Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Movie Forthcoming

Thanks, Russ, for letting me know!

Recently Seen 1900 Article on Rhode Island Libraries

Lovecraft loved libraries. You should be able to open up these by clicking them and expanding them to a new window. Lovecraft would have visited many of theselibraries in his lifetime, and one can feel the books and maybe even imagine Lovecraft perusing them, walking through their forboding foyers, alcoves, and stacks - his imagination soaring, his antiquarianism burning.




1900 THE LIBRARIES OF RHODE ISLAND Providence Pawtucket
Antique article entitled, THE LIBRARIES OF RHODE ISLAND. By Henry Robinson Palmer.
This interesting magazine article was removed from the June, 1900 issue of "New England Magazine." The article is 23 pages in length and has 28 illustrations.
The dimensions of each page of this magazine article are 6 1/2" X 9 1/2".

Monday, June 29, 2009

Classic Rock Group: H.P. Lovecraft And "The White Ship"

If you've never ehard the "White Ship" you can listen below and see why they rivaled, briefly, Jefferson Airplane and other Acid Rock groups.
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As you know, you can always search the blog for any past posts, but only the last 3 show on "the front page". This will also be permanently posted on "Lovecraft, Too".

Cthulhu-shaped Lightning Discovered

Beware!


Atmospheric scientist Oscar van der Velde (www.lightningwizard.com) captured this sprite, as it is called, in Barcelona, Spain on the night of June 5th. Sprites are brief flashes of colored light, lasting only 3 to 10 milliseconds, that happen high above powerful thunderstorms. First discovered in 1989, scientists are still unclear as to what causes the eerie phenomenon.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

China Mieville on HPL

Rhode Island Name Change?

What Would Lovecraft Think? (WWLT)




PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The country's smallest state has the longest official name: "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations."

A push to drop "Providence Plantations" from that name advanced farther than ever on Thursday when House lawmakers voted 70-3 to let residents decide whether their home should simply be called the "State of Rhode Island." It's an encouraging sign for those who believe the formal name conjures up images of slavery, while opponents argue it's an unnecessary rewriting of history that ignores Rhode Island's tradition of religious liberty and tolerance.

The bill permitting a statewide referendum on the issue next year now heads to the state Senate.

The state House has passed a bill that would place a question on next year’s ballot to cut “and Providence Plantations” from our state’s name.

Representative Jospeh Almeida has been pushing the bill for 12 years.

He explained, in a press release yesterday from the State House: “Rhode Island may have been on the right side of the Civil War, but it took this state a long time to decide that slavery wasn’t acceptable. In the meantime, plenty of money was made by Rhode Islanders who traded slaves or used them for work in their homes or on the plantation.”

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1909 Hoax, A Tillinghast, HPL, and Venus




Could this hoax be partially derived from the mania that ired Lovecraft's vehement disgust?

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Up for auction is a page that came from a January 19, 1910 Muskogee (Oklahoma) Times-Democrat newspaper that features a story about Wallace Tillinghast and his great airship hoax.

Tillinghast announced the creation of the first, "heavier-than-air" flying craft in 1909. He explained that he had done more than one hundred flights with this machine under the cover of darkness. Tillinghast stated that he began flying under cover of darkness two months prior to his announcement, his first flight being between Worcester, Massachusetts, and New York City, a distance of approximately 300 miles, where Tillinghast and his crew claimed to have circled the Statue of Liberty at 4,000 feet. At one point, the engines were said to have shut off, and the contraption glided through the air for forty-eight minutes while the mechanics made repairs. After which, they made their way back to Worcester, by way of a route taking them through Boston. Between December 12th, 1909, and February 1910, were filled with "sightings" of the air craft purportedly designed by Tillinghast and two unnamed mechanics. Tillinghast never offered his craft for public viewing or inspection, and the media grew more skeptical, explaining the sightings were most likely the planet Venus, or fire balloons


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In 1909 19 year old H.P. Lovecraft sent a letter to the editor of his local newspaper in Providence, RI) that I found quoted on a Lovecraft blog:

“To the editor …

The general ignorance of the public as regards … science … has been noted and deplored… while in the business section fo the city on Christmas Eve, about 6 P.M. the writer noticed excited groups of people on the street corners, and mystified individuals everywhere pointing to the western sky. … he beheld the planet Venus … the centre of attraction … it seems the general idea existed that the planet was nothing more than the searchlight from some airship ,,, the writer heard remarks as to the perect control to which the aeroplane must be subject … and estimates of its distance above the earth varying in a half mile to two miles. When apprised of their error, the gentlemen of the aforementioned group exhibited only mild surprise.” [2]

The reference is to:

2 Venus and the Public Eye, 26 Dec 1909, letter to the editor, Collected Essays, Vol. 3, Science, p. 99

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Chrispy had a slight correspondence back in 2007 on this matter. The reply was: Brett Holman on 12 February 2007 at 2:21 pm
Thanks for that, Nemo! You and HPL are on the money. I looked into the 1909 New England sightings some years ago, and most of them occurred in the evening, when people would see an airship with a searchlight flying about to the west of their location. The thing is, this same pattern repeats all over the area, in widely separated locations — nobody saw airships to the east of their town, or to the north or the south. That’s immediately suspicious. Now, to account for multiple near-simultaneous sightings from many distant places, you either need many nearby airships (which for some reason are only visible from one direction) or one really distant “airship”, which is what everyone is looking at. Finally, Venus was at nearly its maximum brightness in December 1909 (which is very bright indeed); was extremely prominent in the same direction and the same time as the reported airships; and (this is the clincher) yet nobody reported seeing both Venus and the airship at the same time! Therefore, all they saw was the good airship Venus.


