Friday, December 30, 2011

Russians Sieze Caviar from Morgue

Even people who think caviar is worth dying for might lose their appetite when it's stored in a hospital morgue.

But that's where St. Petersburg police found a huge stash of the delicacy this week -- 385 pounds stored in the refrigerated space where cadavers are kept.

A morgue employee and a businessman were arrested after the Wednesday discovery, but police said Friday the matter is still being investigated and it is unclear if the men will be charged.

The arrested men said the caviar was to be a treat for hospital employees at a New Year's party.
(Full story here). Would zombies accept caviar as a substitute for brains? Or just the snobby ones?

Roundup of UFO and Monster Sightings for 2011

The end of the year always brings a plethora of articles that attempt to highlight some of the significant (or funny) moments of the prior year. So, here is one that looks at UFO and monster sightings in 2011, as well as doomsday predictions that didn't come to pass, and some thoughts on the Mayan prophecy next year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"5 Real Life Zombies"

From "Paranormal Haze," a summary of five actual types of zombie behavior--four in the insect world, and than a short description of the Haitian zombies. (Story here). (Warning: this story is safe, but some of the links and advertisements appear to be not safe for work (NSFW)).

The Floating Dead

Interesting news story about coffins washed out of their crypts in Louisiana:
In Louisiana, the dead float and the living must chase after their fleeing coffins.

Or at least that's what happened at one Baptist cemetery in the tiny parish of West Feliciana north of Baton Rouge.

Raging flood waters on Tuesday swept through a church burial plot and lifted the heavy stone lids on several crypts and washed one casket several hundred feet down stream.

In parts of Louisiana, the water table is so high that coffins cannot be buried six feet under the ground. Coffins were known to burst back through the ground after it stormed and the ground water rose.

Instead, Louisianans long ago took to entombing their dead in crypts and mausoleums above ground, which protected them from the water beneath the surface.

Unfortunately, as the floating coffin at the Magnolia Baptist Church cemetery proved -- it makes the coffins vulnerable to floods.

Mystery of "The Birds" Solved

I had known (from what source, I don't remember) that the movie, "The Birds," was based on an actual account of seagulls attacking a small California town. Now, a news story with some background on the incident and a possible answer:
The bizarre event which inspired Alfred Hitchcock's cinematic masterpiece The Birds has finally been explained.

The director was said to have based the 1963 film on a creepy incident in California, where flocks of frenzied, dying birds flew into the windows of homes in Monterey Bay.

Scientists have come up with an answer for the freak of nature - that the birds had been poisoned by toxic plankton.

'I am pretty convinced that the birds were poisoned,' said ocean environmentalist Sibel Bargu of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge to USA Today.

The scientists came up with the theory after studying the stomach contents of marine life from the time of the birds' deaths in 1961. They discovered toxic algae on three-quarters of the plankton the birds ate which damaged nerves - causing seizures, disorientation and finally, death.

The algae were believed to have become poisonous after being infected from leaky septic tanks, installed quickly during the housing boom in the Sixties across California.

At the time, police officer Ed Cunningham had been on patrol when a deluge of dead birds began to land on his squad car at around 2:30 am.

The officer told the Santa Cruz Sentinel in 1961: 'By the time I had stopped the car they were raining down all around me.

'They were big birds and they were falling so fast and hard they could have knocked me senseless. I thought I had better stay in the car and that's just what I did.'
(Full story here).

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mystery Space Ball Mystery Solved.

A couple days ago, I noted the discovery of a metal sphere that had fallen from space into the desert of Namibia. The mystery of the sphere appears to have been solved:
Adrian Chen of Gawker reported that it was most likely a fuel tank for storing hydrazine on unmanned rockets. He said this after a commentator wrote on his blog: 'For anyone wondering what it actually is, it's likely a 39-litre hydrazine bladder tank.

'They're used on unmanned rockets for satellite launches, which would explain why they're falling down in such a specific geographic footprint.'

When the ball fell it caused a crater 12 inches deep and 13ft wide, although it was found some 60ft away.

Locals claimed to have heard several explosions in the days before it was discovered by a farmer on his land.
 (Full story and photos here).

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!

(Source: Zombie Christmas)

Friday, December 23, 2011

KRISS Vector Review from the Firearm Blog

While we are on the subject of firearms, here is a link to an extensive review of the KRISS Vector in .45 ACP. The Vector is a small .45 ACP carbine or submachine gun weapon (although it is only semi-automatic). What makes it unique is that the barrel is placed directly in line with the firing hand, instead of on a line above the firing hand as most firearms. This reduces the felt recoil, and makes follow-up shots quicker and more accurate. (The Rhino revolver does the same type of thing). Anyway, full review and photos at the link.

The Best AR For Self Defense

In Word War Z, the best zombie-killing gun turned out to be a very accurate, small caliber, high-capacity, semi-automatic weapon. This is basically a description of the modern civilian AR-style rifle and carbine. With a plethora of choices and options available, its nice to get some ideas as to what makes the best model to get. Accordingly, readers may find this article on the best self-defense AR from The Truth About Guns blog to be useful.

