Junior Mad Scientist – Lab Notes

Tools for the Zombie Apocolypse

October 6th, 2010 by Weber


Found this beauty while researching USMC bolo machetes for a little project that’s in the works.

You’re looking at the Condor CT-5 — a 22-inch machete cut from 1095 spring steel. (The good stuff, or so I read.) Figure in the full tang and overall length is 27.5 inches. Just the kind of quality instrument one best have when dealing with the undead. Or heavy jungle. Or Whatever.

My 6-year old was next to me while I was looking these over so, naturally, I had to explain what a machete was, how it was different from a sword, and why I wanted one.

The wife tells me, “You don’t need a machete.”

The kid tells her, “Sure he does!”

That’s my girl . . .

Also found something called a bush cutlass, which looks like a cavalry saber for ninjas. The knuckle guard is nice . . . so is the point. Good for getting at the brain through the eye socket. But will the narrow blade hold up against zombie skulls?

Guess there’s only one way to find out.

Look for more edged weapons and other survival gear here:


Just click the image and you’ll zip right over.

Posted in Gadgets and Toys, Zombies | Comments Off on Tools for the Zombie Apocolypse

Got my mime on my money & my money on my mime

October 4th, 2010 by Weber


Tried posting this seemingly simple question over on Yahoo!’s “Group Of The Living Dead,” a few weeks ago but it’s never appeared. So what, right? Their loss. Anyway, here it is:

If a mime became a zombie, would it moan at the living?


Posted in Weridness, Zombies | 2 Comments »

Night of the Living Trekkies — book review

September 7th, 2010 by Weber

“I’m dead, Jim.”

Today’s the 7th, so I can officially unleash my review. Read on. Contest details at the bottom.

Night of the Living Trekkies is a fluffy book, like popcorn or cotton candy, or a tribble, I suppose. There are no real surprises here. It is good, old-fashioned comfort reading.

The story has the rhythm of any modern zombie film, keeps all the necessary beats. But instead of a rag-tag group of strangers desperate to save their individual skins, this is a rag-tag group of sci-fi geeks applying the Star Trek philosophy of “a better world though friendly cooperation” to their survival. And it works, for the most part. There are also a handful of the usual narrative standards: Reluctant Hero Rises to his Destiny, Saves His Friends, Defeats the Enemy and Gets The Girl. We know they’re going to get out of this; it’s just a matter of how.

The guys who wrote Night of the Living Trekkies certainly did their homework. Trek references and inside jokes abound, especially in the first seventy-or-so pages of set-up. And keeping with Star Trek’s overall target audience, NotLT seems to have been penned for a PG-13 crowd. The zombie action is light and, keeping with the property’s sci-fi trappings, the weapons of choice tend toward Tasers and blades. Guns are used, though sparingly.

While the story skates to the beat and rhythm of a zombie movie, the overall story traces a parabola consistent with any of the Star Trek shows and/or films and nearly all the right people are alive by the end. The chapters are short, the action is fast, the writing is serviceable — all work to keep the pages flipping. (I finished it in about five hours and I’m a slow reader.) The characters are generally likable, even the Jerk who eventually devolves into The Bad Guy. But even so, he is not despicable. There is a wide line between being an ass and being evil, and in this book, that line never gets crossed.

Night of the Living Trekkies has plenty of enemies in it, but no real Villain, which may be this tale’s missing ingredient. The zombies have no motive other than to consume and infect. They are simply the Enemy. The Jerk who turns into the Bad Guy does so mainly because he is infected and taken over by the thing creating the zombies. The one guy who might serve as a Villain is explained too late for him to have been effective and a lot of air is let out of his balloon when it’s realized he’s not in control of his own actions, anyway.

The story wraps up nice & tidy, all loose ends cut or cauterized, with the Hero and his pals facing a Bright Though Uncertain Future. They are us and we are them. The same could be said for the zombies. But this is, after all, a Star Trek story.

So — time to apply my patented evaluation device, ““The Three Best Things Anybody Can Ever Say About Any Book”:

Was it worthy of the time I spent reading it? — Oddly, yes. Like I said, the pages turned quickly and I was entertained for pretty much the entire story.
Would I pay full cover price, including applicable sales taxes? — For myself, no. If I was buying it as a gift, sure.
Would I give this book as a gift? — Yes.


Books are books and should be given freely. Share a book and share yourself.

Or something like that.

So, rather than make my faithful readers do anything untoward, I figure to just give the book/poster combos to the first two who comment on this post.

Don’t put your address in the comments! I’ll get back to you via email and work out how to get you the goods.

Good luck and thanks for reading.

Posted in Book Reviews, Zombies | 3 Comments »

Night of the Living Trekkies

September 3rd, 2010 by Weber


Yep, it’s here and that’s the cover. I’ve already finished the book but can’t say anything about it until September 7th.

What I can tell you is that I have two FREE copies of the book and two FREE posters of the cover for lucky JuniorMadScientist.com readers. One of the books is brand-new-never-been-read and the other has my eye prints all over it. I have to figure out some kind of contest because I can’t just give these things away. That’s too much like crazy. Winners will each get a book and a poster.

(Don’t get me wrong — anyone reading this site is already a winner. Good for you! It’s just that some people will be more winning-er than others.)

