Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Zombies and the second law of thermodynamics

Surely any first grader with a basic grasp of the laws of thermodynamics has wondered, upon viewing any one of a number of movies about zombies, "Is it my imagination, or do zombies really violate the second law of thermodynamics?"

For any of our younger readers, or those who have managed to survive without knowledge of the priciples of thermodynamics, I will summarize the second law thusly:

In any thermodynamic process, some energy is always lost to the environement and some entropy gained.

This is why no perpetual motion machine can ever be built and why I laughed so hard at the thought of an 8th grader trying to build one with magnets. Zombies seem to defy this. They are able to proceed from death to life and to move about with no end. "Well don't they eat brains?" you ask.

Even if they do, and then they leave the rest of the victim, he or she too will often become a brain seeking zombie. Very well. We are left to wonder how long the zombies can go without a piping hot bowl of cerebellum. If they die of starvation, our heroes could just wait them out. Perhaps they have low metabolisms, and can subsist for very long periods of time without some sweet, sweet skull-food. This is all well and good, but one wonders why they don't eventually turn on themselves. Surely the heart or lungs or other organs of nearby zombies, partially decayed as they are, could provide a quick pick-me-up, no?

We see none of this. We are left only to theorize that the best use of the zombie is on the treadmill. Yes, chained to the treadmill the zombie or zombiette could walk forever, as long as some baby or whathaveyou was dangled in front of them to keep them moving. Perhaps all the dead could be put to good use this way, forever powering a strong a vibrant nation to glory. Yes, if anyone ever unlocks the key to zombiehood, many great things will unfold for our nation. Zombies, the key to preventing heat death.