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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 86.151.110.114
Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 - 09:42 am:   

I wonder what these four things have in common:

(1) A crossword compiler in Venezuela is said to include codes or clues in one of his crosswords to impel the assassination of Chavez' brother (although the compiler denies it).

(2) Rebekah Brooks, yesterday, at the Leveson Enquiry, portrays herself, when editor of the Sun, as a combined conduit and synergist of the millions of 'Sun Readers' as a Collective Unconscious.

(3) A man convicted yesterday of gouging out the eyes of his girl friend was said to have seen, the day before, a Horror DVD that involved eye gouging.

(4) The Pirate Party in Germany and elsewhere is fast gaining ground in Politics as a sort of Internet Flashmob (without other central beliefs) - if I've understood the report on the BBC World Service this morning describing their activities?
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.8.25.56
Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 - 02:38 pm:   

I'm not sure, Des. Here's a detailed account of (3):

http://cornwalllocalnews.co.uk/2012/05/12/locked-up-for-gouging-out-eyes-of-girl friend/
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 86.130.102.222
Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 - 04:34 pm:   

Maybe it's that we've all had our 'eyes' (I's?) gouged out by the effect of mass media and other subliminations. The question is: is there a mastermind? Or it's just happening autonomously?

(It was just that I was struck in the last 24 hours by those four news items hitting some nerve in me - awakening me for a nonce, opening my eyes just for a split second.).
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 86.130.102.222
Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 - 05:05 pm:   

Below is an extract from the BBC article about the Pirate Party (from here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18017064):

But it is an unconventional party like no other. Their recent conference was a riot of colour and noise. Some members were dressed as pirates, complete with three-cornered hats. Others played in a children's pool filled with plastic balls, diving in and bursting out from under the surface.
Granted, there were formal speeches from the platform, but the hall was filled with people glued to their laptops on lines of trestle tables. They seemed to participate in the conference with one ear listening to the real world, but two eyes staring into cyberspace, their brains flitting in between the two.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 10:01 am:   

Des - it goes back to - and many will cringe - the Illuminati. They are meant to deal in these subtleties. Apparently the film Eyes Wide Shut was about them but they influenced its editing, and even, some say, Kubrick's death.
It does sound daft, though.
I think we are more swayed by subtle things than almost anything else.
(If the Illuminati exist, I hasten to add!)
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 86.148.174.34
Posted on Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 10:26 am:   

EYES WIDE SHUT is one of my favourite films (that and 'Death in Venice'!) - but I didn't know that, Tony. Gives a new slant on the eye gouging etc...
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.18.174.156
Posted on Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 01:37 pm:   

I wouldn't have taken you for a RAW fan, Tony! Glad to hear it. The Illuminati exist, alright... and this thread is getting quite pleasingly Fortean.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 31.53.146.180
Posted on Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 04:17 pm:   

The Illuminutty exist, meddling with the flavour of your peanut butter since 1836
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.8.18.114
Posted on Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 11:18 pm:   

Here's an analysis.

http://www.konformist.com/flicks/eyeswideshut.htm

And by coincidence, I'm talking about them here around 0.38 into the playback.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00rb17n
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 - 12:32 pm:   

A lot of people would love to be the victims of these things, I think.
How strange.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 - 12:34 pm:   

Des, I'm still urging you to watch Donnie Darko! (but not the director's cut)
It's waiting for you.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 - 12:49 pm:   

A little bit of Leigh I didn't know;

Person; What is it that makes you believe in crop circles? Do you believe aliens have come to Earth? Are there any conspiracy theories that you take seriously?

Leigh; Thank you for this question. I don't know about aliens, and I'm not especially concerned with conspiracy theories. However, regarding crop circles, it isn't a question of believing in them. They are a fact. I have personally been into many of them, mainly in Wiltshire where they mostly happen. They are beautiful, extraordinary, eerie, moving and always remarkable, not only in their design and construction, and the way they remain benign to the crop, but the way in which they occur, quickly and without anybody seeing it happen, is mind-blowing. And don't let anybody start talking about hoaxers. Of course there are crude versions of these formations that are certainly made by these jokers. But the sheer magical qualities and vast dimensions of the real thing take the breath away. There is no known explanation for this phenomenon, and it is a modern disease to think that we have to have an explanation for everything. We don't. We are totally ignorant as to who or what makes these thing happen, and if you want to think it's aliens, it's up to you. (Go to cropcircleconnector or cropcirclereporter, and do look out for next summer's new formations, and get down and visit them. It's a wonderful experience.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 - 02:55 pm:   

"mainly in Wiltshire where they mostly happen."

