Tambora is at it again

Hopefully you are aware of what happened when Tambora erupted in 1815. The April 1815 eruption of Tambora left a crater 7 miles (11 kilometers) wide and half a mile (1 kilometer) deep, spewing an estimated 400 million tons of sulfuric gases into the atmosphere and leading to “the year without summer” in the U.S. and Europe. All the fun stuff that happened back then, may happen again. The Associated Press reports that Tambora could be at it again. If you don’t know much about Tambora, just know that it was much bigger than the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. In the interest of time, I will keep it at this for now. I’ll be back with a ‘what if’ scenario, and an article on how to survive a volcanic winter. Or, if you prefer, another ‘year without summer’.

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Ron Paul: America’s last hope

Ronald Ernest “Ron” Paul (born August 20, 1935) is an American medical doctor, author, Republican U.S. Congressman of the House of Representatives and candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination. Paul is currently the U.S. Congressman for the 14th congressional district of Texas, which comprises the area south and southwest of the Greater Houston region, including Galveston. Paul serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Joint Economic Committee, and the House Committee on Financial Services, and is Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology, where he has been an outspoken critic of current American foreign and monetary policy. Paul has been termed the “intellectual godfather” of the Tea Party movement. He has become well-known for his libertarian ideas for many political issues, often differing from both Republican and Democratic Party stances. Paul has campaigned for President of the United States twice before, first during 1988 as the nominee of the Libertarian Party and again during 2008 as a candidate for the Republican nomination.

Paul was born in Pittsburgh, the son of Howard Caspar Paul and Margaret (née Dumont) Paul. His paternal great-grandparents emigrated from Germany, and his mother was of German and Irish ancestry. As a junior at suburban Dormont High School, he was the 220-yard dash state champion. He received a B.S. degree in biology at Gettysburg College during 1957. He was a member of the fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha. After earning a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Duke University School of Medicine during 1961, Paul relocated with his wife to Michigan, where he completed his medical internship at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. He then served as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force from 1963 to 1965 and then in the United States Air National Guard from 1965 to 1968. During 1968, Paul and his wife relocated to Texas, where he continued his medical work. Trained in obstetrics and gynaecology, Paul then began his own private practice.

Paul has been married to Carol Wells since 1957. They have five children, who were baptized Episcopalian: Ronald, Lori, Rand, Robert, and Joy. Paul’s son Rand is the junior senator from the state of Kentucky. Raised a Lutheran, Paul later became a Baptist.

As a physician, Paul routinely lowered fees or worked for free and refused to accept Medicaid or Medicare payments. As a member of Congress, he continues to refuse to sign up for the government pension that he would be entitled to in order to avoid receiving government money, saying it would be “hypocritical and immoral.”

Inspired by his belief that the monetary crisis of the 1970s was predicted by the Austrian School and caused by excessive government spending on the Vietnam War and welfare, Paul became a delegate to the Texas Republican convention and a Republican candidate for the United States Congress. During 1974, incumbent Robert R. Casey defeated him for the 22nd district. When President Gerald Ford appointed Casey to direct the Federal Maritime Commission, Paul won an April 1976 special election to the vacant office. Paul lost some months later in the general election, to Democrat Robert Gammage, by fewer than 300 votes (0.2%), but defeated Gammage in a 1978 rematch, and was reelected during 1980 and 1982.

Paul was the first Republican representative from the area; he also headed the Texas Reagan delegation at the national Republican convention. His successful campaign against Gammage surprised local Democrats, who had expected to retain the seat easily due to the Watergate scandal. Gammage underestimated Paul’s popularity among local mothers: “I had real difficulty down in Brazoria County, where he practiced, because he’d delivered half the babies in the county. There were only two obstetricians in the county, and the other one was his partner.”

Paul authors more bills than the average representative, such as those that impose term limits, or abolish the income tax or the Federal Reserve; many do not escape committee review. He has written successful legislation to prevent eminent domain seizure of a church in New York, and a bill transferring ownership of the Lake Texana dam project from the federal government to Texas. By amending other legislation, he has helped prohibit funding for national identification numbers, funding for federal teacher certification, International Criminal Court jurisdiction over the U.S. military, American participation with any U.N. global tax, and surveillance of peaceful First Amendment activities by citizens.

