Sunday, 31 May 2015

Zombie Tits - a marvel of nature!

Now that you have clicked on the blog, I am sorry to say this has nothing to do with female zombie anatomy but does have everything to do with ornithology. That's right ornithology, you know birds. The feathered kind.

Specifically Parus major or the Great Tit. Called the Great Tit because, as far as Tits go, these are large Tits. 

Turns out that a group of these birds in Hungary got really hungry, for brains. Not just any brains but tasty bat brains. Just like a zombie, the clever Tits worked out how to hunt down a small local bat as it emerged from hibernation. Then the Tits would peck open the bat's skull to gobble up the yummy brains. They did this in winter when food was hard to find.

Péter Estók and Björn Siemers from the Planck Institute in Germany studied this unusual behavior for two winters before publishing their findings in Biology Letters in 2009. If you are not getting enough The Walking Dead there is a few seconds of grainy brain pecking video on the BBC news website. 

I read about it all from the book called Zombie Tits, Astronaut Fish and Other Weird Animals by Sydney based science writer Becky Crew. A delightful book about the wonders of nature, like the vegetarian spider, the tongue chomping isopod and the Pigbutt worm. With creatures like these, zombies don't seem so far fetched after all.

Bite off more bat brains than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Apocalypse Hal - Zombie Threat Checklist

As Zombie Awareness Month draws to a close we must continue to remain vigilant for the rise of the undead.

That's why I am one of those emergency personnel at work. The ones that are there to guide people to safety if there is an emergency. You get free training and a stylish hard hat to wear. The truth is, I do it because if there is a zombie outbreak, I want to be the first to know! And the first to reach the fire stairs.

Just in case someone rings me up claiming there are zombies on the loose, I have a checklist. It is similar to a bomb threat checklist. So print one out this zombie version and keep it next to your phone. 

You can always write your shopping list on it.

Bite off more hard hat than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Friday, 29 May 2015

Survival skills - part two

Winter is coming, so it is a prefect time to practice building cold weather survival shelters. One of the most popular shelters is the debris hut. There are lots of instructions and photos on the internet. Looks like you can't claim to be a true survivalist unless you've slept in a pile of leaves.

I decided to go with a debris pod, kind of the next step up from a debris nest but not as complex as a debris hut. Seriously, making a pile of leaves gets quite technical.

First some tools, keeping it simple like it would be in a zombie apocalypse. The secret to the pod is using a Mylar space blankie. Otherwise it is pretty basic. The folding pruning saw is an excellent tool for this sort of thing. Grab one when the dead start to rise up. 

First up the bed. This is important as you can lose up to 80% of your body heat to the ground. I cheated a bit (actually a lot) and use two old planks as the edge. Made some stakes from saplings to fix them and filled it in with leaves etc. Yes that is a pizza box. Cardboard is a good insulator and survival is about "thinking outside the pizza box". 

Next lay down some soft branches. Lucky I had some shrubs that needed pruning. Couple of vital tips here. One - use a herring bone pattern when layering the branches as it increases the springiness. Thus improving insulation and comfort. Two - Add in some fragrant herbs (I used Rosemary). No need to smell bad when living like a hobo.

Next stick in the hoops. Jam in two long thin poles cut from a tree, one on either side of the bed frame, and weave them together. You need about six hoops. Again I cheated and used some wire to tie them together but it would have worked fine without.

Next lay the Mylar space blankie on top. I discovered mine had perished and the reflective surface had worn off. Keeping your gear up to date is important. When the zombies come and people start opening up the survival kits they bought back in 1999 for the Y2K disaster, they are going to be in for a shock. Anyway I added an extra layer of plastic to make up for the dodgy Mylar.

Next cover the lot in debris. Leaves, grass, pine needles, Mr Fluffy loose fill asbestos, whatever you have on hand. I had six garbage bags of leaves I gathered from the local primary school (they have oak trees and the leaves make great garden mulch). I told the neighbours it was a new type of compost heap, which is pretty much what it will end up as. 

