Twofer Tuesday: Monty Python Day! The Audit/Merchant Banker

Happy Anniversary Monty Python! 2 of my faves~

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October 5, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Comedy, Economy, Entertainment, Popular Culture. Comments off.

Warehouse 13 renewed for Season 3

yay! Warehouse 13 has THE BEST DEMOS for wimmuns on SciFi, of course I think they ALWAYS undercount we female SciFi/Fantasy fans :0)

Blastr has it:

…Agents Pete Lattimer and Myka Bering. Their hunt for strange artifacts will go on, because Syfy just announced the hit series has been renewed for a third season.

Here’s Syfy’s official press release:

SYFY ANNOUNCES THIRD SEASON PICKUP FOR HIT ORIGINAL SERIES WAREHOUSE 13 WAREHOUSE 13 AVERAGED 3.4 MILLION TOTAL VIEWERS AND 1.8 MILLION ADULTS 25-54 IN SOPHOMORE SEASON—SYFY’S MOST WATCHED SERIES OF 2010

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/SHOWRUNNER JACK KENNY WILL RETURN

NEW YORK – October 5, 2010 – Buoyed by strong ratings and critical acclaim, Syfy today announced a third season pickup of 13 episodes for its hit dramedy Warehouse 13, which will return in 2011.

Universal Cable Productions also announced that Jack Kenny has signed a development deal that will return him for a third season as Executive Producer and Showrunner of Warehouse 13.

During its second season, Warehouse 13 averaged 3.43 total viewers, 1.48 million Adults 18-49, 1.78 million Adults 25-54 and a 2.4 household rating, based on DVR Live +7 data (through 10 episodes).

Warehouse 13 is Syfy’s top series in 2010 for total viewers and Adults 25-54.

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October 5, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Celebrities, Comedy, Entertainment, Fantasy, Mystery, Popular Culture, Sci Fi, Supernatural. Comments off.

Haunted Short Stories – 5 – ‘The Judge’s House’ by Bram Stoker (1891)

Courtesy of Mitsu Matsuoka’s Victorian Literary Archive

'The Judge's House' by Bram Stoker Originally Published in The Illustrated and Sporting Dramatic News, December 5, 1891

When the time for his examination drew near Malcolm Malcolmson made up his mind to go somewhere to read by himself. He feared the attractions of the seaside, and also he feared completely rural isolation, for of old he knew its charms, and so he determined to find some unpretentious little town where there would be nothing to distract him. He refrained from asking suggestions from any of his friends, for he argued that each would recommend some place of which he had knowledge, and where he had already acquaintances. As Malcolmson wished to avoid friends he had no wish to encumber himself with the attention of friends’ friends and so he determined to look out for a place for himself. He packed a portmanteau with some clothes and all the books he required, and then took ticket for the first name on the local time-table which he did not know.

When at the end of three hours’ journey he alighted at Benchurch, he felt satisfied that he had so far obliterated his tracks as to be sure of having a peaceful opportunity of pursuing his studies. He went straight to the one inn which the sleepy little place contained, and put up for the night. Benchurch was a market town, and once in three weeks was crowded to excess, but for the reminder of the twenty-one days it was as attractive as a desert. Malcolmson looked around the day after his arrival to try to find quarters more isolated than even so quiet an inn as “The Good Traveller” afforded. There was only one place which took his fancy, and it certainly satisfied his wildest ideas regarding quiet; in fact, quiet was not the proper word to apply to it – desolation was the only term conveying any suitable idea of its isolation. It was an old, rambling, heavy-built house of the Jacobean style, with heavy gables and windows, unusually small, and set higher than was customary in such houses, and was surrounded with a high brick wall massively built. Indeed, on examination, it looked more like a fortified house than an ordinary dwelling. But all these things pleased Malcolmson. “Here,” he thought, “is the very spot I have been looking for, and if I can only get opportunity of using it I shall be happy.” His joy was increased when he realized beyond doubt that it was not at present inhabited.

From the post-office he got the name of the agent, who was rarely surprised at the application to rent a part of the old house. Mr. Carnford, the local lawyer and agent, was a genial old gentleman, and frankly confessed his delight at anyone being willing to live in the house.

“To tell you the truth,” said he, “I should be only too happy, on behalf of the owners, to let anyone have the house rent free, for a term of years if only to accustom the people here to see it inhabited. It has been so long empty that some kind of absurd prejudice has grown up about it, and this can be best put down by its occupation – if only,” he added with a sly glance at Malcolmson, “by a scholar like yourself, who wants its quiet for a time.”

Malcolmson thought it needless to ask the agent about the “absurd prejudice”; he knew he would get more information, if he should require it, on that subject from other quarters. He paid his three months’ rent, got a receipt, and the name of an old woman who would probably undertake to “do” for him, and came away with the keys in his pocket. He then went to the landlady of the inn, who was a cheerful and most kindly person, and asked her advice as to such stores and provisions as he would be likely to require. She threw up her hands in amazement when he told her where he was going to settle himself.

“Not in the Judge’s House!” she said, and grew pale as she spoke. He explained the locality of the house, saying that he did not know its name. When he had finished she answered:

“Aye, sure enough – sure enough the very place! It is the Judge’s House sure enough.” He asked her to tell him about the place, why so called, and what there was against it. She told him that it was so called locally because it had been many years before – how long she could not say, as she was herself from another part of the country, but she thought it must have been a hundred years or more – the abode of a judge who was held in great terror on account of his harsh sentences and his hostility to prisoners at Assizes. As to what there was against the house she could not tell. She had often asked, but no one could inform her, but there was a general feeling that there was something, and for her own part she would not take all the money in Drinkwater’s Bank and stay in the house an hour by herself. Then she apologized to Malcolmson for her disturbing talk.

