Review - Edinburgh Fringe: Helen Keen: Robot Woman of Tomorrow

Helen Keen: Robot Woman of Tomorrow

At Pleasance Courtyard 15.30 by Avalon Promotions / Helen Keen

You may know Helen Keen from It is Rocket Science, various Radio 4 show's or even the Fortean Times UnConvention.  Two things you will know if you have encountered her before is that she is a geek and proud of it and also she is very, very funny.  Particularly if you are also a geek.  Which says something about me.

Just to give you an idea where Keen is coming from she was inspired by reading science fiction and by the following painting.

It's entitled Going to the Opera in the Year 2000 and was painted in 1882 by Albert Robida.  The flying cars we all knew would come in the 21st century but don't quite seem to have made it yet.  I can see how this painting can inspire.

So this show looks into the future.  Or at least how some people interepreted the future and  how some have genuinely brought it to life (as demonstrated by shadow puppets), and how some have subverteted it to their own ends.  Just seriously do not do a search for Roxxxy, let Keen tell you about her instead - it's less sad being told about it with a crowd of people around you than searching for it.  And who knows who might find the digital footprint you leave behind?  But back to the show, she's a geek, she's a Fortean, she's one of us, she's funny and she's well worth going to see.  See it now before you forget what the future could and indeed should have been.

Review - Edinburgh Fringe: Country Air - A Contemporary Ghost Story

Country Air - A Contemporary Ghost Story

At Paradise in The Vault 13.35, by Mere Anarchy

A new play by a new company and a new writer, all in the atmospheric cellar vaults of St Augustine's United Church.

The writer, Jack Goulder, acts as narrator too - initially emerging from below a sheet covering some furniture (don't worry it's not a ghost story with people running around with sheets over their head).  A quick prelude to let us know where we are - City banker, stressed with his job, wife with miscarriage, relocate to isolated house in Somerset to try to kickstart their lives.

So - a good setting for a  ghost story - and where do we go from there?  The young cast make a good job of the whole show and we are treated to some inoffensive postmodern breaking down of the fourth wall - removal men complaining they are poorly written and typecast as working class stereotypes, characters interacting with the narrator and so on. 

We have standard ghost story tropes - mysterious child glimpsed out of window, history constantly re-enacting itself as the events unfold and some great satire on middle class hypocrisy, mediocrity and desire for hummus. I won't say where the play ends up - I'll let you discover that for yourselves, I will say that there is one section that made the hairs on my arms stand up though!  Not a perfect play but a lot more enjoyable than some of the stuff on offer in the Fringe and a good start for this group.

 

Review - Edinburgh Fringe: Richard Wiseman: Psychobabble

Richard Wiseman: Psychobabble

At The Canons' Gait by Richard Wiseman / PBH’s Free Fringe 12.10 and 18.05, Wednesday's only

Richard Wiseman is a former professional magician and is now a professor in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire and author of a number of books of a Fortean interest, most recently Rip it Up.

So we have - in a rather crowded basement bar - a mix of psychology, magic and good old Forteana.   The audience warmed to Richard instantly and were treated to an hour of laughter and insight.  They also learned one or two things which I guarantee a large proportion have since attempted themselves. 

I promise this is the only show on the whole Fringe that will teach you how to make a chicken out of a tea towel.  I kid you not. 

I don't want to list all of things that happen during the hour but you'll be amazed and amused in equal measure.  Richard's handling of an audience is excellent - if only all university professor's were like this! Catch it while you can, as they say.

Review - Edinburgh Fringe: My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver

My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver

At Gilded Balloon Teviot, 15.10, by Toby Hadoke - Festival Highlights

Toby Hadoke is a life long Dr Who fan.  If you needed convincing look at the picture above and check out his CV (writes for Dr Who Magazine, a previous Fringe show is Moths Ate My Dr Who Scarf and he chairs many of the audio commentaries on the Dr Who DVD releases).  So you might be expecting this to be a show about Dr Who.  And it is.  But it isn't.  There we are, that's a helpful and totally enlightening review.  But I may need to clairfy.

