Alright, another week, another Nyogtha. This week I’ll doing a few short essays instead of 1-2 long ones.
First of all, if you haven’t seen it already, Hideyuki Kikuchi’s first Vampire Hunter D novel has been translated into English and you can buy it in paperback form for $8.95 USD. I’m sure many of you have seen the VHD animated films that are widely available. I should point out that unlike a lot of Anime series and films that start out as Manga (Comics), VHD has always been novels written by Kikuchi.
Kikuchi also write Darkside Blues, Demon City Shinjuku, and Wicked City, all of which have been turned into anime films as well, so if you enjoyed the plot behind Vampire Hunter D, or Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, take a look at those.
Right, now onto this weeks babble.
Is Invisibility Possible?
In Science Fiction? Yes. In reality? Currently no. The problem with the concept of invisibility with current science is twofold. The first is that an invisible creature would be completely blind and thus have to rely on their other senses. If a person was invisible, it would be because light is refracting off his body and if light is bending around the person in question, then no light would be able to enter that being’s eyes.
This also holds true for something out of Science-Fiction, like the Romulans (Is that how it is spelt? I don’t watch Star Trek) and their cloaking device in Star Trek. Anyone operating a plane or other craft that was “cloaked” would be totally and utterly unable to perceive anything about what is around them or even where they are, leading to what would inevitably be a crash.
The second problem with the concept of invisibility has to do with the type of device and power needed to create the illusion of invisibility. It IS possible to bend light around an object so that it can not be seen by the naked eye, but in order to do so, the process would need a very powerful gravitational field. And even if the object couldn’t be seen, the intense gravitational field would surely be noticed. We know this for a fact because BLACK HOLES are invisible. They can not be seen due to the fact the suck light into them without releasing it. However we detect them through other means.
So let’s say you had your own portable black hole maker you could turn on and off. THEN you could be invisible, but such a device would become impossible to carry due to the field it was generating, thus making the whole concept moot.
So there you have it. Invisibility in and of itself is not feasible by any known science, thus Jessica Alba will never truly become Susan Richards. :-P
Are there any books in the Cthulhu Mythos that are in fact real?
Yes. Actually quite a few are. The Necronomicon however is NOT. Unless you count the faux ones out there. But there never was a “true” Necronomicon. But a few do exist.
One such example is the Book of Dyzan. Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu handbook describes the game/fictional version used by Mythos writers with,
Author and translator unknown, reputedly of an ancient origin. Long referred to by theosophist Helena Blavatsky, a copy of this tome has never been verified. Said to be a translation of the manuscripts original to Atlantis. Also called the Stanzas of Dyzan. Portions of this work was also translated as The Secret Doctrine.
The game also says this book will add 9 percentile points to your Cthulhu Mythos skill in the RPG.
The reality is in fact, much different. But the book DOES exist, so let’s separate fiction from fact. Or at least what is grounded in reality. This is spirituality after all, and so what is “real” is actually best said, “What is different from the fictional version used by writers.
What is true is that Madame Blavatsky was a real person and that she held The Secret Doctrine, which she claimed was English translations of The Book of Dyzan. This book was supposedly written in Senzar (A language that was not known to exist until she…discovered it. And it is still the only book in existence found written in this language.)
Madame Blavatsky would claim she was acting as a medium and her Astral Guides, THE MASTERS, would translate bits of the tome for her.
There are two volumes of The Secret Doctrine, the first is typical metaphysical mumbo jumbo. But it is the SECOND volume that deserves a look at here. This second volume is basically the “Spirit World”‘s answer to Charles Darwin’s theory of Evolution.
According to this second volume of the Doctrine, humankind is originally descended from beings from another planet, being of pure spirit. This other planet? The moon. How they came from creatures of energy to flesh, was through a process known as “root races.” A root race is simply a step in the spiritual creatures never ending rebirth and reformation as they move from planet to planet.
According to Madame Blavatsky’s “masters”, we have been in the fifth age aka the Dark Age which has occurred since Feb 16th, 3102 BCE, when Krishna (Yes as in Hare Krishna) was assassinated by an arrow.
There are seven root races according to the Doctrine, each with seven branches. The first is a race of fire beings that existed…in the area we call the North Pole. The second were astral beings that lived in Northern Asia. These reproduced through fission and were hermaphroditic. The third were apelike giants that lived in the lost continent of Lemura. Yes, THAT Lemura. Atlantis’ sister. The fourth were of course Atlanteans, who were also apes, but more humanlike apes.
