Monday, August 17, 2009

Zombies - need I say more?

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A flash mob of zombies poured over the streets of Vancouver last weekend, roving bands of teenagers in all states of undress covered in red paint, pale faces and mumbling incoherently. Zombies.
Zombies are the undead, they eat human brains and flesh and can only be killed by decapitation. Sure, but they don't actually exist. The folklore likely originated in Afro-Caribbean voodoo stories but zombies didn't hit it bigtime until movies like Night of the Living Dead and, of course, Micheal Jackson's epic music video - Thriller. So, what were zombies doing on the streets of Vancouver?

The annual Zombie Walk is an underground movement started in 2001 in Sacramento, California and is spreading - like the plague.

So I asked myself - if zombies were real, AND if they could eat brains and turn other people into zombies.... How fast could they take over the universe?

I ponder strange things; but I'm not the only one. Two Canadian researchers have done mathematical modeling into how to eradicate a zombie infestation, as a model for other hard-to-kill pandemics like chicken pox or some fungal infections.

One of the lead researchers, Dr. Neil Ferguson explains: "The paper considers something that many of us have worried about - particularly in our younger days - of what would be a feasible way of tackling an outbreak of a rapidly spreading zombie infection."

Yes, as an eight-year old, threats of zombie infestations and flying pig wars kept me up at night as well.

The researchers conclusions? If zombies existed and were of the slow-moving, dim-witted kind - it would take a fast and coordinated effort but we will be safe. Whew.

-- Torah Kachur

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