Two things NOT to buy for Christmas…

Anyway: lookie here: through Google I’ve found another site, that enables you to name a star or two, TOTALLY FREE, “just for fun”! 🙂👍

Cumbrian Sky

PLEASE NOTE: An updated version of this blog post can be found here:



So, here we are again… Hallowe’en. And you know what that means, don’t you? Yes, that’s right – Christmas is only TWO WHOLE ****** MONTHS AWAY!!!!! So, that means three things. Firstly, you can’t move in the shops without tripping over Christmas displays (and again, well done Oxfam Kendal for selling your first Christmas cards in SEPTEMBER, you nutters…). Secondly, it’s impossible to turn on the TV without seeing a Christmassy ad for DFS sofas or Argos. And, lastly, I’m getting emails and phone calls from people wanting advice on “spacey” presents to buy their loved ones for Christmas. That means telling them things they are not expecting, or wanting, to hear. Namely, do not, Do Not, DO NOT buy your son/daughter/wife/husband/mother/father either of the following:

A star.

Or a telescope.


Let me explain…

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Why You Should Never Buy a Star for Someone

Nobody owns Zorp… Indeed! 😄

Irene W. Pennington Planetarium

star scams

Occasionally we’ll get people coming into the planetarium with expensive pieces of paper, wondering if we can show them the star that was purchased in their honor.  For over thirty years this romantic scheme has been going on.  No, the star that your loved-one bought for you is not officially recognized.  So, here’s the skinny on why those name-a-star registry companies should be looked at as entertainment only.

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RIP Stephen Grundy AKA Kveldulf Gundarsson

Didn’t know Stephan Grundy had died last year! He definitely wasn’t old. And he is the author of a scholarly book on Loki which I liked! 🙂👍 And much more.

Gangleri's Grove

I was shocked this morning to learn that Heathen elder Stephen Grundy (June 28, 1967 – Sept 29, 2021) passed away on September 29 of a sudden heart attack. Some of you may know him from his works “Teutonic Religion” and “Teutonic Magic” as well as his long-standing involvement in The Troth. A full bio/obit may be found here.

May his journey to his ancestors be swift. May he be met with joy and celebration. May he eat honey out of their hands. Hail to him and my deepest condolences to his family.

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25 sites with free public domain books to download #freeebooks

Great stuff! 👍 Free ebooks! 📚



Every year, new publications enter public domain. It means their intellectual property rights have expired or are not applicable any longer. The content of these works becomes available for public use. Anyone is free to use or reuse it.

Users are not only allowed to legally download the ebook edition of the title that entered the public domain. Everyone is also free to reuse and remix it, for instance, publish a new edition. Therefore, in major ebookstores, you may find public domain books that are not free.

My advice is that if you want to get an ebook version of a classic novel like Pride and Prejudice, you should first check out the sites listed below. Browsing the ebookstore where you have an account is the next step.

The dates books enter public domain vary between countries. Some rights depend on registrations with a country-by-country basis, but the most important factor…

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Calling all cliches: Wielding the knife

Well there you are!!

Lion & Unicorn

‘He who wields the knife never wears the crown.’ It’s one of the great political cliches trotted out whenever the leader of a party comes under threat.

But, asks a reader*, where does the saying come from? Is it Shakespeare? The answer to the second question is straightforward: no, it’s not Shakespeare. Nor, so far as we can ascertain, has it any literary heritage at all.

It first became common currency in 1990 when Michael Heseltine challenged Margaret Thatcher, the incumbent prime minister. He defeated her, of course, removed her from office, but was then unable to build on his success, and saw the tortoise-like shape of John Major come ambling past him to snatch away the leadership of the Conservative Party.artwork-heseltine-knife-square

And, indeed, the saying seems to originate with Heseltine himself. But not in 1990. He first said it in February 1986, the month after he had walked out of the cabinet –…

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The Wollaton Park Gnomes

Great piece of modern Nottingham folklore that I found out about on Shrouded Hand’s excellently Creepy YouTube channel! 👍

Nottingham Hidden History Team

Consider a different kind of ‘Fairy Tale’

by Frank E Earp 

Gnomes & Boggarts

Over the last few years the Wollaton Park Gnomes, (WPG), has become what is perhaps the most famous case of a modern ‘fairy encounter.’ This in no small way has been due to the hard work of Simon Young, who has made the case his own However, Simon’s accounts of and research into the case, are based for the most part on the transcripts of taped interviews with the child witnesses. Although the case has been the centre of much academic debate, every published account has been based solely on Simon’s with its reliance on tapes and transcripts. As far as I’m aware, research into the case has always been ‘desk topped’ and very few additional facts/factors have ever been considered. Although the original tapes and subsequent transcript give us a wonderful ‘picture’ of what the…

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The Psi Wars Come To TED

The Weiler Psi

I now have a follow up post to this one:  TED Swings the Banhammer:  It Rebounds in Their Face

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader.  This is an organization on a collision course with consciousness research and it was only a matter of time before the war spilled over into their territory.

In this case, the brouhaha started when apparently skeptics by the names of Jerry Coyne and PZ Meyer tried to have a video by parapsychologist Rupert Sheldrake removed from TED talks because they felt he was unscientific.  (Here is the video.) To the Immense credit of TED staff, they opened up the controversy to the public.  Even more to their credit, the staff person who did this, Emily…

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TED Chased by “Army of Passionate Supporters” Escapes Into TARDIS

The Weiler Psi

This is a follow up to two previous posts:  The first was: The Psi Wars Come to TED  The second was: TED Swings the Banhammer: It Rebounds Into Their Face

For those of you who are not Sci-Fi fanatics, here’s Wikipedia to the rescue:

The TARDIS[nb 1][1] (/ˈtɑːdɪs/ (Time and Relative Dimension in Space)[nb 2] is a time machine and spacecraft in the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who

“Not only can we go back in time and reverse the criticism, we can also hold our TED talks in here! Double win!”

Under unrelenting pressure soaring to over a thousand comments, as well as a great deal of negativity on the web where the psi blogosphere united to condemn the censorship, TED finally realized that it wasn’t going to blow over…

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Remembering What Happened to TEDxWestHollywood

This is eye-opening!👍

The Weiler Psi

With the protest of TED coming up on April 2nd, all of the attention is being focused on Rupert Sheldrake’s talk.   The controversy began and ended with him after all. While it was certainly insulting for Sheldrake and Hancock to have their talks pulled and dismissed unfairly as pseudoscience, both men were already controversial figures and the resulting publicity arguably did them more good than harm.  They became more popular.  Certainly their videos got much wider exposure than they would have otherwise.

It was the takedown of TEDxWestHollywood however, that pushed the controversy into a full blown culture war.  This was the turning point where everyone could see that TED was unequivocally taking a completely one-sided ideological position rather than relying on evidence.  It was big news at the time.  I scooped the story and I got more visits to my blog in that one day (over 7,000)…

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Peers defeat government anti-protest laws

Good job this bunch of Tory dictators’ ideas were defeated – for now!!! 🙏


Controversial government plans to crack down on protests have been defeated by peers in a series of late night votes.

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