The Next Fukushima? These Nuclear Power Plants Reside in Earthquake Zones

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Nuclear power once had so much promise. We were assured that nuclear reactors would provide cheap, abundant, safe, and clean energy. And for the most part, that promise was delivered. Nuclear power is still one of the most effective forms of energy production.

But over the years a glaring weakness has emerged with this technology. When it’s implemented correctly, with extreme prudence and respect, it works wonderfully. However, on the rare occasion that a government or a company doesn’t take all of the necessary precautions, the ramifications are immense. Even if every precaution is taken, and the risk of a nuclear meltdown is slight, you’re still talking about a disaster that can utterly destroy a civilization (here’s what you should do to prepare yourself for that kind of disaster).

Take Fukushima for instance. Last year former prime minister Naoto Kan revealed that the TEPCO power plant meltdown could have been far worse. If the situation hadn’t been brought under control, he would have had to order the evacuate 50 million people, or about 40% of the population of Japan. He told the Telegraph that “The future existence of Japan as a whole was at stake. Something on that scale, an evacuation of 50 million, it would have been like a losing a huge war.”

Of course, Japan isn’t the only country that could face that kind of disaster in the future. The United States is filled with nuclear reactors that could be at risk. In fact, according to a recent report from Natural News, there are dozens of nuclear power plants in the US that lie within earthquake zones.

A new interactive chart created by the Union of Concerned Scientists, which is really a database of U.S. nuclear reactors and safety issues associated with them, shows a higher-than-average concentration of nuclear plants along the nation’s East Coast that are at risk of being damaged or destroyed by an earthquake.

They include: St. Lucie Units 1 & 2 at Hutchison Island, Fla.; North Anna Units 1, 2 & 3 at Mineral, Va.; Peach Bottom Units 1, 2 & 3, Delta, Pennsylvania; Limerick Units 1 & 2, Pottstown, Pa., Indian Point Units 1, 2 & 3, Buchanan, N.Y., and Seabrook Unit 1, Seabrook, New Hampshire.

Further inland, there are other nuclear plants at risk, though they are not as concentrated as those on the East Coast, and many have only a single nuclear reactor. They include plants in Tennessee, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, and Kansas.

More to the point, these are nuclear reactors that “face a level of seismic risk that’s greater than what they’re currently equipped to withstand,” according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

For years, government officials have been telling us that these plants are perfectly capable of withstanding natural disasters. However, that’s pretty much exactly what TEPCO and the Japanese government told their citizens, right up until the Fukushima power plant nearly destroyed their country.

With that in mind, we should be asking ourselves a very important question. Is the benefit of clean energy really a good trade-off for the risk of annihilation?

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

Study Finds Link Between Radiation Therapy and Secondary Cancers

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cancer patientIn the medical world, there probably isn’t anything that fits the description of “necessary evil,” quite like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is the slash and burn of medical treatments, because it doesn’t just harm cancer cells. It can decimate everything in your body. It can suppress your immune system, make you lose all of your hair, cause infertility, lead to nausea, vomiting, and organ damage.

The radiation side of this treatment is especially damaging. We know this intuitively. We all know what radiation is capable of doing to the human body.

However, it might surprise you to learn that although it’s widely accepted in the medical community, that radiation therapy can cause secondary cancers later in life, that fact has never been scientifically proven. Of course, this risk is often downplayed in the name of eliminating a more immediate danger, but it’s something that people need to be aware of, because it’s not a minor risk.

A recent study found a solid link between radiation therapy and secondary cancers, And it shows just how significant that risk is.

Never forget that radiation therapy should be a last resort. If you have cancer, always look for a second professional opinion, and explore every option before deciding to undergo radiation therapy.

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

10 Selfless Acts Amid Terrible Tragedies That Will Blow Your Mind

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Preppers aren’t exactly known for having much faith in humanity. If they did, they probably wouldn’t become preppers in the first place. They know how people behave when the chips are down. They know how quickly civilized people can turn into vicious animals when they haven’t eaten for a few days. So they stock up on the weapons they think will protect them from these animals, and the food they need to keep themselves from turning into animals themselves.

Of course, they’re not crazy for trying to be prepared. We turn on the news or check our social media feeds every night, and what do we see? A cavalcade of horror. Terrorist attacks, mob violence, selfishness, ignorance, and flippant threats of war. What would really be crazy, is to see all of that on a daily basis and not want to be prepared.

However, there’s a flip-side to these behaviors that everyone, prepper or not, needs to understand. On the one hand; yes, we’re an incredibly violent and cruel species that is capable of mind-boggling horrors when we’re trying to survive. Hell, some of the things we do when we aren’t desperate are still nightmare inducing. But what most people forget is that in our darkest moments, we’re capable of immeasurable acts of compassion and altruism.


That’s the unique duality of our species; and it’s a duality that totally separates us from every other creature on this planet. When we’re bad, we’re worse than any animal. That’s why we prep. But at our best, people are capable of awe-inspiring acts of kindness. Your average individual human is capable of more mercy and selflessness than the members of most entire species put together.


10 Acts of Human Kindness to Restore Your Faith in Humanity

And in case you’ve forgotten that fact, I have a few reminders for you. Below are ten examples of people who were utterly selfless in the midst of terrible tragedies and disasters.

Ken Bellau

Image courtesy of People.com

Hurricane Katrina still haunts the people of New Orleans. To this day much of the city is still in ruins, and by most estimates, between 1,200 and 1,800 people died after the levees broke. However, the death toll might have been significantly higher if not for the efforts of one man.

Ken Bellau is a 10th generation New Orleans resident who took it upon himself to rescue his stranded neighbors. He arrived in the city from an overseas trip just after the storm hit. After commandeering an abandoned fishing boat, he spent three weeks searching for people and pets, and giving them rides to higher ground. For much of this ordeal Ken was working alone. Aside from the typical hazards that you’d expect someone to deal with in these circumstances, he faced threats from criminals who wanted to take his boat, and dodged bullets from suspicious residents who thought he was a looter.

Eventually Ken made contact with the National Guard. Between his boat and his knowledge of the area, he proved to be a valuable asset for the Guards’ relief effort, and went on numerous rescue missions with them. It’s estimated that his efforts helped save at least 400 people.

Reverend Bennie Newton

Over the past couple of years there have been many notable riots in the United States, but they all pale in comparison to the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. It’s estimated that between April and May of 1992, 55 people were killed in these riots, and over 2,000 were injured. It was so bad that order wasn’t restored until the Marines and the National Guard showed up.

Amid that chaos, was a young Guatemalan immigrant and self-employed construction worker by the name of Fidel Lopez. On April 29th, he was pulled out of his truck by several rioters, who proceeded to beat him to within an inch of his life. Once unconscious, the thugs attempted to slice off one of his ears, spray painted his torso and genitals black, and doused him in gasoline.

What happened next was unexpected to say the least. A priest by the name of Reverend Newton arrived on the scene after hearing about some of the violence being carried out in the area. He waded through the violent mob and shielded Lopez. Clad in a priest’s garb and carrying a bible in one hand, he shouted to the crowd “kill him, and you’ll have to kill me, too!” Surprisingly, the mob backed off. The reverend carried Lopez to his truck, and drove him to the hospital.

The Canadian Town of Gander

9/11 is a moment in history that every American vividly remembers. We remember the planes exploding, the desperate office workers plunging to their deaths, the towers falling, and the dust caked pedestrians fleeing for their lives. Unfortunately, what we don’t remember is the boundless hospitality of one small Canadian town in Newfoundland.

After the attack, all civilian air traffic over the United States and Canada was ordered to be grounded. 38 planes carrying nearly 7,000 people from around the world were forced to land at the airport outside of Gander, a town of 10,000 people. Obviously, a town of that size didn’t have nearly enough hotel rooms to house all of those people.

So the people of Gander and other nearby towns simply opened their doors to these complete strangers and housed them. The locals ignored the advice of the police, who feared that some of the stranded passengers could be terrorists. Nearly every church, school, and restaurant pitched in by housing or feeding them, often free of charge. Local bus drivers ended a strike to help drive these strangers around, and pharmacies in the town provided medication, also free of charge. This went on for four days until the airspace was reopened, and everyone went home with fond memories of Canadian hospitality.

