Dracula is a fantasy/horror novel written by Bram Stoker in 1897. It is written as a series of letters, diary entries and other log entries, telling the battle between the vampire Count Dracula and Professor Van Helsing (with the help of some other people). It is one of the most well-known horror fictions in history and defined the modern image of vampires. Although it seems unlikely, the blood-sucking, immortal, creepy vampire that is Count Dracula is (loosely) based on an actual person.
Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia was a Romanian prince who led his army to fight against the invading Ottoman Empire during the 15th century, which was expanding its reach throughout Europe at the time. He was also referred to as Vlad the Impaler due to his incredibly cruel punishment of prisoners and enemies. He would kill the victims by stabbing their bodies with spears, typically through the anus up to the mouth. He would then have the bodies hanging as a warning to others. The victims would die a slow and painful death as they were drained of blood.
Another interesting fact is that Vlad III was an expert in guerilla warfare and would frequently hide his army in trees and strike the enemy at nighttime. This earned him a legend that he was bat-like – hanging from trees and only attacking at night to drain people of their blood. It is likely that Stoker took this legend and incorporated it into his novel, making Count Dracula able to transform into a large bat.
It is fascinating to see how someone who is portrayed as a noble hero in Romania and Slavic countries is remembered as an archetypal monster in modern times. This serves to remind us that no matter what good deed we may do, the world will only focus on a certain aspect and define you by that characteristic. The world is stubborn, critical and narrow-minded. Ergo, it is a waste of time trying to convince the world that you are a certain kind of person. As long as you know what kind of person you truly are and accept it, you will be able to live a happy life.
Scorpio is the Zodiac sign for those born between October 22 and November 21. The symbol for Scorpio is a gigantic scorpion.
The model for Scorpio is the scorpion that killed Orion. Orion was a great hunter. He always boasted that there was not a single animal that he could not kill and would kill every beast he saw in the forest. Many gods and goddesses were not pleased with his narcissism, but among them Artemis, the goddess of hunting, particularly disliked him. She was worried that he would kill every animal on Earth, threatening the ecosystem. So she summoned a giant scorpion and commanded it to kill him. The scorpion proceeded to swiftly sneak up to Orion and stung him with a deadly poison, killing him instantly. Thus, the great hunter Orion fell shamefully. Both Orion and the scorpion were lifted into the heavens and became constellation. This is why when the Scorpio constellation rises in the night sky, the Orion constellation hurriedly falls to the west, scared that he might be attacked once more.
(Part of the Zodiac series: https://jineralknowledge.com/tag/zodiacs/?order=asc)
Do you suffer from insomnia? Tossing and turning in bed for hours every night while enduring the onslaught of fatigue and a sense of uneasiness is hard on both the body and the mind. There are many “remedies” such as drinking warm milk or exercising lightly but those rarely help. If you find yourself staring into the dark ceiling and unable to fall asleep again tonight, try the following trick.
First, calm your mind and breathe deeply. As you breathe in, count “one”. Remove all other thoughts and focus on the 1. Now, breathe out. As you breathe out, count “two”. Inhale, 1. Exhale, 2. Inhale, 1. Exhale, 2. If you think about nothing other than your breathing and counting, you will find yourself drifting off into dreamland in no time.
Coffee is a magical drink that can make a busy person’s morning. Coffee’s stimulant effect is due to the substance called caffeine. Caffeine can make the mind more alert and drives away sleepiness for about 3~4 hours. This is why students studying for an exam or people working late love to drink coffee.
There are many students who say they do not like coffee and drink energy drinks instead. These drinks tend to advertise that the substances guarana and taurine give energy, but an interesting fact is that guarana is just a plant where caffeine is extracted from. Taurine has many beneficial actions in the body, but has no effect as a stimulant. Therefore, an energy drink is simply made of caffeine and sugar and holds no advantage over coffee.
Although caffeine is beneficial in moderate amounts, excessive consumption leads to adverse effects. A normal adult can handle up to about 400mg of caffeine. Any more and they could suffer from anxiety, insomnia, headaches, dehydration, increased urination, fever, rising heart rate, stomach pain, nausea and many other symptoms. As everyone’s rate of caffeine metabolism is different, only they know how much caffeine they can consume. Furthermore, the more coffee or tea you drink, you build a tolerance towards caffeine and can consume much more without adverse effects.
The following is a list of the caffeine content in common drinks and foods:
- Drip coffee(200ml): 150mg
- Espresso(50ml): 100mg (this is because the cups are small, the concentration is about 3 times that of drip coffee)
- Caffeine tablet: 100mg
- Energy drink(250ml): 80mg
- Coca-cola(600ml): 60mg
- Chocolate(250g): 60mg
- Black tea(170ml): 50mg
- Green tea(170ml): 30mg
- Decaffeinated coffee(200ml): 10mg
However, the best method to drive away sleepiness is by sleeping. If you are tired, the only way to recover is by taking a 30 minute to 2 hour nap, especially if you will be driving or have a night shift.
When you close your eyes, what do you see? When you look into the night sky, what do you see? Most people describe darkness as pitch black, but this is not quite true.
The colour that we see in perfect darkness is not black, but more of a dark grey colour. This colour has a special term called eigengrau, which is German for “intrinsic grey”. Similarly, when you look into the night sky the actual colour is a deep navy.
The reason for this is that the brain uses relative contrast to determine true black rather than the absolute brightness. So when you see darkness, the optic nerve still fires off some signals that the brain interprets as eigengrau. When you see a black object, the brain compares it to the surrounding to cancel this effect out to see true black.
The night sky is lit with stars and the moon, giving it a darker colour than eigengrau due to contrast, while retaining the blue hue produced by the dust diffracting light in a particular manner. Because of this, ninjas actually wore dark navy clothes instead of the black that we associate with them in the present.
An interesting point regarding darkness is that people often see it as a symbol of the negative side (e.g. The Dark Side). However, darkness is technically the opposite of light. It is in fact defined by the absence of light, which in other words suggests it is the default state.
The default state of the universe is nothing.