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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Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I know that there are many of you out in bloggoland who feel that like the pontiff I am infallible and never make mistakes but I am just about to sadly disillusion you. I am rapidly becoming a senile old coot, and although I am a relatively good boy these days, my years of partying hard have probably caught up with me.

When we went to Ireland last week I forgot to take some of my medication with me so for a glorious week I had very little diabetes medicine, and none of my anti-bonkers pills, so I was as high as a kite when I got back, on a mixture of tiredness and blood sugar.

During my abscence Graham retrieved my errant medication from the chemist, and as soon as I returned to base I started taking it properly again. However, the net result of this is that I slept almost incessantly for the next three days, and even now I am still feeling a little groggy. I also had 4,000 emails waiting for me on my return plus a whole slew of other stuff, so please be forgiving if I am a little behind with my correspondence.

To change the subject a tad, your thoughts and prayers are appreciated for Noela Mackenzie, the oldest CFZ member, who - at 87 - is uprooting herself from her home in Kingsbridge to move to Bideford so she can be nearer the CFZ; to Maxy who starts university this weekend; to Lizzy and Dave who are each going through (unconnected) life dramas; to Marjorie Braund, still in Bideford Hospital (I saw her yesterday evening) waiting her final last ditch bout of radiotherapy; and to my brother's family who have kittens each time the telephone rings, and will do until he is safe home from Afghanistan.


Greatbeast said...

4,000 emails? Really? Do these include viagra promotions and ads for Rolex watches?

Dr Dan Holdsworth said...

Personally I've found that a combination of SpamAssassin and Bogofilter works very well in reducing the amount of spam I read, though I do have to remember to clear out the spam folder from time to time. Jon may or may not be able to use these; SpamAssassin probably has a Windows alternative but Bogofilter doesn't.

As an aside, Bogofilter is a real-life application of the statistical techniques invented by the Rev Thomas Bayes in 1764, which up until a few years ago remained little used until someone realised that they were just the ticket for scoring emails based on the distribution of words in them.

A trick which I use for email is to have a small Linux system running constantly (I use an Intel Atom system; cheap and frugal on power) polling email servers periodically, and filtering the email thus garnered into folders in a home directory, to be served out by an IMAP server called Dovecot. The advantage to this is that my power-hungry main machine can be left turned off most of the time now, and I can access my email from almost anywhere that there's a net connection now.

Config files and specifications available on request, if anyone's interested...

Richie said...


1,000 of those emails are probably mine reminding you to take your medicine.