Groundhog Day

NightWindsI just watched Groundhog Day, which led to the inevitable theorizing about how I would spend my eternal day. I have seen this movie dozens of times, and while it would be a lie to say that I think about it all the time it is no exaggeration to say that I have thought about this a lot. the most interesting aspect to about the Groundhog Day proposition, is not the freedom from consequence, which I would have fun with. No, the most interest prospect of being able to repeat the same day over and over is the time it affords you.

This is a fact that it takes Phil Connors rather a long time to figure out, of course he did have the benefit of seeing a movie like Groundhog Day. Once he figures it out of course he sees the possibilities. He learns to play the piano, he learns several languages, he seems to have picked up a number of medically related skills. He also, learns to sculpt and read all of the classics. Once the movie hits this point, even if it is the first time you are seeing it, you begin to think about what it is you would do with unlimited time.

It’s an interesting question, and is different from the question “What would you do with unlimited resources?”. Unlimited resources and you begin to think about things, and maybe if you have time you start to think about what you would do. But with unlimited time, it’s all about what you would do, what you would learn. You think about the things that you always wish you knew how to do, all the things you want to understand.

When I think on these things I almost always land on languages, and I definitely want to pick on an instrument or two. I would like to learn about biology, and learn to paint like the masters. I want to learn how to Blow glass, and sculpt ice, and sand. I want to Learn advanced mathematics, and various coding languages. I wish I could learn martial arts, and train in various survival techniques. I want to learn how to carpent, and how to design building, and how to build building for that matter. As the list grows, it becomes apparent that the real problem is that in our daily lives there are only so many hours and so we are forced to prioritize.

Top of the list are things that must be done; eating, drinking, breathing, sleeping, and cleaning ourselves. There goes a third of the day, so what do we do with the other two thirds? Well, most of those other things require money to do successfully, so we work, and that another eight hours a day, gone. Now we have about eight hours a day to play with, but they’re not our best eight, they are the leftovers, we gave the best up for twelve dollars an hour, if you’re lucky, and now… Well it’s now small wonder we don’t have time to do any of the things that we all wish we could. Now it no secret that there’s still time enough to do something, but once you add time wasted on television and video games you don’t have much to play around with.

Now I have successfully cut video games from my time suck, but there is still television, but I am working on that too. So, maybe you don’t really need a Groundhog Day after all, but it certainly would be amazing to get the chance. Imagine, you get the chance to finally spend all the time you need, practicing and learning, and the next day everyone sees that you have become an instant expert, in all these fields, overnight.

Anyways just, some random thoughts from my sick day.

And that’s my take on Groundhog Day.

PS

I also did a quick painting, about 30-40 minutes, to make up for yesterdays lack of a written post. Find the painting here.

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Board Games

BoardGamesWe all have played some board game in our life, they are everywhere, even if it was only checkers, or monopoly. When I was a young child I loved board games, it was a chance to show off my ability to do math, and having three younger brother I usually won. But growing up, not having known about the wide world of third party game, that is to say game not made by Hasbro or Milton-Bradley. For most of my childhood I merely tolerated board games. I would play them if there was nothing else to do, or if I was invited to by a friend I really liked. But the games themselves, I understood, were not fun, it was all about the people you were playing with. Even then the chances were good that the game would end with either a draw for times’ sake or with someone’s feeling being hurt. So, like most people I grew to dislike board games even if I were playing with people I liked.

It wasn’t really until I was an adult that I discovered the wonderful world of the not competitive game. That is not to say that there aren’t winners, just that you don’t have to win at the cost of the other players. This is the main problem with games like Monopoly and Risk, The goal is to literally take everything the your friends have, rather than to simply compete for the most points. Taking this concept even further are games like Castle Panic! and Pandemic, where the player are actually working together to beat the game, which is even more fun. Just like with role-playing games, the object of cooperative board games is to work together to play out a scenario that is fun and interesting. What could be more fun?

Still, some of my favorite games are ones that I played when I was a kid, like Payday. This game at face value seems a lot like monopoly, accept that you are not taking you friend money. The board is laid out like a month on a calendar, and as you go through the month you encounter various opportunities to make extra money as well as gathering bills, at the end of each month everyone get a salary and settles up with their debts and the person with the most money at the end of, usually, three months wins. A great game, and because it is fairly old you can get it cheap, even cheaper if you spot it at a thrift store, which is where I got my copy.

I was really reintroduced back into gaming through my fiancée, she loves Board games and I love her, ergo I love board games, but It wasn’t until I learned of the existence a particular game that the love became genuine, the name of that game? The Settlers of Catan. Remember as I describe this game that it really is great, and if you have grown to trust my opinion at all, throughout the course of this blog, trust me when I say that even if it doesn’t sound amazing, you should try this game if you ever get the opportunity. So The Settlers of Catan revolves around the Island of Catan which is made up of Hexagonal tiles arranged either randomly or according to various scenarios that come with the game , and are available online. Each tile represent a plot of land that produces a specific resources, the frequency that these plots produce the given resource is determined by a number which is assigned separately at the beginning of the game and a dice which is rolled at the beginning of each player turn. You get to collect the resources whenever the number of a plot is rolled, as long as you have a settlement built adjacent to the corresponding tile. The resources can be used to build settlements, or to upgrade settlement to a city, the more cities and settlements you have the more resources you get. Each settlement is worth one point, and each city one, the person to each a per-agreed upon amount, usually 10-13, wins. This game is great, and like Payday, you are not taking anything for your friends, it is a race to the finish, and while there are winners and losers, it feels less malicious.

Most of my favorite games follow this model; Alahambra, Cranium, Ticket to Ride. The replay factor of a given board game is dramatically increased when you don’t piss off everyone that will play with you, so these games are great for all but the most competitive people. But those people can turn growing grass into a competition, so whatever. So to anyone who has ever written off board games as frustrating and boring. If you have good friend that you enjoy spending time with, I highly recommend you look into some of the games I have mentioned. They will change your mind I promise. Also check out this Youtube Channel, they host a show called Tabletop, where Wil Wheaton (thats right, Wesley Crusher) shows you his favorite games and how to play them, all of the recommendations have been great plus the videos are funny as an added bonus.

And that’s my take on board games.

Role-playing Games

RoleplayingGamesI have mentioned several time before that I am into gaming, but date I have only written about videogames, and while I do have a great love for them, they are not the only kind of games I enjoy. Second on my list, though it is losing ground to the third, are role-playing games. That’s write old fashioned pen and paper gaming, where all of the visuals are either homemade or in your head. The third type on the list, which is gaining quickly on second place, if only because there is more opportunity to play them, are board games. Everyone grows up playing at least one board game or another, and many people grow up playing many, they are a fun and cheap way to spend time with the family and one of the things I look forward to about becoming a parent is getting to introduce board games to my future children. The same could be said about role-playing game in my opinion, they are fun, exciting and exercise your imagination. While I will get into all the things I think are great bout board game, including my favorite games, in a later post, I think I will spend some time first telling you about role-playing games.

I was first introduced to the idea of role-playing games, as most people my age, through movies, they were often portrayed as a gateway activity to other more serious and evil behaviors. People who played D&D were Satan worshipers and playing with fire. This thankfully a few that is quickly losing popularity and I hope will be fully dispelled the world over. After all what , really is the difference between spending all your time playing pretend with your friends, and say rooting for your favorite football team, practically nothing accept the social norms associated with each.

The basic premise behind RPGs is storytelling, the whole idea is to work with your friends to create an interesting and exciting story as a collaboration. The setting is almost irrelevant, the in game story that is, the most important thing is that you are with people you like, the rest comes down to preference. And as far as the paraphernalia goes; the dice, the maps, the figures, the character sheets, and drawings, these are just tools to help everyone share a single vision of the events as they play out. There is one exception to that list and that is the dice, the dice are important for a very different reason. The dice are their to bring in to the story the element of chance, luck, and misfortune. As human beings we are naturally terrible at imagining randomness.

In our minds randomness is simply a even spattering of all options, this is why we will even impose patterns on truly random systems, we say the a team is due for a win, or that a certain set of lottery number are hot, that a slot machine is primed. the truth is that in a random system that has six options, it is just as likely that in a hundred iterations never show one, as hundred iterations show all a single result. So as you are telling a story it is important, for the sake of realism, and believability that you not always be successful, so that when you sometimes see something incredibly rare, it is actually rare.

