Attention, anyone was wondering how the final battle between humans and zombies will end up! Canada has done the math for you!

And I’m afraid the news is bad: We do not fare well.

According to Dr. Robert Smith? (no, that’s not a typo – he spells his name with an interrogative, in order to avoid being confused with the lead singer of The Cure, who is, as we all know, also concerned with mathematics and zombies) of the University of Ottawa have created a statistical model of what a zombie plague would look like, positing that after an outbreak has begun, infection will progress through the population at a fantastic rate. Teeming hordes of undead could overwhelm a major metropolitan area in just a matter of days.

Smith and his colleagues used the classic Romeran “shuffling zombie” as the example for their case study, which paints a bleak picture of human survival. They do,however, make the point that the best chance we would have for survival against a plague of zombies is to “hit them hard and hit them often.” In other words, the zombie apocalypse is not a time to try and cure beloved relatives of their unseemly condition or acquire a specimen for scientific study. As any right thinking person with a zombie contingency plan knows, the best thing you can do for a zombie is to release them from their hideous unlife by crushing their skull like an overripe melon. With the publication of this report, we have all officially been warned. Memo to people who live without a heavy, blunt instrument at hand – you are on your goddamn own.

Kudos to Dr. Smith? and his colleagues for their important research into this oft-ignored field, and kudos as well to the BBC for the single greatest news quote of 2009 so far:

“According to the researchers, the key difference between the zombies and the spread of real infections is that “zombies can come back to life.”

Which is, of course, a pretty big difference.