Wired runs trading-cardish profiles of some of the finest names in contemporary mad science.
My favorite bit of research is described thusly:
Aiming a beam of light at a glass slide in 2006 and 2007, Moddel asked test subjects to use their brainpower to increase the amount of reflected light. Expected reflection: 8 percent. Measured reflection: 8.005 percent. This represents a tiny but significant demonstration of mind over matter, Moddel says. Asked to decrease the amount of reflected light, subjects had similar success.
Apparently, the human mind can increase or decrease the amount of light reflected off a surface, though only in amounts well below the human threshold to perceive it. This must surely rank as the crappiest superpower ever.
Alternate Vampire Species
If you have not yet read B-Sol's excellent Top 10 Least Frightening Vampires list yet, go ahead and do that first.
So thinking on the vampires I would have added to the list, it occurred to me that all my not-so-scary vampires made the list because they weren't human. So, without further ado, here's some non-human vampires I think deserve a little Interwebs love.
Zoltan: Hound of Dracula
In the Russia, more than 200 years ago, Dracula, Lord of the Vampires, attacked a woman only to be foiled by the dog of a local innkeeper. Furious at the presumptuous pooch's intervention, Dracula turned his fury on the hound and sucked its blood instead. This turned the dog into Zoltan: the Hound of Dracula!
Perhaps the finest vampire-dog horror flick ever made, Zolton not only features the titular dogpire, but also is notable for the appearance in of Zolton's vampire off-spring. That's right: vampire puppies!
Bessie the Hellcow
In 1670, a starving Dracula was unable to find a human victim to sustain him and opted, to Bessie's eternal chagrin, for a beef dinner. The cow died and rose again three nights later as Bessie the Hellcow.
On a 300-year-old quest to destroy Dracula, Bessie the Hellcow tracked the Lord of Darkness to the outskirts of Cleveland. There she crossed paths with Marvel's mightest hero: Howard the Duck. Sadly, despite being perfect for the miniseries, Marvel decided not to work Bessie into the newly reconstituted Midnight Sons, the monster-hero team at the center of their fourth Marvel Zombies outing.
Along with Zoltan, Bessie's story leaves a foul taste in the mouth of those vampire fans who fancy the idea that vampires represent a dark and seductive aspect of human sexuality. Without exploring the subject too deeply, let's all just agree that it's hard to be sexy when you're giving a cow the ol' Transylvania hickey, as vampire fans call it.
The former commander of the Third Reich's sinister Primate Patrol, Pryemaul (pictured at the far right, standing in front of the ghost of J.E.B. Stuart) began his comic book career as your garden-variety fascist ape soldier. After Germany lost the war, this simian stormtrooper hid out in the Amazon with the remains of his ape army.
Eventually an encounter with the DC's Anne-Rice-ripoff, Lord Andrew Bennett of I, Vampire fame, turned Pryemaul into DC's only talking Nazi vampire ape. Practically tailor-made for use by Grant Morrison, I have no idea why he did not feature in prominently in DC's Final Crisis "blockbuster."
This horrific hare appears on both B-Sol's original flavor list and the shameless ripoff you're reading now. The long-running vegetarian vampire bunny villain-turned-uneasy-hero of a popular children's book series, Bunnicula made his first appearance in 1979. He's appeared in seven books and one film – which is really a heck of a career for any horror character (he's two novels ahead of Lestat).
A spin-off of the spy-spoof toon DangerMouse, Count Duckula's origins are handily covered by the show's intro.
He is, like Bunnicula, a vegetarian. He's also a bit of a doofus.
Okay, who'd I miss?
You know, looking over this list, I have to say that I think vampire fans protest too much about the Twilight phenom. I mean, really, are sparkly vampires somehow less canon than a cape-sporting bloodthirsty bovine? Is it really possible to desecrate a image of a monster that already boasts a talking ape proponent of National Socialism among its numbers?
Regular readers may recall that we've been following along with Aquarium Drunkard's on-going series revisiting the first four albums of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. After the well-received From Her to Eternity, the Brit rock press savaged Cave and Company's sophomore effort, Firstborn is Dead. NCBS's next platter, the even more Americana-soaked Kicking Against the Pricks was the group's rejoinder. From the AD post:
“In the biblical sense, Kicking Against the Pricks means something like fighting windmills. This meaning is most important to me,” Nick Cave told Dutch rock writer Tom Engelshoven, explaining the title of his 1986 covers album. “But,” he went on, “if you ask me if the word ‘Pricks’ refers to certain people in a non-biblical way, then I answer: Yes. And I mean journalists.”
Following the release of 1984’s From Her to Eternity, Nick Cave was lauded as some sort of upside-down Return of Christ by the British music press. And of course, those same journalists would, one year later, trample all over the far superior The Firstborn is Dead. Kicking Against the Pricks came as part of Cave’s reaction to the letdown, a direct fuck-you to the journalists who, in their fervor to find a savior in rock ‘n’ roll, ended up crucifying anything that lets them down. It’s an ugly game, one that we Americans learned pretty well, and Cave’s reaction is admirable. And, rather than give the long-form writers something to muse over and get smug about, Cave played the trump in the ’94 interview: “There is no concept behind it,” he stressed to Engelshoven, “except maybe that we need not be ashamed of showing our influences.”
The post includes free downloads of the thematically consistent "I'm Going to Kill That Woman" and "Hey Joe."
Regina's Spector's new video for "Laughing With," is packed with allusions to classic surrealists masterpieces. And it's got Regina Spector in it. She's easy on the eyes. Like a softer Tori Amos with all the "call me Titania, dear mortal rumpling" preciousness scraped off. And the curls. Those are nice. Um.
What was I . . .
Oh, yeah. A video. Here you go.