Author Archives: skullsinthestars

The mystery of the magnetic train

This past week, thanks to Laughing Squid and other sources, a lot of people watched and were amazed by this simple demonstration of electromagnetism in action. It is billed as the “world’s simplest electric train,” and it is almost certainly … Continue reading

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Posted in Physics, Physics demos | Leave a comment

Ann Gregory, RIP (1974-2014)

One of the joys of twitter is getting to meet so many kind, interesting, and varied people from places all over the world and getting to share, at least a little, in their lives.  One of my favorite of these people … Continue reading

Posted in Personal | Leave a comment

Slurstorm, and the flaws in “Shirtstorm” arguments

I hate writing posts like this.  I prefer to write about fun physics, history of science and cool horror fiction.  But some things are so appalling and disgusting that one must speak up, especially if one’s friends are attacked. You … Continue reading

Posted in ... the Hell?

The Elementals, by Michael McDowell

Michael McDowell’s reprinted 1981 novel The Elementals conclusively answers a question that I’ve been wondering for years: why are there so few classic haunted house stories?  I’ve always been a fan of such stories, or more generally “old dark house” … Continue reading

Posted in Horror | 2 Comments

No Songs for the Stars, by Mary SanGiovanni

I’m rather intrigued these days by the concept of chapbooks, short typically inexpensive books that first became popularized in the 17th and 18th centuries.  I guess they never really went away, but recently I’ve been seeing — or noticing — … Continue reading

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The Great Sausage Duel of 1865

(Tip o’ the hat to Blake Stacey for first pointing this story out to me!) The history of science is filled with macabre tales of self-experimentation, amoral experimentation on others, horrific accidents, and even mysterious and sinister disappearances. Perhaps the … Continue reading

Posted in ... the Hell?, History of science | 9 Comments

Halloween Treats 2014

(Update: It cost me a good deal of my sanity, but I think I fixed “The Monkey’s Paw” pdf to load quickly in browser.) It’s that time again to post a collection of “Halloween Treats”: classic ghost and horror stories … Continue reading

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