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Halloween D.I.Y Project: Make Your Own Zombie

Halloween D.I.Y Project: Make Your Own Zombie
Make Your Own Zombie

    One of the most overlooked yet incredibly useful personal productivity tools available today is the zombie. Though incapable of many creative tasks, they are ideal for most corporate work, and suitable for all manner of tasks requiring physical strength, repetitive actions, risk to life and limb, or the death of your enemies. What’s more, zombies work for free (though you must remember never to feed them anything with salt in it). What better way is there to Get Things Done?

    Zombies are the ultimate D.I.Y. project, and uses only natural materials (though handle them with care, lest you find you’ve zombified yourself). Follow these simple steps and you’ll have your own zombie ready to work in no time!

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    (Note: The creation of zombies is regulated by law in some principalities. Please check your local statutes on zombie creation and ensure all relevant permissions and licenses are obtained before undertaking such a project. The following information is offered for education purposes only; the author assumes no liability for damages suffered as a result of readers’ use of this information.)
    The secret of zombie-making is in the coupe poudre, a powder that is rubbed onto or otherwise introduced onto the skin of your future zombie servant. While recipes for coupe poudre are a closely guarded secret, a little trial and error should get you there — try experimenting on unwanted pets before taking on a human victim. You’ll need the following materials:

    1. Tetrodotoxin: A neurotoxin found in the liver and ovaries of the pufferfish Fugu rubripes, tetrodotoxin administered in the right dosage causes paralysis and the reduction of the metabolism and heart rate, causing the future zombie to appear dead to all but the most sensitive medical equipment. This is the same fugu found in the sushi specialty, which causes several deaths annually (more than a few of which “dead” have woken up in the morgue when the toxin wore off, causing quite a scare among morgue workers!) An important side effect of tetrodotoxin is that the victim, though appearing dead, remains fully conscious — this will be crucial to the success of your project.
    2. Bufotenin: The cane toad, or Bufo marinus, secretes a white, milky irritant called bufotenin from glands at the rear of its head. This highly toxic irritant can inflame the eyes and skin, and even kill small cats and dogs (so handle carefully). Bufotenin also causes mild hallucinations, and is a controlled substance in many parts of the world.
    3. The skin of the Dominican tree frog: The tree frogs found in Dominican Republic and Haiti produce an irritating secretion similar to, but far less deadly than, that of the cane toad. Rich in this secretion, the skins are dried and ground, producing a skin irritant that causes tiny wounds in the skin’s surface and allows the toxins to enter the bloodstream.
    4. A clay jar: Used to hold the zombie’s ti-bon anj (the part of the soul responsible for free will and human agency). Any earthenware jar should work fine, so long as it’s large enough to hold a ti-bon anj — however, you’ll be keeping this for the length of your zombie’s service, so make sure it’s an easily identified jar you won’t mind showing off to visitors.
    5. Other ingredients: Although the ingredients above are key, other ingredients may be added to suit your own personal taste and style. Ground tarantulas, shaved-off pieces of human skulls, and other additions add that dash of individuality to your recipe, letting your zombies know you really care!

    The ingredients are mixed together and ground into a powder, which is often left to age for a couple days to build up magical potency. You’ll have to figure out how to introduce the coupe poudre into your victim’s system — perhaps sprinkle it on their bedclothes? However you do it, the result should be their apparent death. Try not to appear too eager at this point; zombie-masters are not always well-received in many communities. After suitable ceremonies and mourning and the preparation of the body, your future zombie will be buried.

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    Remember: assuming your preparation worked, your victim is not only still alive but fully conscious. While you are preparing for the second stage of your project, your future zombie is being buried alive while hallucinating badly because of the effects of the bufotenin. This trauma is the raw clay from which you will reform your new zombie’s psyche; revel in it a bit.

    After a suitable time period — not long enough for your victim to die of asphyxiation in their coffin, but long enough so that there aren’t likely to be any mourners standing vigil over the gravesite — you will need to dig up your zombie and revive her or him. For this step, you will use another preparation made from the datura plant, known in Haiti as “zombie cucumber”.

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    Datura is very high in two dangerous alkaloid compounds, scopolamine and atropine. The atropine is a stimulant used in modern medicine to help revive heart attack patients; you will be using it to “jump start” your zombie’s metabolism. It is also a hallucinogen, as is scopolamine, though not quite as potent. Scopolamine is a powerful hallucinogen, but has other important properties, most notably causing amnesia and long-term memory loss, causing your victim to forget most of the details of his or her past. It also makes your subject extremely suggestible (hence its use by many bad people as a “date-rape drug” and experiments by the CIA for use as a truth serum).

    Psychologically damaged by the experience of being paralyzed for days and buried alive, hallucinating badly much of the time, and then administered high doses of further mind-altering substances, your subject will now be completely zombified — a zombie worker completely obedient to your commands. The uses of a zombie are numerous: pick up dry cleaning, write your division’s quarterly earnings report, harvest your sugar cane, attack your co-workers — the possibilities are endless. Periodic administrations of the zombie cucumber may be necessary; use your own judgment. Remember not to feed it any salt or the spell will be broken, and while ex-zombie attacks on their former masters are rare, they are not unheard of. Also, you’d probably do best to keep it away from renowned zombie-fighting troubadour Jonathan Coulton.

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    Good luck, and happy Halloween!

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    Last Updated on March 31, 2020

    Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

    Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

    Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

    Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

    There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

    Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

    Why We Procrastinate After All?

    We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

    Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

    Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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    To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

    If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

    Is Procrastination Bad?

    Yes it is.

    Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

    Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

    Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

    It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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    The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

    Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

    For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

    A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

    Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

    Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

    How Bad Procrastination Can Be

    Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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    After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

    One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

    That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

    Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

    In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

    You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

    More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article: 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

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    Procrastination, a Technical Failure

    Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

    It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

    It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

    Learn more about how to fix your procrastination problem here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

    Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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