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Lyle Zapato

The New Harvest Begins

Lyle Zapato | 2005-07-10.1530 LMT | Food | Technology

"Paper Says Edible Meat Can be Grown in a Lab on Industrial Scale"

The above article is about a research paper discussing the possibility of "cultured meat" as a solution to various problems with the current meat production paradigm. One of the paper's authors has started an organization called New Harvest:

New Harvest is a nonprofit research organization working to develop new meat substitutes, including cultured meat -- meat produced in vitro, in a cell culture, rather than from an animal.

Wide-scale production and sale of cultured meat products through stores is an interesting proposition, if mildly disturbing to some, but the greater potential for creepiness lies in home meat makers, which the article says the paper suggests "may one day sit next to bread makers on the kitchen counter." Presumably these would work by placing a tissue sample and raw nutrients in the machine, turning a knob to "culture", and waiting while the ready-to-grill patties grow. Consumers would probably purchase tissue-nutrient cartridges at the grocery store, but, apart from the possibility of DRM (DNA Rights Management) technology, there would be nothing stopping users from simply saving some of the uneaten meat to be recultured or using alternate sources of tissue.

And what sort of alternate sources will people use? At first they'll try getting samples from unusual or endangered animals. After all, who wouldn't want to try delicacies like California condor nuggets or porpoiseburgers? But getting those samples might prove expensive or legally questionable and home meatgrowers will quickly try other more ready sources, most obviously family pets. (There will be economic incentives to try this: why buy expensive pet food when you can feed Fluffy on himself?)

Eventually though -- and probably sooner than later (and probably as soon as meat makers are available [and certainly since I am about to express the idea as soon as this nested digression ends]) -- someone will hit on the idea of harvesting a tissue sample from themself, just to see what human meat taste like. (The New Harvest site seems to be subliminally promoting this idea, as one of their header images features a woman gnawing on her own hand.)

The moral and ethical questions raised will be murky. Traditionally, those who oppose cannibalism could justify their position on the solid ground that human meat would always be the result of either murder or some sort of desecration of someone's remains. However, those arguments either don't apply to selfcultured meat or the application would be tortuous and unconvincing to many. Libertarian pro-cannibalists will argue for the individuals' right to eat themselves while various health gurus will tout the nutritious value of selfmeat, which contains all that your body needs since it's made of the same stuff. This sort of cannibalism will become, if not generally accepted, then at least tolerated, with prohibition seen as unenforceable.

It's not much of a leap from self-cannibalism to offering your meat to dinner guests, and once people acquire a taste for other people, this can only lead to one thing: celebrity cannibalism.

C-level celebrities, unable to make any money in the crowded reality TV market, will turn to peddling their own flesh to pop-culture-obsessed gourmands. I think it's safe to augur that Kenny Rogers Roasters will start serving actual roasted Kenny Rogers and that an all-in-one George Foreman Grill/Meat Maker will let you grill up some George Foreman.

This turn of events will darken as unauthorized celebrity tissue samples find their way into the meat market. Big-name celebrities will be targeted, with stalkers and opportunists trying to steal medical biopsies from doctors or even samples directly from the source. In this black market of celebflesh, counterfeiters will flourish, leaving many celebrities torn between feeling violated by meat pirates and offended by being falsely portrayed as too stringy.

In time, these celebrities may find it wise to give into fan demands by offering up their officially licensed flesh as a gourmet alternative -- think "Newman's Own Meat". Increased pressure to perform gastronomically will lead to scandal over the common usage of "meat-synching" by celebrities of subpar flavor. There may even emerge a new kind of celebrity who's known only for how good he or she tastes, resulting in a generation of kids whose highest ambition in life is to be considered delicious.

Finally, the ultimate form of celebrity cannibalism may come from the Catholic Church. Using DNA lifted from the Shroud of Turin combined with cells from a donor, the blood and flesh of Christ may once and for all be substantiated without the need for wine and cracker intermediaries.

Update 2009-03-14: And it begins with George Clooney flavored tofu...

Radical Sasquatch

HOWL: SASQUATCH ARE NOT HAPPY CAMPERS!!!

Radical Sasquatch | 2005-07-01.6300 LMT | Sasquatch Issues

HUMANS ARE STALKING US AGAIN!!!

Here is a press release from Great American Bigfoot Research Organization -- GABRO!!! -- a Human group dedicated to harassing and spying on Sasquatch:

"Bigfoot -- Imminent Capture Anticipated"

C. Thomas Biscardi, Human leader of GABRO!!!, is stalking Sasquatch in southern Cascadia at a place called "Happy Camp" in Human squeak! This is the same Human who sold unauthorized video of a Weeketow Hominoid in Manitoba to salacious Human television squeakshow A Current Affair!

