Friday, 18 November 2016

Survival run

So I have been trying to keep fit by doing the odd bit of running. It's hard. My lungs feel like fire, my heart seems about to explode and my legs ache. And that's just getting to the end of the driveway. Could they make running any more challenging?

Yes they can.

The 2016 Buckley's Chance survival run is being held this weekend at Mt Warning N.S.W. The same location the Australian Army uses to train soldiers in jungle warfare. The run is a combination of adventure race, ultra-marathon and obstacle course. Basic survival equipment is essential and it looks like you have to make your own backpack as part of the challenge. So this is no stroll in the park.

In fact you have to go through an application process to get on the survival run. A key requirement is having previously completed a 50km plus race or an ultra endurance event. There are also some useful things you should know, like learn to climb trees and that riding cows is prohibited. Oh, don't expect to finish the race.

For the less fit there is the easier option of a 50 km or 25 km off trail run.

Here's wishing them all the best, and hoping the leaches ain't hungry.

Mr Rimsky

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Zombie mermaids

Saw one of those quiz things on Facebook. How to select a Halloween character based on your initials. Well I was stoked to find mine started with 'zombie'. Unfortunately it ended with 'mermaid'.

Not that I have nothing against zombie mermaids, I just don't think I can pull off a fashionable fishtail look. But it got me thinking Ariel would look pretty good undead.

Zombies have been in the news here lately due to the local election. The candidates have really splashed some cash on corflute. The number of election posters lining the streets have been staggering. Some have referred to them as 'zombie fields'. Not sure if that is a reflection of the candidates having no personality or what. Some see it as a blight on our nature strips. I see the signs as a lightweight, waterproof building material for survival shelters. As a bonus they make great targets for practicing your zombie slaying skills.

I know, posts are few are far between at the moment. Looks like 2016 is the year of writing badly. I'll take drawing over creative writing any day. On a recent show Magda Szubanski stated it took her eight years to write her book Reckoning. And her book was a memoir that didn't require scientific research, info diagrams and an extensive list of synonyms for 'zombie'. This could take a while.  

Bite off more corflute than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Saturday, 3 September 2016


Wow, it is the start of September! That means it is spring and two thirds of the way through the year. And I am sooooo far behind in my project.

This week I discovered this delightful US website called Wazoo which sells survival gear. Including Wazombies!

Awesomely cool, although their zombie paracord bracelet packs more gear. And pretty trendy too. While Wazoo do ship overseas the gear is rather pricey, so I won't be buying one just yet.

However I have purchased a wonderful fashion accessory, a groin protector. Kind of like one of those codpieces that were all the rage back in the sixteenth century. Very stylish and required for self defense classes. Even have bruises from the last class. Think that was when one guy grabbed my shoulder and kneed me three times in the stomach (no injury - I was holding a kickpad and wearing my trusty groin protector).

And how amazing is Australia Survivor? Seriously, what is it like? I haven't seen a single episode. Unfortunately I live in a very democratic house and everyone else is voting to watch Zumbos Just Desserts instead. Sigh.

Bite off my Zumbo dessert than you can chew

Mr Rimsky


Saturday, 6 August 2016


Well it has been a busy week.

Took my first lesson in Krav maga, the Israeli combat system. They like to get physical and protective gear is mandatory for later classes. They also like to stress test you. 

The second edit of my manuscript is done. But I am not happy with the narrative flow so been restructuring the chapters. Who though making stuff up would be so hard. 

I am also taking swimming lessons to improve my 'floundering in the water' skills. Feels like I am getting worse but maybe all those rotation, core body and breathing drills will come together at some stage. On the plus side I am getting better at treading water.  

Oh yeah there is the other exercising to keep up with. Currently researching how to combine the Tabata protocols with a Paleo fitness regime, to unleash that inner caveman. Seriously.

My car arrived so there is lots of work to be done. Like reading the manual to work out what the hell Dynamic Vehicle Control and Continuous Variable Transmission are all about. There is also the long, long shopping list of survival gear to buy for the car, so I am ready for the zombies. It will be a slow process as I save up for the more expensive items like chainsaws, hazmat suits and industrial strength air fresheners.

