democracy, prepared by Jim McPherson, mid-200s

Datong Harmonia, the Unity of Panharmonium, superimposed over Siqueiros’s New Democracy (Nueva Democracia) as photographed in Mexico City’s Bellas Artes Palazio in mid-200s

<== Reference above is to what’s become of Datong Harmony as of Tantalar 5980. Google up Nueva Democracia for the unadulterated Siqueiros or just hit here

Demonic Head by Damien Hirst, shot by Jim McPherson, 2017

Severed head of a demon supposedly dredged up then cleaned prior to going on display

==> Only one mobile head in the Phantacea Mythos and that’s Bodiless Byron. He isn’t called the Unmoving One because he can’t get around — he can, by sheer force of will.

He’s called Unmoving Byron because no part of his face moves when he speaks, via a form of thought transference, through his mouthpieces … Sedona Spellbinder in The War of the Apocalyptics and APM All-Eyes in Hidden Headgames

Head supposed excavated in 1932, shot by Jim McPherson at the 'Unbelievable' exhibit in Venice,

Different shot of Damien Hirst’s demonic head. Brochure says it was excavated in the Tigris Valley back in 1932

<== Although definitely demonic I’m not sure this huge head would even fit atop the headless Colossus let alone if it really belongs there.

The accompanying brochure says it was tentatively identified as Pazuzu, a googleable Mesopotamian demon, and that it was unearthed in 1932 in the Tigris Valley. (Pazuzu had something to do with the horror movie entitled “The Exorcist”, may have even been the possessive devil who drove the girl to such head-turning extremes.)

Skull and long horn by Damien Hirst and co, shot by Jim McPherson, 2017

Dried out and scrubbed clean skull and horn might have belonged to a unicorn according to exhibit brochure

==> Also not sure if this really would pass for the skull and extended horn of a ravendeer in the Phantacea Mythos. Then again the exhibit’s claim that it belonged to an actual unicorn is arguably even more fanciful.

Skull and long horn by Damien Hirst and co, shot by Jim McPherson, 2017

Another view of a dried out and scrubbed clean skull and horn might have belonged to a unicorn according to exhibit brochure

<== Another view of the unicorn’s skull and broken horn unearthed (unwatered?) near the sunken wreckage of the Unbelievable. Skull looks like something you’d rub and expect three wishes from the genie wafting out of it.

Full wraparound cover for pH-40, artwork by Ian Fry and Ian Bateson, ca 1990

Full wraparound cover for pH-40, artwork by Ian Fry and Ian Bateson, ca 1990

NOTE:  The best in-colour, pictorial example of a ravendeer — Raven’s Head? — appears on the cover of 1990’s “Forever & 40 Days – The Genesis of PHANTACEA. Raven’s Head the character has her biggest role to date in Decimation Damnation.

In pHanta-pHact she appears in all of the 19/5980 novels and mini-novels. She even does a cameo, in her multitude, near the end of Hidden Headgames. It’s in Dec-Dam, the opening entry in Phantacea Phase Two, that she shows the petulant side of her nature.

Still encrusted 'Diver', so-called, by Damien Hirst; scanned in from a postcard bought at 'Unbelievable' exhibit in Venice, 2017

Still encrusted ‘Diver’, so-called, by Damien Hirst; scanned in from a postcard bought at ‘Unbelievable’ exhibit in Venice, 2017

<== Yehudi Cohen, D-Brig’s Untouchable Diver, is another long-serving character who reappears in Dec-Dam (after vanishing, then inexplicably, during Helios on the Moon“). He has a much more significant role than Raven in Games.

Hirst's Medusa scanned in from a postcard bought at 'Unbelievable' exhibit, September 2017

According to the brochure, among the fourteen venomous serpents represented are the African rock python, horned viper and coral snake

Have to say, though, that Hirst’s Diver, so-called, looks more female than male. Still, it’d be remiss not include it in post re treasures of the ‘Unbelievable’.

==> As for Hirst’s Medusa, the accompanying brochure claims that “fourteen of the world’s most venomous snakes … crown the Gorgon’s petrified features.”

Might have to add this one to the longtime pHanta-pHeature Medusa’s I have met.

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End post … for now!

A Photoshop collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017, using graphics mostly taken from Web

A Photoshop collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017, using graphics mostly taken from Web

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Tit-Bottom — Fuseli at Tate Britain

Way back in the Winter 2005 update of pH-Webworld there appeared a few graphics re Phantacea’s Rainbow, Gloriel D’Angelo Dark.

Collage featuring Gloriel - D-Brig's Radiant Rider; prepared by Jim McPherson, 2005

An almost version of this collage, as prepared by Jim McPherson in the mid 20-Noughts has been on pH-Webworld for just as long

Fuseli's Titania and Bottom, shot at the Tate Britain by Jim McPherson, 2017

Actually called ‘Titania and Bottom’, it was done by Henry Fuseli circa 1790

Two of the collages utilized an image cut out from Henry or Heinrich Fuseli’s ‘Titania and Bottom’, the post-titular Tit-Bottom.

One of the collages and a doctored shot of said Tit-Bottom are to either side of this paragraph.

Even though she showed up, howsoever briefly, in both “Helios on the Moon” and “Decimation Damnation“, some might consider D-Brig’s Radiant Rider an underused character.

Might be right, too.

Close up of Titania from the Fuseli painting shot in Tate Britain by Jim McPherson, 2017

Faerie Queen Titania and companions to the right of dancer and ass-headed Bottom

Sooth as always said, at least out here on pHantaBlog, Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, henceforth referred to as ‘I’ or ‘me’, might agree with you as well. However, she is mentioned in “Hidden Headworld”, which might be out by the time you read this.

Talk about briefly, here’s the extent of it:

So, not Sedon: ordinary mortals, albeit ones capable of manifesting gargoyles (grotesques) off their eye-staves, daring to take on Death’s Angels and those who’d come up here with the Diver via All of Incain. Among them, much to his shock and queasy knees, were five members of what was left of his very own Damnation Brigade, including the wondrous Gloriel, Radiant Rider, arguably their most singly powerful member.

Why were they involved? Were they actually joining forces with Sed’s men? What no doubt possessive madness was making them willing to die in a futile effort to fight them off?

Then Blind Sundown and Raven’s Head split in two … dozens of times!

The date, BTW, was the 14th of Tantalar 5980, which is about as far into “Wilderwitch’s Babies” as Games goes.

Some of Fuseli's faerie children shot at the Tate Britain by Jim McPherson, 2017

Isolation shot from bottom left hand corner of Tit-Bottom (presumably) featuring some faerie children

Fuseli’s a personal favourite. ‘Great Night‘, from the front covers of “The Death’s Head Hellion” and “Decimation Damnation” is one of his. So is the ‘Night Hag‘ from pH-Webworld‘s Summer 2004 entry on Primeval Lilith, who appears a whole lot more often than Gloriel.

Close up bottom right of Titania and Bottom, taken by Jim McPherson in the Tate Britain, 2017

The faerie creatures at the right hand corner of Tit-Bottom

This is one of them.

Eggs were eminently edible. Baaloch Hellblob was only egg-shaped; was also Sinistral Sloth of Satanwyck. Then again the Highchair of Hell shouldn’t have been akin to a griddle either. It was hot; too hot for sitting. Demons were notoriously flammable. Lord Lazy had never moved so fast. Recovered, uneaten. Look up at Highchair.

“Now what?” he demanded of its occupant, a mass of darkness in a female shape.

“Ass-end of Hell?” said occupant wondered. “Does that make this its Hell-Mouth?”

Bottom? Ass-head? Guess I’ll leave it at that.

Full Cover Mockup for "Hidden Headgames", prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017,

Full Cover Mock-up for “Hidden Headgames”; proper font and background images to be added prior to publication

 

 

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Feel Theo at the Tate Britain

Well, not literally, but close.

