Popular

Elon Musk is a South African born entrepreneur who exists in the rarefied air of Silicon Valley. He is renowned for tackling huge problems and thinking way outside the box. This has led some speculators to make comparisons between Musk and Nikola Tesla, his idol and fellow mad scientist. Nikola Tesla is the genius behind modern alternating current. He discovered a way to harness this immense power source, hence, changing society irrevocably. Thomas Edison was Tesla’s rival in the burgeoning electricity movement. Edison ran public relations campaigns in which he slandered Tesla and his alternating current. Famously, one such PR stunt involved electrocuting an adult elephant to death, in order to prove how ‘unsafe’ Tesla’s electricity indeed was. Incredibly, this PR campaign worked. Edison’s electricity won out and Tesla was consigned to the annals of history. However, Tesla has experienced a resurgence in popularity. Nikola Tesla is now acknowledged to be an inventor without parallel, despite the best efforts of Thomas Edison. Comparisons are being drawn between these two men because of Elon Musk’s tremendous entrepeneurial success. As of writing, Musk is one of the few men alive to have built three ‘billion dollar companies’ from scratch. These include SpaceX, Tesla, and the Boring company. Tesla is a car manufacturer that builds exclusively electric automobiles. Not only have they revolutionized the electric car, but they have also made it the epitome of cool to own one. Musk aimed to alleviate the threat of environmental collapse by inventing a greener alternative to the petroleum car. This has earned him praise for the sheer ambition he has shown in executing what many said could not be done. While sitting in bumper to bumper Los Angeles traffic one evening, Musk had a brainwave. He created a Twitter post stating: “Traffic is driving me nuts. I am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging”. Musk made this fantasy a reality in 2018 when he started the Boring company. The idea is to stack tunnels in a three-dimensional pattern and fix the traffic issues of Los Angeles in one fail swoop. The visionary idea raised eyebrows at first but council planners were convinced and 2018 saw the first tunnel opened under LA. SpaceX is the leading private space travel country in the world. They have made history this year with the first private flight to the international space station. Musk is aiming to give humanity a contingency plan in the worst case scenario of environmental catastrophe. He sees a bright future in which human culture is spread across the Milky Way and further afield. Many believe that Musk is the man with enough vision and know-how to usher in a new era of space exploration. After seeing his glowing track record, it is no wonder that people are in awe of Musk’s apparent genius. An interview in India Today with a former executive puts it like this: “He is the smartest person I have ever met and that’s Elon’s genius, he knows what people want before they know.” However, several controversies have changed the perception of this inventor. Tirades on Twitter have gotten him embroiled in costly legal battles, leading some to label him ‘erratic’. Musk was a guest on the Joe Rogan Podcast and imbibed a small amount of cannabis. This had a profound impact on shareholder confidence and Musk lost millions in company valuation. This does not take away from his profound achievements, even a CEO worth billions is allowed a slip-up or two. So far Musk’s “mad genius” has enabled him to push the boundaries of technology and come up with solutions to problems nobody else seems able to solve. Time will tell if Musk will measure up to the expansive genius of Nikola Tesla. Yet, the market awaits his next venture with bated breath, excited to see what incredible invention emerges from the mind of this truly visionary thinker.