Bite of more than you can chew

Mr Rimsky 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Bug out vehicle

Unfortunately a little old lady took out the car I normally drive. 

No one was hurt but the smash repair place took one look at the 1996 Excel sprint and said it wasn't worth fixing. Kind of sad really, she was going to turn 20 years old in December.   

So I have been busy car hunting. Having read Creek Stewart's How to build the perfect bug out vehicle several times, I was looking for something that would serve me well in an apocalypse. You know, pepper spray holder on the dashboard, camouflage paint job and extra cup holders. 

For a while I was looking at restored ex-military vehicles. Even found a couple of War World Two vintage Willys jeeps for sale. It was tempting, they are simple, rugged and oh so retro in style. But driving an open topped jeep in minus 4 degrees isn't so exciting. Plus leasing a car means you have to buy almost new. So that ruled out the restored Kombi vans. Maybe one day. 

Buying a car is often about compromises, so instead of the manual diesel I ended up with a petrol automatic. They just don't make manuals for the model I wanted because, to quote the sales rep, 'Australians are lazy buggers'. 

Soon I will be the owner of high tech car with electric windows, reversing camera, bluetooth and other strange stuff. My old car had wind down widows and a broken cassette deck with a chewed up copy of Wham's Fantastic still in it. That's right, a cassette deck.

It will be an interesting journey. One with ipod connectivity.

Bite off more airbags than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

fitness test

I took a DIY fitness test on the weekend, to see how I would cope if the zombies rise up.

The test is from Major Sam McGrath's book, The Para fitness guide ('Para', as in the elite UK paratrooper regiment). It seemed an appropriate and manly enough test for me. He breaks the results down into four levels, Civilian, Recruit, Solder and Paratrooper. So how did I stack up?

Cardiovascular Fitness Test
Do a warm up and then run 2.4 km (1.5 miles). Obviously a good test of fitness but also great practice for outrunning the walking dead. I was hoping to do under 12.30 minutes but the buzzer went off just as the end was in sight. So close.

over 12.30 minutes - score: Civilian

Strength & Muscular Endurance Tests

Push ups are a solid measure of your upper body strength and zombie whacking power. How many push ups can you do in 2 minutes? I ran out of steam but managed 71 (I have been practicing). The last dozen were painful.

71 push ups - score: Solider
Wait two minutes and then do it again with sit ups. A great test of muscular endurance. Plus we all want washboard abs, even in the zombie apocalypse.  I ran out of time so need to speed it up.   

60 push ups - score: Solider

Then the fun one, chin ups (or pull ups). An excellent measure of your body to weight strength and handy when desperately scrambling over walls to avoid the undead. Do as many as possible without letting go or touching the ground. Failed here with a mere 3.5 but getting better with more practice, already up to 3.75!

3.5 - score: Civilian

Flexibility test
This tests flexibility in your back and hamstrings, whatever they are. Being flexible is good, especially when scavenging for food off the top shelves of abandoned supermarkets. Sit on the floor with your feet against the wall. Slide your fingers along the floor towards the wall to a spot where you can hold it for about 5 seconds. Score is the distance between wall and your fingers.  

14.5 cm - score: Solider

Seeing I am too old and lazy to join any army the results are pretty positive. Have to see if I improve in a month's time. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Apocalypse Hal: Low tech

So once you have dropped your night vision gear down the stairs and smashed your drone into the trees, it will be time to go old school.

There are many simple tools you can create or adapt for use in the zombie wastelands. Duct tape a car wing mirror onto a pole and you have a handy trench periscope for looking around corners and peering into buildings. Flaming torches work just as well as a flashlight and will give you that swashbuckling adventurer look. 

Sometimes it's cool to go old school. Sometimes it is your only choice.

Bite of more than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Apoclypse Hal: High Tech

Scavenging for rusty tins of pet food in the ruins of humanity will be dangerous. All those hungry undead prowling the zombie wastelands means you need to be extra careful. 

Luckily technology can give you an edge with those basic tasks like communications, lighting and detecting the walking dead.  

