Friday, April 29, 2011

Zombie Hunting Permit!


Renminder: Please make sure that your zombie hunting permit is up-to-date.

Terror in the School Years: Late Bloomer

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An award-nominated short film out of Miskatonic University's Arts and Modern Multimedia Department.

Gear Pr0n: AA12 Automatic Shotgun

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Pump-action shotguns are great in most situations. On human opponents, that clickety-clack working of the action gives you a huge psychological edge through sheer intimidation. They are easy to maintain and super reliable -- which makes them preferred weapons against slow moving zombies. And they are very versatile because they consume a variety of ammunition types.

But sometimes you need all the knockdown firepower of the shotgun with the rapid fire and easy reloading associated with an assault weapon. For those situations, you need the AA12 Automatic shotgun.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Zombie Peeps Wish you a "Hoppy Easter!"

This is what happens if you keep Peeps past their expiration date.

Miskatonic Collection: Statue 7

Generally regarded as the most magnificent of Cthulhu effigies, this idol was unearthed from the ashen ruins of Pompeii. The fine detail of the head is remiscent of the cuttlefish, while the fine, bat-like wings a folded into a lifelike pose on the back.

Need A Little Boost?





Here are the latest in energy boosting aids from a subsidiary of the fine folks at Umbrella Corporation.


I don't condone the use of performance enhancing drugs even in my line of work. History shows, again and again, how messing around with forces beyond human control only brings about the downfall of great men. So kids, don't mess with drugs or magic potions. Eat your veggies, drink plenty of water, and stay away from processed sugars.



Beast Hunter: Episode 1 Part 1


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Pat Spain, a descendant of the great Charles Fort -- and also a trained biologist -- goes in search of mysterious monsters.


In this episode he searches for the man-ape of Sumatra, the Orang-Pendak!

Musical Interlude -- Thriller!


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The big bad voodoo daddy of horror themed music videos!

Gear Pr0n: Crye Precision SHOT Show 2011


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We finish our review of the new 2011 Crye Precision offerings in this second part of the video.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Gear Pr0n: The Rambo Knife

Back in the 1980's, you weren't badass if you didn't have a "Rambo" Knife.

The movie First Blood introduced us to John Rambo, a Special Forces vet suffering from extreme Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and some form of dissociative disorder. Pushed too far, the rugged individualist Rambo struck back with his survivalist skills. And he used his trusty Bowie knife to help him out.

The first two movies set the pattern for the pop-culture phenomena of the Rambo Knife. He used large Bowie knives with sawbacks and hollow handles. An assortment of survival goodies were stored in the hollow, including a compass under the cap.

The third movie broke the pattern by using a knife without the survival kit handle. But the knife was still over-sized and created as an artfully-shaped Bowie.

The recent sequel went further. The knife was the biggest yet, but the shape had changed completely into a Jungle machete or parang type blade. Also, while the other knives had been handcrafted by artisan bladesmiths, the fourth knife was intentionally left more crude and primitive to reflect the storyline of the movie. (The knife itself, of course was still handmade by a bladesmith.)

Above are replicas of these iconic knives. And while the Rambo knife has had critics over the years, any of them will serve you well in the inevitable zombiggeddon. Just make sure you're buying a quality survival knife and not a $15 Taiwanese import.

Zombie Hunter Bracelet: Show Your Pride!

Tell the world you're ready with these popular stretchy-rubber bracelets from Milspec Monkey.

Zombies Taking Over!


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National Geographic talks to the experts about the inevitable zombie apocalypse!

Gear Pr0n: Crye Precision at SHOT Show 2011


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Crye Precision, a manufacturer on the cutting edge of military gear, presents an overview of their latest offerings at the SHOT Show 2011. (Part one of two.)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pop Quiz, Hot Shot! Zombie Survival Kit Week Practicum



OK, folks. Just how prepared are you? We've been talking all week about thinking through your survival kit needs. Did you really think you'd make it through the week without a test on whether or not you've been listening closely?


So, what object is at hand on your left? How do you intend to use it? Can it get you to your primary stash? If so, what better preparations are available to you in your main survival kit?


Please comment.

Monsterquest: Giant Arachnids Part 4


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The senses shattering conclusion to this expose of Giant Spiders lurking in our rain forests!

Zombie Survival Kit Week: The Basics



Glock and Shotgun for basic defense. Machete for conserving ammo. Knife for utility needs. Crowbar and Tomahawk for melee weapons and the all-important task of breaking into spaces to scavange for necessities. Plus, a handy copy of the Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. This person is off to a fantastic start.

First Aid: Self Tourniquet


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There's a lot of nay saying about first aid in the zombie preparation world. I don't know why. Sure, if one of those rotting shamblers bites you, you're done for. Do us all a favor and put the bullet in your own head.


But all kinds of things can go wrong in the zombie apocalypse. And chances are good there will be shortage of trained doctors. (I suspect many of them will be compromised in the opening stages as they are called to treat the infected.) So you need a basic knowledge of first aid.


Here we look at using the tourniquet. It's useful for many combat-type injuries. While I advocate cooperation among survivors for the long term benefit of all, I am not naive. Others will not take the long view, and chances are good you will encounter hostile human survivors.


Keep in mind the tourniquet is not a long term solution. It is intended to treat you immediately until someone can get you safe for better treatment.

Zombietools.net




I've mentioned before that while it's nice to have a bag full of cheap, efficient, sharp machetes, axes, and large knives, having a sturdy, craftsmen-made blade is a worthwhile investment when you've reached a certain level of preparedness.




Craftsmen lavish care and attention on their work, and turn out something special. These are knives and swords that won't let you down in a pinch. Having that level of confidence in your knife can help you sleep at night while the demons released from the gaping maw of hell wail in the darkness surrounding your fortified hide site.




There are a number of sword and knife smiths I've found that specialize in historical blades and forging methods. These are proven designs and that's why I like them. But maybe you're looking for something a little more flashy, yet still practical and combat-ready. Then maybe Zombietools.net is for you.




These guys seem to "get it." You're sure to find a blade that suits your badass, zombie-hunting personality from them. And while they aren't cheap, their prices are right in the sweetspot for craftsmen's work. I easily paid in this range a few years ago for a Last Legend Katana. So go on... Check them out.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cold Steel Gladius


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Everyone loves the machete because it's cheap, sword length, handy, and choppy-choppy.


And everyone loves swords because they tend to add a bit more control in anti-personnel situation.


So here's a machete that also a sword! It's the Cold Steel Gladius. The Gladius was the standard sword of the Roman Legions. It was originally used by some of their opponents, but the Romans found the shape incredibly useful for their way of way.


The Roman Legions were trained to fight in formation from behind shields. The sword would chops and stab, chop and stab, chop and stab, creating an action along the front of the formation like an enormous chainsaw ripping into the enemies. The short length of the sword encouraged the Legionnaires to close with the targets, and also brought them within the business end of their enemies' spears.


Most of us won't fight with shields, and while we don't really want to get too close to our zombie foes, we do appreciate the handiness of the shorter length. It's a good size for a one handed sword. And Cold Steel makes it cheap! AND they offer a polypropylene training version, so you can actually learn to handle the sword properly without risking your blade.

Zombie Survival Kit Week: Break Glass 3

While I am a fan of this kit, it does have some drawbacks. The shotgun does not have adequate ammunition available, the paddle looks a little too flimsy (import a cricket bat instead), the explosives are potentially more dangerous to the user than the zombies, and keeping Max Brooks excellent book behind glass until the moment of truth is shortsighted. Better to have it available and read well in advance of needing it.

Monsterquest: Giant Arachnids Part 3


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You know, usually I'll take a Red Devil vacuum and suck up spiders around my house and then bring them outside. Do you think the giant spiders will consider this behavior helpful and benevolent and leave me alone? Or do you think it will be viewed as a terrible torture for which I must be punished?


Maybe I should stock up on ammo belts for the SAW (those suckers are fast!) and invest in some Raid-filled gas grenades for the M32 launcher...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Zombies & Politics 2

I'm pretty apolitical most of the time, but something about this just spoke true to me.

Zombie Jerky?

Okay, here's the thing.

I found this at one of my local outfitter's place and bought a package.

Bullet #2 says it's "beef jerky" but the product name is "zombie jerky." So I'm a little nervous.

Am I getting jerky made out of zombies, or maybe zombie cows? Sure, the package promises that its "for eating" and "delicious" but I caught a Charlton Heston marathon one Sunday and after Omega Man they showed Soylent Green, so now I'm leery.

I sent the package for testing to a buddy with a laboratory. I'm hoping it comes back okay to eat.

But in the meantime, I think I'll just stick with plain beef jerky I get at the local supermarket.

Zombie Squad Commercial


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Maybe I need to do something like this to advertise my services? Work's been a little slow lately.

