Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How to Hotwire a Car

A couple articles on how to hotwire a car, because, you know, after the Zombie Apocalypse, you might need a car. (Article 1, Article 2). Unfortunately, these instructions are only for cars up to the mid-1990's or so.

Hey Babe--You Wanna Go Eat Some Brains?


A gallery of sexy zombies.

The Science of Zombies

Zombie fanatics Timothy Verstynen, an assistant professor in the department of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Bradley Voytek, assistant professor of cognitive science and neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego, summarised characteristic zombie behaviour seen in films, which can be explained by looking at the structure of the brain.

They have dubbed the condition 'Conscious Deficit Hypoactivity Disorder', or CDHD, which they describe as an acquired syndrome in which infected people lack control over their actions. In films, the undead display symptoms such as lethargic movement, loss of pleasure, language dysfunction, amnesia and the inability to suppress hunger and aggression.

‘Zombies often have difficulty recognising familiar people and suffer chronic insomnia that results in a delirious state,’ they write.

Undead individuals would also exhibit antisocial behaviour, such as biting and eating people, but they would be friendly to each other and swarm with other infected individuals, according to the scientists’ book, ‘Do zombies dream of undead sheep?’.

The neuroscientists have come up with two subtypes of the syndrome – CDHD-1, which affects ‘slow’ zombies with uncoordinated movements and CDHD-2, which is typical of ‘fast’ zombies that have no problem chasing humans in films.

This may be because at the moment of death, our circulatory systems stop, starving the brain of oxygen and glucose.

In zombie films, they resume at the point of infection - in a limited form - and the brain gets its nutrients by zombies feasting on human flesh.

The longer the brain is starved of oxygen, the more extensive the damage to zombies, the neuroscientists say.

CDHD-1 zombies can be seen in the TV series, The Walking Dead, while the zombies in Waord War Z are faster and typical of CDHD-2.

The brains of both types of zombies would change in different regions, from a combination of decreased activity and altered activity in multiple brain networks.

Lesions to the temporal lobe would partly cause zombies to act like they do in films.
The scientists go on to warn that because they can't feel pain, it does not good to fight a zombie unless you can quickly kill it. Because zombies have poor concentration, you can avoid them by being quiet or distracting them. Don't try to reason with them--it is useless. It may be possible to mimic them, but don't try to outrun the CDHD-2 types.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Abandoned Forest Park Hospital in St. Louis

McGregor peered into the ward, panning his light about the room. Something scuttled away in the false ceiling, and several panels fell with a crash. McGregor aimed his rifle at the dark hole, but there was nothing. He willed his panicked breathing to a normal pattern, then listened intently. No sounds. 

Stepping cautiously into the room, McGregor quickly took stock. The beds were disheveled. They smelled moldy, but there was no whiff of animal scent ... or anything else. The cupboards were bare. Everything of use had been taken, or scavenged later. 

Grunting his disappointment, McGregor slipped back to the doorway, glanced quickly both ways, before heading toward a sunlit window. "Surely," he thought to himself, "in a place this large, something had been overlooked." 


Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Trio of Zombie Apocalypse Shorts ...

This Trio Of Short Films Actually Makes The Zombie Apocalypse Look Fun
Source: IO9 Magazine
... at IO9 Magazine. (Videos at the link). The three shorts are: (1) Shopping in a Zombie Apocalypse; (2) Getting Gas in a Zombie Apocalypse; and (3) A Day at the Office in a Zombie Apocalypse. Until I saw the latter film, I didn't even think of taking the cutting blade off a paper cutter to use as a sword.

"Your complete guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse"

An article at The Week.

A Cabin for the Zombie Apocalypse

An Englishman's home is his Zombie Fortification Cabin: For the man who has everything, why not buy a zombie-proof shed for more than £90,000 including installation, weapons storage, an escape hatch, a ten-year anti-zombie guarantee and eco-friendly solar panels?
Article and more photos at the Daily Mail--Designed by Tiger Log Cabins

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bulgaria's Vampire Graveyards

In a 7,000-year-old town in Bulgaria, over 100 graves have been uncovered, revealing skeletons with stakes through their hearts and mutilated bones. Meet the vampires that almost were. 
Vampires may be greeted with swoons today, but in medieval Eastern Europe they were dealt a metal spike through the chest. 
Last week, Bulgarian archaeologists unearthed an unusual 13th-century grave in an ancient city named Thracian. 
The bones are encrusted in dirt, revealing a bowed, partially crushed skull and a round stake emerging from the left side of the skeleton’s chest. The interred is believed to be a middle-aged man, who was incapacitated post-death—cause unknown—by a two-pound iron rod thrust through his heart and the removal of the lower half of his left leg. Both mutilations were meant to stop the man, who villagers believed was a vampire, from returning to haunt the town and prey upon its inhabitants, researchers say.
Iron was believed to have special properties against the supernatural. Anyway, read the whole thing.

Monday, February 10, 2014

How to Survive Falling Through the Ice

It is winter. You are panting with fatigue because for the past 30 minutes you have been running and walking to get away from a band of zombies. The zombies have been moving slowly in the cold, but so have you because the snow comes nearly to your knees. You come to the edge of a clearing. Normally you would skirt around the edges, but that would take time. You decide to risk a straight path across. A hundred feet from the edge of the woods, and you hear a large "crack". As you plunge through the ice, you realize it was not a clearing, but a frozen lake. What do you do?

The Art of Manliness has an infographic on surviving a fall through the ice, and some additional advice. Check it out at the link.

Fall Through Ice 2

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Zombie Ants

According to Live Science, experts are still baffled as to how a fungus called Ophiocordyceps unilateralis can take command of an ant's brain, turning it into one of the walking dead and guiding it to the perfect spot to spread more spores... which it does by exploding out of the ant's body. 
A 2009 study published in American Naturalist revealed that the ants, once infected by the fungus, will journey precisely toward certain plants near the forest floor – a location where the conditions are best for the fungus to reproduce – and even latch onto the leaves just before dying, in order to provide a secure spot for the fungus to spread. This is all happening while the fungus is busy digesting the ant from the inside out.

"Play Dead"

This sounds like it would be a great little horror short movie ... dogs vs. zombies and all of that ... if only I could get it to run on my system. Well, better luck to you.

"The most comprehensive zombie classification chart we've ever seen"

io9 has a chart by Jason Thompson showing the taxonomy of more than 350 types of zombies.

The most comprehensive zombie classification chart we've ever seen