Sunday, May 29, 2016

Zombie Fighting Tactics - Diversions

Zombies aren't the most thoughtful of adversaries.   They aren't strategic thinkers.  There is no Zombie Robert E. Lee.  Instead, Zombies shuffle towards food sources and phenomena that attract their attention.  Thoughtful survivors can use this to their own advantage.  You can divert Zombies out of an area so that you can achieve your objectives.

Zombies are distracted by a number of phenomena.
  • Human movement
  • Loud Noises
  • Bright Lights
  • Edible Animals (primarily livestock)
The key is to divert Zombies far enough away from your objective that they can't return to ruin your day.  You also don't want to put humans at great risk to distract Zombies.

Using Humans to Distract Zombies


Since Zombies want first and foremost to feast on humans and transmit the Zombie virus, humans make great bait.  To be a distraction, humans must be close enough to the Zombies to be a tantalizing bait.  But, to be safe, those same humans must have a sure avenue for escape.  One of the best way for humans to distract Zombies is by using a car.  In a car, you may be able to play loud music, yell out of the windows, wave your arms, attract a Zombie,lure them away for the desired distance and then drive quickly away to a safe location.

This Low RIder Lincoln might grab the attention of Zombies! - photo Jarek Tuszynski / CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


Using Loud Noises to Distract Zombies


Zombies are attracted to loud noises like yelling, screaming, car stereos, people beating on trashcans, etc.  The advantage of this is that one person can make the noise of many.  You can also use remote control to activate noises from a distance.  For example, if you could rig up a remote control on a far off set of church bells.  In a close quarters battle, you could temporarily distract zombies by activating the key remote of a car parked in an area where you want the zombies to be.  You could also throw a rock into a row of garbage cans.


Using Bright Lights to Distract Zombies


Zombies are attracted to lights.  It's how they show up at that lone farm house in the country.  As a survivor, you need to maximize how much light you emit.  As depicted in early seasons of The Walking Dead, survivors will keep lights turned off, blinds closed, and use the minimum amount of light necessary at night.  You can use the Zombie fascination with light to help lure zombies away from your location and to assemble zombies in a location of your choice.  This is especially effective in an environment where there is little background light.  For example, once the power grid has failed, there will be far fewer lights at night.  Those that remain will attract the attention of the dead and the mischief-minded living.

Highway Construction Light Truck - By User:EPO (Own work) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons


In his valuable book, Zombie Outbreak Survival Manual,Van Allen warns against using flames to attract Zombies in urban environments.  Zombies may walk right into the fire, catch fire, continue walking, and start structure fires.  Even in wooded outdoor areas, Zombies may start forest fires.

Using Edible Animals to Distract Zombies


Beef is real food for real people.  It's also food for walking dead people.  As seen on The Walking Dead, Zombies will kill and eat a horse if they can corner it.  Since animals move, they can be released and driven in the direction that you want Zombies to go.  The livestock will move along and the Zombies will pursue.
This Calf is too cute to be Zombie Bait - photo By Cgoodwin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Unfortunately, using animals as a diversion for Zombies is generally a bad idea for a few reasons:
  • Animals are a valuable food source
  • Animals can be used for transportation
  • Animals may not travel far before being killed by Zombies. 
Diversions allow the living to use their one big advantage over the dead:  brains.  We are smarter and we can easily devise distractions to divert Zombies away from us.   

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Zombie Short Film - Unshaken

Here's another great little Zombie film.  It was put together in less than 50 hours during a competition, but it looks quite professional.  It's another insight into the world of Zombie Apocalypse survivors.  Do you have the intestinal fortitude to keep going?


Sunday, May 22, 2016

What's the Best Weapon Against Zombie Attack?

What's the best weapon to use against Zombies?  


It's an age old question.  We can see the quiet effectiveness of Daryl's crossbow against Zombies in The Walking Dead.  However, it is slow to reload and doesn't have the firepower to stop a whole mob of rampaging zombies.  To use knives, bats, and other melee weapons, you have to be uncomfortably close to a zombie.  Firearms will put a Zombie down, but you have to be a good shot and the noise of each shot you take will attract even more zombies.



When it comes to Zombie killing, I think a mix of weapons is best.  You might want a scoped rifle for longer range shots, a handgun for close range situations, and a large knife.  Since only head shots will stop a Zombie, you need a precision weapon or perhaps a weapon that you can be precise with.  But, before you even think of handling weapons, you better know the safety rules and get some professional training.



Perhaps the best weapon is the weapon close by when the Zombies show up.  Here is some advice on the matter from the interwebs:


I think I may have just found the ultimate anti-Zombie weapon.  It might be the tomahawk.  It provides extra reach and the ability to split skulls.  It can also be used to get through doors and break windows.  Mine arrives soon and I'll let you know what I think.  In the meantime, here is a field test of a similar tomahawk.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Zombie Short Film - Infection

One of the great things about the Zombie craze is that it has ignited the creativity of countless writers and film makers.  Some of the film makers do a really great job.  I like this short Zombie film called Infection.  It provides a glimpse into surviving a Zombie apocalypse.