Here it is looking inside. So what was it like to sleep in? Cold and dark. 

I understand how people can spend an entire day making a debris hut and still be cold. The pod is quicker and took be about 2.5 hours to build (including coffee break). It was certainly warmer in there than outside, especially as it was a frosty morning. It would certainly save your life as I may have been cold but I was not freezing. I also discovered the hard way how I can improve it next time.

Mmmm. Now to start thinking about building a super shelter.

Bite off more debris than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Survival skills - part one

Zombie Awareness Month isn't just about zombies. 

It wouldn't be complete with a bit of survival skills. So having read a few survival guides lately it was time to do some practicing. All the guides say shelter is the first priority.

Who needs a fancy tent when you have scrap plastic and cardboard. But you still need a comfortable warm bed so what better than a DIY sleeping bag made from two garbage bags! 

Place one bag inside the other and stuff the space between the two bags with shredded newspaper. I just walked around the block and picked up all those local community newspapers no one reads.

Presto, one emergency sleeping bag. Oh, poke lots of small holes through both bags to let condensation out while you sleep. I used wheelie bin bags which are big, but not big enough. The bags only came up to my chest but with a good jacket I wasn't cold. It got down to 10 degrees Celsius overnight but I was toasty warm and slightly damp.  

What better way to start the day with hot coffee and breakfast while lying back in your shredded newspaper bed. Those alcohol stoves made from cat food cans sure crank out some heat. This is surviving in style.

This is a $2.30 piece of PVC pipe from the hardware shop and some bits of wire. It is not a blowpipe. If it was a blowpipe I bet it would be cool to use. But it isn't, because blowpipes are illegal in my area :(  

So will have to hunt for food in other ways. Never been good with traps and snares but this trigger mechanism is very simple. Just a stick, some dental floss and a minute's work with a knife. And it works. Within an hour I had a bird but seeing it was a native I let it go. I gather trapping is legal as long as I do it on my property and do not use the steel jaw beartrap I have in the shed. 

My first gig, just like in the survival books. Watch out small mammals. 

They say transpiration bags are more effective than solar stills for collecting water. After two days I got a quarter of a cup of water and some floaties. Mind you it was a small bag and small branch.  

Also time to do some arts and crafts. Ultralight cat food stoves, waxed matches, emergency oil lamps, home made fire piston, that sort of thing. There is also the cord bracelet using the quick release Blaze Bar weave and 7 meters of Mil spec Hootchie cord. Wow, I sound just like a prepper.

Bite off more floaties you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Monday, 25 May 2015

The zombie autopsies

So we have discussed where zombies come from. Now lets cut them open and see how they work!

This book tries to blend fiction with fact and does a fairly good job of it. Two thirds of the world's population has been destroyed by a zombie virus that causes Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome (ANSD). The United Nations and World Health Organization are desperate to find a cure. Work progresses in a hastily built lab set up on a remote island off India. It is known as the "Crypt" as no one sent there ever returns. In fact, those scientists that succumb to the disease there end up being dissected by the next batch of scientists sent out to continue the work.

But nothing has been heard from the Crypt for a while and so a military team is sent to investigate. They find the hand written notes of Dr Blum. It is his descriptions of the zombie autopsies and the events that happened on the island that form the basis of the book. 

Written by Steven Schlozman MD, a doctor, The Zombie Autopsies attempts to build a medical hypothesis for how a zombie plague could happen. In this he adds a few novel features. Like the possibility that the virus was manufactured by a pharmaceutical company intend on getting rich by selling the vaccine. That the disease uses an influenza virus as a vector to deliver prions (prions are behind Mad Cow Disease) but there is another mysterious agent at work. And while these zombies are infected humans, the UN has decreed that those in the fourth, and final, stage of the disease are legally dead. Similar to the Haitians who believe a Vodou zombi is dead, even if it is still alive.

About a quarter of the book consists of fictitious supporting material like UN reports, the "Atlanta Treaty" and a glossary of terms. I particularly liked SCE (Spontaneous Cephalopod Cranial Explosions). Turns out squid can catch the disease and without a skull their brains swell and explode.

