Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Muslim Terrorist Attack in New York City

       Reports are that 8 people are dead and at least 11 injured after 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov drove a pickup down a walking/bike path and into a school bus in lower Manhatten, not far from the 9-11 ground zero. After crashing into the school bus, Saipov leaped from the truck brandishing a paintball gun in one hand and a pellet gun in the other while yelling "Allahu Akbar." Saipov was taken into custody after being shot by police.

Sources:

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

"Aussie Wool Blanket"--Wilderness Outfitter (10 min.)
Dave Canterbury shows how to use a blanket (in this case, a Queen-sized 100% wool blanket) as a mummy style sleeping bag, and as a cloak or robe outerwear.  

Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
  • "Cardio for the Man Who Hates Cardio: The Benefits of Rucking"--Art of Manliness. One of the benefits is that it provides a similar cardio benefits as jogging, but with less stress or risk of injury to the body. It also helps build lower body strength and back strength, and improves posture.
  • "IS LEVEL IV UNBEATABLE? Armor, Caliber, and the Problem with Tungsten"--The Firearms Blog.  Nathaniel F. notes that with decreasing cost, it is inevitable that U.S. forces will begin to encounter individuals using Level IV body armor (or its equivalent), even in small brush wars. The material currently slated for use to improve bullet penetration against such armor is a tungsten insert. However, Nathaniel runs the numbers and reveals that, if China were to cease supplying tungsten to the United States, we would not have enough stockpile or other sources to allow the military to issue tungsten core ammo as a general purpose ammunition to all troops. 
  • "Building a Reloading Workbench – Do’s & Don’ts"--Ammo Land. If you are lucky enough to have spare room in a basement, spare room, or workshop for a dedicated reloading bench, the author provides some advice (and examples of things not to do) when building a solid set up that gives you easy access to your tools and materials. 
        I'm not that lucky, and while I could make room in my garage, it is too hot during the winter, and too cold during the winter (even using a space heater). So, what I needed was a portable unit: something that I can set up on the dining room table for one or two afternoons, and then take down again. What I use is a waist high stand to which I've mounted my reloading press, a smaller stand to put on the table to hold my powder measure, and then I bring in the tools, dies, and whatever, and use the table top for those. The stand I have was originally purchased from Dillon, but I don't see that it is offered anymore. However, I found free standing stands from Lee's and Frankford Arsenal. There are also plans for making your own stand (see, e.g., this table top version for a heavy duty reloading press). A friend of mine, who was only using a small reloading press, was actually able to fit a shelf for the press and the powder measure in a wood box about 2 feet x 2 feet with a hinged lid that completely covered the press and his tools when not in use.
  • "Top Executives Leave Remington; Furlough Days Scheduled"--The Firearm Blog. Like other manufacturers, Remington is having to cut back in the face of a relatively stagnant market (at least compared to the Obama years). In this regard, a few executives have left the Company, and the Company is going to use "furlough days" to avoid laying off employees.
  • "How to Roll Your Own Kit"--Dark Angel Medical. Instructions for putting together a tactical medical bag for dealing with gun shot wounds.
  • "Father Uses .44 Magnum to Shoot Grizzly Bear off Son"--Ammo Land. The father used a Taurus Tracker revolver to shoot and drive off a grizzly bear attacking his son. Although the revolver carries 5 rounds, the father only had it loaded with 4 rounds so as to not have a loaded chamber under the hammer. My response: who the heck still does that and why? Any modern revolver is completely safe from being dropped or struck on the hammer; and, even ignoring the transfer bar system and blocks that modern revolvers now use, even most of the older designs used rebound hammers that largely corrected the problem. 
  • "DFNDR Light Weight Composite Body Armor | Big 3 East"--The Firearms Blog. An inexpensive, but light weight body armor solution.
  • Let Us Be Self-Reliant and Independent”--LDS.org. A brief discussion on how preparation is more than just storing food or having money in the bank, but is important as to spiritual matters, including being able to serve others as Christ would have us do. From the article:
President Thomas S. Monson has taught: “Self-reliance is a product of our work and undergirds all other welfare practices. It is an essential element in our spiritual as well as our temporal well-being. … ‘Let us work for what we need. Let us be self-reliant and independent. Salvation can be obtained on no other principle. Salvation is an individual matter, and we must work out our own salvation in temporal as well as in spiritual things.’”
In other words, God helps those who help themselves--He carried the bulk of the burden of saving our souls through the atonement, and all He expects us to do is reach out and grasp His rescuing hand. What we have to do to grasp His hand is individual and unique--that is, our tests and trials are unique--but involves following principles and commandments of general application. Part of our reaching out to Christ to grasp His hand is to provide Christian service to others. Thus:
        Self-reliance is a means to a higher end, said Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Our ultimate goal is to become like the Savior, and that goal is enhanced by our unselfish service to others. Our ability to serve is increased or diminished by the level of our self-reliance.”
             Only when we become self-sufficient, Elder Hales added, “can we truly emulate the Savior in serving and blessing others.”

    Other Stuff:
            “Based on everything we have learned in the past 17 years, we are evolving our education strategy,” Gates wrote on his blog as a preface to a speech he gave last week in Cleveland. He followed this by detailing how U.S. education has essentially made little improvement in the years since he and his foundation — working so closely with the Obama administration that federal officials regularly consulted foundation employees and waived ethics laws to hire several — began redirecting trillions of public dollars towards programs he now admits haven’t accomplished much.

               “If there is one thing I have learned,” Gates says in concluding his speech, “it is that no matter how enthusiastic we might be about one approach or another, the decision to go from pilot to wide-scale usage is ultimately and always something that has to be decided by you and others the field.” If this statement encompasses his Common Core debacle, Gates could have at least the humility to recall that Common Core had no pilot before he took it national. There wasn’t even a draft available to the public before the Obama administration hooked states into contracts, many of which were ghostwritten with Gates funds, pledging they’d buy that pig in a poke.

                 But it looks like this is as close to an apology or admission of failure as we’re going to get, folks. Sorry about that $4 trillion and mangled years of education for American K-12 kids and teachers. Failing with your kids and money for eight years is slowly getting billionaire visionaries to “evolve” and pledge to respect the hoi polloi a little more, though, so be grateful.
                  The Clintons and Obama were dead certain Hillary would win the election, and all this grotesque corruption and selling out of the nation's interests would be buried and ignored. Hillary's campaign and the Democratic Party leadership paid millions to a shady outfit (Fusion GPS) to develop a narrative about Trump being the Ruskies' Pet Poodle. In violation of US election laws, the Dems paid millions to foreigners, including Russians, to cook up the salacious but very fake "dossier" on Trump and help ensure the election would go Hillary's way.
                    It's all coming apart now, a massive train wreck. 

            Monday, October 30, 2017

            Lee Harvey Oswald Was A Known Wolf

                    So last week saw the release of many of the documents that had previously been held secret regarding the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The Daily Mail was pretty typical on its headlines:

            But I haven't seen anyone comment on what I think is one of the most important pieces of information. From the first article cited above:
                     Lee Harvey Oswald met a senior KGB agent months before the assassination of John F Kennedy, documents from the newly-released trove have revealed.  
                     Oswald met agent Valeriy Vladimirovich Kostikov in Mexico City's Soviet embassy two months before the president was shot and killed in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
            Kostikov was a senior agent in the 13th Department which was responsible for assassinations.
             