An ‘insider’ in business terms is someone who has access to valuable information about a company that is not yet made known to the public. For example, high-level executives might be planning a merger. If this information were to become public, it would alter stock prices considerably. ‘Insiders’ are also individuals who own stock that is worth over 10% of a company. This entitles them to certain clandestine information that the public would not be privy to hearing. Insider trading is an infamous practice on Wall Street where corruption runs deeper than the average person can fathom. Any advantage is pounced upon when profit is the aim of the corporation. There are big bonuses to be made from a reliable tip-off. When this ‘insider’ information is shared, and a select few profit from it, this is illegal insider trading. For instance, a CEO is getting a haircut in a barber and he absentmindedly let’s slip his companies quarterly earnings. If the barber trades on this information, he could face a hefty prison sentence. The SEC is the regulatory body in charge of monitoring cases of illegal trading. This group analyzes stock market decision making and investigates irregularities. When stocks rise dramatically without any public information being released, the SEC will look into the buyers. Insider trading can be tricky to prosecute. It is sometimes impossible to prove that an illegal conversation took place. In this respect, modern technology has been a godsend for the SEC. Nowadays, they rely on phone and online records to prove unlawful connections. One bizarre example of an Insider trading case that went to court is the curious trial of R.Foster Winans. This corrupt columnist wrote a weekly article for the Wall Street Journal entitled ‘heard on the street’. These were essentially tips on stocks and they had a considerable effect on the market each week.Whichever company Finan recommended would experience a massive surge. However, Finan ran into trouble when he divulged the contents of his weekly tip to a few well-known stockbrokers before it was made public. Using this information, the stockbrokers made a healthy profit and allegedly shared these winnings with Finan. The column had not yet been published so the public was deemed to have a significant disadvantage. Finan was convicted of the crime but avoided prison by arguing that the column was, in fact, the property of the Wall Street Journal. By that thinking, a corporate entity cannot be tried for insider trading. Finan’s lawyers earned their paycheck on this one. Another unusually high-profile case involved renowned TV home-maker, Martha Stewart. The cooking guru owned stocks in ImClone, a pharmaceutical company. This company had just had a brand new cancer medication rejected by the FDA. This drug previously made up a large chunk of ImClone profits. Stock prices plummeted when the public heard of the FDA’s decision. This meant that many employees and their families were bankrupted. Mysteriously, the companies CEO and close friends had all sold their stocks before the crash. Stewart had sold 4000 shares, making a profit of $250,000 before the collapse. The SEC found evidence of insider trading and Stewart was convicted to 5 months of prison along with a $30,000 fine. People commit illegal insider trading as there is massive profit to be made and it’s difficult to get caught. However, convictions carry heavy prison sentences and enormous fines. The SEC is skilled in analytics. They usually sniff out foul play by watching out for highly improbable predictions. Although, they have falsely accused some of insider trading when the suspects were indeed benefitting from astoundingly good luck. Treachery on Wall Street can and does have global consequences. This is clearly a lesson that must be learned from the 2007 economic crash. Insider trading is an insidious rot inside our financial institutions, denying a fair deal to the public.
Certain careers are known to put employees lives at risk every day. A policeman might be at risk of being assaulted by a violent criminal, pilots run the risk of falling out of the sky and fishermen tragically drown in massive numbers out at sea. This is accepted to be the nature of the job. One day you’re waving goodbye to your family, the next day they are saying goodbye at your funeral. Men and women go to work each day knowing in the back of their minds it could be their last. Logging is known to be the most hazardous occupation in North America. The recorded figure is 132.7 workers killed out of every 100,000. To put this in context, the average rate is 3.6 deaths per 100,000 in conventional employment. Operating as a sawyer on a squad of tree-surgeons is 39 times more likely to get you killed than the average job. This rate is double the second highest figure which is for commercial trawlermen. Sawyers are tasked with harvesting timber from the forest. This occupation is essential as they gather raw materials for construction as well as paper products like money. Furniture and printed products originate in the forest, plucked from the trees by the expert hand of the cutting crew. Logging is an extremely dangerous occupation for a number of reasons. Firstly, the tools used in the trade are hazardous as chainsaws and larger machinery can cut through a human limb in mere seconds. A well-oiled blade can cut through human flesh like a knife through soft butter. Now, factor in the steep and rugged terrain that sawyers are operating in. If there were to be an unfortunate accident, the injured party is isolated deep in the forest. An airlift may take hours to reach the wounded worker and even then, the terrain will hinder a clean rescue. Trees can be unpredictable as there is no way to examine the rot within. Without warning, enormous timber trees that measure over a hundred feed can come tumbling towards the ground. An errant gust of wind might topple a tree that is teetering in the wrong direction, injuring a whole crew below. For this reason, loggers are always advised to keep their eyes raised to the sky in anticipation of dangerous falling debris. Sawyers are often harnessed to the tree that is going to come down, high up in the ridge-line. Can you imagine the danger in heavy rain, sleet or even whipping snow? A chainsaw could slip from your grip or a tree might collapse from beneath. Logging fatalities are on the rise as companies cut costs and force staff into ever longer hours. Tiredness creeps in and safety equipment malfunctions, leading to a tragic loss of human life that could so easily be avoided. Economics is the main driver of employee fatalities. In an interview with the Penny Hoarder, Jeff Wimer, senior instructor, and manager of the Student Logging Training Program at Oregon State University explains: “This equipment will cost in the range of millions. The question is how to make that much pay for itself. How can we increase production enough while maintaining a safe work environment to make these systems cost-effective?” There also needs to be grass-roots efforts to improve safety regulations with better training at every level. This is echoed when Wimer writes: “These young [loggers] need to be leaders when it comes to safety in our industry. Logging can be dangerous, but with proper training and awareness, we can greatly reduce the accidents and fatalities that occur all too regularly.” Companies have traditionally been slow to react to unsafe conditions. Loggers realize the danger and most think it is only a matter of time before they become a statistic. Every day that they are not on the wrong side of a chainsaw is a lucky one.   Difficult occupations like this are necessary and deserve our respect. These are brave men and women who risk their lives for the products we take for granted each day. These skilled trades should not be looked down upon as the jobs are the most dangerous in America.   Next time you complain about a skinny latte at Starbucks being too cold or the bus being late, spare a thought for these men and women, living on a knife edge so that we don’t have to.
