Saturday, 28 November 2015

Real Estate Special - bunkers, bunkers, bunkers

The weekend is a great time for checking out real estate, and these days you can do it from the comfort of your own couch using the internet. Here are few bunkers I spotted.

Army surplus

South of Georgia, US there is an ex military bunker for sale, a steal at $23.9 million. And I suspect that is US dollars. Called “The Facility”, this underground bunker has 90cm thick walls that can withstand a 20-kilton nuclear blast. So keeping out zombies should be a piece of cake. There are decontamination showers, first-aid room, high tech CCTV security systems and outdoor firearm range.

Luxury digs
If you can stretch your budget from millions to billions, you may be interested in the The Oppidum, a sprawling underground bunker located in the Czechoslovakian countryside. It features all the essentials for surviving a zombie apocalypse. Underground there is a spa, cinema, library, and conference room while up top there is the tennis court and golf course. Naturally there are also more mundane things like communications equipment, water filtration, medical and surgical facilities. They boast that you could live in this bunker for 10 years, if you can afford the rates.

It is so secure, even the official website needs a security code to access.

Lucky find
Or you may just be lucky like a California couple who discovered the home they bought came complete with a 1960s nuclear fallout shelter. If that was not enough, this fallout shelter turned out to literally be a time capsule, still stocked up with 60's vintage supplies. No cinema here, just a bunch of old sci fi magazines.

DIY option
For the budget conscious there is always the DIY option and you can take inspiration from Colin Furze, who is a bit of an inventor and tinker. He built his own bunker in his back yard. Basically he put a metal box in a hole, then covered it in concrete. Unlike a 1960 fallout shelter, this bunker is more modern with flat screen TV, gaming consoles and drum kit. Check out his YouTube channel for details.

Bite of more than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Apocalypse Hal: The Lost Art of Bludgeoning

One day you may have to bludgeon an undead Professor Plum, in the Observatory, with a Pipe. So learn to do it right, with physics!
First up, I am bad at any of the sciences that involve numbers and calculators instead of scalpels and squiggly organs. So don't let me near your linear particle accelerator. 

It took days of research to do this issue, and I realise now I have it all wrong. These are equations for linear motion while swinging a weapon requires equations for rotational motion, such as angular velocity. 

But hey you get the idea. Pick a blunt instrument with some length, a bit of mass but not enough to make it awkward to use, and make sure it has a small impact area. Then hit that zombie as fast as you can! Easy.

Bite off more than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Everything you ever wanted to know about zombies

Pages packed to the portals with petrifying, putrid, um undead.

Part zombie history, part survival manual and part entertainment guide, this book promises a lot, but I'm not sure it quite delivers. With such a boastful title you would expect Matt Mogk to have put together an exceptional book. After all, Matt is considered to be the leading global authority on all things zombie, having been on various TV shows including the National Geographic Channel.

The first section deals with zombies. What they are and their history. I found this the most interesting and I learned quite a bit of pop culture. Matt sticks to the classic concept of zombies being the dead brought back to life. As a biologist I find that hard to accept (I personally favor the infected living type of zombie).

The second part is basic survival information, tailored a bit to suit a zombie apocalypse. It would be hard to expect this book to be a true zombie survival guide, Max Brook has already done that. So while Matt gives a good overview he but does not add anything groundbreaking in terms of zombie survival.

The last section is around pop culture and more contemporary zombie stuff. Zombies on the big and small screen, video games, zombie conventions and more! It is a pretty comprehensive examination and shows just how far reaching the humble zombie has staggered.

There is some good bits of information in this book, like zombies doing the Levy Walk. Also, according to Matt's calculations, Australia is the top country to be in when the zombies rise up. Being a country girted by sea and having a low population density gives us the edge on everyone else. It is great that we are finally recognised as being the lucky country.

A good book but somehow could have been better. Having founded the Zombie Research Society, Matt has created a society of over 60,000 zombie academics across six continents. You can also check out Matt's advice on the Zombie Research Society website.

Bite off more than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Friday, 20 November 2015

Apocalypse Hal: Blankie

Everyone should have a security blankie and there is nothing better in a zombie apocalypse than a survival security blankie. Also referred to as a space blanket or Mylar blanket.

Their main function is to keep you butt alive in cold weather but they have many other uses. On Dual Survival they make hot air signal balloon out of one. Team it up with a clear plastic emergency poncho, paracord and some duct tape and you are good for about anything.

The SOL Heatsheet blankets are pretty tough but there are heaps of other different types to choose from. Heavy duty ones, sleep bags, tube tents and breathable bivy bags. Or if desperate, grab a reflective car windscreen sun blind which, while small, has the bonus of insulating bubble wrap. 

Bite off more than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Apocalypse Hal: Active Zombie Pocket Card

A few weeks back I did the Active Shooter online training course. There was a handy card you could print off to carry with you. You know, to remind you to run.