I like the respirator mask that appears to be featured in the film.  It might be a good pickup.  It might provide some modicum of protection against chemicals, smoke, and other hazards.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Zombie Recon - How To Spot Zombies

Before you engage in combat with Zombies, you and your group of survivors will need to know all about their combat capabilities.  If you are sheltering in a fortified position, you'll need to know where Zombies are located in proximity to your group and if they pose a threat to your stronghold.  This is where Zombie Recon comes into play.  You need to find and observe Zombies before engaging them in any way.


According to many self-defense experts, if a mugger gets within 21 feet of you, there is a good chance he can jump you before you can produce a weapon for self-defense.  Just as it is important to recognize suspicious characters from a distance, you'll want to recognize zombies before they get too close.

Zombie Photo By Jeremy Keith from Brighton & Hove, United Kingdom (The evil eye  Uploaded by Fæ) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Recognizing Zombies


Once authorities and the media have alerted you to a genuine Zombie threat, you'll need to know how to recognize a Zombie.  A Zombie can be recognized at a distance by the way that he or she moves.  Zombies typically move with a plodding shuffle. Sometimes they walk with an odd gait due to broken bones, injury, or rotting muscle and connective tissues.  However, Zombies will take the most direct path towards their intended victim and move in a straight line with purpose.


When you scan a landscape, first you spot movement, then identify the human figure, and then note the odd movements typical of Zombies.  A good pair of binoculars can allow you to verify that the target figure is actually a Zombie.



Visual verification of characteristics such as a pale gray palor, rotten flesh, lacerations, open wounds, and visible entrails should suffice to complete the identification.

Practicing to Spot Zombies


While there is no outbreak of Zombie contagion today, you can still practice to spot Zombies.  Whenever, you are eating fast food in a parking lot simply look around.  Scan the sidewalks, the parking lot, look for people moving a hundred or more yards away.  You'll notice unnaturally skinny people slowly shuffling along.  Many of them are called vegans and they really do need to get a little more protein.  You'll also see homeless people who have been beaten down by life's tragedies and often mental illness or substance abuse.  Many of them walk in a slightly unnatural manner.

Zombie Photo - By Nicholas Gemini (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
You may also notice other potential threats.  For example, there's that guy in the brand new car with tinted windows that's been sitting for a long time by himself.  He might be a drug dealer.  (Don't watch him for too long.)  The key is to develop your situational awareness and street smarts.  In the short term, you'll avoid potential interactions with criminals.  In the long term, you'll be a little more ready for the Zombie Apocalypse.   

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Fighting Zombies - How to Stiff Arm a Zombie!

The most important rule to remember when fighting a Zombie:  Avoid the Teeth!  This video from ZombieCombatClub shows you how to apply a strong stiff arm technique and follow up with a quick counter-attack to put down a Zombie.


As cool as these techniques look, do not attempt these techniques at home.  Do not play with knives or ice picks or ear canals or temples.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Who would survive a Zombie Apocalypse: Kelly Ripa or Michael Strahan?

After Michael Strahan's unexpected announcement that he was leaving "Live with Kelly and Michael," it seems like everywhere you turn, Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan are supposedly locked in some die-hard battle. 

The Last Days of Live with Kelly and Michael


Since Friday, May 13th, is Michael Strahan's last day on the popular morning show, it's only natural to ask the vital question now:  Which one of these popular TV morning show personalities would fare better in a Zombie Apocalypse?

Kelly Ripa photo By The Heart Truth [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Kelly Ripa versus Zombies



Kelly Ripa would have a few advantages over Michael.  At 5' 3" tall and tiny, Ripa is physically fit due to a consistent workout regime and what a People magazine article calls a low alkaline diet.  She eats less and would consume far fewer resources than the giant Strahan.  A light weight, she could scale fences, be boosted into ceiling rafters, and use her yoga skills to squeeze into impossibly tight spots.  This workout segment from "Live with Kelly and Michael!" highlights her physique.


While Ripa has never worked with Zombies, she has worked with Regis Philbin.

Michael Strahan versus Zombies


In contrast to the tiny Ripa, Michael Strahan is and was a Giant.  As a Superbowl Champion and former NFL Defensive End, Strahan stands 6'5" tall and weighs 275 pounds.  As a defensive end, Strahan is used to manhandling big guys, pushing people, and making them lose their balance.  Against clumsy zombies, the former pass rusher would be a machine.  He has a combination of extreme strength and agility.  In the photo below, Strahan demonstrates that he can easily lift an M107 .50 caliber sniper rifle.

Michael Strahan photo By U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Felicia Juenke [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Strahan also keeps himself in good physical condition as this workout video shows. 



Which TV Personality Would Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?


