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Zombies: PowerPoint Presentation

Zombies:

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  1. Zombies: An Introduction to the Undead

  2. Objective: By the end of the fourth quarter, using zombies as a teaching medium, students will complete an interdisciplinary study and be able to describe key aspects of: • Folklore & literature • Structure and spreading of disease • Development of public health • Anatomy of the human body • Immune system responses • Emergency responses and emergency kits • Basic and advanced survival techniques • Political responses • Psychological and social responses

  3. I. What is a Zombie?

  4. Epic of Gilgamesh “I will knock on the gates of the Netherworld, I will smash the door posts, and leave the doors flat down, And will let the dead go up to eat the living, And the dead will outnumber the living.” - Written before 1300 B.C.

  5. Zombie – Working Definition • The reanimated corpse of an organism that feeds on the flesh and organs of living organisms • Both “historically” and fictionally based createures

  6. II. Evolution of a Zombie

  7. Folklore • Introduction of “zombies” most likely came from folklore • Folklore – legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales, customs, rituals, etc., that make up the traditions of a culture

  8. Haiti • Term “zombi” used in Haitian culture to describe a corpse reanimated by voodoo or witchcraft

  9. Non-Mystical Means • Havard Ethnobiologist Dr. Wade Davis hypothesized that two specific powders could create a zombie-like effect • Supposedly developed from hallucinogenic plants and tetrodotoxin, a neurotoxin derived from pufferfish

  10. Process: • Powder would induce a death like suspended animation (most likely low life functions, paralysis, or a coma) which would be mistaken for death • Person would awake (sometimes after being buried) and has a psychotic or hallucinogenic epidsode

  11. West Africa • Told that a dead person could be revived and controlled (since they would have no soul to guide them) by a sorcerer • Sorcerer could take a portion of the soul and keep it (to be sold to others) • Believed if you gave a zombie salt they would return to the grave

  12. South Africa • Dead person could be turned into a zombie by a small child • Witches could kill and possess the dead body

  13. III. Historical Evidence (maybe?)

  14. Ecuadorian Rain ForestDate Unknown • Shrunken head making culture • Claim they have to continue the practice or risk tribal extinction from a demonic menace from thousands of years ago • Eyes and mouth sewn shut, possibly as a result of coming across a plague in which decapitated heads continued to look around and gasp for breath

  15. York England1st Century A.D. • 80 decapitated skeletons found in a mass grave site • Potentially a gladiator gravesite though evidence of an arena has not been found • Potentially solders, but decapitation was not commonly seen

  16. Ancient Rome3rd Century A.D. • Recently discovered metal slab, folded over a corpse (like a burrito) • Debated whether it was an honor or to keep the corpse in • Romans rarely used coffins to bury, and were always made out of wood

  17. Cahokie Mounds, Illinois8th Century A.D. • 120 different burial mounds • One of the mounds had 250 full and partial skeletons that showed signs of a violent execution • Many skeletons missing hands and skulls • Further evidence suggest many were buried alive

  18. Mayan Civilization10th Century A.D. • Dominant and advanced civilization began to dramatically drop in population with numerous unburied remains found • Evidence of widespread cannibalism at the end (arms ripped out of sockets, bones chewed on, children eating parents, entire villages wiped out in short periods of time)

  19. Chaco Canyon, New Mexico13th Century A.D. • Massive population that mysteriously disappeared • 1997, large quantity of remains exhibiting violent and cannibalistic deaths found

  20. Roanoke colony, NC1590 A.D. • Colony of 115 set up and left to develop • When ships returned 3 years later, no one or their remains could be found • Havard archaeologist unearthed evidence of mass cannibalism

  21. The Mary Celeste (ship)1872 A.D. • Ship found adrift with no crew members and fully stocked supplies • No bad weather was in the area for the month they were at sea • Only one lifeboat was missing • Crew was very experienced

  22. IV. Development of the Modern Zombie

  23. 3 Definitional Elements of a Zombie • Reanimated human corpse • Unendingly aggressive • Biologically infected and infectious

  24. 1921 – Herbert West - Reanimator • Novel that had revived human corpses that were uncontrollable, mute, and extremely violent

  25. 1929 – The Magic Island • Novel that most likely introduced the word “zombi” into North America • Touched on Haitian voodoo

  26. 1938 – “Things to Come” • Viral infection causes infected to wander slowly and without senses, infecting those who they come in contact with

  27. 1968 – “Night of the Living Dead” • Directed by George Romero • Used zombies as a metaphor for government ineptitude, slavery, and greed • Reanimated corpses by radiation from a satellite returned from Venus • Portrayed as slow moving, plodding single minded creatures • Not referred to as zombies, but rather as ghouls, that didn’t come until in the script for the sequel but not actually in the movie

  28. 1968 – “Night of the Living Dead”

  29. 2000’s – Various Movies • Movies such as the “Resident Evil” series, “I Am Legend”, “Zombieland”, and “28 Days Later” (though not technically zombies) redefined the expectations of zombies as fast moving

  30. V. Various Undead Creatures(not technically zombies)

  31. Vampires: • Dead and reanimated, possibly by biological means • However, mental capacity remains if not heightened as well as physical capacity • Diet is strictly based on blood • Infection only happens when host vampire decides

  32. Draugr – Norse Mythology • Spirit that inhabits and reanimates corpses

  33. Frankenstein • Scientifically created and pieced together

  34. Ghoul • Traditionally a demon that eats flesh and inhabits grave yards

  35. Golem • A Jewish folklore being created from inanimate matter

  36. Jiang Shi • Chinese Hopping Vampire • Cross between a vampire and zombie

  37. Mummies • Reanimated corpse, but not by means of a biological infection • Revived to serve a sole purpose, usually protection • Not infectious

  38. VI. Typical Characteristics of a Zombie

  39. Zombie – Working Definition (revisited) • The reanimated corpse of an organism that feeds on the flesh and organs of living organisms • Both “historically” and fictionally based createures

  40. 3 Definitional Elements of a Zombie (Revisited) • Reanimated human corpse • Unendingly aggressive • Biologically infected and infectious

  41. Additional Characteristics • Typically they eat the flesh, sometimes only the brains of living things • Initially lumbering creatures though recently they have become faster and more aggressive • Impervious to pain • Invulnerable to injury except to decapitation or damage to brain

  42. VII. Analyzing and Preparing for a Zombie Apocalypse

  43. Zombie Apocalypse • The breakdown of society and civilization due to an outbreak/infection of zombies • Exponentially growing process in which government and societal norms disintegrate • Governmental responses are slow or inadequate • Small groups of humans are forced to fend for themselves in hopes of outliving the zombies

  44. OBJECTIVE: (revisited) By the end of the fourth quarter, using zombies as a teaching medium, students will complete an interdisciplinary study and be able to describe key aspects of: • Folklore & literature • Structure and spreading of disease • Development of public health • Anatomy of the human body • Immune system responses • Emergency responses and emergency kits • Basic and advanced survival techniques • Political responses • Psychological and social responses

  45. Assumptions: We will be working within the following parameters about zombies: Zombies were/are created by some sort of highly contagious infection passed on through a bite, scratch from an infected zombie Zombies mobility will at their initial “turning” be equal to that of the “host” that is revived, and steadily decline at the same rate of muscle decomposition Turning from humans to zombies (reanimation) will occur within minutes of their death Zombies can be killed by brain trauma and severing the spinal cord

  46. Questions We Will Be Exploring: How might have the idea of zombies (or any unexplainable phenomena) have been created? How are diseases spread and how can the infection rate become pandemic and thus lead to a zombie apocalypse? How has public health advancements led to a better society and the upsetting of the natural order? How are zombie body systems functioning? What would be vital body systems in a zombie? How might the deterioration of other body systems limit the zombies over time? Why are zombies eating flesh and brains? How would immune system battle the initial infection? How would society respond to an emergency on a large scale when confronting a zombie apocalypse? How would individuals respond to an emergency such as a zombie apocalypse? What survival skills would be necessary in the breakdown of society as we know it? How would people respond to both encountering zombies, killing a “zombie” love one, general terror, and the breakdown of social norms? How might remaining society set itself up politically when governments fold?

  47. Primary Objective: By the end of the semester, a higher percentage of students in this class will survive a zombie apocalypse when compared with the general population.