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Zombie Takeover in Edinburgh Scotland

Outbreak News By April 19, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments

EDINBURGH has come under attack many times in its bloody history, but never quite like this. An unknown pathogen is ravaging the city, turning those infected into shambling, bloodthirsty beasts – zombies are on the loose.

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That’s the scenario that will face audiences at Summerhall this week, when LAS theatre’s new experiential production, Deadinburgh, locks down for a three-day run, beginning tomorrow.

Immersive and interactive, Deadinburgh’s audiences will become the last un-infected citizens of Edinburgh, a city, under martial law and cut off from the rest of the UK.

With the help of scientists they will have only hours to decide how to save the Capital and perhaps the world.

Imagine being in an episode of Channel 5’s The Walking Dead and you get the idea.

“There are definite parallels with The Walking Dead,” says director Barra Collins. “The success of that series is that it’s not really about the zombies, but about people in an extraordinary situation. In a way that is what Deadinburgh is too. It’s an extraordinary situation in which the audience are given access to the people inhabiting that world.”

Consequently, everyone has their own part to play in the piece, although Collins is keen to stress that interaction can be as much or as little as the individual likes.

“When the audience arrive, the actors will talk directly to them. They will be split into six companies, each accompanied by a pair of soldiers as they go through the building meeting different scientists along the way.

“Each group will have a completely unique experience. At the end, they will all gather together to decide what to do. There are three choices and the ending of the play depends on what they decide.”

With actors playing the infected hordes and besieged soldiers, the audience’s options are to destroy the city, cull the infected or search for a cure.

Joining the cast to help them solve the problem will be real life scientists Grace Coia and Sarah Keer-Keer.

Coia, a hypno-psychotherapist dealing with eating disorders, will address the undiscriminating rush to annihilate people with zombie-like symptoms.

Keer-Keer from Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, meanwhile, will attempt to help the audience understand what is happening at the molecular level, explaining cells, viruses and antibodies and how they spread and the impact they can have.

“The great thing about having real scientists is that they can hopefully answer any questions on the audience’s mind. If it was an actor, the actor wouldn’t necessarily be able to go off script.

“It’s certainly going to be a rewarding show for inquisitive minds but equally interesting for those who would rather take a more passive approach.”

That said, a passive approach won’t stop you coming face to face with the dreaded zombies, or Palps as they are known in Deadinburgh.

“We’re not calling them zombies, they are PALPs – person affected with the Lazarus pathogen – and there may well be a boundary breach by the PALPs causing a stand-off between the military and the infected citizens desperate to get into the safe zone.”

It all sounds like exciting, if gory fun, but there is a serious side to the production, which uses the zombie epidemic to ask what it really means to be human?

“There will be people who say we have to destroy the infection or it could spread and then kill millions more. The other side of that is, these are real people, so when does a person stop being a person and become just infected tissue? The ethics of epidemics are addressed in the show. Do we really understand what is happening to these people? Could they be treated? What are their human rights? Are we in a position where we can shoot them? They might just have a brain degenerative disorder that is akin to Alzheimer’s, so does that mean if we shoot these people it might have a knock on effect on the way we treat other people with other illnesses?

“It’s about realising the consequences of our decisions and what they mean to the bigger world picture.”

 

Deadinburgh, Summer-hall, formerly the Dick Vet School, tomorrow-Sunday, 7.30pm, £15, 0845-874 3001

From TheScotsman.com

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Zombie Saves Cat from Certain Death in New York City

Outbreak News By April 9, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

Zombie Saves Cat in NYCThey say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but for late-night New Yorkers who recently witnessed a blood-spattered zombie chasing a black cat near Times Square, it was hard not to stop and stare.

It’s not clear exactly what prompted the cat to frantically run back and forth across 42nd street in Manhattan last Saturday night, but the frightened feline was chased out of one building after another as he tried to take shelter in a restaurant, coffee shop and movie theater. Then enters our hero, 22-year-old Coney Island native Jeremy Zelkowitz. With concerns that the cat would be struck by a car at any moment, Jeremy abandoned his post luring tourists into the horror-themed attraction Times Scare and gave chase while onlookers wondered if he was planning to rescue the cat or devour it.