During March 2001, Paul introduced a bill to repeal the 1973 War Powers Resolution (WPR) and reinstate the process of formal declaration of war by Congress. Later during 2001, Paul voted to authorize the president, pursuant to WPR, to respond to those responsible for the September 11, 2001, attacks. He also introduced “Sunlight Rule” legislation, which requires lawmakers to take enough time to read bills before voting on them, after the Patriot Act was passed within 24 hours of its introduction. Paul was one of six Republicans to vote against the Iraq War Resolution, and (with Oregon representative Peter DeFazio) sponsored a resolution to repeal the war authorization during February 2003. Paul’s speech, 35 “Questions That Won’t Be Asked About Iraq,” was translated and published in German, French, Russian, Italian, and Swiss periodicals before the Iraq War began.

Paul says his fellow members of Congress have increased government spending by 75 percent during the presidency of George W. Bush. After a 2005 bill was touted as “slashing” government waste, Paul wrote that it decreased spending by a fraction of one percent and that “Congress couldn’t slash spending if the members’ lives depended on it.” He said that during three years he had voted against more than 700 bills intended to expand government.

Paul has introduced several bills to apply tax credits to education, including credits for parental spending on public, private, or homeschool students (Family Education Freedom Act); for salaries for all K–12 teachers, librarians, counselors, and other school personnel; and for donations to scholarships or to benefit academics (Education Improvement Tax Cut Act). In accord with his political opinions, he has also introduced the Sanctity of Life Act, the We the People Act, and the American Freedom Agenda Act.

During June 2011, Paul co-sponsored a bill with U.S. Representative Barney Frank that is intended to end the federal prohibition of marijuana. Here you can find a history of legislation sponsored by Ron Paul.

Ron Paul’s political positions have given him the nickname ‘Dr. No’. It reflects both his medical degree and his assertion that he will “never vote for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution. His views on foreign policy can be summed up with one phrase. Non intervention.

Paul advocates withdrawing U.S. participation and funding from organizations he believes override American sovereignty, such as the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, the Law of the Sea Treaty, NATO, and the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.

Paul considers it a “boondoggle” for the U.S. to spend much money policing other countries’ borders (such as the Iraq–Syria border) while leaving its own borders porous and unpatrolled; he argues the U.S.–Mexico border can be crossed by anyone, including potential terrorists. During the Cold War, he supported Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, intended to replace the “strategic offense” doctrine of mutual assured destruction with strategic defense.

Paul believes illegal aliens take a toll on welfare and Social Security and would end such benefits, concerned that uncontrolled immigration makes the U.S. a magnet for illegal aliens, increases welfare payments, and exacerbates the strain on an already highly unbalanced federal budget.

Paul believes that illegal immigrants should not be given an “unfair advantage” under law. He has advocated a “coherent immigration policy,” and has spoken strongly against amnesty for illegal aliens because he believes it undermines the rule of law, grants pardons to lawbreakers, and subsidizes more illegal immigration. Paul voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, authorizing an additional 700 miles (1100 kilometers) of double-layered fencing between the U.S. and Mexico mainly because he wanted enforcement of the law and opposed amnesty not because he supported the construction of a border fence.

Paul believes that mandated hospital emergency treatment for illegal aliens should be ceased and that assistance from charities should instead be sought because there should be no federal mandates on providing health care for illegal aliens.

Paul also believes children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens should not be granted automatic birthright citizenship. He has called for a new Constitutional amendment to revise fourteenth amendment principles and “end automatic birthright citizenship,” and believes that welfare issues are directly tied to the illegal immigration problem.

Regarding the economy:

Lower spending and smaller government

Lower taxes

On the Federal Reserve:

In the words of the New York Times, Paul is “not a fan” of the Federal Reserve. Paul’s opposition to the Fed is supported by the Austrian Business Cycle Theory, which holds that instead of containing inflation, the Federal Reserve, in theory and in practice, is responsible for causing inflation. Accordingly, Paul is in favor of abolishing the Fed.

