The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. HamiltonHarold Gaynor offers Anita Blake a million dollars to raise a 300-year-old zombie. Knowing it means a human sacrifice will be necessary, Anita turns him down. But when dead bodies start turning up, she realizes that someone else has raised Harolds zombie--and that the zombie is a killer. Anita pits her power against the zombie and the voodoo priestess who controls it.
In The Laughing Corpse Anita will learn that there are some secrets better left buried-and some people better off dead...
Why is laughter contagious?
What Is Cataplexy?
Cataplexy happens when your muscles suddenly go limp or significantly weaken without warning. You may experience cataplexy when you feel a strong emotion or emotional sensation. This can include crying, laughing, or feeling angry. You may find yourself falling over or losing control over your facial expressions. Cataplexy is associated with narcolepsy.
It's Metafilter's 20th anniversary! To celebrate, scan some cats or help fund Mefi! Does anyone experience weak hands after laughing hard? Does that sound familiar to anyone? I do have narcolepsy, and I am aware of cataplexy, but weak hands after laughing hard is the only experience I have related to cataplexy and I never fall asleep when that happens.
Cataplexy is a sudden and uncontrollable muscle weakness or paralysis that comes on during the day and is often triggered by a strong emotion, such as excitement or laughter. Without much warning, the person loses muscle tone and can have a slack jaw, broken speech, buckled knees or total weakness in their face, arms, legs, and trunk. A person experiencing total cataplexy stays awake and is aware of what is happening, but cannot move. These episodes last up to a minute or two, and some people may fall asleep afterwards. The frequency of cataplexy episodes varies widely among people with narcolepsy. Some individuals avoid emotions that may bring on cataplexy. The loss of muscle tone in cataplexy occurs because of the inability to regulate sleep and awake states -- meaning that elements of each can overlap.
And not figuratively, either. Sometimes people have found that certain emotions literally cause their muscles to unhook from their brains. They collapse entirely. This is not some strange disease, or weakness — tt's the misapplication of a necessary function. The emotion and physical responses occupy the same body. They both flood the body with chemicals, so it makes sense that they influence each other. Most emotion-triggered physical responses are so commonplace that we take them for granted — nobody raises an eyebrow when sadness or emotional upset causes a person's eyes to water.
Cataplexy is a sudden and transient episode of muscle weakness accompanied by full conscious awareness, typically triggered by emotions such as laughing, crying, or terror. This animal is able to feign death when it is threatened. Cataplexy manifests itself as muscular weakness which may range from a barely perceptible slackening of the facial muscles to complete muscle paralysis with postural collapse. Even in a full-blown collapse, people are usually able to avoid injury because they learn to notice the feeling of the cataplectic attack approaching and the fall is usually slow and progressive. Cataplexy attacks are self-limiting and resolve without the need for medical intervention.