It’s not even walking

Remember this charming fellow?

The Zombie of Montclaire Moors

Amazingly, he’s not always welcome to the neighborhood:

If you walked up to one Nashville area family’s home, you may think it was Halloween due to a zombie statue climbing out of the ground, but now the family’s homeowner association says their zombie needs to go.

The Grinstead family has had their zombie, named “Clawed,” in their yard near Percy Priest Lake for [the] past five years.

“We could have gone with the traditional spelling, but C-L-A-W-E-D just really fit his personality and told you as much as you really needed to know about him.” Jim Grinstead said.

The nastygram arrived last week:

On Friday, Grinstead received a letter from the homeowners association that caught him off-guard.

“It had said, ‘during a recent inspection of the neighborhood, we noticed that you have a zombie in your front yard that must be removed’.”


You can still get your own zombie, assuming you don’t live down the street from the Grinsteads.

(Via Rebecca Schleicher.)

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Amazon thinks ahead

It’s new, it’s spiffy, and it’s yet another step toward World Domination:

As the huge online retailer Amazon launches its first ever piece of development software, they made an unusual condition in their terms of service. They state that while the software is free for anyone to use, there are certain environments that should be avoided at all costs.

The new software is targeted at video game developers wishing to build titles for PCs, mobile phones, and consoles such as the PS4 or Xbox One. Titled Lumberyard, the software is on offer free of charge for a very good reason. It turns out the game engine offers support for Twitch, a game streaming service that Amazon owns.

As usual, the Terms of Service impose certain restrictions on users of Lumberyard. From the pertinent paragraph (Amazon Web Services Terms, paragraph 57.10):

Your use of the Lumberyard Materials must comply with the AWS Acceptable Use Policy. The Lumberyard Materials are not intended for use with life-critical or safety-critical systems, such as use in operation of medical equipment, automated transportation systems, autonomous vehicles, aircraft or air traffic control, nuclear facilities, manned spacecraft, or military use in connection with live combat.

None of these are exactly unusual. But there’s one notable exception:

However, this restriction will not apply in the event of the occurrence (certified by the United States Centers for Disease Control or successor body) of a widespread viral infection transmitted via bites or contact with bodily fluids that causes human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue and is likely to result in the fall of organized civilization.

Zombie Apocalypse? Amazon’s got you covered.

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Amusing ourselves to undeath

Severian looks at Our Favorite Zombies:

I’m not as gushy over The Walking Dead as my hipster contemporaries, but it, and horror movies generally, are an interesting peek behind the Zeitgeist’s curtain (or, these days, up its skirt). In both TWD and its recent spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, the government is either nonexistent, or a backstabbing group of cowardly sellouts. In Fear the Walking Dead, citizens who might otherwise be a social burden — the (non-zombie) sick, drug addicts, etc. — are rounded up for disposal, but before the liquidations can begin, the army prepares to pull out. And — this is important — they’re thwarted by a few civilians and a bunch of walking corpses before they can even do that. Think about the implications for a sec: The world’s premier fighting force, and they can’t handle an old man, a school counselor, and a bunch of literally brainless corpses.

The lesson of both Walking Dead series couldn’t be clearer — when the shit hits the fan, you’re on your own. Your government — whose #1 job is the protection of its citizens — will be useless at best, an active hindrance at worst. The first season of the original Walking Dead even has a scene where a scientist at the CDC in Atlanta mentions that the French were close to a cure for the zombie plague. The French! Meanwhile, every American scientist, with the sole exception of Exposition Man, has “opted out.” Even the hipsters who make up 99% of AMC’s viewing audience, in other words, expect zilch from their government (and note that TWD premiered in 2010, i.e. right in the middle of America’s slobbering honeymoon with Obama).

Zilch is by now the default expectation, and I suspect it would have been equally so had John Servile McCain somehow been wafted into the White House; the only conclusion I expect to be entertaining after 2016 is that we don’t get hit by enough asteroids.

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A word to health-conscious zombies

In the theme to the Popcap videogame Plants vs. Zombies, Laura Shigihara, as Sunflower, issues a warning to the zombies: “Brains are quite rich in cholesterol.”

It appears she was understating the case:

I once ran across a product called pork brains and milk gravy which I immediately bought. I never ate any of it, I just bought it to show to my friends. It came in a small can about the same size as the cans that Vienna sausages come in which I assumed was one serving.

