5 Buried Worlds Beneath Svalbard

Explore a maze of passageways forged by man, microbe and the steady progression of time… Read more ›

Self-Flagellation: Justice, Forgiveness and Pain

Put yourself in mindset of the medieval flagellants. It’s the 14th century and an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty permeates the grim realities of daily life. War ravages the population. Black Death creeps from door to door. All the while,

Pain, Sentience and the Crucifixion

Consciousness and culture complicate our most basic physical realities, especially the reality of pain. I’ve been thinking about the figure of Jesus Christ recently, for few figures of pain and suffering stand so towering in Western culture. We see such

Art Spotlight: Sotio’s ‘Christus Triumphans’

What do we have here? Oh, merely a close-up from Alberto Sotio’s 1187 crucifix “Christus Triumphans” in which the skull of primordial Adam drinks sacrificial blood from the pierced feet of Jesus on the hill of Golgotha. With imagery such

Monster of the Week: The Brainiac

We’ve discussed sexy Mexican vampires already, but today’s entry takes us into rather unappealing waters. Meet the true, vampiric from of Baron Vitelius, AKA “The Brainiac,” a 17th century Mexican aristocrat who escaped the Holy Inquisition by hitching a ride

Midas, Goldfinger and the Futility of Wealth

Bond villain Auric Goldfinger loved gold, and had quite a bit to love. The man could afford to leave gold-painted women lying around hotel rooms, but none of it was enough. He always needed a little bit more, and failing

Monster of the Week: Mad Gasser of Mattoon

It’s August, 1944 and a prowler terrorizes the streets of Mattoon, Ill. It’s in the newspaper. It’s on the quivering lips of 27 victims from 13 area homes. A man in black creeps through the night, prying open windows –

Artiaomical: De Arte Phisicali et de Cirurgia

Let us dive once more into the ghoulish and beautiful world of anatomical illustration, this time as featured in the 15th century text “De Arte Phisicali et de Cirurgia” by renowned English surgeon John Arderne (1307–1392). Serving as a surgical

Information Aversion: Ignorance is Bliss is Death

Should a deathly-thin figure offer you the scoop, would you like to know when you’ll die? What if the bearer of bad news was less a medieval embodiment of death and more a wrist gadget that analyses your body’s endothelial cells,

The Photo: The Young John Carpenter

Meet the boyishly handsome 26-year-old John Carpenter. The year is 1974 and he’s working on a little slice of deep-space stoner sci-fi called “Dark Star,” co-written by Dan O’Bannon. Dan would of course go on to script “Alien” and “Total

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