                     This was revealed in an intercepted phone call to the Soviet Embassy during which he was heard  speaking 'in broken Russian'. 
                     Another document reveals the FBI was aware of the meeting on October 1 of 1963, more than a month before JFK was killed, meaning Oswald was already on their radar.  
            In other words, the FBI was already surveilling Oswald, going as far as to wire tap his phones, and knew with whom he was going to meet in Mexico City, yet dropped its investigation of Oswald. The article mentions that Senators grilled some FBI agents about this after the fact, but it didn't appear that any satisfactory answers were given. There is a general rule to never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity, and that is probably the case here.

            October 30, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

            "Azure Arctic Glow, Norway Spiral | What Are They?"--Suspicious Observers (3 min.)
            This is what a failed missile test can look like.

            Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
            • I had a busy weekend, so I'm getting to this late, but ... Active Response Training's Weekend Knowledge Dump for this past weekend. A bunch of good articles, including one on the proper grasping of a revolver (it's a bit different from semi-auto), the speed of reloads while holding the muzzle in different directions, and gun-related ER visits based on type of firearm.
            • "Warnings of ‘GLOBAL OUTBREAK’ of Black Death as PLAGUE continues to spread"--Daily Star. The article indicates that the pneumonic plague outbreak in Madagascar has now spread South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Comoros, the Seychelles, Mauritius and Reunion. However, the virus has only  killed 124 people and infected around 1,300. This is no where near what the Medieval Black Plague was like.
            • "A Brief Survey of Shooting Slings" (Part 1 and Part 2)--The Firearms Blog. A look at some of the slings issued by the U.S. Army during the 20th Century, and some newer slings intended for use with AR style rifles.
            • "Board Games as Boredom Relievers"--Survival Weekly. Board games generally at the top of the list when it comes to relieving boredom in a grid-down scenario. The author relates how he and his wife have accumulated a large number of games from second-hand stores and the like, and offers the following suggestion:
            Last month, my wife set out a goal for our family that we’d play one game every day for at least a month. After all, what’s the point of having all these games if we never play them? This is something I suggest you do as well if board games fit into your plans. See, you might find that a game that looked really fun turns out to be a dud. Or, you might learn that you’re missing several key pieces. Or the instructions are so poorly written or confusing that you immediately lose any interest in attempting to play the game. You might also rediscover fun games you haven’t played in years and maybe make a few new favorites, too.
            You might also want to pick up a Hoyle's book of games (rules for all sorts of card games) and several decks of cards, and learn some different card games. Or you can consider a post-apocalypse role playing game

            Other Stuff:
            • Related: "Catalonia Declares Independence and Deserves Support"--David P. Goldman at PJ Media. Goldman notes that "[t]he critical point about the Catalans is that their incorporation into Spain was never cultural or organic." The region is not just the economic powerhouse of Spain, but it has its own language, culture, cuisine, and history apart from Spain.
            • Luke 12:3 alert: The revelations of Hollywood sex abusers is beginning to spread to the pedophiles: "Kevin Spacey accused"--Vox Popoli. The young actor he is accused of sexually assaulting was 14 years old at the time. Spacey claims he can't remember the incident, but has admitted that he is a homosexual.
            • Related: "HOW CHURCHES DIE"--Powerline. By what Vox Day terms convergence: being taken over by SJWs. The example in the article is Christ Church in Alexandria, of which George Washington was a founder, which organization has decided to take down a plaque commemorating George Washington lest it trigger someone.
            • "Average global IQ = 86"--Vox Popoli. To be frank, I see this as a possible solution to the Fermi Paradox--that we don't see advanced extraterrestrials because advanced technology means that the stupid will survive to breed and outbreed the more intelligent, thereby preventing a civilization from ever attaining a level of technology that could be detected from another solar system. The article suggests that China has the highest IQ at just over 106. I wonder if the Chinese are really that smart, or if the use of an ideographic language gives them an advantage when taking IQ tests.
            • "Exponential industrialization of space is more important than combat lasers and hypersonic fighters"--Next Big Future. The basic argument advanced by the author is that China, Germany, and Russia are near peers on advanced avionic systems and weapons, but that the United States (despite not doing anything useful for several decades) still has an edge as to space craft and space technology, and that we need to protect and enlarge the technological gap.
            • A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "AI vs Doctors"--IEEE Spectrum. Links to stories noting areas where AI and robotic systems have equaled or excelled human doctors.

