Omnium Gatherum: 19oct2022

An irregular hodgepodge of links beyond the library curated together from @OmniumGatherum at Hrmtc I∴O∴ and more … Omnium Gatherum for October 19, 2022.

Here’s a selection of notable things I’ve recently found that you may also be interested in checking out:

  • Witches, War, and Sex in Surrealism and Magic. An entrancing exhibit highlights women artists, painting a dreamy path to revolution.” About “The exhibition Surrealism and Magic: Enchanted Modernity (October 22, 2022 – January 29, 2023) is the first large-scale international loan exhibition to focus on the Surrealists’ interest in magic and myth.” See also Calendar blog.
  • Monty Python’s Cocurricular Mediaeval Reenactment Programme. The extremely officially licensed Monty Python tabletop role-playing game.”—”Monty Python’s Cocurricular Mediaeval Reenactment Programme is a rigorous course of study intended only for serious students of English History. It is by no means a complete and comprehensive manual for running imaginative, highly unpredictable, Mediaeval-themed role-playing games based upon the complete comedic output of Monty Python with one’s friends.” “There is also a madcap, backgammon-based minigame called Fetchez la Vache!, which involves dice catapults, meeples, farm animals, and rude French persons.”
  • Kids on Bikes: Second Edition. The kids are back… in this adventurous, pick-up-and-play, all ages role playing game.”—”Are you ready for all new, big adventures in small towns?” Crowdfunding effort with 27 days to go … “Have you ever longed for the days when you could jump on your bike and peddle off into adventure? Have you ever wanted to find yourself in the middle of a mystery, surrounded by danger and surprises? Do movies and TV shows like Stranger Things, The Goonies, Super 8, Monster Squad, and IT make you want to tell your own stories in a world full of excitement, drama, and discovery?” “This new edition simply means that we’ve made some major improvements and rules clarifications that will enhance your gameplay and work perfectly with any 1st edition books that you already own! The creators and our developers focused on a whole host of neat additions, enhancements, and, yes, even more adventure!”
  • Ephemere: A tarot deck by True Black. The spiritual successor and counterpart to True Black Tarot, a luxurious white and gold deck of 78 hand painted and foil stamped cards.” Crowdfunding effort with 19 days to go … “Ephemere is a deck of 80 hand painted cards. each adorned with pale gold foil on both front and back. Just like its spiritual counterpoint TrueBlack, each deck features the same iconic “rose petal” feel and comes with a magnetic storage box and a little white booklet co-written by Arthur Wang and Mat Auryn.”
  • The Archaeology of Ancient Magic & Ritual Practice. Making archaeological research accessible to a broad audience for free.”—”I want to make more research in ancient magic and ritual practice available to a broad audience online, and I want to make my two upcoming books available for free so that no-one has to worry about how to afford them. To do so I need your help.” Crowdfunding effort with 29 days to go …
  • Latimer’s Lenormand Preorder“—”This is a preorder for my new divinatory Deck, Latimer’s Lenormand.” Post-crowdfunding pre-order discount pricing …
  • 100 Years Later, Häxan Still Has the Power to Shock and Disturb. Even after a century, the message of his macabre tale has lost none of its impact.” Also “Häxan Trailer“—”Trailer for Häxan (1922) dir. Benjamin Christensen. I made this trailer for a local film festival many years ago.”
  • I give Salem witch trial tours at Halloween. It’s definitely 18+ content, but I try to humanize the victims. Kristin Harris works as a tour guide in Salem, Massachusetts, during the month of October. She gives historically accurate Salem Witch Trial walking tours that are two hours long. Harris said she loves meeting guests, but needs a security guard close by in case of hecklers.”
  • Tweet—”Evangelical Christians think watching anime will summon Satan, meanwhile grimoire occultists are forging black handled knives quenched in mole’s blood and henbane and writing in bat’s blood on goatskin parchment to get a 5-minute appointment with Satan’s 6th deputy’s intern.”
