PandaDragon (for no reason)


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The Death Star and Protons

Love this series done by  Kyle Hill on You Tube under the title “Because Science”. Here are a few selections that deal with protons and the Death Star



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She 1925 (Silent Film)

The name H. Rider Haggard may sound familiar of you have ever read or heard of Allan Quatermain or King Solomon’s Mines. The 1925 movie, She, is from his book and since he did the titles for the movie, the film product ties closely to the book.


The late 19th century was a busy time. Science and technology were in their infancy gaining hold quickly. Most areas of the globe has been explored. New discoveries in Egypt and other places were photographed and details given in the news.

It was in this soup base, that we saw the elements of fantasy married to the beginnings of science, the two overlapped and one became entangled with the other. In the creation of this book, Haggard  in this book nailed down firmly those two areas into the “Lost World” sub-genre also referred to as the “Lost World” romances.

The story is a 1st person narrative with Horace Holly as the journal writer. He writes how he came to raise Leo Vincey and what propelled the both of them to Africa on a mission to find a lost world. There they find “She” ruling over a race of tribal members.

The over ambiance of the story of course comes out of the imperialist English fin de siècle literature and influence by Haggard’s own experiences in Africa’s British colonialism. There are numerous notes of evolutionary and racial precepts. Today we, of course, see these as erroneous, racial biased, and not appropriate.

What I find interesting is not the errors or biases but the rendering of the female character in the area of authority and how a female is expected to behave. The story in that area has both good and horrible parts.

What about the character. Well to begin with “She”, also called Ayesha, is so beautiful that one look upon her face, a will not only desire her but also fear.  She reveals  to Holly that she is immortal, can heal wounds, is clairvoyant, and can read minds. Oh do not forget she is a chemistry whiz. So right there we have the supernatural and science in one fell swoop.

Now for the Lost World romance. Ayesha’s story is a sad one. She speaks of living for the last 2000 years in Kôr (lost city in Africa) waiting for her lover, Kallikrates, to be reincarnated. That right there, feels a bit like the later mummy story we see later in the 1930’s.

Oh and by the way she killed Kallikrates in a jealous rage. Maybe why he does not want to come back, just saying….

Okay back to the movie/book..

“She” is asked to heal Leo who was injured. When “She” sees him, she declares reincarnation of Kallikrates. She revives him only to learn he is married. She orders the wife, Ustane, to leave and never see her husband again. Later “She” still upset kills Ustane.

Definite anger issues…

She also allows Leo to see her face, and like Holly, Leo becomes bewitched as both fall under her spell. She shows Leo the preserved body of Kallikrates which she then destroys convinced Leo is her long lost lover.

Not sure at this point I would want to stay, but the men cannot break her spell do they must obey her.

Ayesha takes both Holly and Leo to the ‘Pillar of Fire’ in the heart of an ancient volcano. Always a good place to go where there is smoldering fires, smoke, unstable ground.   She orders Leo to stand in the fire pillar to become immortal.  He refuses, being scared.

 To allay his fears, She steps into the fires but ooops…. She becomes old and turns to dust. It is theorized that her second time in the pillar reversed the immortality.

Now I do wonder on this part, if she had known she was going to die woudl she step in to make him immortal or push him in. I go with a mental push since they cannot disobey.

There are some things in the character to think on. Like why show a powerful woman,  when that power is really lost in the pinning away and jealous acts? Is that true power?

What about being able to balance out a powerful woman?  Not to be the classic bitch persona a we see on so many shows. Nor the cold ice.

Another thought many powerful women are shown masculinized with little emotions and except for the obvious norm of little if any clothing, we would hardly tell many characters were male or female based on actions.  Is there a difference between how a power woman would act in comparison to a power male. Or would their actions be the same? Can there not be a powerful woman who is also feminine in some sense of the word…

just thoughts…….

She (1925)

She (1925) Film

She: A History of Adventure

SHE by H. Rider Haggard (1886)

She (1925)

She (1925)

‘She!’ Rider Haggard Film

A Famous Novel Filmed

Ayesha, White as Snow: H. Rider Haggard’s She and Walt Disney’s Evil Queen

H. Rider Haggard’s She
H. Rider Haggard’s She

THE SCREEN; ‘ She,’ a Lavish Screen Version of H. Rider Haggard’s Adventure Tale, Opens at the Music Hall.