Paul is in favor of de-federalization of the markets, and against any federal tampering of the markets.

Ron Paul has been described as Thomas Jefferson incarnate, especially with his views on civil liberties, and states’ rights.

Don’t just read this article and take my word for anything. Do your own research. Watch Ron Paul speak. Listen to his message. Watch him at the debates. Get the facts, and compare his history, to the histories of the other GOP candidates. Most important of all, after doing all of this, join the rEVOLution. Just remember, Ron Paul really is America’s last hope. You will never find a candidate with as much passion as Paul, with as much conviction as Paul, with as many moral values as Paul, with the level of consistency as Paul. Ron Paul is the embodiment of the true American, the true patriot. It’s time for some real change in America. Ron Paul’s campaign site.

September 26th earthquake: Another doomsday?

Elenin. The comet that might end the world. Or is it? According to NASA it’s not a big deal. But according to Dr. Mensur Omerbashich, it is a big deal. So you may be asking yourself ‘how do I know what is going to happen?’ Well you really can’t answer that question. Neither can my article, but I can go into the history of Elenin and the theories that follow.

In this video, Eric Padden discuses the Elenin effect and how it has already caused a major earthquake each of the last three times it has aligned with our planet and sun. The next alighnment will occur on 9-26-11 and if the ring of fire continues its clockward rotation N. America will be do for a major Quake.

This is a Planetary Alignment Earthquake watch video, program used in this Heliocentric visual representation is Simsolarv2.0.

Elenin There is the projected trajectory of Elenin. Ok people. Here we go. At one end of the spectrum, you have NASA scientists who say that Elenin is nothing more than a comet comprising icy space debris with negligible mass that will have little effect on the Earth. On the other end, you have some scientists and private researches that claim Elenin is a large planetary body, possibly a brown dwarf, and its near approach will wreak havoc on the earth.

Most of the evidence for Elenin, aka Comet C/2010 X1, revolves around conspiracy theories involving a government cover up of an incoming brown dwarf by the name of planet x. This isn’t just conspiracy conjecture mind you. Planet X was first brought into the main stream by an article from the Washington Post, and another article from The New York Times back in 1983. Granted, this theory wasn’t given much thought, until Dr. Mensur Omerbashich wrote a ground breaking article, claiming that Elenin has been responsible for increased seismic activity in the past. He provides historic data on large earthquakes, greater than magnitude 6, and how these have occurred during planetary alignments. For example, he notes that the 9.1 earthquake that hit Indonesia on December 26, 2004 causing over 230,000 deaths around the Indian Ocean, occurred when the Earth, Mercury and Venus were in alignment. At first, the planetary alignment thesis seems puzzling since it’s not obvious what is happening during an alignment that would cause seismic behavior on Earth. Unfortunately Omerbashich doesn’t provide an answer for this, he merely shows historical examples of planetary alignment, and increased seismic activity. To understand what really happens during this time, we need to look at the plasma cosmology model.

Plasma cosmology is an astronomical model that suggests that the sun and planets are electrically charged celestial objects that exist in an electric field that is generated by the sun in a radial direction (like the spokes on a bicycle wheel) throughout the solar system. Charges flow through this electric field by virtue of the plasma particles that are constantly being released by the sun (aka solar wind). Plasma is the fourth state of matter (solid, liquid, and gas being the first three) and comprises free protons, neutrons, electrons and ions that make up atoms. Plasma is not electrically neutral, but is a superconductor that can carry electrical charges throughout the solar system (and indeed into interstellar and intergalactic space)

As electrical charges are distributed by plasma through the solar system, then different regions of space become electrically charged depending on their distance from the sun. Put simply, the sun comprises a large positive charge while the distant ends of the solar system form the most negatively charged regions of the solar system. In between, the electric field of the sun and the plasma currents flowing from it through space, provide electrical charges to planets, asteroids and comets depending on the nature of their orbits and proximity to one another.