This book is pretty good but could have been better. Some of it seemed a bit contrived. It uses a handwriting style of typeface for Dr Blum's notes but there are no scratched out mistakes or smilie faces in the margins. Likewise no photos as no one trusts electronic records anymore. Yet a blueprint of the lab, a map or two and some cool logos would have   enhanced it all. Still but the autopsy illustrations are great.

Bite off more prions than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Apocalypse hal - Exponential growth

How fast could a zombie outbreak spread?

In theory quite fast if zombies multiply exponentially (like bacteria do). For example doubling in population each day.

With a world population currently over 7 billion, it would take just 35 days (five weeks) to convert the entire population into zombies. Or even quicker if the zombies go on a eating binge.

Sadly, this is not a realistic scenario. There are too many variables that would slow the spread. Things like hungry crocs.

Bite off more that you can chew little zombies

Mr Rimsky

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Dead Planet –Transport options during the apocalypse: South East Asia Edition

A few weeks ago I was in Siem Reap to celebrate Cambodian New Year. I love that town…it’s touristy yes, but it has room for walking, mango shakes for drinking and a laid back vibe for…vibing. 

Anywho, my time in Siem Reap included many fantastically random activities – like going to the circus, attending pottery class and going on a 4 hour horse ride. 

As I was uncomfortably bouncing up and down on said horse (Guide: You know how to Canter? Me: No? Guide: Okay, canter! *Horse takes off*), it occurred to me that the horse is the third animal I’ve ridden in visits to South East Asia (SEA). The first two, Elephant and Ostrich, happened a few years ago and were both terrifyingly awesome. This got me thinking, if you were abroad in SEA when the zombocalypse occurred, what are the pros and cons of using these animals as a form of end-of-the-world friendly transport? I came up with this handy chart, followed by a quiz to help you decide what animal is right for you.



Puns – Zombies are coming, let’s bale
Those absurd Elephant jokes – why did the Zombie cross the road? Because the elephant was coming
Instant folklore legend – the Zombie slaying Ostrich Rider. How could the other survivors not write a song about you?
Horses are fast and probably easier to mount than Elephants or Ostriches
Elephants have tusks and trunks that can be used for Zombie killing
Ostriches are also fast and have a powerful kick
You would totally be channeling Rick from the Walking Dead
You may get to meet Babar – King of the Elephants
If you keep your eyes peeled you might catch another speedy bird – The Roadrunner! Meep meep
Zombie danger if you run into a herd (see Walking Dead,  episode 1)
Hard to mount without assistance
Whilst fast, the Ostrich can also be unpredictable
Going fast hurts if you don’t know what you’re doing
Tusks may need regular cleaning after piercing the skulls of zombies
Riding may result in significant feather loss. Then you’re left riding a giant naked bird
Horse may refuse to drink, even if you lead it to water
You’re always, you know, the elephant in the room. (In this case the room is a metaphor for the zombocalypse world)
Ostrich may deny existence of zombies until it’s too late. May stick head in sand

A quiz to see what’s right for you…

During the Apocalypse, the most important factor in choosing a ride would be:

  1. Speed
  2. Power
  3. Ability to inspire other survivors, leading to a folk music revival for the post-apocalypse era (We shall overcoooome…the Zombies, we shall overcommmme)

Who was your favourite character in LOTR?

  1. Shadowfax
  2. The Haradrim
  3. Gollum

Do you prefer:

  1. Hair
  2. Leather
  3. Feathers

Are you allergic to peanuts?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Unsure

What brings better luck?

  1. Horse shoe
  2. Elephant with trunk up
  3. Golden Egg 

Your perfect match...

Mostly A’s – Saddle Up! The horse is for you!

You’ll be able to pun away from those Zombies, whilst totally rocking the Walking Dead look. Just make sure you avoid the herds, adjust your stirrups and beware of the Horse’s fluid intake. 

