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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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Saturday, February 14, 2009

GUEST BLOGGER KARA WADHAM: Only a week to go

Bugfest SW-Carnival of Monsters 21st February 2009 Stanchester School TA19 6UG 10.30am

Preparations for Bugfest are going well, frantic, but moving forward.

I have been overwhelmed by the good will of strangers who have given up their own time to help with this forthcoming charity event. To give you a few examples,our local Police Community Support Officers will be helping with traffic, I have a terrific volunteer - Matthew Pearce - who is going to co-ordinate the whole parking nightmare, good friends have stood shivering in the rain and snow to erect signs, the venue is letting us stalk them by way of phone calls, emails and numerous visits and children from my own school, Bucklers Mead Community School in Yeovil have been giving up their lunch times to make ID badges, sort out a stall and hand out leaflets.

So whilst immersed in the glow of altruism, I received a call from the District Council, telling me that if I did not take all my roadside signs down, I would be fined £80 a sign. In the interests of highways safety, we were told, we would be liable if someone had an accident because they were looking at our sign. However, if the signs were a few feet back on private land that would be perfectly ok! Work that one out!

I am not a woman who likes confrontation, but when I have gone to the trouble of gaining permission by one department, to then be told I would be fined by another, I did start to acquire a Hulkesque like visage and well, I cried. There, I've said it. First Bugfest tears of the season. There had to be some, somewhere along the line.
So I rang one person, who said talk to another, who said to ring the other person back. By this time, I'd had enough and my long suffering hubby had to take over the mantle of Bugfest organiser for about 20 minutes. The upshot is, the lovely signs have to go, so we are investigating private land use!

On a more positive note, we are gaining attention from great stall holders so on the day, expect to see tarantulas, stick insects, mantids, barn owls, Dr Who memorabilia and merchandise. Even the little people have got facepainting, dalek colouring, wee toys, fimo bug making, decorating ceramic tiles and a visit from Captain Jack Sparrow from 'Pirates'. On the Doctor who front, we have full sized Daleks, a cyberman, scarecrow and a Bugfest Doctor! And, did I mention there will be a ruddy great life sized TARDIS out the front?

So if that grabs your goat, come to the Bug spectacular of the Year on 21st February at Stanchester school,TA14 6UG Yeovil. CFZ readers can get cheaper tickets online if they follow this link (£10 for a family instead of £14..)www.bugfest.co.uk/flyerdiscount.htm.
If you would like more information, then please email me on Kara@bugfest.co.uk. I hope to meet you there. I'll be the green, stressed out woman hiding in the TARDIS!

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