Now Biscardi's team of sicko, foot-obsessive, cryptozoological perverts is planning on cornering a Sasquatch in a cavernous area of Happy Camp! He wants to capture one of us to parade in front of Swedish paparazzi and subject to medical experiments by evil Human Dr. George W. Gill -- A.K.A. DR. FOOTSTEALER!!!

SASQUATCH OF KLAMATH FORESTS, HEED MY HOWL: Avoid the Humans of Happy Camp! Do not be tricked by their Bigfoot Jamboree -- IT'S A TRAP!!! They do not want to honor you or offer their teenage females to you as "Bigfoot Queens"... they want to capture you, learn all your secrets, then SELL YOU TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER!!!

To Humans, I howl this: YOU WILL NEVER TAKE US ALIVE!!! By this I mean WE WILL STOMP YOU TO DEATH!!!

Lyle Zapato

Protection Against Spray Attack

Lyle Zapato | 2005-06-29.2480 LMT | Random Found Thing | Black Helicopters | Retro
Pin-up girl in gas mask and plastic bag attacking gas-spraying Japanese zero with a rifle - 'Protection Against Spray Attack'

Little Known Secret Weapons of WWII: An elite contingent of the USO made up of specially equipped pin-up girls was created in order to protect Iowa from miniature Imperial Japanese poison-gas fighters -- primitive forerunners of modern black helicopters.

UPDATE: More details about this image and what happened to the modeled spray-attack-bags after the war...

Lyle Zapato

Backyard Aluminum Foundry

Lyle Zapato | 2005-06-28.3220 LMT | Aluminum

Darus' Coffee Can Foundry Mark II can produce ingots of aluminum on the cheap from miscellaneous scraps. Useful for serious paranoids looking to cast aluminum helmets or experimenting with homebrew psychotron cores.

(via hack a day)

Lyle Zapato

The Brussels Beast... It Grows

Lyle Zapato | 2005-06-24.1200 LMT | Belgian Conspiracy | NWO | General Paranoia

As has been widely reported, the US DOD is creating a database of students, ostensibly as a means to aid in effective recruitment. While the Pentagon has collected the data itself, processing will be subcontracted to a private database marketing firm.

Their name? BeNOW.

Do I even need to explain this one? As you should be aware, "Be" is the official brandmeme of the Belgian Conspiracy -- designed to hijack the psycholinguistic receptors for the concept of existence in the minds of English speakers -- and "NOW" is clearly an anagram of "NWO". (Also, check out the logo for BeNOW's "MVP Technology," what they call the giant computer they use to calculate all there is to know about you. Look familiar?)

Obviously this shadowy company -- whose website is short on details and long on generic marketeering buzzbabble -- is just a poorly concealed front for the Belgian Conspiracy in their scheme to transform everyone into Belgian citizens through a process of identity subversion (see my post on Belgian Identity Theft for more on this process).

They will now have access to name, gender, address, birthday, Social Security number, email address, ethnicity, telephone number, graduation dates, grade-point average, education level, military test scores, and who knows what else for all students aged 16 and older in the US. Cross-referenced with data collected by their business partner DoubleClick, that's more than enough information with which to subvert identities and turn an entire generation into Belgians.

The Monorailist

Movie Review: Batman Begins

The Monorailist | 2005-06-18.8290 LMT | Entertainment | Monorail Danger

Batman Begins isn't so much a Hollywood summer blockbuster as a Hate Crime against the Future.

[SPOILERS]

The first act seemed innocent enough. We are thrust into the story of Bruce Wayne's tumble into the dark cave of fear and hate -- precipitated respectively by a traumatic childhood bat-attack and his guilt over his parents' murder by a mugger that resulted from his chiropteran fears. It begins, without so much as opening credits, in the midst of his Dantean trip into the underworld of crime, searching for the Ways of Wrongdoers and the means to stop them, and leads to his fiery rebirth from the Himalayan hideout of the League of Shadows as a Dark Avenger against Crime.


Batman costume ironically on display in the Sky Church in the EMP, through which the Monorail traverses.

But all this Sturm und Drang is just a façade, cobbled together from well-tread comicbook plots and backstory outlines, for director Christopher Nolan's real agenda: anti-monorail agitprop.

The gleaming monorail system that runs through Gotham in Bruce Wayne's childhood flashbacks -- made stereotypically retro in design by the art director to suggest it belongs to a future passed -- is at the center of both the city -- its rails spoke out from the hub of Wayne Tower -- and the film. It is showcased during a pivotal scene in which Bruce's father explains to him the troubles of Gotham. We learn that the monorail was built by him as a symbol of Hope and Unity for a city faltering on the verge of Poverty and Despair. This portentous scene takes place during a Wayne family trip to the opera that will result in the parental deaths at the heart of the Batman mythos. Here we see the monorail as grim Charon, ferrying the Waynes to their doom.

