Sunday, January 31, 2010

1918 Newport, RI Mercury News Weekly

1918 Newport,RI Mercury News Weekly (30 Nov 1918 prominently noted)

It was political season as can be seen. [To Kleiner, 25 Nov 1918] "In the recent political campaign, the greatest heat was engendered by the attempt of George F. O'Shaunessy, an Irish Wlson-Democratic congressman, formerly of the New York Tammany machine ... to defeat for reelection Senator Le Baron Bradford Colt, a statesman of honourable distinction, & a Rhode-Island Republican gentleman of ancient ancestry. O'Shaunessy based his campaign on lies; claiming that he has voted to increase soldiers' pay, when in fact he had voted against the increase. ... "

Colt is featured in a reelection ad in the top right hand corner.

When recording facts, Lovecraft continues to be trustworthy - though one must be suspicious of interpretation as he "spins" the information. Lovecraft would be quite prejudiced against any Irish based candidate, and he seemed consistent with the Republican party for many decades.

As often as possible, we will attempt to back up or call HPL on his "facts" as Chrispy finds Ebayeum items - or other items - and able to post them.

Enjoy looking at the fashions of the time, too.

Oh if I had an extra $75! (The starting bid for this collection of newspapers).


Additional found on "Da Google":
1918 Nov 5: LeBaron B. Colt (Rep), elected; George F. O'Shaunessy (Dem), defeated; Frederick W. A. Hurst (Socialist), defeated.

LeBaron Bradford Colt(Incumbent) 42,055 51.76%
George F. O'Shaunessy 37,573 46.24%
Frederick W. Hunt 1,623 2.00%
NY Times blurb:
FAVORS COLT'S OPPONENT.; President Wilson Backs O'Shaunessy for Rhode Island Senator.
Nov 2, 1918, Saturday
Page 7, 146 words

History of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical
NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920

GEORGE FRANCIS O'SHAUNESSY -- Representative in Congress from Rhode Island in the Sixty-second, Sixty-third, Sixty-fourth, and Sixty-fifth Congresses, Mr. O'Shaunessy returned to private life, March 4, 1919, and to his practice as senior member of the law firm of O'Shaunessy, Gainer & Carr, of Providence, R. I. Mr. O'Shaunessy came to Rhode Island after a busy and useful career in his profession in New York City and State and from participation in political activity in Brooklyn and New York. And in Providence, his home and the scene of his professional practice since 1907, he holds equally honorable and important place, having rendered to his city and the State of his adoption public service of value and devotion. Mr. O'Shaunessy is a son of Stephen and Margaret (Flynn) O'Shaunessy, and was born in Galway, Ireland, May 1, 1868, being brought to the United States by his parents when a child of four years of age. more at ...

LeBaron Bradford Colt (1845-1924) was the older brother of Samuel P. Colt and a prominent lawyer and politician. He preceded his brother Samuel as a graduate of Columbia Law School in 1870 and succeeded him as a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives from Bristol when Samuel was appointed Assistant Attorney General in 1879. LeBaron was appointed a federal judge by President William Garfield in 1881 and served on the bench as a District Court and Appeals Court judge until 1912. He won election to the U.S. Senate from Rhode Island in 1912, a position for which his brother Samuel had run unsuccessfully in 1906 and 1907. He was re-elected in 1918. LeBaron Bradford Colt died in 1924. An extensive obituary was written for the (Providence) Evening Bulletin, August 18, 1924.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Potential Source of HPL's Lectures?

Of course HPl was only a few months old when this paper was printd, but as the years progressed it seems apparent that Brown University hosted numerous public lectures.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Biggest and Brightest Full Moon of 2010 Tonight

Natheless at the next full moon I boarded the White Ship, and with the reluctant bearded man left the happy harbour for untravelled seas... The White Ship, HP Lovecraft

Tonight it will be about 14 percent wider and 30 percent brighter!
Howl if you see it!
Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922

1893 Nararangasett

Lovecraft was 3 years old - his father had already been ill. (In 1893 he began having hallucinations while in Chicago on business, and on 25 April he was admitted to Butler Hospital in Providence.)

This is a typical beach scene during that year.

The Illustrated American (NY, NY) dated Sept 2, 1893.

This has a full page poster-like display with 9 photos showing people in bathing suits circa 1893 at NARRAGANSET PIER BEACH, Rhode Island.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

In the Vault: The Case of the Living-Dead Beekeeper

"... he was reduced to a profane fumbling ... among the long boxes .... In this funereal twilight he rattled the rusty handles, ... and ... began to realise the truth and to shout loudly ...", In the Vault, HP Lovecraft


In a freak bee sting accident, a Polish beekeeper was pronounced dead – until he awoke in his own coffin !

Doctors pronounced 76-year-old Jozef Guzy DEAD when he fell unconscious after he was stung by a bee in southern Poland. Jozef was packed into a coffin and driven to his local undertakers. His wife asked for his personal possessions, and the undertaker closed the lid. Somehow jarred, Jozef awoke and started shouting and banging on the closed coffin lid.

A forgiving, kind soul Jozef said, "The undertaker saved my life. The first thing I did when I got out of hospital was take him a pot of honey."


I, Cthulhu

I, Cthulhu, or, What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47° 9' S, Longitude 126° 43' W)? by Neil Gaiman

Free Read Here (click)

Harper's Young People Series

After all this time, I finally located a blurb on Harper's Young People Series! It was at the back of the book, "Snow-Shoes and Sledges", Kirk Munroe.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More On Aliens

If you're a Coast to Coast AM conspiracy buff like Chrispy, you know that "disclosure" may be coming soon. George Noory rocks! :)

However, when Paul Davies speaks we should probably perk up and listen. Doubtful that Dr. Davies is a Lovecraft fan, but maybe we should listen?


Paul Davies, an award-winning Arizona State University physicist known for his popular science writing said Tuesday that life may have developed on Earth not once but several times. Davies said the variant life forms - most likely tiny microbes - could still be hanging around "right under or noses - or even in our noses."

"How do we know all life on earth descended from a single origin?" he told a conference at London's prestigious Royal Society, which serves as Britain's academy of sciences. "We've just scratched the surface of the microbial world."


Stay tuned for more breaking alien news as it comes into the press room. :)

1906 Ship in Harbor from Banigan Building

1906 Ship in Harbor from Banigan Building
A rare image of the harbor area.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More on Aliens

From a just published article. "The face of first contact: What aliens look like"
Summary of article:

Note that the lead off phrase is typically Lovecraftian showing how permeated our society has become with the Mythos.

TENTACLED monsters? … nobody knows what features we will behold if and when humans and aliens come face-to-face. Or face to squirmy something. Despite this lack of hard evidence, a blend of astronomy and earthly biology offers some clues to what is out there.

If first contact turns out to be within our solar system, then … we have some prior knowledge about the available habitats. … The subsoil of Mars may be warm enough to host microbes akin to Earth's bacteria, … there could be larger beasts swimming in the watery oceans of some outer moons of the solar system - especially Jupiter's moon Europa. …{a} chance that a deep aquatic ocean lies beneath Europa's ice.

… the energy supplied by … vents could feed a large population of microbes, which in turn could support a pyramid of predators. Europa's top predator, the equivalent of our great white shark, would be a fearsome creature with a mass … about 1 gram. … a shrimp-sized organism … {or a} hypothetical ice worm.

The clouds of Venus … pretty destructive to bags of water like ourselves … could {host} acid-dwellers … formed of … flexible polymers. … On Saturn's moon Titan … chilled hydrocarbon cocktail of ethane and methane … might {harbor} bigger {life} the surface tension in a methane-ethane blend is much lower, so … {maybe} boulder-sized microbes moving over the surface and guzzling up hydrocarbons. At around 93 kelvin, … The lifetime of such an organism may be 10,000 years, or perhaps as much as a million."

{Greater organisms} might even have hands .. maybe it's an antenna, maybe a tentacle …maybe an octopus would look at us and think 'How can you expect this organism to develop technology with its two clumsy front limbs?'"

S T Joshi's (Real) Web Site

Chrispy is sorry, but he posted the OLD web site, not the new one a few days ago. Let's try this again !

The link is: (or click on the title above).

... This site offers a comprehensive view of S. T. Joshi, including an autobiography, a full bibliography of his published writings, photographs of Joshi and his family, discussions of Joshi's works in progress, and links to publishers and related sites. ...

Carter Library Brown University

c. 1907 Carter Library Brown University Providence, RI

Perhaps the 17 year old Lovecraft used this library?

Monday, January 25, 2010

1934 HPL Post Card at Auction

This just in (and I will keep it pinned o the top of the page for a while, too)
Hey Chris,

We have another Lovecraft but this one should go much cheaper.


ALS signed “H. P.,” on the correspondence side of a 3.5 x 5.5 picture postcard of the Providence County Court House, no date, but postmarked August 4, 1934. Postcard to Howard Wandrei in New York.

In full: “Hail Spawner of Daemons! Am harboring a guest of honor whom I believe you are not unacquainted. Have just produced an ice-cream famine at Maxfields & a general famine at Jakes (has Donald told you about these centers of…) & now absorbing scenic impressions. Now by the shore at Buttonwoods. Hope you’ll get over to these parts before you flash away towards the sunset!” Also signed at the conclusion, “Greetings out of the dark from the unknown, but not malefic. James Morton.” In fine condition. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RRAuction COA.

S T Joshi Site Revived !

A must for every Lovecraftian!

Click title above or here is the link:

5 Year Old Howard Plays "Trains"

Here is an 1895 advertisement.

Lovecraft at 5 years old had the coachman clear the lot next door and help him create a huge train depot of packing crates and wheelbarrows.

An 1895 rail letter to a Providence concern.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Colour Out of Space Nearly Hits Doctor !

... there had come that white noontide cloud, that string of explosions in the air, and that pillar of smoke from the valley ... all Arkham had heard of the great rock that fell out of the sky ... three professors from Miskatonic University ... hastened out the next morning to see the weird visitor from unknown stellar space ...
- "The Colour Our of Space" (1927), HP Lovecraft

Dateline 22 January 2010

A small Meteorite crashed through a doctors office in Virginia. The meteor crashed through the roof of the docs office and hit an internal wall, then an upper floor before hitting concrete and shattering.

"Literally an explosion went off," Dr Marc Gullani told a local TV station WUSA9. "It came from the roof, through the fire wall, through the ceiling and hit the ground right here," said his colleague Dr Frank Ciampi. Nobody was hurt in the meteor strike, and the pieces of interplanetary debris were subsequently identified as being extraterrestrial by a geologist, fortuitously married to the doctors' receptionist.

Meteorite hunters are descending on Washington's Virginia suburbs this week, drawn by news of a space rock that lit up the night sky on Monday and drilled through the roof of a Lorton doctors' office.

Steve Arnold, co-star of the Science Channel's TV series "Meteorite Men," grabbed an early-morning flight from Arkansas to Baltimore on Thursday to launch a search for fragments of the meteor.

Russ Baldwin of Henrico County, Frederick Kraft of Mechanicsville and John McGinty of Richmond said they saw a very bright meteor Monday roughly between 6:30 and 6:40 p.m. But Lee Ellison, a Baptist pastor in Chesterfield County, said yesterday that he saw one to his left about 5:20 p.m. as he was driving east on U.S. 60 near the Cumberland-Powhatan county line. “For all the world it looked like a small shower of bright, white lights sparkling down, like a firework,“ he said.