Another one of the weird and wonderful things my county of origin is famous for.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 - 03:58 pm:   

Sadly all the elaborately designed crop circles are very much man made. There are a tiny minority of mystery circles of small size and crude shape that are currently unexplained, and that spawned the phenomena/craze in the first place, back in the 70s, but they are almost certainly due to freak atmospheric and/or weather conditions. I looked into this extensively and filed it as "solved" as far back as the early 90s. There is a linked phenomenon known as ice circles - perfect spheres cut out of frozern lakes in the USA, Canada and Northern Eurasia - that are a much more interesting mystery.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.63.76
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 - 11:52 pm:   

It's all Andy Goldsworthy.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 05:19 pm:   

I think I posted the quotes because I was impressed with Leigh's open-mindedness really. I found it very refreshing.
Didn't one of the Troggs watch a crop circle being formed? I'm still open minded about them, too.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 86.184.112.40
Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 05:29 pm:   

Crop Circles are perhaps the symptom of a geomancy fabricated from truth and fiction, the double bluff of human pretension about our own importance and instinct about hidden things that transcend us all.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 86.181.59.240
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 12:43 pm:   

Aren't they quarantining the Greek Olympic flame before bringing it to the UK??
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 01:13 pm:   

I see crop circles as no more than a beguilingly transient form of artistic graffiti. There's a whole movement has sprung up around the "phenomenon" with teams trying to outdo each other each year. Their creations are certainly spectacular.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 - 02:00 pm:   

If it's just art I hate it. Fakes for me contain no beauty. It's just lies.
Leigh is right; we are happy not to have answers. We don't think we are, but we are.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 - 02:13 pm:   

Oh, apparently he's a written a foreword for a book on them. Interesting. And so reassuring seeing someone intelligent and seemingly rational not knocking something mysterious for a change.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.18.174.156
Posted on Sunday, May 20, 2012 - 02:24 pm:   

Crop circles were accepted as a form of artistic expression a long time ago, Tony. It's moved beyond the whole fake/genuine argument to become more of a social phenomenon... like graffiti.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Monday, May 21, 2012 - 01:20 pm:   

:-(
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Monday, May 21, 2012 - 03:52 pm:   

Don't be sad, Tony. There's a whole inexhaustible universe of genuinely paranormal phenomena out there!
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Monday, May 21, 2012 - 04:25 pm:   

I don't know. It all seems on the fade.

I'm sick of fading things.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Monday, May 21, 2012 - 05:16 pm:   

Look at the Moon and tell me why it just happens to be at exactly the right distance and the right size to appear the same size as the Sun in the sky and then think about the effect this bizarre coincidence, if such it is, had on the evolution of human thought.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Monday, May 21, 2012 - 08:14 pm:   

Yes, I suppose...

What is your favourite mystery? If people here (you and I, it looks like) could pick just one or two, what would they be?

Loch Ness last year, you could see the monster was going from all the museums and shops. It made me very sad.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.8.21.172
Posted on Monday, May 21, 2012 - 10:53 pm:   

Death.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.18.174.156
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 12:11 am:   

I see life and death more as illusions than mysteries, Ramsey.

The Tunguska Event has always been a favourite of mine. Still completely unexplained and irrefutably real.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 12:43 am:   

Stonehenge.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.150.17.3
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 02:06 am:   

My socks - no matter how many identical pairs I buy, after 5 weeks I have 4 odd ones.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 86.183.151.8
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 09:15 am:   

For me, the spiritual and/or evolving process of real-time reviewing good works of imaginative literature, a process of which we are all capable, I'm sure, given the impulse to do it.
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 11:53 am:   

As far as Nessy goes, I think the Scottish have had a good run with her. They've managed to convince a large part of Japan and the US that there is a dinosaur living in a lake, which no one has ever seen. They even had Ted Danson come out for a film. It's good for their economy though; along with convincing kilt-buying Americans that there really was a Pachanski/Papadopoulos/Abandonato Clan.