The expert on these issues is no doubt Theo the incredible newspaper clipper, Fortean, Lovecraftian, and more I could report - who recently compiled his archives of early flying ship reports. Salute, Theo!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Diary of Capt. Samuel Tillinghast 1757-1766


The history of Charles Dexter Ward's misfortunes start their trajectory from the 1750's. 'Monday evening last, Mr. Joseph Curwen, of this Town, Merchant, was married to Miss Eliza Tillinghast, Daughter of Capt. Dutee Tillinghast, a young Lady who has real Merit, added to a beautiful Person, to grace the connubial State and perpetuate its Felicity.'

The Tillinghasts were real people from which HPL derived his fictional characters.

Author: C.F. Bamberg, Special Publication No. 3, R.I. Genealogical Society, 2000. Diary covers 1757-1766. 9.25 X 6", 481 pages including index. Book is red, lettering on front and spine, gold. No dj. Excellent condition. Author has taken what appears to be a rather boring, mundane diary of a man, Capt. Samuel Tillinghast of Warwick, R.I., and through extensive research, has made perfect sense of it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The 1284 Incident and Rats in the Walls

On this date (26 June) in 1284, it was said that the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Germany lured 130 children out of town, and they were never seen again. Lovecraft used a version of this story as a minor inspiration of his story, "Rats in the Walls". Specifically, S Baring-Gould’s Curious Myths of the Middle Ages (1869) and the "epic of the rats".

Another HPL-allusion Comic



OK before we get back into pure (and some might say dry) history of HPL, let's divert briefly to comics. As a kid, I grew up in the Silver Age and recall vividly getting my first Fantastic Four magazines and reading about a new chemist-student-character named Spiderman. Now, we see HPL becoming more comic centered.

Excerpt: First off, how can you NOT love a comic called Atomic Robo and the Shadow Beyond Time? Everything you need to know about this comic is sitting right there in the title. It’s got robots, horror, and just the right about of humor. Of course, the book itself is pretty good too, which is a good thing because people generally buy a comic for more than just its title. ... In this one, we follow Atomic Robo in 1920’s New York as he has to stop a Lovecraftian monster who has taken over the body of the actual H.P. Lovecraft.

more here, click.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nyarlathotep? Makes a New Appearance?

Screamingly sentient, dumbly delirious ... A sickened, sensitive shadow writhing in hands that are not hands, and whirled blindly past ghastly midnights of rotting creation, corpses of dead worlds ... charnel winds that brush the pallid stars and make them flicker low. Beyond the worlds vague ghosts of monstrous things ... that rest on nameless rocks beneath space and reach up to dizzy vacua above the spheres of light and darkness. And through this revolting graveyard of the universe the muffled, maddening beating of drums, and thin, monotonous whine of blasphemous flutes from inconceivable, unlighted chambers ... whose soul is Nyarlathotep. HPL, Nyarlathotep.
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This quick note. The illusion of a hand activates one's Lovecraftian imagination. The provenance is from Coast to Coast AM's site: Sunset 'Hand'; Sunset picture, taken in Palmer, Alaska, October 2008.

New HPL Game and other matters

Chrispy doesn't do a lot on games here. That's other people's blog-things. (See PS Mangus' blog click here) I tend to stick to historical and scientific nuances, but I know some people use my blog as a reference. Cool. In any event, I can't ignore Lovecraft in the 21st century. I even have labels for that purpose. You do use the "labels" for searching, right? :)



“The year is 1926, and it is the height of the Roaring 20s. Flappers dance till dawn in smokefilled speakeasies drinking alcohol supplied by rum runners and the mob. It’s the mother of all celebrations in the aftermath of the war to end all wars. Yet a dark shadow grows in the city of Arkham. Alien entities known as Ancient Ones lurk at the gates between worlds. Lots more here.

There's also this article:

How Lovecraft saved role-playing games
June 1, 8:30 AM

Excerpts:

Although some gamers may be familiar with Call of Cthulhu, many are unaware of the tremendous legacy the H.P. Lovecraft-inspired game bequeathed to the role-playing game industry.

Call of Cthulhu introduced a form of role-playing in the early 1980s that was unknown up to that point: investigation. Instead of just shooting up monsters and taking their stuff, investigators were encouraged to follow a trail of clues to help defeat the villain. These props became more and more elaborate, paving the way for live action role-playing games that use props in much the same way.