This show is a very personal journey for Toby about the estrangement from his father and then from his wife and how he is now remarried and how he is now a loving father to two sets of children.  And there's his psoriasis.  But as Dr Who is such a large part of his life (understatement) it's there all the time as well.  

Yes there are jokes that only Dr Who fans will get but there are plenty of funny moments for those who have never seen it, and for those who have a partner who is a fan they will realise they are not alone and all those funny little (i.e. frustrating) habits are the normal mode of behaviour of a Dr Who fan.  For those who are not too familiar with the perils of a Dr Who fan as a partner Toby admits to sending a text to a fomer girlfriend telling her that he liked her more than he liked The Seeds of Doom.  Praise indeed.

Review - Edinburgh Fringe: Morgan and West: Clockwork Miracles

Morgan and West: Clockwork Miracles

At Gilded Balloon Teviot, 16.30, by www.morganandwest.co.uk

Over the past few years Morgan and West have fast become enjoyable staples at the Edinburgh Fringe.  For those who don't know them they are a pair of deboniar, bewhiskered, time travelling magicians.

Mr Morgan

I've seen them several times over the years and their recent TV appearance on Penn and Teller's Fool Us has done them no harm - this is the biggest venue I've seen them play and it was a total sell out, and being the Gilded Balloon it wasn't one of those pokey, uncomfortable venues, good seating, good views and not like a Turkish sauna.

Mr West

They are magicans and they do use members of the audience so be careful where you sit.  But they are masters of misdirection - one effect I had seen them perform before and I still looked where they wanted me to at the crucial moment.  Damn.  We also have the first magic I have ever seen performed by a shadow puppet.  If you are an afficienado of magic then its true that you will have seen some of the effects before but quite frankly who cares - this time round they're wrapped in a bed of charm and inventiveness.  A must see and genuinely for all the family.

As well as this show the pair are appearing at the same venue in a midnight show called Morgan and West: Lying, Cheating Scoundrels.

Review - Edinburgh Fringe: The Good, The Bad and the Extraterrestrials

The Good, The Bad and the Extraterrestrials

At Laughing Horse @ Espionage, 14.45 and by 
www.theyoungactorscompany.com.

This show is part of the free fringe - what that means is that there are no tickets and when you leave if you have enjoyed the show you make a voluntary contribution.  After seeing this show I was more than happy to cough up.

The poster promised an interactive western / sci fi comedy - for some the phrase interactive may be a put off, but don't worry, in this show it's minimal.

So, what do we have - we do have a Western, we do have sci fi and we do have comedy.  The young actors company are all aged under 21 and are all full of enthusiasm.  And they're also all crammed into a very small room.  And there's a lot of them.  And then there's the audience too.  Pretty quickly the side room at the Espionage Club becomes full but over the course of the 45 minute long show it was never an issue.  I found myself totally involved with the show and ignoring any potential levels of discomfort.

All hail the Bezoar

Apparently the last Friday in April is national hairball day in America.  No me neither.

I have an ebay alert for bezoars and I recently received one pointing me to the following auction

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rare-very-old-large-antique-Bezoar-apothecary-...

And tucked in the middle of it is a piece cut and pasted from the internet

"You
may feel that you know all you need to know about hairballs, but the
National Museum of Health and Medicine, in Washington, DC, unpacked what
curators described as the "myths and realities" of the objects in a
temporary exhibit this week, created in honor of National Hairball
Awareness Day. (The holiday fell on Monday, but I've been slow to
assimilate it into my calendar.)."

So I did a quick Google and sure enough - the last Friday in April.  I note it's not a national holiday which is a shame.  It actually has a serious purpose - the recognition and elimination of hair balls in cats.   But it got me thinking about bezoars - never a bad thing.    A bezoar is actually an indigestible mass found trapped (usually) in the stomach.  They can be made of different materials - one comprising of hair for example is a trychobezoar. 

Up until the end of the sixteenth century (and probably beyond to be honest) it was believed that a bezoar could be used to neutralise any poison - a universal antidote.  In 1567 or 1575 this was put to the test in a scientific manner (although you'd probably have trouble getting it past the ethics committee nowadays).   A French Royal Surgeon Ambroise Paré took advantage of the fact that a cook at the court of Charles IX or Henry III if the latter date is correct had been caught stealing silver cutlery. 

