Sunday, April 29, 2012

How To Be A World-Class Survivalist in 5 Simple Steps

 By Joy Paley via Activist Post

With the recent econopocalypse, it’s no wonder that people are becoming more interested in what it would take to survive after our current society has undergone a major shift. After all, if something we thought was intrinsically stable—our financial sector, and the guarantee of ever increasing wealth—is actually pretty flimsy, well, a lot of other things can be brought into question too. Take out a seemingly small piece of the puzzle, like access to gasoline, and you find that your local grocery will run out of goods within 2 days. Learning the basic skills to survivewithout the modern conveniences of society is a way to prepare yourself for these unpredictable shifts. And, the skills you’ll hone in the process—self-reliance, problem solving, and cleverness—are ones that will definitely benefit you in your everyday life.

1. Get In Shape
It’s not that exciting of a tip, but it’s probably the most important in terms of survival. Having an in-shape cardiovascular system will mean that you’ll be able to run, forage, and do any other intense aerobic activity that comes with living outside of society. Keeping your muscles strong is to key for chopping wood, building shelter, and generally being useful when physical brawn again becomes as important as intellectual ability.

2. Learn Basic Wilderness Skills
Before you hit the military surplus store for thousands of dollars worth of MRE rations, first put a little effort into really getting good at basic skills for navigating outside of your comfort zone. First, learn how to build a fire, without a gallon of fire starter and newspaper. Review how to build a protective shelter outside and how to find water. These three most basic skills aren’t easy—but they are sure to come in handy when you’ve got no lights, heat, or running water.

3. Invest Wisely in Supplies
Now that you’ve shown your commitment to survivalism by knowing a few basic essentials, you can consider investing in the supplies that will make your life easier, after society’s collapse. Don’t head down to your local REI store though—you can burn through your entire nest egg on commercial wilderness and survival gear at those fancy places. Think utility and budget.

•    Stock up a pantry of canned goods—think beans, tuna, veggies, fruit, and soups
•    Get bulk basics like oil, sugar, salt, peanut butter, rice, lentils, and any other grains you prefer
•    Pick up a rechargeable LED flashlightfor every member of your family
•    Get several 5 gallon jugs of water
•    Create a comprehensive first aid kid
•    If you don’t have one, purchase a firearm and stock up on ammunition

4. Learn How to Feed Yourself
No matter how many Costco jugs of peanut butter you buy, your food stock isn’t going to last forever. Any survivalist has to know how to feed themselves when the going gets tough. This includes growing food, foraging, fishing, and hunting. Stock up on seeds, and start with a small vegetable garden. Learn to identify and find edible and medicinal plants in your area. If you’ve never hunted, start small. Find, catch, kill, and cook a rabbit or squirrel to start.

5. Learn Antiquated Skills
Back before the days of Super Wal-Mart and excess income, regular people like you and me knew skills for surviving the year. In the winter when there weren’t any fresh fruits and vegetables, people depended on canned, pickled, smoked, and other preserved food that they had prepared in the summertime. Candles offered valuable light, and handmade soap kept them clean. These are the types of skills that will not only keep you alive longer, but will actually make living a little more enjoyable. 

Joy Paley is a science and technology writer from Berkeley, California. She is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and writes on accredited online degrees for Guide to Online Schools.
~ ~ ~ 

The Terminator, John and Sarah Conner get out of the city to the dessert and uncache lots of guns. Sarah has a nuclear nightmare.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Return to Awe - Jason Silva + Melodysheep

Solar Cooker: Inexpensive Mass Distribution Option

This is the simplest design from inexpensive material with easy cargo handling and on-site setup. The focal length can be altered for shorter settings but a 1.5:1 ratio to diameter is the sweet spot.

Care for a Smoothbore Flintlock


Making Flintlock Tools

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Push to Add Drama

To launch the high quality TV channel TNT in Belgium we placed a big red push button on an average Flemish square of an average Flemish town. A sign with the text "Push to add drama" invited people to use the button. And then we waited... Discover here what happened or visit for more info.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Fallacy Of Bugging Out

Photo via The Survival Podcast Forum (discussing bug out gear.)

via Survival Acres

Many websites, blogs and forums have covered the topic of bugging out in excruciating detail, all under the assumption that this will be a necessary escape plan for many of us when the proverbial shit hits the fan.  This notion is predicated upon the belief that escape and evasion, necessary for your immediate survival will be a (likely) event that you must plan and prepare for now.

However, nothing could be further from the real and actual truth.  This cherished myth is a deceptive and dangerous notion that has little place in reality.  I’ve long held a stance against this notion because in nearly all cases and all situations, this is a very bad idea with oftentimes fatal consequences.  Bugging out is embracing the refugee lifestyle - a very bad idea.  Refugees throughout history have fared very badly, suffered extreme hardship and deprivation, with many not surviving the experience. There is a far better alternative to this.

The rejection of the “bug out” mythology flies in the face of the so-called ‘expert advice’ and theory being proposed by many websites and authors, who are also very active in selling products and gear specifically oriented around this concept. You could say quite rightly, that there is indeed a agenda at work here, but it is not one in your best interests.  Hold onto your pockets and read on.

Bugging out entails leaving everything you are, and everything you own, and everything you use, day in and day out, and everything you cannot carry or transport with you, behind. Not only behind, but inaccessible, unusable and abandoned. Potentially forever.

How much of our lives, and the things within our lives, do we truly want to abandon? You will also leaving behind all rules of normalcy, the concept of “plenty” and abundance (which also means replacements and repair), all laws, rules, behavior and expectations that we have come to expect from each other and within our society, both good and bad.

Let’s make a list of these things to put this reality into perspective:

You will be leaving behind your job (income), perhaps your family (wife, kids), your home (shelter), your friends (support network), your contacts (other people you know), your bank accounts (money), your credit (ruined), your retirement (pension), your property and everything you own (everything you cannot carry with you), your vehicles (except perhaps one, at least until the gas tank is empty), your future (prospects, employment, credibility, integrity). Don’t forget things also left behind, such as electricity, running water, Internet access, news and information, communications, telephone and even cell service, a warm, dry bed and other ‘essentials’, some more then others.

You will also leave behind all expectations of normalcy, decency, morality and expectations, i.e., a “normal life”, forever – more on that below.

If you were dependent upon a job, it will be gone. You will have either been fired or laid off with a ruined reference for any future employment. You would not be able to pay your rent or your mortgage, your utility bills or any of your monthly obligations. If they’ve lapsed far enough, then you would be facing bankruptcy and / or forfeiture of your (remaining) assets, or at the very least, their liquidation (if you still have them) in order to survive a few more weeks.

It’s possible your kids or your wife could be gone, having abandoned you for abandoning them or sucked up into the system by the welfare state or child protective services. Your marriage could be in ruins, your family and friends could disown you, but in any case, what would be left of your relationships could potentially be in complete tatters.  Worthwhile?  You decide.

Your connections to society and civilization would also be destroyed, or certainly damaged, perhaps beyond repair. In effect, you’d be “cashing out” completely and perhaps forever, of the life you’ve lived and starting over.  Worthwhile?  You decide.

But you’d be alive! (supposedly).

In effect, bugging out will mean you will be totally abandoning your present life in exchange for huddling under a tree in the woods, trying to avoid hypothermia and starvation, wondering where you next meal will come from, and how long you can hold out in your new ‘reality’.  And whatever it was that you chose to run away from — will still be there.  This is perhaps the most overlooked point of all.

How long could you hold out?  Not long.  The reasons are many, but they are sound.

The need to bug out is an exceedingly tiny reality — a future event that will probably never happen. But it is not a zero possibility (nothing is, not even an alien invasion).  Yet this topic still receives a ridiculous amount of attention despite its extremely low probability, which makes no sense at all. The reason is because escapism is thought to be a ’solution’ versus contributing to the problem. It’s not, as the points above demonstrate.

Running — from whatever the problem is, usually ensures that you are taking your problems with you. Only if your life is in immediate danger does running offer a better opportunity then staying put and dealing with the problem. Running does not make problems go away, it will very often make them much worse.

Running is also thought of as being romantic, adventurous and even ‘brave’ in some circles. Taking on the world all by yourself while you’re on the run is a common theme in movies and books, but has nothing to do with real life.  Running means you’re in full-blown survival mode and all bets are off, including all notions of morality, right and wrong, doing the “right thing” and what you can even reasonably expect to happen.

Anything can happen if you run, and often does, because you are replacing all of your security for a whole series of things unknown (and insecure).

Did you know that if you abandon the system, then the system will also abandon you?  Nobody much talks about this point, but it is true. You will find yourself outside of society, unhelped and unhelpable, unknown, disconnected and even hated for being what you have now become. With no address, connections, no references, no family or friends, nothing with which to help connect you back into society, society will turn its back upon you in fear, and you will be outside of all normal channels of help and assistance, effectively cut off.  This is a huge issue, but nobody ever mentions it.

To The Woods 

Bugging out is usually assumed to mean “to the woods” where survivors, patriots, militia, end-timers and others will be making “their last stand” (apparently together, whether they like it or not) while roasting hotdogs and marshmallows.  Instead, it will be the last man standing over a pile of rotted and half-eaten corpses, since the food and supplies and the notions of ‘living off the land’ will have died out with the last slaughtered deer to be found. And every ’survivor’ will have been hoping all along that nobody has turned them in for poaching.

Campsites, caves and hidey-holes will have become armed, dirty and infested encampments of hungry and desperate men (the surviving women would have long since been forced into prostitution and slavery), all fighting over the remaining scraps to be found (and newcomers showing up) necessary for their survival. Informants, traitors, thieves, murderers, rapists and thugs will quickly become the defining characteristic, with the strongest ruling (or eating) the weak.  Those who arrive “first” will potentially be better prepared to prey upon the late-comers or the weak, so if you are still planning on trying this, get your seat at the table early.
Think not? This is exactly what happens during civil wars and internal conflicts when a country turns against itself. The war in Bosnia saw tens of thousands of murders, rapes and thefts as the people turned on each other.  It was a fight for survival, for food, for weapons, for money, for women.

It has happened all over the world, and it will happen again. Whenever there is not enough to go around, and whenever there is strife, secrecy and conflict, those involved will resort to whatever methods of survival that they have to in order that they might live another day by whatever means possible.  It will be no picnic, no romantic “retreat into the woods” where faith, truth, righteousness or rebellion will flourish and grow. Instead, it will be a bloodbath where the young, old and the weak succumb the quickest.  I suggest you bring lots of Tabasco sauce, as it does make the meat taste better.

Bugging out also means you are leaving the norms of society behind. These are the rules, laws, restrictions and expectations that you have come to expect (and largely appreciate) that govern human behavior. Would-be dictators and gang leaders will spring forth from unlikely sources. Since there is nothing to hinder them, then they will allow themselves to be unhindered. Unrestrained, you will find the true nature of what your “friends” can really be.  You’ll soon regret not locking up the mad caps among you and taking away their weapons.  If food or medical supplies are in short supply, then expect gang on gang, tribe on tribe warfare to begin.  Expect slavery, torture, imprisonment and rape.  Also expect the nearby communities (cities, towns, villages) to become their prey, as theft, robbery and murder to go hand in hand with their (daily) need for food and other things like fuel and medical supplies.

Inversely, you could also expect smart and prepared communities to expel, exterminate and hunt down these refugees if things get way out of hand, exacerbating an already bad situation. Forget for a moment the military or law enforcement going after these woodland refugees (a topic unto itself), the locals themselves will not be the helping hand that you may have naively come to expect, especially if you or your gang have already trod upon their welcome mat.  They’re trying to survive too, and live normal, unfettered lives as best they can. They don’t need nor appreciate you coming along and messing things up. Camping out in their back yard or nearby forests will often pit you against them in violent and lethal ways. And they will be far more adept then you are outlasting you because they will have the infrastructure and support network to do so.

Survivalism is only rarely about ’surviving in the woods’. Rather, survivalism is about living, and staying alive, and how you might do that while experiencing as few hardships as you can. Bugging out to the woods to survive your end-time fantasies is going to be a quick path to death for the majority of people that try this route. There is a better alternative to this.

Staying Alive 

Bugging out is never quite what everyone seems to think it is, where living off the land and finding adequate nutrition and staying healthy is grossly overlooked. Many people claim that they can “do it”, yet return year after year from hunting season empty handed.  When the beer runs out, they head home. Or when the food is bland or gone, they’re beating tracks as fast as they can to the nearest restaurant.  These ’survivalists’ and ‘outdoorsman’ will not survive their voluntary refugee status by bugging out, but they will (if they show up, far from home) be a serious problem for the locals.

You will burn up a tremendous amount of calories (as much as 3 - 4 times as normal) while trying to live off the land.  Finding and building shelter, hunting and gathering for food and water, providing heat, establishing security and working and waking / walking for long hours at a time, will cause you to expend far more calories then you will be taking in. Even if you are very well supplied, you won’t be for long (you cannot carry enough). Foraging for food will very rarely provide enough calories versus what you are expending while looking. You will quickly go into a calorie deficit, burning off fats and muscles as your body adapts to your new environment and demands.

I’ve seen lot of ill-informed discussion of ‘nomadic lifestyle’ whereas the individual or group is roaming about, living off the land. This notion is pure b.s., as it is calorie-deficient, ill-advised for security reasons and will increase the risk of injury and health issues. You will need to preserve calories — not expend them (if you can).

Calorie deficiency cannot last very long (mere days in most cases) before your health diminishes and your strength drops. You risk hypothermia, vitamin deficiencies and a higher risk of contracting illness and injury due to your weakened condition. Unless your nutritional needs are met and you are able to also stay warm and dry, avoiding hypothermia (core temperature drop) and frostbite / exposure, then it is just a matter of time before you become incapacitated, unable to effectively help yourself.

There are countless examples of ‘modern day survivalists’ who have found this out, believing that they too could live off the land and survive, but lacking the skills and experience to do so.  Additionaly, our forests are not the cornucopia of food waiting to be plucked many seem to think, they’re vastly depleted monocultures of trees, lacking sufficient edible foods and wildlife. Some of these people wound up dead, others were found or rescued. All of them learned that foraging for sufficient nutrition and calories is why we have modern farms — it is the most efficient way of meeting our nutritional needs. Even growing your own food at home in a controlled environment (garden) with a plentiful supply of soils, seeds, water, tools and time is extremely difficult, if not nearly impossible for most of us (really) to meet all your daily nutritional needs, all while leading a far less demanding lifestyle then living off in the woods in survival mode. I’ve long been advocating sustainable living and raising your own food, but here in the woods where I live, I cannot even grow half of the food I need to stay alive and healthy, let alone expect to hunt it down. Nor can I grow enough to feed my family, compounding the nutritional needs required.

Bugging out is in nearly all cases, a very bad idea, fraught with danger and pitfalls, destined for failure and doom for those that believe that this will be “their answer” to whatever they’re running away from. It would only be necessary in the most extreme circumstances (extremely rare) and for very extremely short periods of time and for extremely few (skilled) people. This rules out almost everyone else. You would need to return to civilization far sooner then many seem to be planning for.  If you did run off into the woods, you’d soon be back (as many Y2K refugees found out).  Wouldn’t it then be a better solution to avoid this unnecessary step altogether if you could?

Ultimately, this then is the far better solution — bugging in, back to safety, food, heat, clothing, medical attention and survival. If you truly think that you foresee a need to bug out — then revise your plans to bug in to a new location within civilization where you can find (or work for) food, clothing, shelter, safety and security (including an income) where your survival is a far more sure thing. This is the only long-term answer there really is. You will also be in a much better situation to deal with whatever the problem was in the first place that caused you to leave.

I do not have a bug out bag anymore, since it no longer makes any sense to me to have one. I do have cash, toys, tools, vehicles and other things of interest at my disposal. Disappearing off into the woods is a dead end and it will not work for the vast majority of people that would try this. You would have to come out sooner then you think (if you survive) and return to life within civilization somewhere. You’re not going to live off the land indefinitely, and not even as long as you may think, so it makes far more sense in your ‘escape plan’ to prepare for living someplace else instead.

The entire concept of bugging out truly needs to be redefined to fit within the parameters of reality and how this would really work for the vast majority of people. Leaving for reasons of safety, security, natural disasters or some other valid reason is perfectly acceptable — but where you go and how you will plan on surviving while you are there seems to be where this theory falls flat on its face against reality.  Having the means to leave, but having some place to go, where you can find safety, food, shelter and sustainability is key to a true “bug out” plan.  Planning on disappearing into the woods is in all probability one of the worst ideas you could attempt. You would have to come out sooner or later, weakened, possibly sick or injured, broke, destitute and impoverished — a true self-made refugee.  Basically, a dumb idea all around, one that should only be tried in the most extreme circumstances and only for the adept.

Greek Town Develops Bartering System

Greek town develops bartering system without euro. As Greece wonders whether its debt crisis will eventually spell its exit from the euro, one town in the centre of the country, Volos, has formed an alternative local currency. It works through a bartering system or exchange of goods.

TEOTWAWKI Retreat Locale Selection Mapping Tools

A national map of the ecosystems of America.

via Survival Blog 
I'd also like to mention an ongoing forum discussion.

h/t:  C.D.V.

clif's wujo - April 20, 2012 - deep woo and dark dread

clif's discussion of deep woo, dark dread, diaspora, space goat farts. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Case Against George Zimmerman? - Follow the Money

"If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon." -- Barack Obama

Follow the Money

The law: Statute 776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—

(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.

(3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).

So under section “2″ an arrest implies “probable cause”, but the hurdle of immunity still needs to be overcome. Once the process of arrest is established they then need to get beyond the immunity hearing. Once past the immunity hearing a civil action is possible. For the purpose of “monetary justice” it only takes an arrest (first base), winning the immunity hearing (second base), and then on to trial; a subsequent conviction is not necessary

Without an arrest that leads to trial, there is no implied probable cause, which could lead to Compensatory and punitive damages for wrongful death. They need an arrest and subsequent trial. They DO NOT need a conviction to achieve PAYDAY.

Full story:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Band - Up On Cripple Creek (Levon Helm Tribute)

We'll miss you Levon. Thanks for the memories.

 Up On Cripple Creek lyrics
Songwriters: Robertson, Robbie;

When I get off of this mountain
You know where I want to go
Straight down the Mississippi river
To the Gulf of Mexico
To Lake Charles Louisiana
Little Bessie, girl that I once knew
She told me just to come on by
If there's anything that she could do

Up on Cripple Creek, she sends me
If I spring a leak, she mends me
I don't have to speak, as she defends me
A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one

Good luck had just stung me
To the race track I did go
She bet on one horse to win
And I bet on another to show
The odds were in my favor
I had 'em five to one
When that nag to win came around the track
Sure enough we had won

Up on Cripple Creek, as she sends me
If I spring a leak, as she mends me
I don't have to speak, as she defends me
A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one

I took up all of my winnings
And I gave my little Bessie half
And she tore it up and threw it in my face
Just for a laugh
Now there's one thing in the whole wide world
I sure would like to see
That's when that little love of mine

Dips her doughnut in my tea

Up on Cripple Creek, as she sends me
If I spring a leak, as she mends me
I don't have to speak, as she defends me
A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one

Now me and my mate were back at the shack
We had Spike Jones on the box
She said, "I can't take the way he sings
But I love to hear him talk"
Now that just gave my heart a throb
To the bottom of my feet
And I swore as I took another pull
My Bessie can't be beat

Up on Cripple Creek, as she sends me
If I spring a leak, as she mends me
I don't have to speak, as she defends me
A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one

As there's a flood out in California
And up North it's freezing cold
And this living on the road
Is getting pretty old
So I guess, I'll call up my big mama
Tell her I'll be rolling in
But you know, deep down
I'm kind of tempted
To go and see my Bessie again

Up on Cripple Creek, she sends me
If I spring a leak, she mends me
I don't have to speak, she defends me
A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one

~ ~ ~

There's nothing more satisfying than a woodpile.

Alastair Heseltine is a Canadian artist who makes art and objects by interweaving wood (he especially loves willow). We were knocked out by his woodpile and by his artist’s statement; we don’t know when we’ve seen one that said so much in so few words:“I am a sculptor working with mixed media relating to the environment. Imagery is guided by the inherent nature of material and by construction systems evolved through mindful observation and play. I also draw from the full spectrum of routines and activities that support my practice:  Design, craft production, farming and rural life.”
There's nothing more satisfying than a woodpile

By Duffy Cobblesworth, The Woodpile Report
If you've come here expecting to see geranium inverse woodpile photonic band gap crystals or somesuch, well son, you're at the wrong place. Nobody here is that smart, for openers. Which is not to say that actual woodpiles are all that low-tech. Ol' Remus has a fair amount of experience with woodpiles and he's here to tell you they can be at least as fiendish as those geranium whatever-they-saids.

Fer instance, he's made woodpiles all nice'n neat with cobbed ends and robust pile bottoms and just the right amount of space between the chunks for air to flow through, maybe calculated the delta-p (air) with a fluid dynamics program on his steam-powered, belt-driven PC, yet a few months later the stacks were leaning and otherwise askew and a visual offense to those of ordinary sensibilities.

The cause is shrinkage due to drying, on account wood will lose 'way more'n half its moisture over not much time and do it preferentially and malevolently against his ernest desire for a nice, rectilinear woodpile that looks so fine and well-behaved passers-by nod in admiration.

Some folks build the pile-ends leaning inward from the start. It's a practical if somewhat inelegant solution. Others go all Mother Earth with out'n out exhibitionism, like circular piles, and still others favor industrial means like driving metal end-posts into the ground and there's those who make a continuous woodpile like some replica of Hadrian's Wall using standing trees as bookends. Ol' Remus figures these ways are jes' surrender in disguise and relies on the tried 'n true, namely and to wit: instinct and luck. Then he hopes he's not having a bad day.

There was a fellow down the hollow a time back that got so exasperated with all this he threatened to set fire to the woods and open his windows and be done with woodpiles altogether. 'Course, he came to his senses, but only somewhat, 'cause last anybody knew he was figuring to cut a hole through the wall and on through the back of his wood stove and feed the whole log from outside with spring pressure from behind so he wouldn't need to refill his stove 'till it was time for a fresh log.

Contrary to appearance, woodpiles do more'n just sit there, they become a community center for critters, home to residents and transients, chipmunks and mice and snakes and spiders and such. And too, a place heated with wood likely has a mosquito or two hummin' around even in cold weather on account they get revived when you bring chunks inside. They think it's still summer and no amount of logic seems to dissuade them.

Woodpiles are also a source of comfort and reassurance to ol' Remus bein' as how he can jes' look outside and see his winter's heat regardless of power outages or come what may. It's not like with distributed fuels like oil and propane and such. Jes like precious metals, there's no third party. Come to think on it, there's no second party, no depending on delivery promises. Look outside and there it is. One full cord of good hardwood—meaning four feet high, four feet deep and eight feet long—runs about 20 million Btu, for red oak specifically, and it's simplicity itself, your woodpile is either there or it isn't. Coal runs about three times the Btu of wood, but it would take forever to stack. Still, Remus thinks about it from time to time.

Woodpiles are educational too. A person who puts up his own wood soon learns the difference between, say, an ash—good—and a tulip poplar—bad. Poplar will put a good fire out. The difference is easy enough to see in the summer, jes' look at the leaves, but in the fall you gotta go by more subtle things. Ol' Remus started out laying his hand on the bark, poplar will have a slight soapy feel to it, but eventually he got good enough at it so's a good look sufficed.

He also learned not to take down a beech near water on account the grain is so twisted and dense they're all but impossible to handle with a peevee or split with a Go-Devil. And he learned a healthy cherry tree looks dead when the leaves are off on account the lowest big limb really is dead, most often. And when he's felling a tree he backs off perpendicularly when it starts to fall so as to avoid getting speared by springback. Ol' Remus has seen folks stand fast when a tree begins to fall, to admire their work you see, only to have the butt-end go by their face like the Midnight Special. And they were the lucky ones. Then there's all the stuff that can happen when using wedges, or when the cutting bar gets pinched, or when one tree gets hung up in another, and so forth.

Woodpiles are more'n they appear to those who figure the whole of life can be dialed-in, folks who figure real involvement is setting a thermostat. A woodpile is planning ahead made tangible, puttin' up for the future in elemental form, something akin to having elderberries in February from yer own patch. It ain't easy and it ain't simple but come deep winter there's nothing more satisfying than a woodpile. Well, not nothing.

"The Great Switch" -- Sun's Magnetic Field Does a Complete Reverse Every 11 Years

About every 11 years the magnetic field on the sun reverses completely – the north magnetic pole switches to south, and vice versa. This flip coincides with the greatest solar activity seen on the sun in any given cycle, known as "solar maximum."

While the cycle unfolds with seeming regularity every 11 years, in two upcoming papers scientists highlight just how asymmetrical this process actually is. Currently the polarity at the north of the sun appears to have decreased close to zero – that is, it seems to be well into its polar flip from magnetic north to south -- but the polarity at the south is only just beginning to decrease.
"Right now, there's an imbalance between the north and the south poles," says Jonathan Cirtain, a space scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., who is also NASA's project scientist for a Japanese solar mission called Hinode. "The north is already in transition, well ahead of the south pole, and we don't understand why."

One of the two papers relies on Hinode data that shows direct observations of this polar switch. The other paper makes use of a new technique observing microwave radiation from the sun's polar atmosphere to infer the magnetic activity on the surface.

The asymmetry described in the papers belies models of the sun that assume that the sun's north and south polarities switch at the same time. In addition, both papers agree that the switch is imminent at the north pole, well in advance of general predictions that solar maximum for this cycle will occur in 2013. Lastly, the direct Hinode results also suggest a need to re-examine certain other solar models as well.

Measuring the magnetic activity near the poles isn't easy because all of our solar telescopes view the sun approximately at its equator, offering only an oblique view of the poles, when they require a top-down view for accurate magnetic measurements. Hinode can observe this activity annually with its high resolution Solar Optical Telescope that can map magnetic fields when observing them from near the equator.

The microwave radiation technique described in the second paper makes use of the discovery in 2003 that as the sun moves toward solar maximum, giant eruptions on the sun, called prominence eruptions – which during solar minimum, are concentrated at lower solar latitudes -- begin to travel toward higher latitudes near the poles. In addition, the polar brightness in the microwave wavelengths declines to very low values.

"These prominence eruptions are associated with increased solar activity such as coronal mass ejections or CMEs, so CMEs originating from higher latitudes also point to an oncoming solar maximum," says Nat Gopalswamy. Gopalswamy is a solar scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, who is the first author on the microwave observations paper, which was accepted by The Astrophysical Journal on April 11, 2012. "When we start to see prominence eruptions above 60 degrees latitude on the sun, then we know that we are reaching solar maximum."

To look at the prominence eruptions toward the poles, Gopalswamy and his team used observations from Japan's Nobeyama Solar Radio Observatory telescopes and the joint ESA/NASA mission the Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). They watched the sun in the microwave wavelengths – which are used to observe the area of the sun's atmosphere just above the surface, known as the chromosphere.

Gopalswamy created precise techniques to use such microwave radiation to measure the intensity of magnetic activity on the sun's surface at the poles. By mapping the brightness of the microwave radiation throughout the chromosphere, the scientists showed that the intensity at the north pole has already dropped to the threshold that was reached in the last solar maximum cycle, suggesting the onset of solar max there. This is backed by the fact that prominence eruptions are also occurring at high latitudes in the north. Eruption activity in the south half of the sun, however, is only just beginning to increase – the first CME occurred there in early March 2012.

The Hinode data also shows this discrepancy between the north and the south. The Hinode results are reported by a Japanese team, led by Daikou Shiota a solar scientist at RIKEN Institute of Physics and Chemical Research, and were recently submitted to The Astrophysical Journal for publication. Shiota and his team used Hinode to observe the magnetic map of the poles every month since September of 2008.

Early maps showed large, strong concentrations of magnetic fields that are almost all magnetically negative in polarity. Recent maps, however, show a different picture. Not only are the patches of magnetism smaller and weaker, but now there is a great deal of positive polarity visible as well. What once pointed to a strongly negative north pole, is now a weakly magnetized, mixed pole that will become neutral – which occurs at solar maximum -- within the month according to the team's predictions.

"This is the first direct observation of this field reversal," says Cirtain. "And it is extremely important to understanding how the sun's magnetism generates the solar cycle."

Ted Tarbell is the principal investigator for Hinode's Solar Optical Telescope at Lockheed Martin in Palo Alto, Calif., and he points out that the direct measurements showed the progress of the pole reversal, and highlights the earlier portion of the cycle in 2008.

Typical models of the magnetic flip, suggest that as active regions rotate around the equator, their higher, trailing edge – which is almost always the opposite polarity from the pole in their hemisphere – drift upward, eventually dominating the status quo and turning positive to negative or negative to positive. The Hinode data show that this transition at the north began before such drifting had a chance to occur.

"This is one of the most interesting things in this Hinode paper to me," says Tarbell. "How did the polar reversal start so early, even though the onset of the solar cycle, that is, increased activity at lower latitudes, hadn't begun yet?"

Tarbell thinks these observations mean that this model, too, may need to be re-examined.Such adjustments to models are of course expected whenever new and better data is collected. Indeed, David Hathaway, who is a solar scientist at NASA's Marshall, and who is a co-author on the microwave observations paper with Gopalswamy, points out that the idea that asymmetries exist in the sun is not completely new.

Other work has recently emphasized symptoms of this asymmetry, measuring, for example, more sunspots in the northern hemisphere than in the south at the moment. "But most of the well-developed models don't incorporate the asymmetry in them," Hathaway says. "More complicated models that incorporate asymmetries do exist, but they have other ways in which they fail to match observations."

Continued study on these differences, using the best observatories as well as new techniques for analysis will help expand and improve our understanding of the sun, its 11-year cycle, and the great eruptions that occur on its surface.

Scientists will also keep their eye on the current cycle – numbered Solar Cycle 24 – because a polar switch at the north that is sooner than was expected also implies this may be a fairly small cycle in terms of the number of sunspots and amount of solar activity. -- The Daily Galaxy

Thursday, April 19, 2012

About that Government “Space Weather” Page…

The experts behind list pretty much the same kinds of threats that we see should a modern replay be at hand as Solar Cycle 24 peaks over the next year and a half:

•Loss of water and wastewater distribution systems
•Loss of perishable foods and medications
•Loss of heating/air conditioning and electrical lighting systems
•Loss of computer systems, telephone systems, and communications systems (including disruptions in airline flights, satellite networks and GPS services)
•Loss of public transportation systems
•Loss of fuel distribution systems and fuel pipelines
•Loss of all electrical systems that do not have back-up power

Ted Nugent: Hey, Eric - Eat me.

Ted Nugent full Interview at NRA meeting caused the Secret Service to meet with Ted over comments about Obama.

"If that dead Marine isn't worth it to you to demand that the enemies in the White House are ousted, then you probably ought to just move to France," ranted Nugent. He continued, "If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year. Why are you laughing? Do you think that's funny? That's not funny at all. I'm serious as a heart attack." Nugent then characterized the Obama administration as "vile," "evil," and "America-hating," before concluding his diatribe with a call for the audience to "ride into that battlefield and chop [Democrats] heads off in November."

"Intelligent people understand metaphor." -- Ted Nugent 

(Even bigger money flows through the Super PACs. A full breakdown of Super PAC donors can be found here; the same donor profile emerges).

So who are the biggest donors? Banks & large corporations: the very people who have benefited most from the post-1971 tidal wave of fiat credit creation. -- Zero Hedge

Here are some relatively pertinent words on the matter from Jon Stewart from circa 4 years ago (h/t nolsgrad).

Monday, April 16, 2012

Could sunspot 1459 create a solar "kill shot"?

Could sunspot 1459 create a solar "kill shot"?

Check out what George Ure at Urban Survival is saying this morning:

Quaky Time
In the wake of the 8+ earthquakes of last week, a reader sent me this:

Dear George………..I’ve read the article, “Solar Killshot”, with a great deal of interest. I believe that Patrick Geryl may be onto something. What is needed to confirm his hypothesis is,”were there any other groupings of double and triple alignments in period beginning from 1859?”. If so, what was the sun’s behavior during these groupings of alignments
Funny you should ask:  Another reader sent this:

George, Regarding Geryl’s upcoming date of April 22 (2012 assumed) , there is an alignment forming of Mars, Venus , the Sun, and Uranus. Earth will be just a tad off to the right. Today on Space Weather we can see that 2 new Sun Spots (crackling 1458, and 1459) just came around the horizon. If today is April 15, then there are 7 days until Geryl’s date of alignment. If I recall correctly, that it takes 11 days for a sun spot to travel across the Sun’s surface relative to Earth, then these 2 sun spots should be just off center to the right facing Earth on April 22. Of course there still are a few days remaining for a new sun spot to appear and so as to be directly facing Earth on April 22, but these 2 (1458, 1459) seem to qualify at this moment. So it looks like the stage is being set to test his theory. Also what will be interesting to watch if possible is Sun Spot 1455. If it is still active, it should be rotating to the far side of the Sun and facing Uranus on April 22. Do you know of any way to monitor from the internet the far side of the Sun? [Yes, has a Farside Watch on the left side of their page, about half way down.] Time to wait and watch. Maybe re-read “One Second After”.:
I forgot to pass on Patrick’s latest note last week (buried, sorry) but here it is:

“Earthquakes and Planetary Alignments with the Earth
April 11, 2012: Earthquake of 8.7 on the Richter scale
Today (11th- g) Earth – Mars and Neptune  are nearly lined up… but not perfect…  See my questions below…
So after finding this… it was easy to make a connection with the other ones…
Listed according to their strenght
May 22, 1960: Earthquake of 9.5 on the Richter scale
May 21st: Mars – Uranus – Mercury lined up (not with the Earth, all the others are with the Earth)
May 22nd: Neptune helio-centric connected with the Earth (this is important because Neptune comes several times back, so the helio-centric connection with the Earth is indeed very important!)
All the following quakes have a Triple Line Up with the Earth…
March 28, 1964: Earthquake of 9.2 on the Richter scale
March 23rd: Venus – Earth – Neptune in one line (few days before the quake… but even bigger alignment coming…)
March 27th – 4 planets lined up: Mars – Mercury – Venus – Uranus (4 planets lined up just before the quake)
March 28th: Jupiter – Mars – Neptune almost lined up
December 26, 2004: Earthquake of 9.1 on the Richter scale
December 27th: Earth – Venus – Mercury lined up
November 4 ,1952: Earthquake of 9.0 on the Richter scale
November 5th: Earth – Mars – Uranus lined up
March 11, 2011: Earthquake of 9.0 on the Richter scale
March 9th: Earth – Mercury and Uranus lined up
January 31, 1906: Earthquake of 8.8 on the Richter scale
February 1 – 2th: Neptune – Earth – Uranus
February 27, 2010: Earthquake of 8.8 on the Richter scale
February 27th: Earth – Mercury – Neptune lined up
March 28, 2005: Eartquake of 8.6 on the Richter scale
March 29th: Earth – Venus – Mercury lined up
August 15, 1950: Earthquake of 8.6 on Richter scale
August 14th – 15th: Earth – Mercury – Saturn
We see Neptune, Mercury and Uranus several times coming back…. I have only one remark…. The quake from today April 11… doesn’t fit completely on an alignment… Normally the alignment with Uranus and Neptune is nearly perfect around April 22… Could there be an even bigger one lurking? Or was this one triggered by the complex alignment that is coming?
Triple Line Ups: April 22, 2012:
Neptune – Earth – Mars
Earth – Mercury – Uranus
Once again coincidences or not? Either way, this is raising many more questions about the cataclysmic events that are predicted for the end of this year…
December 17 – 18, 2012: Triple Line Up of Jupiter – Earth – Mercury
December 21 – 22, 2012: Triple Line Up of Jupiter – Earth – Venus
More on Patrick’s website, but doggone interesting stuff going on…I mean if potential world-changing stuff is interesting to you…

Speaking of quakes, there was a small one (5.5 or so) in Greece this morning.  We’re not sure if this was a quake, or just the banks breaking…

If sunspot 1459 is "just another day at the office", why is SDO obscuring it? What is NASA seeing that they don't want us to see? Hmmm...

Related: Major Ed Dames - The Solar Kill Shot

SPECTACULAR EXPLOSION: On April 16th around 17:45 UT, magnetic fields curling over the sun's northeastern limb rose up and erupted, producing one of the most visually-spectacular explosions in years. The event, which also produced an M1.7-class solar flare and a coronal mass ejection, was not Earth-directed. Nevertheless, it confirms suspicions that a significant active region is rotating onto the Earth-side of the sun. Visit for movies and updates.


Urban Survival Livestock: Raising Rabbits

It is important for survivalists to be able to produce their own high-quality animal protein. Using his own rabbitry as an example, "Survival Doc" demonstrates how easy it is to raise your own rabbits for food, even if you don't have much space or live in a city.

In Part 2 of Raising Your Own Rabbits for Food, "Survival Doc" demonstrates rabbit breeding, the nest box, and birthing baby rabbits.

In Part 3 of Raising Your Own Rabbits for Food we see how fast the bunnies grow.

In Part 4 of Raising Your Own Rabbits for Food, "Survival Doc" demonstrates a humane way to kill a rabbit and shows how to skin and butcher a rabbit.

In Part 5 of Raising Your Own Rabbits for Food, "Survival Doc" continues with the demonstration of butchering a rabbit.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fukushima Daiichi Site: Cesium-137 is 85 times greater than at Chernobyl Accident

Fukushima Daiichi Site: Cesium-137 is 85 times greater than at Chernobyl Accident
By Akio Matsumura 

Read this article in Japanese.

Japan’s former Ambassador to Switzerland, Mr. Mitsuhei Murata, was invited to speak at the Public Hearing of the Budgetary Committee of the House of Councilors on March 22, 2012, on the Fukushima nuclear power plants accident. Before the Committee, Ambassador Murata strongly stated that if the crippled building of reactor unit 4—with 1,535 fuel rods in the spent fuel pool 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground—collapses, not only will it cause a shutdown of all six reactors but will also affect the common spent fuel pool containing 6,375 fuel rods, located some 50 meters from reactor 4. In both cases the radioactive rods are not protected by a containment vessel; dangerously, they are open to the air. This would certainly cause a global catastrophe like we have never before experienced. He stressed that the responsibility of Japan to the rest of the world is immeasurable. Such a catastrophe would affect us all for centuries. Ambassador Murata informed us that the total numbers of the spent fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi site excluding the rods in the pressure vessel is 11,421 (396+615+566+1,535+994+940+6375).

I asked top spent-fuel pools expert Mr. Robert Alvarez, former Senior Policy Adviser to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the Environment at the U.S. Department of Energy, for an explanation of the potential impact of the 11,421 rods.

I received an astounding response from Mr. Alvarez [updated 4/5/12]:
In recent times, more information about the spent fuel situation at the Fukushima-Dai-Ichi site has become known.  It is my understanding that of the 1,532 spent fuel assemblies in reactor No. 304 assemblies are fresh and unirradiated. This then leaves 1,231 irradiated spent fuel rods in pool No. 4, which contain roughly 37 million curies (~1.4E+18 Becquerel) of long-lived radioactivity.  The No. 4 pool is about 100 feet above ground, is structurally damaged and is exposed to the open elements. If an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident.
The infrastructure to safely remove this material was destroyed as it was at the other three reactors.  Spent reactor fuel cannot be simply lifted into the air by a crane as if it were routine cargo.  In order to prevent severe radiation exposures, fires and possible explosions, it must be transferred at all times in water and heavily shielded structures into dry casks.. As this has never been done before, the removal of the spent fuel from the pools at the damaged Fukushima-Dai-Ichi reactors will require a major and time-consuming re-construction effort and will be charting in unknown waters. Despite the enormous destruction cased at the Da–Ichi site, dry casks holding a smaller amount of spent fuel  appear to be unscathed.
Based on U.S. Energy Department data, assuming a total of 11,138 spent fuel assemblies are being stored at the Dai-Ichi site, nearly all, which is in pools. They contain roughly 336 million curies (~1.2 E+19 Bq) of long-lived radioactivity. About 134 million curies is Cesium-137 — roughly 85 times the amount of Cs-137 released at the Chernobyl accident as estimated by the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP). The total spent reactor fuel inventory at the Fukushima-Daichi site contains nearly half of  the total amount of Cs-137 estimated by the NCRP to have been released by all atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, Chernobyl, and world-wide reprocessing plants (~270 million curies or ~9.9 E+18 Becquerel).
It is important for the public to understand that reactors that have been operating for decades, such as those at the Fukushima-Dai-Ichi site have generated some of the largest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet.
Many of our readers might find it difficult to appreciate the actual meaning of the figure, yet we can grasp what 85 times more Cesium-137 than the Chernobyl would mean. It would destroy the world environment and our civilization. This is not rocket science, nor does it connect to the pugilistic debate over nuclear power plants. This is an issue of human survival.

There was a Nuclear Security Summit Conference in Seoul on March 26 and 27, and Ambassador Murata and I made a concerted effort to find someone to inform the participants from 54 nations of the potential global catastrophe of reactor unit 4. We asked several participants to share the idea of an Independent Assessment team comprised of a broad group of international experts to deal with this urgent issue.

I would like to introduce Ambassador Murata’s letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to convey this urgent message and also his letter to Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda for Japanese readers. He emphasized in the statement that we should bring human wisdom to tackle this unprecedented challenge.

It seems to us that the Nuclear Security Summit was focused on the North Korea nuclear issue and on the issue of common security from a terrorist attack. Our appeal on the need for the independent assessment at Reactor 4 was regarded as less urgent. We predicted this outcome in light of the nature of the Summit. I suppose most participants fully understood the potential disaster which will affect their countries. Nevertheless, they decided not to raise the delicate issue, perhaps in order to not ruffle their diplomatic relationship with Japan.

I was moved by Ambassador Murata’s courage in pressing this issue in Japan. I know how difficult it is for a former career diplomat to do this, especially in my country.  Current and former government officials might be similarly restricted in the scope of their actions, as Ambassador Murata is, but it is their responsibility to take a stand for the benefit of our descendants for centuries to come—to pass on a world safer than our ancestors passed us.

If Japanese government leaders do not recognize the risk their nation faces, how could the rest of us be persuaded of the looming disaster? And if the rest of us do not acknowledge the catastrophe we collectively face, who will be the one to act?

Tokyo, March 25, 2012

Dear Secretary-General, 

Honorable Ban Ki-moon,

I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude for your considerate letter dated 2 March, 2012. Your moral support for a United Nations Ethics Summit will remain a constant source of encouragement for my activities.

Please allow me to pay a tribute to your great contribution to strengthen nuclear safety and security. The current Nuclear Summit in Seoul is no doubt greatly benefiting from the high-level meeting you convened last September.

I was asked to make a statement at the public hearing of the Budgetary Committee of the House of Councilors on March 23. I raised the crucial problem. of N0.4 reactor of Fukushima containing1535 fuel rods. It could be fatally damaged by continuing aftershocks. Moreover, 50 meters away from it exists a common cooling pool for 6 reactors containing 6375 fuel rods!

It is no exaggeration to say that the fate of Japan and the whole world depends on NO.4 reactor. This is confirmed by most reliable experts like Dr. Arnie Gundersen or Dr. Fumiaki Koide.

Please allow me to inform you of an initiative being taken by a former UN official who is endeavoring to have the Nuclear Security Summit take up the crucial problem. of N0.4 reactor of Fukushima. He is pursuing the establishment of an independent assessment team. I think his efforts are very significant, because it is indispensable to draw the attention of world leaders to this vital issue.

I am cooperating with him, writing to some of my Korean acquaintances that this issue deserves the personal attention of President Lee Myung-bak. I have written today to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. I asked him to consider taking the initiative of mobilizing human wisdom on the widest scope to cope with the Fukushima reactor No.4 problem, fully taking into account the above-mentioned “independent assessment team”.
The world has been made so fragile and vulnerable. The role of the United Nations is increasingly vital. I wish you the best of luck in your noble mission. Please accept, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the assurances of my highest consideration.

                                                                      Mitsuhei Murata 

Former Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland and Senegal

Executive Director, the Japan Society for Global System and Ethics 

Akio Matsumura talks about nuclear power plants, spent fuel pools, and the trouble with Reactor 4 at Fukushima.

DIY Fiber Optic Lighting

Mineral oil is used for optical applications and works good as a filler for DIY optical fiber. A gallon cost about $20 and can be purchased from feed stores. This inexpensive option allows for larger diameter PVC tube lights.

Guide to Veterinary Drugs for Human Consumption

Guide to Veterinary Drugs for Human Consumption, Post-SHTF 

By Kevin Hayden –

In times of uncertainty, we humans like to stockpile and hoard.  We seek information that will keep us safe and provide for our well-being.  One of these topics will invariably center around medical knowledge or first-aid in case of an accident, sickness, or injury.  Many of us already have a well-rounded medical kit, or basic skills in how to treat traumatic injuries.  But one question I see and hear a lot of people talk about is medicine, and their lack of concrete, factual information when it comes to antibiotics – and specifically, whether it is safe to use animal antibiotics in humans.

Many other questions typically revolve around,

“Where can I find prescription-quality medicines?”

“My doctor won’t prescribe me common antibiotics for long-term disasters or bugging out.”

“What medicines should I stockpile?”

What this article will attempt to provide is the answer to these very questions, and more.  While I am no fan of Big Pharma, I  understand the amazing capabilities and modern need for some medicines, such as Doxycycline, Amoxicillin, and Penicillin.  There are many natural antibiotics, and antibacterials, in nature.

They surround us and like any medicine, require a bit of know-how and understanding in order to administer properly.  Proper nutrition also plays a vital role in maintaining our health, but what about suffering cuts, punctures, or infections when there are no hospitals and doctors anymore?

Many people can’t convince their doctor into writing extraneous prescriptions for a, “What-if?” scenario.

So I set out to discover how to obtain and properly use modern, Big Pharma antibiotics in case of a tumultuous, long-term disaster, as I’m sure many of you foresee, as well.

The Answer Lies Within Veterinarian Drugs.

It’s not a big secret that veterinary antibiotics and drugs do not require a prescription.  Drugs such as Fish-MOX clearly state on their label, “For Aquarium and Fish Use Only.”  But are they truly only for fish?

Are these antibiotics any different than what my pharmacist gives me?

When I started my research, all I found was information from pseudo-doctors and “scientists” from across the internet.  I found page after page of conflicting information regarding the human consumption of animal antibiotics.  Many people with several initials behind their name gave me a variety of answers or simply beat around the bush.  One MD would say XYZ, and another doctor would tell me ABC.  Some would say that they thought it would be safe to use veterinarian drugs, but only in dire times or as a last resort.  Others would warn against it entirely, and yet some would encourage their use in everyday applications.  And so I set out to find the Truth.  I wanted concrete information on the safety and efficacy of this particular endeavor.

Let’s talk about what your other option is and get that out of the way.

You’ve likely seen the internet ads for generic versions of prescriptions from Canada or Mexico.  They offer great prices and no questions asked.  But like anything that seems too good to be true, they mostly are. Health regulations and quality control can be absent, to say the least.  Many of these “pills” are manufactured by an unorthodox “3rd shift” at the normal plant, but have no oversight and their often-criminal motive is only black market profit.  Some are simply made in a dirty kitchen or backyard shack.

While I’m well aware that the pharmaceutical industry’s main goal is profit, as well, they also have lawyers and a board of directors to answer to.  I’ll leave my true, personal feelings of the “Pill Industry” out of this article and focus on how you can stockpile safe antibiotics.

The list of safety risks in using black market medicines is long, but the principal problems involve the use of prescription drugs without the proper knowledge in administration and the danger of buying drugs of unknown origin and quality.  Daniel Hancz, Pharm.D., a pharmacist with the Health Authority Law Enforcement Task Force (HALT) in Los Angeles, says, “The drugs could be old, contaminated, or counterfeit.  And if you experience some kind of allergic reaction or other side effect, it’s hard to trace the problem and treat it.”

The FDA estimates that a significant amount of drugs available in Mexico may be counterfeit (Source: FDA Initiative to Combat Counterfeit Drugs).  Some of these medicines can contain “filler material” in order to lower manufacturing costs, and these can range from excess wood pulp (cellulose), to baking powder, petroleum by-products, or other, potentially dangerous substances. Either way, this is not something that you want in your bug-out bag only to find out it is worthless in your time of need or creates further medical problems that you can’t treat!

So, go ahead and mark that avenue of prepping off your list.

Do not buy from questionable, fly-by-night, internet-based “Doctors” with no business ratings or certifications and avoid wasting your money while on vacation in Mexico.  So where does that leave us? How can we find quality medicines without a prescription for truly legitimate concerns and uses?

As I said; Veterinarian Drugs.  These Do Not Require a Prescription.

Yes, that might sound more dangerous than buying pills from a Mexican street corner, but I assure you, it is not.  USP-approved animal pharmaceuticals are often made in the same manufacturing plants as human pharmaceuticals and will contain the same ingredients.  They are the same color, shape, and bare the same markings as human drugs.  This likely boils down to cost-effectiveness for Big Pharma, but for once, is also in your interest and favor.

Allow me to explain.  Every “drug” manufactured, sold, or brought into the United States must pass FDA regulations (don’t get me started on the FDA), and is listed within the United States Pharmacopeia, or USP.  This is a compendium recognized officially by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that contains descriptions, uses, strengths, and standards of purity for selected drugs and for all of their forms of dosage.
Use of the USP Verified Pharmaceutical Ingredient Mark helps ingredient manufacturers assure their customers that the quality of the ingredients they are supplying has been rigorously tested and verified by an independent authority. When the mark appears on an ingredient container or carton, it represents that USP has evaluated the ingredient and found that:
1. The participant’s quality system helps to ensure that the ingredient meets its label or certificate of analysis claims for identity, strength, purity, and quality.
2. The ingredient has been prepared under accepted good manufacturing practices (GMP) that ensure consistency in the quality of ingredients from batch to batch.
3. The ingredient meets its specifications’ acceptance criteria.
So what does all of this FDA jargon mean?  Overall, it translates to assuring you that if you see an animal drug that is labeled, “UPS Pharmaceutical grade Amoxicillin,” it is the exact same pharmaceutical grade Amoxicillin that your doctor would prescribe you for various infections.
As for the identification or verification process, should you still feel uneasy, we can look to the FDA (yet again, ugh).

Per the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (, each capsule, tablet, or pill must be uniquely marked.  Two tablets with identical colors, shapes, and markings cannot, by law, have different ingredients.  This is for a variety of reasons, but not limited to assisting Poison Control hotlines, hospitals, doctors, etc., in determining what someone might have ingested, overdosed on, or is causing side effects.

These markings, colors, tablet shape and other identifying information can be found in medical reference texts, but now, we can use resources such as WebMD,,, and many verified smartphone applications such as iPharmacy that can quickly and easily identify drugs should you need to.  As a former police officer, I carried a pocket-sized guide to pill identification in my gear bag and it proved invaluable.

Still not convinced?   Above is a picture of a 250mg Amoxicillin capsule.  It is imprinted with ‘Westward 938.’

This is a pharmaceutical grade, USP-approved, safe-for-human antibiotic that can be verified on the pill identification site,  This is also the exact same pill that I received from the veterinarian supply when I ordered a bottle of 250mg Fish-Mox.  That means it came from the same manufacturer, and contains the exact same ingredients as the medication I can pickup at Walgreens or CVS.

Update: Since first writing this article, I have ordered additional medications.  Above is a picture of the Fish-Mox Forte (500mg Amoxicillin) received from Cal-Vet Supply.  The Pill Identification Fact Sheet for this capsule identifies it as Amoxicillin 500 mg. It is a red and pink capsule, with the markings WC 731 on both sides.

Hayden’s Note:

Now, as I always tell my readers, don’t take my word for it and trust no one!  I urge you to carefully examine markings, manufacturers, color, and every available bit of information that you can garner when dealing with medications and making a decision to take them without “physician’s approval.”  My goal here is to help you discover alternatives, but the proper identification, verification, dosage, and diagnosis is ultimately up to you and your own research. I implore you to proceed with caution – we are talking about Big Pharma, here.
Where Do I Find Veterinary Drugs?

So this brings us to the question, “What sort of veterinary drugs do I need and where can I find them?”

Well, this mostly boils down to what you are comfortable with and prepared to use in whatever future, post-SHTF scenario you are prepping for.  Some of the more common, everyday antibiotics have already been mentioned, such as Doxycycline, Amoxicillin, Cephalexin, Penicillin, and Ciprofloxacin – commonly referred to as Cipro.

We will get into these in greater detail shortly, but this requires you to exercise caution and take your own risks.  I would like to add that your doctor takes these very same risks when he prescribes you an antibiotic in which you’ve never had before.  There is always a chance of side effects or allergic reaction, therefore I suggest that you stock only what you need and what you have taken before.

Personally, I’ve taken every single one of the above mentioned medications under proper “medical supervision” at some point in my life and I know that I am not allergic, therefore I stock them.  I have also taken several veterinary versions of these same medications for various infections, including a severe tooth abscess.  It would be wise for whoever is in charge of your medical preps to have a list of everyone’s medical allergies and any contra-indications.

There are a variety of sources for these antibiotics, but a few of them really stand out as quality, mainstream suppliers.

My first suggestion would be Cal-Vet Supply.  

While I have absolutely no business affiliation or interest in them, I have used them in the past and Cal-Vet Supply would be my first choice based upon quality, ease of ordering, selection, and cost.  You may find several others, but this is my go-to source.

What Do I Need?

I’ll simply provide a short list of some of the more common antibiotics, their veterinary named-counterparts, and allow you to tailor it to your specific needs or criteria.


Penicillin is an antibiotic in the penicillin group of drugs. It fights bacteria in your body.
Penicillin is used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria, such as ear infections, urinary tract infections, septicemia, meningitis, intra-abdominal infection, gonorrhea, syphilis, pneumonia, respiratory infections, ear, nose and throat infections, skin and soft tissue infections.
More information can be found here, including side effects, allergic reactions, etc.
Veterinarian Equivalent: 250mg Fish Pen and 500mg Fish Pen Forte


A penicillin antibiotic. It fights bacteria in your body.
Amoxicillin is used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria, such as ear infections, bladder infections, pneumonia, gonorrhea, and E. coli or salmonella infection.
More information can be found here, including side effects, allergic reactions, etc.
Veterinarian Equivalent: 250mg Fish Mox (for children) and 500mg Fish Mox Forte (for adults).

Ciprofloxacin, or Cipro

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic in a group of drugs called fluoroquinolones.

[A reader warns:
I believe that you missed a major warning on the fluoroquinolone class of drugs.  This class of drugs now requires a black box warning due to causing severe tendonitis and rupture of tendons, even when taken as prescribed - sometimes within just a few days of starting the drug.]

It is used as a potent, broad-spectrum antibiotic to fight bacteria in the body.
It may also be used to prevent or slow anthrax after exposure.
More information can be found here, including side effects, allergic reactions, etc.
Veterinarian Equivalent: 500mg Fish Flox Forte

Cephalexin, or Keflex

Cephalexin is in a group of drugs called cephalosporin antibiotics. Keflex fights bacteria in the body.
Keflex is used to treat infections caused by bacteria, including upper respiratory infections, ear infections, skin infections, urinary tract infections, tooth and mouth infections.
More information can be found here, including side effects, allergic reactions, etc.
Veterinarian Equivalent: 250mg Fish Flex and 500mg Fish Flex Forte


Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic. It fights bacteria in the body.  It may be substituted in place of penicillin to treat common infections in those people who are allergic to that particular drug.

Doxycycline is used to treat many different bacterial infections, such as urinary tract infections, acne, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, Lyme disease or tick bite infections, anthrax infections, cholera, periodontitis (gum disease), and others.

Exercise caution with expired Doxycycline / tetracycline and -cycline medications.  There has been some documentation of liver damage and some have even labeled it toxic if used past the expiration date.  However, Doxycycline provides a great alternative to penicillin medications for those who are allergic.
More information can be found here, including side effects, allergic reactions, etc.
Veterinarian Equivalent: 100mg Bird Biotic

Dosages and Notes Regarding Veterinary Drugs

Joseph Alton, MD, is a medical doctor and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  He is also a prepper, and writes:

“These antibiotics are used at specific doses for specific illnesses; the exact dosage of each and every medication is beyond the scope of this [article]. Suffice it to say that most penicillin and cephalosporin (Keflex and other cephalexin) medications are taken at 500mg dosages, 3-4 times a day for adults, and 250mg dosages for children, whereas Metronidazole (250mg) and Doxycycline (100mg) are taken twice a day.

It’s important to have as much information as possible on medications that you plan to store for times of trouble, so consider purchasing a hard copy of the latest Physician’s Desk Reference. This book comes out yearly and has just about every bit of information that exists on a particular medication, including those that do not require prescription.  Indications, dosage, risks, and side effects are all listed.”

In Closing

Dr. Alton ends with a great reminder regarding the state of affairs that we might one day find ourselves in:
“If we ever find ourselves without modern medical care, we will have to improvise medical strategies that we perhaps might be reluctant to consider today.   Without hospitals, it will be up to the [field] medic to treat infections. That responsibility will be difficult to carry out without the weapons to fight disease, such as antibiotics.

Alternative therapies should be looked at carefully, as well.  Honey and garlic have known antibacterial actions, as do a number of herbs and essential oils.  Be sure to integrate all medical options, traditional and alternative, and use every tool at your disposal to keep your community healthy.”

I urge you to verify and check all medications that you order with a reputable pill identification book or website in order to make sure you truly receive what you ordered.

About the Author:

Kevin Hayden is a former New Orleans police officer-turned-political activist.  He endured Hurricane Katrina’s chaos and societal collapse in the days following and after 5 years in New Orleans, moved to Oklahoma.  Kevin currently runs and writes about issues pertaining to our monetary, food, and foreign policies while building an off-grid homestead and helping people become prepared.  He can be contacted directly at or via his website.

The above information should not be taken as direct medical or legal advice.  Kevin Hayden is not a qualified medical practitioner nor lawyer.