Harryhausen's Perseus Strangling Medusa, photo taken in the Tate Britain by Jim McPherson, 2017

Perseus using his shield as a mirror in order to avoid looking directly at the Medusa. Shades, once again, of “Feeling Theocidal” , though it didn’t happen exactly that way when he, a deviant, tangled with his devic half-dad, a Great God, at the end of Feel Theo. Looks like the Amateramirror, with the Susasword on the ground . — taken at the Tate Britain by Jim McPherson in late August 2017

Harryhausen's Pegasus, taken at the Tate Britain by Jim McPherson, 2017

Chrysaor Attis, from “Feeling Theocidal“, was known as the Universal Soldier, but he was also many of the heroes of mythology, including Perseus. At least he was according to the Phantacea Mythos. He called his ride ‘Peg‘.  Not very imaginative of him but, hey, when you’re a product of imagination you can’t expect to have much of one yourself. — taken by Jim McPherson at the Tate Britain in late August 2017.

A lot of 2008’s “Feeling Theocidal“, Book One of ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories epic trilogy, was at least partially inspired by the Perseus cycle of myths.

In pHantacea-pHact its deviant protagonist, Chrysaor Attis, who was born circa 2000 BCE on the Inner Earth of Sedon’s Head, was once Perseus himself.

He rode a pterippus by the name of Peg, not Pegasus. He wielded the Six Great Godly Objects including a golden sword known as the Susasword and a shield-cum-mirror known as the Amateramirror.

Like their sister object, the Crimson Corona, which causes the Untouchable Diver no end of trouble in “Hidden Headgames”, they shone with the telltale glow of Brainrock when in use.

What isn’t as well known in terms of Greek Mythology is their connection not only to each other but to Medusa herself:

Chrysaor was the brother of the winged horse Pegasus and son of Poseidon and the Gorgon Medusa. When Medusa was decapitated by Perseus, both Chrysaor and Pegasus were born at the same time. Little is known about Chrysaor; he was considered a stout-hearted warrior, and his name means “he who bears a golden sword”.

… from Chrysaor – Greek Mythology (https://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Creatures/Chrysaor/chrysaor.html)

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Another model of Medusa made by Ray Harryhausen and shot in the Tate Britain by Jim McPherson, 2017

Harryhausen’s Medusa, a model for his 1981 film ‘Clash of the Titans’. The model’s behind glass. The painting in background is John Martin’s “Great Day of his Wrath”. Phantacea’s Medusa (Mater Matare, from “Feeling Theocidal“, “The War of the Apocalyptics” and the comic books did not have a serpentine tail. More re pHant’s Medusas here: shot at Tate Britain by Jim McPherson in late August 2017.

Harryhausen's Medusa, shot by Jim McPherson at the Tate Britain, 2017

Close up of one of Harryhausen’s Medusa models. Again it was behind glass, but still looks nasty.

Don’t recall if this was mentioned in Feel Theo but do recall that Attis’s half-parents were the time-tumbling Dual Entities (Heliosophos and Miracle Memory) whereas his devic half-parents were Thrygragos Varuna Mithras and his Ewe for Aries Fitna Marutia (also Kanin Marut, Kore-Discord).

{She grew up (down?) to become none other than Strife, a possessive ‘virus’ last seen in “Nuclear Dragons“, the second entry in the epic Launch 1980 fantasy trilogy.}

One of Harryhausen's sketches of Scylla, photo by Jim McPherson, 2017

Harryhausen’s version of Scylla. As per “Hidden Headgames”, Aortic Merthetis gave the future Fisherwoman that as a first name when she found her, a newborn, in the Belly of the Beast (Island Leviathan) in 5918 Year of the Dome. In terms of our time count that’s almost a hundred years ago now. The eye-stalks are called ommatophores. John Sundown ended up wearing a pair near the end of “Decimation Damnation“. They were a trap. Rather, they were intended to be a trap for him. More here re that.

