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Keep Calm and Bioluminesce With BPAL’s Weekly Link Roundup

2016 June 24
by black phoenix


Welcome to our weekly roundup of cherished news bits! This week’s batch:

Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling, and others respond to Britain’s exit from the European Union.

☠ Halo effect: Swimmers in Thailand surrounded by clouds of bio-luminescent phytoplankton.

☠ A bunch of Tony Robbins seminar attendees had to be hospitalized for burns after walking across coals.

The discovery of these 400-year-old artifacts may provide information about the lost Roanoke colony.

This colorful chart ranks the pain of stinging insects, from “Caustic” to “Blinding.”

Forging the Body of the Witch: A lecture by Peter Gray from London’s 2016 Occult Conference.

Some of history’s most beautiful combs were actually made for lice removal. 

Here’s a peek inside Margaret Atwood’s new graphic novel, Angel Catbird.

☠ Behold, a history of horror in which 1 year = 1 film! Enjoy below.

Sleep With Danger Via BPAL’s Weekly Link Roundup

2016 June 17
by black phoenix


Welcome to our weekly roundup of cherished news bits! This week’s batch:

☠ Pick your footing carefully around Bolton Strid, the stream in Yorkshire that swallows people whole.

☠ Hold the phone – reviewers are saying that James Franco’s lesbian vampire remake of Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? is actually pretty good!

Japan is using their best robotic technology to reanimate 19th century author Soseki Natsume. Because why not?

☠ Good news for horror writers: Tales From the Crypt is inviting fans to collaborate as episode screenwriters. (New host suggestion: The Copyright-Keeper?)

Mongolia’s new address system gives every location a poetic three-word name.

☠ More from Atlas Obscura: “I tried a Medieval diet, and I didn’t even get that drunk.”

W. B. Yeats and Joyce Carol Oates both had birthdays this week. Here’s a mashup of memorable quotes from both of them!

The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown just donated a crapload of money to make texts from theBibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica available online.

☠ Um, why are these giant spider crabs amassing off the coast of Australia?

Conjure This: It’s BPAL’s Weekly Link Roundup

2016 June 11
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by black phoenix

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Welcome to our weekly roundup of cherished news bits! This week’s batch:

☠ Smaug has never looked more adorable than in these illustrations from a 1976 Soviet edition ofThe Hobbit.

☠ Get involved, Internet: Help the great Jan Švankmajer make his final film.

☠ Coolest infographic ever: The Periodic Table of Storytelling.

Members of the press cruised NYC with Daniel Radcliffe’s corpse for the Swiss Army Manpromo tour.

This is what a lump of 2,000 year-old butter looks like.

☠ Wooden tablets found at a construction site offer a glimpse of Roman London.

☠ What the hell, Japan? Characters from The Grudge and The Ring threw the opening pitch at a recent baseball game.

☠ Here’s why Harry Potter fans should be thrilled that The Secret Garden is about to be adapted to film once again.

☠ Think you had it rough as a babysitter? Wait till you see this Brazilian TV prank inspired by The Conjuring 2.

The Skies Darken With Links! Welcome to BPAL’s Weekly Roundup

2016 June 3
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by black phoenix


Welcome to our weekly roundup of cherished news bits! This week’s batch:

☠ Reddit is scaring itself silly by following the posts of a user named _9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9.

Each night 15,000 crows descend to roost at a bog near University of Washington Bothell.

☠ Perfectly self-explanatory: My Top 5 Historical Catherines and How I Feel About Them.

Photos of Aristotle’s 2,400 year-old tomb, which has been found at Stagira!

☠ Flashback Friday: remember that time five Miss Havishams descended on London and rode the metro together?

☠ A study of ancient Roman skeletons has revealed why the average worker was dead by 30.

☠ Yep, King Tut’s ceremonial dagger was definitely forged from meteorite iron.

☠ A man has trained a machine to “watch” Blade Runner, and posted the computer’s interpretation of the data online.

☠ The Marx Brothers’ 1924 musical “I’ll Say She Is” was thought lost – but it’s been recreated by theater scholars, and just opened in New York! Catch a glimpse of their hard work below.

Hail the (Apocryphal) Flail! It’s BPAL’s Weekly Link Roundup

2016 May 20
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by black phoenix


Welcome to our weekly roundup of cherished news bits, coming at you via the Black Phoenix Gazette. This week’s batch:

☠ Archaeology of the undead: The many precautions people have taken to keep corpses in their graves.

☠ The military flail – that spiked-ball weapon attributed to Medieval warfare – probably didn’t exist.

☠ A Smithsonian linguist finds that the Native Americans of central Massachusetts spoke five languages instead of one.

☠ You think Tony Montana was a cool customer? Behold the violent Ice Cream Wars of 1980s Scotland.

☠ Sad news: that baby bison who was placed in a van by stupid tourists in Yellowstone ended up having to be euthanized.

☠ “Straw hat-snatching did, in fact, trigger a bloody, three-day riot in 1922.”

Die Antwoord’s new mixtape opens with a tutorial for Americans on how to say “Die Antwoord.”

☠ 20th Century literary pioneer and style icon Blanche Knopf changed the world’s reading lists forever without getting any credit for it – until now.

JP Sears’ particularly biting brand of New Age satire is having a moment. Naturally, we’re living for his send-up of the essential oils craze. Enjoy below!

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night Without BPAL’s Weekly Link Roundup!

2016 May 13
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by black phoenix


Welcome to our weekly roundup of cherished news bits! This week’s batch:

☠ This European archaeology project is bringing the sounds of the ancient world back to life.

☠ The picture book Duck, Death, and the Tulip is an uncommonly tender illustrated meditation on the cycle of life.

☠ Meet the Quebec teenager who managed to discover Mayan ruins without leaving home, simply by studying the stars.

☠ What were photo studios like a century ago? This guy has recreated one in miniature.

☠ Congress has finally approved burials in Arlington Cemetery for female WWII pilots.

☠ Buckle up for this interview with Christian ex-gay therapy survivor Garrard Conley about his new book, Boy Erased.

☠ Check out the concept art for Terry Gilliam’s latest attempt to adapt Don Quixote!

Welcome to the world of paleoscatology, in which scientists are digging up stools “as precious as the Crown Jewels.”

☠ We’ve just learned that David Bowie had been scheduled to appear in the new “Twin Peaks” series. Guess we’ll just have to watch his Fire Walk With Me scene on repeat!

Welcome to #BPAL7wordstory Contest, Round Two: SLOTH Edition

2016 May 9
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by black phoenix


For the second time, we invite BPAL’s fans to participate in our creative process. Welcome one and all to the return of our Seven Word Story Contest!

Call it what you will — flash fiction, microfiction, writing for short attention spans — we want to see just how imaginative you can get in seven words of fewer between now and 19 May 2016.

The winning story will inspire an original fragrance crafted by BPAL’s head perfumer, and will be featured on the label alongside a credit to the author (who will also receive a free bottle of the blend).

On the heels of our Lupercalia update, we’ve decreed the theme to this edition of the contest will be SLOTH. We advise you to use the full 7-word range to express yourself — or whatever you have the energy for.

Profanity is allowed, as are multiple entries, but try not to over-exert yourself.

The deadline for entries is 19 May 2016.  Please read the rules below before submitting. Email your entries (and any questions about the Contest) to, or tweet them @bpal with the hashtag #BPAL7wordstory.

BPAL Seven Word Story Contest Rules and Regulations

By submitting an entry, you agree to be bound by the Official Submission Guidelines and Rules and represent that you have read and understood all requirements set forth.

How do I submit a 7 Word Story and what are the deadlines?

All submissions must be received by the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab by May 19, 2016. Stories should be submitted online via email to or on Twitter using the #BPAL7wordstory hashtag. On or about June 1, 2016, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab will announce the selected story.

On June 29, 2016 a fragrance inspired by the winning story will be released for sale on Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, featuring the full text of the story and winner’s name on the label.

Selected authors will receive credit under the name of their choice on the copy text for the fragrance, one bottle of the fragrance inspired by their story, and enviable fame within the Black Phoenix community (no warranties on the fame bit).

By submitting an entry, you agree to be bound by these Official Submission Guidelines and Rules and represent that you have read and understood all requirements set forth below.

