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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Thursday, December 12, 2013

NEWSLINK: Why I won't be going back to Bristol's creationist zoo

Why I won't be going back to Bristol's creationist zoo

A creationist zoo in Bristol will bewilder adults and potentially undermine children's education
Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, Bristol, England, UK
Tall stories: Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm offers animals and ‘light indoctrination’. Photograph: Alamy
On a cold and dreary afternoon, I headed off to a destination I'd long avoided, to a farm that has been converted into a zoo. This zoo had got into trouble in the past because of links with the Great British Circus, which had led to its expulsion from an industry body, the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, in 2009.
But there was something else about this place that I found unsettling:Noah's Ark Zoo Farm is a creationist zoo. You should perhaps expect that from its name. But biblical words and phrases are part of our cultural heritage, and don't usually imply biblical literalism (at least, I don't think the directors of the Eden Project have any religious agenda to push). I had browsed Noah's Ark's website, so I knew that the name was more than hinting at a religious flavour to this North Somerset attraction.
I walked in with some trepidation, expecting to be inundated immediately with religious propaganda. But there's little evidence of the creationist theme until you enter the large barn in the middle of the complex, which houses an auditorium and an impressive indoor children's play area. This, it seems, was the holy of holies. The walls were covered in posters, and they made for interesting reading.
"All in all, bacteria do not look as if they were the products of chance. They look as if they have been designed… Why has science closed its mind to the possibility that life was created?" asked one.


In an article for the first edition of Cryptozoology Bernard Heuvelmans wrote that cryptozoology is the study of 'unexpected animals' and following on from that perfectly reasonable assertion, it seems to us that whereas the study of out-of-place birds may not have the glamour of the hunt for bigfoot or lake monsters, it is still a perfectly valid area for the Fortean zoologist to be interested in. 

So after about six months of regular postings on the main bloggo Corinna took the plunge and started a 'Watcher of the Skies' blog of her own as part of the CFZ Bloggo Network.


The Gonzo Daily - Thursday
Yesterday I received a very welcome package from the United States. It was my hard copy of the excellent debut album by XNA that I have been raving about for the last couple of weeks, and I would like to thank their singer David very much for expediting it. In recent years one has heard a lot about the decline of CD sales in favour of downloads. I have always thought that a lot of this isn't about the convenience of downloading MP3s but because the CD itself is a fairly unlovely object, and furthermore one that is far harder to fetishise than vinyl used to be. But the XNA album is something else - one of the nicest packages I have seen in a long time, with the CD itself encased in a 5"x5" harback book, lavishly illustrated with all the songwords. This is a gorgeous artifact in itself, and furthermore one which complements the sublime music perfectly. Packages like this raise the bar for us all: lavish packaging was de rigeur in the mid 1970s, but is something which has sadly fallen away over the years. I would like to think that with the advent of XNA it was back.

Another visit to our old friend Thom the World Poet
Rick Wakeman Interviews Adam Wakeman (Backstage at Planet Rockstock 2013)
The multi-talented John Allison explains what the sixties were really all about
FOR THOSE OF YOU INTERESTED: The latest episode of my monthly webTV show
*  The Gonzo Daily is a two way process. If you have any news or want to write for us, please contact me at  jon@eclipse.co.uk. If you are an artist and want to showcase your work, or even just say hello please write to me at gonzo@cfz.org.uk. Please copy, paste and spread the word about this magazine as widely as possible. We need people to read us in order to grow, and as soon as it is viable we shall be invading more traditional magaziney areas. Join in the fun, spread the word, and maybe if we all chant loud enough we CAN stop it raining. See you tomorrow...

*  The Gonzo Daily is - as the name implies - a daily online magazine (mostly) about artists connected to the Gonzo Multimedia group of companies. But it also has other stuff as and when the editor feels like it. The same team also do a weekly newsletter called - imaginatively - The Gonzo Weekly. Find out about it at this link: www.gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/11/all-gonzo-news-wots-fit-to-print.html
* We should probably mention here, that some of our posts are links to things we have found on the internet that we think are of interest. We are not responsible for spelling or factual errors in other people's websites. Honest guv!

*  Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures (and several others) is an old hippy of 54 who - together with his orange cat (who is currently on sick leave in Staffordshire) and two very small kittens (one of whom is also orange) puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish, and sometimes a small Indian frog. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his elderly mother-in-law, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention the orange cat?

CRYPTOLINK: "Driver's shocking bigfoot sighting"

A word about cryptolinks: we are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting (sometimes for the wrong reasons), usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me.


KARL SHUKER - Pigging Out At Christmas

This year, Karl Shuker is really pigging out at Christmas, by unveiling the grim gloso of Sweden.

Read on...

DALE DRINNON: Bigfoot and Champ, Frontiers of Anthropology, Cedar & Willow, Benny's Blogs

These are the links for the past two days compiled: 

New at the Frontiers of Anthropology: 

New at Cedar and Willow: 

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1731 Erasmus Darwin was born. Erasmus thought up the idea of evolution, which his descendent Charles Darwin would later expand upon and find supporting evidence for, invented the steering wheel and the rocket engine.
And now the news:

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  • Poachers Are Using Scientific Papers to Guide Them...
  • Flying deer hits runner in Loudoun

  • Some Seemingly Harmless Snakes Possess a Secret Ve.

  • Litchfield's favourite son: