Thursday, October 1, 2009

One More News Roundup

Here are a few more stories from the last week. I'll be back with more original magick articles soon, but for now, enjoy!

At a recent speech in Prague a spider seems to have taken a liking to the Pope. Spiders bother a lot of people, but the Pope took it in stride and barely reacted. Clearly he's been keeping up on his meditation.

A large arachnid appeared on the pope's white robes as he addressed politicians and diplomats in Prague on Saturday afternoon. The pope didn't seem to notice at first — but journalists following the speech on a large screen flinched as the spider inched toward Benedict's neck.

It disappeared from view for a moment, but then could be seen crawling up the right side of the 82-year-old pontiff's face.

When it reached his ear, Benedict gave it a swat. But it didn't go away — it reappeared on the pope's left shoulder and scampered down his robe.

If you're looking for paranormal activity in Britain, paranormal researcher Lionel Fanthorpe has assembled the perfect guide to places with weird activity of various sorts, from ghosts to UFO's. His website can be found here.

These facts emerge in a study by paranormal researcher and priest Lionel Fanthorpe, who has identified the spookiest places in Britain over the past 25 years. Big cats, the ghost of Dick Turpin and aliens all crop up in his research based on unexplained incidents reported to the police and leading paranormal organisations.

Apparently in Connecticut the psychic trade has gotten violent - or maybe not. A psychic who reported being attacked by rivals has been charged by police with lying about the attack. It sounds like they need a good psychic to get to the bottom of what really happened. Oh, wait...

A Connecticut psychic who said she was assaulted in an attack she believed was arranged by rival psychics has been charged with lying about the incident. Greenwich police arrested 35-year-old Janet Lee of Norwalk on Saturday on charges including falsely reporting an incident.

Lee, who promotes herself the "foremost psychic in New England," called police on July 11 to report that a man had beaten her outside her Greenwich office. She said she believed rival psychics in town who had left her threatening phone messages were responsible, but she did not know their names.

In his new book former Bush speechwriter Mark Latimer has alleged that the Bush administration opposed giving J.K. Rowling the Presidential Medal of Freedom on the grounds that the Harry Potter books encouraged witchcraft.

Latimer writes that administration officials objected to giving author J.K. Rowling the Presidential Medal of Freedom because her writing “encouraged witchcraft” (p. 201):

"This was the same sort of narrow thinking that led people in the White House to actually object to giving the author J.K. Rowling a presidential medal because the Harry Potter books encouraged withcraft."

While I was never a fan of the Bush administration and find the hand-wringing over Harry Potter ridiculous, I'm nonetheless left wondering if this is what really happened or if it's just another piece of insider gossip. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded to individuals who have contributed to:

1) the security or national interests of the United States, 2) world peace, or 3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

Given that description, I find it hard to imagine how J.K. Rowling would qualify with or without the "witchcraft" angle. Her main claim to fame is that she's sold a lot of books, and after all I don't see anyone proposing a Presidental Medal of Freedom for Dan Brown even though The Da Vinci Code outsold all of the Harry Potter novels.

I plan on getting back to regular blogging soon and for that matter getting the archives uploaded. There's no new publishing news this week, but I'll keep you all posted on that as well as soon as I know more.

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