If it weren't for August Derleth and Chaosium's efforts, H.P. Lovecraft might well have fallen into obscurity. But thanks to Call of Cthulhu, the weird fiction of H.P. Lovecraft continues to influence role-playing games even today.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chris Landreth Mentions HPL

Audio feed of Fangoria's Blood Spattered Blog mentioning a new Lovecraft animated film. 7:15 into the interview it's mentioned for a minute or so. The interview cuts off abruptly for some reason at the end.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

College Avenue circa late 1890's




My best guess is that these are images of College Avenue. I'm uncertain which neighborhood this is from, but it give a flavor of Lovecraft's youth.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Craig Ferguson 6/1/09-E Late Late Show Guillermo del Toro: HPL Fans.



Craig Ferguson does his schtick and mentions HPL (though their mutual memories are not overly precise). FYI, I think they are recollecting (incorrectly) and conflating The Thing at the Top of the Stairs, (pm) Now We Are Sick, ed. Neil Gaiman & Stephen Jones, DreamHaven 1991 - with The Lurker at the Threshhold (Derleth) - with The Thing on the Doorstep (HPL 1933). It's television.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lovecraft and James Bond?

From Things that Don’t Go Away - The Summer Reading List by Sarah Zettel, this review: The Jennifer Morgue by Charlie Stross. Confession: I haven’t finished this one yet, but the beginning definitely made me sit up and take notice. The series itself is in a universe where James Bond meets HP Lovecraft (which you’ve got to love right there), but on the whole the writing is better and smoother than Ian Fleming or Lovecraft ever actually managed. I’d been hearing about these and picked this one up because I liked the title, and then read the opening, which was an utterly enthralling scene about deep sea drilling. If an author can pull that off, they are definitely worth a read.
I know very little else about this book, but HPL and James Bond? Not since C J Henderson's coupling of Kolchak and Cthulhu has there been something so intriguing.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Snake River 1880's: Precedent of The Colour Out of Space

Many know that The Colour Out of Space is filled with references of the eerie land and critters of Idaho as remembered by Lovecraft of his Grandfather's many stories. There may have also been pictures, but no doubt lost even in HPL's day. Interpreted through Lovecraft's wild imagination, here is how that blasted heath altered by the alien meteor and even more alien sentients may have appeared ...



Gold Dredge on the Snake River late 19th century (maybe 1880).
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A 1910 Sage Field in the Snake River Valley of Idaho.
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An Irrigation Facility about 1900. In the 1880's Lovecraft's Grandfathe had a company - The Owyhee Land and Irrigation Company - capitalizing on impending statehood.

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This card, confirmed to have been sent in 1909 of a scene taking years earlier, but still dating a generation after Lovecraft's Grandfather's dealings there. It gives a little flavor, thouhh, of the landscape.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Up Close and Personal with a "Colour Out of Space"


Yow!!
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Boy Hit by Meteorite
SPACE.com Space.com Staff
Fri Jun 12, 9:45 am ET

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A 14-year old German boy was hit in the hand by a pea-sized meteorite that scared the bejeezus out of him and left a scar.

"When it hit me it knocked me flying and then was still going fast enough to bury itself into the road," Gerrit Blank said in a newspaper account. Astronomers have analyzed the object and conclude it was indeed a natural object from space, The Telegraph reports.

Most meteors vaporize in the atmosphere, creating "shooting stars," and never reach the ground. The few that do are typically made mostly of metals. Stony space rocks, even if they are big as a car, will usually break apart or explode as they crash through the atmosphere.

There are a handful of reports of homes and cars being struck by meteorites, and many cases of space rocks streaking to the surface and being found later.

But human strikes are rare. There are no known instances of humans being killed by space rocks.

According to SPACE.com article on the topic a few years, back:


  • On November 30, 1954, Alabama housewife Ann Hodges was taking a nap on her couch when she was awakened by a 3-pound (1.4-kilogram) meteor that crashed through the roof of her house, bounced off a piece of furniture and struck her in the hip, causing a large bruise.
  • On October 9, 1992, a large fireball was seen streaking over the eastern United States, finally exploding into many pieces. In Peekskill, New York, one of the pieces struck a Chevrolet automobile owned by Michelle Knapp. Knapp was not in the car at the time.
  • On June 21, 1994, Jose Martin of Spain was driving with his wife near Madrid when a 3-pound (1.4-kilogram) meteor crashed through his windshield, bent the steering wheel and ended up in the back seat.
  • In 2004, a 2,000-pound space rock bigger than a refrigerator exploded in the late-night sky over Chicago, producing a large flash and a sound resembling a detonation that woke people up. Fragments rained down on that wild Chicago night, and many were collected by residents in a northern suburb.


-What would Lovecraft Have Said??

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Click image to expand.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Innsmouthian Embryos?