Nearly 700 fireballs were reported in the U.S. and Canada in 2009.

Son of Yig Report: Snake Salvation?

Snake saves family from fire

A Chinese man who nursed a dying snake back to health claims it saved his family by raising the alarm when their house was on fire.

Yu Feng, of Fushun, in Liaoning province, found the dying black snake outside his home, reports the Liaosheng Evening Post.

"I treated it with herbal medicines, and in 20 days it recovered," he said.

He took the snake to a nearby mountain more than a mile away to release it back into the wild - but the next morning it was back at his house.

"I then set it free another two times, but it always came back," Yu added. "People around me said the snake had come back to repay my kindness, so I kept it."

He named the snake Long Long and adopted it as a pet - then one night, he claims it saved the whole family.

Yu explained: "I was asleep when suddenly I felt something cold on my face. I opened my eyes and it was Long Long.

"He had never woken me up before but I was so sleepy I went back to sleep. But Long Long grabbed my clothes with his teeth and whipped the bed with his tail.

"Then he went to my mother's bed and whipped her bed with his tail. I woke up then and smelt something burning, and saw my mother's electric blanket was on fire so I leapt up and turned it off."

Local reptile experts say snakes don't have the intelligence to act in this way - but Yu believes Long Long acted out of kindness, to repay Feng for saving his own life.

Friday, January 22, 2010

French Lovecraft "Rumor"

Alban has been a consistent correspondent to the HPLblog, and always sends interesting items, notably from France. (Thanks, Alban !)

He sent this message to Chrispy: Here's a translation of a French site about an unknown and unpublished book of HPL that was expected to be published in France some years ago (2001). The story is beautiful because at the crossroad of prop making (it seems that the cover was really made by somebody deeply involved in old French edition and printing usage) and of the fantastic (the guy is surely an HPL fan) he made HPL French fans dream about the possibility of the book! I hope it's published some day .

You can find the whole article and picture in French here


"Weird & Bizarre"

The club of the seven dreamers.

Some years ago, a strange document, circulated on the French web. First came a reproduction of the first cover of the book named "The Club of the Seven Dreamers" and that the author might be Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937)!
Here's an example:

Subject: Unknown_novel_of_Lovecraft
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 22:32:36 +0200

Message to all Lovecraft fan's. It has been discovered recently at a bookseller a copy of an unknown novel of Lovecraft; translated by Gabriel Lautrec, a correspondent of R.H. Barlow, who translated it at the end of the 30's. You will soon find the text of this novel on our website; under construction. We will communicate the address in a next email.

No other message was received, and we have no more information at the moment! Despite of our searches on the web, no site corresponds to the one that our mystery correspondent is talking about. Regarding the address of the electronic mail of the expeditor, it seems to have been deactivated a short time after the sending of the mail.

The Club of the Seven Dreamers is the title of a novel - or of some novels - that Lovecraft wanted to write toward the beginning of the 1920's. As S.T.Joshi mentions in his biography of Lovecraft: "In March [...] A lot of diverse ideas are coming to me at the moment, especially an horrific novel which will be title the Club of The Seven Dreamers".

Shameless Chrispy Plug

Boyd, Mike, Este', Nancy, Huntress, and all the DR team are allowing me to do the Weird Beast stuff at Dark Receeses again. :) You guys Rock!

Weird Beasts: The Iguanas Are Falling! by Chris Perridas

(or go directly to:

Tell your facebook pals!

- Chrispy!

(PS: Dave, I saw your comments on falling igaunas the other day, too!)

Lovecraftian t-shirt

Mr. newman sends this to us today.

He tells Chrispy, "The idea is re-imagining of the legendary Cthulhu. I thought that this brilliant creature would have quite a profound knack for deception and disguise.
So this is him in his elegant high society camouflage, with his teeth hidden and tentacles in a non threatening filagree arrangement. To most he is simply known as the charming Agreeable Mr. Filagree, Those that have seen his true face have not kept their own for very long."

"Thank you for all the support."

The blog:,designs

Good luck, Mr. Newman!

Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson

This message in from T Peter Park:

Donald Jeffries, author of the science-fiction/fantasy novel The Unreals ( Publishing, 2007), thinks many Lovecraft devotees would be interested in Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson's 1970's Illuminatus trilogy, which includes HPL as a background character. Shea and Wilson insinuate that he inadvertently revealed secrets about the Illuminati in his writings. They make a great deal out of HPL's malign other-dimensional entity Yog-Sothoth , whom they claim is an actual denizen housed in the Pentagon. Shea and Wilson ominously hint that it was dangerous for anyone to even mention his name; his primary purpose was absorbing human souls.

The Necronomicon was also mentioned throughout the trilogy, and the "mad" Abdul Alhazred was said to be one of the first, if not the first, member of the Illuminati. Shea and Wilson also stated that this was a "forbidden" book, and merely referring to it brought Lovecraft to the attention of the Illuminati. In fact, they attribute his relatively early death to the secrets he accidentally exposed in his writings.

Contra Lovecraft

HPL sometimes could be so bombastic.

[To Long, February 1924]
"As to my admiration of the Nordic type ... 'tis their ability to take nothing seriously .. the world and all life are an utter trifle - a contemptible farce of futility - and it does not matter in the elast what anybody thinks or does ..."

In college and Philosophy 101, many years ago, Chrispy replied on a mid-term test - "OK, what does it matter, we should all just commit suicide." in partial answer to some moralistic relativistic minutiae. With a smirky scrawl, the professor (who had broken his spine, was confined to a wheel chair, had little use of his fingers, but vailaintly came to class, wrote on the chalk board, and taught each day) gave me an A, and replied, "You first."

