Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.
117

I think you can approach it from three different avenues, depending on the tone of your setting: Psychological: Perhaps the root cause of vampirism in this world (such as a virus), inflicts an extreme form of OCD, hardwired into the vampire's brain. The vampire would be physically capable of entering someone's home, but they'd have an extreme, irrational ...


85

By having him claim a long list of medical conditions Photosensitivity There seems to be a medical condition for everything under the sun. In this case there are a number of medical conditions where one of the symptoms is the person's skin becomes sensitive to sunlight. A person can even be allergic to UV without a specific medical condition causing it. ...


76

As a Transylvanian native with a strong affinity to dark offices, I believe I can shed some light on your question. Since I'm typing this on a computer, it should be obvious that at least some of us are up to date in technology, so have kept up with the times. If I were to engage in introspection, I'd say that my memories of the distant past recede as a ...


70

Alternative answer to keep the spirit of "mirrors as vampire detectors" for a very futuristic setting: In a high-tech world, mirrors could be obsolete and replaced with smart 3d screens which show a reflection of the environment. When such a screen displays a human, it identifies the person and projects some information about them around their reflection in ...


67

It's due to the nature of vampires, and their regenerative state. If a metal or other non-organic substance is thrust into their body then over time their regenerative abilities will push it out. Even if they are completely impaled the stake will gradually migrate as the body moves to one side of the coffin or the other. Use a material that was once alive ...


61

Now, a few answerers have claimed that the stake need not be wooden. While this may be true in the traditional vampiric lore, we exist only to answer the specific question here. Why Wood Vampire Blood contains a specific set of proteins and nutrients that allow for almost instantaneous regeneration. These proteins are denatured by heat (fire), and cannot ...


59

The mind and body are less separate than most people seem to think. Changes to body chemistry can greatly change how, and even what, we think: Alcohol is well-known for its disinhibiting effects and also for changing one's perception of what makes an attractive potential partner ("beer goggles"). I have type 1 diabetes and occasionally become significantly ...


57

For a starting point, consider the meat aisle at the grocery store. In it you'll find roasts, steaks, and other chunks of red meat. This government food-safety site says that such meat can be kept in the refrigerator (40 deg F) for 3-5 days. That's for meat that's already been cut up, drained of most of its blood,1 and packaged for individual sale. ...


54

Find a normal person whom they can trust with their secret and become that person's "apprentice" or "assistant". Using this, their chaperone could get any number of high-paying jobs (doctor, etc.) and find great success with the help of their immortal knowledgeable pal. If people get suspicious, they can pack up and move to another place.


53

In the novel Blindsight by Peter Watts, vampires have a neurological "glitch" that sends them into an epileptic fit whenever they see a right angle. Presumably the wiring of their visual cortex gives them a very unusual power of perception, but comes with a price. This is called the "crucifix glitch" and the idea is that in nature perfect right angles are ...


51

The simple answer is yes it's possible, if they have a suitably developed physiology. Vampire bats, leeches, mosquitoes and more are proof of that. There are complications that make it less practical than you might want though. Lets start from a Vampire Bat (as a mammal it seems a good starting point for comparison). From wikipedia: A typical female ...


50

When your world allows psychic powers (for which you can often find a pseudo-scientific explanation), you could say that vampires are actually completely invisible and their physical appearance is just a hallucination induced into the observers mind through telepathy. Whatever mechanism is responsible for causing this hallucination is not smart enough to ...


47

It's a partially misunderstood half-truth Short Version: Various chemical compounds traditionally used in incense and other religious ceremonies are highly allergenic, even occasionally deadly to Vampires. At the dawn of Christianity, a practice developed to sprinkle the houses of the believers with these 'blessed' substances at least once every year. ...


43

The problem is with the conception of vampires as these hunky sexy kung-fu doing young folks. Even Dracula had a little bit of this stuff, with the vampire hunters chasing around his carriage and then Drac busting out to work kung fu when the sun went down. The real vampires were supernatural shapeshifters and their movements in the world are not easy to ...


42

He works night shifts. Now I know you said he doesn't have to work, but he could choose to work as a way of maintaining the masquerade: Night shift workers generally have nocturnal sleep patterns anyway, so nobody would question the fact that he sleeps all day and only comes out at night. If he's asleep during the day, and out working all night, his ...


