Monday, May 30, 2016

Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse | Public Health Matters Blog | Blogs | CDC

Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse | Public Health Matters Blog | Blogs | CDC

Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse

Posted on  by Ali S. Khan
Banner - Zombie Apocalypse
Walking Dead fans, check out our latest post:
There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.

A Brief History of Zombies
We’ve all seen at least one movie about flesh-eating zombies taking over (my personal favorite is Resident Evil), but where do zombies come from and why do they love eating brains so much? The word zombie comes from Haitian and New Orleans voodoo origins. Although its meaning has changed slightly over the years, it refers to a human corpse mysteriously reanimated to serve the undead. Through ancient voodoo and folk-lore traditions, shows like the Walking Dead were born.
A couple dressed as zombies - Danny Zucco and Sandy Olsson from the movie Grease walking in the annual Toronto Zombie Walk.
A couple dressed as zombies - Danny Zucco and Sandy Olsson from the movie Grease walking in the annual Toronto Zombie Walk.
In movies, shows, and literature, zombies are often depicted as being created by an infectious virus, which is passed on via bites and contact with bodily fluids. Harvard psychiatrist Steven Schlozman wrote a (fictional) medical paper on the zombies presented in Night of the Living Dead and refers to the condition as Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome caused by an infectious agent. The Zombie Survival Guideidentifies the cause of zombies as a virus called solanum. Other zombie origins shown in films include radiation from a destroyed NASA Venusprobe (as in Night of the Living Dead), as well as mutations of existing conditions such as prionsmad-cow diseasemeasles and rabies.
The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen. In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way. The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder “How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?”
Well, we’re here to answer that question for you, and hopefully share a few tips about preparing for real emergencies too!
Disaster or Blackout Emergency Supplies
Some of the supplies for your emergency kit
Better Safe than Sorry
So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen? First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house. This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp (or in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored). Below are a few items you should include in your kit, for a full list visit the CDC Emergency page.
  • Water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly)
  • Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
  • Tools and Supplies (utility knife, duct tape, battery powered radio, etc.)
  • Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
  • Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
  • Important documents (copies of your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate to name a few)
  • First Aid supplies (although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane)
Once you’ve made your emergency kit, you should sit down with your family and come up with an emergency plan. This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your door step. You can also implement this plan if there is a flood, earthquake, or other emergency.
Picture of Family by mailbox
Family members meeting by their mailbox. You should pick two meeting places, one close to your home and farther away
  1. Identify the types of emergencies that are possible in your area. Besides a zombie apocalypse, this may include floods, tornadoes, or earthquakes. If you are unsure contact your local Red Cross chapter for more information.
  2. Pick a meeting place for your family to regroup in case zombies invade your home…or your town evacuates because of a hurricane. Pick one place right outside your home for sudden emergencies and one place outside of your neighborhood in case you are unable to return home right away.
  3. Identify your emergency contacts. Make a list of local contacts like the police, fire department, and your local zombie response team. Also identify an out-of-state contact that you can call during an emergency to let the rest of your family know you are ok.
  4. Plan your evacuation route. When zombies are hungry they won’t stop until they get food (i.e., brains), which means you need to get out of town fast! Plan where you would go and multiple routes you would take ahead of time so that the flesh eaters don’t have a chance! This is also helpful when natural disasters strike and you have to take shelter fast.
Never Fear – CDC is Ready
Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Prepared
Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Prepared
If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas (I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work).
To learn more about what CDC does to prepare for and respond to emergencies of all kinds, visit:
To learn more about how you can prepare for and stay safe during an emergency visit:
badge with creepy face peering over top, text: "become a member of the Zombie Task Force! Order t-shirts through the CDC Foundation by clicking here."Join the CDC Zombie Task Force! The CDC Foundation, a non-profit partner of CDC is offering Zombie Task Force t-shirts (click on the picture to find out more).  Proceeds go to benefit disaster relief efforts and other important health programs. Get yours before they’re gone…
Are you prepared? Tell us…
are you prepared? video contest badgeHave you begun preparing for a zombie apocalypse? Or maybe you have been preparing for a more realistic threat like hurricanes or the next flu season? Tell us about what you are doing to prepare! Enter our video contest here:
Posted on  by Ali S. Khan

Fleeing Saddam with the Kurds - BBC News

Fleeing Saddam with the Kurds - BBC NewsTwenty-five years ago, virtually the entire Kurdish population of northern Iraq fled the forces of Saddam Hussein. BBC Middle East correspondent Jim Muir, who witnessed it first hand, recalls the dramatic exodus.

I arrived in Kurdistan, crossing the swollen border river in a tiny boat, armed with the technology of the day - two notebooks, a tape recorder and four cassettes.
The Kurds had taken over the whole of the area they regard as theirs, including the big cities of Erbil, Kirkuk, Sulaymaniyah and Dohuk. The Iraqi army had fallen to pieces. The Kurds were jubilant - generations of struggle against the central government in Baghdad had, it seemed, suddenly been magically rewarded.
But disaster lay only days ahead. Saddam struck back, sending tanks, artillery and helicopter gunships to attack the big cities on the flatlands. A vast flood of humanity, several million strong, poured out of those cities and up into the mountains, heading for the Turkish and Iranian borders.
They travelled in every kind of vehicle you can imagine. A patient being trundled out of Dohuk on his hospital bed, still hooked up to an intravenous drip. Children being carried out of Erbil in the scoop of a bulldozer. And of course, many just walking, often barefoot, past the vast queues of stalled vehicles, stretching from the borders 9,000ft up in the mountains all the way back down to the plains.
Thousands of Iraqi Kurdish refugees cross the Iraq-Iran border at Hadji Omran point near Piranshar 12 April 1991Image copyrightAFP
Image captionIraqi Kurdish refugees cross the Iraq-Iran border in April 1991
The weather was foul and freezing. Many died of hunger, exposure or dysentery. Dead children were being buried at the roadside.
While the civilians fled, the Kurdish Peshmerga guerrillas stayed behind and I witnessed several of the battles in which they pushed back Iraqi forces trying to advance into the mountains.
But the plight of the Kurds, meanwhile, had caught the world's attention. The western powers imposed a no-fly zone and a safe haven in northern Iraq so the Kurds could stay and return to their homes.
Nowadays, of course, there would have been satellite trucks and the internet, and all of this would have been transmitted live minute-by-minute.
But all I could do to get the barest news out, if I was with Masoud Barzani's KDP fighters, was to shout despatches down a Peshmerga backpack military radio to an office in Damascus that somehow managed to pass them on to London - or, if I was with Jalal Talabani and his PUK, I could shout them down what may have been the only satellite phone in Iraq at the time. But, meanwhile, I was recording on my four cassettes, descriptions of what was going on, interviews, and battles.
When I eventually left, walking up through the mountains across into Turkey, I carried those unheard tapes with me. Things had, of course, moved on by then. There were new stories to cover, so those tapes remained unheard, sitting in a drawer, for 25 years, until we decided to make a programme with them.

Find out more

Jim Muir with Kurdish fighters, 1991
Image captionJim Muir with Kurdish fighters, 1991
Listen to Iraq's Kurds: From Flight to Freedom on the BBC iPlayer

I was full of trepidation. How much of what I had experienced would be there on the tapes?
The answer was, a great deal. Many interviews with Barzani and Talabani as the story unfolded, and with another Kurdish leader, Sami Abdul Rahman, whose elderly father died as the family fled from Dohuk. A larger-than-life actor called Hama Ali, who the last time I saw him in the mountains, had lost his own wife and children in the chaos of the mass flight. Many other voices and commentaries that brought it all flooding back.
To bring the story up to date, I went back to Kurdistan a quarter of a century later to see what had happened to some of the characters.
Jalal Talabani, of course, succeeded his adversary Saddam Hussein as president of all Iraq. He's now sadly handicapped after suffering a severe stroke some years ago. Masoud Barzani became president of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, and still is.
Sami Abdul Rahman, the other leader, was killed along with one of his sons by a suicide bomb attack in 2004. His name is immortalised on a huge public park in Erbil, and I interviewed his son Sirwan there.
Masoud Barzani
Image captionKDF fighter Masoud Barzani (centre) is now president of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan
Hama Ali, the ebullient actor, I tracked down in Sulaymaniyah. He did find his family, and the two-month-old daughter he was so worried about is now married and about to produce his first grandchild.
But I wasn't able to find out two things. There was a badly-wounded Iraqi soldier who'd clung to life for two days among dead comrades on the battlefield and had the same deathly pallor as them. The Peshmerga put him in a car and sent him back to the government side. Did he survive?
And up in the mountains, there was a little boy, about eight, clutching a tiny suitcase containing all the possessions he had left. He'd lost his family during the exodus. What became of him?
These are things I'll never know.
Listen to From Our Own Correspondent on BBC World Service or on BBC Radio 4 on Thursdays at 11:00 and Saturdays at 11:30. Or catch up on the BBC iPlayer or get the podcast.
Subscribe to the BBC News Magazine's email newsletter to get articles sent to your inbox.

Louis CK On Retirement, His Favorite Book And What Happens If Donald Trump Becomes President : Entertainment : Design & Trend

Louis CK On Retirement, His Favorite Book And What Happens If Donald Trump Becomes President : Entertainment : Design & Trend"I'm not gonna tell Americans how to feel — I think you gotta get out of the way of people's feelings. It's a self-cleaning system," he said. "Whenever anybody says, 'The voters are stupid' — well, the voters elected Obama against a war hero and a multimillionaire, which are classic choices for the other side. I have faith in the American people because of that. And if Trump does win, I feel like we will figure it out."

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Please Do Eat the (Kale) Flowers | Portland Monthly

Please Do Eat the (Kale) Flowers | Portland Monthly

Top 10 Clueless Celebrity Statements about Hugo Chávez

Top 10 Clueless Celebrity Statements about Hugo Chávez

Today, food and medicine shortages are the norm across oil-rich Venezuela. Hungry citizensloot supermarkets and stores regularly, and the Chavista government’s only response is repression.
As PanAm Post publisher Luis Henrique Ball points out, the rationing of basic goods in Venezuela is a deliberate government policy. The country, in fact, has more than enough foreign exchange reserves for the private sector, crippled as it is under Chavismo, to supply the people’s fundamental needs fairly quickly.
Rationing, however, allows the Maduro regime to cow the population into submission while keeping the security forces in check, threatening the police sergeant or army officer who is excessively lenient to protesters with an end to the “privileges that allow his family to shop in special government stores, where food and medicine are plentiful.” Talk about standing up for – or rather sticking it to – the powerless.

Tommy Johnagin on Twitter: "If your kids gets into a gorilla cage you suck as a parent but I don't think the punishment is the gorilla gets to keep your baby"

Tommy Johnagin on Twitter: "If your kids gets into a gorilla cage you suck as a parent but I don't think the punishment is the gorilla gets to keep your baby"


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