Mostly B’s – Make way for the Elephant!

Get ready to bask in the glory of an elephant-led zombie slaughter! Think of a few randomly absurd elephant jokes and wear something nice in case you meet elephant royalty. Develop some techniques for tusks cleaning, large animal mounting and get comfortable standing out in a crowd. 

Mostly C’s – Folk it, Ostrich style!

Zombie kicking. Inspiring. Meep. Unpredictable. Naked. Sand. Enough Said. 

Rise against the risen

Miss ACE

Monday, 18 May 2015

Bug Out Survival Skills

So one Friday afternoon, when I was coming down with a cold, Amazon pops up on my tablet with a message. Would I like to buy Creek Stewart's latest survival book on kindle? Yes please! Nothing better than reading a good book when feeling under the weather.

The idea behind this book is simple. What happens if there is a disaster but you lose your Bug Out Bag, full of all those essential survival goodies? As Creek says, maybe it is stolen by "a group of desperate suburbanite soccer mums wielding lacrosse sticks". Yeah I don't trust those soccer mums either.

This is essentially another survival guide and covers many of the basics you will find in every book. Making shelters, purifying water and hunting down small mammals for dinner. In fact quite a bit of this book is taken from Creek's other books or his website. Still there are enough new takes on survival to make it worth reading.

For a start there is more information on urban survival, like how to rig up a tripwire alarm or use a car dash sun reflector as a space blanket or using a broken hedge trimmer to make a machete. Also, for the first time ever, he shows how to make an awesome new variation of the classic debris shelter. Ok, maybe not everyone thinks that's awesome.

Strangely, there are a couple of places in the kindle version were text is inserted in the wrong place. Like where Creek discusses natural alternatives for toilet paper, which ends with "you can touch up areas with cooled charcoal from a fire". Rubbing charcoal on your butt? I suspect that part was meant to be in the previous section on camouflage. 

This is Creek's third book in the Build the Prefect Bug Out series (build the bag, build the vehicle, and now the skills). With a online shop, books, website, survival courses and TV series he is going commercial. I envy the guy. 

Bite off more small mammal than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Apocalypse Hal - The Walking Dead Fly

There is another type of zombie. The biological zombie.

Various parasites and organisms are capable of manipulating another organisms to do their bidding. Basically they alter the behavour of the host they infect. There are wasp larvae that will gobble up the insides of a caterpillar and then turn it into a zombie bodyguard that protects the pupating wasps. And a protozoan parasite that will cause rats to get suicidally friendly with cats. 

Then there is the zombie fly. 

Now this fungus is common in other countries but I was not sure if it existed in Australia. However, based on an article in the Australian Journal of Botany 35 (1987) it looks like this species has been discovered in Australia. So watch out for zombie blowflies heading your way. 

Bite off more Entomophthora muscae than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Friday, 15 May 2015

Plant your path

Now something for the kiddies.

This junior novel is based on the very successful Plants vs Zombies game. But even better, this is a chose your own adventure book. I was a fan of the Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone Fighting fantasy books when the first appeared back in the early 80s. So it is good to see these types of books are still being published.

If you are not familiar with these adventure books, shame on you. The story does not progress in the normal manner. Instead you reach a point in the story where you have to make a choice. Like you enter a room at the seed factory which contains caged zombies. The door is locked. So do you pull the lever labelled "release" or the one labelled "out"? Pull the wrong one and zombies eat your brains!

In this book you have teamed up with Matt (the football jock) and Emma (in the drama club) to fight off attacking zombies. With occasional help from Crazy Dave. You start at home but soon end up on a road trip as you try and escape the zombies. Compared to the old Fighting fantasy books this one is fun and simple. There are over 20 different endings and you have about a 50/50 chance of surviving.  

Luckily I was able to call on the help of a Plants vs Zombie expert. This kid knew exactly when to go with a Squash-Jalapeno Combo. It was fun when you reached an end point to go back and take another path. Although I never did find out what happened to Matt after he ran off.

