"In Papua New Guinea (which was fully 'opened' to the outside world only in the late 19th century), the tradition of witch hunting has not simply persisted in the face of Western intervention—it has become much worse. The ritual is warping, the violence is metastasizing." [cw: graphic content] [more inside]
How does Shazam recognize music? Christophe Kalenzaga sifts through an old research paper (pdf) by Shazam's founder and conducts a short (written) course in signal processing, acoustics, Fourier transformations, and fingerprinting music. [more inside]
“Etsy seems to be only targeting those items of a pagan/occult nature while allowing items of certain faiths traditionally used for protection like St. Christopher medals, to still be marketed,” said another vendor in an email. “Personally I think it's probably unintended ignorance and failure to consider and think through what banning all spiritual, energetic and magickal claims will really mean.”Witches are furious at Etsy for banning the sale of spells (Previously)
Ahmadinejad allies charged with sorcery. Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being "magicians" and invoking djinns (spirits). Increasingly, there is a rift between the President and his Supreme Leader.
>If you want to make your own necropants (literally; nábrók) you have to get permission from a living man to use his skin after he's dead. Click here for a vocal description. NSFW image here. [via Great Dismal, via Got Medieval] [more inside]
If they are sorcerors, why don't they turn their assassins into frogs? Gotta love flimsy pretext.
While I'm not a fan of Harry Potter books (yet - I'll get around to checking them out someday soon), I find it interesting to see some folks still strongly oppose the stories of sorcery, while it seems the average CNN.com reader doesn't see a problem with them (the poll is 97-3 as I write this). It seems that every few years, some fiction strikes the fancy of kids, and parents rally against it, even though it piques kids' imaginations and gets them reading. What's so wrong with Potter books?