Sky 'rains tadpoles' over Japan
The sky has been raining tadpoles over a coastal region in Japan, according to reports
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By Danielle Demetriou in Tokyo
Published: 5:36AM BST 10 Jun 2009
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Residents, officials and scientists have been baffled by the apparent downpour of tadpoles in central Japan's Ishikawa Prefecture. Clouds of dead tadpoles appear to have fallen from the sky in a series of episodes in a number of cities in the region since the start of the month.

In one incident, a 55-year-old man who was caught in a tadpole downpour described hearing a strange sound in the parking lot of a civic centre in the city of Nanao. Upon further exploration, he found more than 100 dead tadpoles covering the windshields of cars in an area measuring 10 square metres. Dead tadpole downpours were also reported by local officials 48 hours later in the city of Hakusan in the same prefecture.

Scientists have widely attributed the surreal raining of animals to strong winds, storms and water sprouts sucking up creatures before depositing them further inland. However, this explanation has not satisfied meteorologists in the Ishikawa region.

Officials at Kanazawa Local Meteorological Observatory told local media that they were unsure how the tadpoles had arrived as there had been no reports of strong winds at the time.

Another scientific explanation for raining animals relates to birds carrying the small creatures before dropping them as they fly overland. However, dismissing this theory, a researcher at the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology in Abiko told Kyodo news: "Crows eat tadpoles but if these were spat out (by the birds), a wider area should have been covered."

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Deep in a secluded laboratory, heinous minions with batrachian faces hunched over flashing screens and turned dials with webbed hands.

"Our plan has begun. The Ishikawa Prefecture has been infected. Shall we proceed to the enxt level?"

The lead scientist's tongue lolled for a moment, then nodded approval.

"Pro-c-c-c-eed." The repulsive thing lisped.

:)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

- Only a Few Blocks From Lovecraft -



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Oh, how well HPL would have known this street and history.
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Call of Cthulhu: The writing accompanying this oddity was, aside from a stack of press cuttings, in Professor Angell's most recent hand; and made no pretense to literary style. ...///... Professor Angell's instant start on an investigation of the utmost thoroughness was eminently natural ...///...
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Angell's Lane
A History of a Little Street in Providence
by George Leland Miner
First Edition
This rare book measures 6 3/8" x 9 7/8" and has 198 pages with 35 pages of Appendices in the back. It has rust colored boards and illustrated end papers showing Thames Street in 1932 by Helen Mason Grose.
The book was published in 1948 by the Akerman-Standard Press of Providence, Rhode Island. There is also a copyright of 1948 by the author, George Leland Miner.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Betelgeuse & Lovecraft (Real Life Lovecraftian Science)


(Above) Constellation containing Betegeuse.
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(Above) Image of the Red Star
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“Good luck with Hastur—but don’t use any word sounding like ‘Betelgeuse’ to represent a primal name of that distant sun (or to represent the name used by the denizens of any of its hypothetical planets) since this name is an Arabic product of the Middle Ages, and signifies ‘the armpit (or shoulder) of the giant (or central one)’—Ibn at Jauzah—Orion having been known as Al Jauzah to the astronomers of the Saracenic Caliphate—who did so much to advance the science.” (to August Derleth, 30 January 1933)
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Chrispy does not typically follow the intricacies of the modern Mythos games, but in this case it's notable to know that: The ancient battleground in which the Elder Gods and the Great Old Ones fought their apocalyptic and unfathomable war, the system of Betelgeuse – rendered “Glyu-Uho” in Naacal – contains innumerable worlds pocked with the scabrous remnants of ancient and often non-Euclidean cities scarred with the uncanny wounds of primordial conflict. The principle inhabited world of the Betelgeuse System is Yarnak, a shattered world rebuilt by initially optimistic if perhaps foolhardy settlers. /// August Derleth and Mark Schorer’s “The Lair of the Star-Spawn” (published in the February 1932 issue of Weird Tales) mentions the “Great Old Ones” - but as the beings from Betelgeuse and Rigel who imprisoned Cthulhu and his kindred!

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11 June 2009

Bye-bye, Betelgeuse?

The nearby, well-known and very bright star may soon explode in a supernova, according to data released by U.C. Berkeley researchers Tuesday.

The red giant Betelgeuse, once so large it would reach out to Jupiter's orbit if placed in our own solar system, has shrunk by 15 percent over the past decade in a half, although it's just as bright as it's ever been.

"To see this change is very striking," said retired Berkeley physics professor Charles Townes, who won the 1964 Nobel Prize for inventing the laser. "We will be watching it carefully over the next few years to see if it will keep contracting or will go back up in size."

Betelgeuse, whose name derives from Arabic, is easily visible in the constellation Orion. It gave Michael Keaton's character his name in the movie "Beetlejuice" and was the home system of Galactic President Zaphod Beeblebrox in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Great Frog of India: An Innsmouthian Cousin?


By VIRGINIA WHEELER

Published: click

A FROG that constantly changes colour is being worshipped as a GOD in India.
Hundreds of curious followers flock to Reji Kumar’s home every day to pray and ask for miracles.