The health label informed me that the can contained slightly over one thousand percent of the cholesterol that I could healthily wolf down in one day. In other words, ten days cholesterol in one sitting; a heart attack in a very small can.

Do zombies worry about heart attacks? Maybe they should.

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At least it isn’t head cheese

Just calling it “beer” seems suddenly inadequate:

[M]icrobrewers at Dock Street Brewing Co. did go that extra mile for fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead — or any zombie fans, really — by cooking up some goat brains for a new brew called Dock Street Walker.

Yes, goat brains. Smoked brains, to be specific, an ingredient enjoyed by others around the world but perhaps not so much the American public.

According to the brewery’s press release, it’s “an American Pale Stout brewed with wheat, oats, flaked barley, organic cranberry, and Smoked Goat Brains!”

Enjoy it with a slab of goat cheese, and toast The Governor. (Oh, wait, The Governor is already toast.)

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Now this takes brains

What sport-utility vehicle do you want to be driving during the Zombie Apocalypse? Hyundai hopes it’s their Walking Dead Special Edition Tucson:

This Tucson features an Ash Black exterior with a subtle red accent graphics package and Special Edition exterior and interior badges. Roof rack cross rails provide additional room for hauling necessary survival gear while mudguards and custom floor and cargo mats help keep the vehicle clean. The vehicle will be offered only in AWD to assist drivers when off-roading away from the undead. Within the Tucson’s black leather interior, passengers will find a custom Zombie Survival Kit — a Walking Dead 72-hour survivalist’s backpack, a necessary item for any zombie “prepper” — and a Walking Dead Tucson Quick Reference Guide, to help utilize all the features in the Special Edition vehicle. In addition, for true enthusiasts of The Walking Dead, this Tucson will offer vehicle decals for the four factions featured in the series: Hilltop, Kingdom, Saviors, and Survivors, so owners can proudly display where their allegiances lie.

The only way they could make this better is to offer, you should pardon the expression, a lifetime warranty.

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Right to non-life

Another aggrieved minority group demands to be heard:

We are denied voting rights in most states. Movies demonizing us not only get made, but are wildly popular and earn their hatemongering producers millions of dollars. And where are the media during all this? The whole shameful matter gets buried.

That’s why I have formed the National Association for the Advancement of Undead Persons. It’s time those of us labeled “zombies,” “vampires,” and “monsters” — the reconstructed and reanimated — received the same legal protections afforded illegal aliens and high-ranking Administration officials.

One area of progress: so far as I know, the undead are not currently subject to the Obamacare penalties tax.

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Undeath and taxes

No, really, this is a serious piece of research:

The U.S. stands on the precipice of a financial disaster, and Congress has done nothing but bicker. Of course, I refer to the coming day when the undead walk the earth, feasting on the living. A zombie apocalypse will create an urgent need for significant government revenues to protect the living, while at the same time rendering a large portion of the taxpaying public dead or undead. The government’s failure to anticipate or plan for this eventuality could cripple its ability to respond effectively, putting us all at risk… This article fills a glaring gap in the academic literature by examining how the estate and income tax laws apply to the undead.

After all, the IRS is used to its existing definitions. What happens when those definitions don’t mean what they used to anymore?

Citation: Chodorow, Adam, Death and Taxes and Zombies (April 23, 2012). Iowa Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

(Via io9.)

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28 MPG later

Truth be told, I would have expected something a bit burlier to be the motor vehicle of choice during the Zombie Apocalypse, but life, or unlife as the case may be, is full of surprises:

(Via Autoblog.)

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The undead are uneasy

Are you disturbed by the possibility of the Zombie Apocalypse? Trust me, your anxiety is as nothing compared to that of the “Haitian American Vodoo Association,” which reportedly sent a cease-and-desist letter to a gun-club site that was discussing the matter. Excerpts therefrom:

HAVA has become aware that you have engaged in spreading false, destructive, and defamatory rumors about Zombies. Your defamatory statements involved the article on the website ( dated 11/11/11 called “Zombie Apocalypse”. The article portrayed Undead Haitian Americans (A.K.A Zombies) as dangerous flesh eating monsters that pray on humans and other living creatures during the night. This image of a Zombie is completely inaccurate.

There is, of course, the slight chance that HAVA is engaged in the intra-Americas chain pull:

Modern Zombies are honest hard working undead people. They are just like the rest of Americans, but do not have any pulse nor brain activity. They are productive members of society and have been very successful in the local, state, and federal government. They have become model bureaucrats, and have continually worked toward building a positive reputation.