Mysterious Space Ball Crashes in Namibia

Around mid-November, authorities in Namibia were alerted to the discovery of a hollow sphere that had apparently crashed to Earth from space.

Eyewitnesses reported hearing a series of explosions a few days before the extraterrestrial find. The "space ball" was consequently recovered near a village in the north of the African nation, 480 miles from the capital Windhoek.

The mystery sphere has a diameter of 35 centimeters (14 inches), a rough surface and appears to consist of "two halves welded together," police forensics director Paul Ludik told the AFP news agency.

Ludik also described the object as being made of a "metal alloy known to man," weighing in at six kilograms (13 pounds). "It is not an explosive device, but rather hollow, but we had to investigate all this first," he added.
 However, it appears to just be space-junk--a "composite overwrapped pressure vessel" or COPV.

(Fully Story Here).

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

More on the Man-Made, Super-Deadly Flu Virus

A few weeks ago I posted about scientists "tweaking" with the bird flu virus to make it more deadly infectious. Well, it's in the news again. (Story here).
A super-strain of bird flu that could infect and wipe out millions has been developed in a laboratory.

Dutch scientists who created the ‘Armageddon virus’ say it is ‘probably one of the most dangerous viruses you can make’.

Their research focused on what it took to convert bird flu – which can kill more than half of those infected but does not spread easily – into a highly contagious virus.
It is somewhat amusing, in a scary way, to read the reaction of those that somehow think that by keeping it secret, no one else will be able to do the same. How naive.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Some Rules for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Get them here. I think that Rules 1 and 9 are the most important.

"RULE 1: Aim for the head, and you won’t be dead."

"RULE 9: When in doubt, know your way out."

Sort of like if Dr. Seuss wrote a book on surviving zombies. 

Who Ya Gonna Call?

IF there’s something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call? If you live in Lincolnshire, it won’t be Ghostbusters – it’s apparently the police.

Over the last five years Lincolnshire Police reportedly received almost 1,000 bizarre emergency calls from people claiming to have seen UFOs, zombies, ghosts and witches.
* * * 
The grisly and weird list of reported stuff:

627 demons

171 witches

152 ghosts

20 wizards

10 UFOs

9 zombies

5 vampires

2 werewolves
(Story here). Nine zombies over a 5 year period does not make an outbreak, but it compares favorably to the number of UFO sightings; and beat out vampires and werewolves combined!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Are the Strange Patterns in the Gobi Desert Fractal Antennas?

About a month ago, I posted about the strange structures and patterns found in the Gobi Desert in China. I suggested that the patterns might be fractal antennas. Well, not to pat myself on the back--but I think I will *pat*pat*-- it turns out that an expert on fractals thinks the same. From Business Wire:
But Fractal Antenna Systems’ Nathan Cohen knows exactly what they are: fractal screens. “Built of RF reflective paint, to radar they can be blindingly bright. Presumably they were built by China to hide, shield and/or protect stuff underground from radar or extreme radiation,” said Cohen. “We should call them ‘Gobi Screens’.”

Cohen, an astronomer and physicist, dismisses the explanation that the Gobi Screens are optical test patterns for satellites. “They wouldn’t provide any ability to calibrate on the meter size scale and corrections needed, and the multiple air strips in the area provide better test patterns optically. In fact, the airstrips have finer detail. Putting a Chinese-made digital camera on a balloon or satellite can give crisp imaging that doesn’t need some huge, weird test pattern.”

Cohen explains that the intricate designs are deliberately exploiting fractals (complex shapes built up from scaled structural properties) to make fractal resonators as lower frequency radio wave screens, that have key advantages over other types of designs, such as a filled-in square. “And there is a fill-in square there too,” observed Cohen, “They obviously tried it out first.

“The screen may try to prevent ground penetrating radar from seeing deep under the sand, or maybe it’s being used to check their own limitations. That’s the limit of my interest, which is to say the Chinese have obviously ‘reinvented’ technology that I created and invented some twenty-odd years ago. I spent little bucks to innovate. They spent maybe $100 million to imitate. FRACTAL holds the patents on it, and I am using the term ‘reinvention’ to be kind. An amusing way to look at it is being ripped-off ---on a gigantic scale.”

Cohen adds that he does not inform Chinese researchers of his work, much of it published up to 16 years ago, but based on their recently published research the Chinese have embraced fractal antennas and fractal resonators research with focus and vast resources. The Gobi Screens are thus one of many examples, according to Cohen.

On smaller scales, fractal resonators, fractal metamaterials, and fractal antennas are experiencing a boom in uses in the commercial wireless world, offered exclusively through Fractal Antenna Systems. “The fractal advantage is now getting wide acceptance—even in the remote Gobi desert,” noted Cohen.

Clifton's Gates of Hell

Clifton, New Jersey has a spooky tunnel.

Some Thoughts On Securing Your Windows

A series of posts on the FAL File Forums about securing your windows. This is from over a year ago, but there are some interesting ideas there.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Selecting the Best Car for the Zombie Apocalypse

What should you look for in a vehicle to survive the zombie apocalypse? Power, to bust through any barriers (or hordes of zombies blocking the road)? Size, to haul all of your supplies, family and friends? Stealthiness, so as to not attract attention? Environmentally friendly so ... you feel better about yourself as the world spirals into a living hell?