The downside with such high tech gadgets is the warranties will be void once the zombies appear. So be extra careful with your gear. Oh yeah, you will need a solar battery charge too.

Bite off more than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Monday, 6 June 2016

Random Zombie Travel Finds

Greetings BZFers!

I am now home after my year-long experience in South East Asia. I had some great experiences, sweated a lot and learned many important lessons along the way. 

As you know, many of these lessons were valuable preparations for the inevitable Zombie apocalypse. Over the year my posts have included: South East Asia transport options during the apocalypse; breakdowns on the different types of Zombies you may encounter; apocalypse survival lesson from rural fieldtrips; how to spot patient 0 in transit; Chinese hopping Zombies; and tips on Zombie-proofing any accommodation.

To wrap up my travel series, I thought I’d begin by sharing a few random Zombie/apocalypse-related things I found over the year: 

Thing 1: Canned Gas 
This can was spotted on one of my first nights in Phnom Penh and it just seems like the kind of thing that would be helpful in the apocalypse. I mean, look at Mr Gas. He seems ready for anything! 

Thing 2: Skinfood 
Skinfood is a store in a giant shopping mall in Phnom Penh. To me, it sounds like the kind of place Zombies would do their groceries when they can’t manage to find a fresh human around… 

Thing 3: Neck and Neck 
This was spotted in the same shopping mall as Skinfood. The shop is actually full of children’s clothes, but don’t be fooled – Necks are a classic target areas for Zombies to bite, so I’m sure they’re behind this fa├žade! 

Thing 4: Fly covered corn 
During my first fieldtrip in a place called Kampong Chhnang, we stopped for corn. After demolishing said delicious corn, flies swarmed my discarded corn shells…admittedly there were more flies before I whipped my Camera out, but food waste covered in insects kind of reminded me of the Walking Dead…a scene of things to come… 

Thing 5: Zombie inspired Magic Art in Bangkok 
During a brief trip to Bangkok, I googled something like ‘Zombies Bangkok’ and found a 3D Art museum with an awesome Thai horror zone which had many zombie related pieces: 

I tried to do a cool jumping shot with this, but it was hard with the camera timer. I found a nice Thai lady to help me, but this was the best we got: 

Thing 6: Street of The Dead (Singapore) 
This is one of those times when I did not seek out Zombie related things – in this case Zombie related things found me. My first night in Singapore I was casually wandering around Chinatown and I found this: 

Thing 7: Universal Studios Frankenstein 
On a trip to Singapore’s Universal Studios, I met Frankenstein (the original Zombie) for the second time. We first became acquainted back in 2012 and I was pretty excited to see him again in 2015!

Thing 8: Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights! 
The reason I was in Singapore was because there was a week long holiday in Cambodia to honour ancestors (Pchum Ben). But the reason I chose to go to Singapore, over say, Taiwan or Hong Kong, was because this was happening:

Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) is an annual Halloween event held at the various Universal Studios around the world! They spookify the whole park and set-up a bunch of differently themed haunted houses and Scare-zones. The show started with an opening SCAREMONY, which helped introduce the event by having characters from each theme yell at you and stuff. Also there was an explosion. 

The first haunted house I went into was Hell House! It was super creepy and hot, and included a few random body parts sticking out of walls and hanging from ceilings. They also gave us some paper which supposed to be some sort of Spirit world currency, and one of my main memories of this house was how amusingly jumpy the girl in front of me was (she tipped me off to the scariest bits). There was also a Jiang Shi (Chinese hopping Zombie) at the end with a massive tongue, although I couldn’t capture it due to the no photo policy.

The second Haunted House I went into was specifically Singapore themed to celebrate the city’s 50th birthday. The line to get in was as long as my flight from Phnom Penh, but the inside was pretty cool - it had lots of security guys directing you through a Singaporean apartment complex that had been plagued by a horrible zombie-like disease.

Invaders wasn’t a haunted house but a ‘Scarezone’ which allowed guests to walk through freely and take pics, etc. It was full of giant scary aliens and wounded human soldiers. It was a very cool atmosphere and a good alternative to the Haunted House lines. It was a bit like walking through a live movie set.

