I saw this and Fort of you

28 12 2011

In the mid-80’s I was earning way more money than I actually deserved as a computer programmer. (A situation long-since corrected, I have to say.) I’m sure it will not surprise you, good reader, to learn that as a programmer I came into contact with more than the average number of geeks, nerds and other similarly socially challenged individuals (try saying that with a gobstopper in your mouth!). One such individual was also Irish. Plainly he’d done much evil in a former life to deserve this double stigmatism. However, all jest aside – he had a rapier wit, and was as quick as lighting. One day I saw him reading a slim magazine printed on newsprint. On enquiring, he told me it was the Fortean Times Magazine. Now this little monthly is still printed in the UK and emulates the work of one Charles Fort, an American writer and researcher into anomalous phenomena at the turn of the 20th century.

Fortean Times

Fortean Times

The modus operandi of both Fort and the magazine named after him is to studiously catalogue “odd things” as rigorously as possible… without necessarily believing one iota of it. So – unlike National Enquirer allegedly, the Fortian Times will always quote its sources, and check before publishing.  The magazine “maintains a position of benevolent scepticism towards both the orthodox and the unorthodox”. Within its pages you’ll find all manner of weird stuff being reported from around the globe. They make no claim of voracity… but studiously collect and cross-reference original reports of things such as crop circles, UFOs, grilled cheesus and the like. So – they validate the report itself… not the content per se. Just like Charles Fort.

Such an engineer.

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One response

29 12 2011
misfits' miscellany

Praise Grilled Cheesus, he’s always worth a truckle. Also to be found in Protean Times, not the creationist edition.

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