I'm with Ramsey on mysteries; death is perhaps the only genuinely unexplored territory of the physical or metaphysical world, and therefore the most intriguing.

The loss of socks in the wash is second.
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 11:57 am:   

Someone has written a paper on the lost sock phenomenon, so this may be solved:

This implies that the probability of finding the sock somewhere within the system at any time must always equal unity, or, the integral of the sock wave function squared must equal 1 (see equation 3).

P(x) = òY*Ydx = òïY2êdx = 1 (3)

http://www.laundry-alternative.com/fateofmissingsocks.htm
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 12:01 pm:   

In many ways Tunguska can be seen as the first and ultimate crop circle. Something cataclysmic and inexplicable happened there on 30th June 1908 that has profound implications for every living thing on this planet. When one takes into account the equally inexplicable mystery of the radioactive "alien cauldrons" of the Siberian taiga and the measurable effects on human health of the whole Uliuiu Cherkechekh (Valley of Death) region, its proximity to Tunguska and the evil reputation it has always had, as a place of demons, stretching back through the centuries, then that's where I would head if I had the resources to mount an expedition into the unknown.

Check it out here: http://www.forteantimes.com/features/fbi/2800/valley_of_death.html
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.8.25.147
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 12:25 pm:   

By gum, that's next year's holiday booked!
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 01:20 pm:   

Just remember to bring your Geiger counter, Ramsey, and a decent pair of wellies.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 01:51 pm:   

I'd love to go to Chernobyl myself. It looks ever so strange and calm.
I think if you don't wash the pair of socks at the same time they come out looking different, fade to a different shed of black. I'm only buying jazzy socks from now on. Sorting black ones is bloody nightmarish.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 02:00 pm:   

shade
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 02:01 pm:   

I used to have an Alien board game, but lost the Geiger counter.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 03:05 pm:   

Since I've been living alone and doing all my own washing I have yet to lose a single sock. Explain that.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 03:28 pm:   

keanu
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 03:30 pm:   

Me, I'd like to know about the kind of life out there in the Universe, if there is any.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 03:56 pm:   

Your "if there is any" is an illogical statement, Craig. The existence of life elsewhere in the universe is no mystery, it's a mathematical certainty.

In 'The Possessors' John Christopher posits the existence of a symbiotic intelligence composed of pure energy but requiring a physical host body to procreate and spread. Who's to say it is not already here... that, in fact, all consciousness is a different form of life from the physical body that animates it.
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 04:17 pm:   

You could prevent the loss of socks by tying them together with a piece of wool, running up your trouser legs, like your mum used to do with your winter mittens. You'd get some funny looks at the gym though.

What of Fermi's Paradox? I'm sure that debates if there were ever any organised, deliberate radio transmissions at any point, we would have heard traces of them by now. There may be microbes in puddles around the universe, but there is no evidence of there having been intelligent life; if there were, there should be. According to Fermi, anyway.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 04:26 pm:   

We are governed by the microbes inside us, apparently. They drive our urges.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 04:34 pm:   

High intelligence of a technological level has yet to be proved an evolutionary advantage in the long term, Chris. In fact the evidence is all starting to point to it being a positive disadvantage and anathema to the natural order. It's all a matter of limited resources versus the selfish drives of the individual - as highlighted in 'The Possessors'.

The fact of intelligent life having survived long enough and been blessed with sufficient resources to have been able to break free from its own star system is incalculably rare but given the certainty of an infinite universe it unquestionably does happen but at such unimaginable distances that I doubt we'll ever come into contact with it - by radio or otherwise. Unless it is already here and a lot closer to us than we think...
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.145.210.147
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 05:09 pm:   

But as Douglas Adams points out in his marvellous documentary series of novels - the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy - there is no life in the universe and he provides incontrovertible mathematical proof. There are an infinite number of planets in the universe and a finite number of those are inhabited. If we look at the chances of finding life on any given planet we divide the number of inhabited planets by the total number of planets. However, as any finite number divided by infinity is zero, the chances of finding life on any given planet is zero. Therefore there is no life in the universe.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 06:32 pm:   

Just because the chances of finding it is zero, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist though.

