BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Discuss those "what if" or "what would you do" scenarios you've been wondering about.

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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by mypps » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:00 pm

There's people there that already know what he knows,
i see no mention of anybody being a solar panel tech, besides mike.
in my opinion, none of them have a clue, they can't function as a team, and have no leadership or anything. i would trade with them and walk on by.
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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by TheGunslinger » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:30 pm

I agree with most of the points put forward here.

1st off, Mike is an epic douche. He doesn't like the others, he doesn't get along well with people as a whole and he's belligerent at the best of times. He did get a bit better after having a sleep, though.

The other engineer who was helping him rig up the batteries could probably do a lot of what he has done. The mexican bloke who was also a handy man (and I think was the prime mover behind moving the water filter up next to the stairs) seemed to have his head screwed on right as well.

The old guy, I can't remember his name - the one behind the gasifier and who went and had a shower in the rain - seemed to be doing an ok job of getting people at least some what motivated towards a task.

Solar panels aside, I do like the idea of the bike-powered generators. Everyone using the power tools was not a good one - I do like that they are all gathered around a blackboard discussing things, though no doubt that's a prompt from the studio.

The doctor cutting up the tire to make shoes? :roll: I don't think their shoes were that ruined. He clearly had no idea how to use the sawzall and hadn't planned anything ahead.

As to looting from those other survivors? I'd have a massive damn problem with that. I'd go so far as to physically stop them from taking their goat and apologising to the people we stole from.

As to the security - 2 people, minimum. Always 2. Stagger the pickets - that way you don't have a gap of 10 minutes or whatever with no security present when the person goes to wake up the next in line.

Also - make the response commesurate to the threat. If you wake everyone up everytime someone rattles the cage, no one is getting any sleep. By all means, get everyone up if it warrants it, but not for every little thing.
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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by Istvan56 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:47 pm

By the end of this last episode they are a week into the PAW (counting the 30 hours w/out rest at the start). And yet they have no societal contract within their group. No set rules of conduct regarding each others personal property, space, vote in the big scheme of the colony, stealing, looting, conflict resolution, negotiation on behalf of the group, etc. They are as disorganized in the second episode as they are in the first. In fact at the end of the first episode I had more hope for them than I do now.

Going back to the OP applying this scenario to our own BOL plans this would not be happening. We know the country and indeed the world has been ravaged by this pandemic. All of the colonists have lost loved ones, likely I've lost children and extended family as well. There is plenty of stress and you can see that it boils over down the road in the community. So setting up the social contract within the colony is vital. Leadership is vital too. I'm a good administrator but am not a handyman, engineer, doctor, etc. so I need specialists. They need rules to keep them from attacking each other verbally and physically.

The doctor and the ER nurse should be dealing with the stress and likely PTSD within the group as well as their physical health and nutrition. If later we can get someone to also help there, it doesn't have to be a spiritual guide, I actually can function in that role (one of my other hats I wear), someone with a lot of common sense and natural empathy will do.

Another aspect that isn't in the show, because these folks have not lost their loved ones in real life, is the eventual pairing up that may happen. I am in a family unit, I also have teenage children including two daughters with me. If you look at the dynamics here in the group you have a lot of singles, some who hate each other. Add the limited selection and possible rivalries here and there could be some serious trouble down the road. Another reason to add more members to the colony and to create peaceful relations with some neighboring groups. The survivors are forming clans and tribes, the most basic societal groups. Trade and intermarriage helps to keep the peace between bands. Of course this is thinking a lot longer than a 10 week show.

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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by TheGunslinger » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:51 pm

I totally like that about the social compact.

They really do need to start allocating people specialities and coming up with more of a plan on how to do things.

Forming, storming, norming, performing - that's how groups and team dynamics work.

They're still at the forming/storming stage - they need to come up with some common language about what they agree are the priorities of the group, how they deal with things they have experienced in the past and are likely to again (i.e other survivors, looting/scavenging, the priority of work) and how to get people to contribute to that.
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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by Bytehammer » Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:50 am

Istvan56 wrote:
(...)

They needed the tools to fabricate a proper generator. Also I noted several bicycles in the warehouse. Nobody suggested that they rig a bike powered generator, a project I've seen done using a bike and a car alternator.

