Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Overhaul of Vlad Dracula's Reputation Underway
telegraph - Vlad the Impaler, the medieval Romanian prince who inspired the character of Count Dracula, was not a blood-thirsty tyrant, he was simply a misunderstood victim of bad Western European propaganda, a new exhibition has claimed.
The show, which has just opened in Bucharest, attempts to rehabilitate Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad Dracula or Vlad the Impaler, who ruled Wallachia in the 15th century.
"Vlad Dracula was doubtlessly cruel, but not more so than other princes of his time," said Margot Rauch, the Austrian curator of the exhibition, entitled "Dracula - Voivode and Vampire".
Vlad was born in the town of Sighisoara, in Transylvania, in 1431. He ruled over Wallachia, now a region of Romania, between 1456 and 1462 and was reputed to have killed thousands of political opponents, common criminals and captured Turkish soldiers by having them impaled on sharp wooden stakes. It is estimated he had 50,000 people put to death.
He is also said to have committed other atrocities, including torturing, roasting, dismembering and drowning his enemies.
But despite the historical evidence, according to Ms Rauch, "In fact he was a victim of bad propaganda".
She said historical studies presented in the exhibition show legends related to Vlad Dracula were "aimed at presenting eastern Europe as a primitive land and a source of evil".
The exhibition includes portraits of Vlad from the Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna and the Schloss Ambras museum in Innsbruck, as well as manuscripts which depicted him as a blood-thirsty maniac.
One of the engravings, dating back to 1500, shows him having a meal under the eyes of a dozen impaled men, while others have their limbs lopped off and their heads boiled in cauldrons.
Many Romanians regard Vlad as a hero because he fought the invading Ottoman Turks.
The legends about his rule inspired Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula", published in 1897, and later formed the basis of countless books, films and television dramas.
The famous image of Dracula, with his deathly pale skin, dark cape and blood-stained fangs, came largely from seven Dracula films made by Universal Studios between 1930 and 1960.
"It's time to see Vlad Dracula in another light than that given by Hollywood," said Ms Rauch.
UFO Museum’s Rocketing Attendance Defies Skeptics
thechronicleherald - Something really strange is happening this summer at Shag Harbour’s UFO museum.
Attendance is up by more than 70 per cent over last year at this time, say local UFO statisticians.
"Isn’t that wonderful," said Cindy Nickerson, chairwoman of the Shag Harbour Incident Society Museum.
The Shag Harbour incident, of course, is the Oct. 4, 1967, crash of what many believe to have been an unidentified flying object into the harbour.
Even without a ferry from Maine to Yarmouth this summer, 42 American cars stopped in June and the first week of July, Nickerson said Monday.
And an opinion poll being taken by UFO museum staff this summer seems to indicate that those who come to visit are believers in extraterrestrial life.
So far, 22 of the 28 people completing a questionnaire asking if they believe in out-of-this-world life forms said yes.
And 13 folks said they are confident the Shag Harbour UFO was an alien spacecraft.
Last year, a number of cycling tours had come through the village by this time.
"There were 30 Americans on bicycles last year that didn’t come this year, (but) Americans in cars are up," said Nickerson. "I’m really surprised because I didn’t think we were going to have any."
A lot of Ontario and New Brunswick vehicles have also stopped, she said.
The UFO museum is one of the few museums that does not charge an admission fee.
"That makes a difference," Nickerson said.
Soon the UFO museum will have a UFO flight simulator visitors can try out on a computer. This is also the first year in its new location, a former general store in the centre of Shag Harbour that has more floor space and better parking.
The museum has always had over 1,000 annual visitors in the five years it has been open.
Last year, they had 1,049 people drop by during the June-to-October season.
Now they’re closing in on 500 visitors in the six weeks they have been open.
Last summer, a recreational diver, David Cvet, explored the seabed off Shag Harbour, where the UFO is said to have crashed in 1967.
He said last year he came across a couple of dish-shaped depressions, each about six metres in diameter. The ocean bottom anomaly was found about 20 metres below the surface in the spot where witnesses say an alien craft swooshed low over the Shelburne County coast.
Cvet will dive again this year on July 24, said Nickerson. He will make a video that folks will be able to view at the museum.
The 2010 UFO festival in Shag Harbour is set to go Aug. 6 and 7. Boat rides to the UFO crash site and a UFO symposium are planned. Details may be found at the festival website, shagharbourufo.com.
King Tut’s DNA is Western European? Is This Another Attempt To Discredit African Races?
Click for video
eutimes - Despite the refusal of the Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, to release any DNA results which might indicate the racial ancestry of Pharaoh Tutankhamen, the leaked results reveal that King Tut’s DNA is a 99.6 percent match with Western European Y chromosomes.
