30 June, 2005

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"

An interesting question was posed by a reader named Derek. He says, "i would like to know if i am welcome in Libby MT if and when this zombie outbreak occurs?"

This is, of course, a major area of contention in zombie survival circles. Since it is such a heated topic I figured I'd make an actual post out of my response instead of keeping it in the comments section.

A lot of would-be survivors out there like to say "Trust noone, help even less" when attempting to survive zombies. I disagree. I believe if you're in a reasonably sized group that contains at least 6 or 8 good marksmen rescue attempts should be made whenever possible. There are several reasons I believe this.

1. A large number of live, healthy humans will be needed to repopulate once the apocalypse has ended.
2. One more live human = one more shooter.
3. No rescue attempt will be made if there's serious risk to our safety anyway, so why not make a rescue attempt whenever reasonably safe (obviously you're never totally safe, so reasonably will do)?
4. If the rescued individual has already been bit when he is rescued we will have no qualms shooting him/her in the head so as to prevent zombification.

Numbers three and four are key since they guarantee the survival of the survivors.

In short, my answer is: Yes - anyone is welcome to join our group of survivors and we will do whatever is needed to rescue who needs to be rescued while still maintaining our own safety.

29 June, 2005

Zombie Outbreaks and Public Policy

After reading Candace's latest blog entry I got to wondering some things:

How do we - as experts in the zombie survival arena - influence public opinion in order to bring about the fortification needed when the zombie apocalypse occurs?

When we succeed in our battle with public opinion do we try to pass bills authorizing fortification of cities or do we attempt to bypass the lawmakers and go straight to FEMA? Should the Department of Homeland Security be involved?

I support fortification just as much as the next guy and I think these are issues that need to be dealt with sooner rather than later. Bloggers Dylan and Ryan were at one point preparing a presentation for the city council to wall the city of Libby, MT. I would be interested to know what progress they've made in that area and how easy/difficult it has been to garner public support.

28 June, 2005

Voodoo Zombies

If you've been reading here for a little while than I'm sure you've occasionally heard references to "Voodoo Zombies." For the most part we focus our discussion on the form of zombism that produces the flesh eating horrors of George Romero fame. However for those interested in learning more about the Haitian variety check out this site. It's very different from what we are familiar with. The types of zombies created by the techniques of the "bokor" do not seem as dangerous as the zombies which we devote ourselves to informing the public about. Still voodoo zombie or not I would recommend keeping your distance, and shoot first and ask questions later.

Fortify, Fortify, Fortify

Hello from Europe everyone!

I am sitting in an internet cafe in Salzburg and figured I'd take a few moments to pass on one of the great reminders that Europe has to offer regarding zombies, FORTIFY. Today I visitted Hohensalzburg Fortress (pictured below), and let me tell you, there aren't going to be any zombies getting in there. We would do well to heed their example.


Oh, the excitement! There is a new section of links over there for all of you to check out. Key to zombie survival is having the right weapons. I've gone ahead and posted some good weapons links over there so all of you can get started on your stockpiles. Stay tuned for upcoming links sections on survival (wilderness, zombie, etc.), gear (leather clothing, night vision, etc.), and probably a couple other things depending on how ambitious I am. Enjoy, folks.

27 June, 2005

Land of the Dead - Some Brief Notes

Seven observations about Land of the Dead.

1. Dennis Hopper is awesome - zombies creep him out.
2. It frustrates me that dead creatures are perceived to be capable of evolving (i.e. get smarter).
3. A new aspect has officially arrived on the scene in zombie movies - humor. Thank God for a modern audience who requires more than mere gore to be entertained.
4. Once again - this movie proves that no matter how safe you feel in a city, if there's zombies around you're not. Get the crap out even if you're rich.
5. An armed society is a safe society - if the people in the building would have all had guns the zombies, as opposed to the humans, would have been overrun.
7. Last, but most certainly not least - Operarate only in the daytime. Night time is for defensive perimeters. Daytime is when we have our advantage over zombies - EYES THAT ARE NOT ROTTING. Please people....attempt to use all 5 senses - don't sacrifice perhaps your most important sense in surviving a zombie attack for the sake of distracting zombies with fireworks! That's just ludicrous.

Aight....those are the important observations that I got. Obviously there's more...they just aren't very important.