Isn’t much of an assumption to suggest Attis was named by the Entities, who being from the (then) future knew their myths. Had even lived one, his Second, as Phoenician-born Cadmus, founder and long-serving king of Grecian Thebes.

(Heliosophos, the Male Entity, believed he was in his Seventh Lifetime around 2000 Year of the Dome, our 2000 BC. His time as Cadmus, also brother of Europa, hence the continent’s name, took place 500 years later, around 2500 YD, our 1500 BC. Time-tumblers do that sort of thing.)

Somehow doubt Ray Harryhausen would have known about the Phantacea Mythos when he did ‘Clash of the Titans‘ in 1981, though Phantacea One did come out in 1977. (As boldly stated on its front cover, the release of “Hidden Headgames” marks the {gulp!} 40th anniversary of the Phantacea Mythos in print.)

Still, with these shots, it’s hard to ignore the connection. All the more so when Pyrame Silverstar, another of the main devic characters in Feel Theo is about to make a big time return to the print canon with the release, later on this month, of said “Hidden Headgames”.

Model of a skeletal warrior by Ray Harryhausen, shot in Tate Britain by Jim McPherson, 2017

Model of a skeletal warrior prepared by Ray Harryhausen for his film, 1981’s Clash of the Titans. Note the Medusa head on its shield. It’s a skeletal gorgon. Taken by Jim McPherson at the Tate Britain in August 2017

Pyrame’s hardly the only familiar pHace to pHanta-pHans who’s back in Games. Sooth as always said, at least on pHantaBlog, virtually everyone who appears in Games has done so before.

Tate Placards re Harryhausen Exhibit, taken by Jim McPherson, 2017

Placards quoting Harryhausen re his sketches of Charybdis and Scylla

That includes the fabulous, ever-fishifying Fisherwoman, whose birth name was Scylla Nereid. As also per “Goddess Gambit” and towards the end of “Decimation Damnation“, unless you’re a fan of monsters she’s vastly better looking than Harryhausen’s Scylla.

Still, yet again, when you walk into a free show at the Tate Britain, in August 2017, barely a couple of months before Games is due to go on sale, you not only have to start shooting (photographs) you have to do a pHantaBlog on a few of them.

So have a few more to finish. Have to say, as a last word, the bronze looks more like his Charybdis than his Scylla.

Harryhausen Bronze nominally of his Scylla, taken at Tate Britain, 2017

Looks more like his sketch of Charybdis. Since Arisandesam, the Conqueror Worm, once Sinistral Gluttony of Satanwyck, has a brief mention in “Hidden Headgames” might use in future to represent him/her.

Placard quoting Harryhausen, taken by Jim McPherson at the Tate Britain, 2017

Note Harryhausen’s explanation as to why ‘Force of the Trojans’ was never made

Harryhausen's sketch of Charybdis, taken by Jim McPherson at the Tate Britain, 2017

Harryhausen’s sketch of Charybdis, made as part of a pitch for a movie tentatively entitled ‘Force of the Trojans’ that never got made

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DaVinci does Trans

Tell you what, if the individual sitting to Christ’s right is supposed to be John the Apostle and not Mary Magdalene, then Leonardo daVinci was painting a transsexual five hundred years ago.

Post inspired by sights seen in Milan, September 2017.

BTW the bottom two shots are supposed to be of a young Jesus. Neither was by daVinci but the copy of The Last Supper above them was. Too bad they wouldn’t allow photographs in the Ambrosiana Museum.

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Finally, a front cover option for Hidden Headgames

Mock up done on Photoshop of potential front cover for "Hidden Headgames", cover collaage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017

Mock up done on Photoshop of potential front cover for “Hidden Headgames”

Black and white version of Potential Front Cover for Hidden Headgames. prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017

Black and white version of potential front cover for “Hidden Headgames”

Took awhile to get to it, took even longer to get a presentable version of same, but here goes. Comments welcome at bottom.

