Sunday, September 18, 2011

Nightmare Fuel--Episode Nine: The Victims of Jack The Ripper (Part One)

They were the crimes that shocked a nation and defined an era. Partly truth, and partly legend, the story of Jack the Ripper has fascinated and terrified the public for over one-hundred-and- twenty years. The identity and motive of the killer remains a mystery. All that is known for certain is that five women (that we know of) lost their lives in the autumn of 1888. 

This episode begins a series of retellings of the lives and deaths of the so-called Canonical Five victims of Jack The Ripper. Their killer was never brought to justice. Their stories are often ignored. The mythos of Jack the Ripper has been romanticised in countless novels, films, and television programs. These dramatised accounts normally focus on the deeds and possible identity of the killer. The names of the victims often become plot devices in a murder mystery for entertainment. Instead, I offer an alternative with these following episodes. I present to you the tragic lives of those who perished under the knife of history's most infamous killer.

In this episode: The lives of Polly Ann Nichols and Annie Chapman.


While I have taken great care in the writing of this episode, I could not be true to the story of this case without being somewhat graphic. What you are about to hear are depictions of real death taken from coroner's reports and other sources.

As always, you can listen to this week's episode here, or download from

CLICK HERE: To download from

PODCASTER's NOTE: I would normally include photos or drawings of those I talk about in an episode. However, since the only photos I could find were disturbing morgue photos, I decided not to. If you want to see them for yourself you can visit one of my sources (just click the text). It is of historical note that many of the victims were not photographed prior to their deaths. Tasteful artist conceptions of them in life are rare. As I was unable to find any prior to the posting of this episode, I have decided to refer listeners to resources where post mortem photos can be found. WARNING--view at your own risk. Some of these photos are very graphic.

Videos of the Week
Technically not a video. Still, it's Motorhead playing Jack the Ripper 
From the album: March or Die  
   The Trailer for Sherlock Holmes Vs. Jack The Ripper (Video Game)

Music of the Week
Song: Cloud Counting
Artist: Milieu
Album: Self-titled
Available from
CLICK HERE: to download their music from

Artist: Venefica
Song: Scarlet
Album: Scarlet
CLICK HERE: To download from


NEXT WEEK: The Victims of Jack The Ripper (Part Two)

Monday, September 5, 2011

65 Years of Freddie Mercury

Hi everyone!

It was sixty-five years ago today that one of rock's greatest voices was born. As the dynamic frontman of Queen, Freddie Mercury brought a mix of pure talent, charisma, and raw energy to the stage. In my opinion he had the best voice in Rock music (closely seconded by Jim Morrison).

Queen was part of the musical landscape of my childhood. Whether it be in the form of iconic albums like A Night at the Opera, or catchy tunes such as, A Crazy Little Thing Called Love--Queen was always on the tube or the stereo. How could one not dance to Another One Bites the Dust? Or, not sing along with the satiric Fat-Bottom Girls? The emotional power of the Highlander soundtrack is just as memorable as the film itself. The majesty of Queen's music isn't limited to any one medium. Whether listening to it in the solitude of one's room. Or, with an audience of revelers and friends, Queen's music has touched all of us.

Even after Freddie's passing in 1991, his stature has not diminished. The influence of his music has permeated some of hardrock and pop music's biggest names--Metallica, Foo Fighters, Guns and Roses, and Katy Perry...the list goes on.

There had never been a recording artist like Freddie before Queen's rise. And since he left us, that hasn't been one since. Though gone from us in person, he remains in spirit. His music will live on for future generations to discover. People of all ages will dance, sing-a-long, and emulate this unique talent for as long as we have rockers.

While an episode about Freddie simply wouldn't do justice to his memory, I did something else to honor him.

Below are some of my favorite Queen videos.

Please note that today is the Freddie for a Day celebration. People all over the world are dressing as Freddie, to raise money for the Mercury Phoenix Trust--the charity established in Freddie's memory.

To learn how you can help the Mercury Phoenix Trust in the fight against AIDS, please visit the link below.
The Mercury Phoenix Trust Website

Now...ready for Freddie?

A Kind of Magic
(From The Highlander soundtrack, and The Best of Queen)

A Crazy Little Thing Called Love
(from the album Jazz)

Princes of the Universe
(From The Highlander Soundtrack)

Another One Bites the Dust
(from the album The Game)

(from the album The Miracle)

Enjoy this small celebration of Freddie's life and music!

Nightmare Fuel will be back with another episode on Saturday.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Nighmare Fuel Podcast--Episode Eight--Eldritch Biology 101: Cthulhu

"An octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature...a pulpy head, with a mass of feelers at its mouth."
--H.P. Lovecraft.

H.P. Lovecraft's most famous creation goes under the microscope, in a manner of speaking. In this episode, I do an astrobiology primer on the Great Old One himself, Cthulhu!

Astrobiology is a nacent science, as we have yet to actually encounter alien life (intelligent, eldritch, or otherwise). However, it is a legitimate science, concerned with the potential forms that extraterrestrial life may take. While Cthulhu is a derived from very human concepts, he hales from a foreign planet. His unique biology allowed him to adapt to Earth's oceans--where he dwells in slumber until, "The stars are right."

As always, you can listen to the raging E.T. god goodness here. Or, on

CLICK HERE: to download from
Podcaster's Note: I made two faux-pas in the podcast. One, is that I said "chromoreceptors" when I meant to say "chemoreceptors," to describe the octopus' ability to taste what it touches. Another error that I made, which I caught in playback, is when I said "annotate," instead of "accomodate." This is in reference to the size of Cthulhu's sepulchre. These were verbal typos that couldn't be undone before the episode was finished.

Speaking of episodes...

I've just started another podcast--one dedicated to astronomy and sci-fi. Rest assured, Nightmare Fuel will continue. The spinoff podcast and blog is called Plastic Spacemen. It can be seen and heared at

Videos of the Week
Cthulhu in Spore

Myth-O's Cereal. From the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society

Music This Week
Song: Island on the Horizon
Artist: Roy Garrou
Album: Island
CLICK HERE: to download from

Comments can be addressed in the comments box, or via e-mail.

NEXT WEEK: Jack the Ripper--Fact from Fiction