Many years of reflection have come and gone. I've not read this book, one person can make a difference. I think.

Greg Mortenson won the hearts of readers with the publication three years ago of “Three Cups of Tea,’’ which chronicled his failed 1993 attempt to climb the mountain K2 in Pakistan and his subsequent promise to build a school in gratitude for being rescued by villagers.

Little did Mortenson know that this would become his life’s calling. His nonprofit Central Asia Institute, based in Montana, has since opened more than 130 schools.

Mortenson’s passionate new book, “Stones Into Schools,’’ picks up where “Three Cups of Tea’’ left off by recounting the author’s harrowing and risky foray into war-torn Afghanistan, where he has opened schools in remote villages, while trying to win the support of a suspicious central government.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Spam has reared its head again. I have to now referee and examine all comments. I'm sorry for any inconvenience and loss of spontaneity this may cause.

Feel free to email me though on any manner, and thank YOU for reading the HPLblog.

The Good Ship Providence

In honor of Lovecraft's love of "Providence", "England" and the 18th century ... here is an image of an authentic sea captian's letter of the good ship Providence. No word on whether it was a "white ship".

Description provided by seller:
Papers of the ship Providence, England and New York, 1779-1783. A collection of letters and receipts relating to the transport ship Providence and her master, Captain John Ritchie, including 11 autograph letters signed by Ritchie himself describing voyages to New York and the West Indies, the expenses and difficulties encountered, and about 120 receipts for seamen’s pay and the ship’s supplies (including about 60 from New York, Staten Island, Long Island, Tybee Island, Charlestown). 200 original letters (with address leaves), bills, and receipts, folded, in good clean condition, legible. 1779-1783, with a few later legal papers. Captain John Ritchie was the Master of the ship Providence, a British ship under contract with the Navy Board to transport troops to America. This correspondence was received by lawyers in Newcastle representing the ship’s owner, Captain Samuel Burleigh, explaining the expenses incurred by Captain Ritchie. The collection comprises 11 ALS by Ritchie; 58 other original letters from London agents about the voyages of the Providence; about 60 original receipts for pilotage, coals, fresh beef, rum, ship repairs, wages, etc., all signed in New York or other American ports; about 60 other receipts, signed in England, Bremen and the River Weser, or in Jamaica, for similar expenses; a few miscellaneous papers, including including an attractive engraved billhead of Simpson & Birkley, Oilmen, Painting, Colourmen & Ship Chandlers, At the Ship near King James’s Stairs (June 1779).

alligators and lovecraft !!!

Dave Goudsward found these very rare images that could very well relate to Lovecraft and his visits to Florida. In May 1931 on the way to see Henry Whitehouse, he stopped in Miami. I found only a few brief mentions of this visit, "HPL's description of a similar occurrence from 1931: "... Indian village ... very quaint— on the order of the Seminole village near Miami, Fla." "And the screen "Dracula" in 1931 — I saw the beginning of that in Miami, Fla."

-Thank you, Dave!-

Check out his: Shadows Over Florida (David Goudsward, Scott T Goudsward)

This is what HPL would have seen. Try seeing it through his eyes!

The Musa Isle Indian Village was a longtime tourist attraction in Miami. It was on the south bank of the Miami River just east of the NW 27 Avenue bridge.

The link is at

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Yig Alert: New Species Found

In Ecuador, a snake with striking red markings with a blunt snout made to jam into the hole of a local snail species shell and made to provide suction to suck the snail right out of it's protective shell. More weird creatures at link, above. (Click on title).

Life is everywhere, and it is stranger than we can imagine.

Yig Report: Tiny Child of Yig?

Yig, the half-human father of serpents, is a shunned and feared ... The Curse of Yig, Lovecraft and Bishop.

The world's smallest species of snake, with adults averaging just under four inches in length, has been identified on the Caribbean island of Barbados.

The snake named Leptotyphlops carlae, as thin as a spaghetti noodle, is resting on a US quarter. Blair Hedges, professor of biology at Penn State University, discovered the species and determined that it is the smallest of the more than 3,100 known snake species.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Poe Roundup (HPL's idol)

News excerpts.

Poe Toaster is 'Nevermore': No gift of cognac and roses left at poet's grave, ending decades-long tradition
By Liz F. Kay |
Baltimore Sun
8:36 a.m. EST, January 19, 2010
"Longtime tribute to Edgar Allan ends with the absence of the "Poe Toaster (for more than half a century has marked the poet's birthday by laying roses and a bottle of cognac at his original grave site). The first time since Jan. 19, 1949 that the person failed to arrive."


Poe kin to have say on city with best claim to legacy
Descendants will announce preference at Poe Museum in Va.
January 10, 2010
By Chris Kaltenbach |
"Saturday in Richmond, Va., Poe's actual descendants will announce which city - whether Baltimore, Boston, New York, Philadelphia or Richmond - has the greatest claim to their illustrious ancestor."


Nothing grim about this guy
By: Gwen Shrift

A cheerful watercolor portrait from around 1843 is none other than Edgar Allan Poe, author of such macabre. This likeness, by portraitist A.C. Smith, was purchased for a few dollars from an estate and is expected to fetch $50,000 or more at auction this weekend. According to the Associated Press, the portrait shows Poe as the successful — and apparently charming — man of letters that he was in the mid-19th century.

Kappa Alpha Tau Report: 19 January 2010

Egypt's supreme council of antiquities says its archaeologists have unearthed a Ptolemic temple dating back more than 2,000 years and which may have been dedicated to the ancient cat-goddess Bastet. The ancient cat-goddess Bastet found among the temple's ruins in the Kom el-Dekkah area of the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria.

