Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gerber's Zombie Apocalypse Kit

Gerber, the well-known maker of knives, axes, multi-tools, etc., has come out with a selection of knives, axes, machetes, and so on, in its own carry-case, specifically for a zombie apocalypse. More here as well.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Emergency Zombie Shelter Design

This is pretty cool. A competition to select the best zombie "safe house" design, and there were more than 200 submissions this year.
They settled on Texan Austin Fleming’s Vagabond Mobile Safe House Device, which incorporates potable water filtration, tracking devices and photovoltaic cells into a handy and stylish leather backpack.

The whole things flips out armadillo-style in under three minutes and is covered in reflective coating to confuse drooling marauders.

More designs from the competition here.

Another Seeming Link Between Zombies and Vampires

After I got back from my Thanksgiving trip, I found this article discussing a new television series in the U.K. This is the interesting part:
Often such bizarre beliefs developed as ways of warding off the many dangers that beset the British Isles. In response to the 14th-century plague the Black Death, which wiped out about a third of the population, people compensated for the loss of loved ones by creating the legend that the dead rose from their graves and walked around as zombies.

Occasionally, corpses were beheaded, or a stake driven through their hearts, as a way to prevent this ‘resurrection’ – a practice that persisted for four centuries.


I spent time with my parents this Thanksgiving, driving all day to get back this evening. I hope all of you had a good Thanksgiving. I guess, if nothing else, we can be thankful that there was not a zombie apocalypse.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A "Dead Island" Interview

Interview with "Dead Island" author, Haris Orkin.

Scientists Create a Bird Flu that is MORE Contagious

Yes, you read the title correctly. Scientists have created a more contagious bird flu.
At a flu conference in Malta this September, virologist Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands made an astounding, and terrifying, announcement.

He found that a few simple genetic tweaks to the virus made it far more infectious among ferrets - a standard animal model used to study how viruses spread among humans.

Fouchier found that a mere five mutations to the virus were sufficient to make it spread far more easily.
For some reason, this reminds of the poster on "How Everything Goes to Hell During a Zombie Apocalypse."

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?

A mummified elongated skull found in Peru could finally prove the existence of aliens.

The strangely shaped head - almost as big as its 50cm (20in) body - has baffled anthropologists.

It was one of two sets of remains found in the city of Andahuaylillas in the southern province of Quispicanchi.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to Kill a Zombie

Just came across this article from 2004 on how to kill a zombie. (Can you really kill the undead?). It lists decapitation, bludgeoning, burning and exploding. Decapitation and bludgeoning seem the surest way of the four. (I don't know why it doesn't mention shooting them in the head...). Burning seems more dangerous than helpful. Imagine a huge torch lurching around, touching off fires here and there. Explosives probably aren't as useful either, unless you use one of these.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Doctor Turned Serial Killer in WWII Paris

An interesting story of a respected doctor in occupied Paris that used the cover of war to hide his killing spree.
[O]ne man used the lawlessness for his own terrible purposes, killing perhaps as many as 150 people and dismembering and burning their bodies.

It wasn't until thick black smoke seeped into buildings in a fashionable part of the city that firefighters and police found body parts scattered around an elegant townhouse — setting off a manhunt that led them, eventually, to Marcel Petiot.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Initial Results from Planning a Covert Bug Out Plan

When I discussed earlier plans for a covert bug out plan (CBOP) to get out of a zombie quarantine, one of the first steps was to use Google Earth or Google Map to get a preliminary idea of my route, followed up by a physical reconnaissance.

Obviously, in a zombie outbreak resulting in a quarantine, there will be a cordon around the city that is being quarantined. There may also be patrols through the town, roadblocks, and surveillance helicopters. Thus, a CBOP route must get around these obstacles. With this in mind, part of my preliminary route was going to take advantage of some smaller irrigation canals. My thought was that these would provide good concealment, but still relatively easy to get out of if necessary.