Liviu Librescu

Liviu Librescu was a 76-year-old Romanian-American scientist, aeronautical engineer, and professor at Virginia Tech, and he was no stranger to the horrors that his fellow humans were capable of. That’s because he was a Jew who had survived the Holocaust as a child. In his final moments, he came face to face with evil one last time, and didn’t hesitate to sacrifice himself for the lives of everyone around him.

On April 16th, 2007, a student of Virginia Tech by the name of Seung-Hui Cho entered the campus with two pistols and opened fire, eventually killing 33 people. When he arrived at Librescu’s classroom, the professor and two other students named Zach Petkewicz and Derek O’Dell, blocked the doors so that the gunman couldn’t get in. This gave all but one of his students enough time to flee the classroom through a nearby window, before Cho shot and killed them.

Hugh Thompson

The Vietnam War is widely considered to be the darkest chapter in American military history, and by far its darkest moment was the My Lai massacre. On March 16th, 1968, US soldiers with the 23rd Infantry Division, 11th brigade, massacred between 347 and 504 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam. If you can believe it, the massacre could have been far worse if it wasn’t halted by one man.

Hugh Thompson was an Army helicopter pilot who realized what was happening early on in the massacre, after a seeing several dead civilians from the air during a reconnaissance mission. He landed his helicopter twice to investigate the dead, before realizing that it was American soldiers who were responsible for the killings. After failing to talk sense into a commander who had ordered the massacre, he spent the rest of the day directing and evacuating civilians away from the carnage, and at one point even threatened to open fire on US soldiers who were about to kill several civilians. After evacuating a wounded child, he reported the incident to his superiors, who ordered troops on the ground to stop the killings.

For his efforts, Thompson was shunned by his peers in the military for many years. In 1969 he was called to testify in Congress about the incident, and was chastised by Congressmen with the House Armed Services Committee, who felt that he should have been court martialed for threatening to open fire on American troops. It wouldn’t be until 30 years later that he was awarded a medal for his part in ending the massacre.

Father Thomas Byles

The sinking of the Titanic is a testament to that fact that in previous generations, altruism was a far more common trait. As the ship went down, hundreds of men insisted on staying aboard, and letting as many women and children as possible get on the few remaining life boats. It would be difficult to single out any of the heroic souls that went down with that ship.

But if you had to, a good choice would be Father Thomas Byles. The Catholic priest was on his way to New York to preside over his brother’s wedding when the Titanic struck an iceberg. As the crowds of desperate passengers swelled toward the lifeboats, he refused several invitations to leave the ship. Instead he helped other passengers find lifeboats, and stayed on board with a hundred trapped individuals. He prayed with them, heard their confessions, and gave them their last rites until the ship finally sank. His body was never recovered. Byles has since been recommended for sainthood by the Catholic Church.

The Choctaw Nation

The Cork Statue that pays tribute to the Choctaw Tribe’s generosity during the Irish Famine.

The Irish famine was one of the most devastating disasters of the 19th century. Within seven years, a million people starved to death and another million emigrated. Millions more would flee the country in the decades that followed. To give you an idea of how devastating it was, the population of Ireland still hasn’t recovered from the famine.

Amid this tragedy, countless organizations in the United States collected donations and sent them to Ireland to help alleviate the crisis. But perhaps none were as impressive as the $170 that was raised by members of the Choctaw tribe of Native Americans, and sent to a famine relief organization. That may not sound like much, but adjusted for inflation it amounts to thousands of dollars.

Still, why was their donation so impressive? At the time, the Choctaw tribe were living in a reservation in Oklahoma. 16 years earlier in 1830, they had been forced from their homes and sent on the trail of tears. Half of the 21,000 Choctaws who embarked on the journey died. It’s safe to say that by 1847 they probably weren’t in much better shape financially speaking, and yet they still felt compelled to raise what little funds they had for the relief effort. That’s because they felt an affinity for the Irish, who like the Choctaw, had also enduring starvation, as well as cultural suppression by their government. The Choctaw relief effort has since been commemorated on multiple occasions in Ireland.

The Institute of Plant Industry

Image source https://cdn.rbth.com

Don’t let the innocuous title fool you. If nothing you read before was able to restore your faith in humanity, this story will.

The Institute of Plant Industry was a Soviet research center, and was once the largest seed bank on Earth. It was home to nearly 400,000 seeds and other plant samples that had been painstakingly collected from around the world. The mission of the institute, was to develop new plant strains that would alleviate hunger worldwide.

Unfortunately, the institute was located in the city of Leningrad during World War Two. In case you’re not familiar with what occurred there, what happened to Leningrad during the war was downright apocalyptic. For nearly two and half years the city was blockaded by a German siege, which led to the deaths of 1.5 million civilians and soldiers. The siege of Leningrad has been called the most destructive event to ever occur in a modern city, and the most deadly siege in human history. The city became a hell on earth, where starvation and predatory cannibalism were rampant.

So what do you think a dozen scientists holed up in that research center would do? I can tell you what normal, sane people would do. They’d probably give up their scientific mission, and begin consuming the treasure trove of edible seeds that were stored there. Certainly there were enough seeds to keep them fed for at least a few months, if not the entire duration of the siege.

Instead, the scientists refused to eat their samples. They guarded the seeds throughout the siege and kept their seed bank a secret, knowing what would happen if any of the starving residents of the city found out about the institute. They watched over the seed bank in shifts, usually two or more at a time to ensure that no scientist was left alone with the seeds, and secretly smuggled samples out of the city. It’s believed that none of the samples were tampered with by the scientists. In the end, nine of the them starved to death while surrounded by perfectly edible food, in an effort to alleviate world hunger for future generations.

Takeshi Miura and Miki Endo

Image courtesy of rt.com

These days, when most people hear about the Fukushima disaster, they tend to think about the TEPCO nuclear power plant that was destroyed by the tsunami. To this day the news still periodically reports on the situation at the power plant. However, most people outside of Japan have forgotten about the impressive heroics that were displayed by ordinary Japanese citizens before the plant melted down.

Of those heroes were Takeshi Miura and Miki Endo, two city workers who stuck to their posts as the tsunami approached. They were working in a multi-story disaster preparedness building, and were responsible for warning civilians and directing them to higher ground through a public broadcasting system. They knew that the tsunami was going to be taller than the office they resided in, on the second floor of the building. But as it neared they stayed on that floor rather than fleeing to the roof, so that they could give one last announcement to the city.

Unfortunately that final message kept them from reaching higher ground in time. The tsunami washed out the second floor of the building, killing them both. Their bodies have never been found.

Lieutenant Friedrich Lengfeld

After being inundated with movies, documentaries, and video games about World War Two for generations, Americans have developed a very black and white view of the soldiers who fought for Nazi Germany. We tend to think that everyone who fought for Germany was a goose stepping monster, and forget that their military was staffed by millions of ordinary people who were either brainwashed or coerced into fighting. We forget that so many of them were just regular human beings, not caricatures.

One of those soldiers was 23-year-old Lt. Friedrich Lengfeld, a Wehrmacht company commander who took part in one of those most heartbreaking acts of altruism during the war. Lengfeld was responsible for defending a heavily fortified position during the Battle of Hürtgen Forest. In early November of 1944, his unit had suffered heavy casualties while fighting multiple American attacks. His company was depleted, and suffering from both the elements and malnutrition.

On November 10th, the Americans attacked and retreated once again, but this time they accidentally left someone behind. One of their soldiers was injured after straying into a nearby minefield. As he cried out for help, Lengfeld ordered his troops not to open fire on any Americans who came back to retrieve their comrade. Hours passed with no relief in sight. He couldn’t take the weakening cries of help any longer, so Lengfeld decided to conduct his own rescue mission with the help of several medics.

He walked through the minefield on what he thought was a safe path, but accidentally triggered an anti-personal mine that ripped through his legs. He later died at a first aid station. The fate and identity of the American soldier has never been uncovered. However, the sacrifice and humanity of Lengfeld was honored with a memorial constructed in the Hürtgen Forest by American veterans in 1994.

A Civilization Worth Saving

Frankly, it’s a shame that the ugliness of our species receives so much more attention than our acts of mercy, compassion, and sacrifice. It’s easy for people to assume that when disaster strikes, society will immediately turn into a free for all, where everyone acts in their own self-interest at the expense of everyone else. The truth of the matter, is that for every selfish person in the world who will murder and steal to get by for another day, there is always someone else who won’t hesitate to sacrifice everything for a complete stranger. It’s important to remember that, and there’s a very good reason why.

You know this civilization that we (justifiably) fear may collapse one day? If not for our inherent altruism we wouldn’t have a civilization worth worrying about to begin with. It’s our desire for everyone to succeed and prosper that binds society, and keeps it from sinking into the depths of chaos. So the next time you think the world is turning upside down and evil is running rampant, try to remember these selfless people I just described. And more importantly, try to be more like them. It’s the only thing standing between our most virtuous acts, and our most wicked impulses.

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

Don’t Move to These States; They’re in Serious Financial Trouble

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Maybe you’re looking for a fresh start. Or perhaps you’re looking to find a different job, or you’re trying to get out of the city. Whatever the case may be, when you’re looking for a new place to live there’s a lot to consider. And if you’re thinking of crossing state lines to find a new home, there’s one vitally important detail that you need to think about and research.

Most people don’t consider this, but you should really look into the financial stability of any state that you’re thinking about moving to. If worse comes to worse, and the economy collapses, you want to make sure that the state you live in is fiscally responsible. States that have high debts and low credit ratings are living on the edge. Any major economic event could push them into bankruptcy.

That means pensions could go unfunded. Public services like law enforcement and firefighting would be understaffed. The infrastructure of the state would crumble, and public education would be decimated. Taxes would likely be increased, which would only exacerbate the financial problems of the state because businesses would leave, leading to more unemployment and a smaller tax base. Obviously, all of these factors could contribute to the risk of civil unrest.

In other words, any financial calamity that occurs at the national level, would be magnified at the state level.  The economy of these states would fall into a tailspin, which would make life for the average person exceedingly difficult.

So which states should you avoid? There are three factors you should look out for. There’s the amount of debt as a percentage of the state’s GDP, the amount of debt per person (debt per capita), and the state’s current credit rating.

The 10 states with the worst debt to GDP ratios are:

  • New York-22.71%
  • South Carolina-21.31%
  • Rhode Island-19.40%
  • Washington-18.83%
  • Florida-18.65%
  • Kentucky-18.50%
  • Illinois-18.45%
  • Connecticut-17.52%
  • California-17.18%
  • Pennsylvania-17.17%

The 10 states with the most debt per person are:

  • Massachusetts-$11,337.63
  • Connecticut-$9,297.33
  • Rhode Island-$8,919.27
  • Alaska-$8,516.41
  • New Jersey-$7,517.15
  • New York-$7,040.97
  • Hawaii-$6,194.64
  • New Hampshire-$6,152.00
  • Delaware-$5,962.86
  • Vermont-$5,259.69

And perhaps the most important factor is the credit rating of any given state. This gives you a good idea of how investors think a state will fare financially in the future, as opposed to a state’s current financial woes. According to credit rating agencies like Standard and Poor’s, as of last year the states with the five worst credit ratings are:

  • Illinois-BBB
  • New Jersey-A
  • Kentucky-A+
  • California-AA-
  • Connecticut-AA-

Though those ratings don’t look too bad, it’s important to keep in mind that those states have had sub-par credit ratings for a long time. There’s no indication that they’re going to get their act together any time soon, because they’ve been teetering on the edge for years. When the next wave of the economic collapse hits, these states (along with states that topped the first two lists, such as New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Connecticut) are going to be the first to feel the pain.

Think of it like this. If a storm arrived and threatened to flood a community, the homes that were built in low-lying areas are going to be underwater first. These states are like the houses near the river. So if you’re planning to move, look into the financial stability every state you’re considering, and seek higher ground.

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 Should Avoid These Five Dangerous Over the Counter Meds

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Most people assume that over the counter drugs are very safe. After all, why would they be available for sale without a prescription if they weren’t safe? And for the most part they’re right. With the exception of a few people who use them recreationally, are allergic, or are more susceptible to the side effects, these drugs are safe.

For ordinary consumers however, serious problems arise when these drugs are taken for long periods of time; often in an attempt to treat chronic conditions. Given their accessibility they may seem safe for long-term use, but these drugs are anything but, and there’s plenty of evidence to prove it. The drugs below in particular, are among the most dangerous over the counter medications.

Ibuprofen

Over the past few years multiple studies have raised the alarm over ibuprofen (more commonly known as Advil) and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are often used to reduce pain, inflammation, and fever. It turns out that this class of drugs may cause serious heart conditions. The latest study to suggest this comes from Denmark and was recently published in the European Heart Journal. After following 29,000 people over the course of nine years, the study found that people who take ibuprofen have a 31% higher chance of suffering cardiac arrest.

Benadryl

Diphenhydramine (aka Benadryl) and other anticholinergic drugs are very effective at reducing cold and seasonal allergy symptoms. Unfortunately the drug also reduces a chemical in your brain called acetylcholine, which helps your memory and learning ability. And that’s why it may increase your chances of developing dementia.

A study by the University of Washington’s School of Pharmacy followed 3,500 seniors over the course of 10 years, and found that 800 of them developed dementia. When the researchers dug deeper, they discovered that people who take anticholinergic drugs on a regular basis for three years or more, had a 54% higher risk of developing dementia.

Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is widely considered to be the world’s most popular pain reliever, and there are millions of people who rely on it for chronic health issues. Unfortunately the drug has been causally linked to a lot of its own health problems. Multiple studies have suggested that taking this drug over a long period of time may cause a heightened risk of cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, kidney, and heart problems.

Perhaps what’s more freaky about this drug, is not what it may due to your body, but what it may due to your mind. Recent studies have found that the drug can reduce your ability to empathize with others.

Dextromethorphan

Though it’s an effective sleep aid and cough suppressant, it doesn’t take long to gain a tolerance for dextromethorphan, which is commonly used in Robitussin, NyQuil, and Delsym. And for people with chronic sleep problems, it’s very easy to become addicted to this drug. When used as instructed and for short periods of time, it isn’t very dangerous. Over long periods of time, it can cause liver damage and multiple mental problems.

Aspirin

Aspirin is another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug similar to ibuprofen. And like ibuprofen, it’s another drug that doctors often tell patients to take every day when it can alleviate conditions that are more dangerous than the side effects of the drug. However, those side effects shouldn’t be underestimated. Taking aspirin every day can vastly increase your risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers. Though some aspirin brands have an enteric coating that is advertised as being “safer,” it doesn’t actually reduce your risk of gaining ulcers. In fact, it can reduce the benefits of this drug, as well as its pain relieving effects.

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 the Key to Urban Prepping That Most People Don’t Consider

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new york city wikimediaIf you live in a rural or suburban area, you have a very distinct advantage over your fellow preppers who are living in densely populated cities. It’s not that you don’t have to worry about hordes of desperate, hungry violent people. It’s not that you’re more likely to live near a wilderness with fresh game, or that you have friendlier neighbors who you can rely on.

Although certainly those are all advantages, your biggest advantage is that you have more space. You have more room to grow your own food if you want. You have enough space to stock up on a wide variety of supplies. That allows you to hunker down, and wait for the chaos to pass.

That’s a bit more difficult for urban preppers. A family living in a tiny apartment can’t stock up on enough food to last for three months or more, much less any other essential supplies. Or they can, but only if they don’t mind losing their entire living room.

While it’s a good idea for every prepper to stock up on as many essential supplies as they can, that’s just not enough for most urban preppers. They require a slightly different strategy. Rather than trying to figure out how they can stock up and isolate themselves from everyone else, what will give the urban prepper the greatest chance at survival is figuring out how they can trade with everyone else.

If you stop and think about what makes cities and rural areas different, it makes sense. In rural areas, regardless of whether or not there’s a disaster at play, self-sufficiency is one of the most important virtues. In densely populated cities, cooperation is more important. That’s because your neighbors aren’t a mile down the road. They’re right up against you, all the time.

So if you’re a prepper in a city, you have to think more about what you can trade with your neighbors for. Rather than just focusing on filling your apartment with bins full of freeze-dried food, you need to also think about stocking up on stuff that you can trade away down the road when your limited supplies run out.