Elon Musk is a South African born entrepreneur who exists in the rarefied air of Silicon Valley. He is renowned for tackling huge problems and thinking way outside the box. This has led some speculators to make comparisons between Musk and Nikola Tesla, his idol and fellow mad scientist. Nikola Tesla is the genius behind modern alternating current. He discovered a way to harness this immense power source, hence, changing society irrevocably. Thomas Edison was Tesla’s rival in the burgeoning electricity movement. Edison ran public relations campaigns in which he slandered Tesla and his alternating current. Famously, one such PR stunt involved electrocuting an adult elephant to death, in order to prove how ‘unsafe’ Tesla’s electricity indeed was. Incredibly, this PR campaign worked. Edison’s electricity won out and Tesla was consigned to the annals of history. However, Tesla has experienced a resurgence in popularity. Nikola Tesla is now acknowledged to be an inventor without parallel, despite the best efforts of Thomas Edison. Comparisons are being drawn between these two men because of Elon Musk’s tremendous entrepeneurial success. As of writing, Musk is one of the few men alive to have built three ‘billion dollar companies’ from scratch. These include SpaceX, Tesla, and the Boring company. Tesla is a car manufacturer that builds exclusively electric automobiles. Not only have they revolutionized the electric car, but they have also made it the epitome of cool to own one. Musk aimed to alleviate the threat of environmental collapse by inventing a greener alternative to the petroleum car. This has earned him praise for the sheer ambition he has shown in executing what many said could not be done. While sitting in bumper to bumper Los Angeles traffic one evening, Musk had a brainwave. He created a Twitter post stating: “Traffic is driving me nuts. I am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging”. Musk made this fantasy a reality in 2018 when he started the Boring company. The idea is to stack tunnels in a three-dimensional pattern and fix the traffic issues of Los Angeles in one fail swoop. The visionary idea raised eyebrows at first but council planners were convinced and 2018 saw the first tunnel opened under LA. SpaceX is the leading private space travel country in the world. They have made history this year with the first private flight to the international space station. Musk is aiming to give humanity a contingency plan in the worst case scenario of environmental catastrophe. He sees a bright future in which human culture is spread across the Milky Way and further afield. Many believe that Musk is the man with enough vision and know-how to usher in a new era of space exploration. After seeing his glowing track record, it is no wonder that people are in awe of Musk’s apparent genius. An interview in India Today with a former executive puts it like this: “He is the smartest person I have ever met and that’s Elon’s genius, he knows what people want before they know.” However, several controversies have changed the perception of this inventor. Tirades on Twitter have gotten him embroiled in costly legal battles, leading some to label him ‘erratic’. Musk was a guest on the Joe Rogan Podcast and imbibed a small amount of cannabis. This had a profound impact on shareholder confidence and Musk lost millions in company valuation. This does not take away from his profound achievements, even a CEO worth billions is allowed a slip-up or two. So far Musk’s “mad genius” has enabled him to push the boundaries of technology and come up with solutions to problems nobody else seems able to solve. Time will tell if Musk will measure up to the expansive genius of Nikola Tesla. Yet, the market awaits his next venture with bated breath, excited to see what incredible invention emerges from the mind of this truly visionary thinker.