Coming Soon - A Fortean at the Fringe

August in Edinburgh is what can only be described as a rather hectic time.  You can't shake a thylacine without hitting a festival!

For a number of years I have been covering material of a Fortean nature for the Fortean Times website.  This has mainly been from the Fringe Festival and the Book Festival.  After last years events had finished and everything had died down I copied the relevant reviews (and here, and here as well)over to this site and they seem to have gone down well.  And so, for the first time ever I shall now be putting the reviews up here first.

For those who don't know what this is all about the Fringe was established as an alternative to the Edinburgh Festival in 1947 and it has grown to what is now the world's largest arts festival.  This year there are 42 096 performances of of 2 695 shows in 279 venues.  814 of these shows are free.  In 2011 nearly 2 000 000 tickets were sold.  

Phantom Black Dog in Denmark

The phantom black dog is a common folkloric motif and the most famous example is probably the black dog of Bungay.

The story took place in August 4th 1577  and it resulted in two people being killed in Bungay church where they were shelterting from a storm.  Damage was also done to the church, many were injured and the dog reappeared 12 miles away where it killed others.  This Suffolk based story is one of many from the UK and it is often said that the dog (Black Shuck as he is sometimes known) presages a death.

All very well and interesting but most black dog stories are old.  So imagine my delight when I received an email from Lars Munk Sørensen, telling of his own recent sighting.  I reproduce the email below:-

Fortean Careers - Out of Body Experiences

With the obvious exception of Ghostbuster, Cthulhu wrangler and exorcist there are very few jobs specifically in the Fortean world, more's the pity.  So how about this one for those suitably qualified?

Research Fellow in Cognitive Psychology / Neuroscience

Cortical Hyperexcitability and its Association with Out-of-Body Experiences (OBEs) in the Non-clinical Population

Working at the University of Birmingham this is a position for someone with a Phd in Psychology and an obvious interest in OBE's.

To quote the job advert:-

 

Full Time for 3 years.  Fixed term from 1st September 2012 - 31st August 2015

Starting salary is normally in the range £27,578 to £35,938.  With potential progression once in post to £38,140 a year.

A Research Fellowship is available in the School of Psychology,
University of Birmingham (UK), studying the role of cortical
hyperexcitability underlying susceptibility to visual hallucinations -
specifically out-of-body experiences in the non-clinical population. 
The project will involve taking psychophysiological measurements
(Electrodermal activity), will employ TDCS procedures of
brain-stimulation and is under the supervision of Dr Jason Braithwaite,
Lecturer, in the School of Psychology.  The project is funded by The
Leverhulme Trust.

I Talk to the Trees...

I've always been fascinated by the idea of plant sentience - whether it be in a fictional setting (such as in countless science fiction films and books) or in a claimed factual setting (e.g. Plant Response by Bose or The Secret Life of Plants by Tompkins and Bird).

As well as interests in Fortean studies I am also interested in the Biological side of things and have held a research fellowship at the Botanic Garden in Edinburgh (specialising in fungi).  So one subject that combines these areas of my life is the above named possibility of plant sentience. One particular area that I've always wanted to have a try at is measuring the response to a stimulus by a plant but using a polygraph.  Knowing vaguely that polygraphs work on galvanic responses (amongst other things) I can see how changes in a plants reactions can trigger an observable reaction in a polygraph - for example a change in transpiration rate may be detectable.  But are these changes purely mechanical in nature or, as suggested in the above works, are they more exciting.  An example of this is the mareked level of stress supposedly shown by a plant when someone who harbours ill feelings towards it (e.g. they intend to pull off a leaf) walks into the room.

Plants don't have an observable nervous system but they do have hormonal communication within themselves - for example giberellic acid is used in the control of plant growth and through differential growth we can see a photo response to light - in other words due to hormonal response plants will grow towards the light.

An intersting article in the latest issue of New Scientist hints towards some hitherto unknown plant senses.   Specifically the ability of at least one plant species to potentially hear!  Without recongisable organs of hearing and without an obvious nervous system.

Fortean Property Portfolio - NOT for Sale

An unusual entry for the Fortean Property Portfolio - one that's not for sale!

