I spend more time than I probably should wondering when the luxury condo trend will finally come for the dead. Real estate is expensive, and there's lots of valuable land in urban areas that could be used for yet-another fancy steel-and-glass skyscraper used to hide foreign money—if it wasn't for the cemeteries that currently take up all that space. I even have a half-finished short story in a notebook somewhere riffing on the classic Stephen King scenario of towns built on Native American burial grounds, except it's just luxury condos built up on the corpses of, well, everyone.
But I was thinking too far ahead. Because I didn't stop to think about what happens to those graveyards now, as flooding and earthquakes and more extreme weather disturb the soil under which our loved ones have been laid to their eternal rests. As a recent article in Scientific American gruesomely details, coffins are already body-surfing through the streets of Louisiana during storms:
The caskets and their surface vaults are sealed airtight, so pressure builds inside them when a hurricane or flash flood covers them in water. Moisture weakens the vault seal, and eventually the water begins to bubble with dead air—the tell-tale sign a casket is ready to pop out of its grave, Hunter said.
“You hear the bubbles, you see the bubbles, and you know that seal is weakening because of that immense amount of pressure. And then the lid comes off,” he said.
The visual of bubbling coffins popping out of the ground is scary enough. Read the rest
Nevada's chief game warden, Tyler Turnipseed knows they will lose the battle against 'zombie deer.' Deer infected with chronic wasting disease are infecting the Western United States.
Tyler Turnipseed, chief Nevada game warden, suggested in testimony about the proposed law that local populations could be infected if a hunter passing through the state from elsewhere dumps butchered waste.
Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming have all reported cases of animals with the disease — heightening concerns that the disease could spread into Nebraska, Utah, Idaho and ultimately Nevada, J.J. Goicoechea, a state Department of Agriculture veterinarian, told lawmakers.
“It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” Wolff said. “We know that we can’t wrap Nevada in a bubble.”
Maybe we can just extend the southern border wall to surround the entire state? Read the rest
You may have heard that an Emirates flight EK 203 was quarantined by the Center for Disease Control at John F. Kennedy Airport immediately after landing earlier this week. At first, it was crazy town: ABC news reported that 100 people on the flight were sick with fevers and uncontrollable coughing. Vanilla Ice was on board! But as the CDC and the NYPD began to get a handle on what was going on, things felt a little less scary. Only 10 people in total--maybe--were sick. Only 11 of the 100 sick individuals were taken to the hospital. More than half of the passengers were found to be healthy. Those who were healthy enough to forgo medical attention were released to go about their lives, provided they reported any worsening systems to the CDC. Also, Vanilla Ice is just fine. According to the CDC, all signs point to the illness being a flu.
Knowing this doesn't make me feel any better about the fact that two more planes landing in the United States were placed under heavy scrutiny by health officials.
From The Verge:
Read the rest
Both of today’s flights were on American Airlines: one from Munich and another from Paris. They landed at Philadelphia International Airport with about a dozen people in total on board who felt sick, according to a statement from the airport. That in itself is not that unusual because of the dry air and the prevalence of cat dander on planes, Allen Parmet, an aerospace medicine expert, told The Verge in an interview yesterday: “It’s actually pretty common to have somebody coughing in a plane.”
Matt Davies, a foley artist and sound designer for Studio Unknown, is a master of the slurping, squishy, groaning, gross sounds of horror movies. Zombies are his specialty.
The National Institutes of Health has lifted a moratorium on scientists mucking around with dangerous infectious disease. Government run review panels will protect us. What could go wrong?
The New York Times article shares a number of not exactly concern-reducing quotes from scientists interviewed about this "small step forward." Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, reassures us with statements like: "If someone finds a way to make the Ebola virus more dangerous, I don’t believe that should be available to anybody off the street who could use it for nefarious purposes," and "Physicists long ago learned to distinguish between what can be publicly available and what’s classified." Great.
The value of this research to people who don't want to kill millions is made to seem negligible, in the article, as well.
Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox band teamed up with Wayne Brady (Whose Line Is It Anyway?) to bring us this 1930s jazz style cover of Michael Jackson's 1983 hit "Thriller," complete with zombie tap dancers.
The band is currently on a worldwide tour.
For nostalgia's sake, here's the music video for the original:
Just look at that headline! It's a nounpunk antideepstate beanie short of pure condensed random Boing Boing. But the prototype PassivDom “autonomous 3D-printed mobile house” is a €200,000 effort at creating a completely self-powered dwelling fit for the "zombie apocalypse."
The first model, the ModulOne, includes solar panels that power the climate control system, a clean water system that takes moisture from the air, and air quality control system that includes includes carbon dioxide control. The frame is made of 3D-printed carbon fiber, fiberglass, and resists and the entire house is recyclable.
There are three models, from ultra-simple to full autonomous. The Autonomous house is 36 square meters and costs €59,900 to pre-order. There is already a model in Ukraine and they have a few thousand folks already on the waitlist for the houses. Luckily the team doesn’t take itself too seriously. They also offer a special “Zombie apocalypse” package that includes armored glazing, an alarm system, extra toilet paper storage, and a bible.
While the whole thing could be a pie-in-the-sky fantasy it seems that they have a real model built already and all of the technology is feasible. I, for one, look forward to spending my time in a zombie-proof passive house in the middle of the taiga.
I would rather not have to see the zombies. The name abbreviates "Passive Domicile," but PassivDom is brilliant; one supposes the innuendo may not be clear to its Ukrainian creators. No-one tell them! Read the rest
Zombies, Run! co-creator Adrian Hon writes, "That's right, we turned our running app and audio adventure into a board game! It's a frantic, fun, real-time audio-driven sprint across a zombie-infested landscape for 2-4 players, who must rescue survivors, uncover secrets, and (hopefully!) find a cure." Read the rest
Dan Taylor sez, "Prepare for the TRUMPOCALYPSE! When there is no more room in HELL, the dead will TRUMP the Earth. An all-new comic book from the creative team that brought you HERO HAPPY HOUR. If you think the idea of Donald Trump as President of the United States is scary, wait until you get a look at him as a zombie overlord amassing an army of undead to rule the world." Read the rest
Jake Bible's Z-Burbia series has come a long way from its start in the suburbs of Whispering Pines. Sisters of the Apocalypse is the seventh installment, and focuses on Elsbeth, his ass-kicking female protagonist, and her lethal sisters.
Z-burbia started out as the story of a small gated community, just trying to get by in the zombie apocalypse. Terrible, and often hilarious things happen, in this slapstick horror. The community has destroyed the presumptive new government of the United States, survived cannibal hoards, and made their way to a new refuge in Colorado. This seventh novel in Bible's series focuses on Elsbeth Stanford, the daughter of one of the richest women in America before the zombies, and the rest of her very odd private school class.
Elsbeth is one of the most interesting characters in this series. She is tough, slightly brain damaged from a fall, and fiercely loyal. Bible has certainly found a way to keep this series pumping along.
Z-Burbia 7: Sisters of the Apocalypse via Amazon
Previously on Boing Boing:
The first novel in Jake Bible's series Z Burbia hooked me. What appeared to be a jokey take on zombie fiction quickly develops some great characters and story.
Jason "Long Pork" Stanford and his family live in a small community outside Asheville, NC. They've used the local geography and their HOA to secure the housing complex and have spent several years keeping things together. Their insular policies and strict adherence to the CC&Rs of Whispering Pines, their home, have kept them alive in the face of bandits, cannibals and of course hordes of zombies. Sadly, things are about to fall apart.
I've enjoyed the characters, Bible has an ability to write little about folks, while not having them be cartoons. The plot, once you get past the condo association stuff, is rather standard Zombie fare, but I'm very much looking forward to the rest of his series. I got the first and second books via Kindle Unlimited.
Update: Turkey Merck writes, "FYI...the updated versions of the mugs are dishwasher and microwave safe." Read the rest