Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about the science behind zombies and the “zombie virus” as well as provide information on how to survive after an outbreak of this virus.
Central Idea: Through science and expert advice we can observe why zombies act the way that they do and what can be done to cause it intentionally, prevent it, or even create it.
I. Play trailer for National Geographic’s “The Truth About Zombies”
II. The NatGeo video will reveal the topic
III. The legend of zombies has been around for almost 100 years. There is not one person in this room who does NOT know what a zombie is, or has some general idea of what they do. As a native of Southern California, there are not many reasons to be a gun enthusiast like I am. I started of shooting at the ranges; indoor, outdoor, skeet shooting with shotguns etc. As my love for firearms increased, I started to think of a reason as to why I might need to have a small arsenal at my house… ZOMBIES!!! As ridiculous as this sounds, a zombie apocalypse is as good a reason as any to be prepared for the future. After looking into the folklore of zombies and the numerous urban zombie survival guides, I started to become intrigued with the science of zombies.
IV. What I plan on doing today is summarize a few existing viruses and diseases that COULD combine, mutate, or switch species to cause something LIKE the “zombie-virus” as well as touching on a few expert opinions and studies along the way.
Transition: Now that you know my qualifications and the purpose of my speech, let’s go ahead and get started with the legend of a zombie.
I. I will first touch on how zombies look and behave from a legendary point of view according to Monstrous.com.
A. Zombies have an insatiable desire for living flesh.
B. Zombies are often noted to have strength which surpasses that of a live being.
1. This can be attributed to “hysterical strength”; this is the body’s natural inhibition to use all of the strength available in order to avoid injury and fatigue. ©endlesshumanpotential.com
C. Zombies have no personality and a one track mind, BRAINS!!! This hunger for human flesh is more of a procreation response as opposed to physical hunger.
D. Zombies often show signs of tissue decay, most importantly brain tissue, or lack thereof, which is a good transition to my next main point.
II. Zombie neurobiology is something that I would like to explore very quickly, as it is much too involved to dive into completely. Mark Strauss, senior editor at Smithsonian magazine cited Dr. Steven C. Schlozman, lecturer at the Harvard School of Education-Psychiatry as describing zombie’s neurobiology.
A. The Frontal Lobe
1. Enables us to think clearly and solve problems
2. Must stay partially intact in order for the zombies to sense where we are
3. Probably just enough activity to “listen” to the Thalamus, where sensory input is received.
4. According to Dr. Francisco de Assis Aquino Gondim of emedicine, the frontal lobe can be affected by viral encephalitis, measles, polio, rabies, HIV, Herpes simplex and West Nile virus through bites from insects and other animals, including humans…
B. The Amygdala
1. Houses base emotions such as rage, aggression, fear, anger, and lust.
a. Since zombies’ frontal lobes are affected, they tend to be driven entirely by base emotions from the Amygdala.
C. Cerebellum and Basal Ganglia
1. These make coordinating movement fluidly and with balance possible, so there is obviously a dysfunction in these parts of the brain as well.
2. The Mayo Clinic website defines a condition known as “ataxia” as a lack of muscle coordination during voluntary movement, such as...