‘She-who-must-be-obeyed’: Anthropology and Matriarchy in H. Rider Haggard’s She

“She”: The Veiled Reflection of the Femme Fatale’s Fire

Allan Quatermain

She (1925)

She by H. Rider Haggard (FULL Audiobook)

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Dancing Plague of 1518

If you are going to have a plague in your story then have a dancing plague. Not only creepy but also insane in the actions. Something that is so enjoyable becomes a vehicle of exhaustion and death. Now these are not the dance marathons of the 30’s where people deliberately danced to make money, but possible a disease that took over making them dance as if they were puppets.

The dancing plague broke out in Strasbourg, France in the summer of 1518 with a lady named Frau Troffea. Frau??? I see those ears pick up. To clarify this part of France is close to Germany, so as with many border areas, there are cross cultural ties. Thus Frau.

Okay back to the story. It was a hot July day when Frau Troffea began to dance in a maniacal fashion in the street. This went on for a few days when 34 others, both men and women, began to join her. Within a month approximately 400 people were dancing in the streets. The majority were women, it was not exclusive to women. Needless to say many of the dancers suffered severe exhaustion, stroke, heat stroke, and/or heart attacks.

Due to the number of people involved, and reports that 15 per day were dying, of course the authorities got worried and called in noted physicians of the time. Now remember this was 1518. The physician determined that the plaque was ‘natural disease’ caused by ‘hot blood’, no not the song for those who immediately started singing.

Now get this the cure was not to stop them, but the physicians believe if you provided music and place for them to dance, they would get it out of their system. Okay.

This incident drew interest. In 1526, just a short few years later, a physician and alchemist named Paracelsus came to Strasbourg to write about Frau Troffea. He used the term “choreomania”.

Another small side step: Choreomania is from the Greek words choros (dance) and mania (madness). Thus the name given to such outbreaks as dancing mania (plaque).

Now back to Paracelsus and his reasoning for what caused this incident. Hearsay told him that the husband did not like his wife to dance. Therefore she began dancing to spite him. Thus Paracelsus made the following conclusions on why the dancing began with three many causes.
1) the need to dance was all imagination
2) people joined because of sexual frustration, thus more women
3) a few may have had a bodily cause for the dancing

Thus the conclusion that dancing was the result of wives unhappy in their marriage was the main cause for the dancing.

Figures, it is the woman’s fault. So what did Paracelsus recommend as a cure for this “whores and scoundrels” as he termed the wives? They were to be fed water and bread while incarcerated in a dark stripped down room, the worse the better. Sounds more like he is punishing women for disobeying their husbands than a cure.

So why were infected? That is where theories come into play. Eugene Backman (Religious Dances in the Christian Church and in Popular Medicine) in this 1952 book, looked for a chemical or biological agent. He deduced, as others at the time, that the root cause was ergot, a mold that grows on the stalks of damp rye.

This is the most prevenient theory and is same path that is used to account for the Salem Witch trials. The fungi produces a LSD effect upon the body with hallucinations.

We also have the theory that the dancing was caused by the bite of a spider. In Italy were outbreaks did occur, the instances were called tarantism. It began a popular myth that if bitten you would dance. The last known case of tarantism being truly investigated in Italy was in 1959. The whole theory has been proven not viable and therefore remains as folklore than fact.

We also have the theory, that these dances were staged as part of religious cults. From Robert Bartholomew, a sociologist from James Cook University, set6s that dancers were deliberately preforming a ritual of some heretical religious sect. This would be a good idea, but it appears none of the dancers were wanting or participating in a processional ritual, nor is there a heretical sect that could account for all the instances and time periods.

Another non-alien-induced-biological possibility comes from John Waller (A Time to Dance, A Time to Die: The Extraordinary Story of the Dancing Plague of 1518). He argues that the people were affected by the convictions of starvation due to famine resulting in a mass produced hysteria.

Now the true question is: were these people actually dancing nonstop for a month without nutrition or water? Or were they first dancing and later fallen down jerking in such a manner it appeared they were dancing as an explanation? Or just jerking in a manner that was assumed dancing?

Now to add to the mystery was the 1518 case the only case? Nope in fact seven other major instances occurred in the same area during what we consider the medieval period. Lots of isolated occurrences during the 1500’s and 1600’s in what was then called the Holy Roman Empire. Then just to throw in a wrench, one in 1840 in Madagascar.

Let us look at what some of those other instances.

The story goes that in 1021, on the holy night of Christmas Eve during Mass, in Kölbigk, Germany eighteen people assembled to dance in a wild fashion outside of the town’s church. The priest was unable to continue the mass as the noise from the dancers grew. He stopped and admonished the dancer to cease. When they refused and gave what he determined to be an evil sign, he cursed them to dance for a year. Of which they did, and on the following eve in 1022 they finally stopped dancing and feel asleep. Some never woke.

