So much has been happening, both in my life and worldwide, and I haven't had much chance to compose a long update here for quite some time. I thought about writing several individual posts on the various things but thought it best to condense it all into another "news in brief" moment for today. As for my own personal life, well... that major upheaval is best likened to the plate tectonic movements in the past several weeks. Major, major changes are happening too quickly at times. But once the dust settles, I'll give a more thorough update on those matters. For now, I'll focus on what's been going on while I've been asleep at the wheel of my blog.
Last week, director Tim Burton made the not-so-shocking admission that he does believe in the paranormal. Burton has had a few brushed with the unexplained and believes many people have had unusual experiences, yet they often don't discuss it or do their best to ignore it. He also mentioned that he finds cemeteries "peaceful" instead of creepy. As for his work, word was also announced concerning his newest venture. Plans are being discussed to turn Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (authored by Seth Grahame-Smith of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies fame) into a feature film. The new book follows the former present into his fictitious secret life pursuing blood drinkers. While the tale is odd it's quite well-crafted, not deviating from real history too far to make it absurd.
There is other book news to report as well. Stacy Horn's wonderful book Unbelievable: Investigations into Ghosts, Poltergeists, Telepathy, and Other Unseen Phenomena, from the Duke Parapsychology Laboratory telling about the history of parapsychology at the Rhine Research Center has been released in paperback. While I still prefer the hard-bound editions of books for my own shelf (when they're actually available) it's nice to have the option of paying less in our current economy.
Some Massachusetts residents are up in arms over maple syrup. In at least three cemeteries both in and around Lancaster, maple trees were found with sap buckets hanging off. The culprits weren't zealous manufacturers but Lancaster Cub Scout Pack 9, who was given permission to tap maples for a special project. The town officials, however, were unaware that cemetery trees would be targeted. Perhaps it sounds a bit creepy, but I would think it a harmless act. People might even pay more for the spooky syrup! It's not the only time anyone realized that a quiet spot such as a cemetery would be superb for undisturbed sap harvesting. In Quebec, a Google Earth view revealed similar sap buckets at a Sutton cemetery.
Finally from the southern hemisphere, selling spooks has once again made the headlines. A woman in Christchurch, New Zealand auctioned off two bottles containing "ghosts" on Trademe. The spirits, said to be those of a little girl and an old man, were "captured" during an exorcism and placed in bottles of holy water, presumably to keep them fresh? After their containment on July 15, 2009 no further activity was reported in the house. The glassed ghosts sold for nearly $2000.