zombie-infectionZombie News - 06.15.2012
With several brutal and cannibalistic attacks in recent news, including the Miami incident in May, we often get the question about how to recognize the coming zombie apocalypse.
The question is somewhat difficult to answer, given that we’ve never been through one. However, if we look at a zombie apocalypse as a pandemic, we can look for events. A pandemic, as opposed to an epidemic, is an infectious disease spread across a large area. For a disease to be pandemic – it must be infectius and spread from person to person.
The World Health Organization identifies a model for influenza spread which could be applied here. It starts with animals being infected, then animal to some human spread, then human to human spread, and finally the disease travels around the world.
To identify a potential zombie outbreak being driven by an infectious agent, we’d want to look for several signs:
Zombie News - 06.13.2012
Thrivalists, clear your calendars for July 7-8 weekend and brush up on your Walking Dead by catching the series marathon PLUS previews for Season 3. Oh, and a special version of Season 1, Episode 1 true to the comic book.
The Walking Dead has announced that they will air the first glimpse of season 3 over the weekend of July 7th and 8th. The following press release was made public as well:
New York – May 31, 2012 – AMC announced today “The Walking Dead” Season 3 Preview Weekend on Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8 beginning at 11:30am each day. Airing just one week before Comic-Con, the two-day programming event will feature a marathon of all 19 episodes from the series’ critically acclaimed first two seasons, culminating with a “Talking Dead” live primetime special on Sunday, July 8 at 9pm. The one-time-only airing of “Talking Dead,” hosted by Chris Hardwick (Nerdist), will be followed by the world television premiere of the black and white version of “The Walking Dead” pilot episode at 10pm. The special version of the series’ first episode was created specifically for fans of The Walking Dead, as it holds true to the original black and white comic book, written by Robert Kirkman.
Throughout “The Walking Dead” Marathon, Hardwick will introduce each episode from the set of season three in Atlanta, giving viewers a glimpse of the new sets. Along with several cast members and producers, he will set up the storyline from each episode, and discuss the classic moments and unique characters featured. In addition, every episode with be wrapped with exclusive character and scene-specific content from the first two seasons, including behind-the-scenes footage and sit-down interviews with the cast.
In the hour-long “Talking Dead” event, shot live in Los Angeles, Hardwick will give fans a first look at “The Walking Dead” Season 3, including a scene from the new season, and brand new video interviews with the cast, a tour of the new set and a sneak peek at the props and wardrobes featured in Season 3. Hardwick will also sit down with in-studio guests including the show’s executive producers and other celebrity fans. Viewers will get information on the show’s presence at this year’s Comic-Con, including a look at the construction of “The Walking Dead” booth, updates on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” Social Game, and other show-related news and topics.
At one point during the live show, Hardwick will reveal a special code to viewers, which they can use to enter “The Walking Dead” Watch to Win Sweepstakes, at http://www.amcdead.com/. The winner will receive a trip to Atlanta and a “stagger on” role as a zombie on the hit show.
The on-air event will be complemented by activities online at amctv.com, where fans can find more exclusive behind-the-scenes videos and participate in Fan Favorite polls, which cover such topics as Fan Favorite Weapon, Fan Favorite Walker, Fan Favorite Walker Kill and Fan Favorite Survivor. The Poll winners will be announced by Hardwick during the “Talking Dead” live event Sunday night.
“The Walking Dead” reigns as the most watched drama series on basic cable for Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54. The series has garnered an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Prosthetic Make-up and a Golden Globe® Award nomination for Best Television Series – Drama, among other accolades. Critics have heralded the series as “the most suspenseful show on any network” (Boston Herald) and “the greatest thriller ever produced for television” (Entertainment Weekly). The series tells the story of the months and years that follow after a zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home.
Zombie Info - 06.04.2012
If you are still human, you might have gotten wind of the increase of flesh-eating incidents in the past week. Before you wonder if we are facing the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse, let’s review cannibalism. Check out our handy graphic!
Human cannibals eat human flesh. Necro-cannibalism involves the ingestion of dead human flesh; homicidal-cannibalism involves the ingestion of human flesh before death. Not all cannibals are zombies. But all zombies are cannibals.
History has documented numerous instances of cannibalism; here are some of the most “common” reasons:
- Religion/superstition/human sacrifice - Asmat people, Polynesian tribes, etc.
- War – a warrior eats their enemy’s heart to inherit that enemy’s power/spirit or humiliate that enemy’s spirit/culture – World War II Chichi-jima, Leopard Men of West Africa, etc.
- Torture – Blood Countess of 1560
- Starvation – Donner party, Jamestown, Rugby team in the Andes, etc.
- Insanity/Deviancy/Pathology – Jeffrey Dahmer, Idi Amin etc.
- Art/Entertainment (yes, really) – Dutch TV
The reasons above indicate human choice, albeit irrational and disturbing. Eat X to gain X–A logic, of sorts.