As mentioned earlier we are in the fifth age, that of the Aryans (Hitler was right! OMG!), who are descended from the Atlanteans. The sixth race is currently residing in southern California (Currently as in 1888), as that is the climate of paradise. When the time is right they will raise Lemura from the ocean, which will cause North America to sink. However Lemuria will have moved from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific. Finally the seventh race will occur, but no one knows the form it will take. But once they have began to exist, they Earth will end, and the Masters will begin again on Mercury.
I wish I had the imagination to make this up. And trust me, I far prefer the Cthulhy Mythos version to the “real” Book of Dyzan
If keeps going though, even a full century after Madame Blavatsky died in 1891. In 1914, W. Scott Elliot wrote, The Story of Atlantis which expands on the history of the fourth root race. I’m not going to go into detail as it’s such insane gibberish I’d feel foolish for repeating it here. It is interesting that the Atlanteans, in the sixth subrace, supposedly moved to Mongolia and that was the pinnacle of their culture.
In 1913 Rudolph Stiener wrote Atlantis and Lemuria where he disclosed the secret that Lemurians could not reason or calculate, but that they lived in caves and used Telepathy.
James Churchward wrote the most famous book about the root races involving the lost continent of Mu (That’s like THREE lost continents!). In fact, between 1926 and 1934, he wrote several books about the Lemurians. Supposedly priests in ancient India monasteries keep tablets written in Lemurian secret there. According to Churchward’s books Eden was specially created by the Lemurians 200 million years ago by the advanced Lemurian civilization that we can not hope to fathom…even though they LIVED IN CAVES and couldn’t do math. But barring that they figured out how to make antigravity devices and had the same powers as Jesus Christ. However, 12 thousand years ago, Eden sank thanks to a terrible explosion, killing 64 million people, leaving behind only the pacific islands as traces of Mu’s once might existence.
Yes, people actually believe this. NO, I do not. There are sadly many people who still believe this, especially in Europe. A group of Danes even designed Lemurian currency, stamps, and a flag.
Personally, give me Namor or Arthur Curry than the Secret Masters.
There are several other Cthulhu Mythos books that exist in reality and contain would be secret Occult lore, but just doing this one has been so depressing and inane, I’m going to move on to another topic.
How did the Deathwatch Beetle get its name?
This little fella here is the Deathwatch Beetle. He’s just your ordinary looking beetle, except that he bores into wood, and the resulting sound is that of a tapping or knocking sound. The Deathwatch Beetle is particularly loud in the summer, where it is eating and boring into houses, picnic tables, and pretty much anything wood. Its damage is often mistaken by the average person as done by termites.
In American and European folklore, the Deathwatch Beetle is believed to be a Death Omen. A Death Omen is simply anything that predicts an individual’s impending demise. The Deathwatch Beetle has several different legends around it. One example comes from Lancastershire, where your death is certain if a Deathwatch Beetle knocks three times; no more, no less.
The oldest recorded legend about the Deathwatch Beetle I could find comes from 1787 where Francis Grose included the beetle in a three page inventory of death omens.
So where does the name come from? Well, remember how they bore into wood? They also feed on corpses. And what did coffins used to be made of? Bingo. Witches. I mean, wood.
What would happen back in the days of yesteryear, is that when a person died, some unlucky soul had to spend the night awake, sitting up with the corpse. This was called a “Death Watch.” And often, these beetles and/or their larvae would be in the wood that the coffin consisted of. And so a person would hear a knocking…from inside the coffin. Imagine the poop smear left from that! Think of many people made the mistake of thinking the corpse was in fact not dead. OR WORSE.
So I hope that answers the question.
All right we have time for a fourth and final tale to unfold here.
This one actually goes directly out to Gloomchen, as it is a tale about her home of Dubuque, Iowa. The tall of Ham House. Dear lord, I wish that name was more ominous.
Ham House is now a Museum is Dubuque, but long before it was a museum, it was believed to be a haunted house full of many supernatural apparitions.
The original owner of the house was one Mathias Ham. Mathias was a businessman who had his fingers on the shipping, lumber, and agricultural industries. In 1837 he married Zerelda Marklin, who gave birth to their 5 children. She died in 1856. and he remarried in 1860 to a Margaret McLean, who bore him two additional children. She died in 1874, and ham died in 1899. Two of Mathias’ daughter took up living in the house after the parents were dead. They were named May and Sarah. Eventually Sarah died too, leaving May all alone.
Now let me explain what happened exactly before Sarah was left alone. You see, there were two details worth discussing first. That first detail is that in 1857, Mathias Ham purchased a great deal of limestone that had been rejected by the government as it was deemed inferior for use in building and construction. Mathias of course used this very limestone to build Ham House, a 23 room Gothic Mansion sitting on a bluff with a wonderful view of the Mississippi River.