Much to my surprise, when doing a physical recon, I discovered that there is still considerable water in the canals--at least two feet. I anticipated this during the summer months, and figured it probably would not be a big deal. But cold water in the winter can be deadly. Time to explore some other options. While I'm disappointed, I'm glad I learned of these issues now rather than later....

"Walking in a Winter Zombie-Land"

A zombie Christmas song.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Abandoned Amusement Park Outside Beijing

A couple weeks ago, I had posted about urban exploration, and its usefulness in preparing for the zombie apocalypse. For obvious reasons, such exploration will almost always be limited to public spaces. However, it may be possible to explore abandoned commercial property. Here is an example of one such place--an abandoned amusement park in China.

More Evidence of the Yeti?

One cynical Russian media report summed up the mission as 'we haven't actually found anything, but we very, very much wanted to have found something'.
Exactly what I think about zombies.

China Building Strange Structures (Updated)

Gizmado reports that China is building strange structures in the desert. (More here from the UK Daily Mail). My guess is that they are trying to summon Cthulhu, or some other Old One.

Actually, more seriously, the concentric circles of vehicles and structures is obviously to test the effectiveness of some sort of explosive. The grid of structures of vehicles is also for testing bombs (see the blown-up photo at the Daily Mail website).

The other structures that seem to follow the course of gullies and washes is a little more strange. I wonder they are some sort of fractal antenna.

Update: Appears that the seemingly random lines are for calibrating spy satellites. (Another article here).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Tactical Sammich

The CMMG Tactical Sammich--stores for up to five years. From the review:
They laughed at you when you warned them about the zombies. They called you crazy, paranoid—a lunatic. Now, the economy has collapsed. Civil unrest has rocked the cities and suburbs. Food is scarce, and what little can be found is unappetizing. Fortunately, you don’t care, because you were smart enough to stock up on CMMG’s Tactical Sammich.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Jonah Goldberg weighs in with some complaints about The Walking Dead

Think of it as creative critisicm--he no only points out issues that bother him, but also makes some good suggestions.

The Walking Dead Examines Faith

As most anyone who follows the series "the Walking Dead" know, the title refers not to the zombies, but to the survivors. The show's intent is to explore how people respond in a world where civilization is stripped away and the animal instincts move to the fore. This article discusses religion and the Walking Dead based on events in the last couple of episodes.

King Aurther and Zombies?

Review of the new graphic novel: "Knights of the Living Dead." At last, an explanation for the dramatic reduction of the population of Europe following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Zombie News

Another story on the rise of zombies in the popular culture.
Tim Delaney, associate professor of sociology at Oswego, and an expert on popular culture in TV and film, said that the Zombie phenomenon has been around since the “Night of the Living Dead” was released in 1968. “This is when people started to learn about voodoo and the concept of being able to bring someone back to life after they have died,” Delaney said. “We have always been told that when you’re dead, you’re dead, so this was a fascinating concept to us.”
Delaney said he has seen a huge increase in video games with zombie storylines and shows like “Beavis and Butthead,” which recently came back on the air, that incorporate zombies into their plotlines.

However, one nice tidbit is that AMC has announced that it will be picking up "The Walking Dead" for a third season.

White House Will Neither Confirm Nor Deny Zombies

The story here is that the White House has denied contact with extraterrestrials, but essentially had no comment as to zombies, leading to suspicions (at least from the author) that there is a zombie coverup.

Is There a Spiritual Signifcance to 11/11/11?

Some people obviously think so. This report from Fox News indicates that some people believe that the 11/11/11 date is related to the end of the Mayan long count calender due to expire next December. Not clear how that works since they didn't use the Gregorian calender, but okay.

The other story, also from Fox News, reports that Egypt is closing access to the Great Pyramid because of reports of "Jewish" or "Messianic" rituals scheduled to take place on 11/11/11 to take advantage of special powers that will be emanating from the pyramid. This one also sets of the BS meter, not just because I'm not aware of any special Jewish affinity for the Great Pyramid, but because Egypt's government has come out with some pretty kooky excuses in the past. Remember the shark attacks that they blamed on the Mossad?