Meanwhile, slip on over to the official Night of the Living Trekkies Facebook page. Rumor has it that you can chat with the authors and get updates, etc. Everyone who joins the Night of the Living Trekkies Facebook page will automatically be entered in a contest to win a Quirk Books prize package:

Grand prize:
Human-loving Tribbles, unofficial Trekkies T-Shirt, and a signed copy of the book

Two runners-up:
Unofficial Trekkies T-Shirt

(I’d sure like one of those t-shirts . . . .)

Stay tuned for the review!

Posted in Book Reviews, Zombies | 6 Comments »

Zombie crosswords and word finds

April 22nd, 2010 by Weber


Try to imagine your surprise that I belong to Yahoo!’s Group Of The Living Dead.

Jan Kozlowski is a fellow group member, writer, and compulsive creative type. Over at her site, she’s posted two new bits of zombie fun: a crossword puzzle and a word search.

Check ’em out here.

Posted in Gadgets and Toys, Kid's Stuff, Weridness, Zombies | Comments Off on Zombie crosswords and word finds

Night of the Living Trekkies

April 21st, 2010 by Weber

A little something I snagged from the nice Quirk Books people at C2E2. The card pretty much says it all:


click thumbnail for full description
(click thumbnail for full description.)

This will be in stores sometime in September. I might be getting an advance copy for review. Maybe. Still not sure on that one. I’ll let you know if/when it hits the doorstep.

Posted in Book Reviews, Zombies | 1 Comment »

Zombie Fighter Tops 1200 Reads

April 1st, 2010 by Weber


In February last year, I posted my story, “Maxfield Perish: Zombie Fighter” over at writer’s forum at ZombieFriends.com. As of today, the read count is at 1224 — more than twice that of the next most-popular entry, “the undead in mythology then and now”, which is also well worth your time.

Thanks to all the friends, zombie and otherwise, who’ve taken the time to read “Maxfield Perish”. Keep spreading the word!


(UPDATE 06 FEB 0212:  Looks like the ZombieFriends site is suffering from some kind of personality disorder. The last few times I’ve been there to check the story’s stats, the FORUM has been unavailable and the site just hangs trying to load. So forget it. If you want to read, or re-read the story, you can get the .pdf from the STORIES tab or just click here. )

Posted in Stories, Zombies | Comments Off on Zombie Fighter Tops 1200 Reads

Speaking of Zombies . . .

March 3rd, 2009 by Weber


Can’t wait for this to hit the doorstep. Here’s the product description straight from the Amazon page:

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” features the original text of Jane Austen’s beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone crunching zombie action.

Originally slated for a mid-year release, the pub date was moved up to April 2009 after P&P&Z became an Internet darling while being displayed at the New York Comic Con.

According to Quirk Book‘s official press release:

Interview requests for the living author, Seth Grahame-Smith, have been pouring in along with requests for review copies. The Zombie Readiness Brigade from the University of Chicago even emailed to ask if Seth would visit and speak to their group. Jane Austen remains unavailable for media.

GalleyCat has a nice minute-thirty video of editor Jason Rekulak talking about the buzz.


Posted in Zombies | Comments Off on Speaking of Zombies . . .

New Process Animates Night Of The Living Dead

March 3rd, 2009 by Weber

click to view detail

Over at LinkedIn‘s Illustrati group, a gentleman by the name of Christopher Panzner was asking for feedback on his new animation process. Basically, it takes rotoscoping (drawing over live-action performances) to a new level. The first feature getting the Re:Naissance treatment is none other than Romero’s original Night Of The Living Dead.

From Mr. Panzner’s Wikipedia entry: “For the first time ever in the 100-year history of animation, Re:Naissance is inverting the adaptation process by taking existing live-action films and faithfully reproducing them in animation, in a totally original graphic style unique to each film.”

While there’s no solid data on a release date, the Eye For Film site has a nice feature on it.

There are also some examples of the process on good ol’ YouTube. Well worth a look.


Posted in Movies, Zombies | Comments Off on New Process Animates Night Of The Living Dead

Zombie Fighter

February 26th, 2009 by Weber


Good news! Some new fiction by yours truly!

I just posted a short story over at ZombieFriends.com“Maxfield Perish: Zombie Fighter”

There were some technical difficulties creating a link directly to the story. That appears to be fixed, but in case you’re having issues, just click the Zomibe Friends link to get to the site. On their index banner, click FORUM, then scroll down to DO IT YOURSELF and hit WRITERS WORKSHOP. My story should be near the top under the user name Fagein Sarks.

*** special No Prize to the first person who replies with the correct origin of my zombie name! ***

WARNING: This story lives up to the site’s tag line: “Startling Stories for All Ages.”

Startling? Oh, yeah.

For All Ages? Not this time.

Just so you know, this ain’t for the kiddies. Or the squeamish, faint of heart, people with lower back problems, or pregnant women. Or kids. Did I mention that already? Definitely not for kids. If it was, I’d’ve posted it here in all it’s gory glory.

Read. Comment. Repeat.



P.S. — the Zombie Friends engine appears to edit out all the swear words, so you’ll have to kind of Mad-Lib it when you see a series of asterisks. Sorry.

(UPDATE 06 FEB 0212:  Looks like the ZombieFriends site is suffering from some kind of personality disorder. The last few times I’ve been there to check the story’s stats, the FORUM has been unavailable and the site just hangs trying to load. So forget it. If you want to read, or re-read the story, you can get the .pdf from the STORIES tab or just click here. )

Posted in Stories, Zombies | Comments Off on Zombie Fighter

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