The first time that I ever played a Role-playing game was one weekend when I was at my friend’s house and a blizzard snowed us in, there were three of us, and Tristan, whose house it was, had been reading about how to run a Dungeons and dragons game. So we decided to roll up a few quick characters and give it a go… it was terrible. Tristan was a new Dungeon Master (DM) and  a control freak to boot, so he didn’t appreciate or attempts to improvise. And my other friend, Alex, like to push peoples buttons, so as you might imagine thing disintegrated quickly when Alex tried to pick a fight with everything that was described and we were quickly killed, another set of character later we decided that it might be more for to go outside and build a snow fort. It was a number of years before I would give RPGs another chance.

The Next role playing game that I played was one that my friend, Jorden, had bought online at a discount, Deadlands: The Weird West. This game has a fantasy western theme, which is set in a version of America where a large supernatural event tips the balance of the civil war back toward the Confederates, and leads to not only a much more drawn out war, but also the advent of magic and various steam punk technologies. It is all in all a very fun setting to play in and it was with these sessions of Deadlands, that I found my love for role- playing games.

The major difference that I grew to realize, between the two games was not the particulars of the game mechanics, though Deadlands was definitely more streamlined than D&D 2nd Ed., it was the people I was playing with. Jordan, who DM’ed had more experience with running  RPGs, and was also much more laid back and able to roll with the curve ball we, as players, through at him. Also we, being me, my brother, Jordan, and another friend EJ, had fewer personality conflicts. That is to say we were all more or less happy to be hanging out and cracking jokes and telling a really cool story. This is why I feel that the people in your group are by far the most important element to consider when playing a RPG.

If you are thinking about starting a campaign in some RPG, don’t just play with anyone who will agree, you should know them well enough to know if they are going to start making racist comments “in character”, or if they are going to constantly be picking fights with the other Players. That be clear, though, I am not saying you all have be best friends, or that you all have to have the same personality, in fact some interplay conflicts can make a story all the more dramatics and interesting, but if you have a combination of personalities that lead to real world fights, that are being taken seriously by one or more of the players, you should probably think about changing the group dynamic somehow.

I have played a number of other RPGs since those days, and have read about dozens of others that sound like great fun. The reason that I say that it is losing ground as my second favorite style of gaming is because it is prohibitively difficult to accommodate my friends schedules in order to actually play a regular session. But if I had the time I think it might even be my favorite type of gaming, as it incorporates just about all of my interests; writing, drawing, sometimes sculpting, it almost always revolves around some kind of fantasy story, and you get to hang out with good friends all the while. I would recommend role playing games to anyone who likes being creative, and telling stories, or just playing pretend.

And that’s my take on role-playing games.

Time Travel in Movies

TimeTravelMoviesTime travel is an interesting area of fiction. Some author use it as the driving principle of a plot, and other simply use it as a vehicle to talk about the nature of growing old, or as a way of talking about the way cultures change and the social norms shift. I have enjoyed both forms quite thoroughly and am always looking for a new book or movie that tackles the topic from a different angle.

For the most part I have been unsuccessful in finding good written fiction on the subject, but let is mostly on me, I have a growing list of book I have been meaning to reading and not enough of time to read them. I can however sit down for two hours while I do something else to take in a good time travel plot. Some of my favorites are, Back to the Future, Primer, 11 Minutes Ago. There are others and I’ll talk about them, but first I want to say that, in my opinion, the best time travel movies and books are the ones that do not try to explain the actual mechanism. My least favorite moment in both Star Trek movies where they travel in time is near the beginning when they try to come up with some strange reason why they are suddenly able to travel in time, when before it was considered impossible.

Anyways, I think that since time travel in either direct and especially in both direction is always best explain away with some unknown alien device or even just magic. Even in The Time Machine, a work of fiction that is based around a man who invents the technology, deftly avoids the subject of how and instead focuses its energy on the when and why. The one example that I can think of is in the movie Primer.

In Primer the plot revolves around a group of young tech guys who decide to start a kind of club where they pool their expendable income a work on exploring interesting new inventions that they might profit from. When two of the guys stumble upon a device that supposedly affects the force of gravity. Now the device fails to produce anything as far as gravity but the soon discover that it does have another effect. It seems to to accelerate time, what it really does is create a loop in time, in effect adding more time while in the chamber of the device. Once they realize this they build a human scale version and figure out how to stop the loop on the far end, sending them back to the moment the device is turned on. What I really love about this specific work of fiction is the subtleness of the time travel. You can’t go back farther than the existence of the device that allows you to go back. This sort of premise also sets up a way of looking at time travel that explains the lack of future peoples presence in the present. There is more to the movie than what I have spoken about, but I highly recommend that you just watch it to find out the rest, the dialogue and rhythm of the movie is a bit dry but you you like thinking about time travel than it is a great example of fiction on the subject.

Of course I can’t talk about time travel in fiction without talking about back to the Future. The first movie was inspired by the question: Would I be friends with my dad if I knew him when he was my age? Most people don’t pick up on this, they like the movie for nostalgic reason of because of the campy 80’s vibe or because they love thinking about what they would do with the Delorean. The really relieving moment of the movie is the moment Marty see his dad spying in the tree and says the great line, “My dad…is a peeping tom.” The plot device of time travel was invented purely to get 17 year old Marty in the same room with 17 year old George. This is the reason that almost every moment where they are actively talking about time travel, the technology behind it or the future, it feels like a punchline. They didn’t want to take the sci-fi element too seriously because that not what the film is about. Even the second movie which deals almost exclusively with time paradoxes  was merely a way to resolve the final scene of the first movie so that they could move on to what they were really interested in, the past. I love these movies for more than just a few reasons, and I think anyone who doesn’t like them is expecting the wrong things from it.

And then there is the grandfather of all the great time travel fiction in film, Doctor Who. While the show is not strictly speaking a movie, thought there was a train wreck of a film made in America( of course)in the 80’s (double of course, *eye roll*) It handles time travel with such grace that I can not help but bring it up. Not only does it do a great job of avoiding the pitfalls of trying to explain a technology that no human being could begin to understand well enough to outline. But they also do a spectacular job of exploring all of the interesting angles that could be investigated with the plot device. They talk about  History, the invent history , they speculate on the future, but they are careful to make it the quite distant future and state that the future is always in flux so that even if the year Five billion does come , and we still remember the Doctor, and it doesn’t look anything like what they said, it won’t matter anyways because that was a different future, a future that clearly hasn’t panned out.

They also do a brilliant job handling paradoxes in all of their forms, large and small. from the Universe ending paradox of the Doctor living when he should have died, to the small  brain twisters in which the doctor is handed a set of instructions by a woman who got them from him in the future, to the cleverly written plot of River Song where in the first day he meets her is the last day she will ever see him, or so they would have us believe. All in all I would say that Doctor Who, is far and away the best handled time travel fiction ever written, and this is especially true when only considering the works written by Steven Moffat who seems to have a freakish ability to tie up loose ends with a great amount of grace and wit.

But all that said I tend to even enjoy the terribly written Time travel movies like Timecop, The Butterfly Effect, or Star Trek: The Voyage Home. I love it all somewhat because of the sci fi lover in me but also because it invokes the intriguing problem of paradoxes, and while not all of them do a great job of resolving that problem , they all take a crack at it and that to me is interesting, and interest is entertaining.

And that’s my take on time travel in movies.

Time Travel

TimeTravelI recently finished a fetter from myself in 2013, to myself in 2014, I hope to make it sort of a tradition, to write a little snapshot of my tastes and interest every year. Not so much as a way of making me accountable to myself, but simply as a way to see the changes that happen to my personally over the years. What really inspired this idea, was a combination of this, firstly was this writing project that I have undertaken, and how it does seem be like a rolling image of my personality, and secondly was a post I just finished that talks about the emergent, and therefore, ephemeral quality of memory and personality. I am of the opinion that the self is more or less a narrative the brain tells it self as a way of maintaining a sort of quality assurance.

Basically I will notice is something is wrong with me if there is an internal expression of what is ‘right’ otherwise I would have no idea if I was still in working order from moment to moment. Anyways, as I was thinking about all of this I realized that this whole practice of writing to one self is a very practical way of a kind of time travel. For a long time now we have known of the transportive quality of reading, and if you are writing about yourself in a specific time period, then you can be transported to that time with the greatest of ease, though the fidelity is limited to our writing skill, and our ability to imagine what we are reading. Maybe this is not the grand scientific breakthrough that so many dream of but it is still a time travel of a kind.

