Showing posts with label Zombies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zombies. Show all posts

March 7, 2018

Spiked Battle Hammer

Saw this at the Maryland Renaissance Festival and thought this was a notable weapon/art piece. 

It's a War (Battle) Hammer with a spike on one side and an animal head for the hammer on the other. 

TV shows like Vikings and Z(i.e. zombie) Nation have made these sort of famous again.

It's sort of crazy the things people used in the past to fight and kill with. 

Imagine getting clobbered with one of these...ugly!

But before guns, when the battle was up close and personal, what choice did people really have to defend themselves with.

It was life or death...and many in the most gruesome ways ended up the latter. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 30, 2017

Halloween DC Style

So Halloween in Washington, D.C. is no small deal.

I liked the new spooky Orange Fanta soda cans with the scary lady on it--it really stood out from all the others--Coke, Pepsi, etc.--that were otherwise so boring. 

Then there was this other lady riding the Metro in her Halloween outfit--anybody need a nurse?

Let's just say she seems to have evoked some attention on the train. 

Even more than another women (lower left) holding 2 baby dolls slumped over backwards in a very unfortunate manner.

One more is Mr. Baywatch lifeguard here, and peering over his shoulder is someone with scary Zombie hallowed out black eyes and sharp growling teeth!

Finally, one of my wonderful colleagues told me about a Halloween party she went to with her male friend. 

I asked whether they dressed up. 

She said, "yeah," and smiled.

So I asked, "What did you dress up as?"

Well this was a new one for me...

She was dressed up as the jelly side of the sandwich and he was the peanut butter side. 

What all this means for this zany holiday, I have no idea...but it's a fun time of year that doesn't go unnoticed by anyone. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

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March 2, 2017

Culture Intersects With Preparedness

Just really loved this emergency preparedness poster by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

It builds off of the #1, hit TV show, The Walking Dead that films in Atlanta where the CDC is. 

The show is about a zombie apocalypse and the story of how people survive (or not) amidst a global pandemic and the murderous awakened dead that feast off of the living. 

Here's a link with what the CDC recommends you have in an emergency preparedness kit. 

The CDC also has a comic book with a zombie outbreak theme that further drives home the importance of a preparedness kit and what to have in it. 

I think it's great when government thinks outside-the-box in ways that appeal to everyday citizens to serve them, help them, and especially keep them safe from disasters. 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to CDC)
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December 6, 2013

Adaptability And Integrity In The Face Of Catastrophe

The Walking Dead is the #1 TV show--and this past Sunday was just amazing not only in terms of the plot, but the lessons it provided.

The big question raised was can people change?

The Governor went through a seeming metamorphosis after the destruction of his prior town and murder of his people (by his own hand) and now he has a newfound family and tribe. 

When he comes to attack Rick and the prison to take it for the protection of his own people, Rick says let's just share it, it will be hard to overcome old rivalries, but we can do it--we can change!

But the Governor, yells in a blood curdling voice, "Liar!" and proceeds in a craze to chop off Hershel's head. 

What is particularly dramatics about this--aside from their opposing views of change--is that Hershel is the doctor who not only takes care of the physical health of his people, but also is the conscience of his group seeing that they don't lose their moral way. 

The Governor is a cold killer that truly can never change--and he not only executes Hershel, but screams "Kill them all!"

He also kills his newly adopted daughter after she is bitten by one of the walkers..he shoots her right in the face. 

At first, this seems like the Governor has changed, he can kill a Walker even if it's from his new family, as opposed to his own real daughter that he kept (unwilling to let her go) until Michonne kills her. 

But this was not real change for the Governor, because as he told Hershel about attacking and killing someone else's children to survive, "they aren't mine!"

The Governor is all about himself and will do anything selfishly to survive without consideration of others--this does not change. 

On the other hand, Rick and others survive by their ability to change and grow--they kill when they must, they have empathy when they can, they live by a code of right and wrong--in every situation, they adapt. 

For example, in a prior episode, Carol is forced to leave Rick's group because she brutally killed and burnt two of people in the prison when they got sick and were a threat of spreading the disease. However, Rick understood that this was wrong and banished her for what she did. Not all killing is justified, even if it helps you survive.

The Governor (and his new cohorts) are finally killed off in this episode, and although the safety of the prison is gone, and Rick and the others must leave and wander again, they continue to survive another day--changing with ever new challenges and adhering to an informal code of conduct that they maintain, even in the face of a world catastrophe.

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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October 12, 2013

Total CIO Fighting Off The Zombies

I can't wait for The Walking Dead, Season 4. 

It all starts tomorrow night--9 pm on AMC.

Got my bow, ax, shotgun, and friends from the show.

Kill those Zombies! ;-)
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September 1, 2013

Can't Wait For The Walking Dead - Season 4


This show, The Walking Dead, is just awesome.

It's the end of the world...

With the the few battling to survive.

The scary fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaah 26:19  that the "dead will live; their corpses will rise up."

But rather than "shout for joy," in this version of events, we scream with horror as zombies keep coming  and coming, and their is no place left to hide. 

Those left have to run and fight, but if they get bitten (and eaten) and die, they too become what they fear and hate most--"The Walkers."

The characters, the action, the intensity, the ultimate challenge for humanity.

Can't wait for October 13, 9 pm on AMC. ;-)
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July 10, 2013

Emergency Alert Or R U Kidding?

BBC News Technology (9 July 2013) reports on how the U.S. Emergency Alert System (EAS) was hacked. 

The EAS is a program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and was set up "to allow the president to talk to the entire country within 10 minutes of a disaster." It also provides the public with alerts on local weather emergencies, such as tornados and flash floods. 


EAS replaced the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) in 1997 and with it came security weaknesses.


Earlier this year, those vulnerabilities were tested and exploited when the Montana Television Network was hacked with an alert of a zombie attack.


And it provided advice on how to survive--"Do not approach or apprehend these bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous."


This is reminiscent of the hoax in 1938 when over the radio came a warning that a meteorite had smashed into New Jersey and aliens were attacking New York--an adaptation of H.G. Wells "War of the Worlds."


Well yesterday it was aliens, today it's zombies, and tomorrow it could be an phony announcement of an invasion by country XYZ or perhaps a imminent detonation of a thermonuclear warhead somewhere over the continental U.S. 


Imagine the panic, confusion, and potential loss of life and property from the ensuing chaos. 


It goes without saying that this is not a way to inspire confidence by the citizens in case of a true national emergency. 


If we cannot count on the systems meant to survive an emergency then how can we be expected to survive the emergency itself? 


The EAS may interrupt your regularly scheduled programming with those loud and annoying tests, but what can really ruin you day is a cyber attack on the system that broadcasts something much nastier and more ominous--and you don't really know whether it's the real thing or just another hack. ;-)


(Source Photo: here with attribution to UWW ResNet)

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November 26, 2012

Autocomplete: Do Zombies (What)?

The autocomplete feature in search engines can tell us a lot about what people are thinking and asking about.

According to the New York Times (21 November 2012) "sites like Google and Bing are showing the precise questions that are most frequently asked."

Autocomplete suggests the rest of your search term based on the most popular things that others have asked for, so it speeds up your search selection by anticipating what you are looking for and by reducing spelling errors in your search terms.

Another advantage to seeing popular searches is to understand what the larger population is thinking about and looking for--this gives us insight into culture, norms, values, and issues of the time. 

I did a simple google search of "do zombies" and as you can see the most popular searches are about whether zombies: poop, exist, sleep, "really exist," and have brains. 

Even more disappointing than people asking whether zombies really exist is that the #1 search on zombies is about whether they poop--what does that say about our lagging educational system?

I would at least have imagined that the preppers--those infatuated with the end of the world and with preparation for survival--would at least be searching for terms like:

Do zombies...

pose a real threat to human survival?

have (certain) vulnerabilities?

ever die?

have feelings?

have children?

beat vampires (or vice versa)?

I suppose autocomplete is good at crowdsourcing search terms of what others are thinking about, but it is only as good as those doing the ultimate searching--our collection intelligence at work. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 29, 2012

Zombie Homeland Security Training 101


Unbelievable. The Halo Counter-terrorism Summit (Oct 29-Nov. 2, 2012) is hosting a mock Zombie Invasion as part of its emergency response training for about a 1,000 special ops, military, police, medical, firefighter, and other homeland security professionals. 

The Zombie Apocalypse training exercise is occurring mid-summit on October 31, Halloween--so it is quite timely for other ghoulish activities that day. 

There are two sessions--#1 at 4:30 PM and #2 at 7:00 PM.

Both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have posted the CDC's Zombie Preparedness guidance--saying that "if you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack."

I guess this is very good news with Hurricane Sandy or "Frakenstorm" bearing down on the East Coast this evening.  Zombies, you ain't got nothing on Frakenstorm! 

In Yahoo News, Brad Barker, the President of Halo Corp., explained why Zombies are good for training, especially in asymmetric warfare: "No one knows what zombies will do in our scenario, but quite frankly no one knows what a terrorist will do."

Barker also jested that "No doubt when a zombie apocalypse occurs, it's going to be a federal incident, so we're making it happen."

Frankly, I love to see this type of creativity brought to national and homeland security and believe that this makes it less likely that we'll be perpetually fighting yesterday's war, instead of tomorrow's. 

The key is that we think out of the box in terms of what will the adversary do next--from cyberwar to weapons of mass destruction, we can't afford to be blindsighted. 

So do I think that aliens or zombies are coming for us some day--let's just say, never say never. ;-)

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August 19, 2012

When TMI Is PC

An interesting editorial in the New York Times (19 August 2012) bemoans the state of affairs in the workplace, where generation Y'ers, take the liberty of sharing too much [personal] information (TMI) with others.

The author, Peggy Klaus, gives examples of young workers talking about their looking for other positions, recounting family birthing experiences, or discussing sexual exploits or a shortage thereof. 

Klaus see this as a carryover of people's online social behavior or what she calls "Facebook in your face"--where you "tell everybody everything"--whether appropriate or important, or not at all!

Similarly, this behavior is viewed by some as young people simply acting out what they learned from their helicopter parents--who instilled "an overblown sense of worth" on them--where every poop is worth sharing from infancy through adulthood. 

Ms. Klaus refers to this as O.S.D. or Obsessive Sharing Disorder--and she instead calls for "decency, common sense, and just plain good manners" in deciding what to share and when.

While I agree with a certain amount of base political correctness and decorum in the office, I think too much control (TMC) over our workforce is not a good thing.

We cannot expect people to fit in, be enthusiastic about coming to work, and be innovative and productive in their jobs--when they have to constantly be on guard--watching what they say and what they do, and worrying about making any mistake. 

Assuming that people are not doing anything that hurts themselves or others, I think we should give people more room to breath, be themselves, and to self-actualize.

Holding the reins too tightly on workers, risks developing a cookie-cutter workforce--where everyone must look-alike, talk-alike, and think-alike--like virtual automatons--and such a telling and controlling environment destroys the very motivated, creative, and entrepreneurial workforce we desire and need to be globally competitive and individually fulfilled. 

Best practices for teleworking, flexible work schedules, and clubs and activities at work that let people be human and themselves--makes for a happier, more committed, and more productive workforce. 

Creating climates of workplace sterility, and fear and intimidation for every miscued word or imperfect deed--is neither realistic for human beings that are prone to make mistakes--nor conducive to learning and growing to be the best that each person can be.

I am not a generation Y'er, but I appreciate people who are real, words that are sincere, and deeds that are their personal best--whether it's the way I would do it or not. 

Yes, don't talk and act stupid at work--and shame yourself or others with hateful or abusive behavior--but do feel free to be honestly you as an individual and as a contributor to the broader team--that is better than a zombie army of worker bees who faithfully watch every word and constrain every deed. 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Irregular Shed)

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