Now one of the country’s top zoologists plans to study the rainbow frog. But Reji, 35, who keeps the creature in a glass bottle after finding it while out watering plants, is afraid it might CROAK first.

He said: “My one problem is that this frog does not appear to eat. I keep trying to feed it but it doesn’t eat anything. I don’t know what else to give it.”

The frog was a dazzling WHITE colour when Reji, from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, first spotted it.

Then it changed to YELLOW and had gone GREY by the time he got it home.

Lift worker Reji added: “By night the frog was dark yellow, and then it became transparent so you could see its internal organs.

"It seemed like a miracle to me that this frog had so many different coats. So now people come to see him and pray to him.”

Professor Oommen V. Oommen from India’s Kerala University, said it was not uncommon for animals to change colour.

He explained: “Frogs do change colour to scare away predators.

“But from what I have heard, the frog at Kumar’s place changes colour so frequently it is a bit unusual. I will collect it for study.”

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Order of the Old Ones: Music


"... and The Old Ones shall be." H.P.Lovecraft

Prague,
Czech Republic

Go there now - click.

About The Old Ones
"The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, they walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen. Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They had trod earth's fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread. By Their smell can men sometimes know Them near, but of Their semblance can no man know, saving only in the features of those They have begotten on mankind; and of those are there many sorts, differing in likeness from man's truest eidolon to that shape without sight or substance which is Them. They walk unseen and foul in lonely places where the Words have been spoken and the Rites howled through at their Seasons. The wind gibbers with Their voices, and the earth mutters with Their consciousness. They bend the forest and crush the city, yet may not forest or city behold the hand that smites. Kadath in the cold waste hath known Them, and what man knows Kadath? The ice desert of the South and the sunken isles of Ocean hold stones whereon Their seal is engraver, but who bath seen the deep frozen city or the sealed tower long garlanded with seaweed and barnacles? Great Cthulhu is Their cousin, yet can he spy Them only dimly. IƤ! Shub-Niggurath! As a foulness shall ye know Them. Their hand is at your throats, yet ye see Them not; and Their habitation is even one with your guarded threshold. Yog-Sothoth is the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet. Man rules now where They ruled once; They shall soon rule where man rules now. After summer is winter, after winter summer. They wait patient and potent, for here shall They reign again."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Craig Ferguson Loves Lovecraft?

Excerpt from a blurb: Ferguson, compulsively honest, implicitly acknowledged the ratings challenge Fallon has posed since his premiere. But, Ferguson also being compulsively pugnacious (well, not really, but I like the way those two words sound together), said, "I hereby challenge Jimmy Fallon to naked on-air wrestling."

All this, plus an excellent interview with cuddly, smart, scary-film-maker-turned-novelist Guillermo del Toro, promoting his horror novel The Strain. They bonded over a mutual love of H.P. Lovecraft. (I ask you: Does any other late-night host even know who Lovecraft was?) Del Toro said his book answers the question, "What happens to a vampire's genitals?"

70,000 th read

Yay!
Thank YOU for reading.

A Tillinghast document surfaces




No doubt, Lovecraft was fixated on the Tillinghast name. Here are some brieft excerpts, and a real life Tillinghast document. Looking at it, and others like it, one quickly sees the leap of weird imagination that Lovecraft employed. It's an innocent clerical document, but HPL would have churned some insidious plot of madness from it's faded ink.
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Ward's great-great-grandfather Welcome Potter had in 1785 married a certain 'Ann Tillinghast, daughter of Mrs. Eliza, daughter to Capt. James Tillinghast,' of whose paternity the family had preserved no trace. - The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
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Horrible beyond conception was the change which had taken place in my best friend, Crawford Tillinghast. - From Beyond
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... the swarthy Etienne Roulet, less apt at agriculture than at reading queer books and drawing queer diagrams, was given a clerical post in the warehouse at Pardon Tillinghast's wharf, far south in Town Street. - The Shunned House
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Description: An original large printed and manuscript completed document dated June 8, 1797 transfering property in Providence, Rhode Island, from Silas Covell and his wife Rebeckah of Troy, New York to Squire Thurber of Providence. The property in question located in area of Constitution and Benefit Streets, near what is today Brown University. Also attestation of Rebeckah that she agrees to surrender the Right of Dower and Power of Thirds to which she is entitled to allow this transfer to occur, witnessed by Justice Thomas Sickels. A fine example of a property transfer from a day when women and wives had few legal rights. Notice of recording by Providence Town Clerk George Tillinghast. Size 13 x 16

Tillinghast's signature is seen in bold script in the bootom right of one page above.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lovecraft, Whipples, and the Fenners?


Serendipity. On the ebayeum was this scrap of Revolutionary paper, an ordinary shop keeping document of rent. It may be of Arthur Fenner. (?)

