Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Truth About the "True Dracula"

If you didn't know it yet, Dracula once walked the earth, soils of Transylvania to be exact. Long before he became a blood-sucking aristocratic debonair who sucked the blood of just too many young beautiful women in Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and in the many Dracula movies throughout the years; he was a warrior, king and yes, an aristocrat, perhaps a debonair, more importantly Dracula was human.

He never sucked blood like he did in Stoker's novel but whether or not he drank blood remained unanswered. He enjoyed the sight of blood squirting from someone's body that's for sure and his favorite punishment was impalement.

If you are to ask someone from Transylvania, they'd tell you upfront that Dracula was their hero. Dracula was a countrywide recognized national hero of his land who fought against the Turks all throughout his lifetime to protect his people.

The True Dracula was known by many names, he was Vlad Dracula, Vlad Tepes, and Vlad the Impaler. Vlad Dracula was born as the second child of Vlad Dracul in fortress of Sighisoara in Transylvania, late 1431.

Vlad Dacul, his father was a military leader and a member of the Order of the Dragon from where he got his name "Dracul" which meant the "Devil" or "Dragon".

Dracula, getting his name from his father was known as the "son of the devil", a name that he was proud of even when he was a child, for which he was constantly teased by others.

Vlad had the opportunity to taste life's luxuries at a very young age when his father took over the throne of Wallachia in 1436 but just after two years in the throne, Dracul betrayed the Order of the Dragon and formed a faction with the Turks, turning Dracula and his brother Radu to Sultan Murad as collaterals of his loyalty and to prove his assurance that he would never stage a strike against the Turks.

Following Dracul's betrayal of the Order of the Dragon and his faction with the Turks, John Hunyadi who was a close relative planned his assassination which was successfully realized in the winter of 1447.

When their father died, Sultan Murad II granted Dracula and Radu their freedom, Vlad grabbed it while Radu chose to remain.

Right after hearing about the assassination of his father, he was informed about the death of his elder brother Mircea, whose eyes were gouged-out and who was buried alive by the boyars of Tirgoviste. He promised revenge against Hunyadi and the boyars for these deaths though he was only a teenager at the time, and revenge he did!

With the help of Pasha Mustafa, Dracula staged an attack against the boyars for which he succeeded and took over the Throne for which he believed he was the rightful heir.

His rule was cut-short by Hunyadi's appointment of Vladislav II to the Throne but this was not for long...

In order for him to win Hunyadi's trust, he collaborated with the latter then later on tried to convince him that he was the rightful heir to the Throne but Hunyadi was hard to convince. Vlad got his sweet revenge for the death of his father by killing Hunyadi in 1456 and once again regained his Throne.

In 1569, he ordered the arrest of all the boyars, condemning those with good health to slavery, and the impalement of the old and the weak. Vlad's tyranny has begun! 20,000 people were impaled, mothers were forced to eat their own babies, many were skinned to death, hearts were driven out of live bodies, and even children were impaled.

He enjoyed impaling so much that it has become the official punishment of his kingdom. Rumors abound that he drank the blood of those he impaled.

His stature, tyranny and his fascination for blood is what made Bram Stoker name his vampire "Dracula". Though accounts of Jack the Rippers murder contributed to the story, the rest of Bram Stoker's vampire book was mainly Vlad Tepes and Transylvannia.

Not once in his life did Vlad Dracula turned into a bat or ever had a set of vampire teeth but yes, Vlad Dracula was a vampire, a real life vampire of his time. No one in history has ever impaled more people than he ever did.

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Cowboy Gun Holster History

The cowboy gun holster has a history dating back to the 18th century. Obviously, an entity recognizable to the cowboy established its quota of technological and slang names to enrich its unique recognition. Similarly, the gun holster was associated with the cowboy.

In earlier days, the gun was an important assortment of the cowboy impression; however, the guns owned by cowboys were not actually carried around for the purpose of killing men always. There were a lot of other uses for guns with cowboys rather than using them for the purposes of killing people.

There were a lot of tight spots concerning the cowboy guns like the gun should never be used against a man who did not have a gun himself to fight against. Since, carrying a gun was a part of the cowboy's need for his life. It became necessary to have a gun holster to hold the gun, therefore the term cowboy gun holster gained slang recognition. A good cowboy gun holster would permit one to take the weapon out of the holster with very less movements.