Zombie Dogs

Most of us here are aware of the potential risk zombies bring against the human race and our survival on this planet. For those of you out there that insist on turning a blind eye to that threat consider recent experiments with dogs performed by U.S. Scientists.

24 June, 2005

Zombie Vaccination = Absurdity

Reader WWinkler commented on the last poll by once again citing the Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency. I'm serious folks...Pecos is a retard. In the "true" story he recounts, he claims a zombie vaccination was available at the time of its occurance. As my colleague, Matt, and I have already shown (here and here), this Pecos guy is a nutbag. The idea of a vaccination presumes the truth of his theory that zombies are not truly dead. This, of course, is ridiculous as we have already demonstrated in the aforementioned posts. If the zombie is already dead then this is an obvious absurdity since there is no vaccine for death! The best we could hope for is some vaccine that would go to the brain and destroy it thus causing the reanimated corpse to deanimate. Even then the only way the vaccine could work would be if it was injected directly into the brain itself, since there would be no bloodflow to carry the vaccine through the body and to the brain. Pecos' ideas, again, are found to be wildly implausible. I have a feeling this Pecos guy is going to continue to be a thorn in the side of legitimate zombological research as long as the general public continues to give him credit merely because his name has the letters "D" and "R" in front of it.

Zombie Survival Poll Results

And now the moment I know you've all been waiting for. Over the last week or so we've had a poll up (that's still up and will be coming down ASAP) that asked the following question:

In the event of a zombie outbreak where would you retreat to?

The results are in:

A small, deserted island - 31%
A small, sparsely populated town - 31%
An offshore oil rig - 25%
Alcatraz - 13%
A large city - 0%

First, I'd like to point out that I'm proud that our audience is zombie-informed enough to not have a single person choose "A large city". Next, I'll point out that my view is that a small, sparsely populated town is the way to go. This is obviously the subject of some debate. And lastly I'd like to thank everyone who participated in our poll and hope you'll continue to participate in the future.

19 June, 2005

After the Apocalypse is Over.....

Ok, so I don't advocate the "I'm going to take over the world" mindset. However, if any of you are fond of it a perfect time to implement your evil plan would be in the state of anarchy immediately following the zombie apocalypse. It's always easier to rise to power without law enforcement to stop you. If you are successful in rising to power be sure you don't do anything stupid to inhibit your rise to and sustaining of power.

Again, I don't advocate it and I intend to be the hero you and your legions are battling against since I will be a co-survivor of the apocalypse.

18 June, 2005

Bloggers Go Missing

Ok, so they're not really missing. Contributors Ryan and Candace will be in Europe for the next three weeks. So if you're waiting for them to post don't hold your breath.

I Might Be a Zombie

Folks, if lack of brain functionality is a prerequisite for zombiehood I am well on my way to zombification.

17 June, 2005

Shopping for Zombies?

Very good points about the brains, Matt. I guess that means when Christmas comes around don't bother doing your zombie shopping at the new version of Amazon.com.

Zombie Myths?

I will definitely have to concur with Wheelz on this issue. In observation of a zombie it is obvious that one thing they lack is simple muscle coordination. A zombie can barely walk in a straight line. Dr. Hugo Peco's suggestion would require the very muscles that require the blood to be the ones pumping the blood. Additionally there would be a great deal of pooling of blood in the heart itself. Pressure would begin to build up very quickly around the heart itself because the valves that regulate blood flow through the heart would not be functioning. This would result in either the blood stagnating, or the bursting of a blood vessel somewhere in the body, causing massive blood loss, and inevitably death.

There are many other serious problems with this theory, but the Dr. does not even attempt to make any explanation for his classification of reanimation as a zombie myth. Additionally he does not make an attempt to explain the reasoning behind any of his other myth classifications. For instance on the same page sited by Wheelz Dr. Hugo makes a claim regarding the consumption of brains by zombies: "well-fed zombies can afford to be discriminating. They will generally eat the more nutritious brains and bone marrow and leave the rest of the corpse untouched. However, a hungry zombie will leave only the bones." Notice that he says the "more nutritious brains." Though he may just be making a reference to brains as being more nutritious than other body parts so those more educated in the nutrition of various body parts can understand which body part he refers to here, he his most likely referring to the nutritional needs of the zombie. Now if the zombie is merely a person in a coma, but still living as Dr. Hugo claims than there may be some validity to this point. However if nutrition is the zombies concern, there are far more nutritious options for the zombie i.e. fruits, vegetables, lean meats(not that fatty stuff found on the typical human), grains, pasta, and a healthy dose of vitamins. In fact a zombie would more likely become a model citizen in terms of diet if we use Dr. Hugo's logic.

The reality is that in terms of diet no one really knows why zombies eat anything. They do not gain any nutritional value from what they eat. Their entire digestive system is shut down. It is actually not beneficial for the zombie to eat anything. What the zombie has eaten will continue to pile up in its stomach until it bursts. However I do agree that zombie’s showing a preference for brains is a myth. A zombie really has no preference in what part of the body it chooses. Generally soft tissues are the first to go. Brains are not generally consumed by the zombie because they are much more difficult body part to access. The Zombie Survival Guide is a great reference for information like this.

I am personally not impressed with Dr. Hugo. His logic is very lacking, and the "observations" he cites are questionable to say the least. Though there are many popular misconceptions about zombies I believe the Dr. is merely attempting to garner publicity by making outrageous claims concerning widely accepted facts about zombies. If Dr. Hugo was able to produce more evidence, or at the very least publish more extensively some of his own research I would be more willing to consider his theories. As it stands however, the man is insane.

16 June, 2005

Truly Undead?

Dr. Hugo Pecos makes a pretty controversial claim - one that I wholeheartedly disagree with. He says, "despite appearances to the contrary, a person infected with the zombie virus never actually dies before awakening as a zombie."

He buttresses the claim by pointing out that though the zombie no longer has a heartbeat the muscles now handle the circulation. Where does Hugo come up with this information? From his own "studies"? Here's the deal, Hugo - there's a reason why zombie movies continually show the zombies as having died before reanimation and that is because they actually do die.

Modern zombological research generally rejects Zombus Caribbeanus Vivus as a legitimate zombie. That reason is because the zombie is not ACTUALLY dead. Every other type of known zombie is physically dead - especially sans the frontal lobe. Perhaps I'll attempt to contact the good doctor to find out his definition of dead.

To Kill A Zombie

Alright, perhaps my strict anti-shot stance was a little unwarranted. As I read through all of the comments about my original post I noticed a few things that I felt deserved comment.

First, I do not advocate using anything other than a .22 long rifle unless the situation can be considered life threatening (or life threatening for someone you intend to rescue). Thus the point of using a shotgun is obviously due to the fact that you're in close quarters and need knockdown power, or if it is all you have.

If it is all you have and you need to strike from a distance you will be greatful for the slugs you have since anything other than a slug at a distance will merely alert the zombie to your presence. Jon's point about slug penetration I felt was a good one.

I think after reviewing the other ideas I'll amend my position to say this: Carry a lot of .22 ammo - use it unless your life is threatened. If you must use a shotgun alternate your 00-Buck and your slugs. Also....carry at least one 30+ caliber pistol.

Shotgun continued

This post is a response to Wheelz post about what type of ammo to load for shotguns.

I think Ryan had some very good points about what the benefits of using shot as opposed to slug would be. One thing to consider however is the extent to which the brain of a zombie must be destroyed before it is immobilized. I believe the Zombie Survival Guide makes a point that for a .22 to be effective the bullet must enter the skull of the zombie and than ricochet around inside thus destroying a greater amount of brain mass. However if the bullet was to pass through the skull there may not be enough damage done to immobilize the zombie. This would also apply to the use of shot. One would have to be close enough to the zombie for the shot to penetrate the skull cavity. It would be unwise though to hope to kill multiple zombies from a distance by depending on the spread of the shot and it's ability to penetrate the skull at these longer distances.

I also believe that your situation is a better dictator of what type of ammo that is used. For instance if you are forced into a defensive position in doors, with a significant number of zombies heading your way, you will want whatever ammo has better overall stopping power. Also remember that stopping power and killing power are two different things. In such a defensive situation you are not going to want to kill the zombies, but to clear a path so you can escape as quickly as possible. Also keeping in mind the physiological impact being in such a defensive situation has upon a person, they might want to consider something that will knock the zombies down, and not require as much accuracy. I believe this would make shot a better choice. In close quarters shot will knock down a zombie just as well as a slug.