The house is called Undershaw and it's a Grade II listed building and in 1977 it was listed as being of special architectural and historic interest because of its literary association. From 1897 to 1907 this was the home of Arthur Conan Doyle, he moved to nearby Crowborough shortly after the 1906 death of his first wife but he did not sell Undershaw until 1921.

Located near Haselmere in Surrey it eventually became a hotel until 2005 - from which point it has lain empty.  The current owners were granted permission to redevelop the property in 2010 - their plan was to split it up into flats - at least in all fairness they didn't ask to demolish it!

John Gibson set up the Undershaw Preservation Trust to fight the plans and now he has won - admittedly on a technicality in that there were legal flaws in the application to turn the house into eight separate dwellings.

John Gibson is reported in The Guardian as saying "This is a place which is steeped in history and should be treated with reverence. Conan Doyle's life and works are a fundamental part of British culture and arguably their stock has never been higher. We have been absolutely delighted to see enthusiasts from across the world get in touch and pledge their support to our efforts.  We are very hopeful that this decision will signal a sea change in attitude towards this historic property and that it will lead to it being rightly preserved as a single building – hopefully as a museum or centre where future generations can be inspired by the many stories which have been created within its walls".

ABC Spells Otter...

Over several years there have been numerous reports of a giant large black cat in the Moray area of North East Scotland. This non native species is referred to as an alien big cat, or ABC. For example STV – the
Scottish independent television channel - has reported on sightings in Forres, Lossiemouth, Lhanbryde, Aberlour, Dufftown, Duffus and Elgin.

The sightings include a large black cat seen from 200 yards away with footprints found in the spot afterwards, a sighting from a primary school which was subsequently investigated by the police and a number of large paw prints found by members of the Big Cats in Britain Group.

 

And now in mid May the news services are full of reports of a walker finding the body of a big cat in the area. John Robertson found the remains at Cullen and fortunately he had a camera with him. Robertson had been walking with his wife when he came across the remains which he described as "a seriously big cat ... at least twice the size of a large domestic cat ... with a tail about 18 inches long". The Big Cats in Britain group felt it was too small to be a proper ABC but it could be a cub. And when we look at the photographs the first does look cat like.

Until we look at the whole body.

The whole picture shows an animal that looks to all the world like an otter.

Fortean Property Portfolio - for free!

I've posted many entries under the heading of Fortean Property Portfolio but I appreciate some of them have been a little on the expensive side.  So here is one that everyone can afford because it's free!  I got the information for this from our good friend at Cryptomundo, Loren Coleman, and his original blog post on it can be found here.

The house in questionis being offered by the Fayetteville Freethinkers and is in Fayettevile, Arkansas.  In an affidavit they set out the conditions and the fact that the house will be in a liveable condition.

Basically to get the prize you have to present them with a Bigfoot- living or dead.

Now they are presumably doing this for a bit of publicity and a laugh, but how awesome woudl it be if soemone succesfully claimed on the prize!  Get hunting folks.

 

 

Fortean Events Reminder

Just a reminder to folks that we have the Fortean Events section which can be seen at the top of the page.

Any groups or individuals who have talks or meetings which may be of interest to readers of these blog pages are more than welcome to publicise them for free here, just email me the details and I'll put them up for you.

Thanks and the more info the Fortean Events has the more useful it will be - get sending!

A Fortean at the Fringe part 3 2011

The third and final part of my 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Review

 

The Dead

Young Actors Company

http://www.theyoungactorscompany.com

Laughing Horse @ Jekyll and Hyde

Crowded into the back of a pub and we're almost sitting on top of each other and just to add to matters there are zombies wandering around. Eventually the zombies all shuffle off to the front of the stage area and the show starts. And we're back to 1953 Whitby. Our heroes are travelling in their car to meet with friends for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. All well and good but something goes horribly wrong. Namely the zombie apocalypse arrives. The show is a witty look at how some normal people cope (or not) and how they interact with other survivors. It's full of energy (even from the zombies) and it proceeds at a cracking rate and if you're into zombies its guaranteed to entertain. But there is a slight warning to go with the show.
You may end up taking more back with you than you intended. I was bitten by a zombie. I'm now just waiting for the invertible...