So I naturally applied the idea to zombies.

If you print this as A4 it's too big for a pocket but ok for handbags, glove boxes and sticking on the back of the toilet door. You will have to fiddle with the print size to get it down to the size of a credit card. Then you can keep it next to your security pass and always be prepared.  

Bite off more than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

DEAD PLANET: Zombies from around the world – The Jiangshi!

Greetings BZFers,

I am being stalked. In a good way. Kind of. Let me explain.

Several years ago, when I was about 10, my best friend introduced me to one of the greatest films of all time – Mr Vampire.

                                                 Mr Vampire Theatrical poster. 

Made in Hong Kong in 1985, Mr Vampire has everything – horror, comedy, action, romance. An instant classic, the film also boasts top-notch special effects and a high quality, iconic soundtrack. 

Mr Vampire also features…(pause for effect) the Jiangshi!

The Jiangshi is a vampire/zombie type creature in Chinese folklore - it’s a reanimated corpse, it feeds off the living, it moves around at night. By hopping. Seriously. 

Since moving to south east Asia, I have had various encounters with the Jiangshi which makes me think I am being stalked by these hopping ghouls. I have recounted the Jiangshi sightings below. Judge for yourself:

Stalk 1: Randomly Rural Jiangshi

The first Jiangshi appearance happened when I was on my first work field trip in Kampong Chhnang province of Cambodia. I was riding on the back of my colleague’s motorbike, headed to a village a few hours way to conduct a community screening for Tuberculosis. We stopped for breakfast at a small strip of roadside shops - I had no idea where we were, but tractors were rolling by, half-feathered chickens were roaming around and in the distance I could see a satellite dish attached to a tree. As I was enjoying my breakfast of chicken and rice, I heard a familiar sound coming from the TV behind me…Mr Vampire was playing! 

I’m not sure what are the odds are of seeing your favourite 1985 Hong Kong Zombie movie playing in rural Cambodia, but my guess is it’s quite small…and what makes it even weirder is that just as I was leaving, the movie cut out and the screen went to what seemed like a Cambodian version of 'no signal' – so it was only playing when I was there…Coincidence, I think not!

Stalk 2: Golden Jiangshi in Bangkok

The second unexpected Jiangshi stalk incident came up on a brief trip to Thailand when I was loitering around a giant shopping mall. I was waiting for my next tour to start…then I saw them. Tiny golden Jiangshi toys. My reaction was slightly embarrassing…I audibly gasped and blew my budget buying all four available versions of the little guys. Totally worth it. Here they are at my old house in Kampong Chhnang, hanging out with my bunnies (Snuff and Butter) and a weird Ultraman figure I also bought in Thailand. I also made some stop action films using a spirit house as a move set:

Zombies vs Bunnies
The Hungriest Zombie

Stalk 3: Colourful Jiangshi in Singapore
Just when you thought finding Golden Jiangshi in Bangkok were a surprise, a few months later I encountered coloured versions of Jiangshi in Singapore! These guys were in a toy museum (they were for sale, I did not heist them), but again they caused me to audibly gasp and blow budget. Here they are in original packaging before I opened them:

Now they all now live happily together with their golden brothers in my new apartment in Phnom Penh:


We are Jiangshi! We are available in many shapes, sizes and colours! Jiangshi unite!

Stalk 4: Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Singapore
The final Jiangshi sighting (so far) happened during Cambodia’s week-long public holiday to commemorate Pchum Ben (a festival to honour one’s ancestors). So naturally, I headed to Singapore so I could check out Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights! 

Halloween Horror Nights is an annual event when Universal Studios turns the park into a massive Halloween fest. There were four differently themed haunted houses and three scare zones. One such scare zone was called ‘Hungry Ghosts’ and featured various freaky creatures from Chinese folklore, including – you guessed it – the Jiangshi! 

Again, I got a little too excited and made an audible gasp when I saw him. I also may have followed him around for a bit when he was trying to scare the other guests.  

A few random things you may notice about this full size Jiangshi (according to Wikipedia):
  • His stylish pyjamas: These aren’t really pyjamas, but they are official garments from the Qing Dynasty  
  • His skin: Some Jiangshi have greenish-white skin, this is thought to be representative of fungus or mould growing on the corpse. 
  • His outstretched hands: The Chinese character for ‘jiang’ means ‘hard’ or ‘stiff’. This stiffness means the Jiangshi cannot bend it’s limbs or body, so as I mentioned above, it hops around and uses the outstretched arms for mobility #themoreyouknow
To see some Jiangshi action for yourself, here’s the trailer for the Mr Vampire movie. Watch it now. Thank me later.

So there you have it friends…four supposedly ‘random’ Jiangshi encounters in 6 months! 

Are the Jiangshi stalking me? Or have I turned the tables and started stalking them? Only time will tell…

Rise against the Risen!

Miss ACE