Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Best records of 2007

Having seen that Biffo has done it I can follow in his lead and post my favourite albums of 2007.

In no particular order:

1 Paul McCartney `Memory almost Full`
2 Kula Shaker `Strangefolk`
3 Radiohead `In Rainbows`
4 The Polyphonic Spree `Fragile Army`
5 Tinariwen `Aman Iman`
6 The Decemberists `The Crane Wife`
7 Robert Plant/Alison Krauss `Eaising Sand`
8 Robert Wyatt `Comicopera`
9 Gogol Bordello `Super Taranta!`
10 Kevin Ayers `The unfairground`

but my favourite has to be the first solo album by Brett Anderson, ex of Suede! It is everything that one could have hoped for and more....

My best gig of the year was the Pet ShopBoys at the Eden Project, but then again I didn't get to see either Led Zeppelin or Steve Ignorant!

I dont't usually hang out in such places, but I was on Friends Reunited a few months ago, and I happened to spy the entry from a one-time social intimate of mine in which he was ranting that all modern music is rubbish.


You just have to look harder these days..

Good Times, Bad Times

The bad news is that Corinna's Christmas Presents have died. I bought her a pair of Budgett's frogs, and Oll and I smuggled them into the house about three weeks ago. They were thriving, and even managed to survive the very cold snap of a few days back, but yesterday, David went up yo feed them and they were both dead!

I was very upset, and what made it worse was that Corinna realised I was upset and wormed the reason out of me. Now she knows about the Christmas Present she didn't have :( But I have sourced another pair for her and she will get thewm early in the New Year, so despite the trajedy, she will still get her amphibious presents.

I am very ambivelent about this time of year. I don't go as far as to say "Bah Humbug" (well not all the time, anyway), but in many ways there is something vaguely disturbing about what is euphemistically known as the `festive season`. I was in Morrison's the other day, buying vaguely festive stuff like catfood and cigarettes when I was mown down by baying hordes of chavs gallumphing around the aisles like a herd of vulgar wildebeest. They were all talking to their revolting friends on their mobile phones at the top of their voices, mostly about their sex-lives, and they were buying such enormous piles of food and booze, (that shocked me, and I am a drinker with an eating disorder), that I can onloy assume that they all had large families of eleven or twelve, or that they were kitting out an Antarctic expedition.

What was most disturbing were the number of people whom I overheard bemoaning the fact that - and I quote - they "would be paying for this for months", and that they were getting themselves deeply into debt, paying for one enormous, artery-busting blowout. I know we are a consumer society, but this is ridiculous.

And all this is to celebrate a sacred festival of a religion most people these days don't believe in. There is something wrong here.

On a happier note, however, we went to a family party last night, and had a real old-fashioned Christmas parlour party, with cake and pop and carols round the piano. It was lovely.

But the best thing about this Christmas? Spending it with my beautiful new wife, and my two lovely step-daughters! After years of being a bachelor, I am never going to be alone at Christmas again.... and you don't know how happy that makes me.

Happy Christmas my friends..