Plasma discharges therefore regularly occur between celestial bodies. When a comet moves close to a planet or the sun, the comet’s electrical charge is significantly different in that region of the solar system’s electrical field. The accumulation of charge and/or a plasma discharge subsequently occurs. For example, when comets travel close to the sun, plasma discharges (aka Coronal Mass Ejections) have been observed to occur. Most astronomers are puzzled by such events which they currently regard as mere coincidence. For supporters of plasma cosmology, however, the sun’s behavior when comet’s approach is evidence of the plasma discharge that regularly occurs when two charged celestial bodies approach each other.

The plasma cosmology model gives us a means of understanding how the planetary alignments that Dr Omerbashich discusses are directly related to seismic activity. Essentially, when the Earth is aligned with two or more celestial bodies, then a plasma discharge occurs and seismic activity is stimulated. So now we can better understand how planetary alignments might cause seismic activity which Dr Omerbashich has observed in recent historical data.

On September 26, 2011 Elenin will pass between the Earth and sun and will be only 0.396 astronomical units from the Earth. Not the closest it will be to the Earth during its orbit, that occurs on October 16, but quite possibly the most significant for evaluating its seismic effect on Earth. According to the plasma cosmology model, the position of Elenin directly between the Earth and the sun will make it possible for the most powerful plasma discharge involving Elenin in relation to the Earth. The plasma discharge is likely to stimulate a spike in seismic activity during the August 1 to October 20 period when Dr Omerbashich predicts seismic activity will wane.

Another date to watch is November 23, 2011 when Elenin and the Earth will again be in direct alignment with the sun. This time Earth will be in the middle with Elenin only 0.596 AU away from the earth, and the sun on the other side. This alignment again makes possible a large plasma discharge leading to increased seismic activity.

So… in conclusion, I guess you could say that yes, evidence seems to support the idea of a major earthquake on Sept. 26th of this year. NASA says Elenin is nothing more than a simple comet. Evidence seems to suggest otherwise. But hey, all we can really do is wait. I would like to point out that I hope Elenin isn’t really a brown dwarf. brown dwarf As you can see, that isn’t really something you want passing so close to earth.

Vampires vs Zombies: A comparative history

After watching the season finale of Deadliest Warrior, I couldn’t help but think WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT?! So I decided to write an article comparing the histories of vampires and zombies. If you haven’t figured this out already, I’m a zombie fan. Anyway, enjoy!

The vampire, and its humble beginnings.

Alright… not so humble. More on the complex side, but interesting nonetheless. Many cultures possess revenant superstitions comparable to the Eastern European vampires, but the Slavic vampire is the revenant superstition that pervades popular culture’s concept of the vampire. The roots of  vampire belief in Slavic culture are based to extent in the spiritual beliefs and practices of pre-Christianized Slavic peoples and their understanding of life after death. So, for the sake of time, I will only cover things related to the Slavic people, and their beliefs about vampirism. Some examples:

1. Dec0mposition: People sometimes suspected vampirism when a corpse did not look as they thought a normal corpse should when disinterred.

2. Premature burial: It has also been hypothesized that vampire legends were influenced by individuals being buried alivebecause of shortcomings in the medical knowledge of the time. In some cases in which people reported sounds emanating from a specific coffin, it was later dug up and fingernail marks were discovered on the inside from the victim trying to escape. In other cases the person would hit their heads, noses or faces and it would appear that they had been “feeding.”

3. Contagion: Vampirism has been associated with clusters of deaths from an unidentifiable or mysterious illnesses. Tuberculosis and the pneumonic form of the bubonic plague.

4. Porphyria: In 1985 biochemist David Dolphin proposed a link between the rare blood disorder porphyria and vampire folklore. Noting that the condition is treated by intravenous haem, he suggested that the consumption of large amounts of blood may result in haem being transported somehow across the stomach wall and into the bloodstream. Thus vampires were merely sufferers of porphyria seeking to replace haem and alleviate their symptoms. (I’m not getting too in depth with this example.)

The vampire gets a face lift. Enter Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’.

Obviously, you don’t think I’m going to deconstruct the themes, motifs, and symbols form this novel, but clearly you don’t know me.