Have you been staring longingly at travel bloggers’ Instagram posts? Do you read Lonely Planet travel guides, and dream of big adventures? Do you suffer from a severe case of wanderlust? Is your bank balance seriously underwhelming? Well, turn that frown upside down, because we have great news for you! You don’t need money to travel. That’s right, you don’t need to turn into Ebeneezer Scrooge, squirreling away every last cent. There are plenty of ways that you can travel to far flung destinations, and have the time of your life, on a shoe-string budget. Here we break down some of the easiest ways to do that.   Work Overseas Teaching English There is a lot of money to be made by teaching overseas, and it is one of the best ways to make money to travel. Most countries only require that you speak English fluently to bag one of these jobs. However some countries do require a TOEFL degree. Globally, they are crying out for English teachers and many places in Asia will even pay for your flight! There are also some websites that will let you teach English remotely. All you need for this is half decent WiFi! WWOOFing WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It is an organisation that will place you on a farm to work in exchange for free room and board. There are lots of countries around the world that do it, from Australia to Ireland and it is a great way to really experience a country or destination while also making lots of new friends in your fellow farm hands. Get Free Flights Honestly, this one isn’t as far fetched as it first sounds. You can sign up for travel credit cards and collect air miles. Once you have enough air miles collected you can fly for free. Many of these cards will offer sign up incentives, some as much as 50,000 air miles. You can collect these points and miles by every day spending, signing up for things like online surveys and before you have even left for your trip, you can potentially have saved up tons of free air miles. Couchsurf Couchsurfing can really get you out of a jam and save you tons of money to boot! There are a lot of couchsurfing apps and services out there that connect travelers with host families, or individuals who are offering places to stay, absolutely free of charge. It is purely out of the goodness of their hearts. The length of stay can be anything from a night to a few months depending on the agreement. It could be a couch, a bed, a spare room, or a shared room but it will always be free and it will always be a place to lay your head. The Sharing Economy The sharing economy is a number of different websites and apps that allow you to find a number of cheaper services offered by ordinary people. Accomodation, rideshares, parking, even books and other goods. These apps can save you a ton of money, and also allow you to meet more local people, who may be able to help you on your journey in other ways by giving local advice. Hitchhike This one comes with a caution, use common sense and listen to your gut instincts if you are going to hitchhike. But in general, it can be a great experience. Traveling around your chosen destination can eat away at your funds. Hitchhiking is a free way to travel across countries without too much hassle. There are many places where hitchhiking is commonplace and, despite what you may have heard from Hollywood movies, is generally a safe and fun experience. It also allows you to meet new people and get to know the locals a little better. Free Walking Tours Most cities and large towns will have these available. All you need to do is find a tourist information point and ask about them. These can be a great way to view a city and learn more about the place you are visiting. You will also meet fellow tourists along the way and get to experience things you may not have found by yourself. House Sit There are a number of websites that allow you to sign up as a house sitter. People often don’t like leaving their homes unattended for long periods of time, so they employ a house sitter to stay in their home, free of charge while they are away. Everyone’s account is verified so you know you won’t get cheated. This is a terrific option for long term stays in the one place, and you often get asked to look after pets too which, if you’re an animal lover, is another bonus. You also have full access to a full kitchen too, this will save you heaps of money on food while you are away. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
Whether or not you consider yourself to be an art aficionado, you have most likely heard of Banksy. The graffiti artist who made street art mainstream. He is also famous for being infamous. Despite being active since the 90’s, his identity remains a mystery to this day. Recently Banksy found himself the centre of media attention once again, when a piece of his artwork, ‘Girl With Balloon’, sold at auction for $1.4 million. As soon as the hammer had fallen on the sale, the piece began to shred itself, using a hidden shredder inside the frame. Over the years, many of his pieces have caused a great deal of controversy. Here, we take a look at some of his most controversial works to date.   