Saturday, December 29, 2012

Best I-Phone Zombie Games

List of the top 5 here, as selected by "CubeSilence."

Britain Reveals Its Zombie Apocalypse Plans

From the Telegraph:
In the event of an apocalypse brought about by an army of the undead, civil servants would co-ordinate the military's efforts to "return England to its pre-attack glory", according to a Freedom of Information request that has revealed the country's contingency plans.
The MoD would not lead efforts to plan for such a zombie attack or deal with the aftermath because that role rests with the Cabinet Office, which co-ordinates emergency planning for the Government.
Details about the authorities' surprising level of readiness for a zombie onslaught emerged in a response to an inquiry from a member of the public.
The MoD replied: "In the event of an apocalyptic incident (eg zombies), any plans to rebuild and return England to its pre-attack glory would be led by the Cabinet Office, and thus any pre-planning activity would also taken place there.
"The Ministry of Defence's role in any such event would be to provide military support to the civil authorities, not take the lead. Consequently, the Ministry of Defence holds no information on this matter."

Mountains of Madness

From Wired Magazine:

What might lurk beneath Antarctica’s 5 million square miles of ice was the subject of speculation by sci-fi writers in the 1930s. One of the icy products this subgenre of Antarctic Gothic horror spawned is HP Lovecraft’s novella, At the Mountains of Madness, in which scientists drill beneath Antarctica’s ice — only to discover horrid things preserved there. Now, scientists are finally enacting Lovecraft’s scenario: Over the next several weeks they are drilling into three subglacial lakes hidden beneath thousands of feet of ice in Antarctica.
What they will find as they sample the lakes and send cameras into their bellies remains to be seen. But one thing is already clear: Lovecraft was actually right about far more than his readers could have realized.
In Lovecraft’s story, a team of researchers from Miskatonic University flies into an unexplored region of Antarctica and bores through the ice. They discover fossil dinosaur bones with disturbing puncture and hacking wounds that cannot be attributed to any predators known to science. Soon after, they uncover the source of some of those wounds: fossils of a leathery-skinned beast with a “five-ridged barrel torso … around the equator, one at [the] central apex of each of the five vertical, stave-like ridges are five … flexible arms or tentacles.” The beast’s body is topped by a “five-pointed starfish-shaped” head.
The fossils aren’t quite dead.
As they thaw in the sun, the beasts reawaken. They slaughter 12 members of the expedition, carefully dissecting one of them and carting away another as a brown-bag lunch.
Two surviving members of the expedition find an ancient city entombed in the Antarctic ice sheet which once belonged to the beasts. There, they discover a disturbing truth: This race of five-armed Elder Ones had arrived from space over 600 million years ago. They spawned all life on Earth, including that destined to evolve into humans … in order to provide a source of food.
... Not all of the deep-time holdovers are dead, though. Antarctica’s cold coastal waters preserve an ecosystem like no other Earth. Scientists call it Paleozoic, reminiscent of between 250 and 540 million years ago. It is dominated by echinoderms, the ancient phylum of animals including starfish, sea urchins, sand dollars, and lily-armed crinoids, whose bodies have five-fold symmetry — which brings us back to Lovecraft’s race of five-tentacled Elder Ones mummified beneath the ice.
“They sound like echinoderms to me,” said Richard Aronson, a veteran Antarctic marine biologist at Florida Institute of Technology. “Hilarious.”
Lovecraft points out that his Elder Ones inhabited the deep sea before emerging onto land. He goes to great lengths to describe the holes at the top of their heads, analogous to the water circulation pores in starfish. The author may have been more correct than he ever knew.
... A combination of ice-penetrating radar, seismic sensing, and laser altimetry has revealed well over 100 subglacial lakes hidden beneath Antarctic’s ice. Between now and the end of January, teams from the United States, Russia, and Britain are drilling into three of them.
The British team is preparing to drill into Lake Ellsworth, which sits beneath 10,000 feet of ice and has not seen the light of day for millions of years. (Update: The British team has ceased drilling this season due to technical issues.)
This week, a convoy of tractors will depart from the American-run base McMurdo Station. Those 13 tractors, towing 24 massive sleds of equipment and fuel exceeding half a million pounds, will cross 600 miles of ice before stopping at a nondescript spot 370 miles from the South Pole. There, almost in sight of Lovecraft’s “mountains of madness,” beneath 2,500 feet of ice, sits Lake Whillans, which has not seen daylight for 500,000 to a million years. Two kerosene-fueled generators, totaling nearly half a megawatt, will power a hot-water drill. Once activated in mid-January, that drill could bore an 18-inch-diameter hole into the lake within as little as one day.
At the same time, the Russians are drilling just above Lake Vostok, which sits under 12,350 feet of ice and has remained isolated from the outside world for up to 30 million years. The drillers at Vostok will extract fresh bits of ice, frozen lake water that gushed into the bottom of the borehole when the lake was first punctured last February.
The light that these explorations shed on Antarctica’s sunless waters will drive the monsters further underground.
The subglacial lakes will probably be found to harbor microbes, but not much more. Finding those organisms will reveal plenty about life’s limits, particularly, about the ability of ecosystems to survive in places with minimal nutrients and without sunlight as an energy source. This will provide clues to what life, if any, could survive in liquid oceans that lurk beneath many miles of ice in other parts of the solar system, on Jupiter’s moon Europa or Saturn’s moon Enceladus.
The teams are sterilizing drill equipment to avoid contaminating the pristine subglacial ecosystems, using a combination of ultraviolet light, hydrogen peroxide, and water filtration. But their work is still bound to have impacts on the ecosystem of fictitious monsters.
Aspiring sci-fi horror writers needn’t necessarily forsake Antarctica altogether, says Reed Scherer, a paleontologist from Northern Illinois University, who is part of the team drilling into Lake Whillans. But monsters capable of ripping heads off or chasing down frightened geologists as they flee on snowmobiles will require more carefully though-out habitats. That kind of stuff requires a speedy metabolism. “In order for something to have a high enough metabolic rate that it would be scary to us, it would have to have heat,” says Scherer. Volcanoes sealed under the ice sheet could provide one possible niche, he says. “There’s lots of water and a heat source for things to have a high metabolic rate.” Aerial surveys of irregularities in the Earth’s gravitational and magnetic fields have revealed a handful of possible volcanoes beneath the ice of West Antarctica.
Monsters of the Lovecraft variety — the kind that will butcher a tenured university professor and take him along as camping provisions — might also find credible habitats on Europa or Enceladus, at least until space probes can disprove their existence.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Could A Zombie Apocalypse Happen?

Decoded Science looks at whether there is a scientific basis on which a zombie apocalypse could occur. One possibility they look at is the toxoplasmosis parasite, which is known to cause rats to lose their aversion to cats' odor. The story indicates:
Doctors Torrey and Yolken found that an acute infection of toxoplasmosis results in personality changes similar to those seen in people with schizophrenia. Toxoplasmosis likes brain tissue and has the capacity for long-term infection, which can start early in life. How one person reacts to an infection of toxoplasmosis depends on a variety of factors, including genetic predisposition, the person’s immune system, virulence (the capacity to cause disease) of the strain, and the part of the brain that it infects. We humans can become infected with toxoplasmosis by eating under-cooked meat or coming in contact with cat feces – studies have shown that people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were more likely to have had a cat in childhood.