“He was not very difficult to get a hold of, ” explained Jeremy who has grown accustomed to strange looks he gets when he’s in costume off-location. ”It took a little time, but I got him.”

Jeremy tried to calm the cat in his arms and the feline seemed undisturbed by the ghastly appearance of his new friend.

“After holding him there for about 20 minutes, he did try and jump out of my hands a few times,” Jeremy recalls. “He was scared so I asked someone to hail me a cab and I took him to a 24 hour animal clinic. When I brought him in they said they didn’t take strays, but I told them I didn’t want him to go to anywhere where they were going to put him to sleep after a certain period of time. I convinced them to take him for me and luckily they were able to scan him for a chip and were able to track down the owner.”

He’d Been Missing for Two Years

It turns out that the cat belongs to New York police officer Jimmy Helliesen, who hadn’t seen his cat Disaster in two full years. Disaster is just one of many stray cats that Officer Helliesen has adopted in his patrol area.

“He couldn’t believe it and thought we were playing a practical joke on him,”  BluePearl Veterinary Partners Administrator Steve Baker said of that phone call to Officer Helliesen (in an interview with the Daily News).

Our hero Jeremy Zelkowitz

Officer Helliesen said that he believes Disaster clawed through the screen of his Long Island home two years ago. That began the feline’s journey with hundreds of days unaccounted for. It’s not clear whether someone took Disaster in for a while and he escaped again or if he had been stray all that time, but in either case, it seems that Disaster may have somehow made it through the Midtown Tunnel.

And as for Jeremy, well, he’s back on zombie duty, but don’t let the stage makeup fool you. This ghoul is all heart.

“I just love animals,” he says. “They are such innocent, loyal and loving creatures.”
Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/zombie-saves-terrified-times-square-cat.html#ixzz2Q0DQDl9X

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Canadian Parliament Talks About Impending Zombie Apocalypse

Outbreak News, Zombie lols By February 14, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments

If you didn’t know Canadians were hilarious, you will not only know after watching this, but you’ll be dead certain – and if you ever wanted to move somewhere awesome, you have found your place.

Zombies do not recognize borders and since it’s clear that the USA is where the Zombie Apocalypse will start, Canada knows the time to talk about the possibility of a Zombie Invasion is now!

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AMC Releases Zombies in Protest of Dish Network

Outbreak News By July 31, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

Via: DesignTAXI News

As a protest against Dish Network and their decision to drop television channel, AMC and its popular ‘The Walking Dead’ series, the network decided to stage a protest—by unleashing the ‘horde of undead’ upon New York City.

Actors were put through extensive ‘zombie’ make-up and before being ‘let-loose’ on the streets of Manhattan as a sign of protest.

The zombies were disguised as police officers, postal workers, hot dog vendors and civilians—scaring commuters and pedestrians around them.

The purpose of this campaign was to raise awareness that Dish no longer carries the AMC network—meaning Dish subscribers will no longer be able to watch programs such as ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Breaking Bad’.

The video asked viewers if ‘zombies could live among us?’ and they had ‘transformed a few New Yorkers to find out’ the answer.

After countless numbers of scares, the video concludes with a zombie dragging a Dish Network satellite and the message “Zombies don’t belong here”, “Put them back on TV”.

Do you think AMC’s ‘scare-tactics’ will work?

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Zombie Face Eater had only Marijuana in his system

Outbreak News By June 28, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

A Miami man shot dead by police as he chewed the face off a homeless person only had marijuana in his system, a coroner has found.

A police union official speculated at the time that Rudy Eugene, 31, had been under the influence of a category of street drugs known as “bath salts”.

After stripping naked, Eugene attacked Ronald Poppo on a causeway in May.

Toxicology results found no alcohol, prescription drugs or adulterants often mixed with street drugs in his body.

An outside forensic toxicology lab also looked at the results and came up negative for bath salts, synthetic marijuana and LSD.

“Within the limits of current technology by both laboratories, marijuana is the only drug identified in the body of Mr Rudy Eugene,” the Miami medical examiner’s office said in a statement.

Eugene was shot and killed by a police officer after he ignored warnings to stop eating Mr Poppo’s face.

Armando Aguilar, of Miami’s Fraternal Order of Police, told a CNN affiliate at the time he believed the suspect could have taken a type of drug known as bath salts, citing four past overdoses in the Miami area where people had also removed their clothes and gone berserk.

‘Supernatural’

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Eugene’s family told the Associated Press that he was not violent and did not drink or do drugs other than marijuana.

“There’s no answer for it, not really,” Eugene’s younger brother, Marckenson Charles, said. “Anybody who knew him knows this wasn’t the person we knew him to be. Whatever triggered him, there is no answer for this.”

Dr Bruce Goldberger, director of toxicology at the University of Miami, said while the coroner’s office is known for its thorough work, it would be a challenge to keep up with the pace of new formulations for synthetic drugs.

“There are many of these synthetic drugs that we currently don’t have the methodology to test on, and that is not the fault of the toxicology lab,” Dr Goldberger said.

“There is no one test or combination of tests that can detect every possible substance out there.”

Rikkia Cross, Eugene’s girlfriend, told the Miami Herald she is convinced the attack was the result of something “supernatural”.

“Somebody did something to him, somebody put something on him. I know for sure that wasn’t Rudy,” she said.

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Mr Poppo is recovering from the attack in a local hospital but will need additional surgery before he can consider reconstructing his face, doctors have said

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As Real Life Gore Continues – Are we ready?

Outbreak News By June 7, 2012 No Comments

Article from: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-06/D9V6B1PO0.htm

By TAMARA LUSH and VICIt has begunKI SMITH

TAMPA, FLA.

First came Miami: the case of a naked man eating most of another man’s face. Then Maryland, a college student telling police he killed a man, then ate his heart and part of his brain.

It was different in New Jersey, where a man stabbed himself 50 times and threw bits of his own intestines at police. They pepper-sprayed him, but he was not easily subdued.

He was, people started saying, acting like a zombie. And the whole discussion just kept growing, becoming a topic that the Internet couldn’t seem to stop talking about.

The actual incidents are horrifying — and, if how people are talking about them is any indication, fascinating. In an America where zombie imagery is used to peddle everything from tools and weapons to garden gnomes, they all but beg the comparison.

Violence, we’re used to. Cannibalism and people who should fall down but don’t? That feels like something else entirely.

So many strange things have made headlines in recent days that The Daily Beast assembled a Google Map tracking “instances that may be the precursor to a zombie apocalypse.” And the federal agency that tracks diseases weighed in as well, insisting it had no evidence that any zombie-linked health crisis was unfolding.

The cases themselves are anything but funny. Each involved real people either suspected of committing unspeakable acts or having those acts visited upon them for reasons that have yet to be figured out. Maybe it’s nothing new, either; people do horrible things to each other on a daily basis.

But what, then, made search terms like “zombie apocalypse” trend day after day last week in multiple corners of the Internet, fueled by discussions and postings that were often framed as humor?

“They’ve heard of these zombie movies, and they make a joke about it,” says Lou Manza, a psychology professor at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania, who learned about the whole thing at the breakfast table Friday morning when his 18-year-old son quipped that a “zombie apocalypse” was imminent.

Symbolic of both infection and evil, zombies are terrifying in a way that other horror-movie iconography isn’t, says Elizabeth Bird, an anthropologist at the University of South Florida.

Zombies, after all, look like us. But they aren’t. They are some baser form of us — slowly rotting and shambling along, intent on “surviving” and creating more of their kind, but with no emotional core, no conscience, no limits.

“Vampires have kind of a romantic appeal, but zombies are doomed,” Bird says. “Zombies can never really become human again. There’s no going back.

“That resonates in today’s world, with people feeling like we’re moving toward an ending,” she says. “Ultimately they are much more of a depressing figure.”

The “moving toward an ending” part is especially potent. For some, the news stories fuel a lurking fear that, ultimately, humanity is doomed.

Speculation varies. It could be a virus that escapes from some secret government lab, or one that mutates on its own. Or maybe it’ll be the result of a deliberate combination and weaponization of pathogens, parasites and disease.

It will, many believe, be something we’ve created — and therefore brought upon ourselves.

Zombies represent America’s fears of bioterrorism, a fear that strengthened after the 9/11 attacks, says Patrick Hamilton, an English professor at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa., who studies how we process comic-book narratives.

Economic anxiety around the planet doesn’t help matters, either, with Greece, Italy and Spain edging closer to crisis every day. Consider some of the terms that those fears produce: zombie banks, zombie economies, zombie governments.

When people are unsettled about things beyond their control — be it the loss of a job, the high cost of housing or the depletion of a retirement account — they look to metaphors like the zombie.

“They’re mindless drones following basic needs to eat,” Hamilton says. “Those economic issues speak to our own lack of control.”

They’re also effective messengers. The Centers for Disease Control got in on the zombie action last year, using the “apocalypse” as the teaser for its emergency preparedness blog. It worked, attracting younger people who might not otherwise have read the agency’s guidance on planning evacuation routes and storing water and food.

On Friday, a different message emerged. Chatter had become so rampant that CDC spokesman David Daigle sent an email to the Huffington Post, answering questions about the possibility of the undead walking among us.

“CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead,” he wrote, adding: “(or one that would present zombie-like symptoms.)”

Zombies have been around in our culture at least since Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” was published in 1818, though they really took off after George Romero’s nightmarish, black-and-white classic “Night of the Living Dead” hit the screen in 1968.

In the past several years, they have become both wildly popular and big business. Last fall, the financial website 24/7 Wall Street estimated that zombies pumped $5 billion into the U.S. economy.

“And if you think the financial tab has been high so far, by the end of 2012 the tab is going to be far larger,” the October report read.

It goes far beyond comic books, costumes and conventions.

–An Ace Hardware store in Nebraska features a “Zombie Preparedness Center” that includes bolts and fasteners for broken bones, glue and caulk for peeling skin, and deodorizers to freshen up decaying flesh. “Don’t be scared,” its website says. “Be prepared.”

–On uncrate.com, you can find everything you need to survive the apocalypse — zombie-driven or otherwise — in a single “bug-out bag.” The recommended components range from a Mossberg pump-action shotgun and a Cold Kukri machete to a titanium spork for spearing all the canned goods you’ll end up eating once all the fresh produce has vanished.

–For $175 on Amazon, you can purchase a Gnombie, a gored-out zombie garden gnome.

Maybe it’s that we joke about the things we fear. Laughter makes them manageable.

That’s why a comedy like “Zombieland,” with Woody Harrelson blasting away the undead on a roller coaster and Jesse Eisenberg stressing the importance of seatbelts is easier to watch than, say, the painful desperation and palpable apocalyptic fear of “28 Days Later” and “28 Weeks Later.”

The most compelling zombie stories, after all, are not about the undead. They’re about the living.

The popular AMC series “The Walking Dead” features zombies in all manner of settings. But the show is less about them and more about how far the small, battered band of humans will go to survive — whether they’ll retain the better part of themselves or become hardened and heartless.

It’s a familiar theme to George Romero, who told The Associated Press in 2008 that all of his zombie films have been about just that.

“The zombies, they could be anything,” he said. “They could be an avalanche, they could be a hurricane. It’s a disaster out there. The stories are about how people fail to respond in the proper way.”

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Follow Tamara Lush on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tamaralush and follow Vicki Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/wvapgal

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