On the other hand, some secret ritual by an unknown cult attempting call forth that would be something to write about.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

King Tut's Curse

A new book claims that several of the death's related to the curse on Tutankhamen's tomb were actually committed by Alister Crowley. (Story here).

Evidence of Ogopogo

Video that is claimed to be of the Canadian Ogopogo lake monster. (Story here).

A Brief History of Zombies.

A very brief overview of zombies from voodoo to the modern popular culture. The author even mentions that Sears has a zombie web-site. Who knew?

Plus this from the comments:
I am getting ready for it! I worked at Holloman AFB (Whitesands Missile Range) out in New Mexico. They have a primate facility there that they do tests with. One of the SP/SF’s (Security Police/Security Force) there told me about primate security procedures. If a primate escaped and it had a blue collar on, it was safe to apprehend, if it had a yellow collar on, it was to be shot on sight and then could be covered up with a blanket or tarp, if it had a red collar on, it was to be shot on sight, stay back 50 yards and call in a fire team to torch the body. I was told they were working on a Super Rabies virus that North Korea was experimenting with and this virus did the same as the rage virus in the movie 28 Days Later. Basically a high fever, swelling of the brain which caused loss of memory and most remembered motor functions like driving, operating equipment or guns, etc., and it cut off the supply of serotonin to the brain, which causes extreme rage. It could be passed by bites and blood transfer. Sounds like zombies no? Not the movie zombies… but people infected with the virus and go nuts killing and are zombie like in intelligence. They will be fast and they wont be totally dumb, but they will still have the same limitations as normal human anatomy. They will starve and dehydrate, stabs or gunshot wounds to major organs or arteries will kill them. So either take them all out, or wait for them to die of dehydration or starvation. I myself believe it 100% and am preparing. I am not preparing for that zombie crap on tv, but I am preparing for an epidemic like in 28 Days Later.
Uh, okay.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Oetzi -- the Iceman -- May Have Died from Fall

Okay, this isn't a story about zombies--well, at least, not that we know of. Maybe if they defrosted him. Anyway, this is still interesting. The Iceman ("Oetzi"), a mummy found high in the Alps, has long been thought to have been murdered due to an arrow wound. However, some researchers suggest that it may be an old injury, and he actually died from a fall while climbing. (Story here).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

More Zombie Targets

Cheaper-Than-Dirt (I've always thought their name was a misnomer) is selling a 6 pack variety of Champion VisiColor Zombie Targets. The targets are photographs of a "zombie" attacking a defenseless young woman in different poses. Looks like there are 2 each of 3 different targets. It might be worthwhile as far as practicing hitting a "zombie" in close proximity to an innocent.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

"Some Maternity Pictures are More Intense Than Others"

Oleg Volk's site is a mixture of photography and firearms. Apparently a lot of recent work involves zombies, including this zombie maternity picture. Check it out. He has more zombie pics, and a few Steampunk pics as well. (Warning: lots of cat pics).

Covert Bug Out Plan

In an earlier post on urban exploration, I mentioned the possible need to evacuate from a city under quarantine. (See here). I think the term "covert bug out plan," or CBOP, seems to summarize the concept. But rather than just stop at a cool sounding name, I decided to think about this further. Exactly how would I get out of town under quarantine or siege conditions?

When I was a kid, my friends and I would sometimes sneak out of the house late at night and play a type of "hide and seek" where we would walk or ride our bikes around town, well after curfew, and hide from or avoid cars. In that case, however, no one was looking for us, or people like us, in particular. CBOP would be more complicated, with far more serious complications. If one is caught during a covert bug-out--that is, in a city that is quarantined--you might be shot, or sent into a holding pen or facility with people that may be infected with little or no hope of escape. At best, you will be turned back, but the authorities operating the quarantine now know who you are.

