College Prepares for Zombie Attack

October 19, 2009 at 11:23 pm (Florida, News) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Is your emergency plan of zombie attack up to date? Rest assured if you are in the Gainesville, Florida area that the University of Florida has you covered in the event of an undead uprising. In fact they have reportedly developed a procedure to help you identify and detail how you “dispatched” a member of the living dead also known as “zombiesm” or Zombie Behavior Spectrum Disorder (ZBSD)

The document leads us through the stages of ZBSD:

Part 1 of this exercise will be to identify characteristics of a zombie outbreak that might precede official notification. These might include:

  1. Disappearance of isolated citizens, initially in relatively remote areas;
  2. Increasing numbers of gruesome unexplained deaths and disappearances, especially at night;
  3. Identification of difficult to kill, flesh-eating perpetrators;
  4. Recognition that the numbers of perpetrators is rapidly increasing and that those previously identified as victims have reappeared as perpetrators;
  5. Increasing isolation of survivors;
  6. Breakdown of peace-keeping and medical services;
  7. Documentation of lots of strange moaning.

Part 2 of the exercise will be a discussion of how the overall impact of a zombie outbreak will affect use of and support for the course management system and will address such issues as:

  1. In general, zombified users will be inarticulate and unable to clearly describe technology problems and use cases;
  2. Some support staff may be infected and unable to effectively and efficiently carry out their support responsibilities;
  3. The rapid breakdown of civil society and declining numbers of uninfected users may have adverse budget impacts resulting in a reduction in staffing levels;
  4. The spread of ZBSD to institutional administration may complicate policy making;
  5. Conversely, the spread of ZBSD to institutional administration may simplify and streamline policy making resulting in dramatic improvements in administrative responsiveness and service delivery;
  6. Additional security measures will need to be implemented at service delivery points (i.e. the Hub and SSRB).

Phase 3 of the exercise will cover important operational topics such as:

  • Proper hygiene during an outbreak;
  • Most effective hiding places and refuges should you encounter zombies at home;
  • How to properly process and route inarticulate zombie-calls to avoid being accused of failing to adequately support infected UF faculty, staff, and students;
  • Situational work practices such as covering windows, barricading doors, and distinguishing between zombie moans and other moaning encountered in the workplace;
  • Dispelling myths. For example, contrary to Lawrence (2007), garlic will not stop true zombies, only vampires; and zombies do come out during the day, though they are most active a night because they typically do not like sunlight;
  • Policies and procedures for dispatching an infected co-worker

My favorite part of the document is the “Infected Co-Worker Dispatch Form”, which includes:

“This is to verify that at the time and place indicated above I was required to kill (last name) (first name), UFID # (if known) because he / she was displaying the following…

Based on these symptoms I killed (name of dispatched zombie) using a…”

Many of these symptoms seem to be part of the standard college experience:

“Documentation of lots of strange moaning, users will be inarticulate and unable to clearly describe technology problems and use cases, some support staff may be […] unable to effectively and efficiently carry out their support responsibilities.”

Maybe I attended school with zombies without even realizing it! Though highly unlikely that this is an actual UF policy, it’s nice to see that someone is preparing for any emergency.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Find a Cure – Bing.com

July 1, 2009 at 12:30 pm (advertising, Branding, commercials, marketing, TV advertising) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Have you seen the latest ad campaign for Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing.com?

I’m a fan. They take the simple premise that whatever you type into a search engine returns thousands of unrelated and unwanted results. They then apply this concept to normal human interactions and conversations.

One ad has a father and son in a TV store. The father asks the simple question “So do we want an LCD or Plasma?” to which the boy replies “plasma is an ionized gas.” Later in the spot we cut back to the father and son where other people have chimed in “plasma cutter,” “blood plasma,” etc. Each commercial ends on a black screen with yellow and white text proclaiming “WHAT HAS SEARCH OVERLOAD DONE TO US?”

TV Store

It’s a clever campaign reminiscent of a sketch from the Carol Burnett Show in which product placement comes to life and terrorizes our protagonist. The Bing.com commercials are successful in the way they provide memorable humor that connects to an everyday occurrence for web users. It also lends itself to cross generation and demographic flexibility, as demonstrated in another ad that features a couple getting ready for bed.

Couple

The commercials got me to try bing.com – at least to find their commercials. From what I can tell there are some good points, and some negative parts to their search engine. For right now I think I’ll stick with Google.

Permalink 1 Comment