Anyway, this article discusses all of this and picks some interesting choices. Apparently the number one choice is the Hummer, like from the movie Zombie Land.

While you're there, you might want to visit the author's companion post on picking an emergency zombie retreat. He suggests the following considerations in picking a place to hole-up:
Safety: Has the structure been thoroughly cleared of undead and is it locked down and fortified to prevent unwanted entry?  
Defensibility: Can you defend your new home from an undead assault or marauding band of looters?  
Detection: The best defense is not being found in the first place. Can the undead hear or smell you from outside? 
Does your home look enticing to marauders who may want to evict you?  
Escape Access: Do you have a secure second exit if your position becomes overrun? 
Sustainability: Is there an accessible source of food, water, or alternative power? 
Sanity: Is there room for more than just you? After a few weeks it can get awful lonely as “the last man on earth”. And if you are with a group, do you have a good supply of books or board games to entertain the troops?

Santa vs. Satan vs. Zombies

Article about a team that maps data points to show, geographically, internet content for Santa versus other malignant creatures such as Satan and zombies. (Story here).
Graham, who also runs the blogs and worked with Monica Stephens, Taylor Shelton, and Matt Zook to look at the amount of content indexed by Google Maps at each location containing the term "Santa" and then comparing it. To zombies and Satan.

So, some places have more content referring to Santa, and others have more content mentioning "zombies," "devil," or Satan.
 * * *
Houston, Dallas, Chicago and San Francisco all have more content referencing Satan and Zombies than Santa.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More on the Abandoned Amusement Park in China

About a month ago, I posted a link to an article on an abandoned amusement park in China. Today, I came across another article about the same park at The Daily Mail website. Some additional pictures, anyway.

Chinese Village Besieged by Police

I had previously posted about the possibility of a quarantine where officials would prevent people from leaving a town or city in the even of an outbreak. Although it's not a zombie outbreak, police in China have thrown a cordon around a small village to prevent people from getting food or supplies from outside. (Story here). This is where a CBOP (covert bug-out plan) would be handy. One thing to note is the distance the cordon is at--three miles from the edge of the village. So, it's not enough to simply get to (or just past) the edge of your town, but to actually push beyond it for some distance.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Converted Missile Silo Shelter

Awhile back, I posted about emergency zombie shelters. Now, has a story about an old missile silo converted into a shelter from the zombie apocalypse. Love the drawing:

Gear Check -- Condor 602 Jacket

I have had my Condor Model 602 "Summit Tactical Soft Shell Jacket" for about seven months now. I selected black, but it is available in "foliage" (pictured above), O.D., and "coyote" colors as well.

According to the information on the tag, the jacket is constructed with three layers: an outer shell made of polyester, a middle-layer made with a "breathable film membrane" (i.e., something like Gortex), and an inner layer of "super fine fleece."

The fleece is really thin and doesn't provide much insulation. In cooler weather, you will want a warm shirt or base layer. Notwithstanding the breathable layer, the jacket tends to trap perspiration. So, in warmer weather or when active, its easy to get a damp, sticky feeling when using the jacket. I would say that this jacket is best in the range of 40 to 55 degrees, depending on the undergarment you are wearing. Any warmer, and you will probably want to move to something lighter; any colder, and you will want a heavier coat.

There are some things you can do with the jacket to help vent or cool it a bit. One of the interesting features are zippers in each of the arm pit areas, which help with venting. There is also a zipper on each side on the back of the jacket that open into each side of a single mesh pocket. If you don't have anything in the pocket, you can leave those zippers open which also help to vent.

The jacket has a hood that folds into a pocket in the collar. The hood is actually pretty good, and has a velcro strap on the back so you can adjust how much it overhangs your face.

There are matching pockets each side of the inside of the jacket. There are also matching outside pockets on each side that zip open. These actually have a larger inside pocket, and smaller pocket to hold a radio or cell phone. The outside pockets are intended for gear only--they are too high to slip your hands in. There are also openings to feed the wire for earbuds or ear-pieces from an IPod or radio out of the pockets.

As you can see from the photo, there are pockets for both the upper and lower arms. I have to admit that I haven't used those pockets much, other than occasionally to hold a set of keys.

There are velcro squares on each upper arm to attach patches or insignia. I got a Zombie Hunter patch, of course, to use with mine.


I haven't used the jacket in a heavy rain, but it seems to work fine in a light rain or drizzle. Although it hasn't been an issue, the jacket does not have a storm flap to cover the front zipper, and I wish it did.

One thing I want to emphasize is that the jacket is undersized--you need to get at least one size larger than you would normally wear. For instance, I normally wear an XL, but I needed to get a XXL in this jacket. Frankly, I would have liked it if it was even a bit larger since, once you fill up the front pockets, it is starting to get tight and "prints" the outline of your wallet, cell phone, etc.

In short, I would give the jacket a thumbs up. It is a really nice looking jacket, and works well for cooler, wetter weather. With the limitations I've noted above, it makes a good tactical jacket.