Conterminated was another Scare zone that was set up to look like an abandoned diseased colony. The piles of rubbish bags impressed me the most as they looked all too real…

And finally HUNGRY GHOSTS was my favourite scare zone! It featured the Chinese hopping Zombie, who I followed around as it stalked the other guests: 

I would highly recommend going to a Halloween Horror Night if you ever find yourself near a Universal Studios around the end of October! They even had scary themed food:

And also spotted this disturbing bird-like creature who was on his (?) way to a Halloween themed show.

So there you have it BZFers! Proof that Zombies can be found all around the world! So no matter where you end up in this crazy planet of ours, remember that the Zombies can be lurking under every filthy hostel mattress; be stumbling through any overly priced tourists sites; or sitting next to you on a plane/train/tuk tuk or elephant!

Rise against the Risen!

Miss Ace

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Apocalypse Hal: Layers

Well it is officially winter. 

As everyone knows, winter means dressing in layers to keep warm. Unless you are up north where it always bloody hot. Anyway, dressing in layers is also good for general disasters and zombie apocalypses. So get to know your layers.

Don't forget to accessorise!

Bite off more than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Panic buying, Eurovision and zombies

The reality of a zombie apocalypse is that in the initial days, hordes of unprepared people will panic buy everything in the stores. When cyclone Maria bore down on Yeppoon in 2015, some shops sold out of bananas in 30 minutes!
So it helps to have some experience with crazed mobs of shoppers. Something I discovered at the ADLI snow gear sale today. Whole families were there, some members dashing headlong into the frenzy while others carefully guarded their trolleys in nearby aisles. There were hand signals, strategic use of trolleys to block people and lots of ducking and weaving. And all I was after was milk.

And just because you are in a desperate survival situation doesn't mean you can't be fashionable. Eurovision likes to set new fashion boundaries so it was great to see Bosnia and Herzegovina rocking it with Mylar survival blankets as capes. They chose the classic bronze and sliver version, with that just unfolded, stylish grid pattern. At about $5 each they obviously had a big budget.

As for zombies there was an interesting piece in the issue 508 of The Big Issue. It covered the history of zombies, particular the pop culture side. But there was some deep discussion around how horror movies tend to be popular during uncertain, scary times. Times of economic troubles, civil unrest and boring election campaigns. So is the interest in zombies really a symptom of a society that, like a maggoty undead, is slow decaying away? Heavy stuff to ponder. Better stock up on more bananas. 

Bite off more banana than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Budget, zombie soup and apocalypse cars

Well it has been an interesting week.

The Federal Budget was handed down early and as can be expected, no funding for zombie research. Guess the government refuses to believe in zombies, along with global warming.

But zombies must exist because I stumbled across a recipe for zombie soup. Sadly no zeds are harmed in the making of this dish. It doesn't actually contain any undead but is simply one of those jars full of dehydrated ingredients that you throw in a large pot of boiling water for a quick and easy meal. It's a prepper recipe, particularly good for when hordes of unprepared survivors (called zombies in the prepper lingo) turn up on your doorstop after a disaster.

If you are planning to be prepared, Tesla announced a new feature for some of its cars. A military grade bioweapons defense mode! While intended for dealing with pollution it is an awesome feature to have for the zombie apocalypse. In addition to filtering out 'gaseous pollutants' (the stench of the undead) it also removes bacteria, viruses, pollen and mold spores (possible zombie pathogens). No need to buy those car air freshers anymore.

Bite off more zombie soup than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Friday, 22 April 2016

Survival tips

Let's be honest, the chance of a zombie apocalypse is rather low. Other disasters are much more likely, as we have sadly seen with earthquakes in Japan. In fact earthquakes are a big risk in Japan and the authorities are keen to get people prepared. 


So the prefecture of Tokyo has a number of handy publications available but naturally the Japanese do things a little differently. They have a cute cartoon character to brand the material and there is even a manga to reinforce what may happen in an earthquake. 

The Lets Get Prepared and Survival Tips publications are particularly interesting. For example, local parks have been designed as evacuation areas. Bench seats can be converted into cooking stoves, park lights are solar powdered and there are manual water pumps. And rows of manhole covers that can be turned into toilets. There are also handy details on making your furniture secure so it doesn't squash your cat in an earthquake. 