“It is too bad of me, sir, and you – and a young gentleman, too – if you will pardon me saying it, going to live there all alone. If you were my boy – and you’ll excuse me for saying it – you wouldn’t sleep there a night, not if I had to go there myself and pull the big alarm bell that’s on the roof!” The good creature was so manifestly in earnest, and was so kindly in her intentions, that Malcolmson, although amused, was touched. He told her kindly how much he appreciated her interest in him, and added:

“But, my dear Mrs. Witham, indeed you need not be concerned about me! A man who is reading for the Mathematical Tripos has too much to think of to be disturbed by any of these mysterious ‘somethings,’ and his work is of too exact and prosaic a kind to allow of his having any order in his mind for mysteries of any kind. Harmonical Progression, Permutations and Combinations, and Elliptic Functions have sufficient mysteries for me!” Mrs. Witham kindly undertook to see after his commissions, and he went himself to look for the old woman who had been recommended to him. When he turned to the Judge’s House with her, after an interval of a couple of hours, he found Mrs. Witham herself waiting with several men and boys carrying parcels, and an upholsterer’s man with a bed in a cart, for she said, though table and chairs might be all very well, a bed that hadn’t been aired for maybe fifty years was not proper for young ones to lie on. She was evidently curious to see the inside of the house, and though manifestly so afraid of the ‘somethings’ that at the slightest sound she clutched on to Malcolmson, whom she never left for a moment, went over the whole place.

After his examination of the house, Malcolmson decided to take up his abode in the great dining-room, which was big enough to serve for all his requirements, and Mrs. Witham, with the aid of the charwoman, Mrs. Dempster, proceeded to arrange matters. When the hampers were brought in and unpacked, Malcolmson saw that with much kind forethought she had sent from her own kitchen sufficient provisions to last for a few days. Before going she expressed all sorts of kind wishes, and at the door turned and said:

“And perhaps, sir, as the room is big and draughty it might be well to have one of those big screens put round your bed at night – though truth to tell, I would die myself if I were to be so shut in with all kinds of – of ‘things,’ that put their heads round the sides or over the top, and look on me!” The image which she had called up was too much for her nerves and she fled incontinently.

Mrs. Dempster sniffed in a superior manner as the landlady disappeared, and remarked that for her own part she wasn’t afraid of all the bogies in the kingdom.

“I’ll tell you what it is, sir,” she said, “bogies is all kinds and sorts of things – except bogies! Rats and mice, and beetles and creaky doors, and loose slates, and broken panes, and stiff drawer handles, that stay out when you pull them and then fall down in the middle of the night. Look at the wainscot of the room! It is old – hundreds of years old! Do you think there’s no rats and beetles there? And do you imagine, sir, that you won’t see none of them? Rats is bogies, I tell you, and bogies is rats, and don’t you get to think anything else!”

“Mrs. Dempster,” said Malcolmson gravely, making her a polite bow, “you know more than a Senior Wrangler! And let me say that, as a mark of esteem for your indubitable soundness of head and heart, I shall, when I go, give you possession of this house, and let you stay here by yourself for the last two months of my tenancy, for four weeks will serve my purpose.”

“Thank you kindly, sir!” she answered, “but I couldn’t sleep away from home a night. I am in Greenhow’s Charity, and if I slept a night away from my rooms I should lose all I have got to live on. The rules is very strict, and there’s too many watching for a vacancy for me to run any risks in the matter. Only for that, sir, I’d gladly come here and attend on you altogether during your stay.”

“My good woman,” said Malcolmson hastily, “I have come here on a purpose to obtain solitude, and believe me that I am grateful to the late Greenhow for having organized his admirable charity – whatever it is – that I am perforce denied the opportunity of suffering from such a form of temptation! Saint Anthony himself could not be more rigid on the point!”

The old woman laughed harshly. “Ah, you young gentlemen,” she said, “you don’t fear for nought, and belike you’ll get all the solitude you want here.” She set to work with her cleaning, and by nightfall, when Malcolmson returned from his walk – he always had one of his books to study as he walked – he found the room swept and tidied, a fire burning on the old hearth, the lamp lit, and the table spread for supper with Mrs. Witham’s excellent fare. “This is comfort indeed,” he said, and rubbed his hands.

When he had finished his supper, and lifted the tray to the other end of the great oak dining-table, he got out his books again, put fresh wood on the fire, trimmed his lamp, and set himself down to a spell of real hard work. He went on without a pause till about eleven o’clock, when he knocked off for a bit to fix his fire and lamp, and to make himself a cup of tea. He had always been a tea-drinker, and during his college life had sat late at work and had taken tea late. The rest was a great luxury to him, and he enjoyed it with a sense of delicious voluptuous ease. The renewed fire leaped and sparkled, and threw quaint shadows through the great old room, and as he sipped his hot tea he revelled in the sense of isolation from his kind. Then it was that he began to notice for the first time what a noise the rats were making.

“Surely,” he thought, “they cannot have been at it all the time I was reading. Had they been, I must have noticed it!” Presently, when the noise increased, he satisfied himself that it was really new. It was evident that at first the rats had been frightened at the presence of a stranger, and the light of fire and lamp, but that as the time went on they had grown bolder and were now disporting themselves as was their wont.

Story continues after the break:

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October 5, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . American Literature, English Literature, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Popular Culture, Supernatural, Suspense. Comments off.

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