Ultimately, it's a tough choice.  Kelly Ripa would be fighting for a family that includes husband Mark Consuelos and three kids.  But, she has stamina, agility, and the ability to elude zombies.  Strahan would undoubtedly be a better fighter.  But, this ability might be his undoing.  Strahan would likely be in closer combat with Zombies and thereby might get infected in combat.  Ultimately, Kelly runs away to fight another day and Michael would be knee deep in Zombies.  Strahan is more likely to become infected.  The winner is Kelly Ripa.


 
Kelly Ripa is simply more likely to elude Zombies, avoid combat, and survive.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

How to Avoid Zombies

When ammunition and medical supplies are scarce, you might not want to fight a Zombie.  Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid a Zombie attack.

Photo By Miran Hladnik [CC BY-SA 2.5 si (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/si/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Hiding from Zombies

One way to avoid a Zombie attack is to hide.  Zombies are attracted to light, loud noises, and movement.  Some experts also believe that Zombies can smell the living.  To avoid attack, you'll want to take basic precautions like shuttering windows and killing the lights.  You can also improve your hiding skills by hiding somewhere where Zombies cannot see you and cannot reach you.  Unfortunately, if Zombies do surround your hiding place, they can linger for days.  The best hiding spots will afford you at least some avenue of escape like a back door.


Blending In With Zombies

In The Walking Dead, characters can sometimes avoid attack by covering themselves in viscera, entrails, and other really gross bloody garb in order to disguise their own bodies smells and blend in with Zombies.  It's a basic survival technique that the Army calls "Acting Like the Natives" in their famed Survival Manual.  However, no one really knows what capabilities and senses Zombies will have during an actual undead breakout.  If this Zombie avoidance technique does not work, you are well and truly screwed.  I don't recommend it except as a very desperate last resort.



Running From Zombies

Finally, another way to avoid Zombies is to run.  While we don't know how fast Zombies can move, we do know that they will not be thinking tactically.  If you are able to get out of their line of site, they will likely just keep moving towards your last location.  Giving the Zombies' inability to think tactically, if you run from Zombies, get out of their line of site and then make a sharp 90-degree turn in order to take a path that they will not think about.  The advantage of running from Zombies is that you do not get exposed to bites or scratches from Zombies and greatly reduce your chance of transforming into a Zombie yourself.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Zombie Lit: Finding Out About New Zombie Books

It seems like the Zombie craze has everyone trying to get their darkest Zombie fantasy into print.  Perhaps we all have a Zombie novel festering like an infection deep within our souls?  I know I am slowly working on my own Zombie novel.  Hopefully, I can get it published before the world has moved onto a unicorn and faerie novel craze.

If you'd like to learn about the latest Zombie literature from people who have persevered and published, check out book.share.review@book_share_rate on Twitter. It's a twitter account the surfaces information about newly published books. There is also a book.share.review Facebook group.  Earlier this week, I learned about a cool new book called How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse. It's free on Kindle.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Zombie Short Film - 28 Geeks Later

I recently saw a great short Zombie movie on Youtube.  It was called Perished.  Let me warn you that it was indeed gory, scary, and violent!  It also had a brief bit of nudity.  Therefore, I'm not going to link to it from here.  But, if you find it, watch it and prepare to be blown away!

Instead, I'm going to share with you a lighter hearted humorous Zombie movie.  It's called 28 Geeks later.  Shot from a Zombie perspective, this little move is a reminder that Zombie Apocalypses don't always turn out the way you expect.



Sunday, May 1, 2016

Zombie Fighting Tactics - Channelizing Barriers

Zombies often attack as a horde.  The dead overwhelm the living with sheer numbers and relentless attacks.  A small group of survivors can be engulfed by a Zombie horde.  When this happens, humans can find themselves encircled, isolated, partially consumed, and reborn as undead.  It does not have to end that way.

Survivors can use terrain and structures to reduce the numbers of Zombies that can attack them simultaneously and to also reduce the number of directions from which they can be attacked.

A large number of Zombies milling about in the town square of Nottingham, England.  Photo By David Bullock Photography (http://www.flickr.com/photos/archangel11/) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 
For example, suppose a group of six survivors decides to forage for supplies in the downtown area of a small town.  The are spotted by dozens Zombies who start advancing from several directions.  The survivors can choose to fight them in the center of the town square or to retreat down a side street.

A gazebo in Tillis Park the town square of Bainbridge, Georgia - Photo By City of Bainbridge (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
If the survivors fight it out on the town square, they will be attacked from all directions by an unlimited number of Zombies.  They'll have to stand back-to-back and hope to prevail against multiple attackers on all fronts.  Retreat will be cut off and they will be engulfed.
Humans (H) encircled by Zombies (Z) in a Town Square or Open Field

However, if the humans retreat down the side street as shown below, Zombies will be limited to attacking from one direction.  In addition, the number of simultaneous attackers is limited to the number of Zombies that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the alley way.  

Humans (H) fighting are horde of Zombies (Z) channeled down a narrow alley.

If the Zombies can only fit side-by-side two or three at a time down the alley, then the six human survivors can fight them a few at a time and greatly increase the odds of a living victory.

A side street near Marietta Square in Marietta, Georgia