The Survival Tips also had some tips I had not seen before, like how to convert an AA battery into a C or D size battery. Very useful if the batteries in your old school ghetto blaster go flat. Another one was how to make a backpack out of a pair of trousers. 

Yes they are in English and the cartoon style, while simple, gives you a clear idea of what to do. The Manga was awesome but finished just when it was getting good.   

Bite off more instant ramen than you can chew 

Mr Rimsky

Monday, 11 April 2016

Serious zombie research

Been slack with the posts lately because I have been doing some serious zombie research. And you know what serious zombie research means. Movies!

Yes a bit of a time wrap watching (for the first time) some of the classics.

Night of the living dead 1968 - The one that started it all and pretty impressive for a low budget movie. Even features a helicopter. Key lesson, zombies are the least of your worries when you are trapped in a farmhouse with strangers.

Dawn of the dead 1978 - A pretty awesome action film. Even features a helicopter. Dated now but I do really love that 70s style.

Day of the dead 1985 - The first thing to spring to mind during the opening sequence was Gorillaz's track M1 A1 which samples the 'Hello, Anyone out there?' dialogue. Loved the various zombie characters at the end, a clown, a cheerleader, a football player. Loved Bud. Does Romero have a thing for helicopters?

Return of the living dead 1985 - Liked how the half dog and butterflies came back to life. But best of all was Tarman, who has that uncoordinated zombie shuffle down pat. 

Mr Vampire 1985 - Miss ACE's favourite and one I have seen before. Unfortunately the version I had didn't have English subtitles but luckily slap stick comedy and awesome kung fu fights need no translation. 

28 days later 2002 - Boy can Selena weld a machete or what? Featuring the infected living and a virus that can turn someone into a zombie within a few minutes. Another movie where the zombies are the least of your problems.

Shaun of the dead 2004 - Nothing like a bit British comedy, particularly liked the use of a cricket bat.

Bite off more popcorn than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Apocalypse Hal: Tracker zombies

We can expect zombies to adapt to different hunting strategies when they are seeking out brains to eat.

Finally there are tracker zombies who will systematic search for and hunt down humans. They will look for signs of humans, like discarded coffee cups or noisy karaoke parties. Once they locate a nest of humans they will attack, possibly working in a pack. Otherwise they may adopt the Waiter or Baiter approach, knowing eventually a tasty human or two will emerge.

Bite off more than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Apocalypse Hal: Ranger zombies

We can expect zombies to adapt to different hunting strategies when they are seeking out brains to eat. 

Another technique is for a zombie to wander around looking for someone to eat. Many animal predators use this method but it is not as simple as you think. Zombies will probably use the Levy Walk, a mathematical model of ranging that involves a mix of long and short trips in a random pattern. It increases the chance of finding something yummy to eat and is used by sharks, bees and tourists.

Bite of more than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Fight like a physicist

If you are going to fight zombies a little physics helps. Actually it can help a lot.

After trying to understand a bit more about kinetic energy I bought this book in the hope it might explain things better. It does and without too much maths with is great for people like me.

Jason Thalken has a PHD in physics and a black belt or two in martial arts. So he has put the two together and written a book on the science of fighting. There are some valuable tips, like the difference between momentum (which is great for shoving zombies out of the way) and kinetic energy (which is great for whacking their heads in). Or why understanding pi can make you punch faster. 

Thalken also presents some interesting US statistics around self defense. Turns out people who immediately attacked their attacker in self defense suffered the least injuries. Seems the best defense is an offense. So don't let the zombies get the upper hand, or your brain. Attack first.

At the end of the book Thalken explains some of those mystical superpowers that you hear about. How to lie on a bed of nails or bend a spear with your throat. Looks like being a mystical monk is all down to knowing your physics. Sadly the book was very light on weapons but did show where the center of gravity on a baby is. Could be useful one day.  

Finally a book that helps put all those boring physics classes you did at school into practical use.

