Overheard on CNN.com: This is your braaaaaaiiiins on zombies
In "The Zombie Autopsies," Dr. Steven Schlozman imagines a virus that strips the brain down to its basest levels.
April 25th, 2011
08:13 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: This is your braaaaaaiiiins on zombies

If and when a zombie apocalypse ever does come to pass, rest assured: Tons and tons of your fellow living humans already have a plan in mind.

Today's comment of the day comes from Stejo, who addressed the political implications of the zombie brain: "For those of you thinking you'll browse the comments, I'll save you some time: Right: 'Democrats are zombies.' Left: 'Republicans/Tea Party members are zombies.' Serious Scientists: 'This article is full of errors.' Sci-Fi Fans: 'Lighten up, Serious Scientist.' I think that pretty much sums it up. I hope I've saved you some valuable time."

Between a blissfully geeky story about the undead and Friday's article on Mac and PC users' stereotypes, we saw a major revenge of the nerds on CNN.com in the best possible way. We also received lots of thoughtful postings on airline overbooking. Our readers are churning many ideas on how to improve the airlines' workflow. Read on and check out what they had to say.

Inside zombie brains: Sci-fi teaches science

The new novel "The Zombie Autopsies" includes an apocalyptic scenario in which an airborne virus is rapidly turning people into zombies and wiping out humanity. Writer Dr. Steven Schlozman says the undead are a great way to explore real-world health issues, and commenters jumped at the chance to have a big ol' Internet-powered chat about zombies. Most seemed eager to have found people who think like them.

Maybe HolyMoley summed up the response best: "You know what is beautiful about this story and all these posts? I have just discovered I am not alone in my obsession about a pending zombie apocalypse."

Others found odd solace in this world. thinctanc wrote, "I think a world of 7 billion flesh-and-blood, living, thinking, scheming, warring, fearful, and ignorant human beings is infinitely more frightening and compelling than a zombie apocalypse. We're living in one or the other. Not really sure which."

Still others made jokes. lonewolf4001 said, "Trick story, you don't need to know how their brains work when they're splattered on your front door." psjdad wrote, "I'm not worried, Dwight Schrute says the most effective and satisfying way to kill a zombie is to just stab them in the brain with a wooden stick. Can do."

Interestingly, many characterized themselves or their co-workers as possible undead. lenswife noted, "I feel like a zombie...here at work. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" The most popular comment came from geekanator, who wrote, "7 zombie kills gets you a harrier so we shall do fine."

Getting bumped gets more lucrative

Columnist Brett Snyder's article about changes to airlines' "getting bumped" policies got people talking about possible fare increases that may come as a result, as well as the practice of overbooking flights. Commenters seemed divided on whether overbooking is a good idea; compelling arguments came from both sides.

ImRarelyNice wrote, "If I purchase a ticket to the movies or the theater and I don't show up, the seat remains empty and the show goes on. The same thing should apply to a flight. Airlines and doctor's offices seem to be getting away with overbooking in the name of greed and getting away with it."

GramPam asked, "Why not just start penalizong the people who make reservations and then don't show up? Seems simple enough."

But NoBaggerHere suggested, "Why penalize them? If they paid for the flight, what difference does it make if the seat is empty? In fact the airline will save 2 minutes and 17 cents for peanuts and that partial can of Coke by not having to serve the absent person."

Codepwned asserted, "I have a better idea. Lets stop the no-shows. Tickets are non-refundable at 7 days prior to flight and can only be exchanged for their face value. If you don't show up for your flight you lose your money. Wow... simple concept here."

jschmurr suggested, "For those of you saying 'just make tickets unrefundable': you are ignoring one of the largest reasons that people miss flights: because they are scheduled to make a connection from a different flight that ends up arriving late. You wouldn't be too happy if your plane arrived too late to make your connecting flight and yet you had to buy a fresh ticket!"

NKTC2121 said, "Its greedy to not be wasteful? Empty seats on the plane waste a commodity and valuable resources. Not profiting from the opportunity only increases the cost to those that use the service."