The old style holster that was in use during the civil war had a small loop that was fixed to the back so that a belt could pass through it; however, with this kind of holster it was difficult to draw the gun out. There were models of holsters that were created with a flap that was buttoned along above the handle of the gun.

The Texas holsters came much later and they were detained pretty firmly versus the side of the person that was carrying the gun. This design permitted the user to take the gun much quickly than in the older models. This particular holster was tied along the leg using a strap or string made of leather. This was done to prevent the gun from slipping when it has been eventually drawn.

There were gun holsters that were open in the bottom in a way to permit a gun with a long barrel to be protruding a few inches. This was actually meant to favor the tilting and firing an "old hip-shooting method" but this is highly impractical and a fabricated story.

The most practical gun holster is the style that was used by officers that were employed to maintain peace. This particular holster was designed in a way to allow the finger to be placed in the trigger and the thumb to reach the hammer and the gun is then tilted a bit ahead and it was possible to take the gun out pretty freely and target it at the prey instantly; the fastest draw from the holster.

Remember, there are a lot of gun free locations where the armed person can be convicted for tress passing with guns. Federal buildings and post offices are strictly off limits for trespassing with guns even if you have a license. The same applies for courts and schools. Before you walk around with your gun with the holster understand what the law states.

For more info, visit: Rocky Top Leather and see what fine goods they have there like gun holsters

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History of Las Vegas Part 1: Indians and Mormons

They say that if you don't know your history, then you don't know anything. From humble beginnings as a small settlement to the gambling mecca that it is today, Las Vegas has a fascinating and interesting history. In this first part of a series of articles we look at how Las Vegas has grown from a mere spot in the Nevada desert to the world’s biggest and most famous gambling destination.

Near the end of the last ice age, around 25,000 years ago, the huge valley in which the city of Las Vegas now sits, was mainly underwater. The glaciers in the mountains that surrounded the Las Vegas valley were gradually melting; the run off water feeding a vast lake that was thousands of feet deep and over 20 miles wide. The lakes' outlet was a delta now known as the Las Vegas Wash which in turn ran into the massive Colorado river. For the past few hundred million years the Colorado river had been carving out the Grand Canyon. The Las Vegas strip would eventually be built at a site, which formed the deepest part of that lake.

The earliest settlers on the lake's shoreline were the Paleo-Indians who would hunt for bison and woolly mammoth as far as we can tell this was around 13,000 BC. Little else is known aboutthese prehistoric Las Vegas pioneers but as we near to 3000 BC, a clearer picture emerges of the Strip's early inhabitants.

Around 5000 years ago, the area was inhabited by hunter-gatherers known as Archaic Indians. By then the great lake had dried up and the area was a dessert, however clean water was in abundance due to the many fresh water springs that babbled down to the Las Vegas wash. By around 500 AD the Archaic Indians, despite their name became an organised community living in pit houses, making pottery and cultivating crops. They disappeared from the area around the year 1150 AD. Maybe due to drought, disease or war. No one really knows why.

The next recorded Las Vegas inhabitants were another tribe of Indian, the Southern Paiutes, nomadic hunter gatherers who lived in tepees. The Paiutes remained undisturbed for over 700 years when they greeted the very first white men to the area in the form of Mexican traders. In 1830 Antonio Armijo set out from Santa Fe to trade goods along the Old Spanish Trail between monasteries set up by Franciscan friars, where he found a short cut. By following a large spring he became the very first non-native American to step foot in the valley. He named the Area Las Vegas, or 'the Meadows'.

By 1845 the Old Spanish Trail had become the most travelled route in the Southwest with the valley becoming a popular camping spot due to the fresh running water. Latter Day Saints, who had settled on the shores of the Great Salt Lake a few hundred miles away often passed through the area. By the 1850’s Mormon pioneers as well as wagon trains and mail carriers stopped in the valley so regularly that the Mormon Church elders decided to colonise the area.

A party of Mormon missionaries left Salt Lake City in 1855 to establish a community at Las Vegas to service the various travellers that passed through the area (and hopefully save a few souls along the way). The missionaries built a fort, dug irrigation ditches, cultivated crops and befriended the local Indians. However, the extreme elements of the dessert overwhelmed them and their crops failed. The missionaries tried to hang in and save their mission until deposits of lead were found nearby. The discovery attracted miners from all over the Southwest stretching the mission’s resources to breaking point and the missionaries retreated back to Salt Lake City. And so another episode closed.

Keep an eye out for the next installment of this series which will focus on life blood of Las Vegas, the Hoover dam.

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