  • Kathy Najimy Was Afraid ‘Hocus Pocus’ Would Be Offensive To Real Witches — ‘They Were Healthcare Workers And Midwives’“—”I just feel supportive of all groups. You know, whether they’re women’s groups or gay groups or racial groups. And I know there are groups of witches out there.” Also “Real Witches on Whether ‘Hocus Pocus’ Offends: ‘Disappointing at Best’“—”Newsweek reached out to several witches and witchcraft experts to learn what they thought of the film franchise. As with any group, magick practitioners aren’t a monolith.”
  • Tweet—”I made an illustration of the amulet in PGM VII, 579-90: ‘A phylactery against daimons, phantasms, every sickness and suffering, to be written on a leaf of gold, silver, tin or hieratic papyrus.’ You can download the high-res Tiff here and use it for free” https://charakteres.com/illustrations/PGM-VII-579-590.tif
  • The 10 Best Witch Movies of All Time.”
  • How Therapy, Witchcraft, and Video Games Help Jinkx Monsoon Stay Sober. The RuPaul’s Drag Race star in her own words.”
  • How Catholics Became Prisoners of Vatican II. As the Second Vatican Council turns 60, it looks unsuccessful and irreversible.”—”The Francis era has not restored the youthful vigor that progressive Catholicism once enjoyed, but it has vindicated part of the liberal vision. Through his governance and indeed through his mere existence, this liberal pope has proved that the Second Vatican Council cannot be simply reduced to a single settled interpretation, or have its work somehow deemed finished, the period of experimentation ended and synthesis restored.” “Here, again, the liberals have a point. The most traditionalist Catholics are stamped by what began in 1962 as surely as this anti-traditionalist pope, and the merely conservative — such as, well, myself — are often in the position described by Peter Hitchens, writing about the European high culture shattered by World War I: We may admire the lost world’s intensity and rigors, but ‘none of us, now, could bear to return to it even if we were offered the chance.'”
  • A $100 million campaign aims to fix Jesus’ brand from followers’ damage“—”Billboards with messages like ‘Jesus let his hair down, too’ and ‘Jesus went all in, too,’ have been posted in major markets like New York City and Las Vegas. And ads featuring black-and-white online videos about Jesus as a rebel, an activist or a host of a dinner party have been viewed more than 300 million times, according to organizers.”
  • Cloven Country: The Devil and the English Landscape by Jeremy Harte due December 2022—”An exploration of the myths of England’s deceptively bucolic rolling hills and country lanes believed to be created and shaped by the Dark Lord himself. According to legend, the English landscape—so calm on the surface—is really the Devil’s work. Cloven Country tells of rocks hurled into place and valleys carved out by infernal labor. The Devil’s hideous strength laid down great roads in one night and left scars everywhere as the hard stone melted like wax under those burning feet. With roots in medieval folklore of giants and spirits, this is not the Satan of prayer, but a clumsy ogre, easily fooled by humankind. When a smart cobbler or cunning young wife outwitted him, they struck a blow for the underdog. Only the wicked squire and grasping merchant were beyond redemption, carried off by a black huntsman in the storm. Cloven Country offers a fascinating panorama of these decidedly sinister English tales.”
  • Casting Lots: Ancient Hebrew Divination Magic by Elisheva Nesher, foreword Diana L Paxson—”Lots are an ancient Hebrew form of divination and magic that may also be used for healing, blessing, cursing, meditation, and spiritual interaction. A set of lots contains twenty-two small discs, each one bearing one of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In a manner similar to runes, these lots are then cast and interpreted. Though lots were once so common that explanations of how to cast them were unnecessary, over the centuries their methods and uses fell into obscurity. In this practical guide, author and seer Elisheva Nesher has reconstructed the ancient art of lot casting for modern times. Her book contains explanations for each of the twenty-two lots and explores their meanings, both mystical and mundane. It also includes detailed instructions on how to cast, as well as craft your own set of lots. In addition to divination, Casting Lots explores the magical gifts of the lots as well as how to use them to contact and interact with the Hebrew spirits, such as Asherah. A brief guide is included for those unfamiliar with these spirits. Casting Lots is a complete instruction manual for mastering the art of lot casting.”