Yuggothian Unknowns: Revealed?

Here is a run down of planet science - we are not alone, it appears.

The planet, called GJ 1214b, is the second super-Earth — a planet with a mass roughly between five and 10 times Earth’s — detected as it crossed in front of its star and the first that is close enough for astronomers to study its atmosphere. It is 6.5 times more massive than Earth and 2.7 times wider. GJ 1214b orbits its star, a red dwarf 40 light years from Earth, once every 38 hours at a distance of 1.3 million miles — about one-fortieth the distance between Mercury and the sun. Despite its close orbit, the planet reaches temperatures of only about 280º Celsius because its star is relatively cool.


The original Yuggoth, Pluto, has clouds and the atmosphere may be composed of tiny frozen spherules of nitrogen or carbon monoxide. Evidence for life? Stay tuned.


These next from Discovery Magazine top 100 science stories of 2009:

# 8, Planets are being found everywhere we look.
# 16, The Moon does have water. It seems to have an atmosphere.
# 21, water confirmed on Mars (and maybe liquid).
# 56, Saturn's moon, Titan, has stroms and weather - clouds of methane which probablt rains.
# 73, Early Venus looked somewhat like Earth.

And about ancient Earth?

#91, Earth prior to 2.4 billion years ago was thick with nickel which bred methanogen bacteria. The cooling brought in an era of cyanogen bacteria which soared the oxygen levels.

# 12, meshlike patterns distinct to spnges were found in rocks 850 million years ago. This is pretty rapid complex life formation on a planet that only had bacteria a geologic moment ago.

And finally, how quick can life form?

# 98, Chemist Reza Ghadri created a thioester peptide acid (tPNA) that is a simple, stripped down RNA/DNA. It has properties:

tPNA in solution dances about and stabilizes quickly
tPNA in a soup of DNA bits reshuffles them matching up bases
tPNA in connection with RNA conformed rapidly to the RNA alignment


In essence, it does appear that life starts quickly deep under the surface of many, many planets (and moons) and if the atmosphere and temperatures are within a narrow range complex forms of life rapidly appear at the surface.

We are not alone.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lovecraft's Anxiety?

Lovecraft, Cortisol, and Anxiety?

Many writers have speculated that Lovecraft's young life was greatly stress filled. He wrote of the trauma of his grandfather's death, loss of his cat, his family home, and most means of support. His father and mother both deteriorated into health crises. He sometimes spoke of suicide, though it's uncertain how serious he was. By most accounts, then, he struggled as a child and young adult with a series of things.

In Jan-Feb 2010, Discovery Magazine declared the 61st (of 100) most significant scientific discoveries of 2009 as the linkage of cortisol, DNA, and a glucocorticoid receptors.

In this case, a researcher did autopsies of male suicide victims who also were confirmed to have been abused as children showed a 40% reduction in glucocorticoid receptors. In other studies, mood disorders are also related to low glucocorticoid receptors and are hereditary to some extent.

While we want to avoid entering "pop-psychology" these are intriguing coincidences with Lovecraft's life as expressed in his letters.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lovecraft wrote to Derleth on 16 January 1931 that he was freezing. Chrispy can't find a Providence newspaper for this date range, but here' is a Cleveland newsaper and a NYT article showing the intense cold that affected Lovecraft so terribly.

STORM SWEEPS EAST; COOLER HERE TODAY; Temperature in City 7 Degrees Above Normal--Heavy Snow Fall in New England.

January 20, 1931, Tuesday

Page 6, 176 words

Snow, sleet, and rain combined to make yesterday unpleasant through most of the northeastern section of the country but the weather bureau promised last night that fresh westerly winds would clear the skies today and result in crisp, clear weather, considerably cooler than yesterday's.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Book Loot!

Chrispy loves to paw through old books.

Maybe I got the bug when I used to go into my grandmother's back rooms on her farm when I was ten and it was the 1960's. Old and musty stuff was everywhere - remember the days before air conditioning?

Anyway, we had a $5 coupon for use at Half Price Book Store and I yawned as I looked trough the same old once-upon-a-time-bestseller' kalems (no offence) - koonz, king, lumley, matheson ... and saw "Kolchak". My mind went "woot!", and I snathced up two books.

(I paid a somewhat steep price of $17.96 for the pair, but there was that %5 off coupon!).

Kolchak: The Night Stalker Chronicles
Kolchak: The Night Stalker Casebook

I'd not seen either, nor read either. Here was a true horrific treasure.

I was actually alive and a 15 year old kid when I turned the TV on (we had 4 !!channels by then - I barely had time to watch them all!) and saw the TV movie of the week. I'd vaguely remembered Richard Matheson from his Twilight Zone years, and as a science fiction writer of minor note. I wasn't particularly into horror in those days, but I was attuned to "weird". I stared enrapt in that glorious black and white (I'm pretty sure we didn't have a color set for a few more years - Mom was conviced the radiation would be bad for us.)

Darrem McGavin was terrific in the part.

Anyway, I just had a chance to finish reading CJ Henderson's lead story, "What Every Coin Has", his fusing of Kolchak with Lovecrfatian Mythos, and mentioning the dread Necronomicon and a minor devil known as Nyogtha.

Very cool.

Now I shall wander away from the computer and read some more of these delectably devilish tales.

Lovecraft on the Nordic Ideal

As promised, Chrispy is trying to create some original mini-essays.

Lovecraft and the Nordic Ideal

Lovecraft often spouted out lengthy diatribes of his personal beliefs to either convince or coerce his close correspondents of his own personal philosophies. Those ideas and ideals were sometimes, if not often, idealistic and historically unfounded. Many, Chrispy believes, are founded upon a few simple facts: Lovecraft's personal and family way of life was under constant attack and erosion by socio-economic forces that traumatized him. Notably, his quiet College Hill Providence environ was swamped by a massive influx of ethnic population during his lifetime. I think his poverty forced him into contact with that cultural upheaval in a way that wealth might have insulated him, and probably did his first 14 years of life.