Love Is In The Bin On October 5th 2018, at Sotheby’s Auction House, a crowd looked on in horror, as the Banksy piece ‘Girl With Balloon’, began to shred itself. The piece had just been sold for $1.4 million, and it is now thought, that the half shredded piece is now worth an awful lot more than that. Art critics have said that this was a commentary on the fact that that art is being chocked to death by money. The decadence and hedonism of the art world is completely contrary to what lies at the heart of street art. The Banality Of The Banality Of Evil   This piece of art was found in a thrift store in NYC during Banksy’s New York residency. Titled ‘The Banality of the Banality of Evil’, it is a piece that Banksy purchased from the same thrift store and vandalized, (Banksy’s own words) It depicts a Nazi sitting on a bench, gazing at an American landscape. It was then re-donated to the thrift store. The title of the piece suggests that this is a sardonic commentary on how evil often dwells in the mundane. Rage, Flower Thrower This piece is probably one of Banksy’s best known ones. It is located in Jerusalem and is now covered by a sheet of protective perspex. It is thought that the image is a response to an attack that happened in Jerusalem in 2005. During a gay pride parade, violent homophobic protestors stabbed three people to death, and injured many more. The vibrant colours of the flowers, in stark contrast to the monochromatic rioter, could possibly represent the gay pride colours. Pest Control – Bankus Militus Vandalus In 2004 an employee of the Natural History Museum in London noticed something strange as he was walking around the museum. This little taxidermy rat, complete with all of the tools of a graffiti artist, had been installed overnight without anyone’s knowledge. It remained in place for two hours before finally being removed. The piece has been shown at other exhibitions since, and has a small inscription underneath it which reads: “Recently discovered specimens of the common sewer rat have shown some remarkable new characteristics. Attributed to an increase in junk food waste, ambient radiation and hardcore urban rap music these creatures have evolved at an unprecedented rate. Termed the Banksus Militus Vandalus, they are impervious to all modern methods of pest control, and mark their territory with a series of elaborate signs. Professor B. Langford of University College London states: You can laugh now… but one day they may be in charge.” Banksy At The West Bank Wall In 2005 Banksy went to Palestine. While there, he managed to create 9 different illustrations on the controversial West Bank Wall, without detection. The wall is extremely heavily guarded so this must have been no mean feat. The West Bank Wall separates Palestine and Israel and is 425 miles long. The pieces he painted are provocative and striking. Whilst in the middle of creating one of the pieces, Banksy was approached by an old Palestinian man. The man told him that his painting made the wall look beautiful. Banksy thanked him, but the man responded with: “We don’t want it to be beautiful, we hate this wall. Go home.” The paintings were designed to highlight the fact that the wall is considered illegal under United Nations rulings. Banksy has said that the wall: “Essentially turns Palestine into the world’s largest open prison.” Di-Faced Tenners In one of his many public stunts, Banksy notoriously printed one million pounds worth of what he termed: ‘Di-Faced Tenners’. In them he replaced the Queen’s head with Princess Diana’s. The counterfeit cash also had the words ‘Banksy of England’, in stead of ‘Bank of England’, and ‘I Promise to Pay the Bearer on Demand the Ultimate Price’ printed on it. The back of the note had an image of Charles Darwin along with the slogan: ‘Trust No One.’ The notes were scattered at the Santa’s Ghetto Exhibition, The Reading Festival and at the Notting Hill Carnival. This act was hugely controversial due to the notorious rivalry between the people’s princess, Diana, and the Queen. It’s also, obviously, illegal to produce counterfeit currency. Guantanamo Bay Prisoner At Disneyland In conjunction with fellow artist Thierry Guetta, aka Mr. Brainwash, Banksy famously shut Disneyland down completely, with his installation of this piece. The two artists placed a life-sized, inflatable dummy of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner next to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad inside the park.The piece was a response to the controversial detention of hundreds of terror suspects at the American naval base in Cuba. Dismaland – Banksy’s ‘Bemusement Park’ In one of his most controversial and verbose statements, Banksy opened his own theme park, or a ‘bemusement park’, as he refers to it. Dismaland is a dystopian version of Disneyland in Weston-super-Mare in the UK. Visitors to the park will find three art galleries and a number of interactive and mesmeric experiences. There are also a number of bizarre and insidious looking fairground rides. When asked about his inspiration in creating Dismaland, Banksy said: “It’s a theme park whose big theme is – theme parks should have bigger themes.” It is widely accepted that the whole experience is a critique on consumerism, one of Banksy’s well known bugbears.   #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