(...)
Using humans for electrical power generation is really not optimal.

A normal standard automotive alternator is rated at 65 amps at 14 volts. That equals 910 watts.

A human body will not be able to produce anything like that at all.

One horsepower (HP) equals 735 watts. That is considerably less than the alternator.

A fit and well-trained human can achive energy outputs close to one horsepower for really short durations of time. Converted into normal tasks one horsepower equals a person weighing 75 kg (165 pounds) sprinting up a flight of stairs at the rate of 1 vertical metre pr second. Few persons would be able to sustain that for more than a few seconds.

Sustainable human energy output - for fit and able-bodied persons - is just under 100 watts. Most automotive alternators would not even begin to produce power at this level.

(By rewinding the alternator one can change the electrical properties of the alternator - including making lower output and lower startup rpm, but it is still fairly in-efficient for humans to produce electrical power this way.)

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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by Istvan56 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:16 am

I was at a workshop where bike generators were being built for back-up power/recharging a deep cycle battery. While alternators aren't optimal they can be used. There was a thread on this topic over in self-sufficient living. A pre-made product for a bike is available to. http://www.econvergence.net/electro.htm

Obviously charging up a 20 battery bank would be tough but two such bikes would extend the life of the bank. Also it would give these confined colonists some much needed exercise and stress relief.

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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by JT_of_JFF » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:05 am

The societal contract is a major take away (not from the show, but thankfully from our discussion).
Watching idiots do the wrong thing can help others, I just wish it wasn't the core of the show.
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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by Kabong30 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:45 am

Bytehammer wrote:
Istvan56 wrote:
(...)

They needed the tools to fabricate a proper generator. Also I noted several bicycles in the warehouse. Nobody suggested that they rig a bike powered generator, a project I've seen done using a bike and a car alternator.

(...)
Using humans for electrical power generation is really not optimal.

A normal standard automotive alternator is rated at 65 amps at 14 volts. That equals 910 watts.

A human body will not be able to produce anything like that at all.

One horsepower (HP) equals 735 watts. That is considerably less than the alternator.

A fit and well-trained human can achive energy outputs close to one horsepower for really short durations of time. Converted into normal tasks one horsepower equals a person weighing 75 kg (165 pounds) sprinting up a flight of stairs at the rate of 1 vertical metre pr second. Few persons would be able to sustain that for more than a few seconds.

Sustainable human energy output - for fit and able-bodied persons - is just under 100 watts. Most automotive alternators would not even begin to produce power at this level.

(By rewinding the alternator one can change the electrical properties of the alternator - including making lower output and lower startup rpm, but it is still fairly in-efficient for humans to produce electrical power this way.)
What about the ratio of the gears/pulleys running the system?
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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by JT_of_JFF » Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:17 pm

Kabong30 wrote:
Bytehammer wrote:
Istvan56 wrote:
(...)

They needed the tools to fabricate a proper generator. Also I noted several bicycles in the warehouse. Nobody suggested that they rig a bike powered generator, a project I've seen done using a bike and a car alternator.

(...)
Using humans for electrical power generation is really not optimal.

A normal standard automotive alternator is rated at 65 amps at 14 volts. That equals 910 watts.

A human body will not be able to produce anything like that at all.

One horsepower (HP) equals 735 watts. That is considerably less than the alternator.

A fit and well-trained human can achive energy outputs close to one horsepower for really short durations of time. Converted into normal tasks one horsepower equals a person weighing 75 kg (165 pounds) sprinting up a flight of stairs at the rate of 1 vertical metre pr second. Few persons would be able to sustain that for more than a few seconds.

Sustainable human energy output - for fit and able-bodied persons - is just under 100 watts. Most automotive alternators would not even begin to produce power at this level.

(By rewinding the alternator one can change the electrical properties of the alternator - including making lower output and lower startup rpm, but it is still fairly in-efficient for humans to produce electrical power this way.)
What about the ratio of the gears/pulleys running the system?
The higher the ratio the harder you have to pedal. The end result is the same amount of energy. The problem with a car alternator is that its rated to produce power outside the realm of sustained human exertion. You could ratchet up the ratios and have a horse do it, but we humans just can't sustain it.
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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by Istvan56 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:24 pm

"Societal compact," that is the proper term. I was thinking of the Mayflower Compact but I wrote "contract" instead. Get the group to sign off on keeping the principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution despite the PAW trying its best to take that away from us. We respect each others' rights which includes those souls whose food got stolen. We believe in our right to self defense and to preserve us from tyranny (i.e. warlords, usurpers, raiders, slavers). You get the idea, rebuild the country, not break it up into tribal groups at war with each other. Raise the "title of liberty" (bonus points if you know the reference).

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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by Mr. E. Monkey » Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:35 pm

Istvan56 wrote:Raise the "title of liberty" (bonus points if you know the reference).
:lol: Nice, brother.
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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by roOism » Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:27 pm

Istvan56 wrote:" Raise the "title of liberty" (bonus points if you know the reference).
:lol:
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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by tilt » Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:37 pm

I think if I ran into these turds while I was out and about, I would consider moving ahead of them, stopping in at "sanctuary" and telling them the place was mine, all mine and then I would tell them to pound sand... The "colonists would throw a hissy fit, cry a little bit about having nowhere else to go and I'd act all reluctant, but let them in... maybe then they'd be a little bit more humble.

Nope, that sounds silly...

Of course, if I only had two goats and a potato to my name, I'd probably just pack up and move on before those thugs and raiders (the "colonists", not the bikers) started stealing my livestock, twirling broomsticks over their heads and screaming about how they like my bike as they pelt me with rocks from a slingshot.

Really,

I would probably leave quietly, go on about my business and make my camp/property secure against their future "foraging" raids... Give it a few weeks and they'll be killing and eating the smallest members of their group, meanwhile I will have hopefully made good enough time to get out of the city and into the foothills.

Fortunately, a pandemic means that the environment is maintained, but there is a lot less competition for resources. It's one of the rare instances that backpack survivalism works... of course it only work because 80% or more of the world's population is dead, but why split hairs... besides, if I'm down to backpack survivalism I'm all out of other options...

In any disaster, avoiding large groups of stupid people is the best play. Especially in a short term disaster when order may actually be restored and people may actually be held accountable for their actions. If the large groups attack someone prepared and get shot, the prepared guy is a vicious killer, if the prepared guy gets looted and run off his (or her) property, some asshole from DHS and a shrink that specializes in PTSD is going to justify it in court as "doing what they have to do" and claiming that "property ownership doesn't exist" the exact same way that they did on the show...

This show is quickly starting to piss me off more than Expedition: Africa. Luckily, Ice Road Truckers doesn't suck and Monsterquest finally started showing episodes that didn't revolve around hunts for bigfoot-like creatures...

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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by Bytehammer » Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:49 pm

Istvan56 wrote:I was at a workshop where bike generators were being built for back-up power/recharging a deep cycle battery. While alternators aren't optimal they can be used. There was a thread on this topic over in self-sufficient living. A pre-made product for a bike is available to. http://www.econvergence.net/electro.htm

Obviously charging up a 20 battery bank would be tough but two such bikes would extend the life of the bank. Also it would give these confined colonists some much needed exercise and stress relief.
If the alternator is rewound it is technically viable - but woefully in-efficient...

Assuming ONE fully discharged deep-cycle battery of 100 amp-hours, it will take just under 10 hours of bike exercise to fully recharge the battery.

The power produced might be adequate to recharge mobilephones, gps-units, flashlights and other small items... For all other uses it is to cumbersome.

Humans are not that terribly efficient in converting food to kinetical energy. We actually waste a rather large amount of energy as heat (which, btw, is quite nessescary to maintain our core body temperature in colder climates).

Constructing some kind of engine - capable of harvesting the energy in a more direct form - is not THAT difficult. The stirling principle has been around for more than hundred years. Any engineer with access to fairly normal metalworking tools should be able to produce a working example. The stirling works with external combustion - which means it can produce power form the same fire which provides the occupants with warmth.

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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by Istvan56 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:51 pm

The 3rd installment of the Colony was on last night with further snafus. First off they can't manage their power usage so Michael, the self-appointed power god has a melt down. They should've had rules before using the power tools. We saw that last week. Michael fixed up a second alternator which they should've thought of before this crisis.

Next they have been getting lax about security. They don't use watchmen on the walls or on the roof somewhere. They knew there was a gap in their wall razor wire and let it go till they got raided and lost 2 days worth of food, about as much as they ripped off of those two poor guys before. Divine justice, no?

Third they built a shower on the outside of their building with a stairwell to it so anyone who breaches their outer perimeter (which has gaps they know of) can be either a peeping tom, rapist, murderer, whatever to whomever is inside of the wooden structure. It is a nice structure but without proper security it puts the user at risk.

Anyway, their outer perimeter gate was breached by the gang who blew up diversionary devices. Everybody was eating/gabbing with nobody on guard duty. They never properly secure their gate though there is a chain and a padlock on it. Then another group of three infiltrate their food storage/kitchen and steal/destroy 2 days worth of food without a serious way of stopping them. The raiders exited a back door to a fire escape that wasn't locked. These folks are stupid! Of all of them only the doctor is serious about security preps yet he doesn't want to impose his will or do it himself with a few recruits if the majority are too busy playing with other projects.

The were making weapons, wrist-rocket type slingshots, instead of spear guns like a Hawaiian sling. They have primitive self-bows and too short of arrows Vladimir was trying to fish with. Wrist rockets are okay for a stand-off less lethal weapon, say from a wall or window down on guys at their door. The spear is for serious killing at close ranges, 20' and less. I suspect they aren't allowed to make such weapons and only are able to do a "show of force" with the raiders since they are but actors.

Now back to their fishing attempts. While the fish trap is a good thing it needs to be pinned to the river bottom and a cone or funnel of rocks, logs, debris made before it. Then the fish are driven down (or upstream) the cone into the trap. It's part of survival fishing 101 along with gill netting. As for eating carp and talapia from the L.A. River, I'm not a fan of heavy metal poisoning and pesticides. Nasty stuff that stays with you.

The oranges were a good supplement to their diets but I'm still not seeing them scavenging properly. No systematic checking out of properties adjacent to their Sanctuary. Also in the ten days since the last episode they haven't made any progress on the truck they plan on leaving the area in. Obviously there are gas stocks still around that the raiders are finding, why haven't they looked for them? I get the impression that these folks are scared $hitless about leaving for any reason. They have only left Sanctuary three times, once to the river for water, a second time to raid the homeless camp and third for oranges/fishing/water again.

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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by seraosha » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:46 pm

This show is a great example of what not to do. But I admit that they (collectively) have the skill sets to be a very successful community, but it seems that they just aren't very serious about actual survival. It could be the reality tv format, or the lack of actual violence, or even what's occurring off-camera that is giving them a false sense of security, but it's very apparent.

My youngest (8 yr old) commented that her girl scout group would have moved to a smaller, less conspicuous location, one easier to defend, build a redoubt within the walls of their base to better defend against invasion, and have the food much better protected...fire hardened sharpened sticks and spears were her suggested weapons. But we were both impressed with their water filter system, but disgusted by the utter waste of time and resources to build that shower.

It's the best "reality tv" show I've seen in a while, since survivor man is on hiatus, and it is interesting in a trainwreck sort of way, so I'll watch it to the end...at least until the cannibal gangs arrive, whichever comes first.
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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by Kabong30 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:51 pm

seraosha wrote:This show is a great example of what not to do. But I admit that they (collectively) have the skill sets to be a very successful community, but it seems that they just aren't very serious about actual survival. It could be the reality tv format, or the lack of actual violence, or even what's occurring off-camera that is giving them a false sense of security, but it's very apparent.
^
This. When the people talk about they're loved ones in the present tense it blows up any real semblance of them taking it seriously. They know they're going home in a few weeks. Of course, I'm not saying anyone should die, I'm just saying, I think that's why they don't really embrace what they're doing. It would be interesting (and wrong) if they could get more of a "Truman Show" scenario and see what it'd really be like, but I imagine that would end in bloodshed.
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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by Aceman » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:25 pm

Greetings - new ZS forum member! Here we go...

FIRST THOUGHTS:
?> Do you avoid the group? Join the group? Split off members?
My group is me, my wife and three children. I'll be watching them through a 10x monocular, binoculars, or a 2x6 scope on an AK-47. I see no kids - I let them go. Perhaps note their direction. Trail at a distance.