To Frank Belknap Long dated Sunday, 13 May 1923.

"I am naturally a Nordic - a chalky-white, bulky Teuton of the Scandanavian or North-German forests - a Viking - a berserk killer - a predatory rover of the blood of Hangst and Horsa - a conqueror of Celts - a son of thunder and the arctic winds, and brother of the forests of the auroras ... aye - I speak truly - for was I not born with yellow hair and blue eyes - the latter not turning till I was nearly two, and the former lasting till I was over five?"

While this is poetic hyperbole, Lovecraft had immersed himself in some Aryan belief system by 1923. Later, he toned this down slightly.

To Frank Belknap Long dated Tuesday, 11 December 1923.

"I do not claim to be 100% Teuton. My dark hair and eyes forbid me that honor ... ho for the frozen seas and the epick of sleet and blood, strange lands and far wonder! ... Great Thor, but this is the life! There are no woods like our woods, and no bards like our bards! ... So, Sonny [i.e. FBL], your old Grandpa is pretty well satisfied to be a Nordick, chalk-white from the Hercynian Woods and Polar mists .. WE ARE THE MASTERS."

It's almost as if HPL plucked out the nordic descriptions from F Scott Fitgerald's, "It seemed still to whisper of Norse galleys ploughing the water world under raven-figured flags, of the British dreadnoughts, gray bulwarks of civilization steaming up through the fog of one dark July into the North Sea." from "This Side of Paradise" (1920, Ch. 4). H may have picked up some secondary "Nordic Ideal" propaganda concepts that became notable through a book" Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes by Hans F. K. Günther (circa 1920).

Mr. Joshi's biography of HPL indicates that (p. 132) Lovecraft spouted about the "teuton" at least as early as 1915 ("The Crime of the Century") "The Teuton is the summit of evolution". This may have been derived from writings of Thomas Henry Huxley.

Again, in the hands of the relatively innocuous Lovecraft these are hypothetical and poetic rants, but there is an underlying falsity and somewhat of a growing menace in his words. The hyperbole is somewhat reflected in his bitterness at his world's apparent erosion, which also manifested in rants of hating mankind, and that except for a few choice individuals, the rest might as easily be eradicated. Lovecraft ranted that hate had to be en masse so that individuality would not color compassion. This is somewhat fearsome.

Very early, Lovecraft was deeply anti-IRA, and in 1921 [To Galpin, dated 6 October 1921] HPL was speaking of the greatness of the British race, and more bitter: "Slavs are emotional and irrational ... the brachycephalic masses are incurable peasants incapable of governing themselves ... the ruling classes are ... Teutonic." The roots of belief were certainly present.

Chrispy is not necessarily a one note kind of guy. Much as it might seem, it ain't Lovecraft 24/7/365. :) I have been fascinated and read many biographies and one recently that caught my attention was another of my favortie personalities: Charles Monroe Schulz. This incredibly brilliant and famous cartoonist, was once a bit like Lovecraft. An only child of poor parents, but unlike Lovecraft "Sparky" was indeed of both German and Nordic parents. His biographer, David Michaelis, has written a sparkling and amazing biography. Portions of "Sparky's" early life are an attack on Lovecraft's idealistic view, and I record bits of those here.

Schulz's father, Carl, had been born in Stendahl, Saxony-Anhalt, in north-central Germany in April 1897 (making him a bit younger than HPL). The family moved to a Wisconsin farm, and Carl Fred Schulz attended an all German school, and his parents never learned English. After WWI, Carl immediately lost all German inflection in his accent and never spoke a word of German thereafter. So careful, so conscious, a barber who worked beside him for ten years never heard him utter a word about his German background. His cousin oft rebuked Carl who quickly shut her down to stop bringing it up.

Carl married Dena Halverson, a true Norwegian, her father being Torjus Halverson who came from Norway as a child in 1866 to Wisconsin. The Wisconsin of the 1920's waas filled by Norwegian second generations. Many were abandoning the farms for big cities, but many stayed to eke out a modicum of impoverished living.

Minnesotan, Sinclair Lewis wrote at nearly the same time that HPL was expositing. In The Nation, May 30, 1923, his "Minnesota: The Norse State" excoriates Lovecraft's ideal: No fable is more bracing, or more absurd, than that all the sons and grandsons of the pioneers, ... are racy and breezy, unmannerly but intoxicatingly free. The grandchildren of the men who in 1862 fought the Minnesota Indians, who dogtrotted a hundred miles over swamp-blurred trails to bear the alarm to the nearest troops - some of them are still clearing the land, but some of them are complaining of the un-English quality of the Orange Pekoe in dainty-painty city tearooms which stand where three generations ago the Red River fur carts rested; their chauffeurs await them in Pierce Arrow limousines (special bodies by Kimball, silver fittings from Tiffany); they present Schnitzler and St. John Ervine at their Little Theaters; between rehearsals they chatter of meeting James Joyce in Paris; and always in high-pitched Mayfair laughter they ridicule the Scandinavians and Finns who are trying to shoulder into their sacred, ancient Yankee caste. A good many of their names are German.

Had Lovecraft visited Dena's family, he might well have been aghast.

They lived on 120 acres of chickens, eggs, and milk decorated by trimmed topiary and potted plants in the kitchen. When the weather dipped to 10 below, Carl and Dena would shove terrified Sparky into the Ford and drive out each Sunday into the white wilderness speckled with pines and outhouses. Sparky, like HPL, was a city boy. He struggled but never understood the life where Dena's family saw birth, copulation, and death every day. "I was always uncomfortable and was so glad when we left."

