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August 18, 2009

Putting off the inevitable

Canadian mathematician and walking zombie enthusiast Robert Smith? claims only frequent counter-attacks with increasing force can hope to stem a zombie outbreak.

In their study, the researchers from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University (also in Ottawa) posed a question: If there was to be a battle between zombies and the living, who would win?

Professor Robert Smith? (the question mark is part of his surname and not a typographical mistake) and colleagues wrote: "We model a zombie attack using biological assumptions based on popular zombie movies. We introduce a basic model for zombie infection and illustrate the outcome with numerical solutions."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at August 18, 2009 08:24 AM


I admit I don't "get" zombies.

Dead things with atrophied limbs don't strike me as being the most agile of pursuers. Or the most dangerous of opponents.

Hollywood portrayals notwithstanding—remember, these are the people that think every veteran is a ticking sociopathic time bomb; that every Christian is a sexual deviant, crook or a murderer; that every Dad is a bumbling fool; and every conservative is an evil conniving S.O.B.

If Hollywood can't get it right on the living, whom they have at least some objective experience with, I don't think they have much useful information to tell us about the dead, who are a little harder to evaluate for performance metrics.

Dead guys are sedentary, they spend all their time underground and stationary. Which means when they finally get the go-code their muscles will have atrophied and decayed beyond usefulness.

So logically any human that can open a newspaper should be able to beat up the worst zombie with one hand. A single person should be able to take down dozens, like a kid squashing an ant swarm on the sidewalk.

The only reason anyone thinks otherwise is Hollywood fails out of biology (and physics, and chemistry, and law, and, well, life) every single year.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2009 10:29 PM