Years later, after Bruce Wayne's return to Gotham as the Batman, the monorail has become a symbol of degradation, covered in graffiti and sparsely occupied by muggers and Mafia hitmen. The propaganda message here is clear: Monorails are a False Hope and city planners would do well to reject them as a means to Urban Renewal.

But this isn't the final depth to which Nolan's propaganda will sink.

We eventually learn that the monorail is to become a tool of the League of Shadows, lead by immortal archvillain Ra's Al Ghul, to destroy Gotham by using it as a transport for a microwave weapon that will vaporize the water in the pipes that run beneath the monorail line, unleashing the fear-inducing psychotropic drug that the League has surreptitiously poisoned Gotham's water supply with, thereby hurling the city into chaos. So in the end, the plot is this: Only by destroying the monorail can Gotham be saved. If we were to believe the filmmakers, monorails attract terrorists and ninjas, lead to Madness, and need to be demolished for any hope of Salvation.

(I think it's fair to say that the anti-monorail motives of the filmmakers were shaped by their love of SUVs, as evidenced by the worshipful portrayal of the tank-like Batmobile. Upon seeing the Batmobile, Police Sergeant Gordon enthuses: "I got to get me one of these!" He later goes on to use the Batmobile to blow up the monorail. Not exactly subtle.)

As further evidence that the whole film was thrown together for the sole purpose of attacking monorails, consider the poorly thought-out doomsday scheme of the League of Shadows. If the microwave weapon were capable of vaporizing the Gotham City water supply, why did it not also vaporize the aqueous portions of the Gothamites? Why did the eyeballs of those in the Narrows not explode when their vitreous liquid was made gaseous by the microwaves? The only possibly explanation -- apart from an abject lack of understanding of Science on the part of the writers well beyond the norm for even the most curmudgeonly Ludditic anti-monorailist -- is that the filmmakers started with the idea that the monorail was to be destroyed and only later came up with a slapdash reason why. Their limited imaginations, typical of those who dismiss monorails, were simply not up to the task.

As I left the IMAX theater at the Pacific Science Center and took the Seattle Monorail back to my apartment, I was left shaking my head in befuddlement as to why a prestigious Center of Science would agree to show such an unscientific, hateful film so out of touch with the self-evident wonders of the Monorail so near to them. Is not the goal of Science a truer understanding of our World for the Embetterment of Mankind? How is that goal served by attacking what is not only the most significant discovery of Modern Science -- the Principle of Monorailular Transit -- but also the only means of lifting Humanity up out of its congestion, both traffic and moral, and into the sky so that we may ride swiftly and confidently into our Destined Future? It is not served at all by that, I say! Rest assured that I will be writing a strongly worded letter of complaint to the Science Center's Ombudsman.

As for Batman Begins, on a railular scale from one to five (one being a Supreme Achievement of the Human Soul and a Shining Beacon of Hope for our Children, five being Ignominious Refuse for the Junkpile of History), I give it four rails.

Lyle Zapato

GPM #14: Hug A Tree & Jerry The Moose

Lyle Zapato | 2005-06-14.6470 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (aka the Mounties) have a suggestion for kids lost in the forest:

Hug-a-Tree and Survive!

The tree GPM on their logo doesn't have a name that I can find, but he does have a strategically placed maple leaf... which the kids seem to be reaching for... which he seems a little too happy about...

OK. I think the Mounties are hinting at who, or rather what, they turn to to ease the loneliness of stoically riding around the vast Canadian wilderness all day. Moving quickly along...

If hugging a tree is too creepy, Jerry the Moose (from the North Cascadian prefecture of British Columbia's Ministry of Water, Land, and Air Protection,) has an alternate suggestion:


Make yourself BIG when lost!

Searchers will easily spot you if you're taller than the tree tops, so find a clearing and will yourself to grow. You can do it!

If however you're one of those few abnormal kids who are always picked on by their peers since they lack rapid-grow abilities, remember to bring along an orange garbage bag and a whistle. When lost, put the bag over your head and while away the time waiting to be rescued by pretending to be a whistling orange ghost (just be sure to put a hole in the bag to breathe or you'll end up an actual ghost).

Radical Sasquatch

HOWL: HUMAN ARTIST STALKING US!!!

Radical Sasquatch | 2005-06-13.5800 LMT | Sasquatch Issues | Art

Human artist Jill Miller is stalking Sasquatch in the forests of Southern Cascadia!! She claims it is "performance art" and calls it "Waiting for Bigfoot"!! -- WHY ARE HUMANS ALWAYS OBSESSED WITH OUR FEET?!! Is it because theirs are so puny?! -- She will be putting spy cameras around the forest that will send live pictures of Sasquatch to Norwich Gallery in Human city of San Francisco where effete, black-turtleneck-wearing Humans will treat unsuspecting Sasquatch as texts to be read all the while fantasizing about our feet!! THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!!!