Bite off more than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Monday, 7 March 2016

Zpoc taste test

There are lots of meal choices when it comes to stocking up your Bag Out Bag. MREs, freeze dried meals or even your own dehydrated meals. However if you want to keep it light and simple then food bars are an option. No cooking, just open and eat. Easy to squeeze into your pack and lots of options available. So I though a taste test was in order.

From left to right; Clif Bar, Mr Rimsky's Zombie Bar, Mother Earth, Blue Dinosaur Paleo Bar


Clif Bar - Chocolate chip
These get lots of raves overseas so was keen to try one. Visually not what I expected and it reminded me of something from the cat's kitty litter tray. Texture wise it was moist and chewy with very little crumbling. It was sweet but not too much. It certainly did not taste like a chocolate chip biscuit and there was an 'earthy cereal' type flavour that I suspect was due to to ingredients like rice syrup, soy protein, soybean and malt barley.

Price       $3.95
Serving   68g
Energy    1,050Kj (1,544 Kj/100g) 
Sugar      23g (34g/100g)

Texture   moist and chewy
Flavour   very pleasant

Verdict   Clif bars are marketed as a 'formulated supplementary food' so great choice for a survival situation. Best texture, good taste and enjoyable eating.

Mr Rimsky's Zombie Bar  - Dark chocolate and chili
Food bars are a multi million dollar market so naturally I want a slice too. This is a variation of the old US D ration and mainly consists of chocolate. Texture was a bit crumbly but with a nice mouthfeel as the chocolate melts in your mouth. There is a powdery effect due to the oat flour but it wasn't gritty or off putting. The sweetest of all the bars although the use of dark chocolate does tone it down a bit.

Price       no idea
Serving   about 100g
Energy    2,100Kj (2,100Kj/100g?) 
Sugar      Too much
Texture   soft and bit crumbly
Flavour   sweet with tangy chili aftertaste

Verdict   Shows promise. Can be made into a a hot chocolate beverage. Chili boosts the metabolism so probably not a great choice in a survival situation. A chocoholics delight.

Mother Earth baked oat slices - Golden oats
Walk into any supermarket and there are a staggering number of bars and biscuits on offer. Buying some of these mass produced bars makes good sense as they tend to be the cheapest option. I do find these to be overly sweet and not as healthy as other specialty food bars. I grabbed the golden oats variety in the hope it provides a more sustained release of energy. Comparing the nutritional labels this bar had the lowest amount of sugar.

Price       pack of 6 for about $4.50
Energy    772Kj (1930Kj/100g)
Sugar      9g (22.4g/100g)
Serving   size 40g
Texture   Crumbly with that dry and baked feel
Flavour   Bit plain with an oaty taste

Verdict    A cheaper and still healthy option. Made from whole grain cereals and oats and has the lowest sugar content of all the bars. 

Blue Dinosaur Paleo Bar  - Cacao mint
Another bar that gets good reviews. The first thing I noticed opening the packet was the minty smell. Definite the standout bar when it comes to taste although the dates give it a certain underlying flavour. Being based on the Paleo diet the ingredients are simple and unrefined. This bar has only five ingredients; coconut, three and half dates, cacao, coconut oil and peppermint oil. Not very sweet, a bit dry and crumbly. 

Price       $4.95 (but you can buy boxes online)
Energy    932Kj (2070Kj/100g)
Sugar      15g (35g/100g)
Serving   size 45g
Texture   soft and bit crumbly
Flavour   best flavour but reminded me of toothpaste

Verdict    A good bar and probably the tastiest. They are smaller than Clif Bars but look to be more energy dense, meaning more energy per gram weight overall.

Note: Due to concerns over nut allergies none of the bars I selected contained tree nuts. This restricted what flavours I could pick. For example the Cacao mint was the only Blue Dinosaur Paleo Bar I could find without nuts.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Apocalypse Hal: Baiter zombies

We can expect zombies to adapt to different hunting strategies when they are seeking out brains to eat.

Baiter zombies will take the ambush technique to the next level by trying to lure humans to them. The most clever ones may use sound, smells or lights as lures as these can travel a fair distance, increase the possibility of a curious human coming to investigate. On a simpler level some food left out on the street may be enough to entice a hungry survivor close enough to snack on.

Bite off more that you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Saturday, 27 February 2016

The gift of fear

Gavin de Becker mingles with the rich and famous. And he protects them from crazed killers.

De Becker has spent his life with violence, seeing it, understanding it and preventing it. By his own reckoning, his exposure to violence as a child should have lead him on a path to prison, but he took another direction. His company Gavin de Becker and Associates has spent years pioneering strategies to predict and prevent violence. In his classic book The gift of fear, he explains how you can use fear. It's your survival instinct that is there to protect you, if you listen to it.

Turns out that our fellow humans are one of the most dangerous predators we are likely to face. But how can you tell that one bad person in a society of mainly nice people. There are ways to spot them, certain behaviourial indicators that give them away. Maybe it is that difficult worker in the office, that overly keen romantic interest or that won't-go-away stalker.

This is a fascinating book, if somewhat dry reading in places. And some of the stories are tragic, like the mother who lost her son because she didn't listen to that voice in her head warning her not to trust the doctor. It is worth reading just for the chapter on Assassins. The real life story de Becker tells is just like a TV crime drama. Dead bodies found, crazed killer on the loose, a celebrity rushed to a safehouse, crime scene analysis and profiling, trackers scourging the bush. It has it all.

Seriously, this book could save your life, be it from psychopaths, incompetent surgeons or zombies.

Bite off more than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Apocalypse Hal: Waiter zombies

We can expect zombies to adapt to different hunting strategies when they are seeking out brains to eat. There are four or five possible techniques they may use depending on how much cognitive function a particular zombie has.

Simply waiting for some tasty human to walk pass it the most basic technique. The ambush does not require much skill but needs patience, something zombies have stacks of. The smarter ones will learn to hang around shops and apartment blocks where humans are more like to scavenge in. 

Bite off more than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Thursday, 18 February 2016

The Ebola Survival Handbook

I found this book in the library. It is slim, brightly coloured and gives practical advice on dealing with projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea. As bedtime reading goes it ticked all the boxes.

Published in 2014 at the height of the US Ebola scare, Joseph Alton MD provides some handy tips for surviving an Ebola outbreak. Naturally this advice can be adapted to handling a zombie outbreak in Australia. After all, everyone knows the zpoc will be caused by a virus. So if you can deal with the Ebola virus, the zombie virus will be a piece of cake.

The book covers the usual stuff. How Ebola is transmitted and ways to you can prevent getting infected. But there were some interesting bits too. Supposedly there are only 14 hospital beds in the US capable of holding highly infectious patients. Turns out there is a black market in Africa for the blood of Ebola survivors, as injecting it into a patient is a way to treat the disease. And it was estimated that the hospital expenses for treating just one patient (Thomas Duncan) was over $500,000 US dollars. The cost of those face masks and latex gloves really add up.

However if you are on a budget you can do it all at home with some plastic sheeting and buckets of bleach. This is what I found most fascinating, treating your loved ones at home while trying not to catch the disease yourself. Alton has some great tips, like using the plastic covers from your dry cleaning as emergency hospital gowns. The big message from it all is that looking after an Ebola patient is a lot of hard work and a lot of disinfecting. When you consider this in terms of a zombie apocalypse, no wonder anyone bitten tends to get whacked on the spot. It saves so much hassle in the long run.

Bite off more than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky


Monday, 15 February 2016

Apocalypse Hal: Viruses (and Tim Tams)

Everyone talks about the zpoc being caused by a virus. And for good reason.

Viruses are sneaky little things, responsible for a lot of scary disease outbreaks like Swine flu, Ebola and Herpes. So it is important to be able to spot one, which is pretty much impossible seeing that are 20 and 300 nanometres in size.

Anyway, basically they are dead protein capsules containing DNA or RNA. They invade your cells, turn them into virus manufacturing plants and make you sick. 

The best thing you can do to avoid infection? Wash your hands. Seriously, it greatly reduces the spread of the clingy little buggers. Wearing a Hazmat suit also helps.

Bite off more than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky