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Snake You Very Much: It’s BPAL’s Weekly Link Roundup!

2016 November 11
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by black phoenix


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

☠ Support this Kickstarter: pirate singing group Pirates For Sail is working on their next full-length album, Crabby Road.

☠ We are all this baby iguana trying to flee an army of snakes in the new Planet Earth series.

☠ A 350 year-old Scottish book containing the names and confessions of people accused of witchcraft has been scanned and published online.

Listen to Patti Smith read the words of Oscar Wilde at an event hosted by the prison where he was incarcerated in 1895.

☠ Today’s prison inmates are relying on Dungeons and Dragons as a creative, collaborative way of passing the time.

The wait is finally over for those who ordered the Babadook pop-up book!

☠ Astrid Lindgren’s daughter reveals the secrets of Pippi Longstocking’s origin as a figure in her bedtime stories.

☠ Clickhole poking fun: “6 Things That Happen In Every Jane Austen Story Ever.”

☠ What the world needs now is Nina Simone singing lyrics by Langston Hughes:

Ragnarok Your Way Into the Weekend With BPAL’s Weekly Link Roundup

2016 November 4
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by black phoenix


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

☠ Somehow, the basement of the Finnish Natural History Museum has become infested with dangerous Chilean Recluse spiders,

☠ Ragnarok, anyone? A Swedish photographer captured this image of a giant wolf appearing in the Northern Lights.

☠ NYC’s Metropolitan Opera was shut down this week when a man began scattering his friend’s ashes during a performance.

☠ Here’s why queer Haitians are turning to Vodou in ever-greater numbers.

☠ RIP Tammy Grimes, the Broadway star who voiced Molly Grue in The Last Unicorn.

☠ For the first time, 50,000 year-old human settlements have been discovered in Australia’s interior.

☠ From The Babadook to Raw: Rolling Stone chronicles the rise of the modern female horror filmmaker.

☠ In his Hans Christian Andersen Award acceptance speech, novelist Haruki Murakami urges all the world’s nations to explore their dark side.

☠ Get back to your roots with Pitchfork’s crudely (yet adorably) animated short, A Brief History of Goth:

Spooky News Abounds in BPAL’s Weekly Links!

2016 October 28
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by black phoenix


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

Maori women describe the transformative power of their sacred chin tattoos.

☠ Wander through a gallery of these folk art relics from America’s secret societies of yesteryear.

☠ Greenpoint, Brooklyn’s historic bathhouse-turned-warehouse may get scrubbed out in the name of residential development.

☠ Some things to consider when traveling through Romania using Bram Stoker’s Dracula as a guide.

☠ We’re diabolically inspired by this photo essay of witchcraft in rural Portugal!

☠ In related news, here is the first known depiction of a witch riding a broomstick.

☠ This week, Daily Show writer Daniel Radosh shared his response to being presented with a permission slip so his son could read Fahrenheit 451.

What’s up with the male robots in Westworld not getting it on?

☠ Adding Donald Trump voiceover to Texas Chainsaw Massacre footage is te best way to#MakeLeatherfaceScaryAgain:

Welcome to BPAL’s Weekly Link Roundup

2016 October 14
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by black phoenix

ca. 1950s-1970s --- A relief sculpture of a man[?] sticking out his tongue. Dendera, Egypt. --- Image by © Otto Lang/CORBIS

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

☠ Terry Gilliam’s Don Quixote quest has been dealt a death blow: Disney is developing its own multi-film adaptation.

☠ Learn all about how the Egyptian god Bes gave the Christian devil his looks.

☠ 12th century archbishop Thomas Becket’s personal book of Psalms has been discovered in a library at Cambridge.

☠ An early Adolf Hitler biography turns out to have been most likely written by the Führer himself.

Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 play A Doll’s House is getting a rather unconventional sequel – starring Laurie Metcalf and Chris Cooper.

☠ Taschen is reissuing Salvador Dali’s surrealist cookbook, forty years after it was first published!

PJ Harvey collaborates with refugee poets to tell their powerful stories.

☠ More than just a pretty face: revel in the witchy magic of beauty rituals.

☠ According to Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of SNL, there ain’t no party like a The Cruciblecast party. Watch below!

The Old Ways Are New Again in BPAL’s Weekly Link Roundup

2016 October 1
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by black phoenix


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

☠ The current Wonder Woman comic’s writer confirms: “Themyscira Is a Queer Culture.”

☠ Read along in awe as scientists trace society’s greatest myths back to their primordial origins.

☠ The novelist disguised as a housewife: Shirley Jackson wrote 17 books while raising four children.

☠ Get thee to a gallery: beginning this month, the Getty Museum presents an exhibition on the art of alchemy!

☠ A genetic study reveals that cats sailed along with the Vikings on world-conquering journeys.

Photographers have caught mirror spiders adjusting their shiny silver plates to appear extra shiny and dangerous.

☠ An ancient Greek shrine to Demeter and Persephone has been uncovered in Bulgaria.

☠ What does the word “chameleon” actually mean? A survey of all the reigning theories can be found here.

☠ A week from Monday, William Blake’s The Book of Urizen will be presented as a live musical performance at Brooklyn’s Morbid Anatomy Museum. Enjoy a sneak peek of the work below!

Terror Reigns in BPAL’s Weekly Link Roundup

2016 September 23
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by black phoenix


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

☠ In which nothing has changed: Lydia E. Pinkham, the first woman ever to put her face on product packaging, found herself mercilessly trolled.

The HMS Terror has been found fully preserved in the Arctic, 168 years after the ship went missing.

☠ Diva talk: eight different actresses who’ve played Grizabella in CATS give interviews to compare their experiences.

☠ Allegedly, witches from the Middle Ages stole men’s penises and kept them as pets.

☠ Our #BPAL7wordstory “LUST” winner, GeekDame, wrote this essay in praise of the resulting fragrance – and in anticipation of autumn, the perfect season for wearing it.

☠ The now-defunct prison which once housed Oscar Wilde will be hosting an event to honor the author’s memory.

☠ Florida’s Burmese Python epidemic still hasn’t been contained – in fact, it’s spreading.

☠ In a silly turn of events, black metal music legend Fenriz has been elected to a local Norwegian town council against his will.

☠ Teetotalers and alcoholics alike will probably want to check out Rot-Gut, a Prohibition-era platformer!

☠ Everyone knows this week belonged to Angela Lansbury singing “Beauty and the Beast” at a 25th anniversary film screening. Enjoy through tears below!

Brontë, you stay! Welcome to BPAL’s Weekly Links

2016 September 9
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by black phoenix


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

☠ Scientists have determined that famed Australopithecus Lucy’s death wasprobably caused by falling from a tree.

☠ Wuthering Depths: Just how big was Emily Brontë’s coffin, anyway?

☠ These CAT scans of plaster casts from Pompeii are not for the faint of heart.

☠ It turns out that when wasps are given colored paper, they build rainbow nests!

☠ Why is South Carolina suddenly plagued by clowns trying to lure kids into the woods?

☠ RIP: The Lady Chablis, breakout star of John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (who insisted on playing herself in the 1997 film version), has passed away.

☠ Here’s everything you can learn about Disneyland from its strange architectural transitions.

Agony promises to be the most (literally) hellish video game ever made.

☠ Mashup of the year? Here’s the ‘90s show Goosebumps, set to the opening theme from American Horror Story. See below!


Time for #BPAL7wordstory Contest, Round Three: WRATH Edition

2016 August 29
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by black phoenix

wrath mebbe

For the third 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 8 September 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).

Since everyone’s got the It’s-Too-Damn-Hot angries, we figured we’d devote this edition of the contest to WRATH. Make every word count!

Profanity and violence are allowed, but please do not submit anything suggestive of sexual violence. Multiple entries are fine as well!

The deadline for entries is 8 September 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 September 8, 2016. Stories should be submitted online via email to or on Twitter using the #BPAL7wordstory hashtag. On or about September 16, 2016, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab will announce the selected story.

On October 15, 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.

Twit Happens: Welcome to BPAL’s Weekly Link Roundup

2016 August 26
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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:

☠ Attention early Christmas shoppers: Truman Capote’s ashes are heading to auction!

☠ To celebrate a stage production inspired by The Twits, a brewery has concocted a beer made from Roald Dahl’s body yeast, gathered from scrapings of his favorite armchair.

☠ Today in geography: learn how Zzyzx, California got its name.

☠ Artist Sigalit Landau submerged a black dress in the Dead Sea for two months. The result is a crystallized thing of beauty!

☠ Explore the hidden world of tenement fortune tellers in 19th century Manhattan.

☠ Before you hop in that time machine, peruse these ten truly disgusting facts aboutancient Roman life.

☠ This ancient Egyptian papyrus contains the earliest known sighting of Algo, the demon star.

☠ Class act: NYC’s Flame Con asked cosplayers to ditch prop guns in honor of Orlando’s Pulse nightclub shooting.

Sir Patrick Stewart goes undercover as a woman in the new trailer for Blunt Talk season 2.

Shall I Compare Thee to a Winter’s Stew? It’s BPAL’s Weekly Link Roundup

2016 August 19
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by black phoenix


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

This guy found (and interviewed) Carmen San Diego!

Ridley Scott’s son is about to make a movie about the Donner Party, adapted from a book proposal (that’s right, the actual book hasn’t been written yet).

Phylicia Rashad is directing the August Wilson classic Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom next month in Los Angeles!

☠ Breitbard: a McSweeney’s list of William Shakespeare’s works filtered through extreme right-wing talking points.

☠ Atlas Obscura takes us inside the world’s only surviving tattoo shop forMedieval pilgrims.

☠ Listen to The Epic of Gilgamesh being read in the original Akkadian!

☠ Ever wonder why it was Turkish Delight in particular that caught C.S. Lewis’ fancy?

☠ Let this go down in history as the week Kyle MacLachlan summed up all ofDune in one tweet – using only emoji.

☠ If you meet a family of skunks on the road, remember: they have all the power.