Count on the Canadians when it comes to serious people doing something not-serious at all. Or is it? Four researchers at the School of Mathematics and Statistics at Ottaw's Carleton University have issued an 18-page report entitled WHEN ZOMBIES ATTACK!: MATHEMATICAL MODELLING OF AN OUTBREAK OF ZOMBIE INFECTION.
At last we have the figures that the politicians and military dudes in all those zombie movie are always wanting to see before they bring out the big guns to fight off the living dead.
Just reading the abstract of the report makes me want to sink my teeth into it: "We introduce a basic model for zombie infection, determine equilibria and their stability, and illustrate the outcome with numerical solutions. We then refine the model to introduce a latent period of zombification, whereby humans are infected, but not infectious, before becoming undead. We then modify the model to include the effects of possible quarantine or a cure. Finally, we examine the impact of regular, impulsive reductions in the number of zombies and derive conditions under which eradication can occur."
The link above takes you to a PDF of the report. I suggest that every family keep at least one copy on hand so that when the zombies do come (and I'm pretty sure they will, at some point...), you'll know exactly how fast the infestation is going to spread. As to what you can do to help in the event of the inevitable? Take the final words of the report's abstract to heart:
"We show that only quick, aggressive attacks can stave off the doomsday scenario: the collapse of society as zombies overtake us all."