I discovered something yesterday called Run For Your Lives – a 5k Obstacle Course Zombie Race!
by Apocalypse Womble
For many years I never listened properly to the lyrics, and so didn’t realise what this song was about. It is one of the more gloriously cheerful songs about nuclear war, and all the more poignant for it when you realise what it’s actually saying. And it’s a complex imagery the red balloons could signify weapons used carelessly, but the balloon itself is such a symbol of harmless innocence – of carefree, floating play. It’s a hopeful symbol cut through with a childhood nostalgia that must always be bitter sweet – appropriate for a loss of innocence motif. And the colour – red – is surely symbolic. It’s highly evocative of poppies, and though the coincidence in English of ‘balloon’ and ‘bloom’ is presumably not intentional, a balloon is, in and of itself, like a flower – the red head on the slender string must seem like a bloom on top of a stalk. From one symbol of senseless loss of life to another.
And yet the simply joy and childish delight of a balloon cannot be done away with. The single balloon released in remembrance at the end is sad, to that extent, but cannot but be also a symbol of hope. A nice mix for the post-apocalypse campfire, methinks.
And the English version:
On Sunday 19th February I went to The Event. This was the second in a series of talks regarding the Apocalypse. (The first one had a space scientist giving talk as to how the Apocalypse would come from space which I think would have been awesome to listen to, so I’m a little disappointed that I missed the first one) But never mind I very much enjoyed the talks that I had.
Before I get into the specifics of the talks then I am going to note here the important things that I learned during this talk.
- Do not flush the toilet!
If it’s a nuclear apocalypse and you’ve found shelter of some kind then flushing the toilet will bring in contaminated water and then you’re screwed. (Also don’t go outside! No matter what.)
- Keep Tins of Tuna and Custard packed away.
For the first month of the Apocalypse then you can if necessary survive with these 2 items. Tuna provides any protein you need, custard the calories. Also a very very tiny drop of bleach into contaminated water and it will kill any nasty crap that’s in there. (If you put too much bleach in you need to dilute down again and leave for a while.)
- Have a facemask ready.
If its a pandemic, then this cuts down the risk of you spreading any nasty germs to other people. (So clearly we kind of want everyone to have these.)
- The state only care about the well being of the state not you the individual. Make sure you look after yourself as an individual. (See Vinay Gupta’s video below on Complexity Kills)
- Those American survivalists who are so worried about the apocalypse? Who hoard all that food and have LOTS of guns? Most of them cannot farm. What are they going to do when they finally run out of food? Yes that’s right turn into the raiders they are so afraid of!!
I was also pleasantly surprised to see a shot of what we both thought must be the Illusive Man from Mass Effect 2. As I think people can often overlook apocalyptic themed computer games. (Don’t worry if you have NO IDEA what I’m on about here, then I am planning to do a post re:Mass Effect once number 3 has been out and I’ve finished it. )
We got goody bags which had codes for a free eBook of Pandimonium – a collection of apocalyptic short stories, download of the Dinosaur Planet Musical (see further down), another cd of music by the same band (Forest Moon of Endberby), two copies of the Hackers paper, some sweets, a sticker, and a voucher for some money off a Zombie type event done by Wish.co.uk. (This looks quite interesting I may well look into doing one of those!!)
Right so on with the talks:
1. Catherine O’Flynn
Whose talk was on visiting Hack Green (a declassified nuclear bunker that was built for the cold war) and how to make it a family fun event(!) (You have little mice hidden about and ask children to find them all – some of these mice may look strangely irradiated!) This was a fun if poignant talk.
And I think it was Catherine (although it may have been Sarah – speaker #3 so sorry if it was!) who made the point that when we remember the 80s we only ever think of the crazy hair and the clothes, people forget just how afraid everyone was of the possibility of a nuclear attack. How it was a very real threat. I was born in the 80s so I don’t really recall any of this, but I do recall my mum saying to me once how they had worried when they’d bought their house as it didn’t have a basement. Not that that would have done much good against the radiation but I guess it provided people some semblance of comfort?
2.MJ Hibbett & The Validators
We were wonderfully entertained by a very short rendition of this musical. A musical we’re we are informed that the apocalypse comes in the form of Dinosaurs invading from Space! (because everything is cooler when its From Space! or is For Science! ) Only to discover to our horror that they are shortly followed by space faring Robots who want their escaped dino slaves back! This was a very silly and entertaining take on the apocalypse and well worth listening too:
3. Sarah Angliss
Talked about the Protect & Survive Monthly magazines (late 70s early 80s) which gave information on how to ‘survive’ the nuclear war that was brewing. E.g. using tables as a shelter(!). She also talked about the shelter experiment, where a family of 3 lived in a bunker as if there had been a nuclear strike for 2 weeks. Turns out this experiment wasn’t the greatest. The family had to wind a crank 500 times every two hours to get ‘fresh’ air, they had also only been given 2 hours to shop for food just before they were put inside for 2 weeks. I believe their menu contained a lot of crackers and tins of sardines. (Annoyingly I didn’t write that down so I can’t quite recall what it was.) Additionally the people running the experiment had effectively breached the shelter to get a line in for a camera – this cause the shelter to flood and they had to call the fire brigade.