Themes

The consequences of modernity

Early in the novel, as Harker becomes uncomfortable with his lodgings and his host at Castle Dracula, he notes that “unless my senses deceive me, the old centuries had, and have, powers of their own which mere ‘modernity’ cannot kill.” Here, Harker voices one of the central concerns of the Victorian era. The end of the nineteenth century brought drastic developments that forced English society to question the systems of belief that had governed it for centuries. Darwin’s theory of evolution, for instance, called the validity of long-held sacred religious doctrines into question. Likewise, the Industrial Revolution brought profound economic and social change to the previously agrarian England.

Though Stoker begins his novel in a ruined castle—a traditional Gothic setting—he soon moves the action to Victorian London, where the advancements of modernity are largely responsible for the ease with which the count preys upon English society. When Lucy falls victim to Dracula’s spell, neither Mina nor Dr. Seward—both devotees of modern advancements—are equipped even to guess at the cause of Lucy’s predicament. Only Van Helsing, whose facility with modern medical techniques is tempered with open-mindedness about ancient legends and non-Western folk remedies, comes close to understanding Lucy’s affliction.

In Chapter XVII, when Van Helsing warns Seward that “to rid the earth of this terrible monster we must have all the knowledge and all the help which we can get,” he literally means all the knowledge. Van Helsing works not only to understand modern Western methods, but to incorporate the ancient and foreign schools of thought that the modern West dismisses. “It is the fault of our science,” he says, “that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain.” Here, Van Helsing points to the dire consequences of subscribing only to contemporary currents of thought. Without an understanding of history—indeed, without different understandings of history—the world is left terribly vulnerable when history inevitably repeats itself.

 

The threat of female sexual expression

Most critics agree that Dracula is, as much as anything else, a novel that indulges the Victorian male imagination, particularly regarding the topic of female sexuality. In Victorian England, women’s sexual behavior was dictated by society’s extremely rigid expectations. A Victorian woman effectively had only two options: she was either a virgin—a model of purity and innocence—or else she was a wife and mother. If she was neither of these, she was considered a whore, and thus of no consequence to society.

By the time Dracula lands in England and begins to work his evil magic on Lucy Westenra, we understand that the impending battle between good and evil will hinge upon female sexuality. Both Lucy and Mina are less like real people than two-dimensional embodiments of virtues that have, over the ages, been coded as female. Both women are chaste, pure, innocent of the world’s evils, and devoted to their men. But Dracula threatens to turn the two women into their opposites, into women noted for their voluptuousness—a word Stoker turns to again and again—and unapologetically open sexual desire.

Dracula succeeds in transforming Lucy, and once she becomes a raving vampire vixen, Van Helsing’s men see no other option than to destroy her, in order to return her to a purer, more socially respectable state. After Lucy’s transformation, the men keep a careful eye on Mina, worried they will lose yet another model of Victorian womanhood to the dark side. The men are so intensely invested in the women’s sexual behavior because they are afraid of associating with the socially scorned. In fact, the men fear for nothing less than their own safety. Late in the novel, Dracula mocks Van Helsing’s crew, saying, “Your girls that you all love are mine already; and through them you and others shall yet be mine.” Here, the count voices a male fantasy that has existed since Adam and Eve were turned out of Eden: namely, that women’s ungovernable desires leave men poised for a costly fall from grace.

 

The promise of Christian Salvation

The folk legends and traditions Van Helsing draws upon suggest that the most effective weapons in combating supernatural evil are symbols of unearthly good. Indeed, in the fight against Dracula, these symbols of good take the form of the icons of Christian faith, such as the crucifix. The novel is so invested in the strength and power of these Christian symbols that it reads, at times, like a propagandistic Christian promise of salvation.

Dracula, practically as old as religion itself, stands as a satanic figure, most obviously in his appearance—pointed ears, fangs, and flaming eyes—but also in his consumption of blood. Dracula’s bloodthirstiness is a perversion of Christian ritual, as it extends his physical life but cuts him off from any form of spiritual existence. Those who fall under the count’s spell, including Lucy Westenra and the three “weird sisters,” find themselves cursed with physical life that is eternal but soulless. Stoker takes pains to emphasize the consequences of these women’s destruction.