Zombie Survival Kit Week: Break Glass 2



The nice thing about the "Break Glass" kits is that they come in some many varieties. Last time we saw a compact pistol and ammo arrangement. Here we see a more substantial, if snubby, shotgun. I hope this person has more ammo on hand. But maybe this is just intended to help them get to their larger cache.

Zombie Survival Kit Week: Gucci Gear



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This guy seems to be sponsored by Oakley. Now, Oakley makes some good stuff, including some awesome boots I should review some day, and the assault gloves featured in this video (approved by both Batman and Delta Force). And I should note, you get what you pay for in terms of quality. But Oakley stuff is expensive, and most of it isn't designed for combat. His vest and his leg pouch are for adventure seekers. They aren't designed or constructed for hauling military gear or taking the abuse that's associated with combat.



His leg pouch can carry magazines, but they're just tossed into the top pouch. He's going to be fumbling around looking for one when his back is against the wall and zombies are closing in. A dedicated pistol mag pouch will hold the magazines sure and true and he'll be able to lay his hands on one quickly and reliably.



And it looks like he's soaked all his money into the Oakley gear and cheated himself on the giant bowie knife. His SOG tomahawk is a good choice, but that bowie looks like a flea market special. Maybe if he'd spent less money on his video collection, he could've purchased a San Mai steel Kukri from Cold Steel. That's a worthwhile investment.

Monsterquest: Giant Arachnids Part 2


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There is something alien about spiders already: the eight legs, multiple eyes, venomous bite...


But the idea of enlarging them to the size of dogs -- or even bigger -- makes them even more frightening. Now you can see their chittering mandibles, the chitonous shell studded with coarse hair... You'll have to excuse me. I need to go make sure my .50 Beowulf rifle is cleaned and lubricated.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Miskatonic Collection: Statue 6


Another idol, this one found in an Assyrian site in 1935, of the great god Cthulhu. This squat depiction clearly has him in a dreaming pose.

Anti-Gear Pr0n: This Man Is NOT Prepared!

Face obscured to protect the innocent. While being able to turn common items into defnesive articles during zombiggeddon is a laudable skill, there is no doubt in my mind that this poor soul -- conditioned by the Air Force Way of War -- is woefully underprepared to face the undead hordes.

Monsterquest: Giant Arachnids Part 1



Those trees are shrouded in spider silk... There are reports out of Africa indicating that giant spiders are growing in number.

These creepy crawlers have lurked in the jungles and stalked the savannahs for centuries, little changed since prehistoric times. They are the size of large dogs, and pack enough venom to knock out a hippopotamus.


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Zombie Survival Kit Week: Commercial Kit




A zombie survival kit that includes medical supplies? That's good. It also has nutritional bars and water purification tablets.




But this is really more of a generic disaster kit than a true zombie survival kit. There's nothing wrong with that. But what separates the Zombie Apocalypse from other natural disasters is the fact that you will be required to defend yourself. You need weapons. It's not an option. With weapons, arguably, you can buy time to scrounge for the other necessities.




No kit is perfect, so understand the weaknesses and supplement.

Zombie Survival Kit Week: Video Review 1


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Hmmm... This man has obviously placed a lot of thought into his zombie survival kit. Unfortunately, his kit has a high degree of Fail associated with it.


He does okay in his choice of firearms (the ever popular M4 and Glock) and knives (a Kukri and a RAT). He's pretty smart to include binoculars. And, of course, he has water.


But he's critically short of vital supplies such as ammo and water. Now, you could argue that he's only showing a representative selection, but it doesn't appear he has provision for carrying much more ammo and water.


What about food? Why does he waste space with a Rubik's Cube? And an iPod??? Seriously? Oh, yeah, I'll be sure to plug into earbuds and waste one of my most important senses for situational awareness.


Still, he has some nice equipment, and we can learn a lot from looking at shortcomings.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Zombie Survival Kit Week: Break Glass 1


Based on the old fire emergency kits that hung in institutional corridors, these kits are perfect for schools, churchs, hospitals, even you own den at home.

How to make a Zombie


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More on the Haitian variety of zombies. If these are a serious problem in your neighborhood, the best course of action is to deal with the Voodoo practitioner who is the source of the problem. Of course, I only recommend notifying the law enforcement authorities to the problem.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gear Pr0n: A Fully Kitted Hunter

Most of my Gear Pr0n features have highlighted equipment rigs -- the basic load carrying equipment. But I've had a few questions about what a fully kitted-out zombie hunter looks like.
This is a pretty good example. Weapons include an M4 and a pistol, in this case a Beretta M9. The main load carrier is an Eagle CIRAS plate carrier with plenty of pouches for ammo and gizmos.
He wears a black combat suit; a Propper Tactical Response Uniform by the looks of it. He's personalized it with some morale patches and identity patches so his teammates know him. He wears a helmet with a hard point for NVGs and goggles strapped on. He also has knee pads which are helpful when you go banging around in the dark. He wears Mechanix gloves, which are excellent for shooting
Our hunter also carries water in a CamelBak carrier and uses a radio to communicate with his teammates. For some reason he has on a rappelling harness. I don't usually bother with this as it can restrict my running and is needless weight, but maybe his mission requires it. He also has flexi-cuffs. These are unnecessary when slaying bodies because the walking dead don't need handcuffs. But... Sometimes you run into real-live humans -- "quislings" we call them -- who misguidedly think they can help the zombies. Those folks you need to secure so they won't interfere with you.
Lastly, our hunter friend has a large pouch on his left leg. This may be a dump pouch for spare mags. If so, it is an old style, but one that offers plenty of room. From the way it sags, it appears to be a gas mask carrier. Gas masks are an item of controversy among professional zombie hunters. Many believe they can help protect against infection. However, there has never been a case -- regardless of the origin of the infestation -- in which a human was proven to be infected by airborne contagion. All cases appear to be by body fluid via an open wound. Our hunter is probably well protected already in his clothing against this possibility -- especially with his stylish skull-logo balaclava (I need to get one of these).

Miskatonic Collection: Statue 5

Another bronze idol of Cthulhu, date and provenance unknown. Interesting in its depiction of the deity in that while he is usually described as dreaming, this sculpt gives off the impression that Cthulhu has just awoken and is about to uncoil from his slumbers.

Ten Ways: Zombies


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Musical Interlude: Hungry Like the Wolf twofer


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Ash displays his raw animal magnetism while crooning his favorite Duran Duran song.


Hail to the king, baby!


Here's the original by Duran Duran.



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It's all about werewolves, right?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

For Your Kit

I keep about a dozen of these stickers in the admin pouch on my chest rig at all times. They're handy to slap onto fences, gates, doors, etc. in order to warn folks off while I'm working. Do you think it helps? Meh, sometimes, but not consistently. In fact, in a couple of cases, it seems to have attracted attention from nosey, know-it-all kids. But I figure my liability will be covered if they get themselves eaten.

US Army Shotgun Training Video

Basic use of the shotgun from the US Army.


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Gear Pr0n: The OD War Belt

War Belts are increasingly popular because they efficiently put all the bare essentials close at hand. I like this set-up. Here we see a Safariland kydex drop holster. It has an accommodation for a tactical light mounted to the pistol and the leg platform drops the pistol slightly off the hip for an improved draw without putting all the weight on the leg. Low-slung holsters look cool, but can fatigue your leg much more quickly. There's a small pouch mounted to the platform, I'm guessing for the light if it is removed. Behind the holster, we see three more utility pouches. One is obviously the hunter's blow-out kit because it's marked with a red cross. The other pouches hold other accessories, probably a flashlight for the vertical one.
On the other side, the hunter has placed two spare carbine mag pouches with open tops and a Maxpedition Rolly-Poly as a dump bag. Below the carbine mag pouches, he has taken the unorthodox choice of a pistol pouch drop-leg extension. I don't like this, but it's certainly a valid choice. Note the addition of a black pouch, which I would bet carries his multi-tool. He also has a so-called "morale patch" that says "Regular Guy."
Here's a view of it all at once. War belts typically come in two pieces, an inner belt -- here a nylon duty belt with a quick release buckle -- and an outer belt, or sheath really. The outer belt typically has two or three rows of MOLLE webbing as attachment points. The whole thing fits snuggly around the waist.

When the Dead Walk Part 2: Haitian Zombies

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Good Advice Never Goes Out of Style


Politics & Zombies


When the Dead Walk! The Haitian Zombie Phenomenon

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Dragons?


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You know what really sucks?


Dragons.


Dragons are the main event for monster hunting professionals. They're the real deal. You don't start out with dragons, you have to build up to them. Dragons are smart, powerful, and deadly. It's hard to sneak up on them and it's even harder to kill them. Stuff just tends to bounce off their scaly hides.


Of course, slaying a dragon means you've hit the major leagues of monster killing. Over the years they've been hunted nearly to extinction, despite the immense danger involved. And when I say "nearly" I mean it's possible there are none left already. No one on the job has heard even a rumor of a dragon in over a decade. The last confirmed killing was in 1883 in Indonesia. Let's just say it went poorly because the hunter wasn't really up to the task and got "lucky."



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These are excerpts from a National Geographic special recreating the lives of different dragon species.


We can't be certain they're gone because dragon metabolisms haven't been studied closely. It's believed they can live for centuries and can hibernate for decades at a time. Also, we can't be certain that some percentage of the lake monster and sea serpent sightings aren't, in fact, dragons.

Gear Pr0n: Night Vision Week


Miskatonic Collection: Statue 4

A bronze piece identified as unearthed in during the 1930's in Iraq in a layer that suggested interment during the Babylonian period. It is another Cthulhu icon emphasizing his vast bulk. It is eerily reminiscent of prehistoric "Venus" totems. A fact made particularly creepy because those are generally interpreted as fertility idols.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gear Pr0n: Night Vision Week


Lost Tapes: Hellhound


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The hellhound, sometimes known as Black Shuck, has been reported numerous around the world.

Television: The Walking Dead


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Generally, I don't find fictional stories about zombies entertaining.


Nor do I understand why anyone would kick back to relax by watching something about zombies.


The zombie threat is real and it is serious. For me, it is literally serious business.


But AMC recently completed a fine series entitled, The Walking Dead about a full-scale zombiggeddon. I'd recommend it, but I didn't see much of it. I got to the opening credits and started having flashbacks involving teddy bears. I turned the boob-tube off and went to practice my speed reloads. Never turned it on again.


I probably wouldn't even mention it except for this odd juxtaposition in a photograph that appeared in my in-box.



Some genius in the United Kingdom rented advertising space for The Walking Dead on a billboard adjacent to a funeral home. Brilliant advertising... But for whom?


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gear Pr0n: NVG Week Monocular

One of the advantages of the monocular arrangement is that using it won't entirely destroy your own "night vision" while maintaining some semblance of binocular vision and depth perception. Your eyes adjust to lower levels of light by expanding your irises, thus allowing more light to enter your eye. It takes time for your eyes to adjust to the dark because the iris expands relatively slowly. However, if you are exposed suddenly to bright light, the iris contracts very quickly to protect your eyesight. Re-adjusting to the dark will be slow again. Using goggles exposes your eye to the light of the display. If you must take off your goggles, it will be at least 20 minutes before your eyesight adjusts to the dark. But with a monocular, only one eye is exposed to the light, meaning only it expands. Your other eye remains adjusted to the dark. While using the monocular, your brain "prefers" the clear image but continues to take information from your "dark" eye. If you have to remove the night vision, the process is reversed somewhat and you can function with the dark eye while the NVG eye readjusts to the dark. Oh, and don't worry about the skull; he wasn't anybody we knew... well.

Gear Pr0n: More on the Knight's Armament Company's "Chainsaw"-style Machine Gun


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One of my first posts included photographs of the Knight's Armament Company's concept gun, a light machine gun mounted "chainsaw"-style.


Here are some videos in which the creators explain and demonstrate the purpose of the design and the use of it.



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Miskatonic Collection: Statue 3

Another depiction of Cthulhu, this one distinctly cephlapodian not only in the head but in the amorphous depiction of the body. The wings appear to be present, but understated -- perhaps atrophied? The information accompanying this picture indicates this idol was recovered from the town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts during the 1920's. However, the age of the idol itself is uncertain.

Voodoo Variety


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Aside from briefly mentioning Dr. Herbert West's experiments and their 1940's offshoots, we haven't really covered the various origins of zombies. There are several. Being raised as a mindless slave by a voodoo practitioner is well-documented and even examined in mainstream academic literature.


Fortunately, these zombies tend not to be as hungry or as contagious as some of the other varieties. They can still be dangerous, so it's good to learn more about them and how to identify them.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Gear Pr0n: Night Vision Week

A whole week featuring the wonders of Night Vision Goggles (NVG), or Night Observation Devices (NODs), Starlight scopes, etc. Light enhancement technology is an awesome force multiplier for the zombie hunter. Generally it comes in two forms; Active: which emits infrared light and converts it back to visible light, and Passive: which enhances ambient light on a screen for viewing. Both have their strengths and weaknesses in our profession. For zombie work, either works fine. But some beasties can see infrared light and using Active NVG only advertises your presence -- but at least you'll be able to see your threat as it charges.

A Guy's Guide to Zombies


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This is pro-zombie propaganda. Don't believe it. Zombies are highly contagious and extremely dangerous. They are no longer human and, despite what some quislings would have you believe, they have no claim on human rights. They must be exterminated!


Burn and purge; purge and burn.