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 Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?

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Xenopologist
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:50 pm

All right, I get your point. I just don't believe that anything more than a rabies-like virus is evolutionarily plausible.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:42 pm

Why couldn't it just be like super rabies, with a very high infection rate and it could cause blisters and peeling skin to make it more zombification like. Plus a virus that actively made you spread it and pumped adrenaline to your brain is evolutionary feasable.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:43 pm

Xenopologist wrote:
All right, I get your point. I just don't believe that anything more than a rabies-like virus is evolutionarily plausible.

It's not much different. Only difference is that you keep on nom nom nommin' (eating) after the first bite with the zombie virus.

And yes, I know that rabies doesn't make you actually eat the things you bite.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:49 pm

InvaderZim wrote:
Xenopologist wrote:
All right, I get your point. I just don't believe that anything more than a rabies-like virus is evolutionarily plausible.

It's not much different. Only difference is that you keep on nom nom nommin' (eating) after the first bite with the zombie virus.

And yes, I know that rabies doesn't make you actually eat the things you bite.
Combine this with peeling skin and blisters and you have a plausible zombie virus!
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:30 am

US_of_Alaska wrote:
Diseases can easily be handled by a simple mechanic that i have suggested somewhere before...

Basically, there would be viral/bacterial/etc infections that are Arbitrary Mechanics (more arbitrary mechanics, you say?). They'd get a name, a transmission form, all the things that a disease has. Actually, i think that now seems like as good a time as ever to make a list of what properties make up a disease.

So, um, i have these suggestions:
Transmission: Airborne, Waterborne, Body Fluids, Direct Contact
Effects: Death, Slow Death, Gastric, Cardio, Neurological, Hunger, Tiring, Paralysis, Insanity,
Redstar wrote:

Also, the "Pathogen type" is relevant, I think. Bacteria might spread more readily, or by different methods, than viruses...
It seems like the most relevant factors for the game to know, then, are:
1: Pathogen Type (Virus/Bacterium/Fungus/Other stuff that can come up later) - determines spread and treatment
2: Transmission Method (such as USofA's ideas above) - determines base spread speed
3: Symptoms (as above) - determines gameplay effects.

To build off both of your ideas, there are a huge amount of different symptoms and transmission methods we could play with here. Some might up the rating a bit, though... venereal disease, for example, would slow a species' rate of reproduction considerably.
However, we've also got lots of other types of Pathogen, including parasites. There's also stuff we could do with "poisonous" things and other toxins...
I don't know how hard it would be to have different characteristics of the species determine which diseases popped up (for example, an herbivore would be effected by an ailment spread by a pathogen that they consumed with their vegetables: a carnivore would more likely be affected by a disease that spread through "bodily fluids" that they might be exposed to when consuming raw flesh. Or, a species that is being cannibals could be brought down by an autoimmune disease when they begin to digest their own type of DNA...)
Some diseases might not be as traditionally contatious as others... some of them could be genetic, if the conditions favor it. Or, you could create a superbug with aggressive medical research: an arms race between species and an evolving bacteria/virus.
All of these are just things to think about that happen in the real world when we open up this can of worms. There are a huge amount of types of diseases, and symptoms wouldn't neccessarily correspond between types that we have and types that an alien species would have.
However... I doubt the game needs to know all that. We could simply have an algorythm of types of symptoms that make sense when applied to certain aspects of a species. So, if your species is recognized as primarily herbivorous, then certain symptoms that wouldn't make sense for a carnivore would be available, or if your civilization had advanced medical research/treatment technology, we could simply increase the rate at which diseases "evolved" or popped up in a form that you hadn't already "solved."
We could also put in a countermeasure to make sure that species who were carnivorous wouldn't suffer from diseases which would be ridiculous in the situation, such as widespread poisoning by a toxic plant.
Also on the table could be different types of diseases for different stages, and different rates of infection for different population densities.

Also, I wanted to clear up something from earlier when people were still discussing this via zombies.
Total Nervous System failure isn't a realistic way to create zombies. You have two sections of your nervous system, the Sympathetic and the Central. (SNS & CNS) If both fail, you die. If your SNS fails, basic function such as breathing and heartbeat fails, and you die. If your CNS is dead, you do not die (if you are on life support - if you aren't, you die, but not immediately) but you will not be able to walk around moaning "Brains." This is because the CNS is in charge of such functions as walking, chewing, and moaning.
However, the insanity option works for me. And aliens wouldn't necessarily get sick off of eating raw meat (unless it carried a disease) since the only reason we do is that we've cooked meat for so long that we've adapted to it.

Looong first post. Zombies = not evolutionarily plausible, IMHO. However, since this opened up all the symptoms stuff, I can't complain.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:20 am

Mysterious_Calligrapher wrote:
US_of_Alaska wrote:
Diseases can easily be handled by a simple mechanic that i have suggested somewhere before...

Basically, there would be viral/bacterial/etc infections that are Arbitrary Mechanics (more arbitrary mechanics, you say?). They'd get a name, a transmission form, all the things that a disease has. Actually, i think that now seems like as good a time as ever to make a list of what properties make up a disease.

So, um, i have these suggestions:
Transmission: Airborne, Waterborne, Body Fluids, Direct Contact
Effects: Death, Slow Death, Gastric, Cardio, Neurological, Hunger, Tiring, Paralysis, Insanity,
Redstar wrote:

Also, the "Pathogen type" is relevant, I think. Bacteria might spread more readily, or by different methods, than viruses...
It seems like the most relevant factors for the game to know, then, are:
1: Pathogen Type (Virus/Bacterium/Fungus/Other stuff that can come up later) - determines spread and treatment
2: Transmission Method (such as USofA's ideas above) - determines base spread speed
3: Symptoms (as above) - determines gameplay effects.

To build off both of your ideas, there are a huge amount of different symptoms and transmission methods we could play with here. Some might up the rating a bit, though... venereal disease, for example, would slow a species' rate of reproduction considerably.
However, we've also got lots of other types of Pathogen, including parasites. There's also stuff we could do with "poisonous" things and other toxins...
I don't know how hard it would be to have different characteristics of the species determine which diseases popped up (for example, an herbivore would be effected by an ailment spread by a pathogen that they consumed with their vegetables: a carnivore would more likely be affected by a disease that spread through "bodily fluids" that they might be exposed to when consuming raw flesh. Or, a species that is being cannibals could be brought down by an autoimmune disease when they begin to digest their own type of DNA...)
Some diseases might not be as traditionally contatious as others... some of them could be genetic, if the conditions favor it. Or, you could create a superbug with aggressive medical research: an arms race between species and an evolving bacteria/virus.
All of these are just things to think about that happen in the real world when we open up this can of worms. There are a huge amount of types of diseases, and symptoms wouldn't neccessarily correspond between types that we have and types that an alien species would have.
However... I doubt the game needs to know all that. We could simply have an algorythm of types of symptoms that make sense when applied to certain aspects of a species. So, if your species is recognized as primarily herbivorous, then certain symptoms that wouldn't make sense for a carnivore would be available, or if your civilization had advanced medical research/treatment technology, we could simply increase the rate at which diseases "evolved" or popped up in a form that you hadn't already "solved."
We could also put in a countermeasure to make sure that species who were carnivorous wouldn't suffer from diseases which would be ridiculous in the situation, such as widespread poisoning by a toxic plant.
Also on the table could be different types of diseases for different stages, and different rates of infection for different population densities.

Also, I wanted to clear up something from earlier when people were still discussing this via zombies.
Total Nervous System failure isn't a realistic way to create zombies. You have two sections of your nervous system, the Sympathetic and the Central. (SNS & CNS) If both fail, you die. If your SNS fails, basic function such as breathing and heartbeat fails, and you die. If your CNS is dead, you do not die (if you are on life support - if you aren't, you die, but not immediately) but you will not be able to walk around moaning "Brains." This is because the CNS is in charge of such functions as walking, chewing, and moaning.
However, the insanity option works for me. And aliens wouldn't necessarily get sick off of eating raw meat (unless it carried a disease) since the only reason we do is that we've cooked meat for so long that we've adapted to it.

