This blog is an attempt to shine a torch into the dark corners. Defying the second law of thermodynamics, it started out with maximum disorder and therefore cannot succumb to entropy. It's equal parts dead serious and dead silly. Sometimes, when the hosting server goes down, it's just plain dead. If you decide to join me in my parallel universe, prepare to travel at the speed of dark...
The Beast of Bodmin Moor was a black panther-like creature believed to inhabit Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. Since 1983, around sixty big cat sightings were recorded in the mid-Cornwall area and these were supported by numerous reports of mutilated livestock. The “beast”, supposedly three to five feet long and sporting white-yellow eyes, was one of Britain’s most feared animals.
The truth behind the legend is now emerging. In the wake of the escape from Dartmoor Zoo of Flaviu, a rare lynx, it has emerged that three pumas are believed to have been released into the wild by Mary Chipperfield, whose family owned Plymouth Zoo. Obliged to transfer the animals when the family zoo closed down, she is alleged to have released her favourite breeding pair along with a young male to keep them company rather than see them go into a new home.
Like smoke from shafts of the abyss, like drizzling rain flipped into reverse gravity, the spiralling cones of flying ants pour tentatively skywards. Each individual ant appears at first to be frail and bewildered but quickly becomes absorbed into the wider context – a delirious, hypnotic choreography of love and death. Today is the day the queen ants are emerging from the nest to begin their nuptial flight.
Most ants in a colony are infertile females (workers). The queen is the only fertile female and all the ants are her offspring. Every year, some of her eggs produce winged ants (alates). The male alates (drones) and female alates (queens) all leave the nest at the same time and the queens release pheromones designed to attract a partner. Smaller and less conspicuous, the drones fly up alongside and mount the queens in the air, but the actual mating process often takes place on the ground.
The sole function of the drone is to mate with a queen in nuptial flight. He enjoys the briefest moment of passion before his genitalia gruesomely explodes in the female (he quickly dies after mating). The queens lose their wings and attempt to start a new ant colony.
The phenomenon occurs when the time of year (usually July) and weather conditions such as temperature, humidity and wind speed are just right. Flocks of birds can often be seen gorging on the airborne feast.
Yesterday, the FBI finally abandoned its investigation into the case of DB Cooper following one of the longest, most exhaustive probes in its history. The bundles of crumbling $20 bills, Cooper’s black tie and a parachute will remain preserved for historical purposes at FBI headquarters in Washington.
Theresa May’s refusal to guarantee the rights of EU nationals living in the UK is ridiculous and disgraceful. EU immigrants who complied with the laws and rules that applied at the time in good faith should not be bargaining chips in any Brexit negotiations. Whatever controls we decide to impose on immigration, they must not be applied retrospectively. What next? Have we all got to prove pure bloodlines to remain in the UK?
If the Voyager 1 space probe was picked up by extraterrestrials, what would happen? Here’s your opportunity to find out. Voyager 1 was launched in 1977 to study interstellar space. It carried a gold-plated audio-visual disc in the event that it might be found by intelligent life-forms from other planetary systems. It was picked up by two itinerant spacecombers from a planet called Morys Minor…
Use the coupon code GM97L at checkout to get this book for 99p during Smashwords July promotion!
English football fans embrace continental cafe culture
Reuters, Friday 10th Jun 2016
French police stepped in to break up small groups of English and Russian football fans who squared up and hurled taunts at one another in Marseille on Friday, ahead of the opening match of the Euro 2016 football tournament. TV footage showed one bare-chested supporter in the back of a police van and a handcuffed English supporter being frogmarched by two officers along the edge of Marseille’s old harbour.
A man who fatally attacked and shot Labour MP Jo Cox outside her constituency office reportedly shouted “Britain First”. The incident has occurred against a backdrop of an ugly public debate on the EU referendum.
Well, yes, it does matter what we’re for or against. But not this much.
As a leading proponent of the Remain campaign, David Cameron should perhaps have left the UK to continue sleepwalking along the road towards full EU integration.
The reaction to his performance in the recent televised debate suggests people have started waking up. Hurling insults and abuse at those who have understandable reservations about the country’s inclusion in a federal Europe (dominated by Germany using non-military means), he has succeeded only in creating the perception that he lacks the judgment and comportment expected of a statesman. It cannot be right to insult people in this manner, people who are genuinely concerned about issues like freedom, democracy, accountability and sovereignty (some of them being ex-service personnel who fought for these principles in the Second World War).
Resorting to the use of pejorative terms such as “quitters” and “little Englanders”, Cameron has clearly demonstrated that he has exhausted his arguments. And he’s provided the sleepwalkers with lashings of strong, black coffee. I’d stop drinking it but I’m no quitter.
A sincere and unequivocal attempt to make nonsense of a range of topical issues of the day...
Here is a catalogue of my prose writings, including children's fiction, short stories, non-sequiturs and odd scraps of surrealism with or without a straightforward narrative. Don't believe me? Well, to prove it, here's a picture of a man being fired from a cannon:
The downloads on this site (e.g. pdf versions of Earthwatch and Shackleton's Shed) are free. If you would like to donate a small sum of money to be invested in the upkeep of the site then please scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on the 'Donate' button. Somebody sometime has got to make money from the internet. Let it be me.
This intergalactically recognised award was presented to The Speed Of Dark Blog by The Speed Of Dark Awards Commission.
I am delighted to have been nominated for the 2012 Tony Blair Ducking Under The Bar Award for boldly raising the bar and diving under it. I knew I had the potential to be a great underachiever.
I've racked up another prestigious award - the Eric Morecambe 'Mister Preview' Prize. According to the award citation, The Speed Of Dark Blog contains material that ranks with the finest literary works in history. All the right letters are there, but not necessarily in the right order.
This is just to draw your attention to a totally awesome feature of this blog. A random aphorism/one-liner/quote now appears at the top of the page AND, if you click on it, you get another one!! Too much of a good thing can be truly wonderful!
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Website author: David Winship
The downloads on this site (e.g. pdf versions of Shackleton's Shed and Earthwatch) are free.
If you would like to donate a small sum of money to be invested in the upkeep of the site then please click on the 'Donate' button.
Disclaimer: This website is written for entertainment purposes only and no offence is intended.