It's time for a new programming language, and obviously we need a Gothic-themed one. Behold ZOMBIE!
That's Zombie-Oriented Machine-Being Interface Engine, an "inherently evil" platform.
A sample bit of documentation:
ZOMBIE runs in a multithreaded environment. Several entities may be animated at once, and each may perform multiple tasks at once. The relative speeds and orders in which the entities perform tasks is undefined, and should not be relied on by the programmer.
Entities and their tasks may be active or inactive. An active entity is one which has been animated, disturbed, or is free-willed. A zombie or ghost that has been summoned and bound is inactive. An active task is one that has been animated; an inactive task is one that has been bound, or that the entity has completed.
Defense plans against a zombie attack are not what one might expect from the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), but there they are.
It's a pedagogical trick, a way to get people thinking about emergency planning and go-bags. Which is all to the good.
Still, it's fun to read passages like
If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine).
Some Tunisian Facebook users can list their relationship status as being involved with dozens or hundreds of imaginary women. It's an ad campaign for Axe, a gimmick based on appealing to male bragging.
Imaginary friends online: once a criticism or fear, now a mainline marketing schtick.
[Russian] police found human body parts, including feet, a hand, and part of a shoulder, in the Moscow river and various basements in western Moscow, said Aleksei Saveliev of Moscow's western district police. At the time of his arrest, Shadrin was eating a stew of human liver...
As Reuters puts it, "Police tracked down the suspect after a trail of severed body parts including limbs and a head were found across Moscow."
Mad video from RT:
Infocult: we know the world's gone Gothic. And peckish.
Officers were sent to the address after the call was recorded as a hang up and a return call got static. Inside, they found the wreckage, including potentially toxic mold, from a pipe that apparently burst during the winter...
[T]he emergency call went out to police from a house in Marblehead after water short-circuited the phone system, apparently sparking the emergency call.
Some nice posthuman haunted house material there. Naturally, "Town officials say the interior may have to be gutted."
Plus a bit of old-school pulp hero, too:
Police couldn't immediately locate owner James Cowen. His cousin, William Cowen, said he's not worried. He says James was left financially secure by his father and often travels.
Never spotted when a caped avenger battles crime, eh?
Another postmortem social media item is IfIDie. It's a Facebook application which lets you leave an after-death message. Like a Harry Potter Secret Keeper, you pick three friends to verify your demise.
This is "Zamzam water", drawn from a well in Mecca, and therefore viewed as holy in Islam. But:
The BBC asked a pilgrim to take samples from taps which were linked to the Zam Zam well and to buy bottles on sale in Mecca, to compare the water on sale illegally with the genuine source. These showed high levels of nitrate and potentially harmful bacteria, and traces of arsenic at three times the permitted maximum level, just like the illegal water which was purchased in the UK.
How long has this been dangerous for humans? Was it tainted by a plot?
Next I copy the resulting page content to the book's Facebook page, and paste in as much as that site's update text field allows (420 characters, I think).
All of this is backed by two book information and purchase sites, from the publisher and Amazon.
So what are the effects? It's hard to say. The book is selling ("#57,679 in Books", just now, says Amazon), but I can't determine how much is driven by this daily posting. No comments on these sites yet, nor links to specific items (a couple to the WordPress site).
Personally, it's very rewarding. First, it helps me rethink examples of the many types of new digital storytelling. Second, it's handy to have a giant pile of stories to use.