The description is thus: 1783-1784, Receipt for the Rental of a Shop, [Providence, RI.], Fine. // Manuscript Document Signed "A Fenner Jr." on fine-laid paper, 6" x 8", doublesided. Sheet with worn edges and edge splits along folds. Being a receipt for rent of a shop: "Rec'd of Mr. John Howland six Pounds Nineteen Shillings and six pence being in full for the Rent of my Shop to the twenty sixth Day of May one thousand seven hundred and Eighty three after deducting my Father's Sharing and Mine to that Date..." and extending up through the 26th of August, 1783. The rental is extended on the reverse, through different incremental dates: March, June, and August of 1784, along with three more signatures by Fenner. Interesting war-date document, which reflects how ongoing business was conducted during the American Revolution. Of interest to historians: Is it possible that this signature is by Arthur Fenner (1745-1805) who was the father of James Fenner (1771-1846)—who served as governor of Rhode Island.

Forward to this Whipple site (click) and it reads that there were several branches of the Whipple tree, of which HPL was one descendent.

Most present-day Whipples are probably descendants of immigrants to colonial America from England in the early 1600s. At least two groups of Whipples settled in America at that time. One is represented by Captain John Whipple, who settled in Providence, Rhode Island, after living for a period of time in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The other group is represented by John and Matthew Whipple (sons of Matthew "the Elder" Whipple), who migrated from Bocking, Essex, England, and settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

And therefore we read: Arthur Fenner, Jr. Governor of Rhode Island, 1789-1805. ///James Fenner Elected as U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, he served from March 4, 1805, to September 1807, when he resigned to become Governor of Rhode Island 1807-1811, 1824-1831, 1843-1845. He was presidential elector, 1821 and 1837; and president of the Rhode Island constitutional convention, 1842.

And of course, our hero: H.P. (Howard Phillips) Lovecraft Writer of "wierd fiction."

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Of course, it would be a lot more fun for us had the document read something like:

Rec'd of Mr. John Howland six Pounds Nineteen Shillings and six pence being in full for the Rent of my Shop for storage to the twenty sixth Day of May one thousand seven hundred and Eighty three by Mr. Arthur Fenner for the storage of various and arcane sundries of (widow, now the late), Mrs. Tillinghast, diaries of one E. Smith, implements of one Ezra W., and remnants of former ship Gaspee's hold. Should J. H. not renew, three shillings extra paid to insure that contents not to be auctioned to anyone named or related to Curwen.

:)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lovecraft's Centennial



A guidebook.
This guide book gave a schedule of events for Lovecraft's birthday centennial in August, 1990 Providence, R.I. It contains: Walking tour map of Lovecraft's East Side, Interview with horror writer Robert Bloch, The Horror Mastery of H.P.Lovecraft by Ramsey Campbell, H.P.L's Two World's of Providence by James Anderson, Lovecraft's New England: Haunted Backwaters by Will Murray, Lovecraft's Critical Reputation by Peter Cannon, The Lovecraft Mythos and Monsters by Robert M. Price, Another History of the Necronomicon by Stephen C.G. Olbrys, H.P.Lovecraft Commemorative Stamp Cancellation, Preview: "The Transition of Ulrich Zahn" & "Bride of Re-Animator", At Lovecraft's Grave poetry by Brett Rutherford, and The Things we do for Lovecraft by Jon B. Cooke.

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About the same time, Robert Weinberg and Martin Greenberg were associated with "Lovecraft's Legacy" : 13 stories by F. Paul Wilson, Brian Lumley, Gene Wolf, and Gahan Wilson. Robert Bloch did the Introduction.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

What Would Lovecraft Have Thought?

1913 EARLY Urban Renewal MODERNIZING Providence RI (HPL would have been about 23)





ORIGINAL ARTICLE (from 1913 Magazine)// PROVIDENCE HISTORY - written in 1913 - filled with historic facts, details and descriptions // The Illustrations shown here are:
*One of the older East Side Streets - "It gives one a soothing impression of by-gone generations of comfort and refinement, rather than smart young affluence...."
*Corner of South Main and James Streets - "It has beautiful interior finishings of Colonial days.....
*Corner of Benefit and College Streets
*Diagrams - "Development of the Rhode Island Plan 1636-1800...."

Monday, June 08, 2009

This day In Lovecraftiana





Lovecraft visited Myrta Alice Little (Hampstead, NH) on this date - 8 June 1921 and visted "Tryout" Smith in Haverhill.

A recent auction on ebay showed this information about a resident one "Tristam Little" who must, by at least coincidence, be associated with Ms. Little. The "Little" clan was well established and numerous in the town. I have also posted some postcards from the early 20th century of the community.