So sending information into the future is a simple, if tedious, matter of waiting, but obviously that most excite forms of time travel are the ones not possible for us. There is the slightly  more reasonable form, Traveling forward in time, this can theoretically be achieved by two means the first and easier of the two in traveling near the speed of light. This creates a time dilation effect that makes time pass slower for you the the people living on earth, in effect sending you into Earth’s future. The other means is slightly more difficult because it involves resolving the significant limitations of our human anatomy, Cryogenetic preservation. Basically you freeze yourself and wait out the intervening years and get revived my future medicine. the real trouble with this medicine is trying to preserve the cellular and molecular structure of your body so that there is something to revive.

This seems like a cool proposition, but I think that the net result would be that you make yourself either just behind enough to be irrelevant to the current culture (you thought it was hard getting a job now, image if you were five or ten year behind current standards), or so old that you become a guinea pig to every historian interested in our era. Not very good outcomes in my opinion.
The other forms of time travel are progressively more difficult and problematic in terms of destroying the continuity of time. The first of these is sending information backwards in time. This I think is probably an easier task to accomplish the actual traveling back in time. But still a difficult job to pull off probably requiring a whole hell of alot more that 1.21 GW, but still sending information anywhere is always more economic than sending matter on the scale of a human being. The real problem though is how do you convince anyone, and preferably yourself that the information is from the future and that you should take it seriously and not dismiss it as a joke.

This and the last forms of time travel, actually going backward in time physically, share a huge and glaring problem. If you somehow went back in time There is only one of two end result, and actually both results can be further broken down but we will get to that. For now, the two main results, one you go back in time and through your interactions you alter the event of the time line, maybe not history per say  but certainly the actual event in the past, and thereby changing the ultimate future including you deciding to go back in time. Maybe this happens by you causing your grandfather’s death, meaning you were never born, hence the term Grandfather Paradox, or maybe you simply set off a chain of events leading to you being raised in a different home and changing the person you become, and so you never actually decide to go. Either way that scenario causes a big time paradox, and essentially breaks the laws of causality.

The second result of backward time travel is that nothing you do can possibly change the timeline, because you already went back in time and did whatever it was you were going to do and so history has corrected for your travel. this is a decidedly more optimistic few of the the outcome, but nonetheless a possibility. As for the break down the first result can be interpreted to mean two very different conclusions. the first is quite simply the end of existence. You have caused a paradox and the universe does not allow for such nonsense and promptly explode out of reality. A similar argument is used to say that the universe would simply never allow for the traveling back in time in the first place. The second conclusion of the Grandfather Paradox, is that the Universe has got a solution, and that is a parallel timeline, Back to the Future style, which states the the moment you make a change that disrupts the chain of causality the timeline branches off, leaving you in this new chain of events which is creating a new future. Hence the ‘rad’ track that Marty get at the end of BTTF.
As for the second set of conclusions, these are the one where Causality doesn’t care what you do because you’ve already done it, it basically works depends on your motivations for traveling back in time. If you were simply doing it for profit then you probably will be fine, as long as your plan doesn’t involve opening a bank account in your name, since you won’t be able to get back, you are too far back for the FTL (faster than light) travel , or the cryo freeze. The better plan is to bone up on some brilliantly profitable idea and invent it before the original, and live like a crazy genius. My favorite part of this outcome is that if there is any overlap between old you and young you , people will probably tell you you look like yourself. So awesome.

And that’s my take on time travel.

Stupid Human Tricks

StupidHumanTricksI was a difficult child to punish. The reason for this being that I was always able to entertain myself no matter the situation. Virtually the only way I could be punished and it actually hit home was spanking, it’s rather difficult to use your imagination to make a spanking more pleasant. Luckily for I was also a pretty good kid so it didn’t come up that often, the first time my parents ever even tried to ground me until I was in middle school when I skipped school one day, but that wasn’t very effective since I didn’t really have any desire to go any where most of the time. this talent for entertaining myself has coming especially useful when wait in a queue or for the bus. The point is that over the years I have grown quite adept at entertaining myself with nothing but my self to work with. So I have decided to do my best to enumerate all of the weird tricks that I have discovered that I am capable of.

