Reasons We’re All Screwed: Mind Control

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On August 27th, the University of Washington reported that they have performed what they believe to be the first, ever, “noninvasive” human-to-human brain interface, which allowed one person to send an electrical signal over the internet to control the hand motions of a fellow researcher.

This is some Voodoo Doll crap, let me tell you.

Per the UW’s article: “Using electrical brain recordings and a form of magnetic stimulation, Rajesh Rao sent a brain signal to Andrea Stocco on the other side of the UW campus, causing Stocco’s finger to move on a keyboard.”

“The Internet was a way to connect computers, and now it can be a way to connect brains,” Stocco said. “We want to take the knowledge of a brain and transmit it directly from brain to brain.”

mind-control-testsMore from the article on how it works: “Rao looked at a computer screen and played a simple video game with his mind. When he was supposed to fire a cannon at a target, he imagined moving his right hand (being careful not to actually move his hand), causing a cursor to hit the “fire” button. Almost instantaneously, Stocco, who wore noise-canceling earbuds and wasn’t looking at a computer screen, involuntarily moved his right index finger to push the space bar on the keyboard in front of him, as if firing the cannon. Stocco compared the feeling of his hand moving involuntarily to that of a nervous tic.”

Currently, the technology does not allow anyone to control your brain without your consent, and it is limited to two people – the Mind Controller and the … Slave? Victim? Submissive?

Here’s the thing: In Voudon practices, the bokor is responsible for bringing a person back from the death with magic to create a zombie slave who will perform physical labor for them. While most of us imagine hordes of zombies when we think about the Big Z now, that’s not necessarily the case. And just because the technology does not allow for nonconsensual mind control at the moment, does not mean that someone won’t try to hack it at the first opportunity (I’m looking at you, Anonymous, and your hacking into webcams in children’s rooms).

Bokors control, on a basic level, the actions of their zombie companions. This technology allows a person to invade another person’s mind and control their physical actions. A simple program could “store” pre-thought actions and broadcast them to multiple people, thus creating a horde of tech zombies.

Not that we’re not tech zombies already.

download

My point is, technology is so ubiquitous, and getting so much more personal (Google Glass, for example) that it doesn’t take a wild stretch of the imagination to foresee that level of mind control in the future.

Suddenly, your crazy uncle that lives in the woods and refuses to even use a telephone or trust the postman doesn’t seem so nuts, right?

We’re screwed.

The Original Zombie Apocalypse: Ancient Cannibals

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Cannibals have been all over the news lately. Most notoriously, there was the case of the bath salts-driven face-eater in Florida last year; however, several other cannibalism cases have hit the courtrooms just this year.

First, Alexander Kinyua pleaded guilty on August 19th to killing a family friend and eating the victim’s heart. However, the judge in the case found him not criminally responsible and committed Kinyua to a mental health facility indefinitely.

On August 14th, the case of a man who stabbed his girlfriend and threatened to eat a police officer was routed to a grand jury. While his girlfriend survived the incident, “He made a statement to one of the other officers that he was going to cut her up in little pieces and eat her,” according to a police detective. The suspect described himself as a cannibal.

The United States isn’t the only place with cannibal problems. Sture Bergwell, a Swedish 63-year-old man, was deemed wrongfully imprisoned for the slaying and molestation of a 15-year-old boy, and seven other murders. Bergwell described to authorities that he killed many people, and in at least one case ate parts of his victim. However, in 2008, he retracted his statements, and has finally been released from the psychiatric institution in which he served time.

The post-mortem of a Russian fisherman showed that his two friends ate the victim’s flesh as they traversed the snowy Russian wilderness. Evidence suggests that the fisherman’s companions intentionally killed and ate him.

Generally, humans avoid eating each other. Many stories of cannibalism are linked to either desperation or mental illness. But is there more to this seeming upsurge of feasting on humans?

300x168_82426_ancient-peruvian-burial-site-unearthedAs it turns out, cannibalism has been with the human species for hundreds of thousands of years. “These practices were conducted by Homo antecessor, who inhabited Europe one million years ago,” according to the research team, led by Eudald Carbonell, that conducted the study into suspicious bones found at Homo antecessor sites.

“Cut marks, peeling, and percussion marks show that the corpses of these individuals were processed in keeping with the mimetic mode used with other mammal carcasses: skinning, defleshing, dismembering, evisceration, and periosteum (membrane that lines bones) and marrow extraction,” according to the researchers (emphasis mine).

“Other small-sized animals were processed in the same way,” the scientists wrote. “These data suggest that they (Homo antecessor) practiced gastronomic cannibalism.”

The team added that they ruled out ritualized cannibalism – a feature among the famous Fore people, who faced a massive outbreak of the prion disease Kuru that led them to mostly abandon the practice. Studies into Homo antecessor’s cannibalism hinted that the early humans ate other humans – both other species of human and other antecessors – for extra nutrition. The team showed that cannibal practices likely continued into Neanderthals, a mere 12,000 years ago.

With so many stories of zombies and the undead from ancient times to now, it is possible that cannibalism in earliest humans led to the haunting, visceral fear we seem to have now. Joseph Campbell thought that our collective history led to similarities in narratives across cultures, like the Hero’s Journey, so zombies could follow that pattern.

And it does insinuate that there is a Zombiepocalypse happening now. With so many reports from news sources about cannibals, could we be seeing the Zombie Apocalypse happening now, without disease as the transmitter?

DRINK YOUR BRAINS

Delicious Brains Platter

If you’re not interested in eating brains prior to becoming a zombie, you may be able to find an acceptable substitute – alcohol!

There’s a disturbing but awesome shot called the Bloody Brains Shooter, and there’s a couple of different recipes for it.

Variation One:

1 1/4 oz. strawberry vodka

1/8 oz. Rose’s lime juice

3/4 oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream

Splash of grenadine

brainsChill vodka for better smoothness. Add vodka and lime juice to a shaker, shake and strain into a shot glass. Using a straw, dip some Bailey’s Irish Cream into the shot. Once you submerge the straw into the Bailey’s put your finger on top of the straw to hold the Bailey’s in the straw. Dip the straw tip into the vodka and slowly release your top finger. The Bailey’s will curdle a little bit due to the lime juice and you should be able to make strands of Bailey’s.

Repeat the straw/Bailey’s process to build a “brain” in the shot glass. Add a splash of grenadine to the concoction to add the ‘blood’ to the mix. Down the hatch as a shot.

Variation Two:

In shot glass, pour peach schnapps 3/4 of the way; pour irish cream on top (do not layer let it pour straight), add three drops of grenadine – the result looks like a Bloody Brain!

Here’s a video showing off the process:

Preparing for an evacuation: stay cool, stay comfortable, plan ahead.

shutterstock_100849096(1)A recent study by Essex University used the idea of zombies to test how people tended to act during evacuations.

Researchers at the University of Essex have created a computer game in which players must escape from a crowded building that has been breached by zombie hordes. The scientists, whose findings have been published in the journal Animal Behaviour, used the simulator to gather data about how stress affects decision making.

The team asked attendees at the Science Museum’s ZombieLab event to find the optimal route out of a virtual, zombie-infested environment. Whilst some participants were allowed to complete the task at their own pace, others were told that they had to escape the building in record-breaking time.

The researchers discovered that when participants were placed under additional pressure, their decisions tended to be poorer than when no extra element of stress had been introduced. Far from focusing their minds, stress caused people to resort to questionable tactics. Rather than attempting to identify novel, more effective exit strategies, for example, individuals attempting to beat target times were more likely to retread familiar routes.

This isn’t terribly shocking.  When we’re in an evacuation or any other rushed situation we want to do what is familiar to us.  This is actually smart.  You don’t want your brain’s limited processing power distracted with plotting new terrain.  We simply think more clearly when we’re comfortable.

So what’s the take home lesson here?  The lesson is that we can lose control of our thoughts, and that even if we spend time collecting ourselves and getting to a point where we can think clearly, even if we’re under time pressure, then that time has almost always been well-spent.  Decisions made in a panic can snowball quickly into other, more serious mistakes.  A few minutes preventing that are almost always worth the lost time acting.

If the goal is to get out of a crowded building in a limited amount of time, it may not be the wisest course of action to go your normal route if that route is likely to be used by everybody else.  How else could you get out of a building like that?

  • Is there a window you could open?  If the window doesn’t open, is there something heavy you can throw through it?  A blanket or towel draped over the remaining broken glass will help keep you from being cut as you exit.  Even if you’re lacking a blanket or towel, a few cuts are preferable to being the equivalent of canned food with no escape in a clogged hallway.
  • Is there a fire escape?
  • Is there a service entrance/exit?

In no industry has more evacuation studies been done than in the airline industry.  Those studies have found that an evacuation run by a person of authority being firm in their commands is most effective, because then people evacuate in an orderly fashion.  However, in a rapidly developing situation in a shopping mall or a skyscraper, where nobody is an acknowledged authority (and even if they were, where they were likely untrained for how to manage such a scenario), it may be better to avoid places where there is a panicked mob.

The even bigger concern is what to do once you’ve gotten out of the building.  What are your goals?  Where do you need to go?  Are you separated from people you need to be with?  The outside will be full of panicked people and possibly the undead.  Your job is to be neither of those things.  In order to succeed, you need to have done a lot of the work ahead of time.

  • Have a place to meet with friends and family arranged ahead of time.  In an emergency the phone lines will be clogged, so don’t wait until the dead rise to decide on this location.
  • Never let your car’s tank fall below half.  If you’re in the middle of a city, don’t even try to get out using a vehicle.  You’ll wind up in a traffic jam that will make you a sitting duck.  But if you live on the outskirts of a town facing an isolated incident and if your reaction time is fast enough, you may be able to put the town to your tail and not look back: providing you have enough gas to get you away.
  • Have a battery-powered radio handy at all times.  Listen in for emergency instructions and updates.  Knowledge is worth more than anything to you.
  • Leave a note if you suspect people will come looking for you.  Leave it on your desk or someplace people know you would have been.  If you must pin it to the door and hope for the best, be somewhat cryptic.  You want your friend to find you, but you don’t want to let a freaked out survivor who may want to take your supplies find you a few days later.
  • Check your dress.  Comfort may be fashion, but comfort is also often achieved by wearing looser clothing.  Loose clothing provides something for the undead (or panicked living) to grab a hold of.  Keep your hair cut short or tucked tight so it’s not dangling and wear skin-hugging clothes.  For many Americans this will make us self-conscious.  However, self-conscious is a load better than dead.  Wear such clothing under your other clothes if you must, but don’t plan on having enough time to do a full clothing change when the alarm bells first ring.

Til next time, survivors.

Prepare for The Zombiepocalypse on the Bus

The Zombie Apocalypse hasn’t happened yet (we think), but you can experience it in a variety of ways through the magic of your smart phone!

Sit in a park, ride the bus, lay around at home, and become a tech zombie before a biological zombie. It’s great!

Of course, there are classic zombie-centric games for mobiles out there already, like Plants vs. Zombies, and Zombies, Run! But what about games for those of us who plan to become part of the horde after the Big Zed?

Here’s a few free downloadable selections for your brain-craving pleasure:

zombieslive1. Zombies Live, from Storm8Games

The game, per Google Play, works like this: “On a dark night, in a cold morgue, you arise. Not quite dead, but far less than human, you hunger for knowledge about who you were and how you became this way. But the fiercest hunger in your being is for flesh. And, lucky for you, the morgue attendants are coming to check on you.

Start as a lowly zombie, freshly undead and turn yourself into the most powerful crypt lord by bringing in other zombies into your horde and wreaking havoc throughout the city in Zombies Live™.”

The game has 6,395 5-Star reviews, so most people seem to like it. “Like other games by Storm8, this game is an addictive way to pass time,” says one reviewer. Another says, “Great game especially considering its free. Not overbearing with ads. Lots of active players! A must have.” There’s a smattering of bad reviews, mostly complaining about upcharges or the company’s banning policies, but overall, for a game in which you actually become a zombie, it’s a screaming good time!

zombieace2. Zombie Ace, from Hothead Games

The entire point of Zombie Ace, hidden behind its adorable animations, is to spread the plague to unsuspecting Preppers. “These undead pilots guarantee fast service to 14 destinations across the United States of America. When you need to infect the next city fast, trust a Zombie Ace to get you there!”

According to the description on Google Play, the game’s objectives are:

“* Infect the zombie plague across 14 U.S.A. cities
* Choose from 5 different Zombie Ace pilots
* Upgrade your plane with better wings, faster engines and more fuel
* Battle with enemy Jet Fighters, Attack Choppers, Bombers, and Tanks
* Test your skills flying through Lightning Storms or avoiding attacks from Giant Killer Robots and other hazards!
* Complete 100 missions to rank up and earn rewards
* Play Brain Scratcher tickets to win more prizes between flights”

This free game also has almost entirely 5-Star reviews – 5,037, to be exact. One review said, “… Definitely an amazing game. Great fun. After thr recent update its become really stable. Good use of spare time.”

The negative reviews complain about social networking issues, but is that really a surprise with a zombie game? If you’re a zombie without a horde, how far can you really get?

zombiebooth3. ZombieBooth, from MotionPortrait, Inc

Alright, it’s not technically a game, but it’s still a helluva lotta fun. Do you want to know what you’ll look like after rising from the grave and rotting in the open air? Now you’ll know! Always wanted to know what friends and family, even your pug, will look like after the Z-pocalypse? You can find out when they share photos, so you can join up with their horde later!

Per Google Play, here’s some of the app’s features:

“CUSTOMIZABLE 3D ZOMBIES!
– ZombieBooth makes any 2D portrait fully 3D
– Create a huge collection of 3D, animated zombies from photos of you and your friends
– Choose from several zombie variations to pinpoint your undead doppelgänger

YOUR ZOMBIES COME ALIVE
– Zombies will blink, scowl, and breath!
– Hear them growl and frenzy
– They’ll even try to ravage your finger if you get too close!

ZOMBIFY YOUR FRIENDS!
– Capture portraits to zombify on any camera equipped Android
– Share zombie images via Email”

This app has 41,699 5-Star reviews. With a horde that size, how can you go wrong?

All three of these applications are free for download, so there’s no reason not to give them a whirl, and experience the zombie un-lifestyle first-hand.

The zombie apocalypse: preparing to live without power.

BiohazardI’ve already gone into detail on the wisest course of action if you are in a major population center when the apocalypse breaks out:  to hunker down and play defense, as it were.  Eventually either the zombies or the humans will win out.  If it’s the humans, awesome.  If it’s the zombies, at least now you’re only facing one major threat without adding panicky people on top of it.

The problem with this is that we are more reliant on electricity than we notice.  When was the last time most of you even saw a radio that operated on batteries?  Without power, how would you deploy the security doors when locking down a major building?  What if you need a hospital?  Consider trying to go a single day without using anything that plugs into a wall as well as no air conditioning, no hot water, etc.  You’ll come to grips very quickly with how unprepared most people are for living in a powerless world.

So how long can you hunker down before the power goes out?  24 hours at most:

Without human beings around to perform certain routine tasks, the electricity system will quickly cease to function. In regions dependent on fossil fuels for electricity generation (i.e., the entire U.S.), power plants will shut down, or “trip,” within 24 hours (or less) without continuous fuel supply. As soon as one plant trips offline, voltage at various points along the transmission system will drop below preset thresholds, spurring a domino effect as automated protection devices kick in and disconnect additional sections of the network. This cascade of trips would bring the system to a standstill, and a blackout would ensue.

Max Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide has all kinds of helpful tips for how you should spend this very important 24 hours: fill every receptacle available with water, secure your area (in ways that don’t require power, so destroy the staircase, find somewhere that relies on bars rather than alarms for security, etc.), take inventory of what non-perishables are available and how long they will last, if the internet is up you can email people in an uninfected area (you should not only communicate where you are, but also details of what you see so information gets to the outside), etc.