?> Do you share with the group? Do you trade with the group?
I observe

?> How is your BOB serving you and how can it serve the group?
Just fine! Them - not at all. My BOB is pretty lean and for survival only My wife has more gear in a pack.

?> How much can you share/trust with the group?
Can't

?> You (your family) are the only prepared members people in sight? How does that affect your decisions?

Initially it doesn't. But I would likely avoid them all together. They seem to be a large and diverse group. I wouldn't risk my family about people that argue that much, and are that sloppy and disorganized. could only cause trouble IMO. I'd have to shoot the handyman and the PhD guy. And I have a PhD myself...

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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by Mr. E. Monkey » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:13 pm

Aceman wrote:I'd have to shoot the handyman and the PhD guy. And I have a PhD myself...
Uh...maybe not the best idea.

I'd rather be nowhere near these people.
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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by Aceman » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:23 am

evil monkey wrote:
Aceman wrote:I'd have to shoot the handyman and the PhD guy. And I have a PhD myself...
Uh...maybe not the best idea.

I'd rather be nowhere near these people.
Which is why I'd stay away...That's one of the main flaws of the show IMO - you don't get to pick your group. In reality, I'd have avoided a number of those people.

And while it's not the "best" idea - tell the truth...you agree!

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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by Mr. E. Monkey » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:43 am

Aceman wrote:
evil monkey wrote:
Aceman wrote:I'd have to shoot the handyman and the PhD guy. And I have a PhD myself...
Uh...maybe not the best idea.

I'd rather be nowhere near these people.
Which is why I'd stay away...That's one of the main flaws of the show IMO - you don't get to pick your group. In reality, I'd have avoided a number of those people.

And while it's not the "best" idea - tell the truth...you agree!
What I meant is that the board generally frowns on talk of shooting people. But yeah, if they were attacking/raiding, I would defend myself, my family/friends/whomever was in my group, using any means necessary. I wouldn't take too kindly to them trying to steal my goats, or threatening me with a slingshot/whatever, for example.

Hopefully, they'd have the brains to back off and let me be, though.

And frankly, if I have to use a weapon, I'm a lot closer to these people than I want to be.
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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by Aceman » Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:29 pm

evil monkey wrote: What I meant is that the board generally frowns on talk of shooting peopl.
Noted - thanks for the tip!

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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by Istvan56 » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:49 pm

Previews for the next episode changes things quite a bit. The Raiders show up in a Technical (truck with a Ma Duce on top) and armed with shotguns. The Colony let the one old Hippy engineer outside to go talk peace and I guess he gets taken hostage. They have another collective meltdown and Vladimir is saying "I've never left a man behind."

So, here is the scenario as it applies to your BOL. Can it withstand an attack by a .50 caliber machinegun? Mine would be seriously damaged though we have areas hardened we can retreat to that would leave everyone safe. The problem would be that once our entryway was breached by the technical raiders could get in to confront us. We have weapons to repel intruders inside, that means that we would be able to hold them off from reaching our food, women and children. Both sides would likely take casualties. Are you prepared for that? It doesn't look like the Colony is.

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Re: BOB'ing with Discovery Channel's 'The Colony'

Post by Mr. E. Monkey » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:51 am

Istvan56 wrote:Previews for the next episode changes things quite a bit. The Raiders show up in a Technical (truck with a Ma Duce on top) and armed with shotguns. The Colony let the one old Hippy engineer outside to go talk peace and I guess he gets taken hostage. They have another collective meltdown and Vladimir is saying "I've never left a man behind."

So, here is the scenario as it applies to your BOL. Can it withstand an attack by a .50 caliber machinegun? Mine would be seriously damaged though we have areas hardened we can retreat to that would leave everyone safe. The problem would be that once our entryway was breached by the technical raiders could get in to confront us. We have weapons to repel intruders inside, that means that we would be able to hold them off from reaching our food, women and children. Both sides would likely take casualties. Are you prepared for that? It doesn't look like the Colony is.
Oof. No, I've got nothing to stop a .50--only hope is to take the gunner out first, and let the chips fall where they may.
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