Natural Sciences

Terrifying ancient crocodile discovered in the Sahara was almost the size of a bus

Terrifying ancient crocodile discovered in the Sahara was almost the size of a bus:

Speaking of giant creatures, as we did in the last post, lots of ancient predators were HUGE.  And they would definitely be dangerous to humans, if they weren’t extinct. 

In 2016, for example, paleontologists uncovered an ancient crocodile in the Sahara that was scary big:

This prehistoric crocodile is believed to have measured more than 30 feet long and weighed three tons. The skull alone...

Never Bet the Devil and Other Warnings, by Orrin Grey

The first time I encountered Orrin Grey’s work, it wasn’t even his fiction! He wrote the introduction to the Valancourt edition of J.B. Priestley’s 1927 novel Benighted, and I was struck then with his knowledge and insight into classic horror.  Since then, I’ve been following his work with interest and enjoyment, and was delighted to support the Kickstarter for a reprint and expansion of his original short story collection, Never Bet the Devil...

The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories, Volume 2

Just in time to enjoy for Halloween, Valancourt Books has recently released their second volume of horror stories, in The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories, Volume 2!

The volume contains 14 stories of terror and the supernatural in VBHSv2, encompassing nearly 200 years of horror history.  It includes a number of stunningly rare and never reprinted tales, including two that have never been published anywhere else.

Once again, as I said for VBHSv1, I am impressed with the cleverness...

What is quantum entanglement? Part 6: Locality, reality, and John Bell

This is part 6 in a lengthy series of posts attempting to explain the idea of quantum entanglement to a non-physics audience.  Part 1 can be read here,  Part 2 can be read here, Part 3 here,  Part 4 here, and Part 5 here.

In the last part of this series of posts, we discussed the practical implementation of entanglement using photons, which is the most common (though not only) way to study and apply entanglement in modern experiments.  In this post, we return to a bit of the...

Dr. SkySkull in Rome: Via Appia

Final part in a series of photo essays on my recent trip to Rome. Part 1 can be read here,  Part 2 can be read here, Part 3 can be read here, and Part 4 can be read here.

Sunday was our final day in Rome, and it would be a short day: our flight out was at around 4:00 pm.  However, we had enough time to see one more major sight, and decided to do something a little further out of the city. In fact, the sight in question is literally a way out of the city: Via Appia, known in English as the Appian...

Deepest ocean trench home to race of giant amoebas

Deepest ocean trench home to race of giant amoebas:

(Jumping back into some horror facts after a long hiatus with some classic science horrors!)

Horror movies are filled with creatures that are deadly simply because they are much, much, much bigger than they should be.  Sometimes, that happens in real life to creatures we really don’t want to be very big, as researchers in 2011 discovered:

The team documented the deepest known existence of xenophyophores, single-celled...

The Endless Fall, by Jeffrey Thomas

Though I’ve been in a bit of a reading funk the past few months due to life, work and stress, I managed to find one thing that helped me break out of it: long airline flights. Between recent trips to Seattle and Los Angeles (which I should probably blog about), I ended up reading a lot of lovely books, including research for my upcoming cat physics book as well as some excellent fiction.  I tend to stock up my kindle with a lot of books by authors I’m unfamiliar with, and one...

Halloween Treats 2017

It is getting really challenging not to repeat myself with these annual samples of classic horror stories for Halloween, as I’ve been doing this for ten years! You can read the old editions here:   2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and my 2010 post on the true story of the “Lady of the Lake“. It is likely that not all of the links in those old posts work, but the lists are there.

Some Other Animal’s Meat, Emily Carroll (2016). ...

The Devil in a Domino, by Chas L’Epine

Thanks to having lots to do at work, a lot of chaos in my life, and a lot of worry about the world in general, I haven’t been able to concentrate well on reading fiction lately.  What I need at the moment are short, pithy reads, and fortunately my friends at Valancourt Books recently released something that fits the bill, The Devil in a Domino (1897), by Chas L’Epine.

The Devil in a Domino tells the story of a twisted serial killer, and is one of the very first books to be...

Dr. SkySkull in Rome: the Vatican Museums

Part 4 of a series of photo essays on my recent trip to Rome. Part 1 can be read here,  Part 2 can be read here, and Part 3 can be read here.

On day 4 of our Rome adventure, we decided to finally venture inside some of Rome’s wonderful buildings!  Most of our time had, up to this point, been spent walking the city and viewing the architecture from the exterior or, in the case of the Colosseum, interior but still outside. Now we were interested in seeing some of the non-architectural...

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