As I thought about it more, I realized that this was a situation that was going to require serious preparation. So, First Step--figure out where I need to go. This is probably going to require pure speculation on your part on how far a quarantine would extend and how it would be enforced. It may be as simple as a military or police imposed curfew with roadblocks at major intersections and roving patrols. In that case, simply getting into a rural area would be enough to get past the zone of control. In other cases, a cordon may be thrown up around the city. So, you may need to simply estimate where such a cordon could realistically be set up, and plan for getting past that point.

Second Step--Google Maps or Google Earth, to get the lay of the land. Since this scenario involves getting out of town covertly, the plan is to find a hidden route that can be used. Clearly, I want to look at a general map, but known streets and roads are too obvious. I need to understand the terrain, which will require a topographic map and aerial views of the terrain. Under a CBO scenario, a motor vehicle evacuation is probably not an option--it will have to be on foot, or perhaps on a bicycle. Routes are probably going to involve maintenance roads (that generally won't be shown on street maps), foot paths or trail (both official and unofficial), canals or ditches or streams (better if they are dry, but if not ...), movement through fields or parks, perhaps even storm drains or maintenance tunnels (although getting trapped in a maintenance tunnel by a group of zombies would not be good).

To give an example, I live not too far from a small irrigation canal. I know because I can see part of it where it runs up to a major road, and then goes into an underground pipe, on one end, and have seen it about 1/2 mile away as it runs open through a field. From where it meets the major road, I also know that the canal easement has land on one side that probably was intended for a maintenance road, although it is overgrown and there are several trees visible. Driving around the neighborhoods, it appears that there are houses that back up against the canal easement. This appears to be confirmed by just plain road maps. However, when I switched to Satellite View, I could see why no road had ever been built. About 1/3 of the way from where the canal meets the road, and where it is visible again in open fields, and appears that it simply runs behind a row of houses, there is actually a small bridge that crosses the canal, and what appears to be a small warehouse, or large shop building and a storage yard. Also, while the easement was not maintained near the road, the satellite view showed that the vegetation was cut down and the area maintained for most of its length. None of this information was visible from the road, or from a standard map. If I had simply relied on that information and decided to use the "overgrown" canal easement as an escape route, I would quickly have run into problems.

Step Three will be to physically reconnoiter the areas you plan to use. You are looking not only for possible problems, but also potential opportunities. You want to look to for areas that overlook your route making it easier to monitor. In particular, identify areas that would be logical places for roadblocks, and see if your route can be viewed from that location. Also, obstructions like fences and walls may not show up on Google Earth; grates may block certain areas of a canal or ditch. On the other hand, see if there are other movement options--for instance, even slight depressions or a ditch may allow you to cross an open field without being observed. When doing your recon, think not only of someone seeing you, but also hearing you. For instance, most canal beds are filled with rocks and other debris. Could you move down it quietly?

When reconnoitering, try and use a friend that can try to spot you, or listen to you, as you scout out the particular section you are investigating.

Step Four would be a complete dry run--see if you can actually get out through your route. You may want to try this a few times under different conditions. This is not really an attempt to test the security of your route, but whether it is even possible to go the entire route. (Although, if you hear someone yell, "Hey, what are you doing," your security has been blown and you may need to reevaluate your plan).

Step Five is the final reconnaissance before actually engaging in a CBO. This would be after the quarantine has been imposed, so you can see if any situations have changes, and adapt your plan as needed. This is probably best illustrated by a real-world example. So, let me introduce you to a little known person in history by the name of Georg Elser. Mr. Elser was a simple carpenter who, in 1939, single-handedly undertook to assassinate Adolf Hitler. There were two basic steps to his plan: (i) secreting a bomb in a stone pillar near where Hitler would speak at the 1939 anniversary of his Beer Hall Putsch, and (ii) escape across the border into Switzerland. Elser spent months hiding out in the beer hall at night, slowly excavating a hole in the critical pillar that, when it exploded, would bring down a heavy balcony and part of the roof. He gathered all the intelligence needed to determine when to detonate the bomb; and information on the patrols at the border, working out exactly when and where to cross. The problem is that Elser never did a final reconnaissance.