I love how this thread seems to have two themes - the sensible, philosophical/fortean one and jokes about losing socks!

My greatest unsolved mystery is why men can't iron clothes properly.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.150.17.3
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 07:08 pm:   

Sexist mare

I'm actually dead good at ironing
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.150.17.3
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 07:10 pm:   

And actually, if your statistical chance of something is zero, it means, mathematically speaking, that it's impossible and doesn't exist.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 07:21 pm:   

"Sexist mare"


"I'm actually dead good at ironing"

Will you marry me?
(mind you, we'd have to bump off my hubby who isn't very good at ironing first - and you'd have to be an excellent cook too)
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.18.174.156
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 12:37 am:   

I can't iron shirts to save my life. It takes me an age and the thing still ends up with obvious creases I somehow missed. As Neil Young said, a man needs a maid - or at least this one does.

But then I'd start losing socks again so you really can't win!
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 02:06 am:   

"But then I'd start losing socks again so you really can't win!"

My hubby loses socks too! I think I'm going to trade him in for a younger model ...
(only kidding - I love him really)

Anyway, to get back to more serious mysteries, looks like they're going to be DNA-testing for yetis:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18160673
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 10:36 am:   

Ironing was thrashed into us in the Navy, so I am an expert, albeit unwillingly, as now I have to do the family's. Heavy lies the crown, I say.

Carolinec: I'm not a bad cook either: I can microwave a mean bowl of Readybrek.

Weber: Either that or there isn't an infinite number of planets in the universe.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.8.28.84
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 11:00 am:   

"I love how this thread seems to have two themes - the sensible, philosophical/fortean one and jokes about losing socks!"

Are they in fact separate? Check out the Camus essay Sur la Perte de Chaussettes, for instance.
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 11:11 am:   

Ramsey: Do you have a link for that, or is in copy? I've googled it in French & English, but it isn't coming up.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 11:34 am:   

And not forgetting Marcel Proust and his unforgettable epic work A La Recherché des Chausettes Perdu…
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 11:49 am:   

That sounds even more authoritative. Surely, along with the equations in the paper I posted above, there can now be no mystery surrounding the lost sock.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.145.216.67
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 12:14 pm:   

And of course Sigmund Freud, father of modern psychiatry, wrote many volumes about man's obsession with socks...
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 86.146.239.159
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 12:25 pm:   

And Kafka's LAST SOCK, a lost work some see as literature's Holy Grail.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 12:39 pm:   

Not to mention Schrödingers unanswerable question "Les chausettes de l'archiduchesse sont-elles sèches, archisèches?"
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.8.28.84
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 01:14 pm:   

And there's the original unused title of the first Indiana Jones film.
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 01:15 pm:   

Or Marcus Aurelius' Bastardus lavacrum apparatus manducavit soccum iterum; perhaps the final word on the topic.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.150.17.3
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 04:42 pm:   

Did Schrodinger's socks have a hole in them before he took his shoes off? Or were they in a transitive statte neither complete nor holey until the act or removing the shoe determined their state?
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 08:47 pm:   

They are in a kind of limbo represented by a wave function which contains the possibility that they have holes in them and also the possibility that they are wholly without holes. Collapse of the wave function dictates that as soon as we observe one possibility, the other vanishes. The Many Worlds Theory and the Copenhagen Interpreatation are fully in agreement on this (in case you were wondering).
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 09:28 pm:   

You lot are completely mad!
(in a very loveable kind of way)
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 10:12 pm:   

G. E. Moore's socks are full of holes, but he doesn't believe it.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 07:26 am:   

What is your favourite mystery? If people here (you and I, it looks like) could pick just one or two, what would they be?

Not my favorite, this one's down on the list. It's also morbid, ghastly, unseemly, and just plain sick. And yet....

