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February 19, 2013


Given the research on mice, it does seem likely that T. Gondi screws with human reasoning, too. But my main thought concerning it is that, if you managed to strip away the bad features, intracellular parasites like T. Gondi have a vast potential as genetic engineering vectors: Capable of traveling through tissue, penetrating the blood brain barrier, entering and leaving cells without killing them. All you'd have to do is reprogram their behavior a bit, and give them the capacity to drop off a synthetic chromosome along the way, and in vivo genetic engineering would be a piece of cake.

We are nothing but hosts">http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=strange-but-true-humans-carry-more-bacterial-cells-than-human-ones">hosts for bacteria.

Despite living with cats (I first wrote "owning" but can anyone really be said to own a cat?) I seem to have escaped T. Gondii -- at least I have no attraction that I can detect to cat urine.

Well. it explains my hairball.

Well. it explains my hairball.

Worse, it could explain my golf affliction.

what the hell was up with that black car at 0:15?

"what the hell was up with that black car at 0:15?"

Toonces (the driving cat) parasite infestation meets Massachusetts driving idiosyncrasies.


I think it got caught on a tram or trolleybus cable that was hanging down. You can see it on the road just before the car runs over it, I think.

Yep, here is the full video Also, the red car getting hit at 1:07 is from this

No fair. One of those accidents was a plane crash...

I prefer slow(er) zombies that eat any living or very recently living flesh, rather than being exclusively brain eating. I'm agnostic about whether they eat only human flesh or are hungry for animals as well. That might change how you handle things, but I still don't have a strong preference either way.

With that, there is absolutely NOTHING romantic about zombies. They aren't seductive. They're never beautiful. They aren't sexual (and even if they were, it would be totally gross - about as gross a thing as you could imagine). They're stupid, dirty, smelly, clumsy, ugly things that want to rip you to pieces and eat you alive. There is no particular appeal to becoming one if there's enough left of you after you've died, by zombie or otherwise, depending on the premise. By all appearances, their existence lies somewhere along the continuum between nothingness and torture.

If you accept the idea that girls want romance, with a bit of danger, and that boys want shoot-em-up, blood-and-guts action, I'd say, without getting into much detail on vampires, the least appealing vampires for girls are the most zombie-like ones, also meaning the least Breaking Dawn-ish of vampires. Think Salem's Lot, particularly the movie version, wherein the main vampire was almost purely a monster (back when I was still into vampires).

My thinking is that, as vampires moved away from being undead, reanimated corpses and toward being immortal superhumans in popular culture, zombies came in to fill the void (sort of like the Tea Party did for the GOP - right, Count?).

I think it's high time for a good western/zombie flick. There's so much thematic overlap there. Maybe it would be too easy, too obvious. Perhaps a zombie apocalypse started by a cat virus would be better.


A zombie cowboy movie or you can go to zombiewesterns.com

With that, there is absolutely NOTHING romantic about zombies.

Hence, zombies are for boys, vampires are for girls. ;^)

(does irony and romance go together? How about sarcasm and romance?)

Of course, humans are merely a tool cats use to open cat-food containers. Much like a can-opener, but more effective.

You ever see a can-opener take a trip to the supermarket to buy more cans, when it runs out of cans to open? Okay, then!

Can openers don't open cans. People open cans. And an open can is a polite can.

Tea Party Zombies -- Yup.

One of Jon Stewart's sidekicks interviewed one of those last night and as usual, the zombie's inexorable flesh-chewing-earnestnest plowed through whatever irony, sarcasm, and disbelieving eyebrow contortions the interviewer could muster regarding the constitutionality of manatee-riding and essential related all-American activities like forcing monkeys to ride dogs without government interference, though from a legal standpoint I believe either the monkey or the dog may have a case based on a feral semicolon in one Amendment or another.

My favorite zombie movie, I think, is "Fido".


