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Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse: Just Do the Math
LiveScience.com ^ | July 30, 2013 | Michael Dhar

Posted on 07/31/2013 6:52:36 PM PDT by DogByte6RER

world war z photo: world war z wwzthebattleofyonkersby.jpg

Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse: Just Do the Math

This equation could spell your doom: (bN)(S/N)Z = bSZ. That is, if you ever found yourself in the midst of a zombie pandemic.

That's because the calculation describes the rate of zombie transmission, from one walking dead individual to many, according to its creators, Robert J. Smith?, a mathematics professor at the University of Ottawa who spells his name with a "?" at the end, and his students. Smith's work has inspired other researchers to create zombie mathematical models, which will be published with Smith's work in the upcoming book, "Mathematical Modeling of Zombies" (University of Ottawa Press, 2014).

Though of course done tongue-in-cheek, Smith's study demonstrates why zombies are the viruses of the monster world. Their likeness to viruses makes the creatures ideal subjects for theoretical epidemiological analyses, which can be used to capture the public's imagination as well as explore scientific principles, Smith said.

As for a zombie apocalypse, Smith's model shows that a zombie infection would spread quickly (with N representing total population, S the number of susceptible people, Z the zombies, and bthe likelihood of transmission). It also shows that zombies would overtake the world— there's no chance for a "stable equilibrium" in which humans could coexist with the undead or eradicate the disease.

Only coordinated attacks against the zombies would save humanity, the model shows.

• Epidemiology and 'WWZ'

Models of disease outbreaks, like the one Smith developed, play a prominent role in real-life epidemiology, Smith said.

"Unlike most popular monsters, zombies are inherently biological in nature," said Mat Mogk, founder of the Zombie Research Society. "They don't fly or live forever, so you can apply real-world biological models to them."

(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Health/Medicine; Miscellaneous; Science; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: apocalypse; doomsday; epidemiology; iteotwawki; itstheendoftheworld; mathematicalmodeling; preppers; survival; undead; worldwarz; zombie; zombieapocalypse; zombies
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zombie apocalypse photo: Zombie Apocalypse OnlyYouCanPreventcut_zps7a459801.jpg
1 posted on 07/31/2013 6:52:36 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
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zombie apocalypse photo: zombie apocalypse 6a00d83455ad0369e2017c381b43ad970b-800wi_zps47198af1.jpg
2 posted on 07/31/2013 6:52:58 PM PDT by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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zombie apocalypse photo:  1251369461216.jpg
3 posted on 07/31/2013 7:05:50 PM PDT by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: DogByte6RER

Don’t worry, be happy and sing this little tune to pacify the zombies.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdRI2Y8fGcI


4 posted on 07/31/2013 7:08:38 PM PDT by RipSawyer
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To: DogByte6RER
(bN)(S/N)Z = bSZ

What am I missing?
b, S, N, and Z all cancel each other out!

5 posted on 07/31/2013 7:11:59 PM PDT by Rio
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To: DogByte6RER

>> (with N representing total population, S the number of susceptible people, Z the zombies, and bthe likelihood of transmission).

Stupid leftist forgot the put in the AR-15 factor.


6 posted on 07/31/2013 7:12:53 PM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: Rio

I suppose that it is a handy formula, even if:
b = odds of Weiner surviving to the primaries.
S = Average number of toes on domestic shorthair cats.
Z = number of Zimmerman articles released today.
N = # of pickles in the jar.


7 posted on 07/31/2013 7:17:34 PM PDT by Rio
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To: DogByte6RER

I don’t understand the zombie obsession taking place in our society. How much time and effort was put into this scientific study?

When are people going to start realizing that zombies aren’t real, and the zombie apocalypse is NOT coming?


8 posted on 07/31/2013 7:17:49 PM PDT by pcottraux
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To: pcottraux

do the math.


9 posted on 07/31/2013 7:18:45 PM PDT by Rio
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To: pcottraux
obama zombies photo: Obama Zombies 512O-bpWa4L_SL500_AA300_.jpg Oh ... but they ARE real, unfortunately.
10 posted on 07/31/2013 7:20:39 PM PDT by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: DogByte6RER

I knooooooow.


11 posted on 07/31/2013 7:26:41 PM PDT by pcottraux
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To: DogByte6RER
Lemme see...

Got the Shaker, some ice, creme de almond, premium 150 proof rum, some triple sec, orange juice, some lemon juice and the maraschino cherries have been soaking in the ever-clear.

I'm ready for some zombies!

12 posted on 07/31/2013 7:28:31 PM PDT by Rides_A_Red_Horse (Why do you need a fire extinguisher when you can call the fire department?)
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To: Rides_A_Red_Horse
zombie cocktail photo: zombiessssssss zombie_small.jpg Riding out the apocalypse has never been so fun!
13 posted on 07/31/2013 7:32:26 PM PDT by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: DogByte6RER
"They don't fly or live forever, so you can apply real-world biological models to them."

Stupid journalists.
14 posted on 07/31/2013 7:34:14 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Liberate America from the Occupation Media.)
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To: DogByte6RER

I figure if you build a fortress on top of a mountain in the Sonora desert, and put black basalt boulders on the sides of the mountain, no zombie could make it to the top without getting cooked.

The black basalt in Craters of the Moon National Monument, in *Idaho* can reach 150F in summer. Imagine what it would be like in southern Arizona, when it’s perhaps 125F in the shade.


15 posted on 07/31/2013 7:36:03 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Be Brave! Fear is just the opposite of Nar!)
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To: DogByte6RER

That looks pretty serious.


16 posted on 07/31/2013 7:40:08 PM PDT by Rio
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To: pcottraux
I don’t understand the zombie obsession taking place in our society.

End of the world movies have been common since the 50s.

Zombie movies are a phenomenon because it is a fairly good premise that can be recycled in different ways to tell different stories, and it almost always includes characters making stupid mistakes and getting themselves killed. This puts the audience in a unique position in movies, one where they like the movie just enough, but are frustrated at how stupid the characters are that it spawns a lot of discussions over beer about why they are so stupid, and why you would do things so much better.

17 posted on 07/31/2013 7:42:10 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: DogByte6RER
Been there. Done that.

Check out Fibonacci . . . With Zombies!.

18 posted on 07/31/2013 7:43:07 PM PDT by Tanniker Smith (Rome didn't fall in a day, either.)
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To: RandallFlagg

brrraaaaaiiiiinnnssss!


19 posted on 07/31/2013 7:44:25 PM PDT by dynachrome (Vertrou in God en die Mauser)
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To: DogByte6RER
zombies photo: zombies zombies.jpg
20 posted on 07/31/2013 7:44:28 PM PDT by Snickering Hound
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To: DogByte6RER
It also shows that zombies would overtake the world— there's no chance for a "stable equilibrium" in which humans could coexist with the undead or eradicate the disease.

Zombies are dead, they will not reproduce and have child zombies, and don't heal up all that well. They would have to continue decomposing at some rate, even if they are reanimated. In any real zombie infestation, out lasting them would be pretty easy if you have a good supply of food and water to last a couple of months and locked your doors.

In the original Night of the Living Dead, the main characters had to spend one night boarded up in a farmhouse. By the next morning, the remaining townspeople had rallied together, brought out weapons, and were on the attack, swiftly slicing through the undead like a hot knife through butter. A real infestation would be more like that.

21 posted on 07/31/2013 7:50:36 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: Rio; DogByte6RER
Yes, do the math.

(bN)(S/N)Z = bSZ

divide both sides by Z

(bN)(S/N) = bS

Multiply (bN)(S/N)= bS

Therefore, bS = bS

ha.

22 posted on 07/31/2013 7:53:51 PM PDT by eldoradude (Let's water the tree of liberty with THEIR blood...)
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To: Rio

I think he is showing that the equation on the left simplifies to the equation on the right. Therefore, N (population size) is irrelevant to the dynamics of disease transmission.


23 posted on 07/31/2013 7:54:31 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: pcottraux
I don’t understand the zombie obsession taking place in our society. How much time and effort was put into this scientific study?

When are people going to start realizing that zombies aren’t real, and the zombie apocalypse is NOT coming?

Zombies are popular, and at least a few epidemiologists are taking advantage of that popularity to teach people about disease transmission. The zombies are not real, but disease transmission is very real.

The CDC also has a guide to surviving a zombie apocalypse on its website. Again, it is using a fiction to teach about a real idea (surviving a disaster).

Why not use zombies to make teaching dry subjects fun?

24 posted on 07/31/2013 7:58:20 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: RipSawyer

Bell-bottom hip-huggers.

Yeah baby!


25 posted on 07/31/2013 8:12:58 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: Snickering Hound

Too funny!

I’m stealing that and sending it to Ben Jr.


26 posted on 07/31/2013 8:13:50 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: DogByte6RER

Breaking news: Zombie outbreak in Texas and Arizona!!!

Update at 10pm: Never mind, they were all shot by the many many firearms owners in those states


27 posted on 07/31/2013 8:15:10 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: pcottraux

did you see the McDonalds protests?

did you see the Trayvon marches?

did you see the near-riots at welfare offices if there is a rumor of Obama money being given away?

THOSE are the zombies we have to worry about


28 posted on 07/31/2013 8:16:39 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: DogByte6RER

You are going to wake up some time after noon tomorrow wondering why you drank that.


29 posted on 07/31/2013 8:17:16 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: pcottraux

If the zombies aren’t taking over, then we’re watching the movie “Idiocracy” become reality.


30 posted on 07/31/2013 8:20:37 PM PDT by tbw2
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To: Vince Ferrer

Unless zombies were protected, as either wild animals, unaccountable people or a population control measure.

The New Endangered Species
http://tamarawilhite.hubpages.com/hub/The-New-Endangered-Species-a-short-story


31 posted on 07/31/2013 8:24:16 PM PDT by tbw2
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To: GeronL

There’s a great XKCD comic on that. Zombie movie in most places becomes a horrible outbreak. In Texas, the male and female scientists shoot the first zombie with their pistols, and the rest of the movie is a romantic comedy.


32 posted on 07/31/2013 8:25:55 PM PDT by tbw2
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To: tbw2

lol


33 posted on 07/31/2013 8:27:48 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: DogByte6RER
Too many unknowns.

Are we talking about SLOW zombies or QUICK ones? In the original movie the zombies were slow-witted and none too agile. In some movies you could outrun them easily in the daytime and sleep safely in trees at night. Other movies had much more capable zombies, able to run, speak, and reason in a limited fashion. Which variables in the equation define these factors?

Are these standard flesh-eaters or the finicky brain-eating variety of animated corpse? Food availability is limited if zombies only eat brains. There could be severe shortages, especially in liberal enclaves.

In WWZ we see the debut of the 12-second zombie - from first infection to rabid monster in literally 12 seconds. Much more dangerous than in other films, where it takes anywhere from 3 minutes to several days to succumb. Once again, are these calculations for quick or slow zombies?

Contrary to popular belief, zombies can't live forever. They should have to obey natural laws like the rest of us. They expend energy shambling around, and must replace it somehow (eat) or run down and stop like unwound watches. I think it was 28 Days Later where the zombies all eventually ran down, fell on the ground and although they didn't die, they could move no more. The people were safe as long as they didn't actually step on one...

34 posted on 07/31/2013 8:36:40 PM PDT by ZOOKER (Until further notice the /s is implied...)
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To: ZOOKER
I think it was 28 Days Later where the zombies all eventually ran down, fell on the ground and although they didn't die, they could move no more.

In 28 Days Later, the "zombies" weren't technically zombies, which is to say that they weren't dead - they were just infected with a virus that made them act like zombies. So, they eventually starved themselves to the point of weakness, then died. And the virus took 8-20 seconds from point of infection to full zombie-like status.

The one thing that bugged me about that movie (which happens if you analyze these types of movies too much) is that, with such a short incubation period, the original infection probably never would have made it out of the London area. Virtually everyone in London and the suburbs (within walking or running distance) would have been infected right away, and then would never have had a state of mind intelligent enough to travel to any of the more distant areas. I don't know the goegraphy of England that well, but even if there were only, say, 20 miles from the London metro area to the nearest town, it is hard to believe that someone infected would know to run 20 miles to hunt new humans, and no newly infected people could have remained sane long enough to carry the virus to the next town.

The traditional zombie movies didn't have this problem, because either an infected person took hours or days to turn, or ANYONE who died became a zombie (because Hell was full).

By the way, I love a good zombie movie.
35 posted on 07/31/2013 9:07:17 PM PDT by fr_freak
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To: ZOOKER
night of the living dead gif photo: gif Night of the Living Dead horror49.gif These ol' skool zombies just like to eat ... and shamble around some.
36 posted on 07/31/2013 9:57:28 PM PDT by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: DogByte6RER
 photo zomwar_zpsfaba32d3.jpg
37 posted on 07/31/2013 10:10:44 PM PDT by baddog 219
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To: DogByte6RER
World War Z (the novel, not the movie) by Max Brooks takes a "scientific" approach somewhere along these lines...saying, essentially, "Here are the rules of how zombies work. Given that, what are the consequences of an outbreak?"

I really like the book. Haven't seen the movie yet, I understand it's quite different.

38 posted on 07/31/2013 10:27:37 PM PDT by Kip Russell (Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ---Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: fr_freak
Totally agree. A good zombie movie is always welcome. As for the slow versus fast zombies. For it to be truly realistic they have to be fast, otherwise once the threat is identified slow zombies are simply too easy to kill. In the films, the only way slow zombies take over the earth is when they are ignored, and ignored, and .....ignored ....until they number in the millions, at which point the equilibrium has significantly shifted to their favor. For slow movie domination, the level of ignorance has to be very high and very protracted, which is the only way a threat that could be easily annihilated becomes terminal.

Somewhat similar to how the West let liberalism take over. At one point it would have been easy to remedy things, then at a later point difficult but still possible with rolled up sleeves and lots of work, but now it is at a point where even 'conservatism' is, for the most part, a more conservative form of liberalism. Compare the average 1971 Democrat with the average 2013 Republican. The 70s Dem is far more conservative. Maybe that is what the true meaning of slow zombies is. That ignoring an easily handled threat for long enough, be it consumerism (I believe that was the target for the Romero movies????), liberalism, or simply a growing belly and pant size, eventually leads to a situation where losing that weight is almost impossible.

As for fast zombies, they are the viable ones. Immediate infection that fuels frenetic attack. Even with a gun it would be difficult taking one down unless you see it coming from some distance. Kind of like the 21 foot rule, but with teeth instead of a knife. You need to shoot it in the head since a center mass shot is useless. It only needs to break your skin with its teeth. Add two, or more, and the situation can truly be bad. The only option would be massive quarantines, followed by massive culling, since once the equilibrium shifts there is nothing else to do apart from either wait to be infected, or start dropping nuclear warheads.

However, your point about instant infection is valid. For true global spread the rate of infection has to be slow, to enable people who know they have been bitten, but do not want to be quarantined (read: liquidated) to travel and escape. A slow infection rate, coupled with the fast variant of zombies and the ease and speed of modern air travel, would lead to outbreaks in major population centers around the world.

An easy way of seeing this is how the flu spreads annually. Always from Asia, and then spreading outwards from there. That is how they are able to come up wiht a vaccine ...simply see what is brewing and cook up something for it.

Anyways, the slow zombie types from the Romero movies and the Walking Dead series could never take over the world. The moment people started becoming aware of reanimated things shuffling and shambling about biting people, they would eliminate them. They are slow, dumb, and provide ample warning with their moans. Once the initial shock passed even 9th graders would be killing them with hockey sticks!

However, if it is fast zombies then unless there is immediate quarantine and mass culling, which would even include people who are not infected, the entire world would be overrun. An apartment of fast infected could easily take over the entire block, a block of fast infected could easily take over an entire city, a city of fast infected ...the math becomes quite clear. By the time people became aware what was happening several cities around the world would already have a small but rapidly growing population of fast infected that would be more than doubling every day. Actually far more than 2X, considering that every moment the fast infected would be biting non-infected. Could be close to 100X.

Gehenna.

Now let me leave fantasy land and go do some real work. However, the same applies for virulent diseases like small pox (google a story called 'The Demon in the Freezer' to see how beating that thing was difficult, and while it is 'eradicated' from the population the virus still exists in various labs) and, ofcourse, the potential threat of a super-flu. Not the H1N1 that many FReepers stupidly mock as a fake threat, but a redux of the Spanish Flu. Their spread would be similar to that of fast zombies.

39 posted on 07/31/2013 11:46:01 PM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: Rio

The “professor” doesn’t have anything in the equation for the removal of zombies only the maintenance and/or addition. He also needs to account for the change in N and/or S as more of the susceptible population is infected.

Plus the whole natural die off rate from natural morbidity and population growth. I assume zombies don’t procreate outside of the infection method. The unafflicted population will procreate still.