Over at Wikipedia, the entry for "Albert Fish" ends:

At a meeting with reporters following the execution, Fish's lawyer, James Dempsey, revealed that he was in possession of his now deceased client's "final statement". This amounted to several pages of hand-written notes that Fish had apparently penned in the hours just prior to his death. When pressed by the assembled journalists to reveal the document's contents, Dempsey refused, stating: I will never show it to anyone, it was the most filthy string of obscenities that I have ever read.

I'd like to read that letter.
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 10:48 am:   

Me too. Although having read some of Albert Fish's quotes, it's probably pretty bad.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 11:43 am:   

Sock it to me, sock it to me.
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 12:11 pm:   

"I like children they are tasty," for starters.

"What a thrill that will be if I have to die in the electric chair. It will be the supreme thrill. The only one I haven't tried."

He also posted this letter to the mother of a child he had abducted, Grace Budd, six years after he had abducted her:

"Dear Mrs. Budd.

In 1894 a friend of mine shipped as a deck hand on the Steamer Tacoma, Capt. John Davis. They sailed from San Francisco for Hong Kong, China. On arriving there he and two others went ashore and got drunk. When they returned the boat was gone. At that time there was famine in China. Meat of any kind was from $1–3 per pound. So great was the suffering among the very poor that all children under 12 were sold for food in order to keep others from starving. A boy or girl under 14 was not safe in the street. You could go in any shop and ask for steak—chops—or stew meat. Part of the naked body of a boy or girl would be brought out and just what you wanted cut from it. A boy or girl's behind which is the sweetest part of the body and sold as veal cutlet brought the highest price. John staid there so long he acquired a taste for human flesh. On his return to N.Y. he stole two boys, one 7 and one 11. Took them to his home stripped them naked tied them in a closet. Then burned everything they had on. Several times every day and night he spanked them – tortured them – to make their meat good and tender. First he killed the 11 year old boy, because he had the fattest ass and of course the most meat on it. Every part of his body was cooked and eaten except the head—bones and guts. He was roasted in the oven (all of his ass), boiled, broiled, fried and stewed. The little boy was next, went the same way. At that time, I was living at 409 E 100 St. near—right side. He told me so often how good human flesh was I made up my mind to taste it. On Sunday June the 3, 1928 I called on you at 406 W 15 St. Brought you pot cheese—strawberries. We had lunch. Grace sat in my lap and kissed me. I made up my mind to eat her. On the pretense of taking her to a party. You said yes she could go. I took her to an empty house in Westchester I had already picked out. When we got there, I told her to remain outside. She picked wildflowers. I went upstairs and stripped all my clothes off. I knew if I did not I would get her blood on them. When all was ready I went to the window and called her. Then I hid in a closet until she was in the room. When she saw me all naked she began to cry and tried to run down the stairs. I grabbed her and she said she would tell her mamma. First I stripped her naked. How she did kick – bite and scratch. I choked her to death, then cut her in small pieces so I could take my meat to my rooms. Cook and eat it. How sweet and tender her little ass was roasted in the oven. It took me 9 days to eat her entire body. I did not fuck her tho I could of had I wished. She died a virgin."
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 12:21 pm:   

"What a thrill that will be if I have to die in the electric chair. It will be the supreme thrill. The only one I haven't tried."

The supreme grill, more likely.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.8.19.79
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 12:21 pm:   

Here's an equally repugnant text:

http://www.amazon.com/Killer-Fiction-G-J-Schaefer/dp/0922915431

For once I agree with Colin Wilson - I've never had the stomach to read more than a few of the tales.
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 12:37 pm:   

That looks like a fascinating read, but as you've said, given that's it's very likely to be autobiographical, I think I'd find it challenging.
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 12:38 pm:   

*that*
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 01:21 pm:   

I've felt sympathetic towards some serial killers in the past, but some, especially the ones who kill kids, it's almost impossible to. Fish is a good example; not an atom or remorse.
That Schaefer book - it looks to me that he wanted help early on. He was practically crying out for it. Amazing he never got it.
From an amazon review on the asame page; 'When I read this book it was hard to believe that the man inside his mind was the same man on the outside. I lived in Indiantown at the time. I saw him several times. He always seemed to be a bright young man. All and all this book tells the true story and is quite gripping. His Attorney ended up married to his wife..Makes one wonder how hard he defended him.'
Going back to the Fish letter, and talking from experience, I believe reading about these people's thoughts is bad for you.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 03:04 pm:   

