In the event of a zombie apocalypse, you might want to befriend a Frisbee golf pro — the skills may transfer to record-slinging, a decapitation technique favored in Shaun of the Dead. Or if you prefer a traditional zombie-slaying approach, recruit a baseball player.
Choose wisely, as skill is essential to human survival in the face of a zombie epidemic. Of all the mythical characters threatening humankind, the walking dead are most like an infectious disease, says Robert J. Smith? (the question mark is part of his name) of the University of Ottawa. Modeling how a zombie infestation would play out — like assessing a swine flu outbreak — can illuminate which counterstrategies work best, even when there’s little data and little time to gather more.
“Zombies are as random and capricious as any disease,” says Smith?, a mathematician specializing in epidemiology.