Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 31, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

I've been thinking about getting one of these: "Strike Industries Strike Switch"--MustyYeti. Anyone used one? If so, what did you think?

Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping: 
MREs are only intended to be eaten for 21 days! Using the military’s plan of two per person, per day, times 21 days equals 42 MREs.  Twelve are in a case, which is almost four cases of MREs per person. Keep in mind that these MRE stocking levels only account for half of your daily caloric need, and you would still need to augment this diet with at least one hot meal of regular food per day.
I think the author may be incorrect on needing a meal to augment the MREs. An individual MRE is approximately 1,250 calories, or 2,500 for a single day (assuming 2 MREs per day), which should be sufficient for most men (a little high for most women) unless for some reason you are burning through a lot of calories due to intense physical activity. 
  • Related: "Emergency Rations Test #2: ER Bars"--Blue Collar Prepping. This is a review of the ER Bars from Quake Kare, which are high energy food bars vacuum packed in a foil container. The bars can be broken into squares, and boast a shelf-life 5 years, and is Coast Guard improved. The bar is scored to be broken into squares, each of which provides 400 calories. Assuming 2 squares a day, each package would provide 3 days of food. Keep in mind, though, that that is a pretty minimal amount of calories; probably okay if you were just sitting and not doing anything else, but not enough if you are engaged in even minimal physical activity. Read the whole thing to get the author's impressions of the bars.
  • "Vegetable Dehydrating – How to Dry Vegetables for Storage"--Common Sense Homesteading. I'm not going to try to summarize this. The author discusses dehydrating times and temperatures, and special preparations for certain vegetables. This article presumes that you have a food dehydrator; times and preparation may be different if, for instance, you are drying vegetables in the sun. 
  • "Egg Shell Planter"--Urban Green Survival.  This is an interesting idea. The author, when he used an egg, was careful to only break off the top of an egg shell, saving the body of shell. He used the empty shell as a small planter--a bit of earth and a seed--and then, when the plant was ready for planting, he simply crushed the shell in his hands and stuck the whole thing in the ground, thus providing additional nutrients for the soil.
  • "Minimalist Footwear…an Ultralight Essential?"--Survival Life. The author notes (from his personal experience) that:
       What I came to learn from this experience was that we were allowing technology to do the work for us. By adding “high heels” and other technology to our footwear, we were masking the sensations from the activity that we were performing. Instead of strengthening our bodies with each workout, we were, in fact, becoming weaker. We are basically telling our running shoes to do the work while our muscles, tendons and ligaments take a back seat and rest.
           I began training barefoot whenever possible and picked up a pair of minimalist shoes. ... 
      He then goes on to review and discuss some of the different types/brands of minimalist shoes out there and how to use them. I have some of the Vibram shoes that have individual toes and like them for when walking around in the desert because I don't have the problem with foxtails that I have if wearing a shoe or boot with socks.
      • "The Benefits Of A Chest Holster For Firearms Carry Outdoors"--Modern Survival Blog. The main benefits are that it allows for easy access to a firearm when carrying or using a pack or rucksack, and centers the weight of the handgun so it is more comfortable for lots of walking (as opposed to having all the weight on one side of your body).
      • "Are Big Box Retailers Failing Shooters? I Think So | Gun Guy Thoughts"--The Firearms Blog. The author's primary gripes are that the big box stores cater to gun owners with the most common types/calibers of firearms and who don't want to spend a lot, forcing those who want something out of the ordinary, or willing to pay more for better quality, to order online. I guess in defense of the retailers that there are now so many options and products available, it is hard to stock everything someone might possible want; but, on the other hand, I too have had problems finding products, or a variety of products, for what I want. For instance, in my area, if you want steel or aluminum AR mags, or even something not made by Magpul, you are out of luck. Bulk 5.45x39mm? Nada. (In fact, until the last year or so, it was hard to find anything for the AK series of rifles). Want anything other than an HKS Speedloader for your revolver? I could go on. And, of course, anything but the most basic gunsmithing tools have to be ordered online, and parts for anything but an AR or Ruger 10-22 have to be ordered. 
      • "Gear Review: Boyds Rimfire Stocks"--The Truth About Guns. Reasonably priced stocks for rimfire firearms. Something I've been considering for my Savage Mk II. 
      • "Full Circle ... ?"--SHTF School. A thoughtful article on how, absent personal experience with a collapse, our view of what SHTF will be like is heavily influenced by advertisers and companies such that we may have unrealistic beliefs regarding societal collapse and, therefore, may not be prepared for what will really happen. Also some comments about being too tied to our "stuff" and supplies to leave when necessary. Read the whole thing. 

      Other Stuff:
      • The Islamic month long celebration called Ramadan started on the evening of May 26 this year, and will extend through to the evening of June 24. Many Islamic groups have been kicking off the celebration with a bang:
      • May 30: "Suicide bomber wreaks havoc on busy Baghdad ice cream shop"--New York Post. The article reports that "[a] suicide car bomber blew himself up outside a popular ice cream shop in Baghdad — killing at least 13 people and injuring 24 others — after they stopped fasting for Ramadan, officials said."
               Iraqi security sources said Tuesday that at least 35 people were either killed or wounded in a suicide bombing in Anbar province.One of the victims killed in the blast is said to be a high ranking officer in the Iraqi army.
                 Yesterday, two deadly bombings in the Iraqi capital Baghdad killed 28 people.
                   Less than 24 hours after a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle at a popular Baghdad ice cream shop, killing at least 21 people, a second car bomb attack the Al-Shahada Bridge was reported to have killed at least seven.The overnight attack at the ice cream shop in the Karrada district in central Baghdad also wounded at least 30 people, officials said.
            I'm sure that I've missed some. 
            “During the course of an officer involved shooting investigation, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau was made aware of information regarding a potential threat by criminal street gangs against Southern California on-duty law enforcement officers,” the department said. “This threat was not specific as to the law enforcement agency or agencies that might be targeted, or as to the individual or individuals who may be involved.”
            A senior Zimbabwean war veteran, who is now the interim leader of the opposition Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) party, has reportedly described as "better" the repression "under under the whites in the then Rhodesia" than under the current government. 
            Colonization brought civilization and rule of law, both of which are lacking in modern Africa.
            When European governments tried to take the lead in 2011 with what would eventually become a NATO military intervention in Libya, they could not provide their own intelligence, reconaissance or surveillance systems and quickly ran out of basic necessities like ammunition, forcing them to rely on the US for support. Witney said at that point, "we should finally have got around to decommissioning hundreds of thousands of dumb bombs and spending a lot of money on smart munitions." But he's "pretty damn sure" that still hasn't happened.
            By the end of this year, the team aims to increase the number of superconducting qubits it builds on integrated circuits to create a 7-by-7 array. With this quantum IC, the Google researchers aim to perform operations at the edge of what’s possible with even the best supercomputers, and so demonstrate “quantum supremacy.”
            However, this is not a threat to public key encryption, yet. The article indicates that to crack the encryption for a typical length encryption key (2,000 bit) in a single day would take a 100-million-qubit system.

            2 comments:

            1. I'm conflicted on the subject of minimalist footwear. On one hand I understand the health benefits of going barefoot sometimes, and I like to lift weights without shoes. But I also think the minimalist running shoe fad was just that - a short term fad that resulted in a lot of injured athletes and a sizable class action suit against Five Fingers shoe company.

              http://www.runnersworld.com/newswire/vibram-settles-class-action-lawsuit

              I still consider buying some minimalist shoes, but I'm definitely not doing any running or heavy duty hiking with them.


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              1. I would never suggest using them for running on a hard surface such as asphalt or concrete: we weren't made for running barefoot on surfaces like that, and need the padding provided by running shoes. I found that even walking moderate distances on a hard surface can be painful with these types of shoes due to lack of padding. And carrying a heavy pack for long distances is also something not natural and requires the ankle support given by a good boot. But where these shoes shine is running or walking on dirt trails or cross country (although you still need to look out for rocks). Basically, these types of shoes provide you the experience of being barefoot but with thicker, stronger soles than provided by your own feet (even if heavily callused). (If you have seen any episodes of Dual Survival with Cody Lundin gingerly stepping around, you will understand immediately the advantages to having some sort of artificial sole beneath your feet). But the sole is still thin enough to allow you to feel the ground. Also, in my experience, the toe-to-heel style of running seems to work better than the standard heel-to-toe, but that may also have been because in my case I needed the lower impact style of running. I haven't used them for hunting, but I imagine that they would probably work quite well for stalking (at least if in a suitably subdued color).

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