Mac vs. PC: The stereotypes may be true

An innocent story Friday about Mac and PC user stereotypes got more than 5,000 fiery/nerdy responses. (We say that with love.) The commenting battle continues in this story published today in CNN's Tech section.

Perhaps not surprisingly, C130Vet generated hundreds of likes and responses with this provocative gem: "Trying to do anything with a Mac is like having sex with all your clothes on. They're for people who don't know anything about computers and don't want to. My homebuilt PC is like an F-22 Raptor compared to a Mac Piper Cub."

randumbguy said, "The PC guy also looks like someone who does what he's told, will never advance beyond lower echelons of middle level management, and the most creative thing that will ever come from him is chosing something other than Times New Roman as a font; a solid team anchor. The kind of guy who will keep your team from going anywhere! The Mac guy will try to change the world - he may fail, but he'll try." AmericanSam said, "I'm a Mac user and I use it because it's better and more reliable than a PC in my experience, especially with the recording I do. I may use a Mac, but I don't treat PC users like jerks."

Can't we all just get along? Many played to the center. mista123 said, "I use both ... Macs and PCs (which ive built) ... each one has their advantages and disadvantages ... people should step up and recognize this instead of blindly bashing each other."

An interesting thread emerged about who wears the suits in this pantheon. Josef72 said, "The thing I've always taken away from these ads is that the PC guy looks like he has a job and pays his taxes an the Mac guy looks the sort who would crash on your sofa for a week without paying rent, drink all your good beer, and make fun of your taste in music." p0st3r then said, "Nah, he looks more like one of those startup Internet billionaires. where they have pool tables and video games all over their office before their startup crashes and burns and they're back to working at Starbucks."

And sleepytime noted, "The thing I take away from Josef72's comment is that he doesn't understand that not all jobs require one to a wear a suit." GeneralTso replied, "But you can't deny that the vast majority of high-paying jobs require a nice suit. Sure there might be millionaire and billionaires whose job doesn't require wearing a suit per se, eg. Steve Jobs, but it's the exception rather than the rule."

tecsavvy noted, "I'm sick of hearing all these MAC vs PC flame wars. The cold hard fact is a MAC *IS* A PC! 'PC' is an acronym for Personal Computer and has absolutely no bearing on what brand or operating system it uses. When I started working on 'IBM-compatible' computers back in the 80s, the MAC was a glorified calculator with a 9" green monochrome screen. It's all about the software, and lack there of for the MAC that is the reason I use a Windows machine. If all you Mac trolls want to start an intelligent argument, start referring to Mac vs. Windows or Apple vs. Microsoft since that is what it is all actually about."

Editor's note: Some comments edited for length and clarity.

soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. drap

    'MORE BRAINS... .'

    April 25, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • celi1994

      mis510proj.eller.arizona.edu mis510proj :: ALERRAS

      April 26, 2011 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. Resident Evil

    Is that you.. Wesker?

    April 25, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mmmmm

    Best zombieland rule: Rule #2 Double Tap

    April 25, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big Paulie

      Why stop there? Go for a 'Mozambique Drill.' Two shots center-mass (read: chest), followed by one shot to the head if the target hasn't been incapacitated already. Actually, with zombies aren't you supposed to destroy the brain stem? Go ahead and put all 3 shots to the head. Aim for the teeth and you'll knock the brain stem out easily.

      April 26, 2011 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Benny

      As much as I love the "Double Tap" theory, you must all remember that hitting a moving target the size of a small watermellon with a pistol is terribly difficult for the normal human. I'm partial to the 12 Gauge pump action shotgun with buck-shot. The pellets will give you a good spread with a long barrel at 30+ feet or you can go for short range "Splatter" effect by by cutting the end off the barrel. Please keep in mind that if you cut the end off the barrel you HAVE to ensure there is no deformity in the end. We want to kill the zombie horde, not lose fingers and eyes.

      April 26, 2011 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  4. Zombie

    Sarah Palin for 2012!

    April 25, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • lizzy10

      Lol, lol !

      April 25, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rob Zombie

    would that make her the white zombie... .?