Zombie Bikini Calendar

A South African ad agency has come out with a "zombie" bikini calendar to promote the "Walking Dead" program. It might have been more interesting if they had actually been "zombiefied" but they just have done a little makeup here and there to look like scrapes and scabs. Anyway, story (with a link to a behind the scenes video) here, and you can download the calender as a PDF here.

A Zombie Romance. Why?

While immensely popular, the Twilight saga clearly has debased and watered down the vampire legend. Rather than being monsters, they are merely another type of "bad boy" for young women to fix. Unfortunately, zombies may be the next "bad boy" type. The Examiner discusses an upcoming move called "Warm Bodies":
We’re not given an exact date on when the zombie apocalypse but Earth has been taken over by zombies. There are a very few human resistance groups still out there just trying to survive. The story of “Warm Bodies” is actually told through a zombie named R. He goes through his day like every day in the airport where he’s lived for awhile. He wants to remember what he did and where he came from.

A group of resistance fighters show up close to the airport to get medical supplies. R and a group of zombies set out to find food and run into the group of humans. During the fight all the humans are killed except two girls. R sees one of the girls and instantly has love at first sight. He wipes some zombie blood on her and tells her to be quiet. He gets her all the way back to his airplane that he stays in from time to time to keep her safe. He finds out her name is Julie and that her dad is the head of the local resistance group.

Julie agrees to stay with R for a while until it is safe for travel. R really just wants to get to know her and notices that he’s able to talk easier and that he’s able to start to remember things. Julie notices the changes but doesn’t think her dad will fully understand that zombies are coming back to life. She ends up leaving R when they get close to the city to protect him. R heads back to the airport but is met half way back by his only friend who tells him all the zombies are changing because of him. He also informs him that the zombies who have turned into skeletons are chasing after them. R decides to take the zombies to the city to help the humans fight the “bonies”.

Chupacabra Attacks?

The Daily Mail describes mysterious animals attacks in Kentucky:
In a ghoulish mystery, an unknown beast is terrorizing Kentucky farmers as it attacks their livestock, tearing parts from the animals but not eating them.

The residents of rural Shelby County have no idea what is stalking their livestock in the night.

'I heard the goat, the dogs going off and I ran out there and looked and saw the goat laying on the ground,' said Kevin Cox, an area farmer who's had one animal fall victim to an attack.

The goat, named Polka-dot, is now missing all of one ear. Polka-dot almost lost both of them.

'I noticed my whole steer bull looking a little different,' Cox said. 'It was covered in blood. Then my other two bulls come up and they had their ears all chewed up.'
Another area farmer had to euthanize five of his goats because their injuries were so severe.

The attacks have come mostly at night, and area residents have been unable to track the culprit.
A woman who chased after the beast with her daughter told county officials that the sound it made was 'indescribable.'

Friday, December 14, 2012

"How Sprinters Ruined the Zombie Genre"

 When the film 28 Days Later hit the screen in 2002, it signaled a huge shift in the zombie genre. Prior to 28 Days Later, zombies were slow and shambling. If I had to compare them to something from nature, I’d say they were glacial. Once 28 Days Later came out with its sprinting non-zombie zombies, everything changed. Zombies were now fast and agile. They could climb and could run, seemingly forever. Zombies were now more of a pissed off horde of fire ants, running at full tilt forever without taking a breath. The remake of Dawn of the Dead in 2004 cemented the idea of the sprinter zombie.
Shamblers allow the human characters an opportunity to prepare, and time for introspection. Survival seems possible, but not probable. The glimmer of survival, of being able to defeat, escape or evade a slow moving mass of death, gave characters a reason to live. Suicidal characters do make their way into a shambler’s narrative, but only by weaker characters or those assured certain death.
Sprinting zombies, if explored logically, would never allow for the humans to do anything more than scream “HOLY SHIT WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!” Sprinter zombies deprive the human characters of a realistic chance for success, and accelerate the action to such a pace that it does not allow for the study of the human condition. Romero’s zombie films and the Walking Dead comic book are good because the slow speed of the zombies allow for narrative pacing. Sprinters, if done properly, would not. There would never be a chance for an introspection of how people can be brave or cowardly, generous or selfish, because a tidal wave of runners would smash any hope for survival.
. . . If the trailer is any indication, the World War Z movie is about how amazing Brad Pitt’s character is, and how he’s one of the “only ones” with the specialized training to combat what’s going on. Who else is going to fight a horde of pissed off fire ants? A superhero-like character. The sprinter zombies present such an overwhelming foe that the protagonists have to be even more incredible.
And that is the opposite of what the zombie genre has always been.
Zombie fiction has been more about human interaction, or humans as the true monsters. Someone’s kid gets bitten, and the parents refuse to do the right thing. The kid turns and kills a lot of people. Or someone wants to leave a shelter, or stay too long, or makes a decision to split the group, and the decision kills a lot of people. The human characters are just as responsible for their deaths as the zombies. The shambler is just a foil.
When the zombie is a sprinter, it becomes the menace. The humans become purely the defender. It’s hard for me to imagine the slow, grinding drama of survivors running low on supplies when a giant stream of sprinters stack on top of each other up a sheer wall:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gift Guide

SHTF Blog has a holiday gift guide for the zombie prepper in your life (or some great ideas for your own purchase).

Skeleton of Vampire Found in Britain

From the Daily Mail:
A new archaeology report tells of the discovery of a skeleton, dating from 550-700AD, buried in the ancient minster town of Southwell, Nottinghamshire, with metal spikes through its shoulders, heart and ankles.
It is believed to be a 'deviant burial', where people considered the 'dangerous dead', such as vampires, were interred to prevent them rising from their graves to plague the living.
Only a handful of such burials have been unearthed in the UK.
The discovery is detailed in a new report by Matthew Beresford, of Southwell Archaeology.
. . . In his report, Mr Beresford says: 'The classic portrayal of the dangerous dead (more commonly known today as a vampire) is an undead corpse arising from the grave and all the accounts from this period reflect this.
'Throughout the Anglo-Saxon period the punishment of being buried in water-logged ground, face down, decapitated, staked or otherwise was reserved for thieves, murderers or traitors or later for those deviants who did not conform to societies rules: adulterers, disrupters of the peace, the unpious or oath breaker.
'Which of these the Southwell deviant was we will never know.'
. . . He said: 'People would have a very strong view that this was somebody who, for whatever reason, they had a reason to fear and needed to ensure that this person did not come back.'
The discovery comes five months after archaeologists found remains from a third grave in central Bulgaria linked to the practise.
The skeleton was tied to the ground with four iron clamps, while burning ambers were placed on top of his grave.
The bones of a man in his thirties were believed to be at least several centuries old, and experts believed he had been subjected to a superstition-driven ritual to prevent him from becoming one after his death.

A Prehistoric Zombie Apocalypse?