Zombies, flesh eating and either dead or resistant to pain (drug-induced or disease motivated), lack such decision-making. They are simply driven to eat flesh for no other reason than that they must.
Lastly, zombification involves the condition spreading from human to human, either through bite or fluid transfer, sometimes through exposure to chemicals. It’s one thing to have isolated incidents of cannibalism, a worrisome thing when there seems to be a growing geographic prevalence and/or frequency around the time of the Miami zombie incident. Keep in mind that the preponderance of such news can simply be due to the interaction between increased attention by the media and increased Internet searches by curious/worried people. Cannibal crimes have been occurring for years. Watch for trends and patterns.
Is it time to panic?
No. But it’s always time to be prepared. Don’t go on a premature rampage like the guy in Novi. Don’t break the law unless the government has fallen apart.
Even if it’s not quite ZA time, if enough people panic, you might have to worry about live people.
Don’t be scared, be prepared… for the AWESOMENESS that is the Zombie Apocalypse.
Zombie News - 05.31.2012
Alexander Kinyua, 21, a Morgan University student, was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault and second-degree assault and was refused bail after admitting to slicing and eating the dismembered body parts (including the heart and brain) of a man. Kinyua’s brother had first discovered a discarded human head and two hands of the victim in some metal tins in Kinyua’s house and Kinyua was seen cleaning the container after he was confronted by his brother. The suspect lived in the same home as the Joppatowne man, 37 year old Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, who was missing without a trace since last Friday (a day before the Miami face-eating zombie incident) and is suspected to be the dismembered victim, pending confirmation from the medical examiner.
Is this another zombie incident? Unlike the Miami zombie, Kinyua seemed to have used a tool (a knife) to eat the body parts, instead of simply attacking with his teeth. He also had the mental capacity to lie and say that the found body parts were actually animal remains and attempted to hide the evidence. This suggests some understanding of right and wrong or at he very least, a logical state of mind to understand the consequences of such a discovery.
However, until we know more details of the attack all that we know that a cannibalistic act was committed and brains were eaten. Was this a fight gone terribly wrong? A ritualistic killing? So far, there has been no mention of drugs. Kinyua had no previous criminal record in Maryland prior to being charged with first-degree assault and reckless endangerment in Baltimore for allegedly ”being involved in a fight in his dormitory room at Morgan State University“ on May 19.
We are not completely ruling out the role of zombification (especially drug induced zombification) so stay tuned for updates. If there is the possibility of a zombie that has intelligence and logical ability, there’s a lot more to worry about.
Zombie Fan Question - 05.31.2012
Recently, a number of news events culminated in zombie-like or cannibalistic behavior. Take, for example, the recent South Beach zombie attack in Miami where Rudy Eugene chewed most of the face off Ronald Poppo. Police had to use numerous shots to put Eugene down, since he didn’t respond to being shot the first time.
Police are theorizing drug involvement in the zombie attack – with the most likely culprit being the new synthetic drug called bath salts.
A Facebook friend asked, “how do you tell the difference between somebody who’s been zombified, and somebody who’s just on drugs?”
The following is our video response to that question.
For us, a zombie can be somebody under the influence of drugs. In fact, there is a whole family of “zombie drugs” out there including datura, and scopolamine, and some neurotoxins which effectively zombify people. In Haiti, where we got the word zombie from, zombies were people usually drugged into a death-like state, buried, and dug up later for slave labor.
Zombie Info - 05.21.2012
The zombie apocalypse is coming, and it’s going to be awesome. In this video, we explore the basics. What is a zombie, what is zombie infection, and what are the possible vectors the apocalypse could take?
We get our basic concept of zombies from the media, from Dawn of the Dead, to 28 Days Later, to The Walking Dead. In most, zombies are human corpses raised by some supernatural or technological infection. In a few, referred to as living zombies by Matt Mocg of the Zombie Research Society, they are merely humans who have a biological infection.
Historically, there are incidents of zombiism believed to be cause pharmacologically with substances like scopolamin,e or datura, or pufferfish toxin. In these cases, the victims are used enslaved, and do not show aggression.
For us, a zombie is a mindlessly aggressive human or (less likely) reanimated human corpse, driven by some kind of infection. That infection might be biological (such as a virus, fungus, bacteria, prions or parasite), technological (such as mind-rewiring nanobots), or pharmacological (such as with a biological weapon using mind altering drugs). We find it highly unlikely that there would be magical, religious, or nuclear causes to a ZPOC.
The infection vector is important to understand because we want to understand as early as possible if teh zombies we encounter are infectious. We believe that biological infection is the most likely vector, and the pathogen will most likely be blood-born or spread by contact. That’s not to say it couldn’t become airborne, if so, we’d be deep in it quickly.
It’s important that skin to flesh contact with the dead, animated or otherwise, be limited and precautions against infection be taken.
In the TV show, The Walking Dead, the survivors often burn the corpses of the dead. This would most likely not be such a good idea. Many microbes can survive burning, and fire can actually spread the disease further.