First, due to technological limitations, Elser was forced to use a time clock. Thus, he simply placed the bomb a few days ahead of time. Problem was, Hitler's schedule changed at the last minute:
Had Elser paid closer attention to the newspapers, he might have felt that all his work had been wasted—shortly before Hitler was due to deliver his bierkeller speech, he canceled the arrangement, only to reinstate it the day before he was due to travel. But then, had Elser read the newspapers, he would also have realized that, as a concession to Hitler’s urgent need to be in Berlin, his speech had been rescheduled. It would now begin at 8 p.m. and last for little more than an hour.
 Hitler left the beer hall 1/2 hour before the bomb exploded.

More significantly to our discussion here is that the patrol of the Swiss border had also changed.
By 9:20 Elser, too, was far from the Löwenbräu. That morning he had taken a train for Konstanz, close to the Swiss border, and when darkness fell he set out to walk into Switzerland. But if Hitler’s luck held that night, his would-be assassin’s ran out. Elser’s April reconnaissance had taken place in peacetime; now, with Germany at war, the border had been closed. He was arrested by a patrol as he sought a way through wire entanglements.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Special Judge for Zombies

Those of you who are into guns undoubtedly know about Taurus' line of revolvers called the Judge, which can shoot either .45 Colt (Long Colt) or .410 shotgun rounds. Taurus is reportedly releasing a zombie apocalypse version, complete with its own "break the glass" emergency storage unit. Story and photo here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Live" Blogging the Zombie Take-Over of the Huff Post

Just read it. Best post: "I've lost the other leg. God damn it"

Plus, what is it with the Skittles? That's what they were using for medicine in the Ohio emergency exercise. Is there some anti-zombie properties to Skittles? It must have to do with tasting the rainbow.

More Government Preparation for a Zombie Apocolypse?

Delaware County, Ohio, staged an emergency prep exercise based on a zombie apocalypse.
Emergency officials from across the county arrived at the university’s Selby Stadium to deal with a pretend toxic-chemical spill that turned regular residents into the living dead. They decontaminated the “zombies” with a fire hose and distributed medication in the form of Skittles and M&Ms.
The event was serious work for the dozens of emergency forces. Safety workers donned hazmat suits, police shut down roads, and several zombies were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital to be decontaminated.
Two firefighters were accidentally turned into zombies, to simulate the kind of contamination that could happen in a real toxic spill.
Just practice for a toxic spill (wink, wink).

Zombies Are Big Money

The "Zombie Economy" is estimated to be as much as $6 billion.


NBC's cameras apparently captured a strange flying object at an NFL game on October 23.
As NBC's cameras returned from a commercial break and focused on the historic, triple-steepled St. Louis Cathedral in the city nicknamed the Big Easy, a couple of lit objects seemed to streak across the darkening sky -- and they've yet to be definitively identified.

Viewed in real-time, it's hard to see much more than something flashing across the screen. But a frame-by-frame scrutiny of the video reveals a rod-shaped object topped with brightly lit dots.
The standard explanation is that the camera focused on something extremely close to the lens, that was moving too fast for the shutter speed, so it blurs into a line, or "rod." I remember watching an episode of "Monster Hunters" that examined this phenomena in great detail to show how the mysterious "rods" show up on cameras. However, while this is the likely explanation in this case, there is one twist:
But one little frame of the video may be the one little problem that could rule out the insect theory. Amazingly, the frame reveals the mystery object is moving behind one of the cathedral towers. But how could that be if it was only an insect?
"The object is not going behind the cathedral -- it's actually in front of it," Dantonio said. "But because of the saturated CCD [charge-coupled device used in digital imaging], it looks like it's going behind. And when you see those three dots or lights [on the object], I think they're wing beats."
But when Dantonio took a closer look at the single video frame in question, he began to bend a little.
"Yeah, that sure does look weird. I won't say it's not interesting, but I'll tell you right now: I'm sure that there's a conventional explanation and I believe firmly that this is something very close to the camera."