  • Perfecting the “art of polarization”: How these ’90s conservatives created today’s radicalized right. Historian Nicole Hemmer talks to Salon about how Rush, Newt, Buchanan and an obsession with Clinton remade the GOP.” About Partisans: The Conservative Revolutionaries Who Remade American Politics in the 1990s by Nicole Hemmer.
  • Dobbs“—”Considering the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, RUP is making a collection of eBooks about abortion and reproductive rights free to download until the end of January 2023. Use discount code RCCC.” “See the seven titles below. You can order any ebooks (epub or PDF) of these titles free of charge. Simply go to the book page, place the ebook in the shopping cart, and apply the discount code (RCCC). Please note: If you are interested in The Public Life of the Fetal Sonogram by Janelle S. Taylor, the epub is not currently available. Select the PDF instead. This offer is good until January 31, 2023.”
  • The Anthology by Vettius Valens, ed Chris Brennan, trans Mark T Riley—”Vettius Valens was an astrologer who lived in Alexandria, Egypt in the middle of the second century. His Anthology is a collection of instructional texts on astrology that he wrote for his students in Greek. The Anthology is the single most important surviving source for understanding what the practice of astrology was like in ancient times, because Valens included more than one hundred examples in order to demonstrate how birth charts were interpreted in antiquity. This publication marks the first time that the entirety of the Anthology has ever been translated into English. Mark T. Riley is a retired Classics professor who taught at California State University, in Sacramento. He spent a period of his career studying the surviving works of Greco-Roman astrologers, and authored several academic papers on Claudius Ptolemy and Vettius Valens. This book includes a full translation of all 9 surviving books of the Anthology, along with diagrams inserted into the text to help visualize each of Valens’ chart examples. The book also includes an extensive survey by Mark Riley of what is known about Valens’ life and work, as well as a foreword by Chris Brennan.” Also thread—”Today I’m happy to announce that I have published a new print version of the Anthology of the 2nd century astrologer Vettius Valens!”
  • Hitting the Books: The women who made ENIAC more than a weapon.” About <a href=”https://amzn.to/3CBuAZf”>Proving Ground: The Untold Story of the Six Women Who Programmed the World’s First Modern Computer by Kathy Kleiman—”For fans of Code Girls and Hidden Figures, PROVING GROUND is the untold, WWII-era story of the six American women who programmed the world’s first modern computer.”
  • In Search of the Divine: Living Histories of Sufism in India by Rana Safvi—”Sufism, called the mystical dimension of Islam, is known for its inclusive nature, as well as its ethics of love and compassion, its devotional music, art and architecture. In India’s syncretic culture, Sufism developed a distinct character, and harmoniously embraced the Bhakti traditions of North India.” Appears to only be listed at Amazon India atm.
  • He’s known as Chile’s greatest poet, but feminists say Pablo Neruda is canceled“—”The poet died 49 years ago, yet his reputation remains a work in progress. Neruda has always been a polarizing figure in Chile, mainly for his left-wing politics. But now he is being called out by Chile’s growing feminist movement as a male chauvinist and sexual predator.”
  • Fruiting Bodies Digs Deep into Botanical Horror.” About Fruiting Bodies by Ashley Robin Franklin.
  • Chaos theory eliminates quantum uncertainty. Quantum uncertainty has to do with us, not reality.” About The Primacy of Doubt: From Quantum Physics to Climate Change, How the Science of Uncertainty Can Help Us Understand Our Chaotic World by Tim Palmer.
  • Q&A: What helps drive Christian nationalism? Collective narcissism, author argues.” About How White Evangelicals Think: The Psychology of White Conservative Christians by Dave Verhaagen.
  • Human Prehistory—Why New Discoveries About Human Origins Open Up Revolutionary Possibilities.” About Human Prehistory: Exploring the Past to Understand the Future by Deborah Barsky.
  • Colonial America Is a Myth.” More about Indigenous Continent: The Epic Contest for North America by Pekka Hämäläinen.
  • It’s OK to Just Have Fun: War-Nymphs of Venus by Ray Cummings.” About War-Nymphs of Venus: The Complete Planet Stories Tales by Ray Cummings, ed Gene Christie, introduction Tom Roberts—”Ray Cummings was a major voice in those early pulp days of the 1920s and 1930s … Cummings’ stories may have been old-fashioned and a bit repetitive, but they sure were fun.”
  • Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists by Dan Barker, foreword by Richard Dawkins—”One man shares the story of his transformation from evangelical Christian to atheist and examines the train of thought that brought him there. After almost twenty years of evangelical preaching, missionizing, and Christian songwriting, Dan Barker ‘threw out the bathwater and discovered that there is no baby.’ In Godless, Barker describes the intellectual and psychological path he followed in moving from fundamentalism to freethought. Godless includes sections on biblical morality, the historicity of Jesus, biblical contradictions, the unbelievable resurrection, and much more. It is an arsenal for skeptics and a direct challenge to believers. Along the way, Barker relates the positive benefit readers will experience from learning to trust in reason and human kindness instead of living in fear of false judgment and moral condemnation.”
  • The Pathless Path: Imagining a New Story For Work and Life by Paul Millerd—”The Pathless Path is not a how-to book filled with ‘hacks’; instead, it is a vulnerable account of Paul’s journey from leaving a path centered around getting ahead and towards another, one focused on doing work that matters.”
  • The Watkins Book of English Folktales by Neil Philip, foreword by Neil Gaiman—”With a foreword by Neil Gaiman, this comprehensive, entertaining and authentic collection of English folktales is perfect for fans of Madeline Miller, Philip Pullman and the Brothers Grimm. This is a golden treasury of over one hundred English folktales captured in the form they were first collected in past centuries. Read these classic tales as they would have been told when storytelling was a living art – when the audience believed in boggarts and hobgoblins, local witches and will-o’-the-wisps, ghosts and giants, cunning foxes and royal frogs. Find “Jack the Giantkiller”, “Tom Tit Tot” and other quintessentially English favourites, alongside interesting borrowings, such as an English version of the Grimms’ “Little Snow White” – as well as bedtime frighteners, including “Captain Murderer”, as told to Charles Dickens by his childhood nurse. Neil Philip has provided a full introduction and source notes on each story that illustrate each tale’s journey from mouth to page, and what has happened to them on the way. These tales rank among the finest English short stories of all time in their richness of metaphor and plot and their great verbal dash and daring.”
  • Frog and Toad: The Philosophy of Simple Living | Video Essay“—”In this video, I chat about the 1970s children’s book series Frog and Toad—written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel—including its helpful/wholesome themes and why it’s so cozy and memorable.”
  • Brace yourself for some shocking news about how Jared Kushner’s book became a best-seller.” They pulled a Scientology! Also “A Trump Political Committee Bought $131,000 Worth Of Books. Four Days Later, Jared Kushner’s Hit The Best-Seller List.”
  • Fact, Fiction, and Frankenstein’s Monster“—”‘Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus’ created what has become one of the most recognized icons of horror fiction, but behind fiction there is always a bit of fact, and Frankenstein’s monster was truly a creature of its time.
  • When You Need a Little Nudge to Write. Here are some of the strategies and shortcuts that help me focus and get back to writing, even when I feel the worst about it.”
  • Conservative Muslims join forces with Christian right on Michigan book bans. ‘This has nothing to do with Trump,’ a parent says, as people pressure officials to censor books with LGBTQ+ themes.”—”In Dearborn, a city that’s 47% Arab American and reliably Democratic at the polls, some conservative Muslim residents have joined forces with the Christian right to censor literature in the city’s public schools.” “Although the right wing in America has frequently vilified Muslims and Islam, the alliance highlights how some deeply socially conservative Arab Americans are willing to put that aside and join in the culture wars.” “At the meeting’s conclusion, Dearborn resident Jackson Wagner stood up and declared that he was gay, and told the audience: ‘The far right in this country despises us all. ‘Dearborn should be a city where everyone knows they’re safe and loved and supported,’ he continued. Moments later, boos rained down as he concluded his brief speech, and he was confronted by Anoun, who had to be ordered back to his seat by police.”
  • Report: Missouri’s Secretary of State Submits Rule to Block ‘Obscene Material’ in State-Funded Libraries.” HT A Rivera
  • Thread—”Microplastics have officially been found in human breast milk for the first time in a new study that detected the contaminant in 75% of the samples tested after we also found microplastics inside the lungs and crossing the blood-brain barrier. This is our generation’s lead paint.” “The most concerning part to me that deserves attention is the last sentence in the abstract that says they found no relationship in the mothers’ usage of plastic products, which suggests that exposure to microplastics is inevitable.”
  • Plant-based hot foam kills weeds as effectively as chemical spray. A plant-based foam mixed with hot water has worked as well as glyphosate weedkiller at removing weeds from olive groves and has also been used successfully in urban areas.”
  • Human brain cells in a dish learn to play Pong“—”Live biological neurons show more about how a brain works than AI ever will. A Melbourne-led team has for the first time shown that 800,000 brain cells living in a dish can perform goal-directed tasks – in this case the simple tennis-like computer game, Pong.”
  • Human Brain Cells Injected into a Rat’s Brain Came Alive“—”Scientists transplanted human brain cells into live rats and discovered that they connected to the rat’s brain. The rats’ brains integrated the human tissue and put it to work. It wasn’t quite a Frankenstein-esque brain transplant, but it is remarkable progress in the field of lab-grown mini-brains.” Ugh. Not now Brain!—Pinky, probably.
  • Untethered exoskeleton walks out into the real world. After years of careful development, engineers have created a boot-like exoskeleton that increases walking speed and reduces effort outside of the lab.” We’re going to need bigger sidewalks.
  • The Wonder | Official Trailer | Netflix“—”Starring Florence Pugh and based on the book by Emma Donoghue, writer of Room. The Wonder is the tale of a young Irish girl, Anna O’Donnell, whose Catholic family claim she has eaten nothing since her eleventh birthday… four months ago.” This caught my eye because the title made me think they’d done a film from The Wonder by Beresford, but it is still based on a book, just a different one.
  • His Dark Materials – Series 3 | Trailer – BBC“—”⁣The extraordinary final chapter… His Dark Materials, coming to iPlayer this December.” Attack and Dethrone God!
  • Shadow and Bone | Season 2 Sneak Peek | Netflix“—”Welcome back to the Grishaverse! Here’s a sneak peek at Shadow & Bone Season 2”
  • Enola Holmes 2 | Official Trailer: Part 2 | Netflix“—”GO BIG. GO HOLMES. Enola Holmes 2 is only on Netflix November 4.”
  • Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical | Official Trailer | Netflix“—”A brand new take on the Tony and Olivier award-winning musical. Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical tells the story of an extraordinary girl, with a vivid imagination, who dares to take a stand to change her story with miraculous results.”
  • ‘Dune: The Sisterhood’: ‘Game Of Thrones’ & ‘Obi-Wan’ Star Indira Varma Joins HBO Max & Legendary Prequel Series As Empress Natalya.”
  • Tweet—”Please check your candy this year!! We found a Mimic who will absolutely eat the rest of your candy…” Seems legit to me.

What have you been seeing around and thinking about lately? What have you seen that caught your eye? Thinking about something lately, or reading something interesting, or have a project you’re working on? Participate by tagging @[email protected] in the ‘verse with what you’ve got to share. Like, boost, or comment posts by that account to help curate the best stuff for everyone.

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