Musings of Navigating The Finite remainder of life from Porchville, with the hope of a glimpse of The Infinite

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Google Doodle Bram Stoker's 165 Birthday

Image Credit:

Today is the 165th birthday of the author of Dracula, Bram Stoker.  Stoker didn't invent vampires which are from Eastern European mythology, but he certainly popularized the notion and in the process invented a literary genre.  You can read more about Bram Stoker and Dracula at Wikipedia:

Women's fascination with vampires has been something of a mystery to me.  There seems to be something very sexy about vampires.  Biting and sucking, of course, has a built in eroticism and perhaps the bite is a metaphor for the loss of innocence.  Modern vampire literature is often highly eroticized, but apparently there have been numerous attempts to assign eroticism  to Stoker's original novel, some that attain ludicrous depths of hidden meaning.   Here is an essay which looks at these various epic metaphoric journeys into Stoker's novel and debunks most of them.

Miller comes to the conclusion that most of this:

 "may be a product of the late twentieth century’s voyeuristic obsession with sexuality, coupled with a determination to project (sometimes in condescending fashion) its own self-proclaimed sophisticated and liberated views onto a Victorian text - and its author".  

Yes there may have been some hidden metaphor for Victorian anxieties of sex contained within Stoker's Dracula, but her essay points to the dangers of trying to mine too much psychological meaning out of a novel and trying to guess what was buried in the author's psyche when he wrote it.  Indeed as Miller points out sometimes a stake is just a stake. 

One thing I found interesting in the Wikipedia article above was that the original manuscript was found in a barn in Pennsylvania during the 1980's.  The co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, purchased it.  How in the world did the manuscript which was written in the 1890s in England end up in a barn in Pennsylvania?  I am sure that Allen must have investigated the authenticity of the document, but it seems rather suspect to me.       

Here is Google's archive of all Doodles:

Not to be outdone by the NFL Official Licensed Products, there is even a Google Doodles store, where you can buy tee-shirts, mugs, and poster with your favorite doodle:

Amazon has various editions of the book ranging from somewhat expensive limited run hardback editions to inexpensive paperbacks and various free editions available for the Kindle:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Double Your Red Cross Donation To Hurricane Sandy Relief

Image Credit: The Weather Channel
EDIT 11-21-2012:

It appears that the donation matching period has ended.  I can no longer find any reference to it on Weather Channel sites.  The link below goes to directly to the standard Red Cross Donation page. 

I could find no references as to what the final matched contribution was.  Several days ago I checked on the link below and the donations were in excess of $151,000.  

At this time I believe that the Weather Channel's matching donation has ended, but the need is still great in the affected areas.  You may still make a donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief at the link below.

End of Edit.

Original Post:

If you have been thinking about donating to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy disaster relief, for a limited time you can double your donation.  The Weather Channel is matching viewer donations up to $1,000,000 dollars.  Use this link to donate:

American Red Cross, Weather Channel, Disaster Relief Donation

Donating is easy, you only have to fill in your name, address, phone number and email address and you can use your major credit card or PayPal.  It takes about 2 minutes. 

Thanks for lending a helping hand, and thanks to The Weather Channel for their generosity. 

EDIT 11-5-2012:  ABC is have a Day of Giving Telethon today.  See the link below:

ABC News, ABC’s ‘Day of Giving’ to Help Hurricane Sandy Victims: Live Blog