            Thursday, October 26, 2017

            October 26, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web


            Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
            • "Surveillance video shows a violent carjacking at a Philadelphia gas station that left a pizza deliveryman, 56, in a coma for THREE DAYS"--Daily Mail. You should check out the video at the link. The gist of the incident is this: 5 young blacks--ages estimated at between 14 and 25 years of age--went up to the front door of an establishment and waited there until the victim left. One of them pulled a revolver on the victim, who either did not realize it or ignored it, and subsequently struck the victim on the back of the head with the revolver. The perpetrators then milled around for a few seconds (probably to see if anyone reacted), then one searched and took items of the unconscious victim while another drove off in the victim's car. So, lesson is that if you see a group of young black men (or other street toughs) hanging around the door to a pizza shop or convenience store, expect that there might be trouble.
            • "Americans Connect at 5,000 Yards (2.84 Miles) for NEW Long Range World Record"--The Firearms Blog. According to the article, the rifle used was "an Armalite AR-30 chambered in '.408 Tejas' which is another wildcat caliber based off of the .408 Chey Tac."
            • "The Drawbacks of a Subcompact Single-Stack 9mm"--Shooting Illustrated.  Tamara Keel notes that single-stack 9 mm's tend to suffer from the same drawbacks of other small handguns: short sight radius, low magazine capacity (6+1 for most models), and issues with recoil control due to the light weight and the fact that the grips on such handguns are generally so short as to only give you a two-fingered grip without some sort of magazine extension. The shorter barrel also means lower muzzle velocity which can translate into lower penetration or reduced expansion of the bullet. But she also mentions a psychological factor: that you may believe that the handgun is the equal of a larger pistol and act accordingly:
            In reality, the G43 is a lot closer, capability-wise, to a J-frame revolver or a pocket .380 ACP, and that is going to drive my tactics and decision making. In a scenario such as one with a lunatic in a movie theater or mall, the little G43 can’t engage from ranges where I’d be perfectly comfortable making a shot with a G17. They may both say “Glock 9x19” on the slide, but the gulf in capability between duty size and pocket size is broader than some people realize. The armed citizen who carries a single-stack 9mm owes it to him or herself to know exactly what can or cannot be done with it.
            • "Australian Gun Control Won’t Work in the USA – Part One"--Ammo Land. Samuel Clemens purportedly observed that there were three types of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics. Statistical analysis is an important tool, but they can be easily be manipulated. Case in point, the author of this piece notes how statistics have been misused to exaggerate the affect on crime and suicides in Australia due to that countries ban on firearms. The problem is that proponents of the firearms bans only focus on deaths by firearms rather than deaths overall. For instance, although suicides dropped slightly immediately after the gun ban, it was temporary, and suicide rates remain about the same post-ban: it is just that suicidal people have found different ways to kill themselves. Overall homicide rates have decreased, but this is due to a downward trend in homicides that had begun before the firearm ban, suggesting that the firearm ban did nothing to reduce overall homicide rates.
            • "Mossberg Adds a 20 Gauge Non-NFA 590 Shockwave"--The Truth About Guns. I think that this would be a better sized cartridge for these type of firearms inasmuch as they lack a butt stock.
            • "Magpul Disputes Army Claims of PMAG Cold Weather Performance"--Kit Up.  The issue here is that the Army subjects magazines to drop tests at -60 degrees Fahrenheit. If the magazine cracks, it is considered to have failed the test regardless of whether the magazine is still usable. The PMAGs cracked when dropped, so it failed the test. Magpul's dispute is that the magazines may have cracked, but they still functioned.
            • "A Soldier’s Mind: PTSD Marked by Shame More than Guilt, Study Says"--Lab. From the article:
                    But now a study conducted on dozens of current and former warriors points to a subtle distinction in the psychological suffering of the PTSD brain: it is shame, and not guilt that is driving these effects.
                       Shame is the feeling that one’s person is bad, as in in, “I’m a monster.” Guilt, on the other hand, is limited to a feeling of culpability for a specific incident, as in “I killed civilians during the war.”
                        The shame was a more accurate predictor of PTSD, writes the team from Department of Veterans Affairs and the University of Tulsa in the British Journal of Clinical Psychology.
                         “The findings of our study provide additional evidence that we should see shame and guilt as distinct emotions with unique roles in PTSD,” said Katherine C. Cunningham, corresponding author, of the VA’s Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center in North Carolina.
                  • "'Go ahead, skin that smokewagon and see what happens' by Secret Squirrel"--Brushbeater. This is guest post that is intended to follow up Brushbeater's prior article on selecting an AR caliber (see my October 15, 2017 post). In his article, Brushbeater presumed that his readers would be using an AR style rifle for SHTF and focused on caliber selection. This article is similar: the author presumes that you will be using a quality semi-automatic handgun (his favorites are Glock, CZ and H&K) and mostly limits his discussion to 9x19mm versus .40 S&W versus .45 ACP. Basically, while he likes the .40, he discounts it on account of recoil (it really puts a lot of wear and tear on the handgun) and logistics: that it is being abandoned by many shooters and law enforcement, and he anticipates that ammo availability will follow. So, it comes down to .45 versus 9 mm which each have their advantages and disadvantages. Again, however, logistics (cost and availability) favors the 9 mm, as does magazine capacity.
                  • "The H&K’s Grandaddy Is Back (Almost!): Gerät 06 Reproductions Undergo Test Firing"--The Firearms Blog. As some of you know, the HK roller lock system was inherited from the CETME rifle developed in Spain, which was a continuation of development that had begun in Germany during World War II. This article notes that a company that is intending on reproducing the early German models has reached its testing phase. 
                  • A reminder why you don't want to shoot .357 Magnum out of a J-frame sized revolver: "Gun Review: Smith & Wesson Model 360 .357 Magnum Revolver"--The Truth About Guns. If you want .357 out of a short barrel revolver, you will need to look at the Chiappa Rhino.
                  • "New Dot Torture Variation"--Active Response Training. Another target with accompanying drill to test your handgun skills. There is a link for downloading a printable version of the target in the article.

                  Other Stuff:
                  • I had linked the other day to Michael Owen's article on "Two Americas," but it was not the original article. I finally tracked down the original of his article at The Burning Platform.
                  • "Open Sources 16 OCT 17: The Pending Kurdistan-Shia War"--Brushbeater. It's going to happen whether or not the U.S. refuses to recognize the Kurdish territories in Northern Iraq as independent. And it will suck in Syria and Turkey to boot.
                  • "North Korea May be Ramping up Biological Weapons Program Under Guise of Farming"--Lab. From the article: "'North Korea’s Biological Weapons Program: The Known and Unknown' concludes there could be as many as 13 biological agents cultivated by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – and it [sic] could be delivered on missiles, by drone, or even through human agents with backpack sprayers and/or directly into water supplies."
                  • "London now more dangerous than New York City, crime stats suggest"--The Telegraph. The article reports that "London is now more crime ridden and dangerous than New York City, with rape, robbery and violent offences far higher on this side of the Atlantic. The latest statistics, published earlier this week, revealed that crime across the UK was up by 13 per cent, with a surge in violence in the capital blamed for much of the increase." Of course it is. London is a "minority-majority" city comprised of people from societies that never went through the full civilizing process as did the West. Barbarians will be barbarians; savages will be savages.
                  • "Majority Of White Americans Say They Believe Whites Face Discrimination"--NPR (see also this Daily Mail article). I figured this out my senior year of high school when my high school counselor handed me a big fat book of scholarships to go through to see for which ones I might qualify. If your parents didn't work for a big corporation, the remaining scholarships fell into two categories: those for women and those for racial minorities. Fortunately, I had other financial aid and scholarships due to my SAT scores and doing very well in a science competition, and my parents being so poor that I qualified for Pell Grants. But I knew after looking through that book that minorities had no excuse for not being able to go to college. While I'm not aware of any jobs that I didn't get because of my race, I know at least one internship that I didn't get while in college because I wasn't a woman, and another professional job that I have strong suspicions that I didn't get because I wasn't a woman.
                  • "Vice President Mike Pence says the Trump administration will subvert the UN and send help directly to Christians in Iraq."--PJ Media. It is a sad day that the U.S. has to go around the UN in order to prevent a genocide of Christians. It shows how truly useless and corrupt the UN has become.
                  • Ignorance must be bliss: "Michael Barone: Jeff Flake is the senator from the wrong state"--Washington Examiner. Jeff Flake is a current senator from Arizona that has decided to not run for reelection. Some have argued it is because Flake changed when he moved from the House of Representatives to the Senate. Barone argues in this article that Flake didn't change: he has always been a globalist (e.g., supporting open borders as to trade and immigrants). Barone goes farther, however, in contending that this is in tune with Flake's religious beliefs as a practicing "Mormon." Barone writes:
                  As voters, members of the LDS Church tend to be Republicans, free market on economics, conservative on such cultural issues as abortion, but also sympathetic to immigrants. These are all Jeff Flake's positions.
                  He also adds:
                            Utah voters, much like Flake, have been largely resistant to the charms of President Trump. As I noted in March 2016, Trump's appeal has been weakest among people with high degrees of what social scientist Robert Putnam calls social connectedness, and no identifiable group of Americans has higher social connectedness than members of the LDS Church.
                              In its March 22 caucuses, Utah Republicans gave only 14 percent of their votes to Trump; far behind Ted Cruz's 69 percent and trailing even John Kasich's 17 percent. Trump's 13.82 percent was barely higher than the 13.77 he got in the District of Columbia and his 13.80 percent in Puerto Rico. In the 2016 general election, Trump carried Utah, but with only 45 percent of the vote, as Independent Evan McMullin, an LDS Church member and Brigham Young graduate, got 21 percent, almost as much as Hillary Clinton's 27 percent. Trump's 45 percent was far behind Mitt Romney's 73 percent in the state, and indeed was fractionally lower than the 45 percent Barry Goldwater got there in 1964.
                        I would agree that many prominent LDS Church leaders appear to support globalist ideas. It is also true that the LDS Church has a very vocal minority of members that trend left when it comes to issues such as immigration. However, that is not the majority of Mormons. While it is true that Evan McMullin pulled a lot of votes from Trump in Utah, it probably had more to do with the McMullin being Mormon than with Trump's policies. Moreover, Barone's statistics are misleading. 60.7% of Utahans are Mormon. Although Trump had less support among Utah Mormons than other recent Republican candidates, Pew’s national exit polls showed that 61% of LDS voters in Utah voted for Trump. A further breakdown of Mormon voters and their stand on the issues is given in "Mormons, Trump and McMullin: A 2016 postmortem by the numbers," which shows that a significant number of LDS supporters of Trump were concerned about immigration and did not view racial diversity as positive.  If Trump, and his platform, had truly been unpopular among Mormons, as Barone argues, Trump would have lost Utah. 

                        Wednesday, October 25, 2017

                        October 25, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                        "How To Work With Chainsaws"--Wranglerstar (14 min.)


                        Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
                        Winchester representatives at the booth confirmed that the ammunition was indeed XM1153 Special Purpose, and that it was based on the T-Series [i.e., the Ranger ammunition], but re-engineered for the US Army’s specifications. This makes me wonder if the new Special Purpose ammnition is more similar to the older Black Talon round, which uses the same basic design as the T-Series but which is engineered to expand slightly less while giving greater penetration. Or, possibly, the Army had other requirements and this is not the case; I am just speculating.
                        • "Our Resistance Library: Arming You Physically + Philosophically"--Ammo.com. The folks at Ammo.com have put together a collection of articles on everything from explaining the Second Amendment and the history of various patriot flags, to emergency preparedness and explaining different types of shot (for shotguns) and bullets. I'm still looking through it all, but, so far, disaster preparation articles appear to be pretty comprehensive. Check it out. I'll be adding this to my list of Useful Links as well.
                        • "'We Have Two Americas:'The Gun Debate According to Michael Owens"--American Digest (H/t Woodpile Report). Owens writes: "... we don’t really have a single America with a moderately high rate of gun deaths. Instead, we have two Americas, one of which has very high rates of gun ownership but very low murder rates, very comparable to the rest of the First World democracies such as those in western & northern Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, South Korea. The other America has much lower rates of gun ownership but much, much higher murder rates, akin to violent third world countries."
                        • "50 simulations of the ‘Really Big One’ show how a 9.0 Cascadia earthquake could play out"--University of Washington. From the news release: 
                                  Off the Oregon and Washington coast, the Juan de Fuca oceanic plate is slowly moving under the North American plate. Geological clues show that it last jolted and unleashed a major earthquake in 1700, and that it does so roughly once every 500 years. It could happen any day.
                                     Wirth’s project ran simulations using different combinations for three key factors: the epicenter of the earthquake; how far inland the earthquake will rupture; and which sections of the fault will generate the strongest shaking.
                                       Results show that the intensity of shaking can be less for Seattle if the epicenter is fairly close to beneath the city. From that starting point, seismic waves will radiate away from Seattle, sending the biggest shakes in the direction of travel of the rupture.
                                         “Surprisingly, Seattle experiences less severe shaking if the epicenter is located just beneath the tip of northwest Washington,” Wirth said. “The reason is because the rupture is propagating away from Seattle, so it’s most affecting sites offshore. But when the epicenter is located pretty far offshore, the rupture travels inland and all of that strong ground shaking piles up on its way to Seattle, to make the shaking in Seattle much stronger.”

                                  * * *

                                            Overall, the results confirm that coastal areas would be hardest hit, and locations in sediment-filled basins like downtown Seattle would shake more than hard, rocky mountaintops. But within that general framework, the picture can vary a lot; depending on the scenario, the intensity of shaking can vary by a factor of 10. But none of the pictures is rosy.
                                      Read the whole thing.


                                      Other Stuff:
                                      • "Paddock brother arrested"--Vox Popoli. He is citing an article from The Independent reporting that Paddock's brother has been arrested for possession of material related to child sex abuse.
                                               Moreover, according to what is arguably the next-best measure of class, household income, Trump supporters didn’t look overwhelmingly “working class” during the primaries. To the contrary, many polls showed that Trump supporters were mostly affluent Republicans. For example, a March 2016 NBC survey that we analyzed showed that only a third of Trump supporters had household incomes at or below the national median of about $50,000. Another third made $50,000 to $100,000, and another third made $100,000 or more and that was true even when we limited the analysis to only non-Hispanic whites. If being working class means being in the bottom half of the income distribution, the vast majority of Trump supporters during the primaries were not working class.

                                                 But what about education? Many pundits noticed early on that Trump’s supporters were mostly people without college degrees. There were two problems with this line of reasoning, however. First, not having a college degree isn’t a guarantee that someone belongs in the working class (think Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg). And, second, although more than 70 percent of Trump supporters didn’t have college degrees, when we looked at the NBC polling data, we noticed something the pundits left out: during the primaries, about 70 percent of all Republicans didn’t have college degrees, close to the national average (71 percent according to the 2013 Census). Far from being a magnet for the less educated, Trump seemed to have about as many people without college degrees in his camp as we would expect any successful Republican candidate to have.
                                        In short, Trump won because of overwhelming support from white, middle-class men: businessmen, tradesmen, and professionals. 
                                        • You may have seen articles discussing Sen. Jeff Flake's announcement that he won't run for re-election. In his address to the Senate, he pandered to the never-Trumpers and the Democrats. However, as The Atlantic makes clear, Flake's problem is that he had become a dedicated globalist. From the article: 
                                        Flake’s decision not to run for reelection was, in fact, largely an acknowledgment of reality: He was unlikely to defeat a primary challenge ahead of the 2018 Senate election. He said that he doubted he could win while remaining committed to core beliefs like support for free markets and immigration.
                                        Stephen Kruiser's explanation is more succinct: "Flake was a strong conservative when he was in the House. When he got to the Senate, he decided to be John McCain's 'Mini-Me' and has borne little, if any, resemblance to his former self."

                                        Tuesday, October 24, 2017

                                        October 24, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                        "The Fire RISES: The EU's CRISIS of Regionalism"--Black Pigeon Speaks (~8 min.). The video discusses the various succession movements in Europe and North America.

                                        Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
                                        • If you ban firearms, then the criminals will have submachine guns: "Illegal SMG factory busted in São Paulo, Brazil"--The Firearms Blog. The reason is that an open bolt submachine gun is one of the cheapest and easiest firearms to make; see, e.g., the British Sten. The SMG copied in this particular factory were based on the Brazilian Mekanika Uru SMG. The article notes:
                                        Although clandestine firearms manufacture is not something unusual in the country, this particular facility called the attention not only due to the fact that its main product, a 9x19mm stockless submachine gun, shows a somewhat decent general finish and apparent (hand-operated by agents) smooth functioning of components, but also that the type has for long (four years, at least) been found in criminal hands in different parts of Brazil.
                                        • "Revolver Squib Loads"--Active Response Training. A description of what is a squib load and some tips on how to tell if it is a squib load--the primary being a lower than normal report.
                                        • "Two Are Better Than One: Red Dots and Irons"--The New Rifleman. The author of this piece notes that he is seeing an increasing number of people suggesting that a back up iron sight (BUIS) is no longer needed for a defensive/combat rifle. I know that I've read from SOF types in Afghanistan that have eschewed a BIUS in favor of variable scope and a red dot. The author, here, warns against that practice. Not only are there issues of a battery going dead, but your optic might be damaged or, more likely, a mount may be damaged, come loose, etc.
                                        • "Woven Glory"--Blue Collar Prepping. The author discusses some different types of looms for weaving at home, from small Inkle Looms (inexpensive, but only suitable for weaving narrow strips of cloth) to the intermediate sized box or table top loom, to the large (and expensive) floor looms. 
                                        • "The Gripping Hand: A Pragmatic Perspective on Improving Infantry Lethality Through Marksmanship"--The Firearms Blog. Nathaniel F. writes:
                                        The core of our revision is this: It is not true that infantry cannot be trained above the current lackluster standard, but neither is it reasonable to expect them to inflict terror at ranges out to a kilometer and beyond. It is true that a much higher degree of lethality through superior general marksmanship is possible than what is achieved now with the standards of the Army (and the Marine Corps too, although to a lesser extent), and yet simultaneously true that the expense and cost of producing general lethality in the ranks at distances beyond 500 meters is prohibitive. Therefore, the most pragmatic approach to improving lethality through marksmanship is to emphasize precise fires at distances 500 meters and closer.
                                        This isn't really a new concept. British troops, prior to World War I, were extensively trained on how to shoot a rifle both accurately at long distances and quickly. American troops (until WWII) were also trained to be riflemen, and it is something to which the Marine Corps has always aspired (macabre as it sounds, Lee Harvey Oswald's success in assassinated Kennedy was largely due to his marksmanship training he received in the Marines). In WWI, the British quickly lost their most experienced troops to the German Juggernaut, and there was simply insufficient time to adequately train replacement troops to the same standards (which was somewhat moot, in any event, since most of the fighting was within 200 yards). WWII was the watershed for the U.S. Army, after which it began to emphasize volume of fire over accuracy, partly because of the influence of  S.L.A. Marshall.
                                        • "Backpacking Boots and Why I Use Them"--Wood Trekker. Although there has been a trend for lighter hiking shoes and boots, the author describes why he still prefers wearing full sized backpacking boots: 
                                        Unless you are wearing boots with extremely rigid sides, i.e. something like mountaineering boots, your ankle will twist just the same. On the other hand, trail runners and their “more natural” movement do nothing to prevent an injury. A twisted ankle is a twisted ankle. The argument about trail runners preventing knee injuries makes even less sense because it inevitably assumes that boots actually provide ankle support, thereby transferring the stress to the knees. Since an ankle can roll in the boots as well, this is a non issue for your knees. Athletic research seems to support this as well. Testing between high footwear with “ankle support” and low footwear has shown no statistical difference in the ankle injury rates or frequency. 
                                        • "Vendetta Precision VP-25 Extended Ambidextrous Charging Handle"--The Firearms Blog. You've probably seen, or even use, extended charging handles for an AR. It is especially useful if mounting an optic. This charging handle might be considered an extra-extended: apparently 4 inches from side to side, which, roughly, probably gives you about an inch and a quarter of handle purchase from each side. MSRP is $75, which is pretty good for this type of handle.


                                        Other Stuff:
                                        • "Venezuela's deteriorating oil quality riles major refiners"--Reuters. The problem is leading to cancelled orders and demands for refunds or reduced prices. "The quality issues stem from shortages of chemicals and equipment to properly treat and store the oil, resulting in shutdowns and slowdowns at PDVSA production facilities, along with hurried transporting to avoid late deliveries, the sources said."
                                        • "Is Part Of The r/K Meme Toxic?"--Anonymous Conservative. Anonymous Conservative describes in his book a cycle of prosperity giving rise to "rabbity" liberals, a collapse which gives rise to more K-selected behavior, followed by another rise to prosperity, ad infinitum. Paxton Jackson thinks that this cycle (or discussing it) is "toxic." Jackson writes:
                                        In fact, this meme is downright toxic. It essentially says that our problem was not the bad decisions that we made, but that we prospered, forgetting that it is possible — although none have done it — to choose to prosper without becoming distracted by wealth and comfort. It would require eliminating the weak from among us, probably through exile to the third world.
                                        (Source)
                                        Jackson misunderstands the cycle. As I've noted before, what Anonymous Conservative is describing is the pride cycle from The Book of Mormon, illustrated above. (You can see the same thing in the Bible, although not summarized as neatly--just read Isaiah's and Jeremiah's descriptions of how truly odious men and women had become prior to the destruction of Jerusalem). The cycle doesn't ignore "bad decisions," but explains why the "bad decisions" are made. Essentially, prosperity brings about an r-psychology (or wickedness, if you prefer), which creates the condition for a collapse; the collapse favors the development of a K-select psychology (or righteousness), which paves the way for future prosperity. 
                                               Between 2004 and 2014, tens of millions of Brazilians emerged from poverty and the country was often cited as an example for the world. High prices for the country’s raw materials and newly developed oil resources helped finance social welfare programs that put money into the pockets of the poorest.

                                                  But that trend has been reversed over the last two years due to the deepest recession in Brazil’s history and cuts to the subsidy programs, raising the specter that this continent-sized nation has lost its way in addressing wide inequalities that go back to colonial times.
                                          The last sentence is in reference to the fact that the predominantly white regions in Southern Brazil essentially carry the rest of the country on their backs, economically speaking. Whites are the new slaves, who are expected to bear on their broad backs the burdens of the welfare states and aid to developing countries. Brazil may soon see its own secessionist crises.
                                          • The elephant in the room:
                                                    The issue of immigration has become the occasion for deciding the most practical and perennial of issues: who rules? Americans know that Europe’s un-sustainable socio-economic model—bureaucratized economies, social welfare, and demographic decline—is a warning to us.
                                                        Increasingly, we have imitated that model, assuming that the decline would be slow and graceful. But Europe’s crisis, and ours, has always been far less socio-economic than civilizational. That is why mass migration into Euro-American civilization—especially people from the Muslim world who neither share in nor sympathize with that civilization—is accelerating the crisis. Confidence in the future is being replaced by the sense that living as before will be impossible.
                                                        More and more, people have reacted by voting against the elites responsible for socio-economic management and for migration. But elites on both sides of the Atlantic have not changed course. They justify their resistance to popular sentiment by applying invidious labels to the voters who reject them. Each side’s denial of the other’s legitimacy is collapsing the socio-political legitimacy of modern democracy. This ensures that whatever changes in Euro-American civilization may take hold will include revolutionary political events.
                                                  He further notes:
                                                           ... Pope Francis speaks of the migrants as “the warriors of hope.”
                                                               The locals ask: Against whom are the migrants are fighting if not us? What have we done to deserve having this war waged against us? Meanwhile, Italy’s ruling Left coalition signals its superior virtue by sponsoring a law to grant citizenship—and voting rights—to the migrants. That is one reason why the polls show it losing the 2018 elections—badly.
                                                        Finally, he concludes:
                                                                  Throughout Europe, and America as well, the desire to break out of that grip is unevenly spread and manifests itself in different ways.
                                                                      In Germany, Catholic Bavaria voted differently from the secular east, where the extreme Right and Left rose.
                                                                       In Italy, the only part of the body politic that is committed unequivocally to cultural identity is the Northern League, which tries to represent the regions north of the Apennines.
                                                                         In the United States, red states and blue states differ increasingly about immigration as well as everything else. Perhaps salvaging civilization is possible only as pieces that care to do it win autonomy from others that do not.
                                                                            The issue of immigration is the quintessentially democratic issue because it is all about “who we are, who we want to be, and how we want to live.” Though the choice of who shall and shall not be among us, in what number, never mind of who shall and shall not be part of our body politic, is far from the only one that affects a civilization’s viability, it has become the proxy for all the other choices that do.
                                                                            I don’t believe it’s disputable at this point that the most potent issue behind the rise of the far right in America and Europe is mass immigration. It’s a core reason that Trump is now president; it’s why the AfD is now the third-biggest party in the German, yes, German, parliament; it’s why Austria’s new chancellor won by co-opting much of the far right’s agenda on immigration; it’s why Britain is attempting (and currently failing) to leave the EU; it’s why Marine Le Pen won a record number of votes for her party in France this spring. A critical moment, in retrospect, came with Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to import over a million Syrian refugees into the heart of Europe. I’ve no doubt her heart was in the right place, but the political naïveté was stunning. How distant from the lives and views of most people does an elite have to be to see nothing to worry about from such drastic social and cultural change? Michael Brendan Dougherty elegantly explains here the dynamic that followed. There are now new borders and fences going up all over Europe, as a response to Merkel’s blithe misjudgment.
                                                                              You would think that parties of the center-left would grapple with this existential threat to their political viability. ... And this is one reason why I have dwindling hopes that the Democratic Party will be able to defeat Trump in 2020. Instead of adjusting to this new reality, and listening to the electorate, the Dems have moved ever farther to the left, and are controlled by ever-radicalizing activists.
                                                                               ... In fact, the Democrats increasingly seem to suggest that any kind of distinction between citizens and noncitizens is somehow racist. You could see this at the last convention, when an entire evening was dedicated to Latinos, illegal and legal, as if the rule of law were largely irrelevant. Hence the euphemism “undocumented” rather than “illegal.” So the stage was built, lit, and set for Trump.
                                                                                   U.S. and other Western scientists voice awe, and even alarm, at China’s quickening advances and spending on quantum communications and computing, revolutionary technologies that could give a huge military and commercial advantage to the nation that conquers them.
                                                                                       The concerns echo — although to a lesser degree — the shock in the West six decades ago when the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite, sparking a space race.
                                                                                          In quick succession, China in recent months has utilized a quantum satellite to transmit ultra-secure data, inaugurated a 1,243-mile quantum link between Shanghai and Beijing, and announced a $10 billion quantum computing center.
                                                                                          “To me, what is alarming is the level of coordination of what they’ve done,” said Christopher Monroe, a physicist and pioneer in quantum communication at the University of Maryland.

                                                                                Monday, October 23, 2017

                                                                                Escaping a Burning Building

                                                                                (Source)
                                                                                       Burning to death from a building fire is actually pretty rare in the United States. One of the sources I consulted for this article indicated that there were only 12 deaths per million per year; mostly a product of better fire and electrical codes, fewer smokers, and removing ingredients from cigarettes that kept cigarettes burning even if discarded or dropped. Nevertheless, another source indicated that fires kill more people every year than all other natural disasters combined.

                                                                                       This certainly seems borne out, as we have seen from recent news articles concerning the fires in the Napa Valley of California, the Grenfell Tower earlier this year in London, and countless local stories of house or other structure fires. Keep in mind, as well, that using flammable light sources--candles, gas or propane lanterns and oil lamps--will greatly increase the risk of a fire--something to watch out for in the event of loss of electrical power.

                                                                                       How you should respond to a fire actually depends significantly on the type and age of the building. Most residential buildings in the United States, whether single family residences, single story condominiums, or "low rise" apartments or hotels of one or two stories, are of wood frame construction and make use of wood flooring and joists. (Although one of my sources derided the United States for using wood framing in construction, it is superior to masonry construction in the event of an earthquake). Siding is often of wood or other flammable materials. Even if a building is "brick" or "stucco," it is generally just a fascia over a wood framed building.  And, of course, there are the contents: carpet, cabinets and furniture, and personal items (papers, books, etc.). In more modern multi-residential buildings, walls extend up into the attic to prevent fire from spreading through the attic from one residence to another; but many older structures lack this feature.

                                                                                       Buildings constructed of brick or stone (i.e., masonry or "mass" construction) are not immune to fire, either. Often, even if the exterior walls (or even interior load bearings walls) may be built using masonry, joists, flooring, and plastered walls may all be made of wood ... in addition to the contents as described above. And, in the area where I reside, I've noted that some apartment buildings and hotels will use reinforced concrete for a ground floor, such as a parking garage or for retail space, then use wood framing for the additional 3 or 4 stories above that in which the individual apartments or hotel rooms are located.

                                                                                       Modern high-rise structures, using steel framing and concrete floors, are generally the safest buildings in event of fires. Not just because of the materials used, but because of the use of sprinkler systems, fire doors and barriers, and broad emergency stairwells. But, again, individual buildings may vary. For instance, Grenfell Tower--a seemingly modern high rise apartment building--had been refurbished with an the exterior cladding system to better insulate the building. This cladding material, an aluminum/polyethylene sandwich material manufactured in China, was so flammable that "testing in Australia was suspended after the first sample practically blew up in the lab."  Moreover, fire codes can vary extensively. For instance, again in reference to the Grenfell Tower disaster, during the 1970s (when the Tower was constructed), British building code apparently only required one escape stair which is not designed for a mass evacuation, but was intended for a small number of people to evacuate individual apartments that were on fire. You can be certain that fire codes are inferior, or not observed, in many other countries.

                                                                                Single-Family Residences:

                                                                                       I think that I can still safely say that a majority of Americans live in a detached, single family residence--a house. In most of these residences, the only fire resistant doors will be exterior doors and the door between the main portion of the house and an attached garage. Generally, fire codes require each bedroom to have a window large enough to escape a fire, but this may not be true of older structures. Keep in mind that the majority of residential fire fatalities occur at night when people are asleep.

                                                                                       Experts recommend having and implementing a fire plan. That is:
                                                                                • Make sure you have a working smoke detector for each floor of your residence located near each sleeping area; and if your home is split into different sections (e.g., children's rooms on one side of your home and the master bedroom or suite on the other), to have smoke detectors for each section. If you can, locate the detectors near the bedrooms or, better yet, have "full coverage" and include smoke detectors in each bedroom and living area. Most current fire codes in the United States require the "full coverage" in newly constructed or remodeled homes. 
                                                                                • Augment your smoke detectors with CO (carbine monoxide) detectors: especially if you use a wood burning stove or fireplace for heating, or use a gas powered water heater or furnace. 
                                                                                • Develop an evacuation plan in the event of fire, including at least two exits from each bedroom and living space. For instance, a primary exit might be through a front door, and an alternative exit might be through a window or rear door/patio door. It should also include a meeting or gathering area far enough from the house to be safe, but easily accessible by everyone, such as the front sidewalk, a neighbors driveway, etc. Make sure everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire. 
                                                                                • Keep a fire extinguisher handy in any areas where there are open flames or heat, such as a kitchen or workshop. However, don't mount a fire extinguisher near the most likely source of heat or flame. For instance, you don't want to have a kitchen fire extinguisher near a stove top because, in the event of a stove top fire, you might not be able to get to the fire extinguisher because of the flames.
                                                                                • Periodically check your smoke detector(s) and fire extinguisher(s), and practice your evacuation plan. Smoke detectors should be tested once per month, and batteries should be replaced yearly; the detectors, themselves, should be replaced every 5 to 10 years (after 10 years, the failure rate is 30 to 50 %). Fire extinguishers generally have either a pressure gauge, indicating whether their pressure is still sufficient, or a push button to test pressure.
                                                                                • Keep copies of important documents in a fire proof box or safe. If you don't have one, wrap and seal the copies in plastic and store them in a freezer or the freezing compartment on your refrigerator. 
                                                                                • Check to make sure you live within a fire district or other jurisdiction that offers fire protection. Keep the number for the fire department or emergency services posted near a phone or other handy location, and make sure everyone knows what number to call.
                                                                                • If you have bars over your windows, make sure that they are the type that have an emergency release to facilitate evacuation in the event of a fire.
                                                                                • Make sure everyone knows and is able to demonstrate that they can unlock and open doors and windows and, if applicable, the emergency latches for any barred windows. 
                                                                                • Make sure that children know how to evacuate without parental assistance and teach them to not wait for parents to assist them if they are able to evacuate on their own.
                                                                                • If you have a house with bedrooms on an upper floor, you might consider whether to get one or more escape ladders. You can find these for sale through Amazon or Walmart, or home improvement stores such as Lowe's or Home Depot.
                                                                                       Safety Tips:

                                                                                       While this all may seem common sense, common safety tips for avoiding fire are:
                                                                                • Don't smoke in bed or when lying down to sleep. 
                                                                                • If you do smoke, purchase and use ash trays with a central support feature.
                                                                                • Don't leave candles, space heaters, or other sources of flame or heat unattended. 
                                                                                • If you do have to use candles, oil lamps, or such, make sure they are kept away from flammable materials (e.g. curtains or loose fabric) and placed somewhere steady and toward the center of a table (not the edge) so they don't fall off. Also, keep them away from areas where it is likely that someone might strike them or knock them over.
                                                                                • Store matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
                                                                                • Sources also recommend sleeping with bedrooms doors shut to prevent the spread of a fire or smoke. The only issues I have with this is that it really messes with air circulation needed for proper heating or cooling of the house, and may not be feasible where you need to be able to hear an infant, or fussy or sick children.

                                                                                       What To Do In The Event Of A Fire
                                                                                • In the event of a fire, the basic step is to evacuate the structure. As noted above, make sure everyone knows at least two different routes to evacuate from whatever room they might be in. Children, handicapped individuals, or elderly individuals may need assistance waking up, or getting out of the structure. (Several sources have indicated that children are likely to sleep through a fire alarm; note also if someone in your household takes sleeping medications, they may also need to woken up). When you get to the agreed upon rendezvous location, check to see that everyone is there.
                                                                                • Call 911 or the appropriate emergency number for your locale. 
                                                                                • Before opening any closed doors, check the door handle for temperature. If the door handle is hot, don't open the door! The fire is likely outside the door and you will need to use an alternative exit.
                                                                                • Fires generate a lot of smoke and dangerous fumes. I have heard of and read cases of people being overcome by dangerous fumes and loosing consciousness, sometimes before they were aware of any dangers. For instance, the author of this article related a story from her early days as a volunteer fire fighter responding to a garbage dump fire, and twice passed out due to the fumes. The basic tactic, as you probably all remember from grade school, is to get down on your hands and knees so your head is below the level of the smoke or fumes, and crawl out. If necessary, you can wet a cloth and hold it over your nose. In such case, remember to breath in and out through your nose; tucking a bit of the cloth into your mouth and clamping onto it with your teeth will remind you to breath through your nose.
                                                                                • In cold weather, you may want to consider grabbing blankets off your beds as you evacuate in order to protect you and your family from exposure while outside.
                                                                                • If you have to escape through a window, throw a mattress out first to cushion your fall or protect you from injury from objects/plants below the window. 
                                                                                • Even if you have to climb out the window of the upper story of a house, you will probably be close enough to the ground to jump--people can survive jumps from two or three stories. Keep your legs together, and bend the knees and roll on impact to lessen the force of the fall.
                                                                                Apartments and Hotels:

                                                                                        I think I can confidently say that the vast majority of hotels and apartment buildings in the United States are two to four stories in height. A typical modern apartment building seems to be three stories, with external stairs (i.e., open to the weather) servicing only a small number of apartments for each floor of each building of the apartment complex. Some apartment buildings or hotels may have an exposed walkway servicing all apartments or hotel rooms on a given floor, with only a limited number of stairways down to the ground. Other apartment buildings or hotels may have only a limited number of internal stairways and hallways. And, of course, we are all familiar, from television, of the old tenements and hotels with the external iron or steel fire escapes.

                                                                                Preparations 
                                                                                • As with a detached dwelling, it is key to have a fire escape plan. Know where the nearest stairwells, fire escapes, or other exits are located. Super high rise buildings may have "refuge floors" (generally one for every 20 stories) for people to gather in the event of evacuation or other emergency--know where they are. 
                                                                                • Make sure your apartment, hotel room, etc., has operating smoke detectors. As noted above, check your smoke detectors once per month, change batteries at least once per year, and replace the smoke detectors every 5 years.
                                                                                • Make sure your apartment, hotel room, etc., main door is fire rated and has not been compromised by modifications.
                                                                                • Keep emergency doors (exits or to emergency stairwells) closed, and keep such doorways, stairwells, or fire escapes clear from clutter or debris.
                                                                                • Know where fire fighting equipment, such as fire extinguishers or fire hoses, are located and how to use them. Consider getting a fire extinguisher for your apartment.
                                                                                • Keep copies of important documents in a fire proof box or safe. If you don't have one, wrap and seal the copies in plastic and store them in a freezer or the freezing compartment on your refrigerator.
                                                                                • If you have bars over your windows, make sure that they are the type that have an emergency release to facilitate evacuation in the event of a fire.
                                                                                • Make sure everyone knows and is able to demonstrate that they can unlock and open doors and windows and, if applicable, the emergency latches for any barred windows.
                                                                                • Make sure that children know how to evacuate the building.
                                                                                • If above the ground floor, look at purchasing an escape ladder in the event you have to evacuate through a window. 

                                                                                       What To Do In The Event Of A Fire
                                                                                • If the fire starts in your location (office, hotel room, or apartment) or you detect smoke, don't go looking for the fire; alert everyone in the location and exit the location, closing doors behind you, and trigger the fire alarm if it has not already been activated. Avoid using emergency stairwells that are filled with smoke or fumes. Obviously, you may be able to extinguish small fires with a fire extinguisher or smothering it, but don't play the hero if the fire spreads.
                                                                                • Do not use elevators. Elevators function can be affected by heat or fire, they are generally not rated to protect you from fire or smoke, and certain elevators may be reserved for use by firefighters. 
                                                                                • Once you get to a safe location, call 911 or the appropriate emergency number for your location.
                                                                                • Your primary escape route if you are on a floor above the ground floor will be through the main door to your apartment or hotel room. As above, check the door handle before attempting to open the door; if it is hot, don't open the door--use an alternative route if available.
                                                                                • Again, if there is smoke or fumes, get down on your hands and knees to keep below the smoke and fumes. If necessary, use a wet cloth to breath through (see my comments above).
                                                                                • If you can't get out through the door, keep the door shut and pack wet cloth or clothing (towels work great) under or around the door to keep the smoke out. If there are interior doors between you and where the fire is located, close (but don't lock) them to help keep out the fire and smoke.
                                                                                • If you are only a few stories above the ground, you might consider improvising a rope or jumping to the ground. As noted earlier, first throw out a mattress to help with breaking your fall. Tie some cloth (such as towels) around your head as an improvised helmet. If you jump or fall, keep your legs together, and bend the knees and roll when you impact the ground. If you have to improvise a rope, rip sheets or other cloth into 18-inch wide strips and then twist and tie them together. Wetting the cloth will give it more "bite" so the knots don't come undone. Use a reef knot (aka square knot) to tie the sheets together so the knots won't come undone--a "granny knot" or bow knot will not work. Don't use towels or terry cloth as the fabric is generally not strong enough to support the weight of a person. Tie the end of the rope to something solid, such as pipe work, and then dangle out the window. Only one person should go down at a time.
                                                                                • If you are not able to improvise a rope, or it is too high, hang a towel or sheet out your window to mark your location for firefighters. Sit or lay on the floor (low enough that you won't be affected by smoke or fumes) and wait for help. Don't try waiting a fire out by sitting in a filled bathtub--you can literally cook to death.

                                                                                High Rise and Super High Rise Buildings

                                                                                       For purposes of this article, "high rise" is anything more than 7 stories high. Even the longest ladder trucks can't reach above seven stories, nor can fire trucks pump water to spray any higher. Super high rise buildings are generally considered to be buildings 40 or more stories in height. With both high rise and super high rise buildings, it is the design of the building that will generally keep you safe--you are too high to jump or climb down an improvised sheet. Design features include fire doors, concrete floors, emergency stairwells or fire escapes, and--at least after 1980--sprinkler systems.

                                                                                   

                                                                                Smoke travel with no fire doors, but a vent at the top of the emergency stairwell (Source)

                                                                                Smoke travel with no fire doors and no roof vent (Source)

                                                                                Smoke travel where there are fire doors (source)
                                                                                Preparations 
                                                                                • As with other buildings, it is key to have a fire escape plan. Know where the nearest stairwells, fire escapes, or other exits are located. Super high rise buildings may have "refuge floors" (generally one for every 20 stories) for people to gather in the event of evacuation or other emergency--know where they are. 
                                                                                • Make sure your apartment, hotel room, etc., has operating smoke detectors. As noted above, check your smoke detectors once per month, change batteries at least once per year, and replace the smoke detectors every 5 years.
                                                                                • Make sure your apartment, hotel room, etc., main door is fire rated and has not been compromised by modifications.
                                                                                • Keep emergency doors (exits or to emergency stairwells) closed, and keep such doorways, stairwells, or fire escapes clear from clutter or debris.
                                                                                • Know where fire fighting equipment, such as fire extinguishers or fire hoses, are located and how to use them. Consider getting a fire extinguisher for your apartment. 
                                                                                • Keep copies of important documents in a fire proof box or safe. If you don't have one, wrap and seal the copies in plastic and store them in a freezer or the freezing compartment on your refrigerator.
                                                                                • If you have bars over your windows, make sure that they are the type that have an emergency release to facilitate evacuation in the event of a fire.
                                                                                • Make sure everyone knows and is able to demonstrate that they can unlock and open doors and windows.
                                                                                • Make sure that children know how to evacuate the building.

                                                                                     What To Do In The Event Of A Fire
                                                                                • In most cases, if a fire alarm goes off for your building, and there is no fire or smoke in your apartment, office, hotel room, etc., most sources indicate that it is safest to shelter in place due to design features that will prevent smoke or fire from spreading through the building. If there is no fire in your location, you can open a window if necessary for fresh air.
                                                                                • If the fire starts in your location (office, hotel room, or apartment) or you detect smoke, evacuate your location (office, apartment, hotel room). Don't go looking for the fire. Instead,  alert everyone in the location (note my comments above in the section on house fires and the need to alert and assist children and/or the elderly) and exit the location, closing doors behind you. Go to the "refuge floor" below your floor, if your building has any, or exit the building. Trigger the fire alarm if it has not already been activated. Once you get to a safe location, call 911 or the appropriate emergency number for your location.
                                                                                • Do not use elevators. Elevators function can be affected by heat or fire, they are generally not rated to protect you from fire or smoke, and certain elevators may be reserved for use by firefighters.
                                                                                • Your primary escape route will be through the main door to your apartment or hotel room. As above, check the door handle before attempting to open the door; if it is hot, don't open the door--use an alternative route if available. Avoid using emergency stairwells that are filled with smoke or fumes.
                                                                                • Again, if there is smoke or fumes, get down on your hands and knees to keep below the smoke and fumes. If necessary, use a wet cloth to breath through (see my comments above).
                                                                                • If you can't get out through the door, keep the door shut and pack wet cloth or clothing (towels work great) under or around the door to keep the smoke out. If there are interior doors between you and where the fire is located, close (but don't lock) them to help keep out the fire and smoke.
                                                                                • If you are only a few stories above the ground, you might consider improvising a rope or jumping to the ground. As noted earlier, first throw out a mattress to help with breaking your fall. Tie some cloth (such as towels) around your head as an improvised helmet. If you jump or fall, keep your legs together, and bend the knees and roll when you impact the ground. If you have to improvise a rope, rip sheets or other cloth into 18-inch wide strips and then twist and tie them together. Wetting the cloth will give it more "bite" so the knots don't come undone. Use a reef knot (aka square knot) to tie the sheets together so the knots won't come undone--a "granny knot" or bow knot will not work. Don't use towels or terry cloth as the fabric is generally not strong enough to support the weight of a person. Tie the end of the rope to something solid, such as pipe work, and then dangle out the window. Only one person should go down at a time. Don't try jumping if you are above the third story.
                                                                                • If you are not able to improvise a rope, or it is too high, hang a towel or sheet out your window to mark your location for firefighters. Sit or lay on the floor (low enough that you won't be affected by smoke or fumes) and wait for help. Don't try waiting a fire out by sitting in a filled bathtub--you can literally cook to death.

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