Hints that our ancestors may have had to fight off the scourge of the undead. From Mother Nature Network:

Archaeologists working in Europe and the Middle East have recently unearthed evidence of a mysterious Stone Age "skull-smashing" culture, according to New Scientist. Human skulls buried underneath an ancient settlement in Syria were found detached from their bodies with their faces smashed in. Eerily, it appears that the skulls were exhumed and detached from their bodies several years after originally being buried. It was then that they were smashed in and reburied separate from their bodies.
 According to Juan José Ibañez of the Spanish National Research Council in Barcelona, the finding could suggest that these Stone Age "skull-smashers" believed the living were under some kind of threat from the dead. Perhaps they believed that the only way of protecting themselves was to smash in the corpses' faces, detach their heads and rebury them apart from their bodies.

But here's the creepy thing: many of the 10,000-year-old skulls appear to have been separated from their spines long after their bodies had already begun to decompose. Why would this skull-smashing ritual be performed so long after individuals had died? Did they only pose a threat to the living long after their original burial and death?

If it was a ritualistic exercise, it also raises questions about why only select corpses were chosen. All of the smashed skulls were from adult males between the ages of 18 and 30. Furthermore, there was no trace of delicate cutting. It appears that the skulls' faces were simply smashed in using brute force with a stone tool.

Of course, there's almost certain to be a rational explanation for all of this. Then again, it's also fun to consider the possibility that these findings represent evidence for a Stone Age zombie uprising.

Let's consider a few key facets of zombie mythology. Zombies, as we know, are hungry for the flesh of the living, and the only way to stop them is with a head shot. In many zombie movies, this involves shooting them in the cranium. One might surmise that the Stone Age equivalent of this would be to instead smash in their faces with a big rock. Perhaps the lopping off of their heads was then performed to ensure that the job was done.

Perhaps the reason the original dead bodies seemed to be exhumed before their heads were properly smashed in was because the dead had risen from their own graves, under their own power.

Maybe, just maybe, Stone Age Syrians battled against and saved the world from an imminent zombie apocalypse some 10,000 years ago. The theory may not make great fodder for a scientific thesis, but it sets up the plotline for a B-grade horror movie to perfection.
 The archaeologists suggest that the smashing of the faces may have been some ritual means for tribesmen to emotionally separate themselves from the dead, by ridding the dead of the their identity. That would only make sense, however, if it was done upon burial, not much later; and certainly doesn't explain why only corpses were selected for this treatment.

The Rise of R'lyeh?

Okay, this is kinda old, but in August the BBC reported on strange doings in the South Pacific:
A vast "raft" of volcanic rocks covering 10,000 sq miles (26,000 sq km) of ocean has been spotted by a New Zealand military aircraft.
A naval ship was forced to change course in order to avoid the cluster of buoyant rocks, located 1,000 miles off the New Zealand coast.
The unusual phenomenon was probably the result of pumice being released from an underwater volcano, experts said.
One navy officer described it as the "weirdest thing" he had seen at sea.
Lieutenant Tim Oscar told the AFP news agency: "As far ahead as I could observe was a raft of pumice moving up and down with the swell.
"The [top of the] rock looked to be sitting two feet above the surface of the waves and lit up a brilliant white colour. It looked exactly like the edge of an ice shelf," the officer said.
Researchers aboard the ship, HMNZS Canterbury, suggest that the source of the pumice was an underwater volcano (seamount) known as Monowai, located to the north of New Zealand.
The pumice is likely to have been formed when lava from the seamount came into contact with seawater, and as it is less dense than water it quickly rises to the surface of the ocean.
Vicky Hards from the British Geological Survey said the raft of volcanic rocks on this scale was a "relatively unusual occurrence".
No reports, though, of people having strange dreams, or mysterious shafts of light shooting up into the night.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Twinkie Zombie Apocalypse Has Begun

When I heard that Hostess was shutting down, my first thought was the nearly fruitless quest of "Tallahassee" in Zombieland to track down the world's last Twinkies. I was not the only one.

Doomsday Shelters

It's been awhile since the Daily Mail had a photospread of disaster shelters, but they have come through--and just in time for December 21--with a variety of nuclear bomb shelters from around the world.

The BioLite Stove

Here is an interesting product--the BioLite stove which converts the heat from a small wood fire (which you can use for cooking) to electricity to run a small fan (to force air into the fire) and recharge cell phones, GPS devices, etc.

Here is the link to the manufacturer's website.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Review of the Zombies, Run! App

Many who follow shows like Walking Dead, or imagined themselves in the superlative storytelling found in World War Z and Feed (The Newsflesh Trilogy) think that if they were in the same place as the characters, they'd perform better under pressure. But if push came to shove and you really had to run from zombies, would you be able to?

That's where the app Zombies, Run! becomes intriguing - for me, anyway. The app (available for Apple iOS, Windows and Android) has cleverly combined well-written serialized storytelling and an app for prompting and tracking running to create a task-oriented zombie apocalypse adventure that will actually get you to run.

You can also walk the chapters, but when you hear the moans of zombies in your headphones... You'll probably feel like you should really run.

The product of a very successful Kickstarter campaign, Zombies, Run! (Twitter) uses your Android or iPhone and a set of headphones to put you in the midst of a zombie apocalypse scenario. The app is from Six To Start, and the chapters/storyline is written by award-winning novelist and Naomi Alderman (currently co-writing with Margaret Atwood).

You are a runner. A township community needs you to go after supplies, weapons, get recon, find missing people, chase 'traitors' and more.

You're given missions to complete . . .  and you're given instructions - or warnings of zombie hoardes around the corner - as you run missions on the streets of your own town.

Each mission lasts 30-40 minutes, and you can play music from your own playlist in the background. . .

Zombies, Run! has a gameplay layer (and semi-MMPORG element) if you want to engage further with the app. Users can create a Zombielink account and track their stats. Zombielink syncs your running data; users can view their run logs and stats, calories burned, how fast you ran from zombies at a given moment, and recaps of your run activity with events in the storyline.

Zombies vs. SEALS

From Forbes:
The Taliban IED exploding in the faces of the U.S. soldiers wasn’t the surprise. It was the zombie assault that came afterwards.

The War on Terror and the Zombie War on Humanity met Halloween night as an American patrol confronted IEDs, wounded civilians and waves of zombies. The setting was the parking lot of the HALO Corporation’s counter-terrorism conference in San Diego, and the soldiers and zombies came from Strategic Operations, a private company that uses Hollywood special effects and actors to train U.S. soldiers.

But as you can see from the video, this wasn’t training Marines how to make friends with Afghan villagers. The scenario starts with an American VIP – the dude in the black shirt and sunglasses – visiting a village (Strategic Operations describes it as a Third World village, but the keffiyeh/shemagh scarf worn by the village elder suggests Iraq or Afghanistan). He is escorted by a Personal Security Detail of American soldiers. As the team prepares to leave the village, they are attacked by insurgents driving a truck carrying an IED. The soldiers destroy the vehicle and detonate the IED. That’s when the zombies strike. The soldiers pick off the undead while an armored vehicle arrives to extract the team. Then a Quick Reaction Force of soldiers deploys to rescue the villagers and put everyone through a decontamination station.
Another article about the exercise can be found here.

