St. John’s fairly zombie-proof, blogger says

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St. John’s is the Canadian city most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse, says 24-year-old Michael Ross of Edmonton.

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An engineer in Alberta did an analysis of which Canadian cities could best defend themselves against a zombie apocalypse, and St. John’s is at the top of the list, thanks in part to its citizens’ penchant for owning guns.

He used six variables — distance to the closest military base, average temperature, population density, obesity rate, physical activity and gun ownership — to compare the 20 most populous cities in Canada and rank them according to their respective scores. St. John’s scored 0.663 out of 1.

“In the completely hypothetical event of a zombie outbreak, I’d say St. John’s is very well equipped,” said Ross, laughing.

Regina, in second place, and Edmonton, in third, trailed closely behind with scores of 0.660 and 0.643, respectively.

St. John’s claimed the top spot over the capitals of Saskatchewan and Alberta with the the second-shortest distance to a Canadian Forces base (four kilometres), the third-lowest average temperature (9 C) and by far the greatest number of gun licences (14,295) per 100,000 people, of the cities compared.

”All of which I identified as things that might give you an edge,” said Ross.

Ross published his data Monday in an online post titled “Canadian Cities Most and Least Likely to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse.” He runs, “a fun little blog that I have for random statistical analysis types of stuff.”

Ross was inspired to pursue this line of study after finding something similar comparing the 50 American states on Estately Blog. The original study was based on 11 variables, which Ross used to craft six that are “similar in spirit.”

He spent a few hours on Sunday collecting data from government websites before publishing the post the next morning.

Typically, Ross says, his blog “doesn’t get much attention outside of my friends,” but in the last two days he has received multiple requests for media interviews.

He describes this feedback as “slightly overwhelming, and, for the most part, positive.”

“I guess people really like zombies,” said Ross. “Also, it seems like people are really happy to compare their cities to each other.”

Ross is a structural-engineer-in-training at a small engineering firm in Edmonton. He completed a graduate-level engineering program at the University of Alberta last spring.

His blog, and recent zombie apocalypse insight, is a hobby.

Organizations: Canadian Forces, University of Alberta

Geographic location: Edmonton, Canada, Saskatchewan Alberta

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