Museum Zombie Apocalypse

One day the dead will rise, walk the earth and attempt to devour the living. If you happen to work in a museum, the obvious question is ‘Does this museum have the collection and venue that will help me survive?’.

How do you kill or hold off a zombie?
As anyone who has seen almost any zombie film, you need get one of these un-dead types in the head, preferably decapitating them. If you cannot do that and you can’t keep them out of the building then you are lunch!

Lets examine some museums in London on their chances of surviving and see if we can’t find the best place to work in?

National Gallery
I’m a huge fan of the NG but I have to say that when it comes to having a useful collection, this may not be the best place to be. Some of those picture frames are pretty solid but trying to wield one at a zombie doesn’t sound very practical. Using a Constable as a shield might only offer the smallest of reprieves too.

I think it’s game over for the staff of the NG!

Natural History Museum
I used to work here so have a soft spot for the old place, but I have my doubts about how useful the collection would be in a zombie crisis situation. Trays of insects, stuffed mammals and dried plants don’t sound very promising. The best bet sounds like the significant quantity of rocks they have for bashing or throwing at the slavering undead horde as they shuffle their way in!

Sorry NHM, I think it is probably dinner time for the zombies!

Museum of London
Obviously we need to get our hands on something useful so how about the large and diverse collection at MoL? At first things look promising as there areobjects such as dueling pistols, muskets, swords, daggers, armour and even a few bombs. It all starts to unravel when we find there is no gunpowder for the guns, the swords are old and mostly blunt and have you ever tried running in armour? Naturally the bombs have been decommissioned (you would normally be glad to hear). If they can hold the zombie mob outside there is even a bit of food in the collection to keep them going – tins of whalemeat and dried eggs from WW2 anyone?

I’m afraid they are gonners!

Imperial War Museum
Ok, time to wheel out the big guns, in this case literally. Tanks, artillery, rifles, machine guns, bayonets, the IWM has loads of them! Now we are talking right, surely this is the place to be? Wrong – none of these things can fire so much as a dried pea. It’s all talk and no trouser as my Gran would have said. I’m not sure i’d want to rely on bayoneting a zombie!

I fear they are all zombie food!

Don’t panic though, there is an answer. There is one place, actually a group of several museums within a Palace where the staff should be safe as the crown jewels. This is apt as it is where they store the crown jewels.

The Tower of London
It’s in an actual intact fortress for a start, one specifically designed to keep unwanted folk out. With the Royal Armouries and the Royal Fusilier Museums there are plenty of swords guns and armour to help clonk o few zombies.

The best thing of course is that with all the Guardsmen and Beefeaters, there are actual trained members of the armed forces on hand to help. And they have actual guns that work and (I assume) have real bullets.

If you’ve seen 28 days later, then the prospects of putting your trust in soldiers, particularly if you’re a women, might potentially have one or two downsides. You have a good chance of surviving though!

Can your museum (or art gallery) do better?
I’ve picked on these few museums and I think I’ve found a winner, but if you think different or if you think I’ve been unfair, leave a comment below.

Alternatively, give it a mention on twitter with the hashtag #museumzombieapocalypse

I notice there is a great sounding Science Museum Late called ‘The Science of Zombies‘ on 30th Jan 2013

Annual Report 2012

Another year and another set of growing data on the things I’ve been doing. I first started recording stuff in 2008 and each year I add new things. I’ve someway to go before I’m even close to my personal stats hero – Nicholas Felton. One day maybe?

At the start of the year I set myself a number of achievable looking goals. Let’s see how I got on?

Write more – I managed to write a (short) daily blog post for the entire year with no gaps, which I actually quite enjoyed and probably means that I can score this one as a victory. If I was being tough on myself I would have also liked to have written some longer pieces, stories or history items but this never really happened. One to continue next year maybe?

Read more – In year’s gone by I seem to have read between 20-25 books a year so I set myself the goal of reading 30. In the end I started 32 and finished 29. I think I would have easily exceeded 30 if another goal – television – hadn’t come in and interrupted my evening reading. I’m still pleased that I was only just shy of my target, especially as quite a few books were fairly thick.

Quality TV –  After years of barely watching any decent TV at all, this year has been a wonderful success. With the introduction of an iPad and Netflix into my life in May I’ve virtually stopped watching scheduled television at all. In addition to the TV, I’ve also managed to watch quite a few films. All this has been good but has meant that more often than not I spend the evening with earphones on with the iPad on the sofa arm which is all a bit anti-social.

Become a Pie-master – Having done almost no pastry before i’ve had quite a few goes at it this year and been pretty pleased with my results. I think ‘master’ might be pushing it but i’m going to score this as another victory.

Learn some Magic Tricks – This is a task that was rolled over from 2011 and i’ve still not done it so I think I might let this one drop for the time being. Hopefully I’ll pick it up again another time.

Grow Wheat – This was always going to be a bit ambitious and not very surprising that it hasn’t been done. I still make bread every week, however.

Touch Typing – I started this goal with enthusiasm and got so far (all the middle keys and some of the top row) but it petered out. This is an enormous shame as I think this is holding me back in the writing that I’d like to do. I definitely aim to crack this one in 2013.

I saw 22 films at the cinema this year, much less than i expected. Partly this was down to Doing fitness classes in the evening towards the end of the year (I didn’t see a film past mid Nov) and partly because I was happy to go home and watch ‘quality’ TV. My top 3 films on the big screen:

  1. Shame
  2. Berberian Sound Studios
  3. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Movies (at home)
A new category this year, films watched at home on the small screen (often the iPad). I somehow watched 49 films, not including half watching Disney films with the children. The revelation for me this year was finally seeing ‘In the Heat of the Night’ – what a corker!

I set myself a target of reading 30 books this year and I did come fairly close with completing 29. I started 2 others that I didn’t finish (‘We need to talk about Kevin’ and ‘Bad Pharma’) so i’m not going to be beating myself up about it. My standouts would be:

  1. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  2. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
  3. The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III by Ian Mortimer

TV Shows
Discounting the odd bit of news, children’s shows and snippets of reality shows while I eat my dinner I have watched 32 different TV series. Notably, I finished the last 2 series of ‘The Shield’, re-watched most of ‘Red Dwarf’ and surprised myself by how good the US version of ‘The Office’ is. My top shows, however, were:

  1. The Pacific
  2. Mad Men – series 2
  3. Dexter – series 2

In total, I watched 162.4 hours of Television, mostly in the form of complete series (seasons for US readers). This isn’t that much really.

Cultural Visits
I made 17 visits to Museums, Art Galleries or other cultural places during the year, which is not that great really and a figure that I’d like to improve on. They are all good, but i’ve been especially pleased with the National Maritime Museum with their new wing and exhibition space. I look forward to going to even more places next year.

This is now the second year running that I’ve not been to a single Play, Musical, Ballet or Opera. This is not good and I must make a better effort in 2013!

A good year of recording this, which in the future will be helped by being able to easily update the spreadsheet on my phone through Google Drive. Next year i’ll be adding a fitness column again plus a record of independent gourmet coffee shops.