Bite off more Doom-shrooms than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

I am Legend 2007

As I mentioned on Friday, the novel I am Legend spawned three major movie adaptions.

The latest was the action blockbuster that took the world by storm, I am Legend. Hard to believe it was released over seven years ago. So grab your German Shepard and huddle in the bath. 

I am Legend 2007 – starring Will Smith

Roll the special effects! This is a blockbuster remake that probably borrows a bit from everything. Like in The Omega Man Neville is a scientist and in the military. He does lose his family like in the novel, although they don't die from the plague. Rather than Los Angeles, the setting is now New York.

The undead are now mutated monsters, unable to speak but able to will rip you apart for your blood. They are not called vampires but their lust for blood and general behaviour reflect their vampire heritage. Robert has a dog which loosely borrows from the novel. There is no new society of infected people but there are other human survivors.

There are a couple of scenes that mimic those in The Omega Man, like the movie scene. In The Omega Man Neville watches Woodstock at the local cinema, quoting the lines. In I am Legend it is a DVD of Shriek. How technology has changed. The quotes from both movies haunting reflect the current situation Neville has found himself in. Likewise the DVD store with the dressed up Mannequins in I am Legend mirrors the clothes shop scene in The Omega Man

Due to Neville’s work in the basement laboratory, he is able to create a cure before he dies. Humanity is saved again. Double yay!

With the wonders of CGI I am Legend provides some amazing visuals. Lions prowling Times Square, destroyed buildings and savage monsters. 

Available on DVD for your home entertainment. 

Bite off more than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The Omega Man 1971

As I mentioned on Friday, the novel I am Legend spawned three major movie adaptions. 

So after the 1964 movie The Last Man on Earth,  it was not long before a more Hollywood style movie appeared, filmed and set in Los Angeles in the seventies, just like in the novel . So grab you 70's retro fashions we are watching.

 The Omega Man 1971 – starring Carlton Heston

Much of the storyline has changed in this version. Neville is now an biowarfare scientist and in the military which gives him access to a test vaccine that grants him immunity from the plague. Now a virus. There is no backstory about his family so he appears as a bachelor living in his classy apartment equipped with state of the art gear, like a vinyl record player. 

And just admire the groovy fashions we had back then! I particularly loved his brown leather utility belt equipped with chunky flashlight, tape record and other tools. Really complemented his safari suit.

This is more of an action movie. Neville’s apartment is equipped with sandbags, barbed wire and machine guns. He battles with “The Family”, a new social order of infected humans. The Family are just out to kill Neville, which borrows from the original novel. There are no vampires in this version but for the first time there are other humans who have not succumbed to the disease. 

In a bid to make it current with the times (back then) these human survivors include the African American woman Lisa and the counter culture medical student Dutch. The dialogue is filled with the African American and hippy slang of the time. In the end Neville dies but due to his immunity he gives the human survivors a chance to live. Humanity is saved. Yay!

Wikipedia cites this movie as Tim Burton’s favourite, being one of the first movies to feature cheesy one liners. It is also the first movie to feature an interracial kiss. Without CGI, I was impressed how they managed to film panoramas of an empty deserted Los Angeles. 

This movie is available on DVD and I paid the extravagant price of $10 to own a copy. 

Bite off more one liners than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Monday, 11 May 2015

The Last Man On Earth 1964

As I mentioned on Friday, the novel I am Legend spawned three major movie adaptions. 

Seeing the movies span four decades, is interesting to review these in terms of how this story of mass plague and monsters has changed over time. So grab the popcorn and let's start with the first movie!

 The Last Man on Earth 1964 – starring Vincent Price

Being over 50 years old this movie is in black and white and the special effects leave a lot to be desired. Still it has it's own charm. To save money the movie was filmed in Italy so the city does not look much like Los Angeles. Vince Price, with his distinctive voice, plays Dr Robert Morgan (rather than Robert Neville) and unlike the book, he a scientist working on a cure for the disease. It is also set in 1967 rather than 1976. 

