Bill Gates Admits Biological Terrorism Could Kill Hundreds of Millions

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bill gates wikimediaLove him or hate him, there’s definitely one thing that you cannot deny about Bill Gates. He’s a guy who is in the know. Since he made his billions, he has brushed shoulders will all manner of experts and powerful people. That’s why regardless of how you feel about him, you should listen up when he provides a warning. Even if that warning is BS, it’ll tell you a lot about what is on the minds of the most powerful people in the world. Those individuals are after all, well acquainted with each other.

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In this particular instance however, there is no BS. Before speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, he told The Telegraph that biological terrorism is one of the gravest threats we face today, perhaps even more so than nuclear war. He believes that within the next 10-15, it’s likely we’ll face a bioweapon that could kill hundreds of millions of people.


“Natural epidemics can be extremely large. Intentionally caused epidemics, bioterrorism, would be the largest of all.

“With nuclear weapons, you’d think you would probably stop after killing 100million. Smallpox won’t stop. Because the population is naïve, and there are no real preparations. That, if it got out and spread, would be a larger number.”


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Of course, engineered bioweapons have been around for a long time. But Bill Gates explained in simple terms why the threat is greater now than ever before.


He said developments in genetic engineering were proceeding at a “mind-blowing rate”. Biological warfare ambitions once limited to a handful of nation states are now open to small groups with limited resources and skills.

He said: “They make it much easier for a non-state person. It doesn’t take much biology expertise nowadays to assemble a smallpox virus. Biology is making it way easier to create these things.”


Gates is absolutely right about that. What used to take massive laboratories, hundreds of researchers, and millions of dollars, could one day be accomplished by a handful of people in a basement with a shoestring budget. We’re rapidly approaching a future where a manufactured virus capable of killing millions and completely upending global civilization, can be created by nearly anyone with the proper skills and a few thousand dollars worth of equipment.

To put that in perspective, there’s only a handful of people in the world who are capable of ordering a nuclear strike on another nation. How many people are there in the world with the kind of skills that would allow them to make a world-ending virus? Tens of thousands of people perhaps. How many people in the world have the means and ability to learn these skills? Perhaps hundreds of thousands. And that number could grow as technological advances make genetic engineering easier. So if hundreds of thousands of people had their finger on the red button, you have to ask yourself, how long would it take before someone pushes it?

This is the world we live in now. A global pandemic engineered by terrorists is practically inevitable, and will likely be seen in our lifetimes. Make sure that you have the right skills and the right gear to see your family through it.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Florida Man Tries to Blow up Target Stores for Financial Gain

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target wikimediaThere are a lot of reasons why some individuals or organizations might engage in terrorism. It could be for a religious or political cause. It could be conducted by a government as a false flag. Or it could simply be an act of madness committed by a deranged person. Behind all of these reasons though, there is one purpose that unites them all. The goal of terrorism is terrify the population, and push them into a behaviour that satisfies the terrorists.

With that said, there is one motivation for a terrorist attack that is nearly unheard of, and that is financial gain. I’m not talking about it in an abstract sense, like say a terrorist group wants power and influence, which can lead to personal wealth. Nor am I referring to any act of terrorism that is an attempt to extort the population to fund more terrorist activities. I’m talking about pure financial gain for its own sake, like what a bank robber would want.

Now if you know the definition of terrorism, you may be a bit confused right now. After all, terrorists typically do what they to achieve for some kind of political goal. If someone incites fear for pure financial gain, then they are just ordinary criminals. But what if someone used the tactics that are typically reserved for terrorists, but for financial gain?

That very situation nearly occurred earlier this month. 48 Year old Mark Charles Barnett, a registered sex offender with an extensive rap sheet, hatched a plan to plant bombs disguised as food items in 10 Target stores along the East Coast. However, he isn’t a religious fanatic or a political extremist. He did it because he thought that a series of bombings would make Target’s stock price plummet. He planned to buy the stocks after they depreciated, and sell them when the company recovered. According to Zero Hedge:

To execute his plan, Barnett paid a man $10,000 to place the improvised bombs on shelves in Target retail stores along the US east coast. On Feb. 9, Barnett gave the man at least 10 explosives, a bag of gloves, a mask and a license-plate cover, which would be used to cover up the man’s identity, prosecutors said.

“Barnett told the [confidential source] not to let the box bounce around or they would explode,” according to the complaint. He reassured the source that they wouldn’t kill anybody, it said, but they would “take your hand off.”

But before the plan moved forward, the man went to the authorities and gave them the bombs and explained Barnett’s plan. 

An explosives expert determined that the bombs were capable of “causing property damage, serious injury, or death to nearby persons upon detonation.” It was not clear, however, if they would have also sent Target stock price lower.

That’s pretty extraordinary when you think about it. In my mind, the only event I can compare it to is the skyjacking committed by D.B. Cooper in 1971. He threatened to blow up a plane if he wasn’t given $200,000. He used a tactic that was typically implemented by terrorists during that era, to extort money for himself.

This doesn’t happen very often, and there really isn’t a logical reason why. You’d think that with all of the deranged and desperate people in the world, and with the way the media loves to focus on terrorist attacks and mass shootings, that more criminals would get this idea in their heads and try it out. Fortunately that’s not the case, and these types of incidents are extremely rare. Still, let’s hope that this isn’t the beginning of a new trend.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Five Worst Articles of Clothing to Wear in a Survival Situation

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necktieWhether you’re about to enter the wilderness or a bad neighborhood, or if you become aware of an impending disaster, you have time to dress appropriately for what’s coming. But as we all know, dangerous situations aren’t considerate. They don’t always wait for you to be prepared. And in those situations, there are certain articles of clothing that can get you killed.

I’m not going to say that you should never wear any of these things just on the off-chance that something bad could happen. I don’t know about you, but about 99.99% of my life is spent without danger. It would be crazy for me or anyone to completely abandon something convenient over such slim odds. But I will say that you should be aware of what these clothing options can do to you when things get rough and prepare accordingly.

Avoid Wearing These Clothing Garments in a Disaster Situation

Cotton Undergarments

They may be comfortable and breathable, but cotton socks, t-shirts, and underwear can be your undoing in the wilderness. That’s because cotton is a very poor material for maintaining warmth. It can absorb as much as 27 times its own weight in water, which means that if gets wet, it’ll take a long time to dry out. It will cling to your skin, and suck the heat from your body. It won’t matter if you’re wearing better materials like wool over the cotton. If your cotton undergarments get wet from excessive sweat or rain, you can succumb to hypothermia, even if the weather isn’t extremely cold.

Synthetic Fibers

Because of the poor insulating properties of cotton, most experienced hikers and backpackers will wear synthetic materials for their base layer, such as polyester or polypro. Although these materials are significantly warmer than cotton and dry out very quickly, they can also be quite dangerous around open flames. Most synthetic clothes aren’t fire-retardant at all. A small burning ember can ignite these materials, and in some cases they will burn uncontrollably. And what’s worse, is that as they burn they can stick to your skin.

High Heels

Of course, survival situations don’t always occur in the wilderness. Sometimes, what you have to worry about the most isn’t the elements, but other people. If someone tries to be violent with you, one of the worst things you can wear in that situation is high heels. You can’t maintain a decent fighting stance at all in high heels, and you certainly can’t run away easily either.

Neckties

James Bond may look pretty damn cool when he’s fighting bad guys in a suit and tie, but in the real world, a necktie is a serious liability in a fight. There’s a reason why prison guards and security guards wear clip-on ties. If you have a necktie, you’re basically wearing a handle around your neck. Anyone can grab it, and either choke you or throw you around.

Flip Flops and Sandals

Honestly, flip-flops and sandals are some of the worst things you can wear in almost every situation outside of your own home. They offer little or no protection from the elements, and with a few exceptions, they offer no protection for your toes from blunt trauma. You can’t run as fast in them as you could in tennis shoes, and they don’t provide nearly as much ankle support as boots do. Worst yet, it’s very easy for this type of footwear to snag on something as you walk or run, and cause you to trip. For those reasons, they are bad choice to wear in a fight, and they are a bad choice to wear in the wilderness.

A way to circumvent this issue is to have alternate clothing options for bugging out tucked away in a bug out bag or stashed in your vehicle along with items to help you get home safely. As well, consider a few items hidden in your workplace preparedness supplies. Some alternate clothing choices are seasonal appropriate items that wick moisture away (this is helpful in both warm and cold climates). Having items that can be layered is a great option. Here are some ideas:

  •  If it is the winter season: Pack all cold weather essentials for maintaining body heat: Layered clothing, warm hat preferably with flaps over the ears, waterproof pants, mittens, etc.
  • Work gloves
  •  Have at least one change of clothing in your bag and two extra pairs of socks.
  •  A good pair of boots (hiking or combat boots) with a deep trench in the sole.
  • Rain suit
  • Poncho
  • Hat to keep the sun off your face.
  • Bandana

While we are safe a majority of the time, it’s that 1% we need to prepare for. Having a few items stashed away for these unexpected disruptions in your life will give you the added advantage you need to get through a shtf scenario unscathed.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Did You Know That You Can Reload Primers? Here’s How

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shell-casingSeveral months ago I wrote about some of the ways that you can make gunpowder from scratch if society collapses. Those methods were crude and could be used to create a product that doesn’t have as much punch as modern gunpowder, but is effective nonetheless. It’s nice to now that it is possible to create gunpowder in the absence of a modern civilization.

However, there is another component to ammunition that would be far more difficult to create if society fell apart for a long period of time. You can reuse brass and you can make your own gunpowder. A lot of lead can be found in ordinary places in our society, so depending on the firearm, you could cast your own bullets. But you’re going to have a very hard time making your own primers.

That’s because primers contain chemicals that for the vast majority of the population, cannot be sourced locally. Without a functional global economy, or at least a functional national economy, they won’t be made. Until society recovers, you’re stuck with whatever supplies you bought ahead of time. So if you like reloading, make sure you stock up on plenty of primers. It would be wise to have more primers than you think you would need. Even if you don’t get around to using them, primers would no doubt become a hot barter item.

With that said, a backup plan wouldn’t hurt. Though making a primer from scratch would be an incredibly difficult feat for most people, it is possible to reuse and refill primers. Again, the substances you need can’t be sourced from your local environment and won’t be produced anywhere immediately after a societal collapse, but there will be plenty of leftovers lying around in the form of matches.

For instance, the head of a strike anywhere match can be ground up and used to refill a primer (you might be able to do it with ordinary matches as well). Here’s how it’s done:

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Here’s What’s Really Going On Behind the Scenes When Disaster Strikes

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wtc-attackWhenever a disaster strikes, most governments hide behind a veil of fortitude and authority. They make it clear to the population that everything is under control, and order will soon be restored by their efforts. Governments always do everything in their power to convince the population that they’re still in charge regardless of the facts. Which of course makes sense. After all, if everyone knew that the government couldn’t maintain order during a catastrophic event, then they’d want a new government.

As preppers know very well however, it’s often the case that governments aren’t in control of anything during a disaster. Their ineptitude and gross negligence doesn’t go away just because there’s blood in the streets. They don’t rise to the occasion. If anything, quite the opposite happens. The government’s inefficiency and bureaucratic nonsense usually hampers relief efforts, despite the best efforts of most low ranking first responders of course.

What most people don’t realize however, is that average citizens aren’t the only ones to be affected by the poor decisions made by their government. Even the highest levels of our government can quickly lose control of a situation when the SHTF. Disasters are inherently chaotic, and chaos doesn’t discriminate. No matter how much money, power, and expertise is at your disposal, your best laid plans can fall apart when things get real.

And that’s precisely what happened in the United States on 9/11. Most Americans like to think that our government was on the ball in every conceivable way on that day, and that the feds took swift and appropriate actions to deal with the crisis. However, that’s not entirely true. According to NBC, recently declassified documents have revealed that the tippy top of our government was running around with its head cut off on 9/11. Take a look at some of these revelations:

  • Three dozen live nuclear weapons were aboard U.S. Air Force bombers at three airbases when al Qaeda struck New York and Washington.

  • Because of inadequate communications equipment and procedures, top U.S. officials couldn’t talk to each other or to anyone else. Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to speak to Bush to know why the U.S. was preparing to go to DEFCON 3 — but the White House couldn’t put him through to Air Force One. Bush had no way to receive phone calls.

  • After Bush left Florida, where he had been reading a book to schoolkids, his plane was low on fuel but for hours had nowhere to land.

  • Most of the top 10 people in the president’s line of succession, including Vice President Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, either refused to follow the protocol and go to their designated secure sites, or were out of the country, or were never contacted.

  • Now-disgraced Speaker of the House Denny Hastert, third in line, observed protocol and was taken to an underground bunker in the Blue Ridge Mountains. But that left him out of touch with all other top government leaders.

  • Attorney General John Ashcroft was in a government plane and tried to return to Washington, but was turned away by the FAA.

  • Education Secretary Rod Paige, 16th in line to the White House, was left on the tarmac in Sarasota, Florida. He rented a car and drove back to Washington.

That second point is especially worrisome. We nearly went to DEFCON 3 and had no way of communicating with the Russians. Can you imagine how freaked out the Kremlin was on that day? Under different circumstances, 9/11 could have snowballed into an accidental nuclear war.

Keep that in mind for the next time our country is faces a major attack. The government and the media will put on a brave face, but behind the scenes it could be very different. Your politicians and bureaucrats could be quietly panicking or running in all directions in the face a rapidly deteriorating situation that they cannot fix.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Junctional Tourniquets Can Be a Lifesaver. Here’s How They Work

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ambulanceLearning how to apply a tourniquet and when it is appropriate to do so, is one of the first things taught to anyone who is trying to learn first aid. It’s a pretty simple procedure, and is extremely effective at stopping traumatic blood loss. But unfortunately it doesn’t work in all cases. There are certain parts of the body that you simply can’t apply an ordinary tourniquet to.

For instance, you can’t use a tourniquet on a wound in the gut or in the chest. You also can’t use a tourniquet on a wound that is located too far up on a limb, near the pelvis or the shoulder.

When that happens, in most cases you’ll have to apply pressure to the wound with one or both of your hands, which isn’t always ideal. If you or someone you’re with is suffering from a grievous injury, chances are you’re in a survival situation of some kind, and you’ll need your hands free for other tasks. Or if it’s going to be a long time before help arrives, your hands could get tired.

Fortunately there’s a fairly new invention that tackles this problem. It’s called a junctional tourniquet, which is capable of cutting off circulation in places that an ordinary tourniquet can’t reach. It’s so effective that even the US Army is giving these devices to their medics. Here’s how the junctional tourniquet works, according to the manufacturer:

Unfortunately, the junctional tourniquet is quite expensive at the moment. It can be bought new for around $350, but these devices can also be found slightly used on ebay for around $100.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Are Childhood Cancer Rates Up 40% in 16 Years?

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cancer patientCancer seems like a plague of the modern world. While we know that our ancestors were capable of being ravaged by this disease, they didn’t seem to suffer from cancer at anywhere near the same rate that we do now. In the year 1900, only 64 out of every 100,000 people died from cancer. Now the death rate from this disease is approaching 200 out of every 100,000 people on a yearly basis. And if you examined any human society before the year 1900, you’d find that cancer was incredibly rare. By all appearances, there is something about modern life that makes us far more susceptible to cancer.

Of course, mainstream science has offered a few reassuring explanations for this trend, and they’re not without merit. It could be that modern humans suffer from more cancer, simply because we’re capable of living longer. No matter how healthy you are, your chances of dying from cancer go up as you age; and before the industrial revolution, most people didn’t live very long.

Another factor to consider, is the limitation of medical science in the past. Without modern technology, there were a lot of cancers that would have been difficult to diagnose. And until the 20th century, dissection was considered extremely taboo, or was outright forbidden in many societies. So unless the symptoms could be seen on the surface of a body, it would have been difficult to diagnose someone with cancer postmortem

However, there is a problem with both of those ideas. Though they certainly explain a lot of the cancer cases in our society, they’re not applicable to the cancer rates that are seen in modern children.

Researchers with the charity Children with Cancer UK published data on that subject for the very first time this week. They found that there are now 1,300 more child cancer cases in the UK than there were in 1998, which is roughly a 40% increase. The rise was most apparent in teenagers and young adults aged 15-24. According to Dr. Denis Henshaw, an adviser with Children with Cancer UK:

Air pollution was by far the biggest culprit, accounting for around 40 per cent of the rise, but other elements of modern lifestyles are also to blame.

Among these are obesity, pesticides and solvents inhaled during pregnancy, circadian rhythm disruption through too much bright light at night, radiation from x-rays and CT scans, smoking during and after pregnancy, magnetic fields from power lines,  gadgets in homes, and potentially,  radiation from mobile phones.

“When you look at cancers such as childhood leukaemia there is no doubt that environmental factors are playing a big role,” said Dr Henshaw. “We were shocked to see the figures, and it’s modern lifestyle I’m afraid.

“Many items on the list of environmental causes are now known to be carcinogenic, such as air pollution and pesticides and solvents. There has been good research to suggest a mother’s diet can damage DNA in cord blood. Light at night we know is very disruptive for the body, which is why shift workers have such bad health.

Childhood cancer rates throw a wrench in the idea that we have more cancer because people are growing older in the modern world.  These statistics also dispute the notion that cancer rates are increasing because medical technology and awareness are making it easier to diagnose someone with cancer.

Dr. Henshaw argued that some of these cases could be accounted for because of that, but we’re talking about kids living in a developed country in the modern world. How often do children in that situation go without receiving the level of medical care needed to identify cancer? I doubt it happens very often. So if childhood cancer rates are going up, it’s obviously from environmental sources, and those sources are also hurting people of all ages.

It’s safe to say that cancer doesn’t happen naturally in most cases. It happens when you live in a world where being exposed to toxins is nearly inescapable.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Four Signs That Suggest Europe Is Preparing for War

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russian soldiersThese days, it seems like there are no shortage of existential threats bearing down on Western Europeans. They barely managed to pull themselves out of the global crash of 2008, by burying themselves in debts that can never be repaid. They’ve accepted millions of immigrants from cultures that seem incompatible with their liberal values. As a result of that, over the past year the continent has seen some of the most horrific terrorist attacks in recent memory. They also have nations like the UK trying to free themselves from the EU, and fast growing nationalistic movements that threaten to tear the EU apart.

However, those are just the internal problems of that region. Amid the fraying of Western Europe, there is something far worse brewing in the East. You can almost hear the war drums pounding in Eastern Europe, as tensions grow between Russia and NATO. Putin himself has warned that Europe, and by extension the world, is being pulled into an “irreversible direction” towards war.

But don’t just take Putin’s word. There are several signs that Europe is either preparing for war, or a massive social upheaval of some kind.

  • French civilians are reportedly stocking up on guns, in preparation for a potential civil war with the migrant populations in their nation. High ranking French officials have also expressed fears over a potential civil war, and reports show that German civilians are also stocking up on weapons.
  • After a string of terror attacks rocked Germany this Summer, their government put together a civil defense plan for the population. It includes instructions for the German people to stock up on a 10 day supply of food and water, which makes this the first German civil defense plan to offer that suggestion since the end of the Cold War.
  • Several European nations are considering re-instituting a military draft, which again, was a common practice until after the Cold War ended. Polls show that in countries like France and Sweden, a majority of the population would support bringing back conscription. The reasons cited for this move include heightened fears over domestic terrorism, and a resurgent Russia.
  • In August the Russians claimed that they had foiled a Ukrainian terrorist attack in Crimea. Within days, the Russian government mobilized 40,000 troops along the Ukrainian border. Oftentimes the Russians use these military training exercises as a cover to move their troops close to a nation before invading, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has suggested mobilizing his military and declaring martial to counter any potential incursion.

Obviously it’s impossible to know what is going to happen next. The sabre rattling between Russia and the West has been going on for so long now that it’s difficult to discern the difference between war preparations and bluster.  However, this tit for tat can only go on for so long before one side pulls the trigger for real. Hopefully, sanity will prevail before that happens.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

General Mills Recalls Multiple E. Coli Tainted Flour Products

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flourA lot has happened over the past three months. There was a mass shooting at a night club in Orlando, Hillary and Trump were nominated to run for president with their respective parties, there was a coup in Turkey, and the UK voted to leave the European Union. And amid all of these crazy stories, the media largely forgot to mention that there have been multiple food recalls for flour products over the summer.

General Mills, one of the most popular flour producers in the United States, has issued four separate recalls for their flour products since May. Maybe I’ve just been living under a rock, but I was surprised to learn this. With the exception of a handful of news articles, this story has pretty much flown under the radar for three months. It hasn’t “trended” at all.

I digress.

The products were tainted with E. coli, which has plagued America’s food supply for years. Fortunately, these products can be made safe if cooked properly. As we all know however, sometimes baked goods don’t come out of the oven perfectly cooked. Where normally you might be inclined to overlook something that’s 99% cooked, in this case it would be best to not to take any chances. According to General Mills, if you happen to own any of their tainted food products, they should be thrown out.

You can find a list of their potentially tainted products on their website, which includes brand names like Betty Crocker, Gold Medal, and Kitchen Signature. The items in question are listed by their UPC number, and better if used by dates.

Of course, not everyone is going to heed their warning. If you’re confident in your baking skills, and you don’t plan on throwing out your flour, then look out for the symptoms of E. coli, which typically show up between one and five days after eating tainted food:

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) is the type most commonly heard about on the news because of the outbreaks it causes. An intestinal infection by STEC — which typically lives in cattle and migrates to humans after animal feces contaminate human food — results in:

  • Nausea
  • Severe stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea, which can be severe and bloody
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting (rare)
  • Low-grade fever (rare)

People generally recover from STEC infections after about a week. But some individuals, particularly children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems, may develop complications such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening form of kidney failure.

Early symptoms of HUS include:

  • Bloody stools (typically diarrhea)
  • Vomiting
  • General weakness and lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Fever

If the condition progresses, it can lead to:

  • Bruising and spots on the skin (petechia)
  • Decreased urination
  • Pale skin
  • Jaundice
  • Seizures (rare)

If that doesn’t convince you to take this product recall seriously, then you’re a hell of a lot braver than me. It may be tedious to throw out a sack of flour, but these products are pretty cheap. Would you risk coming down with some of those symptoms over a couple of dollars?

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Identify Sepsis as Quickly as Possible

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emergency careDo you know what sepsis is? Sadly, if you answered affirmatively to that question, you’re in the minority. Most people don’t really know anything about this condition. At best, the general public has heard some actor mention it in passing on a medical drama. They don’t really get what it means, or how big of a threat it is.

Which is unfortunate, because sepsis is very common. About 750,000 people with sepsis are hospitalized every year (of them, over 250,000 people die from it), and at any given time, about 1 and 10 patients in US hospitals have the condition. Over half of patients who die in hospitals have the condition in some form, and sadly, the number of people who die from it is increasing every year.

So what exactly is sepsis? For starters, it’s a condition, and not a disease as many people think. It’s basically what happens when your body responds to an infection, but that response is so severe that it damages your own tissue. It’s usually caused by a bacterial infection, but fungal, viral, and parasitical conditions can also cause it.

As for who’s the most susceptible to sepsis, a wide range of people can come down with it. On the one hand, it tends strike people with weak or compromised immune systems. That includes the very young, the very old, those undergoing chemotherapy, or people with chronic ailments like AIDS.  On the other hand, anyone can get it. Even if you have a healthy immune system, a traumatic injury, infection, or surgery can cause it. The most common infections that lead to sepsis are pneumonia, kidney infections, bloodstream infections and lung infections. In half of all sepsis cases, the lungs are found to be the source.

By now you may be wondering how you can identify and treat sepsis. Unfortunately there isn’t an easy answer to that, because to properly treat sepsis, it first has to be identified very quickly. With every hour that sepsis goes untreated, your chance of death increases by 7.6% percent. Once the most severe form of sepsis sets in (aka septic shock) there is about a 50%-70% chance of death.

And it’s very difficult to identify. Even highly trained doctors struggle diagnose the condition early on, because many of its symptoms can look like complications from other diseases, and not everyone suffers from the same exact symptoms. But if you do know the early symptoms, you have a fighting chance at identifying the condition quickly.

One of the biggest indicators is low blood pressure, which is usually accompanied by an elevated heart rate, rapid breathing, and a low body temperature. Though oftentimes, a high body temperature is found instead (you can see why this may be tricky for a doctor to diagnose). If caused by an infected wound, severe swelling, intense pain, and redness can be seen. Edema and decreased urination are common as well. And finally, a rapidly deteriorating mental state resulting in confusion is very common.

Sadly, those are pretty much the only symptoms that you as a layman can look for to identify sepsis early on. If you understand what makes someone more susceptible to it, and you know what the symptoms are, you can try to put two and two together, and that’s about it. You’d be fortunate to catch it early on, so it’s best not to take any chances. If there’s even the slightest possibility that you have it, go to the hospital immediately. Once there, the only treatment is antibiotics, intravenous fluids, and lots of prayers.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Here’s What Movies Forget to Mention About What Happens After Society Collapses

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urban ruinsPost-apocalyptic movies are popular for a reason. We live in a world that is brimming with long lines, bills, traffic jams, bureaucracy, and stressful jobs. So even though we intuitively understand that living in an apocalyptic hellscape would be an absolute horror show, in the back of our minds we kinda wish that we had an excuse to blow off all of our modern responsibilities.

In that sense, post-apocalyptic movies and TV shows provide the perfect fantasy for us. They give us loner protagonists wandering through the quiet, windswept ruins of our cities, scavenging for food and fighting off zombies instead of working day jobs. These films try to convince us that post-apocalyptic living is an arduous but simple feat, in much the same way that Old Western movies romanticized the pre-modern world.

In short, these films depict the death of everything we hate about modern society, while downplaying the consequences of that state of affairs. They portray the leftovers of our society as a playground for charismatic misfits, but neglect to inform you of a very important detail. If the modern world falls apart, never to return, it’s going to leave behind an abundance of ticking time bombs in its wake.

They don’t show you what will happen to millions of our abandoned pets, who will revert to their wild instincts after we stop feeding them, and begin competing with their former owners for food. These films don’t show you what it’s like to walk through an abandoned suburban city, where ten thousand swimming pools have turned into breeding grounds for disease carrying mosquitoes.

They rarely mention the dozens of nuclear power plants that litter the United States. If no one is there to operate them, how long before they melt down and bury millions of survivors under a radioactive cloud?

Then there are the 12,000 facilities around the country that store large quantities of toxic or flammable chemicals, and reside close to residential areas. 2,500 of these sites contain chemicals in quantities that, if a catastrophic accident were to occur, could affect 10,000 to 1 million people each. And let’s not forget the 2.5 million miles of oil and gas pipelines that can be found in every state. They suffer hundreds of leaks and ruptures every year, and are much more likely to explode when they aren’t maintained. That detail seems to be conveniently forgotten by post-apocalyptic films.

And finally, most post-apocalyptic movies will forget to mention what happens when there aren’t any functional fire departments. Aside from the obvious consequences, like whole neighborhoods routinely burning to the ground, who’s going to put out landfill fires that are occasionally radioactive?

Another product of the modern world is the poor management of our national parks and forests, which has laid the groundwork for some of the largest and fastest burning forest fires in history. Even with the help of firefighters, these conflagrations routinely burn more than a 100,000 acres at a time. How many rural Americans are going to have to flee their homes from the veritable tidal wave of wildfires that would scorch the landscape?

Frankly, this is just a short list of some of the unexpected disasters that will be waiting for us if society collapses. There are probably plenty of others that we haven’t even considered yet. So the next time you’re enjoying a post-apocalyptic feature of some kind, try not to get too wrapped up in the fantasy it provides. If the world falls apart, traveling through the ruins of our dead civilization will be less like a whimsical action packed adventure, and more like traversing a mine field without a metal detector.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Strange Reason Why Smallpox Could Make a Comeback

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smallpoxKids these days have no idea how good they’ve got it. You definitely know what I’m talking about if you’re an American above the age of 44. That’s because you still bear the scar from the smallpox vaccination you received on your arm decades ago. You were alive when a global vaccination campaign conducted by the WHO managed to eradicate smallpox in the United States by 1972, and globally by 1980. Because of that, your kids got to grow up in a world where they would never have to worry about dying from smallpox.

Or at least that’s what we used to think. After 9/11 the public became increasingly aware of the fact that smallpox wasn’t completely eradicated. The United States maintained samples of the virus for research purposes, and the Soviets weaponized the virus.

To this day the Russian government still maintains a stockpile of the weaponized virus, and for years the West has worried that some of these samples may have fallen into the hands of terrorists after the Soviet Union collapsed. Fortunately that threat seems unfounded now, since it’s been 25 years since the Soviet Union dissolved, and no attacks involving smallpox have occurred.

However, that isn’t the only way that smallpox could rear its ugly head again. It turns out that mother nature may be holding onto her own stockpile of the virus.

Earlier this month, an anthrax outbreak occurred in Russia’s far north, outside the town of Salekhard. More than 2,300 reindeer were killed, and dozens of nomadic herders were hospitalized. At first the incident was a complete mystery, since anthrax hadn’t been seen in that region since the 1940’s. Eventually though, the authorities figured out what the source of the outbreak was.

Over the past month, the region has seen temperatures that reached 95 degrees Fahrenheit, which is unheard of for a community that resides above the Arctic Circle. It turns out that melting permafrost released anthrax spores from a dead animal that had been frozen for decades. Since anthrax can survive hundreds of years in frozen conditions, it had no problem infecting animals and humans once the carcass thawed.

Which has left some scientists wondering if smallpox could be thawed out of the permafrost in the near future.

Anthrax spores are already ‘on the loose” on the Yamal peninsula, according to one scientist, and this should act as a warning of the real risk of a return of eradicated smallpox from melting permafrost which allows the erosion of river banks at sites where victims were buried, said another.

‘Back in the 1890s, there occurred a major epidemic of smallpox,’ said Boris Kershengolts, deputy director for research at the Institute for Biological Problems of Cryolithozone, of the Siberian Branch of the Academy of Sciences.

‘There was a town where up to 40% of the population died. Naturally, the bodies were buried under the upper layer of permafrost soil, on the bank of the Kolyma River. Now, a little more than 100 years later, Kolyma’s floodwaters have started eroding the banks.’

Experts from the Novosibirsk-based Virology and Biotechnology Centre had conducted research in the area, said Sergey Netesov, chief of the bionanotechnology, microbiology and virology laboratory at the natural sciences department of Novosibirsk State University.

The corpses they studied bore sores that looked like those smallpox might cause, he told an intriguing and troubling TASS video conference involving multi-disciplinary experts on the implications of the outbreak of anthrax on the Yamal peninsula in northern Siberia. 

While the virus itself was not found, some fragments of its DNA were noted. ‘This type of research should go on,’ he urged. ‘Examining deeper burials might help clear up the situation.’ 

Make no mistake, it’s been proven that smallpox can survive being frozen, so it seems likely that melting permafrost could release the virus in the near future. Unfortunately, very few people in the modern world would have any immunity to this virus. Even people who were vaccinated in the 60’s and 70’s wouldn’t be safe, since the vaccine only provides immunity for several years. Perhaps kids these days don’t have it so good after all.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Make One of the Hardiest Non-Perishable Survival Foods

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pemmicanMaintaining a supply of non-perishable food is usually of the highest priority for preppers, which explains why there is such a wide variety of books and articles catering to the prepper community, on canning, dehydrating, and storing food. But among all of the food preservation methods that are so popular with preppers, there is one little known method that stands out. It is by no means unheard of, but it isn’t nearly as popular as it used to be.

I’m referring to the process of making pemmican; a type of non-perishable food that is known for its high calorie density. Pemmican was first created by the Native Americans, and was later adopted by European settlers. It remained popular among pioneers, explorers, and military units well into the 20th century, when it likely fell out of favor with the proliferation of canned foods. Which is a shame, because pemmican is awesome. It’s loaded with all of the fat and protein you need to get through a hard day, and not to mention quite tasty as well.

Though there are multiple recipes for this survival food, pemmican always contains lean dried meat and tallow. The meat is ground up into a powder like substance before being mixed with liquid fat. Nuts and berries are often added as well. Afterward the whole mix is sealed in a container, and stored in a cool dry place. Under these conditions it can last for months, years, and sometimes decades if nothing is added to the meat and fat.

So if you’re looking for another food preservation method, watch this quick guide on how to make pemmican, and enjoy!

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

6 Million Americans Are Drinking This Toxic Chemical and Don’t Know It

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tap waterFor the developed world, clean drinking water is taken for granted. It’s one of the first things that a society has to figure out how to provide on wide scale, before it can be considered modern. However, just because the water that flows through your taps is free of dangerous microorganisms, doesn’t necessarily mean that your water is clean. If anything, it seems like the modern world has traded “water filled with bacteria” for “water filled with strange chemicals and heavy metals.”

Here in the US, the public is starting to realize that their tap water isn’t nearly as pure as they thought it was. We know that in some parts of the country there is Uranium in the water, and in other parts, pharmaceuticals are often found in the taps. And after the Flint water crisis made the news, we learned that lead is much more pervasive in our water supply than any of us could have imagined.

And now you can add polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl (also known as PFASs) to the long list of crazy stuff in our water supply. These carcinogenic chemicals can interfere with your body’s immune system, disrupt your hormones, and can cause obesity. They’ve been around for about 60 years, and once they get in the water supply they’re nearly impossible to remove. And according to a recent study conducted by Harvard researchers, PFASs are all over the place now.

The study found that PFASs were detectable at the minimum reporting levels required by the EPA in 194 out of 4,864 water supplies in 33 states across the U.S.

Drinking water from 13 states accounted for 75 percent of the unsafe supply, led by California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Georgia, Minnesota, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Illinois.

Sixty-six of the public water supplies examined, serving six million people, had at least one water sample that measured at or above what the EPA considers safe for human consumption.

The highest levels of PFASs were detected near industrial sites, military bases, and wastewater treatment plants—all places where these chemicals may be used or found.

And there may be far more than 6 million people being exposed to these chemicals on a regular basis. This study only looked at small public water systems and a few private wells, which only accounted for the water supply of about 100 million Americans.

If you wondering if this problem will be taken care of in the near future, don’t hold your breath. There’s a reason why so many toxic substances are in our water in the first place. Either nobody knows how to filter them out (which is the case with PFASs), or the local governments that manage the water don’t have enough resources to prevent the contamination, or clean the water. Every day our public water supplies are turning more and more into toxic soup, and there isn’t a whole lot we can do about it.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Non-Organic Crops Are About to Become Much More Toxic

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corn crop gmo toxicWhen Monsanto first released their Roundup Ready crops, which are seeds that have been engineered to withstand the company’s trademark pesticide, most farmers rejoiced. After all, this meant that they could eliminate weeds without having to worry about damaging their crops. And as an added bonus, it was thought at the time that these GMOs would reduce pesticide use; a notion that is laughable in retrospect.

The application of glyphosate around the world has increased 15 fold since these Roundup Ready crops were first introduced in the 1990s. These days US farmers are applying 300 million pounds of glyphosate to their crops every year, which is staggering when you consider that they were only using 11 million pounds per year in the 1980’s. However, this usage rate as less to do with popularity and more to do with necessity.

Roundup Ready crops have created a problem in agriculture that is similar to the problems caused by antibiotics, whose overuse has bred highly resistant strains of superbugs. The overuse of glyphosate has bred superweeds, which are resistant to the pesticide. And the more resistant they become, the more pesticides that farmers have to apply. It’s an endless cycle that farmers have no idea how to break out of. The problem just keeps getting worse and worse as the years go by. There are now 100 million acres of crops in the United States that contain superweeds.

So if Monsanto caused this problem, do they have a solution? Yep, and it’s the kind of horrifying solution that only Monsanto could come up with.

Monsanto’s own solution to this escalating problem would seem as laughably predictable as a bad Hollywood sequel if it weren’t all too real: Let’s roll out more GMO crops designed to withstand being doused with even more weed killer. Monsanto calls its next-generation line of GMO soybeans “Xtend,” and these are capable of not only surviving heavy applications of glyphosate but an older, more potent herbicide known as dicamba.

Federal regulators have yet to approve the new dicamba-based weed killer Monsanto formulated to pair with its dicamba-resistant GMO soybeans. But that apparently hasn’t stopped some desperate farmers from spraying dicamba anyway. And because the chemical has a nasty tendency to drift to neighboring fields, Monsanto’s new GMO crops aren’t only upending the natural order, they appear to being upending the social order in tight-knit farming communities too: Neighbors are accusing neighbors of illegally spraying dicamba and killing off crops that haven’t been engineered to tolerate the chemical. Dozens and dozens of complaints have been filed in Missouri and in Arkansas, but that may only be the beginning in the next chapter of the Monsanto saga. If the company’s new herbicide wins federal approval and certain farmers start spraying it, surrounding farmers might have no choice but to plant Monsanto’s dicamba-resistant GMO crops too—or risk their own crops dying from herbicide drift.

As one crop scientist at the University of Arkansas tells NPR: “[These farmers are] afraid they’re not going to be able to grow what they want to grow. They’re afraid that they’re going to be forced to go with that technology.”

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where this is going. There’s going to be more pesticides on more crops, more superweeds, and a hell of a lot more money for Monsanto. As for the company’s new dicambe based pesticide, it hasn’t shown any potential to cause health problems in humans, but there also hasn’t been nearly as many studies on the chemical. When Roundup first came out for instance, everyone thought it was safe. Now it’s becoming more acceptable in the scientific community to admit that this stuff is super toxic. Until dicambe is used on a wider scale, we won’t really know what it’s capable of.

If you haven’t switched to organic food, consider this a wake-up call. America’s food supply is probably about to become more toxic than any of us could have imagined.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

US Hasn’t Had Any Major Hurricanes in a Decade. Are You Still Prepared?

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hurricaneHurricanes are probably one of the most common disasters that preppers will face. They can destroy homes, cut off utilities, hinder essential services, block roads, and cause widespread panic among unprepared citizens who often strip store shelves bare before the storm arrives. One way to look at this, is that hurricanes provide a localized version of the social collapse scenarios that preppers often worry about. So if there’s a silver lining in this type of disaster, at least it gives us an opportunity to try out some of our preps in a real world disaster.

In case you haven’t noticed though, it doesn’t seem like there have been very many hurricanes lately. There have been a few small ones, sure. Aside from Hurricane Sandy however, which was a category 2 storm when it made landfall in the United States, these storms haven’t been making many headlines in recent years.

That’s because we haven’t been hit by a major hurricane in over 10 years. As shocking as it may sound, it’s been over 3900 days since a storm measuring category 3 or larger has hit the US, which is longer than any previous record by over two years. Florida hasn’t been hit by a hurricane of any size in 11 years, and America’s side of the Gulf Coast, which is notorious for hurricane activity, hasn’t been hit by anything in 3 years.

So where did all of these heavy hitting storms go? They still pop up in the Atlantic every year, but they keep losing steam before they reach our shores, and in many cases they don’t reach us at all. Scientists aren’t really sure why. As best as they can tell, we’ve just been ridiculously lucky.

Once our luck does run out however, the devastation could be far greater that what we’ve seen in previous years. Some researchers think that after more than 10 years without any major hurricanes, people living along our coastlines aren’t as prepared as they should be, and neither are their communities.

“Hurricanes are going to hit the U.S. again and people are going to be shocked by the magnitude of the disaster,” said Roger Pielke Jr., professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The Associated Press reports Florida’s coastal communities have added 1.5 million people and almost a half-million new homes since 2005, the last time there was an onslaught of storms.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration projects that by 2020, the U.S. coastal population will have reached 134 million people, 11 million more than in 2010.

“Hurricane damage and destruction is a direct function of how much accumulated wealth there is,” Pielke said. “We’ve put a lot of stuff along the coast. If we’re in this 10-year drought, loss potentials in some places may now be two times higher than it was a decade ago.”

On top of that, there’s the simple fact that residents living in these areas may have let their guard down, and aren’t as prepared for hurricanes as they used to be. Plus you have millions of new residents living along the coasts who may not have much experience with hurricanes. When these storms start making landfall again, there’s going to be enough damage to make up for the past 10 years.

So if you happen to be living in an area that has been spared from hurricanes, don’t neglect your preps. Get ready for the next hurricane now before it’s too late.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

First Locally Transmitted Zika Cases Confirmed in the U.S.

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mosquitoFor most of the past year, the mosquito borne Zika virus has been in the news quite a bit, and for good reason. Though it’s not the sort of threat that will end civilization as we know it, Zika can make you really sick, and it can cause birth defects in pregnant women. But more importantly, the virus has a real knack for spreading to human populations that were once considered unlikely hosts.

Originally, Zika mainly preyed on monkeys in Africa and Asia, and it rarely made the leap to humans. But since 2007 the virus has managed to spread across several Pacific islands, and has thoroughly riddled Latin America. It’s estimated that as many as 1.5 million people have been infected in Brazil alone, leading to thousands of cases of babies born with microcephaly.

And over the past few months we’ve been seeing Zika pop up in the United States. For the most part, these cases consisted of people who had been infected in other countries before returning to the US. Unfortunately, that’s all about change.

An outbreak of the Zika virus has been confirmed in Florida, marking the first time the virus has been found to be transmitted via infected mosquitoes within the continental U.S.

The outbreak has infected at least four people, three men and one woman, through local transmission, Florida officials said today.

“This means Florida has become the first state in our nation to have local transmission of the Zika virus,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said today.

Scott said a small area in northern Miami that is about a square mile in size is the only area where the Zika virus is being transmitted from mosquitoes to people.

“We’re being very aggressive at testing people there we are testing the mosquitoes there and we spraying to make sure it’s contained,” Scott said. He said health officials do not think that the transmission was ongoing.

Now that mosquitoes are carrying the Zika virus in the United States, all bets are off. The government thinks that it can contain Zika with aggressive mosquito control programs, and they may very well succeed if they quickly implement those measures. If they don’t however, then the possibility of becoming infected with the virus may turn into a normal fact of life in America.

That’s because the mosquito that typically carries Zika, the Aedes aegypti, can be found all over the United States. The highest concentrations of this bug are in the deep South, but they can also be found in much of the East Coast and in California. If Zika isn’t contained in Florida, then some of these regions may face the same levels of infection that we’re seeing in Brazil.

Unfortunately, once a virus like this finds a foothold in the environment, it’s pretty much impossible to completely remove it. Even if we did eliminate it, we would still have people carrying the virus, and unwittingly transporting it across borders. It will just keep coming back.

We’re looking at a situation where the authorities will probably be able to contain the virus in small pockets of the South, but will never be rid of it. If say there is an economic collapse of some kind, and the mosquito control programs lose their budget, then Zika is going explode and show up in thousands of communities. In other words, we’re going to be living with the impending threat of a Zika epidemic for a very long time.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Much Time Would You Have to Prepare for a Supervolcano?

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volcano wikimediaMost preppers probably don’t spend very much time getting ready for a supervolcano like Yellowstone to erupt. Or at least they don’t if they’ve done their research. While there are a handful of these volcanoes on Earth, each of which could devastate our planet’s environment for years, the time between each eruption can be measured in hundreds of thousands of years. In all likelihood, we’re not going to see one of these volcanoes erupt in our lifetimes.

On the other hand, supervolcanoes are still pretty scary, because they can erupt at anytime. They’re kind of like those old jack-in-the-box toys. They spend a lot of time building up pressure before unexpectedly blowing up in your face.

Which has to make you wonder, how much warning would the public get before one of these geological beasts blows up? Even if a supervolcano is overdue for an eruption, that could mean that it’s going to blow its top tomorrow or 10,000 years from now. Is it really just going to go off one day without any warning, or will there be signs that will tip us off ahead of time?

It turns out that yes, supervolcanoes would provide a few warning signs that would give us a fairly definite timeline before they go off, but unfortunately it’s not a very comforting timeline. According to a recent study, you’d have about a year or less to prepare.

Right before any super eruption though, there is one final stage — the decompression stage — characterized by the release of gas bubbles at the eruption site.

So, the study researchers decided to analyze quartz crystals at the site of one of these massive eruptions that erupted in California about 760,000 years ago, creating the Long Valley Caldera. Quartz crystals cover surface rims of eruption sites, so by analyzing them, the researchers were able to determine the rim growth rates times of the volcano based on the concentration of titanium in the crystals. By measuring the size and growth rates of these rims, they were able to determine the length of time it took for an explosion to happen once the decompression phase had begun.

Their analysis showed that more than 70% of rim growth occurred in less than a year, indicating that the quartz rims grow mostly in just the days or months prior to an eruption.

At first glance, most preppers would find that kind of warning to be a relief. After all, if someone told you that say, a nuclear war was going to happen in a year or that a tsunami was going to wipe out your home in a few months, you would have plenty of time to either get ready or get out of dodge.

But with a supervolcano, you’re dealing with a disaster that people and governments would need more time to prepare for. Depending on where the volcano is positioned, millions of people may need to be evacuated, which even with a year’s heads up could turn into a massive humanitarian disaster.

And then there’s the ash that would spew over an area that could be as large as nearly 200,000 square miles, and piled several inches deep on the ground after it settles, screwing up crops and clogging rivers and streams in the process.

And finally, the volcano could expel massive amounts of gasses like sulfur dioxide, which would reflect the sun’s rays away from the Earth. That would likely cause unusual rain patterns and freezing weather, in regions and seasons that wouldn’t normally have those conditions. There’s no doubt that we’d be faced with massive crop failures all over the world. And if that’s not bad enough, this scenario could play out over the course of a decade.

There are already hundreds of millions of people who don’t have food. There’s no telling how many of them would die within a decade, or how much geopolitical insecurity that could cause. When you think about it, a supervolcano could totally shatter the current world order, for better or for worse, and that’s not really something any person or government could prepare for in less than a year.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Do You Live in a Flood Zone? You’ll Want to See This.

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flood-truck_RNLiving in a flood zone is a lot like living next to a time bomb. You have no idea when it’s going to go off. Though some areas are flooded on a routine basis, those communities tend to be more prepared for such events. The real danger lies in living in a 50 year or a 100 year flood zone. The threat is great enough that it will probably happen in your lifetime, but not so great that you can expect local authorities and the local infrastructure to handle it properly.

But regardless of where you live, if there’s any chance of water reaching your home, you’ll want to do whatever you can to prepare for that event. Aside from fires, floods can cause the most expensive damages to your home, and that’s assuming your home isn’t completely destroyed.

Thankfully, there is a rather unique method for guarding your home from flood water. Though it’s pretty expensive, it pales in comparison to the cost of flood damages. It’s called the Aqua Dam, and it made headlines last month when Texas was being inundated with flood waters.

According to the company that makes the Aqua Dam, it’s actually cheaper per square foot that sandbags, and is far easier and faster to install in an emergency. As an added bonus, the Aqua Dam can be used for storing potable water, which can be hard to come by if a storm damages local utilities. With attributes like that, I have a feeling that this product is going to be a hot commodity among preppers in the near future.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Seven Places Where WW3 Could Start at Any Time

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It seems like you can’t watch the news anymore without stumbling onto a story that contains terrifying global implications. Not since the Cold War have tensions been so high among the nations of the world. You can strike sparks just about anywhere. The threat of another global war is downright palpable.

Most people shrug at the thought of World War Three, either because they’re ignorant or because they don’t think there would be any chance of surviving it, so why bother? But preppers know better. Just about anything can be survived under the right conditions and with the right preparations. And when it comes to World War Three, your best chance at survival rests in your ability to see it coming. And to do that, you need only pay attention to world events, and keep an eye on the following places:

Syria

At the moment, this fractured Middle Eastern nation is probably the most likely candidate to spark WW3. You have armed Russian and American aircraft in close proximity to each other at all times, radicalized Islamic extremists battling the Syrian government, Iranian backed Hezbollah units (who happen to be enemies of Israel), Turkish machinations, and Saudi financiers. And let’s not forget that all of these actors are in it for themselves, and alliances are constantly shifting. Syria is one hot stew that could boil over at any moment.

Eastern Europe

After the Ukrainian government was ousted by rebels who wanted out of Russia’s sphere of influence (and some say with the help of Western governments), Russia annexed Crimea and helped support counter rebels in Eastern Ukraine. And that may not be the end of it. NATO and the EU are constantly trying to wrangle Eastern European nations into their own sphere of influence, and the Russian government feels like it’s being encircled by the West. Their only remaining friend in the region is an aging dictator in Belarus who is deeply unpopular. How long before Eastern Europe blows up again is anyone’s guess.

East China Sea

The Chinese government claims that this region rightfully belongs to them. Why? Because there’s tons of oil there, which mainland China is severely lacking. However, just about every nation on the planet disagrees with their claim, especially their neighbors like Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam, who have fought countless wars against them throughout history. Two of those nations are close allies of the US, and are capable of building nuclear weapons at any time.

North Korea

The only thing propping up the North Korean regime is China, and for good reason. If North Korea ever fell under the influence of the South, then an American ally would be about an eight hour drive away from Beijing. They’ll do everything in their power to keep American forces away from their borders. Unfortunately, North Korea is run by the most insane and antagonistic governments on the planet. Any small conflict here could quickly escalate into a global conflagration.

Russia-Chinese Border

These days it seems like Russia and China are real tight. They’ve been building a military and economic alliance for many years now, as they both view the United States as their biggest threat. However, this is a relationship of convenience and nothing more. In fact, there is a long history of antagonism between the two nations, which came to a head in 1969 when the two nations fought a border dispute.

And there’s no doubt that this border dispute could flare up again in the future, and the reason why has to do with the demographics of these nations. On the one hand you have China, which is brimming with people huddled in overpopulated cities, and then you have Russia, which has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. The Russians fear that one day the Chinese will seek to expand their territory into Eastern Siberia, which is sparsely populated, poorly protected, and resource rich. Given those conditions, the lower latitudes of Siberia would certainly be a tempting conquest for densely populated China.

India-Chinese Border

India and China are natural rivals. They’re both large, post-colonial nations with over a billion people, and they’re both trying to leverage their massive impoverished populations to build their economies. Essentially, they’re both vying for the same niche in the global economy; that of a nation with an endless supply of cheap labor. However, there’s only room for one at that table.

So it wouldn’t be surprising if these two nuclear armed nations came to blows in the future. In fact, they fought a border skirmish back in 1962, which India handily lost. A lot of bad blood still exists between these nations, and they both still argue about the dimensions of their borders.

Kashmir

Most people don’t talk or even think about Kashmir anymore, but they should. This region is quiet now, but it’s at the center of the single most dangerous border dispute in the world. India and Pakistan fought a war over this territory in 1999, but China has also laid claim to parts of Kashmir. So you have three nuclear armed nations with nearly 3 billion people all vying for this single chunk of land. That should end well right?

And don’t forget that Pakistan is on the footsteps of Afghanistan; a nation whose central location in Asia has made it one of the most hotly contested regions in human history. The US is currently struggling to maintain control over Afghanistan, so obviously a war over Kashmir could easily pull us in. After that, it’s anyone’s guess what happens next.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Four Essential Steps to Rebuilding Civilization

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ruined cityPreppers spend a lot of time and energy figuring out what they need to do to protect themselves and their families in a wide variety of situations. However, their preps usually have more to do with basic sustenance than they do with prosperity. This is by necessity of course, since when disaster strikes, mere survival is often the best any of us could hope for.

But if we want to really thrive after a major disaster (and in this case I mean a truly cataclysmic disaster that throws us into a new dark age), hunkering down in our homes with weapons and freeze-dried food isn’t going to cut it in the long run. At some point after the dust settles, we’re going to have to come out of our bunkers and start rebuilding the kind of civilization that we want our children to grow up in.

Which, when you think about it, is an incredibly daunting task. A civilization that could provide even a fraction of the amenities that we have now, would rely upon millions of people carrying out thousands of unique services, any of which can derail civilization to some degree if they’re not fulfilled. And when you think about it that way, it almost seems impossible. Where do you even begin?

The truth is, that while civilization depends on everyone carrying out countless (and often thankless) jobs, there are a few core pillars of civilization that are more important than anything else. If after a disaster, these tasks are taken care of, everything else will eventually fall into place. Once it’s safe enough for you and your family to start engaging with what’s left of your community, these are the problems that will need to be solved first:

Re-establishing Order

As much we preppers like to criticize the government, we all know that if there isn’t some kind of system that punishes people who murder and steal, then we don’t have a civilization. Nothing will be rebuilt if people don’t feel safe enough to leave their homes.

After any kind of collapse however, there is a brief period of time where just about anyone could come to power, including people who have no business telling the rest of us what to do. You see this all the time in developing nations, where bandits, warlords, and drug cartels are often the only form of authority for some communities. The actions taken by you and your community after the collapse, will determine whether or not you will live under criminals, or live under a system that respects your rights, protects your property, and appropriately engages with neighboring communities.

Rebuilding Communication Networks

A civilization is only as advanced as its mode of communication. If after the collapse, the only way to send a message is by written letters delivered on horseback, then your community will have all the luxuries of an 18th century village. But if you can establish some kind of electronic communication, you’ll be in pretty good shape.

Obviously, the survivors of the collapse won’t have the resources or know-how to get the internet up and running again. Instead, ham radio operators will likely be the best candidates for rebuilding global communications. Even though these radios can’t send or receive signals globally, they still have a range of dozens of miles, and sometimes hundreds of miles in perfect conditions. A network of these operators working together, could help small isolated communities relay messages across any given continent.

Opening Transportation Routes

It’s been pointed out before that once the trucks stop delivering goods, civilization will grind to a halt. One of the first orders of business for any fledgling survivors, will be reopening and repairing transportation channels, so that goods can once again reach their homes. This may require the removal of abandoned cars from crumbling roadways, or if nearby bridges have collapsed, survivors may have to construct pontoons or makeshift cable ferry’s to transport goods until the bridges are rebuilt.

Producing Trade Goods

And finally, any community that wants to thrive after the collapse will have to produce some kind of tangible good or useful service that the world around them needs. If your community can make something that other communities need, it will be on the fast track to full recovery after the collapse, because then you’ll be able trade on a wider market and attain desperately needed supplies and labor for rebuilding civilization.

It could be something as simple as producing a surplus of food, or reopening a mine that went out of commission when everything fell apart. Communities that can’t produce something that the global economy needs, will be mired in poverty for years, and may resort to unsavory practices to survive. So if you’re thinking about moving to a rural area that will be safe from the chaos of a social collapse, take a good hard look at the local economy, and make sure that community produces something tangible that the world needs.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Quick and Easy Way to Make a Fishing Spear

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fishingCivilization makes life so easy, because you only have to be specialized in a handful of skills to survive. And the money those skills bring in will pay for everything else that you need in life. If however you’re ever stuck in the wilderness, you’ll find that you have to juggle countless responsibilities to survive. You have to build your own shelter, gather your own wood, protect yourself from predators, procure and clean your own water, and you have to find your own food.

And when it comes to food, you’ll require another layer of diverse skills. You’ll need to know how to forage and how to tell which plants are edible. You’ll have learn how to set traps and how to properly clean and cook the animals that you kill. And among many other skills, it would be useful to know how to catch a fish.

Obviously, if you’re struggling to survive in the wilderness, you won’t have a fishing pole and a tackle box. All you’ll have is your own bare hands and what you can make with them. While you could make a rudimentary fishing pole, in many cases your best bet would be to simply wade into some shallow water and spear the fish yourself.

While an ordinary sharpened pole can work well for this task, you’ll be more successful with a four pronged spearfishing pole. Fortunately, they aren’t too difficult to make out of the typical vegetation you’d find in the forest. Here’s how it’s done:

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How California Still Isn’t Prepared for the Next Big Earthquake

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earthquakeCalifornia is well-known for its diversity. The state is home to every race, culture, religion, or ideology that you could possibly think of. But if there’s one thing that all of these millions of people have in common, it’s that they are all well aware of the dangers lurking underneath the state. Everyone knows that someday, the “big one” is coming, and it’s going to bring California to its knees.

And not only is everyone in California well aware that the state is overdue for some major seismic activity, but everyone has known this for decades. It’s a very basic fact of life that is even taught to Californian kids when they’re in school. It’s not just something that Californians hear about on the news from time to time, it’s a story they tell to each other over and over again. The impending threat of the next big earthquake is ingrained in California’s culture.

Everyone knows what’s coming.

And yet, somehow, California isn’t equipped to deal with this disaster. Despite having a wealthy economy that rivals most first world nations, and despite having decades of advanced warning, California has still failed to prepare for the next major earthquake in several critical ways.

According to a recent report put together by several prominent business and policy leaders, California’s aging infrastructure is going to result in widespread destruction that would have been preventable with basic safety features. Most notably:

One of the biggest vulnerabilities, the report states, relates to the Cajon Pass, a narrow mountain pass where the mighty San Andreas Fault intersects with key lifelines, including freeways, railway lines, gas and petroleum pipelines as well as electric lines.

A major on the San Andreas, one of California’s most dangerous faults, would cut most lifelines in and out of southern California, preventing critical aid from reaching some 20 million people and hampering recovery efforts, experts say.

The quake would also rupture flammable pipelines, triggering explosions and fires that could burn out of control.

“Anything that comes into southern California has to cross the San Andreas Fault to get to us—gas, electricity, water, freeways, railways,” said seismologist Lucy Jones, who acted as advisor for the Southern California Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative committee, which issued the report.

And on top of that, California’s building codes are not robust enough to handle a major earthquake. Most of the state’s structures are sturdy enough to prevent the deaths of their inhabitants, but that’s about it. In the hardest hit areas they’ll still be destroyed. Unfortunately, most of California’s homes and buildings haven’t been reinforced sufficiently to handle a major quake, which would cost a fraction of what it would take to rebuild them.

So brace yourselves for the “big one” even if you don’t live in California. It’s going to kill thousands of people within the state, and cause hundreds of billions of dollars in damages, which will surely have an effect on the rest of America’s economy and food supply. California’s lack of foresight and action in the face of a well-known threat is going to hurt everyone.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Five Strange Things That Can Boost Your Immune System

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tissueNobody likes to get sick, and nearly everyone is open to any trick or habit that will boost their immune system. For most people, this means eating better food and getting more exercise and sleep. Or if someone is already coming down with a cold, they’re quick consume as much vitamin C as they can, or engage in whatever immunity boosting fad is making the rounds on the internet.

However, the human body is an unbelievably sophisticated machine, and improving your immune system isn’t so simple. In fact, there are some rather strange ways of boosting your immunity, which you probably would’ve never guessed are effective, such as:

Cold Showers

You’d probably assume that cold water would make you more susceptible to illness, considering that you’ve been told your whole life to bundle up in cold weather, lest you fall ill. But studies have shown that when you’re drenched in cold water, your body increases immune cell production.

Looking at Images of Sick People

If you’ve ever had an ailment that you couldn’t quite explain, you’ve probably tried to diagnose yourself by looking up your symptoms on the internet. Doing so will inevitably lead you to a Google Image search, where you will scroll through hundreds of ghastly images of sick people as you try to identify what’s bothering you. It turns out that you’re really doing your immune system a favor.

As part of a study in Canada, subjects were told to endure a 10 minute slide show that consisted of images of people who showed visible symptoms of illness. Afterward their blood was tested, and it showed signs that their immune systems had been temporarily boosted. This makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. People who could boost their immune systems by simply looking at a sick person probably outlived anyone who lacked that bodily response.

Fasting

While most trendy cold and flu treatments involve consuming popular superfoods (some of which do have merit) it turns out that abstaining from food can help keep you from getting sick in the first place. Fasting for three days causes your immune system to completely regenerate. It prompts your body to start eliminating damaged immune cells, and to start generating new more efficient cells. After three days without food, your immune system is completely rebuilt from the ground up, which is helpful for anyone with a damaged immune system, such as the elderly or cancer patients.

Physical Contact With Your Pets

If you can believe it, studies have shown that petting your dog can boost your immune system, though an explanation for this effect has never been found. If you happen to be a cat owner, don’t be discouraged. There’s a reason why cats often purr when they’re sick or injured, and it’s because their purring vibrates at a frequency that has a documented healing effect in mammals. It can help heal bones and tissues, and can even boost the immune system. It’s been theorized that holding or petting your cat while he or she purrs could transfer that effect to you.

Get Dirty

And finally, one of the best ways to boost your immune system is also one of the least intuitive. We live in a germaphobic society that has taught many of us from childhood to avoid contact with anything that isn’t sterile, and to constantly wash our hands. But it turns out that kids need to come into contact with dirty substances, so that their immune systems can develop properly. Kids who grow up in uber clean environments tend to have more allergies and autoimmune diseases.

As for adults, it’s not really socially acceptable for us to play in the dirt and eat bugs off the ground anymore. However, we do have our own version of introducing bacteria into our bodies. One of the best things we can do to boost our immune systems, is to consume probiotic foods such as yogurt, raw milk, and fermented vegetables.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Drones Could Save Your Life When The SHTF

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quadcopter wikimediaDrones have a rather negative reputation these days, and for good reason. They bring to mind government surveillance and extrajudicial killings in foreign countries. And in the civilian world they are at best a nuisance, and at worst they can be used by hobbyists to spy on their neighbors. And among the more paranoid members of our society (though in all fairness, being paranoid doesn’t mean you’re wrong) drones bring to mind the possibility of automated killing machines taking over the human race in the near future.

But truth be told, drones aren’t all bad. And for those of you reading this who are drone hobbyists, I should add that the vast majority of private drone users are responsible people who respect the privacy and safety of their neighbors. Drones are just like any other technology. They are neither good or evil, nor are they positive or negative for society. Drones are only as good as the people who wield them, and when used ethically, they have the potential to enrich our lives.

As for preppers, drones are a highly underrated tool for surviving the potential collapse of our society. Having one of these machines would give any survivor an edge over anyone who would take advantage of the chaos brought on by such an event. Drones have all of the advantages of a security camera, such as the ability to watch your surroundings in real-time without exposing yourself, without the disadvantage of that camera being stuck to a fixed location.

If you live in a rural area with wide open spaces, you could easily provide perimeter security for a large property, and spot any bad guys in your neighborhood without ever stepping outside of your home. And if you live in a city, a drone could help you safely navigate a chaotic and barricaded urban environment, filled with obstacles. Or if you live near a major roadway, which is a situation that most preppers would agree is not ideal for protecting your home from looters, a drone could help you spot threats long before they reach you.

And due to their popularity, there is a wide variety of drones on the market today. No matter what your situation or budget requires, there is probably a perfect drone for you. The larger and more expensive drones are better suited for situations where you are hunkering down in your home, and you need a bird’s eye view of your neighborhood.  In some cases, these models can fly more than a mile away from their users, though video quality may suffer or be nonexistent at those ranges. However, being able to capture real-time video from several hundred yards away is not uncommon with a high quality drone.

But for bug out situations, some of the smaller and cheaper drones are more suitable. They’re portable, lightweight, and use very little energy. The cheapest models have a range of about 20 yards, which is ideal for looking around corners in urban environments or over vegetation in rural and suburban areas.

For the most part, it seems like the prepper community has overlooked drone technology, which we can’t afford to do any longer. As time goes on these devices are becoming very cheap and common, which means that the bad eggs in our society will likely have access to them if the grid goes down. With that said, it would be wise for preppers to reconsider this technology. It could be just the thing we need to even the odds against people who would do us harm after the collapse.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Sign of the Times: Riot Control Gear Sales Are Soaring Globally

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riot policeIf you pay attention to the news at all, it probably seems like the world has been fraying at the edges lately. In South America, Brazil’s economy is crumbling and Venezuela is on the verge of collapse. In the United States, riots are expected at the Republican National Convention later this month. In Europe, the Brexit vote is threatening to tear apart the EU and the UK.

And all over the world, people are becoming sick and tired of the status quo. In nearly every single country, people are losing their faith in major institutions, and in increasing numbers, they are losing their trust in the financial and political elitists who run those institutions.

Obviously, this state of affairs can’t continue indefinitely. There is a flashpoint somewhere down the road, when the people of the world reach their breaking point, and the elitists who run their societies will do everything they can to hold onto their power. It’s going to be ugly, and it’s going to be global in scope.

The governments of the world clearly know what’s coming. That’s why they’re stocking up on riot gear at an unprecedented rate. We know this because globally, sales of riot gear are rapidly growing.

Over the next five years, the market for crowd control tools is expected to boom, from $9.05 billion in 2016 to some $11.78 billion by 2021, at a rate of 5.4%, according to RNR Market Research.

Currently, the market is dominated by North American companies, due to technological advancement and growing fears of terrorism and civil unrest. The report forecasts, however, that over the coming years, Asian-Pacific and Middle Eastern markets will grow at the highest rate. Current popular products for handling unrest without inflicting lethal harm include offensive and defensive weapons, electromagnetic and sonic weapons, kinetic impact weapons, chemical agents, and more.

Of the weaponry available on the market, directed energy weapons (a subset of offensive weapons) is projected to grow at the highest rate, including what are termed active denial systems (ADS) or “pain rays.”

And that’s not all. Wealthy Americans from Chicago to the Silicon Valley are buying rural compounds that they can escape to if civil unrest occurs. Companies that produce luxury bomb shelters are seeing widespread interest, and the wealthy who are still living in major cities are building panic rooms in their luxury apartments.

Clearly, the people who are in the know are getting ready for something big. The elitists who run the governments of the world are hunkering down. They’re preparing their police forces to deal with widespread civil unrest, and they preparing to protect themselves as well. The only question that remains is, are you ready?

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

FEMA Wargamed Global Food Crisis… The Results Weren’t Pretty.

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wheat wikimediaOne of the most frightening scenarios that anyone in the modern world could face, is a global food shortage. It’s one thing when just the country you live in faces a food shortage. That situation can have horrific consequences, as the citizens of Venezuela have learned recently. However, a global food crisis means that there is nowhere to run to. You can’t flee your home and become a refugee in a foreign land, and you can’t expect any other nation to send you aid.

All that’s left to do is endure for as long as you can, with whatever food you have stocked up and whatever rations the government can provide. Your absolute best case scenario involves living on a self-sufficient property, and very few people have that. And the people who are living self-sufficiently would have to live with the fear of being raided by hungry looters or an opportunistic government.

And that government by the way, may be your biggest concern during a crisis, because governments are typically only interested in their own self-preservation. The safety and prosperity of their citizens is a secondary concern. How your government reacts to the crisis could mean life or death for your family.

Unfortunately, our government is ill prepared for this kind of situation, as are most governments around the world. We know this now thanks to a study that was recently published by a FEMA contractor known as the CNA Corporation.

The study was a simulation that was conducted last November. It involved the participation of 65 government officials from countries all over the world, and was commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund, the Center for American Progress, and the Cargill corporation. It was set up like a game, with each participant leading their respective nations through a hypothetical global food crisis. The game was designed to see how these nations would interact with each other, and what kinds of solutions could be produced to solve the crisis.

The food crisis in this game lasted between the years 2020 and 2030, and was caused by a combination “of food price and supply swings amidst burgeoning population growth, rapid urbanization, severe weather events, and social unrest.” In the scenario, crop failures in key regions caused by climate change, higher fuel prices, and poor responses by the international community, eventually led to food prices rising 395%. Not surprisingly, the game found that civil unrest would be widespread during this period.

What is surprising however, is how this scenario concluded with such a happy ending, against all odds and all logic. The high food prices stimulated more food production, and as weather conditions improved, the world’s food stocks were replenished. Worldwide donations to the UN’s World Food Programme managed keep the lid on the situation until the crisis passed. This however, is probably the most outlandish case of wishful thinking on the part of government officials. There is no way such a crisis would be resolved so peacefully.

While the study admits that a food crisis of this magnitude would result in widespread civil unrest, I think they’re underestimating how bad it would be. As previous research has shown, whenever the global Food Price Index rises above 210 points, pockets of civil unrest rise up all over the world. This happened recently in 2008, and again when food prices peaked in 2011, which fueled the Arab Spring. Keep in mind that we’re still dealing with the aftermath of the Arab spring in places like Libya and Syria, where thousands have been killed in bloody revolutions and millions have been turned into refugees.

In those cases the food crisis lasted only a single year, and had ramifications that we’re still dealing. This scenario however, would likely leave the Food Price Index above 210 points for years, a situation which has never occurred in the modern world. We would be seeing civil unrest, violent revolutions, and wars on every continent for a decade.

In fact, it could even lead to World War Three. If there were worldwide crop failures, a breadbasket nation like Ukraine would become even more hotly contested between the West and Russia than it is now. That could be just the spark needed to embroil the world in a global conflict.

And let’s not forget the vast number of people who would simply starve to death in this situation. Right now there are dozens of nations where the average person has to spend 25% or more of their income on food. In China and India alone, the average person spends about a third of their income on food. So do the math. If food prices spiked 395%, or roughly four times higher than pre-crisis prices, then hundreds of millions of people around the world would not be able to feed themselves, even if they could forego every other expense including fuel, utilities, shelter, and clothing. Millions would die. Somehow I doubt that the UN’s World Food Programme will put a dent in those numbers.

Amazingly, this study made no such conclusion. The nations that participated in this game are foolish at best for thinking that they would have a handle on a global food crisis. At worst, this whole game was an exercise designed to placate the public, who are increasingly concerned with the global economy and food supply. Either way, it does not inspire much confidence in our government’s ability to deal with this apocalyptic scenario.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Every Prepper Should Have Five Gallon Buckets

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5 gallon bucketsPreppers have a habit of extracting as many uses from any given object as they can, and for good reason. Prepping is an activity that takes up a lot of space, and it’s done to prepare for emergencies that may or may not happen. It’s difficult to justify this activity if it displaces things that you know you’ll need, so preserving space by finding more than one use for your belongings is essential.

Also, it just comes naturally to preppers due to our mindset. We regularly prepare for chaotic and desperate situations that require improvisation and creativity to survive. Coming up with multiple uses for an item is child’s play for us.

However, some things are better suited to being modified for multiple purposes. Everyone knows that duct tape and paracord can be used for countless applications, but there’s another item that has nearly as many uses, and that is the humble five gallon bucket. Here are just a few of the ways you can use this simple product:

  1. Use them for carrying water, washing clothes, or harvesting rain water.
  2. Food grade buckets are also quite versatile. You can use them to store dry goods such as rice, beans, flour, or even dog food. Or since plastic is a fairly good insulator, you can use them as a cooler to store perishable food.
  3. If you own anything that needs to be buried for short periods of time, five gallon buckets can help.
  4. You can use them to build gardens, worm composting bins, or composting toilets.
  5. They’re great for storing any supplies that shouldn’t get wet, such as charcoal, paper towels, or kindling.
  6. With a few modifications, these buckets can be made into biosand filters for cleaning water, or you can drill holes in a bucket to make an improvised camp shower. If you’re exceptionally handy and live near running water, you can even build a hydroelectric generator out of a five gallon bucket.
  7. And of course there are a few odd tasks for five gallon buckets that most people would never consider. They can be turned into very effective mouse traps, and with the right gear they can even be used as backpacks

And to be frank, this is just a short list. Five gallon buckets are arguably one of the most versatile tools for a prepper, and their applications are endless. They’re also cheap and plentiful, and you can often get them for free from friends, neighbors, and local businesses. I’d be so bold as to say that you’re not really prepared unless you have a short stack of these buckets somewhere in your home.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Harvest Clean Drinking Water From a Tree

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water-300x225You’ve probably seen it countless movies and TV shows. Some poor guy is stranded out in the desert, and is in desperate need of water. So he cuts into a cactus, and harvests an abundance of lifesaving H2O. In the real world however, most cacti don’t really provide much water. The fluid they do provide is far from potable. In all likelihood it will induce vomiting and delirium rather than quench your thirst.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t gather water from other plants. In fact, there are several tree species you can tap for fresh drinking water, in much the same way you would tap a cactus (if you had a death wish). While everyone knows that you can tap maple trees for their syrup, birch and walnut trees can also be tapped. They will produce a fluid that has a much lower sugar content than maple, though all three are good sources of hydration in case you’re ever stranded in the wilderness. Here’s how it’s done:

Or if you’d rather make a less intrusive mark in the tree, you can use this slightly different technique.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The One Nuclear Threat That Most People Aren’t Aware Of

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nuclear silo wikimediaThese days we are all well aware that nuclear technology provides plenty of ways to disrupt our society. There are of course, an abundance of nuclear missiles in the world today, as well suitcase nukes and dirty bombs. There is also the ever looming possibility of a meltdown occurring in a nuclear power plant. However, there is one nuclear threat that very few people are aware of, and we have the Russians to thank for it.

In short, they have a bona fide doomsday machine. No, this isn’t science fiction. At first glance it probably doesn’t sound very exotic, since this machine delivers ordinary nuclear weapons. What’s so unique about it, is the conditions that could cause it to activate. The Russians refer to it as the “Dead Hand,” and it operates similarly to the fictional doomsday device from Dr. Strangelove.

Developed in the 1980’s, the Dead Hand is a system designed to ensure that no matter what happens during a nuclear attack, the Soviets would always be able to strike back. They feared that the United States would be able to decapitate their leadership with a preemptive nuclear strike, so they built an automated nuclear command system that requires very little human input.

The Dead Hand is a computer system that is connected to a network of seismic, radiological, and air pressure sensors distributed throughout the country, as well as the government’s communication infrastructure. If the Dead Hand detects a nuclear blast on Russian soil, then it will check to see if communications are still open with the upper echelons of the Russian government. If that connection is ever severed, (say by a nuclear attack against the Kremlin) the computer will initiate the launch of every remaining nuclear missile in Russia’s arsenal.

What’s so scary about this system, is that it has little human input. In any nuclear arsenal, there are typically multiple layers of politicians and military officials that a launch order has to pass through. If the Dead Hand however, decides that it’s time to launch a nuclear assault against the US, then that authority is passed to a handful of midranking officers hunkered down in a bunker. It’s widely believed that this system is still in operation to this day, and believe it or not, many of our government’s leaders are unaware of its existence.

The technical name was Perimeter, but some called it Mertvaya Ruka, or Dead Hand. It was built 25 years ago and remained a closely guarded secret. With the demise of the USSR, word of the system did leak out, but few people seemed to notice. In fact, though Yarynich and a former Minuteman launch officer named Bruce Blair have been writing about Perimeter since 1993 in numerous books and newspaper articles, its existence has not penetrated the public mind or the corridors of power. The Russians still won’t discuss it, and Americans at the highest levels—including former top officials at the State Department and White House—say they’ve never heard of it. When I recently told former CIA director James Woolsey that the USSR had built a doomsday device, his eyes grew cold. “I hope to God the Soviets were more sensible than that.” They weren’t.

That secrecy should be alarming, because we don’t have a very good idea about what could trip up this aging system. The very existence of the human race is in the hands of a 31-year-old computer and a few Russian officers, and that leaves a lot of scary questions unanswered.

Is this aging computer system still reliable? How about the sensors that its connected to? Can the select few people who man it be trusted to make the right decisions? Under the right conditions, could the Dead Hand initiate an accidental nuclear strike?

If say a dirty bomb temporarily severed communications with the Dead Hand, would it know what really happened? Or would it just sense the radiation and assume the worst? What about an asteroid, or a solar flare? We don’t know if all the sensors need to be giving readings that are consistent with a nuclear attack, or if they only need to identify a handful of conditions. We don’t know if the officers who check on the system are going to simply follow the computer’s instructions, or if they will rely on their own judgement.

There’s a lot of scary stuff that we don’t know about the Dead Hand. It just goes to show even though humans are far too scared and reasonable to launch a nuclear attack against another nuclear armed nation, the possibility of such a conflict happening accidentally is always present.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

A Nifty Tip for Keeping Your House Cool When the Grid Goes Down

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thermometerWhen most preppers imagine all the ways that a collapse of the power grid could hurt civilization, they usually think of our food distribution networks, water systems, financial networks, and the internet. But one thing that usually isn’t at the top of that list of concerns, is the heating and cooling of our homes.

That’s probably because we know that human beings have lived in extremely hot and cold climates for generations, and many of us just assume that if the grid goes down, we’ll find a way to deal with the temperature outside. This is no small matter however, especially when it comes to air conditioning. If it weren’t for the invention of AC, there would be tens of millions of people who never would have bothered moving to the Southern US or the Southwest. A city like Phoenix would never have 1.5 million people without affordable AC units in every home. If the grid went down now, a large swath of the American population would be living in a climate that they have no idea how to deal with.

And unlike heating, there really aren’t any comparable non-electric alternatives to cooling your home. If you lived in the northern climbs of the US, then you probably aren’t far from sources of firewood, but non-electric cooling methods never work as well as an AC unit. Swamp coolers work really well and use very little electricity, but that’s about as good as it gets. Plus, they only work well in low humidity environments.

While unpowered cooling methods simply can’t compete with AC units, there are still some methods of cooling your home that can take the edge off the heat. One of the newest methods involves a device called the Eco-Cooler, and it is incredibly simple.

The Eco-Cooler is nothing more than a board filled with half cut soda bottles. It works by compressing and cooling outside air before it enters your home. It’s just like when you exhale with an open mouth the air is warm, but when you purse your lips and blow, the air that comes out is cool.

eco-cooler youtube

The board is placed over a window; preferably one that is facing the wind. The air goes into the bottles, gets compressed and cooled as it’s pushed into the neck, and then cool air enters your home. The only concern that isn’t addressed in the building instructions, is the possibility of bugs entering your home through the holes. I’d wager that a mesh of some kind could be easily added over the holes, which might actually help compress the air even more.

As stated previously, it’s no match for the air conditioning unit that you probably have in your home right now, but in an emergency the Eco-Cooler can reduce the temperature inside your home by about 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Not bad for a non-electric device that’s made out of trash.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

This New Car Engine is a Prepper’s Dream Come True

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stirling engineMuch like what kind of firearm you should own, or what should go into a proper bug out bag, most preppers could endlessly debate the qualities needed in a bug out vehicle. And like any debate among preppers, there is no definitive answer. The perfect vehicle for you will vary depending on your preferences, circumstances, abilities, and experiences. There isn’t a single type of vehicle that is perfect for anyone.

In the future however, there may be a new type of engine that just about every prepper will want in their vehicle. I say “in the future” because this setup was only recently invented by a man in San Antonio named Josh “Mac” MacDowell, albeit for very non-prepper reasons (though he’s not the first person to come up with this idea). Rather than an internal combustion engine, he wants to place a stirling engine in his vehicle.

I’ve written about the stirling engine and its potential uses for preppers before. It was invented in the early 1800’s as a safer alternative to the steam engine, but it never caught on. Thought it’s rugged, simple, easy to maintain, and has stellar fuel efficiency, the engine doesn’t work very well on a larger scale. Its motion is reliant on its ability to exchange heat between the engine and the air, so if the engine is too big, it will struggle to shed heat.

It also can’t shift into different speeds very quickly, which is why it never caught on in the car industry. Not that they wouldn’t be interested. The stirling engine has a fuel efficiency that’s about three times better than a gasoline combustion engine. Unfortunately the stirling takes a really long time to heat up or cool down, both of which determine how fast the engine is running. Those technical hurdles were too much for car companies to overcome.

However, those hurdles are no longer a problem with the technology that’s available to us today. Here’s what stirling engine is capable of, once it’s combined with a hybrid vehicle:

Though mechanically sound, the Stirling engine never caught on in the 1800s, with most businesses choosing to use steam engines for their industrial applications. NASA even experimented with the engine in the early 1980’s, and was able to achieve 54 miles per gallon, but the Space Agency never went any further with the technology. MacDowell borrowed one of these Stirling engines from NASA and began experimenting with it to see if he could use the regenerative engine with 21st-century automotive know-how.

MacDowell coupled the engine with existing hybrid technology, creating a system that will deliver 58 miles per gallon to a Ford F-150 and at least 100 miles per gallon in a smaller SUV. In his model, the Stirling engine runs at a fixed RPM generating electricity that is used to charge the batteries, which drive motors that propel the vehicle.

Using this thermopile technology, a Stirling-powered vehicle can drive at highway speeds without having to recharge. MacDowell also redesigned the Stirling engine to have the dimensions and appearance of a standard four-cylinder engine, making it compatible with existing automobiles. His idea was so brilliant that Texas A&M University became involved in the project, providing MacDowell with technical expertise and a testing environment to aid in the development of the engine.

By using the stirling engine as a generator to power the batteries, as opposed to directly powering the car, this bypasses pretty much all of the problems with the engine. Nothing but the benefits, such as the insanely good fuel efficiency, remain. MacDowell believes that if his experiments are successful, then his setup could replace the internal combustion for most applications in the near future.

So what else could this vehicle provide to preppers, other than giving a vehicle the ability to drive across the continental US on a single tank of gas (which MacDowell intends to demonstrate in a few months)?

For starters, it would be a stealthy car. You could turn the engine off and just run on the batteries if you found yourself in a hairy situation. Second, you would have a power generator everywhere you go, and a massive battery bank to charge whatever electronic devices that you brought with you. If you tried doing that with an ordinary non-hybrid vehicle, you would run the risk of burning out the lead acid battery.

The greatest advantage however, would be the versatility of the stirling engine itself. Since that engine runs on an external heat source, as opposed to an internal combustion engine, you could use pretty much any fuel source you can imagine. You could pour gasoline, diesel, bio-diesel, kerosene, or alcohol in the tank. With a few modifications, you could run natural gas or propane as well.

Though this certainly wasn’t MacDowel’s intention, he’s basically created the perfect prepper car. If there ever comes a time when our society collapses for a prolonged period, and fuel is both scarce and varied, a hybrid car with a stirling engine would be the last car on the road to “run out of gas”, so to speak.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Would You Survive Hyperinflation in Venezuela?

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printing-moneyVenezuela is currently in the throes of a devastating economic collapse that was spawned by the ignorant socialist policies of the Chavez/Maduro government. Everything is falling apart there. The water system, the roads, the electrical grid, the hospital, and especially the food distribution system. Venezuelans are so desperate that they are forced to scrounge for food in dumpsters and hunt down cats and dogs. Crime is rampant as well, and the capital city of Caracas now has the highest murder rate in the world. Mobs of vigilantes are frequently seen picking up the slack of the corrupt police; that is, when they’re not busy looting grocery stores. Venezuela is practically a war zone now.

However, the worst part of this economic collapse is the rapid inflation of Venezuela’s currency. That may sound minor when compared to soaring crime rates and dumpster diving, but the diminishing status of Venezuela’s currency (the bolívar) is what enables so many of the moral and financial tragedies in that country. To one degree or another, inflation is related to every facet of Venezuela’s collapse.

In 2003 the situation was quite different. A dollar could be exchanged for 1.6 bolívars. Now the exchange rate is 172 bolívars per dollar, but that’s just the official exchange rate. That’s what you would get if you walked into a Venezuelan bank. On the black market, it would take 996 bolívars to buy a single dollar. With an inflation rate of 180% (and those are just the official numbers) Venezuela’s currency fits the definition of hyperinflation.

Considering how much damage this hyperinflation has done to the economy and the very fabric of society, it has to make you wonder. What would you do if this happened in your country? What steps could you take to survive when your money becomes worthless?

Much has already been written on the subject, and most preppers are already familiar with this sound advice: take your rapidly diminishing currency, and buy something that will at least hold its value no matter how many zeros show up on your money. The most common assets that are recommended for preserving your wealth include:

  • Precious metals
  • Cash held in other currencies
  • Land
  • Non-perishable food
  • Drugs and other medical supplies
  • Weapons and ammunition

However, I would say that what you need to survive hyperinflation is the same thing that is crucial to your survival in any disaster. You need to have the right skills, which for this scenario, would fall under two categories. First, you need to know how to do things that will help you get by when society at large is falling apart. The kind of skills that aren’t as essential when you live in a prosperous nation, such as:

  • Growing food
  • Hunting and gathering
  • First Aid
  • Car Repair
  • Self Defense
  • Bartering

And second, you need the kind of skills that will make you money no matter how bad things get. Just because hyperinflation tends to screw up society, doesn’t mean everything is going to completely grind to halt. People will still need basic goods and services, and they will still desperately want to live in a functional society, even if it’s just the shadow of a functional society. You’ll still be able to find a job.

However, just as hyperinflation diminishes the value of a currency, so to will many jobs pay less during and after a collapse. That’s not just because the money isn’t worth the same. With so much widespread poverty, everyone will be desperate to enter the job market, including the very young and the very old. In other words, the labor pool will have lots of supply and very little demand, so employers will have the economic leverage to pay their workers a pittance. However, some jobs will be able to retain some of their value, such as:

  • Just about anything to do with the medical field
  • Farming
  • Private security
  • Mechanics, plumbers, electricians, or repairmen of any kind
  • Teachers and tutors, especially if they can impart money-making skills

At the end of the day however, your skills will only get you so far depending on how long the crisis lasts. In the case of Venezuela, the situation is about as dire as it can get. Sometimes an economic collapse merely destroys any chance of prosperity for the average citizen. But in Venezuela, the economic climate hasn’t just killed prosperity. It has made it damn near impossible for anyone to survive.

So at the end of the day, the best way to survive an economic collapse is to flee the country. Everyone in your family should have their passports, and enough money to leave the country before the SHTF. In Venezuela, everyone who could leave did so a few years ago. Now most people can’t even afford to leave their city, much less the country.

Be prepared to lose most of the money you’ve spent your whole life saving, because even before the collapse occurs, the government will likely have laws in place that will prevent you from taking money out of the country. However, that may be a small price to pay in exchange for not living in hell hole where you have to eat trash to survive. Cut your losses and start a new life in a new country if you can. You’ll pat yourself on the back when your homeland collapses, because it is always better to be a poor man in a rich country, than a dead man in a poor country.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Five Inflammatory Foods That You Should Eat in Moderation

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donutsThese days, most people associate the word ‘inflammation’ with ‘unhealthy.’ Truth be told though, inflammation can be a very good thing. It’s your body’s way of healing. When you’re sick or injured, your body flushes the effected area with blood, immune cells, and nutrients, in an effort to combat pathogens and heal what is damaged. Obviously, this results in pain and discomfort, but in the big scheme of things it is exactly what you need to survive and live a healthy life.

When someone says that inflammation is bad, what they’re really talking about is chronic inflammation, which is a bit more insidious. It doesn’t always make you feel like you’re sick or in pain, but it is highly damaging to your body. Chronic inflammation has been associated with heart disease, diabetes, depression, and even cancer. It can be caused by a lack of sleep, stress, pollution, certain allergies, or a poor diet; and it can add more damage on top of whatever is causing the inflammation.

However, diet is often associated with inflammation more than any other cause. Certain foods and can do a number on your body, and if you’re eating them every day, you may be on the path to an early grave. Foods that you should either eliminate from your diet or consume in moderation include:

White Bread

You’ll find that most foods that are “refined” typically have a higher glycemic index, which causes inflammation. White bread is one of the worst examples. It causes your insulin levels to spike, creating the perfect environment for inflammation to run rampant. Whole grain foods however, can reduce inflammation.

Sugar

Of all the inflammatory foods that you eat, sweeteners are the most notorious. The human body simply did not evolve to process straight sugar. Rather, our digestive systems were made to take sugar in small amounts, preferably bound in whole foods like fruit, which take much longer to digest. The consumption of white sugar gives your body a massive spike in blood sugar, which is highly damaging and inflammatory. Not only that, but refined sugar leads to weight gain, which is also inflammatory. Artificial sugars can also create an immune response, since your body does not recognize them.

Fried Foods

Foods like french fries, potato chips, and donuts are cooked at a high temperature, which creates advanced glycation end products, or AGES. Your body doesn’t recognize these compounds, so they are treated to an immune response upon ingestion. Not only that, but fried foods are also often cooked in vegetable oils, which typically contain very high levels of omega-6 fats. Normally these fats are good for you, but if they’re not balanced with omega-3 fats they are inflammatory.

Alcohol

Not only does alcohol often contain inflammatory gluten and sugar, but by itself it can initiate your body’s immune system. The way your liver breaks down alcohol produces toxins, and alcohol can make your intestines more porous, which allows bacteria to spread throughout the body. On top of that, alcohol can have a devastating effect on the good bacteria in your digestive tract, which plays a significant role in your immune system. Overall, alcohol is pretty hard on your immune system. It weakens your immune response while simultaneously giving your immune system more to fight, both of which can be inflammatory.

Meat and Dairy

While meat and dairy products provide an excellent source of nutrition, they should be consumed in reasonable portions. They both contain saturated fats, which while essential to a healthy diet, are also inflammatory. They contain arachidonic acid, which your body produces naturally when it needs to create inflammation. Meat is especially inflammatory, since like fried foods, it is often cooked at a high temperature which produces AGES. Again, these foods can be quite good for you, and their pros typically outweigh the cons, but only when you don’t go overboard on them.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

3 Toilet Paper Alternatives That Will Get You Through The Collapse

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toilet paper wikimediaIn modern America, going without toilet paper for even a single day is unfathomable. The thought of it is cringe-worthy to most people. That’s why any time a major storm is about to hit, and everyone rushes to the store to buy up supplies, one of the first items to run out is toilet paper.

However, for any situation that results in the break down of society and lasts more than a couple of weeks, stocking up on toilet paper is not a viable option. The average family of four goes through about 240 rolls of toilet paper per year. So unless you have a large home, keeping anywhere near that much toilet paper is only going to take up precious space that would be better used for essential survival supplies.

As sacrilegious as it may sound, toilet paper is not essential to your survival. In fact, it’s only been in common usage around the developed world for over a century. Many of the alternatives that humans have been using for thousands of years are, shall we say, unpleasant. However, a few of these old school methods are bit more palatable, and much more sustainable, such as:

Reusable Cloth

In the past, it was typical for the wealthy to use strips of wool, hemp, or cotton to clean up after a bathroom visit, while the poor were stuck using, hay, moss, or even stones. The most obvious advantage to using these fabrics, is that they can be cleaned and reused. But more than that, they’re also more comfortable and provide a thicker barrier for your hand.

From a prepping perspective though, there is one downside to this idea. Cleaning these reusable wipes would require a considerable amount of water. Unless you have a well on your property or live near a river or creek that flows year round, reusable wipes are not economical. If on the other hand you do live somewhere that has a natural source of water, you do have another viable alternative to toilet paper…

Another alternative would be to repurpose old bits of cloth that have been tattered or torn. This gives the cloth a new purpose and can help you conserve your preps. Many old-timers have been collecting these strips of cloth and saving them in their “rag bag.”

Water

One of the most common methods of cleaning your rear throughout the world, is to simply rinse it with water. In India, the vast majority of the population will simply rely on a splash of water or a hose, while the Japanese and the Europeans use bidets. Since you’re preparing for a situation where running water may be out of the question, you’d have to rely on the Indian method of scooping water out of a bucket and repeatedly splashing it on your behind. Not exactly sophisticated, but it is somewhat effective. At the very least it could help prolong what toilet paper supplies you do have.

Leaves

For thousands of years humans have been using leaves in lieu of toilet paper, and in most parts of the US, you’ll find leafy plants that can provide one of the best alternatives to toilet paper almost year round.  Unless you live in the heart of a city where plants need to be constantly maintained and watered to survive, you won’t have any trouble finding trees and bushes that provide an abundance of leaves after any prolonged collapse.

That of course means that, unlike the other two toilet paper alternatives, this one won’t suck up your water supplies. Leaves are clean, abundant, disposable, and quite effective. The most common plants that are used as a toiletry include Mullein, Corn Lilly, Thimbleberry, Large Leaf Aster, and Wooly Lambs Ear. However, pretty much anything that doesn’t cause rashes and isn’t abrasive, will work. If you do happen to use the wrong leaf, here are 5 natural remedies to soothe rashes.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Five Awesome Multitools That Can Get You Through Anything

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multitool shovelMultitools are just plain awesome aren’t they? They let you save a ton of space by wrapping multiple functions into a single item. And since most little problems don’t need super specialized solutions, a few multitools can fix pretty much any problem around the house.

That’s not to say that single use tools aren’t as useful. If anything they’re far more efficient. If you have the money and space to accumulate a wide range of tools, then you should absolutely do so. But multitools fill a very important niche in our lives, especially for those of us who are preppers. We need more space in our homes to store our preps, and with the ever looming possibility that we may need to bug out some day, we need tools that can give us the most utility with the least amount of weight and space.

However, not all multitools are created equal. Most in fact, are either made out of shoddy materials, or are encumbered with tools that would interfere with each other during normal use. If you’re looking for awesome multitools that get things done, consider the following:

Axe Shovel Combo

fobachi axe shovel

Nothing can beat a standalone axe, but if you’re backpacking or bugging out, its size and weight isn’t ideal. Neither is a standalone shovel for that matter. You’ll want a portable lightweight shovel that can do some hatchet work in a pinch, and the Fobachi folding shovel delivers. It also has a saw and weighs less than one and half pounds.

However, if you want a shovel that has more substantial axe capabilities, you should go with something that is longer and heavier like the Pagreberya folding shovel, which weighs about 2.6 pounds. It also includes a knife, magnesium rod, compass, and hex wrench cutouts.

Carabiner Multitool

true utility

The True Utility carabiner packs 20 different functions in a compact tool that only costs about 4 bucks as of this writing. It has four different wrench sizes, four different screwdrivers on a rotating disc, a bicycle spoke wrench, a file, bottle opener, pry bar, and a ruler, among others. It comes with a leather carrying pouch, or you can use the carabiner function to clip it onto a belt loop. Alternatively, you could use the clip to attach more tiny tools to the device.

Leatherman Tread Bracelet

leatherman tread

Almost everything Leatherman makes is useful and durable, and their tread bracelet is no exception. It consists of a series of interchangeable links that can be unscrewed and removed with a penny. Each link contains two tools, most of which consist of screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, and box wrenches. It’s perfect for travelers who are tired of having their multitools confiscated by airport security.

Honeydoo Hammer

honeydoo hammer

They say that if all you have is a hammer, then all of your problems will look like nails. That’s not the case if you have the Honeydoo Multitool. It includes an adjustable wrench, pliers, screwdriver, knife, file, and 12 different screws and bolts. While a small hammer like this would be inappropriate for serious nail work, it’s perfect for solving lots of little problems around the house.

Innovation Factory Axe

innovation axe

It should go without saying that while the axe shovel combo would be useful, you probably can’t split wood with it very easily. It’s only an “axe” in the vaguest sense of the word. But when you ditch the shovel and build a multitool around an axe head instead, it is a thing of beauty.

The Innovation Factory All Purpose Axe comes in two different varieties; one that was designed for truckers, and another for fire and rescue workers. Both include an axe head, hammer, nail puller, and pry bar. It’s a very simple and resilient tool that isn’t overburdened with too many gizmos. It only has a few tools that do their jobs very well. And at a little over two pounds, you could take this axe just about anywhere.

Also See:

Five Cool Multitools You’ve Probably Never Heard of

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Coal: An Underrated Fuel Source that Preppers Should Consider

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coal wikimediaIf you’re living in a rural area and you happen to have a wood stove, you’re probably living the dream. Not only are you experiencing the joys of living so close to nature, and the peace of living so far away from the city, but you’re also sleeping easy knowing that if the grid ever goes down, you can always cut down a few trees for the winter.

But wood isn’t the only thing you can put in your wood stove. These days most people have forgotten that there is another source of fuel that is far more attractive: the much maligned rock known as coal.

Though coal is still widely used as a source of fuel for power plants, its house-warming applications have fallen out of favor over the past few decades, likely due to environmental concerns. Even if you don’t believe all the arguments about Co2 and global warming, the smoke and ash from a coal fire can contain radioactive materials, arsenic, mercury, and other heavy metals. Coal is not something you want to burn in your house every day.

It should however, still of be of interest to preppers for occasional or emergency use. For starters, it has a very high energy density. It doesn’t have quite as many BTUs per pound as gasoline or propane, but it has at least twice as much energy density as wood. And unlike those aforementioned fuels, it doesn’t really require any special storage methods, and it’s not going to go bad. You can just leave it around somewhere on your property. Though it can catch fire, it’s not that easy to get it burning on accident. All in all it’s a very low maintenance fuel, but most importantly, it’s really cheap depending on where you live.

The location of your property is very important to keep in mind. Out of the ground, coal is nearly dirt cheap. The cheap stuff costs about $40 per short ton, or 2 cents per pound. But the cost of shipping can quickly dwarf the cost of the coal itself. If you live anywhere in the eastern half of the United States, then you don’t have much to worry about. The Western United States on the other hand has very few coal mines, so it’s probably going to cost significantly more for you there. You probably won’t be able to get a hold of any significant amount of coal in the West without incurring heavy costs.

Not only that, but you may not want most of the coal that is produced. The bulk of the coal that is produced around the world is known as bituminous coal. This is the stuff that contains a lot of those nasty substances I mentioned before, and it does not burn cleanly. You can still use it, but it would be wise to do so sparingly and mainly for emergencies.

If you can get a hold of it affordably, anthracite coal is what you want. In the United States it is only produced in Pennsylvania, and is a far superior coal compared to bituminous. That’s because it has a higher energy density, and burns with very little smoke.

Whatever you use, make sure that your stove is capable of handling coal. You don’t want to use some rinky-dink burner made of thin steel. Unless a stove is advertised for its ability to burn coal, you probably don’t want to trust anything other than cast iron. Otherwise you can use a fireplace, so long as you purchase and install a wood/coal-burning insert.

All in all, coal is a great fuel source for preppers living in rural areas. It’s something that can be cheaply and easily stockpiled on your property, and left on its own for years until an emergency occurs. You don’t have to worry about it rotting or going bad like wood or gasoline, and it doesn’t have the same storage dangers as propane or natural gas. You can just set it by your house and forget it till you need it. It will burn for a lot longer than wood too, sometimes for up to 24 hours, so you won’t have to stay up all night feeding that fire. If you want to have your home heating needs taken care of when the grid goes down, a big pile of coal is your best friend.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Venezuela: A Prepper’s Nightmare Come to Life

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venezuelan flag

Two years ago, Venezuela was a normal functioning nation, relatively speaking of course. It was by no means a free country, but the people still had a standard of living that was higher than most developing nations. Venezuelans could still afford the basic necessities of life, and a few luxuries too.

They could send their children to school and expect them to receive a reasonably good education, and they could go to the hospital and expect to be effectively treated with the same medical standards you’d find in a developed nation. They could go to the grocery store and buy whatever they needed, and basic government services like law enforcement and infrastructure maintenance worked fairly well. The system was far from perfect, but it worked for the most part.

However, this standard of living was a mirage. Venezuela was and still is a leftist socialist nation, and the only thing propping it up was their glut of oil reserves and $100 per barrel prices. The state owned those resources, and they provided so much wealth that even Venezuela’s highly inefficient command economy could provide everything the people needed. But socialist systems do not by their nature, respond well to shock and disruptions. They’re not flexible.

As soon as the price of oil fell, the country started crumbling rapidly. The infrastructure has fallen apart, leading to rationing of both water and electricity. Inflation is out of control. Price controls have led to shortages of basic necessities. Crime is skyrocketing, and vigilante mob violence is now commonplace. All of these trends have been building over the past two years, but they have finally reached a crescendo over the last few weeks:

  • What really kicked Venezuela’s slow motion collapse into high gear, was when their inflationary currency reached an absurd new level. At the end of April, it was reported that the government couldn’t print enough money to keep up with inflation. Their cash is printed overseas, and the central bank was so short on funds that they could no longer afford to pay the manufacturers of their cash. Venezuela literally doesn’t have enough money to buy more money.
  • The government began scheduling rolling blackouts to save energy, which eventually led to riots in some areas. President Maduro ordered all 2.6 million of the nation’s public sector employees to only work 2 days a week for the duration of May, in an effort to save electricity.
  • An autocratic regime can hold onto power for a very long time, so long as their soldiers and cops are well fed and paid. That’s certainly not the case in Venezuela, where on May 5th it was reported that 6 soldiers were arrested for stealing goats, because there was no more food in their barracks.
  • As shortages of every necessity you can imagine run rampant, many Venezuelans are now so hungry that they’ve resorted to hunting down cats, dogs, and pigeons. In their desperation, many have turned to stealing from their neighbors, which often doesn’t end well in a society teetering on the brink. One mugger was caught by a mob, beaten, and set on fire before the police could show up.
  • 5000 people reportedly stormed a grocery store after they heard that the store might have a few items that couldn’t be had elsewhere. Only a handful of police officers were on the scene to control the crowd, one of who was beaten by the mob. 2 people were killed, dozens were injured, and millions of dollars in property damage was caused. And that was just worst case seen in recent weeks in the country, which has seen countless lootings of grocery stores, pharmacies, and shopping malls.
  • Venezuela’s hospitals are turning medieval due to a lack of power and supply shortages. People are dying from easily preventable diseases, and in some cases the doctors themselves are looting the hospitals and selling expensive medical equipment on the black market. Equipment we take for granted like x-ray machines and kidney dialysis machines are in disrepair, as injured patients lay on the floor in pools of their own blood, waiting to be given a bed. Children are being hurt the most from this situation. The infant mortality rate has risen from .02% in 2012 to 2% in 2015, a hundred fold increase. It is no doubt far worse a year later.
  • The Maduro regime is beginning to crack under the pressure, as the collapse of his government rapidly approaches. A state of emergency has been extended for another 60 days as the state seizes crippled factories and arrests their owners. Maduro has claimed that the US government is threatening to overthrow him at the behest of the nation’s far right. Anonymous US officials responded by saying that they believe his regime won’t last through the summer:

In Washington, the US intelligence officials told reporters they believed a crisis was imminent.

“You can hear the ice cracking. You know there’s a crisis coming. Our pressure on this isn’t going to resolve this issue,” said one official.

Another said: “This is really not the case that the US is rooting for any outcome other than there not be an economic meltdown or social violence. There are reasons for concern that over the summer as Venezuela gives importance to payments on debt over imports that these events could spiral.”

If you’re a prepper, pay close attention to what happens next. What’s playing out in Venezuela right now is the kind of worst case scenario that many of us have been preparing for in the US. It should be very informative. It just goes to show that if you live under a corrupt authoritarian government that can’t manage its resources, all it takes is a heavy ripple in the global economy to send the whole system careening over a cliff.

I wouldn’t say the US government is in nearly as bad of shape as Venezuela’s. We have corruption, waste, and a degree of tyranny, though perhaps not on the same scale. But then again, Venezuela didn’t seem to be in very bad shape a few short years ago. Under the right circumstances, any government can collapse, and our system has many of the same vulnerabilities as theirs. All that means is that it would take a larger event to cripple our nation.

If you’re curious about what that may look like, keep your eyes on Venezuela for the next few months. They’re about to become the 21st century poster child for how easy it is for socialist pseudo democratic governments to collapse, and drag their citizens along with them. And unfortunately the differences between our system and theirs aren’t that vast.

Prepare for collapse: A step-by-step guide

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Call of the Wild: Why Living in Nature is Good for Your Health

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hikingIn the big scheme of things, human civilization is a blip on the map of history. We’ve been around on this planet for between 50,000 and 200,000 years depending on how you define modern humans. And as far as anyone can tell, advanced human civilizations have only been around for about 6,000 years. You may be asking yourself, why is that so important?

Because, it explains a lot about many of the predicaments that humans find themselves in today, like why so many people living in modern civilization are so unhappy and unhealthy. In fact, it seems like the more advanced our civilization becomes, the more unhappy and unhealthy we are, which is kind of confusing when you think about it. How could we be so messed up, when we’re living in an era that provides us with such an abundance of wealth and resources?

How are we so sick when medical care has never been so advanced? How are we so depressed when we’ve never had such a wide selection of entertainment? How come we feel so unfulfilled when we have more career choices than anyone else in human history? How are we all so stressed out, when by compared to the lives of our ancestors, we’ve never had it so easy?

If I were to venture a guess, I’d say that many of these problems can be blamed on civilization itself in one form or another. This provider of so much material good is what’s messing us up, because we don’t know how to handle it. We’re walking around with caveman brains and caveman bodies, but we’re living in a world that is light years ahead of what any hunter gatherer could have imagined. We’re out of our element, living in an alien world. Civilization, our greatest creation, has out-evolved us.

One of the ways we know that civilization is tripping us up, is how it has separated us from nature. Our species was raised in the dirt and the trees and the sunshine. Now most of us spend our days huddled indoors, staring at electronic screens, and traveling through concrete jungles in temperature controlled vehicles until we reach other indoor locations. It’s not the kind of environment that our minds and bodies have evolved to thrive in, and according to recent research, people who are living in that kind of environment aren’t living as long as people who reside in rural areas.

The research relied on data from a vast long-term Harvard study funded by the National Institutes of Health called the Nurses’ Health Study, which has collected health information biennially on more than 100,000 female registered nurses in the U.S. since 1976. The new paper analyzed participant data from between 2000 and 2008, taking note of any deaths that occurred and their causes. At the same time, the researchers used satellite data to assess the amount of green vegetation surrounding each participant’s home during the study period.

The researchers found that people living in the greenest places — that is, people who had the most vegetation within 800 feet of their homes — had a 12 percent lower rate of mortality from any non-accidental cause than people living in the least green places. Specifically, they found that the relationship was strongest for deaths related to respiratory disease, cancer and kidney disease. These results were the same regardless of the participants’ income, weight or smoking status and also did not significantly change between urban and suburban locations.

There were several reasons for this, most notably was the fact that greener areas produce less pollution, and can actually help clean up any hazardous materials that might present themselves. But more than that, people living near nature are more likely to go outside, interact with other people, and get more exercise, all of which increases our mental well-being. And since stress and depression can affect us physically, it’s no wonder that living near nature can keep you alive longer.

In fact, just being in nature is enough to lift your spirit. It’s a means to it’s own end. It doesn’t matter who you are or were you come from, even a lifelong urban dweller can be left in awe of nature. There’s something primal and ancient within us, that allows us all to feel better when we’re in the presence of the wilderness. It’s always been with us, and if we don’t make room for it in our lives, then civilized life will always put us in an early grave.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Make Gunpowder the Old Fashioned Way

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(Full disclosure: This article doesn’t contain an exhaustive list of every method of making gunpowder/black powder, nor does it contain every minute safety precaution you need to take in that process. Do your research and seek out expert opinions. Proceed with caution and at your own risk.)

gunpowderIt’s one thing to prep for the next hurricane or tornado or economic calamity. There are a lot of really basic skills and supplies that will get you through those situations, and pretty much anyone can acquire them. But the scenarios that are truly difficult to prepare for, are the ones that involve the total collapse of our society for any given period of time. That’s because surviving those scenarios requires you as an individual, to pick up the slack of everyone else in society.

By that I mean you really have to do everything yourself if you want to survive. You have to grow your own food, heal your own wounds, fix your own gear, procure your own energy, and possibly even build your own shelter. When the commerce and infrastructure of society breaks down, you’re truly going to be on your own for a while.

Fortunately, it wouldn’t take long for a society to start functioning again in some capacity. Working together, communicating, and trading is in our nature as human beings. We’d be eager to put the pieces of society back together again. But if a particularly cataclysmic scenario comes to pass, it could take years before our world is back in business. In that time, there would be one substance that would be in short supply, and that is gunpowder.

Reloading spent shells and casings would become a necessity after a collapse, and gunpowder would be particularly difficult to procure. In the modern world, producing gunpowder is child’s play, but when society breaks down it will be an arduous, dirty, and time-consuming task. And it won’t be high quality gunpowder either. You’ll most likely be stuck making black powder, which isn’t as good as what ammunition manufacturers use now but it will be effective nonetheless. Here’s how it’s made:

For starters you’ll need three ingredients. Potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulfur. All of these ingredients should be ground into a fine powder if they haven’t been already. The ratio of these ingredients is 75% potassium nitrate, 15% charcoal, and 10% sulfur, and that ratio is by weight, not volume. These ingredients should be ground up separately before mixing. Grinding them together could cause an explosion. It should go without saying that throughout this process, you shouldn’t let any sparks, static, or open flames get anywhere near your materials.

As far as mixing them together, first add a small amount of water to each ingredient to reduce the risk of combustion; just enough to give it a dough like consistency. Now you can grind them all together with a mortar and pestle (don’t use any utensils or containers made of metal). Most people will use a ball mill to both grind up the materials and mix them together. It’s a bit safer, and will make a higher quality powder.

This moistened paste can then be pressed into a single solid mass, and as it dries you can grind it up again into tiny pellets. This is a process known as “corning.” The product this produces will burn better and will be a bit more stable and consistent, than if you just mixed all these ingredients together all willy nilly with a bowl and spoon. After that, you’re pretty much done.

gunpowder wikimediaIn an apocalyptic scenario however, making black powder is the easy part. What would be really challenging is attaining these ingredients in the first place. Charcoal would be the easiest, since it’s fairly easy to make on your own. Willow, soft pine, western cedar, and cottonwood trees are most commonly used for making black powder.

Sulfur is bit trickier. Depending on where you live, you may or may not be able to get a hold of it in a grid down scenario. Fortunately black powder can still be made without sulfur. Simply mix the potassium nitrate and charcoal together with a 80/20 ratio. It won’t burn as well, but it will still work. Sulfur can also be substituted with iron-oxide (rust).

Your most challenging obstacle will be finding the potassium nitrate. The only natural source of this material can be found in bat guano, and I’m willing to bet that you won’t have an easy time finding that. You’ll have to make your own.

Traditionally this was done by what’s called the “French method.” You have to mix urine, manure, and straw together. Periodically, more urine is added and mixed over and over again over the course of several months to a year. Then water is poured through the mixture and filtered through wood ash, causing potassium nitrate crystals to appear, where they can then be separated.

A more modern method involves a metal drum with a drainage valve near the bottom. A screen mesh is placed inside, and manure, water, and urine is dumped in and mixed on top of the mesh. You seal it up tight and let it sit outside for 10 months. Then you drain the liquid into a wood ash filter, and let it set in a shallow, wooden or plastic container to dry. Once the water dries, potassium nitrate crystals will remain.

These aren’t the only methods though. There are countless more, so it would be a good idea to do some research and find something that works best for you. The Army’s Improvised Munitions Handbook has a recipe for making potassium nitrate that is a lot faster than what I explained above, and it also contains its own procedure for making black powder.

As you can see, making your own gunpowder can be incredibly dirty and dangerous, but having this skill under your belt is certainly empowering. Firearms are among the most useful tools in a prepper’s arsenal, and knowing how to make your own gunpowder means that you can keep on shooting no matter how long it takes for society to be rebuilt.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Got Mosquito Problems? Here’s an Easy Way to Wipe Them Out

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mosquitoMosquitoes and the diseases they carry have been in the news quite a bit lately. Everyone has been talking about the Zika virus and the tremendous health consequences it causes. But truth be told, Zika is just a drop in the bucket. Mosquitoes have been killings millions of people with dozens of different diseases since the beginning of human history. In that regard, they are technically the most dangerous animal on the planet.

Still, it’s difficult to ignore the impending threat of Zika. Most of the US is relatively free of the worst diseases that mosquitoes carry; diseases that frequently ravage the developing world. And unfortunately that may be about to change. This virus is spreading fast, and is expected to proliferate throughout much of the United States in the near future.

So what can you do to control these disease ridden creatures? Heck, even without the threat of being infected, you’d probably be willing to try anything to get rid of any mosquitoes on your property. They’re already a nuisance, even when they don’t make you sick.

There’s a new method you can utilize that was recently developed by a Canadian professor by the name of Gérard Ulíbarri. It works by turning the mosquito’s favorite breeding ground into a trap. That breeding ground is of course, the humble car tire. When left outside and filled with rainwater, tires are known to attract mosquitoes for reasons that aren’t exactly clear. It’s believed that the heat retention qualities of rubber may be to blame, or perhaps the tires give off a scent that is irresistible to these creatures.

Whatever the case may be, mosquitoes love laying their eggs in wet tires more than anywhere else, and there’s a way you can use that against them. It’s called the ovillantas, and it looks like this:

ovillantes

It’s an attractive breeding ground for sure. It’s filled with water in the bottom half where they can lay their eggs, but is still covered to protect them. About once every three days to a week, you drain the water into a container covered in fabric, so that the eggs and larvae can be separated and killed. You pour the water back into the device, since it is now filled with pheromones that will attract more mosquitoes.

So just how effective is it? After testing it in Guatemala, Professor Ulíbarri found that it was 7 times more effective than traditional mosquito traps. If this sounds like it’s right up your alley, here’s how you can make the ovillantas yourself.

One thing to keep in mind, is that much of this process can be done without power tools if they’re not available to you. You can wing it with a knife or a boxcutter, but obviously it will take longer, and will be a heck of a lot harder.

There will likely be a bundle of steel wires running along both of the inner edges of the tire, which can be cut away before you cut the tire in half. If you have the stamina and patience for it, you can do the rest of the cutting without power tools. But like they say in the video, this can be done without cutting the tire in half. Just so long as you can cut a hole for the valve, it will still work fairly well.

Unfortunately, most tires in the United States have a belt of steel wires running just under the tread. This belt is nearly impossible to cut through even with power tools, and in all likelihood will damage whatever blade you’re using. However, the steel belt doesn’t run along the walls of the tire, only under the tread. I’m willing to bet that you can place the water valve on the side of the tire instead of beneath it.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

You’re More Likely to Die in a Global Disaster Than a Car Crash

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Nuclear warIf you’re a prepper, then you’re probably inundated with doomsday alarmism on a fairly regular basis. It comes with the territory. While in the process of staying informed on all of the possible threats to civilization, you will inevitably run into fear-mongering claims that the sky is going to fall on our world tomorrow. These outlandish claims not only distract us from genuine threats, but they also make the prepper community look silly and paranoid to mainstream society.

However, there are real threats that we have to worry about. Real threats that the mainstream often thinks are just as crazy as the alarmist threats. Most people look at preppers and think that they’re crazy for believing that civilization could be destroyed by many different threats, leading to the deaths of millions of people, but it’s a very real possibility. It’s worth preparing for.

As a matter of fact, you might be able to scientifically prove that it’s worth preparing for.

See, most people would look at the countless threats to society, both the legitimate ones and the crazy ones, and just shrug their shoulders. “Why bother?” they would say, “why should I worry about this? It’s probably going to kill everyone anyway, and there are already plenty of normal things I have to worry about, like cancer and house fires and car crashes. Why should I spend any time, energy, or money, worrying about a pandemic or a nuclear war, which is far less likely?”

But they should worry about it, because statistically speaking, those catastrophic threats are more likely to effect them than some of the more mundane threats, like the aforementioned car crashes. In fact, a recent study looked at different threats that could lead to the extinction of the human race, and compared their likelihood to the threat of dying in a car crash, and the results were not what you might expect.

In its annual report on “global catastrophic risk,” the nonprofit debuted a startling statistic: Across the span of their lives, the average American is more than five times likelier to die during a human-extinction event than in a car crash.

Partly that’s because the average person will probably not die in an automobile accident. Every year, one in 9,395 people die in a crash; that translates to about a 0.01 percent chance per year. But that chance compounds over the course of a lifetime. At life-long scales, one in 120 Americans die in an accident.

The risk of human extinction due to climate change—or an accidental nuclear war—is much higher than that. The Stern Review, the U.K. government’s premier report on the economics of climate change, estimated a 0.1 percent risk of human extinction every year. That may sound low, but it also adds up when extrapolated to century-scale. The Global Challenges Foundation estimates a 9.5 percent chance of human extinction within the next hundred years.

Somehow I doubt that climate change could come close to extinguishing humanity, but nuclear war is certainly capable wiping most of us out.  And not only is that disaster becoming more likely due to current international tensions, but even during peace time there is always the threat of an accidental nuclear war.

But human extinction level events are hardly the only things we have to worry about.  The Global Challenges Foundation also looked at disasters that could kill 10% or more of the population. Pandemics are the most likely to cause those kinds of deaths, but they also explored some of the threats that aren’t talked about very often, like genetically engineered diseases, artificial intelligence, and geo-engineering.

Nearly all of the most threatening global catastrophic risks were unforeseeable a few decades before they became apparent. Forty years before the discovery of the nuclear bomb, few could have predicted that nuclear weapons would come to be one of the leading global catastrophic risks. Immediately after the Second World War, few could have known that catastrophic climate change, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence would come to pose such a significant threat.

Obviously it’s difficult to put a precise statistic on these existential threats, some of which may or may not even happen. However, when you put the likelihood of all these disasters together, as well as the number casualties they could inflict, it’s clear that they deserve just as much attention as anything else that might threaten your life.

So the next time someone tells you that you’re crazy for preparing yourself for a global disaster, you can confidently assure them that it makes just as much sense as keeping a fire extinguishers in the kitchen, or wearing a seat-belt.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Treating Cactus Injuries Is Harder Than You Think. Here’s Why

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cactus glochids wikimediaVisiting the desert can be a ton of fun. The vast open spaces, the clear blue skies, and the isolation from other people can all make for a relaxing trip. However, it’s easy to let your guard down in the desert if you’ve grown up in an area that is filled with plant and animal life. If you walked through a forest or a jungle, you would immediately assume that many of the lifeforms you encounter could be dangerous. But in the desert, where life is so sparse, it might be easy to assume that you don’t have as much to worry about from the local flora and fauna.

You’d be mistaken, especially if you’re visiting a desert in North or South America. Though you’re probably already aware of the dangers associated with snakes and scorpions, most people don’t realize that the humble cactus can really mess you up.

Obviously if you fall into a cactus, you’re in for a bad day. However, those wounds are usually fairly simple to treat. The vast majority of the time your first aid kit and some basic knowledge would be all you need to patch yourself up. If your skin was punctured by a spine, then all you need is some rubbing alcohol and a bandage. If a spine gets embedded in your skin, it can be extracted with a pair of tweezers. However, those thick sharp spines aren’t what you should be worried about. It’s the spines you can’t see that will keep you up at night (literally).

There are several species of cacti that carry what are called glochids. These are very small, barbed spines that are almost impossible to see, and making contact with a cactus can release hundreds, or even thousands of them. Even a slight breeze can release them. And once they get on your skin, it’s pretty much impossible to remove them all. In all likelihood you won’t even know that you have them until your skin starts to itch 1-3 days later.

At that point you’ll start to notice itchy red marks on your skin that are often mistaken for bug bites. Buckle up, because if those lesions are left untreated, they’ll remain itchy for up to 9 months. The longer you wait to treat them, the more those spines will burrow under your skin, so it’s imperative that you treat this condition as soon as possible.

The most common mistake people make when treating a glochid injury, is that they often try to suck them out with their mouth. As you can imagine, this often embeds them in the tongue or throat, which is even harder to treat. When the wound is fresh, you can even spread them to another part of your body or to another person (perhaps whoever thought it was a good idea to visit the desert, am I right?).

The best way to remove them is with some kind of adhesive. In a pinch, applying duct tape to the skin and ripping it off can remove quite a few of them, but there are better options. Oftentimes the glochids are stuck together in clumps, and are thus visible. These can be removed with tweezers. After that you can apply Elmer’s Glue to the skin and wait for it dry before removing it. That will take many of the individual spines, and combined with tweezers, should remove about 95% of the spines. This is considered more effective than any other method.

There’s another method you might want to consider, though it hasn’t been rigorously tested like the method I explained above. Though if you’ve already used the Elmer’s Glue and tweezers trick, it can’t hurt. You can apparently use pumice to exfoliate the skin. The glochids will fall away as the pumice strips the outer most layer of the skin.

So if you’re ever in the desert, you should be a bit more suspicious of all those cacti you see. A few them can turn your trip into an itchy nightmare.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Dangerous Medical Myths That You Don’t Want to Fall For

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defibMost people have a lot of really stupid ideas about what to do during a medical emergency. 90% of these ideas are probably gleaned from what we see on television. Even though we know deep down that movies and tv shows do not reflect reality, after seeing our favorite characters perform the same medical procedures over and over, we start to assume that they must be based in fact. The rest are old wives tales that simply refuse to die.

So if you don’t have any medical training, leave it to the professionals. And if a professional isn’t available, take note of the following:

Don’t Induce Vomiting

Most of you probably remember a time when it was normal to have a bottle of ipecac lying around the house, on the off chance that you would need to induce vomiting. It’s not so common anymore. In fact, ipecac has been discontinued. That’s because it’s no longer recommended as a treatment for accidental poisoning. Trying to vomit up a toxic substance is likely to cause even more damage to the esophagus, mouth, and lungs.

Granted, there are times when vomiting is the right thing to do. That’s why you should call poison control if you, a pet, or a child consumes a dangerous substance. They’ll tell you if you need to induce vomiting, let the substance pass, or go to the hospital.

Defibrillators Aren’t Magic

Based on how defibrillators are portrayed in movies, you’d think these machines run on the same principles you’d find in a Frankenstein movie. With enough electricity, just about any unconscious or near dead person can be jolted back to life. The reality of the matter is quite different.

Defibrillators are only useful in cases of cardiac arrest. Specifically they’re used to treat an irregular heart beat. In a nutshell, they temporarily stop the heart which gives it an opportunity to restart, hopefully with a healthy heartbeat. And unlike what you see in the movies, where doctors can bring a flat-lining patient back to life with their electric paddles, in the real world defibrillators don’t really work on someone without a heartbeat. In that case, CPR is probably in order rather than defibrillation.

Concussed Patients Need Sleep

For decades movies and TV shows have propagated this idea that a concussed person should never be allowed to sleep, lest they die or slip into a coma. However, the media didn’t necessarily pull this notion out of thin air. It was widely believed by the medical community until recently.

And it’s still true, but only to a small degree. If you have a concussion and you’re struggling to speak and walk, or your pupils are dilated, then you should avoid sleep and see a doctor ASAP. But most of the time that isn’t the case. For mild concussions, sleep is actually the best medicine.

How To Really Treat Nosebleeds

You’ve probably had a severe nosebleed at some point in your life, and I’m willing to bet that when it happened, someone told you that you need to tilt your head back. This is actually the exact opposite of what you should do to treat a nosebleed. You should lean forward and pinch your nose (unless it’s broken) for 5 minute intervals. You might have also been told to lay down, which again is terrible advice. It’s best to sit upright, which will reduce the amount of blood pressure in your nose.

It may not sound dangerous to lean your head back or lie down, but in some rare cases you can die from blood loss, or choke on the blood from a nosebleed (or pass out from blood loss and then suffocate). Nosebleeds are rarely serious, but they should always be treated as such.

Don’t Remove The Bullet

Whenever someone gets shot in a movie, this event is usually followed by a dramatic race against time to remove the bullet before the victim perishes. It’s never really explained why this needs to be done. In reality, trying to remove a bullet from someone is the last thing you want to do if you want them to survive.

For starters, once a bullet is lodged in the body, it’s probably done all the damage it can do. It’s not going anywhere. It’s probably not going to cause lead poisoning. And since bullets reach a very high temperature as they leave the barrel, it’s going to be completely sterile. If you were shot, you could probably leave the bullet in there for the rest of your life without experiencing any complications.

On the other hand, trying to remove the bullet outside of a hospital setting could lead to an infection. And bullets aren’t exactly smooth after they punch through soft tissue and bone. There are usually plenty of jagged bits that could easily rupture blood vessels upon removal. Taking a bullet out of the human body is a very delicate procedure that is almost always unnecessary; and when it is needed, it’s best done by a professional in a sterile surgical room.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Wattle and Daub: A Great Way to Build a House From Local Materials

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wattle and daub wikimediaBefore the 20th century, most people in the world had only one real option for building a house. It was a simple, though challenging option. They had to build their house out of whatever they could find in their local environment.

The process for building a locally sourced home was often uncomplicated and laborious, and the materials were usually quite simple. Depending on which part of the world these people were living in, this might include structures such as log cabins, sod houses, tents, or yurts. One of the most enduring structures that our ancestors built was the wattle and daub house, which has been used around the world for thousands of years, and continues to be used in some developing countries.

So what is wattle and daub? It’s a technique for building a house with walls that are made like a scaled up wicker basket (as seen in the photo above). Malleable branches are woven together (that’s the wattle) and oftentimes accompanied with a lumber frame, though a frame isn’t always necessary. Then the daub is smeared over the branches to fill in the cracks. This material varies widely by region, but usually consists of three ingredients:

  • A binder to hold everything together, usually clay and/or animal dung
  • An aggregate made of earth or sand
  • And some kind of reinforcement, such as straw or hay

Obviously, wattle and daub is no longer an ideal housing material. It doesn’t provide the same longevity, stability, or insulating qualities of modern home building materials. But just in case you need to build a cheap and easy structure after the SHTF, it wouldn’t hurt to learn how to work with wattle and daub. If you’re looking for a quick introductory guide on building a house out of this stuff, check out the video below.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Stop Being a Slave to Technology: Here’s How to Unplug

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tech slaveIf you could pluck any of your ancestors from any period of time in history, and send them to the world we live in now, they would be in for quite a shock. All of the technology that we have at our disposal would seem like magic to them. The diseases we can cure and prevent, the speed with which we can communicate with anyone around the world, the devastating weapons we use to defend ourselves with, and the machines we use to travel from place to place, would all leave them in awe.

They’d have to pick their jaws up from off the floor after they see what kinds of energy we use, and I’m not even talking about nuclear power. For people who relied on firewood for most of their energy needs, the cost and energy density of crude oil would blow their minds. I’m sure that seeing the accessibility of food in our society would cause a similar reaction in their minds. The idea that some people in the West only need to work a few hours a week to cover their food and energy costs, would leave your ancestors shaking.

And then they would meet us. The residents of this magical high-tech world.

They would see people who spend more time staring and laughing at their ghostly screens, than they spend interacting with other human beings. They would meet us, a generation of people who are terrified of the sun, and who can’t step outside without slathering themselves in odorous creams (or who barely spend any time outside at all). They would be introduced to people who can’t find their way home or solve any practical problem without first consulting the computers in their pockets. They would come face to face with a society that is willing to sacrifice privacy for high-tech convenience.

They would see a society full of people who are completely out of touch with nature, and completely helpless without all of their gadgets. And more importantly, they would discover how incredibly stressed and unhappy many of us are, despite the wonders at our disposal.

Truly, we are slaves to technology. Here’s what you should do if you want to break free, and get back in touch with your humanity.

Stop Multitasking

Multitasking is the bane of the modern world. We clean the house with the TV on in the background, we text on our phones while we eat dinner, and we talk on those same phones while we drive. People in the modern world are obsessed with cramming as many tasks in their day as they can, and they pride themselves on their ability to multitask. And even though most of us like to believe that we’re getting a lot done and that we’re really good at multitasking, in reality we all really suck at it.

Every scientific experiment that has tested people on their ability to multitask, has shown that it’s not an ability any of us have. Anytime we try to tackle more than one task at a time, we perform across the board. Unfortunately, the gadgets we own have made it incredibly easy for us to get distracted. We use our gadgets as a crutch and an excuse for when we don’t want to do the task at hand. So stay focused and do one thing at a time. You’ll do a better job, you’ll learn more, and you’ll enjoy yourself more.

Get Back in Touch With Nature

Despite how far civilization has advanced over the years, human beings still have pretty much the same brains and bodies that we had when we were hunter gatherers. In a sense, we are an anachronism. We live in this sophisticated, high-tech wonder world filled with 9-5 jobs, cars, phone bills, taxes, and gadgets, but we’re still the same people who used to spend the majority of their days in nature.

At heart, the outdoors is where we really feel comfortable, yet we live in a time where most of us, especially our children, spend so very little time there. Our brains were never designed for the task of staring at screens for 11+ hours a day, and we’ll never be truly happy if we don’t set the phone down and spend some time outside. We evolved in the outdoors. It’s where we belong. If we don’t set aside time to be away from the hum our gadgets, and to enjoy nature, we’ll never really feel fulfilled or satisfied. It might even make us a little crazy.

Try to Remember How You Killed Time Before The Internet

If you’re old enough to remember what life was like before the proliferation of the internet and smartphones, or if you’re young but you remember what life was like before your parents gave you access to those technologies, then you’re in luck. You actually have some sense of how normal human beings are supposed to behave when they don’t have anything important to do.

Do you remember what you used to do when you weren’t working, doing chores, or studying? Did you doodle or write? Did you play the guitar? Did you tinker with stuff lying around the house? Did you go for a walk around the neighborhood? Those are the sorts of things that people used to do when they didn’t have anything important on their plates.

These days we feel compelled to fill every waking moment with electronic entertainment. We act like boredom is a crime, and the only way to stay out of jail is to check our email and watch another episode of whatever is on Netflix. We have to keep our brains in a constant state of hyper-stimulation. We fear quiet, contemplative activities. If you really want to unplug from technology for a while, then you have to teach yourself to not reach for digital entertainment every time you find yourself with an empty moment. You have to kill that knee jerk response, and learn how to enjoy the things you do, not the things you watch other people do.

Quit Using Gadgets to Solve All your Problems

Undoubtedly, the internet is one of the most useful things that humanity has ever invented. Having that vast library of information at our fingertips is a godsend whenever we have a problem that needs solving. It’s provided a voice for countless ideas and people who would never have had a voice in the past. Unfortunately, it’s also making us stupid.

Whenever we have a problem, we’re faced with two solutions. Figure it out ourselves and learn a thing or two along the way, or if this problem is out of our depth, we enlist the help of a friend or we hire a guy to fix it. If the problem arises again in the future, we know who to call. We all have a ‘guy’ that we refer to when a car or a computer needs fixing.

We also treat the internet as ‘that guy.’ We refer to it anytime we need to fix something, or find directions, or remember an obscure fact. Every time we do that, our ability to remember and our ability to learn, dies a little. We know that if any given problem shows up again, we can just look it up. Our brains don’t bother to retain knowledge when we know that it can easily be recalled for us at the click of a button.

In the future, always try to do it yourself first before you ‘look it up.’ Try to remember a phone number before you look for it in your phone. Try to remember that witty quote before you search for it on the internet. Take a shot at finding your way home before you refer to your GPS. Your brain is like a muscle, and if you never bother to use it, you will lose it.

Do Nothing At All

I dare you. No, I double dog dare you, to do nothing at all. Do you even remember the last time you just sat alone in silence for a while? Have you stopped to consider how crazy it is that most people can no longer stand to be alone with their own thoughts? That’s not an exaggeration. The inability to withstand silence is a sign that you’re a slave to technology.

Scientists have conducted experiments where they place people in a room with blank walls, by themselves for 15 minutes, and tell them to just sit and enjoy their own thoughts. A third of the participants admitted to cheating and checking their phones. Most of them admitted that it was an unpleasant experience. Then they introduced a device that would give these participants a voluntary electric shock. Two thirds of the men and a quarter of the women in this study chose to shock themselves out of pure boredom. Many of us would prefer physical pain over doing nothing at all. That’s freaking sad.

If you really want to stop being a slave to technology, then every once in a while you should take time out of your day to do nothing at all. You don’t have to fill every moment of your waking life with vapid entertainment. Meditate, or stare at a wall, or quietly think about your future. It’s a normal, healthy part of being human, and our technology has robbed us of our ability to quietly be ourselves. So take back the reins, unplug yourself for a while, and enjoy being human again.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

What To Do When You Have to Prep on the Fly

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empty shelves wikimediaPreppers who are truly diligent and committed have little to fear. They’re ready to tackle almost any disaster you can think of, be it natural or man-made. Truth be told, the only thing a dedicated prepper is really afraid of, is not being prepared. Unfortunately it can it happen to the best of us.

There are plenty of reasons why you, a person who is otherwise fully aware of how fragile society is, might not be prepared when a disaster strikes. Maybe you’re new to prepping and simply haven’t had the time to get started. Or perhaps you used to be well prepared, but haven’t been able to maintain your preps for financial reasons (here are 30 prepper items you can find at the Dollar Store). Or you might just be out-of-town and away from your preps when disaster strikes. Whatever the case may be, you need to know what to do when you have to prep on the fly. By that I mean you’re going to have to race over to the nearest stores in your neighborhood and buy up everything you need, as fast as you can (which is pretty a much a prepper’s worst nightmare).

Prepare for any disaster with this best-selling survival guide

Start Pooling Resources With Family and Neighbors

If you’re completely unprepared for an impending disaster, your highest priority will be finding other people who are in a similar predicament, such as friends, family, and neighbors. The more people you have working together, the more successful you will all be. As well, by combining forces, you can also combine supplies to help see each other though. As a side note, depending on what type of disaster you’re dealing with, it will probably be a good idea to start pulling cash out of your bank account, if that’s still possible.

Next, you will all need to start gathering supplies. Preppers do what they do to avoid this exact situation, but you won’t have a choice. You’ll have to wade through the mob of anxious people who are also trying to gather supplies at the last-minute. Plan for a worst-case scenario and concentrate your efforts on finding shelf stable foods. Societal breakdowns can quickly occur and happen when you least expect – even in a grocery store full of unprepared individuals – so know what you’re walking into. Before you read any further, I’d suggest you look up how to escape mob violence, how to blend in, and how to spot people who may be concealing a weapon.

Get Organized

Before you go out and brave the crowds, take an inventory of what you and any neighbors who will be riding out the disaster with you have. For a complete list of items that you will need to stay prepared, click here. Chances are, you will be able to eliminate a few items off your list. Going out to gather supplies under these conditions is going to be scary, which is why it’s important to find other people to work with. You’ll want every able-bodied person to be assigned to look for a specific type of item, such as food, tools, fuel, medical supplies, etc., and preferably you won’t have anyone venturing out alone. If possible, a minimum of two people should be working together at all times for efficiency and safety.

Avoid the Frantic Crowds

As for where to go looking for supplies, you’re going to have to think smarter than the mob to avoid the worst of the mob. Have you ever heard someone say “when the zombie apocalypse happens, I’m just going to raid the gun store and then head over to the grocery store to pick up everything I need?” Remember that, because that’s the kind of thinking most people are going to have.  They’re going to head straight towards the most obvious places and pick them clean before you get there. If you plan on going out, try getting to the stores as soon as they open so that you can avoid crowds as much as possible.

Granted, if you live right next to a grocery store you should be able to get there while the getting is good. Otherwise, start thinking about the stores that aren’t so obvious. By that I mean convenience stores, drug stores, mom and pop shops, and what have you. Other stores you might want to hit up include hardware stores, pharmacies, gardening stores, liquor stores, and gas stations. Again, avoid the big box stores if you can, and focus on the lesser known spots that are second or third on the list for frantic spree buyers and looters.

Finding less obvious solutions to your needs is the name of the game here. When you reach one of these stores, what do you see? Are they all out of toilet paper? Fine. See if they still have binder paper. Are they running out of canned foods? See if they still have dog food. This isn’t the kind of situation where you can afford to be picky or squeamish. You need to find as many vital supplies as you can, and fast.

Have an Alternative Mode of Transportation

You’ll also need to figure out how you’re going to get to any of these stores. If you live in the city, it would probably be wise to forget about driving. In all likelihood the streets will be far too congested, so consider investing in a bicycle or motorbike for ease through high traffic. As well, walking to your destination is going to be your best bet. Unfortunately that means you won’t have a vehicle to carry your supplies. You might have to steal a few shopping carts at some point. I know it’s wrong, but given the circumstances you can be forgiven for such a small transgression. As well, I would also recommend finding alternative routes to these stores.

And finally, if you have enough people working together, consider letting a few of them stay behind to protect everyone’s homes. Aside from fortifying and protecting these homes, these people should also be busy filling up bathtubs with water in case the taps stop working. With that said, make sure bleach is on your list of supplies, so that you can keep this water clean for the duration of the disaster.

As you can see, this isn’t a very pretty scenario. If anything, what I’ve listed above is the best case scenario for what you might have to do to survive. It’s just as likely that you’ll have to resort to some very unsavory measures to stay ahead of the herd. It’s best to avoid this situation entirely, and get prepared long before disaster strikes.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Escaping From Zip Ties. It’s Easier Than You Think.

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zip tie restraintsIf you try to think of all the scary situations that people can find themselves in, you’ll realize that most, if not all of them have something in common. They all involve a feeling of helplessness. That’s the common thread in just about every scary scenario and phobia, and that’s what really scares most people. And that fear is cranked up to 11 when another person is making us feel helpless. There is nothing more frightening than being at the mercy of a violent person that wants to do you harm.

And if you ever find yourself at the mercy of another person, there’s a good chance that restraints will be involved. Rope, duct tape, and handcuffs are all possibilities, and it would be wise for you to learn how to escape those restraints. You’ll sleep easy at night knowing that you can escape any attacker that might try to hold you hostage. You won’t feel helpless when you think about these situations.

But what about zip ties? Are there any special tricks for getting out of these restraints?

For anybody who has an average strength level, you can use the same technique that will get you out of duct tape restraints. By raising your hands above your head and forcing them down into your torso as hard as you can, you can easily snap a zip tie. However, that isn’t the only way out.

Shimmy the zip tie.

 Saw your way out with shoe laces

 Slip out of the zip ties.

Zip tie cuffs seem intimidating at first glance, but really, they’re child’s play.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The One Precious Metal Investment You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

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rhodium wikimediaFor the most part preppers are already very well acquainted with gold and silver. I don’t think you could study prepping for any significant amount of time without being inundated with opinions and analyses on what these metals may be worth during a crisis. However, most people are completely unaware that there are other precious metals you can buy. Aside from gold and silver, they might know about platinum and palladium, but would be dumbfounded if you ever mentioned anything else.

One precious metal that has been flying under everyone’s radar for decades is rhodium. You’d be forgiven for not knowing about it. Though it is occasionally used to coat jewelry, it has very little presence in the global jewelry market. Unlike silver, it’s not a critical component in electronics or industry. The only thing it’s widely used for is as a component for catalytic converters.

It does however have a lot of the qualities that would make it a good precious metal investment. It’s hard, durable, portable, and has a very high corrosion resistance. It’s definitely something you can buy and stash away without worrying about it degrading. More importantly though, rhodium is incredible rare. In fact, it’s the second most rare naturally occurring substance on Earth.

And that rarity is both an advantage and a disadvantage from an investing prospective. Annual production of this metal is very small, which tends to create an environment of price volatility. There’s a lot of potential here for profits, as well as horrendous losses if you buy it high. Not too long ago the price spiked to $10,000 per ounce before the financial crisis of 2008 dragged it back down to around $1000 per ounce.

rhodium price

But aside from those spikes, the metal has managed to keep pace with inflation, so it is still a decent store of value when it’s bought at the low-end.

rhodium price wikipedia

The other glaring problem with the rarity of rhodium is its liquidity. Since very few people know about it or own it, there aren’t very many sellers. That unfortunately means that there aren’t very many buyers. If you try to wait for the price to spike before selling it, there’s a decent chance that the price will plummet before you find a buyer.

One really nice plus with Rhodium though, is that you can’t buy it on the stock market. There aren’t any paper contracts for it. If you want to invest in rhodium, you have to buy it in its physical form. This means that large financial institutions can’t easily manipulate its price, unlike gold and silver. Its value is always reflected by solid economic realities.

Another positive aspect of Rhodium is that it isn’t tightly pegged to gold. Its price doesn’t normally fluctuate with that precious metal, and there’s a really nice opportunity there. If gold goes up drastically, you could probably sell it and put the money toward rhodium while it’s low, and wait for that price to go up before selling.

But the most interesting aspect of this metal is what could influence its price in the future. Because it’s so rare there are only a handful of countries that produce it. South Africa produces more than 80% of the world’s Rhodium supply, followed by Russia with around 9%. You might notice that these are both very problematic countries.

Given current geopolitical tensions between the West and Russia, it would be no stretch of the imagination to assume that at some point, their rhodium supply could be cut off from the rest of the world. But that’s small potatoes compared to South Africa.

This is a country run by radical leftists that is teetering on economic collapse at any given time. Both public debts and inflation are at record highs, and their infrastructure and public services are crumbling at an alarming rate. To top it all off, South Africa is rife with ethnic and political tensions. The country is a powder keg slipping into a third world status. That instability could result in a serious rhodium supply crunch in the years ahead, which would of course result in very high prices.

So keep a close eye on this metal. While rhodium lacks the stability and historical precedence of gold and silver, there’s no denying that its price has a really good chance of reaching astronomical levels in our lifetime.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Vegetarian Diets Linked to Genetic Mutation That Causes Cancer

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vegetables wikimediaThe debate between meat eaters and vegetarians has been raging for years. One side has often claimed that the human body never evolved to eat meat. The other side points out that some nutrients are nearly impossible to obtain without a meaty diet. Truth be told there can be health consequences for both diets, especially in the modern world where most meats are processed and loaded with preservatives.

However, the health issues associated with vegetarian diets doesn’t receive nearly enough attention. While it can lower blood pressure, as well as decrease your chances of having diabetes and some forms of cancers, there is definitely a trade-off. Aside from the fact that you’ll be more likely to be deficient in zinc, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, and protein, vegetarians are also known to have lower bone densities, lower sperm counts, and more mental health issues.

On top of that, there is an issue with vegetarian diets that has puzzled scientists for years. Even though past studies have linked excessive meat consumption with colorectal cancer, vegetarians are 40% more likely to have the disease. Recent research may be able to finally explain why this happens.

Researchers from Cornell University in the US compared hundreds of genomes from a primarily vegetarian population in Pune, India to traditional meat-eating people in Kansas and found there was a significant genetic difference.

“Those whose ancestry derives from vegetarians are more likely to carry genetics that more rapidly metabolise plant fatty acids,” said Tom Brenna, Professor of Human Nutrition at Cornell.

“In such individuals, vegetable oils will be converted to the more pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid, increasing the risk for chronic inflammation that is implicated in the development of heart disease, and exacerbates cancer.

“The mutation appeared in the human genome long ago, and has been passed down through the human family.”

Essentially, vegetarian diets have created a mutation in the human genome that becomes more prevalent with each generation of vegetarian eaters. The mutation helps digest plants, but it comes at a cost. Not only does it increase inflammation and cancer risks for vegetarians, but it also stifles the digestion of omega-3 fatty acids. The research points out that this could increase the risk of heart disease, but that’s not all. Omega-3 is responsible for preventing a host of health problems, such as depression, asthma, and Alzheimer’s.

The fact that this genetic mutation developed is very telling. It shows that being vegetarian isn’t the norm for our species. Our bodies had to adapt to it over many generations, and that adaptation is giving us health problems. Without this gene your body will have a harder time on a vegetarian diet, and with it you’ll be at risk for several diseases. This research proves that vegetarianism is not ideal for humans.

That’s not to say that a vegetarian diet is all bad, but it may not be a diet that you want to turn into a lifelong pursuit. Going on a vegetarian diet for a short period of time could probably help you sort out several health problems, but sticking to it is not going to be good for you, regardless of whether or not you carry this mutation.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Make a Powerful Bow in Your Garage for $15

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arrow target wikimedia

One of the benefits of archery is that in the long run, it’s not a very expensive hobby. Unlike firearms, you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on ammunition to maintain your proficiency. And since bows aren’t as loud or destructive as firearms, there’s a good chance that you won’t need to pay to visit an archery range unless you live in the city. Your backyard would be sufficient for that.

However, there can be some steep up front costs. Still not as bad as the cost of a firearm in most cases, but a really high quality bow can you set you back. If you’re just starting to get interested in archery and you’re not sure if you want to commit to those costs, check out the video below. It’ll show you how to make a very powerful and effective bow with little more than PVC, paracord, and driveway markers.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Trouble Sleeping? Here Are 6 Tips That You Need to Know

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sleepThe modern world has done a number on our sleep cycles. While surely there have always been sleep disorders, living in a high stress world filled with lights, gadgets, and on demand entertainment has turned many of us into sleepless zombies. About 10% of the American population has chronic insomnia, and between 45% and 55% of us experience it infrequently.

Clearly this is a widespread problem. Calling it an epidemic would be an apt description, since it’s so common and incredibly bad for us. Sleep is like food and water. If you don’t get enough of it, every function in your body will be hindered in one form or another. And that of course, can put you into an early grave.

Fortunately there are a few simple (though not always easy) things you can do to finally get a good night’s rest. If you don’t want to be among the sleep deprived masses, consider the following:

Tobacco, Alcohol, and Caffeine

Everyone knows that caffeine can keep you awake and shouldn’t be ingested before going to sleep. Tobacco is another stimulant that can keep you up, and not just because of its brief energizing effects. If you smoke once or twice every waking hour, then that’s what your addicted brain is used to. But when you try going to sleep, all of sudden you’re going several hours without smoking. This often leads to restlessness and waking up in the middle of the night.

And finally, alcohol is one of the worst substances you can ingest before bed. Initially it will help you fall asleep fast, but like tobacco it hurts the quality of that sleep. You’ll get less REM sleep, and it may cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.

Light and Dark

It’s common knowledge that a dark environment is ideal for a good night’s rest. Even the slightest speck of light can hinder melatonin production (even with your eyes closed too) and throw a wrench in the gears of your circadian rhythm. It could be the numbers on your alarm clock, the lights on your TV, or the street lamp outside your window. Anything can throw you off. That’s why it’s a good idea to buy a sleeping mask and/or blackout curtains for your bedroom. Most people don’t even realize how much these tiny lights are ruining their sleep until they try out these options.

What most people don’t know however, is that experiencing daylight is just as important for your sleep. Research has shown that seeing and feeling more sunlight throughout the day helps you sleep better at night. When you stay inside all day under artificial light, your body doesn’t really know when it’s day-time and night-time. Thus, it doesn’t know when to sleep.

Electronics

And while we’re on the subject of how light affects your sleep, you should avoid all contact with electronics for at least an hour before bedtime. As I said before, any form of light can hinder your sleep to some degree, but computers and cell phones are the worst. The light from these devices, as well as LEDs and fluorescent bulbs, is often tinted blue. That color actually induces wakefulness and focus, and it can hinder your sleep for several hours after you see it.

Skip the Snooze Button

The problem with hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock is that it interrupts your sleep cycles, which typically lasts about 90 minutes and consists of 5 stages throughout the night. Hitting the snooze button causes that cycle to restart unnecessarily as you drift back to sleep. You would feel more restful if you had just set your alarm clock a few minutes later. Not only that, but the snooze button has a tendency to disrupt your hormones and your circadian rhythm.

And when you think about it, you shouldn’t need an alarm clock either unless your work schedule changes from day-to-day. If you need an alarm clock to wake you up every single morning, then you’re not getting enough sleep. Set it every night anyway just in case something disrupts your sleep, but don’t rely on it. If you’re really getting plenty of consistent rest, and you’re disciplined enough to go to bed at the same time every night (which your body loves), you’ll wake up at the same time every morning a few minutes before that alarm clock goes off.

Exercise

One of the best remedies for occasional insomnia is a workout. If you sit on your butt all day, your body will have an abundance of energy that it wants to burn off, and that will keep you awake. If you really want to conk out fast, then you need to feel exhausted at the end of the day, and obviously exercise can do that. Even moderate exercise like walking and jogging can help take care of your restlessness. Keep in mind however, that this works best for the majority of the population that doesn’t have a sleep disorder. If you have chronic insomnia, then you should know that exercise may not have the same effect on you.

Find the Perfect Temperature

We all know that a hot muggy evening or a freezing cold night can make it difficult to sleep. However, the temperature range that provides the best sleep isn’t as broad as you might think. Anything between 65 and 70 degrees will put most people to sleep the fastest, and help them feel more restful when they wake up. To fall asleep, the temperature of the human body needs to decline slightly, and that aforementioned temperature range helps your body maintain that state. If the room temperature drifts too far from that range, then your body will have to work extra hard to maintain the lowered temperature, and you’ll struggle to sleep.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

8 Nutritious Foods You Can Afford When You’re Practically Broke

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free_range_eggsIf there’s one thing we all learned from the crash of 2008, it’s that any one of us could be dragged down into poverty. No one is really immune to that anymore. In the Western world, economic prosperity has been crumbling for years, and stability is rapidly disappearing for a variety reasons. Truth be told, you’ve probably read about countless disasters and survival situations on this website, but the one situation that is most likely to affect you, is a financial calamity in your family.

And if that happens, one of your most pressing concerns will be food. Every resource you consume will have to be restricted, and every day you’ll be forced to triage your finances. You’ll have to choose between paying for your rent/mortgage, utilities, debts, medical bills, and of course groceries. And even if you accept assistance in the form of food stamps, you’ll likely struggle to afford nutritious food.

That’s why I’ve compiled this list of low-cost groceries. Keep in mind however, that this isn’t a list of the cheapest foods. Things like taste or long-term health implications aren’t a priority either. These are foods that simply provide the most nutrients for the least amount of money, and you should keep them in mind if you ever find yourself in the poorhouse.

Butter

In terms of the number of calories you get for every dollar, you can’t beat butter. The only thing that would surpass it is refined sugar, but obviously you don’t want to make that a significant part of your diet. Butter is cheap, and brimming with saturated fats that will keep you sated for hours.

Whole Grain Wheat Flour

Grains have fallen out of favor among health conscious eaters in recent years, and for many very good reasons. But again, long-term health isn’t the priority of this list. Despite its faults, whole grain flour is loaded with vitamins and minerals, and is incredibly cheap. So cheap in fact, that even the organic brands often only cost a few cents per ounce.

The main drawback to wheat, and most grains for that matter, is that they contain phytic acid. This substance is known to prevent the absorption of many different nutrients. However, if you’re planning on using the flour to make bread, pancakes, or even hard tack, you can soak the flour dough in lemon juice overnight, which will eliminate most of the phytic acid.

Eggs

Lately eggs have been pretty expensive due to a rampant avian flu epidemic that wiped out millions of chickens last summer. At one point, prices rose so high that ounce for ounce, the protein in chicken meat was cheaper than egg protein. Most of the time however, eggs provide one of the cheapest sources of protein and fat. However, not always as cheap as…

Whole Milk

While milk can provide plenty of protein, fat, and sugar at a low price, unlike eggs it has far more vitamins and minerals. Milk contains an abundance of vitamin D, Riboflavin, and Vitamin B12, and for minerals, it provides plenty of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and selenium. It also contains a very good ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, which eggs do not.

Beans

White beans, Lima beans, Kidney beans etc. They all have a few things in common. They’re usually light in vitamins, rich in minerals, and contain a moderate amount of protein. They aren’t always cheap, but their high shelf life allows you to cut down costs by buying them in bulk.

Canned Salmon

I don’t normally recommend any processed canned foods, but canned salmon is one of those rare foods that are healthier than the fresh version. Aside from being expensive, fresh salmon is usually farmed, which means they are typically contaminated with PCBs, and fed chemicals that turn their flesh pink (which happens naturally in the wild). Canned salmon is almost always caught in the wild, and is usually very affordable. It provides an abundance of omega-3, vitamins, and minerals, and unlike other canned sea food like tuna, the amount of mercury in salmon is negligible.

Bananas

While the cost of groceries has gone up significantly in recent years, bananas are still remarkably cheap. They also contain a well-rounded dose of nutrients like vitamins C and B6, as well as minerals like magnesium and potassium. Contrary to popular belief, bananas don’t contain the most potassium (see beans above) but they are one of the cheapest ways to consume that mineral. Though most westerners aren’t aware of this, you can actually eat the banana peel as well if it’s properly prepared, which will double your potassium intake.

Beef Liver

There’s no doubt that the taste and texture of liver renders it unpalatable to most people. Unless you grew up eating it, there’s a good chance that you will absolutely hate beef liver. However, the widespread unpopularity of liver means that it’s usually pretty affordable. The nutrient profile of this organ is also amazing. It might give you the best bang for your buck, compared to everything else on this list.

In fact, some of the nutrients in beef liver are so high, that eating a single serving every day might actually be bad for you. That serving would include 431% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A, 137% of riboflavin, 800% of B12, and 486% of copper. Unfortunately, it doesn’t keep very long in the fridge, so you may want to skip liver if you live alone. But if you live with a family, you can easily divvy up a single slice between everyone.

Have any great ideas for highly nutritious foods that won’t break the bank? Let us know in the comments below. 

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Warning: Some High Carb Foods Can Give You Lung Cancer

bagelsWe all know that bad habits like smoking can often lead to lung cancer. In fact, in our culture, the association between lung cancer and tobacco is so strong that we often forget that there are other causes of this disease. We’re usually surprised when we hear about a nonsmoker getting lung cancer, as if it’s some kind of anomaly.

In truth, there’s more to it than just “abuse this one organ and it’ll fall apart.” Our diets play a much bigger role in our long-term health. You could live a squeaky clean life without any addictions or vices, and still have cancer if you don’t eat the right foods. And since the food we eat affects every cell in our bodies, a poor diet can fuel cancer in any organ.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find that science has just discovered a new link to lung cancer in nonsmokers, and it has everything to do with what these otherwise healthy people eat.

Could lung cancer be one of those malignancies? Dr. Xifeng Wu, chair of cancer prevention at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, conducted the new study to help answer that question.

Her team looked at the health and dietary histories of more than 1,900 people with lung cancer and more than 2,400 people without the disease.

The investigators looked specifically at the intake of foods with a high glycemic index, such as the white bread and potatoes cited by Jain.

Overall, people who registered in the top fifth in terms of a high-glycemic diet had a 49 percent greater risk of developing lung cancer versus those in the bottom fifth, Wu’s team reported.

And when the researchers focused solely on people who never smoked, the link was even more compelling. Those who had the highest glycemic diet were more than twice as likely to get lung cancer as those who had the lowest glycemic index scores.

Dr. Wu made it clear that the study wasn’t 100% conclusive. It’s likely that there are other factors involved. People who eat a high glycemic diet are also more likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, all of which can contribute to cancer. Just having a high insulin resistance can do the trick. But regardless of whether or not these factors are involved, the result is the same. Some high carb foods can really mess you up.

And it makes a lot of sense. These high glycemic foods often have an effect on your body that is similar to eating candy and drinking soda. And as we all know, sugary processed foods fuel cancer growth.

We often think that there’s a big difference between foods that are laced with simple sugars, and those that are filled with complex carbohydrates, and we assume that the latter of the two is safer because those carbs are digested and broken down into sugar at a much slower rate. However, it isn’t always that simple. Milk is loaded with simple sugars in the form of lactose, but is low on the glycemic index, whereas potatoes with their abundance of complex carbs, are ranked very high on the index.

So if you want to stay healthy, do some research on your diet, find out which foods are high on the glycemic index, and consider cutting back on them (though many of them are still good for you in moderation). You might just be surprised to find that your healthy diet, isn’t so healthy after all.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Warning: Some High Carb Foods Can Give You Lung Cancer

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bagelsWe all know that bad habits like smoking can often lead to lung cancer. In fact, in our culture, the association between lung cancer and tobacco is so strong that we often forget that there are other causes of this disease. We’re usually surprised when we hear about a nonsmoker getting lung cancer, as if it’s some kind of anomaly.

In truth, there’s more to it than just “abuse this one organ and it’ll fall apart.” Our diets play a much bigger role in our long-term health. You could live a squeaky clean life without any addictions or vices, and still have cancer if you don’t eat the right foods. And since the food we eat affects every cell in our bodies, a poor diet can fuel cancer in any organ.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find that science has just discovered a new link to lung cancer in nonsmokers, and it has everything to do with what these otherwise healthy people eat.

Could lung cancer be one of those malignancies? Dr. Xifeng Wu, chair of cancer prevention at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, conducted the new study to help answer that question.

Her team looked at the health and dietary histories of more than 1,900 people with lung cancer and more than 2,400 people without the disease.

The investigators looked specifically at the intake of foods with a high glycemic index, such as the white bread and potatoes cited by Jain.

Overall, people who registered in the top fifth in terms of a high-glycemic diet had a 49 percent greater risk of developing lung cancer versus those in the bottom fifth, Wu’s team reported.

And when the researchers focused solely on people who never smoked, the link was even more compelling. Those who had the highest glycemic diet were more than twice as likely to get lung cancer as those who had the lowest glycemic index scores.

Dr. Wu made it clear that the study wasn’t 100% conclusive. It’s likely that there are other factors involved. People who eat a high glycemic diet are also more likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, all of which can contribute to cancer. Just having a high insulin resistance can do the trick. But regardless of whether or not these factors are involved, the result is the same. Some high carb foods can really mess you up.

And it makes a lot of sense. These high glycemic foods often have an effect on your body that is similar to eating candy and drinking soda. And as we all know, sugary processed foods fuel cancer growth.

We often think that there’s a big difference between foods that are laced with simple sugars, and those that are filled with complex carbohydrates, and we assume that the latter of the two is safer because those carbs are digested and broken down into sugar at a much slower rate. However, it isn’t always that simple. Milk is loaded with simple sugars in the form of lactose, but is low on the glycemic index, whereas potatoes with their abundance of complex carbs, are ranked very high on the index.

So if you want to stay healthy, do some research on your diet, find out which foods are high on the glycemic index, and consider cutting back on them (though many of them are still good for you in moderation). You might just be surprised to find that your healthy diet, isn’t so healthy after all.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Learn From a Pro: A Beginner’s Guide To Archery

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archer

Archery is undoubtedly one of the most useful survival skills. Even though the bow and arrow has been largely replaced by firearms as the weapon of choice for most hunters, it is far from obsolete. Unlike firearms, bows are quiet, lightweight, and affordable. The “ammo” is reusable, and it’s much easier to find a safe place to practice.

But more than that, archery is also a deeply fulfilling hobby. That’s not to say that firearms aren’t as fun, but archery is fun in its own unique way. It’s a much more physical activity that will test your strength, endurance, and focus, in ways that a firearm won’t. In short, archery is a lifelong pursuit that is tons of fun, and mastering it will leave you feeling gratified in more ways than one.

Like any challenging skill however, getting started is the hardest part. Shooting a bow isn’t as simple as pulling a string, and there’s a few tips and techniques that you need to know right off the bat. If you’ve ever been interested in getting involved in the fine art of archery, take a look at the video below.  It’s a beginner’s guide made by Jake Kaminski, a professional archer who won the silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. After watching this, your first time at the archery range won’t be any more difficult than it needs to be.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

This Is Why You Shouldn’t Shelter Your Children From Guns

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child with gunWhen it comes to the subject of children and firearms, there seems to be two prevailing schools of thought. One says that if you have children, all of your firearms need to be locked up and hidden away, and kids shouldn’t even be aware of your firearms until they’re old enough to respect them. The other school of thought suggests quite the opposite. Kids need to be introduced to firearms at a very early age, even if they don’t quite understand what they’re looking at. They need some familiarity with guns, so that it kills their curiosity.

It’s hard to argue with the former sometimes. Little kids don’t mix well with firearms unless they are under strict supervision. It’s not uncommon for children to stumble upon their parent’s weapons, and accidentally shoot themselves or others. Every year, over 2000 kids are accidentally injured with firearms in America, and among kids aged 10 and under, accidents account for 75% of all firearm injuries.

But is sheltering your kids from firearms really the best way to keep them from hurting themselves and others? It’s hard to say since, to my knowledge at least, there haven’t been any studies made on the matter. And sometimes, even when parents familiarize their children with guns, accidents still happen.

However, a recent experiment conducted by KWWL News in Iowa found that it’s probably best to familiarize your kids with firearms, even when they’re really young.  Though the experiment didn’t set out to prove anything in that regard, it sure is compelling. Under the guidance of a police officer, they planted an unloaded pistol in a room full of toys to see how long it would take for several kids to find it, and play with it. If you’re short on time, you can get the gist of the video by starting at the 5 minute mark.

Though the sample size is small, the results are impossible to ignore. The only kids who didn’t play with the gun were the ones who grew in households that have guns. They’ve seen them before, and on some level they know that guns aren’t toys.

So with that in mind, it’s probably safe to say that it’s a bad idea to shelter your kids from guns, even though it can sometimes be a little nerve-racking to broach this subject with them. If you’re a gun owner with a family, show your firearms to your kids, teach them how they work and how to be safe with them. And if they’re old enough to understand, explain the lethal potential that is inherent in every firearm. Make it clear that these aren’t toys and they’re not for fun (until they’re old enough to have fun with them of course) and you should be able to stunt their curiosity.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Someday, This Humble Fungus Could Kill Millions of People

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stem rust wikimediaIn the 1960’s, a biologist by the name of Norman Borlaug created several strains of high yield, disease resistant wheat. He developed these strains in countries like India, Mexico, and Pakistan, and with the help of modern agricultural techniques, he helped these countries double their wheat yields in less than a decade. Borlaug’s crops were so successful at bringing food security to the third world, that it’s estimated his efforts have since saved over a billion lives.

That should give you a pretty good idea about how important wheat is to the global food supply. There are literally billions of people who are living right now, because modern civilization is so good at growing this stuff. Imagine what would happen if something threatened even a small percentage of the world’s wheat yields.

Unfortunately, that something exists and it goes by the name of Ug99, a strain of stem rust fungus that is known to kill wheat plants.

Since 1998, Ug99 has been sweeping its way across Africa to the Middle East from its origin in Uganda. Altogether, 11 confirmed races in the Ug99 lineage have been detected in Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iran, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe, showing that the pathogen has evolved and expanded widely, according to recent research by Singh, Hodson and collaborators.

Trans-boundary pathogens blown by the wind, spread by travel and commercial trade, pose an increasing threat to global food security. Emerging strains colonizing new areas can cause significant crop losses. Pathogen changes in one region can quickly migrate with serious consequences to more distant regions.

So just how bad is Ug99? When a single spore lands on a wheat farm, it’s been known to eventually multiply and kill 100% of the crop, before making the leap to neighboring farms. Though there are some breeds of wheat that are resistant to it, less than 10% of the farms in the countries where it has shown up, actually grow them. And many of these wheat strains are of the same variety that Norman Borlaug developed decades ago. Thus, the spread of this stem rust threatens to derail decades of agricultural progress in the third world.

But truth be told, it may not stay in the third world for very long. Much like a virus, stem rust can ‘infect’ people. The spores can cling to clothing and travel anywhere in the world. Each acre of stem rust infected wheat can create billions of spores, so it wouldn’t be far-fetched for someone to brush shoulders with one of these crops, and spread it to anywhere in the world.

In any case, it could still make the leap to the developed world even without human help. It’s widely believed that stem rust spores could conceivably be blown across the ocean and into Australia, one of the world’s largest wheat producers. And if it can make it there by natural forces, it can make it anywhere.

While the scientific community is busy trying to figure out a way to deal with this threat, the Ug99 fungus has always been one step ahead of them. It’s a rapidly evolving organism that has adapted to nearly every strain of wheat that it has come across. Fortunately, dozens of wheat genes that are resistant to it have been discovered, so there is some hope that it can be beaten in much the same way that it was beaten in the past: by breeding resistant strains of wheat with the ones that aren’t resistant.

However, a successful breeding program would take years to develop. In fact, you would probably need separate programs for different regions and climates. And once several highly resistant plants were created, it would take several more years before the world’s farmers could make the switch to the new wheat strains. Until that happens, Ug99 will loom over the global food supply, threatening to eliminate sustenance for millions, or perhaps even billions of people.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Tips That Will Turn You Into an Amazing Runner

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runningHuman beings are born to run. Compared to every other species on this planet, we are unparalleled. While there are countless animals that can run faster than us, none can run for nearly as long, nor can they run for such incredibly vast distances. Aside from our big brains, this is one of the few traits that makes us unique among every other species on the planet.

But for such a quintessentially human ability, many of us are quite bad at it, and I’m not just talking about how physically unfit many of us have become in the modern world. There are some very basic techniques that you can apply to vastly improve your ability to run, and most people are never taught them. Here’s what you need to know:

Run on the Ball of Your Foot

There’s a native tribe in Mexico that in recent years, has gained a reputation for producing excellent long distance runners. Many of them routinely outclass Olympic marathon runners, and even their elderly keep on running into their twilight years. While there are several reasons why members of the Tarahumara Tribe are such fantastic runners, one of the most significant reasons is that they don’t run like most Westerners.

When most of us run, we instinctively land on our heels first, before rolling our feet along the pavement until we spring up from our toes. The Tarahumara on the other hand, never land on their heels. They typically have a shorter, faster stride, and they always land on the balls of their feet. This is much more efficient for long distance running, and it doesn’t put so much stress on your knees or shins.

Just remember that if you’ve never done this before, it’s going to leave you incredibly sore after the first time you do it. Running on the balls of your feet activates a few muscles that you don’t typically use so strenuously. Start out by only jogging short distances like this, and work your way up until you can do it for longer distances.

Fix Your Posture

There are two major posture problems that you’ll see with inexperienced runners. They’ll either be hunched over like they’re sitting in front of a computer, or they’ll be leaning really far back with their chest in front of them. Neither of these are conducive to efficient running or breathing.

Ideally your torso should be straight, and only leaning a little bit forward. You should be perfectly aligned from your lower spine to the back of your head, and you should be looking straight ahead at the horizon, like so.

Breathe Through Your Nose

This doesn’t just apply to running. No matter what exercise you do, it’s important to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, or alternatively, breathe in and out with both orifices together. Breathing exclusively through your mouth won’t do you any favors, even when you’re not exercising. Of course, it’s easy to forget that when you’re huffing and puffing at the end of a long run, but breathing through your mouth will actually burn you out faster.

Your nose isn’t just for smelling. The moisture in your nasal passages filters out particles and pollutants, and warms the air before it reaches your lungs. This not only reduces the irritation and dryness in your throat, but it helps your lungs take in oxygen more efficiently. Breathing through your mouth may put more air in your body, but it doesn’t necessarily put in more oxygen.

Breathing Deeper

Another habit you’ll see with exhausted runners, is their tendency to give short rapid breaths. When you’re running hard it feels natural to try and breathe as fast as you can, but when you do this you’re actually making shallow breaths that fail to expel CO2.  You need to take longer deeper breaths, even when you’re feeling exhausted. And the best way to do that is…

Breathe With Your Belly

I’m willing to bet that right now, as you’re breathing, your chest is moving in and out. In reality, that is not the optimal way to breathe, regardless of whether you’re running up a mountain or sitting on the couch. Most people never think about this because it’s hard to believe that there is a right and wrong way to breathe. The truth is, you should be breathing with your diaphragm rather than your chest. It should feel like your belly is being filled with air while your chest hardly moves at all.

Try it right now. Extend your belly as you breathe in and relax your diaphragm to let it all out. You’ll find that this is far easier than chest breathing, which is normally restricted by the weight of your chest and shoulders. You’ll also find that your lungs can take in a higher capacity of air. Belly breathing puts more oxygen in your body, and pushes out more CO2.

It’ll feel weird the first time you try it out on a run, but after a while it’ll start to feel natural. And doing this alongside the previous tips will make your running experience easier and more enjoyable. In a sense, they won’t make you a stronger runner. You’ll simply be removing the handicaps that have been slowing you down this whole time.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

UN Fears Global Food Crisis Due to Mass Bee Deaths

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honeybee wikimediaWe’ve known for years that bee populations all across North America and Europe are collapsing at an alarming rate. Though science has yet to settle on a single cause for the bee deaths, the most likely culprit seems to be some of the pesticides we use on our crops; though it’s just as likely that there are multiple reasons for colony collapse disorder, and most of them are caused by human activity.

Obviously, this is a huge threat to our food supply. One third of all the food we eat comes from plants that are pollinated by insects, and 80% of those crops are pollinated by bees. This has big implications for our meat supply as well, since animal feed like alfalfa is pollinated by bees. If this mass bee die off continues unabated, we’re going to have a serious food crisis on our hands in the near future.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just the bees that are in danger of disappearing. They get the most attention since they’re responsible for the most pollination, but the truth is, there are multiple pollinating species that are dying off all over the world.

The UN recently released a report on the subject, explained that not only bees, but butterflies and pollinating birds are also threatened on every continent. Two in five species of insect pollinators are threatened, as are one in six bird pollinators.

The report attributed several reasons for the population declines of these species, including urban sprawl, diseases, neonicitinoid pesticides, and of course, no UN report is complete unless climate change is blamed for something.

“The report confirms the overwhelming majority of the scientific opinion regarding pollinator health — that this is a complex issue affected by many factors,” said Christian Maus, of Bayer pharmaceuticals in a statement to AP. “Protecting pollinators and providing a growing population with safe, abundant food will require collaboration.” Bayer produces neonicotinoid pesticides.

Research has linked the use of neonicitinoids on certain crops to declining honeybee populations. The report points to agricultural pesticide management as a key area of concern for pollinators.

“Pesticides, particularly insecticides, have been demonstrated to have a broad range of lethal and sub-lethal effects on pollinators in controlled experimental conditions,” said the report.

The report also highlights monoculture agriculture, with wide swaths of farmland supporting a single crop, as another source of woe for pollinators. In England, the government pays farmers to plant wildflowers in their hedgerows, British scientist Robert Watson told AP. In the United States, the newly formed Pollinator Health Task Force is also looking into ways to encourage farmers to diversify plants grown on agricultural lands.

When you really break it down, the most significant threat to these pollinators, is modern agricultural techniques. The only way to prevent this disaster, is to return to traditional farming in at least some capacity. The world may have to look towards organic farming for inspiration. And that’s a big problem, because for all its faults, modern agriculture is able to feed a ton of people.

There’s no denying the fact that organic farming is also capable of producing high yields, but unlike industrial farming, it takes a lot more time and effort before a piece of land is fertile enough to produce a significant abundance of organic food. So regardless of whether or not most of the farmers in this world stay on their current course, or if they move to save these pollinators by switching to more traditional agricultural techniques, the global food supply is probably going tighten in the near future.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why You Need to Prepare for the Cashless Society

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cash wikimediaEarlier this month, the European Central Bank suggested that the 500 Euro note needs to be eliminated. Not long after, academics and policy makers in the US started to call for the elimination of the $100 bill. This isn’t something that the average person really thinks about on a regular basis, or even cares about. The vast majority of our purchases are done through digital channels these days. Unless you’re about to buy a used car on Craigslist, you probably won’t be needing the hundred-dollar bill. For most people, eliminating it would be an inconvenience at best.

So what gives? Why is anyone even considering the elimination of these bills? It seems like there is simply no need for it.

The truth is there are a lot of reasons why governments and banks want to eliminate these high denomination notes, and none of them are good. It should go without saying that the people who are pushing this are not going to give you a straight answer. You’re going to hear them give the same excuse over and over again for the foreseeable future: Large denominations are indispensable for black market transactions. They enable drug dealers, tax evaders, corruption, and terrorism.

But that’s just what they’ll say in the beginning. One day they’ll give all those same excuses, except instead of suggesting the elimination of large denomination bills, they’ll suggest we get rid of cash instead.

That’s right. What the government, multinational corporations, and the central banks really want, is a completely cashless society, and they’re going to start by eliminating the bills we don’t use very often. Pro-gun supporters will recognize this strategy as the “slippery slope.” Start out with something small that sets a precedent, and quietly eliminate everything over a long period time so no one notices.

Eliminate certain bills, restrict large cash purchases, demonize people and businesses that hold large amounts of cash and confiscate their wealth through asset forfeiture, flag bank accounts that transfer large sums of money, etc. You may recognize some of those as policies that are already in place. The anti-cash crusade is happening right now, and here’s the real reason why:

For starters, there are people in both the public and private sector that want to track everything you do. Like a stalker, they just really really want to get to know you better. They want an intimate knowledge of what you buy and sell. The corporations that are in bed with our government would love to have this knowledge, so they can do a better job of tailoring their marketing to you.

The governments that are in bed with the corporations want to use that knowledge to rule every aspect of your life. You can’t live if you can’t buy and sell, so without cash you’ll be locked into a system that you can’t opt out of. They say that cash is for terrorists and criminals, but they don’t want you to realize that you’re in the same boat as them. No cash means no anonymous transactions.

The second biggest reason? They want to steal from you. Taxes aren’t enough. They can’t bring themselves to stop spending our money and putting us into debt, and we don’t want to give them anymore money, so raising taxes through a legitimate political process is off the table.

Instead they’re going to lower your interest rates. How low? Ideally they want negative interest rates. They want to make it impossible for you to save money. The excuse for this will be different from before. They’ll do it when the next major recession hits, so they can say that it’ll be good for the economy. If saving money means losing money, then you’ll spend money, thus supporting the economy. But really, they just want to legally steal from you (insert taxation joke here). They know that if cash isn’t eliminated before these negative rates are implemented, you can simply pull your money out of the bank and hide it in your mattress. They don’t want to leave you with any choice.

As you can see, physical cash is an essential means for maintaining your liberty. That’s why, in light of recent calls to disband high denomination bills, two right-wing Swiss politicians have proposed the exact opposite. Philip Brunner and Manuel Brandberg have suggested the creation of a 5000 franc note to ensure the safe haven status of Switzerland’s currency. Their reason? Cash is so important to individual liberty, that it could be compared to the right to bear arms.

In this context “cash is comparable to the service firearm kept by Swiss citizen soldiers,” the pair argued in their motion, saying they both “guarantee freedom”.

“In France and Italy already cash payments of only up to 1,000 euros are allowed and the question of the abolition of cash is being seriously discussed and considered in Europe, “ Brunner said on his Facebook page.

The move toward electronic payments allows governments “total surveillance” over individuals, the pair claim.

So how will you preserve your freedom if, and probably when this comes to pass?

The most obvious solution would be to stock up on gold and silver before the cash ban arrives, because that is really the best alternative. Precious metals provide the only other convenient way to make untraceable purchases (you’ll probably start to see underground markets pop up to cater to many of the normal purchases you make every day).  After all, gold and silver were the most popular forms of currency until the 20th century. Alternatively you could put your money in any physical asset that may hold its value, such as land or firearms for example; but for daily purchases, gold and silver are king.

Of course, the government could try to ban that as well. They tried confiscating gold before and they could do it again. However, it’s not going to do them any good. When negative interest rates arrive with the cashless society, there will be millions of people moving their assets into gold and silver. They’ll be joining everyone who is operating in the black market, who will have already moved into precious metals by necessity.

There would be widespread disobedience against those rules. Nobody is going to give a damn about the laws at that point. If the government tries to brazenly wipe out everything you’ve earned throughout your entire life, you won’t be too concerned about the law and neither will millions of other savers. With that many people, it will be impossible for the government to really clamp down on it.

Honestly, they’ll be just as successful in preventing you from owning gold and silver, as they are in preventing you from buying pot. And the cops will have their savings wiped out as well, so they’ll be playing the same game you are. It’ll be prohibition all over again.

In short, gold and silver are the best things you can buy to prepare yourself for the cashless society. A lot of people will be rushing into precious metals if our government decides to get rid of cash, and the government will likely be helpless to stop you. So stock up now before the herd realizes what’s happening to them.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Retread Your Old Shoes With a Car Tire

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car tires wikimediaIn our throwaway culture, it’s no surprise that most shoes are poorly made. The average American is content to wear cheap tennis shoes that don’t last more than a few hundred miles of walking, and the shoe companies are more than happy to produce footwear that needs to be constantly replaced. And they get away with making these garbage shoes, because so many Americans live sedentary lives, and they don’t do a whole lot of walking in the first place.

But for those of us who do like to get off the couch every now and then, high quality footwear is a must. Personally, I could wear down a typical pair of Payless shoes in less than 6 months. It’s such a colossal waste of money to go through footwear like that.

However, even really high quality shoes and boots will wear down eventually. You can prolong their lifespan by having the treads replaced, which is sometimes fairly expensive. Or you can retread them yourself with an old car tire.

Most people have never considered doing this, but it’s a very cheap way to make footwear last a very long time. Consider the fact that your typical car tire is responsible for carrying thousands of pounds over tens of thousands of miles. If you could put that kind of rubber on the bottom of your shoe, there’s good chance that the tread will outlast the everything else.

So if you have a well worn pair of shoes or boots that you’d like to refurbish on the cheap, take a look at the video below. Since there isn’t any narration, afterward I’ll fill you in on a few important facts that you need to know.

The first thing you see these guys doing in the video is stripping the tread off the tire. As you can see, this is definitely a two man job, and can be done with a knife or a box-cutter, and a pair of pliers. This is an essential step, because modern car tires contain a belt of steel wires under the tread that is impossible to cut through without power tools. And even if you could cut through it, you don’t want all that steel to weigh down your shoes.

After tracing the shape of the boot print onto the tire, they sand down the back side of the tire tread and the surface of shoe tread. This will give the glue a better surface to adhere to. Unfortunately most people don’t own a belt sander as seen in the video, but a palm sander or a dremel tool with a sandpaper attachment would also work pretty well. I should add that it’s a good idea to wear eye protection throughout this process, and a disposable respirator wouldn’t hurt either.

Next is the part where the tread is glued onto the shoe. The guy in the video is not using ordinary shoe goo, and you shouldn’t either. That stuff is better suited for small repairs. The person who posted the video mentioned in the comments, that they’re actually using a product called Barge Cement, which is a popular adhesive for repairing shoes. And yes, hammering the tread does help it adhere to the shoe. Barge Cement is a strong product, but it’s also a bit tricky to work with. Read the instructions carefully and do your research before using Barge Cement. It will make the difference between a shoe that falls apart in a week, or lasts for years.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

This Is the One Global Disaster That Most People Aren’t Aware Of

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space junk wikimedia

In general, preppers have a pretty well-rounded awareness of all the ways our communication systems can break down. If anything, the failure to communicate with modern technology is at the root of any serious disaster, including solar storms, nuclear war, or emp attacks. There are also the more conventional disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and in some cases famine and plagues if they go on long enough. Truth be told, it’s not really a disaster unless phone lines, televisions, and the internet are knocked out in some capacity.

But the one disaster that most preppers aren’t aware of is known as the Kessler syndrome. This scenario was first proposed by NASA scientist Donald J. Kessler in 1978, who suggested that in the near future, the accumulation of space trash would make it nearly impossible for us to maintain satellites in Earth’s orbit. The theory goes that as more satellites are placed into orbit, there will be more debris floating around our planet, which will eventually lead to a cataclysmic chain reaction.

At the heart of the matter is the fact that it’s pretty much impossible to put something into space without leaving something else behind. And after sending thousands of objects into orbit over the past 60 years, there are now 170 million man-made objects orbiting our planet, and nobody has figured out how to remove this debris. These objects include equipment left behind by astronauts, nuts and bolts, spent rocket stages, abandoned satellites, and everything in between. Some are as small as paint chips, while others are the size of semi trucks.

Obviously, this poses a serious threat to any operating space station or satellite. On a good day these objects can wear down equipment by sandblasting them over a period of time, but larger objects can instantly obliterate a satellite. This would in turn, produce thousands of additional objects that also have the potential wreak havoc. And on and on it goes until you basically have a wall of impenetrable trash flying around our planet at speeds of around 17,500 mph, destroying everything in its path.

And that is the Kessler Syndrome in a nutshell. It would essentially make it impossible for anyone to put a satellite in orbit. And make no mistake, it’s already happening right now. On average, about one satellite is destroyed by space debris every year. It’s only a matter of time before this problem cascades into an unmitigated disaster.

So what would this mean for everyone on Earth?

The most immediate problem would be the destruction of GPS satellites. While most of us think of GPS as the thing that made road maps obsolete, there is a bit more to it than that. It also helps guide global shipping, keeps aircraft on track, aids disaster relief operations, and connects overseas cell phone calls.

For the most part however, it wouldn’t have a significant effect on people living in and around major cities. Instead, it would be disastrous for rural and isolated parts of the world, where satellites provide the only means of electronic communication. No more satellite television, cell phones, internet, or radio. Large swaths of the planet would be turned into communication dead-zones.

The one organization that would be hurt the most though, is the US military. The collapse of the GPS network would be pretty damaging by itself. There are multiple weapon systems that have GPS chips embedded in them to ensure accuracy, such as ICBMs, cruise missiles, and other precision guided bombs.

It’s also essential for land navigation, and the target tracking of those aforementioned weapons. Our GPS satellites are also equipped to detect nuclear denotations anywhere in the world. On top of all this, there are satellites for global reconnaissance, early warning systems for hostile ICBM’s, and covert communications. In other words, without satellites, our high-tech military is dead in the water.

As you can see, the Kessler Syndrome would have huge ramifications for life on Earth. It would spell the end for thousands of critical satellites that are currently in orbit, and there’s no telling how long it would take to alleviate the situation. It could take decades before we figure out how to clean everything up, and rebuild our current satellite network. It wouldn’t be the end of the world by any means, but its effects would be felt by nearly everyone on Earth for years to come.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Prevent and Cure a Pinworm Infestation

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pinworm eggs wikimediaPinworms exist among many subjects that most people would rather not talk about. And who could blame them? In case you don’t know, pinworms are an intestinal parasite that anyone can be infected with if they happen to ingest their microscopic eggs. They live in your bowels for several weeks before emerging from your rectum at night to lay eggs, which leads to unbearable itching. That itching gets the eggs under your fingernails and bed sheets, which helps the parasite spread to new hosts.

I can already sense some of you moving your cursor to click away from this dreadful topic, but before you do, consider this: At any given time, between 10% and 15% of the population is infected with pinworms, most of them children. This isn’t some exotic parasite you pick up after visiting a developing nation. You can get them anywhere, and although children between the ages of 5 and 10 are the most susceptible (on account of their poor hygiene) anyone can get infested with pinworms. Statistically speaking, it will happen to you at some point if it hasn’t already.

So how do you get rid of these nasty critters? There are several options, the most common being over the counter medicines. Pyrantel and mebendazole are the most common treatments, and you take them the same way. You ingest one dose, which will kill the worms but not the eggs. Then you take another dose two weeks later to kill the new pinworms as they hatch. Both of these drugs have a high cure rate, and can be found in most drug stores.

Unfortunately, they’re not suitable in all cases. They’re not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, and they may cause problems for people who are taking certain prescription drugs. They’re also known to cause nausea, headaches, vomiting, cramps, and insomnia. And in any case, they don’t work 100% of the time. That’s why you may also want to consider a few of these natural remedies:

  • Consume raw garlic on a daily basis. Unlike the over the counter drugs, this will kill the worms and the eggs.
  • A daily dose of food grade diatomaceous earth can kill the worms. It can also be applied to diapers and bed sheets to keep them from multiplying.
  • The sulfur in onions creates an environment in your digestive system that repels pinworms. Eat raw onions, or soak chopped up onions in water and drink it throughout the day.
  • Eating pumpkin seeds won’t kill the worms, but there are compounds in the seeds that will paralyze them. Rather than clinging to the intestinal walls, they will slip away during bowel movements
  • Wormwood and ground up black walnut shells are often taken together to kill many parasites, including pinworms.
  • Apple cider vinegar doesn’t kill pinworms, but it does lower the pH in your bowels. The worms can’t thrive in that environment, and will die off naturally without multiplying.
  • Cut excess sugar out of your diet. Pinworms love sugary foods, and struggle to survive without them.

Keep in mind that whatever treatment option you choose, it’s important that every member of the household is treated. These critters are highly contagious. Their eggs are light enough to go airborne, and they can stick to anything. If one person in the house has pinworms, it would be best to assume that everyone has them. And unlike the medicines you buy in the drug store, any natural treatment that doesn’t outright kill the worms should be continued for 13 weeks, which is the full lifespan of a pinworm. If you fail to follow any of these procedures, there’s a good chance that you’ll get infested with pinworms over and over again.

As you can imagine, dealing with pinworms is a major pain in the butt, figuratively and literally. Fortunately, there are ways to keep yourself from getting infected in the first place.

Cleanliness of the highest order is key. In all seriousness, if you’re OCD, you’re ahead of the curve in this case. First and foremost, everyone in your house needs to keep their fingernails trimmed at all times, especially if you have any kids. The most common way they spread is from kids scratching their behinds, and getting the eggs burrowed under their nails.

Wash your hands frequently and take a shower every morning, because the eggs are always laid overnight. Clean your bed sheets, towels, and clothes every few days, for at least for the three weeks following any treatment regimen. Dry them on high heat, which should kill the eggs.

Clean your house religiously for several weeks. Every item and surface in your home needs to be cleaned on a regular basis, because the eggs can survive for 2-3 weeks outside of the body. You might want to consider wearing a face mask while you clean to prevent the eggs from being inhaled or swallowed. The eggs typically don’t last long in the sunlight though, so keep the drapes open and let in as much sun as you can.

And finally, you should learn to stop touching your face. It’s an incredibly difficult habit to break, but like everything else listed above, it will go a long way towards keeping pinworms out of your body, and out of your life.

Additional links:

http://www.thesurvivaldoctor.com/2013/03/14/how-to-treat-pinworms/

http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/15625/1/Home-Remedies-for-Pinworms.html

http://www.findhomeremedy.com/treatment-of-wriggly-pinworms-through-natural-methods/

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Agrihoods: The Self Sufficient Alternative to Suburbia

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suburb wikimedia

Compared to rural agricultural areas and cities, suburbs are some of the most wasteful settlements in the United States. When you really break it down, suburbs are nothing more than the midpoint between rural and urban areas. They have a population density that leans more towards cities, but they take up the space of a countryside. Unfortunately, this means that suburbs, though taking on the costs of both of these extremes, wind up receiving none of the benefits. From an economic stand point, they often combine the worst of both worlds.

Here’s a few quick examples of what I mean. In the city, the cost of housing is very expensive, but fortunately there are more job opportunities. In rural areas, rent and most basic goods are cheaper, but there aren’t nearly as many jobs in most cases. But in suburbia, you often get the high rents without the same job opportunities, which means you’ll probably have to commute to the city for work. That brings me to another example.

In the city you probably don’t even need a car. Everything you need is incredibly close and public transportation and taxi cabs are everywhere. If there is somewhere that is too far to walk to, you won’t have any trouble finding a ride. In the rural areas, you’re practically doomed if you don’t have a car, or know someone who can drive you, but at least there isn’t any congestion. In the suburbs, you get the long distances and the congestion. Plus, newer suburbs aren’t built with pedestrians in mind, and they don’t have nearly as many sidewalks and trails as the suburbs that were built several decades ago.

See what I mean? Suburbs often combine the worst of both worlds. This of course, also includes sustainability and self-sufficiency. Rural areas have great potential for both of those attributes and cities do not, but at least cities have more economic opportunities. Suburbs on the other hand, take up all of the space of that is typical of rural community but without any of the self-sufficiency, especially in regards to food production. Which is a shame, because they have a great potential to capture the best of both worlds, in terms of self-sufficient food production and economic opportunities.

Case in point, all over the world there are a growing number of so-called ‘agrihoods.’ These are essentially residential neighborhoods that are built around small farms. Having this in the suburbs means you could have the benefit of fresh sustainable produce, but still live in an area that has far more job opportunities. Given the growing interest in organic, and local food, these types of neighborhoods may be the wave of the future.

This farm-to-table residential model has been sprouting up everywhere from Atlanta to Shanghai. It involves homes built within strolling distance of small working farms, where produce matures under the hungry gaze of residents, where people can venture out and pick greens for their salads.

“Real estate developers are looking for the next big thing to set them apart,” said Ed McMahon, senior resident fellow with the Urban Land Institute in Washington. “That gives them a competitive advantage.”

There are many variations of the agrihood, McMahon said. “Some developers rent acreage to farmers,” he said. “Some set up non-profit C.S.A. (community-supported agriculture) programs. Some have the residents doing it (the growing) themselves.”

Agrihoods frequently include farmer’s markets, inns and restaurants sited in communal hubs where the edibles are processed or sold.

For now, these neighborhoods are very pricey. They are often built as gated communities, and are marketed primarily to second home buyers and retirees. While the cost of food is much cheaper, that alone isn’t nearly enough to offset the cost of housing.

Like most things in this world however, the cost is always higher for the first product to fall off the assembly line, so to speak. What will really drive down the cost, is when preexisting neighborhoods start to retrofit their surroundings into small, sustainable farms. The first of these retrofits will probably coincide with golf’s lagging popularity, which is causing hundreds of golf courses to close every year. That’s a lot of open space with plenty of water access, right in the middle of suburbia, and it’s ripe for the picking. Give it a few years, and you might start to see these farms pop up in neighborhoods near you.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

This Is What Your Dog Can and Can’t Eat After the Collapse

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dog eating wikimedia

If you’re a dog loving prepper, chances are you probably maintain extra food for your canine, just as you maintain extra food for yourself and your human family members. In an emergency, we want everyone to survive, including our pets. So it’s a good idea to keep extra dog food, not just because dogs are useful to have around in bad situations, but because we also don’t like the idea of eating our pets when society collapses.

But have you thought about how you’re going to take care of your dog if his or her food runs out? If you survive a disaster that lasts longer than a few weeks, you’ll have to start thinking about what else you can feed your dog, because dog food may not available for some time. Even as society is rebuilding itself, it’s safe to assume that everyone’s first priority is going to be figuring out how to restore food production for humans. Food for dogs however, is going to be a little further down the list of our priorities. You and your dog are going to have to manage in the interim.

This means that you need to have a really good idea of what your dog can and can’t eat. Most dog owners like to joke that their pooch can eat anything, but we all know that isn’t exactly true. Having dog food alternatives like the ones suggested in this article will help you use up the less desirable parts of a meat carcasses, utilize some of your food storage preps and keep the unique needs of your furry friend in mind too. Though pretty much everyone is well aware that dogs can’t eat chocolate, there are some additional foods that many of us aren’t aware of. There’s also a few foods your dog can eat, that you probably didn’t know about.

(Full disclaimer, just as there is a lot of debate surrounding human nutrition, so it is with dogs as well. This is a list of what your dog can and can’t survive on, which isn’t necessarily the same as what is healthiest for your dog)

Foods your dog shouldn’t eat:

  • Chocolate contains caffeine and a chemical called theobromine, both of which can make your dog sick. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is.
  • For reasons that are have yet to be discovered, macadamia nuts can induce weakness, immobility, vomiting, and hypothermia in your dog.
  • Just like humans who are lactose intolerant, many dogs don’t have the digestive enzymes to break down lactose, so be cautious with dairy products.
  • The pits and cores of peaches, plums, and persimmons (and most fruit in general) can cause digestive obstructions. The consumption of the flesh should be kept to a minimum, due to the vitamin C content. Dogs already produce their vitamin C, and too much can make any mammal sick.
  • Grapes and Raisins can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and eventually kidney failure.
  • Even though they’re pretty carnivorous, dogs have trouble eating animal fats. Regular consumption of bacon or any meat trim can lead to pancreatitis.
  • Every part of the Avavado has a chemical called persin, which can cause breathing problems and nausea.
  • Onions and Garlic will destroy the red blood cells in your dog, leading to anemia.
  • Raw yeast dough can ferment in your dog’s stomach, producing alcohol (which dogs don’t have the same tolerance for that we do). Worst case scenario, it can produce enough gas to rupture your dog’s digestive tract.
  • Remember that dogs can’t devour a bag of potato chips like most humans can, due to their body weight. The sodium content of most snack foods is simply too concentrated for their bodies to handle.

Foods your dog can eat:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Pasta, Rice, Bread, and Oatmeal
  • Chicken, Salmon, and any lean meat in general
  • Most vegetables, with the exception of anything mentioned in the previous list, as well as raw or green potatoes
  • Some cheeses that have very low levels of lactose
  • Eggs, but not on a regular basis

As you can see, there is a lot of crossover between the diets of humans and dogs. After all, we’re both mammals. But it seems like there are also countless human foods that can easily hurt or kill your dog. The lists above certainly aren’t conclusive either. If there’s any type of food that you’re unsure of, check out canigivemydog.com, which has a very comprehensive analysis on the canine health effects of pretty much any food you can imagine.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

“Alarming Levels of Radioactivity” Detected in NY Power Plant

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indian point energy center wikimediaBy now, the average American has no excuse for not knowing how decrepit our infrastructure has become. Many of our roads, bridges, and dams are falling apart, and continue to be used long after their expected lifespan has expired. When any of these structures fail, you can expect plenty of casualties and mayhem.

But there’s only so much damage that a crumbling dam or bridge can do. The most frightening aspect of our infrastructure, is our electrical grid. Specifically, our nuclear power plants. If anything ever happened to those facilities, it would make any other infrastructure related disaster pale in comparison. And unfortunately, we may have just received a small taste of what that disaster might look like. A nuclear reactor was just shut down in New York, after a monitoring well detected a 65,000% increase in radiation levels.

ALBANY – New York will investigate the Indian Point Energy Center after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he learned that “radioactive tritium-contaminated water” leaked into the groundwater at the nuclear facility in Westchester County.

Cuomo, in a letter Saturday to the state Health Department and the Department of Environmental Conservation, called for the probe after he said Entergy Corp., the Buchanan plant’s owner, reported “alarming levels of radioactivity” at three monitoring wells.

While the facility reported that the contamination has not migrated off site and did not pose an immediate public health threat, Cuomo said that the incident requires a full investigation.

“Our first concern is for the health and safety of the residents close to the facility and ensuring the groundwater leak ‎does not pose a threat,” said Cuomo, who lives in New Castle, Westchester County.

So the company that owns the power plant claims that the public has nothing to worry about, which is why they never alerted the surrounding communities. And yet, the governor wants a full investigation to see if the plant poses any health hazards. That’s reassuring. Some members of the State’s Assembly don’t seem to find it comforting either.

The findings of contamination drew harsh criticisms from state Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, D-Suffern, who said in a released statement that this was not the “first time Entergy’s operation and maintenance has failed.” The nuclear power plant, Jaffee added, “cannot continue to operate as it has without a full and thorough investigation of this incident.”

“My primary concern is the potential impact this tritium-contaminated water may have on the health and safety of those who live nearby but also the impact this radioactive water may have on public health and our environment,” Jaffee said in the statement.

And she’s right. The Indian Point Energy Center should be a poster child for how decrepit our infrastructure is, because there have been countless age related issues in the facility over the past few years. Just last year a transformer exploded, a malfunctioning fan caused a reactor to shut down, and an electrical problem caused a different reactor to shut down for several weeks. There have been about 5 shutdowns over the past year, and to top it all off, the plant’s former supervisor was charged and fined for falsifying safety records the year before.

Not surprisingly, two of the reactors have passed their 40 year licensing period, which is how long most nuclear reactors were initially designed to last. And Indian Point Energy Center isn’t alone. Three quarters of America’s nuclear power plants have received 20 year extensions. It’s safe to say that what happened in New York last weekend is going to become a common occurrence all over the United States, and the worst has yet to be seen.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

What Should You Do When a Bear Attacks?

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grizzly bear wikimediaFor most people, pleasant thoughts don’t generally come to mind when bears are mentioned. At best they are pests that try to steal our food, and at worst they can be vicious killers. In reality, bears have an undeserved reputation. Of all the millions of people who visit the wilderness in North America every year, only a handful of them are actually killed by bears. You’re far more likely to be killed while driving to a state or national park, than you are to be eaten by a bear after you arrive. Even the grizzly bear, which is notorious for its viciousness and aggressive tendencies, is most likely completely uninterested in killing you.

But as we all know, not all bear encounters are that adorable. On occasion they do get violent with humans either because they are provoked, or because their victim accidentally surprised them while eating, or because they have cubs and are more protective than usual. Here’s what you can do to prevent such an encounter, as well as what to do if the situation turns ugly:

  • Make noise while you walk. Talk, sing, whistle, fill your pockets with change. For the most part, bears are afraid of humans and they will usually run if they hear you coming. Some people even wear bear bells that are purpose-built for this reason.
  • Don’t travel in bear country alone. The more people there are, the less likely you are to be attacked. If you are with 3 or more people, the odds that any of you will be attacked is practically nil.
  • Regardless, if you run into an aggressive bear, don’t flee. They’ll view you as prey if you do, and they can run twice as fast as the average human. Don’t think you can climb up a tree either, as they are very good climbers.
  • Try not to make eye contact, as this will only convince the bear that you want to fight. Instead, you should slowly walk backward and without letting the bear out of your sight.
  • If this doesn’t work, then the bear will probably charge at you. You should always stand your ground because most of the time, the bear is bluffing. It will probably charge and circle around, perhaps with the intent of bluff charging you again.
  • Throughout your encounter you should talk calmly to the bear. This not only shows that you’re human (and thus, not a part of its typical diet) but it also shows that you’re not a threat.

Now here’s where the rules change, and there’s some debate among experts as to what you should do. If at this point the bear intends to go on the attack, you have several choices to make. If it’s a black bear, which aren’t as aggressive, you should fight back. There’s a good chance that they’ll back off at some point. If it’s a brown bear, it’s usually recommended that you play dead since the odds of you winning that fight are very low, and fighting them will only increase their aggression. Lay down on your stomach, keep your backpack on, cover the back of your neck with your hands, and spread your legs so it’s harder for the bear to turn you over. The bear will most likely leave you alone once it realizes that you’re not a threat.

Of course, this is only a good idea 99% of the time. On extremely rare occasions, the bear fully intends to eat you from the start. If that’s the case, you should always fight back. So how can you tell the difference between a bear that wants to scare you away/disable you, and a bear that wants to eat you?

As a rule of thumb if you stumble onto a bear, it just wants to scare you away. This especially applies to female bears with cubs, and bears that are in the process of eating prey when you found them. However, if it stumbles onto you so to speak, you’re it’s lunch. If a bear tries attacking you while you’re in a tent, or is trying to stalk you, then you must fight back.

Obviously, anything you can use as a weapon is fair game. Knives, large sticks, rocks, and even your backpack can be swung at the bear. The most vulnerable spots are on its head. Aim for the eyes and the snout with whatever weapon you have. And unlike my previous advice, now is the time to scream and yell as loud as you can and make eye contact, which should intimidate the bear. Stamp your feet and make yourself look big by standing tall and holding your jacket open. And as horrifying as this might sound, if you’re out of options, you can always try to reach down the bear’s throat with your fist. Last year, a man who was being attacked by a grizzly did just that, and it managed to scare the bear off.

Now here’s where many of you might be thinking that if you were carrying a gun, you could just shoot the bear and it would never come to this. You may be right. It’s certainly possible to shoot and kill a bear, but ask yourself, are you a really really good shot with whatever you’re carrying? Are you still a good shot when you’re quaking with fear? Even if you hit the bear, it might not do you any good. If the shot doesn’t instantly kill or incapacitate the bear, it’s going to shrug it off and maul you.

Guns have been known to scare off bears with warning shots, and kill them when they attack, but bear mace is far more effective. Statistically speaking, you’re twice as likely to be injured by an aggressive bear when you use a gun, as opposed to bear mace. So keep that, everything else in mind the next time you’re in bear country.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

A Few Tips for Surviving a Blizzard in a Stranded Car

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snowed in carWhen Winter Storm Jonas rolled into the East Coast, everyone knew it was coming, but that didn’t prevent some people from getting caught in the cold. For instance, 500 vehicles on a Pennsylvania turnpike got stuck in traffic during the storm, after several trailer trucks jackknifed on the road. It took 24 hours to clear the turnpike before stranded passengers could go on their way.

Fortunately, this wasn’t in the middle of nowhere, and National Guardsmen could still reach the drivers to deliver essential supplies. But even with their help it was no picnic, and it was still a dangerous situation for all involved. It just goes to show that when a storm is in your path, no matter where you live, you should prepare yourself and your vehicle for the possibility of being stranded in snowy weather. Obviously, the worst case scenario would involve being stranded in a remote area, where you don’t have the benefit of reaching help. Here’s a few of the most important things you should remember if that ever happens to you:

Should You Stay or Go?

Say your car malfunctions, gets stuck, or crashes in a remote area during a blizzard. If there’s nothing you can do to get the vehicle moving again, you have to make the tough decision of whether to stay in the vehicle or to leave and find help (it should go without saying that in this hypothetical scenario, you don’t have a cell phone signal). In most cases, you’ll want to err on the side of staying, unless you know for a fact that you can reach help by foot within an hour or two.

Don’t overestimate your abilities though. Nobody wants to face the possibility of staying in their car for several days or weeks, but many a stranded driver has died over the years, because they left to get help and succumbed to the elements. But before you even consider leaving the house, there’s a few things you should have stocked up in your vehicle.

Basic Supplies

There are some basic, common sense supplies you should have in the trunk or backseat and ways to prime your vehicle for bouts of cold weather. To prepare for being stranded in a vehicle, you need to think about all the things you would take if you were going camping, but minus the tent. Non-perishable food, water bottles, wool and polypro clothing, sleeping bag, hand warmers, tools, first aid kit, etc. The food you take should consist of really high calorie substances, loaded with fats, carbs, and proteins. Just make sure to keep your food and water inside a cooler to prevent them from freezing and swelling (canned foods may not be the best idea).

You’ll also want a bring portable camping stove of some kind, so you can melt snow into drinking water and warm up your food. It’s not uncommon for people to get stranded in their vehicles for more than a few days, and you may not have the space to store enough water for that time frame. Just remember that you can’t use the stove for warmth. Using stoves inside your vehicle could be very dangerous and could cause carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s best to use the camping stove outside and have hand and foot warmers to maintain body heat.

Tools and Signaling

There are a few more items you should keep in your vehicle that you probably wouldn’t take on a camping trip. In all likelihood you won’t be inside your car for every moment of the day, so rubber boots are a must. You should always have road flares on hand, but in this case, you’ll need them to signal any search and rescue teams that might be looking for you. If you keep reflective emergency triangles in your car, those would also be useful for advertising your presence. And finally, you should consider a small or collapsible shovel for digging out your tires, as well as sand or kitty litter to give them traction.

Insulation

If you decide to hunker down for the night, the first thing you’ll need to do is insulate your vehicle. If you have any newspaper, books you can tear up, or extra blankets, it would be wise to tape them to the windows. However, glass is already a decent insulator, so your highest priority should be to insulate the edges of the doors and windows, or wherever cold air might get in. You could also cut out the stuffing in the seat cushions or use the floor mats.

Alternatively, you can use the snow to your advantage. In 2012, a Swedish man survived alone in his car for two months, despite the temperature falling to -30C . Experts attributed his survival to the fact that his car was buried in snow, which created an igloo effect and kept him warm. It wouldn’t be bad idea to build up a wall of snow around the edges of the car. There is a catch however. If your car is completely walled off then nobody will see you. It would be crazy to completely bury your car, and don’t attempt this unless you have something colorful or reflective to let people know where you are.

Keeping Warm

If your engine is still running, it would be a good idea to turn it on periodically so you can build up some heat in your vehicle. If your car is properly insulated, you may only need to keep the engine idling for 15 minutes at a time, every hour or so. You’ll have to keep it up however, if you want to prevent the fuel lines from freezing over. Just remember to go outside every now and then and clear any snow out of your exhaust pipe. Failure to do so could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

On a final note, it’s best to avoid this kind of situation in the first place. None of us want bad weather to ruin our plans, but when a snowstorm arrives, you should really just hunker down at home and stay off the roads. Keep your vehicle in tip-top shape and make sure your gas tank is full, just in case you absolutely have to drive. Snowstorms aren’t just inconvenient. Any attempt to brave them could prove deadly.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Take the Frustration Out of Chopping Firewood With This Quick Tip

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firewoodNobody ever said chopping firewood is easy. If anything, that’s what makes it so satisfying. It takes skill, precision, and endurance to build up enough firewood to last all winter, and being able to accomplish that is rewarding to say the least. Still, it’s a task that should never be more difficult than it needs to be. Any tip or trick you can find is fair game.

One of the simplest things you can do is to find a way to keep the log together as you chop it. Otherwise, every successful chop you make will mean having to bend down to pick up the pieces and adjust the log. It will also help you steady those uneven logs that simply refuse to remain standing on their own.

Probably the most popular way to do this, involves nothing more than one or two car tires.

Alternatively, a chain and a rubber bungee cord can also help you keep the log together.

In that guy’s case, it probably also helped that he had a really high quality wood splitting axe. Nonetheless, both of these methods are pretty useful for making your firewood chopping session a little shorter, and a lot less tedious.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

7 Jobs That Are Going to Survive the Next Economic Crash

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stock market

If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you probably noticed that the economy is making some scary moves. The stock market has been absolutely pummeled, in what is being called the worst start to a year in American history. Trillions of dollars in wealth have evaporated already. Walmart is closing hundreds of stores, Puerto Rico is facing economic collapse, and global shipping is dead in the water. And to top it all off, only a select few regions in the United States have managed to recover from the last economic crisis.

It’s safe to say that we’re about to plunge head first into another recession. And it’s about time, because recessions tend to happen every 7-8 years, so we’re a bit overdue. If you haven’t already, now is the time to start bracing yourself for this eventuality. It’s just like any other disaster. If you prepare yourself ahead of time, you stand a better chance of staying above water when everything goes to hell.

One of the many ways you can position yourself to survive and succeed before an economic calamity, is to consider what skills will be in demand when money is tight across the board. I’m not talking about a total financial collapse and the breakdown of society, where suddenly blacksmiths and cobblers are in high demand. You just have to ask yourself, which jobs are going to be available during a recession, or even a prolonged economic depression?

Given past trends, I’ve selected 7 industries that I believe are going to experience either growth or stability in the next recession. It is by no means a complete list, so feel free to share your own job ideas in the comments below.

Transportation

Specifically, truck drivers. Just because the economy slows down, doesn’t mean businesses won’t stop needing things delivered to their stores. Granted, fewer goods will be delivered during a recession, but there is and has been a really high demand for truck drivers in the United States, in both good times and bad. That’s because it’s not a desirable job, and there is an unbelievably high turnover rate. That employee turnover rate often increases during a recession because wages will drop, meaning there will be even more available jobs. It’s not pleasant work, but a job is a job and this line of work can put food on the table when times are tough.

However, it may not be wise to turn this into a long-term career. It’s very possible that self-driving cars will start taking over the roads in the near future, and automated semi trucks are already in the works. This line of work should still be available by the time the next recession arrives in another 8 years, but after that, all bets are off. Alternatively UPS/Fedex/DHL delivery jobs should be around for a while, though it’s hard to say when the act of delivering a package will be automated as well.

Renewable Energy

Anything related to renewable energy will likely continue to experience growth during a recession, for the simple fact that governments, companies, and individuals all want to save money. While there are several different kinds of renewable energy such as wind, biomass, geothermal etc, solar has been leading the pack for some time now and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Regardless of whether it’s the manufacture, transportation, marketing, or installation of solar panels and accessories, you can expect growth in this field during a recession.

Keep in mind though, that during a recession the most significant business growth in this field will be seen in commercial and government projects, rather than residential installations. While solar panels undoubtedly save money, they also have heavy up-front costs that will be easier for large organizations to afford. The same goes for other forms of renewable energy.

Sales and Marketing

It doesn’t really matter what business you work for, or even if you work for yourself, most things don’t sell themselves. And in a recession, the ability to convince other people to buy a product or service suddenly becomes a much more valuable skill. It could be a sales, merchandising, advertising, or copywriting position. If you have a knack for closing a deal or enticing new customers, you should do well in any company, or any economic climate.

Security

It’s no secret that crime rates often go up when the economy falls apart. To be fair, burglaries, murders, and robberies didn’t go up in the US during the last recession, but that usually isn’t the case. When you look throughout history, in any place in the world, you’ll usually find that all sorts of crimes become more frequent when there is less money to go around. If the crisis is so bad that otherwise successful people fail to earn enough money to feed and house themselves and their families, you can expect to see more crimes in your neighborhood.

On top of that, recessions often lead to fewer tax dollars in the coffers of the government, which means there won’t be as many police officers on the streets. Small businesses, corporations, gated communities, and even governments, will start to outsource their security needs to the private sector. Security guards are in high demand during recessions, and it doesn’t typically require very much training to enter this field. Almost anyone without a criminal record can find a job as a security guard.

And you can expect growth in this sector even during good times. The truth is, most cities in America have massive financial liabilities related to the pensions of their police forces, and they may not be able to afford them in the future. At some point within the next 20 years, you can expect to see massive police layoffs, followed by an abundance of opportunities in the private security sector.

Medical

Pretty much every job in the medical field is expected to see double-digit growth over the next decade. Granted, people avoid most non life threatening medical procedures when the economy is bad (especially dental procedures), but growth will continue in this sector regardless of the economic climate. We live in a pretty unhealthy society, which combined with our rapidly aging population, means business will be booming for a long time.

And you don’t necessarily need to be a doctor or a nurse to take advantage of it. There are plenty of jobs in the medical field that don’t require a 4 or 8 year college degree. There are EMTs, surgical technologists, phlebotomists, lab assistants, and physical therapy aides. Even security guards and janitors can make above average wages compared to their peers, in a hospital setting.

Food Production

During a recession, you obviously want a job that pertains to an industry that people simply can’t do without. Food certainly falls under that category. However, you don’t want a job related to industrial farming. That employment field has consistently shrunk over the years due to automation. The production of organic food is where it’s really at.

Whether it’s growing organic food, shipping it, marketing it, or selling it, that’s the food industry you want to be in. Organic food sales have increased year after year since 2000. There was a slowdown in sales during the last recession, but growth in that industry continued nonetheless. More and more people are seeing the benefits in eating healthier food, and many of them are willing to pay more for it, even when they don’t have as much money. Which makes sense, because who are we kidding, what good is money when you’re too sick to earn it and too frail to enjoy it?

Vice

I hate to suggest this since it’s a rather unsavory business, but our vices are real moneymakers in hard times. However, not all vices are created equal. The gambling industry for instance, took a huge hit after the last recession. Tobacco sales often take a hit as well.  The vices that do thrive in bad times, are the little things. Alcohol and junk food do particularly well. The demand for Marijuana often increases as well which, considering how many states have been legalizing that drug lately, it may be a very lucrative trade to be involved in during a recession.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Canadians Are Panicking Over Food Costs After Currency Collapse

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canadian flag wikimediaIt’s no secret that America has a serious inflation problem. Though the Federal Reserve insists that our inflation rate is only at around .5%, we’ve all seen the price of food, rent, healthcare, and energy skyrocket over the past 10-20 years. However, this has been a gradual shift. Canada on the other hand, has just seen the price of every day goods rise precipitously over a very short period of time.

The crash in oil prices has crippled their economic growth, and led to the decline of the Canadian dollar, as well as a predictable increase in the cost of imports like food. For those of us living in the US, this provides a really good example of what life may be like should the dollar take a plunge in the near future. Here’s what our northern neighbors have been dealing with:

It is often said that a free-floating currency acts as a shock absorber.

But when Canadians go shopping for groceries these days, they’re getting nothing but the shock—sticker shock, that is.

On Tuesday, the Canadian dollar, commonly known as the loonie, broke below 70 U.S. cents for the first time since May 1, 2003.

For America’s northern neighbor, which imports about 80 percent of the fresh fruits and vegetables its citizens consume, this entails a sharp rise in prices for these goods. With lower-income households tending to spend a larger portion of income on food, this side effect of a soft currency brings them the most acute stress.

James Price, director of Capital Markets Products at Richardson GMP, recently joked during an interview on BloombergTV Canada that “we’re going to be paying a buck a banana pretty soon.”

Canadians took to twitter this week to share their collective horror over the rising cost of food. Cucumbers are $3 each. A head of cauliflower is $8. A large container of pepper cost $19 and some Canadians are paying $16 for a single bell pepper. A container of laundry detergent is $32.

This gives us a pretty good idea what would happen in the US, even if there was a minor shock to the value of the dollar. Despite the rising cost of goods and services, our currency has been doing really well on the global stage for the past two years. I shudder to think of what will happen when our economy runs into another recession, which we are way overdue for. When it does hit, the cost of our imports will rise the most, much like they have in Canada.

So what are our main imports? Fortunately, most of our food is homegrown, but there are quite a few American food staples that are also raised abroad, such as bananas, coffee, nuts, and seafood. And even though we’re one of the world’s largest meat producers, we still import a lot of pork and beef from Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. However, that doesn’t mean homegrown food wouldn’t become more expensive as well.

Even though we’ve become one of the world’s leading oil and natural gas producers in recent years, we still import a significant amount of oil from abroad. Since our agricultural industry is heavily reliant on oil, we could expect the price of all our foods, both domestic and imported, to rise.

If you want to understand how our economy would hurt from inflation or a dollar dump, take a look a this list of America’s biggest imports. We ship in a ton of electronics, which are worth about $315 billion per year. For a high-tech society like ours, this would be crippling.

The other items that stand out in that list are healthcare related. When put together, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals amount to 6.3% of our imports. Our medical system is already the most expensive in the world, so a plunge in the dollar’s value would make that situation significantly worse.

All told, a dollar dump would be really bad. That may sound obvious, but when it happens you can expect our government and media to tell us the same thing the leaders in Canada are trying to tell their citizens. Here’s how Steven Poloz, the head of Canada’s central bank, is trying to spin this situation.

Nonetheless, Mr. Poloz insisted that the Canadian dollar, which has plunged to near 70 cents (U.S.), is helping to offset the billions in lost revenue from exports of oil and other commodities. The drop makes Canada’s non-resource exports more competitive in world markets. A lower dollar is generally beneficial to exporters because they pay for their inputs, such as labour, in Canadian dollars, while their sales are generated in the higher U.S. dollar.

This is how all central bankers talk. They could find a silver lining in any situation, even if there was blood in the streets. They’ll say the same thing in the US when the next recession hits and the dollar slips. But it won’t change the fact that everything we need for our survival will be more expensive, and the average person will be making less (or no) money.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Here’s How to Protect Yourself From Mob Violence

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riot policeHuman beings have a peculiar duality. We love to imagine ourselves as rugged individuals, but we’re extremely susceptible to herd instincts. We are after all, social creatures, and our instinctive need to “go with the crowd” has helped us survive and thrive in a world where going it alone can be a death sentence. Unfortunately, that same urge often drives us to do things that are violent, stupid, and ultimately self-destructive.

That sort of behavior was on full display in Cologne, Germany on New Year’s Eve, when a mob of around 1000 people, many of them refugees from Middle East, lit fireworks, robbed and assaulted pedestrians, and groped dozens of women (at least two cases of rape have been reported). They essentially formed a gauntlet of several mobs that passengers coming out of the Cologne train station had to fight through.

Frankly, it’s shocking that such an event could happen in Germany, a country that is (or at least was) prosperous, stable, and orderly. It just goes to show that no nation is immune to mob-like behavior, even when there is no natural or man-made disaster to inspire these acts.

The politics surrounding this incident have been thoroughly discussed already, so there’s no need to tread that ground again. Instead, I want to talk about what you can do to protect yourself, if you ever find yourself wrapped up in a belligerent crowd. Here’s what you need to know:

The Borg

When faced with a mob, the normal rules of human behavior are thrown out the window. That’s because you’re no longer dealing with a group of individuals. When people join the mob, they stop thinking for themselves, and start acting in the interest of the group, even when it doesn’t necessarily benefit them as individuals. What you’re really dealing with, is one person with many bodies. This is what makes the mob so cohesive and dangerous, but as you’ll see in a moment, it’s also its greatest weakness.

Don’t Fight the Crowd

Any situation that involves dangerous people is going to spark your fight or flight response. With a mob, both of those options could end disastrously, though fighting a crowd of people is arguably worse. You’re not going to win that fight. In some cases, brandishing a weapon might convince members of the crowd to snap out of their groupthink, but it’s often the case that a mob can’t be reasoned with, even if their lives depend on it. Inhibitions are low for members of the mob (even without the influence of drugs and alcohol, which are often present) and these people feel safe, and sometimes invulnerable. I don’t care how much of a badass you are, you can’t fight everybody. If you try going toe to toe with a mob, they’ll tear you to pieces.

Don’t Run From the Crowd Either

The moment you try to flee the mob, it becomes blatantly obvious that you are not a part of the mob, and are thus a target. This is where the uniformity of the crowd becomes its weakness. The best advice I’ve heard on escaping a mob comes from this article from offthegridnews.com. Rather than fleeing, start acting like everyone else in the crowd so you don’t stand out.

Then, slowly drift away from everyone else until you reach the edge of the mob. Eventually you can duck out and hide by slipping into an alley way or store front. If the mob starts moving into a different direction, go with them, but at a slower speed. Eventually they’ll just leave you behind.

Stay Calm and Aware

In case you haven’t noticed already, normal human instincts don’t serve you well in this situation. If anything, it’s normal human instincts that cause mob violence in the first place. Since your fight or flight response will get you in trouble, it’s important to remember that you have to stay cool, and be aware of your surroundings. In a sense, everyone in the mob has tunnel vision. They’re very focused at the task at hand, whatever that may be.

If you keep it together, you’ll have a significant advantage over them, because you’ll have so much more awareness. You’ll see gaps in the crowd that you can drift through. You’ll see where the mob is moving to before any individual within the group knows it. You’ll notice when the police arrive before they do. And more importantly, you’ll see opportunities to escape while the mob is preoccupied or distracted. So stay calm, blend in, and drift away before anyone notices you. It’s not guaranteed to save you in every situation, but it’s still the best way to escape the grasp of any mob.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Scientists Discover New Link Between Sugar And Cancer

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sugar cubes wikimediaIt’s no secret that sugar is incredibly bad for you. The typical American diet, which probably has more added sugar than any national diet in the world, is known to cause obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, liver disease, tooth decay, nutrient deficiencies, and of course, cancer (and that’s just the short list). Cancer in particular, has been connected to sugar consumption for some time now, by both mainstream and alternative medicine. Plenty of theories have been posited to explain the precise mechanism for how sugar fuels cancer growth, and it seems that modern science has just discovered another compelling link.

A study conducted by Lorenzo Cohen at the University of Texas was recently published in the Cancer Research journal. It found that sugar influences a metabolic pathway called LOX-12, which affects how cancer spreads in the body. This is big news, because as Cohen noted in an interview with NBC, “The majority of cancer patients don’t die of their primary tumor. They die of metastatic disease.” They discovered this link after feeding mice copious amounts of sugar.

Cohen’s team used mice for their study but say they took many steps to make sure the process was as close as possible to what happens in people. They fed sugar to the mice in doses very similar to what Americans eat every day, and they used mice that are genetically predisposed to breast cancer in much the same way that many people are.

They fed mice four different diets that were either heavy in starch or heavy in different types of sugar.

“A human study reported that dietary sucrose/fructose/glucose but not starch is associated with increased risk of breast cancer,” they wrote in their report.

When the mice were six months old, 30 percent of those fed a starch-dominant diet had breast cancer. But half the mice that had been fed extra sucrose had breast tumors. And the more sugar they were fed, the bigger the tumors grew.

While all forms of sugar contributed tumor growth, it was fructose that had the biggest effect. Mice that were fed the most fructose had stronger LOX-12 pathways, and as a result, grew the largest tumors. Considering that there is significantly more high fructose corn syrup (which is 55% fructose) in the American diet today than there was a few decades ago, this may explain why the United States has one of the highest cancer rates in the world.

What the study didn’t address however, is the relationship between naturally occurring sugars and cancer, or if there’s any link there at all. Fructose is of course, commonly found in fruit, and in smaller amounts, certain vegetables. That’s one of the reasons why representatives for the food industry claim that their sugary drinks and candies are relatively safe for human consumption.

Lorenzo Cohen stated that it’s simply a matter of quantity, since our bodies only need sugar in small amounts. “We need glucose. We need sugar. It is an energy source and we need it to live. We refine sugar that’s extracted from its source and consumed in extremely high quantities.”

On the other hand, the way these sugars are delivered to our bodies may be just as important as their quantity. While it’s true that the sugar in a candy bar is made of the same glucose and fructose as the sugar in fruit, it’s also wrapped up in fiber and other nutrients when found naturally in food. This serves to significantly slow down the absorption of sugar in our digestive tract.

So if you only ate sugar from natural sources, not only would you be eating less sugar since those foods usually don’t contain nearly the same amount found in processed foods, but that small dose of sugar would also be delivered to your body at a much slower rate. There’s a good chance that this LOX-12 pathway would be exposed to a negligible amount of sugar, if we stuck to a strictly natural diet.

Though the study doesn’t address the difference between natural and added sugar, it does sound like added sugar is the real culprit here. The recommended amount of added sugar for any diet, is no more 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. Even when Cohen fed the mice an equivalent to those small amounts, it still contributed to tumor growth.

So it’s very possible that no amount of refined sugar is safe. The human body is simply not built to digest it in a healthy manner, and cutting it out of your diet should be your highest priority if you want to reduce your cancer risk.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Here’s What Happens When You Eat Nothing but MREs

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mre

Have you heard the news? The Army has an offer for those of you who are particularly brave. You no longer have to join the Army if you want to serve your country. You just have to eat their food.

U.S. Army researchers invited men and women to help improve their Meals, Ready-to-Eat — if those volunteers can eat nothing else for three straight weeks.

Participants would eat and drink the provided rations for 21 days, then go back to a normal diet for 10 days, according to the study. It’s open to people between the ages of 18 and 62 who “meet additional screening criteria.”

The goals of the study go beyond improving the taste, the Army Times reported. Researchers say they’re hoping to add other nutrients to the food and to look at its impact on bacteria inside the digestive system, potentially improving what they call “gut health.”

Don’t worry. You’ll be properly compensated for your service.

Volunteers can’t have alcohol to help swallow the food — they’ll need to avoid all outside food and drink for those first three weeks, officials say. The Army will pay volunteers $200 each for completing the study.

All kidding aside, I don’t think you could give me enough money to eat MREs every day for three weeks. Or at least, the Army doesn’t have enough money to compensate the number I have in my head. I’m willing to bet that a lot of you reading this feel the same way. For those of you who haven’t tried MREs before, let me fill you in on what’s going to happen to the poor bastards who volunteer for this study.

It’s probably not a coincidence that the researchers are trying to study the effects these meals have on gut flora. If you read the ingredients list for these meals, you’ll find that they contain a lot of the same garbage you would find in junk food. Lots of chemicals and GMOs, and much much more. If you had a prepared MRE dish in front of you, and you closed your eyes before taking a bite, you’d probably recognize the taste as something remarkably similar to that of fast food, convenience store take out, or TV dinners. Though it’s prepared in a way that allows the food to last much longer, that’s pretty much all it is.

So what do those junk foods do to your gut flora? As some studies have shown, they can absolutely obliterate vast swaths of your stomach’s bacteria within a matter of days. This might help explain why MREs are notorious for causing constipation (which is also caused by their lack of fiber and high calorie content). Other signs of poor gut flora include inflammation, bloating, gas, fatigue, and diarrhea.

So if you ate nothing but MREs for three weeks, it’s safe to say that your body would be kind of a mess. Granted, some people don’t seem to have any problem with digesting MREs, but for most us, three weeks would be devastating. In the past, a lot of veterans have reported severe constipation for the first few days, sometimes followed by the exact opposite for another few days.

However, it is possible for your body to adapt to this stuff. After all, many of our servicemen have had to eat MREs for months at a time when on deployment, so it’s certainly possible, even if it’s not desirable. Given enough time, your bowel movements would probably return to a (somewhat) normal state, and the other side effects would subside. The horrible ingredients in these meals would still be doing damage to your body, but eventually you’d return to functional state.

Once you stop eating them though, you might run into a few more problems. That’s why this study wants to follow their volunteers for a while after they go back to eating normal food. After eating MRE’s for three weeks, your digestive system would have adapted to the food. Going back to real food could be a real shock to the body. Diarrhea, gas, and cramps would probably be felt for at least a few days, until the digestive tract “relearned” how to digest real food.

Overall, I can say without a doubt, that I do not envy the volunteers for this study. While some people seem to be able to handle MRE’s without any severe symptoms, eating them for three weeks would be a wretched experience for most of us. That is after all, one of the reasons why they’re paying people to do it.

On a final note, if you have any MRE horror stories, feel free to share them in the comments.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

GOLDMAN SACHS: THE THIRD WAVE OF THE FINANCIAL CRISIS IS UPON US

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stock-market-crash

GOLDMAN SACHS: THE THIRD WAVE OF THE FINANCIAL CRISIS IS UPON US

These days it seems like there is a never-ending stream of dire predictions for the United States and the global economy. Many of them have merit of course, since the fundamentals of our economy are being held together by little more than duct tape and string. However, any prediction that suggests that the system is going to come crashing down at a moments notice, is hard take seriously. It’s certainly a possibility, but it’s not the most plausible end to our way of life.

In reality, our society enduring a long-term collapse that may take decades to fully develop. There will be moments of rapid decline, much like the financial collapse of 2008, but overall we seem to be falling on a long trajectory.

Goldman Sachs admitted as much this week when their top analysts claimed that the third wave of the financial collapse of 2008, is rapidly approaching. Aside from how weird it is to hear a major financial institution admit that the crash of 2008 never ended, a fact that Austrian economists, conservatives, and libertarians have been saying for years, they also admitted that debt will be at the root of the approaching crisis.

This wave is characterised by rock-bottom commodities prices, stalling growth in China and other emerging-markets economies, and low global inflation, Goldman Sachs analysts led by Peter Oppenheimer said in a big-picture note.

This triple whammy has its roots in the response to the first two waves of crisis — the banking collapse and European sovereign-debt crisis — and it is all part of the so-called debt supercycle of the past few decades.

Central banks all rushed to lower interest rates in response to the first two debt-fueled crises, encouraging investors to lend in emerging markets such as China for a decent return.

Now that interest rates are looking as if they might go up, lenders are heading for the exits and investors are pulling out of commodities, which are closely linked to the fate of the emerging economies.

Discover more about how to survive a Financial Crisis on Conquering the Coming Collapse.

And Goldman Sachs isn’t the only establishment institution to suggest that something big is on the way. Even Bloomberg thinks that we’re about take a plunge into another recession.

Bloomberg’s new survey of economists’ recession expectations picked up for the first time in 14 months on Friday. Economists were asked the likelihood of a recession in the next 12 months, and the median came in at 15%, the highest since October 2013.

“We tend to have recessions every seven years, more or less in the United States, since World War II,” David Rubenstein, CEO of The Carlyle Group, told Bloomberg TV. “So at some point in the next year or two or three, you can expect a recession.”

But as Goldman Sachs admitted, the financial crisis of 2008 never ended, so we’re not really entering another recession. We’re merely passing an additional stage of a single crisis, because nothing we’ve done for the past 7 years has solved our problems. We’ve shuffled money around to different corners of the global economy, we’ve buried ourselves in more debt to keep our economy afloat, and we’ve bailed out the companies that helped caused the problem in the first place (including Goldman Sachs).

We don’t have what you would call a ‘healthy economy,’ which would be able to hold itself together when faced with the natural ebbs and flows of the marketplace. We have a ramshackle economy that is running on nothing but fumes and prayers. And soon we’ll find out how much life is left in this crumbling system, when the next wave of the financial collapse arrives.

USDECEPTION

Source : www.thedailysheeple.com

Other Useful Resources :    

Conquering the coming collapse (Financial advice and preparedness )

Mega Drought USA:(Discover The Amazing Device That Turns Air Into Water)-DIY

Survive The End Days (Biggest Cover Up Of Our President)

Survival MD (Best Post SHTF Medical Survival Guide Ever)

Blackout USA (EMP survival and preparedness guide)

Bullet Proof Home (A Prepper’s Guide in Safeguarding a Home )

Backyard Innovator (All Year Round Source Of Fresh Meat,Vegetables And Clean Drinking Water)-DIY

Liberty Generator (Easy DIY to build your own off-grid free energy device)

Backyard Liberty (Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank)

Family Self Defense (Best Self Defense Strategies For You And Your Family)

 

About the author :

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .

The post GOLDMAN SACHS: THE THIRD WAVE OF THE FINANCIAL CRISIS IS UPON US appeared first on Backdoor Prepper.

A Brief Summary of This Week’s Incredibly Freaky Weather

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storm wikimediaIn case you didn’t notice, this week has seen some of the strangest weather in recent memory. All over the world there have been countless records broken and no shortage of unseasonable climate events. In some regions, things just seem upside down with rain, snow, and heat showing up in places where they typically aren’t seen this time of year. By themselves, each of these events appear to be nothing more than odd anomalies. When considered together however, there’s seems to be an epidemic of unusual weather.

Experts and layman alike have been blaming these events on the arrival of El Niño, though it’s not clear if that weather pattern can explain everything. If El Niño really is to blame, then we may be in for some downright freaky weather for the next few years.  Here’s what’s been reported so far:

  • The Mississippi River has seen some of the worst flooding in 25 years, between Missouri and Illinois. In some parts, there have been 3 day rainfalls of 9-11 inches, which usually only happen every 100 to 300 years. Nine levees have failed to contain the water, and at least 20 people have been killed.
  • Los Angeles, which is notorious for its perpetually sunny weather, has experienced “real weather” for the first time in years. For those of you who live in states that experience blistering cold weather in the winter, you can laugh all you want, but the weather station at the USC campus reported a low of 36 degrees on December 27th. That was a tie for the station’s all time record low, which was set in 1916. Also, California is finally getting the rain it so desperately needs. Sierra snow pack levels are 136% higher than they usually are this time of year.
  • The Dallas area experienced a tremendous tornado over the weekend that had 166mph winds. It killed 11 people and destroyed over a thousand homes and businesses. While Texas is no stranger to tornadoes, this was the first time in 15 years that an EF-4 tornado occurred on American soil in December. It’s also the furthest west that a tornado of that size has been seen in December.
  • Canada has also been hit with a storm that experts believe is related to the weather conditions in Texas. But the storm itself isn’t that strange. It’s the fact that it was the first major winter storm to hit the region this season, and it arrived a month later than usual.
  • South America is also seeing some crazy floods this week, which have been blamed on El Niño. Over 150,000 people have been displaced in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil.
  • And finally, the craziest weather in the world is happening where there aren’t any people. The same weather pattern that caused flooding and tornadoes in the US, is making its way towards the North Pole. It has brought with it, some unseasonably warm weather for the region. The temperature around the North Pole rose to 32 degrees, which is 50 degrees warmer than it would normally be this time of year.

So what do you think? Is El Niño responsible for all this wicked weather, or is there another good explanation?

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Expert Warns It’s “Almost Too Late” to Stop Superbugs

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e coli wikimediaYou’re probably already aware of the dangers posed by the overuse of antibiotics. Doing so can lead to the creation of pathogens that are immune to antibiotics, and often can’t be treated by modern medicine. What you may not know, is that these dangers no longer lie in the relative safety of the future. They are already with us today, and these superbugs are killing thousands every year.

More importantly, the age of pharmaceutical antibiotics is nearing its end. Last month, a gene was discovered in several strains of bacteria in China, which grants these pathogens an immunity to colistin. This drug was one of the earliest forms of antibiotics, and also the only one that had yet to breed immunity in any strain of bacteria.

What’s worse, is that this gene can be passed to different strains of bacteria, so the genie is out of the bottle. Someday soon, colistin will be useless, and we will be well on our way into the post-antibiotic era. However, some experts on the subject believe that there is still a slim chance of avoiding this disaster. According to Dr. David Brown, who is the director of Antibiotic Research UK, society could turn this ship around if we changed our ways.

Dr Brown told said: “It is almost too late. We needed to start research 10 years ago and we still have no global monitoring system in place.

“The issue is people have tried to find new antibiotics but it is totally failing – there has been no new chemical class of drug to treat gram-negative infections for more than 40 years.

“I think we have got a 50-50 chance of salvaging the most important antibiotics but we need to stop agriculture from ruining it again.”

Resistance is thought to have grown due to colistin being heavily used in pockets of the agricultural industries, particularly in China, often to increase the physical size of livestock.

Worldwide, the demand for colistin in agriculture was expected to reach almost 12,000 tonnes per year by the end of this year, rising to 16,500 tonnes by 2021.

Unfortunately, “50-50″ may be wishful thinking. The gene responsible for building immunity against colistin has already been found in the UK. If it’s been found in China and the British Isles, then it’s safe to assume that it has gone worldwide. “50-50″ may still be an accurate assessment, but only on the condition that the agricultural industry of every nation, agrees to stop using colistin with such wanton abandon. However, the chances of that happening anytime soon are slim to nil.

