|Fig.1: What Vlad III Dracula |
lacked in fangs and a thirst
for blood, he made up for
with awesome hair!
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Before vampires did stupid things like sparkle and impregnate high schoolers, they were among the most terrifying creatures of legend, right alongside witches, werewolves, and koalas. The classic vampire that everyone recognizes is Count Dracula; based on Irish author Bram Stoker's classic 1897 novel, the character has been popularized in the storied performances of Béla Lugosi in the 1931 film, Christopher Lee in the 1958 version, and Zale Kessler's fantastic voice acting in 1988's Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School. But the real Dracula was not so much interested in ingesting people's blood as he was killing invading Turks and sticking their rotting corpses on spikes for everyone to see. Not nearly as bad!
This man was Vlad III, Prince (or Voivode) of Wallachia. Wallachia was a principality in Eastern Europe located in present-day Romania, just to the south of a little place called Transylvania! Dramatic noise! Vlad III was born in 1431 to Vlad II, whose nickname was Dracul ("the dragon"). Thus his son became known as Dracula, meaning "son of the dragon," implying that Vlad's great-great-great-great grandsons could have been called Draculaaaaaa. Anyway, this was a very precarious time to live in Wallachia, as those darn Ottomans were beginning their surge into Europe, and Vlad's kingdom was right on the front lines. Wallachia needed a strong, ruthless ruler to defend their territory and way of life, and a prince whose nickname would later be used for a blood-sucking monster was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
|Fig.1: Genghis knows how to grow a playoff beard.|
Monday, October 14, 2013
Last time...on the Canned Historian:
By 415 BC, Athens and Sparta had been at "peace" for six years (I use that word as lightly as Burger King uses "healthy" to describe their new menu options). There had been fighting between Athens' and Sparta's allies in their respective Leagues, but the two main powers had stayed out of their gym class squabbles for the most part. But then Athens received a nice letter from some friends on the island of Sicily, asking them to help in their struggle against the big man on campus there: Syracuse (not really fig.1). Athens saw an opportunity not only to help a friend out, but to plant a foot in Sicily and hopefully use its resources to eventually defeat those Spartans. Okay, to be honest, Athens was really only thinking of that second thing, but who hasn't been a little selfish when given the chance to take over a large island in the Mediterranean? You and I have no right to judge!
- Greek city-states became Greek city-men during the Persian War.
- Workplace tensions between Athens' Delian League and Sparta's Peloponnesian League could not be resolved by HR, initiating the Peloponnesian War in 431 BC.
- Sparta refuses to get wet, and Athens doesn't want to get out of the pool, so the war goes nowhere at first.
- Jack Bauer rescues his daughter and takes down the Serbian agent who kidnapped her, only to realize that he killed the agent's body-double's second-cousin-twice-removed, and had mistaken his daughter with a My Size Barbie.
- Athens and Sparta agree to the Peace of Nicias, putting the war on hold...for now...
|Fig.1: Despite popular knowledge, |
this gentleman would not be
involved in Syracusan politics
until the mid-4th century BC.
Monday, October 7, 2013
|Fig.1: The Battle of Mrs. Hutchinson's Geometry Class, circa 6th Period.|