 

 

Chris French - Meaning and Randomness: Seeing What Isn't There

http://www.gold.ac.uk/psychology/staff/french/

Skeptics at the Fringe of Reason, The Banshee Labyrinth

http://www.edinburghskeptics.co.uk/sotf-at-the-fringe-of-reason/

A Fortean at the Fringe part 2 2011

A Fortean at the Fringe II

 

Richard Wiseman Unbound

www.richardwiseman.com

Edinburgh International Book Festival

http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/

The Fringe Festival is not the only one taking place in Edinburgh a the moment, there is also the Festival itself and then there is the Edinburgh International Book Festival. These later two events differ from the Fringe in that events here are one off rather than a series of performances. This particular event was indeed a one off. In 2010 the Book Festival experimented with a series of free events (always a good thing) featuring one author for two hours. The particular one I found myself at was that of psychologist and skeptic Richard Wiseman.
Wiseman has a new book out which is a must read for all Forteans - Paranormality. You may disagree with some of the conclusions but the journey is worth it. This particular show however was not specifically about the book, it was more in the nature of an autobiographical journey showing how various aspects of Wiseman's life impinge on his views on the paranormal. Starting off as a magician he became interested in optical illusions, studied psychology at London, Phd at Edinburgh and ultimately professor of the public understanding of psychology at Hertfordshire University. So we were treated to a few magic tricks and descriptions of experiments through the course of a very enjoyable evening. An entertaining speaker.

 

Edinburgh Secret Society

http://edinburghsecretsociety.wordpress.com/

A Fortean At the Fringe Part 1 2011

A Fortean at the Fringe

For a number of years I have been reviewing vaguely Fortean shows for Fortean Times at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  The reviews have been up at the Fortean Times website so here's a chance to see them at this website as well, here is the first instalment from the 2011 Fringe.

How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse: The End is Nigh

After Dark Entertainment

http://howtosurviveazombieapocalypse.co.uk/

At Zoo Southside

http://www.zoofestival.co.uk/

This is the third time visit to the Edinburgh Fringe for How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse.
A one hour interactive seminar training the audience to survive the oncoming Zombie Apocalypse. As the publicity says this is the last time this show will be at Edinburgh. But it's also the third time here. Can there be anything new to teach us about how to survive? The answer is yes. Each version of the show has been different and each thoroughly watchable and entertaining.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Dale Seslick leads us through scenarios on which the audience vote - get the answer right and you survive, get it wrong and you're worm food. But like all good zombie movies its a team effort so ultimately each nights audience is in competition not with themselves but with other audiences - the scores are placed online and the night I was there, well lets just say compared to others we're doing well.

UnConvention 2011

 

 

Most of you will be aware that the 12th and 13th of November are the dates of the Fortean Times UnConvention in London.   It's a full weekend of interesting talks and there are some tickets left - it's likely there will be some on the door as well but they will be more expensive.   So you still have time to buy.  But if you can't make it I'll be taking photographs and they'll be appearing here in due course.   More tech savvy Stew Smith will also be offering live tweets so you need to folllow @CharlesHoyFort and he's using the hashtag #ftuncon

Whether you're there or not have a good weekend.

Fortean Property Portfolio

The latest entry in the Fortean property portfolio is hopefully a little bit more acheivable! 

Previous entries, whilst they may be desirable residences, have been out of the reach of many of us (if you think their prices were peanuts then please contact the CFI, you could fund a lot of exciting projects!).  But courtesy of my good friend Loren Coleman of Cryptomundo and the International Cryptozoology Museum we have something that we can all indulge in:-

Of particular apeal for those interested in conspiracy theories we have the Texas School Book Depository of Dallas- the very location from which it is alleged Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shots that killed JFK.  And it's an absolute bargain at only $95.  And it's only 3 1/4" tall!  Ok it's a replica but still...

The signage at the top is as it was on the 22nd of November 1963.  Please note for those worried about the misspelling of Chevrolet there is another image of this model which has it spelled correctly - presumably the above image is a preproduction model?  And a quick update from Loren who contacted the manufacturers - the incorrect spelling is the only version available.

