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Dr. Bob Curran

(1 Hour, 34 Minutes)

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(MP3 B : 49 minutes)


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BoA:Audio welcomes back the vibrant Dr. Bob Curran for a discussion on his latest book Man-Made Monsters, which delves into a variety of forms of life that mankind has tried to, or been said do, create over the years. In this conversation, we'll cover the real life influences for the Frankenstein story, the mysterious creature known as the Golem, the alchemists' homunculi, ancient robots and computers, the Voynich Manuscript, and contemporary man-made monsters via cloning and genetic research.

It's a creepy but captivating return to BoA:Audio by a true master researcher of esoteric myths and legends: Dr. Bob Curran.

Full Preview: We kick things off by finding out what Dr. Bob Curran has been up to since his previous appearance on BoA:Audio. We then learn what inspired Bob to pen his latest book Man-Made Monsters. Bob also addresses some of the fundamental psychological questions behind the interest in man-made monsters. Diving in to the book, we first look at some of the inspirations for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, notably Giovanni Aldini, an 18th century scientist who attempted to revive corpses with electricity. This also leads to some discussion on how, during those times, science and magic (for lack of a better term) were fairly well intertwined.

Next we look at the Golem and Bob starts out by detailing the origins of this mysterious creature. We also examine why the Golem has not achieved the same kind of cultural impact that creatures like the Werewolf and Vampire have. We also hear the amazing story of the 'Golem of Prague' and how it even resonated with invading Nazi soldiers during World War II.

We then discuss the alchemists and their infamous Humunculi. We begin with some background on the alchemists and how their quests go far beyond the classic stereotype of 'transmuting gold.' Then we delve into the homunculus and ponder what the goal was behind creating such a creature. We also find out about the concept of 'growing life' from the alchemists. Looking at alchemy, as a whole, we then examine the idea of when, or if, the 'science' ever died out.

This segues into talk about contemporary man-made monsters: clones. Returning to the realm of the homunculus, we find out what Bob thinks of the Jack Parsons homunculus experiment story. We then talk about another element of Man-Made Monsters: ancient computers and robots. Bob details some of the ancient computers found from Rome and China. He also shares some tales of amazing robots that existed long, long ago and where some of them can be found today. Bob also shares one story about a man who was told by the Church to stop making robots because they were 'too perfect.'

Digging into some of the other details from the book, we then cover the Voynich Manuscript. Getting back to contemporary man-made monsters, we talk about how the potential to make a truly monstrous creature is actually pretty strong. Beyond mere monsters, we also talk about the possibility of detailed tinkering with child development and the implications of such possibilities. Wrapping up the discussion on Man-Made Monsters, we find out where people can get it and also put over another series of amazing drawings done by Ian xxx that can be found in the book.

Closing the book on the conversation, we briefly talk about Bob's previous book Dark Faeries, which is a chilling look at the true original tales of faeries. We then find out what Bob has cooking for 2011 and he teases some of the topics he'll be exploring in the future. Finally, we find out about Bob's teenage job as a gravedigger and he shares some truly spooky tales from those days.

Dr. Bob Curran Bio

Dr. Bob Curran was born in a remote area in Northern Ireland. At age 14, he left school, became a gravedigger and eventually worked at a number of jobs including professional musician and journalist. Bob attended university where he took his doctorate and became a teacher, working now in education and cross-community cultural projects. Bob has traveled many parts of the world, exploring other people's cultures and traditions. Bob lives in Ireland, not far from the famous Giant's Causeway.

He's the author of Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms, Celtic Lore and Legend, Encyclopedia of the Undead, Vampires: A Field Guide To The Creatures That Stalk The Night, Walking with the Green Man, Zombies: A Field Guide to the Walking Dead, The Truth About the Leprechaun, Dark Fairies, and his latest book: Man-Made Monsters.

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