I find it enlightening to read the thoughts of unrepentantly evil individuals - and I use the word "evil" intentionally. To know the nature of one's destructive actions and to revel in the harm they do for the sake of it is the very definition of evil as well as brute stupidity, for they are one and the same. Intelligence does not negate blind stupidity as anyone who has struggled through 'Mein Kampf', as I have, in an effort to understand, will realise.

I think more of the imbecility of evil rather than its banality, as Fish's letter above demonstrates. All serial killers who have boasted, rather pathetically it strikes me, of the horror of their crimes, from Jack the Ripper (possibly) to the Zodiac killer, have this spitefully moronic quality in common. Listen to me... I'm important!
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 03:31 pm:   

And speaking of the imbecility of evil, one of the best cinematic depictions of it I can recall watching was last weekend's surprisingly accomplished and unfairly notorious video nasty, 'Night Train Murders' (1975) by Aldo Lado. Thoughts to follow...
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 03:50 pm:   

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 04:11 pm:   

It probably is just imbecility at the core of evil, since evil's finest essence is action (i.e., marinating on hatred reaches evil sublimity, only in the physical universe, when the knife slices through the neck). But there's still a mysterious nature, seemingly, to the most evil of people and actions, that keeps us fascinated (has, for all of human history).

I've read that letter, Chris. The disturbingly fascinating thing about it, about all of Fish's biography, to me, is this: like a Lovecraftian horror, what we know feels like tips of icebergs, to whole hidden worlds of evil. Both in his life, and the world at large (e.g., the Chinese cannibalism). And Fish is one speck of humanity ,in one tiny place on the globe, enjoying existence at one point in time... how many other Fishs—and Geins and Bundys and so on—has the world and history seen?...

In the first section of Northrop Frye's Fearful Symmetry, he makes a somewhat credible case for a pre-historical world, that was nothing less than Hell on Earth; he claims the Old Testament contains but fragments of fragments of hints at that monstrous time, where cannibalism and child sacrifice and all manner of utter depravity were the regular and daily state of things. At our core, we are machines capable of such horrendous states of mind, really, but for the absence of chemical spills in our brains....
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 04:33 pm:   

Likewise stupidity does not negate malice, rather it provides the justification for carrying out malicious actions by fusing the logical thought processes of an otherwise fairly intelligent brain, as Kurt Vonnegut so memorably pointed out in 'Mother Night' (1961).

When one finds intelligence, stupidity and malice in an individual and circumstances conspire to give that person both power and opportunity then we have the perfect ingredients for the creation of a monster. The process of evolution makes them blessedly rare but the laws of probability and booming over-population makes their continuing existence a certainty.
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 04:55 pm:   

I always toyed with the thought that evil and the proliferation of it evolved within us as a means to limit our numbers; for, if we don't wipe each other out, we'd over-populate the planet. Historically, humans having their land threatened —their source of sustinence— would turn from villagers to soldiers, from farmers to terrorists. It seems to me an evolutionary trait to ensure the survival of a population. I think that is why it is so easy for predators to pick on the weak, even in the playground: there is an evolutionary advantage to picking off the weak, however appalling it seems to the civilised.

There are those in whom the urge is stronger than others: Hitler's Lebensraum comes to mind.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 05:30 pm:   

Don't think that cannibalism is limited to the remote past and to China. The most recent example is the Serbo-Croatian conflict. No-one had the stomach to delve into matters more extensively, but there have been reports about children being roasted and eaten. Evil is not the right word, I think. Bare necessity, perhaps?
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 05:30 pm:   

You're right, the survival instinct is more hot-wired into us as a species, and into all life as an evolutionary necessity, than any other impulse - to feed, to procreate, to sleep, to be happy - and in times of adversity self-preserving destructive actions become common place as a natural law.