Scientist Claims to Have Found Evidence of Yeti

A Russian scientist claims to have found hair samples and other evidence of the existence of a human-like mammal unknown to man. The hair has allegedly been tested and found to contain non-human DNA.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rifle Field Positions

Warrior Talk News has started a series on field positions to use when shooting a rifle. The first two--on prone shooting and sitting--are already up. One point they bring up with prone shooting that I thought was interesting, because it contradicts everything I've ever been told or read before, is:
Use the magazine as a monopod. Those that tell you doing so will malfunction the rifle are wrong...or they are using substandard magazines. The goal is as much bone support as possible with the least amount of muscle strength necessary to maintain the position.

Marines and Police Prepare for Mock Zombie Invasion

Hundreds of military, law enforcement and medical personnel will observe the Hollywood-style production of a zombie attack as part of their emergency response training.

In the scenario, a VIP and his personal detail are trapped in a village, surrounded by zombies when a bomb explodes. The VIP is wounded and his team must move through the town while dodging bullets and shooting back at the invading zombies. At one point, some members of the team are bitten by zombies and must be taken to a field medical facility for decontamination and treatment.

"No one knows what the zombies will do in our scenario, but quite frankly no one knows what a terrorist will do," Barker said. "If a law enforcement officer sees a zombie and says, `Freeze, get your hands in the air!' What's the zombie going to do? He's going to moan at you. If someone on PCP or some other psychotic drug is told that, the truth is he's not going to react to you."

The keynote speaker beforehand will be a retired top spook -- former CIA Director Michael Hayden.

"No doubt when a zombie apocalypse occurs, it's going to be a federal incident, so we're making it happen," Barker said. Since word got out about the exercise, they've had calls from "every whack job in the world" about whether the U.S. government is really preparing for a zombie event.

Called "Zombie Apocalypse," the exercise follows the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's campaign launched last year that urged Americans to get ready for a zombie apocalypse, as part of a catchy, public health message about the importance of emergency preparedness.

The Homeland Security Department jumped on board last month, telling citizens if they're prepared for a zombie attack, they'll be ready for real-life disasters like a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack. A few suggestions were similar to a few of the 33 rules for dealing with zombies popularized in the 2009 movie "Zombieland," which included "always carry a change of underwear" and "when in doubt, know your way out."

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mr. Frosty Man

(H/t Wired Magazine, which has a short article about it).

"Walking Dead" FX Guru Offers Tips on Zombie Costumes

For those of you dressing up as a zombie for Halloween this year, here are some makeup tips:
One of the biggest makeup mistakes Nicotero sees is a lack of color when creating a "dead" look. "When someone is doing a zombie makeup they tend to only use two colors: they use white pale and black around the eyes," explains Nicotero. "It looks a little skull-like but it doesn’t look realistic. When you look at your hand or your arm and you can see all the little blotches of red and yellow and brown – your skin is made up of a variety of different colors."

Shading, he says, is the key. "What we do on the show is to paint the shadows first with something like a dark burgundy and then go over the whole thing with a color we call dead – which is a yellowish, jaundice color. When you are able to use a bunch a different colors it looks more authentic. If you have a bruise there are all those colors around it – purple and red – so I try to get people to look at reality and use colors that exist in nature."
He recommends that you use powdered food coloring instead of liquid food coloring (which can stain) when making fake blood; and use lots of blood and spattering. 
Keep the dirt coming advises Nicotero, and not just for the tattered clothing and ghoulish makeup. "For the zombies on our show the inside of the mouth is all dark because a pink mouth signifies that something is alive. So we use a mixture of food coloring and black cake icing and we swish it around in every zombie mouth before they get a close up."
To give hair a matted, dull look, he recommends putting conditioner into your hair and letting it dry.
"Nowadays you can go to any Halloween store and there is a lot of basic makeup supplies," adds Nicotero. "And one way you can get mummified skin is to use liquid latex. Get Kleenex or cotton and put a little bit of latex on your hand or on your face, then you put the tissue in there and model it into wrinkles. Then you take a hair dryer and dry it. Add another layer of latex and build it up to two or three layers. It is going to look dried out and weathered looking. Then thing to do is rip the tissue paper up and paint the wound red inside so it looks really nasty."

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Why the .40 Sucks

Video at The Truth About Guns (TTAG). I've been saying the same thing ever since I first shot a .40, and although I've shot .40 since, I've never changed my opinion.

Back to Basics

Although modern zombies have more in common with the Medieval "reverent," the modern interest in zombies originally derived from voodoo. So, I thought this article on a voodoo "congregation" in New York was interesting:
Photographer Shannon Taggart's lifelong fascination with the mysterious Haitian religion of voodoo has taken her to a basement apartment in Brooklyn, where she came face to face with people being possessed by mysterious spirits.

What resulted from Taggart's experience inside the Flatbush temple run by female priest known as Mambo Rose Marie Pierre is a series of captivating photos called Basement Voodoo, which show the members of her small congregation being taken over by the Loa - powerful spirits that mediate between humans and the voodoo deity, Bondye.

Communicating with the Loa requires elaborate preparations specific to each spirit. While some of the Loa are harmless, others are considered wicked or belligerent.

In order to call on any given spirit, a voodoo practitioner has to draw a symbol associated with that particular Loa in cornmeal on the floor, Time LightBox reported.

What follows next is a series of ritual dances and songs performed to summon the Loa. When the spirit finally possesses the worshiper, the scene turns wild and frenzied. It is commonplace to see people thrashing on the floor, screaming or running around the room in confusion.

Other congregants assist the possessed during the intensely physical experience and stand at the ready in case the worshiper collapses.

Zombie-Themed CPR Ad

I'm not sure about the whole getting-CPR-from-a-zombie.
With Halloween just around the corner, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada has decided the time is right for an hilarious Zombie-themed public service announcement.

Their new video, 'The Undeading,' is a Walking Dead-style take on the lifesaving procedure featuring a horde of zombies performing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on a hapless victim.

The video starts with a lone woman in the middle of a urban landscape during a zombie apocalypse.

She manages to kill one zombie, but quickly finds herself surrounded on all sides by a mob of zombies. Suddenly she begins to experience a heart attack, but fortunately one of the zombies is a former doctor and has a plan to save her life.

The PSA cleverly plays off the notion that zombies like only victims who are still alive and breathing. And as it cheekily notes, 'CPR makes you undead.'
Full story with photos and the video here.

Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo has compiled a lot of information and links to information concerning the effectiveness of popular defense rounds--both rifle and handgun. This is a serious must-read.

1950's Flying Saucer Design

Not zombie related, but interesting:
Official alien existence may have never been recorded but their supposed preferred method of transport came close to becoming a reality.

These detailed diagrams and sketches, released last month by the National Archives, show the mind-blowing military initiative, named Project 1794 to build an all-powerful fully-functioning flying saucer to patrol the skies.

In a 1956 memo it is acknowledged that the craft was to reach top speeds of 'between Mach 3 and Mach 4, a ceiling of over 100,000 ft. and a maximum range with allowances of about 1,000 nautical miles'.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Drug Turns People Into Walking, Rotting Corpse

I thought I had blogged about this drug before, but I can't find it among my older posts. Oh, well:
A horrific drug known as krokodil has nearly become an epidemic in Russia -- it rots the flesh off its abusers turning them into real-life zombies. The "zombie apocalypse" has been on the tip of everyone's tongue and now the world is getting a look at a substance that transforms healthy individuals into the "walking dead."