You should also be ready for additional threats that a failed power structure could bring:

Many critical facilities (e.g., hospitals, military bases) have on-site diesel generators to provide emergency backup power. However, these generators have a 40 percent failure rate, are usually designed to run for 24 hours or less, and require an operator around to babysit them. With no one there to refill the fuel tanks, check the oil, and perform other basic maintenance, most of these generators will not last more than one or two days. Without backup generation, basic services like water and sewage treatment cannot function. During the Southern California Blackout, San Diego’s sewage pumps backed up after less than 12 hours without power, bringing the city dangerously close to a real health crisis.

Or you could hope you live in an area whose power is drawn from a microgrid (or distributed generation).  From the article:

A well-designed microgrid—combining distributed, renewable resources such as solar PV and wind with smart auto-controls and energy storage—would continue to provide reliable power with little human control, keeping the lights on, even under chaotic circumstances.

Microgrids do have their drawbacks.  When we’re not in a situation that threatens the power structure (hurricane, terrorist attack, zombies) they are far more costly per watt to operate and, at their current level of development, they are inconsistent.  They can either have exceptionally low maintenance costs or astronomically (and unacceptably) high ones.

But the pro is that if the macrogrid goes offline, the microgrid can be operated as an independent unit, often free of human interaction for long periods.  That is why they are gaining in popularity.  The government will tell you that it’s because of environmental threats that could tank our power structure, but we all know what they’re really preparing for.

If your area runs on a microgrid, you are extremely lucky.  For everybody else, let’s hope they become the norm before it’s too late.

Reasons We’re All Screwed: The Zombie Drug

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So far, I’ve focused on transmission of the Z Plague as a disease. How else could so many people become zombies in so little time?

Actually, there is a tradition in Haitian folklore that Zora Neal Hurston pursued, that bokors were creating zombies by giving people psychoactive drugs. However, she was unable to locate individuals willing to discuss the incidents. Several decades later, however, a Harvard ethnobotanist named Wade Davis published his theory that drugs could cause people to become zombies in his pivotal book The Serpent and the Rainbow (and less-pivotal follow-up book, Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie).

Per Wikipedia: “Davis traveled to Haiti in 1982 and, as a result of his investigations, claimed that a living person can be turned into a zombie by two special powders being introduced into the blood stream (usually via a wound). The first, coup de poudre(French: “powder strike”), includes tetrodotoxin (TTX), a powerful and frequently fatal neurotoxin found in the flesh of the pufferfish (order Tetraodontidae). The second powder consists of dissociative drugs such as datura. Together, these powders were said to induce a deathlike state in which the will of the victim would be entirely subjected to that of the bokor. Davis also popularized the story of Clairvius Narcisse, who was claimed to have succumbed to this practice.”

After ingesting the drugs, victims woke up in a psychotic state, normally after being buried when friends and relatives thought they were dead. Individuals then, according to Davis, reconstructed their identities as zombies, because they knew they had been dead.

The recent case of Rudy Eugene, the 31 year old who allegedly took bath salts which caused him to go into a psychotic state and kill a homeless man by eating his face, showed Westerners the powers of psychoactive drugs, including potent new synthetics like bath salts or synthetic marijuana. Symptoms of bath salt intoxication can “include euphoria, hyper-alertness, anxiety, agitation, psychotic behavior and hallucinations, loss of motor control, and elevated heart rates and blood pressure.”

Eugene, later, was found to have only marijuana in his system, but his sudden, violent crime shows the power of suggestion when one is under the influence of drugs. While “Americans still prefer downers,” according to GQ writer Robert Moor – like alcohol, marijuana, and opioid painkillers – the country also loves its uppers, from caffeine to tobacco. Methamphetamine use, both designers like bath salts and homebrewed varieties such as in portable meth labs, is growing across the nation. The ingredients are cheap and easy to assemble.

If methamphetamines can create such a strong reaction, a growing plague of addiction could lead to a zombie apocalypse.

Hallucinating zombies – we’re screwed.

Where's D.A.R.E. when you need it?
Where’s D.A.R.E. when you need it?

You’re Not Bruce Campbell: Zombie Defense Against Chainsaws

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The series Evil Dead shows our beefy, cheesy hero Ash up against hordes of zombies with a chainsaw slung across one arm, and a shotgun wrapped in the other.

While the series is silly and far from scary, Ash as a hero looms large in the minds of Preppers. Everyone wants a chance to yell, “This is my boomstick!” at an awestruck medieval crowd. Or destroy charging zombies with mighty swings of a chainsaw.

We’ll skip the boomstick part for now and focus on the chainsaw. Chainsaws make an appearance in Left 4 Dead 2 as well. So they’re good melee weapons, right?

Bad-ass and in no way dangerous, amirite?
Bad-ass and in no way dangerous, amirite?

Yes, there’s a lot to fear when a Prepper attacks you with a chainsaw. According to a Quora question on self-defense against chainsaw attacks:

Unless you are armed and you manage to draw your weapon and shoot your opponent at least once, they are going to swing the chainsaw in wide enough arcs to contact you. Since this will probably only injure you (unless they strike your neck and you begin to hemorrhage) with the first impact, you have to then attempt to defend yourself while bleeding or injured and this will almost certainly ensure that you are incapacitated or killed.

The defense for a chainsaw is either running away or waiting until your opponent becomes tired (which will likely be soon, as a chainsaw large enough to cause damage will be too heavy for all but the strongest of men to wield for more than a few minutes of wild swings) and then either rushing him and attacking or picking up a nearby stone or bludgeon and then battering your exhausted foe senseless.

Fortunately for your zombified self, chainsaws are actually a terrible self-defense weapon. In fact, according to Examiner.com article Zombie Self-Defense 101, the only upside to chainsaws is that they make you feel like Ash from Evil Dead.

But remember Ash from the first two Evil Dead movies? He cowered in corners all over that haunted house and barely made it out.

Lookin' a little less cool, a little more terrified of your zombie-ness
Lookin’ a little less cool, a little more terrified of your zombie-ness

The only Preppers who are dumb enough to use chainsaws for self-defense and expect to survive are the types to cower in corners of their shelter and wimper as your horde beats down the doors. Chainsaws have terrible range for melee weapons, they run on gas which will quickly disappear after the apocalypse, and they are noisy enough to continue to draw the attention of other zombie hordes for miles around.

The only real thing Preppers could do with chainsaws that would make them potentially useful? Bikes.

Right at waist-level
Right at waist-level

No, not that kind of bike. THIS kind of bike.

And even then, it’s loud and the gas will run out. So don’t worry about Preppers with chainsaws, they’ll probably just hurt themselves.

BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIINS: Try Them Now

Brains Are Served

The first incident in popular culture of zombies eating anything rather than transmitting the Big Z through bites is in George Romero’s 1968 monster classic, Night of the Living Dead. The movie was so pivotal in how we see zombies that the battle cry BRRAAAAAIIIIIIIINNNSSSS can frequently be heard at zombie walks and movie premiers.

In theory, the human mouth isn’t strong enough to get into a skull and dig out the soft, delectable brains. But zombies are known to have superhuman strength, despite their rotting flesh. So getting in there shouldn’t be that hard.

Now, as a somewhat-conscious zombie, you love brains, but you may get tired of eating the same thing several times a week. It’s like eating leftover pizza for three meals a day for a few days – yeah, the extra large seemed like a great idea because you wouldn’t have to go grocery shopping for a week, but after day three of a slice of cheese pizza with coffee, you just don’t feel so hot anymore.

Also, some of you pre-zombie humans may be thinking, “I’ve never eaten offal before. I hear its … awful.” It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. There’s even a recipe that can help get you accustomed to the unique flavor and texture of brains. Brains, in fact, are a part of cuisine all over the world, from canned brains in the Southern US, to classic French dishes, Mexican, Indonesian, Cameroon, Cuban, and Pakistani.

]But there’s one thing preparation humans and zombies alike can get behind.

DEEP-FRIED BRAINS, ZOMBIES! Check this out.

No, seriously, deep fried brains!
No, seriously, deep fried brains!
  • 1 head of garlic, skin on
  • Black peppercorns in a cheesecloth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • bundle of fresh herbs
  • 1 pound brains (lamb, pork, or calf)
  • All purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for deep-frying

Procedures

  • Bring a 2 quart pot of water to simmer and add in the garlic, peppercorns, and herbs. Simmer for 15 minutes. Then gently lower the brains into the pot and simmer for 6 minutes. Remove the brains with a slotted spoon and let cool. When the brains are cold and firm, separate the lobes into 2 inch chunks.
  • Meanwhile, prepare 3 bowls with the flour, the egg whisked with milk, and the breadcrumbs.
  • Heat the oil to 350°F. Roll each brain segment in flour, then coat it in the egg mix, then coat it in the breadcrumbs. Deep-fry the brain until they are golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes.

Or, you could try this one!

Fried Brains

1 calf’s brain per person
1 cup all purpose flour
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 bunch italian parsley chopped
1 lemon
1/2 stick salted butter
salt and pepper

Pick the blood vessels and film off of the brains and soak in cold water overnight. Change the water every few hours. When they are properly soaked the water will remain clear.
 Blanch in boiling water for two minutes and remove onto a rack to thoroughly drain.

Season with and pepper. Roll through a pan of flour to coat evenly. Melt butter in a skillet on medium high heat. When it is frothy and begins to turn a nut brown color add brains. Sauté until golden brown, constantly basting with butter to evenly brown.

Remove and keep warm. In another skillet melt 3-4 Tablespoons of salted butter and quickly saute parsley and garlic. Remove from heat, squeeze lemon into garlic / parsley mixture, stir, and pour over brains.

Texas Instruments (the ones that make graphing calculators) preparing the next generation to fight zombies.

You all know my philosophy by now: survival is the province of the insightful.  If you want to live you need to not only be in good physical condition, but if you’re a lazy or poor thinker all the muscles and endurance in the world will do you no good.  You must also be able to think in the abstract, to think outside to box to see threats and solutions that others might miss.  For instance, if you’re in the South or the Midwest, will you travel at twilight or in the heart of the summer knowing that mosquitoes are about?  What if a mosquito has drank the infected blood of a zed and has the capacity to spread it to you?

There appears to be one company that understands all this and they’ve devised a way to prepare kids for the horrors they are certain to face in adulthood.

Guns are of no concern to us!  Science, on the other hand...
Guns are of no concern to us! Science, on the other hand…

Let’s face it, not every young person believes that zombies are a possibility, let alone a near certainty that will one day dominate the lives of whichever members of the next generation are lucky enough to survive.  This program is clever in that it prepares those children for the future with so much stealth that they’re never the wiser.  They think they’re only learning about science, technology, engineering, and math.

“The neural anatomy that we go into is really the jumping off point in this particular activity, and the actual activity is about what would happen if a virus that was turning people into zombies were to spread,” Bialik told WIRED. “This presents the opportunity for modeling, for teaching about graphing, for teaching about disease progression, for teaching about the problem-solving that would be involved if you were to, for example, work for the Centers for Disease Control and had to analyze this.”

Wait. What? Zombies? Yes. It turns out certain zombie behavior can be used to show the effects of damaging certain areas of the brain. Let’s say, for example, you want kids to learn about the group of nuclei at the base of the forebrain known as the basal ganglia. Show them Night of the Living Dead and explain that the loss of coordination the undead display in Romero’s masterpiece can be caused by damage to that region. To teach students about the regions of the brain that handle problem solving and impulse control, tell them zombies have highly compromised frontal lobes. Want to explain the cerebellum? Tell students — or, using the TI software, show them — that we know zombies must have damage to that area because they can’t walk well.

If you’re wondering, it’s over-stimulation of the hypothalamus that makes the undead so hungry for flesh.

Positively brilliant.