To begin with there are all the regular tricks whistling, finger snapping, finger crossing, clucking my tongue, winking, and plucking my cheeks. Then there are some of the less common stupid human tricks like rolling my tongue, wiggling my ears, rolling my eyebrows back and forth, ‘clam shelling’ my tongue, crossing all four fingers, crossing my big toes, and the double snap, where you snap your ring and then your middle fingers. Some of the harder tricks are things like ‘The Drop’ where I pluck the side of my cheek and push my tongue straight out at a very slight delay producing a wonderful *doo-up* of a drip. Also ‘The Propeller’ where I move my tongue back and forth rapidly while holding my lips in a whistling shape, making a great cartoony propeller noise.

I do a number a fun things with my eyes, one is playing with the parallax effect closing one eye than the other making object jump back and forth. Another is crossing my eyes in a very controlled fashion so that I can see my sight shifting from straightforward to crossed, this is especially fun when looking and heavy repeating pattern, because if you cross your eyes just right it will look like you a still seeing the pattern like normal, only it will feel much closer. Another trick I do that is very similar is to relax my eyes and keep them open, then I slowly tilt my head from side to side so that my blink reflects does not kick in. As you tilt your head your brain will compensate, a process usually edited out my a blink.

I fun one, that I don’t think everyone can do is squirting my salivary gland. I do thing by flexing my tongue and moving it forward as if push something heavy, while keeping the tip raised and the muscles flexed, as long as there is some a amount of saliva left in the gland two jet of spit will squirt out of your mouth like a water pistol. Usually I’m good for one of these flexes every ten minutes or so. I can also burp on command, by swallowing air, but also by inhaling air into my stomach, I do not recommend this trick if you have a sensitive gag reflex. This works by flexing my diaphragm as if to breath in, but instead of letting the air go down my windpipe, I divert it down my esophagus. The way I visualize the movement is I picture myself chugging a lot of water, I flex the same muscles and my throat opens up.

I know I listed whistling already, but I have discovered several methods for doing it. There is the standard method of puckering your lips and depressing your tongue. Then there is a higher pitched version where you cup your tongue against the roof of your mouth and leave an opening between the two ridges just behind your front teeth. A third and even high pitch type which is achieved by rolling your tongue into a “U” shape, holding the tip against the edge of front teeth and cupping your lips out leaving a slight opening. the last method is much lower pitched than even the standard whistle, it is, in my case at any rate, much louder. What you do is push your jaw forward, flatten out your tongue and catch a pocket of air under it, leave an opening between the tip of your tongue and the edge of you lip which should be pulled tight.
I’m sure that I have other stupid human tricks and perhaps I will update this list in the future as I recall them but for now.

That’s my take on stupid human tricks.

Comparing Zombies

ZombieI love Zombie fiction, this is a new found love which really began when I saw the original Dawn of the Dead a few years ago and then continued as I worked my way through all of the available zombie movies. When I finally caught up to the current state of Zombie fiction and started watching the back episodes of The Walking Dead I was well and firmly hooked, but I needed more! So I started reading the comics and those were good, but still there were large chunks of my day where I couldn’t sit and read, so I found audio books  and specifically the Zombie Fallout series by Mark Tufo. I also listen to any interview with zombie related creators that I come across(Andrew Lincoln, Robert Kirkman, George Romero, Greg Nicotero, etc.)

Over the course of these Interviews I have heard a number of peoples zombie plans and have been confused by a particular point. Almost universally people have a plan based around a specific kind of zombie, but that zombie type is sometimes different for each individual. Now I will admit that the chances of a zombie based apocalypse is very slim at best, but I think almost everyone would agree with that point. What people don’t seemed to always agree upon is what form those zombies will take. In my opinion this is one of the most in important points.
My point is this zombie up to this point are fictional, Unless you count the drugging and brainwashing the occurs when a voodoo zombie master takes another victim, which most zombie enthusiasts wouldn’t  So the question is what form could the zombie apocalypse take? Since this is a fictional threat I think it only wise to use these fictional examples as a model. Let’s take it from least likely to most likely, shall we?

