90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Why We Keep Biting Into The Dracula Story

Was Vlad the Impaler the real life Dracula? We’ll look at the history and the myth of literature’s great vampire.

A portrait of Vlad III, also known as Vlad the Impaler. (Creative Commons)

A portrait of Vlad III, also known as Vlad the Impaler. (Creative Commons)

There is something about biting and blood that we never get over.  Luis Suarez and his bite debated round the world in the World Cup.  Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and the Victorian tale of castles and darkness that we still feel at our throats.  That story has had amazing staying power.  “I want to suck your blood!” and all the rest.  Built off the story of Transylvania’s real Vlad the Impaler.  Back to Europe’s long struggle with the Turkish caliphate.  The story never dies.  This hour On Point:  the history and myth of literature’s great vampire – Dracula.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Elizabeth Miller, professor emeritus of English at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Author of “A Dracula Handbook” and “Reflections on Dracula.”

Leslie Klinger, Dracula expert. Author of “The New Annotated Dracula” and “In the Shadow of Dracula: Classic Vampire Fiction, 1819 — 1914.” (@lklinger)

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN: Underground Budapest: Caverns, churches and Cold War bunkers — “The Hapsburg Palaces, romantic banks of the Danube and historic spas draw the crowds to Budapest, but there’s a whole world underground within the city limits. Literally underground. While one half of the city, Pest, is flat, Buda’s curvy hills are rich with secret labyrinths, hidden bunkers and caving adventures. There are up to 200 caves in total.”

HLN: Haunted (open) house? Dracula’s castle is for sale – “Bran Castle was completed in 1388 and in the centuries since, has served primarily as a royal residence, fortress and customs point. However, its most famous role, as the isolated hilltop home from which Count Dracula morphed into a bat and sucked the blood of his victims, is largely fictional — and not just because, you know, Dracula never existed.”

Daily Mail:  Is this Dracula’s final resting place? 16th century headstone unearthed in Naples could belong to Vlad the Impaler — “He has cast a shadow over the craggy Transylvanian Alps for centuries. But the remains of the real-life Dracula are today to be found not in the Romanian Alps but in Italy, according to new research. Count Vlad Tepes, the so-called Dracula, was thought to have died in battle. But scholars from the University of Tallinn say they have discovered documentary evidence that he was in fact taken prisoner, ransomed to his daughter – by then safe in Italy – and buried in a church in Naples.”

Surprising Health Benefits Found In Young Blood

New York Times: Young Blood May Hold Key to Reversing Aging — “It later became clear that stem cells are essential for keeping tissues vital. When tissues are damaged, stem cells move in and produce new cells to replace the dying ones. As people get older, their stem cells gradually falter. In the early 2000s, scientists realized that stem cells were not dying off in aging tissues.”

Amy Wagers, professor and researcher at Harvard University’s Stem Cell Institute.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Nov 21, 2014
President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.  (AP)

The president throws down the gauntlet on immigration. Bloodshed and new tensions in Israel. Keystone fails. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Nov 21, 2014
Laura Ingalls Wilder, an American  writer and novelist, at age 27. Her "Little House" series is a beloved semi-autobiographical take on her childhood in the Western American plains. (South Dakota State Historical Society )

A big new look at the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the woman behind the Little House.

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 20, 2014
A shot from the AMC reality series, "Freakshow." (Jessica Brooks / AMC)

From TV to Broadway, circus sideshows — freak shows — are having a big cultural moment. What’s the history behind the comeback?

 
Nov 20, 2014
In this file photo, Hillsborough Sheriff deputy patrols outside the gate of JP Morgan Chase annual stockholders meeting held Tuesday, May 15, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. JP Morgan is one of several large financial institutions currently under investigation for alleged violation of Federal bankruptcy laws. (AP)

You’re supposed to have a clean slate after bankruptcy. But that’s not always true. We’ll ask what’s going on.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: November 21, 2014
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We offer a panel of hand-drawn digital sheep, and wonder how to best lead the rest of you to programs that matter.

More »
Comment
 
The Explicast, Episode Five: What Is Net Neutrality?
Friday, Nov 14, 2014

The Explicast dives into tech policy territory with a quick look at the real meaning of a complicated bit of tech policy known as ‘Net Neutrality.’

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: November 14, 2014
Friday, Nov 14, 2014

On why we tweet, what we like and a Miley Cyrus and “Serial” theme song mashup you never knew you needed.

More »
Comment