As for the images that went into the cover collage, once again the background is of the Borealis Brolly spotted online and shot in Finland by Tina Tormanen,

It paired up nicely with another photo of the Northern Lights, this one shot in Iceland by Tom Mackie in 2014. The former was taken from the Web whereas the latter was scanned in from the May 2015 issue of Fortean Times.

Photograph by Tom Mackie in Iceland, 2014, scanned in from the May 2015 issue of Fortean Times; Nihila artwork by Verne Andru, 2012; banner prepared by Jim McPherson, 2015

Photograph by Tom Mackie in Iceland, 2014, scanned in from the May 2015 issue of Fortean Times; Nihila artwork by Verne Andru, 2012; banner prepared by Jim McPherson, 2015

Northern lights with distinctive umbrella shape; photo attributed to Tina Tormanen, taken from Web

From Tina Tormanen’s “Magical Photos” as spotted on the web

The main reference is to a sequence that first appeared at the end of 2012’s “Goddess Gambit“. It reappeared, and indeed carried on, in 2014’s “Helios on the Moon“. It’s back in “Hidden Headworld”, albeit this time (at least at first) from Fisherwoman’s perspective after Freespirit Nihila jettisoned her.

The female figure representing the fused duo was spotted online. It was taken at the 2015 Burning Man festival held in Death’s Valley toward the end of August every year. (At least I assume it’s still being held.) Not sure who took it, but  assume the original was entitled “The Burning Woman”.

Graphic entitled Nihila Nereid -- Borealis Brolly, prepared on Photoshop by Jim McPherson, 2017 using images taken from the Web

At the end of 2012’s “Goddess Gambit“, Freespirit Nihila took over Fisherwoman for awhile. This act of desperation came into play again during 2014’s “Helios on the Moon“. In “Hidden Headgames” we pick on their stories after they separate.

Hieronymus Bosch's Prince of Hell from the Garden of Earthly Delights

Hieronymus Bosch apparently visited Satanwyck (Sedon’s Temple) towards the end of the Headworld’s Fifty-Fifth Century. In terms of the Phantacea Mythos, this is his version of its Prime Sinistral or a surrogate sitting on the Highchair of Hell

Added a gradient to her and doubled the borealis brollies surrounding her for the text version of this collage. As for the Bosch, it’s from the Garden of Earthly Delights. It currently resides in Madrid’s Prado Museum, though it might have moved by the time you read this.

One might recall that a young man called Bosco was one of the dreadfully contagious Outer Earthlings collected during the course of “Contagion Collectors“, the second mini-novel extracted from “The 1000 Days of Disbelief“.

Apparently he visited Sedon’s Temple (Satanwyck, Hell on Earth) while he was on the Inner Earth in his mid-twenties.

The Drumheller (Alberta) T-Rex, image taken from Web

T Rex shot in Alberta’s Drumheller Bad Lands. Might be an Albertasaurus. Representative of Saurlord Klizarod Rex of Sedon’s Head’s Lake Lands, part of his left eyebrow, area sometimes called Sedon’s Sweat Glands for fay-fairly-silly reason

Highly venomous serpent with wide open mouth, image taken from Web

Wide-mouth, highly venomous serpent used, in terms of the Phantacea Mythos, to represent Daemonicus-Smiler, the Forgettable Fiend

Evidently a bird demon was occupying the Highchair of Hell at the time. Chronologically speaking, that  probably makes her Sinistral Lust (Beguiling Belialma) or one of her lackeys.

She was certainly a playful shape-shifter in her time, some of which was highlighted during the course of The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories epic trilogy. Was way beyond it, too.

As the saying often heard during the open-ended saga of “Wilderwitch’s Babies” goes, in September 1953 Lady Lust came to town (Vancouver Canada), leaving Mother Maternity behind.

As per all of the above, one therefore has to allow Bosco some degree of leeway in his depiction of her. Ordinarily Hell’s Belle was much more appealing to behold. Just ask Abe Chaos (Unholy Abaddon) and his father, the Great God Everyman (Thrygragos Lazareme), about that.

If you can find them, that is. Which, come to think of it, you probably wouldn’t want to do.

Caldera of the Kilauea volcano, image taken from Web

The lava lake filling the caldera of Sedon’s Peak is mostly made up of molten Brainrock. Anvil the Artificer uses it to make devic power foci like the Trigregos Talismans

Even though neither the Drumheller (Alberta) Tyrannosaurus (unless it’s an Albertasaurus) or the wide-mouth, highly venomous serpent have three eyes, they’re meant to represent, respectively, Saurlord Klizarod Rex (the devil-god worshipped by Saudi Tethys, the stomping Steg Sari from “Feeling Theocidal“) and none other than the Forgettable Fiend (Smiler-Daemonicus).  Both appear in “Hidden Headgames”, the latter more so than the former.

The lava lake has to be the caldera of Sedon’s Peak, filled as it is with molten Brainrock. Anvil the Artificer (Tvasitar Smithmonger, the devic Prometheus) uses it to make devils their power foci, aka Tvasitar Talismans. Its fumes are also good for debraining demons.

3-eyed Ornamental Skull from Tibet, image taken from Web

Tibetan skull with three eyes probably meant to represent Yima, King Death. Used to represent King Harvest (Yama Nergal), the Mithradites’ Grim Reaper who features in all three parts of “Hidden Headgames”

(Good for devils, who take over their subtle matter bodies; bad for the demons. Mind you, being mostly all body and no soul, they aren’t very bright to start with.)

Last heard from in “Goddess Gambit” he returns in “Hidden Headgames”. So does his erstwhile girl friend, the Mirror Mentalist (Klannit Thanatos), who goes on to make such a nuisance of herself in “Decimation Damnation“.

The fancy Tibetan skull with the three eye-holes may well be a representation of Yima, an Asian God of Death. He’ll double, almost precisely, for Yama Nergal, the Mithradites’ Grim Reaper, also known as King Harvest.

In this regard, here’s a quote taken from “Acquiring Nihila”, the third part of “Hidden Headgames”:

“Unlike the unspeakable spooks, who looked uniformly two-eyed anthropomorphic, as if they were once human or humanoid bipedal, Death’s (hooded) skull had a third eye-hole. Presumably he presented as much considerately, just in case the Diver had any doubts about his race. If devils could be considered a race, that is, and not an entirely inhuman life form.”

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wooden Carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wood carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014; taken to represent the Dual Entities during happy times

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Graphical Expose (Where’s the accent?)

A Photoshop collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017, using graphics mostly taken from Web

A Photoshop collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017, using graphics mostly taken from Web

Good question. Not the missing accent at the end of ‘expose’. That might be a failing of Word Press or my own ignorance as to how to access accents on it. (Dreamweaver and Word for Apple both have special character options from drop down menu.) At any rate, that isn’t the real question.

Which is: What did go into the “Hidden Headgames” graphic reproduced from pHantacea on pHacebook last post? Seems you have to be a member of Facebook to reach the comments section re the smaller, constituent graphics.

So here goes, copying and pasting to answering heaven …

2015 shot from that year’s Burning Man festival in Death Valley. Photo appears to be by Jim Urquhart. As one might recall from “Feeling Theocidal”, devils are terrified of being devoured by All of Incain, the Mandroid Monster Maker. Wonder who was behind Hell’s Horsemen and all their nuclear dragons in “Nuclear Dragons”, the second entry in the ‘Launch 1980’ three-parter that finally concluded Phantacea Phase One? Wonder no longer.

Image of a dragon sitting on an observatory roof as if it was an egg; image from BBC Online

Demon Queen Lily, unless it’s Demon Queen Gomorrah,  in one of her moods. A flying alligator puts the bite on the Untouchable Diver in ‘Acquiring Nihila’, Part Three of “Hidden Headgames”. Unless she was reading his mind, him being untouchable must have frustrated her somewhat because we next see her unsated, as Olivia Tenebrous, the Black Widow digging for the remains of a mirror broken towards end of “Goddess Gambit”.