True evil is when destructive actions are consciously carried out and revelled in for no other purpose than their perceived entertainment value for the perpetrator (e.g. Fish), or due to intellectually contrived prejudices devoid of logic (e.g. Adolf), making said perp a target for the rest of us at all times and thus defining them as an evolutionary dead end and inherently stupid from the get go.

Actions are not evil in and of themselves and what we would call evil actions are more often due to accidents of history and conspiring circumstances. But evil does exist and it must always be conscious and aware, stupid and self-defeating... whether it be human evil or otherwise.
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 05:46 pm:   

The Assyrians, as a form of indirect torture to those from whom they wanted something, would skin their infant children alive before their eyes. That's probably the worst example I can think of from history.

There was also The Saw: a method of execution/torture used to quell the German Peasants' Revolution. They would hang the accused upside-down by the ankles, and using a long, double-ended saw, would vertically cut through him.

I suppose it's a cure for constipation if nothing else.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 06:07 pm:   

Evil corrupts and will consciously try to bring about the right conditions for destructive actions to proliferate by stoking the fears of the populace and kick-starting an aberrant survival instinct. The people who skinned those babies or threw babies on bonfires in Ireland in Cromwell's time were not all evil but I believe, in all such circumstances, one can discover evil indviduals among them, pulling strings and revelling in the slaughter in full awareness of their own stupid enjoyment. The rest were victims of a misfiring survival instinct run amok. I sincerely believe that and, growing up with the Troubles in Northern Ireland and seeing what it did to perfectly ordinary, decent people, I'd even say I know it to be true.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 06:27 pm:   

The Saw sounds quite mild compared with some forms of torture/execution.

Good old Vlad Tepec (aka Vlad Dracul, aka Vlad the impaler) had the real lowdown on how to kill in as painful a way as possible. Forget what you see in the cinema where people are impaled through the stomach/chest, the way Vlad's impaling worked was far worse.

The victim would be stripped naked and taken to a twelve foot high pole. The pole would be spiked but not apparently a hugely sharp spike) and greased. The spike would be thrust a few inches into the victim's lower exit from the alimentary canal (the anus). If the victim was female there was a choice of entrance. The pole would then be raised so it stood vertically with the victim atop it. Gravity would then do the work over several hours or days, the victim slowly sliding down the pole and the spike driving further through their bodies - eventually popping out through the shoulder or neck region.

I fancy a kebab now...
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 06:35 pm:   

He used to eat meals amongst the dying too: he would have a table brought out so he could enjoy the spectacle while he ate.

Christ, you'd think this forum was horror-related.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 06:46 pm:   

Should we go back to talking about losing socks, do you think?
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 06:50 pm:   

Albert Fish had a thing for socks, apparently.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 07:26 pm:   

They would hang the accused upside-down by the ankles, and using a long, double-ended saw, would vertically cut through him.

Yep, I have seen a medieval picture in a book somewhere. If only I could find it . . . The victim didn't look as if he was having a lot of fun. But then neither do cows and pigs when they're being slaughtered. A cow is locked into some sort of tight-fitting iron cage so that it cannot move an inch, and is then basically cut up alive.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 07:41 pm:   

Or what about foie gras?

One of the worst torture-killings I've ever read, is in Tobias Smollett's Humphrey Clinker, a fictional work, but based on actual incidents (apparently) of indigenous peoples in the Americas. The narrator of the event relates in the story how two captured British soldiers (I believe, going off memory) were forced to run a gauntlet of horrible beatings and maimings—only one of them could emerge and become a husband to a special "indian" bride. When the gauntlet was run, it was determined that one of them had been horribly maimed to a point where he could no longer perform like a man (I'm paraphrasing); so, he's the lucky one that got to be executed, but in the most horrendous of fashions... which included his eyeballs being scooped out of his screaming head, then two burning hot coals dropped, one into each socket. Smollett's narrator is relating all this to a typical British family, if I remember correctly; everyone's reactions are less than expectedly horrified, which only adds to the overall horror of the story.... Did I mention this is considered a comic novel?
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 10:24 pm:   