Preferably, these trade items should be small. And to give you the most bang for your buck, they should be items that are cheap now, but will be worth their weight in gold after a disaster. Consider the following:

  • Water filtration and disinfection supplies are usually very compact and affordable. Take for instance, the crystallized iodine that is found in Polar Pure. That tiny jar is capable of disinfecting 2000 quarts of water, and only costs $20 (but don’t stock up on it too quickly. Crystallized iodine is used to make meth so that might look suspicious). Alternatively you can stock up on pumps and especially filters. None of these items are particularly expensive now, but in a crisis, most people will give their right arm for them.
  • Reloading supplies. Specifically, you should buy up a wide variety of primers. Brass casings can be reused, lead can be scavenged, and gunpowder can be made just about anywhere. Primers are incredibly cheap and compact, but this is an item that you would be hard pressed (pun intended) to find during a prolonged collapse.
  • Over the counter drugs would also be a great idea. They’re cheap, small, and have a shelf life that’s a lot longer than what you see on the label. Same with most prescription drugs. Though you can’t stockpile them for obvious legal reasons, if you’re ever prescribed pain killers or antibiotics and have some pills left over after you recover, you should hold onto them.
  • Sewing kits are another really cheap and portable item. We live in a throwaway culture, and you’d be surprised by how many people don’t have this sort of thing lying around. But if society collapses, everyone will have to squeeze as much life out of their clothes as they possibly can.
  • And finally, consider building up a supply of supplements, especially multivitamins. There isn’t going to be as much food to go around, and the kind of food that’s available probably isn’t going to be nutritionally balanced. There will be a lot of diseases showing up in the population that are caused by poor nutrition. Unfortunately, you can’t stock up on too much of this because supplements have a limited shelf life. But boy, imagine what someone with scurvy will give you for a handful of vitamin C pills.

Do you have any more ideas for small, affordable items that urban preppers should stock up on? Let us know 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

What Beginners Really Need to Know About Shooting Handguns

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Shooting a handgun is an activity that looks really easy, but definitely is not. It’s a skill that requires more focus and dexterity than using a rifle or a shotgun, and I’d wager that for most people, it takes a bit longer to master the basics too. That’s why if you’ve never fired a handgun before, you definitely want to take some advice from someone with more experience before you get started.

And what would be better than learning from the best? That’s what you get when you listen to Rob Leatham, a world renown professional shooter who has won dozens of competitions over the past 30 years or so. In the following video, he tells you the basics that every first time shooter needs to know before they pick up a handgun, and maybe even a few things that moderately experienced shooters might not be aware of. (warning, mild language)

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

NATO is Preparing for War With Russia in a Very Unsettling Way

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As tensions between Russia and the West intensify, NATO forces are building up in Eastern Europe, and those units aren’t just in place as a bluff. They are actively training for war with Russia, and they aren’t hiding that fact. If you look closer at these training exercises, you can learn a lot about how NATO expects to conduct a war with Russia. You’ll see that they aren’t just engaging in simple maneuvers, and they aren’t just preparing for a strictly defensive war. In fact, they may be preparing to take the fight to Russian speaking parts of Europe.

Germany for instance, recently placed an ad on a government website, for actors to play a part in US Army training exercises. What’s so shocking about this, is that they are specifically looking for people who speak Russian. That may sound like common sense. If our military is going to prepare itself to engage Russian forces, then obviously they should have some experience dealing with Russian speaking people. However, these people aren’t going to be playing as Russian soldiers. According to Sputnik News:

The starting date is April 26. All participants must have good knowledge of Russian, English and German. It would be “A great advantage” if they also know Polish or Czech, the advertisement said.

“Candidates will play the role of civilians in conflict zones. This will help to create a real training scenario for servicemen and their optimal preparation for foreign missions,” the description said.

The exercises will be held continuously, including on weekends, in the Hohenfels training grounds between Nuremberg and Regensburg. There about ten villages will be built with 30 houses each.

“Performers will play small roles such as livestock keepers, shopkeepers or the head of the village in Afghanistan, who is constantly negotiating with the US military and takes part in the mediation.”

Of course it’s possible that they are only training to defend NATO countries in the Baltic region, which have a significant population of ethnic Russians. However, the fact that some of these actors will be playing “livestock keepers” is very telling. The vast majority of Russians living in Baltic countries reside in cities. Plus, these exercises are supposed to take place in multiple “villages.” Clearly the Army wants to train for combat in a rural, Russian speaking area.

Because of that, it seems more likely that these training exercises will be preparing our troops to fight outside of NATO. If not in Russia itself, there’s a good chance that they’re training to fight in Eastern Ukraine, a region that is hotly contested, heavily populated with Russians, and except for the city of Donetsk it is a very rural area with a high agricultural output. If this is true, then NATO is getting ready to play a very dangerous game at the doorstep of Russia.

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 Government Sets These Cyanide Traps in Rural Areas. Here’s How to Avoid Them

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Every reasonable person is cautious when they go out for a hike. They keep their eyes and ears peeled for any potential predators, and they make sure to watch their step. Unfortunately, being cautious isn’t so helpful when you’re dealing with the unexpected. It doesn’t help you when you don’t know what to look for.

That’s why so many people were shocked and horrified to hear about a recent incident involving a teenage boy and his dog in Idaho. Most people are completely unaware of the device that killed his dog.

14-year-old Canyon Mansfield was out playing with his dog in the backyard of his parent’s rural property, when he saw an object on the ground that he mistook for a sprinkler head. When he touched it, the object erupted in a cloud of cyanide.

The explosion sprayed the boy and his 3-year-old, 90-pound (40 kg) pet with toxic cyanide gas, according to the boy’s mother, Theresa Mansfield.

“Canyon said there was a bang like a bomb, then an explosion of an orange substance that covered him and Casey, who was writhing in pain on the ground before he died right in front of Canyon,” she said.

Her husband, Pocatello physician Mark Mansfield, rushed to the scene and pounded on the dog’s chest in a futile effort to revive the animal.

The family and first-responders underwent decontamination procedures and the boy, who was sprayed in the face, was tested for cyanide poisoning at a hospital for the second time Friday, officials and family members said.

What the boy encountered is called an M44. It’s a type of trap that is laid in rural areas by Wildlife Services, usually at the request of local farmers and ranchers. It’s a spring-loaded cylinder that is buried partially in the ground, with a bait scented cloth exposed to the surface. When an animal tugs on it, the M44 releases a dose of sodium cyanide into the animal’s mouth.

The device has been widely criticized over the years because it is so indiscriminate. Though it does successfully kill thousands of predators that threaten livestock, the M44 also frequently kills animals that aren’t intended for the trap, including pets and endangered species.

And from time to time, humans are injured by these devices as well. In 2003 a man from Utah was out with his friend, riding ATVs on BLM land. He found what he thought was a surveyor’s stake, and tried to pick it up. It turned out to be an M44, and it blasted him with cyanide. For years following the incident, he suffered from high blood pressure, severe breathing problems, and frequent vomiting.

So you may be wondering how you can avoid these devices. For starters, the M44 is normally laid on or near private property that houses livestock. So if you’re hiking in an area that isn’t near any agriculture, then you should be fine. These devices are often accompanied by warning signs, but it seems that isn’t always the case; or at the very least the signs aren’t always visible. In the cases I described above, nobody reported seeing any warning signs, so you need to know what to look out for. Here’s what an M44 looks like after it’s been partially buried:

That cloth roll is always exposed to the surface, though it isn’t always that color. Sometimes it’s a pinkish color.

You should be especially careful if you’re out walking your dog. These things are often scented to attract coyotes, but what attracts one kind of canine will also attract any kind of canine. So if you’re walking in an area where livestock is nearby, it might be best to keep your dog on a leash and watch where your pet is sniffing around.

And as a rule of thumb, if you ever see anything metallic sticking out of the ground, think twice before picking it up. It’s not exactly clear how long these things can remain potent, and it’s not clear how many of them remain in the ground, unaccounted for. Over time, erosion, corrosion, and decomposition of the cloth could make them unrecognizable.

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

These Aren’t Considered SHTF Survival Skills, But They Really Should Be

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MCan you grow your own food and raise your own livestock? Can you fix your own car? Are you a competent marksman? Can you hunt and fish? Do you know your way around a first-aid kit? Can you make your own biofuel? How about bartering?

Everyone who’s interested in prepping has heard about or considered learning some of those skills (among many others) countless times already. There are certain skills that seem essential for surviving a catastrophic event, and they are repeatedly mentioned and discussed ad nauseam in the prepper community. Of course they’re vitally important and sophisticated subjects that warrant lots of discussion, but there are a few skills that are often totally overlooked; probably because they seem mundane and unexciting.