I'm not familiar with the penetrating power of the slug when it comes to humans either, but it may not be wise to depend on your zombies to make nice orderly lines when they are coming after you. However I do think that using shot in offensive room clearing may be a better choice. In this type of situation you are more in control of what’s going on, and will have more opportunity to make better shots, and will be shooting to kill. You will hopefully be meeting the zombie on your own terms. In the case of rooms where there is a large number of zombies and you would be in close quarter combat, it may be more effective to consider explosive devices, or completely burn down the property depending on it’s strategic value after the zombies have been eliminated.

In conclusion, there are benefits of both slug and shot, but the shotgun will be used primarily in close quarters, and when used for defense it's probably more beneficial to have shot. I think it is always unwise to go completely with one and not the other so loading two shot to one slug ration would be the best bet.

Zombie Classification

A good little overview of the history of zombological research can be found on Zombierama. Here they list nine of the ten species of zombie known (or hypothesized, in a few cases) to exist. They did, however, forget the tenth zombie type - Zombus Socratus. This is, of course a philosophical zombie that is used as a device in the study of what is known as the mind/body problem. The formal definition of this last type of zombie is: A being that behaves like us and may share our functional organization and even, perhaps, our neurophysiological makeup without conscious experiences or qualia. Do not fear this tenth species - they are usually entirely harmless. In fact you won't even know one exists unless it happens to be a philosopher, which is rare indeed. The problem we run into is summarized by Todd C. Moody in his paper Conversations With Zombies. He points out that if there are zombie philosophers, they would be able to make no sense. This of course makes them nearly impossible to distinguish from ordinary human philosophers. That's all I've got on this species. So if you were ever wondering what all ten species of zombies are - there you have them. Take note.

15 June, 2005

Shotgun Question

Zombieology asks an interesting question in the poll on their web site: Which do you load? Slug, Buckshot, or Both? I find this to be a very good question for all of those interested in the defense against the undead. I'll give my opinion here and if anyone else wants to weigh in that'd be just peachy. Slugs should be the only shotgun ammo loaded. First of all it's simpler. There's no weighing out of the shot to load, thus cutting down on time and allowing for more ammo to be created. Secondly, and most importantly, shot is used primarily to be able to hit a wide area of target - birds are the classic example. This is because you could never hit a bird with a slug. The disadvantage to shot is that having numerous projectiles will cause a decrease in Knockdown Power. When fighting the undead KP is the bottom line. The need to hit the wide area is not there as it is with birds since hitting a human moving at approximately 3 mph is so easy (even with a slug) that a 4 year old could do it. At this point shot only keeps 1 of its advantages - a couple of the shot pellets could potentially stray and penetrate the skull even when taking a safe body shot. However I contend that this advantage is too small to tip the scales since if I'm using a shotgun against zombies it's because I'm in close quarters and am looking for knockdown power - a kill is the last thing I'm concerned about. I'll kill the crippled zombie later on with my .22 that I have near infinite ammo for. Bottom line = power. Therefore the options of buckshot or even some of both are ruled out in favor of strictly loading slugs.

This assessment, of course, assumes the zombies we are dealing with are traditional 2-4 mph zombies. This issue is hottly debated. In the event that the zombies are fast (i.e. the remake of the Dawn of the Dead) I recommend double-0 Buck to retain as much KP as possible while still allowing for some forgiveness of aim.

Cambodian Outbreak

I thought you all might be interested in this item on the Beeb a couple months back. Apparently they claim it was spread by a mosquito. While the article does not identify the culprit as Solanum I think we all know the likelihood. It is identified as a parasite (a new strain of Malaria) as opposed to a virus. The claim is that the hearts of the victims actually restart and the reanimation only lasts for a couple hours. The questions are numerous: Is this a true zombie outbreak as the heading on the article claims? If not the issue dies, but if so then what's with the symptoms? Are the Cambodian gov't and possibly the UN (and maybe even Condi Rice) trying to cover up the actual truth of the case and the devastating results of a true Solanum outbreak? Comments?

13 June, 2005

All About the Undead

This blog will focus almost exclusively on zombies. However discussion of other topics pertaining to the undead (like vampires, mummies, etc.) will also be tolerated, especially when the subject matter intersects with zombies. For anyone interested in zombie history, biology, survival, movies, etc. this is the place to be.