Run for Your Lives adds zombies and an obstacle course to a standard 5K marathon, thus making it useful training for anyone concerned about potential zombie attacks. Aside from the cardio and speed, this event also emphasizes situational awareness as volunteers dressed as zombies will attempt to steal flags from every runner, like in flag football. Runners must avoid the zombies while completing obstacles and racing towards the finish line.
The Hollywood Reporter has stated that Emma Stone (who you may remember from Zombieland) has been offered the lead role in the film version of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The film seems to finally be close to production, as it has been in development since its release in 2009. As one of the few literary works of merit that deals with the undead, this novel deserves the best possible film adaptation it can get. Of course, if films aren’t your thing, an interactive ebook version will be released this fall.
In an unusually well thought of step by a government agency, the CDC has released information on how to prepare for a zombie-related crisis. This site focuses on creating a ‘bug-out bag‘ and making an emergency plan to meet with family friends in the event of a crisis. This is good information for any type of disaster and to the CDC’s credit, it does not emphasize hoarding weapons.
This may seem counter-intuitive but taking a survivalist ‘gun-nut’ route is a surefire recipe for disaster. Other survivors often try to steal weapons from heavily armed survivors. More importantly it causes others to distrust you, as they fear you are a mentally unbalanced sociopath more dangerous than the undead.
One of my favourite things about the book is how it describes a world in which zombies are a menace but haven’t driven humanity to an apocalypse. It’s very hopeful. There are people who are concerned about preserving them as a species (and not solely because they’re the source of almost unlimited energy, if the secret could be cracked).
What makes this book so different from all the other Zombie Survival/Educational Manuals out there? To put it simply: Everything! The book reads as if the author threw a Zombie Text book, A Zombie Rights Guide, A Zombie Pop-culture reference tome and a Zombie Identification guide into a massive literary blender and hit the frappe button to amalgamate them into a smooth cocktail of terror like none other!
The Smithsonian Surprising Science blog has compiled a list of real zombie science links including mathematical modeling work to determine how fast zombies would infect a populace, zombie biology and other source of information. Sadly, these sources are rather rudimentary. Where is the work on zombies and renewable energy or speciation? As we have seen time and time again, zombies vary widely – some are fast, others are slow and others have exotic traits and abilities, yet no work is being done to explain the evolution of the zombie.
This paper (PDF) outlines an exercise to simulate a zombie outbreak and theorizes how it would daily operations of government agencies. It was originally written for the University of Florida, according to this article. It seems to provide a good starting point for planning zombie event preparedness. For example, it outlines a few important topics such as:
Phase 3 of the exercise will cover important operational topics such as:
Proper hygiene during an outbreak;
Most effective hiding places and refuges should you encounter zombies at home;
How to properly process and route inarticulate zombie-calls to avoid being accused of failing to adequately support infected UF faculty, staff, and students;
Situational work practices such as covering windows, barricading doors, and distinguishing between zombie moans and other moaning encountered in the workplace;
Dispelling myths. For example, contrary to Lawrence (2007), garlic will not stop true zombies,only vampires; and zombies do come out during the day, though they are most active a night because they typically do not like sunlight;
Policies and procedures for dispatching an infected co-worker.
Theories of International Politics and Zombies by Daniel W. Drezner: The appearance of zombies is the ultimate The Black Swan effect. No one can predict exactly how we will respond to them but Drezner does an excellent job in assessing how the most popular theories of international politics would be used to form government policy. The book covers pragmatism (realpolitik), liberalism, neo-conservative ideology and social construction theory to describe broad goals and reactions from the various power groups in government. Neo-conservatives, for example, might conflate the threat represented by an undead horde with the pre-existing ‘axis of evil’ and try to link rogue nation states with zombies. Liberals, of course, would at least consider the rights of the undead.
The book also describes possible responses in domestic policy, bureaucratic politics and the psychological reaction in the public at large. Given that several dozen government agencies deal with bioterrorism, how many would become involved in a zombie-related crisis? Furthermore our own cognitive biases could hinder our ability to effectively deal with hordes of zombies.
Theories of International Politics and Zombies is an excellent and quick read. It weighs in at 153 pages (the last 39 pages being acknowledgments, notes, references and a thorough glossary) so it can be easily devoured in a few hours. Unlike most books on political theory, the text is clear and concise, explaining how theory can be applied to the undead without being abstruse. Even if you aren’t a fan of the undead, this book provides a good primer to several dominant political theories by showing how they function in a crisis.