The Metaphors In 'Zombieland' [Part II]

The Metaphors In 'Zombieland' [Part II]

As the virus spreads...


"You have once again entered… The world of survival horror." – Resident Evil

If you've already read the previous, accompanying article to this one, welcome back. If not, let's catch you up to speed. Zombies are not alive, not dead, bloodthirsty creatures with severe anger issues. They look to tear down anyone in their path, accountability nowhere in sight. Some real-life humans could be, and probably have been, described as the walking dead; bloodthirsty creatures with severe anger issues who look to tear down anyone in their path, accountability nowhere in sight.

Zombieland follows the cowardly Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), as he navigates his way through the United States of Zombieland. Flooded with ravenous, flesh-eating freaks, a few questionable survivors, and a ton of laughs in between, Columbus explains how he has survived this long on his own. He strictly follows the rules. His rules.


This rule lines up right behind Rule #1 from The Metaphors In 'Zombieland' [Part I]. To refresh your memory, Rule #1 is Cardio. Cardio wards off stress. Toxic people (zombies) cause stress. Ipso facto, keeping in shape is a great way to deter the stress caused by these types of people, or at least minimalize it. Limbering up is a precursor to cardio. Staying loose will help ensure you don't experience any strain while working out. Keeping limber and practicing cardio are both great on their own, but exponentially better together. This is the same in a metaphorical sense. As I said, keeping in shape is a great way to deal with stress. However, you don't want to turn into an uptight gym freak (that's the opposite of what we're going for here). Not to mention, you can't necessarily run to the gym every time some toxic douche bag decides they want to take you down a notch. So, aside from stretching, a great practice is limbering up your mind. Practice meditation, yoga, breathing exercises- whatever keeps you even-tempered and ready to be your best self. When you combine mindful practices with exercise, dealing with stressful people becomes easy. You'll likely start to pity them. You have to keep in mind people aren't just born assholes. Perceptions and personal circumstances have a lot to do with why people are the way they are. But at the end of the day, we all have a choice. Limber up before you make yours.


This one is simple enough. While Columbus is checking for backdoors, you should be checking your instinct. Whether it be at work, home, class, whatever, If you're regularly in situations where you have to deal with toxic people, but you can avoid them, check your gut instinct. If you're doubtful that the potential experience you're about to have is going to be a positive one, what's the point of being there? As the famous author of 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' says, "If it ain't fun, don't do it."

I think the biggest, or maybe easiest, targets for toxic people to hit are people pleasers. If you're reading this, and you're a people pleaser, I'm telling you straight up, you're allowed to say no. You're allowed to cancel plans you've made. You're allowed to ignore your phone. You're allowed to decline doing things without giving a reason, especially if those things entail a bunch of stress, sans fun. You are in control of your own life. Remember that and live by it. And for those situations you can't avoid, know your way out. Compromise. If it's work, interact with the person(s) as little as acceptably possible. If it's social, make an appearance, stay an hour or two, and leave. It's your life. Make it a good one.

Bill is a 31-year-old writer/game developer from Boston, Massachusetts. He's a content creator in Southern New Hampshire University's Odyssey community, a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, and is wrapping up his Game Development program in October 2018. With an Associate's in Liberal Arts and a forthcoming BS in Game Development, he is ready to excel in the gaming industry. Outside of work, Bill can be found supporting local bands in the greater Boston area.

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.

It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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A Second Person Has Achieved Long-Term Remission Of The HIV Virus

A second man has had long term remission of the HIV virus.


Over a decade after the first man, known as the Berlin Patient, was declared HIV-free, another patient may also be cured. Though it's too early for scientists to say for sure, the London Patient has been in a long term remission for around 18 months without the help of medication. Both men were treated with a bone marrow transplant. However, these stem cells carried a rare mutation in the genes that affect the production of the CCR5 protein, which HIV viruses latch onto to enter the cell. The virus cannot latch onto the mutated version of the protein, thus blocking its entry into the cells.

With the transplant of these HIV resistant genes, the body effectively builds a new immune system free of the virus.

After the Berlin Patient went into remission, scientists tried and failed to replicate the cure and were unable to until the London Patient, whose HIV count has reduced into undetectable numbers. While this is extremely helpful, bone marrow transplants are not a viable option to cure all HIV infected people, as it is an extremely risky process and comes with many side effects. Even so, scientists are developing ways to extract bone marrow from HIV infected people, genetically modifying them to produce the same mutations on the CCR5 gene or the inability to express that gene at all, and then replacing it back into the patient so they can still build resistance without the negative effects of a bone marrow transplant. There have also been babies whose genomes have been edited to remove the CCR5 gene, allowing them to grow up resistant to HIV.

This does not eliminate the threat of the HIV virus, however.

There is another strand of the virus, called X4, that uses the CXCR4 protein to enter the cell. Even if the editing of the CCR5 allows immunity against one strand, it is possible for a person to be infected with the X4 strand of the virus. Despite this, immunization against one strand could save a countless number of lives, as well as the vaccine that is currently in the stages of development for HIV. Along with the London Patient, there are 37 other patients who have received bone marrow transplants, six of which from donors without the mutation.

Of these patients, number 19, known as the Dusseldorf Patient, has been off anti-HIV drugs for 4 months. It may not be a complete cure, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

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