37

Measure brain activity. Most variations of vitally impaired citizens which try to maintain at least a minimum of scientific plausibility either have an active brain or something which replaces the function of the brain. So you should be able to measure brain activity (or at least the activity of whatever replaces the brain). You can use an ...


36

The first big decision will be if the vampire wants to come out as a vampire. If the vampire doesn't want that, there are two interesting options: Deny that vampires exist. Try to destroy the reputation of anybody who believes in them. Vampires? Do you believe in Santa Claus and Trickle-Down Economics, too? Get real. Claim that vampires do exist, but ...


36

The Vampire Virus is ferociously territorial. However, another immune cell specialises in killing cells that have a reduced number of MHC class I molecules on their surface – this cell is a natural killer cell or NK cell for short. When the NK cell finds a cell displaying fewer than normal MHC molecules it releases toxic substances, in a similar ...


33

Only if they aren't digesting it Blood types must be considered in a blood transfusion to avoid rejection by the recipient's immune system. However, if a vampire, or human for that matter, were to drink human blood the stomach acids and digestive enzymes would destroy all of the proteins involved in a blood type before they ever entered the blood stream. If ...


33

Hollywood effects In modern films, many undead creatures die spectacularly, because it makes for good cinema, and hey, why not. Since these are your vampires/ghouls/zombies, you can make their death throes whatever you like. But, let's say it includes bodily disintegration -- after all, the corpse has been rotting for years and is only held together by the ...


32

Increase the noise to signal ratio How many people think that Elvis lives? Or Jimmy Hoffa? Or that Neil Armstrong didn't land on the Moon? Or that the 9/11 terrorists came from Iraq? Or that there is reasonable doubt left on climate change? So the people who try to hide vampirism would try and encourage any sort of conspiracy theory or weird tale, ...


31

The original explanation was that mirrors reflected the soul, and since vampires didn't have a soul there was nothing to reflect. If you don't like that you can still do something similar by saying the magic is no in the vampire, but the mirror. Perhaps certain mirrors are specially enchanted as vampire-detectors. Or perhaps it's simply a basic principle ...


29

Regardless of what Hollywood might tell you, the stake doesn't have to be wooden, nor does it actually kill the vampire. The tradition is that to prevent a vampire from rising they need to be staked into the coffin, metal stakes are acceptable, but wood is cheaper and more readily available to the average superstitious peasant. Also reference can be made ...


28

Consuming blood can be a psychological addiction instead of a physical need It doesn't have to be a physical dependency. If he can live indefinitely on normal human food, then he's getting everything his body needs in terms of carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. However, just because the body has what it needs, doesn't mean that the psyche has ...


27

This the nutritional information of lamb's blood. I will use it as an approximation for real blood. They would lack vitamin A (bad sight... live in the dark... that makes sense), potassium, and they would often develop scurvy due to vitamin C deficiency unless they could find other ways of supplementing these nutrients. The serving size of one human would be ...


27

From the calories in blood According to fitbit.com, 100 g of lamb's blood has 75 calories. I'd imagine the USDA hasn't done any studies on human blood, them not being vampires and all. To get 2000 calories a day, you would need about 2.6 kg of blood, which is about 2.6 liters. A human has about twice that, so a vampire would need to kill and drain a ...


25

It is Not (for some mythologies) It should be noted that the blood of the dead is poison to vampires in a number of mythologies and stories. For example in interview with a vampire. ! Claudia poisons Lestat by tricking him into drinking blood of the dead. "She tricks him into drinking the blood of twin boys she killed by overdosing them with laudanum,...


25

Actually I don't think that there is a lot of change of mind involved. Just look at your points: "Humans are cattle, vampires are the master race." That is something we already do. (Or most of us do) We think that our species is best and that we have the right to use inferior species to our liking. We breed and eat all kind of animals without having a bad ...


24

There is no way the vampires in this world have always been vegan. If vampires naturally feed from blood, at some point they naturally did drink blood from the creatures around them. It might be barbaric, but there would be no vampires stupid enough to starve themselves to death when they have the means to feed themselves. As your Vegan Vampires matured as ...


24

Maybe she isn't that bright You are kind of assuming that the daughter is a bright and inquisitive teenager that is fully aware of her surroundings and world, but what if she wasn't that bright or, like most teenagers, just wasn't really concerned about anyone but herself. Make her the popular girl who is more concerned about her hair and the boys in school ...


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