Now that recollection has fantasy built in: a year is a bit farfetched and the whole cursing, well makes for a good moral if you disobey the priest. But the story does account that something happened that disturbed the community, so what was it?

A possible reasoning that could account for both the curse and the holy time, would be the practice of the “St. Vitus’s Dance” or “St. John’s Dance”. Here the dancer(s) were cursed by a saint and would dance in a procession to places dedicated to that saint.

Then we jump to 1247 and in another German town, Erfurt. In this occurrence a around a hundred children danced all the way from Erfurt to Arnstadt, a length of nearly 20 kilometers, that is a good distance. The children collapsed at the end and were returned to their parents. Here I must note that the story of Pied Piper of Hamelin originated around this same time period. So did the dancing cayuse the story, or the story cause the dancing?

Short time after that incident, there is an account of almost 200 dancers on a bridge over the Moselle River in Maastricht. The continued until the bridge, of course, collapsed and many were drowned.

Now these two stories could be fables, real instances, or excuses for why a bridge collapsed. Now what is interesting to this story is that those who survived were healed at a nearby chapel dedicated to St Vitus. Bringing back that dancing while cursed idea mention earlier, ending the procession at a shrine.

With history there is always embellishments in one form or another.

Let us speed ahead to 1374, where on June the 24th in Aachen we see another large outbreak. By 1376 the outbreak spreads to other cities and even countries like Italy. We have several written accounts that confirm one another that thousands pf people danced for days or weeks with the addition mentioning of screaming for help.

Smaller groups suffered in 1418 in Strasbourg and then in 1428 in Schaffhausen and in Zurich. In Basel (1536) we have another group of children and then in 1552 in Anhalt just one man is reported.

In the 1500’s, Gregor Horst, a professor of medicine, wrote about a group of women who for dozens of years danced madly in a procession to the chapel of St. Vitus. The women claimed they had no interest to day until that same day in May each year when they were forcibly compelled to dance by some unseen force.

This brings us back to the theory of Bartholomew’s heretical sect. While some of these instances can be traced to these religious instances, not all as in the 1518 case as there was no procession nor interest in going to a shrine. But that does not rule out many could had been either real accounts of such rites or what people having no first hand knowledge, believed were the rites.

By the mid-17th century, these occurrences pretty much died out… why?


“Dance at Molenbeek”
by Pieter Brueghel the Younger



The Dancing Plague of 1518

Dancing Mania


The Dancing Plague of 1518

Mystery explained? ‘Dancing Plague’ of 1518, the bizarre dance that killed dozens

The Dance Manias of The Middle Ages

A forgotten plague: making sense of dancing mania

‘Dancing Plague’ and Other Odd Afflictions Explained

10 Twisted Facts About The Dancing Plagues

The Dancing Plague of 1518

The Dancing Plague of 1518

What was the dancing plague of 1518?

The town that nearly danced itself to death

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Why do stories exist?

Ever ask yourself that question? If so what was your answer?

Did you think stories were created as a way to pass along morals and information? Or maybe they were just pure escapism?

‘What about the idea that stories help to promote cooperation between members of a society? A study was done by Daniel Smith an anthropologist from the University College London that determined that exact result. His data was collected among several hunter-gathering groups in the Philippines.

While you decide what is the reason why stories exist, you may want to check out these links… just a few of the many one can read… enjoy the journey


Our Fiction Addiction Why Humans Need Stories

Heroes and villains

The Art Of Immersion: Why Do We Tell Stories?

The Psychological Comforts of Storytelling

Why do we tell stories? Hunter-gatherers shed light on the evolutionary roots of fiction

Cooperation and the evolution of hunter-gatherer storytelling

On the Origin of Stories

The Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative

Can Evolutionary Psychology Explain Why We Love To Hate Evil Villains?
Can evolutionary psychology explain why we love to hate evil villains?

What Homer’s Iliad Can Tell Us About Worship And War?

How Stories Have Shaped The World.

Pippi Longstocking and the Subversive Heroines Children Love

Why The Handmaid’s Tale is so relevant today

Cooperation and the Evolution of Hunter-Gatherer Storytellers

The storytelling animal: Jonathan Gottschall

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Author’s Posse

I am thinking I need enthusiastic people to help me get this book series out. Monetary rewards would have to be deferred but if this series takes off as I think it will, those who join in will be on the ground floor of a mega hit.
It would be an author’s posse … white hats, chaps, horses… okay maybe a bit too far … however one can dream and hope
I am in need of an agent to get the book into the hands of a good publisher. Not one that sits back with a contract and waits for publisher to come to them. I need a special person with determination and pushes ahead who sees the potential in the book series and wants that series to be a mega hit. The dream agent all writers seek.
I could definitely use a manger of myself: in other words someone who believes in me, supports my idea, keeps me up when down, and pushes me forwards. Also that person gets to make sure everything is on track. Hmmm time manger…
A public relation media upbeat person would also a plus, those fan based people who make or break a writer. The web sites, comments, pushing the product, upbeat never tiring unsung heroes. They are great asset for those of us who are not that happy cheerful disposition.
I also need an artist to physically design the scifi battle ships, weapons, swords, costuming, even aliens to give that final push to what the series entails. My personal art skills lack severely.
Not like I want a lot for basically free for now …lol… but it would be nice to have some aid on this side of the fence or at least dream of such.
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Describing characters….

Even if you never write down what your characters look like in your story, there has to be an idea floating around inside your head. For me those ideas are very precise and have an input into the plot.

An input, but how? Ah that is the secret, but I shall let you in on a little. As a society we see things more in symbols than most think. We tend to see physically strong leader superior over intellectually strong leaders. We look at the color surrounding an item in judgment, without even realizing we are calmed by that blue tranquil room and set on fire by the strong oranges and reds. And yes symbols, subtle or in the face, can influence a story. In this case the makeup characteristics of the characters have a major impact on why they are who they are and what is the consequences of that. That is all the hint you will get.

Let me verbally illustrate some examples from my book series. Ready, set, go:

For my main male character, of course, I went straight to the Hercules idealized version, that being the strong fearless, though flawed, hero. While the idea of a Hercules like figure is common, it is also easy for anyone to imagine a power warrior without much convincing. The V-Frame body, the strength to wield a sword, and yes even the agility to perform complex maneuvers effortlessly. A combination of all the great warriors, the 6 pack abs, and yes that dripping machismo factor to mesmerize the ladies at the palace.

A fantasy hero, who probably cannot be match in the real world, but that is okay here since I am off world in an alien land. One has more flexibility to have fun in imagination land. Back to the body of our ultimate hero:

By making his form that of the classic warrior, then I can tweak those parts that make him special and unique. Think in the areas of hair, eyes, innate abilities, intelligence, etc. as we can expand those areas out from the physical body to psychological influenced acts, societal taboos, or even personal behavior traits. One must also remember that just because the person looks a certain does it mean he acts in a prescribed manner as deemed by stereotyping for he may be totally not what you expect. Then again…..

So how does this hero act? Is he brash, sweet, or a jerk???? You will have to read to figure that out.

Now this character, as described above, is the main character as far as I am concern. However there are 3 other male characters that are essential to the book on the positive side, i.e. the old-fashioned notion of the good guys in the white hats, though those hats are very far from pristine.

The father of our main hero, while much older, is also of that warrior framing assertiveness. I see him as the older Hercules, the dedicated warrior Leonidas. This man is the one who has survived the trails, the sadness of deaths, yet is still seeking that adventure. His experience is of course ingrained in him forming and molding his actions in his daily life. He has maintained his appearance of youthfulness in body, still displaying that V-Frame muscular physique. He is the older sexual dominant figure in the book, shall we say. Whereas his son may be more powerful, the father is not in any ways or means shabby. He is a domineering figure, who has learned in life how to handle his position, the severe consequences of his actions, how to wrangle a problem into his favor, and of course how to woo that what he desires.

I have two more semi-major male characters, also a father and son. The son is lean, though muscular. He is not as toned as the hero above, but that is due to his lifestyle of drinking and partying. He is a lovable lush and does try to kick the habit but is dragged back into that lifestyle fairly frequently. While he may look pretty predictable, the story hinges on him changing and applying that change to the future. So never discount the ones who look like losers, they may have an ace up their sleeve, or is that the author’s sleeve.

And finally for today, the father of our loveable lush. This man is around the same age as our dominant older warrior. He, like his son, is leaner but still very muscular. He was trained to be a genteel leader, to govern. All his training has been in that field, diplomacy, state politics, and how to be a fair leader. This is in sharp contrast to his warrior counterpart. This political leader is the type who is laid back, lets things slide that are not important, until that is the final straw when he will strike out with fists or by a sharp damning verbiage.

So as you can see by this simple discussion, I have 4 males all different, all variations of generalizations of people, yet they are all unique in the situations that surround them.

And these are the good guys? Oh dear…. want to see the bad ones… muhahahahaha


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