Though they have preyed on helpless children and have sought to bring others into their awful brood, each of the women meets a death that conforms to the Christian promise of salvation. The undead Lucy, for instance, is transformed by her second death into a vision of “unequalled sweetness and purity,” and her soul is returned to her, as is a “holy calm” that “was to reign for ever.” Even the face of Dracula himself assumes “a look of peace, such as [Mina] never could have imagined might have rested there.” Stoker presents a particularly liberal vision of salvation in his implication that the saved need not necessarily be believers. In Dracula, all of the dead are granted the unparalleled peace of salvation—only the “Un-Dead” are barred from it.

Now time for the motifs!

Blood

Blood functions in many ways in the novel. Its first mention, in Chapter III, comes when the count tells Harker that “blood is too precious a thing in these days of dishonorable peace; and the -glories of the great races are as a tale that is told.” The count proudly recounts his family history, relating blood to one’s ancestry—to the “great races” that have, in Dracula’s view, withered. The count foretells the coming of a war between lineages: between the East and the West, the ancient and the modern, and the evil and the good.

Later, the depictions of Dracula and his minions feeding on blood suggest the exchange of bodily fluids associated with sexual intercourse: Lucy is “drained” to the point of nearly passing out after the count penetrates her. The vampires’ drinking of blood echoes the Christian rite of Communion, but in a perverted sense. Rather than gain eternal spiritual life by consuming wine that has been blessed to symbolize Christ’s blood, Dracula drinks actual human blood in order to extend his physical—but quite soulless—life. The importance of blood in Christian mythology elevates the battle between Van Helsing’s warriors and the count to the significance of a holy war or crusade.

 

Science and superstition

We notice the stamp of modernity almost immediately when the focus of the novel shifts to England. Dr. Seward records his diary on a phonograph, Mina Murray practices typewriting on a newfangled machine, and so on. Indeed, the whole of England seems willing to walk into a future of progress and advancement. While the peasants of Transylvania busily bless one another against the evil eye at their roadside shrines, Mr. Swales, the poor Englishman whom Lucy and Mina meet in the Whitby cemetery, has no patience for such unfounded superstitions as ghosts and monsters. The threat Dracula poses to London hinges, in large part, on the advance of modernity. Advances in science have caused the English to dismiss the reality of the very superstitions, such as Dracula, that seek to undo their society. Van Helsing bridges this divide: equipped with the unique knowledge of both the East and the West, he represents the best hope of understanding the incomprehensible and ridding the world of evil.

 

Christian Iconography

The icons of Christian, and particularly Catholic, worship appear throughout the novel with great frequency. In the early chapters, the peasants of Eastern Europe offer Jonathan Harker crucifixes to steel him against the malevolence that awaits him. Later, Van Helsing arrives armed with crosses and Communion wafers. The frequency with which Stoker returns to these images frames Van Helsing’s mission as an explicitly religious one. He is, as he says near the end of the novel, nothing less than a “minister of God’s own wish.”

Symbols

The weird sisters

The three beautiful vampires Harker encounters in Dracula’s castle are both his dream and his nightmare—indeed, they embody both the dream and the nightmare of the Victorian male imagination in general. The sisters represent what the Victorian ideal stipulates women should not be—voluptuous and sexually aggressive—thus making their beauty both a promise of sexual fulfillment and a curse. These women offer Harker more sexual gratification in two paragraphs than his fiancée Mina does during the course of the entire novel. However, this sexual proficiency threatens to undermine the foundations of a male-dominated society by compromising men’s ability to reason and maintain control. For this reason, the sexually aggressive women in the novel must be destroyed.

 

The stake driven through Lucy’s heart

Arthur Holmwood buries a stake deep in Lucy’s heart in order to kill the demon she has become and to return her to the state of purity and innocence he so values. The language with which Stoker describes this violent act is unmistakably sexual, and the stake is an unambiguous symbol for the penis. In this way, it is fitting that the blow comes from Lucy’s fiancé, Arthur Holmwood: Lucy is being punished not only for being a vampire, but also for being available to the vampire’s seduction—Dracula, we recall, only has the power to attack willing victims. When Holmwood slays the demonic Lucy, he returns her to the role of a legitimate, monogamous lover, which reinvests his fiancée with her initial Victorian virtue.

 

The Czarina Catherine

The Czarina Catherine is the name of the ship in which Dracula flees England and journeys back to his homeland. The name of ship is taken from the Russian empress who was notorious for her -promiscuity. This reference is particularly suggestive of the threat that hangs over Mina Harker’s head: should Van Helsing and his men fail, she will be transformed into the same creature of appetites as Lucy.

 

The idea of the vampire changed. Even though Dracula was inspired by Vlad the Impaler, Bram introduced a new side to the idea of the vampire. This novel was also a very good commentary on relevant culture at the time.

 

The modern day vampire

The modern day vampire is a complete 180 from historical examples. I really don’t need to go into detail with this, because I’m sure you all have seen examples of modern vampires. Blade, Underworld, Day Walkers, 30 Days of Night, etc etc.

 

In closing on vampires

Vampires have interesting origins. The only thing I can really say to sum all of this up is, they had a good start, and a goddamn gay ending. Thank you, Stephanie Myer. Thank you for fucking it all up for the rest of us.

 

NOW, WHAT YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR! ZOMBIES! ZOMBIES! ZOMBIES! ZOMBIES!

Zombies, unlike vampires, haven’t really changed that much over the years. Since their religious origins, they have undergone two changes. Only one of these changes actually changed the perception of zombies throughout the world.

 

West African Vodun

Two types of zombies exist under this religion. The zombi astral, and the plain ‘ole zombie. The regular zombie, is just a dead person who is now under the control of a bokor (sorcerer). The zombi astral is believed to be a piece of the soul, captured by the bokor, and used to enhance the bokor’s powers. These would normally be kept in bottles, and sold to people for luck. Also, under Voudo beliefs, feeding a zombie salt will make it return to the grave.

 

Haitian Vodou

The one you all know about. I may not have to go into detail here, but I guess I’ll give you something to work with. The main thing to focus on here, is the ‘zombie powder’ that can be used to temporarily turn someone into a zombie. Wade Davis, from Harvard university, was able to figure out exactly what went into this powder back in 1982. Sadly, as amazing as it sounds, it’s just tetrodotoxin, and datura. At least you can say zombies…. in a sense…. exist somewhere in the world.

 

The change to end all changes

George A. Romero. The man who brought zombies into the spotlight. His film ‘Night of the Living Dead’ transformed the zombie into a truly terrifying entity. He introduced the staple of modern American horror films. He really really really really really really really did a good thing.

 

Modern day zombies

Not many changes have been made since Romero’s masterpiece. Faster zombies are the only noteworthy change seen among modern zombie culture. So…. moving on.

 

In closing on zombies

The history of the zombie isn’t very flashy, fancy, or all that amazing. The progression of the zombie over time isn’t spectacular. Hell, the zombie really hasn’t changed at all since it’s inception. My intent with this article, was to compare the history of the vampire and the zombie. I feel that I have done that, and done it well. But clearly, zombies win over vampires every time. Maybe if Twilight had stayed inside Stephanie Meyers’ unimaginative head, vampires would stand a chance against zombies, but zombies are the staple of American horror. Zombies reign supreme, because nothing else can measure up to their short, but never changing history. Vampires have changed several times over the years. Things have been added, beefed up, and slapped on to make vampires more appealing. Zombies never needed that, and never will need that. Hopefully you will read this and gain something from it…. At least a true history of vampires. Not the standard ‘Transylvania, garlic, crosses, castle’ bullshit history, because come on people… that is just fucking stupid. The interesting aspects of vampires come from their ancient roots, not the their post Dracula person. Oh yeah… uh… zombies are possible. Vampires are not. Unless you put glitter on yourself and go suck a cock I suppose.

 

Sources

Wikipedia

Spark Notes

Also, you all should visit The Zombie Research Society