Posted in Psychology & Medicine


Clairvius Narcisse died in Haiti on May 2, 1962. In 1980, he returned to his hometown. Alive.
How did a man who was dead and buried come back to life?

According to Clairvius, he was cursed by a bokor (sorcerer) to become a zombie but returned home after the curse was undone. The sorcerer had enslaved him in a sugar plantation for 16 years and many others were working as “zombie slaves” until they revolted, killed the sorcerer then ran away.
Harvard ethnobotanist Wade Davis studied and investigated this case extensively. According to his research, most “zombies” were placed in suspended animation to fake death and were then (often after being buried) put under psychosis by the sorcerer. Many Haitians believe in the ancient African religion of voodoo, where one legend says that when a sorcerer curses a person, they are revived after death to become the sorcerer’s slave. Thus, Haitians strongly believe in the legend of zombies. In reality, the sorcerer was using drugs to zombify people and Davis used his expert knowledge in botany to deduce what the chemicals were.

The so-called zombie powder was a combination of tetrodotoxin (TTX, blowfish poison) and datura (from the poisonous plant Datura stramonium). The TTX simulates death due to its paralytic effect and datura is a powerful hallucinogenic that causes the person to confuse reality and fantasy (dissociation). Also, it may cause memory loss which allows the sorcerer to easily manipulate the victim. Long-term maintenance of the datura dose could allow the sorcerer to enslave someone for a long period of time. However, the zombification is not the same as perfect mind control and more like a strong hallucination or hypnosis (as seen as the above mentioned revolution).

As it involves the handling of poisons, only an experienced sorcerer could give the right mixture of doses while avoiding the lethal dose. Although science has advanced greatly, there are still many things we can learn from magic and sorcery. The reason being, magic and sorcery are simply undiscovered science.

Posted in Science & Nature

Schroedinger’s Cat

In 1935, Erwin Schrödinger, a famous quantum physicist, devised a thought experiment in an attempt to explain the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics (which posits that the state of every particle can be described by a wave function, and that the process of calculating its position determines it). It goes as follows:

A cat is placed in a box with a sealed vial of poison that is set to release when a radioactive material has decayed. As the time taken for the decay varies (roughly 50:50 chance), it is unknown whether the vial has broken after an hour if the box is closed. This also means that it is unknown whether the cat is alive or dead. To solidify this variable reality, one must open the box, whence the cat is determined as either alive or dead. 

This experiment may be hard to understand for a non-physicist, but it is still a fascinating thought experiment. This is because there are many times in life where one cannot know the outcome of something unless action is taken. Ergo, if you want a state of uncertainty, do nothing; if you want a set answer, take action. This is a particularly useful answer to someone questioning whether they should start a relationship with someone and are unsure of the outcome.