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Here be monsters: Incredible illustrations from ‘De Monstris’ (1665)
10:32 am


De Monstris
Fortunio Liceti

Fortunio Liceti (1577-1657) was an Italian philosopher, doctor and scientist. He studied medicine and philosophy at the University of Bologna before becoming a lecturer of logic at the University of Pisa and then a professor of philosophy at the University of Padua. Liceti was omnivorous in his interests writing books on mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, genetics and disease. He was friends with Galileo and the mathematician Bonaventura Cavalieri, who once remarked that Liceti was such a prodigious scholar that he produced a book a week. It’s certainly true that Liceti did have a rather impressive output of scientific and philosophical texts during his life ranging on subjects as diverse as the immortality of the soul, gem stones and the causes of headaches (which he thought were the microcosmic equivalent of lightning).

His most famous work was De monstrorum causis, natura et differentiis (Of the causes of monsters, nature and differences) that documented the many “monstrosities” and deformities reported in nature. The book chimed with the public’s interest in “monsters” and “freaks” and Liceti documented all of the stories of man-beasts, mermaids, wolf children as well as the physical abnormalities he had witnessed (co-joined twins, multiple-limbed children, hermaphrodites and alike). Liceti did not consider these “monstri” as abnormal, but rather as attempts of nature to fashion life as best as possible, in the same way an artist would create art with whatever materials were available.

It is said that I see the convergence of both Nature and art, because one or the other not being able to make what they want, they at least make what they can.

He was also the first to posit the idea that fetal disease could lead to abnormalities in children.

De monstrorum causis, natura et differentiis was first published in 1616 without illustrations, a lavish illustrated second edition was published in Padua in 1634, with a further edition De monstris (or what you might call the mass market edition) was produced in Amsterdam in 1665. It is from the last edition that these incredible images are from.

A PDF of De monstris is available here.
More illustrations from ‘De monstri’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Franckeinstein’: The Frankenstein / Albert Einstein monster
10:46 am


Albert Einstein

Redditor jelliefish says, “I’m teaching English in France at the moment—here’s a poster one of my students made on the topic of ‘monsters’.”

(via reddit)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Dr. George Rekers: American Mengele?

This story is do distasteful, twisted and nasty, it’s hard to know where to begin…

There was a piece on Anderson Cooper 360º last night that was so shocking to me, I was simply dumbfounded by what I was seeing. It’s sad. Oh, is it sad. And infuriating. It’s that in spades.

Fundamentalist Christian leader, anti-gay activist and infamous hirer of male prostitutes, Dr. George Rekers, who foundered the Family Research Council (with Dr. James Dobson) was the lead in the grotesque mind-rape of an innocent child—not just one child, several—in a bizarre psychological experiment at UCLA in the 70s called the “Feminine Boy Project.” Boys as young as 4-years-old were trusted with this creep by parents who were worried that their sons would turn out to be “sissies,” looking for a “cure” for this behavior.

When you watch this, you’ll want to cry. It was child abuse, pure and simple, under cover of “science” and administered by a self-loathing gay man with severe psychological issues of his own. When Rekers was caught in his “rent boy” scandal, with male prostitute Jo-Vanni Roman in 2010, Frank Rich of The New York Times wrote: “Thanks to Rekers’ clownish public exposure, we now know that his professional judgments are windows into his cracked psyche, not gay people’s. But…his excursions into public policy have had real and damaging consequences on a large swath of Americans.”

Like young Kirk Murphy, whose life was ruined by Rekers’ sick Pavlovian “therapy.” From CNN:

Kirk Andrew Murphy seemed to have everything to live for. He put himself through school. He had a successful 8-year career in the Air Force. After the service, he landed a high profile position with an American finance company in India.

But in 2003 at age 38, Kirk Murphy took his own life.

A co-worker found him hanging from the fan of his apartment in New Delhi. His family has struggled for years to understand what happened.

“I used to spend so much time thinking, why would he kill himself at the age of 38? It doesn’t make any sense to me,” said Kirk’s sister, Maris Murphy. “What I now think is I don’t know how he made it that long.”

After Kirk’s death, Maris started a search that would uncover a dark family secret. That secret revealed itself during a phone conversation with her older brother Mark, who mentioned his distrust of any kind of therapy.

“Don’t you remember all that crap we went through at UCLA?” he asked her. Maris was too young to remember the details, but Mark remembered it vividly as a low point in their lives.

It’s a pity Kirk didn’t live long enough to see Rekers’ disgrace, downfall and the complete discrediting of his life’s work by the scientific community. He is a pariah now, even in the Christian conservative community, something he so richly deserves, but. humiliation isn’t enough for a guy like George Rekers. Humiliation is too kind for a monster of his caliber.

Imagine what it’s like to Google your own name and see yourself compared to Josef Mengele THOUSANDS of times? I hope that more of his victims and their families come forward like the Murphy family has and publicly denounce this evil man. He should be investigated, his degrees should be stripped from him, and I sure hope that he’s wrapped up in expensive lawsuits from his victims that will ruin what is left of his time on this planet.

Perhaps it’s impolite to say this, but it’s too bad that Kirk didn’t take George Rekers with him when he killed himself, but I doubt that I was the only one thinking it, watching this.

Maris Murphy,  said it best:

“The research has a postscript that needs to be added,” she said. “That is that Kirk Andrew Murphy was Kraig and he was gay, and he committed suicide.”

“I want people to remember that this was a little boy who deserved protection, respect and unconditional love,” his sister said. “I don’t want him to be remembered as a science experiment. He was a person.”

This is some powerful reporting. Anderson Cooper and his team did a great job with this explosive story.


Therapy to change ‘feminine’ boy created a troubled man, family says (CNN)
Via Little Green Footballs

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
An important message about strangers
08:39 pm



Miki sez “Don’t drink the blood!” But then again, she would say that…

Via Tim Heidecker’s Twitter feed

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Anatomical Diagrams of Mythical Japanese Monsters
09:32 am

Pop Culture






It would be next to impossible to do one of these for Hedorah, (AKA “the Smog Monster”) as its made of pollution. For a real culture shock whiplash, here is a German version of the movie trailer:



Via Hunting Lodge

Thanks Wilson Smith!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment