Saturday, 27 February 2016

The gift of fear

Gavin de Becker mingles with the rich and famous. And he protects them from crazed killers.

De Becker has spent his life with violence, seeing it, understanding it and preventing it. By his own reckoning, his exposure to violence as a child should have lead him on a path to prison, but he took another direction. His company Gavin de Becker and Associates has spent years pioneering strategies to predict and prevent violence. In his classic book The gift of fear, he explains how you can use fear. It's your survival instinct that is there to protect you, if you listen to it.

Turns out that our fellow humans are one of the most dangerous predators we are likely to face. But how can you tell that one bad person in a society of mainly nice people. There are ways to spot them, certain behaviourial indicators that give them away. Maybe it is that difficult worker in the office, that overly keen romantic interest or that won't-go-away stalker.

This is a fascinating book, if somewhat dry reading in places. And some of the stories are tragic, like the mother who lost her son because she didn't listen to that voice in her head warning her not to trust the doctor. It is worth reading just for the chapter on Assassins. The real life story de Becker tells is just like a TV crime drama. Dead bodies found, crazed killer on the loose, a celebrity rushed to a safehouse, crime scene analysis and profiling, trackers scourging the bush. It has it all.

Seriously, this book could save your life, be it from psychopaths, incompetent surgeons or zombies.

Bite off more than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Apocalypse Hal: Waiter zombies

We can expect zombies to adapt to different hunting strategies when they are seeking out brains to eat. There are four or five possible techniques they may use depending on how much cognitive function a particular zombie has.

Simply waiting for some tasty human to walk pass it the most basic technique. The ambush does not require much skill but needs patience, something zombies have stacks of. The smarter ones will learn to hang around shops and apartment blocks where humans are more like to scavenge in. 

Bite off more than you can chew

Mr Rimsky

Thursday, 18 February 2016

The Ebola Survival Handbook

I found this book in the library. It is slim, brightly coloured and gives practical advice on dealing with projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea. As bedtime reading goes it ticked all the boxes.

Published in 2014 at the height of the US Ebola scare, Joseph Alton MD provides some handy tips for surviving an Ebola outbreak. Naturally this advice can be adapted to handling a zombie outbreak in Australia. After all, everyone knows the zpoc will be caused by a virus. So if you can deal with the Ebola virus, the zombie virus will be a piece of cake.

The book covers the usual stuff. How Ebola is transmitted and ways to you can prevent getting infected. But there were some interesting bits too. Supposedly there are only 14 hospital beds in the US capable of holding highly infectious patients. Turns out there is a black market in Africa for the blood of Ebola survivors, as injecting it into a patient is a way to treat the disease. And it was estimated that the hospital expenses for treating just one patient (Thomas Duncan) was over $500,000 US dollars. The cost of those face masks and latex gloves really add up.

However if you are on a budget you can do it all at home with some plastic sheeting and buckets of bleach. This is what I found most fascinating, treating your loved ones at home while trying not to catch the disease yourself. Alton has some great tips, like using the plastic covers from your dry cleaning as emergency hospital gowns. The big message from it all is that looking after an Ebola patient is a lot of hard work and a lot of disinfecting. When you consider this in terms of a zombie apocalypse, no wonder anyone bitten tends to get whacked on the spot. It saves so much hassle in the long run.

Bite off more than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky


Monday, 15 February 2016

Apocalypse Hal: Viruses (and Tim Tams)

Everyone talks about the zpoc being caused by a virus. And for good reason.

Viruses are sneaky little things, responsible for a lot of scary disease outbreaks like Swine flu, Ebola and Herpes. So it is important to be able to spot one, which is pretty much impossible seeing that are 20 and 300 nanometres in size.

Anyway, basically they are dead protein capsules containing DNA or RNA. They invade your cells, turn them into virus manufacturing plants and make you sick. 

The best thing you can do to avoid infection? Wash your hands. Seriously, it greatly reduces the spread of the clingy little buggers. Wearing a Hazmat suit also helps.

Bite off more than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Friday, 5 February 2016

Becoming a zombie - Know the 10 signs!

Know the 10 signs! 

Worried you may be catching a dose of the zombie? Scared you may start snacking on your family and friends? Be prepared and know the 10 signs that may indicate you are becoming a zombie. 

Disclaimer - this is for information only and is not a substitute of consultation with a qualified zombie slayer.

Have you noticed any of the following:

Recent illness – Been a bit under the weather lately? Got a fever, muscular aches or zombie bites? Looking pale with patches of discolouration and gross decaying bits? All classic warning signs.

Memory lost - Forgetting important information is a common sign of early zombie development. Forgetting to putting on underwear, forgetting to use tissues and not knowing where the toilet is are concerning indicators. They are just concerning all round.

Challenges in solving problems - Can't solve a Rubik's Cube? No worries, neither can the rest of us. Having trouble using a doorknob? That is a concern. If you start to see a rapid decline in your Angry Bird scores then seek help.

Easily distracted – Do you find yourself easily being, - hey get back here. I said if you find – hey stop that. I said stop it. Now pay attention this is important. Are you listening? Ah forget it.

Change in appetite – Strange changes in food cravings is a possible sign of being pregnant, or becoming a zombie. Vegans suddenly wanting to eat meat is an obvious warning sign. Other behaviours to look for is a craving for insects, stray cats or chomping on anything that looks like a cauliflower.

Withdrawal from social activities or work – Find crowds of people strangely exciting yet also worrying? Do you find yourself on the edges of social activities, watching on but not joining in? If so, do you drool while looking on? That's very disturbing.

Aimless wandering – Do you sudden find yourself outside wandering the streets with no idea how you got there? Are your arms outstretched? Zombies tend to do these things.

Maggot infestation – Do swarms of flies hover around you? Notice the odd maggot on your clothes or in your hairbrush after brushing your hair? Do people scream and run away when they see you? It's a worry.

Loss of self identity – Finding it harder and harder to remember who you really are? Memories becoming more and more blurry each day? Constantly reading the label on your undies to remember your name. Oh yeah you're in a bad way. 

Unusual speech patterns – People having trouble understanding what you say? Moaning and groaning a lot? Do you have difficulty with big words and use simple language like 'Me hungry, eat you'. You be zombie.

Remember: Early detection matters - to the rest of us.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

100 Deadly Skills

I love ebooks. 

It is partly because they take up no shelf space. Partly because they are a bit cheaper and you can find odd titles you never see in the bookstores. But mainly I love them because it doesn't matter if it is 1.00 am on a stormy night and you don't want to get out of bed. You can buy a new book and be reading in minutes.

Which is pretty much how I ended up reading 100 Deadly Skills on the weekend.

It is a pretty cool book. Each skill has a page or two of description and a black and white diagram. All put together by retired Navy SEAL Clint Emerson and based on years working secret special missions. It is kind like the The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook for paranoid people and is squarely aimed at the big boys demographic. No female role models in this book.

As a bonus there is a lot about recycling. Making gun holsters out of coat hangers, silencers out of plastic bottles and lock picks out of paperclips. There is a lot of really interesting (and dangerous) stuff in this book. I particularly liked the improvised taser using a disposable camera.

There are some useful tips here for the future zombie onslaught. Lets say you are traveling and get stuck in a hotel room when the zeds start appearing. With this book you will know how to barricade your hotel door, make body armour out of bibles and escape the building with a bedsheet rope. Tip - Ask for a King size bed and extra sheets!

An entertaining read. I'm definitely getting some Kevlar shoelaces. 

Bite off more that you can chew

Mr Rimsky