  1. Submitted stories must be written in English; stories written in other languages will not be accepted.
  1. All entries must be 7 words or fewer.
  1. Stories must be original and unpublished at the time of submission, including the entrant’s social media accounts. All submissions must be exclusive to the 7 Word Stories Project through April 30, 2017, regardless of whether a story is selected as winner.
  1. All information must be submitted electronically via email ( or Twitter (#BPAL7wordstory).
  1. Stories must only have one author. No coauthored works, please. Because…Seven Words.
  1. A submitted story may not contain any material that is copyrighted or otherwise owned or controlled by someone other than the author (including but not limited to, poetry, music and/or lyrics, characters originally created by others in any medium, and/or stories based on real people and/or other people’s lives, other than public figures). We would be fascinated by how you’d manage it, though.
  1. All submissions should be complete stories which can stand on their own.
  1. By submitting a story, authors (and/or their parents and/or guardians) agree that Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and any sponsors or other supporters of the 7 Word Stories Project may use the author’s name, image and all or a portion of the submitted story to promote the project, regardless of whether the story entered is selected as winner. Authors who are under the age of 18 must have the permission of their parent or guardian to submit their work.
  1. Employees of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab or any of their respective entities, subsidiaries, and immediate families (spouses, parents, children, and siblings and their spouses) and/or persons living in the same households as such persons of each are not eligible to enter.
  1. All applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. You are responsible for knowing the laws of your jurisdiction with respect to contest entry. The 7 Word Stories Project and these rules will be governed, construed and interpreted under the laws of California. By entering, you agree to be bound by these rules and by the decisions of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, which are final and binding in all respects. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab reserves the right to change these rules at any time, and in its sole discretion, and to suspend, cancel, postpone or extend the project. Individuals who violate or fail to comply with these rules, violate any law, rule or regulation in connection with participation in the application process, tamper with the operation of the entry process, or engage in any conduct that is detrimental or unfair to Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, the application process, any other applicants (in each case as determined in Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s sole discretion), are subject to disqualification.
  1. By entering, authors retain their copyright but grant Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab the license to use their entire story for promotion of the scent, contest, and the Lab in general.
  1. The Lab agrees to use all commercially reasonable efforts to provide credit in whatever format entrants request (i.e., real name, forum name, other pseudonym).
  1. The winning entry or entries will be selected in the sole discretion of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.The Lab reserves the right to select one or more entries based on the quality of entries received. Entries will be judged on their overall narrative, as well as their potential for providing scent inspiration.

Live It, Learn It, Love It: BPAL’s Weekly Link Roundup!

2016 May 6
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by black phoenix


Welcome to our weekly roundup of cherished news bits! This week’s batch:

☠ Josh Boone, the director of that Interview With a Vampire remake, just posted a pic of the completed script!

☠ We won’t be the only class act at RuPaul’s DragCon, hennies. Director Darren Stein will be joining Peaches Christ and Rebecca Gayheart for a screening and discussion of Jawbreaker. Learn it, live it, love it!

☠ We’re also gagging on the news that Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange will be playing Bette Davis and Joan Crawford for a series called “Feud” on FX.

☠ Nothing can prepare you for the weirdness of these psychedelic animations from what used to be the Soviet Union.

☠ Grab your hankie: Patton Oswalt writes a memorial tribute to his recently departed wife, true-crime writer Michelle McNamara.

☠ Can you spot the subtle architectural design features that make your city feel more hostile?

☠ “Make it up as you go along,” and other lessons we can learn from Robert Altman’s majestically weird 3 Women.

☠ “Magazines all too frequently lead to books and should be regarded by the prudent as the heavy petting of literature.” Fran Lebowitz and others provide these quotes in honor of World Press Freedom Day.

☠ This will go down in history as the week Radiohead released a claymation remake of The Wicker Man as their new music video. Enjoy below!

Check Out Our RuPaul’s DragCon Exclusive Scents!

2016 April 28
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by black phoenix

Here’s a list of the exclusives we’ll be serving up next weekend at RuPaul’s DragCon, May 7-8. But don’t take our word for it – here’s spokesqueen Ariel Italic to demonstrate our new wig sprays! Take it away, Ariel…

++Wig Spray
A glittering cloud of cotton candy and rhinestone white musk.

A blur of red musk and smoke dotted with mascara, khol smears, and a splash of booze.

Effervescent, sharp, and a little bitter: pink grapefruit and champagne.

You’d be hard pressed to get fishier than this: gilded sweet pea, pink musk, and vanilla sugar.

With label art by Tenebrous Kate!


Welcome to BPAL’s Weekly Link Roundup

2016 April 22
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by black phoenix


Welcome to our weekly roundup of cherished news bits! This week’s batch:

☠ Ladies, gentlemen, avians: your 2016 Audobon Photography Award winners!

Neon Demon = spiritual sister to Suspiria? Watch the trailer and let us know your thoughts.

☠ Who knew the battle over the Sea Monkeys fortune could turn so ugly?

☠ Polish Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska has a lot to say about Fairy Tales and the Necessity of Fear.

☠ “Be cheerful, live your life.” Ancient mosaic ‘meme’ found in an excavation in southern Turkey.

☠ Private journals reveal how Octavia Butler literally wrote her successful career into existence.

☠ Horreurs! Sweetest-monster-alive Doug Jones will be starring in a “remix” of the classic 1922 horror film Nosferatu.

☠ 2016′s Eisner Award and Reuben Award nominees for outstanding comics and cartooning include a record number of women!

☠ Closing out this week with a little Old Hollywood thrift store vinyl: it’s Dorothy Shay, “The Park Avenue Hillbilly” (circa 1950):