Two barking, fang-bearing collies met the Ford and little Sparky was petrified. Inside was worse. The adults gathered in the kitchen, forcing the children together. The adlts drank copiously, usually raisin wine. Sparky, like HPL, was a life-long tee-totaller. The pasttime was to denigrate, berate, ridicule, and slander one another in good fun - until the drunkenness spilled over to anger and the men went outside to wrestle and fight in the snow banks. Otherwise, sitting in their sleeveless shirts, they alternately dozed or bombast one another.

The women vied for who could bake the most sugar-frosted and coconut laced confections, or most Norwegian fish dishes. Sparky grew to hate both. From thence, many of his "Lil Folks" and later "Peanuts" would speak volumes of the fearsome adult world.

In essence, by 1923 Lovecraft had worked up steam and invested in some expanded form of "Nordic Ideal" despite essential facts were already present to deflate that concept, and contact with mainstream media, or simply speaking to ordinary people might have stopped his vehemence.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Yig Alert! South Florida Under Attack?


Officials and Residents are in fear and horror! A new "super snake" is crawling about the Everglades. A recent three-day, state-coordinated netted five African rock pythons so far — including one 14-foot-long female — near Miami-Dade County.

Officials of South Florida Water Management District are deeply concerned. In addition, state environmental officials worry that the rock python could breed with the Burmese python, which already has an established foothold in the Everglades. A new "super snake," could appear soon!

In Africa, the rock python eats everything from goats to crocodiles. There have been cases of the snakes killing children. "They are bigger and meaner than the Burmese python. … It's not good news," said Deborah Drum, deputy director for the district's restoration sciences department.

More Alfred Galpin

"Intermediate Readings in French Prose" by by Alfred Galpin and E. E. Milligan. This is the eighth printing, 1957.

Martian Weirdness!

In several days, Chrispy will be discussing Lovecraft and Percival Lowell on the HPLblog. Lowell (and others) tried to understand the illusions and oddities they saw through their state-of-the-art telescopes and technology, but they often got it wrong. - You play the game, you pay the dues. - Now, a century or more later, is NASA fumbling or figuring it out?

"Don't be fooled – it's just an optical illusion", NASA scientists say!

The Martian "trees" in this image are dark basaltic sand pushed to the surface of sand dunes by sun-heated solid carbon dioxide ice (or dry ice).

Sand dunes form a nearly complete ring around Mars' north pole and are covered by a thin layer of reddish Martian 'dust' and patches of dry ice.

In the Martian spring, the sun warms the ice, causing it to sublimate (a kind of evaporation) directly into vapor. "What we think is happening is that the dark sand is sliding down the bright frosted portion of the dune," Hansen told


Chrispy is waiting to hear what Richard C. Hoagland has to say about this one! :)

Alfred Galpin, 1959

Something I found in passing through some google research.

"Books Abroad". p. 342. ... Francesco De Sanctis, Storia della letteratura italiana. 2 vols. Luigi Russo, ed. & comp. Milano, Feltrinelli. 1956, 445, 514, pages, 800 1. ea. This appears to be the only cheap reprint now available of this indispensible classic, and at any rate it will long remain the best. Attractively printed and more durably put together than most paperbacks, it has brief but adequate critical apparatus including bibliographical notes. Alfred Galpin, University of Wisconsin.

Books Abroad, Vol. 33, No. 3 (Summer, 1959), pp. 342-343

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Lamb of a Thousand Young?

Tom, thanks for this alert!
The image is jolting, so prepare yourself.


A sheep gave birth to a dead lamb with a human-like face. The calf was born in a village not far from the city of Izmir, Turkey.

Erhan Elibol, a vet, performed Cesarean section, but was horrified to see that the features of the calf’s snout bore a striking resemblance to a human face.

“I’ve seen mutations with cows and sheep before. I’ve seen a one-eyed calf, a two-headed calf, a five-legged calf. But when I saw this ... I could not believe my eyes.

Veterinaries said that the rare mutation most likely occurred as a result of improper mutation. Recently, a goat from Zimbabwe gave birth to a similar mutant baby. It stayed alive for several hours until the frightened village residents killed him.

Old Home Week of 1907

Providence,RI,1907,Old Home Week Souvenir Postcard,7/28

Some text from a souvenir program:


Like Rome, a 'City of Seven Hills."

The Head of navigation on Narragansett Bay.

Rich in historic associations and proud of its honorable history.

Gratified by a present prosperity that it's rivalled by but few cities in the
world. Possessed of splendid institutions and unsurpassed educational advantages. Confident of its future, and with splendid advantages yet to be developed.

Fortunate in its environments, its superbly varied scenes of river and hill
and bay. A city government free from scandal, and municipal methods that are widely copied. The natural distributing point for New England for all products from South-
ern ports. A city of individual homes, of detached dwellings and a chance to expand in every direction. Providence is the center of the principal cotton manufacturing district in the United States.

Tt has the largest department market, and the largest drug store in America
and other department stores that have few equals.

Already provided with beautiful parks and popular playgrounds, with a splendic^ metropolitan park system now being laid out.

Noted for its clean streets and intelligent citizenship, the skilled character of its artisans and the exceptionally high grade of its manufactured products. The capitol city of Rhode Island, the most rapidly growing State and metropolis of Southern New England, probably the wealthiest district in the United States.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Shoggoth Alert! Half-Vegetable Slug?

This not only brings up an image of shoggoths, but also Campbell's Antarctic novel whose monster was most famously portrayed by James Arness - another vegetable alien. Life is strange enough here; what will we find "out there"?

A green sea slug appears to be part animal, part plant. It's the first critter discovered to produce the plant pigment chlorophyll.

The sneaky slugs seem to have stolen the genes that enable this skill from algae that they've eaten. With their contraband genes, the slugs can carry out photosynthesis — the process plants use to convert sunlight into energy.

"They can make their energy-containing molecules without having to eat anything," said Sidney Pierce, a biologist at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

The City Hall, Providence, Rhode Island

The City Hall, Providence, Rhode Island

I include this not becuase it's exceptional, but becuase of the crawling handwriting. HPL was not the only one who crammed writing on to a postcard! It was very common as can be seen. No date, unfortunately.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Canceled Rail Tickets

1917 and 1920 items. Very much of HPL's era.

More Morgan Scorpion! Whisperer in the Darkness

Parts 1 and 2 of H P Lovecraft's Tale of weird happenings in the Vermont Hills. Read by MorganScorpion.

>Click Link Here< or go to

Rail Schedule: NYNH&H 1932

NYNH&H 1932

Sunday, January 10, 2010

And More HPL Typescripts

Pages of H.P. Lovecraft typescript manuscript for the poems "October(fragment)" and "Zaman's Hill", "The Howler" & "The Garden's of Yin" on one page, along with a newspaper clipping of a HPL eulogy poem from 1916; from the estate of Robert Barlow, then the estate of August Derleth. Possibly even Lovecraft's own copies. A rare piece of Lovecraftiana!


Pages of H.P. Lovecraft typescript manuscript for the poems "To Mr. Hoag" and "The Rutted Toad", from the estate of Robert Barlow, then the estate of August Derleth. Two very early carbons, possibly even Lovecraft's own copies, of these two poems, dated 1916 & 1926. A rare piece of Lovecraftiana!




Manuscript News

From the Ebayeum:

2 pages of H.P. Lovecraft typescript manuscript for the poems "Hallowe'en In a Suburb"(with "The Wood" on the back side) and "On a Battlefield on France", from the estate of Robert Barlow, then the estate of August Derleth. Two very early carbons, possibly even Lovecraft's own copies, of these two poems, dated 1925. A rare piece of Lovecraftiana!


2 pages of H.P. Lovecraft typescript manuscript for the poems "Medusa: A Portrait" and "Pg. 2, of an unidentified poem, from the estate of Robert Barlow, then the estate of August Derleth. Two very early carbons, possibly even Lovecraft's own copies, of these two poems, dated August 26, 1925. A rare piece of Lovecraftiana!



Starting Price on all items is $45 for the next few days. I hope a kind hand gets these!

Snow Rolls: Weird Nature

OK, disclaimer - not about Lovecraft.
But it does concern Chrispy.

Many years ago, probably January 2000 - it's in a diary somewhere, but can't recall right now - I drove up on a business trip past Columbus, IN. As I drove, it was a cold day (about like today) and I wondered why people would get out on their farms and make snowmen. I looked closer and noticed there were no foorprints, and nearly every little farm had snowmen. And they had snow tubes, and snow pyramids, and I thought what was going on? Angels? Drive by art students?

I researched it, and found that in specialized weather conditions simulating arctic conditions, snow and wind automatically create show sculptures.

Now it's happened in UK:

Rare self-rolling giant snow balls found in UK

They may look like winter's answer to crop circles, but these mysterious snow rolls are in fact a rare natural phenomenon usually found only in the world's most remote and frozen regions.

Also known as snowrollers, snow bales and snow doughnuts, they form mostly in unusual conditions created by a precise combination of snow, ice, wind, temperature and moisture on the prairies of North America.

But this week's frozen weather has allowed the snow cylinders to make a freak appearance in the UK.

Ron Trevett, 55, and his wife Aileen, 54, readers of The Daily Telegraph, were stunned when they stumbled across the mysterious formations as they walked their dogs in a field near their home in Yeovil, Somerset.

"We saw them from a distance on the ridge of the field, and we thought some kids had been playing up there and making giant snowballs," said Mr Trevett.

"But when we got up there we saw there were no footprints and there were hundreds of them – too many for children to have done it. We realised it must have been the wind."

Mr Trevett, a builder, said he and his wife felt privileged to have witnessed such a rare phenomenon. "We feel very lucky. I'm the wrong side of fifty and I've never seen anything like it in my life. We were gobsmacked to look at them there in the sunlight. It was a really impressive sight, and I took some pictures so other people could share it," he said.

Frank Barrow, a lecturer in meteorology at the Met Office, said the rolls can only form in a precise set of unusual conditions.

"They start off with nice thick layer of snow, with the top snow just on the point of melting either because of general temperature or sunshine on the surface," he said.

"The top snow layer becomes a bit sticky, and you then need a fairly strong wind. The sticky layer can be peeled off the colder and more powdery snow underneath by the wind forming a roll. In the first picture you can see some of the powdery stuff sticking to the lower outside surface of the roll. I suppose it is a natural version of making a snowman."

After being formed, the rolls eventually become too large and heavy for the wind to move, or are halted by rising ground or a tuft of vegetation.

They are often hollow because the weak inner layers which form first can easily be blown away, and the fragile formations can collapse in the slightest change of temperature or gust of wind.

Liz Bentley, of the Royal Meteorological Society, said despite their rarity in the UK, there is a chance of more snow rolls appearing over the next few days.

"These rolls are unusual here because we don't tend to have major snow events like the one we're experiencing now. They happen with the combination of lying snow and high wind speeds, mostly in North America and Northern Europe, and they can be as small as a tennis ball or they can be as large as two feet across – depending on how strong the wind is and how smooth the surface of the snow is," she said.

"There are quite strong winds predicted this weekend as well as more snow, so if people keep a look out they might see a few more of these appearing around the country over the next few days."


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