The DNA test results were inadvertently revealed on a Discovery Channel TV documentary filmed with Hawass’s permission — but it seems as if the Egyptian failed to spot the giveaway part of the documentary which revealed the test results.
Hawass previously announced that he would not release the racial DNA results of Egyptian mummies — obviously because he feared the consequences of such a revelation.
On the Discovery Channel broadcast, which can be seen on the Discovery Channel website and YouTube, at approximately 1:53 into the video, the camera pans over a printout of DNA test results from King Tut.
Firstly, here is a brief explanation of the results visible in the video. It is a list of what is called Short Tandem Repeats (STRs).
STRs are repeated DNA sequences which are “short repeat units” whose characteristics make them especially suitable for human identification.
These STR values for 17 markers visible in the video are as follows:
DYS 19 – 14 (? not clear)
DYS 385a – 11
DYS 385b – 14
DYS 389i – 13
DYS 389ii – 30
DYS 390 – 24
DYS 391 – 11
DYS 392 – 13
DYS 393 – 13
DYS 437 – 14 (? not clear)
DYS 438 – 12
DYS 439 – 10
DYS 448 – 19
DYS 456 – 15
DYS 458 – 16
DYS 635 – 23
YGATAH4 – 11
What does this mean? Fortunately, a genius by the name of Whit Athey provides the key to this list. Mr Athey is a retired physicist whose working career was primarily at the Food and Drug Administration where he was chief of one of the medical device labs.
Mr Athey received his doctorate in physics and biochemistry at Tufts University, and undergraduate (engineering) and masters (math) degrees at Auburn University. For several years during the 1980s, he also taught one course each semester in the electrical engineering department of the University of Maryland. Besides his interest in genetic genealogy, he is an amateur astronomer and has his own small observatory near his home in Brookeville, MD.
He also runs a very valuable website called the “Haplogroup Predictor” which allows users to input STR data and generate the haplogroup which marks those STR data.
For those who want to know what a haplogroup is, here is a “simple” definition: a haplogroup is a group of similar haplotypes that share a common ancestor with a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mutation.
Still none the wiser? Damn these scientists.
Ok, let’s try it this way: a haplotype is a combination of multiple specific locations of a gene or DNA sequence on a chromosome.
Haplogroups are assigned letters of the alphabet, and refinements consist of additional number and letter combinations, for example R1b or R1b1. Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA haplogroups have different haplogroup designations. In essence, haplogroups give an inisight into ancestral origins dating back thousands of years.
By entering all the STR data inadvertently shown on the Discovery video, a 99.6 percent fit with the R1b haplogroup is revealed.
The significance is, of course, that R1b is the most common Y-chromosome haplogroup in Europe reaching its highest concentrations in Ireland, Scotland, western England and the European Atlantic seaboard — in other words, European through and through.
NOTE: Since the influx of western Egyptologists, there has been an attempt to discredit Africans, especially black-skinned Africans, as being the race of the early and advanced Egyptian dynasties. I truly question the information in this article and leave the interpretation up to you...Lon
Aussie Teacher Files Lawsuit...Claims Larynx Damaged From Yelling At Students
heraldsun - A teacher who claims she damaged her larynx yelling at children, including some with special needs, is suing the Government for more than $400,000. Valissa Julietta Bauer, 39, claims she had to over use her voice in an attempt to control the pupils in her composite Year 6 and 7 class at Thabeban State School in Bundaberg, Queensland. Her claim, filed in the Supreme Court in Brisbane, said the class included 31 special needs children, including a diabetic child who required insulin injections, two autistic children, a child with cardiac disorders and a few children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
As a result of her duties over the course of her employment with the school from about May 2006, Ms Bauer developed an injury to her larynx, her claim filed by Shine Lawyers said. Ms Bauer, who no longer teaches at the school but is believed to work part time teaching at a private Bundaberg school, claims she has been left with a permanent disability and has lost considerable income.
The teacher is suing over the school putting her in charge of the composite class without providing her with adequate classroom assistance. She claims the school failed to regularly rotate her between various duties, to reduce her contact with the composite class. Ms Bauer also blames the school for failing to supervise or ensure that the correct number of staff were available to monitor the high number of students in the Year 6 and 7 class. She also claims she received inadequate training to prevent her being injured.
Her claim is for almost $420,009 in damages for personal injury as a result of alleged negligence, breach of contract or statutory duties. It includes amounts for general damages, past economic loss, future impairment of her earning capacity to age 65 and medical expenses. The State Government is yet to file a defence and declined to comment.
Trailer: The Willy Wonka Horror Show
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NOTE: Creepy orange colored little people working in a chocolate factory never really appealed to me...I'll stick with the Keebler Elves or the Little Chocolatiers. Lon
Fortean / Oddball News - 7/13/2010