This movie still sticks close the original book with Richard Matheson having worked on the screenplay until he had a falling out with the producers. Many of the novel's elements are there, like Robert losing his family to the disease, his wife becoming a vampire and his immunity the result of a vampire bat bite he got while working in Panama. 

There is also the vampire Ben who taunts Robert every night. The creatures are called vampires and we see the three groups portrayed in the book, Robert the only human with immunity, the infected living and the vampire dead. As in the novel, Neville is the only human alive and is killed by a new social order of infected humans. Mankind dies with him - maybe. He does a blood transfusion with Ruth to cure her so maybe she can save mankind.

What is of interest is that the vampires move slowly, zombie like. If it was not for the garlic, mirrors and stakes used in the film you could easily think is was a zombie movie. Looking at the scene above you can see the parallels with George A. Ramero’s Night of the Living Dead 1968 a scene of which is below. It looks like Ramero was inspired by both the book and this movie.

I gather Last Man on Earth has entered into the public domain and therefore not subject to copyright. The Internet Archive has a copy for free. 

Bite off more garlic than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky


Saturday, 9 May 2015

Apocalypse Hal - Contemporary Zombies

Where do zombies come from Mummy?


Popular culture has allowed the original Haitian zombi to evolve into a range of contemporary zombie types. There is a huge range of influences on these fictional zombies. Too many to discuss here but the above is what most zombie experts regard as the main lineage of zombies.

What is interesting is that most of these are not zombies. Richard Matheson stripped back the vampire legends to give us I am Legend which George A Romero used as a basis for his horror flick Night of the Living Dead. Romero's creatures were never called zombies. They got tagged that way when his sequel Dawn of the Dead was released as non English versions. The distributor added "zombi" to the titles.

Fast zombies are not really zombies either, as they are living people who have been infected. Danny Boyle was influenced by the real life disease rabies when he created the "rage" virus for 28 Days Later. Rabies is Latin for "rage", as aggression is one of the symptoms of rabies. However, the general public decided that infected people were close enough to "zombies", so the name stuck. 

No doubt we will see the zombie continue to evolve into new types. 

Bite off more rage virus than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Friday, 8 May 2015

I Am Legend

Where to modern zombies come from? Vampires!

And it is all because of this book.

Richard Matheson was a budding science fiction writer when he decided to give the old vampire a bit of a modern makeover, but without the sparkles. In 1953 Matheson published the novel I am Legend. It is a vampire book set in a post apocalyptic Los Angeles during the late seventies. Considered by some to be the most influential horror book of the twentieth century, I Am Legend has inspired great writers like Stephen King and Ray Bradbury. 

Who cares, I hear you say. I've seen the movie.

Which one? There have been three official movie adaptions and they all take liberties with the original storyline - (I will be reviewing the movies soon).

In the novel Robert Neville is apparently the only survivor of a bacterial plague that infects the human population. Those that die come back from the dead as vampires and throw rocks at Robert's home every night. Robert fights back with science, but mainly with garlic and lots of wooden stakes. 
An old vampire bat bite gives Robert his immunity to the disease which killed his wife and daughter. Now Robert must come to grips with his new environment as the last man alive. 

The novel builds to a climax as Robert realises there are still infected humans around. Alive but carrying the disease that can kill them. They are creating a new world order and the three worlds of vampires, infected humans and Robert collide.

I won't tell you the ending. If you haven't read the book go grab a copy. Despite being over 60 years old it is still a thrilling read. I particularly loved how, with just one sentence at the end of a chapter, Richard Matheson could leave you shocked and wanting more.  

So how do these vampires become zombies. Well that is another story involving a budding film producer who based his low budget horror movie on I Am Legend.

