"In an everyday situation, poor vision is just an inconvenience. The modern world has provided us with lots of easy solutions: glasses and contact lenses are readily available. Personally, I have required vision correction since I was 7 years old. I can barely remember a time when reaching for my glasses was not the first thing I did each morning. In a disaster scenario, though, bad vision could be a terrible handicap. What if something happened to your glasses? What if you lost a contact or had no solution to rinse them? Would you be able to function without vision correction? Have you ever stopped to consider how impaired you’d be? Could you shoot, evade, hunt, or defend yourself? How would you ever replace these items?"
"Our homes, cars, offices and even dustbins are full of stuff that we barely give a second glance to. Many of those items are multi-purpose and can be used for prepping and/or in situations where our survival is challenged. Being able to adapt and use regular everyday items that you have around you is an important skill and can make a real difference to you chances of survival. When we think of these situations our minds often imagine us stuck in the wilderness in a snow storm…or freezing to death stuck on the M25. It all depends on where you live as to the situation you could find yourself in. Although it’s a fact that large cities will be far more dangerous than a rural retreat should the SHTF, many people will not leave. Some just have nowhere else to go, others couldn’t leave other relatives undefended and some make a conscious decision to stay put. Those that are left behind will have a massive amount of materials at their disposal if they are able to access it. We also know that just because you have made the decision to leave it may in real life not work out like that. In that light, it’s worthwhile to have a look at some everyday household items that can be adapted to uses their inventors never even considered. Here are some items that you may not have thought of as multi-purpose. I won’t bother listing the regular use for items…I think that’s pretty obvious."
"But we might be easier to figure out than we think. A new study published in PNAS reports that personality judgments made by a computer model can be more accurate than those made by a person’s friends or family. How did the model read people so accurately? Based on stuff they liked on Facebook. “Previously we showed that you can use people’s Facebook likes to predict what their personality is like,” co-author David Stillwell, deputy director of Cambridge University’s Psychometrics Centre, told Motherboard. “But where this study’s different is that, whereas before we just showed you can make a prediction, this time we thought, how accurate is that really?” The result: for the average person with 250 likes, the computer model was about as accurate as a real-life spouse. Family, friends, cohabitants, and work colleagues didn’t perform as well."
"North Beardsley Elementary in Bakersfield, California, is facing backlash after the principal, Aimee Williamson, who happens to be the wife of the Bakersfield police chief, decided to celebrate the pseudo holiday of Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on January 9th. The biggest problem is that this hits far too close to home for one student. Outspoken activist Alicia Moore was horrified when her seven year old daughter returned home from school on Thursday upset about her class assignment that day, as her older brother’s father was brutally beaten to death by 15 Bakersfield police officers in 2005. According to Moore, her daughter’s teacher put three sentences on the board for students to choose from, all thanking and supporting the police. The students were instructed to draw a picture to go along with them. The options included, “Thank you for arresting the bad guys!” and “Thank you for saving our city.” The teacher reportedly told the students that anything negative would be thrown in the trash. She further instructed the students that they were to wear blue on Friday in support of Law Enforcement. This assignment comes after the school’s principal Aimee Williamson, wife of the police chief, sent out an email encouraging any teachers to participate."
"Most parents would be concerned if their children had significant exposure to lead, chloroform, gasoline fumes, or the pesticide DDT. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IRIC), part of the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO), classifies these and more than 250 other agents as Class 2B Carcinogens – possibly carcinogenic to humans. Another entry on that same list is radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF/EMF). The main sources of RF/EMF are radios, televisions, microwave ovens, cell phones, and Wi-Fi devices. Uh-oh. Not another diatribe about the dangers of our modern communication systems? Obviously, these devices and the resulting fields are extremely (and increasingly) common in modern society. Even if we want to, we can’t eliminate our exposure, or our children’s, to RF/EMF. But, we may need to limit that exposure, when possible."
"A Chattanooga newspaper reports that radioactive water leaked from a tank at an Alabama nuclear plant, releasing tritium into the environment. The report said that the leak occurred last week at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant near Athens, Alabama. A spokesman for the Tennessee Valley Authority, which operates the plant, said the leak was quickly contained and presented no public risk. The TVA said a drain line leaked 100 to 200 gallons of water containing tritium levels above acceptable drinking water standards. In a report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the TVA said it increased monitoring of water around the plant but hasn't detected elevated tritium levels outside the plant. Tritium is a radioactive form of hydrogen that occurs in nature and also as a byproduct of nuclear fission."
"Shopping malls across America are going to look a whole lot emptier soon. An exodus of giant retailers is beginning with the announcement of hundreds of store closures and thousands of people newly unemployed. The first of January, I broke with my usual tradition and wrote not about positive resolutions, but about the impending rockslide of the US economy. And “rockslide” is an apt word: as one thing starts rolling down the mountain, it will pick up other things until a veritable avalanche of other businesses and people are affected and rolling pell-mell right alongside."
"If you were waiting for a “black swan event” to come along and devastate the global economy, you don’t have to wait any longer. As I write this, the price of U.S. oil is sitting at $45.76 a barrel. It has fallen by more than 60 dollars a barrel since June. There is only one other time in history when we have seen anything like this happen before. That was in 2008, just prior to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. But following the financial crisis of 2008, the price of oil rebounded fairly rapidly. As you will see below, there are very strong reasons to believe that it will not happen this time. And the longer the price of oil stays this low, the worse our problems are going to get. At a price of less than $50 a barrel, it is just a matter of time before we see a huge wave of energy company bankruptcies, massive job losses, a junk bond crash followed by a stock market crash, and a crisis in commodity derivatives unlike anything that we have ever seen before. So let’s hope that a very unlikely miracle happens and the price of oil rebounds substantially in the months ahead. Because if not, the price of oil is going to absolutely rip the global economy to shreds. What amazes me is that there are still many economic “experts” in the mainstream media that are proclaiming that the collapse in the price of oil is going to be a good thing for the U.S. economy."
"Based on the average of four separate valuation models that have been accurate in assessing whether the stock market is overvalued or undervalued over the last century, the stock market is currently over valued by 89%. The stock market was overvalued by 88% before the 1929 Crash. It was “only” overvalued by 74% in 2007 before the last Crash. It has only been more overvalued once in market history – 2000. I wonder what happened after that? If you were paying attention in Statistics class in college, you know that when something reaches 2 standard deviations from the mean, you’ve reached EXTREME levels. The market valuation is now past 2 standard deviations. Anyone staying in the market or buying today is betting on the market to reach 2000 internet bubble proportions. I’ll pass. You will be lucky to “achieve” a negative 2% nominal return over the next ten years. After taking inflation into account you will likely end up with a -5% to -10% annual return, with a crash thrown in for good measure. John Hussman answers a few pertinent questions below. But the gist of the situation is simple. The stock market is overvalued equal to or more than it was in 1929, 2000, and 2007. The reason it has gotten this far is the $3.5 trillion of Federal Reserve fiat handed to the Wall Street banks and the ridiculous faith in these Ivy League educated puppets to engineer never ending stock market gains. Greed has been winning for the last five years. Fear has been creeping in, especially since QE3 ended in October. The increased volatility is a warning signal. Fear will be reasserting itself, and it will happen suddenly. Buying the dip will stop working. Faith in central bankers will dissipate and reality will be a bitch. This episode of delusion will end just as all the previous episodes of delusion ended. What goes way up, eventually goes way down."
(Sgt Trainer: Although I really didn't like my Statistics class in college, I do remember about the standard deviations from the mean. Plus, I've been saying for a long time that the stock market is a fool's gambit. Why do you think that "employers" switched from "banking" your 401K, or other retirement fund, to "playing the stock market, e.g., using your retirement funds to "invest" in the stock market? For all who have these types of retirement funds set up via your employer, I would STRONGLY recommend that you cash it out...and take the tax hit...and invest your money where YOU want to invest it. If you leave it like it is and the stock market crashes, where's your money then?)
"Very quietly, NASA has tested a space drive that does not use propellant and according to the laws of physics should not work, according to a Thursday story in Wired.UK. The problem is that the drive, called the “Cannae Drive” by its inventor Guiddo Fetta, did work in the NASA directed test. If the efficacy of the drive is confirmed, the implications for space travel are profound. It seems that another technology from Star Trek may be about to become reality. The Cannae Drive is apparently based on the work of a British scientist named Roger Shawyer called the EMDrive. It is said to work by bouncing microwaves in an enclosed chamber and thus creating thrust. Despite having built a number of demonstration models, Shawyer has not been able to get anyone interested in his device. Critics reject his relativity explanation for how it works and point out that it violates the conservation of motion. However it appears that the Chinese quietly tested their own version of the EMDrive up to about 72 grams of thrust, enough to be a satellite thruster. The test was not widely reported in the West, possibly because few if any people believed it was possible. That seems to have changed thanks of the test of the Cannae Drive. The Cannae Drive seems to have been developed independently of the EmDrive, though it seems to have a similar mechanism. The NASA test, which was presented at the 50th Joint Propulsion Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, showed that the Cannae drive was able to produce a thrust of less than one thousandth of the Chinese model. Nevertheless it constitutes a third test of a working propellant-less engine."
"The United States is preparing to open the border to Mexican long-haul truckers, allowing those who qualify for permits to make direct deliveries from Mexico to U.S. destinations — a measure stipulated more than two decades ago under the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Federal Motor Carrier Administration is expected to publish a formal announcement this week inviting Mexican companies to apply. Supporters in United States and Mexico are praising the move as an important step toward the economic integration of the two countries and Canada that was envisioned at NAFTA’s signing in 1994. Implementation of a permanent program for Mexican truckers also removes the threat that Mexico would reinstate more than $2 billion annually in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products. The announcement by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which oversees the Federal Motor Carrier Administration, follows a three-year pilot program designed to test the safety of Mexican trucking companies driving on U.S. highways."
(Sgt Trainer: One step closer to the North American Union?)
"Homeland Security has posted signs to encourage people to report anyone they see buying ammunition, flash lights, match containers, gas masks or anything else of a “prepper nature”. NY state troopers are asking businesses to snitch on neighbors who are acting “suspiciously”. They are paying $500 to the snitches. Is this the beginning of the cultivation of mankind? Why would Homeland Security want to know who’s buying what? I smell a rat and it isn’t my neighbor. This is ALARMING!!! For $500 would you tell the state if you see “suspicious prepper activity”?"
"Researchers at Mount Sinai Health System say a universal flu vaccine is currently in the works. While the vaccine has yet to prove it can protect humans, researchers say the science is sound and the vaccine may soon be a reality. “We would hope that in a couple of years we’ll have a universal flu vaccine,” Mount Sinai Health System CEO and President Kenneth Davis told CNBC last week. A universal flu vaccine would protect against all strains of the flu and would remain effective for at least a decade, maybe more. “It could potentially protect someone for a whole lifetime,” Dr. Peter Palese, the head of the microbiology department at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told ABC News this week. The vaccine would protect against the myriad flu strains by attacking the base of each virus — the part that doesn’t change from year to year, strain to strain. “That’s very hard to do,” Davis said. “What we have a vaccine for is producing antibodies that are somewhat different than what this flu is.” That strategy doesn’t always work. This year’s flu vaccine turned out to be only 33 percent effective, and mostly ill-equipped to protect people from this season’s dominant strain, H3. The strain has already proven especially aggressive, worrying doctors that this year’s flu season could be deadlier than usual. Several children in the Midwest have already succumbed to the influenza strain. But while a universal flu vaccine sounds ideal, especially in the midst of an especially bad flu season, some scientists are skeptical."
(Sgt Trainer: I, too, am skeptical! Plus, it is my opinion that Big Pharma is bound and determined to get as many folks vaccinated as they possibly can, but not necessarily for the right reasons. Not only do I not trust what they put in vaccines, I have serious doubts that they really care about my health. So this is one person that they will not vaccinate!)
"If one were to ask me this question before Christmas, I would have said we are going to have a cyber terror attack against our banking system resulting in a catastrophic collapse of our economy with people not having access to their money. However, there is now some evidence that our utilities will be the target which could come under attack, specifically, an attack against our water treatment facilities. I do not like releasing information from confidential sources which is totally unsupported by other data. The intelligence information is coming from three media personnel representing five confidential sources by my count and all of the sources are unnamed. For the past three weeks, I have been following leads which could support the notion. If one major community, say Chicago, were to have its water treatment destroyed through a cyber attack, the country could mobilize and prevent widespread loss of life. However, if an attack of up to a dozen major communities, happened in this manner, would result in catastrophic loss of life. If water treatment was unable to filter waste particles from our drinking water, that community would quickly experience an outbreak of the deadly cholera which is one of the major causes of death in the third world in which water treatment is very crude. According to a couple of prepper experts that I spoke with, it would take 3-5 days for the worst to begin to happen following the compromising of water treatment. Clearly, civil unrest would go viral as people would begin to search for drinking supplies after their personal drinking supplies became exhausted. Variables such as the time of year would come into play and have a significant role in the severity of the crisis. Could you imagine if this were to happen in Phoenix, where I live, in the summer?"
"In a groundbreaking study, researchers have shown why a chemical once thought to be a safe alternative to bisphenol-A, which was abandoned by manufacturers of baby bottles and sippy cups after a public outcry, might itself be more harmful than BPA. University of Calgary scientists say they think their research is the first to show that bisphenol-S, an ingredient in many products bearing “BPA-free” labels, causes abnormal growth surges of neurons in an animal embryo. The same surges were also found with BPA, though not at the same levels as with BPS, prompting the scientists to suggest that all structurally similar compounds now in use or considered for use by plastic manufacturers are unsafe. “A lot of the alternative chemicals have not been adequately tested because they don’t have to be,” said lead author Deborah Kurrasch. “A compound is considered safe (by the Food and Drug Administration) until proven otherwise.”
"Once you move beyond the basic, everyday essential oils that we all know and love, it becomes time to explore some of the more esoteric oils that solve specific ailments. In my own exploration of essential oils, a specific ailment high on my list was relief from muscle and joint pain. The oil of choice? Birch essential oil for arthritis and other aches and pains of the muscles and joints is perfect! Not only is Birch effective against common, everyday aches and pains, but it is superior if not outstanding in providing relief from arthritis joint pain and those deep, spasmodic cramps that only seem to visit in the dead of night."
"What do we need to do in order to prepare for the coming economic collapse? Are there practical steps that we can take right now that will help us and our families survive the economic depression that is approaching? As the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, I get asked these kinds of questions a lot. Once people become convinced that an economic collapse is coming, they want to know what they should do. And so in this article I am going to share some key pieces of advice from some of the top experts in the entire country. If you are not convinced that economic disaster is on the way, this article might not be for you. Instead, I would encourage you to go to my website where you will find more than 1,200 articles that set out the case for the coming economic collapse in excruciating detail. For those of you that are interested in getting prepared, I apologize in advance for the outline format of this article. To examine each of these points in detail would take an entire book. In fact, I am the co-author of a book that will soon be published that discusses many of these things in great depth. But you don’t have to wait for a book to get prepared. Mostly, it comes down to common sense. In this article, I share 89 common sense tips that will help you get prepared for the coming economic depression. Hopefully a lot of people will find these to be very helpful."
"Anyone who has had problems with kidney stones knows that it one hell of a painful condition, especially if the stone is stuck in the urinary tract, channel leading from the kidney to the bladder. Even when it is in the bladder, the stone must first pass through the urinary tract. Since men have longer urinary channel, they have a bigger problem with this health condition. What are kidney stones? Kidney stones are mineral deposits – usually some form of calcium, such as calcium oxalate – deposited in the kidneys, which form small sand-like stones inside the kidneys. The stone may remain in the kidney for weeks, months or even years without causing any symptoms. However, if it moves, it may cause big pain in the back, hips and bloody, muddy urine. In such a situation, it is advisable to drink huge amount of liquid to allow the stone to be kicked out by urinating and take some analgesics in order to relief the pain. But if the stone is too large, it may require surgery for its removal. There is another option which combines plenty of fluids in order for the stone to be suppressed. We are going to explain this option in the article, below, in order to break the stone and to eject it out of the body."
"It has been almost a year and a half since I started leading The Cincinnati Survival / Preparedness Group. The group has about 300 members, of which around 200 rotate in and out of class meetings of approximately 50 people. However, it was never always this active. Before I stepped in to lead the group, it was dormant for months without any activity from the organizer. Many had tried to contact him in order to get the group re-started, but his email account was dead. It seemed to me at the time that the group was headed to the grave as well. With this grim outlook, I decided to try to find other preparedness communities in the area. Day after day, scouring the internet, I could not find a single local group that hadn’t already shut down or was inactive. How could this be so? I live in a conservative area in The Heartland of Ohio. I’m surrounded by other conservative areas like KY and the Southern IN countryside. Additionally, the steady stream of current events had to dictate that more people were becoming aware and prepared. Surely there had to be some group that I could liaise with! Unfortunately, my days of searching were fruitless, and I found myself as the “lone wolf” prepper. It was by luck and a little leadership that I was able to find the previous organizer’s email on Linked In, and was able to get website control and start it back up."
"We buy rechargeable batteries to save money and to provide a way to power our small electronics after SHTF. If you want to be able to count on them for the long haul, you need to provide some long term care for rechargeable batteries and avoid drastically reducing their lives. How you store, maintain and recharge your batteries can have drastic impact on their long term viability."
"There is a whole category of plants that can increase the human body’s ability to adapt and respond positively to stress. These botanicals are called adaptogens, and deserve a place in herbal preparedness plans and gardens for their ability to promote healthy immunity and help your body excel during times of mental and physical challenges. Although the reality of these plants often falls far short of their fad status and the overblown advertising campaigns of companies that tout them as wonder pills and panaceas, they definitely have much to offer. Studies featuring adaptogen herbs point to an increase in endurance (such as through increased oxygen uptake or utilization); better memory and mental acuity; and shorter duration of or incidences of illnesses such as colds. In Medical Herbalism, David Hoffman FNIMH, AHG, states that adaptogens “increase general capacity to withstand stressful situations, and hence guard against disease caused by overstress”. He explains that by moderating the stress response in terms of how the body regulates glucose, adaptogens help the body respond more quickly but less drastically; allow blood glucose to stay elevated longer to allow a more sustained peak; and allow the body to back off from the peak more gradually. This has the effect of smoothing out how our bodies respond to stress. Adaptogens also seem to act on key endocrine and immune functions within the body, which relate to stress hormones and our ability to ward off illness."
"Some people call it bugging out, I call it being mobile. Not everyone is ready to come to terms that it’s a possibility that everything they have worked so hard for may be taken away from them. The reality is that not every plan is 100% fool proof. There are way too many people that prep that seem to have tunnel vision. These people are stuck in believing in one thing and that’s bugging in is the best answer. Now here’s the thing, the term “Bugging out” has lost its value and its meaning. I hear the word being thrown around and many people just take it as a camping trip pretty much. The true meaning to “Bugging Out” is accepting that you may never return to your residence, and you may be living in the wilderness until you can find shelter."