Krokodil is three time more potent and a tenth the price of heroin, BuzzFeed said, making Russian youths susceptible to trying it. Its use has spread rapidly.

Krokodil (crocodile) is a desomorphine, a synthetic opiate that is created from a complex chain of mixing and chemical reactions, which addicts will perform numerous times a day to get high, The Independent reported.

It's a drug for the poor that is a mixture of codeine-based "headache" pills and other cheap household ingredients like gasoline, paint thinner, iodine, hydrochloric acid and red phosphorus, Fox News reported.

"Crocodile" gets its reptilian name because the toxic ingredients in the drug make user's skin turn scaly, but that's only the beginning. After longer use, addicts will develop rotting sores.
Full story here.

"Why We Love Zombies"

Op-ed from the San Jose Mercury News explains why we like zombies:
Simply put, the rise of zombies in pop culture reflects our creeping sense of anxiety about the state of the world. On the most basic level, horror movies are an outlet to express our unspoken fears. We live vicariously through the characters in these stories, experiencing their desperation and their capacity to endure. When they triumph over all odds, so do we -- and that's quite a thrill. When they get gobbled, we confront our own mortality. The squeamish ones, like me, also look away. Briefly. Until we can't bear the suspense.

Let's face it, there is a lot of scary news out there these days. From the economy to the environment, it can seem like the end of the world as we know it, and it's hard to feel fine about it.

Abandoned Villas in Italy

A grand staircase lies in ruins - the steps have crumbled; its ornate railings covered in dust. On the decaying, bare walls, a splash of coloured panelling provides the last vestige of splendour.

This once-great Italian villa would most likely have been home to nobility during the Renaissance - but now, it and many others have been abandoned.

Yet there is still beauty to be found - frescoes depicting angels and rustic scenes, and vaulted ceilings which have managed to ward off the ravages of time.

To document their sad demise, photographer Thomas Jorion has roamed the north of the country - from Piedmont and Lombardy to Tuscany and Emilia Romagna - for his gallery series, entitled Forgotten Palaces.

* * *

For the most part, the villas lie in economically distressed areas with poor communications.

However, there are cases where family tensions have been the cause of the residences' downfall.

In one instance, the construction of a nuclear power plant nearby led to the abandonment of the village and the house master.

There are believed to be more than 300 Italian ghost villages, or 'paesi fantasma', many dating from medieval times.

Residents have left such villages - many dating from medieval times - for reasons ranging from landslides to migration to big cities.
Full story and more photos here.

British Explorer Closes in on Lost Treasure

Pirates. Sailing ships. Marooned on a mysterious island. Over $200 million in gold buried somewhere on the island. It makes for a great story. From Business Insider:
Shaun Whitehead is leading an archaeological expedition to Cocos Island, the supposed hiding place of the “Treasure of Lima” – one of the world’s most fabled missing treasures.

The haul – said to be worth £160 million – was stolen by a British trader, Captain William Thompson, in 1820 after he was entrusted to transport it from Peru to Mexico.

He is said to have been stashed his plunder on the Pacific island, from where it has never been recovered.

An original inventory showed 113 gold religious statues, one a life-size Virgin Mary, 200 chests of jewels, 273 swords with jewelled hilts, 1,000 diamonds, solid gold crowns, 150 chalices and hundreds of gold and silver bars.

The site, credited by some as the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, is uninhabited and around 350 miles off the coast of Costa Rica, of which it is a part.

* * *

Mr Whitehead, who has previously led a project to explore uncharted shafts inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, said: “Given the amount of treasure, it would have been too heavy to carry far from sea level and stories suggest the use of caves. We can also rule out where others have looked, dug up and detected – like on the beaches.

“If it is there, it will be in a natural cave which was hidden by one of the many landslides that occur on the island.

"It is not a case of following a map and “X” marking the spot. It is about using a bit of logic to establish the likelihood of some areas where it could be.”

The team’s research will concentrate on the areas around three of the island’s four bays, which have been most used by visitors.

The team plan to use a small, unmanned helicopter, fitted with specialist cameras, to fly above the nine mile square island, which will enable them to make a computer-generated 3D map of the landscape.

They will then use a snakelike robot that can be dragged across the parts of island and, using ground penetrating radar, detect voids and cavities up to a depth of around 60ft. This data will be added to the 3D map to identify any likely concealed caves.

After this, a team will use a specialist “keyhole” drill, which can reach more than 100ft, to dig down into the cave. A probe camera can be sent down through the 1in diameter.

The 10-day expedition will also involve extensive archaeological, geological and ecological research and Mr Whitehead is at pains to stress they are not simply going there on a treasure hunt.

* * *

The treasure could be worth at least £160 million. If any of it is found, the team plans to pass it on to the Costa Rican authorities, which would be expected to pay a fee for its salvage.

The treasure had been amassed by the Spanish authorities in Lima, in what is now Peru, but facing a revolt, the city’s viceroy, José de la Serna, entrusted the riches to Captain Thompson for transport to Mexico, also a Spanish colony, and it was transferred to his ship, the Mary Dear.

After leaving the port of Callao, near Lima, Thompson and his crew killed the Viceroy’s six men and sailed to Cocos, where they buried the treasure.

Shortly afterwards, they were apprehended by a Spanish warship. All of the crew – bar Thompson and his first mate – were executed for piracy.

The two said they would show the Spaniards where they had hidden the treasure in return for their lives, but after landing on Cocos, they escaped into the forest.

They are said to have been picked up by a passing ship a year later, but without the treasure.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

TTAG on the Saiga Shotgun

One of the reasons I read The Truth About Firearms blog is because they don't appear to pull the punches when reviewing firearms. So, here is what they said recently about the Saiga shotgun:
The Saiga shotgun is built roughly on the same design as an AK-47 – very roughly. Like, “I saw it on the internet and I think it works like this” rough. Some of the features are pretty close to the original design, but the gun had to be drastically modified to operate with shotgun shells.

The gas system, for example, uses a “gas puck” that functions much like the short stroke recoil design used in the M1 carbine from WWII instead of the direct gas operated piston system in the original design. And the bolt design uses a rotating shaft ... but a stationary bolt face in order to properly chamber a round.

Other additions like a bolt hold-open feature are unique to the Saiga design entirely. These modifications have introduced a number of areas where serious malfunctions can occur. And more often than not, they happen at the most inopportune moments.

In addition ... the build quality on Saigas is generally piss poor compared to other shotguns in the same or even lower price ranges (not even the Norinco 870 ripoff is as rough around the edges). ... Besides the finish being incredibly rough (and therefore rather abrasive to the moving components of the gun) the original parts themselves seem flimsy. It just feels like they cranked these guns out without the polish that their line of rifles gets.

... I asked around, and every single person I saw who was running a Saiga shotgun at the recent CT match had a major malfunction (“major” defined as taking 10 seconds or more to clear). One shooter’s shotgun even decided to disassemble itself in the middle of a stage, something that happened the day before at the practice range and was captured on film by yours truly (notice anything about that dust cover?).

Whatever speed bonus competitors gained by having detachable magazines was more than outweighed by the extra time needed to actually make the thing work. And before you say it was only the “bad” competitors that had malfs, I watched Jerry Miculek’s legendary Saiga shotgun have a meltdown in the middle of a stage that probably cost him a few positions on the leaderboard.

That’s the reason I ditched the Saiga shotgun when I did. I could see the writing on the wall — getting it “up to spec” was going to cost thousands of dollars and even then, the design was so inherently shitty that it probably was still going to malfunction on me. So instead of wasting money on the “upgrades” I bought a Mossberg 930 and haven’t looked back. The lesson: caveat emptor. If you buy a Saiga shotgun, be aware that you’re buying a project gun that even the best shooters of our day have tried — and failed — to make work in a competition setting.
C'mon. Tell me how you really feel.

FerFal -- 5 "Awkward" Items to Have in a Survival Kit

Interesting article from FerFal's blog on why to include condoms, tampons, an emery board, pantyhose, and breast milk bags in a wilderness survival or bug out kit.

The Door to Hell

Soviet geologists were drilling at the site in 1971 and tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas.

But the ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a hole with a diameter of 70 metres.

Fearing that the hole would lead to the release of poisonous gases, the team decided to burn it off.

It was hoped that the fire would use all the fuel within days, but the gas is still burning today.

The flames generate a golden glow which can be seen for miles around Derweze, a village with a population of about 350.

The site is about 260 kilometres north of Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan.
More photos and a video at the link.

Lotsa Ruins

This past week apparently has been "modern ruins" week at the Daily Mail.

First up,"Haunting images of America's abandoned cities paint picture of nation's forgotten struggles...." This is a potpourri of ghost towns and abandoned buildings from around the U.S.:
Shops sit in neat lines, a pool table waits for the next player and cars queue for their turn at a gas station - but there will be no customers, no patrons and no drivers here.

These haunting images reveal America's abandoned cities, the nation's once bustling communities now dilapidated, cobwebbed and eerily silent.

While they all share the same conclusion, each city has a different story leading to its demise - tales of raging fires, devastating floods or simply overspending during the copper, mercury or gold rushes.
One of the featured buildings:
Fall of a city: The Cook Bank Building in Rhyolite, Nevada was filled with marble staircases and imported stained glass and cost $2.3 million to build in today's money. It is pictured [bottom] in 1908 but just two years later, the town's mines were operating at a loss. It is pictured [top] in 2009

The next article has photos and story about the abandoned "Enchanted Land" theme park in Rio de Janeiro. A couple photos from the story:

It actually doesn't look in too bad of shape....

The third article has photos and bit of information on abandoned railway stations from around the world, including the Michigan Central Depot in Detroit:

 Check 'em out.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Zombie Manor House

Some time ago, I had noted a CNN story about prepping for the zombie apocalypse. The story included the following bit:
For about $100 and a plane ticket to England, you can attend’s Zombie Boot Camp in Droitwich, Worchestershire, for training with military instructors. Utilizing body armor and weaponry, you learn battle tactics and unarmed combat and sniper skills as you train for an attack on a zombie den. Tea, coffee and light snacks are available for nonzombies to eat during training.
I recently received an email from the same outfit letting me know about their Zombie Manor House they run. I don't have the extra money for a plane ticket to England, but thought I'd pass it along.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Baltic Sea "UFO" May Be Nazi Secret Weapon

Divers exploring a 'UFO-shaped' object in the Baltic sea say that the strange, curved object might be a Nazi device lost beneath the waves since the end of the Second World War.

Sonar scans have shown that the device, raised 10ft above the seabed and measuring 200ft by 25ft, could be the base of an anti-submarine weapon.

The weapon was built with wire mesh which could have baffled submarine radar, leading enemy craft to crash - much in the same way as turning out a lighthouse could be used as a weapon against shipping.

But now former Swedish naval officer and WWII expert Anders Autellus has revealed that the structure - measuring 200ft by 25ft - could be the base of a device designed to block British and Russian submarine movements in the area.

The huge steel-and-concrete structure could be one of the most important historical finds in years.

Autellus claims it would have been built of double-skinned concrete and reinforced with wire mesh to baffle radar - which could explain why the dive team's equipment repeatedly failed near the mystery object.

‘The area was vital to the German war machine because most of the ball bearings for its tanks and trucks came from here. Without them the German army would have ground to a halt,’ explained one expert.

‘This device dwarfs anything ever found before and is an important weapons discovery,’ they added.

Explorer Stefan Hogeborn - who is studying the images for the Ocean X diving team - agreed: ‘It is a good candidate for the answer to this mystery. The object lies directly underneath a shipping route.’

‘It would be of enormous weight in steel and concrete. Other Nazi anti-sub anchoring devices were nowhere near as large,’ he added.

Another Zombie Attack?

The July 10, 2012, Daily Mail reported:
A naked man allegedly flew into a violent rampage, biting a chunk out of another man's stomach after leaping from his roof onto a truck and urinating inside his home.

Officers responding to the scene needed backup to restrain Jeremiah Aaron Haughee with leg shackles, a spit hood and handcuffs after he continued fighting despite being Tasered five times.

Authorities did not carry out tests on Haughee to see if he was under the influence of any drugs.

Police first arrived at the home in Flagler Beach, Florida at 4.30 a.m. to find two men restraining the naked 22-year-old in a puddle of urine and glass.

Zombie Elantra Coupe


The cow-catcher (or some sort of grill) would be a good idea to help drive through a pack of zombies without throwing them up and through the windshield or crumpling the front of the car. However, it needs to lose the spikes. Also, the spikes on the wheels is a bad idea. It limits the manoeuvrability of the car, its going to catch on other vehicles or the sides of buildings (i.e., when you have to race down a narrow alley), and I can see someone tripping over them as they race back to the care for a quick getaway. The grills over the window are a good idea, but I would use a mesh grill so the zombies can't their hands through.

Why Is America Hooked on Zombies?

Cliff Courtney, EVP and chief strategy officer for Zimmerman Advertising, said America as a society loves to “resurrect the dead.” Not in the zombie sense, per se, but as far as trends go, Zimmerman said we need to only look to the past to see what will be popular again the future.

The zombie and vampire craze that has been sweeping the country for the past several years now is just one example.

“Zombies were movie staples in the 1950s and 1960s, and basically everything old is new again,” he said. “We milk something to death and move on.”

Advanced CGI technology has only made the trend even more popular, Zimmerman said, because today’s zombies look even more real and terrifying, making the representations we see on television and in movies even more fun to watch.

And, as far as participating zombie races and the subculture that is seriously preparing for the zombie apocalypse? Zimmerman said this is all about making things more interesting for consumers. Take running, for example, which can be mundane and repetitive. Throw some zombies and obstacles into a 5K race and you will attract even more runners than you would for a standard race.

“It’s all about how can we make it more interesting,” Zimmerman said.

The Ruins of Gary, Indiana

Once the centre of the country's booming steel industry and known as the City of the Century, Gary, Indiana now lies in ruins as a sad example of American industrial decline.

Founded in 1906 by the US Steel Corporation, Gary's heyday was in the post-war boom of the 1950's when almost 200,000 people lived and worked in the bustling city, 25 miles from Chicago.

As the American manufacturing sector contracted, Gary's population fell by over 50 percent and no one now uses the once bustling train stations, church's and auditoriums that are now decaying as they are left to the elements.

. . . the flight of people away from Gary led to whole swathes of buildings being abandoned such as the once proud City Methodist Church which was built in the 1920's.

U.S. Steel paid $385,000 towards the $1 million construction costs of the church, which used to hold 950 people every Sunday and boasted a total congregation of 3,000.

The church also had a large school, gymnasium and an auditorium named the Seaman Hall where the city would hold community meetings, plays and musical events.

By 1970 the number of attendees for Sunday mass had fallen to 100 and in 1975 the church closed for good and began its long decent into despair.

Lying dormant and unused since then, many plans have been mooted to restore the place of worship including turning the vast empty spaces into a centre for performing arts or even to gracefully culture the ruins into an open garden.

However, with no funds and no concrete interest, the City of Gary has allowed the crumbling building to become a symbol of the decline of northwest Indiana and American industry.

Other building's such as the city's Union Station are potent reminders of the heights that Gary has fallen from.

Constructed to feed the growing city in 1910, the station lasted only another five decades before being closed and left to nature to take its course.

"Run for Your Lives"

Daniel Smith had run over hills, scrambled through streams and climbed over walls on a recent hot Saturday here, when he came face-to-face with his greatest obstacle yet: a field full of zombies.

He dodged through about 20 groaning, glassy-eyed antagonists with oozing facial wounds and streaks of red splattered across their clothes. "I felt like it was just nonstop sprinting for my life," said the 18-year-old from nearby Yorktown.

Mr. Smith, who runs high school track and cross-country, paid $87 for the privilege, while the zombies chasing him paid $25—and got a free makeup job and, for those over 21, a complimentary beer at the end of the race.

Obstacle-course races and zombie-themed events—from proms to marches to film festivals—have been spreading across the country like a flesh-eating bacteria. Now, a series of races called "Run For Your Lives" are bringing the two together.

Runners wade through pools of fake blood, duck under electrified wires and try to avoid letting zombies steal their "health flags" worn on a belt around the waist. A runner with no flags left is ruled dead—or is it undead?—and isn't eligible for awards at the end of the five-kilometer race. Crossing the finish line alive is no small feat: Only about 20% of racers make it with at least one of their three flags left.
(Full story here). A lot more fun than just going for a jog, or entering a foot race.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Walking Dead Escape... Petco Park in San Diego, July 12-14.

More information (including ticket information) at the link, above, and here.

A Collaborative Zombie Bible

You know about "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" and other classic stories incorporating zombies. How about the greatest story ever told? At the risk of being damned for blasphemy, a group of zombie fans have started a site to produce a collaborative zombie-fied version of the Holy Bible--the Stinque Zombie Bible. (H/t Huffington Post).

Building the "Walking Dead" Zombie Apocalypse Car

Story and video at the link.

Last Chance to Check for DNSChanger

Technology Review reminds us that, as of Monday, if your computer is infected with DNSChanger, you will not be able to connect to the Internet.
Hundreds of thousands of people are likely to be confused on Monday when they fire up their home or office computers and can't connect to the Internet. Their network connections will be fine, but attempts to visit their favorite domains will be fruitless.

These people will be the unfortunate leftover victims of the DNSChanger botnet. Between 2007 and October of last year, the DNSChanger virus infected four million computers in 100 countries, according to the FBI. Often without the victims' knowledge, the computers were turned into drones that were instructed by rogue servers to visit websites and click on ads in a scheme to generate fraudulent advertising revenue.
You can check your computer by going here.  If your computer is infected, this site has information on fixing it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

DIY Motorcycle

 A couple weeks ago, I posted about a man that had built a motorcycle out of the parts of his car after breaking down in the Sahara. Now for the rest of the story:
When Frenchman Emile Leray became stranded in a Moroccan desert [in 1993] with a badly damaged car, his ordeal was one which would have left most men helpless and desperate.

But after his Citroen car ground to a halt, the enterprising electrician would not be denied in his quest to find his way back to civilisation.

His amazing escape from the barren terrain saw Mr Leray singlehandedly rebuild his Citreon into a makeshift motorbike, in a dramatic escape which has seen him dubbed the most 'extreme' mechanic in the world.

* * *

The 43-year-old had been driving his Citroen 2CV across the desert from the Moroccan city of Tan-Tan.

However, along the way he was stopped at a military outpost and was informed that he couldn't go any further.

Faced with prospect of returning to Tan Tan, Emile decided instead to go off road to navigate around the restricted area.

Unfortunately the rocky and bumpy terrain soon caused problems and he lost control of his car before crashing into a rock.

The impact caused the Citroen's swing arm and wheel axle to snap - leaving the car undriveable.

With the nearest village at least 20 miles away, Emile didn't feel he would be able to make it on foot.

Luckily, he had a small cache of supplies, water for several days and a few tools, including a hacksaw.

After considering his options, Emile decided that his best course of action was to use parts from his car to create a makeshift motorbike.

Mr Leray told the Sunday Times: 'I wanted to do it off road because I had travelled round Africa about 10 times, so I knew the region well and therefore had no concerns.

'I decided to do it in a 2CV because, although it is not a 4x4, it is tough. In Africa they call it the ‘Steel Camel’ because it goes everywhere — provided you drive it gently. One must not be rough.

'I obviously was too rough because I broke it.

'I could not have gone back on foot — it was too far. I put myself in what one calls survival mode. I ate less; I monitored my supplies of water and of food to make them last as long as possible.'

He started by removing the Citroen's body, which he then used as a shelter to sleep under.

To build the bike he shortened the car's chassis before reattaching the axles and two of the wheels, as well as installing the engine and gearbox in the middle.

He had thought that it would take him just a few days to construct the motorcycle, but in the end it took 12.

Eventually, however, it was complete and, with just half a litre of water left, Emile started his ride back to civilisation.

The going was easy and he regularly fell off the seat, which was made from part of the car's rear bumper.

After a day of riding Emile was picked up by the Moroccan police who drove him to the nearest village.

They also handed him a hefty fine because the registration documents for his car no longer corresponded to what he was driving.
Read the whole thing (also, many more photographs).

Massad Ayoob Discusses Barrel Length... Backwoods Magazine.

Zombie Theme Park in Detroit?

Those of you that have followed my blog for a while have seen me post pictures of modern ruins, and know what horrible shape Detroit is in. Somebody wants to turn the "wastelands" of Detroit to good use as a zombie theme park.
Derelict areas of Detroit face being taken over by hordes of 'flesh and brain-eating zombies' if an ambitious business plan takes off.

Entrepreneur Mark Siwak wants to create live-action terror theme park 'Z World' on Motor City's run-down and abandoned streets.

Customers would pay to be chased by professional actors and try to seek shelter in ghostly homes, factories and businesses.

* * *

Detroit has become known in recent years for pioneering 'creative solutions' like urban farming and pedestrian-friendly greenway trials.

Soaring budget deficits and a declining population has forced businesses and the authorities to 'think outside the box'.

And Siwak, who has raised $2,200 of the $140,000 needed through fundraising website IndieGoGo, said his theme park could be the perfect solution.

He told CBS Detroit: 'The city can only have so many urban farms or similar uses for vacant plots.'

