Around The Web | What We’re Reading

In honour of this week’s All Hallows Eve, we have picked out some particularly peculiar stories from around the web that will inspire, educate and maybe spook (just a little). We look at the weird and wacky subculture of ‘furries’, a group of people who come together to revel in their fetish for full-sized animal costumes. Explore the growing ‘natural death’ movement building ground in the US. And finally, we take a look at the bizarre brain-bending science behind why we think we see ghosts.

Take a peek at our eerie gathering:

“The rise of Hedi Slimane seemed to signal the arrival of a new kind of cultural force.” The eternally on-trend designer and photographer Hedi Slimane curates a selection of posters from his own collection of typography and photography, including everything from a Daft Punk set design to hair fittings from his final days at Dior Homme. Take a look.

“Donald Judd’s work has had such profound influence on the way I view the world. ” In a typically aesthetically perfect performance, Solange Knowles took to the setting of Marfa, Texas with a procession of 18 fuschia-clad saxophonists and trumpet players playing her acclaimed album A Seat At The Table.

“She wears extremely short skirts, sports blue pigtails to her knees and has the boundless energy of a playful puppy…. And yet Hatsune Miku, who boasts 2.5 million Facebook followers, doesn’t actually exist.” Introducing the Japanese computer-simulated pop sensation Hatsune Miku, whose legion of fans see her in the same light as any other flesh-and-blood diva. Is this the future of pop?

“What’s it really like to be a furry?…these are people who enjoy dressing up in large, over-elaborate animal costumes. But for furries, these assumptions couldn’t be further from the truth.” Photographer Alex Stewart spends a weekend with a little-known subculture known as the ‘furries’, a group of women who feel most at home in costumes you might see on a team mascot. Is it as weird as people make out?

“I’m not saying that the folks who experienced the ghost of this non-existent teenage girl were lying, or crazy, or hysterical—they weren’t. Their brain was just doing what brains do; they were using information they were given, which turned out to be incorrect.” Is it pareidolia? Are they hallucinations? Seven scientists are asked their opinion on whether ghosts are actually a thing.

“Body positivity shouldn’t end with our body when it dies. All of these ideals of beauty and conforming to society’s ideas of what that beauty is also played out in the funeral home. So corpses are pumped full of embalming fluid, airbrushed. They’re presented in perfect light that makes them attractive and they’re made to look as though they’re just sleeping.” Meet the women leading the growing industry of natural burials, a green movement involving biodegradable caskets and a firm feminist message.

“Yes, the massive tortoises are stunning, but where thousands of them once bulldozed the highlands of Floreana there are now about two dozen – all imported from other islands because the local species went extinct.” Since the days of Darwin, things have changed remarkably on the Galápagos archipelago, with invasive species ruining the natural environment. Natural preservationists are now considering the possibility of genetic manipulation, using new tools such as CRISPR, to solve the problem. But is this human interference with the natural world ethically desirable?