The buliding can be bought at http://www.replicabuildings.com/proddetail.php?prod=268 and when Loren was having a wander around he found some other buildings which may be of interest:-

The Dakota of Rosemary's Baby and John Lennon murder fame

Forteana in Edinburgh

Just a quick heads up before I get back into the habit of blogging!

During the month of August the Edinburgh Festival, the Edinburgh Book Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival all take place and a quick perusal of the relevant programmes seems to offer much of Fortean interest.

I will be covering all three of these for Fortean Times and reviews of relevant shows will appear there - I will also try and include some more in depth material here.

Keep watching the blog - material will be appearing and thanks for your support and patience.

Fortean Property Portfolio

The latest entry into the Fortean Property Portfolio is a 321 acre woodland just outside Edinburgh.  Yester Woods is being sold for offers over £450 000 by CKD Galbraith of Edinburgh.  Spectacular location, full hunting, shooting and fishing rights and there's the ruins of a fifteenth century castle.  And more importantly there's an underground chamber from the 13th century. 

This is a second attempt at a sale as the original was for the woodlands and a 14 bedroom house, no one was interested at £15 million so the woodlands are going by themselves. The rest of the property is going for £8 million, so if you buy both you have quite a bargain compared to the original asking price!

But what is of interest to Forteans?  Well it's the thirteenth century chamber.  This is believed to have been built by Sir Hugo de Giffard (after whom the local village of Gifford was named), and Sir Hugo was a Black Magican and was know in his time as the Wizard of Yester.  When I say the chamber was built by Sir Hugo he did have a little bit of help.  From Goblins.  They were loaned to him by his friend and master, the Devil.  The chamber was subsequently known as Goblin Ha(ll)'.  Goblin Ha' is the name of the local pub as well but whilst you're guaranteed to see spirits in the pub the story of the real Goblin Ha' is a bit better.  It's hoped that the area will be bought by someone who is sympathetic to the Ha' but Scotland's right to roam does allow a level of access to the public.

The full schedule for the sale can be found here and if a CFI Blog reader does buy it I'd love an invite to the Ha' warming party!

 

 

Kudos to Mike Dash

Mike Dash is well known to regular readers of this site - he is our most prolific blogger after all.  Mike has also authored a number of excellent books and articles.

Recently some of his work has been recognised with an award - a Cliopatra Award for blogging.

The relevant citation from http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/135179.html reads

Best Post: Mike Dash, "The Emperor's Electric Chair," A Blast from the Past, 9 September.

The judges felt that "The Emperor's Electric Chair" wove together a
variety of themes, including colonialism, modernity, and the challenges
of unreliable sources into what was an engagingly told, entertaining,
and ultimately important historical tale.

The post in question can be seen at http://allkindsofhistory.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/the-emperors-electric-... and it's first public appearance was on this very site http://blogs.forteana.org/node/123

Well done Mike.

Fortean Property Portfolio

The latest item in the Fortean property portfolio is based in Sicily and was once the porperty of the self confessed wickedest man alive - Aleister Crowley.

For a mere £1.2 million it could be yours.

Near Cefalu it could best be described as a fixer upper.  It has been abandoned for years and has been overgrown.

Crowley moved there in 1923 after he was kicked out of Italy.  Whilst Crowley lived there it was the scene of many an orgy and Crowley decorated it himself.  That is he painted erotic frescoes which included men, women, devils, satyrs and serpents.  Despite the ravages of time some of these are still extant.  

The photographs are from Frater Kybernetes at http://www.inventati.org/amprodias/thelema/photo.htm


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are wanting to buy it I suggest you hurry up.  Not because people are falling over themselves to buy it just it's in the process of falling over itself so if you wait too long it will be gone forever...

CFI Blogs - with new added comment capability

Ok folks - a new era for the CFI blogs - we have enabled comments so we can get discussions going on soem of the topics posted about.  At the end of the blog entry there is a section labelled "add new comment" click it and comment away!

Off topic comments will be removed so keep it relevant to the post.  If you want to conact the CFI just hit the "contact us" button at the left hand side of your screen.

Enjoy!

UnCon 2010

A quick plug for Fortean Times UnConvention 2010

The weekend of 23rd adn 24th of October, the following talk and speakers are on offer

Another Fortean Job...

I guess Fortean jobs are like buses - wait for ages with nothing and then they all come along together.

In case you've missed it the internet is currently set to explode over the news of this one.  The following version of the report comes from Reuters, most other versions add no extra details.

Scientist's to Look for China's Bigfoot

BEIJING |
Sat Oct 9, 2010 7:57am EDT

BEIJING
(Reuters) - A group of Chinese scientists and explorers is looking for
international help to mount a new search for the country's answer to
Bigfoot, known locally as the "Yeren," or "wild man."

Over the years, more than 400 people have claimed sightings of the half-man, half-ape Yeren in a
remote, mountainous area of the central province of Hubei, state news
agency Xinhua said on Saturday.

Expeditions in the 1970s and 1980s yielded hair, a footprint, excrement and a
sleeping nest suspected of belonging to the Yeren, but there has been no
conclusive proof, the report added.

Witnesses describe a creature that walks upright, is more than 2 meters (6 ft 7
in) tall and with grey, red or black hair all over its body, Xinhua
said.

Now the Hubei Wild Man Research Association is looking for volunteers from around the world to
join them on another expedition to look for the Yeren.

"We want the team members to be devoted, as there will be a lot a hard work
in the process," Luo Baosheng, vice president of the group, told
Xinhua.

How to pay for your Fortean property portfolio

Ok, I've posted a number of Fortean relevant properties on this blog but I hear you asking how can you possibly afford them?  Well you could get a Fortean themed job, for example

Psychology: Postgraduate Research Assistant

Applications are invited for a 33 month part-time (20 hours per week) Postgraduate Research Assistant to
contribute to a Perrott-Warrick-funded project that has been awarded to Dr
Caroline Watt to investigate psychology of precognitive dream experiences. The
post will be based with Dr Watt in the Koestler Parapsychology Unit, Department
of Psychology within the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
at the University of Edinburgh

The ideal candidate will have a good first degree in Psychology or a related subject, possess experience of
conducting studies in parapsychology/anomalistic psychology and have experience
in recruiting study participants.   The candidate should possess excellent time
management skills, first-rate oral and written communication and interpersonal
skills.  In addition they should have solid IT skills, including experience of
statistical packages and manipulating large datasets.

Interviews will be held on 1 November 2010. The start date is 1 January 2011.  The appointment will
be made on a fixed-term basis until 31 September 2013.

Salary Scale:
£25,001 - £28,983 (pro-rata)

Further details at

http://www.jobs.ed.ac.uk/vacancies/index.cfm?fuseaction=vacancies.detail&vacancy_ref=3013411

or if you don't fancy that there's always  Germany

http://www.igpp.de/english/eap/download/hiwi-ausschreibung-sept2010.pdf

Latest for the Fortean Property Portfolio

The latest house for the Fortean looking to extend their property portfolio is the allegedly haunted Wymering Manor at Portsmouth, UK.

It's being sold at auction by Andrews and Robertson on the 21st of September with a guide price of £375, 000.

For this you get a seventeenth century building with ten bedrooms and four reception rooms.  For the past 40 or so years it has been used as a Youth Hostel.  It has its own chapel and basement and apparently 20 different spooks!  CHartered surveyor Jeremy Lamb, quoted in The Daily Mail, said

"This is a property of some renown for being haunted, so there is a fair
chance a future owner may use it as a guest house because of the novelty
factor attached to it.
  It's certainly a unique selling point and not often that we offer a haunted house.  When
I surveyed it, the security guards told me they feel there is something
'fairly spooky' going on in the house and, though they patrol it on a
24-hour basis because it attracts lots of people who are intrigued by
its levels of paranormal activity, they refuse to work alone there at
night".

The full lot details can be viewed here and if you're succesful we'd love an invite!

Web Designer needed

Just a quick request - are you a web designer who would like to help out the CFI?  We're looking for someone to help us out on a redesign of the blogs pages and a few other web based pieces.

If you have the relevnat skills and are interested please drop a line charlesfortinstitute@gmail.com

Thanks

Gordon

 

 

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