French & Zeppelin

I’ve got to get quite a bit of work done today, so naturally I haven’t made a start quite yet, give me a moment to get this blog done and an album review and possibly a long sit down and maybe I’ll be ready to begin.

Perhaps I should begin with last night, when I happened to witness a talk by psychologist, nice guy and advisory editor of the skeptic magazine: Chris French.

I didn’t just happen to come across him in the street and demand he give me a powerpoint presentation, just for the record. Nottingham skeptics in the pub (or the sub as I almost typed (which might be an even better idea)) brought him on and I was lucky enough to actually get a seat.

During the talk we had a nice exercise in auditory pareidolia – hearing specific things in random noise essentially, although I’m sure you can probably get a better definition almost anywhere.

It had been many years since I had first listened to stairway to heaven backwards and it always strikes me, while I hear those ‘satanic’ words again how on edge it makes me, even to this day, knowing that there’s nothing to it, I listen more for things and generally feel a little uncomfortable. Luckily this time, there was beer and laughing people so it didn’t affect me that much.

It struck me as odd however, that no matter how much we can rationalise these things away, we cannot suppress our bodies’ initial reactions to it, pseudo-reflexes that seem to initiate no matter what you think to be true, and although they may not affect you in the same way any more with a better explanation for such things, it’s still got that creepy factor to it.

Although perhaps it’s creepy in a good way, like that scene in The Dark Tower where the man in black has his eyeballs ripped out and eaten in front of him.

Stephen King tells it better.

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