arachnekallisti: (act her age)
"...beautiful as the chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella..."
- Comte de Lautréamont

I've always had a bit of a thing for Surrealism. A few years ago, [livejournal.com profile] ignisophis and I ran a LARP set on the borders of Dream, which took place in paintings which preserved the dreamscapes of a powerful dream sorceror, and all the characters were named after surrealist artists. I've been reading up on the Surrealists again recently, after being bitten by the desire to write a proper myth-arc for Dark Heresy - but more on that in another post, I don't want to spoiler my players before they get to the surreal goodness.

1. A series of Magritte-inspired poems by Mark Young. Not always successful, but generally interesting.
2. The story of Gef the Talking Mongoose. A particularly bizarre bit of Forteana.
3. A psychological study appears to suggest that surreal experiences improve your pattern recognition capabilities. Clearly you should all play in more of my games.
4. The Codex Seraphinianus is a bizarre surrealist encyclopaedia of an unreal world, written in an invented language that may in fact be utterly meaningless. It's remarkably difficult to get hold of a copy, as the previous printings have been limited in scope and it's extremely rare and valuable. As [livejournal.com profile] the_whybird mentioned, it almost has the vibe of an Unknown Armies artifact designed to trap bibliomancers - books are generally valued for the information they contain, but this book is incredibly valuable precisely because it contains no information whatsoever.

"Surrealist beauty is convulsive. That is, you feel it, you don't see it - it exists as an excitation of the nerves. The experience of the beautiful is, like the experience of desire, an abandonment to vertigo, yet the beautiful does not exist as such. What do exist are images or objects that are enigmatic, marvelously erotic – or juxtapositions of objects, or people, or ideas, that arbitrarily extend our notion of the connections it is possible to make. In a way, the beautiful is put at the service of liberty."
- Angela Carter, The Alchemy of the Word
arachnekallisti: (Default)
The week in Godawful Science:

1. A couple of idiots attempt what is either a) one of the most shoddy and unethical pieces of research I've ever seen or b) one of the biggest trolling exercises I've ever seen. I can't possibly summarise the FAIL nearly as well as these two bloggers did. Suffice to say that their brilliant research questionnaire included such stunningly logical questions as "Which fictional character would you consider your perfect mate?"

2. [livejournal.com profile] dracothelizard linked to a particularly failtastic piece of "research" that claims to prove that girls are innately scared of spiders. Sigh. I refer you to my username. Evolutionary psychologists prove, once again, that I don't exist.

Anyway, having proven I'm imaginary, let me cheer you up with some News of the Weird:

1. The Whitstable Seagulls. They will come for your cat and your allen keys.

2. If you've ever wondered what Lalla Ward's been doing since leaving Tom Baker, besides illustrating and editing Richard Dawkins' books, wonder no more. Knitting patterns. The pictures of her modelling them have to be seen to be believed.

3. Ben Goldacre now owns a cape and has managed to befriend Tony Head in Waitrose. This is clearly a Sign.

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arachnekallisti

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