Video – Field Lab video

I’ve linked to The Field Lab in the past, and it’s always entertaining to see how someone fares when they take ingenuity and a tight wallet to an environment that most people would rather just take a pass on. I was bopping around YouTube looking at preparedness videos and this came up in the roster:

I would love to do something like this except for the fact that chicks dig flush toilets and running water. But, I think a fella could still put together something that might be chick-acceptable.

It’s a good video to watch because it covers a lot of the technical details that we would find you cool your living environment in the middle of the desert using off-grid power, that sort of thing. I rather like the covered courtyard with the cargo containers…

It’s a good video to watch. The website for the guy’s continuing experiment is The Field Lab.

Butler Creek Steel Lip 10/22 mags – $110, inc. shipping. Such a deal!

Verifying images

Fact is, you can’t really believe everything you see. Right? You don’t have to be a chemtrail-sniffing Alex Jones fan to have a distrust of everything you read on the internet. A little Photoshop here, some constructive captioning there, and next thing you know there’s a re-animated Hitler shaking hands with Obama. Staying informed is a necessary part of preparedness, but how do you make sure that what you’re seeing is legit? I was stumbling around the internet and found this interesting article about how to verify that the video/images being presented to you on the internet are actually what they are presented as. Is that really a picture of a dead Osama Bin Laden? Is that really a picture of Syrian refugees rioting with police? There’s an old saying in journalism – “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”

How to verify photos and video on social media networks.

Link – Survivor Library

In the survivalist classic, Lucifers Hammer, a nerdy scientist realizes that the most valuable thing to save for the rebuilding of civilization will be knowledge. The information on how to build generators, grow food, treat injuries, prevent disease, build shelters, etc, etc,. To that end, he starts preserving all sorts of useful books and eventually he is proved right in his prediction of their utility.

Someone appears to have taken that idea and ran with it. A collection of .PDFs of various texts, going back quite a ways, on subjects that would be useful if you believe in the ‘we start over with 19th century technology’ scenarios.

I love reading this sort of stuff. While I have no intention of making penicillin from scratch, but I’d be interested in reading how it was done nonetheless.

Link – Disaster Preparedness Tokyo

Friend of the blog ,Rawles over at SurvivalBlog has a link to a really cool .pdf manual put out by the Japanese. Living on the terrestrial equivalent of Jell-O, they take preps for earthquakes pretty seriously. (The fact that the NorKs are only a missle-launch away probably factors in as well.)

Not only is it a fairly good manual on what to do before, during, and after a disaster, it also gives a glimpse into Japan’s rather impressive preparedness programs. I am especially enamored with their ‘disaster parks’….open spaces that look like public parks but are actually carefully constructed rally points and staging areas for relief projects. (This article describing the disaster parks is inspiring and disappointing at the same time. Inspiring because its a brilliant idea and an actual project worthy of local government, disappointing because we don’t do it.)

Articles on shelters for the ‘elite’

Two articles on ‘elite’ shelters on the same day. Makes me think their marketing people must have sent out press releases or something. I maintain that the Vivos thing is like buying a timeshare on Mars – it’s yours..on paper.

Anyway, my skepticism aside, heres the articles:

As we roll down US Highway 41 in Terre Haute, Indiana , my guide insists I give him my iPhone. Then he tosses me a satin blindfold. The terms of our trip were clear—I wasn’t to know where we were going or how we got there.That’s because we’re on our way to the undisclosed location of an underground bunker designed to survive the end of the world, whatever form that apocalypse takes.

And this one:

When the end of the world comes, even wealthy people will not be spared.

Unless, of course, they’ve managed to buy themselves a spot in a massive underground apocalypse bunker.

Whilst is handy, because the super rich have been invited to buy up a place in a five star shelter in Rothenstein, Germany, which is designed to allow them to live underground for a year and then emerge “when the worst is over”.

Just 34 “high worth” families will be welcomed into the European doomsday den, with prices only available on application.

If you can afford to, essentially, throw away that kind of money on a heavily-armored timeshare, you can afford to simply have your own built and maintain your privacy, safety, and control.

They’re nice to look at, but when the zombies are roaming the streets, the last thing I’m going to care about is if the floors are Italian marble or Brazilian zebrawood.

Link – 100 Amazing How-To sites

So this has been sitting in my browser tabs for a while:

Man’s primary tool of survival is his mind, we are told. Makes sense to me. No reason not to keep learning. The A-Team and McGyver didn’t succeed on strength of arms, but rather on ingenuity.

Heinlein’s famous quote about “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.” comes to mind.

This is, apparently, a literary device….the ‘competent man‘….if you’re old enough to remember Aherns uber-survivalist, J. Rourke, you pretty much know what a ‘competent man’ in the literary sense is.

While we may not have our gear with us or about us all the time, we usually take our brain everywhere we go so we may as well stock it with useful stuff.

Article – Fake Silver Coins: 12 Ways to Spot Counterfeits

A friend of mine once told me that among the sage advice her mother gave her was this gem: “Always know your dealer”.

Our benevolent trading partners, the Chinese, have quite the industry selling fake silver and gold bullion. If you’re not careful you’ll wind up getting took. (Taken?) So, without further ado:

It is unfortunate that articles like this have to be written, but where there is money trading hands, there will always be fakes, frauds, and counterfeits.

If you have purchased some silver and can’t get rid of that little voice in your head that keeps saying what if they are fake silver coins …

Below are 12 ways on how to spot fake silver eagles, bars, and bullion. We’ve ranked them from the least to the most effective methods in detecting counterfeits. (Most of these tests can also be applied to gold as well).

Remember back when silver hit $~50/oz. a few years back? Thats when a lot of the fakes came into being….because it was worth the effort then. Being a somewhat durable good, those fakes are still out there. But its fake gold that will really land your wallet in the hospital. You just can’t take anything at face value anymore.

I buy my metals only form people I can trust. Usually, thats the Metals Pimp, or if I’m feeling obnoxious and like playing them against each other, the coin shop across the street from me. The Metals Pimp I trust in these matters unreservedly. The coin shop guys…well, if they sell me fakes I know where to find ’em.

But…as I started this post with, Know. Your. Dealer.

One product that I’m going to have to invest in at some point is the Fisch. Fits in my pocket and should take the risk out of buying gold out of the back of someones car in the Safeway parking lot at 11pm. Interestingly, some folks are offering anti-counterfeit measures. The newer Silver Maples have some tiny detailed maple leaves on them  to make detecting fakes much easier…this is one reason I’ve shifted my silver purchasing to Maples. Sunshine has also added a security feature as well. The Sunshines require a ‘decoder’ to read the security feature, but you can usually find the decoder for about $15~ at most coin dealers. (Ok, yes, the Metals Pimp will sell you one of those as well.)

I’ve only seen one or two fakes, and I had to ask the guys in the coin shop to show them to me. Apparently they dont turn up all that often, but they do turn up. Where you really gotta watch yourself in regards to fake silver is when you get into 100 oz bars and that sort of thing. While there are bargains to be had on the internet, theres a lot of ways to get scammed too. eBay is notoriously full of fake silver auctions that use careful phrasing to sucker folks into thinking something is real silver and still not violate eBays seller rules.

Since I don’t have a heck of a lot of money to spend on gold, I buy mostly silver. At least if I get screwed on an ounce of metal it won’t hurt me as badly as if it were supposed to be an ounce of gold.

So…moral of the story: know your dealer!