Reading Time: 2 minutes I love the number 13. I mean… what’s not to love? A baker’s dozen is 12 plus 1. An extra donut? Yes, please. In a hurry at the grocery store? Checkout lane number 13 is probably shorter. Looking for an apartment in a tall building? Units on the 13th floor could be cheaper. Need a […]
Reading Time: 3 minutes Her name was first spoken in hushed tones among children all over America [over] twenty years ago. Even in Sweden, folklorists reported Bloody Mary’s fame. Children of all races and classes told of the hideous demon conjured by chanting her name before a mirror in a pitch-dark room. And when she crashes through the glass, […]
Reading Time: 11 minutes Outside my work here at OnlySky, I’m a writer of speculative and science fiction, and a translator. My science fiction usually focuses on alternative justices and social contract theory, so the overlap with my humanist essays is obvious. But my work as a translator? Well, that’s a labor of love, and an act of thanks. […]
Reading Time: 8 minutes A report in the Boston Globe that a group wearing neo-Nazi insignia appeared among the spectators at Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in the city on Sunday got me thinking: If far-right imbeciles want to attend saints’ days, they should hold rallies of their own to revere Dymphna, the patron saint of the mentally ill. […]
Reading Time: 3 minutes High in the Pennines in the north of England, in the gold-brown water of the River Tees, lives a creature named Peg Powler. She’s a mermaid, kind of, but she’s no Ariel. Peg is a river hag, with green hair and skin and a row of jagged teeth. And unlike Ariel, she lives not to make children […]
Reading Time: 3 minutes Kids raised in traditional Guarani homes may forget many things about their upbringing, but they never forget Jasy Jateré.
Reading Time: 4 minutes Superstition in all it many forms faced two significant challenges in 1881. This was the year that G W Foote launched his UK atheist magazine, The Freethinker, saying that “it will wage relentless war against Superstition in general, and against Christian Superstition in particular.” Meanwhile, across the pond, bon viveur William Fowler found a different […]
Reading Time: 3 minutes I don’t typically write about music, but the Satantic references (along with some interesting commentary on Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church) in the latest Pussy Riot music video, definitely caught my attention. While it’s certainly not the first time a band has used its platform to spotlight current issues, whether social or political, and […]
Reading Time: 3 minutes I’m celebrating 10 years of blogging by…starting a new column! If you know me from my time spent at other blogs, welcome; you know what to expect in terms of the alchemy of scholarship and snark. If you’re a new reader, greetings! I chose the title “Foxy Folklorist” to cheekily indicate that I’m primarily writing […]
Reading Time: 3 minutes Ah, summertime, when academics everywhere finally get to work on our research. Mine, I realize, is focused on queer identities in fairy tales, since that’s the most exciting thing to me right now.