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Buffy vs. Edward

Angel star dies at 33

From the BBC:

Andy Hallett, a singer who gained fame portraying a green-skinned demon on the cult US TV series Angel, has died of congestive heart disease aged 33.

Hallett was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after having problems breathing and died there on Sunday, his agent said.

It follows a five-year battle with the heart condition.

The star appeared on more than 70 episodes of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff between 2000 and 2004.

Condolences to his family and friends.

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Friday vampire dance party

Hem: Half Acre (Buffy the Vampire Slayer version)

Big Damn Heroes join the picket line

Joss Whedon and the Mutant Enemy staff and actors from the Whedonverse joined the striking writers on the picketline. Details here.

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Strike!

Buffy, Angel, Firefly and now Battlestar writer Jane Espenson on the picket line gets pizza from the folks at Whedonesque.

Buffy comic book writer Brian K. Vaughan, also a screenwriter, also gives his views on the writers’ strike.

[edited by protected static to add that John Rogers of Kung Fu Monkey also has some good coverage of the strike and the issues behind it.]

GOP presidential candidate or Buffy villain

That’s a tough call telling them apart although the villain on the right looks more like Michael Chertoff, the Homeland Defense Secretary.

Joss Whedon interviews Brian K. Vaughan

Geeks rejoice!

Carnacki’s List of Top 10 Favorite Vampires

In answer to questions posed by Ardeth Blood and a long-ago emailer, my favorite vampires:

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Bodhi from Baldur’s Gate II is No. 9 on my vampire list.

1. Lucy Westenra. From the original Dracula and from my novel, The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire. She plays with her victims.

2. Dracula (Marvel comics version 1972-1979). This was the version that I grew up reading and my first introduction to vampires.

3. Dracula (1932 movie version). Classic.

4. Valeria. The vampire at the heart of The Traveling Vampire Show by the late Richard Laymon arrives late in the novel and after a long build up she does not disappoint.

5. Marcilla/Carmilla/Mircalla Karnstein. Ingrid Pitt plays a vampire who changes her name to live with and seduce her victims in The Vampire Lovers.

6. Spike. I’ve got to go with Blondy Bear over Angel. “You listen to me. I’ve been alive a bit longer than you and dead a lot longer than that. I’ve seen things you couldn’t imagine and done things I’d prefer you didn’t. I don’t exactly have a reputation for being a thinker. I follow my blood which doesn’t exactly rush in the direction of my brain so I make a lot of mistakes. A lot of wrong bloody calls. A hundred plus years and there’s only one thing I’ve ever been sure of. You.”

7. Dracula (1992 Dracula version). The best is when Gary Oldman is playing the old version of Dracula, entertaining Jonathan Harker at his castle in Transylvania. Amusing, dangerous, congenial, maniacal all in one and all believable as a vampire.

8. Dracula (original novel by Bram Stoker). The original vampire version of Dracula has got to be on the list, but his low ranking is due to the fact that the Count does a lot of fleeing from the hunters and spends more time than he should seducing the women. Nevertheless, he does feed on a baby and turns the wolves on the child’s mother when she arrives at the castle doors so he’s got that going for him. It was a lot of fun for me trying to figure out why Dracula traveled to London when I wrote my novel.

9. Bodhi. Possibly a surprise pick, she’s a vampire in the computer RPG Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn. She’s the sister of the game’s lead villain, who turned to vampirism after being punished with a curse to strip her of her elven immortality. She appears to enjoy the dark nature of vampires immensely and the character’s avatar moves with a speed and grace to be expected of a vampire.

10. Kurt Barlow (Salem’s Lot by Stephen King). He revels in evil. He doesn’t suffer remorse like many other modern fictional vampires. He wants to drink blood and kill. Plus he owns an antiques shop in a small New England town. How could he get more evil?

Friday vampire dance party

How many vampires can exist without killing everyone?

The key is finding balance:

It’s worth checking out the full paper, if only to see a bigger version of the their spreadsheet (excerpted above) showing how the vampire-vs-human population evolves, month-by-month.

This would seem to strike a horrible blow to the whole concept of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, eh? And indeed, when this study came out last year, Buffy fans worldwide wept hot, bitter tears.

But wait! The whole point behind the Buffy universe is that there’s a slayer out there killing vampires and keeping their population down. This is something the authors didn’t consider in their paper. So couldn’t a vampire killer simply slaughter vampires as fast as they’re created?

Sure — except then the math gets even more interesting.

Because the thing about the Buffy universe is that the population of vampires is reasonably stable. There are a fair number of vampires around, but not enough to overwhelm the earth. But as it turns out, if you look at that chart above, there’s a very narrow vampire-population window at which equilibrium can be kept.

That’s because powers of two increase slowly at first, then at a hellacious rate. Think of it this way: According to the numbers calculated by the academics, at month five in the year 1600, there are only 16 vampires. That’s such a paltry number than any self-respecting slayer could quickly dispatch them in a few evenings, and the vampire menace would permanently be extinguished. But at month 12 — only a few months later — the number of vampires, unchecked, rises to 2,048. That’s probably too many vampires for a slayer to squelch in a single month.

Interesting discussion in the comments too.

Hat tip to Daily Grail.

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