On the other (grey) hand, if they’re occupying the bureaucracy, that’s an even better reason to give them, um, ungrief.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man, who finds it risible.)

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Having not quite dezombified the place

Tangential Diversion, Volume CXVII:

Monday afternoon I left the office, got home, wheeled out the spreader, and distributed 5 kg of industrial-strength weed killer to various points in the front yard. After the inevitable brain fog cleared up, it occurred to me that while this treatment might actually remove some of the non-green stuff, it’s not likely to have any effect on zombies.

Which, of course, got me thinking about Plants vs. Zombies, the videogame, with an insanely catchy tune by Laura Shigihara. “What’s she been up to?” I wondered.

Apparently it’s Minecraft:

Lyrics (and a buy link) are here. (I bought.)

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Not a word was heard from Shirley

John Forster’s “Entering Marion,” a truly classic Demented Disc — Dr Demento his own self said so — is perhaps not the best guide to driving in Massachusetts, but it still breaks me up every time I hear it.

I’d like to think Forster made enough money off that song to be able to move his life savings away from one of these questionable institutions:

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Army of dampness

A handy tip before the Apocalypse:

Bill's Marine

(Seen, obviously, at FAIL Blog’s WIN!)

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Night of the green-apple quick-step

We’ve already established that yes, bears shit in the woods.

But what about zombies?

(Via Pop Culture Junk Mail.)

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Undeath tax

We knew Harrisburg was in bad shape, but I never thought they’d have to resort to squeezing money out of zombies:

Last year, about 200 of Harrisburg’s ghastly ghouls were able to do their Zombie Walk through the city’s downtown without hassle or fees. This year, the city gave the brain-lovin’ bunch the news that they would have to pay $450 in march and permit fees, plus insurance.

A pound of flesh, as it were.

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Premium undeaded

Ethnobotanist Wade Davis, author of The Serpent and the Rainbow, has argued that the secret ingredient in zombie creation is tetrodotoxin, and he still thinks so today:

“Tetrodotoxin turns out to be a very big molecule that blocks sodium channels in the nerves, bringing on peripheral paralysis, dramatically low metabolic rates and yet consciousness is retained until the moment of death,” said Davis.

After a bokor has placed the tetrodotoxin into someone’s body, and that person is pronounced dead and subsequently buried, the bokor reportedly unearths the body and applies a chemical paste to keep the unfortunate victim in a zombified, trancelike state.

Presumably, this “undead” person is then used as the bokor’s slave labor.

Well, it is a fairly big molecule, or at least it’s a big job to call it by name: IUPAC refers to it as octahydro-12-(hydroxymethyl)-2-imino-5,9:7,10a-dimethano-10aH-[1,3]dioxocino[6,5-d]pyrimidine-4,7,10,11,12-pentol. But apparently that stuff won’t do the job alone.

Me, I just want them to stay off my lawn.

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Romance is undead

Presenting ZombieHarmony, “because the apocalypse doesn’t have to be lonely.”

(Seen at the Facebook page of the very-much-alive Julie R. Neidlinger.)

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Further discouraging encroachment

This is probably not the optimum configuration, but I admire the concept:

rocket-propelled chainsaw

(From Fountain Abbey, with the following caveat: “It would definitely be cool to fire this weapon into a crowd of zombies, but it wouldn’t do much to stop them unfortunately.”)

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Yet another zombie on your lawn

The Zombie of Montclaire Moors

This creature practically sells himself:

We challenged artist Alan Dickinson to create his most macabre, haunting zombie statue exclusively for Toscano — and he certainly delivered! Not for the faint of heart, this gray-toned Zombie of Montclaire Moors statue features the most zombie-like eyes you’ve ever seen. Captured in meticulous detail in quality designer resin, this zombie garden statue brings the flesh-hungry undead to your daffodil bed!

There are only two other things you need to know: the price, which is $89.95, and this:

Arrives in 3 pcs.

Yes, but which three?

(Tweeted by E. M. Zanotti in the general direction of Sister Toldjah.)

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You still have zombies on your lawn

You already know the song; what you didn’t expect — what I didn’t expect, anyway — is a live version by the composer herself.

Production values are just about nil, but who cares? This is still the catchiest song of the week.

(From Kotaku via Blog Oklahoma.)

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