From the desk of Michael C. Long…

Eglise de Dieu

FOTOoftheDAY159:  From the Creepy Church Files. Maybe its all the Slayer I listen to, or the similarity of the phrase on the marque to the title of one of my favorite movies (City of God). I simply, couldn’t resist this shot as I drove down Lancaster Ave. It made me stop. Over the years I’ve photographed a lot of churches.  I like to present them in a dark, dare I say almost gothic light.  Admittingly, I’m hesitant to use such a culturally loaded  term. I’m thinking Heironymous Bosch, not pale 17 year olds named Asriel in combat boots and black lace.  I like to show them in the same medieval fire and brimstone, black and white  language so much of religion is spoken in.  Hmm…maybe it is all the Slayer…

Red Blood Cells Photographed via iphone and Microscope.

FOTOoftheDAY130: You are so immature… The cells near the pointer, yes, the ones that look like googly eyes, are immature and have been released into the blood before they should have  That immature release is referred to as a left shift.  In this case, the reasons for this left shift are also visible.  Note the odd shape of many of the other nearby RBC’s.  All of this was caused  by sickle cell anemia, a disease that effects one of the most important components of our blood- hemoglobin.  This genetic disorder causes hemoglobin, the molecule that carries oxygen in and CO2 out, gets produced improperly and misshapen. This causes a change in both the appearance and the function of the red blood cell. Not fun stuff. What’s even stranger about this tale is the evolutionary aspect of these googly eyes.  Sickle cell anemia was an evolutionary advantage in areas with high levels of malaria.  Turns out sickle cell anemia was “less worse for you” than malaria.