First on the list, and therefore least likely to happen, (Thank goodness, because if it did we’d all be screwed!) is the retro-active global curse. This is a curse set place on humanity by some malevolent force, whether that’s god, the devil, or some sort of space wizard is not important, because we have bigger issues to deal with. Namely all of the corpses that have ever died that still have enough left of themselves to be considered a corpse. This cursed based zombie is the crappiest for humanity and is not really worth planning for because if it were to happen we would be screwed because not only would there numbers match ours pretty closely right off the bat but the ratio would quickly start to swing their way shortly after.

Now there are other type of zombie curses that would be easier to manage if only because of the smaller scale involved. That is the “hell’s full” curse, where any one who dies from that point forward will come back. Another factor that is an unknown when you add magic as a possibility is intelligence. If a zombie as been reanimated through magic it is just as likely that it could retain their intelligence and personality like in the comic book The Sandman where hell is shut down and so all the souls are put back into their bodies on earth but they are still themselves, everything goes to shit as you would imagine but in a very different way than the traditional zombie movie.

Moving on to a slightly more likely possibility is voodoo zombie, I say it is more likely because in essence no one is really dead, what you are dealing with is an army of brainwashed soldiers who will do their masters bidding, they would spread a bit like the cybermen from Doctor Who but with a voodoo theme instead of space robots. They would swarm the earth grabbing new victims to be zombified and growing their numbers. This premise would make an interesting plot for a film but would be fairly easily thwarted since the zombification process is a long one and the resulted zombie is still vulnerable int all the same ways that a person is.

Now we start to get into the more scientifically based zombies, which in my opinion are much more likely to happen and are therefore a better scenario to prepare for. Now within this vein of zombies there are a couple of variations. The first, and again the least likely, is some sort of puppet zombie, that is the corpse as become host to some sort of parasite that is controlling the body manually thing type of zombie is by far the toughest because there is no permanent solution short of dismemberment or incineration. Slightly easier to imagine is a parasite based zombie in which it takes advantage of brain chemistry to control you in which case it has all the same weaknesses as the voodoo zombie because its not already dead.

Up until now the zombie that I have considered have been fanciful at best and impossible at worst, so lets talk disease based zombies. These zombies are by far the most likely to occur since there is an actual avenue of transformation and transmission that can be described. But in keeping with our journey up the scale of likelihood, lets start with dead zombies. Now Most zombie enthusiasts will tell you that these are the only true zombies, that by definition a zombie is a human who has died and come back from the dead. However this type of zombie is extremely unlikely since movement quires muscles, muscles require fuel to burn, and metabolism requires a pulse, oxygen and food. But barring all that, let’s say there were some way for a virus to seize control of a corpse the result would be the slow lumbering zombie that you probably most familiar with.

Now these last two versions are in my opinion the only two real possibilities, the first and slightly less likely to occur is the man-made, or naturally mutated virus that appears in 28 Days Later or in I am Legend. While these two viruses differ in slight ways, they are basically the same, in that they require a live host and that they simply insight violent and cannibalistic behavior, not much is left of their true personality but there is no reason to think that there core intelligence has been destroyed. They are capable of staging, and they retain a good part of the dexterity and mobility. By far one of the more chilling types of zombies.

The last type of zombie, and in my opinion the most likely to occur, if it is likely for the zombie apocalypse to occur at all, is a mutation of the rabies virus. Now I am sure there are some that would lump this type in with that of the previously described type. But I think that there is an important difference between that and this example, that being a virus that only infects humans and, in the case of I am Legend, dogs. The real insidious fact of a mutation of rabies virus is that the disease is already known to cross species barriers with ease, at least between mammals. And that means that there would be zombie dogs, cats, squirrels, raccoons, beavers, you name it is a potential zombie candidate. The really unsettling part of this possibility is that rabies is not all that dissimilar from a zombie virus as it is, in the later stages victims experience drastic personality changes, violent outburst, even some instances of cannibalistic behavior have been recorded.

One of the first and in my feeling toughest hurdles to get over at the start of a zombie apocalypse is Identifying just what you are dealing with so that you know your choices, and can plan appropriately. I’ll be doing another post on this topic shortly where I will go into my own zombie plan, in generals and specifics, addressing some of these scenarios.

And that’s my take on comparing zombies.