Archive for May, 2010

Radio interview Sunday

May 28, 2010

Just a note to say that I will be interviewed on the program “Common Threads” about THE REAL HISTORY F THE END OF THE WORLD on Sunday, May 30th.  You can access it on the web at

but only after it has aired.  Thanks, Sharan

The End on the Road

May 28, 2010

Greetings from Omaha, where I’m attending the Mayhem in the Midlands mystery convention.  Interestingly, when I tell people here about this book, they respond with tales of Nebraska weather.   Perhaps the Great Plains are a harbinger of disasters to come?  The roads outside of Omaha look very much like the cover of my book.

One thing I’ve discovered is that people can find signs of the End everywhere if that’s what they are looking for.  Just as history can be viewed as full of signs that show “proof” of alien intervention.  By this logic the oil spill in the Gulf  is due to people using alien technology without understanding it.  The volcano in Guatemala is either a sign of the End or, along with the oil, a sign that Nature is getting really peeved with humanity.   It is true that some of the most popular apocalyptic movements have been helped with a well-timed disaster.  I’ll be interested in seeing if new apocalypse groups are formed from these disasters or if everything that happens will just be attached to the 2012 prediction.  So many things have aready been added that the original calendar and the logic behind it have pretty much been lost.  

That’s all for now.  I may go out later to have a look out for tornados or a rain of frogs.  Let me know if anything equally apocalyptic happens in your neighborhood.

Aliens end everything?

May 24, 2010

In a fit of masochism, I have been watching the History channel’s four-part (!) series on “ancient aliens”.   The producers of the show seem to believe in them.  I am amazed at how the self proclaimed experts on this program can happily ignore facts, logic and social context to insist that pretty much everything in the past proves  that beings from another planet came down and convinced idiot humans that they were gods and then taught them just enough to build pyramids and kill each other more efficiently before zipping back into the sky.

Some proofs offered include representations of the earth as a globe in the Middle Ages, obviously a sign of alien inspiration since “everyone believed the earth was flat”.  Of course, that’s a myth invented in the nineteenth century.  Anyone who cared knew, and could prove mathematically, that the earth was round.  However, the facile logic of the believers is so good that they would probably answer that the aliens had taught man that.  Medieval thinkers couldn’t possibly have had the math or the brains to figure it out.

The speakers  drag in so many random facts and tie them together like a giant macrame that it’s impossible to untangle them.  One point they make is that cultures that were unconnected practiced binding to elongate the head – obviously to imitate the gods.  Most societies also pierced ears and noses to insert jewelry.  Do aliens also have  objects hanging from ears and noses, perhaps communication devices or an unfortunate disease that they are hunting the universe to find a cure for?  With no need to worry about logic and evidence, the possibilities are endless.

As to how this connects to the end of the world – well, Noah’s flood, which I mention in my section on Gilgamesh in THE REAL HISTORY OF THE END OF THE WORLD, was caused by angry aliens and they also told the Mayans to end their calendar in 2012 since they were planning another apocalyptic disaster.

Honestly, I don’t see the difference in the minds of the “experts” between aliens and gods.  It’s just another religion.  If one has faith then even the most illogical statements can be explained away.

If you are also feeling masochistic, the website for the show is

Personally, I think it’s just another way of refusing to be responsible for making the world better.  The aliens are clearly the only ones with the power so the rest of us can only sit back and wait for them.


Pre-Apocaplytic Trip

May 5, 2010

I just realized that I made a possibly Freudian slip in the last post, saying that I did think the Mother Ship was coming!  Of course, that leads to one of my conclusions about the popularity of apocalyptic predictions.  Sometimes it just seems that it would be easier to raze everything and start over rather than continuing to fix the world we have.

However, I wish to reiterate that I DON’T expect we’ll be let off the hook that easily.  So I’m not changing my plans to be at the annual Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, MI from May 12 to 16.  On the way I’ll be signing books at Centuries and Sleuths in Chicago  at 2:00 pm May 9 (Mother’s Day, I know)  and at Schuler’s Alpine Ave. in Grand Rapids at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, May 11.

I hope to see some of you there.  If you can’t make it, I know the stores will be happy to have me sign and personalize a copy for you.