It’s been a long time since posting to this blog, and it would take something like this to bring me back to it. But I couldn’t not writ about this.
George A Romero, creator of the Night of the Living Dead and credited with the development or popularization of the zombie as a centerpiece of American story telling has died.
From the L.A. Times: Romero died Sunday in his sleep after a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer,” according to a family statement to The Times provided by his longtime producing partner, Peter Grunwald. He was 77.
Romero died while listening to the score of one his favorite films, 1952’s “The Quiet Man,” with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero, at his side, the family said.
You know the Quiet Man don’t you? You might know it even if you don’t. The Quiet Man is a rare brilliant gem of a film with John Wayne as an American returning to Ireland to look up the family roots. He’s an outsider and has to prove himself worthy to the local gentry. One scene in particular has him taking his woman in his arms as the wind whips around him and the little house in Ireland. It was this scene E.T. was watching at home as the parallel events played out at between Eliot and the girl he liked at his school.
It was an appreciation for not just that film but filmmaking and its history that informed Spielberg in his own storytelling. In that way, a long past film was resurrected to entertain another generation who didn’t even suspect it. Romero has passed, and unlike his creations, will not be back. But for future directors and moviemakers, he will live on in our storytelling.
A while back I was surprised to learn that some teachers I worked with didn’t know that doctors study on real cadavers in medical school. I was really surprised since it was totally agains my experience growing up in my own culture. In my case I saw that sort of thing, autopsies, medical videos, science programs on TV all the time. It came in art classes and history classes and I didn’t see how it could have slipped by people in this day and age.
So when this video came across my newsfeed on Facebook today via IFLScienceI was pretty interested. The video describes a fascinating place in Texas where researchers leave human bodies outside in the elements to see how they deteriorate. It helps in a number of ways but I want to encourage you to watch the video and find out more about it for yourself.
I initially thought I might put a warning about the content on this particular page here but then thought that seemed a bit silly.
Because in fact there’s nothing offensive here. You’re living on a planet surrounded by living creatures, plants, bugs, animals and more that go through some amazing changes in the course of their existence. We are born into existence, live for a time and then die and decompose. That’s a very transient state of being. The fact is, as you may here stated in the video, it is rare for us to interact with death in our society although it is a natural part of the life cycle. We don’t kill the plants we eat, or the animals. We rarely see them as anything other than nicely cut bits of meat. Yet we are all part of this system. The fact that we are not exposed to death in our modern society is actually the deviation from the norm.
If you want even more great zombie lore from Surviving the Dead including more survival tips, fun stories and a larger world of horror you should check out my magazine on Flipboard.
If you aren’t using it you might like to check it out. I’m a big fan of it. It basically gathers all your news feeds from Facebook and blogs and Twitter and all that and organizes it into a layout that’s super easy to manage and fun to read. It means being able to get through a ton of content without wasting your whole day and in my case it means being able to share more awesome grossness with you.
SO check me out on Flipboard by clicking here and let me know what you think in the comments.
The first thing I thought of when I read that headline was the Death Star from Star Wars but apparently I was wrong. What NASA has observed via the Hubble telescope is a supernova involving a binary star system. In star systems like this it’s common for one star to “feed” on the other. Meaning its gravity pulls in gas and materials given off by its partner star. In the case of a zombie star, one of the pair has had a partial supernova i.e. killing it, and then began to feed from its neighbor star as though it had come back to life.
Sometimes as I’m flipping through my newsfeed I come across surprising stories related to zombies that I hadn’t expected or uses of the word that surprise me. This is one such case where the writer talks about the very real problem of dead satellites in orbit around the earth and more specifically what he calls “zombie satellites.”
My particular favorite is this:
” A small satellite, the AO-7 has been orbiting in its dead state since 1981. The 65-pound satellite has drifted silently for a generation and a half, going silent after less than a decade in use when its batteries died, but reviving mysteriously in 2002. Now the satellite’s solar panels provide enough energy to keep it alive, but during eclipses, it returns to its ghostly state.”
Isn’t it fascinating that such a thing could happen? The whole earth could have been killed off in a nuclear holocaust at the height of the cold war and yet the satellite suddenly would still have turned itself on again. Drifting silently trying to communicate with a dead world.
I was listening to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, the NPR news quiz when they happened to mention that the guys over at How To Do Everything were going to have a segment about zombies on their show. In case you haven’t heard of it, you should check it out in the iTunes store or by going to their website by clicking here.
One topic the guys talk about is a scene in the Walking Dead’s first season when Glenn and Rick cover themselves in guts to fool the zombies into thinking they themselves are zombies because the guys would hide their smell.
I always thought this was sort of a bad scene. It plays well but the idea that zombies use smell to pick up humans seemed a little strange. I get it, don’t get me wrong, humans STINK! If you’ve ever been walking down the street and come upon someone who is homeless, sorry, not to be insensitive but there is an incredibly pungent smell even from quite far away. I can smell it, so I assume zombies could too.
The problem is that the zombies smell just as bad and wouldn’t be likely to pick up anyone else’s smell over their own especially when there are so many zombies in that scene.
No, it’s not your favorite time-wasting video game for iOS, it’s an actual science story. Check this out.
From the article:
“If the fungal spore outbreak in The Last of Us scared the hell out of you, you’ll be doubly terrified to know that there are actual parasites in nature that can turn animals and plants into zombies. In fact, a group of scientists from the John Innes Centre in the UK just figured out how certain parasitic bacteria called phytoplasma turn their plant host into the living dead.”
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