Bite off more garlic than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Five tips on...preparing your office for Zombies

Five tips on…preparing your office for Zombies

Before launching into my Dead Planet zombie travel series, I thought it would be good to take a look back and share some ideas on zombie proofing the office. I’m not sure how these tips will roll in South East Asia, but in an Australia workplace they should help keep you stay safe during the worst 8hrs of the day:
  • Start selling chocolates and other lollies to your colleagues. Tell them it’s for a ‘good cause’…just don’t tell them that the cause is them getting fat so you have a better chance of outrunning them when the outbreak occurs. If you’re the baking kind you can even go a step further and tempt them with delicious cakes and pastries! 

  • Speaking of out running co-workers, compliment them whenever they wear clothes that are counterproductive to survival during the zombie apocalypse, e.g. THAT MINI-SKIRT IS TOTALLY WORK-PLACE APPROPRIATE AND IT DOESN’T RESTRICT YOUR MOVEMENT AT ALL! This will re-enforce the foolish attire and add to your advantage during the sprint-for-your-life stage of the zombocalypse. 

  • Hide weapons around the office. If someone finds them, make sure you can explain their presence by linking them to an office task - this way you can make a case for why they should be allowed to stay, e.g. I use that Samurai sword to open the mail…do you want me to stop opening the mail?...or I use that assault rifle to frighten away mice…you don’t want mice in your office do you? 
  • Also be prepared to use everyday office supplies as weapons. Go ahead and take more than your fair share of scissors, kitchen knives, those terrifying heavy-duty staplers and anything else that will result in serious zombie brain death. Having 16 ginormous staplers at your desk may be hard to explain, so have a few good lines ready in case you get questioned. For full effect, keep it vague and throw in some good office buzzwords, e.g. ‘this isn’t a problem, it’s a solution’, ‘taking them away would be a disincentive for me to staple’, ‘it’s a 16 point stapling plan’. If all else fails, just say a tried and true acronym…'all these staplers are a direct result of the KPIs’. 
  • And finally, know your escape plan…office folk are often burdened by business plans, risk management plans, stakeholder engagement plans, work plans, section plans, planning plans…but the one plan that will always be worth your while is a zombie escape plan! Think about your exit options, sensible supplies and be mentally prepared to staple your (zombified) co-workers in the head.

Rise against the risen!

Miss ace

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The Serpent and the Rainbow

With a title like The Serpent and the Rainbow this book doesn't sound like a real life zombi hunting adventure featuring secret societies, deadly poisons and exotic locations. But it is.

One day in 1972, Wade Davis, tired of his studies in anthropology at Harvard, jabs his finger on a map adorning the wall of a cafe. His finger lands on the upper Amazon and so starts his journey into the Amazon rainforest. He joins an expedition to cross the Darien Gap, trying not to get lost or murdered along the way. There in the depths of the jungle, and in the depths of despair, he encounters his spirit guardian who appears as a Jaguar. And that is just chapter one.

After this introduction the book settles quickly on Wade's quest to discover how zombis work. It is 1982 and the story of Clairvirus Narcisse was sweeping the world. Narcisse is a Haitian who claims his brother hired a bokor to turn him into a zombi. Wade's mission is to determine how zombis are made. His knowledge of biological drugs used by various indigenous tribes could help him unearth the secret of the zombi powders.

The tale that follows takes you through the history and culture of Haiti. In his own lyrical words Wade enters the heart of the vodou (voodoo) religion where the zombi lurks. As a white man in a black society he slowly gains acceptance by the people and discovers the secrets. The ingredients of the dreaded zombi powders, the secret societies who judge those condemned to become zombis, and why zombis are needed in the first place.

Originally published in 1985 this book is considered essential reading for any zombie expert. (Who would have thought that preparing for the zombie apocalypse would involve so much reading?) It is a gripping read that will take you back to the zombi roots and even explain what a zombi's cucumber really is.

Bite off more zombi's cucumber that you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Apocalypse Hal - Checklist

Seeing it is Zombie Awareness Month, the first thing everyone should know is how to identify a zombie. It is not easy as zombies come in all shapes and sizes but this handy checklist should help you spot a zombie.

Print out a copy an place it on the fridge, the fridge at work. You can never be too careful with your work colleagues!

Bite off more than you can chew. 

Mr Rimsky