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Inspirations: Can we bomb our readers into euphoria?

We use horror and suspense in fiction because people love to be afraid. JT MacCurdy described psychological responses to being bombed during World War Two. ‘Near misses’ were emotionally devastating, but ‘remote misses’ made people feel invincible. Does reading or

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Posted in Inspirations, Wednesday Pontification, Writing

Inspirations: The psychology of a city under fire

9/11 and the Blitz both showed the fortitude of civilian populations under attack. Both contradicted assumptions that attacks would lead to mass panic. Behaviourist Solly Zuckerman documented civilian resilience during the Hull Blitz. Zuckerman’s work gives a more realistic picture

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Posted in Inspirations, Wednesday Pontification

Non-fiction Review: The Spy Who Loved by Clare Mulley

A schoolgirl wanted to know how saintly the school’s priest was. When this schoolgirl wanted to know something, she didn’t stop wanting to know until she found out. It transpired that the priest wasn’t up to the standards of the

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Posted in Book review: non-fiction, Wednesday Pontification

Greater Minds: The Faustian pacts of Wernher von Braun

Wernher von Braun designed V-2 rockets for Nazi Germany, Redstone missiles for the US military and the Saturn V for NASA. He was a brilliant engineer and an evangelical Christian who directed a concentration camp. He escaped prosecution for crimes

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Posted in Greater minds, Wednesday Pontification

Inspirations: The pitchfork murder

In 1945, Charles Walton was murdered with his own farming tools and pinned to the ground with a pitchfork. There are many rumours occult involvement, but no evidence. The prime suspect was his employer, Alfred Potter, but evidence was circumstantial.

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Posted in Inspirations, Wednesday Pontification

Inspirations: Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?

Like all the best mysteries, it started when four boys went trespassing in a private forest one night. When they came across a pollarded wych elm, the dense branches looked like a good place for bird nests so up climbed

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Posted in Inspirations, Wednesday Pontification
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