It’s October. Golden leaves cascade from the trees and crunch underfoot. The nights grow long and stretch ahead of us, as winter reaches out her icy tendrils and begins to slowly grasp at us… But … perhaps the most poignant observation of the season is that Pumpkin Spiced Lattes are finally back at Starbucks and they are selling cheap plastic skeletons in most discount stores. The other awesome thing about October is, of course, Halloween! So, just in time for everyone’s favourite creepy pagan holiday, we round up some of TV’s scariest, weirdest, and eeriest episodes to set your nerves on edge this spooky season. Courage The Cowardly Dog Season 2 Episode 12 – The House Of Discontent Courage The Cowardly Dog was a Cartoon Network show that aired in the late 90’s and had a 52 episode run. It was frequently bizarre and always creepy. Courage is a little pink dog who spends most of his life completely terrified of everything. He lives with an old farming couple, Muriel and Eustace. The farm is a hive of weird, bizarre and paranormal activity, and little Courage must overcome his fears in each episode to save his beloved Muriel from various terrors. In the episode The House Of Discontent, Eustace and Muriel have inadvertently allowed the last blooming flower on their farm to die. Because of this, a giant white head, (a live action head of a man with white and black face paint), appears in the house and threatens the trio. Angry at them for not harvesting any crops, the nightmarish floating head vows to haunt them until they ‘get out’ of the farm for good. Thankfully, Courage and Eustace manage to restore the flower, and the head disappears. Just like that, no explanation of what he was: he was there, he threatened them, and then he was gone. The stark on-screen contrast between animation and live action is unsettling, and the visuals in this episode are extremely unnerving. The whole idea of the death of their crop, and the idea that they would have to leave their home made for a very spooky episode indeed! Goosebumps Season 1 Episode 10 – Night Of The Living Dummy II Goosebumps was a 90’s television series aimed at the 11-14 demographic. It was a horror anthology series based on the popular books of the same name written by R.L Stein. By far their creepiest episode, featuring their most popular character, came in the form of Night Of The Living Dummy II. Middle child Amy has a passion for ventriloquism, and she is delighted when her father brings her home what she thinks is the perfect gift, a new dummy, ‘Slappy’. We quickly learn, however, that everything is far from perfect. Slappy comes to life and begins to cause mayhem for sweet little Amy. Dolls are creepy, and ones that come alive are definitely nightmare fuel. Slappy is one of the Goosebumps series best loved characters, and is the subject of 9 books, three TV episodes, and is heavily featured in both of the new Jack Black Goosebumps movies. Eerie Indiana Season 1 Episode 1 – ForeverWare Eerie Indiana is another 90’s gem. This one follows the adventures of Marshall, (played by Omri Catz, aka Max Dennison in everyone’s favourite Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus!), and all of the spooky goings on in his new home town of Eerie in Indiana, where the population is 16,661, and nothing is ever quite as it seems. A lot of these episodes were super creepy, but one of the stand out ones was the very first episode, Foreverware. In this episode, Marshall and his family are greeted by Betty Wilson, (played by the unendingly creepy Louan Gideon), their new next door neighbour. Betty encourages Marshall’s mother to buy ForeverWear: plastic containters that promise to keep anything fresh forever. The whole episode has a creepy Stepford Wives vibe about it, and we learn that Mrs Wilson’s twin boys have been sealed in two giant ForeverWear containers each night, for the last 30 years. It becomes Marshalls focus to free them from their permanent adolescence, and allow them to finally break free of their plastic existence. Literally. Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 4 Episode 10 – Hush Buffy The Vampire Slayer was every teenager’s complete obsession in the late 90’s / early 00’s. It centered around Buffy, who was, as the title suggests… a vampire slayer. Buffy, A high school student, and her band of merry misfits, would fight off the hordes of evil vampires, demons and monsters. There were plenty of enemies for her to fight because she lived in Sunnydale, which was built on top of a Hell Mouth, an actual gate to hell. While the show was mostly lighthearted, it had its fair share of serious episodes, hard hitting episodes, and scary episodes, and Hush is certainly one of the latter. By Season 4 Buffy had well established itself as high quality programming. Writer and producer Joss Whedon really knew how to get into the psyche of the American teenager. He created a show full of guts and heart, with characters that are still beloved to this day. In Hush we see Buffy fight against a group of demons known as ‘The Gentlemen’, who gained power by stealing peoples voices. They would glide, (literally glide, their feet never touched the ground), through the streets of Sunnydale, stealing peoples voices while they slept. As they did this, a terrifying tinkling tune played in the background and their weird, straight-jacket wearing minions, ran on chaotically ahead of them. This episode was the absolute stuff of nightmares, not just because of how utterly creepy the ‘Gentlemen’ looked, but also because throughout the entire episode, no one spoke. The whole cast were silent right up until the end of the episode, which really added to the eerie feel. Doctor Who Season 3 Episode 10 – Blink Doctor Who really needs very little explanation. It is the longest running Sci-Fi show ever. It aired its first episode in 1963, has had 13 different actors playing the title character, and has been responsible for some of the greatest TV episodes ever to air on national television. Generally more associated with science fiction than horror, Doctor Who has still managed to pack many a scary punch throughout its time on our screens. Blink is the tenth episode of the third season in the rebooted series. It features David Tenants’ Doctor, and saw the first appearance of the reboots scariest villains; ‘The Weeping Angels’. A young girl called Sally Sparrow receives cryptic messages from The Doctor. These messages are designed to help Sally along a journey to help The Doctor and his companion Martha, as they are trapped in 1969, but the thing is, there is something trying to stop her from doing this; ‘The Weeping Angels’. The ‘Angels’ are terrifying aliens who appear to look like cemetery statues of angels. As soon as you stop looking at them, they move in on you, you can’t look away, you can’t look up or down, you can’t even blink. This leads to some incredible jump scares during this episode, and as their faces change as the ‘Angels’ become active, the visuals get a hell of a lot scarier too. Blink is a great episode, not just for Doctor Who fans, but as a decent stand alone episode. A lot of Doctor Who episodes are convoluted and dependent on an involved, ongoing plot-line so, unless you follow the show, you would be lost. But Blink is great to watch on its own, whether you consider yourself a ‘Whovian’ or not. The X-Files Season 5 Episode 10 – Chinga Ah, Mulder and Scully, the Ross and Rachel for Sci-Fi nerds. The X-Files, was, and still is, one of the greatest Sci-Fi TV shows ever made. It was intelligent, brilliantly paced, well scripted, well acted and the special effects were excellent for a TV series at the time. There are literally dozens of episodes that are straight up horrifying, but Chinga is one of the scariest. Written by horror author, and all round legend Stephen King, Chinga focuses on Scully, as she tries and fails, to take a vacation in Maine (Stephen Kings’ favourite setting!). While on vacation, she meets a little girl who seems to have the ability to make people injure themselves, and who carries around a creepy porcelain doll, never letting it leave her side. That’s right folks, its a haunted doll episode! There is literally nothing scarier than seeing childhood objects used as an emissary of evil. This episode has all the usual hallmarks of an X-Files episode, with Scully not believing what is literally in front of her eyes, and Mulder remaining cool in the face of sheer madness. But the haunted doll and the creepy kid make this one stand out from the crowd in terms of traditional X-Files fare. It also has that trade mark Stephen King small town weirdness added in, which makes for an altogether freaky viewing experience. The Twilight Zone Season 1 Episode 8 – Time Enough At Last In this 1959 episode of the old favourite, we meet an acquiescent bank teller named Henry Beller. Henry’s favourite hobby is reading, but a domineering boss and an overbearing wife allow him little time to do this. All Henry wants is time to read. On a day like any other, Henry plucks up the courage to sneak away from his desk at work and hides himself in the vault in the basement of the bank, so that he can get some precious reading time in. Suddenly, there is a huge explosion over head. He emerges from his underground retreat to find that the world has been destroyed by a nuclear blast. He is the last man left alive. He roams through the rubble and shrapnel and finds his way to the library, which, miraculously, still has many books intact. Henry envisions many years ahead of him, where he can read to his heart’s desire, without any fear of interruption. However, to his horror, he breaks his glasses leaving him unable to see, now Henry is alone in the world without even the company of his beloved books. Perhaps one of the more frivolous on this list, but the idea of being left alone in a post-apocalyptic world, without being able to see properly, is pretty scary. This episode is notable by the stand-out performance by lead character actor, Burgess Meredith, and a wonderfully witty script. It also contains the famous line; “That’s not fair… that’s not fair at all… There was time now…. There was..all the time I needed!.. It’s not fair”, with the end scene being imitated in many movies and TV shows since. Matt Groening even did a small spoof of it in Futurama, in the third episode of season 2. Tales From The Crypt Series 2 Episode 9 – Four-Sided Triangle Tales From The Crypt is a horror anthology series that is notoriously hosted by the wise cracking zombie known as ‘The Crypt Keeper’. It has had many brilliant episodes over the years, and some really good feature length ones too. But this one, while one of its lesser known episodes, is definitely one of its scariest, and more realistic offerings. In this episode we meet George and Luisa Yates, two farmers who have employed