A short biography on some of Europe's most loved and hated Monarchs - Pt 1 Vlad Tepes (Dracula)Written by Stuart Bazga
Vlad Tepes or Dracula was born in 1431, in fortress of Sighisoara, Romania. His father was military governor of Transylvania and a member of Order of Dragon. The order was created in 1387 by Holy Roman Emperor and his second wife, Barbara Cilli.
In winter of 1436-1437, Vlad(Dracul) became prince of Wallachia and took up residence at palace of Tirgoviste, princely capital. In 1442, he and his younger brother Radu were taken hostage by Turkish Sultan Murad II. Dracul was held in Turkey until 1448, while his brother Radu decided to stay there until 1462.
At 17 years old, Vlad, supported by troops lent to him by pasha Mustafa Hassan, tried to seize Wallachian throne but was defeated by Vladislav II (who had earlier assassinated his father and oldest brother ) after two months or armed conflict. Vlad had to wait until 1456, when he was able to seek retribution against his father's assassin.
Vlad's first act of vengeance was aimed at boyars of Tirgoviste for killing of his father and older brother Mircea. Around Easter of 1459, Vlad had all boyar families arrested and impaled elder members on stakes while forcing others to march from capital to town of Poenari. He then ordered them to build him a fortress on ruins of an older outpost overlooking Arges River. Many nobles died in construction of this castle, ruins of which can still be seen today.
Vlad became known for his brutal punishment techniques; often ordering people to be skinned, decapitated, blinded, roasted, hacked, buried alive, stabbed and blinded to name a few. He also liked to cut off his victim noses, ears and sexual organs. But his favourite form of torture was impalement on stakes, hence surname "Tepes" which means "The Impaler" in Romanian language. It was this form of punishment that he used against Transylvanian merchants who ignored his trade laws.
There are many tales about psyche of Vlad Tepes. He was known throughout country for his fierce adherence to honesty and order. Almost any crime, from lying and stealing to killing, could be punished by impalement. Being so confident in efficiency of his law, Dracula placed a golden cup on display in central square of Tirgoviste. The cup could be used by thirsty travellers, but had to remain on square. It was never stolen and remained entirely untouched throughout Vlad's reign. He looked upon poor, vagrants and beggars as thieves. Consequently, he invited all poor and sick of Wallachia to his court in Tirgoviste for a magnificent feast. After his guests had eaten and drunk their fill, Dracula ordered hall boarded up and set on fire. There were no survivors.
Left Side, Right Side, OffsideWritten by Kenneth Morley
Left Side, Right Side, Offside
Is there anything in dominance of left side of brain in mathematical ability?
Are boys better than girls in mathematics, because of left brain dominance?
The concept of left brain and right brain thinking developed from research in late 1960s by an American neurosurgeon Roger W Sperry. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1981.
I came across a variation of this theory (which Iíll call gender theory) in late 1970s. The gender theory was put forward as a means of explaining why at that time, boys out - performed girls in field of mathematics.
The left brain/ right brain theory says that left side of brain is logical, analytical and objective.
The gender theory says that this "masculine" side of brain is assertive, aggressive and authoritative
The left brain/ right brain theory says that right side of brain is random, emotional, spontaneous, and subjective.
The gender theory says that this "feminine" side of brain is emotional, passive, creative and holistic
The gender theory then says that dominant side of boys brains is left side, hence their mathematical skills are better.
Behavioural psychologists set out to prove or disprove this gender theory by measuring passive/ aggressive tendencies. There were a lot of dodgy psychological experiments performed.
Animal psychologists fed chickens male hormones and measured increased peck rate. Other psychologists worked with small babies. It was found for example, that when a researcher blew on babyís face while it was lying in pram, a girl baby would turn over and go back to sleep, whereas a boy baby would react in a more belligerent manner, perhaps giving psychologist a whack with his rattle.