Tristram Little photograph and family papers. He was a resident of Hampstead, New Hampshire, and later Westville, New Hampshire. This lot consists of an identified photograph of Mr. Little in advanced old age, a postal cover postmarked in 1898 addressed to him, another cover postmarked in 1892 addressed to his wife, and a third cover with and autograph letter sent by his grandaughter in 1908. The letter is six pages, only the first of which is shown in the scan. I have other Little family lots on e-bay, including a document signed by Moses Little in 1825, believed to be the father of Tristram. We are full time autograph and document dealers registered with the UACC (#036), and members of the Manuscript Society. Optional insurance is available at my cost for US deliveries only. Payments must be by Pay Pal . We regret that we cannot be responsible for loss or damage on uninsured lots. (458C)
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Ms. Little is mentioned (click here)
in 1913 // Year Book of the Brothers of the Book. [Chicago] and (click here) in the Memorial of the Town of Hampstead, NH, as of June 1902 member (#758)of the Congregational Church. On p. 130 she was listed as the Secretary and Treasurer of 1902, and a "pupil" of Miss Hoyt's class. {Tristam - above - is listed as an 1860 member of note}.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Lamarck and Lovecraft

As followers know, I believe that Lovecraft was profoundly affected by knowing Brown University professors personally as a youth. Upton (astronomy) and Appleton (chemistry) are well known, and I believe he also knew or certainly knew of the famous Alphaeus Spring Packard, Jr. who died in 1905 the same year Lovecraft wrote The Beast in the Cave. Packard was a leading Neo-Lamarckian biologist whose specialty was Mammoth Cave, Ky. Neo-Lamarckianism was contra Darwinsim, and later discredited. However, it was not eradicated. The Rats in the Walls carried forth the juvenile ideas of "Beast" as did Arthur Jermyn. In a weird tale, he tried to show that "taints" could cause reverse evolution, or devolution.

At the 200th birthay of Darwin, Lamarckianism is still alive in some dark corners as seen in Science News letters of 9 May 2009. Excerpts (you will need a subscription to access the entire leters)
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Don’t dismiss Lamarck
Your ... special birthday edition on Darwin ... was excellent, but I believe that science has allowed Jean-Baptiste Lamarck’s contributions to be overshadowed by Darwin’s. The change that can occur to an organism’s genetic makeup during its own lifetime harks away from Darwin’s slow evolutionary process by chance mutations and argues toward Lamarck’s heritable changes within a lifetime.
... Austin, Texas

... I predict that in 20 years ... the new most influential biologist will be Lamarck. The turning point was the Human Genome Project. It is now becoming clear that a type of formative causation may be real, in spite of the fact that most biologists still gag on the word. ... Pueblo West, Colo.

Lamarck did argue that traits acquired during an organism’s lifetime could be inherited, a notion almost universally accepted in his day. Since then, the term “Lamarckian inheritance” has been applied to several mechanisms, including some far from his original ideas. Many of his ideas have been largely discredited. Yet, the late Stephen Jay Gould wrote eloquently about Lamarck, calling him a fine scientist, and Darwin himself acknowledged Lamarck’s contributions to science. Scientists today do agree that inheritance is messier than previously realized and that it involves more than genes. For example, epigenetic changes to the way DNA is tagged or packaged — triggered by environmental factors such as stress or diet — may be inherited. But the various kinds of inheritance have themselves evolved through Darwinian natural selection, which does not require that selection be based only on genetics . — {editor}

p.30, Science News, 9 May 2009,

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Cat Falls 26 Stories:


Lovecraft loved cats and I believe he would have smiled at the survival of this member of the Kappa Alpha Tau tribe.



The unbelievable tale of a cat named Lucky -- who fell 26 stories and survived -- doesn't quite prove the myth but it comes pretty close.

In early May, Keri Hostetler was readying her lower Manhattan apartment for guests who were coming to visit. She cracked the window of her home office a few inches -- something she "never, ever did" -- just to air the place out. She left the door to the room ajar and got to work on her laundry.

Her beloved cat Lucky, a 3-year-old gray-and-black striped male who Hostetler describes as "a lover and a hugger" was wandering around the apartment. Or so Hostetler thought.

"I came back up from doing laundry and saw that the room where the window was open -- the door was open," she told "Good Morning America Weekend Edition." "I rushed in to the window and saw the window washers kind of waving for me."

Meanwhile, across the street, two men were on scaffolding, caulking windows more than 30 stories up, when one of them spotted Lucky on a narrow ledge just across the way.

"The cat was on the ledge and we saw it trying to turn a corner. But there was no ledge for him to step on," said John Hayes, the eagle-eyed worker. "My partner told me to get my camera, so I did."

Lucky fell 26 stories before landing on a cement balcony below. Hayes was able to snap three photos: Lucky on the ledge, Lucky in midair, and Lucky's landing.

Back in the apartment, Keri noticed the door was open and the cat was missing.

"I ran around the apartment screaming for him," she said. "And then I saw the window and I knew what had happened."

When she went to the window, she saw Hayes signaling her, letting her know that the cat had indeed taken a great fall.

"I didn't know if it was dead or alive," Hayes said. "I found him curled up in a grill cover on the sixth floor."

For Hostetler, who has had Lucky from the time he was a kitten, it was an emotional day.

"It was the worst day," she said. "If you have children, I imagine that that relationship is somewhat similar for mine for a pet since I don't have kids yet. He's awesome. And he's been with us. He goes with us on trips. He flies to see our families, so it was devastating, at first."

