Archives For August 2012

Bike Path

Brad Stanton —  August 31, 2012 — 24 Comments

Brad Stanton:

I love the artwork on this site so much I just had to reblog it. Hope u like it.

Originally posted on desannlim:

This is for a contest. I sketched the girl, the bike, and the kittens first and then scanned it in so that I could color and work on the background digitally. From cin-harurun’s tumblr I pulled some reference pictures for nature scenes and the bike [Man, are the spoked on the bike tricky things]. I thought it would be fun to put kittens in the basket.

Completed August 31, 2012

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Are vampires real?

Brad Stanton —  August 31, 2012 — 21 Comments

Blood: The Last Vampire (2009 film)

Blood: The Last Vampire (2009 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently I was in a book store with my teenage daughter (that is not a picture of her lol, but it looks a lot like her because she is half Asian). It seems about half the books for her age are about vampires, and of course the movies are popular too. Where did the idea of vampires come from? Even today in some countries people believe that vampires exist and need to be dealt with. There are some possibilities as to how this all got started.

As a dead body decomposes, gas is released into the lungs and may be pressed out through the vocal chords by the weight of the stomach fat, flesh and ribs, causing a groining noise to be heard coming from the mouth. A simple wooden casket would not muffle this noise, especially if casket was not yet buried. Can you imagine what it would be like for a mother of a dead child to hear that on the second or third day after the child’s death?

Sometimes caskets were dug up after burial to check for signs of vampirism.

Decomposing internal organs would begin to emit a watery blood which may have been pushed out the esophagus or windpipe and out the mouth, making it look like the person had been drinking blood.

As the corpse decays, the flesh around the fingernails shrinks, but the fingernails don’t. This makes it look like the fingernails are still growing. The same thing happens to the flesh around the roots of the hair, making it look like the hair is still growing. It is understandable that some would believe this corpse was alive, wandering around at night looking for blood to drink.

Movies often show vampires sleeping in caskets. That is understandable because these creatures were found in caskets.

So how do you kill a vampire? Drive a wooden stake through his heart. I suppose that gave a path for the gas and blood to escape without making a groaning noise or being forced up the esophagus, especially if the stake was removed. But even if it wasn’t, the shrinking of the body tissues would quickly leave a gap around the side of the stake, making a path for the gas and blood to escape. No more groans from the corpse or blood on the mouth.

In many countries around the world, for thousands of years people have been drinking human blood for various reasons. Some ancient paintings show victorious troops drinking the blood of their vanquished foes, possibly because they believed it gave them strength. Some drink blood in satanic rituals or other rites; some do it because they think it is cool. Some people actually believe they need human blood for nourishment.

I once read about a woman who lived about 500 years ago who believed bathing in the blood of beautiful girls would make her more youthful and beautiful. So she did. And there really was a man named Dracula who was very sadistic. One of his bad habits was eating dinner surrounded by impaled people who were dying slowly, earning him a place in Braum Stokers books.

graveyard humor

Summer Sounds

Brad Stanton —  August 29, 2012 — 23 Comments

The Cheers site in Boston

The Cheers site in Boston (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some summer sounds certainly seem sweet. What was the best sound you ever heard? For me it was more than one sound, it was like an orchestra being played every summer evening during that unforgettable time in my life when I had just recently lost half a dozen of the best friends I had ever had. Crickets chirped, cars occasionally whizzed by, dogs barked in the distance, a train honked a horn. They sounded more beautiful than at any other time because I had spent the whole month meditating after work, a new thing for me.

I was in my mid-twenties, single and living in a little one bedroom apartment not far from a train track. The horn of that train always brought back happy memories for me and was very comforting. But about my friends….

It just so happened that during those years I had made friends with half a dozen of the most fun and interesting people I had ever met. We were very close, sort of like the TV show Friends, or Cheers, the little bar where everybody knows your name.

They were the kind of people who could drop by any time and we would have a wonderful time, with plenty of laughter, bantering and fun stories. But during a three or four month period, some of them got married and disappeared from our little gang, the others moved out of town. Suddenly I had no close friends at all.

I had to find something to do with my time, so I took walks at the nearby park. I began to meditate on the good things in life that I still had, even though it was tough to lose my friends. At first it was hard to think of things to feel grateful for. But the more I thought and felt grateful for a few things, the more things came to mind that I could be grateful for.

Sometimes after an evening of meditation and prayer, the sounds of the night seemed like a beautiful orchestra being played for everyone who was willing to take the time to stop and enjoy the sounds.

It is late summer here in the northern hemisphere (I love reading blogs from down under where spring is blooming). Even now I hear the crickets chirping, the comforting sound of a fan and my neighbor’s air conditioner humming. Those sounds bring back the feelings of that Kansas summer that I learned to be thankful no matter what, and that I really could be happy even in the toughest of times.

Opening paragraphs of “The Laws of Success” by Napoleon Hill, 1928:

Download the free ebook “Laws of Success”

Illinois Institute of Technology building. Pre...

Illinois Institute of Technology building. Previously the Armour Institute of Technology main building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some thirty years ago a young clergyman by the name of Gunsaulus announced in the newspapers of Chicago that he would preach a sermon the following Sunday morning entitled:

“WHAT I WOULD DO IF I HAD A MILLION DOLLARS!” (my note: $1 million in 1898 is worth $26 million now)

The announcement caught the eye of Philip D. Armour, the wealthy packing-house king, who decided to hear the sermon.

In his sermon Dr. Gunsaulus pictured a great school of technology where young men and young women could be taught how to succeed in life by developing the ability to THINK in practical rather than in theoretical terms; where they would betaught to “learn by doing.” “If I had a million dollars,” said the young preacher, “I would start such a school.”

After the sermon was over Mr. Armour walked down the aisle to the pulpit, introduced himself, and said, “Young man, I believe you could do all you said you could, and if you will come down to my office tomorrow morning I will give you the million dollars you need.”

There is always plenty of capital for those who can create practical plans for using it.

That was the beginning of the Armour Institute of Technology (photo above), one of the very practical schools of the country. The school was born in the “imagination” of a young man who never would have been heard of outside of the community in which he preached had it not been for the “imagination,” plus the capital, of Philip D. Armour. Every great railroad, and every outstanding financial institution and every mammoth business enterprise, and every great invention, began in the imagination of some one person.

F. W. Woolworth created the Five and Ten Cent Store Plan in his “imagination” before it became a reality and made him a multimillionaire.

Thomas A. Edison created the talking machine and the moving picture machine and the incandescent electric light bulb and scores of other useful inventions, in his own “imagination,” before they became a reality.

Graveyard humor

Brad Stanton —  August 26, 2012 — 12 Comments


A drunk man left a bar and decided to take a shortcut through a graveyard. It was raining heavily and rather dark, with only a half moon in the sky above, it cast eerie shadows across the tombstones, giving the drunk man the creeps. He didn’t see an open grave in front of him and fell into it. He tried to climb out but the rain made the sides of the hole too slippery to climb. Finally he decided to give up and spend the night there and try again in daylight after he sobered up.

A while later, another drunk left the same bar and took the same shortcut through the graveyard. He too felt scared by the creepy shadows moving over the tombstones and the eerie atmosphere of the graveyard. He, too fell into the open grave. The first drunk was still there and watched him try to climb out only to fall back down into the slippery, muddy hole. Finally the second drunk got tired and sat down to rest. The first drunk said in his scariest voice, “yessss, just sit and ressst, you’ll never get out.”

But he did!