4: Vinay Gupta
A look at the things you need to consider in order to survive an apocalypse. He is a very good speaker and while this was amusing in places this was also quite a stark look at the things you have to consider to survive.
I’m really pleased that he has put this video up to watch as I don’t think I could do it justice in a summary, there were a lot of good points! This is a must watch vid! (Most of my tips a the start of this post aside from #1 are from this talk. So I highly recommend you watch it.)
5. Alex Preston
Whose friends all joined cults while at uni, played us a sample of people speaking in tongues. He also read from his new book The Revelations, a scene where a group of people who have gone away for a religious weekend, begin to speak in tongues during a service.
6. Sarah Hardy & Suzanne Newcombe
They work at Inform (The information Network on Religious Movements) and talked about religious beliefs and what the apocalypse can mean. E.g. sometimes it s a beginning to something new such as ascending, possibly for everyone (if you prey enough) or perhaps just the chosen few.) They explained how there are apocalypses prophesied all the time and that 2012 is not unique in being the end of the world. Nor are all of the prophecies for the apocalypse in 2012 related to the Mayan Calendar, its just that that is what the media has latched on to.
There was another speaker after that but there was a little bit of a mix up with whether he was running late (at the time we thought he was, but turns out he wasn’t). We missed him as by this point hubby had cramp in his leg and I really needed a cup of tea so we headed home.
And I apologise for the rather long post! To sum it up I had fun, learned a lot and I hope I have imparted some of that on to you! Keep safe and stock up!
by Apocalypse Womble
After I saw Batman Begins I decided that I needed to become a ninja, just like Batman. And it worked. I worked out and lost weight and got fit – the fittest I have been in my life. I still didn’t know shit about martial arts, but every time I looked at crisps or considered flaking on my run, I asked myself: ‘What would the ninja do?’ and it got me motivated.
For a bit. These things go in cycles. I got overconfident and lazy. I thought I could eat ALL the crisps, because I was fit like a ninja, and working out became so easy I somehow got to thinking I didn’t need to do it so much. So after keeping trim for a couple of years, I got fat again – fatter than I had been before I wanted to be a ninja. I noticed that my scores on the various zombie survival tests that float around the Internet were dropping. I realised that if the zombie apocalypse were to happen tomorrow I was no longer sure I would survive. Running at speed and maintaining stamina long-distance is a vital skill in the zompocalypse situation.
Briefly, I was motivated again. I was running to out-distance the zombies. O’course, I then discovered that my crappy joints had words to say about all this running, and I had to stop, but the essence of the idea was sound. You see, exercising is boring, and the targets of getting thin or being fit can seem ephemeral and theoretical in a world where what you want to be is fit and slim right now, and in fact being fit and slim requires consistent work over months or even years. On its own, your true motivation is rarely enough to keep you fit. You need another motivation – something that can make the boring work of exercise seem fun and worthwhile right now.
I liked pretending I was training to be a ninja. I liked running to get fit in case of zombie apocalypse, but the awesome people at Zombies, Run have gone one better. They have made jogging a game, a game in which you are outrunning zombies. And not only that, but you’re fighting to find the materials your base needs to survive, and you’re slowly uncovering a story – about what’s happened, about what the human race needs to do to survive. I’ll let the awesome makers of the game explain.
I heard about this months ago when the kickstarted for the project was launched. It’s had all the success it deserves. On Monday, 27th February it goes live, and I can’t think of any better way for a girl who cares about her survival to prepare for the apocalypse.
- Apocalypse Womble out
by Apocalypse Womble
|Last Days of Pompeii|
It’s easy to think of Apocalypse as the stuff of science fiction, but for many women of the past it became a sudden and terrifying reality. The tragedy of Pompeii could not have seemed anything but apocalypse to the people running for their lives, cowering, suffocating, burning.
|‘Celadus the Thraex makes the girls moan’|
It’s an image of a city alive and vibrant in its moment of destruction. A word of warning and caution for us all, but also a spur: life is short, civilisations come and go – some slow, some so fast that the after-image of their fall is burned into history. Carpe Diem – seize the day. When I first read Andrew Marvell’s ‘To His Coy Mistress’, it seemed but another male attempt to persuade a girl out of her knickers with no regard to the consequences that might follow for her once he was gone, but if we divorce it from its gendered slant it has a message for us all:
Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime…
But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity…
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.
Death is coming for us all – is that not part of the haunting romance of the Apocalypse? – so here’s to Celadus the Thraex and the nameless Roman woman in the gladiator’s cell. I don’t know how they really spent their last moments on planet Earth, but I like to think it was like this:
|Polyphemus and Galatea kissing, a Fresco from Pompeii|
- Apocalypse Womble out.
By Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth
“That even an apocalypse can be made to seem part of the ordinary horizon of expectation constitutes an unparalleled violence that is being done to our sense of reality, to our humanity.”
”Anything in history or nature that can be described as changing steadily can be seen as heading toward catastrophe.”
“Authoritarian political ideologies have a vested interest in promoting fear, a sense of the imminence of takeover by aliens and real diseases are useful material.”
“Most people in this society who aren’t actively mad are, at best, reformed or potential lunatics.”
“Science fiction films are not about science. They are about disaster, which is one of the oldest subjects of art.”
“The problems of this world are only truly solved in two ways: by extinction or duplication.”
by Apocalypse Womble
Party down with the Master, flying high above the ruins of New York and the radiation pits of Europe:
This tune is famous for its use in the above scene from ‘Last of the Time Lords‘, the finale of series three of the new Doctor Who, but you don’t have to be lost in a Whovian apocalypse of paradoxes, Time Lords, and Toclafane to enjoy this one. Found one of your friends trying to conceal a zombie bite? Well, you really ought to kill them before they change, but that’s a hard choice to make. Why not slap on ‘I can’t decide’ to set the mood?Looks like I’m not the only one who’s thought of this:
Incidentally, this video has a random two minutes of black silence stuck on the end. No idea why, but NotEvenYours appears to be the only person on the Internet who thought of combining ‘I can’t decide’ with The Night of the Living Dead, so they win the pize of our attention for the effort, anyway.
- Apocalypse Womble out
In part 1 we looked at the things you need to think about before invading Earth.
In this second part we will look at ways of dealing with Earth once you’ve arrived.
Destruction at a Distance
In some cases it can be easier not to land on the surface. The humans have strewn a lot of junk around their planet and it could easily ruin your paintwork.
Staying in orbit can save you a lot of trouble (see Can anything kill or maim you?) and you may be able to accomplish what you need to do from your ship.
If your plans mostly involve destruction then staying in orbit is probably safer, plus you get an excellent view of the explosion, and that’s the best part.
Of course, if you are going down the planetary destruction route make sure you have the correct equipment on board.
There’s nothing more embarrassing pressing the Big Red Button only to find that you didn’t actually pack your Doomsday Device, or that you barely have enough firepower to destroy Tokyo.
If you want to intimidate the earthlings this too can also be accomplished from space. Humans are very gullible and tend believe whatever they see on screens, so even if your ship is a bit shoddy, your weapons keep failing and your species are the size of earth children, it’s not difficult to scare the humans.
|For all they know she could be 6 inches high.|
Up Close and Personal
Depending on your plans it is possible that you don’t have to wreak destruction on a global scale. After all intergalactic credits don’t grow on bio-luminescent rods, so you might as well make savings where possible. The fewer humans you have deal with the simpler your mission is likely to be, so while it’s easy to think global, try acting local.
You’ll find that humans usually work better with members their own species – well, apart from all those times when they don’t.
If it is easier not to make your presence known at all try masquerading as one of them. This can be vital for collecting research or avoiding detection. Make sure you have a cunning human disguise in order to blend in.
|I broke my nose.|
First Contact is a tricky undertaking and it’s easy for there to be misunderstandings on both sides. Think carefully about the kind of impression you want to make and tailor your behaviour accordingly. Remember to take the ignorance of humanity into account (see Do your research).
There’s no way to be sure how humanity will respond to you, so make sure you are equipped for a range of scenarios. You will have to be ready to improvise.
Hope for the best…
|Thanks for the worship but Aten says no.|
In conclusion it is important to remember that every invasion is different. There is no ‘perfect’ way of accomplishing one. The success of yours will depend largely on your tech level, your species’ characteristics, and most importantly what works for you. Though it’s tempting to imitate someone more successful it is rare that this works out. Find what you love about invading and make sure that is your focus.
To maximise your chances of success just remember these two basic rules:
1) Prepare thoroughly.
2) Be ready to improvise.
Best of luck.