Wednesday, May 14, 2014

When You Have Vampires, Part 2

Buffy the Vampire Slayer stakes Sesame Street's The Count

So you followed all the tips in the previous guide, and you still can't get rid of those pesky vampires? Well, hold onto your blood, because we're back with another round of handy-dandy anti-vampirism tips. Let's begin with something that really ought to be obvious...

A Moveable Feast is Better than a Stationary One

If the vampires know where you live? GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE.

I don't understand why more vampire-targeted people don’t do this. Even getting a motel room on the other side of town is better than going back to the same house every night. I mean, it's no ironclad guarantee against exsanguination, but at least the bastards will have to put a little effort into eating you. It’s called hardening the target, jackass. Look into it.

And you know what’s even better than moving across town? Leaving the country. I mean, the country you’re in can’t be all that great anyway—it has vampires in it. So how about a nice new country on the other side of the planet? Someplace where the cost of living is low and you won’t wake up dead some morning, and then undead the next night?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Proterozoic Eon, Part 2

Proterozoic: Stromatolite Shoreline with Bacterial Mats
Adapted from an image CC Paul Harrison

When we last left the Proterozoic Eon, it was 2.5 billion years ago and we were finally approaching the shore. It doesn’t look much like a modern beach, does it?

Those rocky protrusions in the tidal zone are stromatolites. They’re a little like coral, in that they're made by microorganisms and grow over centuries. But where corals are complex, multicellular organisms that build calcified structures to protect themselves, these stromatolites are made by simple bacteria—in fact, some of them are the same cyanobacteria that made those terrestrial desert crusts we saw on the way here.