Lucky was rushed to a veterinary hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries -- a broken toe and a broken lower jaw.

"That's the miraculous thing about Lucky," Hostetler told "GMA." "He has been [lucky] since we got him."

At the scene of the accident, Hayes mentioned to Hostetler that he'd taken some pictures of the cat's plunge. Hostetler thanked him repeatedly for keeping a sharp eye out for her cat and waving to her so she knew that he'd fallen.

Chrispy's Back

I'm back, reading all your emails and answering as fast as I can. If you had suggestions for the blog, I'll add them soon as I queue them up if at all possible.

Thanks for reading.

In my personal writing life, I have a new introduction in Andersen Prunty's Limited Edition "Market Adjustments" detailing my understanding of what bizarro fiction is. You can locate it at "The Horror Mall". I'm also working on a new project, details hopefully in a few months.

Back to HPLblog ... There is a total reads feature above. Onward to the 70,000-th read. Will it be YOU?

1986 Dutch Magazine


[011786] Leeuwen, Johan Van (Ed.). Koekrant # 74. Amsterdam: 1986. First Edition. 19.5 x 28 Cm.. Magazine. Good. Important Dutch punk magazine. Important Dutch punk magazine. Cover by Heer Peejee; Seething Wells; Charles Baudelaire; Anarcho Syndicalism; War and multinationals II; Indians commune; Gore; H.P. Lovecraft; Goudvishal Arnhem; Hedon in Zwolle; Special 6 pp. on hard core in Poland. 52 pp. Stain at the lower right-hand corner of a number of pages. Language: Dutch.
Unfortunately, Chrispy knows nothing of the contents, so uncertain if "HP Lovecraft" is the man or the musical group.

Friday, June 05, 2009

At The Mountains of Madness: Real Life




Origin of Antarctic ice revealed
By Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC News


Incredible peaks and valleys, buried beneath ice for 14 million years, have revealed evidence of how the East Antarctic ice sheet first formed.

Scientists used radar to map an area of the Gamburtsev mountains - believed to be the point of origin of the ice.

The region would have been cold enough for the first glacier to form.

Writing in the journal Nature, the researchers say their findings provide important clues about how the ice sheet will behave as our climate changes.

"This is the largest reservoir of ice on Earth, and the most poorly understood place on our planet," said the British Antarctic Survey's Fausto Ferraccioli, a scientist involved in a separate international project to study the region.

He explained that the elevation and location of the Gamburtsev Mountains - in the centre of the ice sheet - made them an "ideal place" for the formation of the very first ice.

Icy unknown

Sun Bo from the Polar Research Institute of China, who led this study, has now provided further insight into the evolution of the ice sheet.

He and his colleagues travelled 1,235km (767 miles) by tractor train from a research station at the edge of East Antarctica, to the summit of Dome A of the Gamburtsev range, near the centre.

Their radar revealed a landscape that, 14 million years ago, looked similar to the European Alps.

"This is true scientific exploration," said Martin Siegert, head of the school of geosciences at Edinburgh University, who was also involved in the study.

"There's nothing to guide you really. Peering down at the ice sheet beneath your feet, you just don't know what's under there."

And for this type of exploration, the use of radio waves is very powerful.

When the waves reach the interface between ice and rock they bounce back, because of the difference in electrical properties between the two.

"You just measure the two-way travel time as they go down and come back up again," explained Dr Siegert. "Then you can convert that to ice thickness, because you know the velocity at which [the radio waves] are travelling."

Dr Siegert said the research team was "very lucky" to see such a clear image of the underlying landscape. They discovered a whole valley system - with mountains at the edge of the survey region and the valley in the middle.

"That's perfect, because it allows us to work out how the valley would have worked when it was filled with ice, and how the water would have flowed when there was no ice there at all," said Dr Siegert.

Frozen in time

By looking at ancient climate patterns, scientists have previously estimated that the East Antarctic ice sheet formed around 14 million years ago, burying and preserving the Gamburtsev mountain landscape under ice that is now up to 3km thick.

"You need a mean annual temperature of about 3C for the glaciers to form the way they did," Dr Siegert told BBC News.

"The mean annual temperature in this region now is -60 C. So we believe that these mountains are relics of [glacial erosion] in Antarctica before the ice sheet was in place."

He added that the findings provided an insight into the stability of the ice.

Antarctica's landscape was mountainous before the ice formed
"It is a critical part of our Earth's system," said Dr Ferraccioli. "If the whole ice sheet collapsed, sea levels would rise by 60m.

"There's been a lot of climate change over the last 14 million years," Dr Siegert said. "And what we can say about this place in the middle of the Antarctic is that nothing has changed."

But, he warned, if levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide continued to rise, in around 1,000 years they will approach the same levels that existed "before there was a persistent ice sheet in Antarctica".

"This puts the ice sheet into the context of global climate and what conditions are needed to grow an ice sheet," explained Dr Siegert. "The worrying thing is that we seem to be going back to carbon dioxide concentrations consistent with there being a lot less ice around."

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