Pop Culture Adds a New Doomsday to
Be Afraid of: The Zombie Apocalypse

We’ve been trying to scare the hell out of each other since immemorial times. Few have tried harder than the church, of course. What, with all that talk about eternal damnation and unspeakable horrors awaiting the non believer, most people had reason to wet their herb-stuffed cots at night, and proclaim that the end was already near, even then.
Twenty centuries later, religious demons, and sea dragons for that matter, lost much of their currency. They’ve been replaced by humanlike creatures, man-made monsters, half-animal beasts, invading aliens and the post-nuclear hecatomb undead, not necessarily on this order. We seem to be living through a revitalization of the latter kind, a time ripe for a zombie apocalypse, according to many.
They’ve been so ingrained these days that regular entertainment channels such as comics, books, movies and plays can no longer prevent them from leaking all over contemporary culture. Thus government agencies, educators and commercial outfits have all reached out to the myth of the half-eaten ghoul, to warn, educate, and make a buck out of the masses.
There are marathons now, where participants are supposed to train their run-away-from the slow-moving wrecks; maps indicating where they’re most likely to surface; ideal places to congregate during the outbreak; and special gear to wear and display, so others will know what you’re up to. And of course, plenty of advice to the already half-prepared doomsday nut crowd.
That it may never happen is beside the point; as it’s the norm with the end-of-times and rapture-day converts, facts should never get in the way of a good old fright. Which is, just so we’re all in the same Continue reading

Open Gait

If You Are How You Walk,
We May Be Watching You

‘Tis is the season for zombies, those ghouls born out of the desperate imagination of Caribbean tribes about to be enslaved by even worse demons, 17th century European human traders.
But if the overkill of the prefab undead by the contemporary entertainment industry is not enough to make you sick silly, you may still think that the way they walk is kind of funny.
Well, brace yourself, for there are other fears to be had that no walker can instill on you: the dread that your own gait may unwittingly reveal something very dirty about yourself.
Using a system called Plantar Pressure Imaging, a Japan’s Shinshu University Continue reading