Thursday, December 26, 2013

Why Fast Zombies and Slow Zombies?

Much of zombie behavior is going to be determined by how "fresh" their victim is, and the damage to the victim. A newly zombified human will still have major organs and neurons intact, allowing the zombie parasite to move and react as a normal human. However, as the bodily systems begin to break down, quick movement can become more difficult.

One of the first systems to begin to break down are those highly dependent on an intact neurological system, such as sight and balance. This Wikipedia article explains the fundamentals as well as any article:

Balance is the result of a number of body systems working together: the eyes (visual system), ears (vestibular system) and the body's sense of where it is in space (proprioception) ideally need to be intact. The vestibular system, the region of the inner ear where three semicircular canals converge, works with the visual system to keep objects in focus when the head is moving. This is called the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR). The balance system works with the visual and skeletal systems (the muscles and joints and their sensors) to maintain orientation or balance. Visual signals sent to the brain about the body's position in relation to its surroundings are processed by the brain and compared to information from the vestibular, visual and skeletal systems.
From my research, the vestibulo-ocular reflex actually begins to break down quickly. Although the exact progression varies, eyes seem to degenerate fairly quickly in a new zombie. One of the results of this is the well-known tendency of zombies to begin relying heavily on sound and smell over eye-sight. However, as it impacts their ability to balance the body, a zombie's movements also slow and become more herky-jerky as it corrects and over-corrects in an attempt to keep the body upright. A zombie that has started to decay will often fall over if it attempts to run for any distance, although some compensate by scooting along on all fours. There are even accounts of zombies scuttling around in a "crab-race" position. As its condition deteriorates further, the zombie may be forced to crawling or pulling itself along the ground.

As greater and greater decay creeps in, balanced movement becomes more difficult for the zombie. At this stage, the zombie will often become inactive waiting to suddenly lunge at prey. This not only conserves energy, but keeps the zombie from damaging itself or warning off prey due to its more poorly coordinated movements. Zombies in late stages are easily outrun, provided you can avoid the initial and sudden attack.

Carnivorous Fish Attack Swimmers in Argentina

BBC News reports:
A school of carnivorous fish related to the piranha has attacked bathers in an Argentine river, injuring about 70.

Thousands of bathers were cooling off in the Parana River in Rosario, 300km (186 miles) north of Buenos Aires, on Christmas Day when the attack happened.

Officials blamed the attack on the palometa fish, describing the event as "exceptional".

Paramedics said dozens of people had their extremities attacked and some had lost digits.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Voodoo Zombies

1. The word zombie comes from the Congo, where in local folklore Nzambi is the great spirit. Known as Li Grand Zombi in New Orleans, Gandolfo said, the great spirit is symbolized by the snake.

2. In voodoo lore, your body houses a petit angel and a grand angel. When you die, the grand angel goes to heaven. The petit angel hangs out in your body for three days or until you’ve finished rotting. If anything happens to the petit angel before your time’s up, you might turn into a zombie. This is why, in Haiti, people might sit on a loved one’s grave for three days.

3. Getting from the petit angel stage to the zombie stage requires the work of a magician or witch doctor to intercede with spirits. Gandolfo said spirits are all inherently benign, “but they’re easily manipulated.” Ghede, the spirit that deals with zombies, “is an alcoholic. He can be had for a fifth of rum.”

You can bribe Ghede to steal the spirit from a not-fully-decayed corpse and thus reanimate the corpse. Alternatively, the spirit can be kept in a jar for future use.
Ghede is a sort of gatekeeper of the cemetery and is often portrayed, on voodoo altars, as wearing the top hat of an undertaker and sunglasses with one lens missing, symbolizing that he has dominion over both things seen and unseen.

4. In Haitian folklore, becoming a zombie is a fate far worse than death, because zombies are considered eternal slaves, raised from the dead to work in the fields.

5. A real zombie’s feet never touch the ground. He or she is not earthbound. That’s why they always wear long dresses and pants that drag the ground.
 And the way to get rid of a zombie is to feed them salt, or throw salt on them. Zombies are also reportedly afraid of frogs.

Teach Them When They Are Young....

Nerf is releasing a line of Nerf "zombie killing" toys.

Corpus Christi Zombie "Beauty" Pageant July 20, 2013

The inaugural Corpus Christi Zombie Pageant promises an eyeful of gore and gorgeousness on Saturday night.
Beginning at 8 p.m. at Sparrow’s Landing, grab a drink and some grub and root for your favorite Zombie Pageant Queen candidate as a lineup of more than 20 ladies present themselves in zombie attire and attitude.
The event is free to watch and all ages are welcome.

“There are two different categories for the judges to choose from plus an interview at the end,” said Corpus Christi Zombie Walk and Zombie Pageant organizer Dean Fritsch. “The first category will be based on the zombie outfit and the second category will be a swimsuit challenge. The judges will base their decisions on creativity, realism, bite appeal, and costume and the winner will be featured on the cover of the CC Zombie Walk calendar.”
Full story.

Archeologists in Poland Discover Vampire Graves

The Telegraph reports:

Skeletons were found with their heads removed and placed on their legs indicating they had been subjected to an execution ritual designed to ensure the dead stayed dead.

Anybody accused of being a vampire in the distant past faced a grim fate.

Sometimes they would be decapitated, while another punishment involved hanging from a gibbet until decomposition resulted in the head separating from the body. In both cases the head was then laid on the legs of the victim in the hope that an inability to locate their head would hinder the progress of those intent on rising from the grave.

Historians say that the practice was common in the Slavic lands during the decades following the adoption of Christianity by pagan tribes.