The World Is Getting Stranger: Psychics Who Talk to Animals

Australian newspapers carried stories this week about Pea Horsley, an English woman who is coming to Australia. Ms Horsley can read your pet’s mind – even if they’re dead. Horsley, an ex-theatre manager, says she was a confirmed atheist and sceptic, until she went to a seminar she thought was on training animals, or reading your dog’s body language. At least that’s what she thought it was. But the title was a little bit misleading – it was really about communicating with your animal, which turned out not be the same thing.

What’s its favorite TV show?

She soon found herself communicating telepathically with a rabbit who told her he liked to sit on the sofa. The rabbit had a favourite TV show: You’ve Been Framed. Soon somebody else was communicating with Horsley’s cat: via a photo of the cat. (By the way, the rabbit communication seems to have also been via a photo, that’s what they all brought on the first day. Soon she was studying ‘to master level’ at the College of Psychic Studies. In Australia, she’ll communicate with your animal, tell what it thinks and teach you the same, for only $425 (about the same in US dollars). Her website (www.animalthoughts.com) shows lower fees for consultations in the UK, and it’s not clear if the $425 in Australia is for consultations or a seminar where you learn to do it yourself.

This all got me thinking. If we could talk with our animals, what would they tell us?

I don’t think my dog has very complicated thoughts. Perhaps that’s because I haven’t trained him to read or solve complex tasks that stretch his mind. I suspect his most complicated  thought is, “I want more walkies.” I had a more intelligent dog in the past. I’ve owned four Dalmatians at different times. The first, Engels, used to dig holes to bury his bones. But he didn’t bury the bones. He’d drop them in the hole and then lie with his chest in the hole so the second Dalmatian, Waldo, couldn’t get them.

But what about a rabbit? Can it really have a favorite TV show? What does a tortoise think about? Would it be worth paying $400-odd to discover what a goldfish thinks?

Is the fee just? Should there be a sliding scale based on the complexity of the thought? On that basis, communicating with an elephant should probably cost a few thousand.

Pea says she knows vets who can communicate with animals but they keep it quiet.

So what do you think?

Have you ever communicated psychically with your pet? Did they tell you about their favorite TV program? am I too skeptical? Anything else interesting to tell us? Please share!

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The world is getting stranger: stealing bridges.

What do you do with a stolen bridge?

My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw this article in the newspapers. A gang of thieves in the Czech Republic stole the strangest thing: a bridge. Not just any old bridge, but a bridge with railway tracks on it.  The thieves turned up to their job, complete with a crane. They also had false papers supposedly from the local council authorizing the demolition, just in case the police showed up and asked them what they were doing. The fake permit said they were building a bicycle path.

Try stealing that!

.In fact, the police did show up, the thieves showed the false papers, and the police went on their way, satisfied. The bridge, which was about 200 metres (670 feet) long, ran between the villages of  Loket and Horni Slavkov, weighed about ten tonnes. Now, I’m guessing they didn’t steal the whole 670-foot bridge in one night. I’m guessing they stole the pedestrian part of the bridge and the railway tracks. Why steal a bridge? For the value of the scrap metal. Stealing things like bridges has apparently become common in the Czech Republic, as scrap metal prices have risen in the last couple of years.

I’d heard of thieves stealing copper from church roofs in England. And I’ve heard of metal being stolen from building sites in Australia. But a bridge?

This leads me to ask, what is the strangest thing you’ve ever heard of being stolen? Please leave a comment and tell me.

Knowing you could have prevented your sister’s death.

Today I released my new novel, Fire Damage, on Amazon Kindle.

How do you get over knowing that you could have prevented your sister’s murder?
Cameron Oakwood is an intelligence analyst whose sister and nephew were killed in a car bomb explosion outside a politician’s office.  Cameron knew terrorists had made death threats against the politician. His family blames him for not warning his sister to stay away from that building. The case was never solved. Three years after her death, his family has cut him off. Consumed by guilt, Cameron obsessively re-reads documents he has hoarded to do with the case. He is becoming addicted to alcohol and tranquilizers.
Cameron is assigned to work with FBI agent Jodie Finch on threat by a Japanese doomsday cult to release a genetically engineered virus at an international sporting event in Melbourne, Australia. She is attracted to his intelligence, his humor and his honesty, but she worries about his addictions and his obsessions about his sister’s death. She wonders if he is ready for a new relationship.
As they work together, the terrorists take hostages to a remote country house in the path of oncoming forest fires. Cameron and Jodie have only hours left to prevent the biological attack. As they  race to rescue the hostages, they make a stunning discovery about the identity of the bomb maker who killed Cameron’s sister. But they make their discovery in the most frightening possible circumstances, when all their lives hang in the balance.

If you’d like to visit the site, and possibly buy a copy, you can see it here.  If you want to down the kindle app to read kindle books on your computer, you can get it here.

A blast from the past…

I could almost believe in re-incarnation after what I’ve just come from. Well, Ok, I haven’t had a real religious experience – just a short but vivid trip back to my youth. Remember the Swedish pop group Abba? Of course you do. Even if you weren’t born when they were around. They performed in Melbourne when I was 23, and I jumped the fence at the Myer Music Bowl and got in without paying.  Well in Melbourne Australia there is an Abba tribute group called “BABBA” – except their posters print the middle B backwards, just like some of ABBA’s did. I just had a blast. This morning I noticed there was a street festival at Ivanhoe, a few suburbs from where I live. I went along and found the band performing at one end of the street was… BABBA!  They did “I do I do I do I do,” “ When I kissed the teacher,” (I’d forgotten that song even existed), “Dancing Queen,” and on and on. They just look and sound SO MUCH like Abba it was like being back in 1977.

So I took some photos. The first one below shows  Bjorn on the guitar, Agnetha in the white and yellow, Anni-Frid (Freda) in the white and blue dress, and Benny on the Piano. Then costumes are copies from a 1976 photo on youtube. Even the drummer had fun. See the last photo. Have you ever had an experience that took you back to a time that made you feel fantastic for an hour or two? A what was it? Leave a post. I’d love to hear from you.

Two good blogs I’ve read.

Melissa Donovan has a very good article on whether or not writers should “write what they know” here.

Kate George drew my attention to this article on the six-stage Hollywood plot structure. Hollywood movies go in distinct stages, with a specific percentage of the story time devoted to each stage. The details are here. Her blog is here.

Best wishes from Down Under.