In Henri Charrière's Papillon, he described how two escaped convicts, frustrated with a cruel guard, tied him out flat to the forest floor, then enticed a column of ants to his prostrate body. The ants took a crumb of flesh at a time; it took the man forty-eight hours to die. This is from memory, so may be out in parts.
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 10:30 pm:   

The Saw.jpg
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 - 12:06 pm:   

I think it's safe to conclude that Vlad was one of the evil ones!
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.145.211.9
Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 - 05:14 pm:   

I don't know about that. He was a sensitive soul who lost one too many socks and it pushed him over the edge. I think we should feel sympathy for him. He might have been remembered as the man who gave every child in the known world a pet bunny rabbit and lifetime supply of food. But the bastard socks wouldn't stay in the drawer. So Instead he's got this bad boy image just because he took out his frustration using long pointy sticks.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 166.216.226.53
Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 - 05:25 pm:   

Yeah! And that goes for Hitler, too!
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 - 05:32 pm:   

Except Hitler didn't use pointy sticks
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 - 05:37 pm:   

And with Hitler, it wasn't missing socks, it was the one red sock in the washer with all his white shirts, so everything turned pink...
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 - 07:12 pm:   

I thought that was Caligula?
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 - 11:40 pm:   

Caligula is a Latin nickname for 'little boots', from which we can presume he had little feet, and therefore little socks, which are even more likely to be lost in the washer than big ones.

No wonder he was so pissed off.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 - 11:49 pm:   

All roads lead back to lost socks ...
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 - 02:31 pm:   

Speaking of socks, have you noticed that a new pair will last only a year or so? Plus I always wear black socks; I don't know what sort of dye they're using nowadays, but every morning my feet look like they've been inked.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 - 07:26 pm:   

"have you noticed that a new pair will last only a year or so?"

As long as that, Hubert? My husband's only last a few weeks before he's put at least one big toe through them!
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 - 08:33 pm:   

Where is the world going to when one can't buy halfway decent socks anymore . . . Bring back the polytyhene and nylon, says I.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 - 08:49 pm:   

Procrustes never had a problem losing his socks in the dryer: there were always more lying around, newly unused, where those came from....
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 - 08:51 pm:   

Would you ever buy a bed from Procrustes Mattress Emporium?
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 - 09:19 pm:   

It might prove a good way to end procrastinated sleepovers.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 - 10:15 pm:   

There's one thing to be said about a Procustes mattress—your feet never stick out.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 - 11:17 pm:   

Smelly feet? Try Procustes mattresses. Your feet will never trouble you again.

A good way to cut down on socks as well. Thought you'd like to know.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 - 11:39 pm:   

All good. Although, Hubert, I've also heard some people complain of little head room, on a Procustes mattress....
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Monday, May 28, 2012 - 11:35 am:   

What the...?
:-(
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Monday, May 28, 2012 - 11:40 am:   

There have been complaints about crustaceans as well . . .
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Monday, May 28, 2012 - 05:28 pm:   

Trust me, this is directly relevant: http://youtu.be/8qRZvlZZ0DY
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 10:40 am:   

Thing is, without wanting to sound grumpy, When you go to a thread for things like mysteries and you use your phone and it takes ages to load, and you find 'socks' all the comedy value has gone from socks when there's about twelve posts about them. :-(
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.34.237
Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 10:42 am:   

Hang on - make that EIGHTEEN.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.145.217.26
Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 11:41 am:   

Just shows how much of a mystery they are... And let's face it, judging by conclusions which could be drawn from this thread, they may well be evil overlords responsible for all kinds of horror over the centuries. The alternate conclusion is that we're all mad.
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Christopher Overend (Chris_overend)
Username: Chris_overend

Registered: 03-2012
Posted From: 217.33.165.66
Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 12:16 pm:   

At least it's an even number for once. Normally, where socks are involved, it's odd.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 12:17 pm:   

Sock wars!
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 04:39 pm:   

The most scarifying use of socks has to be in Jan Švankmajer's 'Alice' (1988) - perhaps that's where they've been going?
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 81.137.216.212
Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 05:36 pm:   

There are threads here about socks in this fiction work by me first published in 'Strix' in 1998: http://weirdmonger.blogspot.co.uk/2005/02/three-stories-darned-merely-by-thread. html

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