a young woman named Mary Jo as a live-in farmhand. However, we soon learn that Mary Jo is being kept there against her will. She is regularly beaten by the husband and wife, and it becomes very apparent that George lusts after her. After a terrifying attempted rape at the hands of George, Mary Jo tries to flee the farm unsuccessfully. The husband and wife team find her bleeding and hallucinating, and babbling about a talking scarecrow. From this point on, Mary Jo appears to have gone mad, raving about having a man somewhere, and wanting him to make love to her. The man she has been raving about turns out to be the scarecrow, (who for some insane reason is wearing a clown mask), and Mary Jo slips out of the farmhouse to meet it at night. One night George sneaks out to the cornfield where Mary Jo goes to talk to the scarecrow. When she gets there, she is shocked to find that the scarecrow can actually move, and they begin an amorous entanglement. When Luisa interrupts them with a pitchfork through the chest of the scarecrow, she is shocked to realise that the scarecrow is in fact George. He had dressed up as the scarecrow in order to take advantage of Mary Jo. As the devastated Luisa falls over her husbands body, Mary Jo picks up the pitchfork and impales her through the back. This episode stars a young Patricia Arquette as Mary Jo and is a terrifying tale of rape, imprisonment and madness. The Hunger Season 2 Episode 4 – And She Laughed The Hunger was a horror anthology series written and directed by Tony and Ridley Scott. The first season is hosted by acting legend Terrence Stamp, and the second season featured David Bowie as the host. The show was loosely derived from themes featured in Tony Scott’s 1983 movie of the same name, about vampires, that starred David Bowie, Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon. In this episode we meet Jane, a school teacher beleaguered by nightmares about a stalker with piercing blue eyes. When Jane moves into a new apartment she begins to fear that her neighbour is the stalker she has seen in her dreams. She grows more and more paranoid about it over the course of the hour long episode, and even enlists the help of her friends, who come to stay with her so that she feels safe. The episode reaches a terrifying conclusion, when Jane takes matters into her own hands, and viciously slays her unsuspecting neighbour. This is a feverish nightmare that builds tension and paranoia from the outset. Jane is played by the inimitable and beautiful Jennifer Beals, (Flashdance, The L word, The Bride), and is one of the most unsettling episodes in the series. Criminal Minds Season 8 Episode 10 – The Lesson Not typically synonymous with horror, Criminal Minds follows the exploits the FBI’s Behaviour Analysis Unit (BAU), as they travel around America, trying to stop the most psychologically disturbed criminals in the country. In this episode, when men begin turning up dead, and placed in wooden boxes with their joints dislocated, the BAU are called in to help with the investigation. They eventually hunt down the killer, who has been trying to recreate his father’s murder, using innocent victims as his own personal marionette dolls. This episode was directed by Matthew Gray Grubler, who plays main character ‘Spencer Reid’ in the show. It also stars Brad Dourif as the killer. Dourif is most famous for playing ‘Chucky’, the killer doll, in the Child’s Play movie franchise. This episode is absolutely chilling. Dourif’s character strings his victims up, and places ghoulish masks on their faces, as he forces them to perform in a macabre puppet show. Definitely one of the show’s freakiest episodes. The Masters Of Horror Season 1 Episode 1 – Incident On And Off A Mountain Road The Masters of Horror is another horror anthology series that showcases famous horror movie directors, and their works, in hour long episodes. This first one of the series is directed by Don Coscarelli, who directed the Phantasm movies, John Dies At The End and Bubba Ho-Tep, (Starring Evil Dead’s Bruce Campbell). The episode also features Angus Scrimm, who plays the terrifying ‘Tall Man’ in the Phantasm movies. The episode is an homage to both slasher movies and monster movies. In it we see a young couple, Ellen and Bruce, meet and fall in love. Over time though we see Bruce descend further and further into paranoia, and become very controlling of Ellen. We see a lot of this through flash back as Ellen is driving alone in the dark at night. Whilst in her car, she breaks down and notices a young woman, bloodied and bruised emerging from the woods and seeking help. Quickly out of the trees follows a terrifying, anthropomorphous being, who grabs the young woman and kills her. He then sets his sights on Ellen. He catches her and brings her to his house in the woods, and ties her up. The house is filled with unimaginable horrors, including an old man, (Angus Scrimm), tied to a chair, who gleefully rambles and sings. Ellen manages to free herself and a terrifying game of cat and mouse ensues. This episode is truly scary and has all the elements of the classic stalk and slash horror movies of the 70’s. Echoes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 ring out through this eerie tale of murder, madness, and revenge.   #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }