Author Topic: Packing for the Apocalypse  (Read 72716 times)

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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Packing for the Apocalypse
« Reply #100 on: January 21, 2014, 11:47:16 »
Take Ambien - Dream of Zacks … Become a Quisling ???

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Re: Packing for the Apocalypse
« Reply #101 on: January 21, 2014, 12:04:06 »
Take Ambien - Dream of Zacks … Become a Quisling ???
Vidkun Quisling -- Ted Kennedy.  Tomato -- tomahto      :dunno:
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Packing for the Apocalypse
« Reply #102 on: January 21, 2014, 14:49:39 »
Quisling: From "World War Z" (the book, not the movie), humans that lost their mind, believe themselves to be Zombies and started acting exactly like the Zombies, even though not infected.

Online MARS

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Re: Packing for the Apocalypse
« Reply #103 on: January 21, 2014, 15:01:45 »
Quisling: From "World War Z" (the book, not the movie), humans that lost their mind, believe themselves to be Zombies and started acting exactly like the Zombies, even though not infected.

Great book.  The Quisling concept was also pretty neat
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Packing for the Apocalypse
« Reply #104 on: April 01, 2014, 20:47:14 »
Taking the concept to the entirely next level:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/opinion/sunday/civilizations-starter-kit.html?_r=1

Quote
Civilization’s Starter Kit
By LEWIS DARTNELLMARCH 29, 2014

I’M an astrobiologist — I study the essential building blocks of life, on this planet and others. But I don’t know how to fix a dripping tap, or what to do when the washing machine goes on the blink. I don’t know how to bake bread, let alone grow wheat. I’m utterly useless with my hands. My father-in-law used to joke that I had three degrees, but didn’t know anything about anything, whereas he graduated summa cum laude from the University of Life.

It’s not just me. Many purchases today no longer even come with an instruction manual. If something breaks it’s easier to chuck it and buy a new model than to reach for the screwdriver. Over the past generation or two we’ve gone from being producers and tinkerers to consumers. As a result, I think we feel a sense of disconnect between our modern existence and the underlying processes that support our lives. Who has any real understanding of where their last meal came from or how the objects in their pockets were dug out of the earth and transformed into useful materials? What would we do if, in some science-fiction scenario, a global catastrophe collapsed civilization and we were members of a small society of survivors?

My research has to do with what factors planets need to support life. Recently, I’ve been wondering what factors are needed to support our modern civilization. What key principles of science and technology would be necessary to rebuild our world from scratch?

The great physicist Richard Feynman once posed a similar question: “If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generation of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is the atomic hypothesis that all things are made of atoms — little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another.”

That certainly does encapsulate a huge amount of understanding, but it also wouldn’t be particularly useful, in a practical sense. So, allowing myself to be a little more expansive than a single sentence, I have some suggestions for what someone scrabbling around the ruins of civilization would need to know about basic necessities.

You would need to start with germ theory — the notion that contagious diseases are not caused by whimsical gods but by invisibly small organisms invading your body. Drinking water can be disinfected with diluted household bleach or even swimming pool chlorine. Soap for washing hands can be made from any animal fat or plant oil stirred with lye, which is soda from the ashes of burned seaweed combined with quicklime from roasted chalk or limestone. When settling down, ensure that your excrement isn’t allowed to contaminate your water source — this may sound obvious, but wasn’t understood even as late as the mid-19th century.

In the longer term, you’ll need to remaster the principles of agriculture and the ability to stockpile a food reserve and support dense cities away from the fields. The cereal crops that have sustained civilizations throughout history — wheat, rice and maize — are fast growing, perfect as fodder for livestock or, after processing, for human sustenance.

The millstone grinding grain into flour is a technological extension of our molar teeth. And when we bake bread or boil rice or pasta, we wield the transformative power of heat to help break down the complex molecules and release more easily absorbed nourishment. So in a sense, the pots and pans we use in the kitchen today are a pre-digestive system, processing what we consume so that it doesn’t poison us and maximizing the nutrition our body can extract.

Then there are the many materials society requires: How do you transform base substances like clay and iron into brick or concrete or steel, and then shape that material into a useful tool? To learn a small piece of this, I spent a day in a traditional, 18th-century iron forge, learning the essentials of the craft of the blacksmith. Sweating over an open coke-fired hearth, I managed to beat a lump of steel into a knife. Once shaped, I got it cherry-red hot and then quenched it with a satisfying squeal into a water trough, before reheating the blade slightly to temper it for extra toughness.

The first thing I did when I got home was to use the knife to slice some Cheddar and bread and make myself a grilled cheese. Unfortunately, the blade immediately developed a ruinous crack, and I’ve not had the nerve to use it again. But I made something real with my own hands and I’ve got a good idea of how to do it better next time.

Of course, it needn’t take a catastrophic collapse of civilization to make you appreciate the importance of understanding the basics of how devices around you work. Localized disasters can disrupt normal services, making a reasonable reserve of clean water, canned food and backup technologies like kerosene lamps a prudent precaution. And becoming a little more self-reliant is immensely rewarding in its own right. Thought experiments like these can help us to explore how our modern world actually came to be, and to appreciate all that we take for granted.

Take, for example, plain old glass — a wonder material that is somehow relatively strong and yet perfectly transparent. The recipe to create it is simple enough and uses some of the same ingredients as soap: a handful of silica (pure white sand, quartz or flint), some potash or soda ash (extracted by soaking wood or seaweed ash in water, straining the water and then boiling it down) and quicklime (roasted chalk or limestone); mix them together and bake in a kiln. Once the substance is fluid and bubble-free, you can form it into jars or bottles or window panes.

Glass also happens to be a crucial material for understanding the world, in the form of thermometers and test tubes, and even for manipulating light itself, when shaped into lenses for microscopes and telescopes — tools that are indispensable for science, including my own field of astrobiology. I may never have to practice the alchemy that transforms sand, soda and quicklime into this miraculous transparent membrane, but the world outside my window feels closer and more in focus for the knowing.

Lewis Dartnell is an astrobiology research fellow at the University of Leicester and the author of the forthcoming book “The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch.”
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Packing for the Apocalypse
« Reply #105 on: April 25, 2014, 21:48:10 »
When the apocalypse strikes, getting things done with the least amount of effort will be very important. This axe uses physics in a novel way to make splitting wood easier and safer for the woodcutter. A bit expensive, but if wood burning stoves are the only source of heat and cooking, then suddenly this makes a lot of sense:

http://www.geek.com/news/physics-exploiting-axe-splits-wood-in-record-time-1591725/

Quote
Physics-exploiting axe splits wood in record time

News By Ryan Whitwam Apr. 20, 2014 10:45 am

Chopping wood is hard, but it’s something modern society has largely freed us from as a daily activity. That’s nice, but consequently, if you ever do have to chop wood, you’re more than likely going to suck at it. Splitting a log requires a surprising amount of force, but Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä has invented a new kind of axe that makes it much easier and safer.
 
Yes, axes have existed since time immemorial, but apparently there’s still room for improvement.
 
The Vipukirves does what the name implies, assuming you speak Finnish. It’s essentially acting as a lever instead of a wedge (Vipukirves translates as Leveraxe). A regular axe needs to be driven downward with enough force to separate wood along the grain. That’s a lot of force, and if a log is hit off center, the axe blade can deflect at unexpected angles. That’s not good — your squishy flesh is much easier to split than a log.
 
So what makes a lever different than a wedge in this scenario? The Vipukirves still has a sharpened blade at the end, but it has a projection coming off the side that shifts the center of gravity away from the middle. At the point of impact, the edge is driven into the wood and slows down, but the kinetic energy contained in the 1.9 kilogram axe head continues down and to the side (because of the odd center of gravity). The rotational energy actually pushes the wood apart like a lever. A single strike can open an 8 cm gap in a log, which is more than enough to separate it.
 
The inventor also claims this tool is much safer because the downward energy that might cause harm is dissipated gradually as rotational energy. So, no abrupt shock, and no deflection. The Vipukirves also naturally comes to rest on its side, which stabilizes the log and keeps the sharp edge pointed away from the operator. It’s really a clever design.
 
If you want this crazy physics-exploiting axe, it’s going to cost you. The base price is €193.12 in EU countries, including VAT. For US orders, the base price is €155.74 or about $215, plus €47.26 ($65) in shipping.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: Packing for the Apocalypse
« Reply #106 on: April 25, 2014, 23:33:19 »
The people in my office always joke, that when the SHTF, they are coming to my house "because he has everything we need".

I tell them I won't be there as I don't stockpile food stuffs and water, etc.

However, before they leave their place because they've run out, I'll likely be there, because what I do have is guns and ammo

And with those two things I can get whatever I need from the sheep. ;) ;D
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What scares me is how comfortable people are doing nothing about it.

Offline cupper

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Re: Packing for the Apocalypse
« Reply #107 on: May 28, 2014, 01:34:03 »
The only tool you will need.

Be sure to check out the product reviews. ;D

http://www.amazon.com/Wenger-16999-Swiss-Knife-Giant/dp/B001DZTJRQ/ref=sr_1_1?tag=ohmy0c-20

The Wenger Giant Knife includes 87 implements for almost any situation:
2.5-inch 60% serrated locking blade
Nail file
Nail cleaner
Corkscrew
Adjustable pliers with wire crimper and cutter
Removable screwdriver bit adapter
2.5-inch blade for Official World Scout Knife
Spring-loaded, locking needle-nose pliers with wire cutter
Removable screwdiver bit holder
Phillips head screwdriver bit 0 Phillips head screwdriver bit 1
Phillips head screwdriver bit 2
Flat head screwdriver bit 0.5mm x 3.5mm
Flat head screwdriver bit 0.6mm x 4.0mm
Flat head screwdriver bit 1.0mm x 6.5mm
Magnetized recessed bit holder
Double-cut wood saw with ruler
Chain rivet setter
Removable 5mm
Allen wrench
Screwdriver for slotted and Phillips head screws
Removable tool for adjusting spokes
10mm Hexagonal key for nuts
Removable 4mm curved allen wrench with Phillips head screwdriver
Patented locking screwdriver
Universal wrench
2.4-inch springless scissors with serrated self-sharpening design
1.65-inch clip point utility blade
Phillips head screwdriver
2.5-inch clip-point blade
Club face cleaner
2.4-inch round tip blade
Patented locking screwdriver
Cap lifter
Can opener
Shoe spike wrench
Divot repair tool
4mm Allen wrench
2.5-inch blade
Fine metal file with precision screwdriver
Double-cut wood saw with ruler
Cupped cigar cutter with double honed edges
12/20-gauge choke tube tool
Watch case back opening tool
Snap shackle
Mineral crystal magnifier
Compass
Straight edge, ruler (in./cm)
Telescopic pointer
Fish scaler
Hook dis-gorger
Line guide
Shortix laboratory key
Micro tool holder
Micro tool adapter
Micro scraper, straight
Micro scraper,curved
Laser pointer with 300-foot range
Metal file
Metal saw
Flashlight
Micro tool holder
Phillips head screwdriver 1.5mm
Screwdriver 1.2mm
Screwdriver .8mm
Fine fork for watch spring bars
Reamer
Pin punch 1.2mm
Pin pinch .8mm
Round needle file
Removable tool holder with expandable receptacle
Removable tool holder
Special self-centering screwdriver for gunsights
Flat Phillips head screwdriver
Chisel-point reamer
Mineral crystal magnifier
Small ruler
Extension tool
Sping-loaded, locking flat nose needle-nose pliers
Removable screwdriver bit holder
Phillips head screwdriver bit 0
Phillips head screwdriver bit 1
Phillips head screwdriver bit 2
Flat head screwdriver bit 0.5mm x 3.5mm
Flat head screwdriver bit 0.6mm x 4.0mm
Flat head screwdriver bit 1.0mm x 6.5mm
Magnetized recessed bit holder
Tire tread gauge
Fiber optic tool holder
Can opener
Patented locking screwdriver
Cap lifter
Wire stripper
Reamer
Awl
Toothpick
Tweezers
Key ring

Product Description

This giant Swiss Army knife from Wenger is designed with an incredible 87 implements that perform 141 functions, making it the only tool you'll need to get any job done. Whether in your pack or on display, the Giant Knife is sure to be a conversation starter. Packaged in a Black Plastic Box.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Packing for the Apocalypse
« Reply #108 on: August 03, 2014, 16:50:27 »
Jumpstarting civilization with a how to book:

http://www.wired.com/2014/07/whats-your-post-apocalypse-gameplan/

Quote
What’s Your Post-Apocalypse Game Plan?
BY NICHOLAS STUBBS   07.31.14  |   8:37 AM  |   PERMALINK

Dartnell forged his own steel knife with the help of a 1700s-era blacksmith.   Lewis Dartnell

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch is the product of the imagination of astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell, years of research, and several science fiction novels. Written as a manual for survival after doomsday has hit, it compiles information required to restart society, ranging from agriculture to making a radio. Over lattes at a café in central London, Dartnell shared his post-apocalyptic thought experiment and explained why he decided to write The Knowledge.

Wired: How did this project come about?

Dartnell: There was a question that had been bouncing around the back of my mind for quite a while along the lines of: “What are the actual fundamentals behind our civilization?” We see a lot of stuff day-to-day, but I don’t think many of us really understand how any of it works, or is built, or is constructed, or is made – where our food comes from, where clothes come from, how materials are actually made, the metals and plastics we use, and the chemical substances we use in our lives. I just wanted to sit down and answer the thought experiment for myself: imagine this kind of apocalypse event, and civilization has collapsed and you’ve survived. What do you need to know? What’s the most crucial knowledge that you would need to survive and support yourself, but then more interestingly, start rebooting civilization from scratch? How could you accelerate history the second time round?

Wired: How do you think some common forms of technology might be used differently the second time around?

Dartnell: Well it turns out you can run a car, an internal combustion engine, without using fossil fuels. You can actually fuel a car with wood – using a process called gasification. In this big thought experiment, I don’t think you’d have access to crude oil again because we’ve already sucked up all the crude oil that was easy to get, and the only way we’re still constantly producing it today is by going to really inaccessible places and using incredibly sophisticated drilling rigs to suck it up. You wouldn’t be able to do that when you’re back to basics, with rudimentary means. But we could still power our cars. During the Second World War, there were over one million wood-powered cars in Europe because of fuel shortages during the war. The German army ran a whole division of tanks that were wood-powered, rather than diesel-powered.

Wired: What do you think is the most important idea you included in The Knowledge?


Dartnell: One of the most important things that society should never forget and have to rediscover would be something like germ theory. With the idea that people get sick not because of some plague sent down from heaven, but because there are tiny things called bacteria that get inside your body and they make you sick, you could hopefully leapfrog over centuries of history. In London back in the 1800s, tens of thousands of people died of cholera because people were literally defecating in the river, and then ten yards downstream people would be dipping in a bucket and drinking from it. If you explain to people this notion of germ theory, you would cut out all of that regression, all of that pestilence and plague.

In more general terms, the one thing you would need to preserve to reboot a civilization as quickly as possible and to accelerate that redevelopment would be the scientific method; the knowledge generation machinery used to rediscover things about the world for yourself and to fill in all the gaps.

Wired: How much of this civilization re-booting manual did you try for yourself?

Dartnell: I tried to do a lot of these things myself so I could write about it from my own experience. With the author photograph at the back of the book, I was very keen that it stayed true to the premise of the whole book, that I did it myself from scratch. So you mix together all the silver chemistry to take a primitive photograph, use a rudimentary single lens camera to take that photo and then process it.

I also made a knife from scratch, with my own hands, working at a 1700s-era blacksmith. We worked at an iron forge – we shoved this metal into a fire until it was red hot, then battered the hell out of it with a hammer and an anvil. I printed a page from the book on handmade paper, using a rudimentary printing press. In The Knowledge, I explain how to make paper from scratch, how to make your own ink, and how to make a printing press, so the book contains inside itself the genetic instructions for its reproduction.

Wired: The Knowledge has seen a second life online, through the open forum on the project’s website. How did that come about?

Dartnell: The Knowledge is my idea of the most important information for rebuilding civilization, but everyone is going to have their own thoughts, their own feelings, and own expertise in this area, so I’ve been inviting people to come over to the website and pitch in their ideas and discuss and debate with each other. It’s taken off really nicely as well; there’s a vigorous debate going on in several different sections with that discussion panel.

One thread pointed out that my idea of how you could rebuild society after an apocalypse is very similar to a sci-fi scenario where you crash-landed on a virgin, alien earth-like planet with no intelligent beings. Some readers have been working through the book and picking out things that are different on different planets, or the same on different planets, it’s really quite an interesting thought experiment.

Wired: You included a quotation by Richard Feynman, who attempted to summarize human knowledge in a single sentence; do you think you can do something similar?

If, in some cataclysm, all scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generation of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is the atomic hypothesis (or atomic fact, or whatever you wish to call it) that all things are made of atoms – little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another. In that one sentence you will see an enormous amount of information about the world, if just a little imagination and thinking are applied.

~ The Feynman Lectures on Physics

Dartnell: I gave the Feynman quote about the atomic hypothesis as an example of what I was trying to do, so I’ve expanded Feynman’s one sentence that was pretty much restricted to physics into 300 pages covering all kinds of science and technology that might be useful. I’ve been a bit more indulgent with word count. But rather than focusing on the atomic hypothesis, I would argue that the most useful thing to try to encapsulate and preserve and pass on to whoever survives this hypothetical cataclysm might be something like the scientific method. I wouldn’t try to encapsulate knowledge itself like Feynman would have done with the atomic hypothesis, but the machinery, the method you would use to work it out for yourself again.

*****

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch by Dr. Lewis Dartnell is out now. Explore extra material, including How-To videos, at the book’s website, and join the discussion on the forum – what do you think is the most crucial knowledge you’d want to preserve?
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Packing for the Apocalypse
« Reply #109 on: December 19, 2014, 17:18:33 »
Alcohol will be a very important trade good and all purpose substance(fuel, disinfectant, drink, etc.)

This still seems pretty easy to make and straightforward to use:

http://www.popsci.com/making-moonshine-homebuilt-reflux-still

Quote
MAKING MOONSHINE IN A HOMEBUILT REFLUX STILL
HACKETT DISTILLS SOME DRINKABLE BIOFUEL
By Chris Hackett  Posted December 16, 2014

In times of chaos, alcohol is a rare commodity that has universally recognized value. It can fuel engines, clean wounds, and ease social interaction. It’s also shockingly easy to make.

The first step is fermentation. Yeast cells are not good planners. If you put them in a container fitted with an airlock, they will gobble up sugar and churn out carbon dioxide and ethanol. Within a few weeks, they will fall to the bottom, killed by their own waste. This leaves us with a potent metaphor and, if conditions are right, a beverage of about 5 to 15 percent alcohol.

In the past, I have made the mash, or yeast feedstock, from Dumpstered candy bars, a truckload of overripe plums, and an industrial bakery’s disgustingly sweet pastry filling. Luckily, distillation gets rid of flavor. It also boosts the alcohol content from slight buzz to rocket fuel. You are now enter­ing the glamorous world of federal crime. Proceed at your own risk.

My reflux still uses propane to heat a stainless-steel keg of fermented mash. Ethanol turns into steam first, rising through a metal chimney to a cocktail shaker containing a copper coil. As a pump runs water through this assembly, it acts as a condenser, cooling the vapor until it drips out as liquid spirit. Discard the first few ounces to avoid methanol—and blindness.

As the temperature rises, water boils, diluting the vapor. That’s why I packed the chimney with copper pot scrubbers. They give the water molecules plenty of surface area on which they can condense and leak back into the pot, while the concentrated ethanol continues up to the cocktail shaker. This creates multiple distillations—hence reflux still.

The booze that finally emerges is close to pure ethanol: It will run a gasoline engine. For sipping, I water it down to 130 proof—a strong punch in the face, but surprisingly delicious.
 
WARNING: Distilling alcohol is a federal offense and violates state laws. Some exceptions are made, but apocalypse prep isn’t one...yet.
This article originally appeared in the January 2015 issue of Popular Science, under the name "A Reflux Still For Making Moonshine."
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.