Kabuki Mask of an Oni (Japanese Demon), taken from Web

Lower part of a Kabuki mask of an Oni or Japanese Demon. Suggestive of Smiler, the Forgettable Fiend, from ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ trilogy that concluded in 2012. And no, he isn’t back from the dead … mostly because, get real, how can anyone kill someone like him. Besides, his part of “Hidden Headgames” takes place prior to or overlapping “Goddess Gambit”

Smiling crock apparently shot by Alex Gomille, image taken from Web

Appears to be an Alex Gomille photo. Big grin also reminiscent of Smiler, who appears in a bunch of story sequences leading up to “Wilderwitch’s Babies”, but probably doesn’t appear in its upcoming continuation. By contrast, King Daemonicus, unless it’s King Sodom, often comes up in next up mini-novel: “Daemonic Desperation”. Does so usually as ever so fondly recalled by Queen Lily

Demonic looking face, image taken from Web, uncredited

Not sure where this came from. Suggestive of Faceless Strife, except of course she isn’t faceless at all. Used her to represent Demon Queen Lilith in another collage so that’s who she is in this one

The Calbucco Volcano of 2015 in Southern Chlle; image taken from Web, accredited to Rafael Arenas, 2015

Caption at bottom explains what it is … a volcano going off in Southern Chile. Photo, presumably, by Rafael Arenas 2015

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Forget the Fantasy Photo, Meet Phantacea’s creator/writer on Sunday, 18 June, in Vancouver

Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, will be at the Creators Table on Sunday, 18 June 2017, selling and signing Phantacea Publications comics, graphic novels, novels and mini-novels. $8.00 admission

Poster for Biannual Comics Show, June 2019

Poster for Biannual Comics Show, June 2019

Biannual Comics Show, Croatian Hall, Vancouver: http://www.canadiancomics.net/

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Mercenary Martens Martyred at CERN

Warning: May contain disturbing images. Also gratuitous political commentary.

Scan from FT 350

Excerpt from a letter printed in Fortean Times 350 – February 2017

According to a letter printed in Fortean Times 350 (February 2017): “… the scientists/physicists at CERN are preparing to open wormholes connecting dimensions in the Universe despite pleas form Christian evangelicals who warn that this will release demonic entities into our world since Satan commands the Second Heaven.”

A month later FT 351 shows us the remains of a stone dead stone marten killed at CERN; said remains now being displayed at the Natural History Museum of Rotterdam. Evidently this marten sacrificed himself in November 20 of last year. The previous April another marten did a ditto.

Scan of part of article that appeared in March 2017 issue of Fortean Times re marten martyrs

Scan of part of article that appeared in March 2017 issue of Fortean Times re marten martyrs

Fortean analysis suggests CERN is under assault from evangelicals using marten mercenaries in an effort to prevent the Big Nasty popping through CERN’s dimensional portholes and thereby instigating End Times. This thus far not working they elected a twittery twat to end the world on their terms.

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Contacted pHantaBlog occasional reader living in vicinity of Geneva for comment. Got this back:

Locally the “stone martin” or “beach martin” is called a fouine. We have had trouble with fouines crawling into our car engines and eating electrical cables and brake lines. To the best of my knowledge they didn’t know that we worked at …, although it’s true that if they understand diplomatic plate numbering schemes that they could have figured it out.

Scan of full article from Fortean Times March 2017 issue re Fried Foutines

Scan of full article from Fortean Times March 2017 issue re Fried Foutines

The fouine on display at the museum in Rotterdam is one of two that were fried in CERN LHC-related electrical power stations over the past couple of years or so. There was also an incident of a bird (apparently a bird) dropping the remnant stub of a baguette into transformer in a place that was only accessible from above.

But I don’t actually believe that the local fauna is rising up against CERN. More likely they’re rising up against the large number of mega department blocks being built to feed the insatiable demand for housing around Geneva.

“Insatiable demand for housing around Geneva.” Sure that shouldn’t read Vancouver?

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