Agricultural use of antibiotics has been one of the biggest drivers of superbug development, perhaps even more so than human usage. Doctors may be handing out these drugs like candy to their patients, but farmers have been giving antibiotics to their livestock by the shovelful. They’re not just used to treat individual animals who’ve become sick. They’re often laced with their feed as a preventative measure, and are known to induce growth in the livestock.

In other words, there is a ton of money to be made by dosing animals with antibiotics, and since agriculture is largely a corporate game these days, there’s going to be a lot of lobbying to prevent any new legal restrictions. That’s not to say that it’s impossible, or that it hasn’t been done before. It’s just that there are plenty of barriers that would prevent these laws from being made.

And in any case, the world has been fully aware of the consequences of overusing antibiotics in agriculture for decades, and yet, very little has been done to stop this practice. Now that we’ve finally reached the crisis point that has been predicted for years, is there any reason to believe that suddenly we’ll drop everything we’re doing and change? I doubt it.

It was short-term thinking that brought us here, and that thinking hasn’t changed. As far as the agricultural industry is concerned, it’s too late. So why not milk it for as long as they can? Besides, anybody who stops now is going to be out-competed by other companies that refuse to stop. It doesn’t matter that there’s a small chance of stopping this disaster. Corporations don’t sacrifice profits for small chances.

And finally, suppose that there was a concerted effort to ban this practice. Is it reasonable to believe that every country will go through with it? If even one small nation doesn’t stop using these antibiotics on their livestock, it will be enough to foster these immunity genes which will spread all over the world, as they have already done.

At the end of the day, there is no going back. There is no turning the ship around, and there is no last-minute solution. The antibiotics created by medical science are going the way of the dodo, and only natural alternatives will remain in the aftermath.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Pentagon Reveals New Plan for Protecting Grid From Cyber Attacks

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powerlines powergrid wikimediaIt’s no secret that preppers don’t trust the government. And it’s not just because we think they’re up to some nefarious shenanigans. We also know that the government is often inept, and can’t be trusted to take care of us in an emergency. Many of us wouldn’t be preppers in the first place if this weren’t true.

However, you have to give credit where credit is due, and for once, it seems like the government deserves a little recognition. The Pentagon has just revealed their plan for dealing with cyber attacks that might take down our nation’s power grid. At first glance it appears to be pretty solid, and I give them kudos for at least trying to shore up a serious risk. As you’ll see however, this plan has a few holes in it.

Their plan, which has been dubbed the Rapid Attack Detection, Isolation, and Characterization (RADICS), involves a sophisticated automated system that would help mitigated the risk of an attack, or at least stifle its damaging effects. The Pentagon hopes that even with a worse case scenario they would be able to bring the grid back online within 7 days (assuming the attack is only digital in nature).

One of the aims of RADICS is to develop detection systems with high sensitivity and low false positive rates, by studying exactly how power grid’s dynamics.

RADICS also calls for the design of a secure emergency network that could connect power suppliers in the moments after an attack.

‘Isolating affected utilities from the internet would enable recovery efforts to proceed without adversary surveillance and interference,’ Everett said.

‘Providing an alternative means for online coordination would enable a more orderly restoration of power among affected organisations.’

Finally, the RADICS will research systems that can localise and characterise malicious software.

The plan sure sounds slick. However, it doesn’t really give us much more safety than we had before, and here’s why:

While the internet has probably made our power system more efficient, it has also made it far more vulnerable to disruption. We’ve essentially traded resilience for efficiency. And unfortunately, this RADICS plan is merely a bandaid on top of a very substantial vulnerability. A vulnerability that has already been exploited. Take a look at this interview CBS did with their former anchor Ted Koppel, who recently finished an extensive investigation into our power grid.

“It’s frightening,” Koppel said. “I mean, it is frightening enough that my wife and I decided we were going to buy enough freeze-dried food for all of our kids and their kids.”

“Who are the potential perpetrators here?” Reid asked. “Who do we have to fear the most? Is it Russia? China? Iran? Terrorists? Individual actors?”

“All those. The interesting thing, Chip, is the ones who are most capable are the ones least likely to do it.

“There are some experts who say they’re already in.”

“Well, they are in. There’s no question about it. They are already in the grid. I was told that by the former Chief Scientist of NSA, he stated categorically the Russians are in, the Chinese are in. The Iranians may be on the verge of getting in. And then at the bottom of the capability scale are folks like ISIS, terrorist groups.”

So nations like Russia and China have already infiltrated our grid, and presumably, could take it down whenever they like without any physical force. We’ve reacted to that threat by creating another automated, interconnected system that could theoretically insulate us from any attack. In other words, we’re protecting one hackable system with another hackable system.

What their new plan really amounts to, is a new step in a digital arms race between the US and other world powers. This is a race which we will either win or lose, and we’ve been losing it for a long time. Does the Pentagon really think that they’re going to turn it all around now?

A far better solution would be to decouple our power grid from the internet, which would help us avoid this existential threat entirely. It sounds crazy, but there’s actually a small percentage of rural power grids that still aren’t plugged in, so to speak. And in any case, the grid worked quite well for a long time before the internet ever took root.

Surely the government will say that this new system is more secure. However, that’s like saying the Titanic is unsinkable. All digital systems are capable of being hacked, without exception. The Pentagon thinks they have a silver bullet solution, but at the end of the day we have the same choice we’ve always had since the proliferation of the internet.

On the one hand, we could have a resilient system with less efficiency. On the other hand, we can engage in a digital arms race with the world’s superpowers, which we may or may not win. Taking that option amounts to flipping a coin to see whose civilization will be completely obliterated without a single shot being fired, if war should occur. The safest option is to stick with resilience, with all its faults, and not flip that coin in the first place.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Preparing for Collapse? This Is How Violent the World Was Without Civilization

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archerSome people seem to have a pretty rosy idea about what life was like for our ancestors, especially for those who lived before the advent of agriculture and the rise of civilization. Perhaps it’s because there are no written records from that time, so we don’t know precisely how these people lived. Or it could be driven by our innate desire to live simply, after enduring a world that gets more complicated every day.

Truth be told though, the people who lived before the rise of civilization did not have easy lives. I’m not talking about the obvious problems like having poor medical care or busting your rump all day to catch a meal. The most glaring difference between how we live and how our ancestors lived, is how much violence these people had to deal with.

Many of us can’t help but notice how crazy and violent the world is today. We look at the news and we see the wars, the murders, and the genocide, and we conclude that we’re living in incredibly dangerous times. However, that is an illusion. We simply live in a time when information can be passed from one person to the next, faster than ever before. And no matter which era you live in, bloody headlines are popular. We think the world is overwhelmingly violent, but we’re just hearing about it more than we did before.

Do you want to know how violent the world was before the rise of civilization? Take a look at what these anthropologists recently excavated in France.

Two men, one woman and four children were killed, probably in a raid or other violent encounter, the researchers report in the December Antiquity. Their bodies were piled in a pit that already contained a collection of left arms hacked off by axes or other sharp implements. Scattered hand bones at the bottom of the pit suggest that hands from the severed limbs had been deliberately cut into pieces.

It’s unclear who the arms belonged to. All the Bergheim skeletons have both their arms except for a man with skull damage caused by violent blows. His skeleton lacks a left arm, the researchers say. They have been unable to determine whether that arm ended up in the pit.

Chenal’s group doesn’t know whether attackers targeted victims’ left arms for a particular reason. The arms could have been taken as war trophies, the team speculates.

Or, how about this 7000 year old mass grave that was investigated earlier this year.

Cleaning and sorting the bones revealed the incomplete skeletons of 13 adults, one teenager, and 12 children—10 of them under 6 years old, and the youngest only 6 months old. The skeletons were dated to between 7200 and 6800 years ago, about as old as those found at the two other mass graves.

The skulls showed signs of lethal blows, and more than 50% of the shin bones recovered from the grave were broken. “The fractures we found here were clearly fresh,” Meyer says. He and his team suspect that these people were either tortured or mutilated shortly after death.

Good lord. It seems that our ancestors were just as screwed up as some of our fellow humans are today. That might lead you to believe that there’s nothing special about this. After all, people still do horrible stuff like this today, and have been doing it for centuries. These cases are hardly revelatory, right?

However, something has changed over the past few thousand of years. This violence is just as shocking and brutal as it has ever been, but it was far more common back in the day. If you could look at all the skeletons that have been excavated and dated from prehistory, you’d find that on average, about 15% show signs of dying violently.

To put that in perspective, the most violent city in the world is San Pedro Sula, Honduras, which has a murder rate of 171 per 100,000 people, per year. Hondurans have an average life expectancy of 73 years, so over the course of a lifetime, people living in that city (if the murder rate stayed the same) would have a 12.5% chance of dying by violence.

The world’s most dangerous city, is still safer than the world of our ancestors. And on average, the number of human beings who die violently around the world today is about 7.9 per 100,000 people per year. If you can believe it, we are living in the most peaceful time in human history.

At this point, you might be wondering what any of this has to do with prepping.

Well, ask yourself what you’re prepping for. I’m sure there are a lot of scenarios that involve personal crises, as well as certain disasters that could make life miserable for a few days. However, you should also be prepping for the possibility of total social collapse. The kind of collapse that could last for weeks or months, or even years.

Which is why it’s worth recognizing the hard lives that people lived before civilization. You have to remember that something changed in a big way when we started building complex societies, which lead to a sharp decline in violence. Most of the academics who recognize this change seem to think that the advent of governance is responsible for this decline, but the state is only one small part of what makes a civilization work (and in many cases, not work).

What really holds a civilization together, is the act of prioritizing human cooperation above violence. At some point in time, we started to realize that other people were more valuable to us personally if they were alive, even if we didn’t like those people. We’re all proficient at different tasks, and when there are more people working together, there are more opportunities (and prosperity) for everyone. That is the real linchpin of civilization.

So what you’re really preparing for is an event that could break down the highly specialized order that our mutually beneficial cooperation has created over the millennia, which would suddenly leave us with far fewer resources than anyone could survive on. If that happens, our ability to keep violent instincts in check in exchange for living in the comforts and conveniences of civilization, would become irrelevant.

We would be temporarily hurled back into the brutal world of our ancestors. A world without any guarantee of safety or peace, with widespread violence on an unprecedented scale. The real disaster you’re gearing up for, doesn’t just include the disruption of public services like police departments and courts. It includes the possibility that some event could cast the trust and cooperation of civilization into doubt, even for a brief period of time. Without that trust, the world is many times more terrifying and dangerous than it is today.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Is This the Toughest Rifle Ever Made?

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mosinIt’s hard to separate firearms from prepping. If you start preparing yourself for disasters and other various survival situations, inevitably you’ll have to ask yourself if you want a firearm, and if so, what type? Now, there is already a mountain of information that is available on this topic, and at the end of the day there isn’t a single firearm that is suitable for all situations. In any case, what works for one person may not be the best for you. What I mean to say is, this is a subject that could be debated endlessly if one were so inclined.

So instead of delving into the subject of what you should or shouldn’t own, which could go on forever, I’d rather offer up a single consideration. Most preppers own multiple firearms, since ultimately, these are tools we’re talking about and none of them are one-size-fits-all. So if there’s one tool I would recommend for your tool-chest, so to speak, it is the Mosin Nagant. As you’ll see, when compared to most firearms, it fits into a very unique niche.

To me, this Russian bolt-action rifle is one of coolest guns ever made. Admittedly, it is heavy, clunky, and has some very rough recoil in addition to sub-par accuracy. However, it more than makes up for these faults with two qualities. It’s very cheap, and it is arguably one of the toughest guns ever made.

mosin nagant

The first gun I ever owned was a Mosin, and at the time they could be bought for less than a hundred dollars. Like most firearms their price has increased over the past 3 or 4 years, but you can still buy one of these rifles for around two hundred dollars. Surprisingly, military surplus ammo is still relatively cheap as well (when it’s available). It fires a 7.62x54R round that in terms of power, lies somewhere between a .308 and a 30-06.

They were first manufactured in the late 1800’s, and the Soviet Union made tens of millions of these guns (nobody seems to know the precise number), as well as countless rounds for their vast conscript army. So despite the massive surge in gun sales we’ve seen in recent years, they’re still pretty cheap and will remain so for a long time. For the price of a really cheap AR-15, you could buy the gun, and probably all the ammo you’ll ever use in your lifetime.

As far as toughness and reliability goes, the Mosin is a doozy. These are obviously very important qualities for preppers, since we want weapons that can not only survive harsh conditions, but will remain functional for long periods of time without maintenance. The Mosin knocks it out of the ballpark in these regards. Gun owners like to joke about how reliable and indestructible the AK-47 is, but that gun has nothing on the Mosin.

If you don’t believe me, take a look at this torture test that was done on the Mosin. It survived conditions that would destroy pretty much any other firearm.

Earlier I mentioned that the Mosin fits into a very unique niche in any arsenal. So what is that niche? Well, most guns provide a certain peace of mind. Having one means you can protect yourself if any nasty situation comes up. The Mosin Nagant provides a different peace of mind. Owning one means that even if the world turns into a smoldering heap of rubble for several decades, you’ll still have something that can shoot.

Also consider the fact that during a disaster, you may have friends or family showing up at your door that you weren’t expecting to take care of. Buying a Mosin is a cheap way to make sure you have something simple and powerful to hand out to these people. And unlike some really cheap guns, you can rest easy knowing that you’re giving your friends a weapon that won’t jam or fail catastrophically in their hands.

As a final word of advice, the Mosin has one glaring drawback that owners often complain about. The accuracy leaves a lot to be desired. Out of the box, you’d be lucky to have a rifle that would be reliable past 200 yards. The reason for this has more to do with how these rifles were manufactured, rather than the design itself. The vast majority of them were made under war-time conditions with little quality control. Some are inexplicably accurate, while others will struggle to hit the broad side of a barn.

So if you buy a Mosin, don’t do it online. Buy it from a brick and mortar store where you can inspect the stock, bore, chamber, etc.  The ammo they used back in the day was very corrosive, as is most of the surplus ammo that is sold today. So make sure to shine a light down the barrel and look for any rust or pitting.

But even if the gun looks good, the accuracy will still be mediocre. Fortunately, there are some cheap and easy modifications that can elevate the accuracy to a reasonable level. If you do that, then you’ll have one awesome rifle that will last a lifetime

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

This Is How the Government Will Put an End to Homeschooling

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homeschoolTruth be told, fear is probably the most powerful emotion we have, and has been exploited countless times in history to hamstring the rights of the people. From the War on Drugs to the War on Terror and everything in between, every movement that tries to take away any given right, is driven by fear.

Which brings me to the next ideological tug of war that is sure to be fought in the years ahead. For now, homeschooling isn’t really a hot topic in America, in part because only a small percentage of parents teach their own kids. But make no mistake, no right is safe in our society today, and it won’t be long before the media and the government decide to set their sights on families that want to teach their own children (especially considering the fact that it is a rapidly growing movement). If you don’t believe me, take a look at this AP article that was published last week. This is the rhetoric you can expect to hear from the nanny state and its minions in the years ahead.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Detroit brother and sister vanished more than two years before they were found dead in a freezer in their home, and an 11-year-old Florida girl disappeared more than a year before she, too, turned up in a family freezer. And a 7-year-old Kansas boy hadn’t been seen for more than a month before authorities found the gruesome remains of a child in a pigsty inside his family’s barn.

All of them were home-schooled, but despite their disappearances going unnoticed for so long, opposition from the government-wary home-schooling community means it’s unlikely these states will start keeping closer tabs on home-schooled children.

“It’s largely a conservative thing, but even progressive home-schoolers tend to resist oversight,” said Rachel Coleman, co-founder of the nonprofit Coalition for Responsible Home Education. “Part of it is because there is an assumption that parents always know what’s best for their children.”

Yes. I suppose parents only think they know what’s best for their children. The state knows better right? Obviously there are crappy parents out there, but does that give the government the right to regulate everybody for the mistakes and malice of the few? In any case, can we even trust to state to attend to the individual needs of our children? If our public school system is any indication, then no they cannot. They treat education like an assembly line, where otherwise gifted kids often fail to succeed. The article goes on to say:

Such cases are horrific but they don’t typically lead to new restrictions on home-schooling, which many parents see as their deeply personal right, said Rob Kunzman, director of the International Center for Home Education Research at Indiana University.

How dare they guard their parental rights? How could they refuse to give up their natural rights when a few lunatics kill their own children?

For home-schoolers, the emotionally charged argument against additional oversight is that parents, not the government, know what’s best for their children.

“As many as two-thirds are home-schooling in part for religious reasons,” Coleman said. “Part of that for conservative Christians is that God has given that child to the parents, not the state. The state doesn’t own my child, God has entrusted my child to me.”

The horror! Some parents don’t want their kids to be indoctrinated by state sponsored schools.

Finally, the article goes for the jugular by trying to push the reader’s fear button. A study conducted by pediatricians with a ridiculous small sample size of 28 abused children, found that about half of them were homeschooled.

“For over half, few individuals outside the abuser(s) knew of the child’s existence,” researchers wrote. “This social isolation typically involved preventing the child from attending school or daycare.”

Knox said she would like to see uniform home-schooling laws across the country that at least keep tabs on children with open or previous Child Protective Services cases who are removed from school to be home-schooled.

For the 47 percent of children in her study who were removed from their schools to be home-schooled, it “appears to have been designed to further isolate the child and typically occurred after closure of a previously opened CPS case,” the researchers wrote.

That’s not a bad idea. Just check up on families that have a history with CPS. The only problem is that as time goes on, our society is defining child abuse in increasingly broad terms. Now you can expect to have your kids snatched by the state for playing outside alone, living off the grid, or if parents merely question the advice of a doctor. You don’t have to be a bad parent to have your kids taken away.

And considering how the state runs our public schools, somehow I doubt they should be able to determine if our children are safe at home. Many of our schools have become extremely dangerous places over the years, and as a result, are being turned into kid prisons, with no shortage of security cameras, locked gates, metal detectors, and armed guards. If that’s their model of a safe learning environment, then their agents shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near your children.

And in any case, when has our government ever applied minimal regulations, that weren’t reinforced by draconian measures later on? They never stop once they get their foot in the door with a few simple laws. They’re always trying a cook up new regulations, until they have complete control over any given part of our lives. It never ends.

And that’s where fear comes in. You can see the nanny state stratagem on full display in this article. It all boils down to fear. Fear that our fellow citizens can’t take care of their children, and fear that we can’t take care of our own. That kind of fear always ends in more and more control. What will start with a few reasonable laws, will end in total control.

Every instance of a parent abusing a child will paraded in front of our eyes by the media, and the millions of parents who do a good job will be ignored. They will paint a picture that suggests homeschooling is inherently unsafe and irresponsible. And every homeschool horror story you hear about, like the ones in this article, will be used as an excuse to pass new laws. They’ll do it over and over again until homeschooling is regulated out of existence, and no alternative to our increasingly dumbed-down public schools will be available.

Don’t fall for it. The next time an authoritative figure suggests making something safer, ask yourself, is it really about safety? Or is just about having more control over society?

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Surviving Poverty Part 2: Staying Warm on the Streets

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street tent wikimediaThe homeless have to deal with a host dangers on a regular basis, though it’s difficult to say which is the most treacherous. Obviously food is a real concern. There’s also a higher risk of becoming sick or injured, and without money, a lower chance of those issues being treated effectively. And who could forget the possibility of being harmed by other people?

However, the most dangerous aspect of living without a house may be dealing with exposure. With wet and windy weather, hypothermia can easily kick in for people who are poorly sheltered and clothed, even at around 50-60 degrees. And according to some estimates, as many as 700 homeless people die from hypothermia in America on a yearly basis. This is a very real danger in most of the United States, so if being homeless is something you’re worried about, learning to deal with this risk should be at the top of your list.

And don’t just assume that you’ll be able to go to a homeless shelter on really cold nights. There’s a reason why hundreds of thousands of people are sleeping on the streets every day, and it’s not just because the shelters are often overcrowded. It’s also because many of these shelters are notorious for being unsanitary and dangerous. Though that isn’t always the case, you have to accept the fact that sometimes a shelter simply isn’t an option, and you should be preparing for that eventuality.

In the first part of this series, I explained that if you think homelessness is a real possibility in your future, it’s not a good idea to wait until the last-minute to prepare for it. Get the gear you need now before your rent/mortgage eats up all of your savings. You really don’t want to step out of your house with nothing to your name.

With that in mind, I’m going to explain what you need to survive the cold, including what kind of gear you should have if you can afford it, and what you should do if you have absolutely no money. Let’s take a look:

Sleeping Gear

The most important thing you’ll need is something to sleep on. All the gear in the world will be useless if your body is making contact with the ground. Whether it’s dirt or concrete, it will absorb every bit of heat in your body. Foam sleeping pads can be had for pretty cheap, though something that is self-inflating, waterproof, and abrasion resistant would be better. If space is a concern, consider getting something that you have to inflate with your lungs. Those sleeping pads are the most compact, and the air is an excellent insulator.

A standard sleeping bag is also a must. When combined with a sleeping pad, you can probably survive any temperature that doesn’t dip below freezing. It can also be used in lieu of a sleeping pad, though it is a poor substitute. Space is also an issue here. However, the more compact your sleeping bag is the less effective it will be. At one end of the spectrum are really thin and cheap bags that are good for cool summer nights and not much else. At the other end, you’ll find really expensive bags that are bulky, water-resistant, and can withstand sub-zero temperatures.

If you can’t afford anything, there are two materials that are your best friend: paper and plastic. It makes sense that the homeless frequently use those materials to survive the elements. They’re cheap, abundant, easy to manipulate, and they’re great insulators that work well together for a variety of situations. Stuff like cardboard and newspaper not only insulate, but they breathe as well. And when it rains, utilize shopping and garbage bags to keep yourself dry.

Another really cheap material is aluminum foil, which doesn’t really insulate but will do a great job of reflecting ambient heat. If you want something a little more durable though, consider the mylar space blankets, which are also made of aluminum and plastic and are very cheap. Just remember that when you’re dealing with plastic and aluminum, don’t wrap anything too tightly. Since they don’t breath they could cause you to sweat, which is the last thing you need in cold weather.

Clothing

The most important article of clothing is the one that touches your skin. You’re really only as warm as your base layer, especially if you get wet for any reason. You can wear all the layers you want, but if you’re wearing a soaked cotton t-shirt under it all, you could die when the temperature drops. Wool, Gore-TEX, and polyprolyene are all good choices for your base layer. And make sure you take care of your legs and feet too. Long Johns and wool socks can make a huge difference. And while we’re on the subject of feet, you should really ditch the sneakers and look for boots that will at least protect your ankles from the cold.

Now if you don’t have any of that stuff, paper and plastic are going to come in handy again. It’s not uncommon for the homeless to stuff waded-up paper between their layers, and use black garbage bags as disposable raincoats. If your shoes aren’t water-resistant, it’s a good idea to wrap your feet in shopping bags to keep them dry. Of course, the plastic doesn’t breathe so if you do this for too long your feet will be very sweaty and cold when it comes time to take them off. Don’t do this unless you have a fresh pair of dry socks.

And regardless of what you have at your disposal, you need to stack on as many layers as you can without overheating. When you see a homeless person in the winter, you’re probably seeing someone who is wearing their entire wardrobe. They may have (relatively speaking) a lot of clothes that were donated to them, but they can stay warm by putting them all together, even if by themselves they’re not designed for cold weather. Keep this in mind when you find clothes or have them donated to you. Just because it doesn’t fit, doesn’t mean it’s useless. Everything that’s slightly too big for you could be the extra layer that saves your life.

Shelter

A tent is an obvious solution for dealing with the weather, and every homeless person should have something to put over their heads, however it won’t work in all situations. You can’t just set up a tent in the middle of the sidewalk during business hours, and not expect local shops to call the cops. There are certain areas in some cities like abandoned lots and near railroad tracks where you can set up a tent, but at the same time it will make your presence very obvious. And much like sleeping bags, there is a balancing act between cost, weight, size, and effectiveness that you have to consider. At the very least, you should have one of those cheap plastic tarps. They make a great windbreak, and can protect your body and your belongings from the rain.

If for whatever reason you don’t have any form of cover, and you can’t make it to a homeless shelter, you’ll have to find an alternative with public access. Look for bridges and freeway overpasses, or alleyways that can block the wind. In cities where homelessness is common (and thus, it’s less likely for the police to crack down), many of these people will set up camp in front of businesses that have an overhang as part of the architecture, and then skedaddle in the morning before the business opens. Even finding a tree to sleep under is better than nothing.

However, you have to be careful in these areas, because there will likely be other people like you who are looking for shelter. However, some of them will not be like you, in that they may be dangerous. Some of these areas will be very secluded and poorly lit, so you have to stay on guard.

As a last resort, you might just have to change your sleep schedule. There’s a reason why the homeless are often seen sleeping all day, and it’s not necessarily due to boredom. Oftentimes they choose to stay up all night and walk around to stay warm, and do their sleeping during the day.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Real Reason Why Gold Prices Are Falling

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gold wikimediaThe past few months have been pretty rough for gold buyers. Week after week the price has plummeted, most notably on Tuesday when the spot price fell to a 6 year low. At first glance the decline seems relentless, and a vindication to all those investors who thought that the gold bugs were crazy and reckless. However, there’s bit more to this than meets the eye.

You have to recognize first and foremost that what we’re seeing is the decline of the paper gold market. As the price falls, the sale of real gold keep climbing. The US Mint sold a record of 97,000 ounces of gold in November, which is 185% more than they sold in October, and 62% higher than it was last year. Likewise, silver bullion has also been breaking records.

There have been several reasons given for this schizophrenic market trend.  As for why paper gold is falling, some suspect that the Fed will raise interest rates, thus strengthening the dollar. Maybe China’s faltering economy is hindering their population’s rabid gold demand. There’s also the fact that Mario Draghi, the President of the EU’s central bank, has said that he will inflate the Euro. Again, this would also strengthen the dollar, and lower gold prices.

So then why is demand for real gold going up despite falling prices? Some think there is a renewed threat of a recession on the horizon, so there is a heightened fear of financial collapse. Or perhaps it’s simply because the kinds of people who buy physical gold have fundamentally different beliefs and investment strategies from those who buy paper gold. Physical buyers feel much stronger about gold’s long-term prospects, so they will always buy when the price falls.

I have a different theory however, or at least one that is an addition to the theories you just read. First, take a look at what’s going on with the Comex vault, which is one of several vaults that determine the price of paper gold:

One week ago, gold market observers were surprised when in the span of four days, gold held in the JPM Comex vault declined by nearly 50%, starting on November 16 when the 668,498 ounces held in the vault below 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza declined precipitously to just 347,899 ounces, a new all time low.

Furthermore, as of the latest Comex activity update, on Friday the Registered gold held by JPM dropped another 2,802 ounces to a record low and virtually negligible 7,975 ounces, essentially equivalent to zero as shown in the chart below, even as JPM’s eligible gold has also been seeing a substantial decline in recent months.comex vault

But while the decline of JPM gold has long been noted, it was the latest drop in total Comex registered gold which has again raised eyebrows, and which contrary to expectations it would be replenished either from external inflows or by conversion from Eligible both of which have not happened, has instead continued to decline. According to the latest data, total Registered gold dropped by another 11% overnight to just 134,877 ounces, just over 4 tonnes and another all time low…

comex vault

In case you don’t know, eligible gold is that which is held by the vault and owned by refiners, hedge funds, banks etc, but is not available for delivery. Registered assets represent real gold that is ready for delivery to investors. As you can see, the registered gold at Comex has almost completely disappeared. Right now, the ratio of deliverable assets to paper stocks, is at an astonishing 294 to 1.

So why is the price of gold falling, while demand for real gold continues to break records? I think what we’re seeing is a mass exodus from the paper gold market. These investors are finally seeing the writing on the wall. They see that this can’t continue forever, and that the paper they’re holding is essentially worthless.  So they’re selling their faux gold, and using the money to buy bullion. They don’t want to be the last man hold the bag.

At some point, something has got to give. Either real gold will start to trickle back into the system, or the Comex vault will collapse. If that happens, only those who own real gold will come out on top.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Get Your Packages Safely Delivered This Holiday Season

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package deliveryI know how you feel. It seems like the holiday season starts a little earlier every year.  Christmas is bearing down on you whether you like it or not, and you’ll have to start getting ready in the weeks ahead. However, this article has nothing to do with buying gifts or figuring out what you’re going to serve for Thanksgiving. It’s about the fine art of getting your packages to their intended recipients during what is arguably the craziest time of year for your delivery man.

The delivery system we use to get our packages from point A to point B is truly a marvel of modern civilization, but it’s also a vast and sophisticated machine that prioritizes speed over everything else. And the people who work in this machine, whether they be your mailman, a UPS driver, or just some anonymous guy sifting through thousands of brown packages on a conveyor belt, all have a thankless and difficult job that is even more challenging during the holidays. It’s safe to say that for these workers, your package is not a special snowflake that deserves their utmost attention and care.

In other words, it’s largely up to you to properly prepare your gifts for their journey, and extra precautions should be taken during the Christmas season if you want your packages to get anywhere in one piece. So here’s a few tips for making sure that these items can safely endure the rigors of our modern delivery system. Some of them aren’t as obvious as you might think:

Choosing the Right Box

You might think that any old box will do, but you need to be very careful about reusing old boxes. The delivery process is built with speed in mind, and your package is going to take a beating. Your box needs to be in excellent condition, especially for heavy items; and every time a box is reused it loses a significant amount of its carrying capacity. More importantly, every box size has a specific weight capacity that should never be exceeded. While at first glance your box appear to be stable, if you overload it the shipping process may very well destroy it.

As a rule of thumb, measure the length, width, and depth of your box, and if the total is less than 75 inches then it shouldn’t be used for any item that weighs more than 30lbs. Take a look at the UPS shipping guidelines for more details. They’re a bit more specific then you probably thought (you’d do well to follow company guidelines, because UPS and FedEx won’t reimburse you for any damages to your package if you don’t follow them). And if you have a really heavy item, consider using a box with double walled cardboard.

Securing Your Package

The guidelines are also pretty strict about how to secure your package, and they’re pretty much the same across all delivery companies. You can’t expect the box to stay closed during a delivery if it’s held together with twine, paper wrap, scotch tape, or cellophane. That may seem obvious, but apparently some people still use those materials. What’s less obvious, is that you shouldn’t use duct tape. For whatever reason the shipping companies hate that stuff. You need to either use packing tape, or nylon filament tape with a minimum tensile strength of 60 lbs per square inch. Either way, the tape shouldn’t be any less than 2 inches wide.

Packing Material

We all know that most items should be cushioned by some kind of packing material, even if they’re not very fragile. But what you need to know is that your item should be at least 2 inches away from the walls of the box, including the top and bottom. Your package will be handled carelessly at some point, and will probably be flipped over even if you label it “this side up.” So make sure the item is protected by a thick layer of packing material on all sides. Before you seal up the box, give it a shake and see if your item slides around a little. If it does, it needs more packing material.

Labels

If you can believe it, a lot of people make the mistake of sending out packages with two shipping labels on them. If you’re reusing a box, make sure you completely cross out the old label. Otherwise the delivery company might not know which label to read. In fact, if somebody reads the wrong label and sends it to the wrong address, while somebody else down the line reads the right label and sends it back, your package could wind up bouncing around the country in limbo for weeks (or until the shipping process completely destroys the box). As an added precaution, you should always write down your contact information and add it to the box in case anything happens.

Also, don’t ever write “fragile” on a package. You’re just asking for trouble. Some carriers like UPS don’t even recognize that label, and won’t treat your package any differently. Or worse, their employees will be even more careless with your package. A few years ago Popular Mechanics shipped a box through several companies with a 3-axis accelerometer inside, to see how the package would be treated under multiple conditions. Unfortunately, they found that if you write “fragile” on the box, it will be treated worse than if you write nothing at all. They also found that packages labeled “this side up” were flipped on their side or upside down more frequently than unlabeled packages.

Waterproofing

Consider waterproofing your package, especially during the winter. Your package isn’t always going to be indoors, and at times, it will be left poorly sheltered from the elements. At the very least you might want to put your item in a plastic bag. However, that won’t prevent soggy cardboard from getting shredded to pieces during shipping. If you’re trying to send something that is really expensive and/or sentimental, stick it in a cheap styrofoam cooler, add another shipping label to it, and put that in a box.

This will also give your package a little extra protection if a heavier box smashes it on a conveyor belt, or if an employee decides to stand on your box while filling up a truck (it happens). And if you want to be really confident that your package reaches its destination, use of one of those cheap plastic Igloo coolers instead of styrofoam. They’re practically indestructible.

How Different Carriers Stack Up

That Popular Mechanics article had a few more interesting tidbits that you might want to know. Each shipping company treats their packages a little differently, so depending on what you’re sending, one carrier may be a better option over another. Consider the following: Popular mechanics found that the Post Office will give your package the gentlest ride, so they’re your best bet for fragile items. FedEx and UPS did the best job of maintaining a stable temperature, so send food stuff through them. And UPS was pretty good about keeping your package upright throughout the trip.

And finally, if you have an envelope to send, big or small, the Post Office should be your first choice. The other companies are capable of sending envelopes, but the machines in their system are designed primarily for packages. whereas the Post Office specializes in envelopes. Your envelope has a much better chance of making it in one piece with the USPS

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition