Tag Archives: Vampires

Google Books Ngram Viewer Fun

Google has a new… toy? erm…  research tool up.  I saw it mentioned on I, Cringley yesterday and played with it a bit last night.

It is the Google Labs – Books Ngram Viewer.

I’ll give you a moment to look up ngram.

Or I can try to explain it in a half-assed fashion

Essentially, Google has scanned in a large collection of books (something that has earned Google Books a good deal of grief) and this tool allows you to enter a word or phrase and see how often it comes up in the corpus they have scanned.

So you can chart the frequency of mention of, say, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.


Britney vs. Christina

Fortunately, Britney is trending down of late.  Not that I care.  Neither get mentioned much in books I read.

But you can compare things and graph them, and that has super nerd appeal.

You do have to take care with the words, names, and phrases you use.  Madonna, for example, dwarfs the Britney and Christina, but the word “madonna” isn’t exclusive to the artist, so it is hard to tell how much of that is pop culture and how much religion.

And I had to come up with some topics closer to my own interests to graph.


Star Trek vs. Star Wars

Well, I guess that finishes off the Star Trek vs. Star Wars fight, though Star Wars seems to have peaked a while back. (About the time of Empire, if you want my opinion, but that is another topic.)

And the, a little closer to home.


Media for the New Century

Podcast, blog, website, and newsletter.  Blog has definitely been taking off.  Podcast gets less mention than I thought, but it does tend to be a transitory medium.  Who goes back and listens to old podcasts?  Besides me?  Do you hear that Van Hemlock?  Write more.

Of course, we can look at things that really matter.


Critical Technology Comparisons

Yes, online games, virtual worlds, Netscape, Compuserve, carbon paper, and mad cow disease.

You can see how those all fit together, right?

Virtual worlds is the clear winner, though it has dropped a bit of late.

Online games are on the rise.

Netscape and Compuserve are in decline for mentions in literature, as well they might be.

Carbon paper remains quite stable despite not being that widely used since the mass availability of the copy machine some 30 years back.

And mad cow disease is still more likely to get mentioned than any of these other than virtual worlds, though I am going to guess that there is some cross-over there between that and Second Life.

Then, of course, we can go to items of critical national importance.


Critical Societal Measures

Yes, the age old conflict between vampires, unicorns, werewolves and zombies.

It was a horn to fang race through most of the 20th century, with neither gaining dominance.  Then around 1980, vampires take off and never look back.  I’m going to credit/blame Anne Rice here.  Peter S. Beagle never had a chance.  Stephenie Meyer should send Anne Rice a Christmas card (or a Winter Solstice card maybe) every year thanking her for laying the groundwork of her success.

Meanwhile, zombies, which really had no standing for most of the last century, have really come into their own since 2000, passing unicorns, who have remained flat.  And even werewolves, sort of the odd-man out of the monster classes (Look, are you human or wolf? pick one already.) Threaten to surpass unicorns.

Of course, I am just searching through the full English corpus.  Switching to just American English looks about the same, with vampires just spiking even more drastically in the last 20 years.  But looking at the British English corpus and the results just get odd.


British Vampire Invasion

Vampires still rule, but they had a good run there in the 1970s as well.  What was going on in the UK then?  It can’t just be Margret Thatcher.  And what was going on around 1930 with Unicorns?

I think there might be a sample size issue.

If I switch to the Spanish corpus, well, zombies rule.


What is Spanish for "werewolf?"

But I didn’t bother to translate my search terms into Spanish, so who knows what that really means.

Anyway, that it Google’s new toy… erm… tool.

What other vital comparisons should we be doing?

Team Edward to Norrath?

That I even know what “Team Edward” means kind of scares me.

Yesterday the EverQuest II team posted an item about Velious Winter Rewards.  I saw it come through on Twitter.  I did not click on the link.

Then regular reader Bhagpuss said, “Oh, hey, vampires” in reference to it.  Then I had to go take a look.

The winter rewards is a set of incentives to stay subscribed to EverQuest II while waiting for the next expansion, Destiny of Velious to ship.  From the post:

‘Tis the season for giving! Winter is here and there are only a few short months until the freezing tundra of Velious is open for exploration. Starting in December and ending in February, active EQII Live subscribers and EQ2X Gold and Platinum members (with accounts in good standing) who purchase the upcoming EverQuest ® II Destiny of Velious™ expansion will receive a set of in-game items as complimentary subscription rewards each month.

Each of the three sets is comprised of two amazing items, one of which is the new Ice Wolf Mount (pictured) and the new tightly-concealed Vampire Race, which has yet to be displayed to the public! The December and January mystery items will be revealed at the time the rewards are distributed.

Keep checking EQ2Players for updates about the upcoming EverQuest ® II Destiny of Velious™ expansion launch scheduled for February 8, 2011. Enjoy the rewards!

The eye catcher, which was completely new to me, was the mention, highlighted in red by me, of a new vampire race.

Vampire race?

This could either be huge, or it could be a shark jumping moment.  It could be an invigoration of the game, a way to explore new dimensions, or it could be a goth emo, over powered and soon-to-be-nerfed race disaster.

What is also curious to me is what will be the restrictions on the race if they are giving it away as a customer retention award.  To get it you have to get through three gates of the special, hitting the mark as a paid in full subscriber on December 14th, January 18th, and February 8th.  And you have to purchase the expansion when it comes out to collect.

February 8, 2011 Rewards

  • Ice Wolf Mount
  • New Freeblood Vampire Race

Requires that a player has qualified for both the December and January rewards and has purchased EverQuest II Destiny of Velious. Items awarded one per account and will be available when the expansion is released.

But what if you do not qualify for this event?  Are you going to be out of luck on your vampire dreams, or is this going to be a new Station Cash only race?

Something to keep an eye on.

And among all the prizes you may get as part of this promotion, the only one they will actually show you is Ice Wolf mount.

Ice Wolf on Ice

And should they be handing out wolves and vampires in the same event?  How did that work out?

And that wolf looks a little dazed or cross-eyed or something.  Did the vampires get him already?

Somebody call the producer.

Me, I am still waiting for beastlords to make an appearance in EverQuest II.  But I suppose playable vampires might make an interesting addition.

How about you?

(And this is my 14th post for December.  What is going on?  Yesterday I was posting kitty videos and suddenly there is all sorts of interesting stuff.)