Q:I want to read some weird fiction from the pulp era, any good author suggestions? I remember you once mentioned an author named Manly?
Sure, yeah. Here are some notable writers of weird fiction, including some from a little before the pulp era:
Manly Wade Wellman (the one you were thinking of)
Robert E Howard
Clark Ashton Smith (he and the previous two are considered the “big 3” of “Weird Tales”)
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
William Hope Hodgson
As I said, some of these are pre-pulp era, but they’re all worth investigating, I think.
Here are some texts to get you started.
Q:Is Teddy Roosevelt really as awesome as his depictions in pop culture has lead us to believe?
He’s kind of more awesome, really.
While in pop culture it’s easy to reduce him to a caricature of robust masculinity (I have to include myself among such offenders, but Tales from the Bully Pulpit was always intended to be a clash of cultural iconography, not actual historical figures), the fact is, the dude was multi-multi-multi-faceted and just completely amazing.
He pursued his vigorous lifestyle as a way to keep himself alive: he had terrible asthma as a child, and so developed his strenuous regimen to build up his health.
But while many people focus on this aspect of his life—his vigor, his time as a soldier, etc—the fact is, he had a lot more going on. He fought like a motherfucker on ecological and conservation issues. His biggest policy was the Square Deal, which was based on three issues he called the three Cs: 1) conservation of natural resources, 2) control of corporations, and 3) consumer protection.
I don’t know about you, but I’d say we could use another person like that in charge.
Also, people tend to focus on the “big stick” part of his famously repeated axiom, but forget that the first part was “speak softly”: diplomacy first. TR won a Nobel Peace Prize for basically single-handedly orchestrating the end of a war between Russia and Japan. Sure, I’m not huge on the idea of military expansionism, but the idea is that it’s big so that you never have to use it, and I can at least understand where that’s coming from.
Was he perfect? No, of course not. Certainly some of his positions would not be considered enlightened or even acceptable today. For example, as a young man he had some fairly appalling views of Native Americans, and also harbored some ideas about the sterilization of criminals that seem ghastly today.
(Though: his views on immigration and race are more progressive than you might expect. He was strongly in favor of a welcoming immigration policy as long as the immigrants properly assimilated into American culture, and he said of African Americans, “ the only wise and honorable and Christian thing to do is to treat each black man and each white man strictly on his merits as a man, giving him no more and no less than he shows himself worthy to have.” He also appointed the first Jewish cabinet member. But…still. Some of his views would still be pretty abhorrent today. Are they worse than those held by some currently active members of Congress? Certainly not, but it’s not a contest, I suppose.)
Anyway, in short: was he awesome? Yes. Was he as awesome as pop culture makes him? More so, but for reasons pop culture rarely gets into.
DIY Harry Potter Dream Potion Tutorial from Jill at scrapbook.com. This potion uses corn syrup as its base so the glitter doesn’t just sink to the bottom. Products used are listed at the link. For more DIY potions go here: halloweencrafts.tumblr.com/tagged/apothecary
Q: Do I have to kill the snake?
A: University guidelines state that you have to “defeat” the snake. There are many ways to accomplish this. Lots of students choose to wrestle the snake. Some construct decoys and elaborate traps to confuse and then ensnare the snake. One student brought a flute and played a song to lull the snake to sleep. Then he threw the snake out a window.
Q: Does everyone fight the same snake?
A: No. You will fight one of the many snakes that are kept on campus by the facilities department.
Q: Are the snakes big?
A: We have lots of different snakes. The quality of your work determines which snake you will fight. The better your thesis is, the smaller the snake will be.
Q: Does my thesis adviser pick the snake?
A: No. Your adviser just tells the guy who picks the snakes how good your thesis was.
Q: What does it mean if I get a small snake that is also very strong?
A: Snake-picking is not an exact science. The size of the snake is the main factor. The snake may be very strong, or it may be very weak. It may be of Asian, African, or South American origin. It may constrict its victims and then swallow them whole, or it may use venom to blind and/or paralyze its prey. You shouldn’t read too much into these other characteristics. Although if you get a poisonous snake, it often means that there was a problem with the formatting of your bibliography.
Q: When and where do I fight the snake? Does the school have some kind of pit or arena for snake fights?
A: You fight the snake in the room you have reserved for your defense. The fight generally starts after you have finished answering questions about your thesis. However, the snake will be lurking in the room the whole time and it can strike at any point. If the snake attacks prematurely it’s obviously better to defeat it and get back to the rest of your defense as quickly as possible.
Q: Would someone who wrote a bad thesis and defeated a large snake get the same grade as someone who wrote a good thesis and defeated a small snake?
Q: So then couldn’t you just fight a snake in lieu of actually writing a thesis?
A: Technically, yes. But in that case the snake would be very big. Very big, indeed.
Q: Could the snake kill me?
A: That almost never happens. But if you’re worried, just make sure that you write a good thesis.
Q: Why do I have to do this?
A: Snake fighting is one of the great traditions of higher education. It may seem somewhat antiquated and silly, like the robes we wear at graduation, but fighting a snake is an important part of the history and culture of every reputable university. Almost everyone with an advanced degree has gone through this process. Notable figures such as John Foster Dulles, Philip Roth, and Doris Kearns Goodwin (to name but a few) have all had to defeat at least one snake in single combat.
Q: This whole snake thing is just a metaphor, right?
A: I assure you, the snakes are very real.