Looong first post. Zombies = not evolutionarily plausible, IMHO. However, since this opened up all the symptoms stuff, I can't complain.

Well, when I was talking about nervous faliure, I really just meant going totally numb. That's probably the same thing, though. o.0

Yeah, I'm not the brightest fellow...

Now, you were talking about how a carnivore should not be able to catch a herbivore-centric disease (or vice-versa). It would be possible for the carnivore to catch that disease- all it has to do is eat an infected herbivore.
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The Uteen
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Sat Nov 27, 2010 6:40 am

The nervous system includes the brain, going numb means that you can't touch, and so can't feel pain, either, unless it's something like pins and needles, where you feel a tingling sensation, but that is just part of the nervous system, your brain is the main thing in it.

I hope that cleared up (some of) the confusion.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:28 am

Perhaps it does not have to be a natural virus. Genetic editing can bridge the gap between Rabies and the T Virus.

Said Virus could, perhaps change the way the brain deals with dopamine, causing it to be created when you bite on someone.

This encourages the biting to occur.

These Articles here and Here could help.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:02 pm

Even the dead returning is not utterly implausible.

In Jamaica, Voodoo witchdoctors give people drugs to make them seem dead, but then dig them out of the ground, giving them drugs to make them seem somewhat braindead, so they act like a zombie.

Also, what if an advanced species made a sort of robot that used the remains of the dead body in order to make it more terrifying?
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:18 pm

DragonEye4 wrote:
Even the dead returning is not utterly implausible.

In Jamaica, Voodoo witchdoctors give people drugs to make them seem dead, but then dig them out of the ground, giving them drugs to make them seem somewhat braindead, so they act like a zombie.

Also, what if an advanced species made a sort of robot that used the remains of the dead body in order to make it more terrifying?
I believe you're talking about the Haitian living dead.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:25 pm

~sciocont wrote:
DragonEye4 wrote:
Even the dead returning is not utterly implausible.

In Jamaica, Voodoo witchdoctors give people drugs to make them seem dead, but then dig them out of the ground, giving them drugs to make them seem somewhat braindead, so they act like a zombie.

Also, what if an advanced species made a sort of robot that used the remains of the dead body in order to make it more terrifying?
I believe you're talking about the Haitian living dead.
Overview
Ah, it was Haiti, not Jamaica. Thank you.

But, anyways, we must remember that there could be other ways to make a "zombie" than just a disease.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:46 am

DragonEye4 wrote:
Also, what if an advanced species made a sort of robot that used the remains of the dead body in order to make it more terrifying?

That sort of thing would make most sense to a war robot, the body parts being trophies of its victories.

So warrior-bots could be zombies? Interesting...

Speaking of which, if you replaced the brain of a dead person with a Computer, it would be a sort of zombie.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:59 am

The Uteen wrote:
Speaking of which, if you replaced the brain of a dead person with a Computer, it would be a sort of zombie.
Should be. In Mass Effect there are a robotic species that put human bodies on a spike, then they would have machinery implemented in the corpse so that they will be programed to kill there ennemies. Plus they were called "zombies".
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:55 am

Remember what we said, it has to spread. I don't think the virus would last long if it had zombie(eeeeee!) characteristics. If it got passed on by biting and the zombie had a craving for meat, then the carnivores would bite the herbivores the herbivores would bite the carnivores, does a chunk of your own leg sound nice Mr Zombie? The whole planet would eat itself to death!

Also A zombie could be possesed by something (EG someone who has "ascended")


Last edited by Agrestrife on Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:00 pm

Agrestrife wrote:
Remember what we said, it has to spread. I don't think the virus would last long if it had zombie(eeeeee!) characteristics. If it got passed on by byting and the zombie had a craving for meat, then the carnivores would byte the herbivores the herbivores would byte the carnivores, does a chunk of your own leg sound nice Mr Zombie? The whole planet would eat itself to death!
That's what zombies are about (in films and video games), but zombies are just organisms that are controlled by some virus or parasite. And they don't necessaraly spread easily.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:02 pm

Take a look at Scio's sig. Is this simple or science?
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:20 pm

MassimoV wrote:
Take a look at Scio's sig. Is this simple or science?
It is possible science. Not impossible, just highly improbable.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:42 am

Don't get me started on the medical inaccuracies that we have on the discussion of zombies here

You can't just turn off the whole brain and have the person act like a zombie. If you turn off the brain, the person dies (as a matter of fact medically the concept of death is considered the abscense of cerebral activity) If you turn off the cortex, the person turns into a vegetable. If you turn off the brain stem, vital functions of the organism (respiration for instance) are turned off. If you turn off the spine, tetraplegia, so on.

A "zombie" disease would have to be quite more selective on what portions of the brain it'd impair.

A rabies-like virus that had tropism to the frontal lobe, or (being more specific) inhibitory and social-conduct areas, with a bonus of messing up the hypocampus to trigger uncontrollable hunger for meat would render a person to more-or-less zombie like state. Specifying the hunger for human flesh would be a bit more complicated.
The biggest problem is how would such a virus have a tropism for those regions. They'd have to have specific biochemical propeties for it to damage only such cells.
And as a final bucket of cold water, the way the rabies virus makes its way to the brain is via axonal transport, which can take up to weeks if the innoculation was far from the brain. So no dramatic 30-second zombification like in movies.


Typos by typo gnomes inc. I'm too sleepy.

EDIT: Gah, another necro'd. I need to watch the last post dates more.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:56 am

Djohaal wrote:
EDIT: Gah, another necro'd. I need to watch the last post dates more.

It's okay to necro old threads on this forum. If you have something to say, simply do it.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:50 pm

Djohaal wrote:
Don't get me started on the medical inaccuracies that we have on the discussion of zombies here

You can't just turn off the whole brain and have the person act like a zombie. If you turn off the brain, the person dies (as a matter of fact medically the concept of death is considered the abscense of cerebral activity) If you turn off the cortex, the person turns into a vegetable. If you turn off the brain stem, vital functions of the organism (respiration for instance) are turned off. If you turn off the spine, tetraplegia, so on.

A "zombie" disease would have to be quite more selective on what portions of the brain it'd impair.

A rabies-like virus that had tropism to the frontal lobe, or (being more specific) inhibitory and social-conduct areas, with a bonus of messing up the hypocampus to trigger uncontrollable hunger for meat would render a person to more-or-less zombie like state. Specifying the hunger for human flesh would be a bit more complicated.
The biggest problem is how would such a virus have a tropism for those regions. They'd have to have specific biochemical propeties for it to damage only such cells.
And as a final bucket of cold water, the way the rabies virus makes its way to the brain is via axonal transport, which can take up to weeks if the innoculation was far from the brain. So no dramatic 30-second zombification like in movies.


Typos by typo gnomes inc. I'm too sleepy.

EDIT: Gah, another necro'd. I need to watch the last post dates more.

Never said it'd disable the whole brain. Is there a certain part of the brain that disables your ability to register pain?
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:23 pm

InvaderZim wrote:
Djohaal wrote:
Don't get me started on the medical inaccuracies that we have on the discussion of zombies here

You can't just turn off the whole brain and have the person act like a zombie. If you turn off the brain, the person dies (as a matter of fact medically the concept of death is considered the abscense of cerebral activity) If you turn off the cortex, the person turns into a vegetable. If you turn off the brain stem, vital functions of the organism (respiration for instance) are turned off. If you turn off the spine, tetraplegia, so on.

A "zombie" disease would have to be quite more selective on what portions of the brain it'd impair.

A rabies-like virus that had tropism to the frontal lobe, or (being more specific) inhibitory and social-conduct areas, with a bonus of messing up the hypocampus to trigger uncontrollable hunger for meat would render a person to more-or-less zombie like state. Specifying the hunger for human flesh would be a bit more complicated.
The biggest problem is how would such a virus have a tropism for those regions. They'd have to have specific biochemical propeties for it to damage only such cells.
And as a final bucket of cold water, the way the rabies virus makes its way to the brain is via axonal transport, which can take up to weeks if the innoculation was far from the brain. So no dramatic 30-second zombification like in movies.


Typos by typo gnomes inc. I'm too sleepy.

EDIT: Gah, another necro'd. I need to watch the last post dates more.

Never said it'd disable the whole brain. Is there a certain part of the brain that disables your ability to register pain?

Periaquedutal gray matter is related to it if I'm not wrong. Also whole pathways in the spine cord. Some people are congeinally unable to feel pain actually.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:02 pm

Djohaal wrote:
InvaderZim wrote:
Djohaal wrote:
Don't get me started on the medical inaccuracies that we have on the discussion of zombies here

You can't just turn off the whole brain and have the person act like a zombie. If you turn off the brain, the person dies (as a matter of fact medically the concept of death is considered the abscense of cerebral activity) If you turn off the cortex, the person turns into a vegetable. If you turn off the brain stem, vital functions of the organism (respiration for instance) are turned off. If you turn off the spine, tetraplegia, so on.

A "zombie" disease would have to be quite more selective on what portions of the brain it'd impair.

A rabies-like virus that had tropism to the frontal lobe, or (being more specific) inhibitory and social-conduct areas, with a bonus of messing up the hypocampus to trigger uncontrollable hunger for meat would render a person to more-or-less zombie like state. Specifying the hunger for human flesh would be a bit more complicated.
The biggest problem is how would such a virus have a tropism for those regions. They'd have to have specific biochemical propeties for it to damage only such cells.
And as a final bucket of cold water, the way the rabies virus makes its way to the brain is via axonal transport, which can take up to weeks if the innoculation was far from the brain. So no dramatic 30-second zombification like in movies.


Typos by typo gnomes inc. I'm too sleepy.

EDIT: Gah, another necro'd. I need to watch the last post dates more.

Never said it'd disable the whole brain. Is there a certain part of the brain that disables your ability to register pain?

Periaquedutal gray matter is related to it if I'm not wrong. Also whole pathways in the spine cord. Some people are congeinally unable to feel pain actually.

I've heard of that. Now, would what I had in mind be possible- numbing the entire body of the infected individual?
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:24 pm

Albalrogue wrote:
Agrestrife wrote:
Remember what we said, it has to spread. I don't think the virus would last long if it had zombie(eeeeee!) characteristics. If it got passed on by byting and the zombie had a craving for meat, then the carnivores would byte the herbivores the herbivores would byte the carnivores, does a chunk of your own leg sound nice Mr Zombie? The whole planet would eat itself to death!
That's what zombies are about (in films and video games), but zombies are just organisms that are controlled by some virus or parasite. And they don't necessaraly spread easily.
Zombies are the dead risen back to life. If we want people controlled by a virus or parasite, then it is a different thing entirely.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:43 am

DragonEye4 wrote:
Albalrogue wrote:
Agrestrife wrote:
Remember what we said, it has to spread. I don't think the virus would last long if it had zombie(eeeeee!) characteristics. If it got passed on by byting and the zombie had a craving for meat, then the carnivores would byte the herbivores the herbivores would byte the carnivores, does a chunk of your own leg sound nice Mr Zombie? The whole planet would eat itself to death!
That's what zombies are about (in films and video games), but zombies are just organisms that are controlled by some virus or parasite. And they don't necessaraly spread easily.
Zombies are the dead risen back to life. If we want people controlled by a virus or parasite, then it is a different thing entirely.

Not necessarily. Look at Left 4 Dead. It's a zombie game, but the dead are actually dead.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:53 pm

The thing is, if you are dead you are dead. That's the point. Zombies are by all means alive.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies- Specifics, Likelihood, and Do We Even Want 'Em?   Today at 10:01 am

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