As it transpires in the plot, Fido the domestic zombie becomes a love interest of sorts of the human lady of the house because her husband, besides being inattentive to her suburban needs, has his own zombie-related problems.

Fido, despite wandering across the property line occasionally and feasting on the neighbors, does possess (or has projected on him by his human counterparts) qualities of empathy which, let's be fair, disqualify him from Tea Party membership, so far be it from me to stereotype all zombies.

A cautionary tale.

My thinking is that, as vampires moved away from being undead, reanimated corpses and toward being immortal superhumans in popular culture...

for which Anne Rice deserves almost all of the blame.

I never got to see Fido in its entirety, but what I did see of it was very well done. I don't know why I didn't think of Fido as the exception when mentioning the total lack of sexuality on the part of zombies, considering both what seemed to be the mutual attraction between Fido and the neglected wife and the one-way attraction the creepy neighbor, usually dressed like Hugh Hefner if I recall correctly, had for his buxom "young" female zombie, with whom he was rather grab-ass-y.


I must disagree about the exclusivity of zombies and romance, if only based on how I enjoyed Tim Waggoner's _Nekropolis_ series.
I'll add that in the course of my molecular bio class last quarter, it was observed that while we humans have about 10^13 cells in our bodies, each of us is host to about 10^14 organisms (counting viruses, bacteria, and small eukaryotes like amoebas).

Zombies can be sixy. You guys aren't reading the right books. Try Diana Rowland's series about Angel, the "white trash" zombie, who discovers that sex on brains is actually better than the regular kind.

I guess zombies are meeting their Anne Rices, if that's where the genre is headed. I mean, zombies can be just about anything, being fictional. I'm not saying it's wrong. It just wouldn't be "traditional" (going all the way back to 1968, the year of my birth). But zombies who think on a level remotely approaching living humans just kind of ruins it for me.

My personal nontraditional take on zombies is that they're more or less identical to the mindless, shuffling corpses of Romero, only without any desire to eat anything. They just wander around being gross, and still somewhat scary just for being gross, while causing problems merely by getting in the way and being stupid and mindlessly intrusive. Just think traffic, electricity and fire to start. Then consider the politics thereafter and the attachments people might have to reanimated loved ones, the latter of which has been covered even with the flesh-eating aspect intact. It would prove even stronger, I think, absent the quasi-cannibalism.

I should probably have written "early Romero", since he started exploring the idea that zombies could gain greater cognition over time, individually or collectively, in his later stuff.

I haven't read much zombie fiction. I'm a zombie-movie guy. I'd like to read some, but I don't have much time for reading, at least not novels, with my current childcare demands. I mean, I could if I gave up exercising, the internet, and watching Colbert and Walking Dead, I guess. Even then, I'd start with World War Z or something along those lines rather than anything about sexy zombies, whatever that's supposed to mean.

Back when I did have time to read, I read about four of Anne Rice's vampire books, as well as one about some other creature I don't feel like googling.

"Early Romero"? You mean Cesar? Why exercise when you can set back, pop a can of Bud and watch http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springtime_in_the_Rockies>Springtime In The Rockies? I think http://golfism.org/tag/cesar-romero/>golfing doctor has it right on this question.

For real zombie action, tune in CSPAN during the day with a bottle of Wild Turkey - no ice, no glass, and watch the GOP "run" the House of Representatives. To get the full effect - you cannot have friends come over to join the fun.

The walking dead....priceless.

Am I the only guy here old-fashioned enough to think of White Zombie and I walked with a zombie when 'zombie' gets combined with 'traditional'*?
The romantic vampire can be blamed on the Victorians. Stoker was aleady a camp-follower.
Early movie vampires can be divided into the rat-like and the wolf-like. The former are at least partially related to the true folklore of vampires as reanimated corpses in at least partial decay while the latter are spawns of the 'ennobled' 'Byronic' reinvention done by the Victorians.
Btw, Chinese vampires are in essence very old zombies where the decay has stiffened the joints => they hop and do not walk, beyond a critical stage they become totally immobile.

*even The Plague of the Zombies(Hammer Films 1966) keeps at least partially to the old traditions.

Btw, Chinese vampires are in essence very old zombies where the decay has stiffened the joints => they hop and do not walk, beyond a critical stage they become totally immobile.

Not so sure about that. The reason I've heard is that Chinese vampires lack the 'life energy' (transliterated variously as ki, qi, chi and is the ki in aikido, though not the chi in tai chi). That's why their hands, while held out in front of them, hang down because of a lack of animating force, so it is not decay that is stiffening their joints, it is the absence of animating energy that locks their joints up.

"I married a zombie princess voodoo queen,
I knew there'd be trouble, but my God the in-laws are the worst I've seen."


To answer lj's query above about romance/irony and romance/sarcasm, IMHO irony is a coincident indicator with romance, not necessarily apparent to the parties of the first and second part, and sarcasm is a trailing effect or result of romance expressed during the period of zombie recovery following the romance apocalypse by one or both of the parties of the first and second part to their separate confederates, who nod ironically in response to these confidences.

bobbyp, zombie-viewing on C-Span is not limited to the House. Zombie Senator-elect Ted Cruz of Texas, elected BECAUSE of his advanced stage of rotting on the hoof, could be witnessed chewing the face of recovering zombie suspect Chuck Hagel and then lurching across the landscape in search of his next meal.

The zombies at Redzombie all went "Arrgh" (The zombie version of singing "He's A Jolly Good Fellow") in congratulation of Cruz's flesh-eating as they stood shifting from rotting hoof to rotting hoof from the safety of the zombie gerrymander, which little do they know is merely a strategic targeting sequester for the coming war.

They thought there would be FEMA camps, but zombie herding can be carried out in more subtle ways.

There's something about the increase in the frequency and the severity of zombie incidents since the election that confirms my guess that nuking from space will be the denouement of the coming zombie apocalypse, given the severity of the contagion.

I think it's interesting that not only did we get Spielberg's "Lincoln" with Daniel Day-Lewis doing his folksy, shambling and massively and wearily patient zombie-hunter at this particular point in history, but in the last couple of years I think we've also seen at least two productions featuring Lincoln as a real-life zombie hunter, dispatching the enemies of the Republic.

This is why I've withheld my total condemnation (with apologies to sapient) of Obama's illegal and unconstitutional expansion of the drone program.

What better technology to combat the domestic zombie apocalypse raging through the U.S. countryside, while limiting the losses on the side of humanity?

If you photographically magnified one of the commas in the Second Amendment, I suspect you'd find the blurry outlines of a drone, a technology the Founders obviously could foresee in their clairvoyant wisdom, though somehow they missed the possibility of an Italian Supreme Court Justice, blinded by their provincial prejudices as they were.

Ben Franklin sneaked many references to subsidized birth control into the documents as well, but that's a topic for another day.

I'd be interested in hearing the zombie side of the drone/comma argument, if any lurk.

They just wander around being gross, and still somewhat scary just for being gross, while causing problems merely by getting in the way and being stupid and mindlessly intrusive. Just think traffic, electricity and fire to start.

I think you are confusing 'zombie' with 'adolescent male human'.

lj, I can only repeat what I have heard on the topic (which was the quite elaborate commentary track for a Chinese vampire movie classic). I do not claim to be an expert there.
Japanese vampires are in a class of their own, of course, and by now quite a mishmash of Western and traditional beliefs. I know even less about those.

a bottle of Wild Turkey - no ice, no glass,

Should be JTS Brown, shouldn't it?

zombies are from mars, vampires are from venus, nes c'est pas?

back to the original story, i wonder if flegr wasn't suffering from some sort of bipolar disorder. i'm no expert but i was raised by a mom who suffered. actually, so did the rest of us...

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