    April 25, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mmmmm

    ugly, horrible picture:

    Never let your computer cursor touch a zombie picture.

    April 25, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. macjones

    Marcia, i'm coming to get you......

    April 25, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. TvNYC

    CNN is dumb and it's columnists. Bunch of idiots. Think about what they are posting are you that bored. We all the world is going to end but let's be serious. Get a life!

    April 25, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      Get some grammar so we might better understand what you don't like.

      April 25, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrId

      You can bang on the hatch to my Y2K bunker all you want but you ain't coming in.

      April 26, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. Tea Party Member

    Stop shooting me in the &^#$@ head! I'm not a zombie!

    April 25, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Feek

      Ha! You can't fool me. A zombie WOULD say something like that to try to lull me into a false sense of security...

      April 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ken Rivera

    I think the zombie article was very interesting considering the fact that millions of people have been talking about a zombie outbreak every since Night of the Living Dead. To actually find this on the front page on CNN, that really got my interest. The truth of the matter is, if an outbreak were to take place, I think many of us who have "planned" on what to do, would probably be the first to die. It would happen out of nowhere and by the time we figured out what was going on, it would most likely be too late.

    April 25, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • RangerUSArmy

      LMAO!!!!! Very good @ Ken Rivera....I needed that laugh. Funny when you think you've planned all your days for something to happen, and you don't make it through the first day. LOL......

      April 25, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheNumber

      @Ken Rivera – so true. The more likely scenario is that a natural or man-made disaster will hit and those who have prepared for the zombie apocalypse will survive. "... and the geeks shall inherit the earth"

      April 26, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • DedTV

      Cracked had it right, a true walking dead Zombie apocalypse won't happen anytime soon without alien or demonic intervention. In which case, I'd be more worried about the aliens and demons.
      Zombies would be eaten to the skeleton by bacteria, maggots and other insects in just a few weeks. Attacks by carrion eaters like vultures and coyotes would accelerate the process. And incidental damage would very quickly add up to accelerated decomposition through open cuts in the skin since they would never heal or without injury, their stomach cavity would swell up and explode like a ripe melon which would really speed up the process.
      Most zombies would lose the muscle mass needed to move any major joints within a week or two and would no longer be much of threat.
      And since zombies don't have most of the functionality of the termoregulation system upon reaching a state of reanimation, any place cold enough to halt bacteria growth and putrefaction would quickly freeze the zombie stiff and harmless. Such zombies wouldn't be a danger to anyone until a thaw and would be easy prey for predators. And if they did thaw, much of them would fall off from frost bite and whatever remains would quickly decompose.
      Neither man nor microorganisms have the technical ability to stop those processes and yet keep the living dead walking. Thus it would require the aforementioned aliens or mystical forces to make it happen.

      And if the scenario was like that in the book where the zombie disease is an easily spread infection that affects living humans and turns them into zombies, it's not as scary than something more akin to Steven King's "The Stand" where a hyper contagious and deadly flu virus somehow infects the general population. Mainly because a deadly virus just simply killing the entire population is *far* more likely than a virus that turns them into walking corpses where they'd only be a problem for the survivors until decomp eliminates the majority of that threat. Fellow living survivors and surviving in the remains of civilization would be the far bigger threat and far scarier that some walking dead meat.

      April 26, 2011 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
  11. TvNYC

    Enjoy the last days... Go Obama for 2012. Sarah palin is a ditz God forbid her running this country. Give Obama a break he's doing all he can, think about the state this country was after George Bush. Couple of people I dislike in this world... Hannity, Bill O'reilly, Sarah Palin, and of course mayor of NYC Bloomberg! These people all make me sick!

    April 25, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. TvNYC

    Zombie outbreak lol? Impossible!!!! You guys are a bunch of low IQ stupid Americans including CNN editors!

    April 25, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sarcasm 101

    Hello TvNYC,how ya doin?

    April 25, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TvNYC

    Sarcasm not bad, a little overworked, and yourself?

    April 25, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sarcasm 101

    thats ok,we all get a bit overtaxed at times.

    April 25, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
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