Perverted Human artists must justify their "performance art" to councils of elder Humans in order to get continued supplies of Human feed that they are unwilling to gather on their own... LISTEN TO THE HUMAN'S ARTSY FARTSY SQUEEKINGS:

Miller postulates that Bigfoot is a metaphor for the natural human desire for mystery and the unknown. In an age that is hallmarked by scientific investigation, Western societies are occupied with the desire to know everything, such as determining how to stop the aging process, or defining which compounds comprise the surface of Mars. Scientific instruments are finely tuned to both our macro and microcosms. Carl Jung explains in Psychology and the Occult that despite the age of materialism and rationalistic enlightenment in Western societies, intense scientific and public interest in ESP, spirits, and invisible forces flourish. Scientific inquiry, in a pure academic approach, does not refute the unknown, but opens doors to pursuing it. Artist Jill Miller is interested in peeling back the layers of fear, irony, and pop culture that surround Bigfoot and creating a space that will generate larger questions of belief and inquiry.

I AM NOT A METAPHOR!!! What does any of that have to do with putting spy cameras in our forests?! Why don't Humans learn to make real art, like MOSS SCULPTURES, BARK MOSAICS, or PINECONE MOBILES?! THOSE LOOK NICE AND EVERYONE CAN ENJOY THEM!!!

Maybe I should make my own "performance art" by going to Norwich Gallery and pummelling it to the ground with boulders!! I will call my work: "HUMANS ARE A METAPHOR FOR PUMMELED MEAT!!!"

Lyle Zapato

Made In Belgium

Lyle Zapato | 2005-06-08.3300 LMT | Belgian Conspiracy | NWO | Paraterrestrials

Grouse! makes a sinister discovery in the drug paraphernalia aisles of Australia: "Tally Ho Exposed".

Of course, "made in Belgium" is an impossibility since a country that does not exist cannot be home to manufacturing facilities. So why is the Belgian Conspiracy trying to trick hapless Australian smokers?

Most likely this is just part of their wider campaign to promote Belgian superiority. By saying that Belgian-made rolling papers are "Australia's Finest", Australians are being told that the best they can ever hope for is to adopt all things Belgian. It also wouldn't be beneath the Conspiracy to enhance that message through psychotropical doping of the papers, much like they do with "Belgian" beer (which, incidentally, they have been promoting in Australia for years through Belgian re-education & "recruitment" centers run by the shadowy Belgian organization Interbrew).

While this is typical Belgian sneakery and not the least bit surprising, doing some more research I made a truly startling discovery. Searching for "made in Belgium" brought up this site: MadeInBelgium.be, which turns out to be an arm of MIB.be. That's right... Belgian foreign trade is really a front for the Men In Black!

Or perhaps it's the other way around. Some have theorized that MIB agents are really Simulacra androids (as evidenced by their monotone speech, synchronized movements, smooth skin, and ability to cloud people's mind as if they had built-in psychotrons). Simulacra are built by Imagineers working for Disney Corp and the Belgian Conspiracy hosts it's Belgium Simulation and Citizen Pod complex under a Disney Corp installation. Could it be that the Conspiracy are the ones manufacturing and operating these particular Simulacra out of their Eurodisneyland base? That the Men in Black really are, in a sense, made in Belgium? Maybe even the commonly used name "Men in Black" was a back-formation from the acronym "MIB" (used similarly to the "GI" acronym for soldiers) seen stamped on their Belgian-made bodies, which one of their victims mistook as a more literal description.

But then why are the Belgians interested in covering up Paraterestrial activities? Are they simply being contracted by higher factions in the NWO with ties to the Reticulans or is there something else going on? And what is the connection with the false reports of UFOs in Belgium which were perpetrated by the Conspiracy?

Clearly more research is needed. Stay tuned for further discoveries. In the mean time, don't smoke anything!

Kofi Annan

UN Food Force

Kofi Annan | 2005-06-05.0110 LMT | Entertainment | Food

Teh Food Force!!!

Yo, Kofi here! My dawgs at the UN came up with this kickass game called WFP Food Force! GO FOOD FORCE!!! It's like totally educational and sooo much better than that American Army game!

I pwnd those starvin Sheylaneseian fugees! Eat UN energy pacs!!! And local rebel forces got nothin on my mad 'gotiatin skillz! loooool!!!

My player name is kofi_hotness38... see if u can beat my score! (It's not much, but I gots the UN to run and I can only play for a couple hours a day... but this summer I'm gonna totally take first place away from password300 of China! W00T!!!)