So yes the equation has issues :)


40 posted on 08/01/2013 6:00:11 AM PDT by reed13k (For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.)
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To: DogByte6RER; Revolting cat!; Slings and Arrows
This equation could spell your doom: (bN)(S/N)Z = bSZ. That is, if you ever found yourself in the midst of a zombie pandemic. That's because the calculation describes the rate of zombie transmission, from one walking dead individual to many, according to its creators, Robert J. Smith?, a mathematics professor at the University of Ottawa who spells his name with a "?" at the end, and his students.

Based on the same flawed mathematical models as the mythical man made global warming, no doubt.

"the rate of zombie transmission" is purely theoretical at this point. Is it "x"? A constant? Is transmission always a given or is there any immunity (consider The Last Man On Earth)? Is it a slow process of transformation (as it was earlier in the Romero movies) or instantaneous (as in modern fare)? What is the manor by which dead bodies are reanimated that have not been bitten by a "zombie" (this too was observed in the early Romero film cycle)?

Too many unknowns to be offering a speculative formula at this point to determine the "odds of survival".

41 posted on 08/01/2013 8:23:09 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: exDemMom

The CDC also thinks any incidents involving guns are a “disease”.


42 posted on 08/01/2013 8:26:02 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: pcottraux

The term “Zombies” is a proxy for the hordes of “EBT people” who will be roaming the streets trying to take what they were formerly given before the dollar collapsed.

No one calls you a racist for preparing for the zombie apocalypse.


43 posted on 08/01/2013 8:29:40 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: DogByte6RER; Revolting cat!; Slings and Arrows
Maybe the next Captain America film should be a reboot of the cycle and adapt the story where Hitler creates a zombie army:


44 posted on 08/01/2013 8:32:22 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: ZOOKER
"In the original movie the zombies were slow-witted and none too agile. In some movies you could outrun them easily in the daytime and sleep safely in trees at night."

See the problem is that we have melded to different genres into one and call it Zombies.

The split in genres are usually referred to as Romero Zombies.. and Boyle Zombies...

The problem is that the second one is a misnomer.

Zombies die and then reanimate to feed on the living. This is the very definition of Romero Zombies. (He created the cult classic Night of the Living Dead)

Boyle Zombies do not die therefore they aren't Zombies. They are "infected" with a virus and the transmission is via blood/biting. Boyle Zombies got their name from the creator of the Movie 28 Days Later. His name is Danny Boyle. In the Movie Boyle Zombies are infected with a weaponized Virus called Rage. It Speeds up the metabolism of the infected and drives them crazy and they go into a killing rage attacking people with their bare hands. Thus you get Fast Zombies.

Now here is the scary part. Romero Zombies have about a 1 in a billion chance of happening (Not my opinion there is actually scientific studies that lay out how such could occur and the chances.)

However, the chances of "Boyle Zombies" A.K.A. "infected" are far more likely. (still not a probable outcome)All you need is a nasty virus that attacks the brain (something like Rabies) which affects the higher order brain functions leaving the infected a walking/grunting drone that is subject to violent behavior. (Imagine Liberalism on steroids) If the transmission method mutates into a bugger that can get you by simple touch or body fluids transmission then you got yourself a full blown Zombiepocalypse brewing.

45 posted on 08/01/2013 8:53:46 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: Mad Dawgg
Now here is the scary part. Romero Zombies have about a 1 in a billion chance of happening (Not my opinion there is actually scientific studies that lay out how such could occur and the chances.)

What were the odds of a big bang happening from nothingness?

46 posted on 08/01/2013 9:37:36 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: a fool in paradise
What were the odds of a big bang happening from nothingness?

Zero. Not effectively zero; not almost zero; completely zero.

47 posted on 08/01/2013 11:15:00 AM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: DogByte6RER; CholeraJoe; Delta 21; Nikas777; NoAmnesty; Yorlik803; TheOldLady; The Comedian; ...


Thanks to DogByte6RER for the ping. Sorry so late.
48 posted on 08/01/2013 4:45:48 PM PDT by RandallFlagg (IRS = Internal Revenge Service)
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To: dynachrome

Sorry. I meant dynachrome.

I just got home from work. A little beat up right now.


49 posted on 08/01/2013 4:49:15 PM PDT by RandallFlagg (IRS = Internal Revenge Service)
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To: DogByte6RER

THAT is perfect!


50 posted on 08/01/2013 6:07:31 PM PDT by CatherineofAragon ((Support Christian white males----the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization).)
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