The second story worth noting before we continue is that at night, Mathias and his wife would retire after parties to the third floor where they would read and look out at the river. One night Mathias witnessed pirates on the river, and his actions and report, led to their capture and arrest. The pirates swore revenge on Mathias, even if it meant revenge FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE. Okay, I just wanted to say that.
Once Sarah Ham was the last Ham living in Ham House, the hauntings began. But not because of pirate ghosts, but because of a murder she committed in the house.
Late one night, Sarah believed she heard a prowler outside, and she feared it was one of the pirates back for their promised revenge. She went to the neighbors and told them that if she needed help, she would turn on a lamp in a certain window and that meant said neighbor should go get help. About a week later, Sarah again heard noises of something scuffling around her house. She lit the lamp her in her window, locked the door and picked up a gun. And then she waited. And waited. And waited. She heard footsteps ascend the stairs and approach her bedroom door. Sarah fired two quick shots through the door and heard a cry. The intruder staggered down the stairs and left the house as quickly as it came. The next day, the corpse of a pirate was found dead on the riverbank. It had two bullet wounds in it.
Sarah Ham died in 1911 and Ham House was purchased by the Dubuque Park District to be used as the home and office of the Park Superintendent and his seven children. While they lived there, there was no report of any hauntings.
When the house was turned into a museum in 1964, strange things began occurring. Many employees have witnessed and reported strange occurrences. Every night, a certain upstairs window will be locked. Yet nearly every morning, the window will be found open. There is a light fixture in a hallway that has no visible problems and has been checked out by man electricians, yet it will only work erratically and never when someone living tries to turn it on or off. Ham House is filled with icy breezes even when the windows are shut. There are cold spots scattered around the mansion, and there are strange noises heard, especially from where Mathias would sit looking out over the Mississippi river.
The front lights of Ham House can only be turned off by unscrewing the fuse that controls them. They no longer respond to a switch of any sort. One particular employee stated that the once unscrewed the fuse and suddenly the organ started playing. When she screwed the fuse back in, the music stopped. When again she unscrewed the fuse, the music started again. Ham House’s pipe organ has not worked since it was turned into a museum.
In 1978, an employee spent the night at Ham House only to hear whispering female voices around 3am, as well as shuffling noises and footsteps that belonged to bodies he could not see.
Ham House has never had a visual apparition. Only physical and auditory ones. Most likely the noises and phenomena occur through imagination and through tricks people are playing on each other. According to a legend about Ham House, a man hanged himself in the tower sometime before the turn of the 20th Century. But there is no proof and no record. Even with Sarah Ham’s would be murder of the pirate, there is call of skepticism as the original doors to the house are still intact and in the building, yet there are no bullet holes in ANY door.
Most Likely, Ham House’s tales began as a way to get more people to visit the museum or to spice up the history of a sleepy town in Iowa. But I figure Summer can spend the night there and we can see if she lives or dies a terrible death.
You know, unless you’re grilling, cooking in the house during the summer just lacks a certain appeal. After all, you have to deal with the heat and humidity, and using an oven or burner just makes it worse. If you don’t have an air conditioning system, it becomes EVEN Worse. So for the Summer, I like to do recipes that can either be done on the grill or that require very little cooking. After all, you want to stay cool once it hits over 80 degrees, right?
This week I thought I take a recipe from where it’s ALWAYS hot, the Mediterranean, and whip up a nice Moroccan salad. This particular dish requires no cooking, it is amazingly healthy, and very colourful.
Moroccan Date, Orange, and Carrot Salad
1 head Bibb lettuce
2 Carrots, finely grates
4 ounces fresh dates, pitted and cut into eighths lengthwise
One-fourth cup toasted whole almonds, chopped
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
One-fourth teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon orange flower water
1. Separate the lettuce leaves and arrange them in the bottom of a salad bowl or on individual serving plates. Place the grated carrot in a mount on top.
2. Peel and segment the oranges and arrange them around the carrot. Pile the dates on top, then sprinkle with almonds. Combine the lemon juice, sugar, salt and Orange-flower water and sprinkle on the salad. Serve chilled.
Last week my review of Samurai Western went up. This week I have a review of Forza Motorsport and a Retrograding for you all.
In Games, Tom N. got suckered into reviewing Digimon World 4. I said months ago when I got the preview build, it was one of the worst games I ever played. And Tom confirms it. Tom P. also started his new column. Go take a look.
Another week done. Next week, author Poppy Z. Brite is dropping by. Hope you enjoy it!