That however, doesn’t mean they should be ignored. If you’re looking to tack a few more skills under your belt, or at least confirm that you don’t have any of these gaps in your prepper education, consider the following:

Learning Another Language

If society collapsed, then nation-state borders would temporarily lose their meaning. People living in immigrant enclaves, gated communities, and small towns across the country would be uprooted from their lives. Everyone would be wrenched away from their social bubbles. In other words, you would be running into all kinds of people who you would normally never meet, and a lot of those folks will speak a different language. The more languages you know, the less misunderstandings you’ll face after the collapse.

Driving Stick

As time goes on there are fewer and fewer vehicles with manual transmissions being built and sold, and the number of people who actually know how to drive a stick shift is declining. But this could become a vital skill after the collapse. Stick shifts tend to be older, and older cars tend to be easier to fix and maintain. Older vehicles are also a lot easier to hotwire (I’m not suggesting that you steal. There would be many abandoned cars if society collapsed). So if you don’t know already, now is a good time to learn how to drive a stick.

Investing

Investing sounds like a skill that is exactly the opposite of what you need to know to survive. When we think of investors, we imagine people who are reliant on the grid; people who work for investment firms and sit behind computers all day. In reality, investing is still an important skill to have when civilization crumbles. Being a good investor requires you to have a solid understanding of how the world works, so you can use that understanding to figure out what is going to be more valuable in the future. At a base level, there isn’t much difference between investing money in a promising company, and trading a can of soup for a pack of cigarettes that will be worth more in the future as supplies dwindle.

Negotiation, Persuasion, and Conflict Resolution

Preppers spend a lot of time preparing to survive violent situations. However, violence is messy and destructive. And more times than not it’s preventable with a little bit of tact and understanding. Don’t buy a dozen guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition without working on your own ability communicate with others, and find common interests with people who oppose you. If society collapsed, the only people you should have to physically protect yourself from, are the ones who refuse to talk to you.

Stress Management

In the modern world, most people deal with stress by consuming addictive substances and engaging themselves in an endless stream of entertainment. After the collapse, there will be no TV or internet, and the substances people use to take the edge off will be hard to come by. And this will happen as everyone is dealing with the most stressful event anyone has seen in generations. If you can’t handle hard times without the aid of a stiff drink and a cigarette, then you’re not ready to cope with an event that could destroy our civilization.

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

Monsanto’s Terrible Secrets Are Tumbling out as Company Faces Wave of Cancer Lawsuits

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In 2015 the World Health Organization declared that glyphosate, the world’s most popular herbicide, is probably carcinogenic. That declaration has since become a serious chink in the armor of Monsanto. It was one of the first times that a reputable institution suggested that maybe, Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide could be bad for human health. In fact, the company’s first response to that claim was that every other regulatory agency in the world had seen the same data as the WHO, and none of them thought that glyphosate was harmful.

But it seems that was enough to turn up the heat on Monsanto. Two years later, 700 people across the US are now suing Monsanto because they believe glyphosate gave them non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It turns out these people were right to ignore the claims of all those regulatory agencies around the world, because these lawsuits have revealed evidence that may prove Monsanto has been colluding with government agencies, and manipulating scientific studies.

For instance, last week a judge in San Francisco unsealed documents that suggest Monsanto was scheming to ghostwrite scientific papers about glyphosate, and hire real scientists to publish them.

The debate over the safety of Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup has become more complicated, as newly released emails suggest the company had ghostwritten scientific research on glyphosate, the pesticide’s key ingredient.

Monsanto’s internal communications were unsealed Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria in California. Chhabria is presiding over litigation brought by farmers and other agricultural workers who claimed that exposure to glyphosate caused them to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In one email, Monsanto executive William Heydens recommended company employees could write papers about glyphosate and hire scientists to publish studies under their names. He said that this had been done once before.

“We would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak,” Heydens wrote.

The court has also found evidence that may show that Monsanto was working with the EPA to shut down studies that questioned the health effects of glyphosate.

“If I can kill this I should get a medal,” Rowland told a Monsanto regulatory affairs manager who recounted the conversation in an email to his colleagues, according to a court filing made public Tuesday. The company was seeking Rowland’s help stopping an investigation of glyphosate by a separate office, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, that is part of the U.S. Health and Human Service Department, according to the filing.

A federal judge overseeing the glyphosate litigation in San Francisco said last month he’s inclined to order Rowland to submit to questioning by lawyers for the plaintiffs, who contend he had a “highly suspicious” relationship with Monsanto. Rowland oversaw a committee that found insufficient evidence to conclude glyphosate causes cancer and quit last year shortly after his report was leaked to the press.

It would suffice to say that Monsanto is probably in big legal trouble for the first time in a long time. If Monsanto is found guilty, the whole world is going to know that they’ve been lying to us, colluding with the government to cover that up, and they did so without any regard to the health of agricultural workers and consumers.

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 Signs You Need to Know When Your Dog Is About to Bite!

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4.5 million people are bitten by their dogs each year, and I’m willing to bet that each of those individuals was caught completely off guard. When someone is bitten, they tend to act so surprised as if the bite was totally unprovoked, when in reality it rarely is.

There’s a simple explanation for most dog bite incidents. People desperately want their dogs to understand them, but they aren’t always willing meet their dogs half way by understanding their language. Dog bites only seem unprovoked to people who haven’t bothered to learn what provokes their dogs, and how dogs warn you to back off.

If you want to know the warning signs that dogs display before they bite, then you should really take a look at this video, which was created by a professional trainer.

And those are just a few of the signs that you should look out for. We’re all aware that dogs will also often growl and gnash their teeth, but you should also back off if you see their hair stand up, or if you see the whites of their eyes (also known as “whale eye”). And it’s often the case that in the moment before they bite, (especially if it’s a serious bite, unlike what you see in that video), a dog’s body will become perfectly rigid.

So the next time you encounter a dog, or perhaps play with your own pet, look for these signs. You may have seen them before without being bitten, but that doesn’t mean that your dog isn’t expressing his or her stress, agitation, and fear. The sooner you learn these signs, the sooner you’ll develop a much better relationship with your pet.

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 Everything You Need to Know About First Aid for Your Eyes

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There probably isn’t any part of your body that is more sensitive, exposed, or crucial to your survival than your eyeballs. You use these soft, delicate organs during every waking moment and for just about every task, but unfortunately the only thing that protects them are a few eyelashes and 1mm thick eyelids. Evolution is cruel like that.

So given the vulnerability of our eyes, it would be wise to brush up on the first aid measures that should be taken in an emergency to protect them. Below are the most common eye injures and the protective procedures that you need to take to prevent further damage, at least until you can see a doctor:

Chemical Exposure

If a caustic chemical ever gets splashed into your eyes, your first knee jerk response will probably be to close them. In this instance however, that’s a bad idea. You want to keep your eyes open so that the chemical doesn’t get trapped under your eyelids. Find a source of water and rinse them out for 15-20 minutes while keeping your eyes open the whole time, and seek medical attention.

Foreign Debris

We’ve all had some kind of debris in our eyes at one point or another. It’s a situation that your eyes are normally capable of correcting themselves by tearing up and washing the debris away. But if the condition persists, refrain from rubbing your eyes. It’ll only irritate them more. Pull your upper lid down and blink repeatedly. If that doesn’t work, you need to pull open both eyelids and roll your eye around before rinsing it out. You can repeat that process a few times if it doesn’t work right away.

Embedded Foreign Object

If you have a foreign object embedded in your eye, the measures you need to take aren’t what you might expect. Unlike the previously mentioned first aid procedures, you’re not supposed to wash out your eyes (this also applies to any cut or puncture wounds to the eye). You’re also not supposed to remove the object. Find something that you can place over the eye without applying too mush pressure to it, such as large, loose-fitting goggles or a plastic cup; then seek medical attention.

Blunt Force Trauma

The most important thing to do if you suffer a blow to the eye, is to reduce the swelling. Apply a cold compress or ice to the eye for 5 or 10 minute intervals. You can also take ibuprofen for the pain and swelling. After a 24 hour period, begin using a warm compress instead. You need to look out for any bleeding or vision problems. Or if it hurts to move your eyes, there may be damage to the eye socket. In those cases, you need to find a doctor.

Welder’s Flash

You probably already know that the light from a welding arc can hurt your eyes. This is called “welder’s flash”, and it’s why every welder has to wear a mask with tinted glass. However, there’s a good reason why this condition goes by many names, including “snow blindness” and “corneal flash burn.” It can be caused by any overexposure to ultraviolet light. Sunlight that reflects off of snow, sand, or water can also cause the condition.

The symptoms may include eye pain, severe light sensitivity, bloodshot eyes, blurry vision, and a gritty sensation under the eyelids. To treat the condition, you need to stay indoors in a dark room and wear sunglasses as much as possible for 1 or 2 days. You should also be applying artificial tears on a regular basis. If you wear contact lenses, remove them until your eyes heal. Most victim’s of welder’s flash find that a cold compress helps alleviate the symptoms. If your symptoms continue for more than a couple of days or worsen after 1 day, then you should see a doctor.

 

References:

http://www.healthline.com/health/first-aid/eye-care#blows-to-the-eye

http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/eye-injuries-treatment

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/snowblind.htm

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 the Absolute Best Way to Tell If a Wild Plant is Edible

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You have to give a lot of respect to people who practice foraging. It’s definitely one of the most underrated skills in the modern world, and it’s also quite difficult to learn. If you want to eat plants that are found in the wild, you must have an encyclopedic knowledge of wild plants, both where you live and abroad. And not just because there are thousands of plants in the world that are poisonous, but also because many of them look a lot like edible plants.

For most people however, it can be difficult to justify learning this skill. We live in an era that provides an abundance of cheap food (relative to previous eras of course). If you want to learn how to safely forage for food in the wild, you have to spend a lot of time and energy on a skill that may not ever come in handy for you.

But if you want to better your odds of surviving in the wilderness, and you don’t have time to gain such an impressive skill, there is a shortcut you can learn. Like most things in life that take less effort, it’s not as comprehensive or effective, but it’s a lot better than nothing. It’s called the Universal Edibility Test, and it’s a method of safely testing wild plants that you’re not familiar with to see if you can actually eat them. Here’s how it works:

  1. Say you find a tasty looking plant in the wilderness. To see if it’s safe, the first thing you need to do is separate its parts, such as stems, leaves, flowers, buds, and roots. That’s because in many cases, only certain parts of a plant are poisonous.
  2. Next you need to take one of those parts and smell it. Certain plants have evolved to avoid being consumed, and they often have a terrible smell. So if it smells something awful, throw it out.
  3. But if it passes the smell test, the next thing you need to do is rub or place the plant on your skin, preferably on your inner elbow or wrist. Keep it there for a few minutes, then wait eight hours. If that spot starts to feel itchy, numb, or develops a rash, then clearly that plant doesn’t want to be eaten.
  4. If the plant passes that test, then the next thing you need to do is cook it if you can, since that often neutralizes poisons. Then you need to rub it on your lips for about three minutes. If you don’t encounter any kind of burning or tingling sensation after 15 minutes, then you can move on to the next step.
  5. Now you need to put the plant in your mouth. However, don’t swallow just yet. Just let the plant material rest on your tongue for 15 minutes. If the plant tastes bitter, or just gag-worthy in general; or if you experience burning or tingling in your mouth, then it’s probably not safe to eat. If it passes this test, then try swishing it around in your mouth for 15 minutes and look for the same signs. If you do experience any of these negative reactions, then not only should you spit the plant out, but you should also clean your mouth out with water.
  6. Finally, if you don’t receive any negative reactions from that previous step, then you can swallow the plant. Wait till the next day, and don’t eat anything else while you’re waiting. If you’re still feeling alright after that, then you can be reasonably sure that the plant is safe to eat. You can repeat this process for the other parts of the plant.

Now you can try eating a more substantial amount of the plant. If you still feel fine after another eight hours or so, then it’s definitely safe to eat.

Given the time-consuming nature of this test, you’ll want to try this out first on plants that are more abundant in your environment. It’s also important to note that there are certain things that are not worth your time with this test. Most notably, mushrooms usually can’t be tested with this method, so don’t even bother with them unless you’re well versed in spotting edible mushrooms.

Obviously the Universal Edibility Test isn’t perfect, and conducting it in the wild is going to use up a lot of precious time. Nothing beats having actual skills, and genuinely learning how to forage for wild plants. But if you don’t know what is and isn’t edible in your environment and you’re in a survival situation, then this is the absolute best way to find edible food in the wild.

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 Might Just Be the Coolest and Most Convenient Way to Extinguish a Fire

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Regardless of whether or not you’re a prepper, arguably one of the most important safety devices you should have in your home is a fire extinguisher. Fire presents a possible danger no matter where we live, and having a handy device to put out the flames is a must. And it doesn’t just make sense from a safety perspective. It makes a lot of financial sense too. Most fire extinguishers cost less than a hundred dollars, but can prevent thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.

However, most people aren’t aware that there is an alternative to the classic red fire extinguisher that we’re all familiar with. Since the fire extinguisher design hasn’t changed much in decades, you might think that there isn’t room for improvement, but there is. Behold, the Elide fire extinguishing ball:

As you can see, the Elide Ball has a distinct advantage over an ordinary fire extinguisher, in that you can put the flames out from a further distance. The ball is designed to automatically burst after being exposed to flames for 3-5 seconds, and won’t go off without the presence of fire. It’s always ready to go, and doesn’t require any training or specific techniques. It uses a fire-retardant chemical called mono ammonium phosphate, which is typically used in ordinary fire extinguishers since it’s non-toxic. Also, the ball only weighs around 3 pounds, so it’s not difficult to throw.

The Elide Ball costs about $120, and is supposed to last 5 years. Since that costs more than a regular extinguisher, that’s really the only disadvantage with the device. So far there aren’t any well-known distributors for the Elide Ball in the United States, but it can be purchased on Ebay. Alternatively, there is a knockoff called the AFO Fire Ball, which can be bought on Amazon and costs half as much. But being a knockoff, it isn’t clear yet if that brand is as effective as Elide, so buyer beware.

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

These Are the Diseases That Will Run Rampant When the SHTF

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Most people like to think that if society collapsed, the most common cause of death would be at the hands of other people. They like to imagine that the apocalypse will be filled with action packed shootouts and marauding gangs of looters. Obviously there would be a lot of violence if society collapsed, but the truth of the matter is that violence would be a secondary concern.

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Mother Nature Has Plans of Her Own

This is evident if you only take a quick look throughout history. During the most tumultuous times in human history, it wasn’t violence that killed the most people, but disease and starvation. Even during war, when violence reached its apex, most of the soldiers didn’t die from violence, and that remained the case until the 20th century. During the American Civil War for instance, for every three soldiers who died on the battlefield, five died of disease.

It’s important to remember that if society were to collapse, it would be tantamount to traveling back in time to when modern amenities didn’t exist. And without those amenities, there are a ton of pathogens that can kill you. So before you blow your entire prepping budget on guns and body armor, consider some of the many unglorified ways that the collapse of society could cut you down.

These are the Seven Likely Causes of Death When the SHTF

1. Superbugs

The world was a hell of a scary place before the invention of antibiotic medications. Any nick or scratch could lead to an untreatable infection, and communicable diseases often ran rampant. Nowadays our antibiotics can treat these diseases, but just barely. As various strains of bacteria become immune to these treatments, we’re rapidly approaching a post-antibiotic world that looks an awful lot like the old world. If society collapses then these souped up diseases are going to be unleashed without any inhibitions. Tuberculosis, staph, typhoid, strep throat, MRSA, and E. Coli will become all too common.

2. Water-Related Illness

If society collapses, people are going to suddenly find themselves reliant on local water sources, and unfortunately those water sources are going to be contaminated. It’s often the case that natural ponds and stream are already unsafe to drink, but the same disaster that cuts off your tap is going to make that water even more dangerous.

Without running water, people will be forces to leave their waste in their immediate environment, where it will likely mingle with local water sources. This among other unsanitary conditions can cause a whole host of water-borne diseases including gastroenteritis, Hepatitis A, intestinal parasites, Diphtheria, cholera, typhoid, and even polio. Here are 9 common water-borne illnesses to prepare for in a disaster scenario.

3. Mosquitoes and Rats

It takes all the might of modern civilization just to keep certain pests in check. But when the garbage trucks stop showing up and the swimming pools turn green, you can bet that the rats and mosquitoes will proliferate like crazy. And they’ll be carrying diseases that are the stuff of nightmares. Rats will carry the hantavirus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and the plague; and in North America, mosquitoes will most likely be carrying dengue fever. Here are some tips to rat-proof your preparedness supply closet.

4. Cold Weather

A lot of people will be forced to go without adequate shelter after the collapse. So when winter arrives, you’re going to see a lot more weather related ailments. We’re all very familiar with flu season, but most people don’t realize that cold weather conditions can spawn numerous diseases, most of them respiratory related. Between the lack of sunlight, people crowding indoors, and the poor circulation caused by cold weather, there will be more cases of strep throat, pneumonia, croup, bronchiolitis, ear infections, and the stomach flu. To prepare for this, understand that hospitals and medical care may not be available (or too dangerous to get to). You may want to consider storing natural remedies, herbal poultices and tinctures to assist in these cold weather ailments.

5. Malnutrition

In a roundabout way, malnutrition would probably be the leading cause of disease after the SHTF. That’s because your diet is tightly linked to the quality of your immune system, so if you’re not getting enough calories, protein, vitamins or minerals, you’re more susceptible to every ailment under the sun. However, malnutrition is most associated with conditions like scurvy, rickets, pellagra, goiters, and beriberi.

6. Cadavers

The collapse of society would destroy every kind abundance that the modern world provides us, and in return, the only thing that would be in abundance are the dead. Dead bodies, especially the kind that were infected with disease to begin with, pose a serious health threat. Without a functioning society, and with bodies piling up faster than they can be buried or cremated, these cadavers would litter our towns and cities, and would most likely pose a serious threat to local water supplies.

7. Disease

Overshadowing many of these medical ailments will be disease. In fact, many believe that disease would be the real killer if the world fell apart and would dwarf the number of casualties caused by violence. Diseases are opportunists and tend to surface at a time the conditions are right for them to flourish. A long-term emergency would be just the right time, wouldn’t you say? These 10 diseases could become common medical emergencies. Make sure you have a well supplied medical closet and a sick room prepared for these issues.

There is a Silver Lining

As bleak as that sounds however, there is a silver lining. Prepping to prevent disease and infection is a lost less intimidating, and a lot more affordable than preparing to face-off against your fellow-man.

In fact, it’s as simple as stocking up on very general supplies that you should be accumulating anyway. Having plenty of food, toiletries, basic medical supplies, and water purification tools, will go a long way toward keeping you safe from the ravages of disease.

Resources:

The Prepper’s Blueprint: A Step-by-Step Preparedness Guide to Get Through Any Disaster

The One-Year Pantry, Layer by Layer

The Prepared Home: 50 Essential Items to Put in Your Ultimate Survival Medical Kit

52 Weeks to Preparedness: An Emergency Preparedness Plan For Surviving Virtually Any Disaster

The 4 Most Likely Ways You Can Die If the SHTF

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 “This War of Mine” Is the Perfect Video Game for Preppers

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this war of mineTo my knowledge, the video game industry has never really catered to preppers. Though they do create games that contain survival situations, they are generally steeped in glorified violence. Likewise, their attempts to create games with post-apocalyptic story lines are almost always based in pure fantasy.

If they did create a game that tackled survival situations or the collapse of society in a realistic way, the realism would probably suck all of the fun out of the game. Or at least that’s what you’d think. However, there is one video game that tackles both of those subjects brilliantly, without sacrificing fun or realism. It’s called “This War of Mine,” and I couldn’t recommend it enough.

As that trailer suggests, this is a war game unlike any other, in that you experience war through the eyes of a handful of civilians who aren’t taking part in the combat. They are merely trying to survive the terrible conditions that war creates. For that reason, I’m actually a bit surprised that the prepper community hasn’t latched onto this game, despite the fact that it’s has been out since 2014. This War of Mine captures the gut wrenching experience of survival in ways that don’t compare to most games.

And like I said, it’s fun. However, it’s not fun in the traditional sense. It’s not glorious and epic and bombastic. It’s subdued. You don’t experience fun by vanquishing waves of faceless enemies. You experience the satisfaction of surviving another day.

The game takes place in the fictional war-torn city of Pogoren. The conditions found in this city are inspired by the real world Siege of Sarajevo, which took place between 1992 and 1996. You command three or four civilians with no military experience. Each character has unique skills and attributes such as cooking, scavenging, bartering, strength, and speed.

You’re hunkered down in a dilapidated house, and you’re responsible for building barricades, stoves, workbenches, rain collectors, water filters, weapons, tools, alcohol stills, and traps, and more. You have to keep these folks alive in this house until a cease-fire is signed and the siege is lifted, which occurs at a random point in the game. You’re responsible for keeping them well-fed, well-rested, warm, and protected from looters and thieves.

So what makes this game so realistic? For starters, there is a degree of luck and randomness in the game that makes it unpredictable. Certain resources and events are generated randomly each time you play. You can’t just play through it once and master it. Strategies that will help you survive one play-through might not help you in another, so you’re always flying by the seat of your pants.

Also, you don’t get to save your game whenever you want. The game will only save at the beginning of each day, and you can’t go back to previous days. So if you make a mistake, there are often no do-overs. So say you send one of your characters out to go scavenging for supplies and that character dies, you can’t go back and try again. And when that happens, the remaining characters have to take a larger share of the daily tasks that are needed to keep everyone alive.

Because of these conditions, you can’t fight your way through the game. Unlike most video games, you can’t just go around killing people and taking their supplies. In fact, most combat encounters will kill you. And even if you survive an encounter like that, you’re almost definitely going to have an injury that requires rest and medical supplies to recover from. To survive this game, you have to be smart, stealthy, and diplomatic. Just like the real world, you’re much better off engaging in trade than you are by engaging in combat, which should be treated as a last resort.

And finally, This War of Mine will really challenge your altruism and morality. You will be faced with situations that will give you the opportunity to be charitable, and you don’t really know if you’ll be rewarded or screwed over. There are times in this game when you will run out of supplies, and you’ll be faced with the choice of going hungry and cold, or stealing from your neighbors.

For sure, This War of Mine is a grim and unforgiving game, but that’s what makes it so perfect for preppers. It will definitely put you in the headspace of someone who is just trying to survive.

 

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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 Avoid This Potentially Dangerous Preservative Found in Dried Fruit

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dried fruitIf you opened up a pantry belonging to any prepper, you’d most likely find a veritable cornucopia of dried foods within. It’s pretty much a staple for preppers. Unfortunately, dried foods of all kinds often come packaged with preservatives that aren’t so healthy. It can be a real challenge to find long-lasting foods that you would want to eat during an emergency, that aren’t also filled with toxic preservatives.

Among those preservatives, there’s one that most people aren’t aware of. It’s called sulfur dioxide, and it’s found in more foods than you probably realize. It can be found in wine, jam, fruit juices, shrimp, instant coffee, pickled foods, processed meats, and powdered potatoes.  And the one food that probably contains the most sulfur dioxide is dried fruit. It’s typically added to all of these foods, not only to prevent bacterial growth, but to preserve the color of the food.

So is sulfur dioxide something that you need to worry about? That really depends on who you ask. The FDA has deemed it safe for most people. I say “most people” because some folks are more sensitive to it than others. About 1 in 100 people have some degree of sensitivity to sulfur dioxide, and people who are asthmatic are 5-10 times more likely to have a sensitivity.

When these individuals consume this preservative, they may face nausea, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and sometimes full-blown asthma attacks. Occasionally this leads to death. And just because you’ve never had any harmful symptoms from eating these foods, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re out of the woods. You can develop a sensitivity to sulfur dioxide at any point in life. It’s also important to note that even if you never have this kind of reaction, sulfur dioxide might still hurt you. A study conducted in 2004 found that sulfur dioxide, when fed to mice, would damage their DNA and cause cancer.

With that said, it may be a good idea to avoid this preservative entirely. If you avoid processed foods, then you’re already on the right track. You can also avoid sulfur dioxide by buying organic products. At the very least you should be checking the labels on anything you buy. Any food item that contains this preservative in more than 10 parts per million is required to be labelled as such to protect people who are sensitive to it.

And if you really love dried fruit and want to make it a staple in your emergency food supply, you can also make it yourself in your oven. You can dry fruit in the sun. And if you’re a real fanatic for dried fruit, you can buy a food dehydrator.

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 Their Something About to Happen? Luxury Bunker Sales Going Through the Roof

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bomb shelter fallout shelterWhen ordinary people begin to accumulate survival gear and build bunkers in their back yards, it’s a sign of the times. It’s what ordinary people did throughout the Cold War, and it’s what a lot of ordinary people have been doing since 9/11. But when rich people start building bunkers and stockpiling food and weapons, it’s not just a sign of the times. It’s a sign that something may be about to go down.

That’s because the wealthy know and understand things that the rest of us often miss. If something bad were coming down the pike, they’d probably know it before we do. I’m not implying some grand conspiracy when I say that. I don’t rule out that there are elites in the world who would conspire against us, but I doubt that every single millionaire in the world is in cahoots to screw us over and leave us behind when things get ugly. The wealthy of the world are not a monolith.

But what they are is smart. With the exception of trust fund babies, no one gets rich by being simpleminded. Even the folks who get rich by leaching off of corrupt governments need to be cunning and savvy. Most however are entrepreneurs, and to be a successful entrepreneur you have to be sharp, and you must have a strong sense of cultural, geopolitical, and economic trends. And if you have a strong sense of where those winds are blowing, then you probably know if our world is on the cusp of something terrible. So when the rich start ducking for cover, so should you.

Which is alarming when you hear stories like this one from Kansas City, where a man is turning an abandoned nuclear silo into luxury bunkers:

Larry Hall, project manager and owner of the Luxury Survival Condo Project, says he feels safer with the doors closed.

He says he’s sold all 12 luxury condos in the former Atlas missile silo — which once housed a nuclear warhead — not far from Concordia, about two hours north of Wichita. He’s working on a second silo.

A full-floor unit is 1,820 square feet and costs $3 million. A half-floor unit, at 900 square feet, costs $1.5 million.

Survival is a unifying cause. Hall said his owners come from a variety of political beliefs and include people in international business, architecture, law and medicine. He said the owners don’t do interviews; efforts to reach them were unsuccessful.

The facility is 15 stories deep, contains multiple generators and air scrubbers for a wide variety of contaminants, a remote-controlled sniper post on the surface, and three armories which contain weapons and body armor. But it’s luxurious too. There are fireplaces, hardwood floors, walk-in closets, televisions that stream images of the outdoors, and a climate controlled swimming pool.

However, that’s not the only luxury bunker that’s being built. Last year the Hollywood Reporter revealed that the rich, famous, and powerful including Bill Gates have been building bunkers all over the country. Some of these facilities are multi-million dollar endeavors.

Gary Lynch, GM at Rising S Bunkers, a Texas-based company that specializes in underground bunkers and services scores of Los Angeles residences, says that sales at the most upscale end of the market — mainly to actors, pro athletes and politicians (who require signed NDAs) — have increased 700 percent this year compared with 2015, and overall sales have risen 150 percent. “Any time there is a turbulent political landscape, we see a spike in our sales. Given this election is as turbulent as it is, we are gearing up for an even bigger spike,” says marketing director Brad Roberson of sales of bunkers that start at $39,000 and can run $8.35 million or more (FYI, a 12-stall horse shelter is $98,500).

Adds Mike Peters, owner of Utah-based Ultimate Bunker, which builds high-end versions in California, Texas and Minnesota: “People are going for luxury [to] live underground because they see the future is going to be rough. Everyone I’ve talked to thinks we are doomed, no matter who is elected.” Robert Vicino, founder of Del Mar, Calif.-based Vivos, which constructs upscale community bunkers in Indiana (he believes coastal flooding scenarios preclude bunkers being safely built west of the Rockies), says, “Bill Gates has huge shelters under every one of his homes, in Rancho Santa Fe and Washington. His head of security visited with us a couple years ago, and for these multibillionaires, a few million is nothing. It’s really just the newest form of insurance.”

Meanwhile, another Texas company is trying to build a survival retreat for 1,600 people that will include 400 condos, an equestrian center, a golf course, and even helipads. It’s expected to cost $300 million. And this US company is building earthship bunkers that range in cost from $100,000 to $1.5 million.

All of these different companies offer different explanations for why their wealthy clients want these shelters. They’ve been given reasons that range from terrorism to pandemics to civil unrest. However, if you go through all of the sources that I’ve mentioned, you’ll find that the rich seem to fear nuclear war and another world war the most.

And that should give one pause. If the rich tend to have a good sense of where the world is going, and they’re so worried about nuclear war that they’re building multi-million dollar shelters, then we should take note. They know that something bad is coming and they’re not taking it lightly. Neither should the rest of us.

 

Additional Resources:

Toptiergearusa.com

Are You Ready Series: Nuclear Disaster Preparedness

What You Need to Know About Nuclear Attacks

How to Survive When a Nuke Is Dropped

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 Totally Insane Things That Will Happen If Our Power Grid Goes Down

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power gridImagine if you will, what would happen if you pulled an American family from the 19th century, and plopped them in the middle of downtown Los Angeles during rush hour. They’re not given a warning, they’re not given any kind of primer on what they’re about to experience, and the occurrence is completely inexplicable. How long do you suppose they would last before they cried uncle? Would they even survive? The odds probably aren’t so good.

Of course, the reverse is probably also true. If you and your family were wrenched from the comforts of the present and hurled back into a previous era, you might not fare so well either. Your survival odds would probably be a little better since you have hindsight and an understanding of germ theory. However, it would still be a pretty alien world for you. It would be littered with pitfalls that most modern people can’t even imagine.

Get prepared for the worst-case scenario with this best-seller!

6 Totally Insane Things That Will Happen If Our Power Grid Goes Down

And that’s why it’s so important for everyone to prepare for the possibility that one day our grid could go down in a big way, whether it be from a terrorist attack, cyber attack, nuclear war, or solar flare. If our society suffered a widespread power failure that lasted for weeks or months, it would be no different for us than if we were suddenly sent back to the 1800’s. It would be a strange and dangerous world, and for the average person, it would catch them off guard in the following ways:

  1. All commerce will cease. The ATMs won’t work, the banks won’t open, and the cash registers won’t…well, register. For a while cash will be king, but if the crisis goes on for more than a few weeks, then people will view it as worthless. We’d be back to a barter economy in short order.
  2. Communications will shut down. If you think you can rely on your cell phone to work in a disaster, think again. In a crisis, when everyone instinctively reaches for their phone, that limit is quickly surpassed and the radios on the tower get sluggish, thus causing the fast-busy signal. Mobile analysts estimates that a cell site can handle 150 to 200 calls per second per sector. When a large group are making calls at the same time, the network can’t handle the amount of calls. More importantly, communications with police, firefighters, and ambulance services will cease. Many of the workers in these positions will try to soldier on, and keep doing the best job that they can for as long as they can. However, without ordinary citizens calling them to report crimes and emergencies, they’ll be helplessly watching their communities burn down around them. It won’t be long before they give up, ditch their posts, and return to their families.
  3. Without electricity, all forms of fuel that our society relies on will stop flowing. All of our vehicles will be dead in the water, and more importantly, the trucks will stop delivering food. The grocery stores will be stripped bare in hours, and will not be replenished for a long time. Even if you live in an area that is rich in agricultural resources, there may be no food to be had, since those farms rely on fertilizers and farming equipment that must be delivered by trucks.
  4. And of course many of those farms will lack water, as will your plumbing. For a couple of days after the power goes out, you’ll still have running water since water towers rely on gravity to feed the water to your home. However, electricity is required to clean that water and pump it into the tower. Once it’s out, that means that you won’t be able to flush your toilet. So not only dehydration be a major threat, but without the ability to remove human waste or wash your hands, every community will face daunting sanitation problems.
  5. When the grocery stores are stripped bare, the pharmacies won’t be far behind. Millions of people who rely on life saving medications could die in the weeks and months that follow. But perhaps more shocking is what would happen to the people who aren’t using drugs that are immediately life saving. 13% of Americans are using opioid drugs, which are highly addictive and cause horrendous withdrawal symptoms. Another 13% of Americans are on antidepressants, and likewise, the withdrawal symptoms are pretty problematic. In other words, within a few weeks after the grid collapses, about 25% of your neighbors are going to be in an awful mental state that is not conducive for survival.
  6. And finally, one of the most shocking things that people will have to deal with, is the lack of GPS. The GPS satellites will probably keep running, but eventually the devices that read those signals will give up the ghost. These days people are pretty reliant on GPS for directions, and there aren’t as many paper maps lying around. The average person is going to be utterly lost if the grid goes down.

In summary, law and order will break down at every level, and death will be around every corner. It’s one thing to grow up and live in an era that lacks electricity, but to be sent back to such a time on a moments notice would be one of the most challenging things that a person accustomed to modern amenities would ever face.

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

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.

Get prepared for the worst-case scenario with this best-seller!

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.”


Advanced Tactical Gas Mask – Are You Ready for a Biological, Nuclear or Chemical Attack?

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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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