Thursday, 26 February 2015

The Weird and Wonderful World of Animal Sex

8pm (doors 7.30pm)
Thursday 28 May 2015
£3 / £2 concessions.
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR
Bus / train / tube: Liverpool Street

What’s the easiest way to tell species apart? Check their genitals. Researching private parts was long considered taboo, but scientists are now beginning to understand that the wild diversity of sex organs across species can tell us a lot about evolution. 

Menno Schilthuize invites the audience to join him as he uncovers the ways the shapes and functions of genitalia have been molded by complex Darwinian struggles: penises that have lost their spines but evolved appendages to displace sperm; female orgasms that select or reject semen from males, in turn subtly modifying the females’ genital shape. 

We learn why spiders masturbate into miniature webs, discover she-dungflies that store

sperm from attractive males in their bellies, and see how, when it comes to outlandish appendages and bizarre behaviors, humans are downright boring. 

Menno is the author of the book Nature's Nether Regions (Penguin) is senior scientist
at Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, the Netherlands.

8pm (doors 7.30pm)
Thursday 28 May 2015
£3 / £2 concessions.
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR
Bus / train / tube: Liverpool Street

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Fortean London: The Sacred and Profane

8pm (doors 7.30pm)
Thursday 26 March 2015
£3 / £2 concessions.
Advanced tickets available (10% admin fee)
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR
Bus / train / tube: Liverpool Street

Join us for a night of shrines and magic in London with three expert City explorers and magical practitioners.

Caroline Wise: The Lost Goddess of London
In the City there was once a great goddess. She resurfaces at various times. Who is she? Why is she here? Where can we find her and what Fortean phenomena has she generated?

Peter Watts: London's Secret Shrine
Exploring London's secret shrines, from spoons to skateboards and how the city commemorates the dead. Peter Watts is a writer and London nerd who has written about architecture, beer, buses, drugs, music, tunnels, boats, zoos and pretty much everything else in between.

John Constable: Goose and Crow at Crossbones Graveyard
John Constable aka John Crow is the author of The Southwark Mysteries, a magical work received in a vision of Cross Bones, south London's outcasts' burial ground. In this talk, he explores the site's extraordinary past, present and future.

Each events begins with our fortmanteau of topical fortean stories.

8pm (doors 7.30pm)
Thursday 26 March 2015
£3 / £2 concessions.
Advanced tickets available (10% admin fee)
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR
Bus / train / tube: Liverpool Street

Thursday, 29 January 2015

The Bleeding Heart Walk

6.30pm Saturday 14 February: tickets off sale but still some places! Please come along. 

£5 per person
Meeting
Bleeding Heart Yard, off Greville Street, EC1.
Nearest rail: Farringdon
Nearest tube: Farringdon & Chancery Lane.


Forget St. Valentine and join London Urban Legends: The Corpse on the Tube author Scott Wood for a walk across London’s strangest and scariest sites. Join us for the heart-wrenchingly gory legends of Bleeding Heart Yard, the divorced statue, wife sales, husband bothering from beyond the grave, scratching fanny, phantom black dogs, cat-fighting ghosts, tacky love tokens, the rat love queen, a  magical duel with an undead baker and  the shrine of the prostitutes graveyard and more. 

This 2 hour walk, hosted by the London Fortean Society and Haunt London
begins in Bleeding Heart Yard EC1 and crosses the City to finish at Red Cross Way SE1.

7pm Friday 13 February- booking closed, still some places! Come this evening
6.30pm Saturday 14 February
£5
Meeting Bleeding Heart Yard, off Greville Street, EC1.
Nearest rail: Farringdon
Nearest tube: Farringdon & Chancery Lane.


Monday, 1 December 2014

The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day

8pm (doors 7.30pm)
Thursday 26 February 2015
This event has now sold out. Sorry if you did not get a ticket. We will hopefully be booking it again this year. Please watch this space!
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR
Bus / train / tube: Liverpool Street
Coincidences happen, incredibly unlikely things occur, and the apparently miraculous comes about. The improbability principle says that such extraordinarily improbable events are commonplace. It shows that this is not a contradiction, but that we should expect identical lottery numbers to come up more than once, lightning to strike twice, and financial crashes to occur.

Professor David J. Hand is Senior Research Investigator and Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Imperial College, London. His applications interests include psychology, physics, and the retail credit industry - he and his research group won the 2012 Credit Collections and Risk Award for Contributions to the Credit Industry. He was made OBE for services to research and innovation in 2013.

His latest book, The Improbability Principle, appeared in February 2014.
Improbability
Each regular gathering starts with the Fortmanteau by Scott Wood, our with our monthly round-up of fortean news stories from the month.

The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day facebook page.

8pm (doors 7.30pm)
Thursday 26 February 2015
This event has now sold out. Sorry if you did not get a ticket. We will hopefully be booking it again this year. Please watch this space!
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR
Bus / train / tube: Liverpool Street

'The Terror of London': Spring-heeled Jack and the Victorian Metropolitan Press



8pm (doors 7.30pm)
Thursday 29 January 2015
£3 / £2 concessions.
This event has now sold out. Sorry if you did not get a ticket. We will hopefully be booking it again this year. Please watch this space!
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR
Bus / train / tube: Liverpool Street

One of London's greatest monsters, Spring-heeled Jack has held the city's imagination in his claws since he first appeared as "a ghost, a bear, and a devil" right up to contemporary comics and internet radio dramas 
featuring the leaping horror of legend.

This talk explores Spring-heeled Jack’s appearances in and relationship to Victorian London. It considers his origins in the capital, and the way the metropolitan press gave life to a strange urban legend that went on to terrorise the rest of the country.

Dr Karl Bell is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Portsmouth. He has published on a variety of topics linked to magic and the supernatural in nineteenth-century Britain. He is the author of two books, 'The Magical Imagination: Magic and Modernity in Urban England' 1780-1914' (Cambridge University Press, 2012), and 'The Legend of Spring-heeled Jack: Victorian Urban Folklore and Popular Cultures' (Boydell and Brewer, 2012). The latter won the 2013 Katharine Briggs Award.


Each regular gathering starts with the Fortmanteau, our with our monthly round-up of fortean news stories from the month.  



'The Terror of London': Spring-heeled Jack and the Victorian Metropolitan Press event Facebook page

8pm (doors 7.30pm)

Thursday 29 January 2015
£3 / £2 concessions.
This event has now sold out. Sorry if you did not get a ticket. We will hopefully be booking it again this year. Please watch this space!
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR

Bus / train / tube: Liverpool Street

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Dr David Clarke: The Angels of Mons

7.30pm for 8pm  Tuesday 16 December 2014
£3 / £2 concessions
Advanced tickets (10% admin fee)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train & Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East

Dr David Clarke: The Angels of Mons
2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and the birth of the most enduring legend of that conflict, The Angels of Mons. The ferocity of the battle and fear of early defeat encouraged an atmosphere on the Home Front that was receptive to the supernatural. From this cauldron of hope, faith and fear emerged an inspiring story of warrior angels that appeared to save British troops from the German onslaught in Belgium.

The legend became part of the folk memory of the war and encouraged those who believed the Allies had divine support on the battlefield.  This talk by Sheffield Hallam University journalism lecturer David Clarke launches his new book Britain’s X-traordinary Files, published by Bloomsbury/The National Archives.
The design of this book
makes for a wonky image


Each regular gathering starts with the Fortmanteau, our with our monthly round-up of fortean news stories from the month.

Dr David Clarke: The Angels of Mons facebook page.

7.30pm for 8pm  Tuesday 16 December 2014
£3 / £2 concessions
Advanced tickets (10% admin fee)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train & Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Stevyn Colgan: Mr Green and Mr Gray Cannot Visit us Today




8pm (doors 7.30pm)
Thursday 27 November 2014
£3 / £2 concessions.
Advanced Tickets (10% booking fee).
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR

Bus / train / tube: Liverpool Street


Given the bewildering variety of life on Earth – all stemming from one self-replicating molecule – can we really predict what life on other worlds is like? Maybe not. But we can imagine what it isn’t like
. In this entertaining talk you’ll hear about feuding gangs of scientists, film directors with less imagination than children, and the perils of concrete poo.

Stevyn Colgan, now a QI elf and a writer for Radio 4’s The Museum of Curiosity, has been involved with aliens for three decades. He’s held Jabba the Hutt’s face, helped sculpt creatures for Bruce Willis to shoot at and had a script accepted for Doctor Who in the 1980s.

Stevyn Colgan is one of the writers of the BBC TV series QI and the BBC R4

series The Museum of Curiosity. In a hugely varied half century (and a bit) he’s been, among other things, a police officer, a milkman, an illustrator, a folkie and a chef. He’s written briefing notes for Prime Minister’s Question Time and scripts for Doctor Who and Captain Scarlet, was part of the team that made Dippy the Diplodocus’s new tail and has worked on several Hollywood blockbusters. He’s been kissed by Princess Diana, hugged by Freddie Mercury, set on fire twice and stabbed once but not in the same day. He currently divides his time between writing, illustration and doing talks around the UK and USA.

His new book ‘Why did the policeman cross the road?’ is now available to pre-order via Unbound.co.uk


Each regular gathering starts with the Fortmanteau, our with our monthly round-up of fortean news stories from the month. 

Stevyn Colgan: Mr Green and Mr Gray Cannot Visit us Today facebook page. 

8pm (doors 7.30pm)
Thursday 27 November 2014
£3 / £2 concessions.
Advanced Tickets (10% booking fee).
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR
Bus / train / tube: Liverpool Street