And he revealed he is already receiving CVs from hundreds of residents keen to work at the tourist attraction.

He added: 'While zombies are great, the real neat thing about this project is the potential to inject some life into a forgotten neighbourhood - with the opportunity to work with neighbourhood groups and organisation'.

The project would follow in the footsteps of Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse, where thrill-seekers wield paint ball guns to play hide-and-seek with undead zombies in a formerly abandoned truck stop.

Mysterious Meteor Trail Over Australia

That people saw the trail is not what is unusual. What is in unusual is that the trail was visible for 20 minutes. (Full story here).

More Zombie Cannibal Attacks

From yesterday's Daily Mail:
A 'zombie cannibal' was tasered by police after he charged at them wielding a golf club.

Karl Laventure, 21, was believed to be high on bath salts when he tried to attack the officers in Lilburn, Georgia.

And after they had managed to subdue him he began threatening to eat them.

Laventure appeared out of some woods and was seen running naked around a golf range near Atlanta, swinging a club around his head and screaming.

Police said that it took several officers to subdue the man who had 'super-human strength'.

'He came running at us out of the woodline,' officer Ross Hancock told local station WSBTV.

At first, they tried using pepper spray to stop him, but that left him undeterred.

'He didn't even wipe his eyes, he just kept them open,' Mr Hancock said of the pepper spray.

They then turned to their Tasers and though that momentarily shocked Laventure to the ground, it did not stop him.

'We had to Tase him approximately five more times on scene to get him down. It took several officers to hold him down to get him cuffed,' Mr Hancock told the station.

A video clip of the June 14 arrest shows Laventure lying face down on the ground, shirtless, mumbling seemingly disconnected thoughts and threatening to eat the faces of the officers.

* * *
His behavior is being blamed on the use of the synthetic drug called bath salts, which was also linked to previous violent outbursts throughout the country.

'I've never had to encounter somebody who acted like this before, so there's no telling what they may do when they are high on this drug,' Mr Hancock said.

There have been a number of 'cannibal' incidents linked to bath salts in recent weeks.

Bath salts, a synthetic amphetamine cocktail known as 'the new LSD', was the believed drug of choice for Rudy Eugene, who he chewed off homeless man Ronald Poppo's face in Miami in May.

While a man in Louisiana, Carl Jacquneaux, was arrested when he bit off a piece of his neighbour's cheek, which a friend blamed on bath salts.
Although the headline to the story indicates that he was high on "bath salts," I would note that the Miami zombie cannibal attacker was initially reported as also being high on "bath salts," but that turned out to be incorrect as tests showed that he only had marijuana in his system.

Oh, and before I forget again, there was this recent attack as well:
Cops arrived at a home in Waco, Texas, on June 14 after a man called 911 to report a man living in his house that was 'going crazy.'

Police said that Michael Terron Daniel told his housemates that he was 'on a bad trip' after taking the synthetic drug K-2 and began attacking them.

Outside the home, Daniel allegedly assaulted another man who lived at the home.

Sgt W. Patrick Swanton of the Waco Police Department told MailOnline that when a neighbour tried to intervene, Daniel got down on his hands and knees and 'began barking and growling like a dog.'

He then chased the neighbour, who ran into his house.

As horrified witnesses watched, Daniel allegedly turned his drug-fuelled rage to a medium-sized Spaniel mix, who belonged to one of his housemates, beating and choking the animal.

Sgt Swanton said that Daniel then 'took a bite out of the dog, ripping pieces of flesh away and eating them.'

Police showed up to find Daniel sitting on the front porch with the dog's carcass on his lap.

Sgt Swanton said: 'There was blood and fur around his mouth, blood and fur on his clothing.'
Meanwhile, the attacks have spread to other countries, including China:
The recent terrifying spate of 'cannibal attacks' seems to have spread to China, as a drunk bus driver was caught on camera gnawing at a woman's face in a horrific random attack.

The unfortunate woman will apparently require plastic surgery to repair the damage done by her crazed attacker.

According to local news reports, the driver, named Dong, had been drinking heavily during lunch with his friends before the outburst on Tuesday.

He then ran on to the road in the city of Wenzhou, in south-east China, and stood in front of the car being driven by a woman named Du, stopping her from moving.

Dong climbed on the car's hood and started beating the vehicle while the panicked woman screamed for help.

When she left the car and tried to escape, the bus driver leaped on top of her and wrestled her to the ground.

It was then that Dong started biting Du's face, leaving her covered in blood and weeping as passers-by tried to pull the attacker off his victim.

Witnesses said that the bus driver had gone 'crazy' and was successfully resisting attempts to subdue him.
I'm not sure where I originally saw it, but I remember a documentary about research into overcrowding. The scientists placed rats in a dormitory style cage (i.e., a bunch of interconnected cages) and then started adding rats. Up to a certain point the rats lived peaceably with one another. Then, when the population density reached a certain point, the rats just went crazy, killing and eating each other, even their own young. Maybe that is the real zombie apocalypse.

Taste Test of Dehydrated and Freeze Dried Foods

Over at the Preparedness Advice Blog, they conducted a taste test of dehydrated and freeze dried foods of different types and from various manufacturers. (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). They describe the test:
A panel of five people was chosen that were not overly familiar with any of the brands of food that were in the test. The panel met at one location and was given the foods without any information. They were not told either the product or brand. After tasting the products, they then scored them on a scale of one to ten. The foods were judged on four factors, taste, texture, appearance and an overall score. They were instructed to use five as a base line for average and if they varied from this to make comments as to why.

The panel tested fifty items and did a great job. As you read the results, you will see that on occasions there were great variations in the judging of a product by them. Most products received some good and bad reviews depending on the tastes of the individual panelist. Below you will find the list of individual items. They are divided into groups such as entree and dairy. Under the name of each item you will find the following information. The average score of all five panelists for taste, texture, appearance and overall. In addition, you will find calories per serving, sodium and a remarks section.
I don't recommend freeze dried foods for anything but an short term emergency supply (such as a bug-out bag) just because of the cost. However, I have used freeze dried food for camping/hunting trips. Its always good to get reviews of the different foods.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Special Forces Jeep Wrangler

This looks like a good zombie bug-out vehicle (BOV). Defense Tech reports:
The Jeeps feature seats U.S. soldiers should recognize. Jankel’s has installed their blast limiting attenuation seats into vehicles like the Oshkosh Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicle the U.S. Army drives in Afghanistan.

The special forces variant called the Pegasus is the sexiest member of the family. ...

Pegasus was built to load inside a CH-47 Chinook with the ability to unload it in 15 seconds. The Jeep is powered by a direct injection, common rail, turbo charged, intercooled diesel engine. The 24 volt electrical system features one NATO jump socket with two USB sockets.

Pegasus built the frame to fit inside the Chinook. The frame is 201 inches long, 79 inches wide, 72 inches tall with an 11 inch ground clearance. It has a curb weight of 6,610 pounds and a potential payload of 3,310 pounds.

The off road capabilities of the Pegasus have been beefed up to take on the stress of a special operations capability set. It can scale a 60% gradient and a 40% side slope with the driver only.

Pegasus can carry four special operators and maybe a fifth in a pinch. Unit commanders can add an extended range fuel tank as well as underslung airlift solutions.